Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big D is 3! ... and other news

Big D turned 3 last week and we celebrated by taking him to the local zoo, which was tons of fun.  His best buddy from Borken along with his parents joined us and Dylan had so much fun that every day since then he has asked if we can go back.

Dylan and his friend spent the whole day running around, pulling a wagon together through the entire zoo and being super silly.  I think pulling the wagon was a bigger attraction for them than the animals, but regardless, by 4 pm they were tuckered out.

After getting pizza (Dylan's favorite) for dinner, we came home and opened presents.  Bryan says I went "overboard" on the presents, but it was just so much fun shopping for him that I couldn't help myself.  Yesterday Dylan asked me if I would re-wrap all of his birthday presents so he could go through the fun of unwrapping them all over again.  It was a good birthday.

This is as close as he would get to the donkeys.

Checking out the elephants.

These boys shared wagon-pulling duty all day.

Big gorillas were in there.  I had to keep telling the boys to stop sticking their heads through the fence.

Awesome presents!

We were waiting for the seal feeding to begin and the boys got really silly.  They put on a little "pre-show" of their own.

He's trying to show us on his fingers how old he is.

We now have jam sessions every day.  Dylan calls it "playing musics."  

In other news, the shingles are slowly healing but still quite painful.  Since I'm pregnant I'm trying to avoid any pain medication and it's been several days since I've had to take any.  My skin is super sore and now very itchy, but it's definitely getting better despite being massively uncomfortable.  

In apartment news, we're STILL waiting for our kitchen to be installed.  We ordered this kitchen on May 8 and right now the installation date is June 19.  It's really frustrating going so long without a kitchen.  We have a microwave (thank goodness!) a toaster and a coffee pot, so we're pretty much eating a lot of PB&Js, canned soup and going out for pizza.  Dylan is getting bored with the food regime and keeps wondering why we don't have any milk or cereal.  I'm on a mission to get some kind of discount / rebate for the delay.  German customer service is not as flexible or apologetic as America customer service and most people here just grit their teeth and deal with these delays, which aren't unusual.  The customer service / sales people like to pass-the-buck on responsibility and, of course, our sales person has been on a 2 week vacation, so her replacement has been unfriendly and unhelpful in speeding things along.  The basic answer for "What's taking so long?" is "I don't know, but that's the way it is. There's nothing I can do about it."  This response just wouldn't fly in America.  Actually, in America, no one would EVER stand for renting an apartment or buying a house that doesn't come with a kitchen because it's the stupidest system in the entire world, so no one would be in this ridiculous situation.  Dylan moved his toy kitchen into our kitchen a few days ago and said "Look Mommy, now your kitchen has an oven and a sink."  It made me laugh, but it's also kind of sad.
Here's what our kitchen looks like right now.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Munich Flashback

I realized that Bryan didn't post a ton of photos from our trip to Munich a few weeks ago, so here are a few more in case you were wondering what else we did while we were there.

We sought refuge from our grouchy son in the English Garden, one of the few places he was content to hang out in (probably because we bought him massive pretzels)

This is at the start of a walking tour that we did, but only I completed.  Bryan and Dylan pealed off after about 20 minutes because Dylan was being disruptive.  

We thought The Champions League Festival would be fun for D, but the whole time we were there he refused to get out of his stroller and kept saying "It's time to go."  

Things turned around by Thursday when Dylan was in a better mood.  He was pretty excited to climb around the lions at Odeonsplatz. 

Really cool watching the surfers in the Icar.

Dylan insisted on sliding down this hill with Bryan a few times.  It took Bryan a while to get up after this last trip down.

Family photo in the English Garden.

We met up with our friends Thomas and Ginny for an afternoon.  So good to reconnect with our old Jacksonville neighbors!

I think the highlight of the trip for Dylan was getting to watch Cars2 on repeat on the train rides to and from Munich.  Every time he sees an ICE train he says "I get to watch movies on that train."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Official Diagnosis: Shingles Suck

So, it turns out that when I asked the doctors for a translation at the hospital for what they said my affliction was, they told me Chicken Pox.  But according to Dr. Linda (aka: my Mom), whose diagnostic skills are akin to those of Dr. Gregory House, it turns out that my symptoms are much closer to Shingles, which makes a lot more sense, since Shingles are often brought about when you are under extreme duress. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more stressed in my entire life than in those few days before our move and consequently when the Shingles developed.  Shingles and Chicken Pox are closely related and the medicine I’m taking for it actually says it treats both.  Go figure.

When my skin started to get irritated, I honestly thought it was just because my bras were too small an all the moving around from packing and getting ready to move just caused too much friction.  I don’t think we’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but I’m about 5 months pregnant (Yay! The pregnancy was going great, until this), so my normal clothes including my bras are quite tight these days.  I figured the solution was to just not wear a bra for a few days and the sore spots would heal, but instead they got worse.  By the time I walked into the ER it was obvious this was some kind if virus … a very, very painful virus. 

Shingles feel like you have deep bruises all over the afflicted area that are constantly being pushed on.  In addition, there are frequent bursts of acute pain, like you’re being zapped at random with electric shocks.  Sometimes it feels like my skin is on fire. It is constant pain and it is terrible.  Oh, and your skin bubbles up into little blisters and looks like skin of a recently plucked chicken.  Gross.  I’m super thankful it’s not on my face.

After a miserable, nearly sleepless long weekend, on Tuesday morning I set out to go to the nearest Doctor’s office, which I had researched online at Bryan’s office on Sunday afternoon since we had no Internet connection at our apartment yet.  I walked over to the Doctor’s office at 7:30 a.m., right when it opened, only to find that the entire office was closed for vacation until next Monday. They had thankfully put the names and addresses of two other local doctors on the sign and I recognized the streets, so I headed for the nearest one.  The second Doctor’s office that I went to didn’t open until 9.  It was here, standing in front of this doctor’s office an hour and a half before it opens and 5 days into excruciating pain where I started to cry.   I cursed the hospital under my breath for not having any medication and tried to pull myself together before arriving at the third doctor’s office of the day.  This one was open and I’m not quite sure if they actually take walk-in appointments or not, but the receptionist saw that I was in pretty bad shape (and I was prepared to cause a scene if they wouldn’t see me immediately, so maybe she saw the “crazy” in my eyes) and I got in.  The doctor prescribed a topical cream but I can’t take the normal strong antibiotics because I’m pregnant.  She said that in about a week the blisters should go away, but the pain could remain for a really long time. Great.

Hopefully in a week or two we’ll be able to post good news that the blisters are gone and the pain has gone away or at least lessened.  As Bryan said in the last post … it can only get better.