Monthly Archives: February 2015

I fell in Love

This is a fairy tale.
It’s about a prince and a princess.
Okay, it’s about a turtle and me.
I drove past Sunshine Glass, a shop in our tiny town that I’ve been meaning to go to for a long time. Today, was the day. I walked into a Walhalla; old doors, skulls (of animals), the most beautiful glass work, lampshades and well, a turtle.
I instantly fell in love with this guy.

Adrian – one of the owners of Sunshine Glass – introduced me to this turtle with a history. Adrian’s dad would share the story, one day. Adrian could already tell me that the turtle had travelled all the way from somewhere in the world – maybe India – to California to Arkansas.

Bottom and top were made of one solid piece of wood. I love wood carvings made out of one piece of wood. This turtle was made so beautiful that it looked real. He looked me in the eyes and he clearly wanted to come home with me. And so it happened that for the first time in my life I brought a guy home I had just met and I paid for him too!

And they lived happily ever after.

Well, they lived happily ever after UNTIL the children came home from school.
They saw the turtle and I had to protect it from being held up in the air, carried around like a baby and being used to sit on.
‘Happily ever after’ should be changed into ‘happily ever after until…’

Anyway, go to Sunshine Glass and fall in love too.

 Oh and this is what happened to my new love:

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I’d rather have dessert

Moms say things like:
‘You will never become a big girl if you don’t eat your vegetables!’
And:
‘You can eat whatever you want, when you’re 18 years old!’

I remember thinking that I would buy a big jar filled with sweets when I would be a grown up. If I would ever grow up, I didn’t really care. Who wants to be a grown-up anyway?

This poem is about the things you don’t want to eat when you’re little which is basically everything that’s green. Then again; who wants to eat green stuff when the world has so many pretty colors and flavors to offer?

Gedicht eten, klein is fijn gecropped

 

 

Drip-style art

The museum in our tiny Bentonville town is brilliant. Crystal Bridges not only offers amazing art, but they also organize great activities. This Saturday we got to create something Pollock during a Drop-In-Drawing session. I experienced that creating the same thing, with the whole family, is very insightful.

Of course I create with the children. I give them paper, a pair of scissors, glue and then they do something that often requires my assistance.
‘How does this knife work?
Me: Knife, what Knife?!
Mom, I accidentally cutted – spelling is another thing that requires my attention – my skirt.
Me: Bobbie, WHY did you do that?
Well, I actually thought that I wouldn’t be able to cut it, but I was! Isn’t that very funny?
Mom, I need to make ten art projects for school.
Me: Okay, when are they due?
Tomorrow.’

Doing arts and crafts with the children can be stressful for a variety of reasons.

So we went to Crystal Bridges and walked to the art-room. The ladies helping everyone, showed us how to splash paint on a canvas in a Jackson Pollock drip-style painting technique kind of way. They also briefly explained two techniques and mentioned that your paintbrush shouldn’t touch the surface of the canvas.

All five of us took a canvas, put on an apron and off we went.
Boris immediately got started. He used one paintbrush, switched to using two and eventually used five paintbrushes at the same time. He finished in five minutes.
Bobbie also got started immediately. She used one paintbrush and followed her own lengthy path. She could have stayed there forever.
Lucie waited for Joost to start, looked at Boris and Bobbie and asked what the techniques were again?
Joost got started immediately and invented ‘the big drop’. He held a paintbrush above his head and waited for drops of paint to fall down.
I froze and then started painting, immediately touching the canvas with my paintbrush, mixing colors and doing everything differently than I was told (which made me feel bad and I wish I could have started with a new canvas and I’m telling you it’s tiring to be me).

It was such a meaningful experience! I can only recommend doing it. Of course you create with your children but not like this. When do you make the same thing, with the same materials within the same timeframe? I can only speak for myself and in my household it doesn’t happen daily.

Oh and this is what we made. Who made what, that’s the question ;)

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Parenting & vomit

Boris was only seven weeks old when he was admitted to hospital. He had a temperature, was sleeping constantly and it was hard to wake him up. It turned out to be a bladder infection, nothing serious, but he had to stay for a week. I remember my mom visiting us. We were standing next to Boris’ bed when the doctor walked in to update us. He asked something like: ‘And who is the mother of this little boy?’ I immediately looked at my mom. We all laughed. I wasn’t used to the title mother, let alone being one. There was still time though and one day, I would be a pro!

Uhm…

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Here we are, nine years and two girls later and I often have no clue at all. I sometimes see parents dealing with their children like born naturals. I just do whatever feels right and sometimes do not even manage to do that.  I can’t always control my own emotions, I sometimes hide in my room to have a break, cry in front of them and I sometimes shout too. Apart from being a mom, I’m also a human being. It’s learning on the job and it’s an ongoing journey. Let’s – for example – talk about vomit.

