Category Archives: Ellen

Cousins in motion

Storm and Ellen Storm and Ellen Storm and Ellen (with the inexhaustible Frits in the background)


DSC_4774.JPG DSC_4776.JPG DSC_4782.JPG

DSC_4711.JPGEllen is a pretty cautious child, but she’s growing more and more comfortable on the playground. She particularly likes the swings.

But last month she discovered something even better than the swings. It’s a swing that she can go on with her mom. And really, what could be better than that?

So much wasted jam

Ellen turns two today. This sounds like a good thing, but in reality it’s the start of a long, tough spell. This means that she’s officially in the “terrible twos,” a year of legendary tantrums and fits.

DSC_4124.JPG DSC_4134.JPG DSC_4137.JPG

But in our case it’s worse than that because in Denmark, it’s the third year that is terrible. It’s called “trods alderen” and it’s just like the American terrible twos, except that it occurs a year later and it’s required by Danish law.

So, unfortunately we’ll spend the next two years scurrying about, trying to give Ellen whatever she wants in a pathetic attempt to avoid her terrible wrath.

Ellen turns two

Ellen doesn’t actually turn two for another week (the 16th) but this last weekend was the only time Lisbeth’s family was free to get together to celebrate. So we took the train to Vejle and spent a quiet weekend with Lisbeth’s family.

Ellen, on the slobber express Rikke-Naja The birthday girl at work

It was November when I was last in Vejle, so I was really looking forward to going. It’s always relaxing and it’s a lot of fun to see Ellen with her cousins and her grandparents. (And Karen’s cooking is no small benefit.) Unfortunately I was still recovering from a bout with pneumonia, so although it was relaxing, I wasn’t very good company. Read More →

The pacifier dance

Ellen is a child that loves her pacifier. Sure, most children have an attachment, but for Ellen it is much more than that. She only willingly surrenders her pacifier to eat.

A dance of passion and desire A dance of passion and desire A dance of passion and desire

Currently Ellen finds three pacifiers at bedtime to be ideal. One for her mouth, and one for each hand. This way, if she wakes up and her pacifier has fallen out of her mouth, she can quickly replace it rather than throwing a fit. At some point we’ll have to put a stop to this with a tearful visit to a Pacifier Tree, but for now, this works for everyone.

A pedestrian is born

Ellen has been walking for a while now, but it happened so slowly that it’s hard to say when she really changed from an infant to a toddler. She’s been upright for months now, but before she was always holding the wall or a table, or a pant leg for stability.

An independent girl takes a stroll in the city Fresh air, people watching. Maybe a little shopping... Yes, spring is here -- life is good!
Yay for me! Best. Walker. Ever. And now, a bit of quiet introspection...

Then she started taking a step or two to get from a wall to a table or a pant leg. And then she did that often enough that, very slowly, it mattered less and less how far the wall was from the table, and eventually, whether there was a destination at all.

On the terrace at home At the park At the park

But at this point she’s definitely a walker. She only crawls if she’s already sitting down and there’s only a short distance to traverse. That’s not to say that she walks confidently, or without mishaps. Door jambs are treacherous. She’s keen to their trickery, but they vary in high and width, and so they’re still a threat.

On the terrace at home On the terrace at home On the terrace at home

This stage of life is pretty tough in terms of falls. But walking is her default method of locomotion, and she’s constantly working at improving it.

Lisbeth, Ellen, Kaspar, and Hanne Lisbeth tries to impress upon Storm the importance of walking Fine, you can walk now. But can you dance? Fine, you can walk now. But can you dance? Fine, you can walk now. But can you dance? Hi. My name is Ellen and I'll be your server tonight. Cousin Storm It looks cuter than it sounded

Most of these were taken two weeks ago when we visited Kaspar, Hanne, and Storm in Århus. Storm, who is two months younger than Ellen, isn’t quit walking yet, but it’s probably a good thing. He’s like the Energizer bunny, and doesn’t seem to have any respect for things like hesitation or caution. He’ll be all over the place when he figures out how, and I’m sure Hanne and Kaspar will miss the days of crawling

Birthday number one

EllenI’m not sure how it happened, but somehow a year has passed since Ellen came along. It went by quickly, and it seems like she’s been with us all along.

She’s not walking yet. She’s pretty confident standing though, and this weekend Frits coaxed her into taking a step or two. It won’t be long, but so far she doesn’t really seem to think it’s an option anyway.

The way that she’s changed the most though, is her comprehension. She catches on to things that she wouldn’t have figured out before. She’s not solving equations or anything, but you can show her something and she’ll try it herself. Read More →

Potato Person

The Potato PersonI really like the fact that we named her Ellen, but most of the time it seems a bit too grown-up. But that’s ok — that’s what nick-names are for. But for some reason (probably because she changes so fast)  no single nickname seems to stick. So here’s a list, in no particular order.

  • Little girl
  • The Frog
  • Tater-tot
  • Destructo-bot
  • Cabbage head
  • Potato-person

Maximum cuteness

There may be, somewhere in the world, a father that thinks his daughter is cuter than mine.

But he is clearly insane. Unlike me. Who is not.

DSC_2521.JPG DSC_2721.JPG DSC_2728.JPG

Ellen is ten and a half months old now, and ever since she was born I’ve been telling Lisbeth, “I think this is it — maximum cuteness” and “She just can’t get cuter. It’s just not possible” and “I don’t think I can take much more of this.”

But then she goes right on getting cuter. So much so that when I look at pictures of her from three or six months ago I think, “Well sure, she was sort of cute, I guess… but look at her now!”

But, like house prices, Ellen’s cuteness cannot go up and up indefinitely. No. It must peak at some point, and then go down. It just must. It defies the laws of the universe, this.

Not that I’m complaining, especially since she has a personality to match her cuteness. In fact, there may be, somewhere in the world, a father that thinks his daughter is more charming than mine… poor fool.

Crawling is for losers

Ellen’s preferences continue to emerge, and one thing that’s clear is that she has no interest in crawling. She takes real offense when I put her into the crawling position. She drops down to her stomach, starts whining, and looks to Lisbeth for sympathy.  ”Look mom! Look at what dad did to me!”

Ellen during clapping practice This is about as close as Ellen gets to crawling voluntarily I'm walking! I'm walking!

Walking, on the other hand — now that’s interesting. If you hold her hands and walk her around the room, she makes her happy noises and looks up at you as if to say, “Look! I’m walking!”

Apparently not all babies crawl before they walk. Lisbeth never did. Maybe Ellen won’t either, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop trying.