Saturday, August 29, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (115)

Ten Things of Thankful

Life finally seems to quiet down, or maybe I'm just euphoric after a week off work and a very, very extended nap this afternoon. Anyway, a good week, it has been. A break from routine, from constantly running around to meet appointments. Last week has been a lot of relaxing, enjoying the outside in the cooler weather (as in: low 80s), sleeping in (as in: 7am), playing with the kids, etc.  Simply a good week.

The Ten Things I'm especially thankful for this week:

1. Our outing with my parents and the family into town. My Mom, Richard, and I had hair appointments, Richard went first and then headed out with my Dad and the kids to the playground, so Mom and I could enjoy some peace and quiet at the salon.

2. Getting the best hair cut in a long, long time, potentially ever. My hair dresser is so awesome and worth every penny; since I usually don't really know what I want exactly, I usually ask her to help herself, and this time, she outperformed herself. I'm so, so happy!

3. Ice cream for everyone!!

4. A two-hour walk in the woods with Lily and Calvin. We had such a great time finding the best spots for wild lingonberries and natural craft supplies come fall. Can't wait to head that way again, soon!

5. The girls' passports arriving. I was so surprised when I found the envelopes in the mail, didn't expect to get those for another couple of months or so..

6. A day trip to the nearby adventure park with the girls. Hubby was still sick with a summer flue and kept Calvin at home, so we could have some Mommy-Daughters-time. And what a time he had!!!

7. Cool enough weather for spaghetti and tomato sauce for dinner. Sorry, simply can't eat a hot meal when it's in the triple digits.

8. Finally finishing the second flower bed upfront. Sort of..

9. Being greeted by Calvin with waving, clapping, and a biiiiiig smile after a nap.  He's just too adorable for my own good!

10. Lily's orthodontic treatment progressing well. The orthodontist was very happy and praised her for her resilience. Actually, Richard and I should also been praised as well for staying at her back and make her wear her retainer every night  :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Project - A Six Sentence Story

It was one of these lazy summer Sundays, with not much else to do but to feel the lush grass under my toes, to enjoy the sun's heat on my skin, and to listen to the girls laughing as they run and play with their friends.

It was one of these lazy summer Sundays (or any day, really), where Calvin did not quite know what to do with himself but to crawl all over me and let some drool drip on to my shirt.

It was one of these lazy summer Sundays, when a tub of soap bubbles just happens to turn up, and I started to entertain Calvin (or myself??).

It was one of these lazy summer Sundays, where I watched Calvin chase bubbles as good as he could, watching them in awe how they shine in all colors of the rainbow as they slowly waft across the yard, dancing on the breeze.

It was one of these lazy summer Sundays and I was laying on my back on our backyard trampoline, blowing bubbles, and listening to Calvin's giggle as he tried to catch them, when my gaze fell through the bubble wand up to a little circular piece of sky.

I think a project may have been born.

This piece of writing was born thanks to Ms. Ivy Walker's ingenious link-up, the Six Sentence Stories. Thank you so much, Ivy!!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things of Thankful (114)

Ten Things of Thankful

I'm on time this week. And it's been a good week. I'm slowly coming down from the excitement (and yes, stress as well) of having visitors for a few days and organizing two birthday party for the absolutely most adorable little 1-year old!

My Thankfuls for this week:

1. Violet having confidence in me. We got the new fall/winter catalogue Verbaudet, and Violet found a very cute hat. She did not ask me to buy it for her, she asked me: Mami, can you make one like that for me??  I melted at her words.. And yes, the pressure is on!!

Isn't it cute?? (Source)

2. A good trip down to Munich. We got a room in the nice B&B we stayed at the previous time at a very short notice, and about everything about the trip just went picture perfect.

3. The Munich Consulate General being SO much more efficient and nice than the one in Frankfurt. The clerks gave us plenty of time to fill out a form we've forgot to fill out at home without any pressure, they were patient with the kids, and overall just very, very nice. We had everything done in less than 1.5 hours!

4. A late summer walk at the English Gardens. I know it's not really late summer yet, but it felt that way. The last few days we've had fog in the morning, and due to the extreme heat a couple of weeks ago, the trees are losing their leaves early.

5. Quality time with all three kids alone. It's important, even if it's only a few minutes.

6. Not one but TWO long afternoon naps with Calvin. It's finally cool enough again for him to want to cuddle and nap with me, sweet little guy.

