Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Folks, I'm spent. We've been walking the neighborhood for an hour an a half, trying to keep six excited girls under control. But it was tons of fun, and after a thorough scrubbing both girls, they fell into their beds and didn't move any more. See why:

Trick or Treat!

The crowd

Very nice treats for the little creatures

Raiding the store

Back home, exhausted

Half of the loot

I hope you all have a very happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Edition

This is just beyond cool!  Happy Halloween to all you Doctor Who fans, and everyone else!

PS: Susannah:  I hope you like that one!!
PPS: Janine: As promised, I keep them coming  ;-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Out Today...

Today's hubby's birthday. Out celebrating my wonderful man!!

Hope to see you all tomorrow for a Wordless Wednesday!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Voice From My Bedroom

I got to follow the following one-sided conversation last night as I was getting ready for bed:

R1: Gandhi sucks!!

R2: ....

R1: Why is Ethiopia taking all of our wonders??

R2: ....

R1: You could just be the angry Dutchman and declare war on Ethiopia for building all of the Wonders...

R2: ....

R1: Right, and I'll be the angry Swede and declare war on India because they are right next to me...

Conversations I overhear while the hubby plays Civilization online with his friend. Priceless...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saying Good-Bye?

We're up to a quite difficult decision here at the moment. Earlier this year, Violet became friends with another little girl. They played together several times, and she actually was the first friend she made independently from Lily. So far, all her friends were the little sisters of Lily's friends, which is fine, but she never had to make an effort so far as to making friends.

So she and the other girl, E., who's about a year older than she is, became friends. We met a few times with the other family, and it was great to see how Violet's self-confidence and independence grew.

In early summer, E. and her mom left to visit her grandparents in Canada for a couple of months. I thought that something was amiss when E. started school in Canada in early September and a few weeks ago, her dad confirmed that they are going to return to North America. Obviously, E.'s mom was not very happy living in Germany, feeling isolated and hindered by the language barrier and when the dad received a good job offer from overseas, they decided to move back to the United States.

In the meantime, Violet keeps asking me every once in a while when she could play again with E. I know that she'll return to Germany sometime in November for a short visit before returning to Canada and then the U.S. permanently. I suppose that the family will probably be busy biding their farewells to quite some people over here, so I wonder if I should still try arrange for a last meeting for the girls.

In the last weeks, Violet hasn't asked for E. any more, and I would hate having her to go through a difficult good-bye; on the other hand, I wonder if it would be worse if she asked me for E. next time and I had to tell her that she wouldn't come back. I was not prepared for a situation like that, as this family were actually "stayers" like us, and think back and forth on what would be the best decision for Violet.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (15)

Ten Things of Thankful

Saturday morning (almost noon actually), and I somehow have made my way out the bed. It's been a fairly quiet week, but still with many things to be thankfu for. This week's top ten:

1. The hubby for letting me have the last piece of pie.

2. Finding out that our state is going to pay for Lily's kindergarten fees as it's the last year before school and they want to encourage as many kids as possible to go as kindergarten is still voluntary in Germany.

3. Crafting fun fall decoration with the girls.

4. Hubby's reading my mind when it comes to dinner  ;-)

5. Having an awesome pediatric optometrist who takes so good care of Violet. Her eyesight hasn't improved and she has also developed a serious astigmatism during the last 3 months, but we know that these professionals will do their best to help her.

6. My coffee date with my coworker on Monday. Insanely expensive Pumpkin Spice Latte!!

7. A great friend who thinks about me when she's going shopping at the military post and brings me stuff.

8. A quiet cup of pumpkin spice cappuccino while writing this.

9. Lily being absolutely excited about singing with her kindergarten class for the people from the old folk's home. She gave me a little sneak peak of the concert in the morning, and she has the sweetest singing voice ever. And I don't just say that because I'm her mom!!

10. The coffee maker overflow this morning.  Really makes me appreciate my first-world problem. If the worst thing happening to me this morning is a mess of coffee grounds on my counter, I'm luckier than most.

Have a great weekend everyone! And thank you to Lizzi for hosting this wonderful link-up!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Memories

Finish the Sentence Friday

It's Friday!!! The entire weekend ahead, and the weather is supposed to beautiful. I hope to be able to take a walk in the woods with the family, and maybe bake a cake or so... There's nothing better than a Friday night, and to top it off, Janine and Kate have picked a great cue for Finish The Sentence Friday:

One Halloween...

