10.02 – the final puzzle piece

10.02 yesterday our family was completed. Yesterday my mind was numb after seeing our beautiful fourth daughter emerge from my own body. Yesterday I was sure that perfection had hit us. And it surely did.

Words fail when trying to describe the happiness and euphoria that comes after having a baby. And when trying to describe how perfect and flawless she is.
Welcoming our gorgeousness to the world was so easy, yet emotional in many ways. We knew she is meant to be our last one. We know that all the things we do with her now is the last time we will do for the first time again. Yet, she is so amazing and beautiful that I cannot fathom how we even made her.

We have named her Aria. Choosing her name was not an easy feat, but now, after she got to choose between our own selections, it has been decided. Presenting Miss Aria Archer Skingen Koch to the world makes us so incredibly proud!

 

The semantics, for those interested;

She was delivered by c-section, with a perfect spinal which meant we only stayed in recovery for the minimal time (and could have gone back earlier if needed). I was up on my feet after not too long, and although i had to stay on a drip over night it is all good now and I've been walking around the room in not much pain at all and being able to get out of bed has been so good:)

She was 51,5 cm long with 3,59 kg on her, which makes her overall the smallest baby of ours, lightest, but the second shortest!

So far she seems to be feeding well and being quite calm and content so we're obviously hoping this stays the same forever, however babies are unpredictable, so we'll see what happens. Also, happy to continue breastfeeding if she is happy, but my previous history with this means that we will be ready to make the change if needed.

 

Her gorgeous, black hair took us by surprise since all the others have been blonde beauties, but there's nothing wrong with completing the set:) Now, we are not sure what her eye colour is, since they are still so dark, however I think they seem slightly more blue than brown at the moment. But we will see. At the moment she is a dark beauty and we couldn't be happier – such a stunning little girl. But I am obviously biased and totally in love<3

Here are a few photos of our little cutie, for those who are here for that (and I assume you are, since you're here anyway:))

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm up for cuddles<3

Xxx,

Line

Luckily, I recover well

I’ve now had three c-sections with my children. I don’t regret any of them. Obviously. Some people take a very long time to recover and can be in pain for ages, not being able to walk properly for a long while, but I am very lucky it hasn’t been the case for me.
When Melodie was born, I was up walking within a few hours, itching to get out of bed. A few short weeks after, Simon and I were up in the hills downhill-skiing and having a blast while my mother was babysitting her in the warm cafeteria. It was awesome – and no one would have believed I had my stomach cut open less than twenty days earlier.
When Sophia was born, we travelled to Sydney a week later to meet with some friends from Norway, without any issues at all. And I believe it was after Sophia’s delivery I went kneeboarding and tubing behind our boat within the first month as well (although this could have been after Ricky, I am not a hundred percent sure..:)).
Ricky’s delivery was a tiny, slightly more complicated as my stitches needed re-doing, but it didn’t stop me from auditioning for the musical Chicago (and getting in!) – dancing along to ‘All that Jazz!’, a couple of weeks after she was born.
I know I am lucky to recover well from any surgery I have ever had, like when I had my tonsils removed and the three other girls in our room were vomiting and crying through the night; I woke up asking for ice cream and really could have gone home on the day. That’s not to say I will do the same this time, so I’m keeping my options open, but at least I know the chances of me being up and running in no time after is fairly large.
I have no place to be or people to see or anything that I know I need to do – but it’s nice to know that the new arrival might be just as easy on my body as the previous ones. And if it takes longer to recover, I will be fine with that too:)
Xxx,

Line

Individualism

One thing that’s so awesome about kids is their individualism. Their ability and want to be themselves in a world where adults and teenagers are told to conform and follow the rules of society. I do think I try to help them nourish their indivisualism by listening to their wants, but it isn’t always easy.

Yesterday we went to buy new sneakers for Sophia. We went straight to the section for girls, picked up some cute pink and purple ones, and she just stands there shaking her head, clearly not impressed. Then I remember: she doesn’t like pink anymore.

‘Which colour do you want then, Sophia?’ I ask encouragingly and she looks back at me with a shrug, ‘ Green or Blue, but I can’t see any.’ And she’s right, nowhere on the rack do they have any other colours than various pinks and sparkles and other pretty shoes. By now we all know that shows don’t carry a big variety, this is not a complaint, (although I do wish there were more varied colour choices for kids) it’s just a bit disheartening when she wants green, and there’s none!

I tell her to move to the next one, where the boy shoes are. We find some blue ones and green ones and obviously she goes: ‘but they’re boy shoes?’ The quick thinking in my head to find the right words and I give it a go: ‘Do you know what they are? They are green shoes. They have been made in the same factory, came here in the same truck, and were put on the rack by the same people. That’s all. The only difference is that they are hanging on this rack. And they’re not pink.’ Nailed it. She tries on the shoes, runs around half the store to see if they are good for running, and she tells me she wants them.

I try to teach them tolerance and openness to the world. I try to show them that just because one person says something is a rule, it doesn’t make it right. We’ve looked at pictures and YouTube clips of guys wearing makeup, girls wearing ‘boy clothes’ and guys dressing up in dresses. I don’t want them to conform to the standards the world is setting, unless it is what they want for themselves, and if they want to wear a tutu, jeans and gumboots all in the same outfit, I say go for it. I see lots of mums who ‘dress up’ their kids and make them into their own little dolls, and although many of them might enjoy it, I bet some wishes they could wear just trackies and boots and jump in the mud. What you wear is never who you are.


My gorgeous, curious individuals – looking at snails.

We are not raising ‘pretty girls’ – We are raising them to be who they are – green shoes, pink shoes or no shoes at all.

