The Month Niklas Fled The Country
2007-09-01: Today was Niklas's (and mine and Andrya's, but remember who the star is; it's Niklas) last day
in Chicago. Grandma and Grandpap Vennard came up to spend the day with him. Niklas impressed them with his ability
to get into a myriad of things he's not supposed to. He also did a bit of crawling on all fours, but when he needed
speed (if, for example, I was about to stop him from wrecking something up), he used his army man/really
quick lizard style. My "lazy old man" style is no match for that.
So tomorrow we're off for Bermuda. I don't know how long it will take me to find an internet connection, so don't assume that we've been jailed by immigration if there's not an update for a few days.
2007-09-09: And we're back. Niklas is in Bermuda (so are Andrya and I, as I would assume you would assume) and all is well. There were lots of doings last week and I'll have a complete report (including what I consider to be jokes) up tomorrow sometime. In the meantime, I have a tale that makes me wish I hadn't used the
gimmick last month. Niklas followed up an afternoon of fussing with a long nap. Usually, I applaud the long nap. Today, though, I must say "Curse you, long nap, and the havoc you've wrought!" Why would I say this? It seems that relatively early into the long nap (curse its name), Niklas pooped his diaper. Typically, this would wake him up. Because of the vile machinations of the long nap (a pox upon it), such was not the case today. Niklas continued to sleep while poop leaked out of the back of his pants. He continued to sleep while he rolled around the crib covering his sheets with poop. He continued to sleep through the numerous times he bumped against the crib railings, covering those with poop. He continued to sleep as he got poop under his toenails. I could go on like that for a while (perhaps as long as the the long nap itself, may it find itself in Niflheim for the trouble it's caused), but suffice to say, every thing in the crib was covered by a prodigious amount of foul, foul smelling poop. It was quite literally the worst mess Niklas has ever made, and that's not just me talking. Andrya, who does not share my penchant for hyperbole is in complete agreement. While I will continue to curse the long nap to my dying day, I must congratulate Niklas on this achievement.
Here are some new pictures of the international master of poop.
2007-09-10: So, how have things been going in Bermuda? Let me tell you.
Sunday, September 2 Niklas spent his last couple of hours in Chicago trying to get into the approximately 400 pounds (not really much of an exaggeration) of luggage Andrya and I (mostly Andrya) had packed the night before. He was incredibly well behaved throughout the whole trip, be it in the car, the airport, the plane or the cab in Bermuda. I was a bit tired and fussy. Once on the island, we hung out a bit at our temporary Bermudian residence, then we we went out to dinner with one of Andrya's co-workers and his family. Niklas behaved pretty well there, too, though he is really into trying to pull things off of tables these days. After a fine meal (well, for me and Andrya, Niklas ate the same stuff he does everyday which, in my opinion, isn't all that great) and a diaper change in the men's room (my apologies to anyone who went in there after us), we caught a cab home and Niklas dropped off to sleep with the quickness.
Monday, September 3 This is Labour Day in Bermuda. I assume this is similar to Labor Day in America, but I can't claim to be an expert in the field of comparing and contrasting American and Bermudian holidays. Anyway, Niklas, Andrya and I pretty much hung out around the house all day. Action packed!
Tuesday, September 4 With Andrya off to her first day of work, Niklas and I were on our own. All of the traveling, time change and all around differences finally caught up with him and he spent the afternoon fussing like a very fussy person on a fussing binge. I guess it's possible that he just didn't feel like hanging out and watching TV with me, but come on, that's an awesomely good time.
Wednesday, September 5 A normal part of Niklas day back in Chicago involved a walk in the afternoon. I attempted to restore that normalcy with a walk to the nearby Botanical Gardens. The only problem with this plan is the lack of sidewalks in our part of Bermuda. Pushing a stroller down a narrow road with traffic passing you in both directions is quite a stressful experience, but apparently, Bermudians think noting of doing this. Anyway, we had a good time walking around the gardens for a while and we successfully avoided death on the way home. Huzzah!
Thursday, September 6 While out walking on the only sidewalk in the neighborhood, Niklas and I stumbled upon the Arboretum. Like the Botanical Gardens, it features trees from around the world. Unlike the Botanical Gardens, I don't feel like death is lurking in the sound of every scooter or Yaris engine that passes by. Advantage: Arboretum.
Friday, September 7 Lest Niklas and I turn into too much of the homebody types, we hopped a bus into the City of Hamilton (population 1,100). Of course, our stroller is too big for bus, so Niklas was riding in his carseat on the "drag your carseat through the airport" contraption we bought for dragging his carseat through the airport. I would have just carried him, but we were meeting Andrya and a realtor to go check out a more permanent residence and that involved riding in the realtor's car thus requiring the carseat. Niklas was ok with the bus ride and he definitely enjoyed the attention he got from various Bermudians on the bus who thought the was pretty much the best looking baby ever. Niklas was also in good spirits on the way out to the rental property (which has amazing views of the ocean and is located about 12 feet from the beach). He was wiggling his foot to the music on the radio (quoth Andrya "it's weird what he does with his foot, I don't think I can do that"), which was pretty cute except for the fact that the song wasn't very good.
