Don't Break My Doll

Posted by Analyse at 1:10 PM

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Moms. When it comes to kids, they just don't trust anybody. Not even the father of their child. Well, at least for me.

After repeating (and I mean repeating) my list of to-do and not-to-do with Louna, I was left of nothing else to say but 'Don't break my doll.' to my Frenchguy. He then reminded me that he's the father and he cares as much as I do. Oh yeah, how many times should I explain to him that Moms and Dads are not the same? Well ok, I don't make any sense.

I was observing Louna after I arrived from a 10-day business travel and I just realized how such a short period of time could change a toddler a lot. To good and bad, of course.
- She looks prettier. (Miss ko lang siguro)
- She loves to throw a hug from time to time (she hated it before - but this is exclusive to Maman and Papa).
- She gives a lot of kisses (flying kisses included) - she could be considered malambing now.
- She starts to say Mama to refer to me (she probably missed me). She was babbling mama before but to refer to food.
- She dances each time she hears music.
- She's got less appetite.
- She speaks louder to get more attention.
- She doesn't do pooh on her potty chair anymore.
- She sleeps lesser hours in the car during long drives (so we have to entertain her most of the time).
- She doesn't want to sleep at 9pm anymore. She wants to play more.
- She screams when other people touch her.

And it seems that these changes aren't enough that I have to leave her again for another 17 days (I'm writing this from the airport). I start to miss her. She woke up early this morning to cuddle with me. She surely understood what I told her yesterday - that she'll be a good girl while I'm out.

Life of a working mom. A travelling working mom.

Sport-y Weekend

Posted by Analyse at 7:36 PM

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Frenchguy's childhood friend celebrated his 40th birthday last weekend. May 17 being the Ascension Day, most of the attendees took their Friday off to have a long 4-day weekend. It was a big sport-themed getaway which they started to plan months ago. Frenchguy's brother came all the way from Mali (Africa) to attend the occasion. Another friend came from La Réunion and Moi came direct from Pennsylvania. The rest, of course, came from France Metropolitan - mostly counting 13-hours drive to destination. Yeah, that far.

We arrived Friday late afternoon at Chateau-Ville Vieille in Queyras, at the QueyRaft station. The boss Rafter is a friend and most of the attendees are experienced kayakers. A lot of friends were already there. Some tired of rafting (the level of water is too high, no kayak is allowed), some tipsy over gallons of wine, some just chit-chatting, catching over the lost years. What I hate about arriving late is that I have to do beso-beso to everybody instead of waiting for the newcomer to do the bises. And take note, the traditionnal 4 times the bises in Frenchguy's region is a no-joke.

After the courtesy bonjour to everybody, we headed direct to the gite so I could take a quick nap before the soirée. At 10pm, Louna and I were already ready for the big night. The sausage-wine menu was not at all a welcome treat after the 10 days spent in the US but the fun must go on, right? A little after midnight, I bid everybody goodbye, taking Louna as my alibi.

The next day was a speedy transition - a jetlag swiper. Just as Louna dozed off for her morning nap, Frenchguy and I geared up for our Via Ferrata adventure. The trail is so picture-prefect that it was just too sad that we didn't bring our camera, afraid of losing it to the wild river below us. In fact, the trail runs along the gorge at the left side of the castle. The raging sound of the Guil river below us just adds up more excitement, not to mention the number of rafters passing by. The ambiance was festive. I was already dreaming of doing that activity with my Louna.

Just as we arrived from an hour of Via Ferrata, another group was gearing up for a 2-hour raft. Frenchguy told me to go and he would take care of Louna. I was hesitant at first but just gave in to the adventure. The 2-hour ride included 6 rapids and lots of fun. I was soaking wet but no regrets. I just forgot that I had to complain about jetlag.

The next day was Frenchguy's day. He and his friends did a 3-hour raft in the most exciting and most difficult part of the river. The rest of the day was spent relating funny tales about the weekend. Later that Sunday afternoon, the beso-beso part of the adventure came. Time to get back to reality.

