Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Happy Birthday to my big 2 year old!

I can't believe he is two years old. That means we have been in Germany almost 2 years, as Ian was only 3 weeks old when we moved here.

The day started out with us attending church. He got to sit with his favorite adopted Grandma. And afterwards, the Grandma and Grandpa Becker came over to our house for a barbeque.

Grandma Becker brought not one, but two birthday cakes for Ian. What an amazing woman! She was trying to please more than one child at my house. She also brought Ian some Playmobile Legos that build a Police Station with a Police van. Ian loved it. And so did all the other kids, I might add. It got a little noisy as all the older kids wanted to help Ian unpack it, and set it up.

Ian and Emma found some alone time to play with Ian's new toys.

Ian also got some legos from us plus some building blocks. He opened a present every hour it seemed. He didn't want to open them all at once and I was ok with that. I think he would of gone until tomorrow before opening more, but the bigger kids wouldn't let that happen.

Luckily he has big brother and sisters though. Because without them, the candles on the cake probably would still be lit. {giggle}

Although, I just remembered. Ian loved the candles being lit. We had to do it more than once.

Sounds like Ian had a good day with one exception.

I tried to take Ian off the bottle today. Gardner thought it was a terrible thing to do on his birthday. But I had done it to Emma on her birthday with the binky and it worked just fine. She was ready. But for Ian, I suppose he just wasn't ready.

I put him to nap after church for a short nap since I knew that Grandpa and Grandma Becker would show up in 45 minutes. He cried the whole time. He was so red when we finally got him out of bed.

And tonight, I tried again. I thought I might have a chance since he did not nap the whole day. He was fine at first. But 3 minutes with me gone, he started up again. After 20 minutes, I gave in. The poor boy. I felt bad for him the whole time I listened.

The problem for Ian is this: The bottle is more than a bottle to him. He never has taken a binky. And he would walk around here with an empty bottle in his mouth just for comfort, like a binky is for any other child. Taking that bottle away from him is going to prove to be a bit more difficult than Emma, who still had her binky afterwards to sooth her.

I have decided to try again after Christmas. And, starting tomorrow, he will only get the bottle at Bed Time. No more in the morning when he wakes up. No more carrying the bottle around the house. I think that will help the transistion some.

I will definately keep everyone updated on what happens with that.

Here are some pictures of Ian today! Happy Birthday my Big Boy!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Remembering The Nanny

Today, Gardner was mowing the lawn out back. And we have this huge apple tree. Everytime we mow the lawn, we have to pick up the apples off the ground to run the lawn mower.

Closer to the house was a pile of apples from the last time the lawn was mowed. It was sitting in the dirt and weeds we currently have out back. Anyway, we needed to get them picked up and put into the bio trash can. But they seriously were disgusting.

I knew I didn't want to touch these apples and remembered I had cleaning gloves underneath the Kitchen sink. So I asked Emma if she would go get the gloves so we could pick up the yucky apples.

Then she looked at me all excited and said, "Mom, I can wear the Nanny's Gloves". Now, she of course didn't say the Nanny. She said her name. And many of you might recall the extra help we had after my surgery in March and the beginning of April. And we called her our Nanny.

It was just too cute that she remembered her after all these months. And her face beemed when she talked about her.

She brought me out the Gloves and Emma, Ian and I proceeded to pick up all the yucky apples and threw them away.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pop Rocks

While I was in America, My sister bought the Kids all Pop Rocks. My kids love Pop Rocks and were so excited to see them in my suitcase when I came back.

Emma and Ian both didn't know what Pop Rocks were. I was curious to how they would re-act to such a candy in their mouth. They loved it to say the least.

Pop Rocks ended up everywhere in my house. I was stepping on them all night.

Coco, the Pop Rocks were a big hit! Or should I say, they totally ROCKED! {giggle} The kids all were saying "thank you" to you as they were eating them. So these pictures are for you to see their enjoyment while eating said pop rocks.

Oh and one more thing Coco......Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Day of School

Monday was the first day of school for the kids here in Germany.

I was not certain whether Hannah would be able to go back to school with everyone else until that very morning. And Emma, I had decided the night before that she would not be allowed to go. With them both having the Chicken Pox, I needed to make sure they were not contagious anymore before they were able to go. And Hannah got the clear and headed off to school.

School on Monday was only 3 hours long. The reason being is because they do the "Einschulung", which is something special to welcome the first graders into the school. Hannah ended up staying to help out with the Einschulung, but Spencer and Shantal came home. They were all disappointed they had homework on their first day.

A funny conversation while getting ready that morning. I was in the kitchen making the kids breakfast snack for school and I was mentioning having a good day. Of course, I got the: it won't be a good day conversation from Shantal and Spencer. Then all of a sudden, Spencer says...Wait. It will be a good day because the 4th graders are no longer in the school. Spencer then says and Shantal agreeing, that they now "rule" the school.

This is a big year for the Spencer and Shantal and school here in Germany. This is the year that we make decisions on what school they go to next year. It is a big complex system they have and totally different from America. And it is something I will have to come back to another time.

I hope the kids have a great school year!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicken Pox

I started noticing on Emma one morning some spots on her belly. As the day progressed, she was getting them on her legs, her arms and her behind.

The next day, I noticed Hannah getting these same dots.

I started to dismiss them at first thinking there is no way they could have the chicken pox. But, it was more and more evident that they indeed were the Pox.

