Friday, December 22, 2006
We're at Amma and Afi's house have loads of fun and seeing old friends. Anna couldn't be happier -- lots of attention and a Christmas tree with a number of ornaments to rearrange.
Monday, December 18, 2006
P.S. We're off tomorrow morning to spent Christmas with Amma and Afi in DC. 8 hours on an airplane with Anna and Elsa (and Carlos). Fingers crossed that we arrive in DC with our sanity intact.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
By the way, I just looked at the earlier post. When I said that Anna was a little star in her Christmas show, I meant that she was a little star like in the sky rather than the star of the show. Of course, I thought she was a star, but the reality is that Anna was a bit overwhelmed with so many people watching the show. She had her back to the audience a good bit of the time. I got a number of pictures of the back of her head.
Monday, November 27, 2006
All I can say is, way to go for her nursery school. Her teachers are teaching her so many new things. Some mornings, they have a whole collection of plastic dinosaurs out for the kids to play with, and Anna must have learned some the names. She's also started correcting me when I say "yea" instead of "yes" (which I do all the time).
By the way, there wasn't a stegasaurous, or any other kind of dinosaur, in her Cheerios.
We had a good night with Elsa last night, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Elsa has reached the 8 month mark (still no crawling, but she stands like a champ). On one of the pictures you can get a look at the first tooth. Tooth #2 has just broken through, and Elsa is finally starting sleep better.
Miss Anna has made a new friend at school. She informed me on Friday that she played with "Julie-fish" at school today. Turns out that "Julie-fish" is called Julius by his mother and father.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
- Will my stomach ever stop feeling like a squishy marshmallow?
- Will Elsa ever become a good sleeper again? (please, little tooth, just come out already)
- Am a scarring Anna forever by reading silly fairy tales for her? (she is currently obsessed with Cinderella and Rapunzel; it is the "and she married the prince and lived happily ever after" bit that worries me)
- Will Carlos be home for more than two days at a time? (I think the answer to that is no. At least not until Christmas.)
By the way, no trick or treaters. That means I'm left with lots of candy. Oh dear.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Enough about that.
Elsa is still working on getting over her stuffy nose. Part of the problem seems to be that she's working on her two first teeth and I remember that teething always gave Anna a runny nose. Maybe the same is happening to the Chubster. She really seems rather miserable. Poor little one.
Other simple things that make me happy:
- hot, milky tea on a rainy day
- biting into the perfect apple - crispy, juicy and a bit tart (rather than mealy, dry and sweet - yuck)
- when Anna and Elsa sleep until 8:30 (this doesn't happen very often)
- Elsa's bear hugs
- reading bedtime stories with Anna
I wonder if I'll get any trick-or-treaters tomorrow?
Friday, October 27, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
House: Loving the new house, but the 50 steps from top to bottom are literally kicking my butt. We've still got a bit of work to do on it, and now have a bit more after a pipe burst in the ceiling of our family room while my mom was visiting.
Carlos: He's actually in London this week. Poor guy has been traveling like it was going out of style.
Anna: She's a hoot. Ever since she started school, she's full of funny things. The other day, while my mom was visiting, she went upstairs to get something from her room, and told us: "You stay here people". !?!?
Elsa: Now 7 months and 20 lbs. Very juicy and delicious. The only problem is that she's teething and reaching the separation anxiety phase so she's not sleeping all that well. It stinks to go from having a good sleeper to a bad sleeper. I really hope this phase passes quickly.
More details and photos to follow!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Day two of nursery school didn't go too well. I got a call at about 11 am (school is from 9:30 to 12:30 every day) from one of Anna's teachers asking me to come and pick her up early. About an hour after I dropped her off, she started crying and nothing would settle her down. What happened??? Yesterday she was fine, no tears. Today, it was the end of the world. Que pasa Anna?
Here are some other recent pics of the girls.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I’ve been MIA for the last month or so, haven’t I? Well, the good news is that we’re closing on our house the day after tomorrow – Friday. Woohoo! So, next week is moving week. Yikes. Moving has been crazy pre-children; it was crazy when we moved to London with Anna, and now I have no idea what to expect with Anna and Elsa. Fingers crossed all goes well.
Today was Miss Anna’s first day of nursery school. All went well. No tears. Thankfully, two of Anna’s friends from playgroup are in the class. When it was time for me to go, Anna was holding hands with her friend Riley as they went off to the play-dough table. It was very cute. All the children at Anna’s nursery school wear smocks at school, and it was adorable to see all the little ones running around in their different colored smocks (Anna’s is yellow). Anna wouldn’t pose for me in her “first day of school” outfit so I had to settle for a picture of her and Elsa in the stroller as we were heading out the door. Hopefully, she’ll pose for me in her smock tomorrow.
