Cake, cake, and cupcakes

So a long time ago, I made a cake for a devotional meeting/potluck with some Baha’is in the area.  And ever since, I’ve been meaning to make a post about it, but haven’t.  Now that I’m more-or-less couch-ridden (Andreas and I have both come down with some something icky), I thought I finally would!

The cake was really delicious, though very heavy, but kept well.  The cupcakes were all eaten, but the cake was ours to take home.  It took me a week and a half to eat the whole thing, and when I got to the last piece, it was still moist, and in good condition!

choc cake 3

choc cake 4

choc cake1

cupcakes

 

Andreas helped me out with these, and the chocolate designs were all his idea!  He even made the ones atop the cupcakes.  I think the best part about bringing them to the potluck was sharing the compliments, and getting to brag a little bit about Andreas.

Now hopefully he can use his creativity to think of something we can eat without having to go out in the cold.  We’ll do anything to stay in our pajamas.

 

Well, this is kind of embarrassing…

So I promise that I have another mouth-watering cake post coming up (I know that it’s mouth-watering, because I just finished taking the photos and I almost drooled on the camera).  But before that, I have to write this post, which is less fun, and a lot more embarrassing.

For the past few weeks, Andreas and I have debated whether or not we should find out if the baby I’m growing is a boy or a girl.  At first, I was all for having a surprise, but as the ultrasound got closer, and I realized more and more how much easier it would be to gather all our baby-things if we knew the sex, it was pretty tempting to find out.  We were at a standstill, but the lovely woman from MontgomeryFest acted as a tie-breaker, and we decided we’d find out!  We wanted our friends and family who are far away, and excited about the coming baby, to be able to feel more “a part” of what’s happening.

So, the scan was scheduled for Friday, and after a late night on Thursday, I woke up at 4am.  And couldn’t go back to sleep.  I spent the morning baking cake in a half-stupor, only staving off a severe case of the grumpies because I was excited about our afternoon appointment.  Andreas came home early, and we set off for the hospital.  When we got there, the waiting room was rather full, and we waited a bit longer than usual.  When they called our name, we went into a sort of strange room, where a student was going to do the first part of the scan, and her teacher, the second half.

Now, I had planned to tell Andreas ahead of time that if they don’t offer to tell us the sex, or ask if we want to know, that he would need to ask.  I know myself well enough to know that I would have a hard time speaking up, especially when I’m on a table with goo on my belly and a stranger prodding around.  But in my sleepy stupor, I’d forgotten to tell him.  Now, when I get overtired, I don’t just get grumpy (although goodness, do I get grumpy), but I also get anxious.  While they were doing the scan, showing us all the heart chambers, and the halves of the brain, I was taking it all in, and filing it under “things to be grateful for” in my brain, but I was also desperately trying to get up the courage to ask about the sex.  I couldn’t seem to find the right Danish words, and I sent Andreas some pleading looks, but he mistook them for beaming joy or something, because he didn’t say a word.  I was so anxious, I was practically paralyzed, my mouth just wouldn’t move.  I couldn’t ask.

The woman tried to get some good photos (although the baby had its head buried somewhere around my hipbone) and then wiped off the ultrasound wand, and told me I could dry off my belly.  Andreas and I were left alone for a few minutes, while they filled out some paperwork, and I could finally spill what I’d been dying to tell him the whole time.  Turns out, Andreas forgot to ask.  He just completely forgot that we could probably find out the sex today.  He asked when they came back, but they said that they don’t look unless we ask, which we hadn’t, so we thanked them, and went on our way.

When I get tired, I’m also prone to overreacting, which I promptly did, as I tried in vain to hold back my tears on the way back to the bus stop.  I knew that I was being ridiculous.  We had a healthy, perfect-looking baby, and I hadn’t even been that set on finding out the sex until a few days before the scan.  But I knew, at the same time, that I wasn’t crying because we didn’t know if Baby Us is a boy or a girl.

I was crying because I felt helpless.  I felt vulnerable and cowardly and really out of my depth.  I felt like “how am I going to be a mother here?  I can’t even speak to people here.”  I was mad at myself, and so frustrated about my anxiety.  Even now, when I’m not overtired, and I’ve had plenty of time to get over the disappointment of not knowing, it brings tears to my eyes.  I know that I’m incredibly lucky.  I have a perfect-for-me, loving husband (who totally understood why I was crying), who I get to live with and see every day.  I get to live in the Magical Land of Denmark that enchanted me from the moment my plane touched down three years ago, and we have a baby on the way–something I’ve dreamed about since I was small.  I know that my life is wonderful, and I’m incredibly grateful.  But that doesn’t mean it’s been very easy, or that it will get a lot easier anytime soon.

It’s just discouraging when I feel like I can’t get over my anxiety enough to do a “normal people” thing, like asking a simple question.  Some days are better than others, but the bad days are still just as discouraging as they ever were.

The good news is, that even though my anxiety doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, my writing skills are improving a lot with the class in Danish grammar that I’m taking these days!  Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll continue with this class, and also start the one to help me prepare for my big Danish test that’s coming up in May!  Crossing my fingers to get into a daytime class!

Spring Carrot Cake!

So, apparently spring “officially” begins in Denmark on March 1st.  This year, it is forecasted that the temperatures will not drift above freezing until sometime in April.  So it doesn’t feel like spring.  We did have a couple of glorious sunny almost-warm days at the very beginning of March, but since then it’s been nothing but a big bummer.

However, we have to get into the spring mindset somehow, and baking is obviously the way to do this.  So even though I’m fasting from cakes/candies/yummy things during daylight hours, I was able to volunteer to bring a cake to our Ruhi study circle last week, and therefore had an excuse to bake one!

