Monday, December 21, 2009

Sabbatical Over?

I can say I have been horrible recently about keeping up with my blog. I feel horrible. It's been a good couple of months now. That's pretty bad. However, like everyone else out there, this is a crazy time of year for us. We not only have the normal Thanksgiving and Christmas mess, but we also have two birthdays in the middle of it all. It makes for one busy time of year.

Genevieve turned 4 this year on November 30. I can't believe my first born is 4 years old now. When did she grow up to be such a young lady? She has been going to Preschool since May now. She loves it and now has two best friends. She was very excited to have her very first real Birthday Party. It was nothing amazing. We just rented out a room at the Bowling Alley here on post. Her friends got tokens for the machines, and they played on the play house. They loved the pizza and cake, and went back for my playing. They played so much she didn't even have time to open her gifts at the party. We took her to school right after it was over, and she opened gifts that night after dinner. She got a lot of really cool stuff, and still loves playing with it all. She's so grown up. I was thinking about the holiday next year (we are starting to maybe plan a big trip back home), and it was hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that she was going to be 5 in a year. Soon it will be time for real school. HOLY COW!

Samuel celebrated his 2nd birthday tonight. To say it's been an easy year is a total lie. He has been such a handful, and he's been very hard to deal with at times. He has had some issues with speech delay, and he was enrolled in an early intervention program to help him. I'm happy to report that with 6 months of work, he is now more than caught up, and he's actually advanced for his age now. He went from no words and only grunts 6 months ago to full blown sentences now. His new one is "Mommy, I want shoes." Then it will go on to shirt, pants, socks, shoes, etc. It just keeps going. Even with all the tantrums he throws, he is a joy. He makes me laugh all the time. Look at that face!! Just when I'm thinking I can't take something, he makes the goofiest face, and everything just goes away. I'm getting ready to *think* about potty training him. It takes me thinking about it for awhile for me to actually start. I want to have him ready to go so when he has his birthday next year, he can start Preschool too.

Other than that, life has been probably a lot like yours. It's busy, crowded, and full of anything and everything. I love this time of the year, but boy am I glad when it's over. It just seems like time goes so quickly and is so packed. I will be ready for "normal" again.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

OOPS!

I made a really big oops tonight. I totally forgot that tonight is Daylight Savings Time here. It happens earlier than in the US, and it had slipped my mind. That being said, I didn't even try and keep the kids up any earlier to try to help them get on track. We have had a full day.

Today we had our MOPS Fall Council at the church. People from groups all over Europe came so we could have a training day. They provided child care, and we met in the next room. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a few new things. I think it is always nice to learn something in a new light than you saw it before.

Because of this, the kids and I were up early. I had to be there by 8, so we were up before 7. Mainly I was up before 7. I wanted to make sure I could get dressed and ready without the kids being up. Just as I was finishing up though, Samuel woke up. I got him ready, and about that time Genevieve was up. So it worked out nice. They both didn't want to leave though because they were enjoying Clifford on TV. They were glad when we got there though. They always enjoy playing at the church with their MOPS friends.

Everyone please cross your fingers that my kids don't get up too early now :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Big, No HUGE Announcement!

I found out some wonderful news a couple of weeks ago. It is that kind of news that is life changing. When I found out, I was amazed, shocked, and just couldn't believe it. I've been waiting for a long time for this news, that I just almost couldn't believe it. The evening went kind of like this.

I was sitting at my computer after getting the kids to bed. I got a message on my Facebook to call my sister. This isn't uncommon since no one really calls me from the US. I have an international number, and it is free for me to call home, but not the other way around. I think everyone I know is about saving money, and we are in the same place. Why pay for another phone service just so we can have a US number?

So I picked up the phone and called her. I was thinking it was about a Mario Kart date or something. Instead I got some really awesome news. I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE! I have been waiting for a long time to enter into Auntie-hood. So, congrats to my sister and her husband. I can't wait to hold that lil darling and spoil them only the way an Auntie can.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Momma Got Her Groove Back

So I have finally got into the groove of life with my husband gone. It is always a learning curve for me at the first. Those of you that know me in real life know I am not always the most motivated person when it comes to housework. I do it because I have to, but I never WANT to do it. I'm sure 90% of people out there agree. I have a hard time staying motivated to do it though when my husband is gone (you know the whole no one to be accountable to). So today I think I have kind of got back into my groove.

Now my kids aren't living in filth or anything like that. However, I do not put away toys every night. I do not load and wash the dishes every night. I get them done once a day, and the dishwasher has yet to fill up. I think it is just something that is hard to keep up with when you are playing a role as a single mom. For me, I choose my battles and limits.

All that said, I have started to pick up on the number of things I feel like doing. Today I have done several loads of laundry (including the sheets that are in the dryer as I type), dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and did some light cleaning. Tomorrow I need to get a bit done. I have friends coming over for soup, and I need to vacuum and things like that.

Now onto soup :) I love soup. I don't make a lot of soup in the summer months due to the heat. However, it is cold enough now to really make soup. There is something about soup that really just makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. So since it has been colder, I have been in the mood to make it. I can't eat a whole pot myself, so I asked a friend, her sister, and her two kids over for soup this week. I can't wait to pull out my big pot and start making it. There is just something about a pot of soup that simmers on the stove all day.

So pretty pointless tonight. I just am glad that I'm getting the hang of things, and that I'm going to make soup this week. That's all :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Tuba is NOT Playing

Have you ever read that poem by Shel Silverstein called What A Day? That poem pretty much has summed up my day today. The link has a cute picture to it, but if you don't want to click, here is the poem.

What a day,
Oh what a day.
My baby brother ran away,
And now my tuba will not play.
I'm eight years old
And turning grey, Oh what a day, oh what a day.

So today was a mess. It started pretty good, but real quick. It seemed like when we got up, we were hitting the road running. We had to go pay the phone bill this morning so we just decided to get a few things at the PX there. While at the PX, Samuel decided he wanted to step up on the diapers in the cart and over the side he went. Thank goodness he had his big winter coat on, and he didn't hit his head. It took us a bit to calm down, but it turned out okay.

Due to lunch out, running errands, and an unexpected gate check, Genevieve was late to school this afternoon. She seemed to just go right in and do her daily routine alone. When she gets to school she has a routine they do. First she goes in and goes to the bathroom, then she must wash her hands, answer the question of the day, and then she signs her name. After all those things are done, she can sit down at the tables and play or do the activities on them. As a mom who likes having a schedule for her children, I like that she knows what to expect when she gets there.

After school was over, we had a pretty relaxed evening. It was completed with dinner for the kids and bath time. They both went to bed without too much of a fight. They both go to hourly care late morning tomorrow. I'm looking forward to running the errands I have to alone :) Grocery shopping is always better when I don't have to drag the kids along with me. Here's to a great night and a better day tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lack of Updates, Trips, and BFFs

So I know it has been forever and a day since I have been on here updating everyone to the mundane things going on in my family's life. It's been a crazy few weeks, and maybe things will slow down for at least a little bit. I doubt it though. This is the time of the year when life just seems to fly by. I think that is true for just about everyone with the holiday season, but I also have both kid's birthdays in there too. It's a crazy time of year.

So since I have updated last, I have made a huge step in life. I went on a trip back to the US for the MOPS convention. The best part of the trip...no kids. That's right, I went on a trip without my kids. The woman I went with and I were so excited about our first flight without our kids, we chatted the whole first 3/4 of the flight. Then we got in a movie before they served the snacks and turned off the movie system. The convention itself was amazing. I had a great time, and I got so much useful information. It was great to get away, and it was even better to see that the kids, husband, and house could survive without me. It makes me ready to plan my next trip.

Since I have been back, I have been busy trying to get the kids to realize I'm not going away again. Genevieve has been really bad. She has been waking up in the middle of the night just to make sure I'm there. I think she is getting better about it, but it was rough going for a bit there. Samuel was extra clingy, but he's also calmed down. I think it was good for both the kids and their Dad. He seemed to come away with a new respect for what I do around here. It's always nice to hear that. Since I have been back, he's also been really good about helping out more. Double score!

Genevieve has been doing good in school. She has her routine set, and loves it. She has also found her very first BFF. :p Her and her friend are always together. Out of that, her mom and I have also become friends. It has been nice having someone else to talk to and hang out with.

So in a nut shell nothing amazing has been going on, but life has been going full force. Now that I'm home and have time in the evening, I hope to update more.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week's Over?!

So it seemed like one of those weeks. Everything was busy and everything crazy. I can't even remember how the week started, but I'm sure it was crazy :) I remember needing to go to a store on Tuesday but having an appointment for Samuel. I was so very thankful that Ms. Carol (his speech therapist) called that morning to ask if it was still a good time to meet. Thankfully we rescheduled to the end of the week.

Wednesday started very quickly. I had a meeting at 9 that morning. I woke up a little late (hit the snooze one too many times). In the rush to get everyone ready, I pulled off Genevieve's nightgown to find a nice big rash all over her stomach and back. If you know how my insurance works, you have to call in and make an appointment on a central number. They book for everything. If you call in to book something that you need looked at, you better hope they have something. They usually only schedule appointments for the day that it is. I have been able to talk my way into getting appointments the next day if it was less than 24 hours out. When they picked up the phone, they let me know they had an 8:45 or a 11:00. I knew that she shouldn't be in childcare at my meeting without knowing it was okay. So I took the early one. Little did I realize I only had 20 mins to get there and get checked in. Where we live, it takes at least a good 15 mins to get there.

