Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Pics

Here are some pics from the Christmas week...
Not in the mood to write a long post, enough to say that we all got the flu but I am the only one with a remaining headache, eight days and counting now... I accept suggestions on witchcraft or shamans or whatever! I need it to be over soon or I will become a bitter, resented, sad, depressed, cynical freak. (And the reason why I am not in the mood for writing is because the process is speeding up like a maniac)
Chronic pain = bad mood. (period)   

Opening the tree

decorating the tree

decorating the tree with the flu

daddy had to help

my marzipan snowman

and my marzipan Santa's helper

and all the things the girls and I made with marzipan (and ate the rest, obviously)

the gingerbread house

and all of the above

the kitchen through the tree

the tree

Sankta Lucia celebration

We had the girls celebration of Sankta Lucia the 13th of December. Olivia wanted to be Lucia, Emily wasn't much for the hot spot and decided she would be a "tärna", and that would be one of the girls marching behind Lucia in the procession.  
No, the do not assist a religious kinder, it's just a national tradition and nowadays it's not only Lucia, tärnor and "stjärngosse" (those would be the guys in a white dress and the kinda KKK hat) but also Santa helpers and gingerbread cookies, but my girls where never interested in being anything but Lucia or the girl behind her.

Here are some pics.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No "15 Days Meal List" this time

We did not do the wonderful list of meals this time. It's time defrost the freezer.
I so much wish it would break so we have to buy a new self-defrosting one! Is it bad of me to wish my almost 10 year old freezer will break? I feel a little evil. I just HATE those days when we have to eat what's left and then, even worse, defrost the thing! with water running down and all those horrible, horrible things. 
Maybe if I don't do it it will break sooner and I will sooner have a freezer with auto-defrost function! 

What a post! shame on me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Help, A Big Difference

I have been thinking a lot and came up to the fact that a man that can cook is not one of my priorities when it comes to choosing a partner. I love cooking the meals my family eats. Despite the job, the stress and the routine of cooking everyday, there is something about seeing them enjoying the meals I've prepared that my hearts translates into a demonstration of my love for them.
The problem, the real problem comes when I have to plan the dinners. I had run out of imagination and looking in cooking books always ends up with that I have to change half of the recipe because there is always some ingredient someone does not like.
Last Sunday, though, I thought that this was it, my imagination was completely empty and I had no way to refill it, so I sat everybody on the couches, took paper and pen and started:
"You are now going to choose one meal each, taking turns, and we will plan for 15 days. When you choose the meal you have to take into account what others in the family like and there has to be a variety, i.e. veggies, fish, chicken, biff, rice and pasta. You will also have to think about what the other chose, so we don't eat the same two days in a row. OK?"
They LOVED it! not only that but the kids (and Nicklas too) are really happy when it's their meal day.
So here's the menu, in case you too, like me, have run out of cooking ideas:
(starting on Monday 19)
Beet root salad, Swedish style
  • Prince - sausages with beet root salad
  • Spaghetti with bolognese sauce
  • Fish burgers in whole wit buns (with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and peppers)
  • Whole wit pizza (one with tuna and the other one with ham)
  • Meatballs with potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce
  • Roasted pork with chimichurri and baked potatoes
  • Italian pasta 
  • Goulash soup with garlic bread
  • Chinese Sweet & sour chicken with rice
  • Milanesas a la napolitana with sallad
  • Tacos
  • Oven grilled salmon with roasted potatoes and salad
  • Biff wok and rice

And just that little became such a great help for me! I have to say that I am really thankful to have kids whose favorite menus aren't macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. I think they made a really good job and I am so happy to know exactly what to cook!
If you would like to have any of the recipes just leave a comment and I'll post it for you. All of the meals are really easy and fast to make. A huge Hi Five to my girls and husband!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Spooky Night

