December 13, 2010

Saint Nicholas and His Book of Sins, Moulin Rouge and an Elephant Love Medley, Karaoke Nights, Munich’s Incessant Snowfall, and Boring Student Loan Crap

Monday, December 6th

Today is a holiday here in Germany. Happy St. Nicholas day! Apparently, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. I never knew that! On the eve of December 6th, he goes around to all of the houses with a book of sins and if the kids have been good, he leaves them goodies – if they’ve been bad, they get twigs. But no one really leaves twigs because that would just be mean. Instead, kids (and au pairs!) all over Germany wake up to a plate (or boot) full of candy, nuts, oranges, and other goodies. Which was not so good for me because I heard the girls awake and downstairs at 6:35 am – ten minutes before I was even supposed to be down the and almost a half an hour before they usually wake up. But I guess it was all okay because I got some goodies myself – they were on the stairs when I came home from my trip to Chiemsee.

DSCN2378Where’s a nutcracker when you need one?

Monday was an altogether unproductive day. But what else is new? It rained all day and let’s face it, nobody wants to go out in that. Especially when there’s still snow outside which has most likely turned into ice and that’s not a good combination. I did finish season 5 of Desperate Housewives though. Too bad I already know who Mike marries. I organized and cleaned my room – put my summer clothes into my suitcase and stashed it away. Washed my bras. Haha. Organized my desk and found all of my unwritten postcards that still need to be sent out into the world.I have a postcard from Starnberger See that I still haven’t sent out and I went there in June. Geez! I didn’t really have much on my agenda today, otherwise.

The girls returned around 4 and I helped with their homework – math and reading. I made dinner around 6 – ravioli with salmon and sautéed zucchini. After dinner I got them ready for bed which is always an orchestrated event. They don’t go down quietly and they always seem to be at their silliest right after they’re in their beds. I read them some Christmas books and tried to get them to settle down but Vee just kept trying to ask me question in German and laughing when I couldn’t answer them. Silly girls. I really need to get into a language course.

After the girls were down, I settled in for the night with Moulin Rouge (which only reminded me of the time that Harry and I busted out the entire Elephant Love Medley at the Seehaus biergarden back in September and embarrassed all of our friends).

Tuesday, December 7th

I should have written it down earlier because now I can’t remember what I did on Tuesday. Obviously nothing important. What I do know is that I made calls to all of my student loan lenders and got the applications for my deferments. Economic hardship for the win!

In the evening I ventured out to Shamrocks to meet my friends for karaoke. Which is always a good time. I chose not to drink that night and bought a Coke instead but in the end, I think Nathan felt bad for me that I was surrounded by ridiculously loud and obnoxious drunk people so he bought me a beer. Cheers, mate!

DSCN2402Benji, Laura, Bria, Helen, Catherine, and Fio

DSCN2423Catherine and I singing “Naive” by The Kooks  

Wednesday, December 8th

Lauren came by in the morning to visit me, I can’t remember what for, I think just to hang out, and she stayed for an hour or so. We gossiped and gabbed and then she left again and I ventured out into the city to see Jess. It was strangely warm and so most of the snow melted and had pretty much all the way disappeared by late afternoon. Jess and I worked on our loan deferments together at the coffee shop and then I headed home to ready myself for the evening. The girls were at their grandparents for most of Wednesday evening so I didn’t have to work and was able to go out early with some friends. We started at Marienplatz and worked our way down Leopoldstrasse until we ended up at Peaches where we had a Super Zombie and stole some free popcorn for the UBahn ride to our favorite hostel bars. I stayed up waaaaaaay past my bedtime but had a good time playing pool with friends and drinking delicious German brew.

zombieMe, Jess, and Wing and our Super Zombie

Thursday, December 9th

The snow came back overnight and it was cold outside but the sun was out for most of the morning. By the time I headed to the girls school to pick them up for their recorder lessons, it was freezing outside. I had to walk most of the way to get to the school and then we had to walk to the building where they have their lessons. And while one twin did her lesson, the other came with me. Vee didn’t want to go sit in a warm cafe so we stayed outside and took pictures of the snow. Crazy kid. We were frozen! On our way back to switch twins, we came across a little Chihuahua mix dog who was lost and was shivering cold and frozen. He had a doggie sweater on but my heart broke for the poor little guy. He wouldn’t come to me so I couldn't’ do anything for him but I just wanted to hug him and make him warm again. I hope he found his mama!


