Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stockholm Part 3: What to do on a rainy day in Stockholm?

It rained on and off our first week in Sweden, which isn't super uncommon for a Swedish summer. But one day (and thankfully only one day) it rained pretty hard and heavy the entire day. We had planned on a park/picnic day that day, but after looking outside at the sky and checking the weather we just switched some things around and decided it was the perfect museum day.

After yet another amazing brunch at the J Hotel we took the ferry into djurgarden, one of the islands that make the city of Stockholm. This island has several amazing museums, an open air museum/zoo (skansen that I already blogged about) and even an amusement park. We got off the boat, in the rain of course, and walked down to Junibacken, probably the worlds most amazing Children's museum. It's only a 5-7 min walk along the water from the boat, and on a nice day it's such a gorgeous little walk. In the rain we walked quickly and didn't stop and stare at the views too much! 

We spent about 2 hrs there and we could have easily spent even longer there but the kiddos were getting hungry (okay we all were) and we didn't have cash for the diner there, so if you go make sure you bring cash! The food looked amazing. Backing up, when you first get into the play area, you are in a little village. Theres a movie theater to play in, a bakery, a church, hill with a slide, a boat, castle and so much more. Drew and I split up, and each took a kid to watch/play with. It was busy in there and so many little rooms to slip into and they were each going at different speeds so this is what worked best for us! 

When you get into the museum you are assigned a train time, and the time on your ticket is when you go get in line to get on the train that takes you through the rest of the museum. I wish I would have known before going in line that we could have gone into that second area earlier because the 'waiting' room for the train was really amazing also. There were little houses with slides, a plane to fly, and again so much more. It made waiting in line a complete blast for the kids! I stood in line, and Drew walked around and let them play. When it was our turn for the train, we climbed into a little cart and picked a language to listen to the narrator. The train was by far my favorite part of the time. It took us through different Astrid Lindgren stories that I and every other Swede grew up watching. Emil, Pippi Longstocking etc. Even if you didn't know these characters growing up (like Drew) its still so much fun. It felt like a Disney World ride. 

At the end of the train you end up at Pippi's house to play in. The kids could have spent hours alone here! I have all the old Pippi movies in Swedish so my kids absolutely loved playing in her 'real house'. And of course, there was a slide that took you down the two story house that Jasper couldn't get enough of. 

After we left Junibacken, in the rain again of course we needed to find food Stat. Drew wanted more hot dogs from the hot dog stand, and the kids and I grabbed shelter at an outdoor bar that is normally packed in the summer that had awning and ordered Swedish meatballs and cheese sandwiches. It doesn't get much more 'Swedish' that meatballs and cheese sandwiches. 

After lunch we headed next door the Vasa Musem. If you have any boat lovers, this is definitely the place to be. Even if you aren't a boat lover, you should still go, it's pretty amazing. Its an old ship that sank on it's maiden voyage out of the harbor, and then hundreds of years later, (in the 60's I think?) it was brought up, whole and restored. It's so crazy something was under water for so long and in such amazing condition. 

I was hoping Tindra would sleep in there because it's dark in there and, it was her nap time. She was out within minutes of getting in there, so Drew offered to push her around on the first floor (theres 7-8 floors I think?) so he could slowly read all the sings under there and I could take Jasper around to all the different floors since he doesn't have the patience for hrs of sign reading. Understandably so! Jasper and I had a lot of fun exploring the different levels and he loved having a little bit of 'freedom' with mom letting him walk a little ahead at times. 

*All of these pictures are from our iPhones, we did take pictures with my actual camera, and I think that's where my Vasa pictures are. But those are on a different computer so these will have to do for now! 
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Pregnancy must have's: Third time around

Now that I'm about halfway through my third pregnancy (how is that even possible?!) I finally feel prepared enough to write about it. I'm obviously no where near an expert, and some how each pregnancy has been drastically different. I don't know how that is possible either! 

mama mío tummy rub oil; this has been my number one pregnancy must have this pregnancy And last. Mama mio was amazing and sent me a package with this and some other goodies, and I'm definitely making an order soon. It actually smells GOOD and doesn't leave my all greasy. Morning and night this belly gets slathered in this!

mama mio facial wipes; I'm going to need to get another pack of these Stat. I haven't been doing a good job washing my face unless in the shower, especially when I was super sick for over 2 months. The last thing I wanted to do at night was wash my face. BUT after throwing up most nights, I would use one of these and my skin has never felt better. And usually I have horrible skin during pregnancy. Not this time around! I keep them right next to my bed, so there's never an excuse not to use them at night. 