... we had a lHalloween birthday party for the hubbie.

With Billy Mays (well powdered)...
... a medieval wedding couple...
... a gorgeous pilot...
... and a little jaguar girl loving her cake!

PS: I grew up in Germany, where Halloween has arrived only a few years ago, so I don't really have any fun stories to tell about Halloween. But they are definitely in the making  ;-)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is That Love?

We were talking at work yesterday and somehow, the topic got to backpackers in Australia. I mentioned that this is not only for young adults taking a year to themselves and travel, but that this was the lifestyle of many Australians: modern nomads who can fit all of their belongings into a backpack, who traveled from one farm to the other and basically worked for food and lodging plus some money to pay for some necessities or small luxuries. I told them about a guy we once met through a common friend, who lived this lifestyle. Dave was a very nice, mid- to end-30s giant with a low voice and an impressive black beard. And how did this Australian nomad end up in Germany? He had met a Swiss lady, who was backpacking through Australia for a year. And at the end of her year, she asked him to go to Switzerland with her; being the guy he is, he packed his belongings and went with her. You may guess that this relationship didn’t last, as his girlfriend kept urging him to finally grow up and accept “real life”. Their ways parted and Dave went to Poland for a while, where his ancestors are from, working on farms to make a living, and finally stopped by our friend before returning to Australia. 

My colleague’s comment on the story: well, obviously he didn’t love her enough to change for her. But is that love? To change in order to please someone else? To be very possibly miserable to make someone else happy? To give up one’s very self to be someone else? I don't think so. Shouldn't we rather ask: why didn't she love him for who he was?

In my opinion, love is about respect, acceptance, and tolerance. How could I truly love a man who is just lovable after he changed to meet my standards? If anything, Richard and I had a whirlwind relationship, getting married less than five months after meeting each other. This is no time to really get to know each other, but it was plenty of time for us to know that we belong together. He was the man I was meant to be with. Over the time, there were little things about him that irked me, as there were things in me that he wasn't all to fond of. But we never ever tried to change the other person; naturally, we adapted to be part of a couply instead of two individuals, but none of us gave up who we are. And neither would or should we.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday - Growing Old

I was reminded of my 30th birthday again, that's looming a few months ahead... But then I had to think of this, and that I have someone to grow old with - and he's always going to be older than me  ;-):


Linking up with the ladies at The Mommy Blog Hoppers for this Wonderful Wordless Wednesday

The Mommy Blog Hoppers

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Challenge 2013: Book 10 - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I've mentioned this book at the A to Z Book Survey this week, and here's my review for October! I've waited for about 2 months until I finally received a little package from my work's library, and let me tell you, this book was well worth the wait (caution, spoiler alert)!

The Hard Facts:
Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
608 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Mti Edition (November 8, 2011)
ISBN: 978-0307949493

Find it on Amazon

 The Story:
Henrik Vanger, head of an old industrial family, is being tortured for decades by the killer of his niece Harriet by sending him the same birthday present his niece used to give him before her disappearance in 1966: a dried flower in a frame. 

Mikael Blomquist, renowned journalist and editor-in-chief of the independent magazine Millennium, is sentenced to 3 months in prison for libel after writing an article on the businessman Wennerstroem that lacks any kind of evidence. 

Lisbeth Salander, hacker, hermit, with serious emotional issues and a dark past is fighting against her new, sadistic legal guardian. 

The paths of these three very different people crosses after Lisbeth receives the assignment to research Mikael Blomquist for Henrik Vanger, who then invites the journalist to make the newly-convict an unlikely offer: to write his biography, and, as a secret side mission, to investigate the murder of his niece, which has never been solved; in return, he offers Mikael information to finish Wennerstroem once and for all. Mikael, who has to take a leave of absence from his magazine in order to avoid further damage after the disastrous article against the will of his partner (and occasional lover) Erika, decides to accept the offer and moves to a cottage at the Vanger estate. 
 He learns the details on the disappearance of Harriet Vanger several decades ago; her uncle is convinced that she was murdered, most likely by a member of the vast Vanger family, even though her body was never found. During his painstaking research under the cover of writing a biography, he meets several members of the Vanger clan who still live on the estate and stumbles into an affair with Cecilia, another one of Henrik’s nieces. However, all the clues Mikael finds are either inconclusive or soon lead him to a dead end. As he works, he notices slight oddities on his computer, and as Henrik informs him about the background search he had conducted on him, Mikael is set on Lisbeth’s trail through her employer. 
 As he confronts her, she is devastated about being recovered but agrees to work with him on the investigation of a series of Old Testament-inspired murders, that leads back to the Vanger family. Mikael also manages to locate a woman, who has taken a picture that helps him complete a scene of Harriet’s last day: she stares in panic at a young man hidden in the crowd at a parade. However, as Mikael and Lisbeth, who have also started an affair, learn more about the circumstances at the time of Harriets disappearance, strange things are happening. Someone breaks into the cottage the two of them live in, a few days later, the cat that roams the property is found skinned on the steps of the front door, and someone shoots at and wounds Mikael in the woods. They know that they are on the right track and intensify their efforts to identify the murderer of all these women and potentially even Harriet, even though by that time, Mikael and Lisbeth already have the strong suspicion that Harriet may not be dead after all, as they find another woman, who has astounding similarity with Harriet, on old family pictures. While researching the dates of the murders in the archives and comparing them to the Vanger family travel schedules, Lisbeth discovered that Harriets brother Martin is the killer, not his father as they had previously thought, and most likely the young man in the picture that sent Harriet into a panic the afternoon of her disappearance. 
 At the same time, Mikael, who also identified Martin as the most likely subject and tried to confront him, finds himself in Martin’s private torture chamber. Martin tells him that he had tortured and killed countless women in that chamber over the years, but that his most valued prize, Harriet, has slipped through his fingers. As Lisbeth sees all the missed calls from Mikael on her phone, she races to him and manages to save him from Martin, who flees and dies as his car crashes into an oncoming truck on the road. 
 With the new information, Mikael and Lisbeth focus on Harriet’s look-alike aunt, who lives in London and cut most ties to the family. As she refuses to talk to them, Lisbeth installs spyware and the two listen in on a phone call that is made to Australia. With this information, they manage to locate Harriet, who lives under an assumed name as the owner of a large corporate farm in Australia. Mikael goes and meets her, where she tells him the story of her abusive childhood and how she fled on the fateful day as her brother returned to kill her before she could confide in her uncle for help. She was also the one who kept sending the dried flowers to Henrik as a sign that she is still alive. 
 Uncle and niece are reunited and also decide to merge their companies as Harriet assumes the role of CEO of Vanger Corporations while her sons take over the agricultural company in Australia. Mikael returns as editor-in-chief to Millennium with an article that indeed breaks Wennerstroem, while a small woman in several disguises relieves him of several millions stored in banks in Switzerland. 
 Back in Sweden, Lisbeth is trying to clean up her apartment as she admits deeper feelings for Mikael to herself. She goes to buy a Christmas present for him as disguise to go and visit him again. However, as she is on her way to his apartment, she sees him leaving a nearby cafĂ© with Erika, turns around and goes home after tossing the present.

My Opinion:
Ingenious. Captivating. Simply loved it! It is very graphic at some points, so please be warned. Some scenes stayed with me for a while, and I'm usually not too easily disturbed... But nevertheless, Stieg Larsson has created an extraordinary thriller with well-rounded characters, unexpected twists, and glimpses into the abyss of human psyche. What a pity that besides the Millennium trilogy, there will no more writing by Stieg Larssen, as he died before the trilogy was published.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Told You So!

That's what I thought a couple of weeks ago. It was PTA meeting at Lily's kindergarten class. There was way too much talking, a fun game with surveys on the moms where Lily made me look pretty good (thanks, Sweetie!!), and when I was really ready to go home and rest, we parents were happily whisked to the tiny tables and chairs to do some crafting, yay!

As I was sitting with a few more moms, cutting out little umbrellas with kindergardener's scissors when Lily's head teacher approached me. The lady I don't get along with very well. The one who claimed that Lily was agressive and wanted her to be examined for behavioral disorders. The one who kept telling me how unmanageable Lily was.

