Peaceful Parenting

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Just popping in today to tell you about Aha! Parenting’s Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids 12-week e-course that has CHANGED. MY. LIFE.

I have taken this course before, as I mentioned here, but am in it again for round 3. (Well, I technically sat out the last round to take part in another online course that was very time-intensive, but I really want to jump back into making parenting more peaceful and enjoyable for me!)

Registration is only open until Friday, so please don’t hesitate if you’ve been thinking about signing up!

Need more information? Ready to jump in? GO SIGN UP HERE!

By the way, this is not an ad. I’m just passionate about the work that Dr. Laura does for parents and children. This course is 200% worth it, especially as you have lifetime access. I have seen first-hand the improvements in my relationship with my children, as well as my ability to regulate my own emotions and to enjoy more of a sweet connection with my children.

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2018

Whew. 2017 was not the best year…

But today, I am thankful for a cousin (aka Christoph, the nicest human being on the planet) who came here this afternoon to go out with Tobi and the boys and let ME have some Time To Myself. As an introvert, this is my lifeline. And as a mom, I don’t get it often enough.

So, with all my free time to myself, I am starting 2018 by rearranging furniture, drinking coffee, and checking off items on my to-do list.

First, I did a massive brain dump, which I actually started yesterday (last year! ha ha!) – just went room to room to jog my memory and to write down all the things that are contributing to this exhaustingly heavy mental load I’ve been carrying around. I then knocked off a few things off the list, and then organized it into categories: short-term projects, long-term projects, courses (I’m enrolled in so many online!). I chose a few tasks for each day of the rest of this week and put the rest of the items on the project lists.

I’ve already crossed off so much this afternoon, and I’ve ‘only’ had 3 hours to myself so far. It’s so refreshing and energizing to have a large chunk of time where NOBODY NEEDS ME. That’s one of the things that can be most wearying for me as a mother and a person. I do get little breaks here and there, and I really try to use my time wisely (but don’t always manage that, of course) and make self-care a priority. But it’s easier said than done.

Anyway, I’m not making resolutions. Nothing official, anyway. But here are my wishes and intentions for the new year:

More love. choose love, always

More patience. with myself, with my kids, with my husband

Less clutter. both mental and physical

Better health. taking better care of my body, mind, and soul

 

In an effort to make things feel fresh and new, I’ve printed out some free printable artwork to update some of the art in my frames.

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Enjoy the small things – from chicfetti – for the frame in the hallway in our entryway. I can see it from the bathroom and of course right as I enter and leave my home. It’s a good reminder. I used to be good at enjoying the small things, but life has gotten super overwhelming lately. I am hoping to get back into the habit of enjoying the small things and taking pleasure in them. Especially when life feels so heavy; you have to hang onto something, right?

And for the bathroom, this reminder to wash your hands. no, seriously. Because I always have to tell this to Theo. “With soap! Always with soap!” Not that Theo can read, but it made me chuckle.

I need to stick this one in a frame, but I also got this simple yet wonderful “life is tough my darling. but so are you” print. Another good reminder.

Apparently I need a lot of reminders, lately. #mombrain?

And, just for fun, a monogram S with twigs and succulents. Because succulents are always a good idea.

Wishing you all a happy new year, my friends. I want to carve out more time to write, because it does make me happy. I even have a guest post coming soon for you. It’s time to breathe some life back into this ol’ blog. Are you with me? Please do comment and say hi, or drop on over on instagram and say hi there. It’d be lovely to hear from you.

Happy New Year!

2018, let’s do this!

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Vorfreude

Oh my goodness, you guys. Photobucket changed their terms of use overnight and effectively killed every single photo on my blog. I’ve been blogging for like 10 years. There’s no way I’m going to be able to fix this. I am so very sad.
I was writing the following post and wanted to add a picture when I noticed that it didn’t work… And then had a total breakdown. All I could do was sob. So much work. So many years. Ruined. I am so very disappointed. The only way to fix it is to pay $399 per year for third-party hosting – like they’re holding my photos hostage – for a service that used to be marketed as free.
Anyway. It seems silly to have written this post and not actually post it. But the joy of it has been taken away. I don’t know what to do. But here it is, anyway. For the rest, gucken wir weiter. We will see. It’s like they’ve stolen my diary and ripped all of the pictures out. The words are still there, of course, but I can’t see which pictures I posted onto which posts. Just awful. I’m not a professional blogger at all…this is just my hobby. So I never really looked into private hosting. Now I see that that was a mistake, but how could I have known? Disillusioned. Disappointed. Distraught. I guess I need this post about Vorfreude more than ever.
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In German, there’s an expression that goes like this: Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude. The greatest joy lies in the anticipation. Vorfreude is like before-joy. The joy you feel before something you’re excited about. Like sometimes it’s nicer planning a party than it is being there on the actual day! You know what I mean, right?
What are you currently looking forward to?
Today has been another day where it just feels like I’m fighting through the day. In an effort to try to think positive thoughts, I thought I’d take a moment and jot down some things I’m looking forward to.
1.  Seeing my family in the US – 14 more days.
2.  Avi sleeping through the night – TBA. A backhanded positive, because it gives me a chance to complain about the fact that he still doesn’t sleep. Ha. But I do look forward to the day…and pray it is soon.
3. Christmas. Because I love Christmas. 😉
4. Eating the chia seed pudding I made – will be ready tomorrow! I absolutely adore chia seeds right now, and I bought three packages on my trip to the grocery store today.
5. Theo being fully potty trained. He suddenly showed some interest this weekend and even wore his underwear to the Kita today for the first time. (Teacher said he did well going #1, but then handed me a plastic bag full of underwear, pants and #2. Sigh. Par for the course, right?)
6. Breakfast tomorrow morning. Because I love breakfast. Coffee. Ahh, coffee.
7. There’s some lemon sorbet in the freezer. 
8. Speaking of lemon sorbet…FUDGESICLES IN THE US. Can’t wait! Going to binge eat them after the kids go to bed every night.
9. Real summer. Because Hamburg likes to call this summer, but it’s not hot enough for me. Hope it’s nice and hot in the US!
Having 9 things on a list seems unfinished somehow. Like…come on…can’t think of one more thing to make it a nice, even 10?

