Monday, December 30, 2013


Andrew has been has been off work for the holidays and doesn't go back until the 2nd and we've had a really nice, cozy couple of weeks. One of the best parts has been taking turns sleeping in in the morning. With a little more sleep under our belts having two kids is starting to seem quite manageable (but I guess I'll get back to you when it's just me versus the two of them again). 

Inara has finally recovered from her jet lag and has seemingly snapped out of the most terrible of her terrible twos. Now, she's actually really pleasant to be around and we could not have hoped for a better big sister for Alba. She hugs her, kisses her and talks to her. She shows her her toys and invites her into her room with her. She reads her books and is always concerned with where she's at. Her firsts words when waking up in the morning are frequently "where is Alba?" It's only on occasion that she objects to Alba looking at her things or being held by us. When there is something she doesn't want Alba to have, she takes it, hides it in her room and shuts the door. Alba is oblivious to her efforts (for now). Inara has also picked up saying sorry as soon as she as much as brushes by you. She even apologizes when we should be the ones apologizing. Overall, she is a lot of fun right now. 

Alba is growing. Fast. She's 14 weeks and tonight she is wearing a Christmas pajamas Inara wore for her first Christmas (when she was six months) and it's snug. She's more than two pounds heavier than Inara was at this age and most people guess that she's four or five months. I guess she just wants to keep up with big sister. She's a very happy baby when she's at home, cooing and smiling, but hates going to unfamiliar places and doesn't like people much. In other words, complete opposite of Inara as a baby. She's able to roll over and can play with a toy while on her belly (although she prefers just rolling over as soon as possible) and sits with a little bit of support. Here she is:


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas eve at my mom's house with my mom, dad and one of my cousins.

Watching Donald Duck - A Swedish Christmas tradition (only this once has Inara been allowed to watch that horrible duck).

Creepy Santa. We spotted him walking with a lit lantern at the farthest end of my mom's property and called for Inara to look. Wide-eyed and pressed against my legs, she allowed him to come inside. As he started pulling present out of his bag, she noted that he didn't look so well, theorizing about his old age.

She repeated several times: "Santa looks a little unwell."

She probably figured she better start opening her gifts before Santa keeled over. When Santa had left and Andrew came back, he asked her why she had not went upstairs to get him when Santa was there. She got a bewildered look on her face, as if she hadn't thought of that, until Andrew said it was ok and that he would see him next year. Then she said: "He looked unwell, but he was very nice. He said "ho, ho, ho."" She was disappointed in the lack of reindeer and concerned about Santa's health, but had no questions in regards to Santa's legitimacy.

Alba's first Christmas present. The wrapping paper was awesome.

Cajsa and Alba

Grandma showing Inara how to use her new stick horse (which grandma made herself).

Christmas dinner.

Alba's opinion of Christmas dinner.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jingle Bells

The fact that this had been going on for about ten minutes when I decided to start the camera might have had something to do with Andrew's expression:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

And after a long pause...

Another post.

We have not been good about posting since we got back. Both Inara and Alba were jet lagged and they tag-teamed Maria with staying up at night. A few nights ago they actually took turns crying. Alba would stop when Inara started and wait until she needed to take a breath. Constant screaming. It would have been funny if it hadn't been so awful.

My grandfather passed away shortly after we got back and that was a massive drag on any desire I had to post anything.

Anyways time moves on and both the girls are getting back into the groove. Maria still isn't though.

Anyways Maria wants to do a 'Merica post so I'll leave that to her and focus on the Christmas build up.

Inara has specified that all gifts delivered from Santa are hers. All of them. Even those delivered to other houses. She was quite sure of this. We got her grandmother a gift and she asked who it was for. I explained and she said that was wrong. It was hers as it would be given on Christmas. I said that wouldn't work and grandma would be sad. She pondered that and relented. Grandma could keep the gift but SHE would open it. Completely reasonable.

Alba seems to be a pagan as she has shown no interest in the Christmas spirit.

Here are a few pictures of the Christmas build up in our house.

Inara got this from Maria's cousin. She seems to like it. I guess?

This is the gingerbread house that Casja built. RIP. 12/21/13 - 12/22/13

Inara was much more interested in the cookies and putting candy on them. The house was okay though. RIP most of the pictured cookies.

Alba starting bike lessons. She seems to have real ability! Look at that look in her eyes. She is focused. She may also have been pooping.

