Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today was great!

 Today was a fantastic day for both me and Jennifer - and for our Little Viking aswell! Oh, we all loved to be on the horse back...
Taking care of Carmensita before riding

Premiére for Jennifers own helmet :)

He was so happy on the horse back!

An extremely happy me on Santos the pretty one

Tomorrow it will be hard for me to walk but it's so worth it :)

Jennifer got to feel the height of a real horse, too
and we made a round in the paddock. Big smiles!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Almost 1 1/2!

Oh, Erik is 17 months already. Time goes fast when you're having fun!
After a very late spring, the summer weather really has hit us with wonderful, sunny days. This time of the year is the most pleasant. The most of the summer is yet ahead and the days are SOOO long. I love it!

At the end of May we had the joy of being at a little new family members baptism. It was very nice. The funny thing is, each time we attend a baptising ceremony, both me and my husband say to each other that we are so happy for not letting our kids be baptised. As I have mentioned before, I am most certainly spiritual and believe in some kind of higher power and Guardian Angels but neither me nor my husband go to church. We just feel no need of ceremonies and rituals and I strongly believe that baptism is not needed for being loved and protected by higher powers. A prayer or a small talk, asking for advice from God or Guardian Angel can take place any time and anywhere. In the same way we feel that being baptised is something we wish our children to deside by themselves as they grow bigger. I was baptised when I was 11 and wanted to. It feels great to remember it.
Nevertheless, we got some cute pics of our sweethearts!

Nowadays our kids are outdoors most hours of the days and it is so great to have our own garden and backyard. We bought a small slide for the kids and it is very popular.

 Erik has very quickly learned how to handle the slide by him own - aswell as getting up and down the stairs to the garden (or the front door aswell). He is a quick learner and I'm surprised by his ability to immitate everything very fast - both good things and bad. One of the sweetest things that he tries to pronounce right now is "mellanmål", meaning "snack". Hard to explain, but believe me, it is extremely cute when such a small child says such a long word or actually two words put together. He also seems to be very much ready for daycare. Every time when we go to leave or pick up Jennifer, he just "joins the party" and forgets me. It must be mentioned here that he is other ways very much mommy's boy and always makes sure that he knows where I am. I deeply hope that he will like being at daycare when September comes. But it sure looks promising. :)
Still very happy when playing with his favourite cars

Jennifer is currently testing us many times, every day. It's a good thing that both me and my husband are evenly consequent as it comes to not giving in and going the easy way. We do believe that LOTS of love and clear borders are something that makes children feel safe and good. But aaah, sometimes I just don't know what to say any more.
My little girl is growing big!

Erik LOVES the lawnmover. It takes about an hour to cut our grass and each time my husband does it, he is dutyfully followed by Erik. Jennifer never did this. Well, maybe for a minute or two but certainly not in an hour! I hope that he will like this job as much when he is old enough to handle the real lawnmover, too!!!
That's all for this time, folks! No certain news on the job front yet. I'll let you know when I got news.

Monday, May 6, 2013

16 months and finally, SPRING!

Well, hello there :)
A few little landmarks have been reached, again. On May 2nd, our Little Viking turned 16 months. He is just fantastic. Such a smart little guy. He mimics everything we do and surely tries to say so much. His favourite word is, of course, "mamma" and he repeats it very often. Usually, he calles for me, saying "mamma" whichafter I reply with a "mmmh?" (remember, Swedish is a language with "melody", hence I sound rather joyful with my "boring" answer :-). It was kind of funny the other day, when I noticed that he was sitting and playing, repeating "mamma! - mmmmh?" No need for me to fill in, haha!

As the good weather has arrived (FINALLY!) we have been outside as much as possible. Since my last post, where I was whining about Jennifer not wanting to ride her bicycle, things have really changed! After observing how Jennifer was trying to ride her trike without further success, I decided that we would try a bigger bike with support wheels instead. A couple of hours later she was happily biking and declared clearly that Erik can have the trike now. A perfect solution, truly! Nowadays, Jennifer rides a couple of kilometers every day (she is still so proud when she can show everyone at the daycare how she is going to ride home). Erik is being pushed on his trike and he LOVES it! His legs are still a bit too short to reach the pedals but he is so happy when sitting there, with his helmet on :)
Having fun at the playground


A mouthful of sand was not as tasty as he thought....

