Saturday, April 13, 2002

Last night we came home too late for me to still have energy to write! But we had a great day.
The older 2 kids were off from school and after my massage, I picked Saskia up and we went to Zany Brainy. The kids picked out some small things, though the reason we went, a game that Katja really wanted, was not to be found.

Then off to Payless Shoes, because Saskia needed running shoes (she has a shoe fetish and actually had outgrown most of her shoes, so was due for a new pair). They had a buy one, get the second half price sale and we got 6 pairs of shoes (including flip-flops) for under $50! I'm always amazed at how inexpensive they are!

Rick and I had tickets for Club seats at the MCI Center for the Champions on Ice 2002 Olympic Tour. It was great!
It was fun to see the athletes in totally playful routines. They definitely enjoyed themselves. Some of the participants: Michelle Kwan (she got a standing ovation), Sarah Hughes (we were lucky to see her, as she only performs on the weekends), Sacha Cohen, Surya Bonaly, Philippe Candeloro, Elvis Stojko, Timothy Goebel, Michael Weiss (who trained at the same rink the girls' go for ice skating lessons) and many more.
The finale was really nice, a tribute to America (I guess that's become a must, these days), but very tastefully done, with colorful red-white striped/blue-white starred costumes. Rick and I wondered afterwards, how the non-American athletes felt about it. I don't think they minded though, I wouldn't have, had I still been Dutch and asked to perform that routine (not that I could ever even dream of being able to skate that way!).

This morning we slept in and then Katja, Saskia and I went to the gym. It is so much fun to work out with my daughter! She loves it too. We did 45 minutes of cardio (bike, stair climber and another type of stair climber) and then I set her up on a weight routine, we filled out a sheet, so she can use it if I'm not there.

After a quick trip to Fresh Fields for snacks to bring tonight, I'm now home, procrastinating on my shower and trying to not to be too upset at the state of our closets. I really need to set up a schedule to organize the closets, but it's a job I so abhor, I just can't get myself to start. I will have to soon, though, as the winter clothes will need to make space for the spring/summer ones. I wouldn't mind organizing, if I knew they'd stay organized. The saying "Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it's still snowing" is really, really true in this household! But then I'm trying to tell myself, that there'll be a time, when my house will stay nice and neat, but I won't have the fun busy-ness of the kids around anymore. And I'm not exactly looking forward to that time, either.

Part of the problem is sufficient storage space in the rooms. Kai's and Saskia's especially. We have so many books for example and no shelves to store them on. So Rick and I are going to look at IKEA for some inexpensive shelving or combination closets. When? That remains the big question!

Tonight we're going to our friends' house. My friend's parents are visiting from Canada and are originally from the Netherlands as well. My dad is coming along with us, I'm sure they'll enjoy talking some Dutch together. And they all lived in Indonesia, so they have a lot in common.

Friday Five:
1. What is your favorite restaurant and why?
This is difficult, as my favorite restaurant is probably not the one where I've eaten the best food. The best food would be at Citronelle's in Geogetown. However, I didn't feel very much at ease there. A favorite restaurant, for me, would mean, that, not only would the food be delicious. but I would also feel at ease there. In other words, I could eat every night's dinner there. In that case, I would have to say Jaleo's. It is truly a fun experience, with different Spanish tapas and a casual atmosphere. Even the kids love it, as they like their little ham fritters.

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to?

Wendy's. I'm not fond of any fast food restaurant, but I think Wendy's has a good selection of more healthful choices. I like their chili and now their different salads.

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping?

15% mostly. I have to admit to a pinch penny Dutch mentality, that I try to tip as little as possible. I feel guilty about that at times. But mostly, I feel fine about tipping 15 percent or more.

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?

Yes, actually, I do. Badly enough! Sometimes both! I usually keep it to a light soup (most recently an artichoke and asparagus soup) or salad for the appetizer. The dessert has to appeal though. I won't just order a piece of apple pie (unless I'm craving it :)). Most recently, the desserts just were so run of the mill and not appealing, we skipped it.

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant?

Depending on the time of day. For lunch: ice tea. For dinner: ice water and red wine (usually Merlot).

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Yay! I'm better!!! No more fever! Yippee!!!

