Pronounced BAH-CHEW-CHEE, it was a nickname my sister called her first-ever niece, Miss C-Jaz. According to urbandictionary.dom, this term is used to express "an absolutely wonderful bum". And that she is, myBachoochie, my little bum cheeks.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Best Things in Life are ... SIMPLE

No. 3
A long day with Miss C-Jaz, usually involves an early wake-up around 7 a.m. and a short midday nap lasting thirty to sixty minutes. Combined, this situation can make for plenty of whining from being tired and hungry while wanting mostly the comfort of 'Ka' (milk) rather than solid foods. By the end of a day such as this, once Daddy's home, worked out, showered, and fed, I find the opportunity for a nice LONG HOT SHOWER. Such a simple need that many may often take for granted recharges me from a long day or from a short and sweet regular days is the cherry on top of a sundae (which as I just wrote that makes me want a Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Blizzard).

No. 2
A long week, usually means a few long days with Miss C-Jaz and the usual routine with some bumps here and there. A great recharge is a 'HOME-BOUND WEEKEND' like the one that just passed.

Saturday was nice aside from J and I feeling congested and stuffy (terms the Swede pharmacists at the Apoteket - wanna be drug store - don't understand). A little sleeping in. Aunt Jemima pancakes. Playing. A walk along the canal. Some good sushi. A family nap. Dinner at 'Daddy's Friend's' House. A movie.

Sunday was just as nice as Saturday. A little more sleeping in. Some house work. A family nap. Catching up on a TV series. A great sandwich. Playing. Coloring. Laughing. Pork Chops and Rice. A little more playing.

No. 1
LAUGHTER, particularly Miss C-Jaz's laughter can brighten any mood and any day, and it can make the grind of meeting her daily needs disappear. No description does her cuteness and giggles any justice. So, listen up! (video clip to come)

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Sun Shades :(

I think I became claustrophobic after Miss C-Jaz was born.  I remember in the first few months, maybe even the first year, just thinking about going out in public with her made me feel nervous, anxious, and maybe even a little withdrawn.  Whether it was going to church, grocery shopping, or the mall, I felt panicked - something I wasn't used to feeling.  I think I was nervous about having to feed her or change her in public and unsanitary places, making me more germophobe as well than I've ever been.  I think I was anxious about both her and I being uncomfortable, not having a place for her to lie down or play other than her UNO.

I've always been calm and could handle anxiety well.  The support system has always been strong with J, my family, his family, and our closest friends.  I've been fortunate enough to have had them over often, but even then at times I felt awkward and a little 'off', probably just with myself.  

For a long while until yesterday, for a brief moment, I felt the kind of nervousness or anxiousness associated with taking Miss C-Jaz out in public.  The main thing that made me hesitate when I was back home was overall safety from other people.  Where we are now, it seems as if people general leave each other alone, so weather is what makes me hesitate.  On any given day the weather can go from sun to rain with a constant breeze, and yesterday was no different.

With the sun screens on and irritatingly automatic, the day's weather definitely made them go down and up.  To my surprise, it wasn't only the two top windows that were shaded.  When I had drawn the blinds up of the two bottom windows, the only thing I saw through the windows were more sun shades.

Before...then After                                                                                        

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sun Screens and Dust

For the last month in our Swede loft I've noticed that there are roll-up sun screens mounted outside the two highest windows.  I never found a switch to control it and today I learned, once it was calibrated by the power man, that it's automatic, responding to sunlight AND wind...this may not be as good an idea as it's intended for.

In the last 5 minutes, the window screens have moved 7 times and counting.  The screen has gone from shielding the window three quarters, to half, to fully covered, and back and forth.  This is going to drive me up the wall, but I don't know what will be at the top of my list: the buzz of the indecisive screens or the constant presence of dust.

Every day dusting is necessary, especially for Miss C-Jaz as the poop of dust mites triggers her eczema, makes me sneeze, and J itch.  It's not too bad, I suppose, but I would love a Swiffer WetJet right about now.

I will have to see what happens tomorrow during the day.  The screens must be connected to a fuse, so if the screens get out of control I will be seeking out that switch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ROUTINE: habitual method or procedure

"She has a fairly regular ROUTINE so she knows what to expect each day." ~ from 'Terrible Twos'

Today and yesterday have been pretty simple.  The weather not so fun, and with J gone overnight for work, we carry on but a little blah.  Yesterday morning was a cleaning day that started with an usual blackout when the toaster triggered the fuse for our loft.  I was on Google Translator for a bit trying to decipher the box descriptions.  By the end, I didn't learn anything useful, and with another look into the box, I flipped what looked like the main fuse.  'Ta ya', as Miss C-Jaz would say to imitate 'Ta Da'.

By late morning Miss C-Jaz was cranky as we headed out for a walk with her in the stroller.  Ten minutes into the walk she fell asleep.  I paused by the quiet canal just to sit, then I brought her back home to lie her down.  By the time she awoke in the  late afternoon, Ganma and Ganpa had returned from ICA, the grocery store pronounced 'Ick-ah'.  She had an early dinner then played with her new Princess soccer ball with Ganma, and before I knew it, it was time for bed, though Miss C-Jaz fell asleep a little later than usual.

Before bed, Daddy called, and Miss C-Jaz was so adorable in her tiny voice saying, "Hi, Daddeee!   Miss you!  Luv you!"  She was lying down in bed holding Bo and drinking Ka, but as soon as I handed her my cell phone and she heard Daddy's voice, she dropped everything and sat up.  I could hear him ask if she was being a good girl as the phone slipped and she tried to prop it between her ear and her shoulder.  It was just so sweet!

Today was just as quiet as yesterday with a little more rain.  We woke up, and she started to play with  Ganma and the Princess soccer ball again, that she often calls her basketball, until Ganma and Ganpa left for errands.  Just after lunch she was asleep for her nap for a couple of hours.  When she woke up we waited for Daddy to get home, doing some laundry and watching Monster's Inc., twice, while I tried to catch up on some SEO reading.  Miss C-Jaz was playing a game with Ganma and Ganpa, also known as Cianna Says..."Ganma do dis," as Miss C-Jaz waves her arms around.  "Ganma do dat," as she rubs her cheeks.

Happy that Daddy finally got back from his work excursion, we got ready for some fine 'Indisk' food as a goodbye dinner to Ganma and Ganpa - a little ironic having Indian food as they left Sweden heading back home.

As simple a day like the past couple of days or as busy as a Saturday out to the Zoo at Skansen, Miss C-Jaz's routine remains fairly consistent.

Wake Up Time between 7 and 9 a.m.
Wash Up and change for the day.
Breakfast Time follows soon after.
Outside Time or Play time (flashcards, reading, crafts) around 10 or 11 a.m.
Lunch Time follows then ideally a Nap.  (I try to do house stuff, dinner prep, and currently SEO reading.)
Snack Time between 3 and 4 p.m.
Play Time or Outside Time.
Dinner Time around 5 or 6 p.m.
Clean Up Time, Wash Up and change for bed.
Daddy Time around 7 p.m.
Winding Down Time then Bedtime by ideally 9 p.m.

The earlier Miss C-Jaz wakes and the shorter her Nap during the day, the longer the day can be.  When she sleeps well she's more cooperative and listens better to instructions, especially when she wants to help with daily chores: sweeping, washing dishes, laundry, etc.  Miss C-Jaz loves the outdoors so if we can get out we will as it breaks up the day well.  The evening can make the day feel longer if she gets crankier, which depends on when Nap Time ends also affecting how early or how late she falls asleep for Bed Time.

Miss C-Jaz's fairly regular ROUTINE helps her to know what to expect each day, almost a little too much.  Sometimes in the morning as soon as we start changing out of pajamas she asks, "Mommy, where going?"  When I ask her the question back she responds with, "Out.  Somewhere.  For a walk.  Yet's go." 

A simple day or a busy day, I rely on Miss C-Jaz's ROUTINE to get through each day to try and keep her from getting restless, tired, or hungry to avoid mood swings and temper tantrums.  Embedded in ROUTINES it's important to maintain LIMITED CHOICES, LIMITS, avoiding TANTRUMS, and ensuring SAFE ENVIRONMENTS.  

