Friday, March 20, 2015

Paddy's Day 2015

St. Patrick's Day is a big deal around here. Each year we go to the Heidelberg Irish pub for some fish and chips, well-poured Guinness, and live music. This year Granny is here with us. We started with a short trip to the super-fancy playground in Heidelberg.

And ice cream, of course. Granny played with the kids while I took an important business meeting. It isn't always easy to balance of family and work with the added joy of time differences. Thankfully we've got tons of support.

Then we met up with Papa and hit the pub. We all made ourselves comfortable right away.

Jelly Bean owned the place, charming everyone and dancing along with all the music, live and recorded.

Granny enjoyed the atmosphere as well. She also really dug into the wonderful fish and chips with extra vinegar and ketchup.

Jelly Bean was all over the french fries and ketchup.

Of course the handsome Mr. enjoyed the Guinness. Me too for the record!

I really enjoyed the Guinness.

Jelly Bean enjoyed goofy around with Granny. Loudly. Hilariously. Too fun.

Our precious PJ was also there. I promise. He loved the french fries, the ketchup, the music, and the fun green outfits. He just refused to be a part of the picture fun. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My First Whole 30

This week I finished my first Whole 30. It was generally a good experience considering I was really freaking sick the entire time. 

I learned a lot more about food and cooking. I also learned how to spend more time thinking about, preparing, and enjoying the fuel of my body. 

Isn't it sort of strange how rarely we thing - really consider - how we fuel the only body we have for our entire lives? 

Some of my yummy fuel wins:

I lost a few pounds and a few inches and the composition of my body changed some. This would have been greater I think had I been able to work out and exercise instead of laying around sick. I fit a lot of my pre-kid clothing. The most exciting is definitely my wedding dress!

Although I was sick, my skin has gotten better, my sleep slightly so, and generally I have less bloat and inflammation. 

The funny thing is that doing the Whole 30 when I did was a bit of a double sword. Since I was eating so well and removing the known and potential irritants, I missed just how sick I was. That's a blog for another day. The road was bumpy but the results are good. 

The last official day of my Whole 30 was also St Patrick's Day. Paddy's Day is a big deal around here and we made our traditional trek to the Irish pub. There I enjoyed a few sips of an well poured Guinness. 

Then today I had my first coffee with REAL full-fat milk. It was glorious. 

So far I haven't had a reaction to the milk reintroduction. Fingers crossed! Long story, short: Whole 30 was worth it. I suggest giving a shot if you are struggling with bloat or digestive issues or just want to learn more about your relationship with food. 


Saturday, March 7, 2015


Jelly Bean has taken to puzzles. Big time. It cracks me up when she dumps her four all out onto the floor at once and then completes them in parallel, clapping for herself at what appear to be irregular intervals. 

Though on second thought: shouldn't we all celebrate ourselves when our spirits move us? 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Jelly Bean First Haircut

Think it was about time? 

She wasn't keen on it but some sugar popcorn earned us some time. 

Big brother kept us all entertained. 

And then we discovered a new type of Lego. Kept the kids super super quiet. 

Great hair cuts too, right? 


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Angels in Need

2015 has not been good to me health wise. I've dealt with two rounds of stomach bug, one flu, an ongoing sinus infection, a busted eye, and then what turned into a 'severe' sinus, tonsil, vocal cord and a "light" lung infection. 

Cause if I'm going go, I'm gonna go BIG. 

How did I damage my eye? Trying to get rid of the first sinus infection with something powerful called Oil of Oregano. The stuff is really great- really cleans out the sinuses - unless you cough while holding a spoon with two drops of it and it splashes into your eye, burning through your cornea. Then it is mother fucking bullshit. (Sorry mom; that's the technical term.) 

I couldn't open either eye for two days; couldn't see for about a week; saw only 2D for another week; and still have problems with distances. I was lucky: between 2 and 5% of my cornea was still there and the long-term impact will be limited to glasses. 

And not-so-clever Fasching costumes. 

In trying to get healthy, I've been doing the Whole30, making and then drinking copious amounts of bone broths, eating garlic, drinking home-steeped ginger water, and trying to take it as easy as someone with two kids, a job, a house, and a busted eye can. 

And I really thought I was doing a good job and getting better. I was tired and it was hard to sleep with a stuffed and painful nose and I had green gunk coming outta my nose and throat but I wasn't totally wiped out, my skin and hair were improving, and I wasn't popping to the bathroom numerous times a day. 

I really thought I was doing a good job and getting better. Until this last week my voice completely disappeared. Not horse, not sore: gone. 

I went to the doctor who confirmed (again) I have chronic infection and then confronted me (again) about the need for surgery and then scolded me (this was new) for "waiting far too long", "being too proud" and wrapped it up by asking me "why young parents don't care for themselves". Hey, at least he gets bonus points for saying 'parents' instead of 'mothers'. 

He then pronounced my regimen: antibiotics; sinus washes; vitamins; two hot baths/showers a day; clean, good food; loads of sleep; no chores and NO NO NO work. He actually said three "no"s in English. 

At least he has gotten to know me?

I agreed to his non-negotiable conditions and went home. Where the Mr reminded me that exactly this weekend was his brother's weekend-away bachelor party. (Yes it is ridiculous that my husband and friends go away for a weekend for every bachelor party, but let's not get distracted.) 

I was going to be alone with the kids all weekend. 

Enter Oma, Opa, and Tanta S-squared. Oma was here a good part of Friday, all Saturday even spending the night, and all day Sunday. Tanta was here Saturday morning. Opa was here as well. 

They all kept the kids alive. They gave me permission to sleep. Oma cooked whole30 compliant meals. She took the kids for long walks. She got Jelly Bean to sleep. She got PJ to sleep. She got Jelly Bean at night and then cuddled with her all morning. She cleaned my kitchen drawers and refrigerator. She swept and wiped the floors. She and PJ cleaned out the toys and gunk from under the sofa. She did more that I missed, I'm sure. 

Basically my Inlaws - and especially Oma - were Angels. Yes, capitalized. 

She's hard to get a picture of becuase although the she is a very attractive woman, she doesn't think so. Here she is over lunch. 

And with the kids. 

Update: pictures from Tante! 

Poor Opa really suffered. He wasn't able to sleep without his Oma (these guys have been together for 40+ up to that, right?) So he crashed at our home. 

Then papa walked in the door and the kids went nuts. Lordy we missed him. 

There are so many things to be thankful for. Great medical care and the ability to take sick leave. Friends who educate me about being healthy. A husband and daddy we desperately missed when he was gone two days. Oma, Opa, and Tante that want to support and love on us in the way that we need to be supported and loved. 

May we all be so lucky! May I get and stay healthy! 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Family Dance Party

We often have a dance party in the evenings. Each family member chooses a song and we all get to dance. Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Gun N Roses, and Metallica are in heavy rotation. Recently, PJ has started branching out.

Here was his most recent choice. Notice how the littlest one reacts.


We are doing something right.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Christmas Day 2014

Christmas Day - finally! Also called American Christmas in our house. Santa made it to our house:

Jelly Bean got up at her usual time. So she and I went downstairs and enjoyed some play time together while the boys slept.


PJ slept in his suit until almost 9am! Partying makes you pay at some point. ;)

But he finally got up and remembered Santa Claus was suppose to come. It took a lot of persuasion to get him out of his suit and into his sleeping clothes.

But we finally did it. And then we had to wait for papa to get into his sleeping clothes as well. So we made Christmas faces.

This is the Grinch.

This is Santa Claus.
Finally we were all ready and PJ and Jelly Bean were allowed to charge the tree.

We took it really slow opening the gifts. We took play breaks and even stopped to eat breakfast. The kids didn't mind, in fact, they seemed a little overwhelmed by the newness and excitement a few times. I can't pick which pictures to post, so here are too many.

We started with the gifts from Granny and Grandpe. Both kids loved their new kindergarten bags.

Then we opened the gifts from mommy and daddy. I made the kids superhero caps. They were a hit.

We took a play break and opened the parent gifts. Building up on my birthday gift, the Mr. got me a lovely pendant with all of our names and birthstones. I was really touched. 

And I gifted him a piece of writing.

 The kids were still happy with the gifts they had opened, so we ate some yummy breakfast.

After breakfast, we opened the gifts from Santa Claus. We had just managed to meet Santa the Friday before Christmas. Thank goodness we did! PJ had been telling us for weeks he wanted a SpiderMan but when we met Santa, he clarified: he wanted a SpiderMan costume.

Santa, that professional, really pulled through.


I'm pretty sure Santa has connections with AmazonPrime.

Our music lover, Jelly Bean, got a walkable piano. This thing is pretty fantastic.

I may have been caught a few times playing on it myself.

Afterwards, I'm pretty sure we all took a nap and then enjoyed an excellent goose dinner lovingly and excellently prepared by the Mr.
Slowly a joyful, kid-filled Christmas came to an end. I'm realizing how much more fun and inspiring Christmas is with the wonder of a child. And ribbons, of course.

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