The 31st of October (and I am sorry I post it so late but I had two horrible tests for which I didn't study enough) Nicklas send a text saying that he had bought Halloween cupcakes for dessert and asking me to organize a spooky night for the girls.
We made our efforts and turned off all the lights, I dressed up like a ghost and haunted the girls around the house. They were not a bit scared, of course, but then Nicklas started to tell scary stories and we got some reaction.
Emily took out all of her science brain and started to explain paranormal activity with the eloquence of the best skeptic. It was funny to see how she tried not to sound scared and explained everything. Frustrated, she finished her speech with "It's stupid to talk about ghosts! they are not real!"
Olivia, on the other hand, joined us in the story telling and came up with her own spooky stories. She has such a lively imagination! She told three complete stories all of them with beginning, middle and end! 
My girls are so different in so many ways, yet they are equally talented and awesome.
Then the funny part came when they followed daddy to find the hidden treasure, opened the box and found ghost cupcakes.
It was not a perfectly planned scary night, and it was not scary at all, but mom and dad got A for effort and the cupcakes were really yummy.

Nothing like cupcakes and hot chocolate, specially when wearing your pjs

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday in Helsingborg

Yesterday morning I left the beds undone, the laundry on waiting (although I had insanely much!), the house all dirty and in a complete chaos after breakfast and we headed to Helsingborg.
We visited a... yeah, how would you call it? It is not a zoo, but almost... it's a building with a lot of animals, terrariums and stuff for kids. Here are some pics.

venomous fish

little fellows "cleaning" Nick's hand

Nick & Emily played paleontologists and found a fossil

And this is what they found! Needless to say, that was the activity Emily loved the most

Having cookies in the cafeteria

Olivia always poses!

In a glass cube inside the crocodiles' house

the shark tank

posing (again) in front of the shark tank

Emily did not want to pose, this is purely spontaneous!
Nick feeding the lemurs

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The haircut

Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from kinder. My heart raised to 140 b/min and the most horrible thoughts crossed my mind in the blink of an eye. "One of them had an accident" "One of them has gotten sick" "Just don't let it be serious, please, please, please..."
I answered with my heart in my throat and heard it was one of Olivia's teacher.

"I just want to tell you that Olivia cut her hair"
"She and her friend have cut their hair"
"What? I don't really understand" -it was hard not to sound too stupid but I just couldn't believe my ears, why would Olivia cut her own hair when she was trying so hard to grow it as long as Rapunzel's? And then, why would the teacher call to say that unless she had practically made herself bald? I got a little panicky...
"It's not that bad, but I just wanted you to know before you pick her up"

And I was studying and thinking about my little girl's gorgeous hair all destroyed.

It was not that bad after all... The thing is that her friend -who is even wilder than my Olivia- managed to sneak out some scissors after lunch. They hid and cut their own hair so they would have the same length. As a result, Olivia got half of her hair short and half long so I had to cut it after the bath. 

The positive is: 
  1. They didn't hurt themselves
  2. It was not Olivia's idea
  3. It was not Olivia who sneaked out the scissors
  4. She will never do it again
  5. It wasn't that bad
  6. It was not under my supervision
  7. It was only hair.
Telling the story for the camera (although it was a photo) It was pretty funny when she explained the whole thing.

And that's how she looks now

Monday, October 15, 2012

Save yourselves and jump!

The fish tank with the brand new monsters
It's well known that the big fish eats the small one, but that it's the case if, and only if, the big one gets to bite the small one before it jumps out of the fish tank.
Believe it or not, I have found a fish right out of the tank. Apparently it committed  suicide when trying to swim away from the scary big ones that Nicklas brought home last Saturday.
It's sad to say that more than half of the guppies were eaten, so our fish tank is now war zone. But apparently, some fish have high honor or pride... I wouldn't know, and are very willing to die of suffocation instead of feeding the big fish. We have some lessons to learn from this little fellow.

In case you wonder, NO, I DID NOT touch it with my bare hands, the thing had rigor mortis!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Free days comming to an end

Last Tuesday I had my last test for the first course of the last year in College: Theory and Methods in Nursing Science III. I am glad to say I have passed it, although I don't have a clue about the first test of the course... wait and see I'm afraid. When it comes to College, the sad truth is that "good things, not always, come to those who wait"

The thing is that, since I was ready with the (pretty boring in deed) course, I took some days off and stood home with the girls pretending that I am a stay at home mom. I had made so many wonderful plans! Truth is that things do not always turn out the way we want them to. 

Olivia had an audiometry on Wednesday and we went to town afterwards. We got some clothes for them and we were supposed to eat in Subway after but Olivia got impossible and we headed back home to noddle soup.

