Thursday, 28 June 2012

Holiday with kids vs. without kids

Pappa Kas, Little H and myself (plus H's fluffy friends Lula, Sophie and Lucy Liu) have just returned from two weeks in Mallorca. We have been on a family holiday before, but not on a beach - relax- do-nothing-in-the-sun-charter holiday. And as this is what proper families do in summer, we thought we should give it a try.

Of course I was prepared that this holiday would be nothing like Ibiza 2009, Venice 2007, Croatia 2006 or any of the other romantic trips (yes, Ibiza without the foam-parties can be quite romantic) me and Pappa Kas have been on together earlier. 
I do not know what I was thinking. Little H is little H and is in charge wherever whenever. 

The following scenario happened several times: 
After arriving at the beach 30 minutes earlier Little H started shouting "Casa Hanna, Casa Hanna", well, then there was no other option but to pack our 3 towels, 2 buckets, 4 spades, 2 float-able toys, 3 extra sets of swimming costumes, 4 different suntan-lotions, 2 bottles of water, various fruits and sandwiches, camera, books (very optimistic to bring books to the beach with a two-year old), swimming diapers, sunhats, sunglasses, first-aid kit and a lot more and head for home (casa).

I found this illustration (borrowed from Clevamama on Facebook). I think it perfectly sums up my experience of two weeks of holiday with and without kids. 

If you've been on a similar holiday. Do have tips that will make it easier next time? Because I am sure that in time we will forget most of this one, and think that it is a good idea to go on a beach holiday with kid(s) again. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Such a lady

Since little H was born I have been against her having a lot of girlie-girl stuff, such as pink frilly dresses, headbands and hair-clips (on a little girl without much hair- I don't think so) and having a battalion of scary dolls in her room.

For a very long time things were going well. She had no interest in dolls, she tore out any hair-clip and no one dared to buy her baby-pink clothes as they knew I would never let her wear them.

Well, now when she is a girl of two with her own opinions and knows what is expected of a girl her age, this has changed.
She has not turned into a small princess wanna-be, and she still takes her cuts and bruises better than most boys, but there are other things I had not foreseen.

1. Her new obsession with Hello Kitty. H&M has a lot of clothes with the face of the cute Kitty. I have nothing against that as such, but now Little H can spot the cute Kitty everywhere (and so do I), on small buckets on the beach, handbags, hair-clips, t-shirts and so on.
She squeals "Kitty!"whenever she sees her. Poor girl has only one pair of tights with the cat, and I doubt it will be a lot more...

2. Make-up
When I found teethmarks in my Dior lipstick I knew it was time to give it up to the new lady of the house. She does not use it on the lips, but smears it on her eyelids.

The other day I found her with my Touché Éclat (concealer) up her nose. Without the tip on. I am not a professional make-up artist, but can ensure you that neither lipstick or concealer is being used in this way by me.

3. Nail-polish
Her latest beauty-trick is pink Chanel nail-polish on her toes. Got to admit that the girl has taste. Love the colour. I have to confess that it was I applying it for her, but she insisted and her toes were very cute with the polish on. She now goes around wiggling her toes singing :"pink, pink, pink".

I am sure there are more examples.

I forgot to tell about the pony tail. Little H has short blond baby-hair, but the other day she found an elastic band and tried to make her little strands of hair into a pony-tail. Not managing herself I decided to help the frustrated girl. I managed to make a little pony-tail the size of a small make-up brush. To show her I took a photo with my phone.
When she saw herself she said with a wide smile: "Julie" over and over again. Well, she pronounced it: "Julle", but I instantly knew she meant that now she had a ponytail just like Julie from the nursery.

So now the question is: Mamma K, does Julie wear your lipstick as eye-shadow too?

Just asking as Little H can definitely not have gotten the pony-tail idea from myself as the hair is quite short.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Baby boom

It's just been Little H's birthday and what a day! We actually celebrated H a week to early as we were going on holiday and could not be away so that her aunt, grandparents and great gran missed the show. So it was not only Little H turning two that made the day very very special.

The 10th of June was celebrated in Mallorca with an ice-cream and a bath or ten in the sea. And H was happy as she can be.

Amongst friends and family the babyboom never ends which is of course wonderful. During the last 5 years we have been to wonderful weddings in Norway, Spain and in Scotland. Then, with a bit of an overlap, the babies started to arrive.

And on the 10th of June two more came along! Two wonderful little boys Little L and Little T were born. One in Scotland and one in Norway. The parents are dear dear friends of ours, so we are delighted.

But being in a place with limited access to Internet, the Facebook gratulations sent has been few. I hope you forgive us friends.

