Saturday, April 04, 2020

Take 385

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
Friday is decidedly gone. This week felt long with some emotional exhaustion mixed in with a side of pretty good weather--we'll take it all: the good and the bad. And of course, continually thankful for good health.
--- 2 ---
We had our spring time change this week. It's usually a few weeks after whenever the US has it, and I'll admit that I enjoyed having some morning time back to myself. The kids have been inching their wake-up times earlier and earlier because they're less exhausted without Kita life... but thanks to the time change, I finally had a few mornings this week with coffee and prayer alone (or with a quiet, non-verbal baby). This is my happy place.
--- 3 ---
I don't know if you're reaching for some encouragement, but I enjoyed reading through this post by Auntie Leila. It's not rocket science, but it's fun to remember the basics when we're gearing up for our 4th week all at home together. #WeGonnaMakeIt
--- 4 ---
One highlight this week was the big Disney + release in Germany... We signed up and paid for that service happily... what with our new home life. It's pretty stunning how many movies and classics are available.
--- 5 ---
I won't bore you with a bunch of movie quotes, but I did nearly snort and spit out my drink when I watched Captain Hook say, "A jealous female can be tricked into anything". #1953 #SayWhat 

...I hate to admit it, but it does bring up a question about how to share our love for old movies and media that is... well, degrading toward women, racist, and well, probably other things, too.
--- 6 ---
One great activity for us this week was getting around to planting some of our seeds. I'm keeping it basic for now and put kale seeds in a seed-starter tray, and then planted a basil and mint plant that were purchased from the grocery store. But one highlight that I just have to share is that our rosemary is just amazing. I cut it back considerably in the fall and it's gifting us with all new growth this spring. So wild.

--- 7 ---
I hope you're headed toward a fun weekend! We've got some video chats on the docket, sunny weather in the mid-60s tomorrow and some homemade pizza... Wishing you all another lovely day at home ;)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Take 384

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
How was your week? Did you survive? I took a little hit in the health department (not Corona!), and want to give a major shout-out to my husband for taking on more of the home front work with the kids for the past days. It turns out that my postpartum body does actually have limits. And just like all of you parents out there, there's simply more work to do at home these days... But Brian also bought tulips... so at least there's that.

--- 2 ---
Have you been out in public? I went to the post office this week and it was amazingly accurate in following recommendations on 6 feet social distancing and sharing absolutely no germs. As a side note, I've always been really bad at estimating distances... so I just simply imagine a 6-foot Brian laying down between me and that stranger. Which always makes me kind of giggle.
--- 3 ---
I did it! I cured my own corned beef. Sure, it was slightly out of necessity because we bought a beautiful, really nice piece of beef... for St. Patrick's Day... and I wanted *corned* beef. And that means cured. Thanks to last-minute shopping and corona virus, I never did fine pink curing salt... but that's ok. (That's the ingredient that makes the meat pink--and we cared more about the flavor.) And YES! It did indeed taste like American corned beef.

And now that I went through the stress of the first try, I'm excited to try it again. I used a few websites to pull together something that worked--but I found this page and this page helpful. And crazy--yes. You can brine lots of kinds of meat... Tempted to try!  
--- 4 ---
In other St. Patrick's Day news, I made (per our usual), my Grandma's Irish Soda Bread recipe. Did you know that this bread is supposed to have currants? I always add raisins because #toomuch. So! Here's the answer to how they're different--which I never knew before.

Side note: golden raisins are called Sultanas. Who knew?! That is a truly interesting page. And since you're not in school right now, take a look and learn! :) LOL.
--- 5 ---
A new pet peeve of mine? Interactive children's youtube videos that ask kids to respond... and then leave no time for verbal responses... #GoWatchMr.Rogers #ComeBackBetter 
--- 6 ---
My amazing coworkers got me a start-of-maternity-leave gift: a subscription to Rosetta Stone for the year. What an awesome gift! I've been trying to buckle down and do my daily German lessons. I've already learned new things... like when you come to the second half of a sentence and start with the word "because" (viel), the verb goes at the end. Example: He went to bed, because he tired is. I'm going to learn a lot more about why my kids speak English the way they do this year. :) 

Do you remember when Rosetta Stone was a pack of CDs sold at the kiosks in malls to really rich people? #OLD
--- 7 ---
In Clancy news, we're officially at the stage where he's interested in watching mobiles and is starting to talk to them ever so slightly. Human beings are so amazing. Juuuust when you're going on 6 weeks of exhaustion and disjointed sleep, they start smiling at you, making more eye contact, and all over again, you fall deeply and madly in love. It's simply the best!

