Monday, February 23, 2015

germany is hard

when we decided to move to Frankfurt, i knew there would be some cultural differences, but i also knew life would go on in essentially the same way. i mean, it’s not like i have to cart water from the well or beat my clothes with a rock in the river to get them clean. but i was surprised at how many small cultural differences there actually are and how much that impacts my day-to-day life. one small example: most people go to the grocery store every day or two and nothing is sold in bulk. this makes it difficult to stock up on things and makes self control for this impulse buyer a must. but it does make it easier when you are using only a stroller and your own two hands to lug groceries.

so, germany is hard right now because...
everything is slower here, except grocery store checkout clerks
you must bring your own grocery bags
you must bag your own groceries at the speed of light
nothing is open past 8
EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday and many things are closed on Monday
most places close down from 1-3pm
customer service is pretty terrible
the internet is distrusted so very few merchants have websites or conduct business over the web
the kids’ parks are medieval and not at all toddler-friendly
everyone speaks german (teehee)
most places are cash only - no credit cards
they don’t refrigerate their eggs
the eggs often have feathers and poop stuck to the shells
peanut butter costs about 5 euros for a pint-sized jar. and it isn’t even good
there are no regular story hours or activities for children under 3 at the library
my house doesn’t have AC
housing is constructed much tighter – very energy efficient, but very stuffy
3 words: the metric system
the oven is too small for most of my bakeware and also has no moveable racks
the washer and dryer cannot be run at the same time
the dryer doesn’t dry all the way
you have to pay for playgroups
my go-to cheap-and-healthy meals are expensive here
the weather sounds so much worse in celcius

but the bakeries – THE BAKERIES! oh, i could write sonnets about the bakeries

the eggs taste better here

most people are actually very friendly (they apparently just haven’t made their way to customer service)

you can walk almost anywhere - even city to city - it’s very bicycle friendly and the public transportation is pretty awesome

alex slept 12 hours straight for the first time ever in Germany

germans. do. Christmas.

if you’re invited to a birthday party, you bring a present, even if the host tells you it’s not necessary (i was on the awesome end of this)

i think the curl is coming back to my hair

oh, and we have this view (it looks thuper great at night)

so, germany, i think you're stuck with us for a while. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

dat guy - 11 mo

says "uh-oh" and "thank you" (dat doo)
signs hello and goodbye, finished, and ciao-ciao
waves, points
crawls like lightening
loves other kids and can't understand when they get upset when he plays with them (by taking their toys)
does not understand what's happening when a kid steals a toy from him. just looks at him (or her) as if to say, hey, what was that about?
will take your hand and have you do what he can't, then observes and mimics. he's getting pretty good at "typing"
plays patty cake and itsy bitsy spider.
is still calm. doesn't cry very loud.
enjoys baths, especially with cousin friends. and splashing.
loves to "chat"
loves peas, cheese, berries, beans, rice and veggie burgers
hates having to stop playing to have his diaper changed. we're talking full on meltdown mode.
otherwise, he's generally full of sunshine and smiles

yep. we love him.

Monday, August 25, 2014

dat guy - 9 mo

i kind of botched his photoshoot this time - not my best set-up. and i couldn't get him to hold still, hence the flashlight. but whatever. can't win 'em all.

alex is generally happy and relaxed, unless there are new people or loud noises. he loves to army crawl his long self around to explore and occasionally pull himself to standing. he manages to find and investigate all the things he shouldn't: power cords, phones, outlets, trash, the diaper bin, the plunger (ugh), and so on. he finds the vacuum an object both fearsome and fascinating. the short walk to the mailbox provides all sorts of curious things: keys, little boxes with papers in them, trees, the occasional dog, and airplanes overhead. each and every person encountered must be started at gravely, preferably with at least one finger in his mouth, before judging them worthy of a tiny smile or hiding his face completely. upon retrieving the mail, he inspects each piece for us before turning his attention to the door knocker and chain lock back home. (safety first!) he is endlessly intrigued by glasses and hats and will take them. he will not wear his own, but will inspect every article he can get his hands on. he has learned, through keen observation, how to use the remote control. AND and how to turn pages of books.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

dat guy - 8 months

has discovered his tongue
likes sweet potatoes best
enjoys stealing the spoon and "feeding" himself
has decided mobility might actually be worth it: scoots and scuffs and faceplants, but eventually gets there. poor kid is eating a lot of carpet.
is getting long and skinny
loves to be outside to watch the cars and trucks
survived (and enjoyed) his first boys' weekend with daddy

Friday, June 27, 2014

dat guy named owlex

guys. he's SEVEN months old already. when did that happen? literally, 7 days ago. 

alex likes:
foods that are orange, bath time, swinging, hangin out with his feet up, mama, balls, being outside, daddy, being held…always, things that crackle and/or jingle and/or generally make noise, being upside down, and watching the cars go by on the corner.

alex does not like:
new people (at least not for a while) putting clothes on, taking clothes off, and sleeping through the night

that's pretty much it. he's a pretty easygoing guy. he likes things pretty quiet and likes to observe before he gets involved. everywhere we go, people comment on how cute he is. and sometimes it gets me free sodas. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

dat guy named owlex

this guy is 6 months old and…

he loves to be outside
is very intrigued by cars, trucks, any moving vehicle, people, dogs, loud noises, squirrels, birds, sticks and grass. but really cars and trucks
he has very little interest in movement, unless it gets him out of tummy time. then he'll roll only over his right shoulder. #notanambiturner
has more interest in cords/phones/water bottles/mama's keys than his own toys
cries during arguments on tv and sad music
flaps his arms like a hummingbird and kicks his legs when he's excited to see you - particularly after a nap
he smiles for the camera (or phone) then tries to take it
wears 12 month clothing
is already quite the lady killer with his shy guy act
loves zerberts
sounds like an owl when he's upset
loves him some paper
is generally pretty quiet and content to sit and take it all in
loves dat guy in the mirror
loves his bath, particularly the part where he gets to lay on the counter
is very interested in ALL THE THINGS
loves growly, barky and snorty noises
loves to fly and bounce and be held upside down
holds objects in one hand and pats them with the other

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

if you're sleeping and you know it clap your hands!

i don't have kids that say funny things, but i do have ben. he says funny things when he's awake, but even funnier things when he *thinks* he's awake.

lately, i've been staying up with the lamp on to read so i've been wide awake for these encounters. ben claims it's comforting to fall asleep with the light on, but i wonder if he doesn't sleep quite as well because he seems to sleep more "actively" when it's light. on this particular night, a while after he'd fallen asleep, ben lifted his head off the pillow a few inches and raised his arm straight in the air, moving it from side to side.
a: what are you doing?
b: mbfflmbelmmbbbffflelm
a: what?
b: i'm just making sure none of this stuff slides around.
a: oh. are you awake?*
b: <chuckles as if this is a silly question and nods assuredly>
a. where are you?
b: at the firm.
a: <very much amused> honey, we're in bed. there's nothing up there but air. are you sure you're awake?
b: <again, laughs as if this is a silly quesiton, rolls over and settles deeper into sleep>

a few weeks before that, he tried to steal my covers, claiming he "needed the documents." 


*it took me a while to learn that he will always answer "yes" when asked if he's awake, but i still ask anyway.