Category Archives: Home Life

Raising feminist children

My new site idea is taking a lot longer to implement than I want, because of a lot of other junk going on, so I’m just gonna hop back in here and make a new post. Melaina over at Transatlantic Blonde has been nagging me to join her Feminist Friday. And I say nagging in the most loving way possible, because I know she knows that I actually do want to participate and actually do need some prodding to get around to doing it. 😉

Forgive me, as I’m using an app on my iPad to blog this, and I have never used it before, so I might not figure out how to add links and pretty stuff just yet, but here we go.

This week’s topic is on raising feminist children. I want to address something I’ve read many times that really bugs me. I’m talking about comments that go something like this, “I don’t want to stay home with my children because I don’t want them to think that women NEED to stay home.”

If you don’t want to or can’t stay home with your children, then fair enough. But if this is really your only reason for not doing it, I kinda have to WTF for a minute here. If you are a doctor, will your kids think women NEED to be doctors? Or that women NEED to work outside the home? OF COURSE NOT. Surely you do not honestly believe that your career choice (or non-career choice) is the deciding factor in what your children will believe is possible for women. Whether you stay home or not, there are many other things you’ll be doing to show your kids what is possible.

At the present time, I’m a SAHM. I don’t know how long that will last, due to many reasons, but anyway, it’s true now. But my girls see their aunts who have jobs, their grandmothers who are retired from jobs, their friends’ mothers, some of whom have jobs, had jobs, are looking for jobs…. We go out to museums, amusement parks, restaurants, doctors’ offices, supermarkets, and shops where women are visibly employed. I have to say, I do not stress at all that my girls will think they have no choice but to stay home with their children in the years to come.

Actually, I am more worried that if they WANT to stay home, it won’t be an option. But perhaps that’s a topic for another day.

(There is something I do find myself having to work at, though, and that’s keeping other bias out of my parenting. I mean little things like, when we were at a zoo, and my gut reaction was to say “ew!” at an ugly insect. But I realized I don’t want my daughter saying “ew!” just because I think it’s nasty. She might like insects, and that’s ok. So I try to remember to say “look at this!” instead. She can decide if it’s nasty for herself.)

All in Two Days’ Work (a.k.a. The Birth Story, Finally)

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Introducing…

Magdalena Rosario
“Maggie Rose”
Fach-Pedersen

October 13, 2010
4:31pm CEST
Herlev, Denmark

3440 grams / 7 lb. 9 oz.
52 cm / 20.5 in

I felt pre-labor for about a week, with occasional moments where the contractions seemed strong enough and regular enough to be for real, but then I’d change positions and they’d peter out.

On the morning of the 12th, I woke up around 7 or so and thought I was having gas pains. I realized the gas pains were coming and going regularly, so I started timing them. I walked around, sat down, had some water, ate some breakfast… they just kept going. After a few hours, they hadn’t stopped and were getting stronger, but still weren’t bad. I was told since I was a VBAC to come in as soon as I knew they were real contractions, and not Braxton Hicks. I called the hospital and explained what I was feeling, and they said to come in.

Thomas left work and tried to call his dad to come get Dagmar, but he wasn’t answering. We took Dagmar with us on the bus to the hospital, which is just one stop away. We finally got a hold of him and he came and got her from us at the hospital.

(I’ve never given birth in an English-speaking country, so I don’t know if or how some things translate from Danish, but I hope you can bear with me!)

When I finally got checked into the fødemodtagelse, I was 3 cm dilated and fully effaced. I was thrilled! I had been through significantly less pain than with my early labor with Dagmar, but was further progressed. I was on a CTG for a while, and everything looked normal. The midwife said it was early labor and I should try walking around for an hour or so to see if I can get things going. There are some nice walking paths on the hospital grounds, so we bought some sandwiches on the way down and then went out there and walked around a bit.

I asked Thomas to take a picture of me while I could still smile, so he pulled out the camera and realized the Memory Stick wasn’t in it! He bussed back for it and I kept walking around until he got back. We got my picture and then we headed back inside.DSC00288.jpg

The same midwife checked me again, and said I was a bit more than 3, but I hadn’t changed much. I was still thrilled with this because I was progressing on my own and still feeling good. I was really irritated when she said, “you’ve just forgotten how much it has to hurt before they start working.” Firstly, it hurt way more last time and they still weren’t working. Secondly, I never said I was expecting more than I was getting. I came in because I was specifically told to! Not because I thought I’d be 10 cm after walking for an hour!

