Sunday, March 9, 2014

Baron Visit: Part 1

 We were very excited to have Grandma and Grandpa Baron come to Germany!  The day they flew in we tried very hard to keep them busy with grandkids and going to the wild animal park by our house.

This Elk was huge!  Tyler wasn't sure what to think of him, but the elk sure wanted the food Tyler had!  

Two things here that I don't like- spiders and wild pigs.  I guess these pigs run wild around our area and I have been lucky enough to never encounter them.  I hope I never do.  

 The following day we traveled up to Rudesheim on the Rhine river.  The day started out wonderfully when I locked my keys in the car and made Andrew come home from work to unlock it for us.  I also seem to have a problem remembering to pack diapers when we go on day trips.  A big thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for setting out to find some for us!

It was somewhat of a miracle to get this picture. They were mostly spastic ninjas.  

The Niederwalddenkmal monument that was constructed after to represent the German union after the Franco-Prussian war.  

We had a lovely lunch in one of the Cafes there.  

Vineyards overlooking the Rhine.  

After exploring we went up to Mainz to meet Andrew after work and went downtown Wiesbaden for dinner.  We ate at the Rathaus that serves traditional German food.  I am not a very adventurous eater, but the food was good.  Zach wasn't too happy about being out, but some loves from Grandma fixed that.  

On our way home around 11 at night Peter and Rinda got stuck on the autobahn.  (they were helping drive one of the cars home because I detest driving here)  The funny thing is that there are no lights on the highways here, so I bet it was a really dark wait!  After about a half hour they were able to get going and meet us.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Strasbourg, France

 My Mom's 70th birthday happened while she was here.  We decided to venture out to Strasbourg for the day with our 3 monkeys.  Hardly relaxing, but we had a great time.

On the drive there.  We are SO mature and had a good laugh at the sign.  I was having a particularly  hormonal-I just had a baby- day and suggested that I stand under the sign for a photo.  At some point we will go to Bitche, France and then I will get the photo.  Ha!   

The Germans and French are very serious about their gardening.  This was a roundabout just off the highway.  

 The Strasbourg train station.  We started by parking here and visiting the tourism shop.  I'm grateful to have taken french because they can't *ahem* won't speak very much english.  

La Petite France

She wanted to push the stroller so she could do "the old lady lean."  Ok, just kidding.  

 Our lunch place "La Petite Venise" in La Petite France.  It was delicious!  We must have looked like a circus, because there was another table of ladies who kept staring at us.  I told myself it was because of my cute 3 week old baby, but who knows.  The older women here stop and stare.  Maybe next time I should strike a pose? 

Zachy, or "Whosit," as affectionately named by Grandma, trying to burp.  
Tyler unhappy because the french Limonade wasn't lemonade... or because it was nap time.  

Charming city.  

 On the drive home we decided to drive up through Baden Baden, Germany.  I put it in the GPS and we ended up an hour and a half south of where we were trying to go.  Blonde moment, sleep deprived, any excuse?  So this is Baden street- somewhere.  At least I got a beautiful picture for all the trouble, right?

When we finally made it home we were too worn out to make a cake.  So we ate left over cake and sang to Grandma.  Classy, huh?


 One of the two trips we ventured out on while my mom was here was to Trier.  It is an amazing city that dates back to 16 B.C.  It is considered (one of/ if not) the oldest city in Germany and has Roman influence in the ruins.

Here are some of the gardens that are in Trier.  Everything is so green here, even in the fall and winter.
There are Greek statues positioned throughout the garden and it is entertaining to match the statue with the Greek god.  I just finished reading "Percy Jackson" so that made it easier/ more entertaining.  

I find the streets here charming.  That is, unless I'm driving.  Then I find them frustratingly narrow, and hate my minivan.  I also don't find them charming when Austin trips on the cobble stones and cuts his lip open, like he did this day.  Austin is our sensitive guy, and has a really hard time dealing with any kind of pain/ blood.  
Another "adventure" from the day was with Tyler.  We had just started to potty train Tyler.  He wasn't getting it.  We decided rather than navigating bathrooms, that you have to pay for, we would slap a diaper on him.  At the end of the day as we were walking back to our car when we noticed Tyler was stepping on a diaper.  I was entirely grossed out!  Who leaves a diaper on the road?!  Sick!

