Theo’s 2nd birthday

Theo turned TWO!! on Monday, May 16. I can’t believe my little baby is all grown up. Okay, all grown up is not quite the right phrase for it, but holy cow. How am I already parent to a two-year-old? What a huge difference the past two years have made!

I’m not sure I ever shared this here, but I made a video about Theo’s birthing day. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty PG. Maybe PG-13 for a few pictures.) I’m so glad Tobi took pictures and that I made this video. (Note to self for second baby: do this, too!)

Unfortunately, he was sick the days leading up to his birthday. He had a high fever and was unusually cuddly and had no interest in playing. Very fussy. Very clingy. I don’t blame the poor guy. And on top of that, we were out of our normal environment because we were away with friends for the weekend on a church retreat. While it was nice to be there, and especially to have so many people around to celebrate his birthday on Monday, it was also a very exhausting weekend and we are all recovering.

This was by far the best moment, though. He was so excited about the knife he got (and the wooden fruits & veggies to cut with it). I’m so glad we got this moment on camera. We’ve watched it about a gazillion times already.

Happy birthday, my little boysen. Bobatsi. Mr. Boy. Bud. Theo baby. It’s been a pleasure watching you learn and grow. May it ever continue.

Love,

Mama (& Daddy)

Ladybug in disguise

This past weekend, we played outside in the garden. Theo played with the neighbor’s kid in their sandbox and he really enjoyed all of the new toys.

At one point we were all chatting and Theo points inside this bucket he was playing with and says, “Ladybug! Ladybug!” I was excited he pointed that out and went over to see the ladybug.

But was it a ladybug? NOPE. It was a big, black, hairy spider. (Ugh, how I hate spiders…) And Theo fearlessly picked it up. At which point I definitely freaked and tried not to overreact, but I don’t think I did a very good job of it. I don’t even remember what I said to him, but this kid tends to put lots of things in his mouth at the moment and all I could picture was this spider crawling around in Theo’s mouth. He almost ate an earthworm a month ago. I’m not sure which one is worse.

Thankfully, he didn’t eat the spider. I don’t know if he injured the spider or not by picking it up, but the other adults there reacted better than I did and the spider was gone without Theo devouring it.

Sometimes it’s hard to control your reactions as a parent. I certainly don’t want to put it into his mind that insects and eight-legged creatures are something to be scared of. I appreciate his curiosity and his desire to learn about the world around him, hands on.

Spring is back, FINALLY!

Or at least a little bit more. We spent yesterday outside for the first time this year sans coats or jackets. IT WAS AMAZING. Theo took far too short of a nap but then at least was in a good mood and played outside on the playground and we all shared some ice cream. I could eat ice cream for every meal right now…craving it so badly. 35 weeks now – 5 weeks until my due date. Baby’s getting bigger!

 

Have I mentioned how obsessed Theo is with his panda bear hat? Yesterday between that and his little sailor jacket…and suddenly we’re those parents. Hah. I love this little boy so much.

Also, this picture was taken post-playground and post-ice cream. Look how messy his clothes are! Just doing my part to keep it real. I always see lovely pictures of people’s kids on the internet and they look so fashionable and picture perfect. I’m sure their kids must get just as dirty as mine…they just choose the pre-playground and pre-ice cream pictures. But life is messy sometimes, and here’s a reminder that that’s okay.

Links & Love

Just a little update on life around here. How about another list?:)

I’m 34 weeks pregnant and now officially on maternity leave. Yay!

It’s gone back to winter weather again. We’ve had a lot of hail and weather in the 40s-50s. Whyyyyyy?!

I’m about halfway done crocheting my baby blanket. This time two years ago, I was already finished. Gotta get a move on! (Although it turns out I was 37 weeks then. So I still have some time!)

We’re not sleeping well over here. Theo has been very clingy the past several days…hoping this phase ends soon.

And now for some links:

I need to try this trick for cleaning windows. I cleaned my balcony door and the windows surrounding it this weekend, and WOW! What a difference!

I read a version of this article with my students a few weeks ago: What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage, by Amy Sutherland, about how she learned techniques to train her husband from observing exotic animal trainers.

These name stickers made me laugh.

This website gives a lot of helpful tips on dealing with babies and toddlers!

Learning about German trash sorting now that our apartment has trash cans out back. I’m still getting the hang of it but feel excited to do a little bit more for the environment!

I want to make these mocktails, and the pictures really make me wish I had some mason jars to drink them out of!

Guten Rutsch

Well, guys, this is it: my last week of work before maternity leave starts. It doesn’t really feel real yet, especially because I’ll still be going in next week to turn in some paperwork. But after this week is up, I won’t be teaching any more classes until fall next year. It’s been a nice week so far, but also strange, in a way. It’s a peculiar thing, having to say goodbye. A lot can happen in a year, and who knows if I will get the same students again when I come back. So for now, it’s saying goodbye.

Today, a student asked me what was appropriate to say in situations like this. Then, he jokingly said, “How do you say, ‘Guten Rutsch‘?” That’s the expression Germans exchange on New Year’s Eve, wishing the other person a good transition. The thing is that, literally translated, it means “good slide”, and all I could do was picture the baby sliding out of me. It caught me off guard, because people don’t usually say this in German to an expectant mother, so I laughed really hard at that!

I’ve been there, done that before and know that there is a lot more work involved in getting the baby to slip and slide its way out into the world. But in a way, his expression fits. This marks a new beginning for me. A familiar one, having done it just over two years ago. but also different. I’m transitioning again from work life to just being a mom, turning over a new leaf. I’ve got a “new year” ahead of me. Soon, the new baby will be here. A baby who will only be a baby for a year before transitioning into toddlerhood and Kita and I’m back to work again, this time as a mother of two. It’s going to be quite a change, I’m sure.

People always ask me if Theo knows what’s coming. Even for me, though, it’s highly theoretical. I have no way of truly knowing what it will be like as a mother of two until I’m actually doing it. And for Theo it will be the same. Theo will grow into his role as big brother. Our role as parents will surely expand, as well. We’ll somehow manage. We’ll figure it out. There will surely be bumps along the way as we figure things out, but that’s the same with anything new. And when you have kids, there’s always something new happening. It’s overwhelming sometimes, this job as a parent. But oh so rewarding.

Plus, this baby is a different kid. I can’t expect him or her to be just like Theo was. Our experience may be very different in some ways. In any case, I’m looking forward to it.

And I am also looking forward to enjoying the last few weeks as a family of three. It’s hard to imagine. But soon it will be hard to imagine life without our newest little addition. I guess the most important thing is to stay in the moment as much as possible. Enjoying things as they are and enjoying things as they come. And to trust love, as this graffiti so wonderfully reminded me this morning. Because love will get you through whatever you need.