5 years passed just like that.

Last Saturday our daughter had her fifth birthday. It was a nice summer day this time, good for us as we had her kindergarten class over for a party in the afternoon.

It’s amazing how fast time flies. It feels like it wasn’t that long ago we were at the hospital in Stockholm enjoying our little miracle. Now she is so big, knows so many things and is learning and becoming more independent every day. That day back then was a nice day too. It wasn’t as warm as now though.

Evening bicycling

Here are some of the neighbourhood kids bicycling along the lake. (Ours is the one with the flag).

That leads me to my next rambling, on Sunday we went to the beach. It isn’t quite common to go to the beach to enjoy the sun and the sea mid-September here in Sweden. This year it is possible though. (It was even warmer today). The water was a bit chilly but in the sun it was nice and even when a cloud (there were a few sadly) covered it, it was still nice enough not to drape oneself in towels or clothes like so many times during Swedish summers.

Winter is here

Yesterday it started snowing while we were driving to Malmö. As we went back the roads had transformed to a slippery white adventure. Lucky us we had put on the winter tires in the morning. (Na, I had checked the weather report and it said something about snow coming).

I just love snow. It makes life just a little bit better. Especially in November as it is so dark otherwise.

Our daughter and I made a snow-family the first night:Snowfamily

A close up of the snow-lamp in the background:

Snow-light

Today was filled with outdoor activities. First of all had the driveway to be cleared from snow. That took a while, luckily I wasn’t alone on that. Here is the before:

Snowed in car

And this was the result:

Cleared front yard

Our house looks so nice in the snow.

Our house in snow

You might notice something different in the picture, last weekend we had great help from a friend of ours and Johannes parents taking down the birch-tree just next to the house.

Here it is after it was cut down:

The fallen birch

And here is the house from the field without the tree:

Our house from the field

Thank you so much for all the help.

I’ve also been doing things with the play-house, first I made all the corner-boards, but they still have to be painted in this picture:

The play-house

To paint them I moved them into the shed:

Helping hand

I had great help holding the boards and tools from my son. Now some of them are back up, but as I can’t paint them all at once and now the cold came there are still some waiting to get done.

As the snow stayed I also built a snow-igloo for our daughter this afternoon. It’s kind of hard work playing in the snow. Here she sits inside enjoying the candle I put in as light:

Snow-igloo

That’s all for now; Enjoy the snow and drive safe.

Much needed break

This autumn has been crazy. We all have been under a lot of stress here at home and I’ve been working much and traveling with work too.

Anyhow…

sometime this summer we decided we need a break this autumn. We want to see our friends and family in Stockholm some time again. So we planned to take a week off in November to go there and visit everybody. We had no clue of how hard times were ahead of us.

Then time flew. Like it always does. We hadn’t planned anything real and one weekend when we just realised it was all too much. We need some time as a family, just the four of us. So just before we had planned to book the tickets to Stockholm we decided not to. We started looking for an alternative. Staying home was not an option as there are so many things to do here so I wouldn’t have been a vacation that way.

Last week we did it. We left our little house in Skåne for a smaller house on Lolland, that’s a Danish island not too far away. Five nights away doesn’t seem like much, but it did great! I think the best part of it was that there was no internet there and as we are cheap we didn’t pay for roaming on our phones either. We had all the time together. Except for a few short trips to the village to get groceries, trips that would have been so much longer and trickier taking the kids along.

We played games. Sat in front of the fireplace. Enjoyed each other’s company. Relaxed in the bubblepool and sauna, no really it was relaxing, even the time my three year old was in it with me. Made some simple food, it tasted great. Got fresh bread from the baker a few mornings. Had a walk on the beach. Made a trip to the zoo and to Germany.

Not everything was perfect. I wish we hadn’t gotten colds, except Susanna, she was spared. I wish we had started cleaning out the place an hour earlier this morning. We made it out before the owner came though. I wish I had understood how the fire stove worked, now it was a bit of an ordeal to get it burning. (Maybe the wood was a bit too wet).