Miss Elsa is six months old! Unbelievable how fast she has grown. Suddenly, she’s grabbing everything that comes near her, and chatting all the time. I can see her attempting to start crawling, but we’re not there yet. Her latest developments are two-fold. First, we’ve discovered that Elsa has a bit of a dairy intolerance. I noticed after starting her on solids that she was really itchy and scratching her skin very badly. For a while, it looked like I had dropped her in a rose bush; she had scratches all over her legs and arms. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. After taking her to the doctor, we guessed that she had developed eczema as a result of her increased intake of dairy through the formula that I was using to mix her cereal. Clearly, the dairy in my diet was only irritating her slightly, but as soon as we introduced formula it was too much for her to handle. So, I found a new formula and stopped eating most dairy. Lo and behold, smooth skin again! Development number 2, Elsa has developed a new move that I’ve called the “I’m so happy to be alive” move. I need to capture it on video. It is one of the greatest things to see. When I lay Elsa down in bed, especially when it is in my bed, she usually starts to do a full body wiggle with arms and legs pumping accompanied by an enormous smile. It just screams out: “I’m just so happy.” It makes you want to eat her up in all her juiciness!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
OK, here comes the inevitable potty training story.
Anna starts nursery school next month, and she needs to be potty trained before she starts. When I first started thinking about it I thought I had all the time in the world. No worries. She’ll be trained in no time. Think again, remembering what a headstrong child Miss Anna can be. Now we’re down to a month before school starts, and the clock is ticking (not to mention all the other things going on – i.e., we’re probably moving house around the same time as she starts school).
I decided the key to potty training was good, old fashioned bribery. Anna and I went out to the toy store and made a few purchases. For each successful pee in the potty, she gets several stickers of the Disney Princess variety (will someone please tell me where this obsession comes from – we didn’t have any of the princess paraphernalia in the house, but she’s still obsessed). Then, for her first poo in the potty, she was supposed to get a little, white horse. Last Sunday was the first day that we started potty training in earnest, and Anna spent the whole day without a diaper on (unless she was sleeping). The first pee was a little traumatic for her, but she did it and was over the moon with her princess stickers. Then, we talked about what she would get if she did a poo in the potty (the white horse). A little while later, she just sat down on the potty and pooed like there was nothing to it. As soon as she finished she said: “Have the white horsey”. I was feeling really excited that everything was going so well and Anna seemed to be getting the hang of using the potty lickety split. No, she was getting the hang of how bribery works. Once she got the horse, she lost all interest in pooing in the potty. Pees are still exciting because she still gets the princess stickers when she does those, but nothing was happening on the poo front. So, as if I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I found something new to bribe Anna to poo in the potty. Stamps. I should have thought of this earlier. At Anna’s gymnastics class, the teacher gives them each a stamp on the back of the hand at the end of the class for a job well done. The kids just love getting the stamp. Now when Anna poos she gets a stamp on the back of her hand. It worked like a charm today. Ah, the power of the stamp.
Have you ever looked back at how you were when you were a kid, and thought: “Boy, I really hope my kids don’t do this to me.” This whole horse business reminded me of an incident when I was little and my dad tried bribing me to encourage positive behavior. I think I was about 8 or 9, and my dad thought it would be fun if I would go jogging with him on a regular basis. To encourage me to go with him, he told me that if I ran a mile, he’d buy me a new pair of running shoes and a new track suit. Anna’s princess obsession pales in comparison with my love affair with shoes. Off my dad and I went to our local YMCA. We went to the little track there, and 6 laps around the track equals a mile. I started running and with the rhythm of my running, I heard in my head: “new shoes, new shoes” in time with my feet hitting the pavement. Six laps later, it was time for my dad to pay up. I still remember the track suit – navy blue with different color satin stripes down the side of the legs and down the sleeves. The new shoes were white running shoes with green stripes. My poor dad never got me out on the track again.
In other news from Old Blighty, Elsa is about to turn 5 months. I gave her some rice cereal yesterday, and she gobbled it up. I think she’s definitely ready to start solids. She’s so big that sometimes I worry that my milk supply just isn’t enough for her. Elsa’s also rolling over from back to front all the time. She’s been rolling for a while, but now it has turned into a crazy compulsion – she can’t not roll over. The problem is that she doesn’t know how to get from her front to her back. So, I constantly have to flip her over.
