Three days before Christmas. Oh boy. So much to do. A little more wrapping. A big grocery shopping trip. Cooking, baking, cleaning. Finishing up the Christmas cards. If only I didn't have to sleep over the next three days I think I would be all right. This morning, I have been going through old, saved emails and Facebook messages trying to dig up "new addresses" that I never managed to copy into my address book. What a tedious process!I came across this old picture of Toby that was taken by a friend when he was about 10 months old.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 10:08 AM
Monday, December 13, 2010
This December has been a busy one, it seems like they always are. This year, because we aren't going to Utah, I decided NOT to put my Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. I have to say that was a mistake for me. Thanksgiving came and went, then a week went by and it was the weekend again, and I was sick & down in bed the next weekend. Finally, James got the Christmas decorations out of our storage unit and they basically sat in our living room for another week, the kids & I got the tree out and half-decorated it Tuesday night and then that was about all. So another weekend rolled around, and it was already the 11th of December. At this point, I was very tempted to finish the tree and call it good for the year. But, I couldn't. I start hauling the stuff out of the boxes. Saturday night, I stayed up until the wee hours and our house was transformed! Sad to say, moving was not easy on my Christmas decorations. Let's just say that next year I am going to be on the lookout for quite a few new Christmas decorations to replace the ones that were demolished while traveling on a big ship!
Posted by Emily Snow at 9:11 AM
Saturday, December 11, 2010
It seems that this December is the same as most all Decembers...way too busy. Despite our never-ending lists of things-to-do, we decided we were going to hit the brakes for a couple of hours today and take our kids to see a movie. We took them to see Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Was it the best movie of all time? No. But it was a warm, touching movie with a good message.
Posted by Emily Snow at 6:01 PM
Monday, November 29, 2010
My friend, Michelle W, emailed this to me recently. So in honor of kicking off the Christmas season (I can't believe I don't have my tree up yet--but that's what happens when you rent a storage unit and it's no longer convenient to start hauling out the Christmas decorations whenever you feel like it!) here it is:
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my own doctor's, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmas', since had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt, in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.
I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year, I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother", because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.
If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.
It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.
Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in to dry off so you don't catch cold.
Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
P.S. One more thing ...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:52 PM
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Well, I just got home from a thoroughly humiliating experience at Target...
Let me begin by saying...I knew better, I had a long list (i.e. a FULL cart) to knock out and I went AFTER I picked Toby up from preschool today. He no longer takes regular naps, but he still gets very cranky at this time of day.
First we stopped to get the "Popcorn Combo", unfortunately, they were out of BOTH Diet Coke and popcorn (what the heck?!), looking back, we should have just left and got the necessities at the grocery store, but, alas, we did not. Toby still got some Hawaiin Punch and a pretzel...but still...within the first two minutes our Target trip was already going downhill.
I knocked out most of the list and then added some because so many of the canned goods were on sale. Despite one small meltdown over which type of fruit snacks we were going to take home, all was still going well. I only had three items that I needed to look for over in the toddler department. Which, unfortunately, I went by the toys to get there (foolish, foolish!). That's where it all fell apart quickly.
Toby saw a Buzz Light Year. Toby declared that he wanted Buzz Light Year. I told him no and suggested that he put it on his Christmas list. That did not go over well at all. Unfortunately, Toby has picked up this screaming habit (high-pitched shrill is more like it) when he isn't getting his way which is awful and I hope he grows out of it soon.
So it was going something like this:
Toby: "I WANT A BUZZ LIGHT YEAR!"
Me: "No, Toby, not today, please stop screaming."
Toby: "But I want a TOY!"
Me: "Toby, I am not buying you a toy when you act like this, now please stop, you are being too loud."
Toby: "Yes, MOM, I WANT SOMETHING!"
Me: "Toby, you are not getting anything today."
At this point, I knew it was time to leave and as luck would have it, I had everything on my list now in the cart. We were on our way out. That's when this older lady (I would guess around 75-80 years old, who was not more than six feet away from me says:
"I WOULD SLAP HIM!"
Well, I don't know if she thought that I wouldn't know where that comment came from or if I would take her cue and just slap him across the face.. or if I would lower my head and submissively walk away...but that's not what happened next.
I looked right at her, right in her eyes, and raised my voice just a bit, and I said,
"No, maam, I will NOT slap my child!
Old hag: "Well!" (you can imagine that look of shock and disbelief that a "younger generation" is not respecting her elders).
Me: Well, and you have a nice day, maam." And she went running to her husband where they started mumbling, I don't know what, and it's probably for the best.
(Now let me explain, I am not actually against spanking. I do spank, maybe not daily but at least weekly. But I don't think this was the answer here. The facts were that he was tired, he saw something that he wanted, he wasn't getting it, so he acted out. And it was time to leave the store. It was embarrassing as it was. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just think it's rude to be a complete stranger in a store and think that you have the right to say it, or think that you can say it without any ramifications)
So for the next 60 seconds Toby was quiet. I think he knew something out-of-the-ordinary had just happened. But then his reality set in that we were headed to the check out stand and he wasn't getting Buzz, a toy, a candy...nothing...so he started screaming again. I started looking for a Target associate that I can tell I am leaving my full cart here but please don't put it all away and that I will come back in when he is settled down. Only then I realized that my purse and my keys are in the bottom of the cart which consists of 50% canned goods. I am stuck in Target, at 1:30 PM, with a screaming child and I just want to die! Not only that, I am afraid Old Hag and her husband are going to come around the corner and yell at me again! I see a checkout aisle that has no line. I check to see if it is the Express line, it is not. I figure I'll just get in line with him screaming. I've done this 100 times, this is not new, you know, it happens in parenthood.
He is screaming. I start unloading my cart. I realize just how full the cart is. He is still screaming. I have adrenaline still pumping from my little scene with the Old Hag, and I still want to die because he is SCREAMING. And he's not two anymore, he's almost four, I know how bad this looks and sounds! Believe me, I wanted out of Target! I can't hold it together any longer, a tear trickles down my face and another and another.... Awesome. Just awesome. He has broke me and now I am going to embarass myself. I have two moms come up to me and briefly tell me that this store if full of moms and that they've all been there. I know, I know, so have I. But it all hit me the wrong way and all I can do now is cry and continue to unload the bloody never-ending cart! Toby and I we were quite the scene today. The early-twenties cashier was in shock, I think.
We are home now. Home and what about Toby? Well he's sound asleep of course!
Posted by Emily Snow at 2:15 PM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Happy Birthday to our guy, Thomas! Eight years old, already?
This year, Thomas' birthday fell on a Sunday. Sunday is our "day of rest", we don't do much on Sundays. But, we he opened presents in the morning where he got "lots of clothes" and "only some toys". We went to church where we had our annual Primary (children's) program. Thomas nailed his part. We came home and had Thomas' dinner of choice which was dinosaur chicken nuggets and tater tots. Later on that evening, we had the Lund family over for cake and ice cream. We like to keep things very simple. Thomas also received many thoughtful phone calls and cards in the mail.
But, actually, Thomas' birthday was kind of a four-day celebration:
◆ Friday, I took in donuts for his class. They don't allow for "parties" but they will serve a special treat during lunch time. The kids must have made Thomas feel special all day long, with birthday wishes and birthday privileges, he was beaming when he came home.
◆ Saturday, we took him to Toys R Us to pick out a set of Legos of his choice and also a new bike.
◆ And, finally, on Monday, we went out to dinner, as a family, for one last celebration. We went to Cracker Barrel, where Thomas selected pancakes.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:20 AM
Friday, November 12, 2010
Over the past few weeks, we have had two birthdays, Halloween, a visit from my parents, and a baptism. Plus all the normal stuff that I can never seem to get on top of...check back after the weekend, hopefully I can get some new posts up.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:51 AM
Saturday, October 30, 2010
This week, we were under a tornado watch one night. Toby must have overheard us talking about it/but heard it wrong, because we noticed he was slightly concerned about the "Flying Potato" watch. Too funny!
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:23 AM
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Long overdue (in our opinion anyhow) and much deserved. James received word Friday afternoon that he has finally been promoted. It feels a little weird posting about it, but I posted about his promotion frustration a couple of years ago and so my followers know how disgruntled James (and myself) were over about not being able to get promoted overseas because his "work overseas was not traditional work for the next increase".
Of course, the extra money will be nice, but it is the acknowledgment and recognition that come along with this promotion that I think are just as important/if not more important than the increase in the pay check.
Good job James!
Posted by Emily Snow at 9:55 PM
Friday, October 22, 2010
While out-n-about with Toby this morning, I asked him, "What will I do when you grow up, Toby?" his reply was, "Maybe you'll crawl in the covers and take a nice, long nap." Hmm, sounds good to me...
Later on today, he saw something on television that made him turn to me and point to himself and say, "I am a boy." I agreed and then asked him what I was. He thought about it and said, "You are a girl-mommy."
Posted by Emily Snow at 7:00 PM
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Toby started preschool today. He was supposed to start yesterday, but our plans were squashed when we pulled up to the high school (his preschool is inside the high school as part of the child development lab) and all the students were evacuated to the football field and there were policemen and police dogs all over! Turns out there was a bomb threat. It was a little crushing since he had been pretty excited. We went to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel instead. James had the day off of work since it was Columbus Day.
Today, Toby got his second chance to start preschool. He wasn't as excited to go this morning, I think mainly because he was fearful that "the bomb might still be in the school!". Like most things with Toby, preschool will take a little getting used to. The drop off was a little hard. But, he was all smiles when I picked him up. He goes four mornings a week, for just a little over two hours each morning.
Posted by Emily Snow at 11:30 PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
It's been two weeks since we received our stuff. We are certainly making progress but it is slow. It would be easier if we had moved into a bigger house. (Not complaining, James & I both agreed to move back into our old home, but we knew it would have it's challenges!) If we had moved into a bigger home, we could have designated a couple of rooms for boxes and then had the appearance of living in a neat and orderly home. Instead, we are living amongst boxes and it is chaotic. In our house in Germany, we had a whole unfinished basement that was eventually lined with shelves, in other words, over time we had a lot of storage set up in the basement. When we absolutely ran out of places in the main and upper floors in that home, we could take the pile of "whatever" and put it on an empty shelf! But even that, took time, I remember it took six months to unpack, so I shouldn't worry that we are two weeks into it and still in boxes, right?
The fact that we lived here before, isn't exactly helpful because I have this idea of using the existing storage space almost in an entirely different way. For example, we hope to, at least one day use our garage to park James' car in it. Well, we used to have Tailer's litter box in the garage. Well, if James is going to be pulling in and out of the garage I don't want her to happen to be in there and either get ran over or run away. I'm also not going to be "on call" to go get Tailer and James isn't going to want to deal with her either. After all, he tolerates her, and he certainly doesn't want to inflict pain to her, but she's definitely mine.So, we decided to move her litter box and cat bed into the space under the stairs. Which I might add that I think she loves having that space, she naps there voluntarily during the day even.
Anyhow, back to the space under the stairs, I have had shelves set up against one wall for years, and I used to have our food storage in there. Well, I'm not putting food storage in the same space as her litter box, even though it's covered and gets cleaned daily, that would still be GROSS! So then, I decided to move the food storage elsewhere but now the items that I stored in that room previously have to go somewhere else. So, I am constantly going to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond for storage solutions, or Freecycling or taking items to Goodwill. Items get put away, then a few more boxes opened and we do it all over again! A slow process, indeed! We'll get there someday.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:26 PM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Fall is here! Can you believe it? I enjoy Fall. Sort of... I enjoy the cooler temperatures, but when I say "cooler" what I mean is that 70 degrees is a nice feeling. And I quite like seeing the leaves change colors. I like cozy sweaters and sweatshirts. Typically, I like decorating for Halloween, but I don't think I'll be doing much this year. We have yet to hang any of our regular decorations. But, I can't for the life of me shrug the feeling that "winter is coming". I despise winter. I find nothing redeeming about the season. I think one day I'd like to be one of those people that live in Arizona for the winter. Although, I've never been to Arizona except for that "four corners" spot, but that doesn't really count, does it?
Posted by Emily Snow at 10:36 AM
Monday, September 20, 2010
While our house was empty, we took advantage of the opportunity and we (James) repainted a large portion of our home. He repainted the basement, living room, and all three bedrooms. It was also easy because we were replacing most of that carpet (with the exception of the living room carpet, which was still in good shape). To my surprise, (and to James' delight) I actually still liked all the colors, which meant everything just needed one coat to make it look fresh again. With the exception of our nursery. I had painted this when I was eight months pregnant with Thomas. It took many, many hours of me sitting on the floor being very uncomfortable doing this. When we found out we were having another boy (Toby), the walls still looked great, so I felt there was no need to change it.
But, eight years later, the light blue walls and bugs had to go. This required two coats of primer and two coats of paint. The walls are now a very light buttery cream color, although I know in one picture they look quite yellow. They are not, that picture was just taken in the evening light.
Posted by Emily Snow at 12:59 PM
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We found this article last week and found it to be very helpful as we had two crews of movers work for us this week!
Tips on Tipping Your Movers
Everyone likes a reward for a job well done
By Rick Hazeltine
Consumers put a lot of faith in professional movers, which is why good ones are as prized as a competent and fair mechanic. As a customer, you are entrusting all of your possessions, prized and otherwise, to people you may not even have been introduced to before they started taking your stuff and loading it into a truck.
Although movers are considered part of the service trade, there is usually a lot more riding on their job performance than, say, a waitress or someone who cuts your hair. If the waitress drops your rye toast, she can quickly get you a new order and, hey, your hair will grow out.
If a mover, however, does a poor job packing, drops your family heirloom or drags your furniture across the wood floor, there is a lot more at stake. Besides, there are few people in the service industry that work as hard as movers.
Perhaps because consumers rely so much on a mover doing a good job that they don't consider them as a service professional. But they are and proper etiquette requires that they be treated as such. This means it is proper to offer a tip, whether it is cash at the end of the day or you buying the crew lunch or even both.
As with any other service provider, you would base your "tip" on job performance – a bad attitude and indifferent work habits would hardly be considered tip worthy. If, however, you think your crew was attentive, helpful and professional, then give what you believe is fair.
Movers usually don't expect a tip but is appreciated when given. More than anything, it's a sign that you recognized their effort and thought it worthy. You may think you're paying a small fortune to the moving company, but what trickles down to the guys actually lugging your stuff won't have them driving home in a Beamer.
Moving is a stressful life event overloaded with thousands of small details that need attention. One of those is how to treat the crew moving your life's belongings, so here's a quick reference that should keep the guys happy and moving:
Moving is hard, back-breaking work so it would only be common decency to have cold bottled water, soda or sport drinks on hand.
Some people prefer to buy the crew lunch in lieu of a tip and this is perfectly fine. Some do both. It's whatever you are comfortable with. If you do offer to buy the crew lunch, make sure to ask if they have a preference as to food choice. Many people think, "Oh, we'll get some pizza," so you can imagine how much pizza these guys might have had that month.
You will hear varying advice on how much to tip. Percentages don't really work as they do in restaurant work. The difference between a $2,000 full-truck move and a $20,000 full-truck move is likely the distance the moving van travels, not how much time it took to load the vehicle. Basically, if it's a half-day (4 hours) move, $10 per person is considered appropriate. If it's a full-day move (8 hours), then $20 is the consensus. If you have a lot of heavy furniture, narrow or winding stairs, a steep lot, etc., you should consider adding to the amount. If the crew works 12 hours to get your belongings packed, figure $40 as fair.
A tip about tips from movers themselves: Don’t give the lump some to the foreman or driver. Give each worker their tip. First, it shows that you recognize and appreciate their individual efforts. Second, there are some unscrupulous foremen, who will keep the entire amount for themselves.
Avoid giving the guys beer at the end of the day. It's a bit stereotypical and most legitimate moving companies have rules against drinking on the job. It also opens liability issues. Make the tip cash and the movers can spend it how they wish.
Posted by Emily Snow at 10:01 AM
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 12:43 AM
Sunday, August 29, 2010
After the third day of school, we were at the hotel and Thomas & I were talking about something, I don't recall what but it lead into,
Posted by Emily Snow at 1:00 AM
Friday, August 27, 2010
This week, Thomas started second grade. The school he is going to is much bigger than ISW. There are five second grade classes with roughly 23 children in each. Last year, there were two first grade classes with 14 children in each of them.
Posted by Emily Snow at 9:51 AM
Sunday, August 22, 2010
A week ago, we checked into a hotel that we plan on living in for three more weeks. Yes, you read that right, we are staying here for one whole month. We have received a lot of condolences over this, but let me assure you that we are quite OK. We are staying in a hotel with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, we also have a little living room and a full kitchen. And THREE TV's (that's two more then we'll have once we unpack). A full breakfast is served daily. There is a pool and a small gym. Housekeeping can come daily, if I want them to. Free internet.
Posted by Emily Snow at 10:23 PM
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Please be patient. Don't give up on me, don't give up on my blog. Some are good about blogging while vacationing/in the middle of a major change...I don't fit in that category. I'll be back. Soon.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:38 AM
Thursday, July 15, 2010
A week ago today, we landed in Utah. We will be here until mid-August. James gets almost eight weeks off of "home leave" for taking the Germany assignment. Some people choose to take a little right away and then spread it out over a year, but he's heard of too many people that once they started working again, they weren't able to take the time off and after a while you lose the days...so he decided to take it all in one lump.
So far, we have had a fantastic time, spending time with my family and running into a few friends. We have enjoyed the shopping and the restaurants and the customer service! This week, we have also been to the dermatologist, the dentist, I got my hair cut & colored and today I got my nails done. James & I also went on a little two-night getaway at a local bed & breakfast. I also got to finally see "Eclipse"!
The kids have been having a wonderful time at my mom & dad's place. They have a huge yard where they can play with water, or in the sand pile, or on the swing set, or Thomas can drive a 4-wheeler or Toby can drive his little motorized tractor. OR, they can go over to the farm and do things over there. Toby likes riding in the tractors with Grandpa Dan and Thomas likes feeding the baby calves. They are thoroughly entertained all day long!
On Sunday, my sister announced that she is pregnant! It was a shocker! They have been married for 10 years and I wasn't quite sure they wanted to have kids and had kind of quit asking her about it. She is at the beginning of the 2nd trimester already. How exciting that my mom & dad will finally have three grandchildren, and this one will live close by which will be nice for everyone!
Tomorrow, we are heading down to James' mom & dad's for about a week and a half. Thomas and Toby have 13 cousins that all live close by so it should be a incredibly fun time there as well!
Posted by Emily Snow at 6:42 PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I am dreading the plane ride to Utah something fierce. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. It's going to be a LONG day. From the time we get to the airport until the time we get to my mom's it will be approximately 19-20 hours of traveling. Thomas, on the other hand, cannot wait. He has been upset the last three mornings because he wants to go to the airport and "go to Grandma's".
Posted by Emily Snow at 9:30 AM
Monday, July 5, 2010
In a few days, we will depart from Germany. The PCSing process (moving) has been time consuming and stressful. Somedays were absolutely nightmarish. If you've never done it, you will not understand, but you can take my word for it.
Posted by Emily Snow at 2:02 PM
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 10:37 PM
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:16 AM
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Well, it took three whole days, but this week we finally packed out! It is strange to think that we will not see our "stuff" again until sometime in September, probably after Labor Day. Actually, it will arrive much sooner than that, but we are having it stored in VA for some time while we stay in a hotel and do some work in our home.
