Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catch Up

I have been so busy I need to catch up on this blogging thing. I'll try to write more - no promises. Andrea is getting bigger... and she laughs. : )

My mUm (mom-in-law) came last weekend with her cousin Peter who is from Australia. They were both only here for a few days, but it was a great visit and we had fun with them. I even earned big bonus mUm points by feeding her her favorite fish, plaice - which I remembered she liked from the last summer when they visited us here... what a thoughtful and caring daughter-in-law I am!!

Then my parents returned from their ten day cruise... They went to Russia, Poland, Sweden, Estonia... and whatever other countries are in between those ones. : ) My dad had to go back to work so he left and my mom gets to stay until the first week of October and by then I'm sure she will welcome the long quiet plane ride home to her nice quiet house.

We've taken my mom (Nana) to the grocery stores, the dump, the deer park, the girls school and gymnastics and swimming lessons... We went downtown for lunch and shopping today. The weather has been perfect and we have a car full time now that Paul has started riding his bike to his new, closer, office building. As soon as it pours rain I'll take her on a two bus ride to and from school so she can see what all my complaing was about before.

My mom is also learning how to go grocery shopping Danish style. Since we've gone to the grocery store every day for the past week I'm sure she'll get better in no time. She has learned that shopping involves looking at pictures on the food and just guessing at what you are buying sometimes. I'm pretty good with most things but I'll post some pictures of things we have eaten last week even though we are still unsure of what they really are...

I do know the potatoey-looking thing is a real live yam/sweet potato. It tasted like the ones I'm used to that grow in the cans. My friend Jill made me eat it. :) She also made me eat a white carrot thing that I can't think of the name... I felt somewhat ignorant of vegetables so I told her about jicamas (pronounced hick-a-ma's) and since she didn't know what that was I felt better about myself. The other green thing was interesting mix of brocolli and cauliflower I think.

Looks like Oatmeal... Feels like Oatmeal.... Definitly does NOT taste like Oatmeal.

I thought this was turkey. But I'm pretty sure it's not. :)

She is still learning the best way to carry 18 one liter milk/juice cartons. Practice makes perfect!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cat chaser

My son is suprisingly loving to our cats. He gives them kisses and pets them gently. However, the last few days Scotty has decided that chasing both the cats around the house is fun. He is quite upset when they escape outside through the cat door. ...So now he locks the cat door, they can't get outside, and his game of chase continues.

I'm not sure how this picture relates to cats but I found it amusing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Message from Restaurant

Okay my "International Friends"... sound this out and then tell me what it says. :) It is from a Danish answering machine of a restaurant that I called trying to reservations for that night.

"Tu have a fuling elvant mulhour einskul restaurant a bostult test tunt take away tik it."

HA HA! I just spelled it how it sounded to me. :) I listened to this message for a good six minutes thinking I was on hold and someone would be with me shortly... Then I got bored and started writing out how the Danish words sounded since the message was repeating itself over and over again without stopping. This caused me to actually pay attention to the words closely and I think I heard the words: event, undschool, restaurant, and take away.

I guessed at the word event.
I know undschool is sorry.
restaurant and take away are easy.
and after take away they said "tik it" which I guessed was "that's it". :)

So I think they had an event and the restaurant was closed, but you can get take away and that's it.

Good thing I listened to that for 10 minutes... Then I hung up and went to cook dinner.

I've even taken my phone to the neighbors before and had them listen to others' answering machines because I don't know what they are saying. It's really quite a pain. When I call places I'm not sure if they are closed, or I'm supposed to wait, or maybe even supposed to call another number or push a button! Even my own cell phone... when I call to get my messages it tells me something in Danish, but I'm not sure what - so I just don't get them. I have 23 unread messages. :)

"Po Balubut" update: I said my "po balubut" word today as I was paying for my groceries. I was so suprised how competent I felt! Then she asked me if I wanted my reciept. (I know this only because reciept is said something like "tilling or killing".) I answered with a Danish "Nie Tak" (no thank you). I think this qualifies as an entire conversation in Danish!!

Another "Po Balubut" note: I have been practicing this word for a few days now so in addition to Scotty knowing it I have inadvertantly starting calling Andrea it as a little nickname. :) It is a fun phrase to say - so she's my "Little Po Balubut". Paul came home yesterday and asked what I was calling our daughter and I had to admit, "Little No Cash Back".

AND "these things" ---> " " are quotation marks, Inverted Commas are dumb.

That's all I have for tonight...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Waiting for mUm.

