Nuremberg, hospitals, and a few birthdays in between

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months.  I always say that, but it is actually true.  We are settled into our new home here, and I will keep saying it:  I really like it here.  I am making friends, the girls are loving school and their friends, Andy is PLENTY busy with work, and the area is amazing. But my time has not been totally devoted to meeting new people.  In true form, I’ll summarize our latest happenings in list form:

– we have been to Nuremberg twice now!  The first time, our plan was to hit the zoo and then the city.  However, the zoo was huge and very beautiful.  Tiergarten Nurnberg has wonderful exhibits, good food, parks and playgrounds for the kids, and amazing walks around the scenery.  We ended up spending over 4 hours there and by the time we started the drive into the city, Addie was asleep and the other 2 girls just wanted to go home.  I highly recommend the zoo though.  We have been to zoos all over the world at this point, and it was one of the better ones we have attended.

The second time we took the train into the city center.   Nuremberg is wonderful!  So many things to see and do.  So often, I research a city and plan all the places for us to stop, but once we enter the city, we just wander in amazement.  This is exactly what happened to us there.  We saw churches, sculptures, a fish festival, stores, restaurants, and fortress structures.  I look forward to going back very soon to see even more.

NurembergNurembergNuremberg

 

– I turned 29.  It does not seem like much, but it is one birthday away from 30.  I made fun of Andy for being so sad and weird about turning 30, but I understand now.  Is my life over?  Absolutely not.  Is there any real reason to fear 30?  NO!  But nonetheless, I turned 29 with a little apprehension.  My birthday was spent in the hospital with Addie (more on that soon), so there was a little less celebration than I like! But Andy and the girls brought a cake and presents up to the hospital so we could have a small party on our own.

Lorelei turned 6 today! We had a Candyland-themed birthday party for her this past weekend, which was so much fun.  I worked really hard on her decorations and the party planning.  I have been trying to convince one of the girls to do this theme for 2 years now, so I had plenty of ideas saved up!  She had a great day with her friends, and we were so happy to have people there to celebrate with us.  Here are a few pics from her big day.

Lorelei partyLorelei partyLorelei partyLorelei party– Since moving to Germany, we have all been to the doctor a lot.  We have not been majorly sick – some pinkeye, a sprained foot, physicals, etc.  But last month, I noticed that Addie had a scrape on her foot.  The scrape looked infected, and then her ankle and foot turned pink and swelled.  I sent pictures to my wonderful nurse mother, who told me to take her to the ER.  She thought it was cellulitis, and it was.  We had our first visit to the German hospital in Amberg.  They admitted her for IV antibiotics and monitoring.  She felt fine, without any fevers or major symptoms.  We learned quickly that the German healthcare system is very thorough and efficient, but that hospitals and doctors like to keep you in the hospitals here!  They kept Addie there for 3 days; they wanted to keep her for an additional 2 days, but we asked if we could be sent home with oral antibiotics instead.  I wouldn’t normally ask this, but Andy was leaving for a TDY and besides the IV antibiotics, they were not monitoring her or administering any other meds.

The German hospitals and doctors were wonderful!  The hospital is a little more bare than what is normal in the US.  There are no TVs or accommodations in the rooms.  However, I brought my laptop with movies, toys, coloring books, and games to keep us busy.  The food was great, and many of the people there spoke English so I did not feel isolated or uninformed.  It was one of the cleanest and nicest hospitals I have ever been in!  We did learn that the patient liason is your best friend when staying in a foreign hospital.  We also were reminded that when it comes to medical care and the children, I am much better at handling this than Andy.  He is a wonderful father, but he does not remember details like when Addie received her shots or when her surgery took place.  He cannot stand to see the girls hurt or crying, so watching and hearing her receive an IV or medicine is almost as difficult for him.  Finally, he is bored just as easily as Addie is, so putting him in a hospital room with little stimulation and a child who needs to be constantly entertained was painful.  I stayed for 2 days and he took the third to give me a break, and he was bored after an hour there!

 – On happier news, we have an honor roll student in the house!  Anya made the honor roll for the first quarter.  They start this in 4th grade, and her principal was impressed with her grades considering she started a new school and later in the quarter.  We are so proud of her!  In true Anya perfectionism, she is now making it her goal to be on the Principal’s Honor Roll, which is for all straight A’s.

I think that catches you up for now.  I have not written because my laptop is slowly uttering a death rattle.  Addie has broken off my space bar (it sounds insignificant, but without it, it’s hard to type faster than snail speed), it constantly freezes and crashes, and it has blue-screened me 3 times now.  I am having a hard time thinking about losing it.  I’ve had my yellow laptop for 6 years now.  It’s an awesome color and is covered in stickers, adorned by myself, my girls, and even my nephew.  It has been everywhere with me.  Maybe I am getting old, as I find myself more and more attached to things.  Anyways, I am using Andy’s laptop now to type, but he is always gone.  Andy gone=laptop gone, therefore no blogging!

Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas decorating week to everyone!  I’m cooking a turkey and hosting at our house this year (which I love).  What are your plans for the holiday?  The Christmas markets here open up this week too, so I will have plenty of pictures and details to share about those!

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