Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 17th / 17. Mai

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the Norwegian Constitution Day. 
May 17th isn't like anything else or any such day in the world. 
It is a day where we celebrate the constitution, signed on the 17th of May 1814, the freedom from Danish rule and the supremacy in 1905 after almost 100 years of union with Sweden.  We also celebrate the freedom after the occupation during WW2, and  the fact that we live in a free country with a democracy that's actually working.
But, exept for a short speech given by the mayor in every single city, town, village, the day is really  about children.  Not about the military, not about important officials and politicians, but children. 
School children parading, dressed beautifully, waving flags, singing and having fun.  Marching bands are playing,  people are dancing, singing, eating lots and lots of ice cream. 
After the parades, there are games and entertainment in every shcool, community center and park all over the country.  Everything's closed, the streets are turned pedestrian, and we party all day long.
I have borrowed the first photo from the Norwegian newspaper VG as an illustration of how the 17. of May looks like in Oslo, our capital.
And here are a bunch of snapshots from our May 17th, in our little town by the lake Mjøsa:
Our boy scout up at 6AM to do the special scout parade.

After breakfast, Mom and four kids in front of our house.

Waiting for the parade to pass.

Here they come!

Our school!

There she is.  Look at us!!!


Big brother doesn't see us...

In the park

Going home to have lunch and some rest.

School next!



Friday, May 28, 2010

Picture of the day: Sleeping Mother With Child

Yesterday I dropped by the National Gallery of Art in Oslo.  I was there when they opened the doors, so with some quick running up the stairs, I got to spend some time alone with a few of my favorite paintings.  The El Greco was my first stop, and then this one.  
It's painted in 1883, by the Norwegian artist Christian Krohg.  It's part of his Skagen series, the pictures he painted while he stayed in Skagen, the northenmost part of Denmark, where the ocean is on two sides, and the light is world famous.
I got a postcard with this picture on when I just had my second baby.  I felt it was a perfect painting of my life, and I have loved it since.  
Sleeping Mother With Child is one of the paintings I always need to look at for a while when I'm at the National Gallery.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sardinia IV - Life is unfair...

A little photo story about the feeling that life passes you by, and about the will to change your destiny:

"It's not fair.  The big kids are in the pool, but I'm not.  I know it's not sunny today, but if they get to play in the water, why don't I?"

"Well.  I'll just leave.  Nobody cares about what I want..."

"Or, wait... I don't accept this.  I want to be in the water too!"

"Here we go!"

"Just have to open this gate..."

"Let's see, how does this work?"

"Maybe I can climb over?"

"No,  see here, it actually opens!"

"Almost there..."

"I made it. I'm in!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My little Preschooler...

Until now, Jonatan has been with me - or his daddy - all the time.  It has been a choice, even if we had planned on starting preschool/daycare a little bit earlier.  I work from home, which makes it easier, but I haven't been able to receive customers without my husband taking time off from his work, and doing this "family shift work" can be stressful at times.  We did wait, because we wanted this one place for him, the center where both our girls have been spending time, where we know the staff and their way of nurturing/teaching children.
I said until now, because as of recently, Jonatan has started preschool/daycare.  I've been visiting the center with him several times, and he came there as a baby with his sister, so he already knew the place.  I still stayed with him the first days, and only left for a few hours the first times.
Today, for the first time, he spent five hours away from our home... (three of them were asleep, yes, he takes long naps!) 
I was supposed to get lots of work done in my office, but I was hardly able to think straight.  Wandering around, all tears, sobbing, sniffing and feeling like a horrible mother.
When I went to pick him up, he came running towards me, smiling, giving me a hug that lasted forever, before running off to play again...
He had done great.  (And I knew, since I had been on the phone with the center at least three or four times since I left...)  They have a wonderful outdoor area, and he had been riding a tricycle, playing in the sand, finding earthworms, and, as I mentioned, napping for three hours in his stroller!
Well, I guess I should be convinced, but I'm not.  Not yet.  It will take some time.  He is after all my baby.  And even if he is just going to be there three times a week, it feels like I've lost him a little bit...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sardinia III - Beach walk

An overcast day, with some rain now and then, and we went for a walk along the long beach of La Cinta.  It's sort of a peninsula, with the sea on one side, and the laguna on the other.   The children collected shells for a future craft project

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Picture of the day: Pentecost by El Greco

Today is Pentecost, and I choose this painting of El Greco, showing the flames coming down on the disciples' heads.  Mary, mother of Jesus, is in the center, recognizable on her red dress and blue cloak. This day, when the Holy Spirit was given to the followers of Christ, is known as the birthday of the Christian church.  The Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to talk in different languages, so that everybody could understand.
It was painted between 1596 and 1600, and it can be seen at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sardinia II - Our Beach

We had a beach to ourselves in Sardinia.  It was the residence's beach, but since we came there off-season, we were the only ones to enjoy it.  Crystal clear water, silky soft sand.  Birds, fish and lots of fresh air.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Last week, we had some Summer Holiday in advance.  Took the children out of school, and went to Italy, to the island of Sardinia.  I haven't downloaded the pictures from my camera yet, so these are some snapshots from my mobile phone.  There will be more pictures in another post!

Our little rental house

Two youngest children enjoying the pool.

The village square and church.

Restaurant scene. Alma.