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Who is mommy?

I just realized something sad! The concept of a Kodak moment is about to disappear. Soon everyone will be saying Instagram moment and only us oldies will remember what a Kodak moment is. Sigh.

I am in a phase now where there are a lot of these moments. I sometimes worry that my son will think my mobile is what he should call mommy. His awake time (when he is happy) is still short and when he is a awake I often find myself holding my mobile in front of him taking pictures while goo-ing and gaa-ing behind it trying to catch his cute smiles.

Mommy?

Mommy?

I guess all parents find themselves behind their phone and camera a lot trying to catch photos of those brief moments when your kid smiles or when your kid tries their skis for the first time. You should really be living in the moment and enjoying things on the fly because you often miss something while trying to get the camera settings just right. Yet, you want to be able to treasure those moments later as well. It is a constant thug between being there now or being able to look back at those moments. You might be able to wait until they are a sleep to Instagram those photos but that moment only happens once.

So I will probably keep asking myself if my sons smiles are worth less seen through the mobile but I am pretty sure I will be happy that I did this when I am old and (more) wrinkled. Then I will probably only get to enjoy brief visits from my son where he spends most of his time staring at his mobile instead of talking to me. I hope at least the goo-ing and gaa-ing will give him a positive brand loyalty to HTC :) .

I worried for a while that I wouldn’t have time to make my little baby any baby clothes since things have been very hetic. I however managed to squeeze in time to make this romper and since he will grow out of it pretty quickly I decided it was smart to spend some of his awake happy time behind the camera.

The pattern is Fawn from Ottobre 6/2014. The fabric is one I fell flat for from Nosh bought at Olivia and the grey jersey fabric is from the same place.

Flirt

Flirt

Laughing

Laughing

Laughing and kicking

Laughing and kicking

Serious model

Serious model

Cute from every angle

Cute from every angle

My first coverstitch attempt over seams

My first coverstitch attempt over seams

Fish stew and comments

Apparently I have been doing the whole blogger thing wrong. I have been waiting for other people to comment on my blog while all along I should have just been writing the comments myself. That is what the glamorous bloggers (top blog in Norway) do at least. Instead I sit her unbelievable unglamorous in my pyjamas and wait and wait while I struggle doing the simplest things like getting dinner on the table. Unglamorous dinners I might add. Life is a bit hectic with a four year old and a colic infant that wants to be carried most of the time. Keeping up appearances is really not high on my list right now.

I am extremely fascinated by all the bloggers that manage to portray their life as perfect. I often wonder if I could also pull off a perfect appearance on my blog and social media. I am tempted to try but since I despise selfies it is a lost cause. You have to do selfies to pull that off don’t you?

I very well aware that their life isn’t perfect as I have yet to meet a person without imperfections and some kind of skeletons in their closet. It is fascinating to watch these people, how they go to extreme measures to keep up appearances. Not many go to such lengths as Fotballfrue but then again her blog is a full blown business. It reminds me a bit of the Truman show, I wonder if her daughter will feel like Truman? Everything seems orchestrated. Even all the packages under her Christmas tree were in the right color code. Wonder if she sent wrapping instructions to her family? Or if she has a dress code when she invites people for dinner to make sure they can be photographed?

I try to tell myself that this fascination is something positive. That I am just interested in the concept and that I admire these people for being able to pull off an enterprise like that. There is however this nagging feeling at the back of my head that tells me I am also waiting for them to mess up and show that they are human. After all, I am only human like the rest of mankind, I need to feel that I am not the only one with flaws.

Now lets talk about my unglamorous dinner. It might not be fancy, it might not look great but it is easy and it is healthy. I have also tested that it can be made while carrying a crying baby in a baby carrier!

Simple thai fish

Simple thai fish

Eva Thai fish

Adapted from an recipe I found in an Eva magazine many years ago.

Sauce:
1 chili in slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 2 limes
4-5 branches of fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp fish sauce

Stir all the ingredients together and put aside.

Stew
Handfull of green string beans
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
400 g white fish cut in cubes, I usually used either haddock or cod
Salt
Black pepper
Oil to fry in

2 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp Sesame seeds, lightly toasted on a pan

Heat the oil and fry the bell pepper, string beans, and kidney beans until the bell pepper starts to soften. Add the fish, salt and pepper. Fry until the fish is cooked through.

When finished pour the sauce over and stir. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve with rice.

This started as an entry about New Year’s Resolutions. Half way through struggling to find time to write it and after accidentally loosing the little I had actually managed to write, I realized this might not be the best time to set resolutions. There are limits to how much you can get done while spending most of your day and night pacing around the living room and doing squats trying to ease the pain of a crying infant.

