Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mom's Final Week in Germany

Crazy Dog Lady Resolution:
The Crazy Dog Lady issue finally resolved itself. Francoise emailed Gerard to say that after German officials received her letter detailing some discrepancies in Frau CDL's list of complaints, as well as noting other long-time disputes between Francoise and CDL, they have decided not to pursue it any further. YEAH!!! SCORE ONE for the Dog People... ZERO for the "Crazy Little Dog Frau who Hates Foreigners." The whole thing seemed really childish, and I didn't want her to have the satisfaction of winning this dispute, so I am of course greatly satisfied with this outcome.
Gerrit loves caressing Willem's hair
Monday

Annoying Gerardisms:
It's not gonna happen
Expectation Management
Gerard Standard Time
End of Discussion
Truly, you lead a persecuted life
Asked and Answered

Use Your Words
It's just the cost of doing business
It is what it is


Telling Gerard Where to Put his "Gerardisms"

Tuesday
I woke up with grand plans today. I woke up expecting to get the kids ready and head into Munich to buy my mom's souvenirs. We were to take the train into town and hit some of the souvenir shops around Marienplatz and the Hofbrauhaus, and enjoy a leisurely lunch. I meant to have a nice little visit today with her doing some of these things while Gerard was at work. And well... my plans went awry. Since having Willem I have been craving a ton of milk and cheese and well... not drinking enough juice or eating enough fiber... and well... yeah, let's just say I spent the day a bit... incapacitated. The entire day was taken up in this way, so my plans were foiled. Instead we spent the day here, and mom listened to me complain about my "problems" the entire day.


Willem at 2 Weeks
(My, how they change so soon)
"I'm the big brother now!"

Wednesday
It was bleeping cold today. The wind was what truly made it unbearable. Bleh! I truly wonder how I will survive the winter. We spent the day unloading boxes and the evening driving into Munich to get mom's souvenirs. We literally ran all over downtown Munich trying to find just what she wanted while we left Gerard with two screaming boys in the car. After stopping for a few groceries we ate dinner at the the mini-mall that has a Subway. Ah yes, a sandwich with soft bread and real mayo. It was heavenly.

All our kids napping (Jake, Niki, Gerrit, Willem)


Thursday
Spent the morning at English Playgroup and then stopped by Liesel's for lunch. Liesel's daughter, Ella, finally seems to be taking a bit of a shine to Gerrit. I think she is beginning to feel a bit protective over him. The boys spent most of the morning chasing each other around the sofa. Gerrit adores Ella and Thomas, and it’s really nice to see him play with them.

Regina came by to demonstrate post-partum exercises
Another Food Coma

Friday
This afternoon we went to a St. Martin's Festival in Ismaning with Liesel, Martin, and their kids. St. Martin’s Day is officially on November 11, but many schools celebrated it today. A bit of history about St. Martin’s Day.

St. Martin was a Roman soldier living approximately 316-397. He later became a monk and eventually the Bishop of Tours. There are many legends about his life. The most famous is when he cut is cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. Another legend is when he tried to hide because he didn’t want to become Bishop. The story is that he hid in a stall in a barn, but a flock of geese made a lot of noise and gave away his hiding place. The goose is now a symbol of St. Martin. Many people eat goose to celebrate, and kids make sugar cookies shaped like geese as part of the festivities.

To celebrate, kids walk around the streets, after dark, carrying decorated paper lanterns with candles inside. Often a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession. They parade around singing songs about St. Martin and their lanterns. In some parts of Germany, they even go door to door doing this (A bit like trick-or-treating, they are rewarded for their singing and the beauty of their lanterns, with sweets and other goodies).

Okay, so in Ismaning they had a little celebration at the kindergarten, consisting of a small animal circus, food and drinks, and the lantern procession. The circus was kind of fun for Gerrit. There were all sorts of small animal acts, including cats, penguins, ducks, mice, dogs, and chickens. The trainer mostly had his cats jumping through things or over things to get to food, which made me question whether or not he had actually fed the cats at all during the day. It seemed like he took good care of the pets, but it also seemed like he must have purposely withheld food from them so they would perform. During the lantern procession, we were all freezing. It was very cold and extremely windy. I will definitely need warmer clothes in order to survive this winter.

Thomas, Samuel, Ella, Gerrit in the Lantern Procession

Saturday
Mom leaves super early tomorrow morning. I had actually hoped to go out sightseeing on her last day here, but it was snowing so we spent her final day here working a bit around the house one last time. We made a substantial dent in the boxes. We opened all the boxes, but there are still quite a few in the garage and office that need to be emptied. She has been a huge help and I am really sad to see her go. I truly appreciate all she’s done while here, but beyond that I will also really miss spending time with her and being able to see her everyday. It seems like this last three weeks have really flown by, and I am disappointed that it will be so long before I can see her again. I know I will be counting the days and using Skype often to keep in touch in between.

2 Comments:

At November 10, 2007 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Ally said...

Hi Steph - Congratulations on Willem's arrival! He is just gorgeous, I forget already how little and beautiful newborns are.

I am amazed at how much you've been out and about and busy! But then again, it is you!
I know how you feel saying goodbye to your mom, hopefully you'll get into a good solo routine quickly.
Re Gerrit's bug phobia: at least you didn't move to Australia!

 
At November 13, 2007 at 1:48 PM , Blogger Watson said...

Proper responses to Annoying Gerardisms:

It's not gonna happen - "Boy, you can say THAT again!"

Expectation Management - "Don't expect any..."

Gerard Standard Time - "Time for Gerard to change diapers; Time for Gerard to make dinner; Time for Gerard to wash the dogs; ..."

End of Discussion - "Beginning of Loneliness and Silence for you."

Truly, you lead a persecuted life - "You don't know from persecution, buddy!"

Asked and Answered - "That's just what my divorce attorney suggested I tell you."

Use Your Words - "Words like 'F**k Off'?"

It's just the cost of doing business - "And that's what all good marriages are...a business."

It is what it is - "Is it, now?"

Watson

 

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