How did 2018 go so fast?

It’s been a long time since I wrote here. Sure, there was the Christmas greeting and the advent calendar, but I think it was back in august 2017 I made a real update. And there have been happening things since.

First; I’ve been busy, like really busy, having three kids isn’t good on the spare time account (or any other account for that matter). Second; sitting at the computer writing stuff isn’t easy when three kids want to use said computer when I use it. Third; my computer is sick, it needs a safety override to start and if I run any program that runs it warm (like most games, sketch-up and such) it shuts down. This resulting in only really necessary things being done on the computer. Blogging wasn’t one of them I suppose. Actually I just recently realised that I hadn’t transferred pictures form my phones and camera to the computer (and the subsequent backup’s thereof). If I had lost my phone I would have lost all pictures from January to November. That would have been sad.

This year has been really nice though. Last year (2017) we were learning to be a family of five. Learning to deal with a sick child and just cope. Dealing with broken cars and the hassle of getting a new one. Having a broken heating system, and disappearing plumbers. Just not a year to enjoy.

This year was so much better. It was decided that our little one didn’t need surgery. Work was good. Life was much more balanced. We had low expectations and got good results. The new car exceeded our expectations. We got our heating system fixed after more than a year of living with it only partially working.

We also got some other good things going.

First: Our garden.

Even though there was (is) an epic drought in Sweden, we had a wonderful garden this year. We also got our greenhouse done last winter. This resulting in us getting our own cucumbers, tomatoes (they would have grown outside too), chillies, paprika, water-melons and some other things that usually doesn’t grow here.

Our garden with the greenhouse in the back.

The garden provided us with abundance of mangold, carrots, potatoes, onions, beetroots and herbs. We also had squash, corn, strawberries, salad, cabbage and broccoli, just not as much. And we actually took care of most of it. We still enjoy our own carrots (and they will last some time still), beetroots, potatoes and onions. We have some frozen mangold and herbs left too.

Our apples were also in abundance, we couldn’t take care of them all. But there will be apples for a long time still. Plums and cherries were also plenty, we have made some marmalades and chutneys with them. The blackberries didn’t really like the drought though, and we didn’t water them, we got some but not that many.

And the best part; almost no mowing of the lawn and snails.

Second: Our kids.

Our kids enjoy each other. We get time to do other things, while they are playing. Our daughter is now in school for real, learning new things every day in first grade. Our sons are still at home with us.

We are not burdened with our youngest’s condition any more, as he doesn’t have any symptoms and doesn’t need medication now. He is still monitored though, once every half year there are some tests to be made, and once a year an ultrasound. For you that doesn’t know more: He was diagnosed with gall-stones when he was just a little over 3 months old. About the same time we ordered our new car. It took a few days till they found out what it was. Then some more to figure out what to do. First medication and later surgery. The surgery was to be done in Stockholm but was postponed many times. About one year ago we were told that his values were good enough to not do surgery, but they will monitor him, if it comes back.

Our kids at the Zoo playing with water

And he is a talker. We aren’t used to that. Both our daughter and our older son didn’t really make sense before they were almost three. But he astonishes us with his speech.

Maybe I should have put our kids first…

Thirdly: Our house.

Last spring, (you see the pattern) we lost pressure in our heating system. Like there was a leak somewhere. The problem was just we didn’t find any leak. So we hired a plumber. He didn’t find any leak either. But when he tested the system there wasn’t any leak any more. A few months later (after summer was over) the pressure disappeared again. And the plumber too… So we called a different one. And he didn’t come when he said he would. So I added a few taps to get our heating system working in parts of the house. So we had central heating in our bedroom, storage, hall and laundry/shower-room. The rest of the building had to rely on small electric furnaces and our wood furnace in the living room. It was cold in the mornings.

A few months later the plumber did come and they didn’t find the leak either. Now it was leaking after testing though. He said he would figure something out after new-year. And he disappeared again. Later he told us he couldn’t help us. So we called our insurance again and they referred us to him… Luckily they had a backup. Now a third plumber came, and they performed the same inspection as the previous ones and didn’t find anything. They also dyed the water in the pipes green to see if there was any green water somewhere, but no. They did know a guy though that could test the system with gas (no not the American kind) and he pressurised our system and found that the leak was probably below the newer (1994) part of the house. He couldn’t tell what pipe it was, there were two going that way, so he recommended us to reroute the pipes going under the new part of the house. So we asked the previous plumber for a price. And it was hefty. So we asked a different plumber (one that had repaired a radiator right after we moved in) and it was a bit better. So we went with that guy. And he fixed it. In the middle of the summer we had heating again. And we tested it, as good as one can test a heating system on a day with 30° C outside.

We did have a minor leak later but only affecting our hall and laundry/shower-room, this we had fixed by our guy just before Christmas.

We always had a slow pressure decrees in our heating system, but I thought it was due to a faulty valve in the boiler room, but it was probably just the pre-stages of the big leak. Now we don’t have that problem anymore.

