July, 2006

It is Sam's 4th birthday today! This is a very different birthday from the last three because this time he is clearly no longer a toddler (and definitely not a baby...). We started his celebration on Saturday with present opening because we knew one of the presents would require a bit of assembly and immediate use-- a learner bike! After having borrowed Joe's bike with training wheels I became convinced that training wheels were not the way to go. Sam went way too fast and had (and still has) very little traffic sense. So I did a bunch of research and what he ended up with is a Puky (German name, what can I tell ya) pedalless bike. It is fabulous. At first I was worried that it wouldn't really be a hit but that was because we had the seat too low. Now it is clear that Sam loves it and he is coasting more and more often. He biked all the way to Brunswick and back today! And our helmet prep has also really paid off (maybe a bit too much, yesterday he wore the helmet to dinner...) I think it has given him a real feeling of independence and it certainly is giving both him and us some more aerobic exercise! Sam's other favorite presents included the book Sam and the Firefly, a game called Zingo, Dora stickers (still loving Dora), and a new Radica 20Q game (the last one we received got a bit too well-loved, hopefully this one will survive a bit longer). The 20Q game is quite funny because: 1) Sam can read almost all of the questions, but 2) he answers them somewhat stochastically. ;) Thanks so much to everyone who thought of him on his birthday!
Nina is getting another top molar. I think that may partly explain why she has been sort of miserable lately. Of course I am a bit freaked out because it seems like she has been extra cranky ever since she got the MMR. But whatever the MMR does, it's still better than getting the sicknesses it vaccinates against, I think. Nina is also suffering from the heat, partly because we can't find the umbrella for her stroller, and also she refuses to wear hats. And it gets very hot in this apartment. She now pronounces Sam more like "ham" and she sure loves him a lot. It is very cute to see.
Speaking of love, Sam has found love at Brunswick. He is very enamored of a little girl named Amy. He has given her several appropriate hugs and has given her rides on a two-seater trike in the Brunswick garden.
Nina now has several favorite "topics of conversation." She likes to talk about the "E", which is the toy store at the Grafton Center, and then also about the Grafton Center itself, and the "eh" (elevator) with the "buh" (buttons). She also likes to mention "oh pah" (old park) and "cuh pah" (tennis court park) where she "wing"s (swings). She can also say Mommy now! :)

Today was a big day. Pappa came home after five nights away and Auntie Åsa left after five nights here. Also we went to the Brunswick BBQ. Everybody was happy to see Amy there; especially Sam. Apparently Amy and Sam are now pretty much inseperable at school. They are so darn cute together. They hold hands and play together very sweetly. It is really funny. It is also a bit heartbreaking because we're moving in two weeks. But Amy would have been going to a different school than Sam even if we had moved within town, so that is some consolation. Sam did want to call Amy while she was on vacation. He was upset that I knew neither her number nor Miss Bedford's number.
While Håkan's week away in June showed me that I can be on my own if absolutely necessary, it sure was lovely to not have to do it this time. I again say a big huge thank you to Auntie Åsa. I tell ya, she cooks, she sings, she even plays tennis, wow, I sure am lucky. And our house ends up looking better on a Friday than on a Monday... that sure isn't the usual pattern... ;) Auntie Åsa also got to be Nina's second babysitter. This time Nina was awake the whole time. Apparently she cried angrily for awhile at first, then she eventually got over it and even had a bit of fun. The babysitting happened because Sam and I were invited to Nicola's retirement party. That turned out to be quite an honor because very few other kids from this year were there. In fact maybe none? I of course tried to dress up and realized only after leaving the house that I had oil stains on my shirt. All my clothes are at serious risk these days b/c Nina likes to feed me when she's done feeding herself. I should learn to love salad with no dressing. But anyway, the party was very nice, and it was neat to see some of the Brunswick grads and learn a bit more about Nicola.
Nina is really into learning how to talk now. Her latest things is to say "ok," like I do five hundred times a day. She also likes to say "24 Cross Street." But really she wants to talk about everything. It is super cute. Tonight she tried again to learn to jump. She's getting closer and closer but it'll still be awhile... Nina is also not going to bed until very very late which is quite exhausting for me. Some days she considers her 7pm sleep a nap, sometimes she only sleeps once but still won't go back to sleep till 8:30. It is really rough to have almost no solo grownup time.
Yesterday Nina and I stopped in the cemetary on the way home from dropping off Sam for an emergency nursing session. It was a lovely day and I felt another pang of regret about leaving Cambridge. But I feel convinced that living in a new apartment will be really good for us all, especially after this week, when the mold man came and told us that yep, that front wall sure is wet and could very well have "black mold." Meanwhile Sam continues to have an elevated temp.. I took him back to the doctor today (thanks still more to Auntie Åsa who this time got to listen to the monitor) and we will do another urine screen on Monday. If that comes back negative more tests will be done. Dr. Alexander mentioned some weird opportunistic fungus that could stem from the wet wall that usually only attacks people with lowered immunity. I was like, "opportunistic... lowered immunity... Sam probably has that then." So we'll see, I've started eeping a temp. log. And now I'm going to sleep. :)

Today was the last day of Brunswick. :( Sam only got to go to school yesterday and today this week as he has had a very bad fever. It went up to 40.5 3 or 4 times during its course (104.9). Now Nina has a nasty cough but no fever anyway. But now I am all convinced that it is mold-related. I am counting the days until we leave this apartment (7). But it was quite heartbreaking today because Sam got a lovely card from Amy with a very sweet message and an adorable picture. When I was writing cards to several of the Brunswick teachers Sam said he wanted to write a card to Amy. So we got one (an "I love you" card even) and Sam dictated what I should write. So he gave it to her yesterday. It is so sad that he will have to leave his first real friend. They have been quite inseparable at Brunswick. But at least now he knows how good friendship can be, so hopefully he'll try again soon. :) As usual I could write much more but it's too far past my bedtime...