Monday, June 30, 2008

The difference between you and Mom

You're both computer people. Mom sits in front of the computer almost all day.

And what do I do?

You leave the computer when we say we are hungry.

potty emergencies

we were on the train/metro on our way to the airport to depart for barcelona. about 5 metro stops from the airport, the urgent potty call came. there was a sincerely pained look and near tears. so, husband gets off the metro with sabin 3 stops from the airport, thinking that they can just hop on the next one and be about 5-10 minutes behind us. karoline, mathilde and i go on and go check in. i didn't think they'd let us check husband and sabin in as well without seeing the whites of their eyes, but this is the land of common sense and it was the gold line, plus i had their passports, so i checked all 5 of us in.

meanwhile, no sign of husband and sabin. then, a call from husband, something happened on the metro line (great timing) and it wasn't running anymore. there were no taxis in sight and less than an hour 'til our spanair flight was due to leave. panic! the announcements said it might be up and running again within 10 minutes. we were feeling the pain of having produced someone with a bladder the size of a pea.

anyway, 20+ minutes later, they did make it as the metro started to move again and we went in and straight to our gate, so no time for perfume shopping in the duty free. :-( we had a layover in madrid and at least got a candy fix there.

by the way, she isn't afraid to pee in a ditch, you just have to help a lot more than you do with the boys. :-)

Today's run down (rundown)

I've had the camera safely and stupidly packed in its bag for the past two days. But I'll admit, I don't think to get it out when we're just hanging out at home. That's what we did for the first half of today. Then the Tremendous Troika departed for the t-ball picnic with Steve. I spent some quality time back at home for an hour or so and then fetched just Sabin for an afternoon of shopping.

First we hit the Gap. And lucky Sabin, the entire girls' section was on sale! She's loaded up now on clothes for her summer abroad. We're still unable to find the belt that was supposedly packed. And I forced her to buy pants that are slightly big, so we'll need to go out in search of a belt in the next couple of days. Anyway, our shopping continued at Lindale Mall at a place called "Justice; Just for Girls." The place was a little pricey, so we picked up only a swimming suit and a beach towel/terry bag combo thing there. We moved on to Kohl's for some tops as the Gap cache was largely bottoms. That was a good move, too, because there were many tops to choose from. Something I learned today. Girls clothing. It looks like a top, but put it ON the girl and you find that it's a dress. Very interesting.

Sabin has a tiny bladder. I'm finding that there are restrooms in many unexpected places. Like that shrimp and cell phone store just off the interstate in Chicago. They have a restroom not usually accessible to the public. And I guess it's no surprise that the sushi restaurant has a restroom, but I was surprised that we needed it TWICE during one meal. Really looking forward to that long, long drive to SoDak. I'm used to boys who can pee in the ditch, if necessary. Sabin's cries for needing to go potty are just so sad. With my boys, I get a casual mention and then a few minutes before the whining starts. When it does, it's usually pretty mild. Sabin opens up with extremely urgent needing to pee. This is a puzzling and somewhat unsettling experience for me. I actually thought she was going to pee her pants (and my backseat) when we were in Chicago.

Anyway, we had sushi together and then fetched the boys. Came home and continued reading the BFG by Roald Dahl. I'm thinking we'll probably finish this chapter book and then send it home with Sabin. She missed the first third of the book and you might like to read the whole thing together.

From Steve's house tonight, we brought home the Lego container ship. That's great, because Indiana Yones Lego guy might want to ship some bulk goods somewhere. Hey, these Legos are interchangeable! Fun, fun! And look here, some bare space on your floor, Anemonica, right over there in the corner behind the door. Oh, well it was bare floor just a few minutes ago. Owen, Finny is playing with your Lego!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

the view from poppelvej

here's what we see on the skype calls:

a bit out of sequence

these pix are a bit out of sequence, but i only downloaded them from the camera today. they're the pix taken at the airport before sabin's flight to chicago last thursday.

all ready to go with her important papers in the pocket around her neck.
she was pretty proud of this!

relaxing and enjoying a snack in the gold lounge before departure
as you can see, she's pretty at home there.

she had no qualms at all about the long flight ahead of her. as the time drew closer, however, her mother got more and more nervous. i was rather upset in the end because i was getting mixed messages from various SAS employees who were busily trying to get people to accept a bump from an overbooked flight. i was concerned that i hadn't met the SAS employee who would follow sabin and help her on the flight. in the end, however, we met the very nice stewardess who took sabin on the plane as nearly the last passenger. and the rest, as it were, is history...

Make the whining stop!

I'm planning to give all three children to Steve for a spell this afternoon. I have an appointment to do some recording and children not conducive to quiet and focused environment needed for such a task.

The complaints now are about the aircon. We don't have such a thing in Denmark and it makes my throat all gunky and it's not fun. I decided this morning that she's being put on a Zyrtec regimen during her gunky-throated stay in the US. It'll help her deal with the aircon irritation, too.

Jetlag... finally

Sabin has a sore throat. Aunt Monica is feeling rotten at consoling her. She's doing a little light coughing and I've given her a small amount of every medicine in the house. The complaints continued and I asked her what else I could do... rub her back, stroke her hair, put on pajamas & get comfy in a nest. The last one was bingo. So while she and I went to change into jamas and brush teeth and go potty, Finn climbed up into "her" bed and made that nest. He's been volunteering to help all evening.

Earlier today, we were on our way home from the pool when the complaints were listed again in the back seat. Finn said, "Man, you really have a lot of problems!" Sabin didn't see any humor.

Today wasn't all complaints. We went to Cherry Hill Pool and the big kids went down the big slides several times. Mostly, they played in the big sandbox, though, as it was really windy and getting in and out of the pool made one feel icy cold.

So we made a big trip to the grocery store and came home to have big plates of nachos. Before the kids ate, I set out on the table all of the nacho ingredients; seasoned ground beef, melty cheese, salsa, jalapenos, vidalia onions & fresh tomatoes. I was paying more attention to the webcam conversation between Sabin and Poppelvej when Owen climbed up to the table to get a head start on the meal. He ate a jalapeno. At first he was completely fine. But then he realized that his mouth was on fire. Started bawling. Drank all his milk and then mine. Finny got him a bottle of water then, which was gone about 7 minutes later. His tummy full of liquid, he was no longer hungry and left the table. Over in the living room, he rubbed an eye. More burning. More bawling. Poor kid. Anyway, he keeps running to the bathroom now and has been eating some super-safe saltines.

Perhaps tomorrow, I'll serve a really mild meal; mac & cheese for the boys, some sushi for me & Sabin.

No picture posting today, they don't allow cameras at the pool here.

The good news is, Sabin has given in to her whiny, jetlagging and dry throated self and has now fallen asleep in her nest. The movie is almost over. The rest of us will do the same in just a few minutes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lego, Chlorine and 20 hours with no sleep!

The eagle has landed.

Our Sabin arrived on time last night at Terminal 5 of Chicago's O'Hare airport. She was totally bleary-eyed and complained of no sleep during the flight. Nonetheless, we rushed into our bathing suits upon arrival back at the hotel and went for a little splash before starvation set in. We ordered some pizza to the room and after that was devoured, we put together some Lego. The Indiana "Yones" sets have gone over extremely well. Sabin is an expert at following the directions and she's a little dismayed as to the disorganized approach the boys take. You'll remember, of course, that Husband had to help put together the big Lego container ship projects of last year. My boys throw away the directions first and cut open all the bags.

Day Two began with more swimming. Finny and I worked Legos while the big kids jumped in the deep end with their floaties again and again. We then packed things up and attended a buffet breakfast in the hotel. Sabin ate a huge pile of scrambled eggs and Finn ate many sausages. Owen ate everyone's French toast and the waitress admired my tribe and asked our story. After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and drove into the city. We parked near Navy Pier and went to the children's museum there. That was pretty good, and then we left to find some cold treats. You can see by the picture that the big kids ate slushes with a ton of food coloring. After the slushes, everyone played in the water fountain outside of Navy Pier (the reason everyone in the picture is sopping wet.)

At 4pm on Friday, we joined the Eisenhower Expressway only to have a potty emergency. If you know anything about downtown Chicago, you know that there are no bathroom opportunities there. I pulled over at a place selling cell phones and snacks and begged them to use their not-for-public restroom. They obliged and I bought some things from them with gushing thanks. We got back in the car and everyone but the driver fell fast asleep.

4 & a half hours later, we're in Cedar Rapids. Instead of Sabin adjusting to our time zone, my boys are now staying up extremely late to meet her in the middle. There are cries now of hunger, so I must wrap up and find a proper late night snack.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

play, sleep, color

when sabin woke up this morning, chipper and excited, she announced that it would be easy peasy to make the 7-8 hours of the flight go by.  she would simply "play, sleep, color" her way through it.

our journey will begin shortly. the next post about sabin will come from your side of the atlantic!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

bags packed

the bags are packed, all but the last couple of things that are in the dryer.  the onboard backpack contains prezzies, charged phone and iPod, plenty of pens and a little book to write in. so we are ready to roll. sabin's totally excited and not the least bit nervous or worried. i am trying to feel the same way. if we're lucky, we can even sleep in tomorrow morning, since we don't have to head to the airport 'til about noon. we'll get up, shower, fix ourselves and then ryan & else, who will miss sabin almost as much as we will, will take us over to the train station. and then the trip will begin!

Last Minute Planning

Would like to submit temporary name change of this blog from "Just Know Where You Are" to "Just Know Where Your Children Are." Not sure I can very accurately keep track of all three of our children for nearly all of one month. You realize that three kids is like 50% more than two kids, right?

We have the following things planned:
* Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
* t-ball game attendance (Finn, Monday, Wednesday)
* Swimming pool attendance (loads)
* Bike rides (we can find an open bike trail)
* trip to So Dak in tiny Toyota Yaris (July 1 - 6)
+ fishing
+ boating
+ inner tubing
- pulled behind boat
- down at Wheeler with Grandma (we'll make a long, long, choo choo train)
+ swimming
+ sand castle building (Snake Creek, not Wheeler, no sand - just rocks at Wheeler)
+ rock skipping down at Wheeler
+ Nachtigal family reunion
+ video lottery machines entertain while Anemonica has beer with Grampa Ralph
+ kitty petting
+ garden tending with Grampa Ralph
* Daily swimming lessons (July 7 - 18)
* Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha (July 12 - 13)
* Build-A-Bear Workshop at Coral Ridge Mall (if it's not under water)
* Nintendo play (Wii & DS)

I promise to make daily blog entries to log Sabin's first big summer away from home. We'll even post some videos somewhere, too. I expect our days to fly by. Before she knows it, she'll be on the plane back home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

don't forget

  1. sabin loves to watch cooking shows.
  2. and gardening programs.
  3. and hannah montana.
  4. and she needs medicine on her foot morning and night.
  5. and if you can find one of those shows where two teams try to guess what a property sold for, she likes that too.

getting a bit nervous now

can't wait to see what these monkeys will get up to.
jens hage is absolutely awesome!
and they look pretty good on my iMac screen .

but i must admit that i woke up in the night worrying about sabin's trip. i saw plane crashes, car accidents, insane people with guns who shoot up shopping centres in your land, hospital waiting rooms and felt the panic of being a good 12 hours away should any of that happen. which it won't, but bad things seem possible in the wee hours of the morning.

sabin's just totally excited and happy. but i'm really glad i'm going to the airport with her and that i won't leave 'til she's safely on her plane and airborne. she's going to be instructed to switch on her phone and call me as soon as she's in chicago and they say she can turn it on. and then she'll call me again when she gets out to anemonica. 

after that, it'll be up to you to drive carefully and stay away from maniacs in malls.