I’m pretty sure I chose carrot cake because I wanted something to go well with the cream cheese frosting I had been daydreaming about, but any reason to make a carrot cake is a good one, and I can tell you I didn’t regret this at all!

carrot cake 2Of course, I had to decorate accordingly.  It was pretty cute, if I may say so myself.  I didn’t want the plastic wrap to ruin my sweet little carrots while it was in transport, so I finally, FINALLY bought some toothpicks.  I have been wanting toothpicks since last August when we moved from the last sublet that had toothpicks in the cupboards.  I don’t use them on my teeth, but for testing done-ness, cleaning odd things, and, of course, holding plastic wrap away from nicely decorated cakes!  The problem wasn’t finding them.  Toothpicks are probably just as common in Denmark as they are in the US, the problem was remembering to buy them.  Ever.  But finally, I had a good enough reason to scoot out to the store just for the sake of buying toothpicks because I couldn’t stand not remembering again.

And it was a good thing I did, because they came in handy with the cake-baking I did yesterday, as well!  That’s right.  Two cakes in one week.  Luckily they were both to share, or I think I would have added substantially to my minimal weight gain.  The other cake post will be coming up shortly, I promise, but for now, here’s one more picture of the carrot cake.  (By the way, it was super delicious.)  Also, I may have overdone it with all the little carrots around the edge, but they were so fun that I couldn’t help myself!

carrot cake 3

 

Catching Up (and a plea for your opinions at the end)

Life here seems to be settling into some sort of a routine.  On Mondays, we go to a Ruhi study circle.

*Sidenote* I started this blog post thinking I could get it done real quick before I went to sleep, but upon searching for a link for the Ruhi institute, I came across a Baha’i joke blog where I consequently spent more time than I had assumed writing this whole blog would take.  Oops.

Anyway, like I said we’re getting into a bit of a routine.  Wednesdays, I have my Danish class, so we have some sort of a salad for supper (lately it’s been Tuna Macaroni Slaw because it always reminds me of home).  Fridays, Andreas usually has badminton after work (how cute is that?!), and weekends have becoming less stressful, too!

We even managed to buy a TV last weekend, and although we live in a dead zone, so we can’t get any real channels, it came with Netflix and wi-fi, so it’s been really great to have a nice big screen to watch our movies on (as compared to my little laptop with the worst speakers ever).

My Danish class is still going well.  It’s still challenging, and even though my first assignment came back with a discouraging amount of red ink on it, I managed to not be too discouraged after all.  I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve never, ever learned this stuff (it’s review for most of the people in my class) and all I need is practice, practice, practice.  I’m already starting to get nervous for the Big Test coming up in May/June (the one I’m postponing my visit to the US for) but I’m trying to forget about it as much as possible.  I wouldn’t be nervous, but I have to get a B-equivalent to be able to move on to the next class which is preparation for the other Big Danish Test that I have to pass to get into university here.  I was told that if I pass, but don’t get a high enough score, I can retake it, but that I won’t be offered any more classes to prepare for the re-take and that I’ll have to pay for it myself (around $200-250) so I’m feeling a bit of pressure.  However, I’m trying to remind myself that I still have time to get better before May, and if my teacher at that point really doesn’t think I can do it, I can always back out and wait until November.  When I have a baby.  That sounds like a better time to take a Very Important Test, right?

Things have just been being good in general lately, and I’m trying to remember to be really grateful.  The Baha’i Fast is in full swing now, and although I obviously can’t fast because of my “delicate condition,”  I’m still getting up pre-dawn every day to make Andreas and myself a bowl of oatmeal and to say some prayers.  While I can’t physically fast, I’m trying to pay extra special attention to things I want to work on, and one of those is gratitude.  I actually think that I do very well with this normally.  All the work and waiting and stress that we had to go through to get to this point (married, settled (in Denmark), with a nice apartment and a baby on the way) makes a person really appreciate what they have.  But, I want to get better at remembering to be grateful when I go through my periodic bouts of the blues, when I get homesick, when I suddenly feel lonely and like I have no friends left, or when I run out of ice cream.

I’m also happy about being able to meet some of the Baha’is in Copenhagen.  This is becoming a little bit of a Baha’i-(and link-)heavy post, but bear with me!  It has been quite lonely here, and as probably most foreigners who have moved to Denmark can tell you, it’s not easy to make friends here.  Well, in my opinion, it’s not particularly easy to make friends anywhere, but especially when you don’t go to school or have a full-time job, the meeting-people thing is hard to do.  I’m really glad that the community has been so welcoming and I’ve met people that I feel genuinely connected to right away!  It’s exciting, and since a lot of the Baha’i community tends to be a bit international, I think there are a lot of sympathetic souls ready and waiting to lend an understanding ear.

So things aren’t particularly easy at the moment.  We’re still stressed about some things, I’m still a bit lonely, but I’m doing really well and I’m really happy about where we are.

Oh!  But one last thing…

We have our second (and probably last) ultrasound coming up next Friday.  The thing is, this is the one where one can normally tell if the baby is of the boy or girl persuasion.  We’re having the hardest time deciding whether or not to find out now, or to wait until it actually makes its entrance into the world.

I originally thought I would never find out, that it’s more exciting, and makes it easier to buy gender-neutral clothing, etc.  But the closer we get to the ultrasound, the more tempting it is to find out.  We’re also having a lot of trouble finding any boy-name possibilities we love, so we’d kind of like to be spared the trouble if it’s not even a boy after all (although I have a pretty good feeling that it is), and we’re going to mostly be using hand-me-downs as far as clothing goes, so we would be able to know ahead of time from whom we should borrow.

Thoughts?  Pros?  Cons?

I think we might end up flipping a coin…