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I'm starting to get excited about the holidays now. Especially since I just got the news that my mom is coming! YAY! She's coming AFTER Christmas, but that's okay because she's staying for nearly a month. Woot! And hopefully, my brother and Simone will be able to come up for at least a few of the days between Christmas & New Year's, too. Hope, hope!

Question for parents: how late do your kids stay up? (did I ask this before? or am I just having déjà vu?) If they stay up until 10 on a school night, what age were they when they were allowed to do so? There is some extremely fierce lobbying going on here, and I need ammo.

I've had a lot of anxiety this past year about not writing the way I want to write. But suddenly, I feel much calmer about it: if it's not coming, it's not coming. It's not going to stop me writing, dadgummit. At some point, it will surely be back (and no, I didn't just call you Shirley).

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: What's so great about literacy and education?

Awesome Eyes: Owl in a box

One jack-o-lantern is moldering, his grinny grimace drooping down to the pavement. Time to bag them up and pitch them before I can't approach without gagging! Anyway, it's time to get them gone, because I plan on pulling out the holiday decorations in another couple of weeks. I already have advent calendars ready for both kids for the first time in...ever. I was joking at work today with a friend that you can't sing Christmas carols until December and then saw that someone in the next office building over already has one of the triangular Swedish Advent lights lit up in the their window. I'm pretty sure you can be expelled from Sweden for things like that. Even our local grocery store already has Christmas stuff for sale, though they at least haven't actually started decorating the premises yet.

Things People Have Said About Me Lately:
"I thought I'd ask you because you have a database in your head and know everything."
"Mama äger att måla! (Mama rules at painting!)
"You're exceptionally weird, even for an American."

Cracking Me Up:
Liz: Karin, what the hell is this mess? Come and clean this up! You don't need to leave this stuff all over the place.
Karin: Sorry.
Liz: Sorry isn't good enough.
Karin: *without missing a beat* Oh please my darling mother, I promise it will never happen again, I grovel before you and apologize.
Liz: That's better.
Liz & Karin: *giggle madly*

Martin's room renovation is proceeding apace. Anders has spackled and removed the last remnants of wallpaper glue which Martin & I missed (there might have been some implications about our patience level in there somewhere). BUT the wallpaper set that Martin picked out has turned out to be too expensive. So, I'm going to paint the trees myself. Martin has chosen the colors: a natural palette of soft greens and browns, and now we just have to get moving so we can get this all done before the holidays. I don't think it will be done before we host Thanksgiving, though, more's the pity.
mood: happy
music: Joan Armatrading—Love & Affection


Ohhh, I love that wallpaper! I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job, I can't wait to see his finished room! :)

I'm sure Sean's bedtime isn't what you're looking for, but I remember when I was your kids' age our bedtime was always 9pm. We had to be in bed, we could leave our bed light on and read if we wanted or listen to the radio very quietly but we had to be in bed with the main light off. That was the rule until we were in highschool at which time it was 10pm. Our Mom had to work early so we couldn't be mulling around the house keeping her awake all night.

I was kinda thinking 13-14 before 10 p.m. bedtime, too. Seems like things are a bit different over here, or maybe it's just the times, I can't tell.

No way Jose on the 10 pm bedtime. Just on special occasions and weekends.

Hurray that your Mom is coming! Family coming together is cause for good cheer.

The writing will be back. Don't worry, eat sushi.

Yay for mom, indeed! :) Can't wait!

They go to bed at 9:30 on school nights, but are allowed to read until 10. On weekends, they can stay up to 10:30 (unless there's a party)...I think it's perfectly reasonable myself, but then, I go to bed around 10:30 every night so who am I to talk? :P


I think "Things people have said about me lately" should have been set up as a quiz....."Who said..." with a list of many to choose from! Now I am curious! But, I'll bet it was Martin who said the second quote. I look forward to seeing his room renovated! I also think that Karin has inherited her Mother's talent for cracking up a mad parent! Hahaha! Love,Lizardmom

Haha! It was Karin who said the 2nd one, and Martin who said the THIRD one! :D

(no subject) - (Anonymous)   Expand  

You did ask before about the bedtime issue, though I'm sure I am not helpful since my 4 and 8 year old have the same bedtime and it's much later than their peers. It's due to sheer lack of parental will to get them in bed any sooner and not due to any kid's desires though. I give myself failing grades on the whole bedtime/sleeping issue.

What time do they have to get up? Does Martin rise and shine at that hour or do you have to pull his sleeping body out of bed? I trained my kids to be night owls and to not like to get up early so that I can sleep late on the weekends, with the predictable consequence of having to drag them out of bed on school days. If Martin is sitting around with extra time in the morning, maybe you could do a trial run of a later bedtime since he could potentially sleep a little longer in the am. If it's a race to get to school, then no chance buster.

Hooray for Lizardmom arriving!

They both get up exceptionally easy, so that's not a problem (with this bedtime), but they don't have extra time in the morning because we get them up with just the amount of time needed to dress, brush, eat, and get things together to get out the door on time for school.

I also recognize the bed-time question and agree with E11ens suggestion on using Martin's morning-mood be a factor in your decision. Studies do show that a good many children suffer from the sort of sleep deprivation that can't be compensated for on the weekends because they routinely go to bed too late on weekdays. As a lifetime insomniac, let me just say that it's not a good habit to get into.

