Tuesday, 31 March 2009

{365:90} Another uninvited visitor

Another uninvited visitor.
I was sitting downstairs watching TV just before, when I saw something in the corner of my eye, jumping from behind the sofa and under the coffee table. I thought oh no, another mouse (or rat...) - but no, this time it was a frog!
He was quite tiny and had probably got in by the window (they don't close properly) somehow.
I contemplated waking my amah up so she could help me with the chase, but he turned out not to be so difficult to catch. I tipped a plastic box over him, and pushed him towards the door, and out.
We were both a lot happier when he got outside!

I'm really starting to get fed up with creepy crawlies and other uninvited guests...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

{365:88} Unexpected electrical skills

Unexpected electrical skills.
What you see here, is a brave attempt on something I had never done before. I set off to change the plug on a lamp I bought in IKEA the other day! (I don't now why, but even though we have 3-pin plugs in this part of the world, the IKEA products are still sold with Swedish 2-pin plugs? Certainly not Swedish logic!) I'm so sick of having big, clumsy adapters in every socket.

I must say, I didn't really believe I would be able to do it, but gave it a try anyway. I opened another plug I had, to see how it was all connected, did the chop, and then it was no return.
Actually, it wasn't that complicated! I did it (in true Dora-spirit), and then there was light:

This photo is a bit too bright, the lamp actually looks like this:

(Picture borrowed from www.ikea.com)
It's the new 'Knubbig' hand blown lamp, with cherry blossoms on it. Very pretty!

Summer time

Remember - now that you guys have "sprung forward" home in Europe, we are only 6 hours apart!


We were supposed to fly home from Singapore last night. Earlier in the week, that flight looked wide open so that was the one we were aiming for. It turned out, it had got completely full!
We tried anyway, you never know if someone might not show up, but no luck... Nathan had to get back to go to work, he had requested the jump seat off the Captain, so we saw him off - and then took a taxi back to our friends, for another nights stay.

Luckily we didn't get stuck in some strange place, but a place we know pretty well by now, and also, obviously - a place where we have friends who help us out.
The kids and I got another lift back to the airport this morning, and the three last seats on this mornings flight! Lucky us! (We had to wait until check-in closed before they could release the seats to us, and when I tried to explain to the kids that we might not get on again, Lucas let out: "Are we going to stay here forever?!?")

While waiting for the seats, we had a break at Starbucks, and the kids got these to munch on, in the spirit of Easter:

Now we are going to Easter decorate the house!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

{365:87} Boys toys

Boys toys.
Today was shopping day in Singapore. Maki and I got a head start and walked about Orchard Road, getting little things I had on my shopping list. Then we met up with the rest of the team, and did a visit to Takashimaya - a huge Japanese shopping mall. I got some supplies for my Japanese cooking (!) and the boys got to play with some toys..!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Enjoying the impuls

This trip to Singapore was decided on a bit of an impuls, since Nathan had a few days off and we thought it would be nice to do something for the kids, as they had been really good all these holidays.

After arriving in Singapore this morning, we changed out of our "airplane clothes" and went straight to the Singapore Zoo. We hadn't been there before and I must say, everything I've heard about this place - is true! It's fantastic!
Walking around the Zoo, you almost feel like you are out in the middle of the jungle, it's so jungly and so green. Everything is so clean and well maintained, and the animals looks like they are very well looked after.
The best part was the monkey enclosure, or rather the non-enclosure. The monkeys in this Zoo are actually swinging around on vines and tree branches right over everybody's heads! They are only kind of enclosed, by water features or "spiked trees", but I'm sure that a very clever monkey would be able to do a big jump out to "freedom"! Not that we saw anyone who even tried, instead they seemed pretty happy just monkeying around (punt totally intended!).

Singapore Zoo is really worth a visit, if you are ever around this part of the world! Unfortunately, no one was really into doing both the Zoo and the Night Safari on the same day, so we will have to save that until next time. Apparently that's super cool too.

Instead, I went to IKEA..! Ha ha! Always a pleasure, obviously!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

So long!

To enjoy the last of our school holidays, we are off for a couple of days again. Amongst other things, we are going to visit this for the first time:

And this:

Catch you later!

