Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dreaming of Christmas

Andrew has been at a conference in Spain for four days and I kinda felt like super woman pulling everything together while he was gone until I realized that this is just life for a ton people. So, hats off to all the single moms and dads out there! 

I didn't write a green tip last time, but I think that this one deserves it's own post. 

Green tip #3: Buy less stuff. 

Christmas is rapidly approaching and most people in this part of the world are already trying to decide what Christmas presents to buy this year. We're not only bombarded by adds and commercials telling us what we should buy to show people we truly love them, we also have a hard-to-break habit of spending lots of dough on Christmas gifts. 

It's not easy to step back, take a breath and remember that companies couldn't give a flying jingle bell about our love for each other and deep down we already know that mindless consumption is not the way to show someone you care. Businesses want to make money. And more often than not, they rake in the cash by selling non-essential, poorly manufactured goods produced by the sweat and tears of severely underpaid workers in third world countries. To top it off, they are probably toxic to our health and detrimental to the sustainability of our planet. 

Let's be honest, I'm tempted by cheap garbage just as much as the next gal, but this Christmas, I would like to urge you to do what I'm intending to do. My goal is to only give non-material gifts, unless it's something eatable (or a solid-state hard drive, I guess). For example, Inara is getting tickets to a newly opened play-land that we haven't taken her to yet, my mom is getting a subscription to and several of our friends will get homemade cider or beer. I'm not saying kids can't have toys, but I do think one or two new ones is enough. In our case, I'm convinced they'll get that and more from other people. Another idea (great if you're short on cash) is to give of your time. Offer to watch someone's kids, shovel their drive-way or drop off a home-cooked meal for dinner one evening. All things I would enjoy receiving!

I would love to hear what you guys are getting people this year! Also, I'm up for some sort of support group to stop myself from buying a bunch of needless stuff at the after-Christmas sales...   

Alba had the pukes yesterday morning so we stayed home to see how it would develop. Both girls seemed fine, so we went outside to play:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

That Mom

You know that mom or dad who is always making a fuss about everything at your kid's school? Well, that mom is me and I love it. All I can ask myself is why I haven't been more difficult in the past.So, if you're not already doing it - go out there and make some people roll their eyes!

The other day, Inara fell asleep on the bike on our way home from a concert. Like a good sister, Alba made sure she was ok.

Gently poking her with her foot while continuing to eat her sandwich.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What You Do...

...When you don't have a sandbox in the yard:

...When the weather is nice and there are lingon berries to be picked:

 ...When you got a new toy with wheels:

...When mom and dad forget to water those poor plants:

...When you've had to take your summer garden out of commission:

...When you miss daddy while he's at work:

Green tip #2: Don't use fabric softener. Basically, what you do is you get your clothes nice and clean, then you doze them with chemicals and perfume that aren't good for you or the environment. I haven't used it all my adult life. When I was younger it was  a question of saving money, but later I couldn't stand the smell.  If you still want your laundry to smell peachy, I do know of people who use essential oils instead, but haven't tried it myself.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A T-Rex and a Dragon

This Halloween, we were invited to a friend's house for food and trick or treating. The latter is starting to catch on in Sweden, but isn't that common yet. However, our friend had set up a route where the neighbors had been notified ahead of time and given treats to give out to the kids. We had a ton of kids and parents, so it got a little crazy, but turned out great.

Inara had requested to be a T-Rex, so I did what I could with what I had at home (if you're pondering T-Rex's resemblance to David Bowie in his glam-days, it's because Inara picked the fabric) and limited time after work the night before. Fortunately, she's three and still thinks most things are awesome.
We had a hard time getting a good picture of her, but maybe you get the idea:

Inara wanted Alba to be a triceratops, but since time was short, she got to be a dragon:

We're hoping that we trained the neighbors this year and that next year we don't even need to prep them. 

As you might already know, I started working in October, so between that, sick kids and everything else, I don't have much time to post. I'm going to try to get better though. Working has been fine. Both Andrew and I have chosen to work only four days a week for now. That way, the girls only have to be in preschool three days a week, which feels like a good number of hours. I think I could keep working only four days (or less) for the foreseeable future. It feels a lot more humane somehow. 

It's probably not news for most of you that I'm interested in environmental issues and lately I've been more involved in making our own lives and the community more sustainable. I'm not saying that I'm perfect by a long shot, but I do truly believe that even the little things can make a difference if we all come together.  So, I was thinking that I would start adding a little sustainability tip at the end of every post. Hopefully, those of you who read can add on and also suggest tips for future posts.

Green tip #1: Minimize your use of fleece fabrics. I just recently learned this. Apparently, when you wash your fleece clothes, tiny plastic particles are released into the water causing all kinds of damage to the wildlife and ultimately making their way back into our drinking water. I will keep the fleece I currently own, but will avoid buying any new products. 

Hope you all had an awesome Halloween!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Going for a ride...

Inara has figured out her kick bike just in time for winter. Maybe next year right? At least we were able to film an obscenely long video of it. Enjoy: