Sunday, December 30, 2012

Arent aunt snuggles the best?

This little cutie is my soon to be 6 months old nephew Owen. He is so stinking snuggly!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

We made it!

12 hr train ride solo w both littles and we are here for our week in Iowa! Hope you all had as wonderful Christmas as we did!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I wrote this last Thursday, was going to finish and post on Friday. But then it seemed so trivial. Still kind of does, but here it is anyway. 

Some of my favorite memories growing up in Sweden was celebrating Lucia day. It's a BIG deal over there, and I'm not even sure why since Saint Lucia was Italian? Regardless, it's a big deal. Everywhere on December 13th it is celebrated with a Lucia train, lusse bullar (safran buns) girls in white dresses and candles in their hair. Daycares, schools, offices, churches, they all have the Lucia train. 

Girls dress in long white gowns, boys either in long white gowns with a star hat, or as santa's or little gingerbread men. 

This year we got to be a part of TWO Lucia celebrations thanks to the Swedish Christmas market and Jasper Swedish class. 

On top of the Lucia train there's also singing, dancing around the christmas tree (so much fun!) and of course a swedish 'julbord' Christmas table- filled with amazing things to eat. Swedish meatballs, ham, different potato dishes, like 20 different kinds of cheese and bread, heaven I tell ya. 

I was going through an old photo album and found this gem

That's me in a Lucia train in elementary school in Sweden. The boy to my right is Robin, my good friend in Sweden's,( Sofie) twin brother!

And here we are all grown up at his sister's wedding last summer in Sweden

This morning, to celebrate Lucia day we ate saffron rolls by candlelight. Not quite the same as doing it in Sweden since in Sweden it would still be black and night outside till 8:30-9 AM and if we wanted to do it in the dark here we would have had to be eating by 6:15. Not gonna happen, no matter how cozy it is.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'm just so incredibly sad and really at a loss for words about the elementary shooting in Connecticut. When I first read online at Tindra's doctor appointment (poor girl has a double ear infection) about there being a school shooting I assumed high school. And I felt immediate sadness. Not shock, but sadness.

Then I continued reading in the parking lot of Walgreens waiting for T's meds and read that it was an elementary school. And that 20 young kids were brutally murdered. And the sadness turned into shock, anger, fear, panic, and major anxiety. I have felt a heavy sense of sadness and anxiety since hearing this horrible news. Loosing my faith in humanity. 

I hugged Tindra close and watched the clock and news all afternoon. I called Drew even knowing he was in meetings all day. I called my mom and we cried together on the phone. I wanted so badly to go get my own kindergartner out of school. I just wanted to hug him.

I ended up leaving 20 minutes early to pick him up. The anxiety just got too much and I couldn't sit at home any longer. I needed to see my boy. I hugged him so tight and for so long. And he let me. I think he sense that I Needed this.

Last night as we were praying for the children and their families he said "And God, please give them a big hug when they get to you." And I lost it. Full on ugly crying for the 3rd time yesterday.

Today as the news showed a list of the names of everyone lost, I read the names out loud, tears streaming. I needed to say the names out loud for their mamma's. I just can't imagine the horrors they are facing, wishing they could wake up from their worst nightmare. 

Today as I am feeling like our world is turning to absolute shit and that everyone is evil ( I know everyone Isn't but when sometimes like this happens, it feels like there is more evil than good) and I read about THIS. A Blog post where people are sharing their stories and needs, and so many others offering to help any way they can. It's restoring my faith in humanity seeing strangers give so freely to others, no questions asked, not expecting or wanting anything in return. 

If you have a real need this holiday for some help, go here and share your story. Or if you are able to help someone out. I'm helping a couple different families, and it thrills me to be able to do so. Or even if you just need to read about kindness of strangers, go HERE

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Baby food

When I started thinking about giving Jasper baby food (FIVE YEARS AGO- WHAT?) I knew I wanted to make my own, but thought it would be difficult. Wrong. It's not. Sure it's a little time consuming and kinda messy, but difficult it is not. 