Boris had vacation last week and we were in a rush to pick up the girls who attend another school. Boris opened the door to the garage, suddenly stopped and said: ‘Uhm, mom, I’m not feeling too well.’
Me: ‘Do you have to throw up?’
Boris: ‘Neh, I’m fine.’
Upon which statement he puked literally everywhere; on the floor, in the boots of the girls, on his shoes. Everywhere.

I stared and my brain stopped functioning. I froze instead of hugging Boris. I did nothing while I should have comforted him. The only thing I could think of was: ‘Oh no, I am the only adult here and I have to clean this!’ I closed my eyes, opened them and the scenery was still the same. I phoned Joost, who said: ‘Can’t you leave it and pick up the girls first?’ I will not repeat what I said to him while the smell of fresh vomit surrounded me.

Of course I got over myself and cleaned it – no clue btw, tips and tricks welcome (paper towels, plastic bags?) I fetched the girls while Boris took a shower and went to bed. I apologized when he woke up and explained that I just didn’t know what to do. That I kind of freaked out. Boris said: ‘It’s okay mom.’ That was nice & polite but it also made HIM the grown-up of the day.
Being a parent; hopefully one day, I will be a pro…

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Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and Machteld and I therefore made another poem and drawing. It’s in Dutch, because writing in another language is one thing, writing poems or translating them is a bridge too far. The essence of the poem is easy to explain;  it’s about love and children and friendship and how they connect.

Bobbie (4) luckily still wants to marry me, Lucie (6) prefers to marry her best girlfriend – I will be way too old – and Boris (9) just wrote all of his classmates a card. He wrote ‘I love you’ to all the girls. I suggested to add ‘as a friend’. Yeah, that’s not romantic and I don’t think he took my advise seriously anyway. There will be puppy love and real love. In the end though, solid friendship seems to be crucial to the success of romantic relationships.

Boris made that quite clear the other day. Joost and I were in the kitchen, cooking and chatting and drinking wine when Boris walked in and said: ‘You guys are so lucky, you get to be together always and have sleep-overs and stuff. You’re like best friends’. It made me reflect. I had never seen myself as the girl who married her best friend (it’s pure chemistry right?) On the other hand, it is true. It’s that and especially that we can laugh really loud together (Joost louder than me btw, some things just never change).

Have a great Valentine’s day! Oh and find more on our Facebookpage ‘Vers op …’ 

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Cooking is harder than I thought

Boris (9) has a sleepover with his best friend. He would like to eat Taco’s because that’s his friend’s favorite food. Boris wants to prepare it himself and makes a grocery list. Salad will cost 8 dollars, black beans 4, mince 16 and the total amount of this dinner, according to Boris, will be 53 Dollar. Interesting. I guess we should include him more in daily life chores and especially running errands.

We have to stay out of the kitchen while Boris and his friend prepare dinner. It lasts one second, because Boris immediately cuts his finger. After that they try to open a can of corn with the garlic press. ‘How does that machine work?!’ they scream.
In the meanwhile they say things like:
‘Cooking is harder than I thought.’
‘Should this meat be red, it looks like blood, man, seriously so gross?!’
‘The hard part of cooking meat, is that you don’t know how people like their meat.’
Bobbie walks in and out and is sent away constantly which provokes her new favorite line: ‘Really, are you killing me?!’

The kitchen is a mess afterwards, but the boys are very proud. They are also sweaty and tired and when we ask them if they want to prepare dessert, they leave it to the girls. Girls are better cooks. Uhm yeah, got to work on that one.

Anyway, huge success, do try it at home.

Skiing & why you shouldn’t speed

We went skiing in the middle of (nowhere in) the United States. It’s all possible in Weston Missouri (Snow Creek). There was fake snow, a few slopes and 18 degrees (Celcius). We went with a crazy bunch of people, there was beer and loads of laughs. The teachers were great too; Boris learned how to board and the girls know how to make a pizza. In the meanwhile I learned why you shouldn’t speed.

There’s a little town you will have to drive through to get to Snow Creek. You may only drive 35 miles an hour there. That’s not fast and the signs are somewhat hidden. In that town lives a man. I’m not sure if he’s the only person living in the town, it wouldn’t surprise me; he’s Ebenezer Scrooge before he’s visited by the ghosts. He’s very curious, he sticks his head through your window (once opened, he’s not that curious) and wants to know where you live and where you’re from and what brought you there. He’s not tall, not short, you will tell by the flashing lights of his car that it’s him. What I’m trying to say is: don’t speed. If you do, you will meet the most unfriendly policeman in the universe too!

Anyway, do go & speed it up on your ski’s only.