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Tag: Dalarna

Christmas 2019 – Sweden

Our initial plan was to be elsewhere during Christmas, but several things made us rethink and spend this year’s Christmas with family, so Sweden it is for us this year.

It is Othilia’s second Christmas, but the first one she can walk around and touch things. We were excited for her to experience snow, but it looks like we have a daughter that prefers the summer months of Europe. Othilia is a bit reserved about snow, darkness and coldness. We put her down on the ground when we go out with her and she just looks sceptical at the snow and then reaches her arms toward us and wants to be carried most of the time we are out. We got snow for Christmas so at least us parents were happy. Pictures from our Christmas are coming below. Merry Yule and a happy new year!

Vår första plan var att vara någon annanstans under julen, men det var flera saker som fick oss att tänka om och tillbringa årets jul med våra familjer, så Sverige blev det för oss i år.

Det är Othilias andra jul, men det är den första som hon kan gå runt och röra saker själv. Vi var glada för att Othilia får uppleva snö, men det ser ut som om vi har en dotter som uppskattar Europas sommarmånader mer. Otilia är inte särskilt exalterad över snö, mörker och kyla. Vi sätter ned henne på marken när vi går ut med henne och hon ser bara skeptiskt på snön och sträcker sedan armarna mot oss och vill bäras mesta delen av tiden vi är ute. Vi fick snö till jul så åtminstone vi föräldrar var glada. Bilder från vår jul kommer nedan. God jul och gott nytt år!

Othilia trying to walk on ice.
Walking short distances was alright, but most often she wanted to be carried.
Balls are always fun according to Othilia.
We had a few christmas smorgasbord (julbord). The first one out was a vegetarian one. It was interesting to try, but let’s say that we prefer an original one with meat.
Othilia found stuffed animals here and she liked them a lot. Her hair is getting longer, we are letting it grow so up to this point no scissor has yet touched her hair.
We met with our friend Lynn (she met up with us both in Netherlands and in Czech Republic) and Othilia recognized her immediately.
The snow disappeared just before Christmas, but it would return on Christmas Eve, the day we are celebrating Yule.
Christmas smorgasbord number 2, with a lot more meat on it.
We had Christmas gifts opening several times during Christmas.
Othilia was happy to receive a flute.
We went to visit the Christmas house.
A lot of lamps and other things Othilia wasn’t allowed to touch. It was an interesting experience to walk around here with her. The Coca-cola truck was on display, a famous Coca-Cola Christmas commercial for no use, the Swedes mostly buy julmust during December.
Another Swedish tradition during Christmas is to watch old Disney clips on the TV every year at 3 pm on Christmas eve for one hour. This is the most famous clip shown during this hour of Disney.
Christmas smorgasbord number 3 on the actual day we celebrate, Christmas eve.
Ulrika and Othilia next to the Christmas tree.
The snow came back so we explored the winter landscape with Othilia.
We even created a snowman.
Our snowman standing in the dark.
Othilia would only stand on the ground next to lights. The darkness up here in the North require a few shining trees. This was not so late in the afternoon and complete darkness surrounds us.
Next Christmas tree and Othilia in our arms. At 15 months, Othilia’s word knowledge has increased and it is mostly Swedish word she knows and say right now. In Swedish she can say: mer, igen, lampa, mamma, pappa, titta, “vaärde?” (vad är det?), tack and hejdå, but a few English words are in her vocabulary (mummy, daddy and happy). She of course understands a lot more words than she can say at the moment.
And more Christmas presents to be opened. We want to thank our families for all the lovely gifts Othilia got this Christmas!

Merry Yule everyone and we are looking forward to what the year 2020 will bring. Happy new year!

Hot summer, pregnancy and Säter’s mental healthcare museum

July was incredible hot in Sweden and for Ulrika this meant tiredness and just find ways to try to cool off. We had planned to spend some time with family before we had to leave Sweden, so we did just that. Ulrika’s birthday wish was to go to Säter’s mental healthcare museum so this trip was our only adventure during July. We also had to do a lot of preparations for the coming birth of our child, so July went by incredible fast for us.  Below is a summary of our July in pictures.