Posted by Emily Snow at 9:52 AM
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 2:50 PM
Monday, May 24, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 1:40 PM
Friday, May 21, 2010
May 18-19: Time to scrub down everything that has been outside/that we intend to ship back with us. Our "Agricultural Inspection" is on Thursday morning. We have always planned on waiting until just before this inspection, since we don't have a garage to store everything...why scrub it all down two weeks before just to have everything get dirty again? We were also waiting for the weather to get nicer. It never did. So, on Tuesday, I took a look at the heap of items that we had organized into our back yard and started taking them upstairs to be scrubbed in the bathtub and shower. Eventually, our kids' floors of their rooms were covered in towels which were then covered with random items, toys, flower pots, garden tools, totes, bikes, more toys.
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:10 AM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Yesterday, Toby, made big progress with potty-training. He has been doing great with #1 and even has woken up dry over half the nights over the past two weeks since he started this. But, #2, well, that has been a whole other story. Accident after accident and I had lost my cool more times than I'd like to admit. Finally, yesterday morning, after numerous trips to the toilet (this was about a 90-minute process), he made it in the potty! Then an hour later, he made it to the potty again! He was so proud of himself! And he had that look of relief that I believe means he discovered that it's not as scary as it seemed to him. And, that is a relief to me.
Posted by Emily Snow at 4:42 AM
Friday, May 14, 2010
For at least two and a half years of this crazy German adventure, day after day, I have watched a really old guy that resembled a gnome walk by my kitchen window. He had white hair that was sort of long and I don't really know how to explain it but he looked like a gnome! I would ALWAYS see him at around 9-9:30 AM every morning and then most days again at around 3:30-4:00 PM. He would walk circles around the park that is next to my house. He wasn't very fast, and he walked with a cane, but religiously he went on his daily walk (sometimes twice a day). But I admired him for going out and getting his exercise no matter what the weather was like. I often thought I should get a picture of him because he really did become part of my day. I couldn't figure out how to do it without seeming like a stalker though. And he may have been old but he was certainly aware of his surroundings. We never had a conversation, we barely said more then "Guten Morgen" to one another, but I could tell that he was a gentle old soul that made me smile whenever I saw him. I never knew his name.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:00 AM
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I have been trying for months to get Toby interested in potty training. Not that I've been spending countless hours, but I spent 3 days in December, where all I managed to do was clean up pee on the floor and do a lot of laundry (he never once made it in the toilet).
Posted by Emily Snow at 2:30 PM
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I have been trying really hard to get my winter tires taken off. We wanted to keep them on until after our trip to Italy just in case we hit snow as we crossed through the Alps (we did). Since coming back, I have taken my car in twice to get the winter tires taken off, but, alas they are still on.
The first time I took it in, I was under the impression that if I left it the night before, they could fit me in for a simple tire change and oil change (because this is what I was told last Fall), only to find out that fast-forward six months later, I needed an appointment, which they couldn't give me until the next week.
Well, next week was this past Tuesday. I dropped it off the night before and got a call as I was on my way to the gym at the 9 AM hour that there was a big problem and those tires weren't coming off.
It turns out that my chrome valve stem caps have completely rusted onto my tires! With as much snow as we had here in Germany and the fact that road salt is used so much, it makes sense that corrosion occurred. It also turns out that my car has a Tire Pressure Monitory System (TPMS). In order to get those caps off, they are going to have to use a lot of force and will most likely break all four of the tire sensors...which they don't have in stock.
So, I found a new set of sensors at amazon.com ($139). Only they (the company) won't send it to my mailbox out here. So, I opted for overnight shipping to my mom, where she will then go to the post office and send it to my mailbox. And it will take at least 6 days to get here. Once they arrive, I will take my car for a third attempt at getting the tires switched. What a pain in the neck!
