The Day Theo Was a Perfect Baby

Yesterday was so awesome.

A friend of mine had organized a day trip to a nearby small town/countryside place.  There were five adults (four moms and a dad) and four babies.  The day started with two train rides, a bus ride, and a short walk to meet the other parents, and I was thrilled when it all went smoothly and according to plan–and Theo had gotten in a 45 minute nap.  We started out on our long walk, taking breaks for the needs of various babies.  Theo got to get out of the stroller and stretch his legs, and the views were so wonderful.  I felt a bit like I was back in Wisconsin, with the sweeping fields and small woods.  We stopped to buy some local honey, and then again later on for a picnic where all three mobile babies very much enjoyed themselves (and some watermelon).  After that, we went on a trek for a hot dog stand, which included some very rough terrain, but our stroller cleared it wonderfully, and except for some stinging nettle, we were all unscathed.  Theo slept most of the way through the fields/woods, but was quite happy when he woke up again upon our arrival at the aforementioned hot dog stand.

Believe it or not, all that took five hours without a single complaint from Theodore.  He’s never cleared a trip so well before, and I got to enjoy myself so, so much talking to the other parents, playing with the other babies, and just having such a relaxing day.  I know it won’t always be like this, and goodness knows it hasn’t always been like this, but I was just so grateful to have a good day out with Theo.  I was quite nervous, as I’ve never taken him so far from home by myself before, but it went incredibly smoothly.  And since there were so few of us, I was completely at ease talking to the others.

I just can’t believe my luck!

Theo ended the day with an illicitly smuggled marshmallow, and an early bedtime, and Andreas and I finished watching The Help, (which we both loved, and had me in tears by the end) and had a lovely relaxing evening as well, complete with chips and dip, and a few s’mores (because of course, I had to empty the bag of marshmallows that Theo had ripped open.)

I’m quite bummed that I forgot to take pictures all day, but I snagged one of Theo’s First Marshmallow, which he (very surprisingly) gave up quite easily after we let him enjoy half of it.

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I’m pretty sure he’s communing with the marshmallow here…

All Weekends Should Have Three Days

After I’d been feeling burned-out and stressed for a few weeks, Andreas decided to take a Friday off to make a long weekend.  We didn’t make plans with anyone else, and decided to have a lovely family weekend–and we absolutely did!

Theo has been sleeping rather poorly for the last week or so, but I was determined not to let sleepiness take over Our Weekend, and we started by heading to the beach on Friday morning

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With only a short burst of anxiety (over how much sand was getting into our food), the beach trip was a success!  And bonus: the only part of me that got sunburned was my part!  Extra extra bonus: I totally found mint chocolate chip ice cream!!! I haven’t seen it anywhere here in Denmark yet, but they had some at the ice cream stand at the beach, so you can bet I had some!  We had a relaxing evening at home after our day at the beach, and the next day headed out to do a bit of shopping, and stop by Torvehallerne, which is a sort of market in Copenhagen.  We loaded up on blueberries and had some “pizza claps” which is half a pizza, folded around some filling which was delicious!  I had potato pizza which had a salmon/dill/lettuce sort of filling and I definitely want to have it again!  On the way home, we stopped by the Middle Eastern market which is near our place to stock up on some things that the regular grocery stores here don’t have (black beans, cheap quinoa and couscous, and a couple other things).

That night, we planned a cozy evening to watch our last remaining episode of Sherlock (which we’re both totally in love with, by the way).  And by Sunday, we knew we needed just a plain old relaxing day, so we got out first thing in the morning to get our grocery shopping done (and what a difference it makes to be at the store at 9 instead of in the afternoon.  It was so empty and relaxing!) and spent the day just hanging out together, played Agricola, and then watched as Theo took his first steps!!!  He’s still only taken a few at a time (his record is six), but I have a feeling that this is why he’s been sleeping poorly lately–he was gearing up for the next big step (no pun intended, actually)!

This Monday was the first time in ages that I haven’t dreaded the week, and felt like I needed just a little bit more weekend, and it’s so wonderful to start the week refreshed, and not feeling behind on things, or shorted on family time.  All weekends need three days!

Time, please!

So, as I mentioned in one of my last posts, I was going to make more time for reading, and activities that made me feel like my old self.  I got a few books from the library, and have been loyally devoting time to getting reacquainted with paper pages, remembering page numbers, dissolving into a story, and forgetting my own.

And all that dissolving has, unfortunately, stolen much of what was once blog-writing time.  I’ve even had a few ideas for posts, and haven’t gotten around to actually writing them.  It’s frustrating.  I used to have time for everything, even too much time, and now, I feel like there’s no time for everything except cleaning up, which I seem to do about 90% of the time.  *sigh*  I guess if I try to squeeze in another activity, some of the others are bound to get pushed out.  I only hope that it’ll balance out soon, and there will be small time for both.