In total it was great! I always have said that the best time for vacation is in November. Even staying in this area of ever grey weather is better with a break than just chugging along. Just have a break. I warmly recommend it and my family does it too.

Sorry all of you friends in Stockholm that would have loved to see us. Most of you didn’t know what you missed as we hadn’t made appointments yet. There will be another time. We just don’t know when.

Summer is a short thing,

even if it’s eight weeks long.

Collage with picutres of the Summer of 2014

Somehow this summer has passed really fast. Sure summer isn’t really over yet but as I this week started work after the vacation/parental leave it somehow feels like it. It has been an exciting summer. So many things have happened. Still it also has been a slow summer, not doing even one overnight trip, only staying at home. (Except for the few nights when we were at the hospital for Gabriel’s birth in the beginning).

Ah, there you have the name of our son too: Gabriel. We had a hard time to decide, so it ended with us drawing sticks. We had two names, equally nice, but both of us had a different one as favourite. But if we get another son some day we have a name for him.

Most of the summer has been about taking care of our kids and getting food on the table. A few other things have been made though.

I fixed the lawn-tractor. It wasn’t that hard and now cutting the grass isn’t hard labour but fun labour. I think I’m becoming more of a mechanic as I live here, I kind of like fixings things.

I built some mosquito-nets for our bedroom and work-room and with the help of dad the guest room too. (My parents wanted to sleep there and it was warm so a mosquito-net was not a luxury). The one for the work-room I like the most, as it is a door.

We have made it to the beach twice. Once as a family and once with my parents but without Susanna and our son as a day on the beach isn’t the best thing for a new-born. We did go for a swim in our local lake a few times too, it’s just a five minutes’ walk so it really isn’t a big deal.

Our garden isn’t really giving that much produce, we haven’t really taken care of it as we should. But still; we have potatoes; we will have carrots and some beans. Three of our apple-trees have apples, so we will have apples too, (actually I baked an apple-cake with apples from one of the trees yesterday that we had at work today). Our blackberry-bush is having plenty of berries and they ripen over a long time, it now has given us a few portions with ice-cream and a pie, but there is much more on the bush. The only downside with the blackberries is that they have so many thorns and that makes picking them a bit painful. (We haven’t taken care of it the right way this spring).

We have spent some time with family and relatives. My parents have visited twice, Susanna’s a few more times, and we visited Susanna’s parents too (Susanna and the kids stayed over there one night even). We had a few friends visiting, been to the zoo in Höör with friends and have visited friends for a few hours, so it has been things going on even if we had to time it with our sons feeding, leaving us less punctual than usual.

Now I’m back at work. This first week has been calm, as most people still are on vacation. It is fun though; I’m working on a project where I will simulate railway traffic and I really enjoy that.

Now it’s weekend!

 

Boat owners

Now “our” house has passed its check-up and the water-test came back with good results too, so we will get our keys in the beginning of December.

Today we went over to the house to clear some things with the previous owners; among other things we decided what things they didn’t need to trash to clear the house. We had talked about the things in the garden shed before. We also knew about the fact that some of the shelves would stay. What we didn’t know that with the house we would be boat owners. Okay it’s just a canoe but still it’s a boat. Some nice surprise there; not only do we live close to the lake, but we have the means to get out onto it.

We will also get one sofa; it will complement our lounge perfectly. We are now in the process of filling our model of the house with furniture, so that we know where to put the things when we move.

Maybe we should be starting packing now? There are still some things to figure out before that, like the fact; can we use the boxes we used in the last move, or will they want the boxes back just during our crazy moving days? We will try to move before Christmas, we just don’t know when we will have time to sleep too. (As I work and our daughter keeps Susanna busy during the day). I can already announce that if anyone feels called to help us with the move (we’ll do it ourselves this time) and needs a break from Christmas shopping, just give us a call. We will probably need help more than once during December.

