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, 31. August 2011

22 weeks

How far along?: 22 weeks

*Total weight gain: still 7 lbs.
*How big is baby?: The baby is the size of a papaya

Watch what you say -- baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby's starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn't be hard to figure out when -- just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.  From: www.thebump.com

 *Maternity clothes?: I wore my new maternity dress today.  So many complements!  I love it!

*Sleep?:  Still tossing and turning quite a bit, but pretty much well rested.

*Best moment this week?:  Feeling the Erbse kicks from outside.  Now, if only Joern was patient enough to feel too!

*Movement?: Erbse made his presence known to me quite a few times at work this week.  It was so hard not to giggle when Erbse wiggled around while the director of the school directed his "welcome back" speech.
*Food cravings?: fruit, veggies,  macaroni & cheese

*Labor signs?: Too early!

*Belly button in or out?: Still an innie, and still rather painful!

*What I miss: sleeping on my right side

*What I'm looking forward to: more Erbse kicks!

*Milestone: We're in to month 5 now. 

*Other Erbse related news:  Still no name.  We can't land on one that we are both in love with.  We met with my friend, Mandy, on Friday at the Stuttgart Weindorf.  She asked if she could host a baby shower!  I was certain that I would not have a baby shower here with all of my friends.  I am soooo excited!

Donnerstag, 25. August 2011

21 Weeks

How far along?: 20 weeks

*Total weight gain: still 7 lbs.
*How big is baby?: The baby is the size of a banana.

Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.
 *Maternity clothes?: Most definitely, tank tops and t-shirts for length!  I put on my shorts today, and well, I hope the heat breaks soon, it was a struggle!

*Sleep?:  I'm tossing and turning quite a bit.  I get uncomfortable on my left side, so I flip on my right for a few minutes, then back to my left.  When I wake up again, its time for another few minute break on my back, but I don't fall asleep this way.  Blargh!

*Best moment this week?:  Feeling the Erbse move while sitting, not just when I am laying down!

*Movement?: Feeling Erbse move when I sit and lay down.
*Food cravings?: fruit, veggies

*Labor signs?: Too early!

*Belly button in or out?: Ouchie!  Still an innie, but the scar from my surgery that is in my belly button must be stretching.  It really hurts!

*What I miss: not having to bend over to see my feet

*What I'm looking forward to: more Erbse kicks!

*Milestone: Breaking past the halfway point.  Its all downhill, until I become a mountain, from here!

Mittwoch, 24. August 2011

Bella Italia- July 2011

We made two short trips to Italy in July.  Instead of lots of explanation, I thought it would be better just to sum up the two weekends with a bunch of pictures.

In the Alps, near Lichtenstein.

Splügenpass.  Elevation: 6,932 ft.

Chiavenna- I'm in love!

From Milan to Venice

Lido di Jesolo

Enjoying an evening cocktail (alcohol free, of course,) by the hotel pool.



Venice at night

Festa Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer)

Last stop before home- fruit, veggies, and wine!

Montag, 22. August 2011

Dear Little Erbse

Dear Little Erbse,
Tonight is the last night of Week 20, or the last night of the halfway point.  I cannot believe that we have been together for 20 weeks already, and can't even begin to imagine how quickly the next 20 weeks will fly.  We have been through a lot together already. I am conviced that you are already a well traveled baby, having now gone to Hong Kong, Italy, and home all before you were halfway grown.  You even pulled through my cold like a champ.  When we saw you squirming around on the ultrasound screen on Friday, stuffing that little thumb in your mouth, your Daddy and I fell more in love, and are already so very proud of you!  We were so excited when the doctor confirmed that you are a boy, and I can't even begin to imagine how much fun it will be raising our son. 

We have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming 20 weeks, Little Guy.  Fall is coming up, and you will be expericing lots of different tastes, because Mommy loves pumpkin!  Our next 20 weeks will be calmer in terms of travel, we'll be staying here in Germany most of the time, but that will only help you grow bigger and stronger.  We promise to decide on a name for you over the next 20 weeks.  While your Daddy and I both love Erbse, you may not be happy with that decision when you're older.
We will also be moving into our new house in the upcoming 20 weeks.  Your room will come together, and hopefully, be finished before you arrive.  But, most of the memories we will have in our new house will include you, Little Erbse. Its already hard to imagine life without you.

Most importantly though, in 20, or so, weeks, we will be meeting you Little Erbse.  I can't wait to hold you, to see your little face, and to hear your little cry.  Your Daddy and I hope that we will be good parents to you, we're already trying hard. 

So, Erbse, here is to the next 20 weeks.  We're standing on top of the hill now, and we'll start walking down slowly, but I'm sure we'll be running by the end.
We love you so much,
Mommy and Daddy

Baby shopping a'la home

One of the things I did while I was home over the past two weeks was to do some baby shopping.  It was so much fun!  I bought clothes at Target and Babies R'Us, and set up my Babies R' Us registry with my aunt and cousin, Elizabeth.  I even returned to Babies R'Us the day before I left. 
I have a few confessions:  baby clothes are super cute, and I want to buy them all; and baby items are equally cute (minus breast pumps,) leaving me to again, want to buy everything!
I bought some adorable clothes:

I also received a few gifts already from my stepmom:

The blanket fit perfectly with my decision to go with a nautical theme for the nursery.  I figured that since the water is such a big part of me, and sadly, little Erbse will not be infused with salt water the way I am, I don't mind giving him as much sea as I can.

