Friday, May 21, 2010

No English Speakers Allowed

Been feeling a little like the high school geek these days. And since I wasn't a "loser" in high school, this is a foreign emotion. You'd never find me skulking in a corner, holding up a wall or dissapearing into a background. Nope, not me. Not ever. I'm usually the one in the center of the room, shouting into a virtual megaphone, "Hey everybody, Look at ME!" I'm loud, high energy and bordering on obnoxious.

Now, I attract the attention but am just as quickly dismissed because to paraphrase Chris Tucker in that movie with Jackie Chan, they don't understand the words that are comin' outta my mouth. Well, they do but because the words are in English, Mr. Fredericksson turns down his hearing aid to stop Russell's annoying voice from slaughtering his ear drums (have you seen the animated Pixar movie UP!?)

It was all well and good when I was that funny Canadian guest that showed up once a year. But my free pass has long expired and unless I wake up tomorrow speaking fluent Swedish, I'm screwed.

And my biggest obstacle isn't the neighbours, the general public, my co-workers or "friends". The role of The Gatekeeper flashing the Access Denied sign is my almost 4-year old son.

Hubby and I left work early today to partake in the Parents Coffee at the little man's school today. We sat our large butts on those little chairs as he proceeded to put on a show-and-tell of all his favourite school activities. We ooo'd and awww'd and asked him questions about the puzzles, pictures and books, surrounded by other parents engaging in the same activities with their children. We nibbled on homemade, by the kids, bread and sipped instant coffee while lovingly doting on our pride and joy.

And when Mommy decided to comment on the butterfly, "Det är en jette fint fjaril!", she got "the hand".
"Mommy, you speak English."
"Men Mama kan prata svenska också..."
Attempt #2 thwarted: "No, you don't speak Swedish. You speak English."
I let it go.
A friendly, no, a stern reminder from my son that even though I might know how to say a few things in Swedish, I'm clearly not cool enough to enter the clubhouse. Not sure that I'll ever be. And I really don't think I'm ok with that. Why can't Alicia Silverstone and her BFF give me the (RIP) Brittany Murphy make-over? This pounding on the door thing sucks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday (on Thurs.): Week 4 of 5

Oh God. I really need to step up my game. Still at 73.1 and desperately hoping to crack that ugly 3 and high tail it into 2 territory this week.

Did I tell you about my new love affair with apples? Yup, I allow myself an apple a day, I guess to keep the doctor away. Let's forget the 5 M&Ms I just inhaled, they don't count. Nothing to see here...So, Fiji apples from Australia! They're uber expensive (as far as apples go) and they're wrapped in some kind of non-enviro friendly styrofoam netting...but damn, they're tasty. And another apple splurge...some kind of Israeli apple...delish.

Exercise is still my enemy. It doesn't help that instead of power-walking last night, Neighbour Friend and I decided to hit the newest grocery store in town...I know Hy...I promised you 6 walks. Let's make tomorrow morning #1,shall we?

Been a little stressed lately:
- Trying to figure out if/when/where vacation in Montenegro will happen this summer.
- Trying to figure out what to do with the little man/work when he's off daycare for 6 weeks this summer.
- Trying to figure out why it is I'm putting my foot in my mouth lately.
- Trying to figure out...bills...
- Trying to figure out what our future holds in the midst of too much hard work and not enough play and if it's even worth it anymore...
And really, REALLY missing our family back home lately, especially not knowing when we'll be seeing any of them again.

So...a little on the sad side these days. But besides those 5 M&Ms, I gotta say, been doing good with the food. Have been following Michelle's advice and forcing myself to eat breakfast, which I think has helped immensely.

Lots of love to all of you, Jenn

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome to the Neighbourhood!

Spring, or better yet, Summer, has arrived in Uppsala. Yesterday, it must have been 25 and I have the sunburn to prove it. No, I didn't venture out in a bikini (not THAT brave yet with 10 more pounds to go) but I was wearing a tank top and am still wearing it judging by the burn lines.

A few doors down from our townhouse, there's an opening and the neighbours have set up a pseudo-park with a swing set, trampoline and sand box. Little man loves it!

We've been spending a lot of time there with the neighbourhood kids and it's made me realize just how important it is for both of us to have some friends outside of school and work.

The neighbours have been rather kind and welcoming of us English-speakers. Regardless of the fact that everyone here speaks English, I'm feeling more like the "odd one out" than when I lived in Montenegro, where English-speakers were few and far between.

My desperation is growing to learn the language but the kids are my best teachers because I'm forced to speak to them in Swedish. Little Man's having none of it though, "Mama, you speak English!" Guess he likes keeping his special little club all to himself...ha!

Oh, I think I promised y'all some Moscow pics eh? Next post. Hubby finally finished them all up and we've proudly posted them to Facebook. Now to select a few to share with you.

Hope the weather is warming up wherever you are!