Posted by: alexiszehr | August 29, 2013

H is for Hund and Hast and Helen!

























Today was fantastic! Helen had an amazing first lesson at the riding stable and said it was the best lesson she’s ever had! We won’t tell that to Maynards in Vancouver! Alf was her horse today and after grooming him, picking his hooves and tacking him up she rode in the ring with 8 other riders. I was holding Madoc so she pretty much tacked him up herself, I helped with getting his saddle on and Elizabeth (the lady who helped make sure everyone was ready to go) made some finishing touches. My heart was racing when his ears went straight back when the saddle went on but he quickly changed his tune with Elizabeth came in to position it correctly. I was in awe at Helen’s confidence around Alf and glad we’ve found such a nice place to ride. Honey is her teacher and she said she did really well. Helen would watch the others during the instruction and do her best to follow, Honey would also provide some English instruction.

On the way home and for an hour when we arrived at home Helen talked and talked and talked about buying her horse and setting up a stable. She wondered if the $300 she’s saved would be enough for a pony? I didn’t think so but since she’s waiting until she is 10 before she buys a horse I think she’ll have enough by then….she’ll have to keep saving to pay for the food and vet bills and upkeep.

Today on the way to school we met Molly a Jack Russell Chiwawa hund. She was so sweet and loved the attention we gave her. We really miss Fuzzie and Terra (John and Cheryll’s fur babies who live next door to us). I miss walking in the back door and saying “Hi Fuzz” as he looks through his dog window in the patio fence, what a great dog. I remember when we first moved into 2085 West 45th, Fuzzie would bark and bark at me (that didn’t last long) and now it’s like we have conversations and know each other’s routines.

We hope everyone is having a great Thursday at home.

Miss you and love you.


PS. I made banana muffins today- they worked

PSS. I made two chocolate cakes- they didn’t work. Burnt on the edges raw in the middle- I’ll blame the altitude!

PSSS. At 9pm tonight I had to try again so I made mini cupcakes- they worked! Thank goodness.

Swedish words for the day:

Hund = dog

Hast = horse

Swedish phrase:

Puss och Kram! = Kiss and hug!

Jag Gillar Dig = I like you!



I found it! I found it! Brown Sugar (or yellow sugar) I finally found it! The package is about a third of the size of the bags I would buy in the stores in Vancouver but I’m excited to try a batch of cookies this week. I’ve explored a few more grocery stores and think that it will be like home where you go to a certain store for a certain item. The ICA Maxi is not great for produce but Hempkop has a beautiful fruits and veggies display along with lots of ORGANIC options! I put that in for you DAD! HEE HEE.


We’ve had lots of activity this week with the bikes and exploring the area but there is more! Helen has joined a soccer team, all of her classmates are on the same team as well. I may have mentioned this but the group of girls have a really good energy. A number of the parents and the teachers have commented on how they are not exclusive and all do well as a group without having pairs and threesomes distracting. They are all very kind to Helen and Madoc and I and try hard to speak with us. I really have to beef up on my Swedish phrases so I can say more than the basics. I’m sure that will come.


Our first soccer practice was a fantastic experience and Helen enjoyed the drills and the coach, he’s one of a kind and you can tell he loves what he does. We were welcomed to the team with a group email saying they’re now international with a teammate from Vancouver, Canada. He also commented on the fact that the Sedins play and live in Vancouver. We’ve also had about 5 other emails and two tournament invitations for this weekend and one for the 7th of September. One of the emails reviewed the drills and included YouTube links with videos of the drills for the girls to review. Practices are on Tuesday at 5:15 and games are on the weekend but not every weekend.


We’ve also found a swimming class for Helen and on Sunday we went for a “tryout” to confirm that she’s in the correct class. She loved being back in the pool and looked strong swimming a few laps and jumping & diving off the block. Swimming is on Sunday at 4:30 for an hour, it takes about 10 minutes to drive to the pool and we think there is a bike trail we can take.


Tomorrow we’re going to the stables and Helen is starting her riding, we arrive at 3:30 to tack the horse and the lesson starts at 4:00pm. Emma our neighbour rides at the same stables as well but she’s at 4:45. Its feels like it’s getting busy again but I think it’s good for all of us to have places to go and people to meet.


