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It gets me every time…

23 May

I’ve gotten used to lots of things over here.  And I don’t mean “Oh, feel sorry for me.  It’s been such an adjustment”…blah, blah, blah.  No, just literally, you adjust because you have to.  Life goes on.  You figure things out, you do things a new way, and pretty soon you forget how it used to be.  For example, grocery shopping is a completely different experience over here.  Shopping several times a week, taking my own bags, and usually just walking to and from the store has become the norm.  I barely remember the huge, weekly (sometimes less often) trips to the store, leaving with an overflowing shopping cart, only to come home and spend what seemed like ages putting it all away (in our 2 FULL size refrigerator/freezers).

But there are just some things I can’t get used to.  And this is one of them:

cluck, cluck

Finding feathers in my eggs just creeps me the creep out.  Ewwww.  Why?!  Never until I lived here did  Big Bird come home with me in my carton of eggs.  NEVER.  This is not the first (or second, or third) time that I’ve been able to trace the lineage of my breakfast just by the contents of the container it came in.  No, unfortunately, the incredible, edible egg often comes with a “full history” here, which I personally just don’t need.  I like in the back of my mind knowing “oh, yeah, eggs come from chickens”…not getting HIT IN YOUR FACE with “some chicken (whose feather lays here for proof) just laid this egg you’re about to eat”.

I know I am a bit squeamish about my food and it’s appearance and all…aaaaannd, I know that eggs do come directly from chickens.  And if I were on a farm collecting eggs, I’m sure there would be feathers.  BUT, since I go to the store and not the farm- is it too much to ask to get only the eggs?

What do you guys think?  Not that big of a deal?  Or super-duper gross?

Board books are sooo boring…

17 May

Like most kids her age, Quinn LOVES books.  In fact, “reading” by herself is one of the things she does to stay entertained while I make lunch or clean up around the house.  That and throwing things in the toilet.  You know, both equally entertaining.

She often takes her books to a large floor cushion we have and plops down to enjoy the printed word.  Ads, newspapers, and discarded letters (if they’re written in German we just pass them on to Quinn!) all qualify as interesting reading material too these days.  But apparently Quinn has a yearning for something deeper…more meaningful.  

This Max Lucado book was sitting on the end of the table the other day as Quinn was finishing breakfast.  She HAD TO HAVE IT.  You know, the kind of stretching and reaching that kids do to get their hands on something….the kind where you’re afraid they might pull a neck muscle.  As if their heads can reach further than their hands.  Anyway- Quinn wanted the book.

Sorry “Pat the Bunny”…you ain’t got nothing on 223 pages of Max Lucado.

Dream kitchen

14 May

Today we went furniture shopping.  Which, by the way is super fun with a toddler.  Seriously if you are ever low on excitement you should just take your kid (preferably around 19 months- you know, long on patience) to a ginormous furniture store.  The kind you need to be a cross country endurance athlete to make it through.  The kids LOVE it.  And so do the sales associates and other polite, self-controlled shoppers.  I promise you won’t leave wanting to jab your eye out with the blunt(er) end of a spoon.  Really.

Anyway, this post is about the kitchen…my dream kitchen.  I found it today.  I’m keeping the pictures I took so that when we move back to the States we can have this exact same thing put in whatever house we buy.  I think it’s perfect, and this way Joe and I won’t have to spend countless hours discussing the various tile options for the backsplash or  hashing out whose fault it is we went over budget.  From the start we’ll know the plan and we won’t stray- because this is perfection.

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No peeking too soon….

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Take one.

Take 2. Same kitchen.

Take 3. Still the same kitchen.

So, did you notice the standout feature?  Yes, the counter top edges change color!  Genius.  All the Jones’ will be trying to keep up with us.

Are you all jealous?  Don’t worry- we’ll have you over.

What’s with the toilet obsession?

