Busy Weekend

Wow what a weekend! Surprisingly busy!!

Friday started with a nice calm dinner in front of the TV after Sam had gone to bed. Then we kicked into overdrive going to Ikea and Netonnet and blew almost 10.000 SEK on stuff like a new bed for Sam, new shelves, a TV for our bedroom with an arm so we can yell PIVOT!!! I know we made a promise to each other that we were never gonna have a TV in our bedroom but we needed to relocate our exercise equipment and our bedroom was the only place big enough but then the problem is that it’s oh so boring staring into a wall when exercising so we bought a TV. And to make it so we could lie in bed watching TV as well we had to buy a special mount. Oh and a bluray player because … well surprisingly enough we didn’t have one before. We have the PS3 but that’s to our TV in the livingroom and we needed one for the home theater.

After that we went to Nykvarn (over an hours drive from where we live) to visit som friends and check up on their progress with the house and daughter. Then back home, sleep and on sunday it was time to mount up those shelves, the TV, all the wiring for it, change around the bedroom, move furniture, do the shopping for the week and all of that stuff, all the while Helena was entertaining some guests but once they left we really got going and by 8 pm Sam tried out his new bed which he loved. At first. Unfortunately at around 3 am he fell out of it and hit the floor so he spent the rest of the night in our bed. We went to bed early but not to sleep. Or that other thing. But to watch a movie in bed. Unfortunately it was a pretty lame movie (“Love Birds”) but it was still fun 🙂

So now we’re back to trying to make it to next payday 🙂

Back To Work

Yeah I know I’ve been very quiet here. And that’s actually a good thing because I’ve kept myself busy! Since I’m new here at Thomas Cook I don’t have the full pot of vacation days so I could only take 3 weeks vacation. And I’ve been busy non-stop!

We went to Söderköping for our annual ice-cream binge. Like three years ago we stayed the night so we could enjoy it one more time. But unlike three years ago when we stayed at a local hotel this time we decided to rough it a bit and rented a small cabin at a local campsite. And it was indeed a small cabin, no loo, no kitchen and bunk beds. So after rearranging that so we basically slept on the floor we went for our first taste of ice cream only to be met with a queue we didn’t want to be in. So we walked around town, found a little cafe that sucked big time and then we made our way back and after two hours the queue was still way too long. But the only option was to give up for today and that wasn’t on so I got my ass in the queue and after about an hour we got a table and it was good! Sam enjoyed it too, last time we was there he was like 6 months old so that wasn’t as fun for him as this time around. Then we went back to the campsite and put him to bed and we spent the rest of the evening in bed watching a few episodes of “White Collar” on the laptop. Then we finally fell asleep and on the morning after it was cleaning up, going for a second round of ice cream (this time without the queue) and then going back home. All in all a great little trip.

Then we teamed up with Helenas friend, her husband and their 2 year old daughter for a 24 hour cruise. As I’ve stated before about these cruises it’s mostly about getting drunk or laid than to actually go someplace but this time it was actually a very kids-friendly cruise. They had converted their entire conference deck to rooms with different activities for the kids. One had a ball-pit, the other videogames etc. and Sam really enjoyed that ball-pit! The two departure times we had to chose from was either 7 am or 7 pm . If we’d gone 7 pm we’d barely be able to get onboard and get comfortable before Sam had to go to bed and that meant one of us had to stay in the cabin for the rest of the evening. So we chose 7 am and not sure that was a good choice cause we had to go up at 4:30 am and leave at 5:15 so Sam was really cranky all through the breakfast buffet but after going back to the cabin and sleep for two hours he was ready to deal with it. It was a lot of eating, some tax-free shopping and some beer. Also got to see the F1 qualifying at a bar on the boat! Overall he totally enjoyed that trip and so did we, probably gonna do it again (next year will probably be for free thanks to American Express rewards).

And fortunately thanks to my sister me and H got atleast one day for each other when she took Sam to Skansen (a zoo in Stockholm). Unfortunately he didn’t care much for the animals there but he got to “drive” the cars on rails so he was pretty happy!

Other than that we mostly spent the the vacation working on the garden and home improvements or having guests over and a day welcoming my sister with her family who flew in from Scotland last Tuesday. So yeah, it’s been busy and I haven’t take the time to update this here place but here I am 🙂

Image Gallery Updated

I’ve finally gotten around to updating the image gallery with some new images of me, Helena and most of all Sam. Enjoy!
(and the password is the Swedish name of my current employer with a capital first letter)

Chugging Along

Life proceeding as normal here. Getting into how things are done at work. Trying to do house improvements. Trying to be a good husband and father. Just the normal stuff!

But yesterday we broke the routines and went all the way down to Södertälje for a night out with my brother, his girlfriend, my sister AC with her boyfriend. Although “night out” is overstating it quite a bit because we headed back home before 10 pm, but it was still fun to get out of the house and not have another night of slacking in the sofa watching some TV show you never had any interest in before!

Oh and Sam got an outbreak of chickenpox starting last Thursday but it’s already calming down and the fun thing is, he never really noticed it as far as we can tell. He didn’t spike a fever, didn’t have uncontrollable itching or anything, it was pretty smooth sailing. Or maybe that’s because Helena “vacation” started this week and she’s been home with him and he’s gotten almost anything he wants so far. Me, I’m working another week and then have a three week vacation which is fine for me! (since I’m still on an trial-employee status here I only get half the vacation days for now but once I’m made a full employee I’ll get the rest in time for Christmas!)

Weekend

I had a great weekend!! It was Midsummer’s Eve on Friday in Sweden and we went to Kungsängen to check out their “old school” celebration, complete with band and everything. And somehow I ended up helping to carry and raise that big pole that’s so symbolical of swedish midsummer (and yeah, there are pictures of that coming soon). Then on the afternoon we went over to our neighbors down the street for a somewhat casual celebration of midsummer’s eve. On saturday Helena’s brother with his family came by and that made Sam go energizer bunny wanting to be everywhere and play with everyone. They have two kids and they did the best to play with him. And we ended up watching “Wrath of the Titans” which was really, really disappointing, even on a 100″ screen 🙂

And on Sunday they went home and then there was the Formula 1 race from Valencia. I had some hopes that Ferrari would do well even though the qualified poorly. And it turned out to be one of the best races I’ve ever seen since the golden era of Schumacher / Barrichello! Lots of good overtaking, some crashing, cars breaking down – and best of all, that all happened to people who threatened Alonso for the win! I thoroughly enjoyed that race! And on the podium there was no less than 3 Ferrari drivers, 3 world champions (2 of which champions driving for Ferrari) so it was all good! Only thing that could’ve made it better was Massa taking second …

I Love My Wife :)

That usually goes without saying but I’m loving her a bit more right now (and some would argue “love” is a binary thing, you do or you do not, there is no degrees of how much you can love someone).

After a week of peaking and lobbying she said it’s ok to buy a new projector 🙂

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to myself. 37 years old now. But don’t feel older than last year. Although I have changed jobs twice in the past year and learnt alot from it!

And thanks to the best wife in the world my birthday turned out pretty good! The first, “small” present was a Diablo III t-shirt. The next present was a mini-fridge with room for one Coca Cola can, driven by the USB port. Geeky as hell, right 🙂

Then we went to the shopping mall at Kista to eat, shop and watch a movie. None of those things worked out as we’d hoped. The first problem was getting a parking space in their garage which was a very frustrating 15 minutes. Then when we got to O’Learys and eventually got a table we sat there for 20 minutes without any service at all so we left for the foodc ourt instead and that worked out alot better. And I was going to shop for new jeans. And guess what? I’m up to 38″ waists again… I’ve been at 42″ once but I was down to 34″ 🙁 Better watch that! And they were rebuilding the movie lobby but duing the rebuilding it’s completely crap because it’s just too small for the amount of people going in and out. I think the fire department would shut it down cause incase of a fire, that would be a deathtrap!

But fortunately the movie, “Prometheus” (remember?) was pretty damn good!! And then we picked up Sam at his grandmother and went home. All in all a kick ass birthday!

Diablo Time!

A week ago Blizzard finally released “Diablo 3”!! If you wind back the clock to 2001 I actually took 2 weeks off from work to play “Diablo II – Lord of Destruction” so you can imagine how much I’ve been looking forward to this game! The biggest difference though isn’t in the game itself, rather that I’m a husband, father and homeowner now. That doesn’t give me much time for playing computer games! Fortunately for me I have the best wife in the world and she’s given me a lot of time to play in the past week because she knows how much I’ve been looking forward to the game and love gaming, so although she doesn’t like it when I go into my crypt, boot up the computer and put on my headphones she still respects it.

But the game is just so addictive and the “just a little more” and “I just wanna try this as a different class” feelings are all over the place so no matter how much time my wife gives me it’s never gonna be enough for me to do all the things I want to do in the game. But I’ll survive. After all, at the end of the day it’s her that I wanna fall asleep with and wake up next to.

Oh, and the game kicks ass! .. too bad Blizzard is screwing it up so hard with all these server issues, which you kinda saw coming when they said “no offline mode”.

Women’s day, huh?

So it’s the International Women’s Day today.. what does that exactly mean? And does it mean every other day of the year is Men’s Day? ..

I don’t need a special day to remind me how much I love my beautiful Helena; the woman that keeps me on my toes at home instead of being the lazy couch potato I’d probably be; the mother of my wonderful child; the love of my life; the wonderful person that I wake up next to every morning… hm, I guess it took a special day for me to write it though 🙂

PARENTING FAIL

On friday me and Helena decided to have a small BBQ with our small grill. What we didn’t really think about was that our son Sam have on multiple occasions used that BBQ as a tool to stand up. And for a few seconds I took my eyes off him and watching 2 1/2 Men on the TV and when my eyes went back to him he was just reaching for it. I yelled at him and ran as fast as I could but it was too late. He got burnt! At first we didn’t think it was that bad but when the swelling really kicked in we knew we had to see a doctor. So in to the ER where they bandaged it up in a nice neat package and we got an appointment Tuesday morning to see the burn-specialist that’ll take a better look, but they weren’t the least bit worried about it, they said he’d be fine. Unfortunately until then he’ll have a stump at the end of the left arm, as he’d lost his hand in an accident. It looks worse than it is, or so they say.

So those few seconds were all it took. After spending the winter looking after him like a hawk so he wouldn’t get burn on our indoor fireplace only to relax for a few seconds.

And you’d think he might have learnt something? Not, on Saturday morning he was all over that BBQ again (which ofcourse wasn’t lit)!

Ooops, I Kinda Forgot

Ok I’m now the officially worst blogger since I haven’t written anything here in over 2 months now!

But after I’ve gotten back to work it’s all beeen pretty hectic in my life actually, both at home and at work. But I’m gonna have to chance that and make this a daily thing to get on here and make an update or two.

So what’s happening at work right now? Well I’m in the middle of upgrading our Adobe Connect from 7.5 to 8 which is not happening so looking at a fresh install instead, and that means having to do battle with SSLs again. And then we have SharePoint 2010 migration and on top of that we’re rolling out Windows 7 with new office and document management which is huge here.

At home my wonderful fiancé Helena is taking care of Sam and he’s just now begun kindergarten and so far it seems to be ok. Hopefully it’s not only because Helena is still there with him but we’ll see tomorrow when he has to deal with 5 hours there without her. Other than that it’s same old same old – trying to spend time with the love of my life while trying to get time to play some computer games, watching the latest episodes of House/Chuck/Big Bang Theory/SG:U and then there’s F1.

