Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

A Mommy Abroad

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Today I’m starting something new.  Instead of just posting on my blog, I’m going to start also posting on a new site I’ve started (with a lot of help from Dan):  A Mommy Abroad.

For now, at least, it’s pretty much just going to be a new place for me to share my blog (although I’ve started outlining some other potential pages of information and resources) but my hope is that it will eventually be more than that — I hope it can be a resource for people who want to travel with their kids (whether that means a road trip, a flight to see Grandma, or moving and living abroad).  Certainly, it’ll be most helpful to anyone who happens to be moving to live for a few years in Vienna (because, obviously, that’s my area of expertise) but I’m hoping that it’ll find a wider audience than that.  I’m hoping the stuff I’ve discovered and the hard-won lessons can benefit others, too.

Really, I’ve learned a lot while living this adventure.  I’ve learned a lot about myself (and grown a lot).  I’ve gained a tremendous appreciation for how flexible my children are — how much they enjoy being on this adventure right along with me.  I’ve learned, through trial and error, a lot about what works and what doesn’t, what’s important and what isn’t, what to worry about and what to let go of.  I’ve learned which things are easier than I expected and which things I took for granted that can be completely frustrating (hello, grocery shopping).

I hope it’s useful.  Please feel free to share it with anyone you’d like.  I’m going to approach it as writing a resource that I would have found helpful when we were moving here.  And if it convinces some of you to come visit while we’re here, so much the better.

A rough day

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I know it’s going to happen before it does.  We had a busy week.  I’m exhausted, stressed and sad that Mina flew home today.  The kids are tired and completely off their schedules — and although they don’t know how to express it, I know they’re missing Mina, too.  It’s almost guaranteed to be a rough day all around.


Too early, too late

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

We started our day early with breakfast out.  We wanted to be sure to introduce Mina to Cafe Landtmann — a place we’ve often enjoyed, especially for their decadent coffees and delectable desserts (even for breakfast), as well as their fantastic location and view of the Burgtheater and Rathaus.  We left the house early enough that on the way out, when B got a little too exuberant in the courtyard, we had to remind him that it was early on a Saturday.  And when we got to the restaurant, we were among the earliest diners.  We enjoyed an excellent breakfast, including breakfast dessert (strawberry tart, truffle cake and even ice cream).



Rainbows, bunnies, cupcakes and free balloons

Friday, March 30th, 2012

It was another pretty quiet day in Mina’s adventure.  She joined me in taking B to school this morning, but before we left, as I was grabbing a bite to eat in the kitchen, she looked beyond me, out the window, and exclaimed, “What the heck is going on over at the Rathaus?!?”  Which is weird because we can only see the very top, and unnerving because anytime anyone exclaims about something behind you it triggers a little of a horror movie feeling.


A quiet day

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

We’ve had a couple of days so far during Mina’s visit where we didn’t do anything overly remarkable. Sunday, the day she arrived, we visited an Easter Market. Tuesday, we went to the park and on a long walking tour of Vienna in the dark. Wednesday, we explored the sights along the Ring, took a break in a cafe and went to see a movie (just me and Mina went to see the movie). So, actually, I guess even those days were pretty busy.

Today, we *really* took a break. Liam, Dan and Mina slept in. Dan, who is still sick with a bad cold, stayed home from work again today. I took Benjamin to school for his Easter party. (We were going to keep him home this entire week, but his teachers really didn’t want him to miss the Easter party, so they specifically asked us if it would be possible for him to attend today, which I think is fantastic.) Benjamin had an excellent time at his party — the Easter Bunny visited the school while they were out playing in the garden, he found an egg during the ensuing Easter Egg hunt, and then he came home laden down with a parcel full of treats.

And . . . that’s it. That’s what we did today. We hung out, introduced Mina to the Backyardigans, ate cookies, put puzzles together. We all took naps. We got to show Mina a little bit more of what a “normal” day here is like (although our typical days don’t include that much resting or the Easter Bunny visiting the school). This afternoon, Mina got to see what our apartment is like in the rain (Mina, like me, like my mom, thinks this is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, not a disappointment). It was a nice, quiet day. Back to adventure tomorrow. Maybe.


Easter Markets

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The Easter Markets opened in Vienna this weekend.  I’m really excited about it – not only are they full of fun things to see, enjoy and eat, but they’re a very strong reminder of the best parts of our earliest time as residents of Vienna.  Not first when we arrived, but just as we were getting familiar and comfortable with the city, the markets were being set up, and we enjoyed some of our first leisurely weekends exploring them.


Angry Birds

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

So lately, we’ve been doing a lot better about watching less tv at our house.  February was one big, long, tv-watching fest here — we were all taking turns being sick, and nothing keeps the kids quieter (so that they can rest, or so I can) than a few hours of Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi or Olivia.  But, since we’ve all been feeling better, the days have been getting longer and the weather is warmer, I’m trying to cut back.

I wish I could say that we were filling that time entirely with trips to the park or the zoo, art projects or story time.  We do all those things, certainly, and they’ve all taken some of the space in our day that was recently occupied with tv.  But we’ve also been filling some of that time with video games — and I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than tv.


Tough questions

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So, in trying to explain to Benjamin about St. Patrick’s Day, I may have accidentally traumatized and/or warped him permanently.  It went like this:

B:  What is St. Patrick’s Day?

me:  Well, it’s a day where we celebrate everything Irish, which means everything from Ireland, which is a country, like Austria.  Your great-grandmother was from Ireland.

B:  Silly Mommy!  I don’t have a great-grandmother!

me:  (Hmm.)  Well, no, that’s true, you don’t now, but she was my grandma and she was your grandma’s mom.

B:  Where is she?

me:  (Oops)  Well, honey, she died a few years ago.

B:  What’s “died”?


Pumping on the swing

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I don’t know if we’ll get to keep it, but for the time being at least, it feels like Spring has arrived in Vienna.  The days are getting longer, and since last Thursday, the temperatures have been warm and it’s been sunny most of the time.  It’s wonderful, and I’ve been making a point of getting the boys outside to play after a long winter of lots of indoor playtime.


Parent/teacher meeting

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

There is something unavoidably grown up about attending a parent/teacher meeting for your child.  Benjamin has had a hard time adjusting to kindergarten — he’s gone through phases where he doesn’t want to go, cries when it’s time to get dressed in the morning and only talks about his day when we drag it out of him (although that last part is pretty common, as I understand it).  I’m not there with him.  I don’t know if it’s hard because he’s not used to going to school, he’s only now really making friends and he doesn’t speak the same language as 90% of the school — those are all reason enough — or is it more fundamental?  Is he too little, not mature enough, too sensitive?  Are the teachers looking out for him, are they too hard on him, are the kids nice to him — or is it just the wrong school?