Monday, June 23, 2008

sabin's skills

skill #1: she can lick bowls
(she's been honing this one for years, as you can see)

skill #2: she can stir things

skill #3: unafraid to pick up bugs

skill #4: gluing, taping, coloring, cutting

skill #5: eating obscene amounts of cucumber

skill #6: she makes pesto

skill #7: knows the recipe to brun sauce

skill #8: is a good little breakfast eater

skill #9: can ensure that every inch of the floor is covered in lego

skill #10: able to wheedle band-aids out of the neighbors

Sunday, June 22, 2008

flickr meme

i've been seeing this meme all over the place and so i finally decided to give it a whirl.

what you do is answer these questions, using the search function in flickr:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. What is your favorite drink?

7. What is your dream vacation?

8. What is your favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. What is one word that describes you?

12. What is your Flickr name?

Then you do as follows:
Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr search.

Using only the first page of results, pick one image (this didn't prove possible for me, I must admit, I went to page 2 a couple of times)

Copy and paste URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

note: i cheated on the first one, as all of the "julie" ones were something i couldn't really identify with. also, it takes much longer than you think. at least for me, who spends little or no time on flickr. i like the mosaic tool tho', it's cool. have a go if you have the time!

overheard at poppelvej 24

mathilde:  sabin, aren't you going to get bored on that long flight to the US?

sabin:  i'm not going to be FLYING the plane.

Friday, June 20, 2008

6 days to go

now it's less than a week 'til this face arrives.

things you should know:
  1. Sabin can't really take lands where it's too hot.
  2. She has to put medicine on her foot twice a day.
  3. They may not be able to produce enough cucumbers there to keep her happy.
  4. She's used to good chocolate.
  5. Also for breakfast.
  6. We will be sending Danish books with her. She will have to read them to us via webcam.
  7. We do not want her coming back with a dorky Iowa accent. The one she already has is dorky enough.
  8. She probably hasn't combed her hair properly since you left.
  9. She's probably gonna wanna buy shoes.
  10. And a build-a-bear or rather a build-a-rabbit.

Countdown Continues

Are you doing your best to keep Sabin awake late at night so she'll get adjusted to the time zone ahead of her trip?

We rode our bikes past the pool where our swimming lessons are supposed to begin two weeks from today. It's most surely a disaster area. I'll find out if there are lessons available at another pool tomorrow if someone at the recreation department will answer the phones. Am starting to get the impression that city employees are busy doing other things toward cleaning up the mess. Am also anxious to hear about the condition of the main public library. We really have a nice one and it had 9 feet of water in it just a week ago.

Am happy to report that Owen's t-ball madness will be over once Sabin arrives. Madness for sure! We've already had three games this week and we've got one under lights on Saturday night with a score board and everything.

Send a book or two that I can check out from your library. I just finished The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and liked it very much.

This licorice I need to acquire. Must it taste of real licorice? Or will the strawberry twists we called Twizzlers suffice? I assume not. If it needs to be real licorice, can we arrange to breathe the nasty licorice smell somewhere far, far away from Anemonica? I don't do licorice.

Does Sabin have any skills? Folding laundry, washing dishes, cooking, cleaning? The boys asked me today if it's okay if they pillow fight with Sabin. Has she braced herself for her cousins? They're BOTH boys, is she aware? She'll come home with horror stories, I'm sure. We'll try to photograph all of it.

Speaking of photographs, I'll leave you with a jump shot from Owen's birthday party in the park.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

countdown to pookalakka: one week to go

countdown to pookalakka

this toothy grin will be on your doorstep (if we think broadly and consider o'hare to be within the realm of your doorstep) in a week.  she's counting down the days and is very anxious to pack.  we've secured prezzies for "aunt" and owen and finn.  

you have to prepare yourself in a number of ways:
  1. practice "yo mama" routine.
  2. get ready to "pick a card" (what's going on in the pic above), even if it's not cards but bits of licorice that can be split into 3.
  3. find supply of licorice for small danish palate.
  4. stock up on cucumbers (bearing in mind that she ate 3 WHOLE long (english) cucumbers the other night)
  5. stock up on tomatoes
  6. stock up on cauliflower and brun sauce (this is new, tonight at aspendos) steam the broccoli (oops, i mean cauliflower) and i will send brun sauce ingredients and recipe from neighbor Else.
  7. rubber sheets ('nuff said) and lice treatments (we'll do our best to send her lice free, but with the other parents at school doing NADA, i can't make guarantees) 
  8. word lists
  9. get ready to do fun stuff with thick, long hair
  10. book manicure and pedicure

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the world's most rugged greenhouse

we're building a greenhouse out front of our house.
it will have the same steep roof as our house.
we're trying to use as many recycled/repurposed materials as we can.

i made this brick mosaic floor in one end, using the leftover cut-up bricks from the building of our addition.  i hated for them to go to waste.

it's made of extremely thick beams and is dug into the ground in order to avoid problems with heights and distance from the property line and such things.

there are two beds built along the sides.
the sunken area (where i paved with the bricks) will house a little table and 2 chairs so you can sit in among the plants.

we're recycling these panels which used to be the terrace on the back of our house.

here is one of the panels in place.  we actually have two tomato plants already planted in the greenhouse, but otherwise there won't be that much there this year.
i did plant all of dahlias there (at bit late), so there should be flowers late summer.
next year there will be veggies of all kinds.
down at the end in the two corners we'll plant a peach and a kiwi tree, just for fun.

our yard, right now

it's time to make hyldeblomst saft!!

having fun with the Nikon when the sun peeks through.

Friday, June 13, 2008

thinking happy thoughts

i know it's very nerve wracking with the flooding in CR, so i thought i'd post some happy thoughts pictures.  my beautiful new iMac, husband hard at work (with safety gear in place) on the greenhouse, and one of my beautiful peonies.  i hope things are less scary soon!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Splashpad fun

Another thing Sabin can look forward to this summer while she's in iowa.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things Sabin can expect when she arrives in Iowa

Much, much humidity. Lots of trips to the ice cream shops.

And jump shots. You get nice ones with the continuous shot mode on the nifty new camera.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What the new camera has been up to...

My usual subjects of photos have been in Minnesota for a few days, so I found this big bulldog yesterday in downtown Cedar Rapids. I rode the Danish bike with the baskets to the downtown farmer's market. It was a zoo of people and I also snapped quite a few of my friend, Karol, which I've posted on Facebook to share with her.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

setting an example

you'll have this to look forward to this summer. intentional placing of ice cream and/or whipped cream on nose in public places. she's gonna teach your boys some bad habits, i fear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

sailing away

we're off to oslo late this afternoon. write lots while i'm gone!

home on saturday morning.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

all is well

just an update on the ranting post wherein i made lists of lists of ways to torture husband because he couldn't/wouldn't come to oslo this week.

well, his boss came to his senses (without the help of the armenians i was going to sic on him) and it's all ironed out and husband will come to oslo on the crown of scandinavia with sabin and me tomorrow afternoon. we will sail, eat too much at the buffet and have breakfast while sailing into the oslo fjord the next morning. then, i will go to work and husband and sabin will play all day in oslo until it's time to come to the family summer party at my work in høvik.

the weather is supposed to be glorious. we'll be home again on saturday morning when rafy, the good polish guy will show up and he and husband will build the writing house. hopefully in one go.

Monday, June 2, 2008

it's all about the meatballs

the real reason we go to ikea...


i just totally cannot get enough of this song!

thanks for introducing me to sara bareilles, sis!