Friday, October 21, 2016

Living in a house with boys: the competition factor

Nothing ever happens in my house without competition. Asking the boys to brush their teeth results in a mad dash to the bathroom (complete with major pushing and shoving). Getting up in the morning results in a heated discussion about who got up first, who needs the least sleep, who had the scariest dream, who needed/didn't need a night light.... Eating results in an argument about who ate what fastest, who likes what best, who had what for lunch (usually, I make the lunches and they are all the same so I never get this one)... Going to the mailbox is a sprint/push/shove/yell/pout... Getting into the car is total craziness... They even compete about who is the first to know what the capital city of Nicaragua is... seriously ;)
Andreas, having been a boy, gets right into it. He teases them, riles them up and sets them against each other... and the boys fall for it EVERY FREAKING TIME!!! Sometimes, Andreas even competes with them... ugh! On the other hand, I- of the female/mother persuasion- just lose my patience... after all... WHO THE HECK CARES ABOUT BEING FIRST TO GET INTO THE STUPID CAR!!! The boys (all 4 of them) just look at me like I am from another planet... Don't get me wrong... I like competition... I play soccer... I like to win... BUT, in a sport, this is kind of part of the point- not the whole point though... there is also fun... and sportsmanship...and hanging out with friends... and developing skills.... and getting healthy... and earning my glass of wine ;) 
Maybe I should start to use the competition factor to get them to do the housework or put groceries away or make dinner... If I find some good earplugs, I won't have to listen to their yelling about being first.. and, if I have a pre-dinner cocktail, maybe I won't even care ;) Who will be first to put the dishes in the dishwasher? Who will be the first to do the laundry? Who will be the first to get into bed? ;)

Happy Friday to all xox

Random picture from the internet

Monday, October 17, 2016

The mystery of the missing middle child

I have a middle son. Sometimes, on this blog, it is not so obvious... but he does exist... and I love him very much... yes, just as much as the other there! Lately, Nicklas is not appearing on this blog as much as he used to and I feel a bit guilty. The thing is that, recently, he just doesn't want me to take his picture... much less post it on the blog. You know what? I feel bad for not having including him as much as the other two but I totally respect his wishes. Nicka- you are temporarily off the hook ;)
When I post pictures of the boys (and I include Andreas in this), I always get their OK- or, at least, a grunt- on what I include. When no one wants their pictures taken, you- the lovely people who actually read my gibberish- get stuck with Montreal... or leaves... or food... or a bad selfie... or coffee.... or a wine glass (full, I hope) or the pets (and sometimes they say no too) ;) One of the main reasons why I started this blog (and there are a few others which I will save for another day) is a type of day-to-day chronicling of our family life.. something to share with them for now... and for later. It is kind of like a diary of us... right now... as we are and, if they are not a willing part of it, I am sensitive to that. OK... I like to harass my kids... but even I have a fine line ;)
Nicka, in the mean time, assures me that- one day- he would like me to take his picture again... and I will be happy to do it :)

Happy Monday evening to you all xox

This old picture is ok.... he said yes ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The party shirt

Over the years, I have made an observation: My boys love to have party shirt. What is a party shirt? you may ask...  A party shirt is a shirt that, from the get-go, is trouble. It is usually a shirt with a bold pattern... one that is bright, funky and... well...trouble. Alexander has at least one... a type of Hawaii-party-skater-cool-but-reeking-of-trouble shirt. Nicklas has inherited a few from Alexander and my hypothesis remains solid ;) This weekend, when we went to a second hand clothing store for Halloween costumes, Oliver found his own party shirt. I was hesitant to buy it but, naively, I thought: what can happen? Today, in his party shirt, Oliver succeeded in making the biggest mess-that-can-possibly-be-done-during-a-3-hour-playdate-with-his-friend. I knew that I regretted the party shirt purchase the second the two older boys came up from the basement shocked at the mess ;) Seriously, it was the shirt... I blame the shirt ;)

Wishing you all a great end to the weekend! Where the heck did it go? Just blame it on the shirt ;) xox

Oliver in his party shirt

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Last week, I bought Alexander and Andreas some dress shirts. This was shortly after I found some really nice pants in both of their sizes. What can I say? I am a sucker for store sales... and nicely dressed men ;) Anyway, on Thursday, Alexander had to dress up for school because he had a soccer game that afternoon. I guess that Andreas liked the look.... and thought that it would be funny to have a mini-me.

