Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Stella is 7 Months Old!

Sweet Stella Bella,
I feel like you are practically a toddler.  You aren't moving yet but you seem so close.  Most of this month was spent in the US and I think I'll do a separate post about that and link it to this one.  You are still so very happy and easy going.  Here is what you've been up to this month.
My mom, your Grandma Debbie, made this quilt for you.  I love the colors!

Another classic Stella face and move!
You didn't have a 7-month appointment but since we still have a scale I weighed you around 7 months and you weighed 6.67 kg (14 lbs 11 oz) which is in the 13th percentile. I have no idea how long you are but we should find out at your 8 month check up.  You are wearing Libero Comfort 3 diapers in Stockholm and Huggies Little Movers (which I LOVE) size 3 in the US.
I feel like this is a typical Stella face!
You tried lots of new foods this month.  Since we were in the US I was able to get individual veggies, fruits and meats so I could introduce them separately.  I didn't wait 3 days in between because we had a limited number of days ;) but you seemed to handle them all just fine.  So far you've tried: zucchini, green beans, peas, sweet potato, carrots, pears, apples, butternut squash, bananas, spinach, chicken, kale, peaches, avocado, broccoli, rice, tomatoes, and couscous.  You make pretty funny faces with fruits.  Maybe you tend to favor savory over sweet.
You are still nursing 4 times a day . . . at least you were until we went to the US and then you wanted the all-day buffet option!  I had a hard time saying no to you because I didn't want you to wake up the whole campground at 4 am which meant we had some bad habits to break once we got back to Stockholm.

You seem to be spitting up less but every once in a while it catches me off guard and goes everywhere!

You were sleeping through the night with very little help pretty consistently and then we went to the US (notice a theme).  Once we got to the US you would wake up once or twice per night but after I fed you, you would quickly go back to sleep which was great and hard.  I didn't feel like you needed the feed but I would give it to you because I knew you'd go back to sleep and you wouldn't wake Linnea or the campground up.  I hated feeling like I was training you to 'need' the nighttime feed.
You dropped from three naps per day to two.  Your morning one is usually from 9-10:30 and then again from 12:30-3 or 3:30.  Sometimes your morning nap is only 45 minutes and it is usually shorter if you nap in the stroller but if you are in your bed you are usually pretty consistent.

In Colorado, you napped in the carrier or the stroller.  It worked pretty well but I don't think you were as comfortable as you are in your bed.

Jetlag seemed harder for you this time or maybe it was I was more understanding when you were 10 weeks old.  It took Linnea about 3 days to flip her schedule and sleep all night and you only slept/went through the night twice without eating during the entire 2.5 weeks.
Here you are thinking you need to hang out with us while we eat popcorn and watch West Wing.

You are wearing size 6 and 9 month tops, bottoms and pajamas.  You seem to have a long torso so most 6 month tops are getting a bit small on you but 6-month pants seem to be fine.

We had to get pretty creative dressing you at night when we were in the tent.  It usually dropped to 50 degrees or so at night.  I had a hard time sleeping because I kept worrying that you were too cold but you didn't seem to mind.
You still love tummy time although you didn't get much of it in Colorado.  I wonder why?  You love getting up on all fours but you haven't made much forward progress.  You are getting better at sitting up on your own but you definitely need pillows around you just in case.

You love chewing on Sophie the giraffe and playing with books and cups.

Our Days
I have tried to really soak up our days together.  Whenever Linnea is home you are asked to be more go with the flow which is good but I miss having time with just you.  I'm trying to make sure we still go out for lunch, fika or play dates instead of staying home every day.
You are still going to physical therapy once a month or so.  She is encouraging you to continue tummy time.  I told her I was trying to get you to sit up on your own to discourage you from crawling.  She said crawling is actually better to do first because once babies sit up they tend to not want to crawl around as much.

Activities and Outings
We went to Colorado and California this month.  You did a great job.  You slept in a tent, convinced me to feed you one to two times every night, didn't get much floor time but you slept in your carrier, went on a few hikes and did a good job going with the flow.  Once I write a post about Colorado and California I will link it here.