Our dear little Jónatan has infant colic and is in a lot of pain. It is dreadful to see your little one in so much pain and not knowing what to do to help him. The general response from doctors is “it will pass”. The regular recommended remedies have no effect so all you can do is wait… and do squats as those do help a bit.

I am carrying him large parts of the day and he sleeps on me at night. Not much alone time in other words. The few moments I am free of him I am rushing around trying to get something to eat, shower and doing all the things that are difficult to do with him hanging on me. I am stressing that nothing is done well enough and I am not doing anything that I really want to do. The few times I actually do something I am not satisfied with the result. It is not like this is a new problem to me but recent events have made it more obvious.

So in 2015 I am gonna work on intensively on one principle and that is the Good Enough principle. Try to lower my standards a bit and just be happy with things that are good enough.

I am wrapping up the last craft project of 2014 under this principle. I would have wanted to redo this project and change few things but due to the circumstances I declared it finished and Silja, Jónatan and me gave it as a late Christmas present to their dad. A beanie with their hand prints in reflective heat transfer.

The dad with his beanie

The dad with his beanie

This is not a full blown tutorial but some “Good Enough” quick guidelines in case you want to give it a try with your Silhouette machine. This tutorial assumes you have some experience with tracing and cutting from before. Would make an excellent Father’s Day or Mother’s Day gift!

1. I sewed a beanie according to this tutorial (in Swedish) and with some good help from friends on how to adapt it to other sizes. In short, use the beanie/hat pattern of your own choice. I used Kaufman Laguna Jersey in Aqua.
2. Painted the hands of my kids with hand paint and made hand prints on a piece of paper. Note: this was not easy with an infant so it had to be done in his (deep) sleep.
3. I scanned in the hand prints when dry. You should fill in the hand prints completely with a dark color (keeping the outlines in tact) before scanning them in to make the tracing easier. I used Photoshop to remove background noise and then Silhouette Live Trace in Illustrator to make them into silhouettes but this will probably take longer

Handprints with paint and after filling it with color

Handprints with paint and after filling it with color

4. Use The Silhouette Studio software to trace the outlines and then cut the reflective heat transfer. I had to up the knive to 4 to get it to cut through the heat transfer I used from GladaGrodan (be warned: their shipping is slow).
5. Peel and iron the hand printso onto the front of the beanie.

Taken with flash to show that it is reflective

Taken with flash to show that it is reflective

Getting Lucia right

It is not always easy being the kid of a foreigner. As much as the parent tries to blend in there are certain cultural subtleties that get lost on them. One of these things is not coming dressed appropriately at certain events that make no sense to their parent. You would think having a Norwegian dad should save you from this embarrassment but for some reason this particular dad didn’t seem to have a clue either what the appropriate Saint Lucy’s attire was.

Last year was the first year we were to participate in a Lucia parade at Kindergarten. Saint Lucy is referred to as Lucia here in the Nordic. There were mails floating around that mentioned wearing something white over their winter clothes and bringing a white t-shirt. The detail that got lost on me was that this was referring to two different events. So I bought a large white t-shirt and told my daughter to put it on for Lucia. Then we headed off to Kindergarten only to discover that everyone else was wearing white long dresses or robes over their winter dresses. Thankfully my daughter was only three so I don’t think this will leave a permanent mark on her. I was however very embarrassed and reminded that we are not from here. Thankfully we got beaten in embarrassment by another foreigner dad that had put a giant light headpiece on his son’s head. One that was even larger than what the Lucia girl was wearing.

So I promised myself to do it right this year! When we were reading a book we found a picture of an angel that was wearing a white dress with golden stripes. She said she wanted a dress like that for Lucia. So I set to work planning. I found a pattern in Ottobre that fit her measurements wearing her winter suit (158). I extended the sleeves and adjusted it a little. I bought some cheap fabric that I don’t know the English name of at Jysk (nervøs fløyel in Norwegian) and golden ribbons at Panduro. Voilà!

Lucia

Lucia

She seemed pretty happy with her dress after giving some feedback that she also wanted golden ribbons on the sleeves. So mom made some last minute adjustments and we headed off to the parade and even got couple of comments that it looked nice! I now feel I have set Lucia in balance again even if I still don’t have a clue what it is all about. Cannot even be bothered reading the Wikipedia page.

The pictures are very poor but as this isn’t exactly high quality work I will leave it at that for this time!

