Friday, March 22, 2002

Wouldn't you know it...I woke up this morning...swallowed...and despaired: a sore throat! Thankfully, I had all the big guns in the house and swallowed loads of echinacea, vitamin C, zinc tablets, Cold Calm and Oscillococcinum (both by Boiron). It's 9:25 pm now and I'm feeling no worse, so maybe some of it is helping.

Katja woke up yet again with 100 degrees (38 for you Europeans) temperature. I know it's not high,but it's a temperature nonetheless and I had hoped for no fever at all. Tonight she had the same. She seems more energetic, though, and we'll leave tomorrow, unless of course someone else can't move (pray that's not going to happen!).

I did have a workout today, not too hard though. During the half hour of personal training, I did lunges and 40 push ups and 40 sit ups. Afterwards, Christine and I sat in the steam room, which was wonderful!

At 12:15, Laura came to give me a massage. I needed it! Yesterday I could barely stand straight from the pain in the middle of my back. And with the massage I knew that area was definitely knotted up (ouch! the massages help, but are definitely painful!).
I showed Laura around the house, as she'll be staying here while we're gone. She'll care for our 4 cats, she's especially fond of Snickers (as are we all!). I took Brynna to vet for boarding and a check up this morning. She has been peeing everywhere and seems to drink a whole lot of water, so they'll check that while she's staying there.

And was packing day! We're just about done. Amazing what a family of five brings! Of course my huge body pillow, that needs to come along in order for me to not be in too much pain sleeping in a strange bed, doesn't help.

Here are some things that will keep the kids busy:

Saskia is looking forward to playing with her Woodkin dolls. Besides those, she has dot-to-dot books and mazes to entertain her.

Kai is into drawing and is bringing his Ed Emberley books. He drew a fox today and it looks great! He also has 2 Captain Underpants (ew!)books to read.

Katja has an electronic Monopoly game to play with. And she's into reading and looking forward to reading "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. Her teacher read this to them and I'm so happy that she does not get impressed by the push to ban this book (infanticide and euthanasia themes). These kinds of books make the kids think!

I'm saving the best news for last! I became an aunt tonight, for the 7th time! My nephew, Stefan Trevor, was born in Boston tonight at 6:46 pm, he weighed 8lbs 4oz.

And in honor of Stefan, tonight's fun link is: the laughing newborn.

I won't see this Blog for a week, but I'll try to keep a journal in Paris to post here later. I'm not promising anything though!

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Yesterday I was just too exhausted to write, so now I'm writing in the middle of the day. I can foresee I'll be too tired tonight as well!

Katja is still sick, but thankfully her fever has been going down steadily. Hopefully she'll be feverfree tomorrow!

She's been enjoying herself reading (thank goodness she likes to!) and when energetic enough, playing on the computer.

Last night, Rick and I had a date! Lauren, a family friend, who absolutely adores our kids (I was just telling Rick how blessed the kids are to have someone else, besides us, care about them that much), came to babysit. Saskia loves her too and immediately pulled her into her room to play Barbies :).

We had a nice meal at a new restaurant in the area and went to Borders afterwards, where we got 2 bags full of books for the trip! All for the kids. They'd better not be bored for a second!

Tonight is our International Night at school. I'm preparing "stroopwafels" (storebought, but I'm quartering them, as there usually are some very hungry kids there!) and bringing Mentos, most people have no idea that's a Dutch product.

Around 6 I'll go over to the school and set out a table with Dutch products. I'll have Delft Blue, books about Holland, a bunch of (silk) tulips, wooden shoes, a Heineken bottle opener, a Dutch cookbook and several reproduction from Dutch artists: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Escher, Rien Poortvliet (the one that wrote the big Gnomes book) and Marjolein Bastin (who has a whole line of products at Hallmark).

Of course there are lots more things to show and tell about the small, but definitely unique Netherlands.

Other countries represented tonight will be: Korea (with lots of great food!), Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Turkey, Qatar, Syria, Japan, China, El Salvador, Argentina, Germany, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Native Americans.

I also made a cookbook with recipes from each of these countries. If you're interested to receive one in email, let me know in the comments area.

Fun link for today: Recipe Source, a great site with hundreds of international recipes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Rick had to leave really early this morning and mornings are difficult for me, physically. It's like my body is never rested, except sometimes in the middle of the day. When I went to see how Katja was doing, she told me she had barely slept. I checked her temperature: 103.1. Quite high for the morning! I gave her Tylenol, as she just vomits so easily when she has a fever. I also gave her a cold cloth to put on her forehead, which helped a lot. An hour later, she asked to take a bath and after that, it seemed she suddenly felt a lot better.

Katja did miss her field trip to the National Gallery of Art and she was really upset about that. I promised her, we would go visit it together soon.

