Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Donnerstag, 31. Januar 2008

In case you were wondering

One of our little junior kindergarteners is very close to becoming a big sister. She is currently the youngest of 3, but her mom is due in the next few weeks. So, I was asking her about the baby today. Here is an excerpt of our conversation... and just a warning, it WILL make you laugh :)

Me: "So, are you excited about the baby?"
E (that's her first initial,): "Oh yeah, I already love the baby!"
Me: "Oh, that is so sweet of you. Have you already seen pictures of the baby in your mom's tummy?"
E: "Yeah, it looks all funny though. Do you know where we got the baby?"
Me: "Where?"
E: "We went to Canada and my mom got a baby in her tummy."
Me: "Canada?"
E: "Yeah, Canada. That's where you get babies from."

So now you have it. Trying to get pregnant? Go to Canada!

Montag, 21. Januar 2008

Who benefits the most at an international school?

I`ve realized that I don`t give my job nearly half of the credit it deserves.
Since September, I´ve been at an international school, which is quite a change for me, coming from my experience working for the US Government. I absolutely loved working at my old high school, and am so thankful for my 5 years working on a military base. The people I met were all wonderful, and my base access provided me with a much needed link to home that helped me transition into living abroad.
Now that I feel I have sprouted some roots here, I feel like my new job is really a perfect fit for me. I adore the international community. While I am not entirely with Germans, the international school provides me with the opportunity to meet people from all corners of the world. And while I will probably never get to live in many other countries (after all, I am fortunate to have two home countries now,) I am simply so delighted with the experience of working with kids from many other countries.
My lesson today? Colors.
The Japanese kids have been drilling me about colors for months now. But today, as I sat with a Japanese girl, an Italian girl, and a German boy, we all discussed colors in our native languages. The experience was incredible. I feel like I don`t deserve pay for a job that provides me with daily opportunities to learn about the world around me.
So, here`s what we talked about today:
blue ao blu blau
red aka rosso rot
yellow kiiro giallo gelb
white shiro bianco weiss
black kuro nero schwartz
purple murasaki porpora lila
orange oranji arancione orange
green midori verde grun

Okay, so it looks like a boring vocabulary list, but put into action, and conversation between a 28 year old, a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and a 3 year old, the experience was absolutely incredible. I am so lucky to be a part of this world. So my question: Parents spend thousands of Euro each year to send their children to our prestigious school. But in the end, do the kids or the teachers benefit more from this very unique and wonderful community?

Sonntag, 20. Januar 2008


My German green card expires in 2 weeks. I have had to renew twice since moving here, because German green cards expire every 3 years. I was really excited to hear that after living here 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency. Aaahh, that sounds lovely. I would be so happy to be a permanent resident! Life would be great! So, I asked about it 2 weeks ago, when we went to the Rathaus (town hall) to renew my residency permit.
I can apply, but am required to give them all sorts of documentation to support the fact that I am basically a good person :)
The same night, I quickly gathered all my documentation to hand in to the authorities. Only thing that I would need to get, biometric passport pictures. Those lovely new passport pictures in which you are not allowed to smile, which I find extremely upsetting, because my smile is a part of me :)
Well, here we are on January 20th, and I still do not have a biometric passport picture! It is the one thing we keep forgetting. To make matters worse, we´re getting down to the wire now with my residency permit! Argh!
We´ve decided to go back with the short-term permit, because we`re kind of out of time! I do miss not having to renew residency status at home. Alas, I will never take citizeship or residency for granted again!!

Montag, 14. Januar 2008

The Next German Superstar

Germany is looking for a Superstar is the German version of American Idol. It has a huge following here, and we're gearing up for a new season.
Obviously, the enthusiasm to become a world-wide icon has spread all the way to the animal kingdom. Our first animal superstar, without a doubt, was the cuddly Knut. Born in December of 2006, Knut's mother rejected him. The Berlin Zoo quickly decided that Thomas Doerflein, a zookeeper, would raise Knut, instead of letting nature take its course. With this controversial decision, Knut was thrust into the international spotlight. But who could chose otherwise with such a cuddly little guy?

He became a beacon for environmental and animal rights activists throughout the world.
Although every German knows exactly who Knut is, he has definately pulled away from the spotlight. He went from a teddy bear like baby to a frolicking teen to an overweight young-adult who is mostly brown from playing so much in the dirt.

Obviously, we are in need of a cuddly new Superstar! Last week, the news was filled with contenders. Unfortunately, one polar bear mom in a German zoo actually ate her two babies! And then came the news about Vera, the new mom who couldn't seem to properly care for her little baby. For a few days, we all witnessed the horrible videos played over and over. A delighted Vera brought her baby "Flocke" out to show the world, and then dropped her. After picking up the little baby, she dropped her again, and again, and again. The poor baby just fell to the ground like a little rag doll. Each time, mom tried again, and each time, it was more and more obvious that Vera was an unfit mother. The zoo decided to take the little baby away from the mom, for her safety.
The new baby is now catapulting through the media, and it appears, is on her way to becoming the next German Polar Bear Superstar! Fortunately, Nuremberg, the zoo that is home to our new baby, is much closer to us than Berlin. Maybe we'll get to visit the new little one before she looks like Knut!