The truck with the insulation pumping into our house.

We also got some extra insulation under our roof, so now we have a much nicer climate on the upper floor.

Fourth: Our cars.

We have two cars, like we’ve had all the time we have lived here. Last year we needed a new one, because our old had an accident. So we did some calculations and realised that a new electric car would cost us about the same as a used ICE. We are very pleased with our ZOE, not just the new-car feel but mainly the running costs. We have been driving it a bit more than we thought we would. Basically it’s our first car now and our Megane is just if the ZOE is busy or we need the bigger trunk or roof-rails for shopping. Sadly neither has a hook for trailers, but we might get one some time. I just hope we can keep the Megan alive until we can afford a second electric. In a couple of years there should be a few more to choose from.

Charging our ZOE in Germany

In spring we did a trip to Germany. We decided to use the ZOE, it would be so much cheaper and we need plenty of stops anyway. It went really well. I guess that it won’t be as cheap in the future though, more than half of the charging posts didn’t charge for the electricity. We learned that using charging posts is easy in Germany and Denmark, in the Netherlands you need to do some planning first, but thanks to Tesla (and a free and open destination charger) we got to our destination there too.

Fifth: The summer.

This last one is with a bit of ambivalence. It was a great summer, I love the high temperatures and sunny days. I’m not as happy about the drought it brought. We still have much less water in the lake than usually, maybe 80 cm lower than it normally is in December, even if it has risen maybe 20 cm from its lowest. Our lawn stopped growing, except for some weeds. It wasn’t entirely yellow though, probably because of the proximity of the lake. We got some good time at the sea too, both the Baltic and the Westcoast.

Sand castle at the beach

Looking back on this year is good. Looking forward is exiting. I will be home with the kids while Susanna has a new job (that she will find soon I hope). It will be different then the last times. There will be strict daily routines, the oldest has to be at school in the morning and picked up afterwards. There will be many more activities during the weekdays for the boys. But I think it will work well.

Ringsjön runt

(Picutre from Ringsjön runt)

On Saturday I’m going to cycle Ringsjön runt. It’s a local cycle-race around the lake we live next to. There are 4 different distances, 3 road and one off-road, I’m going for the middle road one of 65 km, as that one passes our place just out on the main road. The other two don’t even come close. (35 and 125 km)

There still are spots open if you want to join me: (Page in swedish)

If you want to follow my progress just check out this link: on greenalp. I will also try to make it possible to track me on Runtastic for you of my friends that have facebook. (I haven’t tested that it really is Live, a link should show up on my feed there).

If you want to cheer me on in real life you can look at this map and find a spot.

I’m on the yellow route.

Father daughter time

Last Thursday our son should have had his first swimming class. We had our daughter at swimming classes back when we still lived in Stockholm and before our son was born here in Höör too. Inconveniently he got a bad cold with a slight fever too, so no swimming for him. We had promised our daughter to go swimming at the same time though so that had to be honoured.

So I went with her to the sports-centre so she would get some water time. It was really great, just me and her. We enjoyed both the big pool, she swam 25 meters (with a floating device) and the kids’ pool, were we played. I dived all the way across; she mostly jumped from the edge.

After the pool we went to one of the pizza places we have in Höör. It is nice to sometimes do something special like that. Having conversations with a four-year old is a lot more rewarding than with a smaller kid. Interesting things are going on in her head now. Even though I try to be attentive to what she is saying normally it’s not that easy to zoom out after a while in the everyday setting, especially when there is another kid, wife or other person trying to get your attention too.

My legs hurt

I did it. Today everything was right. Our son didn’t sleep before it was too short for him to sleep before we have to pick up his sister from preschool. It was dry outside and I was in the mood. So I packed our son in the trailer for the bicycle and off we went, to pick up his sister by bicycle.

I had checked the route and it gave me a hint that it wouldn’t be easy. Back and forth along the small backroads, I won’t take the main road, it’s not safe. It should be about 8 km, and more than 50 meters up and down. It turned out to be a bit longer and the last part the wind came straight against me.

Our daughter was happy that I picked her up with the bicycle. Her brother slept on the way there. On the way home I had some time to make pictures.

We live in an electricity producing area; there are wind turbines all over the place.

Wind turbines

As I got a bit tired I had to make a few short brakes, just to rest my legs and arms.

Taking a break

Just before we come home I have to lift/drag all of us across this old stone wall. It is hard to imagine that I can get both bicycle and trailer through the shrubs behind the wall, but the path is wide enough.

Crossing of the wall

Doing the pickup this way made the day feel shorter. (A good thing when one has to entertain a 1 and a 4 year old kid). It was fun to actually go somewhere and not just going back and forth along our little road we live at. I just love bicycling.

On the downside I realised in how bad shape I am. Okay, the wind was against me, but 8.5 km in just short of 40 minutes, that’s not good. I will have to do this on a regular basis to get back in to some kind of shape again. It would do me good. So I will try to do it at least once a week, as long as it isn’t raining, I’m comfortable that way and dirt roads just aren’t fun to be on when wet. I won’t do it with too much snow either, who knows how well the snow is cleared off the small backroads.

