Monday, December 31, 2018

Reflections on 2018

Like I said in a recent post (here), I was not the biggest fan of 2018 but I did learn some things that made the year worthwhile (just trying to be positive here 😉). For a brief summary: I learned that it is very possible to burn out, even doing a job that you actually care about. I learned that NO is not always a bad word. I learned that if I drop a ball or two, the world does not fall apart. I learned that a person's negative reaction to you may not always reflect you... but themselves. I learned that not all things deserve giving a shit about. I learned that you have to stick up for yourself... and that is OK. I learned that negative/stupid/ridiculous comments on random news web pages do not merit being addressed. I learned that, sometimes, all you have to do is ask for help and, other times, it is easier to do it by yourself (I just have to figure out which one works for what situation 😉 ). I learned that I do not understand how boys fight together and, as long as they are not breaking furniture or each other, I will just step away and let them figure it out for themselves. I learned that I actually like football (American version) and can even understand it to some degree. I learned that, even if I am not enthusiastic about something, fake it... and enthusiasm will follow... or, if it doesn't, at least you tried 😉

Thanks, 2018, for the lessons learned... and thanks to the rest of you for sharing in my year! xox

Image result for goodbye 2018
Thank you to random internet images ;)

Friday, December 28, 2018

"No Clue"

Firstly, I have to emphasize that this is NOT a complaint because I am actually enjoying it but it has become the "No Clue" part of the holiday. You know what I mean...the part of the holiday where you have absolutely no idea what time of the day it is or what day it is or if you should actually be doing something or if your kids have been wearing the same pajamas for 2 days or 3 or if left over Christmas cookies can be considered breakfast or a better lunch 😉 Thank goodness for my agenda! I know that it is the 28th.... I have to wash my hair today.... I have to buy groceries.... and we have friends coming over for dinner this evening... oh yeah... it is also laundry day 😉

Happy "No Clue"!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I am now sitting down with a glass of wine in hand and new cosy pajamas (courtesy of Andreas) to relax after everyone has gone home. As usual, it was chaotic but if it wasn't, that is when I would be worried ;) The boys must have been good this year because they scored in the Santa front. Oliver, despite catching me in the present wrapping process, seemed to be more impressed with his gift from Santa than trying to disprove him ;) I have to appreciate every last year of believing in Santa. I also have to hand it to Nicka and Alexander; they really go along with it for Oliver's (my) sake.
Tomorrow, we go to my sister's for Christmas brunch and I will appreciate being at someone else's house ;)

Just wanted to stop in and wish you all a very Merry Christmas xox

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy 4th Advent!

Happy 4th Advent!

I have to say that I have been fantasizing about today... the day where holidays really start (actually, I still have grading to do but am conveniently denying it for the next few days 😉). This past semester has been a hard one- I felt exhausted before it even started- so I am happy to just try to relax for a little while. Pajamas and wine sound really good! This morning, the boys opened their advent presents as we enjoyed a cup of coffee (or two). After a slow start, both Andreas and I had to go to our respective work to pick up some last minute stuff (this is why I consider today the day where the holidays really start) and then run some errands. I think that we bought enough groceries to feed an army (= in our house, that means that we will run out in about 2 days 😉). I started to wrap Christmas presents but, unfortunately, Oliver unexpectedly walked in while I was doing it so I had to think up something quick to keep the Santa thing going. He has been asking whether Santa exists for a few weeks now so I think he is onto something... I better come up with something good to keep the believing vibes going 😉
Tomorrow, my family is coming over. I actually enjoy cooking for people so it should be fun. I cleaned off my counter tops to make a bit of space but they will be looking like "food hoarder" before company even arrives.
Anyway, just wanted to wish you all a very happy 4th Advent... and a fantastic holiday season. I will stop in again tomorrow to say Merry Christmas.

Glad you stopped by xox

Oliver, frustrated that he has to wait for his brothers to open his present 😉

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Third of Advent.... already?!?