The doctor was sure it wasn't contagious, but said it would be best to keep her out of the CDC for her preschool class just because of how bad it looked. I agreed, and we all took naps that afternoon. The next morning the kids both had appointments for their CDC renewal. The doctor we saw is the "rash expert" at the clinic, and he said it was indeed only Hives. He gave us a note so she could go back to school that afternoon. SCORE!

Yesterday I spent the day trying to get the stink out of Samuel's Diaper Champ. I love the Champ, but I can't stand how yucky it smells. A friend of mine who is OCD cleaning lady gave me a few options. I mixed a couple of them. So I spent the afternoon rubbing the Champ down with Odor Eraser Dawn and letting it sit. After 3 goes at that, and used some cleaner with bleach on it. If I stick my nose down the hole the diapers go in, you can still smell a hint of the nasty that was there. However, his room doesn't stink anymore, and the bathroom we have it in doesn't either. I'm guessing it is as good as it is going to get.

I also spent the day trying to get a jump start on the cleaning I know I need to do next week before my trip. I always try and keep things going in the week, but I always try and do a bit more when I'm going to be gone. However, when I go I usually take the kids. This time I am having to think about diapers, food, etc. It should be and has been a learning experience.

Our weekends are pretty lazy, and today wasn't any different. I tried to stay in my PJ pants as much as possible. We went over to the PX to grab a few things, but it didn't take more than an hour. We had pizza for dinner, so no cooking involved. I'm looking forward to tomorrow because there will be a good breakfast followed by time lounging on the sofa. The only thing that is going to really stink about tomorrow is all the laundry I have to fold. I sure wish the laundry folding fairy would show up tonight and surprise me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What Has the World Come To?

If you know me, you might know that I really don't care for Halloween. I did as a child growing up, but since, not so much. As the years ticked away into my adulthood, I became upset by the "kids" who would be out. It didn't seem so much like there were children out roaming around wanting to fill their bags, but it seemed more like older teens who just wanted to cause problems. I had passed out candy on a few occasions only to get looked at like, "this is it lady?!" I spent Halloween in Chicago, and it was bad. My roommate and I sat out on our stairs (you had to be buzzed in to even get to our door, so we sat outside to pass out candy) that year. As we were out there, the cute little kids came by, but there were more of the big kids out. The public transportation was covered in toilet paper, eggs, etc. As the eggs started coming our way, that was it. No more Halloween for me.

With that said, I have never even thought about my kids going out for Halloween. When we lived in Oklahoma, she was really too little. She was less than 2, and I didn't think she needed to be out. She didn't understand or care. It was also bedtime, so we just skipped it. Last year however, her Daddy told me that I really needed to take her out. Against everything in me, I agreed. We didn't really dress her up too much. We got one of those princess dress up dresses from another family, and we put her in that. It wasn't a Halloween costume by any means. She didn't get a choice. She just had to go in that or not at all. She didn't really get it at first, but then when she realized what was going on, she totally got into it. It was nice for her, but I still could have cared less.

Fast forward to today. Today we officially bought our kids first Halloween costumes. I'm glad I decided to pull them out and try them on the kids. Genevieve has decided to be a ladybug. It's a very cute ladybug at that. I am needing to find a long sleeved leotard to put under it. Other than that, it is going to work out nice. We picked out a pirate costume for Samuel. We got the 24 months to 2T. The hole they expected him to fit in to put it on wouldn't even fit around both his legs. So I will be off tomorrow morning to exchange it for the bigger size. Good thing we decided to try them on tonight instead of waiting.

So there will be pictures to come in the next month. I have put them away though because Genevieve wants to play in her's really bad. I don't mind that, but I don't want anything to happen to it before. After the big night, she can play in it until the cows come home. I guess now my husband can leave me alone. I'm not a downer anymore. My kids have costumes, and they are going out on Halloween night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wow!

Can you believe we have lived in Germany a year now?! I was thinking about it the other day. A year ago we had loaded up our van and headed to Dallas. My wonderful cousin Mandi had opened her home to us and let us use it as our last station before the big flight. I remember so well the night before. I remember the calls to DFW, and all the planning we had done. I remember the nerves of that night. The fears and wondering what a 10 hour flight with the kids would be like. I also remember how it all turned out to not be a big deal at all. The trip to the gate (with Mandi's help) was very easy. The kids did very good on the flight, and we made it safe and sound. A couple of things I want to really reflect on though.

First I remember what it was like to get off the plane and head out of the airport for the first time. The smells were so different than anything I had smelled at airports around the US. Smells always seem to be something that strike me when visiting some place. It's the first of my senses I use. I remember that the weather was a bit warmer than I had planned for. I had wore a long sleeved jacket, and I had to take it off when installing the car seats into the van. I remember how foreign the landscape looked. The tree covered hills and mountains to the right were not something I was use to seeing. All the signs on the road in German scared me to death. I knew I'd have to recognize them so I could drive sometime. I remember thinking about being on the Autobahn was crazy. Then I saw a Toys R Us and thought "They have one of those here?"

Our first time on post was kind of the same. It was so different to see how things were set up overseas as compared to back home. Things were split up, and it was weird not to have total access to everything in one area. I remember wondering if I would feel at home soon or not. I remember how crazy our jet lag was that first week living in the hotel. I also remember how big our 1000 sq ft apartment looked with nothing in it.

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year. I have made several trips to the airport on my own now. While I still look out the windows from time to time the landscape is nothing new. I love the tree covered hills, but they have lost their wonder. The roads are not scary to me any more. I am pretty comfortable driving anywhere as long as I have my GPS. Since getting my license over here I have driven in not only Germany but also Austria. I still can't tell you what all the German signs mean, but I know the basic idea.

We have been to festivals, theme parks, castles, and much more in the year that has past. We have made ourselves at home in a place that isn't home at all. I use to think that Germany was probably a lot like the US, and I no do not think that at all. I'm thankful that from time to time someone does speak English. I'm thankful we can find people to work on our van and help us with other things. We have embraced the local food and have grown fond of it. However, we do miss our favorite US places (Texas Roadhouse, Arbys, etc). Our lives have changed so much from just a short year. It is so cute to hear Genevieve to tell everyone she lives in Jer-oh-ma-knee (it use to be Jeremy).

On the day we left Dallas to move here we met a family. We didn't think anything of it at the time because we met a lot of people there who were coming this way. There were probably about 6 or 7 families we met in the airport. This one family though said they were moving to Heidelberg too. I wondered that day if we'd ever run into them or even if we'd get along with them. We saw them on the flight, but after that, we never saw them at the airport in Frankfurt again. Everything was so crazy and busy.

At inprocessing we ran into them again. I asked how they were adjusting, and we talked for a few seconds before we had to run to the next thing. It was a couple days later I wished I would have asked their name or something. My husband said he had run into him on the bus a couple of times and thought that they lived close, but nothing really more than that.

It wasn't until about a month and a half after being here that I ran into them again. I was walking home from getting something to eat with the kids, and they were outside on the sidewalk. I was so excited to see them. I hurried Genevieve up and we caught up with them. We didn't visit for long, but I did find out that they lived in our stairwell. It was then that I realized that we probably should become friends. What were the chances of all those meetings? The next day I packed up the kids and headed over to her apartment to visit with her.

Since that day we have become really good friends. Their family is great to us. I know that if I needed anything they'd be there for me, and the same goes for us. It's amazing how it all worked out. We always joke about how we met and how long it took us to realize that we should be friends. It's been a great year with them though.

I guess you can say we had a good year. We have had family visit, I've been home, and we have seen a lot of things. I just hope that the remaining years will be just as good. Here's to another year as a family living overseas!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Fell Off the Face of the Earth...Really!

So it must seem that way. I was so deliberate about blogging every night when I first started my blog a couple of years ago. We were in such a different place life wise then that it worked okay for me. Now it seems as though we are going, going, going. My husband is also around a LOT more than he was when we were back in the US. That is one thing I thank God for all the time...well most of the time.

Being that my husband and I have spent so much time apart and dealing with the long hours, we don't always know how to react to each other. Where we are now though life is totally different than it has been for years. He is home at night for dinner. Shoot, he's even home before dinner. He is around to help with the kids in the late afternoon. He is there to help me tuck them into bed, and he is around to hang out with on the weekends. It is a huge difference from the 12 to 16 hour days 6 days a week from before. This is such a blessing, but it can be hard at times. We are learning to live with each other again. We all seem to be adjusting nicely and 9 times out of 10 we are loving it.

I have sat down to write something for the past couple of nights now. It seems as soon as I get started, something gets in the way. When I get the time to go back to it, I'm not feeling the blog I started. So this is attempt 4 at the same info I have left unfinished.

We have been crazy busy recently. It just seems like there has been so many things to pull together. One of the biggest was the purchase of a new car. Well it's not new, but it is new to us. It is far from new. It is a total (as they call it in the military) beater car. It has no a/c, it has body damage, and it has a TON (260,000 km to be exact) of miles on it. All that said, I really like the car. It is a fun, little sporty car. It's a Nissan 100NX. I have driven it a couple of times, and it drives real nice. The best part about a new car is simply two things. One, it will save us a lot of money on gas. With the gas at almost 3 bucks a gallon here, it isn't fun filling up our van. This will keep us from having to do that as much. The second thing, no more 20 questions at night. We use to have to play the great schedule game. It was so hard to deal with everything. If he had something he had to be gone all day for I had to wake up early (sometimes at 4 am) to take him so I could have the van, or I simply would have to walk. Now I don't have to worry about making appointments or what my schedule has. It has been amazing!

On the list of other things going on...The table and chairs we picked out finally made it over here. I can't believe how much I love it. I had picked out another table, but due to it having pressed wood on the base, I decided to find something else. We found a great deal on a dark oak table and chairs. They are amazing. We got it for a really great buy which makes it even better.

The kids are doing good. Genevieve has been loving school. She is really coming into her own, and growing up too fast. She seems to know more and do more each day. She really isn't my little baby anymore. She loves playing with her friends, and she never wants to leave her school. When she throws those temper tantrums now and then, I always have to remind myself that she is only 3. I can't believe in a few short months she will be 4. The time has just flown by.

Samuel has been cracking me up. He comes up with new things every day to make me laugh. Recently it has been asking him if he wants a hair cut. You ask him if he wants candy and he shakes his head yes and says uh hu. You ask him if he wants to go to baby school same thing. You can ask him as many yes things as you can think of. As soon as you say, "Do you want a hair cut" he's shaking his head no and saying nu uh. He's been doing really good with his speech therapy. I think if he were to be evaluated now he wouldn't even qualify for the program. He's been doing great.

I have been doing pretty good myself. I agreed last year to help out on the steering team of the local MOPS group. I have loved MOPS for awhile now. I started going about 4 months before I had Samuel. That group was so great to me. I miss it so much. This group of ladies that I am with now are amazing in their own way. Anyway, we are starting our season up this next week. I'm so excited to see what the year has in store. It has really been a great way for me to still be a mom and to be Emily too. I'm not all about my kids. I am a woman, and I am developing my own identity outside my kids. I am even going to leave my kids in my husband's very capable hands for 5 days in a couple of weeks. I will be flying back to the states for a MOPS convention. I'm so excited to get this opportunity. I'm also scared to death that my family won't be okay without me. I know they will be. God made this whole trip (which could have been very hard to work out details) very easy. Everything came together so quickly. I feel like it is where I need to be. I just worry because my husband will be here with the kids, and I'm not even going to be close if he needs something. He keeps telling me not to waist the money to turn on the prepaid cell. I really think I just might anyway. We all know how much I worry though :p

I have also been dealing with some medical issues. I went in this past week for a couple of reasons. I thought I had hurt my knee again, so in I went. Come to find out my ankle was more of an issue than my knee. I have also been having very bad headaches. I have had them for YEARS, but when you are pregnant or nursing (which I had been for awhile), there isn't a lot you can take. About 2 1/2 months ago I was put on some meds to try and help out. I didn't realize until after I had got them filled that they were antidepressants. My body hasn't reacted good to them in the past, so I was really worried. I had some big issues at the first, and they never really went away. The headaches seemed to be much better for about a month. I started getting some bad ones again so I brought it up. He wanted to just up my dose, but after I visited with him, he put me on another combo of meds. I have been on them a few days now. They haven't gone away yet, and I'm still trying to get the hang of it (it's a couple of them, and you take them together, alone, whatever you need). So I'm praying that these work.

Now that I have wrote a book, I will end it for tonight. See if I would write more often I wouldn't have to go on and on for days. Maybe I'll learn my lesson...and maybe not :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Whole New Look

So it's been awhile since I changed my blog look. It was time for a change. I just can't stand having things the same for a really long time. We move our living room around about once or twice a month. We would move our bedroom around too, but there is really only one way to fit all that stuff in 250 sq ft. So the living room gets the makeover all the time.

I have been going through a lot of changes in my life recently, so I thought it was only right to change my online "life" too. The women in my online Bible Study this summer have been amazing. I have gotten close to a few women and made some really good friends. It's hard to do that when you are always moving, and since we have all been through some of the same life experiences, it really brings you together.

I don't know if I have wrote about this or not, so if I have, just skip over it :p I have taken the Hospitality role over in our local MOPS group. MOPS is something that is near and dear to my heart. I love MOPS. I love that women who are in the same place in life can get together and have fun. I love that we all share something in common (mom's of preschool children) and all sleep deprived. Anyway, we start our meetings soon, and I'm excited to get started.

So life is changing and life is good.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Found One...For Free!

So I love my new quest to find things for free. It has been a fun game for me to play. I told you in the last post that this game all started because I am on the hunt for two things. So today I pulled up into the Recycle Center, and sure enough a microwave! It isn't the coolest looking one, but if it works, it is still a microwave. I am looking for a few things for a couple of families that will be moving here in the next few months. I know how hard it is to pick up and move across the ocean. I know the challenges that come with that. As the wife of their sponsor, I want to make their move as smooth as possible. This is just something I can do to help. So there it is. My free thing of the week. Maybe I'll luck out and find a TV this week too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No One Died?!

Ever since the kids have been around, they have been in my care. My mom has taken Genevieve for me a couple of times, but that is it. Other than that, I've never spent a night without my kids. I think you can imagine my worry this weekend when I was gone overnight for a MOPS planning retreat.

I am so blessed that my husband felt he was up to the task of taking the kids alone overnight. I got them ready for bed and in their jammies before he dropped me off. I had my cell on me, so I wasn't too worried...until I realized I didn't have service in the house...oops. Before I noticed, I did have a wonderful dinner and chat with the new team. I haven't ever been on a MOPS planning team. I am so excited. It was an amazing weekend.

I did wonder how my kids and husband were doing a few times a day, but I refrained from calling. I figured he had my number, and it was time for me to let go. I know my husband is totally capable of caring for our children. So it was a great test for me to let them be alone and do something for me.

I have really been trying to reach for something that isn't all about my kids. This next year I really want to work on that. I am a person too. I am not my kid's and they aren't my whole life. I think I will be much happier when I can find out who I am and do things for me. This was a good test for me.

So, I am happy to report that everyone was alive and well when I got home late on Saturday evening. No one was hanging by their toes, and my husband wasn't tied up to a chair. I am so happy that I had this opportunity. The big test will come next month when I leave him with the kids for 5 whole days alone. Please say lots of prayers for all of us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It Was All FREE

So I think I need to make a weekly post of the things I got for free during the week. I have come across many things in the past two weeks that I got for free. So here goes the last two weeks...

Last week I lucked onto something. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it. If you keep up with me, you know I have been starting to use coupons a lot. Well, I was walking up and down the isles, and I stumbled on Lunchables for 19 cents each. They weren't the fancy ones at all. Just the meat, cheese, and cracker ones. Still 19 cents each put them at about 80 cents for 4 of them. I did some looking and I came across 4 coupons for $1.00 off any 4 lunchables. So I got paid 20 cents for every 2 I bought. I looked real funny walking around with so many, but I couldn't pass up being paid to eat Lunchables.

This week's find...A leather arm chair. We have a light colored sofa, and this chair pretty much matches it. I found it at the local Reuse Center. We are required to recycle here (yes, they do come around and search our trash). So they have a big Recycle Center here. As part of that, they have a building that they use to put items in that still work or could be of some use to people. We always take things, but we don't always bring things home. I have been up there a lot recently because I am in search of two certain things.

My husband is a sponsor for two families coming up. I know that two things we desperately missed were our TV and our microwave. They are things you don't even really think about when moving. I know I didn't even think twice about them when we were getting things packed up. So I am on a quest. I want to find the two items to have on hand so people can use them if they find themselves in the same situation as I did.

So that's my finds for the past couple of weeks. I'll keep you updated on finds as I get them.

After Seven LONG Years...

We finally arrived! You read it right. My husband and I have not been on a REAL vacation in over seven years. We have never actually taken one. So when family came over to Germany this summer to visit, we figured it was time.

I found a resort down south that was a military resort. They give discounted rates (depending on rank), and they have a lot to do. They run a travel company right out of the bookstore so you can go on day trips (by bus) to different locations. You can also go in and get the information on the places they are going, the address, etc so you can go on the trips by car if you wish too. I really enjoyed it, and I am guessing we will be back before we leave Germany.

We spent a week down in Garmisch and the surrounding areas. The first full day there we went on a tour as a family. Here we all are on the bus getting ready to go. We were headed to a cheese factory and Ettal Monastery. They were both a lot of fun, and our tour guide was taken aback when Genevieve yelled out, "Where's the cheese?" She was so ready to get there and eat cheese. After she tried some of it, she didn't really want any. Samuel did decide he loved the yogurt though.