The log books

Nathan has a log book (or actually, quite a few by now) with all his flights in it. Most pilots do.
Our kids also have log books! We figured, with a Daddy-pilot and a Mummy-hostie, they just might get interested in flying when they get older, so it would be a nice thing to have then.

Ever since their very first trips, we have logged all their flights in these books. We write the date, flight number, departure and arrival airports and then on each flight we hand these books to the pilot who fill out the air miles and sign it. Sometimes they add little personal messages too, just for fun!
It's actually quite a nice little keepsake!

The trip after next, Lucas will clock his 100th flight!!! (And Linnea her 70th!) Not bad for someone who just turned five (and three!), guess we will have to do some celebrating!

(Edit: You can buy these log books on board British Airways, that is if they still do them. We modified ours a bit ourselves.)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A mouse in the house

We've had a pretty slow and calm day at home today. At least so it started, but then it got a little bit more eventful.

Our amah found a little mouse in the kitchen (isch!), and we all joined forces to chase it outside. I ran to next door to get their cat, but it wasn't much interested in lunch unfortunately - so the little mouse got away. But least, it was out of the house.
(Tomorrow I'm buying mouse traps! Iach! Isn't it enough with ants and geckos and other creepy crawlies..?)

Then while I had Nathan mounting a few paintings, shelves and hooks around the house; we saw Jay outside the fence. He had found a hole we hadn't seen, and was happily using it going out, and in (!) again.
So, we had to put the drill down and go and puppy-proof a bit more. Good thing he doesn't seem to be a runaway dog - or maybe he just knows where he gets fed!

The rest of the day have been nice and peaceful though! The kids are into playing "taking the taxi to the hotel" at the moment, which is kind of cute. I love seeing them do pretend games together, or any games - I love the bond they have. They are really enjoying these calm school holidays, and so are we.

I'll believe in anything!

... and I'd certainly believe in this:

(Image borrowed from www.lachance.dk)

Isn't it absolutely fabulicious!?

It's yet another Danish jewelery brand (those of you who know me, know my feebleness for Danish design - above all in jewelery), La Chance by M.O.S, who makes this bracelets. They have drawn their inspiration from the Chinese Zodiac, where the 12 animals symbolize fortune, wealth and good health. You are supposed to always wear your bracelet, to get reminded to think positive - because positive thoughts generate more positive energy! (Isn't that just the right way to approach things? If only it was so easy...)

I would like some positive. I would like this. I wish... (we win the lottery or something! Positive thinking, right?!)

{365:84} Våffeldagen

Today the 25th of March, it's Waffle Day in Sweden! It is called "Våffeldagen" in Swedish.
The holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation, which in Swedish is called "Vårfrudagen" - and if you say that quickly, it may sound like "Våffeldagen".., so it became a custom for Swedish families to celebrate this by making waffles on this day. In addition, this day has always been considered the start of spring in Sweden.

Today, many Swedes forgo the religious part of the celebration but most still eat waffles on this day, most often topped with jam and whipped cream.

And so did we this morning!

Morning rain

I love waking up to the sound of rain. It's a bit the upside-down world down here, you get really happy if you have a day of rain! It's refreshing, cool and soft on the eyes with the grey skies.
I love it.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Japanese cooking class

We are very lucky where we are living, we have really nice neighbours in our simpang! Opposite us lives a NZ-Japanese couple, and Misuzu have several times invited us around for home made sushi and other Japanese goodies. A while ago we jokingly suggested she should do a cooking class, and we could all take part and learn how to cook Japanese food.
Today we did!

We had a lovely morning together, a few amahs, Nicole, one of her friends, her daughter Katie, Misuzu and myself. Misuzu had prepared everything for us, she had printed out the recipes with all the important 'key points' and hints and even prepared a little "starter kit" for us to take home after class. It was fab!

We learned how to make gyozas, cocoons, edamame, karashi (lotus root) and sushi, of course. There was so much food when we were done so Nathan and the kids came and helped out at lunch time! (Misuzu had bought 'training chop sticks' for the kids in Japan, so cute!)
Next week we'll do Swedish Meatball class at my house! Ha ha!

