Thursday, November 21, 2013

No place can't be reached, nothing is safe

Elin can't quite walk yet, but she can climb just about everything. As you can see. None of these pics are arranged and she got where she is by her self. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

How long is an eternity?

Accrding to recent studies an eternity is somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes.

That is, anyway, how long it takes me from I decide it's time to go out until I'm outside the door with three kids changed, dressed and put in the stroller. I've worked on the routine quite a bit but I only seem to cut seconds or single minutes of this time - and it still feels like an eternity. 

I keep fooling my self when I try to plan the coming hours (get out, go there, do that, go home, pick up x, and so on). I always believe I can be out the door in twenty minutes, but end up being twenty minutes behind schedule from the very begining.

When will I learn? 
Photo: Filip, Oscar and Elin on the bus heading to town. Today 25 minutes behind schedule. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Elin's first choice

Elin chose her own clothes for the first time the other day. I trust it won't be the last.

She had made one of her daily raids in the drawers with clothes and found some cartoon characters (Bamse, Lille Skutt & Skalman) on a sweater and started pulling it over her head. She soon realised she wouldn't manage getting it on by her self and starting screaming. That didn't end until the sweater was on. :-/

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lots of teeth, new routine

Oscar finally got his first teeth last week; two in just a couple of days. With Filip's eight and Elin's four that is a total of fourteen that needs to be brushed, something that I forgot almost every morning.

That called for a new routine. 

Sometime every morning I put the small kids in the pram/stroller for a nap. I now do that and give them a toothbrush each. They immediately starts to suck or chew on them. They each seem to enjoy to see that the siblings have the same thing in their hands and mouth as they have themselves. I then borrow each brush for a few moments and brush the teeth, and no one seems to protest very much, possible since they can see that everyone get the same treatment? :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Intet ont anande pappa

När jag idag hastigt försökte sleva i mig en lunch lät jag de små sköta sig själva på golvet. De kravlade bl.a. in i badrummet, men det hade jag ju säkrat så det var väl inga problem. Torra badankor kan de väl få leka med?

Efter en stund kommer de små ligisterna utkrypande i köket igen. Då inser jag att ett par byxor är väldigt blöta, och även ett andra par. Och tröja och byxor på den tredje...

Det visar sig att någon lämnat vattensprayflaskan vi har när vi stryker någonstans åtkomligt. Denna har terroristerna lyckats skruva av munstycket på och sedan haft skoj med innehållet. Barnen var mycket nöjda. 

När jag håller på att byta alla kläder (höll på med nr 2 av 3) inser jag att två barn låter mycket nöjda i köket. Snabbt ut för att se - och inser att någon lyckats få tag den stora saltburken, öppna den och tömma ut någon deciliter salt i en stor hög på golvet. De kanske fick en försmak av vintern; det är ju skoj att krypa omkring i snö (eller, jag menar salt) och vifta i den så att den far omkring. 

Tre terrorister sattes i stora vagnen och tittade därifrån nöjt på när jag dammsög kök och hall. 

Men nu sover de i alla fall och jag "tröstäter" choklad i soffan. :-/

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Who swopped kids?

Okey, our smallest ones eat reasonable most days. But today someone must have swopped them for some else's kids.

Anna made omelette for lunch; four eggs, diced potatoes and peas - supposed to last for EOF and Anna. Anna got nothing at all - she called the rest of us (out doing errands) and ordered hamburgers.

For afternoon snack I first made one sandwich, then another one, then a third and then a fourth. They have by now each eaten twice as much as L an S had for their snack.

We have really had a hard time the last two weeks calibrating the amount of food we need to buy and cook. We never have leftovers any more and add sandwiches after the meals just too often.

Friday, September 27, 2013

At the end of the day

Having five kids in the house make lots if things more complicated than before.

Putting them all to bed is quite a maneuver (as I have written previously). But when they all are asleep the work still isn't finished. This is the sight that we meet most days when we come down the stairs to the living room sometime between 8 and 9 PM:
 So before we can crash on the couch we need to find it and get to it...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No rain in the afternoons, please!

The first two weeks of September had the best weather ever in! I wore shorts and t-shirt every day! But two days ago the autumn rains inevitable came. And with them came loads of extra work every time I need to go out with the kids.