You slept great in the bassinet on the airplane.
Firsts and New Skills
I would say the main one would be camping!  It was our first time camping with kids and that was a whole different ball game.

Sister Moments
Linnea does a great job trying to help Stella calm down if she gets fussy.  She loves to have Stella watch her climb, play, etc.
 I love the way Linnea is looking at Stella in this picture.  She just LOVES her little sister.

We often go to the park after I pick her up from preschool and she loves when Stella calls for her to come down the slide.  It is going to be so fun to see these girls play together once that starts happening.

Linnea New Skills
Linnea is getting pretty good at translating from Swedish to English and vice-versa if needed.  Sometimes she makes up random words and just says them with a Swedish accent but other times she can actually translate.

When we were driving to Longmont, Colorado after we were done camping it was late at night and we thought Linnea would fall asleep.  She didn't and tried everything she could to stay awake (talking to us, singing, etc).  We were trying to ignore her to let her fall asleep but it wasn't working so then she started asking Grandma Janet if she would read a book to her but she asked in Swedish.  She just flipped a switch and tried to have a whole conversation in Swedish.  It was hilarious!

Linnea moved up to the older group at her preschool.  I'm excited because the bigger kids get to do really fun things during the day.  She doesn't nap at school anymore which can make the evenings hard but it also means she falls asleep super fast at nighttime.

Linnea Funnies/Quotes
Linnea cracks us up daily.  I try to write them all down but I just forget some occasionally.  Here are a few that I remembered to write down:

I will often pack a snack when we are out.  Linnea will ask "Mama, did you bring a snack for me?"  I tell her yes and then she eats it.  Then she asks, "Mama did you bring 2 snacks?"  If I did then when she is done with that she'll ask, "Mama, did you bring 3 snacks?"  It doesn't matter how many snacks/books/etc I bring she always asks if I brought more.
This is the single stroller we had for Linnea and kept so we could use a standing board like this.  It works great!

When Linnea nurses her baby she has milk on one side and water on the other side.

When we were in Colorado, after Linnea was sleeping through the night, Linnea slept in the grandparents' rooms (my parents in Denver and Jake's parents in the camper and hotel). It was nice to only have to worry about Stella waking us up in the middle of the night and not Linnea too.  One night she wanted Stella to also sleep with Grandma Janet and Pa (Ken). Here is how that conversation went down:
Linnea: I want Stella to sleep in here.
Mama: That's sweet but she has to sleep in mama and daddy's room because she will wake up in the middle of the night and want to eat.
Linnea: But Mama, grandma has boobies.  She can feed Stella.
Mama: (Uh . . . valid point) Good night sweet girl.
Linnea: But Mama, grandma has boobies.  Daddy, grandma has boobies.  She can feed Stella.
Mama: (. . . . walking out of the room and then laughing hysterically in the hallway)

Linnea also named her baby this month.  Her baby's name is Alix (I envision it spelled Aleeks) pronounced Ah-leeks.  No idea where she got the name but 'baby with the shoes' now has an actual name.  She sleeps with Alix and asks for Alix to pick her up from preschool.  It is adorable.

Linnea used to pronounce a few words incorrectly but several of them have fixed themselves now that she is older but she still says 'amimals' and I'm just going to keep letting her say that as well as 'bobbum' for bottom. She watched "Mesame Street" (Sesame Street) for the first time on the flight from LA to Stockholm.

I can't remember what we were talking about but Linnea said the phrase 'plenty of' correctly in a sentence.

I have a song I used to sing to Linnea when she was a baby and would get upset.  It goes to a familiar tune but I'd change the words to match whatever we were doing.  I made up one for Stella too.  I hadn't sung Linnea's in a long time but I did when we were in Colorado.  It always starts the same way, "Linnea likes to hang out with mommy, play with daddy, be with both of us.  Linnea is the best girl around, oh yes she is.  Oh yes, she is.  Oh yes, she is.  Linnea is the best girl around, oh yes she is."  And then I add extra verses.  After I sang a few verses to her she said, "Mama, that makes me feel good, your singing."  Melt my heart.  I'm guessing she recognized it from all the times I sang it to her as a baby.

