Wednesday, January 31, 2018

School rite of passage

This morning, Nicklas left for a 3 day/2 night trip to a winter camp with his grade 5 class. This trip, which has been going on for years and years, is a kind of ritual or rite of passage for the children at our school and they remember it fondly for years after. Even last night, Alexander was giving his younger brother tips about the camp, obviously having really enjoyed his experience. Most of his advice was based on the food served, some about the rooms and the rest about the winter sports and activities... you know, the important stuff ;) We spent the evening packing up his gear; I got the clothing/supplies together and Nicklas, very seriously, checked off each item as they went into the backpack.

As much as it is always strange when the boys are not at home, I am excited for Nicklas and hoping he has the time of his life! Have fun, my love!! xox

Wishing you all a great day! Especially the teachers who are taking children on such a great adventure!

All excited to go!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Random morning quotes

Heard today at our house:

- Mamma! Fanny is eating Zoey's poop! That is SOOOOOOOOOO gross! (Fanny and Zoey are our dogs... not our kids).

- I can't tell you what I want for breakfast. I only woke up 16 hours ago. (Actually it was more like 16 seconds but, heck, who is counting).

- Mamma! Don't forget that on Friday I need a sandwich that looks like a sea otter! (This will certainly be another blog post topic- trust me!).

- I thought you were joking when you said we had to leave 15 minutes earlier. If Alexander's bus is on strike, why don't you just make him walk to school instead? (Ummm.... no).

- I can't brush my teeth because the cat won't get out of the sink! (See picture).

- I can't wash my hands because the cat won't get out of the sink! (Again, see picture).

- Mamma! You will hate it outside because it is cold and icy! (Yes, you are correct!).

- Mamma! Can you please sign all the entries for my reading journal right now? (Umm... there are about 50 entries and I have 2 minutes before we have to leave. Are you kidding?).

- Do you think that Pappa is eating pizza for lunch today? (Probably).

- Mamma... Mamma... Mamma....Wyatt and I are practising our Ninja moves at recess today. We arranged it. (I hope your session will not be at the top of the slide like yesterday).

- Mamma! Tell Alexander to stop throwing his football at me!

- "Alexander, please text me so that I know if I should pick you up after school or not. Alexander? Alexander? What did I just say? " "Ummm... ya?" (This is a regular conversation).

This is all before I managed to get onto the 7:54 train. I think I need a coffee ;) Wishing you all a good day xox

Monday, January 29, 2018

This morning

Today I got up really early to take the dogs out. The boys were asleep still. A moment's quiet to start the day... ahhhh! Usually it is Andreas that takes the dogs out and, not that I want to take over, but it is not too bad. At least the part after we get home again is not too bad. I am choosing to ignore the "standing in the cold wind while the dogs decide where to pee" bit...


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Really outnumbered!

Yesterday, Andreas left for 2 weeks of work (??) in Copenhagen. Am I jealous? No, not at all. I am happy to be at home with the kids, just enjoying our regular day to day... AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I HAVE A BRIDGE TO SELL TO YOU!!! Better believe I am jealous ;) It is not that I would prefer to be away from the boys but, heck, it was 8 degrees C when Andreas landed in CPH (yes, it was the first thing that he said when we Skyped earlier today. Skyped? Is that a word?). Anyway, he was warmer weather... he has good black lakrids (liquorice) whenever he wants. He has my favourite kind of pizza. He has 2 weeks of being able to read in bed and enjoy quiet breakfasts. He gets to drink Schweps Lemon.  He gets to walk the streets that I love people watching on. He gets to drink good Tuborg beer. He gets to bike. He gets to go to my favourite clothing store (although he probably would not appreciate it at all!). Oh yeah- he also gets to visit with MY friends (By the way, Ola, if you read this, I will be giving Andreas your email address ;)

Today, I cleaned the house. Drove boys to soccer and basketball. Drove another boy to a play date. Folded laundry. Wrote out permission slips and cheques for seemingly thousands of upcoming field trips. I did part of the homework shift (the rest is still coming). Took the dogs out for a walk. Bought some emergency new boots for Nicka because I noticed his were falling apart and he needed proper ones for one of said upcoming field trips. Started preparing dinner...

He better be bringing me something nice ;)

Happy week ahead! xox

Just to rub it in: no snow... at all!

This is just torture ;)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sometimes, the clouds are almost better!