We’re also in the process of getting a new house, but I can’t write about it because I’m afraid I’m going to jinx the process. Once things are firm, I’ll say more.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
So . . . . hot. Can’t . . . . think. Send . . . . cooler . . . . weather . . . . our . . . . way. Please.
There’s no let up in sight for the heatwave in
We had a wonderful time in
Elsa’s now four months old and still a big girl. I’m not sure exactly how much she weighs now, but I think it is somewhere between 16 and 17 pounds. She’s rolling over now, and loves grabbing her toes.
Anna is still Elsa’s favorite person to look at. She makes Elsa laugh and laugh.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
We've just returned from two weeks in Barcelona. It was fantastic to be in the sun and amazing weather -- warm with a nice breeze from the sea. Elsa was baptized while we were there, and Elsa's godmother (the lovely Sheryl) came from DC to spend some time with us in Spain. It was a lot of fun to see her. Now we're off to Iceland to visit my family and introduce Elsa to that clan. It should be lots of fun. More pictures and updates when we return!
Monday, May 22, 2006
On the poo note, I’ve been making a somewhat half-hearted attempt to start potty training Anna. So far, she hasn’t grasped that she’s actually supposed to do something in the potty rather than just play around pretending to pee in it. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about getting her out of diapers, but I don’t think I’m going to start in earnest until after we do our traveling in June. Frankly, I’m being a bit lazy, but it seems like it will be so much easier to do traveling with Anna in diapers rather than always having to worry about finding a toilet for her. I think July 1st the diapers will come off and the rugs rolled up, and Anna will simply wear underwear (or streak around as she seems to love to do these days).
Funny Anna expressions:
- Still says “Help you” when she means “help me”
- Walking around with her pants at her ankles saying: “Look, I like a penguin!”
- Thanks really much
- Still wishes me a happy Christmas periodically
- Starting her sentences with “Ackshully . . .” is a recent development.
- Informing about different body parts that she possesses: “I got toes!” “I got a bellybutton”, etc. etc.
- “Whehyayou?” [where are you?] she calls when she’s lost something. It comes out as one word.
- Finally, her favorite game in recent days has been the “how are you today” game. She gets her little play stroller out and walks with it between the living room and kitchen. Then she comes up to me wherever I am and says “Hello mama, how are you today?” I reply “Fine thank you. How are you today, Anna?” She says, “Ok, bye, see you next week.” And she goes off with her stroller into the next room. About 30 seconds pass, and Anna comes back in and the previous conversation is repeated, and Anna leaves. Another 30 seconds pass, and Anna’s back. And again, and again, and again. I don’t know how many times it happens, but I think Anna does this at least 30 times before she gets tired of the game. It is like the “Groundhog Day” of games.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Elsa has hit the two month mark -- time flies so fast! She is doing really well. We just had her two month check up (and shots), and she’s a huge baby. 15.5 pounds (6 kg) and 60 cm (25 inches). As you can imagine, she’s turning into a wonderfully chubby baby. She’s also smiling at everyone these days and has recently discovered her hands. I can’t seem to capture a picture of Elsa in full smile mode; I always seem to catch the beginning or end, but I did capture a picture of her staring at her fist. She also manages to get her hand into her mouth periodically and she relishes the chance to suck on it!
Anna continues to do well with Elsa. She loves giving her little sister kisses although some are not as gentle as I would like. Nevertheless, Anna likes having Elsa around and hasn’t exhibited any aggression towards her. Any jealousy she feels seems to manifest itself against me rather than Elsa which isn’t a problem in my book.
I’m starting to get the hang of managing two girls. It is definitely challenging at times, especially when I need to do Anna’s bedtime by myself. Elsa seems to be a pretty relaxed baby, as long as she’s fed at regular intervals! She’s been great at night – sleeping through the night since about 4 weeks! I hope haven’t jinxed this by writing about it, but it helps so much to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Elsa was two weeks old on Sunday. She is still an eating machine, and her cheeks are starting to get nice and chubby. Anna got to hold Elsa for the first time yesterday, and she thought it was really great. Actually, I had a hard time getting Anna to let go. It has been nice to see Anna show Elsa some more interest. She really likes giving her little sister kisses (which might be why Elsa has a stuffed nose at the moment).
Anna has been a real chatterbox lately, and yesterday she started calling everyone "honey". I don't know where that came from, but it's pretty funny to hear. She likes to help put clothes in the washing "mean" -- and now having Elsa, there is always plenty to wash in the "mean".
