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, 25. März 2012

My Fluffy Butt Part 2

Today is Saturday, which means that Ryan and I have officially been involved in our "Great Cloth Diaper Experiment" for a week now.  I have mixed emotions about the whole thing.  The beginning of the week was really rough, I must admit.  We had lots of leaks.  When we didn't have leaks, I had Ryan's diapers way too tight, and the poor baby had these huge indentations and red welts all over his legs and waist.  I almost admitted defeat.  But, it turns out, you need to have patience.  Like with anything that seems difficult, you have to stick with your beliefs.  My belief is that disposables are not the best for Ryan right now, so I want to stick with cloth. 
Yesterday seemed to be a turning point, and all of a sudden, we went the entire day with only one small leak, near a leg, after 4 hours.  Today, the same.  But it was my fault, we messed up nap time, and Ryan was in his diaper for a long time, but only a little leak out one of the legs. 
I will write another post about the brands, what I like, and what doesn't seem to work so well.  But for now, I'll leave you with my happy baby, in all his fluffy cuteness :)

Montag, 12. März 2012

Poor Baby

Ryan made it three months before getting his first cold, but we're now in the throes of stuffy nose and cough.  Poor little guy!  I first noticed the cough on Saturday, and hoped it would get better.  Instead, by this morning, he turned into a congested, wheezing, hacking mess.  So, off to the doctor, who we haven't visited in a whole week, we went.
After looking in Ryan's nose, ears, throat, and eyes, the diagnosis is that he has a stuffy nose which is causing his problems.  I've now learned that as only nose breathers, a stuffy nose is a miserable thing in a baby.  According to the doctor, it is no great virus or horriffic illness, but a stuffy nose in baby world can be as hard on a little one as a great virus.  We left the doctor's office with a rental inhalation machine for a saline solution, nose drops, strict orders to keep Ryan upright as much as possible, and one totally done little boy.
Feel better, Little Man.  Mommy and Daddy love you very much!

Sonntag, 11. März 2012

My Fluffy Butt Part I

One of the things I've learned in the past 3 months about parenting is that no one can really tell you what parenting is like, or what your child will be like, or what your child will need.  It turns out that EVERY baby is completely different, and what works best for one baby may be the worst thing in the world for your baby. I found this to be especially true with lots and lots of baby products.  Over the 8 months of my pregnancy, people would tell me, "oh you NEED this," or "I couldn't live without that."  A lot of the things I bought on recommendations are things we rarely use now, because Ryan simply does not like them. 

When it came to diapers, most people I talked to balked at the idea of cloth diapering.  I had been toying around with cloth diapers for months while I was pregnant.  But, everyone assured me that disposables are the way to go.  So, as any good first time mom, I listened to the advice, collected the evidence, and agreed, disposables would be the best thing for Ryan and myself.  Then, I had Ryan, all adorable, lovable 7 kilos of Ryan, with legs that most cloesly resemble large sausages.  I say that last statement in the most loving way, of course.  It turns out that the disposable diapers leave these huge indentations on Ryans thighs, and they get really red.  So, I went to find another diaper.  I found some that fit much better, but smell so horrible that we can never figure out if he pooped by smell, and as soon as they are wet, you can smell the diapers across the room.  I kept searching, and kept discovering that most disposables simply do not fit right, or are very chemical smelling.

