Happy New Year!

I have been looking back at the snow-filled posts of last December, and this year is so different for us! (Apparently the winter in Norway is much milder this year anyway, so we haven’t actually missed out on much snow after all.)

2011 has been busy and brilliant as predicted. We have traveled to some amazing places, met some excellent people and weathered some sleepless nights,

but the most wondrous thing has been seeing our little guy grow up before our very eyes.

We are enjoying our two months in the sun before we go back to Norway to resume everyday life. I imagine that will be an adventure in itself with an almost one year old on board. To all my regular readers – thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the journey – I really appreciate having you around. We wish you all the very best for 2012!

Christmas take two

The next day we did it all again with the other side of the family at my Grandma’s house.

Little Miss Mala stole the day, walking laps of the gardens with various adults in tow.

Everyone was happy to have another generation around.

The desserts were pretty good too.

Felix got thoroughly spoiled – at one point the three of us were sat together on the sofa, pretty much buried under an avalanche of presents.

Here Felix is looking about as exhausted as I was by that point,

but it was a wonderful, wonderful day.

Christmas take one

Felix opens his first present,

a box of wooden vegetables from my Mum.

We gave him a xylophone and a gorgeous board-book, Mog and Me. We ate waffles for breakfast, then Dad’s extended family arrived, and the afternoon passed in a blur of excitement.

Felix checked out some more second cousins.

But the most original present of the day was courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend, who gave Felix a ‘mini-Jon’ outfit.

He totally rocked it.

Can’t stop knitting

Now that I have a knitting guru on hand I’ve finally started to knit Felix a cardigan! Mum helped me cast it on last week and Michael managed to catch the moment on camera.

I’ve been hard at it ever since. In fact, the only reason this post is finally being completed is that I’ve made another small mistake and I have to wait for Mum to get home to fix it before I can continue. (Before I leave I’m going to have to do a couple of sampler squares to practice picking up dropped stitches…)

I love these photos so much.

Aussie babes

We met Felix’s second cousin Mala today for the first time. Caitlin and I reminisced about the days they were born, just over ten months ago, on opposite sides of the globe. I was still in hospital when I heard Mala was born; Caitlin was in the early stages of a protracted labour when she heard about Felix. We had announced our pregnancies to our families on the very same day last year, and met up in Berlin when we were both about 20 weeks. It was so sweet to finally see the little ones together.

The babes were oblivious to the significance of the occasion, but were very happy munching their vegemite toast.

Ten months

At ten months, Felix, you are a pretty awesome little chap. You seem to have learnt about a hundred things since arriving in Australia two weeks ago (in addition to growing four new teeth, bringing your total to six!). After understandably bursting into tears upon meeting my family in the airport, you’ve grown quite fond of them. You are very happy to hang out with your grandparents, and you save some very sweet smiles for your great-grandparents.

Towers of blocks appear to offend you and must be destroyed and scattered instantly. You spend a lot of time putting things into other things. You’ve started throwing your blocks around with gusto.You adore your mega-blocks truck. You play with it for hours every day, spinning the wheels, and opening and closing the lid and putting the blocks and the little man in and out of it.

You chatter just about all the time. Your favourite sound is now ‘dawdle awdle’, but you also experiment with many others – you can quack like a duck and cough like your granddad, and you love to imitate whatever sounds we make.

You have very clear ideas about the way you want things done, and you let us know immediately if we get it wrong. You love strawberries. You reach your arms out to people you want to go to. The swing on your grandparents’ deck is a big hit.

You had a few (more than usual) wakeful nights while you were pushing out those four teeth. After about an hour of wakefulness early one morning, Michael was singing lullabies to you and we thought you were about to drift off, when we suddenly heard a sweet, cheeky, high-pitched ‘dawdle awdle!’ Any other time of the day it would have been cute.

You are impressed with my new ergo sling (thanks Mum!) and the stroller is becoming less and less popular as a result. You are not crawling yet but you are becoming increasingly mobile – rolling around your crib and pulling yourself up onto your knees. It’s getting tough to strap you into your car seat as you can just about wriggle out of it. All in all you are relishing all the attention and the new sights and sounds, though your favourite spot to view the world is from my arms.

We’ve taken you to the beach a few times now and you love it. Yesterday we sat you in the water and you thought that was pretty fabulous. The first time we put you down on the sand you were amazed. After several minutes of silence and intense concentration as you dug and scattered and curled your fingers around the stuff, you delivered your verdict: ‘heh!’

Ducklings!

There is other stuff I need to write about, like Felix turning 10 months old and growing cleverer and funnier by the day, and the wonderful trip we had with my parents to Kangaroo Island last weekend, but I’m too tired right now and I cannot resist the ducklings. In fact I can never resist ducklings. We saw them this morning at the duck pond, along with another group of five stripy yellow and brown ones. When I first saw them I was confused because it feels like the wrong time of year for ducklings. After more than eight years, I think I’ve internalized northern hemisphere seasons…

Craft morning

I took Felix to my Nanna’s craft morning today.

He ate strawberries, we ate strawberries and cupcakes and pikelets with jam and cream.

There’s quite an amazing story about how my Nanna met these women in the first place, but I’ll have to tell you that another time when I’ve got the details straightened out.

We had such a nice time. The closest I got to doing any craft was showing them the pattern of a cardigan I’ve decided to knit once I find some yarn that will work. They were very encouraging, but I was blown away by the projects they were working on!

Felix enjoyed playing with one of Nanna’s golliwogs.

I’ve had to put my postcolonial qualms aside, for these are truly impressive creations.

Pappaperm

Michael is so good at taking photos of me that we have hardly any of him! I’m going to try to rectify this. This week was the beginning of his two month ‘pappapermisjon’, paternity leave, which we have decided to spend in Australia.

Michael bought this truck for Felix and I think it’s his favourite toy yet.

Settling in

We made it! The journey was long and tiring but Felix took it in his stride. He slept on my lap. Now he is adjusting to the time-zone, all the attention from my family who adore him, and all the new sights and sounds, especially the raucous birds. It is just so different here.

We encountered these guys on our morning walk.

Felix really will need a few more days to get used to the noisy cockatoos. But he’s getting lots of cuddles, and lots of milk.

My parents are just so excited to see us, and have even prepared a special play corner for Felix. It’s going down well so far.