I do not doubt that, had I been in good health, we would have gone out. However, as the entire family is still battling chest congestion and the baby still has an elevated temperature, no one kicked against the idea of staying in. So, I reclined on a sofa in a nicely air conditioned hotel room and read the 39 Clues juvenile fiction series. It was so wonderful to kick back and just devour one book after another with no guilt and little responsibility. Dearest brought my favorite Thai dishes for lunch. My family presented me with a matryoshka salt and pepper set wrapped in white paper that my eldest had decorated very stylishly with blue flowers and artistic squiggles. Seriously, it looks like paper you could purchase in the store.
A day with no housework (Dearest handled kids and dishes), one of my favorite meals, and I got to read more books in one day than I have in the last couple of months! Additionally, I did not have to get out of my pajamas, my fever seems to finally be gone and I had no fears of strangers in a restaurant surrounding my table and accosting me with singing and clapping while encouraging an eatery full of customers to join in.
`I miss Krystal.
`I am really enjoying Doctor Who! I am really, really enjoying watching Doctor Who with Dearest!!!
`Ich lerne Deutsch sehr langsam.
`The elder munchkins earned their orange belts in Karate Tech. No, it isn't karate ... it's an official karate type thing with its own competitions and champions. It is a martial arts mix including some karate, some tae kwon do, some Judo and quite a lot of self-defense training. I'm not keen on it, actually. I don't like seeing my children sparring or demonstrating their ability to ward off attackers and discussing what to do when attacked by a person with a knife as opposed to when someone grabs you from behind. Blech. I thought they would learn self-discipline and do a lot of "wax on, wax off" sort of stuff, not learn to yell "NO!" with every strike as they take down and immobilize an attacker so that they are not legally liable for their actions despite the fact that the attacker ended up much the worse for the encounter. However, they are exceedingly pleased with their orange belts and I do like watching them practice their "forms" (aka: karate dance). I hope to encourage a change to a new discipline in the future, although perhaps not until we are back in the states.
`Baby needs a new nickname as she is 3 and a half and no longer calls herself a baby. (sob) Thankfully, she will still confess to being a Big Baby, but she is "NOT a yittow baby!" I'm considering "Carrots". I understand that it might seem to imply that her hair is red, but it is so often what people hear... Another possibility is mL as it plays to Dearest's nickname for her since her naming.
`She does have a beautiful imagination. She spent a significant portion of a car ride telling me about the crocodile in the sky that flew with wings inside it, not outside and pushed out clouds to go fast. There was more, but I can't take notes while driving and I have a horrible memory. Sorry.
`Fruit flies are a horrible and frequent problem here.
`Little Lady made an adorable doll bed for a friend's birthday. She used a Clementine crate and she sewed a pillow and blanket for it using the sewing machine and some fabric I had picked up at a garage sale. I was very pleased with her effort as well as with the results!
That is all for now, please feel updated. ;)
Right now, I am updating facebook & pleo while all 3 of my kids sit on my bed with iProducts playing a Lego Harry Potter adventure game. I'm having a "bad mommy" moment. Though I would rather they were at least playing ANY of the many 'educational' games, (I think that is the only one on there that isn't!) I'm also grateful that we have this kind of luxury time occasionally and that we have the computers and communication devices!
Besides, the kiddos have been really hitting the books hard this past couple of weeks and playing outside a LOT. Today it is hot and sticky, A/C is non-existent here and fans are limited. They deserve it, right??? Do I sound like I'm justifying? A bit? Ok, maybe we'll read some fairy tales and then go play in the hose to salve my complex...after I check ebay.
It started when I woke up because no one was in my bed, no one was begging for my attention or assistance, no one was arguing, playing loudly or shushing one another in deafening tones - I was just done sleeping. I think I may have been done sleeping at that precise moment because the bakery truck had arrived outside and rung its school-bell sounding arrival tones. I threw on some very comfortable clothing that was modest enough for my yard, but entirely too frumpy and unladylike for "true public" and joined my Dearest at the bakery truck to select some confections for the munchkins. We purchased a frosted doughnut for each of them, as well as a fluffy, light strawberry cream thing for us to share and a couple of shockingly white (NOT wheat/brown bread) rolls with alluring crackly crusts. Dearest had already cooked and served the munchkins a more nutritious breakfast, so this was a gleefully received 2nd breakfast for them - or a breakfast desert, if you prefer.
