Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Lost Dolly

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here yesterday! Sunny and bright, and between 50 and 60 degrees, I think -I believe the bank sign said 13 or so. Perfection! And it definitely did not feel like December! There was hardly any wind, which seems surprising for fall here. In the afternoon, Jeff and Svea and I took advantage of the beautiful day and went to the shops. Well, in particular, we went to the recycle shops. Torben was in need of new boots -his rain boots got holes, and his winter boots aren't quite waterproof, so we were trying to see whether we could find him some new ones. Also, the boys wanted Santa hats. So off we went. It's a nice walk after lunch to go by the library (Jeff is a frequent user of the library! He currently has about 15 books checked out) and then to the two recycle shops, and probably a stop by the ABC to get more milk. It's amazing how much milk we seem to go through. It's probably the same as we go through at home, but there we buy a gallon at a time, and here we buy it by the liter, so it seems every other day we are back for more! There is a 24 hour guarantee from when the milk was in the cow, until it is on the grocery store shelves, so it's always fresh, and therefore kind of nice to buy it frequently anyway. We found our Santa hats, some new boots for both Torben and Svea (I think we've bought 7 or 8 pairs of boots this year...and none of them for Jeff or me!), summer sandals for Torben and Svea. We've found several pair of Ecco shoes at the recycle shops that are hardly worn! We are going to keep looking and hope we find some in Anders' size as well before summer. Jeff found a couple of sweaters -he was in need of more long sleeve shirts anyway, and then last week I accidentally put his cashmere and silk black sweater in the dryer---oops, new sweater for me! And we found a couple more Christmas ornaments for the windows. We've done well at the two recycle shops here in town!

So it was that we went first to the library, then to one recycle shop, and then to the other, and then to the ABC, where we noticed that Svea's beloved purple dolly was missing. She takes that dolly everywhere! Somehow, it had been dropped along the way when she was trying to hold two dollies after leaving the second recycle shop with (another) free mini toy. We hurriedly looked through all the aisles at the ABC, frantically trying to find the dolly before it got picked up. But to no avail. Svea was getting upset, now, since she realized that we couldn't find it. We paid for our groceries and decided to retrace our steps. We knew she'd at it when we walked out the door of the second recycle shop, which wasn't very far down the road, so we decided to walk that way. Really hoping we found it. We have a spare dolly (because, of course we do. She loves that doll so much, we can never be without a backup!) but were hoping not to have to bring it out. We walked back toward the recycle shop, looking at the sidewalk we'd walked on earlier, hoping it was still wherever it had fallen. Then we spotted it! Someone had found it on the sidewalk, and sat the little dolly up next to a street sign pole. Hurrah! Svea was very glad. I handed the dolly to her, and she kissed its head and hugged it, "dolly! dolly!" and didn't let go of it the rest of the way back home. Whew. Crisis averted.

She does have a growing menagerie of little toys from the various shops. One of them often gives her a free toy when we are checking out. Grandma Linda sent her the little yellow bear, but the rest are part of her growing collection of free toys. She seems to like the two little dolls best, though at naptime today she grabbed two of the stuffed toys and said "ni nite?" and headed off to sleep.
 We got a package in the mail from my grandma, with a fun little Advent calendar stocking garland, as well as a box of little presents for the kids. They are a bit too big for the stockings (the stockings seem to be made for one piece of candy each, or so) so they are just in a box and the kids get to pick a wrapped present each day during December. The post date on the box says November 23, but it didn't arrive at our house until December 7, so we are a few days behind. The boys think it's sort of fun to open three presents at once until we catch up!
 Elfie found a fun place to sit on top of the lampshade. The kids were a bit concerned that he might burn his pants when the light was on, but it turned out to be just fine.
 Then he decided maybe a zipline would be fun, so he hung out on the string with the ornaments we have hanging in the windows. Even Svea is getting excited about Elfie (sometimes, "Elfine") and she will look at him, laugh, then walk out of the room and come back to see if he's still there -always joyously surprised that he is. It's fun that she is enjoying part of the magic too.
 It's about two weeks until the shortest day of the year, and then hopefully it will slowly get lighter again. Torben asked me to take this picture of him on the way to school this morning. It seems like it should be lighter out when we're walking to school! But, it was about 35 minutes before sunrise. We really are far north here! You don't realize that until the winter -or the summer, I suppose, when it never gets dark!
 Svea really is a cuddle bug. She loves to gather up a big pile of pillows, pull out a blanket, and relax. And then when she's fully relaxed, she grabs her dolly and says, "ni nite" and walks to the stairs to go to bed. I hope this continues throughout her toddlerhood and childhood!

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