- Isolde started school again. She's in the same class as little friendbours V. and E., which is very nice and convenient for drop-offs and pick-ups but also has its disadvantage, e.g if one or two of the others get picked up early but not Isolde, but that's part of learning how to deal with life I guess. Isolde likes school and has fun there but it is certainly not the super-positive attitude that we had last autumn (guess the novelty has wore off). In the morning she says she doesn't want to go but once we're on the way she's usually excited...until we reach the classroom and she doesn't want to let go and is sometimes upset (though sometimes "crocodile tears") but usually accepts to go to her teacher's arms, albeit a bit reluctantly. If E. is upset, Isolde will also start crying, or vice versa, as they trigger each other. As I said she seems to have fun and be content once there but in the morning I think that she in that moment prefers to stay on the comfy couch and watching telly. And not having to get dressed. Our little lazy girl :)
|Isolde's classroom. To the left of this picture they have a playhouse and some more toys.|
- It took Harald about three weeks or so to get used to his new daily routine at the Pas à pas crèche. After about three weeks he caught a cold and was home for little over a week. The last two days before he got sick was the first days that he didn't cry when we dropped him off, but after that week away I thought we would be back to square one. But it seems that he has actually missed them and he wanted to go to one of the teachers right away and he put his head on her shoulder and cuddled for a long time. So this was really a sign that he's really happy there and also a good "grade" for them. There's such a good atmosphere there. When I dropped Harald off Wednesday this week they were playing the guitar and singing and I just wanted to stay there instead of going to work!
- We have done some gardening, even though most weekends and evenings we have priorised other things. We have tried to get rid of some persistent weed (dandellion type) in the grass, the environmentally-friendly way, and sown new grass, but now we'll have to buy some chemicals. I have also continued the weeding of the flower beds that my mum started when she was here, and we have also evened out some parts of the grass both on the front and back of the house by putting new soil and sown grass.
- I started studying French - two hours twice per week during work hours, one of the perks of working for the European Commission.
- We tried online food shopping from Colruyt and we will probably continue this habit, if not every week but every other, with the usual complimentary shopping from the smaller supermarkets in the neighbourhood. Colruyt is a discount supermarket that is not really a great shopping experience if you actually go there - reminded me of Ö&B/Överskottsbolaget in Sweden - but in terms of the produce and products it sells it is very good. It has a very large range of organic products and Colruyt also has another supermarket, BioPlanet, that only sells bioproducts.
- We bought a new table for the living room. You may remember that our old one broke... We tried to find another table we liked but in the end we bought one almost exactly the same as our old glass table, only slightly smaller. We also bought a new carpet for the kids' room. As always, Ikea is the place to go. Well, not the table as that is from Habitat.
- We had a crayfish party together with the extended friendbour circle, including also the family we rented the flat from our first year in Brussels, who are now back in town. We ate crayfish for lunch and then had a barbeque in the evening. We actually got a babysitter to entertain the kids in the evening so we could actually have a sit-down dinner. Worked pretty well even though you are not completely off duty since they are still in the house.
- What else? We celebrated V's third birthday and Ellna's first, and their dad turned 40. We tried to take advantage of the mild September evenings before it starts getting dark too early (though most of the time, September has been chillier than last year, but better than August) by taking walks in our lovely neighbourhood. We also visited one of those indoor playgrounds for children for the first time. We were there early so we had the place almost to ourselves. Only bad thing was that we got some sort of stomach bug but it could also have been the lunch at Pizza Hut afterwards... We made a visit to the Natural History Museum. Last week we went to three different playgrounds in the same day. You have to make the most of the weekends, especially when the weather is nice!
|Little palaeontologists in action|
- Peter has gone climbing twice with the husband of a colleague of mine (they came to our drink in March) and the plan is that they will go regularly. After the first session Peter's climbing shoes got mysteriously missing - we think we must have thrown them out with the rubbish, possibly with Harald's help... but luckily they were too tight and he needed new ones anyway. By funny coincidence my colleague's husband, whose name is also Peter, also went to Essex university like my Peter (he did a one-year Master's there) and it was there both of them tried climbing for the first time (and my Peter hasn't really climbed since then). Both Peters have also spent a long time at home with their children (their daughter is around the same age as Isolde) and the other Peter works 80% and is also the one who usually picks from crèche/school. We're also going to try to get the whole families together soon.
- Oh, and there was the Swedish election of course. There is so much I would like to write about it but I haven't had time to really sit down and have a serious think. For now, I will only write that despite the disappointment of the success of the Sweden Democrats that of course bedimmed the evening, Petra and I had a good time at the election coverage event organised by the group Svenskar i Bryssel.