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Showing posts from 2009

Happy Holidays

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Summer is here and Adelaide is struck by insane PANDA-mania: two Giant Panda’s have just settled into the nearby Adelaide Zoo. Thousands of visitors are expected every day, so there goes the peace in our little neighbourhood. High time to go on a holiday …



Dear people, we are taking our summer break. It’s been one special year, with the arrival of our little girl. We wish you a wonderful Christmas and a very good New Year.

Take care!

Sinterklaas in Town

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Of course Sinterklaas did not forget the kids Down Under this year either. He arrived on a Vespa moped in Kensington Park (funny enough Santa Claus made his presence too later that day, but of course that wasn't the real one). The kids loved this real St Nicolas, although our little Nora had some second thoughts ...



PS. and again Jan managed to arrive just after Sint had left. Will he ever learn?

Permanent Aussie Residents

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It may not seem like a big deal, but in fact this is major for us: today Australian Immigrations granted us our Permanent Residency. Yeeeeaaaaa !!!This is the end of a long process which started four years ago, when we took our first steps towards a life in Australia. A good year later we moved Down Under, and since then we have been living here on a limited temporary status. Today we can finally close this chapter. We can now live and work anywhere in Australia, buy property, make full use of the medical and educational system, and be eligible for child support and other government benefits. And most important: we can stay in Australia forever.

Although it does not mean that we are Australian citizens yet (we’re still Swedish and Dutch), for sure it means it is now time for some serious integration. So please sing along with us the unofficial Australian national anthem: Waltzing Matilda.

Cheers Mate !!!

click here for our photo slide show of Oct-Nov 2009.

Grandpa Alf

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The first heat-wave of the season is a fact: more than a week long temperatures of +35°C. It’s the earliest heat-wave in 100 years; way too early for Jan and Nora. They are puffing, sweating and hoping for cooler days. Mikaela and her dad are coping like a true Jaselius: they seem to enjoy it.

Grandpa Alf (Morfar in Swedish) has been a busy bee in the past few weeks. Apart from the typical duties of being grandpa (changing diapers, feeding and entertaining Nora), he fixed about everything in and around the house that needed fixing (e.g. garden, trees, furniture, airco). He’s already looking forward to us buying a house, so he can put his teeth in a more serious renovation project. One of his best ideas so far was a small mini fan for Nora in the car seat. So no more overheated trips for our little girl. Brilliant !


This weekend we went for a trip to Port Fairy to meet Joy and John, friends of Alf from his many sailing trips. They used to own a dairy farm, so we got a tour around count…

Happy Birthday Mikaela

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It was Mums birthday yesterday. Hip hip hurray! Happy Birthday Mikaela! There were presents, balloons, and we had a very nice BBQ party today with Swedish, Dutch and Aussie friends. But most important, we had a very special guest: Morfar (that’s grandpa in Swedish). He came all the way from Malaysia, where his boat is anchored, to visit our little family. Nora loves it: she has the time of her life. Never before has she been spoiled with this much attention. And the best thing is: he’s gonna stay for almost six weeks. What a fun!!!

Visitors from Holland

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This weekend we had visitors from Holland. Caroline, a friend from Jan’s former impro-theatre group, is touring through Aussie with her fiancée Niek and their 7 month old daughter Florianne. They are making the trip of their lifetime: in a campervan starting from Darwin, driving through the red heart down, crossing South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, up to Queensland. And then on to New Zealand! Follow them on their own blog: Tica on tour.


This weekend they stopped over in Adelaide, to pay us a visit. What a joy it was. We had gorgeous weather, so we went out to the hills at Cleland wildlife park. The little girls hit it off immediately. Florianne, being only 1 month older than Nora, proved to be a great inspiration. Within a weekend she taught Nora how to sit up straight and how to hold her own bottle while drinking. Now that’s progress!!! Guys, it was fantastic to have you around, and we can’t wait until the girls meet again. We hope you have a wonderful time in Aussie.

