Thursday, May 31, 2007

G'night, sweets

Today we went to the story hour at the library on post for the first time. I was hoping that the boys and I might find some friends. There was one other mother there, with her little girl. My boys were so incredibly shy and reticent to even look at anyone, that the other mother and I never even spoke to each other. Andrew just stood outside the door of the room for the first 20 minutes, and then lay on the floor with his hat over his face for the rest of the time. Even peanut butter cookies and strawberry Fig Newtons weren't doing it for him. My goodness.

The two ladies directing the story time ended it by having the children re-pot these flowers, which was so sweet. Elijah finally decided to help shovel some of the dirt in, but Andrew crouched behind my chair. As soon as everyone left, the boys tongues were suddenly loosed again, and it was all questions, all the time (back to normal).

We checked out some videos and I got the first Harry Potter book on audio. I've been wanting to read them to see what all the fuss is about for a while now. Jom told me that they were very well written and enjoyable. I knit and spin so much though that I don't make the time to read all that often, so I have really enjoyed getting into audio books recently. I'll keep you all posted on what I think of this one.

After that, we went to the post office, picked up some things at the commissary, stopped by Greg's work to have lunch with him, then back to the commissary for stuff we forgot the first time around. We got back home at 3, and Elijah was totally exhausted, but thankfully he went down well for his nap (even though I may have given him a little bit of chocolate...)

Here's two videos for you. The first, Elijah says what I say to him when I put him down to sleep ("G'night, sweets"), and in the second, Lavella smiles (she really does at the end), and Elijah is drinking a bottle. They were recorded yesterday.

(Notice that Lavella's little head is still bobbing around, even though Elijah is "putting her to bed")

(They're all lined up for assembly-line diaper changing)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Under-age drinking and other fun things

Mom, I finally planted my herbs on Sunday!

Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Mint

I've been watering them every day, and they're actually still alive. We've been enjoying fresh herbs with most of the dishes that I've made in the past few days. (For those who haven't been here yet, the photo was taken out in the wintergarden, which is a "room" of sorts just off the kitchen. It's separated by big glass doors and windows from the kitchen, and the roof is sliced off, so that when you're in there, you're actually outside. Sort of like a porch, but not.)

Anyway, I'm terribly proud of myself.

At Ramstine the other day, I saw this next to the yogurt.
Yes, it's refrigerated Belgian Chocolates. There were about 10 truffles in there, individually wrapped. I've become terribly picky about chocolate, and am not easily impressed. This looked like a total gimmik, but it piqued my interest, so I sprung for it. Oh my gosh. I wish that I could send each of you, my readers, a can of this. Or 10. It's so good. Unfortunately, it has to stay chilled...

On Saturday, we went to this food tasting at a local gourmet food botique. Here is what we came home with:
From left: Saffron, French Sea Salt (harvested from the surface of the ocean, supposed to be the purest form possible. Not to be cooked with, but instead sprinkled over a finished dish. Very good!), Waldmeister liquer (literally translated, "Master of the forest", but is actually what we call "Sweet Woodruff" in the US), Quitten Liquer (quince), Olive/sun-dried tomato tapenade, sweet German musterd.

When we got home, all of the boys took shots of the Waldmeister.
The Germans are crazy about this flavor. They drink the liquer straight, throw a shot of it into a pint of beer, every Eis shop makes this flavor of ice cream, they also make a flavored syrup that can be served over ice cream, stirred into drinks. The children's playground has a Waldmeister slushy. It is seriously everywhere. The flavor is reminiscent of vanilla, almonds, amaretto, marzipan, freshly mown hay. I've heard that people even use the fresh herb on poultry.

Two days ago I wanted to bake beer bread, so the boys and I went out in search of a bottle.

The lady at the store also encouraged me to buy this "cola + beer". I tried it when I got home, and thought it was quite bad. Andrew, on the other hand, thought differently.
He was only allowed to drink a few sips, but he loved every one of them

This is a video that I took of Lavella yesterday:

You might have to hit play a few times -- it was acting strangely for me, although Aunt Terry tested it and said it was fine for her.

Speaking of Aunt Terry, we just got a huge box in the mail from her yesterday. I've got some cute pictures, which I'll put in the next post.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Greg is back to work, and instead of telling you about this hectic thing or that insane moment, let's just look at some cute pictures.

Yesterday, Elijah was running around like this:
(Note the too small sunglasses, too big slippers, dirty face, worn-out jeans, monster truck video in the background)

And then some Lavella "action shots" (borrowing that phrase from my mom), taken today:

On days like today, I need to remember that someday the two small fellows won't need to be commanded to eat every bite of dinner, that the tiny princess won't need to eat every two hours and be held almost every moment between, that my life won't always revolve around baby/toddler nap schedules and food needs. And I'll miss it. I just need to remember that.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Darling Visit...