Stella's song goes, "Stella Bella, Stella Bella, how is my sweet girl?  Are you happy, so happy, yes you're a happy little girl."  Then lots of random made up verses about picking up her sister, going to the store, making dinner, or whatever else we are doing.  And bonus points if I can get them to rhyme!

When we were camping Linnea would sing "A camping we will go, a camping we will go. Hi ho, the dairy o a camping we will go. A hiking we will go, a hiking we will go. Hi ho, the dairy o, a hiking we will go."  This was on repeat several times during our trip but occasionally she'd say, "what do you say after you ho the dairy o?"  Ha!

As much as I love to sleep I kind of liked nursing you in the middle of the night again.  It just made you seem like my little baby again.
I love when you bury your head in my shoulder when you are tired.

I want to remember our days at home when it is just the two of us reading, singing and playing.
We love you, sweet girl!
Your Mama
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Linnea is 3!!!!

Linnea turned 3 on July 5th (she refers to us as "the birthday girls" which I just love).  I thought I'd write a little update about her.

Dear Linnea,
My favorite birthday gift.   You made me a mama and I will be forever grateful for that.  You are funny, smart, spunky and you can be very reasonable (key word being can).  I love seeing you as a big sister to Stella Bella.  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for you but my hope is that I don't wish it away too quickly.  I want to savor these moments because when I look back at pictures of you from a year or two ago I can't believe how quickly you are growing.

Your Mama

I interviewed Linnea for her birthday and here were her answers. I've also attached the video with some editing but it is still painfully long!

Birthday Interview

Year: 2018 Age: 3
(I added more correct answers in parenthesis) 
Do you have any nicknames? Janzen, Linnea (Nee-Nu and Nee-Uh)

What makes you happy? If you are hugging me and kissing me

What do you like to learn about? How the wind blows in a place

Who are your best friends? Alan, Emilie, Other Linnea (we have a neighbor in our building also named Linnea but now she is lovingly referred to as 'other Linnea' and "Other Linnea's Mama"), Ethan, Emma

What do you do really well? Jumping, I don't know

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with a ball

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Baby and Monkey

What do you want to be when you grow up? A grown-up name that starts with S (apparently we need to talk about this more) and then she said a Cohada and you can watch the video to see what a Cohada does.

What is your favorite thing to do? Read books

What is your favorite thing to do with Mama? Color, Look at the trees, all the fun things

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Climb on the spider web

What is your favorite thing to do with the family? Swim

My Favorites:

Food: Pasta, Rice (Peanut Butter)
Holiday: Easter
Book: ABC Book (Not sure which one she's referring to), Popcorn by Frank Ash
Toy: Train (saw it randomly on the floor - a better answer would be magnatiles, hot wheels, her baby)
Dessert: Ice Cream
Snack: Peanuts (almonds and a fruit stick)
Drink: Saft (flavored water that is then watered down)
Song: Blinka Lilla (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but the Swedish Version)
Animal: Baby
TV Show or Movie: I don't like the ripping part. (The scene in Cinderella when the stepsisters tear Cinderella's dress has made a lasting impression.) Mr. Rogers and Cinderella (the only tv show and movie she has seen).
Color: Purple ("When I was two I liked green but now that I'm three I like purple.")

What did you do on your birthday this year? Had an oven pancake for breakfast and opened a few presents, went to preschool to play with my friends, opened more presents after school.

What did you get for your birthday? a ride on horse (from Tim and Mona), a shoehorn and a watering can from Emma, big girl legos (with Joker in an ice cream truck which she hand-picked), a bike seat and helmet for baby, pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies), a car that flips over, paint with water toy, dinosaur stamp set, and a few books.

So here is what she is like as a 3-year-old:
We made a countdown chain for Linnea's birthday which was really fun.  Here we are on 'our' birthday morning taking off the last chain!

The birthday girls!  Linnea has referred to both of us several times as "the birthday girls".
On July 4th, Jake took the day off and we spent the day as a family at Skansen and we had a great time.
I LOVED this ride as a kid.  As soon as it started going I could not stop giggling.  It was awesome!