Enter cloth.  I'm not talking about your old fashioned piece of material with pins.  No dunking and swishing.  No diaper service.  I'm talking about the new, modern cloth diaper.  Of course, there are tons of options out there for cloth diapers now, and it took a lot of research, and it just may take some trial and error.   The cloth diapers I settled on are All in Ones (AIO)  pocket, mostly for the fact that they are most like the disposable, and as a cloth first-timer, ease of use is a good thing.  The AIOs are well, just that.  They consist of a waterproof, outer cover, with all the absorbant material sewn inside.  They look just like a disposable, but have the added benefit of being adjustable in size, which is fantastic for Ryan.  The pocket diapers are cool too, because they have a waterproof outer layer, and a pocket inside, which you can stuff with inserts, meaning that you can vary the absorbency of the diaper, which is also very cool.  And, as an added bonus, they come in ultra-bright colors and fantastic prints.  I went with two brands, Fuzzibunz and Bum Genius.  Fuzzibunz Elite came very highly recommended, as the legs have adjustable elastic, which is a dream come true for this chubby-legged baby mom, they are also one size, so Ryan can wear them from now until he is toddling around, which is a good thing in terms of cost effectiveness.  The Fuzzibunz are pocket diapers, so I'll be able to play with them quite a bit in terms of absorbency. I went with Bum Genius because there are rave reviews of Bum Genius all over the Net.  It was a little trickier to order Bum Genius though, because they have a bunch of different styles.  So, I went with a little of each.  I ordered some of their 4.0s, which are pockets.  I then ordered some Bum Genius Elementals, which are AIOs made of organic cotton.  Finally, I ordered a few Freetime, which are new and are AI2, or All-in-Two, meaning that they are like AIOs, but you can adjust the absorbency with the two inserts that are sewn in. 

I received my order yesterday, and will start prepping the diapers tonight.

  Oh yeah, and prepping these two brands means sticking them in the washing machine.  No boiling or anything tricky. I hope to start daytime cloth diapering this week, and moving to nighttime diapering in a few weeks.  I can imagine that the learning curve with cloth is large, and I want to be patient with myself and with Ryan. As I gain experience with cloth diapers, I plan to enlarge my stash a bit, but for now, I think I have a nice assortment, and they are pretty "Daddy friendly," which is an added bonus.  I know that this is best to get Ryan out of disposables, and I'm excited to see my little Fluffy Butt!

Donnerstag, 1. März 2012

Things loved in February

Is it possible that February is already gone?  I feel like I spent the majority of the month awake at night, trying to find sleep whenever possible, and laying on the couch being a "human pillow." 
But, I was still able to find a few things that I fell in love with.

Yves St Laruent- Touche Eclat

                       As it turns out, when you have a baby, you stop sleeping.  If you don't sleep for a longer time, you start to look like it.  This really helps with brightening up my face, so that I don't look, well, like a zombie.

Alcina Rich Anti-Age cream
   This is the embarassing thing.  I got my hair cut this month.  It was a desperate situation.  But, while I was there, my hairdresser mentioned that my skin seemed a bit dry.  I knew "a bit," was a huge  understatement, as the skin under my eyes was bright red, and hurt horrifically.  It got really embarassing though when she offered me an enzyme peel and moisturizing treatment "on the house."  My hairdresser kept saying that good skin is really important, and that I looked so tired!  On the way out, I asked if I could purchase a moistrizer, as I knew I needed a face cream.  She handed me this anti-age cream, and without a second thought, I purchased it.  When I got home, I read the box, it is supposed to be for "mature skin," which tends towards the over 40 crowd.  Fantastic!  I look 10 years older!  But, I love the face cream, it is so rich and not greasy, and feels like heaven on my dry cheeks. 

   I am a member of a moms group on Facebook.  It is amazing!  The women are so kind and supportive and it is a huge help to go through this new mom thing with 193 other fantastic women.  I would be lost without them!

Fleece footie sleepers

    They do not sell fleece footie sleepers here.  I don't know what Germans do!  In the country where one must bundle their child beyond belief, I haven't figured out how people cover baby feet at night.  Ryan's feet get cold if they are bare in his sleep sack, so I really love footie sleepers! Ryan was lucky enough to have had one in newborn sized and one 3 month sized,. and we have a few terry hand-me downs.  I would be lost, and Ryan's feet would freeze without his footie sleepers!

  On the last day of February, which happened to be a Leap Year, my little one became a US citizen.  Joern stopped in front of the Connecticut flag in the US embassy in Frankfurt, and softly hummed the Star Spangled Banner in Ryan's ear.  The country may be frought with problems right now, but it is my home, and I am so excited that I can share being a part of this country with my son!