28 April, 2007

Talkin bout their geeeeeeneration

This could easily have turned corny but they look like they're having so much fun-- it really made me smile! :-)

(Lifted this link from Davezilla!)

27 April, 2007

Something wicked this way comes

Someone's got a voodoo doll with my name on it and they're going a little overboard with the pins.

It's been a hard week-- one that's included tantrums, days of severely interrupted sleep and a DEFCON 1 level poop incident. The dental after-effects of a stone in my rice and car trouble that shortened my life figuratively if not literally.

Somehow I've survived exposure to humping preschoolers and surprise traffic jams, Chatty Cathys and hostile teachers. I even accidentally propositioned a man I don't even know.

Our Internet provider has cheerfully refused to terminate our contract before the July 2008 contract date. ("But please don't hesitate to contact us if we can help you with anything else.")

A friend is on vacation and in exchange for housesitting I get to use his wireless internet. But the connection is so bad today that it only works in the bathroom. on the floor. leaning up against the toilet.

M has abandoned us for a 9 day business trip to the States. I'm staring a four-day weekend in the mouth and am wondering how the hell I'm going to keep us entertained and happy without ending up medicated in a padded room somewhere in the heart of Baden Wuerttemburg.

(And to top it all off the cat is actually vomiting on the carpet outside the door right now as I'm typing this...)

23 April, 2007

And the beat goes on...

Internet provider madness continues.

We got a letter from 1&1 yesterday asking if the Mehrfacheinwahl charges have ended. ??? M shot them back a reply explaining that we have no idea since they won't release any of the information to us and we can't even access our account details since they've shut off our Internet access.

And today I got a call from someone who SAID he's a police officer. He asked me for my password since they wanted to access my account to check a few things. :-D

Explained that I have no way of knowing if he is who he says he is and that although I wanted to help I wasn't about to give out my personal information on the phone. He laughed and said: "Good point." and had me call him back at the police station.

The weather is great so I've been spending a lot of time outside trying to ease Internet withdrawal symptoms. Hope to straighten this mess out at some point, though, because I'm really missing it...

20 April, 2007

Losing my faith in humanity...

S had a field trip this morning. And shortly before it was time to leave he had a meltdown of biblical proportions. A tantrum so awe inspiring that it rivaled the bombing of Hiroshima just for sheer energy expended and incandescent afterglow.

It took a while before we finally discovered its origin—apparently S’s wonderfully warm, caring teacher described to the class in gory detail what would happen to any of them if they weren’t paying attention and happened to get separated from the group.

I have no idea if her scenarios included pedophiles, evil flying monkeys or years of solitude, but they were apparently scary enough to cause S to crumble into a thousand tiny pieces.

I am still so angry I’m having a hard time processing it all.

Figuring it was best to have him face his fears, we forced him to go and armed him with 3 sheets of paper with our mobile numbers on them. (One for each pocket.) Needless to say he returned without being physically lost, but I’m afraid that the damage Frau K has done this time will take some time to heal…

19 April, 2007

have to start writing my letters on stone tablets

My internet connection has been turned off. After speaking to (and eventually screaming at) 5 different customer service zombies at 1&1 it seems they're punishing me for taking back the EUR600 that I'm contesting. And they will continue to charge me for an Internet connection that I am not receiving until I just admit that they were right and give back the money they've effectively stolen from me. (Over my dead body.)

And then I spent the rest of the afternoon here with the police. Some special IT detective unit from the area-- apparently someone else in the neighborhood has had a separate modem-hacking issue and they're trying to see if it's related.

And I was only to happy to provide bills and information and funny stories. They were very friendly and receptive but it's just now occurring to me that they might have just been playing "good cop". Lulling me into a false sense of security or something before they tackle me in a parking lot and cuff me like they do on "Cops". ;-)

I'm joking, of course, but it doesn't seem all that far fetched at the moment. Yesterday the kids got an empty syringe from the doctor so they could squirt water in the bath. I only discovered it AFTER the police had left, even though it was sitting out on the table where they'd filled out their forms.

And they were also curious about why I'd locked the dog up before they came. I tried to explain that it was only so she wouldn't lick them to death but I'm not sure they bought it.

They also asked why the kids were drinking Dutch milk and eating American Cereal. (which was a complete fluke-- almost all of our other groceries are, of course, German...)

So they probably think I'm a junkie rotweiler breeder who is pathalogically afraid of local produce. I'm probably going to be fodder for all kinds of stories down at the police station.

On a whole the experience was extremely positive, though. They were able to give me advice on some next steps and said they'd be in touch. In the meantime I'm Internet-less, though. And it could be a while unless we can get out of our contract quickly, because even though 1&1 has turned off our connection they are trying to convince us to pay them monthly bills through July 2008. (???!!!)

So my blogging may be patchy for a while. Hope to be back up in the saddle again soon! In the meantime I'll be practicing my penmanship and warning anyone who will listen that if they see an 1&1 customer service zombie they should turn tail and run like the wind.