Water. I drink at least 120 oz a day, often more. And yes, I have to pee every 20 minutes. I'm sure this baby is sitting super low so that doesn't help with that situation either. 

A good dry brush. I have this one I bought at whole foods. Forever ago. It's probably time to replace it. It helps my dry itchy skin. I do this in the evenings (when I'm not feeling too lazy) before putting on my mama mio oil. 

Ginger hard candies from Whole Foods. When feeling super nauseous they would help a bit. Not a ton, but often enough to keep my head out of the toilet. Important while driving/ school pick up etc. as it was super impractical to be throwing up during moments like that. 

Long tank tops. From various places. I stick them under any non maternity shirt and make most of my regular shirts work through pregnancy. I hate buying maternity clothes as they are only used for a few months so I stay away from maternity tops for the most part but do wear maternity jeans now and some leggings. 

What are your pregnancy must haves? 
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Friday, October 24, 2014

I've been craving..

Home made bread. But the thing is? I've never made bread by myself. Like ever. Except for banana bread or pumpkin bread, but that doesn't really count. Things that require yeast? Scare me. I don't really do the whole, gotta wait and see if it rises thing.

But when you live 700 miles away from your mamma (who in fact makes Amazing home made bread) whats a girl to do? 

So today, I shall attempt.....home made bread. 

Anyone have any SUPER easy, like fail proof bread recipes? Anyone? My and my belly would be forever grateful!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

4 years.

Almost 10 years ago, this boy in my grade, a good friend of mine, told me he liked me and asked me out on a date. 

A year later, I moved out to Colorado to be near him. 

19 months later, we had a baby. 

Almost 2 years after that, on a tire swing in Northern Sweden, that boy asked me to be his wife. 

And just over a year after that, i front of a few hundred of our closets friends and family, we said I do. 

That was 4 years ago today. 

Since that day we have traveled, had a baby girl, bought and sold our first home, moved 4(!!) times, had a few changes in jobs, and now we are 4.5 months from meeting our baby boy. 

So much has happened in the past 4 years, some of it not so easy. Some of it really really hard. But he's still the one. 

Ben Affleck said it better than I could. "It's good. It's work, but it's the best kind of work, and there's no one I would rather work with" 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Every year, my favorite activity to do with the kiddos is a pumpkin patch. Maybe it's because the first time I ever went to one was when I took Jasper for the first time? (Before you feel sorry for me and think my parents just refused to take me..I grew up in Sweden, where I don't even know if they grow pumpkins? And Halloween isn't something they celebrated till the last couple of years, and it's definitely nothing like here.) 

But whatever the reason is, I'm pretty sure I enjoy it even more than they do. 

Tindra would have been happy to spend all day there, going around expecting each and every pumpkin. Also trying to pick up every single pumpkin. She was definitely the pickiest with her pumpkin choice! 

The pumpkin farm we usually go to also has animals to see and pet, bouncy houses, pumpkin cookies and bread and you can really spend all day there if you wish! I was looking back and old patch pictures, and the thing about Colorado in the fall is you have no idea what the weather is going to be. We left early in the morning and it was chilly, but we got stuck behind some Denver Marathon runners and then behind a train, so by the time we got there it was at least 20 degrees warmer! Welcome to Colorado in the fall! Or really any season. 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Treading water.

That's sort of how I have been feeling since late July when this pregnancy start kicking my ass. 

I feel like I've just been getting by with the bare minimum this pregnancy. 

I'm feeding my kids, but lets be honest, more days than not it's a bagel for breakfast and Annies (at least it's organic?) mac and cheese with a side of green beans and grapes for dinner.

I'm at every one of Jasper's soccer practices and games, and thankfully the games have all been in the mornings so I've been okay for those, but the practices, more often than not instead of paying super strict attention, I've been trying to keep Tindra out of the baseball diamond dirt while dry heaving/throwing up behind the bushes. 

