Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Upon seeing the result, I curiously asked C what "that" was, pointing at the purple thing he had stuck to his pumpkin *thinking it might be a sort of beard or similar*.

He replied: "It's a pen, mum."

One year on

I just realized that we didn't carve the pumpkins this year. The children have been playing with them, rolling on them, carrying them and..dropping them, so one of them cracked and with the whole steam train thing, it must have slipped my mind.

Maybe we should have a go at the remaining one today, C loved doing this last year.

Comment of the day: Yesterday I took a look around the living room, especially all the toys on the floor and gave C a look which meant *boy are your toys everywhere* and said: "Ok, we definitely have to have a tidy up day today!"
C looked away, thinking, then he fixed my gaze and said: "Shall we go and have a look if mum and dad's room is messy?.." *we sleep in a storage come laundry room*

*Suits me right..*

Monday, 29 October 2007

The family strings

..the strings that only your own family can pull. The buttons that are pushed because they always has been pushed.

O once bought me this book
It is absolutely brilliant and it really changed my life a couple of years back. I have a terrible relationship with my mother and I managed to stand tall in front of her after learning a thing or two about the dynamic of family life *or should I say the "static group psychology phenomena" that is sometimes is."

It's not a "hate your family-book", which one might think, looking at the title, no completely the opposite it explains very logically about the natural evolvment of characteristics within a family.

Oliver James talks a lot about the "niche" that you fill in your childhood family. "The good girl, the joking brother, the laid back little brother, the irresponsible one etc etc.

*So, why am I writing about this, this particular evening? Well it is exactly 56 days left til Christmas and I have booked tickets for my dad and grandmother to come here over the holidays.*

*Back to the book*, All this follows you throughout your life and is also the reason how you can be a high flying business person only to realize that as soon as you go through the door to your parents house, *whump* you are the forgetful silly blond sister, or you can be the most devoted junior school teacher with a world of patience only to be thrown back into the "whining little sister" state again".

And this is why: The more you change, the more your people around you will fight for you to keep the characteristics given to you.

I am the one who doesn't know things in my family. It doesn't matter if I have done 4y at university, been working as a project manager on multi million projects, started my own company from scratch, whilst nursing babies, it never seems to stop amuse my family if I get one little thing wrong in a sentence, when telling a story or similar. Also it is perfectly fine to laugh at my expense day in and day out. I am also the one with the bad temper. My dad can be so ticked off if someone interrupts him when talking, he can sit there and refuse to say a word at a family gathering, just to make a point and because he is fuming. My brother is an aggressive sports player *both in hockey and in golf, but that is sports, right? So he for sure is not bad tempered*. My mother hits the roof if she doesn't get her ways, but I am the one with the bad temper in my family.

Funnily enough, it is always I who help everyone out, so I can't be that stupid? O has never thought of me as someone having a bad temper, he never says: "Well, you know what Mia is like..", so consequently he has never treated me like one and *surprise, surprise* I am very patient when I am with him.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family *well most of it anyway*. It's just the strings they can pull. It completely exhausts me.

Like recently: We have a house in Sweden. Several times we have had to ask the electricity company to send the bills to our address abroad. It works once and then they get sent to the Swedish address again. Nevertheless, we have managed to pay the bills. Until some weeks ago, my dad told me they had cut off the electricity, because of an unpaid bill. This bill was from January or February and we have paid the following bills, but this one we missed.

My dad, who during his 27years of marriage to my mother, never bothered about bills has now joined the squad of perfect bill paying citizens and he was horrified by this.

Consequently, he has been phoning me about this bill, me promising to take care of it. Even though it wasn't a huge amount of money, I didn't have it available on our account to send off immediately. My dad really pressed on about the danger of keeping a house without heating. I would have understood the urgency if it was in the middle of the winter, but in October, and an unusually warm one?

So, I told my dad it would have to wait a week or so for me to sort out the money. I even stopped answering the phone at one point, because all he wanted was to let me know how bad this was and that I really should freak out about it.

