Saturday, July 29, 2006

Playing in the toilet

I used to be able to put the toilet lid down to prevent Astrid from sticking her hand in the bowl and playing in the water. That is until today. I was brushing my teeth and Astrid was playing behind me in the bathroom. The toilet seat was down. I turn my head and what do I see? Astrid is holding up the lid with one hand and has her other hand down in the bowl. I immediately pulled her hand out and thoroughly washed it and tried to explain that she's not to play in the toilet because it's dirty and there are lots of germs in there. As if a 15 month old can understand what I'm saying. But hopefully she'll understand that the toilet is off limits.

Just one more item to add to my growing radar list. =)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Astrid retrieving her ball from under the table

Here are some cute pics of Astrid retrieving her ball from under our dining room table.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Homecoming - Back in LA

I came back to LA during the heat wave. Temperatures are over 100 degrees (118 degrees in the Valley) and there are intermittent power outages throughout LA.

Astrid saw me in the morning and it was like I never left. When she saw me her body language said, "What's all the fuss about? Yeah mama's what?"

To escape the heat, we went to the mall. There's a indoor kid's playground inside the Glendale Galleria, and I thought it might be fun to let Astrid play there and interact with other children. Uwe had to work most of the day, but he surprised us by meeting us there in the afternoon.

Walking to the playground we passed by the Baby Style store, which we didn't even know was located there, and had to go in and do some shopping for Astrid.
Astrid loved pulling toys out of their bins and walking around with them until she found another toy to play with. The store clerks didn't seem to mind as a happy kid in a baby store equals parents dropping a load of money on baby stuff.Here is Uwe rocking Astrid who's sitting on top of a stuffed elephant rocker.

This made us think of the beautiful handmade pony rocker made in Germany that Astrid received from our friend Dave, that's in Astrid's room. Up until now she's been too small/young to play on it, but she's been showing much more interest in it lately. She'll walk up to it and pet it, like it was a live pony.

After doing some shopping (which included buying a couple outfits and a new hair clip for Astrid), Uwe took Astrid to the playground while I got us something to drink. In less than 5 minutes, Uwe came back looking frazzled, holding Astrid in his arms. He told me that it was "crazy in there". A kid ran up to Astrid and tried to hug her, but knocked her down in the process, and another kid ran by and kicked Astrid in the head while she was on the ground. So I guess the indoor playground is out until Astrid is much older.

Previously I had seen the playground during the week when I was a stay at home mom and there were maybe 3 kids in there. This Saturday it was shock full of kids literally bouncing off the walls.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Updates from the home front

I've been calling home everyday to speak to Astrid on the phone (she smiles and laughs when she hears my voice on the phone) and to get updates from the home front.

Astrid has been her usual happy self. Uwe's been doing a great job caring for her in my absence. It took a lot of scheduling and rushing around to do it as a single parent, but he was able to handle it and I'm proud of him.

Also, this entire week that I've been away on business, Uwe has spoken to Astrid in German. We're trying to raise her to be bilingual in German and English, so that she'll be fluent in both languages without an accent. When she's older it will be advantageous for her when studying and traveling abroad (especially if she decides she wants to study or live in Germany one day).

As it stands now we're still waiting for her to say her first German word. Uwe keeps trying, and we occasionally have "German days" on a weekend day where Uwe and I both speak only German and immerse Astrid in the language.

The update I received from Uwe this morning was that he went into Astrid's room at a quarter to 7 to wake her up, but according to Uwe "she was already up reading". I had to laugh out loud when he told me that. It makes her sound like an adult. She does love her books. I'm flying back tonight but I'll be home late, after Astrid's bedtime, so I won't be able to see her until tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Will she recognize me? Will I receive a warm welcome home? Will she be mad at me for being gone for a week?

I will be bearing gifts from the Pottery Barn for Kids store in Ohio:

1) A book called, "Grow Up" which has cute illustrations of baby animals and what they grow up into (i.e., a puppy grows up to be....a dog).

