February, 2006

This morning Sam decided he wanted to take "Little Snoopy" for a walk. So "Little Snoopy," aka "Pippin," came with us to Mill Road and got to go to Arjuna and the pharmacy. "Little Snoopy" is a classic Fisher-Price pull-along beagle with orange plastic wheels and a tail on a spring that "wags." It was quite entertaining for everyone involved. Several times Pippin ended up getting pulled along on her side rather than on her wheels. And a woman that I apologized to for taking up sidewalk space was like, "Oh, no worries, actually it's quite sentimental for me, my daughter had a larger one and used to take it for walks."
Sam and Håkan got back from their long weekend in Sweden on Monday morning, after being delayed a day because of fog. It seems like they had a really good trip. (Speaking of trips to Sweden, I realized that we never put up pix from our trip to Sweden over the summer. That is because that hard drive kicked the bucket and we haven't quite gotten to resurrecting it yet. Someday we will and then we'll add those pix...) Håkan has wanted to take Sam on a trip himself for a long time and I think he was happy with how it worked out. I think Sam was happy to see Auntie Åsa, Uncle Ronnie, Farmor, and Farfar. I think he was also very happy to play in the snow. He was not so happy about meeting Felix, Auntie Åsa's new dog. Apparently Sam is quite dog-phobic which makes his walking Pippin kind of an interesting choice. Maybe he's trying to work it out and this phobia will go the way of fans, that he will not be thrilled about dogs, but not be too upset by them either. We will need to do some dog desensitization.
Nina is WALKING!!! She is really pretty good at it now. She has also started clapping in a completely adorable way. She sort of claps one hand more than the other. We got her a walker from eBay, a plastic one with Pooh and a honey pot that spin around when you push it. We opened it early which I think was wise because only now is she starting to use it. Nina is funny about toys; it takes her awhile to decide that they're ok. However, she continues to think that all non-toy plastic and most book bindings are really delicious. I'm trying to redirect with carrots and rolls (very into bread, this one) but apparently I need to pay even better attention because she took a good chunk out of a large super bouncy ball a couple days ago. And today she's been a bit under the weather so of course I am all worried that it might be developing aspiration pneumonia from plastic that has taken a wrong turn. But she seems better tonight so let's hope for the best.
Nina definitely missed Sam and Pappa while they were gone. And so did I. It was very funny to talk to Sam on the phone. I don't know if I've ever done that before and it was sort of eye-opening in a indescribable way. I am very glad Sam will be seeing the ENT on Friday so that we can see if the trip had deleterious effects on his ears.
Nina has been keeping a rather difficult schedule lately and going to sleep quite late. It tends to be very hard around 7pm because that's when if she goes to sleep it could be a nap, so really I should keep her up then, but at that point I tend to be so tired that I want nothing more than a little downtime.
We also still have some stroller woes. Håkan got us a lovely new stroller in Sweden. I wanted a stroller that Nina would be able to ride in safely. She couldn't ride safely in the Phil and Ted's doubles seat because she slouched way over and kept sticking her hand out and it was possible for her to touch the wheels. Since Nina doesn't really take no for an answer that was problematic. Plus Sam was really quite big for the top part. And Nina couldn't ride in the Sitty safely because she's just too little. The Maclaren is safe for her but pushing that plus a buggy board is a nightmare. So. The Race. This stroller is safe for Nina, maybe a little big for her, but rather small for Sam. Well, after all that, it turns out Nina just plain doesn't like strollers. I guess I've carried her for so long that that's how she feels she should be transported. I still long for a bike trailer but given our current space that is just not a feasible option. So, we'll see, maybe come spring I'll be brave enough to have two bike seats on my bike. In the meantime I'll get very fit from the back and forth to Brunswick.
All in all today was a good day. We all laughed together a few times, and that is never wrong. I wish I could write more, and more often, but now it's bedtime.

Nina is 1! She celebrated her first birthday on February 3rd, with some salmon soup, which she liked, and carrot cake, which she wasn't convinced about. We realized after Christmas that we couldn't get anything that would take up too much space so she got some very good books for her birthday. Sam even got a couple for being such a good big brother. Nina seems to have decided that now that she's one she really doesn't need to take real naps. It's a bit troubling to say the least, and it's leading to me being even more tired. I have sort of counted on at least a little down time during the day. Nina has also discovered the Teletubbies. I don't know how Anne Wood did it but she seems to have struck a nerve in the heart of every one-year old. Nina LOVES the sun baby that appears intermittently throughout the Teletubbies. She laughs loudly when she sees him or her (unclear really). It is quite entertaining.
Today Nina seemed to be increasing the speed of her toddling. She's also getting better at stopping and changing direction.
Last weekend Auntie Åsa came to visit and help while Håkan was in Dublin. I sure am extremely lucky that she is willing and able to make the trip and spend that time with us. Åsa is somehow able to adapt to our very crowded and a bit wacky environment and it is so wonderful to be able to rest when both kids have finally fallen asleep thanks to her. Thank you a zillion times Auntie Åsa!
We had a team meeting about Sam on February 7th. It was a bit strange in my opinion. I had been counting on Nicola being there so I could bring up concerns about Sam and school. She wasn't there because she was home sick. I was able to meet with her the following day though and it looks like Sam may be able to repeat Brunswick, which I think is a really good solution to the problem of where he should go to school next year. I am resting easier at night knowing that that seems like it may be possible. This week coming up is half-term, a.k.a. February vacation. That will be both good and bad; Sam will probably get really bored but at least I won't have to transport both of them, keep any sort of schedule, or deal with the resistance that still happens.

Nina has said her first word! We've been singing "Camptown Races" pretty often and today Nina said "bay." As in, "somebody bet on the bay." Quite a cute first word I've got to say. She sometimes tries to sing which is really adorable. She seems to be even more into music than Sam which is really saying something. She now chases people around with both books and musical instruments.
Also today Sam and Pappa tried out a new low e-coli risk tractor venue, Cheeky Monkeys, about a 20 minute drive away, thanks to a tip from DeeDee. It was a big success. Sam wanted to go back after dinner. Although it was quite cold today Sam wanted to stick with the outside play area. They had tractors, mini-excavators, and a combine harvester outside. There were lots of play opportunities inside too but Sam had no interest in those today (maybe another day...).
Everybody has been a little bit under the weather. On Wednesday when I went to pick Sam up Nicola remarked that Nina was quite yellow, and I had to agree. Plus she had been having some questionable although not bloody poopies. So we made an appointment for her for Friday. Well, on Thursday Sam had a low fever, so didn't go to Brunswick. On Friday Dr. Kelly said she thought Nina might just be getting tan. She felt no liver swelling and thought Nina's eyes looked fine. Sam however had sketchy eardrums, not infected, but not healthy either. Nina's poopies have gotten better but she continues to do some spitty here and there. There are also signs that it may be teething time again.
We are continuing the process of trying to allow Sam to repeat Brunswick. Nicola seems to think it will probably work out, so that's good.
Earlier this week Håkan spent two nights in Edinburgh. I know I'm very, very lucky that he doesn't travel more than he does, but wow, being a single parent, even for just a couple nights, sure is rough going. I have also been a bit under the weather since yesterday and I reckon it's stress and fatigue. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a nap in... and maybe soon spring will come, that would make all of our lives easier.