Moving to another Continent with a little “extra”

Hello there,

Yes, it’s me….after what seems an eternity since my last blog update, I thought it was time to talk about all the changes that happened/ will be happening, and how it might influence my “blogging activities” here.

  1. We are happy to be expecting our second baby this fall! As some of you who read previous posts may know, we are dealing with endometriosis based infertility when it comes to family planning. This hasn’t changed, and it never will. My husband & I never liked the thought of just one single child for our family, but of course, with the cards we’ve been dealt, it doesn’t come as easy as just “trying for another”. I had to undergo another round of hormonal stimulation (actually 2 rounds) to welcome another little one of our ‘snowflakes’ on board in my tummy via frozen embryo transfer. We couldn’t believe our luck to actually hold another positive pregnancy test in our hands again, but soon that joy was immensely overshadowed by hyperemesis gravidarum. It actually was so severe that I had to be hospitalized and hooked to an IV-drip. However, all that is in the past, since I’m now in my 22nd week of pregnancy and can look forward to the prospect of holding another baby in my arms in a few months. By the way, our daughter will be a big sister to a baby brother 😉

  2. As stated in the title, there are more news & changes happening in my/our life. In about 2 weeks – at the beginning of June 2016 – we will move to another country, another continent even. Until now we lived right in the center of Berlin, Germany – a bustling “melting pot” metropole. We don’t own a car since we don’t need one and pretty much everything is a short walk or 2 bus/metro stops away. Berlin is a city that can either make or break you, and it has become a part of my personality, but now there is time for change. My husband (an engineer in the automotive industry) had been offered to work for a subsidiary company of his current engineering company, and his new workplace will be located in the USA, Michigan to be exact. Since the company will be a big help with moving and paying for things like the moving company, health insurance etc, we didn’t think long before jumping at the chance to live this little adventure with as big as a safety net as possible (compared to the way of “quitting and restarting from zero”-workwise). We are positively excited for all the things to come and the big flight without a return ticket happening soon.

Of course, the combination of #1 & #2 result in a special adventure for me personally as I will give birth to my baby boy in another country and don’t even know where exactly, because we can’t go house hunting for a place to live until we’re actually THERE. Only then will I be able to choose an obgyn or birthing place.

I plan to update my blog more regularly in the future, and with these changes coming^^^ my updates will probably center around these two themes a lot. That is the direction I think I want to take in the future. If you are interested – keep checking back here 🙂

「Handmade」interactive felt-book for our toddler

Usually I post about things I make, but this time I have to share the neat little present my mother handmade for her grand daughter (our little girl).  It’s an interactive felt-book to play with and ‘rip out’ different things on each page.

For a closer look on each ‘page’ click “continue reading” below:

Continue reading “「Handmade」interactive felt-book for our toddler”

Smash*Book「Pretty Pink」Update #3

 This double page is very special to me: it’s about my baby daughter!

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I picked this double page to be all about my daughter, because it has the calendar on the bottom of the right page saying “A DAY TO REMEMBER”, so I circled her birthday with a heart.
In addition to that I used adhesive letters to add the birth-month (spelled in the german version with an “i” in the end) and her name, as well as “My Girl” and the meaning of her Japanese name (kanji 七海), “7 seas”

I took polaroids of her, as well as me with her & my husband with her to fill out the page on the left with that. I really like the little frames for the polaroids that I got from a friend. On the page to the right I only added a palm print of hers and will use the empty space to fill it with all the funny, witty, interesting things she’ll say once she can talk (more).

In the middle I attached a little wooden ’ema’ keychain I bought at a Japanese shrine that sort of specialises on wishes & prayers for a good upbringing and education of children.
Something I added in the middle to the “rings” of my smash book are little ‘song cards’ as I like to call them. Basically I got a little crafty and made cards that on the front are decorated according to the theme of the lullaby/children’s song, and have the song lyrics written on the back. They are all  in Japanese lullabies (except for the one on the bottom left which is just the Japanese version of “twinkle twinkle little star”).
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I can’t wait to fill the page on the right with quotes of all the things she says that I want to remember!

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See all my Smash*Book updates HERE

hand-painted wooden baby walker

My mother-in-law had a wooden baby walker handmade for our little girl as a present. It is supposed to be a little doll carriage but a walker at the same time. She still is some months away from learning how to walk (just learning how to crawl at the moment) but my mother-in-law couldn’t wait and already brought us the walker over. I really liked that it is all wooden, but wanted to add my personal touch and pretty-it up a little by painting it here and there.

