Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The walk of shame

Yesterday I sunk further down into slummieness than ever before (but still had a rather nice day). Here’s a summary:

We got up at 6 a.m. as Pappa Kas wanted us to see a second-hand car at a dealership before he went to work. I staggered out of the bed, prepared Little H, her bottles and other essentials for the day, and off we went even before the neighbors had taken in their morning papers.
After two bus rides and a brisk 10 minutes walk we arrived at the Car Dealership, only to discover that the car had been sold the previous evening. As we stood there talking to the sales man I got a whiff of a rather unpleasant but oh-so familiar smell. Looking down at little H’s forced red face it confirmed my suspicions. It was her morning “load”. Good job little lady…
After a quick and discrete change of diaper, our happy family walked along a path following the river towards the city centre of Drammen. It was a lovely morning and my spirits rose. Total family bliss.Pappa Kas had persuaded me to come on this early excursion by offering breakfast at Cafe Grua, a new lovely coffee place we recently have discovered. Of course - when we got there it did not open for another hour. We could see the staff baking inside; we got a whiff of the freshly grinded coffee beans and a sniff of the dark chocolate brownies. Instead we sat down on a bench outside where Little H got her milk and I got a slice of rye bread with Chorizo.

 Soon after we kissed Pappa Kas goodbye outside the Pilates studio (Attic). For once we were the first to arrive in class, as normally we come rushing in 5 minutes after it has started. Little H was also sleeping, not crying her heart out as usual, so more yummy points to us! The class was great as always, 15 mummies, all with their toddlers next to them on their mats, breathing yoga breaths while drawing in their belly buttons, squeezing their pelvises and breastfeeding crying babies at the same time. It is an impressive sight.
After the class my two yummy mummy friends (they are both on their second offspring, and a part of my expert panel) went for a coffee at the local mummy hang-out (Condelica). Despite having jeans in my bag I did not change from my sweat pants, but strolled happily along wearing black cotton drawstring trousers found at the very bottom of my gym-wear drawer. The worst thing was that I did not feel that bad while wearing worn-out comfy clothes. They were rather perfect for my post work-out binge (I had a half a Danish after my sandwich). Also with Little H’s frequent spit ups it was very convenient to wear a washed out t-shirt.
The three of us laughed at going for lunch wearing gym-clothes, having no make-up and flat hair, being the kind of maternity leave mummies we never wanted to be. How could I? I blame the still raging hormones.

It was not until I was alone, having said goodbye to my fellow mummies in comfy lycra, walking through the local shopping street and caught a look of myself in a shop window I realized: I was doing the walk of shame! This was not the walk of shame from my youth, walking down Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow on a Sunday morning wearing last night’s outfit and smudged make-up on my way home from some Art School after- party. This was my new grown up slummy mummy walk of shame! And suddenly it felt like I had one of the worst hang-overs ever.

Will I ever recover?

Friday, 24 September 2010

Pappa Kas, Lady B and the cars

The Castro-Nyhus household has never had a brand new car, not even an almost new car. Our cars (think we have been through three) have not even been charming vintage-ish but proper old, shabby and soon ready for the scrap heap ones (Sorry Gordon- not the Rover of course, that was a beauty).
This is all about to change – perhaps.
Our car(s) have caused countless discussions, but again - our cultural differences are not always easily reconciled. I believe these differences add to the flair of our marriage, at least I convince myself of that when we slam doors and give each other the silent treatment for at least 30 minutes now and then.
Back to the cars. In Spain you buy the car you can afford, in Norway you borrow from the bank and buy the car of your dreams. Sensible Pappa Kas was only buying cars fitting the size of our savings, while if it had been up to me I had pawned the house and gotten a Jaguar XK8. So when the negotiations started we were pretty far apart. It has taken years to reach a compromise, but it looks like we’ve finally agreed.
We sold our safe, solid all-expensive-parts-recently-replaced Opel Astra 96 on Sunday. It was picked up on Monday and then the rain started pouring. After we had waved the Astra farewell and cleaned the oil stains from the leaks from the garage floor, I installed an app called RunKeeper on my IPhone to track me and Little H’s walking activities this week. It has been great fun, and encourages more and longer walks than earlier.
A new car has yet to be found. We are eagerly searching the internet for an almost new, spotless, less than 50.000 km driven, family car at a bargain price. So far, nothing, but at the weekend we’re aiming to visit some car dealers and see what we can find- if the dealers are in walking distance from home of course…

Sunday, 19 September 2010

And the winner is.....

