7 Things I Didn’t Know I Was Missing About the States

Coming back to the States this time, had a different feel than it ever has before.  It’s the second time I’ve been back since I moved abroad, but considering that last time, I was somewhere deep inside a having-a-newborn-haze, I noticed many more things this time around.  These are some things I didn’t realize I was missing about the good ol’ USA

1. Being Polite:  Not to say that people are not polite in Denmark, or that I’m not polite in Denmark, but I forgot how easy it is to be polite in your mother tongue.  No wondering if I was saying the right thing, in the right way.  I knew exactly how to respond to any small-talk venture, and could very my “yes, thank you”s with some “absolutely!”s and “definitely!”s.  I do all my communicating in Danish here, with the exception of Andreas, Theo, and friends of mine that aren’t from here.  I am just so used to dealing with the daily frustrations or insecurities of communicating in Danish, that I totally forgot that sometimes, trips to the shop are actually super easy, and not intimidating at all.

2. Friendliness:  This is kind of an add-on to number one, but the friendliness was refreshing!  I had a full, easy conversation with another mom at the park, and even got to know a few people on our plane trip.  While I do actually appreciate the Danish anonymity on public transport, and the lack of expectation to make small talk, it is really nice once in a while to go back to the Midwest way of living, and for the three weeks that we were there, I found it really easy and comfortable to talk to strangers.

3. Variety:  We were looking forward to shopping in the US (we even came over with a suitcase packed into a bigger, empty suitcase so we’d have more room to bring our goodies home).  But I was focused on the cheaper prices (and the knowledge of which stores carry what for what price), and had completely forgotten about the sheer amount of choice in the shops.  While it was fantastic while we were shopping for clothing, and I could get whatever caught my fancy, I was struck with a bit of green jealousy, when I saw the homewares that were much too big to bring home.  If only I had that kind of selection at those prices here in Denmark, we would have the most beautiful home!

4. Food:  Okay, I did know that I missed the food.  But I really missed it, so I think it deserves a spot on the list anyways.  Topping the list are: Vegetarian Italian sausage (and just all of the vegetarian options in general!), crackers, cheese curds, and donuts (I didn’t actually even get any donuts while we were there, so I might just have to make some myself soon!).  I would probably be embarrassed if anyone saw the size of the sack of candy I brought home with me.

5. Amazon:  It’s been so long since we could use Amazon, that I rather forgot how awesome it is!  We mostly did one big Amazon haul, but it was fantastic to find almost every special thing we needed in one place, with free two-day shipping.  It’s probably a good thing that we don’t have it here, because I’m sure our budget would spout a little leak, but it was fantastic while it lasted!

6. Animals;  Yes, okay, there are animals in Denmark.  But this is more of a going-back-home sort of thing.  My parents’ house is filled with animals.  At present, they have: a canary, a parakeet, two guinea pigs, a cat, and a dog (with an additional cat and her four kittens living on the front porch).  Theo loved each and every one of them, and they tolerated him with varying degrees of caution.  It’s really fun to have animals around, and since we’re not at a point in life where pets are a great idea, it’s an exciting bonus when we visit my family.

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7. Cars:  I do love being a bike family in Denmark.  It works well for our life here, it’s cheaper, environmentally friendly, etc. etc.  But in the US, people have cars–and for good reason!  No one wants to bike thirty miles to get to the grocery store.  We went on a few trips to town, and my parents were good enough to loan us their family car, and it was great!  I did not have to think about how I was going to bike home with everything I was buying.  I didn’t have to carry ALL the things we were buying into every store we were going to.  It was a welcome break.

I’ll never be sorry that I made the swift and absolute decision to live in Denmark, but the longer I’m away from my homeland, the lovelier I find my visits, and I rather like it that way.

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CV, cover letter, resume, ansøgning?

Hello again!

I know it’s been a while, but I don’t think any of you expected any different when you heard I was moving, haha!  The past three weeks have been an incredible challenge, with rewards here and there, and some extra challenges-on-top-of-challenges along the way.  The good news is that we’re mostly pretty much moved in and settled!  While there are still several boxes unpacked, and lots of things that don’t really have a home yet, we’re getting there, and the worst is over.  I was going to wait until everything was done to do a small house tour and photos, but I realized that if I do that, no one will see the new place until next June, so I’ll be back soon with all of that!

