Archive for July, 2008

Just want to share my experiences this past weekend …

Dear Bubba Joe and I took a bath the other night. I decided to shower up (we only have a tub upstairs in the main bath) so after bathing him, let the water out and bathed myself. Well, right as I’m finishing my shower, Bubba Joe makes a grunting sound – as though he has to potty.

Now, let me preface everything by saying that we’re not forcing anything. Maybe we’re blowing our chances, but he goes when he wants to and I just don’t have the energy to really focus on potty training.

Now, back to my story …

I explain to Bubba Joe that he’s not to potty in the bathtub but only in either his potty or his diaper. And then I see it. A big old piece of poo, in the tub. I screamed for BJD and got out of that tub so fast! And because I was freaking Bubba Joe started freaking too … he stepped in it!!!

BJD came and properly disposed of the poo, washed off Bubba Joe’s feet and placed him on the potty. Then bathtime was over.

Two days later … (wouldn’t ya think I’d learned already?!?) … I’m letting Bubba Joe just air out a bit. It’s been very very very hot here, and with no a/c (I’m talking 100+ degrees and ceiling fans only), I’ve noticed his bum getting a bit red. So, I’m letting him go commando a bit in our bedroom while tidying up a bit. And then … I look over and between our bed and our carpet, there’s a big piece of poo!!! I quickly grab Bubba Joe and remind him that we potty ONLY in the potty OR our diaper and have his bum facing out. Well, silly mommy … he’s still pooing! More poo comes out in the hallway between our bedroom and the bathroom and then *I* step in it!!!!!

I sit him on his potty – he continues to poo (way to go!) while cleaning up the rest of the poo. Ew, gross.

Needless to say, little man has been in a diaper more often.

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So once again, I can’t sleep. Just before crawling off to bed last night, I read on another blog (duisburg bunny – located on my blog listing) how during B.O.’s speech yesterday in Berlin, someone held up a handheld sign that read:

“Obama is best for US – VOTE B.O.!”

And that got me thinking.

Now, I’m not really into discussing politics so openly via the web, but I gotta tell you I’m a bit frustrated. And before I go much further, let me just clarify – I am an independent. A 100% pure American independent swing voter. Since my first voting election in 1992 to now, I have voted independent (Ross Perot), republican and democrat. And I can say with some pride that I have never, ever, ever voted for the person who makes it into office.

Which scares me.

Because my only connection to what’s going on in the world of US politics is cnn.com or bbc.com. Plus an open mind while reading.

And what I’ve read this week is that B.O. is discussing pulling out plans with the leaders in Iraq and making calls for the world to pull those walls down.

Now, this is what disturbs me. He’s not the president yet. (And with my vote likely swinging the other way, he’s more than likely to become president – given my history and all.)

Let me repeat this – he is not the president. He is a presidential candidate.

Let’s say that for some unknown reason that the other guy makes it in. We all know that he has a different timeframe that B.O. does about troop withdrawal (okay, we don’t really know anything and what actually happens versus what we know don’t always equal out … but you kwim.)

IF (and yup, that’s a mighty big if) the other guy gets in, what does it say about America or Americans, having our not-yet leader, acting on his campaign trail, making promises to the international community when he has NO control over this? (I know, I know, he is a member of congress and as cnn.com commented, his trip to Germany was allegedly NOT as a presidential contender but as a senator – yeah right.)

But really, do you think we need more funk for our country? Do we really need to stink things up more? (he he … I guess now I’m just having fun with the initials B.O. – You know, when BJD and I were thinking of names for Bubba Joe we really DID consider his initials …)

So, whatd’ya think?

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The sun has decided to shine down on us.

Since returning from Ohio nearly 4 weeks ago, we’ve had half of 1 week, that’s like 3 days total, where the temperature was hot. Hot as in 85+ degrees.

Most of the time, that is all the other 25 days, it’s been cold. And rainy.

Just this past week, we hit a grand high of 60 degrees. And then today, finally, the clouds cleared away and allowed the sun to provide us with a warmth of 75 degrees. Whoohooo. Seriously. I’m ecstatic.

BJD just asked if I’m the frickin’ weather channel. Maybe he doesn’t get it, being born and raised in Siberia, Russia, then moving to Germany at the grand ole’ age of 17, then living with with me in Cleveland for 6+ years … but weather has a huge impact on well, lots.

So hopefully you’ve appreciated this post (while BJD is still laughing).


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I didn’t expect much.

I mean, we live in a very small town that is not exactly wealthy.

But we went, with the intention of having a “date night”. And also with the hopes that by getting out more often, we can spur off the loneliness that creeps up on me.

Boy was I shocked!

We went into Queens, the bar/restaurant (http://www.queens-duelmen.de). We’ve been there before and had decent food at decent prices. I would say it’s the Duelmen equivalent of Stonehouse Grill in Westlake.

BJD got his usual (jack & coke), I ordered mineral water and a small salad. Now, service in Germany leaves much to be desired. But the fact that the “service tip” is included in the price, servers actually make a normal wage, and giving a tip means just rounding up to the nearest Euro makes it okay.

Two guys come out with guitars. They’re not really much to look at but they start warming up.

I couldn’t believe my ears.

And this was just the warm up!

They started out with some Miles Davis and ended their first set with one of their own compositions. And while they definitely can play Miles, their composition ROCKED. It was a chord progression that went downward and the main focus was this “base” chord. They fun to watching them play this piece was listening to *how* they got to their “base” chord. It was musically stimulating. And that was such a contrast to how this piece was – it felt like I was swimming through the ocean, it was such a watery melody … I just can’t figure out the right way to explain it.

All I can say is wow.

I am so very impressed.

I can’t wait to get to see them again.

We left after their first set because, well, it was 10:00 and Bubba Joe was at Oma & Opa’s. It was bedtime.

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Today Bubba Joe and I went raspberry picking with his grandparents.

Raspberries are on of his most favorite foods. He especially likes picking them himself during walks around the city of Duelmen and eating them. And of course, his grandparents are more than happy to walk him where the city has planted the bushes (or maybe they’re just growing there wild).

We had a lot of fun and Bubba Joe did so well! He ate his fare share but also put just as many berries in the bucket. Of course, there was a time today when he thought Opa’s bowl was too empty so he tried to dump some berries in from the bucket … more ended up on the ground than the bowl!

The weather was perfect too – a nice cool 68 degrees. *sigh*

It was a good day.

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Just before leaving for Ohio, things here got messy.

Ohio rejuvinated me.

I’ve found myself and who I like to be.

It was refreshing.

Only now, I am beginning to feel the weight of Germany pressing in on me.

As a social being, it’s so damned hard to not know where you fit in.

I can’t speak the language well enough to engage in a proper, decent conversation. Oh, I’m not talking about one of those casual ones that we Americans are so good at (and that I missed so much but got my fair share of while grocery shopping back in Ohio!). I’m talking about a conversation that includes discussions on the presidential candidates, preeclampsia awareness, parenting a preemie, the oil crises and how while the price of gasoline has been high in Germany for ages, it’s still not the same as what’s going on in the states.

I miss being me.

So now the challenge is to figure out how to be me, just here.

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We’ve been back home in Germany now just over 1 week. In the middle of the week, BJD & I came down with a stomach thing. We’re better now, but that meant we did not go down to visit BJD’s grandparents yesterday.

We did, however, go into the city for a Stadtfest. We couldn’t find the balloon guy but we all had fun. We went with BJD’s parents, nephew and of course Bubba Joe himself. Before we walked back home, we all stopped and had ice cream. Yummy! San Remo Ice Cafe. Delicious!

It’s weird being here.

I can’t explain why. There’s so many cultural difference, but it’s also well, quiet. Sometimes too quiet.

BJD is still working on another Bob the Builder theme song. I think he’s a bit bored without having his cousins to play with. I know I am!

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