Monthly Archives: June 2011

Quick quick quick

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My gorgeous Laurinha gave her first steps today, without support! We are so excited. It’s just amazing to see my little baby developing and discovering the world; I feel like it’s me learning all these things for the first time.

She is also standing up on her own. Well, she could stand up before, but she used to hold somewhere to stand up and then stay up. Now she stands up supported only by the strength of her legs. It’s funny, though, that most of the times she opens her legs to wide and can’t move.

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I’ve decided I’m not going to be anxious about her development. There was a time that I thought she was a bit slow with certain things (teething, walking, talking) but now I don’t care. She will do things when she wants and it’s all good. She says “mamae” (mummy in Portuguese), and loads of very weird things. I’m pretty sure that she will be a chatter box once she starts speaking, so I really don’t want to rush things. I also gave up trying to sort out her sleep. Talking to loads of different people, I learned that it’s more common to find kids that don’t sleep a full night than the opposite, and generally around 3 years old they start sleeping better. So let’s wait and see. I hope I won’t change my mind once I start working.

On increasing the family

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I have some work to do in Laura’s bedroom but I keep thinking how it will be when we have a second baby. The kids will share a bedroom for a few years, until they are old enough to stay on the first floor on their own. And this will be even if the 2nd one is a boy.

Luckily, the “decoration” (well, just a few stickers here and there) works for both girls and boys. Now I’ve been trying to picture a bed and a cot in that bedroom, if I’ll keep the changing table, etc etc. There are some limitations, like the wall where the window is – it is also where the radiator is, so it needs to be free. Then the wardrobes, too heavy and big to be moved. Then the wall next to the door, where we don’t want to put bed/cot as it can catch air draft or light when we open the door. So we are limited to one wall, just opposite the door and wardrobe.

I’m about to buy the shelves for the little library (photo here), which is a great project as it will be for the kids. But I’m struggling with the space. I’ll probably put between the wardrobe and the entrance door, as it is the only free space I can think of. Not ideal to put books and a reading area behind the door, but it is a dead space and the only free space in the whole house for this.

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about the next baby. I’ve been thinking about when it’s the best time to have the second one, and here are my thoughts about it – not discussed with Mr. C yet:

* I want to get pregnant after loosing a lot of weight. Not “skinny” a lot, just “normal” a lot. And “normal” a lot would be 12kg from were I am now.

* I want to go back to work and have a feel of what it is to be a working-mum, having to commute to work, prepare presentations, have tight deadline, talk to million different people, multi-task, run back to collect little one from nursery, play-feed-bathe-put-in-bed, be a (good) wife and a (good) friend and have great family weekends. I want to know if I can be one of those supermums or if I’ll freak out.

* I don’t want the gap between the kiddos to be too short or too long (I know it is relative).

So, I decided in my head that ideally I would get pregnant in 2012 and have the baby in 2013. Laura will be 3, I’ll have one year to loose 12kg (1kg per month?) and enough time to love or hate being a working mum. It will also be just about my personal limit to plan for the 3rd baby – yes, there is a 3rd baby being planned. If it will happen or not, it is a topic for another post. (But let me tell you that I’ve been thinking about how to rearrange this house to fit three children and us and still have space to receive the grandparents and friends from time to time).

Life: quick updates

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London 2012, here we go!

So, we got tickets to watch the match for bronze medals for both female volleyball (I hope it won’t be to see Brazil, because they are supposed to fight for gold, as per last Olympics) and male handball (Mr. C and I are both fans of the game, but our teams suck at it). I’ve checked the list and honestly there isn’t much I would like to watch – apart from Gymnastics, I don’t care that much about the rest. Ok, it would be great to watch all volleyball finals – including beach volley, nice to go to a basketball match, and football and tennis are only worth it for me if it is against two biggies. These are all sold out.

So, 11 and 12 of August next year we are off to see some action.

Beep Beep

So we have a new car. Big, beautiful, black. The joke in the house is that it is my “birthday” present, but 1) it’s on Mr. C’s name because I wasn’t here to sign the papers, 2) I’m not insured to drive it yet, 3) I can’t drive a big car. So little Micra is still my car.

After driving for so many year our tiny old car, being in the back seat of the “new” (it’s used) Skoda Octavia feels like I have my own private minicab with driver. Not bad at all; I just need to win the lottery now.