Some results of the mojo

My creative mojo really comes and goes at the moment. Every now and then I get really into it, and am able to scrap layout after layout for a while; then I get stuck and have no inspiration for ages.
Recently I have been on a roll, and here are a few of the results:

(Click for bigger size.)

I have been scrapping about Lucas loosing his first tooth, Linnea's slow growing hair, Lucas first day in Reception, Linnea playing shark in the pool, Telma's visit (in the UK), Linnea being too small for the rides in Skara Sommarland last summer, Lucas' most memorable days in Kindy last year and just some favourite photos.

(I'm sorry for the bad quality of the uploads. I photographed the layouts and cropped the pictures to get close-ups of the layouts. I'm not sure this is the best way, I don't know how other people does it who shows off their layouts on the internet? Do they all have XL sized scanners?
Anyway, it doesn't matter, they look good in the album, that's most important!

Monday, 23 March 2009

{365:82} Care package

Care package.
There was two packages to pick up when we checked our mail today! One was the monthly scrap kit I subscribe to, but the other was a surprise one - no birthdays in sight, yet a big box, and for me!

It was a lovely care package from my sweet friend Kamilla in Denmark. It contained a bag of Danish liquorice (that I get to keep all to myself, cause no one else likes it!), a box of Swedish saffron biscotti from Rosendahls Trädgård in Stockholm, a hairband with a big flower on it (apparently the big hit in DK at the moment, so I'm with the trends - even out here!) and a sweet card saying "Tak, fordi du er dig" (=Thank you, for being you).
Made my day.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

This catchy tune haunts me in my sleep...

Super Mario Bros. theme - Super Mario Bros.

{365:81} New storage

New storage.
Lucas has got a new bookshelf for his room. At the moment it's a Lego-shelf though, cause we needed some more storage space for all his Lego, to get it all off the floor. Nathan has done a huge job the last few weeks building it all up (again), but we are still missing a few bits and pieces. It's a never ending job for some strange reason...

Safe trip!

Today we bid farewell to our latest guests, Thomas, Signe and Konrad. They have spent almost a week with us and are now on their way back home to Denmark again (via HongKong and Bangkok). We wish them a safe trip!

I wish I could say we have shown them all the best of Brunei, but truth to be told, we haven't done much, ha ha!
They insisted on staying on Danish time (- 7 hrs), so didn't get up until very late in the mornings; had to have a siesta most part of the afternoons and instead was up most of the nights long after the rest of us had gone to bed...
(In the end I'm not sure what time they were on, not Bruneian and not Danish, rather somewhere in between. I'm sure they will still be in upside-down-time when they get back to DK despite their good intentions.)

But, I dragged Signe along to the hash on Tuesday, Thomas came for a short trip on the boat on Friday - and we did go swimming at least, quite a few times! We also had some nice food, wouldn't be a Thomas-visit without nice food (and Lego, of course - see previous post)!

And as always, it's so nice to have friends that make the effort to come all the way out here to visit, and experience our life. It's very much appreciated!

Thomas, Signe & Konrad's visit

Here is a slide show, of our friends from Denmark's visit here this past week:

Check us out!

We have been oh so sociable with each other this week, ha ha! With two new DS in the house (Thomas bought one for his daughter Mikkeline too), we have been absorbed, to say it the least; Thomas with Indiana Jones and me with the New Super Mario. To our defense, Lucas have been playing his PSP and the other two have been on their computers - only Linnea and Konrad have actually been playing with each other! :)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

{365:80} New fauna

New fauna.
This morning Nathan took our guests on the "Monkeyboat". That is, on an arranged trip around the water village, Kampung Ayer, and out into the mangrove forest to look for crocodiles, proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards and other exciting animals.
Today they spotted these fellas:

I didn't come along today (since I have done the trip with all our previous guests, I thought I would sit this one out), but now I regret that. I haven't seen any otters before! Crocs - yes, monkeys - loads, lizards - big ones, snakes - check; but otters, no...
Maybe next time!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Boating... kind of.