4 May

Um, Quinn seems to be quite fascinated with the toilet these days.  Which would be awesome- if it involved sitting on it and you know, actually using it for its intended purpose.  No, her interest lies in tossing in objects and then having me fetch them out.  Ewww.  Seriously Quinn?  In the last day alone, I have rescued a horse and polar bear (thankfully both plastic and easily sanitized) along with a less fortunate stuffed knight (who now must be tossed in the washing machine) from the ultimate swirlie.  I *foolishly* think she is playing contentedly for a few minutes while I prepare breakfast or clean up lunch, only to be beckoned for by what resembles Lassie calling for help.  Quinn runs into the kitchen and through a series of “barks” and twitches pointing in the direction of the bathroom, signals someone is in distress.  Poor horsey laying there helpless and on the verge of drowning.  Upon retrieving the most recent victim I told Quinn “No throwing things in the toilet.  That’s icky and we don’t put toys in the toilet.”–Instead of realizing she was being scolded and getting upset, she laughed.

I guess it’s time for one of these:

And some of these:

Dumb idea

10 Mar

I have mentioned before that closets don’t really exist here.  At least not the built in, don’t cut into the space of your room kind.  You pretty much have to buy a wardrobe or a schrank as they call it to house your clothes, shoes, and anything else you don’t want on display.  Most of the time people just move their “closets” with them when they change houses.  We were very lucky that this house actually came with closets in the bedrooms.  The previous owner had them built in instead of using temporary ones that would be moved when he left.  So we inherited the ones he had professionally installed…yay us.

This unfortunately did not apply to the entryway.  There is no hall closet!  We do have a little “nook” with a mounted rack to hang coats on.  Above it is a shelf that up until very recently is where all the scarves, hats, mittens etc were being tossed.  Of course being blessed with legs similar to those of a pot-bellied pig means I need a step stool to reach.  Actually I need more than a step stool.  I need a mini ladder.  The problem with this is two fold: a) I HATE having to drag out a flippin’ folding stool every time I need to reach something on the shelf.  Sort of makes getting out the door quickly…well, not so quick.  And b) it’s a mess up there.  Everything was literally being thrown up there, making finding a particular item sort of like a little scavenger hunt.  Several times a day.  So fun.

I decided that the most frequently used items should be stored in a more organized/accessible way  and we could keep less important things up on the shelf in the hard to reach area.  Determined to  finally get “one room, please just one room, can one room look normal?!” in order, I set out to find something to hold our cold weather necessities.  I found a perfect three-drawer wicker unit that would fit neatly underneath the coats.  Yes.  Mission accomplished.

Sort of.

Don't be mislead- This stool will NOT help me reach "the" shelf.

DUMB IDEA.

Defense…a letter from Quinn

19 Feb

In response to some of the bad publicity I’ve been getting lately (e.g. drawing on the walls and shredding the toilet paper; thanks Mom for going public with those) I wanted to submit my own version of things.  I am a delightful 16 month old who provides much joy on a daily basis.  Yes, I will admit I am very curious and tend to act on my impulses but I mean no harm.  It’s simply not fair; adults get all the fun.  I mean they get to touch everything and go everywhere.  Why can’t I?  I need to explore, express myself…be free.  Ugh, sometimes being a one year old is so stifling.  I submit to the jury that I am an innocent, sweet child who is being misrepresented.  Since I don’t have anyone who can be a character witness (except my mom, but geesh) I submit these pictures as evidence of my “true” self.

Awww....shucks. You make me blush.

I mean, I have a really big head. And really small feet. I have other things to worry about besides ripping toilet paper and defacing property.

See, how sweet? I'm like this ALL the time, I swear.

So ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I implore you to search your hearts (and review the evidence) and decide for yourselves…who do you believe?

Yours,

Quinn

Edwina Scissorhands

16 Feb

Out of my eyesight for a mere 30 seconds and here is what I found:

Follow the trail...

Hey Shredder, what's behind your back?

She’s an arteest…

13 Feb

We’ve got a real Leonardo on our hands folks.  Her first masterpiece is a BE-YOOT.

creativity abounds...

what does this piece mean to you?

Yes, it's signed and dated...you know- just in case.

She’s just starting out you know, but for now her favorite mediums to work with are pen and wall.  Aren’t we lucky?

 

Relaxing…

12 Feb

Can someone hand me the popcorn?

Who needs an easy boy?

 

And yes…that is a table lamp on our dining table.  We still don’t have a ceiling light.  Don’t judge.

The move

9 Feb

Okay, so you all know by now we have moved.  Finally.  We are in the process still of getting all settled and organized here (pictures to come) but I thought I would make a little timeline showing what all has taken place the last few weeks.  Let’s see how well my memory is working, it seems to be fading in and out these days:

  • January 3rd: Return to Frankfurt at an ungodly hour in the morning and begin the agonizing pleasant task of getting Quinn back on a regular schedule and adjusted to the time change.
  • January 4th:  Begin the process of getting our German driver’s license (still don’t have them) and start scrambling to find a house to move into.  Long story short is that the house we had picked before going home for Christmas was rented out to someone else while we were gone.  That left us less than 2 weeks to find another house and get moved.  Uh-huh.
  • January 5th: Look at a house we decide is the one for us…YAY!  This was a HUGE relief.
  • January 8th: Attend the lease signing which had the feel of a formal house closing.  This was a 2 hour meeting with our relocation agent, the agents for the property, and the owner.  Let’s just say the lease was (okay, is) about 12 or 13 pages long and includes clauses directing us to “air the property out sufficiently on a regular basis” etc.  Don’t believe the hype- Germans are NOT detail oriented.
  • January 11th: Do a “walk-through” at the new house with our relocation agent and the property agents.  This involved walking through (go figure) the entire house and documenting everything about its existing condition; yes pictures AND video were taken.  We thought we were “getting the keys” and really we were getting a 3 hour tour of everything our kid could possibly destroy before we move out.  Awesome.
  • January 12th:  Our belongings from the States get delivered to the new house.  The movers put together the furniture and then leave us with a sea of boxes.  I start hyper-ventilating.
  • January 13th-16th: Our landlord at the temporary apartment is nice enough to let us continue staying there so we have more time to get our belongings in that apartment over to the new place.  That took several car trips because we had received an air shipment from the States with lots of our clothes, Quinn’s toys etc. that we needed before we got the rest of our stuff.  We work on transferring all of those things to the new house and try to spend some time unpacking boxes as well.  I find a mouse has been in the house with the discovery of everyone’s favorite kitchen accessory: turds.  I start hyper-ventilating.  (As a side note, I am not a generally squeamish  person.  I don’t mind blood, spiders, bugs etc.  However when it comes to food and where my food is stored I have issues.  And mice absolutely disgust me.  Just thinking of them makes me get those belly quivers you feel right before you hurl.)  Don’t worry you can all rest tonight knowing that there is no mouse in this house.  The house had been vacant for a couple months prior to us moving in and during that time it seems a little critter took shelter here.  He/She/It is gone.
  • January 17th:  One of the movers comes back to help us unpack more boxes and take packing materials away.  (You can’t just leave the empty boxes at the curb for pickup)  Jurgen is a very nice man who is endlessly patient with us as we go through things and decide what needs to go where.  He also has Poker Face as his ringtone for his cellphone.  We spend our first night in our new place.
  • January 18th-25: We start unpacking and trying to get somewhat organized.  Somewhere during this time we realize that we were a tad hasty in determining how a few of our rooms would be used.  We decide we want to switch around the bedrooms and office.  All of the furniture is already in place.  So we call the movers and ask if they can help us.  Meanwhile much of the unpacking has reached a screeching halt while we contemplate our new layout ideas.
  • January 26th: Another mover visits our house once again to help rearrange the necessary items to accommodate our new and improved vision for the place.
  • January 30th: Joe heads to Italy for work.  Quinn and I familiarize ourselves with our new town a bit and take care of some details such as more paperwork for our licenses etc.
  • February 2nd: We get our internet, cable, and phone turned on.  Sike.  We get all the necessary (at least we think) tuners, routers, cords, cables etc. to set it all up ourselves.  And a big, fat instruction packet all in German.  Very helpful.
  • February 3rd: Joe returns from Italy late in the evening.
  • February 4th: A man not from the cable company, but someone our relocation agent tells us about comes to help us connect our cable and internet.  We celebrate being able to once again communicate with the outside world.
  • February 9th:  I take a good look around this place and realize I need to stop blogging and start working!