Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

Two years ago today, back when I would get up at 6:00AM voluntarily to run, I taped the crayon kiddie version of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses on the Power of Indulgences to the apartment door of our friends and neighbors, Phil and Rose.

This morning, I woke up to a little theological payback, blogger style. [drop to the comment]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adapt and Adopt

Coming to Denmark I had it in my head that I really wanted to embrace the whole experience of living in a different country and culture. I wanted to cook Danish food, bike around the city, love living in our tiny apartment, experience a “Danish” pregnancy and birth, and walk in the rain. Adapt and adopt!

One thing I’m having a little trouble with is certain Danish ideas regarding children. The first one is the Danes will routinely park their babies in their huge prams outside stores while they go in and shop. Usually these children are napping anyway but sometimes they are just sitting there playing with a toy, chilling out, waiting for Mom to come back. At restaurants, if the parents sit inside they’ll usually park the baby in the pram just outside the window on the other side. I was a little taken aback by this at first but think I’d be willing to do this if I thought John would go for it. Unfortunately I think I missed my pram/stroller training window. When the stroller stops, John is immediately straining trying to leap out and start running.

Another thing I just learned about over the weekend from some expat friends of mine. I had heard that after you have a baby, rather than taking them to a doctor’s office for their well-baby visits, a home health nurse comes to you so you don’t have to take the baby out in the weather. Great idea. Though one of the things they’ll ask you is if you put your little, tiny infant outside to sleep at least once a day. Even in the dead of winter. Apparently the Danes are really into fresh air as the key to health. They do have all this gear that you used to keep your child from getting chilled when it's below freezing outside - woolen onesies, down comforters, big prams that double as cribs with special waterproof covers - but still.

As much as I’m floored by all of this I really kind of want to ‘adapt and adopt’ and actually put my four-day-old baby outside to sleep in the Copenhagen February. But I'm also trying to figure out how that would work in our situation exactly. I was planning to buy the new baby a couple of woolen onesies and one of the big soft bunny suits anyway. I just bought a down comforter for John. But we’d need to buy a carrycot, which unfortunately appears to be expensive; though with the right mattress could double as a nighttime bed, which is something Number Two doesn’t have right now with John still in the Pack’n’Play. But then there is also the fact that we'd basically have to take the baby out back to the common courtyard and leave them there in order for wee Number Two to sleep outside. Do Danes use baby monitors when they do this? So the jury is still out on whether you’ll find little Number Two snoozing in the snow this winter.

"Look what John wrote while you were in the shower!"


Monday, October 29, 2007

Life in Miniature

When I was growing up I had a beautiful doll house that I filled with miniature furniture. I was fascinated by the teeny tiny doors that opened and closed, and the intricate detailing on these small recreations of everyday items.

Sometimes I feel a little like I'm living in my doll house. Just about everything here in Denmark is on a much smaller scale than in the US. The country is smaller, the neighborhoods are closer together, the apartments and homes are smaller, and portions of food are smaller. The list goes on but you get the idea. In most cases, I am more than willing to embrace this. I love that you can vacation in Rome as easily and as cheaply as you can vacation in Florida. I like that our apartment is small, cozy and had so many great nooks designed to expand space in unexpected ways. And we needed to eat less anyway.

The one thing that I can't stand though is small drinking glasses. Our largest drinking glasses - besides wine glasses - are about the size of a orange juice glass. When I'm thirsty I can gulp down one of those in three swallows. It's annoying to continually refill it and for a few weeks there I probably stopped drinking as much water as I should have been drinking. But now as I approach the water retention phase of pregnancy, I realized I needed to up my fluid intake. So meet my new drinking glass. Yes, it is a measuring cup. And water has never tasted so sweet.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Photo Friday

Guess Where I Was Tonight???, originally uploaded by TilleyShots.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chunky Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti is one of those great go-to meals for when you're not exactly excited about making dinner. We usually had it at least once a week back in the States - the Preggo + whole wheat spaghetti route. They do have jarred spaghetti sauce here but in the interest of cutting costs I start browsing for a homemade recipe and came across this easy recipe from Real Simple that I've doctored a bit. It's very simple and something you can put on the stove and let simmer for an hour before dinner while you crash on the couch after a long day of entertaining a 15-month-old.