Our neighbour Emma loaned Helen her roller blades on Sunday and after picking up knee and elbow pads and wrist protectors Helen took her maiden voyage today. She did so well! I was so impressed with her ability to stop and turn and navigate hills and bumps and sidewalk curves. I am impressed with her ability to just take off and go with it. I did suggest we tie a pillow to her bum but she thought that would not be necessary after day one!


Today we heard that our container has not left Canada yet! It was supposed to arrive in Goteborg this week but there were a few delays and we’re still without some of our creature comforts. It will be nice to have my slippers soon and warmer PJ’s as we can feel the weather changing. But I guess there is really nothing we can do but wait and know it will be like an early Christmas opening the boxes and finding the treasures we packed.


Today I certified as a Swedish washing machine repair lady! The machine stopped with an “F11” code on the readout display. I found the manual (the owners left us a fantastic binder with all the home info) and translated the code. I then realized that it was a blocked drain and so I drained the machine, it is a great system, and then opened the drain compartment and found 6 Swedish Kroners (two coins) inside. I removed them (got paid) and started over. The cycle just finished and all is well. Sounds silly but I had a great feeling of accomplishment.


On Friday we’re having some of the families we’ve met over for cake and wine and coffee (fika). I’m going to try to bake my eggless cake tomorrow and see how that goes. Since the container is not here I’ve borrowed a few cake pans and hope everything rises and the cake is moist. Grandma said she was craving an Alexis cake, I wish I could share it with her.


I hope you’ve had a great day and hopefully you’re staying dry, I hear there is rain at home.


I miss you.


Love Alexis


PS. Tomorrow we are opening our Swedish bank account! With our personal numbers we are official and can open an account and access many of the Swedish services.


Swedish Phrases of the day:

Kan jag fa en ol, tack? = Can I get a beer, please?

Grattis pa folelsedagen! = Happy Birthday!


Swedish Words of the day:

Siming – swimming

Springa – running


Ride to school

Ride to school



Co pilot Madoc

The band aid

The band aid


Today was a Monday, not a typical “I don’t want to get out of bed Monday” but a Monday where routine feels nice and the week before us has so much potential. We were up with the birds, literally! Our new “Dream Machine” alarm clock has an alarm setting for chirping birds. I have to say that it was the best way to wake up. At home I love hearing the chickadees landing on the feeder and taking a few seeds and chirping away. I know Madoc’s little brother bird still visits, I’m sure many of you know our labour and bird story and if not and you’d like to hear please let me know. I LOVE sharing our birth story 🙂

We left for school at 7:50, Helen eating as fast as she could so she could get back on her bike. Madoc buckled in his seat sporting his custom made Stitch Grahpix Canada hoodie and me hair in the helmet sleep in my eyes. I love riding behind Helen, her arms so perfectly shaped her head held high and her strong legs circling the pedals at lighting speed. Our bike route to school takes about 5 minutes by bike, may be a minute less, and we travel under the road before going up a steep hill that levels out in the forest just before the school. Helen ahead of me was picking up speed to make the hill, she started off strong then slowed down. She tried to get off her bike BUT it started to roll backwards, she tried to stop but the bike slid sideways and she was under it. Her knew was scrapped and bleeding and she needed a mommy hug. She push the bike up to the top of the hill and got back on. When we arrived at school Helen knew where to go for the band aids kept in a little draw just inside the front door. I think the drawer gets filled often 🙂

We said our goodbyes and Madoc and I rode home. We went back to Ikea for a few things and as we were leaving I picked up a bag of meatballs for home. Madoc saw the bag and grabbed it an thrust it to his chest, lifting it off and thrusting it back on again, yelling, “ma! ma! ma!”. It was almost 10:30 and he normally naps at 11:00 so I thought we best have something now. The snacks I packed were not cutting it. We went to the restaurant and they were serving breakfast but we could buy a meatball for 2 SEK each, that would be .28 cents CND. I picked up 8 meatballs and some pickled herring and a bun. Madoc devoured 6 meatballs! He was asleep in the car before we were out of the parking lot!

