Sunday, August 2, 2015

Daily Jamie


August 1st 
August 2nd

McMemories

This is a little rando, but when we were in Helsingborg a couple of weeks ago and popped in at the toy museum there was one display that I found particularly interesting. They had every McDonald's Happy Meal toy since the early eighties. The memories, people. Some of these pieces of plastic took my dang breath away.
When the Zoo-Faces came out I was seven years old. I have not given them a single thought since 1990 and yet I swear to you I can still smell the rubber.
I'm pretty sure there were two dozen of those Flounder spray toys between the neighbor kids and my siblings and me. I see them sitting on the edge of my childhood bathtub as clearly as if it were yesterday.
The Monster McNuggets memory is somewhat less vivid, which is strange since I was thirteen. Even more strange: I was apparently eating Happy Meals at thirteen years old.

On a related note, Jamie and I watched Inside Out this weekend. Well, okay, I watched it because after a little while Jamie didn't think it was such a fun movie to watch with Mom if she's bawling the whole time. Which, since I'm an adult human being, I was. I'm not sure if I'm recommending it or not because, like Derek, I cried the whole time and it made me feel sad just as often as it uplifted, but, also like Derek, Inside Out is one of the very best things I've watched in a long time. So I guess watch it. And Derek. And bring the kleenex.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daily Jamie

July 28th
July 30th

The End Of The Road

Oh, jeez, it seems so long ago now, but here are some photos from another stop on our road-trip last week. After the beach, we drove south to Helsingborg, partly because we knew we could take the ferry from there to Denmark, but mostly because AIK was playing there and The Swede is, as you well know, a big football fan. 
Jambo (for the time being, anyway) and I are not as loyal to the team, however, and spent the afternoon exploring the city. It was actually perfect because Jamie's curiosity led us to some pretty incredible places. We climbed the staircase up to the rooftop of the medieval castle above, for example, and enjoyed 360 degree views of the city, the port, and Denmark, just across the water.
We explored a beautiful botanical garden, climbed trees in a park, and played for a good long while on the steps leading to the castle. On our way back to the car, we spotted a toy museum and HAD to peek in there. We only had twenty minutes before it closed, but could have stayed all day.  
AIK lost the match, but The Swede had cheered up by the next morning so we hopped on a ferry and took the fifteen-minute trip to Helsingør, Denmark. It was pretty much exactly like Sweden except they were speaking the weirdest language, you guys. Oh, and Sweden was just, you know, generally a little bit better. 

We didn't stay long, not even long enough to enjoy a red hot dog. Instead, we got back on the road and headed to Astrid Lindgrens värld to meet Pippi and Emil and all of the other beloved characters from Swedish children's literature, where I unfortunately did not take any good pictures. And now you're all caught up! I'm back at work this week and The Swede and Jamie get back to the grind on Monday. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun, we have nothing on the calendar till - what can it be - Christmas?!?, and it honestly feels like summer never even happened. Meanwhile The Swede is pumped. Ice fishing season is just around the corner! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Daily Jamie


Tylösand 2015

Well, it's been a week since we got home from our little vacay so I'd say it's about time I share some pics. Just like last year, we headed to the west coast to spend a few days at the shore.
It wasn't as warm as last year so there was only one day that we were able to hang on the beach, which was fine because my dudes thought it was a little too sandy. We spent most of our time in the pool at the hotel, which we had almost entirely to ourselves most of the time since the other people staying at the hotel apparently enjoy sand.
We enjoyed a few walks on the beach, collected a ton of shells (which are now residing on our front deck), and ate some really delicious food.
Three days was just long enough and then we headed further south for the next leg of our grand road trip across southern Sweden. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Daily Jamie

July 25th
July 26th

The Tail End

It's my last weekend before heading back to work, so we did it up properly with a boat ride and a little birthday party for Jambo. Yesterday we took advantage of a few hours of sunshine with an impromptu fishing trip. We didn't catch anything and had to head back to shore after a bunch of black clouds moved in over the lake, but we had such a good time while we were on the water.
Today we had a little party with some of the neighborhood kids to celebrate Jamie's birthday. We blew up balloons and hung up decorations and then had a bunch of screaming four-year-olds over for cake. The Swede and I had fun and the kids seemed to have a blast if the state of our house afterwards was any indication. Jamie was really happy to get to see his friends after the long vacation; so happy, in fact, that we could have skipped the balloons and cake altogether and it still would have been an awesome afternoon.

