I’ve got a little bit (read: a lot) of guilty mommy conscious happening over here.  The back-to-back-to-back illnesses have worn me down and made me no fun.  I’ve said “no” to Dane more times than I care to share, or even think about in my own head.  You are not supposed to compare kids to each other, and I believe that extends to comparing how you are raising one kid to how you raised another kid.  Still,I can’t help but remember I had so much more energy 20 years ago when Soren, Nicholas & Christian were little.

By this time we would’ve seen Santa (granted, he was much easier to find in the US), baked dozens of cookies, cut down a tree, trimmed a tree, crafted crafts, gone ice skating, sledding, celebrated at parties everywhere. This year I’ve managed to drag the tree out of the attic (Cole is allergic, but boy do I miss cutting down our own tree), and Tess & Dane did a beautiful job decorating it. And, today, we are scheduled to go ice skating.

I love ice skating. I’m an excellent ice skater. Holland is The Home of the ice skater.  We have the Elfsteden tocht, which while on my bucket list, may never happen for me.  Unless I’m in great shape 10-20 years from now… so… possible!

From wikipedia:

The Elfstedentocht (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛlf’steːdə(n)tɔxt]; Frisian: Alvestêdetocht [ɑlvəˈstɛːdətɔxt], English: Eleven cities tour) is a skating tour, almost 200 kilometres (120 mi) long, which is held both as a speed skating match (with 300 contestants) and a leisure tour (with 16,000 skaters). It is held in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, leading past all eleven historical cities of the province. The tour is held at most once a year, only when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 centimetres (6 in) thick;[1] sometimes on consecutive years, other times with gaps that may exceed 20 years. When the ice is suitable, the tour is announced and starts within 48 hours.

However. That would be done after months of training, not weeks of barely sitting up in a chair, and with my own, fantabulous (most likely orthopedic) skates. Not rentals.  Today we are going ice skating at the furniture store.  The same big-box-furniture store that offered us the hidden gem of the barn circus several years ago. The furniture store shares space with the Zoo (aka the pet store) and Tess needs Christmas present for her furbabies. It’s win-win. I’ll have happy Tess, and happy Dane, and very sore feet.

Plus, and this makes it win-win-win, the Real is nearby. It’s like a super Target, but German.  We’ll stop there first, I’m pretty sure I will barely be able to walk after ice skating for an hour or two, and stock up on my new crack: Sylter Karamell-Pudding.

Since we moved to Germany, six years ago, I’ve bought a new-to-me food every time I go grocery shopping. You would think I’m running out of new things to try, but no.  The grocery stores are still teeming with things I’ve never tried.  I do know I’ll never try horse-in-a-can, or for that matter snails-in-a-can, but that still leaves at least a million things I’ve never tried.

Last Saturday Dave & I finally did our Christmas shopping.  We did it in two hours flat. All of it. Boom! Done.  And since Real is a super Target in disguise, I did our bi-weekly grocery shopping as well, finding my new crack.

There, on the top shelf in the yogurt aisle, perched a little pot of perfection.  I normally don’t spend 1,99 on one pot of pudding, just for me, but this time it called my name very loudly.  So I stood on my tippy toes, brushed the jar with my fingers, and barely got it down and into my shopping cart. When we got home Cole unloaded the groceries, Dave hid the gifts, and I admired the tree Tess & Dane had decorated.  Then I got my pot of perfection, and a spoon, and swooned with delight.  This stuff is Heaven in a jar.  This stuff is crack.