Thursday, February 28, 2008

and we're off

we have had a fantastic day in Vienna, wish we had left more time. we are about to head to the train station for our train back to Budapest. today has been a bit rushed running from one thing to the next but we saw the Spanish riding school and the Lipizzaner horses, toured a magnificent market and then had wiener schnitzel bigger then my head. more later hopefully...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bear With Me

this keyboard is very different so bear with me folks. we are having a blast. for those of you that know brian you wont be surprised that his luggage still hasnt arrived, poor guy. we are currently in vienna and his luggage should arrive with a few hours. we arrived yesterday about 230 local time, got to the hotel, showered and headed out. we did a little exploring on our own and then met for a fancy shmancy dinner with the team at the Kogart an art museum/restaurant. it was fabulous, i may have embarrassed brian by my constant "mmmmmm-ing" we had four courses and it took four hours!! i had spicy goat cheese over mixed greens with some fabulous vinaigrette, goulash, filet with goat cheese, and creme-brulee. today we ate at the hotel for breakfast....mistake!!!! we were short on time and went to the buffet, we each had a yogart, fruit and bacon and a pastry and spent about 50 dollars, oops. here in vienna we were upgraded to the executive floor so we get free breakfast, we had free drinks and 'snacks' tonight and the use of this computer with the wonky keyboard. today we went to vissegrad (i dont have my guide book so spelling will be all off) its a castle built in the 15th century that overlooks the Danube. i had some serious car sickness on the way. luckily i didnt 'barf' as brian calls it. i took a Dramamine before we left and took another 10 minutes into the trip, ha. granted it was about 3am according to my body and i had eatten an expensive breakfast then thrown in the back of a FORD FOCUS!!!! and took on a crazy hairpin curved road up 1200 bumpy feet. but i held it in then we went to a basilica on the Hungary-Slovakia boarder and even went down to the crypt and saw where pope john paul II had visited one of the hungarian cardinal's bodies. next to lunch where the menu kind of frightened me..."cow knuckles" --i'm not sure but i dont think that is even in my freezer so i just had more goulash. we went to one of our guides town--Tata, it was beautiful and my favorite pics so far are from there. then the long drive here to vienna it is GORGEOUS, i love it. its a mix of NYC and europe with bustling fancy shops, lights, and beautiful architecture and buildings. we also went to cafe demel. i had hot chocolate and some kind of coffee flavored cake and brian had carrot cake, his was better. super yummy stuff. tonight we just ordered in room service. brian has a work call and im here in the executive lounge surrounded by german, polish, hungarian languages. all these countries are so incredibly close and they all speak different languages, its crazy. tomorrow we will take a tourist bus that we can get on and off of, explore on our own then take the train back to budapest. sorry, no pictures for you guys just yet. we are taking them though, i just cant load them on this computer. if you want to send me a message i will more likely read-approve (or not approve) comments here then my email. i'll do this first and if there is time go to the email. love to you all. ps the shift key is on of the keys in the wrong place that is why this is all lowercase

Monday, February 25, 2008

So Long, Farewell...

So this is it folks. I'm leaving in about a half hour. I'll be arriving there in about 22 hours. Prayers would be very appreciated! Pray for safety and for Susan with the girls. Kendall is loving having her here, I actually overheard her say, "I'm so glad that you are here". Kate is still the one I'm a little more worried about. I KNOW that she will be fine but I'm a Momma and worrying just comes with the job. I'll post when I can.

Istenhozzad ("goodbye" in Hungarian...at least that is what the online dictionary says).

I'm leaving you with some frizz hair to remember me by.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Muffin Top on a Cookie Sheet


I just had one. I think I might get sick from it and I know I won't need another for another 3 years. Brian ate one too, but added butter, gross.

There was a little bunny outside yesterday, Kendall had to run get her new Dora cup that Aunt Lorie bought her to show him. I couldn't tell if he was impressed or not.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cha Ching

So 3 hours and $300 later our sink is cleared. {gasp} That is a lot of money. Actually, it was a pretty serious thing, they had to cut the pipe in the basement. They might have mentioned scraping the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, not pouring grease down the drain (I have an aversion to sitting grease now), and they might have found the ENTIRE pot of egg noodles that fell in the sink this week (darn strainer).

This morning we got groceries. On the way home Kendall was trying to fall asleep so I said, "Guess what, there are guys at our house!" This perked her right up and she said, "I'm going to kiss him and he can hold me. Do they want to play with me?" Has anyone read the book The Five Love Languages? It's a good book and I would recommend it; Kendall's love language is very clearly physical touch, but I digress. We walk in the door and Kendall yells at the top of her lungs, "HIIIIIIIII" then she walked over to the guys and said, "What's your name?" Well, after Virgil and Lee introduced themselves they proceeded to have a conversation about Dora and Virgil even said, "I'm a Scooby Doo man myself". So nice of them, I kind of felt bad that they left wearing our dinners.....from the past 5 years.

