Thursday, January 27, 2005

Back home, back online, AND in my comfy chair 

Ah, sweet relief! Ever since we arrived home a little over 24 hours ago, I have been battling to get my internet connection reestablished. I was able to use my DSL modem to access AOL through their DSL service, but every time I connected I got a message that "there will be an extra charge for this connection." On top of that, using my laptop to sign on like that required that I sit perched like a bird on one of my uncomfortable dining room chairs. Life is so much better when I can use my decrepit desktop machine and its thickly padded, rocking, swiveling, soul-nourishing office chair. Finally, finally, finally . . . success!

Our flights home (first to Philly and then on to Germany) were blessedly uneventful with the exception of a 90-minute delay at the gate in Philly. I had a whole empty seat right next to me, and I spent those 90 minutes fearing that the seat's rightful occupant would show up to claim his/her spot.

I've been quite worried about jet lag, as the last time around it really kicked our butts. So far though (knocking the wooden case of my ancient Dell) it doesn't seem to be a problem. We managed to stay up all day yesterday, and I served Benadryl with dinner. The kids were out by 9:00 p.m., and I set a record by getting in bed before midnight. We all slept until 9:00 this morning and feel pretty good. There will be Benadryl for dessert again tonight though, just to make sure.

We had our first adventure a couple hours after getting home. The kids and I found a Zirkusschule (circus school) online, and they were accepting new kids yesterday afternoon.

It's a very cool program and probably Mike and Annabelle's best shot at mixing with large numbers of German-speaking children. The lessons are held at the Asylbewerberheim, which is a home for families who fled the war in places like Bosnia and Kosovo. The teachers are the greatest--very patient and kind. They remind me of the cast of Godspell, only without any religious overtones.

Yesterday, all the kids were able to try out a number of different circus skills--juggling, diabolo, something that looks like walking on a rolling log. They each then signed up for 2 to practice in future lessons. Mike and Annabelle both chose juggling. For a second skill, he chose the log-walking thing and she chose poi balls, which I vaguely recall from our Hawaiian luau days but which I can't describe as they practiced with them in the other room.

And you thought I was joking about prepping the kids to run away and join the circus . . .

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