Saturday, November 24, 2012


This Thanksgiving I am taking some time to recognize those things for which to be thankful.

First, and foremost, are my beautiful boys. They are such a joy (except when they are fighting) and I am forever grateful that I have been blessed with these little miracles!

Second, I am forever thankful to friends and family who were there to catch me and be there for me every step of the way in these last several months. I cannot even begin to thank you enough for all your love, comfort, encouragement and support.

Finally, I cannot begin to thank G-d enough for blessing me with such wonderful people in my life. But, I will try. . . .THANK YOU G-D!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Own Eyes

When I was young, I felt such pride from my Dad in me. He made me feel I could do anything and it was a good feeling. I had always seen myself through my Dad's eyes. He died when I was 19 and I lost that and I lost me.

When I started dating my husband, 19 years ago, I had hoped that he could give me that feeling again. It was a silly expectation and, in fact, a harmful one. Because, it meant I never did learn to see myself through my own eyes.

I have spent my life seeing myself through the eyes of others. Building my dreams around the dreams of those I love. Making sacrifices for the goals of others. Making their goals, my goals, but never demanding the same in return. In my mind, I was investing in our family, in our collective future.

There is a point to making sacrifices, it is not all black and white. But, I realize now that the scale has been tipped for far too long in one direction. It is time to demand that I see myself through my own eyes. It is time to demand that the scale of sacrifices be more balanced to allow me to do that.

Yes, major mid-life crisis here. But, G-d willing, working through this crisis will put me and my family on the path toward living a whole, full and authentic life as individuals and as a family.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not sure, but giving it a go. . .

Well, after all these years of talking the talk, I took the first step toward walking it. I am applying to a Masters program. We will see. . .I've been scared. Scared that I won't be accepted, scared that I will fail, scared that I will spend a ton of money on a degree that will not really be everything I hoped it would be and scared of things I cannot even identify. But, I've finally decided "so the *^&% what!" What does it hurt to try? If I don't get in, I don't get in. If I do and end up not being able to keep up or not liking the program at least I will know based on real experience, not just second-guessing myself. I can take just one class per term, slow and steady and that is ok. And, so, here I go. . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


As I look at our life through Facebook and even this blog, I see what we want to portray to the world. And, yes, it is very much a part of us. However, it is not fully authentic. Only a glimpse into the positive side of our family's life, with the occasional controlled glimpse at an isolated negative experience along the way.  I do think it is important to know that life is not always perfect, no matter what we see on someone's Facebook page or blog.

Will I stop with Facebook and the blog, knowing all of this? Sometimes I am tempted to do just that, sometimes I slow to a standstill, but in the end I still do want to share our adventures with our friends and family around the world and be connected to them and their adventures.

Now, I have been facing some serious questions. I overcame much in my young life. I think I had even convinced myself that the pain from the past had built me into the person I am today, so because of that it was worth it. And, while on many levels that still holds true, what I wasn't prepared to face is the fact that just because you overcome some major difficulties at one point in your life does not mean you will never face serious difficulties in your future. The truth is that you just never know.

What I do know, from watching my parents, others and even when facing my own personal demons, is that it is easy to be the victim. And, it is very difficult to be the survivor. But, in the end, the victim stays in a pit of despair and the survivor does move on and thrive again. But, also, I know we need to do more than just survive. We need to live, really live and enjoy life and each other. And, this is the path I hope for us to embark upon together, authentically, with life's ups and downs and staying true to ourselves and each other. Easier said than done, but definitely the goal.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here

I've been experiencing a rough time, not sure how to get myself together, but searching, looking, trying to appreciate those things that are true, happy, and positive. Just looking at my beautiful boys makes we want to try to be the strong, independent, confident and contented woman that I want to be and that they need me to be and that I lost somewhere along the way.

I'm hoping building strength of body will help me build strength of mind and soul. Definitely a work in progress, but it is helping me.

I've spent so many years focusing on being wife and mom, so many years planning for the future, I think I just need to stop, take a deep breath and experience life in the present a little bit. I can just live, do my best for my family and myself and see where that gets us for awhile.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Travel tips. . .

So it took us 27 hours door-to-door to get home. I have some tips for my fellow travelers.

