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.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"God Jul"...It's Snowing in Sweden

The snow in Stockholm is amazing!!! It feels so soft. It smells so fresh. It tastes so clean. (Yep, I ate some that I skimmed off the top from the balcony. I should've added some syrup or something.)

Miss C-Jaz has yet to play in the snow. As soon as we get her a snow suit, and as soon as the snow fall stops because it's incredibly windy and stings the skin, then we'll be out making snow angels and seeing how high the snow comes up to Miss C-Jaz.

Last night before bed we looked out into our patio and could not believe the amount of snow that had piled up.  I thought why not bring in some snow in a big mixing bowl so we could play with it?  What was I thinking?  Someone got carried away and splashed snow, which landed on me, but at least it's just water in the end.

The snow just kept on falling ... and falling ... and falling.  Whenever we looked out or the windows we could hardly see the mountain because the snow was falling in all directions and crazy fast.  I feel like I haven't seen snow before.  With our view of the highway, it was obvious no one was driving any slower, which was even more crazy.  Thankfully, we didn't see any accidents.  Every time we opened the patio door today to check on our mounds of snow, the wind would whip into the room and spray us with snow.  It was funny because Miss C-Jaz would back away from the open door covering her face.

Despite the constant snow, Miss C-Jaz and I were able to go out yesterday morning, off-roading in her Zooper stroller.  I bought enough groceries to last us till the weekend or at least until J would be home on holidays.  We stopped by the toy store and picked up some more gel window decorations for Christmas.  We still have our stars from a little while ago, but we found Santa and posed him waving with both hands, which Miss C-Jaz pointed out he was juggling the Ho Ho Ho's.

Since the gel decos were 2 for 1 we picked up the Swedish greeting for Merry Christmas.  Oh, and I put up a paper tree, something I saw in an art store window.  In brighter light, each tier is a different pattern of scrapbooking paper: trees, God Jul, and stars in a mixture of green and red.

The snow continues to fall as of now, and I think back home in Vancouver it's nice enough above zero and raining.  One thing I don't mind is not driving in the snow.  From our window you can see one side of the street lined with cars buried in snow.

As I finish this post off, it won't be long until J is 'home for the holidays', at least home with us.  I'm hoping to find a last minute getaway somewhere, but it's so tricky online with the Swedish sites, and I don't trust the Swedish travel agents.  Anyway, here's a shot of Miss C-Jaz from this afternoon running around wildly while playing with her hair that I've been trying to grow out, especially the bangs.

"God Jul!" 8 Days and counting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Tis the season...

If you've been sharing in Miss C-Jaz's adventures far from her Vancouver home to her current Stockholm residence through my eyes, we love that you come along for the ride. You'll notice my writing frequency has diminished on account of Miss C-Jaz napping less regularly and in shorter amounts of time, which is usually my quiet time. She's also been falling asleep much later so it's harder for me to stay up.

Aside from all of these reasons, Christmas is coming which means J gets to be home with us, then hopefully despite the British Airways mess, Mita and Wowo will be here followed by Nang and Unco Edge. So, my goal is to get Miss C-Jaz's stories out at least once a week. I'm also working on a new site, so I'll be trying to focus most of whatever time I get towards that.
Stay tuned!!!

As of today, Miss C-Jaz and I have completed 5 'Today's letter is...' (A to E). Her routine is still similar but all the times vary now. We'll be Christmas shopping soon to spoil Miss C-Jaz and also looking for a snow suit. Most importantly we'll be getting ready for a Swedish Christmas dinner and for family to visit, hopefully.

Wishing everyone a safe and memorable season. You'll be seeing us soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Today's Letter Is 'B' & Old vs New Daddy

It's getting harder and harder to find times to write.  If Miss C-Jaz has her nap as usual, by the time I'm half way through house stuff, she's up, which is what happened yesterday.  We had another day like home-school preschool: playing 'tea set', molding play dough, reading, writing, and drawing.  'Today's Letter Is' big 'B' and baby 'b', and it was definitely a lot more easy to come up with words starting with the letter 'b'.  If you use your imagination you can see the big 'B' Miss C-Jaz tries to form with her body.

She was a little more whiny yesterday evening having had a shorter nap, but she was really good when I was making Greek lasagna, which I'm going to admit tasted amazing.  Saturday we had great South African cabernet sauvignon with my sad creation of Thai Green Curry, unlike the one I made a while ago - I had the wrong main ingredient.  So, Sunday I needed to redeem myself.  At the last moment I decided to try a recipe, which I ended up altering as always, and I knew once I tasted it that "my chil-li would bring all the boys to the yard"!!!  I really enjoy cooking now, and it's even better when Miss C-Jaz is happy and helpful in the kitchen. 

