Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas snapshots

We’re at the end of 2011 and as always the year has flown by. It feels like it especially speeded up towards Christmas and most of my plans stayed exactly that - plans. No handmade presents, Cards or Christmas decorations. There’s always a next year…

Little H was under the weather since October with a fever and runny nose on and off. It peaked and was diagnosed as Mykoplasma (a type of pneumonia) on Monday the 19th of December. We went to the doctor already in October and I was more or less told that she had a common cold and that I was a hysterical first-time mum. So I waited and waited to visit the doctor again. When we finally went it was straight on Antibiotics and I felt like the worst mum ever who for weeks on end had thought that Little H only had a common cold...

Here is a snapshot of some of our pre-Christmas preparations:

Cute as a cookie
We had of course our traditional Gingerbread making Sunday together with Sergio’s Senoritas. Which was as hectic and fun as ever. Little H has three wonderful and very energetic "little sisters" in Ashley, Audrey and Adriana. Unfortunately, there were little fun and games as  Little H was sleeping with a fever most of the day. Well then me and H had to have another gingerbread baking session an other day which was just as fun, but not the same.

Blue Santa

We  also had or first Lucia celebration, as written about in the previous blog entry. Not an eye was dry. I was the proudest mum ever.
However,the success and smugness of Little H’s Lucia outfit did not last long. The next day picking her up from the nursery I was told that they were going to have a “nissefest” the next day and that all the kids were going to dress up like small Santas (without the beard). Crap. No Santa hat, no red dress, nothing near a cute little Santas helper outfit was to be found in our house. And there was no time to buy anything. So what did I do? I posted a plea for a Santa hat on Facebook and got to borrow one from one of my best friends son. It was of course blue…. - but did that matter? The next day, Little H was dressed in red and denim and had a cute blue Santa hat on her head. Pappa Kas took her proudly to the nursery only to discover that she was the only one with a blue hat. Not even any of the boys had a blue one! Double crap. All my mummy points were gone, and I am back to zero.

On the 22nd of December (a  non-fever day for H) we went to my parents house to decorate their tree. It is a tradition I do not want to be without. Even that we have our own tree at home, it is something special to come home to your parents and “help” them prepare their house for Christmas.  Little H decorated herself with glitter and small golden pebbles.She's such a girlie girl.
Pearly Queen

On Christmas Eve the house was in chaos until the bells rang at 4 pm. We were cooking, cleaning and doing the things we should have done days before, preparing franticly for our guests to come. I also had to nip out to get Pappa Kas’ Christmas present. It was not as bad as it sounds...I knew what to get, but had not had the opportunity to buy it.I promise.
Presents presents presents

A week has passed since Christmas Eve and I have had the chance to breath and relax. Reflecting upon December I can conclude that the run up to the 24th was hectic, feverish and stressful, but it was all worth it and I will do the same next year. Well, I will make a red Santa hat, I will make my own decorations, I will, I will, I will.

What is your best Christmas memory from 2011?  

I also want to say thanks for a great 2011 and Happy New Year to all of you. 
Make 2012 to the year you want it to be. I intend to! 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

St. Hanna

Wooops, sorry blogfog for weeks, I do hope that you’re not been holding your breath for me to post new updates, but on the other hand I do hope that you have missed me, Little H and our universe while we have been doing what we do – trying to live a domesticated family life.

"She looks like an angel, walks like an angel..."

Here’s today:

Norwegians are not as big on saints as Basque/Spanish Catholics, but we do have a few: St. Olav and … and … and… St. Lucia! The first a celebrated Viking king and the last an Italian martyr who died while protecting her virgin-hood (please do not quote me on this, as no research went into writing this paragraph).

The 13th of December is the day of St. Lucia, and true to tradition every child under 8 dress in a white male shirt or a fitted white sheet. They wear strings of glitter around their heads and their waists and hold an (electric) candle while walking in a procession singing in the dark.

