Would it be so bad?

We might skip Thanksgiving dinner this year and just move on to Christmas.

I’ve always enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but this year I have very little desire to do so. On the one hand, after 6 years of cooking it on our own, we’ve got the process down. It was considerably easier last year. But this year…I don’t know. I feel like I’m in a funk.

I might just make some pumpkin pie and call it a day. I thought about outsourcing recipes this year and having all the guests each bring one dish…but somehow, it still all feels like too much.

I’m not even quite as excited about Christmas this year as I have been in previous years. What’s with that? I am happy that we will see my family this year at Christmas — we are flying in on December 14th and will be back in Hamburg in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Maybe I’m somewhat dreading the flights with two kids to get there…I don’t know.

I keep hoping that once I get my tree up and a little more Christmas feeling, I will start to feel a little better and more excited about things. So, to that end…here are some pictures I took of Christmasy things I saw at Aldi yesterday.

This was the biggest can of beer I’ve ever seen! It was 0.75 liters!

And some little Räuchermänner – I’ve seen Santa ones and hunters before, but the pirate one is funny!

Is anybody else struggling to feel motivated these days? It’s the darkness and the cold weather, right?

Life around here

At the end of October, Theo switched from the nursery to one of the big kid groups at the Kita. With that also came a new schedule, and he is now at home three days a week for naps here at the house and afternoons with me. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have a little bit more time to do things that need doing without a toddler toddling around because he stays until 3 pm. Still, it’s been a big change. A positive one, because he is on to bigger and better things and will learn and grow a lot in the upcoming years in his new group.

Avi is 5 months old already and there isn’t one shred of newborn baby left in him. (waah! I kind of miss it!) While it’s sad to turn my back on those short-lived cuddly newborn days, it’s still so enjoyable watching him learn and grow. He is getting better at a lot of things. He grabs everything he can get his hands on — and puts it directly into his mouth, of course! — and is generally much more coordinated. He’s sitting up well with support, and now rolls over onto his belly almost as soon as I put him down. Avi is also bigger than Theo was back then. At 5 months, Theo was in the 9th percentile for weight; Avi is in the 45th percentile. Which means that he is wearing 6- to 9-month clothes now! He sure is growing like a weed.

I’m still exclusively breastfeeding until he turns 6 months old, but before we know it he will be starting solids and we will be doing Baby-Led Weaning like we did with Theo. To be honest, I’m sure he will love it, but it makes me sad that diaper changes will become more stinky.

My extremely inadequate thoughts on the election

I’m really struggling to find a way to put my thoughts into words about what’s been going on. With the election. The hate. The shock. The disappointment. I still feel numb from it all and I think I’ve hit political overload. I have never been one to write much about politics, neither on my blog or on Facebook, and I intend to keep it that way. Because honestly, it’s way too big of a topic for me to even wrap my head around. And I don’t feel even the least bit qualified to discuss it.

I will say, though, as an American expat, that plenty of my friends and acquaintances have asked me about it. And it’s been overwhelming enough just trying to process it. I feel sad and, unfortunately, not all that surprised at the outcome, even though I feel deeply disappointed.

I don’t possess any desire to discuss it further, but I will say this. This world could use a little bit more love right now. Stop the hate. Come together. And let’s pray things don’t get worse. Because it’s only been a week since the election, and it hasn’t been good.

Tauschkiste Tuesday

I only went to the Tauschkiste once or twice this week, and it was slim pickings. But I did find three more white IKEA DRÖNA boxes that I use for organizing Theo’s toys and keeping them cleaned up but easy to pull out to play. It’s not super pretty, but yay for more organization!

A while ago, back in the summer, actually, I found this (creepy?) rabbit mask there and snagged it for its possible use at next year’s Karnevalsgottesdienst.

And an even longer time ago, I found this brass elephant who has now found a home on our bookshelf.

Tauschkiste Tuesday

Leave it to me to introduce a new series one week and forget about it the next.😉 I blame it on the kids. Or lack of sleep. Or the fact that we were away from Saturday at 4 am until Monday evening. Or the fact that I can’t very well do this series without pictures, and I am always running out of room on my phone. I have excuses galore…so just pick your favorite!

To make up for it, here’s an picture of what the actual Tauschkiste looks like. I’m always amazed at how fast things go. Sometimes I walk by multiple times in one day and there will be entirely new things there each and every time. And then some things (like that CD stand on the right) hang out there for weeks at a time. It’s the thrill of the hunt I love best!

Without further ado, here are some recent Tauschkiste finds:

Kasimirs Weltreise – with that typical German rhyming style…it’s so pretty that I might even have to read that one to Theo in German instead of English. And the pictures = gorgeous. It’s a story about a boy who travels around the world in one entire morning and is back just in time for a midday nap.

Some wooden IKEA planter boxes. I took out the metal tray and cleaned up the boxes and now they are a perfect place to store Theo’s smaller matchbox cars (and planes and trains).

That’s all for now. More next week!