The next day we decided to go it alone and try our luck at finding our own fun. When looking at the cost of the Zoo tour, it was going to cost us almost $200 to ride the bus up there and do things on their schedule. So we got a map to the Zoo in Munich, and took off that direction. They had a few issues with the parking (there was construction right in front of the parking garage), but we finally found a place on the side of the road to park. It was probably about a mile away, but no big deal. It was free :p

We spent the day with the kids looking at all the animals, admiring the differences in American and German zoos, and having fun together. Mom and Dad joined us on this trip, and they had a good time watching the kids get excited about the animals they found and saw. Genevieve had just spen the week before in school learning about zebras, and she was very excited to see them. She also loved looking at the elephants. When we got to a genuie pig exibit, she looked in there and said, "Look Mom! It's Snickerdooodle's Momma!" (Snickerdoodle is a genuie pig in her classroom.)

On Thursday, we road the bus again. This was a trip we didn't want to make on our own. We headed with Sarah and Sergei to Neuschwanstein Castle. We had a great time here too. Samuel was very tired for the tour so I didn't get to hear much of it due to keeping him behind because of crying. What I saw was amazing though. It sits up on a hill. It is about 1 1/2 miles to hike up the hill. We had about 1 1/2 hours before our tour started, so we just walked the hill. It was a hard walk, but we made it just fine. We had tons of time to spare too. After the formal tour, we had to walk down the hill again. Going down was much easier than up. On our trip down Sarah and Sergei joined us (they took the bus up). The whole group met at a cafe to eat, and then we headed home.

Friday Mom, Dad, Sarah, and Sergei all went on the Three Country tour. When looking at the times, it was over 12 hours long. I figured most of that would be on the bus, so we opted out of that one. We instead took the day to just lounge around and have fun. We woke up and hit the breakfast buffet. After that we walked over to the PX. The kids and I shopped while my husband went for a hair cut. We then headed back to the room to let the kids nap. After the nap we went to the pool for an hour or so. The kids loved the pool. It was only 2.5 feet deep on the one end, so both of them could stand up and be above the water. It was a lot of fun for them.

We headed home on Saturday after meeting up for breakfast. The trip home was not complete without the "I gotta go potty!" cry from a child, and someone getting car sick. Both this time just happen to be from Genevieve. She was fine after it all though, and didn't seem to even care except saying "I spit out my cookies" a lot.

Needless to say we had a great time. We realized we shouldn't let seven more years pass before we do it again. If you have Facebook, you can see a few more pictures I posted there of the trip.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Happy Crying

So several times over the past couple of weeks I have been in tears. My best friend had her baby and right after that my cousin had her baby. God blessed me with wonderful (even though they weren't fun) pregnancies. I did have a few issues with Samuel, but they just made for annoying trips to be put on the monitor. I have always been grateful and felt blessed for this.

My best friend had her baby on July 22 nd (I am a little unsure on the date due to the time change and all that). I was so excited for her to finally go into labor and have her baby. She was so tired (as most of us get) of being pregnant at the end. When I saw the little darling's picture on Facebook, I was in tears. I was so excited for her, and I was so happy that things went well. She has had a few fearful moments, and I have prayed for them a lot. It was so amazing to see the miricale that God gave them. It's always amazing to see that.

My cousin has suffered seven losses. I have cried many times for her and her family. They struggled with everything while trying to add to their family. About 9 months ago we all found out she was pregnant again. She was very hush about it all to start off with. I think everyone understands why. However, the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, and I am happy to report she had her baby about the same time as my friend. I was just reading her blog, and I was totally in tears. I have prayed for them so many times, and I have watched her struggle with it all.

I don't know why I am always in tears reading their blogs or seeing pictures from these wonderful women. I am just so excited and happy for them both. I am so amazed at the gift God has given to them. Genevieve saw me a few mins ago and asked why I was sad. I told her I wasn't sad, and she wanted to know why I was crying then. I had to tell her they were happy tears.

Welcome to the world Hailey and Brystol! You are so loved!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Going High Tech

Probably about 3 or 4 weeks ago I decided that it might be nice to have a PDA. I have had one in the past, but it is really outdated. Shoot, that thing was pretty outdated when I bought it in the first place. I remember using it daily and kept up with it. However, it used AAA batteries instead of the new ones that have a rechargeable one installed. The bulky PDA I could handle. The fact that I lost ALL of my information when the batteries died, I could not. You would have to make sure to sync it before that happened, or you would have to hope you had it written down as a back up. That pretty much sank that PDA after about 10 months of use. I just got tired of it. When I get tired of things, 9 out of 10 times, I just give up on them.

I started looking, and I realized I had no clue what I was looking for. My old PDA was a Palm, so I just started looking there. I found many other brands, but was very hessitant to go with something else. My search took me to our local PX where I realized that NO ONE seems to sale these things anymore. I know it is because everyone who thinks they'd like one get those new high tech phones. I have seen the Blackberry and all those types of phones. I wouldn't mind getting one, and my husband and I even talked about it. After seeing the price of the plans that I'd have to get to use one, I said no thanks. I use a prepaid phone right now, and I don't put very much on it at all. It was cheaper for me to just find a PDA and keep paying for a prepaid phone than to switch to a plan.

Late last week my Palm arrived. I again picked one that I don't think is top of the line. In fact I know it isn't. I didn't want to buy something very expensvie though. I wanted to make the switch and do it without breaking the bank. It is kind of a test run. If it works well, I will probably make the jump when we get back in the states. I have it all set up now and working. I have really enjoyed it.

So I have done it. I am now as high tech as I can be :p I now can carry my whole planner with me in a small little case instead of the big planner I use to have to carry.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just Another Cryptic Week

So I know some of you also follow me on my Facebook account. I have been very cryptic for a week or so, and I am sorry I haven't spilled the beans. You know I really wanted to, but I hate when you say something then have to take it all back. So here is me spilling the beans.

I was presented with a chance to do something awesome this week. The people who oversee our MOPS group want to send two people to the convention this year. The only stipulation is that one of the two has to take the coordinator's place when she leaves. There was already one woman who said she'd love to go, and she was sure she'd step into that role. I thought that it would be awesome to go as well. I have really been into MOPS since I was pregnant with Samuel. I found a group in Oklahoma, and fell in love with the idea of the group and the group I had itself. Ever since, I have done more and more with the group. I am taking over a leadership role this next year, and I love giving what I have to that group. There is nothing like moms who are where you are in your life getting together to fellowship. It hasn't been 100% approved for me to go yet, but I have everything in place for it to happen (the current coordinator is on vacation and not able to be online every day right now).

Anyway, it took a lot of prayer and planning. I sure didn't have any hand in it. I know that God was taking care of it all for me. A friend of ours totally stepped up and did more than a friend should. She is taking in my kids for the days that I am gone. What a blessing that is. Not only that, I found out my whole trip will be paid for. This will be the first flight I have made without the kids. It will be awesome! I can't wait to build on who I am as a person and not just me being mom. It has been so hard for me to keep my identity, and I have failed miserably. I feel so bad for letting it get that far, but I have. I know I'm not the first, and I know I won't be the last. This is just one chance I have to get to know myself again and to be just me.

Today has been a day of ah ha God moments. I realized that the Bible Study I am in is totally what I need to be hearing right now. I find it funny because it seems like every time I take a new study, it is meeting me where I am in life and speaking to my heart. I have taken studies on worrying, being a submissive wife (I actually liked that one a lot), book of John, and this recent one is on friendship. I think it is funny how something just as small as friendship could speak to you.

We have only done two lessons, and I can't believe what all I have learned about myself. I realized in the first session that I don't have very many close friends. I have surface friends, but when it comes to those friends who know the good, bad and the ugly of Emily...there aren't a lot. I use to think it was because I moved a lot as a child and now as an adult. However, I'm not so sure it is that way. I have a few friends that I think I could tell anything to, go to the with anything I need, etc and I could count on them. Most people I wouldn't. I have a hard time telling things about myself and going on with most of my "friends." I always figure that you know who your close friends are when you move. The close friends make an effort (and I do too) to stay connected even though you are in totally other parts of the world. Those friends that are just around...you loose touch with them real quick.

Anyway, I don't need to go on and on tonight. It is getting late, and I have to get up and get things ready for Samuel's speech therapy appointment tomorrow morning. Just keep praying that everything else falls into place for the MOPS trip. I would love to head to Nashville for a few days this fall. It will be holy jet lag for just the few days I will be there, but what an awesome experience.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Going, Going, Gone!

So this week has been really crazy. Thank goodness it is almost over. For me the week has seemed to go very quickly, but I'm sure for others it hasn't. Isn't it funny how things like this are all about ones perspective? When I was young, it seemed like time would go so slow. It would seem like time was always dragging. My birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. They all seemed to come and go, and then the time would drag on until the next year. Now it seems like it is flying by. I can't believe that they year is just about half over. Where is the time going?!

The first of the week started with both the kids at the CDC for the afternoon. I spent the first afternoon alone not doing a darn thing. The second one I spent at the grocery store. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but it was nice doing that alone. I had time to stroll at my own pace and really look through my coupon book for the best deals.

Yesterday we took the bike to school. My husband needed the van for the day to take care of a few things. I told him we had no issues with that at all, and we'd be fine. I loaded the kids up on the bike cart, and we took off down the road. We had a good time on the bike. I do fine pulling them, but the hills can be a little rough. I am out of shape so that doesn't help, but it also isn't easy pulling an extra 60 to 70 lbs of weight. I really need to take the bike more often. It really is a nice change of pace.

