Thursday, May 22, 2003

Ok, I hate to keep griping about the weather, but we woke up to another gray, gloomy day, yuck! At least it didn't rain.

Saskia was supposed to have a field trip to a park today and I was supposed to come along. But, with this weather, it would have been too much for me: no workout and sitting stiffly. So, I have to admit to having sinned :D. I started asking Saskia yesterday, if she would like to go to the field trip or if she'd rather go shopping with me (she really needed summer clothes, hey, two birds with one stone there!). Of course, being my daughter :), she chose the shopping (phew!).

This morning the weather was exactly as predicted, so I called the school, that we wouldn't be going on the fieldtrip. This message didn't go through, as the administrator called later to make sure Saskia was ok. Oh well.

Anyway, Christine came over to work out here, we have a treadmill and an elliptical machine, so we switch off, a half hour on each. Saskia was a little angel, playing with her new "boredom" basket.

After our workouts, Christine went home and I quickly took a shower. Then we went off to the mall. At Saskia's request, we first shopped for her clothes. Everything was on sale, so she made out like a bandit! Very cute capri's and skorts and, her favorites, shirts with long flowing sleeves. She's so funny, as she has a great fashion sense and was very aware of what would match and was sure to not get anything that wouldn't.

Another way she's funny, is that initially, it seems as if she could shop forever, but then, after trying a bunch of stuff on, she's done. And I mean done *now*. No more, nothing, nope, I'm hungry, let's pay, let's go. Right up my alley! No whining, no let's just try one more thing, nope, done!

So, pay we did (amazingly low price for all she got as there was a coupon too) and then took off for the Rainforest Cafe, her place of choice for lunch. We sat at the bar, Saskia on a duck and I on a frog (their stools are animal shaped), she because she likes sitting on those chairs, me because I mistakenly believed that might speed up the delivery of the food. No such luck! We instantly knew our order: kid's pizza for her and their lettuce wraps for me. They're really good, those lettuce wraps, with veggie salad, chicken, peanuts and more, which you wrap in, you guessed it, lettuce. But it took almost 30 mins to get the food out!!! Still, we enjoyed it and chatted (I love hearing her renditions of what happens in her little life, all told with the utmost sincerity :)).

For dessert, she decided we should have some Dippin' Dots. We both had fat free yogurt strawberry cheesecake. Delicious! Those little really cold balls of ice cream are really good!

After a stop at CVS for new toothbrushes, toothpastes and air fresheners (ok, you know, the mundane stuff needs to be taken care of too!), Saskia convinced me to go back to Hecht's as she'd seen Mrs. Hagan's (her teacher) sandals there for kids.

Turned out to be old fashioned, as I was wearing them 30 years ago, Dr. Scholl's sandals. "Kleppers" is what we called them. It's so funny to see my own daughter in them now! She of course got a pair of white ones.

Then it was time to go to Blockbuster's, as we're going out of town to Canada tomorrow (no blog until Tuesday at the earliest). Saskia has a great sense of humor and picked out some wonderful comedies to watch on the way there. And, yes, we love having a tv in the car. We've driven the route many times and we all enjoy watching (or listening to, as in Rick and my case) the videos together. I cherish long drives with the family, we have to stay together and sleep together in the same room and I'm always a little sad when trips end. So, I wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I hope the weather will be better in most places than it's predicted to be here in the Mid-Atlantic. I guess the big first summer weekend is not going to be that sunny (if at all) this time, here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Well, I'm going to try and update this blog, fearing all will be lost. Unfortunately, I upgrade to a paid version of the Blogger software and it wiped out my travel blogs, sniff! Luckily, they're still readable where they were published, with the exception of one. Certainly teaches me to make backups! Which of course I did for all but the one I completely lost. Oh well, the memories are still there, of course.

We had 2 nice days, weatherwise and so on Monday, Christine and I went for a 2 hour and 15 minute walk, both carrying 10 pound weights in each hand, plus a water bottle. We hadn't meant to go for so long, but we walked out and then took a long time to get back. That was quite the workout!

