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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend Nights!




Alex and Isabella usually love weekend nights, especially Friday nights. It has pretty much become a tradition that Friday nights are take-away pizza nights. We break out the TV trays, eat pizza, and watch a little TV. Saturday nights are also pretty relaxed. This past Saturday night the kids popped popcorn, piled into their sleeping bags in their tent that looks like a castle, and watched a little "Dora". Isabella seemed to take hanging out in the "castle" a little too far with her princess crown, but she is your typical girl.

Köttbullar











The popular meal around the Gyllenhammar house is köttbullar (meatballs), mashed potatoes, and lingonsylt (lingon jam, a lot like cranberry sauce). Alex and I try to do a little cooking or baking together on days that I am not working and Isabella is taking her nap. So, the other day we made meatballs and Alex loved digging in!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stendörren






We went to Stendörren (the Stone Door) a little over a month ago. It is the equivalent to a national park or national reserve. Erik and I took the children one afternoon to grill hot dogs and get a breath of NATURE. I meant to post the pics, but forgot about them until I saw them the other day. It is so beautiful there and I wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Alex's 4th Birthday :)





























Well, this past Wednesday, the 8th of October, we celebrated Alex's 4th birthday. He was awaken this morning with a "Happy Birthday" song and a gift. Later he went to dagis to play with friends and he took popsicles for everyone and they sang for him. People that love him very much made phone calls from literally all over the world (Grandmama and Pa from the US, Ulrika here in Sweden, and Farmor and Farfar from Spain). He decided that for his birthday dinner he wanted pancakes with jam and cream. That is his absolute favorite! He always chooses that over anything else. (I wonder why?! :)) So, he helped make the pancakes and whip the cream. Afterwards he got a birthday cake. It is called a princesstårta (princess cake) and is a common Swedish cake. He also, of course, got many gifts. Overall, I think that he had a fun day.



Since he has turned 4 he definitely thinks that he is bigger and can do more things. One thing that he always said he was going to do when he turned 4 was to sleep the entire night in his own bed. Well, amazingly, that age has turned to 10! But, I must say that he is working on it (with a little help of bribery!) He is my little man and helps me a lot with Isabella. He helps her reach things that she can't and he likes to help her with puzzles, etc.



He had his 4-year check-up this past Friday and everything was great. They had him draw a person, count, run, walk on a balance beam, and he took an eye and hearing test. The nurse always likes to see him. She enjoys his calm, interactive personality. Now his big question all of the time is, "WHY?" That can be a little hard to answer at times. But it is fun to hear him be inquisitive about things. Now I look forward to this year and I try to remember to not ever take the small things for granted. I think those make the best memories!

Monday, October 6, 2008

video

Alex and Isabella's Party






We had Alex and Isabella's birthday party for their friends on Saturday. They had a lot of fun!

Pictures from Isabella's Birthday









We made pizzas for Isabella's birthday dinner. It was a lot of fun and now Alex wants to do it for his birthday next week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Isabella turns 2!

Two years ago at this time I must say that I was a little nervous, anxious, yet excited. I was preparing to go the following day to Nyköpings Lasarette for a scheduled c-section. I felt it was scarier to know that it was going to happen for sure the next day than not knowing and just going into labor as I did with Alex. Also, the unknown was a little frightening. I was going to have a baby in a foreign country without my OB-GYN that I had grown to respect and absolutely trust with my life, and the the doctor that was doing the surgery, I had never met. Throughout my pregnancy I only met with a midwife that followed and charted my pregnancy. I am thankful that I had an easy, uneventful pregnancy (other than the terrible nausea). (With Alex I suffered from elevated blood pressure and was on medicine for that. So, that pregnancy involved a lot more observation.) Thankfully, everything went wonderfully. I thought that my experience with Isabella was much easier and calmer than with Alex. If I were to have a #3 I would definitely rather do that while living here in Sweden. I was very impressed with their labor & delivery unit and I am also EXTREMELY impressed with the Swedish welfare system that entitles all new mothers and fathers (yes, I said AND FATHERS) time to be at home with their children for atleast a year while earning 80% of their salary or the minimum for unemployed. I feel it is so important for a child to be with her mother during atleast that first year of life and I feel blessed to have been able to share in that year with Isabella.

Now she will be turning 2 tomorrow and I keep wondering where the time went. The idea is bittersweet. It seems like yesterday when I was in my hospital bed, she was in her little portable crib, and I would just look at her with pure joy, contentment, and wonderment. So happy to have been given the opportunity to be a Mom for the second time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISABELLA!