Six months and counting!

Okay great big world, today’s my half-birthday and it’s time for another status check. If you missed my first update at one month old, check it out here. So much has happened since then!

  • Eating – check!… I’ve rapidly expanded my repertoire to include apples, bananas, apricots, avocados, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets and – 
    my most favorite of all – pears! 
    (Editor’s note – he’s not kidding folks, pears really are his favorite and he screams bloody murder if mommy gets distracted and doesn’t shovel them in fast enough.)
  • Pooping – check!… I continue to set records in the Dirty Diaper category of baby-hood. What goes in must come out, much to mommy’s nasal dismay.
  • Sleeping – check!… Mommy keeps thanking someone named Jesus for my sleeping from 6pm-7am every night. I’m not sure what he’s got to do with it since I’m doing all the work. 
  • Playing – check!… I’m discovering some new friends in the neighborhood and have a not-so-secret crush on this little brown-eyed girl named Nina. What a hottie!
  • Ut på tur – check!… I love my trips in the great outdoors with mommy. I hear we’re moving to a warmer climate soon, just in time to get rid of these annoying hats and put my baby swimming skills to the test!
  • Entertaining – check!… I am a Svendsen after all, and just like my parents I love me a glass of prosecco. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so they say…. 
  • Being adorable – double check!… I’ve inherited mommy’s giggle and love to put it on display for everyone’s amusement.

Coming attractions include sitting up, continued exploration of my toes, stage two foods and higher degrees of baby babbling.

Happy half-birthday to me!

The end is near

Gentlemen, beware. This post involves talk of The Boobs. You have been warned.

I always planned to breastfeed Per Christian until he was nine months old. This may sound like an arbitrary number, but it was based upon the fact that we’ll be traveling to the US for the holidays this year and I wanted to easily feed him on the plane. I don’t know all the nutritional facts about breastfeeding for nine months, but I do know what it’s like to have a fussy baby on a long-haul flight. I wanted to avoid that as much as possible.

But the fact is – I just don’t have it. For whatever reason, my supply is about done. I’ve exhausted myself with pumping sessions to try and keep it up, but I’m about to forfeit the game. My mind is going numb with the rhythmic whirring sound of the electric pump; my wrists are developing carpel tunnel from the manual version. And it’s almost embarrassing to admit how skilled I’ve become at one-handed Tetris on the iPhone. I have always despised pumping with a heated passion, it’s like being at the dairy farm and having your worth measured by how many ounces you produce each day.

I have no idea how other mothers manage. Is it all worth it, I wonder? (FYI – I know I’m not the only one out there with such fierce pumping-fueled hatred. See herehere and here for more of the same.)

I’ve somehow managed to compare the end of breastfeeding in my head to those protesters’ signs outside the Capitol building. They all predict doomsday around the corner and your inevitable persecution for being such an unworthy sloth.

Save yourself!
The End is near!
Have you prayed lately?

I know this pressure and sense of judgement is only in my head. I know breastfeeding for six months is a great accomplishment. I know my son is well-fed and happy (his heavily-dimpled arms and legs are proof of that). But still I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic already. This stage of Per Christian’s baby-hood is coming to a close and it went by so quickly. Did I appreciate it enough while it was here? Should I have spent a little less time complaining and more time enjoying the moment?

It’s sad to know that our days are numbered and we’ll never get these moments back. On the other hand, I’m so, so thrilled to be moving off the dairy farm and getting rid of that evil pump. Far thee well, you squeezer of flesh and crusher of nipples! 

Monkey see, monkey do

Per Christian is getting to that stage of baby-hood where he’s starting to interact a bit more and play with his parents. Which is good, because mommy is home with him all day and needs a playmate.

I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to play with this little monkey?

In typical monkey fashion, he’s also starting to imitate what he sees and hears around him. This is really helpful when we’re trying to teach him a new skill like opening his mouth for food (insert mental image of mommy with her mouth wide open, hovering over the high chair with a spoon full of applesauce…) and also when we’re trying to distract him from some of his least favorite activities (i.e. anything that involves shirts over the head or arms going into sleeve holes).

His favorite sounds seem to be either screeching at the top of his lungs (see above reference about least favorite activities) or else smacking his lips together and clicking his tongue. The latter has had me thinking lately – where did he pick that up? Is he saying he’s hungry and wants more food? Or is he trying to imitate some of the buzzing sounds we make with our lips and hasn’t quite gotten the technique down yet?