 I had not given it much thought, just along the lines of: fat chance that Little H will ever wear Christmas decorations around her head and walk slowly and graciously holding a burning / electric candle.

But when the evening of the 12th arrived I sat by my sewing machine customizing a white, probably very flammable, angelic dress aquired for next to nothing especially for the occasion. I had also bought five meters of the glittery stuff, and after having checked with some of the other mummies I felt rather smug for my level of preparedness. I had not bought the electric candle though as I did not want to ovedo it and put the other parents to shame. Later I realized that their prioirites were better than mine as they all had candles.

used to be proper candles in my days, hence the scepticism

The morning of the Lucia breakfast at the nursery came,  and still smug, I prepared for us to get ready. Little H was ready to go, we still had 30 minutes to the kick-off, and there! - Little H stood still as a statue in her special corner for a little while, she huffed and puffed until the familiar smell forced itself through to the hall where I was standing getting ready to leave
After a rather speedy change of clothes for H, she, Pappa Kas and myself were sitting in the car ready to go. We had the camera, spare strings of glitter, house keys, hats, gloves and dummies. And 17 minutes before kick-off, too good to be true. And of course… it was…

The steep driveway had overnight turned into a bobsleigh lane and it was impossible even for Mr.Formula1 / Pappa Kas to drive from the house and up on the main road. We tried, he tried, I prayed, he removed snow, Little H sang and there! With 9 minutes till the start of the "parade" we were off. Of course upon arrival at the nursery there was no parking and when we entered the nursery we were definitely among the last ones there. I put her in the highly flammable but very cute dress, rolled strings of glitter around her and pushed my way into the room where all the kids were lined up to make sure that H got there on time.

It was then 08.33. Only when we were about to leave did I discover the big note from the day before saying: “please bring the kids and have them ready before 08:15 for the Lucia parade and breakfast”.

Even after reading that note I was pretty chuffed with 08.33.

Are you sure you do not want to share with your mum? ...

Monday, 31 October 2011

The holiday in a snapshot

This holiday has been all about lazying about. I had my running shoes with me (running clothes are always in my drawer here in Elorrio), I had a hiking jacket in my bag and planned this holiday to be a kick of back into health. Not really succeeded there. Not that I have been drunk by lunchtime every day, but spent my days sleeping in and doing next to nothing. When Little H has woken up either early in the morning or during the night Amama Socco has been only too eager to check on her and lull her back to sleep. So most time with Little H has been quality time at a decent hour.
I have bought knitting wool and started on a scarf, a bit alarmed about the instructions saying: “knit till the length of the scarf is 84 cm before changing to pattern number two”. How long does a scarf need to be?

The weather has gone from one extreme to the other. We went to the beach the other day, while two days after we were walking around in poring rain wearing three layers. 
It’s been rather unpredictable and not easy to plan excursions. But we have made two proper ones. One to the beach in lovely summer weather and an other to an indoor aquarium to keep out of the wind and rain.

Little H loves the beach, the water and all animals so both trips were custom made to fit the little Dolphin’s demands. Look at the photos and decide for yourself…. 

Hanna gone fishing
Dancing in the rain

Laughing of the rain 

Splash splash

Getting wet

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Travel Trouble

The last time we flew with little H was in December last year. She was then a little baby and behaved relatively good. Now she’s a toddler with plenty of personality, a loud voice, ants in her pants and a strong will.
I was looking forward to two weeks in sunny Spain, but rather nervous about the travel to get there. On the drive to the airport we had a little disco dancing H in the backseat. No sleeping, although it was at 5 am. The only person sleeping in that car was me.
Checking in late, rushing to the gate, no morning coffee, no magazines, but a new perfume in the duty free (Lola, Marc Jacobs) a lip-balm (Dior Addict Lip Glow) and an eye-shadow. All necessities of course.

The boarding went well, Little H found a dog to pet (!?!)(Flying to Brussels?), and all was calm and cuddly. In our seats we bribed her with grapes and yoghurt, and Pappa Kas managed to get her to sleep the last 20 minutes of our two hour flight. While awake she wandered around the isle, tried to grab an old lady’s silver pink hair, flirting with the people around, well- being H. We got no nasty looks from fellow passengers, so I concluded that the first half of our journey a successful one.

