Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today doesn't really seem like Thanksgiving to me, since it's not actually a holiday here, there's no Macy's Day Parade and my mom wasn't to be heard up at the crack of dawn running the Kitchenaid :)  No smells wafting through the air, well except for the occasional diaper which needs to be changed.  Don't get me wrong, I am not feeling sorry for myself, on the contrary, I have so much to be thankful for this year!  I have a wonderful family and a wonderfully healthy son!  Thank you to all of you who touch my life everyday, I am thankful to have such amazing friends and family!

Our Thanksgiving Dinner is planned for Sunday this year - Guten Appetit!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Okay, so it isn't Tuesday here anymore, but it is somewhere, like...Hawaii! :)

1.  Jan and I watched the second Harry Potter, "The Chamber of Secrets," last night.  We are gearing up because I ordered the new(est) one, the 6th, "The Half-Blooded Prince" and it should be here soon.  I actually was able to watch some of it on the plane, but only in pieces and probably not more than 60%.

2.  Blaise has a cold! :(  It started out slowly a few days ago and then all of a sudden he had a bad cough yesterday.  I took him to the doctor and he prescribed a cough medicine to clear up the phleminess.  I hope this doesn't sound overly dramatic, but I feel responsible, like if I would have done something different he could have avoided being sick. :( We go back on Friday for shots. :( :( 

3.  The other night Jan and I watched "Serendipity" - I love that movie!  The best part was the carmel corn Jan made!  It was heavenly, gooey, warm and sweet.  He had some Garrett's Popcorn at the airport and can't get it out of his head.  He said his wasn't as good, but I don't believe him.

4.  We are in the midst of planning our Thanksgiving.  Normally we had it on Saturday, but this year we picked Sunday so we can have it earlier in the day.  I thought that might be easier on Blaise - we'll see.  We have invited about 26 people, which means taking the couch out of the living room and putting up some extra tables.  It's chaos, but tradition :)

5.  It is so nice to be back home so that we can cook for Blaise.  While we were travelling, we gave him mostly consumer baby food - I think I mentioned this before somewhere?  Anyway, it is so much easier to make sure that he is getting a variety when you can make it yourself, and it tastes MUCH better!  Plus, I feel good knowing what I am putting into his food.  You can't avoid all nastiness all the time, but at least I can reduce it.  He is proving to be a fish lover and today he yummied up his first yogurt (plain yogurt with cut up pear).  Later he is going to try tofu for the first time.  I am not a huge fan of plain tofu, but if he likes it then it will be a nice alternative to other protein sources.

6.  Blaise seems to be back on somewhat of a sleep routine.  We had a tough few weeks at my parent's house, and a tough few days back home, but he has had some great nights and some normal nights since then.  Right now the cold is aggravating his sleep somewhat, but even that doesn't seem to be too bad.

7.  The Christmas Market opens Thursday!!!  I can't wait for the Feuerzangenbowle that I missed out on last year! :)  Which brings me to...

8.  I think it's over.  I think we are done nursing.  Our trip really made it hard to keep up with nursing every few hours during the day.  Blaise was so distracted and overall disinterested, I was lucky if he nursed once during the day.  I still had him in the evenings though, before bed, during the night and in the morning.  Then it became less and less.  Now he won't nurse at night and even when he wakes up and is still sleepy (this was the way I'd trick him into it) he isn't interested.  I think I have to admit that it's over.  I nursed exclusively for 6 months, then without supplementing with formula until about 8 months, then to a few times a day and down to once a day until 10 1/2 months.  It was a good run, not the absolulte best, I was hoping to make a year, but I hit my goal of 6 months exclusive and then some on top.  I feel thankful that we made it as far as we did.  I still feel kind of sad now that it's over, just one more step to becoming more independent.  It's bittersweet.

9.  Speaking of independence.  Blaise is now using a spoon!  He is quite proud of himself, too!  We are still feeding him inbetween his spoonfuls, so that he doesn't put himself on a diet and so that dinner doesn't last 90 minutes!  When we were at my parent's house, he started taking off his bib and over the course of a few weeks he learned that dinner is over when the bib comes off, so he stopped doing it.  UNTIL, he started doing it when he was FINISHED eating.  It is so sweet!  He starts pulling at his bib and then gives you a look, you tell him it's okay to take it off if he's finished and then rip off it comes!

10. I was planning on getting back to working out this week, but then Blaise got his cold, so I hate to "give him up" to someone else.  Maybe I'll go when Jan gets home from work, but in all honesty it is getting dark before 5 already and that really kills my motivation.  (It gets dark earlier here than in the States, because we are farther north).  Somehow I have managed to lose some weight though and I'm even under what I was before our trip.  It's a miracle really, what with all the carmel corn :)  During the day I don't really have much time to eat, I guess maybe that's why, or maybe the secret is in the carmel corn?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dancin' Maniac

Blaise is really changing a lot lately and one of his newer tricks, originally taught to him by Grandpa, is dancing!!  I know, you are all astonished.  Grandpa's form of dancing was head wiggling and Blaise has gotten really good at it!  What is so amazing to me is that he knows to dance when he hears music - he definitely didn't learn that from Grandpa :)

Day Off

I feel like I have the day off today!  Jan came home from work early yesterday with a headache - must be all the non-sleep we are getting.  Things this week have been especially hard for him because after a rough night he has to get up and go to work, whereas I can sleep in with Blaise (he slept in to 8! and even 9! one day!!) and then take a morning nap with him 1 1/2 hours later.  Anyway, we did get some better sleep last night, but I'll tell you about it next week so I don't jinx myself, though his head is still not over it.  He also has some serious back and neck muscular issues which is surely compounding the problem.  My point is, he stayed home from work again today to rest and try and get better, so he's taking naps with Blaise.  I keep thinking I should go out on the town, 1:14 in the afternoon is a good time for that, right?  :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

We're home - oh the saga

I am obviously pretty behind on blogging.  I blame lack of sleep.  Once we left Hawaii, Blaise went from a fair sleeper to ridiculously bad.  I'm not really sure what happened, of course there were a few things working against us...jet lag from an 8 hour flight, 5 hour time difference, Jan left us to go home and I'm a pushover.  Anyway, we're working on it to get him back on a better schedule.

