Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sledding into a new Decade

Hi all I have several pictures to share this post.
To see the whole album visit the Flickr album here.

Talk about a learning curve. In the Christmas post I mentioned that we were having trouble putting Stella down. She acted as if the boogie man was waiting to get her in her crib. She would shake terribly with wide eyes, screaming and literally crawling up your shoulders to get as far away as possible.

Being the naive and compassionate parents that we are and wanting to ease Stella’s worries, we laid on the floor with her until she would fall asleep. I mean, common, she’s got four molars coming in at the same time, lets just try and make her as comfortable as possible.

You’ve been laying on the floor for over an hour, your arm is numb, back hurts. She has to be out cold, she couldn’t possibly be awake. I’ll just inch myself away…up pops her head, eyes wide open, clinging to you with a gasp as if to say “don’t leave just yet”

This could take a while. I’m talking, one night we were with her for 3 hours. This was the breaking point. The next night Maja came down after an hour and a half, exhausted and frustrated. I heard Stella still crying in her room and asked if I should go up. Maja said that she needs to get over it and before we were down the stairs all was quiet in the princess’s room.
There are many theories to this behavior. One: she’s out of her routine, she wasn’t in daycare, sleeping patterns were different, we went out on more adventures, we had visitors etc. Two: Well, she’s got four molars coming in. That can’t be very pleasant. And Three: she’s testing her limits. I could probably safely say that a combination of the three contributed to her problems. But we are on back on a regular schedule and although she still puts up a fuss when we put her down, it isn’t as dramatic and she is quiet shortly after we leave the room.

Hurrah, finally after three weeks, Daddy was finally able to put Stella to bed last night.
This year Stella was much more aware of what was going on and was able to enjoy Christmas a bit more. In Germany presents are opened on the evening of the 24th. We gathered with the whole family at the Benn’s and after coffee we started the festivities.

Stella’s first present? A baby stroller. Daddy put it together in a blink of an eye and she was off. She wasn’t very interested in much else. She was happy to run around with her stroller putting things in and taking them out. When asked if she wanted another present, she just shook her head “no” and ran off.

Another hit on this day was a bag of several farm animals. We decided to leave the rest to open another day. After presents, we started to prepare for dinner. Stella quietly took her animals and put them where they belonged…to the stall that Heidi received for her nativity set. All the animals crowded around the manger and then the whole nativity scene held a party on the roof of the stall.

We’d planned to do “our” family presents on the 25th. We did this however Stella preferred the trickle effect of Christmas and took half of Hanukah to open all of hers.
Another huge hit was “baby”, A doll to go with the stroller. Appropriately christened “Baby” by Stella, Baby is now an extension of Stella; going everywhere, eating with, changing diapers & Clothes and sleeping with. Don’t you dare forget her.
She also received a small tea set and from the onset of unpacking Stella mimics the grown ups “pouring” tea into the cups and drinking. She has even started putting real drinks into the cups. They are the perfect size for her to drink out of. We still have to work on the filling process though as she pours from her sippy cup into the mini tea cup, the tea cup isn’t usually held straight, causing a waterfall to what is ever underneath.

We took one last trip to the Christmas market before they closed. We had a rare chance to tour the L├╝beck City hall which dates back to the 1300’s. Stella did a good job and I think she is probably the youngest person to run through the parliament rooms. Just outside the city hall was a carousel. Instead of just watching we decided to let Stella ride with momma. They had three adventurous trips and when it was time to stop Stella threw a huge fit crying “auto, auto auto” all the way to the car.

Stella was a good sport for New Years Eve too. A big family gathering, Oma and Opa, Franzi and Christoph, Steffi and Carsten, Mandy and Andreas, Great Grandma and Steffi’s friends Nicole and Micha. Stella was of course the center of attention and she…well…loves her men. When she wasn’t with Opa (which is a rarity) she was hanging out with Uncle Christoph and Uncle Carsten. At one point she grabbed the bowl of noodles in front of her and started feeding Christoph and Carsten. Then she grabbed the bowl corn and started shoveling it in her mouth as if she hadn’t eaten in weeks.
At midnight when everyone went out to shoot off fireworks, I snuck in to make sure she was okay. I quietly laid down next to her. She briefly woke up at the start of the fireworks but fell back asleep laying across my chest. But then I wasn’t allowed to leave to rejoin the party.
It’s a rarity these days, but we had a white Christmas. For the past 3 weeks we’ve had minus degree weather. That’s the teens for you Fahrenheit people. This also gave us the opportunity to pull the sled out. We kept it pretty safe and stayed on the streets, however we did go down our slope of a back yard once. Watch out, next year we’re hitting the slopes.




During the holidays we also went to the Sea Life Center in Timmendorf. It’s a nice little aquarium. I guess we were spoiled from Maja’s time working at the National Aquarium for when we were done Maja and I looked at each other and asked…”is that it.” Stella enjoyed the fishes, standing on top looking in, watching the otters play and even the walk through tunnel.
This weekend we visited Sidney and Spencer. I noticed an interesting character trait. At one point Stella was sitting on a roller. Stella leaned backwards slightly and quietly watched as Spencer approached. He was allowed to come to the toy and even put his hands on it but when she decided he went too far, she took action. I saw this time and time again. She would watch and then decide if the action was threatening or not…or share. She also watched and learned from the boys like following the jumping song with Daniel as the boys bounce up and down. Hopefully some of the actions like Godzilla stomping through a pile of Legos won’t stick though.
In the Twins room a couple of slats are taken out of the cribs during the day so they can climb in and out. Stella wanted to follow the boys in but she wasn’t sure about the opening. The first several times she climbed in or out she would cautiously put her hand in front of her to make sure that the opening was real.
At one point while sitting on the edge of the crib in the opening she wanted to scare Daniel. She jumped up shouting “Boo.” To her dismay there was still the top rail of the crib and she hit it hard, slumping back to the bed right back to the ground. She looked dazed, quietly said “ow” but hesitated, not sure how to react. When Daniel and I both started laughing, she grinned and laughed with us.
Stella has also learned about possession and giving direction. She knows that certain things are mamma’s and dada’s. On the bed, she’ll point to Dada’s pillow and say Dadda, then to Momma’s pillow and say mamma. She’ll do this for seats, here’s dada’s chair and there’s mamma’s and much more. She has even recognized this for temporary items such as food…here is mamma’s roll and here is Stella’s.

She’ll also tell you that you where you are supposed to sit here. Beckoning to you patting the seat and saying mamma, mamma (or the persons name) until you sit there. If you’re in the wrong spot she’ll either tell you to go to a spot or push you there.

And With that I’ll close this installment of the Bunny chronicles. Hope you enjoyed and until next time, Happy New Year from all of us!

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