Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Little Dolly


Doesn't she look like a little dolly?

Astrid was dressed for the occasion. She had on a pretty pink dress with a matching pink hat. (Her daddy picked out the outfit.)

I'm standing in front of a mirror, holding her and taking this picture. You can't tell from this photo, but Astrid couldn't stand the hat. I had to get this shot off real quick before she started crying. ("Come on mom, take the picture already.")

Here's my dolly again. This time without the hat.

Graduation Ceremony


Uwe, Astrid and I attended the graduation ceremony for the 5th graders today. One by one each kid stood up, said their name and what they want to be when they grow up. It was very touching hearing the hopes and dreams of these young kids. Many said they wanted to be a professional athlete (NBA basketball player, a major league baseball player, an NFL football player), a teacher, doctor, nurse, actor (yes, we live in LA), etc.

But one kid's ambition in life tickled me. He stood up and announced he wanted to be a metal drummer when he grows up. He is a little character already. During the school year I would see him on campus wearing his black heavy metal t-shirts and hard rock hairstyle marching to the beat of a different drum. So it makes sense that he wants to be a drummer!

These ceremonies are for the kids but they're also for all the adults (teachers, staff, parents, grandparents). We all sat in that auditorium smiling, clapping, feeling all that promise and hope in the air, with warm hearts.Here we are with my kids. (If you look closely you can see Astrid in her stroller. Mommy's holding flowers that a student's mom brought for her. Uwe wanted to stay but unfortunately after the ceremony was over he had to rush to a meeting.) Look at my kids all dressed up. ahhhh. This marks the end of my first year as a teacher. I feel grateful that I got the opportunity to teach to a great bunch of kids and they in turn left a lasting imprint on my heart.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Astrid's first visit to a hair salon

Astrid visited her first hair salon today. No, she didn't get her hair done (not enough hair yet), but she watched mommy get hers done. Riley, a talented hairstylist at a salon in Westwood offered to do my hair today on really short notice AND said it was okay to bring Astrid. (Thank you Riley!) Now I'm all set to take photos with my graduating 5th graders tomorrow. And no more drab Hausfrau hair! The salon is inside a funky building built in the 1920's and Riley said that in the 50's it was an apartment building. There's no sign out front and no indication that it's a salon. There's only the address 1140 above a large door. The interior has brick walls and nice hardwood floors. Now the rooms on one floor are used as private rooms for individual hairstylists. (The location is 1140 Westwood Blvd. in LA 310-824-4545.) Riley does great hair and you can't beat her prices.

Since it's an old building...yep you guessed it...it's a walkup with no elevator. It was no simple task getting Astrid up those stairs in her stroller.

Riley did a great job accommodating me and Astrid. She cut, colored and blow dryed around her like an old pro as I bounced Astrid on my knee. (Here she is standing behind us. Hi Riley!)

Astrid got compliments for being a good baby. She cried some as expected, but for the most part she was content when held. And the blowdryer didn't bother her one bit. (That's my girl!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

School Visit

Today Astrid and I spent the afternoon at my elementary school where I teach. It was the first time I've been back to visit since I went on maternity leave. All the ladies in the office ooh'd and ahhh'd at the baby. Astrid had a smile for every person who took a peek at her. Everyone commented on what a happy baby she is and her pretty eyes. What a little charmer Astrid is! One aide even said, "Oh my, with those eyes you're going to have a lot of boys knocking on your door." Oh my indeed.

Here we are with some of my 4th and 5th grade students. When I walked into the classroom Astrid and I were met with exclamations of, "Mrs. Hook!" and warm smiles from all the kids. Oh and of course the obligatory, "Where is Mr. Hook?", to which I responded, "Oh he's at work." I still remember right before I went on maternity leave a student asked me if Mr. Hook would be the substitute teacher and teach the class while I was out. When my laugh and "No" answer was met with a "Why not?", I responded, "Oh he already has a job." (Yeah I use "Oh" a lot when I'm stumped and thinking of an answer.")

This Thursday is the last day of this school year for my students. My fourth graders will go on summer vacation and will return mid August to rule the school as big fifth graders. My fifth graders will be graduating from elementary school and after school break will be going to middle school. One of my 5th grade students asked me if I could come to his school and teach 6th grade. Sweet.

The graduating 5th graders are nervous and excited at the same time. Many had their keepsake books that they received from the school, which they asked me to sign. I'll be at their culmination ceremony and the best graduation present I could give them...would be bringing Mr. Hook with me. We'll make sure we sign all their books and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. I really hope the best for them.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Developmental Toys

Astrid is beginning to realize that her arms and hands are attached to her body and her movements are becoming more fluid and deliberate. It's exciting to watch her development. Just think, even the simplest ability to grasp is the first step to feeding herself, reading, writing, drawing, brushing her teeth, holding a bar of soap...so many things that we take for granted. Today I put some wrist rattles on Astrid. A fish that rattles on her right wrist and a star that squeaks on her left wrist. They're soft (in case she bonks herself in the head), and machine washable (soon she will be putting everything in her mouth). The first time we put them on her she cried, but today she seemed to enjoy the noises they made.
Astrid is holding a new rattle that her daddy brought home for her today. It's a monkey with a bird sitting on its head. Too cute! Dunno if Astrid thought so too or if she's just being a ham for the camera.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mommy's Blog for Astrid

Why blog you ask? Especially since Astrid already has a blog created by her dad at http://astrid.typepad.com/ ? Well it's been 2 months and 7 days since I gave birth to Astrid and she's growing and developing and changing everyday. She's already gained 5 lbs and grown 5 inches. I try to take photos of her everyday but it would be nice to have a little post about the story behind the photos as well. What better way to document my baby's life and my first year of motherhood? =)
I was playing with Astrid before dinner and she was cooing & laughing & being the precious baby that she is. I held her up to my face and told Uwe (my hubby), "she's so sweet". Uwe detected a photo op and ran for the camera. So here we are cheek to cheek, mother & daughter. (Yep, those are bags under my eyes but doesn't the baby look sweet?)