Most of the time she is easy going, reasonable, logical, funny, cute, happy, bilingual, a great climber and all around an awesome teammate.  We have definitely seen more "I am 3" moments where she tests the limits and boundaries but is usually pretty quick to turn things around after some think time.

She has started pretending to be a baby (probably for attention) and asks us to feed her, help her get dressed, wash her hands, go to the bathroom, etc and then other times she is incredibly insulted that we would even think about offering to help her do any of those things "I do it myself!"  You win some, you lose some.
She technically followed directions: to get dressed for school.  She just put her own 3-year-old spin on it!

We had a birthday party for Linnea with some friends.  We had a great time!

Linnea is a great climber.  Jake has been working with her on making a plan for her hands and feet as she climbs (which cracks me up because Jake is not a planner at all).  She is fearless for the most part but occasionally gets scared which I'm thankful for.

Whenever we turn on the vacuum she tells us "don't vacuum me up, mama".

She sleeps with her monkey (wubanub pacifier with the paci cut off) and usually baby with the shoes.  She also likes sleeping with soft baby without shoes, Yoda, the cat, Sally the car and ballerina elephant.  Recently we've been letting her read books to herself before she falls asleep for nap and bedtime and it has been great (and helped cut down on the stalling tactics).

Potty training has finally clicked! She hasn't had an accident in weeks.  Woohoo!  She's also getting pretty good at peeing outside which is great because Stockholm is seriously lacking in the free public toilet category (which makes zero sense to me).

Linnea hasn't met a rock or a stick she doesn't love.  The girl has at least one with her at all times.  She has learned she can't run with them in her hands so that usually means I'm carrying a rock or a stick while she runs.
Linnea loves riding tricycles at parks.  I also apparently like riding on toys.  This one reminded me of a toy I had growing up and it was super fun to ride on before I let the next person kid in line have a turn ;).

She bounces back quickly if she falls off of her scooter or while running.

Linnea loves Owl park and likes to climb up the slides.

She has been saying phrases like "You can stay here if you can be nice" (I wonder where she heard that from?) "Stella, don't worry, I am here to keep you safe" and when I hear those phrases I just smile and know that we aren't doing too bad.  The other day she said, "My daddy likes me even when I make bad choices".  Yes, he does sweet girl.
She often says "yeah, that happens sometimes" in reference to not napping, accidentally doing something, having an accident, etc.  Whenever we say "I need to ___________" she responds with "well do that then".

She walks into our room most mornings telling us that the blue light turned blue (the programmable light in her room letting her know she can get out of bed).  She loves going in to wake up Stella.

Linnea is a pretty big daddy's girl.  I mean, how could she not be.  He is teaching her how to climb, they build rocketships with Magna-Tiles, he takes her to school on his bike and she has him wrapped around her little finger.
For the most part, she listens so well which is why when she doesn't listen I get so frustrated.  It's developmentally appropriate but come on!  She also seems a lot more reasonable than most kids her age.  We can tell her "no you can't have/do ___________ because_____________" and usually she's understanding.
 These two are trouble but they sure are cute! 

When Linnea started going to preschool and Jake would get her dressed in the morning he started using "daddy's choice" and "Linnea's choice".  If she didn't pick her outfit within a minute or so then she would wear "daddy's choice".  This phrase has transferred over to other areas of our lives and it has been SO helpful!  She understands that some things are her choices and some are ours and she doesn't get to make all of the choices for our family.

Because we use public transportation to get everywhere she can direct us to most of our daily places (our apartment, the grocery store, parks, preschool, etc).  It is so neat to see her pick up on things like that.  The other day she said, "we don't have to take a bus to the green letter store" (which is the bigger grocery store that we go to on a regular basis).  She knows that if the bus or metro is crowded she has to stay in her stroller or if we aren't going to be on for very many stops she has to stay put.  But then when she asks, "Are we going a lot of stops?" that I know I should let her get out and sit next to me on the bus/metro.
We've been playing a few games with Linnea.  The Itsy Bitsy Spider Game and 4 in a Row.  I'd like to find a candy land game to play with her.