I was put on a CTG again and everything was still normal. There was a shift change and I was glad to see Ms. Killjoy go, but it took a long time for someone else to come in. We were wondering if we had been forgotten, but finally someone came. I hadn’t dilated more, so she suggested more walking around. We walked to the city center, had dinner, and walked back to the hospital. I had dilated a bit, but it was still very slow and the contractions were not strong. The midwife said we were basically just waiting for it to take off, so if we would rather wait at home, we could. I figured I had a better chance at getting a bit of sleep in my own bed, so home we went.DSC00296.JPG

We watched some Veronica Mars and then settled down for some sleep. When I woke up again, the contractions were definitely stronger, I felt so well-rested, I thought it must have been a long time, but I’d only been asleep for about an hour and a half! We timed my contractions for a bit and called the fødemodtagelse with an update to how things were going. They said it was up to me if I wanted to come in. I knew I would want pain relief soon, because the contractions were already requiring a lot of effort to get through, so I wanted to go in. We called a taxi this time.

About the same time I got there, another woman came in being pushed in a wheelchair and breathing heavily. Several people ran to her right away, and someone asked me if it was ok for them to see her first. I nodded. It felt like forever before someone was able to check me in. A couple of other women, obviously not struggling with contractions, were in the waiting area, and it was a bit awkward to be groaning and breathing and everything with an audience, but I didn’t really have a choice.

When I finally got called back, I wasn’t on the CTG long before being transferred to the fødegang. The midwife hoped to find me a room with a tub but they were all taken. She said a warm shower would have to do. Thomas held the shower head so I had nice, warm water on my back during contractions and it did help. I eventually got tired of it though, and jumped at the chance to try my beloved laughing gas, which was such a huge help in my labor with Dagmar.

It was just as amazing as I’d remembered. It was much less stressful to get through each contraction and time seemed to go by faster. At some point, I realized it was the 13th, and that this would be her birthday. It made me happy to have a date, even if I didn’t know how much longer it would end up being.DSC00305.JPG

The rough thing, though, was that sitting or lying down made the contractions 1000 times worse, so I was on my feet all the time. The midwife brought me a birth ball, and I tried to like it, but it was just awful. I was getting really tired, but kept standing. The laughing gas was helping, but it wasn’t enough anymore. The midwife suggested acupuncture, and I said I’d try anything. I felt a bit silly, but remembered that the placebo effect still works even if you know it’s a placebo, plus I’d never be willing to pay for it so it was probably a once in a lifetime chance to try it out. lol

I felt her place a few needles in my back, and she said I may feel heat coming from them. I didn’t, but it didn’t hurt or anything so I figured nothing was lost. I waited through a few contractions to see if anything would feel different. I was disappointed that it didn’t. So much for the placebo.

I wanted to ask for an epidural, but I didn’t want to ask too soon. I thought I’d try to wait it out a bit more. I wasn’t progressing past 6 cm, and my legs were more and more just turning to jello. The midwife wanted to ask a doctor if they should break my water and/or give me pitocin, so she left to find one. I told Thomas there was no way I could have either of those done to me without an epidural. The midwife came back and said the doctors were busy and they were still waiting for an answer. I asked for the epidural, because I really, really needed to lie down and I couldn’t do that without more relief. She asked if I could wait until they got an answer from the doctor and I said ok.

We finally got an answer: try breaking the water first and then pitocin if necessary. The order for my epidural was put in, and she said she was going to go ahead and break my water. I would have rather waited for the epidural, but I didn’t argue. The water was clear, I was informed. Every contraction, I took the gas mask, stared at a point on the ceiling, and counted. I was trying so hard to focus on the numbers instead of the pain, but it was impossible.

It was over an hour before I got my epidural, and it felt like so much longer. When the anesthesiologist finally arrived, she kept asking me questions and I just wanted her to get on with it. How tall are you? How much can you open your mouth? Have you ever been under general anesthesia before? Blah blah blah. I don’t care! I know she’s doing her job, but every single contraction was awful and I wanted each to be the last one before I got my epidural. It was even worse because I had to lie down in preparation for it, so the contractions were the worst yet. When it finally started to take effect, I actually smiled. After a few minutes, I felt no pain, just pressure, with every contraction. Bliss! I fell asleep.

