A whole week off at home and I almost don't know what to do with myself. Hours of unplanned time. Leisurely swathes of luxury to read or nap or putter around the house. No plans.
We leave on Saturday for 3 weeks and I am doing nothing much so far, about it. Oh, there's a slowly growing pile of things on the dining room table and laundry in, but I'm not feeling stressed or rushed or panicked or worried...although I did have a bit of spaz-out moment last night when, talking to my mom, I realized I hadn't written down "CHECK-IN" on the to-do list for the week. Whew!
Most of the things on my to-do list for the week are already crossed off, and the only big thing left is PACK, for which I've designated all of Friday so that we can do it at a relaxed pace. And our house sitter is coming over on Friday as well to learn the ropes and get the keys, so I feel like everything is totally under control...just the way I like it. :)
Today, Martin is in Lund hanging out with friends (again), Karin is at Lomma beach for the second day in a row, Anders is at work, and I am enjoying the summer breezes. Reading. Blogging, having a popsicle.
It's been beautiful all week, literally Sweden summer at its absolute best, and I'm hoping that Toronto and Michigan won't be too hot and muggy to make me wish I'd stayed home for the whole summer.
What is up with the tired? I come home from work and by 5 pm I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open. If I sit down on the sofa, it's all over: I wake up 2 hours later. If I power through and do things around the house, by the time 8:30 rolls around, I have to prop my eyelids up with sticks and they ACHE with tiredness.
I'm not tired when I get up, even though I'm not sleeping all that well (too warm, too bright, gotta pee, whatever)
I'm not tired at work.
It's just when I get home and start to relax a bit.
Today I worked until 7 pm trying to get through the million ads I want to send out, that are due while I'm on vacation. I made it through about 3/4s of them. It is a LOT of ads going out. I also worked late because I didn't get into the office until 11:30 am.
We were at the hospital this morning, at 10 am, for x-rays and then the consultation with the doctor. It was a different doctor than the one we saw first and when he came in the room, I thought, where's the doctor? The doctor can't be this CHILD. Seriously, he couldn't have been older than 20. But he was brisk and efficient, and he told us that Martin's x-rays looked great and he was healing really well, and he was going to take the pins out right now.
"Wait, what?" said Martin.
"Yep! Right now! You won't feel a thing. Or at least not much of a thing!"
And the doctor unwrapped his bandage and pulled off the gauze and yanked out the first pin while Martin was still boggling.
"One down! Two to go!" said the doctor.
Martin turned his head back and said, "Wait, what?? You already took one out?"
When he pulled on the third one, the head of it came off, and he had to pull again, but it came out just as quick.
He put the pins in a little tray and I boggled a bit myself... they were FIVE INCHES LONG.
"Do you want to take them home?" asked the nurse, who was putting a band-aid over the holes.
"WHAT? NO." said Martin.
"Oh," she said, a trifle surprised. "Most people want them as a sort of trophy."
"C'mon, Martin, please??" I begged.
Then we went to the physical therapist and she gave him a bunch of exercises to do every day, at which he got really depressed, and asked me if I was sure his old sling wasn't at home. Nope. No sling.
No pins! No sling! YAY!
SUPER SLUG WITH NO APOLOGIES
What I have accomplished so far today: Woke up Karin and sang happy birthday to her and gave her her presents, with Anders & Martin, and kissed her goodbye (she left this morning for a week in Gothenburg at Gothia Cup). One load of laundry that didn't really need to be done. Unloaded the dishwasher. Put some recycleables in their bins. Watered all the house plants. Made the bed. Showered & dressed, ate breakfast and lunch. Read the end of the book I was re-reading that was taking me forever to finish. Played numerous games of stupidity on the iPad. Watched Tour de France for awhile. Made Martin wash and change his shirt. Watched rain come down. Admired the purple of the lavender under the bedroom window. Napped on the couch. Talked briefly to my brother. Listened to music. Wrote this post.
Still on the agenda: Dinner, at some point. More reading, this time of the sequel to the book I finished earlier. More games of stupidity. Watching the World Cup final. Maybe a walk now that the rain seems to be letting up and the sun is peeking through.
Sometimes, a super slug day is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.
My friend Russell sent me a message a couple of days ago asking if we could talk about Toronto via Skype that evening. "It's getting close," he wrote, "It's only 18 days away."
And here I was thinking I still had 3 weeks! My list of things to get done before we leave suddenly leaped into hyperdrive. I have/had several other people with birthdays to deal with, starting with my daughter, who turns 15 on Sunday, my best and oldest friend Becky who shares the big birthday number with me on the 15th, my nephew Sammy who turns 3 on the 20th, my grandmother who is turning 98 (!) on the 24th, my mom whose birthday is on the 28th, plus Russell's! Whew!
