Monday, January 31, 2011

My Happy Day.

Here is a story to redeem the German people. :)

Last week I finally made an appointment to see a doctor. I haven't been to a general practitioner doctor since we have moved to Europe. After giving my mUm a lecture on taking care of herself and decided I should do the same. :) I made two phone calls that ended with a "NEIN". ...and on my third try I hit the jackpot! A nice lady who spoke pretty good English.

So I had an appointment.

Today I went to my appointment. I left a half hour early because I knew parking would be a fiasco since it is everywhere here... Parking was a fiasco, but I parked with 10 minutes to spare.

I found what I thought was the building and I was looking at the 20 doctor names on the sign. A lady noticed I was obviously confused and said, "something something help?". "Nein Danke, I think I'm okay", was my reply with a smile. I just walked in and assumed I could figure it out. Nice Person #1. Usually people just stare at me...

After walking up and down the three stories sounding out doctor names and using my phone to translate signs, I made a phone call to my new doctor's office. I told her I was in the building, but I didn't know which door to go into. At this point it was like I was in Michaela's Zelda game; all these brown doors with little white signs on them, empty halls and stairs going every which way... I was so confused. The new doctor's office receptionist said they were on the third floor. "Great, thanks, bye." ...and up I climb to the third floor where I translated the word. Maintenance Only.

Das ist nicht gut.

I go down. Someone else asks if I need help ...maybe because they've seen me carry Andrea up and down the stairs 13 times. I was being stubborn and said, "No, I'm okay, but thank you." Nice Person #2

I went back to the bottom and started at the first door. I started to say all the doctor's names out loud. My doctor was Dr. Hartig least to my ear. I have no idea how to correctly spell and I only half paid attention when they told me so I had little faith his name was actually Hartig. I thought that by sounding out the names I might come across one that maybe sounded like "Hartig". This didn't get me anywhere... Then I just started opening doors and ringing bells, but it seemed everyone was dentists ...and now I'm 15 minutes late.

Nicht gut.

Finally, as I was justifying why it would be a good idea for me to just go home, a lady asked who I was looking for. I said, and did so even somewhat rudely because I was super frustrated, "I don't even know, Dr. Hartig?" She said he wasn't in that building and since I had been searching all of the four floors for 20 minutes I believed her. Then she told me where he was... with very detailed directions and in very good English. :) I thanked her profusely. Nice person #3.

I leave the building and, following her directions, walk three blocks down the road. Then I realize I was super dumb for even walking into the first building to begin with. This first building's address was #29, and full of doctors, but it wasn't even on the right street. I did need a building with an address of #29 and full of doctors... just on a different street.

I get to the right street and find #31... no #29 to be found. I'm again pretty discouraged, but now somewhat determined. So I call the doctor's office again. Nice Receptionist says, "Do you have a child on your head?" I said, "Yes." and my shattered hope of ever finding the doctor is suddenly restored as I'm now spinning in circles looking at the surrounding windows.

If she could see me I must be close. (I had Andrea on my shoulders which is the new easy way to get her from place to place.) I'm spinning in circles and she's laughing because it is pretty funny and I'm even now a little amused. I turn one way and she says "No", I turn and face the other way and she says "Yes". She directs me step by step until I see her waving to me from a window. A window on a building with a HUGE #29 on it. Nice Person #4.

The waiting room seemed full of nice old people who smiled at Andrea. Random Unnumbered Nice People. The doctor opens the door and says, "Is anyone Happy in here?" HA! I laughed. It was funny... and way better than boring ole' "Miss Happy, Mr. Happy" jokes. He did later say that it was too bad he couldn't marry me and be Doctor Happy. PS. His wife was a doctor in the same office. :)

Anyways, the doctor was super nice and talked to me for a while about California and my kids before asking why I made the appointment. Eventually I explained my problem to him ...which was nothing. I don't have a problem. My great-grandma, grandma, and mom all had/have the problems. I just assumed it was my turn. Thyroid "problems" are very hereditary... sorry girls.

