Because I have been a bit of an absent blogger lately, here is a long update on the kids. If you're not interested then tune in next time for reports on my new career path.
Grace has been out of school for 3 weeks now. This has given me much less free time to do anything, including update the blog. We are on a playdate schedule with some of her friends where each morning the girls go to a different house Monday-Thursday and Friday is sort of play-it-by-ear. All the kids are at our house on Mondays until they go back to school (August 9th...yes, I'm counting!). Because we are trying to get Noah on a one-afternoon-nap-a-day schedule in time for him to start going to school in August as well, he and Rose are participating in the playgroup as well. Grace is MUCH better behaved when I am not around, so I can't really go to the playdates except when they are here. Sometimes she goes on her own or with Rose and Noah. It is a good way to keep her busy because there is not much to do in Dar.
This is what Monday lunch time looks like at our house (thank God for the nannies!!!):
Otherwise the kids have been building a lot of Legos with Far:
And Grace has been busy getting her brother to do everything she says. Can you find him in this pile of friends? (He willingly goes along with whatever she wants him to do almost all of the time...but the look on his face usually says something like, "My sister is crazy!")
Grace and Noah are both experiencing some growing pains. When they are good, they are sooooo good. But Noah is getting more teeth, which makes him clingier and disrupts his sleep (I think). Whenever he is clingy that makes HER even more whiny and clingy and sometimes I have both of them trying to climb on me at the same time and trying to knock the other one down. They are competing for Mama!
At least we are doing well in the eating department. Grace will always fight to eat her dinner but will still end up finishing what's on her plate, so that is a success. Noah eats well and stops when he doesn't want to eat anymore. He is a fruit-monster...can eat a small watermelon or whole mango all by himself. We think they are both growing!
Sleep is another story. Noah goes to sleep well at night and almost always sleeps all the way through...but only until wakes up between 4 and 5:30 and does not always go back to sleep. This then affects his nap schedule because if he is up at 4:30 it is hard to keep him going until noon!
And Grace. Oh Grace. Her best thing used to be going to sleep. Follow the bed routine and she would go to sleep without fuss. Almost every night, with very few exceptions, since she was 6 months old. Seriously. Around the world and with jet-lag and in different places. She has been a really great go-to-sleeper. But she has always been an early riser. 5:30 is her usual wake up, despite our best efforts (and occasional success) getting her to sleep until 6 am. But now, for the last week, she has started being a normal "I WILL NOT GO SLEEP"er and fights us every night. In addition to that, she is waking up once a night and then STILL wakes up for the day at 5:30 am. So the girl is T-I-R-E-D. She is clearly not getting enough sleep and is back to taking daily naps because she is so exhausted and miserable in the afternoon, but then that doesn't help us with the going to sleep business at night. It is a vicious cycle. And I REALLY WANT MY GOOD GO-TO-SLEEPER BACK because I feel it is unfair to have her up late and awake early. GIVE ME A BREAK! And fighting with an exhausted 3 year old at 9pm is really not how I like to end my days. When she isn't tired she is an amazing little girl, but the exhausted version of Grace is giving me a lot of white hair.
What else...? Grace is all about reading and writing and typing these days and is making good progress in those areas I think. She initiates all of that kind of learning...she's just a little sponge and loves it. She also loves the newly-discovered show from home "Backyardigans" which is really helping her develop an active imagination (as well as her singing and dancing...it is a really cute show). She is becoming more typically "girly" than she used to be; I think this is the influence of her playgroup friends. Her favorite color for over a year was brown but now everything is "I LOVE PINK!!" And the girl who would NEVER wear a dress has worn a dress three days in a row now. She says, "We need more dresses!" And she is walking around with a fully loaded purse, teasing her brother with its contents and then running away before he can get anything from her. Sheesh! Here is a clip of her reading Dr. Seuss...(it totally cracks me up)...
Noah continues to be a super sweet little guy. He is a biter, though, so when Grace takes something from him (which is often) he reacts by biting her big time. He bites when he gets mad or frustrated and doesn't know else to express himself. We're working on it but she has marks all over! He has two signs that he uses regularly - for "more" and "tak for mad", which means "thank you for the food" to tell us he is done eating. He has some success saying words that start with B (ball, bird, bear, bubble) and is trying to say even more things. He is obsessed with shoes and trying to put on Grace's underwear and mopping/dusting and putting things together or taking them apart. I will not be surprised if he ends up some kind of engineer...he is a total gadget guy! Noah loves to go outside, loves dogs and birds and any kind of critter he can find (I found that he had cornered a cockroach the other day...so gross, but he loved it!). He gets sad when people say goodbye to him, but recovers well under the influence of his girlfriend - aka ROSE. He has the greatest laugh and despite his teething discomfort is a really happy guy. Here is Noah trying out Grace's bike when she was otherwise occupied.
Farmor and Hans arrive in two weeks and we have a calendar countdown going. Grace is very excited (Noah will be too, once they are here!) and we are really happy that our home is now ready to host our loved ones. This Friday we are also hosting the big Happy Hour Playgroup...fingers crossed our first hosting impression goes well. It could make or break our reputation here for the next few years!
And that is our summer in Dar so far. While everyone at home is getting ready for the summer heatwaves (although I hear it is pretty cold in Denmark right now!), we are experiencing cool/warm, breezy weather and I love every minute of it. We have to enjoy it for as long as we can. I hear the unbearable heat will starting creeping in come September and we'll suffer until April!