Saturday, September 8Niklas, Andrya and I caught the bus back to town again for some lunch and oh so exciting errand running. We ate at a pub-type place that provided Niklas the opportunity to try french fries for the first time. He approves.
Other Stuff I Neglected To Mention Above: Niklas has his fourth tooth (the other upper middle one) and his two vampire fangs are finally starting to peek through. We've also expanded his diet to include yogurt. Niklas hasn't been to the beach yet, but within the month he'll likely be there everyday, weather permitting, so we're not exactly in a hurry. I have nothing further to report.
2007-09-11: There were a couple things I neglected to mention yesterday. First, Niklas is pulling himself up to his feet on just about everything in the house that's over a foot high. This makes me much less unhappy to be away from my beloved CD rack. He's also been crawling in four by four mode (the typical baby crawl) in lieu of his traditional army man style. Also, for any of you who must know everything, today Niklas and I went to the grocery store.
2007-09-12: Today was Niklas's last day as a 0 year old. Tomorrow, he turns one which I believe means he can drink legally here in Bermuda... that might not be right. Anyway, since Andrya has to work tomorrow, Niklas and I are going to head into Hamilton to have lunch with her. Then, in the evening? Cake! Hattie, the housekeeper here at the rental house, brought Niklas and awesome first birthday cake, so you can expect more pictures like this tomorrow. The hospitality of Bermudians cannot be overstated, though it does make me miss the jerkiness of Americans a little bit.
We didn't do too much today. We've been dragging Niklas about the island quite a lot lately, so I thought he might enjoy a day of just hanging out around the house. The screaming he was doing around 2:30 let me know just how wrong I was about that. The screaming might have been due to tooth issues instead of wanderlust, but either way, he brought the loud.
Other new things I've neglected to mention: 1) we're transitioning Niklas from formula to milk. This hasn't caused him to be any less gluttonous with his drinking, so I guess he's ok with it. 2) Niklas hates the grass with a white hot passion that equals the intensity of the sun. He'll sit on a towel or on my lap in the grass, but he'll carefully keep his feet away from the vile green weed. You might think that it would be a good idea to slowly pull the towel out from under his feet. You would be quite the fool, if you thought that. You would also be screamed at for thirty minutes or so. Dummy.
2007-09-13: Niklas turned one today at 3:17 PM Atlantic time. Fittingly, he was eating which has been one of his favorite pastimes of the past year. Anyway, the day started off in the traditional birthday fashion: Presents! Niklas actually got most of his gifts late last month at the We'll-Be-Out-Of-The-Country-On-Your-Actual-Birthday birthday party, but we saved a couple of things for his actual birthday. He got an animal bowling set that is quite popular. He hasn't grasped the concept for rolling the ball at the animals to knock them down, but if I set them up he does a pretty impressive Juggernaut impression. We also got him a little music player that he loves despite its notable lack of suitably heavy rock.
Later, we met Andrya in Hamilton for lunch in a really neat little park that featured Niklas-sized palm trees. Niklas was excited to get to spend some midday time with his Mommy on his big day. He was less excited when we took him to the bank, but when you get older, these are the kind of things you have to do. The evening featured cake and a crazed sugar high. It seems to me that the sugar rush is the baby equivalent of drunkenness, what with the late night babbling and running around half naked and whatnot. All in all, it was a pretty successful day. Happy first birthday, Niklas!
Can I interest you in some new pictures of Niklas? Right this way, then.
2007-09-16: Niklas has had quite the busy weekend. On Friday, he and I went to check out the local aquarium which was popular. Less popular was the bus ride to the aquarium which featured a bunch of fussing. Ever prepared, I remembered to pack a pacifier for the trip. Wait, that's not right at all. I remembered to think about packing it, but the actual execution was lacking. Sorry, other passengers on the number 11 bus. Yesterday, armed with sixteen pacifiers, Andrya and I took Niklas into Hamilton for some lunch and furniture shopping. We had lunch and bought some furniture for the place we're moving into next month, so success! Niklas enjoyed tiny, tiny bites of a french dip sandwich and some fries. Today, we went to the Arboretum. Niklas was actually only moderately fussy when his feet touched the grass. This is a marked improvement over the psychotic ranting that accompanied such contact as recently as Wednesday.
Other exciting action today included Niklas trying to perfect his Greco-Roman wrestling skills while covered in poop and the consumption of the last of the formula. It's whole milk from here on out (assuming he doesn't follow me into the realm of milk hatred, that works out well).
2007-09-20: Niklas has been busy distracting me from webpage updates. Monday was both Andrya's and my birthday, so Niklas was busy handing out fabulous birthday presents. I can't wait to use that body butter. Later, Niklas and I went into town to have lunch with Andrya. Apparently, unlike America, you have to go to work on your birthday in Bermuda. What? I was supposed to go to work all those birthdays I had in America? No wonder they were always so angry every 18th. Oh well. Anyway, Niklas had some local rockfish. He enjoyed it, but as he is Catholic and the fish was fried, that was pretty much a given.
