Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Long live the King!

Today is (the last) Koninginnedag (Queens day) in Holland. Queen Beatrix’s official celebration day. Though Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana. Since most of the traditional activities are held outside, observing the holiday in April makes suitable weather more likely.

As of next year it will be known as Koningsdag  (Kings day)and will be celebrated on the 27th of April, unless the 27th is a Sunday.

Why, because today Willem-Alexander was sworn in as the King of Holland. His mother, Queen Beatrix is abdicating after 33 years on the throne.  

In Holland, unlike in England there is no official crowning. The crown, sceptre and orb is only for show and are displayed on a table in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, where the inaugurations take place. It also does not contain any real gem stones.

Thousands of people waiting outside the royal palace to greet the new king
 As they appeared on the balcony after the official inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, Princess Beatrix announced: ‘A couple of moments ago I took leave of the throne. I’m happy and thankful to introduce you to your new King: Willem-Alexander.’

King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima

 all images via google

Monday, April 29, 2013

November in April

Boom! Last Monday of April! Can you believe it? Sadly the weather here in Beglium is acting like it is November.

My dad got back on Friday - 6 weeks in South Africa and he did not come empty handed. We got loads of stuff sent over from the family. It was like a mini christmas at hour house.

We went and saw Iron Man 3 with the kids on Sunday ... really enjoyed it. Ben Kingsley is so funny!

This week is going to be a good one. Why, you ask, well Wednesday is 'May day' aka 'Workers day' which means No Work Baby! yeah! 

Right and just because I want to keep the weekend going for as long as possible I'm leaving you with this YouTube clip .... LOVING this song at the moment!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Boys!!!! O dear ....

This morning in the car on the way to school the conversation somehow turned to hot guys.

Me: I'm already married to a hot guy, your dad is the hottest guy, so I'm lucky.
Cat: What? Daddy's not even in my top 5, heck he's not even in my top 100
Himself: You cut me deep Cat, that really hurts! Not even in your top 100?
Cat: Okay, maybe in my top 100, but like number 100. I'm growing up

Well she sure knows how to cut her dad down to size. Not too long ago he was number 2 (after Tom Selleck), now he is number 100!

So we asked her who was in her top 5:

1. Josh Duhamel (he is like sooo cute!) & Dwayne Johnson (they have to share 1st place cause there is no way that she can choose between them!)
2. Chris Evans (Captain America)
3. Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
4. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
5. Tom Selleck
6. Adam Levine
7. Robin Thicke

via Google
So as you can see her top 5 is more like the top 8 but that is because there are just so many cute guys and how can she choose!

Earlier in the week Himself had taken the kids to McDonalds for dinner (I was in town having dinner with Noreen)

So while Tiger was off play Cat asked her dad if she could please say yes to this boy in her class who asked her to be his girlfriend.
Mommy knows who his dad is so it should be okay, was her reasoning and her two best friends also have boyfriends.

Well since she asked so nicely how could he resist. So she now has a boyfriend, but no funny business is allowed.

While we were waiting to the dr. on Wednesday I asked her what it was about this boy that she liked so much.

'He is nice and kind and he asked me if it hurt when I fell from heaven'

Nuff said! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went where?

So … yesterday I took the day off to take Cat back to the hospital to have her cast removed. That went well.Two more weeks without any running or swimming which is proving quite hard cause by yesterday evening I had to remind her ‘no running up the stairs’.

But something interesting did happen while we were waiting to see the doctor.  There was a lady there with two little girls. The eldest was, if I had to guess, about 4 and then a little one of around 2.  I can’t be sure if she is from Morocco or Turkey but she cleary is a Muslim.

She was waiting to see a doctor but didn’t have an appointment. So finally she approached one of the nurses.  Only here Dutch was really bad, so she was switching between some Dutch, some English and some French. The nurse had no idea what she was on about.

I figured it out.  So I explained to the nurse what the lady was asking/saying.

Turns out that while they were in the bath the little girl was jumping up and down and somehow fell onto her mom’s foot. As in, the moms toe went up the little girls’ vajay-jay.

Now this is where the big drama comes in. The mother is very worried that this may have broken the little girls’ hymen, which would be a massive problem for her when she gets older.

The nurse just said, no there is no issue, and told her to go see her house doctor and walked off.

So the lady came and sat down next to me. She told me that she had taken the little girl to their house doctor, twice and he confirmed that everything was still in tact. But she wanted to see a paediatric gynaecologist because this was very serious.

I explained to the lady that it was highly unlikely and that her daughter would have bled if anything had happened but she was not sure. She also told me that she did not believe her doctor cause she was sure that he did not know anything about vajay-jays. I then explained to her that all doctors know about vajay-jays because they all had to torn about all the parts of the body to become a doctor.

Then Cat wanted to know what this was all about so I had to explain about it to her and explain to her why this was such a big issue for the lady. And how, one day when the girl was big it might seem that she was not a virgin and how that is a problem if you are a Muslim.

O she said. And that was that.

By the time we left the mom was still sitting there waiting so I’m not sure if she got to see a paediatric gynaecologist.

I must admit that I’m very glad that I don’t have to live with that constant worry.  I’m glad that I don’t live in a society where the state of your hymen is THAT important.  And I’m glad my daughter doesn’t have to worry about it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Would you rather ....

Wow what a week this has been! Can hardly believe it is Thursday. 

Mmmh it's been so long since I've taken part in a WWTK and on top of that I'm doing it on a Thursday .... sorry bout that.
I've just been super busy. I know, I know, we all are and it's not much of an excuse.....

Well either you can accept it and move on or sod off ... please don't sod off 

Okay so if you want to take part check out Scriptor and Kenzi and answer the questions.

Incognitus Scriptor

Answer these as best you can; feel free to explain why
1.)    Would you rather… go out to eat or make a nice meal at home?
2.)    Would you rather… drive or fly?
3.)    Would you rather… go to a sporting event or watch it on TV?
4.)    Would you rather… read a book or watch TV?
5.)    Would you rather… go to bed early or sleep in late?

Lets see...

Question 1: Would you rather… go out to eat or make a nice meal at home?

Without a doubt go out to eat! No clean up, no trying to find something that everyone would like. Did I mention no clean up?

Question 2: Would you rather… drive or fly?

Now this is a tough one to answer. I love road trips and both our kids are great travellers so even 12 hour plus trips are no hassle. Plus Himself and I always seem to connect really well when we are in the car. There a no other distractions so we can really chat.  But flying would mean a big trip somewhere new and exciting or maybe back to South Africa (for a vacation) so in all honesty, both.

Question 3: Would you rather… go to a sporting event or watch it on TV?

Go to a sporting event. There is just a whole different feel to it. You are surrounded by other fans, you sing and cheer. I love it. (I'm talking about watching rugby) Things like golf or tennis .... well if you tied me to a chair I would watch it on TV.

Question 4:  Would you rather… read a book or watch TV?

I've been known to do both at the same time. You know if you are soft of watching tv but it's not something that you need to see every frame of. I love doing both so really it depends on my mood or how good a book I'm reading.

Question 5:  Would you rather… go to bed early or sleep in late?

If I don't HAVE to get up early the next morning it would be to sleep in. I'm a bit of a night owl .... so I tend to stay up later at night anyway. Plus the kids are now at an age where they are happy to have a lie in in the mornings so on weekends when when we have no-where to be they might get up at around 10.
* * * * *

On a more personal note ..... Kim took Cat to the hospital on Tuesday. Yeah, how great a friend is she not to give up her day off to take my kid to hospital. 

So anyway, they took more x-rays and said that it is not her liggaments after all, but a hairline fracture. So the cast is back on, or I should rather say, they put a new cast on her leg. Wednesday next week I have to take her back and they'll do another evaluation to see if the cast can come off or if it should go on for the full 6 weeks.

O and spring is finally in the air here. So happy about it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Another senseless act of cowardice

Like every single one of you I was absolutely horrified to hear the news and see the photos of what happened in Boston.  It is absolutely shocking and hard to understand how people can do this to other people.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by this.

Image from here

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ce la vie

So in my post on Monday I wrote about Cat being at my friend Noreen’s house for a sleep-over and how she was going to go on scouts camp on Wednesday.  Well, things did not go as planned.

I got a call on Monday to say that Noreen was taking Cat to hospital. Evidently she had hurt her ankle on the trampoline.  At first I thought it might be a bit over-kill to take her to hospital, I mean, my child is a bit of a drama queen. But it turns out that it was a good thing. She seems to have torn all the ligaments in her left foot … To make sure that she keeps off her foot the dr. put on a cast. … Hence, no camp and no 5K run which she has been training so hard for.

‘Mais oui’ such is life…

Not much else to tell you about. O I have about 7 days leave (carried over from last year) which I need to use or else I’ll lose them. So this morning I was saying to Himself how I really could do with some sun. Know what he suggested? He suggested that I go somewhere nice for a couple of days (6 – 7), like New York, I deserve it.

So I want to know:

Would you go away on your own for a couple of days?
Where would you go?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Working mom guilt

Okay so on Thursday we (Himself & I) left the house just after 7:30 … the kids were still asleep.

We had no choice. I had to be at work and he had clients to pick up from the airport…

I finally got home at 6:15, which means that our kids had been home alone for hours on end.  I don’t think I can quite tell you how guilty I felt. Himself had planned on going home to check up on the kids for an hour or two but his day ran away from him. Then, to top it all, Cat starts crying and telling me that they were so bored and hungry. 

Talk about feeling guilty!

Okay, I totally get that she was doing this just to make me feel bad, and it worked. But for the record there was plenty to eat in the house, so her complaint at not having anything to eat was unfounded.

So I forced them to go walking with me, cause after spending the entire day doing nothing but watching movies I decided that they needed to spend time with me and get some fresh air. You will not believe how they complained about that! But as it so often goes once we were off they were having a great time.

I was feeling so guilty about being such a bad mom that I actually pulled a ‘sicky’ on Friday. Ssssh don’t tell anyone! I was convinced that the kids were going to be thrilled …

Queue disappointment … when I went and woke them up on Friday morning they both wanted to know what I was doing at home.  Clearly the day before had scarred them for life. (sometimes I wish we had a font for sarcasm)

Anyway, we spent Friday doing pretty much next to nothing since it was cold and windy and miserable out. Saturday Tiger had a football game … 2 of the kids didn’t turn up so he was the goalie and did rather well. Their team won 10/2.

Himself did a shift at his friends pub on Saturday night so it was just the kids & I at home. Cat and I watched Monster-in-law. She loved it. She is totally into romantic comedies.  Tiger was happy to watch WWF.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It was sunny and bright and balmy. After doing some ironing I joined the kids outside. Cat abandoned her dolls and the three of us played with Tigers hot wheels and built compounds with sticks and pieces of bark and whatever else we could find.

Later in the afternoon we took a drive up to Duffel to drop Cat off at Noreen’s for a sleep-over.

So at least I don’t have to feel guilty about leaving my kids home alone again this week. Cat will be back from visiting Alannah on Tuesday and then on Wednesday she is going on scout’s camp till Sunday. And Tiger has football camp this week. And before we know this week will be over and it will be back to school till the end of the school year (28 June).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I is what I am

I've started todays post several times. I know what I want to blog about but it's like the words in my head gets scrambled the moment I start typing and then what appears on the screen doesn't quite make sense.

Its something along the lines of how you should be true to who you are and express yourself regardless of what people think. Because it's only when you are you that you will be happy. Even if the real you doesn't quite fit into the box people think it should fit into.

It's taken me a long time to get to where I am in my life. I grew up in a very conservative home but moved out and lived on my own at an early age. As a result I'm both conservative and progressive in my thinking.  It's a strange combination. Although, according to my husband the only place in my life where I'm progressive is my hair in every other aspect I'm conservative and boring. (yes he can say the nicest things about me).

I think the main thing is that I'm a people pleaser so I want to look and act in a way that pleases everyone and when I realize that I can't keep you happy I decide, screw you and carry on with my life.

My darling daughter tells me all the time how she wishes that I was taller, looked older, and dressed more like the other moms at school. Yet she loves P!ink and thinks she is cool (obviously, she just doesn't want her mom to look like her).

There is a lady at my office, I would have to guess that she is about 58-ish. She is French, and an actual, real life blue blood.  She always looks put-together and stylish with not a single hair out of place. But, (yeah you knew there was a but coming), she is incredible judgmental of other people.  For instance, she is convinced that I suffer from low self-esteem, and her reasoning is the fact that I change my hair style and colour all the time. She also thinks that I dress in a very unladylike manner. My jeans are too tight, and my heals are too high.

But I don't really care. I mean, I get why Cat feels the way she does. She is 10 and wants to be exactly the same as her friends which means that the thinks that her mom should be the same as her friends moms. And the lady at work, I get a perverse pleasure out of annoying her. Honestly, it is bad but I love it.

Anyway, I also want to tell you about someone who seems to have this whole 'be proud of who you are' down pat. I may not have ever met her in real life but from what I've learned about her via her blog is that she lives her life this way and I really admire her. Plus, she has wicked cool style. So if you are not yet following Lena go and check out her blog, she ROCKS!

So this is sort of what I wanted to say today.... I'm sorry if it seems a bit jumbled but hey, I guess that is just the way my brain works.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter weekend

2 April! What? Seriously, this year is just flying by and so did my 4 day weekend!

The kids still had school on Friday so I got to spend some time with my mom! It was nice and I’m just so impressed at how well she is doing (she had a hip replacement 2 weeks ago).

On Saturday, Himself was away in Lille (northern France) for a rugby game/dinner/business meeting, so it was only the kids and I at home.  So I decided to skip doing anything other than spending time with the kids.

Because of the arctic-like weather we had to cancel our annual Easter egg hunt and BBQ L the first time in 5 years! But Fred the Easter bunny didn’t forget about the kids.  Only this year they went ‘hunting’ by themselves. We have a little wooded area off the back of our house and Fred leaves Easter eggs there for the kids every year.  They were very happy with their loot but I’ll have to go back and check to see if they got everything.

On Sunday afternoon the kids & I met up with Noreen in her girls in Brussels for a free Easter egg hunt sponsored by one of the big chocolate companies here in Belgium. It was a disaster! For us.  I would have to say about 500 people turned up. And because they had locked the gates to the park no-one could get in until 3 o clock on the dot. So as you can imagine the people in the front just rushed in and either trampled loads of eggs into the ground or scooped it up.  Tiger found 1 egg! Then he saw a bunch of bigger boys with loads of eggs and asked me if he could run ahead. Sure I said, watching him run up the hill. Next thing my phone rings, it is Noreen wanting to know where in the park we were. When I look up I can’t see Tiger. So Cat & I walk up the hill expecting to find him at the top … only he is nowhere to be seen!

Heart attack! 

For the next eternity 20 min I run around like a crazy woman trying to find my kid.  I finally spot him kicking up some dry leaves, bored out of his mind!  Seriously! why is it that they can never understand why we go into full panic mode if we can’t find them?

After all this drama we finally found Noreen and the girls and by this time everyone is cold and miserable and sorely disappointed so we headed off to McDonalds. At least it is warm there and the kids could play while Noreen and I could catch up.

We also took the kids to go see GI Joe 2 … the late night show (10:30). They were thrilled that they got to go to the late show and they loved the movie. I can’t complain either; I mean, there was more than enough eye candy to keep me happy!

Bruce Willis ... heck yes!
Channing Tatum ... I would not say no!

DJ Cotrona ... yum!

Dwayne Johnson ... without a doubt!
 Images all via Google Images

Yesterday I decided to give the house work a skip, again and spend some more time with the kids. I have to work during their Easter break so I wanted to do something fun with them.

We decided to go and check out the Kasteel van Beersel (Beersel castle) only to find that it was being renovated. So instead we went and got some ice-cream and walked around Waterloo before going to visit Jellen & Kim.  

So all in all it was a nice weekend, much nicer than doing house work, which I’ll have to start on tonight before things get totally out of hand.