Xxx,

Line

Getting better

My last post was not a cry for help, but I think it helped me get my butt into gear and sort some things out. I did clean out the baby’s bed so there’s somewhere to rest. The car seat is well and truly on its way (we had preordered it, but hadn’t provided the last details:p), and I’ve ordered a brand new pram for baby!

It was funny though, as a friend came to my house the day after the last post, bringing a pack of nappies with her:) A split second of confusedness before I realised what had occurred and how lovely it was to suddenly have one minor thing in order simply because of someone else:) 

I have since purchased more nappies, a whole heap of wipes, wash mitts, beanies, baby soap and nipple cream – and am in the process of acquiring some brand new bottles and some dummies to begin with. We still have the old bottles from Ricky in the cupboard, so it’s not like we need many, but the feeling of having one or two brand new ones to start is nice. And the other girls have had no issues taking to dummies – and weaning off them when we’ve wanted them to, so our plan is to stick to what we’ve known so far:)

A few more things on the list to tick off, but not much that won’t be quick and easy. Tomorrow I will order a breastpump and a wrap ( I’ve never used a wrap before, and I do have a carrier, just don’t feel it will be warm enough, maybe I’m just weird:)).

I’m getting some new towels for bubs once I make it to IKEA (which is kinda like a given during school holidays anyway) together with the other things that’s needed from there! 

Sometimes all I need is to bring some accountability about and at least now I can say we are close! Obviously, today, we are three weeks from due date, which is quite crazy! But lots of fun 😀 the kiddies are sooo excited and really can’t wait 😊 

Xxx,

Line

Totally underprepared 

When I look at the list of stuff that I’ve made with all things to get ready before baby arrives, I see that I am totally underprepared. I don’t know why, exactly, but we have all the clothes out and ready to go, but the changetable has not been assembled, the bed is full of other stuff that has sorta just been chucked in there ‘for now’ – and there’s not a nappy in sight!

I have plans of making it all happen though, but I keep feeling like it’s not needed yet. But now, now that we are only four weeks away from due date, now might be the right time to get it all into gear, right?

I guess part of it is that I have three already, and I don’t feel that stressed. I know what’s needed and not (I mean, we DO need nappies and a place to sleep for bubs…:)) and I know that most things are easily accessible. Particularly now that we actually live somewhere central! With the two previous ones we were so far away from shops it needed to be planned, and with Melodie we were in Norway, with shops not opened Sundays, and only barely on Saturdays. Right now, everything is open whenever we will need it (pretty much). That means that if we decide to bottle feed, I can have Simon go to the shop and be back within half hour with formula and whatever else is needed. So I don’t technically need to plan for this. It will happen though, trust me:)

Another reason why is probably because I actually don’t feel very pregnant. I have not gained weight, I feel I’m not waddling or walking funny, and despite some heartburn, trouble bending down and the constant need to pee, plus the little tiny tumbler inside, I don’t feel particularly pregnant. Which is good! I mean, people ask me if I’m sick of it already, and my general answer is ‘No, I am just impatient…’ I am perfectly fine, and could be pregnant for a few months more – it’s just that I am impatient and want things (body-wise) back to normal, and also obviously don’t want to have to wait for the gorgeousness to come out so we can say hello for the first time.

I’m guessing in a weeks time things will be slightly more organised. But who knows:) at least Simon will have a few days before we return home from hospital to set it all up, right?

Xxx,

Lind

Day four – what I am afraid of

Gosh, what a tricky thing to have to talk about. It’s been nearly two years since I discovered I have anxiety, so it’s put the fear-question differently than before.

As previously mentioned, I have a phobia of moths, but outside of that, pretty much all of my fears are tied up to the kids. I think I may have been more fearless before I had them, but now I have all these other issues and worries about their futures and their mental Health  and whether the choices we make for them are the right ones. I am afraid of all the negative things on the outside that I can’t protect them against, and as much as I can try to prepare them and stand by their side, there’s so much scary stuff out there, and finding the balance between cotton-wooling and letting them build up their resilience is challenging!

Another thing I am afraid of is rejection. I know it might sound like something one shouldn’t have issues with as an adult, but I have found I really take it to heart if I put myself out there and don’t get anything in return. I know that so many factors have a say in why and how, but I still feel it. Obviously it’s an oxymoron that I also love doing shows, meaning I need to audition for them, hence the chance for rejection is absolutely there! But I will always try and then take the blow (and learn from it) whenever it happens:)

Lastly, I think we can all admit that the level of fear overall in the western world is rising, and seeing all the horrible things that are occurring all over the planet island scary. I just hope the worlds leaders can find solutions and fix the problems so there is a safe future for all our kids and grandkids❤️❤️❤️
Xxx,

Line

Day 3 – favourite quote 

I don’t think I have one favourite quote. I mean, that’s pretty impossible. But there are a couple of quotes from some of my favourite shows throughout my life that will always mean lots to me:



And obviously from an inspiring genius:


And like Forrest Gump said 

Life is like a box of chocolates… You’ll never know what you’re gonna get:)

Xxx,

Line

Day Two – 20 facts about you!

I will try to find unique facts, but I tend not to hide much of myself so we’ll see:)

1: I share my birthday with my grandmother AND my uncle! Makes it easy to remember:)

2: I wouldn’t call myself an excellent boat-driver – as I once crashed one onto another!

3: Not terribly good with bikes either, having had a very close call colliding with a car as well! It took years and moving to Australia before I rode one again. 

4: I have a phobia of Moths (and butterflies, but mostly moths.) which is called Mottephobia.

5: My favourite colour is Yellow.

6: There’s a place in Norway that always makes me cry, for no particular reason, but whenever I go there, I always have a cry. It’s like therapy, I suppose!