Wow! It is the Third of Advent already! Just a little over a week until Christmas.... and, still, a lot of getting organized to do. Christmas Eve will be at our house this year but I am actually looking forward to it. Yes, I am a sucker for punishment but I enjoy having a house full of chaos (obviously)  ;) Over this week, Santa will start to wrap the boys' presents ;) so she he doesn't get stuck doing them at the last minute like every other year ;) How do I know? I can hear the swearing all the way from the North Pole ;) This year, I bought a long-wanted Christmas present to myself... stay tuned for another post about that soon.

Wishing you all a happy Advent.... and a calm week ahead <3

Friday, December 14, 2018

Winding down 2018

On a scale of 1 to 10, 2018 rated as a definite "Meh". It is not like anything bad happened... it was just the kind of year that makes you glad that it is soon over. 2018, to me, was like stepping in dog poop: it won't kill you but a pain in the ass none-the-less ;) I will be glad to move on to 2019... and cleaner shoes ;)

Happy winding down 2018! May the last few weeks of the year be on the upswing xox

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Happy 2nd Advent!

Today, after a cosy morning, Andreas and I started the Christmas shopping process. Doing it all at one time is not really fun at all but getting it done gradually is much more reasonable ;) I won't say what we bought because I don't want some people who may be reading this to know what they are getting ;) After we got home, he even put up the tree. For someone who is not big on Christmas, I am proud of him!
The boys are now finishing up their last minute homework and dinner is on its way. I am looking forward to a quiet remainder of the weekend.

Happy 2nd Advent! xox

Advent presents for the boys...

Our holly bush

Our tree <3

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Happy anniversary to us :)

On December 4, 2004, Andreas and I were married. It is 14 years today..... wow- 14 years filled with PhD work, having son #1, living in Copenhagen, getting used to Danish way of life, moving to Montreal, getting used to Canadian way of life (or re-acquainted with Canadian way of life), buying a house, having son #2, finding work, having son #3, hitting our 40s, growing into our jobs, growing with each other, travels, ups, downs, more ups.... and many more life experiences to come. I can't think of anyone else that I would rather be with on this ride of life... xox

Our first Christmas together, 3 weeks after our wedding day... and 6 weeks after Alexander was born.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Happy 1st Advent

Wow! December already!

Today, the boys opened their advent presents. Coffee is made. The cupboard is stocked with gingerbread cookies. The candle is lit. It is freezing rain outside. We have nothing on the agenda today. Great way to start the holiday season..... said completely non sarcastically ;)

Happy 1st Advent.... xox

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Another Oliver-ism

Oliver is the type of kid who says whatever comes to his mind... no filter..... which I like to blame Andreas for 😉 When Oliver gets a thought into his head, he gets really preoccupied with it (again, I blame Andreas 😉) and then finally blurts out whatever he was thinking about. This time, he must have heard something on the news about pepper spray because he has definitely been giving it some thought.

The other night, Andreas found Oliver with his face close to a piece of pepper that he was trying to break into two. When Andreas asked what he was doing, Oliver said that he didn't know what the big deal about pepper spray was. He has just tried it on his own face and it wasn't so bad.... just a little wet but definitely not dangerous 😉 Maybe he will move onto cucumber spray next ;)

Hope you all had a good Thursday! It is almost weekend time again! xox

Oliver with his pepper spray ;)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Mean mother.... the #2,478,392 edition

According to my kids, I am responsible for putting poison on their feet, heads, hands and backs. It is a poison so terrible that they automatically recoil in horror when I bring out the offending items. It is a poison so terrible that their friends look at them with pity. What is this poison? you may ask. Just because I love you all, I will give you the secret answer: temperature-appropriate clothing ;) That is right! I am so mean! How dare I give my children temperature-appropriate clothing to wear? ;)

