Monthly Archives: December 2013

I wanna wish you a Merry Xmas…

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Xmas2013

A very last minute Xmas card to wish you all the very best for the new year. Santa Claus has been to our house (what do you mean Santa doesn’t exist? Tell Laura and she will tell you all about her chat with Santa this evening), dropped off the presents and the kiddies are fast asleep (bedtime is something taken really seriously in this house – they might not sleep through the night, but at 19h they are sleeping!).

Anyhoo… back to the post.

Merry Christmas!

And a perfect 2014!! For you and for me. πŸ˜‰

‘Tis a season to be jolly…

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And it’s Christmas… Again! Geez, it feels like yesterday that we were celebrating Xmas.

Our local Mall has a very bizarre (in my opinion) poster in their car park. It says It’s the season to be jolly… Generous”. It’s an ad for a shopping mall. Trying to make you spend money and buy presents. And associating generosity with giving presents. Dude, want to be generous? Give your time to people.
And a smile. Your most precious assets. Come and help me paint the walls of the comservatory and I’ll make you lunch and we can chat and laugh. There. We both being generous.

Don’t worry, the conservatory is painted, lucky you. But you get my point, right? Yes, giving presents is nice, helps the economy, but it doesn’t mean that you are not generous if you don’t give presents to people, especially lots of presents.

We are going “light” this Xmas, not because we decided to go against capitalism or whatever, but because we have enough and really don’t need any more in the house. Soon we will need to adopt the policy of “to get something in, something else will get out”. Well, I would love to be giving things away if I had the time to spare on selecting and giving them away. And I’m alone in my quest here – hubby is against throwing even rubbish out!

Back to Christmas. Laura is very excited about it. And we are excited about her excitment. The only thing Might not work that well is putting them to bed with all this excitment in the air. Sleeping is something that we don’t hear and see much in our house, so I won’t be surprised if little ones decide to wait for Father Xmas all night long.

I still need to wrap Laura’s present – if this is even possible – but we are figuring out what we will do about it. I mean, how Santa will bring it to her.

And once again i didn’t have time – and maybe nor will – to write Xmas cards, get little gifts to the teachers and neighbours, bla di bla. Honestly, the little time I had to spare, I had other things to do (like paint a conservatory? Feed the family? Do the laundry?) and thankgoodness this seems to be the mentality of the majority of the people here (except for the cards). So, it’s something like “I don’t give you anything, you give me nothing and everyone is happy”. Deal?

Not even a good light to take photo of the girls for a ecard, people. Can I pretend I don’t celebrate Xmas then? πŸ˜‰

It just happened too fast.

One thing I want to try to have this year though is my list of things I want to do next year. It’s such a waste of time but I can’t help it: I love lists!

I should start with a list of things I want to do before the end of the year. πŸ™‚

Beatrice: 7 months

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I am so behind with the posts I want to write… so Beatrice turned 7 months last 10th December (already!!!). Not too long to turn 8 months and this post is still sitting in the draft box. I wrote it ages ago, but I was trying to find some time to get the pictures from the camera (I don’t have any decent/recent on my mobile).

Beatrice is a very smiley baby and her laughter is contagious. She laughs even when she is exhausted. She loves playing pick-a-boo and loves even more when I play pick-a-boo with my hair. She loves when I shake my hair in front of my face and then remove the hair and say “boo”.

She loves back massage. Sometimes. Not so much other body parts massage.

She is a very curious baby, she wants to touch everything, she puts everything in her mouth. But she also likes adult stuff (remotes, shoes, books) more than baby toys. For Xmas she will get an old pair of slippers and an empty box.

She masters the art of crawling and is very quick – I have to keep both eyes on her 24 hours (even sleeping, she stands up in her cot!). No more sleeping in our bed, because once I caught her standing up next to the edge of the bed, trying to get Mr. C inhaler. She stands up easily on her own and if we hold her hands (or just give our fingers for her to hold) she tries to walk. I find it scary. Despite being quite good at crawling and standing up, it seems that her body is not as fast as she would have hoped to and sometimes she stumbles and falls on her back or face.

