Friday, July 1, 2016

Sweden is begging me to stay

Or so I'd like to think(:

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Evidence #1:
We moved into this furnished apartment in November. It also had a few plants. I diligently watered the orchid once a week, even though it was just green leaves. Recently it started to grow a new stalk that I assumed would be for flowers to grow on. Then buds started forming. And today the first bud is starting to open.

I had always thought orchids were very difficult plants to maintain, but this one is rewarding me big time. It is also reminding me that there is more to come if only I were to stay in Sweden.

Evidence #2:
I randomly met another mom the other day. Chester and I were sitting in the grass in a park, and he was watching another boy running around throwing a ball with his mom. There was also a little brother in a stroller. Eventually the little boy came running over to us and started throwing the ball to us, and then the mom actually talked to me (this is totally unprecedented in Sweden, where you never talk to strangers).

Totally awesome; however, this is not the time to be making new friends!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

One month


In one month we move to Georgia. In one month, my four years spent in Sweden come to an end.

There are so many highs and lows involved in such a big life change, which makes it a bit hard to process. 

I guess I'll type some facts, which are easier to find words for.

Greg is starting a new job. Tenure-track, which is very fancy. It is also the first time we are moving somewhere with intentions of permanence. 

We've arranged for a place to live. Bought a carseat for the baby. Purchased our flights to get there. 

There will be a lot to do when we arrive. Such as changing drivers' licenses to Georgia. Registering to vote in Georgia. Purchasing a car. Purchasing phones. Figuring out what household items we have in storage and what items we need to buy. Sending Greg to fetch the items in storage. Moving costs a lot of money.

There are also a lot of trivial things. I'll need to start doing my own grocery shopping instead of getting groceries delivered. I'll also have to reprogram my brain to US food items instead of Sweden food items. Mayo in jars instead of tubes. Tomato paste in cans instead of tubes. Or maybe these things have all changed in the past four years? No American sauce. Plenty of Annie's mac'n'cheese.

And of course, when the brain gets overwhelmed I just start thinking about food. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Accomplishments

We are raising a very accomplished kid. Here is a quick post to photo document some of them.

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Drooling. A lot and often. Preferably on his pappa's button shirts.

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Thumb sucking. This started regularly on April 6th and does not seem to be a one-time deal like it had in the past.

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Rotating. At 3.5 months he is not really mobil unless you count rotational motion. I'm not entirely sure how he does it, but he can achieve the amount of rotation seen above in the time it takes me to eat a bowl of oatmeal.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Regular days

I am typing this at 8 am on a weekday while Chester and Greg sleep through the alarm. Neither of them can be bothered by the beep beep beep beep.

Last night we were looking at some photos of the baby when he was super brand new and tiny. He already seems so big and old!

If you trust clothing sizes, here he is maxing out his 9 month size jammies.

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And here are two more photos, exhibiting nonplussed mischievous behaviour and delightful sophistication.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Less good days

Recently Greg had to take a quick trip back to the US for four days, so Chester and I were on our own. And being on our own for the evenings and nights is a totally different ballgame than being on our own during the days. Totally. Especially since Greg changes all the nighttime diapers.

But we survived, and even thrived a bit. We managed to get outside every day. Once just a short trip to take out the trash. Once a very long walk in town with a friend and her baby. And once even in the rain. Chester is newly liking being in the ergo baby, which makes for very nice walks for us both.

And going outside was about the extent of our expectations for each day. Keeping expectations low was good, and it made it easy to feel a bit successful each day. Other than that we spent a lot of time doing Chester's favorite activities, such as eating, sleeping, playing, bouncing, singing, reading, and lots and lots of tummy time.

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The baby may have watched some tv while pappa was away…

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Going back a couple weeks, I'll briefly write about the one day that was the roughest so far in Chester's life. Immunization day. This consisted of two shots, one in each thigh, simultaneously. The actually shots were not so terrible. Greg held his hands, and they were almost finished by the time the pain registered and he started crying. He was quickly distracted by the nurse's keys, and probably cried for less than 30 seconds.

