I have moved

You can mostly find me here these days instead. I'll do cross-posting for a while longer though.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Unexpected Journey

I am reading The Hobbit to Isabel in the evenings. It's been a long journey, not only for Bilbo and his dwarf friends but for us as well. I think we started reading in October and only last night did we get to the chapter where the dwarves find out the dragon is slain.

Last week the dwarves had finally arrived at The Lonely Mountain, after a long and arduous journey and were coaxing Bilbo to sneak into the dragon's den. The conversation between Bilbo and the dragon that followed is a very suspenseful piece of writing and I did my very best to read it with feeling and dramatic flair.

Isabel enjoyed the reading (at least that's what she told me) but Sofia was less impressed.

All tuckered out

She fell asleep just as Smaug teased Bilbo with what he had figured out about him and his friends and where they came from. I guess we will have to read it again to her in a few year's time.

The dialogue got an added depth because in my head I could hear the lines being said by Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch who are cast to play Bilbo and Smaug respectively. Their voices are very clear in my mind since they also star as Watson and Sherlock in the recent BBC production of Sherlock. I have seen both series 1 and 2 several times and know the material very well.

It was a fun read for us all.

But Sofia didn't think so.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

House of Pestilence

Well, this has been one of the crappier weeks.

I started it off on Thursday the week before feeling a bit under the weather. I have had a cough all winter and it just won't budge so even though I had a bit to get done I took Thursday off as a sickday to see if a day's rest couldn't help me along. Friday I still felt off but I went to the office to finish up the last items on my to-do-list that couldn't wait until I got back from my vacation.

Week 8 is traditionally the Winter Sport Holiday for school kids in our part of Sweden and I had taken the time off to be with the girls at home and maybe do some fun stuffs.

The girls spent Saturday - Monday at the in-law's and had a blast. We took advantage of them being away by going to IKEA to get a new book case for our kitchen china. It turned out really well.

We visited IKEA today

Anyway - Monday rolled along and Rickard said he felt a little weird. He was coughing a lot and he felt feverish but he went to work anyway. I stayed home and had a relaxing morning before going to fetch the girls at noon.
When Rickard came home that night he was definitely not well. He had a high fever and he coughed the whole evening and night.

I felt bad about transferring my cold to him but there wasn't much I could do about it. He was scheduled to visit a customer 300 km away on the Tuesday and it was an important visit so despite a fever of 39.3 C he got in the car at 5 am to drive the 300 km twice in one day.

He threw in the towel at 3 pm and drove home and came to Malmö at 6:30 pm and did little else than take a shower and then crashing in bed. Only to get up at the usual time the next day because he had to give a class at the office that had been scheduled since way back and there were people from India flying in to take the class specifically. And of course no back up.

During the night I had started feeling ill as well and on Wednesday when he dragged his feet to work I stayed home with the girls again but this time I had a fever too. Both girls got to play on the computer and watch movies to their hearts' content since I wasn't good for much besides lying on the sofa under a thick blanket and help them change the movie.

Thursday I still had a high fever but I had a doctor's appointment for me and a nurse's visit for Sofia to take care of - and no car. So my Mum came in to lend me her car and to take care of the girls while I was away.
It was also my birthday which made me feel extra miserable for being sick. As soon as I came back from the doctor she took off to minimize the risk of catching it.

Turns out what Rickard and I both had was most likely the flu. Apparently there was a surge in reported flu cases this week all over Sweden. I was so happy it wasn't a stomach flu though. That would have sucked on so many levels.

Both girls are still well and are supposed to go back to school/daycare tomorrow. Rickard plans to stay home and I still have a slight fever and can't decide if I should go back to work and risk passing it on to my co-workers or if I should just stay home as well. I think I'll give my boss a ring tomorrow morning - I have to come in late anyway since we have a meeting with Isabel's teacher in the morning.

The one fun point this week though was that we got a new little Princess in Sweden on Thursday who thus shares my birthday. Our Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to her first child, a girl on the 23rd. So I can look forward to celebrating my birthday on a Flag day in the future - maybe not just yet though since she's only second in the succession line.
They named her H.R.H. Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden. She will be called Estelle. It's not a common Swedish name at all and not a traditional Royal name either so of course it has sparked a lot of debate and controversy already. As such things tend to do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pancake breakfast

We've had a weekend off from activities and I almost promised the girls to go to town and have breakfast today Sunday.
Then we ended up going to town on Friday to have my phone looked at and yesterday my Mum treated us to dinner out to celebrate her birthday. So going out again today felt excessive.

Instead I promised the girls pancakes or waffles for breakfast.


I ended up staying up way too late last night playing games on my iPad and didn't turn off the light until a quarter to 2 am. I know. Stupid.