On the 16th of December, she climbed a little step for the first time. Well, sort of. She managed to go up, on her tummy, and hang on it with no feet of the ground; and got stuck.

When she stands up, she screams in excitement. When there’s no one near, she cries for help as she can’t get out of this position. She has been practicing though (bend and put her hand on the floor).

She doesn’t like to stand still – Laura’s door bouncer, which was used a lot by the big sis, is one of Bea’s biggest enemies. We put her there to be able to do stuff like preparing Laura’s breakfast, opening the door to the mail man or whatever delivery, to eat, to clear the room from any hazard. She might stay for 5 minutes but after that is a lot of tears for sure. Her swing is even worse – she doesn’t stay for 30 seconds. Same for her cot if she is awake.

On 16th Dec, she started bouncing on it. I tried to encourage her but she only stays there for no more than 5 minutes.

She was very curious with food in the first week of weaning, then lost a bit of interest, got all excited with baby-led-weaning and now she is eager to eat everything we eat. As well as the baby friendly food she has tried (sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, potato, cauliflower, broccoli, banana, apple, pear, blueberries, mango, papaya), she also tried some more “exotic” food, like red pepper (as part of a veggie puree – and she hated it), rice and beans, cheese, pasta, bread and chicken. She is at the stage that she screams when we are eating because she wants food as well and opens her mouth the each spoon full we offer and screams for more (as long as she likes the taste, of course). It is so super duper cute to see her “chewing” the food. And it’s so exciting to see how much she enjoys the whole experience. On the other hand, I think her stomach and bowel aren’t that happy with all this experience and I dare say her sleep got even worse than before (if this is possible) because of colics and winds.

No sign of teeth, despite all the chewing and biting. Oh, and she bites my nipples like she means it. And it hurts.

She sticks her tongue out and move it side to side and it’s the cutest thing ever.

She’s been clapping her hands since 1st December. And the other day I was clapping my hands in front of her and stopped. She grabbed my hands and clapped them for me. Awwwnnnnn.

I think she is suffering from separation anxiety. 😦

She has this “annoying” habit of arching her back and throwing herself backwards when she is happy, excited or similar. Annoying because it is unexpected and if we are not holding her firmly, she can really fall backwards.

Laura is becoming one of her favourite toys. When we pick Laura up at the nursery, Bea starts screaming in excitement from the distance. And of course, Laura loves Bea to bits too.

Bath time is one of the best moments of the day. Changing nappies and dressing her up are the worst.

She has the best day naps when I sleep with her – 1h30 minimum, but she got to nearly 3 hours the other day. And no, her night sleep doesn’t change much if she sleeps a lot during the day. In fact, when she doesn’t sleep well during the day, she gets so grumpy that it is a bit hard to put her to sleep at night and she still wakes up a million times during the night.

She didn’t lose her hair completely as Laura did, but she doesn’t have as much hair as Laura had at the same age.

Last time I weighed her (6 months, 2 weeks?), she was around 6.5kg, which puts her in between the 9th and 25th percentile (Laura was close to 50th).

Boo

Boo

Pink polar bear

Pink polar bear

Little tongue

Little tongue

Look, with only one hand!

Look, with only one hand!

Mummy's eyes

Mummy’s eyes

Nhac! (the only photo with the right focus point)

Quick, a photo before she starts crying...

Quick, a photo before she starts crying… (Santa is a girl, by the way)

... and it's too late

… and it’s too late

Cute little boxes and the worst tutorial in the world

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Today I learned how to make basic origami boxes. It’s so easy that I’ve done 3 in an hour (believe me, this is a lot, considering I’m rubbish in crafts).

