Archive for the ‘Karel 3-6 yrs’ Category

Today I’m 35.

Thirty-five! I had to check with my Mom to hear if that is middle-aged or not. Evidently it’s not. Yet. Getting rougher around the edges with every year… and also accumulating nicer clothing. I suspect the two are related.

Anyway, today the sun was shining, Cai Ruben was the only boy home, and I was the only one sick. So after *our* nap, we spent the afternoon outside.

Honestly, after the past month of revolving door sickdom, having a few moments of walking down the road hand-in-hand with CR (in between the moments he was running towards any available incline) was one of those flashes of perfection God slips us every so often. The bright spots your soul stores up to keep you from hitting rock bottom when things are not so harmonious. The beauty of having made it to this lovely non-middle-age of 35 is knowing that when you get a moment like that, you enjoy it right then and there. I don’t expect it to last. He’s gonna run up someone’s driveway in about 5 seconds. And laugh and run faster when I call him back.

Or like when your four-year-old falls asleep on top of you in a way that is lovely and sweet and flashes you back to when his toes hit your belly button instead of your knees. Just. Enjoy it.  He’s going to wake up and start pounding his brother on the head (WHERE DID HE LEARN THAT??).

Or when our 6 year old knew that I meant it when I said that all I wanted for my birthday was hugs from my boys, and gave them to me all day long. He’s going to air-guitar with a chair  when he’s supposed to be brushing his teeth (no, I don’t have a photo, and no, I can’t describe it any better than that) and ”forget” that we put on pajamas every single night. But before that, for some reason, he’s going to suddenly think he needs to make me a present, and get the scissors and ask for glue and make this:

bilde (8)

which I love so much I can hardly stand it. From the bilingual phonetics to the self-cut hearts, to the scrap of paper is was wrapped up in. My mother-in-law told me I was allowed to cry.

I don’t know how he would react if he knew I pasted this heart-gift all over the internet out of maternal pride. But somehow, despite starting out my 35th year with bouts of sneezing and running eyes. Karel has set the tone for the next 12 months, and I think it’s going to be pretty allright.

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Did you see this picture on facebook?

spring ice cream 2014

Here’s a quick rundown of the week and the current status of the munchkins:

That kid with the hair in his eyes? That’s Karel. Karel has refused a haircut for the past month, but sometime this weekend there’s gonna be some trimming going on. I can’t take it anymore. Even the hair wax he used to make his hair ”look nice” for church on Easter Sunday didn’t hold it back. His hair also covers his ears, which we have established does not, in fact, impede his hearing.

karel headphones

When we had the standard 5 year-old well-child check, the nurse talked a bit about how this stage of development is kind of a mini-adolescence. Eye-rolling? Check. Blaming of parents for everything/anything not right in the world? Check. Experimentation with power (”I’m bigger, faster, and stronger than you, Emil Birk.”)? Check. And the gun play I managed to avoid for so long has now entered into our home…and trickled down to brother #2. I know it’s normal, I know it’s okay, I know I’m too defensive about it, but I’m not ready for my baby to start knowing that sometimes people hurt each other on purpose, not ready to hand him the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However –note to self — it turns out that our children are actually individuals in and of themselves, who don’t really care so much when I’M ready for something.

Anyway, Karel finished the first round of swimming lessons and is now starting track and field and his indefatiguable energy is often mentioned when they go ”på tur”/looooooong walks at barnehage. And just like every other big boy, the bravado comes off at bedtime and I get to go back to snuggling him like a toddler.

Emilian Birk, on the other hand, loves a snuggle at bedtime but can’t stand the heat. ”Æ e så VARMT!” / ”I am so WARM!” Last week when it was still cold at night he was in bed, shirtless, and asked me to ‘‘kaldt mæ opp” — to ”cool me up”, which is evidently the opposite of ”warm me up”, with my cold hands.  Emil is the child who runs outside shoeless into the snow. The child who refused to wear socks inside his boots — who actually took off his boots, then his socks, then put the boots back on again — and still has warm feet. He’s coming into that awesome (read: extremely time-consuming minefield laden) age where he has an opinion about what clothes he wears. This morning he needed a shirt that didn’t have anything on it. Nothing. Fortunately I found one, able to finally fulfill a request that thankfully wasn’t physically impossible. Unlike yesterday, when he wanted to stop and have a picnic with a drink of water in the middle of our walk. Found a lovely little picnic spot and sat right down. I didn’t have any water. I  was also unable to magically conjure some up on the spot. This inability to conquer the rules of physics, time, and space is a huge flaw in my ability as a mother, and Honest Toddler blog posts reel through my mind every time I fail. Thank you, Bunmi Laditan, for keeping my head from exploding.

ANYWAY, Emil Birk has started swimming lessons now, he’s started talking again at barnehage, and is in seventh heaven now that it’s spring and the bugs are out. We spent a long time checking out the ecosystem of bark and ants and spiders and moss on a neigborhood tree yesterday (after I managed to distract him from the picnic crisis). He sees the tiniest insects, and rejoices over every single fly that buzzes against the window.

And then there’s Cai Ruben. Whereas Emil Birk thinks he’s a grown up, Cai thinks he’s a big boy. In the last few days he’s learned out to get down from things — the bed, the stairs, the couch, and overturned box — and practices at every opportunity. On our walk yesterday we stopped at a little park nearby and he got to swing for the first time. Little adrenaline junkie that he is, he totally loved it. He also tried to practice his ‘getting down’ skills on the steep enbankment at the edge of the park.

I feel like I’m pretty relaxed as a mom. I mean, the constant risk-analysis calculator is constantly whizzing in my brain, but more often than not the risk isn’t so great and I let them get on with whatever they are doing.* With some exceptions, of course. Emil Birk, despite his constant asking, is not allowed to climb onto the roof. So really, really? is it asking too much for the one year old to stay away from the embankment and the 3 year old to keep his shoes on?

‘Yes’ is the obvious answer to that question.

(Let me just say that yesterday was one of those days I haven’t had for a while (while = week) when I’m shoving chocolate into my face at every opportunity. Managed to hold off on the wine until after Bjørn got home at 7 p.m., so go ahead and applaud my self-control.)

ANYWAY, Cai’s latest cute, non-dangerous trick is playing peek-a-boo with his hands. He covers and ear with one hand and squishes a cheek with the other and says ”BUH!!” It is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life, and he will not do in front of anyone else. So I just keep describing it to people, which is much less cute and probably much more annoying.

klatremus Cai

In other news, we’re working on selling our house. Moving within the same town feels kind of anticlimatic, but we figure normal people do it all the time, so we can too.



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As one who doesn’t work outside my home (or really inside my home either, judging by its current state), the energy, ingenuity, and creative thinking that would normally be concentrated on a very important, world-saving, economically reimbursed real-world problem is instead diverted to situations slightly less far reaching.

Like carneval costumes.

I used a fair amount of mental energy on these, people. Enough mental energy that I started to feel a tiny little bit silly. Silly enough that I started to come up with justifications (ahem, see above).

To what end, you ask? What was the success rate of the energies, mental and otherwise?

One ‘oh-wange ninja tuw-tul’ (that’d be Michaelangelo, for all you non- 80s babies), who was excited and happy and proud about his mask and shell and green face paint for the first two minutes of barnehage until he realized I was leaving him with all these other people in costumes. Turns out when you’re 3, costumes on other people can kind of freak you out.

And one tiger, crying. Please note that I did not make the tiger costume. I made a shark costume. What is slightly more crazy is that I made a shark costume with the full realization it probably would not be worn. I made it for the challenge. And for future costume wearers in the family. So there.

Anyway, Karel chose the tiger, after days/WEEKS of indecisiveness that manifests itself in full body gesticulating (that, come to think of it, looks a lot like a shark out of water) and ”instruction” drawing. Days and weeks of coming up with his own ideas that were brilliant…but out of my scope. A turtle shell one could crawl inside, for example, complete with a blanket and small t.v. to make it cozy. A crocodile that has is constrolled by levers and buttons you push from the inside. There is no room for artistic interpretation. When in costume, he takes on the role of the chosen animal and the costume MUST REFLECT THAT REALNESS.

Oh my goodness.

The lack of orange face paint almost triggered another melt down, but blending white and red and yellow was thankfully acceptable.

Oh my goodness.

Everyone in the car, all costume pieces accounted for, no more tears…and a very tentative sigh of relief from the two of us in the front seats.

On another note, and for the record, the tiredness level after weeks of varying health in the grown-ups of the family has reached a new level. Emil peed in our bed during the night, and despite feeling the warm wetness on my pajama leg (he’s started sleeping in the center of the bed, with his head at my knee level), I slept on.  I felt it, woke up, and consciously decided to sleep. in the puddle. of pee.

There must be some kind of recognition for graduating (sinking?) to this level in the game of parenting.

