Wall Art & Learning

We painted another room yesterday, and found these horses behind the heater. We are the third owners of this home. I’m fairly certain this wallpaper was put there by the original owners — the family that actually built the house — as the rest of it was covered by purple paint. Continue reading

Chores and Allowance

The girls and their chores. Photo from December 2012.

Our household has been in disarray since the move last month. Martin and I have been cleaning, repairing, painting, and unpacking while simultaneously working full time, and managing the lives and wellbeing of four children — three of whom have been on school holiday for most of the month — all as I’ve been wrapping up my undergraduate program, too.

If it weren’t for our au pair, Wynter, to help us keep afloat, I am fairly certain Martin and I would have lost our minds a long time ago. A lot of things have slipped — chores, bedtimes, and family meetings — but as it stands now, we’ve reached a point where we can begin etching out a family routine once again, and that includes nailing down routine chores for the kids.

In the past, we used a single chore chart hung up in the kitchen or laundry room, in a place where it was seen on a regular basis near our family calendar. But considering the layout of our new house, there isn’t really an appropriate communal space for a chart of chores for multiple people. Plus, with the kids being older, and taking on additional responsibilities while also going in different directions with school and extracurriculars, I wanted to come up with a new way of managing household duties without creating an enormous chart that would soon become an overlooked piece of scenery and not a part of our daily lives.

So I literally put it all in their hands. Continue reading

Family Room Finally

Night shift nursing duty

It was another night of nurse duty for me. Fortunately, Jaz’s breathing is responding to the meds, but I feel so bad that the poor kid can’t just have a normal cold, and be soothed with some vapo-rub, chicken soup, and cherry-flavored cough syrup.

Asthma’s a bitch.

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At the Car Wash

The car wash is always so exciting!

Car washes bring me peace!!! Because of their environmental laws, Germans in this area can’t wash their cars at home. I *get* the reasons, and who doesn’t want to save Planet Earth … but it drives me nuts because there’s no convenient car wash near us, so we rarely go and our cars look like roaming mud bricks after awhile.

Getting ’em clean makes me feel human again.

Mouse Drama

There was complete MAYHEM in my house the past few days. It started when Martin went to get something in the car Sunday night, left the front door open, and our cat Kiwi bolted inside with a live mouse she dropped at Miss C’s feet … which went over well … as you can imagine.

Screaming. Chaos. More screaming. Tossed furniture. Tears. Doors slamming. Someone has a broom. Another has the vacuum. More screaming as the mouse ran and dropped down into the basement from the first floor landing.

Meanwhile, Kiwi was perched on the staircase, watching like a proud lion king over the land.

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