I took pictures of the process so I don’t forget how to make it and decided to try to show you how it’s done. Forgive my rubbish PAP (I don’t even know what PAP stands for. hahahaha)Β tutorial; I promise to tidy it up or even record a video if I have time. Feel free to ask any questions on the comments. πŸ˜‰

I know what PAP means now – it’s step by step (or tutorial) in Portuguese. Thanks, Flavinha!! πŸ˜‰

What you will need:

2 squares of card paper, 250-300 grams, any colour (if you use plain white, you can then decorate it as you wish, or ask the kids to decorate it for you)
A pen or pencil
Scissors
Ruler (or you can use one of the squares as a ruler)
Stick glue (optional)
Napkins, wrapping paper, stickers (optional)

Visual step by step:

1. You will need two squares (card paper, 250-300 grams). Mark two perfect diagonal lines from one corner to the other. Mark and cut a 0.5cm border in one of the squares (it will be the base, so the lid can fit it)

1. Mark two perfect diagonal lines from one corner to the other. Mark and cut a 0.5cm border in one of the squares (it will be the base, so the lid can fit it). The reason why we are doing this with a pen/pencil and not folding is to avoid extra crease. Don’t worry, it won’t show in your box.

2a. Fold each edge of the square so the tip touches the centre of the "cross".

2a. Fold each edge of the square so the tip touches the centre of the “cross”.

2b: it will be something like this (4 times). Make sure you crease it properly.

2b. it will be something like this (4 times). Make sure you crease it properly.

3: Then, fold each side so the tip touches the crease of the opposite triangle (that you created previously)

3: Then, fold each side so the tip touches the crease of the opposite triangle (that you created previously).

4a: The last folding part is a smaller triangle, with the tip touching the crease of the first triangle on its own side. (It's important that the creases are visible, so you know exactly where to fold)

4a: The last folding part is a smaller triangle, with the tip touching the crease of the first triangle on its own side. (It’s important that the creases are visible, so you know exactly where to fold)

4b: This is how the last folding thing should be.

4b: This is how the last folding thing should be.

5. Choose a side to be your flaps and draw a line on both sides. Note that the middle section should be "left alone" for the time being.

5. Choose a side to be your flaps and draw a line on both sides. Note that the middle section should be “left alone” for the time being.

6a. Cut on the lines

6a. Cut on the lines. I didn’t have to draw these guidelines for my 2nd box, I just put a little dot to guide me.

6b. Your "box" will look like this now.

6b. Your “box” will look like this now.

7. Connect the opposite edges (not the ones that you've just cut) to the middle of your box.

7. Connect the opposite edges (not the ones that you’ve just cut) to the middle of your box.

8. And fold it once again. All the creases will work as a guideline on this.

8. And fold it once again. All the creases will work as a guideline on this.

9a. The sides should be on a 90 degree angle with the base and you should be able to pull the bits you cut inside (next image).

9a. The sides should be on a 90 degree angle with the base and you should be able to pull the bits you cut inside (next image).

9b. See? Your box is being shaped.

9b. See? Your box is taking shape.

10. Now the flap: bring to over to the sides. It will make your box steady and you don't even need glue!

10. Now the flap: bring to over to the sides. It will make your box steady and you don’t even need glue!

11a. Do the same thing on the other side.

11a. Do the same thing on the other side.

11b. Tee-dah: your box is nearly there. You have to repeat the process with the other piece of card paper.

11b. Tee-dah: your box is nearly there. You have to repeat the process with the other piece of card paper.

12a. And this is your box done.

12a. And this is your box done.

12b. It fits perfectly.

12b. It fits perfectly.

13. If you want to add some "colour" to it, you can use tissue (this is a Xmas theme napkin!)

13. If you want to add some “colour” to it, you can use tissue (this is a Xmas theme napkin!).Β I forgot to mention that you have to remove all the layers of the tissue/napkin before glueing it to the box. Just use the patterned layer!

14. To add a cover, it's best to do it on the flat box. Use a glue stick, it's better than the liquid one. Start with the middle of the box (you will see a little square within all the creases - that's your box).

14. To add a cover, it’s best to do it on the flat box. Use a glue stick, it’s better than the liquid one. Start with the middle of the box (you will see a little square within all the creases – that’s your box).

