Friday, June 30, 2006

A walk in the park

Today after work, Astrid and I went to a park in Highland Park. We put on a hat and shoes and off we went.

The playground at Griffith Park is far superior, but there isn't a lot of shade, and Astrid can't be out in the full sun for 10 minutes before her skin starts getting a pink sunburn.

This park in Highland Park is covered with big elm trees that offer a lot of shade. Astrid can walk for long distances and still remain in the shade. There were other children playing in the park as well. This little girl fell in love with Astrid.Watching the other kids playing on the slide and in the sand.Walking...walking...walking...a favorite pastime.Standing still for a second deciding which way to go next."What's up guys?"

Walking/running over to join the other kids.These 3 siblings had a lot of fun with Astrid. The two younger kids were especially fascinated with Astrid. They would run around her and stand next to her to see what she would do next. They loved that she would copy them when they clapped their hands together.Had enough fun with the kids; coming back to mommy.

It was sweet to see how she would run off to check out the other children and then come back to me to check in and then head on out again.Riding her first play horse. It's not very comfortable since she can't reach the foot rests yet, but the bouncing motion back and forth made her laugh.

Astrid was able to walk and play outside in the park for about an hour, and then we headed home. She wasn't a happy camper at going home, (she hates being confined in a car seat after having the freedom to walk/run around), but after a few minutes in the car she was enjoying the air conditioning (it's a scorcher in LA) and was all smiles again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mastery of the sippy cup

Today it occurred to me that some things that seems so difficult in the beginning, work out in the end miraculously and I'm left thinking "I don't know how/why but I'm just glad she's doing it." Things like her sleeping schedule, naps, walking, eating solids, and yes, even drinking from the sippy cup. Astrid mastered the sippy cup some time ago and it was a milestone, but I don't know exactly when that happened or how. At first she wouldn't drink from her sippy cup and I had to revert back to the bottle for water. I experimented with a few different sippy cups and finally found one that she liked. Each day she seemed to be taking baby steps towards drinking from it, and then one day I looked over and she was actually raising it up and tipping it back to drink from it all on her own without any assistance.I'm sure it will be the same with drinking from a cup, eating with utensils, and potty training. Things that seem so daunting in the beginning will be those same things that I'll look back on and think "I don't know how/why but I'm just glad she's doing it."

Tooth #9 - (1st molar)

Astrid has a new tooth (tooth #9). It's her first molar. It's on the bottom to the left of her 4 front bottom teeth. There's a gap where her incisor will come through, and then this molar.

Her first 8 teeth were easier to spot, because they were her front teeth (on the top and bottom), but the remaining teeth will be more difficult to see because they're further back in her mouth.

It also looks like she has another handful of teeth (4-5) that are pushing through, but haven't cut through the gums yet.

Man's best friend

As Astrid's getting older she's becoming more and more interested in our dog, and we (Uwe, myself, and our nanny) have made a conscious effort to let our dog and Astrid interact with one another.Here she is grabbing the dog's snout.

Now that she's walking, it's great fun to see her get excited when she sees our dog and walk right up to her to try to play with her.Here she is trying to feel around inside our dog's mouth. It's a good thing our dog is great with kids and has a sweet disposition.

We're trying to teach Astrid how to nicely pet the dog. Now she pats but we still need to remind her to be gentle and show her how it's done.Here she is grabbing a leg. She likes to try and hoist up the dog's legs and pull on them.Curling up on the floor with our dog and giving her affection. Awwww.

Every kid needs a good dog. It's a learning experience, live toy, and best friend all in one.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Great flexibility

Uwe asked me to come and look at what Astrid does after her evening bath when he towel dries her off. Astrid lies down on the floor face forward while in the seated position. Don't you wish you were that flexible?She bends all the way forward and lays her head down on the floor for Uwe to dry her off with a towel. I asked Uwe if he taught her to do this and he said no, that she started doing it on her own and it just became a routine.Uwe thinks it's the cutest thing. A sweet daddy/daughter pic.She must like that position.Pulling the towel off as she sits up.Lying down one more time as Uwe finishes drying her hair.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Playmate of the year

Astrid got these pink Easter bunny ears for Easter this year. At the time she didn't really care for them, but now she wants to wear them everyday. She's constantly bringing them to us to put on her (or for us to wear). She likes taking them off her head too, and then bringing them back to us to put on her again. She looks so cute wearing them, that I don't mind.

