Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Cheese Stands Alone



1. wildebeest or gassy baby?

When you are wrangled from sleep at 5 am to the sounds of a fussy baby that you just fed an hour earlier, it's undeniably hard to champion the beauty of motherhood. I had placed him in our bed after a (2nd) feeding at 4 only to wake up with Daddy admonishing the wee one for practicing his crawling dynamics way too early. At some point Maxwell then grabbed a tiny fistful of Mama's locks and yanked away. And a "Top o' the mornin' to you, too, laddie!"

Turns out it was gas.


2. Also, try this conversation on for size:

Imagine an agreeable little family on a walk on an idyllic little forest path when Mama breaks out into song:

"The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell.
High-ho the derry oh, the farmer in the dell..."

Much to her surprise, as her angelic voice drifts off in falsetto at the end of the last stanza, "... high-ho the derry-oh, the cheese stands alone," her ESL husband asks,

"And, why, pray tell, does the cheese stand alone?"

So he didn't use "pray tell", but after careful reflection I drew no conclusion.

Why is the end goal of joyous, circling pre-schoolers to be the cheese who stands alone?

How terribly sad.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

6 is the number!




So, he's 6 months today. What a big boy.

He's rolling like Sonic the Hedgehog (90s reference) and looking so much like his father and bedstefar when they were his age. My little man loves porridge, broccoli, potatoes, pretty ladies (especially blonds), peek-a-boo, his pacifier, dancing, walks, Mama's arms, his stuffed dog and wombat (thanks, Michael and Aunt Possum, respectively!). Dislikes nothing I can think of aside from being frustrated with his mobility limitations when a favorite toy is slightly out of reach. As long as the mood is right, he's quite a jolly babe. Though, my new challenge is reading his very discreet (or, better put: yet to be determined) tired signs because my little rascal goes from cheerful and engaged to overly tired in the blink of an eye. Then, Not-So-Happy-Camper comes to town and Not-So-Happy-Camper is not a very cooperative bundle of joy to be around.

He is also still quite demanding of my attention during the day. To be honest, I must point the finger at myself in this situation; I am fairly certain he is merely accustomed to having had Mama's attention non stop and now that I've got school and another work project to attend to, plus other odds n' ends that I've taken back up (showering during the day, cranking out laundry, eating a proper lunch, painting a bit for my sanity, Skype-ing with friends), he's basically suffering through Mama-withdrawals. Poor little guy, only getting 99% of Mama's undivided attention.

Bjarni is back from a series of business trips and boy are we happy about that. He had a fabulous time out in the forests of one of Italy's national parks, il Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo Lazio e Molise. He stayed in the charming little town of Pescara, a town in which a special (and may I say, totally adorable) breed of dog roams the streets, is loved by all, and has the very important role of watching over the herds of semi-wild horses that inhabit the park and ensuring wolves don't make a meal of them. Indeed, for only 20 Euro/month you too can house your horse there.

Speaking of horses, I am LOVING my weekly lessons. The feeling of being back in the saddle and around horses is indescribable. My skills have vastly improved with just an hour a week over the past month. I am right on my way to being an excellent rider once again.

During Bjarni's international sojourns my in laws took wonderful care of me and the little guy. My father in law even prepared meals for me and brought them ready to reheat and eat! Somehow he knew exactly what I was craving: boller i karry (meatballs in curry, http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/1694267-Boller-i-Karry-meatballs-in-curry-sauce-). And, Julie came to relieve me of the spunky spunkmeister so I could take a much needed nap. Thanks, family! Love you.

I am taking two super interesting courses this semester: Socially Responsible Consumer Marketing (SRCM) and Instant Innovation Camp. Discussing consumer behavior, the ethics around the hyper consumerism that precipitated many ills in the world, and how to change the game is thoroughly engaging and highly relevant. Instant Innovation Camp allows me and a heterogeneous group of international students to study the process of sustainable innovation (taking a sustainable new idea and bringing it to market). In both courses, we study what sustainability really means in terms of impact in the world, digging as deep as possible to truly discover, understand, and then take into account how a new product or marketing campaign affects the world. In SRCM, my group and I are researching and writing a paper on the ethics and responsibilities of marketers and their role in manufacturing demand (see the Fiji bottled water case in a nifty, easy to understand video at http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/).

For Instant Innovation, my group is working on developing innovative ways in which the Danish government can increase consumption of 'good' products: organic, local, fair trade, while also making consumers more aware, and thus work to decrease their carbon footprint with their purchasing decisions. Again, so cool and I'm so jazzed.

In addition, I'm working for the coolest company, ArtRebels (http://artrebels.com/), on a campaign for the government-run Entrepreneur's Fund. They want to make an online platform/campaign that will inspire more women, international and Danish alike, to become entrepreneurs in the country. Once again, so cool and I'm so jazzed to be working with such a hip, progressive company and on such a neat project.

I'm reading Jack Kerouac's On the Road and it's phenomenal. The way he depicts simple observations and juxtaposes them next to tremendously poetic descriptions makes turning each page thrilling.

The days may becoming shorter, the weather colder, but we're enjoying life and derive lots of pleasure planning our trip to California on Christmas Day.

We're busy, Bjarni's back from his many travels, Maxwell is a charming little booger, and we're all doing well. We only hope this post finds you all well, too.








Pictures: Maxwell chewing on Sophie the fabulous rubber giraffe, a slightly dark one of him noshing, the Italian national park, a special local poochie just lounging around, one of Max with my very good friend Steph (or who I call Aunt Possum, long story), and Max noshing with Daddy. Oh, and of course there's me on Lille Klaus (Little Klaus), a Norwegian Fjord horse at the barn.
You also get a special treat: Maxwell eating one- a banana!
video