Archive for August, 2010

Lucky 13! (Part 1)

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

I write this with the disclaimer that I know I have not written a post regarding Bjorn’s first birthday, July 29th.  This post is the consolation prize–13 months today–August 29!  Lucky 13.

Bjorn had a very busy July and August.  He traveled across the country, up and down the state of California, went on his first major hike, reconnected with old friends (hi, Grace!) and somehow managed to turn one-year-old!  We’re in such a fun time with him right now–he loves to belly laugh (especially when you tickle his armpits or ask him what a cow says–I THINK those are mutually exclusive).  He could spend hours on the swing at the park. I’m not kidding about that.  If you keep pushing him on the swing, he’ll be happy for approximately forever.  Also–he is pseudo walking!  He loves to try and navigate the dangerous territory between mom and dad’s outstretched arms by himself.   Its so fun to watch him start to stretch his independence–and, I won’t lie–its also a little scary.  You turn your back in this house and Bjorn is climbing up the stairs or trying to climb in the dishwasher.   Its sometimes hard to reconcile the need to say “no” to everything with the knowledge that I should let him explore and learn about the capabilities of his little human self.

Here are some videos of him walking in California.

And just in case you were wondering–yes, that is his only outfit.  Overalls and a white onesie.

Our trip to California was fantastic (once we finally got there–I’ve recounted the terrible no-good story of our outward bound trip so many times that if I write it here I’ll just get angry again so we’ll just confirm that it was horrible and leave it at that).   We spent much time with Nonno and Nonni and saw many of our wonderful California friends. On Bjorn’s actual birthday we went to a Padres game versus the nasty evil high-payrolled but lacking in talent Dodgers (but let me tell you how I really feel)–and the Padres won!  This was obviously because Bjorn was in attendance.  Over the weekend, Nonno and Nonni hosted a fantastic family birthday for Bjorn in which Bjorn promptly decided to take a nap for a majority of the party.  That’s just how he rolls.  We had tied a balloon around his waist in order to be able to find him in the milieu of relatives which was marginally successful.  He had a great time with Cousin Caroline who trekked down from Westwood.  He was a little unsure of Gruncle John and Uncle Scary…which really just re-enforces that he has great judge of character (I kid, I kid).   Let me also tell you that Lars also spent HOURS putting together a rocket-ship birthday cake for him. It was FANTASTIC—and when it came time for Bjorn to demolish it as is the fashion for first birthdays–he could not care less.  We ended up having to put a Ritz Cracker on the cake in order for Bjorn to even touch it.  He was skeptical of this whole “birthday cake” trick and he let us know.  At the end of the night he was swimming in toys and books and scoots (oh, the scoots!) and was a pretty happy camper.

Here he is being ambivalent about birthday fun!

And here is a video showing what amazing parents Lars and I are.

The in between of our trip was spent in the beautiful Eastern Sierras and cold cold (but beautiful) San Francisco!  We packed our bags on Tuesday and headed up the scenic highway 395.   Bjorn did great on one of the longer car trips he’s been on–but it did really seem like divine intervention when he was just losing it and we crossed a crest into Lone Pine and the first thing we saw was a playground–right at the base of the Eastern Sierras and on a lake.  It may be revisionist history but I think there were even rays of sun shining down on it and angels singing?  We stopped and took a little swing and then made the final push for Bishop where we were staying that night. The next morning we hiked Little Lakes Valley–a trail Lars and I did back in 2006 and recalled being easier than it ended up being.  Maybe we were just in better shape back then.  Okay, I KNOW we were in better shape back then.  7.2 miles gorgeous hiking miles later, we were back in Bishop just hanging out with the family.  We went for pizza that night where Bjorn enjoyed flirting with the waitress (he was able to bamboozle free black olives and bread out of her) and watching all the semi-trucks caravan up HWY 395.

The next day we parted ways with Nonno and Nonni and started our trek to San Francisco via Mammoth Lake and Tioga Pass/Yosemite.  Coming into San Francisco, we saw all the giant windmills just east of the city.  They might as well have been a ceiling fan farm–Bjorn was enamored with this magical land of ceiling fans that just grew out of the ground!  We finally made it into San Francisco late Thursday night.  We were, very generously, offered lodging at my very good London-Town friend, Paul’s, beautiful house and came in and promptly trashed the place.  I think I’m just kidding  but with a baby, its hard to tell.  My gauge for what’s clean and what’s not has changed a little.  We also managed to be the least classy people in all of San Francisco–because after a long drive over the mountains and at 9:30pm at night–we took our ridiculously dirty and barefoot baby into a Taco Bell/KFC Combo restaurant and ate bean and cheese burritos.  Willingly.

The next day we would start our adventures with Kate & Grace all over the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf.  Carousel rides, playing at the park and nonsense and mayhem would ensue.  Unfortunately, Bjorn is up from his nap so this post will just have to be a TO BE CONTINUED…you can blame it on the little guy.

…when you let your son hang out with Public Health students

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Bjorn recently celebrated his first birthday!  Hooray!  Unfortunately, he has lame parents haven’t been able to update about that OR our trip to Sunny (and not-so-sunny) California in over a month.  However, I had to share this fun gift he received from his buddy Minal who also happens to be a PhD student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  Either Bjorn is a genius or Minal takes it down a knotch whenever they interact. Hard to tell.

For Christmas, Minal gave Bjorn toy vegetables–including an ear of corn, tomato, carrot and a potato.  For his birthday, we received a grocery basket full of toy vegetables plus a birthday card with golden retriever puppies on it.  In said card it reads:

Dear Bjorn,

I thought I would get you this card because these puppies are as cute as you are.  Wanted to wish you a very happy first birthday!  This is an extremely special occasion.  Obesity is becoming a major problem among children and adolescents.  I hope you have lots of fun with this gift and teach all of your friends at Gretchen’s House how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables.  Hope you have a very fun-filled birthday!

Your friend, Minal

Bjorn, if you head Minal’s advice–let me just add that tomatoes aren’t vegetables and that if you eat too many carrots you’ll turn orange.