Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gary vs. the Pitney's.

Just to clarify this story is not about our  friend, Gary Witherall. ;)

 Three weeks ago Troy and I thought we would embrace life with kids here in Reichenbuch and get a cat. That night at dinner we told the kids our plan and all voted on names.
 Troy voted for- bartholo-mew
Khoen voted for- Khoen
Fletcher voted for - kitty
I voted for - Templeton
Needless to say my name won. So we set out in search for our Templeton and went to the local tierhiem (animal shelter). We all five excitedly surveyed the cats while asking to see one that might be their most calm, friendly cat. The kind lady led us to a sweet looking white cat that bore the name Gary. we thought that's ironic. Good thing we came with our own name. I wanted to see how the cat would react to the three kids. After all there's three of them and the majority of them are boys, and they are three and under. Good luck cat. However, to my surprise the cat was very calm and sweet. Despite that Fletcher thought it was funny to poke his nose and giggle loudly. we held him for a few minuets and gently put him away and told the lady we would take him. She said it was a good choice and led us to the next room where we gave her our contact information. We were told they would call us in 14-15 days when Gary would be ready for pick up. We went home excited as ever and took great care in picking out cat food and water dishes and play toys at our next visit to the markets.

 3 weeks later........

 No phone call......

 Troy and I had the opportunity to run some errands without our kids and thought we should check up on our dear sweet Gary. After waiting 15 minutes to talk with someone we were led into the office where the same gal who helped us find Gary sat. She was helping a costumer who spoke English. Her (the customer) first words to us were "don't get mad at me I'm only translating.". Ok we thought, that was weird. She then began to tell us that they thought Gary was too calm for us. They didn't think it was a good fit and that he would be very likely to snap and kill one of our kids. (yes, that is the word she used). Troy immediately asked, "wow, has this happened before with Gary?". "No" Was her well meaning response. I leaned over to Troy and asked "did Gary turn into a Pit Bull? I thought we were buying a cat". We pressed a little further saying that this was the cat that the lady led us to after seeing our kids, their ages and knowing that we wanted a friendly sweet cat. She advised us as well that having a cat and baby is not always safe. After all cats like to snuggle up to babies, sometimes laying on them, even on their faces. Causing them to suffocate and die. After realizing she doesn't know what kind of mom I am (or family we are) we left it at that and told them thank you for all their well meaning advice.

 I'm not sure how long we were silent for but it was definitely broken by laughter. And a "did that really just happen?" The car ride home was needless to say a memorable one.

lets recap...
1) went to look for a sweet kind cat
2) found sweet kind cat
3) we're told sweet kind cat failed psyche evaluation
4) left without a cat, 90 euros and a great story
5) still in search for a sweet kind cat.

 Hope you had a few laughs,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A day in the life of... Us

I am a guest contributor on a friends blog.  As my intro I thought I would share our day with you all.  Thought some of you might get a kick out of seeing this.

6 am- We are awakened by the church bells that ring for 10 minutes on either side of our house.  After spending many months working hard on sleep training our kids, who knew there was a primitive world out there that still used bells as an alarm.  [I will most likely become the first missionary who burns down churches; well at least their bell towers.]

6:05- Get the kids on the couch to watch a cartoon that is popular here in Germany called, Adventures of the Little Mole.

6:10- Get the kids a sippy cup of milk and make my coffee.

6:15- Kaleah wakes up, we join the kids on the couch to nurse and watch mole.

7am- Get breakfast on the table.  Although it is Sunday and we usually have crepes or French toast, Troy is out of town this week, we will therefore have an egg.  Each.  (we're not that poor;)

7:45- Khoen clears the table and both boys are at the sink "cleaning" the dishes.
Kaleah is tired already, so I head to her room and lay her down for her morning nap.

8:00- Since the boys are so nicely distracted in the kitchen I start a new load of laundry and head to the cellar where I put a load to dry before bed last night.  Yes my washer is upstairs in my bathroom and my dryer is down 2 flights of stairs in our cellar.  Inconvenient but I am grateful to have a dryer at all!

8:30- Having returned from the cellar I quickly fold the dry clothes and put them away.  Upon my return I insist the dishes are clean enough! I strip them both of ALL their clothes.  Yes even underwear.  I struggle a little with Fletcher since he is wearing his favorite shirt.  In doing so I try to explain why we cannot live all day in sopping wet clothes.  (Oh the price one pays for a few extra min)

9:00- I pick up the broom to sweep up the remains of breakfast and my little helper Khoen follows me with the dust pan.  As we finish, Khoen politely tells me the floor is pretty icky and we should mop.  Never one to turn down an opportunity to do house chores (especially not during nap time), I oblige  him by handing him the mop. 

9:05- I walk through piles of crumbs and make a mental note to mop once Khoen is napping.  Khoen takes this moment to remind me he is cold and buck naked. 

9:15- I finish instructing Khoen as he dresses himself (it's kind of a new thing for him!)

 9:20- Fletcher has been playing extremely well by himself so I take this opportunity to start a baking project with Khoen.  We decide on chocolate crinkle cookies; some for the neighbor and some as a special treat when Troy gets home Tuesday morning.

9:50- Fletcher joins us as the cookies are mixed and I am putting them in the fridge to set for 3hours. 

9:55- We quickly clean the mess we made while baking. Who am I kidding, I quickly clean the mess Khoen made while baking.

10:05- School time.  We all gather around the little table with bibles and the school box.  We start with the home made snowman calendar.  This week’s topic: reward.  The month went something like this.... Week 1: listening, week 2: obey, week 3: reward.  Each day of the week has a corresponding scripture to that week’s topic.  Today was Ps. 19:7-11.

10:30- I set Fletch up with stickers and a blank piece of paper.  I help Khoen with his number book; tracing numbers and letters.

10:45- I cover their little table with plastic and they paint.  Thinking this might be my only chance, I run to my room to get dressed for the day.  I take a look at my arm pits and legs.  Do I chance a quick shower??  I've never seem my arm pits this bad before.  I make the more responsible decision and settle for brushing my teeth.

11:00- I return to the living room where the painting has gone to the next level.  I know what you’re thinking: what mom leaves a three year old and 20 month old alone with paints for 15 min?  This mom does.

11:15- we all finish cleaning our painting fun, and since they have both been washing their own hands, I strip off their clothes once again.  I decide that is it! I am moving to a nudist colony. 

11:20- I realize Kaleah is still sleeping and announce that I am going to go wake her up.  I walk down the hall towards her room. I am distracted by shoes that I straighten, while Khoen flies by me.  I arrive in Kaleah’s room to see Khoen has already beat me there and is "snuggling" with her in the crib.

11:30- I throw sausages in the oven for lunch and let them cook.

11:35- We ALL gather on the couch with at least 17 books.  I put Kaleah in the right position (yes at my boob) and read away!

11:50- I change diapers, we have an assembly line; Kaleah on the left Fletcher on the right.

11:55- I take the cooled sausages and pack them up along with apple sauce, goldfish crackers that arrived via mail from aunt Ni-Ni, and (oh yeah, don't forget) sippy cups of water.

12:00- Both boys are on my lap, Kaleah in her seat, we drive up the road to enjoy our lunch at the park.

12:05- While at the park the bells ring, a little late, and I hear Khoen begrudgingly say "nap time"!  I tell him to enjoy his time and we are staying up a little late from nap.

12:30- load the kids and all our "stuff" back in the car and head home. 

12:45- Change diapers, put the kids to bed! Yes all of them!

1:00- Mop all the floors before I sit down to edit blog posts and check face book.

2:00- make grocery list, take a deep breath as I realize tomorrow's grocery day and Troy is not here to tag team.  I will have to go with all three kids.  Hip hip hooray!  (totally sarcastic)

2:30- Stick grocery list on the cork board, put recipe books away and make a cup of decaf.

2:50- Kaleah wakes up.  I nurse her and spend some much needed one on one time with her.

3:30- Both boys are up.  We need some music and scripture to cloth us so I put on ‘Hide'em in your heart’ DVD. 

4:00- Khoen is very excited to finish our cookies, so I set Fletcher up to play Thomas and Khoen and I dive in.  This doesn't last long and I spend the next 20 minutes back and forth between the kitchen and living room. 

4:30- I put Kaleah down for her last nap of the day with Fletcher at my heals saying "bup, mamma, bup,".  I "bup" him right after I lay Kaleah down and head back to the kitchen.  My timer is beeping and I pull the last of the cookies out. 

4:40- I decide I need to spend some very intentional time with the boys (mostly with Fletcher) and we head out to the balcony where our sand pot is. 

5:00- I sneak in to start spaghetti, Sunday nights are always spaghetti nights.  I decide to combine it with our Friday dinner and a movie night.  I quickly set up their little table and chairs and put mole in before I dash back out to play.

5:30- Kaleah wakes up.  I nurse her on the couch where I can hear the sweet conversations just outside.  Khoen is telling Fletcher "good job Fletch".

5:50- I step outside just enough to say "dinner time!"

6:00- mole is on and we are all eating peacefully while Kaleah sits in her swing.
6:35- I clear the tables and bring them each one cookie as promised from earlier that morning.
6:45- Troy Skype’s and we all get to see him to say, hi and goodnight!

6:55- The kids head to bed.  We brush teeth, take vitamins, read books and I tell one story out of my mouth. (That’s what Khoen calls imaginary stories)

7:15- I say the last I love you's close their door and head to Kaleah's room.  I lay her down as well.

7:20- I'm back in the kitchen doing one last clean up and the doorbell rings.
It is my neighbor friend.  She invites me to ‘sports platz’ (gymnastics) tomorrow night.

8:00- I say goodbye to my friend return to my domain and try to remember what I was doing.  I look around and think the house looks pretty good and take a much needed shower!

8:45- I try to buy a book off itunes, it downloads, then is nowhere to be found.  I think "if Troy were here he would know how to find it!"

9:00- I tell myself to go to bed and catch up on some much needed sleep.  Having gone back to the states for 4 days with a 9 week old is beginning to wreak havoc on me.  I silently do the math and realize in the last week (164 hours) I have gotten a full 25 hours of sleep.  I better turn in!

9:15- Kaleah wakes up, screaming and grunting.  Guess I better add taco seasoning to my list of no no's.  Bummer.
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11:30- the house is quiet and I get to sleep!

I truly recommend you all do this.  Pick one day this upcoming week and at the end of the day do as I did and pen it out.   I found it very therapeutic, bringing a fresh glimpse of purpose.  It also validated my feelings  that life can be kinda crazy, full, mundane, and/or stressful at times.  AND, the only reason we make it joyfully through our days is because we have a gracious and merciful God!