Monday, March 31, 2014

Matilda goes to daycare

In Sweden it is very common to send your kids to daycare, some even start when their children are 1 year old. This has a lot to do with the fact that Sweden is very liberal and big into equal rights. Having children in daycare makes it possible for both the mom and dad to work. The county you live in even has to provide a daycare spot for your children. 

If your child is at daycare for 15 hours or less a week (or if you and your partner's combined income is less than a certain amount each month) you only pay 60% of the maximum of 1.260 SEK (aprx 190 dollars) a month per child. If your child goes to daycare more than 16 hours a week and you earn more than the lower limit you pay 1.260 SEK a month. 

Mikael and I decided that we didn't want Matilda to be in daycare full-time as she is still so little, so as of now she is there from Monday-Wednesday from 8.30 - 15.30 (21 hours) during which I work from home. The great thing is that it only takes us a 5 minute walk from home as daycare is in our little village - and they teach Montessori which is wonderful as it focusses on the child's senses and creativity, perfect for our creative girl. 

Matilda's first day at daycare. 

We knew that Matilda is a very social and happy girl and that she has 3 of her cousins in the older groups and our neighbor boy who is in her group, but we were still a bit unsure about how it would work out. It turns out that she l o v e s daycare. :) From day one she has been so excited to be there and just gives a quick goodbye when we leave her but runs towards us when we pick her up. There are 8 kids in her group from 1,5-3 years of age and two teachers which is a blessing, I've heard about bigger groups of kids and not as many teachers. 

Her normal schedule is that they all have a morning-get-together at 9 where they say hello to everybody, sing a few songs, focussing on the weather and season/special holidays, have a fruit snack and go outside to play. At 11.15 they serve lunch (catered from a local golf club) and nap around 11:45/12.00 - either inside or outside in their stroller. When they wake up they usually go outside again, depending on the weather, have another snack outside and play more. These days as spring has come I mostly pick up Matilda in the outside playground. 

Matilda has been in daycare for 3 months now and we can really see that she enjoys it and has made a lot of new friends. She has grown so much, her vocabulary had increased ("what is this...?" are her favorite words right now), she wants to draw more and can't get enough of being outside. She even folds her hands before lunch in school and says "amen" - how cute is that! :) 

Every day when I pick her up her teachers (and other group teachers) tell me that she is really happy all the time - and she is! (Although the "terrible two's are coming in full swing..) 

I am so proud of my little independent girl who loves to explore the world. Mikael and I always think about what might become of her and right now we think she might become an architect. There is still a lot of time to figure that out :) 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

September, baby.

So, I have to tell you something..

I've already gone ahead and written about it on Instagram and Facebook already and now it's time to present the newest addition to our family of 3, due in September :)

 15 weeks
today, 17 weeks (I also cut my hair a weeks ago!)

I am so happy that I am finally in my 2nd trimester. The first one was awful to be honest. From week 6 on, until week 14 I have had morning sickness from morning to evening, I started a new job and have felt so out of loop - not so good when you start a new job and have an active toddler. Luckily I didn't have to puke! I can't remember feeling this sick with Matilda, but maybe that is also something you forget :) 

My belly already started showing in week 10 and I've had to wear my maternity pants early. If you compare both photos you can see that my belly is quite high now and getting pointy, with Matilda I was just round. Does that mean it might be a boy? :) Well, we'll hopefully find out on our ultrasound on April 17th. I did hear the baby's healthy heartbeat last Wednesday which was magical. He/she is also quite active, I have felt little kicks since last week. I can't wait for Matilda to be a big sister!

Besides that I am so happy and feel very blessed - it took us only 9 months to get pregnant this time (all naturally) compared to 3-4 years with Matilda. 

Life is good. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

about new years

Hello there! I didn't intend on taking such a long break from blogging, but life just happend. I started working (part-time) from home, about 3 days a week, assiting my previous boss in Germany (who also was my first boss ever many years ago) with different tasks and projects, Matilda started day care and it took a little while to adjust with everything. Also, I'm still helping out with our construction company a few nights a week.. But life is good! :) 

I have a lot to catch on, but first I want to tell you about our amazing new years celebration we had. 

About 2 months before new years eve one of my closest friends husband wrote to us and said that he wanted to surprise his wife Noelle with a new years eve party celebrating her turning 40 to which we almost immediately agreed. Our group of friends knows how to have a good time. It's so fun to think back that we celebrated Noelle's 30th in Rotterdam, my 30th in Frankfurt and now her 40th in Belgium. Next year we'll have to continue the tradition and celebrate my 40th (yikes, next year!) 