We had to run to catch the next flight, and started already then doubting whether our luggage would move as quickly as we did over to the next plane(fear confirmed btw).

Next flight was more or less the same as the first, except that Little Miss Loud did not sleep a minute. We ate our packed lunch of omelette and fruit salad. Flying low-cost (of course) with Brussels Airlines, and no food on board, might as well, as airplane catering is not my first choice of a holiday meal. Little Miss Charming continued with her shenanigans, but with Pocoyo on the Ipad and more grapes we managed this flight pretty well as well.
Journey over. Amama Socco and Aixite Sebas waited for us at the airport and at the moment little H saw them she ran towards them with open arms. I do not know who was happier. Us having babysitters, H having someone who would spoil her for two weeks, or the grandparents who were going to do the spoiling.

Any tips for getting Little H to sit still on the journey back? 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Lady B- the busy bee

No blogs for a while, I haven’t forgotten nor ignored it, just been too busy with work, domestic chores and spending time with some long neglected friends. 
Writing this from rainy Spain, as apparently we took the stormy Norwegian weather with us when we flew to Bilbao yesterday, It seems like it is autumn even in Spain.
So what’s been going on since I’ve been so busy?
Not much really.

I have seen a couple of films at the cinema. Tree of life – which I heard on the grapewine that had gotten good reviews, but ended up wasting more than two hours on bursting volcanoes and close ups of the Milky way. Little dialogue made me glimpse a possibly good story. The actors were good ( Pitt and Penn), the soundtrack not bad either, but the time spent watching were two hours of my precious time. I would rather have watched the view from my living room window than this film. But that’s just my opinion.

I have also seen Oslo 31st of August, which was brilliant. It follows a previously drug addict through 24 hours, showing how he is struggling to find meaning in living. He visits some friends, sits at a cafe and listens to chit-chat, goes to a party and nothing gives him any reason to live on. It is a film who has made a long lasting impression on me, and is the best film I have seen in a long time. It also uses Oslo almost as acharacter in the film, which I really liked. 

I have been to a party. Upon getting there I got lost and arrived after 9 pm. I had a really good time, nice people, a good tapas buffet, fantastic chocolate cake and great Spanish wine. Sadly I had to leave around midnight. So three hours of “partying” – wow! It was fun three hours though and entirely my fault that I got lost on the way.

We have also celebrated Pappa Kas’ birthday. Little H got him a game for his Wii as his wife would never have gotten him such a silly thing. I got him a boring, but very nice jacket and an equally conservative t-shirt- still nice. I did make a rather delicious cheesecake and he got sweet cinnamon buns. He also got to pick the dinner of his choice, pasta Carbonara, so I guess his day was nice and birthday-ish. He even got to borrow Little H´s crown. 

 We have had some nice walks in fine autumn weather. Crisp air, brown leaves and red cheeks,  then home to hot chocolate and waffles. That’s autumn and I love it. 
What have you been up to lately? 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about getting organized and I must tell you that it is working. At least now and then…

Already implemented is that I have my small clutch bag where I put my keys, driver’s license, access cards, credit card, mints, headphones, lipsticks and other necessities. Yes, it weighs a kilo I am sure, but it contains only essentials. When I change my handbag it is just to remember to move the clutch from one bag to the other, not every single item every time - genius.

Of course the problem is when you leave the whole thing at home, but that has only happened once so far.
Getting organized is a lot more than remembering my keys:

It is to:
  • take my shower at night and have the hair dry before you go to bed, to avoid bed head hair in the morning so that I have to take another shower.
  • plan and take the next day’s outfit from the wardrobe and have it ready for the next day. It is not as easy as it sounds. How can you predict your mood and the weather for the following morning? I’m not psychic.
  • get up in the morning when the alarm goes off, no snooze, no sleeping in.
  • leave the house on time whether it is be in work at 7 am or to get Little H to the nursery before 7:45, and then to work.