A wonderful, wonderful sight and such a joy for Jennifer

enjoying his ride

On May 4th, it was our fantastic surrogate, N's, birthday. On the same day, it was also 2 years since the embryo transfer that resulted in our little miracle. We sent her flowers, dry fruits (the only "gift" she spontanously said that she liked during her pregnancy) and a card with our greetings, of course. Also, our dear friends, who are currently in Mumbai and fresh parents of a little miracle girl, were kind enough to bring a photo book about Eriks first year and some more fresh photos of him for N. I am SO very happy that SI is helping us to keep in touch with N! Our gratitude is huge and we would be sad if there was no possibility to let her know how much we think of her.

While the summer is approaching, I'm thinking more and more about my working situation. I must get back to work in september. I do love my job and my ward, colleagues and my boss deeply and feel a great loyality towards them. But I'm very worried for how everything will be. Due to my husbands frequent business leaves, I could not work more than 50% - if we don't want that our kids would be at the daycare day and night.  Working 50% might sound great for you, but for me this means working almost only at weekends and getting paid less than I get now, during my maternity leave. My economy is so poor already and I would really need a lift here. IF I would get a job with daytime working hours, I could work a lot more - easily 75% or even full time if I want and our children could be at the daycare.  A lot to think about for me here, but I am looking for other alternatives. I have to - even if I love working at the hospital.
Tons of fun at Andy's

It is so fun that the whole family can do things like this now!

How cool am I?

Jennifer is so eager to help Erik take off his shoes and put them
in the right place. Love to see them helping each others!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soon to be 16 months!

Hi there!
I know, I know. Long time since my last post. Days pass by so quickly and I guess nothing special has happened. Both kids had a cold during and after Easter so we were at home most of the holidays. Now everything is back to normal and we eagerly wait for the warmer weather so the spring can really come and stay - until summer takes over.

Right before Easter, I was to my gynaecologist for a routine check-up, which I must do every 6 months. On February 17th this year it was 3 years since my hysterectomy (due to cervical cancer diagnosed 3 months after Jennifer was born). This means, it's 2 more years to go until I'm free from my diagnosis. Last friday I got my PAP test result aswell and for my great relief, everything was fine. I hate those days between test and results. They really remind me of how I lost my uterus, how sick I was - without even feeling ill. It's still kind of abstract for me. I remember looking at tampon and Always advertisements, thinking how unfair it is that I will never need any of those again. At the same time, I'm happy to be a survivor. And despite the sad story, I'm still a mother of two wonderful children that both are purely ours. It's so amazing, isn't it?  All of you having surrogate babies, I'm sure you understand how this sometimes can overwhealm you: IT IS SO FANTASTIC that our children do exist!

About the children, Erik is a great runner nowadays. He has learned how to safely climb up to the sofa and Jennifers bed - and down. He also gets safely down from our bed, even if it's to high for him in order to climb back up again. Jennifer never has been a climber. She kind of needs to be motivated an pushed to do physical activity like biking on her three-wheeler. She knows how to do it but just doesn't care. Also when it comes to climbing and running at daycare, she rather sits in the sandbox, playing and singing. Erik is not a monster climber either but since he wants to do everything that Jennifer does, he has to appy himself. This way he learns some things much earlier. Also, we might be a bit cooler as parents and let him manage by himself. :)

Right now, Jennifer absolutely loves when we tell her about words she couldn't pronounce properly when she was smaller. It is so cute when she tells us that she couldn't say words like "avocado" saying "cado" instead etc. I guess this theme is kind of exciting now when Erik is learning to speak. He says quite a few words now, in his own way of course, but still!

At the end of March, we still had snow. Here we are, on our way back from
Jennifers daycare

My little chefs :)
 Erik is very facinated by the vacuumer. He often "tells me" which closet it's hidden in and wants me to take it out. when I do so, he loudly demands me to start vacuuming. It's so silly and funny. Especially as Jennifer at the same time runs to her room, shuts the door and plays alone with her Fisher-Price farm until I'm done. She doesn't like noise. But Erik seems to love machines. Even when I'm making fresh carrot/apple juice, he comes running to see what's the "wonderful" sound, haha.

Two Easer bunnies. Jennifer LOVES a facepaint :)

Playing in Jennifers room. Erik most often makes sure there's a big mess.