This morning was spent making an unexpected trip to Frankfurt. My dear friends here had spent the past month in the states visiting home. I was so sad to see them go. We hang out on a regular basis, and we are always talking on the phone. I am glad they got the visit home, but I'm so excited to have them home. We made the trip just fine. It was a nice test run for how things will go when my parents come to visit in a few weeks.

We have a few things planned for the 4 day weekend and the 4th of July. I don't know if we will stay up to watch the fireworks or not. I don't think they are starting to fire them off until 11pm (yes, it doesn't get dark until then). I don't know if the kids will be up for staying up that late or not. I guess we will just have to play it by ear. However, we will still probably go to the festival they are having. They are having street vendor food :) I can't pass up a chance for that.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and 4th of July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thank you and Goodnight

So the last few days have been better. I don't know if it was just getting it all out there that helped, or the many people I know that were praying for me. I'm sure it was more the second, but I think it helped to just spill it all out.

I noticed since Wednesday, that I haven't been as short with everyone. I seem to have a bit more patience. Maybe the kids sensed I needed to have things clam down. Have you ever noticed that about kids? It seems (with mine anyway) when push comes to shove, if I really need them to be good, they are. I remember being home alone (husband was at school) and being really sick. It seems like they understood, and they were really great those days. It seems to have happened again. They really have stayed calm. Samuel did throw a couple of fits, but a few moments alone in his crib did the trick.

So for the rest of my week I spent time trying to stay calm. Sounds silly, but after the first couple of days of the week, I really needed it. I took time to finish my book, keep things cleaned up, and even put my feet up to watch TV when Samuel was napping. To help for the next week, I scheduled a couple of days for Samuel to go to the CDC while Genevieve is in school. I will make sure to get EVERYTHING I need to done before I take them so I can go do whatever I want :) I think I'm going to head over to the PX and just walk around without the kids. I haven't been able to do that in a long time.

I need to spend some time getting our final preparations made for the family's vacation. We are staying at a military resort down south. I need to make sure I get our day trips reserved, and I need to get a rental car set up. We have enough room for just about everyone. We are short spaces for two people. Well really just one, but it wouldn't be comfortable with that seating. So, we will get a small car to go with us. That way we know we have room for everyone's stuff, and space for everyone to sit comfortably. This will be our first vacation since we've been married. We have never spent time like this. It will be a nice change to the normal things we do when taking leave. Usually when in the states, we'd go visit family. Since we don't have the money to visit family, and it isn't a day drive there, we can be free to do other things.

Tonight is filled with updating things online and a movie. Seeing that it is 10 pm now, I better get on them. Funny how things seem to get more busy right when I want to relax.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Harsh Reality

So I don't always like to put it all out there on here. I know that anyone can read it, and I worry what others will think of me. I have a hard time being okay with myself alone. I care too much about what others think of me. On those questionnaires where they ask if you care what others think of you, I usually reply with "too much." I shouldn't care, but I do. It is that struggle to fit in and be apart of a group that drives me. Going back to the first of the year and being honest, this is just one of those times. I am writing this in tears because of what is going on in my life at this time.

As most of you know, I struggle with major headache issues. I had a CT Scan done, and it came back clear. I have was then put on some medicine to help with the headaches and sleeping at night. The medicine the doctor gave me are an antidepressant. I am not depressed nor do I think I need to be on medicine for mood issues. It was explained to me by him, the pharmacists, and my mother (who is a nurse) that this specific medicine is also used to treat pain. I have been on antidepressants before, and it was bad. I was a raging lunatic when I was on them. I am sure that I burned some bridges, and I regret how I treated some of the people in my life while on them. I weaned myself off them at that point in time, and vowed never to take them again. However, with what is going on with my head, I made the choice to give in and take them.

I have been on them for a few weeks now. I am praying that how I feel will pass with time. I pray that it will pass quickly. I hate how I feel, and I hate that right now I am regretting my choice to go back on this type of drug. Because of the way I feel inside, it's effecting my family. I don't think they know it or the reasons right now. I know my husband has noticed the change.

I have found that I have become short with people. I cannot handle even small things that come my way. I find when the kids start to yell or get crazy, it sends me over the top. I can't handle the punches that come my way with the ease I use to. I just can't take things and run with them. I find that even small things make me upset, and I get really mad about them. I fear that I yell at the kids too much. I just can't even see how it comes to it. It is like I go from 1 to 100 in no time at all. A side effect? I don't know. I thought that these types of medicine were suppose to help with your mood.

Because of the way things have gone, I feel totally inadequate to care for my kids. I feel that my kids will not understand if I do get upset. It is not their fault that I am having mood issues. It is not their fault I just can't handle the same things I could before I started. I feel that I have failed because I'm on these types of medicines again. I know I didn't go on them for anything but pain, but it still bothers me. I feel I have let not only myself down, but my family too.

I am guessing as this medicine gets into my system more, things will calm down. I will give them another month to get use to them. If it still continues, I will have to find something else to help me out. I refuse to be like this for a long time. My friends and family do not deserve to have me this way. Please pray that life gets better for all of us.

I am at a very vulnerable place in my life right now. I don't even know why I'm being so honest on the internet of all places. What a place for people to pick me apart and judge how bad of a person and mom I am. I just hope that in my being honest it explains some things for those that are around me or talk to me a lot. I also hope that someone else out there knows what I'm talking about. I just crave to know that I'm not alone. I need to know that I'm not a bad person or mother. I am going to have to really work hard to prove these things to myself.

If you made it this far, thank you for listening to my issues.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Too Busy for...

I hope this newest update finds everyone doing just fine. We have been going crazy and more crazy. :p Things have been very busy around our home, and I don't look for it to get better any time soon.

Genevieve has been in her part day preschool class for about 3 or 4 weeks now. She loves it! They do a theme a week, and they do so much to talk about it. She has now done the desert, caterpillars and butterflies, ants, and ladybugs. This week starts a new lesson on bumble bees. She really does have a great time, and she loves her teacher. We will see her teacher around some weekends. When Genevieve realizes who it is, she starts talking all over again about school and when she gets to go back.

Putting Genevieve in her school every day was suppose to give me some free time. It was suppose to make me feel like I can get stuff done. When she started I think 50 things all of a sudden came into play. It seems like I'm more busy now than before. However, I am glad that she is going because she loves it. I guess the few hours she goes every day just isn't enough :)

I have started reading Angels & Demons recently. I have been looking for it at the library for months now. I thought about buying when I was home visiting, but I just never did. I just have a hard time buying books for myself. Nine out of ten times I don't ever read my books more than once. Now that we are close to a library, I have started just doing that.

I love this library. They have a HUGE selection of books. There is a children's wing that has books for the little kids. I have taken the kids in and read to Genevieve while Samuel played in the stroller. They also have a big DVD selection. All their DVDs are donated, so they don't always have the best movies, but we have found some really good ones too. It saves a lot of money, and we can keep them a week.

Anyway, I had been looking at the library here for months for the book. It has always been checked out. I went in a couple of weeks ago looking for the book again, and I came up empty handed again. The Libraian asked what I was looking for. We had a short conversation about how it has been popular recently because of the movie coming out. She looked it up on the computer, and then put me on the wait list. I was worried it would take forever to get the book because I was 14th in line. She did tell me that they had a lot of copies of the book and not to get discouraged. Sure enough, about a week after I was put on the list, the book was sitting on the shelf waiting for me.

I haven't finished it yet, but I have enjoyed it so far. I liked the Da Vinci Code a lot. It was a good read. This one is the same way. I don't think it is really connected to the other book at all. It just uses the same main guy. It's like those Tom Clancy books. Jack Ryan I think is the main guy in those books. As it was explained to me (since I have only seen a couple of the movies) Jack is in a series, but they books aren't related to each other. One book doesn't take place before or after the other. I look forward to finishing the book to find out how this one ends. I am hoping it doesn't disappoint me. I'm sure it won't. Now I just have to carve out some time to get it finished.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long Weekend

This past weekend was a long one. It was long in many different ways. My husband had Monday and Tuesday off, so it was a long one that way. Second, we had a lot going on. Most of the time I hate weekends like that. I like to relax with my husband at home on the weekends. I like doing things at my own pace. I don't want to do something because I have to. It just isn't fun that way.

Saturday night there was the Signal Ball here on post. My husband had to go due to being an usher. I believe I told you how I came about going in my last post. So I won't go into that again. So in the middle of the night Friday into Saturday, I get sick. I haven't been that sick since I was pregnant with Genevieve. I finally got my stomach calmed down, and it was time to wake up. I hate when that happens. I always seem to be in the deepest part of my sleep right before I am suppose to get up or need to get up. I spent the morning on the sofa trying to recoup from the night before. It took just about all morning, but I finally started to perk back up, and I kept some food down.

The ball was nice. It was like every other ball I have been to. There is the awkward receiving lines. That time where you have to shake the hands of all the people who are important to your spouses job, and get asked how you are doing. They make small talk in a place where you really only have time for one word answers. It isn't like you can carry on a conversation or anything. After that you make your way to your seats. They do the color guard, and they sing the National Anthem (both American and German). Usually then the dinner follows, but our dinner wasn't ready Saturday night. Instead they moved right to the speaker for the evening. To our surprise it was the Commanding General of USAEUR. I teased that we saw everyone there that is on the AFN commercials.