Chunky Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 T chopped fresh basil (or 2 t dried)
2 T chopped fresh oregano (or 2 t dried)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and gently cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the basil, oregano, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

You can also add chopped fresh mushrooms when sautéing the garlic and onions. And you meat lovers can also add a half pound of cooked ground beef when the marinara sauce has cooked completely.

I like to serve this pre-tossed with whole wheat penne or spiral noodles. Largely because John can more easily pick up penne than spaghetti noodles.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good Housekeeping

We’re having friends over for dinner tonight so I’ve been spending spare moments cleaning today. Two uniquely Danish things about keeping house here: first I noticed that our neighbors will hang their down comforters out their windows to air fairly regularly. From what I gather it’s to keep them fresh and the down fluffed. We had a down comforter at home that I never did this with but when in Rome... so most Fridays I’ll hang our two “big people” comforters and John’s little comforter out our bedroom windows for a few hours or until the bedroom gets too cold.

Shortly after we arrived I made my first pot of coffee in our coffee maker and was perplexed by all this white grainy stuff floating around in the water. I couldn’t make the stuff go away and finally asked another expat friend what was up. Apparently the water here contains a lot of calcium and you have to “de-kalk” anything that comes in contact with water every few weeks. I de-kalked my coffee pot and hot water heater about a month ago and they are still looking good, and today I finally de-kalked our bathroom mirror and sink. With all this calcium in the drinking water, it makes me wonder if women suffer less from osteoporosis around here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ultrasound I

I had my first Danish ultrasound this morning at the hospital where I'll be delivering Number Two. The hospital is set up like a airport terminal with obstetrics in Wing 4. I didn't have any trouble figuring out where to go which is abnormal for me since I'm basically illiterate. I arrived about 30 minutes before my appointment time because I was taking the bus and wanted to give myself extra time for getting lost. I only had to wait about 10 minutes before I was called back for the ultrasound. I must say the Danes are very prompt if not ahead of schedule when it comes to medical appointments.

My ultrasound tech was a sweet Danish lady around 50. She seemed a little uncertain of her English though I rarely had trouble understanding her. I always feel a little badly about putting people in these situations as my Danish vocabulary is limited to Yes, No, Good, Hello, Goodbye, Thank You, Thank You Very Much, You're Welcome and, as I said one day to a Danish man at a cemetery, I Am The Little Danish Language (I was going for I Know Very Little Danish).

I received the guided tour of my uterus and am happy to report that we have one very healthy baby with a "beautiful spine." Also, lucky me, a very large head. The ultrasound technician debriefed me on the ultrasound report after spending some time clarifying how my US OB/GYN came up with my current due date: February 7. She finally came back and said that the baby's femur was measuring right on target, the head larger and the body smaller. They believe the due date is probably right but want me to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound to see if the rest of the baby's body catches up with the head. I'm pretty sure it won't if this baby is anything like his brother.

Finally I can tell you that we are having... an International Baby of Mystery. Little 009 has his/her legs situated in such a way that the ultrasound tech couldn't even get near the baby's tail. I watched her spend about 5 minutes trying to go at it from every angle and she finally gave up. The good news out there for those of you that have money riding on this is we get another shot in two weeks and hopefully Space Monkey will be feeling a little less mysterious.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sure, I'll Take Your Money

Here in Denmark if you have a child under a certain age you receive money from the government at the end of every quarter. We've been told by at least two different people now that we don't qualify for this money, but we've gotten three items in the mail regarding receiving this money since we arrived. The last piece of mail was the most specific. It stated we were to receive what amounts to approximately $631.45 for our dependent child John on 20 October.

They don't do paper checks here. All bills are paid by electronic wire transfer. I made a trip to our local Folk Center (roughly translated) this morning to ask about this letter and was told the money should already be in our bank account. It isn't. Michael is going to look into it tomorrow.