Thursday was kind of O.K., we started doing some Halloween decorations (let me be clear on this one, I do not like to celebrate a holiday that is either an Argentinean nor Swedish tradition but TV won over me and the girls are saying over and over again that it is their favorite holiday after X-mas)  but we missed black card stock which we didn't buy on Wednesday because of Olivia's misbehaving, so we just made one pumpkin, a kinda cool one, I have to admit. The girls lost their patients in the "glue drying process", turned on the TV and laid on the couches to watch cartoons. Not my idea of a crafting evening but they were tired so I sat in front of the lap top and did nothing at all.

I woke up all restless today and determined to have a much better day so we got all dressed up and went to town again (in the rain and wind) to get the missing card stock, some kite paper and... oh yeah! nail polish for me. We eat out and had some ice cream (that one NOT in the rain and wind) and came back to have some hot chocolate and watch my favorite Disney movie ever: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. I found it in the store for a very good price, so I bought it! 

The Halloween decorations will have to wait until tomorrow and Sunday, and probably the weekend to come since the Preclinical Course III starts on Monday and it is going to be a very intense one.
I will post the pics of whatever we make as soon as they are ready, for now it's just one pumpkin and some card stock.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Cleaning" my USB

I am spending this Saturday afternoon cleaning my USB and picking up some pics so I can start the scrapbook once and for all. I went through the folder "Emily & Olivia" and found this... I can't stop laughing! She looks so mean!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Emily "Green Fingers" Nilsson

Just before the summer, Emily planted 2 pepper seeds in kinder. She came home all excited about seeing them grow and the eating the peppers, which she didn't know whether they would turn out to be green, red, orange or yellow.
To my surprise the plants did grow, and soon they had big leaves and were in need for bigger pots.
She took real good care of them, except for all those times when she forgot to water them... However, this little seeds were stubborn and were meant to grow peppers!
Here's to my little green fingers Emily... She can barely wait until they're ready to be eaten!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I should have...

When I started this blog I had in mind to only post positive comments and trying (even though sometimes it had been more than hard) to see the good in all things. Not to give a false impression on my life or on who I am, but mostly as a reminder to myself that even in the hardest times, there are good things to embrace and get happy about.
Today I am not going to be that positive I guess. I have started school last Monday, I had one week completely free from work or school or what so ever, although not on the house chores, that is very hard to escape.
As I started getting ready on the course plannings, the things to do, what to read, ordering the books and so on I began to have this horribly choking feeling and all my thought seem to be floating in this deep and thick mist of question marks, deadlines, chapters, schedules. I have been literally choking for a whole week now. I wish I would only have work to worry about!
Somehow this semester everything became too much too soon and I felt my batteries were lightning red. 
I shouldn't have taken so much this summer, I should have rested, I should have vegetated! There were times this summer when I just wanted to be put in an medically induced coma, and yet here I am, baking cinnamon rolls...
I think I have reached the point when I seriously ask my self "how on earth am I going to do this?" "Have I overestimated my strengths?" "have I been all this time trying to convince me that I can do it all and get out alive?" "fight, endure, hope, work, smile..."
I have to be honest with myself this time... I AM tired to the bone marrow! Where will I get the peace I so desperately need? Sleeping does not help, it is a little bit deeper than that... all this effectiveness, all this productivity, all this do, be, and then do some more and then be some more...And then I think about all those great women who do so much more than I do; they do more, are less tired, achieve more, look great all the time, family is functioning and everybody is happy and helpful... and I get so discouraged, and become so week, and feel sorry for myself because I try to convince me that I am so much more than what I am...
The dough is now probably ready so I better get done with the baking...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Now I remember why!

Summer is almost gone and it has been trying to say goodbye with a few very warm days. Last Sunday the girls decided that they wanted to go to the beach so there we were, and oh my gosh did I remember why I hadn't try to get a tan on my legs for years! I was about to post a pic of my red burning tights but it was too painful! 
Whatever... I am not so sure I am going to give it another try next year... God made my legs white and I am totally sure He knew what He was doing...
It was fun, I am not that keen on beach days but I am a super fan of family time and I loved playing with the girls and turning them into little mermaids...

Monday, July 16, 2012

And lightning strikes me one more time...

