Friday, October 11, 2002

My what an emotional week! Every day another murder, every day driving Katja to school and picking her up from the bus stop, because we just don't feel comfortable for her to be out in the open. Every day driving the other kids the less than half a mile to school, their school being so close to the Interstate, police requested kids don't walk.

And the last 2 murders way too close for comfort, especially the one on Wednesday night, just a few exits away on the interstate :(. All sports and outside events to do with the children have been canceled, including Kai's boy scout camp out tomorrow night. And lots of homecoming games.

Last night, a white van was parked in our street, around 10pm. It didn't belong there and we were scared. Our neighbor tried to call the police, but before he could get through the van suddenly left. Spooky!

I just hope there were enough witnesses today, that police can get good clues and get these guys. This is no way to live! We're all running to stores and back to the car, pumping gas has become a scary event.

I did manage to paint Kai's wall in a really nice red and today I got new bedding and window treatments for our room and cloud curtains for Katja's room. I'm now thinking of painting one wall in our room a sage green (the window treatments are white with little green leaves and the bedding green with off-white leaves). And I want to paint Katja's ceiling like a sky with clouds. Still plenty to do in other words, but it's definitely gratifying to see what character a color paint gives to a room.

Yesterday Christine and I had a pamper day, we worked out, then swam in the pool at the gym, then sat in the hot tub there and the sauna. After our shower we went to the mall (parking in a covered area) and ate lunch and got a manicure. In the evening we had a girls night out with 6 of us at Macaroni Grill. I really needed that, as the kids were fighting the entire time they were home yesterday! It must have been the lack of exercise, as they haven't had recess in over a week.

This afternoon, like almost every Friday lately, we've had a house full of kids. Michael and Laura, Kai and Saskia's friends, are staying for dinner and Michael is sleeping over. Time to order pizza for the kids!

Things that make me happy:
1. The abundant rain (highly necessary!) and now the breaks in the clouds, so grateful gloomy, rainy days never last long here.
2. The community feeling, how everyone pulls together again in times of anxiety, like after September 11th.
3. My three adorable and especially healthy kids, my neighbor's nephew is in intensive care and that brings home again how precious and delicate the little lives we brought into this world are.
4. It's Friday!!! No getting up at 6am, no homework for 3 days (Monday is a holiday)
5. The ticking of the clock, a sleeping cat, nicely playing boys and girls = home!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

We're all in the clutches of the sniper here. After a 13 year old boy was shot in front of his school yesterday, the schools in this area went into high alert. The kids haven't had recess since Wednesday, we have to pick them up in person at the front door, or drop them off by car at the front door. Everybody is jittery being in parking lots and other areas where someone could shoot from a distance. How scary this all is! I'm having Rick drive Katja to school every day, I can't allow her to stand and wait for the bus. Maybe too worried, but better safe than sorry.

To add to it all, a woman rear ended me with her truck yesterday afternoon, while I was waiting for a stoplight. It wasn't a hard hit, no damage to the cars, but I have had a serious neck- and backache since and am sitting here with a heat wrap around my neck hoping it will help.

I'm hoping to paint Kai's wall tomorrow, but at this point I have too much pain to do anything but just half lie here. Yuck!!!

Since things are not going too well, I've decided I need to concentrate on the things that are creating happiness in my life again. So I'm starting the "5 things that made me happy" again:
1. Seeing Saskia run up to me at the school, all excited with her "what we did today" stories, I love hearing all about her school day!
2. Looking at Saskia's little mouth, she has 4 teeth missing right now: her 2 front teeth and 2 side teeth on the bottom. She's so cute!
3. Having Katja come in my room in the mornings and lie next to me to spend some quality time together, even if we're both sleepy, it's very precious.
4. Seeing Kai's mischievous grin after he told me he didn't hand in an assignment on time (ok, I shouldn't be happy about that, but he's so cute too!)
5. Having Rick hand me my heat wrap and at the same time tell me how much he loves me.

I could go on, so there must be many more things to life that make me happy than not. Why is it then, that it's so easy for us to concentrate on the negatives? Hug your children and loved ones for me, life is too precious to ignore!

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Ah, another gorgeous, blue sky, sunny day! I know I should be hoping for rain, because the drought is getting severe, but there is just something to waking up to these crisp, clear autumn days.

So, time to update the blog. Of course, as usual, the days are full and never boring here. I last wrote on Wednesday morning. After a long walk with Christine, I picked Saskia up from school and went to the dentist with her. She had to take Demerol to calm her down and after half an hour, we went back and she got nitrous oxide, bubblegum smell. Then, when she was sufficiently calm the novocaine. She was a real trooper, even smiling at the dentist's jokes. She now has a beautiful white crown where her severely decayed tooth was and he fixed another cavity as well. She also got her healthy teeth sealed. Now we have to return in December for the rest of the cavities.

After the dentist visit, we got Wendy's Frosties, as we were both starving (Saskia didn't have breakfast because of the medication). And then of course a visit to Toys R Us, where Saskia selected the Bedtime Carebear.

On Wednesday night, the school's ice cream social was on. Rick took the kids, as all the emotions of the day had left me exhausted.

On Thursday we went to Katja's back to school night. My dad babysat and it's heartwarming to see how he is building up loving relationships with the kids! He cuddled with Saskia and put her in bed, reading her a special Dutch fairy tale. The back to school night was crazy! Listening to Katja's 7 teachers talk for 10 mins each and running upstairs and downstairs in 5 minutes between "classes". Katja certainly gets her exercise just going from class to class!

On Friday afternoon I painted an accent wall in Saskia's room aqua. Very pretty! It really changes the room completely and now I'm eager to paint more, but it's not as easy in the other rooms, as there are heavy bookcases to move and all. So maybe I'll just do a bathroom next. It is gratifying to see the result!

Yesterday we had a wonderful day! We went to an event by the Dutch Society at the house of some members. Their house is located on the Potomac river. Gorgeous! There was so much to do: swimming, kayaking, surfing, old fashioned Dutch games, food and drinks. The kids didn't want to go at all and then didn't want to leave as they were having such a good time!

At night, Rick and I used up a gift certificate at Morton's of Chicago. Yum!