Anyway, the food was pretty good. All the balls we have been to the food hasn't been great. I take that back. The Christmas Social here it was good. Here was pretty good too. There is a certain way they do salads here. They had that, and I love that salad. It is a lot of veggies and a very light dressing. I can't say enough good things about it. They had a really good fruit salad for dessert and cake. We left before the dancing because well...I don't dance. It started with the Electric Slide, into the Cha cha song, and when the Macareena (sp) started, it was time to go.

The long weekend finished off with an unproductive trip to Mannheim (the store we wanted to go to was closed), and some time as a family. That is one thing I have been very thankful for. I miss my family and friends. I miss being close to people and seeing some on a normal basis. I miss being within a days drive of family. However, I am happy to trade it to have our family back together. When we were in recruiting, we didn't get much time as a family. He was home late, and not a lot of time off. Here we have time together to do things and hang out. It has been a great change. I know it won't last forever, so I am living it up while I can.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shew...Lots of Plans, So Little Time

For over a month now we have known about an upcoming ball here on post. It is for the whole Signal Battalion here in Europe. Well, my husband got picked to be an usher, so he has to be there. Because he has to be there for the job, he got his ticket for free. He had asked me while I was home for a visit if I wanted to go. I said sure, found a dress to bring home, and that was that.

When I got home, I realized that the day the ball was, my friends were going to be back in the states for a visit. So I knew we didn't have a sitter for the kids. At that time we looked into childcare to see if they were going to offer that. At that point in time we were told no. So the plans were made. The kids and I would stay home, and my husband would go. We usually only stay for dinner and the program. We usually skip out on the DJ dance. We haven't been to the whole dance thing since our first ball back in Ft Riley. It didn't bother me. I have a new book to read, and I was going to get caught up on phone calls.

So fast forward to yesterday. All of a sudden they are offering childcare. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't anything that'd break the bank. So my husband calls to see if I want to go. I told him I didn't know if I had a dress I could wear (that was clean), and a bunch of other things. He didn't even know for sure if he could still get me a ticket since they stopped selling them about 4 days ago. With that one phone call the race had begun.

I spent a good part of 2 hours getting plans together. I found out that it would cost just as much as the ticket we got for free to clean my dress. To get it back in time I had to do it express. I at least wasn't the only one up there. The Battalion Commander also had waited until the last min. to get his uniform cleaned too. So I didn't feel too bad about it. After I found out that I could get my dress done in time, I had to let my husband know that he could go ahead and get a couple of the slots for childcare. Then we had to take care of several other last second details. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

Of course everything had to be planned and done yesterday. We had to have everything taken care of by close of the business day to be sure that we had everything in place for us and the kids. We did get it all done (proof you don't need a lot of time to go to a ball :p), and we are ready, minus my dress, for Saturday. I heard it is going to be a really nice ball. They aren't going to do a DJ, they are going to have a band come in and play. They are also going to have several performers come too. Lets hope the food is good, and we have a great time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quiet, School, and Prayer


As I sit on the sofa typing this, all seems to be right in the world. I have some housework to get done before lunch, but I still have a couple of hours for that. Samuel and Genevieve are playing well together in the back room, and all I can hear in the living room is the hum of the air conditioner and the occasional jet flying over head. It is so rare I have moments like these. When I do I know why I wanted children. It's the other 99.9% of the time when things are crazy and loud I wonder. So I'm taking advantage of the .1% chance I get, and I'm blogging today.

I picked this picture to post because I love it. Samuel wanted to play dress up with his sister. Since we don't really have anything boyish, this had to work. My mom made this skirt for Genevieve while we were home. It was so she didn't have to take off her clothes to play dress up. However, it didn't work out that way. She still likes to take off her clothes, and she just wears it like a strapless dress. Samuel sure had a good time with it though. Shh don't tell Daddy he was wearing a dress and had a pink phone though :p

We just started week 3 of preschool for Genevieve. She is so adorable when we get ready to go. She asks all morning if she can see her friends or if she can go to school. I have to remind her that she goes in the afternoon, and I will take her after we drop Daddy off at work. Yesterday we drove up, and she saw the building (it has a blue roof so it is easy to pick out). The conversation then went as followed:

G: "Oh Mommy! Thank you so very very much!"
M: "For what baby?"
G: "For bringing me back to my friends."

She loves it so much. I can only hope that this love for school lasts all the way until she graduates high school. Every day she is eager to learn new things and be around others her age. She doesn't care if she has never been to the class or not. She is just ready to get in there and make friends.

My prayer for my children is that they always are this confident in themselves. Genevieve can walk into these situations and just start to play and have fun. I pray that both my kids can always feel as if they fit in, can have fun, etc. Of course as parents we always want our children to have better than we did. I am the same way. I want my children to have a better life than I did (not saying mine was bad at all...because it wasn't). I want them to not have to feel the hurts of life that I have had to. I know it isn't something that is logical to hope for, but there it is. I pray that whatever comes their way in life will bless them in some way or another. I pray that everything that graces their lives is for the good of God, and I pray they will see it that way. I pray that even in hardships they see how they can use those times in their life. Some of the times I remember being the darkest have colored my life so much. When all I saw was black and gray, God painted a rainbow. I can use those dark times in my life for good now. Am I glad they happened...heck no! But I am stronger now, and I can use them for good. That is my prayer for my children.

And just like that, the quiet is gone. I need to get some dishes done, and things picked up anyway. The story of my life :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who Knew Getting Lost Could be Fun?!

So it's taken me a bit to get this up here, but I wanted to share this picture with you. I love this one. I think it is my favorite of all the pictures we took. This is the Heidelberg Castle from a look out point in the hills.

This past weekend my husband and I decided that we should drive around a bit. It was on Sunday so we knew the traffic would be a bit less (everything is closed on Sunday here). We just went up in the hills in town and started driving around them. We came across several look outs, but this one had the best view by far. You could see so much of the city and of the other hills. It was beautiful.

The week since has been full of school, appointments, and tests. Samuel had his follow up evaluation, and he is delayed enough for them to come to the home and do therapy with him. I also have had a CT Scan (came back normal) and a follow up appointment about my headaches. I got a new medicine to try, and we will see if that helps. Since I have them on a regular basis, the med is more for prevention instead of treatment. I start them tonight, so we will see how that goes. If it works, it will be the first time in man MANY years that I won't have a headache. I just didn't even do much about it or worry about treatments while I was pregnant or nursing. I mean what can they really give you anyway? The same thing for everything...Tylenol. :)

Genevieve has been settling in during this week of school. Her teacher told me yesterday that she is doing great, and she is really starting to settle in. I usually have to pry her off the playground if they are outside in the afternoons. She loves being with her friends and being in that setting. This week they are doing and learning around the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The first day of the week they talked about what they eat and all of that. They asked the kids what they would eat and put their answers in the hall. Most were the normal answers like leaves, watermelon, apples, candy, etc. When I got to Genevieve's name it said, "I eat Dora cereal." I about died when I read it. She doesn't normally get Dora cereal. She only gets it when she is at Mom and Dad's house. So why she thought of that, I'll never know. The things kids say.

Tomorrow my husband and I are going on a date night. I wish there were good movies showing, but there aren't. I think we are just going to check out a new place to eat and take in what we can.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Know I Didn't Raise Him This Way

I know that I did not raise Samuel this way :) He has been getting up at 5 or 5:30 every morning since we came back home. I cannot do anything to get him back to sleep. I have tried moving the bedtime back a bit more to see if that helps, and it doesn't. I'm at a loss. I really dread the mornings even more now. I wish I could find some way to make him sleep just a little later.

Other than that, things are going fine. I biked the kids to school yesterday, and we had a good time with that. Most of the moms walk their kids to school, but it is a bit too far I think for us. Most of them live pretty close. While we live fairly close, we'd still have to leave pretty early to get there and back.

The weather has cooled down for at least a few days. I hope that means our AC will stay caught up when it decides to warm up again. For the first time this morning, our living room/dining room was cooler than 75. That doesn't seem too bad for some, but when the sun is coming in and the concrete walls start to absorb that heat, it gets a little warm.

We are looking at planning a night/day out without the kids again soon. I have been thinking I want to do the Saturday this time. That will give us a lot of time to get downtown and see what is going on down there. We can also look in some of the shops we haven't been able to yet. There are a lot of neat places down there, and I want to get down and see what is going on. I wouldn't mind a currywerst either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Big First

So yesterday was a big first in our house. Yesterday was Genevieve's first day of preschool! She goes in the afternoons every day of the week. I was only going to put her in 3 days a week at most, but when they told me the options that were open (2 day in the morning or 5 day in the afternoon), I just went for all week and didn't look back. She was excited to get to use her Dora "Packpack" for school. We usually use that one for travel because of the wheels. Her Auntie Sarah bought it for her right before we moved to Germany, and it has been so handy for travel. When I got the list saying she needed a backpack, we just thought we'd use this one instead of buying a new one. It works out well, and we already know she loves it.

When I dropped her off yesterday, you could tell she was thinking about having to do something new. She looked unsure, but that quickly changed as the teacher pulled out the activities for table time.

It was great getting time alone with Samuel while she was gone yesterday. I got some cleaning done, and I got to watch a show and was not interrupted. It seemed like the few hours went by so quickly though. A few is better than none though.

When I went to pick her up, she was a little sad. The teacher said she had done great. Come to find out, she had hit her head with the shaker in a song, and she was trying to tell me about that. At bed time my husband and I asked her what she learned at school. It was so cute to watch her try to act out all the animals they had learned about. She even tried to be a cactus.

I think she had a great time, and I can't wait for her to get into her routine and really enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Appointments, Migraines, and Scans..Oh My!

So what does one week off of blogging get me? Only about 4 migraines, a trip to the doctor, and a scheduled CT Scan. Sounds like a wonderful week. It has been full of many events despite my issues.

This week (on one of my better feeling days) we went over to Mannheim and bought a bike cart for our bikes. I really have been wanting to exercise more and get into shape. I guess I have made it to that time in life where I really am serious to make a lifestyle change. I want to get healthy, and I want to stay that way. I have always had issues with weight, and I'm ready to be done having issues. So we bought this bike cart for the bikes to help out. I decided that I would be the one to pull it most of the time because if my husband has the van at work, I can use it to get me and the kids around. This week was my test run.

We put it on the bike on Friday. My husband needed to go down and get his hair cut so I came up with the bright idea to take the bikes. As he got his hair cut we went all around post. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and it seemed to be something I could easily do on my own. It is going to be a good way to get Genevieve back and forth to school.

The rest of the week was spent cleaning up around the house, doing laundry, and trying to keep things as quiet as they could be with a 3 year old and a 17 month old. I guess this week was just pretty darn boring.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

All Over The Place Tonight

So the last week has been slow on the blogging front. The most time I spent at the computer this past week was just spent on checking my email and Facebook. I have had the worst headache this week. After about 5 days, I went into the doctor. I was given some meds to take, and they seem to help a little. It isn't as bad as it use to be.

Needless to say, these headaches have put a stop to my working out. I was working out one hour a day about every day or every other day. I had been doing good, and I was starting to feel like I wasn't dying every time I started to work out. Now it has almost been a week, and I am just dreading getting back into it. However, I think I will use this time to start something new. I never thought I would want to run out in public, but I think I might start. We also got a bike cart so I can go for a bike ride with the kids. I will probably do this most days. Genevieve starts school on Tuesday, and I am going to use that or walk her to school most days. That will help get me out and about more again.

While we were out today, I think we finally found a new dining room table and chairs. I had really fallen in love with a set, but I wasn't happy with the quality. The top was very nice, but the legs and base were not made of real wood. It looked like it would damage real easy. With us moving a lot, that isn't a good thing. However, when we were there today we found a really nice oak table and chairs. It was cheaper than the other table, and it looked like it held more people even. There is no telling if we are going to buy it or not, but it was nice to find something that I liked just as much and even more than that first table.

One more thing. I hate to admit when my husband is right, but I must. We don't have AC in our place over here. Before we left for the month, things were fine. We have fans in the rooms, and we could open the windows. Recently we noticed how warm it was getting in our place. Before the family upstairs moved, they sold us their portable AC units for a really good deal. We didn't realize how good of a deal until we noticed how much they were new or even used. I thought we were fine with just the fans, but he insisted that we bring them up. I told him he would have to find someone else (and he did...Thank you Travis) to bring them upstairs. We set them up, and he was right (don't tell him I said that)! The place does feel much better now.

So a pretty boring blog tonight, but there you have it :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Da, Kah, 'ere we go, and Uh Oh

All things that Samuel "said" today at his evaluation for his speech delay. It was an hour of a wonderful woman evaluating Samuel today. We have these Ages and Stages Questionnaires we fill out every time we go to the doctor for a well child exam. They just use that to make sure a child is where they should be. When we went in about 6 weeks ago, Samuel was very delayed on speech and gross motor skills. The lady was very in awe that he was delayed in gross motor. I told her at that time he had not started to walk yet, and things like that. She said from watching him today he has wonderful fine and gross motor skills.

She did say he was delayed in his speech. They are going to do an extensive evaluation in the next couple of weeks to see just how delayed he is. If it is a significant delay, they will give us the choice to sign him up for therapy in home or to give it more time. We will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Confessions of a Lazy Mom

Do you ever have those days that you just don't feel like doing anything? I have them a lot. I don't know if it is because I have not got a full nights sleep in about 3 years, getting up early with the kids all the time, or just because I hate cleaning just about everything. If you read my blog at all, one thing you will know is that I can't stand laundry and dishes. They are NEVER done. It doesn't matter how much I work in a day, we are always using dishes to eat, drink, and cook with, and we all can't go naked for days at a time so there is no laundry to do. Wouldn't it be nice though?!

I have done a good share of housework today and over the past week. I have pretty much kept up with things since getting home from our trip to the states. However, as I type this I can't help but think how inadequate my work seems to be. I don't do all I could and can do. I just can't bring myself to clean all dang day. I can't.

I don't know if this friend reads my blog or not, but if you do, this is totally a compliment. I have a friend here who is super cleaner. She mops, sweeps, cleans, etc every day. She tells me that she has to run at least 3 loads of dishes a day, and she is always picking up everything all day long. She cooks from scratch most of the time, and she puts me to shame in both areas. I just can't be like that though.

Sometimes I find myself making things look better so it looks like I have done a lot. It usually doesn't fly all the time. However, on some days it does. I have learned that if I make the bed, it makes the bedroom look a lot better. I also have found that if I do the dishes and clean the sink and counters really good, the kitchen seems to look much better too. I tend to use my Roomba a lot. It is easy because I just push the button and it does the vacuuming for me. I would be in trouble without my Roomba. I also enlisted the help of my microfiber mop. You just put water on the pad and go. I don't have to get a big bucket and water ready. It also drys really quickly so I'm not having to worry about the kids going through the wet floors.

So there you have it. I am a lazy mom. I hate housework, I love nap time, and I can't wait for my one hour of peace when my husband comes home. I started to work out for an hour a day just to get some time alone. I don't like working out, but that hour is awesome. I will work out to get my hour. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me a bad mom. I wonder if I should love being with my kids all the time and taking care of everyone's needs. I couldn't imagine having a job outside the home. I love the flexibility of being here with the kids. I love having the mom and kid's groups I can attend. I love all these things. Some days I just long to go back to work just to get some time away.

I know most of this is because of recent events. My wonderful, calm son has turned into a yelling chimp. There are times he will just start to screem and cry for nothing. We are at that time too where he isn't talking so he gets frustrated with me (and I with him). He has started to pinch me and everyone else when he doen't know how to get what he wants/needs across. It has brought me to tears many times. I just don't understand his needs, and I can't fix it. Isn't that something that most moms have trouble dealing with? I sure hope so because it sure bothers me when I can't fix or give my child what they need. We have a screening tomorrow with a specialist tomorrow who is going to evaulate him for speech delay. He really isn't saying much, and I worry that he is delayed. It is a nice program that does everything in home. If he were to qualify for speech thearpy, they will come to our home and do it.

I don't know if this was confusing since I'm pretty much rambling. I have just been feeling bad about my mom skills recently. I feel like I'm not good enough, and I can't give my children what they need in the day. It's been a rollercoaster of feelings, and I hate that I feel this way. I guess I just needed to get it out, and I hope this makes me feel a bit better about things.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Does 20 Nuggets, 1 Car Seat, and 2 Toddlers Get You?

It gets you a relatively good (as good as 10 hours can be in a plane with two toddlers) plane trip home. As I sit typing this, I can't believe my month home has come and gone. It was a whirl wind trip back home (only planned about 3 weeks before we left), and it seemed like it went just as quick. Funny how time sometimes seems to go so quickly and other times it seems to go so slow.

After we made it in from our very LONG plane ride into Kansas, we settled in just fine. The kids did really good with the jet lag. We were all so tired from being up the whole trip, that we all just went to sleep and pretty much after the first night slept all night. We enjoyed Easter at home with Mom and Dad, and taking it easy watching movies.

That next week the kids and I spent time being home. We went to church on Wednesday, played outside, and just had fun at home. Right after that we went to my in-law's house. We stayed for a few days and made it back home in time for a Mother Daughter Banquet. It was a lot of fun. Genevieve had a good time, and it was nice to have both my Mom and my husband's Mom there.

Opahoma (Oklahoma) came next. We went down for the snake derby they have there every year. This event use to be for my Grams and her sisters to get together every year. They would all come in, and they would celebrate their birthdays and catch up. Later this time became a time for the sisters and the women of their families (daughters, daughter-in-laws) to get together as well. Even with Grams passing away, they still meet every year for this event.

It was a little bitter sweet to be down there again. I haven't been down there since we went to Grams' funeral. Since then all the houses have been sold. We drove by to see them, and they have really fixed them up. That was what kind of got to me. They look great, but it isn't Grams' home anymore. It's been 7 years (in October) since she passed away, and most days it seems like so much longer. On a few days it seems like it couldn't have been that long ago.

At first Genevieve didn't want to go to Opahoma (her word). I asked her why, and she said, "Momma, we can't go to Opahoma. They have snakes!" I made sure she stayed away from the snake cages at the derby so she wouldn't have to worry about Oklahoma and the snakes that are there.

