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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Little Miss Update September/October

September/October - 11 months



So where we left off...

Little Miss had just started Halte de Garderie (which is a part time daycare - maximum at our school is 5 half days per week).  She goes 2 mornings a week.  After 2/3 weeks of slowly introducing her to the garderie she finally started to accept being there, taking naps and even having fun!   They learned pretty fast that playing music helped calm her down after I left (5 mins of crying...then out of sight out of mind ;-).  My sister will be happy to hear this as we both think she is musically inclined (we were amazed that at 10 months old she picked up my sons flute/recorder and started to play it!). 

It feels good to be able to have a bit of my own time.  I have since started to take a pilates class with 2 other neighborhood friends.  My friend organized private lessons as there weren't many studios nearby offering them with our restricted kid free times ;-).   It's actually not that much more than a regular class and there are only 3 of us so there is tons of one on one time.  I feel that its working.  But it would be much more beneficial if we did it 2x's per week.  We might add another day.

Little Miss' cold lasted a long time.  Even though she only had a runny nose it lasted more than 2 weeks.  Then she had a few weeks of relieve (and me too as I got her cold of course).  Then we got 2 colds in a row.  Both included a fever and I believe she was teething for the last one at the same time.  With her 1st set of MOLARS!  Yes this kiddo has 9 teeth already.  Little Man didn't have his first until just about this age (11/12 months). 

 BIG Birthday Post next ;-)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Little Miss June - September (Present)

June - 7/8 months

So since our last post about Little Miss she has gone from crawling to pulling herself up on furniture in just a few short weeks!  I think she will be an early walker but we shall see ;-)  By mid month she was able to finally sit down from standing position (this was not a fun 3 weeks!).  She would cry/yell for help or just simply fall then cry/yell for help.  It was amazing to watch her figure it all out.  She is one smart cookie.  I still can't believe she was crawling before 7 months.  I really thought I had a good 2 more months of immobility.  I guess NOT haha!

She also accomplished lying on her belly to sitting.

Her food eating ability has progressed.  She is a little piglet.  We gave her little bits of food (bananas) mid month.  She looked at it weird, tried it and then wanted me to feed her.  So we shall try again in a few more months.

Her second set of teeth are coming in (top front teeth).  This is a total of 4 teeth.

Little Man celebrated his 3rd birthday this month and we had a little birthday party for him.  Chiara didn't know what was going on and didn't really care haha!




July - 8/9 months

The weather was just terrible this spring and most of the summer.  We still had to use a light jacket in mid July!  We were busy preparing for our big August Vacation to the US. 

Little Miss received her first real cold :-(.  It all started with a mild runny nose we took care of that, then she got conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) from the stuffy nose backing up and infecting the eye and then after antibiotic eye treatment we (yes we!) got a bad cold.  This cold settled in Little Miss's chest and gave her bronchitis!  We had to call the SOS Medcine (which is a house call doctor service) to treat her it was a Sunday morning.  To tell you the truth it was so convenient and the price was under 50 euros (100% covered by Security Sociale + our Mutuelle aka secondary) and it was less than our regular pediatrician (70 euros FYI).  In a day or so the wheezing stopped (we were given steroids to help her with that) and her cold symptoms subsided. I believe the antibiotic eye treatment opened both of us up to the 2nd consecutive cold.  Maybe it killed off all our good bacteria?  I read online afterward that pink eye if (non bacterial) goes away on it's own in due time.  So next time I will consult with the doctor in detail to see if this was the cause of our 2nd cold. 

July 10th even though she was still sick she decided why not...and started to walk around the furniture! 

July 16th she started to really enjoy bath time!

On July 23rd she started to wavy hi and bye...so cute!

After mid July we started to enjoy being outside and picnicking daily for lunches (the kids and I).

We completely switched to table food...because after her colds she started to refuse baby food.  How does a baby do this you ask?  By spitting it in your face!  She liked to feed herself.  She didn't really swallow most of it.  Just chewed and spit it up.  The doctor agreed that since she had 4 teeth including her front teeth she could start to eat table foods.


By the end of the month she was clapping and swaying to music.  Let the fun begin!  She is really growing fast... 






August - 9/10 months

She was in full force separation anxiety and attached to me by the hip!  She really had been experiencing this for 2 months.  She would scream when someone new (or if she hadn't seen someone in a few weeks).  I was worried she would have a hard time with our trip to the US.  And...I was right!

The jet lag did not help any...Little Man did fine (waking up a bit early 2-3 mornings) and mostly because of Little Miss.  

