Every day starts with the phone. For at least fifteen minutes after she gets up, Ingrid is shut in her room, doing who-knows-what, until that’s done and she comes down for breakfast.

She is very good at managing her own time in the mornings. She gets up as soon as the alarm goes off, comes downstairs in time for breakfast, keeps track of when it’s time to leave, etc.

At school she enjoys the practical subjects much more than the theoretical ones. Crafts, sports, art, music… the one more academic subject she enjoys is programming, which she does as an elective class.

After school she plays a lot of Overwatch. When she has an activity in the afternoon/evening, she skips after-school “club” and goes straight home after school so that she can play. Either she really loves Overwatch, or she no longer finds walking home on her own dreadfully boring. Or both.

Every evening ends with the same routine. Eric and I take turns reading for her. Then it’s lights out, and I climb up to her loft bed to give her a good night hug. As it is very dark behind her bed curtain, she often takes this opportunity to hide from me in some corner of the bed, and I have to find her by touch. Then she briefly pictures the next day and any special events (scouting and crafts on Mondays, for example) so she feels ready for it.

When I go back downstairs, I put on music that she can fall asleep to. It’s always Sheila Chandra.

Ingrid used to be anxious in the evenings, about any number of things, and now she’s not. Perhaps it’s the music. Perhaps it was simply a phase.

I treated myself to bagels for dinner at Espresso House, after working late.

Even though I don’t drink coffee, I have their loyalty card app, only because of their cream cheese bagels. Those bagels are my first choice when I’m out and about and need a meal, fast and without a fuss. I guess it’s like McDonald’s for some people. Except the bagels taste much better.

Adrian gets his first professional haircut, at the barbershop on the corner of Spånga Torg.

Our microwave oven decided to die this weekend, along with the water pipes. It feels like we only just bought the previous one, but it’s probably roughly as old as Adrian, and I guess one cannot really expect longer life than this from low-end kitchen appliances.

Last time we went shopping for a microwave oven, it was a real hassle trying to find one that had a simple interface. We wanted two knobs – time and power – but almost all the ovens had lots of cryptic buttons and programmes. I think the one we came home with was the only two-knob model in the store. This time I was surprised at the choice we had. I wonder if the tide might be turning, and the producers are becoming aware that more complexity is not what people want from their ovens.

– Are you not tired?
– Yes, I’m tired… but I want to read!

Defrosting our frozen pipes.

We’ve had frozen pipes before, when the pipes underneath the house were replaced. After that happened, we had heating cables wrapped around those pipes that we can plug in when it gets really cold, and since then we haven’t had any real problems with them.

Unfortunately the pipes that froze this time were not those pipes. This time it’s the pipe from the street in to the house. And that one does not have any heating cable, just plenty of insulation wrapped and packed all around it.

Or rather, it had insulation. We’ve been crawling around (literally) in the crawl space underneath the house, demolishing the enclosure around the pipe and ripping out most of the insulation, so that we could aim a heat blower at it.

The crawl space was amazingly dusty. I hadn’t expected it to be clean, but I still wasn’t prepared for the amount of dust in there.

Anyway, we now have running water again.

The unfortunate coincidence of polar weather and a week-long skiing holiday led to not just very cold skiing, but also frozen water pipes at home. So now we’re making do with buckets and bottles and basins.

The kids find this an exciting adventure; I’m thinking of all the manual washing up that we’ll have to do.

When I was a child, we had no running water in my grandma’s summer cottage where we spent all our summers. We had a well in the yard, and carried buckets of water from there to the kitchen. In the kitchen, there were two buckets of water on a stand, a dipper, and an enamelled basin for washing. For baths and washing clothes, we took the train to town, to my grandma’s little one-room apartment. It seemed like the most natural thing to me, but I guess it must have been a bit of a hassle for the adults.