William is not yet fully comfortable using his balance bike... so he carries it!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
... to be continued
In the meantime, here are some related links:
International family transitions
N.B. I started writing this post three days ago then got interrupted by my third culture kids and their international musical requests on youtube!
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Emma: Mummy! it's too spicy!!
E: Mummy, I want to go back to the car now.
Me: Yes, Emma, we are walking back to the car now.
E: But Mummy, we must hurry up before it gets dark.
E: No, Mummy, Willy wants to hold my hand, not yours!
E: Where are you going now Mummy?
E: what are you going to do there?
Me: Have dinner with daddy. Good night now sweetie. I'll see you in the morning.
E: When will it be morning?
Me: at 7 o'clock. Nightie night.
E: but Mummy! I will wake up when you have dinner.
E: When are we going to have breakfast Mummy?
Me: Tomorrow morning. Now it's tea time.
E: Mummy? What's for lunch?
E: Mummy, shall I tell you something?
Me: Yes, Emma
E: Concombre! (cucumber in French)
William: aap, aap!
Emma: Mummy, William is saying apple!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
- our new cleaning lady: "Ma'am, uh, why do all French people have only beige (in their) houses? I clean for many French ladies and everything is beige. Why??? My house blue and white, your house orange, red, colourful...why only beige?"
- Emma loved her swimming lesson this time around! SO much can change in just a few months! She will now be going on Thursday mornings in stead of art. It's a shame she will miss art class but I do think she needs to learn to swim (or at least tolerate the water) before hitting the pool and Greek beaches this summer AND I welcome any kind of physical activity for her since we are no longer walking anywhere! I REALLY miss walking around neighborhood parks and shops. ;-(
- I dragged my butt out and had coffee with 2 Mums (separately!!) and still managed. Although dinners this week have been quick pasta, rizi-bizi, fish-fingers, scrambled eggs and soups after a number more elaborate dinners (chicken rosemary and rice stew, Italian chunky soup, home made hamburgers...) were totally rejected by my kids.
- With the help of one of the above-mentioned Mums and Vodaphone I got my iPhone voicemail menu to speak English!! Yes!
- Having started this in Vienna with impressive results I have made an appointment to continue IPL treatment on my legs! I really want smooth legs that do not require daily/weekly/monthly care in the Greek sunny weather!! Yippee!
- William's new "nickname" (by the neighbours' three boys) : "Microscopico William". This is the equivalent of "little one" or "piccolino" in Italian but to my foreign ears it sounds like he is as tiny as an insect or bacteria to be viewed under a microscope (of course!). It makes me smile every time I hear it.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
He has super sensitive skin and the bluest eyes.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Will is gradually adapting to his new Kindergarden although he is still unhappy when I leave. Also one of his back teeth is pushing through which does not help.
I am feeling REALLY tired despite going to bed early. Also having head aches. An article I read about listening to your intuition recommended you stop and examine how you feel repeatedly throughout the day and said that tiredness and headaches are a sign of your compass being off. Indeed... My body seems to just want to stay snuggly home away from the wind with a warm blanket and a good book or movie. I think I am going to head home after the food shopping and do just that.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
It is truly one of those books that takes you into them, away from your day to day and into a different time and way of life.
If you haven't read it, go get yourself a copy!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Yesterday, I received an promotional email from a hotel we once stayed in, in London. I cannot tell you how much I wanted to be there - no kids of course- to relax, drink, eat, shop, watch movies, just ENJOY.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
At midday we went back home for lunch and William's nap (our midday break!) and then headed off to Attiko Parko, the zoo!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Today isn't going that great;
Emma said she did not want to take the school bus and then asked when this holiday was going to be over. When I asked her what she meant she asked me "when are we going back to our other home in Wien?" ;-(
There is an electricity outage today so I had to rush to get my car out if the garage bright and early (luckily the neighbor / landlord reminded me or I would have been stuck at home with Will all day!)
The electricity outage set the alarms beeping like mad.
I left the garbage out front last night (not in a bin since we don't yet have one) and the cats tore it to bits meaning we were greeted by a carpet of garbage as we opened our front door this morning. Yuck!
The garbage men are apparently on strike.
Another strike looming (truck drivers I think) as we have been told to fill up on petrol! The nearest shell station was packed and the queue was blocking road traffic this morning as I drove Will to Kindergarden.
As if having two kids in a foreign country wasn't stressful enough...
Monday, October 10, 2011
On Monday, after a 30 minute sit-in in her kindergarten class and a 30 minute recess in the park, Emma decided she wanted to stay at kindergarten so we had to improvise a lunch box and leave her there. William's first morning at his was only a stop over of 10 minutes to apologize and reschedule. Yay! Emma! for being so brave and enthusiastic!
Then just as William and I were about to leave home to pick up Emma I managed to lock ourselves out on the second floor balcony!!! (the sliding door's handle flipped up and locked!). And of course no phone on me. Screaming at the top of my lungs I caught the attention of some workmen who called our neighbor who was just boarding a plane who called my husband who drove home like a mad man not knowing if William was with me or stuck alone inside. Phew! Then Steph picked up Emma and I had a drink.
Her school Passport (contains notes from teachers to us since due to the school bus we don't see them everyday) says she has made friends and is very happy and participates in class. Indeed she has been singing new songs and has mentioned a little boy called Phillip...
