Saturday, August 29, 2015

Things I've learned after 3 weeks in Denmark

After two weeks of nearly perfect weather -- cloudless skies and tons of sun, the real Danish weather appears to be back.  Rain, rain, rain.  Sometimes, even though it looks like it should be raining, it doesn't...and then when it looks like it won't rain, it does!  Best advice, just carry an umbrella or rain coat with you at all times.

Lots of pretty butterflies (sommerfugl) are all over the place. 

Google translate's camera function on the app is only partly helpful -- this is my clothes washer -- maybe I should use the central government cycle? Haha

There are two buttons for flushing -- the flush on the right is for 'heavier business' and the one on the left is for 'lighter business'.  Our toliets at home are reversed.  The boys love the 'poop and pee' buttons as they affectionately call them.

This coffee machine is AMAZING.  Seriously amazing.  It makes the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life.  And, while I never was a fan of the one cup coffee makers this one has me sold.  It doesn't use any of those stupid plastic cups, and it grinds the beans fresh before every single cup it brews.  And it brews the cup in 30 seconds.  Plus, it can heat water or froth milk if I want it to.  This thing makes a Keurig look like child's toy.

Learning the trash system here has been interesting.  We have two small trashcans outside our house.  Inside are two paper sacks.  Each week the trashmen come and will remove the paper sacks from inside the metal trash can and then will stick in two fresh paper sacks for the next week.  We have learned by default that they will not take anything that does not fit in that paper sack.  Don't even try it, they will pick it up and the throw it on the ground right in front of your trash can as if to say 'ha, take your trash back!'  

I am used to separating all my glass, paper, plastic, etc.  We have found certain stations throughout the town where you can recycle paper and glass, and any plastic or aluminum cans that are marked with an "A" or a "B" can be taken to a special station (usually inside a store) and you get money returned for those (similar to certain areas in the US where you get your deposit back).

We are still trying to figure out the system, but in the meantime I have learned to not leave any empty beer cans where Benny can access them...he seems to have a certain affinity for beer, LOL.

There are snails EVERYWHERE.  Tiny snails and even these huge ones!  The boys are in heaven finding them and watching them and trying to build snail cages and traps in the yard....

Then there are these slugs, or dræbersnegl.  They are disgusting, gross and all over the place.  Ben likes to run up to them and scream EWWWW!  We pay the older boys 1 kroner for every 5 slugs they pick up in the yard.  Then we pour salt over the slugs.  Gross gross gross.

Despite moving across an entire ocean, Sam still cannot eat without getting his food all over his face.  It's like a hidden talent he has.  When he eats a sucker, it ends up on his forehead.  When he drinks a cup of milk, it ends up on his nose, his cheeks and his chin.  This is what happens when you eat a piece of toast with some Nutella spread on it....

This house is right up the street from Sam's school.  I love seeing it every day.  I love the traditional roof and how it is round around the second story windows.  We would never see something like this back home.  I love that it is just up the street from me.

There is so much history around every corner here.  This is the kirke (church).  Behind it is where the Hirscholm castle used to stand.  It was left to deteriorate on its own and now all that is remaining are the castle gardens and a few pillars from the castle walls.  It is a pretty path around the castle and the boys and I walked it once, and it is on my regular running route because I love that you can feel the history as you run through the grounds.

There are hidden treasures around every corner -- like this fun fountain in the middle of the Horsholm Midpunkt (basically the mall).  We discovered it on a hot day, so it was a welcome surprise.  Max and Ben stuck with getting their feet wet...Sam eventually just stuck his whole body in and was soaking wet. He was having so much fun that a gathering formed around the fountain to watch him...his excitement and joy were bountiful and spread to everyone watching him. 

There are also tons of walking/biking paths and open areas for people to enjoy...hidden within the city streets and housing areas.  We discovered this little forest nook on one of our after dinner walks.  The boys loved it.  I'm sure older 'kids' are using it for other purposes when the sun goes down, but it was a fun little hideout for them that afternoon...

My husband can still climb trees (yes that's kinda sexy)....

Babies will get all thrown off their schedules with time changes and different time zones.  So we just sleep when we can.  This was one of those times...we were just snuggling in the bed and then I looked over and he was passed out.  Such a cutie...too bad it ended with him rolling off the air mattress an hour and a half later....

Reading through grocery ads has become a challenge for me.  What is this stuff?  How much will it cost?  What will it taste like?  Did I buy the right thing?

Take this for example...Bagepulver is how google translate translates both baking powder AND baking which is it?  Well, I did a little test and the Bagepulver fizzed in water whereas the Natron did not. So we have Natron - baking soda, and Bagepulver - baking powder.  Mystery solved.

Apparently here you can rent a cow.  Ha!

Almost 4 weeks in, and we are loving our time here in Denmark.  We have seen so much already and everything has been wonderful.  The people have been friendly and nice.  The public transportation has been easy to figure out and use.  School has been going well for the boys.  We honestly couldn't be happier right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Settling in, the new house - the downstairs!

So it's been quiet on here, but only because we decided to start staying full time at the house and we didn't have any internet there (until RIGHT NOW), so I've been limping along with my slow international data plan on my phone and no real way to post efficiently...

So I haven't forgotten to update, it's just been really hard to do it.  Hopefully now that we have internet again this will just be a faded memory soon...

So here are pictures of the downstairs of the house -- all of these photos were taken BEFORE our storage container arrived.  I'll take all new pictures with our stuff in them soon :)

The kitchen!  Much smaller but a good use of storage space with all the drawers.  We asked if we could put shelves on the upper walls, but our landlord didn't want us to do that because there are water and electrical utilities behind some of the walls.  So, I'll figure out some type of shelving that sits atop the counters if we need extra space when the time comes.

The dining room.  We now have a patio table here (thank you for awesome neighbors) 

Here is a view looking into the living room from the kitchen.

And the same view from the dining room.  That is a wood burning stove that works.  

The wall of windows has two operating windows and the door also swings open.

And looking back towards the dining area.

The doorway leading off the living room opens into this area and then to the front door.

There is a small half bath just off the mudroom area.

The stairs are CREAKY.  We are trying to utilize our ninja skills to find the steps that squeak the least amount so we don't wake up the kids when we go up or down the stairs.  Thankfully, Ben has listened to our pleas for him to stay downstairs.  They are kind of slippery and steep.

This is the area right when you walk in the front door.

A view up the stairs.

Another entry way -- this one from the carport/garage to the house.  To the left is the laundry room.  I guess I didn't take a photo of that...oh well.

The fourth bedroom or playroom as we are calling it.  All the toys went into this room, and this is where you will get to sleep if you come visit us!  :)

The boys have been great about making do with what we have.  Here they've turned their car seats into chairs.  :)

So there you have it, our 'new' house.  It is perfect for what we need it to do for the next two years.  And while I was a bit afraid that none of our stuff would fit in here, everything magically did!  I'll take some after photos soon and post those as well.  

Until then...farvel!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Settling in, the new house - Denmark Adventures

On Wednesday, we took the opportunity to drive by our new house to scope it out from the outside.  We were so happy to see a nice sized yard (fenced in) and looking in to the house through the windows, everything looked so sunny and bright!

The house was pretty cute from the outside also.  We are on a corner lot, so that means we get a larger yard than most of the other houses.

View from the middle of the back yard.

I guess I forgot to take any pictures of the downstairs rooms, so I'll have to remedy that when we are there tomorrow to clean.  But in the meantime, here are some shots of the upstairs rooms.  It will be a bit of a challenge fitting our stuff into the rooms, but we will figure something out.  I'm not used to sloped ceilings and wardrobe type closets taking up valuable wall space so we might have to do some improvisation.

This will be Ben's room.  As you can see, to the right is a large wardrobe.  I think we will move that along the wall further to the right and put his crib where it is now.

The view looking the other way in his room.  This wall length desk eats up this entire wall!  I'm not sure if there is a way to remove it without damaging the wall, but that is what I would actually like to do if possible.
When you go up the stairs, Ben's room is directly straight ahead.  To the right is the bathroom (another reason we want his crib along the other wall, so it doesn't share a wall with the bathroom for noise reasons).

The bathroom is actually a really decent size!  It even has a bathtub, which is not common in Denmark, apparently.  The boys have already tested it out and it meets their approval.

There is also a large shower.
Ben was very excited by the bathtub and couldn't wait to try it out!
The first door to the left when you go up the stairs is the boys' room.  I'm fairly confident that we will be able to fit both their beds in here (unbunked) but not so sure about their dressers yet.  They are very excited about the built in desk in this room.

The two beds should fit along this wall.

I didn't get a good shot of it, but the built in desk is to my left just next to the large wardrobe.  Along the wall Max is standing on is a shelf that is attached to the wall -- I think if I can remove that somehow their dressers should fit there no problem.
The last door upstairs is for the master bedroom.  It should fit our queen sized bed fine.  It has two large wardrobes and some wall shelves.  We didn't bring our dressers, so if one of the boys' doesn't work in their room we could always steal it for the meantime...but we had planned to maybe buy a nice bedroom set while we were here.

Bed should go along this wall.  All the skylights can be opened, they swing inwards -- and all of them have built in shades that are super room darkening!  SO excited about that since it stays light until 10pm in summer!

View of the wardrobes and space where we could fit a dresser.  This other window is SO HUGE and lets in such gorgeous light too!

View looking back towards the door with the wall shelves.
 Everyone is getting restless staying at the hotel, so we've tried to spend a bit of time over at the house.  We did our first grocery store trip -- to Aldi (they had Trader Joe's stuff there) -- and bought this 'rug' to use as our picnic blanket.  There are a few pans here to use with the oven, and a microwave, so we are limited to the foods that we can cook for now.  But, I've started to get creative with my meal planning -- because we are all sick of eating out.

Picnic dinner time!
 Thursday we decided to take a trip to Ikea so that we could get a few staples.  Of course, poor planning got us there right around Ben's naptime, so he was a beast -- worse than normal.  And lately, he's been insisted that I hold him (UPPIE!!) and ONLY me.  So my left arm (because of course he doesn't like the other side) is going to be hulk-sized pretty soon and I am going to look weird.  I'd put him down and make him walk, but then he just starts screaming really loud and I start getting weird looks because -- why would you not pick up your baby, he's not even two!  So, whatever.  I pick him up.  

Anyways, Ikea.  We got a few things there, but most importantly, we purchased a few items that will contribute to our outdoor furniture when we get home -- from an Ikea set I've been coveting for over a year -- it is wood (so there is maintenance, but it should last a lot longer with good care) and gorgeous.  Because we both are hesitant spenders for larger items (and we could only fit so much in the trunk with three kids), we opted for only two chairs and one side table this trip -- enough for us to have a make shift dinner table.

And yes, this is what happens when you spend naptime at Ikea -- you pass out in the car on the ride home and your big brother sticks a basket on your head.
 Meanwhile, back at the home front we are starting to pile up some stinky laundry!  Max and I have both enjoyed ocean view runs while we are staying at the hotel.  So, now that we have keys to the house (and a functioning washer and dryer) I figured it was time to tackle the washing machine.  I have no idea what cycle I picked -- hope it was the right one!  The clothes seem clean....

What would you pick?

Little by little it is starting to become more of a home.  Can't wait for the rest of our stuff to get here -- hope it all fits!

More than anything else, this move has taught me about improvisation!  No wine glass?  No problem!  LOL