Friday, October 9, 2009



So we finally made it to Paris after a truly grueling 8 hour drive. We should have followed everyone's advice and not driven INTO Paris. It took over an hour once we actually hit the streets of downtown. These people drive like idiots. We just thought that the Germans were aggressive. On top of that you have 14 gajillion people all over the sidewalks and roads. It is amazing that this many people are in one area. Motorcyclists make their own lanes in between regular lanes and regular lanes many times don't have anything dividing them so it is pretty much nutty all around. With that being said, Brent did an OUTSTANDINGLY AWESOME job driving us. If we had only known that 30 meters before our hotel the road was completely ripped up, we would have made it to the hotel much earlier. I finally jumped in the back seat with the kids and they finished with an outstanding job as well. I guess I'm the only one who didn't do so well with this trip. It seemed like it took forever and my nerves were pretty much shot by the time we entered the busiest part of Paris. Needless to say, we arrived, it is just as I expected only bigger and more crowded, a little dirtier on the streets, but all in all BEAUTIFUL! The night life is booming here. There are little cafes everywhere.

Here is our hotel room. It's cute, but it is a lot more expensive than what we're used to paying in the states.

Tonight when we went out to eat, the little chinese waitress saw Sadie sleeping and me struggling to hold her, so she came over and took her while I ate. So sweet of her and it was nice for me, too. Mason caught wind of this immediately and did not like her taking his Sadie at all! He said he needed to go over there to make sure they didn't take her! He was totally jealous, too, but it was kind of sweet (once you get past the annoying part) that he is so protective of her. He became foolish and climbed under the table in which the lady was holding Sadie so they bribed him out with a lollipop. That was a bit embarassing.

Of course, the trip has already had SO many disasters I can't begin to count them. We hope all will smooth out tomorrow.


Well, we've decided that we're pretty much your test pilots. See, we're doing the hard work so that we'll have things somewhat figured out when you all decide to come over here :0) So today started off with our breakfast in the hotel. It's 10 euros per person including Mason. Kind of crazy if you ask me...especially since all you get are french baguettes and croissants and jellies with some SUPER STRONG French coffee. Oh well, I guess we won't get that next time! Next, we decided we would check into the open air tour buses since we are only close by foot to some things. We really discovered a gem in doing this. It was 79 euros for Brent, Mason, and I for 2 days and totally worth it. There are over 50 stops in Paris amongst 4 separate routes that you can get off at. All of the major stops that are high on a tourist's list are on one route, so it's easy to keep up with. Also, you get headphones that you can plug in at your seat, select your language, and get info. about everything as you're passing by. Pretty nifty! So, today we got to see Cathedral of Notre Dame, but it was way crowded, so we are going to save that for another trip, we walked up the Arch du Triomphe, walked and shopped a bit on Champs Elysee and we went up the the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower (that's the highest). We even got to see a few extra things on our bus ride. Lines are decently long at all of the major attractions, but this is pretty much the opportunity of a lifetime, so we prioritized what we most wanted to see and did it! We also did all of this sans stroller! It was crazy, but both of the kids did amazingly well considering. We weren't sure how stroller accessible things were, so we didn't want to deal with the hassle. Sadie stayed in her Baby Bjorn most of the day and Mason walked most of the day with a few trips on Daddy's shoulders or Mommy's hip. He even walked up (and did a much better job than me) the 284 steps up (and down) the Arch du Triomphe. The in between part in which we wanted to see out and around the city was where he had several major meltdowns and became a devil child! He also didn't like getting on the elevator to go up the eiffel tower, but he did well once we got on and made it up! While waiting in line, he got a mini eiffel tower and decided to take his lightning mcqueen and beat the eiffel tower to pieces. I think Brent thought that we might either get arrested or beat up for disrespect. Later on we were taking night pics at the arc du triumph and Mason was kicking dirt and Brent said something to him again. I just laughed because he is only 4 after all.

The kids and I at a cafe after a long day!
L'Arc du Triomphe
Oh...and get this! We ate at Madrigal, a restaurant on Champs Elysee, and you wouldn't believe how much it cost! I thought about my sister when we got our bill for an oreo milk shake, an iced vanilla latte, a water, cheeseburger, and grilled chicken sandwhich. It was 60something euros. That equates to around 90 dollars! Pretty nutty, huh? Kim would have had a heart attack right then and there. Later on we ate at one of the stands on the side of the road so we didn't pay so much.

I really wanted to find some boots here because that and leggings seem to be the in thing, but it's just hard to do when you have kids with you. I guess that calls for a trip out here my coffee ladies (or Kim and Ashlee)!