Yesterday it took me a good forty minutes to dress the three smallest kids, put them in "Potemkin", put rain covers on and then dress my self in goretex - just to be able to walk to school and daycare to pick up L and S. I will get more efficient with time and training, but to get out the door in three minutes (like last week) won't happen again any time soon... I can't wait for spring! ;)
And, I need to teach EOF to stay inside the stroller's rain covers. When I got back yesterday, the kids had quite wet hair, due to them peeking out all the time. That might work in September but in November they will catch a cold before I know it!

Can't do it without support

I made a short appearance as a university teacher yesterday. I held a seminar for for pharmacists-to-be about what a pharmacist might do if you work at an agency.

Such a thing wouldn't be possible without support from friends or relatives. 

Yesterday it was made possible by a good friend who had worked an extra hour the night before just to be able to take care of EOF for an hour. Not only did she take the stroller for "any walk"; she took EOF for a walk in the woods* and to meet the sheep that are kept close by. She had also managed to gather three baby chairs and brought a few toys from her home to her workplace (at the university), to be used after the walk, at lunch. 

This made it possible for me to fully focus on something else for ninety minutes (and in the process relax quite a bit!). Afterwords I found three happy kids ready to have lunch in my friend's workplace's lunch room. My friend had even managed to eat her lunch first, so she fed the kids while I ate my lunch without much need of multitasking (eating AND feeding). (That's rare these days!)

THAT'S a good friend! Thank you!!!

*) Yes, the university is literally next to the woods and to a field where sheep are kept!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shoes, shoes, shoes...

We're quite certain that we will have loads of shoes here before we know it. Another triplet family suggested making a shoe storage cabinet using left over CD shelves. 

We bought two shelves for 100 SEK ($16) and got one from some friends. (We use the shelf "Benno" from IKEA.) I sawed them to match the exact height underneath our staircase, put them there and screwed them to the wall. Done!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Just an ordinary weekend

We didn't do anything particular this weekend. My mother-in-law Margareta visited and we only...
- picked (Anna, Margareta, Ludvig and Siri) and boiled (Johan) 23 corn cobs
- took two kids to their swim classes (Anna)
- joined some friends for a wine tasting (Johan)
- made two kilograms of strawberry jam
- made a kilogram of rhubarb marmalade 
- took a car for a test drive
- defrosted two freezers
- (almost) learnt how to ride a bicycle (Siri)
- changed and washed the small kids all bed sheets
- gave the triplets their bath
- learnt how to climb up into a small arm chair (Elin and Filip)

Other than that we didn't do much. I guess we have built up quite a tempo in our daily life - we hardly notice the things we do around here. :-/

Saturday, September 7, 2013

One year check-up

I took EOF to a check-up at the health care center last Monday. My mom came along to provide a pair of extra hands - well needed since the kids were to have two shots each.
All kids grow steadily, each following their "curve". Elin hit the 10 kg mark this time.


Moving the three smallest kids in the family around, perhaps only to get them to sleep, is a continues problem.

To handle the problems we have no less than three prams/strollers. 

The obvious one is the one we often refer to as "the panzer cruiser Potemkin" due to its size and weight - that makes people move out of the way when we walk down the street. 
With this pram we can walk around in and to things in our neighborhood and each kid can sit or lay down as we/they choose.
But Potemkin come with a number of new problems, and they are mostly due to its size. First: It won't fold together very well and we haven't even tried to get it into the car. Second: It's to wide and long to get into many places, like the doctor's office or the local bus. 

So we needed another "vehicle": Our Baby Travel Dublin.
This is really a stroller for two kids, but you can attach an extra seat in the front. Only two kids can lay down and sleep in it, and that is its biggest limitation for us. 

But quite often we do find that two is enough; perhaps only two kids need to sleep at a given time, one kid can be carried or ride in another stroller. When we take the bus downtown the extra seat is convenient; three seats but the stroller is still just the size of a two-kid stroller and we no problem getting on the bus. But the kids need to take turns sleeping. 
Pros with the Dublin is that it folds really well and is easy to put in the car and still have room for bags - or another stroller. The swivel weels also makes the stroller easy to maneuver - very unlike "the Potemkin"...

