Friday, June 13, 2014

Being a Mom

Berlin, Germany

Hi everyone,

it's strange being a mom. There are certain things I always expected to feel when becoming a mom and others are totally unexpected. 

For example, I though I would worry a lot more. I do worry. Sometimes at I put my hand on his chest or my ear to his mouth to hear or feel him breathing. Though not as often as I thought I would. 

I love seeing him smile at me in the morning when he wakes up. I love the way he coos  at his toys. I love the way he smiles at me when I swaddle him for his nap, when he cuddles close to me, closes his eyes and falls asleep. 

I miss sleeping more than 4h in one go. I miss going out at night sometimes. I miss just taking my scooter places. 

I love going on long walks with Ben. I love family time with my son and husband. I love seeing my husband and son together. 

I am looking forward to seeing him grow, discover his world, start babbling. I am also looking forward to going back to work, letting grandma babysit, having some quality time with my husband. 

When you are a mom (or a dad) you learn a lot of new things:

- baby spit stinks when it dries
- pooping right after drinking without burping leads to a big spit up
- if you are not fast enough, babies pee when you take the diaper off
- sleep is not overrated, but you learn how to live with a lot less than you are used to
- babies can stink and will stink
- not every baby likes sleeping in the stroller
- there's a lot of free stuff you can get, but you'll have to look for it
- second hand baby clothes are awesome
- diapers and (if needed) baby formula cost a lot of money
- babies change fast!
- if you thing about planning ... think again
- you want rhythm? start as soon as possible to get routines 
- swaddle blankets are great
- Manducas (baby carriers) are great
- grandparents are awesome (Ben has 6 - lucky kid)
- aunts and uncles are awesome (Ben has a ton)
- cousins are awesome (so many more )

I know that there'll be so much more coming our way and I am looking forward to that! Being a parent is a learning experience every moment of the day. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Long due update

Berlin, Germany
10:30 am
Sunshine, slightly windy

Wow, it's been a year and so many things happened. 

Let's start back in June last year. I traveled to California again to be with my husband.
This time the first days were a little hectic because we had our second wedding planned for the end of June. 

So, the family and me were busy with the last of the preparations. A big thank you goes to Carolina!! She held it all together and mediated between me and my mom -in-law if necessary. She handled most of the planing and gave me tremendous support! Thank you so much! I love you!
Also, a big thank you goes to my husbands mom, dad and sis and Cat's sis Andrea for their unwavering support!

For the wedding some friends from Germany joined us and I was able to meet them in SF and we did a little sightseeing together. The Friday before the ceremony/party we had a little cake pop party. I had decided that we don't want a wedding cake, because it is mid summer and American cakes are way too sweet. So, we decided to make cake pops. With a couple of cake pop makers and a lot of help we managed a little over a hundred cake pops. It was fun, but also a lot of work. 

The day of the wedding my husband took me and Cat out for breakfast, which was great to get away from the buzzing house. We originally had asked an aunt to perform the service, but she was too shy to speak in front of so many people. Last minute my friend Florian decided to step in. I was so grateful!

Concerning the wedding party..lots of unfamiliar faces...some things that went great..other things not so much....the two of us were happy when we arrived at our hotel at night. But, again, I realized that this is not my kind of party and am glad that we had that garden wedding party in Germany.

Vic and I drove down towards Monterey were we spend a week together. The first 2 days Florian joined in and the left for LA. The two of us went on trips, had meals together, spend time on the beach and just enjoyed being together. 

On the way home we spend one night in SF to go into the Redwoods. It was great! Huge trees, fresh air... loved it!

After we got back home, it was time to tell the family about our decision to move to Germany and not the States. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but the decision to do that wasn't easy for me either. I always wanted to move to the states. But since 2011 I got extremely settled in Berlin, loved my job, had a great apartment and 2 cats. Friends are founding families. Vic didn't much like his 2 jobs and lived at home. He had undergone studies to become a graphic animator, but wasn't able to work in it. He might have a shot at it in Germany. 

At a family dinner I cooked we told them. The reaction was mostly negative, which was pretty hard for the 2 of us. I think they were disappointed we hadn't told them earlier and also afraid to loose Vic. We had made a decision and were sticking with it.

The week till my journey back home wasn't easy. The atmosphere in the house was pretty cold, which was due to the fact that everyone was trying to digest everything. So, I kept busy with Cat and Andrea. Gay Pride, a fair and the flea market. Great times!

Shortly after I got back from the States, I found out that I was pregnant! I was so happy! 

For a joke I had bought a onesie "Made in California". Well, that's how I told my husband. ;-) 

Vic and I decided he would come here at the 31st of August and I was glad to have him with  me for the pregnancy. I was determined to work till "mother protection" (6 weeks prior birth) but I started to collect water in my hands which made them swell up and I didn't feel anything in my fingers anymore. So I was put on pregnancy leave (which in Germany means full pay). It was strange being home 24h with my husband. 