Routine is defined in many ways.  Miss C-Jaz follows a 'usual or regular method of procedure'.  Most days it's not a 'boring repitition of tasks', and on many occasions for my Bachoochie it looks like a 'set sequence of dance steps' evident in her 'Shimmy Shimmy'.  (The Free Dictionary)

Monday, September 21, 2009

RANDOM ~ Quoting MIss C-Jaz

"Geee-orrrgie Porgie...puddin pie.
Kiss da gir(l)s...made dem khy.

Yayee...Nana deed it byself!"

To Transit or Not to Transit? .......... NOT to Transit

After about a month now, I've found that on foot it takes 7 minutes to the COOP, 10 minutes to our Cafe Spoon, and 15 minutes to Jimmy's Marina Restaurant.

I have never walked as much or have never rode public transit as much as I have in the last month here in Sweden than in my twenty-nine years at home in Canada.  It's one thing to go for a walk to end up at a grocery store or a cafe or a restaurant, but to use transit when I know I have a vehicle or two waiting for me at home, just plain blows.

The tram and train are tolerable.  Since one station is close to our current home, it's convenient and pleasant enough as it doesn't smell as much as the Skytrain.  The buses are incorrigible, however, with its routes in code and drivers unhelpful, to say the least.  It's squishy, sometimes stinky, with frozen zombie passengers.  What happened to good humor and plain old fashion sense?

Thankfully, God placed our new home where Miss C-Jaz and I can enjoy our daily walks, weather permitting, along the canal passing several playgrounds.  We easily find ourselves ending up at the COOP or our cafe or the marina restaurant. 

I get that many people don't have a choice and for some transit is the most cost-effective option.  I'm not spoiled, but I've been privileged to have two parents who sacrificed so much and who did all they could to give me the opportunity to be able to drive. 

It's a new week, with the weekend behind us.   I'm a smidge closer to going home where I can drive 7 mintues to Safeway, 2 minutes to Starbucks, and 20 minutes to the Boathouse. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009

WHY? Three simple letters when combined form the most difficult question a parent can answer from a toddler.

It wasn't the cutest cat she's ever seen, and she knew it!

Daddy tried to get Miss C-Jaz's attention as we walked along our usual canal with Ganma and Ganpa, "Look, Baby, there's a cat (sitting infront of a closed glass door to a ground floor apartment)."


"Over there."  It was a small, very still, cat with mostly white fur.  It's eyes were small with a little bit of black fur surrounding it, and it just looked mad.

"I don't yike it," Miss C-Jaz stated as she continued to walk past the cat without even a second glance.  She didn't even give the poor little cat the time of day.

"How come, Nana?" Daddy asked her, probing her little, yet potentially brilliant brain.

"What happened to it, Ganma?"

"Oh, maybe it's sad."


"Because, its mom left."


"Oh...because she went somewhere."


"I don't know...Mommy, why?" Ganma directed at me then whispered, "Help me!"

Friday, September 18, 2009

From a Sticky Door Lock to a Sticky Kanelbullar

How many Swedish construction dudes does it take to fix a stuck lock (in our main door)?

In my case this morning I spoke to six people.

The first kinda spoke English, and was kind enough to attempt to fix the door, but his method involved trying to use his screwdriver to bend something in the metal jamb plate.

The second only spoke German, so he was useless.

The third man did speak English, and actually walked me to the office (a make shift PILE of portables) to find someone to help.

The forth man (maybe a developer or contractor who was in the middle of a meeting) spoke English fluently and called someone on his phone to come help.  Whoever they were never showed up, and I wasn't going to wait even and extra 10 minutes.

I returned to the make-shift office, I spoke to a building manager, the fifth man, and he actually came with me bringing along another building manager, LEO, the sixth man, who was the most useful, prompt, and polite Swede of today's bunch.

In taking only one look at the door, he new what needed to be done.  He politely removed both work boots even though he only took only one step into the foyer.  He asked if I could wait 7 minutes so he could get a tool that he needed.  He returned promptly, did what he needed to do, and the door could lock and unlock like no other.  I was amazed and relieved because I could not lock the door, and none of the three men who saw the door could lock it either.  I thanked Leo, and he kindly said with a smile, "You're welcome. Have a nice day."

