Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On the move soon

Markus was seriously considering buying cross country equipment and get on the tracks in the Prater the previous weekend when fresh snow turned Vienna’s green lung into a real winter sport centre. With temperatures rising significantly throughout last week the snow was melting fast and so it turned out a good decision to postpone any such purchase until later in the year. When on Sunday spring broke Vienna was lit by sunshine for the first time since weeks and temperatures reached more than 12 degrees the Prater was flooded with people. It seemed everything that had legs was there and the Hauptallee was as busy as one of Vienna’s main shopping streets, Mariahilfer Strasse, on the Christmas shopping Saturdays.

Markus did exploit the warm and nice weather on Sunday with a sporty premiere: For the first time he went for a run together with Jakob. The two set off early at 0830 when the Prater was still rather empty and soon after their departure Jakob fell asleep (which was the main task of being out in the fresh air anyway). For Markus it was the first time in almost two months to hit the tarmac again and so he took it really slow but at least he was running for 70 minutes. Given everything went so smooth the plan now is to repeat the sleep-run each weekend (ideally twice) if the weather allows and this way get Markus back into shape.

Preparing for the 100m final of the Summer Olympics 2018

But not only Markus did increase his activity level over the past as Jakob has started to “test” the right moves for motion on all four extremities. Due to the fact that our parquet is quite slippery and thus attempts are not very easy we provided him with a small carpet runway on which he now is moving slowly forward. What is striking though is that he is not crawling on arms and knees but trying to lift his bum so far that his legs are fully stretched and thus more or less walking on all four. We did prepare already for him to really kick off crawling and mounted the KiddyGuard on our living floor level so that the stairs are no risk for our junior and are already curious when the safety net will be tested for the first time!

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It repeats itself just like Groundhog Day

Our quest to bring a certain rhythm into our life and to consequently help our junior getting more accustomed to the world seems to be bearing fruits. While Markus was travelling to London last week grandma Heidi spent most of her half-term holidays with us and thus supported to maintain certain rituals every day.

"HA! I have so much fun during the day!"

Jakob’s day starts between 0530 and 0600 with a fresh diaper and a changeover from pyjamas to “normal” clothes followed by 45 minutes playing while we can have a first coffee. When we get changed and ready in the bathroom our junior is either spending time in his cot (these days manly standing) or in his rocker. By 0830/0900 the little one is tired again and he is being wrapped in layers of warm clothes, put in the pushchair and off we go for a walk. Jakob usually falls asleep within minutes and usually sleeps peacefully for a few hours. Once awake its playing time again followed by lunch – carrots, potatoes or corn with beef – and something to drink. With the new energy the activity level increases in the early afternoon until its time for yet another walk and some more sleep in the buggy-seat. The afternoon usually is dragging and by the time Markus returns home from work Jakob tends to be tired, but once Markus enters the flat, the junior seems to get another boost and is frolicking for good 30 minutes followed by dinner, washing, sometimes taking a hot bath and changeover to the PJ before going to bed between 1930 and 2000.

"There is so much to do, that I dont even know where to start!"

Not only that the daytime is pretty well organized for Jakob, he is also a very well-behaved boy who is far less demanding than he used to be earlier in his life. The only remaining “problem-zone” is the night, as Jakob wakes up fairly often during the night – the first time usually 45 minutes after being put to bed – and prefers to sleep on top of his mum rather than his bed. As we are pretty sure that also that is “only a phase” we are pretty sure that sooner or later we will also get some good rhythm into Jakob’s nightlife so all three of us have more energy the following morning.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Saturday, February 13, 2010

7 months - the accursed month is behind us

Here we are with yet another month flown by and our junior has over the past month gained more of mobility and developed his personality further. Sitting upright is by now totally normal just as well as crawling backwards, whereas the latter is sometimes frustrating as object of desire usually move further away and sometime Jakob gets stuck underneath a sofa, chair or table. Even though stability and balance are far from fully developed the little one tries to stand up and jump whenever possible (i.e. whenever someone to hold on to is available) and has already surprised us by standing up in his bed.