When we are two people that can push strollers, and all three small kids are coming along we usually use the Dublin along with our third vehicle, a Teutonia Timmy.

This is a basic stroller that folds well, allow a kid to lay down compleaty to sleep. We're happy that we realised that both the Dublin and the Timmy can be squized into our Ford Galaxy while all seven seats are in use!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Some kind of pillow

Elin is in an "off" mood today. Nothing happens the way she likes them to be, everything is off.

On such a day, it's not a surprise to me that when she finally decides to sleep she choose a milk bottle as a pillow...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taking turns

Last Thursday Anna went back to work, on the day one year after EOF was born. It is now my turn to be a solo parent at home with triplets. 

I got me a slow start. Since Anna started of with a job conference abroad I called in my mom as additional support. 72 hours alone with five kids was a bit to heavy to start of with, was my thinking. 

But now, on Tuesday when mom has left, I'm on my own. EOF decided on showing their "appreciation" of "the changing of the guard" by taking turns in their own way; sleeping. 

At least one has always been awake, while the sibling(s) has been a sleep. And when more than one has been awake someone has done his or her best in being as tired and grumpy as possible. The obvious solution, to put the tired one in the pram to sleep, has failed over and over again. 

I hope this act of appreciation won't last very long! ;)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The score has changed

For a long time the scoring has been linear; 1-0-0, then 2-0-0, then 3-0-0 and on until 6-0-0. That is the number of teeth Filip, Elin and Oscar have individually. 

But today we came "out of this regular order" and note the score 6-1-0; that is Elin has gotten her first tooth!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sleepy day

After having my sleep interrupted twice in the very early morning I got out of bed at 05.30 yesterday morning. To say the least I was quite tired... It has been similar hours for weeks now.

It then felt really nice at 08.45 when two kids were off to school/kindergarten and the rest had fallen asleep in the pram for their morning nap, and Anna said "sleep tight" to me. 

I lay down on the couch, only a few meters away from the pram and fell asleep within minutes.

Sleep doesn't regularly last very long in this house these days, but this time was different. We all slept for two hours and forty minutes! Nice!!! I needed that!

As a reaction I didn't really think the kids would sleep very long for their afternoon nap. But that was wrong, too. They slept for more than two hours, giving Anna some relaxing time while I went grocery shopping!

The energy gained was quickly consumed, though. Anna went of to a crayfish party with some friends and I watched TV until 1 am. For me this was a nice feeling - I usually fall a sleep during the first twenty minutes of a movie... :-/

So we were back on square one this morning at 05.30. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday, no routine

It's Tuesday again. Anna is off horseback riding again. And I had promised myself that I needed a better managed routine to get all kids in bed on time.

But to establish a routine you need one thing - something that repeats itself. You prepare for something that you know is going to happen, hence you manage it better the second time around. And even better the third. 

We did prepare a little bit better today. Anna read the older kids a pre-bedtime story before she took off to the stables. I prepared the milk for the small ones. And I was ready for a good hour's work. 

But. I put all three small kids in their cribs. No protesting. All the lay down immediately. They all accepted a bottle held in place by a blanket, a pillow or a stuffed animal. All drank and fell asleep in less than ten minutes. They were just too tired. 

The older kids got to watch a kids TV show at the computer in the meantime. I even got to read a chapter in my book (waiting for the TV show to end) before I brushed their teeth and both quietly went to bed.

So. Lessons learned? I don't know. I still have no routine on how to get kids in bed on time next Tuesday! Or do I?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday nights

It's Tuesday night. I think I will need to work on a routine for these nights.

Anna has now begun taking horse back riding classes again. They are at Tuesday evenings and she needs to leave the house at 6.45 and won't be back until 9 at the earliest. 

The three small kids usually "run out of batteries" at 7.30 and they then need milk to go to sleep and sleep through the night. Siri needs to be in bed by 8 (in order to get up in the morning in time for kindergarten) and Ludvig soon afterwards.

How do I manage to feed three small ones, brush teeth on two other kids and then read two bedtime stories and get five kids in bed, preferably by 8...?