Finally living together was a huge change! I was used to doing everything by myself and Vic was used to work 10 to 12h a day and then go to bed. It took some weeks but we were growing as a couple as my bump was growing. 

Vic got a Visa for 5 years. Started a language course at a private school. We spend a lot of money, but after 4 month decided to stop for the moment and find a different school, because it was just not going as planned. Vic is also working on his drawing and animation skills, which is very necessary after his hiatus. He is working hard! After a migration advise we enrolled him at the local VHS with state support. That course is going much better!

In the beginning I was 100% sure it was a girl I carried. The doc told us pretty early that it's a boy. We were still very happy! All we wanted is a healthy baby!

The Grandparents on both sides were so happy! 

So on March 16th our son Benjamin Victor was brought into this world. He is our pride and joy! 

We are still growing as a family (which will probably never stop). Learning to understand Bennis cries, be astonished about his development, keep looking for a job for Vic. 

Hopefully Vic's parents are gonna be able to come by the end of the summer (they need to make sure Nana is in good hands). 

This is it for now!
Much love!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Rides and Bikes

Berlin, Germany
12 pm
Sunny warm spring day

Hello everyone,

yesterday was a day of revelation. Nothing great but it helped make me feel comfortable again.

I had a good early shift and because of a quick change in shift for the weekend, I would be able to go to the movies. Iron Man 3 is an awesome movie with great special effects, action and humor. Some people say going to watch a movie on your own is no fun, but I enjoy it. And afterwards I took my bike home.

Not my scooter, but my bike. Last week I've started biking again. It's silly, really, because when I was a teen I took my bike to go everywhere. School, groceries, movies and to meet friends. Sometime just for a ride to get some air. Nowadays, I take my scooter. Not much exercise in that.

So, last week I fixed it up again and started to bike to work when I have late shift. And I can tell you, it wasn't fun in the beginning. I was huffing and puffing. Still am, but not as hard and I enjoy the small hills in between as a challenge. And the moments in which I bike and actually breath normal are the greatest.

The best side effect is feeling good when I reach my destination. It's a great rush to know that I managed to get from point A to B.

The ride after the movie was great. Berlin at night is quite the sight and I really missed the sounds of a city at night, mixed with the warm air and rush of the wind.

About 6 weeks left till I get to see my husband again. Yes, I miss him greatly, but my friends and family, as well as my work, provide enough of a distraction. We send Whats App messages to each other daily and Skype every weekend. I can hardly wait to be held in his arms again, look into his eyes (not into a screen) and just be with him.

So, lunch is almost ready. Green asparagus with (low-fat) Hollandaise sauce and grilled salmon.

Then off to work on my bike.

Much love and a great weekend to all of you,


Monday, February 11, 2013

February Delights

Berlin, Germany
1 pm
Ice cold and cloudy

Dear readers,

yes, the husband made it :-). He got here on Saturday and is staying till next Monday. For some it might be a short week. For us it's time well spend with each other.

We were at a party at Patty's house that Saturday. Had great food, music and talks.

We spend the most part of Sunday on the couch. Relaxing. But as it is with me, I had to get moving a little, so we decided to go for a little walk at the Friedrichshain Park. It was icy but felt good to be out and about.

Plans for the week, you ask? Not many. Museum. Coffee and Cake with friends. Spend Valentines Day with each other.

Short excerpt of what is going on right now. Read you soon :-).

Friday, January 11, 2013

MIssing, Holding and Missing

Berlin, Germany
Snowy, cold and wet

Dear friends, 

After I send my husband home in September I started my rotation in the adult ICU. I have to admit, I was scared as hell and am still a little nervous to start my shift there. But it's always mingled with excitement. New things to learn. New patients to meet. After 6 weeks my work-in was done and I left for San Francisco on the 14th of December. First time flying Swiss Air and I tell you, that I will do so again. Great Service, friendly personal and awesome food. My connection flight was in Zurich and I had 1h 30 min to start with, but adding to that my plane left Berlin 1h late because of snow and ice. While on route I was asked whether it would be okay to join  two other passengers also on their way to SF with a private transport. Of course I agreed, so the plane landed we got off and by the side was a lady with mine and 2 other  names on a piece of paper, took us out onto the runaway where a BMW waited for us. Private passport control and off to the gate, ahead of the crowed for passport control and into the plane. I was in awe :-). 

 My time in SF was great, but also exhausting. It's always hard to stay at someones house when you lived by yourself for a couple of years. I love my family in love very much, but still wished my husband already had his own place to have more privacy.

We got a place to have the ceremony for his family on June. It gives me a stomach ache just thinking about the costs. I sincerely want to have that ceremony, but also believe, that it is financially unwise this year. It is my husbands wish though and I already had my little party in Germany. I will do this. For him.

Best time next to spending a lot of time with my husband, was the 23rd of December. I felt very down, because despite the house being decorated for Christmas, it just didn't feel like it does at home. I made cinnamon stars, which turned out okay after 3 trials and listened to Christmas music. Still, not the same. 

