Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Trip to the Emergency Room

Last night, Gardner and I took Hannah to the Emergency Room. Shantal said it best when she asked, "Why does everything happen to Hannah?"

She went to a friends house to play yesterday. It was a boys house and he had another friend over. They all three are in the same class. Anyway, they were playing something and one of the boys landed somehow on her foot. I was not home, as I had an appointment. That is why she was over there to begin with. And directly afterwards, she went to Gymnastics.

She came home limping and my other kids told me she would do the run/limp in Gymnastics. Why she went there is beyond me. She actually probably made it worse by trying to do what she normally does.

I never thought it was broken. Just hurt and sore. I mean, she was doing Gymnastics after all.

But after I put her in bed, she was crying in so much pain. I had never heard her scream in so much pain before that it scared me and I remember a friend of mine told me once of her son who broke something and didn't find out until a few days later.

Knowing her birthday is tomorrow and having a bunch of people over and more importantly, she is getting baptized next week and family is coming in from America, I wanted to verify what was happening with her foot. So we decided to take her in right away.

It is very bruised on the inside and the doctor said it can be very painful. They wrapped it and she is not allowed to do sports for 3 days. He thinks by Saturday she should be able to walk on it normally again. Right now, she still hobbles on one foot or limps when she decides to put pressure on it.

Hannah is home from school today. And is loving it. It is nice when only one is home.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Looking For Powder

Approximately two months ago, I took Emma with me to run some errands. I went into the drug store looking for baby powder. I looked all over the baby aisle. And I couldn't see anything. Then I said out loud, "come Emma. I don't see the powder here. We need to try another aisle". Then Emma says, it is right here Mom. And she grabs it.

I would of walked away and looked a bit longer and eventually gone back to that spot and at last, i would of found it. But it would of taken me a lot longer.

This past week, I took Ian with me to the drug store. And what was I looking for? Baby Powder. I went to a different drug store than the previous time. But I had been to this one on a few occasions and even bought baby powder there before.

I went to the baby aisle and looked around. I couldn't see it. I said out loud once again, "come Ian. The powder isn't here. Let's try on another aisle." And then you can hear Ian with his grunts (as he doesn't talk) and he is pointing. He found the powder. Once again, I was about to walk away.

The baby powder here is so small compared to in America. They are more like travel size containers. So it is easy not to spot it.

Luckily, I had Emma and Ian with me on these two occasions.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Women's Carnival Day

This taken from the German Tourism Website:

This is the day when you can experience the Carnival in its traditional form. Early in the morning, the streets are alive with ladies in fancy-dress on their way to the office, their place of work or to the shops, and from 10.00 a.m. they all usually head towards the town centre or town hall. At 11.11 a.m. the street Carnival is officially opened by the three principal Carnival figures: the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin.

On this day women assume complete power for the day. Any man foolish enough to wear a tie on this day runs the risk of having it cut off just below the knot. In the evening countless parties and masked balls are held and men are, of course welcome to join the celebrations provided they foot the bill for all the women’s drinks.

The kids all went to school today and got out at 11:11 am. They had big parties. And they all dressed up. Even Ian had play group this morning and had to dress up for the occasion.

Most of the women from our little village are going to the bar tonight to celebrate the Women's Carnival Day. It starts at 7:11 pm. But most of my friends are not going until 8pm. I haven't decided to go or not. In a way it is nice to go out. But on the other hand, it is hard because I can't follow all the conversations all the time. And then they talk about things I have no idea about. And then of course, they all drink and I don't. I just feel out of place sometimes.

Anyway, Here are the pictures of the kids:

Emma as a Unicorn

Ian a Bumble Bee

Hannah is Pippi Longstocking

Shantal as Susan from Narnia

Spencer is The Pacifier, from the Movie with Vin Diesel

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Phones in Bathrooms

Before I start my story, I want to start with describing the doors inside the house here in Germany.

The doors have locks where they use the old fashion type keys. The keys work on both side of the doors. If there are no keys in the holes, then you can see through the whole and see what is going on inside the room.

We usually have taken all the keys and put them up because Ian likes to walk away with the keys and then we can't find them.

For the bathroom on the main floor, the key is on the outside of the door. We did that so we could lock the door where Ian can not go inside the bathroom to play. But then the key is still available for when people need to actually use the bathroom.

Ian now knows how to turn the key. And he doesn't play so much in the bathroom anymore now that he is bigger. But yet, the key is still on the outside of that bathroom door.

Now, let's go to my story.

I was at Spencer's Soccer game yesterday. Then later on in the evening, Gardner and I went to a party and got home after midnight.

As we came home, I went into the bathroom and found the phone sitting on a shelf. We have two phones, but I couldn't understand why the phone was left there. The older kids like using the bathroom as a quieter place to talk on the phone with their friends. But why it was in there today, I had no idea.

So I came out with the phone and make a comment about what does one need a phone in the bathroom for. And Gardner told me a funny story.

Gardner was upstairs working when his cell phone rang. It was Shantal calling from two floors down. She told Gardner she and Ian were locked inside the bathroom. Emma was upset with them and locked them in there.

So, the phone in the bathroom came in handy yesterday. What would they have done without that phone? How long would they have been locked in there? But the question still remains: Why was there a phone in the bathroom to begin with.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did He or Didn't He?

Ian has a vocabulary of about 6 words. He is just about 2 1/2 years old. He can say:

  • Mom
  • Papa
  • Hello
  • Hi
  • Home
  • Spongebob

Yes, You saw right. He started with a new word last week. Spongebob. We are just excited that he said Papa before Spongebob.

Anyway, on Sunday, he jumped up on my lap and nestled into me and I swear I heard, "I Love You, Mom". I responded to him instantly, "I love you too, Ian". I looked over at Gardner as he instantly looked over at me. The two of us were wondering if we both had just heard what we thought we heard. And if two of us heard it, it must of really happened.