Anyway, here’s the Ninja Turtle. The Discontented Tiger was not available for photographs.

eb karneval

(brilliant design for turtle shell found at The Almost Perfectionist )







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christmas 2013 104‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house; All the Lyngstads were dressed, no pajamas to be found…


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Recently I’ve been lamenting/bewildered by the boys’ complete CRAZINESS and total lack of manners when we’re out. Honestly, the way they’ve been behaving when we’re guests makes it look like they’ve been trained to sit on (not at) the table, eating with one hand and reaching for the farthest possible item with the other, with food bits dropping from their gaping, talking mouths.


After a couple of (failed) rounds of hissed instructions I just give up and accept the judgement.

This morning, however, I felt a glimmer of hope as I was standing with Karel in the bathroom, he on the step-stool facing the mirror and I behind him.

K: ”Mama, can you please move to the side?”

me: ”Okay…” (well, THAT was nice asking! yay!)

PPPPPPFFFFFFFFFffffffffttttttttttt. (That, friends, is the phonetic spelling of a grown up sized fart.)

K: ”I had to gas.”

me: ”Did you ask me to move out of the way so you wouldn’t gas on me?”

K: ”Yeah.”

me: pause. ”Thank you.”


Happy Friday, yo.





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Who’s  six months old already?

oktober 2013 cai 6 months

This guy.

Our peanut isn’t winning any prizes for size, but let me tell you: this kiddo is going to give us a run for our money once he’s mobile. Good thing we’re practiced at toddler interception. Bad thing we’re often too slow and tired to make those interceptions successfully.

But really — 6 months already? Wasn’t I just pregnant with him? Weren’t the boys and I using my belly as a book-reading rest while snuggled up in their bed? Tonight I had to save the book from  being eaten by the wriggling mass of excited-and-probably-teething babyness.

And who are my superheros?

oktober 2013 super hero planoktober 2013 super karelThese guys.

With baby blankets as capes, and the magic power of the birthday crown — bad guys beware. Although I’m pretty sure these supermen were more interested in flying than warding off not-niceness. I stood outside the door to their bedroom listening for a while, something I do more and more as they need/want less adult intrusion in their play.

”Here comes Super Kanin!!” (rabbit) Cue launching of stuffed rabbit from the top bunk.

”Here comes Super Monkey!!!” I watch Monkey fly by.

Duck’s turn: ”Here comes Super And!!!


A flurry of blond hair and light blue cape arcs from the highest point of the bed to the carefully placed extra mattress on the floor, followed closely by a second ball of cape and crown from a not-quite-as-high point on the bed. Emil Birk — currently our mixture of sweet-and-terror — remembered the rule of where he’s allowed to jump from, and my heart melted a bit more. Even through the tantrums, he’s showing a strong grasp of basic logic.

With new babies arriving in my newsfeed and in real-life, we’ve been thinking back to what it was like with the first one. Being a new mom was the hardest thing I’d ever done and the happiest I’d ever been. Now that our first one is growing up, the weight of the responsibility doesn’t change, but the focus does. Is he secure? Are we modelling our values?

After our second, I don’t remember thinking so much about how hard this work is, but I suspect that has more to do with being used to it than anything.

With three… the saving grace was that awfully tiring pregnancy. Life with two preschoolers and a baby is a million times easier than two preschoolers and being pregnant. Our third has brought a different level of happiness and contentedness to our/my life. Friends that know me well enough to see the difference have confirmed it. With three, no one expects me to do anymore than take care of my family, which is all I’ve wanted to do the last couple of years anyway. Now, when anybody asks me if I’ve started working yet it’s quickly followed by, ”but you’ve got three small kids.” If I start in on expectations I have or things I think I should be doing, they tell me, ”but you’ve got three small kids.”

Turns out three is a magic number. But who neeeds magic when I have resident superheroes? (insert beaming-smiley-yet-extremely-tired face)

Love, Kim and boys

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Happy Friday, friends. 🙂 I started out thinking I’d write out a quick week in review, because it’s gone so fast and I can’t quite remember what happened on what day, only a string of moments triggering intense emotions or thoughts or images.

Then I read the comment section of this, and became confused. And watched this, and was sad. And then this and got a little bit scared because I’ve probably done something wrong. And scanned headlines about Westgate in Kenya, earthquakes and bombings in Pakistan, the ongoing Syrian crisis… and wondered about the balance of being informed but not anxious.

Which means it’s time to do what I have learned to do best: retract and refocus, filling in the remaining space with prayers. So back we shall go to fulfilling my task as family record-keeper, with the bright points of the week.