Last weekend he called me and told me he had driven to the house *3h drive back and forth* to check if the heating was on *well, I was going to CALL HIM WHEN IT WAS SORTED, WASN'T I??!" And once again, I was told how terrible this was, all the terrible scenarios that was going to happen the to the pipes and the house.

To MY house.

So after a week, I really felt this whole lack-of-electricity-in-a-house-in-which-noone-is-living issue was burning a whole in my stomach, I put all resources into fixing it (O and brother, since I was at school with C). There were money transactions, phone inquiries and numerous phone calls to banks and electricity company, just to get the electricity switched on before the weekend. When it was on again, I emailed dad *who also had an email on Thursday evening from me telling him we will have it switched on before the weekend.*

Then on Saturday evening, I spoke to my dad about the tickets for Christmas (which in itself is a completely new post on its own..) and mentioned the electricity issue again and asked him if he had been there switching it on (since he switched the whole thing off, even though it was off *To be on the safe side..*)

"Well, I'll see when I have time to go there, I might go up on Tuesday"

Tuesday?, TUESDAY??!!! What about the freezing pipes, the whole house molding away? What about the e_m_e_r_g_e_n_c_y?


Sunday, 28 October 2007

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate Halloween, we went on a ghost steam train ride today. I was a really nice outing. The children loved to dress up in their new costumes. C came running with my eye liner this morning, remembering I painted his face last year. J also wanted to have a go:
C was a fierce one-legged bat (man)

J had a very good idea of how she was going to be dressed. She was a "bat sess", that is a Bat princess, with horns on her head, heart on her back and a golden hand bag.

At the railway station and facing the actual steam train, J wasn't to sure *to put it mildly. She screamed "J inte tycka om chew chew!" (J don't like chew chew!), but she eventually calmed down. It was a lovely little station with all the oldy worldy looks intact.

On board the train we were all very excited. The train was filled with dressed up children, so it was a real adventure. I don't know if O or C was the most excited.

My rock.

There wasn't the most of scenic of tours, but just before we pulled into the station again, I managed to take this picture *through the window*.

Back home we had a Halloween party with treasure hunt.

Way to beat to tell you anything about that at this point. Now, the children are asleep and I intend to plonk on the sofa and continue watching 24.

Assessment and baking

Saturday I chocked O. I cooked and baked on the same day. C helped me while O and J was out with Js tricycle. *O pushing and J shouting "kööööööör, pappa" (drive daddy), not yet got the hang of the actual purpose of the pedals.

Here, C is making chocolate sauce to go with the pear pudding. It all turned out really nice and I will definitely start living with my new self.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Practicing for Halloween

This morning was exciting. O had sent some costumes to the children, so when they arrived, they had to try them on straight away:

At first J loved her red suit, but then she liked the Bat princess costume better. She danced around like a butterfly and C was very disappointed that his little sister wasn't trying to be scary at all.

In the afternoon, we decided to try some baking. We did these: Intense Chocolate cookies, all in line with my new me, as a cooking mum.

We were very happy with the result, I couldn't find any measuring cup, so everything was estimated *which I have never done before, I cannot cook without a recipe*.

Promise of the day: I have done a lot of thinking today. Cs school is doing an assessment of him tomorrow and I have been discussing our preference of class with the admissions secretary, which has led to quite a fundamental understanding of who I am.

I am never going to settle with only hoping for the best without trying my hardest. It probably makes me lie awake a few more nights than the average person, but I will know I've done my best.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Sleepwalking all day

I never woke up this morning, I don't know why, but my mind and body never seemed to acknowledge the fact that it was morning and time to get started.

So I have been sleepwalking my way through the day, wandering around the flat, watching the children play, sneaking off to the computer..

J had a fascination this morning. A spoon. It kept her occupied for over an hour. She was delighted that she could see herself in it. She looked at herself over and over again, talking to the spoon, singing to the spoon, tried if I could see myself and if C could see himself. I find it amazing how they can just loose themselves in something like that.

Comment of the day: C and I have found our little "daddy's away-routine". We watch telly together when J has gone to bed and Cs favorite program is Nigella Express (he chose this over a Bamse magazine or even a children's program..). I think it is the fact that she smiles a lot and make yummy food. As usual he was talking his way through this whole program.