Well, not tonight, folks. So maybe you can tell me something you’re feeling some Vorfreude for to round off my list? I’d love it if you’d share!

Life around here

I do miss this space here: my little corner of the Internet. To be honest, I’m kind of in way over my head with this parenting two kids gig. It hasn’t left me with enough energy to do much of anything else. How many times have I posted since Avi’s birth? I’m embarrassed to think about it.

So, around here recently:  Theo turned 3. We went on a trip to Sylt and stayed in the big Bundeswehr Zelte (army tents) again. Avi turned 1.

Perhaps most importantly, and another reason why I have so little time, is that I am taking a 12-week online parenting class over on Aha! Parenting.  It has been so very helpful. It’s also a lot of work and I will admit that I have lost some steam as far as trying to complete all of the tasks, homework, and reading. But I am glad I am doing it, and I am picking up tips and tricks and learning new skills – rewiring my brain is hard work, but so worth it. Since Avi’s birth, and having a 2- to 3-year-old, I feel like I enjoy parenthood less than other people seem to, and I feel like that can’t be the way it is supposed to be.

I suppose that’s all for now. Both kids have been sleeping for a long time and I hear humming from the other room, so my ‘me time’ will be coming to a close shortly. In fact, I’m just going to publish this without even adding a picture, like I usually do. Otherwise it will sit for several more days before I finally get around to it. No more perfectionism necessary – no pressure on myself.

How are things with you?

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Here’s another super old post that I never published! I answered several of these questions in 2015, but never finished. Now I’m back, 2 years later, to finish it up!

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Courtney at Welcome To Germerica (one of my favorite expat blogs!!) has nominated me to answer some questions.(Back in 2015, haha. Oops.)

1. What is the most unusual item you always have in your carry-on?

Tough first question! I wouldn’t classify any of my carry-on items as unusual. I travel with normal things. Now, with the kids, it would be unusual for me to bring a book – because I would surely never have time to read it!

2. What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram. I love all of the inspiring images there, and it’s where I chronicle most of my day to day life. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. That being said, I use Facebook way more often, and lately, I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with Instagram. If I miss a day or two, without checking to see what’s new, there are so.many.pictures to scroll through.

3. You are going on a weekend getaway 4 hours away. What do you prefer: driving, going by train, or flying?

Going by train is what we usually do! But before we had kids, I loved a good road trip. You can blast the music if you like. Stop wherever and whenever. But now, having two kids strapped into car seats doesn’t sound that fun for a long trip. I’d rather go by train and have a little more wiggle room!

4. What are you in the mood for: a relaxing beach vacation or a trip to a big city you have never visited before?

Beach vacation! For just a few days, alone with my husband! Sounds dreamy!

5. What is your favorite breakfast food?

French toast all the way, baby! God, I love it. But really it’s hard to choose, because I adore breakfast food. Eggs over easy with cheese on toast, eaten as the messiest sandwich ever, is a close second. And hash browns with ketchup, which I have never made at home before. I could eat breakfast food all day long.

6. Have you ever had a vacation destination not live up to your expectations?

Not necessarily. I usually have pretty low expectations of the places I visit. That said, we recently took a vacation to Oberstdorf and it was kind of challenging having all four of us sleep in the same room together at the youth hostel we stayed at, with no common room for us to hang out after the kids went to sleep. So we usually went to sleep with them, super early.

7. What is your favorite non-US TV show?

I’m a dork, but I watch Lindenstraße, Germany’s longest-running weekly soap opera. But it’s helped me learn a lot of German through the years – when I first started watching, I only understood about 10 words an episode. Now I can understand everything and it’s fun to see how they keep all the stories going.

Tatortreiniger is awesome, too. I can’t wait for some new episodes to come out, because it’s just so darn funny!

8. You are going out for the evening with friends – what drink do you order?

Fun drink? Probably a caipirinha. But…realistically? In the past three years, with pregnancy and then breastfeeding, it’s alcohol-free beer. I’m still breastfeeding so I don’t indulge in alcohol much yet. And honestly, I don’t miss it all that much. Alcohol makes me so tired and I fall asleep at parties. #lame

9. What is your favorite souvenir that you bought on a trip?

I don’t usually buy souvenirs! But while I was living in Paris, I bought some Paris metro boxer shorts that I wore as pajamas for many years. Too bad I had to get rid of them post baby! They didn’t fit anymore.

10. And lastly, share your favorite inspirational quote!

I find new favorites all the time. But one that is particularly helpful in this season of life is this: Tomorrow is a new day.