31 December 2008

Sledding

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Well we bundled Nik up like the little brother on "The Christmas Story" and just like that kid he didn't like it to much. But here we are sledding down a side street.

28 December 2008

First Christmas

On Christmas Eve we opened the box from the Bridgman Clan in Washington and Nik was very excited. Lots and Lots of Books, Arthur was pulling them out and I was showing Nik each book and they just kept on coming it was great, I think we have enough books until he has to start school. He loves to play school too (mom taught me this) I will sit him down and he will look at the pictures and point at things he is familiar with. Great-Grandparents B sent a book with cars and trucks and when we got to the picture of an ambulance and a doctor he pointed to the doctor, what a super smart kid.
He likes this little mouse.
On Christmas day he opened a few more packages, Great-Grandparents Nelson in Colorado sent some outfits and a cute little tux, I can't wait to get him into it. I also wrapped a few of the books that he had received earlier in the last weeks.

First Snow

Baby Nik's first snow started on Dec. 26th and it hasn't stopped snowing, these pictures were taken on the first day.

He enjoys seeing the white stuff, the kids are sledding on the streets so perhaps today we will take him out and do a little sledding ourselves.

20 December 2008

Book Lover



Nik loves his books, I have put them in a box for him and he will get them out himself and look through them. He even has the ability to lift the flaps in the flap books, but I have to really watch him because he will try to pick the book up by the flap and he has already partially torn one. Tim and Rhonda sent the book above about kisses and Jeanie sent a book that counts ladybugs and he likes anything he can feel or touch. Although yesterday I caught him trying to eat one of his smaller books, so perhaps they should create children books that have eatable paper that taste like chocolate or berries, YUM. He follows me in his love of books, I love this kid and everyone is right the surgery didn't slow him down one bit. In fact he came out of it talking more and more, I guess being around other children got him interested in speaking more.

16 December 2008

Caleb's Dance Partner

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If Caleb needs someone else to dance with, Nik will be more than happy to join in. You can tell if he doesn't like a song because he won't dance to it or wave his arms around.

06 December 2008

Xronia Polla

MANY YEARS

Today is St. Nikolaos day, perhaps Eric and Jon will remember when we lived in Germany and Mom used to fill our shoes with sweets or switches depending on whether we were good or not, well today is the day. In Greece they celebrate their "name days" more than their "birth days", which makes it easier on wishing people Xronia Polla, or basically many years, because hey you just have to remember your friends name, pretty easy.
So Nik will get a few presents today a book from G-Pa and Ge-Ge and a wooden toy from me. Pictures to follow.

Happy Boy, Happy Meal

HELLO!
Here we are at McDonald's, for babies first try at a high chair and a happy meal. His favorite thing is to point at everything from people to things that he sees, including mom and dad.

Mmmmmm.... what should I order, well he had the chicken nugget meal and did a real good job at eating the chicken he also enjoyed some fries and some of dad's cheeseburger and mom's strawberry milkshake.
His appetite has only improved since the operation, he likes to eat just like his mom and dad.
Did I tell you how sunny it was, we didn't see the sun the whole entire time we were up there and on the day that we left it shone so brightly that we were all blinded by it. I guess the Greek Gods were also excited to see Nik leave the hospital and go home.

Hospital Photos

We have just arrived and already both inside elbows have been prodded looking for blood, but as long as he gets to listen to Guns and Roses he is okay.
Hey Mom, I can push my own drip system.
He pulled out both needles placed in both of his hands so next they will put one in his foot, but this doesn't slow him down.
No room for mom in the crib.
After surgery and already trying to figure out how to get these darn tubes out of his hands.
I'm exhausted, but he's just fine.
Happy boy, all tubing has now exited his body.
Either he is happy chewing on my chap stick or he is still drugged.

04 December 2008

Happy Boy

We have a very strong and happy boy on our hands, he's giggling and waving at everyone, he loves all of the action and attention. He is now free of all tubing and eating solids. He is already up and walking even with 12 stitches in his belly, I remember when I had my cesarean I didn't want to move and this kid was kicking at the heels to get up and get going. In fact this is why he is drip free he started walking around and Arthur couldn't stop him and the needle was on his foot and it kind of dislodged and made things a little bloody, so it came out. The nurses were going to put another one on but I spoke to a doctor and they decided not to and instead gave us some kid medicine in case he gets any pains since they can't administer it via the drip fluid.
We may be going home this Friday or Saturday, so we are checking out of the hotel tomorrow in hopes of it being Friday. All they have to do is remove the staples and we are off.

03 December 2008

Greek Hospitals

Everything is going well, thank you for your prayers. Today baby got to finally drink some milk and this has made him less cranky but I think anyone would understand if they went on a five day fast. He is also sleeping better now with a little milk in his belly, I just left Arthur at the hospital while I sleep from 1am to 8am. Arthur and I are now splitting hospital duty and spending time at a hotel. We had a hospital room with an extra bed to ourselves for a few days and that was nice but yesterday they put another family in there and now you have to sleep in the chair making it very uncomfortable so we are staying at a nearby hotel and they made a good price for us. I don't know what American hospitals are like but Greek ones are crowded especially at the first of the month, the children's ward has more than tripled in residence size since Monday. Last week there were only about a dozen kids up there and for some reason they squeezed us all into 3 rooms. This isn't very fun especially with small children who wake up at different times of the night because if one kid wakes up then they all wake up and then your kid wakes up and wakes up all of the others.
One night there was one little boy that wouldn't stop crying and he woke up 2 times so on the third time I didn't even open my eyes and I could hear his mother shushing him and finally I open my eyes to find that the crying was Nik and he was standing up in his crib (prior to operation) looking at me like "why aren't you coming" I felt so bad but I seriously had thought it was the other kid. So we are lacking some serious sleep so I will write more later I'm off to see if I can fall asleep.

23 November 2008

Mom is home safe and sound

These pictures were taken last Wednesday morning as we waited for the train to take her to ThessalonĂ­ki, she stayed a few days there before heading to Los Angeles and Eric's house. I know she made it that far because I called her at Eric's, hopefully she will write a blog entry about her final adventures in Greece and her ride home. It was great having her here and I really miss having someone help me with the dishes ;) Thanks for coming mom, when is my next visitor going to come?
The Greeks are a little pushy and practically pushed mom on board, watch out.

16 November 2008

Rub-a-Dub in the Tub

Bath time is a favorite time for baby Nik and lucky for him he gets two to three baths a day.
One of his favorite things to do is to drink from the shower faucet, he also likes to chase after the soap.
No after bath pictures, due to the fact that it is a battle with lots of crying when we take him out and start to dry him off. I think he could willingly spend hours in the tub, perhaps he will become a swimmer.

14 November 2008

Proof

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Proof of Walking Capability.

10 November 2008

Night Out

Arthur and I went out yesterday for a little time away. We rushed off in a hurry to see the "Quantum of Solace" movie at the new mall. Bond, James Bond was the first movie Arthur and I saw when he came to visit me in the States over Thanksgiving 2006, so this was kind of an Anniversary day out. I took things a little to far though in the food arena, first I had a crepe filled with bacon, chicken, mushrooms and cream. Arthur and I shared a few feta filled pastries and a salad and he ate two burgers and fries. But the place that I went a little above board was in the ice-cream, I had the plate with four scoops, caramel, strawberry, pistachio, cookies-and-cream, some whip cream on top with a few slices of apple and kiwi fruit drizzled with caramel and crunchy nuts. Arthur had two small spoon fulls and I gobbled up the rest before it could melt. Ohhhh! what a tummy ache, I felt full all the way up to my mouth. We walked around the mall even though all of the shops where closed, one and half hours later it was time to see the movie and what kind of movie can you watch without pop-corn and coke. Boy am I glad we don't get out too often, I would be absolutely huge.

The movie was good but the noise was really loud and I kept reaching for the "remote" to turn the volume down, no remote. The fun thing is that the Greeks do a 5 minute intermission at the movie theaters and each time we have seen a movie I think that the reel has broken because it just turns off suddenly. I'm thinking uhoh! and Arthur looks at me and says "you forgot" and I busted up laughing because I did and it's the funniest thing, I could understand if the movies are really long like "Lord of the Rings" but it was pretty short about 2 hours. Although I did like it when I was pregnant because hey you have to pee every hour anyways so it was perfect, but this time I was just like hurry up I want to get home to my baby. How priorities change when you grow up.

Both Grandmas took care of the baby while we were gone and he was very exhausted from all of the attention and was asleep at 7pm, 2 hours earlier than usual. I could get used to having Mom here full time, it's pretty nice.

30 October 2008

Funny McDonald's

"In 2006, McDonald's changed the design of their McFlurry containers to be more hedgehog-friendly.[10] Previously, hedgehogs would get their heads stuck in the container as they tried to lick the remaining food from inside the cup. Then, being unable to get out, they would starve to death."

We found this quote in Wikipedia, when we were looking up information about hedgehogs. How many hedgehog's walk into McDonald's? It was awfully nice of McD's to think of the little spiny fellows.