Okay, so I guess that's an extremely cheesy title, but it's nearly my bed time and I can't think of anything more clever right now.

Anyway, for the past couple of weeks, my parents have been staying with us, in Kusel. Because of our unfortunately short time together, we immediately jumped into showing them all of the attractions surrounding our little area of the world. First we went out to dinner at Toucy, the French restaurant just down the street from our house (above).

Then we did a short Volks-March in Ramstein (near Ramstein Air Force Base)....

Many walks to the playground....

...and the market....

...our local pool.... of many fountains....

...the Wildpark at Potzberg, about 15 minutes from our house....

....Sternenland, the indoor playground in Idar-Oberstein (45 minutes from our house)....

...the Church in The Rock (a church literally built into the side of a rock) in Idar-Oberstein....

...and the looong climb up the adjoining trail to a castle that overlooks the entire city of Idar-Oberstein.

We all definitely had a killer time hanging out together. It's always great to have family around to experience fun stuff together. Thanks Dad and Mom for all of your help entertaining the boys, for helping Faith with Lavella, and for arranging your schedules (and finances) to be able to come. It really was great having you as our guests.

I'd also like to extend the invite to any extended family who's interested in traveling to Europe. We have a large place, andvery much enjoy entertaining guests, so please let us know if you'd like to come.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I don't have time for a "real" post, so click here for some cute pics of Lavella.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh for the love of sleep

So sorry for the terrible lapse in posting.

I've been staring into a face that looks like this much of the time:
And she likes to sleep with someone like this:
It's not that I'm spoiling her (well, not much). The truth of the matter is that she's got tummy issues that cause her to wake up from napping over and over screaming in pain, and there's no way I'm going to let her cry herself to sleep in that state. (For those who gasp at the thought of letting a baby "cry it out", well, that's a post for another date, so you can hold your gasp until then.)

When I burp her, she has these huge, man-like belches, and seems terribly relieved. But she needs to burp ALL THE TIME. Aunt Terry is going to say that she takes after Grandpa Sam. I hope that she takes after that side of the family, but for goodness sake, not with the belching!! Poor babe. I don't know if it's something I'm eating or what, but I'm getting so exhausted.

Last night was the first time she let me sleep 4 hours in a row, and she did it twice in that one night. I felt wonderful this morning!

I know all of that was terribly exciting news, so let's move on.

Pete and Jill (Greg's parants, AKA Poppy and Nanna) are here with us for a visit, and today we went on post so that they could check out where Greg works, and also I had a few packages to mail (Chase and Amanda, Jessica S., expect something in a week or so).
I know that there have been pictures taken of this visit, but I'm just too tired to go find them at the moment. I think that Greg uploaded them to somewhere that I don't normally put pictures, and it would take too much effort to locate them.

That's all for now, folks. Sleep is calling.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Thanks to everyone who joined in on the Name That Baby contest! You can hop on over to my blog to see the results, if you wish. (Chase, candy will be arriving in a week or so.)

This week, I've gotten some incredibly generous things in the mail.

For my birthday, Pete and Jill (AKA Poppy and Nana), sent me some maple syrup, maple candy and maple cream (doesn't contain cream, it's just pure maple sap that's been boiled down to be thick and creamy ). The maple products are from the farm down the road from them, run by cousins at Dewy Meadows. Normally, being a New Jersey Girl, I don't sing the praises of Pennsylvania. I have to tell you though, Dewy Meadows maple products, tasted alongside those of other farms, are the absolute best I've ever had. If you don't live close, they do mail orders, and it's totally worth the effort!

Also for my birthday, Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bob send me a card with "the usual" tucked inside. Always much appreciated! Thank you so much. It always makes me feel so special that Aunt Mary Ann and Aunt Terry remember my birthday each year, even though I'm an "old" kid now.

Yesterday, yet another card (and gift) came from A. Mary Ann and U. Bob -- this one for Lavella. She sends baby kisses your way.

This package came from Sarah D., and I have to say, the words on the pink shirt brought tears to my eyes:
(You can click for bigger, as always)

The shirt reads "worth the wait", and every time I look at Lavella, that's exactly what I think. I was worried about how I would handle being the mom of a little girl, but as it turns out, she's a perfect fit for our family. Born late after a very emotionally challenging (although healthy) pregnancy, she was certainly worth the wait.

Thank you Sarah!

So sorry that there's no baby pics today. I promise to do better in the future. =)

Must go start dinner. I haven't cooked in quite a while, but I think I still know my way around the kitchen...