Happy Lucia girl

Happy Lucia girl

Size is relative

Size is relative I have learned. After I came home from the hospital with a tiny little boy I was convinced my daughter must have had a growth spurt. She seemed huge. I insisted that we needed to measure her length and I was surprised to find that she was only 1/2 cm taller than last time. As it turned out it was only in comparison to her little brother that she felt so huge.

It makes me sad in one way. She is no longer my little baby girl with tiny hands and feet. She is now a little determined girl and a big sister. An absolutely wonderful big sister, might I add. She has taken her little brother with open arms despite him eating into her time and our attention. She wants to cuddle and hold him all the time and is really patient and helpful. So proud as well and wants to show him off to everyone.

I might not be able to look at her as my baby any longer and her hand might no longer be a baby hand but I still love holding it when walking home from Kindergarten. It is really the sweetest, warmest feeling there is. I dread the day when she is too old to hold my hand.

Big sisters need clothes as well and I wanted to make her something useful this time so I made her a hoodie in pretty bold colors. Or I feel these are insanely bold colors. I am the person that only has black, grey, brown and white in my wardrobe. Colors really frighten me and picking out the orange cuffs and bias tape was a real agony but I like the end results. Kids clothes should be in happy colors. I bought the Znok jersey knit from Olivias (great store with fast shipping). The lining, zipper, and rib knit are from Sydilla. Pattern is Organic Star from Ottobre 1/2014. In hindsight I see that I should have done pattern matching on the hood but my brain wasn’t fully functional when I cut this and I probably didn’t have enough fabric either… That is my excuse at least!

This is model pose mom!

This is model pose mom!

My not so little girl modelled it for me. Not sure who taught her those poses but she was dead set on this being how you model.

Another pose

Another pose

Back

Back

The real rascal

The real rascal

Soft and easy to play in

Soft and easy to play in

Our little boy Jónatan was finally born 11th of November! 52 cm and 4 kg. Again I was overwhelmed with the same instant happiness and love that I experienced when I had Silja. It is a little bit different this time. Everything is more relaxed and yet I am panicking. I know this is my last one and I feel like I need to enjoy every moment and carve every detail of him and this time into my mind. Time is flying by and I can almost see him grow while nuzzling his adorable little baby feet and breathing in his baby scent.

When I had Silja, I had quite a few friends that didn’t have babies and I still remembered how annoying those parents that only talked about their babies were. I tried to be a bit careful not showing how completely taken I was with my baby. This time around most people around me have kids and I don’t really give a damn if I drive them and the rest insane! I am gonna enjoy every minute of this and talk as much about baby things as I want. Life is too short and harsh to not enjoy every single moment that brings you pleasure. The path to my two perfect children wasn’t easy and miracles should be celebrated!

I had lots of dreams during my pregnancy to sew up bunch of miniature baby clothes. Unfortunately, I was unable to. I simply couldn’t sit in front of the sewing machine more than few minutes at a time. I however set my mind to making at least one thing: the newcomer in the baby gadget world, a baby nest. I guess it was that nesting instinct that strikes you so hard during pregnancy. I really wanted to tidy, clean and shine every corner of my house. I was physically unable to do any of that so I spent the last of my energy making this little baby nest for Jónatan.

Anyways, this baby nest thing is new since I had Silja and it is really brilliant baby “technology”. A little nest that keeps my little boy cuddled up wherever he is lying. As swaddling is frowned upon in Norway this is the second best option to give him a little bit of womb feeling. He is easier to move around while lying in it and it feels safer to let him sleep in our bed in it. Easy to put him on the couch next to us and it gives him some protection from his active four year old big sister that cannot sit still for a minute. Its size can be adjusted so it will hopefully last for the first few months.

The pattern is from Stoff og Stil. Monkey fabric is from Joann and the other material is from Stoff og Stil.

Isn’t he adorable?

It is snowing and I am panicking. Will I be forced to wear socks the last four days of this pregnancy? It has been so warm this year that I am able to count on one hand how often I have had to wear them since beginning of June. Right now putting on socks is a major undertaking. Everything is really. I can’t even remember what being comfortable feels like. The closest thing I come to comfort is comfort food and in most cases that is an unattainable goal as I have problems standing while making dinner. Except for this one dish I am blogging about now. Delicious and brilliant comfort food. Quick and easy! What more can you ask for?

Being pregnant is hard for some of us and we look nothing like the happy glowing pregnant characters portrayed in literature and films. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that I am pregnant but having to endure 8 months of pain has a tendency to get to you and dull out any glow and happiness you have in you.