So, as this transpired within about forty-five minutes, which was long enough for me to sit through, it was longer for Miss C-Jaz who I was trying to keep preoccupied as we, with Ganma and Ganpa, were ready to head out to ICA (my version of Safeway).  She sat in her stroller and all was well.  We arrived at the mall, and I let her walk.  Even until we reached the other grocery store, Willy's, she was having fun until nap-time hit.  She didn't want to sit in the grocery cart or her stroller.  All she wanted...

"Mommy, carry Nana!"  Over and over and over.

I squatted to her eye level, and said, "Cianna, I'm not going to carry you because you're heavy for Mama, and we have our stroller too." (Believe it or not, but Miss C-Jaz has gotten heavier even with her petite size, probably by 2 or 3 pounds since we left home-home.)  Nothing worked, and I think she threw her first tantrum ever in public - some screaming-crying and a little bit of tears with some arm flailing thrown in.  It really wasn't that bad, and I knew that she was fueled by wanting to sleep.

We were in the middle of a not-so-busy aisle, I sat her in her Zooper stroller, a bottle of milk ready to give her and Bo in tow.  As I seated her, my right hand held her in a seated position, trying to work quickly with my left to buckle her in.  She cried loudly in protest with a little squirming, but she stayed, thankfully.  She drank her milk.   She whined.  But by the time we hit the line for checkout, she was also checked out.  Naptime!

Overall, it was a busy day and a different day, but it was still a great day, especially after all the yummy goodies from ICA and Willy's!  The sticky lock now works like a charm, and I survived my first public tantrum with Miss C-Jaz.  All is well!  Time to dig in to some kanelbullar!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nap please Miss C-Jaz! Nap!

When does napping end for toddlers?  Have I sadly reached the point in time when 2 to 3 hours of naptime in the middle of the day = time for me = my sanity maintained?

Luckily, I may still have many months, or even years, ahead of me.  Judith Owens, a pediatric sleep expert, wrote that "the majority of children (about 70 percent) stop napping at 5 years, 3 in 10 still need a nap at this age...Much depends on how many hours your toddler sleeps at night. Toddlers need approximately 12 to 14 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period."  (

It's 16:04 as I write this.  Miss C-Jaz woke up at 8:30, and she has not even dozed off yet.  She fell asleep later than usual last night at around 23:00, so ideally she'd be waking from a 2 or 3 hours nap.  We've waited all week for Ganma and Ganpa to return from Germany, and we were waiting for their arrival today.  So, when we intercepted them at the tram near home, Miss C-Jaz has been on a 2nd, 3rd, even 4th wind of energy it feels like.  She had lots of stories to share with them.  They were shimmy shimmying (Ganma and Miss C-Jaz's dance moves), emptying luggage, looking at pictures, and now are eating pumpkin seeds.

Yesterday, Miss C-Jaz fell asleep in her stroller around noon as I was at the grocery store we call the COOP.  I rushed home after buying groceries so that I could lay her down and I could get some time to write.  Oddly enough, as soon as she hit the bed her eyes fluttered open and she was awake.  That was it for her.  Of course, at that moment I felt like I wanted a nap.

By the time 15:30 hit yesterday, I decided to freshen us both up and we were out the door, playground hopping.  I actually discovered a new pathway to walk along the nearby canal, so it was a good afternoon.  As soon as we reached home a couple of hours later, the walk was enough to knock Miss C-Jaz out for a nap.  I couldn't let her not sleep so I made some dinner.  Thankfully, she woke herself up at about 18:00.  We kept her busy, took her back to the COOP, and she had a great time pushing the a kid cute!

The day before last Miss C-Jaz had her usual naptime from noonish till 15:00, which led to a meltdown after dinner, but I don't think we were out much on that particular day so she was crankier than usual.

It's 16:24 now, and Miss C-Jaz is finally dozing off.  "Yaaaayyee!  Nana did it!" (as she would say, referring to herself in 3rd person as always).  It'll just have to be a shorter nap, and I'll have to find time later for more writing and laundry, and hopefully even a work out.