7. A fun outing with the three kids to the local Bat Museum. It was really interactive and fun for the girls!

8. Finally breaking down and reading the Harry Potter series, and hubby to make fun of me for being about 15 years behind everyone else  :-)

9. Having a comfortable bedroom. Our bedroom used to be cramped and stuffed with odds and ends that didn't have anywhere else to go for the time being. When our relatives arrived, the room had to be tidied up as they were staying up there. Now, hubby and I can also enjoy our "new" bedroom!!

10. Being off work for the next two weeks!

What have you been thankful for this past week?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (113)

Ten Things of Thankful

I know, I'm late. Way too late to link up.. by about two days. But sleep ended up my priority, after we were able to sleep again.

My Ten Thankfuls for last week:

1. Mr. Calvin's first birthday! We had two great celebrations for him, and he had so much fun chowing down on the cake and playing with his friends and new toys!

2. The heat wave broke, and we're able to sleep again. After a couple of days of rain, the air is so fresh and clean again, and the kids are out playing for hours again!

3. A wonderful visit with distant relatives of ours. It was so wonderful seeing them again after almost three years of not seeing each other. Last time, their daughter was only 3 months old; now, our Calvin was a year old already.. How time flies.

4. A fun trip to the adventure farm nearby. The girls got to ride on ponies, the kids jumped on a giant bouncy pillow and pet many different animals, and we had a picnic. Everyone had such a great time!

5. Many good conversations over good wines.

6. Violet's well-child appointment going so well. Her doctor was so impressed by her development within the last year, and I'm both relieved and so, so proud of our Violet, who worked and fought hard to move beyond her challenges to succeed.

7. Getting to meet spontaneously with my friend, her boys, Lily and Calvin. We had fun running some errands and catching lunch while my friend tried to get hold of her husband after locking herself out of their flat  :-)

8. Finding the PERFECT marble cake recipe. Yum!

9. Many, many tomatoes from our own vine. It's a mega-vine, and we even get to share some of our crop with our friends and neighbors!

10. To be able to post this to the TToT-page on Facebook, since I'm late for the link-up. Thanks so much for Lizzi and the other amazing hosts who take care of this page!  You are all amazing!

Enjoy your week, everyone!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (112)

Ten Things of Thankful

I'm quite honest, I wanted to skip this week. I am grieving, I feel depressed, I feel let down by the universe and our combined gene pool. In my little hole, I don't even want wine any more, and that means something! I just want to stay in my corner and mope. Until the mood passes. But this is exactly the point of this link-up. It's easy to be thankful when everything is wonderful; but when we're in the middle of a hard stretch, thankfulness becomes an exercise, to bring myself to the point where I can see the good aspects in the bad things in my life right now.

And here we go this week:

1. I am thankful for modern-day commodities. I had to say good-bye to a very, very good friend of mine this week, who's moving to England with her husband. It's been beyond sad and depressed about losing my friend, but thanks to the internet and other modern-day means of communication, she's always only be a click away. And thanks to airplanes, cars, ferries, etc., a visit to England is also not a big deal.

2. I am thankful for modern medicine. Lily was supposed to have her blood drawn this week to check for antibodies that would indicate whether she's inherited my auto-immune disease. After panicking, we decided to have and ultrasound done to see how her thyroid glands look, to see how urgent the blood test is. And lo and behold, one of her thyroid glands show the tell-tale sign of early Hashimoto Disease. I knew it. Deep down I've known it for a long time, that Lily is carrying this disease, don't ask me why. But I am thankful that unlike me, she'll get the proper treatment while the disease is still at it's earliest stages and will not spend decades of her life with it without knowing the reasons for the symptoms she's experiencing.

3. Ice cream for lunch. When it's hot and you're assisting your friend in an international move while falling and falling and falling into this stupid hole, ice cream sometimes just hits the spot.

4. Good neighbors who happily share a bottle of champagne and their porch for a good conversation while I feel deep down.

5. Calvin enjoying himself during his first visit at the daycare class he's going to attend starting mid-September. He played with the toys, interacted with the other kids, and already loves his teachers. So happy for that!

6. Calvin's first free steps!

7. Lily and Violet getting along so well these days. It simply warms my heart seeing them take care of each other, playing with each other, and sometimes just quietly sit next to each other, coloring or doing worksheets.

