Sunday, December 16, 2012


I'm now gainfully employed! Well, starting on the 7th anyways. I'll be working as an "investigator" at the Swedish social security administration (Forsakringskassan). I'm really excited, but a little sad about being away from Inara full-time. Andrew also got extended until June at his job and passed his Swedish exam to move on to the next level. He'll work part-time and take classes part-time.

Happy times over here, just in time for Christmas and as an extra bonus neither one of us starts going to work until January.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Inside Snow

When it started snowing about a week or so ago, we brought some snow inside for Inara to play with:

She was still pretty standoffish, repeating "kall" (cold) and "usch" (yuck) over and over. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Poor Man's Merry-Go-Round

Who needs those fancy-shmancy amusement parks, anyhow?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spare the Child

In light of an image that's been circulating on facebook promoting spanking, I can't help but write a post on the subject. So, if you're looking for lighthearted news of Inara's latest and greatest, you might want to wait for the next post. 

The picture I mentioned suggests that a lack of spanking leads kids to become teenage delinquents. The reasoning behind this blows my mind; how does using violence on your children teach them not to use violence? Ok, I get that there is a difference between punching your kid in the throat and spanking, but a parent who punishes their child by using violence should not be surprised when the child uses violence in his or her daily interactions with others. Children who are spanked are not taught to use words to solve conflict and have to resort to the only method they know. 

I have also heard proponents of spanking say that this form of punishment should never be carried out in anger. This is probably a good idea, seeing that kids could get seriously hurt otherwise, but somehow I find it even more disturbing that a parent would in complete calm decide to start spanking. 

I was never spanked and I would never spank Inara. There are several reasons for this; I want our family to solve our problems by talking about them, I want her to know that nobody ever has the right to be violent (physically and emotionally) towards her, I feel that it's our obligation to collectively steer our children away from violence, and lastly, I could never freaking bring myself to hurt her. I feel that spanking would be a betrayal of trust between us and discourage us from forming the sort of relationship that I hope we will have. 

As a side note commenting on that particular image I've been mentioning, spanking has been banned in Sweden for over 30 years and in 2010 there were 12996 intentional homicides in the U.S. per 100 000 people, while that number was 91 per 100 000 people in Sweden the same year (numbers according to the U.N.). I realize this is highly unscientific and doesn't provide any evidence that spanking leads to homicides (the issues facing the U.S. are much more complex), but still sort of interesting.

Please feel free to offer up your thought on the subject, I'm always curious to hear other people's views on these things. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


It began snowing two days ago and hasn't really stopped since. Everything outside our window looks like a picture perfect postcard and I just hope it will last until Christmas. Inara was pretty excited when she looked outside in the morning, yelling: "bug!" at the top of her lungs and pointing at all the snowflakes coming down. Outside, her enthusiasm has been lukewarm. She seems to think it's unnecessarily difficult to walk and she doesn't like getting snow on her gloves. The word "kallt" (cold) comes up a lot. Here she is walking in the snow for the first time: