Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Sometimes it is really fun to have a toy store. This year for Halloween, I let the kids pick out their favorite costumes, and we ended up with a pirate for Christopher, a vampire for Benjamin and a witch for Annika. Christopher was so happy about his pirate costume that he wore it all week - good thing you can't see the aftermath of the chocolate ice cream in the picture!

We joined friends in Lausanne for some trick-or-treating, and the kids made out like bandits. I'm so stingy with candy that their Halloween stash should carry them through Easter!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Riding and Weather

We had a great break in Switzerland. The holiday started with balmy temps - almost warm enough to get out the shorts. Then, in the middle of the week, everything changed and we woke up to a couple of feet of snow.
All the kids tried riding, and all seemed to enjoy it. The school is so different from what we have in Sweden... in Sweden Annika can do no wrong, but here, the teacher yells at her and makes her really work. I personally think a balance would be good, but since we only have the two extremes, Annika will have to find her way herself. This time she got to gallop a lot - something she has been a bit afraid of in Sweden - and she didn't seem to mind the yelling.

Benjamin got to ride around in circles and work on getting the rhythm of the trot. Fortunately his lesson was only a half hour - he didn't quite get it and it was pretty bouncy.

Christopher got his own "lesson" on Waikiki, one of the roundest and shortest ponies I have ever seen. David got the dubious honor of leading him around, and Christopher was thrilled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Making It Home

Our "summer house" is now mostly done... with the same exceptions as always. The cabinet that was broken on installation has still not been fixed or replaced (a mere 2 1/2 years later) and the lights are not completely installed, but we are feeling more at home. I decided it was high time for a personal touch (or two) so I got some photos of the kids developed and placed around. Now it feels better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Sunday (Not...)

Yep, here are the kids after three hours in the adventure pool in Uppsala. But I'm not there... David took them to give me a day at work, since I was home Monday with Benjamin, Wednesday with Christopher, and Thursday and Friday with Annika. Oh - and Tuesday was split between my morning tennis game and an evening of taking Christopher to the children's emergency to get a hit of Ventalin (cold-related asthma). One wonders when I find time to work. Oh - that's right - on Sundays!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Blunt Instrument (aka Annika)

Annika is nothing if not persistent. Dogged. Tenacious. Relentless. If she wants something, anything, it can be pure torture to say no. And my name is NOT "But Mamma..." Right now, the object of desire is a membership in Disney's latest online craze, PanFu. "It's educational - I can learn Spanish", "I can pay for it with my allowance", "I will trade in my Club Penguin membership", "The Panda pets are cuter than the Penguin pets" - all arguments in favor. Though none of the above can explain to me why I should shell out $6 a month so that she can spend even more time in front of the computer, a place where I would rather she not be.

That said, she has begun to realize the shortcomings of her status as a bilingual/bicultural kid in a world that doesn't understand her. (Welcome to the club... and pause for a moment while I call Visa to get my card turned back on after too many "foreign" charges). "Mamma, you know that I have to get two pandas on PanFu... If I have my English panda, I can't meet my friends because English pandas aren't allowed on the Swedish servers." Great. Now I can be badgered for a mere $12 a month...

Working Out

Sunday was a horrible day - wind and rain, and nothing you really wanted to be out in. We went to our favorite hamnkrog (which is still open for coffee) and watched them winch boats out of the water to "sleep" for the winter. But the trip to and from the car was like a cold shower. So while David took Annika and Benjamin to the museum, Christopher (still contagious with strep throat) and I stayed behind. What to do?

Well, first we went to my office/warehouse so I could count shelves and figure out how many more to order from IKEA. I was done in five minutes, but Christopher had so much fun moving boxes around that we stayed for a while. (Needless to say, we had a hard time finding a few of the products to ship out on Monday...)

Then back to the house, where Christopher declared he wanted to exercise. I tried doing a Pilates video, but no luck. "I do own!" was the wish, so we proceeded to stretch and move in our own unique ways. I concentrated on getting "better" and yoga, if that's possible for a non-competitive sport, and Christopher concentrated on... well... he kept himself busy in any case. His favorite exercise involved balancing hand weights on his shoulders and walking around the house. At least we got the blood flowing!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Like Father...

Like Son

Yep - more than five minutes in the car and look what happens!

Actually, it is an improvement from the days where Benjamin and Christopher could fall asleep before I had even pulled out of the dagis parking lot!