Lily at her first day of kindergarten 2011

I am definitely not one of the moms who swear that their kids are perfect little angels. I know their strengths and weaknesses. But I also know that she's not agressive, or has any behavioral issues.

Exactly this teacher comes over to me and tells me what a joy Lily has become. That she has many friends and gets along with all the other kids. That she's helpful, extremely intelligent, curious, and happy girl.

Lily 2013

 Yes, I was baffled. Not that I wouldn't know that, but to hear it from this lady! And all I could think of was:

Told you so!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Recap - Ten Things of Thankful Continued

Ten Things of Thankful

We had such a wonderful weekend that another recap is in order or Ten Things of Thankful (a two-day link-up is great!). Today, I am tremendously thankful for:

1. The great birthday party I was invited to attend yesterday.

2. A perfect Caipirinha.

3. Hubby volunteering to drive home.

4. Getting to sleep in... somewhat.

5. Central heating.

6. A good, long phone conversation with my mom.

7. Alternative plans as the weather did not cooperate to go the the open air museum.

8. Veggie stew.

9. A fun family outing to the movies.

10. Peppermint tea to soothe my throat (willing myself not to get sick again!)

Have a great Monday tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (14)

Ten Things of Thankful

And before I know it, it's this time of the week again. I am getting better and better every day (besides hurting my back while coughing today). It was definitely a week with many, many things to be thankful for (besides this wonderful link-up; as usually, thank you so much for hosting, Lizzi!!)

1. Having the best hubby in the world who's working on those impossible knots in my shoulders with his delicate musician's hands. You're awesome, love!!

2. Lily being the sweetest big sister and sharing a snack with her little sister, without being asked to do so. So sweet!

3. A work week ending on a high note when my boss told me just before I leave work on Friday that I get to be a coach at the upcoming training at work. I'm over the moon excited!!

4. A beautiful weekend with great plans.

5. A great 16-year old who changed her weekend plans on a short notice to babysit for us tonight.

6. Getting to go out with the hubby sans children. I love our little ones to the end of this world and beyond, but every once in a while, we just need to spend time out as a couple, and I appreciate this rare occasion!

7. The smell of warm apple pie.

8. Lily getting to meet a friend today who she hasn't seen since August.

9. A clean house.

10. The 30 minutes in a crazy busy day to myself to reflect and be thankful.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Favorite Part Of My Day

Finish the Sentence Friday

Do you know that: it's Tuesday, and you can't believe that it's still three days until Friday. And then you blink, and it's Friday. That was my week, sweet, right? And since it's Friday, time to link up with Kate and Janine for Finish the Sentence Friday:

The best part of my day is...

... when I open the door after a long day of work, I step in; I hear four little feet running towards me, as many "Mami, Mamiiiiii"s sound through the house, and I am ambushed and cuddled to the floor by an Army of two before getting to hug the hubby, switch into comfy pants, and be home with the loves of my heart again.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A to Z Book Survey

I'm notoriously uninspired these days. I don't know why, I just feel that I have nothing to say right now. That I am so caught up in my daily life, back in the mill. So since I have nothing to say but love to read, I'm stealing this survey I've seen over at Jenni's blog Flying on a Rainbow (you should really pay this Brit a visit!).


Author you've read the most books from...
Christopher Moore. So funny!!

Best sequel ever:
You Suck (by said Christopher Moore. Chapter 4 is noteworthy!)

Currently reading:
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Drink of choice while reading:
Ohhh, hot cocoa, tea, or red wine

E-reader or physical book?
Physical book, hands down!

Fictional character you actually would have dated in high school?
Hard one.. The Sandman (from Neil Gaiman's epic graphic novel) probably, he's just so intense

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Effi Briest. It was required reading back in high school, when I, of course, did not read it...  I read it a few years ago and actually enjoyed it...

Hidden gem book:
Definitely and hands down my favorite book of all times: Smilla's Sense for Snow by Peter Hoeg

Important moment in your reading life:
Having to re-start a book because my usualy "scanning" reading style did not do this book justice. About halfway through the book I was so lost I just had to re-start and really read. Now guess which book that was...

Just finished:
A book on the early life of the Langobard queen Rosamunde.

Kinds of books you won't read:
Twilight. No, never, not if it was the last piece of writing in the world. No.

