Friday, February 24, 2012

26th month

Aelig has grown into a little girl.

About three weeks ago, she discovered the snow. We had a tour outside. Now it is easier to tell her anything related to snow.

We feel that she should learn to play by herself. She would do it from time to time. That day I saw her decorating the table with her toys. Yesterday she asked for an apple jam and a cup of water for her tiger and tried to feed him and hold him like a baby.

She has started going to a childcare center half day per week. A little background: In our area babysitters are allowed to work maximum 48 hours per week. Our contract with the sitter is 45 hours but we need 50 hours. In the past, we took turn to take half day off per week. I have used most of my vacation so we looked for another solution. In France the government does provide a special childcare where you could drop your kid for several hours while you run your errand. We signed her in with one closed by and since January she has been going there. At the beginning she refused to go, but now she is happy there. Apparently she doesn't play with other kids but she would observe with big curiosity. My goal is to find her a playmate / playgroup but I found it very difficult. Both me and hubby are not outgoing so it limits our chance to meet new parents / kids.

Another incoming challenges are to potty train her and choose a school for her. Normally she would enter kindergarten this September with condition that she is potty trained. We have been training on and off but she would cooperate one day and refuse the day after. As for school, we have to go visit both the public and the private one before deciding which one is best for her.

I found it scary to be a parent, as we have to make so many decision for our kid which could certainly influence her future development in life.

Side note: Last week we had guest at home so we let Aelig slept in our bed. Since then, she had decided to sneak into our bed. We would put her to sleep in her crib and discovered her in our bed, sleeping soundly. Another hard decision: should we let her continue sleeping in our bed or we should send her to her crib?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reminiscing Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Aelig was with her grandparents so we were having our child-free week again. Hubby was outstation during the day and after picking him up at the train station in the evening, we went straight to our favorite Thai restaurant. When he sat down, he told me: "You know what I want to do now? Go Alama Dratthouse."

This was not the first time he mentioned about this. Back in Austin, we went a lot to cinema and one of our favorites was Alama Drafthouse. It is a cinema combining restaurant + cinema features. So, while waiting for the movie to start, he would order his burger or pizza and me chicken wings. We would enjoy the movie while sipping a beer or savoring a dessert. I remembered we had a movie marathon: Kill Bill 1 & 2. Yeah, eating while watching all those blood splashing...

Watching movie has long been hubby's hobby. In Austin, on average, he went to movie theater once a week. It helped that we had 3 cinemas nearly and one was within 5 minutes walking distance. If we didn't go on Saturday usually it would only costed $5. I watched the first French movie in my life there: Emélie Paulain. So, when we didn't know what to eat and what to do, we would go to Alamo Drafthouse.

Those were the days...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Family Project: Bed Work in Progress

Several months ago I mentioned that Aelig was climbing out of her crib so we were going to buy her a bed. Jérémie shared some photos of her daughter's bed and I totally fell in love with it.

How do you not like this, it is so unique! I love everything related to Totoro. Thanks Jérémie for sharing this photo.

So, my mind was fixed. I was waiting for the sale period but the price stayed the same before and during the sale. No choice, we finally ordered it. Basically, it is a bed that comes in a certain form that parents could paint with whatever picture they want. The size is extend-able.

This is one of Aelig's favorite books. We have decided that one of the surface will be this cat.

I'm hopeless in terms of drawing and painting. So I assigned the task to hubby, who later shared the task with FIL and MIL. Look at the end result, isn't it cute!

Hubby painting the star. He was so concentrated.

She will fall asleep with the the stars, the moon and the cloud.

We have not decided what we would paint on the side against her head. Maybe a little prince with his sheep? We shall see. No matter what, I think she is a lucky girl to have such a cute bed. Don't you think?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Farewell party

The dragon has brought me luck. My application to transfer to my city has been accepted. The three hours road trip to R city every Monday and Tuesday was finally reaching the end. What a relief!

I certainly won't miss the traffic jam in the morning. It is becoming worst year after year.

Driving under a raining day is very stressful. The worst is to pass trucks on the highway as they tend to spread ton of water on the sides and make passing dangerous.

Guess what? Today was the first day I didn't have to drive to R city. And look at the road condition! The snow stayed overnight and made getting out of the parking lot a hassle due to the curve before joining the main road. This morning, two neighbors (women) were trying so hard to get out of the parking lot. Each time they went up to the curve, the car slided back. One stuck in the parking lot for at least 20 minutes. During the time, hubby was scratching off the snow on his car, drove away, then came back to drive my car out of the parking lot. Imagine if I had to drive to R city, alone...

Ok, back to the topic. When someone leaves the company (in my case an internal transfer), he or she will organise a farewell party (unlike in Malaysia and in the USA it is the other way around). Once the farewell party is announced, coworkers will collect a fund to offer the person a little farewell gift during the party. My announcement was made the same day I was having the "pot de départ". My transfer was accepted with the condition that I would join my new team as soon as possible. So, a last minute announcement and I told my coworkers I don't want any gift, their present would be already a valuable souvenir to me.

To my surprise, they offered me this lovely orchids. Many turned up to say goodbye. Some stayed late to chat about cultural differences.

I used this chance to introduce pineapple cookies to my coworkers. They loved it. I also talked about the ang pao (red envelop) tradition during the Chinese New Year. Photo shows the leftover dough I used to make a crab for Aelig.

Overall, I enjoyed the working environment in R city. Coworkers were distance at the beginning, but the more you get to know them, the more you appreciate working with them. I would certainly miss the Monday lunch gathering with friends who have enriched my life, and your friendship is deeply needed, and appreciated.

A new chapter begins...