Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Show

A few weeks ago our buddy Sanford invited us to the Netherlands Winter Guard finals.  I was of course sold instantly but I knew Jon was going to need some convincing.  Friday night rolled around and we still didn't really have a plan.  We sent a message to Sanford to see if he was still in.  Saturday morning we woke up to the news that Sanford wasn't feeling well and all of the sudden our bed started to get even warmer and cozier and getting out of the house was starting to feel a little impossible.

Jon hopped online to figure out the logistics if we were to go and that's when he discovered that our old friend William (Old because we've known him for ages not because of his perfectly cut salt and pepper hair.) was actually judging the competition.  This instantly lit a little fire under our butts and gave us the motivation to get out of the house in record time.  Get to the train station and onto the train just as the doors were sliding shut and the whistle was being blown - oh, and with a couple of pastries in hand.

After an hour a connection and another hour, we were there.  Then we just had to figure out the buses, try to remember a little Dutch (it didn't happen) and get to the competition hall.  We did it and without breaking too much of a sweat.  We walked in and Jon instantly took notice of the beer stand and made a comment about how much better Winter Guard would be in Colorado if they would just sell beer - but I digress. We walked through the arena and I heard the familiar sound of clanging flag poles and popping rifle straps.  With every familiar sound it pulled at my heart strings bringing tears to my eyes as all of the beautiful memories danced through my head.  This was such a huge part of my life and it will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart.

We made it to the stands and did a sweep for William.  We found him and my heart was overflowing with joy.  So was Jon's and he couldn't help but interrupt William while he was finishing his tape to give him a huge hug.  I waved and tried to get Jon and Alessandra up and out of his hair a little bit but it didn't work Jon pulled me down on the seats right there in his row.  As soon as he was done we chatted for a minute after exchanging hugs.

Alessandra loved watching the guards - it helped that they were all so young (and when I say young I mean little kids - like grade school aged kids).  I have this theory that anyone under 4 feet tall is instantly Alessandra's best friend and these kiddos were young - and so cute - and pretty darn good too.  We watched a few guards then went with William to hang out during his break and catch up.  Then we slipped back in to watch a few more good guards before heading back home.

It was a spur of the moment, whirlwind of craziness, but that's just how we roll.  It was the first time Alessandra had been to the Netherlands, the first time she's been to a winter guard show, and all in all it was pretty darn fabulous.

To all of my dear friends I marched with so many years ago - know that I love you all and that there's a special place in my heart just for you.  For all of you crazy kids who are still performing,  knock 'em dead at State this weekend and WGI next.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cuddle-time Cuteness

With this much cuteness in your house...'s hard to not have a heart that's overflowing with love.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thank you Dusseldorf!!!

We have been having the most beautiful weather lately.  

The weather's actually been reminding me a lot of San Diego.

Not too hot and not too cold.

But just right.

So thank you Dusseldorf, for transitioning us from Winter to Spring so darn easily.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Bath

We had just gotten back from the park and Alessandra was filthy.  

So, I stripped her down for her ants-on-a-log snack 
knowing bath-time was the next thing on our to-do list.

I just didn't know she'd be able to get the peanut butter on quite so thick.



Monday, March 26, 2012



This morning for the first time Alessandra gave her Daddy a closed mouth kiss.  My heart broke a little. My baby is officially a toddler and with these new firsts will also come lasts.  So yesterday was the last time we may ever get an open mouth baby kiss from our Sweet Pea.

I know what you're all thinking - you'll have more open mouth kissed with you next little one.  But with everything that we've been through in the kid department Jon is still gun-shy to jump into adding another Eich to our clan.  I don't blame him. Losing Pearce was devastating and then having such a close call with Alessandra was absolutely horrible. So to venture down the baby road again is scary - but I still really want Alessandra to have a little Pumpkin ( or Parsnip) to grow up with. ;o)  I guess we'll have to wait and see but I just hate to think that yesterday was the last day I'll ever get a slimy little open mouthed fishy kiss.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Springtime in Dusseldorf

Here we are at the biergarten.  First of the season.  

Wish you were all here to enjoy the beautiful weather, good beer, and even better company.  ;o)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I saw a show about a school shooting the other day and it got me thinking - which for me is kind of convoluted so let me walk you through my thought process.

Show on school shooting led to thoughts about Columbine High School, which led to me thinking about High School Cliques, which then led to my own experience in High School and how exactly I fit in.  Which finally led to this...

I was a senior in high school and it was time to pick our partner to walk with at graduation.  I looked around and realized I didn't have anyone.  I made it to the end of my formative years without one really good friend.  I ended up walking with my boyfriends best friend.  He didn't want to do it but didn't know how to tell me no.  So instead, he said yes and then pretended to have a mouth full of water for the entire graduation so that I wouldn't talk to him - or rather he wouldn't have to talk back to me (true story).  I remember feeling so lonely and honestly lonely is a feeling I'm quite familiar with.  

I've done a really good job of either ruining great friendships, being burned by my best buds, or not putting the time and energy into a relationship to keep them going.  I think now that I'm getting older I'm learning how to be a better friend but I am still not an easy person to like. (Now those of you who love me will think I'm crazy for saying this, but it's true.  The fact is you've just learned to love me in spite of my faults.)  I am vivacious and some (probably most) would say to a fault.  I have always been up for an adventure and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.  Which makes me a bit scattered and emotional.  I do everything big, I get excited and can't control my enthusiasm and pep. Even Jon when first meeting me said "What's wrong with her, is she always that happy?"  For whatever reason I have a hard time keeping cool when I get pumped and I have an even harder time hiding my emotions.  If I'm feeling it, you're seeing it.

So the combination of; me getting nervous/excited when I'm meeting someone for the first time, a personality that makes it hard to like me upon first meeting, and being out of my comfort zone (living in a foreign land with people who don't speak my language), has made it difficult for me to make friends.  But luckily I've been here before.  I've been lonely before.  I've been without a good friend to talk to during graduation.  I know I'll make it through, I know eventually the people I keep bumping into here will learn to love me just like all of you have.  I'll learn more German and get more accustomed to how they do things here and before I know it I'll have friends.

Or that's at least what I'm going to keep telling myself.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Have I Told You...

Have I told you lately how much I love you?

Have I told you lately how much I love our little family?

Have I told you lately how much I love our little flat?


As I sit here with our beautiful baby girl asleep on my chest.  Our furry girls at my feet.  The warm sun shining through the windows, and the cool wind dancing across the flat.

I can't help but to think about you, and us, and our family, and our home.

I love you Jon!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Nap Time Q&A

Hi Moms and Dads out there,

I have a question and if you're reading this please, Please, PLEASE leave me a response.  I am really wanting/needing some advice on this so please help a girl out.

With that said here goes.

For whatever reason I feel like Alessandra should be down to just one longer nap a day.  I have tried a couple times to drop a nap and it has been horrible.  She is a bear during the day, walks around with huge bags under her eyes, and then usually has a harder time going down at night because she is so exhausted and overtired by that point.

Side note:  Alessandra has never been one of those easy to bed kiddos.  She goes to sleep easily (and stays asleep) if you snuggle her to sleep and then transfer her to bed.  She is stubborn, strong willed, and opinionated - just like her father (not me  ;o)  ).  We've tried the cry it out method but that was a joke.  She literally cried through every nap three days straight, and that was the end of us trying the cry it out method.

So back to nap-time.  At what age did your kiddo (or kiddos you know) go from two shorter naps to one longer nap a day?  From the short description I left above do you agree that she may still need the two nap schedule or am I just being a softy?  And last but not least - What, in your opinion is a good nap-time routine?

Now like I said in the beginning I really am curious and really do want you to tell me.  If you think I'm crazy for doing things the way I've described then please tell me so, and more importantly tell me how you think it would be better.  Thank you in advance for you help and advice!

Dumbfounded in Dusseldorf 

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Cookie

Let me give you a quick back story before you watch the video - it won't be nearly as funny if I don't.  So, I always put Alessandra's pacifiers in my top so they're always with me and I can get to them quickly.  Alessandra has learned this is wear you put/store things that are important. Just before I filmed this video I gave Alessandra a cookie.  The Girls were of course very interested in the cookie.

Que video...


Thursday, March 8, 2012


Alessandra has had a total of twelve bottles her whole life but you would never guess that with how obsessed with bottles she's become.  You see about a week ago while walking though the park we saw a little boy all snuggled in his stroller with a bottle clutched between his teeth.  We got home and Alessandra made a beeline for her drawer in the kitchen, she took out a bottle, and a day hasn't gone by that she hasn't played with that bottle.

If she's not walking around the house with it in her mouth, she's feeding the dogs or her babies. 

Here she is giving little Chloe a bottle.

Ooops - wrong end.  :o)


She loves her Chloe baby!


Monday, March 5, 2012

The Visa

Jon spent his lunch hour working on getting his work visa.  After three hours he left with some pretty heavy news.  He has about a week to get his thesis done otherwise he'll have to change his visa from a work visa back to a student visa.

Needless to say the news stressed Jon out a bit and I have a feeling we won't be seeing very much of him for the next couple of weeks.  I feel so bad for him but there isn't anything I can do to help him through this.

Jon had started on his thesis while he was in the midst of his job search but between interviews, visitors, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, a move, and a new job, the thesis was put on the back burner.  Since Jon started his new job he's been doing a TON of research.  None of which related to his thesis.  So he was comfronted with the decision to stick with his original thesis that was already in the works or scrap it and start new with the research that applies to his new job.  It's a risky move but it makes the work he's done thus far at work and the information that's fresh in his head the topic for his thesis.  It will mean more work but it will be work that will serve him in the future at work.  So that's his plan.  To start his 40 page thesis (40 pages of content) all over again and get it done ASAP so he can get the visa that we need to stay here.


Update:  Monday night 10 pages 

Update:  Tuesday night 17 pages 

Update:  Wednesday night 27 pages 

Update:  Thursday night  35 pages

Update:  Sunday afternoon 47 pages - now this is total pages and not content so he still has a little bit more work to do and some finishing touches to make.  I think this next week we'll actually get to see him again - YAY!!!

Update:  Monday Jon was able to extend his Student Visa until May 15th.  So now he just has to get it done.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Girly Girl?

Or maybe just a girl who appreciates a good tutu.

You tell me!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quark Face


This morning Alessandra couldn't be bothered with using a spoon at breakfast.  

Lets be honest, she couldn't be bothered with putting it in her mouth either. 

 Oh kids!  Gotta love 'em!