Copenhagen

Last week was the week of vinterferie, aka winter-break in Denmark. It means that schools are closed, daycares hold open with limited staff, most of people take off work and go on either a ski holiday, or a bathing holiday. We didn’t take off work, but as it happens my husband was recovering from flu, and I caught some cold, so we were mainly working from home. But we decided to take Friday off, and go for a mini holiday of 3 days to Copenhagen!

The most important thing Copenhagen has for us is my husband’s sister and her family, but we also have other friends there, and besides, it is a lovely city to visit anyways. Instead of staying at my sister-in-law’s, crowded up in their little house with our kids, plus their kids, including a small baby, we decided to book a hotelroom, and live like kings😀

We stayed at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel, which I can highly recommend to anyone, who is interested in staying in Copenhagen comfortably and somewhat cheap(er than the usual Danish prices), and close to the train station. Plus they have excellent breakfast… yummie. We had a family room, which really is two double rooms opened up together, and the kids absolutely loved the idea of having their own room with their own bathroom. In fact, when my husband for some reason decided to use their bathroom, he got told off by Cherry very bad😀 But the best thing in the room for the kids was the view: right at the train tracks! They spent most of the time sitting in the window, spotting trains. And, yes, before anyone of you freaks out, like my mother-in-law seeing this picture, we checked a zillion times that the windows cannot be opened before we let the kids sit there, and yes, one of us was always sitting with them…

Trainspotting

We spent Friday afternoon at the place of our friends, where my husband could rest on the couch under the blanket, sipping tea, continuing his recovery, and the kids could play with our host’s daughter, and her very exciting toys.

Saturday we went to my sister-in-law, where I finally met my nephew for the first time🙂 He is so charming and beautiful, even though he had a rough day because of an aching belly, I totally fell in love with him🙂 You can easily understand why, if you take a look at his picture, here he is :

Here he is

See, I told you🙂 We had a lovely day with them, a lot of talking, laughter, kids playing, walk to the playground, my sister-in-law’s fantastic cooking… I really hope we can see each other soon again.

Sunday morning we got up, Paddington demanded breakfast, so we hurried down to the breakfast room, then we checked out of the hotel, that made Cherry a bit sad, because she really loved to stay there. We had to promise to her to come back again at some point😀

We made our way downtown, and took a sightseeing boat around the channels of Copenhagen. We were thinking a lot in advance, what can we do in a big city with two small kids who can only tolerate a limited amount of walking, and would like some fun experience. First we tought of Tivoli, but that is unfortunately closed until the spring. Walking the streets is not fun for anyone with small children, so we decided to take the boat ride, where we can be seated, while seeing a lot of the city, plus the children were amazed by the fact that we are sailing in a boat, and there are other boats, and swans and seagulls and ducks around us, and we are going under bridges.

So the boat ride was a great fun for all of us. We went through Christianshavn, which is a network of channels built by king Christian IV. following the example of Amsterdam.

Christianshavn

We also saw the Queen’s Palace, the Opera, the State Theatre…

Opera

… and the Little Mermaid.

The statue of Little Mermaid stands alone in the sea, quite a long walk away from everything else, and of course people are willing to take the long walk along the sea just to see her. Which is nice, because a long walk is very healthy, the landscape is beautiful, and the walk can be very pleasant in good weather (which is not common in Denmark). So they arrive there full of expectations, to find this itsy-bitsy-tiny-little thing sitting on the stone, and most of them get disappointed. Yes, the Little Mermaid is little.

I have only seen her twice, now and a few years ago, and both times from the back, from a boat. Here is the best picture I’ve got of her, even tough the boat went really close to the shore, and I zoomed all I could with the camera, this is the best I got:

The Little Mermaid

After the boat ride we headed home, because Paddington basically fell asleep sitting on a bus, so it was clear the kids had enough of experience for a day, and besides, we had a 4 hours drive ahead of us.

