Friday, September 30, 2005

Carwash and Christmas meat

So this is what the Nilsens have been up to this week...

Torbjorn has been undertaking the ritual preparation of the Christmas lamb. This involves about 20lbs of salt, and huge racks of lamb ribs. It was all too visceral for some of us in the household, but Torbjorn was game (geddit) for pulling on the rubber dishwashing gloves and grinding the salt in to the meat, where it will sit in a Rubbermaid box for about 2 weeks.

Then, the meat is hung up to dry until Christmas. Most of the Nilsens will be in Catonsville for the holidays, and then we will soak the meat, boil it, then grill it for the traditional Xmas Eve pinnekjott.
For my feeble contributions (pouring the salt) I got a severe case of nausea, on the upside I was told on great authority that I have now attained full "Norwegianhoodness".

And equally ritualistic, Cecilie assisted her Grandpa with the Friday afternoon carwash. This was the Schneider kids' job EVERY Friday, but now that we're grown and not so good about remembering our training, I guess he's going to train the next generation. And oh boy, was she proud.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What I believe in...

I took this test and it turns out I am:

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (99%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (95%)
4. Reform Judaism (91%)
5. New Age (89%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (83%)

Now I know, how interesting...


We're turning a corner, this is the final "before" picture, from here on in we're building and making, rather than tearing down, we should be done "building" within two weeks... won't have a countertop, but that's so highly OVERRATED!!!

We both put in some time painting bedrooms today, it felt really good.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Cecilie is three!!!

There is much to be said for spreading your birthday over two days - two special birthday bike rides, two candle-blowing sessions, and most importantly: TWO CAKES.

Cecilie had her family birthday on the 23rd, with presents from Farmor, Grandma & Grandpa and Mommy & Daddy in the morning, along with pancake breakfast. The big present (purchased the night before, see previous blog) was a big red wagon with 2 seats, seatbelts, and ooo la la - cupholders.

Saturday was the Flower Birthday Party, with 4 of Cecilie's friends: Lauren, Emily, Mira and Naomi. It all started out so simply, a little girl party with crafts on the back porch. But perhaps I should have known that getting inspiration from a Martha Stewart kid's birthday party will only lead to heartache - or rather, to neurotic obsession with finding every flower-themed product out there, and artfully draping candy worms out of cupcake flowerpots at 1 am the night before.

All said & done, the party was a smashing success, with flower shaped sandwiches, flower shape jello, lemonade and daisy cookies. The crowning glory was a bright green marzipan cream cake with yellow daisies made by Farmor & Daddy.

Grandma was Master of Ceremonies & had the girls 'digging in the garden' [sandbox] for treasure, painting & gluing their own flower pictures, and planting grass seeds in tiny flowerpots. The most popular activity was the high energy Daddy game of very fast rides in the new wagon, all around the garden.

Success would be measured by no tantrums, minimal tears, maximum sharing and no throwing up. Note to selves: paint in craft projects not recommended, after Lauren ended up sitting in the middle of her project of wet green paint.

Seems all at once like a very LONG three years, but also an incredibly short time as I watch my grown up girl march around in her school clothes & big girl shoes. Three years ago she was such a tiny thing! Such the paradox of parenting.

As always, if you want more pictures, see photobox. Let us know if you don't have, and want, access.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Tomorrow is Cecilie's big day. Tonight at bedtime I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said "another bike would be nice...", so I rephrased it to be more about what she thought her mum and dad would get her and her prompt reply was: "what, are you going to the store to buy it for me tonight...?" --Well, we're just back from Target, burning the midnight oil and wrapping away... Oh yeah, we've been planning the gift for ages.

Its been a good week for Cecilieism, here are a few other gems:

Saying grace tonight -
C: Dear Gawd, thank you for this happy day. Amen [standard Cecilie prayer for all occasions]
Grandpa in stage whisper: ... what about thanking for food...?
C: ...and thank you for the food and the hands that repaired it, amen!

Sitting on my lap -
C: are you chubby like Grandma?
Mortified Mum: well, what do you think?
C: Well, you are pretty big...

Overhearing mum and dad talking and laughing, and wanting to be part -
"Ha ha ha [fake laugh], that's too funny..."

To me, watching Torbjorn eating Cheetos -
"I am just fascinated by what your husband is eating."

Talking seriously to me-
" I crack myself up!"

To her Farmor: I am so glad you get to meet my friend Lauren, she is swell!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bet you didn't know that...

Amanda got me all jittery about Napoleon Dynamite (while on the subject of great movies...)

The Liger is not a mythical creature, it is as a matter of fact the world's largest cat. Here, as an example is Hobbs. An average male liger weighs over 900 pounds and stands almost 12 feet tall. By way of size comparison, male Siberian tigers (the largest non-extinct naturally occurring member of the cat family, Felidea) average between 400 and 600 pounds.

The reason that they are called a liger is because the father was a lion and the mother was a tiger. If the situation was reversed and the mother was a lion and the father was a tiger, he would be called a tigon. A fully grown tigon is usually less that 350lbs.

Ligers are not always sterile, and they can reproduce. If a liger were
to reproduce with a tiger, it would be called a titi, and if it were to reproduce with a lion, it would be call a lili. You can also end up with ti-tigons and tig-ligers if you work really hard at it and the facts from the private zoos of the world are true.

