Monday, April 25, 2011

Day One

Myrna and I are spending quite a few quality days together while Chris is in the US. Instead of pacing myself on this first day, I aimed for the most extravagant Södermalm park tour I could think of. This was partially spawned by the fact that we have had a beautifully sunny warm Easter weekend, and tomorrow the 70 degree temperature will be replaced with rain. The way too detailed (but I was going to tell Chris) chronicle is as follows:

4:00 am - a taxi picks Chris up to go to the airport.

5:00 am - I get a call from Chris regarding a surprise baggage limit (and weighing) of hand luggage, and he is forced to repack at the airport (thankfully our two checked bags were not quite 50 lbs, but there wasn't a lot of give).

5:45 am - Myrna comes shuffling in, announcing that "there is no Dad - Dad went on a trip." We try to snuggle a bit, but by 6:00 am we have relocated to the living room, where we see the "night bus" drive by.

6:30 am - We wish Grandma a Happy Easter (and postpone the inevitable cartoon watching). Myrna is very excited to tell her about "the boy and his dad who made a mess in church" giggle uncontrollably. Translation: the priest had one of the kids help him sprinkle baptismal water on the congregation. Myrna found this hysterical (and probably a bit confusing since whenever she shakes her water bottle about showering everyone we aren't so pleased).

7:00 am - I finally give in to the cartoon watching. We snuggle up on the couch for some Thomas the Tank Engine and for a minute I think we both might doze a bit. But then we get to the ending Sing-a-Long (Myrna's favorite) and it is hard to sleep when you have to replay the video every 3 minutes. Charlie and Lola is next, and the perfect excuse for me to shower and start on breakfast. I make the mistake of mentioning my plans for a picnic, and before breakfast is on the table, Myrna is informing me that it is "time to go."

9:46 am - We board a bus to Södermalm to head to the park that will eventually be our picnic site. As soon as we are off the bus, I realize it is already warm and time to shed the "spring jackets" (which is really all for the best, as Myrna's freshly washed jacket stayed sand-free).

For the next 2 hours, we enjoy the sun and the crowds of kids (Easter Monday is a holiday). Much time is spent in the sandbox, where Myrna immediately finds the watering can, and holds on to it for dear life, no matter which toy she is playing on. As much fun as digging, sliding and swinging is, the picnic is definitely the topic of conversation. As a last attempt to keep lunch until after 11, I suggest to the very tired looking girl that we get out the new skipping rope she got in her Easter basket. She really wants to be able to skip rope, but inevitably this is as far as she gets.

Noon: It is picnic time! We find grass (far enough away from the big toys and the sandbox) and spread out our blanket and Myrna is ecstatic. She quickly peels a purple Easter egg, inhales the white part, comments that it is a "great picnic" and then realizes she is not in a high chair and can instead run around, rub her hands in some dirt and then come back for a sandwich. What is there not to love about that?

12:30 pm - After the expected fuss of getting into her stroller, Myrna is out for her nap in less than five minutes, and I'm on my way to Drop Coffee for a much needed time-out. Then it is my turn for a picnic (as I didn't even try to enjoy my lunch with her).

2:00 pm - Myrna is happy to wake up in a different park, Mariatorget. After a little play, I convince her that we need to find a slide (as this park didn't have one). Miraculously the bus home happens to be starting it's engines as we pull up to the stop, so I convince Myrna that instead we need to go home to have ice cream (really not such a hard argument to win).

3:30 pm - Mango ice cream on the deck! plus seconds!

3:45 pm - A quick change of clothes and it's back outside - this time in our courtyard. Notice the (different) watering can Myrna has snagged.

We're loving the playground in our courtyard, as well as the water in front of our place and the fact that there is a playground/courtyard every three apartment buildings. If you need to look for ducks, you only have to go a few feet!

5:15 pm - I finally get Myrna back to the apartment for a bath, in which I am informed that I need to "get laptop computer and book" (two essential bath items Dad usually has). As soon as she is out of the bath, she is back on the deck coloring, and reluctantly comes inside for dinner prep, an hour later.