We took our guests out on the boat today, but only for a very short trip. The reverse gear (?) on the boat played up again, so we had to get on, and then off, and then on again... So , Signe actually stayed ashore with Konrad (who needed to sleep by then) while the rest of us went out to enjoy a little "sailabout".
But Linnea fell asleep in the cabin straight away and slept all the way around - and even Lucas nodded off, quite unusually:

So all we did was to give Thomas a quick go at the biscuit -

- and then we went back to the Yacht Club and had a swim instead.
No, I'm still not convinced this boat was a good buy... (I do look good in my boat hat though, haha!)

{365:79} "Mr Lego"

"Mr Lego".
Of course, when Thomas is visiting, there is bound to be new Lego. Lucas was very lucky this time and got not just one, but TWO big Star Wars ships (and Linnea got some Belville Lego!), that of course had to be built right away!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

{365:78} Jungle injury

Jungle injury.
This is how my leg looks like two days after my fall in the drain during the hash on Tuesday. Still ouch.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

{365:77} Team work

Team work.
At the Empire, together with Konrad.

Pics from HongKong

Here is a slide show of just about all the photos I took on our short trip to HongKong, which is actually not many at all. Very unusual for being me.
I hardly took any photos at the wedding itself, because their hired photographers were so numerous and they took up so much of the view, that the rest of us didn't have a chance to get good shots. (It felt like a celebrity wedding with paparazzis everywhere, haha!) Hopefully they will put some of their pics on a website, as it would be lovely to have some nice snapshots as memento. (For example, I didn't snap any of the bride and groom together, the speeches or the twelve-course meal we had...). Well, here we go:

School work

One part of their "animal" theme this term has been to study the dinosaurs in Lucas' class. The other day they had displayed their work outside the class room, and they had all drawn a picture of a dinosaur and written a few words about it. Here is Lucas':

It says:
"Lucas 6. Dinosaurs attak and dinosaurs they eat meat. Som drick wooter." Very cute, although it must be wishful thinking about being six...


Linnea has gone very brave these last few months. It wasn't that long ago, she just bopped around with her floaties on whenever we went swimming, and didn't like to get her head under water, or even wet.
Now, she still wears the floaties if we ask her too (calmer for the parents), but she also likes to swim around without them. She jumps in from the side, does the cannonball, dives and carries on!

She can swim now, but is still not 100% confident, so we still stay close when she wants to go at it without the floaties. She hasn't really got the breathing technique just yet, but it wont be long!
Isn't it cool, at 3 1/2!?

We have decided to wait until after the summer holidays, and then put them into the Swimming Club at school. They do already go swimming in school once a week, but we can see that the Swimming Club is really making a difference for the kids attending it - so even though it's slightly on the expensive side, it might be worth it. At least, if we are not planning to take the kids out of school to go somewhere that term.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

{365:76} Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Today we had a "green" hash, since it's Saint Patrick's Day. Everybody wore green at the on-on and the hares were dressed especially nice for the occasion!
Apart from me taking a hard tumble (not seeing a stupid drain) and getting a huge bruise on my thigh, it was a nice run tonight.

Where is the volume control?

Every time I (or Nathan) try to have a sleep in, I wonder, when will my kids develop their volume control?

Lucas is actually quite good now. He is old enough to understand what you explain to him, sometimes even grasp the consequences of his actions etc. Whether he chooses to listen to you or not, well that's another story!
Sometimes I can get him to understand, that Daddy has been up late flying and would like to sleep. At least he avoids going into the bedroom waking him up, but the volume control... - again a different story.

Linnea on the other hand, doesn't get it at all. Actually she has been entering a phase (well, I sure hope it's a passing phase!) of not wanting to listen to anything we say, doing anything we ask her too, obeying the slightest or be good girl. She's quite the opposite mostly - she's stubborn, she gets so angry and grumpy when things don't go her way and she certainly doesn't agree with any of our rules...
Volume control? Nah, keep dreaming... maybe one day.

{365:75} The DS

The DS.
Linnea has been getting more and more restless for every flight we have done lately. She is not interested in much; not books, not her movies, not her toys... just has ants in her pants and is not very nice to travel with at all.
So, we thought it was time to introduce her to her own special toy: we got her a pink Nintendo DS in HongKong; with the Super Mario Bros game on it.
It was fun for a while, but as it turns out - at the moment it's the mommy who has most fun with it! (Hopefully she'll get into it eventually...)