Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Most Tiring Job!

WHO KNEW that motherhood would be so tiring.  It has been over a week since I have been able to sleep through the night without my son waking up.  Thanks to the heat here.  It's been in the 90s and the temperature in our house is over 100 degrees some days.  Yuck!

NAPS are a wonderful thing, when your child takes one.  Today my son was up early and only napped for 30 minutes this afternoon.

PRICELESS is the time I spend with my child.  Even though I have never been so tired in my life, I am truly blessed with the best job in the world.  Even though I get spit up on, am constantly cleaning, teaching, and on the go, getting to see my son grow and learn every day is priceless.

About a month ago I tried twice to lay down in my son's crib with him to get him to take his nap.  It worked the first day but failed the second.  My husband happened to catch me one day and took this picture.  I think I needed sleep more than my child. Okay, that's not exactly true, but it sure feels that way sometimes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fish Fest

Last night we walked downtown and ate at our town's fish fest.  We had wanted to go to one but had not had a chance yet.  It was held at our local fishing club.  It was a 6 minute walk from our house.  That is one thing I love about our town.  We can walk almost everywhere within 5-10 minutes.  Within 5 minutes we are downtown where there are dozens of restaurants, several bakeries, small grocery stores, a few pharmacies, and local retail.  In the States to get anywhere we had to drive at least 5 minutes.

There were a good number of people at the fish fest.  We misunderstood the price, you would think after living here almost two years we wouldn't get that wrong.  We thought it was 2.40 Euros per fish.  No, it was 2.40 Euros per 500 grams.  We ended up buying two large fish and spent close to 30 Euros.  So much for a "cheap" dinner.  Thankfully the fish was good, not quite as good as my dad makes it, but better than a lot of places.  The drinks were refreshing and the live music was pleasant.  I forgot to bring my camera so I didn't get to take any pictures of our dinner or the fishing club. Maybe next time I will have it with me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Packing Made Easy

I don't normally share the articles I write for The Imperfect Parent here.  However, I wrote an article yesterday that I thought would be of interest to some of you.  It features a few tips my family uses to make packing for vacations easier.  

Packing Made Easy - click on the link to visit the site

Packing for a vacation can sometimes be overwhelming.  Here are some tips to help make packing easier for your next family vacation.

Make a list.  Then only pack what’s on it.  Include how many shirts, pants, shorts, etc. each person needs for the trip.  If your child is old enough to pack for themselves, hand them the list and let them lay out the clothes they want to bring. 

Have a color scheme.  Try and pick clothes within the same color family.  For example, pack only khakis or only jeans, then pick shirts that can be interchangeable.  Also, dark colors tend to not show marks and wrinkles as bad as light colors. 

Plan to Layer.  Pack multiple thinner items rather than several larger bulkier items if you’re vacationing somewhere cold.  Thermal underwear for instance, takes up less space than two bulky jackets. 

Limit your shoes.  Shoes are often heavy and take up a lot of space.  Another reason to color coordinate is so you can wear your shoes with more than one outfit.  Try and limit your shoes to three pairs, one walking, one dressier pair, and one pair of sandals or flip flops.  Then wear your heaviest pair on the plane.

Rick Steves Packing Cube Set, BlackEagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Folder 20 Organizer,Cherry RedInvest in Packing Cubes and Pack-It FoldersEveryone in my family has different color packing cubes and pack-it folders.  Using packing cubes and pack-it folders keeps your clothes from getting too wrinkled and keeps your clothes organized.  Also by having different color packing cubes everyone in your family can find their clothes more easily. 
I love these!  I will write a blog post in the future about them I like them so much.

Don’t over pack.  If you are packing an item “just in case” you need it, leave it at home.  If you end up really needing that extra dress, consider buying a new one at your destination. 

Put your toiletries in a waterproof bag.  There is nothing worse than arriving somewhere and all your clothes are wet or sticky from soap or shampoo.

Do you have any packing tips?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An afternoon at the Spa

Being a full time mom is the hardest and most tiring job I have ever had.  I don't think people have the words to describe how much work and energy is involved.  For my birthday, my husband gave me an afternoon at a spa and this past Saturday I finally got to go.  It was kind of hard finding an American-like spa in our part of Germany.  There seems to be a lot of Thai massage places but not many places that also offer facials.  I finally decided to try the Unique Spa & Health Club at the Marriott in HD.  They had an English menu so I was easily able to decide what treatments I wanted.  I decided to get the Complete Harmony Treatment which included a full facial and full body massage.  The facial consisted of special products from France and the massage was just plain relaxing.  The lady who assisted me did a fantastic job.  She's still learning English but was able to communicate with me just fine.  One thing I really appreciated was she washed her hands often.  Before she even started she said, "first I'm going to wash my hands."  If you've ever been in Germany, washing your hands is a pretty big thing to do, considering most of the people working in the bakeries, for instance, do not wash their hands or wear gloves when giving out baked goods and exchanging money.  

My husband asked me if I wanted to do this once a month.  Are you joking?! Of course!  He and our son had a wonderful time hanging out as well.  I had a relaxing time at the spa.  I give the Unique Spa 5 stars.  It was a great experience and worth the time and money if you like this sort of thing.

Of course sometimes it's impossible to get out of the house and visit a spa.  When that's the case it's nice to have some items for a home spa.  There are several great books to help you have a spa experience at home.  Here are a few books worth checking out:  Thai Spa Book: The Natural Asian Way to Health and Beauty; Secrets of the Spas: Pamper and Vitalize Yourself at Home; The Herbal Home Spa: Naturally Refreshing Wraps, Rubs, Lotions, Masks, Oils, and Scrubs (Herbal Body); Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self; and The Book of Massage: The Complete Stepbystep Guide to Eastern and Western Technique.

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Haircut at Salon in Germany

Since moving to Germany almost two years ago, I have only had my haircut in Germany once and that was at someone's house.  The lady did a good job but I missed the "salon experience" of getting my hair washed and fixed up after the cut.  Usually I get it cut on vacation because I have seen a lot of women here with short "manly" looking haircuts.  Now I know why!  What a crazy experience.

Since my first German haircut, I have had my haircut in the States and in Portugal and Spain.  Getting a haircut in Portugal and Spain was very similar to getting a haircut in Texas.  They washed my hair first, then cut it, then dried it.  They did a great job.  My husband told them what I wanted.  In Spain the man sat down who cut my hair, I thought that was kind of weird, but the cashiers at the grocery stores in Germany sit down when you pay for your groceries so I'm not as surprised by odd (or different) customs as I used to be.  I actually think it's kind of cool that cashiers sit down in Germany.  There really isn't any point standing on your feet all day checking people out.  I've noticed most of the time people standing don't move any faster than someone sitting down.

After leaving my doctor's office yesterday, it's just a 5 minute walk from my house, we saw a salon.  My husband and I went over and looked at the prices.  I saw 25 Euros for a haircut with shampoo.  I thought, that's not bad.  The salon was attached to the lady's house, very typical, but also separate.  She had the door open where I could see the entrance from the chair but if the door was closed you'd think you were in a regular salon.

After explaining to the lady that I wanted my hair washed and cut, she told me to have a seat.  The first thing she asked was how much I wanted cut off.  I told her.  The lady then takes a spray bottle out and sprays the ends with water.  I tell her again that I want it washed.  She said she knew and would wash it after the haircut.  After she wet the ends, she pulled my hair in a pony tail with her hands and cut off a bunch!  Then basically cut my hair while it was mostly dry.  After cutting it she took a buzzer (used usually on men) to buzz the ends of my hair.  When she brought that out I started getting worried.  Thankfully it was just used on the ends.  Once she was done with all that it was time for her to wash my hair.  So I thought I would go to another room.  Oh no, there was a little sink in front of me with a sprayer that looked like the sprayers at the kitchen sinks in the States.  She told me to lean over, where my face was facing down in the sink.  Then she washed my hair while soap was dripping down my face and in my eyes.  I was thinking, what the heck am I doing here?!  This is not the relaxing experience I was hoping for.  Thankfully, the haircut looks good but it was crazy.  She also told me my hair looks better short.  She kept saying, "das ist better, das ist better."  She cut quite a bit off.  I like it, especially since it's so hot here.  I'm just glad it's not too short, manly short, that is.  Even though she used a buzzer.  Ha.  

I'm not sure if I'll go back to her or not.  I may go back to getting my haircut on vacations.  The thing I didn't like the most was soap dripping in my eyes and mouth while she washed my hair.  Other than that she did do a good job with the haircut.

 Before - taken a few weeks ago on my birthday

After - taken today (no make-up, it's too hot!)
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