Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We're HERE!

Well . . . we actually did it!  I still can't believe it!  We moved back to Stockholm and in some ways it feels like it took forever (remodeling the kitchen, decluttering the house, painting rooms, staging, selling the house, a never ending to do list, etc) and in other ways it feels like it happened in a blink of an eye.  The blink of an eye thing is mostly the being here part.  Once we landed it was like "welp, we're here . . . how did that happen?"  We've been in Stockholm about 3.5 weeks and it has been good.  I'd say great but even though we wanted to move I still struggle with change.  It took a little while to get our apartment set up in a way that made things flow easily.  I like systems and routines and I "think" we are finally finding ours.  Here are some details about our flights here and what we've been up to since we landed.  I'm hoping to get back to blogging now that I'm back in a place that creatively inspires me!

We made it to Stockholm on Tuesday, March 28th around 12:30.

Our flights were pretty good.  Our first one was delayed about 45 minutes but thankfully we had a long layover (on purpose) in Chicago and we didn't have to worry about missing our flight.

Linnea made good on her promise of "Airplane, Nap, Dada" and she also slept on me which was great!

 We landed in Chicago and found an awesome playground to let Linnea run around a bit.
 Then we headed to our terminal and had a sit down meal at our favorite restaurant in the Chicago airport, Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless and then we boarded the plane for Stockholm.
We actually had an empty seat next to us but felt like the guy claimed his half of the seat so we just had Linnea sleep on us.  Linnea did great on both flights.  The hour and a half flight from KC to Chicago was about 2 hours after her nap time which meant she was tired enough that she didn't put up much of a fight and napped for most of it.  The Chicago to Stockholm leg was also 2 hours after her bedtime so she was able to fall asleep pretty easily then too.  She took turns sleeping on Jake and on me so all 3 of us were able to get some sleep.

We tried really hard to pack light with our bags that we were carrying on the plane but I still over packed.  Since Linnea slept on both flights we literally used 1 toy that we packed.  I realize it is better to have the toys and not need them then to not have them but lugging around extra stuff isn't fun either.

Jake's boss picked us up at their airport which was awesome.  I'm not sure what was a bigger miracle that we landed with all our bags or that they all fit into Jake's boss's car ;).
 After unpacking we went on a walk and then to dinner.  Linnea was looking all around . . .
 and then we saw this.  Jet lag!

The first week back was a bit harder than I expected it to be.  We've lived here before so I didn't think we'd have much culture shock to deal with and I don't really think it was the culture shock that made things hard but I'm sure it was a factor.  Our apartment was supposed to be furnished and according to my definition (and comparing it to the 2 other furnished apartments we've rented in Stockholm) it wasn't.  We had 3 pots for the stove but zero utensils to stir or scoop things out of said pots.  We had 3 spoons that didn't match (which is fine) but then our 2 forks and 2 knives were both plastic . . . like from a takeout restaurant.  We didn't have any baking dishes that could go in the oven but we also didn't have any hot pads to take them out either so I guess at least those things go together. Ha!

We rented a furnished apartment for several reasons but the main reason was so we could land with just our suitcases and not have to deal with buying things right away.  Several of these items are being shipped from the US and they will arrive in 8-10 weeks so we don't want to buy them.  We made dp with what we had from Tuesday until Saturday and then we made a trip to Ikea and borrowed some things from a friend and now we are pretty much good to go.  We did buy a broom, vacuum and swiffer and that definitely helped my stress level.
She's excited about shopping at the world's largest Ikea.
Ikea play kitchen
When you buy bigger items you have to get kind of creative when carrying them home.  I hooked the broom onto the stroller to carry it home.  

Another fun adjustment was our bed.  Our bed is 47 inches wide which is 7 inches narrower than a full size bed.  We knew it was going to be small and really the size hasn't been that bad but . . . the sheets we borrowed from a friend while we were waiting for our sheets were a bit small.  Technically the top she was exactly the same size as the bed so as soon as one person was under it it was too short so two people under the sheet made it so we were both uncovered.  We arranged a few blankets and made it work until our sheets arrived.  Not just any sheets, sheets my Aunt Carmen gave us for Christmas.  She knows sheets.  I LOVE staying at her house because her sheets are so soft!
Now that we have sheets, serving utensils for the pots on the stove and actual silverware we are good to go!

