Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Future plans

Dylan's current contract with his job is up in September. It's not problem to lengthen it (actually they would like that), but assuming he can get a job back in the US between now and then, it's our tentative plan to be moving in that timeframe. He's currently in the US interviewing for a job, which I'm really hoping will work out.

With that said, it's hard for me to imagine leaving here now. In a lot of ways it feels like we've just finally settled in here and gotten comfortable, and now we're going to uproot everything and change again. Of course, I start to feel like that, and then I have some difficulty caused by cultural or language barriers, and I'm back to feeling really ready to go to be home. It's such a confusing sort of place to be I guess. I've also started to hear/read about reverse culture shock moving back to your own country, and I can't lie that that has me a little concerned.

When my head starts to get all confused like this I have a really hard time blogging. I want to come on and be able to blog about what our future plans are, or lay down some dates and stuff, or share a lot of interesting new things that are going on. In this time of facing a lot of unknowns, I hesitate to share what's going on. It feels like I have either nothing, or confusion, neither of which seems particularly blog-worthy!

So, since that's where my head is… Here are some things about the kids! (They're so much simpler.)

James is doing great with his German. If I speak to him in German, he can almost always understand me, but very, very rarely will answer back in German. (I think our german levels are pretty similar, but there are some areas/themes of vocabulary where we don't overlap)

David is going to Kindergarten! Kindergarten here starts at 3, and they stay till they're 6. So more like preschool+kindergarten in the US. I applied for a spot for David last year thinking I might need it if I couldn't get out of my German class. They didn't have a spot earlier, but they have one now, and he'll start in February. He'll be in the same class as James, so I think he'll really enjoy it!

The boys are constantly cracking me up.  I wish I would write things down more often, because of course I forget it as soon as it's over. From the very recent past here are a few of their antics:

I told them to clean their room today, and they started making up a "cleaning as a team" song and singing it together. Of course as soon as I got my camera out they stopped!

I cleaned the boys' room the other day while they were school and when they got home David came up to me and said, "Mommy! Me so proud a'you! You cweaned up my woom. Good job mommy!"

They continue to be yin and yang with their eating. If I give them a snack of pretzel sticks and apples, David will eat all the pretzel sticks and James will eat all the apples. Given meat and frozen veggies, James' plate will be completely cleaned of frozen veggies, and David will have eaten all his meat. (is it weird that my kids only like to eat their veggies still frozen? I think yes, but I'll take what I can get!)

They love each other so much it astounds me. Of course they fight… a lot. But they love each other a lot too. Every time James gets a special treat from school, he saves it, and then splits it with David. When David goes to the bank or the pharmacy with me, they give him a couple candies and he will always save them both until he gets to share them with James. If one of them is sad and crying, the other one will usually try to comfort them. We have quiet time every day where they play together in their room. Sometimes one of them won't want to do that and will be crying, or whining, and I can hear the other one from outside the door. "It's ok David, don't be sad, look, do you want to play with my pirate ship? I'll let you be the captain, ok?." Then they'll go ahead a play nicely for 45 minutes, sometimes getting so engrossed in what they're doing they forget to come out at the appointed time.

In this picture, David is teaching James how to build something that he had built and that James wanted for himself. James asked David to show him how, and David was so proud to be able to do so!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Birthday Pictures

So I always get so involved in actually having fun, that I forget to take a bunch of photos… But here are the ones I managed to get!

Before our big day, he opened one gift, a Pirate set with a bandana, belt, compass, map, and spyglass!

Post swimming lunch at Mcdonalds!

James with his batman Mcdonald's toy!

David's gift from James.

Opening an art set together!

Trying out his new "video game"!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Three years old!!

David turned three years old last Saturday. We decided to try and put a little more distance between his birthday, and Christmas, so we're celebrating this weekend, and to avoid any confusion/frustration, we did not tell him that his actual birthday happened last Saturday. For the last few days he's been counting down "fweeps" until his birthday, and tonight is that last one. He is so excited!! As a matter of fact it is ten minutes past nine, and neither him nor James seem anywhere near going to sleep they are so excited.

For David's birthday we decided not to do a big party, but instead to celebrate as a family and have a day all about David. We gave David the choice of going to the aquarium, the museum, a giant indoor playground or the pool for his birthday. He chose the pool. I expected him to want to do something more out of the ordinary, but he is insistent that for his "bir-ey" he wants to go to the pool, and go down the slide and do swimming in the big kids pool. Not the baby pool, because he's three now!

I'm planning to take lots of pictures (maybe not at the pool, but before, after, and during presents and cupcakes!) and will hopefully manage to come back in the next few days and post them. In the mean time, here's a little bit about what David is up to as a three year old!

He loves Mike the Knight, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Fireman Sam. He also loves to pretend play knights, pirates, and fireman.

He's very excited to join James in the preschoolers sunday school class at church.

His favorite book is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and when I read it he tells me "dat not how my teach(er) reads it" and waits until I translate everything into German. Especially on the page with "one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, etc."

His favorite stuffed animal is a stuffed dog he got a few years ago, and he has named it "nyeah, nyeah"

He says "peepee mach" (from peepee machen) whenever he has to go to the toilet.

He can say pretty much anything he wants to, but still struggles with grammar, l's, th's and r's, and any words longer than two syllables. He improves constantly though, and his daddy had the same issues at this age, so we're not worried.

If he's trying to say something to you, and he feels like you're not paying attention, he's stick his hand on your face until you're looking right at him.

He loves going to the Kinderpark, and always calls it. "Not my baby school, my big kid schoo, nex a' Chames' school"

He loves his big brother, more than I could have imagined possible. On days when James goes to school and he does not, he asks me at least every 30 minutes, if not more frequently, whether it is time to pick up James yet. Anytime we go places without James he will insist we get for James whatever he gets. If they give him two candies at the bank, he will save this both until he is with James and can share one with him.

He's really a joy to us, and we all love him so much!!