Sunday, September 28, 2014

Family Weekend

We have had a great weekend and the best about it was that the family was reunited again! Chris is finishing up his school this Wednesday, but he had nothing going on this weekend from Friday at noon, so he decided to pack up what he doesn't need for the coming days, and come home. I had decided not to tell the kids, as I wanted them to be really surprised, and guess if they were!! I had told him to ring the doorbell and not just come through the garage, and when he rang the bell and I said, can you please go and have a look who it is, they all ran. Surprise!! They all screamed, so fun!

 Daddy is home!!

We started to make dinner and how nice it was to have my personal chef at home to get a perfectly grilled filet Mignon again, together with my potato/cauliflower gratin. Needless to say, we haven't had any meat from the BBQ for 7 weeks now since he's been gone so it was extra tasty!

After the kids went to bed, we were able to sit down and talk about the move and it was nice to be able to do it in person for the first time since we got the word.

Saturday morning, we all got ready after breakfast to go to Cassie's volleyball camp that she has one Saturday/month. Chris was excited to be able to see her for the first time, and we stayed there the whole time. They do a lot of practice and there is a lot of repetitions to make the different shots and steps, and with only a few girls there, there is a lot of attention to each girl.

Cassie is the only left handed girl in practice, and she got even more attention then the others, where one coach focused on her, as her steps, movements with the arms is opposite to the rest, that could all do the copying from the other coach.  It's positive with a lot of attention, as she can learn and focus and really get a chance to be seen. She learns fast, BUT, with so much attention to just her, she did find it a bit too much after awhile. Almost over an hour he worked with her, and there were hundreds of shots, passes, serves, spikes and what ever it's all called..Her wrist was hurting, and he was picking on everything, every little detail, and I could see that she got more and more upset, more frustrated and tired. All the other 9 girls took turns, could learn from eachother's mistakes, watch and learn from eachother, and they didn't hit the ball nearly as many times as she did.

It was too much, and I didn't know until later when she told me that it did hurt, and I wish that she would have said anything, next time she will, and I will keep an eye on her and on the focus on her. I want her to enjoy it, not hurting or feeling "picked upon".

 Getting some daddy-love after the practice.

After that, we went back home for lunch. Later in the afternoon, I was able to take just Cassie with me to the store for a short trip, as she needed to get a gift certificate for her friend that she was invited to today. Nice to get away with just her, it was awhile ago!

Everywhere you go there is a reminder that Football season is here...

This is how frustrated Cassie got looking through the Halloween costumes. She does not know what she wants to be, and will have to do some more thinking and looking around. I think it's hard to find something that is age appropriate for a girl in her age. She is too old for the typical kid costumes, princesses and all that. She has been pirate, ladybug and last year a peacock. She is not into anything scary, and the rest is too sexy! There are mostly costumes for ladies in her size and then there is Mini skirt police costumes/firemen/bee/ladybug/cat woman etc etc, but VERY sexy, or at least not appropriate for someone that isn't yet a teenager. So, we have to keep looking. Luckily, we have another couple of weeks for that.

There weren't so much shopping done, she found a shirt that was really nice, but they didn't have any small sizes left. The bra selection was cute, but we decided to leave the "Superhero obsession" to her younger brother..

Today, Cassie was invited to a birthday party and the girl had decided to have the party at the Waylon's Water World here in town. It was perfect as it was the last weekend that they actually have open this season. It was warm, but not too hot, so a perfect day. I dropped her off and she was very excited to go at least one time this year. Normally we do try to go a few times, but being in Sweden this year, and not having Chris here in the weekends to help with the twins in the Water World, hasn't been an option.

I do most things with the kids alone and have no problems or have to deal with it, but taking them to a very expensive Water World, where there are deep pools, slides, lots of people and lots of different playgrounds in the water, it's just not safe with only one parent. One kid wants to go on one slide, and the other one on another, and there the problem starts. Here it's pretty deep, and you have to be there in the bottom of the slides to pick the kids up, make sure that they are safe, and get out of the way from the next person coming down etc, and we need to be one parent per young child. We first talked about all going today as Chris was home, but he had to leave this afternoon and drive for a couple of hours he didn't feel like spending a whole day in the sun first, stressing home and pack and then leave. So we stayed home, and it was nice, we played games with the kids and they enjoyed having us both there.

Not a cloud to be seen..

Chris left and I took the kids with me to pick Cassie up later. We all stayed to play indoors at the Fun Factory that is located next door to the Water world. The kids were happy, and got some energy out of them before it was time to go home.

Cassie and I hanging in the Sports bar where the Football fans were very loud!

It was already getting dark when we left, and the sun goes down around 7pm here.  We were driving through the farmland to get home and I asked Cassie to take a few shots while we were driving. I think they came out really good!