Not ready yet

I went to work today, for 1/2 day. It was good and strange at the same time. Good to go to central London without a pushchair, not to worry about seats or a crying baby, walk at my own pace, etc. But I don’t feel ready to go back to work. 13 months went by too fast and I feel I didn’t have enough time to do stuff – stay with Laura and watch her developments, decorate the house, enjoy the sunshine. I’m also not ready for all the stress that a full time job beings with it. At least my bosses (yes, I have two now) seem nice – my old team of 6 is now a team of 11 and out of those, I only know one person and my replacement. Despite scared, I’m also excited to be part of the new team and see what the rest of 2011 brings to me.

Let’s talk about the weather

I had a great time in Brazil – the weather was AMAZING compared to this British summer. Temperatures there were around 25C, sunny and hot; we even managed to go to the beach and sleep with the fan on a couple of nights. Speaking of nights, one thing I simply adore about warm nights is that I can wear sleeveless t-shirts in the evening. And I did almost every single day. Back to the UK, I’m wearing socks and long sleeves to cope with the cold. Not that it is that cold, but the wind and rain don’t help. Forecast say that we will have a warm weekend with temperatures between 25C and 30C during the day. Let’s wait and see.

Happy birthday to me

Yes, it was my birthday on Wednesday. I was exhausted, jet legged and all I wanted was to sleep. I’m still tired and will still be for a long long time, so no cakes or celebrations. But my mum is here and it’s always good to have family around on these occasions.

Plans

Since mum is here, we will do some work in the garden and the house. Little projects, nothing to break the bank or our backs, but enough to keep us busy and happy to see some progress around.

Photos

I can’t find my camera. I can’t find my Oyster card. Yuks.

Baby: quick update

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Yesterda, while playing with one of the dresses that she got for her birthday, Laura asked granny to dress her up. Well, she didn’t ASK, but she took the dress to granny, pointed at it, granny put it in front of her, she kept pointing at it, granny dressed her and she was all happy to wear her new dress. So she asked for it, you know what I mean?

She also stays still to put socks and shoes on. Starting yesterday, as far as I can remember (she already helps with tops and bottoms).

Although she doesn’t speak intelligible words, we is very communicative. And because she tries to immitate sounds she hears, from time to time, we try to guess what she is saying. We heard things like “mummy, no”, “where?”, “here”, “this/that”, and others. All in Portuguese. Cuteness to the maximum.

And if in the past she would turn her head when she didn’t want food, now she covers her mouth. Owwwnnnnn. And tries to put/remove her seat belt. And tries to turn the TV on. And her favourite TV show is now The Hive, from Disney Junior, followed by Waybuloo from Cbeebies. She absolutely adores them. She is getting into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as well. It’s very cute to see her recognising from the distance the theme tunes of these shows, but I’m not so keen to have a TV maniac child at home.

Jet leg, thy name is Laura. Her schedule is completely messed up and she is having huge trouble to relax and fall asleep in the evening. She goes to bed around 8pm, wakes up a couple of hours later and won’t sleep until midnight or later. It’s driving us insane!! I can hear she crying while writing this. Daddy is with her, trying to put her to bed, but I’m going to his rescue.

At 13 months, she is still not walking. We all think is laziness, because she has shown signs that she is capable of walking. She simply doesn’t want to and we won’t force her to, but we try to stimulate her.

And she was brilliant on the flight to and from Brazil. Just brilliant! I think we can go to Australia now. 😉

Starting the countdown

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One more week and we’re flying back to London. Sad because I still have loads to do, little one is enjoying so much that we could stay another week or two, I’m going to miss the food and being spoilt rotten by everybody, even though it’s winter it’s quite warm here (for me and little one, everybody else thinks it’s cold), etc etc etc. Happy because we miss Mr. C, I miss our house, I want to enjoy my last week of “freedom” there, have loads to do before going back to work, etc etc etc.

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Laura went to her first Festa Junina. This is a typical party (countryside mainly) that happens in June (I remember it being between 13 and 29 of June, around St Anthony, St John and St Peter’s days, but nowadays it can be anytime between June and August, which defeats the purpose: Junina stands for June). The celebration is by far my favourite (comparing to Carnival, Easter and Christmas/New Year’s) and I love everything about it: the music, the dance, the food (the food…), the costumes, the decoration, the games… It’s also more family-friend (and specially child-friendly) event than Carnival.

Laura's 1st Festa Junina

click to see bigger

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For those who don’t know, when I come to Brazil I normally stay in a “small” town 200km North from Rio (my flat in Rio is rented at the moment, so Rio is no longer my base). Last trip, I didn’t stop in Rio, and I didn’t see most of my friends – except for Leo and Lili who went all the way to my mum’s house to see us. This time I managed to stop in Rio for a couple of days and will stop on my way back again. I’m hoping to see some friends this time (fingers crossed), but life is harder when you have a child and is car-less and pushchair-less.