7: I have one tattoo, that I got when I was eighteen, of three paw prints in succession, representing the the past, present and the future. Oh, and dogs:)

8: I have been writing since I learned how to. Songs, poetry, random stuff – all the time. I used to dream of being a singer-songwriter once. Now I just dream of completing a musical with me friend:)

9: I played football for many years, and we did quite well! Although I could only play in one position. I was a goalie, and was given the nickname ‘The Wall’😂😂😂

10: The reason why I quit playing was due to one lady coach we had who made me miserable, and to this day I have still not been able to forgive her for treating me like crap:(

11: I learned how to play the clarinet and alto saxophone, but although I still have a sax I hardly take enough time to play it, which is sad…

12: I used to do singing lessons, but I kid you not: Every single one of my teachers ended up pregnant! I eventually quit as the inconsistency in singing styles meant I virtually learnt nothing – and if I ever do singing lessons again, it needs to be from a Male…:)

13: I don’t really like milk. I can drink it, but it has to be super cold and as fresh as possible (and not full cream) – as if it has never even smelt the air! But I try to stay away…

14: Both of my families in Norway, plus Simons are all fishing people, with long traditions of fishing themselves, working on fishing boats and eating lots of fish. You’d think I’d be good at it, but I’m not really.

15: My favourite subjects in School were English and Maths, and I did very well in both – luckily I’ve got to use at least one of them substantially since then!

16: Favourite holiday: Christmas, with the 17th of May a close second. Can’t rally celebrate them well enough here in Aus though, so I can’t wait to do it properly in Norway again!

17: I used to not be a goood swimmer, like at all. But moving to Australia has forced me to learn and be much better, so Yay for that!:D

18: I also used to be much more politically involved in my home country. Education politics is what started it all, and one particular organisation roped me in and ignited my love for all things organisational:)

19: I was a bit of a nerd, (still am, probably) and in my senior year I was the head prefect in my school, and was also voted in as President of the senior students (you know, the crazy bunch of red or blue dressed youngsters getting drunk for a month?).

20: Apart from the tiny jobs I had as a back packer, I have only ever worked in hospitality, and I love it! If don’t get to work as a teacher, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if I stayed in that industry for the rest of my life:)


(Just for a picture of this damn cute girl instead of me (I gave you one yesterday, geez!))

Day One

I posted this yesterday, and so I can’t really fail on the very first day, right? It’s just that I found this one category quite boring:) but I’ll follow the rules!


So here’s my introduction:

My name is Line. I grew up in a small coastal town on an island in Norway with the ocean in front of me and mountains behind me. I grew up wanting to be a vet, and going to Australia for my studies, but once my ‘professional’ mind changed, my urge to travel grew stronger. As soon as it was possible for me, I hopped on the airplane and flew halfway across the world to see the beauty that is Australia.

Many coincidences later, I ended up in Adelaide. And yet more crazy turns of events landed me in the arms of my now amazing husband.

I am still here, in Adelaide, with soon four children, happily married and living a pretty good life! My urge to travel is still strong, but I’m happy to travel across alternative worlds through musical theatre for now, which stills my wandering mind while it’s happening:)

That’s a little bit about me – and I thought I’d gift you all with an actual realtime photo of myself:) 35 weeks pregnant, alone with three girls – no makeup, and only going partially insane!


Xxx,

Line

Welcome to the family!

It’s been about a month now since Simon and I, plus Melodie, went to the hospital for training and learning about our new life-saving device. We are now currently proudly sporting a Dexcom G5 in the house – and loving it!

It was a little tricky to start. First we had to find a phone she could use with it, and we had a few lying around, and it turned out my old iPhone was just new enough so she could use it. Score! Now, she might think it’s cool she has her own phone, but really, she doesnt have any apps or games on it as it wouldn’t work very well so it’s not actually that cool. Plus, she’s not really allowed to use it either, so as cool as it may feel, it’s not really:)

Since putting it on, it has been changed a couple of times, and she has found a spot she is happy with. She has had swimming week at school which went off without a hitch, she even danced on stage showing off her ‘Lexi’ without any worries, and most of the time she doesn’t even know it’s there. It is so handy to be able to monitor her levels when she is somewhere else, So handy that she could even have her first play date alone a few weeks ago! She just packed her things and visited her bestie, and everything was good! When she had her dance concert, I didn’t need to give anyone special instructions, because we could send text messages and she would tell me what she ate while I checked her levels. It’s great!

This is where it is life changing for us. Not only does it mean she can be elsewhere and we can check on her, but it also means she will become so much mOre independent and learn so much about her condition and how things work so that her and ours confidence in what the future holds for her. 

We love it when we see a steady line going straight forward. Sometimes we scratch our heads when she keeps spiking in levels and no one really understands how and why – but what we do know is that those spikes would never have been detected if it weren’t for the Dexcom and it is awesome. We have an appointment at the hospital in a few weeks, then we will find out whether it has helped lower her long-term levels (fingers crossed).


(You can spot our Lexi on the outside of her arm:))

We gave her the chance to name it, as you do, and Melodie quickly said ‘Her name is Lexi Dexi’ so now that this little device is here, we speak of it as it was a member of our family! She comes home from school, I ask her about her day, and then I ask ‘And how was Lexi?’ And before we eat and she is going to have an injection, we say ‘What does Lexi say?’ If she alarms for a high level, she will continue every couple of minutes until it has gone down after treating it, so often we’re all like ‘aah, Lexi, we know, be quiet!’

It’s quite funny actually, and Melodie does get a lot of question about it, but it hasn’t bothered her so far (and the kids in her class knows and are used to the alarms by now so they are all pretty helpful as well:))

Now fingers crossed all that needs this device will get it in this country, it sure would be nice!

Xxx,

Line 

And we’re at a hundred!

This whole blogging adventure is a funny one. If you’ve paid attention from the beginning, it has been going on for eight years now. Weird. When I changed platforms three years ago, it didchange though. It did make it all better and easier. And now, these many years later, I feel that the things I post here are a good mix of personal opinions, a little bit of parenting, random ramblings and some emotional stuff. What started out as a way for people to follow my adventures overseas has gone through family and friends being able to catch up on us and the kids and is now like an extension of myself.

I don’t have any one specific reason for writing. I mean, I write all the time. Most of what I write don’t get published, and the majority of my ideas end up being just that. Writing is for me very therapeutic, and will never be about having followers or earning money, free stuff or anything like that.

The weird thing though, is that it makes me really happy if someone tells me they have been reading my blog – and they comment on it – especially in real life! In one way it’s slightly scary, because sometimes I write personal stuff, and knowing that people are in my head when they read is a little absurd, (but I am aware it’s being made public of course:)) and it’s a little bit crazy at times that people actually do care about reading it. It makes me want to write more and gives me the courage to share even more! 

And that would be people I know. Somehow, though, my blog has got followers that are NOT friends and family. Somehow there has been a few people pushing the ‘follow’ button that don’t have any other reason to pay attention to what happens in our life. Not even the people that I share it with on Facebook. It’s almost even weirder than my actual friends doing so… but still pretty cool:)

I recently hit 100 followers though, which is preeetty cool. I’m not in it for that, still, I don’t hate:)


Hooray for hundred!

Xxx,

Line

How do you solve a problem like Sophia?

It’s so interesting having a child like Sophia. Everyone that knows her knows she is who she is. The teachers at the school (the ones who don’t even have her) know. The principal asked her if she was going to be ‘interesting again’ one day as she walks up with a stick in her mouth. People have conceded that they may or may not get a response out of her when they speak to her, and if you’re her best friend one day, she might ignore you the next. This is just… Sophia.

When her kindy teacher approached me after a few weeks of going there, asking me if she had hearing and speech issues, I had to physically keep myself from bursting out laughing and tell her that no, she hears quite well, she just chooses not to listen.

Now, I am probably getting ahead of myself, considering she is only four still, but I have this feeling that this, her special-ness, is mostly just a part of her personality.  Her stubborn-ness and individualism and the trickiness we have to deal with is all a part of the big, big picture, and I’m pretty sure that when I write about her in ten years time, not that much will have changed. Of course, the behaviours that are bad and inappropriate we try to get rid of of course, but you see, it can be quite tricky at times. And by quite, it means I sometimes see my hair falling out as I rush to stop her from doing something I told her a thousand times not to do, and she doesn’t even care – and I think quietly to myself ‘I do not believe in violence, I do not believe in violence’ because if I did, she’d probably be getting it. But I am still glad and thankful I don’t though:)

The trouble with Sophia (much like Maria in Sound of Music, if you didn’t get the reference:)) is that she’s not nasty and bad and rude or stupid. She can be naughty and not follow the rules, but she just does things differently and has so much love for so many things and people in her life and she is very clever and super-caring. I don’t like saying she is badly behaved because I truly don’t think that’s what she is either. (And you guys might disagree with me) She is challenging, hard to deal with at times and – as the principal said – interesting. I reckon she’ll give her teachers challenges too, but I think once they get to understand her and her different ways of being herself, she’ll thrive!

There are people who only get to see her challenging side though, but obviously I get to see the whole girl – always, so I know that she has so much goodness in her, an enormous amount of playfulness, and a super smart head to tackle challenges.

I get to hear her sing and laugh and watch her dance and build and see her talk to the baby and help out in the kitchen. She is always the first one to come running to help, and when something new is being taught, she often gets it more than her oldest sister, three times her age!

Like today, when we took their boat out. Simon got a hold of this tiny dinghy for the girls a while back but have been unable to find a motor for it. With the queens birthday and all, and everything finally working, we jumped in the car and drove to Port Julia to test it for the first time. Sophia got to steer it, and her technique was almost perfected immediately. Steady on, through the water, turning nicely, no being silly – she just really did an awesome job. The others, not as good.


So this is Sophia. She is great at all the things she puts her mind to, but only herself will decide to actually do it – we can’t force her! I love her special features and her interesting way of being, normal is boring, right?:)

Xxx,

Line 

Today I am a bad mum

This morning I am a bad mum. This morning Sophia came in to me and tells me: “I don’t want to go to Kindy today” and I thought to myself “hooray!” Yesterday Melodies new diabetes supplies ran out so I have to duck to the pharmacy today, but I really didn’t have time for that on my schedule, but her not going to Kindy works wonders for me. I did spend a good ten minutes telling her that she should go, there will be lots of fun etc. but she just wanted to be home with Ricky. I caved in. Explained that next time I will not. She says Ok.

Great, so this gives me almost an hour in the morning and 2,5-ish in the afternoon. Sweet!

Then Melodie. She slumbers out of bed a little too late for my comfort, but finished her breakfast and getting dressed in record time somehow, so I see the light! I make her lunch in the kitchen while the kids are watching a bit of Tv, and as I turn the corner to watch them I see them sitting on the floor, all of them fully dressed and pretty much ready to go – but they are not really ready. They are playing.

Somehow they’ve started a sweet little game where none of them are bossy and none of them are fighting and nobody is sad. So this morning I make the decision of being late – on purpose. I ask Melodie if she is okay with this, and she smiles back “does that mean we can play a bit longer?” “Yes, that means you can play a bit longer”

Who knows when their friendly playtime will stop? Who knows when Melodie is ‘too old’ to play with her little sisters? It’s not often mornings (even non-school-mornings) start this quietly and peacefully. And soon there will be a little baby in  the mix as well, that might change their dynamics? Nah, for now I am letting them play now, and learn later.

(They also have swimming week this week, so I feel the academic content at school is slightly skewed while this all happens, so don’t think she’ll miss out on much:))

I know this is not the ‘rightest’ way to do things, but this morning this feels absolutely not wrong. So now I’m sitting in my bedroom listening to them under the covers, keeping warm with a coffee before I have to take her to school for realz!