Because if I fail to do these things

I will:
  •  have to take a shower with a drowsy Little H in my arms. And trust me; it is not easy to wash your hair like that. There is not another option as she wants to be carried around the first hour after she has woken up otherwise will cry her you-do-not- care-about-me cry with real tears and all.
  • stand in the wardrobe in my underwear letting Little H play with (trying to break) every necklace I have hanging on hooks on the wall, while I try to figure out what to wear.
  • wake up after Little H and again having to carry her around while I make the bed, get dressed and so on having the little sleepyhead dozing over my shoulder.

It is a slippery slope, and if only one of my preparations for the day after are forgotten or neglected (I have learnt that to forget or to neglect is not the same thing, which I thought before) it all goes wrong:

I will never get Little H to the nursery on time.
I will not catch my train and I will be late for work. If I am extra lucky, I will have snot stains on my shoulder, jam on my trouser leg and mascara on only one set of eyelashes. All this and more I do not realize until someone points it out until after a morning meeting….

How do you get organized? With or without kids? I need some practical time-saving advice. Help me please…

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Ouch! - Little H takes another fall

Little H is a clumsy one. Well, coming from an incredibly clumsy and dizzy mum and having a slightly dizzy dad, does not really give the odds in her favor. What did we expect?

Starting the nursery has been hard, on little H’s head, as she has had at least one new bump, cut, bruise or scratch when she has been picked up at the end of the day. We are now used to being greeted by staff saying things like “there is something you should know….” Before going on with “she ran, fell and hit the wall today and has a nasty bump on her forehead”.

I was thinking “OMG! Why did they not call us, has she got a concussion, a broken nose?” Neither, the staff assured me. She only cried a little bit, the nose seemed fine and if possible she has been even more energetic than usual this afternoon.

And were they right. I looked around and saw amongst the sea of small blond heads, my Little H (the one with the least hair, easy to recognize), running around, talking as fast as a Spaniard and smiling with a forehead full of aloe vera cream.

Well, she IS a tough cookie.

As soon as we got home and before he saw his daughter I had to tell Pappa Kas about the day at the nursery and the nasty fall to explain the large bump growing on Little H’s forehead. I started with: “there is something you should know…”, which I, by the expression on his face, realized was a bad choice of words for the type of “confession” I was going to make. I told him about the bang-head-into-wall incident and how glad I was that it was not this week the photographer was coming to take photos of the kids.

Pappa Kas just shrugged and said: “What’s new?” and I guess he was right. It was neither the first and certainly not the last bump or bruise she is going to come home with.

I want an icecreaaaaaaaaam

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Singing the Sunday blues (on a Tues)

On Friday both Pappa Kas and I managed to meet in the nursery to get Little H at the same time.
We meet a very excited little girl who, with the help of lovely Kely the nursery assistant, told that they had been to feed the chickens, picked a cucumber (one!) and eaten apples straight from the tree. Little H is no stranger to eating apples straight of the branches, but since we only had six apples in total spread over six trees this year, I am sure that she could need a little more practice.

The sun was shining; Little H was not a grumpf, everything was set for a perfect weekend. On Friday afternoon we played in the park until Pappa Kas felt feverish and coming down with a cold. We then went home, Little H and Pappa Kas to bed and me to the sofa. Saturday started great. The sun was shining, Pappa Kas was feeling better, Little H slept” inn” til 7 am and was as charming as ever. We decided to go for lunch with some friends and do some shopping. Just as we were about to leave I started getting a headache and a thick throath, and when parking the car I asked Pappa Kas if I had a fever. He felt my forhead with closed eyes and a serious expression before he concluded that it might be the case…

Although cute, I do not think she would make it past the fashion police
During lunch Little H turned nasty H, but only because she was hungry and the food was late. The lunch was stressful but still nice; we managed to catch up with some friends and have some food while entertaining H and lower her tantrums. I was exhausted.
Back home it was my turn to go to bed early, and I am sure that Little H and Pappa Kas were eating ice cream out of the box and watching cartoons (as I would have done). I slept for 14 hours.

