It’s the Little Things

Tonight we stayed out late looking for a house. We saw two good options, but it meant we got home about 7:30. 7:30 is Zoe’s bed time. 7:30 and all kids are bathed. 7:30 and our family begins to calm down. Not tonight.

Side Note: I just looked up and had to tell Ana to stop putting the noodles up her nose.

I opened up my European sized refrigerator (think something a little larger than what you find in a hotel room) and saw not much. There was ground beef, milk, sliced cheese, yogurt, and salad. Now my Granny could easily make a 4 course meal out of those items, but I am not that skilled. Make grilled cheese…nope out of bread. Make a casserole with the potatoes I have…don’t have a dish or really a true oven. Spaghetti…my family is tired of that after eating it the past few days.

I did what any good millennial would do…I went to Pinterest. I found an easy potato and ground beef skillet recipe (that didn’t call for cream of mushroom, heavy cream, sour cream, etc). I began making the meal and put on the last of the spaghetti. Now it is 8pm, I taste the concoction and the potatoes were still raw and it tasted horrible. Prior to me breaking down Zed said he had it and set out in search of food, not forgetting to bring cash with him because most restaurants do not accept cards here. The kids were falling apart so I gave them the spaghetti and they ate two cans of green beans. Good thing they’re young.

How did I get myself in this predicament? The small refrigerator and not having a true grocery store on base is what I’m blaming. Really what it is, we haven’t figured out a good routine and once we find a house (everyone please say a prayer) things should relax a little more.

So…

Things taken for granted so far:

– A commissary on base

– Zillow

– A full sized refrigerator…we are coming from having a garage fridge, a deep freezer, an upright freezer, and the biggest residential refrigerator you can buy for inside the house

– fast food

Say a prayer the kids survive the next month or really until we find a house and move. I highly encourage you all to stay away until we have our lives figured out. Once that happens our home is open to visitors.

….

Zed just walked in with pepperoni pizza, spaghetti (haha!), schnitzel, French fries, and a coke. I got the kids bath started and piled them in; Zed came up and relieved me. I’m currently listening to Zoe say “Dada” over and over, Zed teach Mia how to use a handheld shower head (I don’t know the actual name), Ana trying to escape without clean hair, and Dax saying watch me and then giggle. An hour ago I was close to tears and now I’m relaxed and listening to my little big family enjoy each other. Though there is quite a bit to get used to here, this assignment is going to be a blessing for our family.

Dax and Zoe just came down stairs and Dax is currently trying to put Zoe’s diaper and PJs on. A camera crew really should be following us around.

-S

Germany Week 1

Note 1: Do not expect me to post each week. I highly doubt our lives are that interesting.

Note 2: We would not have survived this first week without the help of family. I feel semi normal today, but it’s only lunch time.

The first week was a blast. Monday brought daycare drop off and Mia’s first day of school at AFNORTH International School. It also brought learning the base and getting some initial inprocessing completed. Tuesday was a house hunting day and we picked up our Saturn from the processing center. We also got German cell phone numbers! Wednesday was Ana’s first day of school at AFNORTH and my first interaction with my fellow branch heads and wing commander. Thursday was a failed attempt at school lunch by Mia. She did a great job standing up and ordering it, but did not like their version of Mac n cheese and hotdogs. We also toured 4 homes. Friday was spent with my family while Zed did more inprocessing. I was able to learn the city center of Geilenkirchen, parking rules, and where the biggest grocery store is. Saturday (today) we slept in, only about an hour, and Zed set out with two kiddos on a continued house hunt.

All in all the week went smoothly. Thankfully my mom and grandmother were around. They made dinner each night and helped with bath time. I was in no condition to maintain survival of the kids or myself and Zed was about the same. So grateful for the help.

We’re still learning the time change and it’s been a little difficult to match up with those back in the States. We do have What’s App and that’s the best way to get in touch with us. Marco Polo is another fun one and more video messages rather than text messages. Keep following and I’ll keep posting.

-S

The German Adventure

Well, we made it. If you’re looking for all the amazing sites we’ve seen already and a true feel that we’re living in Germany, head on over to my grandfather’s blog and check out what my mom and grandmother experienced the past 10 days. Zed and I are still in survival mode and the kids aren’t quite sure what’s going on, but they’re doing amazing.

We ordered a taxi to get us from our lodging on base in Alabama to the airport because we could not fit our bags in with our persons. As we arrived to the check-in counter we were greeted with “You’re the Davies Family. We’ve been expecting your arrival as you head to Germany.” 11 checked bags, 6 passport scans, and 3 Delta workers later we were checked in. Thank goodness for Rachael, our nanny the past 7 weeks. She watched the kids as the chaos began and no one was lost.

We headed for security where half way through getting our family of 6 through our names are called to report back to the check in counter. Zed heads off and you would have thought he was never coming back according to Dax and Zoe. The TSA agents did an amazing job accommodating our family and I appreciate everyone in line behind us being patient. Why did we have to go back to the check in counter? Dax left his Spider-Man book bag that housed his cow blanket. It would have been a long day without that.

We found out our flight was delayed and were thankful to see a playscape for the kids. As the time neared to board the first leg of our journey we said our goodbyes to the amazing Ray Ray. Delta allows families to board first, I think this is a benefit not only for the families but for all other passengers too.

The flight to Atlanta was quick and uneventful. Due to our delay in Montgomery our layover went from 5 hours to about 3.5 hours. We easily walked to our terminal and found everyone some lunch. We were stopped numerous times and asked where we were headed and how impressed people were with our bravery/positive attitudes/children’s behaviors. Thank you kids for being good on this specific day. We then found an unused gate and let the kids stretch out while we waited. We also got some euros…for future knowledge DO NOT get euros in the airport. You have to pay to exchange money.

We boarded the flight to Dusseldorf, again ahead of others thankfully. We sat 3 behind the other 3, Dax – Mia – Zed, Zoe – Ana – Sam. All kids were tired and hungry at this point and we learned we could have requested kids meals 24hr prior to our flight. Good to know for next time. Dax fell asleep before dinner was served and Zoe fell asleep quickly after filling her belly. Ana watched a movie and then fell asleep and Dax was now awake. Ana now slept in Dax’s car seat and Mia came and fell asleep for an hour or so with me. Dax and Zed were troopers and stayed awake the rest of the flight. Breakfast came and the landing was smooth.

Customs was simple, showed our passports and PCS orders and walked on through. We purchased 3 luggage carts for our stuff and a kind Polizei helped push one of the carts to our waiting taxi driver. We loaded the trailer of the taxi and enjoyed the brisk air.

In the hour drive to our guest house, thank you Karin’s, we saw a brown coal mine, drove on the autobahn, and found an indoor ski resort. Upon arrival to our guesthouse the kids enjoyed running around and playing with the toys provided. Our first visitors were our sponsors. A family who has helped us out the past few months ensuring the transition here was as seamless as possible. This is the third time we’ve been stationed with this family. My mom and grandmother then came over and helped us settle in and get the kids fed and bathed, both of which were much needed.

The German homes are fitted with shutters used to block out the light since it stays light late here. We closed the shutters about 6:30pm and enjoyed a long nights sleep, with a few interruptions from the kids.

I’ll be sure to constantly update the blog to keep everyone informed as much as possible. We’re excited for this new adventure and I hope you enjoyed following along in our travels.

-S