Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Museum and Santa

I did not forget my promise to make a Christmas post, but my computer has checked out permanently and Andrew's computer doesn't have a card-reader. So, unfortunately you have to wait until my new computer arrives and make due with this post about our trip to Stockholm a couple of weeks ago.

Inara has been wanting to go see a dinosaur exhibit in a museum for as long as she's known museums exist, so we decided to make a weekend out of it. We arrived in Stockholm on Friday morning and managed to comfortably squeeze a visit to the museum of natural history, the aquarium and Santa into our schedule before taking the ferry home on Sunday night. We also had a chance to visit with two of my cousins and at night I snuck out and saw some old friends while the rest stayed at the hotel.

I knew that the big dino-exhibit was under construction, but did think that the temporary exhibit would still be pretty good, which it wasn't. Inara didn't mind too much though since there was also a very interactive exhibit about the human body going on, as well as an exhibit about Nordic animals.  





At the aquarium:





Admiring giant moose in central Stockholm:


Inara waiting in line to see Santa, clutching her wishlist in her hand. It contained three items: Pink, glittery nail polish, Sorry (the board game) and a book about the jungle book.

 

Because of some poor (or excellent?) planning on the department store's part, Santa was located right next to where some adorable boy band was signing autographs. This resulted in huge mass of warm, anxious children wanting to see Santa and distraught, sobbing teenage girls wanting to catch a glimpse of their crushes. 

Admiring the Christmas displays:


And on the way home someone was so beat they fell aslep on the floor of the ferry:


Green tip #4: Don't throw away food. This is one that we struggle with in our family. No matter what we do, we seem to end up with some old leftovers in the fridge that we end up throwing away. I really hate it and would love advice on how to get better about it. I think that part of the problem for us is that we have such varying tastes in food that it frequently doesn't work to just whip something up out of what's left in the cupboards. What do you do to throw away less food?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Snow!

It snowed for the first time this year on Christmas Eve! We've been sick, so our Christmas celebrations were toned down this year. An update will come shortly, but first some pictures of us enjoying the snow (although Alba was on the fence until she got to ride in the sled):










Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dreaming of Christmas

Andrew has been at a conference in Spain for four days and I kinda felt like super woman pulling everything together while he was gone until I realized that this is just life for a ton people. So, hats off to all the single moms and dads out there! 

I didn't write a green tip last time, but I think that this one deserves it's own post. 

Green tip #3: Buy less stuff. 

Christmas is rapidly approaching and most people in this part of the world are already trying to decide what Christmas presents to buy this year. We're not only bombarded by adds and commercials telling us what we should buy to show people we truly love them, we also have a hard-to-break habit of spending lots of dough on Christmas gifts. 

It's not easy to step back, take a breath and remember that companies couldn't give a flying jingle bell about our love for each other and deep down we already know that mindless consumption is not the way to show someone you care. Businesses want to make money. And more often than not, they rake in the cash by selling non-essential, poorly manufactured goods produced by the sweat and tears of severely underpaid workers in third world countries. To top it off, they are probably toxic to our health and detrimental to the sustainability of our planet. 

Let's be honest, I'm tempted by cheap garbage just as much as the next gal, but this Christmas, I would like to urge you to do what I'm intending to do. My goal is to only give non-material gifts, unless it's something eatable (or a solid-state hard drive, I guess). For example, Inara is getting tickets to a newly opened play-land that we haven't taken her to yet, my mom is getting a subscription to ancestry.com and several of our friends will get homemade cider or beer. I'm not saying kids can't have toys, but I do think one or two new ones is enough. In our case, I'm convinced they'll get that and more from other people. Another idea (great if you're short on cash) is to give of your time. Offer to watch someone's kids, shovel their drive-way or drop off a home-cooked meal for dinner one evening. All things I would enjoy receiving!

I would love to hear what you guys are getting people this year! Also, I'm up for some sort of support group to stop myself from buying a bunch of needless stuff at the after-Christmas sales...   