Little H shows us yet again how to eat with you whoooole face

Sunday came with rain, fever and a bad cold. How could such a promising start to the weekend turn so bad?
How was your weekend?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Getting organised

After seeing parts of my forgetfulness and all the hassle it causes in writing, I decided that “this cannot go on!”. Things have to change. I want to get organised and tidy, be one of those mummies who plan ahead, who has it all under control at all costs and appear cool as a cucumber even when her wallet is at home and she’s standing at the till with a 100 items of groceries already gone through, and with a less than charming toddler by your side. I want to be one of those I told myself.

Just missed the train...

All changes have to start somewhere. And to succeed I have to start slowly, adapting a few changes at the time, selecting a few life changing quick fixes which can make my life less messy, and less complicated for the people around me.

As per yesterday I have gathered my keys (house and bike), my access card for work, a lipstick, mints, petty cash and headphones for my phone in a little leather pouch that I have. I am now putting that on the bureau in the hallway so that I have to see it before leaving in the morning. It has worked two days in a row, so if it works tomorrow as well, there might be a habit forming here.

All in one place, too good to be true?

The next life changing quick fix is to prepare Little H’s breakfast for the nursery, her morning milk and my own lunch before the sofa captures me and I am lost in front of some silly TV program. As soon as Little H is asleep I go straight to the kitchen and make the sandwiches. Easy peasy.

There's nothing like a packed lunch!
(I wish we had Starbucks in Norway...)

The last time-saving being organized going-to-be-a-habit fix being implemented this week is to have my shower at night, put my clothes for the next day in the bathroom (after having checked the weather forecast and taken that into account when planning the outfit). It has worked pretty well so far, the only hitch being that have yet to implement a way to get my work clothes ironed, but thanks to Pappa Kas’ domestic skills (I have none) I have yet to wear a creased top. Thank God for his good habits!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Lady B and the keys

I am a dizzy person. I forget and I loose things. One of the things lost during the last year includes a really nice cardigan (Odd Molly) possibly forgotten in a coffee shop while being distracted by Little H’s shenanigans. I have asked for it in several places (you know you have to alternate cafés as not to be seen as a skiver when you hang around at daytime. Even with a baby), but no one has seen it. I am sure that there is a lucky lady out there somewhere who got a free cardigan to go with her coffee… If you read this: Lucky you.

One of the things easily lost or forgotten is my set of keys. During the last fortnight I have had two unfortunate incidents. I assure you; this is more often than usual.

Incident nr 1: We take little H to the nursery by bike in the morning, leave the bike at the nursery and take it home when we pick up her highness early afternoon. It works really well. Pappa Kas takes her in the morning and I take her home in the afternoon. Works as a dream and we are chuffed with our new routine. Last Monday I was to pick up the funny bunny and take her to her toddler swim class. I was right on time, came to the nursery, struggled to get H out of there and when the helmets were on and we were all organized to cycle away, I realized that I had forgotten the keys to the bike. I had to carry Little H, my laptop bag and a backpack with swimming stuff for at least a kilometer. I tried to get her to walk on her own several times, but she refused and it was no way in he** we would get there on time anyway if she was to walk by herself, stopping to look at birds, snails and wave to every passing car. I thought that I had learned my lesson, but…

In lack of a photo of my keys (I have no idea of where they are)
I am posting two cute photos of Little H brushing her teeth

Incident nr 2: Last Saturday I went to the town centre of Drammen to do some shopping. Pappa Kas and Little H was not too keen on going to the pharmacy, buying bread, getting tights for Lady B and other long overdue boring purchases. When I arrived home, I realized that the house keys were inside the house and that the other inhabitants of HB21 were out and about somewhere. I did not want to call and moan about me forgetting the keys (again), so I walked around the house testing doors and windows, but everything was as closed as an oyster. By then I had to pee and it started to rain, great. I decided to play scrabble on my phone (recently discovered, highly addictive) inside the car, and almost managed to finish a game before the happy couple came strolling down the driveway. Pappa Kas did not even comment. He is well used to these incidents by now.

As I was writing this I suddenly starting thinking about my access card to the office. At present I have no idea of when I saw it last and where I can have put it. Never mind, the girl at the reception knows me and my habits and she always has an extra card (reserved especially for me) waiting at her desk every morning -just in case.

In lack of a photo of my keys (I have no idea of where they are)
I am posting two cute photos of Little H brushing her teeth

Thursday, 25 August 2011

As boring as - curtains...

There are not that many things my mother and Pappa Kas’ mother has in common, it is the love of their childen of course and the unhealthy obsession with Little H, but otherwise, my mum is blond, my mother-in-law dark, my mum cooks as little as possible (sorry mum), while my mother in-law never stops . But there is one thing they both agree on – curtains!

When we moved into our house four years ago, we did a lot of redecoration, tearing down walls, building new walls in other places –you get the point. The couple who lived here before was in their 60-ies, very traditional, mature, and proper… so you might get an idea of what the house looked like.
We fell in love with the view and the location; we saw potential for a happy family life in the green house on the hill with apple trees in the garden and enough bedrooms both for visitors from Spain and a handful of kids.

View to the left

View to the right

After having done massive renovations on the top floor, we were proud of our new living room and kitchen and very eager to show it off to the families. We invited my parents for an inspection. As soon as my mum stepped into the living room she uttered: “It will be nice in here when you get some curtains…” Pappa Kas’ mum said almost the same the first time she entered the same living room, but it was more in a surprised way: “Where are the curtains?”

And here they are:

Curtains made by me! (sorry for crap photo)

Every time I tell Sergio that I want curtains or blinds for a room and that I am going to make them myself, he politely asks if it’s not easier if we buy them. What he really means is that then he will get them this week and not in six months.

Well, if I found curtains that I liked I would certainly buy them. But the curtains I see in my mind or in interior magazines are never to be found anywhere. So I buy meters and meters of fabric and put it in the cupboard with the other meters and meters of fabric I have stored and am planning to make all sorts of lovely stuff from.

This time I only spent a month making them, they did not cost an arm and a leg and I am quite proud of the result (hence a blog entry on the topic).

Monday, 22 August 2011

It was only beginners luck

I should have known that I wrote too soon when I wrote about how great Little H’s first days at the nursery had been.
We’re now at the start of week three, another fresh start and a spot of sunshine, but the nursery is not all fun and games anymore. Not for Little H, neither for her parents.

Snuggling with Pappa Kas

This week started as last week ended. Like this...
Friday morning everything was fine, Little H drank her milk, changed from her pajamas into clothes that I dared send her out of the house with, and got ready without major tantrums. The only delay, but I’m getting used to this by now, was that she took everything out of the bathroom drawers when I was putting on my make-up adding the finishing touches before leaving the house. She might be thinking that I spend too long...

So far so good, when we got to the nursery she seemed exited by the prospect of spending another day with her newfound pals and the abundance of bright plastic toys with bite-marks. Smoooth I thought, I might even catch an earlier train. So I took of her jacket, then shoes, put on indoor-shoes, got her breakfast box out of her back-pack. By that point Little H was being rather clingy, clingy in the way she normally hangs on to Pappa Kas when he is around. This was a new experience for me, but I would rather that her desperate need to be with her mum came at another more convenient time, as I was going to catch my train and therefore no time for long-lasting cuddles.

It is not all that bad (for me at least)I am being a little comforted by seeing Little H crying and waving her arms, kicking her legs and crying big crocodile tears when I leave her at the nursery. At least she is showing that she is attached to her mother and wants to be with her, I am thinking happy with my mothering skills.

