Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yes, That Would Be My Liver

Ever cuddled with someone who, right when you got comfortable, shifted just enough to make you uncomfortable? That is so annoying. When the Mr. does that I’m apt to sigh deeply and loudly (he loves when I do that) and then start cuddling with my pillow.

Turns out that isn’t quite possible when the person I’m cuddling with is inside my body. Instead of sighing (which our worm very effectively ignores) and pillow cuddling, I end up tossing and turning, dreaming stuff we aren’t going to talk about here because it’s just creepy or weird, and doing a google search at 5am.

It turns out that my internal organs have every right to be complaining. Here is what my body looked like – more or less – pre-pregnancy:

Here is what it looks like these days at 32 weeks:

Right…can anyone find my liver? Except the worm that is. He’s giving guided tours almost hourly.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clean-up Well

Turns out the Steinbach clan sure can clean-up well:


Monday, April 25, 2011

In My Defense

When I was little, I always ordered my McDonald’s hamburgers with extra pickles and when I behaved in the grocery store, I usually chose pickles (or black olives) as my reward. In fact, throughout childhood I ate so many pickles that I got the nickname Pickles – which helps explain the name of this blog: I’m the pickle; the Mr. is the onion (that’s an entirely different story).

All this to say: when the Mr. and I combined our Saturday walk with a trip to the grocery store, it was totally natural that he would choose ice cream and I would choose pickles.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome to the 30s

The Mr. recently joined me in the decade of the 30s. He and a friend that turned 30 on exactly the same day celebrated with a massive joint party. About 8 years ago the Mr. told me that the fun stops at 30. I believe he has since changed his mind, especially after this party!

The two birthday boys

The fabulous birthday buffet

 The Mr's cousin and friend sang a few songs


Thursday, April 21, 2011


A special time in southern Germany has begun: Spargelzeit. Loosely translated, it’s a very limited time when fresh, white asparagus are available. Spargel is so special, there is even a separate section for “Asparagus in Germany” on the Wikipedia page.

Spargel can be eaten with just about anything but the most common seems to be Spargel with schnitzel, potatoes, and hollandaise sauce. For the first Spargel meal of 2011 in our house, we replaced the schnitzel with sausage:

Locals - including the Mr - get so excited about Spargel that a rarely seen glee pops to the surface when Spargel becomes a scrumptious, if temporary part of many meals. I think Spargel is exciting because it is only available for a handful of weeks each year. In our world where almost everything is available all the time – news, fruit, vegetables, meats, sex, drugs, alcohol – things that aren’t always available become even more special. Sort of like a kid that takes 40 weeks to bake before we finally get to meet him.

So, we have to make sure he’s a Spargel fan before he even gets out:


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pregnancy Surprises

As the modern version of the classic bibliophile (and general control freak), I have the strong need to read up on all sorts of topics, especially those related to any upcoming life change. So, even before we started to really consider children, I started reading books, magazines, and website - lots of websites – about getting and being pregnant.

I quickly picked up that pregnancy brings along with it a number of unpleasant side effects, including, but in no way limited too: vaginal discharge, gas and bloating, bleeding gums, skin splotches, constipation, excessive salivation, hemorrhoids, itchy skin, nosebleeds, and so much more.

Although I read up on pregnancy about as much as a person could, it turns out that it’s just one of those things you have to live through to “get”. Because during all of my reading, I never expected that I’d stumble upon a PostSecret that would make me burn for days with jealousy. Bitter, bitter jealousy.

At this point I would do just about anything for a guaranteed poo.

Who knew?


Monday, April 11, 2011


Something like a miracle occurred in our apartment this weekend. The Mr. sorted through his clothing and decided to give away a large amount of the stuff he hasn’t worn in a good long while. I think there may have been shirts in there from his late teens. I’ve been encouraging (asking, begging) for this for a good long while but the Mr. isn’t quite the sort-out-and-throw-out sorta person that I am.

Granted, I have been known to be a little more enthusiastic about getting rid of things than most likely necessary. But that’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about how darn exciting it was to see a small mountain of clothing to give away and a whole pile of free hangers.

Because who doesn’t love free hangers?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Sun is Out!

One thing I love about warm, sunny weather in Germany, are the hours spent on our balcony. Last year we finally bought a teak table we can leave outside as well as a sun-umbrella. Both have added immensely to our balcony enjoyment, the second coming in very handy to protect my lovely pale skin that loves to burn.

As spring turns to summer and then into fall, we are known to eat every meal outside (when it isn’t raining) and then fill weekend hours on our balcony reading, chatting, and the like. Today is a typical day, starting with a relaxed breakfast in the morning shade, followed by quiet hours as the sun crosses the sky, banishing away the shade.

By noon I usually slip into my bikini and pretend this is the year I’m going to tan and not just burn and then return to white. By two, latest three, I have to abandon the balcony and my sun-umbrella for real cover, no matter how much sunscreen I put on or how many passing clouds. This is especially true now, when I have so much more skin to care for: 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Super Awesome Idea Made Reality

At some point during our wedding planning I decided that I would put together our wedding album. I dreamed up a new type of album that combined our American and our German wedding celebrations through a colorful mix of posed pictures, fun snapshots, and personal messages from our guests.

It sounded like such an awesome idea. A super awesome idea. A you-can’t-imagine-how-awesome-this-is-going-to-be idea. Turns out those ideas lead to tons of work.

It started during the weddings. We asked all of our guests to decorate a piece of colorful scrapbook paper, leaving room for a personal picture. Our extremely talented photographer-friends took a picture for each page. Although we had to remind people a few times, and some people still forgot, that part actually turned out to be the easiest part.

Then the weddings were over and it was time to actually put the album together. I started really motivated, convinced I would get it done before our six month anniversary. I did manage to sort through the over 1500 pictures to locate the pictures destined for the personal message pages; locate the 200 or so posed pictures and snapshots that I wanted to put into our album; and get them all printed.

Then I got overwhelmed and started telling myself I’d work on the album “tomorrow.” Some days I really would work on the album, although it did take me about a year to sort through the sorted pictures, slowly arranging them into groups and then pages.

Oh, did I mention that I chose to carefully stick each picture with tiny, double-sided pieces of tape onto plain pieces of paper instead of using those simple pages where normal people slip each picture into a waiting envelope? Yeah, I sure did.

Then I got pregnant and I swore to myself that I would get the super awesome album finished. Thankfully about two months ago the Mr. took pity on me and gave into my requests (begging) for help. It still took a few more weeks before we completed the pages because it turns out that 200 or so pictures lead to quite a number of papers and lord-knows how many tiny, double-sided pieces of tape.

But tonight – one year, ten months, three weeks, and a handful of days after our wedding – I’m proud to announce that the super awesome wedding album is finished. And it really is super awesome. Even if it wasn’t – but it is – I would sure hope that you’d all tell me “I can’t imagine how awesome your wedding album is!” Especially since you now know how much darn work went into it.

Don’t forget the exclamation marks.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Not You, It's Me. Really.

In September 2008 the Mr. surprised me with a marriage proposal on a special mountain in northern Italy. His proposal was private, romantic, and included a simple ring with a slender white gold band caressing a small square setting that carefully hugs a small, perfect diamond. I loved it from the moment I saw it and I loved it even more when he told me it has once belonged to his grandmother. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect ring for my long, thin ring finger.

Months later, when the Mr. was choosing our wedding bands, he chose them specifically to match my ring. He carefully sorted through numerous styles that looked identical to me to ensure that he could happily wear his ring, his first ring ever, and that I could continue to wear my engagement ring each and every day, nestled above my wedding bands in typical American fashion.

And I have. When I’m nervous or stuck in traffic or bored in another too-long meeting, I tend to play with my rings, twirling them around and around my finger. Sometimes, even almost two years later, I look down at them with surprise, realizing with joy for the millionth time that I’m a married woman.

So, imagine my surprise when two nights ago I tried to remove both rings and was unable to do so. They were stuck. When I finally got my rings off, my finger actually started pulsating with blood. Since then I have been able to slip my slightly larger wedding band back on but I haven’t been able to get my engagement ring past the second knuckle. Instead it rests lonely but still beautiful on our bathroom counter. I assume that’s where it will stay until our little guy arrives.

Sorry, beloved ring, I know people say this all the time but this time it’s true. It really isn’t you. It really is me. Me and my little worm.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dry Clothes Made Easy

After eight years of hanging clothes to dry, I, okay, we are now the proud owners of a dryer. We hesitated for so long due to:
  • Space – we don’t have that much and neither of us are willing to walk up and down three flights of stairs to the “washing cellar”
  • Cost of machine – these things cost a serious amount of money
  • Cost of energy – dryers are massive energy suckers and electricity is expensive
  • Clothes stay nicer longer when slower dried in fresh air – totally true and while one needs some patience, I’ve got t-shirts that are over five years old and look great
But with our little worm on his way and our tentative plan to use cloth diapers, common sense prevailed. Neither of us good imagine hanging that amount of clothing all over our already cozy apartment for the rest of our lives.

So, after months of research, discussion, and bouncing ideas off people, we finally chose an energy- efficient, small dryer. It was delivered last week and I have only positive things to say about it. Forget penguins or vrom vroms (also called “handheld vacuums”), I'm in love with our dryer.





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