Friday, April 29, 2016

Just by the seat of his pants....

On Wednesday, Alexander swore to me that he had finished ALL of his homework so that he could play his video game. Fine- as his homework was ALL finished, he got a bit of time to play.... Flash forward to Thursday and Alexander informs me that he has to study for a big test that he has on Friday. Problem is that most of the evening had to be spent in a school concert.... other problem is that this subject is Alexander's nemesis.... urgh! SO, after coming home from school on Thursday, I spent a few hours helping him study Quebec history before we had to leave again. After the concert, I had to run to a quick meeting but I had EXPLICITLY said in the car on the way home that he had to finish studying until his bedtime. When I get home, what do I see? ALEXANDER ON HIS FREAKING TABLET. Did he study? Nopes. I have to admit that I ABSOLUTELY lost it. The first thing that came out of my mouth was "You are NOT going to your best friend's birthday party on Friday night". OK... I have to just clear one thing up: I realize that a punishment like that not only affects your kid (the point) but also affects the child who is having the party (innocent bystander). It came out of my mouth because I knew that this would be the only thing that would really wake him up... and, since it came out of my mouth, I had to stand by it. After all, he is going to high school soon and he has to learn how to take some responsibility for himself and his own school work...
After about 30 minutes of Alexander going from mad to sad to shocked to trying out his negotiating skills, I gave him (and me) and out: If he got an 80% or above, he could go.... The deal was on... 80% was a reasonable grade....but, since he never got an 80% before, it was a challenge...  a pretty big challenge.
So, in Alexander's agenda, I wrote a note to his teacher, with the hopes that she could send me a picture of his exam so that I could correct it. After all, after having studied with him the day before, I felt like an expert on 1980's history in Quebec ;)

Dear Madame XX, 
This may sound very strange but can you please give me a call tomorrow when you have a moment? I need to ask you for a favour.
Thank you!

After dropping the boys off at school this morning, I could tell that he had already told his friends about the deal. They were all looking at me with big eyes.... The stakes were now high.... Alexander had to get that 80%!
At lunch time, I got a phone call from Alexander's teacher. I explained the reason behind my wanting to talk to her. She told me that Alexander had already told her part of the story... just leaving out the video game part ;) I asked her if she could take a picture of his test and send it to me but she told me that, after listening to Alexander, she had to grade it right away. Get this: Alexander's grade was a 79.5% but, since he also got the bonus mark, he ended up getting an 80%..... ON THE FREAKING NOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That kid has a horseshoe up his behind!!!!!!!
Needless to say, Alexander is now at his well-deserved birthday party. His friends were all happy for his 80%... and, honestly, so was I.... on so many levels ;) Best darn 80% ever ;)

Alexander's big lesson ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stressed out.... no, thanks!

Last year, Andreas and I decided to take the train to work and, despite my initial misgivings about the schedule, have grown to really appreciate it. I don't often realize how much I appreciate it until I actually have to drive downtown again. It reminds me how stressed out people on the roads are. Trying to save a few seconds, a big city bus squeezed by us in traffic and just about took off our side mirror and scratched the side of our car- yes- of course, the new one. Filling out that accident report (while all the poor people on the bus were waiting) really saved a lot of time! It didn't end here.... I also encountered a woman who gave me a strange look for letting her pass in front of me and an angry man who just was angry... and trying to eat a sandwich/talk on the phone/drink his coffee while driving.  It was all about being first and faster. Wow- no wonder there are so many accidents and mishaps on the road. Let me tell you that I was glad to get home and de-stress ;)
When we were deciding to go back to public transport, the obvious pros on our list were expense, no need for parking, time together, the environment and the ability to read on the train. I never really thought of stress avoidance. Maybe, on public transport, there remains an inter person connection that encourages us to be polite... maybe, being in a car, there is a relative anonymity- similar to the internet- that brings out the worst in people... Anyway, whatever it is, a big thanks to all the relatively awesome people on the train! I salute you :)

A bit of calm...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sickness... again :(

Murphy's Law: when there is a gastro going around the school, it will always end up circulating in your child's class.... so far, so good- only one down ;) Oliver is now eating carrots and watching some totally annoying Youtube video on my tablet. Guess he is feeling better ;)

Wishing you all a good evening xox

Off the tablet for a brief, momentary charge of battery ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Adult time with Andreas

