Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

As I am sitting down to type this, I can't believe another year has come and gone. Last year we didn't really have a birthday for Genevieve. My husband and I feel bad about it, but it just didn't happen. We were going to do one later, but life came and plans never got made. This year we wanted to do it right. So we set upon the task of doing so.

We had to start with getting boxes unpacked, stuff put away, and things looking nice. We invited another family over, and we knew they knew we had just got our stuff, but we still wanted things to look nice. They need to get done anyway, so now was a good time to get on the ball. We spent Wednesday through today getting these things done. We have been shopping (buying storage, decorative, and other things), cleaning, unpacking, etc. We have got just about everything done. We just have our catch all in our room to deal with and laundry.

We got all that done, and we decorated. We sang Happy Birthday as good as we could, ate some cake, and opened gifts. She got a lot of cute things. Our friends that came over got her a Barbie and a Dora puzzle. She will have a blast with both of those. My husband and I got her a few things too. She got a Sleeping Beauty Barbie with a charm bracelet, a dancing June doll, and a Washer. About a month ago I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she had told me she wanted a washing machine. So we got it :p

After a bit of playing, our friends had to leave, and we went to dinner. After dinner was over, we came home and got them ready for bed. I think Genevieve had a great day, and I'm so glad she had fun with her friends.

Happy Birthday Genevieve! I love you so very much. You are a joy and a blessing in our lives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holy Stuff Batman!

If I didn't know before, I know now. We have too much stuff. It just seems to be coming out our ears...or boxes. We have unloaded all the boxes and the stuff is just around. We have about 3 or 4 boxes to take to the thrift store. It is stuff that we should have got rid of before the move, but we didn't for one reason or another. Now we are doing it on this end. I guess doing it is the important part, so at least we are getting rid of it.

Today seemed like a busy day, but it probably wasn't really. My husband woke me up 30 mins before he needed to leave for work so I could get myself and the kids ready. We drove him to his office, and on our way back into the post where our home is, we were stopped again to be searched. This was the second morning in a row. If we get stopped tomorrow, I might start to think something is up. We'll see.

We went back over to his area for lunch today. Some days it makes for a good break in the day to venture over that way and have lunch with Daddy. I am happy to report that I did not get stopped at the gate this time. I guess I can't complain too much. It is very cold in the mornings though. I have to stand outside the van while they do all the checks. I am just very thankful they let the kids stay in the car in the car seats. That would be a pain to deal with.

Anyway, I have been trying to plan Genevieve's party. She wanted a Barbie birthday cake. I ordered the one that says it serves 17 people. I think I saw the size, and I don't know what they think a serving is, but it won't feed 17 people. We will have 12 people (counting us) for her party, and I'm worried that the cake won't feed us all. So I'm going to make some cupcakes too. We still need to go and get her a couple of gifts to open, and I need to get some decorations. We can't hang much on the wall, so we won't do that. I will get some pretty plates and stuff though. I might even put together some Goodie Bags. I don't know for sure though. Just think after all this, I get to do it again in less than a month for Samuel.

This week hasn't felt like Thanksgiving to me. I guess most of it is because we aren't doing Thanksgiving really here. I'm not cooking a big meal, and we have plans to go shopping and do other things. That is one nice thing about being in Germany. The Germans don't observe American holidays so when my husband is off, we can usually go out and do things. I went to the commissary tonight, and it was a mad house. There were so many people trying to find thing and buy things for their upcoming feasts. There were so many people, and for a moment I wondered why there were so many people at the store going crazy. Then I remembered.

"Just what are you going to do on Thanksgiving?" is the question I get all the time when people find out we aren't doing a meal. Well, it's easy really. We are going to be getting things done around the house, we will be shopping for a few things we need, and we will go out to eat at a German restaurant. I think we are going to try and hit up IKEA and Toys R Us on that day. As much as I love a good Thanksgiving feast, I love the idea of not having to clean it up more. I will cook on Christmas, but with all our stuff everywhere, I'm just glad I won't be adding to the mess. And that I am thankful for.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

This morning was a lazy one. I tried to sleep in as late as I could, and we actually made it to about 9 am. We knew we would make "cake cakes" (pancakes) this morning, and we just took our time getting around. After we had got started with breakfast, I opened the curtains to reveal the fresh blanket of snow on the ground. We leave a few windows open at all times, and I thought it sounded like there were a lot of kids outside. That explained it.