Our daughter seems to like the house too. Today Susanna showed her the room we are thinking will be hers and she approved of it. And she really loves the stairs. And the cat. But we won’t get the cat.

What about this moving business?

As you might have seen, we will be moving to Skåne before the end of July. That is a big change for me. I have all my adult life lived in Stockholm (and Solna, but that was even closer to downtown Stockholm than where we live now). Before that I grew up close to Stockholm, coming here when I was 3½ years old.

Stockholm is my home. I know the city fairly well after 5 years of working as a bus driver. The last couple of years I have been less and less in the downtown area though. I started working in Solna in 2008, making in unnecessary to go into the downtown area to get to work. As Susanna and me hooked up there were even less trips into town, as I didn’t meet with friends in town as much as before. Now that I have a kid it’s only on special occasions that I actually get into the centre, like tomorrow when there is a wedding we will go to. Living in the western suburbs is easy; there are very few everyday things that can’t be done here.

I do have a lot of friends here. I will miss them all. Some of them more than others. I think that will be the biggest change. Up until now the friends that moved away were in some way just leaving my life. If I didn’t make an effort or they didn’t do it either they would just drift away into the one card a year type of friends. I don’t want it to be like that, but somehow when you have a family it’s a lot easier to stay in touch with the people you regularly meet anyway.

Now we will be the ones moving away. It’s a different feeling. For me anyway. For the friends that stay behind probably not. I will try to make an effort to stay in touch. We will have a guestroom so if you pass Höör you can stay the night. (Just let us know a few days ahead so that not all of our friends show up on the 17th October). We will try to meet with as many of you as possible before we leave but everything went kind of fast so there is not that much time and we do need to pack and organise our things too. (This time we’ll try to get rid of some stuff that we definitely won’t need).

There are a few other things I will miss leaving Stockholm.

The water: I think this is Stockholm’s best feature. Just like today when I went on a bike ride with my daughter to Drottningholm to have an ice cream. The water makes it all so much nicer.

Our view: We just have a lovely view where we live. The place we are moving to doesn’t have a view. We don’t know where we will live later; maybe there will be a view there. We just don’t know.

Our apartment: It’s really nice.

My parents: They are still living here. And who knows if we ever will convince them of following our footsteps to the south?

Our church: The church I have been a part of since 1996 or was it 1997? I started doing sound in 1999 and am still doing it. It has been a second home for me and it contains many of my friends and memories.

All the places with memories: There are so many places with memories here. Sure, some of them are bad and I won’t mind not seeing these places as much, but there are so many good memories that are connected to places here. And when I see a Bus nr 4 I just remember how it was driving down Odengatan early in the morning, as most people still slept. Or when I pass Tranebergsbron and I remember the first of November when it became so slippery that people pushed the cars over the top one by one. (Sure some people don’t have that as a good memory I guess). When I jog down Bergslagsvägen I remember the times I drove to my friends at Tempus for some games of just fellowship. Or when I pass Tomteboda I remember the sunrises over Stockholm that were so beautiful after a late night of work or partying.

Memories, of the bus, the sunrise, the water, the car and TranebergsbronI will come back to Stockholm every now and then for sure. As long as my parents live here probably often. It will not be the same thing though.

I will get new memories. There will be new things that I love about the place I live. (Just check in the old part of my blog).

Now I have got start sorting out old broken shoes. I shall not move broken shoes!

Finally I’m done with the pictures of 2012

I have finally finished 2012, that is organising the pictures of the year. (This time I did it before I filed my tax-report).

Here is a short preview:

Many pictures of our daughter:

Our daughter

A few from my trips:

Malmoe

A few from our trips:

Copenhagen

And some other more random pictures:

Bicyling

Enjoy: wolfmaier.se/2012/2012%20in%20pictures/

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Here is our Christmas card for you:

Christmas card 2012

I wish you all have a wonderful time with family and friends in great fellowship, good food and much joy!