I'll eat whatever i can grab!

We have also made the friends with Jakob’s own personality which makes certain things like changing clothes or diapers as well as feeding more cumbersome as there are many things our son wants to do instead. Luckily one or the other trick still works and we are hoping that this will remain the case for a while. The changeover to the buggy albeit persistent winter weather was the probably our best decision in the past months as walking our son now is clearly more easy due to the fact that he now enjoys being in the pushchair while being awake. Finally we can clock up miles big time!

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Saints are coming

Last night Miami hosted one of America’s biggest sport events, the final of the National Football League NFL – the Super Bowl. As this game each year is followed by millions of people worldwide the advertising minutes around and during the game are the most expensive for the year – this year the price for a 30 second spot reached 2,8mn USD – and usually advertising agencies produce special sport which are aired exclusively during that game, highlighting how important this final for the teams as well as the economy.

As ESPN America broadcasted the game with English commentators in Austria Markus decided to stay up and watch
Super Bowl XLIV in which the New Orleans Saints clashed with the Indianapolis Colts in the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. While the Saints have so far never won the NFL Finals the Colts, led by experienced superstar quarterback Peyton Manning, could win the Vince Lombardi Trophy three times in the past. The New Orleans Saints were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 when their stadium – the Louisiana Superdome – was devastated so they could not play “at home” in the 2005 season this season they reached the final for the first time.

The game itself kicked of shortly before 00:30 Vienna time and it was the Colts playing out their routine of several Super Bowl appearances taking an early lead. Peyton Manning was at his best in the Colt’s second drive which was the longest ever in a Super Bowl (96 yards) resulting in a touchdown and the 10:0 lead after Q1. It was only in Q2 when the quarterback Drew Brees and his Saints got into gear and managed to reduce the gap by halftime to 10:6. In the third quarter both teams were playing very solid and equally strong whereas Indianapolis managed to hold on to a one point lead (17:16). At this point Markus was rather sceptical that his expectation of a New Orleans victory would happen the Colt’s quarterback usually plays strongest at crunch time in Q4. It turned out though that the Saint’s defence as well as the offensive versatility in the final quarter was much better,
Drew Brees managed to make an important touchdown pass 5:42 minutes before the end and also successfully completed the two point conversion play which put them into the lead again. The following drive was crucial and several incomplete passes by Manning did bring up doubts about him really being able to change up. When Saints’ cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted a pass and scored a completed 74 yard run with a touchdown 3:12 minutes before the end the game was decided, as it would have taken the colts 2 scores within a short period of time. Though not impossible it did not happen and thus New Orleans won their first NFL Championship in their very first appearance in the Super Bowl. While the team celebrated the victory and Drew Brees his award as Most Valuable Player Markus rushed to bed for some 2 hours of sleep before heading to work in the morning.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, February 5, 2010

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!

When Markus returned on Sunday night after a whole week travelling, Jakob was asleep, but woke up soon and could not believe his eyes. He looked up several times in order to get fully convinced after a few minutes that his eyes did not betray him and that what hew saw was not a fata morgana which disappeared gain: Dad standing in front of him. Once he realised that Markus was definitely back our junior was all smiling and wide awake. During the following days Jakob familiarised himself again with Markus.

Not having seen our little treasure for seven days made all the developments much more obvious to Markus. While Jakob has picked a lot of small bits and pieces in his growth he did surprised Kerstin and Markus big time on Friday morning when they sat Jakob into his cot in order to be able to get changed and ready for the day. Not only that Jakob did move from a sitting position into a knee-stand which enables him to bite on the railings of his bed, but he moved on and pulled himself up into a standing position and so suddenly the little man was standing in his cot, grinning all over and leaning over the railing.

Freedom = standing on the own feet without help

Kerstin and Markus were full of joy and pride about this move and at the same time concerned that the railing might not be high enough so that Jakob could drop out of his cot. So probably his mattress has to be lowered yet again. Anyhow, this major step could be the beginning of even more mobility in our junior’s life and even more attention we need to dedicate to Jakob going forward.

Look at me - I did that all by myself

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus