Glorious city outing

We don’t get to see the sun much in Denmark this time of the year. So when, today, we woke up to a blue sky, basically no wind, and temps above freezing for the first time in a while, we promptly came up with plans for the day that would let us enjoy the much welcome sunshine: a trip to the city! (Yeah, we live in the suburbs now, and somehow what used to be our backyard now seems like quite an ordeal to go visit)
We took the train and metro downtown, walked around the touristy harbor area looking at all the ice in the water and admiring the view across the larger harbor toward the Opera House, then had lunch on the top floor of a department store which has a kids’ corner and an impressive view of Kgs. Nytorv, and finally managed to get Xander some much needed new winter boots on sale before heading back to the train to go home. Oh, and we also spotted a leeks-chewing Triceratops amidst all the veggie stands at the food markets – not a trivial thing for a Dinosaur expert/fanatic like X.

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Peep

It is winter in Denmark, and with it comes snow and cold winds, and unfortunately also an increased likelihood of catching some sort of cold or other unwanted bug. In our house, we have been under the weather for quite some time now and it is starting to take its toll on us. Last week had us all succumbing to a stomach flu that has been circulating at daycare, and today, I am writing this while sipping tea on the couch to battle a nasty cold, surrounded by a coughing baby and a sniffling husband. We are a sad sight.
In the middle of all this illness, Savannah turned 11 months and Chris turned 30 years old. And we don’t even have any real pictures to show for either of those occasions.

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February is around the corner, and will bring Savannah’s enrollment in daycare (on Monday! Unbelievable – it feels like she was only just born!) and hopefully less sick days and an end to all this snow (eventually).

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10.5 months

How about a Savannah update? Looking at my most recent status post on her development, I almost don’t recognize her at all. Four months is a long time in a little girl’s life and how can that bald baby possibly be the same person as the crawling, standing, chubby Savannah we know now?
Well, here is some photo spam.
Savannah started crawling shortly after turning 6 months, a developmental breakthrough which basically made her a much happier baby. Mobility on the ground soon turned into pulling up everywhere, leaning against anything in house. Oh, the pride and joy in reaching some of Xander’s toys that were not far enough away from the edge of the coffee table, or the glee when pulling books off the shelves. And her favorite spot in the house? The oven. She just loves standing in front of it watching the lights inside (and enjoying the warmth emitted from it, I imagine).
Also, anything she could get her hands on went straight to her mouth, as the pictures show. Slowly, this reflex has been replaced by a more visual inspection of her findings. Most things still end up in her mouth, but not before being turned over several times in her chubby hands first.
The endless drooling finally paid off. Savannah now has four teeth and she knows how to use them. Eating basically the same as us, she definitely knows how to bite off chunks of bread or chew up some red pepper. I stopped breastfeeding around 9 months and at 10 months we made the final switch from formula to cow’s milk.
With me returning to work and Xander in daycare, Savannah and Chris have spent the past four months at home together. This has worked out very well, and has certainly brought the two of them much closer together. But we also sense an increasing interest in other people (kids) that Chris cannot match. The next chapter in Savannah’s life begins on February 1st, when she starts daycare.

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Christmas

This year, we spent Christmas Eve at my sister’s place, an old apartment at Nørrebro in Copenhagen (very close to our old place but in a nicer neighborhood) which she and her boyfriend have spent the past two years renovating. Completely renovating.
We had a great night with an overwhelming amount of delicious food and all the traditional ingredients to a Danish Christmas Eve. Savannah went to sleep in their bedroom and a very patient Xander stayed awake the entire time we were there (we went home at midnight!)

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As usual, we also had our own Christmas Morning celebration at home, just the four of us. As there are typically more than enough presents to go around, we always opt to open about half on Christmas Eve while keeping the rest for Christmas Morning. Which meant that even though Savannah was asleep during present time on Christmas Eve, she was included in the fun the following morning.

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Of course, opening the presents was just the beginning. Christmas Day is one of my favorite days because it is super casual and only focused on exploring new toys. With no rush. Savannah got a play tunnel that elicited an immediate curiosity but, due to her somewhat cautious nature, still took a couple of days for her to truly conquer. So much fun to watch her explore it – peek through, then around, then crawl one step into it, back out, and repeat. Xander’s highlights included a truck, a PS3 plus the video game Skylanders (which is all rave among four year old boys at his daycare)…

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… And Legos, Legos, Legos. Enough to keep him busy for days. He is very good at building, too. Sits down completely absorbed for long stretches while diligently following the instructions.

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All in all, a pretty perfect Christmas.