I can say we had a wonderful time in Copenhagen,it was a good bonding experience with my babies, getting out of the everydays, and I realised again, how fun it is to go to places🙂

A face lift

This is a story about me performing a plastic surgery.

The subject to the surgery is Paddington’s favourite plushy, tigerkitty, as he calls it, not being able to entirely decide whether he loves it as a tiger, or as a cat. It goes mainly by the name “little kitty”, and he has been to many wild places in his lifetime: baby beds, lunch boxes, under the beds, buried in a pile of Lego, on a train ride to Hungary and back, sandy beaches, museums, butterfly houses, restaurants, and most recently: inside the mouth of a labrador… One hell of an adventorous life this tigerkitty lives, and all this, especially the latest adventure with our dog, resulted in changes in his appearance…

Paddington and tigerkitty

Poor little thing, lost his nose and one eye… Paddington took it very brave, he came to me with the chewed tigerkitty, and pointed out the problem quite calmly: “Doggy ate kitty”…

Tigerkitty after the dog attack

Well, what should a mum do, knowing the important role of tigerkitty in our everyday life: I went and bought some eye-buttons (you know that black knob things), but first of all, I put poor little fellow in the washing machine, since a little wellness trip to a labrador’s mouth leaves you with a very distinctive smell you might wanna get rid of.

Then I replaced the cheerful pink plastic nose with some embroidered pink nose, and tried to fit the new eye carefully in the eyesocket… I sometimes get completely buffed over how serious tasks I have to perform as a mum – so much responsibility! Well, I have to say the new eye is slightly bigger than the old one. For a moment I contemplated taking out the old eye and replace that one too with a bigger one, so they can be symmetrical, but then I decided not to make poor tigerkitty suffer any more than necessary.

And here is the new tigerkitty. He might not be the same as before, but I hope he can live a full life after the operation. What do you think?

Tigerkitty after the surgery

Crafting versus working

So far January has not been about crafting at all. As I entered worklife a few weeks ago (finally), and getting more and more important and serious tasks, my time is limited, and my priorities shifted. Ok, not shifted, let us just say shuffled. I am still trying hard to find a balance between all the things that are important to me, and so far the first two weeks of this year has been dedicated to my family, my work, and my volunteer work. Actually I am very proud of myself that I still found the time to go for my runs, twice per a week.

To give you an idea of the very exciting and eventful and therefore quite busy start of the year at the company I work at, here is a little picture of my little creative corner at home:

Pc vs sewing machine

Yes, my work computer moved in for the afternoons and evenings, pushing my sewing machine gently and discretely back at the wall… Poor thing is just standing there, waiting patiently.

I also find the the quotation below very appropriate at the moment:

work life

But don’t you worry, the situation is not that serious, actually I kind of find the new challanges at my work refreshening and exciting. And I also know that they are seasonal, and will pass.

In the meantime I dedicated 3-4 days to Paddington alone. He fell victim of the nasty stomach virus circulating in their daycare. Don’t worry, I will spare you the details🙂 But it also meant, that the very first winter day of the season found me and the kids at home (I let Cherry stay at home too for a day). We haven’t got much of a winter so far, it has just been a very long autumn really, with temperature above freezing point and boring rain. But the first snow (and winter cold) came on Monday, so we spent some very happy time in the garden with the children and the absolutely bewildered dog.

snowy

 

I also realised at this point that Paddington doesn’t really have a warm winter hat anymore, as he grew so much since last winter. So I took some leftover jersey fabric, the pattern of the elephant hat, and followed my own tutorial (because I can🙂 ) to make him two new hats. And that was about all the creative activity I did so far this year🙂

I was somewhat worried that he was not going to like them, because recently he excercises all the willpower of his almost 3-years-old little self, and refuses to wear clothes I am picking for him, and constantly taking his socks and hats off. But surprisingly, he really loved the hats, probably because he witnessed me making them, and he took the striped one, and didn’t even want to take it off inside the house. He just stood in fron of the mirror, petting his little head under the hat, repeating: “my pretty hat, my pretty head”. It is nice to have a boy with some healthy self-confidence🙂 I also have to mention, that he is equally generous complementing others than himself too, the other day when I was dressed up smart for work, he looked at me and said: “pretty Mummy”. Awww🙂

