Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready or not .... NOT

Monday is back to school in Belgium. You would never guess that if you were to stop by our house.

We have not yet bought a single school supply or new school clothes. (the kids have to wear navy on the bottom, with either a light blue and white shirt). 

Back in June when the school closed they sent a list of what to buy for the next school year home along with every school report. So I have Tiger’s list lying on top of the microwave.

Cat on the other hand managed to convince us that there was some sort of a glitch and she didn’t get her report card.  So imagine my surprise when I found said report card in the bottom of a toy chest while they were in South Africa.  But in her attempt to hide the report card she lost the list. And let me tell you, these list are so specific that you can’t just do a general shop and hope for the best.

No panic, I’ll just ring her best friend’s mom to hear if I could have a copy of Emily’s list. Magali didn’t know where the list was. So I tried Ema’s mom, same story. Jemima’s mom, she could remember seeing the list but that was in the beginning of the vacation and now she had no idea where.

As of right now I have still not managed to find a copy of the list or another mom who knew where her child’s list was.  And they don’t have a list on the school’s web page either.

I’m just very glad that I am not the only disorganized mother out there who is going to have to go shopping over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I would rather ... WWTK # 69

ooh this was so much fun and hard at the same time the first time round and clearly I was not the only one who thoughts so.

This week Crazymama & Mamarazi are bring us another round of WYR for WWTK


So lets see .....

{one} WYR...Never be able to look in the mirror again or always get dressed in total darkness?

I would say get dressed in total darkness, that way you can still look in a mirror to fix what needs fixing. Also, I don't consider doing my hair and/or make-up as part of getting dressed.

{two} WYR...Receive $50 a day for the rest of your life or $50,000 right here and now?

50,000 right now, you can do more with a lump sum than with 50 a day

{three} WYR...Have extreme narcolepsy or have a bad case of tourette's?

a bad case of tourette's ... cause you can still live a 'normal' life, have a job, drive etc and you can always tell people that you have tourettes. On the other hand with extreme narcolepsy you can't really lead a normal life or do things like driving cause it would be too dangerous.

{four} WYR...Be able to rewind 24 hrs 3 times a year or consciously control your dreams?

be able to rewind 24 hrs 3 times a year ..... i hardly ever remember my dreams and I'm really not bothered by them in any case

{five} WYR...Be fluent in every language around the world or be the best in the world in a category of your choosing?

be fluent in every language!!!! It would make my life so much easier if I was fluent in 5 languages of my choice, never mind all the languages around the world!

Now, be honest, what would you rather? Link up and tell us!

Monday, August 27, 2012

the highlight - banana bread

I don’t think we could have had a weekend that was more different to last weekend.

the weather
last weekend: hot! sunny!
this weekend: overcast, damp with rain

what we did
last weekend: spent time in the pool, bbq, drink copious amounts of snangria
this weekend: cleaned the house, did laundry, watched movies

See what I mean.

I did bake banana bread on Sunday which was devoured by Himself and the kids in about 30 min flat. I’m not even joking. I as planning on taking a picture to boast post on my blog, but all that was left was crumbs.

My parents dropped by to pick up a set of keys. We were all sitting in the kitchen chatting while I was mixing the batter for the banana bread. (I don’t think there is a better place to visit than the kitchen). Popped the banana bread in the oven, and I started clearing away everything I used. As I pick up the eggs, which I had especially gone to go buy I realized that I never put any eggs in the batter.  Oops!

So I whip the pan out the oven, poured the batter into a clean mixing bowl cause I had given the other bowl to the kids to lick. Add the eggs, mix really well and popped it back in the oven.  Obviously, Himself was convinced that it was going to flop.

Judging by how quickly they ate it there was no problem with the taste. And Tiger told me that it was the most delicious thing he had ever eaten.

About 10 minutes later I discovered that we had no water. Strange. I checked all the taps in the basement, nothing. On my way to the landlady’s house (she lives a little bit further away in the main farm house) I discover a fire hydrant with water streaming out of it. Then I run into the landlady who tells me that the main water pipe between or village and the next burst and that they were trying to fix it but that they were waiting for some parts from Ghent.

Having no running water really makes life complicated.  By the time we went to bed there was still no water, and every time I got up for the dogs I would check, nothing. I’m very glad to say that I was able to have a shower this morning.

And that’s what we did this weekend. Nothing exiting, but hey, that’s life.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday means Book club!

Despite my really crappy week on the work front which had the effect of not seeing much (ready very very little) of Himself or the kids I did manage to read a book.
How you might ask, was I reading i/o working or reading i/o spending time with my family. No! I'm shocked that you would even think that.  I read, on the bus, or train or while waiting for said bus or train.
And now, while I'm waiting for updates I made (3 hours ago) to the website (at work) to show I'm quickly blogging. Anything to keep me from screaming at the top of my lungs.