Posted in Family, Fun, Holidays | 2 Comments

Just in time

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We love receiving packages in the mail. And with online christmas shopping season barely over, we have become quite accustomed to stuff arriving at our doorstep. But yesterday the mail man showed up with a completely unexpectd package. And inside was this: A beautiful calendar full of pictures to remenisce about the warm weather and happy times we spent at Phillip and Heather’s wedding in Mexico this past summer. It immediately got a prime spot on the wall. Just in time for the new year.

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Good Morning 2014

Waking up early with my favorite little girl on this first morning of the new year, I am pretty glad I called it a night somewhere before 1am last night.

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We had a perfect New Year’s Eve in Birkerød. Pizza dinner for the kids, sushi for the parents, watching the Queen’s speech, lots of status talk about the old year and listing of hopes and dreams for the new one. Even our very own dance floor amidst toys and laundry. And a surprisingly large amounts of fireworks set off by this sleepy suburb!

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Bye bye 2013

Somehow the past 4 months flew by in a blur not leaving a free moment for blogging. It is quite the paradox to post plenty of blog posts when things are a bit slow but not find any time for such writing when life gets busy (and full of experiences worth writing about). Needless to say our life got significantly more hectic when I returned to work. But we are still here, all four of us. Here is the professionally photo edited version :)

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And a couple more of our wonderful kiddos:

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As 2013 is coming to a close, I think my new year’s resolution should be to bring blogging back in my life. At least for the sake of sharing more photos with those of you far from Denmark (Hi Sherry! :)

Happy New Year to you all!

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Six months

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Not quite crawling, not quite sleeping through the night, but certainly scooting, drooling, and wrinkling her nose like a pro, it is going to be tough to leave this little lady behind when I re-enter the real world and go back to work on Monday.

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Posted in Savannah, Things I will miss | 1 Comment

Masterpieces of the day

A firetruck putting out the fire on Xander (with yellow hair) set by a bad guy (with a blue hat) now escaping out of the picture on the left. Plus Mor (with a pink hat) next to Xander, and some train tracks thrown in for good measure up top.

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And a happy Far showing off his big muscles (notice biceps on top, triceps on bottom of arms).

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Posted in Fun, Xander | Leave a comment

Return of the evening

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Hey, did you catch what I said in the previous post? Not all the words about a random TV show, Netflix, or haircuts. No, the single most important statement in that post is the notion that we have evenings again!! Evenings as in both kids are asleep in their beds and both parents are free to do whatever they please for a couple of hours before heading to bed themselves.

Ever since Savannah joined our family back in February, evenings have not really been something we could rely on having. At least not together. Alone. With no kids. For months I basically went to bed with Savannah somewhere around 8 pm and did not rise until she woke up the next morning. Then we moved to a phase where I could perhaps sneak away after she fell asleep, but after lying in a dark room with her for an hour, all I really wanted to do was to go to sleep myself. Plus, knowing she would wake me up several times during the night didn’t help much either.

Then, while in Maryland, we moved her to her crib for sleeping. Remember? I breastfed her to sleep, sitting, then moved her to the crib. This, to some extent, brought back evenings. Some nights at least. Other nights she would have a hard time staying asleep, and the process of getting her down for the night would turn into a lengthy endeavour.

10 days ago, we took the final step: separating eating and sleeping. We have adopted the tried and true ritual that worked so well for Xander – feeding, bathing, bedtime. Which means putting an awake Savvanah in her crib, singing a lullaby, saying goodnight, and leaving the room. While this was a bit difficult for the little girl the first coue of nights, she has adapted amazingly well. Most nights she lies quietly listening to the singing, then whimpers a bit when I leave the room only to quiet and go to sleep. Some nights require a second round of singing, but very rarely more than that.
Which means that our house is completely quiet after 8 pm!!

And changing bedtime rituals is not all. We have started limiting night time feedings as well. That is, if Savannah wakes up before 3 am, I simply sing to her and let her go back to sleep without feeding. If she wakes up anytime after 3 am, I pick her up and feed her before letting her go back in the crib for some more sleep. This sounds kind of rough, but it works like a dream. After one tough night where she stayed awake for two hours from 1-3 am, she has now completed adjusted her sleeping pattern and expectations. Last night she did not wake up until past 4 am! That’s 8 hours straight sleeping. Not bad at all.

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Ps. Savannah had her five months checkup yesterday. All is well, and she is spot on average on every measure. Average length (66 cm), average weight (6,7 kg), average head circumference. Got two shots, one in each chubby little thigh. She did not like it at all, which at the end of the day is also a good sign, I suppose.

Posted in Baby-free time, Savannah, Sleep | Leave a comment