Thursday, 31 January 2008

Cone therapy

We went out in the forest again this morning, to give poor Lucas some cone therapy. We brought along a picnic and went on search for a good spot. Lucas managed to make friends with the scary cones, and we had hot chocolate, bisquits and buns on a blanket in the forest.
The kids got to run off some steam, they thought it was pretty great in the end! Here are some pics:

Same procedure as every year

It's quite funny, every time we are visiting Mormor and Morfar we have to do things exactly like we always do them when we are here.
We have to follow the same routines as last time, as every time.

That means for example that the kids always have the same breakfast: HavreFras (=oat crunchies) or leverpastejsmörgås (=sandwich with paté). They also always play with the same toys, they play the same games with Mormor and they always have to have chokladpudding (=chocolate pudding) when it's time for a special treat.

That also has to be prepared the same way, every time which means:
They have to sit on the bench and take turns in helping to measure up the milk and the chocolate powder.

Then they take turns in mixing it. Linnea can hardly wait, check out the tongue!

Linnea doesn't like the noise when Lucas is whipping up the cream:

It's better to do it herself:

And last, the best thing, to get to lick off the cream!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Happy Day!

We went to one of the bigger cities around here today, to have a little look in the shops. Apart from getting a few of the things on my shopping list (like Twinings "Green tea & lemon"-teabags, elastic hair bands, underwear and Wettex-cloths) it turned out to be Lucas' happy day. We found a toy shop that had a big closing down sale - everything had 70% off!
So he got not one, but two new Power Rangers!

Not only that, we also managed to time Power Rangers on TV just after we got home - lucky, lucky! And - we had chokladpudding (=chocolate pudding) for dessert! What a day!

(Linnea got a orange soft toy cat, who she named "Mjau".)

"While the cat is away..." Part 2

Yes, didn't I just mention that things tend to appear in our house, while I'm away in Sweden? That is for example how we got our first big flatscreen, it was just there when the kids and I got back from a summer trip. Like I wouldn't notice? :)

This time though, there is no surprises, because I knew he would go ahead with all his ideas while we were gone. Again, this is something he has been going on about for a while.
Check out the latest "toy":

Apparently, we now own a speedboat! Together with another Kiwi-family, the Turners, this little gem is ours!
It needs a new engine and some decorative work, but then it's going to be lovely for our lazy days, and for taking our visitors on great excursions! It's 23ft, so it takes along two families with ease; and - you can ski behind it of course!

It's still almost two weeks until I'm back home, I wonder what else will turn up before that?

"The only difference between men and boys...

... is the price of their toys". I don't know who first said this, but it is oh so right! My dear husband loooves his toys!

While we have been away, Nathan has bought himself (even though he says it's for the kids, yeah, yeah) a new toy - a Nintendo Wii.
He has been talking about it for ages, so it was just a question of time. He went off with a few of his friends, and got a good deal, since they all got one each! (Funny though, how these things always appear when I'm away...)

I guess he is looking a bit like this at the moment:

Monday, 28 January 2008

Going shopping

The kids love coming along shopping for groceries here in Sweden! There are two big supermarkets we usually go to. In one of them, the kids get to drive little "Little Tikes"-cars, that has been pimped and crossed with shopping carts.
It's great fun! (Albeit a bit dangerous for the fellow shoppers.)

In the other one, they get to drive child-size carts, which they think is super cool.
The only thing is, we have to buy two of everything, to keep everything even (and calm), very important...

Scary things

Today we had some friends to come and play, which was really, really nice!
It was my old classmate Karin and her two little ones, Olivia and Valter.

They came around lunchtime, and we had yummy lunch and played for a bit - and then we took the kids outside to go for a little walk in the forest, in the lovely sunshine we had today!


