Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Little Bit Of Life Lately

Last week was a stressful one for The Swede, due to our annual audit at work, which he is responsible for. It ALWAYS goes well but he still ALWAYS gets super stressed about it beforehand. As usual, we passed with flying colors, so I surprised him with crayfish for dinner. I didn't get many, expecting that Jamie wouldn't be interested, but the little bugger loved 'em and The Swede and I spent most of the meal opening extracting meat for him. 
The Swede had a fishing-club-related event on Saturday morning, so Jambo and I lazed around on the couch for most of the morning, then rode our bikes to a nearby school. We played on the playground and built an airplane that he'd gotten for his birthday and flew it over the football field. When we got hungry, we biked home and I taught him how to use the stove and make heat up packaged meatballs. Then The Swede got home and sent me to the mall for some Mara time. I got a gigantic Starbucks latte and walked around for hours but came home empty-handed, which is probably a good thing.
Sunday was very low-key, with laundry and grocery shopping and a quick, impromptu walk around a nearby farm on the way home to check out the chickens and bunnies and horses. But yesterday we had a little excitement when our community blew up a giant movie screen in the middle of the town square and showed Mama Mia. The Swede wasn't feeling well, but Jamie and I joined Mama and Papa Swede and a bunch of family friends at a restaurant for dinner beforehand and had a great time. Unfortunately, it was way too light to see what was projected on the screen, even after they delayed the start time by an hour hoping the sun would go down enough. Jamie was so tired and bored by the time that it got going that we didn't even make it through the opening credits before heading home. Still fun to mix it up on a Monday night, though!

Daily Jamie

August 20th
August 21st

Monday, August 15, 2016

Routine With A Side Of Party

I suppose it shows that we're back into our routine, because I don't have a thing to tell you about. I wake up, walk, get ready for work, wake Jambo, take him to school, work, then dinner, get ready for the next day, and bedtime. Most of those items are actually really enjoyable, but also wildly uninteresting. I supposed I could tell you about how we left Jamie with Mama and Papa Swede on Saturday afternoon so that we could go to The Swede's buddy Patrik's fortieth birthday party. I hadn't seen most of these guys in years and there were a lot of friendly new people too. We were out until two in the morning and got to sleep in till eleven, which for me is a huge success. But that's the most excitement we've seen in awhile. We have a lot to look forward to this fall, but for now it's mostly same ol' same ol'. Hang in there!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Daily Jamie

August 3rd 
August 4th
August 5th
August 6th
August 7th

That's A Wrap

With just a few hours left until our month-long vacation is over, I'm feeling pretty good about going back to work. The Swede is already back in the groove, of course, and Jamie seems positive about his return to school. Let's just see how he feels early tomorrow morning, though.
Jamie and I rounded out our time off with a trip to Eskilstuna and one of our favorite places, Parken Zoo. We spent hours and hours there on Wednesday, then stayed the night in a hotel that was right next to a brand new indoor water park. We swam until we were totally pooped out on Thursday then hopped into the car and headed to our next destination, Uppsala.
I want to spend time in Uppsala whenever possible, so we used a free hotel night to maximize our time there, but were so tired after the swimming that we spent Thursday evening in the room in front of the television. On Friday, however, we did some decent exploring, including the cathedral, which is just spectacular.

Pictures cannot do this place justice, people. Jamie was very accommodating, letting me take my time to  take it all in, lump in my throat, lip a'quiverin'.
Jamie's patience paid off because I took him to see The Secret Life of Pets afterwards. Then we went home to be with The Swede and enjoy a lazy last weekend of summer break.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Beginning Of The End Of Summer

The Swede was at the national championship for summer fishing then went back to work today, so Jambo and I are on our own for our last week of summer vacation. Jamie would be happy to stare at the iPad all day long, but that's obviously less than ideal, so I booked activities to get us out of the house each day. Last Friday, for example, we went to the mall and ate sushi, saw the new Ice Age movie and splashed in the fountains in the town square.
On Saturday, we met up with Erin and the boys at an indoor play land and they went buck wild in there for four hours. Afterward, we went shopping with Svante to get groceries for a delicious dinner that Erin fixed for us at their gorgeous NEW HOUSE! I'd been dying to see it and it was just beyond. Just… beyond. And, best of all, ridiculously close to us!
On the way home from Erin's, Jamie and I were looking at clouds and he asked me if we could stop the car and just lay on the ground and watch them, so we did, of course.
We spent Sunday in the medieval town of Sigtuna, where we ate ice cream, played with ducks, explored the ancient neighborhood, and admired the thousand-year-old ruins of a church. Basically my dream day.
Monday was a bit of a miscalculation on my part. I booked tickets on boat tour through Stockholm's islands that lasted more than two hours. Jamie wasn't wild about it. I was. I was not able to enjoy it to the fullest due to Jamie's… shall we say, lack of enthusiasm. We both loved being in the city, though, and I appreciated seeing so much of it that I never had before, from the water.