Now I will try to sleep, my legs are killing me.

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.


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.

First run (in Höör)

I finally did it, my first run in Höör. I haven’t really taken care of me for the last couple of months. My last run was in mid-May. That’s just too long ago. A week ago I decided that after the cold I had I should start running again. Now the cold is kind of gone, it doesn’t bother me anymore so I decided that it was time.

I thought I’ll put up a note here once every now and then about how it goes, maybe that motivates me more. I have to keep up exercising, now that I’m not using my bicycle as much as before, due to the fact that I won’t be living in bicycling distance from my work. (And that almost everything else is within walking distance and we have a car).

Here is a picture of the route that I ran today, it took me 23 minutes for the 3,14 kilometres it is long.

Map of first run in Höör

I also got my speedometer for the bicycle working again so now I will know how fast and how far I’m actually going. Today we (my daughter was in the trailer) went to City Gross (a Supermarket) a round trip of 5 kilometres. Not really that far, almost walking distance actually.

I started running again

Somehow I have gained a few kilos this spring and summer. So I have to do something about it. Since I really like good food and snacks I have to tackle it the other way, by getting more exercise.

So I started running again. I write this today as it already is the second time I’m doing it. (I ran on Monday too).

I don’t know how many times I have started running and it has stayed at one time. Just this spring I started last time, that time it lasted only one time, then I got a cold. Last autumn just after my daughter was born I started running too and a few times before that. Now I don’t want to start running again until spring 2013.

Last autumn I even got new shoes. My old ones had been my running shoes for a few years and didn’t feel that good while running anymore. And they squeak. Now they are degraded to bicycling and summer out in the nature shoes, there the squeak doesn’t bother me as much.

I have started out with just a short run, basically running around Södra Ängby, a 4 km course mostly on asphalt. When I feel it is getting a bit short I will extend it a bit.

If I want to run in the forest, I don’t now due to high concentration of mosquitos; there are good possibilities for that too with the Grimsta and Judarn nature reserve just around the corner.

Last time I did regular running (more than just once every half year) I lost about 10 kg, I don’t know how much it will be this time and I won’t know any time soon either, this is something that takes time.

Okay, I might have to stretch some more now…

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!

Three months

Yesterday Ellinor turned three months old. Not bad, she is growing and we have managed to stay sane.

One good reason for that is this:

She is just the cutest when she sleeps and she does that during the nights up to about 10 or 11 in the morning with only one break for food.

Last Thursday she got her first vaccine shots. Not my favourite activity. I took the afternoon off to be able to be there as support. That was necessary. Ellinor did not like the shots and got really angry with Susanna, who held her while the nurse gave the shots.

I totally understand the anger, the needle was super thick and it must have hurt badly. Then I could help calming her. As soon as she got into the elevator on the way out she fell asleep though. She slept well for a few hours, but then she was whining and not really eating well the rest of the evening.

She didn’t get any real reactions to the vaccine though, and already on Friday she was acting almost normal.

We are so happy to have a daughter that gives us joy and doesn’t make our lives too difficult.

More than two months

Last week Ellinor had her two months birthday.

This weekend my in laws and brother in law are here. It is nice to have the home full with happy people.

Friday when I got home from work, a bit earlier than usual due to more work on other days, I was struck with fatigue like coming back from a week of hard labour.

I haven’t changed jobs; I haven’t had super exhausting things going on at work. So that shouldn’t be the problem.

I have slept okay, something between seven and eight hours every night, just like I always have.

I haven’t helped more with home chores than before. Making dinner some evenings, but not even close to every. Taking care of laundry a bit or cleaning a bit, nothing out of the usual.

So why am I so dead tired?

I just have to look at the differences: I just can’t dough down in the sofa when I get home. There are diapers to change, a daughter to entertain or a wife to give some extra time too. Not big things in my mind.

Obviously my body thinks different.

I have to get into better shape to cope with it. Or get more rest. Or just learn how to deal with the fatigue.

Friday morning I went to the gym, like I do most Fridays. That’s a refreshing thing to do and since we have breakfast at work on Fridays it’s the perfect day.

I have a hard time to eat somewhat fast in the mornings, if it’s not white bread with sweet spread on it. If you didn’t know it, white bread with sweet spread isn’t exactly the healthiest thing to eat. So I eat oat porridge at home on weekdays. (Weekends I’m too much of a sweet breakfast kind of guy, so that just happens).

So I do things to keep in shape. Main thing is bicycling to work. I have the intention to go running once a week, right now it’s more like once a year. And I do some cross-country skiing, but that’s on hold until the snow comes, who knows when that is?

Okay, enough with the rambling!

I’m so happy I have Ellinor and Susanna in my life. Being more exhausted on Fridays is worth it all and a bit.