This year we stayed home for Christmas, having my parents and my brother for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Susanna’s parents are coming on the 3rd to have a second Christmas with us then.

It is lovely to see how our daughter for the first time really enjoyed the feast. The joy she had opening presents, (she started with the small ornamental ones we had put in the tree) and later playing with her new toys. This really makes giving fun.

Now it is time to rest until it is time for sound on Sunday.

Some different life

 

So, now I’ve been home with our daughter for one and a half week. I’m starting to get a hold of things. I’m starting to understand the work involved in entertaining a kid all day. I’m having a hard time thinking of easy and good food, but thanks to some of my readers I still have a few ideas that I can use.

One thing I’m realising is that no day is like the other. One day I’m getting all the signals right and I don’t have to change one used diaper. Other days I’m missing all of them. (She has been using the potty a long time, but for safe we use diapers too). Some days I can eat in peace with her enjoying her food at a comfortable pace without too much a mess, other days she just throws things around, leaving me cleaning the floor, table, three chairs (including hers), wall, windows and sofa. I always have to clean her, sometimes less, sometimes more, then I just put her into the shower.

It is amazing how she has become so much more attached to me. She now comes over to me and wants to be lifted up while I’m cooking even when Susanna is at home. That didn’t happen before. I’m getting stronger in my left arm; it’s kind of tricky to cook with only the right arm free, but doing it with the left is even trickier. I do have to put her down for some task and she does somehow understand it too, but as soon as I’m done with the thing that made me put her down in the first place she’s back between my legs almost trying to climb up.

I thought the hardest thing would be not meeting people all day. And I think it is. I’m trying to get out every day, some days for some shopping, others for some activity (we have her swimming once a week now), or just to go to the playground or to the open preschool. Later, when Susanna is working full time I will come and visit her at work too.

Sleep is a bit of a problem still. I can get her to sleep, but it requires a long walk or bicycle tour. I have to time it right and have to be on the move for at least half an hour. Then she maybe sleeps for one hour, but if I stop it’s not sure that she continues to sleep. Twice she did sleep a while after I got home, but every other time she woke up.

This last weekend was beautiful, so we had a little walk around our house:

Beautiful weekend

As I was writing Susanna was looking at some toy-car-thingy: http://www.swingcar.se/ (She didn’t look at that page I’m sure of, because I couldn’t fine the film she was looking at there. It had a song as soundtrack; see film below; which made me remember a walk I made midsummer 2004. I made a walk in my neighbourhood that night, thinking of how my life was. Back then I was just doing the last parts of my master-thesis. This was a period in my life when I had lost myself. I felt like I wanted to run from everything. I was thinking I should move to a new place and start over. I just knew I wouldn’t get rid of the feeling anyway. It felt hopeless. Still I had many things I was really happy about. I had a few good friends and I really looked forward to visit my brother later that summer.

 

Here are a few pictures from that walk:

Midsummer walk 2004

After looking at those pictures I started looking at other old pictures. O have I changed. I showed some of them to Susanna, I think she is really happy I have changed. I’m happy too. I found myself again. Now I have a happy family and the feeling of wanting to run from it all just doesn’t come anymore. I live so much more right here, right now. I think that’s the only way of living taking care of a child.

Some more music reference there if you want:

Weekend of doing

Yesterday I woke up at about eight. And I went up right away. Our daughter was awake and needed to go to the pot. So I told Susanna I could do it, I didn’t feel like sleeping anyway.

(All this is not something I usually like to do on a Saturday morning. I love to sleep in, maybe to ten if possible and then take a slow day).

As I prepared for breakfast, that included taking care of Friday’s dishes due to Friday night laziness I got the urge to bake. But I did have a few more things on my to-do list for the day. I have had this urge a few times the last weeks but I felt this could be the day I actually did it.

