Off To Sweden

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Another update!

Seeing as I am trying to play catch-up, I thought I had better make another post.

About 2 weeks after we got here, Alice decided to be unwell! She woke up with tummy pains and then threw up, and threw up, and threw up, and threw up - you get the picture!! She didn't have a fever, but was in quite a lot of pain and wasn't well at all :(  I really didn't know what to do! Alessandro suggested we took her to the hospital, but I didn't think it really needed that! I just wasn't sure that it was that serious. But, by the end of the day, I told him that he needed to make the decision as I do worry about being over-protective of my kids and panicking too much!!!  He said that he thought it would be best, so off we went. We just thought that they would give her an anti-sickness tablet and we would go home - wrong!!! The other kids were fantastic and were happy to stay at home with Alessandro's Mum

At the hospital, they were very thorough. They took blood and urine samples, in between Alice throwing up (still!!!). They asked us how many times she had been sick, but we had lost count by then! By this time, she also had a very high fever and was not well at all. The staff were fantastic. Our nurse was wonderful and explained to Alice (in excellent English) everything that she was going to do when she took her blood as I had told her that Allie was phobic of blood and needles! She kept us updated regularly on how long the blood test results would be and making sure that we were all ok. Alessandro was a star too - I really don't know how I would have coped if he hadn't been there. I was getting really worried by this point and he was a great calming influence! Being in a hospital is bad enough, but being in one where you don't speak the language is evn harder, but all of the staff spoke English, and even those who weren't very confident made a fantastic effort for us.

After about 2 hours, the doctor came in. He had obviously learnt his English from an American as he had a very strong accent! Alice's blood test results had shown high white blood cell count, so she was trying to fight some kind of infection, but they weren't sure what as the tests they ahd done were negative. When he started touching ehr stmach and asking which side the pain started, I was getting worried as I knew he was checking for appendicitis, but fortunately, he said he didn't think that was it. But, they wanted to keep her in overnight to make sure it wasn't anything serious!

I had to ring Emily and Lucie to tell them and was really worried that Lucie would be upset about me staying in with Alice, but she was a star! I was so impressed with how grown up she was! So, once we were shown to our room on the children's ward, and we were settled in, Alessandro went home. He did offer to stay because he spoke Swedish, but we were fine with the staff making an effort. The nurse did come in to try to set up a drip, but they couldn't get a needle in Alice, so they gave up (not sure who she gets that issue from! lol!!)

Alice threw up again a couple more times in the night, but seemed a bit brighter in the morning, so they let her eat a sandwich and yoghurt for breakfast before sending us home. She only ate  few mouthfuls, but at least she kept it down!

I have to say how impressed I was with the Swedish hospital. They kept us informed every step of the way, coming in to check we were a ok, and once they decided we were going home, there was no hanging around, they were very very efficient. I don't like having to stay in hospital, but as far as hospital stays go, it was good.

Alice took a long time to recover and to get her appetite back. I don't think she ate a full meal for about 10 days, but she is fortunately better now, and back to her old self!

Just have to say something I found quite amusing! The Swedish word for hospital is sjukhus pronounced a bit like 'sick house' which did make me think how appropriate it was for Alice that day!!!

She will kill me for doing this, but here is a LO I did of her in hospital eating her breakfast!

 This is my new addiction! The LO was made using the most awesome app for my iphone! It is called Coolibah and is a digital scrapbooking app. There are lots of free kits available as well as some which you can buy but they are really cheap. The designers are fantastic and have made some beautiful kits!  I LOVE playing with it and have made loads of LOs.  

Here are a few more - nothing to do with Alice's stay in hospital though!!


Friday, 22 October 2010

Update Time!

Ok, so we have now been here for almost 6 weeks and I realise that I haven't updated recently, so thought I would try to get the last fee weeks updated in the next couple of posts!

I suppose I should start with the journey which I would love to say was uneventful, but it wasn't!!!  We left our house in England at 6.30am, on 11th September 2010. We were all up, showered, dressed and ready with our suitcases packed with enough things to last us for a couple of weeks as we weren't sure when our other things would arrive from England.

We arrived at Stanstead airport and checked in our suitcases and went to get a coffee and something to eat as we hadn't had breakfast! We thought we had left plenty of time to get through security and be ready for priority boarding! We said goodbye to Dad and went through to the queue for security which was much longer than we thought it woud be! There were a few tears as we said goodbye to Dad, not because we didn't want to go but because we knew it would be a couple of months before we saw him again - the longest we have ever been apart from him!

