Monday, 30 November 2009

Bacon fever

Just over two weeks ago we managed to get jabs for the kids for the swine flu. There has been mild hysteria here as the number of confirmed cases has been rising in Autumn (when it's traditional for flu outbreaks and magsjuka (vomitting & diahorrea)).

This has been compounded by the risk groups getting the jabs first (quite rightly) and then it being opened up to children - but the demand vastly exceeded supply. So we'd been to the local clinic a couple of times in the previous week - too late as the stocks had run out.

Anyway the other Friday a local clinic had 8-10am and 1-3pm slots. Turning up a little after 9 was hopeless as stocks had already been allocated to those queing - I found out from a work colleague who'd turned up at 7:50 that the stocks had been allocated already then!

So we returned at 12:10 - and I was no 27 in the queue already! It was a cold afternoon and I wasn't properly dressed. The kids and mum turned up about 10 minutes later - then we were a group that were improperly dressed - with a miserable wait ahead of us!

Eventually the doors opened at 12:50 and we were allocated tickets to return at 1:30 - at least we'd got them - the queue behind us was already very long! We could go and get a coffee and hope that my feet de-frosted.

The jabs went well - although an unpleasant shock for Emily. About 2-3 hours later Alice was showing symptoms of effects - a fever over 39c and aches and pains everywhere. We gave her some painkillers around bedtime and that did the trick for a night's sleep - within about 20 hours she was back to herself again.

Emily's reaction to the shot was the opposite - it was as though she'd had an adrenalin shot and was rushing about at full speed!

We had a mild version compared to a work colleague. They had both their daughters vaccinated and one daughter had the symptoms for a week - high fever and vomitting. Talk about luck...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Truth Hurts!

You have to be careful what you say in front of 4-5 year-olds!

Recently we'd made a comment about a neighbours driving - they were using the car bumpers "liberally" to get out of a parking space.

Well a couple of weeks later mum, Alice and Emily met the neighbour in the street. It's always a friendly chat about things going on in the neighbourhood and how Alice and Emily are getting on at nursery.

However, today Alice a question in mind: "Why are you so bad at parking?"

Now it was time for mum to pay close attention to something Emily was doing and let Alice handle that conversation herself... In good humour the neighbour accepted the observations and everyone are still friends!

But now we know we have to be extra careful what we're saying in front of Alice!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Swedish Father's Day

No not a day only for Swedish fathers, but a "father's day" in Sweden.

This year it was in danger of going by unnoticed - I didn't do any prompting (partly because it wasn't marked in the calendar.)

The adverts surfaced a few days before and then on Saturday mum and Alice where going out "shopping" - mainly for sweets for Alice. But before going Alice asked my what I wanted for father's day. I said I didn't or mind.

Then Alice saw "an opportunity and she took it" (a la "Flushed Away")

A: Would you like an animal?
Me: What sort of animal?

A: A cat maybe?
Me: No (laughing)

A: A dog then?
Me: No

A: Mmm, maybe a horse?
Me: ha ha ha

So, the mind-washing continues!

Alice really wants a cat (or a dog, or anything big enough to survive a lot of clapping and hugging...) She doesn't miss an opportunity - but now she's making it look like it's something for me! What a mind for a soon-to-be-5yro!

Well fathers day arrived and in trooped mum and the kids to wake me up with a song - except there is no father's day song - so Alice was singing "happy birthday" in Swedish!

I got a really nice handmade ghost from Alice, a comb(!) a very nice cream-and-rhubarb-and-banana home-made cake and a card that Alice picked:-

O, the brain-washing continues!!!! Drip, drip, drip,...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Confusing Animals

The other day we saw a neighbour who was out walking the dog. A big dog. We went over the talk and for Alice to pat the dog. In the meantime Emily kept saying, "Meow."

C for Camel
Image by jACK TWO via Flickr

Alice likes camels. She's ridden them on two different occasions - the two-humped variety (Bactarian?) This is very handy for kids - they slot nicely between the humps as a type of protection - sort of ready-made air-bags!

She also likes zebras - because they're stripy. Emily gets zebras correct - making a neighing sound. But Alice confuses zebras and camels - just at the moment if you show her a zebra she'll call it a camel.

Latest addition to the vocabulary for Alice: Optopus

All this confusion is probably not helped by learning them in two languages!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Alice has now got into the age where she's interested in the "traditions" associated with halloween.

It started a couple of weeks ago when the big pumpkins started appearing in the shops. "Can we get one..." We'd never carved a pumpkin but thought "why not".

When I was little we carved out swedes - but that's another story...

On Friday Bollibompa (kids tv program) did a special on pumpkin carving, pies, halloween etc. Alice spotted two recipes on there and re-told them about how to make pumpkin crisps and roast the pumpkin seeds - sprinkle with salt and oil and put in the oven. I was impressed by the attention to detail...

Then there was the trick-or-treat requests...

So we bought a pumpkin the weekend before without really knowing what to do with it. A bit of "interwebbing" gave a few tips - one being about how to stop it drying out. We didn't have anything for that so we delayed the carving - which was a good tip.

Mum did the carving out on Friday evening. A good job to produce a suitably spooky look:

Kiss or Treat
Alice wanted to go trick-or-treating. I think this was something being discussed by the kids at nursery.

In swedish "trick or treat" is "Buss eller Godis" - literally "Trick or sweets". Alice had misheard this or mis-pronounced this as "Puss eller godis" - literally "Kiss or Sweets" - which sounded much funnier...

Anyway, there had been a lot of requests from Alice to do this and neither me or mum were very keen on doing this - too tired after a full day on Saturday.

Just as the discussion had finished there was a knock on the door. Two nursery friends and a mum were trick-or-treating and wanted to see if Alice would join in.


Well I've never seen her do a change of clothes so quickly. Within seconds a sleeping beauty dress was on (to match the other two girls) and she was ready for the off.

About an hour later a very happy girl returned with a load of sweets! A happy ending to the day.

Tired Pumpkin

The pumpkin dried out within a couple of days and started looking tired (or maybe more angry):-

Until next year...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Joke Telling

Alice told a joke the other day, which I thought was really impressive.

It was one she'd heard on kids tv, but it illustrated a few development points.

  • Being able to remember a story
  • Re-tell a story in a funny way - building-up to the punchline
  • Demonstrating a sense of humour

It make me chuckle. What was the joke?

If was a Bellman joke:
A Frenchman, Russian and Bellman were on a farm and wanted to see how long they could be in with the pigs.
The Frenchman went into a pig sty and came out after a couple of minutes, "Aw, the pig farted on me!"
Next the Russian went in, but came out after 10 minutes, "Aw, the pig farted on me!"
Then it was Bellman's turn. He went into the pig sty. After 2 hours the pig came out, "Aw, Bellman farted on me!"

Ha, ha...