Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pee-Pee on the Potty!

After months of just sitting on the potty, moving it around the room, ordering Mommy to sit on it...Carter finally used his potty. He actually asked to get out of the bathtub so that he could sit on his potty and go pee-pee. Why not pee in the tub like every other kid? Who cares...he used the potty!

Carter even has a potty book that I try to read to him (hoping to encourage him); however, whenever I pick it up to read it he says "NO! not the potty book!"

OK, so we know not to get too excited. It could be months before he even uses the potty again, let alone be fully potty trained. But right now -- we are some pretty proud parents.
The picture isn't the best. It's hard to get a 2 year old to sit still (especially when his parents are going nuts!) and Ben was directing me where to put my legs and arms so that Carter could maintain some modesty (not that he doesn't run around the house naked every night before bath).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

OK, so I'm actually homesick for the first time. Sure there are tons of people and things that I miss in the US daily but today I'm really homesick. What did we do today to celebrate Thanksgiving? We went to work (or school, in Carter's case). Nice big turkey dinner? Sure...turkey salami sandwiches. Carter went vegetarian and had 7 clementines.

I should have slept in, watched some of the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, and peeled some potatoes. My mom would come over and help me stuff the bird, we would stress out over the Lions game and wonder if the turkey will be done on time. That's how Thanksgiving should have gone. Instead, I reviewed our "Interior Stowage Scorecard" and ate tomato soup in the cafeteria.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to live in Germany; however, I am more thankful that my mom makes a repeat of the Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas.

PS - several people today requested more posts on the blog (that means people are actually reading this!). I will try to go back and fill in some stuff from the month of October and early November.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

U of M vs. OSU

As many of you are aware, the annual Michigan vs Ohio State football game is a big deal...especially in our household. Ben is a Buckeye and I'm a Wolverine. We aren't supposed to get along...and we don't just one day of the year.

For the past two years, Carter has been dressed in gear representing both teams. Sure he looks like a little funny with an OSU jersey and UofM pants and a hat...but it keeps both parents happy.

This year, however, Carter grew out of all his Michigan clothes and only had his OSU jersey to wear. Living in Germany makes it tough to run out to the store to pick up a new UofM sweatshirt. Though I was a little disappointed in Carter's apparel, he did look especially cute with Ben.

We happened to watch the game with some coworkers at a friend's house. I don't think Carter watched much of the game. He was too busy enjoying having girls fight over him. Ava held her ground and was able to maintain girl friend status. You can see them here snuggling in a chair and sharing a cookie.

Monday, November 12, 2007

St. Martin's Day / Martinstag

On November 11, German children celebrate St. Martin's Day as the start of Carnival season. They walk around the streets, after dark, carrying lanterns, and singing songs. Carter's school had a parade at a park in the city center. The picture below is of Carter and Ava carrying the lanterns they made the previous week.

After the parade there was a huge bonfire with Glühwein (mulled wine) for the adults and Weckmann for the children. Weckmann is the piece of bread shaped like a man that Carter is holding in the picture below.

Here is one of the songs that the children sing, in German and with an English translation…

Ich geh mit meiner Laterne

Ich geh mit meiner Laterne
Und meine Laterne mit mir.
Dort oben leuchten die Sterne
Und unten leuchten wir.
Mein Licht ist aus,
Ich geh nach Haus,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum

Here’s the English translation...

I walk with my lantern,
And my lantern with me.
There above, the stars shine,
And we shine here below.
My light is off,
I go home,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Kölner Zoo

We went to the Kölner Zoo today with my parents. I couldn't have asked for a better "performance" from the animals. The howler monkeys were howling, the ostriches were running, the gorillas were banging their chests, the bears were swimming and playing. Even the red panda (aka, firefox) was awake. We won't talk about the they aren't very PG rated (yuck!).

One of Carter's mandatory stops at the zoo is the playground. There is a yellow train that he can climb in and around. Ironically, the train was a gift to the zoo by Ford. Here's a pic of Carter in the new favorite picture of him.