Monday, August 27, 2012

Off to School

I can't decide which feels weirder: having two kids in school, or a house that is so quiet. 

It certainly wasn't this morning, as Gracie got ready for second grade and Annelie got ready for kindergarten. Will took care of the music, blasting Pink Floyd and Madness for the girls to listen to as they ate breakfast and brushed their teeth.  

(for your listening pleasure:)


And then they were off.

Annelie insisted she wear her new party dress. Gracie chose the shirt we designed together and made this weekend.

Hard to believe it's already been two years since this:

(Also, I think it's officially time I stop cutting Annelie's hair. I don't want her to be known as 'the girl whose mom cuts her bangs.' Whoops).

I overheard the girls making plans to sit next to each other on the bus home this afternoon, and yep, I got a little teary.

Will is working from home today, and we're both slightly dazed. But we're definitely happy to have the day together, without the kids.(HURRAY!)

Have a great week, folks!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hola, Mis Amigos

Aside from Brave (which I still haven't seen yet!?!) I haven't wanted to see a kids movie since the trailer for My Little Ponies: Reign of Buttercup Sprinkles.


Why oh why can't this be a real movie?

(thank you Winn, for bringing this video to my attention. You made my day)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Setting the Ducklings Free

This week I've been suffering from PNS (Pre-empty Nest Syndrome).

As well as a few other maladies, such as:

Phantom Child Limbs - in which I am haunted by the feel of my toddlers gripping my hand as they toddle about, though when I check, there isn't a hand holding mine.

and Severed Apron Strings - I'm bleeding profusely. This one will definitely be the hardest to overcome.

But I just can't help it! We're halfway through the last week of summer for kids here in Texas, and next week my littlest duckling...

 ... is off to kindergarten!

I know, right? She's too little for kindergarten! She's just a BABY!

Her not-much-bigger sister is all ready for school, too. Yep, that's right.



Are the babies suffering quite like I am?

Not so much. They're both ready to go off into the world without me.

Next week, I'm sure there will be a new malady in the mix. Some kind of Post-noise Shock from the severe silence brought on by the kids being in school for seven hours at a time. In the meantime, I'm just over here being sappy, and hugging my kids so much it's surely annoying them.

Hope you're all enjoying the last days of summer!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Sweden

We've been back from our Grand European Adventure for a week and a half, now. Getting back in the swing of things after a trip is always so hard for me. My To-Do list seems a mile long, but all I want to do is catch up on my DVR (So You Think You Can Dance, how I missed you so!) and sleep. 

I never posted about the last days of our adventuring! (it's possible I'm still in denial about being back in the States)

I blogged a bit about Sweden previously, and our last days were just as great.

This lake was in our backyard, so the girls spent much time in the water and sand.



We went to Furuvik Zoo!

...which has this chimp, who is the cutest thing ever (besides the chimp that walked around with a boot on his back, of course - he, too, was the cutest thing ever):

I was hoping to see the chimp Santino, up to his usual tricks (which include elaborate tourist snipe attacks, using rocks and sticks) but alas. He was too busy chilling with his chimp friends to attack the tourists.

We did get to see a bunch of lemurs up close. I didn't realize these guys are such homebodies they don't even need to be roped off from the world - their enclosure is open to all the trees in all of Sweden, yet they always stay near their little home at the zoo.


We went to Stockholm!

Annelie pulled out all her runway supermodel poses...

... and photo-bombed her sister at every opportunity. 

(poor Gracie just wanted a photo with Stockholm Palace in the background, but Annelie busted out the Imma L'il Teapot pose just as I took the picture)

Stockholm Palace

The girls never got tired of seeing castles and palaces during our Grand European Adventure.

And I never got tired of taking pictures of statues - especially of lions. Gracie noticed, and by the end of our trip, she was pointing them out to me, to make sure I wouldn't miss a photo op.


While we were in Stockholm, we went to the Vasa Museum, which was just so cool, even though my photographs fail to show the coolness. (my camera hated the dark, dark room)

The museum contained the Vasa, which sunk on her maiden voyage, not far from where she set sail, back in 1628. She was pulled back up in the early sixties, and now has her own wreckage museum. 

This Vasa is covered in lion carvings, including the figurehead, but you can't see it well in my photos. 


And the ship was once so colorful!! Here are some of the carvings from the above image showing their original painted glory. 

The girls thought the museum was cool but creepy. I have always had an obsession with ship wrecks, so I thought it was pretty darned awesome.


The girls built boats!

And raced them.

(Annelie's won) 


And we visited with friends I haven't seen in years and years (including a friend from my high school days, who I hadn't seen since I was 15) - always a great part of the trip!

It's been a little surreal, being back in the States. But it's been AMAZING coming home to my hubs after nine weeks away. The girls and I might have had the world's most awesome vacation, but it's good to be home with Will!

Watching the Olympics with the girls has been a fun experience - especially finishing the Olympics in America after watching the opening ceremony and first few days of the games with Swedish commentary.

The girls left the USA back in May, without much of a concept of foreign countries and the world we live in. During the Olympics, they saw Team Belgium, Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, all competing for gold with USA, and it was exciting for them, having just been to those countries. They wanted to cheer on everyone.


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