Monthly Archives: July 2013

Summer rhymes with… party!

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We don’t have many friends with kids but we still managed to eat cake at 8 birthday parties (including Laura’s and mine) between May and July (there’s another one in August, not sure we will go though).

Some old photos of some of the events. And, yes, I did repeat Bea’s dress at Thili’s and Gabriella’s birthday… first thing in the drawer.

 

Laura at Anabella's party

Laura at Anabella’s party

Laura and Anabella having fun at Anabella's party

Laura and Anabella having fun at Anabella’s party

Laura and Stina playing at Stina's party

Laura and Stina playing at Stina’s party

Stina's birthday cake

Stina’s birthday cake

Beatrice not doing much at Stina's party

Beatrice not doing much at Stina’s party

Laura playing at Stina's party

Laura playing at Stina’s party

Sunset post birthday

Sunset post birthday

Laura eating brigadeiro at the get together at our home

Laura eating brigadeiro at the get together at our home

Laura stealing a cupcake at Gabriella's party

Laura stealing a cupcake at Gabriella’s party

Beatrice and daddy at Gabriella's birthday

Beatrice and daddy at Gabriella’s birthday

Gabriella's birthday: Galinha Pintadinha themed party

Gabriella’s birthday: Galinha Pintadinha themed party

Laura at Gabriella's birthday

Laura at Gabriella’s birthday

Mum and Laura at Gabriella's birthday

Mum and Laura at Gabriella’s birthday

Laura at Gabriella's birthday

Laura at Gabriella’s birthday

Beatrice at Thili's party

Beatrice at Thili’s party

Laura at Thili's party

Laura at Thili’s party

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52 objects: week 50

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What is it? Ice cube trays

Why were they chosen? I love shaped ice and got these trays in several trips to Ikea. I’m thinking about using them to make frozen juice for Laura to refresh her in this weather.

What else? I have to control myself not to buy all cute ice cube trays I see because our freezer doesn’t even have space to put them.

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Photobox for iPhone – product/app review

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* This is not a paid post; I’m writing it because I feel like writing about it *

I don’t know about you, but since cameras became digital, I barely print my photos (* I barely take photos, despite being so easy, but never mind). My photos are all over the place – we have four laptops, two external hard disks, two smart phones and a bunch of memory sticks around the house, and all have different photos on them.

I tried printing some of Laura’s photos but I never went any further than her first 3 months of life, if that. I’m now trying to organise the photos while the in-laws are here so I can print a bit of all Laura’s life, our trips, and the photos of Beatrice.

One of the reasons why I don’t print photos that often is because it is not as simple as it could be. You have to upload them on to a website and this takes a lot of time. I tried a couple of websites to print photos: Jessops and Photobox. I like to stick to the same place if the experience was ok and since I had a good experience with Photobox, I never tried hard to find another option.

Finally I got a few minutes to download Photobox app to the iPhone and had been trying to use it since yesterday. First impression: it sucks. I tried to upload nearly 300 photos of Beatrice to my albums and instead of working on the background whenever I changed screens (without shutting Photobox), it would stop uploading. Same if the mobile went to lock mode. So it took about the whole day to upload the photos on to the website. Then, when it came to selecting the images to print, the app kept crashing and shutting itself down. I had to go to the website using the laptop and order the photos. The annoying part is that the photos were cheaper to print ordering via the mobile app.

Your order

The order

Edit your photos

8p each using the app against 12p on the website

Albums (only accepts jpegs, no PNG allowed)

Albums (only accepts jpegs, no PNG allowed)

I won’t give up using the app. I think it is still better than nothing, but I’m yet to be impressed by it. If I was organised enough, I rather have all the photos on a disk or memory stick and take to a physical store, those ones that you just insert your memory disk and print all the photos.

Sometimes I miss those days when all you had to do was take the film to the shop and have it developed. No need to edit photos, crop, delete, etc. Too much work…

Does anyone have tips on how to organise (and keep them organised) photos? I tried creating folders by topics (Laura, months, places) but it doesn’t seem very practical. I also have trouble remembering what some photos are all about, but there’s no way I can rename all the photos.

The baby who didn’t want to poo… and other possible titles for a book

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The baby who didn’t want to poo

Once upon a time, there was a baby called Beatrice, who loved her milk. Every time she had milk she celebrated by making a poo. Sometimes she would poo even without having milk, just because she was happy. Lots and lots of nappies with a bright yellow liquid poo for her mummy and daddy and grandmother to change. And so life went on happily.

Until one day Beatrice decided that she had enough; no more poo to celebrate happiness. She carried on having her milk, one breast per meal, every two-three hours. Instead of poo-ing, she preferred to smile. It makes sense to the rest of the world, but not to her mummy, who started worrying and getting a bit paranoid and not sleeping at night, thinking about everything she had been eating, thinking it could be stress passing on througho the milk (stress about what, woman?), “is it the weather?”, “was it something I said?”.

Four days went by and mummy decided she wouldn’t relax during the weekend unless she knew this new behaviour had nothing to do with her and was only a whim was absolutely normal. So she called the health visitor (a trip to the A&E “Accident & Emergency” was a little too much), who told her that this is absolutely normal with breast fed babies. The milk doesn’t have anything added to it so everything is used by the body and there’s little to waste. “But what about before? The 10 dirty nappies a day?”, asked the surprised mother. “It is normal when they are very young, now her guts are maturing and more developed”. “Geez, she is only 2 months old, how can it be mature and developed overnight?”. “Babies change almost every week, how can you not know that from your first child?“, said the health visitor patiently. “OK then, so I guess I will have a quiet weekend… GREAT, so I don’t need to worry about THAT this weekend”, replied the mother.

THE END

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The baby who sleeps well through the night, if she feels like it

Once upon a time, there was this beautiful baby named Beatrice. Her mum was pleased that she was cute, healthy, ate well and slept well through the night. And then she didn’t sleep well through the night. And then she did. And then she didn’t. And then she did, for three nights in a row, not waking up once between 9pm and 5am. One day she went from 7pm to 6am. “What the heck”, thought the mother, “is this the perfect baby or what?!”. And then Beatrice woke up four times during the night to have some milk.

THE END

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The baby who doesn’t like to smile, or does she?

Once upon a time, there was a lovely baby and her name was Beatrice. Beatrice was cute, charming, quiet… and very serious. She didn’t like to smile. In the beginning their parents thought it was because she was very young and newborns only smile because of winds. But at the 8-week check up, the doctor asked if she was smiling yet. “Smiling?”, asked the mum, almost embarrassed. “Yes, social smiles”, confirmed the doctor. “Well, I don’t know, she smiles when she is sleeping, maybe she is socialising in her sleep?”. It was when the doctor decided to make the baby smile and used all her repertoire of “blaaaaa, bilu-bilu, bleeerrrrrrr” and funny faces. But Beatrice was just starring at her, very seriously. The doctor, not wanting to admit defeat, said “I saw a tiny smile there; you’re a tough crowd, aren’t you, Beatrice?”.

Beatrice then decided that she was going to smile more, especially in the mornings, perhaps to please her mother after waking up at 5 in the morning. But Beatrice vowed to never smile to the camera. Ever.

THE END

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The baby who wants to be the next Mr. Beans

Once upon a time, there was a girl and guess what her name was? Beatrice, yes, that’s correct. Beatrice was a clumsy baby. She likes to stare at her hands like they weren’t part of her body and out of the blue she would poke her eye with her finger. She was clumsy when drinking milk too. She wanted the milk so badly but she put her hand in her mouth before putting the breast in – at every single meal time. And she complained that the milk wasn’t coming – so it was a mixture of cry + hand in the mouth + milk squirting all over. The audience burst into laughter.

Another of Beatrice’s acts was to sleep in our arms, deeply and soundly, and as soon as we put her down, she would open her eyes wide open and put on her “that was fun, shall we do it again?” face. The audience burst into laughter (except the person who spent 45 minutes rocking her to sleep).

Beatrice farts very loudly and she burps like a grown up. The audience burst into laughter (but just because she is a baby; if she was a grown up, the audience would be embarrassed).

THE END

"I don't smile for the camera, sorry" - photo by Helen Schryver (Schryver Photography)

“I don’t smile for the camera, sorry” – photo by Helen Schryver (Schryver Photography)

Babies, mine and theirs

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My in laws arrived this morning. Laura went with her grandfather to the park and Beatrice was in her grandmother’s arm most of the day. It is quite funny to see Laura’s confusion with the three languages and the meaning of words. She is calling her grandfather “vovo Beto”, who is my mother’s partner’s name (vovo is granddad, if you don’t know Portuguese). I told her that vovo Beto is in Brazil, and it is vovo Vacile Vasile(*) who is here; but because of my pronunciation – I say “vasili” – Laura has been calling him “vovo Silly”. Sometimes she calls him tata (which is dad in Romanian, but it is how kids calls their grandfathers in the region they come from; tati (daddy) being for the actual father). On the grandmother side, it isn’t different. She was already calling my mother buni (short for bunica, which is grandmother in Romanian), but since they also say Mama for grandmother (same explanation of Tata), she called her grandmother “Mum” a couple of times. I don’t think she knows the difference between all these words. I have to say that I get confused as well. By the end of the month we were all be calling each other by “hey you” to avoid all the confusion.

(*) I keep writing his name wrong, “vacile” is pronounced “VAchilE” and means the cows. Ops.

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So, if you live in Planet Earth you know that William and Kate had their baby boy a couple of days ago. People are either too excited with the news or too fed up. I have to say that I love everything about any pregnancy and birth, so I find everything exciting. Yes, it is a bit of a carnival, but who can blame them? It is a bit of a carnival in Rio at the moment with the Pope’s visit (let’s not get into details). I thought it was funny that the newspaper The Sun changed its name to The Son (it wouldn’t have been the case if it was a baby girl, uh?).

Newspapers covers announcing the royal birth

Newspapers covers announcing the royal birth

And all this baby talk makes me broody. Not just the royal baby talk, but finding out that a close friend is pregnant again, another one is finally on the 3rd semester and another one will give birth just after her 1st daughter turns 1 year old. I look at my very own Beatrice, so small, cute, and adorable, and I want to go back to the last days of pregnancy and live those final moments again, give birth again and hold that teeny tiny little baby in my arms again. I feel like there is even a big possibility of having a third one. But then I remember that kids grow and become teenagers and, geez, no thanks.

Travelling with miles: is it worth the trouble?

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Once upon a time, when mum and I travelled to Texas (96) and then to some countries in Europe and New York (98), we started collecting miles with American Airlines. After I moved to the UK, I stopped collecting them, because the credit cards here didn’t give me AA miles (I would have to pay an annual fee when no credit cards charge for it) and I wasn’t travelling at all to the US. I started collecting miles with BA instead.

My mum carried on but she had never the opportunity to use them as every time she planned a trip, it was too late to book with miles. Not to mention that all her trips are now to the UK and it isn’t convenient to travel to London via the US when there are direct flights. We only used part of her miles once, when we went to Recife together – it was quite easy to book the flights (via TAM) at the American Airlines store in Copacabana.

So we finally had an opportunity to use the miles again. They have created this new website that apparently is simple to book travel using the miles BUT, and this is a big fat but, the itinerary I wanted wasn’t showing there (they gave me whatever excuse for it). So I called them and a very nice guy, Charles, helped me with the reservation. It seems that very few people book trips within Brazil using AA miles, because he was quite puzzled about how to proceed. In total, we spent over an hour on the phone and couldn’t finalise the process! He was struggling to book Bea’s trip – because she is an infant, she doesn’t use miles, but she still needs a reservation. He asked me to call the following day so he would have everything sorted and ready to pay.

I called the following day and guess what? More problems. They had to remove Bea from the reservation, as it wasn’t allowing to pay and finalise the thing and after another hour on the phone, the trip wasn’t sorted. I had to pay for the 5 tickets issued (£77 por everything, which is quite a bargain) and only after receiving the confirmation via email, I would then call them again (!) to include Beatrice in our reservation.

The email with the confirmation never arrived, they called me for a couple of days on my mobile (from an “unknown number” and didn’t leave a message, so I couldn’t know it was them) until I managed to talk to them. To cut an even longer story short, we had to cancel the whole thing because GOL is no longer their Advantage partner and apparently there is no partner in Brazil that we can redeem the miles with.

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I guess there are people that had great experience redeeming their miles, but we are not one of them. And if I can be honest, American Airlines is one of the worst airlines I have ever travelled with – Ryanair, TAP, Iberia and American Airlines are the top shit ones.

This miles thing is only worth it if you travel a lot and you collect your miles with the company from your home country. Or if you love to travel and you are flexible with your destination, eg, you check where you can go with the miles and if there is availability, BOOK the tickets, CONFIRM them and then you find out more about the destination, etc. This is probably what we are going to do next time we try to book a trip. We are thinking about a trip to Florida in 2015 (talking about planning ahead), when Bea will be bigger to understand a little bit of what is going on.

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Do you have any tips and tricks on how to redeem your airmiles?

52 Objects: week 49

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Nearly there, peepols! I have no idea what the last 3 objects will be! :/ panic mode on.

What is it? An A4 copy of a portrait of me, painted by Maryam Foroozanfar

Where is it? Guest room, but I’ll frame it and take it downstairs. Or leave it in the guest room. Or take it downstairs. I don’t know yet.

Why was it chosen? Because it was my 15 seconds of fame. This portrait was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, at the yearly BP event (apologies for not remembering the name of the event). I think it is from 2007; this top doesn’t fit me even in my wildest dreams. I remember people at working coming to me to ask if it was really me. Hehe

What else? This copy isn’t mine, it’s Mariana’s, and she forgot it here after she moved back to Brazil. I bought two A3 copies, one for my mum and one for my dad, but I haven’t got one myself (does it count as an object if it was “stolen”?).

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