She was so happy to that she could eat the props during our little photoshoot, haha
Babies in costumes is just the cutest. Lily is growing up fast, she’s a toddler already but she is a small toddler so she can still wear the baby costumes. We got one more chance of baby Halloween so of course I got a few outfits for her this year as well:) She’s just too cute and I know I will love to look back at all these pictures of her and hopefully she will too. I wanted the cute baby photoshoots when she was a newborn but not only was it still a pandemic so I didn’t find many photographers that could offer an environment that I wanted (safe, at a distance and still cute and calm) and we were in the middle of moving so I couldn’t do much on my own at home, she also started to roll over when she was 7 weeks old and was moving all over the place plus she rarely napped and if she did there was just no way she would stay asleep if I moved her haha. So I missed out on those newborn photoshoots (just like I missed out on 85% of everything else I envisioned for my pregnancy and newborn days since it was during a pandemic,…but that’s for a different story time). So whenever I get a chance to add to her photo albums, I will
Lily doesn’t like to take photos, most kids don’t haha, she rather runs around, climbs on her blocks or she wants to “leka” (which means ‘play’ in Swedish and is a word she tells me many times during the day) with her toys. So the fact that I got her to cooperate during this avocado shoot is amazing:) She did great. And to be able to eat the props definitely helped 😀
Hi! We have been back in America for few weeks already but I have not had the time to update here. Somehow I have a million things to do around the house and we are planning the landscaping in our backyard (cause our pool was finally finished while we were in Sweden, yay!). Plus Lily is going through some normal toddler things. She was without her dad for four weeks so now she doesn’t always want to let go of either of us especially at bedtime, plus she is teething, possibly going through a growth spurt and on top of this we are supposed to go from two naps down to one per day. It’s also really hot and humid outside so we don’t spend nearly as much time outside during the day like we did in Sweden. We have also been dealing with a sick puppy. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do to help him as long as he stays hydrated which he has been, but it’s tough for all of us of course (this happened a few months ago as well and we took him to the ER. Long story short, he is ok as long as he drinks water)
Reading through what I just wrote down below I realize that our trip doesn’t sound that joyful, but believe me it was. I am very happy that Lily could spend time with my side of the family, that I got to spend time with my niece and get to know her more and that we could spend time in nature. We probably only did 10% of everything on my Swedish wish list if even that but oh well. Traveling alone with Lily was a great experience but also very very challenging.
Lily and I spent five weeks in Sweden. All I wanted with this trip was to play with Lily and show her my country and what Sweden during summer is and whenever possible go see family and friends or go out to fika or swim in the ocean. It seemed easier in my mind than it was. Lily is a pretty easy going kid but she is also trying to figure out life just like the rest of us and my job is to be there every step of the way regardless of where we are in the world. Even if I got tons of help from my dear family, at the end of the day I was still her mom, her only parent and the one she trusts the most and feel comfort with.
During our first week we stayed pretty busy but also tried to adjust to the time difference. We were a little sick as well but still tried to spend time with my sister and niece whenever we could. In my other post I told you about that we went to feed the ducks and stuff which was fun. Lily didn’t have many naps but our bedtime routine still took less than 20 minutes and she slept through the night most nights. But then I guess she figured out that it is still bright and sunny outside during this time at night (sunset was around 10 pm) plus one neighbor was having a pool party pretty much every single night (I wish I was kidding when I say it was party time from 11am to about 11pm), and another neighbors kids liked to jump (and scream) on their trampoline all night til past 10pm, so Lily didn’t want to sleep of course. It didn’t matter how tired she was or if we had an early or late dinner or if I tried to put her to bed early or late at night, it took about 2.5 hours to put her to sleep almost every night and she would wake up before 5am. I was exhausted! And so was she, so I had to start focusing on putting her down for naps which was a challenge. Sometimes I had to go for a walk for over an hour in the forest so that she would maybe maybe sleep for half an hour.
On our second week there I decided to go through some of my damn boxes again and get rid of whatever I don’t want. I do this every time I go there and somehow I still have tons of stuff, cause every time I moved I just threw things in boxes and left it at my parents house and said “I’ll deal with this later“, and I’ve moved a lot so you can imagine how many boxes I had. Well… I thought I could imagine how many boxes it actually was but then my mom just kept finding more and more. I was so frustrated that I wanted to pull my hair out. And everything was in cardboard boxes and do you know who likes cardboard? Silver fish, which my parents house have a lot of. So I couldn’t go through some boxes and leave the rest for next time like I always do, no, I had to go through them All and put what I’m keeping in new plastic boxes. For more than two weeks, I pretty much took every waken minute I had when I wasn’t putting my daughter to sleep or prepping her food to sort this all out. Instead of showing my daughter Sweden and taking her places to explore, I ended up spending far too much time with my old crap. I threw away and donated an incredible amount of stuff which felt really good and I was really proud of myself, and the things I kept (that will be shipped over to America once we have our forever home) got organized, labeled and easy to find. And at the end I still wanted to cry about how many, now plastic, boxes of crap I still have to store at my dear parents house. Gaaahh! Let’s just say that I hate stuff and I have now started to throw away things in our house as well. And I keep saying that Lily shouldn’t get more things but since we have come back we have bought and been gifted tons of new things plus I brought some of my old toys and also bought her new ones when in Sweden. My brain is about to explode.