I am anything but bored 🙂

Old House Or New House

This house-searching thing took an interesting turn last week when we were tipped off about a building project going on now that we could buy a finished brand new house customized to our needs and most of all, our wallets. Only problem is it’s a bit far away (not as far as I used to be though). And 2.6 million crowns, that’s alot of money I’ll never earn… And we’re still looking for old houses. Not sure how this will end, but as long as it ends with me and Helena ending up in bed together, I really don’t care if it’s old or new 🙂

Cooling Down…

Now we’re into day 11 of Sam’s life and me and Helena have tried to be as good new parents as we can giving him whatever he wants. It really get’s to you when your son is screaming as loud as he can and you can’t get the milk to cool down fast enough for him. And I’m getting good at changing diapers!
Fortunately for us in Sweden we’re aloud 10 days off from work after having a baby but as of monday I’m a working man again. It’s bitter sweet, I liked being with my son all the time but it’s also liberating being at work when you only have to take care of work.

But before that we’re going to my parents this weekend to unwind a bit 🙂

I’m a Dad!

In case you missed it, on Monday 22nd at 12:20 CET I became a father to Sam Mikael Ström. A healthy 4.3 kilo baby meassuring 55.6 cm in heigh and excellent condition 🙂

Me and Helena are staying some nights at a hotel at the hospital to cool down after this huge event.

Here are some images. Login is “friend” and password is the company I work for.

Counting the Days

Me and Helena have gone into “counting down the days”-mode, which right now is down to 2 weeks! It’s going slower and slower now when we know our son can come out at any moment! He’s really kicking her hard in there! We’re also running around trying to predict what we’ll need and buying everything but as always you won’t know what you’ll need until it’s too late!

Meantime we’re warching tons of movies. Weirdest good one yet was the timetraveller’s Wife. Weirdest bad one yet was New York I Love You, even though it had Natalie in it. 2012 was better than I thought, then again I am a big Cusack fan!

A Long Long Time Ago…

Ok maybe it wasn’t that long ago, just over 2 years ago, back in November 2007 one of my friends got married. And they had a professional photographer called Christel there (along with an “assistant”) that was running around all day taking photos. I saw a few of them on her website Estethia.com. I thought she did an awesome job of covering the wedding, took some really nice photos and also spent alot of time fixing them up in photoshop or whatever. But it wasn’t until recently that the bride sent over the photo of me from that wedding. And I gotta say… if you’re a photographer and can make me look this good, then you’re really good!!! Check out her website cause she does really good work! When I get married and if I can afford it I know who to call 🙂

And when I showed that to Helena she said “oh you looked so good back then. Pity I didn’t know you then”. What the hell is that suppose to mean!?!?! 🙂

Happy New Year!

Since every other site is summoning up the past ten years I thought I’d do the same. Because the past ten years have been completely revolutionary in most ways for me.

10 years ago I was just settling into my rental apartment in south of stockholm, never having set foot in the northern parts of Stockholm. Didn’t have a drivers license, worked at the “customization” department at a computer retailer, didn’t have a girlfriend or even any prospects and was rarely going outside the Stockholm region.

Then I got promoted, lost my job, got a new job, got my drivers license, got to travel the world for the state department, got laid off again and got a job at a former customer. And that was just in the first five years. But then I got so comfortable that I have really no reason to look for any other job!

In 2005 I had my 30 year crisis and was slowly realizing that you really need someone to share your ups and cheer you up in your downs. But it wasnt until 2006 that I really understood just how much I needed that and after “playing the field” for 2 years I was almost ready to give up when I was contacted by Helena through an internet dating site and I realised quickly she was something special! We met for the first time 3/3 in 2008 and by September I was moving in with her. Then in April we signed the papers to have a house built and in June when the house was being built we found out we were pregnant.

So now, 10 years after, I’m living in my own house (north of Stockholm!), have a good job, good friends, awesome fiance and in 7-8 weeks I’m gonna be a dad. So except for still going to “Star Trek” events, watching Formula 1 and playing computer games nothing in my life today is as it was 10 years ago.

Overall the past 10 years have been very good to me. Except one huge thing. 10 years ago my best friend was Eden. I loved that guy and for who he was. In February 2002 he died only 32 years old. That was a huge bummer but taught me a little bit about appreciating live. Still find myself thinking about him.

