Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (118)

Ten Things of Thankful

Got to cuddle my friend's new baby today!!  Can't believe how tiny he is, and even can't believe that only a year ago, Mr. Calvin was such a teeny tiny guy!

My thankfuls for this week:

1. Calvin's skin issues being almost cleared up. He got some bad eczema right after the heat rash cleared up, and nothing would help. The paediatrician prescribed a special ointment that the pharmacist mixed for him, and within less than a week, his skin is almost back to normal!

2. Lily having transitioned well into 2nd grade and is excited about all the new things ahead in the year ahead.

3. A fun work event with tons of good food, great conversations (a certain colleague now knows the importance of matching shoes and purses, and why this rule needs to be broken sometime), and a little bit of volleyball.

4. Coffee!

5. Autumn crafting with the girls.

6. Flying kites with all three kiddos.

7. Making home-made pizza for dinner with the girls, and our neighbors, who let me use their oven when my POS of an oven went on strike half-way into baking my veggie pizza.

8. Calvin really enjoying nursery school - most of the time. Unless Daddy is leaving for a couple of minutes, then he's not too much of a happy camper any more right now...

9. Violet having fun at her new dance group. She went from the small kids' group to the older girls' group. It's a pity that she won't be able to attend frequently any more, because dance class clashes with her ergotherapy appointment, but she'll attend whenever she can.

10. Calvin's improved sleep pattern. He's been waking only about twice during the last few nights, and I already feel the effects of our improved sleep schedule!

I hope you all had a wonderful week!  What are you thankful for?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (117)

Ten Things of Thankful

It's the end of my first week back to work at 30 hours, and I guess it'll be doable. I'm not a fan of getting up at 5:30am to catch the bus at 6:15am, but still being home around 2pm is awesome!

My Ten Thankfuls for this week:

1. A very positive performance evaluation at work, even though I've only been back since March, and only for 15 hours until this month.

2. Fair fun with my family. The kids talked us into taking them on a ride for older kids/adults. I went with Lily and our niece, Richard with Violet and our nephew, and in the middle of the ride, it started raining, as if I wasn't sick enough yet. The kids had fun, and that was worth it, I guess?!?

3. Only missing my 6:15am bus once this week.

4. VERY regular bus service into town from our place; when I missed the 6:15-bus, the 6:25-bus was almost there already.

5. Hubby still willing to listen to my rants about a certain pair of colleagues in my office.

6. Violet having a great time back in kindergarten. It's amazing how much she has developed even over the summer break.

7. The kids going back to school/kindergarten/nursery school one by one and not all at once. Helps us as parents to adjust to the early morning routine and chaos of making sure everyone's ready and snacks are packed by 7:30.  :-)

8. Our neighbors. One of them just sold me a whole box of clothes for Calvin that her son had outgrown, and another one is going to watch Lily while Richard is taking Calvin to introduction at nursery school. So thankful for our "village"!

9. An hour of me-time, aka reading in the bus to and from work.

10. A great outing into town with the kids, including lunch with my friend and her family. It's always fun to meet with all of them!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Perfect - A Six Sentence Story

Everyone wants perfect - because it is --  well perfect.

Perfect skin, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect life.

But perfect is not easy, it is hard, and mostly an unachievable target.

Striving for perfect often means stress, frustration, depression, a feeling of failure.

And while everything is supposed to be perfect, reality is far, far from it.

Because we too often forget, that the really beauty in life is the imperfect.

This piece was written as part of The Six Sentence Stories, hosted by the wonderful Ivy at Uncharted.

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (116)

Ten Things of Thankful

This week, it is difficult to be thankful. Not because I had too little sleep; with the temperatures going down, Calvin's sleep schedule has actually improved. It is not because of a friend moving away or the kids acting out beyond belief. It's because of a much greater human tragedy. It's been all over the internet, seen by millions and shared by many. On Thursday night, I finally mustered the courage to click on an article describing the tragedy of the Kurdi family from Kobane in Syria. Fleeing from the IS terrorizing the area, they made it to Turkey. From there, the family entered a small rubber boat that was to bring them to the Greek island of Kos, to Europe, to safety. Only a few minutes into the journey, the boat capsizes, the person who is supposed to bring them to Greece swims back to the coast and leaves the families to their own devices. The two sons of the Kurdis drowned; their mother drowned as well. Shortly after the tragedy at sea, little Aylan's body is washed up at the Turkish coast, and a picture of his poor little drowned body goes around the world, as symbol of so many men, women, and children dying on their quest for something that should be a basic human right and a given for all people: peace and safety. A little boy, laying face-down on the beach, scooped up in the arms of a Turkish policeman. On a desperate journey to provide all that to his family, Abdullah Kurdi lost everything. Three innocents lost their lives, among with many more that day, and on many days before and after that.

