Moving to Denmark has not been the easiest transition.  We don't speak Danish yet, and although everyone speaks English, it is not the default language choice for communicating.  English is a second (or third or fourth) language for probably 95% of the people we have met so far.  We have had people roll their eyes at us when we tell them we can't speak Danish yet.  Maybe having a small child makes people think we have been here longer than we have, but strangers just seem to assume we should be able to speak to them.  For the people who know us, it is different.  We have been blessed to have met people who care about our well-being and have gone out of their way to include us in their lives.  We have not had the ex-patriot experience you read about normally on the internet in regard to Danes and I don't know if it is because we live in Jutland, or because we have met most of the people we can call friends right now through the church we attend.  The Danish families we have met are incredibly friendly and they have gone out of their way to incorporate us in their lives.

Specifically, one family has truly blessed us.  JΓΈrgen and Jytte are a wonderful couple who have really taken us under their wing.  They were missionaries in Africa for ten years so, as they always say, they know what it is like to be outsiders in a new country.  We are extra lucky that their children are having their first babies right now too.  Their oldest daughter has a little girl who is only six weeks younger than E, and their son's wife is due to have a baby next spring.  Their niece lives in the same town as we do and also had a baby girl three weeks after E was born.  So, it seems like E wont be at a loss for friends his age at church.  Jytte is in the picture with E at Lea's house (Lea is the oldest daughter).  We went for a visit a few weeks after Lea's daughter was born.  E is almost two months old in the photo.  He really enjoys his reflection and so Jytte is showing him a mirror.  Lea has a mesh disc swing type thing for her baby suspended in their living room which E is laying on.  The swing is really cool, though I don't know how useful it would be after the baby starts rolling over itself ...  I also don't know how much weight it holds.

E was in a good mood for the start of the visit, but then he started to get fussy.  E is loud about the things in life that make him unhappy.  Actually, he's pretty loud about the things that make him happy too, but when he is unhappy it is not easy to have a conversation around him.  When we visit people, I find that I spend a fair amount of time in adjacent rooms with him as he loudly protests whatever is bothering him or loudly enjoys a meal.  Since E was really only settling if I was walking him around and I was trying to talk with Lea, Jytte offered to take E for a walk outside.  She returned ten minutes later saying she thought he was hungry because he started crying while they were walking.  It didn't matter if E was hungry or not, he was definitely at the point where boob was the easiest solution to settling him down and he fell asleep pretty quickly after that.  After a short nap in my arms E woke up and had been sitting quietly in my lap facing outward (a position he was newly content to be in) for about ten minutes when Lea's daughter woke up.

Danes have interesting customs when it comes to raising children and I "get" all of them so maybe if we had arrived in Denmark sooner I would be doing more than observing them.  A very Danish element to child rearing that we have yet to try is using their huge prams to transport children.  I do think the prams are monstrous and would be burdensome for getting on and off the train, or walking a crowded city street.  If we had a car to transport it and a yard to push it around in, I would be more interested in getting one.  The Danes don't bring the prams inside really, so they don't get in the way in that form.  The babies sleep in lifts that can be carried in and out easily.  The prams are really like small cribs on wheels and using it allows a baby to sleep outside- something Danes seem to swear by.  Take the baby for a walk in the pram, it falls asleep and the parents just leave the baby outside in the pram with a baby monitor until it wakes up.  I would do it with E if we had a pram..and a place outside to leave the pram; it seems like the more outside air he breathes in a day, the better he sleeps.

In any case, E was sitting nicely on my lap when Lea's daughter woke up in her pram on the porch. Lea brought her into the living room- she was crying as any three week old baby would be after a long nap.  E got very quiet and just watched Lea's baby.  Lea handed her daughter off to Dad as she prepared to breastfeed, E watching intently the entire time.  Once the feeding started it took E about five seconds before he yelled "Neh! Neh!" -the sound he makes when he wants boob.  He then turned around and looked into my eyes and started wailing as if to say "I want to do that too!"  So, I had to bite Lea's styles and start feeding E as well.  It was the first time I had really heard E separate his "talking" and his "crying."  I felt really proud of us because I want him to be able to express himself and I want to be able to understand that expression.  Plus, it was just totally cute.
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