LEFT = BEFORE – basic wooden handmade walker & RIGHT = AFTER – with my paint-job donebefore and after

And here are all the painted parts in detail:

1. The Wheels
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I decided to just sprinkle medium sized polka dots in 4 different basic colours all over the 4 wheels, and my husband wrapped some vinyl-rubber kind of material around them so they will roll more smoothly.

2. The backside (or front if you look from the opposite direction)
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Since owls play a big part in the design of our little girl’s room I just had to paint an owl somewhere on that little walker-carriage. The backside made the perfect canvas so I went all out and even added a butterfly.

3. A little bow
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On the side opposite of the owl, there was a bit of “canvas space” left and I thought a bow work well, but to make a connection to the wheels I painted a polka dot bow!

I also painted the wooden bits on the side that were added as decor (I assume) in white to make them stand out a bit more. After I was done with my paint we sprayed clear varnish all over the walker to protect the paintings and the wood of course.

Here is the finished painted wooden walker doll carriage from front & back
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I’m immensly satisfied with what I did to the walker – it just looks so bright, colourful, cute and unique now, and fits right into the world of our little girl 🙂

 

 

 

Christmas Presents for our Baby Girl

Our little girl is a little bit over 5 months when it’s Christmas this year, so she won’t understand the concept of this festive occasion yet. The same goes for giving or receiving presents. However, we still decided to give her something, because she loves everything that rustles….like wrapping paper (in which some of the presents will be wrapped). And she is fascinated by our christmas tree and the lights.

I want to state that for us, Christmas is not an event of LOADS of presents, each super expensive and huge in itself…in our family it is more about cozy memories with the Christmas tree and having mabye one or two new toys to play with right away.

These are the presents we are giving to our girl this year:
1. ‘slumbertoes’ baby shoes – come in various sizes, and we bought 6-12 months. They are handmade with quality leather and come in 9 different designs. We picked the purple ones with butterflies on them (they don’t have an owl design…) They are basically perfect for crawling and last until baby can walk. Thus, the material is really soft and allows baby feet to flex and move around with ease. Personally I really like how they are just slip on shoes with an elastic band to gently hold the ankle of those little feet.

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2. A roly-poly-mushroom ^^ in a very cute and colourful design. It’s all plushy fabric on the outside and has a little bell inside that makes a soft (bearable for parental ears) noise when moving it. I think our daughter will love all over it 🙂

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3. MULA – the bead roller coster from IKEA – this was actually not planned as a Christmas gift. Originally we only had the roly-poly-mushroom as a playable present to give to her, but then my husband went out to IKEA to only buy some screws or so and he came back with this & a broad smile on his face. Our girl does enjoy shoving the beads on her little play-gym back and forth, and entertains herself for quite some time. So we do think she will like moving the beads on the spiral and the other 2 thingies.

4. This is the handmade present. I’m a crafter at heart so I couldn’t help but making her one present myself. I bought some colourful owl fabric and made her a little quilt
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Click here or on the picture to see the whole quilt and more/better close up pictures of it!!

All together our baby girl is getting 4 presents (which I already consider a lot!) out of which “only” 2 are playable items though. We can’t wait for December 24th to see how her reaction is to the toys and new things she finds under the tree.

 

「handmade」Owl Quilt – Christmas present

Our little girl will get only a few presents for Christmas which I will show all together in another blog post sometime. This one is about the handmade present I sewed together for her over the span of 2 days (could probably be done within a day if there are only few interruptions 😉 )

I wanted to make a little quilt and ordered really cute & colourful owl fabric as well as volume fleece and green/white dotted fabric for the back and border 🙂 DSCN2626

The owls are so colourful and cheery, they go well with the over all owl-themed room for our baby girl. I didn’t want to quilt right through the owls though, so I sews around each one and created this sort of honeycomb pattern.

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I really like the grass green fabric with white dots on the back as it goes well with the light and bright colours of the owls. In the following picture you can see a close up of the border. I sewed 2 lines close together to make sure it’s attached really well.

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And here is a closer look on the different owls pictured on the front of the quilt – aren’t they just so so cute?!!

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Aside from this handmade present she will get two little toy-presents to play with right away and one ‘wearable’ present. I do love our tree with the first special snowflake bauble and how we can make our first cozy Christmas memories as a family this year.

「handmade」 Snowflake Christmas Bauble 2014 (crochet)

Even before our precious Snowflake* girl was born, I decided to make special christmas baubles/ornaments each year for the tree – but all would have the Snowflake* theme in common.