We have plans to go to the Louvre tomorrow followed by day time pics at the eiffel tower followed by the invalides (Napoleon's tomb) then back to the eiffel tower to take pics at night! We hope it turns out prettier than Champs Elysee did. They have tons and tons of lights and crystals in the trees that line the road, but they didn't come on tonight! We may just try to be super touristy and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe tomorrow for lunch, too!

Bonsoir to you all!


We started the day off at the Louvre with massive crowds taking
pictures of a super small Mona Lisa. Seriously, why is this painting so famous? Of course I had to wait amongst all of the crowds to get my picture too, but that's beside the point. It is so small and you can't get that close, it's guarded and there's not even a line formed to take pictures. Some of the other paintings were much more impressive and about the size of a wall in a regular room.

Now, there's always a truth to a stereo type and we ran across one today. Asian tourists in general love to take pictures! They were walking around and if you looked at their camera I'm sure what you would see just taken in pictures would almost look like a continuous video camera because they were walking along and clicking almost constantly! They are apparently also in love with babies or baby girls or Sadie's hairbows. I'm not sure which one, though. They stopped in front of us (many times) and were in AWE of miss Sadie. They even took a picture of her and of them with me and her. Brent got his camera out at this point and thought it was so funny that he took a picture of them taking a picture with Sadie and I. Next, I made the mistake of letting Brent roam the Egyptian collection by himself while I sat and fed Sadie and Mason napped and when he came back, he had taken so many pictures of the artifacts that I am surprised we had more room on the SD card!

Mason with his Pluto balloon on the bus after leaving Hard Rock Cafe.

Mason and Daddy at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Anyhow, we left the Louvre and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. We didnt' take any pictures of the outside, though, so I guess we can't really prove that we've been there. It sure took a long time to get there by foot seeing as we walked about as far around it as we possibly could have (and then past it) and had to come back to it before we ever made it in. This made our day run a little late, so we left there and went to take pictures at the Eiffel Tower and missed the tomb where Napoleon was buried. When we got there, it was beginning to rain, so we took what we could and left. It was almost dark, so we decided to go and grab a dessert (to the tune of $60) even though we had not eaten dinner so that it could get dark and go back to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night. It continued to rain but we persevered and went back to see the Eiffel Tower lit up in red and white and to watch it sparkle. It was pretty much GORGEOUS although I hardly got to enjoy it because I was too busy trying to fiddle with my camera and get the setting just right for some good pics. While we were there, the street vendors stayed on Mason like white on rice. First of all it doesn't help that the ratio of tourists to vendors is like 1:1 or even worse and secondly, that we have a cute, little endearing spoiled rotten 4 year old who wants 2 of everything he sees. Mason's famous line was, "Well, I'll give this one to my cousin, Payne," if he decided he wanted something else. How sweet of him to give his used, left over souvenirs away!

All in all, it was an awesome get away for the weekend and we will definitely be going back again!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm a Brave Woman!

(written the third week in september)

Well, Sadie is finally sleeping in her own bed! I figured it was time to move her since she is as long (or a little longer) than the bassinet and as big as it is, too, so for two nights now, she's slept fine, but I can't say the same for her Mama! No, really and truly, I have slept okay but it has taken me quite a while to get to sleep. Once she starts tossing and turning which is usually an hour or more before she actually wakes up, I'm of course up, too. You've got to remember that this baby has been either in the bassinet (before we moved and since we moved into our house here in Germany) in our bedroom, in the moses basket (in Georgia) in our room, or actually in our bed in the hotel because she didn't have a crib there, so this is HUGE for me. You also may recall that Mason was a very similar situation. He was in our bedroom in a bassinet until Brent deployed and then I went back to Georgia and he was in a crib in my room until he got older and I decided to move myself down the hallway. This whole baby thing in another room is for the birds. Mason, bless his heart, had a monitor in his room until we moved here, and the intention was to get another monitor for his room, but I have stuck it out and he does just fine without one. Of course I can hear him...I never fall asleep without being on baby alert!

Sadie has also officially turned 4 months old (according to the actual day of the month). Mason helped me out with this. He even took pictures with his cell phone (doesn't really work)! Sadie is becoming quite the chatter. Mason claims she's actually saying words all of the time! She is also a bit of a fussy baby. The mornings typically start out pretty good, but by mid day, she'll scream her lungs off if you're not carting her around while you're trying to get things done. It depends on the day as to whether I actually give in or not. Most days at some point I give in for sanity's sake. The girl loves to eat and most days end with nursing, cereal, AND a bottle! She will be sitting up before we know it because she's nosy (like her Daddy...HA HA...more like her Mama). She can put her paci in and out, but she really would like to become a thumb sucker. Her smile and laugh are the cutest darn things around. Her hair is growing back on the top of her head (STILL) and it is just long enough to stick STRAIGHT UP! Everyday is new for her and Brent because he missed this time with Mason so it's fun to watch the two of them together.

