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


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 :)