But then I had a great “A-HA!” moment this morning when I was fulfilling his daily quota of 4,762 kisses. At one point, he looked me right in the eyes and smacked his lips together. Hey! Could this be the early signs of mimicking our kisses?! Could full-fledged baby slobbers be right around the corner?

Oh, I hope so, because mommy is home with him all day and needs herself some kisses!

(PS – if you’re a child development expert or otherwise experienced parent and  laughing at my naivety, please go away. Ignorance really is bliss in this case.)

Plan your next holiday at Hotel Svendsen….

…because we’re moving again!

If someone had warned me that marrying a hotelier would entail a life of moving every few years, then I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

If someone had warned me that we’d inevitably be leaving every town just as we really felt settled in there, then I still wouldn’t have changed a thing.

If someone had warned me that we’d be moving from the rainy fall weather of Oslo to the year-round sunshine of Gran Canaria….. yep! That’s right, definitely wouldn’t have changed a thing!

The Svendsen family is on the move once again as of mid-October. Pappa Svendsen is being sent south to open Radisson’s newest resort in Arguineguin, and the remaining members of the Svendsen tribe are tagging along for fun.

So book your tickets and plan your next several years’ worth of holidays with us in Gran Canaria. We hope to be there for at least three years, which is probably just around the time we’ll feel settled in and need to move again.

You can check out Pappa Svendsen’s new project here (due to open in March 2012).

An open letter to all the daddies in the world

Dear Pappa(s),

We know you’re doing the best you can. We know you’re just as dazed and confused as we are. But you’re so much better at hiding it. Your calm, rational ways fall under the shadow of our Mamma Bear personas and tend to get lost in the shuffle.

So please forgive us when we lose our tempers after you don’t have an immediate solution to X (insert given infant ailment here – sleeping, teething, eating, etc etc etc….). It´s not that we necessarily expect you to have the answers, it´s just that we´re so exhausted at not having them ourselves. Our poor darlings are crying and “oh my god please just make it stop, it´s making my heart bleed and my boobs leak…..“!

We don´t say it often enough, but we do appreciate you being here. We really don´t know what we´d do if you weren’t here. Because you´re still the guy who helped make this family and who helps keep it together. You´re the guy who makes mommy coffee and sandwiches before you leave for work. You´re the guy who races home every day to try and make the evening bath and bottle. You´re the guy who fills our wine glasses after the babies are asleep. And you´re the guy who quietly steps in and provides relief when mommy needs it most.

But, you know, if you could have a few more of the answers, that would be good too.

Thanks for stickin´ around, pappa(s).

Three generations of Svendsen pappas that have managed to stick around :

Going native

As any Peace Corps volunteer will tell you, there´s a fine line between successfully blending in with the natives and losing your entire sense of self.  We used to have an understanding among my fellow volunteers that you´ve been in Russia too long (i.e. “gone native”) when you regularly carry rolls of toilet paper in your purse and never leave home without a plastic bag “just in case the market has anything today….

(On a totally unrelated side-note, I had a friend who swore she would stay a third year in the outer banks of nowhere if her local market started supplying Diet Coke. Sure enough, we enjoyed a lovely third year together after that.)

I´m now well on my way towards going native among the mommy crowd. With that in mind, I give you my own list of “You Know You´re a Mommy When…..” Mommies of the world – feel free to write in your own suggestions in the comments box below.

You know you´re a mommy when….

  • … the first thing you do every morning is feel your boobs to make sure they´re full.
  • … you can´t wait until baby´s bedtime but then miss the little chap two hours later.
  • … you have a smug, superior look on your face whenever you pass a pregnant woman (you think you have it bad now little lady, but just you wait….).
  • … you are adept at living life one-handed.
  • … you refer to your husband as “pappa” and yourself as “mommy”.
  • … your day consists of either preparing food, feeding food or cleaning said food out of a diaper.
  • … you actually look forward to the aforementioned diaper because it means little junior´s tummy is working properly.
  • … you (happily) check out the baby clothes department before your own.
  • … you can sing lullabies in multiple languages (including baby-speak).
  • … your selection of cafes/restaurants/shopping centers/etc. revolves around their level of stroller-friendliness.
  • … you have a sliding scale for how much spit-up you can have on your clothes and still go out in public without changing.
  • … you invent all kinds of sounds you never knew you could make in an effort to solicit one precious baby smile.
  • … you finally get along with your own mother.
  • … you have brochures of traveling circuses hidden around the house, just in case.
Mmmmm….. baby kisses……