Sunday, July 31, 2011

Emma's fourth birthday

Emma has celebrated her birthday 3 times this week; once in kindergarden with her friends and teachers on Wednesday (strawberry cake), once with Will, Steph and I yesterday at home with a home-made chocolate cake and again today at the Family Fun park with friends and their parents with a strawberry cake, a mountain of nuggets and fries and lots of fun!
She is very happy about this and I am really glad we stayed in Vienna for her birthday this year so she could celebrate it with her friends. I think we managed to make it all about her this year and I think that's exactly as it should be. ;-)

Tomorrow morning really early we head off to Geneva!

Here are some pics of Emma's birthday celebrations:

Chocolate cake for breakfast! Yeah!

Discovering her new IKEA kitchen

and her pram, nearly as big as Mummy's

here she is wowing at her impressive candle

William enjoys the balls at the family fun park

after the cake, chicken nuggets and fries and a huge bowl of ketchup!
Emma and friends eating
That little boy in the blue t-shirt is Will enjoying the fries ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back from Greece; the good, the bad and the ugly

We are back from Greece and in Vienna it's pouring and windy and a mere 15°C. Quite a shock after the near 40° we experienced in Athens for 5 days. But -although it complicates things with the kids- the weather is quite in sync with my mood and the a/w clothing catalogs that are already landing in my mailbox.

I 'm in the mood for autumn. I am liking being inside while the rain drizzles down the water pipe and tap taps on our outdoor table. I am liking wearing my thin cotton scarf and feeling my feet are safe and dry in my big bright rain boots. Right now, I don't want to live in a permanently hot & sunny climate. (Is it rejection time already? )

I think a lot of this is a back-lash-mood-reaction to our visit to Athens. Here it is in a nutshell.

The good:
  • the house will be done in time for us to move into and will be a nice place I think
  • The neighborhood is green, friendly and there are lots of children
  • Our neighbors are very helpful, hospitable and open-hearted
  • We have our own little swimming pool which will literally save us from drying out on summer afternoons
  • People love children
  • The food is yummy
  • I probably won't be needing to go into town very often and can manage on the neighborhood shops (still driving distance though)
  • We already have a Greek pediatrician who speaks English and does house calls (see "the ugly" below)

The bad:
  • kids rule! To the point of being utterly spoiled. Regular bed-times (or anything regular and routine-like for that matter) are not done. Ugh.*
  • Emma and William will not be attending the same kindergarden and then when Will could move to Emma's, Emma will be moving on to another building, possibly another school. This means two school runs (and/or two buses)
  • Mummies provide lunch for everybody (even hubby) in lunch-boxes!
  • I can say good-bye to nice little shops/boutiques of the 18th bezirk and hello to air-conditioned, huge Malls

The ugly:
  • I was totally sick to my stomach during the first 24hours of my trip
  • then Steph was ill
  • then William got sick and had 39° fever until yesterday
  • we passed the virus on to the kids of the family we were staying with
  • Emma learned to eat cookies for lunch and honey sandwich for dinner walking around or sprawled in front of the TV which was blasting cartoons as of 7am for her and our hosts' kids
  • Emma loved this new modus vivendi

* perhaps I should put this one in the ugly. No routine is horrible as far as I am concerned. My kids absolutely thrive on routine and I love knowing the time of lights out is the same every night and that after that I (we) have my (our) evening time off...

Here are some pics taken by our host during our stay.

As you can see, we don't look unhappy. I hope that my current lack of enthusiasm is at least in part due to having experienced all this while ill, away from home at nearly 40° C. ...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday: what I ask for

Today I discovered Soul Biographies and in particular watched this beautiful film. An inspiring woman. Truly. Not the fake "ah, life is GREAAAT!" Truly seemed so happy and at ease. Light as a feather in herself.

On this blog, today is Wishcasting Wednesday. And today's prompt is "What do you wish to ask for?"

Well... I wish to ask to know what my deep desires are. How am I going to make them come true if I don't know what they are?

We are moving to Greece in a couple of months - in fact we are heading down there on Friday to visit kindergarden's and the "home to be" - and our kids will soon be wrapped up in a new language, making new friends and we will all be learning about living in Athens.

So a thought comes to mind. With the moving comes a chance to take classes. Language classes yes, but also something that might open other possibilities. Fact is though, I have no idea what area to explore. I so want to know what my passion is, or my "thing" is, or what I am truly good at... but in all honesty, right now, I have no idea. It's just all so scattered.

The trouble with moving around so much, for me, is that a lot of time and energy is spent on getting used to /getting around / meeting new people / finding the new dentist/ pediatrician / hair dresser that will not put me through misery. And then, usually, just as I start to feel that I am now comfortable enough in a city to explore me, well, it's time to move. I am hoping this time, the settling in phase will take less time and that I will be able to find what I really want to do with my life. What do I wish to do with me?
So that's my wish today; I wish to ask to know my purpose in this life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

This week's moments of joy

Joy pockets of the week - "No matter what is going on in our lives finding the little moments that bring us some joy reminds us what we are here love life" .

This weeks Joy Pockets

  • trying out a new desert recipe (poached rhubarb) and finding it delicious
  • our new painting was delivered and we love it! It is so happy!
  • long morning hugs with Emma
  • a chatty lunch on a terrace with a friend while it was pouring with rain
  • ice cold ice-tea in the searing heat
  • dancing with my kids in the morning
  • warm shower to wake me up in the morning
  • a "gentle" sleep-in (to 7am!)
  • enjoying feeling at home in Vienna

Emma quotes

It's early morning, Emma has plodded down the corridor from her room onto my lap for her morning hug. We just stay for a few minutes and hug, then I ask her if she slept well, tell her it's Friday, what our plan for day is etc.

After a little conversation I tell her we should go choose her clothes for the day and I should go shower.
Emma: "but I don't want to make a hug by myself"


In the car, we are driving back from the airport, just back from 7 days in Croatia and 3 in Geneva. Emma asks if Tata yéyé will be there. We explain that Tata yéyé, Grand-papa François, Pata and Gogo live in Geneva and that we will visit them again soon. Emma says something about them not being in our home so we ask her where her home is.
Emma: "where my other shoes are"

Emma is turning 4 on July 30th.

Friday, July 01, 2011