2) A wooden xylophone
I think Astrid will love playing with this musical instrument.

3) A baby cell phone that looks like a real Nokia phone
It'll be interesting to see how long it will take her to figure out it's not the real thing and get bored with it. But it was only $3 and another mother here said her 18 month old loves this phone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I started a new blog

A Blog Away From Home was created while on my trip to Ohio. I've been thinking about creating another blog for some time where I can post all the things that are going on in my life, and to be an outlet to share and talk about things that are on my mind.

Come on by and visit when you get a chance. Would love to know what you think about my new blog.

(I will continue to update "We Love Astrid" to keep documenting Astrid's life, and my experiences with motherhood. The new blog is an additional outlet for me to share other aspects of my life.)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mama's on a business trip

I'm attending a conference in Columbus, Ohio for 1 week. This will be the longest time I've been away from the baby.

While I'm away, Uwe will be posting daily pics of Astrid on his blog: Astrid's Dad

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Astrid's fever broke and she's feeling better

Switching from Tylenol to Motrin helped break the fever. She started eating again as well. She has a runny nose, but little by little she's getting better.

Uwe put it best when he said, "We suffer when the baby suffers."

Monday, July 10, 2006

It pains me to go to work when the baby's sick

Today was the first time I've had to go to work when Astrid's been sick.

She cried really hard when I left for work this morning. Harder than usual. It took all her remaining strength to cry , and it broke my heart. It was like she was saying, "Mama don't go! I need you here to take care of me!" This is one downside of being a working mother. I had to go to work, when I wanted to stay home and comfort my baby and care for her. I knew our nanny would do a great job, but Astrid wanted me there caring for her and no one else.

I kept calling home to see how she was doing. Her fever got really high again, so I had our nanny give her a lukewarm bath. She also wasn't eating. In the morning she didn't want to eat solid foods for breakfast so I gave her a bottle with formula at 7 AM and she drank 6 ounces. (I think she may have a sore throat and it's painful for her to swallow, but she needs to eat to keep up her strength to fight this virus.)

When I called in the afternoon, the nanny said she couldn't get her to eat anything. That did it. I finished up as much as I could at work and came home early to take care of the baby. My main concern was her not eating. The nanny said she was very lethargic, and wasn't playing or moving around much. By the time I got home at 4 PM she had gone almost 9 hours without eating and had no energy.

Our nanny had repeatedly tried to give her a bottle, but Astrid wouldn't take it. But when I got home, I immediately gave her a bottle, and she drank 4 ounces. I know that probably made our nanny feel bad, because I know she tried her best, but there is something to say about a mother's touch. I've fed her since she was a newborn and she feels loved and gets a lot of comfort in my arms.

Tonight our nanny called to see how the baby was doing. She said she was worried because the baby was so sick and wasn't eating. I thought that was really nice, that she was concerned about Astrid, and thinking about her after hours when she was in her own home.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Rare occasion - baby and I are sick

Astrid hardly ever gets sick (and neither do I). So on the rare occasion when she does get a little cold, it's okay because it's good for her immune system. Since she's at home with the nanny and not around other kids, we think it's healthy for her to get exposed to some germs and viruses once in a while.

But today she has a high fever. The other time she had a high fever was when I was sick as well; and it's the same today. We're both sick. (Although I only have a low grade fever and sore throat, while the baby has a high fever.)

First I noticed that our nanny had a cough. Then Saturday night I got a sore throat and went to bed early. Astrid who normally wakes up before 7 AM, slept until 8 this morning.

Her fever got as high as 102.9. We've been giving her Tylenol to break the fever. When her fever gets too high and she feels hot to the touch, I run a luke warm bath for her, and put an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the back of her neck to bring her temperature down.
We left the house and went to a coffee shop to get some fresh air, and to a pharmacy to see if we could get something else to help with Astrid's fever. (Subsequently we found out that if you switch from Tylenol to Motrin for infants, it will help break the fever...which it did.)

Check out her new shoes. They're soft leather, but they look like sneakers.Not feeling well.Here she is flipping through one of her children's books. You could tell she wasn't feeling well by her energy level being so low (lethargic), and sitting in one place for longer periods of time. Just not her usual happy, energetic self.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Our 1st picnic with the baby (Griffith Park)

Today was the perfect day for a picnic.Astrid's first picnic.

There were lots of families in the park. Behind us is a bouncy fun house with 2 slides that a bunch of kids were playing on. The family behind us was playing with a green ball...take a good look at it...because in the subsequent photos you'll see Astrid with that same ball.Astrid sitting on the blanket next to Papa, feeding herself. We couldn't help laughing because Astrid would take handfuls of food and try to stick the whole thing in her mouth, which here looks like she's trying to eat her fist.The only time you can look cute eating like this is when you're a baby. At least she enjoys feeding herself. She doesn't want to eat baby food anymore, because she wants to feed herself instead.Remember that ball that the other family was playing with? Here's Astrid, the ball snatcher. Every time they'd kick the ball to her, she would bend over, pick it up, and walk away with it. We'd give it back and she'd repeat the whole thing over again. Although it frustrated the little 4 year old girl of the other family, her family members just laughed and told her to let the baby play with it.I think she's trying to throw the ball here, but she hasn't quite figured out that she need to let go at the same time.Coming back to Mama.Swinging the baby, and she's lovin' it.Chasing after the baby as usual.A sweet photo of my golden boy and girl.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hide & go poop

Today our nanny told me that she was sitting on the couch reading to Astrid, when Astrid wanted down off the couch. When she put her down, Astrid went and hid behind a partition between the living room and kitchen, where she couldn't be seen, to squat in the corner to go poop. She said she's seen other children behave like that when they're ready to be potty trained.

I've been wanting to start potty training Astrid for awhile now. Now in the evenings I can see when she is trying to "go" and it would be a natural progression to put her on the potty when I see it happening. Her poo has also become very stinky since she's digesting solid foods and table foods. The only reason I haven't started yet is because Uwe believes it's too soon. He doesn't want to start until she's at least 18 months. He's afraid she will become anal retentive (like her mother), and that it will screw her up emotionally if we start too soon.

Until this point we've agreed on everything regarding Astrid's care and development. This is the first issue regarding Astrid where we have a difference of opinion. In this case I have to compromise because he is adamantly opposed to potty training any sooner, and we are going on vacation to Europe this September and it's not possible to transport s a potty with us. I agree that it doesn't make sense to start her potty training, only to stop when we're traveling. So we have agreed to start after our vacation, and by that time she will be almost 18 months old.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July 2006!

This 4th of July it's not only Independence Day, but it's also a day of World Cup Soccer (Germany vs. Portugal). We planned to go to The Red Lion, a German restaurant and beer garden in Silverlake to watch the game in real German style. However, when we got there at 11 AM there was a line outside the door, as the restaurant was at capacity and they weren't letting any more people inside. Bummer!

So what did we do? Uwe called up his German friend Pascal who invited us to a microbrewery in Silverlake to watch the game with a group of friends. After an hour and a half wait (today any place that served alcohol and had a TV was packed) we were seated and got to watch the game. In case you didn't see it, Germany lost. Double bummer!

Then we headed home to do some serious bbq'ing and watch the fireworks from our balcony.

My little cutie pie showing off her red, white and blue 4th of July dress.In case you hadn't noticed, I cut Astrid's hair. I didn't plan on doing it myself, but I wasn't able to get an appointment with a hairstylist and her hair was getting way too long in the back. Her hair was getting stuck in her bib (ouch!), was uneven, and it was just too darn hot for the baby to have long hair on her neck.