London

So, my husband and I have been to beautiful, busy London🙂

Beautiful London

 

Out of the 4 days, the first and the last were lovely sunny, and the two days in between them were rainy and sad. On 1st of January we got so soaken wet, that we decided to spend the whole afternoon in a nice and warm cinema, drying our jackets and socks🙂

rainy and sunny

 

Unfortunately, the New Year’s Eve party that I booked with much enthusiasm, turned out to be the rip off of the century… We were very disappointed with Altitude Events and their London Sky Bar. First of all, after paying 185 pounds per person, we had to eat our buffet dinner standing up against the wall, together with a lot of other nicely dressed people, as the organisers decided to put in 5 (five!) tables in the room, and only a couple of extra chairs for the 1200 guests they were expecting… After being locked in the reception/dining room for 2 hours, standing, my husband and I sneaked up to the 28th and 29 th floor, where the actual party was promised to take place. Here we learnt that only those few are allowed to sit at the very few tables, who booked them in advance, for extra money. On the 29th floor we found a few benches next to the windows. As one of the first few arrivers, we were able to take seat, and from that spot we didn’t move for the rest of the evening, that’s 3 and a half hours, in fear of loosing our spots. Music – were none. Drinks – only after paying an extra ridiculous amount per drink. So there we were, after an uncomfortable dinner, just sitting, talking to some other people around us who were also complaining about the whole event, some of them trying to complain to the manager, but he didn’t care, drinking our expensive, but bad quality drinks, no music, limited view of the city (while perfect panorama view was also promised – I didn’t see a glimps of the fireworks), and watching women of all age (between 20 and 70) getting drunk, while trying to balance on their extremely high heels, and not being able to sit down. It was a very bad night, and we felt cheated. People, never book anything at Altitude Events!

New Year's in the Sky...

 

Even though New Year’s Eve should have been the pinnacle of our visit, the “party” didn’t take away our spirit. We had a very good time apart from that one evening.

We have been to the theatre: we saw Mojo, and it was very funny, I really enjoyed it. Obviously, none of us being native English speakers, we had a few blank moments, but overall we understood it pretty well, I think🙂

We walked the streets of London a lot.

We had our squirrel moment in St. James’ Park, but when he realised we have no snacks on us to give away, he just left us where we stood🙂

Squirrel Moment

 

We walked along both the South and North banks of the Thames (not in one day, naturally🙂 ), enjoying the sunshine, and the momentary good weather.

Sweet Nothings

We saw some hearts being locked up:

Locked Hearts

 

The sunshine and warmth made us feel like spring, and it even confused the roses at St. Paul’s Cathedral, some of them were blooming at their best.

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Of course we spent some money on clothing and some on books. I am actually very proud of myself, that after finding the 5 storey bookshop of Waterstone, I managed to overcome myself, and only bought 3 books, thinking about the weight limit of our suitcase…

Finally, as the last thing, we visited Hercule Poirot’s place of living🙂 We are both big Poirot fans, and looked up the address of the house that they used as a facade in the series – it was quite close to our hotel. It was on a surprisingly small square, half of it was under construction, but still, it was the one🙂

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Now we are relaxed and recharged. We returned to our children with some Disney shop findings (Cherry recently has been claiming that she is a fairy princess, so she got a Tinkerbell gown…), and it was fantastic to find them running to my arms… I have missed these little bandits🙂

 

5 Years

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

We did, with a lot of gifts, too much food, even more cakes and cookies, and the happiest children on Earth, surrounded by all 4 grandparents. How lucky are they?

27th December. It may be just a boring day between Christmas and New Year’s, but for us it means much more.

