Friday, March 27, 2015

party time

this moment with henry on his way to the dentist (who told us for not the first time they don't fill cavities in baby teeth in denmark, but who i thought was maybe kidding but who was apparently not because she did see the cavernous gap (which we promptly filled with sugar today) in henry's front teeth and still said they don't put fillings in baby teeth in denmark.  so there you have it.  apparently you don't need to fill cavities in baby teeth.  it's just one big dental conspiracy in the u.s.)... anyway, this moment, where we still thought maybe we'd be holding him down in the dentist's chair while they made him increasingly angrier, this moment where we stopped so he could watch the construction... it feels like days ago now... 

even this moment when we were back at home filling 85 easter eggs with candy...

seems like long ago.

w's party.  3 kids cancelled due to illness, which left us with twenty children from his class.  
as simple as it was (popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, carrots, cucumbers, and lemonade) it was certainly pushing our party work limits.

maybe because we had to pick up all the kids from school and try to safely guide them to our house on their bicycles.  i swear greg and i did a head count at least three times after we were all inside, just to make sure none had veered off course without our knowing.  

in denmark, presents always come first at a kid's birthday party

 then cake.  here is william's cake.  made completely of fruit.  courtesy (along with the photo that i stole off facebook) of our amazingly talented friend emily.
because you don't want to know what it would have looked liked had i tried attempting something like this myself.

one of the girls told me, 'the cake was the yummiest part.  not the candy.'  they were all about the fruit cake.  another girl gave such a sad look when greg started to disassemble it and cut the watermelon into pieces.  (how was there even a watermelon in denmark in march?  who knows.)

after cake was the easter egg hunt.  with twenty-some kids it takes only a few minutes to find 85 eggs hidden out amongst the trees on a gray, rainy day.  maybe the bright colors stood out more than usual.  and that was the last planned activity for the day... so it was pretty much free play/survival time for the last hour and fifteen minutes.

and we all seemed to have survived.

greg and i cleaned up the common house and then had emily and family over for dinner-- pizza and salad and, as henry called them, pupcakes (like, really, really good pupcakes) from emily!

and then there were plenty of tears as the boys broke down before finally succumbing to sleep/sugar crash around 9:45.

but tomorrow is a saturday.  the next day is a sunday.  and the next eight days after that are easter vacation.  so... it's all under control.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


i took a couple pictures of my grocery trip today in case all else failed.

but i also had this picture from this morning...

school time 

i went to the store today to get some things for william's party tomorrow.  our friend and former neighbor emily is making the 'cake,' which i'm looking forward to seeing and which i should have pictures of tomorrow so you can see it too.   we ran into each other outside the grocery store-- both buying things for tomorrow's party.  she was on foot.  i was on my bike.

when you only have a basket for a trunk, this is all it takes to be loaded down with groceries...
(looks a little bit like "what the world eats"... )
"what the world buys for a seven year old's birthday party: americans in denmark"

here's what it looks like all packed up...

the plastic easter eggs are in the black bag, which is looped around my seat so it doesn't fall off.  

will we pull off tomorrow's party?  and an early morning visit to the dentist for you-know-who?  i'm interested to know that answer myself.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

chocolate æg

this morning greg got a call from one of henry's teachers.  "i just want to make sure henry looks the same right now as when you dropped him off.  did you know he's missing part of his front teeth?"


i got some things done today in anticipation of friday's party.  (and also did day 4 of 30 days of yoga.)

then i thought about the suitcase we'd dropped off at the mall and that i couldn't leave it there forever, though i'm sure if i did it would probably eventually make its way to a good home.  this is one of those moments when a car would simplify things.  without one, from here it's either a long walk or two bus rides (four round trip) or getting it home with a bike and a burley.  i chose the last option.  i knew too that this afternoon william's after-school program was having an easter party that parents were invited to.  (well, i couldn't exactly decipher if it was for parents so i had to ask another parent.)  i decided around one o'clock to pay more attention to the details of it and realized that if i were to make it to henry's school to hook up the burley, then to the mall to pick up the suitcase, then back to henry's school, then twenty minutes trying to convince him to put on his winter suit, then over to william's school, and boil a couple eggs before leaving home for an egg rolling contest, i had to start moving.

the timing all worked out.  the repaired suitcase was waiting for me.  it fit somewhat in the back of the burley, which was good, because i wasn't sure if henry was going to have ride on top of the suitcase or inside of the suitcase if it hadn't fit in the back.  and it did take us a good twenty minutes to get out of his school after i arrived.  i pulled out the hard boiled eggs to try to lure him with the idea of an easter party but he was only thoroughly disappointed they weren't made of chocolate...

when we finally did arrive, william was out at the fire pit whittling...

which he did most of the party. we missed the troop heading out to a nearby bridge for the egg rolling contest, but that was just as well, as soon there were smores (sans chocolate) for the kids.  henry was only too excited to participate.

and ride on the carts...  

when it was finally time for us to go, william and i went to his cubby to get his things.  "i need to get back out to your brother since he's riding one of those cars around.  i don't want him running in to people."  nothing to worry about.  as we walked back outside henry was roaring past us on a three-seater with a couple of third graders.

a really cold, windy afternoon without the fire at your back.  but might as well spend much of it outside feeling like you've really deserved coming back to a nice, warm house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

fillings, cows, trees, chickens, and roads

you just never know what will happen in a day.  

