June, 2005

We had our first car family outing today. We went to Peterborough, about 45 minutes away, to look at stroller options. None of the strollers were calling out to me so for the moment we'll stick with the Nina in sling/Sam in stroller solution. The outing went pretty well. Nina actually kept her binky in her mouth without help and without it causing her to spit up on the way back. On the way out she fell asleep all by herself after looking at bee rattle and listening to Raffi for a little while. Sam didn't enjoy the store but liked riding in the automated toy cars at the entrance and exit. On the way back everybody sort of fell apart when the traffic at the other end of Cambridge was quite heavy. So we stopped at the Granta Pub for lunch which was definitely the highlight of the trip. :)
Nina is very interested in sitting up now. She lifts her head up when lying flat in an effort to get to sitting. She also has branched out in her toy preferences. She loves the teddy bear clock from the Salvation Army and she is now really into her bee rattle. That is the first thing that she has explored with her hands herself. She looked so adorable while she was checking it out for the first time for herself, had her mouth open in a big "ooo" shape with a look of real concentration. In general Nina is showing much more clearly what she likes and doesn't like. She likes "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and doesn't really care about "Oh Susanna" for example. Nina continues to have tummy trouble off and on, I'm hoping that will fade away when she can sit up more reliably.
Sam's latest song is "To Life" from "Fiddler on the Roof." It is quite funny to walk down the street with him singing enthusiastically, "To life, to life, l'chaim." And then he says, "Here comes the Hebrew part," because Mommy said that once... ;)
But Sam is starting to produce some of his own thoughts which is really exciting. He's starting to overgeneralize with language which is a sign that he's really using it for himself instead of just echoing so that is really wonderful. He's back on a pretty much wheat-free diet for the moment and dairy is limited too, I still don't know what I think of all that, but I'm planning to ask our GP sometime in the next few weeks.
Håkan has also mentioned that Sam is getting much better around other kids which is also a welcome change. Sam is also getting excited to go to the US and Sweden this summer and he's looking forward to being his "new old" in July. :)

Nina has been trying very hard to learn how to sit up on her own for the past few days. She also has come very close to rolling over. Now whenever I put her in a sitting position on the sofa or on a bed she always ends up on her tummy which is OK with her for only a short time. ;) I think the days of her bouncy chair are numbered because now whenever I put her in it she tries desperately to sit up.
Nina is also seeming very curious about food. She watches food and drink go from plate/cup to mouth very intently. She was so intrigued by Sam's banana the other day that I took a tiny bit and tried to give it to her. She made a terrible face and almost gagged so clearly the time has not come yet, which is good in a way, because that means we still don't have to figure out where to put the high chair... ;)
Nina has also been getting way better at manipulating objects. She is really enjoying the baby gym (we hung different toys on it: the Tiny Love octopus and horse and the Lamaze Peek-a-Boo man, the original spinny-spin toy and hands are still there too). She also really likes the Lamaze bee rattle.
Nina is also getting stronger on her feet. Over the weekend H. put up a baby jumper and she seems to enjoy being in that for little spells at a time. Speaking of Håkan, he is another one of Nina's current interests. If he is anywhere she can see him she engages him over and over.
Tonight was funny because after H. came home he was holding her and Sam started singing "Midnatt Råder" with great enthusiasm. It was like she had suddenly discovered she had a big brother and thought he was very entertaining. She cracked up several times. It is so cute to see the whole sibling thing happenin'.
Sam has quite a bad cold today. The tube that left his left eardrum last November has been visible for like 2 weeks now but 2 doctors have assured us that that is nothing to worry about. OK... H. has been very busy with work lately and Sam is clearly missing him. Pappa withdrawal doesn't usually start till around Wednesday but today is only Monday and he sang "Where is Pappa" several times today. (to the tune of "Frere Jacques": "Where is Pappa, he's at work, he will be home later, yes he will.")
I continue to take him to just the free play part of Barnabee's which I'm quite sure the ladies there disapprove of but oh well, has to work for the whole family.
Sam's favorite show at the moment is "Fifi Forget-Me-Not." :)

Nina rolled over today!