"But, is she home all alone? Where are her children? Where is she shopping now? Why is she looking at us all the time? 100grams? Do we have to count to 100 when we make those cookies then?"

And, in the last scene, when Nigella is tucking into on her 3rd main course meal :

"She sure can eat a lot, can't she!"

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

You know you live on a northernly latitude

if you can go out dressing your child like this and no one raises a brow.
J loves her new hat, she calls it "rocket". I can see why. *No, it wasn't that cold, but she had managed to pour juice over her other hat and this was at hand on our way out..*

Anyhow, the biggest event of the day has been going to the pharmacy and because I actually had one doze left for tonight, it never turned into any big challenge in my head, so it all went very smoothly.

I love the street of our local pharmacy, we went around 5pm, when the sun was setting. Our whole city area consists of cobbled streets, it gives such a lovely feel to the daily tasks of popping out to the shop. *You can see the green cross where our pharmacy is*
We had to wait for 20min for the pharmacist to prepare my prescription, so we manged to buy quite a lot on our little route around this mini pharmacy. C wanted a set of hat, scarf and gloves, he felt so cool afterwards. Our little smurf *bless*.
Back home J decided she wasn't going to go up the stairs. "Bäna, mamma?" (Mummy carry?). When explained I couldn't managed both her, the buggy and plastic bags, she sat down and announced "Pappa bäna, pappa komma hem!" (Daddy carry, when daddy comes home). It took me a while to persuade her up the stairs.

Comment of the day: C is thinking a lot about the love of his life, which at the moment is me. Today, he gave me a cuddle after breakfast announcing that he loved me. I told him that I loved him and that he was my special boy. "But who is dad then?", was his next move.
"He is my special man", I said.
He thought for a while and then said with a sad voice: "I will never be your special man, will I?"

Monday, 22 October 2007

A place at school


We went to visit one of the local schools today. It was much better than I had ever imagined it to be. We have now been offered a place and C is to go there later this week, so they can make an assessment. *I have to admit I have to try to calm my competetive nerve not to do math and reading every single hour of the day before this.*

Here, C and J tries out the little playground they had.

The relief of having this sorted, I felt almost faint afterwards and it took over an hour before the feeling of spaghetti legs had passed.

We went to the nearest cafe where J decided to be the most noisy and stubborn toddler around. She was a comlete nightmare *below is one of her nicer moments*, so we quickly finished our coffee and went home again.

At home, J decided to bang C in the head with a wooden rolling pin. C got quite a big bump from that so I gave him an ice cube to hold on his bump. I guess it melted, because he went to get another one and instead of sticking it on his forehead he decided to try to see if it really is dangerous to put an ice cube on your lips when it's frozen. He was quite horrified to notice the lips got stuck and he started bleeding quite heavily. Just as I managed to get his bleeding stopped O started yelling for me to get water, now J was stuck on an ice cube as well.. She wasn't to bad off though, but she wasn't happy with having water poured down her face.

After this we all collapsed on the sofa eating macaroni and cheese watching Mr Bean. Children are now sleeping and we are going to watch 24. I just realized that tomorrow is Pharmacy day..

*Good night!*

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Sunday at the beach

Today, true to my feel-better-check-list, we all packed ourselves in the car and went to the beach.

It didn't start off in the smoothest of ways. When we were about to leave I was working, O asked me if I was finished soon?

"Yes, in about 3 minutes" was my reply, not necessarily meaning me being ready in 3 minutes but merely my work, so when I finished my last task for the day on my computer he was already in the car with the children waiting and I had to rush about like a mad cow trying to find something to wear *2weeks dressed in PJs and no wardrobes in the bedroom, makes thing like this a true challenge!*. Still having a bit of a cold I also suddenly realized that it was probably arctic weather outside and I also had to find hats and warmer coats for the children. Arriving to the car, the children (and not only them) where a bit fed up with the sitting in the car.

This time we went a bit further than our usual beach trip and it was well worth the extra miles.