By 7:30 am both girls were up and wanted to watch telly. They can start it up themselves so I quickly went back to sleep.
Then at 8:15 am Isabel stomps into our bedroom proclaiming it morning and time to get up.
We both moan and tell her to leave and Rickard quickly goes back to sleep, but I can't for the life of me do the same.

I did try but I just couldn't relax enough.

In the end I went downstairs and started the pancake making.

I made a smaller batch this morning since I didn't want to spend all morning frying up pancakes so I only used up 2 eggs.


Sofia only ate 6 hearts and left the other 6 I made her but Isabel scarfed them all down and had a sandwich or two as well.

This is how I made them:

2 dl all-purpose flour (1 cup is 2.5-ish dl so slightly less then a cup)

1 tsp salt
4 dl milk (1.5% - skimmed, right?)
2 eggs
a splash of liquid shortening or melted butter/margarine
If you're not eating savoury toppings with this a splash of vanilla extract is nice to add as well.

Mix the flour and the salt. Add half the milk to the flour and beat with a whisk until there are no lumps (or at least not too many), then add the rest of the milk.
Beat in the eggs and the shortening and leave it to rest for 15 minutes if you have the time.

Heat up a skillet and melt a little butter/shortening to help indicate when the pan is hot enough. Pour in enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and let it sit until the batter is dry on top, then flip the pancake and fry it on the other side.

I usually heat up the skillet on max heat and fry the first pancake, after I flip that one I reduce the heat (7 of 9 - hah, how's that for a geeky reference) and fry the rest. The first pancake is usually a little paler than the rest.
If you have some shortening in the batter you only need to butter the skillet that first time.

These are more like crepes I guess. My mother would pour in the batter to cover the bottom, let it fry a second or two then pour the excess off into the bowl. That makes the thinnest crepes, but it also takes a lot longer so I never bother.

Today I poured the batter into a squezy bottle since I used my heart shape skillet. It's easier not to get too much batter into each slot.

Serve with honey, jam, cinnamon sugar, peanut butter, Nutella.

I like to spread peanut butter on one, add sliced bananas and a little dollop of Nutella or a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and some shaved coconut if I have it then put a second pancake on top.

Sometimes I fry up small pieces of bacon until they are really crispy then transfer them to a paper towel. Mix the batter but leave the vanilla out and put a tbsp of bacon pieces in the pan before adding the batter. Make them a little thicker to make sure the bacon stays put.
Serve with  lingonberry jam or cranberry jam/jelly (don't serve with the sweet jams like strawberry or raspberry, it needs a bit of tang to compliment the saltyness of the bacon).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Phone issues

I'm having issues with my phone and thought I'd take the time to blog while it's being reset.

I was working from home today. I had some manuals out on review and got them back the day before yesterday with loads of comments and somehow I get less distracted if I sit at home and make the adjustments.

I had BBC's Sherlock on in the background - I can't see the telly from the kitchen table where I was sitting so I could only hear it, and it's still compelling.
It's fun how much of the foreshadowing you pick up on when you watch/listen to it again and again.

Incidentally - I read they start filming the new series of Doctor Who on the 20th. They'll air series 7 this fall. It's going to be amazing I have no doubt.

I got lots done but I didn't finish - I'll have to pick it up again on Monday. I only work 4.5 hours on Fridays and get off at 1 pm.

Since my phone was acting up (the touch screen is being wonky on the left side) I decided to go fetch the girls and then take the bus to town.
Normally I would have walked past the school to pick up Sofia first so Isabel wouldn't have to walk back and forth, but then I realised there is a bus outside the daycare that we could catch and so I picked Isabel up first after all.

It was halfway from school to daycare that I noticed she was still wearing her wellies. So we ended up picking Sofia up and still walking back to school so Isabel could change into her boots. Had it not been Friday I wouldn't have bothered.

We caught the bus - it was only a few minutes to wait - and got off the bus downtown. We took a walk to their least favourite store - the phone store.
Once there the clerk couldn't help me and said I would have to do a complete reset and I needed to do a proper back up of the phone first so I couldn't do it there. Meaning we went there completely in vain.

The girls were happy though as it meant we went to a coffee house for hot chocolate, scones and cupcakes.

After fika we went to get Sofia a warmer jacket. She's had a thin fall jacket until now but it's gotten too cold to use it. Even though she wears a cardi underneath it's too cold.
She was very happy with the busy pink and purple print on the jacket we got.

After that we went to the pharmacy, the video game store, Matas (which is like Boots in the UK), the kitchen supply store and then we decided to meet up with Rickard who had the car today so we walked to Isabel's first daycare in town and the girls played at that playground.
I felt like a icicle once Rickard showed up and I'm still freezing.

We've had dinner and Rickard and the girls are watching telly and I'm battling my phone to make it work. Fingers crossed.
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