No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

30 November, 2012

So deliciously fat!

Growing faster than his big brother did, Xavier is already into many six month clothes at just 11 weeks old. We sure love his sly little grin.

18 November, 2012

Urban mini-van

We got a new bike!  The logistics of transporting two kids in the city, and our love of all things bike-related, meant it was time for us to upgrade to a beloved Danish cargo bike. 

We bought a Nihola, the most popular in Copenhagen, because it turns easily and is a comfortable ride. Something like 30% of all families with two or more children in Copenhagen own a Nihola.  We aren't alone on the streets. They may look massive and impractical to someone not from Denmark, but here they fit seamlessly into the flow of traffic in the cycle tracks.  The 7 gears and free-wheel make it easy to ride despite the strong Danish wind.

The included seat can hold two kids probably up to age 12 or so, although, adults can scrunch in too.  Woody sits comfortably on the seat and I put Xavier in a cushy bassinet in the bottom.  

A weeks worth of groceries is much easier to pick up now that I don't have to balance bags on my handle bars.

It can even carry our Craigslist purchases.  This is Xavier's new crib we bought from someone in the neighborhood.  So easy!

Felix loves the bike.  The hood keeps the cold and wind out and he can happily munch a snack while watching the world go by. 

16 November, 2012

This little boy

Twenty-one months old! Almost two?! Unfathomable.

This little boy is charming. 
He delights us with his wit and sense of humor everyday.  He also gets our humor, letting out big belly laughs when things aren't the way they are supposed to be.

This little boy is all boy. 
He loves trains, planes, trucks and tractors.  If it moves, digs or makes noise, he thinks it's the bees knees.  Puddles? Yes. Tools? For sure.  In his world, there is no time for clean clothes and wiping faces.  He wants to move and shake until he is too tired to go on.

This little boy is sweet. 
He blows kisses and gives the best hugs.  He likes to be cuddled to sleep and say good morning to us first thing. 

 This little boy is social.
He loves playdates and his nursery school.  Even though he is entering the "mine" stage of toddlerhood, he is gentle and willing to let others play with his things.  He lights up when other kids are around at the playground. He watches and learns from the older kids, which is probably why he speaks as much Danish as English.

 This little boy wants to be a big boy.
He watches what others do with great focus, and then mimics their actions.  He wants to cook in the kitchen, fix the bike with Dad and put on his own shoes.  

This little boy is at home outside.
The sand, the trees, the dirt, the hills...this is where he longs to be.  When he is outside there are no temper tantrums and "no"s.  He is free and wild, just like he wants. 

This little boy is messy.
He can turn a clean house into a hovel in 30 minutes.  Despite his ability to accurately cap a pen or turn a screw with a screwdriver, he can't manage to get the food only in his mouth and not on the floor or himself.  Digging through cupboards, boxes and baskets is his idea of a good time.  

This little boy loves his brother ferociously.
He treats Xavier as the best gift he has ever received. 

Around the house

We are slowly, slowly coming out of our self-imposed house arrest as we adjust to life with two little ones.  Here are just a few pictures of what we've been doing the last two months.

I finished my big cowl neck scarf while breastfeeding...lots of hours logged!

This little guy gets plumper and plumper everyday.

It's flyverdragt (snowsuit) season again in Denmark.  Even though there is no snow, every kiddo wears one of these until the sun returns in June.  This is a too-big hand-me-down from a friend and you can just feel Felix's excitement for it.

Woody's first pumpkin experience was a hit.  He didn't want to touch the slimy seeds, but was very curious about how I cut it.  We placed it outside our door with a candle and every morning and every evening he would check to see if it was there and wave hello to it. 

I had great intentions of dressing both boys up as gnomes for Halloween, but it turns out toddlers aren't so complacent when it comes to costumes.  My mother's group had a Halloween get together, so I did manage to get this little one into his costume.  I knit the little hats and Woody still loves to wear his.  

Arne and Carlos

The blogger app for the ipad doesn't let me edit photos and text the way I like, so I have to upload photos but then switch to my laptop, which explains why there are random posts with no explanation.  I don't find much time to sit and write these days. 

Last year, my friend, Azusa, helped me knit Woody's Halloween Yoda hat.  She taught me some basic things and I've been learning ever since.  Knitting is quintessential Scandinavia.  Little girls learn at a young age and seemingly everyone I know has had some experience with this craft.  I guess the long hours of dark and cold in this northern region and the need for warm woolen garments pair nicely with knitting.  
A few weeks ago, some friends and I attended a knitting workshop at the Louisiania Museum hosted by Arne & Carlos.  These two are something of cult fame in Scandinavia.  They are a Swedish and Norwegian couple who are former knitwear fashion designers (sounds a bit like an oxymoron, no?) and have made their name in the knitting world with the creation of their Christmas balls (julekugler).  

The julekugler became famous after Arne & Carlos were commissioned by Comme des Garcons to create their winter window decorations in Tokyo. 

 They are kind and funny, which you can see in this video, and I suppose it is what has endeared them to people the world over. They live on a farm in Norway and travel around telling the story of their company and just knitting with people who come to meet them. 

They have also written a book based on their doll creations.  Can you see their likeness in yarn?

These are so cute.  I'd like to make one in the likeness of each of the boys.  I picture striped t-shirts, wild blonde hair, pants with holes in the knees and a jam-stained face for Woody's doll. 

They are currently on their way to do a book tour in the US and will be visiting Portland in February.  Even if you don't knit, they are really fun people to meet.  And you'll be able to understand their workshop in English better than I did in Danish.