Spontaneity

Andreas and I recently met a couple who have two children (around ages 3 years and 4 months or so).  It was like being a dry sponge and soaking up having-a-baby advice, and it was great!  One of the things the man advised us to do was to cut down on really any activities outside the home, because that’s what it was going to be like.

Unfortunately, I seem to be doing the opposite…

Although that’s not hard to understand, as my former list of extra-curricular activities was limited to: go see my sister-in-law and her baby every once in a while.

But today after Danish class, a couple of the girls and I decided to go for some ice cream!  One of them ended up not being able to come, but the other girl and I still went.  We bought some ice cream from a place just off of Kongens Nytorv, then walked down Strøget while we ate, stopping at H&M to get a maternity tank top (did I mention it was hot today?) and then, after she caught her train at Nørreport Station, I decided to walk a little further.  And a little further.  And a little further…until I ended up walking the whole way home!  It was no heroic feat (it took about an hour) but unfortunately, I ended up with a blister on the bottom of my foot, which I didn’t notice until I’d already gotten home (otherwise, I’d have just taken the bus).

Andreas also had badminton on Wednesday, and just as I was starting to make dinner, he called and said he and his colleagues were going out for Thai food, and did I want to come meet him there?  I recently made a goal to change my reflex of saying “no thanks” when people ask me if I want to do something/have something etc. so, keeping that in mind, I said “sure!” and immediately left and hopped on a bus to join them.  I was, of course, a bit shy and nervous, but it was lovely to do something spontaneously.  Actually, the loveliest part about it was probably that, since I didn’t know I was going to go, I didn’t have to spend all day worrying about it!

These two little events give me a bit of hope that I will someday have what seems like a pretty normal (un-lonely) life here in Copenhagen.  Andreas and I have also decided to try out a board-game meetup group, which I’m excited about!  It’s international, so I’m guessing my Danish won’t get much of a workout, but I’m really excited to meet some new people and to play some games again!!  I love Settlers of Catan as much as the next person (okay, probably a lot more than the “next person”) but I’d love to try some new ones, or go back to some old favorites that I haven’t played since college.  I think it would also be really nice to have something “extra-curricular”-y to do with Andreas!

We recently talked about how we’ve been feeling a bit “meh” on weekends lately.  It’s nice to relax, and stay home for the most part, but we’ve fallen into a rut of “what should we do: Read out loud together, watch something on Netflix, or just be on our computers?”  So we’ve decided to make at least one “plan” every weekend.  It doesn’t have to be going out, necessarily, but has to be something that we do together, without our focus on something else (for example: the tv).  This weekend, we’re already heading off to a picnic tomorrow with some other Baha’is, and then to Sweden on Sunday (I get to meet with my old knitting group, and we’ll visit my sister-in-law!), and next weekend, we plan to make donuts!  We’re also going to see if we can coerce another sister-in-law of mine to come with her husband and help us eat them, but as they’re normal people, they might already be busy on the weekend.  Regardless, I’m already excited (I’ve been wanting to make homemade donuts again for ages, you guys) and really happy with how Andreas and I decided together to fix our “meh” problem.

Tomorrow is June 1st!  Let’s see if I can start this photo-a-day thing up again!

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Big Danish Test Part 1: check.

Last week, I took the first part of my big Danish test.  Ever since, people have asked me how it went, and I’m never quite sure what to say.  It was a writing and reading-comprehension test, and I guess it went fine, but I can’t really say until I get the results (next week).  There were a lot of questions during the reading-comprehension part that I just wasn’t sure about, which is a little nerve-wracking, considering that was the part of the test that I was least worried about.  And the subjects for the written part were good, and write-about-able, so I’m hoping for the best.

Now I’ve started a new class specifically for preparing for the spoken part of the test (mine’s on June 17th) and am getting continually more nervous for that one, as I expected.  I’m practicing my weird Danish vowels, something I haven’t really focused on before, and again, just hoping to pull a good topic that I feel comfortable talking about (for example, education, as opposed to something like politics).  But we’re practicing a lot in class, which also gives us a good opportunity to use the phrases we’ve been stowing away for when we have no idea how to answer a question (like: “That’s a very broad question…” “I’ve never given that a thought, but I could imagine that…” etc.).  After all, it is a language test, not a test on how much we know about the given topics, so as long as we sound coherent, and fluent, that’s the most important thing.

