Friday, June 27, 2008


Poor John. In Denmark we would let him play with our keys when we returned from a trip out. All the doors in our little flat had key holes and he could entertain himself for about a half hour pretending to unlock doors.

And then we arrived in America and suddenly key rings included rubbery buttons that were just perfect for chubby little toddler fingers – as John discovered early one morning when he climbed silently out of his Pack ‘n’ Play at 6:00am.

A loud car alarm went off. My Dad got up to investigate a minute or so later and found John standing at the door, keys in hand, brow furrowed with concern.

“HONK,” John said imitating this new noise that was just introducing itself into his Toddler World. “HONK. HONK.”

Now his old fun toy is off limits. Poor John.

Monday, June 23, 2008

An Ode to Apple

Our laptop is taking a week-long vacation at a nearby Apple Store for a few hardware and cosmetic concerns. This is all being done for free since my beloved MacBook is still under warranty. I love Apple - especially their great service.

I've been stewing over a few retrospectives that I hope to post here when MacBook is safely home again. (Look out. She's going to get all "deep" and "philosophical.")

Until then.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Photo Friday

At the Lock and Key
Originally uploaded by TilleyShots

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Snakes on a Plane

From the moment we found out Michael had the Fulbright I was dreading the flight back to the States knowing John would be almost two. It's just not the best age for flying. Bless their hearts and all that. But I became more hopeful when we got a flight that left Copenhagen at 3:30pm rather than the normal crack-of-dawn flight. This way John's bedtime would fall right in the middle of the nine-hour transatlantic flight. I wasn't worried about James since it's super easy to fly with kids who aren't yet mobile and who are still breastfed. Nurse them during take off and landing to protect their ears, and then the hum of the plane puts them to sleep. Easy-peasy.

We get our four carry-ons, car seat and stroller on the plane in record time, switch seats with a Very Kind Guy so we can all sit together in back middle row of the plane, and start to breath easy. And then discover the one thing John wants to do more than anything is kick the seat of the Very Kind Guy who is now front of us. We pulled out all the new toys we had saved to entertain John on the flight. We plugged him into Horton Hears A Who. We tried distracting him and threatening him. We each took a foot and held it. Four hours later, Very Kind Guy was into his sixth glass of wine and John finally fell asleep. I hope he knew we were doing everything we could think of.

To every person who has had a small child kick the back of their seat on a long international flight, I apologize.

The rest of the journey was physically taxing, but uneventful. We made it through customs in O'Hare at what felt like midnight to all four of us without incident. My first order of business after getting our ridiculous amount of baggage through customs, finding our way to the domestic gate and calling my mother was to buy a super-sized, corn syrup filled, icy cup of McDonalds Coke.

It tasted like America.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Doctor Who

Almost six years ago Michael started his doctoral journey and it all cumulated today with the defense of his dissertation. In between the beginning and the end were two masters degrees (one for each of us), two children, three moves – one of them abroad, one Fulbright, rich times, poor times and the better part of our 20-something life. And Michael celebrated, as only he can, with a bucket of chicken and Blue Bell ice cream.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo Friday

Cities & Knights, originally uploaded by TilleyShots.

We did make it home in one piece. Posting will recommence once I get my fill of Cities & Knights.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Long "Hej Hej" (Goodbye)

I've reached that point - less than 48 hours from our departure - where I remember once again why I dislike moving so much. The constant disarray, trying not to openly sob when your toddler's first little friend gives you a hug goodbye and strategizing about how to pack all your most essential earthly possessions into seven checked bags and four carry-ons. And trying not to think too creatively about all the possible horrors of hauling those 11 bags, two small children, one stroller, one carseat and one Snugli from one continent to another between the hours of what will feel like 3:30pm-6:00am.

I'm excited about going home. Early Wednesday morning when we first plant our feet back in the Homeland will be a very happy time. But for now it's just one last goodbye to Copenhagen and the wonderful people we met here. And lots of Shawarma for dinner.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Photo Friday

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Well, in Denmark..."

One thing I've noticed about people who live abroad is their tendency to compare everything back to their time overseas. I have the feeling that I could be particularly obnoxious about this so I'm going to try to get it out of my system now.

Well, in Denmark gas is about $9.00 per gallon. In Denmark you pay a car tax that is 110 percent of the value of the car. They had great public transportation in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen you didn't feel like you were taking your life in your hands each time to decided to bike in traffic because there are dedicated bike lanes.

In Denmark we fit four people into a 527 square foot, one-bedroom apartment and it wasn't so bad. In Denmark we didn't have a big refrigerator, an oven, a dishwasher, or a dryer but it was doable for 10 months (though I will be happier than a 1950s housewife to have those things again).

In Denmark we had about five bakeries within a three block radius and would buy the most delicious breads and danishes.

In Denmark the sun would go down at 3:30pm in the winter and 10:30pm in the summer. Just before we left Michael would wear my black out eye goggles that I bought for the plane, and each night I would make some crack about them ("To the batcave, Batman!").

In Denmark they have universal health care and I had really great experiences with their maternity care system.

In Denmark they don't have a word in Danish that translates "please."

In Denmark beer costs less than bottled water and Coke.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gingered Fresh Lemonade

The weather is sunny and warm here in Copenhagen, we've been doing a lot of picnic-ing lately and even grilled out with friends a few weekends back, all of which puts me in the mood for lemonade. I've been dreaming about the best homemade lemonade I ever had and managed to dig up the recipe.

Gingered Fresh Lemonade
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup crystallized ginger cut into thin strips
2 strips (about 3 inches) fresh lemon peel (removed with vegetable peeler)
3 ½ cups cold water
1 ¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon, cut into cartwheel slices for garnish

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water, sugar, ginger and lemon peel to a boil. Reduce heat and briskly simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard lemon peel. Add 3½ cups cold water and lemon juice. Chill several hours or overnight in a covered container. Serve in tall glasses over ice cubes and a few lemon slices.

Makes 6 servings