This is our first snow here in Germany. I don't really care for snow much. I am one of those people who thing Christmas is just the same with or without it being white. I don't want to deal with all the crazy people and things that happen when it snow. I am just not a fan. It was very pretty to see it, and the mountains were very pretty with snow on them. I just hope it isn't something that sticks around for long, and that it doesn't come around a lot. Once and awhile is fine.

That being said, with it being cold, it is the perfect excuse for a nice warm pot of chili and a glass of whine. We still have a bit to do with our place. We are going to haul a bunch of stuff down to storage tonight. That will help to make us feel like we are getting somewhere. We found a couple of rugs on sale at Poco today. They were only 20 Euro each. It was a really good deal.

Other than that, it was more of the same today. Tomorrow will be more boxes. So fun...yeah right.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So We Are Grown Up Now

My husband and I have been saying for YEARS that we wanted to ditch the hand me downs (nothing wrong with them, they worked, and they were free) and move up to a "grown up" bedroom set. We have looked over the years at many things, and we have even found a couple we liked. When we got some money saved back though there was always something else that we needed to use it for. At first it was because we were having Genevieve, so we needed to buy a crib and such for her. Then we honestly thought hard about it, but decided that our living room should be next. You know more people see your living room than your bedroom. After we re-did the living room, Samuel came along. Now we have moved, the kids have their stuff, and we had no more excuses. We had saved up, and we were ready to make the buy.

We spent a few days out looking on the German Economy. It didn't take us long to realize that they don't believe in box springs. Everything looked like it was just for the top mattress, and they were all really low to the ground. The height wasn't too much of an issue for me, but I am short. My husband on the other hand is much taller, and he likes to have some height to his furniture (I don't blame him). So we decided finally that we probably wouldn't buy a bed out in town. We looked at a couple of places, and we finally found one we liked. It is a big set, so it fills our room. We don't have any room for anything else (except a TV for the dresser). I guess this is good because it will keep me in line with keeping things picked up and not a lot in the room.

Today our furniture was delivered, and it looks great! We are very happy with it. It goes great with our new wall color, and with our bedding we already had. Maybe that will be our next purchase. We will see. Anyway, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. Pardon the "orbs." All the moving stuff and packing materials kicked some dust up in the air.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Because...

Our stuff arrived yesterday. It's a big mess. Maybe it was better living life without all our junk. However, I just have to climb on my feather, king sized bed to realize that it's okay. Unpacking with two kids is slow going, but we will make it. We had to do a little shopping (a couple of things were broke in the move, and we got a new bedroom set), and we had our family pictures taken today. Other than that, it's just a lot of boxes and unpacking. If anyone knows how to get that storage smell out of things, let me know :)

Just because I have a ton of stuff going on, I'm not creative enough to do a post right now. My cousin Mandi did a "meme" today or yesterday (not really sure which), so I'm going to share my answers too :) If you want to take it, go for it! Just let me know or send it back so I can see what you had to say. Pretty much you answer these questions in just one word. This should be fun since I'm not good at the whole one word type answers. I'll give it a go though.

Where is your mobile phone? Living room
Your hair color? Blonde
Your mother? Loving
Your father? Selfless
Your favourite thing? Bed
Your dream last night? None
Your dream goal? Mom of the Year
The room you're in? Bedroom
Your hobby (hobbies)? Window Shopping
Your fear? Drowning
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Abroad
Where were you last night? Bed
What you're not? Motivated
One of your wish-list items? Wine
Where you grew up? Kansas
The last thing you did? Bath
What are you wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Big
Your pet? None
Your computer? Charging
Your mood? Normal
Missing someone? Always
Your car? Awesome
Something you're not wearing? Socks
Favorite shop? Target
Your summer? Short
Love someone? Always
Your favourite colour? Pink
When was the last time you laughed? Now
When was the last time you cried? Saturday (last week)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Meaning to Long Weekend

This weekend my husband had a long weekend for Veteran's Day. We were going to just hang out and check out some new areas of town until the wonderful call came that our stuff was coming in this next week. When we went to a friend's apartment, we noticed they didn't have white walls. We asked about the policy for painting, and found out that as long as you paint it back to white (or if it is neutral enough you might be able to leave it), you could paint. We realized that we really wanted to paint the wall because we would be here at least 3 years, and it would be worth repainting in the end.