And the winner is…. “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. I first read it during my first or second year at university and really liked it, and am looking forward to re-read it. Here’s a short teaser:

It is the story of six classical students at a small posh (?) college in the States. The story essentially is about the murder of one of students, the events leading up to it and the impact the murder has on the lives of the rest of the group.

I just have to finish my current read, which embarrassingly makes me feel like a member of Oprah’s book club. I tend to stay away from bestsellers, but I forgot to cancel this one from the Norwegian book club…. Now I am sure to be an even more valued member ( I’m currently one of their most valued ones, probably due to forgetting to cancel the book of the month once or twice a year).

So now I confessing to be reading: Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. For synopsis and review read: EdgarSawtelle
Praise from Oprah:
"I think that this is right up there with the greatest American novels ever written," Oprah says. "Up there with Steinbeck and even Harper Lee."
Well so far it is not up there with The Grapes of Wrath, but engaging enough to take me past halfway. I will let you know my opinion once I get to the end, but so far I have to say the story is gripping and the language excellent. But as far as I can remember not up there with The Secret History, we’ll see…

Thursday, 9 September 2010

What to read?

I have always been fond of the written word and especially books. Words are full of potential, sentences can be magic and then you have the physical object of a book itself - The smell, the texture of the pages, the crunchy sound when you open a hard-back for the first time.
I guess we can call it love. Sometimes from page one, other times it takes longer, getting into the pace, the history and to see the potential. Other times the relationship ends abruptly before it has run its full course, on the other hand, if I hang in there despite the pain and discomfort it can end in indefinite loathing and bad mouthing to all my friends.

When asked about favorite author and favorite books it is difficult to answer. How can you single out one author and one book, when there are books for every occasion, an author for every season, and a delightful combination of both which can only be right there and then?

Yesterday I was standing in front of my bookshelf literally looking at my past, and decided it is time to revisit some of the places, reacquaint myself with some of the characters and hopefully to rediscover something forgotten on the way.

But where do I start? I have three books which tickles my fancy at present.

Please help me choose by voting using the poll to the right.


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Nature vs. Nurture?

When making a baby it takes a fertile egg, a wiggling sperm and hopefully a bit of love and tenderness in a tropical climate. But you never know how much of who or what will be in the mix.
We had a going joke, that Little H could inherit everything from the Castro’s or the Uribarrens except clammy toes and the famous nose. The vote is still out on the nose, but those toes… Cold and clammy from day one, but a lot more appealing in size newborn than a size 8 - sorry Pappa Kas.
As from the Ruuds and Nyhus’es I did not really mind. I turned out ok didn’t I? The double chin could be avoided of course, and the fear of swimming pools, but just now I cannot come up with much more. The double chin is very much there, charming and cute for little H, soon to be turkey neck for myself.
Growing mature is harsh.
I think that when it comes to Little H’s features it is more the behavior than looks we should have worried about. How frequent are the bowel movements, and how bad do they smell? Will she drool so that she develops a nasty rash under her chin (with the double chin, and me as her mum, this is very likely) or will she suffer projectile vomiting? Will she refuse to eat nutritious food? Rejecting anything green and end up on a diet of hot chocolate and pain au chocolate?

Today the sms correspondence between me and my mum (Granny B(erit)) has been like this:
Me: When I was a baby did I sleep much during the day?
Granny B: You hardly slept at all- wide awake from 8 am till 8pm. Impossible to get anything done.
Me: Hmmmmm, that explains a lot.
Me: Another quick question: did I spit-up every 10 minutes ruining your nice clothes?
Granny B: You suffered from severe spit-up at every inconvenient moment. I could only wear washed out t-shirts, no matter where I went with you.
Me: Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the tip.
Cannot wait to find out which other charming traits I had as a toddler.

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