Alba had the pukes yesterday morning so we stayed home to see how it would develop. Both girls seemed fine, so we went outside to play:



 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

That Mom

You know that mom or dad who is always making a fuss about everything at your kid's school? Well, that mom is me and I love it. All I can ask myself is why I haven't been more difficult in the past.So, if you're not already doing it - go out there and make some people roll their eyes!

The other day, Inara fell asleep on the bike on our way home from a concert. Like a good sister, Alba made sure she was ok.





Gently poking her with her foot while continuing to eat her sandwich.






Monday, November 10, 2014

What You Do...

...When you don't have a sandbox in the yard:


...When the weather is nice and there are lingon berries to be picked:


 ...When you got a new toy with wheels:


...When mom and dad forget to water those poor plants:


...When you've had to take your summer garden out of commission:


...When you miss daddy while he's at work:


Green tip #2: Don't use fabric softener. Basically, what you do is you get your clothes nice and clean, then you doze them with chemicals and perfume that aren't good for you or the environment. I haven't used it all my adult life. When I was younger it was  a question of saving money, but later I couldn't stand the smell.  If you still want your laundry to smell peachy, I do know of people who use essential oils instead, but haven't tried it myself.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A T-Rex and a Dragon

This Halloween, we were invited to a friend's house for food and trick or treating. The latter is starting to catch on in Sweden, but isn't that common yet. However, our friend had set up a route where the neighbors had been notified ahead of time and given treats to give out to the kids. We had a ton of kids and parents, so it got a little crazy, but turned out great.

Inara had requested to be a T-Rex, so I did what I could with what I had at home (if you're pondering T-Rex's resemblance to David Bowie in his glam-days, it's because Inara picked the fabric) and limited time after work the night before. Fortunately, she's three and still thinks most things are awesome.
We had a hard time getting a good picture of her, but maybe you get the idea:




Inara wanted Alba to be a triceratops, but since time was short, she got to be a dragon:


We're hoping that we trained the neighbors this year and that next year we don't even need to prep them. 

As you might already know, I started working in October, so between that, sick kids and everything else, I don't have much time to post. I'm going to try to get better though. Working has been fine. Both Andrew and I have chosen to work only four days a week for now. That way, the girls only have to be in preschool three days a week, which feels like a good number of hours. I think I could keep working only four days (or less) for the foreseeable future. It feels a lot more humane somehow. 

It's probably not news for most of you that I'm interested in environmental issues and lately I've been more involved in making our own lives and the community more sustainable. I'm not saying that I'm perfect by a long shot, but I do truly believe that even the little things can make a difference if we all come together.  So, I was thinking that I would start adding a little sustainability tip at the end of every post. Hopefully, those of you who read can add on and also suggest tips for future posts.

Green tip #1: Minimize your use of fleece fabrics. I just recently learned this. Apparently, when you wash your fleece clothes, tiny plastic particles are released into the water causing all kinds of damage to the wildlife and ultimately making their way back into our drinking water. I will keep the fleece I currently own, but will avoid buying any new products. 

Hope you all had an awesome Halloween!
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Going for a ride...

Inara has figured out her kick bike just in time for winter. Maybe next year right? At least we were able to film an obscenely long video of it. Enjoy:


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Going for a Spin

Don't watch this if you're like me and get dizzy from the mere thought of spinning...




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Photoshoot

We literally have a million pictures of the kids and obviously not half as many of ourselves. Especially not together, so I thought I would share these pictures Inara snapped about two months ago.





video



Sunday, September 21, 2014

One!

Last weekend, we invited my family over for a small birthday party for Alba. It seems like this year has went by so fast and I am amazed at how that little baby who was born just a year ago is now this talking, walking and laughing little person with her very own personality. 

Some preparations:



The table is set (I feel I have to point out that I've made the table!)


The guests waiting for Alba to wake up from her nap.


When she got up she seemed very confused by all the people who had managed to sneak in while she slept.


 She woke up a bit more after getting her first present.


She was still too sleepy to open anything, but fortunately Inara came to the rescue.









Cake!


Inara was coaching Alba on how to blow her candle out and ultimately helped her do it. 


Alba said no to the hat, but I figure it's only about 30 years off. My uncle figures he's funny. 






A smile at last!






And now, she's about yey big: