Friday, September 28, 2012


Does it mean you have a problem if before going to sleep at night, you fantasize about the cup of coffee you're going to have in the morning?

Just wondering.

You can't tell from the picture, but Inara is actually sleeping. I was sitting on the couch and she crawled up on me and just crashed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Friend

Inara doesn't have a favorite stuffed toy, blanket or anything like that, except for her pacifier. What she does have, is a small obsession with twirling my hair for comfort when she's sleepy or sad. Every day for the last couple of weeks when I've dropped her off at preschool, one of the newer girls has been bawling and calling for mom. A couple of days ago, Inara and this girl laid next to each other for nap time and by some lucky spell, it turns out that they're both hair twirlers. I guess they just snuggle in, twirl each others hair and fall right asleep. If one wakes up, she looks around for the other, but then calms down and starts twirling again. When this happened earlier in the week, it was the first time this other little girl had gotten a good nap while at preschool. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Work of Art

Yesterday, Inara brought home her first painting made at preschool. Do I see the next Pollock?

P.S. I don't actually know much about art. I guess the name Pollock must be some remnant from art history classes. D.S.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012


It's almost magical how much more cooperative Inara is when she gets to help us do stuff. If I try to prevent her from getting into the cupboard under the sink by closing it, she howls like a demon. If, on the other hand, I tell her to close the cupboard for me, she does it gladly and proudly. If I take her spoon from her after she's done eating, she gets really mad, but if I tell her to put it in the sink, she's happy as a clam.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I felt that it was time for an update on a few of the things Inara is doing and saying at the moment.

As far as preschool goes, she's been sad a few of the times that we've dropped her off, but according to the teachers, she's happy the rest of the day. They've commented on how she's very good at letting them know what she wants by nodding, shaking her head and pointing. I always ask her if she wants to go to preschool in the morning and she always nods. When I pick her up, I ask her things like if they napped, if they had lunch and if they went to the forest. She usually ponders for a second, then nods or shakes her head.

Her spoken vocabulary is growing. The newest addition is "krÄka" (crow) and she makes the crow sound if you ask her to. She's switched from just sticking her tongue out like a cat when presented with one, to actually saying "katt". She also makes most of the common animal sounds. Some more of her recent words are: ball, there it is, "kolla" (check it out), fly, oj, tack (thanks), and wow. The other day, she was playing with something when all of a sudden she noticed that Andrew had put a shirt with wolves on. Her eyes got big as she pointed and exclaimed: "Wooow!".

She has started swimming lessons again. The first time back, it seemed as if she had forgot a lot of what she'd learned, but last time she was back in the game. However, she is a lot more vocal about when she doesn't want to do something now. A lot of: "nej, nej, nej, nej, nej, nej", followed by vigorous head shaking going on.

Her favorite toys at the moment are her blocks, legos, one of her large stuffed toys, her hammer and nail toy, her toy cart, crayons and stickers. Books are still a big draw too, as well as climbing anything and everything in sight. We sometimes let her watch videos on the computer and she seems to enjoy Shaun the Sheep, different wild animals and people dancing. Andrew also downloaded some apps for her to play with on his Ipod and that usually buys us a few more minutes of sleep in the morning. She likes playing hide and seek (although she only does the seek part) and chasing us.

On the days that she goes to preschool she doesn't get to sleep for as long as she does at home, so those days can get pretty rough right around dinner time. Overall, she's happy and full of energy and fun.


Monday, September 17, 2012

50 Days of My Life: Part 1 of 50

Got his idea from Pang Preggo and the thought is to share 50 days of your life that has meant something to you in one way or another. I thought it might be a fun way to share a little more about myself and also a way for me to put in print some of the days that I don't want to forget. I've chosen to focus on the positive memories, because despite valuable life lessons coming from negative ones, it's the good ones that I truly want to remember. Here's the first one:

April 17, 2009:

Andrew and I had went on a long weekend to San Juan Island in northern WA. We stayed at a nearly empty campground (it rained pretty much the whole time, so technically we ended up staying in our car as much as in our tent), our sole neighbor a lonely one-legged man with a huge, friendly pitbull-mastiff mix. The second day, we went on a kayak tour with hopes to see some orcas. It had actually stopped raining and we enjoyed being the only people on the tour (probably also due to the rain and the cold), but had only spotted some whales very far away. We broke for lunch at a rocky beach and sat down facing the ocean. All of a sudden, a large bumpy thing emerged out of the water some 30 yards off shore. It took me a second before I realized that I was watching a humpback whale come up for air. It only lasted a moment, but the goosebumps I got from seeing such a giant up close stayed with me for quite a while. Even our guide seemed amazed at having seen such a large whale so close to shore. Cheesy as it sounds, I felt very privileged. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Again

