Våffeldagen
Yesterday we celebrated Våffeldag in Sweden. It means Waffle Day. We ate waffles in the morning and again at night. Our kind of holiday.
The last holiday we celebrated previous to Våffeldag was Fettisdag. Fettisdag means Fat Tuesday, and it is a day when everyone eats these types of pastry called semlor (pictured). Also our kind of holiday.
The next upcoming holiday is obviously Easter, and in Sweden everyone gets Good Friday off of work, as well as the next Monday. One of the many beauties of having a foreign post with the government is that not only does Rob get all of the US holidays off from work, but he also gets the Swedish holidays as well.
Cheers to new holidays!

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Spain
We recently took advantage of our proximity to all sorts of great European destinations and headed out to Barcelona for a few days. Here are a few random notes about the trip:

- I Love to explore new places through running and biking. The highlight of the trip was long meandering runs through interesting streets, past cool buildings, markets, monuments, the beach, etc. - SANS STROLLER!!! Yay! Rob and I played tag team with the Smalls at times so that we could each enjoy some pure, unadulterated freedom.


-
One of the times I did go running with the stroller, I accidentally made a bit of a scene. Smalls and I like to play this game I made up called "Runaway Baby". Here's how you play: when you get to a downhill, you take your hands off the stroller and cry out "Runaway baby! Runaway baby!" in a way that amuses your kid while you chase right behind. Or you just yell "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" as you run behind. Ideally, you really should do one of those two things in an exaggerated way that shows passersby that you are just having a good time. More ideally, you only do it when there is no one around to witness. I messed up the game and forgot those rules and out of no where a Spaniard comes sprinting towards us, great distress written all over his face, trying to save this seeming runaway stroller.
Ooops. I hope he got a laugh out of it. No authorities came knocking on my hotel door later that night, so I guess all's well that ends well.

- Barcelona does not stink nearly as bad in March as it does in July. Seriously. Don't go in July.

- Where ever we travel in the world, Rob always finds an Adidas shop that he has to go into. He has a radar. I am not sure what the appeal is when we just went to the same store in Stockholm. Then he called me out on my strange need to go into that cheap, full-of-random-crap-store you also find in every city. But you just never know what you might find! We'll call it even.

- We got to visit with some old friends from our Malibu ward, the Schroder kids and Amanda Carr. Rob used to be their Sunday school teacher and I used to tutor math to Amanda. It was fun to see them so grown up. Something charming about meeting up with old friends in a foreign land several years later. It was cool to see that Amanda is studying to be a nurse. I felt so proud of her. It made me feel a little wistful that I could have ever taught at a single high school long enough to have old students come back years later and see what they'd made of themselves. I always used to think that when teachers said to come back and visit that they were just being polite, but now I understand differently. Seeing the kids in Spain made me think of all sorts of students who I grew to love and would enjoy seeing as adults. (I actually quite miss teaching!)

- Restaurants in Spain don't open till 8:00 at night. Which is funny because in Sweden pretty much everything but the dinner restaurants are closed down by 8:00, or way before. I think these two countries are about as polar opposite as you can get when it comes to social things. I've also become so accostume to Swedes quiet disposition that the outgoing, gregarious nature of the Spaniards kept catching me off guard.

- Now that I am finally thinking in Swedish, all of my Spanish has gone to pot. Too bad. I had to think surprisingly hard even just to come up with "gracias".

-Vacation is fun.

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Traditions

I got a sweet Giants jersey for my first Christmas. It even had my name on the back. I thought that would be a good tradition for Michael: he gets a new jersey every Christmas. Here is the first of many jerseys, although I don't think we will put Biggie Smalls on the back of all of them.

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Hey, Michael Robert here, aka Biggie Smalls, or just "the Smalls" if you want.

So today was my half-year birthday. I am now officially "half." I thought I would get some presents or cake or something. Instead I got some shots and peas. Lame. Maybe my one year birthday will be better.

Here are some things I like:
- playing in the bath
- seeing my grandparents (either having them visit or going to see them in Finland)
- things that are shiny
- whatever mom and dad have in their hands (but usually they won't let me take it.)
- being naked
- The Giants
- wind in my face
- watching sports (for 5-10 minutes)
- walking around in the baby bjorn
- the Muppets
- jumping
- rolling over
- seeing myself in the mirror when I am happy (that kid makes me laugh)

Things I don't like:
- wearing clothes
- sleeping in
- naps
- The Dodgers
- sitting still
- doing anything for more then 5-10 minutes
- being buckled into my car seat
- seeing myself in the mirror when I am mad (that kid makes me even angrier)

That's all folks. (I like watching Looney Tunes, too.)

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Grandparents Visit
I decided it would be fun to learn how to use iMovie on the Mac, and it was. So here are some shots from last week when Grandma and Grandpa Candrian came to dote on their grandson. He sure loved their undying attention, and I sure loved the freedom to go ski every day and get a few nights out with my man!
video

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The Steam Roller
Michael is learning to travel quite efficiently by rolling. Can't crawl yet, but he found a way to get around anyway! He is such a determined little guy. I see so much of myself in his little personality. That realization is a little frightening. But it helps me understand him.
video
A couple weeks ago I had many sleepless nights because every time he would come into a light sleep and normally just go right on with sleeping, he decided instead that it would be a great time to practice his rolling trick and inevitably get stuck in the most awkward* positions in the corner of his crib. Of course he would start crying for me, so I would go in, roll him back over to the other end of his crib, and then before I could even get back to my bed he would be grunting again for another rescue. One night I had to resign to just sit on the chair next to his crib for an hour from 3am - 4am while he practiced his trick and got stuck over and over and over and over....
*I think awkward falls under the category of words that are self-descriptive.
And now that I am on the topic, here is a riddle to make yourself mad with: Does the word non-self-descriptive fall under the category of words that are self-descriptive, or non-self-descriptive?

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Happy Birthday Mahn!
One year older, but not a day more grown up (since the day he turned 12).

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