Sunday, January 11

Gelato and Laundry

I'll bet you're thinking the gelato led to having to do laundry, right? Well, not exactly. It's just that these are the two experiences I'm posting on this time because they were significant this week.

First, here's pictures from our Mercedes-Benz Museum outing - was that really just last week?! Sheesh! Click on the picture to see it bigger.

I am happy to report that of the four days we were home in the hotel all day, three went very smoothly according to my new survival plan incorporating fun and learning time with the boys. Ahhh, what a difference a plan makes! Ryan and I have been asked to speak in church next Sunday on how to avoid the pitfalls that keep us from achieving our goals and goal setting. Hmm, funny that this very topic has been on my mind a lot more than most new year seasons!

First of all, YUM! I now prefer gelato to ice cream any day! On Friday afternoon I took the kids down to the mall for a walk about and to hopefully get Morgan to sleep in the sling. Besides being quite the anomally of a troupe, we rode various elevators within stores and within the mall, we rode the escalators, and we got gelato cones at the end. I always feel like I have to have on a cute outfit with hair and makeup on when out w/ the kids here because we're so conspicuous! Between McKay walking like he owns the world or having a complete tantrum and Morgan being such a lil thing, I always see people watching us closely and I'd hate to look as bedraggled as I feel inside most of the time!

Back to the sweets - - ordering the gelato really demonstrated once more the stark difference in Easton and McKay's personalities. I told them the flavors they had to choose from in the showcase. Easton promptly told me he wanted the bright blue one which was bubblegum. (I remember trips to Baskin Robins as a little girl where I always ordered bubblegum ice cream because it was bright and colorful too, not necessarily because it tasted the best. It did, however, have bits of bubblegum to chew on and every kid loves that!)

So Easton had told me what he wanted so I could tell the cashier. Then Easton stood back and let me handle it all from there. McKay, on the other hand, saw what Easton was ordering and had to have the same. But he didn't tell me, he took it into his own hands - no middle man here! He looked right at the cashier lady and started ordering her to get it for him. She got this big smile on her face and one of the other cashier ladies came over to see this pint-sized dictator. The cashier started messing with McKay by pointing to other flavors and saying "This one?" to which McKay would matter-of-factly order, "No, 'dat one." After the fifth time of this, McKay started to raise his voice and the ladies were stifling their giggles. I don't know how much of this was his 2 yr old self and how much of it was his true personality, but I'd heavily wager it's the latter!

I have now made three trips to do laundry on base. After a long day of running errands all over Stuttgart yesterday in preparation for moving into our apartment this week, I took our two overflowing laundry baskets, Morgan, and the double stroller to carry it all to the launderette on base. It was my first time driving myself to this base and I totally got lost because the on board GPS took me to dead end streets of the same name I was trying to reach. Luckily, I found my way due to little cds tied to random tree branches close to the road. I'd noticed and commented to Ryan about these cds on the branches on previous trips to this base. They reflected brightly against my headlights so I thought I must be getting close and wanted to do a happy dance when I finally arrived!

Each visit to the launderette has been eventful so I haven't minded going - besides, it's pretty nice having all your clothes washed, dried, and folded at once! Each visit, I end up chatting with one or more ladies and learn new things about the area because we're all relatively new to the area. Each visit, I'll ask a random lady to hold Morgan while I fold my clothes out of the dryer because that woman has been watching and cooing over her or has outright asked to hold her! Each visit, one item I'm laundering gets scorched by the ultra hot dryers no matter how low a setting I put the dryer on. This time it was Morgan's car seat bunting sack which makes me so sad! Rather than being this wonderfully soft fluffy coccoon, it's now rather rough and scratchy in most places. And to add insult to injury, Morgan had a complete diaper explosion right after church before we got home. Why couldn't this have happened yesterday afternoon before I did the laundry run . . . oh well!

My other complaint about last night's laundry outing was that I'd forgotten my coat with my cash. I'd remembered my bag of quarters and had the perfect amount for the five loads I had to do so I thought I'd be safe. However, in setting the dryer to the lowest heat setting, the clothes didn't fully dry so I brought home four loads needing to be hung over night to finish drying. That's a lot of fun in a small hotel room! Everyone else at the launderette last night was scrounging for quarters so I couldn't bum any off them. Ah well! The trip had some good points too!

I was chatting with a woman named Piper from outer Philly last night at the launderette about school choices (International School, German, or Dept of Defense schools on base). She was quite the chatter and an economic development journalist for a business journal. She was also the baby holder of the evening. A young family came in while I was putting my stuff in the dryers. As Piper and I were chatting about Virginia, the young mom who'd come in asked where in VA I was from. When I said Leesburg, she just laughed because it turns out that her husband and Ryan are in the same group at work! Ryan and I had heard from the moving company that there was another young family from Leesburg being hired and moving for a GD job the same time we were and this was them! To meet them at the launderette was quite a coincidence to say the least! They have two little girls - three and 2 months. It'll be fun to get to know them better!

Alright, this week's adventures: 1) Move into our apartment and out of the hotel! Hip, Hip, HOORAY!!! 2) Track down a used fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, and temporary items like beds/bedding to last us the week or so until our household goods shipment arrives!!! The end is in sight and that sure is exciting! Then my posts can be about fun discoveries in my new village!