In the afternoon, I watched my friend's kids, who are the same age as Kai and Saskia, because she was out of town. And then their other friends came too, unbeknownst to me (I was upstairs). I need to vent just a little a bit about that situation. These 2 kids, girl Saskia's age, boy Kai's age, call almost every afternoon to play. And they're great kids, don't get me wrong, and my kids' best friends. *However* they have a stay at home dad, who gets a nice few hours to himself every time, because the kids always want to play here. Still, ok, I guess, most afternoons I don't mind having everyone play here at all. But, those few times that I can't have the kids over and suggest my kids go play over there, it is never possible! They simply do not reciprocate. And really, I'm not looking for tit for tat, just an occasional switching off.

Another irritation was, that I had to take Kai to the dentist at 3:45 and my friend's oldest would be home by then, so she knew her kids would be dropped off.
Well, I had told Kai to tell his other friend, that his dad would need to pick him up by 3:30, as he had that appointment. No one came at that time and I was trying hard to not show my annoyance to the kids and piled everyone in the van and dropped them all off. Well, dad had not even left the house yet at 3:40! Needless to say, we were late for the dentist, sigh. Oh well, it feels good to vent once in a while, I can't change the guy and I don't want to create a situation either, being that the kids are all such good friends.

Yesterday, I first ran with Brynna in the morning. It's really hilarious to do that. She comes along all excitedly and runs way ahead of me and then about 20 minutes or so later, she's dragging behind me with her tongue on the ground just about!

Then the weekly bible study. This time about experiencing joy in the small things in life and giving joy to others. Food for thought. Today, I'm finding it a little challenging to see joy, as the rain has been streaming down and the forecast is the same for the next week!!! I hope we don't get a climate change here, as I will have to move, it wreaks too much havoc on my health. But I do find joy, still :). Thankfully!

After I got home from the bible study, I had a strong urge to go for a bike ride. I knew it was going to be crappy weather and I'd only used my new bike once. I had about an hour before the kids got out of school. So, I happily stepped on my bike and was going at a good clip, about 2 miles from home, when I heard a tell tale "pffffff" sound coming from the rear tire! In less than 10 seconds, the tire was completely flat. Thank goodness I wasn't too far from home and I just about jogged home, making it back just in time for the kids.

Katja had Score yesterday (math tutoring) and after I dropped her off there, I went by the bike store and got the tire fixed. Not that it matters for a while, as the weather is just too gross to go biking. I swore off biking in the rain after I left Holland :D.

Last night, our friend Lauren, who's been babysitting for us for years and is home from college for the summer, came to babysit. She is super fond of the kids and the kids of her. So, Rick and I had a fun date, we went to check out a new restaurant . This restaurant had received some glowing reviews and it certainly lived up to them! We both had wonderful meals, very original food and my dessert was to die for. The owner came around and gave us a tour of the kitchen, very nice.

This morning, we woke up to soaking rains, yuck, yuck! I made it to the gym late, as I was procrastinating at home, but as always, the workout helped lift my mood. I went to Zany Brainy afterwards and bought things like Brainquest and Math games for Saskia and filled up a "Boredom" basket. She keeps saying she is bored after her friends leave, so I thought this would engage her, hopefully it'll work.

After Zany Brainy I ran home to eat lunch and then went off to Michael's all in the pouring rain, of course! I still had the Easter stuff lying around and now that Memorial Day is upon us, I figured I should decorate more summery. I bought silk sunflowers for the vases, a yellow floating candle and cute little watering cans with sunflowers painted on them. Now I just need to find some bright, cheery pillows, it seems I always only see dark colored ones.

Tonight we have Katja's spring concert with a stop at Dairy Queen afterwards. All I can think of is my bed, though, this weather is so exhausting!

And because it's such a gloomy day, it's imperative I write 5 reasons why I do find joy in my life (well, 4 very precious ones of them are always present, but you know what I mean ;)):
1. Katja's huge blinding smile that just got flashed at me seconds ago.
2. Saskia's singing of a silly rendition of "Mary had a Little Lamb" and her giggle every time she finishes (and Katja's patience in listening to her little sister singing it to her, even though she wanted to leave ;))
3. The glowing drops of rain on the bright green leaves of the plants in the yard. I want to take a picture of them when it's less wet, as they provide beauty in an otherwise dreary environment.
4. The two beautiful cardinals I saw playing in the yard this afternoon, the red birds in the green grass made a great sight!
5. Our home, it's such a beautiful, cozy safe haven from the outside world!