Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dumb Weather

Here are my thoughts on the weather here in magical Germany.

My feet are cold. I have on jeans and a sweatshirt. It's pouring rain outside. It's August. So dumb. I'm freezing. August and I'm cold.

So very, very dumb.

The weather here is absolutely terrible. Why on earth do people choose to live in such a gray and cold place? Well I guess that's a stupid question because I happen to live here, but sometimes I think I'm a little stupid to agreeing to it. Why aren't there good jobs in warm places?

Yes, I realize this a pointless thing to complain about, but the laptop is warm on my lap.

I don't know if I'll make it this winter. It's August and I'm already tired of being cold. Time to start my insulation plan I guess, and we'll see if it helps, but I'm not too hopeful. This is so dumb to be so cold already. It's been raining for a week straight and that is getting a little old too.

I've tried to be welcoming of the cold weather and have the "oh-we-can-snuggle-under-blankets-and-sip-on-comfy-warm-soup" attitude, but let's be honest that there is no bright side of cold toes.

Watching TV and seeing people warm is depressing. Looking at pictures I've taken over the summer and seeing the sun and seeing us warm is depressing. Andrea even sees pictures of us in Canada at the cottage and asks for her life jacket... that's sad. I wonder if she will find her snow suit as enjoyable...

My insulation plan will start in Andrea's room. I will cover her windows with plastic and add another thick curtain to the window. I've also been saving egg cartons all year and I'm not opposed to stapling them onto the wall if necessary. Today while putting Andrea down for a nap I decided I'd just make every room a foot smaller on every wall and insulate it myself.

OK. I'm done. I won't complain anymore. I'll get off the couch and go something to take my mind off the miserable weather. Sitting here watching Happy's motocross races of people riding their bikes in the hot, bright sun sure isn't helping either. It actually makes me angry and resentful, that they are warm and I am not. That's probably not healthy. :)

If people say they like this weather they are lying. They are lying to make themselves feel better. I'll try lying to myself for a while though... but first I'm going to make some artichokes. That will require the stove to be on for an hour and that will make the kitchen warm... then I'll sit in there.

Well, I've amused myself for eight minutes here and I'm feeling a little better. Not warmer, just better...


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Scotty!

My little boy is FIVE! :) Five seems so old. :( I miss my four year old Scotty, but I think the five year old one should be fun.

His party was fun. We invited his best friends from school over. Clay and Franklin and his brother Oliver are American, and Koh is from Japan. They were an active group of little people. :)

For lunch we had corn dogs. WAY BETTER than my last attempt because I had bought the super-mega-deep-frier the day before. After discussing corn dogs in great deal with another poor American mom we decided that oil temperature was crucial for a good corn dog, and fixing this problem required a HUGE $150 kitchen appliance. Great. At least they tasted good. :)

Then we threw water balloons off the balcony. :) I thought the boys would like to throw balloons at Michaela and Sierra, but in the end they wanted us to throw them at them. Andrea had a great time tossing them off the balcony one after the other too. Oh, and we lost the big red bowl over the balcony too. That was sad.

We played on the trampoline. Holding bubbles. Holding bubbles was a trick so they would stop the unreal screeching that made me ears cry.

We hunted for hidden lego toys. Then we built them. That was a nice quiet moment.

We opened presents and ate cake. Scotty liked his cake. Making his cake was stressful and required a cute engineer to step in and help. It also required a paper towel roll... and some masking tape. It also required me staying up until midnight. It was worth it though, Scotty loved it.

Their families came over and we ate spaghetti. Then everyone left. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Squish it in the Suitcase

Few people have seen the packing fiascoes I create for myself. This is one of them. It could be an app for the iPhone. ...Fit all this stuff into the last allowed suitcase. Oh, and stay within the 50 pound weight limit. :)

I tried.

I did pay ($50) for an extra checked bag because we brought home my guitar for Michaela who wants to take lessons. Better than 50 euros a month to rent one...

Anyways, I packed all the suitcases myself. Better this way I learned because of the fact that I also UNpack them, my dear husband doesn't know what exactly I've bought because he may not understand WHY I've bought what I have. It's better he's not involved. :) hee hee...

I weighed each one using a stand on scale which when we got to the airport I realized was off by five pounds. So every bag was overweight by five pounds. Super. AH HA! I had thought ahead. Because I'm super packer.... I had put at least two cake mixes or frostings in each suitcase knowing that if I was overweight I would just have to pull out a cake mix or two since they are heavier than one thinks. I figured that worst case I would leave behind a $2.00 cake mix. After adjusting the weight of all my luggage though I now had a pile of cake mix I had to... leave behind?? No way, I couldn't do it. I opened two boxes and shoved them into the guitar case, but I still have 5 boxes and some frosting I couldn't bear to part with.

But. In Canada, they check your luggage in and tag it, but YOU carry it through customs and put it on the conveyor belt yourself. So now I'm in a customs line with all my suitcases... Soooooooooo..... I opened up my bags and put my cake mix back in. My new super trick for flying out of Toronto. :)

Here is how I justified it:

I emotionally couldn't leave the cake mix. They were too important. I was going to end up carrying them on somehow. Bottom Line - The Cake Mix Was Coming. AND if it was coming then it would be on the plane -SO- Either way the plane was going to carry my cake mixes. Who cares if it's in the stowed luggage section or in the overhead compartment? It's the same weight, just in a different spot and I don't suffer as much. With my new way of thinking I also took some heavy books from my bag and tossed them into a checked suitcase too.

Now that I had this new logic going in my head, I also decided that people should get a weight allowance per ticket. Each ticket is allowed 250 pounds. You and your carry ons can weigh 200 pounds, and your checked bag can weigh 50 pounds = 250 pounds per person. Well, I only weigh 105 pounds so that means my bags can all weigh 145 pounds. Andrea only weighs 20 pounds so she gets a bag that weighs 230 pounds. I believe this is a perfectly reasonable argument. I wonder who I should talk to about it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Poozie

Andrea is TWO. :) Has been for a couple weeks now, her birthday was on August 7th... but here are some pictures finally!

Here is her birthday cake... just like her favorite brown bunny.

This was my plan for decorating all the cupcakes....until the kids decided to help and it turned into "smash-and-pile-as-much-candy-as-you-can-on-your-cupcake." Oh well, kids had fun I guess.

Here is some party pictures. Andrea's two birthdays have both been at the cottage in Canada and so she gets to have all her cousins to party with! This year, these cousins made small sandcastles for Andrea to stomp on and kick since that is one of her favorite things to do. :)

When it was time to sing Happy Birthday and give her the cake she cried and screamed at it. She was not impressed with my bunny cake. :(

She wasn't too excited about the presents either. She was afraid of them. We even showed her there were toys and fun things inside, but she still hated it. I felt like a weenie because she just kept crying as we opened gifts. We finally had to stop. :(

Later that night I tried again and she started crying at the sight of the gifts. Finally I unwrapped them in another room and just gave them to her. Then she was happy and excited to see them. Guess that will save some wrapping time at Christmas. Weird Kid. She gets the "weird" from her dad.

She also got her first baby doll. :) I was happy because I had tried to pick out a doll for her so many times but I just couldn't find the perfect one. Auntie Sandra found a perfect baby doll for her and it came complete with bottles and a blankey and pillow so it was a winner.

Motocross Superstars

Back up to Canada...

:) These pictures were taken at Paul's brother's house... They live on the top of a huge HILL overlooking the entire city. It's like the oldest house in town and it's a HUGE farm house and it's tons of fun.

Michaela and Sierra tried out the dirtbikes after some lessons from Madison.

Michaela did a jerking start, almost stalling it... but eventually got a hang of the clutch and did fine. She got off asking for a dirtbike of her own. :)

This is the only picture I have of Sierra because when she took a turn on the smaller, automatic bike she just took off. I chased her to the backyard where she was supposed to round the trampoline and head back on the same path, but I caught a glimpse of her flying around the other side of the house. She blew through the bushes and some tree branches and barreled through the front yard; she swerved past the car in the driveway and straight out the front gate. Eventually she stopped and was a little distraught. :) I think she did awesome since she didn't crash into a single thing... and it was a pretty tough course she maneuvered through.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm back.

Well, I've taught you all to be thankfull when I write things on my blog because you are sad when you log on and see that I have been a slacker and not written anything. I hope you appreciate me more now.

Since I last wrote my two more of my kids had birthdays and they all have started school. YIPPIE!!! Scotty turned FIVE on the 22nd and Sierra is TEN today, the 23rd!!! :)

These reasons, by the way, are why I haven't had time to sit in one place for more than eight minutes in the last two weeks.

But now I am back to dropping the three of them off at 8:30am and then retrieving them at 3:00pm! Although I do keep the loudest little monster at home. I have also again decided to take away her nap since she prefers to party until midnight and I just can't handle that anymore. So no nap today and Little Miss Monster fell asleep at the dinner table tonight while still holding a piece of bacon in her mouth. She was sleeping and chewing at the same time. :) She woke up to the flash of the camera though because it was hilarious to see.

