This is what the hallway looks like when Ingrid has a few friends over.

We’ve trained Ingrid and Adrian to at least put their shoes, bags and clothes to one side of the hallway, so it’s possible to get inside without stepping on stuff. But I guess they only do it because we keep nagging at them, not because they actually agree that it makes sense to do things this way. Apparently it doesn’t bother kids at all to have stuff lying around all over everywhere. Ingrid’s room is the same – there are things spread out over the floor and I have to watch where I step when crossing the room.

Already from a distance I could see that Ingrid was tired from the hike. She tends to get too little sleep on these things – can’t fall asleep, too cold during the night, has to get up for a trip to the loo, wakes up too early… I remind her every time to pack extra warm sleeping clothes, and every time she ignores the advice.

This afternoon she was close to collapsing, physically and mentally. She also insists that she is unable to fall asleep during the day. Well, I got Miss Unable To Sleep to lie down at least. She was fast asleep in ten minutes, and slept until I woke her three hours later.

Stacks of sacks of fertilizer make a perfect playground for kids with too much energy and no fear of getting dirty.

A simple breakfast can take a long time when the world around you is so full of much more important things to think about. Such as all the text on each package on the kitchen table. (Learning to read definitely did not help make meals go faster.) And the ceiling. And whatever is happening outside the window. And just about everything else.

I am tired, and especially tired of organising and managing things for other people, including my kids. But a birthday is a birthday, so I dredge up some energy and do my best to make it a fun day for Adrian. I don’t think he’ll remember it as his best birthday ever.

Admiring the view from the east side of Kärsön, towards Nockeby…

… and doing the same from the west side of Kärsön, towards Drottningholm.

Kärsön is a small island in lake Mälaren, mostly covered with forest. It is easy to get to by car, has a lot of walkable paths, and offers nice views in all directions. All set for a day of great walking.

The kids weren’t super excited about the idea of walking to begin with, but also did not want to stay at home, which was an option for Ingrid at least. They got markedly less excited the longer we walked. So instead of a relaxing nature walk I got about three hours of “are we done yet”. (The first hour was OK, with little to no complaining.) The net effect was a slight negative. So I still need my dose of peace and quiet and nature, so will be going for a new hike next weekend, with no kids.

Taevaskoda, “Heaven’s Hall”, one of the most scenic spots in Estonia with sandstone cliffs next to a winding river. Do the kids spend any time appreciating the view? No. They found a Pokestop.

Ready for lunch on the deck, equipped with swim goggles (don’t ask) and a battery-operated fan for cooling his mouth (don’t ask).

We bought another pool ring today and it was an instant hit. Mostly the kids use the floating toys for crashing into each other, pulling each other down into the water, climbing on the same toy so they both fall off, and other ways of getting both themselves and everything else exceedingly wet. (Which has on occasion had unfortunate side effects on the laundry drying on the rack next to the pool. Less than ideal positioning, perhaps, but there just isn’t that much space in the flat, sunny part of the garden.)

The kids and I took the bus to Vällingby after school to get vaccinated against TBE. (The third shot for Ingrid and me, the first for Adrian.) Both kids were surprised when the injection turned out to not hurt at all, and for the first time ever Ingrid is not anxious about her next injection.

I’ve seen information campaigns about TBE for years but somehow it never seemed very urgent. The risk seemed small and remote. After Ingrid’s experience with Lyme disease, getting us vaccinated felt a lot more urgent and important.