Friday, December 19, 2008

The Grandparents Arrival

My mom and dad arrived last Thursday after a week's delay. They will be staying with us until March in order to spend time with and help out with (!) their first grandchild. Since their stay will be extended they spent many weeks preparing themselves as well as my grandma. This proved more involved than expected as they were trying to anticipate every need which might arise in the next 3 months. After finally lining everything up - from daily checks on my grandma, to her medicine to getting her to church on Sundays - my dad got sick the day before they were to fly. The doctor said the added stress took its toll on his immune system which of course made him susceptible to bad stuff. He was concerned about arriving here and infecting me and of course flying with flu-like symptoms is never a good idea - for anyone! The change fee was waived by Lufthansa since they had a doctor's note, but they had to pay an additional charge since the category they originally booked was gone. Luckily they were still able to get a flight before Christmas so they could still enjoy the Christmas markets - more to come on that.

Here they are meeting us at the airport - they zipped out of there so fast the picture is blurry!

They packed lightly, huh?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cloth Diaper Contest Giveaway

For you mommies, in case you are interested:

This would be a great way to give it a try and get started!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crunchy Clean

I have been researching the whole cloth diapering thing for the past few months - have I mentioned the addictiveness? An important part of the whole process is the detergent used, because it needs to be free of chemical additives, enzymes and things that will not rinse out and therefore make the diaper non-absorbent.

One of my favorite online forums is geared towards eco-friendly living with a heavy focus on babies and diapering. A lot of the women in this forum recommend Crunchy Clean diaper detergent. The owner of this online shop is a stay-at-home-mom and runs the business out of house. Her websites:

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.


White 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!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We celebrate Thanksgiving every year on Saturday since Thursday is (obviously) a normal working day here. This year Jan and I were invited to the Middlebury Thanksgiving on Thursday evening. Middlebury is the program where I did my Masters degree in '01-'02. I have remained friends with the Director of the program in Germany, Heike, although I don't get to see her very often. She is extremely busy commuting between Mainz and Berlin (not exactly around the corner) and just finished her PhD last year. We finally were able to make a coffee date last week where I surprised her with my Baby Tummy. She invited us to the Middlebury Thanksgiving, which normally takes place at her apartment; however, due to her schedule this year was planned in a restaurant. Dinner was super good and it was nice to spend some time with Heike and meet some of the new Middlebury students.

We had 22 guests on Saturday for Thanksgiving Dinner. Six of our guests were unable to attend, so we actually had a smaller crowd than expected. How did we have room for 22? We moved our couch out of the living room and brought in 2 picnic tables - those 2 tables plus our 12 place dining room table worked out great. Our turkey was 32.45lbs!! Over-sized turkey + under-sized oven = chaos :) We had to take the grates (is this the right word?) out from the sides and the turkey was still touching the sides of the oven.

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!