Saskia has been coughing for weeks and it doesn't seem to get better. So, time for a doctor's appointment and while I was at it, I took Katja too (who turned out to just have a virus). Saskia, however, has a sinus infection and bronchitis, so is on antibiotics.

This morning's session in Kai's class about Kandinsky went really well. I was very happy to get some feedback on my presentation (very positive) from the adults listening, as I have no idea how I do, talking to the kids. The kids made beautiful, colorful abstract paintings and obviously had a lot of fun with the subject.

My sister, whose due date was March 15, is having regular, not very painful, but real, contractions every 5 minutes. At this morning's doctor's appointment, she was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Woohoo!! Could it be tonight? This will be my 6th niece or nephew, my 7th is due around March 30th! Yay!

My recommended link for today, appropriately, the National Gallery of Art.

Monday, March 18, 2002

Monday, Monday, so good to me...NOT! Upon waking, Katja told me she wasn't feeling well at all :(. So she stayed home. It seemed harmless, till about 3pm, when she spiked a 102.5 fever and threw up her chicken noodle soup lunch next to our bed. She always reacts to fever by throwing up, just like her mom. After Tylenol, she perked up a bit and drank some fluids. But she's clearly not well. Hopefully she'll recover in time for our trip!

I did go to the gym and quickly showered there. Then went to Fresh Fields , where I got the ill fated chicken noodle soup, as well as several noodle soups for me. I love those! I just boil some water and have a nice lunch, 100-140 calories each. I also got syrup waffles for the International Night later this week.

I stopped by the school, to prepare for Artsmart tomorrow. I'll talk about Kandinsky in the fourth grade, after which the kids get to make an artwork in his style.

At home, I put the ingredients for taco soup in the crockpot and then went into the role of nurse for Katja. I did call the nurse at the pediatrician's office, as Katja has a history of tonsillitis and strep throat. It doesn't look like this is that, though. I sure hope it's not the true flu, as the nurse suggested!

Around 4pm I went out to Safeway to get Gatorade . The kids love the new clear Strawberry flavor. And Katja needs to drink well.

After a nice taco soup dinner, I'm now sitting here eating butterscotch popcorn. Bad!!!

For entertainment, check out the rattle snake museum. Hey, anything is exciting after a day with the sickies!

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Well, another day... and more rain. I guess the party is over, the weather has turned and the next few days will be rainy. Unfortunately, my body feels every little weather change, like a barometer. But, I'm not letting it get to me!

This morning Our little yellow one, as we call her (she wears yellow footed pajamas, very cute!) woke at 7:15! Unbelievable! She was up past 10pm last night, so I had hoped for a few more zzz's. But it is always fun to hear her little cheerful voice from next to my bed as well. She still has that little cuddly kid shape, so I first had her next to me for a while. But wiggle worm wanted to go down and watch tv, so Rick took her and I stayed in bed for another half hour.

At 8:15, I made my way down, the dog, heralding my arrival, as she does every day. Rick had made hazelnut flavored coffee, yum!!! He also went to McDonald's and got me an Egg McMuffin, my one vice of the week (ok, not the only one ;)).

I worked on the Internet a bit, arranging our transportation to and from the airport in Paris and looking into different tours we could take there.

My sister, whose due date was Friday, called to lament, that she thinks she'll never have this baby. She thinks she'll be forever pregnant! It didn't take much to convince her of the opposite ;).

Then my oldest brother called, and I won't go into the intricate family politics going on right now, but suffice it to say, he called twice after that to vent about various family members. Ah well, that's what sisters are good for.

A quick phone call to my mom told me they were fine too and I helped her send a picture via the Internet, accomplishing my good deed for the day.

Katja and I dressed ourselves for a workout and we picked up her friend Sophie and left for our gym. I showed the girls 3 different cardio machines and then some weights. They'll go back tomorrow for a seminar on metabolism and another workout. I really hope this will get Katja's attention, as she doesn't have many ways to get her exercise and she seemed to really like this.

Around 3:30pm our friends Christine and Chuck came, with their daughter Mallory. Without exaggerating, we finished a family size bag of Bugles between the 4 of us! And we never run out of things to chat about!

For dinner, we decided to go against the St. Patrick's Day crowd and chose a Mexican restaurant, Chevy's. No wait there, we got a nice table for eight immediately. The kids were getting along famously, Kai's watch with an answer to all questions! (Is Kai a cool guy? "No doubt" ;)). Us adults got embroiled in a conversation about the subjectivity of history, as seen from different countries viewpoints. Very interesting!

Now we are back home, I'm feeling very tired and I'm hoping tomorrow will be better weather, as it will be a very busy day.

Tonight at 10:30pm the Cartoon Network will have another episode of Baby Blues on. And that will be my fun link for today. And if you don't like parenting comics, try the political cartoons at Slate.