Monday, 29 June 2009


Last weekend we were away in the country for midsummer. We squeezed in most of the traditions - collection of midsummer flowers, midsummer celebration and biting insects!


Emily is getting more used to water games. She was dying to get into the lake, cold as it was - of course, she got her way. So we set up a little water for her on the grass closer to the house - a bath tub filled with lukewarm water.

Her hands were straight in there for a bit of splashing. Quickly followed by the rest of her - fully clothed. She was happy to sit there - in the sunshine fully clothed.

It's amazing how much water nappies absorb - when it came off it had grown to 5 times the size and weighed quite an amount!


It wasn't too bad for biting insects. Emily got a couple of bites without any big reaction. Alice got a few around the midriff which started swelling and we tackled with balsam.

I had a couple - one on the arm that swelled up giving me a new temporary muscle. Then one on the bum - a mozzie had hidden in the toilet - again a swelled-up reaction...

I seem to react the worst to mosquito, horse fly and gnat bites in the family (it gets

{{Potd/2005-02-1 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

me quite irritated too - another strong reaction.)

There is a suggestion that I'm comparable with the fete of the Iceland horse. -->

The Iceland horses that are brought to Sweden suffer badly from the climate (too warm?) But the ones that are born here do much better. So maybe that's why I'm the odd one out in the family.

My bites were near the elbow and the bum. So I guess I now know the difference between the 2 after all these year ;-)

Swellings have faided now, but I have a sense of solidarity with the Iceland horse...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

16m developments

Emily has just passed the 16 month old mark. Now's a good time to jot down a few notes on her latest "learnings".

In the last couple of weeks she's started taking me to where I'm needed - coming up and grabbing my little finger or trouser leg and pulling me in the direction I'm needed. It's usually to read a book.

The current vocabulary consists of "Hello" (used in an echo manner - to check for response), "Mamma", "Pappa", "Nej" (used in disagreement - when she doesn't want to do something), "Quack Quack" (used for a variety of animals - but mainly ducks/birds) and "Cuckliecoo/cock-a-doodle-doo" (used with cockerels and also in a form of "geronimo - here goes!").

She's just started doing something to get a humourous response. It started with her laughing at burping - something Alice is good at - a few weeks ago. But now she imitates it herself - but in a pre-meditated audience capture. She'll call out 'pappa' and when I look around she'll do a half-burp/half-growl - which brings a laugh from me (if only because it's so pre-meditated.) The laughing triggers a bit of repetition...

So, to me it's fascinating how she's now 'performing' for laughs...

Monday was a very sunny day. During a pre-lunch walk she discovered her shadow. She started following it for a bit then stopped. She did a 180 to see who was behind - no one. Then she glanced back over her shoulder - the shadow was now behind her - it hadn't changed direction. About turn, and carry on following...

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Flowers for Mamma, Pappa & Emily

Yesterday was another day at home for Alice. She had a sore throat and there was no need for me to send her to nursery.

I did have big plans about going off to an electronics store looking for a DVD player, but that got vetoed. Alice wanted to go play in a park. If Emily could speak in sentences she would no doubt agree. Fair enough, park it is.

But now the morning preparations had dragged on so we decided to start off with lunch. Off to MacD's for some lunch including ice cream - yeah, my browny points are rising! Even though Emily didn't eat so much she still managed to do a little bit of artwork with the food - I anticipated this and covered her and the surrounding area in plastic bibs...

After lunch we headed off to a park - one that we don't visit so often. We had a good couple of hours there - it took a while to get there as Emily was keen to walk and explore on the way.

The park - called "The Big Boat Park" by the kids - has a big range of different equipment - swings, slides, climbing frames, plank-walks and sandpits for both the younger and older children. Alice took the opportunity to rest (we'd been telling her she needed to rest to get better) on a lie-down swing - happily sitting there eating an apple for 20 minutes.

On the way back Alice picked some flowers - for mamma, pappa and a little one for Emily.

At this time of year, midsummer, picking flowers is something everyone does - whether it's for the majstång, some other midsummer ritual or just decoration.

Emily saw them and wanted to have a look. We know that Emily's investigations of flowers can be a little destructive (and Alice knows this too), so Alice was reluctant.

However, Alice didn't want to carry them the whole way home so they got put into the pram - in the carriage under the seat. Well, Emily obviously didn't forget about them and leaned over. It was too late before I saw that she'd got them.

I suppose there's something about having what you're not allowed to have...

There was no point trying to get them back without starting a struggle and risking some sort of fall out between sisters...

The rest of the journey home was spent with me trying to shade Emily from Alice - so Alice didn't what she had - a couple of slowly dismembered flowers. I managed to get rid of the discarded petals without being seen.

When all evidence was disposed of I lifted the pram hood back to usual height - there was Emily with pollen on her cheeks...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Plums and Locks of Hair

Today Alice was at home, so we had a long breakfast. Part of it being fruit - and plums in particular. Both her and Emily had had one for breakf

plum stoneImage by aesop via Flickr

ast and Alice took another.

Breakfast TV is quite absorbing for Alice. Sometimes she can almost go into a trance watching it, not really paying attention to what's happening around or being said.

Well, I think this must've been the case...

Then came the news. The plum stone had been swallowed. Oops. Trying to hide slightly shocked looks we asked if it went down whole or in bits. Whole.

Well they weren't huge plums, but I guess we'll have to listen out for any screams from the bathroom over the next day or so...

Later in the day when we were eating plums again Alice asked for them halved and de-stoned!

In the afternoon whilst I was preparing tea, Alice and Emily were playing together in Alice's room. Then in comes Alice - both hands behind her back - wanting me to open the door to for the rubbish bin. I do so and out comes a hand with a clump of hair in it.

