Saturday, March 30, 2013

hills and probably dales

i finally get it-- all this talk about denmark being a flat country, but i'm riding my bike up hills thinking, it's not exactly flat-- and then one bus ride, two train rides, and one plane flight later and the very first thing i realize looking out the plane window in manchester, england: denmark is a very flat country (and apparently northern germany and southern sweden as well) because i have not seen such an obstruction of view in the distance in such a very long time.

tomorrow maybe we'll get things organized and put pictures up.  tonight, well, the last night of being four years old for one of us, we'll sleep.

Friday, March 29, 2013

march madness

coming into a dark bedroom tonight i heard the familiar noise of the little salt tractor that goes up our street to make the bike path safe at the end of our road.  then i saw its familiar blinking orange lights through the curtain.  it snowed nearly all day today, though it didn't really stick.  tomorrow we escape the madness and fly to england!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


isn't there an undelete button when you accidentally delete all the photos from your camera instead of sending them to your computer?  you know, the one with henry looking through the little eye glass, that one in particular...? bah.

there have been play dates and dinner dates the past two days, and we are on påske ferie (easter vacation) officially now, so greg is home and the guys are home and we are all home and now we are getting tireder and tireder waiting for me to write something, so we will go to sleep instead, because even though we are on vacation, the boys will be up early and anyway, we need to pack for an adventure!  so goodnight!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


it is such an unusual occurrence these days when i find myself without one of my children near my side, that when it does happen, such as this morning after dropping william off at school (henry was returning library books with greg), i get the unsettled feeling i had in the beginning of their days going off each morning without me.  perhaps the feeling of 'why again, are they going this way and i going that?  after all, we do pretty good as a team that sticks together day in and day out.'  i can't say that our choice to do the overwhelmingly danish thing of putting our guys into daytime care is the right choice or the wrong choice or if there is a right or a wrong choice, but i can say that without it, none of the three of us would know danish, we would have fewer friends, and we would, of course then, feel less a part of this country we've lived in now for over a year.  at least i can go to the grocery store and when the cashier rings up a tub of yogurt i did not pick out, i can tell her semi-confidently in danish that it is not mine, and i can even understand the woman behind me who says it is not hers (though it doesn't hurt that she shakes her head at the same time)... all this i should be happy about, even if i cannot then understand the man in front of me when he responds to the question, so that i mistakenly believe it is not his either and give an amused look of surprise ("well where on earth did that yogurt come from then?!"), which the cashier probably took to be a look of incredulity ("well where on earth was your head when he set that yogurt down for you to scan?!")... oh well.  i am redeemed when i go to their school in the afternoon and speak longer to the head of the school than perhaps i've spoken to anybody in danish, outside of class.  but then i lose my confidence and become a bystander once more, when, on the way home from school, stopped at the little playground by the grocery store, we see a boy of 11 or 12 crash his bike not far from us and i don't go to help him because, though it is my first instinct to do so, i judge by his age that he will not understand very much english and i will have to explain to him in danish that i don't understand that much danish but can i help him and at some point in the conversation we will find ourselves at an impasse and isn't that more than he needs right now what with a bike on the ground and a sore wrist and knee.  i think these thoughts in the few seconds it takes me not to move from my spot and i feel like kind of a failure in front of my kids... a poor role model, at the very least.  bother.

but william can build the danish and swedish (colors slightly transposed) flags out of legos, so i'm feeling pretty good about that...

and henry can carry his bike... 

and we can all sit together, out of focus but happy... 

and that's pretty cool too.  i will role model like a pro tomorrow.  

Monday, March 25, 2013


the update on sunday

out at an easter event for kids at a sort of neighborhood-center/concert place... 

decorating a blown egg which he gave to the neighbors as a thanks for lending us the hobbit which we finished last night...

waiting in line for chocolate easter eggs and rabbits.  the rule was you could find one or two and then put it in the basket to make sure everyone got one...

the update on henry

better? not better?  not sure.  evolving... everyday.  but he was sent home early on friday.  that made three days last week he was sent home early and two that he stayed home.  i'm hoping not to be the bad mom who sends her sick child to school this week and just keeping him home today and tomorrow (it helps that i have no class this week).  the guys have no school wednesday, thursday, friday, or monday for easter/spring break and i think school children (e.g. elementary) have the entire week off... just a month or so after winter break... i really can't remember when it was, but i remember we were in chicken pox land then and it seems to have have been one continuous ride through sick town ever since.

the update on greg

he ate dinner and helped with bedtime and then went back to work to help on an experiment.

the update on our taxes

not done.  not even started.

the update on william

he's very nearly five years old!

the update on me

hmm... i don't know.  trying to go with the flow i guess.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

picture day

we could only mourn the fact that it was still freezing with snow on the ground on march 23rd before lunch.  because there was this... 
if you live near us and you've forgotten what it is, i'll tell you... it's the sun (!)... in a blue sky.  

