waiting for the great pumpkin

Happy Halloween!!!We carved pumpkins last week. Although I nearly had a heart attack watching the 8yr and 6yr handling knives, and the adults ended up finishing most of the pumpkins, I’d call it a rousing success. Most of the pumpkins now have faces, and there were no pumpkin carving caused injuries.  What more can you ask for?


Happy Fall!!

It hasn’t been summer for a while, if you could even call the time between June and August summer. (Sure didn’t feel like it) But it also hasn’t really felt like fall until the last week or two. I love fall, the crisp air, changing leaving, its so beautiful and cozy. I had a fall frolick through Delft last weekend and it was delightful.


As if a good autumn stroll wasn’t enough we found a bagel shop in Delft. I had my first bagel in 18 months. It was every bit as wonderful as I thought the reunion would be. I’ll be back again soon. 20 min bike ride for a bagel is totally worth it. Besides I’m basically working off my bagel on the trip there and back, right?

a 4 year old’s wisdom

my kids are all pretty smart, but my 4 yr really has some great one liners.

“Ellie, when you sing it hurts my ears”


me: “what would you like to be when you grow up?”

4yr: “a cars’ car”

me: “ok, how are you going to make that happen?”

4yr: “Well first you have to get flat, then you need some wheels, and then someone comes and paints you red”


(from the musical Annie: “Santa Clause we never see, Santa Clause what’s that, Who’s he?”)

4yr’s response: Of course they didn’t see Santa. Nobody see’s him, he comes at night.

me: I’m so happy that you’ve learned how to ride a bike!

mom: I’m also glad that you can ride your bike!

4yr: I’m happy that I have a pass to the Zoo.


4yr: Ellie are you cooking dinner tonight?

me: yes….

4yr: ok. My tiger is coming to dinner tonight so can you fix something for him?

me: yeah we’re having hot dogs.

4yr: no meat. You know, duck meat, chicken meat, pig meat, cow meat…. meat.

Chunderfest 2012

Growing up my Mom handled the times I got sick like a pro. Waking up in the middle of the night to clean up my sick, and comfort me, all without complaining. Even in my sickness induced haze I knew she was a hero. As I grew older the awe turned into the question “how in the heck am I going to handle sick kids if/when I become a parent?” I go the answer that  that question when one of my little charges got sick while I was on duty.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but I was pretty sloppy. There was a lot of running in place saying “aaahhh ahhh, ok. ugg. ok ahhh?” I did the best I could not to look completely disgusted, but I don’t think I did a good job.  I took off my beloved sweatshirt before taking care of anything. (fail) Moved the poor little girl from room to room while I figured out what to do, and always carried her at arms distance. When we finally got upstairs she was left shivering in the bath while I figured out the hot water to hose her off. While taking off the sick soaked clothes I managed to get even more sick on her and the floor. Rather than exuding confidence or even competence during, 4yr’s time of crisis, I was a confused mess. No wonder she wasn’t too keen on me sticking around to comfort her until her father came home. About the only thing to my credit was the fact that I was far more concerned with dealing with the situation than avoiding getting sick myself. Shortly after finishing 4yr, and just before my host Dad came home, I checked on the boys sleeping in the other room. As soon as I opened the door a wave of sink stench hit me like a tsunami. The oldest awoke to say “I think I need to wash my hands.” My reply “Its a little more than your hands…” Just then my host Dad came home and took care of the situation from there.

Just four days later my bad care Karma came calling. My slumber was interrupted with some gastronomic pyrotechnics. Unlike the kiddos its wasn’t a single eruption of the vom-cano, rather a multiple stage explosion of my stomach contents. I had it a few times worse than the kids, or at least I handled it worse than they did. I spent the next day in bed sleeping/feeling sorry for myself. I even called my mom to get some online mommy sympathy.

Moral of the story: whether it is me or others, I don’t handle handle vomit well. This last week has increased my tolerance, and hopefully my immune system.

He’s Dutch too??!

Due to the fact that the weather is less than great, and I have a museum pass, I have been hitting up the Dutch art museums like the nerd that I am. Maybe I blacked out most of my art history classes but I keep getting surprised by how many painters/artist are from this little lowland dairy loving country. These are just my favorites, there’s an entire golden age of art originating in this country:

Johannes Vermeer

Rembrant van Ryn 

Van Gogh

Piet Mondrian 

MC Escher