Sunday, March 29, 2009


On Saturday, Odin went for his first sled ride. Though it wasn't down a hill, rather it was on a river! With our friends Kenneth and Anita, we packed up some snacks and coffee, then headed to their son Jonas' riverboat that is frozen in the middle of the river that runs through Umeå. We walked from their house down to the river and then walked along the frozen river until we arrived at the boathouse (30 minute walk).

Though it was cold, Odin was nice and warm in the sled sitting on 2 layers of sheepskin and wrapped in wool blankets. He fell asleep almost immediately! As Dad pulled him along on their way, Dad thought to himself this is how people in cold climates have been carring children for thousands of years, and it works!

We arrived at the boathouse and Jonus and their other son Nicklas had made a nice fire in the wood stove and it was quite warm inside.

We got some REAL wooden blocks that were made in the Czech Republic of beech wood. Odin loves playing with them, eating them, and knocking them over after we build a tower!

Here is the best picture we've been able to get so far of his 2 new bottom front teeth. He squirmed like crazy when we were trying to get this picture. (click on picture to enlarge).

Eating egg yolks, what fun! and mess! (click on picture to zoom in and see our messy boy.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Open Nursery School

After today I think I might want to move to Sweden (except the cold might be a deal breaker...). Today I went to what is called an Open Nursery School and fell in love with the atmosphere. In Sweden the government pays a family member (typically the mom, but could be the dad) to stay at home with their babies until they are a year (maybe 18 months not sure). You get 80% of your salary during this maternity leave. So what do these women do all day with their infants?? Well they go to these open nursery school with their babies. You have an open room with lots of pillows and places to lay your baby, toys, mobiles hanging from the ceiling, and places for you to sit comfortably and nurse. There is a facilitator that leads you in songs (Swedish nursery rhymes!) and makes sure you are comfortable. The women just hang out, have tea or coffee and let their babies play while they talk! It is an amazing support system. There is no fee and the places are open M-F! They have one in ever part of town. I didn't know it until today, but there is one only a 5 minute walk from our apartment which I plan to check out very soon. And of course most of the women speak English!

Odin really seemed to enjoy it too! He insisted on lying on his tummy with the other babies and did not want his momma to hold him! Here he is zonked after playing hard with the other babies.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


We have two exciting developments to share about Odin...first, he's got two front lower teeth protruding out from his gums! And second, he's discovered rolling over. He first roll was a couple of weeks ago but lately he's doing it all the time! He even does it in his sleep which promptly wakes him up in a not so good mood. We are also trying more and more foods. He's enjoyed mashed potatoes (potatoes mashed with breast milk) and egg yolk. My guess is he enjoys the avocado the best.

Here's a picture of mom trying to nurse Odin down to sleep...

Yesterday we bundled up, caught the bus and then walked to our friends Kenneth and Anita for their son, Nikolas's 18th birthday party.

Odin dancing to music given Odin by mom's high school band director, Kathy Duncan!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A walk around the lake

Here in Umea, Sweden there is lots of snow!! Yesterday we took a walk on the path that follows the lake near our apartment. The full path around the lake is ~6 miles. Last April when we came to visit we walk/ran the entire path (Mom was ~15 weeks pregnant).

The Swedes do not let cold, ice or snow stop them. Mom watches them from the comfort of our apartment during the day as they walk and bike to their various destinations. We'd guess the walking/hiking paths are more crowded then the roads!

For us, we are doing our best to fit in. We don't have a car, so yesterday we walked to the grocery store (~10 minute walk) to get a few items for dinner). Every morning Dad walks to work, though soon he's planning to get a bike! (It's about a 25 min walk.)

Other exciting news is the purchase of Odin's new highchair. It is called a tripp trapp ( He LOVES it. We put him in it and he can hang out with us while we eat dinner. He plays with his toys and sometimes even eats a little! Right now we are focusing on avocado!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Settling in

Mom and Odin are finally feeling better. Amazingly Dad isn't showing any signs of getting sick!

Packing up your life and bringing everything you need for a year in 5 suitcases, 3 carryon's, a jogging stroller and a carseat!

Odin didn't sleep much on the plane, but we did get a snap shot of the rare occurance!

Enjoying the flight!

Odin sleeping off his stomach bug with his new friend, Anita. Our Swedish friends Kenneth and Anita are just crazy about Odin. Can ya blame them? He's the cutiest baby every! HA, little bias!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

We are in Sweden!

We are here in Sweden! Our travels were long, but for the most part uneventful. Odin was a champ on the airplane nursing his way through six changes in altitude. We were worried his ears would make him fussy, but no, he remained happy. He didn’t sleep much on the long flight from Chicago to Stockholm. He was too interested in flirting with the folks sitting around us. (Of late, Odin has been very free with his smiles charming most everyone he meets).

Upon arriving in Umeå, our friend, Kenneth picked us up and amazingly found room for our five suitcases, jogging stroller, car seat, and 3 carryon’s in his car…oh, and 3 adults + baby! Mom was extremely exhausted and dad wired on many cups of coffee, but we somehow managed to stay awake long enough to turn ourselves around and sleep through the first night. We also have our friends, Kenneth and Anita to thank as they made a wonderful dinner for us and prepared our apartment with a bed fit for good sleeping!

During our first full day in Umeå we purchased a few household items from the thrift store and started to organize our apartment. Our apartment is wonderful; very open with lots of sunshine. Although only about 700 square feet, it feels spacious…probably b/c we have very little furniture Later that afternoon Odin started to get sick. For the first time in his life he vomited and could not keep anything down. After several hours of vomiting and not retaining any liquids mom and dad got worried and decided to go to the hospital to have him checked out. In Sweden children less than a year old do not have to wait in the ER, so we were quickly escorted back to a room where a nice doctor, Magnus, saw Odin. Dr. Magnus checked Odin over and was completely swept by him b/c between pokes and prods Odin gave him big smiles. We were sent home after some blood work and told to give him this special drink (sort of like Gatorade for babies). Magnus told us to come back in the morning if Odin continued to vomit all liquids. Fortunately this was not the case. Odin loved the special drink (he grabbed at the spoon and forced it in his mouth) and he managed to keep it down. He seemed to keep about 1/3 of the milk he drank down too, so we decided he didn’t need to go back to the hospital. Odin started to feel better right as mom got sick. We figure mom started giving him some of her antibodies. As of today we are happy to report that Odin is happy, healthy, and just about better (but mom feels horrible).

Pictures soon to come…