By the way, my hubbie recently brought up the point that if someone who didn't know me, were reading my blogs I may be perceived as someone different in appearance than I really am based on what physical descriptions I've made about myself.  I never really thought about that...

Well, Miss C-Jaz if officially asleep, along with Ganma and Ganpa.  Soon enough, Daddy will be home and we'll all be back to shimmy shimmying (Daddy, especially, will be dancing with his uncoordinated two left feet thinking of Ganma's home-cooking).

Sweet Dreams Baby Girl!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Easy Peasy No Fuss Recipe-easy: SHAKE-a-SHAKE-a-SHAKE-a-MANGO

Here's one of my simple kid-friendly and healthy snacks that require very little brain power but also taste refreshing...

In a magic bullet or regular blender, have your TODDLER drop in 1 of YOUR handful of frozen cubed mangoes.

YOU pour orange juice (I've used a Tropicana Orange, Tangerine, and Grapefuit Juice combo) just enough to cover the mangoes.

YOU add vanilla or strawberry yogurt (and as fat free as you want) to match the amount of juice previously added.

Your TODDLER can add a 2nd of YOUR handful of frozen cubed mangoes. 

Your TODDLER can add half to a whole banana.

Your TODDLER can add 2 to 3 ice cubes.

YOU add a splash of milk (again as fat free as you want).

Now, YOU press the button or press down on your Magic Bullet to SHAKE-a-SHAKE-a-SHAKE.

Once it's all uniform throughout and mixed up well, YOU give it a taste.  Add any of the previous ingredients to get it just right, everyone's pallet is different.

For more thickness, add more frozen fruit, ice, and/or yogurt.  For the opposite, add more juice, milk, and/or water.

If you drink protein shakes, just put aside enough shake for your toddler(s), perhaps you need to make more.  For Miss C-Jaz, I set aside a few scoops of the shake in her cup, then I add my protein to the rest, blend it up again, and I'm good to go.  Miss C-Jaz usually starts off scooping hers up like a sorbet then drinks it up at the end.

She loves it and gets some of her dairy and fruits.  I love it, even with the protein, which used to always make me gag, but since working out and since the Orange Mango Banana Vivianno Starbucks smoothy, I was hooked!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

She'll be ready for Kindergarten in no time!!! Never mind pre-school.

We found the Bibliotek yesterday morning at the end of the canal. It seems like an old little office building that was charmingly renovated. It had a cafe, of course, reading areas for adults with semi-comfy chairs, reading areas for children with bean bags sectioned off by theater curtains, computers with online access, and surrounding bright windows, which helped open up the space with its low ceiling and rectangular floor plan. It's definitely incomparable to the resources contained within Vancouver's downtown library, let alone Newton's or Fleetwood back home, but it serves its purpose for the Hammarby people (no further comment).

It definitely served its purpose for Miss C-Jaz, as she roamed the books, Swedish no less. She'd encourage me to read and even sent a couple suggestions my way, "Hee, Mah-ee! Read deese one." (Here, Mommy! Read this one.)

As she flipped through the books, making up her own story or sharing the commentary that went on in her head for all to hear as her cute little voice echoed within the room.

"What deese? Oooooh! Mah-ee yook. Butter-fies. Girl. Boy. A Mommy. Where's da Daddy? Oooooh! What deese? Sooo cute. Puppy. Cat. Yook! Watermemon. Umbre-yayah."

And so it went on for a good hour. I had to hold myself back from wanting to grab her and run from the boredom I was experiencing scanning Swedish kids books that made no sense, though the interesting illustrations tied me over, and of course watching her reactions and listening to her responses.

Regardless of the minor pain I was experiencing, it was obvious in Miss C-Jaz's eyes that she loved every moment. Up and down she went from the yellow bean bags to the shelves of books her little thick fingers could carry (something she inherited from me). Every page allowed her to make the smallest of discoveries as she found pictures she recognized. She was in control, and she was alone to do what she wanted with no other kids around (something she inherited from Daddy).

I was so proud of her. She was interested in books. She loved looking at the pictures. She was excited. She was so happy being there. She stole my heart, again.

I sat on the dingy yellow bean bag exasperated  from trying to keep up with her going up and down.  I was staring at my little girl in her pink top with brown, pink, and green hearts (that was still too big), which hung over her brown cargo pants that shuffled with the scurrying of her steps made by her semi-heavy white Nike runners. She was at the bookshelf hugging 2 books.  She turned her body ever so slightly to her left, looked me right in the eyes, and smiled one of the biggest grins I had ever seen.

All I could think was, "Oh, my gosh, she'll be in Kindergarten one day!" (Hopefully, with Mrs. I cannot-a believe.) That was it. I wanted to squish her. I also wanted to devise a plan to be with her in her first classroom, probably to watch over her obsessively.  For now, I get to rub off on her a little more, and her on me, thanks to the most talented, skilled, and hard working husband and Daddy ever!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Modified Supernanny Technique: My attempt at dealing with, "No! Mommy, you get it."

Yesterday was a bit of a junk day, which I am now avoiding from disclosing, but thankfully, I got a decent work out at 20:30 (the Swede way of telling time).  I did a little interval training, a little elliptical training, and a little rowing during which I reminded myself...abs, back, arms.

This is probably why I am writing at 01:30.

I had an interesting situation with Miss C-Jaz as we were winding down, getting ready for bedtime, and I really wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but in hindsight, I was doing just fine.  It lasted for about 15 minutes perhaps.

I was putting away some clothing, and she was walking around, doin' her thang, talking, singing, asking questions like, "Mommy, what do-in?"  We had just hung some of her clothes on the Ikea drying rack, on which she really did hang some of her little itty bitty faceclothes, and after which she stated...

"Mommy! Yay!  Nana did it!

'Yook', I hung it.

Mommy, don't touch it!"

At some point, she had dropped her bottle.  I picked it up, moved it, then she picked it up and dropped it, again.  I asked her to pick it up and said we don't drop things because we should take care of what we have.  (This is probably where I should've looked directly into her eyes at her eye level.)  She said, "No, Mommy! You get it."

This is where I searched the files in my mind for Supernanny techniques because what do I do?  I want Miss C-Jaz to learn to appreciate what we're fortunate enough to have.  Everything she says sounds cute.  She didn't sound condascending, just cute, but if I picked up the bottle after she demanded I do, this would lead to a world of issues down the road, right?

I ignored the bottle for a bit, and as I continued to ask her to pick it up, her refusals continued, then came the pouting, quickly leading to crying and real tears.  This has happened a couple times before, and I usually just pick up the bottle and move on.  This time, she purposely dropped the bottle then kicked it so it lay under the drying rack.

While she cried and complained telling me to go get it, I sat on the bed.

I filed a nail.

I skimmed my book.

I put away some clothes.

There were moments she stopped crying to ask me, "What 'dat?"  Then, her crying and pouting ensued, still cute as heck nonetheless.  I 'stayed true' though (The Big Bang Theory).  I didn't pick up the bottle.  I didn't ignore her, but I didn't engage in conversation with her.

Daddy came up to check in on us. Then, while I helped him dig for a computer cable in our stored luggages,  Miss C-Jaz was starting to settle.  As Daddy left the room, as I decided whether to sit, to file, or to skim, Miss C-Jaz, with Bo tucked under one arm, bent down by the drying rack.  In a calm voice she asked herself aloud, "Where is it?"  She squatted, squished herself under the rack, retreived the bottle, bumped her head on her way out, then handed me the bottle.

In my shock and elation, all I could say was, "Thank you!"  She didn't drop the bottle again, at least not this night.  I probably should've made sure she apologized, but I was just so dumbfounded.

I didn't quite know what to think.  I was shocked that my attempt at a Supernanny technique resulted in what seemed like success.  Sure, maybe it seemed like I won, but I hope that what she really learned was to 'do exactly what Mommy says'!  Just kidding!!!  I hope she realized that she should care for what she has by not drop kicking her bottle and that she can't expect me to clean up or pick up what she would be capable of doing.

All I know is that once she handed me the bottle, I couldn't have been more proud of her that she's growing up conscientious and with a strong-willed mind of her own.  I couldn't also help but be saddened at the thought that my baby is growing up!!!  