Emily was taking her laptop, so we knew that would beep the machines, but didn't think I would! I did! No problems, though and we all went through. Emily had made sure that she wasn't wearing neon nail varnish as that had set off the alarms when we had gone over before! (We had thought it was her braces on her teeth at first, but the security guard told us it was the nail varnish!)

However, what we weren't expecting was Alice's bag to set the alarm off. By this time, we were about half an hour from our boarding gate closing so I was not happy! And neither was Lucie as we had booked priority boarding to ensure that we could sit together and she was starting to panic! The security guards were really busy and it seemed like forever before they even started to go through Alice's bag! She had packed everything so well, wrapping her breakable things like her ds and ipod dockibng station in scarves etc, so they had to unwrap everything! Until they came to the culprit! The day before, she had told Lucie that she would have to put her body lotion into her suitcase as it wasn't allowed in her hand luggage. Unfortunately, she hadn't followed her own advise!!!!! If I wasn't so stressed, I guess I would have laughed, and I did later on, but not at the time!

By this point, we were 5 minutes from our boarding gate closing and, typically, we were the furthest boarding gate from security! I don't think I have ever run so fast! Alice and Lucie managed to keep up but Em was struggling and the others were worried that we would get on the plane and she wouldn't! I did reassure them that I wouldn't do that, but they still worried! We eventually got to our boarding gate and, guess what, they hadn't even started boarding! About 10 minutes after we got there, they then decided to change our boarding gate to one closer to security!!!!

So, all of the panic was for nothing!! We were second in the queue for prority boarding and eventually boarded the plane. We were all in need of a sit down and a drink, so I paid a fortune for a drink for each of us! At least the rush meant that Lucie didn't have time to get worked up about the flight!

Somehow, despite boarding the plane late, we still managed to get to Stockholm on time and were treated to the Ryanair fanfare which they play when one of their planes arrives on time!! Very cheesy but very funny too!

Once we got through passport control at the airport, Alessandro was there waiting for us and we then had an uneventful 5 hour car ride to our new home!

To saisfy your curiosity, here are a couple of photos of our new house. If you look carefully at the 1st one, you might be able to see Alessandro's Mum - she saw that I was taking a photo and so opened the kitchen door and waved as I took it!!!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

How It All Began!

Lots of people have asked me about how we ended up moving out here to Sweden, so here is a fairly short account of what happened in the last year!!!!

Back in January, I met a lovely man called Alesssandro on the internet. He is Italian and lives in Sweden with his twin sons who are 12. I was very wary at first, having heard lots of horror stories about people who had met weirdos on the internet! But, I also have a friend who met her husband on the internet and they are very happily married now, so although I was very careful, I did take some calculated risks!

We chatted for hours every night on skype and for my birthday in March, he bought us plane tickets to fly out to Sweden for a holiday for 2 weeks at Easter which eneded up being almost 3 weeks because we got 'stranded' due to the volcano!! No complaints from us though!. A few of my friends and family were happy, but most were very concerned as they obviously hadn't met him! I did try to explain that after months of only talking every day, you do get to know people very well, but I can understand why they were concerned.

Anyway, it all went great! We got on better in real life than online and his boys are fab! With my girls being 13, 12 and 9 at the time, the boys slotted in great and they all got on like a house on fire. Alessandro used to be a professional skier and is now a coach, so we also got some free skiing lessons which was fantastic!

The problem we had was where we would go from there, with living so far away from each other, but by the end of the two weeks we had decided that it would be easier for us to move to Sweden as with him and his ex-wife having joint custody of the boys, there was no way that she would allow him to take the boys to England to live, and also, his mother lives with him, so she would need to move too which would be very difficult for her. My house was only just big enough for us, so there was no way we could fit another 4 people in, and he has a lovely big house.

So, the natural step was for us to move out to Sweden. The girls were all in stages of their education where a move wouldn't be a major problem and they were all 100% for moving too. My family weren't however! My Dad wrote me two letters saying that we were doing the wrong thing etc. To be fair to him, he still hadn't met Alessandro, and he also struggles with speaking about emotions, so he looks at the practical side of things! Instead of saying that he would miss us, he was very negative about practical aspects!

Then, at the end of July, Alessandro came over to stay with us for 3 weeks. He met my family, and after 2 days, my Dad said "Why didn't you let us meet Alessandro before you announced you were moving? My reaction would have been completely different" He absolutely loved him and was then 100% behind us going, as were the rest of our family!

So, although I didn't have to have my Dad's permission to move out here, it was so much better knowing that we were going with his blessing and he was fantastic about helping us to get sorted out, and sorting out the rest of my stuff once we had moved out!!!

So, that is a quite story about how we came to be moving out here! I will update with more news of the past 3 1/2 weeks once I have got a bit more time!