So I grabbed the day the best way I could. I started cleaning a bit in the apartment. My part of cleaning the apartment is the bathroom. I don’t like vacuuming and Susanna doesn’t really care for cleaning the bathroom so that comes naturally. (I am the one cleaning the windows too, but that hasn’t happened for more than a year, maybe if I get one more weekend of doing I start with that).

When I was done with that I went shopping. One needs yeast to bake buns.

I started the grill and put Susanna in charge of it, leaving her and our daughter out in the nice weather while I prepared the rest and started baking.

Lunch was good. After lunch I brought down the little tub for our daughter to bath in. She loves bathing!

A friend came over and the buns got ready as I took care of some laundry. Somehow having cloth-diapers result in plenty of laundry.

At this point I felt I was done with the day. We had fresh buns for dinner that was really nice. After dinner our friend left and I just took it easy. As I was sitting in front of the TV in the evening during Susanna’s try to get our daughter to sleep I remembered the flowers so I watered them.

Later Susanna and I watched the first part of a film together. We’ll watch the second half some other day.

Susanna didn’t understand where all my energy came from. Neither do I. Some days are just like that. I wake up and think; “today I’ll do this and that” and I just do it. Most days I just think it, but some days I actually do them. Saturday was a perfect example of that.

Days like that are rare. I did really enjoy it. I did some fun things too. Like baking or playing with our daughter in the water. But the enjoyment came for the entire thing not just the fun things.

Today was busy too. I had sound at church; I start before eight with switching the system on and before I shut it down again it normally is about three thirty in the afternoon. Today we had a toddler’s picnic afterwards. I wasn’t home until just before six.

At that point I was tired. I dozed off in the sofa in front of the TV.

I don’t know what triggers this kind of energy that made me do all these things. I wish I did, because I need to be more effective in my everyday life. If I had weekends like this one every weekend we could look out our windows without thinking about the fact that they are in desperate need of cleaning. There wouldn’t be any shirts hanging in the hall waiting for me to iron them. I would have sold my collection of Donald Duck books a long time ago (the Swedish version). And many other things I need to do.

I will try to rest on the Sundays that I don’t have sound though. I believe that resting is very important. But maybe resting is not just the absent of doing things but the doing of something else. Maybe I find out this week that I really need some rest now. (I do sit in front of a computer all day at work maybe that is resting too).

2011 in pictures

It’s about time. I finally got my picture-documentation of 2011 ready.

It was a year with many things happening but not as many pictures taken. Still I have managed to put together a little resume like the previous years.

A little preview:

From winter,

from trips,

a few trains,

and of course us.

Here comes the link to the page: 2011 in pictures

Enjoy!

New Year, New Beginning

Happy New Year!

This time last year I didn’t even know I was becoming a father. Didn’t know how living with a kid would be like.

Susanna and I were thinking that it would be nice to have a kid during the year, not knowing that she already was growing in her.

Not in our wildest fantasy could we have expected a more wonderful kid than Ellinor. She is just so cute, letting us sleep at night and giving us an easy time.

A few highlights of the year:

  • The positive test on Susanna’s pregnancy.
  • The first ultrasound of Ellinor. (Link to blog entry)
  • The visit in Germany because of Ulrike’s confirmation.
  • Easter in Skåne.
  • Ellinor’s birth on the 10 of September. (Link to blog entry)
  • Friends weddings; Leigh and Andreas, Suppe and Jordana and Mattias and Amy said yes to each other.
  • Christmas in Skåne with Susanna’s family.

I will remember 2011 as a great year. Only one big change accrued, but this change was probably as big as change can be.

What will 2012 bring? Hopefully a kid that starts to walk, maybe even say a word or two. I will go on father-leave from work in September. That will give me much more time with Ellinor. I don’t hope for too many other things to be done then, but that is just not the focus of being off work then. During my father-leave Susanna will be working.

