Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This one is great!

I found CRAYOLA!!

I found crayola washable markers. They just delivered to my office. Sophie can add "coloring" to her daytime activity schedule now!

Mom at Work

I like my office so far. It's early days yet, but I am really enjoying what I do and I like my boss.

Sophie really has adjusted very well to me leaving her at home. As Lisa says, after a while you come back and feel almost disappointed .. like "what? you don't miss me?!" Sophie has quite a fixed routine, and I am reasonably happy that the aiyis are keeping to it. Friends dropping in on my home unexpectedly (thank you Julia and Lisa) are a kind of "nanny police", and random phone calls and spot-checks by the Control Freak Mom at Work is all very useful in keeping me reasurred about the princess's wellbeing.

Overall, it is busy but since I know Sophie sleeps so early every night, I am in no real hurry to leave the office (the afternon shift aiyi stays till 9pm) and I can squeeze in my once-a-week bikram class. It does mean that I fully spend only the weekends in her delightful company, and the hour or so in the morning nursing and getting ready for the day. But I think that's a happy enough balance for me.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Next week is going to be fun

Work has kicked up a notch, and I am getting quite excited.

Sophie seems to be quite happy still. We're having a nice weekend together. I invited random Park Avenue Neighbours to come around to try out our new barbeque. It should be fun.

It's all quiet now whilst Sophie sleeps. Her sleeping schedule (for those who are interested!) is...
morning nap 8 - 10am
afternoon nap 2 -3 pm
night sleep - 6:30pm till the next morning at 6:30am

It's more or less clockwork, give or take 30 minutes. I like her 6:30am waking up time because it gives me enough time to breast-feed her, play for a while, shower, have breakfast together, and leave for work at 7:45am. It's a nice morning routine that we have going, and I intend to keep nursing her for as long as she wants to.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday night out on the town

T'was a normal Friday night, a girlfriend, a bottle of bubbly and a suitably pretty location .

As I grow older (and perhaps just slightly wiser) I have found certain things. For example, drinking champagne consistently through the night tends to avoid a hangover the next morning. It really is worth the extra money, when you have a toddler who insists on listening to Abba and playing with finger puppets at 6:30am in the morning. Also for the same reason, you should start and end your night as early as is feasible.

Secondly, I have been trying to learn tact. Really, it is a lot harder than you think for people who just aren't naturally born with it. But in my year of motherhood, I think I have discovered an hitherto unknown talent for it. It's the practice in non-linear thinking which happens when you have a strong willed child and you have to balance many competing concerns (independence vs interaction, exploration vs safety etc...)

Anyways, we finished the night at 8:30pm, my friend left first whilst I finished the rest of the bottle, and when I tried to pay, I realised she had settled the bill on the way out cos she felt so bad leaving that early. It was a nice surprise. And I make a mental note to buy the next bottle of bubbly when we are next together....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Some Korea Photos

and grining for the camera
Originally uploaded by vacheorange.
Only because I know that next week will be busy at work, I thought I would sit down tonight and (finally) upload our Korea vacation photos.

Due to the exigencies of the current work/life/single parenthood juggle, I have had to be quite ruthless in selecting which shots I had time to load. So this is a real quick run through (not in any particularly logical order even!) of our Korean soujourn.

Which feels like so long ago, that I deserve another !!


Fabien called to say that he would be working this weekend in Chang Chun. Actually I already knew he would do that.

I'd been for my hot yoga class with an unquiet mind. Then watched the angry bits trickle out with the sweat. Went deeper into each stretch and filled my lungs to capacity. And the tired disapointed parts of our conversation puffed away with a slow and deliberate exhalation.

It felt good.

I as tender as my muscles. And I couldn't feel pissed off anymore even if I tried.

Short Little Trip

I went to Hong Kong from Sunday night to Tuesday night for (mostly!) work, managed to do a spot of very effecient shopping at Marks for essential items like ricotta and spinach sauces, knickers and socks.

Charlotte was really interested in the "tag team" parenting system that I have with Fabien. It is pretty sumple - we both try our level best to arrange our travelling schedules such that Sophie will at least have 1 parent at home with her. Fabien had a beautiful bonding weekend with her whilst I was away. They went to the park and went shopping together. He thinks I should go away more often so he can have his daughter all to himself. Except the toilet training part (that one he's quite happy to share!)

Some Beijing Airport notes (in case you decide to come to visit)

1) Opening Hours at the money changer at the airport is 9:30am to 4pm so try to fly within these times if you need to change mulah

2) They are VERY strict on the "no liquids" policy I had to throw out my face-wash and buy a new one in HK

3) The breast pump in the hand luggage sometimes needs to be identified (I'd like Sophie to decide for herself when she'd like to stop, though at the end of this year I would start persuading her gently if she's still addicted to my boob)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Belated Photos from last weekend

One of Sophie's birthday presents - from Emmy and Vincent was a swimming suit, which we tried out this weekend. Here is her Papa getting her into it.

We even have a small life jacket.

She's quite reluctant to get out of the water. Even when she's all dry and in her little pink bathrobe, she keeps looking to go back in the pool.

Mummy enjoys the last weekend as a Stay at Home mommy...

And we finish the day looking at the sunset from our balcony

Monday, May 14, 2007

New Beginings

I am so tired. Today was my first day of work.

I think I forgot how tough it was to concentrate on reading an entire complicated transaction with multiple parties and issues. But I am glad to back on track with my job. Deep down inside, I actually do like this stuff... call me a sucker for punishment. This office is start-up, and we are the first batch of Beijing Office hires, so there should be no issues. We will have to go door-to-door to sell our snake oil though!

The one thing I hate is that my feet hurt. I have multiple blisters. Damn these shoes are not broken in, and I haven't worn heels for over a year.

I haven't decided on the future of this blog yet. Stay tuned. I will figure out one way or another.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happiness is a tub of warm water

Happiness is a warm water tub
In the balcony on a summer's day
Float and sink some plastic toys
And invite your friends to come and play

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Sophie turned one today.

Lots of photos to share. We had a tiny little party in our appartment. I followed the standard advice that birthdays for one year olds should be stranger-free, short and simple. So we invited just 3 other babies that Sophie knew - Vincent, Claire and Emmy, for some splashy summer fun on our balcony; whilst their mommies enjoyed the (sanity saving) trinity of cake, cookies and coffee.

I will upload the Flickr photos shortly. But here's a video where you can see that the princess is having a blast with the birthday song.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sophie - future arbitrageur?

A running commentary in Sophie's world..

Hey mommy, I might be on vacation, but I still need to read the business news. Hang on, the widgit futures are overpriced in relation to the cash widgit market.

Better call my office.. Hello? Yes, please liquidate all our widgit positions...

Hey mommy! Instant profit!! Now I can go back and play with my toys!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sophie's First Musical

NOTE: This is a completely 'gushy parent' post. Please skip if you have a weak constitution for this sort of overbearing parental pride.

Sophie is one very lucky girl. I didn't see a musical till I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. I think it was Cats. Sophie has not even turned one yet, but she actually enjoyed nanta in today's afternoon matinee.

She was amazing, clapping and singing through a 90 minute performance. Then we went to walk in the park outside the Seoul Art Museum, in an exhibit called "Art Safari" . One street fair, snippets of outdoor Seoul Orchestra, and some typical useless street fair type trinkets later, and we are back home. I think I could get used to living here. The air is much cleaner than Beijing, I feel like my lungs got a holiday.

No photos as her dopey parents forgot the camera at home. Sigh.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Korean Baths

I had a Korean Hot Spring Bath yesterday. I feel completely relaxed now. You have to have Absolutely no body issues, and walk around stark naked once you get into the women's room.

You feel like a baby being scrubbed because there are these massage beds covered in plastic sheeting, and you lie on them whilst a plump Korean lady in her underwear will massage you with what looks like Brillo Pads! Then slather you with soap and splash alternating hot and cold water your tingling skin.

It's great, and you pay about only 18 USD for the experience. Nobody speaks English so you have to get by with alot of finger-pointing and "sorry-i-am-an-idiot-foreigner" grins.