Jun 12, 2013

That One Time in 2013 When I Actually Finished a Blogpost

There was this one time this year when we went to Morocco, and then came back, but I didn't blog about it for 3 months and everyone thought we had died. As it turned out, we did not die in Morocco. But that doesn't mean we didn't try. And it's going to take me a while longer to blog about it, as I still have to sort through the 761 photos (and that is an exact number) that Mark took, many of which were snapped even after I repeatedly asked him to PLEASE hold Sam's hand while we were walking through the insanely busy maze of streets in Marrakech. Oh look, here's one such picture:
 Do you see Sam? He's the blurry little blob jumping out of death's way, barely
 missing being run over by that guy on the moped. Such precious memories.
So glad we got that on film! 

There was also this time during my blog hiatus, when we got hit with a horrible flu, aka the 8th Plague. It may have been the first time in our marriage that both Mark and I were knocked out with an illness at the same time. 36 hours into it I was crying like a baby. On day 3 and 4 I just sat around with kleenex stuffed into my nose. By the 5th day I had developed an ear infection and actually put a clove of garlic in my ear, because I read about it online and by that point I was desperate enough to believe anything on the internets. Coincidentally, did you know that Barack Obama is a Muslim?

Then there was the time we experienced the icy, cold Hell otherwise known as Spring in Holland. This coincided with the time I became addicted to french fries dipped in mayonnaise, and began to fear for my sanity. No further comment on the state of my sanity. Please defer to my lawyer with any further questions. 
This kind of weather can make good people do bad things with condiments.

There was the time we took a short weekend trip to Den Haag (the Hague in English- yes, it's a city in the Netherlands, not it's own country. It's confusing, I know). As the headquarters of the UN, it's known as the International City of Peace and Justice. That is, until we showed up and it was more like the International City of Warmongering and Hellish Family Trips. We had our own reenactment of the Cold War in front of the Peace Palace,  and had to make use of diplomatic tactics, such as bribery incentives and threats sanctions. Eventually, we established a sort of treaty: my kids agreed to listen to some boring, stupid stuff, and I agreed to buy them some overpriced, touristy crap. So everyone was happy in a very begrudging, passive-aggressive kind of way. Let's hear it for peace and diplomacy!
Reconciliation at last.

Then there was the time we celebrated Queen's Day. The Dutch are not big on overt displays of Nationalism, except for on the day they celebrate the Queen's birthday, and then-- holy gratuitous public displays of orange affection (orange is the color of the royal family). Basically, on Queen's day, the entire city of Amsterdam becomes one huge yard sale. Everyone adorns themselves in orange, sets out a bunch of stuff to sell, and enjoys an enormous city-wide street party while buying and selling all their wares. I call it the Great Crap Exchange, and I could not love it more.
"Get your cookies and other crap right here."  

Just getting started.
This year was extra special, as Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne to her son, Willem Alexander. (Next year we will celebrate King's Day.) My friend picked up this poster-- it's a mash up of Willem Alexander and his mother's hair, and is possibly my favorite thing I've seen here in the Netherlands.  

Then there was the time we went to Budapest for 5 days, and taught our kids all about posing inappropriately with statues. Again, a blog post for another day. For now, I'll just say that Budapest got 2 thumbs up from a certain picky discerning 10 year old that I know, which may only be because we did not go to a single museum. So, victory?
That's right, ride that cherub on a fish(?). 

There was the time when Sam developed a strong aversion to other people chewing. The kid can sense even the most discreet mastication from distances of up to 10 feet, and it sends him into a rage. Are you wondering if it's an actual thing? Yeah, I was too. It is.

Then there was the time that Mia asked if we could just stay in Amsterdam and not move back to America, and I couldn't speak out of shock for a full 2 days.

Also, there was this one day when we went to a carnival and this same anxiety-ridden, shy, and introverted little girl was determined to do a zip line that went over a canal. And she didn't back out, didn't get scared, stood in a 30 minute line, and was absolutely dead-set on doing it. It was a time that demonstrated how children (and everyone really) are so complex and contradictory. Makes life, and parenting, so interesting. And baffling.
This is not the zip line, but it is at the same child-safety eschewing carnival.

There was the time Nate turned 5, and I dug out his photo album to show him pictures of his birth, only to find there were no pictures in his album at all. It was totally empty. So, happy birthday neglected third child. Did you bake yourself a cake? I hope so. 

Then there was the time we spent 4 evenings in a row walking through the woods with thousands of other Dutch parents and their children, many of whom were sucking on lemon and mints wrapped in handkerchiefs. It's a Dutch tradition called Avondvierdaagse (Evening Four Days), and not a single person could explain it to us (or the lemon thing either), but in the end the kids had walked 20 kilometers each, got some nice medals, and had no enamel left on their teeth.
Nothing like licking a minty lemon through some cloth. 

There was also the time when Sam threw his bike keys in the sand at the playground (yes, 7 year olds have amazing decision-making skills), and they were immediately buried and lost. According to some reports, this happened at the worst possible time (IE right before dinner) and I got *a bit* upset. Luckily we found a spare key at home, and the day was saved. That is, until the next day, when I dropped the spare key somewhere in Amsterdam while running errands. So, instead of Sam having to pay for a new copy, I had to pay for the old lock to be cut off and replaced. So, go me.

Finally, there was the time when Nate stood like a boss in front of a huge skull. 

The end. 

ps- there was also this time.


Carrie said...

Welcome back! Loved reading your update. You can always make me laugh. By the way, your video is awesome. Makes me want to make one with my kids. May be William and Mia can switch places. William still asks when we can move back to Germany.

Saskia said...

That were some awesome times.

Gabriela Hull said...

Loved every word! And that video? So great!!

Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

Are you moving back? Love the statue photos :) Sorry about your keys, that stinks!

Aimee said...

I savor every word of your blog posts.

Also the prancercise!! I am dying. You know it has 6200 views, right?! Mark's dancing was amazing. I wish I could watch you guys in person and join in.

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for introducing JD and I to the world of Prancercise.

Neva said...

Seriously love that Chachi is your lawyer.