I rode in a helicopter

Monday, I got the chance to ride in a helicopter and I have debated weather to share this story with you all or not, but I figure its a part of my journey (a big part at that) and most of you are my Facebook friends or family anyways so here it is.

Monday morning started out like any other. Woke up in the morning with a sinus headache, Sophia was her usual smiley self and still no baby for Eva. Isn’t it funny how days can change? Since I had a sinus infection, I decided to boil a potato per Eva’s recommendation to hold onto my sinuses to draw out the pressure. Per the second recommendation, I was going to breathe the steam from the boiling water to help open up my sinuses as well. Notice the past tense in the sentence.

Here’s how it happened.

I put the boiling water in a large mixing bowl, added salt and lemon and sat down in front of it. Sophia was happily playing across the living room. When I looked up, she had ahold of a picture. I got up to remove it from her tiny hands and spilt the boiling water all over myself. That was it. That fast. Boiling water.

Let me first start off by saying I am no hero for keeping Sophia calm. It was instinct that you just don’t leave a baby unattended because you are hurt. After ripping off my clothes as fast as I could, I scooped her up and ran to the bathtub to get cold water. My skin was literally melting. I screamed. Sophia screamed. There is no way a worse possible pain exists in this world. I’ve crushed bones. I’ve had surgeries. I’ve went days with a shattered arm and no pain killers. Again, no pain compares to the feeling of large amounts of skin burning.

After Sophia and I made it upstairs and into cold water, I made the decision to call my host parents, and shorty thereafter the medics. You reach this point, where you realize not enough convincing in the world is going to make an injury “not bad” and give in. 112 is the medical “911” here in Germany. How I remembered that I have no clue, but I did. They couldn’t understand me and in my panicking state of pain there was no way in hell I could manage some German. After a good five minutes of screaming, “ich keine spreche Deutsch, I NEED AN AMBULANCE” I was finally transferred to an English speaking dispatcher who assured (after much reputation) medics were in route.

Eva gets home. Medics arrive. Lots of them. I think ten, and at this point I am screaming for something for pain, when I find out that this again, isn’t the US. When medics show up, that’s just what they are, medics….. Not doctors and thus can not provide any sort of relief. Fan freakin’ tactic. Wait five more minutes under water until the doc finally arrives by helicopter, provides loads of morphine and makes the call to transport to an intensive care burn center in Munich by helicopter.

This is where I sit today. Monday was terrifying. I was knocked out as soon as we arrived in Munich, and woke up in the ICU completely wrapped up and immobile. Single handedly, this has been the most terrifying and downright worst experience I have been through. The doctors say I am lucky, and most of my burns are superficial and will heal without graphing or surgery, but I’ll know more Friday when they change the bandages and remove the dressing.

Until then, I beg daily for my release to be on time for mom to arrive. ( I NEED to take them to the castle,) and hit on the hot surgeon while trying to hook him up with Taylor. (Welcome, Tay!)

Even if it was an emergency, and medical, and I was miserable and screaming…. I still rode in a helicopter and I guess that’s pretty cool. Best friend Katie says it still counts. CHECK that off the bucket list. (Okay, really, nothing about this experience has been funny. But you sit locked up in isolation in the ICU for three days, if you don’t laugh.. you cry and momma isn’t here yet so crying just isn’t an option right now)

Oh……and Eva had the baby!
IT’S A GIRL!
7 lbs 4 oz
20 inches long
March 5, 2013

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Frohe Weihnachten!

Where I live, that means Merry Christmas! And Merry is has been.

Germany has treated me so well my first two weeks. I have seen so much, tasted so much, learned so much and just experienced this astonishing culture in such magnificent ways, that I haven’t caught any of you up on anything, I’m sorry.  I sure say that a lot, but I’m still living through my own eyes more than through the eyes of my camera, you understand, right?

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If Germany has taught me two things so far it’s this:

1. The stereotype that Germans are bitter is a bunch of crap. 

3. Everything is different. Nothing is the same.

I mean, a few things are the same. People are still people, the roads are still roads and the sun rises and falls everyday. But the people are Germans! And I did 100 mph on the AutoBahn! And the sun rises and falls over those bright green rolling hills. The culture, traditions and just all around lifestyles just seem so enlightening and bright to me. The houses are painted all shades of pastels, the castles are covered in intricate designs and I still feel like I am looking at pictures.

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This last week has been Christmas filled, I managed to make it to both Munich and (my hometown) Dorfen’s Christkindlmarkt, which (I promise) I will post for you tomorrow, one with a fellow expat.. yay! Christmas Eve was celebrated and the gifts have been opened. I even managed to make it to a Church here in Germany, and while the thought is what counts, I understood nothing. Happy Birthday, baby Jesus is what I meant and I’m sure the Germans all understand. ;)

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I haven’t truly been homesick until today, of course, because it’s Christmas and I am 4600 miles away. But, as I’m being all boo-hooey over not being home for Christmas and locking myself up to watch Christmas movies all day in my room, I went upstairs to get some tea. The second I walked into the kitchen, Sophia, only 8 months old screamed, smiled the biggest smile I have ever seen and started crawling as fast as she could to me. Soon after, Eva informed me that she does not want me to feel homesick and they have planned a trip to a near medieval castle for tomorrow.

Moments like this make me so, so glad that I am here. Moments like this make me realize that as much as I miss the people at home, this is where I am meant to be right now. This is exactly where I belong on Christmas. Merry Christmas, with love, from Germany.

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Some things I’ve noticed…

 

“Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience – waiting, and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.” – Gary Paulsen, Hatchet

 

If there is one thing I have really dedicated myself to during this whole adventure thus far, it was making sure that I was sure of everything. Well, as much as I could be. No matter what aspect of my trip I was planning, there was a level of certainty that had to be fulfilled. When searching for flights, I had to have one that offered low or no cost for checked bags. When searching for a German cell phone carrier, I had to have one with unlimited data. When completing all my documents, I had to have everything completed and submitted in a certain way. And most of all, when choosing a family, I spoke with several, but I had to have one that I knew would I would really fit with.

Maybe this is just me, but everyday I read through blogs and forums and I keep stumbling, over and over, on so many potential Au pairs that are jumping on the first family that is interested in hosting them. When starting my family search, I can not even begin to count the number if Skype requests, never ending emails and even calls to my cell phone. Let’s be honest, you simply can not answer everyone and keep it all straight and organized.

Everyone has expectations, and in the first few families I considered joining there was always at least one negative aspect that I was willing to overlook. Weather it was the children’s ages, hours, location or even pay.. there was something (maybe even just a gut feeling) that I was settling for and that is what leads me to this post. If there is one thing I would like to get across it’s this:

Stop settling.

That’s it. There should never be a time when we have to settle for anything less than we wish for. In the one life we have to live, why should we lower than our standards? Whether it be moving across the world or simply choosing a new car.. Why take the chance?

In the beginning there were a few things that I knew I wanted out of this experience  I knew I had to be with a family that spoke English. I will be the first to admit that I love to talk, and being put in an environment where I could not communicate would not suit my personality. Second, I knew I wanted to care for little girls. I am so close to my niece and I just connect with them better. Third, I knew that I did not want to care for older children and I knew that I did not want to be a personal assistant. I wanted to be a care giver for children. Not for adults. And last, Location. I had to be in a position where if something did happen, I could get home safely and quickly, but I also wanted to be able to travel during my time off.

After searching for a few weeks, Eva messaged me and I almost immediately messaged back. Yes, I was in negotiations with another family in Australia, but I knew to keep my options open. I just had this feeling that they were not everything I hoped for. From the bat, there was nothing on Eva’s profile that I had to “accept.” There was nothing that made me take a step back. They were in Europe, and they were in central Europe. That meant I had easy access to my family in England in case of emergency, and easy access to travel pretty much anywhere. Paris. Rome. London. Berlin. You name it and there was a $100 flight to get there. Second, they had two little girls and believed in a strong family life. They offered me an acceptable situation and answered all of my questions. And lastly, they did not just want a care giver, they wanted to add an additional member to their family.

I can not wait to get to Germany. I can’t wait to throw myself into the unknown and learn to love this new world. To be happy and to be perfectly content. To learn everyday and soak in this new culture. To shape my values and to mold my person.

I am so happy I have not settled and I believe any person that is looking into becoming one of ‘us’ should feel the same. The feelings of excitement definitely outweigh the feelings of fear and this experience is already teaching me new things. Its already molding my values and shaping my person and I haven’t even boarded the plane yet…