Happy Saturday xox

Monday, October 10, 2016

From the bad comes the good ;)

Usually, the boys do their homework around the kitchen table. It starts off well enough- I can sit and give both Alexander and Nicklas my attention while they simultaneously work. Problem is that, after about 20 minutes, they spend more time bickering than actually getting anything done! I feel more like a ref or a moderator for the US presidential debates ;)
Today, after becoming totally FED UP with the arguing between the boys, I pushed the unsuspecting Andreas into the car and off to Ikea we went (he also got to buy a bag of godis/candies so he was happy to go).
End result of the morning "homework" session was a new desk for Nicklas (and eventually Oliver) in their room! I had Alexander clean up his desk downstairs and- voila- his own homework space! I am happy to walk between the 2 rooms and answer to calls for "MAMMA!" but peace has returned to the kitchen table... and a quiet cup of coffee for me ;)

Happy week to you all xox

The new desk in Nicklas' and Oliver's room!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.... which is approximately a month before the American one but we kind of celebrate the same thing, with the same kind of food and same opportunity for family chaos ;) Maybe our harvest season was earlier because of the upcoming crap winter? I will try to find out the reason and get back to you... Anyway, for Thanksgiving, I always like to take a moment to think about all the things that I am thankful for. In honour of the holiday, here are a few:

- I am thankful for my beautiful, healthy boys.
- I am thankful for my best friend/husband.
- I am thankful for my family.
- I am thankful to be blessed with so many awesome friends.
- I am thankful to have a job that I love.
- I am thankful for good dinners with good company.
- I am thankful for a cosy sweater on a cool morning.
- I am thankful for the $10 that I found in my old jeans pocket.
- I am thankful for a crisp apple on a sunny autumn afternoon.
- I am thankful for a great cup of coffee in the morning.
- I am thankful for warm sun on my face.
- I am thankful for a good glass of wine while I enjoy a moment on my front porch at the end of the day.
- I am thankful for the community in which I live.
- I am thankful to live in a country where I do not fear daily that bombs will fall down on my house.
- I am thankful to be able to send my children out to play and not fear about the sniper across the street.
- I am thankful that I can cook good and plentiful food for my family.
- I am thankful that, as a girl, I was encouraged to go to school.
- I am thankful that I can openly disagree with my country's leaders.
- I am thankful for the right to vote.
- I am thankful that my boys will not be pulled from my home to fight in some undeserving war.
- I am thankful that, as a woman, my only limitation is my own imagination.
- I am thankful to tuck my boys in at night.
- I am thankful for moments of peace in the world.
- I am thankful for small gestures of kindness.
- I am thankful for the gift of being able to travel.
- I am thankful for the beautiful people that I have met through this blog!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all xox

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Picky eating

It has not always been this way. I would say that, up until about the age of 2, Oliver was a pretty good eater. At least, he was no worse than the other 2. My boys have always had some strange eating habits (Alexander hated bananas- until one day he loved them- and has a terrible "fat on meat" phobia. Nicka had... um... no- he always ate everything) but- after the age of 2, Oliver takes the cake (figuratively).... except that he usually won't eat it (literally) ;)

It makes me and my European roots absolutely crazy! He will arbitrarily not eat stuff that he enjoyed the week before. Oliver won't eat cake, ice cream, anything fruit (except for sometimes clementines, watermelon and green apples), any vegetable (except for cucumbers), any meat (except for hotdogs- which, in my opinion, is not meat.. and salami... go figure) and only ordered pizza. He can live on Goldfish crackers and bubble water (yes, he loves carbonated water.. and that is about it). If I am lucky, he will eat cereal... but then hate it the week after. He also loves chips... the super spicy jalapeno kind from Miss Vickie's... the whole bag... by himself if he could... seriously! Is this a food group? I am desperate ;)

Sometimes, he surprises me by actually eating.. and then asking for seconds... and even thirds. I have to hide my surprise at the time because I don't want to draw attention to it. He will also surprise me by suddenly liking Korean BBQ beef on rice or General Tao chicken. It might be a brief and fleeting moment but I will take it!!! He has also been known to eat almost a whole large pizza by himself :P

Dearest Oliver, please stop stressing your mother out and eat some proper food! In the mean time, I promise to zen at dinner time and put all food in take out pizza boxes ;)

xox to you all! If you have any tricks or advice, please pass on the wisdom!

See- he does sometimes eat ;)