Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Sunday, 12 April 2009

First Easter in Summerland

The entire country of Denmark has shut down for Easter week and spring vacation life is upon us.

Maundy Thursday or Skærtorsdag marks the beginning. Our vacation started with a race here in Næstved. It's the biggest race in the city all year and it's called Skærtorsdagsløb (løb meaning race).

It was a beautiful morning for a (mostly) trail run. I ran the 10.04k and SR ran the 5.14k. Judging from last year's times, I stood a much better chance of winning the 5.14k. But longer races are just more fun.

Perhaps stupidly, I ran the first 5k in 20 minutes (ahead of all the 5kers and just ahead of my biggest 10k competitor). Shortly thereafter, I started to burn out and my competitor passed me. I then slipped all over running up a steep mud hill and eventually dropped my ipod. But I ended up with a 17 second PR (41:58) and second place.

SR was disappointed with 4th place in the 5,14k, but still ran a great race, with a time of 17:42.

After the race, there was again a podium for the winners. My little 5 year old niece, Chewy, was so taken by the fact that I got to stand on number 2, that she found flowers for my hair and repeated "I love you Sealegs. I love you." in her adorable Danish accent.

Here is a picture of her with her dad (SR's brother).

I could go on and on about Chewy, but suffice it to say, she is absolutely wonderful. And she astounds me with her ability to switch between Danish and English at exactly the right time (and can translate words like telescope, etc.)... childrens' minds are amazing.

Hey and I got a 300 kr. (or $50 prize)!

After a lunch at our apartment in Næstved, we went up to the Danish summerland, where many Danish families have summerhouses. Our summerland is right on a bay of the North Atlantic called Kattegat. The views and beaches are gorgeous and peaceful.

On Friday, we enjoyed a traditional Easter Lunch (Påskefrokost) with about 30 family memebers in the Danish spring sun. It was so nice to talk with two happy, working mothers who are able to balance a full-time job and motherhood. They were fascinated by the fact that many women in the US don't breastfeed. It seems it's a given here that virtually all mothers breastfeed for at least one year (and to be honest, I don't even know if it's possible to buy a breast pump here). When I say I would have had just 15 days paid maternity leave in the US, I have to repeat it at least once. "But then at least you would get unemployment, right?" Yeah, right. The US system seemingly doesn't believe in supporting mothers, children or the poor. It's simply more important that the rich don't pay high taxes. That's American feedom, afterall...

Here's SR's cousin (mom and biochemist) with the now-green-eyed Lorax.

Here are some pictures of us splitting firewood for the summerhouse

and battling Easter winds...

and crazy parents

God påske and Happy Easter!

Best song from the race: Disturbia by Rihanna


Nancy Molden said...

I couldn't agree more with your comment about how it's more important for the rich to pay less taxes. :(

Danni said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend and a great race! Congratulations!

What do the Danish women who are unable to breastfeed do? Or do they not have that problem? I was under the impression that it doesn't always work.

sea legs girl said...


Good question. I'm sure there's formula available. But being physically unable to breastfeed, I believe, is quite rare. I can't find a good source for a percentage, though. You'd have to believe that'd be a huge evolutionary disadvantage. Anyone know a percentage?

Abbie said...

Your family is so cute. I think that's wonderful that you've found some women who are able to balance the best of both worlds. I think you hit the nail on the head with the comments about women, children and the poor. And the rich and taxes... don't even get me started.

Don't know a percentage but though I was able to breastfeed my daughter, she wasn't gaining adequate weight. To my own discredit, I was balancing a full load of grad school, two jobs and a baby and was stressed. Probably didn't eat correctly and definitely didn't drink enough water. By the time I tried to correct it my daughter was severely underweight and soooo unbearable... crying nearly constantly.

I can't wait for the next time as I would like to breastfeed for an entire year. But that said, sometimes it isn't possible and I believe I have heard stories that before the days of formula other women would step in and help nurse.

Kate said...

Love the tree pic -- hilarious!

Olga said...

hey, Speedy! Lorax is absolutely a cutie pie!
As for breastfeeding, while Russia does support motherhood fully (or at least Soviets did) with 1.5 years off paid time and then up to 3 years half-pay, and then up to 7 years holding a job for you (no pay, though), I wasn't able to breastfeed - out of milk by month 4 with both kids. Bummer. Even if with second one, whom I had in US and only was able to take 5 weeks off (2 weeks maternity and 3 weeks vacation) I had explanation why my milk faded away, with first one, when I took 6 months off medical school and work completely, it still didn't "stick" around. But it's not case the point of why US doesn't support mothers and babies!

Olga said...

I just noticed you have a link to Joy and Mike's blog, how funny, I came across their website about 3 weeks ago or so through some rather long winded chain and bookmarked it as well! Aren't they awesomely crazy? :)

H said...

Congrats! Those pics of your little darling are sooo cute!