Juli var otroligt hett i Sverige och för Ulrika betydde det en otrolig trötthet och försöka hitta sätt att vara sval. Vi hade planerat att spendera denna tid med familjen innan vi var tvungna att lämna Sverige, så vi gjorde just det. Ulrikas födelsedagsönskning var att åka till Säters mentalvårdsmuseum, så denna utflykt var vårt enda äventyr under juli. Vi var också tvungna att göra flera förberedelser för vårt barns kommande födelse, så juli gick otroligt snabbt för oss. Nedan följer en sammanfattning av vårt juli i bilder.

Week 32 photo of Ulrika and little did she know that Sweden would experience the hottest summer since the Swedish Weather institute started their measurements 250 years ago. Here. she was just glad not to be nearer the equator

We were in Dalarna with Pontus family for the most part helping out with different things.

Helping Pontus mother start building a greenhouse.

We also got to hang out with Pontus nephew Noa (Grattis Noa på födelsedagen!)

Noa showing us and his mother Hanna that he was almost ready to start walking by himself. Soon he would let go of his parents hands and begin to explore the world.

We went to an outdoor auction in Dalarna.

It is interesting to see the psychology behind the bidding strategies.

Found a funny sign in one of the stores we visited: “Win a free ride in a police car. The only thing you need to do is to shoplift in this store. Say hello to the camera :)”

The temperature just rose and rose, and soon it was no longer pleasant to be in Sweden in the end of a pregnancy.

The only thing we could do was to cool ourselves in the lakes, here in Långviken.

And Harnäs.

Ulrika during week 35 before cooling off in lake Grycken after an incredible hot day (compared to other Swedish summers).

Ulrika also turned 35 during those hot summer days and Pontus baked a cake for her using his mother’s recipe.

Ulrika finally got to visit Säters mentalvårdsmuseum (Säter’s mental healthcare museum). The state institution for mentally ill persons and others opened 1912 and parts of the area is still operational – the forensic psychiatry clinic.

It is a small museum and you have to book the guided tour in advance, but it is so worth it to take the guided tour. You get to learn about the psychiatric care in the beginning of last century and what standard practices to help and “help” mentally ill persons have looked like during the last century.

Most interesting is the part where the patients crafts and artistry are displayed. This cardigan was created by a psychotic woman, where the front piece were worked on during her “chaotic” episodes and the back piece worked on during her calm episodes.

A wedding dress by a female patient who thought that she and the head doctor were to get married.

The doctor’s name was Theodore (Ted).

There were no lack of innovators in this place. This gun was designed to be able to shoot around corners.

Other made more or less correct predictions of the future. One patient were concerned about the future of electricity and he wrote a book about it “About the ravages of electricity” in 1920.

Others feared about overpopulation of Sweden already in 1939.

And a few patients really could envision what the world would look like in the future describing wireless telephones already in 1912, but the doctors at that time called it hallucinations.

Back in Stjärnsund we ate Ulrika’s birthday cake and had a quiet celebration. Ulrika thinks that Pontus did a very good job with creating this birthday cake!

We enjoyed our time with family in July, but we we’re also preparing for giving birth to our child – one of the tasks were to visit a Notarius Publicus to get an Apostille stamp on important documents. It was interesting to see that Gävle had a Finnish honorary consulate.

Ulrika has used home tests to monitor her iron levels and after taking iron supplements for a months she were finally back to normal levels. This is another thing to be aware of, taking control over your body, when you don’t have a specific doctor or midwife to go to. Fortunately, there are so much things that you can do nowadays to monitor yourself. We ordered several home tests from HH UK like protein in Urea, Vitamin D levels etc (link below).

Home Health UK

We got delayed, because of car trouble, so we couldn’t leave Sweden at our planned date. We got more time with family, but we wanted to leave Sweden before Ulrika entered week 36.

Just before Ulrika entered week 36 everything was fixed and we had packed our bags for the coming months.

We passed Göteborg to say good bye to this little muggler.

And Sweden said good bye to us with one final fire – now at an industrial site. The heat and dryness have really been extreme this summer in Sweden and a lot of forests have gone up in flames.

Ulrika’s brother has been one of the heroes fighting the fires in the extreme heat. They managed to get the fire outside Kårböle in control! (Picture taken by one of Niklas colleagues at R3 Uppsala)

Now it is August and technically “det lilla livet” can come any time from the middle of August to middle of September. It is going to be exciting couple of weeks we are facing!

Nu är det augusti och tekniskt sett så kan det lilla livet komma någon gång från mitten av augusti till mitten av september. Det kommer att bli spännande några veckor vi står inför!

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