Sad little H - This breaks my heart

So on Friday I stood behind a corner outside the nursery for a couple of minutes trying to listen for my Little H’s desperate cries for help, but I heard nothing so I took a peak through the window. She was then sitting happily on one of the assistants’ laps, eating her breakfast sandwich and giving one of her performances: talking enthusiastically with her whole body, smiling and stroking her ears with fingers full of mackerel in tomato sauce.

So much for missing her mum….

Little H has just shown her mum the sailboat she has bought her parents...

Friday, 12 August 2011

What's the hassle?

Little H takes a taxi to the nursery

This week I thought I would have several hilarious blog entries on how Little H refused to stay at the nursery, having wild tantrums, crying crocodile tears and so on when me and Pappa Kas wanted to leave her in "toddler heaven" - a house full of friends to play with, exciting new toys and entertaining grown-ups who spontaneously starts singing. I was wrong.
There is nothing to report! No trouble so far what-so-ever. What does that say about her parents, when we can wave goodbye, leave her in the hands of strangers to get back seven hours later and Little H refuses to come home with us?

Well, as a friend put it (when I expressed my concern that the staff must think that we are bad parents when Little H doesn't cry (not so much as a little gulp and sad eyes) when her parents leave and does not want to go home when we come to pick her up: "they are used to all sort of parents at the nurseries..." 

Saturday, 6 August 2011

A(nother) geek in the house

When I met Pappa Kas towards the end of my final year at university, my friends called him the Geek. Was it due to his studies in computer science, his glasses or the fact that he spent a lot of time helping me in the computer lab? Or all of the above? Well, he got me fooled, I fell in love with a computer geek over long hours in the lab, but his efforts were not in vain . As a reward for his hard work I invited him home for tea. A cup of tea must mean something very different in Spain, as I think he was really disappointed when he only got a cup of chamomile (without sugar).

In the end tea and web-design led to almost 10 years together, a marriage and little H. You look through tinted glasses when in love, but I guess that we both have our flaws that only came out after living together for a while. Mine might have been a surprise, but with a boyfriend nicknamed the Geek, I should have known what I was getting into.
Well, It could have been worse. His incureable virus is a fascination for PC’s, game consoles,electronic boxes of various sorts, wires and gadgets and other stuff that I do not have the faintest idea of what is / how it works. I am not saying that I don’t like my Iphone, my laptop and my Ipad, but not so much that I take them to bed with me…

I guess that I should have seen it coming, that Little H is very much like her father. She might look like me with her blue eyes, round face, Buddha belly and blond hair, but she must have her father’s geek genes.

So far she has deleted several apps on my phone and she knows how to use various remote controls. Yesterday while Granny B was babysitting, she turned off the TV after the children’s program (good girl), to show that that was enough telly for one day. She turns on the stereo and signals when she wants to change the CD. She knows how to show off when on Skype with her Spanish relatives (plays shy, claps, dances all depending on the mood of the day) while she does not when “normal” TV is on.

She gets stroppy when she cannot play with our laptops. Her fingers run over a keyboard as soon as she gets a chance. And she knows how to browse pictures on our phones. The other day I found the following apps on my Ipad: My first puzzles, Phone for Kids, Paint sparkles, and a really annoying one which plays animal sounds when you tap the picture of the animal.

I certainly did not install these, I'm blaming little H (with good assistance by Pappa Kas).

Friday, 29 July 2011

Little H the fish face

It’s a week today since the terror attacks and despite its terrible consequences we are trying to return to our day-to-day business. That is what everything is about now, to show that despite what happened we are strong, stand together and will not let one person’s cruel actions stop us. (Let’s stop before this is labeled propaganda).

Little H is untouched by the events and she “is up to no good” as usual as these pictures show.

How did you get fish in your face?

I have no idea mummy

I was just hiding

Just like that!

Applause please

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Don't let terror silence us

I remember the history books we had in school. They all had extensive chapters about World War two. A chapter had the heading “The day the war came to Norway” (9th of April 1940).

