July 31, 2010

Not sure I'm raising my kids right...

On weekends Ralf and I try to sleep in.  A lot of preparation goes into this: The cat must be locked in the pantry for the night.  The morning cookies for the kids must be accessible.  The shades must be drawn.  The alarm clock must be turned off.  Friends and family must be under strict orders not to call before 9AM.

Yes, it's sad but true.  We consider sleeping in until 9AM an extravagent luxury.

Once the kids wake up it's more of a half sleep than a real sleep.  We hear them moving around and going downstairs in search of cookies and parental ears tune in automatically to make sure each child adheres to the rules about the quantity of cookies per child.  So, when we hear K going downstairs too many times, one of us usually wakes up enough to yell, 'One cookie!' 

For a while K would come in, gently kiss my face and softly whisper, "Mommy, can I get another cookie?"

'Mmmmph,' I would say, which K would happily interpret as, 'Whatever, honey, just get one for L, too, so she doesn't come wake us up!'

Finally we upped the ante to 2 cookies in order to skip this little scene, which worked pretty well.

Until yesterday - I had baked chocolate biscotti the day before and they were really yummy.  Adictive, even.  K found herself irresistably drawn to them and we heard her sneaking downstairs once, twice, a third time with 4-year-old L in tow.

Ralf stood up with a resigned groan and headed for the stair, intercepting our red-handed little ones on the way back up.  Everyone froze - I know this because I was listening from bed and the stairs stopped squeaking.

K (brightly): Papa, I brought you a cookie!

Ralf (dryly): Really?  That was thoughtful of you. 

In bed I smiled proudly to myself, reflecting that my oldest girl can totally think on her feet.

Ralf: What about L, did she bring me a cookie too?

L: Mmmph hmmph.

Ralf: What's that, L?  Your mouth seems to be full.  It isnt' full of cookie, is it?

L (after a slight pause): No.  No cookie.

In bed I smiled proudly to myself, reflecting that my youngest girl is bold as brass.

We'll, um, work on the lying and stealing later.  Confidence and quick-thinking are harder to teach than honesty and trustworthiness, right?


On a personal note, I'd like to give a special thanks to those of you who comment regularly.  I haven't had as much time for blogging and commenting lately as I would like but I really enjoy hearing from you.  I usually try to respond to comments by commenting on your blogs, but since the folks over at Content Writing India don't have a personal blog to comment on I just wanted to say thank you for reading and commenting.

July 28, 2010

I Can't Believe How Much I Rule

First of all, thank you for the kind birthday wishes.  Our American friends came later that afternoon and we had a great birthday dinner and several fun days exploring Munich with them.  Although last year's birthday party was hard to top, this year came really close.

And now, if you are feeling blue for any reason, I invite you to watch the following short video. We can all learn a few things from Jessica:

July 17, 2010

Birthday Playlist

Today is my 37th birthday. Well, somewhere on the time continuum.

Last night Ralf and I had a date night, which has been months in the organizing given our (mainly his) work schedules. Unfortunately it was about 100 degrees in the restaurant but still good.

This morning my children woke me with about twenty rousing rounds of Happy Birthday while Ralf was out buying cake and flowers. Then we had my 2nd favorite breakfast, which is cake - my 1st favorite breakfast is chicken curry.

Then I got my presents: pictures from the girls, a check from my grandma and a spa gift certificate and CD from Ralf.

I get a home-burned CD every year for my birthday, which should tell you how easy to please and low maintenance I am. All year when I hear a song I like on the radio I write it down in an email to myself, then I send Ralf the list and he procurs the songs and burns them on a CD for me.

Sometimes he tries to put his foot down:

Ralf: Maneater? No way! That's Nelly Furtado's lamest song.

Me: It's her BEST song. I want it.

Ralf: OK, but I'm not listening to it in the car.


Ralf: If you really want The Unforgiven we should get the Metallica version. It's way better.

Me: No way, Jose - I want the chick version. Metallica's stupid.

Offended silence.

In the end I got everything I wanted except Lady Gaga, which I'm sure is an oversight.

Next we played the CD while spring cleaning in preparation for friends visiting from the US this week. One thing this family knows how to do is party!

Then Ralf took the girls to Baumarkt so I could catch up on my blogging.

A fine birthday.

Some favorite lines from my birthday playlist - see if you can name the song:

Control yourself, take only what you need.
This power needs some room to grow.
Believe me when I say, today's your lucky day.
If you like it why don't you put a ring on it?
You don't know anything 'bout me.
I'm bringing sexy back.
Viva Las Vegas!
Dance, F#!*er, dance!

And here's the playlist:

July 11, 2010

Paul the Psychic Octopus

It turns out that the world cup is not a real contest because the results are pre-ordained by Paul the Psychic Octopus:

Apparently he has never been wrong.

Anyway, don't cancel anything to watch the finale today because Spain's gonna win.

July 8, 2010

Soccer Mom - Not

Last night Ralf went to watch the big Spain-Germany game at a friend's house while I stayed home and watched Glee. He came home later looking pretty low.

Now let me just mention here that I haven't been following the World Cup at all. During the first week I had to keep asking which tournament it was again so Ralf took to sprinkling his public comments about the world cup with verbal cues for me so I wouldn't embarass him.

Eventually it sunk in. World Cup: check. Germany playing: check. German flags on cars everywhere: related to World Cup.

Generally speaking, I've been very supportive, even when Ralf watched some big game last Saturday instead of picking me up at the airport. And I bought trading cards for our daughters, who can name all the team captains.

Anyway, professional sports aren't really my thing but I wanted Germany to win. I mean, it's nice to see the Germans excited about something. Plus I like black uniforms.

So, as I was saying, Ralf came in looking pretty bummed and I'm very caring and empathic so I paused Glee and asked him who won.

Ralf (curtly): Spain.

Me: Well, they're nice. Who lost?

Ralf (in disgust): You're kidding, right?

Me: Um... Germany? Wait - does this mean Germany doesn't get to play in the final game?

No answer, just a head shake.

Me: Do you want to talk about it?

Ralf (struggling to find to find the right words): Not with you!

Me: What? I'm trying to be supportive.

Ralf (heading up the stairs): Don't try.

Me: You could have married a German, you know! Or a MAN!!

Ralf (morosely): I know. Good night.

July 4, 2010


Sorry I've been MIA. I've been to California and Oregon, for work and my college reunion. Unfortunately my wireless connection was so slow that whenever I tried to comment on blogs my connection hung. So I definitely owe some comments.

I loved college. And I love my college friends. Seeing them again, hanging with them, sharing a dorm with them, eating in the cafeteria again, all made for a very special weekend.

You never make friends like that again. At least, I haven't. There's something about living with people and staying up all night and saving the universe that makes for a special brand of friendship.

Just for the record, I love cafeteria food too. I guess seven years of boarding school followed by six years of higher education instills that into you.

OK, enough about me and my proletarian eating preferences.

Here are a few reunion pictures at my beautiful college with my dear old friends Sean, Zan and Kristin:

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