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The Great Plush Animal Purge of 2009 is over and lo! We have all survived. In the playroom we have a huge round basket. It's big enough for both kids to get into and hunch down. It was STUFFED full (ha! get it?) of stuffed animals. In addition, Martin had an hanging toy storage unit that was full of stuffed animals in each of 6 compartments. AND both kids have a half dozen or so of their very favorites in their beds. All in all, I suspect we had well over 150 stuffed animals of various sizes and cuteness.

If you haven't yet had kids or have very small ones, it's not too late! Here's a big tip for you: DON'T BUY THEM STUFFED ANIMALS. Especially if they are girls. The damn things are nearly impossible to get rid of. They're so CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE. I should know. I still have several of my own, though in my defense I have managed to divest myself of MANY over the years and now I am down to 1 very large teddy bear, 1 Steiff pig, 1 Steiff cat (which lives with my mom), 1 knitted alligator, 1 Eeyore, 1 Wild Thing, and a very beat-up bright orange lion whose stuffing is coming out, that I won at Liseberg during my first trip to Sweden with Anders many years ago. Oh, and a dozen moose, give or take a few, that camp out permanently in the moose bathroom. But that's all, I swear! (I'm pretty sure that the few I had left from childhood that were in a box in my mom's basement are now disposed of...)

The kids recently told me what amounted to a horror story: their best friends, the twins Sandra & Maritza, got back from vacation with their dad this past week to find out that their mom had gotten rid of ALL their stuffed animals in their absence except ONE EACH. Whoa! They gave me very accusing looks as they related this nightmare and of course I held it over their heads all week, telling them they HAD to help reduce the zoo or face the same thing. Muahahahahaha!

So, today, amid some mild protests, we threw the entire pile of animals out into the middle of the playroom floor, and I proceeded to lift, demand judgement, and pitch them as quickly as possible. The key: don't look into their eyes! They can SMELL FEAR.

The kids were really good about it, actually, and the pile quickly diminished. The basket is, I'm resigned to report, still full to the brim, BUT it's not packed down and it's not STUFFED full and I think overall, we did a pretty darn good job of purging. Turns out we had TWO Findus dolls. Findus is the cat that you see up there in my header and in the icon I used for this post; he's been my mascot since I started this journal, and if you haven't already discovered them for yourself, I can highly recommend the Pettson & Findus books by Sven Nordqvist. Even for adults, they are a treasure, and especially for adults who love children's books and wonderful whimsical artwork.

AND he's going free to a good home! If you guess how many large full paper grocery bags of plush animals are going to the annual Flyinge Flea Market, he's yours! Standing, he's nearly a foot tall; a jointed/movable cotton cat with a green beanie cap and removable suspender shorts. The contest closes Friday evening at 6 p.m. Central European Summer Time.

Also, my seester is disqualified on account of how she knows the answer.

Tiebreakers: Muckles are small creatures that inhabit the world of the Pettson & Findus books, which only Findus can see. How many plush mucklor did we a) keep and how many did we b) discard?

Put your best guess and your tiebreaker answers in the comments! Good luck!
mood: accomplished
music: The Boxmasters—House at Pooh Corner


Hah I LOVE your contest! :) Maybe tomorrow when I am not so tired I'll try throw in a guess as well!

You don't have any poodle there that wants to come to a home full of poodle things? :)

Nope, sorry. No poodles :)

Hysterical :)

Oh, I know from where you speak, having gone through it myself recently.

Did Mpc's (13 at the time) first, managed to clean her room of almost all stuffed animals, dolls, toys of any sort.

Did George's room next (11) and managed to get through about 1/2 the toys, but almost all stuffed animals remained, and he rescued a good number of MPC's that she had "mistakenly" thrown out (read, stuffed into bags to be taken to the thrift store). We compromised with plenty of good hanging storage shelves and a new bed that included drawers.

Surely he will not have all of them when he is 20?

As for myself, I had not nearly so many growing up, and have kept only my most favourite dozen, who are really more my friends than they are stuffed animals. The sit on my dresser in my bedroom, keeping each other company and no doubt chatting and adventuring all day while I'm out.

Oh, what was that about guessing the number of bags? Im going to guess 24.

From Megsie

Oh, I have the same problem. I went through and got rid of the least favorite ones about a year ago, but we still have so many. They do get played with a fair amount though. I only kept my one snoopy dog that was my favorite friend growing up. My mom had to sew his head back on several times, and he is now a very skinny snoopy. He sits in my closet on my blankie. And, I am still glad he is there. I am not going to make any guesses for your contest because we don't need another stuffed animal in this house! But thanks anyway, and Kudos to a job well done!

12 bags


My very own grandmother gushes over stuffed animals when we pass them in stores. She goes all excited. "Aaaaw look! Isn't he cuute!? Oh and look at that one, oh he is so soft, feel him!". LOL!

And she has several stuffed animals of her own, sitting in sofas and beds. :)

My grandmother is 86!


Enter the contest and you can give it to her if you win! :D (though he's not soft, but he IS cute!)

Yep, we have that problem here too. I tell the kids they can each keep 20 in their rooms, and the rest have to fit in the plastic drawers in the toy chest, along with everything else. Any others have to GO, and I let them pick which ones. They breed! So why do I want a Swedish cat to add to the mix? Heck, I like them too! I'm only human!

I think you got rid of about 35-40% of your stuffies, which (allowing for various sizes) would fit in about 8 paper bags. Oh! I hope I win! Tie breaker: you had 4, you got rid of 2.

Ooooh, I'm conflicted! I want to enter the contest because I feel superbly qualified to guess correctly, but I hesitate because we have a stuffed animal moratorium in our house and another is not allowed to enter the door. Hmmmm. I have till Friday, watch this space in case I come back to enter.

Ingrid has more than I can count. There's a Moses basket overflowing in her room, plus an enormous green plastic bin with even more stashed up on the third floor. This doesn't include the dozen or so on her bed, in her backpack, nor the five or six in Anders's room. Upon the arrival of her fourth Webkinz, I declared her DONE. Not only with Webkinz but all stuffed animals. I have managed to get the word out to my mother to help stop the accumulation but they do tend to turn up somehow. Anders, luckily, seems not as interested in stuffed animals and what stuffed animal needs he has are usually more than met by the vast stash we have on hand.


'So, today, amid some mild protests, we threw the entire pile of animals out into the middle of the playroom floor, and I proceeded to lift, demand judgement, and pitch them as quickly as possible. The key: don't look into their eyes! They can SMELL FEAR.'

This, THIS is so very where I've been before! A delight to read your description.


You're better than I - I used to have 20+ animals sleeping in my bed each night, plus a gazillion on the floor and in the closet. I'm now down to about 15 or so? They all reside on the top shelf in my closet and look down on me and smile every time I go to pick out a skirt for the day. I'm selling two at my garage sale this weekend - a big plush elephant and a big plush bunny that my ex-boyfriend gave me. Oh well, I have to reduce the menagerie at some point.



At least they are stuffed animals. I could think of much worse things looking down at you from the top shelf every time you open the closet. :-P


OK- I'm a sucker for Findus and his books! I think you have 9 full bags for the flea market (which is probably not enough!) and you kept 3 mucklor and discarded 6! Love, Lizardmom

I didn't know Pettson and Findus were translated to English! Now I have to get them all for my god daughter!!

They all are, though some translations are better than others. If you're going to buy English translations, look for ones done more recently and watch out, some of the older ones (in the UK, for example), changed their names to Festis & Mercury (*boggle*).


I love reading your website even thought I do not know you personally.
I lived in Sweden several years ago and while searching for swedish things, I ended up in your website.
Your description of swedish life is exactly what I experienced when I lived there and your website brings sweet memories back to life.
So I will love to win your contest to have something swedish in my new house.
I will say 5.

Hi Carolina! Thanks for the compliment :) I have lots of readers and friends that I have never met personally.

Don't forget to put answers for the tiebreaker, just in case! :)

I can see this plush problem already happening to a three week old baby and to the grandma of a three week old baby.

Arghh! I totally missed this. Grr

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

obiter snippets

Layout thanks to dandelion.
Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.