Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Night

(She loved pulling out the pumpkin guts)
(She went and grabbed a movie while Nate and I were still carving and this is how I found her when I walked by)

(We had to bribe her with suckers to get a picture of her with the headpiece on)

(She was totally in to the whole trick or treating thing)

(Enjoying the fruits of her labor)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trunk or Treat

Our ward trunk or treat was last night and since Reese and I weren't in Vienna like we were supposed to be I rushed around that day to put costumes together for Nate and I, of course Reese already had one ready to go for Halloween. Reese was being a clown so I got some stuff to make Nate and I clowns to and then grabbed some curtains to drape over the car to make it look like a circus tent and bought a bunch of balloons so Nate could hand out candy and make balloon animals, the kids had the option of a worm or a snake. Reese was naturally the super cute and sweet clown I was supposed to be the nice clown and Nate wanted to be an evil clown but somehow we both turned out looking evil, some people even said I looked more evil than Nate. We all had a lot of fun, Reese started getting the hang of trick or treating towards the end and though she refused to say anything she would lift her bucket up for people to put candy in it and then smile big. Nate enjoyed doing his creepy clown laugh as the kids walked over to his car and the fact that he never had to leave the car or actually socialize with anyone over the age of about 10 was a big bonus in his mind. We ended up winning the best decorated trunk contest so we're already plotting out what we're going to do next year so that we can retain our title.

The Mother and the Father

My Mom and Dad arrived in Germany on the 16th and we didn't even let them drop their stuff off before we were off on our travels. We picked them up at Frankfurt and then immediately drove down to Nurnberg where we went to the Nazi Documentation Center and Rally Grounds and then wandered around the old town. The next day we drove on to Dachau, which is just outside Munich, to tour the Concentration Camp and then continued down to Garmisch where we stayed at the military resort Edelweiss. Neuschwanstein Castle is less than an hour away from Garmisch so we drove over there and walked up the hill through the snow to see the castle. After we walked up, Nate, Reese and I left my parents up there to do the tour while we walked back down and enjoyed hot chocolate and cheesecake. Besides the castle we just spent our time relaxing at the pool and looking at the beautiful snow covered mountains until we got in our car for the 6 hour drive back home.
When we got back from that trip both my parents came down with the 24 hour flu that Nate and I had had a few weeks previous so we just spent a few days at home while everyone recovered and then we spent a day in Trier, also known as the spot everyone will go when they visit because not only is it the oldest city in Germany but it's also about 20 mins away. We also ventured off to Cologne so my parents could see the cathedral and take Reese to her always favorite aquarium and zoo. Finally that weekend we went off to the pumpkin patch that I had been very much looking forward to. I was a little disappointed that we didn't need to go hunting for a pumpkin in a field, instead they were all washed and ready to go but they were still piled up and you had to move them around so I guess that counts for something, plus there was a corn maze and some hay bales to play on so overall I was pleased that Reese got to at least have some kind of pumpkin patch experience.

And now for the story you'd all have been waiting for if you'd have known to be waiting for a story. On Monday morning my parents, Reese and I flew out for what was supposed to be a four day trip to London and Vienna....for Reese and I it ended up being a two day trip to London. When we arrived in London and got on the bus to go into the city Reese was happy, that is until part way through the ride when she immediately became unhappy and began screaming, screeching and attempting to through herself onto the floor of the bus. Nothing would calm her, though I eventually managed to at least quiet her by feeding her nearly every snack I had in my bag. The screaming and screeching continued throughout London. We went to the tower of London and while my parents visited the armory I let Reese exercise her legs and wander around, if I tried to hold her hand she would throw herself on the ground screaming, if I picked her up she would try to throw herself from my arms screaming, if I put her in the stroller she would arch her back and scream in an attempt to get out. Eventually I parked her in a corner facing the wall and let her take some time to herself while I sat next to her on a bench and watched people try and figure out where the screaming was coming from. It took all my energy and every game and scrap of trash in the stroller to keep her quiet on the subway, at every restaurant she would try and throw things on the ground and screech so we spent most our time wandering around outside until our food came and then quickly scarfing it down before the screaming began again. The only thing that made her happy was if I would let her run around wherever she wanted doing whatever she wanted, not exactly going to happen. The next day was looking up, she hadn't thrown any fits yet and had enjoyed playing on the steps outside Buckingham Palace, she had even sat nicely for lunch without throwing things. When we got on the bus for the ride back to the airport so we could fly on to Vienna I was armed with snacks and activities but as soon as the bus doors shut the screaming and screeching began again....and it was a long bus ride with the traffic. I was actually beginning to be concerned that there was actually something wrong with my child, I was thinking that perhaps her appendix had ruptured and her body was filling with poison or perhaps she had all of the sudden gone blind and was now so scared because she couldn't see anything and had no clue where she was, maybe she had even broken a bone, these were the things that in my mind would cause my usually happy go lucky child to behave in this way. As soon as we got off the bus, and I apologize to all the other poor people on the bus but at least they could see that I was trying to calm her down, she stopped screaming. I rushed in to the airport as my parents and I were worried and had decided to fly home instead of continue our trip since it seemed as if she was somehow hurt. When I got to the counter I found out that while I paid 5 euros total to fly to London it would cost me 220 pounds to fly home. I told my parents there was no way I was letting them pay that much money so I forced them to continue their trip while I backed up and plopped down my credit card. She was an angel the rest of the journey home. I have my theories as to why she acted like she did, I won't bore you with all of them and yes I know that part of it was just her bursting through the invisible gate of the terrible twos. Since we got home she's had a few screeching fits that have immediately been squashed, it's much easier to squash one of these fits at home than it is on a crowded bus, but overall she's been more demonic than usual but more herself than she was in London. I told my friend when we were out that I was going to get an exorcist to try and get out the demon that had inhabited my child then I looked at Reese and said "Eseer (her demon name) get out, leave my baby alone" and just like in the movies Reese started screeching and arching her back...I think I'm on to something with this whole demon inside my baby thing.

Legoland Deutschland

While Nate was still enjoying his "post deployment reintegration time off work," we decided to make the four hour drive down to Legoland. We stayed at the hotel they had there at the park which was cute because there were little lego people all over the place that Reese was the same height as. It was pretty cold down where Legoland is so Reese was a little "moody" about it but overall she seemed to have a good time. Her favorite part was going to the Atlantis exhibit which is basically an aquarium with lego people inside of it.
(If you click on the collage it should enlarge it so you can see all the pictures)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Meet Manfred

I've been meaning to make this post for awhile and figured it was better late than never for the world to meet Manfred Nink. A few weeks before Nate came home our friends Tyler and Stephanie moved in with Reese and I for their last 10 days before they moved back to the States. One night we decided we would go to Trier for sushi, this happened to be day 120 of Nate's deployment and at the time he had no news as to when he was coming home so I wasn't having the best day. When we drove over to Trier there were political posters up everywhere for the upcoming elections and we were having a lot of fun trying to decide who was our favorite. The signs all looked almost exactly the same except for the person on it and everyone seemed to have the same odd not quite smile on their face. We immediately decided against the red haired lady and as we were discounting the smirky guy because he looked shady our eyes caught sight of Manfred Nink. It was awesome as Tyler and I both saw his poster at the same time and became smitten with the fact that he was the German candidate for us. We saw a few more of his posters during our trip and as we were leaving we decided we HAD to have one. I told Tyler that if we saw another one I would pull over and just as we were leaving the city we saw one on a street sign so Tyler jumped out, grabbed Manfred, and we were off. It made me feel so young again to be participating in a sign adoption and relocation program. When we got home we made a photo story of Manfred's time with us. (Stephanie and Manfred discussing politics over breakfast) (Reese playing with Manfred) (Jakob getting in some Manfred time)

(Tyler introducing Manfred to American T.V.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nate Came Home...and a bunch of other stuff happened

Nate came home on September 28th and Reese and I are so happy to have him back with us. We were told we could pick him up at the hangar at 5:30 but their plane didn't end up landing until 5:45 and then they had to go through customs, have their bags randomly searched and then reclaim their bags before they could come meet us. Needless to say this took a really long time to accomlish for over 200 people so we didn't get to actually see him until 7:30. So since we'd been waiting in the hangar for two hours Reese, who had already started coming down with a cold that morning, had fallen asleep and when all the commotion began she was startled and didn't exactly give Daddy the best reception. Okay truth be told she screamed and cried as loud as she could and didn't want him touching her or me, but by the time we got home she had settled down and decided that he might not be so bad afterall. It took her a few days more before she fully warmed up to him and let's face it she's a hardcore Momma's girl and that's not exactly just going to go away, but things are going well between the two of them so I'm pleased.
(Reese running around in the hangar waiting for Daddy to come)
(After 132 days in Iraq, Nate is home)So far we've spent Nate's time off from work hanging around our area and being sick. Reese came down with the flu Monday and that was the first time she's ever truly vomitted so it was a little scary for me but we just spent the day laying on the couch together watching movies. Then Wednesday night I started in with the flu and by Thursday morning Nate was right there with me. Poor Reese had to spend another day watching movies while her Mommy and Daddy laid on the couches groaning, I'm trying to figure out what parents did before Disney movies. We were supposed to leave for Legoland on Thursday morning but since Nate and I were both sick we called and were able to change our reservation to Monday so we're looking forward to going there and then rushing home to get things ready for my parents arrival on Friday.

In Reese news, she's learning new words everyday and understands so much of what we say that I can't actually believe it. If you ask her what a cow says she says moooo, only it comes out sounding closer to boooooo, I personally think she's trying to tell me what a ghost cow says. She can say dog and tell you that a dog says woof and just tonight she started telling me that tigers and bears say rawr. Whenever I ask her to get a book she gets the animal book and we sit there pointing at animals and making the noises, it's pretty cute. Tonight she finally said I love you, it melted my heart and I didn't want to stop hugging her. Five minutes later I told her I loved her and she said "I love you" and then Nate told her he loved her and she turned to him and said "thank you." I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to hurt myself, she has such great comedic timing.