What I suffer from is pelvic girdle pain (bekkenløsning in Norwegian). I had it during the second half of my last pregnancy as well but this time it started even before got a positive test and has gotten gradually worse. Technically, I never got rid of it since last time but I really only felt it if I jogged too far.

If I were to sum it up I would say it feels like walking with two sharp knives sticking into your groins. It feels like someone is using a jimmy to split your symphysis in two. You have something that feels like a severe toothache in your lower back when sitting. This pain gives you nausea that doesn’t go away until long after you have stopped sitting. One of the most excruciating pain is when you turn in bed. Something you have to do quite often as you hips stiffen up and start aching. The turn is heavy and you feel like you get ripped in two pieces while doing it. You soon stop turning in your sleep as you tend to wake up yourself (and your partner) when you scream out in pain. After that you start waking up every half hour or so to do a controlled turn. A little bit less painful but it means you don’t get any decent sleep.

The rest of your body reacts as well with locked up muscles. I had to have a physiotherapist loosen my jaw quite a few time because I have been biting my teeth to endure the pain. Then there are the times when you hips give in and you better be holding onto something or you might fall. Or the times when you simply cannot get up because something is locked and the pain overwhelms you. The pain exhausts you and don’t get me started on how horrible it feels like having to ask for help all the time.

For some people it helps to do light exercise in a warm swimming pool. Mine was so bad that it just got worse doing it. So I hobble around on crutches and try to survive each day. Want a challenge, try chasing a 4 year old on crutches…

My extra stylish crutches

My extra stylish crutches

Just to be clear, I am not writing this to get sympathy. I am writing this so that I will never forget it. While I am pretty sure I only want two kids I better be safe then sorry here :) . Maybe it also helps someone understand how bad it is. It is really impossible to understand it unless you have experienced it but it does help tremendously when people around you understand what you are going through.

Anyways, we were technically talking about comfort food. I found this dish on an Icelandic blog and even if the thought of all the calories in it gives me the creeps I can’t stop making it regularly. It is so delicious, so full of taste and yet so simple!

Hot dogs, mashed potatoes and salad

Hot dogs, mashed potatoes and salad


Creamy Hot Dog Stew

Adapted from

8-10 hot dogs (I usually use wieners)
1 package bacon (approx. 120 grams)
3 dl cream
1 dl crème fraiche
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
Black pepper

Cut the hots dogs into 1-2 cm pieces and chop up the bacon in similar pieces. Fry the hot dogs and bacon on a pan in a little bit of oil. Add the cream, crème fraiche, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce and stir well. Let it simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce starts getting flavour from the bacon and the hot dogs. Season with black pepper according to your taste.

Serve with mashed potatoes and salat.

Easy as it gets

Easy as it gets

The Elsa dress

If I were I princess I would be the Princess and the Pea right now. Except I don’t really need a pea to feel all battered. Just existing takes care of that right now. I am 8 months pregnant and I am an absolute mess. I have problems walking, standing, sitting and lying (though lying is better than the rest). Yeah that doesn’t leave a lot of options for comfort. I am pretty sure no prince in their right mind would want me in this shape but then again I don’t really get it why the prince in that story would want someone that sensitive?

I really don’t get princess stories at all. What kind message is it sending when the stepmothers get away with letting their step daughters live in dirty rags and boss them around. Or send them to the forest to be killed? None of the dads seem to notice and react. Yeah those stories portray great father images for our daughters. The most disturbing story of all is probably Snow White. A prince that decides he wants to bring her corpse home with him because she is so beautiful. What the hell was his intention? Yuck! And she then marries that guy?

The stories we read are already the toned down versions and yet they are horrible. Thankfully the modern day princess fairy tales are getting a little bit better. Sadly one cannot say that the same applies to real life princesses. One of the Norwegian princesses uses her princess title to lure gullible people to shell out lots of cash for practices that one would assume were outdated in today’s educated society.

Elsa from Frozen

Elsa from Frozen

Dancing Elsa

Dancing Elsa

Anyways, despite my hate of princesses my life is heavily infiltrated by them. We have been watching a lot of Frozen this summer like most other parents with little girls. Not the worst fairy tale and I am eternally grateful that blue clothes are now approved and not just pink. I promised my daughter I would make her an Elsa dress at the beginning of summer and I did finally manage to finish it hours before her birthday. It took me all summer thanks to my exhausting pregnancy. It took me almost equally long to blog about it thanks to me not being able to sit in front of a computer for more than 10 minutes without me experiencing nausea from back pain. A mediumgeek’s worst nightmare.

