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.

Mittwoch, 24. Februar 2010

Getting back to life

I went back to work on Monday. After 9 long weeks of not working, it was a little tough to wake up and get ready by 7 am. Of course, it was all worth it for the million hugs I received when I got back to work. Of course I missed my friends tremendously, and it is so nice to spend lunches chatting, and gossiping a bit too. Of course, what absolutely made my day was the kids' reactions.
It started when I stopped to unlock the front door to the portable, and I heard this scream from the playground behind me, "Ms. Allison is here!" followed by a huge run to a hug. Then the next little one came to the door with a GIGANTIC grin, and a "Hi!"
Once the kids started coming in the classroom, it was all smiles and hugs, and everyone wanted to me to play with them. The day was really crazy, and tons of fun!
I was only sad to find out that two of the little ones would not be in for a while. Sadly, one little girl's sister is super sick, and we don't know when she'll be back. The other little one is one of my favorites. I had her sister last year in first grade, and this year, we have become really close. I was told she wouldn't be back until the middle of March. I was crushed when I got to school on Monday and found out on Monday that she wouldn't be there.
Imagine my surprise when her father popped his head in at 11:30 today and had little missed one in tow!! They are back from the States! At first, she was super-shy, which was so surprising, because she is such a strong girl. Then, as I was walking her out to the playground, she whispered, "I really, really missed you, Ms. Allison." Oh, melt. So sweet and so adorable. When I got back in to the room, her dad told me that he was so happy that I was back because they had to hear every night how sad school was without me.
Today, the world was whole, our class is almost all together again, and I feel good.

Dienstag, 16. Februar 2010

My accomplishment for today

I was supposed to meet my friend Adele for coffee in Stuttgart this afternoon. Since I haven't really left the apartment much in the past 6 weeks, I only realized today that I had officially lost my cell phone, my glasses, and my keys. Since I knew Joern would be back before me, I headed out without my housekeys, an old pair of glasses, and iphoneless. I sat down in my car, and nothing. The battery was dead! Since I was now locked out of my apartment, with no phone, I decided to walk to my in-laws' house, afterall, they are our landlords, so they have a key.
When I got there, I was told that they were waiting for a very important telephone conference and when it was over, they'd look for the housekeys for me. I guess I should explain that my father-in-law runs an import business. They normally import toys and trend items from the far-east, most often China. Joern plans on taking over the business in time, and we have an ongoing discussion on my future involvement in the company.
Well, I was really thrown into it today. The telephone conference was with an English man working for an American company. Joern and his father have had a really difficult time with this company, and they planning on dissolving the business relationship today.
When the conference began, the English guy asked if Joern was available because his German translator was unavailable. My mother-in-law said that despite Joern being away, that they could continue the conference, and then handed the phone to ME!!!
Oh my goodness, that was scary. I had to translate everything back and forth! I don't mind talking in German, but in something business related, it was quite scary. Especially when my father-in-law started bringing up lawyers, and customer protection coverage. Oy!
The whole thing lasted about 7 minutes, but it was crazy. I am so glad that Joern speaks English, because I hope that this is something I won't have to do often.
Of course, I must say that I am pretty proud of myself, and my grammatically flawed German :)

Sonntag, 14. Februar 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Since I am finally starting to feel better, I am starting to get back to myself and the real world.
On Friday, my friend Mandy called and asked if we could dog-sit for her soon-to-be stepdog, Abby. We adore Abby and always jump at the opportunity to spend some Q.T. with Abby. Plus, it is fun to pretend to be doggy parents, if only for one night.
We got Abby on Saturday afternoon, and met up with Mandy and Doug this afternoon to give her back. Even though we only had one night with Abby, we had tons of fun with her. She's a big black lab, who is just the sweetest soul. And, she loves the snow that we've had this winter. We took Abby out to the fields to let her run, and it was so much fun to watch her. I realized that Abby's pleasure was really like a small child's fascination with snow. As adults, we don't play with snow, we use it for sports, and we complain about it, but rarely do adults appreciate snow with the same wonder as kids and dogs.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any pictures of her many, many back flops, nor her snow beard that was oh so adorable. But it was really fun to enjoy the wonder of winter through a dog's eyes.
After we got home and cuddly, Abby found a sock. She has no shame when it comes to finding socks in people's homes, and just loves walking around with socks in her mouth. She's had 2 or 3 in her mouth at a time. Here's Abby this morning:

Even though it was sad to see her go, we did have a good time, that provided plenty of conversation for the rest of the day. And of course, my Valentine's Day gift was just wonderful, I have the best Valentine ever!

Dienstag, 2. Februar 2010

10 years ago

I don't know why it didn't hit me before, but we're in 2010! A decade has passed by, and without a doubt, it was a decade of HUGE changes for me. Ten years ago today, I was sitting in my dorm room in Dublin, Ireland. What is very exciting too is that I've only recently found my journal from my time in Ireland. It is so much fun to look back, and remember the person who was writing that journal ten years ago. I know it was me, but it seems hard to imagine just how different my life would become.
I arrived in Ireland on January 6, 2000. I was going to spend the semester at the American College Dublin. I was living in a residence hall that was shared between our school and Trinity College. My roomates were Maura from New York, and Evan from Virgnina. Soon after, I began my first class, which was a two week art and humanities tour of Paris and Lyon. When I returned, I started my regular classes and began settling in to my semester in Ireland.
Here's what I found in my journal from February 2, 2000:
Well, my second week of class is over, and am now completely confident that the semester will be over before I know it. My classes are good... Yesterday, I wore my new boots to go to the ATM (5 mins away,) and by the time I got back, I had the biggest blister ever on the back of my heel! It is SO gross! To make matters worse, it is so difficult to get gauze pads and tape. First, Band-Aids are plasters. Second, I couldn't explain gauze. At the pharmacy, they gave me 3 absorbent pads- no more. They told me they only had 5 in the store. All I wanted was a good old huge pack of Johnson & Johnson gauze pads, from good-ol CVS.
Well, tonight I am going out with Kelly and Marta.
...Hopefully, Dad will come visit me. I think I am going to Belfast next weekend. And hopefully, I'll be going to Galway and the Aran Islands in 2 weeks. I'm sure that once I start traveling, it'll make the time go by quicker and maybe I'll enjoy Ireland a little more.
The talk radio had a discussion last night about parking at the police station- then about public housing, which is regular housing bought by the republic and given to the people on the housing list. They charge 7 Irish pounds a week for the same house that costs 200.000 pounds! Its crazy! To make matters worse, they were also disputing if people want to live near people on housing lists. Then they started talking about people would make undesiriable neighbors- immigrants, travelers, and single mothers! Crazy!
...I also talked to Jorn through email- hopefully, during our study week, I'll be able to go to Stuggart for a few days!
... Well, that's all for now, tomorrow is the Dublin tour I didn't go on last week.

Some commentary. First off, when did "gross" exit my vocabulary? I never say that anymore! I still miss CVS, but European pharmacies are much more "homey" to me now. Marta and Kelly became my closest friends in Ireland. In 2008, we reconnected through Facebook. My dad never came to visit (in a few more days, I would have to head home for a month,) which changed plans quite a bit. I cannot believe that I was so smart to listen to the talk radio. I HATE talk radio, but it was a really good way to learn about the culture. I think I listened to that program every night I was in Dublin. I think its funny that I started talking about Jorn (whose name I now know how to spell,) I had NO idea what was to become of "me & Joern." I also know how to spell Stuttgart now :)
What really suprised me though was how I was wishing my time away. Here, I'd love to go back and slap some sense into that Allison, who was wishing away the most amazing experience of her life. And to get back to what? Baltimore? Oy!

And what am I doing on Feb. 2, 2010? I've just returned from my second physical therapy appointment for my back. It went well, and oh yeah, IN GERMAN! I drove- my X5. This evening, Joern will pick me up to drive to my in-laws' house, which is where we are building our house (in Germany) to see my father-in-law's new M class.

I've really enjoyed looking back at the person I was 10 years ago, and where life has brought me today. I'm completely amazed!