The rest of the evening is as usual, and I'll spare the details. Let's just say this is not a day I'll be repeating tomorrow. More pictures are, as usual, on her April Picasa page.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Myrna is a huge fan of "white eggs" - that is, hard boiled eggs minus most of the yolk. It's one of her favorite lunch requests, and so we were very excited to dye some Easter eggs with her. She was only a little cautious at first

And, as expected, she wanted to whack the egg with her spoon. But she quickly got the hang of it

Only one egg escaped the dye (landing on her high chair). Fortunately, it didn't break, or make a mess. And, lunch time was lots of fun, this time with a green egg.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jumping on the Couch

Myrna's favorite post-bath activity is to jump on the couch. Be sure not to miss the roll of the eyes at the very beginning.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Jacket

Today was our second or maybe third sunny day of the year. You can see spring on the lawns and smell it in the air, but feeling it on your goose-bumped skin is still largely a matter of faith. It's an alluring fantasy, though, and as we were heading out to the backyard sandbox this afternoon, I grabbed the polka-dotted blue jacket (a gift from Aunt Lisa) that Myrna wore in fairer weather last year, to at least see if it still fit. It did, and she was so thrilled that there was no chance of taking it off her.

"Remember this one! With Grandma Grandpa. Myrna little baby. With Dad's grandparents too."

Something along those lines, anyway. Myrna loves to look at photos from last summer/fall's visits from both her sets of grandparents, and this jacket features heavily in those photo sets.

Her excitement hardly abated once we were outside in the sandbox, and she informed anyone who'd listen that "Myrna wearing spring jacket!"

Was it actually spring jacket weather? Maybe so earlier in the day, but I was freezing. Myrna, however, reported that her hands were not cold, that she didn't need to go in, and would stay outside for "a little bit longer."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meeting Bridget in Uppsala

We've been in Sweden how long now? and still haven't been outside of Stockholm (and its suburbs). We thought we should actually check one other Scandinavian city off the list, and headed 40 miles north to Uppsala.

The real impetus of the trip was to go to the Bror Hjorths Hus for a special exhibition of Pija Lindenbaum's illustrations. For those of you not up on your Swedish children's illustrators, Pija Lindenbaum is the author and illustrator of one of Myrna's favorites, a series of books about a little girl name Bridget (or Gittan, in Swedish). And I admit, Chris and I have become fans too. We also were missing the good old days in Germany, where we'd just hop on a train and spend a day or two exploring a new city.

As expected, the exhibit was a hit. There were lots of dress up clothes, though Myrna was "a little bit scared" of the dresses, and instead insisted that I was the one to wear the scarves, tiaras and tutus, and she would stick with shoes, a necklace and a purse (which she then wore for a bit to look at the paintings).

Since it was an exhibit aimed at kids, all the paintings were nicely placed at "kid height," and sturdily anchored to the walls. We missed getting this on video, but Myrna definitely did a good job describing this painting:

"The moose brothers are drinking out of the toilet. Disgusting!"

After a tasty lunch (with lemonade), we headed down to the basement, for some watercolor painting. Myrna, of course, was much more interested in wetting the brush and mixing the paints, than actually getting paint on the paper.

It wasn't so cold, and we spent some time walking around town. Also some chasing, and quite a bit of not-really-walking-at-all. And we were regularly reminded of the fact that Myrna is a two-year-old, and one who has nearly perfected the art of tantrum-throwing. Just when we were beginning to think that our plan to spend the afternoon in Uppsala was overly ambitious, though, we happened upon some sort of kayak race in the city canals. I realize that may sound pretty tame, but it was actually pretty intense. The merger of several waterways made for some powerful rapids and even a small waterfall. And, just to make it interesting, there was an obstacle course. We sat along the water and watched this for a while, and Myrna was enthralled. It consumed enough of the afternoon that we were able to finish off the day with a visit to the cathedral and a pub dinner. After the busy day, she fell asleep waiting for our return train.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Cleaning

In between a trip to coffee, gourmet ice cream and playing with Alexander Alan, Myrna found a kid sized broom along the gallery strip on Södermalm.
She certainly was going to make sure there was no snow gravel left lying about on the sidewalk.