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day sixty three

23 Nov

 

1. my very comfy and warm new slippers

it is extremely cold here. i mean, it’s germany after all. i should have expected it, and i suppose i did, but i wasn’t quite prepared. at the weekend, i found these wonderfully soft and warm and lovely slippers and best of all, they were on sale for 10€!

nutloaf, stuffing, peas and spinach, roasted potatoes and of course, salad

2. thanksgiving dinner (even though it wasn’t thanksgiving yet)

tomorrow (thanksgiving), the american women’s club is going to the hard rock café for thanksgiving and they are doing a whole turkey dinner with all the traditional sides. however, being that i’m a vegetarian, i won’t be partaking (i’ll be having a veggie burger and onion rings – suitably “american”, though not very thanksgivingy). so this weekend, james made a roast chicken, stuffing and roasted potatoes and i made my fabulous nut roast and we’ve had leftovers all week! yummy!

3. translation help (american women’s club)

there is so much that i need help with here and i honestly don’t know what i would do without the american women’s club of cologne. especially now that i’m pregnant – there’s just so much i need to know. the doctor gave me all these papers that she has reminded me twice now to read, but of course, i can’t. i’ve even been carrying them around for weeks, but as i wasn’t telling anyone about the pregnancy before, i didn’t know how to get them translated.

anyway, today a lovely german woman who comes to coffee on wednesdays translated all of the papers for me and also gave me a lot of really good advice on hospitals and babies here in germany in general. and i’m so grateful both to her specifically and to the club in general for consistently saving me just when i need it!

 

do i need to start over??

22 Nov

sweet jesus.

i have no excuses. i don’t know what happened to me. suddenly, i just stopped writing. it was almost like i was a petulant teenager rebelling against myself. towards the evening, after dinner, i would think, “okay, time for my three things…” and then some sort of defiant, angst-filled, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do vibe would sort of take over and i would just shut the computer, glaring at it a little bit as if it were trying to control me. seriously, man. you’re not my mom.

anyway, apparently i’ve gotten over it. a least we hope.

so, right now i’m going to write three “big” things that i’ve been grateful for over the past month or so and then i suppose i’ll just start up tonight with day sixty-three. what more can i do at this point?

i thought about starting over at day one, but that just seems sort of like grounding myself and i don’t want to continue this whole power struggle between my teenage self and my adult self… who knows what i’d do then – stop eating breakfast?

little baby doofus

1. baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby

yes that’s a quote from superstar, the carpenters song (that i know as a sonic youth song), but i’m not grateful for the carpenters or sonic youth (though i do love that song).

we’re having a baby! and yes, i do blame the baby for my lack of interest in my blog in general (how does that make sense? well, maybe it doesn’t, but isn’t that all part of the fun of being pregnant? i can blame the baby for everything: no, i didn’t do the dishes today. the baby wanted to sit on the couch watching enchanted and eating snickers.).

this photo is our 12 week scan, taken last week when the baby was the size of a peach (my best friend thinks it’s hi-larious that the baby is always being compared to fruit) and we’ve been hearing a lot of “james and the giant peach” jokes (james is my husband). the photo was difficult to get as baby was moving and shaking all throughout the scan, which was absolutely amazing to watch. every time the doctor thought she had a good shot, baby would flip over or kick out and so we got to see him/her from so many different angles and poses and finally, i think the doctor just snapped any old photo, which we are fine with because they are all beautiful!

now the baby is the size of a lemon and i can’t help thinking, in what world is a lemon bigger than a peach?

my grandmother and grandfather in haiti on their honeymoon

2. my grandmother

sadly, my grandmother passed away last week. i spoke about her a bit here in my blog, so i’ll try not to repeat all the same things, which shouldn’t be so hard as i’m grateful to her for so much.

i’ll start of by saying that i am eternally grateful for her sense of humor and “grace” through life. as i was saying to my irish therapist yesterday, if you haven’t really experienced a jewish new jersian grandmother, then you haven’t really lived. there was nothing that couldn’t be survived with a sigh and a sarcastic comment (usually about california and/or californians, my father or my “ungrateful brother” not calling her or visiting her enough – which i’m sure changed to my not calling enough when she was speaking with my brother).

there was something so stoic and eternal about her – as if she had already surpassed everything life could throw at her, and now she was simply waiting. and though at times, it was as if she were waiting for death and i can’t count how many times i heard her start a sentence with “when i die…”, i think often she was waiting for everyone else to catch up with her. and, in true grandmother style, it always felt like i was the only one who could, the only one who understood and the only one who mattered.

for someone like me (neurotic, constantly over-thinking, and crazily insecure), having someone in my life with whom i could be completely comfortable and completely confident was so so so important. i would sit next to her, and she would put her small, always cool and soft hand on the nape of my neck, and everything would be okay.

i am especially grateful for her love of my hair. she called me goldilocks and rapunzel throughout my life, always letting me know how beautiful my hair was – and for someone with thick, unruly, curly hair in the land of straight blond california hair, a fan of my hair was not only appreciated, it was necessary.

in general, i am so grateful for my grandmother, who moved to california (a state filled with hippies who can’t drive) just to be closer to her granddaughter, me (though i suppose she sort of liked my brother, too).

daddy as a wee one

3. my husband

i know, i know. i’m always grateful for him. it shouldn’t even count anymore. but seriously, he has been wonderful throughout my first trimester. he has cooked and cleaned and shopped and rubbed my back (and my feet and my hands and my back again) and woken up earlier than usual to make me toast or a bagel every morning so i’m not sick first thing when i wake up and just done everything he can to make sure that i am comfortable and relaxed.

he is proving himself (as i knew he would be) to be an excellent husband and a fantastic father – already getting excited about taking care of me and the baby and constantly talking to the baby and kissing my belly.

i don’t think i could have survived as “easily” (and happily) as i have done without his constant help.