Tip 1: remember, WE CAN SEE YOU, so please don't sit there in front of us or next to us picking your nose. Oh my goodness can't you at least excuse yourself to the bathroom. It is not as if our plane didn't have plenty. In fact, it was very cool, they had a downstairs area that was all bathrooms, like six of them. So, get up, stretch your legs and go to the fricken bathroom.

Tip 2: SFO is by far the best airport port-of-entry to the US I have ever encountered!!! Choose it, use it!

Tip 3: when on an 11 hour night flight with a child who still normally wears pull-ups to bed. No matter how much your almost five year old promises he will wake up to go potty and doesn't need a pull-up, don't give in, make him wear the pull-up. That is unless, of course, you plan to wake yourself up every couple of hours, carry a 35 lb. blob over your shoulder to the bathroom and somehow get him to go potty - then you are amazing and certainly don't need any of my tips.

And, so, it would seem our choice of living a life on the path less traveled has certainly involved a lot of travel. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We will see. . .

So, my husband has accepted a handshake on an unaccompanied tour. We knew this was coming, it was something he felt he must do. Next summer, he will go for a year without us. He will get to come home for a few visits during the year. Still, with the hours he puts in, perhaps, we will end up seeing him just as much. Perhaps, we will spend more time with him even, but in more concentrated periods of time. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

So, the kids and I have some decisions to make. Do we want to stay at our current post or go back to the US, to our home state? I know in our hearts what the boys and I want to do, and that is go home. But the logisitics of moving them, us, everything, everyone, for just a year is daunting. But, when in this life do we actually have the opportunity to go home to the Pacific NW for a year - never. So, I'm really thinking we should do it when it is possible. My oldest really has his heart set on it - though I hope he isn't disappointed when he realizes just how much it rains back home. He insists that he loves the rain. We will see. . .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Emma Lou

Emma Lou was the Belgian Malinois that we adopted during our first State Department tour of duty in Islamabad, Pakistan. She died Sunday night at the age of 14.

During training for our first tour, our post went into evacuation status. My husband, still in training, was asked to come in during the evacuation to help out. He left for Islamabad while the cat and I stayed back in the US waiting for the evacuation to be lifted. During the evacuation, a single woman that worked for the USG was sent back to the US. Her housekeeper was adamant that a woman should not be living alone in Pakistan and, at the least, she needed a guard dog. So, while this woman was evacuated to the US, the housekeeper took it upon himself to find a dog that he could make into a guard dog for his employer.

Emma was kept outside in a small fenced area with doghouse and called, Kuthi," which literally means dog in Urdu. When the woman returned from the US, she had a dog; a dog she did not want, a dog that had been "trained" to be a guard dog. She started looking for a home for the kuthi. My husband wanted a running partner and so he started running with the kuthi. She had no idea how to walk, let alone run, on a leash. She was quite wild and undomesticated, she had some "quirks," but she started to understand how to run with my husband.

My husband wanted us to adopt the dog, but when I met her she was so wild and loud that I was fearful. Eventually, I gave in and we named her Emma Lou. When she came to our house she was so scared. We had to teach her how to walk up the stairs step-by-step. We would find this to be the case with any new surface she encountered. In a few days, she got used to her surroundings and was feeling more at ease. It turned out she was such a sweet girl. We noticed when new people came over she was very scared and she would bark ferociously at their feet. And, when the water truck would come to our house, she would be shaking in fear and hide in the shower. Yes, we had a very loud water truck that would fill our reservoir tank with water every so often, so we could shower and such. Boy, was Emma Lou scared of that truck. She was also exceptionally scared of people who smoked and/or wore Shalwar Kameez. However, we would later discover that if someone came over with a dog, she wasn't scared of them. In fact, Emma Lou absolutely adored playing with other dogs and made best friends with a little black and white spaniel named Meg.

Meg would escape from her yard every day and come over to our house to play with Emma. It was so cute. The guards new Meg and her owners and so when she showed up at our gate, they just let her in to play. So so sweet. Still, it was apparent, people without dogs were not on Emma's list of people to trust. I cannot say it was an absolute, as there were the rare exceptions on both sides, but generally speaking if Emma knew you through your dog, you were golden with her.