A wonderful weekend is not going to it's end, it will be nice to have my husband home on Wednesday for good, it's been a long seven weeks and before that eight weeks in Sweden. Time to be together as a family again!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bear Island

The day after Midsummer, we went out to the Bear Island Nature Reserve, that is located just outside Vasteras. It was way too cold to take use of the beaches for some swimming, but there were lots of open spaces to run around and the kids had lots of fun at the playgrounds. Again, Swedish playgrounds, how can you not have fun on them?? It was still chilly, and pretty windy this day, so fleece or hoodies was a must, much different to the weather we later would enjoy in Sweden. 

This is also a very popular area for people to exercise at. Running or walking on different trails all around the island. Just by the parking lot, there was an outdoor gym built for everyone to enjoy! I don't know how it is in many other areas in the U.S., but we have never had anything like this around where we have lived, except on the bases that is..The kids thought it was fun, and tried some of the equipment out before heading to the playground.

Empty beaches..

A playground with a view!

Even the older kids had some fun on the big swing!

Ofcourse, we brought "Fika" with us!

On our way home, we drove by this Swedish jet. Somehow my kids weren't as interested as, "mom, we see jets all the time at home.." True that! I thought it was neat to see a Swedish one for once!

It was Saturday, and in Sweden that means "Saturday Candy Time". So in the evening, all kids enjoyed some that they themselves had picked out at the store. All kids are more or less restricted to eat candy only on Saturdays, and it's a BIG deal. The Swedish Candy is the best, and the kids soon found their favorites!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Enjoying Our First Days In Sweden

When we first came to Sweden in June, we stayed with my dear friend Linda and her family for almost two weeks. As she was still working, the kids and I had lots of time to kill and as the boys were home too, there was a lot of playtime. In their garden, they have a big trampoline, and the kids loved to jump.

Here in the heat it's not as common as it is in Sweden with a trampoline in everyone's backyard, so especially Cassie took advantage of the opportunity to jump! In Sweden it seems like every family with kids have a trampoline.

There was a lot of LEGO building going on in both the younger boy's room. A lot of pieces, everywhere....I know why I haven't bought any small piece LEGO to my kids yet, but Linda's boys are in a different age with 5, 10 and 12, so the middle boy especially had a lot of different sets and the little kids were all over them.

Wow, look at the boys, one with light blue and one with dark brown eyes..

There was also a lot of coloring and drawing going on. All the kids love to draw, so it was a nice way to get them to spend time together. The little ones played with no problems like younger kids do even if they don't speak the same language, and Cassie did great from the beginning picking her Swedish up again, and using it! The boys also did their best in speaking English and especially Albin the older one had no problem speaking English to the little ones too.

In the evenings we got spoiled with nice dinners and some days it was even warm and nice enough to sit outside. Even if the summer in Sweden was wonderful with mostly warm and nice weather, it hadn't really started yet here in Vasteras, just around Midsummer.

My friend Linda and her boys..

One day, we went to Cassie's old daycare for a visit. The boys have also gone here and the youngest still is, and it was fun to meet 2/3 of the staff that worked there when Cassie went there from 2-4 years old. They had decorated their own Maypole and the kids couldn't resist to dance around it. Or wait, maybe I had to ask them to dance for the first picture, but soon they got into it and had a lot of fun! Who would have guessed that we would have 3 children each at this time of our lives?! Pretty amazing and so great to see them all get along and have fun!

After the dancing, we started to walk back to their house. As we then pass by the close by playground, we stayed for awhile. Did I already mention that we absolutely love the Swedish playgrounds?? I had almost forgotten how great they are, and how many there are just around the corner of where you live in a city. Most areas have several different ones within walking distance. This one is just 2 minutes walk across from their house.

So green and so many different fun things to do! And the best part, it wasn't too hot to be outside and play so the kids never wanted to go home, and we spent a lot of time there. So great to see my kids that are not used to this luxury really enjoy it, and wanting to explore.

Could they have made it more Swedish? A moose in the Swedish colors blue and yellow!

This was so funny, Isabella thought it was something wrong with her part of the see-saw as it didn't go down. Hard to understand that Victor was a little heavier than her apparently.

This toy made me almost sick just watching them spin it around and around and around....

Learned to say "Kan du putta mig?"

Running into mommy's arms!

Here I found some more pictures from when they jumped in the puddles. I had taken the other ones with the phone, and now when I slowly but surely getting organized with the pictures from Sweden, I found the ones that I took with the camera! I just love their facial expressions!

So green everywhere between the houses. Here on the pathway to the park looking for more puddles to jump in!

Found a bush along the way with pretty little white flowers.

My little man <3

Many more pictures will come, I just have to get them posted somewhat in order!!