Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Nine-Month Birthday!

(A day early, but I won't have time to post tomorrow.) Prelude: Tor at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Sept. 2.

Three quarters of the way through his first year on earth, Tor is encountering my favorite season: autumn. It's fortunate that thanks to the multitude of friends he's gathered in his short life, he has an abundance of sweaters.

Smuggest guy at the farmer's market? Not a chance

"So, come here often?"

Future speed dater
Ready for the Bierkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race
Put gloves on. Grab camera. Put gloves on.
Grab camera. Give up.

Tor attended his first birthday party last Sunday: that of the famous Madeline, who has gotten even cuter and even zanier in her second year. No one knew either was possible, but the girl is a force of nature.

Tor was the youngest child there, so he mostly observed, but he managed to snag a toy here and there.
His doe eyes had yet to light on the doll

"What a non-gender conformist I'm raising," I thought
Then his true little-boy colors emerged
 The lad is now pointing at everything he sees. The semiotic value of this pointing remains indeterminate: sometimes it seems to invite us to share his attention to a certain object (e.g., a light), sometimes it's directed at us, sometimes it indicates his general displeasure with his situation. Hopefully it'll quickly become a more handy communication device. ("Handy!" I kill me.)

Daycare is going really well. They've been getting out to the park often while the weather remains good, which you all know Tor enjoys. And he's been drinking between 4 and 6 oz. of milk while there--not as much as we'd like, but a damn sight better than none.

"Gimme whatever you got in your cheeks and we'll call it even."

Honing his enviable spatial skills
Now he'll have to figure out something else he wants for Christmas

His nine-month doctor's appointment is scheduled for Friday, 9/30. It's easy to see he's grown, but will it be enough to keep him on his curve? Tune in next week and find out! I'll also try to get some pictures of him in a standing position--he's pulling himself up like a pro these days, but he does still require a spotter. Now that Daddy's home from a conference, though, we can team up to bring you the best of Tor.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daycare Update

Well, he's not drinking any milk at daycare--yet--but he's enjoying himself, doing well with the solid foods, and increasing his apple juice consumption. Everyone's sleep has definitely suffered, but it's only been three days...we remain hopeful that we'll all weather this transition with intact minds and bodies!

The daycare providers, Melissa and Ulises, shared a few photos with us.

Speaking of photo sharing, I meant to post this link months ago. It's to the album for our six-month photo shoot with local photographer and buddy Nate Grahek. I think he did an excellent job and it's nice to have these memories of our family at that point!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Travelin' Tor

We've had an eventful past two weeks, which included trips to the Boundary Waters for canoeing, to Orange County for Lars's grandfather's funeral, and to the Bay Area for my sister's wedding. Let me tell you how it went down in chronological order. As you saw on the previous post, we prepped for canoeing by testing Tor's personal flotation device in our bathtub. It was so buoyant, we couldn't even flip him completely over.

Our three buddies flew into Minneapolis on Friday night, 8/26, and we started the five-hour drive north at 3:30 the next morning. We were at the outfitter by 8:00 and in the water at 10:30. That day, we canoed on four lakes with four portages, arriving at our campsite about 5:00 p.m. Tor was bummed to sit still for that long, but we tried to give him a few breaks while we ate lunch and stopped for a swim.

Wrangling Tor was a great excuse
not to pull my weight on portages
Our setup involved Tor and me or Lars in the middle of one canoe with Lars or me in the front and someone else in the back. Tor alternated between sitting on a lap and in his bouncer (not strapped in, of course). The other canoe held the two remaining guys and most of the gear. In practice, I ended up spending the most time in the middle, since hours in a life vest can be enraging, but nursing makes it all better.

The only one who didn't get a tan

Four geologists and a map = plenty of time for a snooze
We kept our first campsite, on an island, for two nights and then moved for the third. Both sites were awesome and situated so we could make shorter fishing trips.

Lawrence of Suburbia in the wild

We got a big sheet at Goodwill to stake down for crawling. Tor was most curious about its edges and the pine needles and dust beyond them, so we tended to place sentries on multiple sides.

Dirty hippies in action. Here, Tor eyes his godfather's wine cup.
The rear end of the Nalgene is the less tasty end

Fortunately, the bears on his PJs didn't attract the real deal
Impromptu bikini feeding

Everyone except me hooked a fish. (To be fair, I fished the least because I Torred the most.) We fried up some fresh pike every day. Below is Lars with his biggest catch: 23 inches, with baby for scale.

Words are inadequate to this
So, great trip. 12 hours after we returned to Minneapolis, we were in the air headed to the OC. Although it was sad to say goodbye to Grandpa Al, we enjoyed many precious interactions with family. Tor met his Ottobre cousins for the first time, and we're looking forward to more interactions over the holidays. (If anyone has pictures of Tor with family, would you send them to me, please? I'd love copies--digital or print.)

The very next day, we headed up the coast to the Bay Area, where Tor's Tante Christina and her fiance Caleb were to wed on Saturday. Thus ensued another wonderful period of introducing Tor to his relatives. He got a kick out of Cousin Elsebeth from Denmark:

who gave him the sweet wooden race car he's eyeballing here, while framed by Mormor and Morfar.

The day of the wedding, Tor arrived with bells on to help the ladies dress.

"I just picture-messaged Caleb a preview! Woo woo!"

Here we are post-ceremony with my gorgeous, radiant sister, our newly minted brother-in-law, and my irresistibly riveting bouquet:

They've yet to make a hat adults and eight-month-olds
can share without one party losing out

Once back home, he started sleeping nearly through the night again, thank goodness!! BUT. He starts daycare tomorrow, 8 to 5, five days a week. So we'll see what kind of wrenches that throws in his schedule. He is now very mobile and pulling up to a standing position on anything he sees, so I think he'll have fun in the daycare's completely baby-proof environment.

Elissa, why the hat, you ask? To cushion his
sad, bruised head, I reply.

And now...Tor! GO NUTS!!