Linnea loves running up and down the hallway outside our apartment and pushing the elevator button when we go up or down.
 Reading some English (Engelska) books at the library.  The book she is reading we have in English which was fun to see.
 Waiting for the bus.  Linnea likes riding the bus and guessing which color it will be but her favorite is riding the metro. #justlikehermama
Kebab Special Pizza from "our" pizza place.

Linnea did pretty well adjusting to the time difference.  It took 4-5 days and then she was back to putting herself to sleep at night without any trouble.  She is sleeping in a walk in closet.  For the first 3 weeks she was sleeping in a Baby Bjorn travel cot/pack n play but now she is in a crib!  Actually . . . we even took her paci away over a week ago and that went way better than we/I was expecting.  It was cracking (because she bites and pulls on it) and they don't sell the kind here that she likes so Jake cut it and just told her it was "different" and that she could still cuddle with her monkey, which the paci was attached to, and so far she hasn't seem to miss it too much.

Monkey, different

We've been able to see friends, go to the park, walk everywhere and just enjoy being back in Stockholm.  Jake started back to work 2 days after we arrived and he can walk there in about 10 minutes.  We are still actively looking for an apartment and we've already toured one daycare for Linnea (which was great) and sent in our top 5 choices for daycares in the area.  She is guaranteed a spot in 3 months but we've asked for her to be placed as soon as possible.  We shall see how long it takes!

I'm sure I'll be sad leaving Linnea at daycare the first few times but man am I excited for her!  She is going to LOVE it!  They play outside at least an hour a day if not more.  She will make new friends and learn Swedish.  She'll sing songs, make crafts and so much more!  I feel like she is at a perfect age to go to daycare/preschool/förskolan/dagis/kindergarten (there are so many names thrown around - I typically say preschool since the Swedish word is förskolan).  She is independent and is learning things so quickly.  I can't wait to hear her start speaking Swedish.  I'm going to need to get my butt in gear because she will pass me . . . it is only a matter of when, not if.

 Sept 2016 vs April 2017
Florian and Linnea.  She wasn't so sure about him being in her box when they first met but I have a feeling these two will become best buds . . . but she might need to cut back on hugging him!  #ican'tbelieveIbirthedahugger #imightbeahuggertoonow  

 She likes big slides but this one was a little too big for her to go down by herself.  Sit, Mama!

 Lego bin at a toy store.
 Blurry but a cute picture of her holding her baby and owl and wrapped up in the blanket her Grandma Janzen made her.

 Park play date and then a long walk with friends while all 5 kids slept in strollers AT THE SAME TIME!!!
 The view on our walk around Långholmen
 Linnea has been really interested in putting on her own clothes . . . and our clothes.  These are Jake's shorts.  

 Yoda towel!

We bought some used outside pants for Linnea and Google Maps gave us directions that lead us down this path.

 Easter dinner with friends!
Horn goes beep, beep, beep!
 Pushing! Me!

A pretend gas station at the park including a keyboard and 10 key pad.  The keys don't move because they are both filled with sand and have been sitting outside year round but it is still so fun for kids to play with!

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our lives the last 3.5 weeks!  I have all kinds of posts swirling around in my head and now that we don't have a to do list for our house that is a mile long I might actually get to post more!

And just as a friendly reminder, you can call or text me at my regular US number for free.  Just remember I'm 7 hours ahead of you so at 12 pm in Kansas it is 7 pm in Stockholm, which means if you are driving to work (no matter how early it is) and want to chat I'm your girl! Does this make me a morning person? I mean I am talking to someone and it is really early in the morning? ;)

*I've been posting short videos and pictures on Insta Stories of our every day lives if you are interested check them out!  If you don't know how to watch insta stories let me know and I can tell you!
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