Linnea and Valter:

Watsons: (Not very cooperative models)

Olanders (Karin, Valter and Olivia):

It was quite nice outside, and everything went nicely, until we entered the spruce forest, and Lucas totally freaked - because he got scared of... the spruce cones on the ground!
We had to cut the walk short, and I had to carry him back out onto the road. He was completely beside himself, and thought they were about the scariest things he had ever seen...

For sure, we were never really the most outdoorsy people in the UK either, and now, being a jungle child, even the most normal things can scare you if you are not used to them..! I guess I will have to take the poor child on some more exotic excursions into "the wild", to introduce him to the Swedish flora and fauna!

In bed with Stieg

I'm spending every evening at the moment, in bed with Stieg.
Stieg Larsson that is, and his book "Luftslottet som sprängdes". It's the 3rd and final installment of his very successful Millenium-trilogy - and it's so good. All three parts have been those kinds of "I - just - have - to - read - one - more - chapter" - books.
I don't think I am the only person having spent many evenings in a row, together with Stieg!
I'm going to buy them for Nathan when they all get published in English, I think it will be books in his taste as well. They are the best crime series of books Sweden has come up with in a long time.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Swedish necessities

This time of year, Swedes all over the country feasts on semlor. I'm lucky I'm timing my visit right this time, and can have them here, in Sweden - cause I have tried to bake them myself the last few years in the UK, and it has definitely not been the same...

From "A semla is a traditional pastry in Sweden, associated with Lent and especially Shrove Tuesday.
The semla consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off and insides scooped out and is then filled with a mix of the scooped-out bread and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top is then put back as a lid and dusted with icing sugar. It is often eaten on its own, with coffee or similar.
The semla was originally eaten only on Shrove Tuesday, as the last festive food before Lent. However, with Protestantism the Swedes stopped observing Lent and today, semlas are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter."
Lucky for me!
I have already had one, and there will for sure be at least a few more, before I go back home!

Another thing I must have every time I come home, is Swedish lösgodis (= pick n' mix-candy). There is something special with mixing up your own bag of all your favourites, from the endless rows of boxes with yummy candy.
My favourites are: chokladsockerbitar, sura colaflaskor, bumblingar, Romerska bågar and kolabönor. And fiskar. And lakrisal. And Marianne. And...

Friday, 25 January 2008

Snow photos

Unfortunately, it was plus degrees last night, so this morning all the snow was gone again... Boo-hoo. Lucas was a bit disappointed at first, but got happy again when he realized he still could wear his "snow clothes"!
As promised, here are some pictures from yesterday.

Here are the kids in their "snow clothes":

Linnea isn't at all that convinced that this snow-thing is something fun she looks very suspicious:

But she looks cute in her wolly hat though:

Not very easy to make snowballs:

But they managed somehow:

Lucas loved it, he was all into it:

He was laughing so hard and really enjoying himself:

And here are the kids at the playground, playing shop. Lucas sold pizzas and chokladpudding (=chocolate pudding)! (Note the handbag, needs to come, everywhere...)

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Snow clothes

It is very cold where we are, and there is a tiny amount of snow on the ground here in Sweden at the moment, about enough to go outside and have a snowball war!

Lucas is happily wearing his "snow clothes", which is his "snow boots", his "snow hat", his "snow suit" and his "snow gloves"... He enjoys the fact that he needs to wear TWO tops, a t-shirt and a sweater, and finds it rather funny that it's cold in Sweden.

Linnea on the other hand, totally dislikes to have this much clothes on. She pulls off her socks as soon as she gets a chance, and we fight about the hat all the time... She says "nej jacka" (=no jacket) with a very firm voice, and when she was involved in the snowball war she kept saying to Mormor:
-"Nej Nea (*pointing at Lucas*) - ja Hucas"! (= Not Linnea, throw at Lucas)

Me too, just like Lucas, I do enjoy the cold weather and the snow - and I'm hoping that there will be loads more of it, enough to go playing properly in it. But, I'm also very happy that we don't live in this weather all the time...

