Wherein Niklas Has Some Guests. Also, There's A Pig.
Today, Niklas and I took a walk on the railway trail. Thanks, whoever thought that a twenty mile
island needed a locomotive! Anyway, I did most of the walking while Niklas cruised about on his three wheels
of action. Mostly, we just saw a bunch of plants and stuff. Niklas did a bit of walking on his own, though he refused to push me on the
tricycle. He also picked up a handful of mud which, since I didn't bring any wipes and I didn't want him to eat said mud, I had to wipe off on
my jeans. Thanks, pal. Anyway, the highlight of the walk (if not our entire stay in Bermuda) was this:
Giant free range pig! I don't know much about livestock, but I have to estimate that the pig weighed about eight hundred pounds. And he was just running around! Awesome! Pig! (I'm very excited about the pig.) Also, on our way home, these dogs barked at us. This didn't bother Niklas, who pointed at them and said "kitties" excitedly. It turns out, our trip was only a sheep away from being a pretty awesome Pink Floyd album. (Tangentally, here's a picture of the Battersea Power Station I took when Andrya and I went to London a few years back.)
Here are a few new (sadly) pig-free pictures. In non-pig news, there's lots to see in Chicago. Here's Niklas's Snowman checking out the Watertower. Balmy, apparently, in Chicago.
2008-03-03: Not much of interest happened today. Still, here's this. Niklas has taken to laughing hysterically whenever he farts, so there's that. Otherwise, it was pretty standard stuff with a trip to the playground, some beach cleaning and a trip to the grocery store where Niklas flirted shamelessly with the cashier. After that, Niklas had lunch which was mercifully sippy cup-dump free and took a nap. When he woke up, we went outside and played in the park. I sat on a bench while Niklas ran around it like ten times, fell down and laughed. Next, we went to the beach where Niklas tried once again to fulfill what he believes is his destiny. Not today, Dweller-In-The-Depths, not today. The day finished up with some dinner, some throwing of a toilet paper roll into the bathtub and, finally, some sleep.
2008-03-05: Niklas had an action packed trip to the playground today. He's to the point now where he can climb up the stairs and go down the slide by himself. Well, most of the time. There's a bar at the top of the slide that is meant to allow the wee sliders to lower themselves into the proper launch position. Niklas usually does this without fail. Today, for some reason, he chose not to use the bar. Instead, he climbed under it and tried to get himself ready for sliding excitement. The result? Not as successful as we may have hoped. Niklas had a good laugh at his lack of graceful execution. After the slide, he did some train driving, sand digging and general stomping about. Also, he chased some chickens around. Yeah, Bermuda has wild chickens.
2008-03-09: Niklas has been busy lately, what with the busting up of plates, covering his face in filth and peeing all over the place (no pictures of that, there has to be a line somewhere... the line is action shots of urine). Niklas's Grandma Vennard and Great Aunt Con arrived in Bermuda today, so he's looking forward to some touristy adventures over the next few days. I'm sure I'll report on those in a timely manner. In the meantime, here are some new pictures.
2008-03-16: It turns out that when I add "tour guide" to my existing responsibilities (cook, webmaster, Niklas wrangler), something has to bear the brunt of my slacking. As I enjoy eating and Andrya is quite insistent that I look after Niklas no matter how busy I am, it's the web updates that suffer. However, since these folks have returned to their various homes, regular updates will resume until at least Friday when Niklas's Grandma Meeker comes to visit.
Tomorrow, yarns will be spun about Niklas's recent land based and oceanic adventures. For today, you'll just have to make due with these pictures.
2008-03-17: So Niklas did quite a bit last week. His Grandma Vennard and Great Aunt Connie were here for a visit enabling Niklas to display his formidable hosting skills. Want to hear about it? Of course you do. On Monday, we took his grandma and aunt out to do some sight seeing. First we went to the lighthouse, which was closed because the guy with the key to the lighthouse had the flu. That plan scuttled, we drove into Hamilton and went on a ferry ride around the harbor. Niklas had an awesome time until a bunch of people got on the boat and I stopped letting him run about. After that, he yelled a lot until the boat ride was over. Then he yelled as we walked around town. Then we had lunch and he was in good spirits again. I'll have to be careful about using food to improve his mood. It rarely fails, but I don't want him to be a three hundred pound kindergartener. Before he could kick the fussing back in, I took him home for a nap while his grandma and aunt did their part to help the local economy. That afternoon, we went to the beach where he took several runs at the water only to be thwarted by my cunning and quickness.
The next day, we went out to the Royal Dockyard after stopping off at the world's smallest drawbridge and Ft. Scaur, which is one of Niklas's favorite places to stomp about. At the Dockyard, I tossed Niklas in a pot and we saw a bunch of historically stuff. Also, Niklas was more interested in playing with some gravel than watching dolphins jump about. After Niklas had his nap, we took him to Horseshoe Bay for some playing in the sand type action. After six months of trying to jump into the ocean while fully dressed, he was finally successful... sort of. Per his plan, he ran out into the water until it was up to his knees or so. Then an unplanned wave hit him leading to this. Sadly, I missed the whole thing, so I can only imagine the scene which both my mom and aunt considered to be one of the highlights of their visit. They can be mean like that.
