Monday, January 31, 2011

No "Nugget" Left Behind ...

If you're drinking your morning coffee ... put it down. If you're drinking soda ... put it down. If you're eating ... stop. Now ....

Today Kelty and I were running errands. We were standing in the middle of base Thrift Shop and Kelty announces ...

Kelty: "poo!"

Mommy: "Oh! You have to go potty!"

Kelty: "no"

Mommy: "You don't have to go potty?"

Kelty: "poo" (as he is signing the word "potty")

Mommy: "Did you already go poo?"

Kelty: "ehh" (his version of "yes")

Mommy: "Uh, oh. Ok, let's walk over the grocery store to use the bathroom."

Mommy walks with a waddling child .... out of the store and starts toward the staircase ... mommy suddenly sees a little ball roll on the floor ... mommy leans in for a closer look ... it's a "poo nugget" ... crap! ... mommy scoops up Kelty ... and walks briskly towards the door (thinking she'll return for the nugget in a minute before anything else happens) ... mommy walks down the staircase and down the stairs ... out drops another "poo nugget" ... crap! ... running faster out of the building through the parking lot and to the grocery store and to the bathroom. Mommy pulls down Kelty's pants and little "poo nuggets" spill scatter on the floor. Mommy cleans up Kelty and the floor and briskly walks outside and back to the store to (as inconspicuously as possible) pick up the nuggets. Mommy stops to pick up the last seen nugget ... looks up and whoa! there's another ... picks it up and whoa! there's another ... picks it up and whoa! there's another. Mommy followed a perfectly laid trail of "poo nuggets" up the staircase, down a hallway ... and into the store ... and through the store.

My child pooped in a store today ... and left a trail of poo about every 2 feet. Thank God people were too busy shopping to realize they were prancing around little "poo nuggets" scattered throughout the shop.

... for the love of being a mommy.

I'm sharing this with other mommy bloggers over at
Real Moms - Real Laughs

Friday, January 28, 2011

Comforts of Home ~ A Photo Journey

When I was visiting "home" this summer, I snagged my Dad's Canon DSLR daily and took photos around our property ... I was working on a "secret" photo book for my family called "Comforts of Home". Over the course of 32 years, my parents have created and maintained a home and property full of beauty and treasured memories ...

In 1978 (when I was 2, my sis was 6, and our big bro was 10,), my parents moved us from Detroit to a tiny little town in Northern Michigan. My Dad, Mom, and Grandpa Joe built our house from the ground up ... literally. No contractors, no builders, no carpenters ... just the family hammering nails one-at-a-time by hand. During the process we stayed in a little cabin near my Grandma and Grandpa Lutz, just 15 minutes away ... in this little red cabin is where I have my first memory! We moved into our framed-in house just before Christmas of 1978. Our home and property continued to grow throughout my childhood ... some rooms finished, some rooms unfinished (some are still unfinished) ... but it was a beautiful!

Our property grew to include horse stables, pig pens, a barn, tack-rooms, a riding arena, and even a log-cabin playhouse. We grew up riding and showing horses, cutting our own fire wood, bailing our own hay, mucking stalls, and spending countless hours playing on our wooded 14-acres and the surrounding woods. Horse fences were my balance beams, stump piles were home to my imagination of fighting of monsters over hot lava, the huge tree swing was home to my Olympic debut of choreographed tree swinging ... and the list goes on. I was truly blessed with a fantastic childhood. So you can imagine, I find great comfort when I return to home to our tiny little town in Northern Michigan and walk around our property; for even though the wood on the barns may be deteriorating, the horse fence no longer stands, the door to the tack room is broken, and the paint in the playhouse is faded and chipped ... my heart swells with beautiful memories of the place I still call home ...

Handcrafted by my dad, "THE REICHLINS" sign stands proudly at the end of our wooded driveway. The sign was built out of an old beam and is held by an old "double-tree" which was used for animal-drawn wagons and such.

With just a trace of its original bright blue color left, the water pump has been operated by every hand in the family. It has been used to water horses, pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and goats. It has been used to wash horses and dirty hands, to hose down equipment and weathered barns. Its water has been sipped during outdoor chores, while cutting wood, and
after outdoor play.

This spot has held wood to brighten and warm our evenings with family and evenings with friends. It has provided just the right amount of light to catch Dad creeping out of the woods walking on stilts and wearing a gas mask. It has given off just enough glow to allow us to stray from the pit to catch fireflys and find sticks to roast marshmallows. We've sat around the fire pit and celebrated weddings and family gatherings.

The Playhouse was many things. A grocery store, a toy store, a school house. It was home to our imagination. Its pastel yellow walls have held chalkboards and plaques ... and handrawn flowers made by two little girls. The floor has held a toy box, old wooden school desks and little plastic cash registers. Most comforting, the Playhouse held the imagination and laughter of little girls at play.