(There will be pictures tomorrow)

27 1/2 hours

We made it! We are now in (very) cold Sweden, with Mormor and Morfar. It was close at times, but we made it, and the suitcases too!

The whole trip started with a bit of a delay out of Brunei, because some trouble with the aircraft's A/C system. We waited and waited, and it was super hot on board, and finally we got away, quite late. Not only were we then delayed, but the flight time was a whopping 8 h 20 min... So, arriving Dubai, they hurried us through transit and straight back again, and I hoped they were going to catch up on some of the lost time, but no. Another problem of some sort, plus congestion at the airport, still kept us delayed, and the flight time again was long, 7 h 55 min.
I was sitting in my chair calculating and calculating, and there was no chance we were going to make our connecting flight... Until I realized that I had been counting the hours wrong, that the UK is actually after Sweden, not before, and we were not going to land at 09.55 but 07.55 - quite a difference. Our next flight were at 09.25, and since we had checked our luggage all the way through from Brunei, we had a fair chance.
I told Lucas that now he had to listen carefully to Mummy, and we had to run for a bit - and he was so good. We sprinted through the airport, and made it to the Flight Connections Center with about 20 minutes to spare! Pheuw.

The trip as such, was easy peasy.
I keep being amazed, at how good our kids can be when need be (because other times I see none of that...). The were good as gold, all the way. Of course, it helps travelling in BC, with more room, and not so many other passengers, but still, they are good at sitting still for long hours, and amusing themselves with movies, games and small little things.
I always get the look of "oh, no, not small kids!" from the other passengers when we board - and I always get the "Oaw, your children have been really well behaved!" when we get off, often said with amazement in their voices. Makes me proud.

Both of them slept most of the first sector (it was night time for us), had some to eat, were good in Dubai, slept a little bit more on the second sector, then ate again and played for the rest of the way. The hardest bit was actually the last little tiny flight over from London, where they both had had enough, and at the same time were overly excited that we were almost there.
And now we are here!

We all went to bed at 17.30 last night (00.30 our time) and have slept until 05.00 this morning. Not too bad. I hope we get over the jetlag fairly quickly, jetlag is no fun.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Just one more

I just have to write one more post before I finish packing my bags.
Today we bought new sofas! Finally!
We bought them with our (a) new house in mind, so they don't really come to their right in this cramped living room where we are now - but at least they are very comfy. Perfect for Nathan now he's alone, and will catch up on all his TV!

We are off! (Hopefully!)

The kids and I are off to Sweden tonight, for a couple of weeks. (That is, if we get on, we are only on stand by - but there should be place for us.) We are leaving for London on RBA tonight, will land there Tuesday morning (local time) and then only have a couple of hours to make the connecting flight to Göteborg. It is sure going to be an interesting trip this one!

I will be on my email as usual, and I plan to be blogging as normal as well. If you want to reach me in Sweden, please email me for contact numbers.
So long!

More birthday photos

Here are a few more photos from yesterday. Lucas got woken up by his sister, so he came in to our bed to open his presents and get sung to. (Mummy got sung to as well, and got some birthday kisses for presents!)

Then we he came downstairs, there was another present waiting for him - a BIG one! Nathan had bought him a huge remote controlled car...

... which of course we had to go outside and try out straight away! Good thing he got him a sturdy one, because he certainly need more practise...

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Lucas 4 years old

So, this morning we celebrated Lucas at the Yacht Club with a big party. It was a great success, a really nice and hot day - everybody had a lovely time! Mostly Lucas, who was very pleased to see all his friends and get super presents!

Birthday boy:

Linnea in the bouncy castle:


Melissa and Jodie:

Anne and Frederik:

Scarlet and Amelia:



Having lunch:

Opening presents:

Lucas, Gil and Malthe:

Fun in the shower:

The birthday girl:

Cake nr 2, the Batman version:

Blowing out the candles:

The cutting of the cake:

Here is the birthday boy, with all the presents: