Saturday, September 06, 2003

Gorgeous weather today and just like yesterday, Christine and I went for a long walk. We keep discovering new parks and are amazed at how many parks there are!!! I hope they won't all get torn down due to sprawl and crawl!

Speaking of parks, it's almost like a park in our backyard. We have our resident squirrel, a pair of American goldfinches, who love our sunflowers, numerous Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies, as well as Monarchs. It's finally nice enough to sit outside!

Christine and Chuck lent me a book "The Da Vinci Code" and it's great! I can barely tear myself away. The subject, with lots of mystery, history, art history and puzzles is right up my alley!

Just now I heard Rick panicky calling my name from the basement and that he was bleeding profusely. Scared the you know what out of me! Turned out he had cut his toe badly, which bled very heavily. But I had visions of blood spurting from an artery, the way he was calling! Phew!

And Saskia has been playing with her friend Mallory and is trying to convince me that she really wants an American Girl doll, sigh!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

A quiet day today, I've decided I'm going to try to have way more of those than last schoolyear. I want to make it so I have energy left to spend quality time with the kids when they come out of school and not be so exhausted from volunteering and other stuff, that I'm not able to do things with them.

So, after a workout at the gym, Christine and I went to Whole Foods Market for lunch, their salad bar is delicious! Then we did some shopping for meals and went home. I had a delicious 45 minute nap. I've been feeling so achy and rundown, it really helped to refuel my body. It's a goal of mine to really give in to my exhaustion by napping more. Hopefully I'll feel well enough tonight to sit at the dinner table for a change!

This afternoon we signed Saskia up for jazz lessons, she's starting tomorrow and is so excited, she's wearing her leotard already. The poor child has been suffering a lot from headaches, though, she came out of school complaining of one. Her nose is also stuffed up, so it could well be her sinuses. It's so humid and wet here, I think we're all having trouble with the mold.

As always my house is a magnet for playing kids and as I'm writing there are 6 kids in the house, only 3 of them mine ;). I like that they love our house so much, but I do despair at the messes they make.

Tonight's dinner is barbecue chicken in the crockpot (yummy, Kai's request, he loves it), mashed potatoes and vegetables. I'm ashamed to admit it's the first home cooked dinner in a looooong time!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Well, the first day of school is over. It started very early (6am), with Katja making her toilette in order to leave at 6:45. When one is an eighth grader, there are many necessary things. She's so cute, though (oops, don't let her read this, she doesn't like to be called "cute"). She came home with a huge smile and clearly had had a great day. And her smile lights up a room, that's not just a proud mom writing!

Saskia came skipping out of school and, with some loyalty to her old teacher, admitted that her new one was almost nicer than her first grade teacher. Good, as I had requested this lady, who keeps getting teacher of the year awards, so she must be doing something right. She is just known for genuinely enjoying the kids and making them enjoy school. Well, after one day, she's proven herself to Saskia so far, Saskia felt the schoolday was too short! Yes, you read it right.

Kai, on the other hand, seems to have a general boredom with school. He was not happy last year and I'm going to have to watch him. I requested Katja's old teacher for him and got her. Mainly because this lady is a grandma, who retired and then came back to teaching. She has a great sense of humor and her philosophy is that 6th grade should be fun, as it's the last year they can be children. Yet, she also managed to teach Katja quite a lot. So, I hope Kai will have an equally fun year with her.

Meanwhile, I'm in the process of finding someone to help me in the household. More than just the cleaning ladies I have now (who charge an arm and a leg for just basic vacuuming and dusting). My fibromyalgia is really getting worse and I want to use what little energy I have on my family and not on the household! I'm lucky that we can afford help, though. I was a little bummed to read that people with fibromyalgia get government subsidized help in the Netherlands. Not that I really need that, but it does mean the disease is taken seriously there. Here, I feel I constantly have to apologize and make up excuses, as "I'm in pain and exhausted" just doesn't seem enough. Even on Thursday, I was roped into volunteering, even after saying no and giving the reason. I was told this "would keep my mind off things". Little do they know that worming myself into a child sized school chair for hours on end to organize a gift wrap fund raiser is pure torture for me and certainly won't "take my mind off things".

Ok, done ranting. When the volunteering call comes, I'll just have to say "no", right? But that's one of the hardest words for me to utter! Help!

Oh well, we'll cross the bridge etc. I'm pretty pooped tonight, so I'll leave it at this and am going to cuddle with my little second grader :).

Monday, September 01, 2003

A new schoolyear, a new month and on with my blog! It's amazing how quickly the summer flew by. I loved it though and enjoyed every minute of it!

So, now, wah :(. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow, getting up early, not seeing the kids all day and the routine of homework and all again. Yuck!

I'm up for homeschooling, but, with the exception of Kai, the kids are *not* interested. I probably couldn't swing it physically anyway, but I just so enjoyed having all this time with them!

Today, Kai and I went downtown to the Natural History Museum. We made a point of reading *everything* in the prehistoric section and the gems and minerals section. Needless to say, we didn't succeed in the 2.5 hours we had, but we did read more than we ever have. The most amazing fact I learned was that a ruby is red, because it's the only color the electrons inside it don't absorb! So, if you were in the total darkness and somehow still able to see, a ruby would be clear.

It's such a cool museum and you can just spend hours and hours learning!

Tonight we're celebrating the end of summer with a Mexican meal and some margaritas. I'm glad I usually really like fall here in the States, otherwise I'd be seriously depressed! Also looking forward to updating this blog way more frequently!