The Call Box. It's always there. Even as the family, the house, and the property change ... it's always there.

* My dad is a retired cop .. he worked in undercover narcotics in Detroit in the 70's (yikes)! Though this box is not affiliated with his days on the police force, it's always been a reminder for me.

Relics of 4-H and horses, saddles, bridles, cowboy hats, ribbons, and photos. The grain barrel. Rakes, shovels, pitch forks, and wheel barrels. High School float meetings. Home to old toys, school projects, and out-of season furniture.

The Tack Room and Grain Room have held many things and many memories.

There is beauty in old things.

Rings once used to tie the horses for grooming, washing and saddling.

An insulator and a piece of wiring from the electric fence.

Still standing around the perimeter of the arena, a comforting reminder of our fun-filled and chore-filled days of having horses.

Memories of 4-H, training, riding and showing. Horseback camping, trail riding, Elk Hill, campers, horse trailers, outhouses, and campfires. Grain, bailing hay, storing hay, binder twine and mucking stalls. Saddles, blankets and halters. The big white bathtub with the heating coil to keep the horses water from freezing in winter. Running out in the dark to feed and brush the horses. Chasing down the horses after Rosetta Rose jiggled the gate hook free.
Getting bucked into the electric fence and daring each other to touch it.

Memories of target practice from the back deck.

The gliding bench placed beside the fire-pit.

It may be old, rusted, and showing years of use ... but it's a reminder that things don't need to be new or shiny to be beautiful.

Wherever we go, whatever we do ...this will always be our call to come home.

* This is an old siren. It was placed on the exterior of our home and was wired to a tiny push-button on the inside of the house ... recessed into the wood. With a push of a button our parents would sound the siren and it was our call to come in from outside. You could hear the siren a mile away!

These are a few excerpts from the 54-page photo book titled, Comforts of Home, I presented to my family for Christmas 2010. When my parents ask, "Did you have a good childhood ... do you have good memories?" ... now I can simply say ...

"Look at the book and you'll find your answer".

With all my love, Jaime

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whining Has Consequences ...

Lately I'm hearing A LOT of whining when Kelty wants something ... whether it's water, juice, milk, a snack, a toy he can't reach, etc. There is no build-up to the whine ... his request simply starts with a whine and it gets louder and louder and louder ... when he wants something he wants it immediately.

For a while I was catching myself yelling back, "hold on!", and then it hit me ... I grabbed the timer from the kitchen and had a little chat with Kelty. I explained if he needed something then he needs to ask nicely and sometimes he may have to wait a few minutes until I can get it for him ... if he whines I will set the timer to 3 minutes and I will not get his juice/water/snack/toy/etc. until the 3 minutes is over and the timer rings. I'm hoping this will teach him a little patience ... and that whining has consequences.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home For The Holidays

I know, I know ... it's mid January and I'm just now posting about our holidays! I took an extended holiday break and visited with my family in Northern Michigan through the middle of January. Our internet was intermittent at best so I decided to wait until our return to blog about our holidays.

Al and I flew to Michigan just before Christmas and enjoyed the holidays with my parents, my sister Jess and her family. Unfortunately Al had to return to Germany on the 28th but I stayed behind to enjoy a little extra time with family. My sister and parents even pulled "Kelty Duty" so I could fly to Orlando and work a shift at Disney to keep my show approvals in Fantasmic! and keep my employment status! Here is a little photo recap of our holiday break ....

We rode the snowmobile ...

And any other thing that could take on the snow ...

Put the kids in matching PJ's on Christmas morning ...

We kept family traditions ...

Loved our gifts ....

We had a full table for Christmas dinner ...

John Charles shared a few of his gaming skills with Kelty ...

The kids performed countless concerts ...
(Topping the charts were: I Gotta Feeling, Sweet Caroline, Iko Iko, and Hoedown Throwdown)

We played in the snow ...

We sang some more ...

We met up with a few old friends and took the kids sledding ...

Kelty decided to play dead ...

Sang even more ...

The kids played ...

We watched movies ...

So now I sit back in Germany ... in a dusty house (Christmas decorations still up), surrounded by piles of clothes (clean and dirty), sorting through toys (trying to figure out where to put everything), and totally jet-lagged! If you were home with us for Christmas you'd probably realize this is a REALLY short recap of events, but it was this or nothing ... I knew if I waited any longer to recap then it never would have happened ... and years from now I'd look back on the blog and wonder what the heck happened to Christmas 2010! :o)

For family ... let us not forget:

~ The great search for Hailey

~ Jess and I fearing we lost our hubbies to a partially frozen lake, in the dark, with no phone and no flashlights and NO contact for HOURS

~ Miche purse shopping

~ Coffee

~ Lost teeth

~ Airplanes ... airplanes ... airplanes

~ Popcorn and movies

~ ... and so much more!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Back on 2010

I can hardly believe another year has passed us by. Each year seems to be just as busy and chaotic as the last ... but always full of wonderful adventures and true blessings. Let's take a look at our journey in 2010 ...


January we flew back to the states so I could work a few shifts at Disney and keep my approvals in the stage show Fantasmic! at Disney Hollywood Studios. During our whirl-wind trip to Florida we also visited a few of our old friends and squeezed in a visit with my sister Rachel and her husband Shawn.

The opening scene of Fantasmic!

A reunion with Kelty's little buddies!


I think we were simply trying to survive the rest of winter during the month of February. We had so much snow! Our brother-in-law John also started his 7-month deployment out to nearby Stuttgart; he was able to make it out our way for a few really nice visits!

We missed out on buying a sled earlier in the season but still managed to take Kelty sledding ... on our snowboards ... hey, it worked.

A day trip to Rudesheim.


March held a few surprises! I took a trip to Poland to shop for Polish Pottery and also re-opened my Etsy shop ChichiKids after a 1 1/2 year break. With the re-opening of ChichiKids came a pleasant surprise ... the business was a greater success than I had anticipated ... so much that I occasionally close-up shop to keep myself sane and to keep up with the demand.

Polish Pottery!

Handmade and custom iron-on appliques ... the new foundation of ChichiKids!


We managed a day trip to Trier and the Frankfurt Zoo in April. The sunny days of April were a welcome change to the overcast and cold days of winter.

Trier, Germany

Picking tulips in bloom


In May we boarded the Disney Magic with our friends the Wagner's for an absolutely amazing 10-day Mediterranean Cruise. We visited 6 countries in 10 days and would do it again in a heartbeat ... it was truly, truly amazing.

Sipping coffee on our veranda the first day at sea

Kelty and Daddy on the beach in Corsica

June 2010

June was AMAZING! For my birthday, Al arranged a Reichlin European Vacation and coordinated travel for my family to visit us in Germany! June was the start of a summer with family and we also had my older sister, Jessica, and her kids with us through August!

The family in Rome!

Back Row (L-R) Mom, Shawn (brother-in-law), Leslie (sister-in-law), Rick (brother).
Front Row (L-R) Rachel (sister), Kelty (our son), Al (the hubby). I'm taking the photo!

We took my mom to Solingen, Germany ... the birthplace and childhood home of my Grandpa Lutz! Our German neighbors translated my Grandpa's birth certificate and it contained his home address, which is where he was born. Though the house is no longer standing, this is the corner where it used to stand.

July 2010

Jess and the kids were with us most of July and the kids had a blast playing together. July also marks the month where Kelty's "prankster" side started showing its face!

Kelty playing "dead". For a look back on that story, click here.

Fun with the cousins!

August 2010

In August I traveled with Kelty to Michigan to visit my parents and give Nana and Papa a chance to spoil Kelty. :o) Summer in Northern Michigan is a beautiful time of year! August also marked a period of growth for Kelty ... somewhere along the way I started seeing Kelty as a "little boy" and not just my "baby boy".

Our 3/4 mile bike ride to visit the deer near our house ... our little stinker rode the entire way

Kelty with his Papa and Nana in Michigan

September 2010

The month of September rang in the season of festivals in Germany. We traveled to both Bad Durkheim and Bernkastel-Kues for their wine festivals and enjoyed our annual visit to the Pumpkin Festival.

Enjoying a glass of wine at the wine festival in Bad Durkheim

A photo op at the Pumpkin Festival

October 2010

Looking back, October was a ramp-up for a busy November and December. Al started another graduate course and moved into a "staff job", I promoted to the rank of Major in the Air Force Reserves, and we took a 3-day mini-vacation to London, England.

Enjoying the Fall on Sunday afternoon walk

Our walk across Abbey Road in London

November 2010

November brought us a busy month of travel. Early in November we took a quick trip to Aviano, Italy and Salzburg, Austria. Later in the month our great friends, Tina and Jordan, visited us from Florida and we enjoyed a Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Paris and Amsterdam.

A breathtaking but rainy trip to Salzburg, Austria

On-board our houseboat, The Hercules Seghers, in Amsterdam

December 2010

December was a chaotic month! I pulled Reserve duty, Al did a lot of travel for work and wrapped-up another graduate course, Kelty turned 3, and we traveled to Michigan to spend Christmas with my side of the family.

Kelty on his big day

Fun with family over Christmas

Reflecting back on 2010 ... it was quite an adventurous and blessed year. We traveled to 10 countries, enjoyed multiple visits with family, achieved job promotions and witnessed some amazing changes in Kelty ... our biggest blessing of all. In a time of economic struggle, we consider ourselves very fortunate and are unspeakably grateful of the opportunities we have been given.

... and that is a wrap on 2010!
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