Now of course, if anyone else would of heard it, they might not of heard those words. Funny how they can make up their own launguage until it comes out real clear. And of course, he hasn't done it since. We have tried with all our might to get him to say something, anything with more than one word at a time.

So I guess the question is, Did he or didn't he speak that sentance that both Gardner and I heard? Either way, I have a feeling it will come real fast. At least, I hope it will.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Too Stressed to Drive

Well, we finally got the company car this week. It was a nice relief to have this, but by Wednesday night I was so stressed out from driving that I took the bus to work on Thursday morning. I'm so used to the 1.5 hour commute, I guess getting there in a half an hour was just too much.

I saw three people on the ride to work and had some good conversations, so it was a nice day.

They Are In!

With my computer problems, I haven't had much time to write about the bigger kids (Shantal and Spencer) and the procedure for finding a school for next year.

This is MY interpretation of how things work. Meaning from what I have understood through my terrible German.

Here in Germany, the Elementary School goes until the 4th Grade. Once you are in the 5th Grade, you change to either the Gymnasium, The Real Schule, The Gesamtschule or the Hauptschule. They are all basically ranked by The best down to the worst and depending on your grades from 1 - 4 grades, will qualify you for certain schools.

Changing to these schools isn't so simple. Not only do you have to have a recommendation of which school you qualify for, you also have to go and FIND your school you will be attending. For example, Spencer. He got a Gymansium Recommendation, which by the way is the best school here in Germany.....for the smart kids. I am such a proud mom. laughs. Anyway, just because he got a Gymnasium Recommendation, we still had to go out and find a Gymnasium that he likes. There are a good 8 within a half hour radius. We went to their open house days and checked them all out. Spencer decided which one he wanted to go to. But still, not that simple. We had to take Spencer's Birth Certificate, His Report Cards from 1 - 4 grades and the Recommendation Letter to the school of his choice and he was interviewed. Yes, he had to apply to a school. And then the school decides if they will accept him or not.

Spencer had his interview last Thursday, January 29th. And after the 1/2 hour interview, he was told right then and there he was in. He would be a student in that school starting in August.

He told me that night he was very happy he got in.

Then there is Shantal. She got a Real Schule Recommendation. That is the second best school. It is hard, because one knows not to compare the two kids. But it is so hard when they are in the same class at school and both got shoved into the German School System at the same time. I am very proud of Shantal and how she has adjusted since being here. It has been the hardest on her.

Well, I should mention that the Gesamtschule is a mixture school. Kids with any recommendation can go there. And this is where we chose would be good for Shantal. And as we did all the tours of all the schools, this is the school Shantal liked the best.

Shantal had her interview last Monday, January 26th. They told us we would hear by mail the following week whether she was in or not. The letter came yesterday. I was afraid to open it for her. This is a very hard school to get into. Roughly 240 students apply and they only had 160 openings. But she got in. She was also very excited when she came home from school.

So now both kids are in the schools of their choice. Ends up that these two schools are a few blocks from each other. So they will still ride the public bus together to school. And if I need to drive them for any reason, it works out prefect that they are so close to each other. But they will be in different schools. And this is something we really have wanted for our kids. They need it.

This is a great week for our family!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pink Eye

This morning we were all up and moving, trying to get out the door for work and school. Usually, Gardner leaves first, then Shantal, Spencer and Hannah right afterwards. Everyone is gone by 7:30 am.

Then, I head up and shower so that I can get Emma to school by 9am. She can arrive anytime between 7:30 and 9:00. I showered and came back downstairs to get Emma and Ian dressed. And that is when I saw it. Emma *might* have pink eye. Her eye looked red, but who knows, she could of just gotten something in there.

So I called her doctor but they couldn't get her in until 12 Noon. The timing didn't really work out for me, as I have other kids coming home from school at that time and no way for them to get in the house if i am not here.

Then I decided to head to my doctors office to get my weekly b12 shot. And he looked at it for us and prescribed her some medicine. She has it in both eyes. Just the second eye doesn't look so bad, yet.

Funny thing is, Emma keeps asking me to put more medicine in her eyes. The medicine they have here in Germany is different that what we have used in America. Here, it is a thick gel. I remember the one in America being more watery drops.

Anyway, looks like I will be enjoying having 2 kids home in the morning for a couple of days instead of just 1.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Long Lost Tamara

So I am sure that many people are wondering what in the world Happened to Tamara during January? Why did she disappear?

Yes, even my own Mother thought that. While talking to her on the phone last night, she mentioned I had not updated my blog in a long time.

Well, I have a very good reason for not updating. My computer died on January 5th. The motherboard needed replacing and they estimated it to be $350 to replace it. We opted not to get it fixed. But instead, get a new computer.

Our new computer has been ordered and we will be getting it on March 4th when Gardner's parents come out to visit. March 4th is a very long time from January 5th. And even though it is only February 1st today, I have been going through major withdrawals without one. This past month has been hard on me.

We have some good friends here in Germany. We helped them out when they moved here quite a bit. The husband stayed with us for a month. Then the whole family stayed with us for almost a week. But then came to our house a few times a week to do laundry for a few weeks.

We were at their house last night and during dinner they said they had a present for us. I was a little in shock. Why a present for us? They sent us home with their lap top. Of course, it is only on loan until our new one arrives. And they have another computer they can use at home. But their kindness and generousity is amazing.

It made me think of two Things:

  • You need to be a friend to have a friend.
  • Karma

We gave them everything we had when they moved here. And now they did the same for us.

I have so many things that have happened over the past month that I kept thinking I wanted to blog about. Let's see over this next week if I can remember any of them.

March 2007