 

and now, just because it’s in my head, i’ll leave you with the sonic youth, only to return shortly (i promise).

day sixty two

11 Oct

1. new job

i’ve got a new class coming up and it’s pretty “official”. it’s working on the bayerwerk chempark (where my husband works) and it’s an upper-intermediate business class, which should be fun. and i should learn a lot from it because i have to be more “official” about my teaching, which i think should be good.

and the company seems really good and they offer advanced education courses where i can learn some more about teaching.

2. package from my mom

i love getting packages, especially when they’re full of stuff i need: books and photos and most important: cornnuts.

3. subway

i don’t know what my problem is, but i love subway here. back home, i couldn’t care less about it, but here (both in spain and in germany), i’m obsessed with it.

 

day sixty one

11 Oct

** published a day late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. home

when you are exhausted from traveling (and waking up at 4am in order to travel), the best thing in the world is that moment when you walk in your house and drop your suitcase and just lie down on the bed (or sofa) and do nothing for awhile. and that’s what i did this morning. and then i took a nap.

2. coconut curry

after taking a nap, there’s nothing better than filling your tummy with coconut curry tofu and noodles.

3. sparkling water

i just never knew how amazing it could be. and then i moved to germany, where even the vending machines in the gym only have sparkling water. i always thought that i didn’t like it, but i was so wrong.

 

day sixty**

11 Oct

** published a few days late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. my husband will pay 10€ so i can watch a movie

i realize that hotels have to charge for things, i mean, that makes sense. especially movies, as they are “luxury items” or whatever, but 10€? seriously?

we were tired though, and all we wanted to do was lie in our hotel room and watch movies. and my husband, because he’s fantastic, was totally willing to pay because i wanted to watch one. i love him!

2. pasta pomodoro

okay this picture isn’t of the most amazing spaghetti pomodoro that i had the day before, but it was still really good. and beyond that, it was room service. which is so much better than any other type of food. and how much i loved the pomodoro sauce here made me wish i could just buy a whole bunch and also buy another suitcase to carry back as much sauce as i possibly could have.

it’s just delicious.

3. free breakfast buffet

eggs, toast, croissants, juice, water, fruit plates, bacon and sausages for james, and more. breakfast buffets are so good, the best in fact, but they are even better when they are free (or included in the charge of the room).

day fifty nine**

11 Oct

** published a few days late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. lactose pills

i know i’ve been thankful for these before, but seriously, i was in italy. i basically dreamed of cheese: on pizza, on pasta, just in my mouth, in every way possible.

so, i am so so grateful for the lactose pills that make it possible for me to eat cheese, especially while in italy. and though my stomach still doesn’t love it, it’s so worth it. yum.

2. hotel rooms

i could live in hotel rooms. always and forever. i don’t know what it is about them that i love, besides the comfort and cleanliness that someone else is responsible for. our hotel was really nice and the bed was big and comfortable and the shower was about ten times larger than ours is, which means there was actually space to move around while cleaning myself.

i’m grateful both for the room, and for the ability to pay for them, or more specifically, how hard my husband works to take me on weekend trips to italy.

3. random little café with the best spaghetti pomodoro ever

it’s always hard to choose a restaurant when you are traveling, because the touristy ones are usually overpriced and not as good as they should be, while the random hole-in-the-walls are hard to find, and could easily just be a gross hole-in-the-wall. but every now and then, you get lucky. and today, we got so lucky.

i’m still dreaming about it.

day fifty eight**

11 Oct

** published a few days late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. tori amos

absolutely amazing, and the reason we went to milan. i have to say that out of all the concerts my husband has taken me to since we started dating (rufus wainwright, bruce springsteen, leonard cohen…), tori amos was definitely his least favorite, as i knew she would be. but that’s okay. he behaved himself and i didn’t mind, because all i was interested in was her! she was mesmerizing, gorgeous and so amazingly talented.

i’m grateful and frankly, awe-struck, that there are people in this world with that much talent. and i’m so glad that i was able to witness it live. now only tom waits remains of my top five… well, if you think morrissey counts for the smiths, which i don’t, because as fabulous and wonderful as he is, he’s pretty crappy live.

2. james giving me his pasta

it was a weird day. we had been up so early to fly to milan and i was exhausted and just in a bad mood, despite the fact that we were in italy and we were going to see tori amos. i had some food issues: there were just so many options and i wanted everything. so, in my confusion, i ordered the wrong dinner. i ordered tagliatelle ai funghi, which looked good and was alright, but just wasn’t what i wanted. so when my dinner came, i almost felt like crying (ridiculous, i know, but as i said, it was one of those days). my beautiful husband had ordered pesto pasta which is his favorite and was delicious, which made me want to cry even more.

without ever making me feel bad or complaining about not having his pasta, he traded with me and even pretended to like my dish better. he’s the best.

3. italian

oh my goodness, it’s the best language that there is. it makes me feel a little bit angry that i’m here in germany and that i have to learn german because it just isn’t as good as italian. neither is the accent when they speak english.

no matter what happens (and i hope that what happens is that i learn german), i will learn italian again at one point. even if it’s when i’m eighty.

just for fun, the song she ended on, before her encores (though this video is from a different tour):