She had her 1 year (even though technically she was 9 months) Korean Birthday Party (Doljabi). 

And a more Traditional Hanbok
She cried most of the party except for her choosing ceremony ;-)
More about this in a future post...

It turned out after her party...she got a fever and broke out in a rash.  And it was Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.  Which sounds bad but it's just a Virus with a specific rash.  It is highly contagious and we must have picked it up in Paris before leaving (since the incubation period is 6-10 days).  Once the fever broke she started to feel normal and I was relieved as I was just about to go on a trip with my sister for 3 nights/4 days!  We saw a doctor to make sure of the diagnosis (just in case Little Man got it too).  BTW he never did get it, either he must have already had it (doc said it is a one time disease like Chicken Pox) or we kept them a part just in time. 





Little Miss did well without me.  She just substituted me for my husband and he had a little companion to join him everywhere he went (like it or not).  He did really well alone (well with his parents help) with the kids and I was so relieved.  He had a new found awareness of what I go through daily ;-)

More on our vacation on a later post...but we felt that the 3 weeks flew by fast.  We were busy most days and wish we had relaxed a bit more.  But it was great seeing all of our family we will be reunited soon for my sister's wedding (which we can't wait for!). 

Back to Little Miss...this month was pretty calm.  She perfected her crawling, standing up on furniture, walking around furniture and most of all getting used to strangers/new people!  By the end of the trip she was way more open to people.  It took my sister 3 weeks but by the last few days she was holding her with no eyes searching for me or tears! 




 September - 10/11 months

This month she received another tooth so the total is now 7!

She started Halte de Garderie (aka part time daycare) 2 mornings a week.  In France we do a week long adaption.  Meaning we go everyday for that week and slowly introduce the separation (1hr with parent, 1 hour with parent, 30 mins separation, 40 mins, etc...).  She has been having a difficult time of the separation and even cries when we enter the room.  She senses or can understand French when I am told it is time to leave (she starts to cry).  But Monday went very well she was separated from me for 1 hour.  I am hoping that they are able to put her down for a nap on Friday and then we will be home free (well 4 hours free!). 

She had a runny nose this month too...and it's been 2+ weeks.  It is considerably better but really how can a nose be runny that much!?!?  There are no other symptoms (i.e. cough, fever etc...).  So we are just keeping it clean with saline and sucking out the boogies.  I also had a cold a few weeks ago Little Man must have brought something home from Maternelle (he did not get it and it was before we started at Halte de Garderie). 

We hired our first babysitter and things went very well with our 2 times away (once for a meeting at Little Man's new school and once for dinner).  I foresee a lot of dinners in our future now!


Update on teaching aids for (small) toddlers

I wanted to update this blog on our successes and/or failures with the teaching aids/activity books we bought back in 2011.

Here is my original post

The Brain Quest series was a success he adored the My First Brain Quest (when he was 2 years old) and quickly surpassed it and we bought Brain Quest for Threes.  I also bought the Write & Erase Alphabet Set and Write & Erase Numbers but they were a bit too advanced for him at age 2.   We will go back and use these now since he is 3 years old.

We also bought some Kumon Series Books.  We tried Kumon Tracing Book for 2, 3 and 4 year olds when he was 2.5 years old.  He did well with the simple straight lines and a few curves.  Recently I brought out the book and he was able to complete almost the entire book in 2 hours time!  He can now make lines, curves and even x's +'s and the letter H! 

This is why I stated we will go ahead and try Brain Quest's Write & Erase Alphabet and Number Sets.  He is really starting to write and draw things that make sense ;-)

So in summary...buying these workbooks at age 2 is a bit too young.  But 2.5/3 years old is really a good time.  My son recently started Maternelle (aka preschool here in France starts at 3 years old).  By the end of the school year he will learn how to write his name!  So we are practicing with him at home.  I am also worried about his English Language skills so since he is getting so many hours of French.  I will need to find some supplemental workbooks etc...in English when we are in the US again in 6 months time.  If anybody has any recommendations please feel free to comment. 

I read to him daily so if you have any good book rec's pass them along also.  I am always looking to stock up while we are home.  But Amazon.fr is always a good source for English books as well (more $$ but hey...the cost of an extra bag or the weight limit probably is more!). 

 TN

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review - French Mamma's Pregnant in France

Book Review - French Mamma's Pregnant in France
http://www.frenchmamma.com/pregnant-in-france-book/

Need to know what to expect when expecting in France?  This is the book for you! 

