Friday, December 3, 2010

No License... But My Hair Looks Good

We are discovering that it’s taking much longer to get settled in here than it took just about any other place we’ve been. Because we were not given lodging on base (there simply was no room for us) and the snow has come early, it’s been even more difficult to get things done. To get a license here, I have to go to an orientation session and then take a test. I think I’m pretty set for the test. The trouble is finding a time I can go alone. A two year old really hinders that! Before arriving, I had initially planned on just sending him to the Child Development Center (CDC) on post. Come to find out, I have to have him up-to-date on his immunizations. I think in a previous blog post, I noted why I was negligent with that. To call and make an appointment with the US Hospital for immunizations, I call in the morning to see if there are 20 open slots available. If there are 20 open slots available, then I can make an appointment. If there are not, I need to call at around 10AM to see if they can take me same day. I can only make an appointment the same day. These are the requirements for a pay patient. These rules aren’t just for immunizations, but also sick appointments as well. I’m not sure why these rules are in place. At the Navy hospital, we didn’t have these rules. From what I understand, it’s much better for us to make appointments off base and have a primary physician /pediatrician off base/post which doesn’t really seem to be bad at all. In fact, I hear that many of the German doctors are great. Once I get Sam’s immunizations updated, I can then start trying to make appointments with the CDC. Apparently when I call, it has to be a month out and then with a little luck, I can get an appointment. So, it may be in my best interest to look for childcare outside the gates as well. The CDC business is just what I hear through the grapevine… not fact. I’ll have to post an update then.

The great news is that Mike has a license. At least one of us has a little freedom. Unfortunately, because only one of us has a license, only one of us can run all the errands. Usually errands are my job. Because of the snow and ice it literally makes it pretty impossible for me to run all the errands that need to get done. Mike even has to pick up Joshua from school. Joshua then has to stay with Mike at work or wherever he needs to run around to, until everything closes at around 5:00. I’ve tried hiking up “cardiac hill” in the ice, and although I’d do it by myself no problem, slipping and sliding up a hill, two year old in tow, scares me a little bit. Unfortunately the weather and the two year old are major hurdles. Here’s an example:

Mike needed to register our vehicle. He’s had the dealer's plates on now for a week. Something he was planning on getting done in one day. He picked up the car, then had to pick up Joshua from school at 3:00 and run several other errands (not to mention working somewhere in the middle), so the vehicle inspection had to wait. No problem, he would just do it first thing in the morning. We woke up to snow and a 2 hour delay for Joshua’s school. So, with nowhere for Joshua to go but work with dad (remember, I can’t walk anywhere without slipping everywhere and pushing an umbrella stroller through the snow), off they went. He drove to the inspection office only to find out they where closed until further notice. Day 3, inspection is open and after lunch, he plans to go. In my infinite wisdom and chomping the bit to help out, I hike up cardiac hill slipping and sliding the whole way to bring Mike some food to eat. The whole week he had come home telling me he didn’t have time to eat (this is when I realize that never again would I go up that hill in the ice with a child). I called him once I reached the top to tell him I was there and he was excited to show me our car (which I hadn’t seen yet). We got in the car and he decided we’d all head to the inspection together. I hadn’t planned for this. Sam and I hadn’t eaten so we stopped at the drive-thru for a bite to eat. We made it to the inspection office only to find out that we were missing the insurance booklet that the dealer should have supplied us. We called the dealer and drove to pick up the booklet. We initially planned to go right back to inspection office but at that point, we didn’t have enough time between having to pick Joshua up from school, having to return the rental car, and having Mike return to his work obligations. Mike dropped me off at the hospital so I could try and get the flu vaccine for Samuel and then I walked to pick up Joshua. Then I walked back to the hospital to get Joshua’s flu vaccine just in time for Mike to be done at work (and the inspection office to be closed). Day 4 was another weather delay. Mike was able to get the car in again only to find out it didn’t pass inspection (because of two burned out light bulbs and a busted minor part in the steering column). We called the dealer again to arrange for the vehicle to be fixed. Day 5 (today) the dealer fixed everything and we now have a registered car. HOORAY! Something that should have taken 1 day took 5. This is just one example.

Needless to say again, things have just taken longer. But, some of the easier unimportant things are taken care of, like my hair! I hadn’t gotten my hair done is 3 months. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I was able to get an appointment with her stylist to get my bangs cut before we left Virginia but I was in some serious need of a major visit! Because of my recent dye job, it highlighted my mangley gray hair when it started growing in. I looked online and found a place in downtown Landstuhl: Hair Adventures by Sven. It was easy for me to make an appointment a week out with Julia, and she was great. Even though our conversation was limited, I got a nice trim and a more reddish tint to my hair. I’m slowly going to go a little lighter and redder. Not so much blonde, as closer to my original color with a little more red probably and then work on growing it out again. Slowly slowly slowly. I didn’t tip after because… well, I wasn’t sure what I should have done. I honestly should have looked it up before going but it was something I overlooked. Here in Germany it seems as though 10% is normal (same as restaurants here), so after the snow let up (2 days later), I walked in with an envelope for her with a little more than that and a note thanking her and apologizing for not giving her the tip then and there.

A positive ending to what may seem to some as a “venting” entry. Just remember, getting a hair appointment is easy. It’s all the necessities that are hard!


  1. Getting nice hair IS an essential! With some patience, things will all work out. After all, the snow and Sam being two have got to end sometime!LOL Hopefully you can keep looking for a house. Any chance you can pull Sam up the hill on a snow sled? Just wondering....Love you!

  2. Well, when your hair looks good, all things are possible. :) You are handling all the challenges like a champ. You're an inspiration to me!

  3. My anxiety level rose just reading your post. Obviously, and reasonably so, the administration will always give active duty service members priority. But if the hospital is not able to accommodate civilians and other dependents that they bring in to support the base, then just eliminate all services for non-military instead of setting up loops to jump through. I believe at other military bases and hospitals they do just that. They will, upfront, not support civilians and dependents but they tell you that at the beginning so you can make those arrangements BEFORE there is a need.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see the new doo. I'm sure the bangs and color are what you need to brighten up your cold winter!

  4. I'm sorta thinking you should change the name of your blog...Seriously, things will get better. Settling in is always a challenge. Stay positive and at least you look good!

  5. Hey Ginny, the name of the blog is just a play on words. We aren't miserable at all. It's stressful but we tend to always stay positive! We love sausage so, the name is staying.