Monday, May 31, 2010

The nape of his neck

Some mothers love their baby's feet, some their chubby ham bone legs. Me? I love the back of my baby's fuzzy head.

More, more, more! #2

Last Saturday, we took Grammy to visit Roskilde, the legendary town of viking fame and where some of Denmark's oldest roots as a country are found, to see where Bjarni grew up. Bedstefar and Bedstemor were incredible hosts showing us the amazing old Cathedral where Denmark's monarchs have been buried since the 10th century. We also cruised by the very location from which the vikings departed for what is now the UK, Greenland, Iceland, and North America in the most amazingly designed, open air ships. We are such a mishmash of origins in the US, it's mind boggling to me to think that my Danish men are truly Danish in their lineage. (Well, aside from one or two tall, dark, and handsome Spanish soldiers that were paid to come fight for the Danes way back when. That's where the handsome Serup men get their killer looks.)

Some of my favorite pictures of the day were taken by my mother in law, Henriette, who is the daughter of two photographers- you often find her behind the lens! You see me, baby, and Bjarni's sisters, Julie and Bjørg, another of us from a distance with a viking ship, and one of Julie and baby with the cathedral in the background.

We finished the practically perfect day with a gourmet meal from my father in law, Flemming. He's our go-to guy when it comes to needing any expert culinary advice. Yum!

More, more, more!

Admittedly, we have had quite an eventful past 2 weeks because not only did Grammy come to town, but we had Auntie Sara fly up and go with us (Bjarni, Bedstefar, Max, and myself) to Sweden to our vacation house for a few days. We hiked around, explored the countryside, and checked out other old homes in the area. The region in which our little house is located, Småland, is where a majority of immigrants to the US derived at the turn of the 20th century because the farmland was so rocky and difficult to reap from. Note the red color of the house which is the traditional color for buildings in the area due to the natural clay added to the paint mix of water and flour.

Mommy had a fabulous time with Auntie Sara, too. We only needed loca Tia D to be complete. I miss them so much.

When Maxwell Met Mama (2 months old today!)

Mama: There are two kinds of (babies): high maintenance and low maintenance.
Maxwell: Which one am I?
Mama: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.

I read that you either have it or you don't. I have it. I have a high maintenance baby.

Okay, okay. So he's not the worst kind. He's himself. For example, he almost exclusively naps in someone's arms rather than on his own during the day. For such a tiny guy it's felt like Mommy's done some pretty heavy lifting come night.

He loves being outdoors and is nice and quiet while we stroll around town, but as soon as his little nose (which he gets from me, so I hear) hits the stuffy inside air he wakes up in such a bad mood. His face gets all red from being upset and crying and I have to exit the building to get him to calm down. Likewise, as soon as that special nose hits the fresh air again he is right back to being a little angel. Not only is he particular about where we walk, often enough he is also particular about how we walk. He likes his stroller wheels to run over rough surfaces. Good thing we live in a European city in which cobblestones are still the norm.

Back to heavy lifting, Maxwell is fast on his way to becoming Denmark's future entry in the absurd World's Strongest Man competition. He is already bearing weight on his legs like a track star, holds his head up for long periods of time, does mini Mr. T push ups, and rolls over both ways from his tummy. And, he was smiling up a storm for Grammy during her recent visit which made Mommy a bit jealous-- guess he still sees me as a routine visit to the local dairy. Mooooooo!

In other news:

Max's eyes are starting to change from that deep blue to a creamy beige. Bailey's after dinner anyone?

His personality is marked by intense curiosity and expressiveness. He can look out windows and at objects for long stints, and makes the most varying and charming slew of facial expressions and coos. His two favorite curiosity-spots are on his changing table gazing out the kitchen window and lounging on his sheepskin looking at two paintings in the living room I had done while pregnant.

He's becoming a little boy right before our very eyes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It Does a Body Good

He's the milkman, my boy. He has put on 2.5 pounds (1.2kg) since birth. Whoa!

He had his 5 week check up today and the home-visiting nurse was super impressed with his growth and development. During tummy time, he is holding his head up so well and loves making eye contact with us while we say the silliest things to him (don't ask what we say; if we are lucky enough to have you around sometime you'll get a rather goofy show of voices and choice phrases, or maybe we will suck it up and capture a video that will surely embarrass Maxwell for years and years to come).

Maxwell loves bath time, especially the blow dry he gets afterward. He and Daddy also love taking morfars together (morfar= mom + dad-- mom's dad, or grandpa-- is a great word for napping in my opinion! What grandfather isn't caught nodding off? Certainly Maxwell's own Morfar, my dad, loves a good cat nap!). He is making new friends with his tummy time stand up book. See how he flirts with Little Miss Flower? Maybe that should be 'he is making new girlfriends'.

Es un milagro!

We don't know how he did it, but somehow little Maxwell Serup (who I've affectionately taken to calling 'Ralphie' now and again) got up on his chubby little one-month baby legs, walked a few blocks to the bakery and florist, effectively communicated to staff with his irresistible baby coos, and adroitly used his opposable baby thumbs to use Daddy's credit card to purchase Mama a beautiful bouquet of flowers and her favorite Danish pastries on her first annual Mama's Day!

Wow, thanks Ralphie! You made Mama's Day da' bomb!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Things I've learned now that I'm a baby mama

1. Within 45 minutes following the most incomprehensible and frustrating cry session I will forget all about it and not be able to wait until I can cuddle with him once again.

2. Milk and poopies are both projectile.

3. The instant Maxwell popped out I experienced the most profound and desperate love in my life.

4. The instant Maxwell popped out the love I have for my husband grew by unknown leaps and bounds.

5. Sleep deprivation runs on daily cycles... it is not compounding, and therefore it is bearable.

6. I can stare at Maxwell for hours and never get bored.

7. I have absolutely, positively nothing better to do than spend my time with my son.

8. "Don't mess with baby mama." When it comes to protecting my son I feel the fierceness within.

9. Babies grow up way too quickly and not quickly enough. I want Maxwell to stay tiny, yet look forward to his growth and development. It's bittersweet.

10. Everything porous in the house eventually begins to reek of sour milk and/or baby barf.

11. You can do almost anything with only one hand. By the time I wean Maxwell I intend to have perfected the one-handed t-bone steak eating method. Patent pending.

12. Once you get the hang of it breastfeeding is so easy, most importantly rewarding, not to mention free. I can't imagine how sad I will be when I have to stop. Or, maybe I won't and push it until he's 2... :)

13. Perhaps mothers never grow less awe-struck of their babies. I'm still so entranced by his beauty, charm and development.

14. One month baby sleeps like a dream come true. And, the very next he's up every two hours. And it goes back and forth, back and forth. So, enjoy it when it lasts, but don't be surprised when it doesn't.

'Making poopies' face x2, milk mustache & good old fashioned male bonding

Maxwell Patel Serup

My big boy is one month old.

He is unpredictable: sometimes waking only once, but more often than not every 2-3 hours at night; makes outrageously loud and explosive poopies and breaks wind with such gusto it rivals his father; loves looking at the light-dark contrast out windows; sleeps best in Daddy's arms or on a walk; loves being swaddled at night and enjoys a good diaper change- he also hates being in a dirty diaper and will let us know when that is so; cries with such force sometimes it is like a knife in Mommy's heart; makes so much noise with his grunting that he often sounds like a Peruvian guinea pig, Rajasthani baby tiger, pound puppy, or squealing English miniature piggy (he squealed one night for at least 2 hours in the crib next to us... talk about not getting any sleep!).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I lied.

Still no pictures up.

My excuse: Parenthood happens.

Perhaps I should reconsider making unimportant promises at this juncture in my life; many could end up as empty as a drum given the unpredictability of each day, even each hour!

Monday, May 3, 2010

By popular demand!

I've gone and done it.

Now, I used to call myself a "low-tech" kinda gal, but I realized yesterday while on a long, slow walk around the city outskirts with the little family that I'm a slow adopter of fast trends... Who can blame me for being a bit skeptical
(remember the laser disc)? Basically, I wait and wait until some piece of technology actually takes root and then I, sometimes begrudgingly, always insecurely, go for it. I'm not "low-tech". I'm "slow tech".

So here I am, now an official blogger; not blogging about thrilling delights or wonders, but the little family and the goings-on of my/our humble life. Let's see how I do...