After breakfast, we finished tidying up from the sing last night and then I caught up a bit on emails and actually took the time to play a music game that I quite enjoy. Dearest and the munchkins played a rousing game of hide and seek, followed by tag and then rounded it all out with a few individual games of chess. The Manling was adorably overjoyed to checkmate his father, while easily admitting the role Dearest played in advising him throughout the game. Baby entertained herself playing with my Matrioshka doll and the Little Lady worked on an ongoing paint by number project that she was given for Christmas. Dearest then made the children sandwiches and I started on our lunch. I actually took the time to look up recipes and season our vegetables instead of just steaming them! We ate together and mostly sans-children with pleasant music, steak, lemon/parmesan asparagus, a baked potato and Caesar salad - it was a lovely meal.
After lunch, we took a walk back through our neighborhood, up the hill and into the very edge of the woods. Progress was slow, but Baby did all her own walking for once and the bigger ones cruised around us on their wheeled conveyances. The Little Lady looked adorable on her scooter, with her skirt swishing playfully around her - the picture of Little Girl At Play. We stopped and listened to all the bird song. There were so many! We marveled at the variety and noted that although not as foreign and wild sounding as the jungle bird songs on TV, they weren't exactly familiar either. We found a tree covered in tiny, fuzzy little buds - baby flowers/leaves covered in fur as soft as that of a new puppy.
When we returned home, Dearest hung a picture that I have wanted up in our dining room for ages. Just as he finished, the children came rushing in with the breathlessly excited announcement that we must come see quickly and they dragged us out to see the enormous line of Geese honking their way from one hilltop horizon to the other across our little village. Then Dearest decided to build a fire in the fire pit outside so we cooked a hot dog dinner over the flames and followed them with a few s'mores and marshmallows. I think the Munchkins gleefully burned more than they consumed, but Dearest reassuringly whispered that it was not an expensive entertainment and really, we'd rather they were entertained by all that sugar than that they ate it. We had our family devotion time around the fire while the drowsy darkness crept in like a misty duskiness before settling into a comforting night time. The Little Lady leaned against my knees and rested her head on my shoulder (she's getting so tall!) and the Littles sat on each of Daddy's knees while we chose our songs and read a Psalm of peace. I was pleasantly surprised at how many of our church family's prayer requests the Little Lady remembered for her father. She has obviously been paying attention at services. Then, 2 were bathed and 1 showered (the Baby!) and now all are breathing soft, even breaths and looking forward to Bible class and a day spent with this church family that we all have come to love so dearly.
Today was such a peaceful, relaxed blessing - I wanted to share.
Disclaimer: please understand that a few, minor details are omitted - i.e. there was the moment when She wanted to ride his bicycle and He was disinclined to take a turn on her scooter...and there was the little issue that resulted in the complete change of Baby's outfit... but these types of things just keep us real and serve as salt on a melon to highlight the sweetness of the rest of the day. ;)
As I was preparing lunch today (pb sandwiches for the munchkins, frozen spinach souffle for me) my son (who is allergic to eggs) came galloping down the stairs singing, "I think I smell something waarrrmmm!" Then he continued in a voice becoming high pitched in excitement, "Is it...sniff...Brussels sprouts?" I explained that it was a spinach and egg souffle. His face fell and in a typical 5 year old display of disappointment he drawled, "Awwwww! Does that mean I can't have any?"
No son, your lunch is neither warm nor particularly nutritious. Great, now I have guilt! I am a failure as a stay-at-home mom. :P
What loving parent, when their child is hungry and asks for bread would give them a stone? Pertinent today, what loving parent, when their child ASKS for vegetables offers instead...a Twinkie? Sigh. ;)
I have very little time and no thoughts of depth ready to translate into typed words, but that needn't stop me from dropping a quick line to my Dear Readers:
There is a tiny, little elf voice floating up the stair case as my youngest makes the climb to don her pj's. She is singing, "Ayayooyah. Mewwy mitmas. Ayayooyah. Mewwy Mitmas."