Aug 25, 2010

Behind the Pictures

Over the past few days I have been switching out pictures from my frames and reorganizing how I am hanging our picture frames. In the process I have found myself lost in memories as I look at the pictures, not the ones on display but the ones I keep behind the pictures.
I never take pictures out of frames, I simply put the most recent one in the front and move the rest to the back. Today, I glanced at the first photo studio shot taken of Gabe at 2 weeks. There were pictures of my nieces, my family, my kids, and Matt and I. Years and years of pictures were hiding behind that glass. I found it so interesting that the really good ones, the ones that jog memories and reveal someone from a different time and place, are the ones hiding.
Maybe I need to start displaying the old ones?

Aug 23, 2010

We've Moved

Our new address is 40 Grant Circle. We have 3 toilets. The end.
In the past 15 days we have successfully transferred all of our possessions from apartment 1-A Jackson to the new place on Grant, went to a friend's musical theatre production, attended the Weinheim Fest (for the second year in a row), went to a U2 concert, cleaned out the old apartment, and decorated the new house....well mostly.
We've been busy.



Aug 9, 2010

Cops and Robbers. Cowboys and Indians.

Nazis and Jews? Uh oh.
It is hard to live in Germany and see so many historic sites without talking to the kids about Nazis and their hatred for Jews. We've taken the boys to the Nazi Documentation Center in Nurnberg, to the Topography of Terror exhibit in Berlin, the Jewish Culture Museum in Berlin, and a number of other sites that have incited conversation about Hitler and Nazis. We haven't talked about concentration camps yet, but still the boys know that Nazi's didn't like Jews and that was a big problem during World War II.
Today the boys were playing and since the apartment is mostly empty (due to the move) they have nothing to play with other than their imagination. Sure enough, leave it to Gabe to start a new game of Nazi's and Jews. He was a Nazi and decided that Eli was a Jew and must be arrested.
Shock and horror overwhelmed me. What is my child thinking? Then I realized he is just playing out what he is learning about. Some kids hear stories of cops and robbers. Other hear about cowboys and indians. Mine have recently heard a lot about Nazis and Jews.
We had a quick intervention and then Matt and I realized we better prepare a strategy for damage control before Gabe starts playing with the neighbor kids.
This child keeps me on my toes.

Aug 6, 2010

Paint Flies

Painting is not my strong suit. Actually, painting isn't even in my closet. I can get the job done, but it won't be pretty and I leave an almost unbelievable path of destruction by the time I am finished.
When we painted nearly every room in our apartment a different color, we knew that we would have to paint it all back to white before we moved. I wasn't bothered by that at all because after three years of hanging pictures, marks, scuffs and dents...chances are the walls would need painted anyway. I figured a little work would be worth having our home feel inviting and warm. However, instead of there being three years in between paint layers, it is down to one and since I was the one who insisted upon painting those pretty colors, I'm the one who has to paint the white.
I started this project yesterday and in just a few hours the dining room was transformed from a beautiful goldish warm happy place to an ugly white walled cavernous hole. And the floor was transformed from a light, shiny wood to a white speckled sticky mess.
My sister can paint in her good clothes, doesn't need to tape off the baseboards or ceiling, and the only drop of paint that will get on her or in the wrong spot is the drop that I slung at her. I just don't have those skill sets. Apparently, I get paint on my feet and then walk around the house leaving a trail of white spots, and although I did tape off the baseboards and had a drop cloth on the ground there is still paint everywhere. I won't even try to describe the mess on my arms and hands and my mom would have a heart attack if she saw the condition of the brush and roller. But, I am a few walls down and a few more to go to having this place turned back into an institutional cave.
While painting I came across something very disturbing. A mass of Fruit flies in my kitchen. Perhaps the more disturbing thing is that I actually left out a bowl of fruit...overnight, but I would like to shift the blame from myself and direct it to the fruit. The scene was soo disgusting I actually questioned if the flies were already in the fruit and just spawned when the fruit was left out or if they just smell the rotting fruit and come from miles away to infect my kitchen. I realize it is not the former but again, I would like to shift the blame. I quickly got the fruit out of the house but I was still left with those itsy bitsy flies. I decided there was no point in trying to kill them all, so I pressed on with my painting project. All was well until the flies got too close to the wall and now I have flies stuck to my wall.
This is why I shouldn't do projects....or be held responsible for putting away leftovers.

Aug 4, 2010

2:00am

The other day my sister told me that she was having trouble sleeping, her mind was racing about things she couldn't control and all that thinking and worrying was keeping her up. So, she came up with a brilliant plan: instead of stewing about her issues. . . she would think about mine. Apparently, she thought my issues would be so boring that she would quickly fall asleep. It didn't work, but I'm totally giving her Kudos for her creative solution.
I'm awake and it is 2:00am. The windows are open and a cool breeze is blowing through the house and the sound of light rain drops fill the air. One may think that these are two very good components in the recipe for good sleep, but one would be wrong.
There are a few reasons why I may not be able to sleep but none of them involve stress or stewing: I had cappuccino after dinner, my friend found a pair of Adorable brand spankin' new Keen shoes for Gabe at our thrift store for ONE dollar and dropped them off on my doorstep -but they don't fit, I have a neck ache, I didn't work out today so I'm a little irritated with myself, and I played Angry Birds before bed time. Yes, I fell off the Angry Bird wagon. That is probably why my neck hurts too, looking down at that darn screen trying to kill that green guy with the bird.
Since I'm up I figured I should do something valuable with my time like write an incredibly insightful blog. However, as I sit staring at my keyboard I realize that although I am awake at 2am, I'm not really insightful.
But I can update you on what has been on our minds the past 15 days. Moving. Before you get too freaked out, we are not leaving Germany. We currently live in a little apartment with one toilet. The size of the apartment, not really a huge issue, but the one toilet thing is incredibly irritating. Long story short, there are some duplexes on post that are set aside for higher ranking people. Two weeks ago the Garrison changed policy and authorized people of Matt's rank to move over there. In order to do so we had to jump through some hoops and peel off layers and layers of red tape and finally yesterday we got the official word that we are approved to move. However, the tape and hoops took so long that there is no longer a house available for us. They put us on the waiting list today and expect that a house should become available any day now. Praise God! The process was really frustrating because everything was taking way longer than it seemed like it should which cast doubts about whether or not we would get approved and every day I would wake up wondering if it was going to be moving day. As of today, we are first on the waiting list and should be assigned one of the four houses that are undergoing some routine maintenance as soon as it is complete.
It almost got ridiculously ugly today when the housing lady told Matt that we had to have two years left on our orders to qualify for the move. We just hit our one year mark this past Saturday meaning we are now inside of two years. Matt was taking a deep breathe in order to completely blow a gasket when the housing lady so kindly said "well, you did start this process quite a while ago so we'll go ahead and move forward". Whew. We turned our paperwork in on July 23 and there was a house available. Our one year mark was July 31. A house was still available all the way up until August 2, but we didn't get our paperwork signed by all 2343 people who had to sign it until August 3. And this really is the short version of the story.
Right now we are thankful that our request was approved and looking forward to moving into a 4 bedroom 2.5 bathroom duplex down the street as soon as it becomes available. We are praying that this happens soon, not just because we want to get this ball rolling but we also want to make sure nobody gets crazy about us no longer having a full two years left here.
It is now 2:30am and I'm still wide awake. I'm going to take some Aleeve for the headache and try thinking about Katina's problems - maybe I'll get to sleep after all.