Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shanghai

After a quite unplesant flight (departure time 2 am and no sleep in extremely unconfortable seats) we landed in Shanghai early Monday morning. After running around the airport for a while looking for cash machines, only finding empty cash machines and changing clothes on Vincent after the world's biggest diaper leak, we finally found a cab and arrived safe and sound and not too tired at my childhood friend Petra's place. We stayed with Petra, her hubby Chris and their little munchkin Olivia for 5 days, and we wished we could have stayed longer! They were great hosts, and after staying in hotels for 2 weeks, it was nice to come "home" for a while. 

Petra was an excellent guide and showed us sites in Shanghai we would otherwise have missed, and in the evening they took us to some awsome restaurants and got us to try out Chinese cusine from all corners of the country. 

We were really plesantly surprised by Shanghai. It is a nice city, with good shopping and nice restaurants and quite easy to navigate as road signs are in English (unlike in Tokyo) and even though the general English knowledge is not great, it is on the scale (unlike in Tokyo). The only thing we really struggled with in Shanghai was the attention the kids got at the tourist sights. Shanghaiers are pretty used to seeing western kids, so they don't make a fuss, but at the big Shanghai sights we ran into the Chinese tourists, and for them a red-headed two year old or a little hairless baby is much more exciting then the view from 450 m above ground or the city skyline at the Bund. The photosnapping and cheek pinching got to much for Bianca, who got into the habbit of looking really grumpy everytime someone looked at her and yelling "no photos" every time she saw someone with a camera or a smart phone.

The Chinese love children, and though the attention on the two little ones was sometimes more then a bit overwealming, it was also great at restaurants, as even the fancier restaurants like Din Tai Fung was welcoming both restless toddlers and screaming babies with open arms. In almost all restaurants entertainment in the form of play dough, blinking bouncy balls or stickers and crayons was brought out as soon as Bianca entered the premises. Most places had kids menus and some even kid's degustation menues. 

Shanghai was not what we expected. It was much nicer, cleaner and friendlier, and the food was much yummier. We had such a great stay thanks to our fantastic hosts, and we hope to go back soon again!

PS: My friend in Shanghai, Petra, is the very talented designer of her own fashion brand. You can check out her clothes and buy online on her web site, Petra Ringström

At Yuyuan Gardens




Ulf and Vincent at the Bund

Where to hang your laundry? By the closest road sign of course!

Petra, Bianca, Me and Vincent high above town


Not afraid of hights!

Petra and little cutie Olivia

Chinese baby wearing

the cool kid

Taking a stroll in town in your Hello Kitty PJs? Well of course!

Gods at the Antique Market

At the Antique Market. The little old fella to the right was always within 5 feet from us and at one point was holding on to Olivia's pram. 



At the Antique Market


Spring weather! We could sit outside!


Yes. The dog is wearing a back-pack. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thailand


So we flew on to Thailand. 10 days in the sun, at Sunwing Bang Tao resort, with playing in the pool and eating good food and just relaxing. The resort was great, and extremely child friendly. Some of the pools where made for kids in Bianca's size, and with arm puffs and a swimming ring she paddled around with a smile on her face. She met other kids and made new friends in the pool and in the play area "MiniLand". She hanged with the older kids at Mini Disco every evening, and got hugs from Lollo the Giraffe and Bearnie the Bear. She ate fried rice and spring rolls and enjoyed lots and lots of ice cream by the pool.

Me and Ulf has a quite relaxing time as well, as relaxing as you can have it with 2 kids. I manage to finish a whole book, which I haven't done in ages. We played with Bianca in the pool and relaxed with Vincent in the shade, and ate lots and lots of yummy Phad Thais and Chicken with Cashewnuts, and enjoyed relaxing evenings on the balcony with glasses of wino and TimTams when Bianca was asleep.

On the last day in Thailand Ditte came and visited us. She was spending 10 weeks (!) in Asia and we just manage to catch up with her in Thailand before we flew on to Shanghai to visit her daughter and grand daughter. It was great to catch up!

