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Monday, 31 January 2011

One year on

So, on the 5th January my little baby was one year old. I felt so proud to have sprouted a little darling such as Leon that has grown so much in a year. It felt odd looking back to when he was just a vulnerable little being new to the world knowing that he's now so independent (well... to an extent!) and no longer seems like a little baby.

And so here is his journey from little sprout to little boy:

3 months
6 months
9 months

1 year
How we celebrated
My family have a tradition of seranading the lucky birthday girl/boy with Las Mañanitas in the morning en masse mariachi-style with a guitar. Today was no exception and hubby and I belted it out  much to Leon's amusement. I even donned my sombrero for the occasion.

Estas son las mañanitas, que canto el Rei David,
A los muchachos bonitos se las cantamos asi,
Despierta, Leon, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió. 

*This is the morning song that King David sang
We sing it like this to the cuties
Wake up, Leon, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has gone 

This was soon followed by a kingly breakfast then lots of playtime. We celebrated his birthday with family and friends young and old at a local pub where we cut his amazing jungle cake (if I say so myself ;) and sang Happy Birthday FOUR times (English, French, Spanish and Italian.... it got tiring).

Jungle cake in the making!
After enjoying a lot of the cake he was spinning on the table round and round like a breakdancer laughing a lot - perhaps was a sugar rush?? Maybe he was just really happy and lavished the attention.
Birthday Boy

Proud parents

Present from Abuelita and Grumpa (Note the dirty belly from post-cake spinning and commando crawling)
At 1 year
  • He's made the transition from commando crawling to all-fours crawling and can go VERY fast
  • Starting to cruise around the furniture but not walking yet. 
  • Big Boy: Weighs almost 12kg and is bigger than 98% of babies his age and at 81cm is taller than 91% He sleeps well :D Yay! 
  • Has 9 teeth and molars coming through but still a bit of a tongue-tie
  • Eats on his own - LOVES food especially lasagnes, stews, meat, lentil soups, spinach, grapes, petits filous, clementines
  • Gives the warmest cuddles, is rather sensitive but still a little brute. Rather chilled but very curious. 
  • Communicative, and plenty of vocalising. Seems to respond well to my mum and respond "Sssssssss" when she encourages him to say "Si". He used to say "Abue" (granny in spanish) but hasn't for ages. 

And myself? Well - keep trying to stay on top of everything but it is tough to find time for myself. I find it very rewarding whenever he does something new, or copies what I've shown him - be it putting money into his piggy-bank, or getting down from the bed. And I love his hugs so very much. I'm happy we've found some really nice mum and baby friends and that he's happy at his childminders where he goes one day a week.

So excited to see what's in store for this year!

Where I catch up on a month's worth of blogging.

Oh my, it's the last day of January and haven't wished you a merry Christmas or a Happy New Year! Well there you go. Glad tidings to you all - may 2011 be a prosperous year bestowing rays of positivity, happiness and success to anyone who may read Mixed Up Mummy. Thanks for reading.

To not blog about our first family Christmas would be royal shame - but I'll try to keep it brief.

Christmas à la Française
So we made it to Paris for the 22nd December at night with no Eurostar troubles at all and walking to my belle-soeur's flat the snow started falling. So beautiful and we were happy to be in Paris! We were in for 5 days of lots of family, food and festivities and had a lot of people to see.

Now, festivities in France is all about the food. Sister-in-law's partner spent the next morning chopping up all kinds of fresh meat he'd brought from his parents' farm and stringing up sausages around the house. We helped with other preparations - cleaning, wrapping, playing and catching up.
An incredible afternoon consisted of lunch: a yummy tagine au Palais des Sultans which is also a delicious Algerian patisserie (38 Rue Aubervilliers, 75019 Metro 2, 5, 7 Stalingrad) opposite the crazy Cirque Electrique for children in Jardins d'Eole. This was hilarious, visually astounding and rather cool - complete with DJ and after-party.

Une acrobate élégante
Tous les enfants invités au boum après le spectacle

We battled through the snow-storm back to the huge warm apartment that kept Leon entertained with loads of toys and activity. That evening we were treated to delicious sanglier, poires au vin, châtaignes, terrine de saumon et champignons and champagne and enjoyed a righteous feast.

Un vrai festin nous attend! Terrine de saumon
Sanglier, poires au vin, chataignes et terrine de champignon
I love french table conversations - champagne and wine flows - anything seemingly innocent somehow evolves into heated discussions and no ones holds back - fascinating stuff. I just wish I could get in there a bit more. They do go on a lot about food though. And this, I like. I learn to appreciate the individuality of each cheese and love hearing about how the meal has been cooked. Knowing that our chef saw the wild boar alive the morning before and that all the ingredients are not from the local supermarket makes the meal that bit more special.

In France the main Christmas meal is the evening of the 24th and luckily Leon slept a dream upstairs at our gracious hosts, my hubby's aunt and uncle. They didn't hold back on the meal either. Even more champagne, magnificently presented food and piles of presents! This beahaviour went on for a few days which was most welcome. Oysters and prawns from the market, open fires, cheese, foie gras, wine, lots of children, conversation, food, food, food. Each meal was an art it's hard not to think about it.

I'm not sure how you give presents, but in our British Christmas we tend to give one at a time and go through it rather slowly. It takes hours. In France, it was a right moment of craziness where everyone  gives everyone their presents at the same time! I could hardly keep up.

One of the many Christmas trees we were lucky to meet
I was lucky and love ALL my presents but here are a few of my faves

Beautiful fruit bowl and salad serving spoon and fork
Pretty comfy sheep-skin lined polish slippers
Hand-crafted ring from stylish cousin-in-law
Fab but strange bande dessinée highlighting generational differences in a bourgeois family business
Le Sommeil Esquimau - beautifully illustrated book. More for Leon but I love it too!
Handbag from stylish belle-soeur
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer from another stylish belle-soeur

Leon and some of his presents...
So, our festive family fun in France was a success and we had a lot of fun, were completement gâtées with so many presents over the five days we were there, the Christmas spirit was vibrant all the way through and it was lovely to catch up with hubby's side of the family and spend a loving time of year with them all. We even celebrated again at home with my family with sisters over from New York and EC1. Hooray for new family Christmas!

No place like home - opening presents with Auntie Blondie
Sharing the love with Tia Tonis

I must admit, I missed not going to church, the carols, and the British way - but I should have got my helping of carols before heading off to the land of laicity. Seems like we'll alternate each Christmas between London and Paris - I suppose this is what happens when you get married and share families! And in the distant future we may be the ones hosting Christmas ourselves. Now that's a scary thought.

New Years Eve at home
We planned a decadent night in for just us two (Leon slept away fabulously) and I bought a load of Oysters from Sandy's fishmongers and plenty of amuses-bouches. Our bouches were much amused, and after two delicious bottles of Saumur and Poilly-Fumé and a few hours of merriment and music, we counted down to 2011 and popped the Champers. A brilliant night even if was just us two dancing in the living room. 
Happy 2011!