Sunday, March 30, 2014


"Joining Jodi's 52 Project with "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Chiming in a little late with 12/52, as we've been recovering from travel and decompressing after a great visit with my parents and two sisters. These (as well as 13/52... coming soon!) were also taken by my sister Joanna. I'm going to have to drag my camera out of hiding again to get this weeks portraits. I almost forgot!

Sebastian | Grandpa told Seb that this was a sycamore tree. He said, "Mama, here is a sycamore tree and I need to climb it!" Zacchaeus. I love how this guy's imagination is blossoming and growing and changing.

Bruno | I think it's safe to say that last week was on of the most exhausting weeks of Bruno's life! He soaked it all up like a sponge, his vocabulary increased exponentially, and he is still wiped. So much of the best kind of fun with family here. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


"Joining Jodi's 52 Project with "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

This weeks portraits are taken by my littlest sister, Joanna, a much more talented photographer than myself (I am still geeking out about the incredible family portrait she got of us this morning!). My parents, Jo, and other younger sister, Lydia, are visiting this week, and so, since they were getting over jet lag on their first day here, we kept our activities low key and took the boys to the park for the morning. I love these moments Jo captured.

Sebastian | Defying gravity all the time.

Bruno | A soccer ball love affair for this guy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Joining Jodi's 52 Project with "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Sebastian | Won't let me cut his hair because he says he likes it long (I'm working on the, "But it still needs a trim" approach). He just recovered from a scary tussle with croup, which jolted him out of bed on Friday night, hardly able to breath. It was pretty terrifying, but we got it a little bit under control by talking to him calmly and taking him outside immediately to breath the cold night air—the #1 thing to do, fyi, if this happens to your child. Cody then walked him to the hospital where they gave him some medicine and sent him home less than 2 hours later in tip top shape. Throughout all of it, he still spoke to us mostly in German. Because croup is highly contagious, we kept him home from Kindy on Monday and Tuesday. A little longer than necessary, but we wanted to be sure that he wouldn't pass it to any other kids. Cody has been holed up in the library finishing his thesis, so I've had full days with Seb and Bruno. Cody comes home at 5, though, and I get a nice break and time to workout! There is something so refreshing about routine, even if it's a demanding one.

Bruno | Hiding behind the (sheer) curtains. Finding any reason to laugh hysterically and make a joke out of everything. Since Seb was back at Kindy today, Bruno was at a bit of a loss as to what to do after 4 full days at home with big brother, but he was a champ and played by himself nearly all morning. Occasionally, in a streak of rebellion, he would sneak out into the hallway to try to find some people more lively and entertaining than myself.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This day was funny

Today was good, and seemed funnier to me than most (though truly, it was pretty ordinary). Suddenly I look around and our baby is gone, and we have instead two big boys running around being hilarious. I miss Sebastian when he's at Kindergarten, but it's also been really good to have that time with Bruno. It gives me a chance to go at his pace, and interact with him more and observe his quirks and humor. This time with him has been accentuated in the last few days because one of the wheels to our stroller broke. I would be lying if I said that having Bruno on foot with me hasn't been extremely challenging, but we're getting into the swing of things, and I am pleased to say that not only are my biceps growing, but my patience is, too (and let's not forget Bruny's muscly legs!).

We started the day by taking Seb to Kindy. For a long time, the only friend he talked about was Mia, but last week he connected with a little boy named Yanik, and when I left this morning, that is who he was playing with. Seb told me later that he has lots of Freunde (friends) at Kindergarten that he loves.

After Kindy, Bruno realized that his tricycle was still parked there from Friday! Of course that meant we had to take it to the grocery, where mama promptly got a cart... and buckled him in. No stroller means I am taking every chance I can get to have a break from chasing this crazy man down! He was not amused. (Actually he didn't mind at all. I brought rice cakes along).

On our way out of the grocery, we purchased bread at the bakery. Bruno quickly gave me his half-eaten rice cake and started begging for "Kek kek?" which means Keks, the word for cookie. Well they were all out of Kekse today, so the nice lady gave him a little sample of one of their pastries. He was fine with that arrangement, as seen below.

He snacked while I struggled home with two bags and a 20 mo. old (who is practically the size of a 3 yr. old) on a tricycle. Along the way we found a cat, which Bruno most frequently calls a "Mau" (his pronunciation of the sound a cat makes). Later we saw a similar wall and Bruno said, "Mau mau?? Mau mau?"

We then walked to the library. When we were finished up at the library, we still had 30 minutes before we needed to head back to Kindy to get Seb, so we stopped at the cafe right next to the library. It's actually a mini cafeteria with great windows that is housed within the Reutlingen community college called the Volkshochschule—which literally means "the people's college."I had always thought it looked nice, and today was the perfect time to try it out. We ordered a Butterbrezel and a coffee, and Bruno flirted with the ladies behind me the whole time. A good time was had by all.

Then on the way to Kindy, I gave Bruno two poisonous flowers to take home... How did I not know know that Crocuses were poisonous? No worries. We did some prompt hand-washing, and we're all still alive to tell the tale. He sure was cute with his "Bumge" though (Blumen, the word for flowers).

After lunch, Bruno went down for a nap, and Seb and I watched "Eine Möhre für Zwei" (A German series made by Sesame Street that totally rocks, in case you're wondering). Seb and I then did some crafting. I am taking notes about which crafting books I want to get here. I know there are a lot of ideas floating around on the internet, but am I the only one that gets really annoyed with the fact that to do practically anything these days, you need to look it up on the internet? I hate that. I need me some good old fashion crafting books.

After Bruno woke up, the boys found all kinds of funny things to do together, and pretty much melted my heart so much that it was in a big puddle for a full 30 minutes until Cody came home.

Bruno tried to give Seb a turn, but despite Seb's expert coaching and encouragement, he was unsuccessful. 

Seb is really into patting Bruno on the back when he wants to make him feel better. Bruno, our touchy-feely guy, loves this and just lays on his lap.

This day was funny, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Joining Jodi's 52 Project with "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Quiet moments at home, I love observing them. We are outside so often that our time spent inside is a very rewarding kind of rest. A completely refreshing flip from life before Germany.

Sebastian | He has always been terribly observant, and studies things with intense focus. I love catching him during times like this. We visit the library multiple times a week, and Seb always hunts down the bag when we get home and spends a good long while going through the new books by himself before asking me to read some to him. It's the perfect way for him to decompress after being at Kindy in the morning. Also, Seb's Kindy celebrated Fasching on Friday, so all the kids dressed up. Sebastian wanted to be a "sport guy," and was thrilled with his outfit, though it was admittedly much less elaborate than most. God bless him for not noticing.

Bruno | I am working to figure out how to keep the influence of the German language very present in the lives of our boys after we return to the states. This laminated map was one of my most recent purchases. Look at this guy, already studying up, and first thing in the morning, too! Good man. I've realized this week that Bruno really does understand German, and maybe even as well as English. As his vocabulary develops, we are hearing an increasing mix of German and English words. Vogel, Blumen, and fertig (bird, flowers, finished) are some of his newest ones. But he hilariously sticks stubbornly to the words key and hi, over the German counterparts Schlüssel and Hallo