Happy Friday!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Take 383

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
Hello! Did you survive?? End of week one with all three kids at home... and I pulled some of my cookie dough out of the freezer... and had a martini last night. (But) We survived. We even had great moments of dancing in the living room. I'm so grateful to Brian coming home early each day to get us through the witching hour(s)... because the baby... ahem. celebrates the witching hour(s).
--- 2 ---
This week worked largely because I decided to shower before Brian left for work. Showering is the one thing I really can't do easily with all three kids home and no back-up. So, it's worked pretty well. If all else fails: I've showered. And that makes a huge difference.
--- 3 ---
I tried a new granola recipe this week and we're all quite pleased. Actual clusters. Of course, being told to "Add my favorite granola ingredients" is a little too much freedom for me. #GiveMeIngredients #GiveMeMeasurements #OrGiveMeDeath 
--- 4 ---
Are you a Sriracha household? We're highly committed here. And no, we don't love no knock-offs. We did finally find a way to buy it here on Amazon, but over the past year I've watched as the price increased... 6.50 ... to 7 ... to 8 ... and then last month it went up to 9  per bottle. Do we stay committed? What do we do!? Well, I left that puppy in the cart, hoping for price movement in the opposite direction... and then last week it happened: 

3.59 € per bottle. 
9 bottles left in stock. 
I bought 'em all. And we saved bank.
--- 5 ---
Just like some people claimed that being home full time would have no effect on their ability to stay on top of laundry and other household things... I have been home a week and still have a long list of Thank You cards to write... But I'd like to argue that I went from having lots of time (maternity leave with one child) to a stay-at-home-mom of 3... so I'm claiming that excuse.
--- 6 ---
We've got this weekend in Germany to prove that we can #SocialDistancing without a government order... but tomorrow they decide whether to give a government order (due to bad behavior this weekend) or not. So, we got our take-out pizza last night to celebrate the likelihood of not be able to order any food over the next couple of weeks. #Calzone 
--- 7 ---
I'm guessing we all feel a little this way... but I'm not quite sure what else to say other than all the stuff around  COVID-19. Brian wins for stocking up on a few extra toilet paper rolls a few weeks ago... because we'll be out by Tuesday and cracking open the storehouse. (I promise we didn't take too much!) I'm feeling the non-homeschooling-family reality that we simply don't have enough "activities" to do here. We need more chalk, watercolor paper, and probably a lot more ideas... #FIVEWEEKS #atleast

But, in the midst of it, I appreciate everyone who is saying that this pandemic is not the opportunity to totally reinvent yourself. Be OK with needing extra love, extra space and stop trying to reinvent yourself. It's OK to be stressed. Take care of yourself. And good on you if you can reinvent yourself! I say all power to ya!

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Take 382

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
Hello! I wasn't really planning on leading with this, but it seems like the biggest news now that it's official... our schools are closed. Probably yours are, too... but I'm looking at a base of 5 weeks with all of my kids home and... it feels like I just got a letter in the mail informing me of my newly landed position of being a preschool teacher. LOL. 

Yes. I'm praying all of us stay healthy and happy.

And yes. I'll be making a master list of responses to, "What should I do now?!" Forget toilet paper. I need glue sticks and playdoh.  
And for us, the key will definitely be to get. out. side.
--- 2 ---
A friend (Hi, Christine!) asked about my experience of Aldi vs. Lidl in Germany. I know they're both in the States, and my Mom reports that Aldi is quite different here than in the US. My experience of Aldi and Lidl is that they're essentially the same thing... or more accurately, the same methodology. However, I do experience their sale items and special offerings are quite different. Aldi seems to have some sort of agreement with Trader Joes, because you can get TJ's Mac'n'Cheese, brownies, and other small items occasionally there. 

For me, I go to Lidl because it's closest to my home, but I enjoy visiting the other budget stores (Aldi & Penny) to peruse their specialty/sales items because that offers variety. Oh, and there's Netto. I've actually never set foot in a Netto, but maybe now I'll have to... you know, for the sake of my readers. :)
--- 3 ---
Speaking of grocery shopping, remember how I'm doing all my grocery shopping on foot? Well, my Mom came and deep cleaned our old, battered and bruised double stroller... our frugal way of surviving a few months until we're in the heavy-duty umbrella stroller stage... because high quality infant strollers are... crazy. and expensive. People. We used this stroller before her cleaning and I felt like *that Mom* with a new baby in a ridiculous get-up... and now... I don't feel like that so much. :) 


Thanks, Mama! 
--- 4 ---
I don't know if you've seen it, but I enjoyed the first episode and a half of Babies on Netflix. I learned that research being done on breastmilk is showing patterns that mothers make milk more milk when they have daughters and that it's richer in calcium because the daughters will reach adulthood faster than boys and will need it for their bone growth. So fascinating. So much work in the world being done on all sorts of fronts! It's so cool.
--- 5 ---
I'm working on our mountain of new-American-human-living-abroad paperwork and I'm happy to report that taking a passport photo of a 3.5 week old infant is juuuust as difficult as it sounds... Eyes open. Head looking forward. No facial expressions. I was laughing so much at the ridiculousness of it all. 
--- 6 ---
This video is fun--and happy belated international women's day...  But I really wanted to share it with you because it reminded me of how much periphery stuff you learn when living abroad. I'm familiar with almost all of these German names since living here and it's fun to hear them all spoken. Many of which I'd never heard of prior to moving here. Pretty fun.
--- 7 ---
I'm not sure how you're doing, if you're sick, quarantined, or a new preschool or homeschool teacher like me, but I thought it would be a good moment to share a quote I heard from The Moth this week:

The grass is greener where you water it.

So, go water your grass. I'm watering mine... and thanking God for the extra time to bond, play playdoh, and generally create kid-magic... because I'm determined to do just that! Oh, and it's just in time during my maternity leave--so we have new relationships to form, too! It's perfect.



Happy Saturday!