Sunday, August 28, 2011

Have a good day kids!

Here are the Kinder! Grades 8, 6, 1, and preschool!

WHOO HOOO for School!!!

Even little Poozie is headed to "birdy school" for three full days a week! :) I have looked forward to this moment all summer.

Who am I kidding? I've been looking forward to having "free" days for nearly 13 years!

I deserve all the bon bons I'm going to eat! :) ...right after I do the shopping, clean the house, do the laundry, make the dinner, cut the grass, and iron the shirts. Basically all the same stuff I did before, but now I get to do it without a carting Andrea to and from. :)

Back "Home"

These pictures are for Gwyn and Tatey... who have never been on an airplane and wanted to know what it was like. They will have to check out the youtube movie we made just for them!! :)

So yes, we are back home... been home for a while now, although I don't even know where "home" is anymore. :)

When we are here in Germany we talk about going "home" and things we miss from "home", but when we are in California or Canada we talk about going "home". So home is always wherever we are not. We are never home.

Hmmmm... That sounds depressing. Well, it kinda is. I guess I could take the "glass is half full" approach and pretend home is everywhere, but that would be a la-la-my-life-is-awesome comment more suitable for facebook. :) (Having a fed up with Facebook moment too.)

My main problem is that when I came back to my German "home", Shelly, one of my most favorite friends on earth, had moved back "home". Shelly was the first friend I made here in Germany and I never would have made it without her. Never.

...and the last few days have made me wonder if I will make it now that she is gone.

If I had a terrible day I would call her and she was guaranteed to have a worse story from her day: her oldest son peeing in his eye, her youngest son having a monster fit at the grocery store, or about her daughter voluntarily telling the entire school and all watching parents that she didn't brush her teeth that morning. :) I know I can still call her, and she will probably have some good stories, but it just isn't the same.

Even Scotty woke up on the first day of school excited to see Shelly's son, his first real best friend, Clay, at school. I had to explain to him that Clay moved back to America and wouldn't be in the school anymore. I thought Scott got it, but today he asked why he still isn't seeing Clay's name anywhere... "not even on library book or weekly helper list." that just means my little brown eyed boy is still looking for him. :(

So I'm still kinda bummed our friends have gone "home" ...and I kinda wish I had a home.

But maybe home is where you can pass out on the couch... in which case I guess we are home. :)

...but I guess by those standards that would make the London airport our home too...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Superstar Scotty

Scotty is awesome.

He's definitely got the skills, The Boy just needs a little guidance. :)

He is checking to see how many "views" he has too. He told me ten people had viewed it. He seemed pretty proud about it too. :)

PS. It's Scotty's birthday today and Sierra's tomorrow!!! More to come about that obviously!! :) I'm excited to have a new 6 and 11 year old!

Maybe this 11 year old will be better than the last 11 year old I had. :) HA! I'm hilarious, huh Michaela?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Maybe this is why I went off on healthcare last time...

...and did I mention that we bought travel insurance for our entire family for 18 euros a year? :) We did our best to use it this year. :) I'll be interested to see what they cover because I think we used every aspect possible.

Anyways, Andrea had woke up one night and was crying and was holding her eyes. It just so happened that there was the biggest thunder and lightening storm I've ever seen at the time so I thought she was scared. It was a long night with her whimpering and being sad. :(

As the night went on I started to think she was hurt. She started saying Oww and she wouldn't open her eyes at all. In the morning she still wouldn't open her eyes. She just sat there with both of her eyes closed. I was talking to her and telling her everything that I was doing so she would know. "Mommy is going to put on your socks." "Scotty is handing you your bunny right now." "Mommy is going to go potty so I'm going to stand you up on the floor." "We are going to the car now." "We are going inside the doctor's office so he can fix your eye." "Mommy has to open her purse so sit here and hold my arm." :( It was so sad, but I'd love her even if I had to do that forever. She just sat there, eyes closed, silent, still. :(

Anyways, I had taken mUm and we went to her eye doctor. We walked into the eye doctor completely unannounced and he saw us before we even had a chance to sit down. If you don't call, they can't tell you no ...and who can turn away a cute two year old? :)

I will forever love the eye doctor who made my daughter see again. :)

Andrea did great. She didn't cry at all.

The eye doctor put some numbing drops in her eye and we persuaded her to open it. Eventually she did and then we had to see what was wrong. She had to put her little tiny chin in the big grown up eye exam machine and hold on to the sides. :( She looked so tiny, but she did everything she was told. I was so surprised. She looked where she was supposed to, she was patient and sat still. I'm pretty sure she wanted to be helped.

It took a while, but the eye guy took some sand out of her eye. Then he had to flip her eyelid inside out to get one tiny piece of sand out. Ewww. She just sat there on my lap, little chin in the giant eye exam machine thingy...

In the end he took out just a few grains of sand, but her eye had been really scratched up. She was fine from that point on. Phew.

($90 and one hour) :)
(If you are going to get hurt in Canada, make it an emergency.)


Michaela had her braces break while in Canada. At first a wire popped out and snapped, but a jet ski crash took the entire bracket off her tooth. I took her to a random orthodontist who charged me $40 dollars to look at her mouth and say, "Wait until you get back to Germany to fix it". She did give us some grape wax in case we needed it. Ummmm thanks. :) :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Boat Rides ....and healthcare. :)

We drove the boat to the park! :) How cool is that?!

Technically this is about two boat rides. Once we rode to the park, the next time we rode to Port Carling for ice cream. :)

Even Charlie the dog came with us. :) This is probably more amusing to me because I find it really amusing that we could ride a boat somewhere ...and park in a boat parking lot ...and instead of putting on seat belts we put on life jackets. :) Cool huh?

It is definitely cute. Even though I got motion sickness and Scotty fell asleep at the park because he had an ear infection and strept throat which later landed us in a walk in clinic for four hours to get antibiotics.

Canada got twelve points for fixing Happy's tooth quickly, but they lose 986 for making Scotty, Michaela, and Me wait in a walk in clinic for four hours before being seen by a doctor who was clearly in a hurry to get to the next person. ($50, antibiotics $30)

...and I only put the prices because people ask me about the health care over here in Europe. I'm not political, but I have some definite opinions on the health care now that I've used it in a few different countries ...and I do realize that it's only based on my own personal experiences, but it's my blog, I can write what I want. :) Nah.

Denmark: They gave me nothing. They were not concerned with my comfort. They were cheap and everything we dealt with there from child birth to ear infections was miserable. ...except for that time a doctor showed up at my door and gave me a shot in the butt. That was awesome. :) Everything else made me cringe.

Germany: We have the basic insurance, what I think most regular ole' Germans have. It's not private even though my husband says it is. :) I've never seen a bill. I only pay a $10 copay once every four months. Scotty gets speech therapy on a regular basis for free and anytime I show up at the apotek for antibiotics they give them to me for FREE. I see all the same doctors as those with private insurance and I don't have to wait.

America: I can't remember details, but I know copays were expensive and the girls being born put me in debt.... and my dad had to help me pay for insurance when Michaela was born or else I would have had zero coverage for her birth. Thanks Dad. I don't think the US is the worst though... I can see how it misses people, but honestly, nothing will be best for everyone. As a mom of four kids, someone will always be unhappy... :(

Canada: I'm not a citizen, but I've used it several times ...and from what I understand residents do the same thing I do unless they have private insurance. Not sure though. It's always been easy to get care, but it takes FOREVER!!! It's not silly expensive though

I'm not sure how a post about going on boat rides turned into health care, but there you have it. Tara's Opinion's on Healthcare. :)

Here is Scotty with an ear infection and strept throat. :) He's the best sick kid I know.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Squeeze over, but not too fast

I see this sign every year in Canada and I finally took a picture of it. :)

It says if you are caught going 50km over the speed limit on the freeway 30 miles over, then they will take away your car immediately and fine you $10,000.

Love it!

(Little note: When we got home to Germany we had yet another speeding ticket for going 6 km over the speed limit 6 km is 3.7 miles per hour.... 15 euros)

Here's my favorite. :) Maybe "Merge" means something different in Canadian.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It's all fun and games... until someone loses a tooth.

All that goofing around and having fun in the water and Uncle Pauly ends up getting half of his tooth chipped off by an airborne kayak. :)

Canada had it fixed ...two hours and $350 later.

Go Canada.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Canada... hotter than California!

...back to our first days in Canada.

When we arrived in Toronto at midnight we were greeted with the hottest and most humid weather I would have ever though possible for Canada at midnight. I'm not sure how we plan our trip around all of Canada's record high days. :)

Once again, Paul's brother and his wife picked us up from the airport. Now that we travel with 900 lbs of luggage and six people we require more than one car to help us get from A to B. Thanks so much to Uncle Greg and Auntie Red for picking us up!!!

We went to the hotel which, well maybe it just needs a picture. It's a plain ole hotel. Pretty cheap. But it has a pool and a huge room in the center with pool tables, play area, tables, water fountains, big open places for the children to run around in and act unruly... It's near where Paul's brother and sister both live and we have managed to stay there every year we visit Canada. It's a new tradition. :)

So we stayed at the hotel that night and the next day half the cousins (one family) arrived. :) All kids were beyond excited! They really do enjoy these weeks with each other and I really enjoy hanging out with them.

The next day we headed up to the cottage where the real fun happens... :)

Here is the cottage. It's one of my favorite places on earth!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Even though we are already home in Germany I have to backtrack and tell about Canada!

Starting with.... Andrea's Birthday!!

Andrea is THREE!!
She is such a big girl now and I'm SO happy I'm done with "babies"... Babies and little kids are great and all, but I've had a solid 12 years of it and I'm all done. :) I'll just play with my friends babies and send them home when bedtime comes.

Anyways... like her last two birthdays, Andrea spent the day with all of her Canadian family! She had a great day playing in the water, riding jet skis, fishing, and going tubing. She is definitely the adventurous one; although Scotty did manage to do all of the above as well, just not as willingly. :)

The birthday bonus this year was that Andrea wasn't afraid of her birthday cake!! ...and she was only afraid of a few presents. :) Ladybug sleeping bags and bumblebee umbrellas can be pretty frightening you know, but at least she was excited to open gifts like a normal kid. :)

Then came the birthday cake:

There she stood on a chair.
Surrounded by her brother and sisters and all eight of her cousins.
As we brought out the cake I quickly flashed back to last year when our loud, loving song emotionally destroyed her for the rest of the day.
I quickly warned everyone to sing quietly.
We all sang, not to loud, and the next forty seconds were one of the top ten experiences in my life.

As we were singing Andrea just looked around at everyone with the best smile on earth. A slightly embarrassed smile, but a genuinely happy smile, like the smile she would give a cute little bunny rabbit. Not a smile because she was given candy or tickled. It was a just a happy smile. A real happy smile. She just kept looking at each individual person and smiling. She totally knew that we were all singing to her. She knew she was special and she was loving it. I wished I made a movie, but these pictures will probably be put to more use.

...but I still wanted a movie so I made everyone sing again. :)

(I can't make it show up, all my videos can be found be searching for the keyword "kebearbug" on you tube.)

Her smiles are still cute and adorable, but just not the same as first round.

It's also funny because looking back it never even occurred to me to sing "Happy Birthday Dear.... Andrea". It naturally came out, "Happy Birthday Dear.... Poozie". :) Sorry Grandma who is not a fan of the nickname. :)

Here comes the trauma ...because we all know it's coming...

The cake, which she obviously loved, was now ready to be eaten. I asked her if she wanted one of it's sparkly ears. She said yes, and I cut the ear off and gave it to her. I had wondered how she'd feel about cutting her special kitty cat cake, but she seemed okay. I cut a few more pieces. Everything was fine ...then someone asked for the chocolate eye. As I cut the eye piece and handed it away I realized I had done a very, very, very bad thing.

Andrea pointed at the disfigured kitty cake and started yelling "Owwwie, Oww Owww". Her words quickly turned to hysterical crying and screaming and pointing. I had just slaughtered her cat and I was now serving it to her cousins who she, just a few second earlier, had smiled at with all the love in the world. Now she hated each and every one of us. :(

Figures, huh? I felt bad, but then again, I should have known better. Plain rectangular cake for Andrea next year.

I eventually had to take her away from the table and amuse her with the new non-scary toys until the cat eating was finished and all of the evidence was cleaned up. I gave her a Popsicle later as a special birthday treat because she obviously just has problems.

I love you and all your problems Poozie. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pedaling mit my Dad!


I rode 20 miles on a bike.

As in, I pedaled a bicycle 20 miles ...with my own two legs!

This is nothing to my dad who used to ride 100 miles at once and now considers 20 miles a "short ride", but I feel that riding 20 miles makes us both awesome! :)

It didn't take all day either, maybe an hour an a half. :)

Nope, my legs didn't hurt the next day, but I should have worn the special padded-butt bike pants because my butt was super angry at me. :)

Love ya Dad! Happy Birthday!


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