Learning To Swim

After just a few days of practicing independent swimming with the sleeves and the floaty around the torso, we took the sleeves off to increase his mobility and get one step closer to real swimming. He obviously got tired a lot faster but he kept himself up on his own and it’s amazing to see after just a few days.

We had a big discussion about what kind of floatations assistance to buy for him but I insisted on this one with support for arms and torso. The one around his torso keeps him floating and the sleeves prevent him from flipping over and keeps his head above water.

Both me and Ana are avid swimmers and grew up in water so we’re both opinionated on the matter. If Ean was older I’d say the support around torso is enough but given his age, it’s important to convey security and safety and once that’s established, you can work more progressively once he’s learns to maneuver in the water and doesn’t feel scared not being held by either one of us, confidence is key in everything!

I play a lot with Ean every day but all play has a purpose and it reflects on his development in strength and coordination. His rate of development is currently closer to that of a 3 year old than a 2 year old and it’s all due to daily activity, challenging and allowing to fall (safely). Whether we’re doing pull-ups in the park or lifting buckets of water and walking back and forth with them, they all play a huge roll in his development and reflect on other aspects like appetite, sleep, coordination, confidence and independence.

Not only does it reduce risk of accidents and injuries but it also brings us closer together as we explore, challenge and learn new things together. I know it’s easy to fall into the pattern of fear and hesitation but I don’t think you’re doing anyone any favors buy simply putting fear, doubt and lack of experience in a child’s mind and heart. So go, let them fall (safely!), let them learn, encourage them, guide them to greatness and always be there to kiss the booboo

 

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Ean’s First Independent Swim

Ean was only 7 weeks old when I first took him into the sea. When he was older we took him to baby swim but it wasn’t a very good class, very repetitive and I was concerned with the amount of black mold around the pool and general poor hygiene of the facilities at Cavalieri Art Hotel. Back then he was too young to even walk but he was paddling away in and under the water like a boss.

After we stopped going, the confidence dissipated and almost a year past. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to retrain him and bringing back his sense of security in the water. All though it’s a completely different ball game in the sea with currents, waves and the vastness of it, we’re making progress.

Today he finally let go and just like when he first started walking, he went from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. We swam about 15-20 meters out to the ropes that separates the swimming area from the boats. He hung onto my back on the way out and we chilled out there for a bit. Then, to my surprise, he swam on his own (With the floatation device on of course) all the way back to shore! I was so focused on him that I was shocked when my feet suddenly hit the bottom.

I was so excited, I ran up the stroller to get my phone and asked a gentleman to film this momentous day. I wish I could have gotten the long swim on video but hey, better than nothing!

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His Crying Made Me Smile

Just to recap, Ean has always been all about mom, all day every day. I got my first hug or noticeable show of affection from Ean when he turned 1 year, from then it gradually grew into a stronger bond and now he’s 2 years old. Okay, we’re all caught up? Let’s go.

Lately, as we’re interacting in more intricate and intelligent ways during play at home, the park, in the sea or just hanging out, I’ve noticed his desire to have me around and a part of whatever he’s doing. If I’m in the next room, he comes to take my hand and brings me into his playworld to show me whatever it is he’s doing. If I’m being passive in the park he literally climbs on top of me to get me away from whatever I’m doing so I can chase, climb and play with him.

The other day he was going to the park with Ana and I had a meeting to attend and as we left the house together, for all he knew, we were going to the park together. When we stopped a few blocks down the road to say goodbye, I told him I will see him soon and kissed him goodbye, as I always do and usually he just waves and says bye.

This time though, he burst into tears, screaming for me as I disappeared down the street. I waved to him all the way, for as long as he could see me but I could hear his voice long after I couldn’t see him and I noticed something odd, I was smiling. Weird right?…

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Our Decision To Leave Malta

It’s time to leave the rock and head towards new adventures! Life is good here, it’s adequate, but neither one of us are the type to settle for anything less than amazing, so off we go to find that next level life. When I decided to move to Malta, and in pretty much every conversation I had since then with a new person in Malta, the question was always “Why Malta?”. The general answer was the sun, sea and the relaxed lifestyle.…

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What I Learned From Being Silent For 48 Hours.