25 October 2008

Little Critters

This baby lizard found his way into the house and I had to gentle shoo him out before Nik stepped on him.
You might think that this hedgehog is also a little creature until you look at the picture below, he's the same length as the tile. Arthur's dad found him outside and brought him inside for a little lettuce, what a cute little fellow, look at his ears, eyes and nose.

22 October 2008

Mom has Arrived.....

Arthur picked up Mom at the Airport in Thessaloniki.

And Baby is Officially Walking, mom was here one day and he walked across the room. Mom is a natural teacher.

18 October 2008

Doctor update

What's in here?
Apples?
This outfit no longer fits, his feet stick out and the buttons on the butt can't connect due to his long torso.

We went for just a check-up with our doctor here in town and here are the latest stats.

8.7 kilos
30 inches

He only gained .2 kilos in the last month, this is less than 1/2 lb. and we are still working on trying to get to 10 kilos. On the chart he is above average for his height but below average for his weight, I think it is probably due to his extreme activeness. If we go by the chart and how he has been gaining weight he will be 10 kilos when he is 13 months old, the end of February. He is now walking 5 steps on his own and a lot of the time will walk around with me just by hanging on to my pants.

11 October 2008

Coming Soon......

WALKING
This is his favorite stance, this is how he gets into his standing position. He can stand without any support for a few minutes and that's with holding something in his hand and waving it around. He cruises around on the furniture and even takes a few steps away from them and can safely go down to one knee or plops on his butt. He has also learned how to climb up our 2 stairs and this has made it a little harder to keep him in one room, so now he likes to go into the bedrooms and open drawers and pull everything out, CONSTANT WATCHING IS MANDATORY.

MOM
Mom is coming to stay for a whole month next Monday, I can't wait to get some projects done around here and to have someone other than Arthur to talk too.

07 October 2008

Laughter

Here's Nik laughing, he laughs a lot and at the silliest things, like paper planes flying.
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02 October 2008

Our little Teddy Bear

Hat compliments of Eric and Leslie.
Baby is now 8 months old, he weighed in at 8.5 kilos or 18.7 lbs, the doctor wasn't to happy since he only gained .3 kilos in one month and told us to feed him more. How do you feed you child when he is already full would have been my question if I spoke Greek. He eats enough it's just that he is so active, there is no sitting quietly with him, only when he sleeps does he not move. Last week we had a family come and stay at KokaRoka and they had a daughter that was born 7 days after baby Nik and she weighed 10.5 kilos, she was so chubby that the only thing she could do was sit there, she didn't even know how to crawl yet.

It is winter time here already and we have been having very cold weather with lots and lots of rain, right now baby is wearing 4 layers, a onesie, a shirt, overalls and a sweater. We are hoping it will clear up for at least a little while we finally found someone who would do our tiles in the back, but it has been raining since he finished his last project at our neighbors house.

Going back to baby he likes the strangest things, he doesn't like carrots and potatoes, but he likes lemon and lentil soup, go figure. He definitely gets this from his father and not me, I would much rather eat potato soup (he didn't like it) than lentil soup although the latter is most definitely healthier and Katerina makes it about once a week. Right now he is enjoying his favorite food along with an egg yolk and that's lamb.

25 September 2008

Music and Dance from Wedding

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This video doesn't really show how very loud it gets when the clarino is playing, it is really really loud, therefor no baby. You can see the way a typically wedding dance goes, with each major attendee leading the dance, the grooms father, the grooms mother, the brides father, the brides mother, the groom, the bride, the flower girl, any aunt, uncle, brother or sister who wishes too, the list goes on and on, lots of dancing all with very loud Greek music.

22 September 2008

Cousin's Wedding

On the way to the church ceremony


Father and Groom waiting for the bride outside.
Yes it is raining, here comes the bride.
Mara and Nik inside the church
We then took baby home, he fell asleep on the way home and Katerina watched him. It's a good thing that he was asleep because Katerina was holding a baby that belonged to some guest staying upstairs and I think she would have just dropped that baby in order to hold baby Nik.
In Greece when the bride and groom finally arrive to the reception they first cut the cake, then they do a dance with the family then they do the dollar dance and several more dances all before they can sit down and eat. I would be starving by then, thank goodness Arthur and I didn't get married here. Speaking of Cake I finally got to try what a Greek wedding cake taste like, it was kind of like a Black Forest Chocolate Cake with chocolate soaked cake and cream and a few cherries and then a vegetable frosting on the top with almond slices.