I am ready with the book, I managed to make it last for  over two weeks, I'm so proud of myself! Nicklas use to say that buying books for me is a waste of money because I devour them in two or three days... Practical perspectives are not my thing. 
Here's one of the paragraphs that will have me thinking for a long time:

 "I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women are constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarrassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned- and more than any of the lessons of my accident, this is the one I wish I could teach everybody- that our hearts matter most. your heart matters most, so be gentler and more patient with yourself, and their hearts matter most, too, so be kinder and more compassionate to others." (Heaven Is Here, by Stepanie Nielson, p. 303-304)

Thank you for your story Stephanie Nielson!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Letting go...

It happens to all of us that we can no longer hold on... It's scary to let go. Somehow we all get so attached to things, people, feelings, thoughts, dreams...
It was surely scary to let go of mommy's hands as we made our first steps, and the glorious feeling of achievement did not occur to us. It is scary, as a mom, to let go of our babies hand to see them walk their first steps all alone, and the pride we'll feel does not come to our minds as the fear of seeing them fall and hurt themselves covers our thoughts.
Like holding a balloon and see it slip away into the clouds... sometimes we just have to let go, because it is the wise thing to do, because it is necessary, because our future success depends on it, because we love or because it is just the kind thing to do...

We are meant to learn to let go, and it is hard, it is supposed to be hard, it is supposed to hurt and sometimes even to tear up our hearts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No title I'm afraid

I started work at 7:00 a.m. yesterday. I came and started the routine: preparing breakfast, bringing in the newspapers, setting the tables, going to some of the people who get up very early and helping them with the compression socks (they can be really hard to put on and almost all of them have to use them) and then waited until the rest of the staff came. 
A while after I went to give the medicine to one of the ladies, a 90-something years old little woman who is always so thankful for all we do. As I opened the door I heard her screaming "mamma, mamma!" She was having what seemed to be an awful nightmare. One of my co-workers rushed in and we started to calm her down. It took a while, and she was in panic  for a few seconds. It must have been a vivid dream, and a scary one. As soon as she understood where she was her expression changed from fear to deep, deep sadness in the blink of an eye... "For a moment I had clean forgotten that my mom has been gone for so long" she mumbled as tears filled her tired blue eyes.
On my break I rushed to the staff room and read as much as I could of Stephanie Nielsons "Heaven is Here". I read about her feelings of frustration and the deep unbearable sadness it gave her to realize that she could not be a mom for her kids, and that it was going to be painful and long until she could, if she ever reached the goal.

When I walked home at 4:30 p.m., after what had been a long and tiresome day, I started thinking about my little girls and the image of the fragile old 90 year old woman crying for her mom shook me up. I started to think about the influence a mother has in her children, how they will always go to her in times of fear, sadness or despair, no matter how old they have grown. Of course not every one of us has the tremendous blessing to seek for their mom (or the memory of her), some mother-child relationships are far more complicated than we could ever imagine... But I didn't think about those troubled relationships yesterday, I just thought about how much and how deeply I could touch my girls life, for better or for worse, and how they will seek me in years to come, and how much they might miss me when I'm gone. To realize how important I can be in the life of others came as an overwhelming feeling, but at the same time it filled my heart with warmth. 

Sometimes it gets busy, breakfast, doing their hair, taking them to daycare, stopping fights about who gets to keep the inside of toilet paper roll (and some other very "serious" stuff as well), planning dinner: it has to be balanced, healthy, varied, cheep, easy and fast to cook and everybody has to like it, and that can turn into a full time job, believe me! saying "no" so many times a day it sometimes get me in a bad mood... yes, it is a lot of work but I can do it, I can braid my girls hair, and give them baths, and take them to daycare holding hands... and i get to dry their tears with my lips and give them the last kiss of the day late at night and the first one in the morning. And I became so powerful since they came into my life that I can heal wounds by blowing on them. And as silly as it may sound, sometimes it takes a screaming old lady to get me to think about how blessed I really am. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My little angels

Emily is often so serious, I love that about her. I love everything about her but it just melt my heart when she is such a tiny adult.

And Olivia... what can I say about her... when her lips smile, her eyes sparkle and she shines like a sunbeam

And so it goes when I have nothing to say...

