28 June 2010

No Beach

We can not go to the beach!

On Saturday, we went to the Bat Mitzvah. It was beautiful and of course I cried. Seeing how a little girl grows into a woman is fantastic. I met her when she was three years old, younger than my big boy now. In three weeks, she will be thirteen. Wow. It was a beautiful service and she did a very good job. (For those of you who don't know, when you become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, YOU, as young boy or girl, have to do the majority of the service!) The party was great, even though we left a little earlier - it is just not the right thing for my super little kids.

But the girl that came from Europe brought the chicken pox. So she could not attend the service or the party. Yesterday, we were suppose to go to the beach houses with the family but now we can't. I figure she came all the way from overseas and she should be able to enjoy at least some of the celebrations. So we stay here at Mema's house and enjoy the pool.

I am going to keep it short for today - it is hot and we want to jump into above-mentioned pool! Yeah.

25 June 2010

Life being away from home

Hey there,
I have not tried to neglet you guys, but we are at my hubby's family's
house. I can only tell you about it, but you will have to wait for pictures until I get back home. We left our house on Saturday - yes, the day BEFORE Father's Day. This was planned and we celebrated the day before with the Hubby. It was Peanut's first plane ride and I was very nervous beforehand. But she did great! We had a layover which makes the trip a little longer, but she did it all. She took a short nap and the rest of the time she just ate! Yep, that is what she likes to do.... We got here very late on Saturday night, and the kids both fell asleep in the car. I had to dress Coqui once we reached the house, but Peanut, being already in PJs, woke up and just screamed. So I had to lay down with her and it was a rough night. The first day, Peanut was not very happy. Different house, different people, oh she did not like it. She was super clingy, if that is possible, and I could not use the bathroom without her! It was terrible.

But after a day or two, she got a little warmer with Mema and Buelo. After almost a week now, she is completely fine. She crawls around the house, gets into Coqui's toys and is just being her own little self again. We have visited friends and family every single day, so we had play dates every day. She loves it. She wants to be in the middle of all the big kids, crawls after them and laughs with them. It is so adorable. And Mami is glad, too.

Tomorrow I will leave her with Mema and Tia - let's see how she will be then. With her, I am always a little uneasy..... but I am only a half hour away in case things should go real down south.... I (!) am looking forward to tomorrow. Going to my second Bat Mitzvah. I have seen her sister do it three years ago, now it is the little sister's turn and I am very excited for her to pass this milestone. This family means alot to me.

Coqui has lots of fun, too. He loves his Mema - she is lots of fun and pays him lots of attention. He loves seeing all his cousins and friends, exploring and enjoying being outside!!! Beulo has a big pool and he was not one bit afraid of it but jumped right in. He loves that he can go on the playground, any time of the day. We go out for ice cream and mini golf. He is in heaven....

We have a whole other week here, and the big weekend of the Fourth! So lots of more fun. A little trip down to the beach with friends. More family and the baptism of Our Carrier - and for those who don't know, the lady that carried Peanut! I am so looking forward to that event. I saw her the other day and loved how she looked. She looked at peace and to me that is ALL I ever wanted for her! I am so happy that God came back into her life and turned it around like this. We will be there to witness that. And she, and her entire church, is so excited that the baby, aka Peanut, will be there with her! We have a surprise for her! But I can not say it yet....

I will be back here!

19 June 2010

I have 4 children now!

The last couple of days, Coqui has rediscovered his two mice that he brought back from New Jersey, I believe, a year ago. They were his aunt's.
So two nights ago, I had to go through the entire bedtime routine with those two mice and (!) Coqui. That means: put PJs on them, brush their teeth and, of course, they had to go pee pee and poopies when Coqui had to go!
Coqui read them a good night story and then he wanted to sleep on the floor with them. That didn't work and after getting up multiple times, I told him that they could sleep in his bed. Oh yeah.....
And this whole routine takes twice as much time as it usually does, and Coqui's routine is not short! It takes about 30 to 45 minutes until he is finally in his bed and asleep. I don't mind because that is just HIS time to us all alone. Peanut is usually sleeping. So he has Mami and Daddy all to himself. And that is okay in my book (and his I guess!).

In the morning, I thought he would have forgotten about them. Oh no!He woke up and immediately grabbed the mice, oh by the way their names are BoyMouse and GirlMouse. I make Coqui take off his PJs right away after getting up, so the mice had to do the same thing. They needed new day outfits of course. And then they had to have their breakfast. Coqui put everything on the table, they each got a different kind of cereal and they had to eat all their food before playing.
(In the meantime, I have a baby in the house that needs to be taken care off as well. She wants her bottle and breakfast,too!)
So when Peanut went down for her first nap, I found Coqui downstairs homeschooling his two mice, declaring: "Today, I am the teacher, Mami."

16 June 2010

Planning for a trip

We are going out of town. And we have done so many times before. But never with two kids. And just me! Yeap. I know... I don't know what I was thinking....

I am sure four years ago, the very first time, going on a trip with Coqui, I was nervous and I probably over-packed. BUT I had my husband with me. Then I made this trip many times on my own with Coqui and he is in that regard a very easy child. He always took his nap on the plane and such. You know when you board the plane and people move away from you because they see that you have a child.... yeah, suckers! Well, usually at the end of the plane ride I got at least one person that told me how good my kid was... - every time! (yes, I am proud of that!)

But this time, I am on my own with two kiddos and I am nervous again. It starts here at home with packing. What to bring and what not. Packing cloth diapers is a first for me as well. So I think I might actually need three suitcases. I know I am crazy. And it is not like we are leaving the country. We are staying in America, with stores that are open 24/7, so when one forgets something it is easily replaceable. Well most of it! Coqui has a blankie that he sleeps with since... yeah, you get the idea. We forgot it twice. The one time it was not too bad and he was okay, the second time he did not forgive me that easily, but it was manageable for the three days - he is my easy child! But I got off the track here...

So I am not really looking forward to this trip that is not even a direct flight, but with a stop. Thank God, I don't have to change planes - I think I would have shot myself! But nonetheless, that one stop makes that trip soooo much longer! My little girl is not as easy to handle and she CAN scream if she doesn't like something or wants something! So this time, I won't get any of the nice compliments about how good my kid behaves on an airplane.... oh well....

So please pray for me and my travels. Thank you. Your prayers and your reading is appreciated!

13 June 2010

This is my other new idea.
As most of you know, I am an immigrant to this country. Of course, coming here ten years ago, I suffered from total culture shock. It didn't start right away, but probably after two or three months. Back then, I wrote down all the 'odd' things that I encountered in this strange country. Now my hubby tells me that I am more American in some ways than the 'real' American. But then again, ALL Americans were once immigrants....

So here is my disclaimer: I LOVE this country. I wanted to move here, I wanted to stay here and I want to stay here forever. It is my choice and I love being here. So the things that I will mention here, are things that are different from where I grew up. Things that are strange to me, or at least were strange to me back in the day. Now I might have gotten used to it. Some of it I like now, some is still a little weird. But nonetheless, I like being here! And just like I disagree with some things happening in my birth country, there are things here that I disagree with as well. It has nothing to do with the country, but rather with what the people do to it! It happens all over the world, in some countries alot, in others just a little bit.

So please just sit back and relax and enjoy what I have to scribe about.

12 June 2010

I am dreaming and planning about this for the past six months. And I think now it is time for me to get started. Even though I am not entirely sure how it will look at the end. BUT what I do know is that I LOVE books. And I do know that I don't want to make this a book review the old style, because all of you can just go to Amazon and check it out over there. What I want to do here is my personal best one-hundred list perhaps, and give you ideas of what is good. Of course, this is all purely and entirely subjective and to my very own personal liking. So please, no offense, no bad taste or any of those comments, as we ALL have different taste and NOBODY likes to be told what one HAS to like.....

So this post is to introduce my idea and lay down the ground rules. Maybe I will put down the first book within the next week, maybe I will wait until next month, I am not sure yet. But I do know with which book I will commence.... so be surprised!

11 June 2010

Learning can be fun.

Ciqui loves to play board game, and I let him. He doesn't always follow the rules but that is okay. He can play 'Guess Who' all on his own! He totally gets it. He does have trouble with 'Clue', both the kids and the adult version. (And of course, we don't tell him that the adult one is about a murder!) A while ago, he had discovered Daddy's very old game of 'Risk' and loves playing it. Of course not with the real rules. All he really does is matching the card names to the board names. Here is a picture of today's quiet time with (!) him: he had built a 'house' for us and wanted to spend quiet time with me. We played 'Risk'.

Here is a picture of the matching. He either matches the first letters or the shapes on the card with the one on the board. And I discovered today that he actually knows where some cards go. Like America. I was impressed. Also it replaces long hours of learning Geography the hard way. I happen to love geography and my whole family does as well. We are really good at it, too. So I want him to know how the world looks like, where each country is, or at least on which continent to find it. He has an incredible memory and remembers things I taught him last time or the time before. I am very proud of him. And of myself that I have become creative enough to make learning fun for him, and for me.

10 June 2010

Random thoughts

Today, I just have a few things to get off my chest, nothing with a theme...

* How come that I love rainy days in Texas? I used to not like those dark, rainy days. Today I am glad that we have them and the sun is not beating down on us.... for a second day in a row. Yeah.

* Potty training my baby is on a halt for a little while. She has done pee-pee, but I think that was just catching her in the right moment. She just won't sit still...

* On the other hand, cloth diapering is going great! I am even venturing out with the cloth on - something I used NOT to do because you really have to change them a lot on the road. I even started using cloth wipes - yippy!

* I am packing because we are going to Mema's house soon..... can't wait!

* Coqui is in a very whinny and yet agressive phase - or at least I hope it is just a phase. Nothing really to complain about, it is all dealable (is that even a word?).... but it is exhausting at times. He doesn't want to eat, everything he used to like he doesn't anymore. He doesn't want to try new things either. And sometimes he just refuses to eat in general. What is going on?

* Peanut is quite mobile these days, I expect her to walk any day now.... she is pulling up on EVERYthing!!! Using anything mobile as a walker! Like the kids chairs, or the sit-on-bus we have.... I even have her walk on only one hand and she is doing okay. AND she is crawling up the stairs! oH YES.....

* And I would love to take Peanut's binkie away, but I am not sure if she is ready.... we tried certainly, but she screamed for about two hours, and I mean "bloody-murder-screaming"!!! So we put it on hold for now as well....

* Have I mentioned that I have two very strong willed children??? (*sigh*)

Okay this is it for today, my parents are on Skype, so we better hurry....

04 June 2010

Soccer and German pride gone missing

For those of you who don't know it yet, the World Cup is about to begin. And why do I know that? Well, I am not a soccer fan. But I become one when it is time for the World or the Europe Cup. Then I start to cheer for.... well Germany of course! And I do get very upset if we fail... like the last... eh, let me think about that! Can't actually remember? Well, I do remember 1990! But who doesn't??? Put all this to the side....

My hubby reads the Wall Street Journal, yes, like on a daily basis. So I should be well informed!? Not really, but at least twice or three times the week, I get a link to an article HE thinks I could be interested in. Well, most of the time, I am. Like today when I got an article about the German Eleven not knowing the national anthem.... What's that? Just kidding. But that got me thinking...

Apparently, there is a debate going if, or if not, the national soccer team representing Germany should be able to sign the anthem. What do you think???

I think, and this is just my minor opinion, that they should! I do understand that in times of globalization, not all the players are German anymore. But I actually think they should be! I mean, this is country playing (!) against country, there is some pride involved. SO I (!) think they should be German AND be able to sign our national anthem! But, as I said, this is just what I think.....

I would have eventually written about this some time sooner or later, and that is the comparison of pride of different nations. I lived in France, Germany and America, and the US is by far the leading figure here! Oh yes! Kids get drilled in schools for that. And France is not far behind. So why not in my beautiful homeland???
There is history involved!!! And I am sure that you all can guess what I am talking about! Yep, it is sad to say but since the two world wars, Germans are not really patriotic anymore, more like dispassionate about being German! I am sure that they had to learn it. It must not have been easy. But believe me when I am saying, even in my generation, I was hit with that hatred and it shocked me, because neither I not my parents fought in the war, it was my grandparents! But I was shunned for being German, yes, in France. But nonetheless, as German, you are careful about being too pride. Or at least that's how it used to be not long ago. I also lived for a short period of time through the feeling of not being proud of my country - that must have coincidented with the history lessons we were given at that time!?! There are no patriotic gestures, or at least there were close to none when I left the country! Since then it seems like people are becoming more comfortable with exhibiting national pride, like during sport events, and become a little more nationalistic. The article mentioned that it started with the World Cup in 2006. Who knows. But now, you can go and see some flags up, mostly in regions with large tourism or near borders. But that is a start! And I am glad for it.

And even me, I have become a little more patriotic, living in a different country, and especially at times of the soccer World Cup. So let the games begin! And Germany win for once.....

By the way, here is our lovely anthem called "The Song of the Germans":

The Song of the Germans

Unity and law and freedom

For the German Fatherland

Let us all strive for that

In brotherhood with heart and hand!

Unity and law and freedom

Are the foundation for happiness

Bloom in the glow of happiness

Bloom, German Fatherland

02 June 2010

My neighbor

I have a neighbor and she is great. We met about two and a half years ago. And it started off more like being acquaintances rather than friends. Now we are friends and I love to have a friend so close by. Our kids are pretty close in ages, too, so that works out great for play dates and Mami-talking-time at the same time.

She is the one that introduced Veganism to me and I am thankful for that. It changed how I eat and being around her, it encourages me not to give it up. I mean the temptations are big and it would be so easy to fall back and give in. But she shows me that there are so many choices in eating yummy stuff, and also not so healthy cakes and cookies. That makes it easier to stick with it.

Sometimes, we have these amazing days together, where we just hang out all day. It was about two weeks ago - I meant to write about it for a while, but life just constantly caught up with me.... I had her daughter while she went to yoga class. When she stopped to pick her up, the little girl did not want to go home, so they ate lunch over here and even had quiet time together! Then we went to their house for a swim in the (baby) pool. ALL the kids had a blast and so did we, when they started splashing us with the hose.... After that, we had popsicles and just dried off. When it was time to go home, her daughter wanted to come back to our house, so I took her for about an hour. We spend all day together, the kids played together like siblings and we had an awesome time just talking and chatting and sharing dreams. It felt so good that day!!!

Also, we have started a baby/kids swap. She is having my kids for one morning for about an hour and a half. And I get her daughter for one morning (or afternoon) for about two hours and fifteen minutes. I give her a little extra time because her little one is no burden to me, compared to my two kiddos.... it is a little more work for her, especially because Peanut is still small. But it is such an awesome gift for the both of us. The kids know her and feel safe around her, even Peanut!!! And that means alot.

So this morning, I am off to the gym.... hopefully running a little (I don't feel much like it), but definitely speed walking.

01 June 2010


Today's post is about my favorite color: GREEN or rather 'being green'. I am a little late for earth day, but I believe every day should be earth day anyway!!!

There are three great ways that WE can help protect our environment! And that is:

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle.

What do these mean?
Reduce means in a simple way to reduce the trash we produce. In this case lesser IS better. Reuse simply means not to always buy new but try to reuse things that are already there. And finally, recycle means to process old and used items in order to make new ones. Then less new resources are needed AND less trash ends up on landfills filling those up.

How can that be practical? Or another question: what can WE do? Every single human being on this planet? What can we teach our children?
Well, I think that this is much easier than most people think. It can start with little things and then you grow and adapt and widen it to ALL aspects of daily life!!! Here some examples of what we do in our house:
  • recycle all recyclable items, such as glass jars, drink cans, newspapers, cardboard and packaging, and plastic bottles
  • reuse some of those as containers around the house! - like jars for storage of leftovers, or even for art projects for kids - there are so many good ones out there to try. Of course you need to wash it before you reuse it.
  • recycle batteries and drop them off at a center (we do it about three times a year)
  • use less stuff that you only use one time, such as paper plates and cups (that is my biggest thing in America - because it feels like such a waste!) - I understand that for a big party, it is much easier, but there is just no excuse to use them on a regular basis.
  • use less paper towels and use regular, washable towels instead (I got really good at this one within the last six months!)
  • use less tissues, rather use fabric hankies (we are working real hard on this one, as to me, it feels a waste to use tons of tissues while I can wash the other ones)
  • if you have a baby, try (!) to use cloth diapers (I did not do it for my first one, shame on me, but I am sure trying it now!!!) - so less stuff filling up the landfills
  • the next one is on my own to-do-list: starting a compost pile in our garden (we haven't done it yet, and every time I throw out the kitchen waste, I think of it as a waste, so this is coming soon!) - so you put less garbage in your own bins but also less on the landfills, stuff that is actually good for the garden that you start on my next point
  • and with that, yes, start your own garden, vegetables, fruits, whatever you prefer! - we have some carrots, radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, dill, mint, cilantro - it's not much but we get more each year.
  • hang up your clothes instead of using a dryer - and I am not talking about the big bed sheets and stuff, but little things if you want. For myself, I am not using the dryer for my clothes or both kids. Only the hubby doesn't like the board-like shirts for work, understandable. I have an indoor drying rag, but wish to get my own cloth lines outside. We live in a very warm state, so I could use it all year long.
  • give away stuff you don't want anymore, rather than throwing it out when it is still in good shape. I mean there are a lot of less fortunate people who don't feel like being pitied when they get hand-me-downs. There are good organizations that can help distribute your stuff. Garage sales are a great way to even get some money for your old things. Graigslist, ebay, ..... etc.

I think you get the idea. And yes, we are doing mostly all of the above. I am doing it for such a long time that it has become natural to me. But I am still nowhere of where I want to be! So I need to work on myself and this family. I just thought I show off our efforts because it is actually pretty easy, if one tries....

Good luck and save the earth!!! One step at a time.