My first attempt (today) was to bring all kids, milk bottles and books to the master bedroom. I feed Oscar some of his milk (he was the most tired kid), while managing the brushing of teeth with my other hand. I then put Oscar to bed (just a few meters away) and begun reading nighttime stories. Filip and Elin crawled around in the floor in the meantime, but they kept getting stuck under the beds or elsewhere, or hit their heads on other furniture. So the reading was interrupted too many times and kids cried a bit too much. And Oscar couldn't go to sleep in all that noise. 

I finally managed to send the two oldest to bed at 8.20. By then Filip was a bit too tired and hardly wanted any of his milk; he just fell asleep. Elin had most of her milk in bed, with me in a very uncomfortable position holding her bottle. 

But all three small kids are asleep at 8.45 and the two older ones are at least resting in their beds.

I'll see what improvements I can come up with for next week!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Like the space shuttle

I came to compare our family with a launch of a space shuttle today...

I understand that space launch is a delicate and complex matter even though it has been done hundreds of times. The space craft needs to take off within a very narrow time frame, the launch window, in order to be able to get to the space station or wherever it is intended to go. Then the craft needs to be fueled, and that takes some time but the craft can't stay fueled more than a couple of hours - or it needs to be unfueled. And the astronauts need to be dressed and in the space craft in time. And a gazillion other things needs to be prepped in order to launch. 

This is a little bit like getting all seven of us on a field trip somewhere. Now in the summertime we try to go somewhere almost every other day, but the launching sequence is rather complex and we never seem to get away in time, or with the right stuff, or...

Our launch window is defined by the time someone needs to eat. If we feed EOF their lunch at 11.30 and the rest of us didn't have our lunch ready at the same time, we then know that we need to eat, pack, get off and arrive within three hours, otherwise we'll have three not so happy kids, at least one screaming for food. Packing the car is like the refueling part. First it is complex to do in a ever changing environment where someone always is calling for help. Things you were trying to pack never stay in one place but is moved whenever you turn your back to them. If we get the stuff together we start getting the kids in the car, all in the right clothes and shoes, all strait from the bathroom or with a new diaper. If we aren't quick enough, we'll soon need to redo it all when kids need to go to the bathroom or have diapers changed again...

But we do manage to take off quite often - and leave some trace of our activities on Facebook or here on the blog. 

So if NASA needs some space launch coordinators, or a training environment, they now know where to look! 

Friday, July 26, 2013


I've come to call Elin, Oscar and Filip "the terrorists" (Swe: "terroristerna") now and then. It's of course a joke, but here's the reason:
It's not laundry on the floor. Elin and Filip have just found it interesting to go through all pyjamases... I need to remember to close that door next time. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

No milk today?

For about eight months milk (breast milk or formula) was the sole thing Elin, Oscar and Filip ate. Most of the time it has been formula. I did a quick calculation the other day and came to the conclusion that we have mixed more than a cubic meter (a metric ton or something like 300 US gallons) of formula during this period.

A few months ago we started "training" with solid food as well. For some time none of the kids ate very much and they still drank as much formula as they used to. But suddenly this changed. Over the last two months or so first Elin refused the milk bottle during the days, and then all three started accepting food in much larger quantities. We now serve them breakfast oatmeal, fruit purée snack, some lunch, another fruit purée snack, dinner and more oatmeal every day. They get milk (formula) during the night and at bedtime. 

And the formula consumption has drastically changed. A box that used to last one day now last three or four days. We used to mix formula a liter at the time and keep in the fridge - now this is waste of space!

So we are approaching a milestone; the day we can say "No milk today!". We'll have a bottle of sparkling wine ready for the day we finally get rid of the milk bottles. :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ordväxling / Conversation

This is about a conversation that took place in Swedish, hence is it hard to write about in English. We've tried to make a translation further down. 

Ordväxling invid vår stora trillingvagn "Pansarkryssaren Potemkin", utanför den lokala jourbutiken, dit jag och alla barn gått för att köpa lördagsgodis:

Frun till sin man: -Har du sett, trillingar! 
Mannen tittar ner i vagnen, konstaterar faktum och tittar sedan på mig. 
Mannen svarar sin fru: -Det kunde man väl räkna ut. Se på honom - så smal! Han är ju helt slut!
Han gör en paus och brister ut i ett härligt leende för att bekräfta sin ironi, och säger till mig: -Bra jobbat!

