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September 2007

And we're off...

In less 45 minutes I have to get the baby up from his morning nap, dress him and go. We're going to visit a friend down in the south for some rest and relaxation. It's good timing because I need a break from the city. I can tell because I have a sinus infection starting up. That always seems to be my body's way of telling me get the heck out of Parisian dodge.

Traveling with a small infant takes a lot of planning. Unlike my procrastinating self, I packed last night. Be it at 11pm but it's better than first thing this morning.  I've been known to do this before international flights to the US. Good thing I did this because last night Maximilien was not having it with sleep. He was up almost every two hours wanting to nurse. He was constantly sucking/gnawing on his hand which tells me his top teeth are getting close to making an appearance. Poor bubba. I am sitting here with less than 40 minutes to go before have to walk out the door to catch the metro. We are packed. One rolly  carry-on size suitcase for Max and I for 4 days of travel. Also traveling with a baby makes you a light packer. My toiletries bag and Max's diapers take up the half the suitcase.  Note to self, time to invest in a good travel backpack for short trips. I don't know how I'm going to manage the Maclaren + Metro + rolly suitcase.

This morning Julien snuggled with Max on the bed and they whispered daddy/son secrets to each other.  Julien is staying in Paris to hold down the home front and is busy at work with important projects. Though he will miss Max (Me, maybe a little?) I think he will welcome the next three nights of quiet, uninterrupted sleep. I'm glad, he deserves it.

So, we're off... we'll be back Sunday evening. This little boy has traveled more in his 6 months of life than I did in my first 17 years of life. Lucky boy! And I am so lucky to be able to show him the world, already.


Let's add solids to the routine, shall we?

We are full force into baby food in our house. It took a little while for Max to get used to the textures but now he's excited to try new things. Like a baby bird with his mouth open, he sits and waits until I spoon in the next bite. Since we've started solids as a dinner time thing, the evening extra bottle of breast milk has gone away.  Our new evening ritual is to strip down to his diaper for dinner, he gets one veggie and half a fruit helping. I let him explore feeding himself. More times the food ends up in his hair or on me but he is learning and getting better at putting the spoon in his mouth. Then it is bath time, a book and finally he nurses before bed. Before we started solids it was pretty much the same routine except he'd nurse before bath and then get a bottle before bed. Usually after he'd finish off his bottle, he'd cry out for more.  I'd let him top himself off on the breast and then he'd be ready for bed.  Now he seems much more satisfied and zen before bed. I like that. :)

This week we started gouter. Or as the French call afternoon snack time. Traditionally this around 4-5pm, kids will have an after school snack of tartines of nutella, a fruit and a bowl of milk or juice.  Of course, we'd like to stick to the tradition of nutella and baguette that my husband grew up with. But it's a little too early for Max to try nutella. Though Max is all about the baguette! So  for now we are going to stick with fruit purée.  This week we had banana and prunes. Also, gouter is my way of transitioning through the late afternoon nap (or nap #3) for Max.  I can see that it is starting to phase out already!  Soon, I'd like to have gouter while we are on our afternoon walks.  Maybe I'll start a gouter group where we can meet up with other kids and have gouter in a park in Paris.      

This weekend I am visiting a friend and am hoping to get inspired on new "dishes" I can make for Max.  I've had a few hits but mostly misses making my own food for Max. But I'm inexperienced and am still learning.  For now, Max has been eating organic baby food I found at my local bio marché.  I've also started getting an organic basket of fruits and vegetables from Le Campanier every week in an effort for Julien and I to eat better. I know I that will give me ideas for new purées to try out on Max.

Mama's milk is still his main source of nutrition. And I can tell he prefers that over everything else. I don't blame him! :)

Veggies Max loves:

Carrots
Broccoli
Pumpkin (Potiron)

Fruits:

Nectarines
Peaches
Banana
Prunes

On our to try list:

Tofu (in cubes)
Zucchini (again)
Sweet potatoes

What foods have you been feeing your babies or fed your babies in the past? When did you start giving them actual bits to try to eat? I ask this because I can tell that Max is more interested in feeding himself then being fed by Mama.


6 Mois

Dear Maximilien,

You are 6 months old today.  My days and nights of this last month have run together. Most day I don't even know what the date is. I am relishing this time with you because I know it will all change someday. We'll be on school schedules and maybe work schedules again. But for now, no set schedule is working great for us.   But there is one schedule we follow and that is your sleep schedule.  The day you turned 5 months old a wee little tooth made it's appearance. Then less than 12 hours later another one cut through. Those two little teeth threw your sleep and my sanity into a tailspin that we have just recently recovered from.  I'm happy to tell you that you're sleeping again. And so am I. And I must say that since I let go of a lot of the stress this sleep thing was causing, you and I feel a whole lot better. I just went at your rhythm though chaotic at first and now everything has regulated itself and you are sleeping again.

Looking straight through you

You're becoming so much more of a physical baby. Constantly grabbing at things within your reach. You even grab at people's hands if they are hanging within range. This has startled a few people on the bus but then you flash them a smile and they relax. I love how you are so loving with all your expressions. Anyone who encounters you on the street is utterly enchanted by your smiles.

I see the world differently now that you are in my life, Max. I look for quiet parts of Paris for us to explore. Just today we found a lovely new bookstore that I now want to take you to everyday so we can sit together and read all the wonderful books they had. The owner was so smitten with you she said to come back anytime. I've scoped out parks that I am anxiously awaiting to take you to play at. Today we go to the parks and watch the older kids play. You are curious about these bigger beings running around you. Not really realizing yet that you will grow up to be just like them. I watch as the other parents help their kids down the slide and climb the rope ladders and imagine you and I doing that.


He sucks his bottom lip

Thanks to you, Max, I've found my imagination again.  I guess I had grown out of it or forgotten but these days you can find me lost in thought imagining all the wonderful things we'll do.  Even now as I write this, I am waiting for you to wake up from your afternoon nap. Waiting so we can play tickle monster on the bed and read books and blow zerberts at each other.  I want you to know that I am having the best time of my life right now thanks to you.


Happy half birthday!

Love,

Mama


Mama gets to indulge her sweet tooth

I'm not one to go to fancy restaurants unless I'm being invited for a special occasion. I prefer my local haunts in the 13th where it feels like I'm eating dinner in someone's home rather then being presented a piece of art that is food. But funny as I avoid fancy restaurants I found myself this week in the midst of decadence and utter "French-ness". My father-in-law was in town for business and wanted to take my husband, Max and I out for drinks near where he'd be having his business dinner.  He said let's meet at La Durée near La Madeleine.  I had vaguely heard of La Durée but I knew that the neighborhood of La Madeleine was chic. Last year for work I had to go there once a week and would walk by the designer shops and admire the season's fashions and look at the L'Eglise La Madeleine and tell myself that I needed to go in someday and visit.

Well, La Durée was a lovely experience. Not a restaurant but more of  a pastry shop full of history literally down to the building where the shop is located. They are famous for their macaroons.   Max entertained the server by trying to eat the marble topped tables. She acted like it was cute but I sense she was a bit outré at the sight of a child drooling all over the place. As I tried to keep Max under control I kept getting these looks from other women in the shop. Perhaps we were disturbing them? Max was babbling away very loudly. Maybe French mamas don't bring their kids to places like this. I looked over at my father in law and he took Max from me and played with him loudly. It didn't matter to him that Max was being loud, so I quickly forgot about those women looking at me. Instead I enjoyed my cocktail de fruits pressée and dove into the lovely plate of macaroons my father-in-law had ordered Julien and I. 

La Durée

Definitely felt like I was in a "so French" moment. Even my father in law admitted that it wasn't a regular place he would visit when he came to Paris but every once in a while having something decadent is fun.


Utter cuteness

I'm sitting here reading morning emails, my son is waking up quietly in his bed. He rolls over and starts talking to himself. I peek in to see what he's doing. He's having a conversation with the animals that hang from his leaf canopy. I surf Flickr for a few minutes and then I hear silence. I peek in again and find him rolled over on his stomach and he's asleep! 

So adorable it makes my heart swell.

