Sunday, 31 May 2009

Sister and brother

There is exactly 6 years between them (give or take a few hours). They are wildly different. But they still have a lot in common. And so far they seem to like each other - most of the time.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The one about the pigeon

I don't have any phobias as such (and as a former psychologist in another life, I know the proper definition for one). But if I did have a certain Big Dislike of something it would be birds in confined places. Or perhaps more specifically, birds flying around inside my house.

Once, a few years ago, I was working from home and was on the phone to Important New Client, explaining how great my company was and the sort of work we could do for him and how professional we were, and so on. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed our cat go past the office and into the bathroom, with something in its mouth. I followed, just out of curiousity, still talking to INC. And was quite horrified to see cat and bird sitting in the shower, playing together. At this point I am not sure why I didn't make some excuse on the phone and hang up - but I didn't. I carried on with a perfectly normal conversation while running downstairs, and finding the biggest saucepan I could. By this point, cat and bird had followed me downstairs (or rather, cat had convinced bird using unfair means to come with him). I managed to shooooo-oo the cat away, trap bird under the saucepan and shuffle it out the window. And then thank the customer kindly for the big juicy project I just landed.

I am telling this story just so you know that I am not a complete wuss in a bird-emergency situation, but I would really really rather let someone else deal with it if at all possible.

Which brings me to the one about the pigeon. A few nights ago I woke up to what sounded like Anna playing with beads outside our bedroom door. It was a bit too early to get up and if she wanted to play with beads she could do it elsewhere, I told her. But Aksel told me to be quiet because Anna was still sleeping. And so was he. And to shhhh because it was just some animal on the roof or something.

But yesterday I was in the office, which is downstairs under our bedroom, and heard a scritch scratch scratch and being the girly that I am I waited til Aksel got home to further investigate. The office is next to the chimney and Aksel thought something was stuck in there. He opened the flue while I made a hasty move towards the door. Then he asked me to get him some gloves. Not those ones he said when I came back with some ordinary winter gloves. My skiing gloves, he said. The extra long ones.

Luckily, my brave husband has no problem with birds in confined spaces and he reached in and rescued a rather grumpy and stupid but otherwise completely fine pigeon and set it free out the window. While I crouched out of sight behind the kitchen cabinet - you know, just in case the bird could get me.
Aksel even vacuumed up the feathers. He really is very useful. I am definitely keeping him.

Anna's joining the circus

Anna asked me if I would paint her face. I quickly calculated whether I could manage it in between making lunch and saving Sam as he moved the chair to exactly the right place so that he could stand on it and then have much better access to all the forbidden items that had been placed there to be out of his reach - and decided that I probably could manage it.

Of course, I ended up doing it one-handed as face painting was definitely something Sam wanted to be UP for so that he could see what was going on. Nevertheless, Anna and I had fun painting her face and then she disappeared off upstairs.

A bit later she re-appeared and treated us all to a fabulous circus performance. Samuel is her biggest fan.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The weekend

  • MIL's birthday brunch went down well - plenty of pancakes, strawberries, scrambled eggs, melon, and chocolate croissants for all. And Anna and Sam were both in good spirits. Anna set the table nicely and made 71st birthday card for Farmor.
  • Anna finished reading the 6th Harry Potter book and made a Firebolt (a Harry Potter inspired broomstick) and designated part of her room as a "Harry Potter room", complete with posters, and Quidditch banners
  • Anna & I picked flowers in the garden and both filled a couple of vases with lilac
  • And post arrived from England with survival items...proper teabags, Thorton's chocolate...

  • Sick sick sick..Aksel & I were both feeling under-the-weather with a flu-ey type cough/cold thing that just won't shift, zaps your energy, and makes you wish you could curl up with a hot drink, chocolate and a good film, with no-one bothering you for 90 minutes of uninterrupted relaxation (I must admit, we often feel like this at other times, even without the cold)
  • Sam spiking a 39,7 fever Saturday night and waking at 5.30 am this morning (thankfully went back to sleep again)... We are diagnosing post-MMR reaction (9 days ago he got the vaccination) and fingers crossed it has gone by tomorrow, but he was a ball of need and grumpiness today
  • I stubbed my toe so hard I saw stars and had to bite my lip not to swear all sorts of words that I hope I never say in front of my children. It is still hurting now but I can wiggle it so I guess it is not broken.
  • I accidentally trod on what I can only assume was a blood-filled-tick that had fallen off the cat. I heard a loud sp-la-at and looked down to see blood squished everywhere. Eeeugh! At least I had socks on.
  • And the weekend is over already. I need another one to recover.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Samuel words

You are trying really hard to communicate with us and you make your feelings known in no uncertain terms when you don't get what you want. You are just 17 months old - we are a just a little bit nervous of the two-year-old + tantrums ahead, as you are already putting on a good show.

