Back to business

For all you die-hard PC fans and doting grandparents everywhere, I know exactly what you’re thinking…. “Thanks, mommy dearest, for all your thoughts and ramblings, but what about the little chap? When do we get to see a bit of him again?!”

That’s okay, I’m not offended that you’d rather look at my son than read my writing. Really. I’m here to serve.

So without further ado and to appease the masses, here are some shots of Per Christian adapting to his difficult life in Gran Canaria….

First, a “before” shot of the week we left Oslo – no more coats and hats for this little boy!

He’s really chomping at the bit to get on his feet – I have about 100 shots all identical to this one:

Speaking of chomping, here he is with his favorite teething toy. Those fancy-schmancy teething rings I bought him?? Forget it – he’d rather have a cardboard box:

We’re pretty lucky to be within walking distance of Per’s new hotel, so every once in a while Per Christian gets lunch with pappa (note – the beer was actually on a Saturday…)

The beginning of each day starts in bed with mommy and pappa — undivided attention, cuddles and a bottle filled with warm milk… What better way to start the day?

Every afternoon is reading time to prepare for Per Christian’s entrance exams to Oxford. (Kidding, maybe a little….) By the way – these hard books are also excellent teething toys in lieu of the ones mommy bought.

All dressed and ready for a day on the town. This little fair-haired child has quickly become the toast of the town — the darker locals love his blond hair and the Scandinavian pensioners always stop to pet him. He’s never gotten so much attention before, which I think suits him just fine….

He’s getting pretty skilled with the high chair, even the cheap plastic ones they have at the cafes. He’ll usually last about seven minutes in it before his Scream of Boredom begins – just enough time to drain my cortado in peace.

And then, every afternoon and evening, peace descends upon the house as Per Christian drifts off to never-never land. This could be the single best advertisement for Pampers diapers I’ve ever seen.

That’s all folks!

Brain fail #1,269

As both my father and father-in-law have pointed out, I need to take a refresher course on scientific history.

This post should of course have referred to Murphy (anything that can go wrong – will), rather than to Newton (gravity and apple-on-the-head).

Damn. Sorry folks.

In an attempt to hide my utter embarrassment and avoid any further blunders, here are some recent photos of our precious little meatball. Current favorite activities include grabbing at anything within arm’s reach and throwing them across the room/table/jet plane. I’ve heard this is typical Boy behavior, as opposed to Girl behavior that includes playing quietly with minimum destruction (sugar and spice and all that….)

He’s teething badly enough to drive mommy to distraction. Thank goodness pappa returns home from Gran Canaria tonight.

One week left in countdown to the Big Move – wish us luck everyone!


Uh oh…. I think there’s another bar-loving Svendsen in the house:

Playdate with girlfriend Nina, Auntie Eline and Auntie Larissa:

Traveling like a big boy to the airport:

Excellent promotional material for Norwegian Airlines (en route to Auntie Gøril in Tromsø):

Classic Nordic baby-style:

Look everyone…. up on all fours!

Just photos

No philosophical ramblings, complaints or dark & twisty stories this time…. just pure cuteness on a plate for all of Per Christian’s adoring fans!

This past week was spent at Eline’s family cabin on the Swedish coast, followed by a few days with friends in Stockholm. Per and I learned a lot about traveling with our miniature family member, which should come in handy next week….. Greece, here we come!

Status achieved

Apparently, the Norwegian government now recognizes Per Christian Svendsen as a Norwegian citizen fit for travel to foreign destinations. His mother and father, on the other hand, are wondering — “Who IS this person in the passport photo?!?!” Neither one of us recognize this little man as the small organism we brought home from the hospital ten weeks ago. How did time pass so quickly?

Taking Per Christian’s passport photo was an interesting experience – going down to the photo store on one of our daily jaunts, laying him out on the white mattress with the photographer standing above him, battling against every shred of sanity to actually wake him long enough to face the camera and get the shot taken. When they then developed and handed me the photo, I could hardly believe that this is how the world will see my son. He’s a good-looking chap, don’t get me wrong, but I hardly even recognized him!

Here are a few more photos from recent sunny days in Oslo. I hope you are all having a great summer and that we’ll get to see you at some point!

The two Christian’s in our Oslo family:








The lovely Larissa and Nina-to-be (Per Christian is first in line for boyfriend status):

Hmmm… He’ll have to get better at hiding his thoughts around the boobies….

Tummy-time is always rich with photo opportunities:

Per Christian bringing ganster-style to Oslo:








Another sunny day and bottle of champagne in Oslo:








Another sunny day and glass of white wine in Oslo:








Per Christian and Pappa:

Per Christian & Momma:

From the Archives

From the very first day, it’s been obvious that Per Christian inherited his good looks from his father. I’m fairly certain that his good humor and obvious intelligence comes from his mother, but we probably won’t know that for sure for a few more years.

I was going through some old photos and found the ones below of both the Per’s. I’d appreciate anyone’s input if you see just the smallest resemblance of myself in this young boy, please!

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

In other news, Per Christian had his first round of vaccinations this morning. He shed a few tears in the health center during and after the shots, but mommy, on the other hand, was a helpless puddle of tears. Good thing Pappa was there to rescue the family and return us home in one piece.

Hello World – I’m 1 month old today!

It’s been a busy first month for me, adjusting my tiny body to the heavy demands of the outside world. But I’ve learned a lot already – as have mommy and pappa.

Here are a few achievements I’m especially proud about:

  • Eating – check!… Boobies – yummm. Bottles – nope, not so much
  • Pooping – check!… I mastered the Art of the Dirty Diaper in record time
  • Crying – check!… Although not as bad (or as often) as originally feared, I can still belt out a real earth-shaker when the mood suits
  • Cuddling – check!… I enjoy long cuddles on the couch while mommy watches all this Royal Wedding nonsense
  • Sleeping – check!… OK, so mommy would disagree with me here, but she also repeatedly says that I’m perfect, so I’m checking this off the list
  • The Stroller – check!… I love my daily walks around Olso, it’s the only time I get a guaranteed nap with lullabies of horns honking and city noise in the background
  • Entertaining – check!… I have an uncanny ability to be on my best behavior around company, as long as mommy doesn’t try to put me to bed and miss the party. Forget that – duh!

And last, but certainly not least….

  • Prosecco-tasting – check!… Much to mommy’s relief, I can handle a daily glass of Prosecco well enough to make any Svendsen proud

Stay tuned for more fun to come!

Our Brady Bunch

And now for something completely different, a cultural reference lesson for the non-American readers among us…
“The Brady Bunch” was a very popular TV sitcom back in the early 70’s that portrayed the trials and tributions of a blended family from two separate marriages. Three girls on one side and three boys on the other, learning to live together over five years of predictable sitcom life.
” … There’s the story of a lovely lady with three very lovely girls… lalalala…. and a man named Brady with three boys of his own, this group formed a family and that’s how they all became the Brady bunch…. lalalala…
If this still doesn’t ring a bell, check out this link:

Per and I have our own spin on the Brady bunch here in Oslo. Our amazing circle of friends has become our blended family in this first month of newborn bliss. (And by “bliss” I of course mean every emotion from tears of joy to tears of frustation…) With our much wiser and more experienced parents residing in faraway locales like Sri Lanka and South Carolina, our friends have stepped in to fill the gap. “Our friends are our family,” is a saying often repeated these past few weeks in the Svensend household.

Our friends have entertained us, fed us, walked with us, cleaned our floors and pushed our child around grocery stores ever since Day One. They have held Per Christian when mommy & pappa needed a break, and they have lavished so much love upon him that the poor child is miserable when his lackluster  parents are the only ones around. Per Christian already bears the typical Svendsen mark of never being able to miss a party – he refuses to sleep when there are visitors in the house for fear that he might miss one more cuddle or one exciting moment. Such is the Svendsen cross he’s born to bear….

So this post is an Ode of Joy to all our friends out there that have ushered Per Christian into being this first month. Thank you for caring for our newborn and his parents. Thank you for being our own personal Brady bunch family.

And now, some photos…. 

Home Sweet Home

Enough said…. ?

Photos and more coming up – just as soon as Mummy & Pappa can recall the difference between night and day.

Thank you all for the many good wishes you’ve been sending our way!

Growing a melon… (photos!)

I’ve been hesitant to take or share any belly pictures during this pregnancy, mostly out of a keen interest to deny that my body wasn’t as fit and trim as I’m used to. But now that the end is in sight and I can no longer deny that something’s going on down there, I think it’s interesting to see the progression over the weeks.

So I’m giving in to popular demand (and several fierce requests from my mother), and sharing a few shots of the Melon as he’s grown and changed over the past nine months. I didn’t originally set out to capture the progression, but it seems to have happened anyway. Enjoy!

Fidel at 12 weeks

18 weeks and growing

22 weeks - in the US for Thanksgiving

27 weeks - in Sri Lanka for Christmas and New Year's

38 weeks - no denying the changes anymore

Latest from today, 39 weeks and 2 days (counting, counting....)

Home Sweet Home

Per and I agreed not to begin preparing our nursery until after the holidays had passed last year. We were both working quite a lot at the time, and the arrival of little Fidel seemed so far in the future that getting his room ready just wasn’t a priority.

I suppose the downside to this Master Plan was that the decorating began following our trip to Sri Lanka when I was at my highest level of “elephant-crazy.” For those who haven’t experienced it, beware – it’s a particularly persistent ailment that encourages ga-ga behaviour towards this particular brand of pachyderm, much to the amusement  and possible embarrassment of loved ones around them. It does, however, make for extremely easy holiday gift ideas.

I mean, seriously – how can any half-respectable American brought up in the Disney land of Dumbo (and with the hormone level that comes with being six months pregnant) NOT get choked up by the sight of elephant snuggling?!?!

Photo from the Sri Lankan Elephant Orphanage, January 2011

Besides the snuggling bit, reading up on elephants makes me less afraid of my own upcoming labor and delivery. According to my extensive research (consisting of one photo book on the Sri Lankan elephant), elephant mothers carry their young for 18-22 months before they’re born at the staggering weight of 75-115 kilos (i.e. a LOT of pounds). Somehow the thought of harvesting my 3-kilo Melon isn’t so frightening in relative terms.

So Fidel’s nursery has a definite elephant theme to it – elephant toys, pictures, stuffed animals, even a few sleepers and blankets. Per has been extremely accepting of my departure to crazy-land and, just like intelligent pappas-to-be everywhere, he’s let mommy have a free hand in all the details. (However, I did hear that he gave instructions to my shower organizers for “no more f****ing elephant gifts….)

We still have a few minor things to add, and this doesn’t show the vintage Svendsen cradle we have ready in the bedroom, but for the most part we’re all done and ready for our son’s arrival. Hurry up little Melon, we’re ready for you!

The Svendsen nursery

Where the Melon will sleep soundly at all times, and where Pappa will change all his diapers

First six months of clothing supplies - we have no idea if it's too much or too little...

Svendsen Jr's first shoe collection!

Yep, more elephant-crazy

The famous diaper cake, which I haven't had the heart to dismantle yet.

I've already tested the chair and proven that it's nap-worthy material.

Friends in waiting....

More friends

Have baby, will travel! We fully expect Fidel to inherit his parents' travel bug.

That’s it for now…. Have a great weekend everyone!