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Saturday, February 28, 2009

1st time that Astrid asks Papa to put her to bed

So it finally happened. After 3 years, 10 months, one week and 2 days, tonight Astrid asked her Papa to put her to bed.

If you know anything about my daughter Astrid, you know she is very attached to me - her mama. Before today, I am the only one she preferred to do the bedtime routine with when she goes to bed. In the past whenever it was my night out and I came home a bit early - while U. was getting her ready for bed - forgetaboutit - Astrid would want mama.

But not today.

In the morning I joined U. and Astrid for coffee and bread at a local coffee place. We had to take separate cars as U. had errands to run and I had my Yoga class afterwards. And for the first time Astrid wanted to ride in the car with her dad. Very unusual as she always wants to ride in the car with me and gawd knows we've experienced those days when she had to go with her dad and reacted with tears and pleading for "mama mama" over and over again. But today, she rode in the car with dad, with me following. U. was pointing out that I was following just in case she changed her mind on the car drive. Once we parked our cars, Astrid immediately ran over to me and held my hand.

And tonight - she asked that Papa put her to bed. No more tears that Papa was going to brush her teeth before I put her to bed. This time she WANTED Papa to do the bedtime routine with her and put her to bed instead of me.

No hard feelings, as I was happy to get a break and just wash the dishes as U. put Astrid to bed. I've been putting her to bed for almost 4 years and it's about time I don't have to be the sole bedtime administrator.

But it is a little sad in that it's an indication she's growing up. She's so much more affectionate now than ever before and she just loves her Papa.

With U. it's one book and then sleep. He was prepared for her to shout that she wanted mama - but nope - she quickly fell asleep after one book - with no cries for mama.

As U. likes to say, "This is a great age! I'm really enjoying it."

A few chuckles to share

#1 - Astrid was interested in trying some organic turkey jerky. When I gave her a piece she looked up at me with a mischievous grin and asked, "Mom, is this doggy treat?"

See my mom gives her dog jerky treats when training her to do stupid dog tricks. Many a time Astrid has been the one doling out treats and asking the dog to give her a high 10.

#2 - Astrid and I made a batch of vanilla cookies. After dinner Astrid had a cookie for dessert, and after she gave her dad a piece of her cookie to try, she said, "Say thank you to us."

Miss manners.

#3 - I was doing some yard work today, and Astrid as always wanted to come out to watch what I was doing. All of a sudden she screamed and jumped back. When I asked her what was the matter, she pointed and said, "There's a BIG ant and it's scary mommy!"

I looked down and saw a big black beetle trying to scurry for cover.

After I told her what it was and that it wouldn't hurt her, she asked me what they ate. Something to look up on Wikipedia. She decided on her own that they eat leaves and now less fearful, she tried to feed it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Watching the Oscars with Astrid

Ask woke up from her nap and in a fog asked, "Is it almost time to watch TV?"

We promised Astrid that she could watch the Oscars award show on TV with us tonight. We're going to have a little feast of finger foods and guacamole - and make it a special family time.

Astrid: "Is it almost time to watch TV?"
Me: "Yes, we're gonna watch the Oscars together."
Astrid: (puzzled look on her face) "What's the Oscars?"
Me: "It's an award show for the movies."
Astrid: "Oh I know! Oscar's in the trash can."

My kid is confusing the Oscars (Academy Awards Show) with Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street). So cute!

Astrid's a clever one

Astrid wanted to sit on my lap the entire time I was getting my nails done. The lady who was giving me a pedicure was trying to get Astrid off my lap so I could relax. She tried all sorts of things and nothing worked. So then she said, "I don't think you can walk."

Astrid: "Yes, I can."
Nail Salon Lady (NSL): "No, I don't think you can. I haven't seen it."
Astrid: "Yes."
NSL: "Why don't you show me. Can you show me that you can walk?"
Astrid: "No, not right now. When I leave you can see me walk."

All of the ladies in the nail salon who heard Astrid (including myself) burst out laughing. She's a clever one.

A 3 year olds concept of money

Astrid showed me the shiny penny that her dad had given to her and told me flat out, "Mom, I love money!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our new German Nanny

We have a new nanny for Astrid and she is German. Her name is Beate and we are thrilled to have found her! I think she is very happy with the arrangement as well, since she lives up the street from us in our neighborhood, has 2 kids that go to our neighborhood elementary school, and to watch/play with our 3 year old (Astrid also plays with her kids) I'm sure it feels more like a playdate than work.

Previously we had a nanny (Jill) for 2 years who was always reliable and always on time. We got so used to our Friday night date nights as a result. Jill is a PhD student in Psychology and we came to rely on her and think of her as an extension of our family. So when she let us know she was moving away for work, we were sad to see her go, and wished her well - but immediately found another nanny. But after 2 1/2 months, it was clear the new nanny wasn't working out and we had to let her go.

So we immediately put out another ad on craigslist and found Beate the perfect candidate for the job. The fact alone that she speaks German is such a plus! We've been looking for a German school for Astrid to attend and were even willing to spend $400 a month for 1 class a week. Now with Beate, Astrid has her own personal German tutor 3 to 4 times a week. And Beate told me that it's also been great for her because her kids now speak more German. Her daughter Claire told her and her brother Noah, "Well we have to speak German now, because Astrid is here." Beate has a collection of puppets and they have puppet shows in German, and she also reads German books to Astrid. So now after just a couple weeks, Astrid is now picking up German and understanding more - and more importantly trying to speak in German. Love it!