So, this is the nursery bedding that I bought:
Obviously, I did not buy the crib, but quilt gives you a good idea of the bedding. 
It is the Ahoy Mate collection.  I fell in love with the fact that
it was nautical, but had monkeys :)  I love monkeys too :)
I bought the matching mobile too:

I also bought a pack n'play for Germany:

And, I bought a very cool convertible bouncy seat for my dad's house. 
I really liked the fact that the seat converts to a rocking chair for toddlers.  I figured that it would be nice for the Erbse to have a nice seat for the Erbse at Dad's house, but usually, they are only for newborns, which would mean that Erbse would get to use it one trip.  This way, the Erbse can have his special chair at Grandpa's house for a few years.

Today, I plan on completing my nursery furniture purchase.  I am purchasing the crib and changing table from the Larkin Collection at Pottery Barn Kids.  Both the crib and changing table are convertible to regular pieces of furnitre.  The crib turns into a toddler bed and later, into a double bed headboard.  The changing table has a removable lip, so that it can be used as a dresser.
I also am ordering the Charleston Upholstered Convertible Rocker and Ottoman, again from Pottery Barn Kids.  I love the fact that you can take the rockers off and put legs on when a rocker is no longer necessary. 

Of course, this is just the beginning of Erbse shopping.  But, I do feel like we have a good start!

Samstag, 20. August 2011

Anatomy Scan

Yesterday, we had the baby's 20 week anatomy scan.  The doctor spent about 30 minutes with the ultrasound.  It was just amazing to see the Erbse again!
She showed us his arms and hands, we were able to count 5 fingers on each hand.  Then, she switched to the legs, and confirmed that the Erbse is indeed a little boy.  She showed us the bones in his legs, and each of the feet.  There are 5 toes on each foot too :)

Its hard to see, but if you look carefully, one of the Erbse's feet is in the top middle of the picture.

She showed us his heart, and we heard his heartbeat.  She showed us the blood flowing through the umbilical cord.  She showed us his spine, which also looks very good. 

The entire time, the Erbse was quite active, which is why the pictures are blury.  It was much clearer on the screen, but when she went to capture the image on the screen, the little bugger, *ahem* Erbse, would squirm around, and everything went blury. 

I asked about his kidneys, because my grandmother only had one fully developed kidney.  She said that they are both fine, as well as his bladder, and lungs. 

What had to be the most amazing part of the scan was when she put it on 4D.  The Erbse was sucking his thumb, but not just a little bit of his thumb, but his entire thumb, including the fat part, and was wiggling it around in his mouth.  Again, hard to get a good picture because we have an energetic little Erbse who would not hold still for a picture.  So, the following picture is a little freaky, but if you look closely, you can see that little hand jammed into his mouth:

Before the scan was completed, the doctor switched it back to 2D to take some measurements.  The Erbse is measuring at date or 1-2 weeks ahead on everything. She said that it was all very good, and he is developing quite healthily!

I had a few concerns to bring up though.  I asked about the passing out at Babies R'Us incident, and she said that it was completely normal.  I also asked about feeling the Erbse, because I'm not feeling him move over the day.  Again, she said it is fine, and 20 weeks is early to feel the first baby.  Then, the doctor brought up that my iron was low, so I am now on iron supplements.  She then asked if I would like to take a glucose tolerance test.  Given my family history, being the child of two diabetics, I immediately jumped on this offer.  So, on September 7, at 8 am, I will be at the doctor's office at 8:00 in the morning for a few hours while I drink super sweet, spike your blood sugar, syrup, and have my blood taken periodically to see how my body process glucose.  Fingers crossed that this works okay!

Otherwise, everything went very well.  We are so in love with our little Erbse, and are entirely convinced that we truly have the most adorable little boy in the world.  I'll leave you all with one final photo:

Freitag, 19. August 2011

20 weeks- Halfway there!

Sorry that this post is a few days late.  I was still home on the actual 20 week marker, and traveled back to Germany on Wednesday night, which knocked me out Thursday too.  Today was busy, and I will need to upload another picture, but at least its a start.

How far along?:  20 weeks

*Total weight gain: Finally gained.  Total weight gain now:  3.5 kilos, or about 7 pounds.

*How big is baby?: The baby is the size of a cantaloupe.

Baby's digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, speaking of the diaper situation... baby's genitals are now fully formed!  from www.thebump.com
*Maternity clothes?:  Since I haven't posted in 2 weeks, this is a little long.  Two weeks ago, about 2 days into my trip home, I realized that my tank tops were showing way too much skin, and while I love my baby belly, belly shirts are a definite no-no.  So, I purchased and fell in love with much longer maternity tanks.  Last week, I broke out the maternity jeans- aah, heaven!  I can still squeeze into my shorts, but I have to push them low under my belly.  I'm kinda glad I didn't need to buy maternity shorts though.  I had tons of fun buying lots of maternity clothes at home with my friend Monica at Destination Maternity!

*Sleep?:  Sleeping pretty well, but my stomach is getting a little uncomfortable when I sleep on my side.  May be time to break out a belly pillow.

*Best moment this week?:  So many fantastic moments during the past two weeks!  I had a wonderful visit with my dad.  I bought tons of baby stuff while I was home.  And today, we had our 20 week anatomy scan.  It was incredible to watch the Erbse move around, see his strong heartbeat, healthy development, and to watch him stuff his little hand into his mouth :)

*Movement?: Starting last week, when I lay down in bed and stay still, I feel quite a bit of activity.  I also had one big punch to my belly button last Thursday at 4 am!

*Food cravings?: donuts, fruit

*Labor signs?: Too early!

*Belly button in or out?: Innie.

*What I miss: my dad :(

*What I'm looking forward to: feeling Erbse move much more consistently

*Milestone: 3:  The Erbse went on his first trip to his second home, a great anatomy scan, and of course, the 20 week, halfway marker!