For this year’s Christmas in 2014 – the year she was born – I decided to crochet a snowflake with white/blue colour interchanging yarn.
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I put a picture of her on the other side before enclosing it in the acrylic bauble. DSCN2472

To hide the line where the 2 acrylic bauble halfs connect together, I simply crochet 2 rows in white and glued them around the bauble – makes a nice frame as well 🙂
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Here is what the bauble looks like on our black (yes, black & not real- we like it) Christmas TreeDSCN2586 DSCN2587
See our snowflake lights, suits the whole theme? 🙂

Already excited for next year’s Christmas when we will put the second Snowflake bauble on our tree 🙂


*Our precious little daughter was conceived via IVF due to my Endometriosis based infertility. Before she got transfered she was frozen at the embryo bank, so we called her “our snowflake” from the start.

handmade cloth wipes make me smile :)

Die Deutsche Version dieses Blogeintrags ist HIER zu finden.

Cute, colourful, really handy and sooo soft  – that’s what comes to mind when I think of our cloth wipes !
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These multipurpose cloth wipes are handmade (in the USA) by Lover of Life Designs, a working-at-home mother. They are made of double-sided 100% flannel cotton which feels so very soft, even after several rounds in the washing machine. They come in packs of 2 diferent sizes (large small) here at Stoffywelt.de 🙂

That softness of the flannel cotton is not only gentle on our daughter’s bum, but also on hands or face. She is drooling a lot these days, and using a tissue, towel or muslin cloth can be a bit rough on her skin after a while. Since using these cloths wipes on her face she doesn’t seem to fight it so much…I guess the flannel cotton really makes a difference even baby can feel.

I just love how they can be used for so much more than just the simple wash-cloth purpose. The cute, colourful designs seems fascinating to baby’s eye. Our little one loves to play and fiddle with one of those cloths while on the changing table or during a walk when laying in her pram. They are a good distraction & were able to entertain our daughter for several minutes at a time. DSCN2416.png
I have to admit that our baby girl likes the brightly coloured designs more than the ones with the light or softer hues. She will inspect all of them and tumble them around her tiny hands, but quickly drops the two that only have very little variety of colours.

I just use those not so fascinating ones to wipe her little fingers (when she yet again tried to eat her fist, silly girl ^.^) or tiny nose. And my nose. Yes, you read that right! Why only use them as wash cloth or cloth wipes when they can also be used as handkerchiefs, right?! They not only make our baby girl smile, but me as well! 🙂

How do we store & transport the cloth wipes??
In our wet bag of course! 🙂 Since we love owls and the nursery/baby room is owl themed I’m so excited to use the cloth wipe wet bag by Planet Wise with an owl design – just one of many gorgeous designs!
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It’s so cute, right?! The outside is simply cotton, but the inside of the pouch is designed so there are no leaks whatsoever. This means, we not only put our used, damp (from drool and whatnot) cloth wipes inside to take them home for a wash, but also can bring wet cloth wipes with us to use as wash cloth, and the wet bag will keep them wet and ready to use. Of course, you can also put other wet wipes in there to carry with you. I also tend to carry a teething ring or toy with me for our little girl, and like to transport it in this pouch for obvious reasons 😉 The wet bag also has those nifty snaps, so I can fit it even in a small bag or purse if the diaper bag is too full already. Very clever idea there, Planet Wise :

I can honestly say, the cloth wipes are in use every day around here, and I don’t really want to miss them anymore. I’m positively sure they will be used even when our baby turns into a toddler and older (hopefully not for drooling by then, but..you know what I mean ;)…)

*These products were kindly sent to me from www.Stoffywelt.de for extensive testing – Thank you!*

Handgemachte Waschlappen zaubern mir ein Lächeln auf’s Gesicht :)

The English version of this blog entry can be found HERE.

Hübsch, lebhaft bunt, sehr praktisch und sooooo weich – das alles fällt mir ein wenn ich an unsere Waschlappen denke!
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Diese, auf vielfältige Weise nutzbaren Waschlappen sind handgemacht (in den USA) von Lover of Life Designs – einer Mutter die von zu Hause aus arbeitet. Sie sind zu 100% aus doppelseitigem Baumwollflanell…richtig! Zwei Lagen von Baumwollflanell, was sich so unglaublich weich anfühlt, sogar nach mehreren Runden in der Waschmaschine. Man kann sie z.B. bei Stoffywelt.de als Bündel in zwei verschiedenen Größen (klein & groß) bestellen.

Dieses weiche Gefühl des Baumwollflanells ist nicht nur sanft für den Po unserer Kleinen, sondern auch für ihr Gesicht und ihre Hände. Unsere Tochter sabbert richtig viel in letzter Zeit, und das Abwischen mit einem Zellstofftaschentuch, Handtuch oder Mulltuch ist auf Dauer sehr rau auf ihrer zarten Babyhaut. Seitdem wir die Waschlappen dafür benutzen scheint sie auch nicht mehr so dagegen anzukämpfen….Ich glaube das Baumwollflanell macht einen Unterschied den sogar das Baby fühlen kann.

