Archive for August, 2009

Amis in Dülmen

Ami = American


Living in small-town Germany has many advantages – people know each other, the local apotheke knows me by face AND name, and so on.

But one of the disadvantages of where we live is that there are no other Americans that I know of.  There is a British military base here, but I’ve not had the opportunity in my 2 years here to speak with any of them.  I suppose like most military they have enough companionship within their own.

So you can imagine my surprise when on Friday evening, as the Bubba Joe family went for a walk into town to sit and eat ice cream, when I heard a lovely american accent.

I tend to hear lots of british accents, but there’s really something down-home about that midwest, no-accent, all-american accent that I heard.  It’s like apple pie.  Or Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Or Hershey’s chocolate.

It’s a piece of home.

I heard it and immediately  stopped.

It was amazing.

It was home, at home.

BJD asked if I wanted to introduce myself and just say hello – so I did.  Normally, I would have felt quite uncomfortable but with BJD’s support, we all went over and said hello.  I told them it was nice to hear an american accent and that I just wanted to say hello.

In typical american style, they were friendly.

The conversation was superficial enough that we didn’t get each other’s names but we were open and friendly enough to carry on a conversation for a few minutes.  And it was a pleasent enough experience that when we ran into them yesterday (same place actually) we stopped again to speak a few friendly words.

I doubt I’ll ever see them again – they were in town for a wedding – but it was nice.

It was a piece of home.


Now back to my hiding.  🙂

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I’m still here.  But I’m in a bit of hiding mode.

You see, I’m starting to heal.  And for the first time in a long time … well, I would even go so far as to say for the first time in nearly 4 years, I feel like me.

The meds are working.

The support network is working.

The household help is working.

And I am too.

I finally feel functional.

I wake up in the morning, tired.  But it’s not the same tired as me wanting to crawl back in bed and sleep the day away.

I wake up tired but motivated.

And that’s a nice feeling.

So I’m here.  But I’m taking care of me.

If you don’t see me commenting or even reading your blogs, know that I am thinking of you all the same.

Gotta run.  My sis is skyping me.

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It’s been some time since I’ve written about me.  I tend to avoid the subject, as it’s a bit hard to admit my faults.  But I promised myself that I would work through this semi-publically here and I wanted to share some of what is going on.

My doctor has prescribed household help.  That means there is a woman who comes in daily for 6 hours to help me learn how to balance everything.  Thankfully, she was also here while I was on bedrest and both Bubba Joe and Little Girl love her (as well as our 2 little doggies).  And if you remember, she is the one I didn’t like initially when I was pregnant because I felt I was being replaced.

Surprise, surprise.  I like her.

She gets me.

We’re becoming friends.

We spoke a few weeks ago and she commented that she could see how the day was going to go by whether or not I brought the children down and went back to bed.  She suggested I speak with my doctor.  I did.  He doubled my meds.

We go for walks almost daily.

I’ve learned so much more about this little city of Dülmen in the past few weeks than I had learned on my own for nearly 2 years.

We grab ice cream in the city or a salad.

We’re walking so much that not only am I completely out of maternity clothing (I have been since 3 months pp) but I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant and am FINALLY back in the new Gap jeans I bought last summer when visiting Ohio.  YEAH!!!

I am showering daily.  And while you may not realize how hard that might be, trust me when I tell you that finding energy to care for me has taken time.  As a mom, I *have* to take care of Little Girl and Bubba Joe.  And then I am supposed to find the time to take care of the house, laundry, dishes, food, groceries, etc.  And then there’s the dogs that have to be let out and well, it would be nice if they got some attention every once in a while.  And then there’s BJD – who while he’s a patient guy (dude would have to be to stay with me for 10 years!), he’s been feeling a bit neglected.  He doesn’t have to say it.  I just know.

So on top of all that, I am supposed to find the time to take care of me.

And this lovely illness, this PPD, tries to convince me that it is impossible to do and perhaps, just perhaps, it is better to just stay in bed all day and let our household help do it all.

But life doesn’t work that way, does it?

Since upping my meds, I have found a new me.  I feel better.  I feel more compelled to take responsibility for things that are, well, MY responsibility.  I feel committed to myself – and that’s huge.

I *want* to do these things.  I *want* to be a hausfrau.  I *want* to look good and feel good and be good.

It’s still hard, but it’s getting easier.

Except for today.

BJD was out of the country for 3 days.  Our household help stayed longer during the day.  Bubba Joe spent the night at Oma and Opa’s.  We organized things beautifully.  I handled things well.

And then he came home last night.  And I exhaled.  And today, he’s home and I relaxed.  I leaned on him because I can.

Today was not a bad day.  It just wasn’t a stellar day.  But I like having BJD home.

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How’s that for a title?

So Little Girl is almost 6 months old.  She’s an eating champ.  In case you are wondering, she’s still nursing (my BP meds are working).  She’s pretty picky too about whether she wants milk or food – and heaven help us if we try to give her the wrong thing!

I’m pretty sure she’ll be moving on to table foods soon.  She keeps trying to eat what we eat.

Here’s some pictures of her in her newest most favorite toy (the second pic shows her wearing an amber necklace to help with her teething.  Oh yeah, did I tell you that she’s already cut her two bottom teeth and more are coming?).

And then there’s some pics of Bubba Joe and Little Girl.

And then there’s the fire truck that Bubba Joe has earned by doing his “chores” for the last few weeks.  He has to put his dirty clothing in the laundry basket, brush his teeth, put his toys away (only in the living room though, not in his room), and clear his dirty dishes from the table.  This thing not only has a siren capable of sounding like either one from the States or from Europe, the ladder can go up and down and it can squirt water. (Ask me how I know … go on, ask me.)  Of course, BJD had to build a fire station for the truck – per the insistence of Bubba Joe.  So there the guys are, painting it (notice the painting on the windows – that’s a few weeks old).

And lastly, there’s a picture of some vodka BJD brought back from his recent trip to Minsk.  It went well.  Looks like he may be travelling there more often, getting a good chance to polish up his russian.  (Did you know that he was born in Siberia, emigrated when he was 17 with his family to Germany then moved to the States 8 years ago to marry me? Oh yeah, happy 8th anniverary to me this week!)

I can’t figure out how to insert just one or two pics and then write some more and then insert other pics.  Anyone know how to do that in wordpress?

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