You understand everything we say and can follow quite complicated instructions (if it suits you). You can say:
  • Hi
  • hej hej
  • An-na
  • Dad-dee
  • Mum-mee
  • mi-a-ow
  • cheers
  • cheese
  • baa
  • cuck-oo
  • dog
  • Brmm-brum! (when he sees a car or a motobike),
  • uh-oh!
  • gynge-gange
  • key
  • door
  • up
  • apple
  • quack (kind of)

You can make the clip-clop sound like a horse, and blow air out like a horse does when it is hot.
You can nod your head and shake your head but it is not always what you mean.

You like being tickled and cuddled and hung upside down. You like reading stories with us and will choose the book and take us by our hands to come and sit down with you.

You love going to fetch Anna from school and you are delighted when Daddy comes home - Da-da-dad-DEE!

We can’t imagine life without you.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Coming to a street near you?

During my girly weekend, there were lots of things that my friends brought me up to date on about life in England right now. I even learnt some new words (more on those later). And I realised that it is sometimes no wonder I feel like a foreigner when I am back "home".

One of the things they told me about was the Google Street View Car. I had never heard of it, but Nicki was able to show me her house... cool stuff, but a bit weird at the same time. We could see into her living room and almost pick out her coffee table. Good job I'm not some shifty criminal type staking out the houses that look like they have nice stuff in them.

Anyway, in a bit of a synchronicity moment, a few days after this conversation I actually followed the Google Car while taking Anna to school. So, I'm eagerly awaiting a street view of our street and then you can see if you can pick out our coffee table (but it will more likely be all the plastic toys that seem to accumulate everywhere these days).

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Girls on tour

My best friends from school days recently visited me in Copenhagen. It was the first time in about 5 years that we were all together and it was the first time since Samuel was born that I got to be away from home without children (two whole nights). I had a fantastic time and it was very good for my soul to re-connect with these great women that I have a shared history with.

There is something very special about the friends that have known you since you had a Lady Di haircut and knee-high socks, and who have been there for you throughout your first broken heart and ill-advised crush.

I have shared lots with these girls as we grew up and I am so glad we are creating new shared experiences now. Can't wait for the sequel - Girls on Tour 2: London!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I recently found out that Anna has been planning a sleepover with her friend at school and that I have said that she can "maybe" have it at our house.
Perhaps I did say “maybe” but I might not have heard the question properly. I find she usually asks these types of questions just as I am screaming with frustration for her to GET! YOUR! SHOES! ON! So we can Leave for SCHOOL! NOW! when we are already late. And I think I answer “maybe” to a lot of things as I buy time to actually think about something.

I also think that for Anna the planning of a sleepover is actually almost as much fun as the actual thing – she has been planning them with her friend Emily and making lists for a while.

The lists go something like this:

Top Secret List

1. Have sleepover with Emily

2. Hide sweets under bed

3. Stay up till midnight

And then she will accidently leave the list out in a very obvious place where I can’t help but discover it and then her plan is Busted! I guess the thing that is stopping me letting her have a sleepover here right now is Sam. I definitely have my hands full with him, he is full-on demanding, with little regard for his own safety or the needs of others to oh, say, eat. It is tricky juggling him and an extra additional child, even on a play date in the afternoon - let alone through a whole night.
But it is definitely my turn to reciprocate the two sleepovers that Anna has been on at other peoples' homes. So maybe she might get to host her very own sleepover soon.

Monday, 11 May 2009


So it has to start with a list, obviously:
  • Start a blog
  • Get the winter tyres off the car and the headlight fixed
  • Buy appropriate shoes for Sam
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Write something creative
  • Make some curtains
  • Tackle the weeds
  • Make something delicious and yet nutritious for dinner
  • Deal with the emails in the inbox
  • Make doctor's appointment for Sam and myself

hmmm. Not a very good list. It will get better. Promise.