Hmm...that's already two days ago, but I'll try to remember. To begin with, I finally finished unpacking. (But no, I didn't finish putting everything away, and still haven't...) Did four loads of laundry. Dug a grave. Buried a chicken. Comforted children. Had spontaneous visitors who arrived just until lunch and stayed until after dinner (and took Jacob and Lukas home with them for the night--thank you, Dena and Joseph!), had other visitors come in the afternoon with cheesecake just after Panos had arrived with five kgs of very ripe strawberries for us. Everyone ate as many strawberries as they could, then I pureed the rest, poured some over the cheesecake and the next morning made what was left into popsicles. Oh yes, and the refrigerator had quit on Sunday, but at least the freezer was still working. Three telephone calls with the landlord and finally, too late in the day, a phone call with an electrician, who of course couldn't come until Wednesday because Tuesday was a holiday, but told us how to use a hair dryer for a temporary fix. Made bread for us and granola for the visitors who Jörn went to pick up in the evening and I had Greek class, but Birgit had an easy evening babysitting because of the boys being gone and Elisabeth asleep before I left. Oh yes, and Jörn got lost and was over an hour late and had a hitchhiker try to get into the car, but made it, and found the visitors (not people we'd met before and no way to contact them). Some other adventures that can't be shared in public because of politics, but everything ended well. I met Jörn and the visitors just before midnight at the place they're staying until tomorrow (when they move here). Oh yes, and in the course of the evening, my computer decided to stop letting itself access the internet. (I posted this status from Jörn's sloooow computer, but that's in our bedroom and Jörn couldn't sleep with the typing, so I was only on the computer for about five minutes. Just got my computer working again a few minutes ago.) I think those were the basics of the day. Also did all the usual stuff, reading to the children and correcting math and trying to maintain some semblance of discipline...
Yesterday was Monday again, and I can't believe that I thought LAST Monday was busy.
The morning was filled with quite a few phone calls and checking of websites, etc., trying to figure out if everything was okay with the arrival of two more people (the rest of the family that had arrived last Monday evening--the last two arrived yesterday morning), including driving over to where A is staying, since I couldn't contact her by phone. Jörn went shopping twice in the course of the morning, once just for eggs and milk (the chickens had only layed two eggs at that point, and I needed four), and then after breakfast for all the regular stuff. I made waffles for breakfast, which is a ridiculously slow procedure with what must be the slowest waffle iron in the history of the world. It only makes two waffles at a time to begin with, and making 16 waffles took a full hour and a half.
While Jörn was shopping, I took the three little girls with me to get swim goggles for Katie (well, I took her to the store--she bought them herself) and bathing caps for Lukas and the children of our friends. As we were getting into the car, Katie dropped all of her money in Elisabeth's car seat, one Euro coin of which fell into the plastic molding in a place we couldn't reach. The only way to get it out would have been to take the carseat out and turn it upside down, but it's such a pain getting that seat back into the car, that I said I'd do it later. Oh, and I also dropped off an empty plant pot at a friend's house.
After lunch I started to make Jörn's birthday cake and discovered we were out of baking soda, so went to the store again, stopping on the way to drop off a couple of things I'd forgotten earlier to two different people. Once I had the cake in the oven, I went over to A's to pick up two of her children for swimming lessons, and to lend A Marie's phone and tell her that her husband and oldest son would be arriving by bus, but I didn't know what time. Since Elisabeth wanted to come with me, I took the blue car. (We have two cars: the car known by the females in our family as "the red car", except by Elisabeth, who calls it "Papa's car", is known by the males as the Suzuki, and it has five seats. The blue car, called by Elisabeth "Mommy's car", by the other females "the blue car", and by the males "the Mitsubishi", has seven seats, and that's where Elisabeth's seat is. The booster seats for Lukas, Katie, and Helen get switched around constantly.) I had taken the red car on my first outing, the blue car with the three girls, and the red car to get the baking soda, so it was the blue car's turn anyway.
So, as I put Elisabeth in her seat, I did notice that she rather smelled, but I was only going to be gone for five minutes, so decided to change her when I got home. When I got home, Jörn was just about to move the red car at the request of the workers who are opening up the street in front of our house for the FOURTH time since the major construction of a sewer system in this city started last August. Since he needed to leave to take six children to swimming, I offered to move the car instead. So Jörn went off in the blue car with six children (four of our own and two others), three of them sharing two seats in the back so as not to have to take out Elisabeth's carseat, and I put Elisabeth and Helen in the red car, no seats and no seatbelts, and moved the car across the street.
As we got out of the car, I REALLY smelled Elisabeth, so when I came in the house I put her down on the bed to change her, not bothering with the changing mat. After I finished changing her diaper, all of her clothes, and the bed, I changed my shirt as well. Big Yuck, but not exactly a new experience in 14 1/2 years of diapers.
After taking the cake out of the oven, I decided to drive to a different busstop than the one where A was waiting for her husband and son. When I got out to the blue car, I discovered that Elisabeth's leaking diaper had not started on my shirt as I'd carried her into the house, but was on the back seat where she'd sat while I moved the car. So I cleaned that up, put Elisabeth in Helen's booster seat and Helen in Lukas's (both legal, but I'm not convinced totally safe...), and drove around town, finding out nothing until just before I got home, when A called to say that she had her husband and son.
Jörn and the children got home (he dropped off the two extra ones at A's on the way home), I decorated the cake, and then I rushed out the door with Lukas and Katie to take them to Discoveries. Again, Elisabeth wanted to come with me, so I headed for the blue car. As I put Elisabeth in her seat, she said, "Poopy!" and I answered, "No, that was in the other car." But then as I reached under her to get the seat belt, I discovered that she was right...her leaking diaper several hours earlier hadn't started on the seat of the red car, either: it had started in her car seat. So I took her out and stood her on the sidewalk and rushed in the house for wipes. It turned out to be too big of a job for wipes, so Jörn drove Lukas and Katie to Discoveries after all (in the red car), while I changed Elisabeth's clothes again and took out the car seat, took the straps out and the cover off (and turned it upside down and got Katie's Euro coin out), and put on my third load of laundry for the day. (Along with the dark blue carseat cover, I put in the two new dark blue sheets Jörn had bought that morning, as well as several dark blue towels. If the new sheets bled any dye, it could only have been helpful to the ancient carseat cover and towels!)
When Jörn got home, he suggested we go to the various second-hand stores to have a look for a piece of furniture I would like. (Something with glass doors, to store/display all the silly dust collectors we brought back from storage in Germany...) We happen to have THREE toddler carseats, so it wasn't a problem to get one out of Marie's room (where it's been sitting on the floor for the six months since Helen outgrew it, waiting for me to find a place for it in a closet...) and put it in the blue car.
For this outing (my fifth or sixth? I've lost count), I went in the passenger seat, though, at least to start with. The first store we went to (Second Time Around) had one thing that was kind of nice, but rather small and expensive, and one thing that would have been perfect if not such an ugly color. If it had been cheaper, we might have gotten it anyway and said that we'd paint it (not that we likely ever would have, but we could have at least pretended, so as to excuse us having something so ugly), but it was too much money to spend for something we didn't like. Jörn had already been to The Family Thrift Store (that morning or last week, I'm not sure), so we skipped that, and went to Larnaka Thrift Store AKA "First of April Street Thrift Store". There were several possibilities, but as usual, we wanted THIS shape with THAT color and the OTHER price. We sat on a comfortable (but ugly) couch for awhile and considered, just relaxing, and finally left without buying anything.
By this time, it was nearly time to pick up Lukas and Katie, so we headed over to LCC (the church where Discoveries takes place), and all went inside to have some water and wait for them to finish.
At home I went downstairs to make up the beds for A and family, who were going to come to our place last Thursday after our last guest left, but who decided to just stay put for a few extra days, and did another load of laundry. After we had leftovers for dinner, I started trying to get children to bed, hoping to have them in bed before I left for Greek, since Jörn was really tired. But Elisabeth was screaming for me so I asked Marie to take over with Helen and Katie, and then I ended up taking Elisabeth out for a walk and skipping Greek. Jörn went to bed early and I stayed up until about 2:00, glad to just be sitting down for the first time all day.
And those were the bare bones of yesterday. I'm glad that the extra rehearsal Marie and Jacob were supposed to have for their play was cancelled, anyway. The four older children will have swimming lessons twice a week for the next three months, but other activities will gradually be winding down, finishing completely by the end of June.