Tag Archives: life

Baby got lag…

27 Aug

Yes, that is to the beat of Sir Mix-a-Lot.  That’s what lack of sleep does to you.  It makes you CRAZY.  We are just back from the U.S. and until Quinn figures out we’re not on Central time anymore, we must all bow to her schedule.

It’s been so long!  How is everybody?  I’ve got SO much to write about, many pictures to post, and who am I kidding- laundry to do.  But for now the main task is getting back on schedule.  Today the Gummersbach family slept until noon.  Yes, 12pm.  Uh, I haven’t slept that late since I was a teenager.  But, when your kid is awake between the hours of 11pm and 3:00am wanting to romp around and play, and eat and play, and read and watch “ELMO!”, well it takes its toll on you.

Let’s see, in the last 6 weeks we’ve had my parents visit, my sister visit, and been to the U.S.  Throw in mini trips to London and Zurich in the mix and that makes for a very full summer!  It’s been great and there is so much I want to share.  For now though I just want to say hello, let you know we’re alive and there are more blog posts to come!  At this very moment Quinn is screaming- torn between going to sleep (like she should!) and thinking it’s only dinner time…thank goodness for husbands who take their turns with restless kiddos.

Hopefully within a few more days we’ll be heading into our normal routine again and I will be able to organize photos etc. so that I can get this blog updated with everything that has happened over the last several weeks.

Hope everyone has had a lovely summer!

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As American as…blueberry cookies.

5 Jul

Happy Fourth of July…a day late!  Not exactly celebrated here, understandably so I guess.  Over the last few days I sort of sadly (and almost stupidly, I mean duh) came to the realization that Fourth of July would come and go here without much fanfare.  And while I did take time out to think about the importance of the holiday on all the significant levels ( and by the way living abroad can make you really appreciate other cultures/histories while still boosting your patriotic feelings for your own country), mostly I longed for a good ‘ole fashioned American style barbecue.  It sounds silly and superficial but it’s true.  I really wanted that long picnic table covered in red and white checks lined with an array of summertime favorites.  And I grieved, if just a bit, for the passing of Independence Day without the usual feast.  And fireworks.  I don’t want to forget about the fireworks.

Moving on.  I went shopping this morning and one of my stops was Aldi.  I think most of you are familiar with Aldi right?  Discount store, no frills etc.  What was on special for the week?  Three guesses.  Your stumped?  Okay, American style food.  Seriously!  There was a whole display dedicated to all things “American” and they were seemingly even more specific to cooking out.  Ah, Eureka!  Surely I could find a taste of home here right?  As I excitedly surveyed the selections, anticipating the sweet success of finding longed for items, the first thing I saw was “American Blueberry Cookies”.  In a box.  What?!  I am not going to claim that there aren’t plenty of boxed cookies, and well boxed anything for that matter, in the U.S.  I mean, it’s true…we love us some preservatives and long shelf life.  BUT, when I think “American”, I DON’T think of boxed blueberry cookies.  Not wanting to be deterred I continued scanning the items to see what other familiar things may be available.  Hmm, mayonnaise (called Hamburger sauce), ketchup, pickles…seriously?  This was disappointing to say the least.  I did come across bagels and hamburger buns (neither of which I have seen previously) and bought those for an upcoming cookout I’m planning.  I guess all was not lost.  But, come on.  Mayonnaise, ketchup, and pickles are available here all the time.  So, the big “American” selection really boiled down to bagels, buns, and boxed cookies…I guess that’s how we’re seen over here!

Generic logo which was used for the packaging on all items in the "American" display. I had no idea Hamburger Broetchen was so American.

So the question is:  What foods do you associate with being American?  And what foods would you miss the most if they weren’t available to you?

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?

We’re in kilograms and centimeters baby!

29 Mar

“How will I find a pediatrician?!?”  These were some of the first words I uttered after learning about our relocation to Germany.  At the time we first heard the news  Quinn was just a young infant.  The pediatrician is an instrumental character in your life at that point.  I think every (well, almost) new parent, even the non-worriers, takes comfort in the proximity and accessibility of a trusted pediatrician.  The same was true for me.  Quinn was a SUPER healthy baby.  I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything, but the girl has had like zero illness.  No ear infections, no major colds…really nothing.  But, still- knowing her doctor was just a phone call or quick drive away felt good.  The thing is, I’m not sure I knew how good it felt until it became a luxury I didn’t have.

Relocating and having to tackle finding a doctor was one of the challenges I was most concerned by.  It can be difficult enough in the States.  But throw in elements like a different language and a different health care system, and you have a much more intimidating task.  I wanted to wait until we were living in our “permanent” home so that I could choose a doctor that was fairly close.  Since moving in January the “doctor thing” has been hanging over my head.  Well, no more!

Last week we took Quinn to her first doctor’s appointment in Germany.  And it went very well.  I found an English-speaking doctor within walking distance from our house.  Quinn almost seemed to enjoy her doctor’s visit.  Is that a little weird?  The doctor was very friendly and Quinn didn’t seem to mind at all as she poked around to check her out.  Then it was time for what all parents dread…shots.  Not even a whimper.  I kid you not.  NO tears and really no acting bothered by it at all.  What a champ!

Oh, and for the record- she weighs 10.5 kg and is 78 cm tall.

Phew…glad to have that out of the way!

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.