Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz?

DSC_2517 Today M got up at 3:30am (I was still awake writing curriculum) and went with his Dad by train to the Mercedes factory to pick up his Dad’s new car.

Boys and their toys, but honestly, I wouldn’t have minded a factory tour either! :)

The drive home took them 6 hours, but was amazingly enjoyable according to M.

When they arrived home, Dad gave me a brief tour of the new car.

To say that the car wasn’t just amazing would be a lie…a BIG one!

It is fantastic! Every bell and whistle imaginable.

It has a massage feature in both seats.

It can turn your brights on automatically.

The headlights automatically adjust their height depending on your speed.

The car actually recognizes when there is another vehicle in your blind spot and will beep at you when you try to move into it’s path.

It also has adaptive cruise control and you can preset a distance between you and the car in front and the car will accelerate or decelerate depending on the speed of the car in front of you. And yes, because I asked, if the car in front of you stops, you stop too.

It can read the speed limit signs and displays it inside the car.

On top of all the standard Mercedes features, the car actually reminds you to take a break from long stretches of driving by illuminating a coffee cup icon on the dash.

I haven’t been out for drive in it yet but am hoping to do so before we leave. Very cool. Did I mention it has a built in massager? Ahh….


Cooking Cookies Can Cause Chaos



Well, not really, but it certainly made for a good title. This is S’s first Christmas present in Germany: A new apron, which was promptly used!






Tante Christiane and S made cookies today. Chris made the dough in the morning and they cut them out together.

Sooooo stinking cute.

S was so patient too. Cookies were baked and decorated in the afternoon with more sprinkles and icing than I can to think about (which I do every day at tea….but more on that later!)

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Every day at tea when S eats a cookie, she says, “Tante Uh (her nickname for Christiane – pronouced ew with a rounded o) and S made cookies!” So cute!

S loves her Tante Uh. I was a bit worried about how they would interact since they hadn’t seen each other in a year, but no need to worry. S took right to her.

The finished product. They are so yummy!!DSC_2360


Crash in To Me

truckI was going to write a pretty mundane post about Germany today. But apparently life had a different idea.

The day started off normal. We slept in. As in, 11am slept in. All 3 of us. Apparently we were tired. Jetlag and all.

We ran some errands. Went to the drug store to pick up cough drops since M has a sore throat and I needed baby wipes for S. (What kind of Mom leaves for 3 weeks and doesn’t pack wipes?…Sheesh!)

Anyway, had a relatively uneventful day.

Went to try to take pics of S riding the train and the carousel at the Christmas Market. Traffic was bad, so we didn’t get a chance to go.

Thankfully and blissfully, S forgot.

We met M’s mom at a TV store to help her pick out a new TV. She was going to get a smaller TV, but we convinced her it needed to be bigger. Her argument to my father in-law? She told him her eyesight will get worse as they age, so having a bigger TV will help! :) LOVE IT!

So she headed home in our car, and M, S and I headed home in our rental van. We were almost there when it happened.

Picture a quaint European street with traditional German houses on either side. On the right side of the street there are cars parked almost the entire length of the street. We were headed down the street and saw a large truck coming at us. Due to the parked cars on the right hand side, there was nowhere to pull over. M moved over as far as he could, and it was just far enough to not get plowed by the truck, but too far to spare the very last parked car on the right. (Meaning, we almost made it).

Oh, and the truck was honking at us as if it was our fault. And he didn’t stop. M pulled over and made sure we were all okay. We were.

I am fine physically, but still hours later – I’m a mess.

M got out and luckily located the owner of the vehicle with the first knock.  He was polite and a bit upset, but handled it well. I turned on the light in the van so he could see that M had a wife and child in the car. Just in case.

The car we hit lost is mirror and had damage to the front bumper. Our van, as far as we could tell in the dark, really has no damage at all.

It could have been much worse.
Had we caught the front bumper of the truck, we’d be gone.
It happened so fast and honestly, if a few grand worth of damages is all it is…we’ll take it.

We hugged each other a little tighter tonight, and will do the same from now on. Because you just never know.


Bobby Cars and German Adventures

This is a picture of 2/3rds of our jetlagged family. S is modeling her new gloves we bought at the Christmas Market. S got to ride a carousel for the first time and rode a little train twice with the biggest grin. We forgot our camera though, but I probably would have dropped it after the gluvine I drank! :) DSC_2150

  What a beauty! So sweet in the new clothes that Oma bought for her!DSC_2166

We awoke to a light dusting of snow this morning. We went to lunch at this great little restaurant that was a few villages over.

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S loved the soup. She managed to eat almost an entire bowl herself.DSC_2186 DSC_2185

S ate all my dessert (as usual), but I wanted to share a picture of my new glasses. S bent my old pair beyond repair, so I was lucky enough to fork out a few hundred bucks for that “accident.” M informed me that the cost of new glasses would pale in comparison to the first time she crashes the car at 16. Sheesh, honey…can’t wait for that….DSC_2189

My two loves….bundled up against the cold.


These I will be framing when we get home. Love her!!DSC_2211 DSC_2222 

A nearby village, taken by M on a walk with his sister.


As an early Christmas present, S got a Bobby Car today. (This is a typical first birthday gift in Germany). She loved it. She even discovered that she could honk the horn with her elbow!

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Doesn’t she look so old all of the sudden? We are all doing well. Jetlag is a bit of a problem, but should be better in a few days. More soon.



ANNOUCEMENT: Thanks for all of your support. We won the Family Category as Best Rockin' Blog in Orlando! Thanks for all of you who voted, and to new visitors - welcome....

Now to update a bit....

So I am coming to you live from the back of the van as we drive up from Frankfurt to M’s hometown. S is finally asleep (more on this later) and we are about an hour away. It has been a very, excruciatingly long day.

The day started out well due to my poor math skills. I thought our suitcases were overweight, but turns out I calculated kgs incorrectly and all of our suitcases were fine. Great news. Stupid metric system! J

We dined at Macaroni Grill in the airport and then headed out to our gate.

S was so fascinated by all of the planes and by the train that we had to take to get out the terminal. She was in a great mood and I remember thinking how fortunate it was that this was the case. She was tired and so I hoped it would be a brief awake period and then a nice airplane snooze. Boy was I wrong!!

As we were waiting to preboard, I smelled it. Yep, mine was the kiddo that stunk up the plane before takeoff. Awesome.

We did bring a car seat for her, which turned out to be a great idea because there is no way she’d be comfortable (or safe) in an adult seat. Lufthansa just installed these touch video monitors and to my surprise and delight, there was a Disney video montage.

All started off well. The lights were dimmed. S was snuggling in her car seat watching Mickey and was started to snooze when the lights were turned on for beverage service. Ping. S was wide awake! It was already 10 pm Florida time and I expected to be happily dreaming after my choice beverage. (A Bloody Mary if you want to know. Made with too much vodka, and I had to listen to my 2 year old say Bloody Mary for the next hour!)

So as for the sleeping, no such luck.

We turned the onboard TV on. And off. We tried in the car seat. And in my lap. We tried singing and rocking in the back of the plane. Nothing worked.

Somewhere in this part of the story her diaper leaked and she was soaking wet, so she got a full outfit change.

Also in here somewhere was when I didn’t see a full glass of water in this snazzy cupholder they have near the top of the chair and poured ice water all over me. I didn’t have a full outfit change (or any extra clothes) so I was shivering for the next few hours.

And her behavior went south. Like far south. Like South Pole south. Exactly what you want to have happen when you are stuck 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.

She started kicking the seatback in front of her. I had to physically hold her feet for more than an hour. When I took her out of the seat because she wouldn’t stop, she pinched and hit me. I even put her in timeout in the back of the plane.

And then she did it. She stuck her finger in her mouth, covered it in spit, and then wiped it on my face.

I was shocked, stunned, and could totally understand why people drink. I thought she was playing the first time, but when she went in for a second smear, I was done. Just done!

Immediately she went back in her car seat. Screaming ensued. She cried. I was so tired and cried too. By now it was past midnight FL time.

After some pondering (not much) I turned Mickey back on and ignored her for the most part. I still had to hold her feet, but after about half an hour, she was out.

Until she work up an hour or so later screaming because she didn’t know where she was.

I gathered her into my arms and we went back to the back of the plane so she wouldn’t wake up the other sleeping passengers.

The cycle continued. She misbehaved, got put back in her car seat and then in desperation, I asked her if she would snuggle one last time. She promptly fell asleep on my shoulder and slept another hour or so. By now it was almost 4 in the morning Orlando time. She woke up screaming again just minutes before the breakfast lights came on.

And she was in a good mood. (I was not.)

Funny how I can ride hundreds of parables on the ZERO-G plane, but this flight somehow made me airsick. Exhaustion maybe…but I spent the final hour of the flight getting sick in a tiny airplane bathroom. Awesome…ahem….not really.

As happy as we are to be here, I could live with being teleported next time instead. Someone want to get right on that for me?

After a 3 hour nap the whole way up from Frankfurt, S was in a fantastic mood. We are all in bed now (9:00 local time) and will try again tomorrow. I’m so happy to be here. I had forgotten how beautiful it is and how much I love it here.