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.

Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2012

Month by Month Ryan: Month 4

March was an exciting month for Ryan and for us as well.  March brought with Ryan's first trip "abroad," and Ryan's first St. Patrick's Day.  Ryan showed lots of head control in March, and tummy time became a lot easier. Ryan's loves in March were his octopus, named "Otto," naps, and his changing table.

When Ryan turned 3 months old, he was rounding out his big growth spurt.  Here's a picture of Ryan sitting up "unassisted," for the first time:

And, he was still a very sweet, cuddly baby, who was famous for his "milk comas" or passing out after a bottle.  Even cuter, he most often slept with one hand on his belly:

A proud day for Daddy, he got to take Ryan to his first Importtrend customer.  And the family sales dynasty continues.
Sadly, Ryan also had his first cold in March:

Ryan also went on his first international trip, when Mommy, Daddy, and Ryan all drove over the French border to visit a grocery store:

March was a great time for tummy time. Little Pea's neck all of a sudden was really strong, and tummy time was no longer a scream-fest, and more a time for Ryan to check out his surroundings from a new perspective.

In a very patriotic moment, Ryan wore his first Osh Kosh overalls on the same day he received his US passport.  He found the whole experience very exciting, and very exhausting!

He was also the man of funny faces in March:

I have to make a brief mention here that Mommy realized in March that Ryan loved the changing table.  Ryan and Mommy would head upstairs all smiles and laughs knowing that it was changing time.  Ryan would happily lay on his changing table forever at the time, he enjoyed all the tickles,singing and kisses.  We would play multiple rounds of "Where's the baby's fingers," and "All around the garden."  It was all so very cute!  He loved his changing table so much that if Little Pea was upset, all I had to do was take him upstairs to his changing table, and he'd calm right down.  Aaahhh, those were blissful days!

There was also the famous "drinking" incident in March.  Uncle Marcel was visiting, and he and Daddy enjoyed some beer.  Ryan decided that he was going to "keep up" with the boys with his milk.  Unfortunately, too much milk always caused Ryan to pass out.  Case in point:

As the weather improved, Ryan also enjoyed some lovely walks and some outside playtime:

At the end of the month, Ryan visited our old apartment.  We lived there up until the week before Ryan was born.  So, the visit to the old apartment was Ryan's outside visit to his first home.  We spent some time in the apartment cleaning and preparing for the new tenant, which meant that it was Ryan's first and last visit to the apartment for some time.  It was also very exciting because although he is asleep in the picture, he also had some playmat time at the apartment.  He turned onto his side for the first time while he was there!

Of course, the apartment was our old life, and although Ryan spent almost all of his "in Mommy's tummy" life there, our house is really Ryan's castle.  On March 28th, we finally receieved the final piece of Ryan's crib, which allowed us to finally put it together.  It seemed like love at first sight!

What really amazed me, looking back, is that by the end of the month four, Ryan looked like Ryan.  He looks more mature now, and he finally has hair again, but the end of month baby face closely resembles my little guy now.  Its amazing that in four short months he went from a squishy, squinty-eyed newborn, to a mini-version of 10 month old Ryan.  It was a wonderful time to share in our Little Pea's life!

Mittwoch, 3. Oktober 2012

Remembering the lasts

There was a blog post circulating around on one of my mom's groups recently.  The post was about how we celebrate our children's milestones, yet we don't often make a big deal when something comes to an end.  The post really made me think.  I mean, one of my biggest lessons in parenting, in my whole 10 months at it, is that nothing ever lasts.  The first time I realized this was with sleep.  When Little Pea was not sleeping through the night at four-and-a-half months, I resigned myself to the fact that Ryan just wasn't going to be a baby who slept through the night.  One night, he did sleep through the night, and everything changed.  We celebrated that first night he slept through the night, but I did not stop to think about the fact that sleeping through the night meant an end to those late night cuddles, no more baby falling asleep on my chest.