Pregnant in France has everything you will need to know to feel confident and prepared on your big day!  French Mamma includes helpful medical vocabulary, quizzes, information on the French Healthcare System and even her personal experience (the good, the bad and the ugly). 

I wish French Mamma had written this book before the birth of my second child (YES which was in France) it would have saved me many, many, many sleepless nights (mostly from doing Google searches ;-)!  READ IT!





Thursday, July 5, 2012

3rd Birthday American Style + Frenchies = ;-)

We were battling over whether to throw Little Man a 3rd birthday party or not.  And if we did who would we invite (friends from the neighborhood, English speaking friends or family and close friends)?

We have been really getting to know a lot of people lately.  Not just from Little Man's halte de garderie (part time daycare) but also through an English Group we are a part of.  It was hard to decide since SOME of the English Speakers aren't all French Speakers.  And I wasn't sure if the French Speaks could all speak English since I have only spoken French to them.   So we did not know if they would mix well.  We decided to go with just friends from the neighborhood!  So the Frenchies it is...

With a little help from Little Man we decided to throw a Robot Party ;-)

Here are pics of our invites we handmade!


I decided to do something VERY American and have cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies!

OH MY the cookies were to die for!

For the cupcakes I decided to be French Friendly and just do a dollop of frosting (homemade btw!)



Here is Little Man saying he is ''tree years old'' ;-)


All in all it was a good time and we got to bond a bit more with our neighborhood friends.  Who btw will mostly be in Little Man's Preschool (Maternelle) Class in the Fall!

Recipes:

Cupcakes - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/detail.aspx
Cookies - SOOOO GOOD! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Frosting Recipe -  4 cups sifted confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
                              1/2 cup butter softened
                              1 teaspoon vanilla
                              3 tablespoons milk
                              food coloring optional
                              -in large bowl beat with an electric mixer




Monday, June 11, 2012

Bilingual - Language Development - Little Man

So I have never commented on Little Man's language skills.

Sorry...I have been pretty busy lately ;-)

I have read many times that bilingual kids are late talkers.  But good news no issues here!

He was recognizing many many words by 13 months (i.e. baby, bird, panda, ball, duck, belly button, ears, nose, feet and shoes).  So we knew talking was on it's way.  He (technically) said his first word "Tiger'' at 15 months but then never said it again for a long time.  It's funny because that is F's College Mascot.  Coincidence I think not!  The 2nd OFFICIAL word was "Mama'' at 15 months followed by ''Papa'' at 16 months.

At 17 months he was saying Tchin Tchin (Cheers in French), Dodo (night night), Caca (Poop) and Miam Miam (Yummy).  He was recognizing many more words and he also could make a lot of animal sounds (chicken, lion, bear, monkey, dog and sheep).

At 18 months (Christmas Time) he was saying Santa, fish, encore (means more/again in French), please and baby

At 20 months he was saying Thank You and Merci as well as saying Mamie and Papy (Names for his French Grandparents).

At 22 months he started to add Verbs!  Casser (to break) and Cacher (to hide).  Words he started to use were water, cookie, bread, again and more (in English).  He started to repeat everything we said at this age. 

Just before his 2nd birthday he made his first sentence (in French)...Il est là and Il est parti both were using the Past Tense! 

At 25 months he learned his soon-to-be baby sister's name, started to form his first sentence in English (not a full sentence) he said ''You go'', started to say his own name and he counted in English (skipping a lot of numbers but mostly in order).

At 26 months while on vacation in Dordogne (Region known for Medievel Castles) he was trying to say Cheval and Chevalier but in Theo's language it is Falal and Falalier (Horse and Knight in French).  Other words learned this month were - outside, chercher ballon (first command - go get the ball), pecher (verb to fish), cache papa cache (means hide papa hide but he meant swim underwater papa), spashing (aka splashing) and Alwhite = Alright

Also at 26 months he said his first 3 English Sentences!   "I did it", "Little Man (he said his name) farted too" after papa farted and then after we were laughing hysterically he said "Little Man's (he said his name) so funny!" After these first English and French sentences his language really exploded.  Too many sentences to count or to keep track of.

At 27 months colors were a big accomplishment - Blue/Bleu he knew very well.  Rouge/Red pretty good.  Jaune/Yellow is his favorite so everything is Jaune.  Pink/Rose - is pretty good.  Vert/Green not very good with this color.  Still trying to expose new colors Purple, White, Black, Brown - he fully learned them all by 29 months.

At 28 months he said his first French negation sentence - Ylon ne manger pas (Tiger does not eat).