Mean…

Six months young

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Can you believe it? Our little girl is already half a year old. It feels like it was only yesterday that Nora was born. Remember the forceps marks in her face and the owl in the garden? Time has been flying. So many developments since those early days: Nora really became a little personality.

First of all: she’s not a ‘little’ girl anymore. With almost 68cm - 3 cm above average - it is apparent that she‘s going to be tall. Also it is apparent that she’s very alert. Everything around her is being observed with the greatest interest, even if it means skipping sleep. Our girl has been a good sleeper over night, but she still insists on waking up at 5am in the morning. As for daytime sleep: she can be a drama queen. Where other baby’s simply fall asleep, Nora first needs to throw a tantrum, and let everyone know how tired she is. Funny enough she never cries for hunger, wet nappies, heat or cold. She only screams for tiredness and attention. But she’s a tough nut: has not been sick a singl…

My first Rollover

Haha, you thought I couldn't do it, right? Well, you were wrong!
Watch me doing my first Rollover ...



PS. do not ever underestimate Nora the mighty ;-)

(if you cannot see embedded video above, just follow this link)

Two years in Aussie

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Important milestone this week: we’re in Aussie for two years now. And that means we can finally apply for permanency. The last couple weeks we’ve been snowed under in paperwork and bureaucracy to get everything completed. First Nora needed her own passport, before we could apply for a temporary visa like ours. Only when that was granted, could we lodge the real thing. But that’s done now, so from here on it’s up to our friends of Aussie Immigrations.

So what’s the ‘state of nation’ after two years?
We feel we have built up a life here. The social network has been growing steadily over the last period, especially now with Nora. South Aussie is very family oriented, and it’s easy to make contact to other young parents. In terms of work Jan increasingly enjoys his double role as project manager and account manager for Eclipse’s clients in SA. And although Mikaela is on maternity leave, she is looking forward to join Details handbags again after Christmas. Also there is still plenty to di…

Girls talk

Who says you can't have a good talk with a four months old?!?



(if you cannot see embedded video above, just follow this link)

When it rains in South Australia

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Who said that in Australia the sun is always shining? Look at us here on our weekend in Victor Harbor. We completely flushed away.

South Australia currently is having its wettest winter in 20 years. This is very good news actually. The state has been on water restrictions for many years now due to severe droughts. Adelaide water supplies mostly depend on rainwater catchments in the reservoirs up in the hills. The water levels had dropped to critically low levels over the last couple of years. In winters these were supposed to catch up, but it was hardly ever enough, until this winter. Currently we’re up to over 60% of capacity, which is a luxury. So you could safely say that the locals are ‘singing in the rain’.

Nora doesn’t mind to get wet though. We had a spa bath in our Victor Harbor hotel room. It was large enough to fit in the whole family, and when we put the bubbles on it was party time for our little girl. This was her first night away from home, which was a huge sensation i…

Milestones

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This Sunday we went to IKEA for a new High Chair: another milestone in Nora’s career. Watch this video of the first time she joins us for dinner.

Talking about milestones, there are plenty to mention:
Nora is going on her first flight next week to Canberra for her Swedish passport, Mummy is already slowly preparing for solid foods, Daddy climbed Mt Lofty on his mountain bike last week (still hurts), and Mum and Dad celebrate their 6th anniversary this weekend. On top of that we had the coldest night of the season: down to 3°C.
So who says our life is not exciting?!?

Swedish "Midsummer"

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Exactly three months young today, and already Nora has celebrated her first Midsummer. This time it did not take place in Sweden or Holland, nor was it flooded with booze. In fact: it didn’t even take place at mid-summer. We celebrated it in the middle of our winter with the Swedish club in Adelaide. But many things were familiar: the weather for instance. It was a wet and rainy day, with a max of 17C. Pretty much the same weather as in Sweden this week! Also the traditional Swedish food and songs were on the menu, and of course dancing around the Maypole (photo).