I love that part of the evening just after the sun has set and before it gets dark. This time of year, it gets pretty chilly at night and I like feeling my face and hands get a little cold because it seems too early to put on gloves or a hat. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Apple Cider

Since my mom's yard and pretty much the entirety of the island is covered in apples this time of year, Andrew decided to try his hand at hard cider. As it turns out, this is no easy task. In short, the process consisted of  first gathering, washing and smashing apples, then putting them into a press (which he built himself) and squeezing 25 liters of juice through a cheese cloth. This was followed by pasteurizing it all and finally putting it in a carboy to sit for the next couple weeks.

Now we're just waiting and hoping for the best. The trial batches turned out pretty well, so with any luck that's an indication. Next up we're probably going to make some non-alcoholic cider, but we haven't figured out how to store it since we don't have a proper canner or a cool place big enough. Any ideas will be appreciated.


When I walk into the local unemployment office (arbetsformedlingen), I always sort of hope that nobody I know will see me and when I'm in there I have an intense urge to explain myself. I just want to say something like: "Well, you know, I'm not like the rest of the people here. I actually have an education and work experience and this whole unemployment thing is just sort of a little snag I'm working through". And then I wonder why I feel this way. Where are these feelings of shame coming from and why does it make me feel less crappy to wrongfully assume that I'm somehow better than the other poor souls in there? I'm not sure, but I don't like it.  

Speaking of shame, the other night I was thinking to myself that maybe I should just apply for a cashier job at an outlet store where I used to work before I met Andrew. Then, I realized that they probably wouldn't hire me seeing my degree on my CV, thinking I will just ditch them the first chance I get, so I would need to take that out and replace it with just my high school diploma. And then, I thought: "Have I gone mad!? I worked way too hard for that to take it out!".

So, I guess I'll keep on trucking, my CV remaining intact. I do still have hope. It seems improbable that I wouldn't eventually find something. 

Andrew hasn't heard anything either, in case you're wondering. 

On our way to the park this morning.
Also, for those of you who speak Swedish, I found this post which raises some other issues concerning unemployment:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Good Advice

As a new mom, you'll inevitably receive a ton of advice. Sometimes it's wanted and sometimes not so much. Sometimes it's useful and other times more the self serving variety. The nice part is that most people really do have good intentions. I often have to work hard to suppress these "advice-giving" urges myself. I just really want to share those things that have worked for us, but I also realize that what has worked for us may not work at all for someone else. 

So, this will be one of the times that I'll indulge my sage-self. Here it goes: Pretty much anything that you worry about in regards to your child will work itself out. In other words, any time you're giving google a run for their money by spending hours searching every little issue concerning your bundle of joy, just stop and breathe. Before you've bought him a helmet, he'll figure out how not to fall on his head and before your book about sleep training arrives in the mailbox, he'll be sleeping through the night. Babies have been doing this whole growing up thing for a long time and maybe we should just trust that they know what they're doing a little more. 

That's it. Now I'll quit the advising for a little while.


To be a parent is to find a small wooden block shoved into the very toe of your shoe, to find only crayons when needing a pen, to walk around all day without noticing that you have banana smeared on the back of your shirtsleeve, to find a dirty spoon tucked in with your clean socks. And to admire the ingenuity of that little person who starts every morning with a smile. Ok, not every morning, but I chose to forget about the other ones. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Hallelujah, she's sleeping through the night! The day before yesterday was the first time Inara slept through the night without waking up at all. If you don't have kids, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it means SLEEP! Finally, after 14 months without a full night's rest, I think I got at least seven hours before it was time to get up. For a couple of nights she would still wake up, but rather than nursing her, I rocked her back to sleep and she continued sleeping until morning. Then, one night, I guess she just felt comfortable sleeping the whole way through. The funny part was that she did that, then decided in the morning that she was completely done with breast milk, and sat down to her porridge and ate the whole thing all by herself (we usually help a little). We laughed and asked her if she was a big girl now. She nodded big, prompting more laughter.

A Dear Friend

This week, my friend Jennie was on the island on vacation from her job in Thailand. We've been friends ever since she ran by my balcony one late summer day in 1989. There is something to be said for those friends that have known you all your life. No background story is needed, they already know where you're coming from. Adding to the fun was that Inara and Jennie got along smashingly.

It was great seeing her and I will miss her until she (hopefully) returns for Christmas.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012