It was the evening that followed the shots that was the roughest of rough. He didn't end up falling asleep until midnight, and the hours leading up to it were filled with desperate attempts to make the baby happy. I foolishly read that giving babies acetaminophen/paracetamol (Fun fact: why is the same drug called by different names depending on if you are in north america or europe?) made the immunisations less effective, so I didn't get any ahead of time. He never got a fever from his shots, but he was clearly not feeling too happy and seemed to be having pain in his legs. But we all survived, and we are better off for it!

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And the day after, he was so tired that he just fell asleep while playing. A sure sign of a very tired baby.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A good day

A couple weeks ago we had to go to the migration board to get new photos taken, so Chester and I decided we would try to make a fun outing out of it. Or I decided and Chester didn't object, so we went with it.

After the photos we started our walk to the center of town. Chester slept in his pram until we got about halfway when he woke up and let me know he was hungry. We were just approaching a nice park where a pack of dogs was being walked, so we stopped at an inviting bench. Before we got on our way Chester got transferred to the wrap, which worked out really nicely. I've recently switched to using the woven wrap we are borrowing, since he's getting a bit too heavy for the stretchy wrap. The woven wrap is also much cooler, and we are happy to avoid the overheating we experienced with the stretchy wrap.

Then we made our way to the library, where we picked out some new books and also took advantage of their changing room which was surprisingly luxurious. Chester then fell back asleep, so we decided to head home. After we got on the bus it started raining, so I felt pretty pleased that we had been able to be out and about so much and avoid the rain.

Now that I've typed this out, it seems like a day that most would rate somewhere between standard and boring. But in my mind it was good or even very good. I think it has to do with it being one of the few outings we've done where Chester was calm and content the entire time. It was just a nice and relaxed outing, where I felt able to attend to Chester's needs fully and easily. Outings can sometimes feel so difficult, even for just a short walk around the neighbourhood. In general Chester is a good kid who doesn't get needlessly upset, so when he gets upset on outings, it is only me to blame. (Not to say I am wallowing in guilt, but only to document facts.) So yes, standard and boring, with everyone content, is what I will call a good day(:

And some unrelated photos, because look at those cheeks!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Go big or go home + Chester is ten weeks old!

I can't write a blog post without writing about the baby, but we'll save his updates for last, so skip down to the bottom if you only care about the boy (and I don't blame you if that is the case).

So, apparently there is an option to get your groceries delivered directly to your door. And since I get stressed out trying to take the baby shopping (who always needs to eat right as I get into the checkout line), I started looking into this. For some reason I thought the shipping cost would be outrageous, which is why I never looked into it before. But it is actually comparable to the cost of a bus trip to the store and back. Or, if you order above a certain money value, you get free shipping. As soon as I read that I started adding items to my virtual shopping cart.

I think I had written about grocery shopping recently. In our new apartment we've had to be more deliberate about shopping, since there is not a store we can walk to in just two minutes. And being deliberate about shopping also meant we were saving quite a lot of money. It didn't seem like we should be buying more if we were doing shopping more frequently with less planning, but that was definitely the case. So anyhow. Now that we have a baby I haven't been doing any big shopping trips for a week's worth of food, because I just can't carry it all. I guess I could try to use my wheely bag and also push the pram, but that is just not a challenge I want to give myself right now.

I have so much to say about groceries!

But this is probably getting boring, so I should wrap up this train of thought. So I ordered groceries and they were delivered to my house the following day! I'm excited to have found a way to not need to carry home large packages of things like diapers and paper towels and boxes of cereal. And I'm excited to use outings with the baby for purposes other than shopping, like meeting friends or going to the library. This whole endeavor feels like such a smart decision. I wish I had gotten to this place sooner!

And the baby!

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He is two months old already! Over two months, in fact!

He smiles and laughs and makes a lot of noise. He is particularly chatty in the morning when he first wakes up. He pretty much spends his days eating and sleeping, although his stretches of time when he is awake are increasing. So we read books and practice tummy time and make calls to grandparents in the US. We are trying to get accustomed to liking our pram, and/or liking being worn in the wrap, because either of these would make outings much more pleasant.

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He gets his socks off all the time, but it was pretty crafty of him to get the sock off and have it end up near his left hand like that…

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