Yesterday, Rick got up early to go to Norfolk for work. Kai had a field trip, he learned about the life the Native Americans led here in Virginia. It was gorgeous weather, thank goodness, as it was raining cats and dogs on Tuesday!

In the afternoon, our friend Lauren called to ask if she could babysit that night. Saskia absolutely loves her and so does Kai. I'm convinced she's the person who loves our kids most after Rick and me. Seriously. So, of course, I accepted the offer immediately!

Katja had a 4H meeting and Lauren took her there. Then Rick and I went out to dinner, a nice French restaurant, where we go fairly often and it seemed right after Paris. We had a wonderful dinner and had fun conversation. We are always surprised at other dining couples, who just seem to be staring at others and have nothing to say to each other. We always have lots to catch up on, it's hard to have a "real" conversation with 3 boopers (as Rick calls them affectionately) around.

This morning, Katja got up at 5:45, to get ready to go on her big field trip of the year to Philadelphia. Rick helped her get ready (I got up to kiss her and wish her a great day, Rick thought that was ridiculous, I should have kept sleeping, as if!) and took her to school, where she had to be by 6:45. They went to the Franklin Institute and saw several different buildings downtown (she can't tell me which ones, I think she's too exhausted, tomorrow may be a better day for interrogation ;)). She did volunteer boys were not allowed to sit next to girls on the bus.

I accompanied Saskia on her first little field trip. Her Daisy troop went to visit the local police station. This being a rather small town (very near a big city, it's surprising to find this in suburbia), I hadn't expected much (everyone knows everyone here and the police gets excited when someone wanders through the snow by himself). We arrived, after having briefed the girls to be well behaved and not run (this is a rather energetic Daisy troop!) and were met by an older officer. Unfortunately, he didn't really "click" with the age group of the girls (5/6) and often used words that were beyond their comprehension (firing range, cruiser etc.). But overall, the girls were impressed and asked several questions.

My guess is, though, that the 4 adults present had a better time. We were shown the holding cells (this station doesn't have a prison, as it is not a county station), the area where the (4) detectives work, the bullet proof 911 operator office, the firing range with the possibility for 3 targets (I was amazed they had that there!), the armory (wow!), their workout room (officers are required to work out 1 hour a day there!), an officer's cruiser (they used to have upholstery in the back seats, but that became too messy, so now the backseats are bare, interesting detail to know!) and the motor cycles (our little town has 4).

It was good to hear, that the average response time to a call is 90 seconds. We met the chief of police, a very friendly man. It just strikes me, how much of a macho job police officer is. The things written in the motor cycle area were downright funny. I really felt like I was in a Miami Vice type setting!

After the tour, I dropped Saskia's little friend off at her soccer practice, where Saskia ran around a little and I chatted with several people I met there, that I hadn't seen in a long time (this happens to me a lot: I go somewhere not expecting anything and suddenly all these friends I haven't seen in a while show up. I guess this comes with having little ones who play different sports and again, living in a small town in the middle of suburbia helps too).

Once home, I was pooped! Up at 6 and not stopped moving until 6. Kai didn't want to come along to the police station, but he regrets it now, I think. Oh well, next time.

Katja is safely home, thank goodness, I do not like to have my little ones (ok, she's not that little any more, but still) so far away from me!

Rick ordered a nice Indian dinner for us (I know, I have been terrible about cooking this week!!!), I ate vegetarian: a chickpeas appetizer and spinach and cheese entree.
And now I'm ready for bed again! Phew!

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Ok, I thought it would be time to check in. But really, there isn't much new to discuss. I'm still feverish. The rest of the family is up and bouncing around and I'm sooooo annoyed at my *&#$*&%#*%& body for not recovering the way others do!!!
Rick has been wonderful, though, getting the kids off to school, helping to get them to bed.

Last night, my mom flew off to the Holland, to visit a friend for a month! I should be calling my dad, who's home alone, but I'm hesitating. Why, I don't know. I'll be sure to invite him several times during her absence. A month is a long time!

I hadn't watched tv in a long time, but lately I've found that there are quite a few shows I like. Here are a few:
Scrubs (NBC, watching it now)
Baby Blues (on the Cartoon Network!)
and Keeping up Appearances (PBS and BBC America)

For me, that's an amazing amount!

But then, when one doesn't feel like doing anything else, tv is a great medium! I guess I can understand why the kids like to watch it when they're sick ;).