On this day...
5 years ago: Advent calendar
10 years ago: Why this is difficult

Adrian and I went Christmas shopping in Vällingby. Lunch at McDonalds.

Somehow I keep being surprised by how sticky his hands can be after a meal. It’s should be no surprise, given how he eats.

He is no stranger to cutlery and handles them with quite adequate skill. But when given a choice, he would much rather eat with his hands – and play with his food. If one uses French fries as art and construction material, naturally one will end up with sticky hands.

It’s hard to do a sunrise full justice in a photo.

On Tuesdays the kids have “mother tongue” lessons, in Estonian, together with a third Estonian kid at their school, so I pick them up from the classroom rather than from after-school care.

When life gives you dark, wet, cold winter… make your own summer.

Adrian and a friend of his made a swimming pool out of pillows on the living room floor, and then went diving and swimming in it.

A nuthatch on our new and upgraded bird feeder.

November is not a good time of the year for me. It truly drags me down.

I have been getting more and more tired with every day that passes. Tired not so much in my body but in my soul. It takes an effort to get out of bed in the morning, and I wish I could just be done with the day, before it has even started.

The one thing that always helps me when I get into that kind of state is getting out into nature. But even getting out through the door feels like so much work. I need to pack, and prepare some food, and figure out where to go…

By mid-morning, after some prodding from Eric, I had gathered my last reserves and gone out after all. I spent the day hiking around Järvafältet nature reserve – mostly staying away from anything that reminded me of civilization, such as the wide gravel trails with people with their baby strollers, and the small farms.

The first hour passed in a daze, but after that I could feel my energy levels lifting with every minute that passed. By the time it started getting dark I felt like a human being again.

Swedish nature in November is not much to look at. It’s mostly dull, gray and muddy. So was the much of today’s walk. The ground was even still covered in snow in some colder “pockets”, from the recent unseasonable snowstorm we had.

But there was an hour of sunshine in the middle of the day, and while the sun does not rise very high in the sky this time of the year, there were fields where it reached past the tall shadows of the trees, and moments when it broke through gaps in the forest.

(From yesterday, when Adrian had to stay home from school.)

Lego, PlusPlus, Star Wars and (fictional) fighting. Christmas.

He likes playing “thinking games” on the iPad. First we played Tiny Bang Story together. When we got to the end of it, he wanted more. Tengami was too boring – no action. Monument Valley on the other hand he played through on his own in about two evenings. Now we’re doing The Lost Circus together.

It’s been such a long time since I posted a photo of Lego-building, hasn’t it?