Definitely pooping here.

Who is that handsome man behind you Alba?
They both wanted to be carried. We'll see how long they allow the other one to be carried at the same time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back Home

We've been back home for a little over a week and the jet lag is starting to ease up. As you can imagine, the first few days were a bit of a struggle for Inara. Fortunately, she went back to preschool right away. Because really, I can't think of anything nicer to hand over to someone else than a jet lagged two-year old. Anyways, I will post pictures from our U.S. trip shortly. Until then, some Alba:

Friday, November 8, 2013


I've been meaning to post this ever since I saw it on Lady Dahmer's blog.  This is the edited version, but maybe still not something young children should watch.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rolling Over

This evening, we put Alba on a blanket for some belly time and she not only held her head up better than ever before, she rolled over for the first time!

Made her super mad though.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Big and Small

The big one:

I'm thinking I will get this look a lot in about 12 years...
She's a traffic cop with a whistle. In case you were wondering.
 The little one:

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Assorted pictures from the last few weeks:

We find Inara and Alba like this a lot. They are most likely hatching some devious plan against their poor parents.

After her bath. Check out the hair!

Things have improved significantly in the Nitz-Barney household since I last wrote. Inara is much happier and tantrums are now at an acceptable level. She still loves her little sister and still takes her frustrations out on her parents when needed. 

There are so many things to write about, but not enough time. 

Alba has started smiling, is above the curve both for weight and length (she's wearing 3-month clothes now) and is generally a pretty happy baby. 

Inara says the funniest things nowadays and we especially enjoy her long, nonsensical stories that are part real and part fantasy (mostly the latter). She started being afraid of the dark about a month ago and now has to have the light on when she sleeps or she wakes up and has terrible night-terrors. She's especially concerned with monsters after watching a very mild cartoon about a monster (I feel kinda bad about that one, but in my defense that show has never been scary before). She also started dance classes and absolutely loves it. She's by far the wildest, but has a great time. Unfortunately, she has went from being a fish in the water to hating the pool, so no more swimming lessons for now. She knows how to recite the numbers up to 15 and sometimes 20, can count to about 5 and recognizes a couple of numbers and letters. She is very interested in knowing what things say and asks us to read signs and labels to her. She is also very excited about the trip to the U.S. and talks a lot about going on an airplane and seeing everybody over there.

That's all I have time to write for now, so Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Inara wanted to be a cow for her preschool's Halloween masquerade, so I threw an outfit together. She loved it and was so excited to go show it off this morning.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Catching Up

Alba is rushing to catch up with her big sister. She's already wearing clothes Inara wore at two or three months and she's doing pretty well holding her head up. She had already been looking around for a little while when Andrew got  the camera going, so her neck was getting tired, but here she is:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

You Best Not Be Looking At My Sister

I apologize for the lack of updates lately. Things have been kinda rough since Andrew went back to work last week. And I just want to say, to those of you out there who have just the one kid, but are thinking of having another and are perhaps saying to yourselves: "We already have one, so another one shouldn't add that much more work" - think again. It adds a ton of work. At least if you have a two-year old who is going through a very angry, needy and contrary phase.

I realize that her behavior right now is normal considering all the changes going on in her life, but it doesn't make her tantrums any easier to deal with. Especially not while trying to take care of a three-week old baby. I'm really thankful to be able to leave her at preschool (to save my sanity) for a few hours, but also feel guilty about doing so.

In the meantime, Alba is just as good of a baby as Inara was. She sleeps well at night and rarely cries. At least we are very fortunate in that regard. Unfortunately, poor Inara feels that she needs to get up with me to feed Alba in the night and alternates between sobbing by my side at the crib, snuggling next to me silently and screaming on top of her lungs. Makes for some long nights.

Inara still likes her little sister a lot and is very protective of her. So much in fact, that no one is allowed to even look at her (except her best friend at preschool). Yesterday at preschool, she wanted Alba to come inside, but completely broke down when one of the teachers wanted to look at her. I guess she continued being furious for about an hour after 

I know that things will get better and that they will really enjoy having each other as they get older, it's just a matter of making it through the day right now. So, I hope you understand if we're not super good about updates and staying in touch.

Also, isn't it funny how you can be so fed up with your kid after a day of fighting and all it takes for you to think they are the sweetest ever is one kiss or a hug at the end of the night? Weird how that works.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Big Girl

My big little girl.