On Tuesday, it was too hot and humid for a lazy, lazy man like myself to venture outside, so Niklas and I read a bunch of stories and chased each other around the coffee table. We also had a napping contest which I easily won.
Niklas is not a man to stay in for two days in a row, so on Wednesday, we headed back to the Aquarium. There's also a natural history museum and zoo there, so we checked those out, too. We saw a monkey, some spiny lobsters, seals, midget otters and a whale eye preserved in formaldehyde. Niklas thought that stuff was okay, but he was more amused by me, what with my laughing and clapping my hands. We also learned that Niklas is ready for some beach going as he put his feet down in the sand when we stopped by the children's play area. Sand 1, Grass -6.5 x 108.
Today, we visited the Central Bureaucracy so as to prevent the deportation of me and Niklas. As a productive member of society, Andrya is set. Unfortunately, the optimum time to visit the immigration office is the napping hour, so Niklas's schedule got a bit disrupted (though we did manage to avoid deportation). His fussiness was further compounded by an afternoon trip to the barber shop. Luckily, the barber was a good humored man who was not upset that 25 pounds of fury was unleashing heretofore unknown decibels of rage in his shop. On the plus side, Niklas no longer looks like a dirty hippie.
Have you forgotten what Niklas looks like? Refresh your failing memory here.
2007-09-22: Big doings today. We took Niklas on a ferry ride to the Royal Navy Dockyards (where the point would be if Bermuda were a fish hook). They have lots of neat stuff there, like a fort, a moat, a place to buy locally brewed beer and a beach. This was Niklas's first time on a boat and he was not terribly enthused about giving up his landlubberish ways. It wasn't this bad, but there was some significant fussage. Anyway, it was lunchtime when we got to the Dockyards, so we stopped into the aforementioned beer getting place for some beer. And food, we got food, too. Niklas continued his Saturday afternoon fuss-o-rama until we gave him some french fries, which he seems to love. He also tried mashed potatoes for the first time. They were, to be charitable, not as popular. He didn't spit them out or anything, but it was the first time the "what the heck is this crap you're shoving into my mouth?" face has made an appearance in quite a while. After we ate, I enjoyed the challenge of changing a poopy diaper on a toilet lid, as the men's room did not have changing facilities. Niklas was shockingly cooperative and I was able to escape with only a minimal amount of poop on my pants. Apparently, there was a time when I would have considered getting any amount of poop on me a failure. How times change. After that, we were off to the beach. Niklas was a big fan. Andrya held him up with his feet in the water for a few minutes, then he sat himself down and enjoyed some splashing and fish-looking-at. Since he was now an experienced man of the sea, the fuss face did not make an appearance on the ferry ride back home.
2007-09-24: I forgot to mention something about Niklas's trip to the beach, namely that he tried to eat a bunch of sand. It's not like he put some into his mouth and realized it wasn't meant to be eaten, either. He put some sand in his mouth, Andrya and I reacted in horror then he tried to shovel some more sand in before we could stop him. I don't know what the deal is with that.
Today, Niklas learned more about the fun of waiting around government offices as I took him to the Bermudian DMV (which is not called the DMV but rather the TCD) so I could get my learner's permit. Niklas also took the driver's test, but he was less successful as he refuses to yield the right of way under any circumstances. Niklas was in good spirits even though I walked us about two miles out of the way due to my innate ability to badly navigate cities worldwide.
2007-09-29: Niklas has lots of toys here in Bermuda. Four weeks ago, as I was struggling to navigate the airport with twelve metric tons of luggage, I thought to myself "this it totally worth it; having his toys with him will be a big help in making the adjustment to the move." I also thought numerous obscenities on account of how all that crap was pretty heavy. Anyway, given the plethora of toys he has to chose from, it turns out that his favorite is either the fireplace screen or the remote control for the cable box. What? Those aren't toys? Well, you wouldn't know it to watch him. I think Fisher Price is dropping the ball what with their colorful animals and whatnot. Black plastic with lots of buttons is the way to go. Also, if they made a toy one of these, they could print money. They probably print money now, but I'm talking about money that doesn't have a monkey wearing a suit on the twenty dollar bill. If they do make some sort of monkey money, though, please let me know. Niklas took it upon himself to distribute the contents of my wallet throughout the house the other day and anything to distract him from that would be useful.
Niklas and I are on our own for the next few days as Andrya has gone back to Chicago to pack up all the stuff we're having shipped over. We can't go because of immigration issues which makes all of the excuses I was coming up with not to help unnecessary. Anyway, Niklas and I began our stretch of bachelor living by kicking off Bermudian Burrito Quest '07 with a trip to Rosa's Cantina in Hamilton. After learning that their burritos contained olives for some reason, Burrito Quest was put on hold and I had a fish sandwich while Niklas had some green beans from home. Those got two thumbs up, but we're still on the lookout for quality burritos. After that, we came home and hung out. Niklas said "mamamamamama" a few times, but he wasn't too fussy about Andrya's absence. If history is any guide, though, that'll pick up dramatically in the next few days. Woo hoo.
Here are a few new pictures of the face that caused a thousand elderly Bermudian women to swoon.