Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009: Accidents etc.

Just a quick list of what we've had since arriving in Cyprus January 14th this year:

January 15th--I broke a filling, had it replaced. Now I know a dentist who speaks very little English.

A week later--Jörn had a crown come off, had it glued back on. He went to a different dentist, who speaks very good English.

Middle of March--Lukas cut his thumb with a pocketknife, we opted not to bother with stiches, but he'll have a nice scar.

Later the same day--Jacob ran through a (closed) sliding glass door, one big cut on his knee, two more smaller ones on his leg, we opted not to bother with stiches, but he'll have a nice scar.

End of March--Jacob had an ear infection, now we know an English-speaking GP.

A week later--Katie had a fever and ear pain for two days, on Katie's second day of fever, Helen screamed for two hours, then had a fever in the night. Katie was fine, Helen had an ear infection, now we know an English-speaking pediatrician.

Two weeks ago--someone kicked a soccer ball into the side of our car, denting the front fender so that the driver's door wouldn't open. A neighbor straightened it, we haven't done anything else about it.

A week and a half ago--I let chapped lips get out of control and had a hugely swollen and infected lip that spread to lymph nodes, but it got better after about four days. The pharmacist is getting to know us quite well.

Last week--Jacob dropped something in the bathroom sink and it (the sink/washbasin) broke. It was replaced yesterday. Now we know a nice English-speaking plumber.

Last night--Katie was running down the hall and tripped and fell. She has a swollen gum, a loose tooth, and a fat lip.

This afternoon--Lukas was climbing up the side of the veranda and he and the concrete slab on top of the brick planters that make up the walls of the veranda crashed to the concrete ground. Now we know where the hospital is and Lukas has had his first x-ray, but his ankle is thankfully only sprained, not broken. I'm supposed to keep a six-year-old boy still and with his foot up for five days.

Cost so far: 10 Euro deductible (excess) for Jörn's dentist, 50 Euros for replacing the sliding door, and that only because we forgot to ask for a receipt, we were so shocked at it being done within two hours.

German health insurance and liability insurance rock!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009: Katie's speckled frog and a cockroach

Katie came to me very excited this morning, because she had found a toy frog and wants to take it to playgroup next week for a reverse-counting song we sing about frogs: "Five Little Speckled Frogs."

Five little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious grubs, yum yum!

One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool,

So there were four green speckled frogs. Hum hum.

So she played with the frog for awhile, singing some version or another of this song, but then decided the frog needed speckles, as it was only plain green. After a long family discussion about the frog's ownership, it was determined that it was Jacob's frog, but he never denies his little sister anything he can grant her, so he carefully speckled the frog with a permanent marker. Delighted, Katie continued to play and sing, and this was her latest version of the song, fitting the melody perfectly, with the text as near as I can remember it:

One little speckled frog sat on a lilypad

Eating some yummy yummy bugs, yum yum!

It jumped into the pond to go-o swimming,

And wa-as very, very dead. Oh no!

Her explanation was that as it landed on its back (she'd of course tossed it up in the air to land in the "pond"), it was dead like the cockroach we found in the shower this morning. Which reminded us that we'd found a dead cockoach in the shower this morning and hadn't done anything about it, so went to look at it to think some more about it, and discovered that it WASN'T dead, after all!! It was on its back, but wiggling its legs. We put a yogurt pot over it while we decide what to do next. Yuck.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009: Snail slalom

I've been wanting to write a blog post with this title for a week! Several times since we moved into this house, I've managed to wake up and GET up before Katie did, and have gone for a walk down by the salt lake. Last week when I did that, there were snails EVERYWHERE. Not wanting to step on them (in all honesty, not so much because of caring about snails, but because of not wanting yucky squished snail on my sandals...), I spent most of the time watching carefully where I was walking, which involved a lot of back-and-forth, or slow motion swerving. Snail slalom. Almost all of the snails were crossing the path from south to north, except for in one short section where they were crossing north to south. Very weird.

I went for another walk the day before yesterday and played snail slalom again, but there weren't quite as many, so I got to enjoy the scenery a bit more. I also discovered that we're pretty much right in the middle of the four-kilometer-long path--it took me 21 minutes to walk to one end of it, and 23 minutes to walk to the other end. Since it's about half a kilometer down to the path, that's a five-kilometer walk if I go to one end only and back home. Not very far, but a first step towards my goal of running a marathon before I'm 58. I take Helen with me in the sling, so I can't jog even if I could jog, which I can't.

April 12, 2009: sunrise and Son-rise

When I played snail slalom the day before yesterday, I didn't wear socks with my sandals and got blisters on both big toes and on one heel. I feel like such a wimp. I would have liked to go down to the salt lake this morning to watch the sunrise, but I pretended that the fact that my favorite sling is in the laundry was the reason I didn't, not my limping.

So...this morning I actually set the alarm, for 4:55, and went up on the roof, instead. The sunrise is officially around 6:30 a.m., but it's light long before that, and the part I like best is watching it get light. I got Helen back to sleep and left her in bed with Papa and went up at 5:15, just in time. Because of the lights from the airport, the streetlamps, and the brightness of the moon, I'm not sure if there was any light from the sun or not yet--east didn't really look any different from any other direction. By 5:30, it was definitely dawning, and the streetlights went off at about 5:45. Despite the telephone lines and the buildings and the lack of mountains, I enjoyed it very much.

Having celebrated the Son-Rise by myself on the roof, I came back downstairs at about 6:15, in a much better mood than I'd been in yesterday, ready to continue celebrating the Resurrection with my family. I made Easter bread, using Greek yogurt instead of Quark, guessing at the amount of baking powder because my recipe said "a packet of baking powder", adding a lot more flour than the recipe said to get the right consistancy, and leaving it in the oven for about twice as long as the recipe said, and it still turned out fine! While it was in the oven I put eggs on to boil and went outside to take down laundry and completely forgot about the eggs. 10 of the 12 were cracked, but I dyed all of them anyway, and set the table with a miniature chocolate egg on each plate. Everyone liked the bread and the eggs and the children were glad that we had a treat after all, after we'd cancelled the egg-dying yesterday due to the enormous gap between parental expectations and children's behavior.

After breakfast the children even made butterflies and eggs with coffee filters, paper towels, and the left-over egg dye. I felt very domestic and organized. That does happen, once every couple of years or so, but it wears off quickly.

At 10:00 we went to the worship service of a church we've sort of kind of decided that we might mostly go to semi-regularly, and then afterwards went to a multi-lingual house church for lunch and fellowship (and learning Greek!), and didn't get home until nearly 6:00 p.m. And now it's 8:00 and I'd actually like to be getting the children ready for bed, but we didn't eat lunch until nearly 3:00 and haven't even had dinner yet, and now a friend is here playing Ligretto with the children, so I'm at the computer. I'm not sure what we're doing next Sunday, which is when the Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter.

Okay, the friend is going to continue playing Ligretto with the children, and Jörn (and Helen) and I are going to walk to the bakery ALL BY OURSELVES and buy bread! Yay!