Now, if he could do this at 3am that would be awesome. :)


Another thing to cross off my 30 things list

I drove in Paris. It was only for 10 minutes or so until I drove myself right out of town to a friend's house. But I did it. And I survived. On the way there I kept reminding myself, "Prioritaire à droite". Repeating it over and over in my head. In France, when someone comes at your on the right you have to yield the right of way. Totally weird for us Americans. But I didn't have any problems on the way to my friend's house. I almost ran a red light but caught myself at the last second. Oh, what is up with the lights being so small? I nearly missed this light because I didn't see it at first? On the way back I was stuck in traffic. And it seemed like I hit every light. Fortunately for me, Max fell asleep in the back seat so I didn't have the added stress of a crying baby. But I forgot to repeat to myself, "Prioritaire à droite" and nearly was side swiped by some dude he expected me to stop.  Talk about my heart jumping up in my throat. Max slept through it. We got home safely. Someone stole my parking spot right from under my nose. I was frustrated so I parked our car near the entrance of our apartment and let Julien park the car when he got home from work. Parallel parking a car without power steering is HARD.

The ride home must have really exhausted Max out because for the first time a month he slept through the night. 10 hours. I actually woke up before Max because my breast were so full. I laid listening to my husband and baby sleep (both loud sleepers) and relished the semi-silence.


I forsee sleep in the near future.

<Carrots are good.
Mmmm, carrots are good.

We're trying a new nightly routine for Max. After his late afternoon nap, we load up in the stroller for a walk and I run my errands like grocery shopping and pharmacy runs and we stroll in the park near our house and watch the kids play basketball and ping pong. We come home and we strip down naked for dinner (max does anyways) with one solid and mama's milk, a bath, a book and the boob. Also, we've pushed bedtime from 6:30pm to 8pm.  This give him a longer awake period before bed and Julien gets a chance to put Max down.  Before with Max's early bedtime Julien could go the entire day without seeing Max at all.

Tonight, he went down like a charm at 8pm and has not stirred once. As I write this entry it's 11:05pm.

Still working out Max's nap schedule, all this week he's woken up at 7am and gone down consistently at 9am for a nap. This is even true on the nights when he wakes up 5 or 6 times. I am making an effort not to go to Max when he wakes up in the middle of the night unless he's been asleep for more than 6 hours. Then I will go and feed him.  I think what happened was when his bottom teeth came in he got used to nursing so much and now wakes up in search of that comfort even if he doesn't necessarily need it. We are shooting for one night feeding. Two maximum. 

I know that he is still teething, his top teeth are visible so I have pumped up the chamomilla vulgaris and have been giving him some at each diaper change.  He really loves sucking on the little granules.  I am absolutely enchanted with homeopathic remedies. And have started him on some jalapa in the evenings to help with his restlessness.   I'll write more on homeopathy later and share all the remedies we are using chez nous.

That's the sleep update for now.... I'm off to bed. Julien and I have been having a Guinness after he gets home from work. And for the last two days I have to say that I've slept very well.


Edit: The moment I clicked save on this entry, Max woke up. Crying. *sigh*


It's just one of those days...

when eating cookies all day long makes you feel better....


It's just one of those days...

Not a lot sleep (or blogging) going on at our house and it's starting to take a toll on my husband and I's sanity.  To be honest, I feel more out of my mind now than I did when first came with Max. People kept saying to me, "oh babies change"... yeah no shit.  Every morning I feel like I'm running on fumes, it's really hard making it through the day. 

And lately, I've been missing my mom. I wish I could call her up and ask her for advice. She's raised 5 kids  and I'm sure who've had many sleepless nights. I'd just like to hear her voice again and for her to tell me that I'm doing alright. And then I think about Maximilien not getting a chance to know his grandmother. It's so unfair. I still can't get my mind around it. I don't think I ever will.

I've been trying to figure out how my mom made her chocolate chip cookies. I know it's a variation of the Toll House cookie recipe. I think I've come pretty close.  They taste good and familiar and very, very comforting.

I don't have much time to sit down and collect my thoughts for a real blog entry but I have been distracting myself late at night with Twitter. Feel free to check out what Max and his Mama have been up to the last couple weeks.