Longest book you've ever read:
Probably one of the books from the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, or this 1000+ page tome I got from my dad's book shelf when I was 14...

Major book hangover because of:
The Exocist. Oh my goodness, I was so scared I couldn't sleep, and the morning after wasn't fun..

Number of bookcases you own:
Only 2 right now, but we used to have a little private library back before hubby had to sell several hundreds of books before our big move back to Germany.. And I'm a library addict, so I'm not buying many books.

One book you have read multiple times:
Smilla's Sense of Snow. About every winter since I've been 14.

Preferred place to read:
On the bus or in bed.
Quote from a book that inspires you

Reading regret:
Few. Probably the

Three of your all-time favorite books:
Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larssen
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Unapologetic fan girl of:
Liriel Baenre of the Tangled Web series

Very excited for this release more than all the others:
The next book of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series.

Worst bookish habit:
Missing my bus stop because I'm all lost in my book  ;-)

X marks the spot: the 27th book on my shelf:
The Last Lion by Winston Churchill

Your latest book purchase:
That's a hard one, because I almost never actually buy books. Probably a regional crime novel for my dad  ;-)

Zzz-snatcher book (latest book that kept you up way late):
Ohhh, that was probably The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hoping for some inspiration tomorrow. Now off to bed!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Weeping Liberty

New York is a great place.. As long as someone...  anyone.. is watching Miss Liberty


Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paper Clip Fun

Do you like experiments? We did a fun one at work today with a totally work-relevant experiment. All you need is one of those magnetic paper clip dispensers you probably find in most offices (or a very small cup), water, and some metal paper clips.

paper clip dispenser (Source)
Empty the dispenser and fill with as much water until it almost overflows. Then slowly start to drop in the metal paper clips.

How many do you think you can fit?  (Solution tomorrow)

Have fun wit the experiment!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Modern Cooking - Pumpkin Lasagna

It's fall, it's pumpkin time, and I am up to cooking again. Since hubby was out on a concert on Sunday evening and I still had some mashed pumpkin left from baking pumpkin bread, I decided that it was time for some delicious pumpkin lasagna.

Lasagna plates (precooked, or cooked)
1/2 Hokkaido pumpkin, diced
1 cup vegetable stock
1 T butter
1T flour
1-1/2 cups milk
salt, pepper, nutmeg for seasoning
parmesan, grated

Put pumpkin dices and vegetable stock in a pan and cover. Cook until pumkin can be mashed with a fork; season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a pan until foaming, wisk in flour, and add milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Cover the bottom of a caserole pan with pumpkin sauce, add a layer of lasagna plates and cover with bechamel sauce. Repeat. Finish with bechamel sauce and sprinkle generously with parmesan.

Bake at 350° until the cheese is browned and bubbly.


PS: besides the hubby not being a fan of this recipe, both girls preferred left-over hambuger for dinner. But I swear, the recipe is great!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lily Improving The World

Sometimes, I cannot believe that Lily is only 5.  I was drying her hair tonight, when we had - out of the blue - the following conversation:

Lily: Mami, why do people in Africa don't have any food?

Me: This is not everywhere in Africa, Lily. Some countries have food, but in others there's a famine.
Lily: So why don't they have food? Do they not have any stores there?
Me: No, Lily. It's because the climate is very, very dry there, and they have wars going on, so there is no food growing and people don't have any food.
Lily: Mami, why don't all the countries that have so much food, like Germany or the U.S.A. send food there so all people in the world can eat?

There she got me. How do I tell my 5-year old about monocultures for profit. How do I tell her about subsidies for crops for bio-diesel. How do I tell her that corn is rather turned into gas to fuel our cars than sent to starving people. How do I tell her about food spoiling to keep the prices stable on the world market?

The solution could be so easy, this planet is able to sustain all of us, but the people who could ensure that everyone has enough choose not to. And we all watch, maybe donate some money to an aid organization, which gets lost somewhere in the administrative swamp of said organizations. And people keep dying from hunger, from contaminated water, from preventable deseases, from a lack of hygiene.

How do I tell my daughter that this is the world she is one day inheriting from us?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (13)

Ten Things of Thankful

It's Saturday again, and I have to say, it was a much, much better week than the one before.  Here are the things I am especially thankful for this week:

1. Hubby had his stitches removed, his face looks close to normal, and he'll even be able to play his concert tomorrow. That is amazing!