Today, Andreas and I found ourselves with a little "adult time".... you know, no kids... just us.... So what did we decide to do something.... something that is much better without kids around.... we went to IKEA ;)
When we take the boys, it is always a stressful situation. All of the living room displays suddenly become the best place to take a pretend nap. All of the couches must be sat on. All of the curtains must be hidden behind. Needless to say, not a leisurely stroll around the store ;) Without them, our trip was pretty efficient: we managed to agree on a shelf unit for the kitchen, a little carpet for the kitchen, new napkins and.... don't laugh because I am serious.... our groceries. Yes, our IKEA has a lot of our old favourites from Sweden... dark rye bread, cookies, crisp bread, meatballs, lingon sylt (not quite sure how to translate that one), Kalles Caviar (kind of like fish row in a tube)... and candy for Andreas (What? Share with the boys! No way!). All in all, it was a good trip... and Andreas got to say hello to the Mother land and renew his Swedish citizenship ;)

Wishing you all a good week ahead xox

Our Swedish grocery stash ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Because I do not have enough chaos in my life ;)

Sometimes, people (and most often with two children or less) ask me if my home life is chaotic. With three boys, I guess one can expect the question. Thing is that we also have a zoo ;) Besides the boys (my husband is included), there are also two dogs, two cats and two fish. There was no planning in the Noah's Ark theme in animal numbers... it just happened that way. So, whenever I am asked about my chaotic boys situation, I have to say that it actually isn't so bad. There was obviously enough room for more craziness ;)

Let's go this way....

I mean, this way.....

Or this way.....

At least, they could finally agree on the sniff spot..

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple rain

It has been quite the crappy year for music... so many deaths... and two of my absolute favourites- David Bowie and Prince- in a 4 month period :( 

Purple Rain came out as I was becoming a teenager in 1984. There was something about the music that made you almost stop breathing. It defined my musical tastes at this time and led me to R&B, soul and jazz. You couldn't get any better than a Prince guitar solo and the music spoke to my young teenage heart (and now my middle age mother heart). Prince was both cool and hot at the same time. Although I believed that the music couldn't get any better.... it did... over and over.... Prince, my first musical crush, RIP....

David, I apologize for not having dedicated a blog post in your honour. I meant to... but the words never made it to the blog page....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dumb jeans ;)

Despite the title of this post, I love jeans. If I could wear them everyday, I would. Thing is that, and  am sure that you will all agree, that not all jeans are created equally. Only a very few jeans really fit me... and when I like them, I will buy 4 pairs (or more)... and hang onto them forever...
SO, recently, I ordered some jeans from Ebay. I heard a lot of good things about the jean brand (Tiger of Sweden) and I ended up winning the auction at 0.99 US. Not bad, eh? I thought that I was pretty darn smart... I had very carefully measured my hips and waist and, although perhaps a BIT snug, the jeans were my size. The one thing that I did not even think about was CALF SIZE! The jeans arrived and I was really happy- great, soft fabric and nice length. I held the jeans up and they looked great. Well, they would have looked great except that, when I went to try them on, I couldn't get them over my calves!!! With a waist size being a little too small, I felt OK with because I usually lose a bit of weight over the summer. What the heck am I supposed to do with calves? Not move? Not exercise? Not play soccer? Waste away? Crap! My legs, and I still think this despite the reality check, are not that big....seriously... they must be dumb jeans ;) Maybe I can put that on my Ebay review... Quick shipping, nice seller.... too bad they sent dumb jeans... ;)

Have a great  and non-dumb jean day! xox

Dumb jeans.... made for legs like robot man ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beautiful day

It was at least 18C today... sun shining.... ahhh.... We got some gardening done and brought out all the summer patio furniture. We've been outside all day long..... Life is good :)

Wishing you all a happy week xox

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Only child ;)

All week, Alexander and Nicka have been SO excited to go to their Friday night sleepover party. Seriously, every day started with disappointment that it was not Friday yet. Finally, Friday came and I brought the boys to their friends' house. We are lucky. The family that they were visiting have 4 children: 1 poor girl and 3 boys.... 2 of which are Alexander and Nicka's best friends. This is the same family that we will be going on holiday with so they have fun planning (scheming?) things that they will do this summer. Sleepovers are a little like a warm up to the big event ;)
Anyway, having the big boys away for the night means that Oliver gets to be an only child ;) At first, he always forgets that his brothers are gone so he calls for them. When he finally realizes that he is the only boy around, then he starts to be the little king. He can talk about his video games and no one corrects him. He can play on my tablet and no one grabs it out of his hands. His father took him to McDonald's so he can play in the park and no one said that the park sucked. He can have a cookie after dinner and no one steals it from him. He gets to play with his glow-in-the-dark sword and no one takes it from him. I guess that there are some benefits from being too young to go to sleepover parties ;)