When I woke up, not only did I feel tons better, but I’d dilated to 7. Not much, but hey, I was asleep! The midwife said I should get up and try to pee, so I did. While sitting on the toilet, I realized the epidural was no longer working. I hobbled back to the bed and told the midwife. She said she could try to get something to help, but first she’d check me again. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even feel excited when the midwife said I was almost fully dilated. Getting out of bed must have been exactly what I needed, but it meant the epidural could no longer help.

There was a shift change, so the midwife said she’d just pass on my info to the next midwife, who should be in in a few minutes. A woman came in after a few minutes and shook my hand, saying, “Hi, I’m Fie. I’m the next midwife and the one who will deliver your baby.”

She asked how I was feeling, and I said it was really hard. She asked if I had the urge to push yet, and I said yes a bit. She asked me to describe the contractions and I said “It’s like I have a really, really big poo.” She said she was hoping I would say that, because it was exactly how I should feel. She examined me and said I was fully dilated and the head was low and ready. I could push whenever I felt the urge.

I started crying. I didn’t realize until right then how sure I was I’d never get this far. It was going so slowly, and there was just so much time for something to go wrong, but now I was really doing it. I was having a vaginal birth, and I was so happy!

Up until that point, I kept having to remind myself why I was going through all this. It was so, so hard, and it would have been so, so easy to just cut her out. I wouldn’t have had to go through all this. I had to force myself to think about being able to sit up, walk around, and pick up Dagmar. In that moment when I realized it was actually going to happen, I didn’t need to remind myself anymore. I knew exactly why I was doing it. I think before, I was so scared I’d have that worst case scenario of recovering from both labor and surgery, which would defeat the whole purpose of going for the VBAC for me. Those fears were finally gone.

Fie asked if I’d rather stand or squat or sit a birthing chair, but the thought of moving unnecessarily scared me more than the thought of not being in the best possible position. I felt like things were going ok where I was and I didn’t want to mess with it. With Thomas holding my left leg and Fie holding my right with each contraction, I pushed with everything I had. Fie offered pointers between contractions, and encouragement during them. I hated pushing. I hated it every time but I kept thinking it would be over soon. At one point, Thomas exclaimed that she had dark hair. I tried to be encouraged by that but I hated it so much!

Then I had a push that brought on a whole new world of incredible pain. I screamed. Really loud. Fie said I was doing great and just needed a bit more, I screamed “NOOOO!” I didn’t think I could, but I also knew I didn’t really have a choice. One more incredibly painful push later, and I felt her slip out and then she was on my chest. I looked down at her, and was just in shock at what I’d just done.DSC00319.JPG

I was vaguely aware of talks of pitocin shots to deliver the placenta, getting Thomas to cut the cord, and other mess, but I was concentrating on this little perfect girl on my chest. I loved her huge blue-grey eyes looking up at me. I was asked to push to get the placenta out, and felt a floppy, squishy thing slide out with little effort. “Why couldn’t you be that easy?” I asked Maggie, but she didn’t answer.

I asked how bad it was down below, and Fie said she would need to give me stitches, but it wasn’t bad at all. I was so excited. Just some stitches. No big deal. I’m going to have a good recovery!

Getting the stitches wasn’t bad at all. She gave me a local first and I didn’t feel much of anything. Since I wanted to breastfeed, she said Maggie should stay on my chest until nursing the first time. I held her a bit and just admired her until she looked like she was rooting. I had to help her latch on but she nursed like a champ once on. Fie seemed impressed with how quickly we got it working.

We could be discharged as soon as I peed, so I was advised to drink a lot. A tray was brought in with sandwiches, cake, and lots of juice, I ate both sandwiches. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until I started to eat. I let Thomas eat the cake, which looked ok, but not that appetizing. Thomas got me another sandwich instead.

I kept the juice coming, partly because I like it, and partly because I wanted to pee and go home. I was able to sit up on my own, and it didn’t hurt at all. I couldn’t help but be struck with the difference from my cesarean recovery. I stood up, and realized not only was it better than my cesarean recovery, it was better than being pregnant! All my pelvic pain was gone! I was so delighted.

My first attempt to pee was unsuccessful. I was surprised at how hard it was to try to pee. More juice. And more. And more.

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While waiting for the juice to take effect, Fie went over a bunch of information and gave us a bunch of brochures and stuff. I was surprised to receive a copy of all the records from the fødegang. We didn’t get anything like that last time. She also gave us a present: a little knit hat in red, white, and blue for our half-American baby.

I kept downing juice until I felt I’d burst. It was still difficult to pee, but I managed. I got dressed and Thomas dressed Maggie. We packed up our bag and rang Fie to say our final good-byes. Just four hours after giving birth, I was holding my baby and walking out the door to go home. Though tired and a bit sore, I felt on top of the world.

A rare Tuesday blog post!

I didn’t get around to posting on Friday, nor on Sunday or Monday, although I did think about it. Ho hum.

I just thought I’d give a little update on some of the reasons it’s taking me so long to get back into blogging.

I’m going to skip all the pregnancy- and motherhood-related reasons, because I’m just tired of talking about that. So, one evening, it was time for bed, and I closed my laptop. I had a reasonable night’s sleep, and woke up in the morning, did my usual morning stuff, and sat down in front of my laptop again. I opened it, and it did not awaken as it usually does. I checked the power cable, I checked the battery, I pressed the “on” button, and it still did not awaken or turn on. I reached back into the dark recesses of my brain for my Mac Genius training, and tried some nerdier stuff, and none of that worked either. I went on Thomas’ laptop and went to Apple’s support page and made sure that the dark recesses of my brain were remembering correctly and hadn’t left anything out. There was just no way around this. My laptop had died.

I can’t say it’s totally out of nowhere. My laptop has not had the easiest life, and there is plenty of cosmetic damage to betray that fact. Still, there was nothing immediately preceding the incident to really prepare me for the likelihood of this happening. It’s not ideal, I thought, but it’s ok. We have a desktop computer, and T has a laptop that I can use when he’s at work. I don’t really need this laptop. The only thing is that my laptop was the one place I had all my files, all my programs, all my settings, and everything just the way I wanted it. Like any good nerd, I had backed it all up, of course, but it was going to take some effort to set up the desktop and/or an account on T’s laptop that would be to my liking.

One part of this is the program I use to update my blog. It was only installed on my laptop, and even if I install it elsewhere, it won’t have all my  settings and stuff. So I wanted to transfer everything from the laptop to the new location rather than starting from scratch.

I’ll skip over the part where I just didn’t get around to doing this for a while because of laziness, distractions, illness, and so on. Time passed. That’s all you need to know. Then I was ready to do the transfer. I was excited to do the transfer. “This is gonna be awesome!” I thought.

My back-up is corrupt. For the nerds out there, the sparsebundle Time Machine made of my laptop will not open, and Disk Utility gives up on repairing it and tells me to wipe and start over. For the non-nerds out there, all you need to know is that my back-up is not useable or helpful in any way.

You may recall that the problem with my laptop is that it won’t turn on. There’s a good chance that my hard drive, and thus all my files and settings and everything, are perfectly fine. I just need to get the hard drive out of the laptop and into an enclosure. (Non-nerds: an enclosure is like an empty external hard drive. You put your own hard drive in it, and it becomes an external hard drive. Neat, huh?) So I bought an enclosure. Now I just need to get the hard drive out of the laptop. I used to do that for a living, so no big deal, right? Well, it wouldn’t be, if I could find my tools. Somewhere, I have all the screwdrivers necessary to disassemble and reassemble pretty much any Mac out there. But I can’t find them. T has some tools, and I was able to remove all the Phillips screws on the outside of the laptop, but there are two Torx screws standing in my way. We’ve gone to three hardware stores so far, and no one sells Torx screwdrivers in laptop-friendly sizes. That is, they’re all too big.

So, my perfectionism is keeping me from regular blogging, because I want to use my program with my settings, and I don’t have the right screwdriver to make that happen.

Now you know.

If anyone in the greater Copenhagen area has small Torx screwdrivers or knows where to buy them, or can come into my flat and use their psychic powers to find the ones I already have, please let me know. Thanks.

So…

You might have noticed, I didn’t really get back up to speed after all. I don’t want to make a big deal whining about a situation I knowingly and willingly put myself in, but I will just say that pregnancy is hard on me, physically and emotionally, and one side effect of that is my blog not getting the care and feeding that it deserves and is used to.