The liberal form of child-rearing (i.e. no rules, curfews or bedtimes after the age of 11) that I was subjected to didn't do me a bit of good and many of the bad habits I picked up took years to reverse. Do what you know is right and I swear they will thank you someday!

I'm a big believer in rules, curfews, etc. for my kids, and I also think a good night's sleep is very important for their growing brains. Martin gets up extremely easily so that's not an issue (with this bedtime)'s actually more the principle of the thing.

My kids are in bed by 8:00 or 8:30. I expect my 7 and 9 year old to go to sleep, but my 11 year old can read for a while. I really think kids need lots of sleep, like 10 hours or more. On the weekends they can stay up as late as they want. "Mommy's going to bed, kids. Turn out the lights when you shut 'er down!"

Hmmm. 8:30 sounds super early to me, actually, but I suppose it might depend on when they have to get up? My kids go to bed at 9:30 on school nights, but are allowed to read until 10 if they want (since we don't have any issues with them getting up in the mornings). On weekends, they can stay up to 10:30 (unless there's a party)...I'm leaning towards a no on this still.

Have you looked into vinyl stickers for the tree-solution? These are all the rage in the decorating world. I ordered a huge Eiffel Tower and Parisian Metro Map for our Center...the former was easy to apply but the latter, with all the slim "lines" was tedious to get "just right". I also ordered a set of words for our bedroom in the country: "love" "dream" "happiness", etc.

Bedtimes...the 14 year old is in bed around 10:30 and she listens to her music until she falls asleep. The 12 year old (at boarding school) has lights-out at 10:15 but I suspect the girls giggle in the dorms late into the night.

We didn't see any tree ones when we were looking through the choices at the wallpaper/paint stores (re the stickers)...but maybe I should do some quick googling.

Thanks for the bedtime info. I wonder if bedtimes are generally later in Europe, or if it's just the times.

Regarding the Christmas lights, I noticed somebody in my neighbourhood had their lights on the balcony by All Hallow's Eve. It is not quite the same thing as Advent lights, and practically speaking evenings get dark already sometime in late September so it wouldn't shock me to see people putting up outside light decorations by then.

I also spotted my neighbour right above me has decorated their balcony with lights overload. I saw that a few nights ago, it looks like a miniature Las Vegas - I suppose, since I've never been there myself. My neighbour next to me usually likes to light up his balcony a lot so I don't know if I should cave in for group pressure and decorate my balcony as well, or completely refuse since my two next neighbours have lights enough for half the block.

What kind of advent calendar do you make? Here, advent calendars are cardboard boxes with little doors hiding a chocolate for each day of December up through the 25th. Not really symbolic of anything (except maybe our family's religious devotion to chocolate?), but we love them.

I don't make them silly girl. I BUY THEM. (sssh!) They have the chocolate kinds here, but since we have a weird kid that doesn't like chocolate (imagine!) we tend toward small toys and other kinds of candy instead. But this year? LEGO ADVENT CALENDARS. Score!


My kids have a hard time getting up so letting them stay up later is not an option! They are to be in bed between 8:30 and 9 and may read a few minutes after nine then it is lights out. They have to get up at 7 am and Rachel is especially difficult to get up. (Takes after her Dad)

As to the writing.... It iwll return when you find a new muse. :)

As to the Christmas lights.... they will not go up before Thanksgiving and shouldn't! And now I try to hold them off until Rachel has had her birthday. :)


I think people put up lights earlier here because 1) it's so damn dark and 2) they don't have Thanksgiving to worry about offending :)


Add two more to the list for the LEGO Advent calendars!!!!


Seriously? See my reply to Bethany above.

I know how much you love to have your Mom visit, so I'm thrilled for you that she's coming for an entire month. Yay for LizardMom (and if she's reading this, HI!) :) I always love the way you write even when you say you can't write. What really floors me is how BUSY you always always sound like you're juggling multiple projects (and probably doing them all WELL). I, on the other hand, am quite an ace at doing nearly absolutely nothing. ;)

I AM always juggling multiple projects...I don't know how to exist otherwise :) I don't know that I always do it well, but I HAVE had a lot of practice at it. :)


That was one cool wallpaper! But I'm sure you can do it just as great - even better! And how cool to have a wall made by mum! :)

I hope we get to see photos when it's all done?


I think it's going to be really neat. Anders wants to do it, though, so it probably won't be me painting it after all. He says he wants to do some of the cool stuff; otherwise it's not fair when he's already done all the boring parts of the renovation work: stripping wallpaper, spackling, etc. :) No skin off my nose! And yes, definitely photos!

From Megsie

I love the owl eyes...they are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing :) I am happy for you that your mother is able to visit around the holidays. And does it work out better, because of the lack of vacation right now? I can't wait to see Martin's room!


The kids go to bed at around 8:30, but that's because they're still so little, and if Caroline doesn't sleep then, she has a hard time getting up at 7 to go to school the next day. Friday night C celebrates the end of the school week by staying up until 9 or (oooh) even later to watch a movie!

We love the Playmobil advent calendars, but I'm going to have to look at Lego too - sounds fun.


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lizardek's obiter photos
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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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