Low arousal approach

So I took the time to check out Bo Hejlskov Elvén’s speech at a conference here in Sweden. I watched it on YouTube while rocking Erik to sleep. I can full honestly say that it was a massive eye opener for me, because the way he explained it all it just made sense.

It is the approach most favored by psychologists and caretakers who deal with aggressive persons. But the way he put it is that the method works well with tough cases which also means that it works super well with a regular child. So reading up on this now makes a lot of sense.

Erik is still too young to understand consequence, he is also not quite there yet in terms of understanding words and sentences. But meeting him on his terms will make both his and my life so much easier, I believe. And threats and bribes often lead nowhere, I have noticed in life. So a low arousal approach is usually the way to go, or it has been for me. And this is also the method I will use when raising my boy.

It appeals to me on several levels and it is something that is proven to work, time and time again. But much like every other parent I will probably have to revise my strategy more often than not. The tiny humans usually have a pretty firm grasp of what they want and what they don’t want. They don’t always know how to go from point A to point B but they will not worry about that while improvising. They learn by making mistakes and I will do my best to try to guide my tiny whale through the jungle of experiences.

There is so much good in the world and I want him to get a taste of that. To really enjoy all the wonderful things out there, meet good people and eat good foods. I want him to take in the sights. But it needs to be on his terms, I’ve already experienced so much good. It will be a treat to pass on the joie de vivre to the tiniest of whales and to see what he does with it. I will share it with the boy who has my heart – my son 💙

Campbell of Sweden

Food and inspiration

I’ve noticed that the tiny whale prefers food items that don’t contain any meat. I still feed him everything but there is a clear preference. I myself keep noticing that I too am moving away from all the meat I dislike, like poultry and pork. I’ve never liked poultry and pork is only ever good when it’s straight from the barbecue. So I’m currently in the process of eating what’s left in the freezer and won’t be restocking the meat drawer for a while. I like beans and I do like red meats so that will be the staples for my protein intake.

As for Le Pudge, he cannot deal with beans so he will continue eating a well rounded diet until his little stomach can process foods that are a bit heavy and then he himself can choose what he eats and doesn’t eat.

This isn’t a declaration of vegetarianism, but rather a note for myself to remember that as an adult I do not have to eat eggs when I find them utterly disgusting. I do not have to force myself to try to like chicken when I haven’t done it ever in my 32 years of eating.

I need to learn even more about veggie based protein so that my diet doesn’t end up lacking a basic part. But no, I am not giving up seafood, fish or red meat. A nice steak beats most things in terms of flavor and overall food experience, if you ask me. But the other stuff, the white meat, I will leave for those who appreciate it.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that beetroot may be a food of the gods. A rekindled flame. Now to learn everything there is to know about food pairing, but I fear everything might be good with le beets.

That dish might be the start of a revolution in this home. Too much goodness on one plate.

Campbell of Sweden

Teething, a hell of its own.

Some kids go through it without too much whining and pain whilst others go through hell. But as it’s often been said, if you’re going through hell – keep going. So we do.

Mr Pudgy the whale is having a shitty time teething, which translates to even worse days and nights for the mother unit. He’s whining nonstop and clinging onto me as if I’m somehow the cure. I’m not and he knows it but he keeps hoping that being on me while screaming might make things better. And who knows, maybe it does on some level. 

I’m sure you can tell, just by looking, that the pictures above are from his nap time. It’s obvious to see that he has no interest in sleeping, be it day or night. And most people will testify to less sleep during teething but for a child with a severe sleeping disorder this is devastating. Or rather it is that to his mother. His usually incrimental sleep has become even more incrimental and some nights even nonexistent which means no sleep for the mom either. And it’s one thing to not sleep a night and then catch up on your sleep later but after a series of some three nights where the boy has slept a grand total of an hour you are not human anymore.

So a few days ago I had a total breakdown. I spent all night crying along with Erik, wondering how I would pull through. But dawn came and I could see a bit clearer. So I packed up some stuff and took Erik into Stockholm. He slept for two consecutive hours, waking a bit here and there but fell back asleep when rocked.

I obvoiusly didn’t get any sleep but I had some retail therapy. Buying myself a dress, two sweaters and a ring. I also met up with my best friend and had both dinner and fika, while at it. Because if we had stayed at home I might have just spontaneously combusted.

Life as a single parent is hard, especially when your child has a sleeping disorder and there is no money coming in. It’s extra hard when his absetnee father doesn’t sign over custody on you so you’re locked into a place where you can’t even put the child in queue for a spot in a kindergarten. It’s a stressful situation knowing you have the full responsibility but absolutely no rights. But I’m hoping things will change in that arena, soon. I reached out to the boy’s father to sign over custody, today, in bopes that he might do the right thing for once. I have no hopes whatsoever that he will do what’s best for my child but one can always try.

In the meantime I do all I can and then some to ensure that my baby boy has all he could ever want or need. Even with a tremendous lack of sleep, a constant headache and enough stress to kill a normal human being I still trot on. Why? Because I love life. I love living, and each new day brings with it something positive. Something new and worthwhile. My boy is growing, sitting himself up like a pro and getting onto his stomach from a seated position. He’s full of energy and life, and if that doesn’t get you through the day then nothing will.

It is my will to live, my love for life that has gotten me through all the bad stuff. And in the end there is but one thing that controls how you respond to whatever is going on in your life – you and your perception. Change your outlook on life and you’ll realize that you are in fact living in the best of times.

If all else fails get yourself a new dress and a ring. Or whatever makes you equally excited.

But all that shopping aside, waking up to a view like this. Or going for a drive, making Erik laugh, trying new foods, talking to a loved one. Those are the real motivators. All else is gravy.

This. This is what heaven looks like: a happy and healthy boy who has everything he needs. Content. That is absolute heaven to me. All worries just melt away, all tiredness goes out the window. He is my love, my life – my boy.
Campbell of Sweden

An unexpected turn…

Life sure can be funny sometimes. And when a door closes a window opens. The window of opportunity, this time.

A while ago I applied to the Google Udacity Scholarship Program. I was hopeful but realistic about my chances. Some time passed and on Monday I received an email saying that due to many qualified applicants I had been rejected. I received that email in the midst of the worst turmoil of my life and it felt like the universe was adding insult to injury. But, like with all things, one must live and let live. So I shrugged it off and went on my marry way.

This week has been full of interesting happenings and I have been feeling awfully chipper and in really good spirits. So when I went into my mailbox, after having put Pudgy down for his ONLY nap, I didn’t expect to see anything interesting. But there it was. My acceptance letter! There had been a mistake made and I was actually accepted. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I must have read that letter maybe ten times. But there it was, saying I was enrolled.

I am so insanely happy and proud to take part in something that at the end of it will enable me to transition from finance into a field that I actually want to be in! And it could not have come at a better time.

The future is looking very bright for me and my tiny whale, and I cannot stress enough how happy that makes me. I’m sure it will be tough and I’ll give myself gray hairs over it but I’m so happy that there is a way for me to go into that field without having to go back to university and live off of scraps together with Pudgy. Or worse yet, study full time and work full time. That would take away from my time with the tiny whale and I just couldn’t do that to him nor me.

But now I don’t have to think about that. So tomorrow I will treat myself to a new laptop and set everything up for Monday when my new adventure starts.

Life really has a funny way…

/Belma

Back to square one…

On Saturday I can start exercising again, or I could but I am going in for a minor surgery in the beginning of September and therefore have to stay away from the weight room still. But somewhere mod or perhaps even at the end of September I will start working out again. My weight is now no longer the issue, it’s the softness of my body aka “the jiggly bits”.

I’ll work from home to begin with. I wish I could say that I’ll be doing it when Erik’s asleep- but let’s face it that is just not how he rolls. So instead I will have Sean take him for a half hour here and there so that I can get myself in order. I’m pretty tired of looking like a jelly donut.

It’s not fair of me to have the little whale hang out in the baby gym and work on his neck strength when I am all weak and plain. So, after my recovery I will get back into a routine. However small and seemingly insignificant, it needs doing. I need to get myself back into shape, for my own sanity. I had a long and fantastic weight loss journey a few years ago, and I refuse to let all that hard work go to waste.

Plus, I need a hobby.

Because this is what I’ve succumbed to. And that’s just not acceptable for anyone, especially not myself.

And here’s a fun picture of Erik sitting up like a big boy in his crib, totally mesmerized by his new mobile.

Mrs. Campbell

Water world 🐳

So, on May 23rd at 8.30 AM my water broke. I was in bed scrolling through Facebook when I coughed and it felt almost as if I had peed myself, but not really. So I ran to the bathroom while some liquid was seeping down my legs, only to realize that it was, in fact, my water. Pudgy’s little water world was getting smaller.

Something I didn’t know was that for some there’s a small amount of water coming out but for others (namely myself) it came out in bursts. Many, MANY bursts – all throughout the day. I soaked through 3 pairs of underpants and about 10-15 big pads. I’m just glad I wore a dress.

We had an appointment scheduled with the midwife from earlier on and after having spoken to the hospital in the morning I was instructed to go to the midwife and get myself checked and then call the hospital to make an appointment. But the lady we got to see was not our regular one, since she’s on vacation, this one was pleasant but not very good.

My water kept coming in bursts and I had to run off to the bathroom with it running down my legs. Which is a bit uncomfortable and somewhat stressful, and that is why one shouldn’t check the blood pressure right after something like that. But she did. Mine came back 160/100 on the first try and 140/95 on the second. Both very wrong, but that’s irrelevant.

After that visit I called the hospital and they told me to come in after about 3 hours. They suggested I eat something properly before coming in at 1 PM. So we went for burgers at a place called Vigårda in the Mall of Scandinavia. The burgers were great but my water broke twice in that restaurant and Sean and I decided it was best to go to the hospital and wait there.


I got in and the midwives put me on a gurney and strapped a ctg scan to my stomach. 


Under me was a puppy pad (the big ones you use when trying to get puppies housebroken). The scan was on for 20 minutes and in that time I had soaked through my own pads and the puppy pad, along with my dress and later also shoes. They easily concluded that the water had in fact broken and they put me in those sexy hospital panties and gave me a diaper. Yeah, you never feel as hot as you do wearing a diaper…

After the checks were done they concluded that my blood pressure was a bit high at 135/70 so they wanted to do some blood work to rule out Preeclampsia, and then followed a many hours long wait to see a doctor – while seated in the waiting room. Sean went out to get us drinks and later on some ice cream and me a sandwich. He really was a trooper but I was pissed off and swollen and just wanted to get out of there or have Pudgy so as to finally meet and greet him.


After a few hours the doctors came around to see me. They ruled out Preeclampsia and scheduled an appointment for inducing labor on Thursday at 7.30 (if Pudgy doesn’t start that work himself) and we were sent on our merry way home.

At home the water turned from a clear to a pink hue and I started panicking. Even though they told me it could do that. Sean and I made a nice pasta salad to get my mind off of all of that and started watching season 3 of Peaky Blinders, but I was too stressed to watch anything and too tired to be upright so I went for a nap.


When I woke up I had a minor panic attack and I was crying for no reason. Sure there were painful contractions but I was just terrified and didn’t know what to do with myself. But I came around to it and settled down after a while. Sean went down like a log and soon after so did I.

Waking up this morning I feel better, the diaper is still on because the water still comes on and off – but there’s less of it and the bursts are further apart and they are once again clear. Now we wait for the labor pains to start on their own and should they not get going today I will be induced tomorrow at 7.30 AM.


Don’t pretend like you’re not jealous of my sassy pants!
Mrs. Campbell