Monthly Archives: August 2012


LOML and I chat often about how we feel here in Germany.  Usually, it’s on drives around here while the girls are occupied and can’t get into too much trouble.  This past car ride chat stuck in my head.  It boiled down to a single word: bittersweet.


That’s how we feel about living here in Germany.  We have grown to love this area and these people so much these past 9 months, yet, we desperately miss home and our people that are still there.  We are starting to get a foothold into service and volunteer work here and, yet, we feel guilty about leaving such needy and important tasks that we were helping with and making a difference in peoples’ lives back at home.


It hurts to think that we will have to leave these people that our hearts have grown for.  It hurts to think about leaving the amazing and breathtaking green hills of Germany.

It hurts to be away from family and friends while having amazing new people in our lives, kinda’ like we’re cheating on our peeps.

It’s crazy that a person can be filled with such conflicting emotions.  How can my heart love 2 lands so much?  How can my heart grow to love even more people?

I think God made us to be able to love and keep learning to love more and more throughout life and its changes.  And LOML and I keep coming to the realization that we need to choose to be content with where we are now, not focusing on being sad about the past or sad about the eventual future.  We need to be open to God’s path in our lives right now and let Him write this story of our lives. Because He writes a far better story than I could ever imagine.

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Big Ive’s First Day of German Kindergarten – 15 August 2012

Big Ive started at the German Kindergarten on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

It had been 7 weeks since she’d been in the building because of the summer break and our travels.  She was excited about going, but I think she thought it was going to be like it had when I followed her around on Friday afternoons.  She wasn’t ready to be independent and go away from me sitting on the “Mom Bench”. [[“Mom Bench” is the wooden park bench they have in the hallway outside of the first classroom.  They call it the mom bench because moms (and dads) sit there waiting for their child(ren).]]  I was trying to be as uninvolved as she would let me, but she was being clingy.  She really wanted to play but was afraid and apprehensive to be without me.  Which is kind of funny because it seems like all she wanted to do was play withOUT me on Friday afternoons and here she was only wanting me WITH her.

Still puffy eyed from sleeping, eating “flocken” (Haferflocken = oatmeal).

She is such an independent little girl.  I wish I could describe this sauntering stride she has when she’s going places.  You can just see she’s on a mission.

The grandparents came along for this momentous occasion.
And to help with Little E.

Little E chillin’ in the stroller. 
We had to bring diapers and wipes along because Big Ive refuses our attempts at potty training.  I am going to try that single day toilet training method after I read the book.  Fingers crossed it works!

One of the teachers, who speaks very good English, got paired up with Big Ive.  I think they pair up the new children with one main teacher so they have an adult they get used to and feel ‘safe’ with.  All of the teachers look after all of the children, but this one is especially looking after Big Ive right now in the beginning.

She tried to lure her into the classroom with a puzzle; Big Ive loves trying to do puzzles.  Big Ive thought the puzzle sounded Great!, but she didn’t want to go into the room with the teacher.  After a little convincing she did go to the table and play with the puzzle for a few minutes.

Any Kindergarten would not be complete with out a snack time.
Later, when other kids were snacking Big Ive sat next to one and promptly proceeded to steal his food.  Grapes, I think.  Food thief on the first day.  Great…

The teacher then pulled out the bucket of play dough.  Big Ive loves to play with play dough, as I don’t let her play with it at home.  I don’t want to deal with the mess and cleanup so we never take it out.  Bad mom, I know, but it’s what we do here.  Plus, that 1 year old younger sister who walks and can reach 6+inches onto the table?  Yeah, she’s another reason to not play with play dough at home.

They went outside to play after a bit.  Big Ive did not want to put her sneakers back on for some strange reason.  You usually can’t get her to stop asking to play outside and here she was not wanting to go out.  The teachers asked.  I asked.  Still, “No.”  Then I told her she could play in the sand with a shovel.  That was the best idea Ever to this ginger toddler.  Her face lit up with the word shovel and she tried to run outside with her Housschuhe (inside shoes).  Got her sneakers and hat on and she was off to many adventures on the playground.  After I saw that she was fine without me outside I asked the teacher if I could go for a little bit.  We agreed on an hour, with me returning at 11:30, just in time for lunch.

When they went inside she did end up having a crying fit and they tried to call me.  Our house phone battery was dead — Woops! — and my mobile phone doesn’t get good reception in the part of the house I had it in — Woops!  The teacher got her to calm down when she told them they were going to sing songs in a circle for the 2 birthday kids.  She calmed down and was fine.

Little eaten lunch of fish sticks and tater tots.  The fruit for dessert was a big hit, however.  She ended up staying in the lunch classroom well after all the other kids had left to keep eating fruit.  She finished the grapes and then started in on the honey dew melon.  Apricots were not a favorite that day. 

The lunch teacher told Big Ive to come get her once she finished with the fruit and then she would finish wiping that table off.  It was cute.  I’m glad they allow the children to eat as much or as little of everything they want.  No one forces a child to eat.

And on the walk home she HAD to carry that birthday chocolate bar in her arms and hands the E N T I R E way home.  There was no prying it out of her hands.  I at least convinced her that it was too hot and melty to eat on the way home and to wait until it had cooled off in the refrigerator for a bit.  She seemed ok with that answer.

I don’t know where she came up with this carry it in her armpit move.  It was hilarious.  I think she was treating it like a shoulder bag.  She usually pins her arm to her side to prevent the bag from slipping off.  Anyway, it went from armpit, to hand, to other armpit, to folding it in half in her hands because it had melted so much, to draping it on her forearm.  Funny kid.

She did let me put it in the fridge while she took a nap and promptly requested it once she awoke.  That kid doesn’t forget much.

“Take a pikchure, Mom.  Take a pikchure.”

It was a good start to school for her.  The next day I stayed only about 15 minutes.  She cried as I walked away.  The teacher said she cried for only about 2 minutes and was fine the rest of the day.  The 3rd day she cried for just a minute as I walked away.  I heard her stop crying even before I got to the gate of the school grounds to walk home.  Every day since then it has been me asking for a hug and telling her to say, “Tschuss Mom!”

She loves school.  She loves to play with the kids and toys and games.  She loves the teachers.  LOML and I are so happy that she likes it there and is being immersed in this new language.  The kids like her and play with her and ask for her and are excited to see her.  It makes me smile.

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Big Ive-isms ROUND 2


“Keem up” = “Clean up”  A lot of times I sing a little song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do your share” and she tries to sing it too.  Usually just comes out, “Keem up, everbo, ever”.

“I heard dat – my butt!” = “I heard that, ” says LOML when he hears Big Ive fart.  She started saying this when we were in Croatia and we couldn’t figure it out for a few minutes.  Then LOML got a giant grin on his face and said he knew what it was.  Whenever he hears her fart he says, “I heard that”.  holycow, I’m busting up laughing just remembering that.

“I hear dat – da bells.” = I hear the bells that were chiming in the church tower.

“I doin’ sompin’.  Workin’ hard.” = This was said when she was talking to my mom via Skype.  I’m not sure what she was doing at the time.  But she was doing something and working hard at it.

The Wiggle Butt song.  She got this when we were in Minnesota in May from one of my cousin’s kids.  I think…  She says, “Wiggle.  Butt.  Wiggle Butt.”  Sometimes there’s a “wiggle, wiggle wiggle” thrown in for good measure.  You wouldn’t believe the cuteness when she sashays and throws her hips wiggling her butt while singing.

The Happy Day song.  One of her own songs she sang in the car one day when I was driving.  It was mostly “Happy Day” over and over and over, but with different length and pitch.  She added more verse of “Happy Day” when LOML was around, but will now no longer sing any of it for us.

“I stinky.  Change diaper.”  This happened when LOML took Big Ive for a father-daughter morning at a cafe in Croatia.  They were enjoying coffee and juice, respectively, and then Big Ive dropped the bomb.  Literally.  And then they had to climb a big steep hill to get back to our apartment to change her.

In the Croatian village we stayed in we had to walk by a school yard to get to the town center.  One morning Big Ive heard and saw the kids playing and asked to go play with her “friends”.  “I go play wif fends?”  We got to the gate and it was locked, obviously.  Big Ive was sad and said, “Gate locked.  Keys?  Daddy?”

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Happy First Birthday, Little E!

Little E turned 1 on August 5, 2012.  It’s crazy to think she has been in our lives a whole year.  At the same time it feels like just yesterday that we came home from the hospital and that she’s been a part of our family forever.  It’s neat to see how tiny humans have such distinct personalities and are really that – tiny full humans.  Sometimes I forget that she is a full person, just in a little body.  And then I stop and it hits me that she has been a full human, a whole person, since before she was born, even.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around her having tiny organs that are the same as mine, tiny bones that are (mostly) the same as mine, a smaller head and brain (that miraculously GROW!).  Just boggles my mind.

The center of the cake.  Keeping up my family’s tradition.

This year has been a busy busy year for Little E and our family.  2 weeks before she was born LOML put in his request for this overseas position.  6 weeks after she was born LOML moved to Germany.  When she was just 4 months old, the girls and I joined LOML over here.  At 6 months she was crawling.  2 days before 9 months she took her first steps.  Sometime in the past couple of months she has decided to start to try to talk.  Since moving here Little E has been able to record 9 countries she has been in (not including the airport in London).  I didn’t make it to that many until my 20’s.  Many people never see that in a lifetime.

She has gone from our very sleepy and hungry little baby (literally sleeping most of the day and night, and eating between each nap) to a very active and curious little girl.  She LOVES to follow her big sister around and imitates EVERY.SINGLE.THING. Big Ive does.  Including mannerisms and inflection in babbles.  She is still our chunk-a-lunk, weighing in over 25lb at her 12 month well-child check.  She can wear a lot of Big Ive’s clothes, she’s just too short to make them look right.  :)

It took a little bit of pushing to get her to put her hands in the cake and feed herself.  At least she was willing to have dirty hands.  Big Ive cried when her hands were covered in frosting and never enjoyed the cake until we gave her a fork.

My heart has grown so much this past year.  I routinely look at, stare at, my baby girl and think that I am so thankful God gave her to me, even if I wasn’t ready to have a second child as soon as we did.  I didn’t think I was ready; sometimes I still don’t think I am.  But, I do know that I am completely and totally in love with her.  She is a great addition to our family.  I say that often and truly, genuinely, believe that.

The Big Sister “helping” the Little Sister eat her birthday cake.

She loves to pick the tomatoes in the pots on our back terrace – green, orange or red, it doesn’t matter.  She knows she gets in trouble every time.  She likes to turn the knobs on the stove.  So far she’s melted one plastic food storage container, one plastic chicken container and my mother-in-law’s cookbook.  The knobs are the same size as their play kitchen and she always sees me turning them.  One of her new phrases is ‘Don’t Touch’.  It comes out something like, “Do Tou”, accompanied with the finger wagging we usually give her when we tell her not to touch something.

She loves to dance whenever she hears music.  She loves to give kisses – fishy kisses, nose kisses, monster kisses and regular kisses.

She totally understands basic commands and will find and bring you something if you ask.  She started stacking up to 4 blocks this past week.  I think she could do more but she gets so excited for a small tower that she just HAS to knock it down.

At 3 months old she discovered her thumb and hasn’t given it up, yet.  You wouldn’t believe the cuteness in a tiny 3 month old baby sucking their thumb.  I loved watching her work so hard to spread her fingers apart, put her hands together and then bring both of them to her mouth to get that thumb in.  At times she would suck both thumbs.  For a while it didn’t matter which, but she soon settled on the right one.  She will almost instinctively put her thumb in her mouth when a soft piece of fabric comes into contact with her hand.  She has a couple little 12″x12″ super soft fleece ‘blankies’ (it’s just usually called a ‘soft thing’ in our house) that she carries around with her a lot.  A super soft stuffed katze (cat) joined the family on her birthday, thanks to the grandparents, and she carries that around in the crook of her elbow with her other thumb in her mouth.  It. Is. The. Cuteness.

Oh, I could go on and on and on about my baby.  I love her so much.  She brings immense joy to me and our family.

August 5, 2011 — 8:16am — 9lb 6oz — 21.5in

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Big Ive-isms

A sample of some of the best toddler speak I hear all day from my favorite little ginger.

“I yike it to move it.” = “I like to move it, move it.” From the theme song of the movie, Madagascar.

“I tired.  I want bed.”

“I yike it”, said with a scrunched nose and a shaking head. = “I don’t like it.”

“I yike it”, said excitedly while nodding her head. = “I like it.”

Cayshun = vacation 30-07-2012

Gascar = Madagascar, the movie 28-07-2012

As I was breastfeeding Little E, Big Ive asked about my breasts.  I told her they were boobs.  And then she said, “I yike it da boobs.”  It was hilarious.

“I wanna see it Little E doin’.” = I want to see what Little E is doing.

We were walking on the street behind our house and we saw the neighborhood kitty scratching his back on the gravel.  I made sure the girls stayed away so he wouldn’t scratch them if he got startled.  Big Ive decided this meant she was to be Very Afraid of all cats.  Wouldn’t you guess that we saw another cat a few steps away and she freaked out.  She was nearly hysterical that the cat was going to follow her and get her.  She was relieved when we made it home safely with no cats following us. 30-07-2012

After Little E got her shots Big Ive said the doctor was a yucky man because he hurt her sister. 30-07-2012

Big Ive stuck her finger in the open butter container on the table and ate it.  She walked over to me, still licking her finger, and said, “Yum!”  I asked her was was good and she said with a huge grin on her face, “Butter!”  At least it was only a small finger scoop mark in the butter this time…

“I yub it! I yub it!” = I love it!  Big Ive will exclaim this about anything she is feeling decidedly passionate for at the moment, a toy, a bug, a picture on the wall, whatever, it doesn’t matter.

“I yub it, Little E.” = I love you, Little E.  I can’t get enough of these I _VERB_ it sentences.  I like the improper conjugation said in an adorable high-pitched toddler voice.  They slay me every time!

“Iby bacoom.” = Ivy vacuum, as she is attempting to vacuum the floor.  She’s doing a really good job of vacuuming the same 6 square feet of floor space.  : )

“Daddy? Hind?  Us?” = Daddy behind us? Spoken in the car on our way to the airport.  LOML had backed his car out of the driveway to let us out.  Big Ive assumed he would follow us like he has on some other trips nearby. 02-08-2012

“Tunner.  Tree.” = tree tunnel.  There is a small wooded section of road we drive on regularly where the trees reach across the road and create a tunnel.  It is LOML’s favorite.

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