Upon further inspection we noticed that is was actually Tyler's own diaper that had detached, fallen down his pant leg, and dangled from his shoe for who knows how long.  To make it better, I had forgotten a diaper to change him into.  Luckily, he held it for the 2 hour drive home.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Adventures with Grandma

Really, everything is an adventure when you put my mom and I together.  

There is a wild animal park about a mile from our home.  They specialize in birds of prey, but also have hogs, donkeys, goats, horses, guinea pigs, moose, etc.  Pretty random grouping if you ask me...  Austin loved the donkey.  He walked all the way around his pen next to Austin, probably because he was being fed.  Austin kept whispering to him "It's ok, I'll take you home with me."  

(The goats also love to be fed--- really, really, really love to be fed- as in head but you out of the way to get what they want hungry.  I feared for Tyler's life.)

 We unintentionally let half of the goats in the pen loose into the wild park.  We were able to bribe most of the smaller goats back into the pen, but there was one old grey goat that was so stubborn.  Once she was where she wanted to be she would not budge an inch!  In the picture you can see that she stood in the threshold of the gate so it couldn't be closed.  Stinker.

Mom, thanks for going with us even though you hate the zoo.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Moving on and in

Our new home in Germany.  It was very welcome after 3 months of living in hotels.  We have quite a bit more room here than we did in Texas and about half the stuff.  Lots of things didn't come that were supposed to... like the toys.  

Here is our incredible view.  (Not me 8 days after having a baby)

 Our street.  At the end there is a park with swings, a slide, teeter totters, and a soccer goal.

My sweet mom came to Germany for a month to help us get settled.  I am so so so grateful for her.  I made fun of her for making lists for me the whole month, but am secretly grateful.  (see the list?)

Having a baby in Germany

 Having a baby in Germany is a little different than the US.  IF we have anymore children- I think I will wait until we get home to the USofA.  The quality of care was exactly the same, but it is much more luxurious in Texas.  (you get steak dinner, and to send your baby to the nursery at night, private rooms/ bathroom, etc.)  

About 2 hours after delivery I was transferred from the labor and delivery room to a shared room.  I had requested my own private room (for a fee,) but there were none available.  It was there that I found out Andrew couldn't stay the night with me.  I shed a few tears and repeated "I can do this" over and over.  Luckily, roommate spoke a little English and was very very kind.  She was very patient with me as I kept turning the light on and off and was a huge help in communicating with the night nurses.  It was really hard to communicate with the night nurses.  Thank heavens for translation apps.
 The next morning I got a new roommate and she was not as nice.  Thankfully, a private room came available that afternoon.  

 Here are some pictures of my hospital room the 2nd night.   The thing hanging from the ceiling is a warmer for when diapers are changed.  Zach would scream unless the warmer was on.  He really hated having his diaper changed.  One of our "lost in translation stories" was about wipes.  I had run out of wipes and was trying to ask the nurse for more.  She then proceeded to use receiving blankets to wipe up the mess.  They do use wipes... so I have no idea what she thought I was asking for.  Luckily, another nurse brought me some wipes. 
 There was also a bottle opener in the room.  The Germans love their drinks, especially their beer.  

 The babies are not swaddled, but instead put into sleeping bags.  Most of the ones I saw were pretty ugly.  Speaking of ugly, the babies are also put into these white jumpsuits that rival straight jackets.  I wish I had taken a better picture, but the one below is the best I have.  

 Usually people stay in the hospital for 7 days, but after 3 I was finished.  I couldn't take it anymore. Since this was our third time around having a baby the doctors agreed that we were fine to go home.  

Zach's first home was the Wiesbaden Army Lodge.  How many kids can say their first home was a hotel room?  How many kids actually want to say that?  Yeah.
It was kinda nice having somebody come in and clean our room and change my sheets every day.  That was better service than I got in the hospital.  Maybe I'm onto something...

 We all love our new little guy!