Sunday, March 25, 2012

Koln, Germany

Im extremely behind on my travel updates. Way back in December we took a little road trip up to Cologne, or Koln as it's known here in Germany. (Yes, Im just now getting around to blogging about this!) We'd never been before and wanted to see the town as well as their many Christmas markets. It was M's first road trip and she did really well. The car ride home sucked, but at least she was good while we were there. 

We stayed at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. We were very impressed with the hotel. It was very international, clean, everyone spoke English and the bar made a very tasty pineapple mojito. We had a corner room and it was a bit cramped with the three of us plus all of the baby crap we have to haul around when we go anywhere, but it was nice. I was disappointed that there were only three English speaking TV channels. Breakfast was an outrageous 25 euro/person, so we skipped that and instead ate at the Starbucks down the street. 

We loved Cologne. It is a beautiful, vibrant city full of international flair. As with any city we travel to, we were most concerned with the food. Your taste buds will be satisfied whether you want Brazilian, Japanese or even New Orleans Cajun. They have it all. On our first night, we went to a local restaurant called Pfaffgen that brews its own beer. The beer was so delicious and the food was artery clogging good. We ate at a Portuguese restaurant on our last night. Amazing tapas and beer. 

cute trash cans

Great locally brewed beer

"What killed Elvis"- J

A little taste of home....

Finally found some good sushi!

We had a great time and would love to go back in WARMER weather! =) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update to Professional Problems

Thank you all so much for your outrage on my behalf and your supportive words. This is a ridiculous situation that still has me in disbelief.

I emailed the credentialing center and explained my situation, that I was a military spouse living overseas without an opportunity to work, etc. It took a couple of weeks for them to reply, and when it came, it consisted of only four sentences which went a little something like this:

You must meet the 1,000 hour practice requirement within the given time frame.
There are no clauses, extensions or exceptions.
You must submit your application 1 year before it expires.
You can get the hours by working or volunteering.

That's it.
They might as well have said F-you, you're screwed lady.

Living overseas, the only TV we have is AFN. I cant tell you how many commercials Ive seen that say how the government and businesses are doing anything and everything they can for military members and their spouses to keep them gainfully employed. Seeing those is like rubbing salt in an open wound. My next step is to call the credentialling center and actually speak to someone about this. Preferably not the lady who emailed me.

I went ahead and reapplied for practicing privileges at the hospital here and was accepted, so I can legally work or volunteer. Now I just need a nanny to keep M 7-8 hours a day 2-3 days a week. Oh, and she needs to be weaned from breast feeding. And because of our crazy schedule, I wouldnt be able to start until July.....  This is getting complicated.

So that's where we stand as of now. Im going to make the phone call soon and plead my case. Hopefully Ill get someone with a sympathetic ear who can help me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What's Been Going On

*It seems like this past month has been busier than ever. M is such a good baby, so much happier these days, which makes it easier for me to get out of the house with her. I actually enjoy going places with her now that she doesnt have an epic meltdown every time we're in the car. Seriously, she hated the car and carseat passionately (and loudly), but about a month ago decided it wasnt so bad. Im relieved since we are traveling people.

*Speaking of traveling, we have A LOT of it coming our way. In fact, we're booked every weekend from now until July 4th. Craziness. We are trying to see it all before we PCS next summer, but I know that's impossible. We'll never be able to see everything we want to see over here. But we're going to make a darn good effort to do so while we can. This month we're taking a few day trips to places that are less than 2 hrs from us. We went to France twice in the last month. We're headed to Holland for a weekend to see the huge tulip festival and parade next month, plus more day trips. Then we head to the States for a whole month! I am SO excited about that trip. Both of our families will get to meet M, Ill get to shop and eat my way across the country and J will be in training for the month. Seems fair right?
After that, we're off to Normandy for a week for the D-Day reenactment celebration and later than month, we head off for our 10 day Baltic cruise. In the months following that we're planning a four day trip to Rome, one to Barcelona, a week long trip to the Romantic region of France and the French Riviera, and who knows what else. Whew! Im exhausted just thinking about it all, but super excited too. Luckily, M is a great little traveler. She's never been on an airplane though and I am incredibly nervous about all the flying we'll be doing soon. Any tips on flying with a baby?

*We had family photos/M's 6 month photos taken last weekend by the same photographer who took my maternity shots. The photos are AH-MAZ-ING!!! I cant say enough good things about them. M was a doll and so, so good during the photo shoot. I cant wait to get the CD of them all.

*We're on a great schedule now. M is sleeping in her room at night, which was going well until she got her first cold. That set us back two weeks, but she's over it now and Im hoping we're headed towards good, restful nights again. She's using a sippy cup and eating solids like a champ. Im starting the weaning process today from breast feeding. She wasnt impressed with her first bottle of formula. We'll keep trying. Id like for her to be weaned completely by the end of next month. Hopefully that's not unrealistic.

*The weather here in Germany has actually been rather nice, a surprise and huge difference from last year. We've been getting out in the sunshine as much as possible.

*Im in love with the app Draw Something. An artist, I am not, but it is so much fun to try. Everyone's drawings are hilarious! My username is kmack143 if anyone wants to play.

*I have some news regarding my professional situation. Ill write a separate post on that lovely situation.

Happy Monday Everyone!