Looking Around

A few days ago:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Two Weeks

Alba says that if Inara isn't going to eat her dinner, she will:

Enjoying the sun:

Happy, but staying home with a cold:

All she needs is a beard and she'll look just like her dad:


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sister, sister

Just a quick update on what Inara thinks of her little sister.

So far, she's been extremely nice to her and seems to like her. On our way home from the hospital, I told her that maybe she can come to preschool some day, so she can show her to her friends. Her response was: "No, she's my little sister and nobody else can have her." When we were walking to preschool the next day, she brought this up again, saying that nobody is allowed to take the baby away. I assured her that the baby is ours and that nobody can take her from us. She's been very gentle with her, mostly just patting her legs and head and giving her the pacifier. Several times, she's said: "She is so nice." and a couple of times we've peeked into the room finding Inara just watching Alba sleep ( I guess this could also be creepy, but it seemed nice).

So, so far so good. It also helps that Alba is a very easy baby who is happy as long as someone holds her for a few hours every day, feeds her and changes her many, many dirty diapers. 

Just home from the hospital.

Since it's important that the bilirubin is flushed out of her body, we're still supplementing a little bit with formula.
Showing her room.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alba Rose

Let us present: Alba Rose!

Yes, she finally has a name.

We are, however, considering the possibility that the hospital exchanged her for a small terrier. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

And another

So they didn't come home today. The doctor came in and said that if the test tomorrow morning is good they may get to come home on Monday. Part of his reasoning was that Maria may forget to feed the baby otherwise. Pretty offensive reasoning, really. Ya, I can totally see Maria saying forget you baby I'm getting myself another bag of chips. We've decided if the test is good tomorrow morning we'll be checking ourselves out. There is no reason for her to sit there a day doing nothing.

In brighter news, UNNAMED BABY had her feeding tube removed. This was in part to due an event that Maria will explain when she gets back.

Below is a movie of UNNAMED BABY, enjoy:

Also it has come to my attention that some people thought my recommendation that people be better guessers in the future meant that they would have a chance to guess again about my potential future children. This is incorrect. What was meant is that people should become better guessers, because seriously you can do better than you did. Unless you received the email notifying you of your win. In which case, good job!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another day at the hospital

Update: UNNAMED BABY was 'born in caul' meaning that she was born with a part of the amniotic sac attached. In her cause it was the whole dang thing (popped right after she came out). The Swedes call it Victory Cap (their name is much better). This supposedly means she is destined for fame and fortune or what not.

Well UNNAMED BABY and Maria didn't come home today. UNNAMED BABY's blood tests came back high for bilirubin again and they had to put her back under the lights. The outward signs of high bilirubin, which I failed to describe earlier, are sluggishness, lack of appetite and a general skin tone resembling that of John Boehner (or Snooki). John should probably get tested.

Anyways here are some pictures.

She was pretty lethargic when we where there but still managed the strength to fill her diaper.

Woo. Fun.

Point at the glowing baby.
Inara was still unimpressed with UNNAMED BABY and was very clingy on Maria.

Oh other item of note, Inara is very interested in milking things. Like anything. I've seen her 'milk' trees, wooden horses, benches and snails. You'd think she'd have no bounds based on that but there WAS a limit for her interest and that is when they hooked mom up to the old milker. That was completely unacceptable and resulted in her screaming and hiding. Double standard much?

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inara vs the NEW BABY (PG for mild bloody bits)

Hello everyone.

Some of you probably don't know but Maria gave birth to a little girl (4245 grams/9lb 5 oz) on Monday at 7:38 pm GMT +1. We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and she was out fast. So fast the midwife was caught off guard. Good stuff. The water didn't break until JUST as the baby was pushed out. In fact the bag of waters was largely intact when they tossed it. I would have probably liked to keep it with the placenta but that didn't seem to be an option. Who knows what that liquid could have been used for? Something medicy I'm sure.

Done in under and hour.

Still not happy about it.
Language lesson time. In Sweden they call the placenta a moderkaka. Directly translated this means mother cake. Look at the picture below. Does that look like a cake to you? Perhaps a meat pie from Sweeney Todd, but not a cake.

Not a cake. Yet.