In the meantime, Will has once again charmed all female presence at his kindergarden and has although he initially only had an hour, then breakfast and 2 hours play there, by Friday he had had lunch and a mid-day nap there too.
On Thursday we had a fuel leak in the house but luckily the smell alerted us in time and the workmen cleaned it all up and repaired it. Phew!
Technical problems such as no phone for me due to iPhone being blocked so we cannot use a different carrier than the one we had a contract with in Austria are proving quite difficult to resolve and I really do need a local number! Despite my best efforts to jailbreak the phone I had to give in and by a new phone in the end. Ugh.
The admin is absolutely mind boggling. Every day Emma brings back more paperwork with lots of forms to fill out and sign. I need to organize a health check and still decide whether or not we wish her to have tennis or swimming lessons although I would prefer something a bit less technical where she can just run and jump and use up some energy.
Once the children were more or less settled, the next priority was finding a cleaning lady (partially done now) and to finish unpacking boxes (also moving ahead...).
Ugh the dust (from the dirt road and the neighboring houses still being worked on) and the clean laundry are piling up. And whose brilliant idea was it to have a school uniform with a snow white top??!!
Over the week-end we discovered a couple of parks with lots of fun for kids.
Emma and Will driving together
How do we feel?
the kids seem to be doing great and the only things that seem to bother them are:
- that the house is on multiple levels and so a) we always seem far away if we are not right there b) it's a bit dangerous for distracted Emma and tiny Will as there are many stairs to fall down.
-the distances are greater than in Vienna and Mummy sometimes gets lost so we spent more time in the car (finding the park) than in the park.
As for us, well, since the kids are ok, we can now focus on the house and ourselves a bit. It's hard to believe we only left Vienna a week ago. It feels like forever. For us it's been a tough move - the first as a family of four - and despite being super organized and having head at hand there is only so much you can do with kids around. Still, all in all we are doing ok. We have Internet, heating, phone numbers and kids at kindergarden, a near by supermarket and a GPS on my mobile phone. We're sleeping and eating ok and most days it's sunny. Today I even had a neighbor and her kids over for a while and tomorrow I am going to a newcomers meeting organized by some francophone "oldies" .
Saturday, October 01, 2011
The movers were great and we had the precious help of G. (another one!) a Russian lady who cleans at our neighbors and who came over to help us. What a wonderful, quick, positive woman. And I got to practice my Russian!
As I write everyone is in bed and I am totally exhausted having unpacked and put away lots and lots but happy to be here.
Tomorrow we might go to the sea and take a break from "the move".
More news soon...
Friday, September 30, 2011
So this ia a quick update on the last post:
It's now nearly 10pm and the children are fast asleep. Their farewell parties went well, they both received t-shirts with their names on them and Emma also got a hand-made photo album with lots of children's quotes and drawings. Absolutely lovely.
Both the kids and I received a lot of love today. Lots of hugs and kisses, presents and kind words, happy wishes and compliments. I was able to say goodbye to everyone I intended to and we even managed a last ice-cream before coming back to the hotel!
I've been so busy trying to be positive for the kids and just so busy, I haven't yet felt too sad so far - only cried a bit once - I am still floating on all the love and functioning in efficiency mode so in a way, I can't quite fathom that we are about to leave all this behind... but I know that soon enough, in a week or two, maybe sooner, I will land and sadness and nostalgia will set in (along with frustration at a million new things not going smoothly).
All part of the (expat) life I guess. On the other hand, we would not have experienced lovely today if we were living here permanently. I wonder can one get addicted to this kind of life with arrivals and departures, intense reunions and good-byes and relatively short commitments? Oh but that's another subject... Nightie night!
Tonight is our last night in Vienna.
I'm now off to pic up the kids at Kindergarden here for the last time... (I hope their goodbye parties went well) then off to the park and perhaps a last ice-cream on Tuchlauben... Oh! So sad!!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
At times, I have a hard time really comprehending it all, and at others I just want to drink in all of Vienna while I still can.
It's hard thinking that my now home will no longer be my home in about 10 days. I know I go through a process of feeling slighty homeless and un-rooted before I can feel at home again in my new home.
Emma and I play a game where we list all that will be new and all that will be the same; new friends, news school, same Mummy, Daddy, William, Emma, new car, new house, same toys, same furniture... you get the picture. This is my attempt to prepare her for what is coming and so far she seems to be taking it well. In fact a couple of her kindergarden friends' Mums have told me that their son/daughter was very sad, crying, upset about Emma's departure and asked when they would see her again. Interestingly enough Emma has not yet had this reaction or question. I am not sure whether this is good or bad.
I asked her favorite kindergarden teacher to sound the waters with her to see what she was feeling and she told me that Emma was generally quite open about the move if apprehensive about the new kindergarden and friends.
Timing wise it's a shame for William too - he now feels so happy and at home in the kindergarden here. And it's lovely that they are both in the same one and can see each other at break time and when they are outside. In Greece, they will not be in the same Kindergarden at least for the first year.
I am glad that Emma and Will's aunt, Tata-yéyé, will be with us when we hit the ground in Greece to soften the blow and make it more fun and also that Emma has met some of the neighborhood children already. Hopefully this will soften the blow.
The "but when are we going home?" is the question I find the most daunting because I also find making a new home difficult.