Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Trans-Pregnancy Express keeps on rolling!

As of yesterday, Friday the 29th, the 3 week mark has been eclipsed and we are staring down the barrel of a fortnight until due date. Another week at school this week was matched only by a busy social calendar and also the last of our 'preparing to be parents' meetings.
After hiking 15 kms the Friday before, I was surprised that the children actually came back on Monday, in fact they were all there! I guess I'll have to get rid of them some other way! This years 6th Graders are a pleasant mix, but also a little silly and giggly, I guess there could be worse traits. They work hard and seem to be very enthusiastic to impress, and they laugh at my jokes which is always nice (and compulsory). The weather this week was a little chilly and our gym lessons are seeming more and more likely to move inside earlier than usual. Athletics day is on Friday so here's hoping we're on track for London 2012. I have a fore arm strengthener which is in heavy rotation, which the kids love as they can't even close it with two hands. The chin up bar that we put up in the fire door frame is up every chance the boys get, but some get no closer to the elusive 1 chin up, but in their weekly journals their goals revolve around sit ups, push ups or chin at least I have made some impact!?! Hilarious.
The Parent Prepping meeting this week was as equally informative and exciting as last week our now very eccentric speaker went through absolutely everything you will ever need to know about the actual delivery from Step 1 right through to Step Baby!!!  A very fun and at times, self affirming evening, with Sara and I well prepared this time round with fruit, water and even a little candy to keep the sugar cravings at bay...mine not Sara's. It truly is amazing how many things she can put in her handbag. 
Thursday and Friday were here and gone with no real dramas, although Jessica did come over on Thursday night and we chatted about babies, and we also played one of the most fun but equally hard to win board games ever The Baby Name Game. Please write to us with your suggestions asap otherwise we may just have to name him after the taxi driver, Robert DeNiro's character from Taxi Driver, or Number 16 Bus Shelter or Talulah does the hula in Hawaii (legal issues pending). Richie Rich came over on Friday night, not the actual Richie Rich just someone with much less money, who does not live in a mansion or drive a fancy car, but just so happens to be called Richard, although he did show up in a splendid pair of cycling tights which did go up to his shoulders (no exaggerations!). Richard was terrible at the The Baby Name Game so after he'd had a massive meal and helped us chill out as only Rich can, he was off on his bike.
Saturday was here and we drove down to the South of Stockholm to pick up a Baby changing table for a silly cheap price. I half expected there to be a glass dome over this table with a huge array of tubes and a massive control board, where you could actually "change a baby". So after getting there and being a little disappointed it was a wooden table/shelving unit. We agreed we would buy it so the next job was getting it in the car. Well after 20 minutes and many different positions, seats out, seats front, boot up, table in pieces etc we decided to go for in the boot with the boot open, secured by two power cords complete with plugs on the ends, aquired from a nearby rubbish room! What a sight driving down the E4 with this unit sticking out the back, heading for the storage. The storage was I mean FULL! But we somehow managed to arrange the dining chairs in a 6 way twisting spire which now reaches a good 4 metres off the ground...Gustave Eiffel would have been proud. The table went in, the microwave back on top of the bikes and the door was shut...end of story.  We then decided to go to Willy's, a cheaper variety of supermarket close to the storage facility. We bought quite alot and as we were driving back to the city we realised we didn't actually want the car in the city this weekend so we parked the car in our old street as we have done since returning from NZ, and took the train. What I have failed to mention here is that Sara and I didn't 'buy' any grocery bags and we took the baskets to load the food into our car. When that time came we actually just borrowed the baskets and placed them in the boot. Now we were riding a train through the centre of town with Sara carrying two bags and my skateboard, and me carrying two bright red stolen baskets full of food! So the Trans Pregnancy express kept on rollin'.
That was the week that was...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Preppin' to be Parents

Somehow another week flew by and the weekend went up in smoke too. We started the week meeting new children as Stockholm schools had their first days on Monday. A bizarre day in which the children come to school, often with parents, spend an hour with their teachers who proceed to pile them high with paper work and forms, lay on a few whimsical tales and then go home. That was basically our Monday anyway. Sara worked at the clinic until 7 and we met at home for our usual dinner of sandwiches.
Tuesday was actually supposed to bring the first day of real school lessons for the year, however I have abandoned lessons for this week, and Sara had 'Clash of the Classes' at her school. Wednesday flew by and we met mid afternoon for our Parent Preppin' class. It was a real experience too. This was enhanced by the fact that the lecturer was super uber eccentric and placed so much emphasis and enthusiasm on each individual fact and piece of information. It was like going to your grandmother's house and finding out she'd drunk Red Bull and now wanted to give you all the info you ever needed about breast feeding, baby delivery and the first months of being a parent. She used an old school OHP which broke and then a baby doll (never shake a baby). The highlight for Sara was the moment a father to be asked if he could give his baby sleeping pills? There was sounds of exasperated gasps go out in unison around the room. This was an ultra informative event which left us in good spirits, although I left worried about the severe lack of sleep we were about to encounter! 
Friday rolled around and so did the due 4 Weeks to go! I went hiking with my class in the forest 15 kms and then a swim, while Sara met a friend after school for 'fika'. 
Saturday was Dad's birthday, and in honour of this momentous occasion...I dedicate this weeks photo to him.

Monday, 18 August 2008

The Old New Zealand that we love!

We are back in Sweden now after a fantastically relaxing time back in New Zealand. Family Wilkinson and friends were all very welcoming, warm and generous with their hospitality. If any of my friends are ever mental enough to come all the way to Sweden to visit, I am looking forward to repaying the favour. I was thinking about calling it Old Zealand  as I am happy to say it doesn't seem to change much at all, and that is the absolute beauty and charm of the place. Fish and chips on the beach, hotpools, swims in the sea, barefeet kids, 4 Squares, baches, kiwifruit... the list could go on and on. We had a fab time back home, and although very wet from the 'weather bombs' we left feeling refreshed and Kiwified!

5ive Weeks To Go

Well as we swiftly passed through another weekend yesterday, the due date officially became 5 weeks! We are becoming even more excited as each day goes by, but at times the excitement merges with many other emotions. Sara sleeps as if there are small rodents in the bed and to change position every half hour would be the best method of squashing them all by morning. The only problem is that morning comes around too quickly, and the rodents survive to fight another day. I'm really prepping myself for the big day, but to be honest I don't know what I'm preparing myself for. It's like packing for a surprise holiday, should I take skis or surfboard, sunscreen or gore-tex? Don't worry I won't be taking skis into the delivery room, although maybe I should, just to be safe in case? We haven't really discussed the preparation of the hospital bag should we need it earlier. I think I can rest assured that the skis or my skateboard won't be on that list! Although I have half planned my route from school to hospital and I am factoring in saving at least 10 minutes by using my skateboard, assuming it's not raining which is brave considering the tail end of the Swedish 'summer' we've seen.
More to come soon