I wanted to make his food because I wanted to save money and know Exactly what was going into my baby's body. When I started researching it I found even more reasons for making baby his baby food. Like for instance, apparently jarred baby is boiled at a really high temperature to kill bacteria for longer storage, but in the process of killing the bacteria it takes out many of the nutrients, vitamins and taste. So, less tasty, less healthy baby food for a higher price? No thanks. 

So once I decided to make baby food, the HOW came up. I borrowed a book from my SIL who was a nanny at the time, but of course can't remember the book now since it was 5 years ago, but I think it was purple if that helps at all? 

When I took the pictures for this post I went to sprouts and bought all organic fruits and veggies to puree. I think I spent $35 total and the food lasted about 2.5 months. Pretty good deal I'd say! I made butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots and apples. 

 For the squash I just cut in half, scoop out the seeds and bake upside down in water for about an hour. Then scoop out all the inside, put it in the blender, add a tiny bit of water depending on what consistency you want and that's it! After it's pureed I freeze in ice cub trays. Once it's frozen, about 12 hrs later, I plop the ice cubes out and throw them in freezer zip lock baggies. 
 For sweet potatoes just wrap in foil, bake until soft, unwrap and throw in blender. Some people probably scoop them out, but a lot of the nutrients are in the skin so I do it all. 

For Peas just throw in boiling water for a few minutes then blend.

Apples and pears I boil till soft then throw in blender.

See so easy? 

I made another batch of baby food yesterday morning and this time added some spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, basil and garlic to various veggies and fruit. Who wants to eat bland food all the time? Not my babies!

If you have any questions feel free to ask below- I can't stress just how EASY this is!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This weekend was CRAZY busy! But most of the time I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday night I met up with a bunch of the moms in Jasper's kindergarten class for dinner and apps at a fancy bar/restaurant in Cherry Creek. 2 things about that, 1) I need to remember that I'm a light weight now and these drinks were STRONG, 2) I got carded. Which was Super embarrassing. FIne if you are out with people your own age, but when you are out with a bunch of PTA moms most probably in their late 30's early 40's, you do Not want to get carded. Oh and 3) sweet potato chips with white cheddar sour cream and chive dip are to die for. Seriously.

Friday I was a chaperone for Jasper's field trip to Disney on Ice- they ended up having so many chaperones that we all just took our own kids and met his class at the pepsi center. How crazy is that? 21 kids in the class and I believe 15-16 chaperones? I was nervous how Tindra would do since she doesn't like to be just sit and be held for very long. She wants to roll around and explore, but thankfully it all went great and we all had so much fun! We went two years ago to Disney on Ice also, I think Jasper had a much better time this year. Maybe because he's older? 

Friday evening we went to Bass Pro to see the santa. I had heard it was good, but I was shocked how much there was to do there! Which is a good thing because we got there at 5:45 and were given an 8 time slot so we had some time to kill! They had toys, a carousel, crafts and a huge aquarium to entertain the kiddos. The time slot thing actually worked out good because we were then only in line for maybe 10 minutes. 

Saturday we had some errands to run in the morning than we had a few Swedish friends over to make some pepparkakor and choklad bollar- gingerbread snaps and chocolate balls. The kids ended up getting bored after 20 minutes of baking and all ran outside to play in the 20 degree weather. Swedes do love the cold! The kids were having so much fun playing that the baking party lasted till after bed time. Jasper was so exhausted after his friends left he went straight to bed. About 30 min after he was asleep I remembered he hadn't eaten any dinner- just cookies and chocolate balls. Whoops. Mother of the year!

Sunday was our busiest day with Jasper's soccer game and his Swedish class celebration (more on that later) and yesterday both kids had a little runny nose and cough. FUn huh? 

How was all your weekends? 

Anyone done Christmas shopping? 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can I get a do over?

This morning was horrible. 

We over slept.

Then Jasper tripped and fell on the brand new open washing machine which I'm Pretty sure is now broken. But at least he's fine.

Tindra bit me while nursing again. HARD.

Then we couldn't find Jasper's homework.

Or shoes.

Then a nearly full bowl of cereal was dropped on the clean kitchen floor by a certain 5 year old.