(Disclaimer though: Kindy is actually not compulsory anyway, so it’s technically not ‘wrong’)

Xxx,

Line

Oh, what’s in a name?

Choosing a name for babies is super easy for some, and harder for others. My mother told me she knew she wanted a baby boy called Thomas and named her dolls the same, so when my brother was born, I suppose it was easy for her. With me, my mum and dad couldn’t agree on the one name, so they just chose both. There’s a reason why there’s only a handful of people in Norway with my name combination – not very common.

I am weird with names though. I have way too many criteria to fulfill.

First of all, the name has to work in both languages. There are so many awesome Norse names that sound ridiculous once I try to English-fy them. And there’s quite a few English names that are lovely in English, but once they are pronounced in Norwegian are terrible. That eliminates quite a few.

Secondly, I need to not have associations to the name. Simon and I both absolutely love the name Madelynn, but since one of my friends have the same name, I just can’t use it. For Ricky (when we thought she was going to be a boy) we liked both Oliver and Theodore, but because both had been used by close people, I had to discard them. Simon says: “Yeah, but don’t worry about what they say, just use the names!” But this is not about them, it is me who has the issues. Lovely names, and I’m sure many wouldn’t mind if the name was ‘re-used’ but I just can’t get myself to do it. So you can imagine that eliminates a fair few also.

Then third, it needs to mean something. I remember I looked up a name once and it meant ‘sorrow’ or ‘grief’ or something not very nice, but the actual name was a good one. Once I knew what the name meant, I couldn’t use it. Many don’t care about the origins of names, but I like to know that it means something nicer.

And fourth, whatever name we choose needs to fit with the others. Now we have a Jasmine, Melodie, Sophia and Ricky, so a Bob is out of the question. We also can’t just suddenly go with a ‘different spelling’. The name needs to have at least two syllables, but no more than three. Together with the first middle name, all our kids (except Jas) have five syllables. I feel we need to continue this.

Fifth, middle names. Yes. We have chosen to give the girls middle names that are inspired or directly from our own grandparents, so the people who helped raised us and had a positive impact on our lives. Simon was pretty much raised by his, so it was very nice to be able to give Sophia the name of his only grandparent that I got to meet. The fact that she died the same year she was born, makes it a little extra special (and from what I know of her, I think she would have love Sophia). Melodie is named after my only living grandparent (and also the only one Simon has met) and she is also one of her godmothers, which makes it extra awesome. Rickys middle name, Alfreda, was ‘made up’ by combining two of my grandparents names into one, as my fourth grandparent had someone else named after him, I feel all my elders have been able to live on in someone new. Since we started this ‘trend’ in our family we need to continue, and we have decided to incorporate the name of the man who had the absolute most impact on Simons life and pretty much made him the awesome man he is today. This means that any first name we choose needs to not be ridiculous together with it either.

 

 

I also try to avoid the same starting letter, and the same ending sound. Melodie and Ricky are close, but because the -ie is longer than Rickys -y, it’s okay. I also like the name to be a little bit unique (and I do see the irony in Sophias name being super popular the year she was born but we just loved itJ).

 

Mel was a straightforward name. Simon and I both liked the name Alexandra, but then one day, I was watching the tv by myself in my unit, when the weather girl came up, and her name was Melody. I texted Simon and just said “I like Melodie” and he wrote back. “Done.” We didn’t know if she was a girl or a boy before she was born, but I do not like the boy name we’d chosen for her anymore. Sophia was a funny one, as we were driving to Sydney, we drove past a street sign that read, ‘Sophia street’ and as I said it out loud, Simon nodded and said ‘Yep, that’s going straight to the top!’ We did have a list of others, but once she popped out we were convinced it was the right choice. Ricky was always intended to be a boy. Or so Simon thought. The ultrasound lady said there was a bigger chance of it being a boy, and Simon heard ‘99% chance’. Just after, I said to Simon that if it turned out to be a girl anyway, her name had to be Ricky. The fourth girl (and one right after Sophia) needed a good start with a more powerful name to make her way through this crowd of girls, not too cutesy. And so the doctor pulled her out of me, and as my intuition had told me, she was a girl, and we laughed and said, ‘Well, looks like it’s Ricky then!’

So, the answer to the question; what’s in a name? A whoooole lotta stuff, for me. And will we ever find a name we both agree on, that fits all the rules?

For many people it’s not as complicated as this, and that’s great for them but trust me to not make it easyJ And also, there’s nothing wrong with having different criteria, and Bob is a great name even if it doesn’t fit us!:D

 

Xxx,

Line

Proud mamma

You know what is so hard about raising children? It’s that we’re raising them in a world that is becoming more cynical by the day, political correctness is at peak level and instead of teaching our kids that resilience is key, we have the ‘participation’ award. I try not to do too much ‘bragging’ about my children, but today I got all teary when I knew that out of all the kids we have – at least one of them will be the good we want to see in the world. We’ve done ourselves proud with this one. Hear me out.

Melodie had her first gym competition this morning. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to do it, but I talked her into it by explaining that ‘it’s not about competing’. She was happy and have been a little bit excited for a while. We got her dressed this morning, did her hair, all went down and sat there watching her perform (?) on the four apparatuses they had today. She did bars, beam, floor and vault. I thought she did quite well on floor, the other ones I had no idea if it was good or not. By the time it was time for their presentations, I had been watching her waiting for the next thing, while she was happily sitting there, smiling, talking with her friends, bouncing up and down and generally just being the awesome kid she is. Many of the other girls were bored and just sat there, while my Mel clapped along to the cheerleaders entertaining us while the scores were tallied up.