Ok, it sounds like we had bad time, but of course we had great unforgettable moments. When I wasn’t dealing with my stupid boxes, my mom (who had a few weeks of vacation from work), Lily and I spent our time in their backyard. You could tell that L loved it. She was watering plants, played with rocks, ate berries directly from the bushes, played soccer (she is seriously good! She is a thousand times better than I am now hahah), she picked apples, played in the little pool, ran around the sprinklers and had plenty of “fika”. She was having the best time!♥
The main reason why we traveled to Sweden was of course to introduce Lily to her family and relatives. And we did see some people on our trip. My grandpa came over for fika outside one afternoon, my aunt with family also came over one day which was very nice, we drove down south to have lunch with my grandpas sister, we spent time with my niece, my sister, John and his two boys and one day when Jim was in Sweden Johns mom and partner came over for dinner. Most of my friends live in or near Stockholm but going there was too big of a project to even consider, so I didn’t see any them. But I did go to my 9th grade class reunion. I didn’t know what to do with Lily, she wasn’t comfortable enough to be left with my parents alone plus it was too much to ask them to put her to sleep, so my sweet mom came with me and went for a three hour walk with L in the stroller. It was so nice to see my old classmates, I’m happy that I could join. Not many came though which I think is pretty shitty to be honest. We were about 30 people in my class and we were only 10 who showed up to the reunion (and the invitation was sent out a year before the pandemic so I expected more to come).
And then our trip got closer to the end…and that end was not a particularly fun one unfortunately. Jim came over to Sweden for the final week. We had waited to do some things and to see some people until he came cause he wanted to be a part of it, but we got sick.
We did get two full days of vacation together when Jim arrived which was lovely. I’m sure he was jetlagged but the weather apps said it was gonna rain for the rest of our time there so we did as much as possible these first two days. On the first day while we waited on J’s lost luggage (it arrived two days later) we walked into the city and saw all the new changes, spent too much time at the bank dealing with some stupid things, had fika at a bakery, went to the park with all the farm animals where they also have a huge new playground. On our second day, even if Lily had barely slept that night, we walked to the beach (Lily’s and my first and only beach time believe it or not) and then back to my parents where we babysat my niece for the day. When both babies had finally fallen asleep we sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful typical Swedish evening with my parents. The third day was when we had dinner with Johns mom etc. Jim looked like crap and didn’t say much all day and at night the fever kicked in. Since L and I had got the sniffles as well when we arrived I didn’t think much of it. But, we had plans to go see my grandma in a few days and to bring a feverish sniffy Jim didn’t seem like a great idea. So we decided that my dad, Lily and I would go visit my grandma by ourselves later in the week cause we felt fine. But when I started to get a sore throat and Lily once again had a runny nose. Both J and I took covid tests just in case and they were unfortunately positive. ((My parents tested positive after we had left but thankfully none of the others that we had seen)). I cried and cried and cried and cried. I really wanted to introduce my daughter to my grandma and we also had to cancel another visit from my grandpa. Soon we were all feeling really sick. A tired Jim took care of a cranky sniffy Lily while I tried to power through and ignore my fever to get the last things done, feed my girl, put her to sleep when J couldn’t and get our bags packed (and that was a real mission cause I didn’t want to check in three bags so I had to puzzle everything in to the two we had). The weather ended up being really nice though which I am so happy about but we were of course limited to activities at my parents house and walks in the forest to avoid other people, we had to cancel everything else. We had a good time, but also…it kinda sucked.
By the time we had to fly home we thankfully felt ok again. Of course we wore facemasks the whole time and sanitized everything around us just in case. But the trip itself was terrible. Not only was it looooong with three flights, everything that could go wrong did. And Lily who thankfully eventually fell asleep during our longest of the three flights, of course had tons of energy when we came home around midnight local time. So after a long day I now had to try to put an excited toddler to bed. Not sure how I succeeded but she slept in our bed for several hours. And that was the end of our journey.