Normally on a Monday I go to see Susi and have a fantastic workout, I miss Susi and I miss our workouts. Barefit and Pregnant is something I can’t replace, first there is Susi, the brightest light you can imagine that makes getting fit/being fit so enjoyable you’re addicted after one class. And then there are the other women and mamas who workout together, these women are some of the most amazing women I’ve met. I miss Susi and I miss the women of Barefit and Pregnant especially the Hard Core Mamas, hard core to the core!

But today! I had a little piece for my Monday routine and I did a Susi Hard Core Workout and it was fantastic! Madoc was sleeping in his stroller and I ran intervals around the trail in front of our house and did the stationary exercises on our front step or the backyard. Thank you Susi for the workout! I hope you liked my pictures 🙂

We’re entering our third week in Sweden. I still can’t believe we’re here and how much the community has embraced us. I think of home lots and I think about the people who make home home. I miss you. I also have been thinking about Helen how strong she is. Today she said that the Swedish numbers are starting to make sense to her. My heart felt light hearing that. She’s going to be speaking Swedish in no time, she already tells me what to say when we meet someone or a neighbour. Today “Har det bra” was the phrase she helped me with, it means, “Have a good one”.

Har det bra! I love you and thank you for listening.


PS. We rode our cyclars to the mini ICA today for bread, mike and eggs, Helen put the baguette on the trap over her back tire. I couldn’t resist taking the picture. She thought when she was 8 she’d be able to go to the store alone for milk and eggs. I hope this year lasts forever!



Posted by: alexiszehr | August 24, 2013

cyklar! cyklar!


What a day! We got our cyklar! And we LOVE them! We were so excited we rode home from the bike store (we couldn’t fit them in the car anyway J) and then we had a quick lunch and went out again for another ride/run. And after dinner Helen and Bryan went AGAIN! The trail system is FANTASTIC and we are so excited to explore more. We know the rain will come one day but with our fancy fenders we’ll still be able to ride…and don rain gear of course. My bike is a traditional ladies bike and I love it. It has a lock built in on the back tire, with a headlight and the nicest chain guard I’ve seen. It was also my Birthday present from Bryan, Helen and Madoc and will forever remind me of Sweden. Madoc loves being on the back too and he also likes to push on my but with his feet. I guess I must have been going fast since his eyes were watering. Actually, I should get him some goggles or glasses to protect his wee peepers.

On our ride after lunch we went to the sea, the area we saw from the hike we went on last Sunday. It was beautiful and I love the picture of Bryan and the kids on the rock. I know you’ll love exploring this area when you come to see us!!!!!

We were craving salmon so I picked up a piece from the store in a package, it was similar to the ones we’ve had before. I didn’t realized that it was in a brine, it was tasty but very salty…oh dear. I knew I should have checked out the google translator but we were on the verge of hangry (hungry and angry at the same time – hungrig arg på samma gang) so we pick up, paid and ran. The kids liked it, especially Madoc but I think I’ll get the plain from now on. I am still on the hunt for sauerkraut, I will find it soon I hope.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to make scones and on Friday I’m going to bake a cake. I bought cocoa today and some berry sugar, the regular sugar is very coarse. We are off to our neighbours for lunch and then we hope to visit the swimming pool to see if we can register Helen.

Grandma called me tonight, it made my day! To hear her voice to know that she too is craving an Alexis chocolate cake, I miss her, oh I miss her. We met another one of our neighbours, she is 92 years old and speaks only a little English. I am glad she lives so close I can see her front door from my kitchen window. I miss my Grandma.

We’re having a movie with Helen and Madoc is asleep.

Love you and miss you.


PS. There is a Swedish Tire! Like Canadian Tire, or at least the store smells like Canadian Tire (you know that smell of plastic and paint and toxic yucky all over?!). It’s called Biltema, and I have a feeling they don’t have Swedish Tire Money.

Swedish Word & Phrase of the Day.

Bike = Cyklar

Would you like to bike to the sea? = Vill du cykla till havet?