Monday, February 28, 2011

With A Capital A

The Swede and I are spending our Monday evening watching the Oscars, which we set up to be recorded WAY after our bedtime last night.  The red carpet was wonderful, as always, but once the actual award show got going, well, geez, Awkward much?  Seriously, we're squirming here in our seats.  I got the impression that it was going to be like this from my Facebook news feed this morning, but I guess I needed to see the trainwreck for myself.  Plus I like dressesBig, beautiful, sparkly dresses.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Corn Cough Kills Me

Just in case you haven't seen it yet, here's the best thing to come out of Sweden so far in 2011.  This is a clip from Las Palmas, which won the prize for best short film at the Göteborg International Film Festival this year.  Does this prestigious festival mean nothing to you?  Fine, here's another accolade for ya:  it won First Prize in my Funny Baby Videos category FOR LIFE.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

For Elin

We celebrated Elin's birthday last night at Mama and Papa Swede's.  Love watching this pretty lady smile.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Separate Rooms

As of the last paper-signing session this afternoon, we have officially sold our apartment.  It feels like a huge relief and a great success, as I'm sure you can imagine, and not just because we can catch our breath from constant thoughts of real estate.  No, not just that.  See, one of The Swede's worst burdens is about to be lifted.  We will soon be moving into a home with doors.  Sure, we've had one on the bathroom this whole time, but I can't sleep in the bathroom while The Swede watches late-night television and I can't Skype in there when there's a sporting event on that cannot be interrupted.  Our new floorplan, however, will be much more conducive to my outrageous sleep schedule and his undisturbed sports viewing.  It's just too bad it didn't happen in time for the skiing world championship that will be going on for the next several days.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Awkward Single Girl Behavior

Yesterday I went home from work after lunch to clean then had to vacate the apartment for part of the afternoon and early evening for another showing.  The Swede stayed at work so I amused myself by walking around Kista Galleria, which quickly became exhausting.  So for only the second time in my life I went to see a movie in the theater all by my lonesome.  I bought a ticket to The King's Speech and a small popcorn and settled in among the dozen or so retirees who were also interested in seeing a feel-good period piece at 4:30 in the afternoon.  It was significantly less awkward than my previous lonely-movie viewing experience with Factory Girl, a film riddled with nude scenes, and I didn't have to share the popcorn so, while I felt bad indulging in a movie while The Swede was still at the office, I count it as a success.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


We did a lot of running around earlier today.  We cleaned the apartment once again prior to the open house, took the cats to the fishing cabin to cool their four heels while prospective buyers gave our place the once-over, met up with Sarianne at Babyland so that she could advise us on what we're going to need for Baby Swede, stopped by an ice fishing competition, then picked up the cats and took them home.  All óf this worked up the ol' appetite so we took advantage of the best part of every fishing competition:  the hot dogs.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kitchen For Sale

Recognize that gleaming, spotlight-illuminated blog photo backdrop?  That would be our kitchen, now famous all over Stockholm because it appeared in today's Dagens Nyheter.  The realtor will be showing our apartment on Sunday afternoon so we've been cleaning,  painting and relocating the cats yet again in our next step toward moving in to our very own Barbie Dream Townhouse in Kungsängen.  By the way, it should be noted that the realtor chose this picture because it showcases the best room in the place, which The Swede renovated entirely a couple of years ago when he moved in.  So that you can get a proper idea of his skills, this is what it looked like before.  Old fashioned and blah.  And totally not a good blog photo backdrop.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Week Twenty

Baby Swede better start really packing on the pounds 'cause its days in there are numbered.  As of today we're halfway to the love of our lives.

The first image was gratuitous baby bump.  This one is gratuitous goofy tooth.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meet Flat Destini

Bridget, a friend of mine from college, is now a 3rd grade teacher.  In my opinion, 3rd grade is probably the best of all the grades to teach because it's right about that time that kids learn to hold in farts but they're not yet old enough to throw down all kinds of attitude.  Furthermore, 3rd graders get to participate in the Flat Stanley Project.  It works like this: each student sends a flat paper version of themselves through the mail to someone somewhere around the globe and the recipient then takes their new friend around their area taking pictures and writing about what their flat companion saw.  Bridget enlisted the help of friends who live far and wide to help her students with the project and I got to be one of them!  I got Flat Destini in the mail yesterday, along with a letter that described a little bit about who she is and how she came to be flat, and packed her into my purse so that she can be close at hand when we see any Stockholm landmarks or anything else particularly Swedish.  Flat Destini came with us to the baby store on our lunch break today, which isn't especially geographically educational, but we thought it would be funny how tiny she would look sitting with us at this giant table.  Stay tuned for more adventures with Flat Destini!