Me: "Where did that come from?"
Alice: "I found it on the floor."

I see the other hand holding a pair of scissors! Then in comes Emily. Yes, of course I'm getting suspicious.

I began secretly examining both Alice's and Emily's hair for any patches missing. Emily's looked a bit strange in one area - but it could also be food she's rubbed in there from a previous snack!

Well, Alice was probably telling the truth - that she found in on the floor - but whether it was a result of discovery or haircutting I can't tell...

Friday, 12 June 2009

Raindrops keep falling...

Pram trouble
It was sunny the other day - after a week of torrential rain. Getting ready to go out. I was having a bit of trouble arranging the cover of the pram. It wasn't moving properly. On closer inspection there was a big bow/dent in the metal frame.

I went through a few seconds of internal chuntering about who'd done this and when. I could think of when Alice might've been sat on it... I straightened it out as best I could then we set off. After dropping Alice off at nursery it came to me...

The previous week had been very rainy. Glorious sunshine on the Monday followed by incessant rain every day afterwards. On of those weeks when I discover my waterproof jacket needs re-waterproofing!

Disappearing Pram
Emily was eager to get out into the rain - she had her rain gear on so why not?

SlugImage by Marj Joly via Flickr

Some different bits of wildlife come into show when it's raining.

She was inspecting big juicy slugs. She's still at the age where taste is a big part of the inspection routine, so I was having to keep a close eye on the poor slug.

In the course of a cross-path detour to inspect something Emily fell over - almost theatrically. I could hear from the cry that it hurt so rushed over.

After a little while everything was ok and we could carry on. But wait! The pram was gone and no where to be seen. Ooops. We were, of course, on a slope - quite a steep one!

A bit down the slope I caught sight of it - off through the undergrowth and planted against a tree. It looks like it came down at quite a pace, continuing off-road for a bit - in a pleasingly straight line - wheels in good balance. A bit of a bruise on the tree and the bent hood frame on the pram.

Lesson learnt: Always apply the brake on a slope!

At the bottom of the slope we continued our exploring...

Emily discovers puddles!

Yes, another puddle that couldn't escape investigation.

It was on one of these days that Emily was out exploring in her rain gear - inherited from Alice. Slightly big and with new wellingtons that are maybe a touch on the large side. So, walking can be tricky...

Well the investigation of puddles started tenatively. A few delicate steps into the puddle - ah, you can stand in these things! A few more steps and out the other side. Turnaround and let's do that again...

This went on for a few goes until she was taking run-ups at the puddles! After a bit of this the slighty-oversized wellingtons decided to join in the fun - splash! Yes, I had a prostrate daughter in a puddle with a dislodged welly - and she wasn't happy about it.

Dad to rescue - Emily suitably tired, wet and happy.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Charlie bit me!

New tooth time!

Emily has a new tooth (molar) coming through - one on each side at the bottom now. We get to know about new teeth in a couple of different ways.
  • Catch a glimpse of one when Emily is laughing.
  • Feel something different as she is gnawing on your arm, finger or leg (obviously wanting to try it out!)
Well, mum had seen a new one. So that's how I knew even if I hadn't seen it.

I was sat with Alice and Emily and we'd been joking about teeth which reminded me of the new tooth. I wanted to have a look.

In went a finger. Emily was game, giving it a gentle playful nibble. But when it had been there a bit more than she wanted I got a harder nip. Ouch! And we all laughed about it.

Well, then Alice wanted to feel the new tooth. In went the finger and she too got a little nip. But kids like to (or need to) repeat things. So Alice did the same thing a couple of more times.

Emily enjoyed the game, but had obviously got bored or just wanted to take it to a new level - transforming into mini-rottweiler. Holding on and bring tears to Alice.

End of game.

I couldn't help being reminded about the famous video of the similar playful game - here!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Falling off the tightrope...

Haircut time again. I knew this as I'd been reminded that I needed a haircut. "Do I?" Well, Alice needs one so can you go and have one and take her as well...

Buoyed-up by my previous success, I thought "no problemo". So onto the bike we hopped and set off into town. We made a detour to vote at the euro elections and then found a steep hill we could cycle down - as Alice likes the speed!

When we got to the hairdressers they were closed :-(

As Alice wanted the loo we popped over the road into a shopping centre. There we also found a very good children's clothes shop - where we picked out a few things and Alice tried them on - in a changing room with 2 draw-round curtains that didn't meet in the middle!

Anyway, we were both happy with the result but Alice still wanted to get her hair cut.

So, off we went to see if they had just been shut for lunch. Result! They were open. I went first then followed by Alice. I gave the instructions that it just needed a small trim all over - we agreed on 1cm - and off the fellow set to work.

All happy with the result, off we went to meet mum and Emily.

a 1942 German helmetImage via Wikipedia

Mum wasn't happy - so I took a closer look and true enough the hairstyle reminded me of the picture to the right.

Oh dear.

Later Alice started to feel it was a bit shorter than she wanted.

Oh dear. Looks like I fell off the tightrope this time...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Chickenpox time!

Couple of weeks ago. After nearly two weeks of waiting it arrived. First we noticed the outbreak on Emily, then Alice.

We stocked up on films, ice cream and all types of anti-itching lotions for the duration.

I was under orders from Alice that there's to be no tickling until she's better...

Many different lotions were tried (some quackier than others - potato flour?)

The actual week and a bit of illness was a tough one for all - but especially for the kids.

Alice got it pretty bad - and suffered from a couple of days of high fever. On her return to nursery the teachers said she was the worst case they'd seen in all their years...

Well, at least that illness is out of the way now and luckily they both got it at the same time.

I'm still under tickling quarantine though...