  • It’s autumn now. We’re digging out fleece and wool — which was actually put away this summer. The shifting of gear throws the growth rate of the boys into an all too bright light. What fits, what doesn’t, what can make do until an upgrade; remembering that as incredible as it seems now, the boots that are too small for Emil Birk should be saved for Cai Ruben. I usually love autumn, especially here. In the past, when it finally got to be September and October I felt we could stop  the daily cycle of hoping for/being dissapointed by summer weather that never really came. So autumn was a relief, in a way. But this year we had sun and warmth. I had a sandal tan for the first time in years. I dipped into the fjord, not once but TWICE this summer, for the first time since living here. That’s an indicator of heat right there, folks. The convenience of wearing only one layer and not worrying about finding socks — I’m not quite ready to go into the darkness and long undewear yet. On the flip side, I’ve been waiting all summer to dive into autumn cooking and baking. Squash, apples, berries — never quite enough time to pick or find as many as I’d like.
  • This week the house has been filled with animals. I’m never quite sure what or whom I’m going to find when I leave the room and come back. Last night we had a dinosaur and a wolf; a couple of days earlier Karel spent the day as the family’s cat; an elephant with a pretty realistic trumpet-call shows up most days, as does an assortment of baby animals at bedtime. In real animal news, I flushed our first fish casualty last week. Emil picked out a new one yesterday, and while she will never read this, I would like to thank the kind pet-store-lady for scooping out the exact fish that Emil pointed out. There’s not too much cuter in my little world than EB’s dimpled trying-not-to-smile face.
  • The boys have also been in varying states of health this week. Karel was home through Wednesday with a low fever and headache. Cai was fussy and warm the first part of the week as well. The combination of a rash, a low fever, and a bulging fontanelle was enough to book an appointment with our family doctor, who in turn referred us to the hospital so a pediatrician could have a look. Several hours later, after a thorough exam and an ultrasound of his little head checked out, we were on our way back home. I’m happy to say that our smiley snuggly baby is back to normal. There’s not too much cuter in my little world than Cai-baby giggles.
  • With at least two kids home everyday (but today) this week, there are always the ”i-didn’t-really-see-that-coming” moments which I now proudly meet without batting an eye. I’d already cleaned up a broken glass (I can’t remember which running Emil-animal it was that caused it) when I went downstairs to change Cai’s diaper. Emil Birk standing in the middle of a small sea of fish food is what I found when I came back up. A thorough explanation of how he-held-it-upside-down-but-the-cap-wasn’t-on-and-now-he’s-trying-to-clean-it-up convinced me it wasn’t one of his ”let’s see how gravity works” dumping out antics, so we calmly scooped up fish food together. Which raised the question of which is messier? A 3 year old spilling the fish food  or a 3 year old cleaning up the fish food? Jury is still out.
  • This week I went to my very first parent meeting at barnehage. Bjørn has always gone in the past, since, you know, he could understand things. Oh, and someone needed to be home with the kids. This time there were some issues raised that I was interested in, so I figured it was probably about time to pull my head out of the sand, face my conflict fears, and wander into the world of opinioned parenting. Ann Inger came to stay with the big boys while we went to the meeting with Cai Ruben. Being in the thick of the parenting business was hit home, once again, as we realized that walking to barnehage in the evening, with only the baby, in order to go to a parent meeting felt suspiciously like a date. I also realized that continuing to be involved in parent meetings is going to be a very good opportunity for me to practice keeping my heart rate in check when people/friends give strongly worded differences of opinion. Because, wait a minute — you mean we can disagree on a very concrete issue but still be friends? And I’m the only one that’s stressed by this slight lack of concord?? Get out of town, and behold the light.
  • In addition to going to parent meetings, we continued on our reluctant journey to adulthood by purchasing a dining room table. Buying things that are actually what we want instead of making do with what we have (usually obtained for free) still feels kind of weird, but we’re dealing with it. There’s not too much sweeter in my little world than Karel making his little excitement-in-every-day observations: ”this is the first dinner we’re eating on our new table!’
  • We had lovely visits this week –the previous weekend found us both in Verdal and Frosta, visiting great-grandparents and the Bolstad-Laugen clan withour 6 combined kids, repsectively; Ann Inger had dinner with us Wednesday and took the crazy task of putting the boys to bed; our friend Morten stopped by with muffins made by his lovely wife Heidi after Monday’s facebook plea for comfort food/drink; Silje and her beautiful ever growing belly spent the afternoon with us on Thursday; and today we’ll just have to see. The community of friends we’re building is becoming strong enough to withstand last-minute dinner invitations (as often we feel we have the energy to give them), an aspect of our Minneapolis life we’ve missed.

There we have it — the week in a much too detailed review for the likes of a commercial blog, but perfect for the purposes of ours. Today is gray and drizzly, the type of day I usually use as an excuse to bake and baby-snuggle, write here and clean far to little. Greetings and love to our friends and family, and blessings on the weekend.

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