July, 2005

We've been very lucky to have Auntie Åsa, and until yesterday, Tant Mia here helping us out while Håkan is in Minneapolis. The first day Åsa, Mia, Håkan, and Sam all went punting. Everybody had fun although the weather wasn't super cooperative, a little cool and drizzly off and on, but not rainy. Sam took his punting stick as usual; before long he'll be able to go pro!
It has been great to have extra hands to hold Nina and extra folks to take Sam out. Two morning ago Åsa, Mia, and Sam all went to the tennis court park and broke in our new flying disc. :) The next morning they all walked over to where Sam will be going to school in September, then visited the fair where Sam got a new excavator :) and a big French hot dog. Today Mia flew back to Sweden early in the morning but Åsa and Sam went for a long walk and did all sorts of things including swinging in the tire swing at Jesus Green playground.
Both the kids really enjoyed Mia's interpretation of Pannkakan (see July gallery). Thanks Mia for all the help! And super thanks to Auntie Åsa who has also gotten to be on night and early morning duty, and has gotten to read "Pannkakstårtan" for Sam to fall asleep by. And the dishes just sort of disappear... ;) It has also been really nice to have a few morning of alone time with Nina. We've been for some longer and faster walks than we're able to do with Sam along, and it's so freeing to have no stroller along. Nina also has found it very entertaining to have new people to get to know. She is trying very hard to say "hi." Cutie.
This afternoon was a bit rough. We went to Parker's Piece because it was World Music day. There was a child merry-go-round and I was like, "Oh, it probably won't go very fast, and there's a car with a steering wheel, maybe Sam would like that." Oh, big mistake. Sam did not like it at all, it went much faster than I thought it would, and of course he had no seat belt on. Luckily the ride attendant seemed to have had this happen before so he helped Sam off the ride. Well, then I thought Sam might want to watch the drummers to cheer him up, no, that was also a very poor idea. Sam was very upset and really wanted to go home, which we did. Luckily on the way home we got a balloon from the radio station sponsor. That saved the day. It can be very hard to keep in mind that what I would have liked, Sam might not like at all, and it can be sort of heart-wrenching on many levels when things like merry-go-rounds are so wrong. Nina slept in the sling despite the drumming.
The afternoon was fun though, a lot of time was spent with Auntie Åsa outside, where Sam got to give all his new Bob the Builder toys a bath in the tub. (It was very hot today).

Today was the last day of Auntie Åsa's visit (can you call it a visit when the guest works so hard? Hmmm....) Auntie Åsa and Sam started the day with a walk to Jesus Green where they thought they might go to the swimming pool. But it was closed so instead they went to the playground. Meanwhile Nina and I went to Boots with Nina in the thankfully very thin gauze wrap (it was HOT again today).
After lunch Auntie Åsa was up for biking to Newnham with Sam. Sam was super psyched and kept putting on his helmet all through lunch. It turned out however that his helmet doesn't really fit anymore. Luckily H's helmet was adjustable to the point that I felt his head would be protected, so after many instructions from me, ;), off they went. Nina and I went out yet again because at least outside there was a bit of a breeze and I think that despite being in a sling she was actually cooler outside than in. Auntie Åsa was up for encouraging Sam to try the swimming pool at Newnham. They did put on a swimming diaper and Sam did some splashing but then he let Auntie Åsa know that he wanted to go play instead. So go play they did, and they fed the ducks too, and they got home right before the time I had decided I would worry at. :) Everyone was fine except that Auntie Åsa got a scrape from the paddling pool.
A bit before dinnertime all four of us went out for a short stroller-free walk to Nip In just to get out of the apt. really. Sam observed many fans along the way. Sam is very worried about our fan. We have tried various sorts of fan therapy but without much success. It is kinda problematic when it's as hot as it is. He has also started to spin like a fan sometimes. He may be having withdrawal b/c H. frequently takes him to the park to spin. Anyway, I read a couple stories for Sam, and then it was Auntie Åsa's turn, and towards the end of her reading session, Sam announced, "I don't like the airmate [the brand name of our fan]." So Auntie Åsa turned it off and noticed an immediate calming effect. That is the first time Sam has used "I" properly without prompting, so that's really good.
I forgot to mention that all of us (including Nina vicariously) very much enjoyed Auntie Åsa's killer beef stew for dinner. Yum!
Also, today was a completely video-free day for Sam. He didn't ask for it at all. We did listen to "Fiddler on the Roof" once but that was mostly b/c I didn't want to screw up the words. Unfortunately I know that when we're back to "normal" we will again watch videos. Oh, dear, the shortcomings, I tell ya.
Nina is getting very close to being able to say "hi." It comes out more like "heh." She also sat up on her own for second-long spells several times today. I can't remember if I've mentioned that she already has a very sweet belly laugh. Today she had a tough time because of the heat. Also Nina is now binky-free and that is going ok although it does change the stroller situation slightly but I think it's the best choice and the most fair to her.
Tomorrow H. comes home :) and Auntie Åsa goes back to Sweden :(. We've been following the progress of H's trip/ Auntie Åsa and Tant Mia's visit on the calendar which seems to have been very helpful for Sam. So now we will look forward to seeing Pappa again and to seeing Auntie Åsa, and maybe even Tant Mia, when we go to Sweden in August.

On Wednesday Nina got her U.S. passport so she is now an American citizen and allowed to travel to the U.S.. That entailed a very exciting, very hot trip to London. :)
The day before, on Tuesday, Sam got the tube that's been visible for so long removed and we found out that the other tube has come out but is deep in the canal. His tympanograms looked great so we're very happy.
We are getting ready for our trip to the States, it will certainly be an adventure, it will be wonderful to see everybody, wish us luck, readers! :)