C and O left me and J playing in the sand and went hiking on the rocks. This is not the best of pictures, but it is the first ever picture I've taken of J, where she actually looks like me! *hmm, reading this afterwards, I am not sure that came across to well, bad picture = looks like me!*

She was very concentrated, collecting food for the birds *she was a bit annoyed with the sea gulls that they didn't come when she called for dinner*.

In her normal tidy manner she organized the stones into mummy stones and baby stones, placing the baby stones on top of the mummy stones *she did a lot of carrying!*

The region where we live is a volcanic region *mind you extinct volcanoes, I've been googling!* and there are some fabulous rocks on this beach, it is very close to an ancient vent of a volcano.

Here C is as a fierce pirate. J did her very best to climb the rocks as well and all of a sudden the moon was up and we had to go home again.

Comment of the day: I am terrible with birds, remembering what sort of species they are. My mum, dad and brother always had some strange bonding going on "oh, look there is a red blah blah.." and I don't know if it was sheer teenage resistance or what, but at the age of 13 I sort of took took a vow on not remembering such boring things and I am clearly now being punished. Today, C pointed at a sea gull exclaiming: "Look, mummy a swan!"

Friday, 19 October 2007

Swedish vocabulary lesson no 1: *Punka*

I am going to teach you a word in Swedish today:

Punka, or actually it's a slang word for a flat tyre.

Without having to mention the tyre in Swedish, you can easily express how I feel today: I have got "punka", I am feeling flat as a tyre, no energy left for anything really and all I want to do is pull the duvet over my head and hide.

Well am I not a Friday-mood spoiler.

So instead of moaning about all the bad things I can come to think of (they are a few!) I am going to pep myself and anyone else who need a bit of cheering up. All you have to do is to think of 5 things that make you feel good and hopefully that will sway your mind into a better gear. Never mind how small a things it is as long as they make you feel better.

*ok, being in Ior-mood, I had to think hard here, but here it goes:*

*Sleepless in Seattle - I know for some of you it's an ancient movie, but it has always made me feel very good, the first time I watched this I was at a very good place in my life (or maybe I took the step into this great place just afterwards I am not really sure..) *making note of watching it this weekend*

*Watching the sea - I've hardly been outside for the past 2 weeks, having had a cold and juggling both work and children (while O has been wining and dining in the big capital, staying at a hotel *yes, I am allowed to view his get-up-at-4am-fly-to-capital-sleep-at-2star-hotel-trips like that, this is my list and when you haven't been allowed to go to the bathroom on your own for a couple of days, this is how you reason!* So we have to go to the beach this weekend, no matter how much work there is to be done.

*Give myself a pat on the back, I have actually managed to clear some goods through customs and looking at it a week ago, it didn't seem doable in 1week's time, but I did it! *sending many annoying emails can get you far, in the end people grow so tired of you they simply do their job to get rid of you!*

*Watch the children, 2year old J is so funny nowadays, she is talking quite a lot and if I just let go of all the "I must-stuff" she really gives me a toddlers perspective on life.

*Listen to music that is not "I am a duck, quack, quack", which has been playing all week since we installed Cs little stereo in his room. This track always gets me in a good mood (it was a soundtrack to You've Got Mail (do you see the Meg Ryan-thread here?), another feel-good movie for me. The clip is actually from her movie Kate and Leopold, but just imaging yourself walking though a crisp autumn city with this song playing.

Have a great Friday evening, *enjoy, I feel better already..*

Thursday, 18 October 2007

I have found one thing

that makes me feel at home.

Not living on the ground.

I was just reminded today as I was checking the mail. There was a note at our door. Someone further down the street had had an attempted burglary. When living in our last house, one night I sat up in bed wondering what had woken me up. Then I heard it clearly. Steps, slowly, below our bedroom windows. I woke O up and as I went to the window I heard someone running on the driveway gravel. After that several neighboring houses were burglared and my sleeping troubles started. Looking back I have always felt uneased in a house on my own, even in my parents house where I grew up. But not in a flat, away from the ground. Nope.

I don't miss the ground one bit.

