Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What a difference three days make!

So the trend of not wanting to sleep until after 9:00pm continued for two more nights. I'm hoping not to jinx myself here, but Santi actually went to bed tonight with no resistance at 7:15pm! The sleep fighting till 9:00pm (or later!) seems over. I'm knocking on wood that that means he's made the adjustment to daylight saving time. It's currently 8:45pm here and still twilight.

I don't know if it helped that I closed the shutters and curtains in his room before his bath, so that he didn't see anymore daylight while he was getting his pj's on. I usually close them after I put his pj's on, while he plays a little on the bed and looks at books. After reading some advice about how being "overtired" can actually make kids hyper and have more trouble sleeping, I also insisted on him going to bed as quickly as possible after dinner. I even rushed his bath. I usually ask him if he wants to get out and wait until he nods and raises his arms to be picked up. Today I pulled him out even though he turned away from me and wrapped his arms around himself, which is what he does to say "no! more bath!". But as soon as I wrapped him in a towel he collapsed with his head on my shoulder and arms around my neck, so I might try doing that more often. After that he played a little while putting on jammies, but quickly started pointing to his sleep sack and crawling into my arms.

Momma is MUCH happier tonight than she was yesterday. I just hope he doesn't decide to get up 45 minutes earlier tomorrow morning...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thank you Picard!

I had plans to write a great post exploring the cultural differences between the French and Americans, inspired by the reactions to the new health care legislation in the United States. It would be profound and insightful. Then I spent a weekend taking care of an energetic 14 month-old and my brain turned to applesauce (or compote as they call it here).

The longest I've cared for Santi on my own before was 6 days. This time it'll be 14 days. All I can say is that I'm really not cut out for single parenthood. I know I'm really lucky to have a full-time daycare center. I planned on working from home one day a week while on my own to be able to do things that require heavy lifting (like grocery shopping), since we live on the 6th floor and don't have an elevator. Carrying all 22+ lbs. of Santi, my laptop, my purse and grocery bags or trash bags up or down those stairs is no treat. But I already realize that I'm going to have to do more grocery shopping tomorrow morning, and it's only been 3 days since my last trip.

Yesterday and today were fine. We had a great long walk yesterday on our baguette (mis)adventure and today we stayed in due to the crappy weather and played with balloons, watched "Pinocchio" and drank hot chocolate (Santi was in heaven and was adorable with his chocolate moustache and beard). We even had fun while he ate his dinner (Couscous with lamb. Homemade? I wish. Nope, from a jar. Yes, rub in the guilt. But at least we're in France, and even the mass produced baby food is gourmet here). But then he didn't want to go to sleep at his normal bedtime. The worst part is that he was TIRED, actually fell asleep when I put him in his crib, but woke up a minute later and then couldn't fall asleep again until after 9pm.

ARGH! 7:30pm and beyond is supposed to be "me" time. That's when I finally have a chance to put away Santi's bathtub and toys, shower, clean up Santi's dinner mess and his toys, make and eat my own dinner, clean that up, do laundry, creatively find space to hang it all to dry in our ridiculously tiny apartment, think about how much work I'm behind on, and then relax for a bit before going to bed early (10pm, 10:30 at the LATEST), since Santi has a tendency lately to wake up around 5:30am.

To be fair, his late night is sort of my fault. I let him nap for 3 hours today (I guess that really was my "me" time for today) and we usually don't let him go that long for just this very reason. Oh well, lesson definitely learned.

Anyway, hats off to all you single parents, military "widows" whose husbands are currently deployed, and everyone else who cares for a young child on their own on a regular basis. I really don't know how you do this day in and day out. The only thing that's getting me throughis knowing that it will soon be over. That and the excellent pre-made frozen dinners and sides from Picard (sort of like "Trader Joe's" except it's all frozen foods). Hmmm, maybe they'll be willing to sponsor me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The best baguette in Paris

This, dear reader, is the best baguette in Paris. Literally. It won the 2010 annual competition and will be the baguette served exclusively at the palais de l'Elysée at the president's personal table for the next year.

I stood in line, had to elbow my way out, and got the chocolate Easter bunny that I had also bought for Santi smashed into lots of little pieces by the morons around me within 10 seconds of paying.

Is it good? Yes, very. Is it the best I've ever eaten? No, and I will not be making the trek to the other side of the Montmartre Butte to get it on a regular basis. But, on the occasions when I do find myself there, I'll probably pick one up. If we need some bread.

If you're in the area and would like to give it a try:

Le Grenier à pain, Michel GALLOYER and Anne-Marie GUILLARD
38, rue des Abbesses
Paris, 18th arrondissement

The emmenthal that is my blog

I'm well aware there's a two year hole in this blog (and to be fair, it was on the cryptic side even before that hiatus). So I'll be catching up and filling in the holes little by little as I blog.

Grey Saturday

Well, with Greg in Mexico, I'm taking on a single mom role until April 7, when Greg's mom will arrive to help out during the week before little Santi and I make the trip to Mexico and catch up with papa. It's not as scary as I'd imagined so far (she says 3 days in), but it is tiring. We are very lucky that we were awarded a place in the full-time municipal daycare center. It's top-notch and we pay according to our means.

But the weekend seems a bit long to me. Santi is a little under the weather, which means clingy and easily tired. But it's so much easier now than it was before to take care of him on my own. Now that he can walk, communicate (even if not exactly talking), and play on his own for a few minutes here and there, I don't feel so overwhelmed. He's currently obsessed with a picture book I got him from the library called "Le Petit Pouët" that is about a tiny guy, his trumpet, and a lot of existential angst (so very French).

I need to finish at least the English version of the final report before I leave for Mexico to complete my postdoc grant in good standing. That's the tricky part with no one here. I really have to learn to get everything done at the office (or at night when Santi is asleep, although I'm pretty pooped them too). I realize I have some pretty crappy work habits from grad school, or maybe it's just that I don't have the luxury of working when I want as long as I want. Oh well. C'est la nouvelle vie!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Chichimec a long, long way from home...

For those who remember me, a lot has happened in the past two years. I'm now on the other side of an even wider sea than the Gran Chichimeca. I'm now a PhD, married, mom to a one-year old son, and I've finally settled down (well, for the moment) in Paris, France. Go figure. Anyway, here's to new adventures!