Since I give so many odds and ends updates on Sadie, here's some on Mason. First off, he is growing unbelievably fast. I tried some jeans on him before we left for here and now that we need them, they no longer fit! He showed me his arms as they were stretched out and said, "I'm getting bigger. See how my arms are getting bigger like this." He wears his underwear backwards so he can see the picture. He is loving going to school every day. He is learning the concept of time, but is still very confused with it. He is also learning the difference in the days of the week. He loves to do the limbo at school. He is still soaking up everything he hears you talking about and uses it in the correct context most of the time when he decides to regurgitate it...even the bad things! He is compassionate about all of his loves like transformers, v-smile, cars, legos, you know all the boy things! He is the best big brother we could have ever asked for. He loves Sadie. He will help out on almost anything as long as it involves her. He loves to sneak in and sit in her things like her swing and bouncy seat. He does have a bit of jealousy but it's not expressed in a bad way. You always know if you're sweet talking her and he's in ear shot, he's going to come join you. He loves to help cook. Cleaning the dishes is pretty great, too. He's pretty much a Mama's boy and has a mini breakdown if I have to go somewhere and he's not with me (except for school). He is really interested in the things that Mommy and Daddy did when they were little.

Well, that's all for this post. Maybe I'll get around to posting about our adventure last weekend before we head out on another one this weekend.

P.S. Just to make you all jealous, here's what's in the works in the next month: Paris, France, Austria, and Rome, Italy! It's rough being over here and having the time to travel!

Friday, September 25, 2009


So I find myself thinking several times a day (I know that's a shocker to some =) ) about how I need to post this or that on our blog, but like many other things, I forget soon after that. Today I had the brilliant idea to actually write some of those things down and tonight I am going to just bounce from one subject to the next to cover all that we can! Here goes!

Our neighbors all around us seem to be pretty nice. It is really hard to explain just how many neighbors you actually have because all of these houses are crammed in together like a bunch of puzzle pieces but just bear with me. One of the ladies who lives behind us (kind of) met Brent, Mason, and Sadie one day soon after we moved in. I wasn't outside because Brent says I was in writing our divorce papers out, but basically I was just having a hard time adjusting and needed a break! When she came over to talk to them (which we all have a hard time doing because she doesn't know much more english other than "moment"), she brought fresh home grown tomatoes and then went and cut me some fresh flowers. The bouquet of flowers was gorgeous! I mean you seriously might pay $40 for these in the states. The last time we saw her out there with some encouragement, I went over and attempted a conversation with her and she again brought fresh tomatoes, green peppers, and then some other kind of pepper as well. She also brought more flowers. I really wish I had taken a picture of them, but I will be sure to do that next time! I feel so bad because I never have anything cool or fresh to give these people. So, feel free to send me any good "American" ideas to hand out to all of our German buddies! I must admit that I just may be beginning to like it here (ssshhh...don't tell Brent though, I'll never hear the end of it)!

Oh...another cute story. So, Mason was getting out of the car to go to school yesterday and Brent was staying in the car with Sadie while I walked him in. As he gets out of the car Mason yells, "Daddy take care of Sadie....and when she screams, give her paci!" Too cute and too sweet that he thinks of her like that! He really is good with her and he is THE man to make her smile. She loves him!

Speaking of Sadie, she had her first cereal tonight! Lately I don't know whether she's on her growth spurt or I'm not enough for her anymore, but she has barely been going 2 hours in between feedings including at night, so needless to say, I am a bit of a zombie in the mornings again. After feeding her bottles several times after I had already nursed her, I decided we might give cereal a whirl. She has been watching us eat at every meal lately and follows the food to our mouths while drooling, so I know she's gotta be ready. When we went to the store today, Mason ran up the actual cereal aisle yelling, "Mommy what kind of cereal are you going to get Sadie?" Too funny! He wasn't impressed with the cereal that we bought, but Evan (I'm sure you'll read this) you would be because we bought her ORGANIC cereal! At any rate, we had our first attempt at eating tonight. If we can ever figure out how to download the videos on here, we'll show you how it turned out. At first she didn't act like she really cared for any of the activity going on but after we stopped filming, she would get really excited when I picked up the spoon and kick her legs and if I put the spoon down, she would begin crying. It's all a learning process I guess. Oh and on a less exciting note, I must post this so that my sister doesn't feel too bad about stuff that happened to her little ones when they were babies. I won the bad mom of the day award yesterday. I was cutting Sadie's nails and yep, I cut her little finger. Poor baby just whimpered a bit, but it did bleed for quite a while and I finally gave in to Mason's request to give her one of his Transformer band aids!

