Monday, March 29, 2010

ski trip pics

Ahhh . . . back from the ski weekend . . . one work day already under the belt . . .
The weekend went well. The older boys skied with friends on Friday late afternoon and all day Saturday. Joel and Sofia skied on the bunny hill Friday afternoon – the principal (grade 5/6 teacher) gave Sofia lessons since it was her first time. The plan was that on Saturday, Joel would go skiing with a friend and his mom and I would ski on the bunny hill all day with Sofia. Well, after a few runs on the bunny hill, some other parents (the brothers who did the ditch-digging around the house in the Fall and one’s wife) insisted on taking Sofia with them on the rest of the mountain. Bless their hearts. They made it a great trip for her. Otherwise, she would’ve been stuck on the bunny hill all day with her scared-of-everything-especially-falling-Mother. So, I got to take off my skiis and watch from the bottom (for the record, I made one run on the bunny hill, fell on the rope tow on my second trip up when my ski fell off, and then had to go buy a lift ticket for Sofia before I got a chance to ski anymore. And, yes, my fall was witnessed by another dad which only made it more embarrassing, plus he had to clean the snow off the bottom of my boots because I couldn’t get it off by myself).
Friday night we went swimming. Saturday night we watched TV. Sunday morning we went swimming again before heading back home after lunch.
It snowed almost constantly while we were there. The temperature hovered around freezing.
Stefan didn’t go because he had too much work to do. He said the temperature at home was about +6C, and lots of melting was underway. Now that we’re back, it has been below freezing again, and it’s been snowing lightly (picture icing sugar on frozen solid slush piles . . .)
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One of Sofia’s first runs . . . she’s workin’ her “wings”.

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Joel and his friend (Joel’s on the left).

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Mattias and his friends.

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Sam skiing backwards (show-off!).

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Yikes! Looks like she had a tumble on this run!

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Is it still called “apres ski” if it’s in the middle?

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Joel, enjoying some chocolate, and some more chocolate . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

off for the weekend


Tomorrow I’m heading north (yes, north) with the 4 kiddos on a school ski trip. Stefan can’t come because he’s too busy, so I have get to go with the kids. Y’all know by now how much I love winter, cold and snow . . . . Therefore, I won’t be posting anything for a few days. However, I would love, love, love to hear from you people. With this incredibly long winter, where it’s been significantly below freezing for days weeks months on end and so much snow it’s mind-boggling, I’ve been feeling rather isolated and out of touch with everyone . . . So I would love to come back on Sunday evening and see some messages from afar!! That includes people I used to hang with in real life (who hardly ever comment), my blogging friends and even some of you lurkers who I know are out there . . .
Enough about that.
Last Sunday, while Joel and Sofia were at a birthday party, Stefan and I went out to look at the big snow drifts at his parents’ cabin. They had melted somewhat from the tallest they had been:
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Stefan’s on top of one of the snowpiles.

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The sauna/guest cabin.

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The path to the woodshed. Can you see the woodshed??

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Max running behind the car. He ran away and refused to get in, so he ran behind us for about 2-3km before he finally got so tired he jumped in.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

meet our bionic son

Well, he’s not really bionic . . . he’s just hooked up to a lot of wires. This is how Mattias looked last night:
P1030117  He was hooked up to a 24 hour Holter EKG . . . Since the summer, Mattias has complained on and off of a funny feeling in his chest – it feels heavy, or his heart beats funny, etc. It happens a couple times a month. So, awhile back, the local doctor ordered a regular EKG and bloodwork. The bloodwork was fine, but the EKG showed an indicator of a secondary electrical path (although Mattias wasn’t complaining of the usual symptoms that accompany that). So, he was sent to a bigger hospital, in a bigger city, for the 24 hour Holter. We returned the Holter this morning and will be contacted once the results are interpreted for an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist.
All this has been going on at the same time that Joel was diagnosed with a suspected heart murmur during a routine medical exam back in the Fall. From that, he was sent for a regular EKG locally, and had a follow up with the local doctor just before Christmas. She recommended an ultrasound of his heart, which he had done 3 weeks ago (at the bigger hospital in the bigger city). His heart murmur is the result of a small “fiber” in his heart that vibrates when the blood rushes in. This has no negative consequences – he is considered perfectly healthy.
Last night, Mattias’ soccer practice was cancelled . . . we drove 25 minutes there for nothing . . . and when we came home, we found Stefan playing with Joel and Sofia. Mattias quickly joined in. They played “Telephone”:
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and they played a game where they each said, in turn, one word of a song (they were doing it in Swedish). All of a sudden they all burst into riotous laughter:
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. . . “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” had somehow turned into “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” . . .
Sam wasn’t playing. He was hanging out with Max:
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In other news, it snowed again last night . . . at this rate, we’ll still have snow for Mother’s Day. Yipee.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

kids live here

While I was waiting for the photos to load in the last post, I turned around and saw this on/in the kitchen window:
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Can you see what my son has done? He has written his name in the grime on the glass.
Where and when do I pick up my “Good Housekeeping” award??

Friday, March 12, 2010

photos for my brother

My brother wanted to see just how deep the snow piles around here are(were) . . . so a photo montage, if you will: (keep in mind that these pics were taken after the first meltdown on Monday, so the snow isn’t as deep as described in an earlier post)
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Joel is standing in the tunnel he dug out . . . the snow is up to his chest!
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                                                                                             Our trampoline is a standard size . . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

learning new stuff

Yesterday I learned something new about snow. First, let me set the scene:
We have a lot of snow right now. We’ve recently had 7 straight days of snow. There are snow piles around our yard as high as 3½ metres (that’s about 11½ feet) from clearing the driveway, etc. The road was a solid mass of packed snow, etc.
Well, yesterday, our weather changed it up and the temperature reached +5C/41F. I started to get excited and think that Spring might not be so very far away! But, I was also wondering how long it was going to take for all this snow to melt.
What I found out yesterday, which was news to me, is that our snow this year is not holding much moisture because it’s been so cold. So, it will not take as long as I imagine to melt. In fact, parts of the road are already clear after yesterday’s warm temperature. Today the temperature is back down to –5C/23F . . . I should take some photos of the snow before it warms up again . . .
Something else I learned – this is what a Bichon Havenese looks like when having a bad case of static electricity:
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Pepsi has been a lot of work lately. She’s had tonsillitis and an eye infection: 1½ penicillin tablets twice a day for 10 days, 1 pain pill once a day for 7 days, eye drops twice a day for 10 days. Of course, she hates the pills so it’s been a lot of work figuring out new ways to get her to ingest them. On top of that, she came in heat at the same time and, apparently, I’m the only one in the house who can change her “diaper”. Plus, our 9 month old Max decided that he’d like to father her puppies . . . so the 2 of them have been doing some weird mating/courting gestures – he bites her back, she backs up to him with her tail raised (“bad girl, Pepsi!”) – albeit, the diaper has been in the way . . . Anyways, he’s been crazy about her and actual trembles when he’s trying to find her (we’ve had to keep them apart for obvious reasons). He makes some strange squeaking noise when he’s trying to get to her (something from his Pointer breed, maybe?). Just when he gets settled down, Pepsi will come sauntering around the corner to see what all the fuss is about (the little tease). It’s just been so much work, that we’ve decided to get her spayed. Her appointment is in 2 weeks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

pity party for one

I had a crummy day yesterday . . .

I remember when we announced we were moving here, another parent at "Swedish School" told me to get a light therapy lamp to help with the seasonal affective disorder/winter depression . . . I never did buy one, and I haven't been much affected by SAD, but I think this long winter is killing me . . .

Even though the days are getting noticeably longer, this winter has just been so freakin' long! Our first snow was 5 months ago . . . Other than Friday (which was sunny), it had snowed for 7 days in a row before that.

So, yesterday I stayed in bed. All. Day. I let Stefan take Joel to gymnastics and do the grocery shopping. I didn't even open the window blinds - I refused to look at that white stuff outside. I just snuggled in bed, napping, while catching up on episodes of American Idol, Amazing Race and Project Runway on CastTV. And playing Mahjong and my CSI computer game . . .

Please let spring come soon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

hair today

Trying out some new do’s lately . . . Sofia has started groaning when she sees me looking at hair blogs . . . she’s not as patient as she used to be, and usually asks how long it will take . . . and she usually encourages me to click on styles that take 10 minutes or less.
Saw this one today, but can’t remember where, so we photographed it in case we want to try it again some day.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

happy thoughts

In an attempt to distract me from what’s happening outside my window, I’m going to close my eyes and think of sand and sun . . .
In January 2008, my brother took us on a Mediterranean cruise. We LOVED it. We will definitely do a cruise again some day. It was one month after we had been granted our adoption permit, so it was a welcome distraction from the constant wondering “will we get THE call today?”
Here are some of the highlights:
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Embarking from Rome.
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Our ship in Olympia, Greece.                                                   Olympia.
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Athens.                                              Olympic Stadium.
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Ephesus, Turkey.                                                                       Turkey.
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Rhodes (tour in the am).                                                         Rhodes (shopping in the walled city in the pm).
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Cyprus (tombs).                                Cyprus (Stefan wasn’t with – he was laying in the sick bay).
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Egypt.                                                                   Amazing camel ride.
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Back in Rome.

OK, so not exactly beach weather, but at least we didn’t need winter jackets.

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.