Even though we in hindsight said that we should have had a few days less in Thailand and a few days more in Shanghai, the 10 days in Bang Tao where absolutely awsome, and I've already started googling where there are other Sunwing Resorts, and started thinking about how soon we could be going to one of these kids paradises again. Autumn maybe?!



When the palm trees cast some shade over the pool, Vincent got to go for a swim as well

How awsome to be playing in the sand while wating for dinner!




Face paint is serious business

Nap time by the pool

Fun with new friend Milla in the pool

On way to dinner at the beach

Vincent and Ditte

Getting a hug from Lollo the Giraffe



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Singapore

I left you hanging, there at Gleneagles Hospital, hoping we would get discharged. Now we are already back in Stavanger, the vacation flew by and suddenly we are back in a rainy Norwegian spring again. But let me rewind a bit:

We were discarged from the hospital in the evening. We came back to the hotel late but manage to go out to one of our old favourites, The Merry Men, for dinner anyhow. The bad thing was that I was really feeling like crap at this point. The day after we went to Singapore Zoo despite me having a fever and a really sore throat, which probably wasn't a great idea, but Bianca enjoyed it.

After that I spent Wednesday doing some small bits of shopping (nursing clothes) and recovering from the tonsilitis from hell, and in the evening we went to Gardens by the Bay. These gardens where completed after we moved back to Norway, and they are absolutely amazing! 

Thursday I was feeling a lot better and we flew on to Thailand like planned. It was very dissapointing that we didn't get to meet any of our friends in Singapore due to me and Vincent being sick, but at least it gives us a reason to go back again soon!

At the Merry Men

Gardens by the Bay




Monday, March 25, 2013

Vacation?

Our tour the Asia didn't start very good. Just when we were about to board the plane taking us to Copenhagen and then onto Singapore I noticed that Vincent was very hot. He was feverish, sleepy and grumpy all through the flight and yesterday I took him to Gleneagles hospital here in Singapore since the fever hadn't subsided. I though they would send us home with paracetamol but they ended up admitting him, and here we are. They couldn't find a vein on his chubby little arms so Vincent ended up getting stabbed 6 times yesterday before they manage to draw enough blood from him. It was terrible to watch him go through that. After that ordeal he spent most of the day sleeping but yesterday evening, after an antibiotics shot, he started returning to his normal self, and this morning the fever was gone and he has been his usual happy self. Doctor still doesn't want to discharge us just yet, but she will come back at 4 pm today with a new verdict, and they will keep monitor his temperature every hour to make sure it stays down. Keeping fingers and toes crosses that we will be discharged this afternoon!

On top of that my throat has been getting super soar, and yesterday I got a fever as well, so in the evening I handed Vincent over to the nurses and went down to the clinic myself, where I was diagnosed with a throat infection and put on antibiotics and paracetamol. Still a very soar throat, but today I feel a bit alive again.

Not a very good start to the vacation. It hasn't been very fun for Ulf and Bianca either, but they came for a quick visit yesterday and spent most of the day yesterday hanging our at the excellent hotel play ground and pool.

But despite all sickness; the flights went fine. Bianca feel asleep on the flight to Copenhagen and slept through the flight change and ended up sleeping for 9 hours in a row! She was a star except for a major tantrum over being strapped in during landing in Bangkok, where she for a few minutes made a good candidate for a super-nanny TV show. As did her mum who now shamefully admits she used the very non-pedagogic threat "If you don't sit still this minute me and dad and Vincent are going to Singapore alone".

In Bangkok we waited for our delayed flight to singapore at the same gate as a tour group of Chinese people who probably never seen a blondish child before, and after being pinched in the cheeks and handed all sorts of weird candies by a group of Chinese ladies it became a bit overwhelming for Bianca, who stayed very close to mum and dad after that. A sleeping Vincent also had his picture taken by about 10 Chinese teenage girls.

On the flight to Singapore I was sleeping with Vincent on my chest and this random Chinese auntie came by with a blanket and tucked us in. Not an air hostess, a fellow passenger. Only in Asia.