8. Calvin being a very healthy, active little almost-1-year old. His Well-Baby exam went perfectly, and according to our paediatrician, he's tall (75th percentile) and slim (50th percentile).

9. A fun evening walk out with all three kids. Absolutely drama and complain-free!

10. Good-bye pizza dinner with our friends. Nothing can dull the pain momentarily as well as pizza and wine.

I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I've Become One Of These Moms

What would you do if you saw a kid that's not yours grossly misbehave in public?

I was walking through town with Violet on her little bike and Calvin in his stroller today to run some errands when a little twerp, maybe around 13 years old, came towards me on a skateboard, unwrapping some ice cream and throwing the wrapper right there on the side walk. EXCUSE ME! Spontaneously, I blocked his way with the stroller, telling him to please turn around and pick up the wrapper. He blankly looked at me, so I repeated my stern request. I somehow expected him to ignore me, or to mutter some insults, but he seemed to realize I meant business, turned around and picked up the wrapper. After he had retrieved the wrapper, I directed him to a nearby trash can and watched him toss the wrapper before we all went our way.

I know he wasn't my kid, but I bet his parents would have approved. If he had been my kid, I know I would have. Our little kids know not to toss their trash on the ground, bur somehow once they are teenagers, some simply seem to forget. I hope once our kids are older, they remember that our earth is valuable. That it is unique, and once it is destroyed, we are lost as well. I hope they remember that a wrapper tossed away thoughtlessly is not just a wrapper, but one of many millions every day, and that only one wrapper makes a difference. And teach your children that their personal decisions on how to treat the earth do matter.

Think about the earth today, and see what you can do for it everyday. Reduce trash, re-use, recycle, and if you are of the handy, creative kind, upcycle.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (111)

Ten Things of Thankful

I had an interesting phone conversation with my Dad this week. He called to discuss our plans regarding Calvin's birthday. I told him that we're planning an open house for friends and neighbors on his actual birthday and the family bash the following weekend. My Dad suggested in return that since it was also grandma's birthday that week and she wanted to celebrate at the nursing home, we could have a double-birthday party at the nursing home. Nope, no, never!!!  Can you imagine, a 1-year old's birthday party at the nursing home??  In a few years I could show him the pictures and tell him: Hey son, this will be you again in about 80 years!!!  Why am I telling you this? Because I still somehow can't believe that my Dad actually suggested it and also because everyone else in my family was on my side (thankful right there!!!).

More Thankfuls for this week:

1. Lily again bringing home a really good report card. And she even improved in PE, the only thing I was not too happy about her mid-term report. Back then, it basically said she's not even trying, and I asked her to at least try and do her best. I don't expect her to be an ace in sports, but I expect her to at least give her best, and she did. So proud of our big girl!!

2. Violet earning her Seahorse Badge as early swimmer. It took her three tries on Friday, because she always stopped shortly before she was done. In the end, I decided to be a prime parent and bribed her with the promise of an ice cream cup in town, and on she went to earn that badge. So proud of our little girl!!

3. A fun morning in town to celebrate a report card and a seahorse badge with ice cream cups. Calvin got some ice cream as well, and I had a yummie cappuccino.

4. Stumbling upon a second-hand bazaar on that morning in town and finding some awesome bargains. Yes, I love children's bazaars!

5. Summer break, so no appointments during the week. I hope for some afternoon naps and rest.

6. Visiting my colleague at her allotment. The kids enjoyed picking berries and exploring the lot. We had such a great afternoon!

7. Getting to celebrate our neighbors' eleventy-first birthday. The weather was a little cool but dry, there were new people to meet and great neighbors to share too much champagne with.

8. A good friend who takes time off her stressful moving schedule to go shopping with me and share a glass of wine, talking. I needed it so badly as I was at a not-too-great place mentally - to say the least. I am feeling so much better now, and know that I will have a really, really hard time seeing her off to England next week (trying REALLY hard not to think about it right now!!!).

9. Wonderful neighbors who are happy to watch Lily for a few hours next week while we go to visit Calvin's new day-care class with him.

10. A great year-end get-together with Violet's kindergarten class. The kids that are leaving to move on to elementary school sang a song for the teachers, and when I saw one of the teachers losing her battle against the tears, my flood gate came down as well. Next year it's going to be Violet's turn to say her good-bye, but I hope so, so much that Calvin will get a place in this class once it's his time to move on to kindergarten.

Such a busy week, and so, so many things to be thankful about. What made your week last week?