Archives for category: Sleeplessness!

Carey has opened Pandora’s box. Since Nurse Angry  started writing again there seems to be no end to the non-subjects that pop into her head. And she has figured out that this is a good way to use those pesky leftover minutes during telephone hours. The ball is officially rolling again, so you might want get out of the way.

The original idea for this blog was that Nurse Angry was literally sleepless in Stockholm, and that together with general parenting issues. Having a small child, construction work, general city noise and two madly barking dogs upstairs almost did Nurse Angry in. But things have changed. Construction work and general city noise continue, but small child is now medium child and what’s more: the dogs moved out yesterday. Woof!

Nurse Angry started the workday by talking to the vacuum cleaner: “Did you do your job? No, not really. Get back in there.” She picked him up, put him back in the hallway where he belonged and shut the door. This little robot  is one of Nurse Angry’s favorite people. He’s surprisingly strong. He can move over the threshold and open the door into the waiting room if it’s not closed really hard. Nurse Angry has started thinking of him as one of the team. She hardly ever has to get the regular, boring vacuum out.

If you happen to be interested in industrial robotics, check out SVIA. There’s a cool, short film, Meet the Creatures which has human acrobats portraying robots.

Hooray for robots! They’re going to kick our butts in everything!

And speaking of creatures….”Clinton lured Trump out onto thin ice” was the headline in the Swedish newspaper that met Nurse Angry this morning. She is rubbing her hands together in glee. She CANNOT WAIT to get home tonight and watch the first presidential debate. This could be like watching the two toughest kids who were mean to you at school beat each other up.

For her next act, Nurse Angry will learn how to write a short, meaningful blog post.

Old kettle relishing its last moments in our kitchen. New kettle lurking like Darth Vader in the background.

Nurse Angry is not only a year older, she is also disgruntled. In case anyone wonders why this blog is called sleeplessinstockholm, Nurse Angry will once again shed some light on the subject. Being woken up in the middle of the night by a grouchy, whiny three-year old who needs to pee, being kept awake by manic thumb sucking, and then getting woken up again at 5:30 on your birthday does not make for a happy nurse or mother.

Today Nurse Angry wants to tell you a story. It’s a very short but fantastic kitchen appliance tale about age making no difference. It’s based on a true story. In fact, it IS a true story about quality British goods.

The Russell Hobbs kettle seen in the foreground of this photograph was recently retired after 2o years of use. Yes, you read correctly, TWENTY YEARS! Bought in England in 1991. She still worked fine, she was just looking a bit tatty, and who wouldn’t after 20 years of daily service. The little light showing you the kettle is on still worked!

Nurse Angry moved the old dear down to the basement storage space where she currently waits to go to Kettle Heaven, a land of 3% milk and honey where the water is soft, the teabags are strong, plump and plentiful, and there is a bottomless jar of Hobnobs. Or chocolate chip cookies (with dried cranberries and hazlenuts). Or cake. Whatever.

Mr. Cocky New Cordless Kettle, aka Darth Vader, also a Russell Hobbs has now taken up residence and flaunts its youth, bossing the espresso machine around as if it owned the place. It works ALMOST as well as its aged predecessor. Nurse Angry asks you: What can we learn from this?


This is a plant known in Swedish as Svärmorstunga (Mother-in-law’s tongue).

Who knew a houseplant could be so useful?

Nurse Angry’s mother was a recycling fanatic, just like Nurse Angry herself. Woe betide the family member who puts anything recyclable in the *GARBAGE*. Nurse Angry’s mother had a legendary wooden contraption not unlike an umbrella that she used to dry plastic bags on. Nurse Angry has taken things one step further since in Stockholm we recycle glass, newspaper, cartons, plastic and aluminum packaging. Here Nurse Angry has ingeniously involved Mother Nature herself in the recycling. Further proof that we all turn into our mother.

This plant now complains about feeling naked when it is not decked with at least 5 plastic bags, 4 plastic and minimum 1 cardboard cartons, 2 or 3 cat food cans. Baby bib optional, now rarely seen.

Nurse Angry sometimes just wakes up angry and goes from there.

A rather benign example of sleep torture. Kid stuff doesn’t really count.

Nurse Angry and partner go to bed just after 11 PM, a smart move as at 11 the neighbor (Dog Lady, there’s one in every building) goes out with her dogs. Dogs who like to BARK.  On the street. In the apartment. In the courtyard. In the stairwell. Etc. etc. Shortly after inserting magic silicone earplugs (which unfortunately do not block poodle yelps), Nurse Angry hears something that just MIGHT be a child coughing but  ignores it. Around midnight the fun begins. Nurse Angry is sleepily laying her book aside when Three-year old flies screaming into bedroom, coughing and crying. Nurse Angry thanks St. Jude (the patron saint of lost causes and pharmaceuticals) for the small miracle that is cough syrup and puts small person back in bed. Just one  hour later she is finally asleep. At 6 AM, the garbage collectors come and pull 2 containers forth and back over the cobblestones in the courtyard. Nurse Angry considers getting up to go to the Little Nurse’s Room but decides against it, figuring a semi-full bladder will take care of itself a while longer. And looking on the positive side for once, there is still the possibility of 1 1/2 hours more sleep.

Possibility, not probability. Three-year old, for reasons nobody can understand, will some weeks give us a daily 6:20 wake up call.

Nurse Angry realizes that the gods, in their infinite wisdom, created not only children, but caffeine, sugar and Louis CK.

An interesting bit of Nurse Angry trivia: the angry part of Nurse Angry actually has nothing to do with the health care system, her employer, nasty co-workers or grouchy, unthankful patients. Nurse Angry became Nurse Angry when she did not sleep for  a year and a half.

Last night a new phrase was coined at Nurse Angry ‘s house: As quiet as a …..(put name of teenager here).

One of the household’s teenagers went to a nearby friend’s house where there most probably is a BIGGER  screen for playing games on. Teenager promised when leaving to be back before midnight and to be as quiet as a …… when coming back, as The Old People’s bedroom door is next to the outside door.

Imagine partner’s surprise when the doorbell rings.

Nurse Angry does not know if Teenager came home on time. The only important thing is that Nurse Angry did NOT wake up! A miracle! Made possible only by the magical power of silicone. Thank you, Mack, wherever you are for making those wonderful, “pillow-soft” earplugs. They have literally saved lives– of the people Nurse Angry would have strangled had she been been woken. Nurse Angry should have invested in silicone because there would at least be a possibility of some return on her formidable investments in these rather costly, highly necessary quality items.

Which leads Nurse Angry to today’s  handy tip for teens: Remember kids, if you’re going to sneak in quietly you might want to remember to take your keys with you.

Nurse Angry is, thankfully, ANGRY again. The vehicle pictured below gave her a timely reminder of  why she started writing a blog at all.

The original idea was to document all the ways her sleep has been blocked, stunted, mashed, chopped up and otherwise mutilated in the last 2 years, turning her from a relatively well-balanced human being to an angry, antisocial monster. Everything from the stupid garbage truck to noisy neighbors and their bad taste in music to stress from having to get up for work earlier than what is decent to the kids to a whole lot of other stuff you just WOULDN’T BELIEVE.

Time for a good rant.

It is 7:25 AM on Södermalm in Stockholm and the worker pictured outside Nurse Angry’s bedroom window (ok, technically it’s not her bedroom, but she borrowed it again) has just FINISHED what he was doing. This is a long-term construction project which has been highly active for at least a month. Not sure what the underlying work was, but the simple re-doing of the sidewalk has taken the better part of a week and APPEARED to be finished yesterday morning after a small group of guys finished CUTTING THE PAVING STONES at 6:30.What’s the deal with that, by the way? One guy does all the work and 4 others stand and watch. Don’t they have any more tools? Is this our Swedish tax kronor at work?

For the first half an hour today from 6:30 to 7 it was unclear what the scritchety crashing noises were about because Nurse Angry was still ATTEMPTING to sleep. She did, however recognize the whirring sound that tells you that either a large vehicle is TURNED ON outside or a space ship has landed on your street. When she actually got up to see, Mr. Construction Worker was shoveling gravel and grit into the scooper and moving it into the truck. Scratch, scratch, scratch, bang of the shovel on the scoop, then move the 10 shovelfuls into the truck with help of the remote. And on to the next square foot. After that, he threw a lot of broken stones in the loading bed from one place to another to make room to lower in a bundle of paving stones. By 7:30 he was on his merry way.

And guess what? At 7:30 the garbage truck arrived! It never comes at the same time as other random crashing noises outside. But more about the sanitation symphony in Stockholm another day.

The only good thing about being woken up early is that NA gets to have a cup of tea and  a piece of toast with peanut butter. You can take the crazy woman out of America, but you can’t take her peanut butter!