I even got my first ever blog award, and I haven’t had the energy to post it. Please don’t think this means I am any less grateful. I seriously clapped and did a little chair dance when I saw it.

I will be back when I can. Until then… *mwah*

Let’s get back up to speed

I’m sure my devotees have noticed that I haven’t been keeping up with my regular posts lately. I could list some excuses, but instead, I’m just going to give a wrap-up of what’s been going on in my life while not posting.

First, sometime around the end of January, I peed on a stick and got two lines.

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(pretty announcement made with Mom-To-Be by Kristin Aagard and Peta Boardman)

I’m kinda guessing on the due date, but I think it’s close enough. If girl stuff makes you uncomfortable, skip to the next paragraph. I’m still nursing Bean, and my last menstrual period was in November 2007, so that cute little wheel they use at the doctor’s office to tell you your due date, which is usually inaccurate anyway, doesn’t know what to do with itself in my case. So I’m basically going off of when I felt pregnant and when I got a positive test. I’m sticking with this due date unless and until an ultrasound can give me something more accurate. Yesterday, I had my first appointment regarding my status as incubator, and learned nothing new. Long story short, they didn’t end up with so much as a urine test, but at least I gave them fresh copies of whatever forms they need to be happy.

I have a dating scan Friday morning. As long as it’s a healthy Bug, I don’t care about the date. But doctors do, so there you go.

In the middle of February, we all got sick. Everyone threw up at least once. We had to cancel our plans to go to not one, but TWO parties. Including one where I was going to dress Bean up in a costume. *pout* It was going to be so cute.

On Sunday, Thomas and his twin sister turned 30. In Denmark, round birthdays are a big deal. When you’re 29 or 31, eh, whatever. But 30? Biiiiig party! Invite everyone you know! And come on, TWINS! This is HUGE, right?! Yeah, not so much. It was just the immediate fam. I’m married to a (very hot, awesome, wonderful) lump on a log. But that’s ok, because I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy anyway. Partying just isn’t the same. But I did eat and keep down several boller, some hot chocolate, and some lagkage. So that’s worth celebrating in itself. In dedication of my man making it three decades, I present you with one of my recent scrapbooking creations.

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(dedication made with My Backyard by Red Genius Enterprises and Mix It Up template by A+ Designs)

By the way, I turn 32 on 7th March. Just sayin’.

During all this, I’ve also been running a download-a-day for my “real job” as a digital scrapbook kit designer. That’s a lot more work than it should be, because a lot of people don’t read instructions and/or think they are special and deserve more time to get each download than everyone else gets. It’s stressing me out.

And, I also volunteer to make a newsletter for a non-profit organization, and next month’s newsletter just isn’t going as smoothly as usual. I don’t want to complain too much about it or call people out, but I’m just… ugh. It’s usually much easier, but everything is going wrong this time.

Today, I’m feeling pretty good, though, and I’m trying to get back on track. I’ve cleaned a bit and everything. There’s laundry going. So far so good. Maybe I’ll even be up for a WW tomorrow. Until then….

Season’s Greetings!

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In Denmark, almost all the festivities happen on the 24th, which means my Christmas is basically over. Other than a julefrokost tomorrow, we’re done.

Yesterday, before we arrived at my in-laws, the tree was erected and decorated. They were careful to put any that a toddler shouldn’t have access to near the top. Smart folks. (Our own tree has no ornaments at all on the bottom half, although it didn’t start out that way.)

We ate flæskesteg, potatoes with gravy, sugar-browned potatoes, beets, and red cabbage. Apparently duck is also a tradition here, but I guess not for Thomas’ family. I really like duck, but I can’t be bummed because flæskesteg is also very, very yummy. We finished up with some ris a la mand, and father-in-law won a small marzipan pig. (Fine with me. I don’t like marzipan.) While still at the table, Dagmar opened her first gift, since she was getting a bit restless. It was an adorable, wheeled wooden elephant on a leash. Apparently his name is Elmer, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to recognize him from somewhere or not.

We sang songs while walking around the tree, eventually speeding up into a run for Nu er det Jul Igen, which I’m proud to say I have memorized now. Dagmar was particularly happy with the running part, and we got lots of laughter from our tiniest participant.

I was then designated present-hander-outer, and all the presents were distributed from under the tree, having only been put there a few hours earlier. (I still prefer the American way of having tree and presents looking pretty for weeks, but hey, no one’s perfect.) Then we took turns opening presents, thanking each other, and oohing and aahing.

Dagmar got a rocking horse, apparently purchased before we acquired one at the party earlier this month. Although she’s not shown any interest in the one we have at home, she was eager to experience this one, and has mastered getting on and off it herself in no time at all. She looked so delighted rocking on it! When I put her on the other one, she didn’t care at all. Interesting. Maybe because this one is all painted and pretty. It’s quite fantastic! She also got an easy chair, which I dare say looks nicer than my own rocker, but is more suited to her bum size than mine. Her new tea set is just incredible. Wow. I love it, and she does too! The box says 3+ years but it has no small parts and it’s wooden so I think I’m ignoring that. You might just see some of her other presents in an upcoming WW.

Then again, you might see mine or Thomas’. I just this week cleared out my closet of all the cruft that no longer fits or flatters me in any way, and although I can’t say it was in the LEAST bit surprising, I finally got a clear visual picture of how dire my clothing situation is. I had very, very, VERY little to wear. But now I have several new tops, and as they are almost exclusively items I’d never have picked out for myself but manage to look fabulous on me, I think I will refrain from shopping without my mother-in-law or sister-in-law ever again. Wow. Thomas got several new shirts as well, and a really great scarf. I was teased for admiring it, since I also received one for myself, so just to set the record straight, I think it’s really great on him. I don’t covet it. 😉

The presents we picked out seemed to be well-received, too, which is always nice to see.

A bit of a downer is that all the presents I ordered for my family have still not been shipped, and if I think about it too much, I’ll probably get really fuming mad at the company, so I’m just going to stop here at least until I hear their side of the issue. I’m sure my family will have a fantastic day tomorrow regardless of the status of this parcel. We’re spending the night at my in-laws and I’m hoping to be able to Skype with them in the afternoon on the 25th (today for me, tomorrow for them 😉 ) and see everyone. Yay!

Whether you celebrated already, haven’t celebrated yet, or won’t celebrate at all, hope you do/did it well and are happy! Mwah!

Birthday Retrospective

March 7, 1978:
My father was about to retire from the air force and take a civilian position doing the same thing for more money. They decided to induce labor so they could still get nearly-free maternity care at the hospital on base. I was born about a week before my due date, and saved my parents a few thousand dollars in the process.

March 7, 1979:
Mom baked me a cake shaped like Winnie the Pooh. I reportedly dove both fists in the middle and attacked with gusto. My two older brothers protested, and my mother replied, “it’s her cake. She can do whatever she wants!” I think I wore it well.

March 7, 1989:
I kept asking for a birthday party, and my mother insisted I was too old for one. I was upset with her about it, but never suspected she was planning a surprise party behind my back. Sneaky mommy. I couldn’t find the picture of me with my arms up and mouth agape as people threw streamers at me. Sorry!

March 7, 1996:
This was the first day I ever got sent flowers. My brothers surprised me with them and an attached balloon. Before that, though, I got a cake, and blew out the candles in my pajamas. At least I think I’m in my pajamas, because the rest of the pictures from that day have me wearing a green shirt.

March 7, 1999:
My mother and I landed in London at around 8 a.m. My then-fiancé met me at the airport, with not so much as a balloon to commemorate my transatlantic journey on his behalf, much less my birthday. Is it any wonder I ended up calling that off? I was 21 in a country where that didn’t matter, and my mother still complained when I ordered a beer. Not my best birthday.

March 7, 2002:
I don’t really remember much about this birthday, but it must have been my birthday because I’m wearing my birthday button. You probably can’t read it, but it says, “Today’s my birthday! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” I’m standing in the kitchen of Munir and Samir’s place, before the three of us moved into a different place, which is the only way I’ve come up with the year. Grad school is a bit of a blur now, since I was mostly miserable the entire time.

March 7, 2003:
Despite repeated reminders from yours truly, Samir never spayed his cat. Nimra was pregnant on my birthday, but the picture with kittens is cuter, so you’re getting a picture from the day they were born, on March 13. Munir and I kept the orange one, named her !, discovered ! to be inadequate since it can be neither yelled nor whispered, and changed her name to Tzeitel !. When Munir and I broke up, I would lose her in the custody battle, not that it was much of a battle since I got to keep Lidja and we both believed we got the better cat.

