Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010 - A Family Interview

I preface this blog by saying that it is currently 5:13 am in Nairobi. I've been awake since 3:48 am...and so goes the last few weeks of pregnancy. In my attempt to do an interview with Kristoffer and Grace similar to the one I posted last year, I will interview them over breakfast when they wake up any minute.

To reflect for a moment on what I wrote about my hopes for 2010:

  • improved schedule of eating and sleeping for Grace: We've had our ups and downs, and it hasn't been easy. We did figure out that there is no medical reason for her lack of weight gain (at almost two she is just 20 lbs now) and we continue to try new strategies to improve her eating. She sleeps GREAT, but not LATE. Some mornings she wakes up before 5 am. One time this week she stayed in bed until 6:30, which she has never done before. In her entire life she has never slept 12 hours. BUT she is the world's greatest "go to sleeper" and doesn't wake up during the night, so that is a HUGE improvement from this time last year. We feel pretty lucky about her, in general, so we try not to complain about these minor issues. Overall, she's still our Amazing Grace!
  • find out sooner than later where we will move to next: I guess that will be a repeat wish for this year. We didn't end up moving this year - thankfully, given the pregnancy - but it might catch up to us this year. Where to?!

  • Kenya gets its act together: Eh. We aren't too impressed with Kenyan politics these days. Since the ICC announced the six names of high-profile Kenyans who the Hague might actually prosecute for crimes against humanity in relation to the 2008 post-election violence...well, let's just say that the MPs (members of parliament) have not shown their best faces to the world. More on that another time. Let's try to keep this blog cheery!

  • I learn something new – like how to play the drums we bought when we moved to Kenya – or that I do something incredible – like climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I am not na├»ve so I doubt I will accomplish both of those things, especially given Grace’s sleep issues, but I do hope to make something new and interesting happen for myself in the coming year: Took drum lessons for a couple of months - yes! Unfortunately, in my first trimester drumming made me throw up so we had to stop our lessons, and then we went to Denmark for a long time, and then we came back and life got a little bit complicated. So we haven't been drumming lately and no Kilimanjaro for me (again) this year, but by "something new and interesting" then yes - Rocky has been growing for much of the year and we just have to wait a short while longer to meet him/her!

For 2011, I mostly just can't wait to meet this baby, for Grace to become a big sister, to see what unfolds between my children and for all of us as a family of four. I also hope that I FINALLY get to the Kenyan Coast this year (4th year's the one!). I am really looking forward to having Kristoffer's mom and Hans here for 4 weeks and my parents here for 6 weeks after that. We've been craving some family/home loving for a few months now! I also look forward to traveling home to the US and to Denmark at some point in May or June. It will have been my longest stretch away from home (1 whole year - ah!) - too long for my taste! I've recently been doing some curriculum writing/consulting work and sort of hope that I get more opportunities to do that in this next year. In 2011, I hope to continue being grateful for all that I have, enjoying the small moments of joy we experience in our life, and loving that I am on this crazy journey with an incredible husband. Happy New Year to you! Now let's see what the other two have to say...

Talking to Grace at 5:50 am, sitting on the sofa with her cup of juice and her bunny, waiting for Far to come down for breakfast...

Mama: Grace, we're starting a new year tomorrow. What can you tell me about this past year?

Grace: Mornin', Mama! Mornin', Mama!

M: Good morning, Grace! Tomorrow we start a brand new year. What do you think of that?

G: I sit. Tickle, tickle, Mama.

M: (laughs) Do you have anything you want to say about last year?

G: I watch Bear and Ojo.

M: That's true. You did really like to watch "Bear in the Big Blue House" a lot this year (although not so much anymore). Do you have anything else you want to say about last year?

G: (drinking juice)

M: Anything at all?

G: Mama, cup to be washed.

M: That cup does need to be washed. Thank you for the reminder. Grace we're going to a party tonight to say Happy New Year! Can you say "Happy New Year!"?

G: (says something that sounds like Hallelujah!)

M: That's right! Happy New Year! And guess who is going to be at the party? Alvin!

G: We take turn.

M: That's right. When we play with Alvin we take turns.

G: Grace take turn. Alvin take turn. Not sad.

M: Right. Grace takes a turn, then Alvin takes a turn. And we don't get sad when Alvin plays with our toys. Anything else?

G: (runs into the other room - effectively ending her interview)

Interviewing Kristoffer in the morning before work turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. Let's try again a little later....

3:49 pm, just after Kristoffer got home from work and 1 hour before leaving for a Danish new year's party...

Lisa: Ok, honey, here I go was 2010 for you?!

Kristoffer: (long, quiet pause...thinking very hard) John Lennon once said something about "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans" or something. I feel a little bit like that. And I think this was the year I discovered the importance of a family. And the value of having children. Now Grace can do stuff and I really like that. She can clear the table and blow her own bubbles. So I have to do less (laughs). And I can say that I looked at the moon more this year than I have in my whole life.

L: Why is that?

K: Because of Grace. We look at the moon every night or morning. We love it!

L: And what are your hopes or plans for 2011?

K: That we will get a healthy baby who sleeps well. That I will be able to find a new job. That I will be number one on the squash ladder at the UN. And that I become better at appreciating and valuing all the little moments of happiness in my life.

L: You sound a little bit less excited than you did last year?

K: I'm tired! Maybe tommorrow I'll have more of a fresh perspective. It's exhausting to end a whole year.

L: Fair enough. And, just FYI, last year you said you wished to beat the German guy in squash and last month you finally did it! So congratulations on that.

K: Thanks (with a smile).

Happy New Year!

Kristoffer, Lisa & Grace

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