At 29 months he started to use contractions - can't find it, can't reach it

At 30 months he was able to tell me his ear hurt.  We caught an ear infection early!  


At 34 months he could recite a book we read at night by himself

Now to present just a few weeks shy of 3 years old...he is fully bilingual.  I do see some long pauses from time to time.  When he is trying to translate something from one language to another.  Also these pauses occur when he gets stuck on a noun he does not know the name for.  Instead of finishing the sentence with a general word like ''this'' or ''that'' he looks at me or my husband for help. 

He usually speaks the correct language to people.  Meaning if they are French speakers he speaks French and if they are English he speaks English.  He has been doing this for awhile.  He translates a lot of what his grandparents/papa says in French into English for me.  I think he thinks I don't understand haha! 

I only speak English to him (and his baby sister).  We subscribe to One Parent One Language.  We read every night (but my husband and I take turns so half French half English).  People ask all the time which language is he stronger in.  I think it is English.  And I believe my husband agrees.  BUT he is starting a French Preschool in the Fall.  I think I will need to step up the English speaking, reading and playgroups a bit to keep up the English language learning. 

Any tips or suggestions?  My worst fear is that he will get behind...

I would consider a bilingual school but I really don't think there is a real need here in Paris and in a One Language One Parent home.  We are also highly active with the English Speaking Community (having playgroups every other week).  My concerns are a bit eased because my husband is fluent and he was not a native (mother tongue) speaker like our children.  But it's always in the back of my mind.  Plus these bilingual schools are a terror to get into.  Just like those prep schools you hear about in NYC.  i.e. 9 spots and 100 kids apply!  There is only one nearby us (it's Catholic...which doesn't bother us too much) the rest are in the burbs.  Of course French school is free from age 3+ and the added expense of private bilingual school...I just can't seem to want to waste money IF I can teach them effectively.  Or if I see there is a problem I would hire a tutor to come in weekly. 

With the kids together I often wonder what language they will choose to speak ;-)  So far it is English!  But she is only 8 months so I don't know if it counts haha!

Let me know if you have any ideas...

TN

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Teething!

Ahhhh...the dreaded teething issue most babies go through alas we are right in the middle of it!  Poor Little Miss is pushing out 4 of her top front teeth at the same time :-( .  Little Man was 11 months when he got his first and rarely had many symptoms (normal drooling, slight fever and loose stool).  He was never irritable and never had sleepless nights.  But this poor baby is. 

It all began Friday night.  We had a play date in the park that afternoon and she was adored by an adorable but sick 2 year old boy.  He just wanted to touch her face ;-) .  That night she woke up at midnight and wouldn't go back to sleep.  We tried to see if coming in our bed would help but she just tossed all night.  No one got any sleep!  The next morning I figured it was due to her being hungry because i fed her a late snack and then she didn't want dinner (only a few ounces).  We went along with our day.  That night she ate her full dinner and still woke up at midnight screaming.  I tried everything to get her back down...she ended up having a bottle at 4 am and falling asleep on me.  I noticed a runny nose and assumed she had caught a cold from the little boy.  I also notice 2 white spots where her lateral incisors should be (the teeth next to the top front teeth - which should be the next ones to come in).  She was also drooling a lot.  I knew she was teething but the last 2 teeth did not bother her at all.  Sunday night was the same. 

Finally Monday I decided I would figure out was going on.  I was so confused maybe it's this or that...oh yes it's this oh maybe it's that!  But it all comes down to just teething!!!  I finally felt one of the teeth popping through and 2 more white spots meaning more teeth coming.  BTW a runny nose is a symptom of teething!  It's not one that you will find in those books but many MANY people say their children get them when teething.  One doctor told a mother it's true/possible even though there is no medical reason why...it just happens (same for loose stools and fever!).  Weird how our bodies react to pain.

I am basically just trying to keep her comfortable.  Feeding her as much as she wants, giving her teething toys, holding her more, giving her some tylenol before bedtime, dressing her in a onesie and sleep sack (it has gotten warm here and in Paris and no one has A/C) and if she wakes up putting her in our bed (only if we can't get her back down but trying not to make this a habit).

Last night FINALLY it worked and she slept from 8pm - 5:45am (a little early for my taste but I AM NOT COMPLAINING!)

Maybe she slept because of the tooth pushing through, maybe it was all my efforts to make her more comfortable but I am for sure going to keep doing all of them ;-)

Her is my little brave girl smiling even though she is in pain :-(

Also, she is starting to pull herself up!  She got on her feet too but I was not quick enough :-0. My husband HAS to lower her mattress STAT