I think that, as an American, I shouldn't really be in favor of just giving people money to help support their kids. Where is the responsibility in that, right? And what if I don't really even technically need that money to get by? But if you think about it, we do functionally the same thing in the States. It just that it comes in one lump annual sum and we call it the $1000 Child Tax Credit.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Photo Friday

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beans, beans... they're good for your heart...

Have I mentioned meat is expensive here? I tease Michael sometimes about how certain things are acceptable in Denmark that wouldn’t be tolerated at home. For example dinner without meat is not acceptable back in the Homeland, but is tolerated here in Denmark. That is largely because a pound of beef is about twice as expensive here as it is in the States and we don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around.

But we still need our protein so I have been making a lot – A LOT – of bean soup lately. We’re actually having bean soup three times this week. Monday it was in the form of normal bean soup. Last night we put it in burrito shells with homemade tomato salsa and cheddar and called it “Bean Burrito Night.” And tomorrow we’re back to regular bean soup.

It does help that we love, love, love bean soup. (And that I brought a large bottle of Beano with us). John especially gobbles it up. I always thought of bean soup as being, well, kind of bland, but I found a great Cooking Light recipe that I doctored up with a bit of McCormick Cajun Seasoning and here we are on week three of bean soup – with an occasional marinara spaghetti night and scrambled egg dinner thrown in for variety.

Bean Soup
Cooking Light, January 1999
1 pound dried black beans (we’ve been using brown beans and they are also very good)
2 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon McCormick Cajun Seasoning
5 cups Chicken Stock or 2 1/2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

To prepare soup, sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

Cook the bacon in pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from pan. Add chopped onion, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves to bacon drippings in pan; sauté for 4 minutes. Add McCormick Cajun Seasoning, beans, bacon, Chicken Stock, and 3 cups water to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt, and simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves. Place half of bean mixture in a blender or food processor, process until smooth and return to pot.

You can top this with any number of things. Our favorites are cheddar, tortilla chips and fresh tomato salsa with raw onions. You can also include lime juice and sour cream.

I usually double the recipe and that is enough to feed us for about three meals. If you do double the recipe, give yourself extra time to let the soup reduce. I usually start this soup around 11AM and it’s completely ready by 5:30PM. The most time draining part of the preparation is the bacon frying and onion chopping which can be accomplished in about 15 minutes. It’s a great Saturday soup that you can prepare between housekeeping, sports watching and other weekend activities.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That's My Boy

We vacuum a lot here. At least twice a week and sometimes three times a week. While some of this can be attributed to the fact that I've taken to housekeeping as something more akin to a professional responsibility (you can take the working girl out of the workforce but you can't take the work out of the girl - or at least not her obsessive need to achieve at whatever she's responsible for), it's also because we seem to track considerably more grim and grit into the apartment than ever before.

All that to say John is very familiar with the vacuum. A machine that plugs in! And makes a lot of noise! And it comes in two pieces! And it has buttons! And knobs! And it tries to suck his fingers and clothes inside of it! Though one time he accidentally stuck it on his mouth and he didn't like that very much.

This morning we were vacuuming up the sandy grit all three of us tracked into the house after a walk on Monday. I took off the attachment to vacuum the corners and John's carseat/highchair. I finished and let John play with the vacuum for a minute and then put the vacuum away, but I couldn't find the attachment.

I spent about five minutes looking around our not large apartment for this attachment the whole time asking John, "Baby, do you know where the vacuum attachment is?" And he kept bending down to look under the bed where we keep the vacuum. I just assumed he though I was asking where the vacuum was. It's a lot to ask of an almost 15-month old to understand the word "attachment," right?

I finally peered under the bed and there was the attachment. John had put it away right where it was supposed to go. I can hear you saying, "Uh-huh. Is that all?" Well, look. John still can't do a lot for himself - he can play by himself and feed himself when we put food in front of him - so him doing something like putting away the vacuum attachment is one of the first things he's done to be helpful to someone other than himself. It was more than enough to make this mother proud.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh! The Places We (May) Go!

The JFP came out last Wednesday. Michael has been working nonstop since then tailoring pre-written cover letters, CVs and writing samples to 57 different schools. He just mailed off the last of them yesterday morning. As in Monday. As in about 120 hours after the list came out. And we're both pretty tired from the effort of it all.

The wonderful, crackerjack of a department secretary at ol' State U. is mailing out the bulk of Michael's application packet: teaching portfolio, transcripts, recommendation letters and so forth. Michael had all of that material to her well before we left for Denmark and all recommendation letters were in by October 1 so the packet has been ready to go for over two weeks. All this makes my organization-loving soul so proud of my man.

People keep asking me what my preferences are and at this point I hardly see the wisdom in picking my top five out of those 57 jobs. I'm going to wait to see where he has first round interviews and then I may start thinking about it. Well, I mean, of course I've thought about it but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You've Got Mail

Perhaps it's just because I've not had the most prompt experiences when my Stateside doctors would tell me they were sending my paperwork anywhere that I was so surprised when I came back from a library/grocery excursion this morning to find a letter from my hospital where I'll be birthing Number Two. When G.P. said she'd be sending my paperwork over to the hospital, I thought it would be at least a week or two before I heard anything from the hospital - especially since next week is the annual "Potato Holiday" where Danes celebrate the days where they used to take a week to bring in the potato harvest.

The letter tells me that I'll be giving birth at Hvidovre Hospital and that I'll receive a letter shortly with my first appointment with my midwife. It also requests that I call and set up an appointment for an ultrasound. Apparently they typically do two ultrasounds here; the first around 11-14 weeks to measure the neck fold to diagnose Downs Syndrome and another around 20 weeks.

I've been told that Hvidovre is one of the best maternity hospitals in Denmark and I was hoping that I would be placed there. I found an interesting description of Hvidovre from a midwifery student who was observing at the hospital for a few weeks a couple of years ago. Hvidovre also has what looks to be a fairly informative website but, unfortunately for me, it's all in Danish.

Brrrr... what to wear?

The high here in Copenhagen is 48 degrees today and we finally turned on the heat in our apartment last night. We spend a lot more time outside regardless of the weather so I've been on the hunt for warm clothes for John. I brought a number of sweaters and other items with me, but discovered I needed some additional things once we arrived.

One of the best things I've found is they have undergarments that are cotton on the inside and wool on the outside. A few days ago I bought John a set of these - a onesie, leggings and a hat that covers his ears and neck. They are fantastic. One of my American friends that lives here in Denmark told me that you can't buy these things even in areas of the U.S. with colder climates. I know we do a bit more of going from the warm house to the warm car to the next warm house in the winter, but it seems like if you lived in a larger northern American city - Boston, Detroit, Chicago - you'd have occasions where you were outside in the cold more regularly.

They also sell this cotton/wool clothing for adults in the form of undershirts, leggings and even underwear. There is just something kind of funny to me about cotton/wool men's boxer briefs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo Friday

Early Morning Book Reading, originally uploaded by TilleyShots.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meet the G.P.

This morning I had my first appointment with our G.P. – General Practitioner. The office is about a half mile from our house and I had an appointment with a native English-speaking doctor in the practice. Promptly at my appointment time, the doctor, who I’ll call G.P. from here on out, came out to the waiting area and called my name. Back in her office, G.P. herself took my medical history and did my basic evaluation – blood pressure, etc.; something nurses usually do in the States. And her office was exactly that – a desk with a printer, computer, files and other trappings of someone’s office space – along side an exam table, medical equipment and toys for children of various ages.

I learned that during a pregnancy, the mother usually sees her G.P. three times. First at the beginning of the pregnancy, second around 20 weeks and finally at 35 weeks. After the first visit, the mother is assigned to a hospital and a midwife. I’m not sure how often they usually see the midwife at this point though I’ve heard that it doesn’t follow the States general standard of every four weeks with increased frequency toward the end of the pregnancy. I’ll be 23 weeks tomorrow (or around 5.5 months) so I’m getting into the system a little late.

After the first visit, the G.P. sends my paperwork to the closest maternity hospital in my area and, in a week or two, I should receive a letter with the name of my midwife and the time of my first appointment with him/her. In the letter, I’m also given instructions on where to go for an ultrasound. G.P. was suggesting that they do two ultrasounds in Denmark, the first at 11-12 weeks and the second at 19-20 weeks.

Because during a pregnancy you work with a number of different medical professionals you get what was described to me as a walking diary. I had a vision of a Hello Kitty diary complete with padlock but it is really just an envelope with two sheets of paper in it at this point. The vandrejournal has information on my blood workups, my height, weight and other stats, and space for other general comments. It’s basically my medical file and I’m responsible for taking it with me to appointments with G.P., the midwife and the ultrasound technician. I like being able to read my own chart.

After answering my many questions about the prenatal process and a few about how to handle John’s well-baby visits, I sat outside the nurse's station for a few minutes waiting for a nurse to draw a blood sample. G.P.’s comment on my Stateside blood workups was something like, “they test for a lot...” but they didn’t test for hepatitis which is commonly done here. So a nurse drew my blood sample then, while I was sitting in the same seat where she drew my blood, scheduled my appointment for my next visit with G.P. and John’s 15-month visit. It was interesting to me how so many of the nurse’s functions were performed by the doctor and then how many of the lab and receptionist functions were performed by the nurses. The system was very efficient though. I didn’t have to wait very long for anything and I was out of there in slightly over an hour.

One other noteworthy thing: none of the doctors wore white coats and none of the nurses were in scrubs. In fact I had a really hard time telling nurses, doctors and patients apart. They all wore the more casual side of business casual clothes. And seemingly everyone in Denmark is on a first name basis. My doctor was referred to by her first name by all the staff and she introduced herself to my by first name only. I had to look at the plaque on her door to finally discover her last name. At the end of the appointment, I finally asked G.P. if I should refer to her by her first name or Dr. M and she told me she went by her first name as did all her colleagues. I gather this is common among doctors, PhDs and other people who might normally go by a particular title back in the States. I’m not sure how much this has to do with a certain Danish cultural taboo against bragging that I’ve heard mentioned. It’s definitely very different from a few people I’ve met who become rather upset if you do not refer to them by their hard-earned title!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Parsnip and Carrot Soup

With food being so expensive here I find myself cooking with ingredients I wouldn't have normally used back in the Homeland because they are just so cheap. Parsnip is one of those ingredients. I didn't even know what a parsnip was until a few weeks ago. It's basically a white carrot and has a bit of a spicy flavor to it.

I found a tasty recipe for parsnip and carrot soup on the Williams-Sonoma website that we tried out a few weeks back. The recipe calls for using a chinois strainer; something I've only ever actually seen once in my life. I didn't have a chinois, a blender or a food processor so I crossed my eyes and thought real hard and this is what I came up with.

Parsnip and Carrot Soup
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/4 lb. parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the yogurt garnish:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
About 2 Tbs. milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the parsnips, carrots, stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup on high speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Strain through a chinois set over a clean soup pot and, using the pestle, press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Place over low heat and reheat to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is heating, make the yogurt garnish: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and enough milk to make a barely fluid paste. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 6.

The original recipe (and a much more inviting picture of the end results) can be found here.

Monday, October 8, 2007

BOOM BOOM BOOM Mr. Brown makes thunder!

John has hit a stage where he really enjoys reading his board books. Some of them even have special names like Goodnight Moon is "maoohnn." He'll run to us with one his hand, climb up on our laps and wait for the reading to begin. If we're busy with other things, he'll plop down and start "reading" the books to himself. Sometimes I catch him making what sounds like the same voice inflections I'll use, or he'll find the picture of the cat and the dog and make the noises they'll make.

We brought a good number of board books with us and have picked up even more at the library so at any given time we have between 15-20 baby books ready to satisfy John's great need for the spoken, illustrated word. I've read some of these books countless times and during those especially tired moments, I find that these books are starting to become the narrative of my daily life. It's like the song you can't get out of your head.

"John, what would you like to wear today?"

Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear, what will you wear? What will you wear in the morning? My shirt of red...