The luckiest mom!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sweden - Bangladesh - Sri Lanka - Bangladesh - Sweden

Well, yes, we are back, and so almost 2 weeks already. I was planning to make a blog post for a while ago, but little Hayden's final flight put me in respectful silence (www.rastalesstravelled.com). This little hero really has touched my heart during his short but so intensive life. Not the least, his incredible mother and her wonderful talent for writing has impressed me a lot. Bernadette and your family - you will ALWAYS have a place in my heart! Now, take time to live, love, sleep and heal. Your Mighty Superhero will always be with you, probably guarding his sister from the skies.

Our trip to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was absolutely wonderful. We had peaceful, happy days together. As my husband is travelling a lot, our family time is from time to time a bit limited. Therefore just being all together was so nice. All 6 flights went very good. We already knew that Jennifer is a very good traveller. She continues to repeat that she wants to become a pilot. But it was pleasant to learn that also her little brother has absolutely no trouble with flying. Our wonderful stuardesses made it also possible for Jennifer to see the cockpit on almost every plane, which was so exciting for her. But most of the time, our kids just slept throgh the flights :)

 In Dhaka, we had wonderful time with my husbands best friends family. We had plenty of pool-time and so-so much relaxation! As the family already had a nanny, they kindly hired one more aaya during our visit so that we had a chance to leave the kids at home and just do things on our own. This almost never happens at home hence it felt both very wierd and fantastic. Most of all, it gave us a possibility to make day trips to places that would either be interesting nor even suitable for children. Dhaka is a megacity and just sitting in a car in order to get out of town could take hours and hours. Some areas were dangerous due to demonstrations and/or hartal. Therefore, it felt great that our children could be safe in our friends apartment in a quite secure area. But for us, those trips were very interesting and pleasant.
My happy little girl had so much fun in the pool

Erik loved this!

Just a normal day in Dhaka traffic

Dhaka river harbour. Stinky but still beautiful!

A river boat
 Erik got his very first haircut in Dhaka. As Jennifer had her first in Mumbai, we thought this would be an interesting place for him so that he won't need to be jelous at his big sister in the future. I used to go to a ladies beauty saloon in the area close to our Dhaka residence. So one day I just brought him with me and asked whether they wanted to give him a nice hairstyle, which they did :)
Yes, I had a bad hair day and yes, I got a haircut too, the day after :))

After a week in Dhaka, both us and our friends family flew to Colombo, Sri Lanka. We had plans of taking the train from Colombo to Galle but as it was getting very late in the afternoon, we decided instead to let a taxi drive us all the way to the very Southern point on this Paradise-like island. We stayed at a hotel at Koggala Beach. It must be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Hearing the Indian Ocean sing it's lullaby when we were going to sleep and waking up to it's sound was mighty and still so meditative. Everybody who knows me, knows how keen I am about water and swimming. But these powerful, strong waves of salty, very warm, blue ocean just took my breath away. We stayed at the beach as much as possible, as also our kids had so much fun in the sand.

It's me! Wheeeee!

Just so wonderful!

Could it be more beautiful?
One early morning, we took a cab to Galle in order to join a whale safari. It was a 3-4 hour tour with a great boat belonging to the Sri Lankan Navy. We spotted several blue whales (WOW!!!) and also a group of dolphins. Unfortunately, I have no good pictures of it. But I have a few of us on the tour!
Sunrise over Galle harbour, Sri Lanka
One tired sailor


Spotting for whales :)

On our way back to Galle
The same afternoon, we visited a Sea Turtle Hatchery nearby, which was very interesting and exciting, too. It was wonderful for our kids to be able to see those amazing animals. I have always been so facinated by them and it was rather emotional for me to hear how the staff was truly passionated by saving them.
Behind this fence there are hundreds of eggs waiting to hatch. The staff buys eggs from local people who other ways would use them for food. This way they both get help and can save the little miracles from being eaten. As the sea turtles have hatched, they keep them for 5-6 days, so that their shield gets harder and more resistant.

My friend :)

The most amazing thing, seen by my husband and his friend during a late night walk on Koggala beach: a wild sea turtle, who came up in the moonlight in order to lay her eggs. 

We celebrated my husbands 40th birthday on Sri Lanka and had a fantastic day!!!
Back in Dhaka, we had one more week of day trips, relaxing and shopping. It was fabulous, I must say it again. We also had a photographer coming to our friends residence in order to take some photos of our kids. I will make a new post with some of those pics next time.
I'm sitting right now at my kitchen table, listening to the storm rising outside. Plenty of snow is on it's way this night. Knowing this, it really warms my heart that 2 weeks ago I thought that 25 degrees of Celcius in our bedroom in Dhaka was quite cold...