She might not be the girl of Ipanema, but she is a cutie

At Copacabana beach, very sleepy

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Last Saturday, we celebrated Laura’s birthday again, at my dad’s place. It was lovely, Laura had loads of fun, my parents and their +1s were happy, laura got some beautiful presents (thankfully, people really thought about what they were giving and most of the things were clothes, shoes and small toys that will fit easily in our luggages – only three items are “big” and they still fit without problems in my ultra mega luggage).

Lessons to be learned: the mother should never keep the camera – just give to someone who knows how to use it and make sure to take loads of photos with the guests. I totally forgot about it and have very few pictures of the party. 😦 But I can assure you that there were enough (yummy) food for at least another 3 parties!

Little Princess' party - 11/06/2011

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Is it my impression or everything will be quicker from now on? Laura gave a quick and small step today, holding my slippers in her hands; she waved goodbye to her daddy (she always refuses to wave goodbye, either because she is against goodbyes or because she doesn’t know how to do it) on Skype – very cute, with both hands, like she was dancing; she points to daddy’s photos when we ask where’s daddy?; she said “mamae” a couple of times, with the Brazilian accent (as opposed to mamama); she said “nao” a couple of times (as opposed to nanana); she is still speaking her arabic, but adding some more familiar sounds to her speech.

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We had some very special guests last weekend. Mommy’s BFF Lili, Maggie and Gabriel came all the way from Sao Paulo to Laura’s birthday party. Laura and Gabriel got along really well and spent their first Valentine’s Day (in Brazil we celebrate it on the 12th June – ok, it’s not called Valentine’s day because it has nothing to do with St. Valentine) together, they went to the beach, shared a kiss and played a lot.

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More photos to come!

Photos!

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Sorry about the poor quality of the photos – long story, too lazy to explain. Here is Laura drinking water from the bidet, crawling all over the house on and on and on non-stop until 4 of us are completely exhausted of following her, and eating pasta and chicken and whatever we give her.

It’s 20h30 and I’m going to bed, because I’m dead.

Hello from Brazil!

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I would love to say that I haven’t posted anything here because I’m vey busy. But I’m not. I’ve been lazy and being pampered by my parents. Eating LOADS (just had two plates of caldo verde, yum, yum), sleeping as much as I can, having occasional massages and  enjoying having some extra pair of hands to take care of the little one. Priceless.

The flight was great – really. Laura behaved really well, she had her naps and slept in the evening. I managed to eat, go to the loo (and brush my teeth!!!), watch a couple of films and close my eyes for 10 minutes to rest a bit.

It was very hot when we arrived. Now it’s fresh – “very cold” to the locals – and pleasant. I love it, bring on the sun and the heat!

Laura is loving here. She loves everybody (including strangers and the dogs), she is having so much fun, laughing a lot, trying new food, etc etc. I can leave her with Penha (my former baby sitter) and she will be happy all day without even noticing mum is not around. Penha is an angel, because not only Laura loves her to bits, but she also loves looking after Laura. She also loves her grandparents to bits. First day my mum went back to work, she was welcomed in the evening by Laura’s laughter and happy screams.

Today Laura discovered a bird house with a wooden bird in it that sits in the living room and spent good 10, 15 minutes playing with it, laughing so hard that daddy could hear her on the phone. Unfortunately, whenever I get the camera to register these moments, she stops. And I have to confess that I haven’t been very good in taking photos these days. I think I just wanted to relax and enjoy myself without thinking much about anything. From tomorrow onwards, I’ll make sure the camera is always around.

Next Saturday we will celebrate Laura’s birthday again. My dad and his wife will throw her a party. They have invited around 80 people to a party that starts at 7pm! I can’t imagine how Laura will behave in a party that starts at her bedtime (yes, yes, yes, she still goes to bed at 7pm and I feel blessed about it) and will have around 80 people (even if it was “only” 50 people) that she has never seen in her life. Oh, well, we will survive, I suppose. Those are the only negative points. On the positive side, we have LOADS of yummy food and… hm, sorry, I can only think about the food. Oh, oh, very positive note: my friend Lili, her sister Maggie and nephew Gabriel are coming specially to the party and I am so so happy! I can’t wait to meet Gabriel, who will turn 1 on the 24th. The theme will be Princess. I wouldn’t choose it for my daughter’s party if I was organising it, but I don’t mind – she is our little princess, isn’t she?

No photos today, but I promise that the next post will have some.