Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marching On

Happy Spring! One highlight of this month has been a visit from our friend Nick, who got his PhD with Lars in Minnesota and is now doing a postdoc in Berkeley. He came out to interview at Cambridge and stopped by our neck of the woods for the following weekend. The weather was great, so we took the kids on a looong walk to a pub on the Thames, only accessible by foot, bike, or boat.
Housemade apple-rhubarb juice: don't get used to this, kid
After beers and lunch, we went for a walk by the river. A network of dirt trails ran among the trees alongside the footpath, and Tor decided it was a "treasure trail." So he spent half an hour running up and down hunting for treasure, but mainly just found a series of birdhouses in the trees. Fortunately, that proved cool enough for him. We repeated the "treasure walk" last weekend at a wooded area on the outskirts of town. It's a good way to motivate Tor to walk instead of reclining lazily in the stroller while we get all the exercise.

"What lives in here? Maybe a gnome or somesing?"
Let's just buy a barge and be done with the house hunt

Five photo attempts, all yielding this face
Lars bravely gave Tor his first home haircut, using only scissors. It turned out quite respectably. Afterward, I realized that one quality of dryers I really value is their ability to remove hair from the laundry. I'm still shaking clippings out of the clothes that went in with that blue towel.
"I'm the king, you're the princess, and Dad is the barber."

"My hair is going in two directions, so I look like Daddy."

Tor continues to drag Lars into his room most nights. They frequently end up in some position akin to this one:
Get these men some coffee

Those of you on Facebook have already seen this shot, but it merits inclusion here. This month was Lars's 32nd birthday (gasp!) and we had a little family party including dinner at Atomic Burger, where the walls are covered with superheroes. Afterward, Lars opened a few presents and I tried my hand at baking with a kitchen scale, yielding mediocre cupcakes but good frosting.
Col "T. rex" Hansen

The weather was in the mid-teens (high 50s, for you Americanz) the weekend before last, and as mentioned, Lars and I undertook a five-mile-round-trip walk to Shotover Country Park while the kids napped after church. They woke up for the second half of it and we had leftover birthday cupcakes (secondhand for Col) while sitting on a log.

Overheating after the uphill slog


Just this past weekend our friends the Lascus came down, so Sonia and Tor got to have another sleepover. Lars and I enjoyed grown-up company, the kids got along swimmingly, and we all got hailed on on our walk to the Museum of Natural History. Then we stopped by Lars's department and the Cornish pasty shop before heading back home and saying goodbye.

"When you said you wanted to play with Transformers, I thought . . ."

First ants-on-a-log experience. Result: eviscerated logs.

Ironman's Iron Castle

Homeward bound and ready for a nap

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Five Months Old

The Brothers Hansen

...aaand surprise--Tor's in gloves!

The superfans among you may recall this bear outfit from Tor's infant wardrobe. The difference is that he wore it at ten months old, whereas Col is getting close to punching out the toes at the beginning of his fifth month.

This month has brought a lot of belly laughs--on Col's part, that is. His big brother especially cracks him up. Yesterday Col was in my lap when he saw Tor drop some food and look up at us in surprise. Col sailed off into gales of giggles, which made Tor and me laugh, which made him laugh harder. I'd forgotten how satisfying babies' laughter is, but the answer is "very." Especially when it's accompanied by full-body wiggling and arm-waving.

Maybe I'll learn to focus the camera by the time he finishes high school

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Scattered Updates

He always chooses such revealing tops
Crazy that it's March already! Col's begun occupying the high chair at meal times so that he can a) feel like part of the family, b) be comfortable in it when we start feeding him next month (!), and c) not bother us while we eat. Mainly that last one. He's usually good for at least five minutes in there, often ten, so I can do an initial shovel-in of sustenance before finishing dinner with a baby in my lap. Lars'll grab him sometimes too, but he's mostly dealing with Tor, who is still coming to grips with the physical freedom of sitting in a regular chair while eating.
"Uh, could I get a reset over here?"
"Yes. Yeeees. That's the stuff."
"z Z Z z . . . nipplenipplenipplenipple . . . z Z Z z"

Very curious about the phone, which I'm
always shoving in his face

Lovin' the sunshine
Styling the bold colors of the season

Tor and DaDa are still getting lots of bonding time, while I tend to wrangle Col. A few days ago, Tor woke up from his nap and I went upstairs to greet him, only to be met with a "BUT I WANTED DADDEEEEE" meltdown. So now I know how that feels.
Good morning, sunshines
Hansen & Son Computer Repair
You'll note that Tor is wearing the same pair of gloves in all of these pictures (in the one where you can't see his hands, I assure you the gloves are present). It's his latest superhero affectation. We force him to take them off for mealtimes, but they go right back on after he's excused from the table. Every few days, I'll launder them and put them on the radiator to dry overnight so that he can run downstairs and don them in the morning. They weren't expensive gloves, and they are starting to unravel between the fingers, so we'll see what happens when the first real hole appears. (Oma has already clued me in that a store down the street carries the same pair.)
Supervised cuddles

Caught in the act

Last weekend, we checked out the Natural History Museum by Lars's office, then headed over to the History of Science Museum down the road.
A dinosaur passed through earlier

An owl surrounded by all its favorite foods

Blurry, but you get the idea

Tor is Anglicizing. Here and there I've noticed changes in his vowel quality--"cake" has become more like "cayke," "can't" more like "cahn't." So far, this is most pronounced instance (see what I did there?):

Scene: Playing with a broken piece of balsa wood board, about an inch square
Tor: Mom, do you want a diskit?
Me (carefully enunciating because I think he's mispronouncing): A BIS-cuit? Sure, I would love a BIS-cuit.
Tor: No, not a BIS-cuit! A DIS-kit!
Me (confused): What's a diskit?
Tor: It goes into the computer and we can watch a movie or look at pictures on it.
Me (light dawning): Ohhh. A disquette. Uh, I'll take a disquette . . . thank you.

As if communication with a preschooler isn't hard enough, amiright? At least we'll be used to Col talking with an accent once he starts talking. Maybe. Actually, who knows what he's going to sound like--trapped in a phonetic no man's land, probably, confusing both Americans and Brits.

That reminds me: Col's rolling over now. Both ways. Here's a video to prove it, which for some reason didn't want to embed in the blog. So gone are the blissful days of setting him haphazardly on sofas, changing tables, and sundry elevated surfaces. It's a little early for nostalgia, but there you have it.