Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Yes it has been forever since the last blog - sorry! Oddly it feels like finally we're settled in since we(yeaaa) got our last shipment of household goods during the 2nd week of OCTOBER!! (For those counting, yes, that means 4 months from packout)Sebastian's Mom came the following week which brings us to last week.

I will post more pic's and info over the next day or so but for the moment, enjoy Tyler, Alex and their friend Sierra trick or treating together. Tam and I took the girls while the Dads stayed at the house and handed out candy :) It was a pefect day/night for it and soooo many people got into it - it was great! We had people hanging out outside their homes with other families from the neighbourhood, some with little fire pits going...add the crunch of the leaves and the full moon (and the Starbucks compliments of Tam) and we were rockin' LOL

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

No Plates, No Household Goods and 2 Hospital Stays

They took over the office chair on more than one occasion -Grandpa did not mind :)

I had really thought I would blog before now. Really.

I mean everything seemed to be going well for an overseas move...

Bathed & chilling in AL with Dad & Grandma

.....that should have aroused suspicion LOL The flight was great and visiting family in Mobile for a couple weeks was fantastic. We almost melted in the heat (yes I appreciate the irony of leaving the Middle East only to arrive in a place with a 100 plus heat index) but other than that it was great. We got to relax, work out, eat, visit, travel....Even the dogs seemed to like their kennel stay.

Then the messages started...

X5?? Ummm opps seems we cannot ship it to New Orleans like we'll have to find your way to St. Louis and pick it up there.....

License plates? What temporary plates? I guess they don't send vehicles with temporary plates from Israel (they do from Germany) but we still supposedly still had 30 days to register....Till we got to Ft Leavenworth and tried to get through the gate...Yup that resulted in a Military Police escort to the MP station to try to sort it out....went through the same thing the next day (both times with kids & dogs in the truck) because someone didn't like the solution from the day before. So now we have to park it and get a rental car till its sorted out with KS Vehicle Registration who, it turns out, have their own problems with overseas vehicles :-P

Household goods from Israel?? Hmmmm seems someone in Israel sat on 4 families shipments for about a month and one of them was, you guessed it, OURS!! You might get it sometime late August....Seriously, how does this happen to a family TWO PCS moves in a row??!?? Two shipments received, 2 more to go......

Arghh!! BUT we got a place on post that we like! It's old housing but we have lots of space, a playground and community pool in our backyard, and lots of mature trees to help shade from this heat. Its also close to everything which is a big plus too.

Hospitals have a way of putting it all in perspective:

The put-it-all-in-perspective moment came in the first week here when we noticed that Alexandra had a big lump on her neck right below her ear. (So all this is overlapping what I wrote above pretty much) I swear to god it just popped up in an afternoon! Needless to say we were off to the ER and came back with antibiotics later that night. Within a couple of days we could tell it was not getting better so we went to the base Hospital and they immediately referred us to the ER at Mercy Children's Hospital in Kansas City. We were admitted (I stayed with her) and she was on IV antibiotics for 4 days before they released us with more to take at home...She was a real trooper through all of it and they nurses and Dr's loved her; she always had a smile and wave for them when they came - even if it was to poke and prod her LOL Ty was happy to have some Daddy time but definitely wanted Mom & lil sis home after a couple days.

We then went for a follow up visit at the hospital a couple days later and were re-admitted. It had gotten smaller but was not gone. They did an ultrasound and thought there was an infected pocket and wanted to surgically drain it. So we were there another couple nights. Turns out they did not get as much out as they'd hoped but what they did was sent off for testing. They are still thinking a staph infection in her lymph node compounded by it abscessing and infecting some of the surrounding tissue. That's the best guess at the moment because they have had no luck developing cultures - most likely because of all the antibiotics she has been on. If the current med's don't completely take care of it then there is one other possibility; another bacteria that would require different med's. The culture/test should be ready this week. No idea where or how she picked this up - Dr's said it could have been anywhere at any time. Fortunately she has not been sick outside of the lump; no fevers or anything like that...she just lost her appetite (& if you know Alex that is a HUGE warning sign LOL) when the first round of med's weren't working. She is, thankfully, still a happy, walking, babbling, playing 14 month old who can drive her sister crazy sometimes :-D

So that in a nutshell has been our move over the last couple of weeks. I will try to blog a bit more often, but no promises LOL We still have quite a bit of settling in to do - more appointments, 2 more HHG shipments, getting Ty enrolled in activities, catching up on work, etc. But I will try to at least get some pictures up.....OH!! We also lost our camera somewhere along the way so I don't have many pictures yet!! But I will get some up of our time in AL soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Made it to Ft. Leavenworth :)

Just a very quick note to say Hi!! from Ft. Leavenworth :) Its been quite a ride from Israel but that will have to wait till the next posting...I am writing this from the base library as we do not have Internet just quite yet. Hopefully we will have that this Tuesday.