Who also refused to get dressed.

I then snapped at him. And now, hours later, still feel so horrible. 

We were running late for school so I had to go sign him into the office. 

(Instead of teachers getting him out of the car if we are on time) 

Wearing bright blue leggins (as pants!) with cheetah print shoes. And gross day 6 hair.

Had to pass half the PTA moms standing outside the office chit chatting away. 

Then I came home. Cried into my lukewarm coffee. 

Not about the now messy kitchen. 

Or about the fact that the PTA saw me looking like a hood rat. 

But that I had snapped at Jasper. I felt like a mamma failure. Which is the worst kind of failure.

So I would like a do over of this entire morning.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New traditions

I saw this on pinterest last year, but it was too late to start it so I filed it away to do this year. I just needed a few extra books (thank you scholastic book orders!) and we were good to go! Every night we have been reading a Christmas book in the dark with only our Christmas tree lights on. So cozy. Definitely a Christmas tradition we will be continuing. 

Last night I was making Jasper and I some cold hot chocolate (what he likes to call chocolate milk- he doesn't like it warm/hot yet) and came into the living room for these sweet scene. Jasper reading Tindra one of his Christmas books. Made this mamma heart melt for sure. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Parade of lights

Sat night was the first time we have ever gone to the Denver lighted parade. I have No clue why! It was spectacular! Actually I do know why, last year it was about 4 degrees, and I think years before that we have been traveling. But this year, it was a nice 40 degrees at night (almost 70 during the day!) and perfect!

We decided to catch the light rail by our house and take it downtown instead of dealing with parking/traffic and it was definitely the right decision. Even though we almost didn't make it on because it was PACKED. Standing room only, and barely even enough room for that. Also, thank you Denver for passing 64, now people don't even try to hide the fact that they are carrying pot around. It's lovely. (Sarcasm if you didn't catch on to that) 

Taking public transportation always makes me miss Sweden and wish we were living there. Someday!

Jasper loves parades and even T enjoyed the lights! She fought sleep the entire time and ended up being awake for almost 7 hrs straight! 

7 months...or 7 1/2 months

I'm thinking I held out writing this because I'm completely in denial that you are already 7 (now almost 8) months old. You are supposed to be a newborn still!! 

Teeth. You finally popped two! And they are SHARP little razor blades. If those were shoving their ways through my gums I would be handling it a lot worse than you that's for sure. Also, you bit me for the first time last week. And DAMN that hurt. You didn't just bite me. You bit, pulled and twisted. I might have screamed so loud your dad came out of the shower. 

Food. You absolutely love to eat. If it's been at least 10 minutes since your last nursing session you will Not turn milk down. Like you never have. Not once. And food? Doesn't matter if you just ate, that you will never turn down. Your favorite purees (mamma made!) are sweet potatoes and squash. Your favorite finger foods are bread (duh) green peppers and pears. Oh how you love to chew on your pears. 

Sleep. Still a great sleeper, even with this teething mess. Your typical schedule, wake up between 6 and 7, lately getting closer to 7 more often (yay!) go down for a nap right at 8:30 when we get home from taking Jasper to sleep. Nap 1.5-2 hrs. Then take another 1.5ish hr nap in the afternoon then in bed by 7 at the very latest. Can't complain! Now if I could just start going to bed before 11:30-midnight we will be good to go!

Play. You love to be on your belly with toys in front of you so you can move around. You will hang out in your doorway jumper or excersaucer for 15-20 minutes at a time (maybe a little longer if Jasper is entertaining you) but otherwise you just want to be on the floor so you can move!

We just had your shots last week and you handled them So well. Maybe 30 seconds of crying and as soon as I snuggled you were fine. 

You have become a total mamma's girl. I mean you always have been, but now you Really are. At times I can't even leave the room with out you getting upset, but that's okay with me baby girl. 


27 1/2 inches long, 85th %
Weight 15 lbs 1 oz. 16th %
Head 17.5 85th% percentile 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy Meal Monday: Chicken tacos.

Mondays are Rough. They always have been. But now with two kids, one that I need to get out the door to school with a full belly (lunch isn't till 1!!) with a healthy lunch packed (why don't I EVER do this the night before?) homework done and checked off and make sure he looks presentable and has clean socks on. Not to mention a baby that wants to nurse during that time at Least once. Mornings, especially Monday mornings are hectic. 

I'm slowly coming up with ways to make mondays less crazy and hectic and more enjoyable. One simple solution I have come up with to help with the mondays, is Easy Meal Monday! Every monday the last few weeks I have make a super simple dinner, and even though it's such a simple idea, it's really helping! 

This past Monday I made one of our favorites. And SO EASY. I'm sure everyone knows this chicken taco trick but I didn't till about a year ago so maybe someone else isn't familiar with it also. If so, you are welcome. Consider your life forever changed. 

Here's what you do.

Grab two frozen chicken breasts from your freezer ( I always have buy chicken when it's on sale since organic, grass fed chicken is expensive, also I can't touch raw chicken, so when I buy a bunch I make Drew cut off any fat, and bag it in individual baggies so all I have to do is grab a couple) and throw them in the crockpot.

Next, grab a jar of salsa, and dump it over the chicken. Simple right?

Turn the crock pot on. Low for 7-8 hrs or high for 4-5. I usually forget to throw this all together till I put Tindra down for her second nap around 12:30-1 so I usually have to cook it on high so it's done by 6ish. 

I'm sure you are wondering what else you have to do, but that's it! I know it sounds too good to be true, and it almost is. 

The chicken just falls about, self shreds itself, it's like magic!

When it's done all you do is throw it on a pita and add some topics. Monday we did lettuce and sour cream because that's all I had. Remember, it was a Monday. But we love to add tomatoes, black olives and shredded cheese as well. 

Now make this on a hectic day and you will be thanking me. 

Do you have any easy go to meals for especially hectic days? 

Monday, November 26, 2012


One of my favorite things about having my own family during the holidays is starting our own traditions. Our first Christmas as a family, we were living 700 miles away from any family and we were going to Iowa and then North Carolina for a 3 week long Christmas vacation, so we knew we shouldn't go to crazy buying Christmas decorations for our apartment since we weren't even going to be there for most of December. Plus, we didn't exactly have hundreds of dollars to spend on that anyway. But we did go out and buy a little fake tree, some red and gold balls and started the tradition of each of us picking out one new ornament a year. It wasn't much to start, but this is our 6th year of doing that, and each year I pick up a decoration or two for the house, and now we have enough to decorate our house AND the entire tree in one of a kind ornaments picked out just by us each year.

This was the first year we didn't put any other ornaments on our tree (except for a couple small Swedish ones we picked up while in Sweden in 2009) and every single ornament on our tree is one of a kind (in our house anyway!) and super special to us. 

This year was our first time (obviously) taking Tindra to pick out an ornament and Jasper's 6th!! time! Such a special family memory that I can't wait to experience every year!

The hair that won't hold a curl

My hair is relatively thick, and super soft and won't hold a damn curl! Do you guys have any tips for making curls stay in?? Mine simply won't hold a curl. See for yourself.

Right after I curled it. Love it. Loose, soft curls.

About 45 minutes later. Still pretty curly. Still liking it. 
 Two hrs later, not so curly anymore. Still kind of like it though. 

5-6 hrs later. Not curly. Not cute. Not liking it. 

Any magical products that will make my hair stay curly? 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Park in the dark

We had such a low key, relaxing family thanksgiving. The whole 'living 700 miles away from any family' thing can be bittersweet. Like not having 5 thanksgiving meals to go like some can be a good thing! We got to relax at home, slowly cook our favorites (green bean casserole, cucumber salad, MASHED POTATOES-favorite) in our pajamas instead of rushing around like so many seem to do. 

My cousin, who is in his last semester at DU for his masters came over for dinner followed by games. In between dinner and dessert we took a much needed walk in the brisk air. It was Just what we needed. We let Jasper run around at the park and he was in Heaven! He kept shouting 'park in the dark, park in the dark, park in the daaaaark.' Reminded me of our time in Sweden when park outings in the dark where a daily occurrence in the winter when it was pitch black by 3:30 PM. 