As the years went on, she continued to be scared to walk across any new surface she encountered. And, her aggressive behavior towards those not accompanied by a dog continued. We didn't have kids at the time and saw how sweet she was with us, so we kept her. Every night before bed, she would insist on going outside to walk the perimeter of our house. She wanted to be a guard dog and took it quite seriously. We just wanted a family pet and she was that to us.

After Pakistan, we took Emma back to the US with us while we were in training for my husband's next assignment. We took her to a US vet to be spayed, as there was no way we were having that done in Pakistan. When we went to pick her up from the Vet, he told us that she had little pieces of spleen growing throughout her abdominal cavity. Apparently, she had suffered a severe blow to the abdomen at some point in her life and was lucky it didn't kill her. We don't know who or what, but it certainly explained her fear of feet and of new people. We kept trying to socialize her with people with dogs, hoping she would slowly start accepting more and more people and perhaps, one day, people without dogs. She did great at the dog park. But, she never would get over her fear of some people.

We moved to Portugal and adopted our second dog, a street dog found in Estoril, Portugal. She just reminded me so much of Emma Lou and she needed us. When we had our first son, Sophie wouldn't let Emma get near him. But, when she did, she would try to kiss him. As our first son grew, he became so loving towards both our dogs and they toward him. This is why we were so taken aback one day during a tour in Africa.

One day in Senegal, our oldest was two years old and ran to Emma and laid on her and gave her a big hug. She snapped at him. We took her to the vet, asking for advice, wondering if we should put her down if we couldn't find her a new home. The vet discovered that she had over 100 mango worms (worms that hatch out of your skin), which are very common in West Africa, especially if a dog lays in the mud outside! He worked them out one by one, with us standing by her side counting as he did it. That she was in so much discomfort and only snapped at our boy, made us realize that putting her down was not the right choice. She never snapped at our boy again.

When we had our second son, Sophie couldn't care less. In fact, when he was toddling by her, she would walk by him and give him a little nudge with her bum sometimes. Sophie didn't try to stop Emma from going near our second child and so Emma was with him all the time, following him about, always wanting to give him a kiss.

For several years now, she has had some hip issues, arthritis, and we found out bone spurs on her spine. She had to stop running with my husband several years ago. As time went on, it got harder and harder for her to walk, even with anti-inflammatories, pain meds and anything else we could do to help her, it just continued to get worse. When she couldn't stand up on her own, couldn't walk anymore, we knew it was her time. It was a very sad father's day for my husband! And a very sad day for all of us to lose our girl, Emma Lou.

Our oldest was just heartbroken. When we told our youngest (who is almost five) that Emma had died, he said "I miss Emma, I miss her kisses." We will all miss you girl!!!! And so hope we were able to give you a good life!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Expectations of my oldest - a cost benefit analysis

My 3rd grader has been melting down over the expectations I have of him. And, I am starting to doubt myself. Perhaps it is too much??? Perhaps I am an ogre?

He has a 30 minute piano lesson once per week and a two hour Hebrew lesson on the weekend (this is instead of Sunday School). Though Sunday School back in the US was clearly more fun than one-on-one tutoring.  I get that, but it doesn't mean you don't have to do it! Still, perhaps there is some wiggle room here?

During the school week, he has maybe 10 minutes of homework each day, 5 minutes/day of speech therapy practice, and 10 minutes of either Hebrew or piano each day (alternating them so he only has to practice one each day). So, a total of 25 minutes of study per day. And, we ask him to read for 20 minutes a day before bed. I really don't think this is asking too much.

Now, next year in 4th grade, he may have more homework. I really don't know. But, is it really too much to ask a 4th grader to spend a total of an hour/day on study. And, do some reading before bed.

I worry about lowering my expectations. But, I also worry about burning him out. Honestly, I don't really want to be an ogre. So, next year, we will cut his Hebrew lessons to one hour/week. But, require him to do both 10 minutes of piano and Hebrew each day, except lesson days. I think he will actually get more out of that. And, we will have a one hour scheduled block of time for his work each school day. If he gets it done early, he still must use that time for study or getting a head-start on his bedtime reading. The questions are. . .will he spend more time doing it than complaining about it? Will this new system cut down at all on the "fuss factor." Dare to dream I say, dare to dream.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Campania Region of Italy

Italy for spring break was wonderful. Getting to Sorrento took some time and I must say I was not too pleased with the amount of sick people traveling by plane and train on the way to and during our visit. As much as I cursed the fools for exposing us to their illnesses, for not just staying the heck home when they are coughing and sneezing, what did we do at the end of our trip? Of course, we got on that plane home with S and K coughing and sneezing.

