Sep 19, 2011

music monday V2.9

I washed my hands before I sat down and everything because, yes boys and girls, it's time we brought Music Monday back. But before I continue I would just like to take a moment to let the world know that I love spray shampoo in a can. With all my little heart. That's been needing to get out for a while now, whew. Right. Back to the order of the day, namely getting you geared up with some loverly tunes to listen to on this unusually sunny Monday.

1. Say Hi To Your Mom - Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
I was reminded of this when I went to see Crazy, Stupid Love with a bunch of girlfriends. Very nice soundtrack on that, but what was up with the PG-13 rating? Major F-bomb and several extremely inappropriate story lines. There is no way I would want my teenager getting any of the ideas presented in that movie in their head! It seems just not right to me that you would make a film with a story such as that one, and then merely minimise the swearing and actual nudity, just to get it approved for a wider audience. But I guess it would take a fool to go looking for morals in Hollywood. Oh goodness, I'm sounding like my Sunday School teacher. Actually, I am a Sunday School teacher so I guess that justifies that.

2. Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
Love, love, love this. Really though, with a name like that, how could it not be good?

3. Lulu and the Lampshades - You're Gonna Miss Me
For some crazy reason a cover of this (which was good, don't get me wrong) went viral instead of the original which is, in my humble opinion, a hundred times better. And we all remember playing the cup game around the table, don't we? So original!

4.Flight Facilities - Crave You Feat. Giselle
I don't ever listen to the radio, and this is one of those songs I suspect of having been played on the radio for a while now. So I apologise if this is very old news, but how can you not dance to this? I love her innocent vocals over that beat!

5. Owen Pallett - A Man With No Ankles
Don't know much about this guy except helloooooo, this song!

That's it for today! I'm going to gear up to watch the Queen go by in her gold carriage tomorrow with Lindsey. It'll take me a while to get an outfit together that looks halfway regal..

Sep 14, 2011

play dates drive me crrrrazy

So I walked into school talking to my friend on the phone and quickly realised that wasn't going to fly, because when school is out, school is loud. I said a quick goodbye and started looking around for my familiar little blonde heads when I realised that, even though the boys were at home napping like always, nothing new, I had forgotten about one small change to my routine: Elliot was asleep in Max' room - the room with the lock on it - and Max was napping in the girl's room - no lock. No lock. Uh oh. I think we have pretty much established I'm an idiot sometimes, I make no excuses. Don't worry everything was fine when I got home, he was still fast asleep in Lara's bed, and I have learned my lesson. It did make me oddly happy though when, while still at school, I was reminded that parents of 2 or less children also have their idiotic moments. Maybe idiotic is a bit harsh, let's call them 'quirky'.
Par exemple: Mother of 2 girls (6 and 8 or 9 years of age) follows both our youngest daughters over to me. The girls desperately want a playdate straight after school and things need arranging. Now, when I became a mother I told myself that my house would be the house where the doors would always be open for friends. It would be a constant, cosy buzzing of bubbling laughter and child's play. I know, I was an even bigger idiot back then. But I still let them have friends over pretty much whenever they want, unless someone has an infectuous disease or something, and so my immediate response was a smile and an 'Of course!'. Then she said the following to me. Me, the one with the crusty snot on my shoulder and Hello Kitty hairclip because that was all I could find while searching coat pockets and purses for my car keys when I was supposed to be halfway to school 10 minutes ago. She said 'Do you mind if they play over at your place today, because my oldest already has a friend coming over and if Julia came too, things would just get a little too crazy'. I did not take this as a personal reflection on my Julia who is not a rowdy child. I took this as a reflection on the fact that taking Julia home with her would mean 4 children instead of 2 in her home. This woman knows I have 4 children of my own. She knows that her daughter would mean a 5th child, and yet that did not cross her mind as possibly a little 'crazy' for me. My sanity is not an issue and you know what? I can't really say I blame her. I mean really, having 4 kids of your own is the crazy bit, now isn't it? But when she comes over to pick her daughter up, you had better believe that I am showing her the havoc those girls wreaked in Julia's room, and the trail of soggy TP her daughter left all over my living room during a moment of 'craziness' while I was upstairs changing Elliot's diaper. Yeah, she'll never let her daughter play here again after she sees what crazy really means. MuahahaaaaahahahaHAHAHAHAAAAA!

Sep 12, 2011

we've come a long way, baby


All the cliches apply: 'Time flies when you're having fun', 'He's worth his weight in gold,' 'Actions speak louder than words', 'It takes two to tango', 'Never say never', and 'Laughter is the best medicine'. Someone who is still with me after riding my roller coaster for 10 years simply deserves a medal. I mean, we were kids when we got married! And yet that moment when I said 'yes' when, after only 3 months of dating, he got down on one knee in the sand and (with a rather surprised look on his face - no planning was involved) he asked me to marry him, is the surest I have been in all my life. Sander, I love you more.

Sep 10, 2011

i'm jealous of Bukowski and Crewdson

people are worn away with 
 they hide in common 
 their concerns are herd 
 The Last Night of the Earth Poems - Charles Bukowski
Photography by Gregory Crewdson

Sep 6, 2011

mid-laundry song

As you can tell from the stacks of clothes in the background: I was busy folding laundry.
Laundry - my nemesis.
I watch movies while I fold laundry because it's the only thing that makes it bearable (that, or folding it together with someone while talking) and sometimes when I watch cheesy movies I feel like singing. Today was one of those times. By the way, last night Sander and I saw a movie called 'My Girlfriend's Brother', or 'My Boyfriend's Girlfriend', or 'My Shitzu's Second Cousin Twice Removed' or whatever, starring Alyssa Milano (that should tell you enough right there). Please trust me when I tell you that under no circumstances whatsoever should you ever watch this film - it's bad. Anyhoo, here's a song for you. An old favourite of mine, and probably of everyone who has ever heard it sung by the immortal Patsy Cline: You Belong To Me.