Sonntag, 13. Januar 2008


One of my New Year's plans was to do something with Joern at least once a week that didn't involve watching TV or surfing the net. Last night, was our first weekly "get out and do something" time. We went to see a movie- yay! The last movie I saw in the theaters was James Bond, which I will also discuss in a second. Anyway, that was over a year ago, so it was quite exciting to wear something other than track pants and slippers on a Saturday night, and go out.
The local OV movie theater here, OV means Original Version, and is the expat's dream come true :), is called the Corso. They sell only salted popcorn, and beer (not too OV) and play mostly American films. Turns out, there are some movie purists in the world who prefer to see a movie in it's original language, even if that means it is a foreign language film. The theater is pretty small though, and being that it is Germany, the few films they play are always at least a couple months behind the American premieres.
But, we did make it to see:

Wow! It was surprisingly short, but a total emotional disaster. Will Smith is an incredible actor, which he has again proven in this picutre. The story though was really difficult to get through. I had tears streaming down my cheeks for the majority of the movie. If you haven't seen it, the movie is set in NYC in 2012, which isn't that far off. The vast majority of the world has been killed off, due to a viurs, from which Will Smith is immune. Will Smith is probably the last man in NYC, who has not died (90% of the population died from the virus,) or turned into a Darkseeker (9% of the remaining population). His goal is to discover a cure to return the very dangerous Darkseekers into human beings. It is so eerie though to see him drive around a completely deserted NYC. That was the backdrop for this very eerie, almost too close to home movie.
I think it took us about 5 minutes before the movie ended to start talking again, which as you know, for Joern and I is a milestone!
Wow again! It was a really good movie, but toook a long time to recover from it!

And on to the other news- part of the new James Bond is going to be filmed in our neck of the woods. They are going to film a scene on the Austrian side of Lake Constance. This is so very exciting, as Lake Constance is also bordered by Germany, and is by far, one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Joern and I love going there, and it is so cool that the James Bond people feel that this lovely area deserves this credit :)

A picture of the set being built along the Austrian side of Lake Constance.

The good news is that this upcoming movie is not destined to be the tear jerker of last night!
Have a great week!!!!

Samstag, 5. Januar 2008

A big welcome

To the newest member of our family, "The Five Series"

Joern officially decided that the Mercedes, which has been a constant companion to Joern for the past 4 years, was using too much fuel. Also, beginning in April, all diesel engine cars will be required to have a particle filter in order to drive into Stuttgart. Without this filter, after April 1st, Joern would not be able to get to many of his customers in Stuttgart, and he would be unable to drive me to work- even though I am thinking positively and will have my license by then anyway :)

In all seriousness though, we love the new car. Okay, it's not new new, but gently used. We have spent the past few days driving around, with the seat heating on, listening to the beautiful purr that only a BMW has. Since it is a standard, sadly, I will never be able to drive The Five Series, but being a simple passenger is quite a pleasure :)

The Five Series will never replace the Mercedes in our hearts, but it will help to fill a void left by the sale of the Mercedes (namely, the transportation void.)

What an exciting way for Joern to return to work for 2008!!

Mittwoch, 2. Januar 2008

First post of the new year!!

Well, here I sit, on this 2nd day of 2008 with much on my mind. Joern, Marcel, and I have been back in Germany since yesterday, but since we slept most of the day away, today is my first official day back in the real world.
Joern is off looking at a new car, and I have spent the day perusing the internet in search of a new couch! All things that may actually come to friuition this month! Lots of new changes already for us this year :)
We had a wonderful trip to Connecticut, and I already miss it. I guess a year is really too long to go without going back home, I miss my family and all my old haunts. It was great to see my family, and I enjoyed spending extra time with my cousin Elizabeth. Sadly, I didn't get time to see friends, our time was just too short. But, we did get to spend a day in Newport, RI, and a day in New York City- two of my favorite places. We did lots of shopping, and lots of eating, both activities we now have to curtail here in Germany. It was really a great time though, and my soul feels refreshed.

It does feel a little funny to be back in Germany, even though I just celebrated my 6th anniversary of living here. Things look a little different to me. Like, the lack of sun here in the winter is actually depressing, our kitchen looks like a doll kitchen, and our apartment is really small. I can't wait to get outside, maybe go down to Stuttgart, and remind myself of all the wonderful things about this country too.

I have spent my morning formulating my plan for the New Year. I am not one really for resolutions, but more plans. I make these plans more often than once a year, but since I have a few right now, I will post them. Hopefully, by posting my new plans, and therefore, by making them public, I will have a better chance of sticking with them:

1. I will post more often on this blog. My Aunt Karen reminded me that I haven't posted since October, which is crazy. Even if nothing is going on, I should post. My dream would be once a week- don't hold me to that though, just a lofty goal :)
2. I will take better care of my skin- my grandmother's anti-aging regime (not washing your face) did not prevent wrinkles, so I've got to start tackling time.
3. I will go home again this year before Christmas. By home, I mean Connecticut, and not Germany, I am here every day.
4. I will buy toilet paper before we run out of it. I forgot to buy it before we left for our trip, and I am now trying not to go until after we go to the grocery store. Really, I wasn't this bad in college.
5. I will get my driver's license, because I am dying to drive my 3.5 l, 211 hp, gas-guzzling BMW 735 iL before they put a speed limit on the autobahn.
6. Joern and I need to find a hobby that doesn't involve sitting in the couch (that includes surfing on the internet, and the Wii). Hopefully, it will be an activity we can do together, like taking walks or initiating a weekly date- night.

I guess that's it for now. Happy New Year!!