Sunday, November 30, 2008

insane in the membrane (part 1)

So, these past 10 days have been fun and ridiculously busy! Even though we are officially members of the "uncool club" now that we drive a minivan (more on that later), we have proven that we aren't total losers with the amount of socializing we have done in the past week.

It all started with an impromptu frat party at my house last Friday night. Just as I was getting ready for bed, there was a knock at my door and there were 2 of M's friends, who he hadn't seen in almost 2 years. I was so happy I was informed they were coming over... If I had known, I would have at least put on some mascara and not had a tooth brush hanging out of my mouth when I answered the door. They were all supposed to go out together but the first big snow of the year made them think otherwise. Instead, my house became the party house, which I didn't mind, at least every one was safe, but by 4 in the morning, I was ready to go to bed and ready for them to fall asleep already! We had a huge day that next day. It was the day of our big ball and I needed my beauty rest.

After those 3 glorious hours of sleep, we woke up to the kids pulling the blackout shade up and down and admiring the snow. After a hearty breakfast and a lazy morning, the afternoon came too quickly and before I knew it, it was time to get ready for the ball. No big deal, right? Yeah. Except it was a bad hair day.

At first, the hair turned out fantastic. I got it teased so high it was talking to Jesus and I felt like a proud beauty queen. Then I climbed in the car and it fell down. No problem, I had bobby pins, a teasing comb and hair spray, I could handle anything. So I did my hair as we were driving through a whiteout snowstorm to get to this ball. I didn't even get to see what it looked like until about 30 minutes after we had arrived. It must have looked ok because I didn't catch anyone talking trash about it.

In reality, we probably should have stayed home because of the snow but there was NO way I was going to do that after we had already bought the tickets, the dress and shoes and gotten a babysitter. Besides, the dress had to be taken up which made it unable to be returned. And I didn't bust my butt at the gym for a month to look as good as I did in that darn dress. We were going to go and we were going to have fun, darn it!

It didn't start out very fun though. When we finally got to the hotel, we ended up parking in the wrong parking garage. Have you ever walked 2 blocks in 4 inch stilettos when it is 30 degrees and snowing outside? Yeah, it sucks as much as it sounds like it does and I'll admit it, I was angry. But let me tell you, after a glass of wine, the frozen toes were a distant memory. And I had a good time. Probably too good of a time, but really, that was the most fun I have had probably since my wedding. We (I) drank, laughed, danced... M just sat and laughed at me and all of the other buzzed (drunken) fools because he so graciously offered to be the DD that night. Good times, good times. We made it home safely, and by 11:30 too. I would have loved to have stayed and danced some more, but I figured I had already made enough of a fool out of myself doing the Electric Slide, sorry, TRYING to do the Electric Slide for the first time ever, while slightly intoxicated and wearing 4 inch stilettos... That could not have been pretty. But what I really want to know is WHY people were doing the electric slide in the first place...
Pictures from the ball:
Before the hair fell--

At dinner--

That next day, after I ate another hearty breakfast, we decided to go run some errands and get the kids snow boots. That day was going to be CB's first official introduction to the snow and we wanted her to be prepared. One thing that isn't very well known about CB is that she has some issues with textures, sand being the main offender. She HATES sand. Hates it. Will not touch it, will not have anything to do with it. If something even slightly grainy gets on her hands, she will move heaven and earth to get it off. When I take her to the beach, I know I can put her in the middle of a blanket and leave her there because there is NO way she is going to walk in the sand, even with shoes on. (Of course, I don't actually leave her people, give me a break)

Because of CB's sand issue, I figured she would have issues with the snow. Not only is it grainy, but it is also cold and she doesn't like the cold either. We waited till she had woken up from her nap and was in a good mood to bundle her up and take her out in her new pink boots. And just as expected, she hated it. Actually, she despised it. She was a trooper though and stayed out for about 20 minutes. But when she came in I could tell she was irritated and did not have a good time. She made that pretty obvious when she grabbed the dish towel off of the stove, plopped down on the kitchen floor and started wiping her shoes off while saying, "DIRTY!! DIRTY!!" I laughed so hard. She is a smart little one, and extremely determined.

While CB was cleaning her shoes, I was in the kitchen making a big pot of Split Pea with Bacon and Rosemary soup for M and his buddies. On Friday afternoon at 4:45, M had gotten a call from the passport office telling him that if he wanted to get an expidited passport, he needed to be in Frankfurt at 7:30 AM on Monday morning. Yeah. Things that would have been nice to know at least 4 hours before the close of business on a Friday. This posed some serious problems: 1. Snow Storm. 2. We only had one car. 3. It was too late to rent a car. 4. The only train he could take to make it there by 7:30 left at 4am and there was really no way I was going to drive him to the train station at 4am.