Today we took it easy all morning, then packed a picnic and rode our bikes to the nearby beach. It was nearly deserted and we had a super cozy time eating our little lunch and playing in the park and Jamie swam a bit. The Swede picked us up when he got off work and we went out to dinner. We have more fun planned for the rest of the week so I'll be off the blog for a few days, but I'll update you as soon as I can, dudes!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Daily Jamie

The Drink Of The Summer

I cut sugar from my diet a couple of months ago, with two exceptions: fruit and alcohol. The alcohol in moderation, I promise, but I am going to town on some fruit up in here because it's summer so it's cheap and tasty and it'd be foolish not to. Elderflower syrup does not fall into the alcohol category, even if I would only ever use it in a cocktail, so last year's summer drink, the Hugo, was a no-go. I needed a replacement, so I got online and found the solution: the Moscow Mule. It contains half of a ginger beer, which I love and which is surely packed with sugars of all kinds, but falls into one of the acceptable categories. Otherwise, with a shot of vodka (I used blueberry and it was delish), the juice from half a lime, and plenty of ice, it's a pretty nutritious treat. Go mix one up for yourself!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Daily Jamie

July 23rd
July 24th
July 25th
July 26th

Party Time!

This little fella is five years old, you guys! Can you believe it? I hardly can. We had a party with Mama and Papa Swede, Gurra and Gunilla, and the Segerstens on his birthday, but the big event was the party for his friends (and their parents) on Monday. We invited a bunch of kids from the neighborhood expecting that many would be away on vacation, but almost everyone was able to come, which meant that our house was PACKED with kids. We opened presents and ate cake and snacks and played games, including this one where the kids threw darts to pop balloons with candy in them. I remember my mom did this for one of my brother's birthdays when I was around Jamie's age and I even remember exactly what was inside the balloon I popped. It was chaos, but Jamie had a great time and I think the other kids did too, so mission accomplished! I'm just glad we have a year before we have to do it again.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Daily Jamie

Lazy Days

The weather is glorious and we're just hanging around the neighborhood, playing Pokémon Go, swimming, cleaning, relaxing, and getting ready for some partying because tomorrow somebody turns FIVE!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Daily Jamie

July 16th
July 17th
July 18th
July 19th
July 20th
On the road
July 21st

Legoland Or Bust

We are back home and settled after five days on the road, folks! Our trip started bright and early last Saturday morning, when we cozied up in the car for the six-hour trek to Malmö, Sweden's southernmost city, and neighbor to our destination: Denmark. We arrived in the early afternoon with plenty of time to explore the city. I'd never been to Malmö before, and while it's no Stockholm, it had a very cute old town and a gorgeous gothic church, which The Swede and Jamie were generous enough to let me drool over. 
The Swede downloaded Pokémon Go last Wednesday, so by Saturday Jamie was obsessed. This entire summer will be embossed in my mind with that game.
On Sunday morning, we drove over the bridge to Copenhagen and arrived just in time for the opening of Den Blå Planet  aquarium. It was cool, but The Swede and I agreed that the one where Becca had her wedding at the Toledo Zoo was actually much better. So if you want to go to an aquarium and have to pick between Toledo and Copenhagen, go with Toledo!
Then we walked around Copenhagen all afternoon, basically just looking for this adorable harbor that we've all seen in pictures. Yeah, I'm that tourist. It was even more adorable in person, though, and while still not quite as awesome as Stockholm, I did enjoy exploring the city.
After our long walk, we were pooped and it was time to check into the hotel in a really beautiful, old building right on City Hall Square. The view from our room, seen above, was pretty spectacular. Also noteworthy: it shared a wall with a KFC. Fried chicken for lunch AND dinner, you guys. 
Monday morning we woke up outrageously early to make the three-hour trip to Legoland and arrive before the gates opened. We succeeded, but within minutes of entering the park it started raining. It basically rained the entire time we were there, but we were prepared with waterproof jackets and seven months of anticipation in our back pockets.
Legoland did not disappoint. Jamie loved it, I loved it, and The Swede was already feeling angsty about having to leave shortly after we arrived. There were long queues and it seriously rained the entire time, but it was very fun.
We stayed at the Legoland hotel on Monday night and the whole place was set up for kids. Lego pits everywhere. Food shaped like Legos. Competitions (Jamie won a badass kit!), magicians, balloon animals! It was awesome. 
We didn't stay very long on our second day in the park, which worked out well because we were able to drive for seven hours and made it almost all the way home. We ended up getting a room a few hours south of Stockholm on Tuesday night because we were all so pooped, but that turned out to be one of our best choices on this vacation because the hotel was right next to a water park where we spent a few really fun hours before making our way home on Wednesday. Five days on the road doesn't seem like much when I think about it now, but it felt significant so we were really happy to get home. And now, with nothing else planned aside from Jamie's birthday party, we'll see where the summer takes us!