so around lunch, we went out.  you don't necessarily need twenty-seven pictures to get the idea of our adventure, but that's what i've got for you.  to the fields and the forest! 

happy spring...winter... happy springter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


yesterday we kept henry home and toward the end of the afternoon he had a diaper that would have gotten him sent home had he not been there already.  today we brought him to school and i kept my fingers crossed... and then went to pick him up early after we got a call about his 'dårlig mave... igen' (bad stomach... again).   so, i will keep him home tomorrow.  other than one really bad diaper a day he's mostly been full of his usual energy.  hopefully he will be over this bug soon.  tomorrow is sort of a tricky day, so there may or may not be a post.  goodnight! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

smaug and wind

once in may or early june about eleven years ago, greg and i drove through the night to theodore roosevelt national park in north dakota.  we arrived early in the morning, when the buffalo were still walking casually around the tents of sleeping campers.  we set up our tent and slept until the wind pushed out the cold morning air, bent the poles of our borrowed tent, and set the heat of the day upon us.  ever since that morning, i've thought of wind having a purpose-- to sweep out one kind of weather to bring in another.  so i didn't know at first what to think of the wind this morning.  it's cold today, it was cold yesterday, and it's forecast to be cold for the foreseeable future.  so why the crazy wind?  perhaps the windiest day we've experienced in denmark-- which is saying a lot for this notoriously windy country.  both greg and i were scooted off the bike paths by the wind to give you an example of its determination today.  but apparently it's not all for nothing, as i originally thought.  it's bringing a snowstorm.  the first snowstorm we've noticed the danes discussing ahead of time.  weather doesn't seem to be the all-encompassing obsession here as it is in the u.s. (of course it's possible we're just not hearing the talk because we're not understanding it), so the fact that this snowstorm has been talked about, anticipated out loud, feels significant.

in class today-- the first i've been to in well over a week (nearly two)-- henry's teacher called to tell me he wasn't completely over his stomach flu and we would have to pick him up.  then another call, this from the realtor to find out the specifics on our appliances and utility bills as requested from interested people at the open house.  then another call from greg, who'd volunteered to pick henry up so i could take a math exam, to tell me he didn't have the house key.  i suggested he go pick it up from the realtor who wanted to talk to us anyway.  so that's what he did.  he got the key, got the guys, and even picked up some groceries.  after all that and a quick math test, i wasn't far behind them, with the wind slowing both of us down, but him more with a full burley whose left tire needs patching.  we got henry down for a nap and read 'the hobbit' with william (where we have finally met smaug the flying, fire-breathing dragon).  greg started dinner but soon began feeling sick himself.  and when that happens, of course, the healthy of the two adults in the house begins anticipating all that will need to be done should the other go suddenly out of commission for the next day or two, and like the people of lake town in the hobbit, starts pouring water over anything that might burn down when smaug comes to blow fire on the place.  it never seemed to materialize thankfully, though the snowstorm is still on its way and henry very well may not be going to school tomorrow, which means either will i, but i will end this post now so i can do my homework anyway, just in case.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


this morning was a first... one we will undoubtedly see repeated over and over ten years from now or so... but this morning, it was surely a fluke-- that greg and i were both up before either guy on a sunday (though neither probably slept in much past 7:00).  what is it like to parent a pair of teenagers? i feel like we're worlds away from that.

not that the morning was all relaxing.  we had to get the house ready for an open house today.  the first one since we've lived here.  we have to think that the end is relatively near but really, who knows. we've taken peeks at the rental website now and then just to see what our other options might be, in case it sells.

we ate lunch with our neighbors while the open house was going on-- green bagels for the occasion of st. patrick's day, which i've seen no evidence of being celebrated in denmark (the bagels were homemade), though surely there is an irish bar or two in copenhagen taking good note of the day.

and for dinner-- shepherd's pie-- though completely unintentionally, as it was leftovers from last night.

post-open house...

this is a post-script-- apparently there's a st. patrick's day parade in copenhagen... so... they celebrate.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


our ailing burley-- today we went to copenhagen to try to fix it.  

we came home with a button kit (one of the minor issues) but otherwise, no fix.  

on the way to the train, william told me, "look mama, i can make a face that no one else can make."

after the bike shop, we had lunch at a lunch stand... 

and realized we were less than a block away from the postal museum, which you may remember to be the free museum with the big play area.  so we ventured in. 

after myriad rounds of going down the twisty, tunneled slides in the play area, we were back out on the street, looking for a drink and a snack...

la glace, the cake store we went to with greg's parents back on a weekday in the spring, with a line very much out the door on a saturday...

but we opted for a quicker option across the street...

and then to the lego store...

just to look... 

then back to the train, back home...

...for dinner, for bedtime for a boy who didn't take a nap, and lego time for greg and william, after a little inspiration from our adventuring.