Whenever I talk to my friends in Scandinavia, they always tell me how nice it must be to have sun during our winters (average Danish/Southern Swedish winter ranges from -5C to +5C, damp and grey). OK... I agree the sun is nice... when you are inside because, sometimes, the sunny days are the super cold ones. This morning, it was sunny (yes, nice) but -27C with windchill (very not so nice). That sneaky sunshine! You think it will be warm and then it smacks you in the face! I remember when I lived in Denmark, I was probably the only one smiling during the grey winter day commute to work. I could bike. I could wear my running shoes. I could wear my cute coat. The air did not hurt my face. I could go out for a long walk. I didn't have the same urge to hibernate as I do here. Yes- I had to wear rain pants... but never snow pants ;)

Sunshine, I will love you more in the summertime. I promise ;)

Happy Thursday to you all xox

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ice day

When I was young, we used to have a couple of good snow days every year. Snow days happened when there was so much snow that we couldn't go to school. Yes, it stopped buses from running but it didn't stop us from playing outside and making the best snow forts ever! Since the boys started school, there really haven't been any good SNOW days... but, as they had today, ice days seem to be new thing. I guess that ice days are OK to them because school is cancelled but, seriously, ice and rain does NOT make for good playing outside (our front yard was a snowy puddle covered with ice)... and the snow forts would probably resemble fish tanks more than a fort. Given that both car had doors that were completely frozen shut and the trains were having difficulties, we all decided to embrace the ice day and stay home. We had a good day... even if it didn't include a good snow fort ;)

Hope you all had a pleasant day as well! xox

This is my car window. I wasn't joking about the ice ;)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Living with a picky (ie: oddball) eater

This is not about Andreas... or Nicka (if it has meat and potatoes, he is happy) or Alexander (Hey! Mamma! I like sushi!)... it is ALL about Oliver...

Since Oliver was a baby, he had a thing about food texture. If I made him cereal and- heaven forbid- there was a little lump in it, he would not eat it. He did not/did/did not/did and did not like bananas... because of their texture. I am embarrassed to say that Oliver could live on Jalapeno chips (yups.. apparently, spice is fine..  texture is not.), Goldfish crackers, salami, cut up apples (but only the green ones), Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cheerios, Alpha Bits (but no other kinds of cereal), milkshakes but only chocolate... and only half), popcorn, yogurt drinks (but not regular yogurt), cucumbers and grated Parmesan cheese (but not together... the cucumbers and Parmesan). Try to make a school lunch that doesn't raise the poor lunch ladies' eyebrows! Thankfully, they see what I give/gave Nicklas and Alexander and realize that I am not totally blind to nutrition ;)

Today's breakfast menu: Oliver asked Andreas to make him a salt sandwich with cucumbers for desert. Yups.. I am not kidding. If he wasn't a 7 year old boy, I would think that he was pregnant. Of course, Andreas just gave him regular toast with butter (it was salted so I guess he got what he wanted).Thinking that Andreas had actually sprinkled salt on his bread pleased him so much that he asked for thirds. If you know Oliver, that is quite remarkable, considering he can eat 2 Goldfish crackers and claim that he is full. Oh, yeah- he also got his cucumbers for desert. Whatever gets us through a Monday breakfast ;)

Wishing you all a happy week! xox

Chocolate... and only good until he is half way done ;)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekend check list

Every Sunday, I do a kind of mental check list: did I get everything that I needed to do done? Most of the time, I am left with a bit of a depressed feeling because, given all of the things on that darn check list, there is so much that has been left unfinished... If we could have just ONE more day!

So, for the checks: Nicklas' birthday dinner. Soccer for me. Basketball for Alexander. Vacuuming. Cleaning the toilets. Oliver's play dates. A reference letter for work. A few emails for work (including saying yes to a conference in the Netherlands in June but that will be another story). Putting Oliver's Lego fish in water (seriously). Started my lecture for tomorrow. Groceries. Haircuts for 3/4 boys. Dinner with lots of leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Sold top on Ebay sent off. Laundry. Homework for Alexander and Nicklas... so I have been reassured.

So, now the not finished: Soccer for Nicklas (I didn't realize it was cancelled this weekend until Andreas took him....  oops!). Lots of stuff that I wanted to get done for work that I have not finished... including the rest of my lecture for tomorrow. Folding laundry (see above). A long walk with Andreas. Organizing my closet. Putting away the last of the Christmas decorations. A long nap on the couch. Banana bread.  Homework for Oliver (later this evening). Coherent blog posts ;)

Hope your check list is longer than mine... and that you have a good week ahead!


Here are some random weekend pics!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The memory of a mother

Actually, the title of this blog post is a complete misnomer. This mother has absolutely NO memory left. Or, rather, I should say that I have a very selective memory. For example, I cannot remember what I am supposed to do in the next 20 minutes, nor do I remember the names of my children (aren't they all named after the cat?) BUT I can remember the words to most songs from the 1980s. I will look blankly at Andreas when he asks where I will be going on Saturday afternoon BUT I remember the name of my friend's dog from 1975 (it was Rusty). I am very good at forgetting when bills are due (sorry cell phone company!) but will always remember the birthdays of people that I haven't seen in about 20 years and the name of my kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Brabant at Willowdale).