Monday, February 14, 2011

His & Hers

The Swede and I hadn't planned to do anything to celebrate Valentine's Day.  They don't make as big a deal about it here as they do in the States, plus we had just had a date night on Saturday, on top of which it's basically romance 24/7 around here anyway.  On the way home from work, though, we decided we would go out for dinner at Gusto, a nice restaurant here in Sundbyberg.  We had a lovely time, but the food was underwhelming so on the way home we popped in to 7Eleven and picked up a dessert that we knew wouldn't disappoint.  Couples Ben & Jerry's.  Thank you, St. Valentine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vikingarännet 2011

Today was the annual 80 kilometer skating race from Uppsala to Stockholm and, while we didn't have the same glamorous front row seats as last year, we decided to stop by Kungsängen while out and about today to take in a bit of the action.  The boat house in Kungsi was both the starting point for a half version of the race and a blueberry soup pit-stop for those who had already travelled the great distance from Uppsala.  Folks just starting the race, then, like these two plus the pooch, began by skating through a gauntlet of warm-berry-soup-wielding teenagers on deep purplish-red stained ice

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just A Little Saturday Night

The Swede and I headed to O'Leary's this evening to catch the second half of the Tottenham match out on the town.  It was packed there, though, so we found a cozy corner table at The Bishops Arms instead and chatted for hours.  Sipping water on a Saturday night is significantly more enjoyable than it may sound when you consider that I was with this guy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Diappearing Act

That's right, ladies and gentlemen:  no more feet.  See you in again in the summer, my little friends.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Best Phase Yet

I have had a very complicated relationship with food these past few months.  Things that I used to love, like garlic, make me quiver at the very thought.  Indeed, it was hard for me to write that word.  Sometimes I'll be in the middle of eating something, literally moving a forkful of food toward my mouth, and realize that I hate it and couldn't possibly taste another bite.  It's also been difficult to know what I'll be able to stomach beforehand, which makes meal planning virtually impossible.  So when I find something I can stand I go with it full-force.  This has made for week-long, three-meal-a-day baked potato, clementine and chicken noodle soup menus, among others.  The Swede has been forced to fend for himself more often that I'd care to admit.  Things are much better in the tummy region lately, but nevertheless today, sometime during a slow afternoon at work, I decided that this evening would start a cake phase.  The Valentine's Funfetti cake my mom sent, specifically.  No, I can't wait the five days until Valentine's Day.  And frankly, I doubt any will still be around for the holiday.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Back when I got that package from my mom I mentioned that there was more to it than I told you at the time.  I couldn't show you then, though, because I wasn't ready to drop the news about Baby Swede yet.  Because the other items in the package were this adorable baby gear: Cleveland Indians onsies from Mom and Ray and a T-shirt and finger puppet from my sister and her family out in Montana.  This baby's never gonna forget where its mommy comes from, that's for sure. 

How To Make Me Laugh

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Basking With The Birds

It was super warm today, as in, like, several degrees above freezing and the sun was shining in a way I haven't seen in months.  As soon as I woke up I opened the door to let the cats enjoy the fresh air out on the balcony and made up my mind that there was no way I was spending my afternoon in the laundry room as I usually do on Sundays.  The Swede felt the same so we threw on our jackets and headed out with a few slices of nearly-expired bread and made the ducks' day down by the lake.  Or, I made the ducks' day, since The Swede was concerned that all of the flocking would bring unwanted (i.e. any) attention our way.  He played photographer instead. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Long Time No See

I spent this afternoon luxuriating in the company of a Serrano Carnitas Bowl, my friend Davida from SFI and her 3-year-old son Raphael.  I don't get as much opportunity to see my friends from school as I used to since the ol' 9-5 has filled up all my 9-5's, so it was really nice to have a whole afternoon of girl talk and to catch up with a friend I haven't seen in months.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blogging For Two

Oh, yeah.  Baby blogger on board.  Guys, I've wanted to tell the internet about the tiny Viking in my belly for months and months and now that it's time I don't even know what to say.  We had our ultrasound this morning and our baby looks perfect, complete with the majestic triceps surae of its father.  Obviously we're over the moon.  Baby Swede drops mid-July!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It's tulip season in Sweden and your chances of getting a bouquet of tulips, like we did from Gurra and Gunilla as congratulations on our house, are better than ever.  This is especially true on January 15th, Tulip Day.  Oh yeah, it's not just pastries we're celebrating up in this, it's flowers too.  When I first noticed tulip fever last winter I figured Sweden had some trade agreement with Holland to push tulip sales here for no apparent reason (except, of course, that Swedes love a good holiday) in order to get those wooden-shoe-wearing-gouda-eating-windmill-tending-bike-riders through the slow winter season.  The reality, though, is that the tulips are so undemanding of their environment that they can be grown right here (with Dutch bulbs, of course) right through the winter.  At any rate, isn't it nice to see one of the first flowers of spring popping up in vases all over the country when the ground is still covered in snow?  Especially if the vase/drinking glass is in my kitchen?  So I'll forgive you for this ridiculous holiday, Sweden.  This time. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And No, I Don't Know Why

I can't believe I've never mentioned this before.  Perhaps it's because taking your shoes off indoors is such a regular part of life in Sweden that I don't even notice it anymore unless it happens in some unexpected setting, such as it did last Friday.  It's so regular, and so famously un-American, apparently, that The Swede's folks wanted him to remind me to take my shoes off when I arrived at their home to meet them for the first time.  So anyway, Friday.  We went into the city to sign the papers on our new home.  The real estate agent's office is on Sveavägen, probably the biggest commercial street in Sweden, in an area where one would expect that the shoes would make the outfit.  We're talking Stockholm, not Rome, I know, but fashion matters here.  Curious, then, that we were greeted with a sign asking us to take our shoes off just inside the entrance to the realtor's office.  If I had known, I surely would have matched my socks to the rest of my ensemble.  And I definitely wouldn't have worn my prized Christmas present - those gorgeous Ugg boots you see there - which I dreamed for the next couple of nights that someone stole Carrie Bradshaw-style while we were inside buying our home.