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Norway Trip

     January 2007             

30.01.07  Tirsdag

Getting to the last day of January, and it's been a bit of rough time. We spent the night at Bridget and Trond's house on Friday since the water was shut off in our apartment due to a leak.  All went well with the sleepover, until Saturday morning, when I just felt horrible.  Stiff neck, achy, miserable...I finally dragged the girls back to the apartment in the afternoon, after Trond and Bridget graciously took them and the boys out to play in the snow so I could sleep.  And Trond was a saint by randomly calling people in the apartment building to see if the water was back on!  I just felt worse and worse, and by Monday, I ready to see a doctor...and what an experience that was!

I ended being diagnosed with Strep throat and really bad swollen glands.  I was told to go home, take some big horse pills of penicillin, and go to bed, which I was more than happy to do.  I was a bit nervous when she said that some people don't react to the antibiotics, and the lymph nodes can become abscessed...but luckily, Alf was there to cheer me and encourage me to stop being a pessimist, and go to bed. 

Today is Tuesday, and I can actually swallow again.  What a horrible experience!!  I don't know if I've had Strep before, but it was, by far, the worse sore throat I have ever had.  Had I been congested, I think I would have been in the hospital, because the only way I could breath was through my nose!  I have been scouring the apartment, when I have a bit of energy, so that the girls won't pick it up.  I don't know if I am a strong enough person to help them if one of them gets it this bad.  My neck is still swollen, but I think I shall persevere yet!

I haven't been to school...the doctor ordered me home until Wednesday.  Guess I will have a lot of catch up to do.  The girls have been to barnehage.  Just taking them and picking them up drains my energy...but it drains it even more with them here and arguing and bickering...

A few more days until Princess Karoline's bursdag!!  We have been planning out the party, and packages for Karoline have been arriving daily.  The menu for the day, as chosen by Karoline, will be Kraft Macoroni and Cheese (very expensive!) p´│░an>lse, or hot dogs as we call them in the USA, applesauce, and brus...or pop, as we call it in Michigan.  She hasn't decided yet if we are going to make a skjokolade kake (chocolate cake) or skillingsboller...which would be cinnamon rolls.  The theme is Princess, and last Saturday, while I felt miserable, her and I went to the shopping center and found Disney Princess plates, napkins, prize bags, and invitations.  For the daycare, she is taking frozen pizzas for lunch, and Alf sent chocolate chip muffin mix and Scooby Doo muffin papers. 

The EXCITEMENT is building in this little apartment!!


Dinner at Farmor's house...small kitchen...lots of energy!!

29.01.07  Mandag

Howdy folks.  I am trying to get this weblog up and running, and I just keep hitting brick walls.  So, instead of trying to get up what we have done, I will start with we are doing, and get to the other stuff in due time. 

I am sorry this is the first entry for January...all my other ones were lost in my zest to get this up and going...darn computer! Anyways, let me share how it's going, since many of you have emailed or contacted Alf:

I am in an international language program for foreigners coming into Norway.  I got in around the 13th or so of January, later that what was planned because they lost my name, or their computer was down, or whatever.  Once they realized, by my persistence (and support from Bridget), that I really wanted into the program, they finally got me in.  So, I go to Norwegian language school 8:30am to 12pm every day, five days a week.  The entire class is spoken in Norwegian, since many in the class don't speak any English!  I am starting to understand a bit more of the grammar, but the spoken stuff still eludes my understanding.  I don't have an ear for languages, that's for sure!

The girls are in a Norwegian barnehage, which is actually translated over here to kindergarten.  They go from 8am to 3:30pm, and there are 19 kids in the section the girls are in, ranging from ages 3 to 6.  Elisabeth and Karoline are both together all day, and from what I understand, they love each other one minutes, and fight the next...but I think it's more loving and watching out for one another than fighting.  I think they save that for when they are with me!  Elisabeth has really impressed the teachers by how much she has immersed herself into the language.  The other day the teacher told me that speaks probably about 80-90% Norwegian in the daycare.  Karoline is catching on too...the other day she got mad at me for something, and she ordered me to "SLUTT! SLUTT Momma!"  Which means STOP! STOP Momma!  Yep, coming right along!  She is doing more so like me, with just sticking Norwegian words into her English sentences.  Elisabeth turns it on and off: when she's with a Norwegian speaker, she speaks all Norsk, when with an English speaker, it's all English. By the way, she lost another tooth on bottom front...don't know if you can see it in the pictures.  She was visited by the Norwegian tooth fairy, who leave kroners instead quarters!!

We get to spend a lot of time with Bridget and Trond...probably more so than they would like!!  My girls are crazy for spending the night there, which we done of a number of different occasions, and they both adore Lukas and William.  They also are impressed that Aunt Bridget has chocolate cereal, and how their Mommy isn't so cool????  Hmmm...

Alf, for the record, is doing good.  He has got the webcam all set up, and we get to see on live on the computer almost every day.  The camera came with software that allows him to enhance his picture, so he can turn into a talking unicorn, fish, sock puppet, bear, rabbit...he can add an afro to him while he talks, and all kinds of other things...the girls can watch him with that for hours!! 

The weather is, I believe, atypical for Bergen.  When we got here, they were breaking records for the most straight days of rain:  I think it made it to 84 or so before the snow and cold came.  Then, last week we had snow, and the girls got to go sledding at the barnehage, and that was great fun!  Now, we are back to 40 degrees and rain, and it's just a muddy, slushy mess.  But, it is what it is, right??  As the Norwegians say:  there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!!


Here are pictures from sledding last week.  The barnehage has a great hill in back, and the kids really enjoyed it, as you can see by the smiles!


Here is playing outside with William, Aunt Bridget, and Uncle Trond.  Lukas was out there too, but I am not sure how much sledding he did...he's 8 mths old!