Instead of reading 30 minutes of books to the kids every night, I've often been found on the cool bathroom floor while Drew takes over bed time on the nights he makes it home on time. 

Instead of coming up with the craft for Jasper's school Halloween party and buying and bringing all the supplies like I did last year for Jaspers holiday party, I signed up to bring bananas. I don't even know what the bananas are for, but I signed up and figured bananas were the safest bet. 

Like I said, barely treading water. 

Our dirty laundry pile is to the point it's so daunting, I sort of want to burn it all and wonder who would really notice. Luckily, no one in this family is hurting in the clothing department, so by looking at our full closets you wouldn't even realize I have only been doing laundry when Jasper is about out of socks or we need clean towels. Which how a family of four manages to go through SO many damn towels in a week is beyond me. Especially since only one of us (it's not me. or either kid) showers every single day. 

Needless so to say, this pregnancy is kicking my ass. I keep waiting for that second trimester energy to kick in....any daaaaay now? 

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cozy, rainy Sunday

*This was supposed to post yesterday but apparently it decided not to!*

It doesn't really get much better than that does it? The day starter off perfect w drew taking the kids downstairs to let me sleep a little more. I slept till 8:30!! That hasn't happened in a Long time. It was heaven. Then we were planning on a bike ride to brunch, but it looked like rain so we drove to Jelly, a favorite breakfast spot I have blogged about before. There wasn't a wait to sit outside, and we all had sweaters so even though it was only high 40's we sat outside. Best decision, as it's covered and it started to rain. So cozy. After brunch we drove around looking at some different neighborhoods in the area we might want to buy a house in at some point. Perfect morning! And now tindra is napping, I'm blogging from my phone, jasper is working on his science project and drew is getting everything ready to make his amazing broccoli cheddar soup. My favorite meal he makes. Yep, perfect fall Sunday! Hope yours is just as great!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A little pregnancy update!

In some ways this pregnancy is crawling by, especially when I was feeling like death, but now that school has started (for Jasper, not me) things are starting to fly. And in just a couple of weeks I'll be halfway!

I just had my 17 week appointment and so far everything is looking good! In just over 3 weeks I'll be back for my 20 week ultrasound and we will be confirming hopefully that we have a healthy baby BOY growing in there!

Let's see what else, I had lost a bunch of weight in the first tri, but finally 3 weeks ago I got on some meds to make me stop throwing up every night and it's working! Three weeks and no more throwing up! 

And a little bump date, I did these last time and they are fun to go back and look at. I'm a couple days shy of 17 days but I'm doing it anyway.

How far along: Just about 17 weeks.
Size of Baby: Inbetween an avocado and a bell pepper, about 6 oz
Total Weight Gain:I gained back all the weight I lost in the past three weeks now that I'm no longer sick, plus 2 more, so up two from pre pregnancy. 
Maternity Clothes: I totally busted out the maternity jeans early this time, like three weeks ago because it just feels better. And bigger bras. Tops and leggings are normal, but I'm going to need to buy some maternity leggings soon, I think I'm sitting rather low. Or rather, the baby is. 
Gender: Boy! We will double check in a few weeks but I could tell before the ultrasound tech said anything so I'm definitely thinking boy. Plus, I just knew even before the ultrasound. 
Movement: Some little taps, but not regularly at all. I have felt what I think is him the last few nights, but I can't wait till its more regular and stronger!
Sleep: Decent, I'm pretty much tired all the time though. Apparently I need to up my protein, like triple it. 
What I miss: Until this week I have been missing coffee, it sounded so gross till now, but now I can have a tiny bit! yay! 
Cravings:No strong cravings, mainly just aversions. But carbs are basically the only thing I want right now. And pears. 
Symptoms: Out of breath very often, and dizzy. 
What I’m looking forward to: REAL fall weather. We have been having some chilly mornings but then by mid afternoon it's up to 80's. Over it! I want boots, and scarves and sweaters. All day, not just in the morning and a tank top by afternoon. 

 Just over 16 weeks this time

17 weeks last time. I definitely think I'm sitting bigger and lower this time!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Iceland and the Blue Lagoon

While we were planning our summer vacation to Sweden, we knew we wanted to fit in a stopover in Iceland somehow. We had originally planned for a few days, but then as we we realized everything we wanted to fit into our Sweden stay we realized we didn't have the time. And honestly thought just one day in Iceland would be plenty. Oh were we wrong! After just an hour or two in Iceland we realized this was a place we just have to come back to.

