Thursday, November 17, 2011

11 Months Old..oi oi oi!

Every day with William is a revelation. I had no idea that being a Mommy could be so much fun (or so messy!)

The biggest news at 11 months is that William is walking! He has taken up to 5 steps at a time. When Greg and I get all excited, he looks at us as if to say "What? I've been working on this a long time!". He loves the increased independence and novelty of walking so much that rather than crawling down the hall to his bedroom, he inches along the wall, commando style! It's very cute. He has also become very verbal in a babbly, baby talk way, although I have deciphered a few words: 'Mama' and 'Papa', of course but also 'hot' in reference to my coffee mug, 'ghakoo' which I think is thank you, '"nana" for bananas, and 'bye bye'. Decipherable or not, he talks up a bluestreak pointing at things, raising his eyebrows and yelling or shrieking of he gets excited (not so cool, this part. We are learning about appropriate times and places to use his "outside voice"). He adores going to the playground, and holds his own really well with the older kids. He continues to have an amazing appetite, eating almost everything. The only thing he sometimes refuses is his pureed food in favor of more mature fare that he can feed himself. He is getting really good at using his own spoon, and often feeds Mom or Dad while we are feeding him. William loves being read to, his current favorite being a Peter Rabbit finger puppet book or anything by Sandra Boynton. He has 2 bottom teeth, and two more coming in on top. He is into everything and I spend a lot of time tidying up behind him. He is bright as a button, friendly and flirty, and just so yummy I could eat him up! Oh, he has also gotten very into French kissing so watch out if you ask for a kiss!

William and I entertain ourselves at home very well. He loves to 'dance' with Mommy: he goes in his jolly jumper to jump and spin while I boogie beside him. It is a lot of fun and great exercise. We also go to playgroup twice per month where the other babies are finally getting old enough to be interesting (we joined the 2011 group so he would be the oldest, not youngest). We do yoga almost every day and William now does some of the moves himself, particularly pattycake and kissy feet. He is in love with the vacuum cleaner so I can count on him following me around when I vacuum. The dishwasher and pot drawers are endless sources of fascination, as is the clothespeg bucket where he takes all the pegs out....then puts them all back in...then takes them all out again. He adores the swimming pool, splash splashing and chewing on a pool noodle!

On his 11 month birthday we had an interview at the local daycare, called 'garderie' here, where William will be starting 2 times per week in January. My heart clutches at the thought of someone else having the joy and privilege of caring for William, but I also recognize that it is good for him and me. For me, I hope to get some French lessons in and for William a chance to interact with other kids. It will also accustomize him to daycare before we go back to Canada and I head back to work( I hope...lots of cutbacks I hear). Of course, these rationalizations will all be for naught that first day I drop him'll be able to hear the boo hooing everywhere. However, I like the garderie as is very bright and clean, and the staff seem caring. It is just in our building so I have been able to observe them for a year as I walked to and fro, and I get good vibes.

As a family we did a littel travelling this month. William and I accompanied Greg on his biannual business trip to the South. It was fun, but the disruptions to William's sleep when we travel is almost becoming not worth it. However we had a better time on our first ever cruise (see seperate post) where William actually slept through the night....once in a row!

I can't believe that tiny little dark haired monkey that we brought home has been with us nearly a year. He was such a shock to us when he first arrived, but now we can't imagine life without him. My Mom told us that's how it would be, and of course Moms are always right!

Monday, November 14, 2011


I wrote this some time ago, but hadn't it posted yet. I find it so interesting to read again following the tragic Costa Concordia accident. This accident doesn't change my opinion of our cruise, and I must say all the staff did their utmost to make us feel safe. True, our emergency orientation did not happen until the second day of our cruise, but it is difficult to scedule as people are constantly embarking and disembarking the ship. It still remains a safe and fun vacation, relatively speaking (and probably cheap now too!).
I can't wait to tell you all about our first cruise! We were not sure what to expect -reviews of the ship were mixed- as well as wondering if crusing with a baby would leave us feeling left out. No captain's dinners for us! But it was an absolutely fabulous expereince for all of us!
Our trip began with a fast train ride down to Marseilles which was a fun start as William loves the train. He went up and down the aisles making friends with everyone, and hung out with Papa in the bar cart. Mama got to sit and read a book....what luxury!
We got on the ship, the Costa Serena, in the afternoon and set off immediately to explore. The ship's staff looked after getting our luggage aboard so already we had not a care in the world. Our room was much larger than we expected and there was a comfy cot set up for William. The decor of the ship was opulent, outrageous, and over the top....very Italian! There were many, many amenities and we did our best to use them all. Greg loved the well equipped gym and went every day. I went to a morning stretch class and finally got my hair cut and a pedicure....all things that are difficult to fit into our daily rounds! We took advantage of the 'breakfast in bed' (although we were never in bed with a fella who wakes up around 6 a.m.) and went to the fulsome buffet for lunch. Dinner was in one of the 4 restaraunts. This made us a bit nervous as getting William to sit through a meal is getting tougher and tougher (and would be impossible without Cheerios) but we were sat with another family with a small child (the delightful Flore, who was the picture of Cindy Lou Who) and so they were most tolerant of his moods. Our favorite dinner was Italian Night, where the staff got us all up dancing and they brought in an opera singer to fete us at dessert.

As William was too little for the babysitting, Greg and I took turns doing other things. I got a wonderful tour of Pompeii which was so impressive. It is an entire city replete with evidence of the availability of fast food, brothels and spas; I had to keep reminding myself that all this existed in 79 AD!! Greg really enjoyed his tour to Mount Etna, where he got a fanstastic view of the area. Mount Etna still erupts regularly, but is a slow flowing lava volcano, so it is safe to get right up to the crater. Overall we didn't mind switching off care of William, but this was perhaps our one regret from the trip: no romantic dinner for two! ( Next time.....).

William was the star of the ship. All the staff couldn't resist pinching his cheeks or stroking his hair. Many of them have left their families at home and so are itching to interact with a baby again. William loved all this attention and showed them all his tricks: waving bye bye, clapping his hands and giving them his megawatt smile. He also loved the baby pool -lots of splashing- and all the buttons the elevator.

Our stops included Savona (very quiet as it was Sunday), Napoli (where I went to Pompeii), Catania (in Sicily), Palma de Majorca (where we enjoyed a long walk in the sunshine), and Barcelona (such amazing architecture!). We also spent one day at sea, which we loved as it gave us time to do all the activities we wanted .It's really something to look out and see nothing but makes you feel small and insignificant, but also contained and self reliant in your ship-world.
We loved cruising and hope to do it again soon.