Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Santa Visit

Busy day, as we also managed to find Santa at the Mall today...

Santa Lucia

We're storming towards christmas, and it dawned on us yesterday night, that today would be Santa Lucia...

It is an old Saint's Day, but in Scandinavia, this day has been turned into a celebration of light, with breakfast in bed for the oldest in the house, provided by Lucia her self and the star boys and terns (if you have a gaggle of girls going...) (well, actually it is their parents).

"Luckily" Lars wanted attention in the middle of the night so mummy had the pleasure of sticking the buns that daddy had prepared at 1.30 in the oven in time... better late than never, and surely a morning to remember!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Don't take young children on road trips just before bed time...

We stupidly decided that yes, we could do two parties in one day, and yes driving almost one hour to get to the last one, at exactly one hour before bedtime would be a wonderful idea (you might see a common thread in our parenting experience...)

Well, the one hour turned to almost twice that, thanks to a wheel coming off a car, finding its way through the windshield of another on the Beltway. The result: a liberal amount of adlibbing in finding our way there (involving more traffic chaos on alternative routes, and crossing the Potomac a couple of times too many)...

Spending quality time with your children is always good: doing so in a non-moving confined space, having them tied to their seats whilst hunger and tiredness do their magic, is most likely something we will not recommend to any of you, although the following pearl of conversation did take place:

I gave Lars a 7-Eleven cup holder, to keep him just a little bit quiet in a rather tight spot. Cecilie immediately tried to grab it out of his hands, insisting she needed to play with it. I sternly said that this was for him only and she should NOT TAKE IT AWAY FROM LARS. She agreed, after some squabble from the back, Cecilie asks in her most innocent voice: "Are these holes for drinks?"

Kirsten gets suspicious, and asks if she has it, as I turn around to see her holding it, while she exclaims: "I don't have it!"

Horror of horrors, all the sudden we are faced with dealing with disobedience AND lying in one sitting, while facing away from her! Kirsten does a very good job at explaining the finer points of socially acceptable behavior, honesty, situational ethics, etc. After a quiet moment Cecilie says with a superior air:

"[sniff] you may call it lying, I call it laying."

I should mention that we found our way there eventually, and that a wonderful time was had by all. With the kids falling asleep in their pajamas one minute after getting in the car on the way home and subsequently sleeping through the night, the trip was crowned a success.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Christmas in New Orleans

Was thinking to myself that Cecilie maybe needed to learn about empathy - maybe take food to the food bank, give toys to the needy, something like that. I have this crazy idea that since we are not going to have our most affluent Christmas, it might be a good year to learn about those who have even less than us.

So this morning we had a conversation about the hurricane in New Orleans. I asked her if she knew what a hurricane was, and she said "Oh yeah, that's when the big winds come and knock your house FLAT, flat to the road." Then, we talked about how those kids wouldn't have much Christmas. We talked about not having decorations, not having clothes or toys or food etc. Her response? "Mommy! We have to have them here at our house! If they don't have a house we can have them here!" I was stopped short (having just had a little toy donation in mind) and said "But Cecilie, I don't know where the people from New Orleans are" and she exclaimed "They're here! I'm sure they're here in Washington! We can find them, Mommy! And then we can have them here at our house! WE have Christmas decorations!"

And once I again, I find myself learning the lessons. I'm wondering if my girl is old enough to understand charity, and instead she is teaching me to be willing to do so much more. Bless her cotton socks.

What's Lars' vote? MORE MILK PLEASE!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Let it snow...

...we're getting seriously chrismassed around here, with snow falling from sun-down last night until after midnight...

Don't know how long it will last, there is a SMALL chance that we'll actually survive the day with snow cover, but Cecilie has seen it disappear in front of her eyes, so she seized the opportunity, springing out of bed, getting her advent calendar treat, exclaiming: "The snow is still there, let's go out and play, before breakfast, it is so wonderful, isn't it? I really like the snow!"

Well, it is the kind of exuberance that is impossible to resist, we went out and had a blast. She seems to have forgotten that she's afraid of snow, so that's good, and Lars, he dug sittin' there watching us sled, and make snow angels, and Cecilie's favorite: tracking the fox that had been playing in the back yard in the night... (she refuses to believe that he's probably there every night, it is just that we can see his foot prints when it has been snowing, in her mind he probably stays in the neighbors' yard.)

Shock and awe...

...well, really just AWE...

These are some cool ones that I got from my aunt this morning, she makes the best cinnamon buns in the world too, calling her multi-talented is an understatement!

No animation here folks, just your eyes pulling a trick on you, focus on one spot and it should all come to a halt!

Monday, December 5, 2005

Pigs into earrings

There might be entirely too many fairytales being told in this house...

Cecilie has a couple of artsy pigs that have resided on the window sill above the sink in the kitchen for quite some time. In preparation for christmas they were replaced by a wooden christmas scene on Saturday. Grandma put her earrings on the sill that night and yesterday morning, when Cecilie was washing her hands, she exclaimed with a sense of mystery and wonder: "My pigs have been turned into earrings..!?!"

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Lars In a Dress, or A Good Reason for a Party

In the Presbyterian tradition, it all starts with baby baptism. This
occasioned the purchase of Lars' first (and presumably only) long white gown to wear to church, and involved a lot of to-do in preparing the Schneider manse for a fete in honor of the young prince. Cecilie & her Daddy were in charge of Xmas tree decoration, Grandma was in charge of the catering, Grandpa was in charge of building a roaring fire, and Mommy.... well, Mommy was in charge of trying to find something, anything, to wear for the occasion. (The story of an entire day off spent at the mall instead of with my kids is too tragic to be retelling).

But I'm getting ahead of our story. The point is that Lars Bjorn Nilsen was welcomed into the family of Christ at Georgetown Presbyterian Church (the same church we were married in), and he was a superstar. He didn't mind the whole dress issue, didn't mind being held by the minister (or "priestess" as one of our guests preferred to refer to her:), and even met the drops of water on the forehead with equanimity.

By all accounts, the most touching part of the ceremony was the trip around the sanctuary that the minister took with Lars, to show off the new member and introduce him to The Family.

As with all major milestones in one's life, there were lots of friends & family around to celebrate, lots of good food, one or two tantrums, and of course another fashion show (audience numbers are steadily increasing and the show now includes several seasonal monologues). A wonderful way to keep the holiday season going!
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