Back To The Rat Race.

After four months of parental leave, it’s time to start preparing mentally for work again.

It’s been four very pleasant months, I’ll tell you that. The toddler really likes to sleep, which has given me 2+ hours every day to use as I please. Anyone with kids know what kind of amazing luxury that is. I didn’t have any ambitious plans for the parental leave, but I did have a general idea of what we’d do. Did everything work out as expected? Well, the kid is still alive, so I’d definitely call the four months a personal success just because of that. I also managed to get some basic maintenance done around the house, and that’s always a good thing.

During me leave, I’ve had some personal quality time as well. I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time playing Stellaris, Grand Theft Auto V, and a few other games. It’s not the most productive use of ones time, but personally, I think it’s worth it. On the creative side, I’ve managed to shove out more posts on this site than usual. So far this year, I’ve published 49 entries, 10 more than the total amount last year. That deserves a quiet golf clap. The number of readers have come down to a mere trickle, though, as my Facebook clicks have almost dried up.

I should probably write about more juicy stuff than I do now. Perhaps come up with a conspiracy theory, or some other lies, I hear that’s what the kids on the internet are into now.

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Your First Year, 2nd Edition.

An open letter to our second born.

Dear Hedda.

You’ve miraculously made it 12 months, and it’s time to write this letter to you. Your sister got the same service, and to avoid any outcries when you’re old enough to understand English, I’m writing this for you, too. Of course I am. Just like with your birth story, also known as The Story With Too Much Information. Note, however, that you’re getting your open letter weeks before your older sister got hers.

We named you Hedda after one of the characters in the story A Day With the Animal Mechanics. Your sister demanded to read it every night before bedtime for four weeks straight, and so the name stuck with us1. A more English-sounding name probably would have been better, but you’ll be all right. There have been several famous Heddas through time. Even an asteroid.

You’ll always be compared to your sister. That’s the life of a second born. So it’s interesting to see how very, very different you are, and reading through the letter I wrote to your sister show just how much. The future with both of you will be a hoot, to put it that way.

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The Big Four Oh.

Yes, yesterday was the day. I’m now in my forties.

When I turned 30, I also wrote a post, appropriately titled “The Big Three Oh“. It contains a few bullet points summarizing my universe at the time:

  • I’m still enjoying playing video and computer games.
  • Getting kids is still a very distant idea.
  • I don’t want to buy a motorcycle yet. But maybe that’s what men do when they get to 40, not 30.
  • Marriage is right up there with the whole kids thing.
  • Politicians still confuse me.

10 years later, a lot of things have definitely changed, while other things haven’t changed a bit. The revised lists goes like this:

  • I still enjoy playing video and computer games, although it’s been ages since I turned on my PS3 for gaming. It’s mostly being used for movies now, and notice that I never made the jump to PS4. These days, it’s PC gaming all the way. I play much less than I did 10 years ago, though.
  • I’ve got two kids now!
  • I don’t want to buy a motorcycle yet. Maybe that’s what men do when they get to 50, not 40.
  • I’m actually married! Who would’ve thunk it? Not this guy.
  • I’ve pretty much given up on politics. Lately, it’s been an unbelievable mess, both at home and abroad.

So there you have it. Quite a lot has happened during the last 10 years. As I’m now entering the half-way point in life1, I’m in reasonably good health both physically and mentally, have no real worries, exercise semi-regularly, sleep well at night, and have a loving family.

What more can a scrawny guy with a rapidly receding hairline ask for? Nothing.

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Another 14 Weeks of Fatherhood.

It’s happening again. I’m taking 14 weeks of parental leave from work.

It’s been almost a year now since our second born, Hedda, saw her first daylight. Anniken has been at home,taking care of her, but in April she returns to work. Hedda won’t be starting kindergarten until early August, so it will be my job to keep her alive until then1.

Normally, April is a great time to start any kind of work leave in our slice of the northern hemisphere. Most of the snow is usually gone by now, which means that comfortable walks with Hedda in the stroller would normally be possible. But because of this year’s long, cold, and particularly snowy winter, it looks like bloody February outside. But there is a sliver of hope: It’s still two weeks until Anniken returns to work, and the temperature is occasionally tipping over on the red, and far more comfortable, side of the scale.

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Birth Two Point Oh.

Are you ready for another personal story of a birth with Too Much Information written all over it? If not, you should bail out now. But if you are indeed ready, you’re more than welcome to continue reading.

Let’s turn back the clock to the middle of May last year. We’re closing in on the due date of our second born, Hedda. We’re also fast approaching the 3 year mark of the birth of her big sister, Vilde. Anniken was getting pretty nervous, not because of the upcoming birth, but because our second child might be born on the same date as the first. Sharing birthdays? What a nightmare! But thankfully, that faithful Sunday came and went.

Hedda had the common decency to wait a day, and Anniken didn’t go into labor until early Monday morning. Or at least it was labor-ish. The contractions were semi-regular, and not particularly intense. Still, we decided to head for the hospital to beat the morning rush hour traffic. It’s not uncommon that the second birth happens a lot faster than the first when it starts, and none of us were particularly happy about the thought of getting the baby on the freeway.

But as it turned out, you don’t simply beat rush hour traffic. It started way earlier than we thought. The scheduled one hour ride to the hospital took a little longer, but we were still only two people in the car when we got there. At the hospital, they did some routine checks, and we were given the all clear. Then followed hours upon hours of eating well, staying hydrated, and walking around the hospital. The contractions continued, but they didn’t become regular, neither in frequency nor length.

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