Monday, March 20, 2006
Elsa and Anna have been keeping me busy since I got home. Elsa has an enormous appetite! She never lost weight after birth -- she's only gained. It has been quite an effort to keep up with her feeding demands. Anna has been pretty good with the new member of our household, but I think she's still trying to come to terms with the new order of things. Thankfully, my mom is here to lavish extra attention on Anna to help with the transition. She has been a real lifesaver (as usual).
More pictures will be posted soon!
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I'm feeling the same intense curiousity to meet Miss Garbanza as I did at the end of my pregnancy with Anna. I cannot wait to meet this little person who has been kicking away inside of me. I can't wait to see what she looks like, what she sounds like, what her personality is like (you'd be amazed how quickly a baby's personality shows through -- Anna's was clear within a few hours of her birth).
My mom has been here for about 2 weeks, and she's going to stay to the end of the month. It is fantastic to have her here. However, I think she must be getting bored of waiting for the baby's arrival. About 2 weeks ago, it looked like labor was imminent and now we're still waiting. Nevertheless, Anna is having lots of fun with her Amma.
Anna seems excited about the arrival of her baby sister. She has decided to become her own stylist -- it is no longer acceptable for me to pick out her clothes for her. We've had some pretty interesting combinations recently. Anna is obsessed with wearing dresses, and ideally she'd like to wear the same one every day. If her favorite dress isn't available, generally she'll want to wear something that is completely inappropriate for the weather (i.e., a summer dress when it is windy, raining and freezing outside).
Stay tuned for baby news!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I’ve discovered that a shift occurs in people’s attitudes toward pregnant women at some point during the last few weeks before the baby is born. Gone are the comments about how you have that pregnancy glow about you. In the last week or two, suddenly perfect strangers see fit to comment on your girth. “Wow, you look like you’re ready to pop!” “Oh boy, I hope you don’t go into labor here!” I just don’t understand these comments. I think you can tell from the look on my face when I’m waddling around town that I am fully aware my current physical state and wouldn’t care to be reminded of it by random passers-by.
I spent all of yesterday going through Anna’s old baby clothes, sorting things out for the Garbanza. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane. Newborn sized clothes are so unbelievably small!
Anna is continuing to surprise me with certain sentences that seem to come out of nowhere. Yesterday, she walked up to me and said, “Hey, what’s going on?” She said it as if it was the most normal thing the world. I don’t know where she learned it, but it cracked me up. She also continues to refer to herself in the third person. This becomes most evident when she’s claiming ownership over things – “That’s Anna’s!” is a phrase we hear quite often these days.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Still counting the days till the Garbanza’s due date. My bump is getting enormous. It has created quite a convenient crumb-catcher, but the problem is that often I forget to look down after I’ve eaten and end up walking around for the rest of the day with some variety of crumbs on top of my belly.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Hmm, a month since my last post – not a good track record. Happy New Year everyone!
2006 has gotten off to a busy start. After hosting my family for Christmas (which was loads of fun; the pictures are from their visit), we prepared for the arrival of the “Ladies”. The Ladies are my oldest friends, and all of them came for a visit during MLK weekend. What a treat! The weekend was amazing; we don’t all get a chance to get together very often so we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Somehow, whenever we’re together, I feel like we revert to 6th grade slumber party antics. Although we were missing the Skittles for breakfast. Anna also loved having all of the Ladies around and was asking about them for days after they left. By the way, we saw a show called “Pam Ann: Sky’s the Limit”. It has just finished its run in London, and I think she’s going to take it on tour later this year. It was hilarious; I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. If you get a chance, go see it.
Anna has been a small ball of energy lately. Thankfully, she is taking her afternoon nap right now, but for the last week or so I have had very little luck getting her to sleep in the afternoon. She’ll basically jump around in her crib for an hour (or more) and resolutely refuse to sleep or even rest a little. The days without naps are torture for me. I really need the downtime these days. My energy levels have been inversely proportionate to Anna’s. Six weeks to go until the Garbanza is due, and between her constant kicking and Anna, I have no energy to spare. My days are now spent thinking of ways to tire Anna out. Her new favorite activity is “cliping” (i.e., to clipe), otherwise knowing as climbing. She is talking a ton lately, but I worry that I’m the only one who understands what she’s saying. We started gymnastics two weeks ago, and she adores the class. She gets to jump on a trampoline and play around in a big pit filled with foam blocks.