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Oct 28, 2010

Happy 6-month birthday, little girl

Charlotte just turned 6 months today. She is a big baby already: 99 percentile in length!

She continues to be a very good sleeper. She actually sleeps a lot for her age. Even her teachers at daycare have noticed. She can easily still take 4 naps a day and gets tired after 1 good hour of activity. But she is still developing at the right pace (I think), so this might just be her way of processing things. She needs the rest in order to work very actively when she is awake. And I don't mind!

Among other updates, Charlotte can now sit by herself with no support, although she gets tired quickly and she might start fussing or even falling after 5 or so minutes. She can roll from back to front, and is trying to turn the other way too, with limited success so far. She is getting more comfortable being on her tummy for a while, and she is trying to push into crawling. She is still months away, I think.

Just this last week, Charlotte started saying "mama". Not sure if this has the right meaning quite yet, but Charlotte definitely uses this word to communicate with us. The other day, she called after me, right after I left the room. Not sure if she knew what she was asking for, but it was much better than crying, and it was rewarded with me coming back to see her right away. Hopefully, this will be a good incentive for her to continue practicing speaking.

Charlotte started solids a couple of weeks ago. She seems to like it, although it might just be the fun of chewing on the spoon more than the food itself. She is starting to get the hand of it for swallowing. Hopefully, things will get less messy as she gets the technique. We will add more variety in her diet in the weeks to come.

Oh, and as an additional update: 2 teeth starting piercing on her 6-month birthday.

Progress, progress.

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Oct 25, 2010

Science and language learning at 2.5 years

Today, on the way back from school, I had a very interesting discussion with Daniel in the car. It started with Daniel asking who had built the car I was driving, and proceeded with a lot of questions about things that can be built vs. things that grow by themselves. We went through the explanations that trees don't need to be built. They just need water and grow by themselves. But wooden fences need to be built. And so on...
I think the categorization between these 2 concepts worked pretty well for Daniel until he asked if sand was built or growing with water. Well, it turned out that there are more than 2 categories, and so I had to go on and explain another way things might be. That's when things started to become more complicated. Daniel continued asking if kids were built or growing with water... Hm, not really either.
We had a very good discussion about all kinds of different things, and we ended up returning to our topic of cars. We identified that cards didn't have eyes, so they were objects and not people.

I think this was one of the most complex discussions I have had with Daniel so far. He was very engaged asking questions and repeating the key concepts I was discussing. This is how I realized that the world is complex for kids to learn. We, adults, take all of these facts for granted. But for kids, identifying patterns, and learnings what belongs where is a difficult job. No wonder Daniel was completely exhausted by the time we got home....

On the other topic of learning languages, Daniel is continuing his slow but steady progress towards making real sentences in French or German. It still only represents a fraction of what he says, but he frequently says entire sentences in French, and the grammar is mostly correct. It also include prepositions, verbs, etc... English is still the dominating language by far, but it's encouraging that he keeps trying.

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Oct 22, 2010

Time for Christmas cards planning

Two weeks ago, we attended this great wedding in beautiful Santa Barbara. The location was perfect: right by the beach, and the weather cooperated: very warm all the way through the evening. We could enjoy having drinks outside and watching the sun set. The adults obviously had a great time. But even Daniel and Charlotte did really well. Not sure if I would say that Charlotte had a great time. But she definitely didn't mind playing with a variety of new, very friendly people. Daniel loved the new experience of music, dancing, seeing the groom come to the wedding on a horse, etc...
And we managed to take a decent family photo, which I hope we will be able to use in our Christmas cards this year.

Because, yes, this is this time of year again. Within 2 weeks, the weather changed to rain and wind. Days are clearly getting shorter, and pumpkins are "flourishing" everywhere. The Holidays will be upon us quickly, so it's not too early to start thinking about Holiday cards. Fortunately, I already know where I can find great cards. This year, Tinyprints is offering the largest selection of great and unique Christmas card designs. Not only does it include the usual formats with all the details that make the cards special. But this year Tinyprints introduced a lot of new formats that you can't find anywhere else: round, ornament cards, flip cards and pop up cards, trifold cards, story cards and more. Choosing is going to be tough. Good that I am starting early. Now on to browsing my favorite site to start identifying my favorite cards...

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Oct 3, 2010

Mobility 101

I should have known that this wouldn't last. Charlotte has been such an easy baby and happy baby so far... to the point that I even had concerns that she might be quite introvert, not really demanding anything and hard to upset.

Well, this has changed, like 180 degrees, in 2 weeks. Charlotte started rolling, and with that, she discovered a whole new world of possibilities. The idea of lying on a play mat for hours doesn't sound that great any more, and she wants to move, constantly. Except that she can only roll in one direction and she ends up on her tummy, completely lost and frustrated because she can't go anywhere. She looks as if she wants to try to crawl but she isn't even able to move an inch. She is starting to sit by herself quite well, but she puts herself out of balance from trying to reach to toys far away. So she ends up in a position she doesn't like, helpless. And this generates lots, lots of crying.. all weekend long!

What happened to our quiet baby? Part of me is relieved that Charlotte is showing interest in moving and discovering new things. It means that she is not that passive after all. But I know that we will be going through a couple of hard weeks, until Charlotte is able to master some basic moving skills. I can't remember when Daniel started rolling in both directions, but I know he crawled at 7.5 months. This is another 2.5 months away. Long time to be frustrated!

I hope that Charlotte won't end up moving too much during her sleep, until she is able to master rolling on both sides. Daniel went through a phase where he would wake up on his tummy in the middle of the night. He would get so panicked/frustrated that he would cry for 1 hour in the middle of the night. I am fine with the crying during the day, but I sure hope that Charlotte continues at least to be a good sleeper. Fingers crossed!

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