Every morning, the conversation starts like this:
"Mamma, do I have to wear my jacket?"
"And my hat and gloves?"
"Because it is minus -10C outside."
"But it is so hot out....."
Seriously.... this is what they say. It is hot outside. No, boys, it is -18C with windchill. No one would ever call that hot. PLUS, I will also get you to put your snow pants in your school bag... just to rub it in ;)

It is the same fight all the time. Alexander has tried, on numerous occasions, to sneak out of the house with a hoodie... just a hoodie... when we were in the middle of a snowstorm (and we have had a few of those lately but that is another story).. and without gloves or hat... or boots. Nicklas and Oliver freak out when they see their winter jackets... and even more when they have to actually put them on. See, it is like poison. Then the game turns to "how little of my jacket do I actually have to let touch my body?", which means jacket wide open and off the shoulders. In my universe, at least the poison jacket is on (yes, I pick my battles) and the ever menacing snow pants are in their school bags, so I am satisfied.

Hats, gloves, scarves and boots.... mmmmwwwwaaaahhhhhaaaaaa.... sheer poison! ;)

Happy Friday to you all from this terrible and mean mother!

See... poison... they even come with a warning label ;)

Friday, November 16, 2018

First snow

Today, we woke up to a blanket of white covering everything. My first thought was that it was actually kind of pretty... and then I remembered that it was Friday and I had to go to a conference at work. All of a sudden, the snow was a little less pleasant ;)

Hope you all had a good day! Happy weekend ahead xox

Andreas even came with me to the conference... and got to listen to me complain about the snow ;)
The view on Ste Catherine
Montreal streets
Grey skies
Winter views on the train ride home
Happy weekend xox

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Today, Alexander turned 14! Amazing how time flies... I still clearly remember the day he was born (impressive, considering I cannot even remember what I had for breakfast this morning).

Wishing you a very happy birthday! You are an amazing young man and we are very proud of you xox

One happy kid!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Birthday dinner for Alexander

Last night, we took Alexander out for dinner to celebrate his upcoming 14th birthday. You can absolutely see the "taste" evolution with age: he asked to go to an "all you can eat" sushi restaurant, as compared to the nacho restaurants that he used to request ;) Also, as a teenager, please note the "all you can eat"... that is an important detail ;)
For some reason, it is a bit more strange to be the mother of an almost 14 year old than it was when he first hit the teenage years. He just seems much more "man-like" this year. Maybe it was the football? Maybe the fact that he is almost a head taller than me? Maybe that he has the shadow of a moustache? Maybe that his voice is deep and foreign-sounding? Maybe that he hangs out with friends that are at least 6'3"? Maybe that he grunts more than he speaks?
Anyway, it was a good dinner (I LOVE sushi) and I was proud to be celebrating my first-born... Happy pre-birthday dinner xox

Thursday, November 8, 2018

One happy boy!

On Tuesday, Nicklas finally had his cast removed! If you didn't read about it before, Nicklas broke his wrist during a football game (more info here). Honestly, it was really one of those bad luck freak accidents that you can't blame football for. Although his season is now over, he is getting geared up to play again next year already ;) He has been really looking forward to having the cast taken off so regaining his right arm again has put him in a very good mood :)

This is one happy Nicka!

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Today seems like there has been a real turnover: yesterday, both Alexander and Nicklas finished their football season.... we turned the clock back... the tree outside our house lost most of its leaves because of yesterday's windstorm and it just really felt like impending winter. All of these events were completely expected but I can still feel hibernation coming on ;) My way to deal with it was making soup and pumpkin spice bread... the cure all ;)

Hope you all had a great Sunday! Wishing you a calm week ahead xox

Friday, November 2, 2018

Happy scary skeleton

We I survived Hallowe'en! ;) At the very last minute, all the boys decided to go out to Trick or Treat. I had wanted to get a picture of the 3 of them together, in their costumes, but considering that Alexander had left before I got home... and I had to rush to meet Oliver's friend on time... and Nicklas was still figuring out his costume by the time I had to leave, it was impossible to manage a photo. Oliver (aka the scary skeleton) was very patient and let me take one of him in his costume when we got back home..... maybe he was more patient because of his candy stash ;) Needless to say, when everyone finally arrived home, it was difficult to get them into bed because, of course, they had to compare candy and ramp up the sugar buzz...

