Monthly Archives: January 2014

2013 year in review [part 3 of 3]

This is the third — and last — in a series of 3 posts about our 2013 year.


We went to a fall festival in a nearby village.  This was the best photo the two rugrats would let me get of them by the big pumpkins.  They were buggers that day, not wanting to listen worth a darn.  The pumpkin soup was really good, though.DSC04462

Little E wanted to go play on the piles of hay bales like Big Ive, but she wouldn’t give me her new stuffed animal so it wouldn’t get dirty.  The softness of the new toy won over playing on bales of hay. Big Ive liked climbing on the bales, but there were too many big kids jumping and running for her to feel comfortable enough to make the big jumps.




LOML and I enjoyed a day trip to Stuttgart for the Cannstatter Wasen, which is Stuttgart’s Oktoberfest.  We went with members of my German band.  It was a whole day trip planned out to the minute, I’m sure.  We all wore lederhosen or dirndls and took the train over.  The first of our 3 trains one of the band members opened up the champagne for a good start to the morning drink.  The rest of the ride and day continued like that.  It was great.

The middle of October we made a trip back to the US and saw lots and lots of family and friends.  We were in AZ for a week and then went to IA to visit LOML’s sisters and their families for a week.  This past fall was so much nicer with 7 kids under 7, than last Christmas when it was 7 under 6.  10 months time makes a big difference in children’s development.  Not to mention the warmer weather made it easy for us to be outside a lot of the time.

Walking through the corn.  I love how it looks almost golden in this photo.

Auntie tried to make farmers out of the bigger cousins with straw in their mouths.


Back in AZ the girls got to spend time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and neighborhood and meet some relatives for the first time.  This photo below depicts my girls’ personalities well.  Little E is content to play in the water quietly and Big Ive is running and jumping all over the place.  Little E sat fascinated with the fountain for as long as Big Ive ran around this courtyard.

Dinner with grandma and grandpa and some family and friends.



During our US trip, I went to Minnesota for a long weekend to visit more of my family.  LOML’s parents and my parents were generous enough to watch the girls for me while I traveled alone for 4 days.  I never knew getting through airport security and waiting for your airplane could be so peaceful.  :)  What a treat to not have to worry and take care of my little ones for a couple of days, and to enjoy time with family I don’t see often.  I wish I could have brought the girls with so they could have time with family, too, but it didn’t happen this time.

Minnesota fish fry while it is snowing!  Many thanks to my favorite cousin for cooking it for us.

The girls and I spent some more time at LOML’s parent’s house.  One day we made and frosted cookies.

I think those are halloween sprinkles that she is very carefully placing on her cookie. 


Sometimes it’s more fun to play with toy magnifying glasses with Grandpa, though.DSC04908

  Or snuggle with the puppy.  Kid would absolutely love it if we got a dog.DSC04935

They did this all by themselves, if you can believe it.DSC04942


The day before we flew back to Germany we spent some time at my grandparent’s house.  Little E had a great time playing with her Grandpa-grandpa and Grandma-grandma’s cat.



We also tried to see some of my other family members, some of whom had never met Little E because we moved to Germany when she was just 4 months old.  And I’m so happy we were able to see a number of them.  I felt a big need to make this visit more about seeing and being with family where possible than to hang out and have a good time with my friends (although we did a lot of that, too).  When my uncle unexpectedly passed away a year and a half ago, and another family member was in a near-fatal accident a year ago, it has solidified that we need to spend time with those we love and care about.  You honestly never know when the last day you will see someone will be.  I’m so very glad I have these memories (and photographic evidence of them, too) and can share it with the girls as they continue to grow and really remember things.

Thus concludes our year 2013.  As blogs usually go, these are the highlights of mostly fun and good things that happened.  We sure have our share of downs and valleys throughout the year, too.  Plenty of times when our children are behaving much less than stellar, days when we’re in a funk, days when we need to seek forgiveness from our loved ones that we’ve hurt, days full of illness.  Basically, it is a regular year had by regular human beings.  We love living in Germany, but it is incredibly hard to be away from family and friends.  I’m so glad the human mind tends to blurr the bad days and remember more of the good.  :)


If you missed them, check out [part 1 of 3] and [part 2 of 3].

