Do not change the goal post!

Holding the fort for 2 weeks. Fine. Now, when he came to tell me, this last Saturday, that he has one more tough week to go through; all I heard was:

‘I am changing the goal post, darling.’ YOU can cope, right?! One more week, 7 more days, 168 hours, only!’




No I can’t! I can’t! But, then, I thought: do you have another option, Adri? Nooo! So, suck it up and work it girl!

Saturday though, we had the absolute honor, to hang out with my husband; for the entire day! And, it was so much fun! Even all the silly family arguments in the car, were awesome! My favourite part was when we were driving around Stanford Campus and mentally (with no pressure) preparing our first born to make fabulous choices for her brilliant future 😉 Parents r us! Then, after spending a day in Palo Alto, I secretly concluded: I want to live here. I’ve always liked Palo Alto, but now, I love it!

Well, Sunday came…and my 3rd-week-single-mom-scheme started, again. Took the children to church but made sure before I left home, I gave my husband some of my witch’s brew and, before I closed the front door, I made sure I let go some of my dragon fire, too! How dare him, work so hard?! How dare him take his responsibilities so seriously?! And how dare him do so well in his career, right?! I mean, shame on him! (lol or on me?!).

Yes, we are a family, we are a team. And I keep repeating to my team: ‘We are all together in this. If one falls, everyone suffers!’. Our toddler; does not get it. After church, I had to take them all with me, to the mall. It’s the girls’s First Communion, this coming Sunday, and they need outfits. So, here starts the burden: go to the mall with two teens and a toddler boy. I must say I did not look at it positively, to start with. Would it have made a difference, if my outlook on my Sunday was more ‘positive’? Nope.

In and out shops; teens in, toddler and I; out. Lunch time: I hate food courts! Fine. Next: of course there is a little train going in circles  and of course, little guy wants to have a go and sure enough mom, takes pity on her little boy, and says ‘yes’. Meanwhile, teens seize the opportunity and disappear inside Forever 21. Train ride is over, little brother has had enough of seating in his stroller…Mom single handed pushes stroller (with lots of bags hanging on it!), with the other hand carries little boy, who refuses to walk. A tantrum is eminent: either mom or little boy is about to burst!

We regroup and carry on. After queuing up for a long time at H&M, teen number one appears with another dress (meaning, the one I am then holding, and queuing up to pay for, may no longer be the one). She goes to try it on.  I keep telling people to take up my place in the queue and go ahead as I am waiting for my sweet girl to make up her mind. She comes back, very smiley with ‘the one‘! I swap the dresses, find my little boy underneath clothes rail. It is my turn, I pay, I make my way out!

All is wonderful, we seem to be going home after 4 hours in a mall. But, we are not leaving, not just yet. Little brother is mad because he wants to see Santa and he wants to go to a toy shop, which by the way is on the other side of the mall. We keep pressing towards the exit, like if we were refugees running out of a camp! My little boy realizes our secret plan and throws a massive tantrum. Everyone at the mall is staring at my face as if that was the first tantrum they’d ever seen! Come on, people! He is good at it, but I don’t think he is the best. You should have seen my Clara, when she was 3; epic!

Well, we come home to great news: dad’s TED talk video is up on Youtube! Awesome, we so want to see that! One mission, accomplished, for all of us! 🙂 But, hang in there; what is this dress you are wearing??! Are you kidding me, right now?! It is your FIRST COMMUNION, for goodness sake! It is not your First Dance! Are you out of your mind! I cannot believe we did it all for nothing, today, at that mall! I want to die!! Yes, I had a mega tantrum.


Watching my husband’s TED talk was giving us a sense of great achievement. On the other hand, watching my eldest in that mini dress for church…wasn’t quite so inspiring! Never mind; teens! She looked very cute though, and it wasn’t that short; just not First Communion material!

And, yes, today, everyone is out of the house.  Peace and quiet! I just want to sit here and hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing. Until, when I stand up and go to the freaking mall, to change this dress!

Changing the goal post: not cool! Can I cope? Sure! How will I cope? I have no idea! Accepting suggestions right now 😉 Life is beautiful!

Adri xxx

Trick or Treat! Do you get it?!

It was only 9am today (Nov. 1st!) and our house had zero traces of Halloween. Harvest Wreath was already hanging on our front door! Efficiency? Competitiveness against my neighbors? No, none of those things. Simply, when I dashed through my front door this morning, to take my daughter to school, I saw several scat marks on the ground…and a big piece of dog scat on my lawn. It wasn’t like a donut type scat, perfectly swirled on sitting on my lawn…It was more like a smashed and smeared scat, which many, but MANY children and parents, had unwillingly stepped on happily, in pursue of my candy cauldron, last night! Arghhhhhhhh!

So, as I was washing off scat I thought I might as well take down our Halloween decorations. I also took that time (in the freezing morning) to do some mental retrospective on my Halloween 2013…

Pumpkins: You should see some of my neighbours carvings! Gosh! What is that?! Highly skillful. Did they do it themselves or is there a pumpkin carving place I am not aware of? Seriously? Myself? Oh, I thought I could pretty much do this carving thing since I looked around in my court and everyone did theirs so well…Then, I went out to buy a couple of pumpkins (on Halloween morning…) but our local supermarket had ran out of pumpkins! No way! How so? Okay, I thought; Americans do like carving, I see. Well, I had 3 little weird pumpkins at home, and decided to have a go with those.  A couple of knives, at my garden table, with my toddler. This is pretty much how far I got:


20131101_142507 (3)               My neighbour’s

Seeing I clearly had no carving skills (I do think my pumpkins were ‘faulty’ as they were so incredibly  hard, I could not ever pierce a knife through them lol), I decided to be creative and dressed up my 3 little pumpkins with wigs and masks. Done!

Family: Truth is, my kids, so far, have had no ‘family pumpkin carving experience’ in America. We are not good at it. My husband, who has been preparing for his talks, probably felt like: shall I prepare for my talks or shall I carve pumpkins? Umm… Prepare for talks…carve pumpkins…Prepare for talks! Yeah..I guess this is pretty much what went through his “male mind.” Whereas, I felt like: ‘Gosh! He couldn’t even hang the silly witch on the outside wall!? The cauldron is ready, it is nearly time for trick or treat… Husband is still at work…witch is not on the wall…Dangit! Witch goes inside the freaking cauldron. I’m done. There goes the poor witch, which was, supposed to be ‘cooking’ in front of the cauldron… What a tragic end…Epic fail!

Friends: I have these neighbours (and good friends, too), living accross from my house, and he is a pastor. You guys can see his carvings in the picture above! Unbelievable! I felt really tempted to ask them to include ‘us‘ in their family carving moment… 😉 But, I guess I got a little shy besides, I did think, at the time, that I could totally manage the carving thing. Obviously, not! Dear neighbours: next Halloween you will have 4 or 5 more in your backyard; carving along 🙂

Internationals: Me, handing out candies and saying: ‘One each, please!’ – then, several little hands, forever buried in the pile of candies…when I saw they were done picking, I said: ‘Off you go, off you go!’ lol When I meant: ‘There you go! – seeing that a little girl had finally decided what piece of candy to choose!  But, my words did not come out right.At a glance, I could see their parents standing at the edge of my lawn…and they were probably thinking: ‘Witch!’ (I really did not mean ‘off you go, get off my lawn!’ But, it did sound like that! Silly foreigner lol).

Kids! My son started his morning with a slight fever. When it was time to dress up for Halloween, he was alright but, did not want to get any close to costumes. Well, okay with me, he is only two. Nonetheless…by seeing all the excitement, the bell ringing, the kids at the door; he makes a move.

We end up our Halloween night with a lovely walk around my fun neighborhood, getting some candy inside my little guy’s Garfield costume (it has and ample pocket at the height of Garfield’s tummy, really handy) and guess what? We met daddy around the corner and we could still go trick or treating a little bit, with him 😉

In one way or another, families manage. Local or internationals, we are all ‘families’. It is not the candy, it is not the scary masks, it is not the money on costumes…(this years I spent $3, my neighbour handed me down a few costumes for boys; very kind!) it is the tradition (yes, the family carving ;)) the little things, the friendly boo-bags, and the good will of parents who open their doors to our kids with a big smile on their faces…which count, for me, on this so crazily popular American Holiday.

The tip: Next Halloween, be sure to check out every kid around you has a friend to go trick or treat with. Remember the ones who recently moved in…or maybe the one who is not so mobile, or even the one who is perhaps just shy, but dying to go out there, too.  Use your compassion not your money. Be a facilitator and help kids interact; show some spirit! 🙂 And, maybe a…toothbrush, too!

These are the things I pick up along the way by living abroad…and like to share with you, as I go on…

Much love,

Adri xxx