Cate is Eight!

June 23, 2008

Cate refuses to accept that summer is over last Labor Day. Photo by MadGiddy.

More Cate photos here, and new birthday pictures here.


Dear Catie,


I know Momma’s all over the world say this at nearly every birthday for nearly every child, but I cannot believe you are eight years old! You have such a sweet little voice, and the top of your head still smells like baby hair – so I often forget how much you have grown up!


The child development books say there are years of equilibrium and years of dis-equilibrium, and this has been an unbalanced year for you. You’ve done a great job, and worked hard at growing up, but it has been hard and sometimes you have been tired.


Seven has reminding me a lot of three, with my golden-haired baby suddenly errupting into ‘the rage mister.’ Daddy and I have tried to teach you that it’s okay to be angry. But that anger shouldn’t be thrown at other people. You’ve worked hard to get your anger into a reasonable level so that you don’t hurt the dog or your sissy with scary voices or mean words. I’m proud of you! And you are doing very VERY well at figuring out what emotion is hiding behind anger’s big noise. Did you know that a lot of grown-ups can’t even do that! You are so awesome!


This year we moved away from Seattle to Denmark. It was a HUMONGOUS change, and you are handling it really, really well. I know you are frustrated that you don’t speak Danish yet (especially because Sissy does.) But you understand SO much, and you are already making Danish friends. So don’t worry, you will speak it soon. And don’t worry about forgetting English either. I promise you will always remember your English words. You don’t have to trade one for the other.


Your superpower of Friendship has definitely been able to Shine this year! You made such close friends with sweet Claire before we left, and every kid in class wrote amazing things about you in your goodbye book. I’ll never forget you reading that book so tenderly, and not even wanting to share it with mommy at first, because you knew how precious all those words were. You cried a little and said, “Mommy, I wish I could just call all these friends and say ‘thank you’ because they said SUCH nice things about me!” And do you know what baby? They are all true! Just yesterday Daddy said that you have special aura about you that draws people to you. Everyone says they notice you because you have such cute hair, but Daddy thinks it is because of your superpower. People are drawn to you because you are such a good friend. I guess that’s why every kid on the street waves to me – even though I don’t know them—and then says to their Mom or the friend they are walking with, ‘Det er Cate’s Moa’ (That’s Cate’s Mom!) Everyone knows Cate because she is good friend!


You are going to get to do such amazing things this year! Go back to drum or piano lessons. Sail to an island in the Danish sea. And because sculpture is your favorite, we will go to Italy so you can see the very best sculpture in the whole world. I can’t wait to see you looking up at those amazing Michelangelo’s! By this time next year you will have a whole slew of new friends on your playdate schedule; a half dozen new pins on your ‘where I’ve been’ map; and maybe even a solo airplane flight to sail with Grandma and Grandpa on the Lady Penelope!


Thank you for being my younger (not little!) daughter, and for being the best cuddler in the whole wide world. I love you, ‘Baby’ Cate!




Travel Journal

June 18, 2008

While we were in England, and a bit after we came back, Cate and I made a cut-color-and-paste travel journal. (Cut-color-and-paste is what my cousin Shanna used to call preschool. Now she has a preschooler!) Anywhooo, if you click here you can see all our pretty pages and read a tiny bit about each place we visited.

P.s. If you haven’t seen them yet, a scant 17 of our 200+ England photos are in a bite sized collection here.

This is what passes for night in CPH

June 16, 2008

On Saturday evening at about 10:30pm Rachelle, who was going to bed with a migraine, suggested I (Paul) call up Josh to play XBox. I said, “It’s too late; I’m only going to play for a bit and then come to bed.” Well, I’ve now seen what 2:30am looks like near midsummer in Copenhagen, and through the magic of The Internets so can you. Now, mind you, the sun doesn’t set until 10pm, and it is still very light out at 11pm. There have been a few fireworks displays (we’re not sure what for) recently, and they haven’t been able to start until midnight. The sun rises at 4:30am, but really by 3:30am the sky is pretty well lit.

I took the photo at 2.5 seconds. The buildings are about as bright as they were in real life, which gives you an indication of how bright the sky was.

We’ve got black-out shades in our bedrooms and fans to mask the birds singing…

Eight is Great!

June 15, 2008

Much to my astonishment, Catie Shalom is turning eight in just a few short days (June 22nd). She’d love cards in the mail, but if making it to the post office for overseas postage in an insurmountable obstacle (as is always is for me) you can send her love notes and congratulations on line.

Cate’s favorite thing right now is her Facebook page. For those of you who are unfamiliar with facebook, it’s on online site that lets you talk to friends and send little ‘virtual’ gifts to each other. You can’t use it unless you have an account and you request to be Cate’s friend. But if you’d like to do that, it’s free and easy and you can sign up for an account here. Then search for “Cate Mee Chapman” and you’ll be able to make friendship request. Cate’s facebook page is here.  She likes to get Pieces of FlairGrowing Gifts, and things for her Little Green Patch.

Another big hit, and easier to do if you are on the technophobic side, is to send an E-Card via Hallmark. It’s also free. Cate likes the joke-y ones best especailly Hoops& Yoyo. If you need Cate’s email drop me a note at moi at magpie-girl dot com. (I don’t want to put it out here on the web. The facebook thing I can monitor but her email just comes straight in.)

Thanks to the Coolman-Curran family and the Hydes for sending us care packages of late. Those have really helped the kids get through the rough bump of cultural disillusionment they seemed to have hit in May. Now they can have macaroni and cheese from time to time, sleep with a stuffie from their best friends, and keep track of thier emotional ups and downs in their new journals. Plus, hello…CANDY! 🙂

Sightseeing with Grandparents

June 14, 2008

Some snaps of our visit with the grandparentals. More of the sites and the family here.

We’ve been catching up this week after GigGig and Bompa (Grandma and Grandpa Mee) came to stay with us for a few days. (Hurrah!) It felt really good to host someone in our flat — making up the guest room, planning “typical” Danish meals, figuring out the best sites to see. Having family here as guests helped the apartment feel more like home.

While my folks were here we fed them drammekage (‘dream’ cake with coconut); ‘Danish lunch’ (wasa bread, hardcooked eggs, cured meat, cheese, and veggies); and plenty of beer under sun umbrellas.

We were able to show Grandma and Grandpa our neighborhood and how we lived, visiting the Frederiksberg Haven (park) and the University gardens; riding bikes through the back roads so they could see how much Cate’s learned; and taking walks around our house.

Of course, we also did the typical touristy things like visiting Frederiksborg Slot (Palace) and taking a boat tour of the canal in downtown CPH. Of course, the biggest event was the girls’ early birthday present from GigGig and Bompa — a full day of rides and sugar at Tivoli Gardens, a world famous amusement park.

In addition to the pictures of their visit, which you can find by clicking on the link under the photo collage at the top of the page, I’ve also put up a set of stuff we consider “typical” of Copenhagen, just for fun. We’ll add photo’s to this from time to time. There are lots of funny Danglish signs and graffiti I’d like to take some pictures of.  We hope this things help you catch the vibe of our CPH living.

Much love from all of us to all of you.