The *gaaah* of the day: Just received a letter from our bank in Sweden. They had managed to address the letter to an address we had in 2001, even though we opened the account with them earlier this year *thank you Skatteverket*. It also had a stamped note on it saying: "Missent to Iran"

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


No, I have not had another Nigella moment, I have simply found a new Best Friend (from Gü). 18 minutes in the oven and *voila*!

*A chocolate pudding a day keeps the tears at bay.* (A couple of episodes of Desperate Housewives also helps)

Immediately thinking of Beach 2008 here, but O is only away 3days a week...

Comment of the day: There really isn't any comment of the day. Poor children. I don't think I have listened to a word they have been saying today, just longing for my next Lemsip *as O so nicely pointed out, it is not spelled with a z*.

However, J, influenced by her environment, has dramatically announced: AAAATTTLOOO (as in sneezing) *surely there's a z there?!* every other minute of the day, C laughing just as much every time.

*We really need some company here!*

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Maybe I should change career..

and become a coordinator for parcel deliveries?

Or maybe not, I would probably grow grey hair within a week.

Today I received an email from a supplier letting me know their courier had been trying to deliver a parcel twice last Friday and once yesterday. We both have been here the whole time, so I was quite puzzled as to how the delivery man did this "attempt of delivery".

I called the courier myself and told the operator that I live in flat 3, there are 3 buttons at the main door:
  • 1 for flat 1
  • 1 for flat 2
  • 1 for flat 3

I have even put up a little note saying if you have a parcel for x, please press 3.

She says: "Ok, I am actually going to call the driver while you are still here, hold on"
And then she comes back: "I have instructed the driver to press buzzer number 3"

1h later the delivery man arrives. He presses the buzzer and *voila* he manages to deliver the parcel.

Now I'm stuck in my thoughts as to what happened the other 3 times. So he received a parcel for Flat 3, x x street. He then went to the correct address, saw our 3 buttons and ....

*Really, things like this can keep me awake all night.*

Monday, 15 October 2007


for the week ahead by sleeping. Have got a stubborn cold that won't go away, so I've spent the day in bed with trusty old friend Lemzip. O has stocked up the fridge with "just put in the oven" food. *wish me luck over the next 3 couple of days*

Laying in bed, I have been longing for our little piece of heaven on the Swedish West Coast.


Sunday, 14 October 2007

O excelled himself

Not only did he make my birthday cake himself, he made two!!

The first one was made whilst I had a good sleep in.

*thank you, thank you, thank you*!!

Just as the singing by the bedside was finished a beautiful bouquet arrived from Sweden:

Then the day got a bit disorganized..

We had planned before hand to have a beach party, but it started raining, so we decided to go to the Sea World center instead. Just as we were about to leave I had the brilliant idea of popping by the outlet center to get new shoes to C *don't ask from where I get these genius ideas*

J fell asleep in the car so C and I headed for the shoe shop. After trying on *walking, jumping, admiring* a pair of shoes we paid for them and went outside where C changed into his new pair of shoes. After 50m he decided they were to small..

After that we headed for the Sea World Center and ran into our first traffic jam in this city. *I have heard of a street on the traffic news on the radio, that is usually jammed and we have been making jokes about this street being the only congested one in this city*

Not so funny when you get find it during the Saturday afternoon rush hour with excited children in the car.

30 min later they were not so excited, so we decided to go the the city zoo instead. We took the next exit off the motorway *which took another 30min* and then it all started. Completely lost among field upon field of cows were drove around for ages.

Having driven off the page of our map and me being a map fanatic, I completely lost it and we all sat there in the car laughing, the children going "faster, faster!", it was quite a good ride!

When we finally arrived at the zoo, it was 15 min before they closed and we spent a hectic 15min buying half the souvenir shop to prevent a huge tearful disaster.

Back home again we had art and crafts hour with our jungle and shark sticker books while O made the second cake.

(O went to the Zoo with the children on Sunday morning whilst I was working, they had a lovely time)

Friday, 12 October 2007

Practically newborn

The past couple of weeks I have had this voice in my head saying:

Half way to seventy, half way to seventy.

This has really freaked me out, but yesterday I had a thought:

I am as much a 70-year old lady as a newborn baby.