I’m really excited for the big test to be over.  We get our oral results as soon as we’re finished with the exam, so at that point, I’ll know my whole score, and whether or not it’s good enough to qualify me for the next class, or if I’ll have to retake the test again in November.  I’ll feel better once I know that, and can start making a plan (or rather, hopefully not making a plan).  However, when I’m done with the test, I’ll have no more Danish classes, which are basically the only real thing I have going on in my life.  I’ll then have a good six to nine weeks to essentially “do nothing” although I’ll really be getting ready for (and freaking out about) the baby.

In other baby news, oh my goodness is it strong.  I got kicked in the belly yesterday so hard that it felt like someone snapped a really thick rubberband against the inside of my belly.  I gasped and clutched at my stomach, which really freaked Andreas out, and the spot’s still really tender.  I’ve also relapsed back into the first trimester exhaustion that I had in the wintertime, only now, I don’t get to sleep until 10 or 11 every day, and instead have to be up at seven, and it feels like torture.  Even today, when I got to sleep in until 9, I felt ready for a nap three or four hours later.  I’d sort of forgotten what all this was like and left it in the haze that was those first three months, but boy am I remembering.

However, I’m being ambitious tonight, and am going to try a new recipe (chickpea curry!) and even make some basic chocolate mousse (just chocolate and water) to eat with some strawberries I bought yesterday.  I was going to make strawberry shortcakes, but Andreas has been struggling with allergies lately (milk and sugar) and even though strawberry shortcakes are actually a pretty allergy-light dessert, I’d still feel guilty.  Luckily, I remembered the mousse from when I made it when we lived in Sweden, and I’m excited to try it  again!  Of course, there’s a bit of sugar in it, as there is in the sliced strawberries, but…you’ve gotta live a little.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide if I have time for a nap before I embark on kitchen adventures, since Andreas is going to badminton after work today and won’t be home until later…

PS-I realize that alllllll of my posts lately have been dry and pictureless, and that’s because I…haven’t been taking pictures.  But I’m trying to get better at taking some, and thinking about doing photo-a-day June, as well, to maybe get me started up again.

May

So there’s this “blog every day in May” thing going on, and here I am, letting my blog whither and die in May.  Oops.

I don’t even know quite what it’s been…But I’m hoping to pick it up again, and while I’m not going to resolve to post every day for the rest of May, I’m hoping to do a lot better than I have been doing!

So, my birthday is on Wednesday, but what is by far overshadowing that is that I have Part One of my Prøve i Dansk 3 which is my big Danish test (let’s call it PD3 so that I don’t have to keep switching back and forth between English and Danish keyboard configurations…).  I imagine it kind of like Mordor, casting its looming black shadow over the Shire (my birthday).  But the good news is that we’ve done a few practice tests, and I’ve gotten between 10 and 12 on all of them (on a 12-scale which looks like this: -03, 00 (which are both failing) then 02, 04, 07, 10, and 12)  Please don’t ask me why the scale goes from negative three to positive twelve because I am even more confused than you.  The important thing to know is that to get into the next class that I need to get into in order to take the next test which I need to pass to get into school here (whew!), I need to get at least 10s on every section of the test.  (I’ve been told that getting one seven might not be the worst, but, this is confusing enough as it is, so let’s just say 10s).  Wednesday’s test is the reading comprehension and writing sections, which is five to six hours of sitting and being tested.  Part Two of the test takes place on June 17th and is the oral part, which consists of me giving a monologue, then answering questions about it, then looking at pictures and talking about those.

I think that the anxiety and worry about those has been kind of squelching a lot of my joy lately, as well as Andreas being sick for a good five weeks, and then *tada!* I get sick with whatever it is that he had.  Luckily, I don’t think mine will last for five weeks, and I should be in okay stand to take my test on Wednesday.  So for now, I’ll just blow my nose every couple of minutes, and be thankful that the whole fever/aches/headache stuff happened over the weekend.

We’re also getting closer to August which is when Mini-Mine is due.  We managed to buy a cradle/hammock thing on Danish Craigslist a week ago, and I also got a nursing pillow, and we have a minimal amount of clothing (and some cloth diapers!) so we’re getting there…  What I’m most excited to get done is to set up some serious baby-stuff storage, so we have a place to put all these things.  In a less-than-500-square-foot apartment, it can get tricky to find space, but we’ll be creative, and luckily we don’t have too much junk of our own.

Being so overwhelmed with my tests, and other stuff in my life (mainly homesickness and friend-sickness) makes the whole baby thing seem a bit overwhelming at times as well, but what actually really helps me get excited for August is reading birth stories!  I’m not one to get grossed out about all that, and thinking about actually having our baby and being a family makes getting the apartment ready for a baby and adjusting to life here in Denmark a bit less overwhelming.  So for now, I’m just trying to focus on the positives, get over this cold, and ace my Danish tests.  I’m also switching Danish teachers (starting tomorrow) so of course, I’m nervous about that as well.  But as of June 17th, it’ll all be over, and I can maybe relax a bit more for a while.

