On this day...
3 years ago: Forty-two months
5 years ago: A meal
10 years ago: Today: in Stockholm

Adrian took a photo of me yesterday.

My expression of amused resignation was due to what Adrian was doing at the time – sort of eating snacks, in a rather slow and silly way, and then showing off for the camera.

Ready to go down the slope.

If you look carefully, you can see a glimpse of blue sky back there! We’re ending our ski trip on a high note, with the best skiing conditions thus far.

Adrian goes down the hill like a hay wagon. Plants his skis wide, aims them in the right direction and then heads straight down. Barely brakes, rarely turns.

Ingrid shows off her hockey stop skills.

Day three of skiing and snowboarding.

Ski school is the best thing ever, and so is skiing, say the kids.

Adrian is progressing in leaps and bounds. He has graduated from the kids’ slopes to the real thing and bravely goes snow ploughing down the green slopes together with us.

Ingrid’s ski school group has gone down blue and red slopes and even a little bit of black. She’s practicing her “hockey stop” and is proud and pleased with the amount of snow that goes flying when she stops.

Eric and I have found a favourite green slope and even though we occasionally try others, we keep coming back to “Grandma’s downhill race”.

I have a new pair of ski boots for today. I’ve never found ski boots particularly comfortable, and the ones I rented initially seemed as good or as bad as any other. But yesterday afternoon I could barely stand or walk in them, because they hurt my shins so badly. I exchanged them for the widest model available, and the difference is huge! Now my shins no longer feel like I’m pushing them into a pair of narrow drainpipes. From my vantage point, my calves look like any other, but I guess my perspective is distorted.

Just like during last year ski trip, and like the year before, the weather here in Stöten is cloudy and the air is full cloud and fog and snow, especially at the top. And it’s windy. When we get to the top of the hill, our thoughts focus on how to immediately start getting down the hill, in between the trees, away from the wind.

This morning the snowfall actually turned into rain. By lunchtime we were all sodden and went back to our apartment to dry our clothes. But the afternoon brought snow again instead of rain, so we went back out.

The kids are enjoying ski school. And enjoying skiing – which was far from a given, since it’s Adrian’s first time and he can be quite cautious about activities where he can hurt himself.

We’re all at very different levels. I have decent technique (I think), but I am cautious and like relaxed skiing on easy slopes, preferably with nice views. Ingrid has no technique and mostly snow ploughs straight down, but likes “adventure” slopes with lots of turns and bumps. Adrian is a total beginner and goes up to the 2nd post on the beginner slope platter lift, then gets off and skis straight down. And Eric snowboards instead of skiing.

So we’ve been splitting up in various constellations throughout the day. The closest thing to skiing together as a family is when Adrian has ski school and the rest of us go down a nice green slope together.

It’s winter break in Sweden and we’re on a family ski trip to Stöten – with the whole family for the first time ever!

After the first half day, everybody is pretty tired. We don’t do this very often, so our bodies need some time to get used to this again. Eric had a ski trip with work recently, but it’s been a year since Ingrid and I last did any skiing, and it’s the very first time Adrian stands on a pair of skis.

Our bird feeder is incredibly popular. Most days we see dozens of goldfinches (steglits, ohakalind) and redpolls (gråsiska, urvalind) and siskins (grönsiska, siisike) on the feeder with sunflower seeds, and blackbirds waiting on the ground for crumbs to drop. Oddly, the more usual feeder guests – tits, sparrows, nuthatches – have become far fewer. Maybe the finches are more territorial and scare the tits away?

Nearby trees are full of twittering and tweeting. Walking past those in the morning is a pleasant way to start a day.

Now it looks like they’re hanging on our doorstep at night as well.

Adrian building with Plus Plus.

He built a catapult that shoots out Star Wars ships, each of which can shoot out five or more battle droids.

Adrian in a bath, playing with a sieve – giving himself showers with it and trying to drink from it.

In the evening, after the end of screen time, Adrian is often at a loss what to do. He’s figured out that I usually don’t want to entertain him at that hour – I don’t want to play games etc. However I can often be persuaded to do something vaguely educational, such as solving crossword puzzles with him. (SvD Junior has nice crosswords that are just right for him – not too large, not too hard, not too simple.)

It gives me an interesting insight into his mind. Synonyms that are totally obvious to me, he never thinks of. Clue: “titta”. Answer: “se”. And no matter how much I hint and steer him in the right direction, he cannot figure it out.