And Beate is pretty crafty. She makes soap and sews and does arts and crafts projects. Every time Astrid sees her they make things and she brings gifts for her - like handmade soup with a picture of a toad that says, "You're toad-ally cool!" When Beate comes to our home there are no tears when we leave. If Astrid tells me she is felling sick, I just have to say, "Well I better call Beate and tell her not to come because you're sick." Astrid will shout, "No! I'm all better mama! Call Beate and tell her to come!"

Astrid had been cooped up with me in the house under quarantine with Chickenpox for two days, so the next day while U. stayed home to be with her -Beate offered to take Astrid to her house to play with her kids in the afternoon - which was perfect so U. could get some work done. U. dropped her off just to make sure everything was okay and Astrid couldn't wait to jump out of the car and run inside Beate's house.

On Friday night I set out some ingredients for Beate and Astrid to make pizza together. Whole wheat pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese, broccoli, salami. When U. and I got back from our date night, Beate told me she loved the pizza and was going to make it with her kids. Fun for kids to make and healthy!

It's such a relief to have a good, reliable nanny for Astrid - to take her to her extra-curricular activities after preschool twice a week (music & swim classes for now), and to be there on Fridays or the weekends for U. and I have to have our date nights. And now the German instruction which I am over the moon about! And she's so close and is a stay at home mom, so if we ever needed her to watch Astrid outside of our normal schedule, she's open to that as well. So the flexibility is nice as well.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"I'm tired Mama."

So tonight, I decided to cook Valentine's Day dinner and it was later than usual when we sat down to eat and we could see that Astrid was tired. But rather than want 100% of our attention or things we would normally expect from a 3 year old, Astrid tells me, "I'm tired Mama. I want to go to my bed."

U. turned to me and said, "Our kid tells us when she wants to go to bed now."

How did that happen?

Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

Astrid painted this beautiful heart for me for Valentine's Day.

I'm cooking Valentine's Day dinner and U. remarked, "Wow, Mama's cooking up a storm!"
Astrid responded, "Yeah I know just like it's raining!"

Wishing everyone lots of love - Happy Valentine's Day!

Scroll down to see a handful of new posts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Astrid has Chickenpox

We went to the Pediatrician today about a bumpy rash that appeared on Astrid's arm a couple days ago. The diagnosis is Chickenpox. An a-typical & mild case of Chickenpox since Astrid was vaccinated when she was one year old. The Pediatrician said that about 35% of children who were vaccinated, still get it in a mild form, and they're thinking about revaccinated children when they're in Kindergarten.
It started it a couple days ago looking like a rash, or possibly a clump of bug bites. We thought it was a heat rash, since we've been bundling her up to keep her warm the last few days that it has been rainy and so cold. The rash on her arm however, was itchy. We put anti-itch topical ointment with oatmeal on the rash, and it seemed to help, but then it spread further down her arm.

Her preschool teacher suspected Chickenpox, and I also looked it up on Wikipedia - but since it isn't the typical case, it's a bit different (not as widespread or as severe), and there's no fever to accompany the symptoms. Mostly she's got it on her arm and a few on her back. But she still remains highly contagious. The doctor asked us to leave through the emergency exit, to avoid contaminating others.

Here's a close up.

So now she's quarantined for the rest of the week. The doctor thinks it will be okay for her to go back to school next week, if her lesions are scabbed over. When that happens she'll no longer be contagious.

I had Chickenpox as a kid and I remember it being BAD. It was unbearably itchy with large legions & scabs everywhere - even on my scalp. What Astrid has is so much better. But her dad has never had Chickenpox so we're mildly concerned about it. He's already called his doctor who is not worried, since he's healthy and still young. My husband also applied the topical ointment to Astrid's Chickenpox on day 1 that we noticed them. So he's probably already been infected, so there's nothing much we can do. If and when he does get symptoms, his doctor can give him an antibiotic that will help. I'm just hoping he's immune, and stays symptom free.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Astrid's art on display @ the Blue Hen

1st parent/teacher conference at preschool

For 2 weeks, the preschool has been meeting with parents to discuss their children's development and how they're doing in school. This was the 1st parent teacher conference I've attended as a parent. U. also attended to hear what the teacher had to say about Astrid. Our appointment was at 7:30 this morning, and I just wanted to write a brief post about it.

The preschool director/teacher says Astrid at 3 years old is well rounded, advanced for her age, and doing well in school. She said Astrid's excited to learn, and really interested in what the older kids are doing/learning. So to keep her motivated and foster her interest in learning, the teacher includes her in some of the activities with the older kids - like oral presentations. She is starting to read and write, knows all of the continents, is doing well in math, and loves art & music. She's improved a lot in just the last few months especially with reading and writing. She gets along with all of the kids & is very social. She also helps the teachers and listens very well.

She's starting to read basic primary books, which the teacher will give us copies of, so we can practice at home with Astrid.

In summary she told us that she can tell we've been working with Astrid at home, (especially when they just start learning a lesson and Astrid already knows it). She said that Astrid is very bright and even though she is very young, she is more advanced in some areas than other children her age. And she ended by saying Astrid is a joy to have at the school.

Music to my ears.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Saturday morning Coffee & Bread

My two loves. - I was guest of honor for coffee & bread this morning.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Drawing on herself with an ink pen

Astrid (3 years old) drew on her legs with ink. I had to take a pic. It's art afterall!

And yes, that's a professional pedicure.

Monday, February 02, 2009


We went to check out the German school in Burbank. Unfortunately it's only half days until noon Monday and Wednesdays. These classes are not made to accommodate working parents. The teacher told me that most of the children have stay at home moms, that just want a break a couple days a week for a few hours. And there's no Saturday school. Bummer. But we'll keep looking until we find a something.