As they got ready to hand out the trophies, I was slightly worried. I had seen the other kids, and was pretty sure Melodie didn’t measure up to them, and although she had a cheery disposition this morning, you just never know with her emotion. Also, her BGL’s had been fluctuating heaps this morning, which often plays its part in her emotions. What if she was going to be sad that she didn’t place? I really can’t deal with that kind of heartbreak at the moment, so I braced myself, hoping I wouldn’t need it. They handed out their ribbon without us seeing them, then announced the first, second and third place. None of them were Melodie. I looked at her, she cheered for her friends, so far so good. 

After they were done, I came up to her, and she showed me her ribbons, she had placed third on the floor, and she was super excited, with a fourth and two fifth places. I turn to Simon and said: it’s a third! That’s amazing! She was beaming.

She skipped out to the car carrying her ribbons, saying ‘I can’t wait to share this with my classmates on Monday!’ And as I put all the kids back in the car, comes her pure saying that broke my heart, but in a good way:

“You know, I am so happy. One of the girls got all the number one ribbons, she is amazing. And I am so happy the other girls got the second and third, because they are so nice and I just love it when people do well.’

I had to go behind the car and just smile to myself. Because she obviously didn’t care about her own winnings and there was not a trace of disappointment. She was just genuinely happy that the other girls had success and that was it. If we can manage to get the other girls to her level of compassion and care for others, then we have certainly added some good back into this increasingly cruel world.

And yes, I am bragging, and yes I am endlessly proud of her and yes, I will try not to make it a theme:)


My gymnast and her ribbons<3

(And she did come third in something:))
Xxx,

Line

You made me a Mother.

It was recently Mothers day here in Australia. We didn’t really do much, we relaxed, I got some presents and breakfast in bed, and we just hung out. Not having my own mother around when it’s these days suck, and then I tend to forget when the day comes around in Norway, so it feels often like a non-day to me. The kids love it though!

Looking around on social media, there were many posts about motherhood, and some people were thanking their children for making them into a mum. It’s lovely, and I guess I could have said the same thing, but for me, this isn’t true. I mean, they may have given me the official title, put the crown on my head and draped the sash over my shoulders so the world could see – but they didn’t make me a mum.

My own mum did.

I fully believe I was a mum before I had children – because my own mother made it so.

She showed me all about motherhood. She raised me and shaped me and showed me what a perfect mother is – so I could take all my parentings from her and make them my own.

She loved me, and sang for me and read to me – and told me to shut it when I was too noisy.

She cooked for me, baked for me, played with me – and said “go and entertain yourself because I need this coffee.”

She praised me, and comforted me and stood by my side – and told me when to suck it up and get over it when I needed it.

She was proud of me, supported me and pushed me – but never lied about my capabilities.

She was amazing at everything, and even when she did nothing – she did it all.

She was perfect in every way, and even when she was flawed – she was everything.

She gave me everything I ever needed, and even when she gave me nothing – she gave me the world.

 

She taught me the importance of not being perfect. The importance of stopping to take a breath. The importance of working hard for something you believe in.

She was always there, even when I didn’t deserve it. She showed me the importance of sometimes not giving a toss about anything. She taught me that if you approach everything from a perspective of love, things will figure itself out. She showed me that I can be fearless and be whoever and whatever because she loved me so intensely. So I wanted to be her.

I say to my girls now: “Never ever be afraid of me not being there. Never be afraid of us turning our backs on you. It doesn’t matter if you lie. Or if you do something wrong. We are always, always going to open our arms to you.” I say this because that is how I was made to feel with her. My mother made me trust her to the moon and back – one of the most valuable things I have in my life. Knowing she was and always will be there for me.

 

She probably doesn’t know this. She probably doesn’t think that her way of parenting, or her personality, or the way she has always done things, have shaped me and made me who I am today. But she has. And I am so eternally grateful that it was from her all of me came from ❤ I just hope I can measure up!

 

XXx,

LIne

Silently she moves in

Having children co=sleeping with their parents is usually a topic where people are very divided. Before I had kids, I thought it was something unnecessary, and didn’t want my kids sleeping in bed with me. I need my space, right?

Wrong.
Then I had kids myself.
And then, Simon was away at work. And Melodie got sick. And I was exhausted and lonely, and I put her in bed with me so I could sleep while still being near her. And that’s when it all started. Because sometimes they’d be sick. Or I’d be sick. Or they’d be scared, or lonely, or worried, or Simon has been away, or I have been away, or something else that makes them want to snuggle up in bed next to the big, safe, trusted parents they rely upon to keep them happy, warm and safe as a house. And I’d look at them with all the love in my heart that I could possibly have and know there’s no way I can turn them down.
As babies, Ricky never slept in our bed. This could be because she slept right next to us for a long, long time before she moved into a room on her own, so she was always near us. Melodie did a little bit here and there, and Sophia was the one who slept there the most.
We don’t actually co-sleep now. We just let them in our bed sometimes. And the funny thing is, we try to have them sleeping in their own beds first anyway. Then, some nights, they might come crawling into bed with us. Maybe they had a nightmare, or they woke up scared, or they just missed us during the night. And they crawl into our bed, finds their way, just as the instinct of a baby joey, to the little gap (if there even is one) between Simon and me, and squeeze their way in.