To be honest, sometimes my poor memory worries me (my apologies to my student who has been in about 5 of my classes and I still couldn't remember her name!). I am feeling the need to write things down more and more and my agenda has become my new best friend (that is, if I remember to put it in my bag in the morning). I am hoping that my memory is just hiding somewhere between the lunch requests, grocery lists, play dates, doctor appointments, work meetings and Oliver waking me up in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream ;) Or maybe it just froze in our beautiful winter weather ;)

Oh yeah- the name of the song is Heart of Glass and the band is Blondie ;)

Happy Wednesday xox

Random... but appropriate... thing that I found on the internet ;)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thankful for the small stuff... the cold Monday edition ;)

So far, this winter, we are having the crappiest weather. Yes, I know- I always complain about winter but, this year, I am almost beyond complaining. I cannot count how many days (like most of the holiday) were just so cold that we had people on TV and flashing things on our phones telling us to NOT go out. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to heed their good advice ;) Today is one of those days ;)

In light of this cold Monday, I am thankful for my new and very warm/waterproof boots. Best money I ever spent! I am also thankful for my snow pants... and my hat! AND that I had coffee waiting for me when I got to work :) Sometimes the little things are the REALLY appreciated ones!

Happy Monday to you all! Stay warm... and sane ;) xox

Yes, yes, I know. We have sun... but even the sun seems to think that it is too cold ;)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Being thankful

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to be more thankful so here it goes...

Today, I am thankful that it is not -35C out and the air has stopped hurting my face... especially since I had to walk from the train station to work. Sometimes, the little things are really important!

Happy return to routine! xox

I am also thankful that I did not get hit with falling ice ;)

I am also thankful that I made it on the last train before they cancelled service!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Youtuber made me do it!

My kids get really funny idea sometimes... and I don't mean funny, like in haha... I mean funny, like strange. Yes, some ideas come from their own heads but I find that most of the really odd ones come from things that the boys have learned from Youtube. Seriously... Youtube... ugh!
Sometimes, they pick up things like random facts about how many people live in a given city or how tall a skyscraper is or how to do a magic trick. These ones are kind of annoying (as in they ask me about these random facts when I am trying to do 50 million other things all at the same time) but OK. Others are just strange...
For example, over the past 2 weeks, Oliver has been bugging me about coconuts. He was convinced that he would absolutely love raw coconut.... and he made the coconut water out to be some heaven in a glass. How did he know this? A Youtuber told him that it was the best thing ever so, because Youtubers are always right, Oliver was convinced that he would love it. Considering that this kid can basically live on Goldfish crackers, salami and cheese sticks, I seriously had my doubts.
Flash forward to today. What did I find myself doing? Yups... I was whacking at some coconut that I bought from the grocery store. Oliver was standing by me, eager for the insides that, I presumed, reminded him of some Kinder Egg. Needless to say (and not surprising at all), his first taste of the Magic Coconut Meat was met with a sour looking face and Oliver spitting the mouthful into the sink. After telling me how gross it was, I hoped that he marched into the living room and promptly unsubscribed to the misleading Youtuber. Probably not but I find that Youtuber particularly annoying so I am allowed to wish it ;) Anyway, Oliver is now onto the next thing (ie: how to play Brawlhalla... yes, that is an actual game) and the dream of coconut is a thing of the past ;) I think that I will try to find a Youtube channel that can convince my son that room cleaning is the best thing ever. I will even subscribe to that Youtuber ;)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Friends, the winter version

We spend a lot of time with the W family during the summers (soccer, travels such as PEI- see here, more soccer, backyard camping- see here, and even more soccer) but, given that their boys are in hockey and mine are not (I know... bad Canadian mother... I feel so bad... NOT 😉), we don't see much of them in the winter.... except over the Christmas holidays because there are no sports activities to run to! BEST TIME EVER! So, yesterday, Andreas took them sledding at a neighbourhood hill (because it was finally not -100C... OK... small exaggeration but it was almost that bad) and now they are all downstairs recovering from a sleep-over so they can cram in as much of W boys as possible before the return to school on Monday ;)

Oh yeah...  return to routine on Monday... wow! Where did the holiday go?

Happy Thursday... or Wednesday... or whatever day it is.... 😉

Too cool for his hat. Good thing his father is nicer than I am ;)

All photos are courtesy of Andreas because I was at home with Oliver ;)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

As usual, everyone was in bed by 11pm so I stayed up by myself to ring in the new year. It was kind of nice because I could be alone with my thoughts... and alone with my chips ;) We woke up to another very cold day but it was a good excuse to stay in and be cosy. I almost felt guilty for it but, since it is so rare to do this at any other point in time, I decided to just enjoy it.

Hope you all had a good first day of 2018!