fredag den 18. maj 2018

what a week

am exhausted. This week has really gotten the best of me. Monday morning after a full weekend of swim meet volunteering was not exactly fun, but then it completely took off with work craziness Tuesday and Wednesday.Doing surgeries in mice? No problem. It is time consuming but I do it regularly now. Setting up a behavioral test I have never run before? Yep. Got it. Took some planning but went OK. Being responsible for lab meeting and planning to give a presentation on a subject I knew next to nothing about? Been there before. Done that before. But........ trying to do all 3 in the same 3 days? Aaaaaaaargh.
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But my enthusiasm went up quite a bit when the professor happily agreed that of course I should go to the conference in Korea in the fall. Yay. I am stupidly excited as I have never been to Asia before. Even better - it is one of those type of conferences where there is a lot of free time in the middle of the day. This has really saved my week.
Besides working I have cooked dinners for obnoxious teens. “Seriously mom. We have nothing worth eating tonight!”. Well well well. That depends entirely upon who is in charge of the stove. The super boring dinner ended up being pineapple salsa, peanut crusted sweet potatoes, and pasta with a sauce of walnuts, breadcrumbs, parsley, and fennel seeds.
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And I have been watching Luca sweating over a “make a book you read into a children’s book” assignment. He chose a Jack London book about dogs with some cruel upbringings. But since his task was to make it into a children’s book he made sure not to make it too inappropriate. So if any of you out there wonder how puppies get made......
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The parent dogs just find them! So convenient, right?
And now I am more than ready for some quality time with a couch, a movie, and a glass of wine. Cheers

onsdag den 16. maj 2018

Licorice smelling hair and dog stories

Well hello. The past weekend has been much anticipated (or dreaded - depending on who you ask!). Synchronized swimming junior olympics regional meet has been here in Ann Arbor. Arranged and run by Teresa’s team = parents being busy with endless volunteer hours and cooking dishes for the judges and the concession stand. I signed up for a total of 10 hours Saturday and 6 hours Sunday. I stayed far away from timing duty (sitting on the pool side with a stop watch). Instead I helped collect scores from the judges on the far side of the pool walking them over to the “headquarters”, a duty called a “runner”. And here comes the smart move: after 5 hours of running I had hospitality room duty where I had plenty of access to all the free food for the judges. Yay me! (BTW there was plenty of food so no judges went hungry because of me. Just sayin’). I even had time to work a little
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But what does this have to do with licorice smelling hair? Quite a lot! Because all the swimmers put gelatin in their hair for these meets. It’s called knoxing and it helps the hair stay in place during the swimming. Teresa’s hair always looks amazing after these meets and we have a theory that gelatin is good for dry hair, so I really wanted to test it too. Teresa was more than happy to help and because she does not like the smell of gelatin we usually put some aroma in there. What aroma did we have in the kitchen? Anise of course...... an old bottle that was a little hard to get going - until it really got going. Et voila. My hair has smelled of licorice for days now. Woop woop. But it looks good!
And now for some dog stories from the never failing stupidest one of them all: Bailey.
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The other night there was a thunder storm brewing and we had moved all of our precious herbs and plants right in front of our patio door so they were protected from the rain. As usual Bailey was let out to pee right before we went to bed. But he flat out refused. First he tried the “I’ll just do a loop under the stairs and no one will notice I did not pee”. I kicked him back out. He tried to run back in. I pushed him out! And he ran over to the patio door in the hope that some nicer family member might let him back in. But......the door was blocked by plants. And the storm was coming. And baileys two brain cells collided! When we actually opened the patio door he was so scared that he jumped right into the mosquito net in front of the door before we had a chance to open that as well. He slammed against it and feel right down in all of our plants. Sigh. Sometimes I seriously wonder what is wrong with that dog. LOL

lørdag den 5. maj 2018

To do on a Saturday

This Saturday has certainly not been slow! There has been a ton of things to accomplish such as going to the gym early’ish in the morning so I could get done and shower before the next thing on the program:
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I am currently running food intake studies at work and unfortunately I had to plan for a Saturday weighing. And since the mice are housed with lights out at noon currently it was important that I got there early. Teresa went with me which was nice and we got the measurements I needed before the lights turned off:
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And then it was time for the highlight of the day: planting all my cute little succulents outside❤️ I just canNOT get enough of them and I hope they have all grown big and sturdy and all over the place by the end of summer:
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Since it has been payday I also had a promise to keep. Luca and I really enjoy playing chess, but the chessboard we currently have sucks! So Luca and I made a deal: to buy a real chessboard - each of us paying half of it as we both enjoy playing it. Luca had one particular one in mind in Vault of Midnight downtown (the local cartoon/board game place in town). But when you go downtown on a Saturday you have to park in a parking garage (especially if you do not feel super confident with parallel parking) and I certainly do not like parking in parking garages either..... well, lucky for me Ulrik needs to practice right?
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And before we got there there was also one more little thing. A super tiny thing actually...... Teresa wanted to replace her nose piercing. Et voila:
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For whatever reason we met several dressed up people - dressed up a la Comic-Con:
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So the store was super crowded. Luca didget his chess game though
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We had icecream at blank slate creamery (the best place in Ann Arbor):
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We also visited Home and Garden to get some herbs for outside:
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And then we went home right? Well sort of... Ulrik parked and then we walked down to the mall to get black pants and a white shirt for Luca’s upcoming band concert. Here he is inside the dress room:
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Currently I am making pizza. Usually this is a Sunday night tradition but with Sunday bringing confirmation preparation class for Luca and a mandatory synchronized swim planning meeting for parents there will be no time for pizza making tomorrow. Sigh!