15 April, 2007

Field trip II

We ventured out into the warm summer weather today- took a drive up the Neckar River and explored Bad Wimpfen, which is full of ancient buildings and beautiful gardens. Had a fabulous day out hiking and then drove further up the Neckar up towards Heidelberg.

14 April, 2007

Listening in

I love our baby monitor. In the heady early days of parenthood it made us privy to every cough, every sigh, every gurgle that S made. (We actually didn't need it very often with B because his howls could be heard unassisted three city blocks away.)

When the boys were toddlers that same monitor provided me with a couple of hours of precious freedom each day while they were napping. I could sit outside on the deck and read a book or run on our noisy treadmill and still know the exact moment that either of them started to stir.

Needless to say, the days of cribs and naps are long gone and our baby monitor has been hidden away in a drawer along with other once-useful flotsam and jetsam.

We live in a typical German Doppelhaus, sharing a roof with our American neighbors, E and S. And over the past months we've been building up an increasingly communal existance. We spend a couple of evenings a week together sharing wine, coffee, bad jokes and cheesy movies.

So the baby monitor is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. M and I can go next door for late dinners and listen in on S and B's bedroom at the same time. They never actually wake up, but it's still a comfort to know that, if they did we would hear it right away and could go back to check on them.

The other day B was home with a stomach virus. He only vomited once but was feeling pretty crappy otherwise. He spent the morning on the couch, the wheels of his journey back to health greased by copious amounts of apple juice, Thomas the Tank Engine videos and TLC from Catbert.

True to Murphy's law, he fell asleep about 10 minutes before I had to go pick S up from school. I was loathe to wake him and took the baby monitor over to E: Could he please just listen in for the 20 minutes it would take me to run out and back? I didn't expect B to wake up or need anything.

E agreed immediately; He and S have no kids of their own but love S and B and are always eager to jump in and help when it's needed.

I went back home and was about to walk out the door when I decided to throw a load of clothes in the dryer down in the cellar. I was standing there with an armful of damp laundry when I heard the front door blast open and someone bounding up the stairs.

Came up to see my wild-eyed neighbor running around the corner. He looked shocked and extremely relieved to see me-- over the baby monitor he'd heard the intimate sounds of B retching into a garbage can beside his bed. Sounds which were way too soft for me to hear downstairs. How's that for irony? :-D

13 April, 2007

Field trip

We made it to Hohenzollern yesterday and it was well worth the wait. The architecture and the views are amazing. We also got to tour part of the inside and really enjoyed seeing the spaces where the Prussian and Schwabian royal families worked.

photos courtesy of CRB photography.

11 April, 2007

Alive and kicking

Sorry for the blackout from this end. My mom and dad are here and the weather is gorgeous so we're taking advantage of it. We're going to try to visit Schloss Hohenzollern today. That is, if a certain small person doesn't end up using the bucket he's got next to him on the sofa...

07 April, 2007

Things we're thankful for...

B and I were walking in the woods this morning. He was holding my hand and humming quietly to himself. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I was suddenly overcome with a peaceful happiness.

Me: B, you are just so CUTE! It makes me happy just to be able to hang out with you!
B: Yeah, I'm really lucky too. Want to know why?
Me: *smile* (already antipating his usual ode to Mama) Why?
B: Because my shoes have rubber soles and they're really good for slipping through mud puddles!

04 April, 2007

Like I needed another reason

to love Alanis Morissette.

(You might not even realize it at first since it sounds so different but it's a parody of My Humps)

01 April, 2007

Greetings from sunny Holland! :-)

Sunday morning. (way too) early. Small person slips into bed and plants a noisy kiss on M's cheek. We're at my parents-in-law's place and I say a silent prayer that in this bed I'm sheltered between M and the wall.

B: Papa?? Papa!! PAPA!
M: ..... yeah?
B: Papa, you've got a weird spot on your nose.
M: ???
B: APRIL FOOLS! *giggle giggle*

We're in NL for a much needed long weekend away. The weather is gorgeous and we're spending time catching up with family. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.....

My visit with ze German police went surprisingly well. They were very friendly and sympathetic. They doubted there was much they could do about the situation, but it was still nice to be able to tell the story to someone and have them react as incredulously as I had. And on top of it all it was yet another Better Than Berlitz language lesson. Now I can file a complaint in three languages! Verrrrrrrry handy! :-)

Hope you all survive today unscathed. April Fools Day is always a little scary for me. Once when I was about 8 and my brother and I ran upstairs to tell my mother that the toaster was on fire. She was, shall we say, slightly miffed after flying downstairs to find the toaster intact and us dancing around the kitchen chortling "April Fool's!". (I suppose I should add here that it wasn't even April.) When we were finally released from the hospital we swore off of April Fool's jokes forever. They're just too damned dangerous....