Monthly Archives

October 2011

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Memories

October 29, 2011

I’ve been busy all day getting ready for my sister, brother-in-law and baby niece’s arrival tomorrow. I’m super excited because we haven’t seen each other in 3 years and I get to meet my niece for the first time. It’s funny, a friend of mine recently said that it’s amazing how much more you can get done when you know you are getting visitors!!! ( But that’s another story, entirely!)

After getting the grocery shopping out-of-the-way (which took a big chunk of time out of my morning), scrubbing the bathrooms and adding a few special touches. I decided to get all the little things out that I put aside for when my niece would be here. I saved some special bibs ( first Halloween, first Christmas etc.), blankets and baby towels. As I was doing that I remembered that I wanted to get the Halloween costume out that both my girls wore for their first Halloween and now will be my niece’s first Halloween costume!!! Even though all that stuff has sat in special boxes in the closets, it’s now tumbling away in the washing machine…I’m a little anal that way sometimes.

So, there I was sitting in my closet in front of the special “baby” box and I really just wanted to get the costume out but then it happened…the usual when the box opens…memories engulfed me. My girls happened to be with me and soon the ooohhhing and aaahhhing started. We pulled every single item of clothing out…the outfit my boy wore for our wedding ( yes, he was there when mommy and daddy said ” I do.”), the onsie middle daughter wore home from the hospital, the tiny shirt and hat the hospital provided for my youngest daughter…and many more. It’s amazing how these outfits bring back so many precious memories and looking at them I can’t believe how much my “babies” ( they hate being called that) have grown.

My boy will be 11 in a few short months, middle daughter is 8 (  going on 18) and our “baby” just turned 3. I’m just so glad, I decided to make a memory box and keep some of those special outfits and I’m hopeful that one day I can give these things to my children to use for their babies. But in the meantime I will share with my “baby” sister and look forward to seeing my niece wear the same Halloween costume her cousins have worn before her!!!

How many of you have memory boxes or special items you or your parents have saved? I know I’m not the only one who does this…or am I???

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Paging Dr. Hank

October 26, 2011

Our favorite TV show this summer was Royal Pains. It’s about a doctor who opens a concierge/VIP practice in the Hampton’s. I love Dr. Hank and wouldn’t mind having him as our doctor ( I can dream, can’t I ?). More and more of these types of practices are opening up and many existing doctors offices are changing their practices to this model. They charge a yearly fee and the patient will get VIP treatment…no more time waiting in crowded waiting rooms, in home visits, if necessary, and other special treatment options.

Today, I took my elderly neighbor to see her internist for a check up. ( I do that once in a while, I like to help out when I can.) This doctor is in the process of changing her practice to the concierge model. Some of her new patients are already paying the fee and get the special treatment. While we sat ( my 3-year-old was there, as well) and waited, as did other patients, we saw some VIP’s come in and they walked right into the back.They paid for it so that’s what they expect. That’s great. But what about those patients that didn’t know and can’t afford it?

My poor neighbor sat waiting for almost two hours before the doctor finally saw her. Well, and so did we. Don’t ask how my little one did – poor baby – but she was a trooper. Why did she have her appointment set for a certain time? Why didn’t someone tell her that it was possible she would have a bit of a wait because of the changes going on? I just don’t get it. It happens all the time in doctors offices everywhere. I get that you run behind and that things crop up and an emergency might take you away. But 2 HOURS??? Really.

The part that always gets me is that they will charge you, the patient, for a visit if you are more than 15 minutes late and you have to reschedule. Is their time more precious than ours? I don’t think so.

Ok, I feel a bit better. Venting always helps, doesn’t it?

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Sleepless in Boca

October 25, 2011

In German there is an expression – “Strohwitwe” – the dictionary translation is grass widow. It’s an expression that Germans use when your husband or significant other is away and you are home alone. So, right now I’m a “Strohwitwe” because hubby is away on a business trip. It’s not horrible but we miss him. The kids bring him up constantly and they wonder what he’s up too. Our youngest daughter has conversations with him throughout the day on one of her play phones. It’s cute and funny.

I can deal with it and look for the positives, since he’s gone I can get more stuff done around the house. This week that happens to work out perfectly since I’m getting the house ready for my sister’s visit from Germany. I also cook all those meals the kids and I enjoy that he can barely stomach. So, really, it’s not all bad.

Unfortunately, as positive as I try to be, one thing I cannot do well when he is gone, is sleep. I toss and turn all night and wake up feeling like a zombie in the morning. I ask myself all the time why I can’t properly fall asleep. After all, he hogs the blanket, snores like a freight train some nights and tends to push the dogs in my direction so I have no room on our King size bed.

You would think with him gone and the bed all to myself, I would sleep like a baby. But no, that never happens. Maybe, the snoring is my white noise that lulls me to sleep. He also keeps the bed nice and toasty which is good because the air is always turned down to 68 degrees at night and I get cold.

Whatever the case may be, I cannot sleep well without him in bed next to me. So, for the next few days I will have to keep plenty of coffee on hand to make it through the day. And look forward to when he comes home and I can get a full night of blissful sleep.

Do you have issues with sleep? Does it bother you if your significant other is gone?

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Quote of the week (4) !!!

October 24, 2011

In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.

~ Johann von Neumann

How true is that? I don’t like math much at all and understand it even less. This seemed appropriate because trying to help the son with math homework is nearly impossible!!!

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The (Dual) Citizenship Dilemma

October 24, 2011

About three weeks ago, I nervously sent out my application for American citizenship. Yes, I finally took the next step. I have lived in the US for the same amount of time as I did growing up in Germany and the decision to become a citizen has been an easy one for me. I love living in this country and feel more American than German in some ways. How do they say–I’ve become Americanized!!!

Today, I received my “receipt” and now the application is being processed. If everything checks out, the next step will be fingerprinting. Again!!! ( I’ve had to do that so many times already since receiving and renewing my green card! ) After the fingerprinting and background checks are completed it will be time for the interview. I’m not too worried about it because I’ve “studied” the information for the test for years. The only thing getting in my way will be my nerves — I always get sooooo nervous – sweaty hands and all. Ugh!!!

One decision, however, I had to think about a little–do I keep my German citizenship and become a dual-citizen or go all the way…and become an American citizen. I choose not to keep my German citizenship! That doesn’t mean I’m going to march to the German Consulate and renounce it. It just means I’m not taking the extra steps to make sure I can keep it. ( I would have to pay the German government fees, as well as, fill out mounts of paperwork and show that I have ties and family in Germany. Many people might not understand and get offended by that choice, but it is my choice.

Both my husband and children are American citizen – by birth. I’ve put down firm roots here and have no desire to leave this country. In some ways, I’m idealistic by wanting to be a citizen…I want to pledge my allegiance to the flag, and be able to vote and proudly say ” I am an American!” And isn’t that what it’s all about? The American dream? That’s just me. People choose to become citizens for many reason and that’s their right.

Also, in a way I feel being a German citizen is my birthright and I shouldn’t have to pay and do mounts of paperwork to keep that. I was born in  Germany and raised there–I’ve always been proud to say that and I will always have that in my heart.(Part of my heart will always bleed black, red and gold!) It won’t simply go away when the time comes for me to take my oath of allegiance.

So, now the nail-biting and waiting begin.

Let me know what you think? Is it the right choice?

 

 

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Hello, Florida!!!

October 21, 2011

And here is the third installment…

After a long and somewhat nerve wrecking flight ( it was my first time on a plane, after all) to Boston and dealing with Customs we were off to Tampa, Florida. There, my dad who had left the week before us,picked us up in a silver Dodge Caravan…a car we’d never seen before…and I will never, ever forget that he had stocked each and every cup holder (I believe there were 8 in all) with Dr. Pepper which we’d never heard of before. To this day I love Dr. Pepper!!!

I also got my first look at Palm trees swaying in the breeze…what a sight to my still snow crusted eyes. We left Germany in the dead of winter and arrived to glorious “summer” in our minds.

From Tampa we had another two-hour car ride to Ft. Myers where our new home was going to be.

The next couple of months were filled with so many new things that to this day it’s still mind-boggling to me. My sister and I started our new schools. I went to High School and my sister went to Middle School. I think, we all went through some serious culture shock and growing pains. School for me was hell on wheels, socially. I didn’t fit in anywhere and was that girl with the weird accent when I bothered speaking to anyone which didn’t happen often in those first few months. I was still learning the language and getting my bearings. It was painful for me…I love to talk, a lot.

But over time things settled into place and I made some great friends ( you know who you are!!!) who actually liked my accent and loved the fact that I was from Germany. We all started enjoying our new life and even in those tough first few months realized how lucky we were.

After finishing community college in Ft. Myers, I decided to transfer to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. And this is where I am still. Shortly after I transferred here, I met my husband and the rest they say is history.

Now, I’m a stay at home mom, wife and “Hausfrau”, living the suburban dream. Looking back at those days and seeing where I am now, I will be forever grateful to my parents for being brave enough to take this step and starting this new life. Thank you.

 

 

 

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No Nap For Me

October 20, 2011

Another day without a nap for little one–another day without my 2 hour quiet-time. This has been going on for about two weeks now, my youngest just refuses to take a nap. I put her down, sing her the requisite amount of lullabies and  she promises me she will be a good little girl and sleep. Ha Ha. Very funny. Instead of sleeping, she gets up and goes to the bathroom– just one more time. And so it goes…Finally, it’s quiet, too quiet–I go, and check on her, very slowly and carefully opening the door, just in case she is asleep. Ha, fat chance of that. I don’t see her in her bed, instead, she’s playing with her dolls in the dollhouse. Hello? This is not taking a nap in my book.

So, what’s a mom to do? I know, she will most likely sleep in the car on the way to picking up her siblings from school. She’ll get about 30-40 minutes of shut-eye. It seems to be enough, she hasn’t had a major melt-down and goes to sleep pretty easy at night.

I think, I’m going to let it go for now…as long as she sleeps in the car and isn’t turning into a monster there is no reason to force her and make both of us miserable. The days that I insisted she sleep it was a struggle –her trying to be sneaky, me yelling at her when I checked on her every ten minutes. Then she would finally pass out and it would be time to wake her up–and oh boy, would I regret that. The fussing and crying would not end and result in a big headache for me.

I get much more done this way than if I was wasting time running up and down the stairs, tucking her in, yet again. Today, she helped me “clean” the porch and sliding doors. And we both enjoyed the beautiful weather and sunshine and most of all each other!!!

Any other suggestions? Do you think I should force it or leave it be if it is working for us?

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Saying Good-bye!

October 19, 2011

Here is the second installment…

How did we feel about moving to America and Florida in particular, my parents wanted to know. I for one was full of excitement and nerves. For me America was the country of Hollywood glamour and movie stars, the Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers…the land of dreams and opportunities….a pipe dream, a place I never thought I would go visit, let alone make my new home.

So yes, I was excited to take on this new adventure, I wouldn’t go alone, my family would be with me. But I was also nervous, what did I know about this place other than what I’ve read in magazines, seen on TV ( Beverly Hills 90210, anyone?) and heard from other people? I would be leaving my friends behind (which made me sad) and have to start from scratch. Oh, and did I  mention, learn a whole new language, as well, which frankly freaked all of us out a little!!!

But in the end the positives outweighed everything else. We left everything and everyone we loved behind and took a big step into the unknown. The day we left to fly to Boston my mom and I sat in front of our house( that wasn’t ours anymore) and cried like babies. You have to realize…my parents actually built that house with their own hands, lots of blood,sweat and tears, over a three-year period.

And then came the hardest part, saying good-bye to my grandma,my Omi. All the other goodbyes seemed to pale in comparison. This one was tough. I didn’t know when I would see her again, she was so much a part of our lives that it was hard to believe we couldn’t just stop by for coffee anymore. I remember, hugging her one more time, again and again and choking back tears.

Finally, we were on the way to the airport and a whole new world opened up to me!!!

Next stop, Tampa, Florida…sunshine, heat like we’d never experienced and Palm trees.

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Daddy do it…

October 18, 2011

” I want daddy to do it!”…That’s what I keep hearing over and over again, lately. Our youngest is in her daddy phase – big time. Anything that she needs help with, her daddy has to do. “Can I get you some apple juice?” …”No, I want daddy to do it.” …”How about I –help you unbuckle from your car seat?…help you put your shoes on?…bring you to bed?…cut the meat for you?…”Noooooo, I WANT DADDY TO DO IT!”

Little things and big things, she wants her daddy’s help…mommy just isn’t going to cut it right now…and you know what, I’m totally fine with that. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s our third and I’ve been there, done that! I look at it this way, she wants daddy to do it, great, it means, I can go do something else or simply just sit for five minutes. Which any of you moms out there know is very rare in a house full of kids!!!

A few weeks ago, my girls and I went to the pediatrician for their yearly check-up and he asked me if our youngest was in her daddy phase. I said “Yes, very much so”, and smiled. What he said next honestly shocked me…he wanted to know if I was okay with it. I probably looked at him funny because he kind of mumbled to himself, “Oh, I guess you are not one of those.” ( Whatever that means?)

As our conversation and the check-up continued, he mentioned that many moms out there don’t like it at all and have a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that their child doesn’t want mommy day in and out. I guess, I understand it to a certain extent but I am a strong believer in the ‘it takes a village’ train of thought. I couldn’t imagine doing it on my own– I know, there are plenty of moms and dads out there who don’t have a choice–and knowing that hubby is there to take over when they need and want him, is a great comfort to me.

Right now, it’s just a “daddy phase”, but judging by our middle daughters attachment to her daddy(and her little sister mimicking everything she does), I’d say it’ll last…both of my girls have their daddy wrapped nice and tight around their little finger…they know it and so does he!!!! 🙂 They are daddy’s girls! I do have my first-born — he’s a mommy’s boy–in all the good ways…but I love all of them to pieces– daddy’s, mommy’s or not…it doesn’t matter.

Which one are you?