This escapade may have lasted for a short amount of 'real time' though it seemed like forever, and I'm sure the technique could've/should've been different, but I persevered and followed what felt right for her.  That's probably the teacher in me to modify, but thank goodness for Supernanny episodes and families that needed her help!

Miss C-Jaz enjoyed a day of eating at Sweden's Outdoor Food Market of International Flavours

Not gonna lie, J and I probably enjoyed the food more than Miss C-Jaz, minus the crowd that could have been mistaken for a herd of international wild animals.  We were actually on the way to find the zoo, but as we walked from the train station looking for a taxi lineup, we walked into a plethora of tents housing foods from various countries on this side of the world.  But not to digress, the flavours and the ingredients were amazing!  We couldn't get enough, but we just had too much, and yes, J's stomach kinda payed for it in the end.  It's not as bad though as mixing all different kinds of alcohol then ending with a few shots of tequila, so I'm told ;)

The Australian mushrooms were cooked in a creamy tomato sauce with onions.  The Spanish paella had a nice kick to it with colorful veggies and chicken all mixed up in the rice, which we followed with churros all sugared up.  C-Jaz enjoyed them evident of the icing sugar sprinkled all over her green raincoat and pasted onto her face.  Then, it was time to try the Polish perogies stuffed with potatoes and white cheese perfectly crisped along the edges.  The French crepes were made on the spot, and C-Jaz and I had it with fresh applesauce and cinnamon served with a true French accent from the chef.  I finally bought Apple strudels for home, thinking this was a great feast until we passed by scalloped potatoes cooked with cream, bacon, and (stinky) cheese.  That brought us to a dead end as we headed for home.  There was no room for Italian and French pastries or chocolates.

Just bring on the food coma and afternoon nap.  We did have a nice little walk on the way home, and we did get our nap, only to wake to J's brilliant idea of BBQing burgers, which were better than any restaurant burger I've had (craving one now): juicy, thick, flavourful!

I was pleasantly surprised that Miss C-Jaz enjoyed the food festival.  Before we started our walk, we passed by the training store to pick up some protein powder.  She saw a box for an exercise ball, which had a picture of a woman posing with ball.  The entire way home walking on the sidewalk, C-Jaz would stop almost every 30 seconds to hold the pose: legs shoulder width apart and bent at the knees, her back nice and straight with her arms held outstretched parallel to the ground.  Nice form, I might add.  She had the biggest smile on her face knowing she could make us laugh and smile each time.  She did this with a diaper full of poop, only complaining about it once we arrived home.

All fresh after a diaper change, our tummies pleasantly filled, it was time for Miss C-Jaz's nap, and not gonna lie, we joined her.  What a great day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fine Food = food from home

On our walk today, C-Jaz and I found the best place ever to remind us of home...Fine Food. It's a cute little market/deli selling fresh foods and select American products.

I broke down and bought Popchips from NJ and toaster tarts from San Fran. I even saw HP sauce and real French's mustard. Can you tell I'm missing home a little?


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A C-Jaz question...

We 'skyped' Mita, Wowo, Nanag Nang, and Monkey earlier this morning. Of course Wowo asks if he could buy Nana chicken nuggets, so for lunch today we went to McDonalds on our way back from the Willy's grocery area (not like back-in-the-day Willy's all-you-can-eat).

I had to wake her, since she fell asleep as I strolled her to the Gallerian, so that she could nap again in the early afternoon (I'm pretty sure 5:17 pm is not considered early afternoon - I shall pay for this tonight!)

We were sitting, eating, Swede-watching, then she looks up towards the lights and the pipes and air conditioning looking things and says, "Mommy, what's in the sky?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

She finally completes her phrase...

On many occasions C-Jaz and I have had the following incomplete conversation.

"Mommy, I'm sad."

"Why, Nana?"


"Because why?"

Then, often times she gets distracted and never completes this particular thought. I'd try to prompt a possible response, giving her several suggestions of why she might be sad, but she moves on and her mood changes in a blink.

Today, she finally completes this phrase I've heard ever so often not knowing why.

"Mommy, I'm sad."

"Me too, Nana."