March 7, 2004:
I had a successful birthday party this year. Many people came, and it was fun. I’m over by the fishtank, looking happy. I lost the original of this picture somehow, so this is the thumbnail. I have a large number of pictures only in thumbnail, and I can only guess that I did something uncharacteristically stupid for that to happen, but oh well. Anyway, at this time in my life, I think I had more friends than at any other time, and I’ll probably never have a birthday party that large again, unless you count the ones I may throw for Dagmar in the future.

March 7, 2007:
I had to work on my birthday, so I celebrated the day before by going across the street to Sisu Coffee and getting Italian wedding soup, a three-cheese sandwich on fresh herb bread, and a large, hot chai. Sadly, Sisu Coffee went out of business shortly after I moved to Denmark, because the landlord tried to screw them on their rent. I really loved their fresh food, including traditional Finnish pulla and piirakka as well as more traditional American fare, and they used their walls as a gallery for several local artists. There was always new art on the walls, and on one occasion, I even bought some.

March 7, 2008:
I was pregnant, and finally starting to feel a bit better. I forgot until it was too late that round birthdays are a big deal in Denmark. I planned nothing for my 30th birthday, when it should have been an occasion for inviting everyone I’ve ever met to a big dinner and having them sing about me. It’s just as well, since I hadn’t actually met that many people yet, but now I have to wait until 2018 for a big party. Sniff.

March 7, 2009:
I’m at the in-laws’ in NivÃ¥, and so far I’ve been treated to warm leverpostej, chocolate cake, ice cream, hot chocolate with whipped cream, and several items from my birthday wish list. We’ve also taken a stroll around town to get Dagmar to nap, which was fun and relaxing. Later, I will get flæskesteg. I may never get a surprise party again, or a bash with dozens of people, or Italian wedding soup made by friendly, art-loving Finnish-Americans, but this is still my best birthday ever. I really love my life right now and feel exceedingly lucky to have it!

Thomas’ birthday!

Yesterday was Thomas’ 29th birthday! I love birthdays, and I think it’s very important to start one’s birthday off on the right foot, so I made breakfast a little extra special for Thomas yesterday. I made French toast, which is a favorite. (Surprising, as it has no meat!) Real butter (already soft, thanks to the butter bell) and real maple syrup are essential for French toast in my household. Extra cinnamon-sugar blend is on the table, if desired. Mmmm.

But merely making a delicious breakfast is only part of making a special start to the day. Nothing says special quite like food coloring. My French toast is normal-colored, but HIS is RED. Now that’s special! And his is covered in sprinkles and surrounded by strawberries, and on a plate that even TELLS him he’s special.

In Denmark, Danish flags are typically used in abundance on special days like birthdays, so even if it seems really strange to you to have all those flags on the plate… trust me, it’s not. I could have used a lot more and it would have still not been strange. So that’s why I chose red food coloring and sprinkles. 🙂

Big Clean Day

Today is Big Clean Day at the Fach-Pedersen flat. I was really FLYing before the whole morning sickness thing, and I’ve never really caught up since then. Hopefully after today, I won’t have to worry about that. We’re doing a half-hour “on” and 15 minutes “off” cycle. So far we’ve cleaned the bathroom for a cumulative hour, and we’re almost done. It’s looking good and we finally got rid of that stupid towel rack that I’ve hated ever since we moved here. Tycho will be disappointed, since he used it as a perch during our showers, but that’s just not enough to justify its presence. If you’re lucky, I’ll post before and after pictures later. I know you’re waiting on pins and needles for that!

random updates

I’ve officially given up on Apple Mail as an RSS reader, and although they don’t want to make the transition easy, I’m slowly making my way to Google Reader. In the process, I’m weeding out some feeds since I don’t have time to read all of them anyway. If your blog frequently discusses make up and/or how your love for Jesus makes you do stupid things, it probably didn’t make the cut. Sorry. We can still be friends, though.

While in the States, I found a few cross-stitch projects for cheap. I finished the first, which is one of those informative baby plaques with D.L.’s birthday, length, and weight. I had wanted to have one done sooner, but the selection in Denmark sucked. I like the results though. Now I’m on project 2, which is my first foray into stamped cross-stitch. I’ve always done counted, and this is a bit weird, but I loved this quilt that much. It combines three of my loves: D.L., animals, and onomatopoeia.

Thomas and I still feel mildly ill. It’s getting really, really old.