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.

 

Power blogging! Let’s go!

I have 15 minutes before I have to be out the door at work. But it’s a sunny beginning to a new week – my second to last before I go on maternity leave – and I just felt like popping in to say hi. So, hi!

Life currently…

Researching car seats the next size up for Theo (not an easy process!).

Reading three books at a time – Große FreiheitBaby Catcher, and Simple Matters.

Opening all the windows.

Sneezing a lot more. Must be springtime!

Sleeping terribly. I made the mistake of drinking coffee at 5 pm yesterday and couldn’t fall asleep until 2:30 this morning. Ugh.

Enjoying the healthy banana bread I made this weekend.

Feeling lots of kicks, pokes, jabs, and rolls – baby is very active and running out of room! (womb!)

Itching to do some “gardening” on our balcony and get flowers, herbs, and twinkle lights. Can’t wait!

Wanting to try this coconut lavender lemonade recipe. Sounds divine!

 

Have a happy week, everyone!

Baby steps

How’s spring cleaning going?

There’s always so much to do, yet so little time, isn’t there? I know I am not alone when I say that it feels like I’m constantly cleaning but don’t have much to show for it.

Today I just so happened to be off work, so I decided to tackle at least one or two projects on my list. The first was to make an actual list. Because I’m a list-maker by nature. And because when it’s written down, it’s still a long list, but it’s a lot more organized than in my head. So I went from room to room and wrote up a Word document of things that needed attention. Like organizing kitchen drawers, cleaning out the fridge, and moving up the extra keys somewhere higher out of Theo’s reach. Some are easy tasks (like buying candles for candlesticks or cleaning the mirror in the hallway). Some will take 15-20 minutes, others will take a few hours or a whole afternoon. No matter how big or small the task, I put it on the list.

Then I got started. I chose to rearrange my side of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. I took everything out and cleaned the shelves from sticky gunk. And in the process, I ditched all of the old products I have. Some of them I’ve had for years. Ain’t nobody got time for Ponds Cold Cream that must have been at least 10 years old. (Eww!) To top it off, I recently discovered an app called Think Dirty, which analyzes and rates cosmetic products based on their ingredients. I was (somewhat) shocked to find out that most of what I had in my bathroom was a 9 or 10 on the dirty scale. While I don’t want to become a total fanatic, it was enough of a kick in the rear to get me to look into better shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorant, body wash, and other cosmetic products with more natural ingredients.

Anyway, it was nice to start with a little project that will have a big impact simply because I use this cabinet multiple times every day. I still have 54 other projects on my initial list, and I’m sure other things will come up to add to it as well. But you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

Ramblings

Hey there! How was your weekend?

Tobias had a photo shoot all weekend, so for the most part it was just me and Theo. I spent all day spring cleaning on Saturday. And now that it’s officially spring, you know what that means?

HAY FEVER. Woo-hoo! (Not!)

I don’t know what set it off, but I ended up with a doozy of an allergy attack yesterday afternoon after I  woke up from a nap. I checked pollen counts for Hamburg and apparently a teeny tiny bit of birch pollen is in the air already. So maybe I can blame it on that.

I feel like all I’m doing lately here is complaining about my health. Oops. But I also know that I’m not alone – there are lots of people with colds, the flu, and various other illnesses at the moment. Anybody else joining me soon in some awful hay fever misery?

On the bright side, spring is coming. Technically, it’s already here, but I refuse to call anything spring until the temperature reaches at least 60ºF/16ºC. And spring cleaning, though slow going, is making me feel a little bit lighter.

This being my third trimester, I mean that figuratively, of course. Because literally, I’ve gotten huge and am getting huger. I can now feel my belly on my lap when I sit down. And turning over in bed has gotten to this point:

One fun thing to share was that I made this delicious recipe last night for dinner. Theo really enjoys helping out in the kitchen these days. I have him stand on a chair at the counter, although maybe I should invest in (or DIY) one of those learning tower things to reduce the risk of him falling over.

When it came down to actually eating the meal, Theo didn’t try the salad part at all. He almost refused to try the beets, but I forced him to lick one, after which he ate 6 or 7 big chunks and begged for more. He kept calling the couscous “rice”, and he ate a lot of that. And I was surprised that he also asked for more of the garlic yogurt. I really loved this recipe. I substituted the walnut topping for peanuts and that worked really well. So if you’re looking for something easy peasy yet super delicious for dinner (or lunch!) this week, give this a try!