Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is tiring

We had a nice Christmas eve yesterday. (For you overseas; Christmas eve is "the big day" here.) We skipped making any Christmas food ourselves, and opted to go to a restaurant and eat "Julbord" (the traditional Swedish Christmas buffet). Back home Santa had dumped his big sack on our doorstep (to the older kids joy and sadness*). Opening all the gifts was the usual chaos.

It must have been exhausting for our youngest. They fell asleep halfway through (at something like 6 PM) only to wake up to be fed once or twice during the evening.

At the usual hour, 11 PM, I put them to bed one after the other and then went to bed myself. (Anna had gone to bed earlier.)

We woke up at 6.30 AM! It was Elin an Filip that wanted breakfast, had it and went back to sleep within 15 minutes. Oscar slept on until 8.30! I took him with me and let the others sleep on. Anna, Elin and Filip slept until after 10!

So, despite all the nice Christmas gifts Anna and I got last night, the Christmas morning gift was the best one ever! The timing of EOF's first full night of sleep without interuptions couldn't have been better! Thank you Elin, Oscar an Filip!

*) Siri and Ludvig loved the presents off course, but Siri was also upset that Santa had left his bag behind and needed it back.

Filip sleeping with one of his Christmas gifts, a tiger.

Oscar sleeping in Anna's lap with his gifts still unopened.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Done working for a while

Today was my final day at work before the holidays. Feels nice to turn off the computer and work phone a full ten days.

Some strange year at work it has been. If I've been lucky I've produced half the things I usually do in a year, so the government might not be that pleased. But on the other hand, the family has grown with three (future) taxpayers. You win some, you loose some, you might say. :)

Here's a few recent photos!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Was this what we fought for?

The letter from the county administration regarding the time for Siri in daycare arrived today.

They finally approved something that we can live with. We get seven hours a day, just enough for me to work 9-3 each day.

If feels kind of weird that this simple letter with two lines of text is the end of six months worth of emails, forms and phone calls. Where are all the stamps and triple signatures and the annexes??

But some bitter taste can still be found in my mouth. It's like the county just HAD TO get the final point in this matter. We had asked for at least 37 hours a week - and they approved 35. Was it THAT HARD to accept that what we asked for was fair?

Next time I'll use the loop hole.

One big eater, one cold and one sleepyhead

This night Elin proved she is our big eater. When she woke up at 3.30 she first had one full bottle of milk, and then loudly demanded a second one, that she almost finished of. :)

Short after Oscar woke up. Mostly because he has a cold and is coughing a great deal. He got so sit up and eat from his bottle and then went back to sleep.

Filip never woke up during the night. He is more and more proving that he is of my family, that is being a sleepyhead. Anna (and the babies) slept quite long and even missed out the Lucia concert on TV at 7 am - a tradition NOT to be missed... :-/

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Delayed by snow

A few weeks ago I thought "I think I'm getting the hang of this". I shouldn't have done that.

I went back to work on November 1st. After something like three weeks I started to get the logistics side of life together. Getting up at 6.30, getting Ludvig and Siri out of bed and having them dressed and fed, provide a few bottles of baby milk to Anna (who then took care of the baby feeding part) and be outside the house before 8. That way I could take the kids by bike to school and daycare and be at work at 9. (I even manages to reverse the time schedule a full hour once, making the 8.09 train from downtown going to a conference in Stockholm!)

It was then the thought struck me.

And then came the snow. 10-15 inches at one time. And then riding the bike to work stopped working. And having the kids walk with me to school and then Siri and I continued to daycare took forever! And my logistics schedule was delayed by at least 30 minutes.

Thank good the snow and cold stayed on. We have now, two weeks in, a cold ground with hard, compact snow on it. And you can pull a sled on this.

So my delay is now down to something like ten minutes (the bike ride is replaced with a bus trip), and there is room for improvement. I just might starting to get to work in time on a daily basis any day now.

But I won't say I'm getting the hang of it. God knows what could happen then!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Still no word...

...from the county's administration. Frustrating.

Thank God the kids are cute! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Is a fight worth fighting?

All since this summer, we've been struggling on and of with our county's (Uppsala kommun) administration regarding Siri's daycare.

Normally (in Sweden) children with a stay-at-home parent are only allowed to be at daycare part time. I guess the thinking is that the tax money should be used for the kids that need daycare the most. But "most kids" in this context only have one younger sibling (or perhaps two), and mom or dad only need to look after two or three kids at a time.

Our family situation is a bit different.

If one parent is at home he or she has the hands full taking care of three babies - adding the work needed to pick up a fourth kid from daycare, feed and keep her stimulated is just to much.

Hardly anyone have any trouble accepting this as a fact.

Unless you're our local county...

This struggle is now in the third or fourth round, and we still don't know if we're winning. We have a number of letters from all kinds of places, all giving support to our claim. We hope we're lucky this time around - a new decision should be in the mail any day now.

Time and energy to fight bureaucrats is not something we have very much of. Over the last few months we have chosen not to fight bureaucracy a number of times - making it from day to day has been more important. But this fight is not one of them - we can't see an alternative if we are to make it through the days and weeks.

So keep your fingers crossed.

And if the bureaucrats haven't come to the obvious decision - we already know the next move. There are loopholes in all systems!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A necessary recharge

I have tonight been away from home for a few hours in the evening. My job had the annual "julbord" (a buffet with Christmas food), and this is a nice occasion to chill out and get to know your colleagues a little bit better.

But leaving the house with five kids (that needs to be feed and put to bed) is not something I do without hesitation. The evening in the house could develop into a small disaster... So we asked around, and a good friend of Anna's came over and helped out.

Without the assistance to Anna I wouldn't have been able to relax like I have done tonight - my mind would have been elsewhere...

But this way I could recharge my batteries a great deal. Thanks, Britt-Marie!

We now hope to do it "the other way around" this Friday - Anna leaving for the annual "julbord" with Ladies Circle, and I stay at home - hopfully with some much needed assistance and nice company!