2. I survived my first week back at work, and from about Wednesday on, the urge to nap around 2:30 disappeared.

3. Supportive coworkers and an understanding boss.

4. Freshly baked pumpkin bread.

5. Cuddles on the couch with the girls.

6. Sleeping in.

7. Serenity on TV.

8. Fall, beautiful fall.

9. Our crock pot.

10. Baking with the girls.

Thanks so much for hosting, Lizzi!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pretzle Gone

Finish the Sentence Friday

Friday, my first week of work completed after the sickness. It was more difficult to get back into the routine than I thought, I definitely miss the naps  ;-)  Anyways, time to link up for Finish The Sentence Friday.

Once, in public, I saw somebody...

... stealing Lily's pretzle.

I was at the playground in town with the girls, meeting with a friend. I had gotten some soft pretzles for the girls as a snack, and Lily insisted on sitting all by herself a couple of benches away to assert her independence. As we were eating, a group of mentally handicapped people with their guardians came along and sat on the benches. Suddenly, Lily came running to me, crying. I first thought she was just scared of strangers sitting next to her, but then one of the guardians approached me and apologized to us. Obviously one of the people has snatched the pretzle out of Lily's hand and eaten it.

Poor Lily didn't quite understand why an adult had "stolen" her pretzle. We talked to her about what it means to be mentally handicapped, and that the man didn't want to scare her or take her food from her.

Another pretzle later, Lily was happily playing again, confirming again that it was NOT ok to take her pretzle.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Got Print?

When have you bought your last newspaper? I don't mean a magazine, or reading online news, when have you actually sat down with an actual print newspaper?

The other week (before the sickness hit), I was walking through town on some errand during my lunch break, when a lady stopped me and offered a free trail subscription for our local newspaper. No automatic extension, no cost to me whatsoever, just 2 weeks of a freshly-printed newspaper delivered right to my door. Who would say no to that? I sure didn't. So last Saturday morning, I found my first paper in my mailbox, and let me tell you, it was an experience again. For the first time since moving out from my parents' house ten years ago, I enjoyed my morning cup of tea while reading the paper. Local news I probably would have never looked up. World news, articles from the editors, politics, economics, sports, you name it. And a crossword puzzle! And that every morning ever since!

To be honest, during the week I don't have time to read the paper in the morning, but I love to take half an hour right after the girls go to bed to sit with a cup of tea and unwind with my newspaper, before tackling laundry, dishes, and whatever I have on my plate.

Will I buy a subcription after my two-week trial is up? Probably not, because during the week I simply do not have the time to take properly advantage of a newspaper. But I will definitely start picking up a paper when getting breakfast on weekends and enjoy an hour of just me, my tea, and my paper.

As an extra plus: newspaper is perfect for crafting!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Back To Work

I've been home sick for two weeks. I have never been out sick for so long, and to be honest, going back to work was harder than I had thought.

First of all, I'm still not a hundred percent, still coughing, still a little weak. And I hate not being able to just jump in. It took me two days to wade through my emails, to facepalm properly about some mistakes that have sprung from my fever brain, to get used to not being able to take naps during the day anymore.

And after work, life hit full force again as well. PTA meeting until 10pm? Why not. Doctor's appointments, picking up prescriptions, preparing a snack for a kindergarten function? Done. The washing machine is doing overtime, business as usual.

To be honest, I'm not quite up to it yet, but I'll do my best to keep up. Thanks, Chocolate!!!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fun Sunday

I'm up in the game. Ok, not yet quite at 100%, but I'm off the couch, and that's a huge progress from a couple of days ago.

As a little reward to the girls, who have been really good, given that they were cooped up with two sick and totally out-of-it parents for about 2 weeks, not being able to go out and enjoy the fall weather, I decided to take them out to an indoor playground today. I would have preferred the forest, but we had rain all day yesterday and the forest paths were a couple of inches under water. So the indoor playground it was. We packed some snacks and water, and off we went for several hours of FUN!

Lily carting around Violet

Snack time!

