Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

This poem summed up my week last week far better than I could have. I meant to post it last Thursday, the toughest day of all. Last Thursday was day four of incessant cold nasty drizzle. Our spirits were low. None of us had been sleeping well (or much at all, given frequent night wakings of both resident munchkins). And then on the way to school, we had not one but two near-miss accidents with some very aggressive and inattentive drivers, leaving Jennifer shaky and completely frazzled. Home again, I worked all evening to prepare homemade teacher gifts for Ellie's last day of school...only to throw out all of the results as completely unsatisfactory. I even had to toss a chocolate cake I made to console myself because it was way too sugary. I was overworked, overtired, and over-stressed. Millay's "First Fig" seemed rather fitting that day.

This week, we're bouncing back (we always do!). Ellie's last day of school was actually somewhat of a blessing. Though we were very happy with her school, the commute was rather tiresome. Out of the 2.5 hours she spent there, I spent over an hour in the car to and fro, leaving little productive time in between. Frequent talk of school ending for summer holidays made Ellie stressed. She started having trouble parting in the morning, would cry and cling as she had never done before, and she would wake up in the night with bad dreams (unrelated to school in content, but I think related to the changes and worry). The last day was the hardest. Both classes joined up for a party, and she didn't seem to know how to handle the big change of so many kids and teachers in one room. Fortunately, she adored two of her teachers, and they saw her through. Marie, the head teacher for her class, was a great blessing, and we are so thankful Ellie was in her class. She understood Ellie quite well and encouraged her in all the right ways. We know Ellie will miss her.

The other teacher Ellie adored is Sara. Luckily for us, we may be seeing Sara sometime soon. She gave us her email address on the last day with the offer to come play with Ellie anytime. She "loves her too much not to see her anymore", so hooray for us! We are going on a little holiday ourselves this week, but I'm sure we'll be urging Sara for a visit when we return next week!

Although she doesn't really understand that school is done for the summer, Ellie does seem content in the home routine again. Today we were raw-ther fabulous and went out to a cafe for a morning treat. Ellie decided she must wear her princess dress this morning (thank you, Mimi!). After an errand on the bakfiets, we stopped at our favorite local cafe for a croissant and a drink. At first, Ellie ordered a glass of milk (yes, dah-lings, she orders for herself!), but then she decided to take it to the next level and go for the kinder-chino (frothy milk in an espresso cup). Don't you know she even drank with her pinkie in the air. We were feeling rather posh and fabulous, let me tell you! I must have taken 20 pictures of her in that cafe. I was too tickled. She was very proper. I think she's taking "Fancy Nancy" (another fabulous Mimi treat!) to heart.

Stephanie snoozed the whole time. One must have priorities.

This evening, we will be packing our bags for a few days away in Berlin! I am so excited! It has taken years to wear Markus down enough for a holiday in Germany. Just because he's seen it doesn't mean I can't! I am really looking forward to all Berlin has to offer. Even if we have to keep it quite real for the kiddos, I'm even excited to visit the famous Berlin Zoo. I think the time away will do us all some good! This ridiculous move limbo is driving us crazy. It will be nice to take a holiday and forget about it for a while. We'll be back on Sunday, so look for some vacation information (and of course, numerous photos) then!


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Karly said...

Sorry to hear that things were rough last week, but glad that you're bouncing back. Too cute the story/pics of Ellie in the cafe! Sorry about recent lack of e-mail, things have been hectic here, but perhaps I'll have one waiting for you when you get back from your trip. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy Berlin! Can't wait to see the pics and hear all about it!

The Schutte Family said...

As I was reading about frothy milk with the pinkies up, I instantly thought of Fancy Nancy. I am so glad you know the books! They are Evie's favorite at the moment.

Lee said...

The Berlin Zoo is amazing! Hope the girls have a blast and that you and Markus have fun, too. Lots of terrific art in Berlin... Loved you Maternity Award :) Miss you guys.