In honor of Aylan, his brother, mother, and all the other people who have lost their lives at sea, died of hunger, thirst, and exposure on their way to safety, I am thankful for:

1. Being able to hold our boy. Thursday night, I slept with Calvin, I simply needed to feel his warmth, this breath, hear his little mutters in his sleep to sooth me.

2. Being able to hold and hug the girls, listen to their laughter, their arguing, their running around the house, no matter how often we tell them to slow down.

3. Safety for our entire family to sleep peaceful at night.

4. A good education for all of our kids that fits their abilities and interests.

5. Enough food to eat every single day. And then some.

6. Shelter from rain, cold, and heat, and a very comfortable one at that.

7. Living in a stable democracy, with a strong economy.

8. Having everything we need and more, and even most of the things we want.

9. Being in a position to travel for fun, not to be forced to leave our home to seek refuge.

10. My husband, our children, our parents, our friends, all being safe and sound.

Right now, more so than usual, it is important to be thankful for the little things in life, which, however, are the very essence and base for our happiness.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Content - A Six Sentence Story

Sometimes, I lay awake, contemplating my life's contents.

Sometimes, I'm worried, sometimes I'm angry, sometimes I'm happy, and sometimes I'm simply content.

Sometimes, when all things fall into place, when we had a simple, quiet day, without much hurry or excitement, when the little things become the big picture.

On these days, I only truly see the content of my life.

It is not about celebrating big victories or trying to survive the big defeats.

It is the small things that bring on the peace of content.

This post is part of the Six Sentence Stories; thank you so much, Ivy, for being a genius!!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's CURRENTLY Going On

I'm not much on here these days, I know. And I haven't in quite a while, I also know that. So what have I been up to all that time?


Tired, mostly. The last few days have been hot again, which translates in Calvin having difficulties to sleep at night. Today, the heat broke again, so I hope for better sleep for our little guy, and for me as well. Besides the fatigue, I feel pretty relaxed, having just started my second week of leave from work. I know some stuff is going on there right now, and I try not to think about it to stay relaxed and not worry about what certain people will mess up for me again. I also do have to admit that I feel a little anxious in regards to my work. Once I go back next Monday, I'll be back on a 30-hour schedule, and I decided to start very early (as in 7am) in order to get out as soon as possible to still be present at home in the afternoon when the kids are home from school/kindergarten/nursery school. Given that I am a total night owl and have troubles going to bed before 11:30 pm, getting up at 5:30 will definitely be a challenge!

Nothing really, because our new TV isn't fully hooked-up yet. But I definitely have to finish the last seasons of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey!  My colleague is haunting me already because she wants to discuss GoT, and I'm the only one in our office who's also watching it.

Listening to:
Alexandre Desplat. You probably don't know his name, but most definitely, you know his music. My friend has introduced me to his work (the non-movie-soundtrack work), and so far, I haven't found anything I don't like!

The Harry Potter series. I'm on book 4 now, and even though I love it, I feel as if I am burning out on Harry Potter. I may have to take a short break after this book and read some other stuff for a change.

Working on:
Decluttering and (re-?) organizing the house. I managed to clean the kitchen and now need to weed through the pantry and the shelves; afterwards it's the living/dining room and the girls' rooms. There may be a room changing somewhere in there as well, we'll see.

Thinking about:
Whether or not to get new bookshelves for the living room. Our shelving is not the most efficient for a house of book lovers, and I have my eyes (and heart) set on some nearly ceiling-high shelves; now the issue is how to convince hubby that we need the new shelves and what to do with the shelving we have...

Hazelnut cream dessert (totally stealing from the kids!!)

Looking forward to:
Bed? Cooler temperatures??  Fall, definitely!! I'll have to mix my signature pumpkin pie spice again and then look forward to some delicious home-made pumpkin spice latte once it's officially autumn (isn't this name much, much nicer than "fall"??)

Making me happy:
The hint of crispness in the air, promising that autumn is near; soap bubbles; rain drops on our roof-windows; hot tea

Hope to be around a little more often again soon!