Monday, December 24, 2012


It's the day before Christmas and it's time for the traditional Danish dish risengrød. This is a rice based porridge eaten with cinnamon, butter and sweet beer. In the ole days you put a pot of this out in the barn to appease the "nisser" (little mischievous Christmas gnomes that play tricks on you). Now we just eat it.

Axel is excited to try a new dish.

 Verdict = Yummy!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

The No-man

Today was a snow day and Axel wanted to build a snow man (which he consistently pronounces as "no-man"). He (and mom) got some help on building technique from Line, Mikkel and Charlotte.

Getting started.

Every snow man needs a carrot nose.

The end result (using Far's hat).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Decorating the juletræ

After having picked up a tree, it was Axel's job to decorate it. He took the job quite seriously.

Enjoying the final result!

Christmas lunch in Nyhavn

In the past couple of years we have had a family Christmas lunch in Nyhavn (an old picturesque part of Copenhagen). 

Everyone had the delicious jule-buffet with herring, salmon and the usual overload of pork dishes. Farmor, Onkel Jesper and Far also had some nice akvavit.

Fætter Niklas and Tante Jane plays an iPhone game with Axel.

Time to go home - Farmor pushes the bob.

The S-tog

The city of Copenhagen is served by a red train called the S-tog (S-train). For Axel - ever the train fanatic - this is a great benefit of visiting Denmark. 

Waiting patiently for the train to arrive at the station.

Finally on the train.


As usual we are spending Christmas in Denmark. Axel is having some difficulties in adopting to the Danish winter climate since this means bundling up in ways he is not used to. Any kid in Denmark is wearing a "flyver-dragt" (which translates to "pilot-suit") this time of year. It is a one-piece thick winter suit. Getting Axel into his usual involves a combination of tantrums, stern threats and bribery. He is also making good use of his bomber-hat (a gift from Moster Molly).

Here he is - finally in the suit - ready for a ride on his green tricycle (a gift from Farmor).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas in Sunny San Diego

The holidays in San Diego are kind of weird.  Its so sunny and warm here, so the people have to get really creative to come up with that "cozy holiday feeling" without any snow, warm winter weather, excessive palm trees, etc.

As an example, here Axel is wearing his Jewish holiday crown, adorned with dreidels and the Star of David.  This homemade festive accessory was created at his non-denominational (very PC) preschool.

There is also a tradition in San Diego called "December Nights" where 300,000 people battle it out for limited parking and then wander around Balboa park to shop at crafty vendor tents and enjoy the Christmas decorated museum campus.  This being my first time there, I didnt really "get it".  Maybe I missed something.  But it WAS nice to get into the Model Train museum for free.

The next day we went to Legoland (with Axel's buddy Mason) to see legoSanta siting on his legoSleigh next to the legoChristmas tree.

Being naturally suspicious, Axel refused to sit on the real Santa's lap at the train museum the previous evening, so by comparison he was downright cuddly with legoSanta - this was as close as he would sit for the picture (ready to bolt at a moment's notice):

Also at Legoland we went boating.  Axel drove.  I navigated. 

Happy Holidays San Diego, soon we will be off to Denmark for the real deal!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lollipop: "it tastes like juice"

Yesterday at a friend's birthday party Axel tried his very first lollipop.  When he unwrapped it, I explained that it wasn't food, and that you don't eat it - instead you lick it with your tongue.   He loved it, saying "it tastes like juice!", and has literally been carrying it around non-stop for 24 hours.

Digging Restoration

A friend of mine invited me to a volunteer gardening event to restore the river habitat by planting native plants along the Mission Valley Nature Preserve.  After confirming with her that it was truly "family friendly", I decided to bring Axel along to his first volunteering event.

Like most two year old boys, he is pretty into Dirt.

He brought his own shovel to dig the holes

It felt good to be outside and get our hands dirty for a good cause

First Time Bowling

Axel's First Time Bowling:

location - Austin, Texas
challengers - Honus, Violet, Nana Jackie (the winner), Mom & Dad
final score - 52
secret weapon - bumpers
biggest challenge - waiting for your own turn

Thanksgiving 2012

Last week we went on the annual Austin visit for Thanksgiving. We all had a fantastic time! 

Obligatory Pre-dinner Family Photo (large version to accommodate all of us!)

This time we stayed at Grandpa's house. Axel wanted to sleep in Honus's room (5 minutes later he changed his mind).

Dinner in Moster Molly's house with cousin Tillie and Captain America (ok - it's really cousin Django) 

A moment of rare concentration in Grandma's yard.....

...and we're back to running. 

"Cooking" in the backyard with the cousins

Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving morning, Axel joined his parents, aunt Violet, and uncle Honus for the annual Austin Turkey Trot.  This was Axel's very first race: a one kilometer run.  We were so excited and proud that we forgot to record his time, doh!   See below how SERIOUS Axel is when he runs, clearly a very determined competitor . . .

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Baby Hunter's Birthday Party

Axel's friend Mason's younger brother Hunter turned 1 and Axel was invited to the party.

Axel and Daniella 

Mason takes off on the slide while Axel gets ready

Deep concentration when lining up the bowling pins

The birthday boy having his cake and eating it too

Axel ending the day with a cake pop

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sushi Sunday

One of the most amazing things about being a two year old must be that your mind is blown by the wonders of the world pretty much every day. Today Axel discovered sushi.



"What is this marvelous food...?"

"Ehh....what am I supposed to do with these...?"

 "Hmm...this is really kinda tricky"

"ah screw it - I'll just eat it with my hands"

"Nailed it!"

"All right - getting the hang of this now"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

I LOVE Halloween, and I love homemade costumes.  This year was tricky though, because Axel is in a special phase where he is unlikely to tolerate any costume that involves a hat, jacket, accessories, plastic material, or basically anything that is any different from his regular clothes.  So after some hard thought, I came up with a simple design idea for a tiger outfit.  I started sewing a few weeks in advance, and everything was going great, until about four days before Halloween when Axel announced that he was going to be Thomas the Train for Halloween (and Mommy was going to be Percy the Train, Thomas's best friend).  I was NOT happy about this announcement, and worried it might ruin our Halloween . . .

But in the end he allowed me to put him in the tiger costume with minimal battles, and he even showed off his long tail to his friends at preschool.

Here Axel sits with his jack-o-lantern: painted, not carved

Tigers can ride bicycles, didn't you know??

We threw a trick or treating party with all our friends:

Genelle and Francisco dressed up as New Parents: Used and Abused, while Evaluz admires her handiwork . . . (best costume EVER!!!)

Me and my unicorn friend Ayelet:

The kids posed for the camera in their costumes

Me and my little tiger son ready to go out trick-or-treating: it was SO much fun, I had a blast with you!