On the weekend Miss C-Jaz had a couple of time outs, which J and I hate doing especially if she's crying, but she gets her warning and when she doesn't listen or comply I sit her on the last bottom step of the stairs.  We keep her in our peripheral vision, and she's actually really good at sitting on the last step.  If she's still upset she might call for me to pick her up or she might stand on the last couple steps holding the railing, but immediately I sit her down either silently or with a quick reminder of why she's having a time out and what she must do to make amends.  The most recent was her act of spitting towards J.  She's been interested lately with spitting in general.  I've told her she should only spit in the sink or in the shower, and she doesn't quite understand that it's rude to spit at people.  So, when she spit towards J we gave her a warning and why, but she did it again.  That meant time out.  It lasted for a couple of minutes, but it felt like much much longer.  J and I were nearby in the kitchen area, and Miss C-Jaz was crying and calling out; it was heartbreaking.  In a whisper J said, "One of us is going to give in."  We hung in there, and soon after Miss C-Jaz was ready to apologize.  She understood the act of spitting towards people was not a good thing.  Lesson learned.

Whatever Miss C-Jaz does, she's the cutest, yummiest thing.  When we started our day yesterday, she woke up and saw me in J's side of the bed and asked in whimper, "Where's my old Daddy?"  I thought to myself 'old Daddy'?

"He's at work, Babe."  Then, it sounded like she was going to cry.

"But, I want my old Daddy!  I need him.  Where's my old Daddy?"

Repeating myself  I told her, "He's at work."

Then she asked an odd question, "Where's my new Daddy?"

"You're new Daddy?  You only have one Daddy."

"Where's my new Mommy?"

"Well, you only have one!  And, you only have one Daddy."

"Oh!"  So, Miss C-Jaz left it alone for a bit, but I couldn't figure out what she meant until the end of the day, and she asked me again, "Where's my old Daddy?"  Then, it hit me.  Over the weekend, Miss C-Jaz and I were helping J up the stairs, and he was kinda injured from all his working out so he hung his arms over our shoulders.  We were saying to Miss C-Jaz, "We need to help Daddy up the stairs...," then I added, "...because he's 'OLD'."  But, I was just kidding.  So, when Miss C-Jaz heard old, the opposite for her is new, as opposed to young I guess.  Whatever she meant at least now I know where it came from, I think.

I can't believe I'm able to write at this moment, but my time is almost up...Miss C-Jaz was up early today for our last Swedish class...YAY!!!...and she's been having a good 'stroller nap'.  I even took her from Stureplan to Segels Torg for Rum for Barn and a special show, which was supposed to be ideal for younger kids, but she would not wake up.  It's been almost 3 hours since then, but I did find a possible lead for an English-speaking pre-school.  I saw a small handful of kids, and 2 adults (male and female) asking the little kids if they had to pee first before leaving.  I couldn't pass on the chance of asking the adults what school they were from.  I received some valuable information IF we were to stay on here longer than planned.

I think I've been quiet long enough in my attempts NOT to make one shred of noise that would wake up my 'NEW' napper.  Well, time to do some house stuff, and before we know it, 'OLD' Daddy will be home.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Like a Home-School Pre-School: Today's Letter Is...and Today's Recipe is the Easiest Playdough Mix Without Cream of Tartar

Where do I begin?  It's been more than a week since our weekend of having to move to the loft next door because of a 'Swedish fail' (a term J coined referring to things or situations, witnessed or experienced in Stockholm that are unheard of back home in Vancouver).

I was determined to have our usual weekend of wine, comfort foods, and family hugs.  We managed to move, sanitize, and re-organize everything on the Saturday, but it took all friggin' day.  The cutest part of our day was being mooned by Miss C-Jaz's plumber crack (on account of her pants being too big) as she cleaned the coffee table and stored her books.

Sorry, Miss C-Jaz!  I had to.  You're too cute!

At the end of our Saturday ordeal, we had amazing 'Indisk' food: butter chicken, lamb biryani, and garlic naan bread.  Miss C-Jaz had fun moving, but we were glad to have the move over and done with so we could move on with our lives and have our chill Sunday.

Last week was our second week into 'Operation Re-Newed Potty Poop-N-Pee'.  The first week, Miss C-Jaz was wearing Easy Ups and starting to pee in her pink Baby Bjorn.  The second week, she started wearing her H&M underpants and was constantly peeing in the potty but pooing standing up wearing a baby diaper.  She only had a couple accidents on account of me being too slow to act on, "Mommy, I need to go pee on the little potty," and on account of her having too much fun with Daddy, playing hide-and-go-seek with her cell phone.  Miss C-Jaz can verbalize when she needs to go poo, and she's tried to do it on her potty, but she asks for left over baby diapers to do her deed in.  This past week has been different, in her third week Miss C-Jaz is almost there with being potty trained.

One morning last week, she just said to me, "Mommy, I wanna go poo on my Dora potty on the big potty."  I thought, okay, we'll try it again.  So she sat there, talked a bit, asked me to hold her hand, and she just did it!  She was so happy because she knew J and I would be so happy for her.  She was clapping her hands saying, "Yayeee!  Nana did it.  When Daddy come home...I tell him that I pooed in the big potty, and he say, 'Yay!  Nana did it.'"  Since then, she's been taking care of business.  The only time she wears Easy Ups is for going out and for bed time.  So far, knock on wood, she's been just fine during nap time with no Easy Ups.  (And in the middle of me I sat on the couch with Miss C-Jaz napping beside me...I felt my right butt cheek go warm and almost comforting...until I realised...SHE PEED IN HER SLEEP!  Oh, well.  I grabbed some kitchen towels, soaked up the puddle, woke her up, then stripped the Ikea couch cushions, and was cleaned up in no time.  She was so cute..."Sorry, Mommy.  I didn't mean to."  'Course it's not her fault, and I told her so.  I reminded her for next time that she should pee before naptime.)

My proud little pooper!

It's been a great week for 'Operation Re-Newed Potty Poop-N-Pee', and today's been a great day compared to all of the days last week combined.  She's had a few more tantrums than usual, more whining, and more late naps last week, which also meant little or no time for me to write, and any late nights I had I used to research our Disneyland Paris trip.  (I think I might want to be a travel agent...)  We did have a good adventure at Rum för Barn last Tuesday, which will be for another blog, but today was a lot of fun learning.

I hope it lasts for a while.  We seem to do things in phases like semesters.  When we first came here we did our daily walks by the water.  Then when the rain and darkness came we had short day trips to the grocery store or into the city for Swedish classes.  Now, the temperature is starting to drop and being outside makes it difficult with on-and-off rain and chilly breezes.  We shall try to venture out to Rum for Barn, but today was fun and felt like home-school preschool.

We started "Today's letter is...", where we write out a big letter, its baby letter, and the sound it makes.  Then, we draw and write words that start with that letter.  Check out Miss C-Jaz below forming the big letter A with her arms.

After we were writing (see her scribbles above behind her head), we decorated with stickers, she 'spelled' out words with her foam letters, she played with her tea set, cooking steak and chicken, and she built homes with her block thing-ies all the while listening to her little pre-programmed music player.  The house on the left, below, is supposedly for J and I, while the house on the right is for Miss C-Jaz and Bo.

After lunch with lots of fruit, she tried to go down for a nap at her usual 'two two-teen', but that didn't happen and she wanted something else to do, and it hit me...playdough.  I did a quick search online and found the easiest recipe for playdough WITHOUT cream of tartar which so many recipes had.  We were just fine without it. 

The Easiest Playdough Recipe WITHOUT Cream of Tartar...
1.5 cups of flour plus 1 to 3 tblsp when neading
1/8 cup of salt
1/2 cup of water
7 ml or 1/2 tblsp of oil
Mix well, adding a little more flour if sticky or a little more water if tough.
"And das it!"

By the time we finished playing with the Cream of Tartar-less Playdough, it was almost 4:30 pm.  She did eventually fall asleep, but the pee incident woke her an hour later.  It was a really great day.  She was so cooperative, eager, and pleasant.  She had a few minor moments, but I'm just hoping for more days like today.  It reminded me of a day teaching with minimal or no issues in classroom management.

Miss C-Jaz is growing so fast, and I worry about her in every way, whether she gets enough of everything.  We were reading my 'Your Toddler Month by Month'.  She was looking at the pictures while I read aloud.  The important thing at her age is natural learning, doing different activities that help her motor skills and verbal skills, with minimal feelings of anxiety.  I'll explore this in a later blog, but today Miss C-Jaz was engrossed in activities that fed her imagination, creativity, and comprehension with minimal anxiety.   A+ for today!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's been a busy weekend and a busy couple of days.  Tomorrow is Swedish class too, so hopefully I get to write soon.  Lots to update on Miss C-Jaz's Swedish adventures ;)