dimanche, mai 29, 2011

First Aid training

2 weeks ago, I took up a 2 days first aid course with my 3 colleagues. This course was oriented towards working environment as we would be certified (workplace) first aider. The company sponsored the course. But this did not mean that we could not help others in the public.

We were 10 in total and the instructor was a fireman. He had lots of experiences and shared with us many of his life experiences. Accidents could happen anyway, anytime and often in normal circumstances where we least expected it.

The first half day was spent on reading on the slides shows about PREVENTION. It was interesting though most were not applicable for office environment. Examples like wearing protective gears for factory works, not obstructing the corridors and stairways with cartons, reading the notice carefully and following the rules on how to use dangerous machine just to name a few.
After that, we had practical lessons. We were taught how to assess a situation when someone was in trouble. Was there any danger around him? Would it endanger your own life if you go to his help? Was it possible to get him out of the danger? If the surrounding was safe, check if he was bleeding, if not, check if he was choked, if not, check if he was concious and breathing, if not, check if he was unconcious and breathing, if not, .... As we eliminated the options and came to a conclusion, we had to administer the appropriate first aid before the medical team arrived to take over.

On the last day, each of us had a chance to try out giving cardio pulmonary resuscitation CPR to dummies (adult, child and baby). For hygiene purpose, we were given a face for each of the dummies. For the last hour, we did role play. One victim and one rescuer volunteered each time and the instructor came up with a scenario unknown to the rescuer. The instructor used professional make up and he could simulate injuries like amputation of finger, burns, bad cuts, blues. They looked real and it was gore at times. This really helped to enforce our experience in this training.

I am happy with the training as I got to know a new friend whose parents live near my in-laws. But the most important thing I gained is knowing that I could be helpful if my family or strangers need first aid. I felt equiped and confident.

For those who are interested in this area, there is a site at BBC on first aid skills tests. I just tested myself on CPR and it was exactly as I was taught. Try it, you never know, with this little knowledge, you could save lives.

vendredi, mai 27, 2011

Neighbour's day

Today is neighbour's day and as usual, a gathering was organised for our residence at the gardien's office. Neighbour's day is something recent and this is the third year our residence organised it.
In the evening, people brought along drinks and tibits and cakes and we just mingled around and chatted. I brought toddler A1 along while Seb stayed at home to take care of baby A2 who was sleeping.
I just came back from Helsinki yesterday night and brought a pack of sweets fabricated in Finland. I got to know a few new neighbours and even a neighbour who had been there for a few years but we just never met. We had an interesting conversation. This residence consists of 4 small buildings totalling 99 apartments. With people moving in and out, there are always new faces.
Toddler A1 was shy at first but overcame his shyness fast when he was offered chips and orange juice. He played with some big kids at soccer and when the younger kids arrived later, he run around with them. It was also a good chance to talk to other young parents and exchange tips on where to go and education etc...
One good thing out of this neighbour party is that I now have 2 contacts for baby sittings on weekends. When the kids are older, it would be nice for Seb and I to hang out a bit without them for a evening.

samedi, mai 21, 2011

Solo parenting

Our challange for the next few weeks: solo parenting.

As I had written before, I go on work trips at times. Since having baby A2, I had not been on any overnight trips. Well, it is starting again. A new project starts in Helsinki with one of my fav client. It requires a few trips in a span of 2 months. I know that I would enjoy working on this project yet I felt unfair to Seb for having to take care of the boys alone.

So coming monday, Seb would be going to Lille for a day trip meaning he leaves the house really early and comes back late. I would have to wait for the nanny to come at 9am and be home by 6pm. As I have less flexible hours than Seb, I would have to take half a day's leave. I can't reach office at 10am and leave by 5pm. (Peak hour traffic takes me an hour between home and office). Good thing that Seb does not need to travel much now. Or he tries to travel on Wed, the day I don't work.

From Tues to Thurs, I would be heading to Helsinki. I will leave home early and be late home on thurs. As I am working 80% now, I would have my friday off from work.

Then comes the month of June. We will be spending 5 days in Brittany as a family starting from 01 June as we have a long weekend due to the public holiday on 02 June.