So what did I read? Thought you would never ask!

Zero Day by David Baldacci.

What is it about?

In Zero Day, David Baldacci introduces a new character, John Puller. In this the first in what I assume will be a series, military investigator John Puller is called to a remote, rural area where an entire family have been murdered in their home.

What did I think about it?

Firstly let me say, I love Jack Reacher of all the Lee Child books. And because I like Jack Reacher so much I like John Puller. Cause they could be the same guy. Ok, before Jack left the army.

Other than the fact that the main character was so much like Jack Reacher I liked the story line.  There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. The story moved along at a good pace. And, for an army novice like me it seems pretty plausible. In any case I read for enjoyment, not to figure out whether the author did enough research.

So  if you've enjoyed the Jack Reacher series, and wouldn't mind another character like him, get yourself a copy while I get back to work. O and don't forget to link up!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Forget murder on the dance floor, this is murder on the office floor!

It’s been one of those weeks at work. Too much to do and not enough time to do it all. And every time my phone rings it’s someone wanting me to do something new for them or wanting to know why their work is not yet done.

We are currently busy creating a new web site for my company which means that everything that is on our current web site has to be re-written and then approved by the various departments.

But aside from this we also have to continue with our regular work flow.  

My current work flow is so crazy that ½ the time I don’t know if I’m coming or going despite my ‘To do’ lists and daily planning.  Added to the mix are the usual office politics which I try to avoid as much as possible.

I have one particular lady at my work who is notoriously difficult to work with. And what do you know, 90% of my work currently needs her approval.

And then it happened, I walked in the door this morning, sat down at my desk and my supervisor says

Dom:  ‘ So, I had an email from Sophie’

those 7 words are enough to make me feel sick.

me: ‘Yeah, what about?’
Dom: ‘To complain about the fact that you missed a comma in the newsletter that you published on Monday’
me: ‘You must be jokinig!’
Dom: ‘ No, but you know, it’s Sophie’

Honestly, if she was near me at that moment I might have stabbed, several times!

I also found an email from her in my Inbox. Implying that other than the missing comma I also added the wrong information at the bottom of the publication. So I had to warn Dom to expect another email complaining about my incompetency.

What she failed to take into account was that that bit is part of the template. I did not add it!

Right, I could carry on ranting about people who are driving my insane with their demands but then I would not be able to work so I had better get on with what I’m being paid to do.

I can’t wait for this week to be over!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sick and tired WWTK # 68

Ugh I’ve been working like a crazy person here at the office today and truly didn’t think that I was going to get around to answering this weeks questions.

But I’m making time!

I am however, very sad to have learned of Crazymama’s miscarriage. Her questions are also based on being sick and related medical drama. So lets see  what she sent Mamarazzi this week:


So after a few weeks of bed rest and a miscarriage leading to two surgeries I'm on the mend but it has left me, Crazymama, wondering how others deal with illness/ medical drama.

1. If you are sick in bed how do you entertain yourself? TV, books, sleep?

All of the above! That is when I’m sick in bed and home alone cause I’m sure you all know that even when the mama is sick, the rest of the house still needs food, and drinks and clean clothes etc etc

2. Do you share your medical drama with the world or keep it to yourself?

Well I’ll mention/moan about having a cold but I don’t have any major medical drama in my life so there is nothing much to share.  Himself also does not like hearing that I’m sick. Like a true man he expects me to suck it up and suffer in silence.

3. Do you pray, send healing thoughts and hugs or good vibes to friends when they are ill or sad?

Yes, and if they are really sick and live close by I’ll pop round to say hi, take some flowers or something small to brighten their day.

4. If someone offers to bring in dinner to you or your family, do you let them?

I only have one friend who will do this and she often brings dinner over on a Tuesday night. Because she doesn’t work on Tuesdays. And I would do the same for her, so I guess to answer the question, yes. Thanks Kim!

5. If you could ask for any meal or treat when you were sick/sad/healing, what would it be? 

I have no idea but I never say no to baked goods so bring on the cookies, and the cup cakes with a nice cuppa coffe or tea.

So with that I’m sending good health vibes to all of you and especially to Crazymama

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kids and sun and sun and sun

What an awesome weekend!

The kids got back from South Africa on Friday and it is really nice to have them back at home. Even if it means more stuff to clean up.  I might have missed it a bit (but don't tell them!).

We were meant to have a bbq on Friday night but Jellen & Kim cancelled a the last minute. Jellen was in too much pain (he got knocked off his bike about 2 weeks ago and his foot got infected). So in the end we just had a nice normal quiet evening at home.

This weekend was also the hottest weekend Belgium has seen in some time. 35ºC or 95º F plus depending on where you were.  The kids spent the entire weekend in the pool. In fact they only got out to eat and sleep. Tiger even asked me if he could eat in the pool.  I just did laundry and sat out in the shade/sun reading. BLISS!

On Sunday everyone came round for a bbq.  I made sangria (got the recipe from Colleen over on So much to say) let me tell you it was lovely! Even if I did get into a bit of trouble for using Himself's good brandy.  So between the food and the drinks and the swimming pool the afternoon/evening passed by far to quickly for my liking.  By 11 everyone had left and the dishes had been done and not long after that I was fast asleep.

And here we are, Monday again.  I'm pretty sure that when I get home from work this evening I'll find the kids in the pool.

Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I would rather ...

I’m know, I’m a day late, but it’s because I was cleaning the house & getting ready for the kids. Did I mention that they will be home tomorrow?  It’s been 7 weeks!!!!

Now, let me link up for yesterdays WWTK questions:


Mamarazzi said: Hows about a little "Would You Rather" for this weeks questions? Crazymama is taking some time to rest and let her family and friends take care of her this week. Drop in and leave her a little love on her blog would ya?

{one} WYR...have your own private jet or your own private island?

Private jet – with friends and family living all over the world and plane tickets costing what they do a private jet would come in very handy!

{two} very good looking or very smart?

Good looking – I know, what can I say I’m terribly shallow!

{three}WYR...have the ability to be invisible or the ability to fly?

Be invisible – since I have a private jet getting from one place to the next is no longer a problem. Not to mention all the things you can find out if people didn’t know you were around!

{four} WYR...have the ability to read minds or control the weather?

Read minds – Once again the private jet solves the weather issue, if I didn’t like the weather I can just jet off to somewhere warm and sunny. But to be able to read the husband’s mind, priceless!!!!

{five} able to hear any conversation or take back anything you say?

Take back anything I say – because since I can be invisible I’ll be able to hear most conversations I’m interested in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cause it makes me happy!

I'm linking up for My Happy List cause well I'm feeling happy today!


And today I'm happy to tell you about a new place that opened in Brussels.

If you had asked me what we were going to do for dinner last night I would have told you; 'I don't know, I'll probably just stop at the store on the way home and pick up something easy to make.'


We went to:

I know, I didn't even know it opened in Brussels! How did I miss out on that news?

So I met up with Himself after work at the Coolock (friends pub), since, well the kids are still away and we don't have to rush home from work in the evenings. And we're just sitting out in the sun chatting with some people when Simon told us about it. His family is still in Finland on vacation so he was super keen to go back. So we did.

Quick cab ride down to the Grand Place and we were there. Boy, I forget how touristy Brussels can be in the summer. There are street vendors out everywhere selling paintings and hand-made crafts. And mimes drawing crowds of people.  And Himself & l look at each other and say, 'Brussels is a great place to live'. Which we are allowed to say even if, technically, we no longer live in Brussels. But you know what I mean.

Back to the Hard Rock cafe. Is it a tourist trap? For sure! But you know what, it's great. The food is good (very different from the local food/burgers). The service is good (very very different from the local service). Strangely enough we didn't have to wait around for a table. And despite having to wait a little longer than expected for the food to arrive, we didn't mind at all.

Yes, it's more expensive than a regular take-away burger joint would cost you but  it was fun. Best of all was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Bite. Yes, I had dessert even though I didn't finish my burger, but I shared it with the boys. 

I'm also happy to say that we are going to Kim & Jellen for dinner, I love not having to cook!

O and I nearly forgot! I'm happy cause tomorrow is a public holiday, so no work! YAY!

How about you, what are you happy about today?  Link up with Mamarazzi and share the happiness!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I can see the sun shine

I think I've been trying to write this post for about 2 hours now. I got as far as putting opening a clean page on my computer and then ..... work work work (what fun)!

You are not going to believe this but I can actually see a bit of sun. And, and this is big! 'They' are predicting and dry and sunny weekend for us! Which will be so nice since it's going to be the last weekend without the kids. 

Himself is hoping to go on a bit of a motorbike trip to the south of Belgium/north of France - so the dry sunny weather will be excellent.  I on the other hand have to clean the upstairs once and for all so I'll be sweating away ... I can only hope to be sweating away some of these blinking extra fat cells!

My diet was going to well, that is until last night. Kim's mom was here (for one night only) from Haiti so we were invited for dessert. She already warned me over the weekend that if I was going to turn into one of those women who never eat anything  nice our friendship is going to die a slow and painful death.  And since she's bigger than me I gave in and had 2 pieces of pavlova!  Sinful, but o soooo good!

