Sunday, July 28, 2013

flexing the mommy muscle

I read an article a while back, about how women who have children grow a 'mommy muscle'. The article was meant for new moms and was giving advice about how to acknowledge the hardships of dealing with a crying baby, lack of sleep, and all the worry of having the responsibility of a new little human being. There is no way one can prepare for all this, but with time and experience the 'mommy muscle' grows stronger and stronger making motherhood less overwhelming. I thought about my mommy muscle several times over the past week, and how it was getting a hardcore workout, while Bjarni was in Europe. I was crushing disgusting bugs (where I would otherwise have called on Bjarni), hurling car seats, laundry and trash up and down a lot of stairs, sitting with two kids, who wanted to be held at the same time. I called Jonas Thomas and I snapped at Silja more than a couple of times, because I was exhausted to the bone, but with that said it was surprisingly fun. We made trips to the park at 7am and ate donuts for breakfast, before the heat kicked in, we had movie nights with popcorn and cartoons, and we followed our to-do list as best possible. It was week with far less strictness than normally. We couldn't do everything I had planned, because Silja rolled out of our bed the day after Bjarni left, and broke her collarbone. Booh, and hello mommy muscle...
The day before he left, I went and bought a box of baby formula, thinking now I'm prepared for the worst: If something happens to Silja, and someone else has to look after Jonas, who is otherwise dependent on me in terms of eating, then this box will save us. Luckily it never got that bad, but when I saw a bump on her shoulder some miserable hours after the fall, and I went to ask our neighbor for help, I thought: here I am in this emergency situation, I have dreaded, which I have to deal with alone. I'm so thankful for our neighbors, and I don't know how I would have managed without. Our neighbor Chrissy took us to the health clinic, and a couple of X-rays and a whole lot of tears from both kids later, we knew the collarbone was broken, and she had to have her arm in a sling for the following three weeks. So she needed a little more help and care, and was only allowed quiet activities, which made it all a little more demanding but we managed. 
 We made a sensory box with beans, which kept her occupied for hours. WIN!!
Needless to say we were all very happy when Bjarni returned. I think I was like a balloon, who after  a week of initiating fun projects and keeping calm, was running out of air. He's been good about giving space for me to regain strength since coming back, and now we are back to the good old normal.
Hurray for dads, who take care of most of the hurling up and down stairs and who deal with awful bugs, and who is there to step in when the toddler is having another meltdown, and hurray for my mommy muscle, who is as strong as ever.
Oversæt til dansk

Sunday, July 14, 2013

new hampshire

We are back from an amazing trip to New Hampshire, where we vacationed with my sister and her family. We have been counting down to and planning their visit for many many months, and Silja was close to being in heaven, when the cousins she admires so much, finally came (with a stopover in Boston) to play with her toys, in her house and went to see her playground. It's been so so good to have lots of time to just hang out and relax in each other's company. So much so that New Hampshire felt very quiet and a bit lonely when they had to travel back to Denmark, and we stayed for another couple of days. 
The past week we have been swimming in Lake Winnipesaukee, eating pancakes for breakfast on the porch, had an early celebration for Silja's upcoming birthday, introduced the visiting Danes to American donuts and s'mores, oh, and slapped about 4000 mosquitoes. It's felt so much like summer and vacation, and in addition to the loveliness of simply being with family, it's been great for us, who otherwise always vacation in Denmark or Iceland, to see another part of the US.
And fingers crossed the post-vacation-zen lasts a while. In this moment Bjarni is packing a suitcase and is getting ready for a week in Berlin and Reykjavik for work. I'm taking deep breaths and am bracing myself for eight days alone with a four-month-old and (almost) three-year-old, and a dad on a different continent than the rest of us. I have told them to be nice, and that getting sick is completely, and by all means completely forbidden. But of course I can do it, manage a week alone, and I've made a list of happy things we will be doing this coming week, when Bjarni is away. It includes among other things to dance at least once a day and to eat ice-cream with sprinkles. I'll keep you posted how it goes...

Oversæt til dansk