On K’s birthday

Last month in 2019, Baby K turned 1 year old. It feels cruel, sometimes, how a year can passed you by in the blink of an eye. She was just this tiny red blueish baby not so long ago. Now she’s not a baby anymore, she’s officially a toddler.

She already has four teeth. She’s very messy independent when it comes to eating, but clingy when it comes to socialising :D. She’s a strong willed little girl. She drives me crazy with her unlimited energy that keeps her awake till late. Every. Single. Night. And yet, she makes me laugh with her funny behaviours, and warms my heart whenever she hugs me tight.

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Third Year Reflection*

As the year-end is approaching, I would like to use this blog post as a medium of reflection. A look back to where it all started three years ago. This month in 2016, I moved to Sweden from my home country. Time has passed by and many things have happened ever since, including having an additional member in the family. So it just feels right to see how it was and how it has been as a newbie living in Sweden.

And here are some random facts about Sweden that I learnt during my first three years of living in the country:

Sweden is a good place to raise kid

From free education to nearly free healthcare, Sweden is one of a few places I can think of when it comes to a “family friendly” country. Yes, the system is bit frustrating sometimes and requires lots of things to do—filling out forms, queuing, making calls to name a few. But once you got in, the safety net is always there.

Sweden also seems to care about and is willing to take part in children development. One tiny example is when my baby turned 6 months old, she received a free choice book from Lund’s state library. From what I understand, it’s a part of the program to encourage reading and literacy (such important skills for kids to have indeed).

Apart from those, generous parental leave, celebrated equality and recognition of universal values are the things that Sweden offers. And those are the list I would love to tick as a parent. Anyway, read more about the rights as parents in Sweden here.

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Hang Out Ideas for Newbie Parents*

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I often say to myself, when you’re a parent, life is what happened between fresh brewed coffee in the morning and reheated coffee in the afternoon: you barely have time to enjoy your coffee, decently 😀 Especially when you live away from home, far from the supporting system called family, the struggle is real.

Luckily in Sweden, there are some hang out places that are designed and dedicated for parents so parenting can still be fun. Here are the highlights:

Local library

If you’re new in Sweden and not sure where to go for a day-out with your baby, a library could be a good starting point. The state library in Lund has special section for kids of all ages. There’s this small play area where you can read books with your children and also meet other fellow parents.The library also has baby café and book-reading events for kid in various languages (read more about the events here). The book reading is held in the reading “closet” which is set up nicely and comfy for the parents and the kids.

 

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Swedish Sayings I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Sweden*

Like many other countries, Sweden has plenty of expressions, idioms and sayings rooted in history and tradition. Some of them can be found in other languages, or at least share similar meaning like “Beat around the bush” and “Gå som katten kring het gröt” (English: walks like the cat around hot porridge). Some others are quite exceptional.

Despite its hilarious literal meanings, these sayings are actually relatable to everyday life in Sweden. Personally, I found some sayings are helpful in understanding Swedish values, and for that reason I wish I knew them earlier 😀

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What’s On Lund?*

Despite its petite size, Lund is the home for many interesting regular events. From January to December, there are always some things going on in Lund. I put a compilation of events in Lund below so you can mark your calendar and plan everything in advance as Swedes do ☺

Lundaloppet

This is a race for all ages that has been organised since 1982 and is claimed as the largest exercise race in Skåne. Join more than a thousand runners in this annual event. Lundaloppet has three races: 850 metres for kids, 5 kilometres and 10 kilometres. It is like a running party in Lund’s IP where organisations set up their booths and provide foods, playground and even face painting.

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Investasi Perlengkapan Bayi

Sejak sebelum punya anak, saya sudah mudah tergoda dengan barang-barang perlengkapan bayi yang lucu-lucu, yang seperti melambai-lambai minta dibawa pulang. Belakangan ketika sudah punya anak, saya sadar banyak perlengkapan bayi yang sebenarnya enggak butuh-butuh amat untuk dibeli. Dari situ saya belajar melakukan semacam “investasi.” Membeli perlengkapan bayi yang memang benar-benar nyaman, berguna dan tahan lama, bukan sekedar “cute” saja. Tentu saja melalui proses trial and error juga. Ada barang-barang “tidak berguna” yang pernah saya beli sewaktu anak pertama saya lahir dulu. Misal saya pernah beli pelindung lutut, sepatu (bayi yang belum berjalan sebenarnya tidak perlu sepatu, bukan? 😅) atau detergen khusus bayi.

Dari beberapa pembelian, berikut adalah daftar perlengkapan bayi terbaik yang pernah saya beli. Siapa tahu bisa menjadi referensi bagi mereka yang merencanakan punya anak, atau sekedar ide kado.

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The writing that helped Hayu re-find herself*

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The move to Sweden became a major transition for Hayu Rahmitasari. In order not to feel idle, she took up writing. Now she has released her first novel – which may be adapted into series.

December 2016, Hayu Rahmitasari moved from Yogyakarta, Indonesia with her then six-year-old daughter. Her husband, Zaki, had received a doctoral position in Lund and they first thought of a long-distance marriage. But after eight months, the distance became too large so she resigned from her job as lecturer at the university in her hometown and moved afterward.

The couple are both media and communication scholars and in fact they were also “competitors” for a while.

“We applied for the same doctoral position, but at that time we did not understand that it was only one position available in Lund. He was the one who was eventually hired.”

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