I'll recap the rest of their trip tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a couple of new pictures.
2008-03-18: The weather here has been a bit awful (Bermuda non-Hurricane awful, not actual awful) for the last few days. Niklas and I have therefore been lying a bit low, though we did make it out to the aquarium today. Niklas thinks the parrotfish are hilarious. Anyway, since we haven't been doing much this week, please allow me to reminisce about last week.
On Wednesday morning, we made a second attempt at visiting the Gibbs Hill lighthouse. It turns out that "Opens at 9:00" doesn't exactly mean "Opens at 9:00" in Bermuda, so we headed off to the Aquarium/Museum/Zoo instead. Niklas had a fine time there as always. He impressed his grandma and great aunt with both his running and his ability to say "fish". After that, we headed off to the Crystal Caves. You would think that I would take a bunch of pictures of such a natural wonder. Wrong. Anyway, Niklas was OK with the cave for a while. He was even OK with it when the guide turned out the lights so as to illustrate how dark it is when you're underground without lights. What he was not OK with was the pace people were setting when we were heading up the stairs out of the cave. He wanted to do the walking himself, which I was fine with. Less carrying 26 pounds around the better, according to me. Unfortunately, the line of people going up the stairs was moving at a rather leisurely pace while Niklas seemed to think we should go fast, fast! FAST! When this wasn't an option, he opted instead for loud, loud! LOUD! After that experience, Niklas and I decided against a second cave tour, opting instead to wander about while Grandma Vennard and Aunt Con explored the Fantasy Cave. Niklas got to pet a cat, so he was rather pleased with his choice. After that, we had some lunch and then Niklas took a nap in the car while the tourists explored St. George. On our way home, it turned out the the third time was indeed the charm for lighthouse visiting. It was windy, which Niklas always enjoys.
Thursday was Niklas's half-birthday. Fittingly, he had his eighteen month checkup. In lieu of a half-birthday gift, he got a couple of shots. I couldn't tell if they bothered him or not because started screaming the minute we took him into the exam room and didn't stop until we were back in the car. I guess he didn't scream any louder when the shots came, so there's that. Anyway, according to the doctor (who has no reason I can think of to lie), he weighs 26 pounds, 4 ounces and is 32 and a half inches tall. After fleeing the doctor's office, we picked up these folks (who's trip to the Underwater Exploration Institute was more popular than Niklas's trip to the doctor's) and had some lunch. Lunch always revives Niklas's spirits. Niklas and I spent the rest of the afternoon dropping his grandma and great aunt off at various trails and then driving down the road a ways to pick them up. We're lazy like that. That evening, we went to the beach where we were able to prevent a repeat of this.
On Friday, we went to the Botanical Gardens (whose open fields and weird plants were very popular with Niklas) before dropping Grandma Vennard and Aunt Connie off at the airport. Niklas certainly had a good time while they were here. Thanks for visiting!
2008-03-19: Back in the oh, so happy days when Niklas would take a morning nap, we would often catch the noon-ish ferry into town and the two-ish ferry back home. Since he's moving onto a single nap schedule, those boats no longer work for us as he'd be ready to pass out just as we arrived in Hamilton. Today, we tried taking the nine-ish ferry in and the eleven-ish ferry back. I'll stop saying "ish" now. It started off really well as the 8:55 (note my newfound use of precision) ferry is one of the new, fast boats instead of the twenty year old aquasloths we usually take. Niklas was fairly well behaved while we were in town, most likely because one of the things we had to do was buy Easter presents for Niklas. We also sent some mail and had acquired some parts that I hope will finally resolve this action. The 11:00 (precision!) ferry home was one of the slow ones we're used to. In fact, it's the one that would traditionally pick us up at Rockaway at 11:55. Why would it take an hour for the ferry to get from Hamilton to our stop? I'm sure this will clear things up. Thanks a lot, Somerset Bridge stop that the 1:45 ferry doesn't make. So, half an hour is about all the ferry riding that Niklas can stand. He wasn't fussy on the way to Somerset Bridge, but my months of experience led me to believe that there was indeed a storm a-brewin'. Now, I can walk from Somerset Bridge to our house in 40 minutes and our car was parked at the Rockaway stop which is fifteen minutes or so closer. It takes the ferry about twenty five minutes to get from Somerset Bridge to Rockaway, so, theoretically, if we walked we would get back to the car at the same time as the boat. Niklas has no use for theory. Once we got off the boat, he insisted on walking. That's fine. He also insisted on spending ten minutes or so exploring the Somerset Bridge ferry terminal which is a twenty foot by twenty foot patch of concrete with a seven by seven shelter on it. Eventually, I picked him up and we headed down the railway trail for home. Every fifteen feet or so (perhaps an exaggeration) he would insist that I put him down so he could stomp about for a few minutes. The pickup, set down, stomp about repeat cycle lasted for about 45 minutes. Finally, I picked him up and he passed out on my shoulder allowing me to walk us back to the car at a more reasonable pace. He was pretty out of it as he slept through me putting him into the car, stopping at the gas station, taking him out of the car and putting him in his crib, all of which typically wake him up. After his unexpectedly heavy nap, he had a very late lunch. He was pretty angry about the lateness of lunch, let me tell you.
2008-03-23: So Niklas's Grandma Meeker and Uncle Eric are in town. Niklas is having a fine time hanging out with them. On Saturday, we took them out to Dockyard where Niklas took a nap in the car, gorged himself on a grilled cheese sandwich and came disturbingly close to destroying a couple of three centuries old maps at the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Today, he had a bunch of Easter fun that culminated with some cake and a crazy cake high. We took a bunch of pictures (of Easter fun, not crazy, crazy cake induced activity), but the camera is all the way across the room, so those'll have to wait. In the meantime, here are a few pictures that Niklas's Grandma Vennard took when she was here last week.
2008-03-27: Please allow this picture of Niklas taking a nap distract you from the lack of recent updates:
Grandma Meeker and Uncle Eric are back in Bloomington after a fun, if wet, long weekend visit. I'll have a recap of that up soon. In other news, Niklas and I went to the grocery store today. Niklas likes to be in charge of something while we're in the store. As Niklas sometimes is less than vigilant with his duties, I make sure that the item he's in charge of is not breakable. Today, Niklas was in charge of a lemon. He carried the lemon through the store, handed it to the cashier and took it back once we had paid for it. He carried it home and walked around the living room with it. Then, he tried to take a bite out of it ending up with a mouthful of lemon zest. After that, he calmly handed me the lemon, removed the lemon peel from his mouth and headed off to his next adventure.
2008-03-30: Today, Niklas wore his Penguins hat which, I am sure, inspired the team's 3-1 victory over the Rangers. Well done, Niklas. Also, Niklas and Andrya went to the store. Thrilling stuff, I know. Hopefully, this recap of what happened when Niklas's Grandma Meeker and Uncle Eric were in town will be just as interesting.
As I mentioned last week, we went to Dockyard on Saturday. Niklas absolutely loves the Maritime Museum. There are all kinds of buildings to run through and plenty of stuff he shouldn't be allowed to touch is easily in reach. I was only half kidding when I said he almost busted up a bunch of old-timey (also, old) maps. They have a room in the museum that has about fifty or so maps that drawn between Bermuda's settlement in 1609 (they say "settlement" like it was done on purpose, but the truth is, some dude wrecked here and they couldn't build enough boats to get everyone off the island) and the mid nineteenth century. They are hung in this-wise of a fashion. Predictably to everyone but me, the instant Niklas saw the low hanging part of the picture display apparatus he sprinted over, grabbed it and tried to tear it off the wall. Luckily for both posterity and my wallet, I was able to stop him before he was successful.
Last Sunday was Easter, so Niklas was on the receiving end of a bunch of loot from the Easter Bunny, his grandma and his uncle. Grandma Meeker came through with an awesome Little People fire truck which will be very useful when the Little People Tyrannosaurs this guy gave him attack the Little People barn. His uncle got him some Duplo (the giant Legos) blocks which have been immensely popular. Before all the loot distribution, we took him to church where, perhaps in fear of some sort of loot withholding he was very well behaved. Later, we had some dinner and hid inside from the monsoonish conditions outside.
The weather cleared up a bit on Monday morning, so Niklas and I took his grandma to the Botanical Gardens where there are helpful little signs to identify many of the plants whose identity I haven't a clue about. As always, Niklas had a fine time stomping about and flaunting the "do not throw stones into fountain" signs. After that, we went to the lighthouse. Niklas helped me out by walking up about twenty steps by himself meaning I only had to carry him for 165. Thanks, Niklas! All that stomping about had made Niklas a bit hungry, so we picked up uncle Eric (who, shockingly, had no interest in the Botanical Gardens) and headed off for some lunch. That was were we learned that Niklas has a crazy love for fresh grapes. Refueled, we headed off to the beach for a bit, despite some ominous looking weather and followed that up with a trip to the place noted Niklas experts say is his favorite on the island, the aquarium.
On Tuesday, Andrya managed to get a day off from work (well, a day away from the office, anyway), so she joined Niklas, Grandma Meeker and me on a trip to the Bermuda Underwater Exploratorium (Exploration Institute, officially, but I think we call all agree that Exploratorium sounds much cooler). The have all kinds of neat underwatery stuff there, but Niklas was most fascinated with a bucket of crayons that was available for sea monster coloring. That afternoon, he had some lunch (always a highlight for Niklas) out in St. Georges and checked out some forts before Niklas needed a bit of quiet time back at the house while Andrya, his grandma and uncle went to the beach to enjoy a rare bit (for that weekend, anyway) of sunshine. Thanks for visiting Grandma Meeker and Uncle Eric! Niklas certainly had a bunch of fun with you.
Who wants to see some new pictures? Then tomorrow, you'll be in luck!