We knew that this weekend we had to get it done if we didn't want to have to deal with all our stuff being in the way. We have little furniture now, and it would be much easier. So we went to our local hardware store (where no one spoke English at all...made it a little hard for the questions we had), and we came back with the paint sticks we thought would make the colors we wanted. There was one bad batch that turned more like a teal, and it wasn't very pretty. So we started over on that one. The rest of the colors came out awesome.

We started on Saturday night. After we tucked the kids into bed, we started in the living room and dining room. It was by far the most surface to paint, and it was a common area. We needed to do it when the kids were asleep and out of the way. It took us a LONG time to get it done, but once it was done, it looked great.

On Sunday we were worn out. We were up until about 4 am from the night before, so we made a deal with ourselves. We would paint Samuel's room in the nap time slot, and we would rest that night. We made the kids dinner, put them to bed, and then did very little. I made us dinner and we had some wine we had bought at the Holiday Bazaar on Friday. We started a movie, but I couldn't even make it past 30 mins.

Yesterday was out big push to the end. We wanted to get the other two rooms done that day. We didn't want to be painting today. We did Genevieve's room during the nap time slot again, and it went over a little bit. Both kids were very good while we finished up. She told us when we were picking out colors she wanted a green room. We showed her a couple of swatches, and she picked the one she really liked. So we went with it. It is green, but it is going to look good with her bedding. When we were done she said that she really loved her green room. That's all that matters anyway. :)

Our room we did last night. We wanted a sage green, but we couldn't find one. My husband being the color expert got a couple of different sticks and played around with it. He made the perfect color of green for our room. It looks awesome, and I know it will look great with our stuff.

Here are a couple of Before and After Pictures. Please remember that none of this stuff is really ours (the kid's beds are theirs), so it will look a lot more like a "home" after our stuff arrives.

Master bedroom before

Master bedroom after
(please disregard the's laundry day)

Genevieve's room before

Genevieve's room after

Samuel's room after
(there wasn't a looked pretty much the same as the master)

Living room before

Living room after

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great News!

So my husband just called to let me know some really great news. Our house hold goods have arrived here, and we can have them delivered now. I can't believe they are already here. They are about 2 1/2 weeks earlier than they said, and about a month late. Let me explain.

When we got orders to Germany, my husband had the choice to have our stuff packed up early March and stored while he went to school. We did this so I could move back up to Kansas with the kids and be closer to family and friends. They packed it all up, and they put it in Non-temporary Storage. When we were ready to have the stuff released and shipped, we would have to go into a post and fill out the paperwork. Then it would take about a week for the release to happen. No biggie...Fast forward from March to August.

My husband gets home from school, and we go into Ft Riley to talk to them about getting everything taken care of. We get the paperwork filled out, and she faxes it to them. We were told in a week, it would be good to go. Two weeks go by and nothing. So we go back in, and this time we see someone who deals with this all the time. So she fills it all out, and then she tells us that she or someone in Texas will call us when it all hits. About 4 hours later, we got the call. Everything should be good to go. WRONG!

We get to Germany, and my husband is doing all his paperwork. We still are not in the system! It has now been a month since we started with the first round of paperwork, and we still aren't any closer than when we started. We got on the phone in a hurry, and my husband was less than pleased about it all. Finally they decided that they would do the paperwork right, and our stuff would be on the way in a day or two (funny how you don't need a week when someone is mad). It did end up taking about 2 weeks for us to hit the system and our stuff be picked up.

Long story short, we got our advance shipment last week, and now it looks like we will get our other stuff very soon. Oh I cannot wait for my king sized bed to arrive. How wonderful it is going to be to sleep in bed and not have to touch my husband :p I will have all my pillows back and can curl up in my cocoon (as my husband so lovingly calls it), and rest well. I guess we had better get on our painting this weekend (unless they bring it before then).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Is anyone else besides me glad that Election Day is today? I am a very firm believer that every person should vote because it is a right we were given. It is something that we can do to help shape our country. If we don't like the way things are going, we can make the changes by the votes we make. If we think things are going well, we vote to keep them going the way we like. Even if the person we think would be right doesn't win, we still did a good thing by voting.

All that being said, I'm so tired of all the junk on the news about the candidates. It has got so old. I have watched a few of the debates, and I have seen more than my fair share on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. My only saving grace is that being in Germany, we don't have regular TV. So we don't get regular commercials. I don't have to see the political ads running non stop. It makes me wonder if there will even be anything to report about when this is all said and done. What will happen when the US goes back to "normal"?

We will not be able to stay up and see the results in real time tonight. The polls won't even start to close until around midnight or 1 am here. That's a time my body doesn't hardly know anymore. I'm so old :p This is really one election I have no idea how it is going to go. If you haven't got out today to vote yet, get a move on :) Besides I always say, "If you don't vote, you don't get a right to complain."

Monday, November 3, 2008

A New First (and Our Busy Week)

Last week was a very busy week for our household. The first part of it wasn't too bad, but it was cold and wet out. We couldn't really get out to the park and all that fun stuff. We walked to the grocery store here on post and got stuff to get us by for the time. I had bought so much that my stroller (just an umbrella stroller) would fall over backwards if I let go. Needless to say with the weather and the kids looking like they were getting sick, that was our last trip out on foot for the week.

On Tuesday we were told we could pick up our van! YEA! Because of everything you have to get and have ready (first aid kit, warning triangle, safety vest, registration, car plates, etc) when you sign for the van, we didn't have time on Tuesday to get it. My husband said that someone would be able to take him on Wednesday. It ended up not working out. I finally had the bright idea to ask my neighbor. She was a godsend and took us over to get it. I asked her if she could stick around and let us follow her back. She had to get home, but she gave us her GPS and said if we get lost or when we are ready to come home push "Take Me Home." It was that time we realized that a GPS was not just something we thought we wanted, it was a much needed item for us to get. So Wednesday we finally got our van.

Thursday was another busy day. We were told that between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm they were going to deliver our early shipment of items. There wasn't much to that shipment. It was a few duffle bags, a TV, a couple of those canvas chairs, 3 boxes, and 2 cribs. I unpacked the boxes, and got all the dishes we had sent in the dishwasher.

Friday was of course Halloween. I'm not big on the whole trick or treat thing. I just don't get into it. My husband really wants that to be a big deal for our kids, so I told him that he could be in charge. I found a costume, and he was suppose to do the rest. Well, we went out for the first time, and Genevieve had fun. She got a lot of candy, and we didn't freeze...too bad. She was a princess. Like I said, it was cold so she had to wear a long sleeved shirt, tights, and a coat out too.

This weekend we spent putting together everything that was apart from the shipment, and we went to buy a few things we needed and wanted. We did find us a GPS, and we bought a new TV for our back room (our Christmas present, but it was on sale, so we went ahead). It was crowded like crazy because of the Early Bird Sale we didn't know was going on.

We ended up getting the kid's beds put together too. Genevieve went from the crib she was in when we lived in Oklahoma to the day bed it converts to. We were going to put up the side rails, but we decided that with the matress as low as it was, she'd probably be okay. It went together much easier than I had rememberd it going together when we bought it. Samuels bed was fine until the drop rail had to go on. Talk about a mess. It was an easy fix (we didn't put it on right and when my husband took off the locking part and played with it, he figured it out).

So for the first time in his life, Samuel slept in his crib last night. Yes, he is 10 months old now. It's crazy he hasn't been in a crib yet, but there it is. He seemed to sleep pretty good. He woke up at his usual 4:30 am time, but that was the first time. Lately he's been up a few times in the night. Maybe this will help him sleep the night :p We can hope anyway!