Anyway, I'll just have to get back on the diet saddle again today and carry on. Life is too short to worry about 2 pieces of pavlova!

picture credit

Speaking about carrying on, the work on my desk is not going to go anywhere if I don't do something about it so I'll stop spending time blogging and get back to work.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A bit of this and a bit of that - WWTK # 66

I’m so glad that it’s Wednesday which means that I don’t have to think of something interesting to blog about, I can just answer this weeks questions sent out by the ever fabulous Mamarazzi & Crazymamma.


Since Crazymama is under strict orders to take it easy Mamarazzi is answering the questions this week, and she want to know:

{1}What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Buying books. Because I live in a non-English speaking country English books tend to be rather expensive. So I try to pick up 2nd hand books whenever I can. But I do love that new book smell.

{2}What is the ONE thing you're never too busy for?

I try to watch a little bit if tv every night.  I love to escape from the real world just for a little while, even if it means that the dishes have to wait till the next morning.

And hanging out with friends … far more enjoyable than working!

{3}They say love is in the little things. What is a little thing someone does to show you love?

I always feel loved when Himself comes home from the store with a packet of Oreos or Lindt chocolate, and then tells the kids that they are for me. Even if the kids end up eating it all it’s the fact that he thought of me when he bought them.

{4}What were you doing 30 minutes ago? 

Editing a very complicated and long newsletter!  I’m positively drowning in work at the moment!

{5}If you could be on any game show what would it be?

I don’t have the faintest idea. I don’t think I watch any, does Project runway count? Not that I want to take part but that is the only show that I watch with contestants in it. O and The Bachelor but I have no need to take part in that one either.

I would love it if someone game my home a make-over! But once again it’s not really a game show it is.

Now, grab the button and answer the questions! It's far better than working, I promise!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is it really Monday again?

So how was your weekend?

I was very happy to have survived my first week back at work.  My friend Kim & I had dinner on Friday evening at our favourite restaurant Bovis. They do the most amazing steaks.

Our bill (for both of us) came to a grand total of 60 Euro
Food: 18 euro
Wine: 42 euro

The wine was worth every cent.  

webpage - I have loved every one of their wines

Wine aside I spent hours and hours working on the upstairs. It’s still not done and since the time is getting really short now before the kids will be back I’ll have to spend some time working there every night this week.

Himself & I had every intention of going to the antique fair on Sunday morning. He woke me up but by the time I was showered & dressed and had fed the dogs he had fallen asleep. So I got back into bed. It was bliss.

Kim was meant to go antiquing with us but she had also overslept. So we said they should just come over for Brunch.  The weather was lovely and we sat outside.  We had just cleaned the dishes when we got a call from another friend, Tom, they were coming round for a BBQ. So we had to go back to the store and pick up some meat and before you know it there were about 10 people at our house. Including a couple who were ‘gate crashing’. They were meant to drop of Tom’s girlfriend Tara but then decided that they would also stay for the BBQ.

They were the last people to leave (2 hours after everyone else).

And that was it, once the last of the glasses were packed in the dishwasher we fell into bed.  Weekend over.

O my brother & his wife let my parents-in-law have a break this weekend and took our kids.  From the photos it looks like they had loads of fun.

Tiger, Brandon, Jaydon & Cat

My lovely sister-in-law Melodie with the kids

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I see gold, I see Silver … or not WWTK # 65

It’s Wednesday and usually this means that I’m taking part in Crazymama and Mamarazzi’s WWTK.

However since the questions are all about the Olympics, and why would they not be, I can’t really take part.

See, I have seen about 3 minutes of the Olympics in total.
And it’s not because I hate sports or the Olympics it’s just that I have been too busy to watch.

That said I can answer question nr. 2 Which country are you rooting for?

I am very happy every time I read in the paper or see on the news that either South Africa or Belgium has won a medal.

Our swimming sensations Cameron van der Burgh who won the gold medal for the 100 m breaststroke


Chad le Clos who managed to beat none other than American Olympic legend Michael Phelps in the 200-metre butterfly swimming event in an amazing 1min 52.96sec

And even the Belgian team has managed to pick up a medal. Well done to Charline Van Snick who won the bronze medal in the women’s 48kg Judo.

But I’m sure you all can answer all the questions so pick up the cute button and get answering.

Crazymama is asking the questions this week!!

And like I said it's all about the olympics in London! let's talk about it. 

(1) What was your favorite part of the Opening Ceremonies?
(2) Which country are you rooting for? ( I realize we aren't all Americans)
(3) Which is your favorite event to watch and why? 
(4) Have you found a new sport that is surprisingly delightful?
(5) Have you always been a fan of the Olympics? what is your earliest  Olympic Memory?