Saturday we manage to do quite a lot despite my soar throat and the feverish baby. We had a long walk along the river and had coffee and ice cream at Great World City, where I also stocked up on my much missed Garrett's popcorn ( cheese corns and caramel crisp corns, yum yum!). We walked past our old condo and up on orchard there I bought new sunnies and we had lunch at Sakae Sushi. The afternoon we spent by the pool to Bianca's delight. She was the only kid left in the pool when the rain started pouring down. In the evening we went for a walk along the river and had dinner at an old favourite; the Merry Men.

Now we are keeping fingers and toes crossed that the fever stays down and Vincent gets discharged this afternoon, so we can continue with vacation again!
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Waiting on the delayed flight to Singapore with two sleeping kids

At Garrett's!

Eating sushi and getting new friends at Sakae Sushi

In the pool with dad

My poor baby chewing band-aids at the hospital.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shot



We have had a busy week. On Monday I went to Midgjord bydelscenter on storhaug, where there is a baby/parents cafe every Monday, and a little old lady makes fresh waffles and coffee that you can buy for 25 nok. Very nice! Yesterday I had the ladies and babies in my mums group over for lunch and coffee. Very nice to catch up with everyone again, and Vincent was in an excellent mood.

Today I had a date planned with Louise, but since her baby arrived yesterday (welcome little Josephine!), the date was cancelled so I've spent the day running errands and cleaning the house with Vincent tied to my back. Unlike his sister at the same age, Vincent is quite happy with being on my back for some time and watching the world over my shoulder, which makes getting things done so much easier! And it is very cosy too!

After work today we took Bianca to the doctor to get a vaccination for our asia tour. Not very nice for a 2 year old, but she was a brave little champ, and was very happy with the Hallo Kitty band aid she got!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 months



Monday Vincent turned 3 months old. Unfortunately me and Ulf were sick all day so there was no celebrating. It started with with me feeling a bit sick when I got to bed on Sunday evening. Around midnight I started vomiting and in the morning Ulf joined in. We where both too sick to get Bianca to barnehage, so despite her being all well and energetic, she spent the whole day with us on the sofa, playing on the Ipad and nibbling on cheese sandwiches. Thank God for the Ipad, don't know how we would have survived the day without it! Since we couldn't carry Vincent around either, and he was stuck in the sofa with us, he did a fair bit of complaining on his 3 month day.

We have recovered, and Bianca has been happily back in barnehage now for 2 days. Vincent had his 3 month check up today, which included 2 shots. Little Vincent was not very happy about that and it hurt in the mother heart, but had to be done. We also had him weighed, and turned out he has not gained any weight at all the last two weeks. I think it is because he has started taking a big interest in the world around him the last week, and it is very had to get him to eat properly these days. Bianca was just the same at this age. Suddenly she was not willing to sleep in daytime anymore, started enjoying her baby gym and was too busy looking around to be eating. The solution with Bianca was to start feeding on the move, in the Manduca, so that is what I have to focus on now. It is a bit more difficult this time around though, when Vincent is not the only one wanting my attention.

So, Vincent has turned 3 months and suddenly likes his baby gym, suddenly does not want to sleep in daytime and can be up for up to 4 hours in a row before he is passes out. He is also chewing his hands a lot now. It is such a fun time, since he is so alert and aware and we get these absolutely gorgeous smiles out if him. Most of the time he is such a happy and smiley, and all of the time we feel so fortunate to have this little charmer in our lives!



Saturday, February 23, 2013

B and C

Friday I had Bianca home from barnehage, and what started like a pretty terrible day (tantrums, more tantrums, Vincent refusing to sleep, two screaming children and a mother ready to give them up for adoption) ended up being a very good day. After lunch Cami and Emma came over and we all went to the playground where the girls got to burn some steam of. Then back home the two little girls played, giggled, painted, ran around and danced to Frank Ocean. Happy kids gives happy parents, and with girls playing happily we could have a nice dinner with Emma and Joel and give some attention to the little screamer as well! Great start of the weekend!

 



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