I realized recently that we usually blog about out-of-the-ordinary things that are happening to us (visitors, outings, etc.), which doesn't give a very clear impression of our lives in general here in Norway. So I thought that today I'd just write a brief update about our daily lives at present.
THE DARKNESS IS OUT OF CONTROL these days. The sun didn't rise today until nearly 9:00am and it had already set before 4:00pm! The shortest days of the year will come in mid- to late-December, when there will only be about 5 hours and 45 minutes of daylight. For comparison, in St. Paul, MN (where I'm from) the shortest days are 8hrs, 45min, and in Los Angeles, CA (where Davin's from) the days won't get any shorter than 9hrs, 52min.
MY PREGNANCY is going well, though it involves much more physical discomfort (heartburn, exhaustion, etc.) than I experienced at this stage with my previous pregnancies. I'm a little more than 7 months pregnant now. The baby's active and growing well. I really like the midwife I've been seeing--Davin's usually working during my appointments, so I bring Sergio along with me. He loves it because there are lots of toys in the office, and the midwife is always really nice to him and makes a point to engage and include him.
JONAH is our resident Norwegian expert. He's the one we ask when we don't understand something, want to know the word for something, or don't know how to pronounce something. He goes to a school especially for immigrants learning to speak Norwegian. He's learning tons and sounds SO CUTE when he's speaking Norsk. His teacher said that he's learned more Norwegian in his first three months at the school than many children learn in an entire school year. Unfortunately, the rest of us are learning much more s-l-o-w-l-y, which has been pretty frustrating for Oscar at his (regular Norwegian) school. Davin, though, has started taking a Norwegian course at his University (the lucky dog). Jonah helps him with his homework (and teases his old man for reading like a baby).
OSCAR has been taking his "homework" very seriously of late. Norwegian kindergartens emphasize play (especially outdoor play), and they don't work with the kids on their ABC's and 123's until First Grade. But Oscar will be expected to be reading already next year when he starts First Grade back in the US. So he's been "homeschooling" and making really great strides as a reader. We're really proud of him.
SERGIO is super sweet and clever. He enjoys napping and helping out around the house. Oscar and Jonah are both amazing human beings, but being cooperative about cleaning and napping were never their strong suits, so Sergio's current interests come as a very pleasant surprise.
BUT THE BIG EXCITING NEWS of the moment is that tomorrow, the whole family is going to Madrid! Davin's brother Sergio is a professor, too, and he's teaching in Spain for a year. We'll spend Thanksgiving with him, his wife, Mary, and their daughters, Monica and Cecilia. I'm really looking forward to it. I got a message from Sergio this morning that said Mary finally managed to order a whole turkey for the dinner. He said a crate of octopuses would have been much easier to come by.
I studied Spanish for nearly ten years, but traveling to Spain was a dream I never even bothered to have. I can't wait...It's going to be fabulous!