In my last days home, I made a trip out to Hays to see my best friend from High School, Lacy. We met up there before our move, and I didn't know when I'd see her again. We coordinated one of her days off and made the trip there. It was a nice lunch with a walk around a few stores. The time went so fast, and it was hard to believe it was time to leave again.

Our trip back to Germany went pretty good. We flew in and out of Wichita. I asked the man at the counter for a Gate Pass so Dad could help me back to the gate. We hung out outside the security area until about 40 mins before the flight. We made it back to the gate just in time to board the plane. I was told later on the phone that as we were headed back, Samuel started to wave at Dad as we went down the hall to the plane.

When we made it to DFW, I was very happy to see that we did not need to change terminals. We just walked down the termial and found a McDonalds. I asked them to give me their biggest order of nuggest they had (20 pieces). We made it down to the USO, and we sat in the room long enough for me to call my husband and let him know we had made it okay, and that everything was still running on time. The lady at the USO gave us a couple of bottles of juice and water. We also picked up some snacks that were there before heading to the gate.

We weren't at the gate long before someone from the airline came over to see if we were flying to Frankfurt. She let me know they were going to board families with small children, and that I could go to the ticket counter now. We gathered up all our stuff and headed that way. A really nice German man helped me pick up the car seat with Samuel in it to get it down the isles. He placed it in the seat and made sure everything was fine before leaving to help with his own family. The kids took a nap long enough for me to eat dinner and have a little quiet before they were up and ready to go. After they were up, there were many people on the plane that helped me out. They would hold Samuel, play with Genevieve, watch them when either I or Genevieve had to use the bathroom, etc. Samuel really liked the male flight attendant, Eddie. Eddie would take Samuel around the airplane and let him "help" with things. Even though the kids got restless at the end of the flight, it was much better than the flight there. That many hours alone with the kids make for a long day.

It was great to get home, and we were all happy to see Daddy. We have all pretty much adjusted to the time change again. Now that I am home again I can start to blog a bit more again. :p

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Wish...

My biggest wish in life at the moment is that I will NEVER have to have a repeat of the trip I just had with the kids. As I might have blogged before, the kids and I took advantage of my husband being at school to make a return trip home. I wanted to come see family, but for me it was also a way to show myself that I could make the over 5000 mile trip on my own.

I love to be able to travel. With my husband's schedule I usually take what I call "mini vacations" from the house. There are always times where he is gone for a week here, two weeks there, an occasional month, etc. When we were in the US, I'd just hop in the car and go. I'd drive anywhere and everywhere with the kids and we'd have a great time. Since we have moved, I now have to fly everywhere to visit family and friends.

I have flown with the kids alone, but never for more than a couple of hours at a time. We made the trip over, but my husband was with me. For awhile now I have feared the flight alone with my kids to come over. I hated feeling like that because I want to know that I can do it if I need to. I need to know that push come to shove I feel confident and comfortable taking the kids on the plane and taking care of things. That first trip just happened.

It was a horrible flight. Genevieve was at least very good for me. She was a little antsy at times, but who isn't on a flight that long. Samuel on the other hand cried, fussed, and pretty much anything for the whole 10 hour flight. I felt so bad for everyone around. I kept telling anyone who looked over that I was very sorry. Most people were understanding. I did hear one guy on a cell talking after the flight about how bad it was because some stupid kid was crying all the time. The people who were older or had kids kept telling me to hang in there. Most even shared their horror stories of their bad flights with their own kids. I couldn't do anything to calm him down. I tried anything I could think of. A couple of other people tried a few things too, and those didn't seem to do anything either. I have no idea what was wrong. The only thing I can think of is that he was way too tired. We had been up so early that day, and I think he was so tired he couldn't sleep. We were both in tears many times on the flight.

Our layover was very quick. When I booked the flight, I thought it was 2 hours. The day before I left I checked the stuff online only to realize that it was only 1 1/2 hours. We got through passport control, baggage claim, customs, baggage recheck, security, sky train, and to the gate just in time to check in. We were able to use the bathroom real quick and then get on the plane. Everything went fine with it, but I don't know if I want to only do 1 1/2 hours again. It'd probably be okay with my husband there to help out.

We've been here a few days, and we seem to be adjusting to the time change and everything. I am still close enough to that flight that I'm not looking forward to the flight home at all. I just need to have faith that not all flights are like my last. I guess it was a good test to know that even if things go really bad on the flight, I can still make it alone if I need to. I can't say I'd do this more than a time or two a year though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No more Judy?

So for a really long time every doll, barbie, little girl that Genevieve has had was called Judy. I don't really know what prompted it, but EVERYTHING was Judy. As you might remember from a post before, she even calls Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping Judy. Well that trend has come to an end.

The other night I was tucking Genevieve into bed. She had her barbies lined up in bed with her. I asked her what their names were. I was laughing so hard I couldn't take it. I came out of the room and informed my husband that I thought that our daughter had strippers for barbies. The names of the barbies are now Dallas, Boris, and Kiss Kiss. Where she comes up with these things, I'll never know.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Random Things...and Being Honest

Well, this is my sad attempt at blogging and being honest with my not so vast blogging audience. However, I am going to work a few things in because I have so much going on. I feel really bad that I have not kept up on the blog for the first few months of the year. This year has been so crazy and gone so quickly. I can't believe that it is almost April.

April is going to be a "fun" month for me. I don't know what it is about the numbers 3 and 0 and them being put together. Something about the age 30 has me a little uneasy about my birthday. I am really sure it is because at some point in my life I thought that 30 was just REALLY old. My sister every year for the past 5 years has called and said It's your almost old birthday. Last year it was my I'm really darned close to old. Well, this is the year. I'm turning OLD.

Now that I am here, 30 is not old by any means. When thinking about my life (when I was younger) I thought I'd be doing different things in my life. I always knew that by this time in my life I'd probably be a mom. So the fact that I have two kids doesn't really phase me. However, I did always think that I'd still be working. I thought I'd have a career and love going to work and doing that sort of thing. I never in a million years thought I'd be a mom for my job.

Let me take this moment to say how blessed I am that I can be mom for my job. I know that there are many people in the world that would love to stay home with their children, but for one reason or another are not able to. I just feel like it is not looked at as an accomplishment or anything. I remember how I was almost embarrassed to tell people at my 10 year reunion that I was just mom. It was like I didn't have anything to show for myself for the past 10 years. I'm sure most of this just has to do with my insecurity.

All this said, I am embracing the new decade of my life. I am going to enter the 30s with as much love, joy, and enthusiasm that I can. I will live each day the best I can, and love where my life has taken me so far and the road I am on now. (The fact I noticed a couple of gray hairs on my husband's head help a little.) Here is to a great time in my life. A time where my kids will age past toddler, preschoolers, children, and even into the tweens. How scary is that?!

On to something else major in life. I'm finally doing it. I coming home to the states for a bit. It was kind of last notice, and it is coming quickly. It's coming a little TOO quick. I have no time to worry, plan, worry, over plan some more, worry, call someone to help me plan, and worry some more. Instead I will have to resort to a lot of worry and praying in the next week and a half. I have already started to outline the number of bags, car seats, etc that I will take. I'm trying to think through everything I can. I think if I plan for it in my head, I might feel more prepared if something like it did happen.

I found a flight that stopped over in Dallas. DFW is a big airport, but it isn't too bad. I have been there a few times, and for the most part I am comfortable with the airport. I am worried about customs between that flight and my connection. I have a couple of hours, but I just want to make sure that everything goes good. If not, I might be calling my cousin to see if I can crash on her sofa. At least I know that there we have family to help out if something happens and I need help.

The biggest worry I have is the fear I have had since moving here. Going home with the two kids alone. If anyone knows me really well they know I travel a lot. I am always getting in the car and going. I will go anywhere with the kids no matter what. I just jump in the car and head on. A plane though with the kids scares me. I am very self consious about how my kids act. I hate the idea that someone might think my kids are acting up. I always find myself telling people sorry for even stupid things. I hate that I feel I have to do that, but I don't want people to look at my kids like they are heathens either.

So you can see my delima now. I am traveling with the two kids alone on a plane. I don't mind the short trips. The long leg of this flight is around 9 hours though. That is a LONG time in a plane for an adult much less a child. When we flew over here, I was blessed to have my husband helping me. The kids did great, and they slept 80% of the time. This time I have no adult help. I wonder about stupid things like how am I going to go to the bathroom with the two of them in that little bathroom? It's something that is really stupid to worry about, but it is on my list.

As I told my mom on the phone last night, I just need to do it. Once I do it once, it won't seem as bad to do it again. I need to feel like I can do this no matter what. I need to get that one back. I also remember all the planning and such my cousin did for the trip here. We stayed up for a long time talking about what we were going to do, planning this and that. Everything went great when we got there. There was no need for all that planning. In my mind though if you don't plan, it will go wrong.

Anyway, if you would, please pray for us. Pray for the poor people on our flights. We will be leaving in just about 1 1/2 weeks. I can't wait to see family and friends again. I also can't wait to eat some things that aren't over here. It's sad how quickly you start to miss small things like that.