So many babies in one time creates a crafty dilemma. How will I manage to knit outfits for both? I am working on it, really hard, but those of you who know my knitting skills know that it is hard labour and lots of love behind one of my creations. It takes months and months to create a small something.

So Baby T and Baby L- is it ok that you get your hand-knits for Christmas?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lady B - the book lover

If you have been following my blog you might have discovered how I love to read. I have now added a page to my blog “Book Worm”- where I will write short summaries of the books I am reading and some words about what I thought. So watch that space.
Being a scatter-brain and even more than usual for the last four months, I have not read many books, but rather glossy magazines and stared into the wall, while my brain has been working full speed on various issues.   

The Lady B-book-lover is now back.

I have just finished “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami and am currently reading “The Prague Cemetery” by Umberto Eco. They are both on my list of favorite authors, but Murakami is currently sliding down on the ranking. I might just have gotten an overload of his books. 
Eco is a man I admire both as a writer, philosopher and semiotican. I love the way he mixes history, mystery and literal references in his novels. His most famous book is “The name of the Rose”. If you cannot be bothered with the book, see the film. A murder mystery set in a 14th century monastery, focusing on the story itself and not the literary or historical references. A very young Christian Slater and an ever-bearded Sean Connery as main characters can tempt even the most skeptical viewer.

On the nightstand
I will write more about the “Prague Cemetery” when I have finished it. I can say that so far it is fascinating and annoying at the same time… Watch out for more.

Very soon the Castro-Nyhus clan will go on their first charter holiday (to “Syden”, a mystical and diffuse location), and one of the books I am packing is “ A visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan. I am curious and excited about this one. Have you read it?

How do I find these books? I read J. Well, I pick up titles from friends, newspapers and magazines, write down title an author, and then investigate whether the book could be my cup of tea. I tend to stay away from the top 10 lists, but if it is a booker prize winner or someone I have heard about from friends with similar taste in books.

Part of our library- note books sorted by colour- madness?

BUT sometimes I am tempted and read a guilty read, a crime novel or other popular fiction. I often feel disappointed after, thinking that I could have read a classic instead of a temporary Swedish crime novel. But we all have our guilty pleasures, and variety is not such a bad thing.

What will you read this summer? Can you share any favorite books? 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Making a show

Little H is a drama queen is something that we all know. And she really knows when to put on a show. I do not mind her tantrums so much at home behind closed doors (it is healthy to have a temper and to clearly express ones feelings), but when she acts out in public it’s not always appreciated by her parents.

This episode takes place when Pappa Kas was to cycle an amateur cycling race. Little H and I came to the starting line for support. At the beginning H thought it was fun with the cyclists, the waffles, and the dogs loitering around.
Not as good as Mummys

Then she started to suspect that something was up… She clung to Pappa Kas, wanted to be carried by him, to sit on his bike, to put her water bottle on his bike and so on. Getting close to the start Kas had to be in the start area and no Little H or others without a bike were allowed in.
She started sniffling, she started to say “Pappa” in a sore and wounded voice. To stand on the other side of a fence was a no-no.  It was 10 minutes till start and H’s voice grew louder and louder. The pretend-to-cry show started slowly then ascending to maximum strength (read: extremely loud).

Pappa Kas and I decided that enough is enough and I tried to get Little H to say goodbye and good luck and then start heading towards the car park. This meant that we had to cross an empty football field, having approximately 200 cyclists standing in line behind us.

I kissed Kas good luck, took Little H under my arm and started walking towards the car. I pushed the pram with one hand and held H with the other. She did not just cry, or say” Pappa” in a sore voice. She cried and yelled while stretching her hands towards him. It looked like I was kidnapping her. At one point I had to set her down as I could not manage both pushing the pram and to hold a kicking and screaming two-year old. She lay in the middle of the pitch crying her heart out until I had gathered the strength to pick her up again.
I better stay on the bike so that I can come too

Sceptical, where's my seat?
 I normally ride in the back
I felt people staring so hard that my back was burning. I finally managed it across the field and got Little H into the car. Then the start gun went off. We had made a 10 minute drama for 200 cyclists. At least is shortened their waiting time.

When we went to greet Pappa Kas by the finishing line I was sure that people would recognize us as the mum who could not handle her daughter and the ill-behaving little girl…. We had practiced  shouting “Heia Pappa, Heia Pappa” for the previous two hours and when we crossed the parking lot this time  Little H was singing “Heia Pappa, Heia Pappa” at the top of her lungs with a cheeky smile on her face. People around were smiling and I was yet again a proud mum, thinking for myself “She’s the best”.
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