Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two Years Old Today!

Celebrating Harald's 2nd birthday this morning. Celebrations will continue tonight and on Saturday.

Harald is a little "livsnjutare" (enjoying life), especially food and drink :)

Our all-inclusive holiday last autumn was a hit; unlimited access to fruit (melon), ice cream and hot dogs!

Expert on smart tools already

Happy despite completely spotty from chicken pox

Simply happy most of the time (this was before his very overdue haircut)!

Showing his fashion sense (and his big belly...)

With bestie E.

Friday, January 09, 2015

4 Years Old!

How did it happen?! Where did the time go?!

With some yellow marker on face and hands but yet so pretty! Photo credit: my friend Åsa

We woke her up this morning with "Ja må hon leva" and presents.

Spot the little gauffre...

...which Harald was quick to "steal" (with his sister's OK)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Secret Santa / Julklappsbyte! NEW Deadline / Nytt sista datum!

På svenska längre ner

Emma has organised a Christmas gift exchange among bloggers and others for a few years in a row now but this year she's a bit swamped and I have promised to substitute for her!

So how does it work?

All participants will receive and give a Christmas gift to someone still unknown person!

Email me at komheden (at) by 8 December and provide your name, address, blog url (if you have one), three things on your wish list / you like and three things that is not your cup of tea.

I will send you an email with a name and address of a person as well as the information about what s/he wishes / likes / don't like. You will then send a wrapped gift worth maximum 100 SEK and Christmas card to your designated person by 15 December.

Spread the word!

Emma har organiserat ett julklappsbyte bland bloggare och andra några år i rad nu men i år har hon lite fullt upp och jag har lovat att vikariera för henne!

Så hur fungerar det?

Alla deltagare kommer få och ge en julklapp till någon ännu okänd person!

Maila mig på komheden (at) senast  den 1 december och ange din adress, eventuell bloggadress, tre saker du önskar / gillar och tre saker som inte är du.

Du kommer sedan få tillbaka ett mail med en adress till en person samt information om vad hen önskar sig / gillar / inte gillar. Du skickar sedan en inslagen julklapp värd max 100 SEK samt ett julkort till din utvalda person senast den 10 december.

Sprid ordet!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

10 Years!!

No, it's not my anniversary with Peter. We've "only" been together for 9 years in November (and married for four). It's my blogoversary!! Yesterday on 29 September - and I forgot about it then even though I thought about last week - it was exactly ten years ago since I posted my first ever post. I only blogged two or three times that autumn and the blog really got going in the spring of 2005, but still, I think it counts. I will need to make some sort of post about what the blog has "lived through" in this decade, both in my life and the world at large. Just think of the people I have met through the blogging community, such as Petchie whom I now consider a very close friend, not just here in Brussels but in general.

I hope for at least another decade of fun and new encounters through Anna, Fair and True!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday in September

Almost a month since I last wrote. What have we been up to?
  • 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!
Pajama walk
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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

To Do List on a Thursday*

  • Buy school supplies Isolde should bring with her on her first day of (pre)school on Monday and take ID photos of her that she also needs to bring (we have already checked off two things on the list - markers as well as a book to the class library). Tissues and wipes we'll get at the supermarket at the weekend.
  • Fold up and bast the curtains in the living room, dining room and guest bedrooms (I don't want to actually shorten them since we may need them to be longer in the future). In our bedroom I will however adjust them properly because they are currently at least a metre too long! 
  • Prepare for the crayfish party (crayfish lunch followed by barbeque in the evening) we're having on Saturday. Peter got the crayfish today (from IKEA) and we bought some decorations already in Sweden, but we'll need to sort out how to seat 11 adults and 9 children, especially since it looks to chilly to sit outside, and prepare some food and drink (though it's a potluck dinner so everyone is bringing something. 
  • Plan and book a holiday for October or November. We think we would like to go somewhere sunny and warm, but they are not as many charter options from Belgium as from Sweden, so we'll see where we end up. 
  • Book tickets to Sweden for the Christmas period.
  • And also very important, invite family and friends to occupy our guest rooms during the autumn! So far we only know that Peter's parents are coming for a weekend in October. 
  • Buy birthday presents for the neighbour kids V. and E.
  • Organise my wardrobe and my drawers in the bathroom. 
  • And probably lots of other things but I'll start with this...

* Not all to do this particular Thursday but the list was compiled today :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer in Sweden in Bullets

  • one tic (Harald)
  • two wasp stings (Isolde)
  • many, many mosquito bites (Peter, Isolde)
  • temperature in the lake: 26
  • sleeping temperature: 27
  • 40 mm rain in one night during one of the many thunder storms of the hot summer
  • one child-free evening (well, Peter had two more with friends, but I also had the ten days in Brussels on my own before coming to Sweden plus one evening in Stockholm)
  • 2 pair of shoes purchased, otherwise no shopping unfortunately (but Peter bought some running shoes and I had made some online shopping for the children that was delivered as we arrived and also bought a few further items for the kids, including books)
  • 25+ friends plus family and relatives seen
  • one art exhibition
  • one climber in the family (Harald) and one talker (Isolde - no stop to it sometimes!)
  • so many, many laughs when reading old "letter books" between my childhood friends (still my friends) and me after I had cleaned out the my part of the attic at my parents (so many funny memorabilia discovered!)
  • one doll and one doll bed as well as lots of doll clothes and other little toys moved from my old attic to Brussels
  • one wedding - they sort of eloped but we were able to surprise them with a little "honeymoon package" in their hotel and we continued the celebrations when they arrived home!
  • tons of fruit and berries in Harald's tummy
  • one work badge returned (goodbyes saved for later), as I resigned from job in Sweden
  • flat in Sweden sublet, so don't have to worry about that for a while
  • two vaccination shots (Harald both)
  • one visit to the child health centre for 18-month check-up (Harald) and doctor's appointments (ear problem for Peter and routine check-up for me)
  • three babies on the way among friends in the next few months
  • three haircuts (all except Isolde - though Harald's was a homemade, improvised one)
  • 20+ swims from the jetty to the raft (Isolde with one or two parents)
  • two new Marabou chocolate flavours tried (Bisquit and Oreos)
  • one batch of new potatoes harvested in grandpa's greenhouse (Isolde)
  • some not so good karaoke singing (me)
  • swimming in three lakes and the sea
  • one day of work, as I was called in for some meetings
  • one visit to Tom Tits science museum with grandma (Isolde)
  • two big bags of random stuff we cannot find in Brussels purchased, ranging from minipacks of raisins to dishcloths
  • zero episodes of Midsumer Murders watched and not a single movie either
  • four summer knees and many bruises and scratches (the kids), just the way it should be! And summer feet!
  • hours and hours of play with the neighbour girl at mormor and morfar's (Isolde)
  • and much, much more!