Every time she speaks Swedish with such confidence and ease I am just floored and jealous.  She has figured out now that most people on buses, the metro and at parks speak Swedish.  So if I tell her to ask them for something or to apologize she knows to do it in Swedish.  She likes to talk to people on the bus, in elevators, on the metro and in line at the grocery store.  This gets kind of awkward because it usually goes over my head pretty quickly.  Looks like I need to start working on my Swedish.
Rocketship building with Daddy

Linnea also blows us away with her English.  She uses words/phrases like: usually, supposed to, actually, the reason is, etc.  The other day she said "My stomach is full.  It is crowded in there.  There isn't enough room." There different ways to explain the same idea. We were impressed.  She still says fumb (thumb), fink time (think time), and Schrank (Frank).  The way she says daddy makes both of us smile.
Linnea goes to preschool every day from about 8:15-4:00.  She absolutely loves it.  They play outside once or twice per day walking to several of the nearby parks or to the water to watch the ducks or to the forest to climb on rocks and trees.  They have different themes throughout the year that the kids get to choose (light and sound, birds, ants, etc).  They color, paint, play games, sing songs including the Big Sing on Fridays when they also sing songs in English.  She naps most days at school and sleeps with Yoda or Ballerina Elephant.
Please note the amount of dirt on her face after a day at preschool.  I LOVE that she comes home dirty.  It means she was playing hard outside!
During the last two weeks of preschool, there weren't many kids so the teachers worked on several projects (painting, sawing, drilling, etc) to make the classroom feel fresh and new after the summer break.  Linnea liked watching and she also got to help sand and saw because Ms Rebecka might have a soft spot for her ;).

At home Linnea likes to play with Magna-Tiles, hot wheels cars, craft, play with baby (nursing her, let her have tummy time, etc) but her very favorite thing to do is to read books.  She LOVES books.  Her favorite book is Popcorn by Frank Ash but she also likes the Lola series (Lola at the Library, Lola Reads to Leo, Lola Plants a Garden).

Linnea has really been into playing with her baby recently and taking to on walks, to the park, etc.

She loves construction equipment.

We've been pretty strict about the no tv/screens rule.  It is just a slippery slope.  Jake's sister, Annie, gave me some great advice a while ago "One thing I have learned about parenting is that once we say yes to something one time, it makes it that much harder to say no the next time." I couldn't agree more.

Right before Stella was born we introduced Linnea to Mister Rogers.  I thought it would be nice to have something she could watch/do if I was overwhelmed with Stella or trying to feed her and just needed a break.  She watches 1-3 a week probably.  We started letting her watch them on Saturday or Sunday mornings during Stella's morning nap and then Jake and I would nap on the couch in the living room while Linnea watched an episode.  We've all enjoyed that new routine!  It is funny because Linnea likes to watch the same ones over and over again which works for us.  She also sometimes watches one if I'm on my own for dinner with both girls and need to cook without having someone right at my feet.
Linnea watched her first movie this month which was Cinderella. I have fond memories of watching Disney movies while growing up.  Watching them as an adult is interesting.  For example, the main message of Cinderella . . . all of her dreams came true when she married a prince.  What exactly were her dreams other than get away from her stepsisters?  We watched the movie in three 30 minute chunks over three days and it was fun.  Linnea didn't like the 'ripping the dress' part.  She talked about that scene a LOT.
While we were watching Cinderella a bird flew into our apartment through the balcony door and landed on the chair where I nurse Stella.  It hopped around on top of the chair for a bit while I tried to figure out what to do.  I picked up my phone to call Jake but it flew out before he answered.  Linnea spotted it as well.  I thought it was especially funny since it was the part in Cinderella where the birds and the mice help Cinderella get dressed and make her bed.

Linnea likes to say "When I was a baby then I usually ___________ (spit up, played with that toy, saw in the bouncy seat, etc)."
One of my favorite phrases of hers right now is, "I'd like you to do a favorite" which means I'd like you to do me a favor.

We love you, sweet girl!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Happy Half Birthday Sweet Stella!