SO. Currently my house is a fiasco. There is frosting in the rug, grapes on the staircase, and spaghetti noodles in the closet. I have no idea how the noodles got there, I have some theories about the grapes, and the frosting is obvious. Scotty's birthday party was yesterday and I've learned boys are crazy. Girls show up and they are shy and timid and do whatever craft you have thoughtfully planned for them. Boys show up and they jump on each other, turn balloons into weapons, and screech for no apparent reason. WoW. :)

Scotty's party was actually fun. We invited four boys from school over and one of the moms, Shelly, stayed thankfully and helped out. I had turned down all offers of help, because, come on... how hard can five little kids be? HA!!! Luckily some moms know more than me... and Shelly stayed for crowd control and making up games to keep the violence to a minimum. She knows some great tricks, my favorite being "Hold Your Bubble", but please don't ask her what happens when you hold the bubble in too long. :)

After his party was over I had invited the boys families to come have dinner with us and it was fun having my house full of people again. We often had an overflowing house in Denmark and I think I missed it... :)

When everyone left Sierra told me she wanted cupcakes to take to school the next morning so instead of cleaning I made cupcakes. And frosted them. And decorated with marshmallows as she had requested. PS. Need more chocolate frosting everyone. :) THEN we made her birthday invitations because her party will be this next weekend. I wanted to make sure the day before her birthday had some "day before your birthday" fun.

Then I went to bed.

Which is why today my house is still a fiasco. Today was Sierra's birthday and so we opened some presents but saved the big one for her party on Saturday. Mostly because Paul isn't here and he will want to be there for this super great gift he thought of. She didn't mind waiting because the other presents were amusing enough... some real walkie-talkies that might even work with her friend down the street.

Sierra requested a breakfast dinner so I made a big breakfast and we finished with some fruit smoothies and some of Scotty's leftover cake. :)

So as you can see I've been a little preoccupied and find myself not writing because I'm too lazy to get the pictures downloaded and I think that just reading my writing in boring. But I guess reading is better than seeing nothing new. :)

I'm off to clean the house.

Not true. I'm off to study for the German drivers test. Even though I traded my American drivers license in for a Canadian one because IN THEORY I will be able to trade the Canadian one in for a German one withOUT taking the test... but for some reason I just don't trust that it will be that easy. Nothing here is easy. In Canada I filled out a half page form and four minutes and fifty dollars later I had a Canadian license. All you need is an address for them to send it too. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canada at the Cottage

Two crazy boys.
One cute girl.
Bear and Frog.
Poozie and Paddle.
She loves hot dogs. I hate hot dog breath.
Scotty and Sawyer
SH and SH. :) get it?
scowling... always. :)
Kids piled into a boat.
Kids piled on a beach.
Me and Poozie.
How they make toast in Canada. See torch?
Loving her life jacket in the canoe.
Girls in a canoe.
Show me your cheese!
Scotty on fire.


Mostly we spent our time at the cottage with Paul's parents. Andrea LOVED the sand and water and boats and spent most time hanging out on the little beach. There is a strict life jacket rule at Gramma's house though and Andrea surprisingly accepted it (usually), only because she REALLY wanted to play in the water and sand. A few days after being there she would ask for her life jacket by tapping her chest and saying "Uh-oh". :)

Scotty was much more into the water than last year... He loved working on the "chocolate factory" and would spend hours filling up a bucket with water and then taking it to the top of the beach and then dumping it in the top of the "chocolate factory", which was a bunch of canals and damns that the water would form or break through. He made some big arm muscles this year. :) ...and I have no idea why it's called the "Chocolate Factory", probably because the sandy mud is brown like chocolate, but if a kid decides another kid isn't working hard enough hauling sand or water then they can be fired. Apparently there is a quite the system there with a hierarchy... It is kinda Lord of the Flies-ish.

Sierra was more daring this year with the water too. She did the jet skis with Auntie Red and took a turn being pulled on the tube. She wasn't even too traumatized when the tube she was riding by herself was so light that the wind picked it up in the air and flipped her right off on into the lake. :)

Michaela had a good time as well, but often had to be forced into the water before she would start enjoying herself. My oldest is getting a bit old I guess, but she was great helping Andrea in the sand. Too bad they don't stay little and enjoy digging endless holes in the sand. :) She liked the tubing though... and the jet skis.

It works out perfect in Canada because all the kids are the same age and my kids really get along great with Paul's brother's kids who are 10, 9, 9, and 6.

