Here they are meeting us at the airport - they zipped out of there so fast the picture is blurry!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Here they are meeting us at the airport - they zipped out of there so fast the picture is blurry!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I really wanted to try the Crunchy Clean after reading all the wonderful reviews so I contacted the owner and worked out what shipping would be. It wasn't too expensive so I ordered the large portion to prep and fluff my diapers for Baby S. There are so many yummy flavors, but I decided on Reindeer Poo :) (Reindeer Poo - apples and pears; followed by middle notes of eucalyptus, pine, and geranium; and well-balanced with base notes of vanilla, cedarwood, and patchouli)
The detergent is easily transportable since it is powder.
See where I am going with this?
I got a letter from the customs office asking me to come with an invoice and a description of what the article is to their office. Great, I thought. There goes my Crunchy Clean. Ironically, last night while reading yesterday's posts on the forum a woman told her story of the FBI arriving with her postmaster at her door. I guess it's not just the German government.
Once I actually found the customs office I was about 10 minutes late - the window they hand out packages was only open until noon. Accommodating. Anyway, the woman who worked there was super nice and I must have looked pitiful (and I tried to sound pitiful and gave her a story about having walked so far... - all the time trying to stick my belly out as far as possible! - ...which I had, because the map from the internet took me first to the wrong place). She went and got my package and I just had to show an invoice of what the actual cost was, well I didn't have an invoice. I showed her an email I had sent with the total and she was fine with that. She was like, 'what is this? It smells so good!' Me: 'Reindeer poo'
Can't wait to put it into action!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Everything turned out alright, though it took a bit longer to cook than I thought.
Everything else went well and everyone went home with full bellies. I didn't take any other pictures except a few of Adrian watching the older kids playing Uno. He was so fascinated with them!Oh, and one picture of the youngest family member, Leela, who was born in May. The picture is a bit blurry because I didn't use flash - I felt bad flashing her!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I have about 3 weeks before my parents arrive. My goal is to have a project for everyday. Tomorrow my projects are ironing shirts and finishing my knitting project (yes, I started knitting!). I still have some leftover loose ends to tie up at work, so I'll probably work on that in the afternoon. Maybe I'll even plan dinner for tomorrow night - but I don't want to take on too much at once, we'll see how everything else goes :)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Obviously the basics work the same as they do in the US. One of the major differences; however, is that the midwife is the one actually in charge of the birth - although they tried to make it clear that the mother is really the one calling the shots. Most normal deliveries take place with the midwife and an OB, who can take over if complications dictact that a C-section is necessary. What I also found reassuring is that they stressed to go into the birth with an open mind. I have been reading about making a "birth plan," but this seemed strange to me, since you can never be sure what will happen. I also didn't want declare ahead of time that I will go med-free and then have the conflict during labor of wanting meds, but not wanting to give in. I will take things how they come and adjust to my needs.
I will sign up for a preparation class which is lead by the midwives and lasts a few weeks. After you are home from the hospital, a midwife visits you on a regular basis to check that all is going well and give you some additional support. About 4-6 weeks after birth they provide a course for mothers to begin building up muscles. All of these "extras" are covered by insurance which is great!
This is the link to the hospital we picked, it's in German, but there are some pictures for those non-German speakers among you:
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
more info: http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentbasics.htm
great comparison of detergents: http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm#pocket%20diapers
what does all this mean? I don't really know yet...I am still doing the research. My issue currently is that I am doing most of the internet research in english, which recommends US products, which is unhelpful to me. So, I am beginning to research in german and trying to find equivalent products. The nice thing is that there are wonderful physical stores (versus only internet products) close to where we live where I can buy eco-friendly (and therefore hopefully diaper friendly) products.
In an effort to keep my washer (and now dryer...a different post) free of detergent residue I have started washing our laundry with eco-friendly detergent. The first thing I tried was "soap nuts." Soap Nuts are actually berries from a tree in India which have soap-like qualities. They are very sticky and in combination with water become soap-like. They are obviously all natural and you need no additional softener. I put about 8 nuts in a cotton sack and put tea tree oil on the sack to add a nice scent. Then, I just pitch the sack into the washer and that's it! I really like the soap nuts so far for most things. They don't seem to be 100% effective on dirty jeans - although this could probably be fixed with some stain spotting or other tweaking to my regimen. I bought other liquid eco-detergent to wash dirty jeans and harder to clean things. The soap nuts have worked great on everything else though!
Here is an informative website from Australia about soap nuts: http://www.soapinanutshell.com.au/
Once you start reading about all the chemicals which can get stuck in your clothing and you wear against your skin everyday, other alternatives start looking very inviting. If you use, or decide to use eco-friendly detergent in the future, I would be very interested in knowing what it is and how you like it!
I'm becoming pretty crunchy, huh? I love it! :)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Articles like this strengthen my desire to raise a plastic free baby as much as possible. Being green is a one day at a time pursuit. I am far from perfect, and I choose one project at a time. My current project is laundry detergent...that is a different post, I promise.
If you are looking for safe toys for babies and children, look for wooden, natural fabric, and metal toys - i.e. sans plastics.
I'm sure you can find local stores that sell good quality toys as well... even large retailers carry them!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
What is really cool, besides all the other benefits (cost, enviroment, no diaper rash, no chemicals, earlier potty training) is that many of the cloth diaper stores are run by stay at home moms. Can't wait to see my super cute baby bum!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
I have debated about sharing my story, but I am determined not to be ashamed, but proud of what we accomplished. I was diagnosed with PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) a while back, although I was able to self diagnose after about 5 minutes in the internet. I was pretty much a textbook case. This syndrome is genetic and explained a lot of questions I had, as it can effect a great deal about your heath, including heart disease and diabetes. Something else it is directly related to is infertility. Infertility is a scary word, which for me always meant "no chance to get pregnant" - this seems not be the case, at least in the world of dealing with PCOS.
We were pretty relaxed considering we didn't know what to expect in the future. I tried a lot of different things to try and get my body healthy - acupuncture, herbs, changed diet, and I believe all those things made me healthier, but weren't bringing me close enough to our final goal. My doctor was extremely supportive (as was my acupuncturist who acted as a therapist as well) and finally suggested a non-invasive surgery to hopefully correct things. Almost immediately after the surgery I was having symptoms I had never had before - I was normal! Two months after surgery I was pregnant; after waiting and trying to decide the best path, I couldn't believe it happened "so fast".
The reason I am sharing my story is because this syndrome occurs in 1 out of 10 women! It is important to be your own advocate if you feel you might be suffering from this. Here is a great resource if you would like more information: http://www.soulcysters.com/ I had never heard of it before although it seems to be so widespread and I am trying to do my part to make others aware in the hopes to help other women who suffer from this as well.
Mine is a success story, pass it on.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sarah opening her homemade hat from Elizabeth
In case anyone in the free world hasn't heard the news yet: we're expecting a baby in January!
Here is the first long awaited belly shot. I started showing around 10 weeks, at least for people who knew I was pregnant. There isn't any hiding it anymore! Here is my super huge 14w 5d belly!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
...THAT SCARE ME: raising children bilingually, labor, my parents getting older
...I LOVE: my family and friends, reading, traveling
...I HATE: being wrong, the sun (we're going through a rocky patch in our relationship), being too warm (hence the sun thing)
...I'M DOING RIGHT NOW: hanging out at work, relaxing in the cool breezy weather, completing this meme
...I CAN DO: speak German, consul people (or so I have been told), teach
...I CAN'T DO: speak Spanish (but I wish I could and I go on spurts when I try to learn), eat sushi right now, I'm not too good about being firm
...THAT ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FOODS: salmon sushi, savoy cabbage and red onions, ice cream
...SHOWS I WATCHED WHEN I WAS A KID: Who's the Boss, Family Ties, Smurfs
People I'm tagging to do this on their blog: no one, everyone's been tagged :)
Friday, July 4, 2008
At any rate, they decided to continue this year, so here I am again up in Köln for a Friday night. Köln is only about a 1 1/2 train ride from Mainz (on the fast train) so it would be doable to go home in the evening, but one 6:09 train on Friday morning is enough for me. It's nice to "sleep in" on Saturday and have breakfast in the hotel. I have taken advantage of the English movie theater here in the city a few times and saw "Becoming Jane" and "Atonement" last year. I had a routine of going and eating sushi (yummmm - salmon nigri!), but I guess I won't be doing that this time :) Tonight I am going to walk around a bit, scrape something together for dinner and head to my hotel for a night of reading and being mad that nothing good is on TV.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
From NY, we flew home to Chicago. We visited with family, hung out in the city, saw Abbi and Andre and spent the weekend in Bloomington before heading up to the Indy 500.