Nina celebrated her new-found skill throughout the day today. She started right off with 3 rolls this morning and just kept at it. So far she can only go from back to tummy but it shouldn't be long now till she can complete the circle. Nina is also still desperate to sit up. She must have really good tummy muscles because she can lift her head pretty high now when on her back. This is a bit problematic because we're currently using our old Brio stroller and it's not super safe for a baby who is that keen on sitting. We'll have to find the harness we used with Sam. I don't think this will be our primary stroller in the fall. We still haven't really figured out how transportation will work in the fall. Brunswick, the school Sam will be going to, is a solid 15-minute walk. I myself would like to try a bike trailer but we'd have to fold it every time we used it to get it inside and we'd have to leave a bike outside. Neither of those make it a simple option but I think the time savings makes it an attractive option nonetheless. But at least the old Brio/Kiddyboard combo is working well for around town now.
Speaking of Brunswick, we went to visit there on June 17th. Sam seemed to really enjoy the visit. He didn't want to leave. I think it will be a much better setting for him than Barnabees. And I've been trying to prepare him to go there on his own. Of course that will be hard for me too but hopefully by September both of us will be ready. :)
Nina ended up catching the bad cold that Sam had when I last wrote. She still is not completely over it. It is so much scarier when they're sick when they're that little. But of course in a way she doesn't seem very little anymore. Her personality is starting to come through more and more. She really seems to like meeting new people. Even with toys her favorites are ones that have "eyes," like black and white eyes especially. She likes the eyes of her activity dino, Ernie's eyes, Sponge Bob's eyes, etcetera. Even the shower curtain is a hit because it's full of little line drawings of animals with eyes. Of course her favorite thing to watch continues to be Pappa. Whenever he is around she does her very best to engage him.
We still have not made very much headway in the potty dept. for Sam. I fear it will be a serious struggle. He now has one of those soft seats for the big potty which he does sit on every night after his bath but that doesn't seem to be generalizing at all.
I am very excited about our upcoming trip to the States but also quite anxious about how it will go with the time difference and the change of routine. I hope they both will be able to roll with it and that I will not become an exhausted zombie.
I also have been having mixed feelings about the binky issue. At first Nina was way too prone to spitting up to use them. Now she is using them and likes them quite well but I find that it does make breastfeeding more difficult and I worry that it will result in her doing less breastfeeding overall, which may have a negative effect on her health. But I have to say that in terms of helping her sleep it is a really good thing to have. So I think I'm leaning towards continuing with them and hopefully Nina will soon figure out which is binky and which is breast and how to handle each one.
Last week was a very hard week because H. had to leave early/come home late several days. In fact there was one day that he didn't see Sam awake at all and he didn't see Nina awake between Sunday and Thursday night. Sam kept it together as best he could but we were very glad that H. was able to work from home on Friday.

Yep, we were on the water again today! Lauren came up (despite having to take a bus due to engineering works-- thanks Lauren!) and we took her out on the river. Sam sat next to Lauren and I think the two of them got to know each other a bit better. :) Nina was very happy to see Lauren and got a whole bunch of time with her (yep, second babies sure are different, you see an extra lap, and you're like, "Hey-- that lap needs a baby!") We had a lovely time on the river. Nina slept for most of it and then admired the trees. Sam dropped his "punting stick" (old broomstick) at one point but I made a quick recovery. ;) Lauren stayed for dinner and when not being called into service with Nina got to play some ball with Sam.
Nina has started to laugh. She likes getting tickles, especially under her arms, and when in the right mood, will chortle. It is so cute.
Nina's grasp is also improving and she's starting to get better aim. She's starting to like books and seems to be understanding a few words. She also likes the taste of peach. Her food and drink curiousity continues to increase.
Sam "helped" Pappa this morning for a long time with the bookcases (part of our struggle to fit into our apartment ;) ). Sam has also been putting the shirt and dress pants on his teddy bear "mood" puzzle and saying "Hej så länge" (bye for now). According to this book I'm currently borrowing that means he's trying to work out his feelings about H. going to work. It's very good that he's trying to enter the world of emotional expression a bit.