Thankfully, his buddies who had invaded my house 2 nights before were gracious enough to come out to our house to pick him up and let him crash at their place, which was conveniently located about 20 minutes closer to the train station. So they came over and hung out while I force fed them split pea soup and ice cream. I don't think they complained too much.

M made it to Frankfurt in time, got all of his paperwork done and submitted and kind of made it home ok. There was a slight mix up with the train, but it ended up working out better than our original plan. Right after M got home we left to go have an early Thanksgiving at our friends' house and got back late that night. W has a total crush on our friend J. He loves her so much and talks about her all the time. He remembers EVERYTHING from when she is at our house and we are at theirs. Just today, a week later, he was telling me all about how he was watching a movie on their computer and exactly what scene was playing when J got a phone call on her computer and answered it. Lovestruck, much?

I was so excited when Tuesday came, because that was the day we were going to get our van. But of course, in true, possibly karmatic fashion, things did not work out as they were supposed to...

(Part 2 coming soon)

Friday, November 21, 2008

be on the lookout

If you could be so kind as to keep an eye out for my dear sweet CB, I'd really appreciate it. You see, she seems to have been replaced (or eaten) by a alien spider monkey from some horrid planet somewhere far away. I don't know when it happened, it just kind of infiltrated our house over the course of a couple of weeks.

Seriously, this girl is nuts. I wouldn't say it is the terrible twos, because I have seen what the terrible twos really are and I give a chuckle when I think about me 17 months ago and when I hear moms talking about their 21 month olds having the terrible twos already. Really, they have NO idea just what fun they are in for at the tail end of the twos if they think the pre-twos are bad. To me, the terrible twos are a fit throwing, food throwing, crayon throwing, never ending torturous migraine. CB isn't that bad, yet. Instead, she is a quiet, instigating stinker. There is no nicer term for it.

She knows exactly what she is doing and how to get away with it, or so she thought. Now we are on to her. At first when we would hear her scream we would automatically go for W and tell him to knock it off. Of course, our dear sweet baby would do nothing to deserve the wrath of her brother. Then one day I caught her. The little stinker was totally bothering him until he reacted and hit her. Then she screamed to get him into trouble. We are on to her and we are cracking down. No more "poor sweet baby". Uh uh. Then again, maybe this is her payback for all the times W tortured her when she was little. I knew that she would get him back one day... I even wrote about it.

Tonight she threw a stuffed dog at her daddy and daddy told her no throwing the doggy. An hour later she threw it at him again and when he asked her what he had said about doing that, she said, "No throwing, daddy!". She knows, people, she knows. Myabe it si a self fulfilling prophecy. From the second I got pregnant with her I knew she was going to be our "trouble maker". And I do mean that in the nicest way. I don't think we have bad kids at all. I just had a feeling she would be the one who would be the smart, silent one with a plan up her sleeve at all times and so far, that has proved the be true.

I'm sure she is a normal 21 month old but sometimes I do wonder... The truth is, I don't remember W at this age at all because I was so sleep deprived and well, had pretty much checked out because it was so exhausting to deal with my screaming alien spider monkey and her evil digestive issues. I wish I could remember him at this age because it is such a fun age (no really, it is) and because I would really like some basis of comparison for her behavior. Now that I am writing this and have gone back to look at some posts I made about W at this age, particularly this one, I can see that she is normal, thank goodness. Either that or I just have 2 weird kids. And that would not be beyond us, for sure. This too shall pass, quickly I know, and in the meantime, I'm just going to have to sit back and savor it. I want to remember it this time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

sorry bout the mess

Yes, I am under construction. My simple template switch has turned into a coding nightmare and is taking longer than I thought it would. If you have google reader or another blog reader, you will probably see multiple posts from me that end up not existing after all. I am trying to format something but my coding is just a little bit off and I have to find out where. In order to fix the problem I have to post and then delete and yada yada yada. I could make a test blog but, no. That would be too hard. Anyway, if I can't figure it out in the next day I will stop messing with it, I promise.

Also, if something looks "off" to you on your browser, please let me know so I can fix it. Gracias!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

cutest things ever

It is no secret that it is cold here. Fall lasted all of 3 weeks and then winter hit with a vengence. While it hasn't exactly snowed, except for a few 20 minute stints of freezing rain, it is still cold. Really cold. Like 27 degrees cold. The kids aren't so much fans of the cold, nor are they fans of clothes so this poses a unique problem.

CB pretty much despises socks and tights and don't even get her started on footed pajamas. W isn't as bad, but still doesn't realize that you have to actually wear clothing to keep warm. Layering is simply out of the question for both of them and that makes my life just a little bit difficult. In theory, I could get away with running them from the house to the car and then the car to school or the store, but really, I'm not that in shape and I'm lazy and there are always people watching (and judging), so that won't work.