Royal Highness Queen Elsa

Royal Highness Queen Elsa

I used the following tutorial to make the dress with some minor alterations. All the fabrics were from Joann. She wore it on her Frozen birthday and was a true little princess. It was worth all the pain that went into making it and I might even get to reap the benefit of it on Halloween.

The cape

The cape

Running to the mountains

Running to the mountains

Elsa

Elsa

Frozen

Ironically my daughters Frozen 4 year old birthday bash wouldn’t have happened without the help of my freezer. Not that I made a lot of frozen treats but rather that I started preparing couple of weeks in advance to be sure I could make it happen.

Frozen Birthday

I am 6 months pregnant right now and in terrible shape. As I have spent every single evening on the couch for what seems as long as I can remember things go slowly here. I however said I would throw a Frozen party and you don’t break promises like that! Even if it means you can barely walk afterwards. So I started few weeks in advance preparing and managed to pull it together in the end with lots of help from the dad.

The table

The table

The Frozen movie was an obvious choice for theme as it has been playing constantly all summer in our household! You can say a lot of things about those stick-to-your-brain songs but I must admit that it really isn’t the worst thing coming from Disney. I really want to thank them for making Elsa’s dress blue! Helps a little bit toning down the pink/blue gender stereotyping this generation has enforced on their kids. Now if they could just make a superhero with a pink cape, the world would be a better place!

No party without Olaf!

No party without Olaf!

So I made some snowflake cookies, Olaf cake, cupcake drizzled with snowflakes and snow-corn (popcorn). I also made a magical Elsa drink that supposedly gave you magic powers. Big hit with the little girls! It was our first full blown Kindergarten birthday so I was a bit nervous. Would I manage to keep track of all these little girls running around the house? Thankfully, all went well and none were lost! Think I might prepare some birthday hats for next year with inbuilt tracking devices to save me some agony.

A drink that gives you magical powers

A drink that gives you magical powers

My cake decorating skills are still pretty lame but I can see that I am getting a little bit better everytime. Posting things with flaws is all a part of my master plan of daring to do new things. Supposedly this will boost your confidence and help you learn new skills… or so some books say…

Snowflake Cookies

Snowflake Cookies

And my sweet little four year old in her Elsa dress! Will blog about that one soon. As my productivity on the sewing front is at an all time low, it better get its own entry!

The little "Elsa"

The little “Elsa”

I guess all parents have a truckload of photos from their children’s first year and then significantly less of their second year and onwards. That first year is special. You spend a lot of time looking down at them with the camera at easy reach. Then you get busy after going back to work. Your target start moving around (fast) and the camera is rarely anywhere close. If you can actually be bothered expending energy on getting the camera, 90% of the photos you take are bound to be blurry due to you target never staying still.

You cannot help but panic that you aren’t getting enough photos. Then again, you never have time to look at them… You no longer spend the time they are sleeping looking at photos of them with love struck eyes. You however realise that you need those photos for when they get old and move away from home.

I am a bit glad that I occasionally sew things because that means I at least attempt to take some additional photos of her wearing the garments I make. It gives an additional incentive to drag the camera around and you try harder to catch them at a Kodak moment (also know as standing still when it comes to children).

I made my daughter a quick last minute dress before I went on vacation. After not making much for the last few months I felt I had to make something. Luckily I picked a really easy pattern, which made this possible. Things were insanely busy right before vacation and I wasn’t feeling well but more on that later.

I picked the Lulu pattern by Craftiness is not Optional. Very straightforward pattern and yet quite versatile. The fit is perfect as well. I made a size four for her which is a bit on the larger side but that is not a problem. The fabric is a beautiful, soft Birch Organic Fabrics called Poppies Sun.

Fashionable in Boston

Fashionable in Boston

We have just spent a nice vacation in Gloucester, Massachusetts and at Hamarøy in North of Norway. Thanks to the fact I was trying to get some photos of the dress and that we usually take more photos during summer vacation we know have a lot of photos of her wearing this dress. I guess the dress will be a bit representative of this vacation. It almost feels like she was wearing it all the time judging by the photos. She seemed to really like it as well. It is very comfortable and allows her to get into all the trouble she wants. I also think it is really stylish in a simplistic way. I am 100% sure that I will use this pattern again!

Enjoying an ocean view

Enjoying an ocean view

In Rockport

In Rockport

Tree climbing

Tree climbing

In North of Norway

In North of Norway

Chasing Squirrel in Boston

Chasing Squirrel in Boston

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