We got married on that day, exactly 5 years ago. Time flies🙂

rings

Crochet Hexagons for a Good Cause

I wrote about Natasja’s blog, Crochetime earlier. Natasja is the one who is behind Crochet for Kidneys, an initiative that results in warm crochet blankets delivered to patients with dialysis in the UK. The first event took place in November, I also sent a few granny squares by post, that were later joined together with other squares to form blankets. You can read a lot about this process in Natasja’s blog. And you should definitely look at the pictures of the patients receiving the blankets. Can you imagine: they are just sitting there, receiving their long, probably not too pleasent treatments, and then a complete stranger walks up to them, to hand over a beautiful, hand-made blanket… You can see the surprise and happiness on their faces, it is fantastic🙂 I felt so proud about my 4 little, crooked squares I sent, when I saw that gentleman hugging the blanket🙂

If you would like to be a part of the same thing, and you can crochet, here is your time! Natasja is organising the second part of Crochet for Kidneys, this time she would like to receive hexagons from crocheters around the World. You can read about the details in her post, she also provides some sources for different hexagon patterns. I already started to make some of them. Simple hexagons and african flowers – I especially enjoyed the latter ones🙂

Hexagons

So if you can imagine yourself sitting back in a nice armchair, surrounded by some yarn in between two Christmas meals, I suggest you make some hexagons🙂 Deadline is in February.

African Flowers

Little til London

Among all the Christmas preparations we cannot forget New Year’s Eve, which my husband and I are going to spend in London🙂 I have London on my mind a lot, probably a lot more than Christmas. I am longing for London. And it is of course mainly because of the excitement of visiting this wonderful city again, and all the fun things we will experience there, as the theatre tickets have arrived, and our New Year’s Eve venue booking is confirmed.

But a little voice inside me cannot stop thinking about the 4 full days and nights spent without the children, for the first time in the last 3,5 years. As a dedicated, loving mother, probably I should be full of worry, full of concern, full of guilt. But I am not full of those things. I know the kids will be completely fine and happy with their grandparents – what kid would not be? To be honest, no matter how much I love my children, I cannot wait to spend just a few days without them… I am especially looking forward to that 4 slep-through nights in the nice and quiet hotel room! Even with us will be staying out late, celebrating New Year’s Eve and etc, I am pretty sure I will get much more sleep than I did in the last few weeks…

I don’t really know what’s up with them, usually my kids are very good at sleeping. But not recently. It can be the winter cold and the stuck little noses, but our nights became nightmares for me. First of all, Paddington doesn’t want to fall asleep in the evenings, and when he finally does after much struggle, he wakes up again quite soon, and marches over to our bedroom, to take his place up between his dad and me. Cherry follows him in the early morning hours, positioning herself on my other side. Both of them insist on sharing my blanket. “How does it feel to be the favourite one?” – my husband asks from under his lovely, unshared blanket, with a cruel smile on his face…🙂 But it is not mainly them coming over and sleeping in the big bed that is disturbing – actually I like it, despite all the kicking and poking it involves. It is what’s between the two of them settling down in  our bedroom. “I am thirsty, I need to pee, I cannot find my pony, my car, my favourite sleeping toy, my pillow, my sleeping socks, I want my socks off-on-off-and on again, I don’t want to sleep, I wanna go downstairs, I am crying and I don’t know why, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy…” – now that’s what is bothering me. As you see, I am not getting too much sleep, and this combined with my work, an upcoming exam, and the very busy pre-Christmas period, makes me a coffee-craving zombie with huge black bags under her eyes…I am not used to this kind of treatment – I want to sleeeeep!

Ahh, London… ahh, lovely, unbothered nights🙂

In the meantime, I am still receiving every idea of how to  best spend a chilly winter day in London, what is the best place for a snack, for a dinner, for a cup of something, etc. with a lot of gratitude🙂 Don’t be shy, bombard me with your suggestions🙂

London on my mind