Sep 5, 2011

knot so knitzophrenic

Tell me when the 'funny' knitting post titles start being too much, k? I've not been knitting as much as I should have. Do I feel bad about this? Of course not! I've been crazy busy running a busy family, keeping Child Protective Services happy (Max ran away a while ago and was found by the police... don't ask), adapting to the new school year and Sander's new job, and getting ready to emigrate. Hellooooo, I dont have TIME for guilt! This weekend however, my stress levels pretty much maxxed out, and I picked up the ol' knitting again. The following picture really just says it all.
It's the truth. I'm working on a beast of a gift project right now and it saved me last night. I know the person I'm making it for reads this blog, so I can only give you a little sneak peak... but I promise you that when this monstrocity is finished, there will be a big reveal here on the blog!

Sep 2, 2011

it all happened in a week

A rather major even that has shaped this past month for us Koots is what I would like to tell you all about today.

It all started on a Monday a little over a month ago when Sander had a meeting scheduled at 7pm with a recruitment agency. A company had contacted them and told them they were very interested in Sander, and wanted a meeting with him to see if he might be a fit for a job opening they had. At this point Sander had a perfectly good job, but for some reason felt that it would be a good idea to keep his options open, just in case, and he agreed to the meeting.
That Monday was also the day that our lovely Lindsey was leaving on a jet plane, to enjoy a week of YSA shenanigans at the renouned Festinord, in Sweden. Her plane was scheduled to depart at 8pm, and she had calculated she needed to leave the house at 5pm to make to Schiphol with time to spare. During the day I had been running around doing all sorts of errands (that I now can't for the life of me remember the nature of), and I was SO tired when I came home. Sander graciously offered me a night off from cooking and pitched the idea to take the kids and myself (and my cousin Milenna, who was staying with us that week) with him to his meeting, drop us off at Ikea on the way, and pick us up on the way back. Since I wasn't able to join Lindsey on her Scandinavian adventure - I was SO jealous, Scandinavia is incredibly high on my list of places to visit -  I figured Swedish meatballs would be the next best thing. Thus, at 5pm, Sander, Milenna, the kids, Lindsey and I all left the house and, just before parting ways, Lindsey handed us her housekey that she would not be needing that week.

Fast forward to having just been dropped of at Ikea and getting in line for delicious meatballs. Suddenly my phone rings and upon answering I hear Lindsey's high pitched, stressed out voice (she is usually not high pitched at all) giving me the worst possible news someone with a plane to catch can give you: she left her PASSPORT at home. She did not have a key to the house. We were not home. She could not board her flight without her passport. Being the biggest scatter-brain of them all, I immediately sympathised  with her situation and told her to head back to the house and remain calm, I would give Sander a call and call her back. Sander immediately cancelled his meeting, turned around, picked us up (we just barely had time to grab a quick Swedish hot dog), and drove home at the speed of light, where we found a forlorn looking Lindsey sitting on her suitcase on the sidewalk. You should have seen us, it was like a scene out of a movie: Sander jumped out of the car, pulled the suitcase out from under Lindsey and started stuffing it in the back of his car, while Lindsey and I ran up the stairs to unlock the front door and grab her passport, while Milenna ushered the kids out of the car. The whole switch took about 3 seconds and, before our ever nosey neighbours could blink, Sander was pushing that car right up to ludicrous speed and drove Lindsey to the airport.
Lindsey made her flight. Sander did not make his meeting, but was able to reschedule it for Thursday. Tuesday came and went and on Wednesday the slap in the face was delivered: Sander's boss simply didn't like him, it had very little to do with his performance, and all of his colleagues were outraged. It was the worst news we could have gotten just months before our scheduled emigration. He told his ex-boss about his emigration plans and pleaded if they couldn't just keep him on for another 6 months or so. They refused, but felt bad, and offered him some money to help him take care of his family in case he had to go on unemployment. They also told him that even though his contract would run until August 31st, they didn't want him to come into the office anymore. They wanted him to take that month to work hard at finding a new job. They even let him keep the company car during this month.

So, on Wednesday we were unemployed and not sure what our next move was. Sander clung to the knowledge that he had a business meeting with a possibly eager company the next day, and we tried not to freak out. Thursday morning Sander went to his meeting and came home jubilant. They sounded like a wonderful company and he had the impression they loved him too. A call from the recruitment agency confirmed his feelings: they wanted to see Sander again. The very next morning. Possibly to offer him a contract!

Friday morning we drove to Rotterdam together with Milenna and the kids. Sander dropped us off at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam and went to his meeting in Capelle a/d IJssel. He did not have a phone with him (his cellphone was the one thing his boss wasn't going to let him keep until the end of the month) and we agreed to meet in the reptile hall - the kids' favourite. I could tell by his walk as he came towards us that the meeting had gone well. He had some papers in his hand. 'OK', I thought, 'papers are good.'. Turns out the papers were a signed contract, and that the salary that these guys offered him was well over what he earned at his previous job!
Well, Sander enjoyed his month at home. With a brand spanking new job in his future he took the time to savour being with me and the kids, and doing things around the house. Lindsey gave us a couple of date nights as a thank you for saving her Festinord adventure (which turned out to be heaps of fun) and the week after Milenna went back home, her sister and mother (my other cousin and aunt) came to stay. It's been a weird summer, filled with the realisation that it will be our last. But however freaked out at the thought of leaving Den Haag I might be, it is things like how Sander found a new job so miraculously fast that tell me we'll be fine. Maybe I'll share some of the other tender mercies we have experienced over the last while in a next blog post, but for now I should think that just this one has put you to sleep is more than enough for today!
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