We actually decided to spend one more day in that area - our family day. It's Louna's first ever hike. Well, we actually did hike already with her - a lot of times, but it's her first time to actually walk like a real baby-hiker - out of the baby backpack. It was 100% fun. She's just as excited as we were. And look at her munching her own sandwich. Who would say she's just 18 months old?

Let me leave you with some pictures taken just after the hike. Look at her tan. And look how kulit she looks.

US Stopover

Posted by Analyse at 4:07 AM

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I hate airports. Make it double when destination displays USA: that would mean added security measures and more customs blah-blahs. Triple the hate when I couldn't make my wi-fi connection work at the airport for I don't know what reason. I'm a techy illiterate.

But well, there's more to my US trip other than hating the airport.


Come on, tell me, you know somebody in Pennsylvania, right? You just don't wake up one day and say 'I'd like to visit PA'. There's nothing to visit there. Hehe, I just re-entered the US with my 10-year tourist visa and I just couldn't tell the officer I'll go here for work. Bad girl. So I told him I'd visit PA on my own and it's a strategic destination to get closer to NY without paying NY prices. Well, I probably sounded convincing, the officer wished me 'Enjoy your stay in Pennsylvania, darling.'


I spent the whole time working with men infront of a dirty machine. I let them work, of course. But that nevertheless kept me busy. It seemed that I work pretty fast for their taste, they now call me 'slave driver'. Well, I have to say, I ask a lot. I need loads of results within my 10-day stay and I need to keep them moving. When I said goodbye to the big boss this afternoon, he said he's been hearing good reviews about me. I know he said that to be nice to me but that nevertheless made me feel great. Feeling ko tuloy, ang ganda ganda ko hahaha.

American Hospitality

I was pampered. A colleague met me at the airport. Drove me to my hotel. Fetched me from the hotel and drove me to the company. And vice versa, not allowing me to take the rental car. He made sure I had everything I needed, up to the maps I needed to go to Jersey City. He paid almost all my dinner bills. I even pleaded to pay once, otherwise our department might think I don't spend anything, they might want to send me outside of France all the time. He wanted to show me the way to Jersey City. He wanted to accompany me back to the airport. I guess he will search for a Filipina wife soon. I made a good impression. But honestly, tinataguan ko na sya after my first week. Shhhh.

Business with Pleasure

What do Analyse do on weekends during business travel? I do visit!

I drove from PA to NJ to meet my HS friend who lives in Jersey City (thanks to the GPS, I got direct to her place without getting lost). We're supposed to watch Les Mis on Friday night but I was caught on a traffif jam for 2 long hours. As they said here, there are two seasons in PA: winter and road construction. I guess you know what season is it now. We spent the whole night catching up instead.

Saturday was spent walking around NY. This city is grandiose. And with the 1€ = $1.36 change, even a shop-a-phobic-me couldn't resist shopping. We wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty but we backed out when we saw a queue of about a mile. Next time na lang. We climb up the Empire State Building instead.

We dined out at Arthur's Landing where we had good food and a good view of Manhattan by night. Sarap. And to make the night even more special, Kat joined us there. It's my 2nd EB among blogger friends. What's good about meeting a fellow blogger is that, we seem to know each other already even if it's the first meeting. Thanks for being there Kat, even if it was for only a few minutes. Hope RSB's ok now.

Sunday was like, rest day. We had late breakfast at Little Quiapo where I had Tapsilog. We then played Badminton. After a 2-hour play, we headed back to NY to finally watch Lea Salonga in Broadway. Sarap. That made my weekend extra special. We did not wait for Lea to come out as I still had to drive back to PA. Watching her play is more than enough for me. We ended the day dining at Red Ribbon where we continued looking back at our HS days. Hay, sarap balik-balikan.

So now you understand why I was too silent and hiding behind the scenes. I was just too darn busy with work and gala. And I missed my baby so much. To all those who greeted me Happy Mothers Day. Thanks a lot. I really appreciated it. Happy Moms Day too.

Oppps, getting my luggages done now. Flying back to France tomorrow. Bon voyage to me.

Pictures: Billboards 5th Ave, Ground Zero, Times Square, Central Park, Manhattan by night (view from the restaurant - picture taken from their site), Kat and moi at Arthur's Landing, Moi resting at Rockefeller Plaza.

Blogging at the Airport

I'm bored. Still an hour before the flight and my Frenchguy doesn't even answer to my text messages. Buti na lang Haze is there to keep me company. I'm disturbing her from her loads of housechores hehe. Sa sobrang bored, pati luggages ko, pinag-trip-an ko no hehe. They're actually payatot when they left France. Look at how bundat they are now. Obvious ba na mega-shop ako? But of course, I limited myself to what my luggages could contain. I don't check them in kasi. I don't like waiting luggages at the airport, so if I could avoid it, I try to avoid it.

And know what, I was raging before as I couldn't make wi-fi work. I finally discovered. Sus dali lang pala. Techy illiterate, right? So now, I could blog and bloghop anywhere I want. Just hoping I have enough batteries to accompany me up to my next stop in Atlanta airport. Di kasi direct flight, kainis. Anyways, I'll go bloghop now. Ciao.

Visiting Prague at a Toddler Pace

Posted by Analyse at 6:47 PM

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Come on, Louna. Let's go. Viens. On y va. Bilis Louna. Tara na.

Those were my favorite phrases during our weekend in Prague.

It started at the airport. Louna, as already observed on her first plane ride, still loves airplanes. She would ran at the glass wall to get a good view of the planes and could stay there for hours. She would point at them and say a-be continously which could mean avion or airplane or eroplano. Why not, hehe. The only way to get her out of there is to tell her Come Louna, I saw another plane over there. It's flying. To which she would answer ooohh with her lips in O-form and her eyes wide open.

The prodding game continued each time she saw a dog, a pigeon, an ant (yes, she sees them!), anything unusual on the ground like an empty bottle of soda or a pair of reading glasses (unfortunately, we were not able to find the owner among the hordes of tourists).

Stay here, Louna. Tu restes içi.

Those were another set of favorites. The tag-of-war game is set off especially during the walk tour where we had to stop from time to time to appreciate the beauty of Prague whilst listening to each story behind each wall. The stories about the Jewish ghetto, the fall of Communism or even King Charles IV seems to be a boring topic for an 18-month old kiddie.

Parents and toddlers don't have common interests. Don't you think?

The Prague Experience

I was thinking of the best word to describe Prague but thought of sharing to you this picture instead. The number of tourists was overwhelming and it's not even peak season yet. The fact that most of the tourist spots are concentrated in one area makes their downtown really congested with people. It's almost impossible to cross downtown with a car! Like most of the European capitals, the hot spots are crowded with musicians, vendors and all kinds of artists. This one is a fave.

The architecture of the city is a mix of Baroque exterior and Renaissance interior. What probably marked me the most is seeing their Cathedral surrounded by the Prague castle which reminded me of hotels around Eurodisney. Oh yeah, I'm not an architect, alright. Another one is this church of Our Lady before Tyn with a very nice interior but is surrounded by appartment buildings, litterary using the church wall as their appartment wall. In fact, in the ancient time, they built their buildings where they could, without really giving importance to such architectural heritage.

Another point of interest is the Jewish part of their history: the ghettos,the cemeteries and their synagogues. This is part of world history which intrigues me the most. Why they ended up to such level of inhumanity? My ultimate dream is to visit extermination camps in Poland. Well, that's another story.

The food. Cheap and good. Tourists will never get hungry here. They have spacious restaurants with high chairs available and a live music to boot. After a sumptous dinner, the night ambiance with the souvenir shops, street music, and romantic atmosphere will surely give your money's worth to visit the city of 100 spires.

Visiting the city with a baby/toddler is a pain tho. Most of the buses have the 'No Stroller' sign simply because they are most of the time full-packed. Buses/Tramway/Metro arrive every 10-20 minutes and it's not enough to accomodate all the tourists coming in. Another pain are the pavement and streets of cobblestones practically everywhere. It's cool when Louna's awake and enjoyed her horsey ride.. but imagine when she's sleeping.

So that was my recap of our Prague weekend. A must-see. Here are some pix, visit Prague with me.