Simple Toys

There was some debate before our visit about what toys my parents should buy for their grand-daughter. Much to my surprise, my parents heeded my advice and didn’t go crazy buying too many toys for Juliette. Instead, they saved a few boxes and paper towel tubes. Lo and behold, Juliette was as happy as a pig-in-mud. Her favorite game right now is “putting inside and taking out again,” so the cat food box was all she needed. 🙂

A cat food box?  Fantastic!

A cat food box? Fantastic!

When you're one year old, pretty much everything is entrancing.

When you’re one year old, pretty much everything is entrancing.

Totally content

Totally content

First Flight

Juliette put another milestone under her belt – her first flight. Well, at least her first flight as a proper baby. We figured that she traveled close to 30’000 miles in utero, which I think should earn her a silver card at least.

Mom and Dad also learned a thing or two about traveling with a baby. Our days of ‘traveling light’ are behind us. Instead, we checked three bags (two small ones for us, a huge one for the baby) and made our way through the airports laden with strollers, diaper bags, toys, blankets, snacks as well as our own carry-ons. You definitely didn’t want to be in the security line behind us.

Actually, all things considered, the flights went very well. Leaving Basel was reasonably painless as the security queues are very short and the walk to the gate is manageable. Our connection in Munich was less successful, mostly down to the bungling of various Lufthansa representatives at every step of the way, but when we finally got settled into our seats on the long-haul, everything went OK.

I can’t say that we were met with cooing and smiles as we settled into a full business class cabin, but Juliette behaved herself for the flight and made friends with the flight attendants.

Juliette seems to be enjoying the lounge.

Juliette seems to be enjoying the lounge.

"Could someone please bring me another glass of champagne?"

“Could someone please bring me another glass of champagne?”

Pre-departure drinks service

Pre-departure drinks service

"What were the choices?  Chicken or beef?"

“What were the choices? Chicken or beef?”

Helping Mom to pack…

We’re off to visit the grandparents in Washington on Wednesday, so there is a lot to do before we leave. Traveling with a baby isn’t quite the “throw a few things into a bag and grab the next flight” that Mom and Dad were used to in earlier times. No, this is a mission which requires planning with military precision.

It’s all-hands-on-deck. Thank goodness, then, that Juliette is “helping” Mom to pack her suitcase. 🙂

"Need a hand?  No problem!  Where do we start?"

“Need a hand? No problem! Where do we start?”

"Better take some formal-wear, just in case Christmas dinner is a dressy affair..."

“Better take some formal-wear, just in case Christmas dinner is a dressy affair…”

St. Nicholas has arrived!

It seems that overnight, a tree has sprung up in the living room and St. Nicholas has arrived!

Yay!  St. Nicholas has come.

Yay! St. Nicholas has come.

What's inside?

What’s inside?

More interested in the wrapping paper than the present.

More interested in the wrapping paper than the present.

A box!  Filled with boxes!  What a great present.

A box! Filled with boxes! What a great present.

Juliette made a wreath with her hands for Mom and Dad

Juliette made a wreath with her hands for Mom and Dad

First haircut

We are getting ready for our big visit to the grandparents for Christmas, so everyone scheduled a haircut today so we would all look our best. Mom and Dad came out looking okay, but the Munchkin only has so much hair to work with, so there was always a limit on what could be done.

Perhaps the mistake was using Dad’s hairdresser, instead of Mom’s, but we’re pretty sure that Juliette and Dad now have matching haircuts. “We’d better keep her dressed in pink so that people know she’s a girl,” joked Dad.

It only took twenty minutes. At lunch, the grandmother at the next table told us what a cute son we had. Even dressed in pink. 🙂

Meet our son.  "Jules"

Meet our son. “Jules”

Doing it for herself

As she approaches her first birthday, Juliette increasingly wants her independence. She likes to feed herself, move around on her own, even take off her own shoes and socks. (And usually put them into her mouth — we haven’t explained to her that independence comes with some limits!).

Tonight, she took charge with the hairbrush!

Juliette always wants to look her best.

Juliette always wants to look her best.

"Uh, Juliette, it's not that kind of brush," says Dad, making a mental note to keep the toilet brushes well out-of-reach.

“Uh, Juliette, it’s not that kind of brush,” says Dad, making a mental note to keep the toilet brushes well out-of-reach.

It's very exciting to be independent!

It’s very exciting to be independent!

Cowgirl!

Juliette is starting to get excited about her first trip to the US. She heard that it’s the land of cowboys, and she’s decided to get some riding experience in ahead of her trip.

Ride 'em, cowgirl!

Ride ’em, cowgirl!