We spent our whole Iceland stopover at the airpot and the Blue Lagoon and it was So worth it! Not only was it nice to break up our trip (7 hr flight from Denver to Reykjavik and then about a 3 hr flight from Reykjavik to Stockholm but the whole experience can only be described as magical.

We flew into Reykjavik at 7 AM (which by the way is midnight, Denver time) so we were all exhausted. That was the only downside to this whole experience. But their airport is small and easy to navigate, and since our luggage was going straight through to Stockholm we didn't have to worry about that and by 7:30 we were waiting in line to get on a bus to take us to the Blue Lagoon. While I waited in line and bought our tickets (which includes your bus far to and from the Blue Lagoon And the whole blue lagoon experience) Drew grabbed some caffeine and Icelandic donuts (incredible) and by 8:30 we were on our way to the Blue Lagoon. The bus ride was short, maybe 15-20 minutes through the prettiest, foggy landscape and then we were there!

They have a big locker room right before you even get in where you can pay a small amount to leave your luggage. I had packed a bag with swims suits and a change of clothes, so we left the rest of our carry on luggage, stroller and carseat and headed in. 

Inside they have these awesome locker rooms as well with these futuristic lockers that you use your wrist band they give you to electronically open and lock your locker. These wrist bands are also how you rent towels, and buy drinks and smoothies at the swim up bar (I know right?) in the lagoon so you don't have to carry cash or a key or anything and just pay on your way out. '

We spent the next three or so hours swimming, lounging, drinking delicious smoothies (and pepsi for me, a beer for Drew which didn't seem weird even though it was 10 AM since technically it was like 2 Am for us and we had yet to go to sleep.) I was worried about how kid friendly it would be, and while I didn't see many kids there, they had floaties for all kids (actually they were required which annoyed Jasper) and the kids had a blast as well. Even going on three hrs of sleep. 

They even have big buckets you can find in certain areas of the lagoon that have some sort of volcanic mud that you are supposed to coat your body/face with. We did, several times and it felt amazing. Pretty sure every piece of dead/dry skin was soaked off and my skin had never felt better. My hair on the other hand? Was pretty gross for the next several days. When showering before getting in (which they are Very strict about) apparently there were signs saying to put the conditioner they have there for you in your hair and leaving it in before going in the Lagoon. I missed these signs. And paid the price. 

After we were done in the Lagoon and showered (so grateful they had nice hot showers and actually really good shampoo and conditioner to use) we went an had lunch in the cafeteria. We shared a couple of different sandwiches that were actually really good, and I discovered a chocolate bar with liquid mint in the middle that was Incredible. I had no idea what I was buying, but yep, worth that risk! 

We ended up back at the airport with like 3 hrs to spare, just because I was nervous about the whole 'be at the airport two hrs before when it's an international flight' deal. But I don't think that rule applies for Reykjavik and their tiny airpot because we made it through security in 10 minutes (with a sleeping toddler strapped to my chest- which they did Not make me wake up, take her off of me.) Tindra was so exhausted at this point she even let me put her in her car seat, strap her in and then bungee cord her car seat to the stroller without opening an eye. She spent almost the whole time at the airport asleep. 

When she woke up Drew stayed with our bags and I took the kids down to a little play area they have and we grabbed a snack and played before loading our flight to Stockholm. Easiest air port experience I have ever had with both kids! And it was the same on our way back. I will always choose to fly through Iceland when going to Europe from now on if I have the choice!

If you want to read more about Iceland, make sure you check out Lauren's itinerary, her pictures will help convince you that Iceland Needs to be on your list. 

*All pictures are taken with Drew's iPhone, by either Drew or I. 

*These pictures clearly show my resting bitch face. A look I perfected as an infant. Also, keep in mind at this point I had been awake for 24+ hrs. And the weather was Really weird. I left my sunglasses in my locker because it was cloudy and misty, but then randomly it would get Really bright out, to the point I could barely see. And then it would rain again,and back and forth. Like I said, it was quite magical. Being in that hot water, with rain coming down, is something I'll never forget. And it was super cozy to hide under the bridges during some of the rain spurts. 
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