We’ll see when the next trip to Sweden will be. Probably (unfortunately) not any time soon and the reason for that is that it simply takes too much time and effort to travel there. Multiple security checks, 4 airports, 3 planes and car rides which all comes with delays and traffic and whatever else. It is a lot to deal with when you’re by yourself and hundred times more difficult when you have a kid with you. But we will of course go back in the future 😀
I pretty much only took pictures of Lily, so here’s a bunch of them 🙂
She doesn’t walk anymore, she runs. She is also surprisingly good at soccer, hits the ball every time, sometimes even without looking. I can find her in the middle of a room practicing getting up on her tippy toes and her whole body is involved in this one move which is very cute. She loves to read books and phones, calculators and remotes are her favorite toys and she ‘calls’ everyone on them all day long. She loves pasta pesto, squash soup, all kinds of berries and fruit but no longer like avocado which used to be her favorite. I often see her clean our house or her toys with a rag, she puts things where they belong and she is always making sure that all her many soft friends gets to taste her pretend food. She can say several words both spoken and in sign language, make animal sounds and she understands far more than I ever expected. She is very polite and says “tack” (thank you) after every meal or when we give her something. She is desperately trying to play fetch with Thor but he is still not a fan of hers, but sometimes gives her a foot massage anyways. She loves the outdoors so I’m sure she misses our days outside in Sweden (its currently very hot and humid in Florida which makes it hard to stay out for long). She applause herself whenever she figures something out and I swear I have heard her say “I did it” along with it a few times. She is teething, growing and likes to test us. Her favorite words seems to be No and Bye
After 2.5 years, I’m back on Swedish grounds. Last time I was here was in January 2020 when my niece was born, she was only a few days old. Since then we’ve been through a pandemic, I did my last months of the partial molar shitshow, we lived in isolation through a full term pregnancy, we experienced newborn life alone, moved from the north to the south into a house where we’ve had plenty of work done, we’ve seen very few people and done very few things while waiting for the world to look better. Now finally Lily and I traveled to Sweden so that she can meet my side of the family.
4 airports, 3 planes and 2 car rides later, my 1 year old finally met her grandparents that she has only met through video calls a handful of times before. After 20 hours of traveling, we stepped into my parents house in Sweden. Lily was an absolute dream during our trip, couldn’t have wished for a better experience. Neither of us slept much though, Lily only slept for 1-2 hours at a time and I only slept for a couple minutes here and there. After 32 hours I finally fell asleep, Lily slept for 13 hours her first night.
I was hoping for slow days in the beginning so that baby girl and I could settle in and get used to the time difference (7 hours), but we’ve been kinda busy and I’m exhausted hahah. But it’s ok, Lily seems to have adjusted pretty well here and seems comfortable and that’s all that matters to me. I’m still not able to leave her for more than like 30 seconds (except for when she’s sleeping) which makes things a little tricky at times, but she is sleeping at night and has some good naps here and there so I’m overall very happy.
All of us has however ended up with a cold, it’s a real sniffle fest. I was prepared for this to happen, you can only wipe and sanitize surfaces so much and toddlers like to explore so of course there’s a chance that we have caught something on the planes or airports. Or maybe not, maybe we got something from the grocery store here or my niece or sister was already carrying something, you never know, it’s just life. It doesn’t seem to be covid at least which I was nervous about before our trip (my mom had to take two tests this week and both were negative, and I don’t feel bad enough to even take a test), just sniffle sniffle.
We’ve been here for 1.5 week already and we still haven’t gone to the beach. I would have liked to go last weekend but this town had a car event called “Wings and Wheels”, it’s like the biggest two days of the year here. I’ve never gone before and wasn’t interested in going this time either cause I don’t care about cars and I don’t like people:) I happily prioritized my baby’s sleep and stayed home. This event takes over the whole city so to go to the beach was just out of question. And this week we had to wait for a builder to come finish my parents new kitchen plus my mom was home from work a couple of days and on top of that it’s been a heat wave so beaches has been packed, so I haven’t stressed about going, hoping to go maybe on Sunday. It’s not far, maybe 30 min walk or 5 min drive down, just need to time it right (baby’s naps and the sun haha). But my sister and her daughter came over on Tuesday and we went for a walk to a park not far from here, it’s right next door to my old school. They have always had some farm animals here and now it looks a thousand times better, it’s really cute. Lily slept in the stroller while we walked around so we have to go back a different day so that she can see the pigs, goats and chickens. We continued our walk across the river and went to feed ducks. Lily woke up and both girls seemed to have fun. I don’t think Lily really knew what we were doing or understood that it was ducks (which is like her favorite animal) cause they were not yellow like her toys or pictures in her books. But it was a cute experience.
The two girls are so cute together. There’s some jealousy here and there regarding toys and whatnot, they don’t know how to share things yet and Mila doesn’t always remember that Lily is younger and that she doesn’t understand everything, but overall they are good around each other. The very first moment they met they first waved and then gave each other a hug, it was the freaking cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
I’m sure Lily will wake up any minute now so I have to stop writing here. I hope to update more about our Swedish journey later
Ok, ok, these are the last Lily is 1 photos I will post:)
Now when I look at these pictures I’m a little sad that I didn’t add one of Lilys’ 4 (or more..?) big Baby Sharks to the picture. The theme for her party was “Lily in ONEderland“, and I wanted it to feel like we were in Lily’s dream world, her wonderland, and Baby Shark is a big part of that world. But when I set up this little photo station it didn’t even cross my mind, I just wanted to set something up quickly and take the pictures as fast as I possibly could once she woke up from her morning nap since she wasn’t feeling well. But the pictures are cute regardless if Baby Shark is part of it or not:)