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.

Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2011

30 weeks

How far along?  30 weeks

Total weight gain: now around 11 lbs.

How big is baby?
Our "Little Pea" is now the size of a head of cabbage.
30 weeks: Baby weighs as much as a large cabbageYour baby rivals a good-size cabbage in weight, tipping the scales this week at 3 pounds. (Length: about 15 3/4 inches, head to heel.)
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

From www.babycenter.com

Maternity clothes:  My maternity jeans, that I once praised for comfort, are now starting to stretch too much during the day.  I spend my days now running around, pulling up my pants.  I'm looking forward to a week break, during which time I will be sporting only my yoga pants! 
Sleep:  Alright.  I still am having trouble going back to sleep if I wake up during the night, but its okay.  I am having some crazy dreams though!

Best moment this week?:  Reaching 30 weeks!  I can count the number of weeks left until my due date on my fingers!  Oh my gosh!

Movement?:  Erbse has now gotten to punching one side of my stomach and kicking the other side.  That and he has found a new, very comfy to him position, where he stretches out what feels like at a 90° angle to my stomach.  I am assuming he puts his back against my stomach, becasue I have a long hard spot, and presses really hard against my stomach.  It is so cute that he is comfy in there, but it such a horribly uncomfortable position for me!

Food cravings?:  Philly cheesesteak, thanks to my friend, Carol.

Labor signs?:  Fortunately still none.

Belly button in or out?: A shallowie, but it pops out if I press on the sides of my belly button.

What I miss?:  Coffee still and salami.  I blame Joern for the salami, he had some the other night and it really looked yummy!

What I'm looking forward to?: My last monthly doctor's appointment next week.

Milestone?: Reaching the 30 week marker!

Other Erbse related news: 
The nursery continues to evolve.  Joern is working on the baseboard, which look fantastic against the blue walls and wood floors in the room. 

Montag, 24. Oktober 2011

Heavenly Apple Crisp- aka. one of my last baking projects in our apartment

Fall has been my favorite season pretty much all my life.  I have moved to a country where fall is nice, but not quite as lovely as fall in New England.  In an effort to savor some yummy American fall flavor, and to celebrate our upcoming move, I decided to make an apple crisp.
I can't really imagine many smells better than the combined scent of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  It reminds me of home, and it is a scent that puts me in my happy place when I get stressed about packing, moving, and unpacking.  I am already getting a little sentimental about our tiny, but happy, apartment, and am probably trying my hardest to fill it with as many happy memories before we move away.  New England fall memories are among the best, so our apartment needs some fall baking this year.

I found this recipe on a lovely blog recently, Rachel's Nest, which prompted me to bake some delicious apple crisp tonight.  As I'm typing, the air is filled with the lovely, spicy scent of baking apples and cinnamon.  Aaah!

Fortunately, apple crisp is really easy, and fine for a Monday night.
I started by making brown sugar.  For most people, making brown sugar isn't a necessity, but for those of us living away from readily accessible brown sugar, my baking always requires homemade brown sugar.  Fortunately, homemade brown sugar just requires mixing 1-2 tbsp. of molasses (or Zuckerrübensirup) per 1 cup of sugar. Just mix the two together and smush all the molasses into the sugar with a fork.

And when its all worked in, you have fluffy, wonderful brown sugar:

Once the brown sugar was all set, I got to work peeling and slicing the apples.  Once all the slices were in the baking dish, I mixed together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little flour, and sprinkled it over the apples:

Once the apples were set, I got to work on the crisp topping.  I mixed together melted butter, brown sugar, oats, and flour.  I then decided to throw in a little extra cinnamon and a dash of vanilla for good measure.  A little extra cinnamon and vanilla never hurt anything.

Once the topping mixture is good and crumbly, spoon it evenly over the sliced apples.  Then, just pop the baking dish full of appley goodness in the oven, and bake at 350° (175°ish C) for about 40 minutes, make sure to enjoy the wonderful smell!

 Here's the full recipe (adapted slightly from here)

Apple mixture:
5-7 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Oat topping mixture:
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Kaiser Natron here in Germany)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
*I added a little vanilla extract and some cinnamon to this mixture too*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced apples in a lightly greased 9x13 inch dish. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, nutmeg and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples. 

Combine oats, 2 cups of flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter. Spoon over the sliced apples until evenly covered. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.  

Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2011

How far along?  29 weeks

Total weight gain: still about 10 lbs.

How big is baby?  Our "Little Pea" is now the size of a butternut squash.
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.
From www.babycenter.com

Maternity clothes:  Since its gotten much cooler outside, I've had to go back to some of my non-maternity, but far warmer, sweaters.  The good ones are cardigans.  My non-maternity tops are hitting now about mid-bellybutton.

Sleep:  Eh,not the most desirable.  I'm still having leg cramps.  I also have trouble falling back to sleep after my 2 am bathroom trip.  Plus, I have a miserable head cold, and haven't been able to breathe the past few nights.

Best moment this week?:  Well, since this post is actually two weeks worth, the best was getting a 3D picture of Erbse's face at the doctor last Monday night.  It was the first time that he was sleeping at the doctor, so she could get a good shot of his face.  This past week, the best thing was seeing Erbse's room painted a perfect shade of "Little Boy Blue." You can see me in Erbse's room in this week's picture.

Movement?:  Erbse has been moving so much that two weeks ago, I was worried that I hadn't felt him move in about 20 hours.  I called the doctor and she had me come in right away and they hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor.  Of course, as soon as the nurse strapped me up and drew the curtain, I got a little karate chop to the stomach.  I was slightly embarassed, but the doctors and nurses agreed that it was best that I come in.  We've decided he is going to be a soccer player or a ninja.  Erbse's kicks are getting much stronger, which has really surprised Joern, and are getting a little painful to me.

Food cravings?:  Nothing really intense.

Labor signs?:  None yet, crossing my fingers that we don't see any for a while. 

Belly button in or out?:  A shallowie.

What I miss?:  Coffee.  I miss coffee so much!  I know I can have some, but don't want to get back to my 2 cup a day habit, so its safer to avoid.  Boo hoo!

What I'm looking forward to?: Next week is 30 weeks! 

Milestone?:  We're well into the third trimester now.  Because so many websites and books disagree as to the beginning of the third trimester, I've definitely been in the third trimester for over a week now!

Other Erbse related news: 
As of last Monday, Erbse weighs approximately 1200 grams (about 2.5 lbs.).  According to the doctor, this is perfect, according to a website, he is measuring about a week ahead.

We finally went into a baby store to look for a stroller and car seat.  I am trying to decide between the Britax/ Roemer sleeper, which allows the baby to lay down in the car and is supposed to be much more ergonomically correct; or the Maxi Cosi Pebble, which is more of a traditional car seat, but has the bonus of being more in a laying position than the average car seat.  One of the parents at school gave me a beautiful convertible stroller, that looks barely used.  The only problem is that it doesn't fold down very small, so I would like another stroller for when we travel, or when we want to put something more than the stroller in the trunk of the car. 
The parents at school are so generous, and have given me quite a few baby clothes.  I can't believe how many clothes we have now! 
The room is all painted, and the shipping company is headed to my stepmother's house next week Wednesday. All of the furniture has now been shipped.   I  even made a few last minute orders, including the wooden letters for Erbse's name on the nursery wall, and the Fisher Price My Little Lamb swing, that will hopefully get in before the shipment leaves.  I can't wait to get all of Erbse's furniture set up in the nursery!

Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011

On naming a baby

Its no secret that Joern and I are having a lot of difficulty finding a name for our Little Erbse.  Today though, I probably got some of the best baby naming advice of all time.
One of my students from 3 school years prior was in the library today after work.  Oh yeah, I work in the library now, I'll have to write more about that later, now I'm talking about the serious work of naming a kid.  So, this girl who is now a fourth grader, was asking me a bunch of questions about the baby.  She asked me about the baby's sex, so I told her that we're having a boy.  She said that it was good to find out the sex so that you can start shopping before baby comes.  I agreed, but then added that for me, I am very glad that we know we're having a boy because we only need to choose a boy name, and that's stressful enough.  The student responded by saying, "well it shouldn't be that hard, I named both of my rabbits with just a little help from my mom."

So there you have it, I guess it should be pretty easy if I want to name the baby either "Floppy," or "Misty."  Apparently, I shouldn't stress about this name decision!

Dienstag, 4. Oktober 2011

27 weeks!

How far along?: 27 weeks

*Total weight gain: about 10 lbs.
*How big is baby?: The baby is still the size of an eggplant

 *Maternity clothes?: I've been wearing a few non-maternity t-shirts lately, because it is so warm here, and I don't have that many maternity T's.  But, they make me look even bigger, and I feel much more comfy in my maternity clothes.

*Sleep?:  Pretty good.  But, if I roll too far over onto a side, then I get a pretty bad cramp pretty quickly.  And of course, Erbse kicks pretty good when I roll over too far too :)

*Best moment this week?: Reaching the third trimester!  That and when Joern definitely felt Erbse kicking, quite a few times!

*Movement?: Lots and lots!  He is managing to kick up under my ribs and probably punch down below my belly button at the same time.  Lots of kicks also end up in a little bulge in my belly.  I can stare at my stomach for hours now waiting for Erbse to move :)

*Food cravings?: milk

*Labor signs?: Too early!

*Belly button in or out?: Popping out on the edges.

*What I miss: being able to bend over without being in pain

*What I'm looking forward to: doctor's appointment next week

*Milestone: Third trimester!  We only have three months to go!

*Other Erbse related news:  I have to send in my documents for the shipping company, and Erbse's furnitre is set to leave my stepmother's house on the 26th of October.  I'm pretty sure Erbse will be here before his bedroom, but he doesn't really need his bedroom immediately.  I have tons and tons of clothes now, both gifts and very gently used clothes from moms at school.  I have washed everything, and am in the process of packing by age / size.  This weekend WILL be shopping weekend- we desperately need to look at strollers and car seats!