Friday, September 19, 2014

Rich Life

Finish the Sentence Friday

I can't believe it's Friday again! Time just flies like crazy these days. Last week, Lily has *finally* started elementary school, Violet is continuing her speech therapy and is making progress, and little Calvin had his well-baby exam and doing just fine. I, myself was not doing too fine. I was working - overworking myself. Since I'm on maternity/parental leave, I am supplementing our income with freelance work translating and similar language services.

One really important thing I have learned this past week is that life is way too short to do that to myself. The money wasn't worth it. I didn't sleep enough, I wasn't able to spend enough time with my girls. I didn't eat or drink enough and extremely stressed out because of the tight deadline. At 1 am the day of Lily's first day of school I decided that I had to stop that craziness. I emailed the customer and informed them that I was not able to complete the project. I felt lighter. I did not want to spend this special day in Lily's life stressed out about when I could return to my work and then pull an all-nighter. I got some sleep, and I enjoyed Lily's day.

Life is indeed too short to waste it with stress. Instead, I will focus more on filling my days with tons of cuddles, laughter, playing games, taking walks, and enjoying having my family around me.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (65)

Ten Things of Thankful

Conversation between hubby and me yesterday:

Hubby: What day is today?
Me: Friday.
Hubby: REALLY?!?!?!?
Me: Yup.
Hubby: I thought it was Wednesday!!!
Me: Nope, it's Friday..  Why do things like that never happen to me when I'm working??

Without further ado, on to my ten special thankfuls this week:

1. Violet not being seriously injured after her tumble off the swing on Sunday.

2. Meeting with several friends this week. Tuesday, our former neighbors came visit us to meet the baby, on Wednesday, Lily, Calvin, and I went to meet a friend of mine in town, and Thursday a friend came over to hang out.

3. Taking Lily on a shopping trip to pick her outfit for first day of school. Love to spend some quality time with my Lily-Pie  :-)

4. Violet finally having her big-girl bed so I can climb in bed with her for some cuddle time after the good-night story.

5. Baked goods; tons and tons of baked goods.

6. Not having to go to work after a night of next to no sleep. Hubby and I were able to trade naps and somehow survive the day.

7. Getting to playing with teeny-tiny baby feet!

8. For hubby, who spoils me in everyday life. I may not be getting flowers for Valentine's Day or our anniversary (which I am totally fine with), but today alone he let me get some rest in the morning after a crazy night with Calvin, made me sit down while he cooked my lunch, and cooked dinner in the evening. Yes, I'm a lucky girl!

9. Natural remedies for bloated babies.

10. Starting a German story time for expat children here pretty soon. Our family knows how important speaking the language is for proper integration, and one cannot start early enough to get familiar with a new language.

Wishing everyone a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

What I'm Up To In September

Last time I was updating I had just returned from a long, involuntary hiatus and incredibly uncomfortable from a pregnancy-induced liver cholestasis. I was also only 4 days away from meeting out little boy, but I didn't know that back then. Now, our little guy is already a month old (can't believe that!!), currently sleeping on the couch next to me, being simply incredibly adorable  :-)  What else is going on here right now??

I'm currently...

... reading:  My weekly cultural/political magazine, and about to tackle Christopher Moore's "Sacré Bleu", which I simply couldn't get into before.

... trying: To be better about going to bed early; and since this effort is mostly futile, I try to get naps whenever I need them.

...  anticipating: Lily's first day of elementary school next week.

... buying: Clothes for Calvin, last items off Lily's school supply list, a lamp and curtains for Violet's room.

... lusting for: everything fall.

... enjoying: this incredibly sweet baby smell.

... cursing: All the paper work we had to file after Calvin was born; but we're about done for now, I hope  :-)

... listening to: John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel.

... watching: Doctor Who.

... devouring: pumpkin bread.

... waking up: Whenever Calvin does.

... feeling: very, very lucky to have such a wonderful family and to be able to spend tons of time with all of them now.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Calvin's First Month

I can't believe that our little guy is already a month old. These psat weeks just flew by. He's been growing like a weed, putting on weight, and being simply a ray of sunshine in our family. He's a very cuddly little guy and generally prefers women over men (yes, a ladie's man already!!). His sisters at least are totally in love with him, and so are we!!

Here are is current stats and favorites:

Hight: tbd (at the well-baby visit next week)
Weight: also tbd
Clothes size: He's still wearing a couple of newborn outfits his aunt has sent last week, but mostely he's wearing 0-3 months clothes now.
Number of teeth: none

Favorite food: mommy's milk
Favorite toy: not quite sure yet. He's mostly cuddling with a security blanket Lily gave to him, but also has a plush tiger and plush smurf.
Favorite book: so far, he's not very interested in books yet, but I tend to read out loud to him if I read my weekly magazine (note to self: an article on Ebola may not be too interesting for a one-month old...)
Favorite outfit / piece of clothing: none yet. I love his "handsome" onesie on him, or his "My Mommy can do everything except sleep in peace" shirt  :-)

Likes: cuddling, singing, getting his little toes tickled, getting warmed by the space heater.
Dislikes: bathing, changing his clothes, having a tummy ache.

Happy 1-month birthday, little guy!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Baking Fun - Streussel Fruit Sheet Cake

Fall is upon us, and with it tons of local fruit is ready to be harvested and turned into yummie baked goods.  A couple of weeks ago, I found locally-grown plums in the store and picked them up, along with a cube of fresh yeast to make a delicious streussel sheet cake.  Since Lizzi (aka the Considerer) asked for the recipe, here it comes!

Tons of fresh fruit (plums, apples, berries, cherries, mix and match, or stay with one type of fruit), if necessary cut in halves, slices, etc.

1 lb. flour
1/3 Red Star® cake yeast
3 oz. sugar
3 oz. butter
a pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 - !/2 cup of milk (luke warm)

Streussel (optional):
3 oz. flour
2 oz. butter
1 oz. sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Mix about 1 tablespoon of sugar with half of the milk. Crumble the yeast into the milk and dissolve. Let sit in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile mix sugar, salt and flour in a large bowl and make a dent in the middle. Cut butter on the edges. Pour the yeast-milk mixture in the middle and add the egg. Mix and knead the dough, add more milk if necessary. Let the dough rise at a warm place until doubled. Knead dough again on a floured surface and roll to the size of a baking sheet with a rolling pin.

Spread fruit on top.

If desired top with streussel.

Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes.


Monday, September 8, 2014

ER Adventures

Sunday afternoon, we went with some friends to a beergarden in town that celebrated its 25th anniversary. The girls had fun playing at the playground there and running around with their friends while we adults enjoyed cool drinks and conversation, until a nice gentleman brought a crying Violet back to our table. Obviously, she had fallen backwards off the swing and hit the ground with her head. Quickly, we collected Lily, who went home with our friends and we took Violet to the ER.

There, we waited while TWO adults skipped the line ahead of us.

At the same time, two totally drunk teenagers were lying on the emergency vehicle driveway and were picked up by two police cars later.

Calvin used the chance and the audience to rip the hugest fart you could possibly imagine out of such a small person (or any person at all). I think most people in the waiting room turned their heads, but for some reason I was the only one giggling. Especially since his daddy went to change THAT diaper (which turned out not nearly as bad as it sounded).

After I complained to the nurse there that people keep skipping ahead of us, they immediately took our information, and not too much later, Violet was called in to be seen by the doctor. Fortunately, she did not have a concussion, just a mild whiplash and a bump on her head. I think we really need to get a bubble-wrap suit for our Sweetie  :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (64)

Ten Things of Thankful

Our weekend is half over already, with not much on our schedule for next week. I'll need to run some errands in town one day and meet my mom to pick out sports shoes for Lily another. One more week with our Lily at home before elementary school will start. Can't believe that so soon, she'll be a 1st-grader!  I can still remember her being the little baby just born. And a blink of an eye later, she is the big sister to two little siblings and will start first grade.

Here are the ten things I'm incredibly thankful for this week:

1. Our baby smiling. He's been trying to a couple of times, but today he gave me the brightest smile you could imagine. His whole face was lighting up with this smile. So beautiful!!

2. Finding a new and absolutely delicious chocolate cake recipe. Thank you, Pinterest!

3. Getting wonderful back-rubs from hubby as the muscles in my back knot up from nursing and carrying a baby around for most of the day. I see a visit to my chiropractor in the near future.

4. Family. I am so thankful that we are all getting along again and enjoy each other's company.

5. Meeting a colleage from out-of-country for a drink this week. It was so great to meet him again. And he was excited to meet little Calvin, who had a great time on his arm :-)

6. Support from the hubby, who gets up, helps the girls to get ready for the day and takes Violet to kindergarten when I'm in no shape to leave the bed because Calvin has kept me up most of the night. Hope poor baby will get rid of the tummy aches pretty soon!

7. Kids who eat most veggies, and sometimes even request oddities like spinach, caulifower, or brussle sprouts.

8. Enjoying walks to and from kindergarten with the girls. The time with just one of them is really precious to me.

9. Finally, FINALLY having the girls' furniture delivered. Even though it's not perfect and complete yet, they do have proper furniture in their rooms now!

10. Being surrounded by so much love and support. The girls who are more than happy to help out taking care of their little brother and hubby who's doing his best to take as much load as possible off my shoulders. He sure is such a passionate dad and husband; I couldn't imagine a better family!

I hope you all have a great weekend!