"No, Mommy! Only Nana and Daddy sad."

"You mean I can't be sad? Only you and Daddy?"

"Mommy, I'm sad!"

"Ok, why?"

"Because...Daddy not home."

"Awww. Me too. I'm sad because Daddy not home too."

It was so sad, so cute, so funny.

Today is Tuesday, so after a weekend of Daddy-time, it's the next hardest day of the week, for both of them (after Monday).

We love you Daddy, for working so hard for us, for protecting us, for taking care of us, for making us laugh, for being so much fun, and for loving us :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I know how! ... means ... I don't know how!

Before coming to Sweden, I bought a Dora the Explorer Folding Potty from Babies R Us which rests on top of a regular toilet seat. It seems secure, and the seat fits her little bum well! I've been working on potty training, really not knowing what I'm doing. It doesn't help that she knows exactly what she wants, meaning that if she doesn't want to sit on the potty, she won't. When she does get on, and I know she's gotta do number 1 and/or 2, all I get is, "I know how!"

I've realized that this means, she doesn't know how. I try to convince her that she does know how - she shows me she knows what it should sound like to pee as she makes 'ssssssss' sounds. She knows that the potty is also for poo-ing as she presses on her little tum tum making grunting sounds.

I didn't bring her bigger Summer Infant Potty Training System, which is the cutest little adult looking potty, because I think my little bachoochie sees it more like a toy. She would sit in it often when we were home, but nothing intentional ever happened.

Maybe I should try an Ikea potty or buy a BabyBjorn Potty - I am after all in the land of Bjorn. So, where do I go from here? Suggestions would be helpful for "I know how!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dust Bunnies are RABBITS

The building of our current home, which feels like the beginning of an Ikea showroom, is still under construction. I don't think it'll ever get done. It's like the contractors or construction people show up on certain days of the week all at once?!?!

We don't have carpets, but it's constantly dusty so sweeping every single day is a must. In our first week (we're going on week 2), Ganma was sweeping the main area.

"Ganma, what doo-in?"

"Oh, I'm just sweeping the dust bunnies. It's so dusty."

"Ohhh." (She pauses, then seems to come to an important realization.) "STOP! Ganma, don't 'kean' the RABBITS!"


It's going to be an interesting 8 months in Sweden, especially for Nana. Skype will be how we visit with family, especially Mita, Wowo, Nang Nang, UncEdge, and monkey.

I ask her, "Who dances like this (both index fingers sliding up and down in the air to the tune of the playground song on WordWorld, the best kid show ever!)?"

She says, "Nang Nang."

I ask her, "Who laughs like this, holding the belly?"

She says, "UncEdge."

I ask her. "Who sings...I love Cianna, yes I do. I love Cianna, yes I do."

She says, "Mee-tah."

I ask her, "Who buys you chicken nuggets and apple pie?"

She says, "Wowo."

Oh, funny Nana!!!

How does she know what BURNT is?

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, we were eating "Billy's" Hawaiian pizza. (I wanted to try the mini oven that my hubbie's coworker was leaving behind as he prepared to return home from his 'prison sentence' in Sweden.) It was a flat rectangular piece with minimal toppings, but it was still good. The mini oven worked well. The cheese was melted and the edges nice and crisp, even a little black, or toasted, or as Cianna would point out...burnt.

I was trying to cut her 'baby pieces' from the centre, which would be softer, but she stopped me.

"No, Mommy. I don't 'yike' that. I want the BURNT one!" (Pointing with her little crooked finger.)

I was a little shocked, "Which one? Really?"

"Yah, I like the burnt ones - crispy!"

I know that I've never really pointed out burnt toast, so where does this come from? She's displayed some interesting and unexpected deductive ('duck duck') reason. She never ceases to amaze me :)

She talks in a ROBOT VOICE

Last night was so funny!

All evening I had been trying to change the bedsheets, and at some point was finally able to. I was in the 'wah-hoom' (washroom). Nana and I just finished brushing out teeth. She walked out the door into our new bedroom loft, and in the cutest robot voice she asked me a few questions...

Mo-mmy? Is-the-bed-'kean'-now?

If you know her robot voice, you're probably already laughing.