But for today, you get to hear about my job search.

As I said, I was going to start my job search after we moved.  In my head, I was thinking of November sometime, but as a friend of mine heard of a an opening at her workplace, I got a kick in the butt, and got started on my first application just a few days after the move.

Here’s where it gets embarrassing.

See, I’ve never really applied for a “real” job before.  I did volunteer work, and worked as a catering server, a janitor, and a nanny.  These jobs mostly required a patched-together resume, and an application with personal and contact details.  As I was writing my CV for this job, Andreas kept asking me if I’d written my “ansøgning” (literally translated to “application”) to which I’d reply, “well, sure…” figuring that I’d fill in an application when I uploaded my CV.

Little did I know, an ansøgning is a cover letter, not an application.  Luckily, we caught our miscommunication early enough, but after struggling with my CV, I was quite dismayed over the fact that I’d now have to write a cover letter–something that seemed ten times harder!

It wasn’t exactly ten times harder (probably closer to three), but I finished in time, sent out my application, and was very pleased about the fact that I’d done it!  I’d applied for a job in Denmark!

I’ve written another one since, but today I decided to apply for my first Danish job.  In Danish.  I managed a translation of my CV, which wasn’t so bad, but now I’m supposed to be writing my cover letter, and…well…I’m writing this instead.

The biggest problem is not even the language–it’s that the format seems so foreign to me.  And then, well, there’s also the language.  I haven’t even gotten a single word down yet, and I’m already exhausted just thinking about the fact that I’m going to have to write a whole new one of these for each job I apply for.

It’s not even that I’m feeling discouraged, exactly, because I think I’m actually quite optimistic about my chances and all, but I do feel like a very small person looking up at a very large mountain, letting out a medium-sized sigh before I find my first toehold.

This is hard, guys.

I used to be smart…right?

Life abroad has its ups and downs.  Life as a mom has its ups and downs.  And I just hit downs on both.

Before I get into this, I just want to say that I know it’s totally normal to have moments and days and weeks like this.  Moving so far away from home, trying to settle into a new life with a new language, and putting forth every best effort to find friends is taxing.  I totally get that this is how it’s supposed to be, and this is how I’m supposed to feel.  And man is this hard sometimes.

I speak Danish well.  I was blessed with a language-learning head, a little bit of perseverance, and lovely, incredibly patient, in-laws who’ve helped me so much.  But honestly, I don’t speak Danish well enough to be 100% myself when I’m speaking it.  A lot of the time, the words come easily, but sometimes they don’t.  It’s great that I’m able to communicate fairly well, but it’s frustrating when my train of thought is constantly halting, jumping, and false-starting because I can’t fish the right words out quite quickly enough.  It’s frustrating to have a funny comment that I can’t quite figure out how to put into Danish words, or to be explaining something, only to give up halfway through because the round-abouts I’m taking to explain things I don’t know the words to are just too much.  To be blunt, I feel dumb a lot.  And when I think about it, of course I’m not dumb–I learned Danish for goodness’ sake.  But I still feel dumb.

And feeling dumb isn’t making the job thing any easier.  I’m not quite job-searching yet, but we’re moving in September, and I’m hoping to find some sort of a job in the fall/winter–whether it be an at-home daycare, or a job outside of the home.  But just assuming that the at-home daycare doesn’t work out, I’d have to job-search.  And that is scary.  Completely apart from having to do this all in Danish and in Denmark where I know very little about the job market, I feel totally unequipped to be job-searching.

I’m going to go to the job center in not too long, present them with my educational and work background, and just hear what options I have here in Denmark, which I’m sure will help a lot.  Because as of right now, I don’t feel like I can do anything.

For most of my life, I felt smart.  In first grade, I was reading chapter books.  In second grade, I got to learn cursive.  In third grade, I was the fastest typist in the class.  You get the picture.  This continued through elementary school, middle school, high school, and, surprisingly, even college.  I know it sounds super smug, but I just got used to being one of the “smart kids.”  And that was a huge part of my identity.