In the second and fourth week of June, I will be heading to Helsinki again for 3 and 4 days respectively. On the third week of June, Seb would be away in London for 3 days. I will be taking half day leaves on Tues and Thurs; always the issue of nanny.

Seb and I would take turns to do single parenting in June; him more than me. He is confident that he can manage it. As for me, I am stress over putting the boys to sleep as they both require attention during sleep time.

A friend is asking how we can cope with the coming few weeks. With good organisation, we should do fine. It won't be easy though. We had been lucky in the past year that my mum was here to help out so if one of us was away, the other could cope easily. Now, we are on our own.

vendredi, mai 20, 2011

The playpen

Baby A2 is starting to crawl and like his brother, he does it backwards for a start. He is such an active boy that it is time to set up the playpen. Toddler A1 was so excited when he saw it that he wanted to get in too.
The 2 boys even played togather in the playpen. We can work in the kitchen at peace now knowing that the 2 are confined in the playpen. Had we known that toddler A1 would like it so much, we would never had kept it when he started to walk. (We wanted to make space for him in the living room.)
Baby A2 is teething and the 2 front lower teeth had cut out. He is eating well on fruits and vegetables. He has not tried meat yet. The only complain I have is that he sleeps so little. He hardly naps.
Toddler A1 is growing fine too. Brought him for his 2 year old checkup and pediatre asked him to name the animals in the book. He could not since he was not speaking much yet. He could make sounds of animals though. Upon the pediatre's instruction, I asked toddler A1 to fetch a toy from the table and he did as told. The pediatre understood that he was learning 3 languages which might explain the slowness in speech. However, she still prescribed an audio examination for toddler A1. Huh? She is just a procedure base person. I realised that many medicial staff gave extra examinations over here. Either they are over precaution, or they are just protecting themselves from mis-diagnosis. Anyway, most examinations are paid partially by social security and the rest top up by mutuelle. Still, sometimes, it takes up a lot of our engergy and time. We shall wait and see for toddler A1.

lundi, mai 09, 2011

Summery spring time

Spring is here and usually we do get a week or two of freaking sunny days. However, it has been hot like summer since we come back from Singapore. People we know told us that the weather was good even while we were in Singapore. That makes it a total of 4 weeks of summery spring time.

The tourism industry is happy while the agriculture industry is worried. No rain means crops are not growing well. No fresh pasture for the cows and hay meant for winter is already being used.

The cherry and strawberry season is already here. Usually, it is in two weeks' time. I am not complaining cos we are enjoying this good dry, warm weather. It is easier to support the heat when there is no humidity unlike in Singapore.

2 sundays ago, we had a picnic with Anca and family at the park nearby our place. Last weekend, we were out again. Seb suggested a walk in the park of the Chateau de Chantilly. The drive up north took us about 30minutes. We took the double seater stroller as we predicted that toddler A1 would want to be carried and not walk. Our prediction came true. It took some coaxing and an afternoon snack for him to walk and not "koala bear" hug his dad.

The visit to the park is not free but I guess the money was put to good use as the lawns are well maintained. It is a lovely big park and we only cover less than a quarter of it. There are ducks in mating games and swans with their nests at the riverbank. This swan was protecting its 3 cygnets.

We enjoyed our little outing and everyone slept in the car on the way back except the driver, of course. Thanks Seb for the getaway.

On Sunday, we went to church and since it was another beautiful day, we decided to have lunch outside. We wanted to try something new other than those regular resturants we go to. After all, most of them are small eateries with limited space for stroller.

We headed for the 6th district of Paris as there are many brasseries (french traditional restaurants). We ended up at Le Petit Zinc as there was a table at the terrace with space for a stroller and in the menu, there was something vegeterian for Seb. It is never easy spotting vegeterian dishes in brasserie. The food was good and the wine Seb ordered was very good too. He had noted it down and we would definitely get some for home consumption. Even the service was good which was pretty rare in Paris.

I hope the good days continue to stay and it would rain at night while we are sleeping. I understand our farmers' plights and hope their harvests would not be too badly affected.