Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Just a few pictures and movies from today!

Best wishes:

First and last picture taken of the gift opening. Alba screamed like Maria had cut her when the picture was taken.
At the park later in the day. Notice how Alba is pulling the flesh from my bones, a sign of extreme fatigue. That happens when you get up at 5:30 in the morning after having gone to bed an hour and half later than usual.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


We have been sick - again. So, we stayed inside all weekend. Today we made gingerbread cookies.

Also, snuggles on the couch while snacking on peas.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Crafts by a Swede

Kids have been sick, so we had to stay quaranteened today. Tried making some Thanksgiving crafts. No idea what I'm doing, but they enjoyed it. Especially after I threw in some spaceships for good measure. We also went to a nearby park for a couple of hours to get some fresh air. It's getting a bit chillier finally, about 2 Celsius (36 F) today.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Inara vs. the gastropods

Maria has grown weary of her adoring public, all seven of you, so there has been a long time since there has been a post. I have decided to remedy this. She complains of time and not enough sleep but we all know this to be code that she doesn't like you.

In anycase I will present you something that has recently recaptured Inara's imagination:

Grapevinesnail 01.jpg
The snail. No, not this snail in particular. Who even knows where this snail is from. Seriously.

Her primary fascination lies with the garden snail and the park snail (I'm translating from a Swedish identification book so if the names don't jive you can just deal with it). The park snails are about .75 inches in circumference and the garden a bit smaller. Inara will go out and collect literally every snail she can find. People that live in Idaho won't have an understanding for how many this can be, but it is well over 100 snails.

Alba's fascination lies with not really touching the snails but wanting to be a part of what Inara is so excited about. She has become a snail spotter. She will stand and scream "dar dar" at the snails until either Inara or I pick them up.

Maria's fascination lies with having nothing to do with snail/slugs/worms. She is conflicted and tries to pretend she wants to help. Maria is terrible help since she refuses to pick up or even properly guard the snail bucket(s). When the snails make a break for it she will just stand there and scream "dar dar" until Inara and I come and hussle the snails back into the bucket. Inara gave Maria a handful of flowers to hold that she'd mixed in a snail, because you see the flowers were for the snail to eat. Maria's response was predicable and the poor snail got more air time than any snail deserves.

At this point every snail has been collected a few dozen times an then released. And by released I mean dumped in a pile on the playground and forces to 'race' to the bush. I can honestly say it is about the slowest race I've seen. It is nearly as boring as Nascar or golf. Its almost like they don't even know they are racing.

The prize is generally a handful of grass dumped on them, so I can't see why that wouldn't motivate them. Most do eventually finish unaided however.

Oh interesting fact, slugs always crawl with the wind because it helps them dry out slower. Keep that one handy for Jeopardy.

Anyhow. I leave with you with these images and video.

Notice the 'winner' nearing the finish line. This snail was rewarded with a handful of rotting leaves.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Alba Bobalba

A year and a half has aleady gone by since Alba joined us. As you probably figured out already, Alba is a very determined little person with strong emotions flowing all over the place most of the time. When she's angry, she's furious and when she's happy, she's elated. Although her unhappy self (which frequently involves throwing oneself on the ground  isn't always fun, we really enjoy the excitement and joy she brings to our family.

Perhaps a bit contradictory, she's still quite shy around strangers and it takes a long time for her to warm up to people. She is also nicknamed "friend of order" because she finds it down right unaccaptable when things are messy. She always puts her shoes away and often Inara's after watching (disaprovingly) how she sort of throws them up on the shelf haphazardly and is generally very interested in putting things away and cleaning up. She frequently monitors things like wiping the table clean and is happy to point out missed spots. If she sees that something is done in one way, that's the way it should be. If she's seen you dice potatoes, potatoes are to always be diced when cooked. End of story. 

Alba doesn't speak much, but understands a lot of complexity. Her vocabulary right now consists of: Mamma, pappa, Inara, look, there, not, teddy, apple, sit, bye, gone, doggie (said enthusiastically about any animal) and various animal sounds. Her limited speech makes for some intense guessing games where we try to figure out what she wants while she looks at us like we're idiots before loosing it in a fit of rage. 

Alba loves Inara and says her name a lot ("Inawa"). They play quite a bit together and there are a lot of hugs and kisses going around most of the time. If they're tired and cranky, there is more fighting, but rarely anything serious. Alba has a policy of doing what people want if you ask her nicely (who is raising who?), but if you yell or are rude in general she won't budge even an inch. Inara has learned this and it's really cute to watch. 

Alba loves dolls and stuffed toys, which is a huge difference from Inara who only recently showed a remote interest in stuffed toys. She will snuggle almost anything and her favorite comfort is to sit on your lap and pick at the skin and nails on your hands. She runs around a lot and loves to climb everything. Other favorite activities are pussles and books.She likes music and dancing and knows the hand-movements to several kid's songs.

She's doing well at daycare and everything looked good at her 1,5-year check-up. She's a litle short and a little light for her age, but nothing to worry about.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gotta try them all

We were sorting laundry and Alba decided to help us. Her form of help meant mixing the piles as best she could, but this time she also decided to put Inara's underwear on. All of them. Note that most of the pairs she managed to get on herself, using only one of the leg holes at that!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sister Help

Brushing big sister's hair:

This used to be one of their favorite activities. Not sure if you can hear their laughing over the wonderful sound of metal being dragged across tile.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Questions before falling asleep last night:

- Why do you get married (follwed by "I want to marry you")?
- How do you get married?
- What keeps your bellybutton in?
- Who am I going to get married to?
- Why do some people not have rings?
- Can I have a ring even if I don't get married?
- Is your tongue the floor of your mouth?
- Can I wear a crown when I get married (after deciding she probably was going to get married)?

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Inara drew this a couple of weeks ago and I love it! You recognize us, right?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Bit of This and That

Someone - I won't say who (grandma Kartchner) is implying that the blog doesn't get updated enough, so here are a bunch of pictures from Andrew's phone. I think they're from october to now. Enjoy!

Sleepy face

Andrew at the Alcazar, Seville

Making monkey bread

Making snowmen out of frozen snow

Alba has a compost bin on her head...

Riding her horse

Hugging and forcefeeding biggie a toy

Watching TV

Sad morning face (photography by Inara)

Snowman family portrait

New Year's Eve fun

Making a sandfort on the beach

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