*That's more like it!*

Practically newborn.

The bear went over the mountain

My son just sang a song that pretty much sums up my day today *or rather my week!*

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mooountaaaain,
to see what he could see

And all that he could see,
And all that he could see,
the other side of the mountain,
the other side of the mountain,
the other side of the moountaaaain,
was all that he could see.

Here is a little example of my joyful week:

Last week DHL attempted to deliver a parcel.
I wasn't in at he time, so they left a slip with a parcel reference asking me to contact them to arrange a re-delivery of the goods.

When I phoned DHL, I had to press my way through a very efficient automatic phone system where I was able to schedule my delivery for the following day.
No boxes arrived the following day.
So I tried again, I booked another delivery for the following day via their very efficient phone system.
No boxes arrived this time either.
Annoyed now, I called them on Monday and managed to speak to someone in person, who apologized and told me the delivery was to happen the following day.
Needless to say, it didn't arrive!!

Really quite cross, I called DHL again an this time I was told that the parcel indeed had been delivered the day before. To Woolworth's, which was the company the slip was for, that was left at my door on Tuesday last week. I asked the lady at FedEx what had happened to my parcels and I was told that: "No, there are no parcels for you, the parcel was for the Woolworth's company"

"Yes, but surely, the delivery man didn't accidentally go across town, into a house of private flats and up two stairs and just thought that Woolworth's must be behind this black door??!!
"Yes, and we apologize for this error".

I asked her if she could check if they had any parcels for our company at their depot, but no "you need a parcel reference for that and that would be on the slip they left.."

After hanging up and pulling my hair for a while, I remembered the fancy banner that was left by our door last week, could that have been among the missing parcels? Tracking the airbill number on the fancy banner I managed to find out that it was indeed 5pc on that airbill and they only left one at our door.

So on calling DHL again with my airbill number at hand, I receive a huge apology together with a promise that the goods were to arrive the following day (yesterday).

Which they did not!

Tracking the airbill number again on their website last night, the delivery had been put on hold yesterday. Upon trying to call them the whole morning *really steaming now*, their office seemed to have seized to exist *at least according to their excellent automatic phone system*, so I just gave up for an hour or so.

Then, out of nowhere the boxes arrive.


Now then, let's find the missing 7 parcels that has been gone for a month. All I have is a phone number to a person called Carol, who sounds as if she is on Valium . She has given me her sleepy words *for the 3rd time* that the boxes are due to arrive today. It is now 4.36 on Friday afternoon..

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Love Thy Neighbor

I don't know how we do it, but we always end up with over-the-top neighbors.

Here is a list of all my different neighbors since moving to this country:
  • First up are some Chinese students *living above us* always making some kind up dancing routine after midnight.
  • Second was a Italian man who always poked his ceiling with a brush every time I was hoovering (regardless of time of day I did this).
  • Third was a social South African couple who would not understand why we didn't want to join in on their parties with our newborn baby.
  • Fourth (semi-detached house) was the loudest little human being I have ever heard. This little boy screamed from dusk til dawn and his parents didn't seem to notice.
  • Fifth was the manor-style-house-in-fancy-suburb-neighbors who after crawling through the bushes screaming to us that I was not allowed to use the hose during the water ban (If I'd had a pool like our neighbors, it was not against the law to fill it will hundreds and hundreds of liters of water, but here I was sprinkling a little bit on my flowers and *yes, I confess* a few seconds on my 4year-old son during a 32degrees hot day). When we responded with letting her know that her son usually has parties while they are away and that he and his friends have a habit of taking their party across our garden, we suddenly started receiving greetings like a bag ot French fries poured on our doorstep on a Sunday morning..
  • Our sixth neighbor ignored us completely, we were renting on a private road for goodness sake, so it's all understandable..
  • Our former neighbor has just started to climb the list of most annoying neigbors:
She has developed a bit of a habit of ringing our door bell ever so often. She usually has opened some of our mail and I constantly get excuses. Funnily enough she never opens any of our electrical bills or council tax, this should be the kind of mail you easily could mixed up, but it is always something a little bit extra like the mail addressed to me as Company Director or something similarly worth digging into. *yes, it does sound fancy, doesn't it? Out of 2 people in our company, we have 2 company directors!*

Fortunately she doesn't live here all the time, her husband works inte Middle East, so she is going back and forth.