Because they both have been immunized from Chicken Pox, they didn't get them too horrible. Neither one of them got any on their faces. But did get them all over the rest of their body. To give you an idea, I remember counting Emma's (who definately had it worse than Hannah). And she had 19 on her stomach, 13 on her legs, 6 on her arms and 7 on her bottom.

That was just one day. But they kept increasing in number as the day would go on.

Luckily, they haven't itched too much.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bumps and Bruises

So I was helping the kids with homework and Ian was just wandering around with Emma at times, and by himself at times. That is normal for him. He just walks around and plays and then moves on to the next play thing.

We have a play room in our basement and it isn't abnormal for him to go down there by himself to play.

Well, we have marble stairs and floors in our house. You may recall me mentioning a time or two about us always falling down them.

Well, no one was with him but all of a sudden he started screaming. So Spencer went and got him and brought him to me. I held him for a while until he settled down a bit.

then he got off my lap and wandered a bit (perhaps 2 minutes) when he started crying again. So he came back to me and I picked him up again. My arm felt wet and I looked and it was blood.

My heart sank. I had not even noticed the first time he came to me. I looked at the back of his head and there it was, not a tiny bit of blood like i am used to with a scrap or a scratch, but blood. a puddle of it right in his hair and head.

I started barking orders to the kids to get me a wet washcloth. I couldn't even see how bad it was at that moment. But then I could see there was a hole. And I could see INSIDE the hole, so I knew we had to go in.

I called my friend who lives down the street and she took the 4 kids and I went next door to my neighbor and had her watch for the dishwasher repair man who was supposed to come any minute.

I got to the hospital and I swear, I hit every single red light along the way. And since we live in the outskirts, in small little village, it took me about 20 minutes to get there.

Ian ended up with a haircut in the Emergency Room and some glue. I think he was really lucky, as it could have been much worse. I was relieved that it was glue worthy of a wound. I was sickened at the thought of having to hold him down while they put a needle and thread into his head.

The glue does burn and he screamed. But I can handle the scream that lasted all of 2 minutes. And we were seriously in and out in 10 minutes.

Now that boy is in my sight as much as possible and I have to keep him away from water for 2 days. I am afraid of him falling again. Like falling off the slide and having it pop back open. That is why I stay with him right now.

It wasn't a huge cut. But scarey to me all the same.

As I went to change his diaper tonight, the first time since going to the Emergency Room, He layed on the floor and put his hand up to the back of his head. I could tell it was definately sore and uncomfortable for him.

Here are two pictures. One is of his head with some hair covering the cut. And the second one is with me lifting up the upper layers of hair that are covering it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What a Week!

So we have had some woes this week. And honestly, sometimes it becomes too much for me to handle.

It started out on Thursday, I woke up early to head out to the Grocery store so that Gardner could take the car to work. Aldi opens at 8am and I was there right on time. I did some shopping and returned home about 8:20 for him to leave for work. As I was putting the food items away, I went to the freezer to put a few things in that needed to stay frozen.

I found out that some little hands who wanted a popsicle the day before did not close the freezer all the way. And we have 6 drawers inside our upright freezer. And 4 out of the 6 drawers were thawed out.

I spent the day finishing to de-frost my freezer. Throwing away food and finding ways to salvage what I could. Put the stuff that was still frozen either in the fridge or in coolers. The kids enjoyed ice cream and popsicles for breakfast that day.

I finally got the freezer turned back on at 2pm. It was a long day, to say the least and I ran the washing machine 3 times with towels from the water that came from defrosting.

Then that night, I was loading up the dishwasher. I wanted to get everything taken care of so I didn't have to later that night. I hate washing dishes at midnight right before I go to bed. I went to start the dishwasher and I noticed two little blinking lights. There should only be one. And that is when my heart sank and I started to cry.

These two little blinking lights happened just 4 months earlier. And I went the whole month of April with no dishwasher. We are a family of 7 and go through a lot of dishes. I was constantly in the kitchen washing dishes by hand. It was April 30th that it was repaired and we were back in dishwasher heaven. It had only been three months and this dishwasher isn't even 2 years old yet.

So I pulled myself off the floor, wiped my tears and knew that I was not going to let them make me wait a whole month before they came again.

Friday comes and I am sitting in the Living Room and was on the computer to ask Gardner a question. When he is at work, I try to Instant Message him instead of calling him. I was also in the middle of an instant message with my Sister. When all of a sudden, the internet went out.

I spent a good portion of the morning on the phone with the phone company and also the Dishwasher repair services.

Dishwasher is supposed to be repaired on Wednesday Morning. I am bummed that I have to wait a few days, but am grateful it isn't more than a week that I had to wait.

As for the DSL/Phone Company, I didn't have as much luck. There comes a point where my German just isn't good enough to get something fixed and their English isn't good enough either. I knew that Gardner would be able to get it all up and running, but that would require time that we didn't have on this day.

We had a Wedding Reception last night (friday night). And we got home after Midnight. It was 12:30 in the morning when Gardner was finally able to sit down and make the phone call to finish getting our internet back up and running.

And don't get me started on the Emma potty training bit. She had done so well. Everything was great. She caught on so fast. And then we took our trip to Dresden and Prague. I put pull ups on her while we were driving and while we were out and about. And because of those pull ups, we are now back at square one. It is enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

Honestly, a girl can only take so much at one time.

March 2007