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2013 year in review [part 2 of 3]


May ended up being a pretty quiet month around here.  No big trips or doings.  This photo shows a regular weekend afternoon eating quiche with freshly picked wild flowers after we had taken a walk around the village.  They were the prettiest little golden wildflowers to grace our table in old wine bottles.  I think they stayed there for a week before they had shed most of their petals and we had to throw them out.



Patio gardening. We have 2 garden plots our landlord lets us use in his garden space, but tomatoes and peppers grow better in pots on the patio where they stay warmer.

A little later the sun hit the back patio and Little E and I laid in the glorious heat of it – the first warm sunny day of the year.DSC03266

Uncle BaronBaron visited and brought super hero capes.



My dad and brother visited us for a few weeks.  The girls and I, and my dad and brother drove over to Croatia for a week vacation.  LOML wasn’t able to take time off from his job last summer, so we had to have a beach holiday without him.  This was the 3rd time I had been to Croatia, the 2nd for the girls.  I highly, highly recommend it if you ever make it to Europe.  The coast and the inland and the national park and the people are all fantastic.  It’s relatively inexpensive, too.

This is a photo of one of the lakes at Plitvice Lakes National Park.  These lakes are all this glorious clear blue/green color due to lots of minerals and sediments.  There are a number of waterfalls between the levels of the lakes.  And they put these wooden pathways over, around, and through all of the waterfalls and lakes.  The wooden paths literally go over waterfalls and across lakes.  With no handrails.  It was heart attack city for a number of places with my 2 little girls.  They cried a number of times when we held on extra tight to their hands so there was no chance of them slipping or falling over.DSC03358

We must have walked a few miles that day because we misread the signs.  We tried to do the medium-length walk around the major lakes and falls and ended up going nearly to the end.  Woops.  That resulted in 2 very tired toddlers.  I put my backpack on upside-down on my front and made a kid-carrier so Little E could sleep for a little bit.  35lb children are too heavy to carry for more than a couple of minutes.

This is at the beach near Zadar, Croatia.
My dad and brother are holding the girls as the water laps at their feet.
Cute, custom swimming suits courtesy of Grandma (drives me crazy there is a lack of decent swimming suits for little girls.  There are one pieces that aren’t long enough for my tall kids and itty bitty bikinis, which I feel are inappropriate for anyone of any age.  Not to mention I have a very fair-skinned redhead who needs to be a little more protected from the sun. Every time I encounter an issue with something I feel lacks in children’s clothing I have the urge to start my own company…but that’s a whole other rant.).


Jumping off of some ruins in the old city of Zadar.
She had to attempt to do everything Big Ive did.
And she still thinks she has to and can do everything Big Ive can, which is simply not the case because she is 16 months younger developmentally.  Poor kid.  They’ll even out soon enough.


A fun day at another castle back in Germany with my dad and a friend from our church.  Highlight of the trip — we paid for the guided tour and got into the 2nd room when Little E wouldn’t stop crying.  She had hurt her arm somehow in the backpack.  LOML, me and the girls ended our tour at that point and probably vowed to never go on a guided tour with small children again.

Sad day was when we dropped Grandpa (my dad) off at the airport after his 3 week visit with us.  We tried to get a decent photo of the girls and us in the airport, or the girls with my dad, but they would have nothing to do with it.  Running, jumping, climbing, crawling, basically just being the almost-2 and 3 year olds they are.  LOML refreshed himself by taking us to a Trappist monastery in Belgium that afternoon so he could buy beer.


Here we have 5 different veggies for supper from our garden that we cooked one night (baby onions, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and fresh raw peas).  The girls will gobble up these veggies like nobody’s business.  I can’t take the peas out of their pods fast enough for them.  I make LOML plant rows of peas so we can eat them straight out of the garden.  That is the best and only way to eat peas.DSC04065

We had lots of fun when my little brother, Uncle Robot, and his girlfriend, Tia, came to visit.  Highlights of their visit include: cruise boat down the Rhein River (complete with a slide for kids), getting completely soaked in a village’s fountain (where we misplaced the extra clothing we had packed and LOML had to buy a new dress for Big Ive), climbing all around castle ruins (Uncle Robot is a bad influence on 2 little girls :) ).