I believe that in our children’s history books there will be chapters with similar captions such as: “The day terror came to Norway”. And it happened only two days ago. The 22nd of July 2011 is now a day every Norwegian and people from all over the world will remember, and that will be spoken about for generations to come.

I was not sure whether to write anything about this horrible event on the blog, as its content is mainly lighthearted and about trivial things such as Little H’s shenanigans and how I strive to be a good mother.

But this cannot go unnoticed. Norway, the country I have always felt safe in, suffered a terror attack. It just shows that terror can happen anywhere at any time, but we must not let this change the way we live.

I believe in an open multicultural society, where we all are entitled to our own opinions and where we can discuss these openly. I believe in a society where people of all nationalities and religions can live side by side with tolerance and respect for each other. I believe in a society where people are talking and sharing beliefs and experiences without being afraid of the consequences.

Let us all stand together and not let one person destroy the goodness of Norway and the people living here.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Language Barrier

Pappa Kas and I normally manage pretty well language-wise with each other’s parents, but today was a day where it all got mixed up.

I speak terrible Spanish. Aitxite Sebas once said that I speak like Tarzan. I actually took that as a compliment; I thought he would say that I spoke like a monkey. Despite attending a couple of different courses my progress is slow. It comes down to mainly one thing- I do not practice enough. At home we have fallen into the trap of mainly speaking English between each other. It has always been that way. However we’re trying to raising Little H as bi-lingual, Pappa Kas speaking Spanish and me Norwegian with her. Of course that makes us pick up a word here and there but the vocabulary is somewhat limited and not very usable when not talking to someone older than two (or another monkey).

Today we had a hitch.
Grumpf and Gran
 It was a lovely day and I had taken some time off to spend quality time with the little “Lady” (she’s very stroppy these days, and I think that Lady is a suitable nickname for someone as fuzzy and determined as her).

Grandma B was suffering from Little H withdrawal syndrome, not having seen her “Little Princess” for about a week. We agreed to meet in the city centre of our lovely town -Drammen, for a stroll and a picnic by the beach (- yes, we have a beach in the city centre, and it is rather nice for the little ones. I would not be seen dead sunbathing there, but for the young, fit and hip ones it is a place to show off, and good for the kiddies when they get tired of shopping with their parents).

Before leaving the house I had spoken with Amama and aitxite about the possibility of meeting up in the town centre around 4 pm. What I thought I said was that I would call Pappa Kas (at work) and ask him to call his mum IF we were going to meet to avoid misunderstandings due to the language barrier… Apparently, what I said was something like: if I do not call, we will meet on the square around 4 pm.

So when me and her Royal (pain) Highness returned home and disturbed Aitxite in the middle of “the Tour” he got confused. After stuttering, pointing and playing pantomime (you should have seen it) I understood that Amama had gone to the square to meet Little Lady Stroppy and myself. Crap! When these things happen I go completely off my hinges, I called Pappa Kas and demanded that he sorted the situation, as if it was his fault... Then I got really really sorry and wanted to go and fetch Amama with the car, as she must be getting tired of staring at the pigeons and the pensioners on the square.

Amama and Little Lady H

But Little Miss Totally-Unreasonable was overdue her snack and would rather be placed in her bed (as if) than back in the car seat. There was no way I could take the car to go and get Amama. After calling Pappa Kas a hundred times whereby he called Amama for then to speak with Aitxite (standing next to me, but we were unable to go into details of what to do due to my Tarzan-Spanish and his limited Spanglish).

After countless telephone calls while trying to feed Little Miss Grumpf, we all agreed (I think) that Aitxite and Little (now) Miss Sunshine (funny how the mood changes as soon as she sees her grandparents) would walk to meet Amama. So now they’ve hopefully met somewhere, and what am I doing? In true Lady B style I am baking Amama’s favorite chocolate cake and practicing my Spanish verbs as to try to make up for all the trouble caused and to avoid similar misunderstandings in the future. ..

Grandparents and Little Miss Stroppy

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