"John, look. Mama can pick up. Why don't you pick up?"

Judy can pat the bunny. Now YOU pat the bunny.

"Did you go 'boom,' baby?" [e.g. fall down]

BOOM BOOM BOOM Mr. Brown is a wonder! BOOM BOOM BOOM Mr. Brown makes thunder! He makes lightning go SPLATT SPLATT SPLATT and it's very, very hard to make a noise like that!

"Would you like some carrots and peas, John?"

Carrots and peas and a little more please. Celery crunch and sprouts in a bunch. And apple to bite and a mustache of white. Juice from a pear and rice in my hair...

"Look sweetheart, a dog. What does a dog say?"

...and three little dogs go RUFF RUFF RUFF! Some other dogs go BOW WOW WOW! And cats and kittens say MEOW!

"Goodnight sugar pea"

Goodnight stars. Good night air. Goodnight noises everywhere.

Extra points go to readers who can name any of the quotes from these books.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Wednesday is a pretty big day if you're a graduate student or newly minted PhD in the academic discipline of philosophy. On October 10th the JFP - Jobs for Philosophers - list is released by the American Philosophical Association. While I did the MA and have friends who have careers in academia and did my part to recruit law professors for my old employer, I am slowly gathering that the college and university philosophy job market is a whole different beast.

There is a blog out there written by three philosophy grad students called Philosophy Job Market that Michael found a few months back that gives a decent glimpse into the madness. The blog somehow manages to be both obscenely hilarious and deeply troubling from the perspective of our own job search. (I say "our" because this is a family endeavor. And it will likely determine where we'll live for at least the next 5-10 years.) I comfort myself by telling anyone that will listen that the reason these grad students from this decent philosophy program haven't found jobs yet is because they have fundamentally unemployable qualities. Like bad b-o. Or dandruff the size of snowflakes. And you can tell this from their CV alone because the paper smells and dandruff floats out of their application packet. And the good people at Nor'eastern Nebraska figure they have enough philosophy professors with huge dandruff and bad b-o already.

When Michael asked my Dad for his permission to marry me (oh, the patriarchy!), reportedly my Dad's primary question was exactly how many jobs there are in philosophy. Let's say the number was 4,289 jobs every year. That may not seem bad until you consider the 21,425 desperate people applying for those jobs. Good thing we've been married for five years now. No take backs, Dad.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Photo Friday

Playground Fun, originally uploaded by TilleyShots.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Moo, Baa, La! La! La!

I remember when we used to be super excited about every single milestone John would achieve. HE CUT A TOOTH. HE SITS UP. HE WALKS. CALL THE GRANDPARENTS. This week John learned to climb up on our kitchen chairs. His parents' response?

"Oh great. Now he can climb. Up the chair and right out the window. We cannot unglue our eyes from him for a millisecond."

I'm kidding (sort of). One good thing is he is old enough now that we can start training him not to put keys in light sockets, run into the street and how to sit on his bottom when he climbs into the chair. So this isn't the crisis that we first expected. Though we did find him sitting on his bottom on top of a reception table at church on Sunday.

One thing that is really cool is John can tell us the noises that a cat, dog, car, duck and cow make. Which is completely hilarious to here "mee-owh" coming out of the mouth of a 14 month old. All those many, many readings of Moo, Baa, La La La must be paying off.

The YouTube video is here, Grammy.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Unchartered Territory

This day last year John and I boarded a plane back to the States after spending six weeks of my maternity leave in Copenhagen with Michael. I remember being surprised that it was already starting to get dark at 4:30p here. I also remember my parents picking us up and taking me to Starbucks on the way home since the one thing I couldn't get my mind off of was a pumpkin spice latte.

We're getting ready to move into unchartered territory. I don't really know what the weather will be like or how the darkness of winter will affect us. Coming back to Copenhagen surprisingly felt very familiar. Life here is falling into a pleasant pattern and while I can't seem to find canned pumpkin or scented candles or a glass bigger than a dixie cup, Denmark has it's charms.

All the same, go enjoy a pumpkin spice latte for me.