I can totally do this…maybe.

So, when I finished my Danish classes, something weird happened.  In my final tests, I got great scores.  I could now “officially” speak Danish, and I knew that my skills had improved dramatically over the few months that I’d taken courses.  But being finished with Danish classes and just let loose in Denmark was more unnerving than I expected.

I suddenly felt that since I was done, and since I’d done well, I should just be able to do it all, and do it easily.  I became three times more self conscious every time I was supposed to speak Danish.  I hesitated over my “ø”s and panicked whenever someone couldn’t understand me the first time around.

The thing was, that before I took Danish classes, and I would make a mistake while speaking or writing, I’d think to myself “well, I’ve never even studied, I just learned on my own, so…that’s okay.”  And now that I’m done, I feel like “Well geez, I’ve taken my Danish exams and passed, I should really know better.”

Now that I know all the rules, I can often hear small mistakes while I’m speaking, and while I often go back and correct myself, sometimes that’s just too distracting, and it bugs me to hear them pile up.

On the other hand, I’ve been watching a bit more Danish TV since we temporarily have Viaplay instead of Netflix.  In the middle of watching the Danish version of “4 Weddings” I realized that I’m watching this show (while playing Candy Crush) for fun.  Without subtitles.  In Danish.  And I’m getting it.  I watch the news with Andreas, and understand probably just as much as I would if it was in English (there’s a lot of stuff about politics that I just can’t follow very well in general, regardless of the language).  When I go to the doctor or midwife, we speak Danish.  When I go to the store, and ask for help (this, also, is a new development for me), I speak in Danish.  I realized suddenly that I could totally just “do” life in Danish.  I completed a phone interview about Andreas and myself (for a study) in Danish.  On the phone.

It’s sometimes easy to forget how long you’ve come when you’re in the middle of everything.  Especially with our baby’s birth coming up pretty shortly, I haven’t done a whole lot of self-reflection (unless you count meticulously studying my stretch marks in the mirror to make sure I don’t have any new ones (which I always do)).

These last few weeks, I’m trying to be nice to myself.  I realize that everything’s going to be changing in a few weeks, and that’s huge.  I’m not the most “hardy” personality, and I get overwhelmed easily, so I know that now’s not the time to be pushing myself, or scolding myself for not being better, when I really have come a long, long way since we moved here in November.

In other exciting news: we bought a camera!  One of the real deals!  Well…an entry-level DSLR, which I’m sure will be “enough” for the two of us.  It came in the mail today, but I’m practicing my self-restraint, and not opening it until Andreas comes home (in about an hour!).  However, I’m really, really looking forward to learning how to use it, and being able to take lovely baby pictures right from the start!  It also means (hopefully) that the blog will be a little more colorful soon, as baby pictures are a lot more likely to make it on the blog than pictures of me with my enormous ball of a belly.

What Was Supposed to Be a Post About Danish Summertime

It’s July, and it’s summertime, even in Denmark!  The forecast for almost a week straight was partly sunny and at least 20 degrees!  That’s pretty exciting for around here, and I’m glad it’s not very much hotter, because I’m hot in general, pretty much all the time.

I’ve also felt like we’re busy all the time!  I thought that my niece’s party at the end of June would be the end of busy-ness for Andreas and I, basically until the arrival of the baby, but I was apparently wrong!  With a couple of Meetups a week with different groups, birthing classes, midwife visits, and of course a good amount of cooking and baking, I realized that July is just as full as June was!  Which is sort of why I haven’t posted in almost two weeks again (sorry!), but the other reason is that I’m trying not to complain too much, and some days, that’s almost all I feel like doing.

It’s weird, because I know that a year ago today, I would have thought “I don’t care about all the uncomfortable things that come with pregnancy…I just really, really want a baby!”  And if I wasn’t pregnant right now, I would have the same thoughts.  And when I really think about it now, I of course realize that it’s all worth it but…goodness gracious am I ever uncomfortable.  Besides being twenty pounds heavier than normal, and looking like a duplex (or, as Andreas so lovingly put it yesterday “a mountain”), I can tell that the baby’s running out of room.  I figured he was just floating high up, since he’s all up in my ribs all the time, but the midwife said his head is actually super far down.  Then she felt the top of my belly and told me that his butt is also quite high up.  Conclusion?  Most likely a long baby.  Should’ve guessed.

And aside from all of that, too, is the stretch marks.  I’m super embarrassed to write about this, but I felt a bit better after writing to my mom about it yesterday, so I figured, well…if I tell the whole internet, then I’ll feel THAT MUCH better.  The silly thing is, I thought I wasn’t really going to get them.  My mom didn’t get them, and neither did my sister, really.  Nor did my sister-in-law which doesn’t really have anything to do with anything except that it’s another person to be jealous of.  I also haven’t put on too much weight, so I figured that they probably wouldn’t plague me.  But they did.  And there’s actually quite a few of them.  And there’s still a month left.  They bother me a whole bunch, way more than I ever imagined they would, and while most (or all) of this is probably pregnancy-hormone-driven, it doesn’t really make me feel much better.  Andreas, however, is getting lots of practice in listening-without-coming-with-solutions-or-things-to-make-me-feel-better, and I have to say, he’s pretty much the best at it.

Another thing he’s getting really good at is helping me up when I’m sitting on the ground which, thanks to the weather and having lots of picnics, I’ve been doing a lot of.  If he’s not there to help, it’s seriously a production, and I’m pretty sure it really does a number on my dignity.

I’ve also been putting off posting this because it’s pretty much nothing but pregnancy stuff, but that’s pretty much all I’m experiencing right now, and I don’t want to stop sharing just because of that!

A small glimpse into non-pregnancy-related news: We’re having a picnic dinner when Andreas comes home from work today!  I made pasta salad (one of his favorites) and we have a cold watermelon!  Plus, I had a small collection of egg whites in the fridge that needed to be used, so I made angel food cake (plus, of course, lemon curd because I had a couple of yolks left over after supplementing the whites) and I’m going to try to find some fresh Danish strawberries, and bring those along as well.

In closing: you know that thing where you stand in a doorway and press the backs of your hands really hard against the doorframe for like 30 seconds, and then step out, and your arms float up?  I’m pretty sure the baby’s doing that, except instead of hands, it’s feet, and instead of a doorframe, it’s my right hip bone and my left ribcage.

And for a touch of color:

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