Just don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we all know that I'm training to be a cage fighter. Forget about it.

Paint in eye...

At least he was wearing goggles for a little while as he was painting the ceilings, but appearantly it got too hot for him, so he decided to wear his goggles on top of his head and - oh hey what a shock - a big splatter of paint made it straight to his eye. So he calls home to ask if he should go to the emergency room, and because he'd pissed me off by not following directions , he failed to get any sympathy and was told just to rinse the *@#! paint out and come home.

The fact that we are now painting is an indicator that we are nearing the beginning of the end. Our kitchen cabinets are being delivered Wednesday and after we dropped Cecilie off at school this morning we ordered our range, etc. for delivery next week. The plumber and electrician are the last tradesmen to be engaged, but their services has now been enlisted and work is being scheduled.

So, painting painting painting for us! And those who know me know how it warms my heart to dig out my boxes of paint samples..... Taupe taupe taupe & more taupe! Hurrah!

And here is Cecilie in her rubber duck pyjamas, she's in love with them at the moment and goes nowhere without them. She will be THREE this Friday, and talks like she is 33. This morning, given the choice of juice or milk for breakfast, she replied "oh, I prefer juice, I think."

Stay tuned for photos of the flower birthday party!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lars the grower

So, the boy is 6 months and the result from the jury is in, he's not quite shrunk but he's more regular size than last check up: 19 lbs (8600 g), 28" (71 cm). This is not to say he's wilting, but let's just say he shouldn't suffer any complexes with the name "Lillebjorn"!

Farmor is in town, seeing him for the first time. She is of course very excited, saying he looks just like me, except I never had thighs that you could hide pennies in... Oh, she knows how to flatter her own son and speak highly of her grandchild at the same time.

Last time it took a few days to warm up, but Cecilie has hit it off really well with farmor this visit. It does of course help that my mum has no inhibitions about spending a whole day in the dollar store with her, rounded off with a visit to the ice cream store - life is good when you are three and have two grandmothers vying
for your attention.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

If you only see ONE movie this year...

...make it Crash

It was released on DVD in the USA yesterday, it is on general release in England, and it is poetry.

I am a sucker for ensemble productions, but this is so much better than any of the Guest movies Magnolia, Short Cuts, Boogie Nights and the rest.

It'll will have you laugh, it will have you cry and it will have you think, what more could you possibly want from a movie? In my humble opinion it is the frist 10/10 movie released since Memento in 2000.

And here are the rest of my 10/10 movies:
Casablanca (1942)
Crash (2004)
A Short Film About Killing (1988)
The Killer (1989)
Fargo (1996)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Memento (2000)
Out of Sight (1998)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Sunday, September 4, 2005

The Nilsen twins

It's a long weekend (Labor Day) here in the States this weekend and our plans goes no further than the pool, which is closing after Monday - well, we have three kids under three in tow... Christy and Grandpa has been great help, but tonight we're braving it on our own!

Auntie Deb brought this picture from earlier in the summer. Rumor has it that Lars is my brother, all I can say is that he is one cool kid.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Other bloggers...

This is of course all Eileen's fault, she is such a trendsetter (always has been). Anyways, here are the other current bloggers in our circle in the order they came on-line, you'll find permanent links in the margin:

Sasha, Eileen and Reuben - the original...
Eileen's sister Linda (and Ray and Matt)
Amanda's - Amanda and Peter, wedding pictures included
The Pettersens - brand spanking new!
Another Pettersen's - brand spanking newer!

Do you have a blog that we don't know about? We'd love to hear from you, if you prefer NOT having a link from our blog let us know...
On a related note, due to issues with spam in our comments, we've made it a little bit more difficult to post (you have to type in five given letters) - but it is really nice to hear from you so please don't stop posting words of wisdom, just stop linking to dodgy sites and we'll remain friends!

OK, what I really needed was an excuse to post a picture of bathtime yesterday with Talia...

(yes I know, our flash is kaput, anyone know if we can have it replaced?)

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Cabin Life

We're just back from an overnight trip to see the Mattisons at Deep Creek Lake at the cabin they rented for a week.

Weather wasn't exactly on our side, but we found some time between the showers to rent a boat and go exploring the lake, the girls were very apprehensive at first, but soon warmed up and had their turns at the "wheel". As weather turned nasty the ladies and Lars got off at the marina and Karl and I went playing like kids (we had the lake to ourselves, what would you expect?).

The girls seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely; spending A LOT of time climbing in to and out of the bunk beds and saying good night / good morning in the process. Us adults enjoyed a nice evening making s'mores and working at solving the all important question of the meaning of life.

The only other thing the group did was exploring the local coffee house, which was found to be to an exceptionally high standard.

On the way home we stopped by Grandma Joan's house in West Virginia to pick up a sofa, a desk and a freezer for the Yellow house.
It is very sad that the house has been sold (end of an era indeed), but we are of course grateful for any help with making the yellow house a home.

Carl and Talia will be here for another week and the Lintner clan are coming for the weekend to finish off the house business, and to celebrate Grandma's 90th.

There are much more pictures on photobox, if you don't have access, let us know and we'll hook you up...
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