15. Then glue the sides, until everything is done.

15. Then glue the sides, until everything is done.Β Check how I removed all the layers of the napkin.

16. You can either cut the excess of paper or fold it in your box.

16. You can either cut the excess of paper or fold it in your box. Don’t forget to cut the sides again.

17a. Now repeat the process.

17a. Now repeat the process.

17b. And fold and fold...

17b. And fold and fold…

I also learned how to make a 3D star, but this is something for another day. Check out the tiny golden box in the photo, which I made with left overs from the big box. I wrapped it with metallic tape. :-)

I also learned how to make a 3D star, but this is something for another day. Check out the tiny golden box in the photo, which I made with left overs from the big box. I wrapped it with metallic tape. πŸ™‚

Random thoughts

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This post was written several evenings ago but then Laura got ill, I got busy and I forgot about it.

It’s that time of the year again. December comes with a bunch of Christmas drinks and parties, which can be fun for some, but not for those who have to deal with bedtime routine of two on their own.

Hubby went to some Xmas drinks. He has at least 3 this month: drinks with current colleagues, company’s party, and drinks with ex-colleagues, because networking is everything (never mind friendship).

Of course that I panicked on the first evening, otherwise it wouldn’t be me. I held my breath and tip-toed around the house, ready to start crying with Bea when (because IF is never an alternative; she ALWAYS will) she wakes up. She did wake up a couple of time, the first being 5 minutes after I put her down in her cot, fast asleep. The reason? Her leg got caught in between the cot bars. How awful is that?! And those cot bumpers are not recommended at all because, amongst other reasons, babies can get tangled in them. We can’t win, can we? Should I leave her sleeping in our bed until she is 20? By the way, of course Laura is sleeping in my bed. Who cares about her new bed anyway? She doesn’t like being on her own, simple as that.

By the way, if I had to describe these first days of new bed for Laura and new cot for Bea in one word it would be: fiasco. Nopes, it didn’t run as smoothly, beautifully and peacefully as I secretly hoped. Yes, we continue with sleepless nights, middle of the night visitors (who? Who?) and lots of cries and some tantrums. But we have to be strong and carry on with the plan (despite ruining it altogether when we go on holidays).

Another hope is that if I write on here, things might happen the opposite way. Because it seems like this is the way things work. Remember the post about teaching Bea to sleep and not to use the dummy? From the following day, everything went back to “normal” (and “normal” NOT being “right”, I must stress): only sleeping with her dummy and getting very annoyed with the massage and not sleeping that easily (unless you consider “easy” one to two hours rocking the baby). Another example was a post I saved as a draft to finish the following day and post it. I mentioned that Laura went the whole month of November without a single bed wettig incident. She had on in the beginning of September, another at the end of October and none in November – I wrote the post on the evening of the 29th November, and guess what? On that very same night, she wetted the bed. Oh dear, I need to remember to take some waterproof sheets to Brazil. And stop writing about these little achievements.

And due to the nature of this post (randomness), some photos:

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We got this globe as a Xmas gift; cool, eh? Laura asked me one night: “mummy, can you show me where buni lives?” and pointed at the globe. I showed her where Romania is in the map, then the UK, then Brazil. When Mr. C got home, I’ve asked if he told Laura what a globe was. He didn’t.

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I’ve learned how to make Xmas crackers. It’s very easy and an interesting thing to do with kids (I haven’t tried it with Laura though). I’m hoping to find some time to show you how.Β 

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This one is made of white card paper and Christmas napkins. πŸ™‚

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I was being attacked by Bea when I realised that their bedroom has the Brazilian flag colours all over. It wasn’t on purpose, but I guess deep inside the combination reminds me of sunny days and I like to bring some sunshine to the house. And green became officially my favourite colour in the past years.

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It was still work in progress when I took this photo, but now it’s done, just waiting for me to find some time and paint it. More photos in a near future.

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Laura got a letter from Santa. πŸ™‚

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Little detail showing that Santa really knows everything. πŸ˜‰