I am not joking when I say we don’t notice this. I’m not a heavy sleeper at all. I can hear if one of them gets up to go to the bathroom, or wakes early and goes downstairs. I once woke up to Melodie reading to herself in her own bed, without noise. But when the kids climb into bed? Hardly ever. Ricky and Melodie are not the worst offenders. They will most likely be found in their own beds the next morning, and only occasionally comes to us at night. Some nights though, we wake up to someone grumbling “get off me” or “mooove” and find that all three have come around during the night. And it’s hilarious:)
Sophia, however, is a breed of her own. Not only has she mastered the stealthy climb-into-bed method so we don’t notice anything, she is now happy sleeping the other way. The last couple of nights she has asked to sleep on the couch, and I’ve said yes a few times if I know I am watching a show or something, and the funny thing is that she actually falls asleep quicker there than anywhere else! And we generally turn all the lights off in the house, so it’s pitch dark. Still, she manages to get herself up, walk all the way to our bedroom, in her sleepy, not awake state, with her blanket, open our door and crawl into the foot of our bed, positioning herself right in the middle of her mum and dad, without us even noticing a thing. I find it adorable whenever I get up at night to go to the toilet and I have two separate people snoring in my bed, Simons feet AND his head.
There has even been times when we haven’t found one of the little ones, and they were in our bed all along! I don’t have a problem with the kids coming into our bed, they love us and wants to be near us sometimes, so I don’t see why we would ban them, and I also know they are not dependent on it (and won’t continue until they are adults… ). Yet, if they want to sleep next to their mum occasionally when they are teenagers, I will always make room for them regardless, I Love their cuddles:)
Xxx,
Line

All gone

Cut all my hair off! Well, I left a little to play with, but considering the amount that used to be there, it is now about half the length. It’s weird. And nice. And I’m not sure what to do with it, and it’s okay:)


About time! I said after the show finished I would chop it all off, and I’ve waited a few weeks to have time and today was the day:D

Now I’m off to google hairstyles:)

Xxx,

Line

Last days

It’s been school holidays here for the last couple of weeks, and the kids are back to school tomorrow. We haven’t really done as much as we wanted to during this time but the kids say they’ve had a great time regardless.

Yesterday we decided to go for a drive down to Victor Harbor and walk around Granite Island, which we haven’t done since Simon and I first started going out. On our first ‘getaway’ we stayed in his tiny caravan that he had back then in the caravan park in Goolwa, and one of the days were spent in Victor Harbor. He took me out to the island and it was the first time I ever had scones, because he had to teach me how to eat them. We told the kids this story and I was very excited because for some reason we’ve never been back there since they were born. Being Norwegian, walking in nature is something I always enjoy, and combining this with the continuous smell and sound of the ocean makes it even better. Also a bonus is that it’s not a difficult walk for either my pregnant self or the little ones.

We had our lunch first and I dressed the kids in their rain gear as its been raining around the state the last days and I figured there’d be puddles. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious that I come from somewhere different because the other kids on the playground were in shorts, thongs and singlets..:)


I was very happy I let them stay in their rain clothes though, as this meant they could jump and climb and sit and slide around on the island without having to worry about them being all filthy and muddy by the end of it and they had pretty much free reign instead of constantly reminding them to not get dirty.


Before getting around they had to obviously see the horses (for those who’ve never been there, there’s a bridge out to the island with a horse-drawn tram!).


The girls absolutely loved exploring all the rock formations and imagining what they all looked like. What I saw as a bee, was a frog to Ricky and a dinosaur for Melodie. Sophia, unsurprisingly, was the first one to climb into every hole and cave she could find, and picked every flower she could see.

Although we didn’t see any penguins or sea lions we did see lots of quails running around which was just as exciting for the little ones:)

The best part about going these places with the little ones is that we see so much more and so many details than if it was just Simon and I. So many adults walking quickly past the big bunch of quails while the girls were busy studying them. 

After strawberries and cream back on the mainland and driving around looking at some historical buildings and houses we drove home, but a cafe halfway home was giving out free milkshakes so we hopped in line and the girls had the best ending to the day:)

Now, one more day before school and normality starts again:)

Xxx,

Line 

She puts all of her trust in me

 

Tonight, we decided to go for a drive after dinner, we chucked all the girls into the car and off we went. We normally end up going to the beach. The ocean will always be my happy place. I never knew how attached I was to the sound and smell of the waves crashing until I found myself in the middle of nowhere in Australia, where there were only miles and miles of flat ground. It had its beauty, but after having lived in Mildura for a while and then in the middle of nowhere, arriving in Adelaide, hopping straight on the tram to Glenelg and breathing the fresh sea-breeze again made me feel alive once more. Simon has spent half of his life either in or on the water, so he is the same. The sea is where we are reborn.

After a drive down, where Sophia fell asleep first while the other two refused to, Simon and I left the car with sleepyhead and Melodie still there, while we got Ricky out and walked onto a boat ramp we found. Melodie sat in the car with the windows and doors open singing Disney songs while paying attention to what we were doing. Ricky got to spend a few minutes with only Mamma and Daddy, and she loved it. She didn’t want to go back in the car, and was asking Simon if the two of them could go fishing instead, and of course, nothing makes him happier than a child of his wanting to go fishing! She was happy when he told her she could come out with him again ‘real soon’.

This was pretty much enough for her. After a playdate with friends earlier in the day and some extreme running around at home, she was pretty much set. Melodie got to hear some more of her favourite songs, and when they were all asleep we parked the car just outside an ice cream shop for a late night naughty dessert before heading home. The streets are so much nicer after dark when there’s only a few people out and everything is calm. And beachside is usually one of my favourite places.

 

 

We get home, and all the girls are asleep, so we carry them inside. I am of course giving myself the job of carrying Ricky inside while Simon takes the other two. While he goes to unlock the door, I unbuckle Ricky and picks her up into my arms. She wakes up just a little, pushes herself out so she can see me, and once she sees it’s me, curls herself back up into my neck and stays there. I realise that the look she gives me is one that is filled with trust. Yes, she is in my arms, a place where she will always be safe.

And it hits me. Of course, she trusts me. Of course, they all trust their mum and dad. And I am reminded that this is an automatic response in little ones. They have and will always trust their parents. The people who are with them from they are little (and I am sure this is true for foster and adoptive parents as well) don’t need to earn their trust, it’s just always there. They will never question whether I will feed them, clothe them and keep them safe. That’s why, when the news of this world talks about all the times when mothers and fathers and other carers use that trust and abuses it it cuts me.

