Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

How to impress your two-year-old:

Make a ball. Role it under the palm of your hand. Role the worm – or just stop there if you don’t feel like making this too complicated. A worm is good. Be content with yourself. Parenting is no easy job and you’ve done your best. Or go on, role the worm up into a coil, leaving a bit out for the head of the snail. Bend the head up and divide the antennas using your nail. Form slightly after artistic feel – this part will be done best by those of you having a BA in Fine Art but the rest should be content they at least are better than the worm parents.

Well done! That’s all for planned parenting for today.

(Play-doh please contact me for bank details).


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Baby is at the table, well he’s two but I call him baby. We gave him scissors the other day, not as child abuse but as in a pair of plastic ones from the toy store. From age three. If you try to cut things that are too thick with them they come apart at the hinge in the midle. Baby’s new game is throwing the scissors on the floor or hitting in on something so the hinge comes apart and then crying MAMA til I come and fix it.

Reality now in our home: MAMA

So I have to go. This is life at 7:17 in Stockholm this autumn morning.

Three minutes later he’s played with the xylophone, drawn, played with clay, and is now eating musli. I’m reading Camilla and the Horse, a novel by Danish author Christina Hesselholdt. Like a collection of interwoven short stories. Something to inspire my own short story writing. I sent in my latest to the Umeå short story contest, it’s annual and the largest in Sweden since 2008.

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I have to tell you about the carpet you caught a glimpse of on yesterday’s pic of the numbered play mat. I know you’ve been dying for me to tell you what kind of carpet it is. (Admit it, you couldn’t sleep).

It’s a Swedish classic “röllakan” carpet. Made of 100% wool so it is very dirt resistent and never needs to be washed. Just beat and vacuumed. My son even peed on it and the paper I put on top absorbed the pee before it had even sunk it. That’s how resistant the carpet is and how gross I am. Seriously, it was very little pee and it didn’t even soak in at all!

These carpets are an old Swedish handicraft and you can get them with the initials of who wove them. Some are worth a lot of money – depending on who wove them. I get mine at auctions for 100-300 kr and have them in all rooms (3 that is). But new they cost thousands.

So that’s just a tip for you living in Sweden or others likeing the Swedish home interior look.


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So today I started by faking yesterday, since I for the first time forgot to write a blog post. Sorry, hope it won’t happen again. Today my son is out with his grandmother, and my old Canadian dad is out touristing on his own, perhaps taking the hop-on hop-off buses around Stockholm. So for the first time in ages I’m home without kids or parents! (Love them both). It’s SO relaxing. I’ve had boiled eggs and tea with toast (rhye bread my mother-in-law bakes) and been making endless telephone calls. I’ve applied for the stand-up course which is just over a weekend, I’ve never done anything like that. Well I did humor scetches for my radio shows a few years back. And I make fun of my husband all the time. But I have stage fright so we’ll see how it goes. 


I don’t know if this is a typical nordic thing, I can’t imagine people in Mexico doing so, but here it’s common to have sheep skins in the buggies. We have four of them to use in different places to keep the baby warm in winter. I was lucky to buy a used car about a decade back that had loose sheep skins on all the seats – that’s why we have four. And then my dear aunt also gave me a beautiful white one from her own sheep, but that’s too good to use.


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Kajplats 9 in my hometown Västerås where we had a sea food platter with lobster, crayfish etc and the lake just behind us.

This summer has been awful weather, but the sun in shining now so why do I complain. What I wanted to say was that last night I ate lobster, shrimps, crayfish, all fresh from the sea form a platter on a pedestal. By the lake. A really fun evening of conversation with my husband and later on some friends – all without children. It’s the first time in ages I’ve been out like that without kids around. And it’s such a relief to be able to carry on a conversation without being interrupted. I drank a mohito with ice, lime and mentol leaves only. No alcohol or sugar for the pregnant woman. It wasn’t as fun as I hope it’ll be to go out in a year, but it was – for now – enough of a relief from the usual routines of motherhood.

I saw a friend of mine. Actually what I first saw was the back of a head, in a black head wrap. And the thought that struck me was that the woman had cancer and was hiding her hairlessness. Then I saw the pram next to her table with a new born. And I knew it must be my old school friend; I’d seen on Facebook that she’d had a baby and at the same time gotten breast cancer. I took two steps to face her, it was her face, but puffed and swollen. Of course, I haven’t seen her for probably ten years, and she’s had a baby recently, but the change together with the turban seemed sickly and her look wasn’t welcoming. I chose a table further away with my back to her and didn’t think about her for the rest of the evening. I think she’s happy though, to finally have a child, and have moved back to her home town with the much older man she met.

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Morning in Sweden, haven’t gotten up yet. I hear a rumble in the distance but don’t know if it’s thunder or a truck. The blinds are still down. My next son is kicking at the laptop through the wall of my stomach. In the kitchen I hear my mom giving my two year old milk on his porridge. “Sit”, he says to her. 

Not much left of Knausgård’s second book My Struggle, Min Kamp 2, I’ll have to go back and read the first one. I hadn’t planned on reading him but a friend of my wanted the book for his birthday which we celebrated at the Stockholm amusement park Gröna Lund. Since I don’t like rides I sat and read the book while waiting for them to get through the line ups and roller coasters. I got drawn in.

Someone suggested he writes like a blog, since it’s not any genre of fiction with turning points and intrigues. But I’d say it’s more like diary writing. It reminds me of a biography based on Anais Nin’s diaries which I read a few years back and found so interesting. 


Here’s one of my favourite foods. Thin Swedish pancakes with melted cheese, and tomatoe slices folded inside. I eat them with Canadian maple syrupe and red tea with milk. Yummy! A perfectly ripe, salted, creamy avocado with that is never wrong.



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