There was a time when I was in college, working three jobs.  And I turned out some of my best work that year, yet I also remember having time to have fun with my friends, and plan my wedding and our life together.  Nowadays, I’m proud of myself if I manage to vacuum once a week.  (Although, come to think of it, I don’t think I vacuumed more than once every couple of months back then…)

The thing is, I’ve been not much more than a wife and then a mom for the past couple of years, and I feel like I’ve gotten gradually less and less intelligent.  I also haven’t been able to have a job for two and a half years now, which leaves me feeling less than competent.

I know that at one point, I was really smart.  I know that at one point, I was even really confident, and I felt like I could really do anything.  These days, I don’t feel like there’s any job that I could do well.  In my head, I know that I would actually be the best candidate for many jobs–that I would do them well, and be happy doing them.  But in my not-head, I feel completely inadequate.

SO!

So, I’ve made a small plan to get myself back on track.  My goal for the week is to make up a list of books I want to read that I can get from the library in Denmark, and go get them.  And that’s pretty much it for now.  But I’m going to try to use Theo’s naptimes to do more than giggle at posts on BabyCenter asking how people sanitize their baby’s high chair trays (ummmm….wipe with the damp cloth I used to wipe the baby’s face, anyone?) and watch terrible TV.

It’s okay that I did those things, but now that I feel like I’m coming out of the survival mode fog, I feel like I need to get my self back, and a part of that self is reading, learning, writing, and doing smart things.

Any recommendations for books (they don’t have to be “smart” books, haha!) or ideas for getting that old confidence back?

 

New Year Things

It’s only a few more hours until the New Year begins, and since Theo is taking a good nap (yay!) I wanted to blog.

I kind of knew all along I’d fall a bit off the blogging bandwagon when Theo was born.  It was part blogging-identity-crisis (what am I now? Expat blogger?  Baby blogger?  Knitting blogger?!) and part not-ever-having-time syndrome.  It was also part traveling-all-over-the-place.  But 2014 is coming up, and with it, I actually have some resolutions for once.

I’m usually not big on resolutions, but New Year’s is coming at a time when I was hoping to make some changes anyways, so I thought I’d do the resolution thing this year, and maybe all the Resolutiony spirit that comes with the holiday will help me out!

I want to blog more.  I know.  Everyone says this.  ALL the time.  But I do, and I think I can make it happen.  That is, if some of my other resolutions work out…

I want Theo to sleep.  I guess that’s not exactly a resolution, but I am super set on helping him figure out this sleeping thing.  He slept great for about…four days, the days in between coming back from the US and going to Andreas’s parents’ place.  Since then, he seems to think his bedtime is 1 am, and that is not okay, seeing as I am SO ready for bed by 11 (if not 10)…

I want to get OUT.  Since our life has kind of been topsy-turvy as of late (Andreas being on parental leave, and all of the travelling), the start of the new year, plus Andreas going back to work is going to set us back into everyday life.  My goal is to get out 2-3 days of the week, and I’m hoping that if I start it right away, it’ll just become habit, and normal life instead of the stressful, nerve-wracking process it sometimes seems to be with a baby.  This kind of leads me to my next “resolution” which is:

I want to know my sister-in-law better.  Andreas has a sister that lives here in Copenhagen.  She has a daughter (who turns one TODAY!  Happy birthday to my little niece!) and a son on the way, due in March.  She’s sweet and considerate, smart and funny, aaaaaaaand kind of intimidating 😉  Not because of anything she does, but mostly just because of how I feel, and I want to get rid of that barrier.  I also want to be able to help more, because yes, I do have a baby, and I am having a bit of a hard time with him, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help others.

Unfortunately, those last two were kind of snagged this week.  We were supposed to go to my niece’s birthday party today.  I was excited!  I had her present all ready, and was going to make a little cake to bring, but I got really sick on Sunday night, and we couldn’t make it.  I’m excited to see them when we next get the chance, though.

For the most part, my goal is to settle more into Denmark, and lead a less-lonely life (and hopefully, hopefully get some more sleep so that I can actually function like a real human being).  Our original vague plan was for me to either go to school or find a job by August 2014, and put Theo in daycare.  When I realized that Theo is more than four months old already, which means I’m already 1/3 of the way done with being able to spend all my time with him, I sort of had a middle-of-the-night freak-out, and honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it, but I’ll see what happens, see how we all feel, and kind of go with the flow…

As much as I feel like I need a break sometimes….I don’t know how I could leave this little guy with someone else for most of the day…

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Home Again, Home Again

We’re back home in Denmark.

The trip to the US was amazing.  I loved seeing as much of my family as I could, many of my friends, and the families that I used to nanny for, which was so, so fun (and surreal, seeing those little babies as two and a half year old big brothers!).  It was wonderful, staying with my parents for a long enough period that they really got to see Theo grow and develop.  He rolled over for the first time, and started to grab things (and promptly stuff them into his mouth…or open his mouth and rub them on his forehead, as his aim still needed work).  I got to eat lots of my favorite American foods (and gained some pounds back, unfortunately).  We did lots of shopping, and came home with a whole extra suitcase of goodies!

The trip back was definitely not as amazing.  We had a weather delay, a screaming baby while we were stuck in our seats for an hour and a half before take-off, a bad headache, airplane-food-poisoning, a missed connection, six-hour layover, and a wild windstorm in Copenhagen when we landed, which almost trapped us in our plane, and finally a ridiculous taxi-ride home which had me praying over and over as we sped through the rainy, windy streets of our city.

However, after we got the suitcases in the door, things have been looking up.  Theo’s amazing and hasn’t had a problem with jet lag–basically at all!  We did some minor sleep-training (I like to think of it as sleep-helping) which has done wonders for our quality of life.  While we were in the US, he fought sleep like it was his job.  We would wrap him up (so he wouldn’t get his hands in his face and wake himself up), and carry and bounce him around while he fought us every step of the way.  When he finally almost succumbed, we’d drape a burp cloth over his face to shut out any stimulation, and gingerly lay him down, hoping he wouldn’t wake back up and we’d have to repeat the whole process.

After two days of sleep-helping, we lay him down awake in his bed, give him his pacifier, tuck him in his cozy duvet, and give him his ducky, and way more times than not, he’ll just go right to sleep all on his own.  Of course, I wonder if he was ready for this sooner, and we could’ve maybe done this while still in the US, but I just put it out of my mind because…we didn’t, and maybe he wasn’t ready anyway.  But this is seriously, a vast improvement–to just lay him down for a nap instead of making a big process out of it…it’s wonderful!  He’s also started to go to bed around 7-8 in the evening, which is great because it means more time for Andreas and I to be together, which I’ve missed so much since Theo’s been born.

So, all-in-all, everything is going great!  We’re headed to Andreas’s parents’ for Christmastime, and I’m excited for Theo to spend time with this part of his family, too (and excited to see them, myself!).

Here’s some photo-highlights of our time in the US, and Theo from 2-almost four months!

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Headed Back

We’re leaving for the US tonight!  Well, technically tomorrow, since we leave the house at (wait for it)… 2 in the morning.  Not particularly good flight-purchasing on our part, but oh well.  We’re getting our suitcases packed, taking last showers, giving last baths, and making sure we have everything.  I’m surprisingly calm about the packing (I’m usually one to have lists and lists and take days and days to pack.  This time, we started two days before we leave).  I’m so calm, and not worried about forgetting anything, that it makes me really worried that I’m forgetting things.

I’m really excited to see my family again.  Excited to show Theo off to his Nana and to go back to my childhood home that always brings up memories with every corner I turn, every book I lift off the shelf, every crack and cranny in the decades-old farmhouse.  To be honest, I’m also super duper excited to go to an American supermarket again–and see all of the products that were once so familiar and that I’m now used to being without.  I’m excited to be in secret awe over the sheer size and selection–and to take my time walking down the cereal aisle.  A whole aisle.  Just for cereal.  An aisle that’s nearly the size of the whole grocery store about a block away from our little Copenhagen apartment.

