Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bye Bye Part-Time

Today is my last day of working part-time. Is that insane? Maybe. Is it driving me crazy to rush here, there, and everywhere - always late, always behind - and somehow still feel the burn for more? Totally. Do I have conflicting feelings about working more? Yeah, occassionally. Do I have feelings of excitement at working more? Yeah, a lot of the time.

Is it possible to work full-time and still rock the mommy thing; have a wonderful child; a good relationship; and not totally lose your mind? I think so - Lord, I hope so - and I've got role models. For example, Sweetheart's mommy, that working mom friend I already wrote about, and another colleague/friend with two children and a kick-ass role at my company.

We'll find out if I join their club in the coming weeks. Until then, the adventure continues.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

First Playdate

Wow, oh wow. Time flies. About three weeks ago we had our first (and only) playdate in our new home. The kids were so busy playing with the toys and each other that there was little chance of catching either of them in good pictures. And both were drawn towards the camera ... so even if they held still, once the camera was out, they rushed towards us. So, no great pictures but boy did I try.

Engaged in their toys and eyes closed - the pictures start.

Toys still interesting.


Both kids checking us out.

Totally spotted and headed our way.

"I said: no pictures!"

Yup, there ya go. First playdate.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Goodbye Favorite Sweater

I rarely buy myself something special to wear. I tend to wear the same clothing for too long, spend too little on my clothing, and in the end dislike the majority of what I own. Right before we moved house and I was packing up my entire wardrobe, I posted this on Facebook:

"Packing my clothing for the move is making me realize that I don't really 'like' 80% of them, don't fit 50% of them, and that it all fits into 2 pieces of luggage and one plastic box. Including my wedding dress."

It made me a little sad to realize how crappy my wardrobe is and how I would have never really noticed if we hadn't moved.So I started sorting out my clothes and concentrating on wearing clothing that I like, are comfortable, and look decent on my post-baby body. Turns out most of my clothes are too small for my butt, so I started losing weight too. Four kilos down and a few more tops that I can wear but don't want to. Yeah?

But sometimes in the past I did spend a good amount of money on a piece of clothing that I loved from the first moment I saw it. And importantly, continued to love over time. Rarely but I did do it.

Like for example when I was in Vancouver and saw an amazing sweater - merino wool no less - in the window of a Banana Republic shop. I popped in, tried it on, loved it, and just kept loving it over the past three years. When I finally fit into it after my pregnancy - so, two weeks ago - I was soooo excited. I wore it a couple of times, PJ smeared it with jelly, and I put it into the washer, noting to myself that I had to be careful not to put it into the dryer. Cause that would shrink it.

Last night I waited, fighting off sleep. Then I lost my battle, forgot about my sweater - one of the very few pieces of clothing I loved and was expensive, expensive sweater - and asked the Mr. to transfer the wash into the dryer and went to sleep. The Mr. followed through cause he is awesome like that and since I didn't mention the sweater thing ...this morning I went down into the basement to get the clothing out of the dryer and out flopped my sweater.

Did I mention it was one of the very few pieces of clothing I loved and that it was expensive, expensive? I hope PJ likes it too. Because he will fit it in about two years. Damn sleep.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcome Sally to the Family!

We've  had something pretty dramatic happen in the US side of our family. Little One, also known as Super Sister, and Uncle B were in a bad car accident last week. As in, their van flipped a couple of time and was airborne for a while and my sister and my brother-in-law were rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, both are alive.

Uncle B is now doing okay, running around with lots of bruises and cuts. My sister, however, has more damage, especially on her face. She has already had some operative work done, is sporting a shitload of stitches, and is facing another set of operations very soon. In classic Little One take-it-by-the-balls-ness, she isn't down all the time and she isn't pretending everything is okay. Nope, my sister is real. She's angry and then thankful and then sad - she goes through a normal range of emotions about creating and then surviving a fucking awful car accident - and she has renamed herself Sally.

As in Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Which, we all know, is one of the best movies ever.

Nightmare Before Christmas anyone? source
Welcome to the family, Sally!

But lets be honest, my sister doesn't really look like Sally. My sister has curves where they should be instead of a set of twigs with skin stretched over them. She also has a seriously awesome sense of fashion. Her hair's got waves and body and soul; it doesn't just hang in one big piece behind her shoulders. That and my sister is about 15 million times prettier.
And far more special to me, PJ and the Mr.

Far. More. Special. Vastly more special.

There is so much more I could say about all of this. Things like:
  • how she doesn't have health insurance and what kind of 'first world country' doesn't have universal health care?!?!
  • how when my mom said, "I need to tell you something about Little One" last week, I thought my entire world was going to crack
  • how difficult it is to want to hold my baby sister and be limited to skype
  • how thankful I am to the skype people (I LOVE you guys) for creating and then sustaining that platform
  • how impressed I am (again!) by my brother-in-law
  • how if my sister ever does anything like this again I'm going to wring her neck. And if she dies? I am going to kill her.
  • and a lot more.
But I can't quite find the words. So instead I'm going to express what I can: Thank you trucker man. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for calling 911. Thank you for pulling over. Thank you for stopping. Thank you for getting out of your truck. Thank you for rushing to the demolished van. Thank you for staying. Thank you for praying with my sister and my brother-in-law. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you, stranger. May we all take a lesson from you.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

So Many Worries

I haven't been posting that often recently. Not because I don't love you all - its more because there are so many worries bouncing around in the new House of Joy. I may share them, when I discover the words to express them, or I may see them float away into the realm of stuff-I-should-have-never-worried-about-and-quickly-forget-about before those words come to me.

Until then...there is thankfully at least one thing I don't have to worry about: PJ telling me what he wants, what he doesn't want, and making that super-duper clear.

PJ at his party exploring some cake.

I remember those party hats my mom sent...

...and slip one on.

2 seconds later: PJ doesn't like it.

He REALLY doesn't like it.

I take it off.

And we're good. Clear communication.
Or, even better, PJ wants some mommy loves.

Mommy sneaks up behind PJ to pose for a picture.

PJ realizes mommy is behind him.

PJ and mommy get excited.

PJ moves in for some mommy loves.

Mommy pulls back but PJ isn't done. The hug continues.
Yeah to clear communication! And, oh lordy, I love those PJ hugs.

All these amazing photos from the talented Aline Lange.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: 1st Birthday

This pictures were all taken within 30 seconds on PJ's first birthday.

My little ham!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday PJ!

Our little man had his first birthday. Welcome (officially) to toddler-hood, PJ!

There is so much that I could write - so much PJ has learned and grown and changed ... that the Mr. has learned and grown and changed ... that I have learned and grown and changed. But I won't. Not today. Today I'm swimming on the joy of his birthday party and all the love that filled our house. Today, I continue to joyfully celebrate with only a tiny bit of cerebral action (ie - thinking 'too much').

The theme was PJ's favorite book: Chirpy Chick, a gift from Uncle Frannie and Kiwi at the baby shower. When we were in the US in April and May, my mom and I made a onsie for PJ to wear with Chirpy Chick on the front. And here in Germany the very talented Rachel Shoham Hacket of Perfectly Precious {Events + Treats + Homemades} made an extraordinary Chirpy Chick cake.

PJ and his Chirpy Chick onsie.
The amazing cake.

Mommy, PJ, and the cake.

The Steinbach clan.

Happy Birthday PJ. Thank you for stretching our family and making life so much more fun.


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