28 April, 2006

For sale. (Tasteful floor coverings included.)

We've put the house up for sale-- had our first couple of visitors today and are hoping we'll be able to sell it quickly. I've been slaving away to clean it up so that it's ready to show to potential buyers. I hardly recognize it now without the dust bunny ecosystems and the layer of small sticky fingerprints that usually cover all the windows.

It's so funny how personally you can end up taking your living space. Almost like it's a reflection of your personality, your soul.

Just overheard someone make a nasty comment to the realtor about our carpets upstairs. And it's true, they're horrific-- they're original 1970's trash kitch and I probably wouldn't even line a birdcage with them; they're that bad!

But I heard him snicker, and for some reason felt offended. Like he was making jokes at the expense of a relative, or something-- I was ready to invite him to step outside!

What do you mean you think the brown and orange leaf pattern is busy?! Did I actually hear you say the word "ugly"? THAT'S IT, BUDDY! YOU AND ME, OUTSIDE! RIGHT NOW!

Dude needs to learn to appreciate "vintage" when he sees it! ;-)

23 April, 2006

Some questions are better left unanswered...

S just asked me if we might know anyone who can scratch his penis with his toes...

We've found a house!

The kids had vacation last week and we did a whirlwind tour of the rural areas surrounding Stuttgart. We've found a house in a little village about 20km to the southwest.

It's up on a hill and has spectacular views of the valley below. It's on a dead end street where the kids can play and there are some woods with lots of trails that start just two streets behind us-- perfect for biking and hiking!

This is a big step towards making this move seem more real and we're all looking forward to being able to make the big leap and settle in this summer.

Like father, like son!

B and S started German lessons this week. A German teacher will come to our house once a week to teach them the basics of the language through play. Wednesday they were talking about colors; they colored in a workbook and then went outside to play "I spy with my little eye".

I really like the teacher and the method seems very effective-- the only negative is that we're only doing it once a week, so it's hard to reinforce the lessons with my own limited German.

M got home this weekend and was asking Bram the German word for each color. And then he asked about purple (violett). B thought a second then beamed and shouted "CHEVROLET!"

19 April, 2006


Oh god. *gasp* can't. stop. laughing!

Best music video ever!

Link thanks to Davezilla!

18 April, 2006


There's a mysterious beeping in my house. It's been going on for a couple of weeks now. Every now and then at random moments I'll hear an electronic beep. Sometimes it repeats itself, sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it goes crazy and beeps frantically- until the moment when I come running in the door and then it stops. Some days I feel like I'm on Candid Camera!

I've narrowed it down to the kids toy cabinet chaos, which I've torn asunder on more than one occasion, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what's making that noise.

And it's kind of like Chinese water torture-- each drop in itself may seem harmless, but THE COMBINED EFFECT IS ENOUGH TO DRIVE A PERSON TO DISTRACTION!

15 April, 2006

Just passing through...

We're back! Trip went well- we've dumped our bags and are doing a load of laundry. Then tomorrow we're off to NL to celebrate Easter. Will post again soon.

Realized that I haven't posted any photos in a while-- here's a new installment...

09 April, 2006

We interrupt this program for an important announcement

OK, so the announcement is not that important but the occasion is. We're off to Stuttgart for a week to explore and look at houses / schools / etc. This should go a long way to making me feel more comfortable with the whole situation.

Back next week with stories, pictures, etc...

(Thanks to Carthalia for this very tasteful postcard...)

07 April, 2006

I am the early bird's worm

This morning the kids were up bright and early and dove into bed with me. "MAM! WAKE UP! IT'S TIME TO GO DOWNSTAIRS AND WATCH TV!"

I was completely groggy and tried to buy some time with "OK, but please give me two minutes to wake up."

So S flopped down next to me and began counting happily: one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand....

(and yes, he actually counted up every single one of the one hundred and twenty seconds. every. single. one...)

Dialup hell

I'm in Holland at my inlaws'. In general it's a great diversion but they've got dialup.

Need I say more?

I'm like one of those trapped coyotes-- I would probably gnaw off my own arm if it would free me from dialup hell.

Sometimes I forget what an addiction broadband is. The neighbors have a wireless connection and I catch myself sometimes staring forlornly at the icon and salivating...

Last night I was daydreaming about planting myself outside their livingroom window and waving 20 euros with a pleading gesture. They don't know me from Adam but I'm hoping they're compassionate people...

03 April, 2006

Formal acknowledgement of lunacy

Open letter to those present at the Kinderparadijs playground 02 April

Dear fellow parents:

I'm sure you'll remember me from the playground yesterday. Or rather, you probably won't have noticed me, but my children will definitely not have escaped your attention. I feel compelled to offer up an explanation.

My sons were the ones running around looking like third-world refugees. And yes, I realize that they broke every fashion rule ever written and that they probably offended your sensibilities.

I don't know what I was thinking when I sent them upstairs yesterday with the request to dress themselves.

Chalk it up to exhaustion. Chalk it up to distraction. In any case, I formally apologise.

It seems that my oldest son dressed himself in some sort of nostalgic haze. Don't ask me where he found those sweatpants, and yes, I do realize they were two sizes too small and that they didn't match his teeny tiny sweatshirt.

I can only assume the lights were off and that my youngest has been nipping at our vodka. Why else would he have chosen to wear a light blue shirt with orange sweatpants and rainbow colored Bob the Builder socks?

Oh yeah, and I can explain the bloody nose as well. See, I just turned my head for a second and one of them got a little too enthusiastic pushing the other one on the see saw.

When you contact children's services please be sure to tell them I actually remembered to brush their teeth that morning. And that they may have looked like loonies but that they had a great time.

I'm thinking it's their mother that might need to be placed in a foster home...

What a difference a day makes!

Finished up with my job on Friday and have been caught up in a maelstrom of self pity the last few days. Not necessarily because I'll be missing the director's frequent tantrums or the catty politics around the office, but I'm having a hard time turning in my identity of "webmaster extraordinaire". ;-)

Funny, I wasn't at all enthusiastic when I went back to work after a 3 1/2 year study / pregnancy / international move-induced-hiatus. We needed the money and I needed the web experience, but I really enjoyed my little microcosm and was not looking forward to flinging myself headfirst into the rat race.

But I did. Made some friends, learned some new web tricks, traveled a little, and settled into a groove and now BAM! Have hit a wall going about 200 km / hour and now have to relearn simplicity. Relearn contentment. Relearn solitude. Which will happen, but I'm afraid it's going to take some time...

Started to pull out of my funk this afternoon and then a friend showed up with a bottle of good wine, some cheese, and best of all, her kids! One would think this is not conducive to relaxation, but they ended up keeping my boys busy for more than an hour so that I could sit and talk and really enjoy some one-on-one adult company for the first time in days.

If it wasn't for streaming media I might not have otherwise heard an adult voice in this house before Saturday!!! (THANK GOD FOR INTERNET!!!!!!) I actually just spent time talking to a real human who doesn't shreik or burp between sentences! Amazing!

02 April, 2006

Note to self 2 & 3

NTS 2: It doesn't matter if you're busy-- trust that little niggling instinct that tells you not to give in and let B rollerskate in his brand new $25 pair of jeans.

NTS 3: Buy patches.