But, at least before we started getting sick, we were able to enjoy our time in Italy. We stayed in Sorrento, which is a great place to base yourself if you want to see the sites in the Campania region. We arrived into Naples on a Saturday night and had a car and driver take us into Sorrento. I am so glad we did, as future experience with the train would prove it was the best decision.

On Sunday, we went to the Isle of Capri. I think this was my favorite part of the trip. As we got off the ferry, we were approched by someone offering us a boat ride to the Green Grotto. "Just like the Blue Grotto, but no wait, less crowded." He explained how he offered a much cheaper, private service and the Green Grotto was just as good. But, we came to see the Blue Grotto, not the fake Blue Grotto. So, we decided to check-out the boats that were supposedly "crowded and expensive" and are so glad we did. The price was cheaper than what the guy at the dock was offering, the boat was bigger and had life vests (under the seats, but they were there), and there really was no waiting at all. We went to the Blue Grotto. Once there you transfer to a small row boat to enter the Grotto. Our row boat captain was new on the job. Apparently, he hadn't quite figured out how to not get a big splash of water in the boat upon entering the grotto. I have some choice pictures of me in my white jeans with my derriere all wet. Dear husband was so kind to capture it on film, which we did not and will not be sharing. After the Grotto, we went into Capri and enjoyed our time there very much! So beautiful!!! Expensive, but beautiful!!!

Our next day, we went to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. We downloaded the free audio-guide from Rick Steves and it was a great little tour. It is quite hot when walking the ruins. At the end, we had some fresh lemon juice, a snack and were on our way to Mt. Vesuvius. After walking around Pompeii for hours in the sun, the 800 meters from the bus parking lot to the crater were a lot more tiring than we expected, well at least than I expected. It was pretty cool to see. T is learning about volcanoes at school, so it was a very fitting site to see. That night we ate at Il Ristorante Lionne Rosse and found it was right next door to David's gelaterria - now officially our favorite gelato place! Gelato - yummm!

Day 3 we planned to stay in Sorrento as K really really wanted to swim at the hotel and Sorrento is quite pretty to see. However, at the last second we thought, let's try to get the ferry to Ischia and go swimming in thermal springs we just found out about. Only, then, I realized I couldn't find my phone. And, unfortantely I had turned off the volume the night before so I wouldn't have to hear it ding every time I got a message. After searching and searching the hotel (I had it at breakfast) to no avail, I started changing passwords and canceling accounts, while S took the boys swimming at the hotel pool. Where, I understand, "heated" is still really really cold. At this point, I was cursing myself for not downloading the "find my phone" application, which also allows you to remotely erase your phone. Panic, panic, panic. After checking the hotel and our room a half dozen times, I decided to do one more check. I found it!!! It was in our room. It had fallen between the back of the suitcase and the wall. What a relief, but it meant Ischia would not be in the cards after all. It wasn't our original plan, so it was OK. And, I have to say, that perhaps working in a day with no real plan to the vacation is a very worthwhile thing to do. We did a tour of Sorrento via horse drawn carriage, had lovely meals and, of course some David's Gelato. We also took a little tour bus to see a local lemon grove and see a beautiful view of the bay and Mt. Vesuvius. There are definitely better tours than the one we took, but with the time we had it worked out just fine.

On Day 4, we went to Caserta to see the Palace. This was the point of our whole trip for the boys, as the palace was used in Star Wars films as the Palace on Naboo. The Palace was very cool to see and had a wonderful big garden. And we had a local pizza that was so delicious, but huge. We had no idea that it would be a 1/2 meter in size - yikes!!!

