Archive for September, 2011

Fall is in the air

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Appropriately enough, given that autumn arrives this week, fall is definitely in the air here in Vienna.  It’s still warm during the day, but the cool air descends quickly once the sun goes down . . . which is happening earlier every day.  The air is crisp, the breezes are cool, the nights are chilly.

The residential heating in Vienna is controlled in a central location, and it hasn’t been turned on yet for the fall (reminds me of my college days).  I don’t mind, though — after a summer of being too hot a lot of the time, I’m rather enjoying bundling up in warm clothes on the few cold days we’ve had so far.

I love the feeling of cool autumn air.  I get absolutely giddy about it.  I went out to get a cup of tea at Starbucks this evening after Dan got home, and walking down the street, I was nearly skipping.  I can’t help it — I get excited about the coming fall.  I love everything about it — the cooler temperatures, the early evenings, the sunlight in the autumn, the pumpkins, the celebration of harvest, Halloween, warm apple cider and warmer clothes.  I love it all.  I am excited that fall is coming, and I’m curious to see how it’s different here.  I know there will be things from home that I miss, but I also suspect that the Austrian tendency to truly celebrate the season will make for quite an experience.

Off the leash

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Today, I was doing some online birthday shopping for Liam.  Down at the bottom of the page, they have those “you might also be interested in” links, and I saw something that I had completely forgotten about:  leashes for children.


Playing tent

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A long time ago (in relative terms) Benjamin started playing “tent” with his Grandma.  They would climb into “her” bed (the guest bed at our house) and pull the covers over their heads.  They’d bring a flashlight, and lots of toys, and sometimes books to read, too.  Benjamin LOVES this game — it’s one of the first games he ever played, and he plays it enthusiastically with anyone who will participate.


Getting better?

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I think we’re all nearly better.  I think so.  We had one of those days today where you kind of almost feel ok, and then you go out to walk the dog and come back sweating, with your pulse pounding, breathing hard and completely exhausted.  So, most of the symptoms are gone, but your body is obviously still working on something.

We spent our weekend on half-speed, trying to take good care of ourselves but starting to go a bit stir crazy and getting a little impatient with the state of the house.  Living at half-speed is actually a pretty nice way to spend a weekend.  We got some basic things done around the house:  some of the vacuuming, a little bit of laundry, straightened a little.  I made some chili, Dan went to the grocery store.  We all took naps at the same time (more or less) and tried to recuperate a little.  It wasn’t a very remarkable weekend, but it was really nice and quiet.

Hopefully, we will all sleep well tonight and wake up rested and ready to go in the morning.  I’m really ready to get back to “normal” (whatever that is).  I’m ready to get B back to school (for more than the hour he went for on Friday), to get Dan back to work and for Liam and I to start figuring out what it means to have B at school and Dan at work.  If there’s one good thing about being sick, it’s the appreciation it gives you for how nice things are when you’re not.

Selling the house

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Our house was sold yesterday.  I’d say, “We sold our house yesterday”, but the truth is, my mom handled all of it — preparing it for sale, dealing with the details of selling it and getting it finally done.  She’s the best mom (and realtor) ever.  She saw us through 4 contract negotiations, and just when we were about to give up and rent it, we finally found a serious buyer . . . and one who was in a hurry, which was an extra bonus.


First steps

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Liam is now mobile.  Well, he’s been mobile for a while — ever since he could roll over he appeared to have a destination in mind, and once he started crawling, he was off to the races.  I have seriously never seen a child crawl as fast as he does.  Given that we have parquet floors here, his crawling was even at some personal cost:  he’s regularly gotten blisters on his feet and hands ever since he started speeding around our hard floors.


How being sick is supposed to work

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

So, I understand it’s supposed to go something like this:  you wake up, you feel crappy, decide you’re sick and the best thing is to rest.  So, you do that.  Your day goes along, you do the stuff you have to do (in my case, watch the kids, make sure no one gets profoundly injured, feed and clean everyone) but other than that, you rest, you take care of yourself, you get better.  Nonessential tasks are put on hold.


Grumpy pants

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

2 sick kids, 2 sick grown ups, almost no sleep plus a cup of coffee spilled all over the floor, the walls, the end table and the side of our big, comfy living room chair = me as Ms. Grumpy Pants.  (Nice to meet you.)

I haven’t been in a foul mood all day, but it’s been there, just under the surface.  I have a lot to be happy for today, actually, and when I remember that, things go better.  It looks like out house will actually be sold sometime in the next 7 days, drastically improving our financial picture.  Dan joining the rest of the family in the ranks of the ill is a bummer, but at least he was able to get excused sick leave from work today, so he was able to be home with us most of the day, without being charged any time off for it.  My kids are sweet and funny and wonderful (when they aren’t being fussy, whiny and incredibly needy).

Truth is, I hate being sick.  I have never been good at giving myself a break, psychologically or practically, and I am constantly giving myself a hard time for not doing more, regardless of how I’m feeling.  So, regardless of my understanding that I’m sick, it starts to get to me that the house is in such a state, the laundry isn’t getting done, we’re watching tv all day and we’re eating carryout for dinner.

Here’s hoping that we wake up feeling better tomorrow, or at least that I do better on excusing myself for my daily responsibilities.

Missing school

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Both yesterday and today, we kept B home from preschool.  Not at all because he’s objecting to going (technically, he isn’t objecting to going — he’s very clear on the fact that what he’s objecting to is my leaving).  He’s sick.  Nothing serious — sniffle, cough, slight fever — no more than to be expected, considering he’s being introduced to a whole new world of “kid cooties” that he’s missed out on being exposed to thus far in his life.


Why school isn’t just a big party

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Yesterday, we went to a birthday party.  The birthday boy is turning three, and Benjamin was in heaven at this party.  The majority of the party was in the backyard – Benjamin rode bikes, a scooter and a train, he played in the sandbox, with toy cars and trucks, he ate pizza, cake and cookies – all on plates with Lightning McQueen on them.  There were about half a dozen kids there of roughly the same age, plus a complement of little brothers, all Liam’s age or younger.  He had an awesome time.  From about 5 minutes after we got there, he played on his own, or with the other kids, almost entirely without our help (except for a couple of times when we were asked to extricate a ball from the hedge, or a toy from a shelf).  The boys all played together and shared very well with little intervention on the part of any of the parents.  We checked in with him, from time to time, and had to convince him to leave the toys for a few minutes in order to scarf down some dinner.  He asked for my help to ride the scooter (which he’d never ridden before) but, although we kept a close eye on him, he spent large spans of time playing on his own.