We are looking forward to our September trip - lots of exciting things happening!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
This is the reconstructed Globe Theatre - Michelle Roark and I saw "Romeo and Juliet" here in 2004. It is truly an amazing feeling being here, even through Shakespeare didn't walk this stage, his spirit is definitely present. Unfortunately the season hadn't opened yet, oh well, one more reason to go back. More info: http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/
We went to see the musical "CHICAGO" while we were there. Amazing the talent of this actors - what an amazing opportunity to keep the theatre culture alive and well, I have a lot of respect for all of them.
Another London favorite of mine are the markets, we spent Saturday morning hanging around Borough Market where we taste tested many yummy foods, from cheese to baklava to chocolate to wine. It rained on and off while we were there, but that didn't discourage anyone.
We also saw the key sites of Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, etc. For all pictures check out the online album:
Of course one thing that we also enjoyed was the historical pub culture in London. Often you hear that the food in Britain is horrible, but I find that if you quickly assimilate to their style you can appreciate their cuisine. I enjoyed their world famous ale, even if it was a tick warmer than the ice cold lager.
London, we'll be back!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
May 10th: Arrive Wash DC, staying in Baltimore with Carrie
May 13th/14th: Train to NYC - staying with MRoark, Lindsey's wedding on the 17th, Yankees game on the 18th
May 19th: Fly to Chicago - stay with parents
22nd/23rd: Drive to Bloomington with parents - stay at IMU :)
25th: Indy 500
27th: Fly home from Chicago
Time is pretty tight this time unfortunately, but if we can work something out with any of you we'll do our best!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I subscribe to "Body and Soul" magazine which is published by the Martha Stewart Company. I discovered it last September when we were home and I have gained so much from reading it. It has great environmental tips as well as interesting food stories and health tips. You can check it out at http://www.bodyandsoulmag.com/. I tried this recipe tonight from this month's volume and we loved it! I can enjoy asparagus for what it is worth but I have never really thought yum...until tonight. Not sure it beats out the Wirsing, but it was really good. The nice thing is - super easy and you can easily pair it with something else. I (through Jan's directions) changed the original recipe a bit, so the one I am posting here, is a bit different than on the website.
Read about health benefits of asparagus
Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
1 medium thick asparagus bunch, tough ends removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic cream
4 large eggs
2 ounces shaved parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet with a rim, toss asparagus with oil. Season with salt. Bake until asparagus is lightly browned and tender, 15 to 18 minutes (timing will vary depending upon thickness of asparagus).
2. Mix together balsamic vinegar and balsamic vinegar cream in small bowl.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large skillet with 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat. Break one egg at a time into a cup, then tip cup into pan. Simmer until whites are set and yolks are soft but slightly set, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spatula, scoop out eggs one at a time and drain on paper towels. With a paring knife, trim edges (this would have been a good idea, but I didn't do it).
4. Divide asparagus among four plates and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Top with shaved Parmesan and an egg.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
It's a great veggie side to fish or meat or tofu! I ate it tonight with sauteed squid - Yum!