Last but not least, Mason has decided that cooking in Germany must be cool (and cleaning the dishes since we have no dish washer) so he helps out quite a bit. Well, tonight he decided he wanted some hot chocolate, so him and Brent made hot water and Mason mixed everything up for us. He is quite the barista as he made sure that no single part of our hot chocolate was exposed and it was all filled up with marshmallows. Here are some cute pics of the little barista! Side note: He has not grown 2 feet, he is on a stool!

Just one more marshmallow (about 6 more times!)

He's just cute!

O the places you'll go!

So, last weekend we decided we would be more like those around us (aka Germans) and take the train! It was amazingly easy to do. I kind of find the train schedule hard to figure out, but once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad and once you know where you're going and what platform you're going to, you're in business. We made it to the train station decently early and caught the first part of our trip on a train to Nurnberg. From there we rode a double decker train (and of course we had to sit up top) to Bamberg, Germany. After a few initial scares that something had to be wrong with the train, Mason was all for it, too. Who knows what makes this kid scared of nearly everything, I'm not sure. Here's some pictures of the trian ride. The "McClean" you see there is the bathrooms. Yes, you have to pay to pee (or you know)! It is one euro there which is almost $1.50. Pure craziness, but we all used it!

This is the double decker train that we rode to Bamburg.

The potty!

The first train ride to Nurnberg.

...and again...
Mason chillin' with his game like he's a teenager in a seat all by himself!

Now for Bamberg. This town is EXTREMELY old with a lot of history (of which I will not bore you to death with like Brent would if he were writing this blog). While there we toured a palace which was acutally quite cool to see how well preserved it is considering it was in the 1400s or something crazy like that when this place was thriving. We also peeked our heads in a couple of cathedrals which were so incredibly ornate! The town is known as "little Venice" because of its canals in the middle of the city and the gondolas that are present as well as the buildings right on the water. Here's some of what we saw.

Friday, September 18, 2009


This blog is going to be short and sweet since it really only has Mason's soccer game as its purpose.

Well, Mason sure did prove me wrong t
oday (this was actually September 18)! I don't know if it was because he was just on his game or because his Daddy was back to watch him or because his friends came to watch him, but the boy scored 3 goals at the soccer game today! We got all 3 of them on video, too. I don't even think after the first one he knew what he was doing!

This picture was taken after he made his first goal!

We also decided we wanted to go somewhere
this weekend, so we'll report back on that at a later date. I think there's a train ride in it for us. Brent and some of the folks in his office wanted us to go to Munich for the opening day of Oktoberfest, but after hearing horror stories of what it would be like, I will not take my kids there.

Another exciting feat accomplished today was ord
ering pizza and having it delivered. It was successful, too! I have to say I can't take the credit because Brent made the call.

While we've been doing all of this today, Sadi
e has just sat around as her little trendy self. She is seriously more trendy than I am. It seems to be a good problem, though. I am losing weight quicker than expected so all of my clothes are either too big or just a little too small. At any rate, I took some pictures of Miss Priss on our new couch. This too impresses me because it came in 3 pieces and with NO directions and somehow Brent still got it together. We'll see how it withstands time. Ha, ha...just kidding Brent!

By the way Julie, can you get these pics off of here and print them or do you need more sent in e-mails? You people are really time consuming to keep updated on our lives. You would think you never get to see the kids because we live overseas or something!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Well, I thought today was going to deem a really interesting blog, but thank goodness it didn't. Brent had to go pick up some furniture that we ordered before he went out in the field, so he had to drop the kids and I off at Burger King 30 minutes before Mason's school day started. This meant that I had to get our food, eat, make Mason do more eating than playing, and WALK the kids back across pretty much most of the base all in 30 minutes! We actually made it within 5 minutes of start time and I was highly impressed (highly winded also, but that's okay). Anyhow, this wasn't the worst of it. We had high chances of rain the whole afternoon, so I was expecting it to just bottom out on me at some point, but it barely sprinkled and that was only one time during the 4 and a half hours we were out there. See, I had to entertain myself and Sadie during Mason's school because again, Brent had the car. Aaaahhh, such is the life of a single car family. Have I mentioned how much I despise that single car? Brent got a little taste of it today when the bottom (yes, the bottom) of the car came down and began flapping as he was on his way to pick up the furniture. HA! It's finally him and not me...except for the fact that just yesterday I had carried it to the car care center and had someone "tack" it up for me if you will. Huh...must have not worked!