And now for a very adult comment – I really hope the next 10 years is way less eventful! I don’t want to move and don’t want to lose my job and I don’t want to lose anymore friends. 🙂

Have a great 2010 everyone!

It Was A Very Mery Christmas Indeed!

Although it was a hectic few days to get everything ready for our very first Christmas dinner ever it was so worth it! We were about 13 people there over the day, 6 stayed the night so a bit of planning but it was so fun! Helena’s brother with his family and my sister with her kids and my brother, and Helena’s mother, grandmother, it was all fun and most people had a good time. It was a bit tough in the evening trying to make sure people of four generations had a nice time (what can you do when the kids wanna play Guitar Hero and the grandmother wanna watch the news!?).

Then on Christmas day we went home to my parents for a more British christmas with turkey and the crackers and even more fun was had by all.

All in all a very merry christmas! Thanks everybody!!

Some photos can be found here.

White Christmas!

It looks like it’s going to be a very, very white Christmas here in Stockholm! It’s been snowing for days now and although the temperature is almost up to 0 again I hope the snow is gonna last atleast a day more so we can all enjoy a white christmas for the first time in I don’t know how long!

My darling Helena has worked her butt off trying to organize the perfect Christmas dinner! We’re having 11 guests over for Christmas eve so it’s gonna be busy! But it’s gonna be a blast I hope but it does hurt when you go to the supermarket and the total is up to $200!

And this winter landscape encouraged me to take out my old camera (since our new one sucks, we sent it back to Canon to have a look at it ’cause it must be something wrong with the optics) to take some “screenshots” of a white christmas. And the best photo of them all is here. I liked that one, alot! 🙂
I’ve added a new album in my image gallery so head over there.

And Merry Christmas if I don’t have time to write something tomorrow!

Everything Is Good. A Bit Too Good!

One of the things I had fixed for Helena’s birthday was to prepare a romantic weekend at Villa Fridhem in Norrköping for us in December so we could just get away and enjoy ourselves. And my family chipped in and set her up with a massage at the spa!

So on saturday we were off. After driving for two hours we checked in and the champagne was on ice! Ofcourse it was alcohol-free but that didn’t matter, the chocolate and strawberries still made it perfect! Then we had our first disappointment – the afternoon tea. It was just 3 cakes and one was just finished so we had two cakes and neither of them was any good. No cookies, nothing. Ok, we didn’t pay any extra for it but we were spoilt rotten the last time we did this in Söderfors Herrgård! After that we walked around abit and the feeling that hit me was “if I was in charge of this place I really would fix these million small things that they are missing”. Like when a horse pooped right in front of the entrance, took them hours to clean up!

Anyway, after that it was time for Helena’s massage – and it was good and went on for over an hour! Meantime I was enjoying myself in the swimmingpool with a cold beer! And as I was floating around I had one of those perfect moments when everything is good, no worries, no problems, nothing, cause everything is good! It sured helped that the day before we had gotten all of the assurances in the world that our baby was ok, and that one week before we had frozen two of our three mortgages for the house for 2 years and making sure that interest wouldn’t run away, and everything else was just good!

After that we had a shower and was off to the typical swedish “Julbord” (a buffet of traditional christmas-type food). And I kept eating and eating and at around 9 pm we were both so stuffed that we couldn’t do more than go to our rooms and watch some TV and talk and then go to sleep! It was ridiculous really. And we woke up the next morning still feeling pretty full but then it was time for breakfast which was pretty good but again, small things they should’ve changed to make it better. Like the waffles, took 10 minutes to cook a waffle!

After that we walked around a bit, took another dip in the pool and then we were off going back home. And then we stopped by the christmas market in stockholm city and bought some candy and sausages.

All in all a kick ass weekend! But I can’t help to shake the feeling that life is going a bit too good right now… just praying nothing kicks me down to reality!

And if you want photos they are located here in my new gallery.

Btw, you’ll need a logon for the ew gallery. The username is “friend” and the password is the name of the company I work for, with a capital first letter.