Its been like this for the past 10 months.  You celebrate the first, but the last slips through your memory.  Somewhere along the way, you stop and ponder the loss of something, but you can't put your finger on when.  I know that Ryan stopped making his "goat sound," and I know that he stopped holding his hands in those tight little fists, but can't say when.  All I know is after a few weeks, you stop and think to yourself, or say it out loud, "do you remember when he used to do whatever, well, I haven't noticed that in a while."

The first few years are a time of incredible change, and it happens so fast, that you lose the lasts in a blur.  So many have passed me by, and so many are going to pass me by really soon.  The blog post made me realize that I really need to notice the small things right now.  I should stop focusing on the future, and put myself more in the here and now.  These days are so precious, and so fleeting, I'll never have them back.

Keeping this in my mind, I realized today when I opened the freezer to take out Ryan's food that I stopped making baby food two weeks ago.

Of course, I'll continue cooking for Ryan, but those nights of staying up till 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning steaming and pureeing are gone.  Ryan is transitioning over, and my days of my homemade baby food are numbered.  With this transition, comes the end of our lovely times at the high chair with me lovingly singing songs and making crazy faces to get one more bite into Ryan.  Soon, he'll be doing it on his own. It will be one more beginning, and one more end.

I'm hoping to keep that blog post in my mind.  I hope I can slow down, like I did today, and realize that I need to recognize and celebrate each beginning in Ryan's life, but also to honor the phase that comes to an end.

Day 3: Shoes

Cute, that's all.  #photoadayAGL

Day 2: In my cup

Mmmhhh... a little chai with milk while I catch up on everything, and a little face that always makes me smile.  #photoadayAGL

Day 1: Leaves

We took a walk today, and I was reminded of one of the things I really like about living here.  I really like that we live in the country.  Apple orchards make me happy.  #photoadayAGL

Accepting a challenge

I admit, I was a so-so blogger before Ryan was born.  Okay, not even so-so.  But, after he was born, I entered into a the great blogging void.  Its sad really.  I know I enjoy blogging.  And I also know that it will be a wonderful record of our little life one day.  Yet, when Ryan was born, I found a million other things to do besides blog.  You know, cuddling,changing and washing diapers, cuddling, making food, cuddling, getting dressed, cuddling, all came before blogging.
I really want to get back into my blog though.  I'm proud of myself for keeping up with my monthly Ryan reviews for the past three weeks.  Three weeks may seem puny to you, but when I see the gaping holes in this blog, where Ryan jumps from 3 months to 6 months is pretty bad.  I decided to search for ways to get myself back here on a more consistent basis, which is where A Grande Life's blog and her October photo challenge come into the story.

I just started reading A Grande Life yesterday, and really like it.  I've noticed the old blogs that I used to read just aren't cutting it for me anymore.  Although I'm still the same Allison as ever, my interests have evolved.  I like to view myself as the new and improved Allison.  I'm moving a bit away from travel blogs towards more mom and home blogs, which is why this blog appeals to me.

But, I noticed that she issued a photo challenge for the month of October.  A photo challenge would be great for me and my little blogging life. In order to complete the challenge, I will  take one photo a day, and publish it somewhere, like here.

Oh, I'm behind by 2 days since I just found the blog.  But here I go, wish me luck!

Sonntag, 30. September 2012

Month by Month Ryan: Month 3

 February was an exciting month here in the world of Ryan.  Even though Little Pea didn't necessarily look too excited about turning 2 months old, we were!

I have to say, that looking back on this picture makes me smile.  I remember those little fisty hands, these are the things you don't really think about when they're gone, until you look back.  *Sorry, Mommy Moment*

Ryan did finally decide that two months was pretty cool, because he started to smile on his two month birthday!

And, although he may hate me for this picture in the future, Ryan's newborn "chicken legs" were finally starting to chunk up by the time Ryan turned two months old!  He even started getting rolls!
It was very clear by the beginning of February that Ryan was quite aware of everything going on and had lots of adorable faces to show for it!