For the past couple of days I’ve been suffering from a throat infection that has left me speechless, literally. It hurts so bad, I can barely eat or drink and I can most definitely not talk. Life doesn’t stop though and I still have to take care of Ean, but how do you communicate with a wild toddler without using words?

Words, it turns out, aren’t nearly all we communicate when we interact. It’s how we say it, with what tone, demeanour, intention and what body language we use. Eye contact and gestures are a big part in the equation of communication and these are the tools I’ve been using for the past 2 days to speak with Ean.…

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The Breakup.

Look, we need to talk.

It’s not that I’m unhappy, but I’ve been having this growing sensation of displacement and detachment lately. We used to be so good together but as the years have passed I feel like we’ve drifted apart and we don’t share the same values and priorities anymore.

I’m not saying you’re not special, I’m saying perhaps we’re not looking for the same thing. I don’t know about you but with you I found a pure love, one I hadn’t experienced before. It felt like “coming home”. For the first time in my life I felt like I could set roots and build a life, and I did… we did, together.

You probably know the overused expression “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and as much as I hate to admit it, it is. I mean, literally, you dwell in dust and concrete while my entire being longs for mountains to climb, woods to walk in, grass to lay in, to feel connected to nature. You may have potatoes in your blood veins but I grew up in the deep forests of Sweden and I pine for trees.

Look, it’s not you… it’s me. I fell madly in love with you from the moment I saw you back in 2007 and over the years that love has deepened into a profound sense of appreciation and what I would best describe as, mutual respect. This is something I never felt in Sweden and for that I will be eternally grateful.

But I can’t stay in this relationship out of gratitude. A relationship has to grow constructively, with thought and planning. You can’t build without safety and a solid foundation and you can’t build so high that you block out the sun from touching your face on those winter days when you need it the most.

No, I want more from life and I only have this one life to live and I owe it to myself to make the most of it. If not for myself, then at least for my son, because I want him to know and see all the great things that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I want those things to be at his fingertips, readily available with less effort and hassle and with a more dynamic flow.

So, I guess this is it.

Thank you for all you have given me, a new lease on life, countless adventures, confidence beyond measure, serenity of heart, peace of mind and best of all, a beautiful and amazing son. But dear, sweet Malta… I’m leaving you, for Malaga.

Okay, jokes aside, we’re actually moving, in October. Malta has been amazing for me and it’s simply time to move on to greener pastures and a better life. Malaga is similar to Malta in climate but has a lot more greenery, better infrastructure and everything that comes with being more metropolitan with several major cities accessible by a comfortable train ride. Ana’s entire family lives only an hour drive away so that’s a nice added bonus for all of us to be close to each other, especially for Ean!…

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The 3 Day Sickness Rule

the 3 day sickness rule2I have an, according to myself, general healthy distrust of doctors. As a parent, this is very important because Ean wasn’t even born yet when we were already getting stupid advice from actual educated professionals. Everything from suggesting C-section without cause and misreading the ultrasound, to advocating formula over breastmilk.

Regarding colds and similar sickness I wrote a bit of a shopping list for parents to pick up, just to have as a first aid kit in case your kid gets sick in the middle of the night and running to the pharmacy isn’t an option. You can read it by clicking here.

What I haven’t talked about though is my 3 day rule for being sick. In our family, this applies to all of us. It’s simple, if your symptoms have not reached their peak after 3 days, on the 4th day you go to the doctor (unless it’s a serious illness with high fever or any other dangerous or health/life threatening symptoms, of course!)

Ana is the type who wants to go see the doctor at the first sneeze or cough. I’m the opposite. What is the doctor going to say? Yup, that’s a sneeze alright, here are some pills. Pills and medicin in general are something you should be cautious with. I’m not talking about vaccinations, obviously, get those, don’t be a damn troglodyte! I’m talking about antibiotics and other type of medicin that doctors sign off on as if they were Tic Tac’s.…

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Cleaning Malta’s Dirty Beaches

Since last summer I take a rake with me to the sandy beaches in Malta. It takes a few minutes but eases my worries about all the crap that people leave for mother nature (and our feet) to digest.

The beach was full of old as well as fresh sharp shards of glass. I cleared the area around us to avoid any nasty accidents and Ean always wears swimming shoes when walking around. All other kids sat right in the dodgy sand and didn’t have anything on their feet and that’s scary as what.…

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