DSCN2427DSCN2444Let it snow…

DSCN2455The  snow outside the house

I had to babysit the girls that night and right before their mom left for the art gallery she was going to, the poor kids really did me in. They were super, extra bratty and weren’t listening to me at all. They were taking their baths but Eenie had the shower and Vee had the tub. Vee wanted the shower but I told her that she didn’t need to use both of them and that she could have the shower the next time. Of course, she doesn’t like to hear the word no so she started whining at Eenie to hurry up and finish so they could ‘switch.’ I told her to stop but she kept doing it. I kept telling her to stop and so then she started crying for her mom. Who wasn’t responding because she was the shower somewhere else in the house. Eventually Vee started screaming and yelling for her mom and I told her to knock it off about ten times before she just started hysterically crying. I told both of them that they needed to get out of the shower/tub but neither of them would listen to me. Vee just cried and screamed for her mom and Eenie just told me, “No. I do it with mommy.” So I just let the water out of Vee’s bath and asked her to get one more time but she stayed in and cried until her mom was finally able to respond. Then her mom yelled right back at her and the whole ordeal sounded extremely more dramatic in German. It was ridiculous. Then they were both crying as they got dressed and dried their hair. These children are insufferable sometimes. Jeez. Fortunately, it gave them a bit of a head start on bedtime because they wore themselves out. They were asleep by 7:15 and personally, I think these kids oversleep. They get about 12 hours of sleep every night. I really wish I’d retained anything that I learned in my child development classes. Ha.

Friday, December 10th

Another slow day, which is fine with me seeing as a blizzard is pretty much on its way through Munich. Snow, snow, snow. It’s ridiculous. I’m over it already. Sigh. I spent the morning catching up on blogs, cleaning, and my student loan deferment applications. I just have to write up a letter of my economic hardship status and then send them off (hopefully by fax) and I will be done! Loan payments deferred. Hopefully. The whole process has been kind of annoying. Necessary, of course, but still annoying. I have three different loan companies to answer to so I had to do the same thing three different ways. One of the companies allowed me to fax the information over but for the other two, I needed to send them by mail. I had to make copies of my au pair contract and write a letter describing my work load, contract hours, and income source and hope that they believe all of this, because, to be honest, saying that I work for a private employer and that I get paid cash in hand sounds kind of shady. So, cross your fingers and wish me luck! And because my life is so interesting… I took a picture of even the most minute detail.

DSCN2459Taking care of business!

I took all of this business to the post office near Munchner Freiheit and of course, something had to be wrong with it. German post is so weird. The envelopes that you use have to be a certain size or your letters cost 6 EUR or more to send. I wanted to send my applications in straight, simple letter sized envelopes (as pictured) but I didn’t want to spend 12 EUR to do that. So I had to go to the retail section, pick out envelopes that are the right size – about the size of a greeting card – and open the package, fold my applications into a fat, bunch of ugliness – stuff them into the tiny little envelopes and then bring them to the postal worker for send off. Between the two letters and the package of envelopes, I paid 7 EUR. Which is still saving me 5 EUR for something else later on. Hopefully ACS and the Department of Education don’t mind the bad packaging. I’ll blame it on the Germans this time.

Back at home, I made chocolate chip cookies for the girls and waited for them to come home from their Christmas music performance. I had wanted to go but didn’t come back from the post office in time. The rest of the evening was spent with the kids – the Frau went out again that evening. Eenie, Vee, and I watched Peter Pan and ate cookies and I put them to bed just before nine. My Friday night was spent perusing Facebook, stalking blogs, and reading. I am, essentially, the most interesting person on the face of the Earth. Officially. ;)


Alena said...

I hear you about being "interesting" *sigh* You do WAY more than I do, so that's really saying something about how fun MY life is, yes? :P Glad you got your defferment papers off - after all my advice to you on the subject, I forgot to do mine on time, and now I have to pay over $100 to get it back in the black so I CAN deffer it... ARRGGHHH!!! Loves :)

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