I need to know about what happens in the world. In everything in life, I am always thirsty for knowledge. With Melodies diabetes, I always ask questions and want to know as much as humanly possible. For me, it helps knowing what the worst-case scenario is, it freaks me out less. Many people are not like me. At all. Some people are happy to be on a need-to-know basis, and that is cool. We deal with life differently.

I need to know about what happens in the world, because I believe that knowledge is always going to be power. This does mean I have read countless articles and stories about all the tragic things that happen in the world, both locally, nationally and worldwide. This, unfortunately, also means that I continue to have my heart broken by all the cruelty in the world. Luckily, I self-heal. I spend time with my family and friends and praise the gods of the world that we are so extremely lucky that we are where we are. That my children have such a wonderful dad and that I was raised by the people I was raised by so I, too, am pretty amazing. The odds were in our favour, and we need to use it for good. We need to use our position to make the world a better place. How? Not sure. All I know is we can be kind, brave and never stop trying. And we need to make sure we never break their trust.

 

Xxx,

Line

Lest we forget 

Got everyone up early this morning to attend the dawn service for Anzac Day. If you are unaware of what that is, it’s simply put a commemoration of the members of the defence force who have served their country, particularly honouring the veterans and the fallen. We have never attended one as a family before, Simon used to participate in a March in NSW but that was later in the day, and two years ago we went to the city to see Him march together with his dad.


It was a lovely morning and the kids got to have candles and sing along to the national anthem – and they all love it when daddy wears his uniform (and Obviously I do too:)). This year Simon had more medals than last year and we are very proud of him. We were initially meant to do a different thing today, but Simon changed his mind and wanted all his girls at the service, and surprisingly we got all the girls up and dressed and were ready and there on time! 

The rest of the day will be spent on something nice, I believe Simon has promised the girls to go bike riding so we’ll see. In any case we have spoken about the wars and explained to the girls what this day means, and I am sure as they get older they will understand more.

As a Norwegian on this day I can’t help but think back to the heroes of my own country as well, and feel as though I am just as much honouring them as well as all soldiers and defence personell who spend and spent so much time away from their families in order to keep us safe and ensure our future was secure. Those are the people who are responsible for our safety today. It’s scary looking around at the world today and see so much evil and dangerous stuff going on – and with threats from all over can we really feel safe?

I know I do. I know we have people of the same caliber as my husband fighting for us, ready to defend us to their last breath if that is what it takes. I know we will be kept safe from harm because they are strong. The good always win in the end. 

And may we never forget their efforts. May we always show them our respect. And may we always treat them well and give them all they need to keep going.

Xxx,
Line

#studysunday

I tend to do things slightly differently than the norm. Where others place themselves on a desk to study, my favourite workplace is the bed. Not because I’d prefer to sleep, I just like to spread out, and becaus my studies involve both books, hand writing and using the computer, I can change positions easily. I also like to sit with my legs crossed and that doesn’t work neatly with a desk.


So this is my office today. Simon has taken the two youngest ones out in the boat and I’ve spent the majority of the day already in bed, studying. Well, I also did do an hour of sleeping, but the baby wanted it, and who says no to babies?? I used he rest of the morning up until now watching German kid songs and stuff on YouTube. Research. Ahem.

Time to do some proper stuff, I have an assignment due in a few days and I’m 1/3 there, so I’m expecting to be at 70% by the end of the day! Wish me luck:)

With my lunch ready, Norwegian rice porridge from last nights dinner, a pitcher of orange juice and of course loads of ice (honestly it’s probably 60% ice… yum<3) I’m set for the next few hours #lowcarb #paleo #vegan (Just kidding!!:))

Also, cutting off half of my hair tomorrow, stay tuned:)

Xxx,

Line 

A girl like me

Some days when we have not much planned or we can’t decide what to do, we ask the girls what they would like. We’d get answers like ‘go to the playground’ or ‘take Joey to the dog park’ or ‘watch a movie’. But not from Sophia. By now you should know that Sophia has no problem being slightly different – and we love her. Sophia will call out ‘GO TO IKEA!’ and then usually be shot down because it’s not the ideal family day when Simon has a day off. Now that she has started kindy, Ricky and I have been there a few times without her, and it doesn’t sit well with her at all.

It’s school holidays here this week and next, and I figured we might as well go there this week, while Simon is at work, and planned to go with some friends. I am always excited when I go to IKEA, and now that all three of them can go to the playroom, that hour of not having to watch them is solid gold. Together with endless drinks and meatballs.

Last night Sophia was very sad. They had been given the task of tidying up the lounge room, but only Melodie was doing it. I’d told them ‘if you clean up, you get to stay up, if you don’t, it’s time for bed’. The Two little ones obviously had a mind of their own and after a few times of reminding them, Simon and I grabbed one each and took them to bed. Obviously they were not happy. I had Sophia, and she was devastated. Absolutely beside herself upset that she didn’t get to get back up and continue cleaning up. She had previously put one book away, so that qualified as cleaning, right?

I read her a book and lay down next to her, the hurt in her eyes glowing at me. She was not going to sleep, she was too sad. I told her: ‘Guess where we are going tomorrow? It’s somewhere you always ask to go!’ She looks back at me, smiling through her tears ‘IKEA?’ I nod, adding that her friends are coming too, and she laughs and cries at the same time, putting her head back on the pillow. ‘I am so happy now’ she tells me, and I thought now she was going to go straight to bed. I kissed her goodnight again and left her room.

Now, this is Sophia, so she didn’t just fall right asleep, but the crying stopped and she told me tomorrow was going to be ‘the best day ever.’ Just like me when I go there:)

Xxx,

Line