I don't really have a lot to write about. I have basically been working and cleaning the house, and then cleaning the house and working after that... G my life is so exciting! I don't even have anecdotes or funny comments from the girls. 

It was a pretty good day at work last Sunday, though. You'll see, I get along well with all the people I have worked with so far, but as it usually is the case, I feel more comfortable with some of them. It has nothing to do with how nice they are or how friendly... they are all great I have to admit. But with this girl we are annoyingly efficient and fast. Yesterday morning, by 11:30 we hade the laundry done, the breakfast stuff dished and in it's place, 8 bathrooms cleaned and dessert ready, so there was nothing to do and the elder had all gone to their rooms to take a nap before lunch. We started making cute name tags for the table, with colour papers and small stickers that I took with me. They turned out really pretty and all of them loved it, they were so excited with such a silly detail, I almost felt a little gilty... The thing is that we made their day and then I started thinking about how I used to do those silly, apparently unimportant things all the time. 
 When I fist came I would make a little card or a decorated note for Nicklas every day, but for him it was an unnecesary waste of time and a very stupid thing to do. He never thanked for them, he didn't like it and I am thankfull he was honest about it... kind of brutally honest I would have said 8 years ago. As a result I stoped with that, not only I didn't make them for him but I figured he was right and I was one naive, silly, fairy-tale believer, childish, hopeless romantic, people pleaser moron to whom nobody deared to say the truth about her bothersome pretty notes and elaborated home made cards for not reason at all... so I killed the Hallmark girl and buried her 6 feet under ground. 

The stupid event from yesterday made me think that some people DO like those gestures and really appreciate them, and encouraged me to make my scrapbooks and start crafting again. 
Since we were so fast yesterday we had all and a little more done by 3 pm, which meant that we could take 1 hour break all at the same time and not split it in two 30 mins. So I went to the park across the street with my copy of Heaven Is Here and read for the whole hour. I had forgotten how I felt when I read (and I mean when I read for pleasure and not for school) The world desappeared and I felt so relaxed and in peace! I missed that feeling, I missed the Hallmark girl! Why did I change the things that made me feel good just because someone thought they were useless and a waste of time? 
My bad! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vacation is over

Playground in Albäcksskogen, big favorite right now.
Today is going to be my first day at work, I have been there a few times to learn the routines and meet the elderly, BUT... yeah, it's me writing people! did you expect a post without a but? you've got to be kiddin'. Whatever. The catch is that I have been two days working on the C department and it is very little I am going to work there, so this sounds a lot like fun, not! For me surely, but not for my coworkers who will have to explain everything (certainly more than once). 
So these were my three completely free days, no job no school. What did I do? Well... to begin with I cleaned all the windows, we don't have that many, it's a small house but they were really dirty so I had to wash and polish. Then I painted the kitchen, same colour but it needed to be freshened up and most of all, Olivia's art had to be removed. Don't judge! it was hard enough with daily chores and school so the walls were "decorated" for over a year. since the kitchen looked so much better, I painted the living room, too (same reason but only one tiny little pencil "art", the rest was just... I don't know, it didn't look new painted and that bothered me. 
I took the girls to town on Saturday morning and got them some clothes and summer shoes, they grow up so fast! Then they had their first swim in the pool, so lovely they were and they had so much fun! But it is Sweden and it was cold so we filled it up with warm water. I have no pics though. Sorry for the miss.
On Sunday we went to Malmö and got Olivia her first scooter (no pics of that either, I suck!) A stop by in Albäcksskogen and then lunch. After that they went to the playground in their scooters (with Daddy) and I stood home fixing up the mess. 
And that was it... three days. 
We'll see what we can come up to this summer.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Perfect Day

Last Friday we went to Denmark to spend the day, and here are some pics of the wonderful, marvelous, funny, sunny, warm and perfect day!

Happy Feet

Look mom, I am riding Alex!

Not so easy to get such a beautiful smile to the camera from Emily

I love their astonishment

Emily in wonderland

And this is Olivia's personality in a picture (when she does not have low glucose)

A ride on the Ladybug

OK.. too much junk food for a day

but Olivia didn't seem to mind...

the secret photo (Nicklas doesn't know he is on it, shh)