Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh yes - Mini's Meme...

Sorry - we are late on this post. I realised I had promised to do it (and did!) but saved it but never got back round to publishing it. Suddenly thought about it when writing my Love Thursday tag, so here goes...

10 things about me, 10 years ago:

1) I was wearing a school uniform which was grey, ugly and almost waterproof ( now I wear the standard mommy uniform of jeans covered with dog fur, scummy t-shirt which can be washed easily)
2) I was utterly and completely convinced that I would grow up to be a lawyer (hahahahaha)
3) I was a Christian. I still am a Christian who thinks God is loving and wonderful but I agree with Karen- "his PR people need to up their game".
4) Beverly Hills 90210 and ER was on TV - The OC and Grey's anatomy is kinda like that.
5) We were still watching Eddie Murphy Beverly Hills Cop - now we watch him reinvented as a talking donkey in Shrek
6) I carried a pager which I lost regularly. I now have a mobile phone, which I have not lost ever since I stopped working as a lawyer (at some subconcious level, I just didn't want to be contacted)
7) I listened to a lot of U2. They are alive and rocking.
8) I also listened to Miles Davies and Leslie Cheung. They are dead.
9) I thought the institution of marriage was going the way of the dodo.
10) And I would not have children....

Monday, October 30, 2006

Date Night Instructions

We love weekends. Long langourous lunches. Visiting friends, walking in the park. This Saturday was our date night - making for an extra special weekend.

Here is how it works:

- Leave wookie with trusted babysitter
- Get gussied up
- walk (not drive) to restaurant, so that you can share a bottle (or 2) of wine instead of those sucky little small carafes.
- Have an apperetivo with friends with anything white, light and sparkly
- Then go out to dinner in your own little two person universe
- Let people compliment you on what a cute couple you are (even if they are just hoping for a tip)
- Open a kitty on the table. Anyone who mentions the kiddo/household mundania has to put a euro in. Do whatever you like with the money afterwards (buy dessert, give to charity, buy another bottle of wine - list is limited only by your imagination)
- Talk instead about anything abstract - tribal art, philosophy of friendship, economics of cows, and how they all relate to sex (only after half the aforementioned nice bottle of wine)
- Linger over coffee and desert
- Walk the long way back holding hands, and stopping to kiss at traffic crossings (even if there are no cars)

No photos. (We were too busy being young and passionate).

The floating, dreamy squishy feeling lasts all the way into the week.

Even a dreary rainy Monday morning can't do anything to quench it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tagging for next Love Thursday

This is as a follow up to my previous post.

I decided that Love Thursday is a great concept, and I wanna tag other people with it just like a meme. It's spelt out in more detail on this flickr group

So here goes -

mini, ~e~, Juney, Nisha, Peter and Gina - You've been tagged! Your mission if you choose to accept it, is to come up with a story and photo by next Thursday to celebrate Love in all forms.

Big kisses and many warm and fuzzy things.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Love Thursday

It is Love Thursday and Love is all around . Rather than whining about the lousy photo that I took (note to Rhys - the background is too bright). I'm done cussing my computer, I'll just be glad for the technology that allows me to capture and share moments like these.

So that is the photo, and this is the Love Thursday Story ...

Fabien and I almost never fight, but we did this weekend. And I wouldn't normally be publishing dirty laundry on a post, but this had such a happy/funny ending that it deserves to be recorded and shared. All of Saturday we were violently disagreeing about how much crying was acceptable in getting our daughter to sleep through the night.

Arguing outside the home guarantees a minimum level of civility because the urge to yell at each other is surpressed by fear of creating a scene (we're kinda English like that). So we walked around and looked at ducks in the Valentino Park. Which would have been quite a pleasant way to enjoy some late afternoon sun if we had less emotive topic to discuss.

We finally arrived at a kind of unhappy compromise tabling the various levels of crying and corresponding actions (you have to be a parent to understand that this required about the same level bargaining as the Oslo Accords), and resolved to put our plan into action that very night.

But it wasn't even necessary.

Perhaps it was all that fresh air or perhaps it was the excitement of duck feeding. Who knows? Who cares. From Saturday night onwards (*drumroll*) our kid is sleeping through the night without even waking once. From 7 pm to 6 am... She must have understood all our discussion from her baby bjorn and decided that her parents were fighting over nothing. Nothing at all.

So bedtime can continue to have happy tummy tickles, nose nuzzles and snuggles, just like in this photo.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We are going Off Line for a while

My poor little Apple ibook is sick.

I need to take her to the doctor at the Apple Store.

Full Blogging service will resume when we either (1) give in to temptation and buy a new macbook or (2) the IT service restores the computer to full health.

It is a pretty old machine (2 years) which we got for our wedding in Singapore (on our wedding wish list) together with the i-pod (which still works fine).


Friday, October 20, 2006

Thank you Peter!

Peter has kindly shed some light on the technical issues involved in getting photos edited with photoshop. I will be trying them out today and if the results are fit for human consumption I can put them on this blog.

I guess I will have the time to work on this, because winter is coming, and we are spending more time indoors. Autumnal air has taken a decidedly wet and chilly tinge, and so it is time for baby winter clothes! I love having a little girl because I can dress her up in pink hat.

but then I needed to buy matching pink boots to go with them, soooo i went shopping, and of course you never only buy one thing from the store ...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hello, Technical Assistance?

My lovely friend Josephine did this for Sophie. She's the talented mummy of Baby Lisa and Lil Sharlyn By the way, on a housekeeping point - all the little baby friends (and their mums!) of Sophie are blogrolled at our other website - chez thibault

Anyway, Josephine gave me a whole bunch of instructions to use adobe photoshop as an editing tool. Which I am sooo trying to figure out, having downloaded the 30 day trial version online.

But it is a diff version from the one in her instructions, and man I suck so big time. I can't even figure out how to start! Can someone brave and more technologically literate gimme a leg-up?!!

Well - strike out "photo editor" as one of my career options!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Feeling the stress

I am getting distressed with our impending move to China. Apart from the zillion admin issues to deal with (get vaccinations for Sophie and me, get driving licence, pack etc..) We need to start saying goodbye to all our friends as well. Instead of a great big leaving party where we end up talking to people like 5 minutes each, I am trying to spend quality time with individual friends. But it is exhausting. Maybe I will just give up and meet everyone once in a big party - but that requires planning and organizing, which is a palaver...

Maybe Sophie has been picking up on all this stress vibe from me.

She has been napping atrociously this past few days. Usually her morning and noon naps happen automatically when I put her in bed (i.e. with no protest crying) but she has been making grumpy noises in her bed for the past 15 minutes now, and seems like she will go into full scale wailing soon. Maybe she misses her Papa (like I do).

Anyway, when we are feeling the heat, all the more we need silly photos like this one.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Visiting Veronica at home

Sophie and I went to see Veronica at home for a couple of first kisses. I cooked for Gina the same stuff she did for me when I came back from the hospital with Sophie. Chicken and black fungus, and milk-prouducing fish and papaya soup. What I was surprised was that Mama Stefania (Demetrio's mother - she is in the background of this photo) actually liked some of this chinese stuff!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

more career angsting

Working as an international attorney is not about being an expert in two systems of law or customary international law or the CISG. It's about being dynamic in a world composed of nations beset on all fronts by illusory boundaries that are defined by mental constructs called laws. Most importantly it's about being creative. The practice of international law requires an attorney to confront issues that have yet to be addressed. quote from transnational law blog

This is me trying to psyche myself up to go apply for jobs. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I am completely under-motivated. I guess I just don't feel like I am going to achieve a good work/life balance because all my previous experience as a fee-earning lawyer does not bring to mind any semblance of balance. The idea that I have to devote even more time to work if I have to retrain as a corporate lawyer is just making me avoid answering headhunter phonecalls altogether.

It is hard because I have already established family life as my priority for now, and I feel like I am being disloyal to a Stepford wife ideal (yeah, I am quite extremist like that) which I already internalised.

There is another traitorous part of my that is itching to go back into the fray. The rush of bloodlust and fear, the caffeine and nicotine fueled nights interspersed with periods of sheer painful drudgery. Intoxicating cycles of highs and lows which suit my maniac-depressive fugues.

ARRGGHHH... There is no locum market in Beijing. A quiet disputes market and a booming corporate market. So really the answer (from a recruitment perspective) is pretty obvious. I just feel like if I am waiting to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight. Wearing Prada.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My most amazing friend

I am so so happy for Gina and Demetrio. Their baby Veronica is so small and cute, and was born at the same weight as me - 2.5 kilos.

Anyway, Gina was walking around and smiling at the camera mere minutes before the big push. We were talking on the phone just after her water broke and she sounded so damn chirpy! After the birth, she was up and talking on the phone and uploading photos and just generally being all healthy and active.