Now it's back to the grind!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Daily Jamie


The Boy's Birthday

A few days ago we told Jamie that he could decide himself what we would do on his birthday and then started dropping hints about the zoo that we love and have visited every summer since he was born. He told us that he was going to wait and surprise us the day of and - surprise, surprise! - yesterday he let us know that he wanted to go to the zoo!
This zoo is particularly awesome because it's also part dino park and part amusement park. Jamie was most interested in the robotic dinosaurs, until he actually saw them, that is, and promptly freaked out. The amusement park was a huge success, though, as The Swede won some awesome prizes for the birthday boy including the much-sought-after gigantic package of candy.
We also got a lot of loving messages from family and friends here and in North America. Thank you, all for thinking of Jambo on his big day! Yep, it was a good one. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Four Years Old

Happy birthday to our - ohmygoodness, how can it be? - FOUR-year-old!!! He is half sweet, cuddly baby and half willful turd. He can do everything himself except the things I want him to do so he's lucky he's so cute. Is it just me or does this kid have the best smile ever? He has a really clever sense of humor and has The Swede and I laughing constantly. Also, he still thinks we're funny, which feels like a gift that we get to enjoy every day and which brings out the best, most playful side of all of us. Jamie is a joy to converse with and it always telling us about things he saw and did when he was younger. Some of the stories are actually true and we're blown away at how good his memory is. It's a terrifying reminder of how careful we need to be when speaking in front of him. Long gone are the days of saying whatever we want; he's keeping us honest. The bottom line is, this is no longer a baby - even a toddler - in any sense. We're dealing with a real live kid here, people, and we're feeling the high stakes in all kinds of ways. Meanwhile, The Swede is the most creative, gregarious father and we seem to compliment each other well in our parenting. I can't wait until tomorrow, when Jamie wakes up in the best mood, says something hilarious, asks a thoughtful question, and continues to make my life so much more complex and so, so much more joyful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Daily Jamie


Whoops

Ugh, I lied. I didn't have the energy to blog today between the laundry and the unpacking and two new episodes of Masters of Sex and whatnot. Sorry!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Daily Jamie

July 16th
July 17th 
July 18th
July 19th
July 20th
July 21st

Home Sweet Home

What a week it's been! We've been all over southern Sweden since last Thursday and now we're home, at least for a few days. I'll catch you up with all of our adventures in the coming days, which shouldn't be too hard to manage as it's raining out and we don't have any other plans. Now, a little vacation from vacation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Daily Jamie

July 14th 
July 15th

Our Own Paradise


For the third July in a row, our little family checked in to the big red hotel on the hill overlooking Siljan and neighboring Leksands Sommarland. 
There are a lot of places I love on this planet, but this place makes me so, so happy every single time we're there. Just the view and the relaxed vibe and the proximity of fun things to do get me - all of us - year after year. 
Part of the reason we went this year was that Erin and her family were renting a cabin there and we wanted to spend Tuesday with them in Sommarland.
The boys had a ton of fun together and we enjoyed having some additional backup and another couple to chat with.
We spent the morning in the pool at the hotel and drove home this afternoon. Now we're doing laundry and repacking our bags for our next adventure!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Daily Jamie


In Heaven

Today I did something totally amazing and it's all thanks to our friend Gurra. I've known for years that his passion is gliding and that he loves to take passengers up with him and The Swede, who flew with him a few years back, has been encouraging me to try it for a while now.
I was a little nervous, I'm not going to lie, but there isn't a person in this world who I'd trust to keep me safe in the air more than Gurra. He told me all about the glider and how the flight would go before we went up and even encouraged me to test the controls once we were in the air. An old propeller plane pulled us up to twelve hundred meters, just above the clouds, then we released the line and just floated, silently. 
There aren't even words to describe how magical it was. I was at the front of the glider and could see all around and Gurra had such precise control over the aircraft that he could point the wings toward things he wanted to show me on the ground, like a number of churches, towns in the distance, and The Swede and Jamie waiting at the airfield below. 
We were in the air for nearly fifty minutes, but it felt like ten. It was so peaceful and beautiful. The landing was so much fun and so smooth and I could totally understand why Gurra flies whenever he can. After we landed, Gurra had a fika prepared for us and even showed us the glider he built himself, which he usually flies when he doesn't have passengers.
It was such a cool experience and, if you have the opportunity, I cannot recommend it enough. I want everyone I know to try it so we can just sit, speechless, and shake our heads over how incredible it is.