I had planned to clean the fridge and mop the floor today but since the sink still wasn't ready I couldn't, hopefully tomorrow before Susan comes. I did however, get this done!


Scenes from our morning

Kendall refilling her baby doll's bottle.


The Draino did nothing for the sink. In fact, it is now worse off. Even though I had already tried the plunger Brian decided to give it a try. I love how prepared he is...protective goggles and gloves, this plunging is serious business. Needless to say, the plumber has now been called in.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Brian got a new blackberry for work, it has a camera on it. This is what he sees from his desk.


Princess


Today I'm just trying to tie up a few things. I ran out to get some Draino for our clogged sink, blah. I decided to go to the emergency care center (since my doctor's office wouldn't answer their phone). I had a feeling that I was getting what Kate has and didn't want to be in Europe without any meds. Lorie was great and told me to drop the girls off with her so they wouldn't get infected with any emergie care germs. On the way to Lorie's we ran by the bank, after leaving the bank I hear Kendall in the back on her cell phone (really, I don't know where she learned to talk on the cell phone....really, any ideas??) Here is her conversation:

To me she says, "Oh, it's JESUS!"
"Hi, you're right beside me and in the sky but I can't see you"
"We are going to see Lorie and Mommy is going to the doctor because her head hurts, but she'll be okay. We went to the bank, they didn't have any treats, oh, but that STINKS!"
Then to me she says, "It's Mary!"
"Hi Mary, You're my best friend for evah and evah, you're a princess"

I was trying to hold it in but at this point the giggles burst out. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face the entire conversation.

Oh, another funny comment I heard today was from the doctor that came into the exam room to treat me. I know that he was trying to be funny because we have seen him before and was trying to get us to laugh then too. When he walked in he said, "How are you....blah blah blah" "So you don't feel well, you stay at home and your life is boring?" Wha? Huh? Brian says I laugh when I'm in an uncomfortable situation...this one would qualify. The doctor was glad that I laughed though, I could tell he was just trying to be funny...I think. Anyway, the emergie care center feels that if you go to all the trouble to come visit them and laugh at all their jokes they have to reward you with a prescription so even though my ears look "perfect" my chest is clear and my white blood cell count was great I was declared to have a "sinus...." that is what he said, "You have a sinus..." and didn't finish. I'm really relived to know that I have a sinus cavity, you know. Life would be so much more difficult with out one (I think). Anyway due to the fact that I have a sinus I got a yellow paper with a signature that allows me to take drugs. AND since I'm not nursing I can take them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

SOON!


I was just looking over our "program" (itinerary) for our trip. Krisztina did an awesome job, she included website links to each of the places we are going to visit, how cool is that?! I'm going to each site and printing off different stuff on the history of the places and I'm going to make a little folder of stuff to read either on the plane or the night before we visit each of the places. Here is a little sampling of some things. We will be taking a 'break' at Cafe Demel. Now this is my kind of break! Check out the chocolate in the window, ah bliss. These kind of recharging stops are of utmost importance on this vacation, I'm glad all parties involved realize this. We will also watch the morning practice of Lipizzan Stallions. We'll possibly be having lunch here, you can click on the English version at the top right or whatever other place we stumble on. I'm excited to go to open air 'markets' at each of the cities we visit I want to see how people shop for their food and see local crafters and their works. We're also traveling via train between Austria and Hungary so I we'll see the land and non-touristy areas. Breakfast the following morning will be here (Am I posting too much about food? I don't have to cook it or clean it so it's a big deal. Oh, I also don't have to spoon feed anyone other then myself.... hopefully). Later it will be on to Lake Balaton to see sites and to take a ferry for more sites. After lunch (I'll spare you another food link) we are going to go to Szentendre for shopping and dinner. The next day we'll go to the Museum of Fine Arts, I'm so excited. Some of you may know that I was an art major; I love to see things that I studied in school in real life! Some of the works that I'm especially excited to see are by Raphael, Bronzino (they have a work by him that I referenced in one of my big papers) and Drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci! Crazy cool. Once they drag me out of there we'll visit Margaret Island, Gellért Bath (yes, we decided to do this) and that night to the opera followed by dinner here. These aren't all the things we're doing but just a sampling. Luckily I'll have 15 hours to recover coming home (ha)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Foot Tapping

Today was a nice, balanced day. I got a lot of cleaning done and we did a lot of playing too. The girls took long, simultaneous naps and I just relaxed. I took this little video of Kate; I grabbed the camera just because I loved how her little left foot kept moving around.


video


Brian had a work dinner tonight and another one tomorrow night. John's out of town too so tomorrow I'm going to cook dinner and Lorie will come and stay for Survivor. I'm really looking forward to it. Actually, I'm going to tell on Lorie (this might embarrass her??) but she did something today that I thought was so sweet. While the girls were napping my phone rang, I picked it up and said hello and I just hear this big breath being released and Lorie saying, "Oh good" Evidently there had been a wreck involving a vehicle and a semi truck that occurred near my house and she said that her heart immeditaly started pounding. How sweet is that? It's nice to feel that loved. Love you too Lorie

Lounging





We're on a self imposed lock-in. Did I talk about this on my last post? I think so. Anyway, we're just hanging out around the house. This calls for the big guns. I am trading out the toy box today and I pulled out this sticker book that has been hiding in my closet for months. I may have to pull out some other hidden goodies this week too. Since I'm not going to the gym (no, I didn't work out last night but I WILL tonight!) I have on actual clothes instead of my usual outfit--gym clothes AND my hair is not in its usual pony and headband, obviously this is a big deal, ha.



I saw Paula's bean soup on her blog and I have a craving. I know that my husband would probably leave me if I fixed beans for dinner so it is currently simmering on the stove and I'm going to eat it for lunch, yum. It already smells delicious.




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Longest Day



Poor Kate is having a rough day. I have her down trying to get her to take another nap...I think that she is just playing though. Kendall knows that Kate is getting extra attention so she has stepped up her game a little and stepped up the whining as well. Nothing tries my patience like whining. We did a little craft together, nothing can entertain a two year old quite like a glue stick. We also snuck into the library and got TWO Dora videos. Edit previous statement to say, "Nothing entertains a two year old quite like Dora!" Dinner is in the crock pot so I don't have to worry about that at least. I'm on a self imposed no childcare restriction to prevent any further contamination of the kids before we leave. No gym for me, so sad. I had planned to use our eliptical and weights in the basement tonight after the girls go to bed but I have this feeling that I will not be able to make myself stand let alone work out. I'm all ready for bed now!

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Sick Munchkin



20 minute nap
102.2 fever
1.5 hours in doctor's office
2 yucky tonsils
2 ears checked (no fussing)--clear
1 strep test (A little irritated and some growling) clear, but they aren't "100% accurate"
1 flu test in the nostril (1 ticked off little girl but she recovered) clear
1 blood test (she was fed up and the temper came out) not so good, it's bacterial but at least we get to treat her now. Antibiotic, lots of fluids and ibuprofin for the sore throat. The doc said that Kate probably wouldn't want to eat since it hurts but we were late eating dinner since we were there so long and Kate had no problem putting away the food!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

LOTS of pictures

Tooth number two made an appearance yesterday.


Today while changing Kate's diaper I thought to myself how much I love chubby baby legs.


Shortly after that Kendall woke up from her nap and didn't want to put her tights back on. I started thinking about how much I love skinny little girl legs.


Here is one of my favorite sights, one that I find frequently. More and more I'm finding Kate reading with her.


And finally, Brian and I often get serenaded at dinner.

Translation:
Jesus loves the little children,
(all the children of the world),
(red) yellow, black, and white,
they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children....of the world.

video

Saturday, February 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETH!





You are an amazing woman and mom and you are truly someone that I respect and love! I hope you have a great day!

Public Service Announcement




Note: I wrote this post weeks ago but I didn't post it because I was afraid that it was too negative and made me sound grumpy. I'm not grumpy though, this is just something that I deal with a lot (sometimes daily) and I just want to send it out there to the blog world.



What not to say to a young mother. Actually, I can't speak for other young mother's so maybe a better title would be "What not to say to me"

1) "You really have your hands full." Really, this isn't an unkind thing to say at all but the irritating part is the frequency with which it is said. I can not leave the house without at least 5-7 people saying it. The first person may receive a smile back and a, "You're not kidding" Like I said, this isn't an unkind thing to say but if you would want to seem sympathetic toward a mom schlepping around 2 kids in a gynormous stroller loaded with coats, snacks, toys, sippy cups, diapers bags (I could keep going) then offer to pick up the jettisoned sippy cup one of the 30 times I have to pick it up or offer to hold the door open for me. These actions will be much more appreciated. For some reason I especially dislike hearing it from the twenty something women working behind the makeup counter who clearly does not have kids. I'm sure it irritates me so much because it is often said with a look of pity. Despite my harried look this is the BIGGEST blessing and I would not have it any other way. I choose to do this all day and night, I cherish each and every moment. So enjoy your kid free, make-up infused, "I shower every day" life but know that I am the lucky one and don't pity me.






2)"When will you start potty training?" (this one really fires me up). Maybe this question is better directed at Kendall because my answer is, "When she is ready". She's a 2 year old that is trying desperately to establish a little independence and I will NOT create an issue out of the one thing that she feels she has some control over. She's not "behind" in any way (no pun intended). Although she has expressed some interest and even had some success in the past she is making it quite clear that she wants nothing to do with it right now, "Maybe tomorrow, not today". We do support and encourage it but we are not going to force it, it's a non-issue and we will not make it an issue.






While I may sound like a grump I assure you that I am not, I type this with a smile on my face and my sense of humor on my sleeve. These are just two conversations I've had lately and I decided to include them here.




On another note, Kate is officially no longer nursing. Talk about cherishing every moment, it brings tears to my eyes just to type it out. Today was our first day sans-nursing. She is one month shy of 1 year old (when I would have weaned her if I weren't going on our trip). She is doing great and helping me out a little by being extra snuggly lately. She'll randomly put her head on my shoulder and just snuggle for a few minutes then lift her head and smile really big with her one tooth grin as if saying, "Don't worry mom, I'm still your baby girl". I have mixed emotions, it's sad but I also feel like celebrating, for the past 3.5 years my body has not been my own. Yes, you read that correctly I have either been nursing or pregnant for that long. I feel like I need to eat sushi and raw oysters and drink unpasturized cider and large quantities of alcohol just because I can, but I won't...well, at least wont drink the alcohol but I can't make any promises about the sushi. YUM!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let the Count Down Begin



Sorry one more picture of my tulips because I love them so much. After consuming entirely too much chocolate and ice cream I was disappointed to see the Sports Illustrated swimsuit addition in the mail today. Brian throws it away but I always look at it first (is this supposed to feature swimsuits because some of the girls forgot to put parts of theirs on?). Anyway, it made me want to go to the gym, right after I finish this box o' chocolate flavored thigh increasers.

We made our list of things to do in Europe. Do you remember Krisztina and her husband Tamash that we had for Thanksgiving two years ago? Well, they are back in Budapest and she is going to take our list and make an itinerary for us and show us around some while we are there. So nice. And two other coworkers, Zsolt and Viki, will show us Vienna and Szentendre. We'll also have some time when we are on our own too. Eeek, I'm just so excited. At one point there was talk about skiing in the Alps but that idea has been nixed. I was game but I was going to write good-bye letters to my girls first. Being a Florida girl I'm not much of a skier!

Another great thing, Ron, my father-in-law, is going to come up for part of the time we are gone so the girls will get to spend time with both their Gram and Pop S! I feel great knowing that they will be so loved while we are gone.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh Happy Day


Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

Us girls each found a Valentine at our breakfast table. Kendall had to open up every single one to see if they played a song. Her Gram sent her one that sings "What the world needs now, is love sweet love..." so she now thinks all cards should sing.



I had a lovely visit to the dentist's chair this morning. I think I need to take Tylenol because my gums are so sore but it won't deter me from my V-day Chocolate! I didn't have a single cavity so I have to celebrate with soda and sugary treats. Last night Brian came home with an ice cream treat for me, I just started laughing and opened up the freezer for him to see that I had picked up ice cream for him!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Poor Kendall, I don't have any Dora socks"

For the past few weeks Kendall has randomly declared, "I don't have any Dora socks, poor Kendall" I don't know where she got it in her head that she needed them or where she ever saw them. I mentioned this funny comment to Susan and Ron (Brian's parents) in an email the other day and guess what arrived in a Valentines package this week? Yep, Dora socks & panties too! Kendall seems surprised and says, "I've been talking about Dora socks!!" She also received some light up dress shoes and Kate got cute little blue Crocs to match her sister's. This is how I found Kendall after her nap (she has recently decided pants aren't for sleeping) shoes on her feet and socks clutched tightly. At least she isn't demanding to wear them together.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain (Name that Movie)






Kate is ready for the snow storm. She had just woke up from her nap, you can see that she took off her shoe and sock for entertainment while waiting for me to come get her. I didn't notice right away!

I have a few projects going on right now for other people (invitations, gift clock) but one for myself that I'm working on that I'm really excited about. A long time ago my favorite scrapbooker, Ali Edwards, had an article in Creating Keepsakes about a travel journal (see PDF of article here, 4th link down). She made a journal before traveling and filled it in with post cards, journaling, stuff that she picked up all while on her trip. I tore the article out with the hope that one day I could use the idea. I looked at the scrapbook store for an album that I liked but I didn't see one so I made my own (covered chipboard, hole punched paper...). Here is what I have so far.