So one evening after her bath I made two ponytails and cut 2 locks of hair as keepsakes. At first Uwe was horrified. First because I cut it with out him being there. I swear I didn't plan to do it. But he was happy I kept the 2 locks of hair, which we now have in Uwe's keepsake box I got him for Father's Day. And second because he said Astrid was just starting to look like a girl, and the short hair made her look like a boy again. But the short hair has grown on him and Uwe now calls it her "Mia Farrow" hairstyle.

I have a flyer for a salon nearby that specializes in kid's haircuts, so next haircut I'll take Astrid there and will make sure Uwe can join us. So that will be her official "1st haircut" and we can take photos.Checking out the big bag of charcoal we'll be using for our bbq tonight.Q: What do you do if you run out of fireworks?
A: Set a mattress on fire.

Yep that's a mattress on the sidewalk down below, on fire. There's the firetruck to put out the fire.I tried to take photos of the fireworks, but it is like taking photos of lightening. It's nearly impossible, but I did get a few. Last year was the first year we discovered that we had a spectacular fireworks view from our balcony. In past years we always went to 4th of July parties, but last year we came home early because of the baby, and lo and behold the skyline lit up with fireworks ALL night long. Last year I remember going to bed at 1:30 AM and the fireworks were still going.This year there were about 6 different fireworks going off simultaneously; amateur as well as professional ones.

I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe 4th of July!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Meeting Papa for lunch (the day before 4th of July)

Today since Uwe didn't have the day off, but I did, Astrid and I went to meet him at his office for lunch.Here we are at a restaurant that makes organic salads.

Astrid is holding what Uwe calls "the secret weapon."Anytime Astrid gets antsy and we run out of things to keep her content and occupied, Uwe flips out his cell phone (aka the secret weapon) and let's Astrid play with it.She's loves playing with it and pushing the buttons.Somehow she's also figured out how to turn it on. And more importantly she's been known to make phone calls. Once she made a phone call to Uwe's CEO. Yikes!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Overnight stay at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA

I have a 4 day Independence Day holiday, but Uwe has to work on Monday (July 3rd) so we decided to go to the W Hotel for an overnight stay to enjoy the pool, drinks, and room service. Uwe and Astrid sitting out on the patio, near the pool. We just checked in and went down to the restaurant (the indoor seating is only available in the evening), sat outside, and ordered some salads for lunch and cocktails.

Although we've both stayed in several W Hotels including San Francisco, Honolulu, and New York, this was our first stay at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA. Uwe has had dinner/drinks there before, but this was my first time there. It's located in a residential area and the building itself looks like a converted condo. There's even a church nearby with bells that toll every hour. It's also within walking distance of downtown Westwood, the UCLA stomping grounds, so there are lots of places to eat and shop.Astrid making new friends.After lunch we took a plunge in the pool.Post swim - getting the royal treatment.

They have a few large cabana style beds around the pool that could fit 4 people comfortably.Uwe changing Astrid out of her wet swimsuit into some casual clothes (to cover her up and protect her from the sun's harsh rays).
Cleopatra reincarnated.
Checking out the strange feet.

She's not embarrassed to walk right up to strange people to see what they're doing. She even picked up some lady's short pants and started walking away with them. Luckily most people think she's adorable and want to interact with her. She also seems to have a good sense of those people who are friendly and those that she should leave alone.Looking up at the Good Year blimp floating by.

Even though we stayed in LA, it was nice to have a change of scenery and it felt like a mini vacation. After we put Astrid to bed we popped open a nice bottle of champagne, ordered room service, and ate dinner together in our suite, wearing our hotel bath robes. =)

I have the day off tomorrow as well, so in the afternoon when we check out, Astrid and I will meet Uwe for lunch at his office.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Another afternoon in the park

I guess it's the season, with the hot weather and a toddler who wants to walk to her heart's content, to venture out to different parks. Today Uwe went with Astrid to explore this park in Glendale.Having a blast on the swing.
Playing in the sand.
Running around the tree.
Holding a fallen leaf.