I needed a solution, and fast, so I enlisted the help of my cousin, who can do some crazy and amazing things with a set of knitting needles and some yarn. She is downright impressive and if I could do anything half as well as she knits, I would be a happy woman. I'm pretty sure she could knit the most beautiful sweater you have ever seen with 2 stubby pencils and some dryer lint.

Every year our family has a Christmas Eve gift exchange and for the past 2 (?) years, her knucks have been the most sought after and fought over gift on the woman's side. So I wondered, could she maybe knit a couple of sets of itty bitty knucks? Would it even be possible? And while she was at it, could she knit a couple of sets of itty bitty legwarmers? Of course it would be possible! Duuuuuuuuh! And 2 days ago a very light box appeared in my mailbox and inside was the answer to my "dressing my kids warmly and stylishly for the winter" problem: 2 pairs of knucks and 4 pairs of legwarmers.

(sorry about the bad photography. It was near bedtime and, well, this is the best it was gonna get)

Aren't these amazing?! I am so excited! Both kids have been agreeable to wear BabyLegs but they just aren't warm enough so the thicker knit legwarmers will be perfect for the rest of the incredibly long winter. And the knucks are going to be incredibly useful because mittens aren't really user friendly once they are on and gloves aren't very user friendly to put on. And as an added bonus they will work perfectly as glove liners for those days that we actually spend time outside.

So thank you to my cousin for making these for my kids. We are so thankful to be able to benefit from your skills. Excuse me, your mad skillz. You are amazing!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


What's up? What's going on? What's happening? What have you been up to? These are all questions I have been horrible at answering the past 2 weeks so I will answer them all at once. Trust me though, you will be sorry you asked...

The first few days after M came home were spent trying to figure out how to live together as a family. I'll be honest, it wasn't really fun. Trying to relearn how to be a mother AND a wife and an individual is hard and confusing and can really be a big fat pain. I don't like to share. Sharing is very hard for me and to have someone else want to use the computer when I want to or eat the last of the ice cream... well, let's just say I became a better person last week because I learned how to share again. Then there were the little things like remembering the hard way that you shouldn't flush the toilet or run any water while the other is showering. And then there were the bigger things like realizing that I am much more of a creature of habit and routine than I have ever cared to admit. That was a hard one as the truth can really hurt.

Then Halloween came. As dictated by my lame traditions, we didn't do anything. And what is worse is I didn't realize that trick or treating was a big deal here in Germany. I should have known to go buy some candy after some neighborhood kids and I played a rousing game of doorbell ditch early that afternoon. Actually, they played doorbell ditch while I cussed at them, hoping they didn't understand what I was saying. The goblins and princesses came for real at around 5 and didn't stop until 10. We didn't answer the door and W was really irritated by that. Finally I told him that the kids outside wanted candy but I didn't have any to give them. W kindly offered to give them his squash. What a guy. That is one way to get out of eating it. I have to say that I am shocked we didn't get egged or worse that night. These kids were hard core! They had fireworks and everything and actually managed to scare me.

The week after Halloween was horribly busy. We ran back and forth to post half a billion times trying to get M's car up and running. That turned out to be a 4 day process but thankfully was not nearly as expensive as it could have been. Then we had reintegration classes and more errands to run. Boring boring boring. Blah blah blah. I started training sessions at the gym because I came to the conclusion that I could not stay on the elliptical forever. After not going to the gym for 4 years, I was a little embarrassed to actually go into the meathead area and try to lift weights without having proper instruction first. The first day went great, I felt good and did more with those 5 pound weights than I thought I could (not kidding about the 5 pounders). I was totally pumped for the next session, until I got dizzy and nauseous while working my core and the room started to get dark. I prayed like heck that I could make it to the bathroom before passing out so they wouldn't see me and call an ambulance. That would have been seriously embarrassing. Thankfully I didn't pass out but decided to call it a day and I am so looking forward to the butt kicking I am going to get tomorrow morning.

This past weekend ended up being a 5 day weekend for us and we have been very productive. We have had friends over for dinner 2 nights, went to IKEA and got a dining room table and some chairs, potty trained W and bought a minivan. Our new baby should be here in 2 weeks (which really means at least 3) and is a lovely 09 Town and Country with stow and go seating and a whole host of other things that no one really needs but hey, why not have. I mean, really, I can open my own trunk. Been doing it for the 10 years I've been driving, I'm pretty sure I'm ok not having the tailgate open with the touch of a button. But I'm sure once I have that fun feature, I won't be able to live without it, right? So yes, we have officially joined the minivan world. Call us lame or whatever, but it is a necessary evil. At least we are doing our part to stimulate the economy. Justification... it is all about the justification.

So that is what's up with us. Just a whole lotta blah. I feel like we are moving past the initial "holy crud we can actually be a family again" phase and into the "holy crud we are actually a family again" phase and I like it. Not just because there is someone else to change diapers and take out the trash, but because when I see the kids reading with their dad or actually have to think about which parent they are going to ask for help, it makes me smile. Life is good.