We were one week too early for the tour buses to take you to Caserta, so we went by train. Let me just say the town of Caserta is, well let's just say gritty. Of course, we only saw the section of town near the train station and it does seem that many towns are gritty near their train stations. The train to and from Caserta from Naples was fine. However, the train to and from Naples from Sorrento is a nightmare. It only runs every 1/2 hour. Sorrento was the first/last stop. So on the way in, you can get a seat if you are lucky. The train seats completely fill at the first stop and then some. And, with each stop more and more people keep getting on. On the way back, you can be sure you will be standing and packed like sardines. Whoa!!! Definitely, avoid the local Naples-Sorrento train if you can. We did use the same train for Pompeii, but it is not nearly as long of a ride with two little ones.

The next day, we took a car to Naples airport. We could just not imagine going in by train with our luggage and the boys - no way!!! And, then off to home via Rome. It was a short trip. I would've liked two more days, one for Ischia and one for a little town on the Almalfi coast, that would've been just perfect. But, even still, it was a great trip and I highly recommend it!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

But, they're tasty

My dearest K. He is so cute, filled with personality and resolve, except when it comes to hamburgers and hot dogs. We were driving home from school and K asked if we could have hot dogs for dinner. I told him, "but honey they are made from cow." He replied, "but they're tasty."

So, K has clearly decided that these things are just too tasty to give-up. Not that we eat them a lot, but clearly vegetarianism is not his forte in its full form. You can imagine the joy experienced by my husband at this realization. It's funny, making efforts to provide vegetarian meals for K, seemed to quicken his realization that it wasn't for him. So, I guess in the future, when he won't let something go, the best thing to do is to show him the reality of what he seeks and then just let nature take its course. How come I have feeling that might back-fire on me one day???

Oh no, but guess who came home from school talking about some awful video he saw on how animals are treated. T is such a sensitive soul, where is this going. Did we just trade one vegetarian for another. Yikes!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meat to Eat or Not. . .

Our 4 year old is a very deep thinker. When he starts learning about something of interest to him, he really focuses in on it to a degree I just wouldn't expect from a 4 year old. From understanding death, to understanding the differences between boys and girls, to really understanding the internal workings of the body, to practicing his letter sounds (constantly quizzing himself and us on letter sounds), he will focus intensely on a topic for months. He even does this thing where he walks around our living room coffee table, around and around, for up to 10 minutes at a time. If you ask him why he does it, he simply replies, "I'm just thinking."

So, his latest focus is on meat, specifically where meat comes from. He now realizes that meat comes from animals. He is constantly asking about every animal he knows and what that animal eats. And, has recently declared that he WILL NOT eat any animals. "If it doesn't have meat, it's not a meal" is my husband's favorite saying. So, this is going to be interesting for the cook of the family. Knowing K, this is something that he will take seriously and completely for quite some time. . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Countdown Begins

A good countdown! And, finally, a countdown that doesn't involve moving, yeah!!! For Spring Break, we are going to Italy - woohoo!!! The plan is stay in Sorrento for a week, using it as our base to see Casserta (Queen Amadallah's Castle for you Star Wars fans), Pompeii, Crete and the Blue Grotto, and a high-speed train trip up to Rome for a day of sight-seeing. Rome could be a trip in and of itself, we know, but the boys are so excited about the other parts of the itinerary that we decided, this time, it will not be our focus. Let's just hope there is a next time!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Screaming Momma

Yes, instead of screaming Meemies, we have Screaming Momma. We took the boys skiing on the weekend. They just love it and we love that it is now something we can all do together.

K is too much like me when I was young. I had a need for speed, a little dare devil/risk taker if you will. And, unfortunately for us, that is clearly the way K is rolling. Funny how having kids totally changes things. Well, that and having had a major ski accident when I was first learning that put me on crutches for 8 weeks. As you can imagine, when it comes to skiing I am very very cautious now!