The saga for those of you who haven't heard is that I couldn't find our passports.  I had three of them, my US passport and Blaise's US and German passport.  I know they made their way into my parent's house when we arrived because I saw them on the table.  A few days after we arrived my mom invited some family over to see Blaise and while we were getting ready we must have moved them somewhere-never-to-be-found.  No one has any recollection of having moved them, but the table they were on became the pie table so they must have been cleared off at some point.

Fast forward two weeks later.  I knew I hadn't seen them since we arrived, but I honestly thought they'd turn up while packing.  The night before we left we went out for an early dinner with my Grandma and then headed home to put Blaise to bed and start packing.  Once I was pretty much done packing and hadn't found them yet, panic began to set in.  My parents and I searched the whole house that night except for my parent's room because Blaise was sleeping.  We looked ev-ery-where.  Twice.  And then again.

We finally went to bed to try and get some sleep.  Early the next morning as soon as Blaise woke up we searched their room.  Nothin'.  I kept thinking I was overlooking some key memory, like if I just thought hard enough about it, I'd find the answer.  Nothin'.

I started making phone calls.  The one thing I had going for me was that our flight wasn't until 6:49 that evening, so I had all day to try and weasel out of this.  It was touch and go all day.

Everyone I spoke with at the National Passport Agency and the Chicago Passport Agency was very helpful and sympathic.  The first guy gave me a list of things I needed, forms filled out, birth certificates, passport photos and a notarized consent form from Jan confirming Blaise was allowed a US passport.  Super.  The notarized consent is supposed to ward off kidnappings I'm sure, but it threw us a curveball.  I called Jan and I was freaking out.  He was surprisingly calm (I say surprisingly not because he is one to fly off the handle, but because I was so NOT calm, I guess we compliment each other).  He left work to find a notary.  All I can do is just hope that a fax will be acceptable to the Passport Giver-Outers.

At 9:00 I called the automated Chicago Passport Agency appointment line and was given an appointment for 3 days after my flight.  I called back and asked to speak with a person.  There was luckily one appointment left for the day - at 11:00.  They'd give me a 15 minute grace period.  I had less than 2 hours to get passport photos, receive Jan's fax and get downtown.  It was within the realm of possibility, but it was tight.

My Mom thankfully had my birth certificate and I ended up having Blaise's.  My Dad and I left for the post office for our passport pictures while my Mom waited for the fax from Jan.  (My picture looks like a mug shot!  Blaise's is cute.  Figures.)  The fax wouldn't work so they scanned it and emailed it to me.  I printed and noticed the notary didn't actually sign the form, but an attached letter.  I literally almost lost it.  I called Jan freaking out because we needed to leave for the appointment.  The notary's secretary pulled him out of a meeting and sent me a new one.  We left in the meantime, we had to make the appointment.  We figured if I needed the other copy, I'd be able to find internet somewhere downtown.  As it turned out the attachment was no problem - the scan was.

We head for Chicago and had some traffic issues on the way, but nothing drastic.  We arrive at the appointment right on time.  We "check in" and we're told they won't except a scan, only a fax and they won't give out the fax number so we can have it faxed there.  I'm told to wait until the agent calls my name and he will have the final call.  Scan wasn't accepted.  James G., our agent, gives us the fax number!  I call Jan to fax again.  After much running around he sends the fax and I think we are home free.

What made our case more complicated was that although Blaise is a US citizen, he was born abroad.  I had his social security number, but a German birth certificate.  I didn't think to have Jan fax the proof of citizen born abroad certificate that we got.  They started telling me I'd have to prove we entered the country legally, which I couldn't do without a passport.  That meant, I'd have to get some other agency to print out the fact that we did indeed legally arrive in the US on Sept 24.  Which meant, see you again on Monday - three days later.  I tried to stay calm, and basically just talked it through with the agent and somehow they were confused enough to just drop it.  Thank God!

By about 1:30ish we were finished with the paper work and James G. personally took our applications down to be printed.  We got them just before 3:00 and headed out of there, but not before filling out a glowing "how well did we serve you today" form for James G.

We left in plenty of time to make our flight.  It was a loooooooooong day and made even more miserable because with all the searching, telephoning and freaking out I was doing in the morning, I didn't have time for a shower.  Read with sarcasim:  It was a comfortable 8 hour flight - maybe that's why they had the air-conditioning so cold in there...

A huge thanks to my parents who were a huge help during this whole fiasco.  Another story to add to the repertoire (did I spell that right?), as if they needed one...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome Blaise Party

Since we always have limited time when in town, my Mom likes to organize family parties for everyone to get together.  This year was even more special, because everyone was meeting Blaise for the first time.  We had a mini Hawaiian theme since we had some pineapple and macadamia nut souvenirs and other yummy treats for everyone.  It was great to see family who I only have the chance to see about once a year - unfortunately, I was kept pretty busy for the first half of the party, so I only got pictures from the last half and therefore missed my cousins.

Blaise with my Godmother

Blaise with my Godmother and Great Aunt

Chasing after his ball

Where d'it go?

Mr. Wilson and Grandpa

With my Auntie Dorothy, love this look on his face!  Too bad it's blurry :( 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bavarian Halloween

I'm still working on our Hawaii pictures (or need to be anyway), but here is some eye candy for today's spooky holiday.  :)