will your kid's filling fall out?  

will you look a cow in the eye?

will you see last year's christmas tree in the field with the cow?

will chickens cross the road right before your very eye? 

the cow:

i love this little guy.  he came right up to me on my way home from the grocery store and i vowed to eat less red meat.

the tree:

there's a christmas tree in the corner of this field.  it could be ours.  greg tried sneaking ours out one day on his way to the grocery store.  henry'd become fairly attached to it sitting out there on our porch for two months and he protested when he saw greg ride away with it on the back of the burley.

the boy:

feather in the cap...

stop #1...

stop #2... completely orchestrated...

the chickens:

caught on film!  the chicken crossing the road.  henry and i were really excited about this. (william was at a friend's house.)

the filling:

and yes... tonight, the little boy lost the filling we went to so much trouble to get him in the u.s. the dentist warned us it might fall out as he wasn't sitting still by the end.  fortunately, he has a dentist's appointment scheduled for friday.  (by the way, we've no idea how he lost it.  (or where it is now.) playing upstairs with other kids in the common house after dinner.  i guess no more explanation necessary.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

health and taxes

just one picture today-- of the juicing box i've been getting each week.  part of my plan to get healthy.

and i did my (day two of) yoga this morning.

and started our 2014 taxes.  i only had a couple hours to work on them and i tell you, it takes at least one of those hours just to get your bearings.  at least when you're doing them as someone living outside the country.  suffice it to say, i didn't get very far.

as i rode to pick up the boys, the wind gave me my second workout.  it is so very windy this spring. and then i pulled henry and william's friend home in the burley for workout number three.  let me tell you.  my arms and legs are sore.  they're sore on an ordinary day!  so they're three times as sore today.  but that's a good thing!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

steering sticks and window washers in small worlds

if we'd both carried cameras around with us today, my and greg's pictures (wow, that's phrasally awkward, and, who knows, maybe grammatically incorrect, not to mention the fact that phrasally might not even be a word).  let me start over with a new sentence.  my pictures and greg's pictures would have looked very different.  he spent much of the morning outside (along with the boys) shoveling dirt, loading it into a wheelbarrow and putting it... places... ?  henry sat in the wheelbarrow with a 'steering stick' so the wheelbarrow wouldn't careen out of control.  this was for the outdoor workgroup we're on.  later he washed the windows around the house.

with a little help...

my morning consisted of various tasks inside the house.  the biggest contribution being sweeping and vacuuming.

we had the car again today but didn't use it.  in some ways our world here is smaller than it was in the u.s... taking bikes or public transportation or walking where we need to go means spending much more time in transit.  we marveled yesterday at how quickly we were home from the mall.  our perception of distances changes depending on how we get where we're going.  and our estimate of the amount of things we can do in a given day also changes.  so, we spend more time getting places and we put more effort into the transit part and we adjust our expectations for what we will do in a given day and all that means, very quickly, but now over a period of three years, that we do less and that's fine.  nice even.  if we had a car, i'm guessing we'd quickly readjust to doing more... which could be less nice.

in the late afternoon, as the boys were out playing somewhere and greg was preparing dinner, i took my computer upstairs and pulled up a 'yoga youtube channel' my cousin had sent me awhile back.  this followed a discussion with greg about how i know i need to exercise more.  more now than ever since i'm, well, a) trying not to get cancer again; b) trying to reduce the amount of fatigue i've been left with; c) trying not to reduce my level of activity-- i was probably more active during cancer treatment than i am now; and d) trying to reduce my risk of osteoporosis and heart problems now that i'm on an ovarian suppressor.

this channel has a '30 days of yoga' "experience" so i did day one and then emailed my sister to see if she'd want to do another 30 day challenge (if you remember, we did a 30 day sugar-free challenge in february... wait... no we didn't... it was just a sugar-free february challenge and not even a leap year could change the fact that it wasn't 30 days...).  the good news?  she said yes!

so now i wonder... could i live my life doing 28-30 day challenges? i kind of like that idea.  28-30 day challenges are my cup of tea.  that, or three year challenges.  i like those too.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

thirsty scavengers

our morning:

our afternoon:

folding that laundry in the background and hanging up the new load.

and driving... where?  to the mall.  when you've been given the keys to a car for the weekend isn't the mall the first place you think to go?  well... maybe not.  there were a couple reasons-- first, to take a suitcase to be repaired after one of the handles broke somewhere between phoenix and copenhagen on my recent trip to the u.s., and two, because we have committed ourselves to the very ambitious (for us) plan of holding a birthday party for william at the common house for his entire class, and we needed decorations.  also, it's a cold and rainy day.  we probably weren't going to spend it driving to old trees on this day.

our evening:

roasting peppers (me)

grating a lime into yesterday's lemonade (henry and william)

making dinner (me); assisting (greg); eating (all)

movie night with popcorn (aristocats)

captain underpants (greg, william, and henry)

sitting at a foldout picnic table with spotted handkerchiefs and plastic cups of coke, outside our house (guy with the headlamp)

running to the picnic table and drinking the cokes and presumably taking the handkerchiefs to the next "stop" (what seemed like an entire 7th grade class on a scavenger hunt)

confused as you are (all of us)