Thursday, October 18, 2007

Official Due Date Comes and Goes Uneventfully


I went to OBI (the equivalent of Home Depot, with a little more variety) to buy some craft supplies for Gerrit. It was probably not the best place to go, but it was close and frankly, I don't yet know the equivalent of Joanne's or Michael's here. I spent 84 Euro for items that in the U.S. would have cost me about $25. Sigh... did I mention how much more expensive I think some things are over here?

Perhaps this is a disadvantage of me being a teacher by trade. Now that I am home with Gerrit I have this overwhelming (and probably unrealistic) need to feel that I am stimulating him and helping educate him. I'm not sure why I can't take my own advice in this matter because with any parent, I'd tell them that teachable moments with their kids do not always have to be structured, and that just spending time together allowing them to explore and having dialog is adequate. However, as I feel completely out of my element with little guys Gerrit's age, I fear I have no clue how to stimulate Gerrit and help him learn simple things like colors, shapes, patterns, the alphabet, etc. I am also definitely not artsy so I have no clue how to handle craft activities. I know, I know... that sounds really silly coming from a teacher, but if Gerrit was already school-aged I think I'd feel differently. Consequently, I ordered some books from Amazon on things to do with your toddler (crafts, games, and other activities). I'm hoping this will give me some ideas. I had them sent to mom's house and she will be bringing them with her when she arrives this Sunday. Unless something happens soon, it looks like she'll be here for the birth after all.

I put together our IKEA piece and Gerard proceeded to hack a hole in the side for the cat. She seems to be getting the hang of it. The best part is that if this works out, we won't have to put the litter box in the bathroom anymore. I HATE having the litter box in the bathroom because no matter how clean you ever keep it, there are always little bits of litter on the floor. When the litter gets damp from the moisture in the bathroom, it sticks to the floor and is a pain to clean up. This should help with that substantially, and it will be nice to have a litter box that is a bit more hidden. Sometimes it's the little things that excite me. Sad, I know.
Gerrit helps with destruction.... err.. construction.

I received a call today that our furniture MIGHT arrive Monday night rather than Tuesday morning. I won't hold my breath, but the sooner our bed arrives, the better. We found out that the furniture (sofa bed and table/chairs) let us borrow needs to be returned to her on Friday. Her parents are coming into town for the weekend and we are currently using her only extra sleeping accommodations. Sigh... well, it was good while it lasted. Looks like Gerard, Gerrit, and I are back to sleeping on the blow up mattress until our furniture arrives. I'm actually not sure what we'll do when my mom comes Sunday morning. Maybe we'll get lucky and be able to borrow another bed from someone else for a couple days.

Well, today is D-Day (Due Date). I made it to my due date and still no baby... and it's not for a lack of trying. I walked all over creation again today, but not even a twinge of a contraction. Just a kick in the ribs now and then. Sigh... I love my friend, Adrienne, dearly... but right now I want to call her evil names because she's been having all sorts of contractions and is already a few centimeters dilated before her due date. She's technically due several weeks after me, but I'm convinced now that her kid will be older than mine. Yep, this kid is definitely a Scorpio... strong-willed and obstinate, just like his daddy.

Went to the morning playgroup in Ismaning again today, and then spent the day with Liesel and her kids. Gerrit and one of her twins, Thomas, get along famously. But her other twin, Ella, is pretty jealous and territorial over her brother and doesn't seem to like Gerrit intruding. Gerrit will sometimes try to hand her things or hold her hand, and she just pushes him away. Ah, poor Gerrit, already learning about rejection from women at such an early age.
Samuel & Gerrit are transfixed by Thomas the Train,
while Ella is enamored with the camera.

Liesel and I went to another Kinder Flohmart (Flea Market) early this evening. Although it's hard to imagine, this flea market was even more cut throat than the first one I attended. At least this time I was prepared and elbowed my way in with all the other haus fraus. I am so used to being able to take my time at a second hand baby store in the U.S., but this is a mad dash to grab whatever you can. It's like being on one of those crazy game shows like Supermarket Sweep, where you have to run through the supermarket as fast as you can locating various items before other contestants. You literally see clothes flying with women looking for specific styles and sizes. It's even worse in the toy area, where people are pushing each other to get to the good toys before someone else takes them. Maybe this one was worse than others because it's one of the last ones before the holidays. I'm told they are seasonal, mostly held in late summer/early fall, and then not again until springtime. I was hoping to find a double stroller there, but no such luck. I did manage to buy a few puzzles for Gerrit and a snowsuit for the baby. It is completely bizarre to think I will actually need a snowsuit for the kids. I've NEVER lived in snow before. While I'm sure that Gerrit and the dogs will likely love it , I have a feeling the novelty of a "White Christmas" will wear off all too quickly for me.


At October 18, 2007 at 4:21 PM , Blogger andreas, the annimahl said...

well Stephanie, how about a few more "stereotypes", this time the true ones:
-- yup, germany is about 35% more expensive than the US for that proverbial "basket of necessary goods"
-- one of the positive features that our american friends exhibit is that "damn anglo-saxon friendliness", you won't find that among them german barbarians. With the prices the way they are and a severe poverty plagueing the "new Germany" you need to be able to kill to get what you want

At October 18, 2007 at 6:07 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

I don't know what the average snowfall is like where you're at in Germany, but I can truthfully say as a born and raised So. Cal girl myself that I LOVE the snow when it shows up in Denver. Been here since 2001 and I still think it's pretty damned nifty. Sometimes the snow is dry and it falls like sparkles. Sometimes it's wet and falls in big, fluffy heavy flakes. It's neat-O!

And think of all the snow activities you'll be able to do - sledding, wassailing, getting warm in front of a fireplace after being outside in the snow, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc . . .

At October 19, 2007 at 5:16 PM , Blogger andreas, the annimahl said...

Hi Steph,
here is some survival advice, and trust me, I know:
last january they had a winter chaos (something like 3'-4'/24 hrs), now, it depends on where you are when that happens -
1. IMPORTANT - if you happen to be or are going to be on a AUTOBAHN you are pretty much dead, so please stay away or leave the autobahn immediately, I always did (even worse when they keep on going 100 mi/hr on ice, it's fun to watch them once you are a save distance from the Autobahn)
2. on surface streets they manage to have >1000 accidents a day when the weather hits them, one could think they have never seen it before
3. fireplace, well they don't usually have them, so stay warm at all times and buy a flusk
4. skiing, enjoy the snow
5. put rubberbands around your ankles and wrists, keeps the snow out, brrrrrrrrrrrr, when crawling through it

I saw it's near freezing right now, well, it's 88 here in CA today. Am I mean or what?
Thinking of you, you see I have tons of time on a Friday afternoon

At October 20, 2007 at 8:16 AM , Blogger wendi said...

snow!!!!!!!!! i loved living in the snow. ;) hopefully you will enjoy it.

air mattress for a pregnant mother? i think NOT! tell gerard to get the bed there NOW!!!

At October 20, 2007 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

No fireplaces?!?!? These people have toilets with a poop shelf but they don't have fireplaces?!?!?! WTH!!!


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