Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photos from fourth week of life...

Here you are in the dining room - which will soon enough be your bedroom!

Here you are sleeping on the sofa.

Here you are on the bed with Daddy... he was reading to you from your book again, earlier. You are now four weeks old in these photos!

Silly little-one, there's no food in Mummy's nose for you!

Here you are all happy and set for your trip into town to go shopping! Mummy and Daddy took you to Zara and Notos Galleries at Omonoia and you had all sorts of new sights and sounds to enjoy! Everyone was looking at us and saying how small you are and they let us jump the queue to pay. It was really quite funny to see everyone's reactions to having you with us in the sling.

Daddy took this photo because he likes the way your feet and hands look when you are in the sling. on the way back from the shopping trip, we went all together all three of us to the supermarket to get some new nappies.

Granny M's birthday

It was granny M's birthday at the weekend, and we all went to Auntie Igor's house on Monday to celebrate.

Daddy dressed you, but he's a little funny sometimes and he put your nice outfit on you back to front, so the nice collar that should have been on the front got turned round to the back!

Here you are with Granny M and Aunty Igor. It was your first time to a different house and you rose to the challenge quite well indeed!

Here you are with Granny M out on the balcony of the house...

Hymettus II: The hill of the archangels...

Hello little one... Saturday is Hymettus day!

On Saturday morning, Kelly came to visit and held you a little, but she did not come with us to the mountain.

Saturday is exploration day and exploration means we go out into the verdant rolling foothills of Hymettus with you in the sling. We took Ismini with us and drove up to the Monastery of Kaisariani. It's all a little tense as there are some people who want to make more roads and tunnels through the mountain and there are others who want to stop them, so there is no way of knowing whether all the nice woods we walked through will still be in the same condition when you are old enough to tell us the differences between the Black pines and the Halepensis pines which the Friends of the Hymettus woods had so thoughtfully labeled for us.

Here you are in your sling...

You are beginning to smile more and more often, although you are not doing it consciously as a response to a stimulus.

In the end we walked up to the Analipsis Church and then walked down the botanical footpath which led us to the Hill of the Archangels, which we had first visited with Mummy the day before you were born. Ismini took some nice photographs of all of us together in both places - our first ones where all three of us are visible since the maternity hospital!

With Mummy and Daddy at the Church of the Analipsis - can you see the icons in the gloomy inside of the church?

Mummy and Ismini in front of the ruins of St. Mark of the Frankish Monastery. Daddy can't wait to tell you about the Franks and the all the groovy medieval stuff that happened. Daddy grew up amongst the Franks (in the broadest meaning of the word) and thinks he is well placed to "understand" western christianity.

This is a spolion! Daddy goes crazy for this sort of thing. It's a piece of ancient building block that has been reused in later times. The buildings on the hill of the archangels are full of spolia.

Here we are all three of us in front of the church of the Archangels which is still in serviceable state. You can see the old sculpture in low relief showing a bull to Daddy's left...

We stayed up on the Hill of the Archangels for a while and looked out as the sun got low in the sky and reflected off a myriad of solar water heaters making the city look almost beautiful in its concrete architectural cereal box splendour. While we were there we saw some partridges walking around and feeding. Daddy got very excited and took you up close to look at them, but you did not wake up. In fact, you spent the whole trip quite comfortably sleeping. It's ok to get your rest - you have a whole life ahead of you to see partridges.

Here is one of the Partridges we saw - just in case they are all gone by the time you are big enough to tell them apart from other birds...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Paediatrician II: 2cm growth in ten days...

On Friday the nice Paediatrician came to see you again while Daddy was at work. You were 190 grammes more than last time (a week earlier) and weighed in at 3160gr. You also had grown 2cm in ten days and had a head circumference 5mm bigger than last time. It seems all that feeding is having some effect on something other than your poo, after all.

On Friday evening Maggie and Lefteris came to visit and brought you something to play with. Daddy had his doubts about how interesting this new toy would be, but in the end, he saw that you were overjoyed to have it and watch everything go round. The musical mobile, together with the dummy form the first line of defense against your grumbling whenever you get a little grumbly (which isn't that often).

Mummy and Daddy were a little bit apprehensive at first, but only a few minutes of classical midis later, they were sold!

Here you are enjoying the music:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mummy's birthday

On Thursday, Mummy had her birthday and Grannies M and Y came with Grandpa P. You spent the whole night sleeping on one or other of the grannies and they took it in turns to hold you or to eat.

Here you are with Granny Y and Mummy - three generations of Taurus born in May!

And here you are with Granny Y and Grandad P!

During the afternoon, you went out with Mummy in the sling all the way to Ethnikis Antistaseos street to get the birthday cake! Mummy took care to let you smell all the nice smells on the way there, especially the roast meat smells coming from Arkhontas across the road.

Here is a funny picture of you from this week where you are trying to copy the little boy on the dolphin from the Augustus of the Prima Porta type:

The photo on the left is by a chap called Andreas Wahra and it has a creative commons license, which means that Daddy can do what he likes with it as long as he mentions Andreas as the original creator. Isn't living in the 21st century cool, huh?

Better bath-time photos

After your big adventure on the mountain on Sunday, Auntie Igor and Uncle Thanassi came to watch Mummy and Daddy wash you. Here are some photos:

Daddy likes the interesting camera angles that Uncle Thanassi has managed to capture. Here are Uncle Thanassi and Auntie Igor holding you:

During the week, Mummy tried to make you calm with the dummy - only the very smallest dummy did anything for you. Even though it is the smallest dummy we have, look how big it looks on your little face!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your first big adventure…

Well, here you are, in your car seat, sleeping like a baby. When Daddy came back from the office on Sunday, he took you and Mummy and put you both in the car and took you to the picnic site on Hymettus mountain above the Kaisariani Monastery. It's where Mummy celebrated her birthday two years ago with all her friends and where Mummy and Daddy had gone for their big walk the day before you were born. Mummy and Daddy like this area because it is easy to get to and still very far from the noise and the bustle of Athens and you can almost believe that you are in nature.

Daddy took you in the sling and Mummy was carrying the gear in the changing bag that Auntie Yiota had bought for you. She got it specially so that you could take part in Mummy and Daddy's adventures.

This is Daddy at the picnic area with you in the sling, fast asleep. Mummy and Daddy were a little upset that you were sleeping as you would be missing all the beautiful things that nature has to offer. Of course since you can't focus further than your outstretched hand, this would be confined to tree silhouettes and smells.... this place offers plenty of both!

Here is a closer picture of you and Daddy. You are still sleeping. In the end you woke up and started making noise because you wanted to be fed. Mummy hadn't tried to feed you out of doors yet so it was a big adventure for everyone to organise the logistics of feeding you outside. Although we had watched the video from Norway where everyone feeds their babies at every opportunity, things in Greece are a little more traditional and you don't often see mothers in the streets because they do not want to be seen feeding their babies in public.

In the end it all worked out quite well. Can you see your little legs sticking out of the sheet? Mummy is holding her hand just like Isis in the representations of her with Horus. Can you tell why? I don't think she's doing it to mimic the paintings and carvings, so there must be some other reason…

After you ate, you did a whole lot of smelly poo, almost immediately, so we moved onto our next first-time adventure: changing your nappy outside the house. Mummy was very organised thanks to the changing bag and our pretty good planning. We had everything we needed with us in the changing bag.

After you were in the new nappy, after you realised you had been well fed and after waking up pretty well, you realised that you were not at home any more. This is where the fun started. The more you looked around, the more strange everything seemed to you. There was bright blue sky broken by dark tree-branches, rather than the cheap but arguably tasteful IKEA ceiling light fittings you were used to. The horizon, a new concept was _there_ all around you, not walls or windows looking onto the next-door building. All this was an amazing plethora of information to process, but you were loving it.

Then to cap it all, Mummy went and got some chamomile and put it to your nose. Wow! New smells as well! This was an amazing trip for you.

Here you are, with a very happy Mummy. You are on your changing mat and still looking in awe in all directions!

On the way back to the car, you sat with Daddy at the spring by the Monastery at Kaisariani. Daddy wants to take photos there with you all the time to make a sort of chart of your growth. I guess it'll be OK until you get to 11 years old. At that point, you'll tell Daddy to stuff his spring and go get a tattoo and a piercing. The things Daddy has to look forward to!

When you finally got back to the car you sat and stared out of the window almost all the way home when you started crying. Either you wanted to go back up the mountain, or you had overloaded your memory with all the new experiences and were trying to put yourself to sleep so you could process them.

In all a very good day and one from which both Mummy and Daddy took a lot of courage for more excursions of a longer duration.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A week full of firsts

Hello little one.

It's been a week full of first times. Daddy has been very busy so he didn't have a chance to write about each few days as they passed. He's writing now, from the waiting lounge at Gate 10 in Otopeni airport in Bucharest. Some day you will come to Bucharest too and hopefully it will be a much better place when you come than it is now. Daddy is helping the programme to stop prejudice against the Roma people.

Anyway, let's start the discussion with a visit from your Auntie Igor early in the week. She didn't stay to watch bathtime, but she stayed long enough to rival Granny M. for pulling a silly face while holding you. Look at this one:

On Monday night, we swaddled you! Everyone at the hospital and elsewhere was telling us that babies don't need to be swaddled like they were in the past. But now, in America, they have different ideas and your cousins Irene and Evgenia sent you a "swaddler" from America. It's meant to keep you snuggled up like you were in utero. Well, you are still a little small for it, but you sure liked having your arms pressed up against you while you were inside it.

Here you are sitting on Daddy's lap, swaddled. You stayed quiet for long enough for us to want to try it again some other day.

On Saturday, Daddy doesn't go to work and the two of us spent the morning trying to see how many hairs we could get to stick to your cheeks. Well, we weren't actually trying to do that, but it happened! You had a really good time lying on Daddy and kicking your feet back and forth.

Later in the day Mummy and Daddy took you for a drive. Here you can see how happy you are in the car seat before the drive. You slept your whole time in the car, so you missed both Granny Y and Grandad P. Still it was a good trial run for Sunday, to know that we could put you safely into the car and drive around.

That afternoon we discovered that some times, you are not too keen on being photographed with flash. This is a rather funny photo because you reacted to the pre-flash and the real flash caught you as you were complaining.

Daddy generally does not like using flashes and prefers to shoot with available light even if it means he gets more grain. Like in this photo of you after bath-time. You really enjoy bath-time whenever you get under that warm water!

After drying you Mummy put you in your eco-friendly re-usable nappies. We are very excited to be helping the environment like this, whatever some bad people are saying about the wasted water needed to wash the nappies every time you fill them with your green poo. I guess this is as good a time as any for Daddy to refute the information he had received from Elektra's mum before you were born that Baby's poo does not smell bad. Oh yes it does. End of story.

So here you are in the eco-nappy! Mummy says you look like the black-and-white actor Avlonitis in his big trousers. You will look so much better when you grow a bit…

This is a photo of you on the morning of Sunday. On Sunday, Daddy went to work to help write the proposal for a big project in the Ukraine and when he came back, you went for a big adventure with him and Mummy.

All set for the big adventure?