Lily's finally braving the heights

About to leave after a fun-filled afternoon
Right now, Daddy is showering the girls, who are beyond exhausted and anxiously awaiting their bed. I'd call this a successful Sunday!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (12)

Ten Things of Thankful

It's another weekend, time to look back, reflect, and be thankful for the many, many good things that have happened last week. Christine from A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall was kind enough to start from me last week, so I go from there (with minor adjustments):

1. I am thankful for my wonderful good improving health and being cleared by my doctor to go back to work on Monday.

2. My husband is was feeling better, too, and can finally have had his surgery on Tuesday. I am thankful that everything went well and that he is healing and improving quickly.

3. I am thankful I could enjoy some play time (and crafting) with the kids.

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4. Having wonderful girls who are dealing so well with having a pair of invalid parents at home.

5. Beautiful weather all week long.

6. Being done with the antibiotics (bring on the wine!!!!).

7. Having been able to get into town today and get those much, much needed hair cuts.

8. A great boxing match tonight (sorry, inappropriate...)

9. Being able to clear some issues I've been having on my plate for a while with less problems than I expected (thus, the procrastinating).

10. All the support from all you wonderful people out there during my weeks of illness and being the biggest whiner in the world.

Thank you so much for hosting, Lizzi!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Hardest Choice

Finish the Sentence Friday

And before we know it, Friay again. I am again linking up with Janine and Kate for Finish The Sentence Friday. Today's prompt:

The hardest choice I ever made was...

... leaving the Army. We had just brought our Lily home from the hospital, Richard was still home on  leave (because his unit was on a concert tour), when he asked me if I would agree if he left the Army.

He told me how unhappy he was with the Army, that he felt there was no place for him and he was just pushed from one void position to the next without a real purpose. And that he did not want to leave Lily and me to be deployed. That he could not imagine leaving his little daughter and come back to a kid a year older, who probably didn't recognize him any more, or had no memories with her dad for a year.

I cried. I was scared what would happen; we had planned visiting my family in Germany during the winter leave that year, but if we were out there, who knows when this would happen? Would we get jobs, how would we manage the transition, and where would we go. But most of all, I cried for my husband's unhappiness.

I knew that I would probably give up a lot of time with our daughter, as I would most likely be the one who would get the primary job as my education was a lot better than his. I would not be the part-time working mom I wanted to, but I also would not be the sometimes-single mom waiting for her deployed husband to call and confirm that he was alive.

It was by far the hardest decision I've ever made. There were times when I regretted it, there were times when I would have given everything to be able to work only part-time. But then again we're luckier than most. We are able to raise our kids by ourselves, according to our values. We can live comfortable off my income, and once Richard starts working, who knows, maybe I'll be able to cut some hours. But for now, this is the best decision we could have made for our family.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Loving Autumn

I'm out today, spreading my fan hymns for autumn over at Flying On A Rainbow while Jenni is out, soaking up some sun before joining in the autum extravaganza.

Flying on a Rainbow

Please come over, give some love to our vacationer and find out my Top Ten reasons why Autumn is simply the best season of all!

See you all again here tomorrow!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Surgery Day

Richard had his surgery, and everything went well. So glad that this day is over, and that he has stomached everything so well. He is currently resting and healing, hoping for a quiet night ahead.

I am wiped out myself. Still dealing with the bronchitis, not having had the chance to take a nap (like I was able to do during the last couple of weeks).

We took the kids to kindergarten together in the morning. Afterward, we did some cleaning until I had to take Richard in to the surgery center. I went back and picked up the girls from kindergarten. We had a picnic lunch until I had to take Lily to her early intervention class; afterward, Violet and I ran some errands, until it was time to pick up Lily. I dropped them off with our neighbor and headed to the surgery center to be with Richard.

There, I found that the surgery schedule had been postponed and hubby was still in surgery. By the time he got out and I was led down to the recovery area, they again did not let me see him because another person was still in the transition area. After I re-fed the parking meter, I was finally able to see my love - or better I heard him before I saw him. There he was, sitting upright, joking with the medical stuff, his face slightly swollen (no, there won't be any pictures). Obviouly, he was doing so well that they would let him go home with me immediately, after a quick check-up with the doctor.

After coming home, I picked up the girls and made dinner after getting Richard comfortable. I showered the kids and got them to bed. Right now, I'm resting as well. Richard is having some after bleeding from the surgery and the anaestesia is wearing off.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good first night!