Anyhow, I've been nursing a bad foot if you will for several days now. How one can twist (or actually I'm not exactly sure how it went down) their ankle and have bruises on the top of their foot and the sides of their foot and in between their toes, I'm not quite sure, but nonetheless, I did it! It's talent if you ask me! My foot was asleep and somehow when I got up (holding the baby mind you), I fell, but luckily not down, just up against the bed and waaaala!, it was done. Who knows, but all is working well again.

Tonight Mason was being quite the handfull, but he actually did something so very smart and very very sweet for Sadie. Bless her heart the kid had been irritable all afternoon and we finally got her down for a siesta while we were eating. She woke up shortly thereafter and I wanted to finish the dishes before I got her. Before I knew it, my little helper had left the stool by my side and disappered into our room. Brent looked over not long after that to find him pushing Sadie in her bassinet out to us. He couldn't get the wheels up over the ledge to get out of our room, so the lined up a big plastic bin behind it and I guess thought the extra weight of it might be enough to send it on over. After a little coaxing from Brent as to how to accomplish this task , in rolled Sadie to the kitchen! It might have not been the smoothest ride of her life, but I know that she was greatful for her big brother's efforts!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not enough hours in my day!

Dear Mr. Sandman,

If you don't mind, I could really use at least a few hours extra every day. Thanks. P. S. A few extra hands would be great, too.

I don't know what it is around here, but I seriously cannot get everything in order around these parts! I don't know if it is that we have 2 sets of stairs that I am not used to, 2 kids instead of one, no husband (well, he's back now), the fact that it literally takes a load of clothes 2 hours, 28 minutes to dry, or just simply the fact that I have lost all my self confidence temporarily in this move to a foreign country, but I just don't ever get everything checked off of my list each day.

The day of (or the day before, I don't really know, they all run together) Brent's arrival home, I was trying to get the kids in the car and get on the move. Somehow I forgot that I had left the diaper bag in the front of the car until I ran smack over it! That makes 2 diaper bags now and Sadie is only3 months old! If you didn't know, the first bag went kaput when Brent and Mason spilled our fish's water all in the bag and we couldn't get the smell out no matter what. It is now dubbed the "fish bag" and living in the states at my dad's house! That whole escapade is another story all in itself! It's like I told Brent, for some reason, I can't just have a complete, disaster free day!

Anyhow, I have a few minutes today to give a brief update, so I thought I would. Since we last blogged, Brent made it home (praise the Lord), Mason's started school (which he loves), and he had his first soccer game.

Mason really does love his school. This year he has a leg up on being a ladies' man because he and Zachary (his side kick who's also on his soccer team) are the only 2 boys in the classroom. Mason did fine, in fact, I don't think he could get me out of the door fast enough and I think the feeling was mutual. He was completely bored of being at home with same 'ole mom all day and I really did need a small break from his whining every day! His teacher, Mrs. Sardella, is sweet as pie and I really like the program so far. He was so excited for his first day at school that even though he had to have 5 shots (yes, poor, poor baby), he went on trucking like it was just another day and did not have a single bother from them. The day after, however, he was a holy terror as far as whining and mis behaving and I am sure it could be attributed to the shots. When he talked to my dad at the end of the day and found out it was my Birthday, he later admitted he might should have acted better considering the occasion. I pretty much delcared it my un birthday and I might try turning 27 again next year. That sounds really quite old, huh? I certainly don't FEEL that old at all!

Now, Mason's soccer game. When I first heard that they only allow these kids to have a 30 minute game, I really was kind of irritated. Their practice usually runs over and the kids do just fine, so i didn't quite understand...until Friday! Mason really did a fine job "playing" the game the first half of it. He still really has NO idea how to play and it was quite humorous watching the coach run from one side of the field, blow his whistle because the ball went out of bounds, get it set up to go again, only to run to the other side of the field, blow his whistle and repeat the whole song and dance pretty much the whole game. The kids all intend for th ball to head towards A goal, not necessarily their own, but it just seems to be a little challenging yet for them. Half time rolls around and then I begin to experience WHY they only want the kids playing for this short amount of time. Mason and his buddy, Zachary, begin pushing each other and goofing off and then, here's the real kicker: Mason decides it would be hilarious to take his shirt and put it over his head (so he can't see a darn thing) and run around aimlessly on the field. I've never been so embarrassed in my life. I cannot do anything but yell at this point either because Sadie is hooked up to me eating, of course! O well, I just attribute that to him being the youngest on the team and another reason why kindergarten next year may need to be put off for one more year so that he's not always the baby!