Victor's cousin Andrea had invited us over to their house for football (big 49ers fan) and dinner. So we got on the truck, while it was pouring and stopped at a supermarket to get ice cream. I also bought some salad ingredients  By the time we got there I felt so bad I could have cried and then the door opened. Christmas tree, smelled like pizza, big hugs from Andrea and Carolina, as well as Brian, Cats husband. Tail wagging greeting from Eddie and Bruno, their dogs. I felt instantly better. We spend a great, uplifting evening with them, watching football, playing games, eating, pizza, cinnamon pizza and ice cream. They made my day :-). On the way home I had a good conversation with my husband. At the moment, in lack of our own apartment, the best conversations are held in the car.

By the 27th I left again. This time Lufthansa /United. Not such a great service. There was a little girl in front of me.. being a little sunshine and quickly making friends with me. We even sang a song together. 

I spend New Years Eve working and the Skyping with my husband into the New Year. What better way. 

Just 2 days ago I got a positive assessment for my work-in at the ICU, which makes me proud. 

Hopefully  my husband is going to visit in February. Wish us luck.

Much love, 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding, Challenges, Christmas soon

Berlin, Germany
Warm Fall Night


loads happened. 

I took pictures at the friends wedding and it was a lot of fun. Beautiful couple. Great background. 

A couple of days later I had my Bacherlerette Party. The girls dressed me up and took me to a Karaoke Bar. On the way there I had to collect advice from people on my way in 3 different languages. I managed. 
Oh and my crown sold at Alexander Platz for 50€! First round of drinks :-)

On September 1st my fiancee came to Germany. We had a lovely week, visiting with his parents and grandma, who also came to visit, going to a fair, doing a little sightseeing and just being together. 

On September 7th I married my love. My mom had gotten us a 1958 Baby Blue Buick to drive us from my place to the registry. I loved it. :-)  His Mom and Dad were there as was his 86 year old Grandma! 

After the ceremony we took some pictures and then drove out of Berlin to a friends house, where we had the party. It was basically a garden party with pot luck and a BBQ at night. We loved it :-).

His family left the Monday after. We left for a little honeymoon trip. 1 day in Hamburg, 3 in Hannover and the weekend in Görlitz (Harz Mountains).

It was fun, but in retrospect, I wish we spend more time with each other. Alone time ;-). 

So, he had to leave for the States. I am flying back for Christmas. And it's harder than I thought it would be. Not having him here, to talk, to hold, to kiss, to share, even to argue. 

I started working on ICU (adults). It's tough. Loads of stuff I need to memorize and apply. Loads of new hellos and sadly goodbyes. 

So, this is it of for the moment. 
Much love, 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family, Weddings and Distances

Berlin, Germany
Warm fall day

Hello everyone,

My little nephew was born 6 weeks too early, but he did well. Emil Julian only needed one day of respiratory support and a week in the incubator. 2 weeks after he was born, my sister and her husband took him home. 

It took me a couple of weeks to free my schedule and go visit. He is so adorable. We cuddled a lot, I was able to give my sister some baby-free time by taking Emil of her hands and we also had some sister time. 

I spend a lovely evening at my Cousins house, which was awesome. A couple of hours at the lake and then back home, looking at her wedding pictures and a yummy BBQ afterwards. My cousin lives on the outskirts of Berlin, so I drove home on my scooter at night, being all alone on the country roads and I loved it. The air was fresh and smelled like woods and fields. It was beautiful and a little scary at the same time. 

The wedding has moved up to the 7th of September. Some people asked why and my answer is practicality. Victor is coming to visit for 2 weeks,  his mom, dad and the 82 year old grandma as well. My family and friends are here and so we decided to have a small ceremony at the local registry and a garden party after. 

Let me tell you, getting married to an American in Germany is a lot of hassle. German authorities love paperwork and it was very frustrating in between, but now that we're almost there, I try to leave that behind me. Just one more note, I think that people who work at a registry, where couples come to join together, should be friendly and outgoing, not grumpy and unfriendly.

So the official part is 20 min and I admit I am looking much more forward to the party afterwards, where we can have fun with our friends and family. I know I am his and he knows he's mine, so the ceremony is just formality. The party after is not going to be a typical wedding party, more like a garden party with cake and space for the kids to play, with a BBQ and homemade salads for dinner and a fire pot at night where everyone can sit, warm up and let the day come to a beautiful ending. Just what Vic and I love.

There is going to be a second "wedding". We still plan to have a more formal event in the USA next June. 

If everything goes as planned I would like to  move to the States next year, depending on the US government and my evaluation. I still have to apply for  the NCLEX, which might be a problem, because California has very strict rules about foreign nurses working in Cali and especially pediatric nurses (which does not exist in the US). I really want to work as a nurse in the USA, because I am a good nurse and I love my patients and I always give my job a 100%. We'll see. 

Till my wedding I still have some things to do. Work, of course. I am going to take the wedding pictures at a friends wedding. There is going to be a bachelorette party. So many things, too little time.

So these are the latest news. I hope everyone is in good health.

Much love,