Oh warning the above picture may be strong for young viewers. Not really though, I've seen what they have on TV in the States and this ain't nothing. I swear I won't let grandma's dog eat some of this one. Probably.

You may have noticed that I keep referring to the baby as the baby. This is because the baby has not been officially named. I unofficially named her UNNAMED BABY yesterday but there is some resistance to this name. Not from UNNAMED BABY.

Update: Was told to stop lobbying for my name choice or else. Every where name choice was used it has been very artfully replaced. You likely won't even notice. If you have already seen the name that shall not be named, forget it. For now.

About 12 hours after UNNAMED BABY was born we pointed out that she was jaundiced to a nurse and explained that her sister had a similar condition. They said that was normal and not to worry. 9 hours after that they took her blood 'cus she looked jaundiced. At which point I'd like to interject no friggin crap. 3 hours later they ran in and setup a UV light, exactly like what had happened to Inara. This condition, explained simply, is because Maria has inferior O+ blood that is jealous of blood that contains N acetyl-galactosamine and/or an extra galatose protein. In this case UNNAMED BABY has N acetyl-galactosamine (for Inara it was cus she had an extra galatose).

UNNAMED BABY prior to the needling and feeding tube. She looks pretty dang chill here (in the I wouldn't want to meet that in a dark alley kinda way).

 They decided it was pretty serious and took her down to a special room where she could be under two special lights. They also decided she needed and IV. Three separate people preceded to break every vein in UNNAMED BABY's hand, arm, leg and feet. As you can imagine there is nothing more heart warming than watching three old ladies dig at your daughter with a needle for 45 minutes. They gave up, took some blood from one many open holes they'd made and called it a night. No, wait they didn't, they then decided that UNNAMED BABY needed to eat. She was understandably a little upset by the nearly hour long stab fest and refused to take the scoop feeding that is preferred in Sweden so the nurses ran a tub down her nose and throat into her stomach. Again this was a touching sight with all the gagging and force feeding of formula. They topped it off by wrapping her head in gauze to protect them from the UV lights. As you can see (above) this is awesome!

These eyes have known pain. Revenge is likely being the form of horrible, horrible blow out diapers.
The next morning they decided to give the IV another go and burst a few more veins before calling it and just stabbing her in her heels to take the blood. After enjoying that I went home to help Inara who was refusing to go to daycare. Late that evening apparently the bilirubin levels (the trouble maker) had dropped, but not enough. This morning the levels were good enough for her to be removed from the lights but not enough to go home. I'm actually waiting on word from Maria on how that test went to see if they can come home because I had to go home to take care of Inara.

Update: She is coming home.

Another item of minor note is that there seems to be some hostility between the childcare ward and the birthing ward of the hospital. This displayed itself when they talked about letting UNNAMED BABY stay up in the birthing ward but that she is still being fed through her nose tube a bit. The boss nurse of the birthing ward (who just showed up today) said to the childcare ward they wouldn't help with this because, "The children here are healthy. If she needs to be taken care of you will have to send a nurse." When I left there was currently one baby staying in the birthing ward, UNNAMED BABY. There were  no less than 6 nurses sitting in the birthing break room while the childcare ward was over capacity. I guess you gots to protect your turf, infants be damned.

UPDATE: They REALLY dislike each other. They are all nice to us but they REALLY dislike each other.

Another interesting thing was that the Swedes are rabidly free feed advocates. This means letting the baby feed whenever it wants. We are not free feeders. Baby has gots to work for their food. Anyways, this means they are by extension anti-pacifier. When the boss nurse (from above) noticed we had a pacifier she expressed her displeasure, made worse by the fact that the folks in childcare ward (seemingly her sworn enemies) had even given us one. Maria mentioned this to the childcare nurse in passing during a checkup (which happens every three hours) the nurse agreed that pacifiers were bad and took OUR pacifier from OUR daughter. Not even the one they'd given us. I was displeased when I found out but Maria had already corrected it, or so she said. We will see if Maria gets back what is UNNAMED BABY's. Totally got it back.

You may be wondering where the name of the post comes in. Well Inara and the baby did meet very briefly. The most interesting thing from that meeting for Inara was the feeding tube and that the baby had pooped and I got some of that poop on my arm. Which was sticky and green black. A more accurate description of the meeting would have been the interlude to looking at the fish in the aquarium again, cus little sisters, meh and fish are amazing. They seriously are, look on Youtube.