A quick update:

Things are generally going well.  I’ve had periods of feeling utterly overwhelmed at the thought of everything that’s going on, and times where everything feels under control.  To be honest, I kind of don’t know which feeling to trust more.  The reality is probably somewhere in between those two extremes.

I’m proud of myself for getting back into reading, and for keeping up with my running.  I’ve run every other day for the past four weeks, never skipping, and that’s really something, in my book.  I’ve also been pretty good with meal planning and cooking, and keeping up with household chores, so on the surface, everything’s good and under control.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed socially–not that I have too many friends or anything, haha!  But it’s seemed like I don’t have enough time for just Andreas and myself, or even Andreas, Theo, and myself.  However, I picked and chose my social engagements carefully for a couple of weeks, to try to give myself some more re-charging time, and it seems to be working.  I was feeling sort of like I was only half present–like I would be listening to someone, and trying really hard to listen and to be there, and I just…wasn’t.  But that feeling has been passing, I think, and I’m feeling more here for lack of a better term.

Theo’s doing medium.  He has some really great days, and when he’s a happy fellow, my heart turns to liquid and just bursts inside my chest.  But days like today, where he’s clingy and unhappy, and sleeps weird, and won’t go to bed…they’re tough.  But we get through it, and always hope for a better day tomorrow.

Andreas is taking this Friday off, so we can all have a long weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it.  So far, we don’t really have plans, which is NICE.  I’m hoping for good weather so we can get out and about and have some little family adventures.

Anyway, that’s how things are right now.  Mostly good and fine, with touches of frustration–so…pretty much…regular life!  And here’s a cute picture of my little crazy creature in return for your reading this!

Absolutely gleeful that he managed to find and undo the aluminum foil

Absolutely gleeful that he managed to find and undo the aluminum foil

Three

Three years ago right now, Andreas and I were out doing this:blog3 (3)

 

We were giddy and nervous, but mostly not nervous at all.  Getting married, to us, was like brushing your teeth before you go to bed–it was the only sensible thing to do.  But if you had to stand up and brush your teeth in front of friends and family, I’m sure you’d have a bit of awkward nerves, too.  And it showed.  We forgot which song we were supposed to walk out into the ceremony to, so we waited–huddled together around the corner through the whole song, wondering, second-guessing, almost-walking-out-but-then-at-the-last-minute-staying-put.  And then the song started again and we realized “yup, that was supposed to be it.” and we came out.

But that’s not all.  The evening before the wedding, we held a quick dress rehearsal.  We chose who would read what, when, and we called it a day–only Andreas’s sister hadn’t been there, and we’d chosen her and her husband to read something, and then quite completely forgotten to tell them.  So, in the middle of the ceremony, suddenly nothing was happening.  Andreas, looking embarrassed, got up from his groom’s chair, walked over to his sister in the middle of the audience, and handed her a reading which she, very sportlingly, read on the spot.  We signed our names, were pronounced, and very nearly forgot to exchange rings.  Then off we trotted, under an (indoor) rain of rice.

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And now we’re here.

It’s been three years, and they haven’t been without challenges.  I thought living in Waukegan was a challenge.  And then I thought having to live apart after only having been married a few months was a challenge.  And then I moved halfway around the world, and I thought that was a challenge.  Then came the empty months waiting, the visa things, and trying to get used to expat life, and that was a challenge.  And then came moving to Denmark, learning Danish, and building our “real” life together, and that was a challenge.  And then came Theo and blew everything else out of the water.

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It’s been three years, but especially during this last one, we’ve gotten to really see what our marriage is made out of, and guys, it’s good stuff.  It’s patience and trust, and never giving up.  It’s loyalty and silliness, and two player games.  It’s compromise, attention, and saying a million thank yous.

I’m about to get real gushy, so I’ll rein myself in a little bit here, but you know what I’m talking about.  Sleep deprivation and stress doesn’t bring out the best in anyone (although if I’m wrong, and it does, that person would be the most awesome parent in the world), and we’ve had a lot of that in the past year.  But quite honestly, working together through what it has brought out, has pulled more strongly together than anything ever has before.

Three years ago, I was the same in love as I am today.  I’m not going to say that I’m more in love because I remember that day, and that 22-year-old girl that I was, and that love I had, and it was every bit as big as the love I have today.  But, the more time goes by, the better life gets, because my life can only be improved by spending more and more of it Andreas.  At every anniversary, a small part of me feels triumph–another month/year under my belt, another happy gem to add to my collection.

After this last year, we’ve seen more and uglier facets of each other than we have before, and we’ve accepted each one helping each other polish the parts that we knew needed polishing.  And in some way, I’m happier now, knowing that Andreas has seen all those parts of me that aren’t the best, and knowing that Andreas loves me anyway.

So, we’re ready for year four.

 

Just before we settle down for our cozy anniversary movie night

Just before we settle down for our cozy anniversary movie night