The past couple of days she's been back and O have managed to run into her a couple of times. The other day she and the father of four from the lower ground floor flat was standing outside our house talking.

Our downstairs lady introduced the man to O as "This is X, he lives in the basement" *they have the most glossy magazine look-gorgeous courtyard outside and from what I have seen through the windows *yes, I am trying to get a little peek every time I pass by!* it looks fab!

The polite lower ground floor neighbor turns to O and says: "Oh, how nice to meet you. Bla..blaa..Have you managed to unpack yet?"

When O laughs a little and says: No, no way near! our lady downstairs looks startled and let them both know that she is very surprised over this fact.

The nice man asks O what the flat is like, if it has the same layout as the flat of our downstairs neighbor. Upon O opening his mouth she exclaims: "Well, basically the layout is about the same, but the ceiling is much lower, it is more...ehum...propoooortionate"

*Our flat is double the size of hers, but yes, I would estimate that her ceiling height is ca 1feet higher than ours*.

Today she came round our flat again, just letting me know that she is leaving for the Middle East and can I let the "basement family" know if there are any problems?

"And, we must get together when you have *trying to look over my shoulder* finally managed to get yourselves organized."

*can't wait!*

Comment of the day: C, when studying his plate when I have served dinner: "Are these peas?" and exclaims when I am nodding: "Puh! *a Swedish sigh of relief* I thought it was stones!


Is a krabbodilgubbe!

It is all rather logical:

It looks a little bit like a crocodile.
It has a shell, just like a crab.
And, if you are a Swedish 2year-old turtles are obviously also men:

Picture featuring Skalman *Shell man* from the Swedish Cartoon series Bamse

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Quiz of the day:

What does "krabbodilgubbe" (crabodile man) mean?

It's a word from my 2year-old's vocabulary.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Visiting Neverland

Our visit at the school on Friday was quite an experience. I truly had no idea what we had let us in on.

Upon our arrival, we received a tour of the Kindergarten garden, which very much reminded me about Sweden. Climbing-trees, rope ladders and a lovely tad pole pond, no playground, but a "läger", which means "base camp" in Swedish. Anyone attending Mulle eller Strövarna knows what I mean.

We were showed around 3 identical, very bare rooms *no children's drawings, nothing on the walls* and the interview started. They wanted to know things like exactly how C started off crawling when 6months old, if we had a garden or not and if and how much C was watching television, these being the main points.

I am not going to go in to it by any depth, the things that astounded me was that basically they stand back and let children play with nothing *you know like they can pretend a chair is a steam train in the kitchen while you cook dinner*. I completely agree that this is an important side of a child's development, I just don't see how they can charge for it and it alone.

I can see how the children benefit from an environment free from ready made concepts and without the influences of the likes of Spiderman, but it beats me why a child's world should be gray and boring *no, that's not fair, they used red and pink*. I don't think I saw one spot of colour on anyone there.

No particular interest was shown C, the only comment made was that his hair line was very high. I was also told to leave my mother tounge at the gate. (!!)

So, perhaps not.

In my normal manner, I freaked big times afterwards and instead of thinking *oh, that's that then and start the slow process of trying to find another school*, I have since been reading the city's schools guide on every hour available fretting on what to do.

Otherwise I have been locked up in the office for 2days working, while O has taken the children to the beach and playgrounds.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Maybe not..

the right school for us, no. But I honestly need another 12h to calm my nerves enough to write about it. Just have to post this:

Comment of the day: O is cooking, I am ironing, J playing on the floor. Suddenly, I see her disappear. We both say: "Where is J?", "Where IS J?" Eventually I ask O if he knows where he is, maybe she has gone to bed?..

A muffled voice is heard from the floor: "adaa, edaa, adaa, edaa, e i lååådan" *which means, adaar, edaar, adaar, edaar is in the box".