He spent 20 minutes telling me all about thyroids and when Andrea got bored he... GET THIS... he gave her his phone to play with!! Nice Person #5! A few minutes later he was ultrasounding my throat like I had a baby in there. I saw my weird airways and my arteries and it was just weird. Our bodies have lots of stuff going on in there! :)

He said I needed some blood work because one side was "maybe abnormal". He and walked me back out to the receptionist and talked to the lady in German for me.

When I had the blood taken a nice lady did it and she gave Andrea a medicine squirter thingy to take home as a bath toy that squirts water. Nice Person #6!

I went home minus some blood, but very happy with my new doctor and all the people that were nice to me.

End of happiness....

Then I went to Scotty's doctor for his one needed vaccination.

It took only four people to hold him down while he screamed as if we were all viciously assaulting him. Seems my pep talk beforehand did nothing...

Seconds after his shot Scotty quickly pulled it together and stopped crying. I held and talked to him for 15 minutes in the office afterwards... He said "My heart was so scared and I couldn't stop it. My heart was just controlling me. I don't know how it did it." His exact words I swear. :(

My poor Brown Eyed Boy... I brought him home and fed him Spaghetti for dinner and followed it with a bowl of ice cream and Hershey's syrup. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Devil's Spawn

I finally got the letter saying I had to take Scotty to the German school doctor...

Let's just say the experience was less than pleasurable. It made me so incredibly angry and offended and helpless ...all at the time.

My letter said I should take Scotty to a "School Doctor" downtown at 8:15, on Monday morning. I'll save that long story by just saying.

- Monday morning traffic into second largest city in Germany.
- Two tired little kids.
- Finally take illegal parking spot at grocery store.
- Walk for four blocks in the dark... in the freezing rain.

If anyone is even thinking, "Gee, she should have taken the train... consider yourself punched and you are not my friend anymore. Click the x in the top right corner of your screen please. :) "

By some miracle we found where we needed to go and we waited our turn. The receptionist called us in and we met the "doctor". I'm not even sure if she was a doctor, but we'll just call her the Devil's Spawn for lack of a more fitting name.

The Devil's Spawn asked, in German, if we spoke German. I said "ein bisschen". First mistake. I should have just said, "No".

Truth: I don't speak any German. I can say some random words and I can put together very simple, yet still, very poorly constructed sentences. Having a 100 word vocabulary doesn't mean I speak a little German.


The Devil's Spawn tells Scotty to sit down and Andrea and I take a seat. She asks me, (in German) if Scotty understands German. I said he did not. She then SIGHED like a 14 year old, rolled her eyes, did the shoulder lift and drop... UGHH!!!

I get this move so many times from people here. It drives me nuts!!! I can't believe grown adults do this to other adults. It happens ALL THE TIME TO ME! So it's obviously she's annoyed with us in general...and I'm all of a sudden super excited to be there.

The Devil's Spawn asks Scotty to draw a picture of a house and a person. He spends some time picking the right color (red) and draws a picture, thankfully of a house and person, and NOT a dirty bubble. :) (I'll post a dirty bubble picture later)

His house has windows everywhere, a door, a chimney with smoke, a roof with shingles... it's awesome. I love it. What does The Devil's Spawn think? "Das ist sehr schlect." (This is very bad.)

She told me his person was incomplete. "Where are the fingers, toes, hair, ears... Weeeee all have these." Then she scribbles some blah-blah-German words on his file. My response: "Super picture Scotty, I love it."

The Devil's Spawn moves on. She has a picture, one that you tilt up and it shows a picture, tilt it down is shows another one... Scotty says he sees a flower and a car.

This one took me a while to figure out. I thought there was only two pictures... a car and a flower. He kept saying "Flower. Car. Car. Flower. Car. Car. Flower." Spawn Woman keeps saying "No, Nein, No". It wasn't until I saw the "answers" on the back of the card that I realized the card had three pictures and one was a STAR. Scotty doesn't say S's very well. His "Star" sounded like "car". She again rolls her eyes and starts telling me he can't speak. Should he be in school at all? Sehr Schlect...

Yah, well guess what? He's missing his speech class so he can sit here with you for this highly productive activity.

It went on with more things like this. She was mean and rude and the whole time Scotty thought he was doing everything wrong, and "losing" the games, despite my praise from the sidelines...

No, that's not a boat it's a ship. No, that's not a duck it's a goose.

She said he was color blind because he was saying puppy when she was pointing to the fish. Well, gee Spawn Woman, there is a puppy on the other of the paper, maybe he was too busy looking at the puppy made out of dots to see you were pointing your pointy little, crackly, cigarette stained, witch finger at the fish. He's FIVE.

She was even irritated he was shorter than her stand-on-to-measure-you scale. Another audible sigh...

Her pirate patch wouldn't stay on his head for the vision test... another audible sigh and rolling of the eyes, "Why is his head so small?"

It was terrible. Unreal. I can't believe this woman exists.

This is the best part:
Scotty was in the middle of naming pictures, incorrectly, when he looks at me and says, "When can we go back to America?" My poor little brown eyed boy... :( ...looking at me from across the long table with the Devil's Spawn yelling Nein in his sad little face... I wanted to scoop him up, punch the Devils' Spawn in the face, and take him home to feed him our last box of Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. :(

Instead I laughed out loud and did so pretty loud at that. Now the whole situation was just plain funny. I told The Boy I had some American licorice in my bag. He perked up a little...

We had now been there a while and now Andrea is starting to get bored. She gets up and roams around the room - silently. The Devil's Spawn tells me she can't walk around. Hmmm, okay. So I get her back on my lap and give her my phone. Spawn Woman yells... "NEIN!!!!" "NO PHONES". I just looked at her for a while ...a long while. After the last half hour of harassment and now this!

I'm done.

"It's not a phone, it's a toy. See? She's playing with it. Das ist ein spiel." Boy did I get a scowl then. I think that was exact moment we both realized we mutually hated each other.

So I figured what the heck... "So. Do you really think you should be working with children? Scotty is kinda stressed out after all this."

What? No sigh. No comment. Nothing... I'm tired of being nice and kissing her butt. I'm finally ready to tell her off and she doesn't have anything to say?!

"So are we done?" I felt a little bad at this point because I could sense I was giving her a pretty nasty glare on my face. We left. Who knows where her dumb report will go, but I'm all done with this. I did what Germany wanted and I'm all done.

It was weird though. I felt like I was trapped in this room and someone was harassing my child. I felt like I couldn't do anything. It felt like I was stuck there and had to do this. I was just helpless and waiting for it to be over so we could just be done and leave. It was like I was really being forced to do something I didn't want to do or else I'd get in trouble... I'm not sure why it felt like that it just did.

It was a strange and yucky feeling ... and that's why I'm done doing things for the schlect German School System.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where to go..... Where to go....

Caution: This is bound to sound snotty and hoitey-toitey... Sorry, I can't help it. :)

In January, everyone here starts to plan out their vacations for the entire year. It seems pretty soon considering we all just had a three week vacation for Christmas during which we went NOWHERE. :) (Fine by me though...)

What spurs these holiday decisions to begin so quickly is that there is a week long break in coming February and that leads to the following break, which is just a short time later in April.

Here is the odd part. We are discussing if we want to go the Canary Islands, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Paris, Mallorca, Croatia, Scotland, Turkey, London, Norway, Egypt... HA!

My vacations used to center around Disneyland, Santa Cruz or camping. :)

It's a little weird and never in a zillion years did I think I'd be trying to decide between Croatia, Greece, Turkey, or Mallorca. The fact that I am trying to choose makes me feel like a snob. Ummm... gee. Shouldn't I just be happy with ANY of them?

I AM happy and I appreciate it as much as my little mind can... but it's absolutely crazy that our family of six gets to go to these places, but I want to make sure my kids appreciate this opportunity. I don't want them to think this is normal.

I'm afraid that going to Italy and Paris and Germany and Denmark... :) I hope Europe doesn't seem blah, and, "yah-been-there-done-that" for my kids. Everywhere we go I try to explain to my kids that most of the people there have saved money for their entire lives to be there... The same places we have hopped in a car and simply drove to.

Maybe my kids will be fine though. Growing up I always wanted to go to Australia and just by chance my dad took us all there as a result of his job. We saw wild kangaroos, wombats, and kookaburras. Today I would still feel super lucky to get to go there again so maybe my kids will be fine... :)


Our tentative holiday plans:

La Rochelle, France - see an old family friend of Paul's.
Paris - climb the Eiffel Tower and see it lit up at night, and see the Mona Lisa. I've always regretted we didn't do either last time.
Luxembourg - see my Salad Friend from Denmark.

London - see our Swedish friends from Denmark, see Stonehenge and whatever else we should see in England. It's just nice to go to where people speak English.

Good ole' Tracy, California and Ontario, Canada. We were going to skip this trip... or should I say reschedule. Maybe Croatia or Mallorca will win, but currently our plan is to probably go home...

Unknown... but I'm thinking maybe Athens, Greece or the Canary Islands or somewhere warm... :)

I want to go to Canada for Christmas. We may use some air miles throughout the year to make this one happen. Yes, I know it's -21 degrees C in Canada in December... but oddly it still sounds fun. :)

Other than possibly October, we have started to repeat vacation spots. :) It has been three years you know...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hey Hockey Mom!

Obviously my resolution wasn't to write on my blog more.

Oh well.

I only have one moderately amusing story I feel like telling. :)

I am the new helper with Scotty's field hockey. I don't know if I'm prepared to call myself the assistant because I'm not sure how much longer I'll last ...those kids are nuts. :)

That's the reason I'm helping. Nobody even technically asked me. At the last field hockey practice the kids were out of control and going crazy. There are nearly 20 kids and one coach is not enough. Especially when the coach is a super nice German man who is extra quiet when speaking English. So at last practice I put Andrea on my shoulders and went to help a line of four kids who were running around...

I don't know anything about hockey, but I know that the stick has to stay on the ground and the objective is to hit the ball into the other teams goal. That's enough to start with.

After the practice I went to the nice quiet German coach and offered my help in the future. He said, "Yes!!! PLEEEAAASEEEE".

SO there you have it. I told the other moms I need a Hockey Mom shirt now. :)

I'm not sure how much longer I'll last though. In all honestly I think I'm having a hard time NOT being in charge. It took me one week to learn I don't do "assistant" well. :) I would have had kids doing push ups and running laps for not listening... :) I'll keep trying, it would be nice to do something with just Scotty.

I do miss coaching the kids' soccer teams and helping with the kids makes me happy. Even if I'm not in control. :)

My amusing story: There was this little girl at practice. She was new and probably 8 or 9. While I was helping her try and hold the stick right I figured out she didn't speak English, so I assumed she spoke German.

Now I'm feeling proud that I can say some words to her in German.
"Right" (richtig)
"It's your turn." (du bist strand)
"Slowly" (langzon)

Yah, I'm awesome like that now...

I am thinking she is understanding me and liking me because I'm cool and I speak fluent German. I just figured she was just shy...

Nope, turns out she speaks Hebrew. Poor thing was stuck listening to my substandard German words. I didn't even know you could speak Herbew. I guess I did, but I've heard heard a real person speak it, let alone a tiny little blonde haired 8 year old. It was cute. I guess I should learn some Hebrew words for her.

Guess my story wasn't very amusing... but it was amusing for me. :) ...and I needed something to write about.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolution Time!

I'm not a big New Years Resoluter, but I admit to trying... This year I will work on simple things.

#1. Try not to kill my houseplants.

I liked my houseplants when I first bought them. They were easy and made my house seem like we actually lived there instead of just passing through, but then they started to turn brown, and then they started to turn yellow. Before I knew it they were just ugly and bothered me.

SO I went online to research (without using Wikipedia). I discovered the problem!!! I'm either overwatering or underwatering... how un-helpful is that? Oh, and my plants are cold. HA! Well I'm cold too, sorry little plant, join the club.

We will see how this "not-killing-houseplant-plan" goes. I did move little plant to a spot closer to the heater. Then I cut off all the brown and yellow tips. ...and I won't water it until the dirt is dry... even though it's been like two weeks. :)

#2. Eat more fish. :) ...and not just Salmon.

I can cook Salmon just fine. Thanks to a certain Swedish person's recipe I can cook it quite well. :) However, any other type of fish and I'm completely confused. So unfortunately this means my family will have to endure eating non-Salmon fish while I try and figure out how to cook it.

That written, my first white fish attempt was a success... because I'm awesome. :) I bought some kind of white fish. I just picked the fattest fillets they had and covered them in bread crumbs, flour, salt, etc... the usual boring thing.. but the kids ate it and Andrea probably ate the most.

So there are my New Year's Resolutions. Nothing dumb like: Keep the house clean or don't yell at the kids. :) Let's be realistic.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ingrid's Blog

Remember when my Danish friends who aren't really Danish came to see me? It's great here in Germany where I have American friends, but I miss my International ones... :)

Here is Ingrid's blog. It's in Swedish... because she's Swedish, but google chrome translates all my websites automatically. :) Probably more of a necessity for me than most.

Ingrid, I'll try and find some food pictures... :) Maybe they are on a camera I don't usually use. If I can't find any I'll have to go back AND ORDER THE SAME THING! :) Miss you guys... Let's make this reunion thing a regular thing no matter where we are.... The world is pretty small after all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WHEEE another year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

I think it's a Europe thing, but on New Years Eve you are supposed to dress up... like in a costume... a Halloween costume. Nothing scary though, just funny and silly.

No, I didn't get the kids costumes... but I looked to see if there was anything for next Halloween. :)

Our night was fairly uneventful... as usual. :) We decided that with six people in our family we had enough to constitute an actual party on our own. So all six of us stayed up all night long and had a party! :)

Our partying included playing wii, watching movies, and eating tons of food... and then the three big kids had a sleep over party in the kids living room. :)

The highlight of our evening was our fireworks. I think this is the first time we have ever bought and set off our own fireworks. :) Where we lived in California it was highly illegal. In Denmark they were $20 a pop.

...Plus if you don't set off fireworks you have zero chance of getting hurt, says my risk managing husband. :) We had the perfect firework arrangement though: Daddy goes outside into the freezing cold, lights our fireworks, and the rest of us watch from the comfort of our living room. :)

Poozie sat on the couch under a warm blankie and loved every minute. After every firework she would hold a little finger up to signal, "One more!".

At midnight we went outside and watched the neighbors big fireworks. I still can't believe they let regular people... mostly drunk people... set these things off. They are small little rockets. Anyways, we watched fireworks for a while, but it was pretty cold and to see these fireworks we had to be outside. We only lasted a little bit.

Denmark wins though. Germany's fireworks only went on for about a half hour and then I heard pauses in the "booms". In Denmark it went on for hours straight, no quiet moments. I would wake up to fireworks in Denmark. :) I decided that Germans just set off their fireworks and go back inside to their beer. :)

Our New Year's Eve ended at 1:30am when the kids finally went to bed. Andrea has been the only kid, at age two, to stay up all night... and she did so quite easily!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Fourtunes!

How to tell your fourtune by melting metal. It might be a German thing because I saw these things for sale everywhere so I figured we'd better not miss out! It wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be, but in the end it amused us for a while on our New Year's Eve. :)

Step One: Translate directions.

Step Two: Pick your metal piece and use the spoon to melt it.

Step Three: Melt metal shape into a liquid ...a hot liquid.

Step Four: Plop hot liquid into cold water.

TA DA! Here are our shapes...

To get your fortune for the upcoming new year you first take your shape and decide what object it looks like. On the back of the package it lists a bunch of things and what fortune goes with them. Like if your blob looks like a cow it means you will gain weight that year. ...or something like that. :)

We got tired of translating and made up our own fortunes. Everyone will be extra nice to mommy and keep the house clean. yah.


We did pretty good this year. Despite the PILE of gifts we didn't end up with a silly amount of gifts. The kids obviously had a great time. I got a new camera and spent a lot of the time trying to figure out how to work it so I didn't get a lot of good pictures. :)

Girls got laptops and clothes and purses and UGG boots from their dad.
Scotty got legos and random toys.
Andrea got teaset things and buzz lightyear and woody toys.
I got a new camera and an iPad we've since sold. :)
Happy got a fondue maker and ties. :)

No, we didn't get a dog. We are doggie sitting for some friends.


Related Posts with Thumbnails