Happy Half Birthday Sweet Stella,
I cannot figure out how you are half a year old.  It just doesn't make sense.  In my mind, it is still March or April.  A very hot March or April ;).
Your personality is starting to come through a little more each day which is fun to see.  Overall you are happy and content unless you are hungry.

 Feeling a little boxed in?

We've been seeing lots of diaper only time with you this month since it has been so hot! I'm not complaining about that!
This is how you slept while we were at a Children's museum.  Not very modest but it kept you cool.
At your 6 month appointment, you weighed 6.52 kg (14 lbs 6 oz) which is in the 16th percentile.  You went up just a little bit in your weight this month.  I hate that I worry so much about your weight.  I think you dropping in weight at 2 weeks old when you had RSV has made me more nervous.  I just want to make sure you are gaining like you should.  You are just so happy though and I guess if I was starving you, you'd let me know.

You were 65.5 cm long (25.8 inches long) which is in the 40th percentile.  Your head was 42.3 cm (16.6 inches) around which his in the 49th percentile.

You are laid back unless you are hungry and then you definitely let us know.  You are starting to be interested in table food and have had a few bites of our food.  You get frustrated when we don't give you bites fast enough.

You still nurse four times a day (7:10, 11:10, 3:10 and 7:10).  You don't usually have a bonus feed anymore which is nice.

The BVC told us to give you a few tastes of our food before you start baby food and you seemed to like what we offered you (sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, corn, black beans, cheese, and eggs).   You had an allergic reaction to eggs.  Shortly after eating eggs you started getting red spots and welts on your chest.  Thankfully they went away pretty quickly.
You tried actual baby food for the first time this month, sweet potatoes, (just a few days before you turned 6 months old) and you liked it. I'm making baby food for you which is new to me.  I didn't make baby food for Linnea but I am for you because you can't buy individual vegetables (or fruits) here.  You have to buy a mix of fruit and veggies or a mix of veggies and I want to introduce them to you individually.  So I'll make some for a while and see how that goes.

You are finally sleeping through the night with very little help!  You aren't eating in the middle of the night anymore which is great but sometimes you get stuck with an arm or a leg out of your crib or can't find your pacifier and you need a little help.
You starting rolling over this month from your back to your belly which you like to practice when you are supposed to be sleeping.  At first, you would roll to your belly and not remember you can roll onto your back and since you've never slept on your belly you had a hard time with that too.
You officially sleep unswaddled.  This July has been hot so putting you in a swaddle just wasn't working.  You didn't even seem to notice.  You had been sleeping with your arms out for a while so all you were getting was the pressure around your midsection and you don't seem to be missing it.

You are wearing so many warm weather clothes.  I was not expecting you to wear so many but this hot weather streak has been crazy long!  You are wearing mostly size 6-month clothes.  Most of your outfits are US outfits (Carters, Target, clothes from Jan's girls) but some are Swedish size 62, 69 or 74.  Mostly whatever I can find that is cool and lets your skin breathe.  Sometimes that means you are just in a diaper!  You are wearing size 3 Libero comfort diapers.

You love tummy time!!!!  You spend the majority of your day on your tummy.  As soon as I put you on your back you roll over within seconds.  You usually roll to your left but now you will also roll to your right.
One of the best rules we made and enforced with Linnea after you were born was that your play mat (quilt, spot on the floor) was your safe place.  She isn't allowed on whatever blanket you are laying on that way you have some protected space.  Then I can walk out of the room for short periods of time and know that you are safe.  We also make sure that only Stella safe toys are on your mat.

You are starting to tuck your knees under yourself and I've seen you get up on your knees and hands for just a second before falling back down.  Sweet girl, it is not time to crawl yet. Don't get any ideas.
You love this wooden book we have as well as another book that is rip/chew proof.

You like watching your sister run around and be crazy which is great because she does that a lot.

You've been on the swing a few times which you seem to like.

You are constantly sticking your tongue out which is just adorable.