Hope this finds everyone well and if you are in the middle of move as well I hope it is going smoothly :-P

Take care & Will update soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Its Done!

Just a quick post - and probably the last for a bit! :)

We are 3 days out from flying back to the USA ! in the past 3 days we have had the movers pick up our household goods, the dogs get their vet certificates, and today, the walk throughs by 4 different people to complete our exit from this housing (though we are staying here till Friday).

Whew! I think with all the things still on our "to do' list just how short a time we have left here was not really sinking in.....till now :-) This has definitely been one of the most different places we have lived - both good and bad - and we are happy to have experienced it, but we are very much also looking forward to getting back to the States.

Look out Ben Gurion airport - the circus (aka 2 adults, 2 kids under 3, and two 70lb dogs - one of which will be howling) is about to arrive!....

Friday, June 5, 2009

13 Days and Counting...

We are finally under the 2 week mark! Given that we have not had the movers come and pick up our house stuff it kinda does not seem real ;) (Most of our stuff is already stateside in storage). But this week and next I know will be busy enough - it will be appt time: Alex 1 yr vacc's, the dogs going to the Vet for health certificates, housing walk-throughs, etc.

Meantime we found out we got housing on-post. The worst housing they have, but we have it (crappy tiny row housing with flooding basements). Friends there now refers to it as the 'crack houses'...yeaaaa babay!! I am trying to stay positive that we will get switched out of it (ie something else will open up on base) OR that we will find something off post. I actually found 2 off-post but they were scooped up by the time I got a hold of the property manager. Being overseas right now really sucks LOL

Other than that we are enjoying the sunshine by the pool these days :) Weather here: hot and sunny. Not sure Max & Riley like it so much but the rest of us do!

I can stand by myself long as I don't realize it! Which usually means.....

...I am watching my sister be a ham!! ;-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alexandra's 1st Birthday!

Birthday girl - rested and clean (...does not last long LOL)

Alex's birthday was low-key but fun :-) A day of sunshine, picnics, swimming pools, naps and chocolate cake with ice cream!!!

At the baby pool

Inflatable ring is Ty's - she has a Spiderman thing going on right now :)

Daddy giving rides in the kiddy pool

Tyler & Naomi hanging out

Back at home - chocolate cake, strawberries & ice cream.....

and the same "1" candle that we used for Tyler :)

Liking the candle as much as the cake (it now has bite marks on it)

Hey!! Where's more cake????

Post bath!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Pictures

Some pictures from playtime today...

Big sister helping with the scooter

Extra push never hurt LOL


Alex is after me!


All tired after play!

Planning away....

Well it all seems to finally be coming together. We have a confirmed flight date - 19 June - and the truck has been dropped off and will go on a boat as of Monday (yeaaaaaa!) Hopefully it will only take 4-5 weeks they said to get there.

Flight confirmed was a relief - because S's head office is in Germany there was some confusion as to why we were flying out of Israel LOL Its taken a couple weeks but finally it's done. Now if Delta will just let me upgrade our seats using Skymiles we'd be set!! (At the moment they keep telling me none are available for miles upgrades, only if I want to pay an additional $2000 plus per ticket!) Dogs have been to one vet and now just need to go to one more the week before we fly...even the moving company is coming this week to check out what we are shipping out! (We don't pack out till a week before we leave).

Oddly I am not going to miss the car much. We walk to most places the girls and I - though admittedly it is getting HOT outside. Sebastian can still get a car for any work stuff he needs to do.....If we can get assigned a house (we are on the waitlist) that would be better!

Now its just biding time. I feel more like lets hurry up and go already LOL Really I just want the airport/flight part over with. Its never fun. Kids, dogs, kennels, car seats, looooong overnight flight (please please let my kids actually SLEEP on the plane)....we will both be much happier when we are on the ground driving away from the airport in Atlanta :)

The girls are doing well - potty training is great. Ty has decided its time :) Well, for most things LOL Lets just say we are halfway there! Alex is sporting a nice bruise on her temple from slipping while climbing the stairs yesterday. She is still cruising but not walking and (finally) has the front teeth in....I say finally because the teething was getting crazy. She still has 2 more lumps on her mouth that juds have not broken through yet!

Alex getting busted :)

Hiding under the hat...big hats needed here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This post will get

I do not know how many times I started a posting only to have the kids or something else interrupt least 4 or 5 LOL So this morning I am determined to get something up! Even if most of it is just pictures :)

We have been busy getting ready for the upcoming move and for the past 2 weeks my Dad and stepmom have been here visiting. We have been traveling all over and it's been great. The girls were wonderful travellers (always a key factor in if the trip ends well or badly lol) and the weather was beautiful.

We went to a couple of places we had been to before but were well worth going to again: Bet She'an, Dead Sea, Caesarea, etc. and two we had not: Petra and Eilat/Red Sea. They were fantastic!! Wish we could do them again - we meant to snorkle and got to the end of the dock where you get in to see the reef and heard the announcement that a storm was hitting and we would not be allowed in and that everyone currently in had to come out. Bummer!! But we hit a sea park that had an underwater observatory so got to see some of it anyways.

Petra was amazing - more than pictures can show. Our first time to Jordan as well. Took a while to get across the border but it was worth the hassle (we did a tour bus for this trip). Our tour guide and most in Jordan loved the girls - especially Ty. She had more hellos and handshakes, etc than she knew what to do with LOL It was a one day trip - go in the morning and come back in the evening - not enough time to really explore the site in my opinion but still most worthwhile!

And now, since Alex is climbing my leg, here is one of my longest slideshows:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Never a dull moment...

Wow has it really been that long since my last post?? LOL Yeah I can see it!

We had a wonderful time in Germany! It was soooo good to be back for a visit. The kids and I stayed in Grafenwohr at a friends house (THANK YOU Becky & Trevor and Lori & John!!) while Sebastian was in his course...once it was done he joined us in Graf and we went skiing in Garmisch with friends, hung out in Nurnberg, and just hung out in general. A very welcome relaxing vacation!! Thats the thing about vacations - they can be exciting, entertaining, an adventure - but too often they are NOT relaxing LOL This one was. The best part was getting to visit with good friends and see the kids all together again :-)

Tyler and her friends (P. & D.) got back together like they had not been seperated since last summer...doing loops, playing at Megaplay, hanging out together in the lil rocking chairs in front of the fireplace at the Garmisch resort.... She had soooo much fun. Alex, of course, just tried to follow what all the other kids were doing :)

It was a loooong flight home (stopover in Vienna) and by the time we made it home it was an 18 hour day...and 12 hours after landing Tyler got very very sick. Turned out to be a virus but for a while no one was certain. I think it was complicated by the extra-long travel day. Ahh our first visit via ambulance to an ER with one of the kids. They do have a great Childrens Hospital here but the way :) She is okay now - still coughing but much better. Alex and I both have it as well though without the high fever that Ty was hit with. (This would also be the reason for not posting here sooner!)

While in Germany we got our paperwork (RFO) for leaving this June. So now, back in Israel, we are doing the countdown! We have family visiting in April and between that and some doggie surgery (Riley has lumps that need to be removed) the time is going to fly!! I am looking forward to my Dad & Stepmom coming out - I think they are going to have a great time here :-)

There is more that I could write about our trip but the kids are calling LOL So I will post some pictures here for now....

3 muskateers doing loops

Ty hanging with her peeps D

Alex caught trying to toilet paper the bathroom!

Sitting around the fire (wish I could find those rocking chairs somewhere!)

Ty and P hanging out

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Germany here we come :-D

Time flies - even when you are not having that much fun LOL The past couple weeks have been filled with same old-same old with a few exceptions. There is a "recreation center" here that is owned and run by the American Embassy that we used a great deal when we got here last year. Most times we just called it the pool as there is a larger one for adults & big kids and another little pool that is tarped off from the sun. With the summer and fall heat we made great use of it stopping only when the weather got a bit colder (the pools are not heated).

Well I had spoken with our community office about creating an open-ended playdate each week for people who have small kids that are not going to 'gan'. Gan is the pre-pre-school LOL for 2 year olds. Yes I said 2 year olds. Its not daycare, though it can substitute for it to a point. The upshot is that you do not run into many toddlers at the parks, etc - at least not during the day. I knew I was not the only one with kids not in gan and suggested this as a way for people old and new (esp new) to get to know some of the other Moms around and get hooked into some of their networks...After many months it has finally started :-) Luckily one of the other American moms is willing to come and cover me while we are in Germany (THANKS Justina!!) so we can finally say it's on each week and not confuse people with dates. So far its been great. Moms I met through other ways are coming and it has a great international flavour :)

Sebastian spent last week to Germany, the first week for the Rec Center playgroup, which is probably why I was clenching my jaw a the time he came home I had full-on skull pounding pain UGHHH and with nursing cannot take anything by Tylenol and Motrin :( Which, of course, timed perfectly for the German virus accompanied Sebastian back with him creating 103 fevers in him and the girls for the weekend and beginning of this week!!! This is why I am posting stuff from last weeks opening playdate now!

In fact I am typing this as quickly as I can (pls excuse typo's :) as I have to coughing and sometimes feverish kids beside me at the moment! But I knew if I did not get this up this morning it would not get up before we leave, much less after.

Oh yeah. There is a picture or two of Sebastian skiing at Mt Hermon this week. Where are the girls and I? At home. Taking care of 2 little ones with fevers. DON'T ask....

I am SOOOOO looking forward to Germany tomorrow :-D Tchuss for now!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This is soooooo Alex!!

Normally the girls get along great but Alexandra and Tyler had their first pushing & yelling match on the floor today and Alex was not giving up. LOL Surprise surprise it over NOT a was over food! Whole grain CHEERIOS!!

The girl likes her food and Ty was not in the sharing mood :) Brought out the reserves and the crisis was averted...for now...hate to see what happens when she can fight for sweets :-P

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sooooo what I did NOT want to see!

(sigh) Starting to chase each other already! UGH!!

Notice the stairs don't stop where Ty is standing egging her sister on - there is another set going up beside her...AND another set (just as big) at the other end of the downstairs landing.

This is going to be an interesting couple of months!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mitzpe Ramon

Well first off, I admit should have brought a second camera with us!! I missed out on taking soooo many pic - esp of the girls. We have a second camera - its tempermental about working LOL but it would have been better than nothing...

We took a trip south into the Negev desert. The trip was planned as a group mountain bike trip to go through the Mitzpe Ramon crater and hit a couple other sites along the way. WOW It was amazing :-) Beautiful countryside and, in Sebastian's words the ride was "epic" on Sunday LOL I did not ride since we had the kids with us and the terrain is definitely NOT charriot-friendly for riding. But we had a great time too. Pretty much everyone how came down did so as a family so there were a lot of other people and kids around :) We ended up going to the Ein Avdat National Park on Saturday which is an oasis at the bottom of a canyon. You can walk the 200 or so meters to the end of it fairly easily. The kids did great!! Ty stayed out of the water (mostly lol) and carried Alex in the bjorn..yeah I got my workout in!

After a sleepless night (thanks Alexandra!)the next day was the Ramon crater. A huge crater created by water. Yup, water. It is amazing. If I recall it is 40 kms long, from 2 to 10 wide and 500 meters deep. Not the Sahara sand like desert - more interesting I think with different kinds of rocks, sands, etc. we dropped off some of the bikers at the bottom in a campground that also had a large Bedouin tent so 6 moms and 11 kids descended on the 2 guys at the tent for tea :-) DELICIOUS!!!

We then walked part of the crater rim by the visitors center where the views are spectacular. The kids were more interested in the rocks on the ground beside us lol ..and decidedly more interested in the playground that we had parked our cars beside :) they played a bit and after grabbign a bite to eat at the center half of us went to the Alpaca farm. Yes you read correctly (yet another example of needing the camera!!!!!) It was an alpaca farm that also had llamas, goats, chickens, donkeys, horses and one camel. Oh and black & white sheepherding dogs that
were earning their keep as llamas would follow us looking for the little bags of food they knew we had :-P Ahhh it was fun. By the time we were done the riders were back at the hotel and we it was hometime. Great weekend!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Have you seen Benjamin Button yet??

MUCH cuter than Benjamin Button!!

If you have not check it out - its great! Long, but great:)

We have been enjoying the sunshine here lately. I keep hearing from those who have been here longer than us that we have not had a winter here this year. Usually its colder with more wind & rain. Suits me just fine! Due to the lack of rain they have implemented water restrictions which suc ks and hopefully will not kill our lawn! But its been in the 60's and 70's with the occasional chilly wind so we have been taking advantage of it as much as possible. The sun still sets too early but during the day hitting the parks and pier are fun and (no selfish motivation here) it seems to tired Ty and Alex out as well LOL

Lucky me I found out that I seem to have low blood pressure. According to my health practioner my caffine addiction and love of salty foods (popcorn & pretzels anyone?) are my friends :) Yeaaaaaa!! Gotta love that! I had been getting really dizzy - the I-feel-drunk-room-moving kind that everyone gets once in a while when you move too quickly. For me it was happening a lot and, so far, thats been the answer. They did a panel of tests and I will know if there is anything else in a week or two. In the meantime I am enjoying my guilt-free coffee as I type this to you!

Cannot believe it is February already. I am not complaining - I am looking forward to Germany in March but there are times when it seems like time is as slow as molassas and other times I realize how fast it goes by. As Lennon says "Life is what happens while you are making other plans." How true.

Speaking of time flying: The girls are growing like crazy. Alex is a bottomless pit with 2 hollow legs. The girl can EAT and so far likes everyyything! Kinda scary since at the 6 month visit she was 50-60 percentile for height and 90 for weight. The medical staff loved it. Sebastian and I joke that we need to get them into sports at a young age LOL This makes up for Ty who has is not terribly interested in eating. Something I think all 2-3 year olds get into at some point of another. She actually eats pretty healthy and would rather eat more small meals on the fly than sitdown dinners.

Alexandra watches Ty like a hawk, wanting to do whatever she does. I knew that was going to happen, just never thought it would happen so soon! Heaven help me Alex has also figured out how to climb the 2 stairs out of the sunken family room...Yeah so much for keeping her contained (sigh) 8 months....I thought I had more time! Ty's favourite saying currently is "sorry dude" which comes out 'Shorry-dude' (its the Cali in her) and I-checkin-da-baby" like its all one word...and a new facination with "pooh-bears" and Dora (thanks Dad/Di:-P)...actually I think she likes the sidekick monkey, Boots, most. She got a new nightlight for Christmas - and it cannot have the red, pink or blue light on it must be GREEN to go to sleep with LOL Ahhh you wonder what goes on in their little heads with no-so-little memories and requests (she somehow remembers that it was Dad who taught her to 'swim' in the pool last summer..not Mom. Informed me of this tonight she did and nothing I said changed her mind. Funny thing is, she is right!)

Tomorrow is election day here and thus a holiday for Israeli's. It will be interesting to see who end up winning. Still no truce signed and there are still the occasional rockets launched into Israel & the IDF response back at will be interesting to see what happens after tomorrow. Will keep ya posted!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

C'est Moi!

Oui, c'est MOI! I am, how you say? Tres coool :-)

Sooooo we were wondering how long Tyler's hair was if it was straight. So I straightened it one day (couldn't believe she sat for it) and, well, we are not doing that again LOL She looks waaaay too much older this way!

She was getting tired of Mom taking pictures :-P

Pretty in pink :-)

So Sebastian is over his latest bout of food poisoning and there is not much new on this end. OH! Except we have booked a trip for Germany in March. Sebastian has a course he is going to so we are piggy backing onto that for an extra week. Looking forward to getting to see the Harrell's and Germany one last time...given that we are still set to leave this June, I am pretty sure it will be the last time! (Hey Kelly R. if you're reading this let me know if you are still going to be around as well ;-D....)

Other than that it's been pretty much the same. One sucky thing - I had been doing a Mommy & Me playgroup with the girls. It was mostly for Ty but since I don't have anyone to watch Alex during the day I was taking her too (something I had cleared with them prior to ever going). That had worked since December but apparently no more. While Alex is getting bigger & moving more it has been manageable. I guess the school people had a change of heart. They, of course, try to make it sounds like its a concern for Ty's benefit but its oddly coincidental that once the room is packed and there are a couple kids on the wait list, this suddenly becomes an issue. Not impressed but what are you going to do, eh? Soooo now to find another outlet.

I may be volunteering to host a weekly playgroup group LOL but I'll let you know how that pans out. I have a location, now its just seeing who wants to/is available, days times...ahhh yes. This should be interesting! What's the saying about one door closes another one opens? ;-) Or should I be thinking about Pandora's Box?!?