torsdag den 3. maj 2018

Rainy

Winter may have held on good this year and the weather has decided to sort of skip spring and move towards summer fast = heat thunderstorms. So this morning I had to dig out rain ponchos for the kids and make sure that I was wearing an appropriate outfit for waiting at the bus stop:
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(Yes coffee is part of any good bus outfit!). Had the rain stopped as I walked out? But of course😒 On a positive note: rain coats are also efficient when you pour coffee all over yourself at said bus stop when it is not raining
Other significant events are taking place today as Kristian is leaving for California today to visit Jon for his birthday. I really am happy for him that he gets to go, but I am SO jealous too and I try hard to just suck it up. I don’t know how successful I am though. But I will take my revenge and go get some dirt in a bag this week and shop for some herbs so I can get our diminutive “garden” going. I especially look forward to kick my succulents outside for the summer where some of them will grow to an extent where they will overflow everything (Aww. Mom’s little baby succulent - who is taking over the garden like some mutant horror show. LOL). I scrolled through the pics on my phone to see if I did have any photos of those precious little plants, and I couldn’t find any. But I did find a screenshot of a pregnant goat. Enjoy
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lørdag den 28. april 2018

April blues

This year April has not lived up to the expectations! It feels like spring kept creeping two inches closer to then immediately jump several feet back. But with every day of sunshine and humane temperatures the trees visibly get closer to blooming. Here’s my early spring favorite tree - red maple:
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And I am torturing myself dreaming about having a garden (yes. It’s true. I think I am getting old😱). This next year will be the year where we have to save up $ like crazy to hopefully have enough for a down payment for a house next spring - assuming I will get a permanent position in the meantime...... And saving up money for a house while at the same time getting the oldest kid started in college. Well, that means even less $ to spend. And oh how I just loooooove saving money. But for the sake of our mental health and asset building for the future we need to get out of this apartment. So I try to keep my eyes on the goal without complaining too much. But I have to admit that grumpy could be my middle name these days.
Despite all this there are things that brighten up my day. This week I got these delivered:
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Teeny tiny sharps containers for collecting waste with diphtheria toxin on it. Aren’t they cute? And even better. I also got “toxic” stickers with skulls to put on them. Yay. I know I should not be this excited about it, but this is seriously a combo of many things I love: cool science, tiny things, and a touch of morbid decoration❤️
And the other day there was sufficient sunshine to sit in the courtyard at work and read.
And get the first sunburn of the year
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So April has not been a complete disappointment after all. We will spend this last weekend of this month without spending any money. Fingers crossed on that one😬 It is the last day of the art exhibition put on by the seniors at school of art and design, where Ulrik will start this fall. So we will go and check it out and slowly get used to these events as we probably have many more to come. And Ulrik will do some freeway driving with his dad so he hopefully can get that darn drivers license done and dealt with this May - followed intensely by Teresa who is more than motivated to get her hands on one too.

søndag den 22. april 2018

The first weekend of real-feel spring


I have to admit that I almost lost hope. We have been rocking winter coats and wollen socks almost to the end of April and everyone lost hope that it would ever be warm again. This was the weather a week ago:
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All the spring flowers glazed in ice and followed by snow and wind Tuesday to an extent where even the city bus had a hard time staying on the road......
But it is over now. I sit on our diminutive patio with a nice glass of iced coffee and enjoy the crazy temperatures of 15C. Uuuuuuuh.
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The warm weather started Friday and my entity body screamed to please please please be outside. Instead I got to sit here:
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Sigh. On a positive note is that I finally got to watch Luca play volleyball and he was surprisingly good considering that both his parents have absolutely NO talent whatsoever when it comes to any kind of sport involving balls. And I got to be outside Saturday morning where Kristian and Teresa has signed up for an earth day run on campus. I went along with them together with Bailey, Luca, and a volleyball, so we all had a good time:
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Bailey even got himself a T-shirt:
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Later in the day we got to visit an art exhibit at Neutral Zone (a hangout place downtown run by teens). Art teachers from all the local high schools display the art made by the students on websites. A jury then picked the best pieces (including one of Ulrik’s ceramic sculptures) which got to be on display. Here he is with his sculpture:
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I was very impressed with the art on display and in addition I have such a soft spot for those teens who don’t feel like they fit in anywhere and try so hard to stand out to fit in. I remember it very vividly from my own teen hood and it is not a time of my life that I would want to go back to ever....... There were so many of them there and I really would have loved to give them a hug and tell them that life will be OK.
In complete contrast to this I got to spend Sunday morning hanging out with a bunch of very motivated athletic ladies:
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Who were going to the State meet in synchronized swimming in Livonia and needed to get their hair and makeup ready early.
And if I think back this is the first time we have had all 3 kids compete in something the same weekend. Kind of crazy.
Well, I should be making pizza dough and I have finally learned to remember to activate the dry yeast. I added it to lukewarm water 10 minutes ago and it should be ready to go by now. So I’d better run
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