7

Well. It has been a while. I will try my best to be better at posting and will try to catch up.
With that said, little Prince Vince turned SEVEN in May! 20130616-210330.jpg

He loves pirates, so we had a pirate party. There is a place, actually a boat, called Maritiman in Gothenburg harbor, and they do birthday parties for kids. I loved the outsourcing idea, Vince loved pirates, so we decided on that. He loved it and had a blast.
A pirate met the kids and they all put on life jackets. The pirate had a treasure map to follow, and together they solved riddles to get the combination to pirate boxes, each filled with a clue to the final treasure. The boxes were located on four different ships so they walked back and forth between the boats (together with the pirate). In the end they found a treasure, had hot dogs and ice cream and then had a final puzzle to solve. They put together a gifant jig saw puzzle of a map showing where the biggest treasure chest was and where they each got a golden bag of candy. Hooks and eye patches were given out when they ate.
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Hamstering Up

On good ol’ Styrian food and friends. A day at the vineyard Krainerhof outside Lannach, is a given on any of our Austrian trips, a tradition dating back to the beginning of our history in 2003.
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Käferbohnen with pumkin seed oil dressing.

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Eds and Mr B sharing a cheese plate and fresh pressed apple juice

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The hills.

Driving home on the Autobahn between Graz and Vienna in the night brings back many memories. I have driven there many times. After Mr B and I first met, I was working in Vienna for a while and he was in Graz ( before he moved to Mexico, and I moved to Detroit to be closer – global thinking 🙂 ). I spent all the weekends in Graz and drove back to Vienna on Sunday night. Two kids later, driving the same road together in a pleasant silence was almost magical!
Tomorrow more Austrian adventures!

Snoooooooooow

After a week of -15c, the -5c felt close to warm. The Destruction Team from Torslanda (their name not mine) came over and joined forces with my own destruction team of two (aka The Destruction Team from Surte), the two youngest members of this family. The demolition man from down south was delayed at IKEA with his parents and missed the outside activities.
This time as the parents outnumbered the kids, neither mantlepiece was crumbled into pieces, nor sofa disassembled and a great time was had by all!

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Friends

Off to go sledging together. Vince and his friend T.

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Tjolöholm Slott/Castle

This fall has been unusually grey in more ways than one. The temperature has been ca 7c colder than summertime, and it rains everyday it seems like. Hence the whole family now owns two pairs of rubberboots each.
Today I decided it is time for Christmas instead of grey and fall. As a perfect kick off, we went to the christmas market at Tjolöholms castle with some great friends.
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Mr B stayed home with Vince who now is on the mend from strep throat.

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Waiting for Santa.

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Eds in real awe of seeing Santa.

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And with Santa.

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Inside by Santa.

Friends

Last night my besties came over for dinner. One night of being able to talk girl talk without getting interupted by the kids or the husbands, just a real girl’s night, sitting in the garden in the warm evening sun. This morning we took a long walk around the lakrbefore it was time to get back to ordinary life. Tomorrow Mr B and the kids are coming back from Austria after a 12 day trip, that will be the next awesome 🙂

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Blog Date

I got a FB message from Michelle asking if we lived far from Helsingborg. And we don’t really. At least not to compare to the distance from Sweden to South Carolina. So we set a date and I packed the kids in the car and off we went to meet up with Michelle and family! I think Big Blueberry Eyes was the first blog I found, written by another parent to a child with Down Syndrome, after Vincent was born. Her blog immediately brought a new perspective to me about how life  would be later on with Vincent. Although Kalya is 2 years older than Vincent, that was exactly what I needed to see back then. That really, life with a child with DS really does not change much, and it seemed like they did all types of ‘normal’ stuff! So tobe able to meet IRL last week was great!
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Amazingly enough it did not rain! And the play ground was as child proof as it got. Vince is still a runaway kid when he decides to…

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The best part of the pirate ship was the hand cuffs

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Kayla, Lucas, Vince and the kid in yellow is NOT Edgar

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Vince

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Vince checking Michelle’s pics out

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And of course a cheese pic a la Vince

6 Years Old!

Yeah right, every year, the same story. Where did the time go?
Well this last year has been busy to say the least. Vince turned 6 on May 12th. Busy/modern/out of line parents as we are, we did not find a way to celebrate on the Saturday (which was his actual birthday) so we moved his birthday to the 13th…

I convinced myself to have a small birthday party, and of course the rain was pouring down (like every day since we moved to Sweden minus two days…). So the original plan of being outside was quickly changed to 17 people inside. The kids enjoyed it and us parents had a good time too.
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Vince decorated his own cake for the party. I wrote his name, but the candy he placed on the cake all alone.

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POP presents!

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He let Edgar help with the unpacking of gifts on his birthday.

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Birthday party time.

Kosläpp Apparently very In in Sweden

In order not to deprive our kids of the apparent new trend, we packed a picnic and set of with the GPS set in the car. Off we went to an Arla (a dairy company who supplies a lot of milk and dairy products in Scandinavia) farm just south of Gothenburg. The weather was beautiful, and Mr H of this family hade made reservations for all of us. Spring has finally come to Sweden, and with it arrived the typical must for a Swede. That means that you have to be outside between 10am and 2 pm (at least) whenever the sun is shining. No matter what the temperature measures, the sun shines, out you go. However today the weather was absolutely wonderful. Hence, it seemed like most in families of Gothenburg was there just right along with us. At least the ones that are in. Cause the new in thing for families is to go and witness the Kosläpp, which simply translates into letting the cows out, like in letting the cows out after the winter.

We were at the farm shortly before 10. The caravan of Volvo’s filled with Swedish families kept arriving for the next hour and a half. Rumor has it that it was over 1000 cars in the parking meadow.
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The three Vs in Sweden represents Villa, Volvo, Vovve, having those three and you hit the standard Swedes milestones. Villa = house, Volvo= the car, and vovve= a dog.

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Eds checking the cows out before they were let out.

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A very Swedish picnic including meatballs.

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Friends! Photo creds to Fru Tell.

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And finally the cows came out

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Oh how his speech therapists will be pleased seeing him practice in his free time….

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Mr B braving the Swedish crowds and culture fairly well!

Small Things

It is the small things that counts.

Vince was invited to a birthday party today. It was at his own friends house (i.e not the kid of people we know). It was a drop off party. He has been invited to friends birthday parties before, but because of where they were I have stayed around. Today I dropped him off and returned three hours later. I was more nervous than the parents of the kid whose party it was. I told them to call me if it came to a situation they needed help with or if something happened. Their reply: what can happen? Some people are truly great. Everything had gone perfectly fine. No issues whatsoever. He was even fine with staying longer (very unusual for Vince, he likes to go home regardless of where we are). So we stayed an extra hour and chatted with other parents.

A thing that may seem so natural to others (Of course we drop him/her off at a party), for me, and total feeling of happiness and hope for a better world!