Thursday, February 25, 2010

A little sunshine changes everything

Vienna is a much nicer place in the sun!
Dare I say it? I think Spring may be on it's way! How wonderful is

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baby and Emma update

At today's ultrasound the baby was head down - yippee! Although he can still swing around and change position I figure if he has done it once, he can do it again.

So those are his feet kicking my liver and my ribs! And I do believe this also confirms that the rhythmical movements I've been feeling down by my pelvis are indeed hiccups.

I was also told his heartbeat was strong, that he weighs 1869gr (great news especially if he were to come early) and measures 38cm.

As for Emma, she's already asleep after a copious dinner of chicken, peas and carrots (she had three drum sticks to herself!) and our weekly gym class. Today was our second time and boy did she have fun! Check out those red cheeks!
(Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera so the pics were taken with my Iphone hence some blurriness)

The class lasts until June and I don't know for how long I'll be able to continue doing this with Emma, but hopefully at least until the baby is born - after that I might have to ask the babysitter to come with us and just cheer them on from the bench with the babe in tow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lady parts dilemma

To get straight to the point: Do you have a girl? a daughter I mean? And if so, what do you call her lady parts?

Emma was 2 and 4 months old when I finally attributed a name to her lady parts. Not because it's a taboo for me, but because I had no idea what to call them!

This in itself is telling.

In French (the language we mostly speak to her in) there are loads of sweet names for male genitals (zizi, zigounette, kikette...) but I still have to hear for an equivalent for girls which does not sound vulgar or too anatomical.

So I asked around.

Some people call it a "pipi" as per it's function. But we already call pee-pee, pipi. Except in kindergarden where they call it "looloo" , which I personally find a bit confusing with "lola" (what Emma calls her dummy/pacifier).

Another French speaking Mum calls her daughter's lady parts "zaza" because it seemed like a reasonable female equivalent to "zizi" (she also has a boy). Zaza sounds like an exotic pole dancer from the Cotton Club to me, but at least it's something. And it's easy to pronounce for kids.

In French, some call it a "minou" which is equivalent to "kitty" but we already call the cats that visit our garden that.

In English I haven't the faintest idea what I would use. I have heard of "nelly" which sounds like the complementary name to the very British "willy" for boys and reminds me of the Little House in the Prairie.
I read about a mother calling her lady parts "kiki" when talking to her daughter and I kind of liked that 'cause it a) rhymes with "zizi" b) is easy to say for a child c) works in all languages.

I've also heard of "la patatina" (small potato) which I think is cute - if you speak Italian to your kids - and of "JJ" or "Gina" from "vagina" but I found those too American and God forbid my daughter have a friend called Gina one day! Then there is "Hooha" which sounds like Al Pacino in "Scent of a woman" (not in this particular scene) - much too adult for my 2 year old.

What about the correct anatomical names? Vagina (vagin in French) and penis? What's wrong with them? After all, we do use "les fesses" when washing her bum in the bath... But somehow they sound very adult like in a child's mouth as well as probably too difficult to pronounce for children. Somehow vagina and penis sound more like the sexual organs and I think they will come into the picture soon enough.

So, back to my initial question: if you have a daughter, what do you use? I'd really be curious to know!

For extra reading on the subject:

Annalisa Barbieri's Family problems solved and Acceptable words for female genitals or
Keir Royale's Front bottoms and wee-wees

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Yesterday our cleaning lady was due in at 9am like every Monday. I wanted to mention a few things to her so Steph dropped Emma off at kindergarden and I waited and waited and waited. No call. At 9h35 I had to leave for an appointment in town so I left her some post-its around the house hoping that would help us surpass the language barrier.

I got home around 1pm and while I was waiting for my soup to warm up, I checked the little piece of paper where the cleaning lady notes down her hours so we can total them up at the end of the month.

It read 9h00-12h30 = 3h30
Mmmm... Not pleased at all.

I decide to give her a call immediately to sort things out. Speaking slowly and distinctly in my best German I tell her there seems to be a problem. I start saying "you wrote down..." and she finishes my sentence by saying 9am to 12h30. I cough a little and say I was here until 9h30 and she was not.

Immediately she replies that today one of her kids was unwell and that she in fact arrived at 9h30 before asking me to wait while she puts her German speaking friend on. Our cleaning might be fluent in Romanian by I am not.

Her friend explains to me that it was a mistake due to her being so used to arriving at 9am, that she automatically wrote down her usual arrival time.
I must admit I am a bit sceptical since she not only stated having arrived at 9h30 but also totaled up the hours to 3h30. It's kind of like lying twice.

I can hear our cleaning lady G. whispering to her friend in Romanian and her friend repeating that it was a mistake. I tell her that I will correct the times on the paper and explain that G. cannot continue working here if I do not trust her. Her friend says she understands and actually provides me with the German word for "trust" finishing my sentence. We say goodbye.


I hate that. The loss of trust. Now I can't help asking myself... G. knows I drop off Emma in the mornings shortly before 9 and often get some groceries and run errands before coming home. She knows what my car looks like. Has she been doing this long?
I don't want to have to be here the whole time she cleans. I don't want to have to ask her to call me from our land-line when she arrives and before she leaves. But don't want to have doubts and feel we are being ripped off either.

UPDATE: I've decided to give G. the benefit of the doubt - she has apologized in what seemed a sincere manner to me and I don't think it will happen again.
Moving on...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Can I whine just a little?

Is it the weather? It's February 5th and I can hardly believe Christmas was only 6 or so weeks ago. Time is craaaawling and I feel, well, not depressed exactly, just a little fed up with the winter and in need of some soft sunshine and coffee on a warm terrace -no gloves, boots or hats to be seen. Ahhh, that would be nice.

It's grey and cold and Spring as well as the baby's arrival seem to be forever away.

Meantime my winter coat no longer zips up (I've found an alternative in a shorter jacket with poppers that will have to do until the temperatures deign to improve), it takes me forever to pull my boots on, Emma's 16kg are playing games with my balance (and my attempts at keeping a stable core and aligned pelvis), and we still don't have a name for our baby boy. Oh and I still have a blocked nose

And I feel overwhelmed by the amount of laundry and organizing - yes, I'm nesting! - after going through ALL of Emma's clothes, separating the too girly from more neutral clothes and setting up little baby boys' bedroom; bed, cupboard, sheets, clothes, curtains, carpet, toy trunk, changing station, lighting, chair to breast feed in...
As far as I remember, setting Emma's room up was fun - this is much more work. Maybe because there is Emma to play and take care of too. Maybe because I need to put my feet up for an hour a day if I want to be even mildly efficient and present at dinner time. Maybe it's just trying to get all this done when the weather's only talent is to inspire me to sink into the sofa with a book or a DVD.


And, in all honesty, I have to admit, there are days when I have spent so much energy trying to be patient with Emma's dawdling and testing of our limits that I wonder how we will ever manage when I will have slept less and have another little one to care for.