It was our first time with the Swedish club , and we experienced again that once you have kids the integration really takes off. Mikaela met a few young mums, who invited her to a Swedish mothers group. Should be good fun, and nice for Nora as well to hear a bit Swedish every now and then. With the mums from the Aussie & Aquarobic mothersgroup they even go to the ‘mums and bubs’ cinema every fortnight. How good is that?

Parental Bias

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Time is flying when you’re parenting a newborn. You have a distant clue of what’s going on out there in the rest world, but really all you are focused on is your small little family. Australia may have been hit by the economic downturn, the swine flu may have hit South Australia, and autumn may have hit Adelaide with some desperately needed rain …. But it all loses its relevance when you see your little one smiling at you.

Our lives revolve around feed, sleep play, cry, pee and poo. Every little detail is noticed with great care and appreciation. Nora is making progress in many different ways. For starters: she is steadily gaining weight, length and volume. Pretty soon her cry can be heard around the block ;-) Also, she smiles more and more. Especially the first morning smile is a big reward for the early wake up. And very important: our little girl is sleeping in her own cot for more than a week now. That’s in her own room, without mum and dad close by. Pretty clever for a two month …

Mothers Day

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Big day today: mummy celebrated her first Mothers day. Time to spoil her with lots of hugs and kisses. Nora bought mum a present: a nice color for her hair. She will look even more beautiful now. And daddy had a little surprise as well. He lured the family to the Botanic gardens, where Femke and Casper were waiting to do a photo shoot. Mum hates to pose, but this way she had no choice (haha). So soon we’ll have some really professional family pictures.

Meanwhile you’ll have to settle with our amateur pictures: follow this link for a slide show of the last four weeks. Can you see how Nora changed? She’s becoming a tall girl, just like her daddy. Coming from 51cm and 3.7kg at birth, after seven weeks she’s already 59cm and 4.7kg. Feedings are going a lot better since we started to bottle feed expressed mother milk. And sleeping goes better and better as well. A couple of days ago for the first time she slept through the night from 12 to 6. That’s very promising, although not every nigh…

Hej allihopa !

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You know what we did today?
We went to the consulate to get me a nationality.

Now I am a citizen of a far away country that is famous for

Knackebröd
IKEA
Midsummer parties
ABBA
Lucia
Pippi Longstocking
Daim chocolate
Meatballs
Pirate Bay
Små Grodorna
and crazy blond girls.

Any idea where that might be?!?

My first weeks

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Hi there. My name is Nora. I’ve been around for a couple of weeks now, so it’s about time I talk to you directly. Don’t you agree?

Life has been exciting so far. It was pretty comfy in mum’s womb for a long while, but I noticed it got tighter by the week. When I finally went to have a look at the other side, there was a lot of fuss going on in the hospital. But mum and dad were very happy to see me. After a couple of days they took me home, where I was welcomed by Mr. Owl. He’s been there ever since, looking after me.

The first weeks were so exciting that I really didn’t bother to sleep much. This was partly due to me and mummy struggling through our feeding sessions. It just didn’t work that well. Contrary to what mum’s magazines preach, my parents want me to gain weight. So they came up with a new plan. Mum now first expresses the mother milk with a pump, before feeding it to me in a bottle. That was a great move. Since then I haven’t been hungry anymore, and our little family got …

Night Owls

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Something remarkable happened the day little Nora arrived home. An owl landed in our patio, and it has been there ever since. At night it flies out, but every morning it returns back to its spot, staring into our living room, as if it’s keeping an eye on Nora. You might not believe in fairy tales, but it feels very surreal being watched so closely all day, as if we’re in a Harry Potter story. Look for yourself at this video. Do you think it’s a sign of good luck?