But at the same time that I’m eager to go home, I’m nervous.  What if it’s not as good as I remember?  What if I’ve forgotten all the irritating things, and only remember the good ones?  And the biggest worry-cloud looming over the horizon: what if Theo screams the whole way there?  Now, I know that a baby probably won’t scream for 14 hours straight (not counting the 4 hour car ride home), but…still.  I also realize that there’s nothing we can do now.  If it’s bad, it’s bad, and it’ll be over in not that long.  But…still.

In positive news, we’re nearly done packing, and I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything important yet.  We’ve also been practicing with the ring sling I got a couple of weeks ago, and he seems to be used to it now (and I’m better at adjusting it, which was definitely the biggest problem in the beginning).  So I’m hoping that airport security goes smoothly, and that (pleasepleasepleaseplease) that the flight had another baby bassinet left that we can have (otherwise we’re stuck in the two middle seats in a row of four and…well, I don’t have to tell you why that would be bad).

I’m also a bit nervous about being homesick.  That might sound ridiculous…seeing as I’m going home…but to be honest, that’s not really what I see it as anymore.  It’s my parents’ house.  It’s my childhood home.  But it’s not really home.  Denmark is home.  Denmark with bike lanes and tiny grocery stores everywhere, pretty cemeteries and public transportation.  I live in Denmark.  My son is Danish.  And I know I’m going to lie in bed at least one night, thinking about lying in our IKEA bed in our tiny apartment, with the sweet wooden kitchen and ridiculously small shower.  But then, I realized that that’s okay.  Because I’ll have something to look forward to when we get back–familiarity.  I know I’ll be sad to leave my family, not knowing when I’ll see them again, and any homesickness I develop back in the good old USA will soften that blow.

We’ve been eating all the odds and ends that we could from the fridge (for instance, I had some whole wheat macaroni, herbed cream cheese, fresh mozzerella, and soy-hamburger all mixed together for lunch).  We’re hand-washing the dishes instead of filling the dishwasher, and charging all of our electronics.  We’re ready…and we’re excited!

Theo's excited, too!

Theo’s excited, too!

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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And … Breathe Out

I did it!

I passed my Danish test, with two tens and a twelve, good enough to be able to move on to the university-prep Danish class!  I still feel like it could hardly be over already, but I’m so, so relieved that it is.  The oral exam went well.  Better than I expected, although I came close to getting a lower grade because of my pronunciation of the weird Danish vowels (especially “ø”).  But I got my ten, and all is well!

I’m pretty sure I feel even more relief than I did when my finals were over in college.  Now all I have to do is get ready for the baby, and wait!

But I was thinking today how grateful I am for the Danish classes I had.  They were free (paid for by the state) and I learned so, so much in the five months that I was enrolled.  In the last class I was in, especially, I felt like I really made friends, and even though we might not stay really close, it gave me a taste of what having a normal life here was like.  I know it’ll happen someday, and having a glimpse into it now was really encouraging!  And who knows? Maybe we will stay friends!

There isn’t so much other news, since I’ve mostly been worrying about and preparing for my exam.  We’re starting to get more ready for the baby, taking a trip to IKEA, buying some cloth diapers (both the wiping-up-spit-up and the actually-used-for-diapers kinds) and starting to check things off of the “baby list”

I also made dirt cake, which is kind of a big deal.  Andreas said he probably wouldn’t eat much of it, since last time he tried it, he didn’t like it.  I held back my horrified gasp, and made half a recipe (which is a good idea, even if he was planning on eating a lot of it) and when he had his taste, he couldn’t get enough.  Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately, for me) he has allergies, and I made it with regular milk and cream, since he wasn’t planning on indulging, so he can’t have much.  But I can.  And it’s great.  When I got home from my test today, I let myself eat as much of it as I felt like! (which was two servings)!

So now that I’m finished with my Danish classes, I’m trying to make sure I organize my life a little bit more.  I’m going to try going to an international parents’ group I found on meetup (they have a coffee get-together every week for pregnant women and new parents), and I also found a knitting group that meets in a baby thrift store which I’m working up the nerve to try to go to.  I also have a half-finished puzzle on the coffee table.  The goal is to finish it before the baby comes, but what I didn’t consider when I started it is that it’s a lot harder to bend over/sit on the floor/reach the coffee table in general when you’re heavily pregnant.  But I can’t just leave it half finished or *gasp* take what I’ve done apart, so I’d best get to work on it!

In regards to photo-a-day June…well, on the afternoon of June 1st, I looked to see what the day’s topic was.  It was “morning.”  Seriously?  On the first day?  That didn’t bode well, and I haven’t really done much of it, but I have been more conscious about taking some pictures, so I’ll make sure to include some in my next post (I promise!!).  I would include a couple this time but…you know…I’m already sitting down, and my camera is in the other room so…you’ll just have to wait.

 

June 10th? Seriously?

It’s June 10th.  I can’t believe it’s already June 10th.  There’s nothing especially special about the date or anything, it just seems like all of a sudden it’s summer and not spring, and my exams are closer to being over than they are to having started, and also, my due date is in less than two months.  So there’s that.

My little sister is making her super long car trip with my parents over to Louhelen today, which reminded me that five years ago today, I was making the same trip, in the same car.  But back then, I had no idea that in just a couple of months, I’d be meeting the man I’d get to have a big ol’ crush on, fall in love with, marry, and quickly get started on a family with.  I was totally ignorant to how happy I was going to end up being, or how exciting (at times) and boring (at other times) and always really lovely our future was going to be.  I’m actually slightly secretly (well, not so secretly anymore, I guess) hoping the baby will be born on the five-year anniversary of when we met (August 11th) just because I’m a sucker for things like that.

In other, not as sentimental, news, my written exam went well.  As I explained last time, Denmark has a 12-scale grading system, which goes from -03 to 12 (-03, 00, 02(first passing grade), 04, 07, 10, and 12) and I had to get tens in both sections to go on to the university-prep level Danish class.  I got a 10 in the writing section, and a 12 in the reading-comprehension, and to be honest, I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get a 12 in writing, because I’m that kind of nerd who was afraid of getting a four, but was secretly hoping for a 12 anyway.  But the point is that I passed with scores good enough to go on, so as long as I do well next Monday in my oral exam, I’ll be all set!

I’ve been working on my presentation, but got sick (again!) yesterday, which led to napping and not working on my presentation.  I’m back at it again, doing innumerable practice runs, and sneezing every few sentences, which throws my timing all off (it has to be two minutes long).  I’m also suffering from a constant layer of anxiety that won’t go away until next Monday at around 2 pm when I’m DONE.

The oral exam goes like this: Part One: student gives a two-minute monologue on a pre-assigned topic (mine is Crafting in Denmark- Tradition and Renewal, which sounds really boring, but was a gem in my eyes!).  Then three minutes are devoted for the examiner to ask student questions about said topic.  Part Two: Student randomly draws one of three topics (we don’t know what they are ahead of time) and is then given a couple of pictures that relate to the topic, which they have to then describe.  Then they spend the next four minutes answering questions about the topic.

It could go smoothly enough, and I’m obviously really hoping it does, but honestly I’m really freaked out about the second part, mostly.  It’s just so up to chance, and after looking at sample topics from previous years’ exams, I’m afraid of getting something like “crime and punishment in Denmark” or “surveillance” which I really don’t know how to talk about in English, let alone Danish.  So if anyone remembers, cross your fingers for me next Monday.

Anyway, the rest of June is pretty full, event-wise.  We have a non-baptism baptism to go to (basically just a baby-party, and who doesn’t like a baby-party?!), my test, Baha’i events, and in the two free-ish weekends, we have to start getting stuff ready for the baby because I can sense a panic attack right around the corner if we don’t “get on” that soon.  I think I’m beginning to feel the pressure after a recent growth spurt.  Andreas and I both felt like I stayed about the same size for a good month and a half, but we knew that a change was just around the corner, and boy were we right.  When I saw the photos from this week’s “belly picture,” I was pretty taken aback.  We don’t have any full-length mirrors in the apartment, and my view from “up above” is quite skewed, so I hadn’t realized I’d gotten quite this big:

Seven Months

Now that’s a lot of belly.  Two months to go!  Hopefully I get a bit of a break before the next growth spurt, because this guy’s getting heavy to cart around.