Sunday, 1 September 2013

Mum's the word.

Since returning from the US my time has mostly been spent working and sorting things out for the arrival of our first born. Work has been quite challenging since I got back as most my colleagues have been away on holiday so I've had to pick up most of the work load. Most people in Sweden take their annual vacation all at once during the summer so the office is basically deserted for 4-5 weeks. It's kind of nice, as it is very quiet, but there is still work to be done and there is nobody around to help lighten the work load! I really can't see the point in taking all of your holiday at once unless you have kids, as they are off school during the summer holidays. With the exception of this year, I have never taken more than 2 weeks off at once, as I don't like the idea of having to wait 11 months for another break. I still have some days to take so I'm going to use them visiting the UK before the baby comes!

With the birth our daughter now less than 3 months away, we are now beginning to acquire quite a lot of things in preparation for her arrival. We bought a lot of baby clothes when we're in the US and we have now purchased a stroller and bedside crib. The crib was quite a bargain. It is one of those where you can adjust the height of it so you can stand it right next to the bed. The side panel slides down so when she cries you can just reach over and settle her down without actually getting up! Sounds quite lazy I know, and the chances are that you will have to get up to change her anyway!

The stroller on the other hand was not quite as cheap. In fact I paid less for my first 2 cars! I won't say how much it was but lets just say you could have a very good time in Ibiza with the amount we forked out!   Still, I am very pleased with it! We also received a lot of baby clothes from Aicha's family which was very much appreciated. Below are just some if the things we have got so far..........

At the beginning of August we were visited by my mum and her partner Martin for the weekend. It was great having them here and I was especially pleased that they came during the summer. My mum had only been here once before and that was just before Christmas, along with my sister Charlotte. Back then there was snow on the ground and the temperature was in double figures below zero. Its great if you love the snow but Stockholm has so much more on offer during the summer............which is what I wanted my mother to experience this time around. The first thing I did was show off our newly furnished balcony. Last time she saw it it looked like a freezer box! She seemed quite impressed but it wasn't long before she started pruning the flowers and tidying up the place!

On the Saturday we decided to take a trip to Vaxholm, which is a small island within the archilpelago. The weather was ideal for a boat trip and it was the perfect way for my mum to see more of what Stockholm had to offer. Onboard the boat there was a traditional swedish buffet and we were lucky enough the grab the last table. The journey itself was a 3 hour round trip so there was plenty of time to eat and drink as much as we could!

The next day we did some more sight-seeing around the city. This was more for Martins benefit as this was his first visit to Stockholm and I wanted him to see as much of it as possible. We took a similar route around the city as we did when my mum first visited back in December, but as we planned to do a lot of walking, Aicha decided to stay at home. My mum decided this would be a good opportunity to interigate me about what we going to name our daughter. Aicha and I have now agreed on a name but we have also agreed that we would not tell anyone until she is born...................not even our parents. My mum said when she first arrived that she would get it out of me somehow but I'm proud to say that I didn't buckle under the pressure nor did I fall for any of her tricks! Mum's the word!

That evening my mum treated us to dinner a at restaurant in the city. It was a nice way to end their visit, which I hoped they enjoyed. I really loved having them to stay and I hope it won't be too long before they visit again. I especially enjoy showing people around the city, as I like to give people as glimpse as to why I moved here. My mum was able to capture some of these glimpses along the way.................

The following day my mum and Martin left for England and it was back to business as usual. The second half of my football season kicked off the following Friday and I couldn't wait to get back into action. The last game we had played was back in June, just prior to our USA trip, and that game ended in a 0-0 draw but it was a game we should have won. The first back was against the same opponents as in the last game so it was a good opportunity to set the record straight.

We started the game well and found ourselves 2-0 ahead early on. However, 10 minutes before halftime we had a player sent off and the game then shifted into their favour. For the next 20 minutes we were really under pressure but we kept our discipline and dealt with everything they threw at us. Then, against the run of play, we scored a 3rd goal and suddenly their heads started to drop. The game then swung back into our favour and following a sending off from their team, we went on to score to 2 more goals making it a rout.

After the thoroughly convincing 5-0 thrashing, it felt only right that we should celebrate our victory at the local pub with a few beers!

Next on the agenda was my trip to the UK. Aicha did not want to travel so late into her pregnancy so this time I was going it alone. In my head I was thinking of it as a swansong before the baby arrives, but if I'm honest I just wanted to see my friends and family. Usually when I go back to the UK I only stay for 3-4 days but on this occasion I would be going there for 10 days. The reason being is that 3-4 days never seems long enough. In fact it doesn't feel like a break as you are spending most of your time running around trying to catch up with everyone. If anything it can be quite stressful!

This time I plan to I won't be able to for much longer!

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