English translation:
Conversation around our big triplet pram "Potemkin, the pansar cruiser", outside the local mini-mart, where I and all the kids had gone to buy Saturday candy. 

The wife to her husband: "Have you seen, triplets!" The husband looks down into the pram, notice the fact and looks at me. The husband responds to his wife: "You could figure it out - Look at him - so skinny! He is totally worn out!" He pauses and a big smile breaks out in his face to confirm his irony, and tells me: "Well done!"

Friday, July 19, 2013

First few words

All three babies have start forming words during the last month or so.

Elin is definitely trying to say "Titta där" (Eng: "Look there"). She does it whenever she has set her eyes on something new and is heading (crawling) that way. (This is a bit special since Anna said exactly the same words when she was the same age.)

Oscar is playing around with many different sounds, but he is clearly trying to say "Mamma" ("Mom"), "Pappa" ("Dad") and "Äta" ("Eat"). Mom and dad is clearly linked to who is heading his way or is in his sights. Eat is something he says all the time, except when he has just finished eating. 

Filip is also playing around with sounds but it was just the other day that we realized what might be his first word. He says "Gaaga" over and over again at times. We now think he's trying to say "Kaka" ("cookie", "biscuit" or "cracker"), since he has started saying his word right when he's about to be served a cracker. (He definitely knows what the word means when we say it, since it makes him immediately look at the cabinet above the fridge, where we keep crackers and cookies...)  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Separate beds

Since about two weeks Elin, Oscar and Filip sleep in separate beds. They shared one bed for almost ten months (they had separate beds for a week or so at the hospital), but it had to end now. They move to much when they sleep and wake each other up in the process.
Their beds take up approximately half the master bedroom. We haven't done much decorating for the babies yet, but at least they now can sleep with their own stuffed animals they got for Christmas. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

The daily strolls

We currently have two kids that have a hard time going to sleep anywhere but in a moving stroller or pram. So quite often when we have one, two or three grumpy babies we push them into a pram and go for a walk.

This happens at least twice a day these days. The walks don't need to be long. 15 minutes usually do the trick, but adding a little bit more is quite nice - getting away from the noise and mess at home... ;)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Elin moves around

Today, on Midsummers eve 21 June, Elin learnt to crawl. 

The fire place in grandma and grandpa's cottage was just too interesting, so she probably decided she just had to get there. 

Oscar and Filip also move around in thee way, and all "talk" a lot. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I'm off

I feel off and I am off in a number of ways at the moment. 

To start with, I'm off from work now. I should have worked my last day on Tuesday last week, but that didn't work out. Well, I did the work I was supposed to do that day, but cleaning up my workspace and desk didn't happen, nor did I have time to say goodbye to my colleagues. So I had to go back for a couple of hours on Thursday to do just that. But now I'm OFF from work for something like 14 months. It's hard to imagine all things that will happen in that space of time and how much E-O-F will have grown and learnt in August 2014. They are close to ten months old now and will be almost two years old then. 

I'm also off when if comes to time of day and the daily routines. While working going to bed and waking up were two fixed points to which most things could be related. But now both these points are no longer necessary to keep and all of a sudden everything feels off. 

The two oldest kids are off to grandma and grandpa for a few days, where they can get really spoiled. You could probably expect that things are easier with only three kids around, but that is not always the case. All of a sudden we relax a bit and our timing is OFF! This morning we left the house one hour behind schedule...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New things

Elin, Oscar and Filip all have new things to be proud of this week - or perhaps the parents are the most proud?

Elin has learnt to clap her hands. We saw it on Saturday when we watched the local carnival.

Oscar has made big progress on learning to say his first words. He now frequently says ga-ga-ga-ga among other sounds. 

Filip got his first tooth on May 27. He is still really puzzled on how the new thing in his mouth feels like. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why did I bother - they move!

I wonder why I bothered to put a blanket in the floor in the kitchen today? It took two minutes and then no one used it anymore.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Some recent photos

Out on the lawn. 

Sleeping alike.

Elin - quick to switch from screaming to laughter. 

Filip - our thinker. 

Oscar - wondering why dad keeps taking all these photos?

Chilling in the "pool". 

Looking out on the rest of the world. 

More chilling.