Talking about night owls: little Nora definitely deserves that nickname. She’s almost a week old, and mummy and daddy are already totally worn out. Her rhythm (as far as she has one) has more in common with the owl than with ours, so you can imagine we are longing for a good night sleep. Feedings are also a bit of a struggle at times, but our midwife Megan reassures us it is all part of the learning curve. So we keep faith and do the best we can. She is absolutely adorable, and probably every parent has been through this phas…

Arriving Home

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After a couple of days in the hospital it was time to go home. Both Mikaela and Nora have done absolutely great. Nora is feeding well, and we are slowly getting used to eachother. The care in the Woman's and Childrens hospital has been fantastic. But now we're on our own. Let's see how we will do as new parents ;-)

We collected some photo's of Nora's birth and arrival home in this slide show. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do...

Nora

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There she is!!! Our little baby girl finally arrived this morning, after a long but rewarding labor.

It started very sudden. Yesterday morning around 4am Mikaela woke up with back-pain. An hour later she already had regular contractions every 5 minutes and by 6am it was down to three minutes. Our midwife Megan rushed by, and took us straight into the hospital. By 11am we had 3cm dilation and Mikaela started to get tired. We decided for an epidural, to ease the pain. Then things slowed down: by 3pm we had 4 cm dilation, and at 7pm we still had only 4 cm. How frustrating?!? It took until way after midnight before cervix was completely open and the baby was in a position to push. Mikaela gave it all, and then finally at 3.49am, helped by the force of a forceps, she saw the light. What a relief to find a healthy girl, after almost 24 hours of labor. Weight is 3.7 kg and length 51 cm. And such a beauty, although the poor thing still has quite a few bruises on her face due to the forceps…

Still waiting ...

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.... so all we can offer now are some pregnancy pictures .....

Counting Down

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Yes, we are getting ready for the big day. In week 37 now: less than four weeks to go until estimated due date. Funny enough it's calculated on Friday the 13th. We take that as a lucky sign!!! The baby seems to be doing fine. It’s kicking and turning nicely in mummy’s belly, and is already responding to daddy playing guitar. Mummy is doing fine too, looking healthy and staying calm, despite the sometimes scorching heat. She’s simply designed for this kind of climate, as we concluded long ago.

We’re attending weekly parenting classes in the hospital. Highlight so far was practicing change of diapers on a baby doll. Just to make it a bit more realistic they added some Vegemite on baby’s bum. Surely we will not eat that again in a long time ;-) The nursery room is also ready now, and so are the bassinette, the cot, the playpen and all the other gear that one seems to need in expectance of a newborn.

All that’s left to do now is just wait. Are you counting down with us?

Hot 41

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Imagine the temperature when he turns 60 ?!?

With another scorching hot day we celebrate another year.
And what a year it will be: very soon to become Daddy!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday Jan !!!

Lance Down Under

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How cool is that? The man himself making his come-back in the streets of Adelaide? In fact, only yesterday he went racing by around the corner not just once, but twenty times! It’s Lance Armstrong we’re talking here, seven times winner of the Tour de France, and living cycling legend. He chose the Tour Down Under to launch his re-entry in the professional peloton this year.

Just like the weather, Jan was all overheated this week. Every move of the man was followed fanatically. We managed to spot him on three different occasions throughout the week, but getting anywhere near was just no option. First of all there was an enormous crowd everywhere he went, and then there was his security to deal with. The closest we got to him was at the team presentation: see for yourself our camcorder shots.

So how did it go for the great Lance? Well, hmmm, he still has some training to do. It was very hot and windy though, plus all the publicity took its toll as well. But as a real fan Jan still believe…

Tassie

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It’s green, it’s beautiful, it’s laid back, it’s mountainous, it’s far away but still feels familiar, it’s big but still feels small, it’s full of wildlife, especially at dusk and dawn, it’s discovered by the Dutch but nobody seems to bother, it’s a bit cold sometimes but always heartwarming, it’s spectacular, it’s lovely, it’s a great holiday destination, it is Tasmania …… or simply Tassie.

We loved it, as we loved our trip with Oeds and Marije through South Australia across Victoria’s Great Ocean Road on our way to Tassie. See for yourself on our photo’s.

Guys, it has been great to have you around here for Christmas and New Year. And for sure this wasn’t the last time saw you Down Under, right? See you next time mates !!!