Happy Father's Day 2006

Uwe didn't want me to make a fuss about Father's Day. (He said that it wasn't that big a deal, and Mother's Day was much more important.) But since Uwe is a father, and a great one at that, (plus I couldn't have done it without him), he deserves a little token of appreciation from me and Astrid on Father's Day (if not year round). For a sentimental gift Uwe received a keepsake black lacquered box with a photo of all three of us (from Easter brunch at Descanso Gardens this year) embossed on the top. Uwe's going to keep his cuff links inside it.
On Friday I had this fruit arrangement from edible arrangements delivered to Uwe's office. The porcelain soccerball vase is a reference to Uwe's love of soccer. (He's been glued to the World Cup games.) Unfortunately the mylar balloon that I ordered with it that said, "Happy Father's Day" was missing, and the vase was in a boxed container that covered the soccer ball. But it's the thought that counts right?

When we first met, Uwe would eat fruit alone for meals and my endearing nickname for him was "fruit fly". He still LOVES fruit so I knew he'd enjoy the fresh fruit, and the creativity of it.

Being the super sweet and thoughtful husband and father that he is, he took photos of it for my blog, and waited until I got home to show it to me, before dismantling it and sharing the fruit with me and Astrid. (Do I have a keeper or what?!)

On Father's Day I had an unexpected emergency in my family and even though Uwe had an appointment, he told me not to worry that he would make other arrangements so that he could take care of Astrid so that I could go to the hospital. I felt awful that I wasn't at home pampering my husband/father of my child on Father's Day (and I honestly can't remember what we did for Father's Day last year, probably because I was so sleep deprived). But knowing Uwe, I know he feels that those designated "Hallmark" days don't really matter, it's all the days in between that do.
This photo was taken on Father's Day and I thought it was apropos for a Father's Day post. Uwe's holding Astrid upside down and blowing raspberries on her tummy as Astrid's squealing and laughing and having fun with her Papa.

Happy Father's Day to the World's Greatest Dad

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Astrid goes to the gym with mommy

My gym has a nice daycare center that's very convenient for mothers. (I say mothers because it's an all women's gym. They make an announcement over the loudspeaker when a man enters the building.) The service is for members only and they charge $4 (for one child) for 2 hours.

Today I took Astrid with me. I thought she would enjoy playing in the room with all the toys and books. (There's also a big plastic jungle gym with a slide, but she's still too young for that.)

When we first got there Astrid was hanging onto my leg as two little girls ran up to her and shouted in unison, "It's a baby!" They couldn't wait to play with the living, breathing, walking blond baby doll named Astrid. But Astrid wasn't too sure she wanted to be played with.

Astrid soon spotted a teddy bear in the toy chest and started smiling and laughing and feeling more comfortable with her new surroundings. While Astrid was getting acclimated, I showed the daycare provider the contents of my diaper bag and was told that they're not allowed to change diapers and if she smelled anything they would come and get me. I had visions of a woman running out onto the gym floor to tell me my baby had just taken a dump. Thankfully my one on one personal training session wasn't interrupted by a mad dash to change a dirty diaper.

After I put my belongings away in my locker, I checked back in and saw that Astrid was happily playing (and the two girls were watching her every move).

As soon as my session was over (an hour later) I rushed back to see Astrid, who had just started crying. The daycare provider was trying to distract her by reading a book to her. She told me that Astrid did really well for her first time, and most kids her age don't do as well. She also told me that she's never seen a happier child. She wants me to bring Astrid every weekend so she can play with her.

Here are some photos:

Friday, June 16, 2006

Astrid loves hats

Astrid is definitely a hat girl. She loves wearing different hats. Probably because I always say, "You can't cry when you're wearing your hat." As if that makes any sense I know, but it always makes Astrid break into a full smile when you say that and put a hat on her head, even if she is on the verge of tears. And now she probably also associates it with going outside.

I have skin cancer in my family and Uwe had it as well, so I'm always extra cautious when it comes to sun exposure for her, which is why she has an assortment of hats.Wearing her ladybug Flap Happy hat.

It might look funny to others seeing her wearing a hat inside the house, but hey it makes her happy ergo it makes me happy.Wearing her LA Zoo hat (that our nanny bought for her the first time they went to the zoo together).Here she is with a mouth full of fruit.

Those chubby cheeks may not be around for that much longer, as she's getting lots of exercise walking and slimming down and losing the baby fat.