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 🙂

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

It’s on!

Christmas is on!

In the last about ten days we have been to the local school’s Christmas market, a Hungarian Santa Claus fest organized by the Danish-Hungarian Union in Aarhus, and the kindergarten’s own Christmas party.

Everything is about the upcoming holidays, and the smell of cookies being baked fills the air – how romantic 🙂 But it is true. We have been baking diligently.Danish treats like  pebbernødder and vanilla cookies, and Hungarian treats such as linzer and honey cakes. Luckily I have my children to help me, I think next year I might just give them the order: make 2 boxes of this, and 2 boxes of that, and let them do the work, while I will rest in my armchair, sipping my coffee 🙂 Seriously, they are getting pro 🙂

baking christmas treats

We also went yesterday to pick up our Christmas tree, at a small, local plantage. It was hard to find the best one, just because all of them were so nice and perfect 🙂 Once we picked the one, the owner came and cut it for us.

picking and cutting

We had to set it up right away in our living room, and decorate it. My kids did most of the work again. They are so excited about Christmas, they will do anything connected to it 🙂 I think it turned out lovely, what do you think? 🙂

tree before and after

Upsidedown

I know this is a hobby/crafting/baking blog mainly, but the last two weeks were just so very intense and world-changing in my life (not leaving time for crafting or baking), that this post is going to be a little bit different, it is going to be personal.

Lets go in chronological order, exactly 16 days ago Cherry fell a bit ill, obviously I got it too, and the virus that caused slight fever in her case, developed a serious case of stomach flu in my body, with days of fever, diarrhea, throwing up, and other very lovely details. I couldn’t even keep water or pills in my body. A few days of this and I lost 5 kilos, got dehydrated and one nice evening I was driven to the nearest hospital by an ambulance, while my babies stood at the doorstep in their pajamas, waving goodbye…

These few days left my husband alone with the two children, and since he is usually very busy at work, and I am at home anyways, he is not very used to do stuff at home. He is a very dedicated, loving father, but packing lunchboxes for the kids, or finding matching, clean clothes for them was a serious challenge for him. He did his very best when it came to cleaning, but still, the house looked a mess and dirty.

My Mum got so worried when she heard the news about me being in the hospital, that she took the first flight to Denmark, stayed for a week, and even though I was released from the hospital after quite a short time, she took care of me, the kids, and the whole house. What would I have done without her?

After I somewhat got back to my feet, it was time for my husband and me to go on our big job-related meeting. You see, I met my husband while studying for my Masters in finance and business, we were in the same study group. After graduation he got this killer job at a big international accounting company(one of the big fours), while I was pregnant with our daughter. Obviously being pregnant or having a newborn is not the most ideal position for a newly graduated young woman, and even though I returned to some extra studies while she was small and I was having our second baby, all of a sudden a few years went by without me gaining any kind of relevant job experience. Plus, I am still a foreigner in this country. This summer it has been 5 years since the graduation, and by that time I have spent 1,5 years with looking for jobs. And very intensely, as a matter of fact. They say that you have to send 100 applications to get 10 interviews, and out of that 10 interviews you are going to get 1 job offer. And there I was, around 130-140 applications sent, and not even a single interview… This autumn I eventually managed to get an interview for a dream-job (to be honest I was shocked with surprise when they wanted to see me), but finally it was not me they chose for the position.

So my husband started to pull some strings. 5 years in the business, and he has quite a network in his field. In fact he was offered a job earlier this year from one of his old colleagues, but he refused it, saying that we, as a family are not in a situation where he can simply give up his safe and secure job for something more risky and not that much more yielding. So lately he was contacted again by the same company with a better offer, plus, they also mentioned my possible employment as well, to help me get back to the job market… That did the work, and last Tuesday both of us signed our contracts, starting from next January. In the meantime an opportunity of a trainee position emerged for me, so actually I started my training period last friday, 1st November, as an accounting consultant 🙂

All of a sudden I transformed from a stay-at-home to a working Mum, waking up early, rushing the kids through the morning processes, quickly preparing lunchboxes, taking care of the dog, driving half an hour to work, try to comprehend all the new things I need to learn, rushing back home, feeding them, rushing through the housework, getting dizzy by the end of the day and falling to bed much earlier than I used to 🙂  (tell me, it is going to get better, once we find a new routine… ) It is a whole different set-up, especially that I am still fighting some viruses. My husband is also very happy about my job, but secretly longing for the good-old days when I had the time to take care of most of the things 😉 From that point of view my hospital-stay was a very well timed eye-opener for him, when he made such fantastic realisations as: 1. Cleaning up after the kids takes a lot of time, 2. Doing the groceries is very expensive… welcome to the real world, honey 🙂

The big girl crochet cardigan

Autumn, winter and soft, warm, home-made cardigans go hand in hand. Don’t they?

I found this fantastic tutorial at Vicarno’s Mama on a beautiful crocheted baby vest, and I instantly knew that I am going to make one for my daughter, and one for my niece.

The tutorial is very easy to follow and straightforward. The only thing I had to use my brain was that the pattern is for a 1-year-old baby, and my daughter is almost 5, my niece is 3. So I had to make adjustments. It was a process of trials and fails, I had to restart it a few times before I found the proper size-adjustments.

Here is what I came up with for my daughter:

Instead of 44 chains, I started with 66 chains, that means ch2+64 hdcs in the first row. From the second row on I used dcs instead of hdcs, and distributed my stitches proportionally among the different parts of the pattern. I changed colours every second row. Apart from these changes, I followed the pattern completely.

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Probably I could have started with a little less chains as well, as the cardigan didn’t turn out to be a slim-fit one, but I actually like that it is not that tight on my daughter and she has a lot of space to move around and to grow.

The yarn I used was partly the same easy care merino wool I used for a baby jacket, partly alpaca-mohair blanding. I am very happy about the colours, I think they give a nice impression together, and the vest has the advantage of matching most of Cherry’s other clothes this way.  Plus, Cherry made sure to tell me every time she saw me working on her cardigan, that “it is going to be sooo pretty with all these colours, Mummy” 🙂

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