Our new polarn o pyret gear kept the kids nice and warm on this 35 degree night! Plus the reflectors were needed since there were no lights at the park! Tindra was so cozy in her new snowsuit she was OUT within 5 minutes on our walk, and it wasn't even 6!

I'm So enjoying this 4 day weekend with my family. I can't believe we have TWO more days of it! Today was spent taking down the pool- UGH, such a pain in the @ss, literally. I fell on ice while doing it. Long story- and a little family black friday shopping in the afternoon when we hit up the mall and target. 

Hope you guys are having as great of a weekend as I am!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where are you shopping for black friday deals?

Do you have any tips/links for the best deals? 

So far I know I need to be on the hunt for the best deals on a wii and possibly kindle fire. Perhaps amazon? I really don't want to stand in line at 2 in the morning at best buy or anything like that. I think I'm getting too old for that! (But apparently wasn't last year or the year before)

I also heard my favorite kids store polarn o pyret is launching their holiday line (I saw pics!!) on Friday with a sweet discount so I'll be hitting that up for sure. 

Know of any other great deals I need to know about- preferably ones I can participate in from the coziness of my couch and computer?

Happy Thanksgiving and black friday shopping!!! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's the point of having a blog if you can't plaster it with pictures of your adorable kids? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breastfeeding myths

(These were just myths to ME, I realize all women have different breastfeeding experiences)

Myth number one.
Breastfeeding is Easy. So much easier than bottle feeding. 

Uh No. It's not. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done. And From latching issues, mastitis, over supply, UNDER supply, a baby that even now at almost 7 months often wants to eat every hr when she's awake, cracked bleeding nipples, none of that is EASY. It took countless nurses and lactation consultants helping me the first 3 days at every feeding, how is that easy? I absolutely hate when I hear women telling pregnant or new moms that it's easy. I think that's setting them up for failure. Thinking, oh well it's so easy for her why is is SO HARD for me? I definitely thought that way many times when people would tell me how Easy it would be. It's 7 months and it's STILL hard.  Bottles now THEY are easy. Pour milk in bottle, warm it up, stick it mouth. No having to plan what you wear to make sure your baby has easy access to the food supply, no chapped nipples, EASY. And so what if you have to wash a few bottles a day. Big deal. Way easier.

Myth number 2, breast feeding will make you loose all your weight instantly.

Again, NOPE not true. YES breast feeding makes you burn calories, but ya know what else it does? MAKE YOU EAT. Especially that first month, I was Never full. I went out to eat pizza with my mom when T was like 2.5 weeks old and ordered a large pizza, ate it all and STILL wasn't full. I'm still way hungrier now then when not breast feeding or even pregnant, and I eat. A lot. So yeah breast feeding is burning a lot of calories, but I'm also eating a ton of calories. They equal each other out.

Anyone else have any breast feeding 'myths'?

(I hope this doesn't sound negative. I'm 10000000% for breast feeding, I just wish everyone wouldn't have told me how EASY it was, when clearly, for me it was Not) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anonymous asks..

"You talk a lot about Sweden(obsessed?) and call yourself Swedish, but weren't you born in America?"

Yes and Yes!!

I was born in America, West Palm Beach Florida to be exact. To an american (Italian) mom and my 100% Swedish dad who moved to Florida when he was in his early 20's. We moved to Sweden when I was like 2 and a half and lived there (with the exception of a year in Bali) till I was 11. So yes, I was born in America and yes, I also consider myself Swedish since all of my childhood are centered around being Swedish and growing up in Sweden. When we moved to the US, Swedish was my first language. I thought in Swedish, though could speak good English because my mom spoke English to us at home, but everything else was done in Swedish.

And am I obsessed with Sweden? Probably. How could I NOT be? It's such a beautiful amazing country, full of equal rights, social democracy, 24 hrs of sunlight in the summer (and lots of cozy darkness in the winter) delicious foods, beautiful people, amazing fashion, I could go on and on.. and I tend to :)

I'll let some of these pictures speak for themselves