Thursday, October 28, 2010

End of Switzerland Report

While in Switzerland Paul decided to look up the "most fun roads to drive". I'm not sure what qualifies as a "fun" road to drive on. But we managed to find one of these "fun" roads and drive it... twice. :) Paul was Happy to drive his pretty car on the pretty road.

Our drive took us to the top of the Alps somewhere... and there seemed to be an army base of some sort nearby because most of the other cars on the road were actually tanks... and most of the other people we saw had green faces and were carrying large guns of some sort.

At one point we saw a sign that we thought said "waterfall", but it lead us to a Switzerland speaking Army person who told us to turn around... No problem. Right away. Please pretend we were never here.

This is Scotty eating a cup full of Swiss Snow with a Celery Spoon...
Just so you know; Swiss snow tastes better than Germany, Denmark, or American snow... Scotty would know. He's eaten snow from many countries. :)

While in Switzerland we also spend a rainy day at the Transportation Museum which is really quite a cool place. There were four sections: Train, Car, Boat, Plane. We never even made it into the Boat or Plane because the Train and Car ones were so huge and fun.

Think of the best museum that you have ever been to and this one was better than that. And it wasn't crazy crowded either...

That's all I feel like writing about Switzerland because I want to hurry up and write about Halloween because it was super fun. :) Way more fun than last Halloween which ended with me and a metal wire glued to my front four teeth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Michaela is TWELVE!

(A little break from vacation updates to go back to October 10th when Michaela turned 12.)

Michaela requested a chocolate cake... There is no way I could have gotten away with a regular ole' rectangle chocolate cake. I also decided she needed sparklers on her Cake/Chocolate Mountain. :)

The sparklers took a good few minutes to go out so they all sang Happy Birthday to Michaela about ten times.


I am old.

At 4:00am I felt like my father as I opened the door to where these girls were supposed to be sleeping. 4:00 AM!!

Really?? Apparently sometime within the last year 4:00am became the new slumber party standard. OH.

I had stayed up until midnight with the plan to turn out the lights and have them drift off to sleep with minimal problems, but at 2:00am I found this in the bathroom...

...along with alot of giggling and a request for more chips. "Sorry, no more chips, you delicate little princesses have already eaten everything in the house." How about GOING TO BED?

Nope... Again at 4:00am I woke up and used my ANGRY voice to explain that in two hours I was going to have to wake up with Andrea and Scotty in a couple hours and I needed to sleep... and they needed to just SHUSH! At this point I could have cared less if they slept or not, JUST BE QUIET!!!

I didn't hear from them again and when those sleeping beauties arose at 9:00am I had pancakes waiting. Hope a certain 12 year old appreciates me!

AND... One of Michaela's gifts was to have her ears pierced. Her and I took the train into town and found a nice jewelry store. She was feeling quite brave before her first ear received a hole, but after the first hole she was less than happy. Nothing traumatic, but you can tell that Michaela was slightly irritated that hole number two was coming.

In the end my little 12 year old has her ears pierced... Now that I that I think about it I think I got my ears pierced when I was 12. :)

Thanks Auntie Sandra who brought it up as a potential gift from her, but the different countries, languages, currencies, made it a little difficult. It helped me go through with it though. Michaela had been asking for a while. I'm moderately opposed to anything which makes my girls older. :)

Have fun being 12 KE. I wouldn't trade you for any other 12 year old out there. I'm glad you are you, just remember who you are!

Vacation Report: Switzerland Hotel

Our hotel in Switzerland was called the Seehotel Baumgarten.

I think it was this couples house and they raised their family in it. Very cute. It was right on a lake and we had an incredible view of the lake and mountain from our window.
Pretty huh?

My mom would have never made it to this hotel because the drive there was INSANE. This is what the last 3km was like...

We had a few inches, if that, on each side of the car. I was voting for scraping against the mountain side opposed to falling off into the lake. AND... it gets better. This is a TWO-WAY road! :) Yep, so what do you do when another car shows up... which happened a few times nearly every trip. Someone has to go BACKWARDS!!!! Oh. So. Crazy.

All that said, we didn't crash and after the third or fourth trip down the road it wasn't as traumatic as the first time. The drive kinda added to the fun of the hotel.