So, I went with K and Dani (the instructor) as K wants Momma with him. Dani makes K ski from one side of the slope to the other, using snow plow and turns to keep speed under control. The problem comes in when K skis with his big brother. T is a great skiier, going down reds, having good control even at faster speeds than I would ever dare attempt. And, K, well he wants to keep up with his big brother. So, what does he do? He is snowplowing, but going STRAIGHT down the hill, bombing it if you will. Oh my goodness, I'm yelling, yelling, yelling, "turn, Turn, TURN!!!! Go from side-to-side like Dani showed you!!!!" I think the other people on the slopes probably thought I was nuts. Luckily, S is a great skier and was able to keep up with him and occasionally get him to turn. Of course, I was yelling at S to catch him and make K turn. Even more fodder for the locals, look at that crazy American Mom yelling on the slopes. I think I need to ski in front of K instead of behind him. Yikes! I suppose, failing that, a stop off for hot chocolate with a shot of Brandy will do the trick, at least it will give me the illusion of doing the trick.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ski Week in Borovets

The whole family joined T and his school for ski week in Borovets this last week. We stayed at the same hotel as last year and I am happy to report there were no instances or sightings of "Moro" or "the dead guy."  

T started the week with skiing greens and a few blues with a mixture of snow plowing and parallel. He ended the week comfortably skiing reds, parallel skiing and with some amazing stops. We skiied together a few times and I had to ask him to stop doing those stops right in front of me. Just because he can stop on a dime, doesn't mean that dear old Mom (who has been skiing at a beginner level for the last 20 years) can do it.  

K refused to go to ski kindergarten and wanted to stay with Mom and Dad. My three biggest fears for K: 1) the ski lift; 2) skiers and snowboarders who come down the mountain too fast and don't see him; and 3) K looking behind him instead of ahead of him and running into something or off of the trail. Turns out worry number three was the biggest worry. Thank goodness Dad was skiing right next to him and kept him on course.

After a couple days, K decided that the Green Piste was boring and wanted to try something new. Yes, my 4 year old is now skiing on blue trails, now my number 2 worry may come more into play. So, he started the week off with not even knowing how to use the platter lift on the bunny by himself, to doing that, to taking the big boy lift and skiing greens and some blues. Why can't I learn that fast????

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Politics, China and Pachina

Our oldest son has been very interested in talking about politics lately. We started talking about the economy, why so many things are made in China, why American companies sometimes build factories in China to the detriment of America's economy, etc. . .Our little one pipes up, they build factories on a "pachina." OK, yes, this is what he calls a specific female body part. I guess time to teach him the proper pronunciation. Well, we all had a good laugh anyway!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Helmet Boy

Another post that is rather K-centric here. When K was young he went everywhere wearing a bike helmet. We got to the point where he understood he could not wear it in the water or for bed, but there were nights where I would have to let him fall asleep with it on, then take it off as he slept. He just loved his helmet. I'll never forget the first time he went to synagogue without his helmet on; people were coming up to us left and right asking if everything was good now. "Good now, huh?" Apparently, they all assumed he needed it for some reason. Nope, he didn't, he just liked to wear it EVERYWHERE. He doesn't do that anymore, but the boy still loves his helmets.

He and his brother have bike helmets, a baseball helmet, hockey helmets and ski helmets. When I went to get some ski equipment, he made a b-line for (you guessed it) the helmets; not only to the helmets, but the girls' helmets. You see at preschool (at least I think that's where he is getting it, as I have no idea where he could be getting it from otherwise) he has picked-up some very definite ideas about what girls can like and what boys can like. So, he picked out a pink helmet for Mom. It's actually kind of cool and has some teal swirls on it too. I have not yet bought it, but he is adamant that Mom and Dad must have ski helmets. He will always be the helmet boy at heart.

You're Not My Mom

We made it back from London. The doctors helped us to figure out what was going on, why it was happening, how long it would take to get better and what we should do to help that process. And, we ruled out various nefarious causes, much to my relief.

While in London, K caught a stomach virus (probably at one of our doctor visits). He was vomiting for 3 days and nights. So, we spent the majority of our London visit with his medical appointments and then the rest in the apartment. After running out of plastic bags, we decided to use one of the apartment's mixing bowls as a vomit bowl. We did put in the dishwasher when we left, but it makes you think twice about using apartment provided dishes, doesn't it.

All week, K had been saying how much he missed his brother and wanted to go home. And, we were almost not allowed to come home because of K's illness. Luckily, he was physically symptom free for 20 hours, so they let us go. Woohoo.  

