Saturday, October 30, 2010

You know your party was good if your house looks like this!!!

Sadie feeling the bit under the weather!!

...and this is only what I am prepared to show here.

It took Steve and me all morning to clean up. It would have been much quicker without the hangover from hell.

Wait! Wasn´t that a kids Halloween party?

Indeed it was. And the kids did not drink anything. I swear:-)) Apart from apple cider. They did, however eat lots of candy and cupcakes and lots of other crap.

I should feel bad, but Halloween only comes once a year and to eat as much candy as the little tummies can bear (and that is a LOT) is a necessity.

There were so many kids and it was so dark that I could not find my own children and when I did, Finley was barefoot, riding a motorbike through my kitchen with a little devil clinging on to him. Sadie was so tired she was walking round and round and round...in through the front door, through the living room, into the kitchen, down the stairs, out the back, round the house, and in through the front door again. Must have been the 200 lollipops she sucked. I put her to bed at 8pm and she slept for 12 hours straight...!!

Unfortunately I did not. I fell into bed, unconscious, at about midnight, after consuming a LOT of Prosecco, J├Ągermeister,and some of Papa Leitner´s delicious home brew. It is mostly due to these beverages that I had to get up at night a number of times. First in search of painkillers, which are never where you think they are when they are most needed and second because I was a little thirsty. It was like a scene from Eric Carlisle´s "Very Hungry Caterpillar", only the book title would have been "The very Thirsty Caterpillar", because when I first got up, I drank a sip of water, then it was half a glass, then it was a full glass, then it was a bottle, and finally, I think I must have drank a tub full and there was nothing beautiful about it in the end.

Sadly, Halloween is over and we have an entire year to prepare for the next one.

Here are a few images to tie us over until next time:-)))


















Thursday, September 30, 2010

When you have crazy children, make the most of it!!!

Recognizing the first letter of your own name seems to be a requirement in school...at any age. I am sure there are parents out there who rigorously practice reading and writing with their little ones, no matter what age. I guess everyone wants their little trooper to be a doctor or lawyer one day...nothing wrong with that.

Weirdo!!!
It never really bothered me when Finley´s teacher told me last year that he does not recognize colors.

Let´s be honest. Who needs colors?
And I am not even getting into the topic of letters, let alone words.

Boo
The new teacher brought up the subject of colors again this year and I am thinking, "What is wrong with calling red ´blood´ , and yellow `bumblebee`. Hey, where is your imagination preschool teachers?




Now before I get another talking to about letters and words, which he does not seem to need in his life either, I came up with an alphabet that is more tailored to my "Halloween and all things scary" addicted son.

Watch out Tarantino here comes the king of gore:-)))))

Alien
Bat
Creature
Devil
Evil
Fangs
Ghost
Headless Horseman
Insects
Jack o Lantern
Killer
Lunatic
Mummy
Nightmare
Ogre
Pumpkin
Quicksand
Rat
Skeleton
Tomb
Underworld
Vampire
Werewolf
Xanthippe
Yaws

(Oh, and by the way, yams is apparently an infectious tropical disease. Y is a difficult one to find a scary word)


 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We have just come back from Athens...no, not Greece, Athens in Pennsilvania:-))

A spur of the moment road trip to Syracuse, NY turned out to be much better then we would have ever thought.
I had the suitcase for the 4 of us packed in a nanosecond after deciding to keep Steve company on an otherwise boring business trip to Upstate NY.

Beautiful countryside
The day was beautiful. Just perfect to be on the road for 5 hours.

Before we left, I got some movies from the library for the kids, some food for the road, and off we went to Syracuse.

The trip up was uneventful, although the scenery was beautiful, especially when we got all the way up to the northern part of NY. Lots of farmland and lakes. It looks a bit like Scotland!!

Upon arrival, we quickly settled into our hotel. A trip to the mall was inevitable as Sadie was playing with water bottles and managed to use up all of her three outfits. Lucky girl. She got an entire new wardrobe at H&M.

After that we thought we go all American and had dinner at Red Robin or something like that...! In a joint effort we turned our booth into a battlefield, spilled beer, and even broke a glass:-) Turns out the kids are still not restaurant trained!! The following evening was al fresco once again at a "gourmet" sub joint in Athens calling itself "Le Rons" or Rods or something like that.


Yesterday, Steve left early to attend some business meetings and we were left to do some more shopping before we decided to find a pumpkin patch.
This was easier said then done. There sure are a lot of pumpkins in upstate NY, but not really on a Wednesday lunchtime. We came across some fields with pumpkins, but had to leave empty handed.

Also, we were in a hurry. We were set to meet Steve at the Glass Museum in Corning where he had gone for a meeting and that was almost a two hour drive.

The drive from Syracuse to Corning was long, but amazing. We made our way alongside Lake Seneca through the most gorgeous wine country with beautiful views onto the lake and its surrounding villages. At Watkins Glen the lake ended and the road took us back into the countryside. Watkins Glen, by the way was very picturesque, just like a Scottish village with a little harbor with lots of sail boats and pretty little flags everywhere.

4.30 on the dot we arrived at the Glass Museum, which is awesome. I only had a quick look around and got Finley a marble. We did not have time to look at it all, but I am definitely going back there soon.

Pumpkins as far as the eye could see
Overdressed?
On the drive home, we finally found our pumpkin patch...way, way of the beaten track. It was already in Pennsylvania. We spent $60.00 bucks on pumpkins, apples, cider, and tomatoes. Steve managed to almost destroy his Boss suit and did destroy his shoes. Sadie collected all the dirt a Pennsylvania farm after a 10 minute downpour has to offer, and Finley got himself the biggest pumpkin in the world:-))

Dinner at Le Roys
Our pumpkin adventure was followed by a gourmet sub for dinner and and a four and a half hour drive home.






Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Where has my sense of adventure gone? And more importantly, how can I get it back???

From the day I was born, I considered myself a "child of the wild" or an "outdoorsy" kind of person. My back yard were the Austrian forests. My pools the mountain lakes. My companions, the wildlife.

Pretty damn good, ha?

When it got dark, however, my home was that place with the roof on, the cozy bed and those two people who claimed they were my parents:-)...and how can I forget, those other three kids who were with me since I can remember.

I digress.

My love for the great outdoors was boundless, just not at night!!

Now, camping, as we all know, does not just happen during the day. No, it also happens at night. And I guess that is were my love for the great outdoors stops.

Here is a blog post about camping I stumbled across recently. It pretty much sums up my view on it.



Racing makes thirsty
I could probably endure the tortures of camping if I had no kids and my status would be the...I don´t know, fifth date or so!
However, I do have kids and the spark in my relationship does not get ignited by camp fire, but needs a full on week in Cabo San Lucas for example!!



And here are some reasons why I rather spend time in a luxury resort.

1. Having no hairdryer or straightening equipment
2. Constantly being too cold or too hot
3. Spiders that crawl in your mouth while you are sleeping
4. Having to walk for miles when nature calls (and nature calls often when you…and here is another list,

a. had two kids
b. a lot to drink whilst sitting around the fire
c. the weather is cold
d. ate something that was not quite right (this is also the category for alcohol poisoning, in which case you might just get a huge bucket and save yourself some energy)
…and the list goes on!!!



But even though the past weekend in the Catskill Mountains has not turned me into a passionate camper, it was fun to watch how much a relationship can take before the weapons come out.

I AM A WIMP!! I admit and had I not such a selfless soul of a husband who slept on the broken, deflated air mattress, trying to keep Finley alive in 40F and himself warm by wearing a ridiculous orange hat  
whilst I had the one that had no huge hole in it and the warmest sleeping bag, well, I guess we would have come home on Saturday instead of Monday:-)))
The two youngest members of the party

What I am trying to say is that I don´t like camping, but I love my husband and even though I will not do it again (I think it is more of a father and son kind of thing) I will remember the good things about it, like making great new friends  and seeing a bunch of kids smile and laugh a lot...
apart from at night when some of them cried!!!

Happy Camping:-))

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I am the anchor of my own news!!

I am the anchor of my own news, the star of my private reality show. Perhaps not so private, but what is private these days. Lets face it, we have all become addicted to it in many ways.


(Picture: courtesy of Fox News)

Facebook, twitter, blogging, you name it!! Everyone wants to tell the world about their lives...great or not. We all want to spill out the beans about what we like or dislike. We want others to see how wonderful or terrible our lives are.
We want to be superstars just like those on the big screen or in glamor magazines.

Years ago we were silent spectators, looking in on others. Now we have the chance to participate.
Social Networking? More like antisocial prying on others and exposure of our own lives?

Years ago, I wrote a paper on reality TV, back then it was still kind of new, facebook an Orwellian fiction, and blogging not even in the Oxford English Dictionary. (I am not sure if it is in there now, but it certainly was not in the 2003 edition.)

The reality show "Big Brother" is now as much of a cult as Orwell`s "1984" was back then. And what I thought was, at the beginning of the 21st century, a disgusting "fish bowl" like exposure of human life, is now readily excepted by society, and me, as normal or more even...it has become a necessity!!
No frustrated mother of six, or eight has to walk her tedious path of motherhood alone anymore. No fat person has to undergo the agony of loosing those dreaded pounds alone, and no thirteen year old has to go into labor by herself...no, there will be a camera team and she will be tweeting the moment the scalpel touches her abdomen.

And on a smaller scale we can be the stars on our facebook account, reaching at least a 100 or so people, who may or may not be interested in what we have to say, but at least we get a chance to tell someone.

We get a chance to share, a chance to be openly proud of something or someone, a chance for help, often only consisting of a just one word, or a chance to show people how great the world and life can be. For every negative posting there are a thousand positive ones. And judging by that, I believe, for as much as people like to feast on other´s woes, they generally want to feel good about life.

For this, I praise social networking and all the good we get out of it...! And anyway, where would all those poor hackers and identity thieves be without it? ...probably on benefits. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home sweet home, but its damn hard to entertain two kids by myself!!








How can two month fly by like that. Even the flight from London to Newark felt longer than those two month in Europe. Slowly the kiddies, and I, are recovering from a slight jet leg by catching up on as much sleep as we can get. Luckily they all sleep at the same time. We get up at six, and are back in the sack by 9.30 am. Works really well.
What does not work so well is the new swing set Daddy has purchased for his little ones. Don´t get me wrong, it is cool and everything. Unfortunately it requires my constant attention as Sadie is being a bit of a dare devil on the slide that seems to have been waxed!

Needless to say, it is 8.00 pm now and I am exhausted!!
I think I did more today than in the last two month.
We went to the library and I even got a book for myself. Whether this was just wishful thinking has yet to be determined.
For the first time in absolute ages, I did the weekly grocery shopping trip with two CRAZY children. I bet they could hear me shouting all the way to London. As a compensation I took them to the playground where the slides are less fast and I didn´t have to watch Sadie like a hawk. Instead I practiced riding a proper bike with no training wheels with Finley.

He did great and only forgot to push occasionally which resulted in him falling over and me running like a mad hatter to his rescue. In turn I had to leave Sadie behind at the highest point of the "not waxed", but very steep slide only to find her climbing down the ladder among my return.
Tomorrow I am going to the gym and put the kids into babysitting for as long as I can, otherwise this will end in my own premature death...probably a heart attack!!!
Home sweet home!!!!