I think we were the only ones staying at this hotel because I didn't really see anyone else, but that made it fun because we were able to make friends with the woman who ran it. She even did a load of laundry for me just to be nice! I think I impressed her with my German. :)

...although whatever language was in Switzerland wasn't really German. It kinda was, but not really... It was different enough to totally confuse me and my remedial German skills. I just stared at the dinner menu and was happy when Happy ordered for the Chateaubriand for both of us.

Then we learned Chateaubriand was a big deal. The waiter started setting up a big table with candles and hot plates... then the chef comes out and prepares it all in front of us. Little did we know that this meal involved TWO complete dinners. When we were finished with the first plate they brought a new one... exactly the same... just as big. Good thing the girls liked it too because they were able to help.

So now we know all about Chateaubriand. That's how un-cultured we are.... or, were. :) It was really yummy though so after dinner we were already making plans to eat the same thing the next day... and the girls had it too.

So that was our hotel. Next to Lucern... in the middle of the Swiss Alps. Cool... :)

...and the hotel had a playground near the lake so Michaela and Sierra waded in to get a special rock for Scotty and handfuls of rocks for Andrea to then throw back in. Water was FREEZING.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vacation Report: Days 1-3 Fussen, Germany

We went on holiday. Just Kidding... We went on vacation. You can't go ON holiday. You take a vacation because there is a holiday.

...and you can't go to hospital. You have to go to THE hospital.

Don't worry. Nobody has been to the hospital lately.

...Crazy British words...

(AND I haven't forgot about Michaela's birthday which was on October 10th and the crazy all night party she had the night before with ten girls... but those pictures are on the camera that hates me so I can't get them off right now.)


We drove to Switzerland. :) Seriously, who would have thought. :) Sometimes I'd just like to tell people who knew me as a teenager, "Hey! My husband and I just drove our FOUR kids to Switzerland for the week!!!"

Anyways, last week was the October week long potato vacation everyone gets in Europe so we took the week and drove to Southern Germany, then through Austria and into Switzerland.

We drove from Hamburg to Fussen Germany in one day, 8.5 hours... only stopping ONCE. If you aren't impressed than you have obviously never traveled with children.

The first day we stopped in Fussen for a few days and saw the HUGE Disneyland castle, the Neuschwanstein, and it's neighbor castle of Hohenstein. The Neuschwanstein castle was HUGE and we HIKED all the way up! CARRYING a sleeping POOZIE! :) Good thing Happy has big muscles. :) We walked out on this crazy bridge that was made of wooden planks and made me a stressed out mess within two minutes. Take the picture and get my family off the bridge. UGH. The bridge and view was amazing, but only because I saw the picture I took the time I hated it.

The next day we tried to visit Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, but it was too cloudy so we made friends with the attendant and she told us some places to go in town. We drove around the cute little German towns and came across a summer toboggan ride that the kids loved so we rode that for a while.

On the day we were supposed leave Fussen and drive to Switzerland we went back to the Zugspitze mountain and took the train to the top. It was pretty cool. HA get it...? Cool? It was freezing cold. Below freezing cold. It was -8 on top of the mountain and with an evil wind that just plain hurt. But the kids didn't care. They rode those little sleds down the hill like champs while Paul and I took turns watching because we are old and have a concept of what cold is.

This is my favorite picture of all times.
Michaela had sledded down the hill and went further than anyone else, which only meant she had to walk further up back up the hill. Meanwhile, Sierra had been wanting to go in because she didn't have her gloves. She looked down and saw Michaela and noticed she was having some trouble coming up the hill. Little Bear took off down the hill and carried Michaela's sled up the hill for her. Please keep in mind we were on top of a -8 degree mountain... the highest one in Germany and the wind is a zillion miles per hour. See, Sierra really loves Michaela. This makes me happy.

Poozie and Scotty liked it too. This made me happy too. Scotty kept saying, "Take my picture so I can show my friends where I went". We bought a postcard so he could take it to school.

Oh, and to get to the top of this mountain we took an hour train ride with the last half hour through a tunnel. Then we took a gondola to the top. The view was pretty good though. Happy wanted to see mountains. We saw mountains. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yah to Meat.

Sierra's volleyball team went to Copenhagen this past weekend and it was there she realized she is really a carnivore. :) She had to have a red "fransk" hotdog with the long bun ...and she ate two.

PS. Her Volleyball team won. They are currently undefeated. The big tournament is in Luxembourg in November and we hope to tag along with her because their team is quite good.