Thursday, 4 October 2007


I just received a 7feet long marketing board from a supplier in Italy. You know the fancy ones hanging in department stores, but this one slightly smaller.

To my online store.

Very chic, maybe I should hang it up and play pretend boutique owner? C and J can be my customers.

Talking about the interview

C is starting school. This school lets the children start school at a later age and attends kindergarten at the age of 5. It reminds us quite a lot of the Swedish school system. They also study subjects in blocks, i e one block for a couple of weeks, tieing many subjects to the same project. And no uniforms.

Part from that, they also have another approach to learning. All senses are aimed to be involved, so there is a lot of dancing and singing and "hands on work". I looked at a summarized spreadsheet over the schools in this city the other day. On "extra features" most other schools had a swimming pool, or a state of the art media room.

This school has a new green house, for gardening. *yeay, I don't know anything about gardening, I think it's sweet!*

*So far so good*, but we also read in their goals that they ask parents to minimize television watching and they seem to think that computers are altogether bad for children. There we don't really agree.. I have my *irrational, I hope, fear* that all other mums at this school, grow their own herbs, make their children's clothes, mix their children's play dough and would NEVER EVER set their foot inside McDonald's..

They are also against any form of hierarchy, so there are no principal and everyone are equals. I am very interested in this approach, but I am not sure it is my preferred way.

So I have started wondering what C will say on this interview and yesterday, when we had dinner, I asked him a little bit.

We were talking a bit about this new school and that we were going there visiting. I said that he could ask them questions and they would show us around school and ask us questions as well.

C: "Like what questions?"
Me: "Like, what is your favorite thing to do?" *the guy loves dancing, putting on shows, cycling etc, but now his mind are on other things:*"
C: "Eating sweets!"
Me: *ehum, ok* "What is your second most favorite thing to do then?"
C: "Eat chocolate"
Me: "But Carl, I said doing!"
C: Yes, but eating IS doing!
*Although impressed by his grammatical skills, I gave up on that one and changed the subject a little*

Me: "Maybe we can ask them what they usually sing at school? That would be interesting to hear, don't you think?"
C, getting a bit excited now, "I can sing my own song, I've made it myself"
Me: "Wow, yes, that sounds great *since all his made up songs the past month has been all about love and sharing toys*

"Power, Power, I LOOOOOOVE Power!! Power, Power, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Power!"

*Oh, yes, really looking forward to tomorrow now...but as O put's it, they probably realize that he really needs to go to this school! ;)*

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Mission for today.. my children as much as I can.

Breath in and out.

Think about this August morning by the Orsa Lake in Sweden.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Glasses like daddy..

It was a very excited C that woke me up this morning. Is it really going to eye-doctor-day today?

Yes, the countdown was finally done and dusted and C and I went to the nearby shopping mall. The optometrist was a very nice man, who examined C very closely.

Then the fun began...choosing a pair. The woman in the store showed C a pair with trains on the sides, C looked patiently as she demonstrated the pair of glasses and then shot me a look that said "She thinks I am a baby!".

C first wanted a red pair..

I managed to somehow make him choose a blue pair, but it all went wrong when the optometrist had decided they were to have a bit of a tint.. (for anyone having watched our favorite films Beck, these make your thoughts wander to Beck's collar-carrying know the one always offering him a "stänkare"..)

Seriously, I grew up with glasses in the 70s and I don't want my son to experience everyone *including spouse* laughing their socks off every time they see a picture of you when you were 5.. So I think the tint will have to go. We also need a second pair, and I have a feeling we have to visit every optician in our city to find this pair, before our next appointment in a months time.

While we were waiting for the glasses to be finished, we had a lovely time at a cafe and also did some shopping in the nearby toy store and card shop.

Here he is with his new glasses, he was so proud!

We were only a couple of blocks from home, I love this area, my own northern San Fran.. ;)

Well, not really..

Our neighboring house

Comment of the day: C, when asked if he could see the telly clearly when watching: No, not always, because sometimes it's a bit of dirt on it.. *being the only customers and sitting in a booth draped with a curtain, I started hearing the ladies in the reception area giggling now. From there on C entertained the whole shop.*