31 December, 2009

Marlboro boy?

Oma just asked S and B if they'd made any resolutions for the new year. S's answer: Yes! I'm going to quit smoking! (???)

Happy New Years' Eve, everyone!

25 December, 2009

Generation gap

Last night we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with the kids. And it gets to the part where the Abominable Snow monster is about to devour Rudolph and his family-- I almost wet my pants with fear at that part when I was little!

So the Abominable Snow monster goes: "RAAAAWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" and B starts to giggle and says:
"Actually the special effects in this film are pretty poor quality..."

24 December, 2009

Your brain is full of spiders...

You've got garlic in your soul...

19 December, 2009

Is there a 10 step program for people like me?

It's happening again. Every year it's the same thing-- December rolls around and I lose control of all the balls I'm juggling and everything crashes down around me. I don't know if it's due to the weather or the darkness or all the pressures of the holiday season, but I'm starting to forget things-- enough so that it's becoming embarrassing!

Last week I stood up a friend who waited for me in the cold for 20 minutes before she finally gave up. I forgot to send B to his after school reading group on Monday. Invited someone over to my house, but didn't give her my telephone number OR address! I've got overdue library books waiting to be returned, and yesterday I raced to the nursing home only to realize that I'd come on the wrong day!

I started to blog about this whole phenomenon, but then forgot to finish the post!

And the topper: this morning I went to the grocery store at the crack of dawn (because I forgot to do it yesterday) got to the end of the checkout line and realized that I'd left my wallet at home!

Luckily the cashier was really nice about it: she sent me home with my frozen stuff and I came back and paid and got the rest of my groceries later. How embarrassing!

(My kids are getting sick of me asking them the same questions over and over, but then again, paybacks are hell, guys, because your socks are STILL on the floor despite my repeated reminders.)

Normally such a bout of extreme mental-fog might be worrying, but it's a small comfort that this happens to me at about the same time every year. (Perhaps THAT should be cause for concern?!)

With so much fumbling around lately I end up scrambling to compensate for all the things I've forgotten and hoping nobody notices. It seems I'm living the life of an alcoholic, but then without the alcohol, the wild parties or the made-for-tv movie to document the drama!

18 December, 2009


Our livingroom is set up so that you enter from behind and only see the backs of the people in the room. This morning I walked in and was just about to scold S for standing on the couch when I realized...

he wasn't. His feet were firmly planted on the ground and he was towering over the seat back.

When did he get so big?!!!

12 December, 2009

Now THAT'S an accomplishment!

Christmas market season has begun here in Germany, and last weekend we headed "downtown" to check out the festivities in our little village. I gave the kids a couple of Euros for s'mores and they raced off to hang out with friends in front of a bonfire.

Yesterday S started animatedly recalling B's sticky adventures and that it was amazing that he didn't throw up after eating so much junkfood.

"Wait-- how many marshmallows did he eat?!"

S started counting thoughtfully and ticking off his fingers: "... four, five, six"

"Six marshmallows?! Yuck-- that would probably have been enough to make me throw up!"

"What?! NO! He ate six portions! That's 18 marshmallows and 42 cookies!"

10 December, 2009

It's not the mountain that defeats you...

...but the pebble in your shoe.

Had a bit of a sad day at the nursing home yesterday. After helping out with lunch I sat for a while with a woman who's 94-- she started crying and saying how unhappy she is-- that she doesn't LIKE noodles, but they keep giving her noodles. And that she used to be strong and busy and she could HELP people, just like I do, and now she can't even regulate the thermostat on her radiator.

She was just so distressed, and I let her rant, because that was about the only thing I could do. Held her hand and stroked her hair, and I ended up crying myself, because I can imagine exactly how she feels-- when you're feeling crummy and all you want are potatoes and you keep getting served noodles instead...

09 December, 2009

Drink coffee = Live longer

This? Is my friend's parents' front yard. Her mom was just about to go out and weed the garden, but was dragging and stopped for a cup of coffee. She was sitting in front of that window when she saw the driver lose control of his truck and plow right up into the yard! Thank God for caffeine addiction, because otherwise she might have been flattened right along with the begonias!

08 December, 2009

Culture shock to the nth degree...

The weather has been gray and crappy lately, so the women in my Aikido group decided we should all go to the sauna together.

"You know everyone's going to be naked there, right?" asked B, horrified, when I got home.

It's true, ze Germans have a much lower threshold for getting naked than we Americans. I've been to the sauna on several occasions with other friends, but it was always during Frauentag, when only women are allowed in, which doesn't bother me at all.

This time, however, we went to the Mineraltherme in Böblingen, and it was gemischtes Sauna-- open to both men and women.

I'd heard stories from friends before, but still wasn't quite emotionally prepared to parade around in my birthday suit with a couple hundred strangers. And it would have been fine if they were all minding their own business, but I saw several men who were quite obviously there as spectators.

At one point we entered a sauna and were faced with 30 naked people squeezed elbow to elbow on benches arranged in stadium seating. I sat at the only free space at the bottom next to the stairs, and every couple of moments someone passed by and I was eye to eye with an unknown manly appendage as it passed by me on the way up to the upper rows.

It was very, very weird.

After visiting several different saunas the Aikido ladies and I sat in front of a fireplace and had a coffee. I was finally getting used to the general atmosphere and was feeling relatively relaxed.

We finished our coffee and went to go take a shower and get dressed and go home. I followed G into the locker room, relieved to have finished the ordeal without bursting out in inappropriate laughter, and smiling about the blow-by-blow description I was going to give M as soon as I got home.

We took off our bathrobes and entered the shower area, and were suddenly confronted by the sight of 4 burly, naked men who looked up and smiled in greeting as we came in...

07 December, 2009

Talk about a tricky pregnancy and difficult birth!!!

S and M were hanging out this weekend chatting when suddenly S piped up:

You know what?! If you and Mom had met 6 or 7 years later you would now have known me longer than you have Mom!