If you don't believe me, look at these photos

It was just awesome.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

5 months today!

Dear Sophie,

I cannot believe 5 months have passed since you showed up to change our lives completely. For the better I might add. It is a great change, and your Papa and I welcome it but we try to keep some semblance of our own "normal" lives intact too.

Only when I see little Veronica I remember that you too were once so adorable and tiny. You are still adorable, but now you are my 7 kilo baby mammoth!

Anyways, I just want to record some of the beautiful things you have shown us this month ..

1) Your developing sense of humour
- you get the joke now. With exaggerated sneezing and threats to tickle you to death, your good friend uncle Demetrio can make you giggle till you get the hiccups.

2) Your increasing awareness of cause-effect relationships
- this month, you have learnt that you have the power to affect both things and people. Your experiments in the laws of gravity include the discovery that dropping your toys means somebody has to pick them up for you.

3) I swear that you do understand the REALLY important things
- I am begining to relax a little because you haven't bitten me at all (despite regularly baring at me your 2 front teeth) I think you got the idea that I was serious when I threatened instant weaning if you ever sank your fangs into my boob.

4) good foundation for toilet training
- You are now consistently pooping when held over the toilet sink, and now we need to figure out how to get you to tell me when you need to pee.

Every month I think that you are at your cutest and most fun, and the next month you continue to surprise me by being even cuter. So keep those surprises coming honey, because me and your dad are just generally nuts about you, and so is the rest of the neighbourhood.

With a billion tummy kisses and belly laughs

Your Momma

Oh yeah - html update: I finally cracked and got a snugglepie account so that I could use the ticker code. My main objection actually was that I refused to be associated with a website called "snugglepie". It just sounded so uncool. But then it appears that most tickers and counters for childrens birthdays all have pretty fuzzy names anyways.

This was one that I wanted to get, but thought maybe it might traumatise her later when she reads this blog:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Commercial break

The first couple of days whenever Fabien goes away for work is always a bit hard because the routine feels a bit out of kilter. Sophie and I amuse ourselves with silly girly photos to capture her moments growing up (in the space of 2 weeks!) when her papa is away...

My little French madmoiselle models jacadi petit fleurs collection - a towel is all she needs to look utterly and completely smooch-worthy.

Aint I the proud parent!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Congratulations Gina!

With each new baby the world is reborn. Gina and Demetrio just welcomed little Veronica at about 5:45pm today.

Check their photos

She is a real real cutie and Gina had a miraculously easy labour. We are so so so happy for them!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A returning social Life

Having a baby changes your everyday routine. Drastically. How do you know when life has kind of returned to normal? When she leaves you alone to have a good saturday lunch. This means, enough time to cook it, and eat it whilst it's still hot.

This is what we had last saturday. Baked trout parcel with potato and fennel, served with a champagne sauce. Lovely crisp Tattinger (can't remember year) to wash it all down.

Our social life has been on an upward curve since Sophie turned 3 months. We have gone out a couple of nights this month without Sophie, or just chucked her into bed in Gina's house (where she obligingly passes out). But we still have to more or less stick to her majesty's schedule.

This weekend we are going to hang out with Gina, and then Fabien disappears to China for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eileen was here

Eileen came to Turin for Sophie's tea party and it was great to catch up with her. She stayed with Gina which was great because that way, my old friend from Singapore could meet my new friend from Turin.

She's left me lots of great books that I've been wanting to read for the longest time like "The World is Flat" (although I think Thomas Friedman is a bit of a zionist). And bought a Beatrix Potter collection of rag books for Sophie.

It's nice to see my friends here because we are leaving for Beijing in Jan 2007. Yep it's confirmed (with much nostalgia) - we go to France for Christmas, and then leave from there to go to Beijing.

I don't have our contact details yet for Beijing, but will put it up once I get there.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


As explained in my earlier post , Baby toys are entirely for Mummy's benefit.

Sophie is becoming pretty easy to look after, because she has figured out how to play by herself. So I can just leave her under the gymini or with Dumbo for up to an hour, and check my email and read the Economist or something before she wants my attention. It's great!

We love those presents!

Big thank you again for those cool presents from all our friends! Fab and I are getting kinda jealous because Sophie has a great travelling toiletries kit from Neal's Yard (courtesy of Eileen), wonderful toys (long list of friends, but notably Michy, Chiara and Gina) and great clothes for winter (yup, the winter collection started already!)

Take a look at Sophie enjoying her new elephant toy,