So, after Christmas we drove to my parents and stayed for two nights. We also met up with my best friend Meike and her husband Fred whom I hadn't seen for 1,5 years as they live in Georgia, USA. It was her first time meeting Matilda and as you can see, they bonded right away. No wonder, Meike is awesome and has so many nieces and nephews :)

Then we drove to Belgium to meet up with the gang. Belgium is beautiful!
 Our hosts, Noelle & Pierre aka Shmoelle and Peetou!
Luit and Esmeray had brought this latern which was at first hard to lighten as it was so windy outside and then it landed on a tree! But luckily the wind blew out the candle inside.. :)
 After the kids were in bed we stayed up, played games and talked until late in the night. How I missed these guys!
This game was really cool. You had a chose a card from your deck and pick a name to represent it. Then everybody else had to pick a card representing that name. In the end we had to guess who had the first card.
Then our last day came and we went for a little hike right outside of Pierre & Noelle´'s house.
Mia, my darling niece..
This is me pre-fall..
This is my sister-in-law Susan after her fall..

Yep, I tried to walk carefully and almost at the end I fell..
We didn't have time to visit Brussels unfortunately as we had to travel back to my parents, but this was definitely not our last visit.

Noelle & Pierre, we love you :)

Monday, January 06, 2014

Our Christmas

This Christmas we celebrated at our house with the whole family who lives in the area and our 4 missionaries. It was so fun!
Mikael picked the missionaries up at around 9 am, we had breakfast and they opened up the presents they gave each other or had gotten from home. It was so cute to watch - like a little family. :)
Around 3pm everybody came and we watched "Kalle Anka" aka Donald Duck, a Christmas Special and tradition in Sweden. It's a must!
Then "Jultomte" came aka Äldste Billodeau, our missionary :) The kids didn't notice a thing and gave him hugs and sang to him as he was giving them all the presents they had asked him to!
Matilda was very sceptical - can you see her expression? She shook her head very strongly.. :)
Food. Deviled eggs are one of my favorites. Äldste Billodeau and Syster Hosenfeld created this beauty.
Matilda loves Äldste James, but how could she not - he always plays with her and they are two redheads!
Matilda's favorite "hobby" right now - picking her nose.. sigh..
Syster Christensen, Vera, Matilda and Syster Hosenfeld.
After the family left, the Systers and I put on our comfy pants, watched two movies, ate cheese, chocolate and crackers and just relaxed.
Matilda didn't feel like opening her presents the day before, there was too much going on so we opened them up after breakfast on the 25th.
It was a special Christmas.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our Weekend in Photos..

I think you can say that this weekend was perfect - it had bits of everything.
Visitors on our lawn
So precious
Matilda was watching a little Uki on Youtube and wanted me to take her down. A few minutes later she had put Uki back on (pushed the 'play' button), stood on the first step of her chair and was reading a book about cars while watching her favorite show. :)
Saturday evening Milla, Jonas, Mikael and I drove to Helsingborg to see The Sounds live. I saw many shows during my time in Frankfurt but as we usually need to drive to one of the bigger cities like Malmö, Göteborg or Stockholm to see bands we never go unfortunately. 

Oh - The Sounds were so great and what a feeling, to have really loud music in my ears again. :) It was also so awesome to cuddle with Mikael, hold hands or dance. It was one of the best nights in a long time for me. He really is the best. (Heikki, my father-in-law, was watching Matilda. Luckily for him she slept the whole evening and he was able to relax in front of our big TV :))
The next day, after 5 hours of sleep we went to church and had a father's day dinner at home. I made a Swedish traditional meat dish called "kalops" (funny, eh!?) and the most delicious chocolate mousse cake. I blame my horrendous headache the next day to two pieces of almost pure sugar.
After dinner Matilda gave Mikael his gift - or attempted to.
I'm so glad I chose him to be the father of our children. He is patient, adventurous, fun and so loving.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Mikael's 2nd triathlon

A day before Mikael turned 35 he did his 2nd triathlon together with his brother-in-law Magnus. It was 400m swimming, 20k biking and 5k running. (Mikael's first triathlon last year - look how little Matilda was!) He was so much better this year, he had been out with his new bike often and was in better shape. He finished it 1:18:44. I'm so proud of him!

It was a beautiful and warm day and my sister-in-law and I were accompanied by our missionaries who really wanted to tag along. The missionaries were confused with helpers because of their name tags and were asked a lot of questions which half of them they weren't able to understand. It was kind of funny! :)
Both won a little gift afterwards.
I'm so glad that the Elder's were with us so that I could focus on taking photos and filming.


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