Monday, December 26, 2011

Glædelig Jul!


Merry Christmas!!


Ann and Bug

We had such a nice Christmas this year! Matthew's sister, Ann, is here visiting us from Bloomington, Indiana where she is going to school at IU, working on her Master's degree. We have not seen Ann in about a year and a half. The last time she saw Olivia, Olivia threw up on her and she has never seen Graham. Ann is just so fun and laid back and the perfect addition to our Christmas celebration! We went to Sweden the day Ann arrived, December 17th, for an early Christmas at Lars' and Ulrika's house. They went to China for Christmas to be with Matthew's other sister, Lee and family. We spent Christmas Eve and Day with just our small group. Ann leaves on New Years Day so we still have a lot of fun time with her this week.


Olivia was so excited to decorate the tree. As per the Cox tradition, we had Cheese Party while we decorated the tree. It is the best tradition ever! We listened to Christmas music, ate all kinds of cheese and crackers and chips and meatballs with Julmust and Fanta. Olivia really put up so many of the decorations and was very serious and methodical about it. The three of us were kind of being slow and silly and eating and Olivia was really concentrating on it. It was so cute!



In Denmark, the traditional Christmas meal is Flaeskesteg (pork roast) with potatoes, candied potatoes, red cabbage and Ris Alamande (like yummy rice pudding). Matthew makes this every year and it is perfection!

Christmas Eve


Christmas morning


Olivia with the reindeer Ann gave her for Christmas. She loves it!




Olivia and her new backpack. She looked so old when she put this on.


Happy Graham in his new Christmas clothes from Grandpa and Grandma Cowgur



This is Olivia from last Christmas, 2010 at our apartment (we used a lovely branch as a tree).

Today, one year later in the same dress and socks. I can't believe how much she has grown!!
It was a great Christmas and I am looking forward to New Years!

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Video of our apartment- do yourself a favor and turn OFF the sound. Olivia is in the background whining that she wants to watch the video I am filming.

Merry Christmas until next year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is NOT blood

Olivia has started to no longer take naps. I write it so simply and without emotion, but that last sentence is one of the saddest I have ever penned (can you say "penned" if you type it??).
Olivia still benefits from a half hour or so break in her crib with her pacifier of quiet time (so do I) so whether or not she takes a nap, she goes in her crib every afternoon.

In a should-have-been-unrelated-matter, Matthew got Olivia some markers. Olivia has used markers before and, of course, loves them but she does not own any by design because they make such a mess.Well, Matthew got her some and after she used them I put them on top of her dresser where she couldn't reach them.

Matthew put her down for her nap. We heard her talking and stuff and even yelling out at one point but nothing alarming. I went in there to get her after awhile and this is what I found (besides her 80's bedhead hair):




I jumped a little but was not too freaked out by what she had done. Apparently when she is in her crib she can reach the top of the dresser. Awesome! She was not at all troubled by what she had done- which surprised me as I thought about it. I would have thought she would be laughing and proud of herself. The great thing for me was that she only drew on herself. Not on her white crib or sheets or the white walls or the natural wood floors or even her clothes. Crazy kid!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rådhusplads

It is Christmastime!! We went to downtown Copenhagen for the parade and lighting of the Christmas tree. The parade starts in Nyhavn, which is a really nice part of Copenhagen right on the water. It is where you always see the tourist pictures of Copenhagen with the colorful buildings and the ships in the foreground. Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up and took pictures with kids and there was a marching band playing and all kinds of fun stuff to look at.






Graham loved all the commotion.

Then Santa climbed up on a fire truck with Mrs. Claus and a horse drawn old time fire engine followed behind along with the marching band and a bunch of cool old cars. The parade went from Nyhavn to the walking street (Stroget) and all the way down along the walking street. Everyone shopping stopped to take pictures and watch. We walked along with the parade all the way down to Rådhusplads.



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Video of the parade down Stroget

Rådhusplads

Look! Occupy Copenhagen!

After some standing around and some speeches, Santa climbed up the fire truck and lit the tree. It was spectacular! After it was over we started to walk to the bus to go home. Olivia became hysterical because she thought that Christmas was over and she was very upset. On the bus I explained to her that Christmas had really just begun and we looked at Christmas lights from the window. It was so fun and reminded us of our old tradition of going to Prescott, Arizona every year for their parade and lighting of the tree. That little town sure knows how to put on a parade.

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Video of Santa lighting the tree

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Happy, Joy Joy


Graham is almost always happy. He is such an easy baby! He will be 6 months old in a few weeks and still everyday I look at this happy kid and cannot believe how good natured he is. Some photographic proof:





My favorite thing is these two laughing together. It is the best sound!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Helsingør



I love this sign. There are a few of these on the sidewalk leading up to Kronborg Castle.
Once a month the trains and busses are free in and around Copenhagen and so Matthew and I decided to take a trip North of Copenhagen to a little town called Helsingør. This castle is the setting for Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
I took a trip up there in March when my friends Laura and Kiana came to visit, and Matthew has been there years ago, but it was the first time for us going together. More than that, it was just a fun place to go on the free train! I packed up some picnic food and put on the kids' snow suits and we went to catch the bus to the train. It only took about 45 minutes - an hour to get there with switching trains once. The castle is so beautiful. I am not a great picture taker, I wish I was, and I know that my scenery shots are especially lacking, so for some good pictures of the castle and tons of information about the history of it, which is very interesting, you can go here.


View from the street as you are walking around the castle to enter.


Once you enter the courtyard of the castle you come upon a moat which you can see in the background there. We enter this magnificent area and just wander around and are amazed by how cool it is. Olivia found a few tiny models of the castle and was putting grass and flowers inside the model castle. Here she is standing in the presence of this amazing piece of history that is hundreds of years old and all she wanted to do was to play with grass and flowers. Oh, and look at fountains. She just loves them. I love that kid.


We missed being able to take a tour of the place by 3 minutes- we didn't realize it was closing so early. We blame that on the 10 minutes it took to pry Olivia away from the fountains.


A couple of tourists decided that they would try and climb one of the castle walls, so Olivia ran right over there to try and do it too.


A random Indian family stopped me and asked if they could take a picture of me and Graham. I was wearing him in the Baby Bjorn. Okay, weirdos. They were very nice but I just couldn't imagine why they would want a picture. The funny thing was that they wanted to just take the picture quickly and be on their way. Nope. I don't think so. You are a stranger and want to take a picture of my baby? Well then there will be small talk. I will ask you if you are in Denmark for long? Where are you from? What brings you here? Do you like it here? It was clear that they did not want to chit chat but I was going to get something out of the exchange other than the weird feeling that came over me as I imagined them back in India showing their Denmark pictures with us in it to a large group of more strangers and what they were saying and stuff. Weird.

The town of Helsingør sits on the coast and you can see Sweden from there. I believe it is where Denmark and Sweden's land masses are closest to each other. The view is amazing!







Matthew and Olivia being sad penguins. Sad Viking Penguins.


Olivia making her most Vikingest face


On the way home on the train Matthew entertained the crowd, and more importantly Graham and Olivia, with his game of cups. Unfortunately I have no pictures of that. All in all, it was a great day!