When they finally fell asleep, I was able to sneak a few Oh Henry bars and peanut M&Ms ;) I call it Mother Tax ;)


Wednesday, October 31, 2018


This is my #900 blog post! Wow! When I first started my blog on January 20, 2014 (see here), I honestly had my doubts about being able to keep it going. Actually, I had started another blog about a year before but it had fizzled out after about 8 posts so my track record was not very encouraging ;) Looking back through my blog, I am especially impressed that I had actually tried to do a post every single day in 2014. Now, I am lucky if I can put enough brain cells together to manage a post every week (but who is counting?) ;) Seeing my boys grow up in my posts, I am very happy that I was able to capture a bit of our family's history and revisit a bit of our "day to day" along the way <3

Thank you for coming to visit! I have made some great friends through these pages. Hope to see you around at the end of the next 900 :)

Have a great day! PS: I will post an update to our Hallowe'en tomorrow... ha! Let's see how this one goes ;)


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ten random autumn facts

Today is post #899. Can you believe it? Even though it has been slow lately, I am having as much fun in Blog Land as I did at post #8 ;)

Here are my ten random autumn facts:

1) Autumn is always bittersweet for me... I love the crisp air, wearing cosy sweaters, fresh apples, the golden tone of the sunlight... but, knowing that winter is up next, I get a bit sad at the same time.

2) Marijuana has been legal in Canada since October 17 and we still have long line ups outside the stores..

3) Due to the line ups mentioned in random fact #2, we are facing a Canadian "Pot Predicament", meaning that the stores are literally running out of stock. Seriously ;) We couldn't see that one coming ;)

4) Hallowe'en stresses me out. The boys are never organized, never know what they want to dress up as, never know who they want to go out with and, if they finally figure it out, the evening always results in me driving to 50 different pick up/drop off locations and having to listen to fights about candies. Can we just skip it? ;)

5) One of my favourite fall activities is to walk through piles of leaves. I did it as a kid... and still do it now ;)

6) It makes me sad to put away our trampoline. It is always a good place to send the boys when they need to burn off steam!

7) I could never figure out why Quebec's mandatory winter tire law is from December 15 until March 15. I mean, does the person who made up this law actually LIVE here? Really dumb!

8) Speaking of winter tires, we just had them put on one of our vehicles. The other is has an appointment for the change. I am a bit neurotic about tire changes.

9) The older I get, the more I appreciate my slippers ;)

10) Today, at Nicka's football game, I found myself making a mental note to buy some of those hand warmer things.

Happy Saturday evening to you all xox

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Parenting a teenager

One of the reasons why I keep this blog is to be able to revisit various points in the life of our family. When I started it in January 2014, Oliver was 3, Nicka was turning 7 and Alexander had just turned 9. A lot has happened since then and the boys have grown out/are growing out of their "little boy" years. This definitely makes blogging about them a bit more difficult because, instead of cute conversations, now I am often greeted with grunts and eye rolls (they still love me though 😉). The son that has transformed the most, in my opinion, has been Alexander. He has gone from a small boy into a young man..... a young man who leaves dishes in his bedroom.... who has football shoes so stinky that they can be used as a lethal weapon... who does not care what clothes he puts on for school... who thinks washing hair is grossly overrated... who thinks a full meal at McDonald's should be considered a light snack... who enjoys the fact that he now is a good head taller than me... who still, on occasion, comes up to me for a hug and a cuddle.

Random quote from the internet that is so perfect
A light snack ;)

A rare moment where he allows me to take a photo ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Starting today, marijuana is now legal in Canada. Apparently, we are only the second country in the world to have legalized marijuana (after Uruguay... go figure). I have to say it is kind of funny how people are so panicked about it... after all, we did legalize alcohol again in the 1920's (in Canada... and excluding PEI) and survived that... relatively speaking. Anyway, as much as I agree with the legalization, I did not have the urge to join the 5 million people in line to buy pot.... nor do I think that I will in the future (Disclaimer: I will, however, continue to buy wine... a lot of wine).
Although we have been talking about the legalization for what seems like forever, it still was a bit funny to see one of our local "pot boutiques", or the SQDC (see:, open up and ready for business on my way to work today. Seriously, yesterday, it was just a storefront with paper in the window. Today, it seemed to be the most popular place on earth... not just because of the patrons that lined up around the block but because there was most known news sources- from Canada and international- parked in front of it and literally every second person was carrying a microphone for interview purposes.
What do I think about it? I support it. Would I use it? Most probably not. Am I worried for my children? Knowing my sons, if people my age go in there, it cannot possibly be cool. Am I good with that last concept? Yes. The only one thing that kind of bothers me is that I have to admit that I am not cool ;)

Happy October 17th... an eventful day in Canada.... xox

The LONG line up... funny that there is a chip truck parked nearby ;)

The SQDC... I think "pot boutique" sounds better ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The strangest Saturday night...

Last night, I had appointment to get an MRI done at our local hospital. Apparently, the evening MRI sessions are fairly ordinary because the technicians have to be there in case of emergency anyway. So, rather than just having the machines and technicians sit there, routine non-emergency MRIs are booked fairly late in the evening. Despite the procedure sounding pretty drastic, I only had it done for the same arm/shoulder injury that I have since February. 
Anyway, let me tell you that it was the strangest Saturday night that I ever had... and I had some pretty strange Saturday nights ;) Firstly, there is a lot of construction going on in Montreal. This means that I had no idea on how to get to the hospital and was faced with a bunch of detours that made absolutely no sense and took about 45 minutes more than it should. Secondly, the hospital was dark and deserted, which made it look really creepy. It is not the building itself because, on a normal day, I sometimes go there for work meetings so it is pretty familiar. When it is dark and empty, I totally don't recognize it anymore. I think that, from the parking lot to the actual imaging department, I must have crossed the path of 4 people (and 2 of them were cleaners). 
After having arrived late because of the detours and random traffic because of nothing, I found myself in a dark, abandoned looking waiting room with 3 other people. The only reason why we knew we were in the right place was a sign which essentially said "You are in the right place. Please don't leave." Hmmm.... reassuring ;)
The night only became stranger when I was asked about metal plates in my head and pacemakers in my heart. The technician then asked me to put on a very fashionable gown and blue slippers that were very suitable for my meeting with the "alien pod". This was my first MRI and, honestly, I could have sworn that I was making contact with distant extraterrestrial worlds. About 5 minutes into the procedure (which already felt like 5 hours), I had to stop myself from laughing because it was too freaking strange. They had strapped me to the "bed" and put some funny looking headphones on me to "block out" the most bizarre sounds that I ever heard. I would not have been surprised if I was only there because some alien had recruited me for some spacey experiments.
After the 2 week 20 minute procedure, the weird sounds finally stopped and I was allowed to come out of the machine. I said happily thanks and good-bye to the technicians, one of whom I was sure asked me about how I liked life on Mars ;) The place was as deserted on my way out as on my way in (actually, it was more deserted because the other 3 people who had initially waited with me had left already). Although I had taken absolute care to park as close to the elevators as possible (so I could find it again), it seemed that my car was much further away than I had remembered ;) Decidedly, this was one of the most bizarre Saturday nights! I wonder if my test results will include a Martian letter of rejection ;) 

Hope you all have a nice rest of the weekend xox

So many people ;)

Don't be too jealous of my fashionable outfit ;)

OK... a bit creepy...

Usually, there are line ups in front of the elevators!

Where is my car? ;)