Maybe a trip or two should be possible too, nothing really far away though.

In March I will be part of a team from work skiing the “StafettVasan” a relay cross-country ski race in the track of the in Sweden famous ski-race “Vasaloppet”.

I don’t have that many other plans for the year. Maybe I will try to be more aware of injustice and lose a kilo or ten.

My year will be great! May yours be great as well!

Ellinor is blessed!

Last Sunday we had a special day for our little girl. She was blessed at church. We do this to dedicate her to God. It was a wonderful ceremony.

We were especially happy for all the friends and family who came to join us. It is so great to share moments like these with them.

The meeting in itself was a typical “New Life meeting”, with the translation and the “fika” in the middle. (Fika is a Swedish word that for a short coup of tea or coffee and some small ting to eat (like a cake) with friends). Stewart was leading the meeting in his usual humorous way. Katti was leading the worship (the songs we sing). That was really good. Both Susanna and I really like it when she is leading. Kjell was preaching with his typical orderly way. (I somehow wasn’t paying too much attention).


Caroline (the children’s pastor) was in charge of the blessing. First she said a few things. I prayed for Ellinor and then Caroline blessed her. After that the congregation came up to us and prayed for us as a family.

Us on stage

Here a picture of us on stage.

One a little more non-typical event was the collection of money, due to the fact that the church made it a special collection to get the last money to buy the new building. If you are wondering, yes we got the money to buy it, now we just need the money to adapt it to our needs, but there we have a little more time. The big move will probably be in the end of February.

Back to Ellinor’s day:

After the meeting we had invited a few friends to our place. It was a great joy to have them all over.

Thank you who came! We were really happy for you and Ellinor is so happy for her gifts (at least Susanna and I are, Ellinor is still not entirely getting the concept of gifts). It was a great evening.

And all of you who couldn’t make it, we were happy anyway, we can’t be at everything we are invited to either. Actually when we invited you we thought more wouldn’t come due to the short notice.

All of you we didn’t invite, we are really sorry, but there is just not enough space at our place to have all of our friends over at once. Just give us a call and we find some time to meet (probably just not this year).

One other great thing with the weekend was that Susanna’s parents and brother were here. It’s so nice to see grandparents taking care of Ellinor.

A happy day coming up and some other things

Today I’ve been back to work for two weeks. Time flies.

Tomorrow is a big day. Not because Ellinor is becoming four weeks old, but because two good friends are getting married.

This will be a challenge, we still have not gotten into all the routines we want, nor do we get all the sleep we need. I think it will work. We just hope she is in agood mood and won’t be too scared by all the people.

Back to my good friends: Jordana and Suppe:
Sad to say I’ve been a bit too busy to spend time with them lately. Anyhow, I’m convinced that they are a perfect match.

Suppe with his cool and calm ways, rubbing some of that off on Jordana. Jordana with her temperament and social skills that just lift Suppe. I know Jordana, how she sees things in people that no one else sees. I remember when she said that Suppe would be a great guy, but that he was a bit young. Good she changed her mind on that. I remember when Suppe first helped out with the sound, really getting it all together. Now when he leads worship it shows he has tried that too, knowing how to make the life of a sound technician easy. And he has a great voice too.

I’m just so happy that they are getting one tomorrow.

And now to some total unrelated stuff:
I managed to rip off the wire to the gears of my bicycle on Wednesday, after only 3300km. I thought my new bike would be better, but somehow it ripped off anyway. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to change. Actually it was easier than on the old bike. (There I had to change it every 1000 km or so). I bought it on the way home.

Soon I have to get a new winter tire too. The back one had worn out this spring. It’s just safer to bike with spikes when there is snow and ice.
We still aren’t sleeping nearly as much as we need, but I have the feeling it’s getting better. I get enough to get by, but I don’t know how Susanna makes it. Today I was surprised by them being out walking, I met them out at the big road while biking home.



Just one more picture of Ellinor