I'm a little over halfway done with all that. I've also got to call the flea-market organizers and see if they can take our donations early since we won't be here when the annual village flea market is held, arrange the mail-hold, show the housesitter how the lawn mower works, and get the pins out of Martin's arm!
His arm is healing nicely, at least on the outside. One set of stitches has disappeared entirely, and the area around the pins is clean and free from inflammation or infection. The pins look like guitar tuning keys...the kind that stick out of the sides at the end of the guitar. We go in for new x-rays and consultation next Thursday and I really hope they can tell us the pins can be removed before we leave for Canada, since I don't want to contemplate dealing with them while there.
Anyway, Russell and I did talk about Toronto and we have a list of things we want to do/see while there and reservations for our big birthday dinner at 360, the revolving restaurant at the top of the CN Tower (entrance to the tower included). Our list includes: the Hockey Hall of Fame, Niagara Falls, the Science Center, Canada's Wonderland amusement park, Casa Loma, Art Gallery of Ontario and the harborfront (technically harbourfront since it's British spelling there). If anyone has any don't-miss recommendations, now's the time to share!
I'm really glad my mom and sister & co are coming, but both Russell and I are a little bummed that none of our friends will be joining us. It makes me wonder if we would have had more participation if we HAD decided on Ireland, but that would have raised a whole raft of other issues, so we figure it all works out.
We just lost power for a couple of seconds and I thought I had lost this whole post and was ready to gnash my teeth, but lovely Semagic saved it for me. It's been REALLY hot here (for Sweden), the last couple of days, hitting 30C. The house is stifling, and in the evenings I turn off the lights and open ALL the doors and windows in an attempt to cool it down. It lasts until we close them and immediately feels like they were never opened. Ugh. I like the sunshine, but I could do with a few degrees cooler.
Gotta go wash my kid's hair and torso and help him loosen the bandage around the pins which is too tight. Toodle-o!
A WEEK IN VÅNEVIK IN PHOTOS
Everyone took lots of photos while John and Simone were visiting, which makes me really happy. It's ridiculous that we let 2 years pass since the last time we saw them. It's not like they live on the other side of the ocean...It's 2 years since I've seen my sister and her family as well, but since they DO live on the other side of the ocean, it at least make some sense. Plus we'll get to see them in just a few more weeks, so yay!
Simone and the boys flew up to Copenhagen the day after Midsummer Eve and John drove up during that same day, arriving just a couple of hours after they did. We went to Skånes Djurpark, a lovely zoo about 40 minutes north of us, on Sunday, and on Monday we sent Karin up with them to the cabin we had rented in Vånevik while Anders and I stayed here for Martin's arm operation. We had hoped that we would get in early (he had to be at the hospital at 9 a.m.), and out early as well so we could go on up the same day if all went well, but as it turned out, he didn't go into surgery until 2 p.m. and wasn't out of recovery until after 4 at which point they decided to keep him overnight. I went in Tuesday morning to bust him out of the hospital but we didn't get away until after 1 p.m. We got up to Vånevik in time for dinner, and the week went marvelously after that.( Photos ahead! Clicky clickyCollapse )
WHEN A WEEK OR MORE WHIZZES BY
Good things for remembering
Good things for forgetting
- The sounds a baby makes when he's content
- Walking and talking with my husband during the long hospital wait
- A woozy Martin smiling from the recovery room bed
- Simone's Maultaschen, yum yum!
- The green and blue of leaves and water
- The way Sammy runs: flat-out
- Reading Blue Hat Green Hat to Sammy and laughing like loons
- Spotify quizzes with John and Anders and the kids
- Simone's victory dance when Germany won the group game against the USA in the World Cup
- Not needing the fans we brought and being able to have the bedroom window cracked at night...mmmm cool night air
- Karin playing soccer with, and Martin reading Pettsson & Findus to, Sammy
- Making it halfway around Blå Jungfrun
- John offering to see me safely back to the boat and being super patient with me on the way
- Martin making it all the way to the TOP of Blå Jungfrun despite his broken arm
- Karin and John bonding
- Watching baby Jake figure out how to sit up from a prone position and ALMOST figure out crawling
- Successful arm surgery for Martin even if it means PINS STICKING OUT OF HIS ARM for 5 weeks
- A long lovely walk through the peninsula and woods
- Visiting the Dödarhultarn museum and seeing some great wood carvings with Anders
- Playing Famous People in the car on the way home and Martin trying to come up with a third colonel after we guessed his first two: Colonel Sanders and Colonel Mustard
- Coming home to a tree FULL of cherries!