May the glow be with you ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Last class

Today, I taught my last class of the school year. If you are reading this and are one of my students, yes- profs also look forward to the end of the year. Oh yeah- I am proud to have taught you this year. You have all come a long way and you have the brightest futures to look forward to... Cheers!

PS: I seriously doubt that my students are reading this but it is worth saying anyway ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Crazy days

This week is definitely in the "crazy days" category. Firstly, it has been super busy. This is my last week of classes and, of course, the pile of corrections to do on my desk has become a mountain! This week has also been crazy because we will be going from winter to summer in a matter of 7 days. Monday started off with a snow storm, Tuesday had rain, Wednesday is sunny, Thursday is supposed to be even sunnier and, by time we hit Sunday, it will be 20C. Mind you, not that I am complaining ;)

Hope you are all having a good week xox

Even the birds don't look very happy ;)
I even had to put my boots back on!
A bit of green offers hope ;)
Tuesday.... our windy/wet spring kicks Sweden's butt ;)
Mr. McGill has traded snow for mud ;)
All the snow is gone (hehehehe)
Wednesday... ahhhhh :)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Living room camping

Every once in a while, someone in our family gets the idea to camp in the living room. It is kind of like childbirth: it seems like a good idea in your memories but, when it actually happens, you suddenly remember the reality of it ;) Anyway, Alexander and Nicka were smart and opted for the couch version of camping. That left Andreas, Oliver and me on the "very big/camping version" of a bed. Although it was created with all 5 of us in mind, I woke up in the middle of the night to find that I had been kicked out by smallest/skinniest member of our family. Oliver ended up sleeping across the whole bed-thing, taking all the covers, pillows and the majority of the "mattress" with him. After a few minutes of debating whether sleeping on the carpet was cosy enough, I had to get up to make a new bed for myself, just beside him. At this point, you might ask why I didn't just sleep in a REAL bed... after all, they were all free for the night ;) Yes, in hind sight, that would have made the most sense but, at 3:00am, it honestly didn't even enter my mind... even after I got kicked, head butted and woken up at 5:45 by "Mamma, can I use your tablet, please?". At least, there was a please....
Now, after a few cups of coffee and having read my online newspapers, I am thinking that the experience wasn't so bad. As apparent with my having had 3 children, my memory often fails me ;)

Wishing you all a good Sunday xox

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Friday night

I think that everyone was happy for Friday! Andreas spent the day with me at work (yes, sometimes we actually work together too) and, after stopping at my favourite cafe for a coffee to go, we took the train home together. After picking the boys up from school, I took Nicka to pick up his new glasses. He put them on and, suddenly, looked like such a big boy! We spent the rest of the evening being cosy...  I made the boys home-made chicken nuggets and, after tired boys went to bed, Andreas and I treated ourselves to a sushi take out. Talk about tired... I think that we lasted about half an hour after we finished eating ;)

So glad today is Saturday.... one more week of teaching :) We promised the boys to "camp out" in the living room this evening. I will let you know tomorrow if it was a good/bad idea ;)

Wishing you all a great weekend xox

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tornado time (aka mornings at our house)

I get up early.... ok.... maybe not as early as Andreas, but I get up early. I like to have a cup of coffee... or two.... or three.... and check my favourite blogs.... and read the newspapers.... and ease into the day. Then the boys start to wake up.... It starts off calmly... then then- somewhere after cereal and before getting school bags packed- it happens.... TORNADO TIME! This is the time when chaos strikes and all hell breaks loose! The boys start to jump around, run, fight, punch, argue, freak out the dogs and just, generally, get on my morning nerves (which are much easier to get on then my rest-of-the-day nerves). So, between the yelling/barking/banging/arguing, I have to make sure that they get ready for school and out the door.... It doesn't seem to phase Andreas at all... in fact, being a larger version of the boys, he often joins in the tornado. This always leads to more yelling/barking/banging/arguing and, amazingly, more yelling/barking/banging/arguing. At this point, I am always regretting not getting a house with an extra "only-woman-in-the-house" bathroom... a sound-proof one.... with its own espresso maker and spa..... At this point, the tornado makes its way outside, into the car and off to start the day. Our neighbours love us ;)

Wishing you all a great rest of the day xox Think of me in the morning ;)

Welcome to mornings at our house ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

That is my kid!