My mother-in-law is coming today, mUm. Yay. She has been traveling all over Europe visiting relatives... not sure exactly where so I'll have to report back about that one. She and her travel partner, her cousin from Australia, will be here for only a couple nights but at least she'll get to see little Andrea and the rest of our herd.

mUm will get to live some typical days with us. She and Canada Papa were here last summer for two weeks so they have seen the sights already; although we may need to take her cousin out. But now mUm will get to go grocery shopping, watch swimming lessons, try to pay our gymnastics bill, go to Andrea's doctor's appointment, and other fun activities! I think I'll also take her on a bus ride to Park Alle and buy her a Danish cup of the. :) I think it's hilarious that tea is called "the". I have no idea how it's pronounced... probably tea.

Speaking of pronouncing, I learned a new Danish phrase. "no cash back" Po BaLuBut I'll try it out tomorrow and impress mUm. I hat buying my groceries because... ugh it's complicated. Okay - Pay attention:

- When you buy something at Safeway they sometimes ask if you want cash back and it would typically be "Would you like cask back?" Five wonderful, distinct words. Here when I buy my groceries they always say "boboluuluubutt" to me. I had no idea what it was but eventually figured out they were asking about getting cash back, so I would say "No". (Assuming they were asking if I wanted cash back). After I said No then they would just stare at me for a long time... Sometimes they would say something else and I'd stammer though my "Oh, I'm sorry, I only speak English." and they would just move on.

HAHA - Turns out that here they ask "Do you want to only pay the amount.", opposed to "Do you want cash back?"... So if you don't want cash back you should say "Yes." But I was saying "No" and they were waiting to hear how many kroners I wanted back. UGH. So I eventually started saying Yes and felt really proud of myself. BUT sometimes they didn't say the bolulubutt word... they would just look at me... For a while I tried to ignore them of become involved with a conversation with Scotty so they would know I'm a no-Danish speaking American.

THEN I learned I am supposed to say the bolulubutt word first and then they will continue on with the transaction. SO I enlisted the help of some Danish speakers and 10 minutes later I can say Po BaLuBut. WHEEEEE... it means "on amount"

I also have another phrase that I've known for a while - it means "I think you speak very good Danish." I said it to Michaela the other day and she knew I was said the words: I, speak, good, and Danish! I was impressed she knew it. I guess I should be impressed I said it good enough for her to understand!

Okay - I'm off to re-tape our Welcome signs... for the 30th time!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Early present for Michaela

Hotel pictures from Copenhagen. I did take pictures of the actual city of Copenhagen, but these are much cuter.

We also gave Michaela an early birthday present today; or at least told her what one of her presents were. She and Paul are going to go to London, on her actual birthday of October the 10th, for a tour of the Harry Potter sights! Then we will all leave for Italy the day after they return. Once again... a little reminder that my birthday was celebrated at the kitchen table with McDonalds.

She is beyond excited and is planning everything she wants to see. I think for her birthday party she will be having a "Harry-Potter-athon" and invite a few friends over to watch ALL the movies... o h j o y.

Hilde - I think this Harry Potter business is your fault... if you weren't so nice and you didn't loan us all those books we wouldn't be so obsessed with Mr. Potter. She has memorized the sorting hat song from the first book but can't remember what 7 x 8 is!

Ingrid - I feel WORSE now about the pacifier!! :) Poor little Scotty is hanging in there. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The cat did it.

Today I purposely destroyed one of the few things that brings my son comfort and happiness. ...and then I blamed it on the cat.

I cut off the top of his pacifier.

Scotty I am so very sorry. I love you very much but you are three now and the pacifier needs to go. As you solemnly pointed out today your pacifier "is not working" anymore and I have to confess that it is my fault. When you looked at me with your big, sad brown eyes I felt like the single worst person in the world. I know you assumed that I, as your mommy, could fix the pacifier and make you feel better... but I can't. I'm sorry Scotty. : (

So Scotty, I'm sorry I broke your pacifier and I'm sorry I lied to you about it. The cat is innocent.

There is a new toy car for you on your train table... and some more yummy chocolate milk in the fridge... and tomorrow we will go to McDonalds for a cheeseburger... and a cookie.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Andrea the American

Here is Andrea's picture at the Embassy of the United States. (USA #1) :) As you can see, she is extremely excited to be an American.

She is already one month old and seems so much bigger already! She spends more time awake now looking around with her big blue eyes that are checking everything out.

Currently we all like little Andrea and plan on keeping her... We'll see what happens when she turns three like our wonderful little Scotty Monster ...and then there's eight like precious Sierra ...and then comes the charming almost-ten year old Michaela. At what age to my children start to be nice to me?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pay Toll or Feed a Small Country for a Day...

I know I've complained about expensive things here before but I think I've found an all time winner. (5 kr = $1)

Now I'm not that old, but I remember when the toll on the East Bay bridge to San Fransico was $1.00, then it went up to $2.00; and now I think it's up to $4.00 or $5.00 now...

The toll on the bridge to Copenhagen is $41.00 DOLLARS!!!!!!

This isn't a particulary special bridge; nor is it all that long. It's only one level, just a couple lanes in each direction... nothing all that impressive or out of the ordinary. Maybe I'm missing something, perhaps there is something really unique about this bridge, but FORTY ONE DOLLARS!??! I'd think for that much they should have chauffours waiting to get in your car and drive you across the silly bridge while you sit in the backseat sipping champange!

$41.00 - Crazy...

Anyways we went to Copenhagen - across that bridge - Actually my parents rode the train with the three "big" kids and Paul, Andrea, and I drove - across that bridge. We did the sightseeing thing Saturday and Sunday morning then my parents left for their 10 day cruise and we spent the rest of the day at Tivoli. We stayed an extra night and got Andrea's passport and citizenship all worked out ...hopefully. I am supposed to get her passport in 10 days so we'll see what/who I see first: the passport, or the parents. :)


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nana & Papa Arrived!

I did forget to mention that my parents did arrive safely. Sorry... Nana and Papa got here late Monday night and were happy to go to bed after traveling for over 24 hours. So they did make it and are now adjusting to the nine hour time difference. :)

We celebrated Scotty's birthday on Tuesday so Nana and Papa could watch the fun. He opened all his presents and was most happy to have his own set of tools so he can fix things and screw in little screws. He loves his hammer and knows how to use the saw. :) He also loves his new car road rug.

Wednesday we drove to Billund to go to Legoland. We were a little concerned the weather would be terrible since it POURED the whole way there but it turned out okay. There was a few downpours throughout the day but we managed to work around them and didn't get too wet; it wasn't even cold and the sun even came out a few times! So due to the less than ideal weather we had the park to ourselves and often rode rides 2 or 3 times without even getting off the ride! It was perfect!

Today (Thursday) my parents went to Den Gamel By, an old style town from long ago. We also did some shopping and they got to experience the crazy prices of Danish items. Nothing like buying a 5 dollar loaf of bread to make you appreciate Safeway!

My Special Accomplishment of the Day: I got Andrea's Danish birth certificate. It took some convincing for them to put her middle name in the middle name section instead of listing it as a second first name. I didn't understand the reasoning of why they didn't want to list it as a middle name but I eventually said "Can you just please do it?" ...and the nice lady did it. :) So I have my papers ready for Copenhagen tomorrow. The next major task is to take Andrea's passport pictures!! That should be interesting!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Need Passport!

Oops. While starting to plan out our Italy trip last night I realized my newest daughter doesn't have a passport. AHHHHH!!! ...and guess who will have to stay home with her if she can't go??! :)

During my fun filled seven hours at the wonderful Danish hospital giving birth, I wasn't asked to fill out any paperwork stating I had a child. I just showed up, told them I was having a baby, and then later left with an additional person in tow. (However, Andrea was assigned a Danish CPR number before the umbilical cord was cut. No exaggeration either. Too bad they can't provide epidurals as quickly as they can provide CPR#s.)

Anyways... I was supposed to register her at our local church. I found the church, filled out the forms, and mailed them in; but the forms did not ask for her name... (which is probably why up until now I have been secretly debating over changing it! AHH! Only Mom and mUm know that secret!)

ANYWAYS... I now need a Danish birth certificate *with her name on it*, but nobody in Denmark has asked for her name yet! (By the way, Her name has been confirmed as Andrea Noelle Happy.)

A N Y W A Y S... I can't take her to the US embassy without this Danish birth certificate and I really want to go to Italy in 6 weeks. (on the other hand... if I were to get an entire 7 days with JUST me and her and no other screaming kids - that may be a pretty good vacation too.)

So there is my problem that I hope I can solve. We are going to Copenhagen this weekend anyways so I hope to get an appointment for Monday. Since USA is #1 I'm sure they will be able to produce a passport in record time for us. :)

I'm off to go finish cleaning Michaela's room so my parents will have somewhere to sleep tonight!


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