After a week of stressing over what to feed my little Bear on a regular basis, she is back to eating meat. We've decided that our family will help her out and we all go a day without eating meat at least twice a week so we will save the same amount of animals that she would save by not eating meat all week theory. That's what families are for huh?

She agreed to this plan and feels good about it and we aren't talking about it anymore. I'm happy she tried it out. I'm proud of her for trying something new.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nein to Meat

Sierra is a vegetarian now... just so you know.

I will not make any smart comments because she seems pretty serious about it, meanwhile I'm asking her to look for a happy medium... maybe decide some animals are okay to eat. We've agreed on fish so far. Chickens are definitely out though.

I blame this on the vegetarians that came over for dinner last Friday night... no more "unique eaters" allowed in our house ...seriously. :)

I have made sure Sierra is not doing this because it is "cool". Maybe being a vegetarian is just becoming more common, but I've never met so many vegetarians or lactose intolerant people in all my life. The last two international schools have been FULL of them.

I'd like to take a little poll of an American school and the school here. Number of: Vegans, Vegetarians, Lactose Intolerant, Peanut allergies in each... Perhaps the kids' old teachers will help me. :) Sounds like a good "dateline" topic. :)

Anyways, Sierra decided this on Saturday afternoon. Since then she has passed up McDonalds, bacon, salami sandwiches, pepperoni pizza, and sausages for lunch... and she didn't even whine at all, let alone give in. Of course, now I will feel bad feeding the family steaks this weekend... Wait! Oh good, Sierra is in Copenhagen this weekend with the Volleyball team! Bring on the MEAT! :)

However it's pretty impressive if you ask me. All of the before mentioned meat products are some of her favorites and there is no way I could have had the willpower to NOT eat them all weekend.

Being the supportive parent that I am now mixing egg salad sandwiches for her lunch and I'm going to try and have some meat-less meals just for her... but the rest of family isn't going to stop eating steak or meatloaf. Sorry Bear. She is actually being very mature about the entire thing... here they go becoming their own people. Guess that was my job huh?

We'll see how it all plays out. Go life go!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Two less teeth...

Michaela is getting braces. :)

...and as part of that she has to have four of her baby teeth removed. :(


3 down, 1 to go.

Michaela is seriously awesome though. If it was me I'd would have never survived. Really, I would have passed out. I couldn't even handle the dentist telling me what she had done... and she wasn't being graphic or gross. She just said the one tooth had strong roots and that a root broke off and was still in her mouth, but that it should just fall out later. She said the other tooth was easier and she could see the new tooth already. UGH! Even that was more than I could handle. I was lightheaded and suddenly very focused on leaving as quickly as possible... that and Michaela was looking less than happy so I wanted to get her home.

This also happened to me in California when a dentist was telling me about Michaela's mouth being too small and his idea of removing teeth so they could all fit. I had to leave and sit down outside.

I guess I'm just a giant sissy, but let's all remember who gave birth with ZERO drugs. ... that TOTALLY rules out being a sissy.

I'm just a sensitive mommy. :) ...I don't like teeth things.

SO. Michaela has two less teeth than she did last week. One more tooth to be removed and then when her mouth heals up a bit they will put braces on. Cute huh? :) She isn't distraught over it, it's the time of life kids have braces... no big deal.

Here is an interesting tid-bit about Michaela's mouth.
- She has one baby tooth that doesn't have an adult tooth coming in behind it. She will keep the baby tooth forever... or as long as it stays. :)

Nobody is sure what happened to the adult tooth... and I'm not quite sure why nobody has ever mentioned it before. I think I will now ask for her old dentist to send me some x-rays... ?

I never knew that my kids teeth would require so much effort, time, or money! :)

Two teeth. One normal baby tooth. One long root baby tooth.

When the dentist mentioned "roots" I was picturing long stringy things everywhere, like what a plant has (maybe that's why I was grossed out).

It wasn't until I had the courage to look in the cup to see her "souvenirs" that I realized what teeth roots were. Now I know why tooth cartoons in dentist books have those long things coming down from the typical baby tooth we see that falls out. I never thought about why that was because I never imagined this is what a tooth looked like inside your mouth. I guess the roots get smaller when the baby tooth grows up? Maybe the baby tooth "feeds" off the roots so they disappear when it's time to get wiggly and fall out.

If I didn't find this whole thing so icky I'd maybe google it, but just looking on line for how Michaela should keep her tooth holes clean made me light headed. All done talking/typing about it.


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