Tummy time was exhausting, but Ryan worked very hard at it!
One of Ryan's favorite activites in February was looking at the "baby in the mirror," perched above his playmat.  Ryan could spend forever staring up at, and "chatting" with that handsome fellow!
Ryan also found his thumb in February.  Sadly, I don't have any actual photographic proof of this, but I sure do remember it.  He learned really quickly how to get his thumb to his mouth, and then would get all excited, and then, that darn thumb, would pop out the other side of his mouth.  It was a little frustrating to Ryan, but very cute to watch!
Our little heartbreaker also celebrated his first Valentine's Day!

Something that was really exciting for Mommy was that February also brought with it lots of eating!  Ryan consistently was drinking 180 ml of formula every feed, so Mommy upped his formula to 210 mL every feed. 

Ryan also had a really special event happen in February, that most babies don't really get to experience.  At the end of Februrary, Ryan, Mommy, and Daddy all hopped in the car and drove to Frankfurt to go to the US Embassy.  That was a day full of firsts!  It was Ryan's longest car trip, Ryan's first trip to Frankfurt, and most importantly, the day that Ryan became a dual citizen!

By the end of February, Ryan had really changed again.  He had really lost his "newborn" look, and we realized that we had an infant on our hands.  It was so fun to watch Ryan start to take in his surroundings.  He wanted to interact with the world.  Two months was a fun age!


Mittwoch, 26. September 2012

Month by Month Ryan, Month 2

Our little boy changed quite a bit between January and February, it was a very exciting time!

We rang in the New Year with a special visitor from America, Mommy's Aunt Karen.  We always knew Ryan was a special guy, but to have your aunt come visit you from the States, and well, that shows just how loved this little guy really is.  Aunt Karen arrived on Ryan's 1 month birthday, and it was Ryan's first trip to the airport.

Ryan loved having Aunt Karen here.  It was nice for him to have lots of extra attention, and Mommy felt relaxed and happy.

While Aunt Karen was visiting, Ryan also went on his first trip to Stuttgart.  We went on a cold and rainy night, so there is no official proof that Ryan was ever in Stuttgart on a cold, damp night in January, but we do have a picture of him right before we left the house.
As I said, Ryan really enjoyed the extra company and all the extra attention.  I think it prompted him to start growing!  When Aunt Karen arrived, Ryan was still wearing newborn clothes (yes, at one month old,)

And during Aunt Karen's 10 day visit, I noticed that we were having problems getting Ryan's feet into the sleepers, and that well, he couldn't quite stretch his legs properly in his sleepers.  By the time Aunt Karen left, Ryan was already much bigger:

After Aunt Karen left, things were pretty quiet here, but Ryan grew and grew and changed every day.
Ryan started looking at everything with really huge eyes
He spent lots of time playing on his playmat:
And really enjoyed watching, and trying to catch, the birds above his bouncy chair:

Of course, Ryan spent some time sleeping as well.  Little ones sleep pretty well over the day!
As Mommy and Daddy felt more comfortable bundling Ryan up, and as Ryan started to get a little extra insulation, we also took lots of walks in January.
Ryan also got to know his hometown better, as we took lots of walks through Neckartailfingen.
But for Mommy and Daddy, the best part of Month #2 was our cuddly little man!

Ryan grew so much in January.  He was really like a newborn at the beginning of the month, and by the end of the month, he was all baby!  

It was an exciting month, as Ryan became more and more aware that there was a world out there.  Its funny to me now to look back at Ryan at one month old, and think of all the thoughts, worries, fears, and questions running through my head at the time.   It kind of makes me laugh at myself at the time, I worried about so much.  But now that I look at the pictures and think back, everything was fine.  Ryan was, as he is now, just an absolutely perfect, wonderful little boy!