Here are a few pictures of the kids lately. You can click on each picture to bring up a full size one! Sadie is getting much bigger, of course. Brent even thinks in the 10 days he was gone that she looks bigger. She is also cooing like crazy and even gives a good chuckle every now and then! She has become a big fan of being carried around in the baby Bjorn all day, too. I would normally not do this, but i only have so long with just one kid and i have so much to accomplish in that time frame that I can't afford not to hold her. She also has the craziest, loudest, most ear piercing scream that one cannot function if she is doing this, so the baby Bjorn it is. My mom thinks I'm getting pay back for how I was when I was a baby! If so, bless her heart and thank God for the new inventions of the Baby Bjorn and baby slings!

Here's Sadie's 3 month picture with her baby doll!

There's some serious stretching going on because it is about to go down on the soccer field!

The Green Garden Snakes vs. Minute Maid! (Can you guess that the little guys came up with our team name?)

The proof is in the pudding ladies and gentlemen! I thought I might have gotten a picture of this and sure enough, here it is! That's a soccer star if I've EVER seen one!

When Brent got home, Mason decided to take a walk in his boots!

Sleepin' sweet baby girl =)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Such is the life of an Army wife!

So, today I discovered that Mason totally gets that I am playing the role of both Mommy and Daddy at the same time. He came in yesterday with a few of his transformers that were taken apart. I had lots going on and did not get a chance to "fix" them before I went to bed, so Mason found them on the night stand this morning. He immediately started in on me about putting them back together, so I began trying to do so. After becoming frustrated with Bumblebee, I decided to work on 'ole Optimus Prime and was successful. It was a euphoric moment that I was able to complete this task, so while on my success trip, I decided to tackle Bumblebee again. It truly is amazing to me that these things are technically for ages 5 and up! Ifinally had to tell Mason that I couldn't get it but that Daddy would be able to get it once he got home. Well at this point you can see the wheels turning. He knows that Daddy isn't coming home any time soon, so he politely says, "Well, you can be the Daddy, too." Bless his heart. I've come to the conclusion that this is something females just aren't really made to do, so Papa (my dad), GET READY!!!

Since everyone is interested in what goes on with little miss priss, too, here's a little update on her. I stepped on the scale today with her and it looks like she's about 12 pounds. I think that sounds about right. She's also really beginning to coo a whole lot! It is so funny to see Mason with her when she does it because every time she makes a noise, Mason swears she's saying something that actually makes sense. Even if it is only one sound, it is always a word and most of the time it will even pertain to the conversation that he and I are having. Mason really thinks highly of her to hear actual words and at that, words that are used in the correct context of our conversation! Too funny.

Let's see what I can give you all as far as me. I had a decently successful conversation with our landlord, who is also our neighbor about the trash schedule today. They have really been good about overly explaining most things, but I don't think they understand that Americans don't have 4 separate trash bins and 4 separate trash schedules! Now, I need to explain that whole system briefly with you. We have a trash can for organics, papers, trash, and then yellow plastic bags for plastics. Also, your glass has to be carried off separately as well as batteries, etc. OK, here goes: I will randomly find their trash can by the road, but ours isn't out there, so this morning that happened and much like I used to do in Alabama, I panicked thinking the trash men would be here any minute, so I rushed to get dressed and raced out to the edge of the road only to find Heir Kansler out there. He explained to me that the trash doesn't actually run until tomorrow, but since his bin was full, they put theirs out early. He then looked into our bin and said it isn't full enough yet. I'm thinking there's about 6 inches left until it hits the top, and why does it even matter? We're paying for it! Besides that, they only run one time every 2 weeks and yes, I am serious, so does he assume we won't take it out this time? Anyhow, he explains that we will find some trash (this thought is just hilarious for me) to fill ours this evening and take it out to the road then! I got home tonight and it was out there, so I am sure he filled it with some sort of good trash for us! It is amazing, though, to see that you really do have such little REAL trash once you sort everything through!

Well, that about sums up a typical day for me. I know they are probably thinking, "Why in the world did we ever rent to these stupid Americans?!," but if they do, they never let on. They really are as sweet as can be and as far as that goes, we are truly lucky!

Until next time....OH! I will post some pics here pretty soon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Move In Day

Fall is nearing us....we think!

So, we have finally moved into our house. It was definitely a euphoric day for us as the moving truck rolled in with OUR things! Mason was indeed happy, but he quickly got impatient to have everything of his brought out. We worked on his room first and things are definitely coming together, but it is still just a house and not a home. I have come to the realization that no matter what 'home' amenities I have, it is going to take a while to get used to all of the differences. Move in day went pretty smoothly and to be honest, we only had one real casualty as far as broken items. A kitchen chair was broken but we have hopes that it can be fixed. We also are missing our stroller and one or two boxes of clothes/pillows. As all of you army wives know, we will put a claim in and sometime within the next century, they'll help us out with it. We have worked our tails off the last 4 or so days trying to get everything in place and we are quickly realizing how much bigger this house is than all of our stuff is. We went to one of the stores today and spent a ridiculous amount of money on a few items that we really needed and we were able to bring a few of them with us, but we had to rent a truck for 2 weeks from now to get the rest because we didn't have room in our car and Brent leaves for the field for 2 weeks starting tomorrow. Luckily, for Brent's sake, we already have phone, internet, and 1o whole channels of English programming! Out of the many threats to move back to the United States, without these things while I'm by myself for 2 weeks, I seriously might have gone back without them! So far I have only met one person, so needless to say, I'm dreading these 2 weeks. I have posted the pre move-in pics on facebook, so check it out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


OK Since we haven't done anything exciting in the last day or two, I thought I might back track a little bit and explain some of the major differences here to you all. From the moment we stepped off the plane, there were a few OBVIOUS differences that we saw!

First of all, as soon as I went to the bathroom, I noticed that NOTHING in their bathrooms look like ours...not even the stalls that you go into! The toilets are more rounded if you will and they have got some REALLY weird "handles." Most toilets have buttons that are not even attached to the toilet, but more like a button that is installed directly into the wall. There are some with handles, though, but not many and they also look different. In general, you also have a shower that is completely separate from your tub. The showers are teeny tiny stalls and the tubs usually have a shower hose attached as well although you can't really use it as a shower. I will post examples of this after we move into our house.

Let's see: the bedding. If you've ever been to IKEA, you might have an idea about what the bedding looks like. First of all, you have no fitted sheet, you have a flat sheet folded like a fitted sheet. Next, you have no flat sheet, you only have a down feather comforter and it is folded into thirds on your bed with a HUGE down feather pillow. Brent has come to like it, but when it's hot (and it is most nights right now because they don't have air here either) I prefer a flat sheet to cover up with. If you don't' the monsters will come and get you! :0)

Next, one of the most interesting differences in my opinion is the fact that most of their tv programming is American shows that have been dubbed over in German. I truly find it hilarious that most of what they watch has people talking and their mouths moving at 2 different times. Why I find this funny, I don't know, but nonetheless, hilarious! One show that they have UNEDITED and in English but with german subtitiles is MTV. I think that's funny, too. Even though there's not much on MTV that I like, I have been watching a good bit of it just because I get some english in! Also, they have a CNN International channel that is in english. Most of the music on the radio has a good bit of English on it as well.

Let's see....plugs, kitchens (almost non-existent), heating systems, cars (and driving), food (boy is that a big one), malls, people smoking...well, just about everything to be honest is different in some way. Let's break a few of these down. In one of the houses we looked at, there was not even a kitchen. We were going to make a deal with the landlord to install one and then pay an extra amount per month to pay for it.

Cars... First of all most people drive some sort of small car and secondly, Germans are so nice when they are not behind the wheel, but boy do they ever get aggressive once they are behind the wheel. They love to pass people and on top of that, they will pass you with the smallest amount of room to do so, they get so irritated if you actually slow down to make a turn, and boy do they ever FLY down the autobahn. Since I first started writing this post and things got so unbelievably crazy right before moving, I have driven on the autobahn thank you very much! I don't see myself doing it very often, but if need be, I'll do it. I only got up to about 120 kilometers per hour and that's around 80ish in the states. Seriously I got sick at my stomach the first time Brent was driving and his just above 90 miles an hour! People will pass you like you're standing still, too.

Food....ahhh, the food here. I have been losing a good bit of weight since we've been here and I can honestly attribute it to walking a lot (because that's just what you do around here) and also to not eating! Don't get me wrong, I can eat the fool out of their ice cream and bakeries, but anything else and you've pretty much lost me! It doesn't help that I don't have a clue most times what I might be ordering! When we first got here, we went to breakfast the first morning and were served the traditional german breakfast of a plate full of mystery meats, cheeses, and a basket full of the best, most fresh bread you can get. We were also given jam and butter. Lastly, you're given a partially boiled egg. Brent took one for the team and ate them on occassion, but I just couldn't stmach it! They also drink a lot of coffee and man, it's the best!

The malls here are very different. They are partially indoors and partially out and most have a grocery store right in them. There really isn't a food court persay, but there are restaurants here and there. It's really hard to describe this because they are just different here. They have grocery carts which you can "rent" (kind of) and take into the regular stores as well.

The only thing I need to say about smokers is that they are EVERYWHERE! It annoys the every living crap out of me that someone will light up right there by my babies! They all do it and they all do it right there in the presence of their kids and in no way attempt to keep the smoke out of their precious little faces!

As time goes, hopefully we'll be able to blog a bit more about the differences here!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Let me just start this blog out with a brief explanation as to why we have not blogged before now and then we'll proceed to our first OFFICIAL entry. Ok, so, from the first night we got here up until about 2 weeks into our journey, I had been blogging, but I was not writing my blog on here, it was in a program on this little lap top because initially we did not have internet in our first hotel. Okay, so fast forward to our desperate desire to talk to some family and we decide to get an I Phone that has free (included) calls to the USA because we have finally accepted the fact that the whole first month over here is going to be in a hotel and we can't wait to get a land line to talk to family. This little computer does not have some of the programming needed to register our I Phone. This of course does not surprise us because very little has been easy on us since we got here. Brent, in trying desperately to get this done for us, ends up erasing our ENTIRE blog! I am so mad, I really do think I may have been producing some smoke out of my ears! He offers to re create the blog which I find completely and utterly hilarious because he was offering to write 9 or more pages of script that had taken me almost 2 weeks to create! Hilarious. As you all can see, the blog has not been re created. I do hope to go back in my free time (ha ha ha) and try to get some of our thoughts down here in the next few weeks. Here we are today, though, so let's move on and start anew!

Let's first start today's blog off by noting that Brent an
d I aren't really outside of the box people. I really like to have my schedule pretty typical from day to day and Brent just flat out dislikes change, so this whole move has been HUGE for us! I mean, I rarely order anything but chicken fingers at a restaurant, so to rarely have that option, I've just about been beside myself!

Okay, so our morning started off pretty typical of how it has been going lately. We all got up, ate breakfast, Brent went in to get a few things done, and then he comes back to get us from the hotel. From here, we go to post to eat at the DFAC (dining facility) and from there, the launderette. T
hese two things are also VERY typical of us lately. I first really knew that I was homesick when I started craving the DFAC every day and got thoroughly upset at Brent when it looked like we might miss it (it's only open certain hours for each meal). The food is not the greatest, but man it sure seems like it when you have sat down at many a table with either mystery meats, cheeses, and a half cooked "boiled" egg (during breakfast) or tried to stumble your way through a german menu with no dictionary! Anyways, after completing the laundry, we head back to the hotel to get Mason ready for his first soccer practice! He's so excited and so are we! It's at this point, though, that the tides begin to change (about like they do at least once a day). We show up with Mason at the soccer fields and lots of other kids are there, too. We, however, talk to the 2 coaches that are there and neither one has Mason on their roster, so we talk to the Sports coordinator which is also there and she calls his coach. He has apparently decided to cancel the first practice and we never were notified of this. This is ALWAYS our luck! They quickly put Mason into one of the other practices and all is well. We're hungry after his practice and decide to go to the mall. Keep in mind that Sadie has been fussy all day long and right after practice Mason somehow gets turned around backwards in one of the MASSIVE slides at the playground and comes out backwards hurting himself, so he is whiny, too. We get to the mall and almost immediately have to take Sadie out to calm her down. As we walk into the mall, Mason already has his food from Burger King so Brent and I don't have to worry about trying to find something kid friendly. We decide to pass our old faithful Italian restaurant and go down a bit further to see what we can find. Once we get down there, we're stopped in front of one restaurant and Mason stands up out of the stroller and in doing so, his ENTIRE drink spills all over the floor. We get that somewhat cleaned up and head back one restaurant, decide to get something to eat there, and Sadie loses it! Brent can't settle her down, so we swap places: he in line and me with the baby. Next, Brent goes fumbling through my wallet because he can't find the money, the lady is laughing at him (knowing we already spilled our drink one store down), I get up with a screaming baby to show him the money, he gets our meal in turn, and as he reaches the table, one of our GLASS cups falls and bursts into about a million pieces. Not long after that I sit down to discover that I don't even like the sandwich that I ordered. That's what we get for going outside of our little box! The bad news is that most days, something overwhelms us or is discouraging, but the good thing is we're learning a lot and each day is new and we have high hopes for a better day with each new day! This whole moving out of the country has by far been one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting experience we have ever had, but at the same time, we have already experienced that which most people will never have the opportunity to do and we're enjoying every minute knowing that someday soon things will settle down and that someday we'll look back on this with so many fond memories, we wont be able to count them!

Mason's all ready for his "first" soccer practice!

Even though his coach had cancelled their practice, some of the other kids in his age bracket still had practice, so they let him play with them. I'm glad this lady is not his coach because she just threw them into a mock game and although they all ran around and loved it, not many really knew the concept of soccer and she did not explain it very well!