I feel like I just have to hold on for the next month, and then it’ll all be okay.  It feels  a lot like how I felt before the last month of the semester in college, when work suddenly got crazy along with classes, projects, and finals, except this time, it’s just very important Danish tests.  I’m actually am getting a bit jealous of seeing everyone’s “finals are over!” posts and graduation pictures on Facebook, while I’m just starting over here.

I’m also bracing myself for waves of nostalgia and missing-people as two of my lovely friends back in the US are getting married within the next month, and I know I’m going to see photos on top of photos and wish I could be in them. *sigh*

So that’s what heartburn feels like – and other making-a-baby stories

So, I’m still working on making this baby.  Sometimes, it feels like it’s taking for.ev.er. and sometimes it’s like “what? I’m due in three months?”

And sometimes it’s like “what’s this weird feeling in my throat?”  I wondered about it for a full day before I realized…it’s heartburn!  Now, ever since I was a kid, I’ve wondered what heartburn is.  I’d had headaches, bellyaches, scrapes, stubbed toes, and, one time, a bruised lump on my forehead so big that my skull is permanently bump-scarred.  But I always saw these commercials with people rubbing their chests with pained faces and wondered what exactly they were feeling.  Every once in a while I’d have a pain in my chest, and I would think is this heartburn?! but it never was.  But this…this is heartburn.  And now that the novelty has worn off, I don’t like it.  I’m trying not to do the normal things they tell you not to do, like eat a lot before bed, spicy foods, fatty foods, etc.  But sometimes it doesn’t really matter.  Sometimes I have to fall asleep sitting up, and then when I wake up in the middle of the night and think I can lay down, I get heartburn and have to sit up again.

There are other side-effects to baby-building as well…

  • waking up at 4:30 for no good reason.  And staying awake.
  • getting flour on the ever-growing belly
  • really, really, really sore calves
  • and charlie horses
  • a once-deep belly button getting rather flatt-ish (still crossing my fingers it won’t poke out or anything)
  • hips so sore I’ve already started waddling
  • really quickly-growing fingernails
  • extreme variations in appetite (sometimes, I feel like I could eat the whole world.  Sometimes, all I want is a bagel all day)
  • everyone offering me the soft blue chair in my Danish class…

That’s no comprehensive list or anything but it’s what’s been happening recently (especially the flour on the belly thing).  And just now, I thought of my belly as a separate identity.  I was watching the baby dance around to some music I had playing, when I had to take one of my many potty-breaks, and as I was sitting there, I thought “oh man, I might be missing seeing the baby moving around out there!”  Then I remembered that I had, indeed, brought my belly into the bathroom with me.  And that I hoped the baby wouldn’t move around, because it always weirds me out when it does that when I’m on the toilet.

Andreas and I went to our first parent-preparedness class last night!  The night’s theme was more focused on the changing family dynamics, and how important it is to prepare and protect your relationship as a couple, which we’ve already talked about a lot, but it was exciting just to go to one of those classes.  We also got to play briefly with Legos, which was probably my favorite part of the night. There will be three more classes, the next will be about birth, the next about breastfeeding, and the last one will be after all of our babies have been born!  There were five other couples there (there were supposed to be three more) and I’m pretty certain they were all significantly older than Andreas and I, but I expected that, and it really doesn’t matter to me.  I’m much more excited for the next ones, as I think they’ll be more interesting, but this one was good in that it did give us more things to talk about, and start a lot of conversations.  Afterwards, we wandered around for a bit before finally deciding to eat at an indian restaurant where I ate a ridiculous amount of food.  The funny thing is that I was totally keeping an “eye” on how I was feeling.  I thought every once in a while “should I stop eating?” but I felt fine, and it was really delicious, so I just kept on going!  Then, the moment I stood up, I totally regretted it.  Oops.

But the weekend is starting, and Andreas is bringing home a package from the post office when he comes, which has our first cloth diapers in it!  Very excited, since this is the first thing we’ve bought for the baby besides six pairs of socks.  We’ve still got three months…that’s forever, right?

26 weeks

Sorry about the weird picture quality…we keep forgetting to take the camera off of “close-up” mode when we do these.

Note: I was supposed to post this a while ago, but decided to wait until I could include a picture.  Since then, the calves and hips have stopped hurting which is wonderful, and as of today, I’m apparently in my third trimester (and running out of clothes that fit)!