Therefore, a piece of advice, if you have chrome or metal valve stem caps, consider replacing them with the cheap, basic plastic ones. That's what we had to begin with and the only reason we replaced them with the shiny, pretty ones was because the plastic valve stems didn't get replaced during the last oil change so we bought what was available at the first store we went to.
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:38 PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I have a plaque in my house that says:
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
I absolutely LOVE this saying. I think it is so true.
My kids like to pick flowers for me. They don't distinguish between a tulip, a clover blossom or dandelions. They bring them to me with excitement on their faces. They are trying to brighten my day, which they are.
Truth be told, I hate all this moving nonsense. If I could wiggle my nose and be done with it now...I would. I hate it. James is just as bad, actually worse, because not only is he worrying about moving from here and all that that involves, but he is also trying to tie up loose ends at work.
So when the boys brought these to me, I thought of my beloved saying. Trying to enjoy the little things. Accepting my boys' bright, cheerful bouquets and giving my little guys some big hugs!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Posted by Emily Snow at 4:49 PM
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Well, it has been eight days since Toby has taken a nap, so I think it is official. He has dropped the nap. No more quiet time for me in the afternoons. Kind of a shame, really. I liked that quiet time. Quite a bit.
Posted by Emily Snow at 8:53 AM
Monday, April 19, 2010
Well we have started our moving process. We were able to secure our pack-out dates last week. We got the exact dates we hoped for and everything worked out as far as that. Which will be in just over one month from now (time to get serious)! We are packing out early and then bringing in loaner furniture and living another month in our home. We have our hotels booked while we are finishing up here. We will be staying in a hotel in our town for five days and then we will go stay in Frankfurt for the last week. We have our appointment to have my car agriculturally cleaned inside and out (not a grain of German sand can go home!) The next day we will drop off my car and have it shipped back to the U.S. They are expecting it to take about 45 days to get back to Baltimore.
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:10 AM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We recently returned from a vacation to Italy. I will post more about that later. However, I wanted to share a cute little story that happened with Toby while we were on that vacation. More than likely, it's more of one of those stories where "you had to be there" to appreciate how funny it was...but here you go:
Posted by Emily Snow at 3:51 AM
Monday, March 29, 2010
Whenever I think about "dying Easter eggs" I always think about "The Family Circus Easter" cartoon when the question is asked, "dying Easter eggs isn't like killing them, is it Daddy?" Well, this year was full of extra fun and at the end I was about ready to kill Toby. Toby...who would not keep his hands out of the Easter egg dye. In the end, he had it on his t-shirt, pants and spilled red dye onto the rug. I think next year, I'll give him a cup full of water and tell him he's in charge of dying the white eggs. I love this kid, on one hand his personality is really cute and he's easy-going and often goes with the flow and he has a way about him that is adorable but on the other hand, I hope to never have another child quite like him. I don't think I could survive two of him. He and trouble...they go hand and hand! Quite literally this time.
Posted by Emily Snow at 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
We have managed to visit Paris three times over the past 12 months. As our time is running out, this was our last trip here. This was during Thomas' "Ski Week" break at his school, we were there February 23-28. We love France. It was pretty cold most of the days there except for the last day. The last day was probably 10 degrees warmer and with our coats and gloves on, quite comfortable. We shopped and ate and shopped and ate. We love the French pastries, they are actually sweet as opposed to the German pastries which I've just stopped buying because I figure if you're going to have dessert it should taste like a dessert and not a piece of bread! (However the cheese, the cheese in Germany and really everywhere in Europe--yum--who am I kidding, I LOVE cheese no matter where it's made for the most part, except if it's melted in large quantities and then I start gagging right then and there)...anyhow....Traveling is getting easier with Toby, go figure. We took the train all over. Toby thought he should be friends with all the other passengers on the train or ask to eat the apples that they were eating. He's at a funny yet oftentimes embarrassing stage right now. We stayed at our favorite Marriott resort again. I'm really going to miss our favorite little getaway location.
Posted by Emily Snow at 4:00 PM