Our Days
This month our days have been a little bit different but you've handled it all like a champ!  Linnea was home for three weeks this summer and Jake took off the same three weeks (except for working 1 day per week and calling in for meetings during the day and at night).  It was great.  I was nervous about how it would be having everyone home with no real plans but it ended up being great.   It was really hot in Stockholm (85-90 degrees) for most of July but thankfully our front yard is a lake.  Jake jumped in on average three times per day (morning, afternoon and evening).  I overcame my fear of swimming with fish and jumped in the lake on an almost daily basis.  It was so refreshing!  Our apartment feels like a beach vacation since it is so warm which is awesome!  I hope I remember that during the dark, cold winter!

Since Jake was home for 3 weeks we took turns going outside during naptime.  It was great!

You transitioned from your baby bassinet to the toddler seat in the stroller because you tried to roll over in your bassinet and there just isn't enough room.  You are still trying to figure out how to sleep in the toddler seat but you are making progress.

Activities and Outings
Uncle Bob visited us for a week at the beginning of the month and you did a great job tagging along on all of our adventures.

It was so hot when Bob was here that we had to go swimming every single day.  Bummer ;).

We went to a children's science museum called Tom Tit's Experiments (unfortunate name) with some friends and had a great time!

Our neighbor invited us to his garden, which is about 30 minutes away, to pick raspberries.  It was great!
When we walked into the garden we saw this sign!

Stella was sleeping in the stroller in the shade.

He had red raspberries and yellow raspberries which were delicious!  He also had American blueberries, which are just bigger/fatter than Swedish blueberries (his description, not mine).
We took a quick swim at the lake near the garden after we were done picking raspberries.

We went swimming with Tim and Florian and both girls had a great time.  This was the first time Linnea had been in a bigger pool for an extended period of time.  She LOVED jumping off of the side and she even went under several times.  You were just excited to be included in the family activity!

Jake started braiding my hair and Linnea's hair this month which was fun!

We bought ice cream from the ice cream truck.  Here they sell boxes of the same kind of ice cream or popsicle.  You can't buy individual ice cream treats like you can in the US.

Firsts and New Skills
You can roll from your back to your belly and do it almost as soon as your back hits the floor.  You prefer to roll to your left but you will also roll to your right.  You tend to spend most of your play time on your belly but you can roll to your back.

Linnea has started asking if she can be on your mat and I let her play there occasionally if I'm sitting right there with you.

You slept your belly for the first time this month.  The picture below is from a game night at our friends' house.  You slept right across from us while we played games before staying in their guest apartment.

Sister Moments
Linnea has started roaring (like a dragon and shooting fire in a friendly way - like to cook a pizza) to scare us and you.  Most of the time you think it is pretty funny but occasionally it catches us all off guard.

Ever since before Linnea was born Jake and I (mostly me) would talk in a high pitched voice to say what Linnea was thinking.  Well now we do that for you and Linnea has started having 'conversations' with you and she will say both sides.  It is pretty funny to listen to.  Sometimes she uses her real voice for you and her high pitched voice for her.

Linnea 3 Year update
Linnea got her own blog post this month since she turned three.  I'll post a link here as soon as I post it!

The closer you were to turning 6 months old the more sentimental I got.  6 months seems so old, halfway to a year.  Half of my maternity leave is over.  How is time flying by so fast?  I want to remember what it feels like to hold a sleeping baby.  You don't fall asleep in my arms anymore (and haven't for a long time) so I started picking you up at night when I went in to kiss you goodnight before I went to sleep.  I LOVE sleeping baby cuddles.

I want to remember your giggle with I kiss or blow on your neck.  Those are the best.
I want to remember that you are such a good, fun, easy baby.  I thought Linnea was an easy baby (and honestly, she was) but I'm going to go out on a limb and say you are easier than she was in some ways.  For one, Jake and I have done this before so at least we know what we are doing a little bit more which means we are more confident and things don't stress us/me out as much (what if you cry on the bus, what if you don't nap in your stroller, etc).  I know that definitely helps but even with the experience of parenting, I think you are easier.  You rarely cry or fuss unless you are hungry.  You like your stroller, playing on the floor, watching your sister, being held, sitting in your bouncy seat going to the store, pretty much whatever we are doing you are up for it.

We love you so much Stella!
Your Mama
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