DSC04096      DSC04099


On August 5, Little E turned 2.  We had a very small celebration with LOML’s parents and us.  It was so nice to have them visit in August and be able to be there for both of her birthdays so far.

Little E’s 2nd birthday!

Climbing all over the elephants in Trier, Germany with Grandma and Grandpa.
DSC04236 (1)



Check out [part 1 of 3] and [part 3 of 3].

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2013 year in review [part 1 of 3]

I’m reading the blogs I follow this month and everyone is doing a year in review.  I didn’t even think about doing such a post.  And then I thought about it some more and decided it might actually be kinda’ fun and a good idea.  So here goes, me jumping on the year in review bandwagon.

EDIT:  I put this post together and it became ridiculously long with an insane amount of photos so I split it into more than one post.


family photos 002

Look how little the girls both looked!  It’s hard to believe they have changed so much in just 1 year.  It is incredible to have photographic evidence to compare the changes.  A friend of ours came and took family photos of us when we were in Phoenix.  My brothers and their significant others, sister, parents and grandparents were all there.  My mom has a couple photos of us when we were younger with both sets of our grandparents.  They are wonderful keepsake treasures and I hope these photos will be like that for our girls.

Do you know how rediculously hard it is to get 2 young toddlers to both pose acceptably for a photo?  Yeah, damn near impossible.  We gave up and embraced the ‘this-is-real-life’ stance on photos with these photos 028

My brothers, sister and me.
It’s like old times…except now we’re all grown-ups.  How did that happen?family photos 076

We were in the US visiting family for Christmas.  The girls and I were able to stay for about 8 weeks.  LOML had to go back to Germany after 3 weeks to get back to work, unfortunately.  We missed him. My parents were grateful to let us camp out and tear up their house during our stay.  The girls loved waking up to Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie every morning.  The park in the neighborhood was a fan favorite of Grandpa and granddaughters.  They played at the park with Grandpa nearly every day.


LOML’s parents live nearby and we had lots of days spent playing with all of their super fun toys.

A very cozy cozy coupe with the other grandma and grandpa.

A favorite memory is when Cat in the Hat joined our family at Kohl’s
because an older gentleman decided he would buy it for Big Ive.


We were still in AZ during the beginning of February.  I tried to make sure we spent time with my grandparents when we were all feeling healthy enough.  They have a few citrus trees in their backyard where the girls were able to help Grandma-grandma pick them up.

Picking oranges with Grandma-grandma.DSC02683

A wonderful addition to our trip back home was my mom being able to join us.  Here we are in the airport headed back to Germany.  LOML flew back for an unexpected trip for our last week in the States.  Because of an event that happened a couple week prior to this I was extremely grateful for his physical presence with me.

in the airport heading back to Germany

For Valentine’s Day LOML and I went to our favorite little restaurant in France.  My mom was a wonderful grandma and watched the girls while we got away for a short bit.  She’s the best mother around.

Valentine’s Day dinner in France with LOML

My German band makes a walk every winter to another village, usually through the snow, to eat at a restaurant.  They actually scheduled it for when we would be back in Germany so we could participate last year.  LOML, the girls, me and my mom all made the hike to a great restaurant in a tiny village about 5 miles away.  LOML had parked the car half-way and drove the girls from the Schnapps stop half way.

Schnapps stop in the middle of the snowy German countryside.
Don’t worry, they had pretzels and wurst to snack on so we wouldn’t be drinking with empty stomachs.  : )

And Little E started at the Kindergarten on the 27th!  She was 18 months old in this photo.  With her in Kindergarten during the day I was able to take my German language classes.


We took a trip to Munich for a long weekend.  The girls took turns sleeping in the stroller and posing with LOML’s beer at the Augustiner Beer Hall. That stroller has been a great purchase.  It is huge and was expensive, but it functions really well off road and can still hold both of our rapidly growing girls.



A trip to the Munich area is not complete without visiting the Neuschwanstein castle.  A common theme in the castle is swans.  Whenever Little E would see one she would yell, “Chicken!”  Try keeping a small toddler quiet in a guided tour of a castle that is full of swans, which she thinks are chickens, which happens to be an animal she loves.  She still loves birds and chickens to this day.



A quick weekend trip to the Netherlands to the Keukenhof Gardens to see the flowers.  Unfortunately, it was a long, cold, dark, wet winter and spring so most of the flowers weren’t blooming, yet.  They did have some from their green houses we were able to see.  The girls had more fun at the petting zoo and playing on the playground equipment.  Which means we could have stayed at our house and walked to our park for equal enjoyment from them.DSC03071

Big Ive turned 3 and we made cupcakes to take to school. 4 dozen cupcakes in various swirl colors with a flower gummy on top.  That was the first time I piped frosting on cupcakes.  The kids all very much enjoyed the cupcakes at school.  I’m not sure there were any left to take home!DSC03139

Check out [part 2 of 3] and [part 3 of 3].

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[daily life] language + 3 recent photos!

DSC05309 Trying to climb the castle ruins about 30minutes from our house on New Year’s Day.

From my sister: As I close the door to get ready to shower my niece yells through it, “Let me know if you need anything, ok, Auntie? Ok?” Lol she’s so sweet…
-Big Ive 05.11.2013

Kane-kuh so much!
-Little E 05.11.2013 (Thank you so much!)

Auntie, can you be nice to me?
-Big Ive 14.11.2013

Mommy, you’re a genius!
-Big Ive 15.11.2013

Tiggy tail.
-Little E 15.11.2013 (Piggy tail.)

I am a Mom.
-Big Ive 17.11.2013  (Probably said after I told her to stop mothering her sister as I was the mommy and she is the sister.)

Me, to the girls: say night night baby cousin!
My little brother, speaking for his infant daughter: night night toddler cousins!
Big Ive: We not cousins. I Big Ive and she Little E.

Me: What did a Big Ive say?
Big Ive: No. I said, what-da what-da hey!

Can you put that down? So you don’t fall?
Big Ive 17.11.2013, in reference to my armrest in the car

Lindberger cheese became hamburger cheese and muenster cheese became monster cheese in the car on the night of November 17, 2013.

On this same car trip Big Ive was very intent on finding the cars while we drove on the freeway.

Gampers is making mom a princess! (Looking at wedding photos with AZ Grandma-grandma.)
-Big Ive 18.11.2013

I sthoakin’ wet.
-Little E 18.11.2013  (“I’m soaking wet”, when she was perfectly dry.)

Hey – pay wif me!
Little E 20.11.2013 (Hey, play with me!)

“Sthcusthe you.”
Little E 21.11.2013 (excuse you).

Ida hasth boogiesth in meinsth earsth.
Little E 23.11.2013 (I have boogies in my ears.)

I-stha hooldin sthisthersth handsth.
Little E 23.11.2013 (I’m holding sister’s hand.)

Umi go-gglsth (umi goggles)
Umi dollarsth (umi dollars)
Little E 23.11.2013

Ge-off uh my da-ee.
Little E 23.11.2013 (Get off of my daddy)

ZWEE-bah. (Zebra)
Little E 26.11.2013

A fishing-dadoh. (Aficionado )
-Big Ive 28.11.2013

It’s a button, Dad. It’s a button!
Little E 1.12.2013 referring to his nipple

They’re song-in’, mama.
Little E 12.12.2013 (They’re singing mama.)

DSC05314Silly little girls sitting on a wall of the castle ruins.  Big Ive climbed up by herself and Little E desperately tried to follow, but couldn’t do it herself.  LOML lifted her up and placed her a little away from Big Ive.  That’s when they decided they had to be right. next. to. one another.

You love Big Ive? You love Little E? You love momma? You love Kleenex? You love soap? You love Little E?
-Little E 12.12.2013, Said as we were taking her up to bed I told her to say I love you, dad, and we had a whole conversation about who and what dad loves.

Little E: What’sth dat?
Me: My necklace.
Little E: I wear it?

Let’s get out of the cool afore we get our jammies wet.
-Big Ive 13.12.2013
(Lets get out of the [pretend] pool before we get our jammies wet.)

This afternoon, after we had gotten back from a day trip to Metz, France, Big Ive saw that LOML had just finished his beer. So, she does what any good 3.5 year old daughter does, she went to get him another beer. The best part is that she noticed his preferred brand of beer was not in the refrigerator, so she took it upon herself to get 3 beers from the case in the pantry and put them in the fridge. Unfortunately, she dropped one and it broke, getting beer and glass shards all over the pantry floor. But, it’s the sweet thought of a loving daughter that counts most.

I’m finding out I’m a kid!
Big Ive 26.12.2013

Patty cake, make der Mann.
Big Ive 26.12.2013 (I love how they combine the 2 languages.)

The pans are made out of mirrors!
-Big Ive 26.12.2013 (The pots and pans are shiny and look like mirrors.)

I have 4,000 teeth.
Big Ive 26.12.2013

Sthkusthking. (Disgusting)
-Little E 28.12.2013

I’ll eat this for a few more minutes and then I’ll have ‘zert. (Dessert)
-Big Ive 28.12.2013

I appreciate it Mom’s cooking.
Big Ive 28.12.2013

Here, Mom. I got sthalad.
Little E 29.12.2012 Said while handing me a toy plate with a toy piece of lettuce.

I make a bidge. For toolsth.
Little E 30.12.2013 (“I made a bridge for tools.”)

Ber is Big Ive’sth pucup. Ber is Big Ive’sth sthcool cup. I found she’s cup!
Little E 06.01.2014
(There is Big Ive’s sippy cup. I found her cup!)

Where isth my knucklesth?
Little E 06.01.2014 (Where are my nipples?)

I eat my yogurt alwaysth.
Little E 12.01.2014

Ber isth da odder one blankie! I found it!!
-Little E 12.01.2014

Big Ive: Is our cooking done? Oder nicht? (Or not?)
LOML: Nicht. (Not.)
Big Ive: Daddy ‘sagt, ‘nicht’. (Daddy said no.)

DSC05325Having fun at the castle ruins.  Big Ive thinks she’s so big now because she can climb up on small wall ruins by herself.

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[daily life] language

Sorry for the huge absence from Haus Miller Adventure.  We are all doing very well.  Here is a little language post of things my girls have said through October.  I try to keep my iPad handy so I can jot these down on a note right when they say them.  Otherwise I don’t even remember to when LOML gets home from work to tell him!

More posts coming.  And hopefully more regular posts with photos coming.  I know a lot of you rely on this blog to know what’s happening in our lives since we live and ocean away.


Mom! Guck mein purse! It has a flower on it. And an opening. I can put my car in it.
-Big Ive 16.08.2013 (Guck = Guck Mal = Look, mein = my.  She loves to mix her languages.)

Hallo, Ich bin ahold to call you. I was in school in English.
-Big Ive, talking on her toy phone 26.08.2013

He’s phsych-ed to play with Elmo. (He’s excited to play with Elmo.)
–Big Ive 27.08.2013

Hey, that’s my sword!
-Little E 03.09.2013

It’s for my pirlate island.
-Big Ive 9.9.13 (It’s for my pirate island.)

Mommy, this baby don’t have legs? Maybe we go a doctor and get baby legs.
-Big Ive 10.09.2013

Three goed away now. I’m two, mommy.
-Big Ive 12.09.2013 (She was talking about her age.  She didn’t want to be 3 anymore so it went away and she was 2 again.)

You ok, mommy? Oh, I’ll soft you.
-Big Ive 13.09.2013 (I wasn’t feeling well and she softly rubbed my back.)

Our baby can’t eat our pup-cakes.
-Big Ive 13.09.2013 (cup cakes)

Mommy, your have to sleep more and your sick will go away.
-Big Ive 14.09.2013 (She was so concerned when I came down with a bacterial lung infection that left me functioning enough to basically sit and nap on the sofa for 3 weeks.)

Mom, I think there was a monster upstairs.
–Big Ive 15.09.2013 (The word choices and improper pronouns and subject/verb agreements make me smile.  I love seeing language being learned and processed through these minds.)

‘Lone me.
-Little E 15.09.2013 (her version of leave me alone.)

Leave me ‘lone me!
-Little E 16.09.2013

-Little E 17.09.2013 (blow it, like to cool off food to eat)

Runnin’ shirt.
-Big Ive 17.09.2013 (referring to her sleeveless shirt. She saw a character on Curious George running wearing sleeveless shirts.)

He has little feet and little fingers. His toes are teena tyna, like this (puts her fingers together to show the size).
-Big Ive 18.09.2013

My whine goed away, mom. Now I can talk!
-Big Ive 19.09.2013 (She was whining when she asked for something so I told her she couldn’t have it because she was whining.)

I need to go to the hostabull. My hand hurts. And the guy will give me some paper and know which kind of medicine I need for my hand. I need a which medicine. I need to go it the hostabull.
-Big Ive 19.09.2013 Hostabull = hospital. (This probably happened after I went to the doctor and she saw me get the prescription paper from the doctor.  Then we went to the pharmacy to pick it up.)

I’sth wready a go.
-Little E 19.09.2013 (I can’t get over her little kid lisp.  I love it.  I’m pretty sure it’s already fading as her language skills progress.)

I’d wready da goh.
-Little E 19.09.2013

That’s what kind of medicine make my hand feel better.
-Big Ive 19.09.2013

I’sth a’goin to da wresthtauwrant. Okay? (Said while attempting to walk out of the house.)
–Little E 19.09.2013 (I’m going to the restaurant, okay?)

-Big Ive 25.09.2013 (What she calls fresh mozzarella, which is packaged in that milky water that looks quite like milk when you dump it out.)

Disth isth-a meine chickie-bok-bok.
-Little E 25.09.2013 (“This is my chickie-bok-bok.” ‘Meine’ is German for ‘mine’.  She calls nearly every bird a chickie, and just to add cuteness she puts the bok-bok on the end.)

Mom: what time is it?
Big Ive: 48!

Mom! I’m wearin’ a kate! (Cape)
-Big Ive 28.09.2013

Ich-a all done! (I’m all done, but with the German ich for I.)
-Little E 28.09.2013

Mommy, this is wiggle cheese.
-Big Ive 28.09.2013 (Wiggle cheese is young sliced sandwich gouda that we eat here in Germany.  This is in contrast to the ‘milk cheese’ mozzarella.)

Little E stirs up food in her bowl and says, “I makin’ dishes.”

Eyesth-a fingersth.
-Little E 01.10.2013 (“Eyes, not fingers”, after I told her not to touch.  I usually tell the girls they aren’t allowed to touch things by saying ‘eyes, not fingers’.  Most of the time it makes sense to them, but sometimes they can’t resist the impulse to touch.)

Dadyee, come look what we can did!
-Big Ive 03.10.2013

We call our baby sweep sweep germs. Sweet sweet girms.
-Big Ive 04.10.2013 (I think she was trying to say sweet sweet girl.)

Big Ive pronounces her new baby cousin’s name with a distinct German accent.  We don’t usually say it that way, but she always says it that way.  Silly kid.  It might be because there is a little girl at their school with the similar sounding name.  (Real names not written to maintain anonymity.  Think along the lines of Abby versus Gaby, Alicia vs. Felicia, Madeline vs. Adeline, etc.)

Bafwoom = bathroom for Little E

That’s a Lia* bed! A Lia bed!
-Big Ive 05.10.2013 (In a store she saw a bed with a hello kitty bedspread on it. A little girl at her school named Lia is always wearing hello kitty everything.)

Lookit dat a my ‘tail!
-Little E 07.10.2013 (“Look at my pony tail!”)

“We know how-a tickle Gampers up!”  Said in a loud whisper with tickle fingers wiggling.
-Big Ive 11.10.2913

My juice is making noises again, just like my baby cousin.
Big Ive 15.10.2013 (I think her juice cup was making those suction noises they sometimes make and the baby was making typical baby squeeks.)

I want piggy tails later. Later at sunset.
Big Ive 15.10.2013