Madison and Michaela are joined at the hip. Seriously... they never leave each others side. They are same age, I think he is a few days older... but they are just fun to watch. She gets along with him so well and they really like doing the same things. :)

Sierra plays with the twins, Tate and Gwyn... They are all nine and all three of them are great together. I can only think of a few arguments they had and for three girls who spent that much time together that is really amazing! :)

Scotty and Sawyer. :) Sawyer is 6 and last year Scotty annoyed him to no end. :) This year they loved each other!! Phew! Scotty has grown up quite a bit over the past year and doesn't yell as much and now he can share and take turns and Sawyer appreciates that. :) They did everything together too, but they had a limit of about 36 hours. After that they need a break because they are so focused on doing exactly the same thing as each other during those 36 hours. Same breakfast, same bed, same chair, same condiments on hot dogs, same pillows, same toothpaste, and I-like-it-if-he-likes-it... After that 36 hour mark they need to be apart for a while some some "alone" time, but they really were extra cute this year.

Andrea. Everyone loves her and thinks she's cute. I'm hoping SHE learns to LOVE EVERYONE next year so I can leave her more freely and escape from some "alone" time of my own. :) I did escape a few times though.

With Paul's brother and their family we did a lot of kid swapping... I'd trade Sawyer for Madison and that way all the kids would have their "best friend" with them. We stayed some nights at a hotel near their farm house so in between catching frogs and riding dirt bikes at the farm and swimming and air hockey at the hotel the kids were kept in a continual state of fun.

Paul's sisters kids are in the same age too, she also has four. That's why I had to have Andrea... so I could have four and fit in with the rest of them. Of course I actually had to be pregnant FOUR times. :) Both his brother and sister both have a set of twins who every year I have trouble telling apart until the last week. Sierra was mad at one of the boy twins and yelled, "Stop it Cole or Dylan!!!" :)

With his sisters family the kids are the same age too... All the girls want to follow Olyvia around, who is 14 and therefore super cool. The other three are boys and if Sierra had her choice she'd pick girls to play with but she and the twins Cole and Dylan chased each other around plenty. The other boy Alex is the same age as Michaela and Madison and they played together out on they kayak and inside too. Alex was great with Andrea and especially Scotty... letting him be included with the bigger boys and making sure nobody picked on him. :) It's just nice that all the kids play so great together and are all in the same age range.

If 12 kids weren't enough. My mUm's sister, Iris, and her husband Bill were there. Their daughter Tracy also came and her family: husband and two boys 10 and 12. So 14 kids and 11 adults later we were quite the full house, so full that we overflowed into the cottage next door, an RV, and some tents. :) It was nice to hang out with them for an entire week because I really got to know them and the kids. It was also Uncle Bill's 85th birthday and I've decided he's on my list of random favorite relatives. :) We got a chance to hang out and talk and do some shopping together and it was fun. Lots of people, lots of craziness especially at night when the famous question arises... the question that we all ignore all day... "Where is everyone going to sleep?" ...and it's not as easy as "Sleep where you slept last night", because everyone needs a turn in the fun beds... and the fun beds change on an hourly basis.

That's all for now, but since Andrea is sleeping at completely the wrong time I'm sure I'll be up all night again. Last night she woke up at 1:00am from her two hour nap and partied all night with me. She and I finally went to bed at 6:00am. I forced myself awake at 1:00pm and I let her sleep until 4:00pm. I know it didn't help to let her sleep that long but a happy Poozie is easier to deal with than a miserable Poozie. I'll deal with the jet lag gradually I guess but she was so tired from traveling that I felt she needed to catch up first. Of course now it's 1:15am and and all the girls are awake. UGH!

Whoever reads all of this... like really reads it... they must love me. :)

Canada NOT at the cottage pictures next... :)

We are home

I'll write tomorrow promise. :) ...and lots of pictures.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Google Says

Google took away my email and blog.

I think they were mad that I logged in from too many countries within a few weeks...

It's all better now. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Still alive...

We made it to Canada... luggage and all. :)

Canada has been nice. Not too hot, except for the hottest day EVER when we tried to go around Niagara Falls with Holly. :) UGH.

Yep, Holly came to see us. We drove to Toronto and met her. She had spent the day in Toronto sightseeing and then we went to Niagara Falls the next day and then we brought her up to Bracebridge to hang out at the lake. Hot and humid at the Falls and cold and rainy at the lake... Opposite of what we would have liked, but it was good to see her. ...and easy to say Bye because she will come see us in Hamburg later this month. ...and bring more peanut butter cookies. :)

Now we are at the lake. Last I counted there was 25 people here. By the end of the day there will be six more. :) Lots of kids so they are all amusing themselves with the boats and sand. And the grown ups just spend time feeding them. :)

Andrea LOVES the sand. She LOVES the speedboats and the canoe. When she's on the speedboat she has to sit up front and hold onto the front light. Her hair is blowing straight back and her eyes are squinting and watering but she gets pretty upset unless we are traveling as fast as possible. She loves it!!

Missing camera was never found but I'll figure out how to get pictures off my moms old camera that she gave me to use. :) This will have to do for now.


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