December, 2007

We had a good and informative Christmas week. On Sunday we had an open house for class 1S. Because we didn't give much notice and because people are very busy/travelling around Christmas (and maybe partly because people don't know us very well yet) it ended up being a small affair, with six kids and three sets of parents (plus us). Next year we'll try again as we now have 20 glögg mugs and have perfected lussekatter and mjuk pepparkaka. The best part for the kids was when Lauren was the leader for a game of musical statues. And it was nice to spend some time with other parents in the class.
The 24th is the real Christmas celebration day in Sweden and on that day the Barretts came over to partake of the vegetarian parts of the Swedish julbord (happily they love pickled herring and anchovies). We had an absolutely lovely afternoon; the kids played brilliantly together and we grownups got to chat. Afterwards Nina, Lauren, and I went to the craft part of the Christingle service at the UU church. Nina got to eat a bunch of candy so was quite pleased with that.
Then it was time for Christmas Day and all the presents. What we have figured out is that next year we will make a very simple dinner on Christmas Day as Håkan uses up all his cooking energy for the 24th. We have also again realized that less is more. We really didn't overdo the present thing ourselves but what with gifts from others it still ended up being quite a lot to open. Sam coughed a lot the whole day; I think because he wasn't really breathing properly because he was so excited. Nina had the most fun playing in a giant box from Amazon. :) The kids are happy with many of their presents and now we know even more about how to approach the holiday next year.

Today was Nina's first day without a diaper!!! What a big step for our daughter. It helps that we haven't had to be far from home today, but I think she's really liking the feeling of being in undies instead of diapers, so hopefully her motivation will continue to increase.
On Dec. 27th we took Nina to the OT advice clinic that parents can self-refer to. The OTs there assessed her for about 45 minutes and gave me a questionnaire to fill out. Their finding was that Nina has clear sensory sensitivity issues. Nina has been added to the OT waiting list (about 12 weeks apparently) and will be referred on for further assessment. Although I knew that Nina had some sensory issues, it is still surprisingly hard to have that sort of thing confirmed by an outside source. The good thing is that it seems to have changed the way both of us, and maybe especially Håkan, look at her. We can now be a bit more tolerant of some of her quirks because we have a better understanding of what's causing them. Yesterday Nina and Håkan seemed to find some new common ground much to their and my delight. It may take Sam a bit to adjust, but outings like today are sure to help, when Sam and Håkan went to Climbers and Creepers on their own while Nina napped (and thanks to Lauren, I went on a bike ride in the at least partly sunny weather).
Music continues to be a focus lately. Sam got the Cars soundtrack for Christmas and loves to do Power Rangers moves while dancing. Nina also has her own cool dancing style. :) The Power Rangers are still the heroes of choice around here. Håkan is again showing tolerance with nicknames as this time he gets to be Madison and morph into the Mystic Mermaid. Sam and Nina love to read Power Ranger comic strips out loud, but both of them are absolutely most in love with Hairy Maclary at the moment (funny rhyming stories about dogs and cats). Lauren is visiting until next week and has been a very good reader of Hairy Maclary stories.