It is snowing out... We are expected to end up with 5cm... UGH! When I went to pick up the boys from school, Nicka was in a bad mood because of the snow. I was so proud.... that is my kid! ;)

Wish us luck and a quick melt xox

Not amused!
Even more not amused....


And it keeps on coming.... argh!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Glimpses of a play date

On the whole, I love having my boys' friends over. We have a pretty "kid-friendly" home (see definition below) and, honestly, I kind of like the bustle of the boys.... until it becomes tornado-like (see definition below)- and then I can flip. Over the past 2 years or so, when Alexander and Nicka have friends over, I have definitely become the "not cool mother who is cramping our style" and just tolerated... unless I have snacks, then I am awesome and am allowed downstairs... but only for dropping off the snacks and then my awesome-ness is over and no photos allowed ;) With Oliver, I am still in the "will call mother in case we do something really cool, funny or someone gets hurt or is scared of the dogs" category when he has friends over. Thing with Oliver is that he always has a friend over... or is away at a friend's house... and it always seems to be the same boy. Jokingly, we consider this boy our 4th son because he is always with Oliver. Actually, they play so well together that it is an absolute pleasure to have him over. Anyway, this weekend, I was called in to witness the cool thing that they did (ie: bury the visiting boy in the toy pile). I had to remember E.T. (see definition if you don't remember the 1980's movie) but they didn't get the reference ;) I enjoyed the small glimpse into their play date. These two, together, are hilarious and I am so lucky to still be allowed "in"... and I know that only a short period of time remains.....

Wishing you all a great day! xxo

"kid-friendly": most of our furniture is either broken, stained or very well-loved so they cannot do much more damage than there already is ;)

tornado-like: Alexander's 11th birthday party sleep over.... just leave it to your imaginations and then add x10 ;)

E.T. the movie: see link

Guess what I have in my hand... (hint: wet, sticky, made of sugar and looks like a little bear)
Here is E.T..... I mean, Oliver's buddy.... ;)

Their favourite thing to to: watch movies on my tablet in their "tent". Yes, this photo actually contains 2 little boys... ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Local talent

Our neighbourhood is full of talent. Instead of watching Youtube, the local boy posse is creating it ;) I was lucky to see the "behind the scenes" action and managed to successfully dodge the camera, otherwise I would have been the scariest thing in the video ;)

Hope you enjoy! Have a great rest of the weekend xox

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mother talk (or wah-wah-wah)

Do you remember Charlie Brown cartoons? Remember the teacher? All you would hear was "Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah" whenever she spoke. I swear that is EXACTLY what my boys hear when I speak to them. Not "Can you please put down your tablet?" Not "Please get ready to leave in two minutes."  Not "Please clean up your room and put away your stuff." Not "Time to brush your teeth." Not even "Dinner time!" All of that just sounds like "Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah".... On my end, it also means that I have to repeat myself over and over and over and over....

Some days, honestly, I lose it. It would be SO nice just to say something once. OK.... maybe THAT is TOO much to ask... Let's say twice.... maybe even three times... but sounding like I am on repeat mode makes me a little bit nuts... AND then they wonder WHY I am freaking out. It is not like they cannot hear me because they can hear when I silently eat a piece of candy... in another room.... There is just something about the voice of a mother (wife) that they can just tune out from.... wah-wah-wah.....

That is when I count to three and go to my happy place.... the one where boys are not allowed... not even the adult ones.... My happy place serves wine... with chocolate...  ;)

Mothers, you are always welcome to join me ;) I go there often ;) xox

Boy, is this ever right!
Good grief! ;)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Ahhhh... Friday :)

Today has been rainy but almost 16C... so I will take it :) Most of our backyard snow is gone and the grass is starting to green. Don't you find that people's moods just change when the weather gets warmer? I actually see smiles on faces... and people say hello... and chairs on terraces start to fill (even if that is still pretty optimistic). It will go back down to -3C on the weekend but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.... Maybe I should go find my sunglasses? ;)

Wishing you all a relaxing and cosy Friday evening!

Yes, I am happy too :)