torsdag den 29. oktober 2015

lørdag den 24. oktober 2015

Hamster wheeling!




Hvordan går det så med at være 2 fuldtidsarbejdende forældre:

So how is life being two parents working full time:
Hamster spin wheel fail

Kristian er rigtig glad for sit arbejde og vi er rigtig glade for den ugentlige løncheck, men for søren altså hvor er det en omstilling af de større at holde Cirkus Frikke kørende på en måde, der er til at holde ud for alle parter. Kristian er (eller har I hvert fald været) udpræget B menneske, men lige nu skal han helst køre senest 06:45 OG huske en madpakke! Gisp. Jeg er blevet til sådan een, der hænger ud på kontoret/laboratoriet til det er halvsent, fordi jeg først møder ind 9:30, og eftersom jeg egentlig altid har prøvet at arbejde efter devisen : tidligt I gang og tidligt hjem, så føles det også lidt sært.


Kristian really enjoys to be working again and we all enjoy the weekly paycheck, but getting the whole Cirkus Frikke functioning every day is quite an adjustment. Kristian is (or at least used to be) a B person, but right now he has to be out of the door no later than 06:45 AND remember his lunch box! Gasp. I am becoming that type of person, who hangs in the office / laboratory semi late because I don’t get in until 9:30, and since I used to always opt for working by the philosophy of: early in/early out it feels a little strange.


Vi har prøvet at finde et godt tidspunkt at købe ind til hele ugen. I Danmark gjorde vi det fredag aften en time inden lukketid (butikkerne er fyldt op til lørdag morgen, og der er ikke et øje – genialt), men her vil vi gerne ha vores fredag aften til at koble helt af. Og med størrelserne på supermarkederne herovre, tager det pænt meget længere tid fra man går ind til man kommer ud igen, Så lige nu prøver vi at få det gjort torsdag aften. Her er et lille snapshot fra ugens indkøb, der egentlig er vores familie I en nøddeskal. Luca fjumser med nyindkøbt dims (denne gang hot wheels biler), frk 13 årig står med næsen I et sladderblad og vil helst ikke anstrenge sig for meget med noget så kedeligt som at hjælpe til, mens den pligtopfyldende side af Ulrik troligt skubber varerne ned til mig – dog med en lettere ugidelig 16 års attitude:


We have tried to find a good time to shop for the whole week. In Denmark we did it on Friday nights one hour before closing time (the shops are filled up for Saturday morning, and there is no-one there - brilliant), but here we like to have our Friday nights free to wind down completely. And with the size of the grocery stores here, it takes much longer from you enter until you are back out, so right now we are trying to get it done Thursday night. Here is a snapshot of this week's shopping, which is basically our family in a nutshell. Luca fiddles with newly purchased gadgets (this time hot wheels cars), Mrs 13 year old stands with her nose in a tabloid and would rather not try too hard with something as boring as helping with packing, while Ulrik dutifully pushes the goods down towards me – but not without a slight “I couldn’t care less attitude”, as you would expect from a 16 year old:


Men vi har det godt. Weekenderme er knap så actionprægede som de har været, men vi kom da I corn maze I søndags (samme sted som sidste år). Denne gang valgte vi, eller dvs Teresa kommanderede, at det skulle være drengene mod pigerne I mazen. Teresa og jeg vandt stort og nåede at gafle et par karameliserede æbler ned, inden vi så resten af familien igen – og vi snød næsten ikke!

But we are doing well. The weekends are not as action-packed as they have been, but we made it to the corn maze Sunday (same place as last year). This time we chose, or rather Teresa commanded, that it should be boys versus girls in the maze. Teresa and I won big and managed to gulp down a few caramel apples before we saw the rest of the family again - and we only cheated a little bit in the maze…….


Stuens møblement er blevet udvidet med en skænk, der egentlig var ret grim, men den kostede kun 30$ og var helt perfekt I størrelsen. En halv time på amazon.com, en hel dåse limspray, og temmeligt meget tålmodighed og klistrede fingre senere, så den sådan her ud (og ja, vi savner stadigt Californien):

The furnishing of the livingroom has been expanded with a dresser, that was actually quite ugly, but it was only $ 30 and was perfect in size. Half an hour on amazon.com, a whole can of gluespray, and quite some patience and sticky finger later, it looked like this (and yes, we still miss California):


Field Hockey sæsonen er I fuld sving med Teresa  som Goalie, og det var lidt sjovt at se hvor lang tid det egentlig ta’r at få alt udstyret på. Heldigvis havde hun hjælp af fra resten af holdet:

Field Hockey season is in full swing with Teresa as a goalie, and it was hilarious to watch how long it really takes to get geared up. Luckily she had help from the rest of the team:



Vi har været til skole hjem samtale med Luca, der sad og var helt rød I hovedet og næsten ikke turde sige noget – lille pus. Hans lærer er simpelthen så sød og han klarer sig godt, men på vej hjem I bilen begndte han at græde over, at han ikke kan li at komme hjem fra skole og det så kun er Ulrik der er hjemme :-( Torsdag morgen var han rigtig ked af det og havde ondt I hovedet/ondt I maven/ikke sulten/træt osv osv. Jeg kender godt symptomerne på at trænge til en hjemmedag med sin mor, så skolen blev aflyst og han kom med på arbejde. Det var rigtig hyggeligt faktisk. Han fik lynhurtigt sat sit fingeraftryk på mit hjørne af kontoret, og min undergrad var færdig af grin over hvordan han heppede på musene, der fik taget blodprøver. “you can do it mouse”, “good boy”, “you’ll be done soon”. Han syntes også det var vældig spændene at få lov til at fylde en 96 brønds plade med gult vand OG der var hans yndlingsmad til frokost (pommes frites). Nu kan han godt klare nogle flere skoledage :-)

We have been at the parent teacher conference with Luca, who wore a very red face and could hardly speak because he was nervous. His teacher is really sweet though and he's doing well, so there was really no reason for him to be that affected by the situation. But on the way home in the car he started crying because he does not like to come home from school and then it is only Ulrik who is there for the first half hour ;-(  Thursday morning he was not feeling well and complained of headaches / stomachache / no appetite / being tired etc etc. I know the symptoms of needing a day off with ones mom, so school was canceled and he came with me to work – growing significantly hungry on the bus. It really was a good day. He quickly marked his territory in my corner of the office, and my undergrad was very entertained by him cheering on the mice having blood samples drawn. "You can do it mouse", "good boy", "you'll be done soon." He also thought it was very exciting to be allowed to fill a 96 well plate with yellow water AND he had his favorite food for lunch (french fries). Now he is ready for some more school :-)


søndag den 11. oktober 2015

You know you live in Michigan when……



      Du spiser is I oktober fordi det ikke er frostvejr endnu (og I øvrigt tager hunden med, for der ligger jo en hundebutik lige ved siden isbutikken)
-          you go out for icecream in October because it is not freezing at night yet (and you bring your dog to go to the petstore right next to the icecream store)

I like icecream, you like icecream, everybody likes icecream

-         når mange af dine kolleger selv har hund og du pludseligt har 2 hunde derhjemme pga en nødsituation https://youtu.be/3NDsdXmFElA. Men hey – du får lov til at samle 4-6 hundelorte op om dagen I special designede farverige lorte poser
-          a lot of your colleagues have dogs too and you suddenly find yourself taking care of two dogs, because of an emergency https://youtu.be/3NDsdXmFElA. But hey – you got to pick up dog poop 4-6 times a day in nice colorful designer poop bags!

-          Din mand begynder at arbejde for Ford I Dearborn
-          Your husband starts working for Ford in Dearborn



-          Når en tilfældig lørdag bliver til optur fordi du tager til Detroit og køber ind på eastern market
-          A random Saturday turns out to be really awesome because you get to go to the eastern market in Detroit

        



Detroits oldest still functioning elevator



-          “Græskar” kommer I mange hidtil usete versioner
-          “Pumpkins” come in many different versions



-          Når hele familien bliver mere begejstrede for at få øje på Biggby Coffee end Starbucks
-          The entire family gets more excited about spotting Biggby coffee  than Starbucks
-           
-          Når du går til slagteren for at købe ben til hunden
-          You shop bones for the dog at the butcher

Bailey with evil "don't you even think about stepping closer to this bone" eyes


-          Når din søn udelukkende har camouflage farvet tøj på til foto dag på skolen
-          Your son wears all camouflage for school picture day



-          Og fordi billedet her IKKE er taget ved havet med ved en sø ;-)
-          And because this picture is not from the ocean  but from a lake;-)



torsdag den 1. oktober 2015

Little cards with a big impact



Det er torsdag, kl er 11:30 og jeg sidder her I vores store blå lænestol I en helt stille lejlighed, hvor stilheden kun bliver afbrudt af snorken fra hund I sofaen og undertegnedes hoste og snøfteri. Jeg betaler af på en sindssyg dag I tirsdags, der toppede med cykeltur I regnvejr efterfulgt af 2 timer I gennemblødt tøj I bygning med heftig aircondition. Øv! Men ikke spor overraskende desværre.

It's Thursday's 11:30 AM and I am sitting in our big blue armchair in an absolutely quiet apartment where the silence is only broken by the snoring dog on the couch and yours truly coughing and snorting. I'm paying for a crazy day on Tuesday, which peaked with a bike ride in the rain, followed by two hours of wearing soaked clothes in a building with hefty air conditioning. Ouch! But not surprising at all, unfortunately.

Som overskriften hentyder så er der kommet små plastic kort til husstanden. 3 af de grønne :-) og eet af den slags, der giver lov til at køre bil. Eller det vil sige, indtil videre må jeg nøjes med en papir version af sidstnævnte, før det rigtige kort lander I post kassen. Jeg fik køreprøven overstået tirsdag morgen, og føj, hvor har jeg været nervøs. I  nogle stater herovre kan køreprøven klares på en bane bagved DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) mens man I Michigan skal regne med 3 kvarters tæsken rundt I bakning, parallel parkering, bykørsel, rundkørsler og – gisp - motorvej med baneskift. Især sidstnævnte har jeg det noget stramt med, da jeg er helt vildt bange for, at der sker noget. Indtil videre er det gået godt, og de andre billister er gode til at gi plads, men det er stadig ikke noget, jeg har lyst til at begive mig ud I på egen hånd. 

As the title hints there has been little plastic cards arriving in the household. 3 of the green kind and one of the those that allows you to drive a car. Well, so far I have to settle for a paper version of the latter before the actual card lands in post box. I had my road test Tuesday morning, and I have been a nervous wreck about it. In some states the test takes place on a track behind the DMV while Michiganders have to do 45 minutes of reverse driving, parallel parking, city traffic, roundabouts and - gasp - expressway with lane shifting. Especially the latter, is something that I really fear as I am scared that I will cause a crash. So far it has gone well though, and the other drivers are good at giving you space, but it's still far from something I would feel confident doing on my own.

Det er Kristian, der har ageret kørelærer, og han er helt utrolig tålmodig heldigvis. Jeg valgte dog at hoste op med betaling for 3 køretimer her til sidst for at få helt styr på det der parallel parkering (hånden på hjertet: hvor mange af jer, der har haft kørekort I mange år, kan forklare med ord, hvordan man bedømmer hvornår man skal dreje rattet hvilken vej?). Det havde så den bonus at jeg fik lov til at træne på selve banen, hvor slaget skulle stå til køreprøven. Udover at det var rart at prøve det “on location” havde det også den fordel at jeg blev helt sikker på, at jeg IKKE skulle tage prøven I vores minivan – den havde jeg simpelthen aldrig fået bakset ind på de små pladser. Kørekortet har endt mig at koste mig den formidable sum af 285$ alt inclusive, og sammenlignet med dansk standard er det ret OK.

It is Kristian, who has been my driving instructor and I am more than lucky that he is such a patient guy. However, I chose to cough up payments for three hours of real instructed driving towards the end to be able to nail the parallel parking (Honestly: how many of you who have held a driving license for many years, can explain with words, how to assess when to turn the steering wheel which way?). It was an extra bonus that I got to practice on the actual “battle field” for the road test. Apart from it being really helpful trying the maneuvers on site it also had the advantage that I was quite sure that I DID NOT want to use our minivan for the test – I would have never managed to squeeze it into the assigned spaces. The license ended up costing me a mere sum of $ 285 all inclusive, and compared to Danish standards it is more than OK.

Kristian startede arbejde I mandags. Det var lige et par dage tidligere end ventet og det er noget af en tilvænning så’n lige at være to fuldtidsarbejdende voksne igen og de første dage har føltes som at løbe en marathon hver dag med stram oprydnings/lektielavnings/madpakkesmøring/madlavnings/hundeluftnings justits. Luca har fået sin egen nøgle, så han kan låse sig ind om eftermiddagen, og han er heldigvis pavestolt af den, selvom han nok ville foretrække at blive kørt til og fra skole. Kristian skal køre til Dearborn hver dag ca 3 kvarter væk. Da han skal ha en del telefon møder med Indien skal han tidligt afsted, og lige nu er det mig, der står for at få hele flokken I gang om morgenen I etaper. Jeg står op lidt over 6, lufter kort hunden, vækker Teresa og spiser morgenmad med hende, hvorefter vi tager Bailey med ned til bussen kl 7:22. Jeg fortsætter på en lidt længere tur med hunden og så er det hjem at vække drengene, der begge har busser, der kører omkring 8:30 (Ulrik møder først ind til 2. time I år). Når alt er klart når jeg at være på arbejde ca 9:30. Kristian henter Teresa fra sport kl 5 om eftermiddagen og er derfor først hjemme halv seks. Der kører heldigvis en sen “sports bus” et par gange om ugen, og vi regner med at hun kommer til at bruge den ind I mellem, da tøsen jo dyrker sport non stop lige for tiden. 

Vi glæder os til weekenden OG til den første paycheck for Kristian (som han lige pt kommer til at få een gang om ugen som en god gammeldaws check – suk).

Kristian started work Monday. It was a few days earlier than expected and it is quite the process morphing into both of us working full time again. The first few days have felt like running a marathon every day with strict clean-up / homework / lunch packing / cooking / dog walking schedules. Luca has his own key so he can get in when he comes home, and fortunately he is very proud of it, although he probably would prefer to be delivered and picked up at school. Kristian needs to travel to Dearborn every day about 45 minutes away by car. Because he has a lot of conference calls with India to begin with, he has to leave early. So these days it's me who is responsible for getting the whole pack out the door in the morning. I get up a little past 6 taking the dog for a short walk, then Bailey and I wake up Teresa and eat breakfast with her, after which she has to catch a bus at 7:22. I continue on a slightly longer walk with the dog, before I head home and wake up the boys who both have busses leaving aound 8:30 (Ulrik meets in for second class this year). When everything is ready I can then manage to be at work around 9:30. Kristian picks up Teresa after sport at 5 in the afternoon and is not home until half past five. There is a socalled “late” school bus running a few times a week, and we expect that she's going to use it once in a while as she will most likely be playing sports non stop this school year.

We REALLY look forward to this weekend AND to the first paycheck for Kristian (which he will be getting one once a week as a good old-fashioned check, at least for now - sigh).