Still feeling a bit on the cranky side (K, well me too I must admit), we made our way to the airport. While having a very light breakfast, K started saying he didn't want to get on the plane because it would take us to London. He insisted the only way to get home was to drive. Since driving to Bulgaria was not a realistic option for us, I tried explaining to him that we are currently in London, so why would the plane take us there. Reasoning with a cranky 4-year-old doesn't really work. So, I proceed to tell him, if he wants to go home, we will get on the plane. He wouldn't have it and let me tell you it was not a pretty sight.  

As we made our way out of the restaurant, much to the happiness of the other patrons, K continued his fit. Again, I told him the plane would take us home, not to London. Now, there is something you have to understand about K. . .if he doesn't like what you are saying to him, he will start in with, "you're not my friend" or "you're not my brother" or "you're not my dad" or "you're not my mom." Well, I guess he didn't like that I was insisting we were going to get on that plane. So, in the middle of the airport, he's crying and yelling "you're not my mom, you're not my mom." I'm just glad we didn't get pulled aside by security asking us what the heck was going on. Then again, maybe I should be a little worried that nobody intervened. Hmmm???? After his latest "you're not my mom," he threw off his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine boots. I took them away from him and told him he could only have them back if he behaved. He sat in his stroller, put his boots back on, and was quiet as we made our way to the plane. When we get to the plane, he said, "oh, this is the plane to Sofia, but none of the other planes here go home." Yes, he gets it. Phew, crisis averted. I'm just so glad I didn't have to find out how him yelling "you're not my mom" as we boarded the plane would have gone over.

I can only imagine the huge laugh my parents are having up in heaven over this one. Yes, ok, my kids are just like me, happy now. ;)

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Day Of Our Journey To London

In my attempt to edit my post, I appear to have lost it, on so many levels...We are ending the first day of our Journey to London. K, my four year old son, and I are here to hopefully get some answers to the prolapse that recently reappeared. London is rather an intimidating city to this suburbanite. About the only thing cosmopolitan with which I I ever felt at ease involved vodka and cranberry juice. But, here we are, just the two of us, making our way in the big city.

I decided K and I should stay in an apartment this visit, as we were told it would be at least 5 days, maybe more. Having a kitchen and laundry machine are wonderful. But, this is no posh hotel experience. There is not a doorman, concierge or other staff to greet us each time we leave or enter the building. We are in an honest to goodness one bedroom flat in Central London. And, I must admit I feel a bit vulnerable scrambling for keys to enter our double-locked building and then our double-locked flat, walking about finding my way around. By the looks of neighbors' cars, we must be in a pretty decent part of the city. Still, a bit intimidating. At least I didn't let my fear stop me from finding what we needed.

I must say I feel pretty proud of myself for finding a pasta place for dinner and then a grocery store to get us some basics - thank goodness I brought the stroller. I even called the local gas company when I smelled what I was sure was natural gas near some ground work on the street a few hundred meters away from our flat. All-in-all a productive first day in London. We will see how it goes tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stone Rabbit, What Has Become of You?

Oh my dear Stone Rabbit, what has become of you? I know, I know. . .Somehow just fading away from the blogosphere here. Time to TRY to change that. So, where were we? Well, I can tell you since London we've been home just working and playing and a few other things in between.

Hanukkah Harry was very kind to my boys. I think I am still regretting the megaphone voice changers. Hmmm. . .

We've had a few good dumpings of snow and so a few good sled days with the boys. The littlest one has decided that snow in the face is a cardinal sin and if it should occur everyone on this whole wide earth should know about it. Thank goodness, face mask to the rescue. Never mind that he looks like a little robber, maybe we will go with little Ninja instead.

Oh and LEGO®, LEGO®, LEGO®, . Hanukkah Harry refrained from giving all LEGO® this year. Yeah, how do you like them LEGO® apples, just helping hubby with his IPR issues here. Yes, so the boys have ENOUGH to last a life time. I cannot say that either one is tiring of them. In fact, our oldest has found himself in a situation where most of his friends have little LEGO® interest anymore. But, it is still his first love. Since the boy could walk he has been fixing and building, fixing and building, add in a little cooking/baking and those are his joys. So, I just hope he stays true to himself because I will take LEGO® over video games any day. Not that he doesn't like those too. Bet you'll never guess which ones.

Ok, time to check dinner. Until next time and hopefully that is sooner than later.