- 12 hours of waiting at the hospital
- Standing by Martin's side at the operating table as they put him under
- The hilariously bad artwork in our cottage
- Too much thinking about work
- Waking up at 5 a.m. the first day of work after vacation
- Nearly not making it back to the bathroom after a long walk
- Vertigo on the steep & slippery rock faces of Blå Jungfrun
- Swollen feet
- Seasickness on the boat back from the island
- Bringing 5 books with me and only managing to read what had to be the least satisfying one
- Martin's first hipster haircut: mah baby is gone! *sob*
- The fact that I have to work now for 3 more weeks before REAL vacation starts
Wheeee! Vacation! At least a week plus 1 day, plus 2 weekends, so altogether 10 days off! I didn't get everything done that I wanted to at work, but it wasn't my fault...late responses or no responses from people I was waiting for answers from, and a miscalculation with an IT person that came to fix a problem and ended up making it worse so that I lost nearly an hour and a half of working time. But, whatever: vacation!
Martin has to have surgery on his arm. We went to the hospital call-back on Wednesday, a week after the incident, and the doctor went through the new x-rays with us and explained the situation...the
end of his arm bone head of his humerus is twisted/tipped backwards, straining the muscles and while it will still heal, it won't heal WELL and he could end up with motion restriction, movement issues and chronic pain. So they have to go in and adjust it. That means he has to be put under, which he's glad about because he doesn't want them to do surgery with him awake. We don't know how long the surgery will take or how long after he'll have to stay...a great deal depends on how he feels after and how long it takes him to recover from the anesthesia.
But we hope it will go smoothly and quickly and we'll be able to head up north Monday evening or Tuesday morning at the latest. He's been doing pretty well all this week, though taking pain medication still, and it's too bad this will be a set-back and that it means longer before he'll be really healed. He can dress himself except for his shirt (and buttons) and he can shower himself (with a handy Saran Wrap sling I made him!) and he's been sleeping okay propped with LOTS of pillows on the sofa. But still...it's amazing how much you miss the use of an arm and how much it affects EVERYTHING. He says he never realized before how much you use your arms to balance, walk, bend down, sit up, etc. Or that laughing and coughing would hurt his arm. He's also COVERED in huge yellow and green bruises all over his legs, arm and sides from the fall. My poor baby boy!
Tomorrow is midsommar and I hope the weather improves...we had an absolutely perfect hot summer week until today when it suddenly turned COLD and windy and rainy. Brrr! We're going to our friends' Barbara and Paul, but sadly she won't be there...emergency trip home to her mom who is in the last stage of lung cancer. :( She was emphatic that the party was still on, whether she was there or not, so off we go with 7 liters of strawberries in hand.
Saturday, my brother John and Simone and the boys arrive! John is driving up from Germany, timing it to arrive at approximately the same time as I get home from the airport with his family who are flying up instead. I can't wait! We haven't seen John in 2 years!! Can that be right?? And a new baby nephew to meet, yay!
Martin just came home from a friend's house, and since he walked home in the rain (with a borrowed umbrella), his pants were wet, so I told him to "get out of his pants" and then I had to unbutton them for him. Even if he IS my kid and even if he HAS a BROKEN ARM, it's still a bit disconcerting.
Oh! I almost forgot! I passed my one year no-soda anniversary! I have to say I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment, even if I DID have a handful of sodas during the year. My celebration Coke was sure yummy, haha! :D
I was so glad for the fact that I didn't have a lot of meetings today at work...I thought I'd be able to get a ton of work done, especially on a couple of complicated layout projects that needed some extra time and focus. The morning was spent getting the monthly enews (33 different versions/languages) finalized for distribution but after lunch, I was going to hunker down and chip away at those projects until they surrendered.
Except, I got a phone call at 1:20, and it was a young woman whose name I didn't hear at first, calling to tell me that Martin had had an accident and they were on the way to the hospital by ambulance.
"What?? What happened??" I said.
"He fell out of a tree, and his shoulder is dislocated," she told me.
Urrgh... "Okay," I said, "I'll meet you there."
I shut down my project, my computer, grabbed my phone and purse and told my boss I was leaving. As I headed toward the elevator, I dialed Anders to let him know and just then the elevator door started closing on me, whacked into my arm and my phone went flying. It hit the wall of the elevator and then the floor and went black. "AAAAGH!" I cried, and snatched it up off the floor. I could hear Anders saying Hello? Hello? and realized it was still working, even though I couldn't see anything. So I told him what was up, and then hoped I'd managed to actually hang up.
The hospital is right down the street from work and I actually beat Martin there by a couple of minutes, even with parking and walking from the garage the emergency room. They brought him in on a gurney, shirtless and covered in a blanket, his right hand clutching his left arm to hold it immobile.
Once we were settled in the room, I got the full story. They were in the middle of a water fight, which he'd been telling me the plans for the day before. 7 or 8 of his schoolmates were with him, and they were at a friend's house after school had ended for the day (short days this week as the last official school day is Friday) after lunch. The friend has a tree house and Martin and his accomplices were up in it firing water balloons down on their hapless foes.
On his way down from the tree house, he slipped on the ladder and went down sideways, hitting his shoulder first on the ladder (and then, said his friend, on a fence) before landing in bushes 2.5 meters (15 feet) below. The kids freaked out, thinking first he was dead, and then realizing he couldn't move, they called 112 (which is the European 911) and after a Q&A from the dispatcher requiring several tests on Martin: can he wiggle his fingers, is he conscious, etc., they sent an ambulance.
They had to cut his t-shirt off him, and he managed to come away without his shoes or socks and with soaking wet clothes, but hey! First ambulance ride!
We were only in the room for about 10 minutes before the doctor came in and talked to him, and then another 15-20 minutes before he taken to X-Ray. Then we waited about half an hour for the results to come back: not dislocated... broken. The arm, right where it meets the shoulder. The doctor told us we'd get a call-back next week and they'd make a decision then as the break was borderline for requiring an operation...I assume to put pins in or something. Meanwhile, here's a sling and some painkillers...you're free to go.
In and out of the emergency room in 2 hours! Unbelievable. We made a stop at the pharmacy which took another half an hour and then home where, of course, he managed right away to figure out how to hold the Playstation controller and play without moving his arm.
At least he won't have to get a cast. And I might get a new iPhone out of the day. Silver linings.
We're halfway through the long weekend and once again I would like it to never end, plskthx. Think I'm ready for vacation?? O yes, indeed. And now I have 2 full weeks before my first week of vacation and then 3 full weeks before the rest of, which granted, is 4 weeks, so I will have to suck it up and wait. Still: so hard!
Yesterday was Sweden's National Day, the reason for this particular long weekend, as opposed to Ascension Day (last weekend's reason) or whatever the reasons were for all the long weekends back in the beginning of May. Like any good Swede, we had no idea what to do with ourselves, and mostly, I cleaned house. I also went into work for a couple of hours because there were people needing ads and ads can't wait for national days, and then, for dinner, we ate the most quintessential of Sweden National Day meals... pizza. LAME! No strawberries, no herring, no new potatoes...that's for MIDSUMMER, silly.
Today, Anders had a bunch of work colleagues over after canoeing on the Kävlinge river all day and I took the kids into Lund, and we went shopping for end-of-school stuff. Karin found a darling little twirly black skirt with a white crop-top and pretty black flats, and Martin got a blazer and a nice dress shirt. SKIRT! BLAZER! Am a bit boggled. Karin also found a pretty geometric-patterned black-and-white long skirt with two long slits up each side (it's fine, they don't go all the way up) and then she and I dropped Martin off at a friend's house and we went to see Divergent and had sushi after. The movie was good, though not great...I've heard the books are good YA but haven't gotten around to reading them.
Anders made his awesome pulled pork, twice-baked potatoes and coleslaw and I hope there are leftovers, but I suspect there isn't much...there never is of this particular meal. Everyone LOVES it.
I am 2 weeks away from being a full year soda-free. Or nearly...I have had soda a handful of times throughout the year: my birthday, Christmas, etc., but all in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it's gone. The only thing is...one of the reasons that I decided to try going soda-free was because I had read and heard that it would help with weight-loss. And if anything, the opposite has been true for me. :( Probably not because of the no-soda but because I managed to over-compensate for its loss in every possible way. So re-thinking is, again, in order. But I'll stick it out for the next 2 weeks before I make any changes or decision.
Tomorrow we have no definite plans, though I think we'll probably spend a few hours with Anders' mom. I haven't managed to find time to go driving with Martin either, so that needs to be a priority tomorrow. A whole 'nother day off. Such luxury!
IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD
This morning, around 10 a.m., my colleague Anette came into my office and told me how much she loved the shirt Karin had on today...she had just been at the ICA grocery store in Södra Sandby, the next village over from ours, where Karin goes to school, and seen her with a couple of friends just hopping off their bikes and going in to the store.
"They looked so young, and beautiful and carefree," she said to me. My reaction, since my daughter was supposed to be at school, was: "What the hell was she doing at ICA?!" So I sent Karin an SMS to ask, knowing she'd be freaked out...
I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn
bushes have roses.Abraham Lincoln
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