Ich mag es einfach total, dass wir die Tücher für mehr Zwecke als nur den des Waschlappens nutzen können. Die niedlichen, bunten Muster scheinen kleine Baby-Augen zu faszinieren. Unsere Kleine liebt es mit ihnen zu spielen während wir sie wickeln, oder sie zwischen ihren kleinen Händen und Fingern hin und her zu wurschteln wenn sie in der Wippe oder im Kinderwagen liegt. Sie sind einfach eine gute Ablenkung, mit der sich unsere Tochter für einige (mehrere) Minuten beschäftigen kann.DSCN2416.png
Ich muss gestehen, das sie die knallbunten Muster lieber mag als die Tücher mit den weicheren, hellen Farbtönen. Inzwischen hat sie alle schon mal “inspiziert” und in den Händen gehabt, aber die Lappen welche weniger bunt sind schneller links liegen gelassen.

Ich benutze die 2-3 nicht so faszinierenden Tücher um damit ihr Näschen oder ihre kleinen Finger abzuwischen (wenn sie mal wieder versucht ihre gesamte Faust in den Mund zu schieben, verrückte Nudel ^.^) Und meine Nase. Ja, richtig gelesen! Warum sie nur als Waschlappen, Feucht- oder Spucktücher verwenden, wenn ich sie auch als Taschentücher benutzen kann, richtig?! Somit bringen sie nicht nur unser Baby zum Lächeln sondern auch mich 🙂 !

Wie transportieren wir unsere Stofflappen??
In unserer Nasstasche natürlich! 🙂 Da wir Eulen lieben und das Kinderzimmer auch in diesem Thema gestaltet ist, freut es mich besonders die passende Eulen-Nasstasche von Planet Wise für unsere Waschlappen zu benutzen. Es ist natürlich nur eins der vielen tollen Designs!
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Richtig niedlich, oder?! Die Aussenseite aus Baumwolle, aber die Innenseite dieser Tasche ist so gemacht, dass absolut nichts auslaufen kann. Das heisst, wir legen nicht nur unsere benutzten, feuchten (vollgesabberten) Stofflappen hinein um sie zum Waschen mit nach Hause zu nehmen, sondern transportieren so auch bereits angefeuchtete Tücher um sie als Waschlappen unterwegs zu benutzen.  Die Nasstasche hält diese auch wirklich über mehrere Stunden feucht und bereit zum Einsatz. Natürlich kann man auch andere Tücher, Lappen oder Sonstiges für unterwegs darin verstauen. Ich nehme z.B. oft ein kleinen Beißring (für’s Zahnen) oder einen Greifring für unsere Kleine mit und transportiere sie in der Tasche 😉  Ausserdem haben die Nasstaschen diesen raffinierten Druckknopf, damit man sie einfach und gut verkürzen kann – so passen sie in jede Tasche (wenn die Windeltasche z.B. mal wieder voll ist.) Sehr clevere Idee die ihr da hattet, Plante Wise 😉

Ich kann ehrlich sagen, die Stofflappen sind mittlerweile jeden Tag in Benutzung bei uns, und ich möchte sie gar nicht mehr missen. Ich bin mir ganz sicher, das wir sie noch benutzen werden wenn unser Baby dann ein Kleinkind wird und bestimmt auch noch danach  (dann hoffentlich aber nicht mehr für’s Sabbern 😉 )

*Diese Produkte wurden mir freundlicher Weise von www.Stoffywelt.de zum ausgiebigen Testen zur Verfügung gestellt – Vielen Dank!*

Cloth Diapers – our decision and experience

Die Deutsche Version dieses Blogeintrags ist HIER zu finden.

For every pregnant couple (or woman) there comes the day when you decide on what baby products to buy. Diapers will play a big part in the life of a newborn & new parents. For us it was pretty much decided right from the start that we want to use cloth diapers once the baby is born.

Our (personal) motivation to cloth diaper was based on the following reasons:

  • Both, my husband & I were cloth diapers by our parents as babies
  • cloth simply feels much more comfortable (if you can feel the difference with your hands, babies can feel the difference on their bums! )
  • Saving money: Although a single cloth diaper may cost more than a single disposable diaper, in the long run it can save a lot of money (and even more if used again with 2nd or 3rd baby 😉
  • It’s better for the environment, because cloth diapers get washed and re-used instead of thrown away, creating tons and tons of waste that often takes several decades to decompose
  • We’re lazy! *laughs* not really, but the thought of having to go out every other day to bus huge packages of dispoable diapers, then having to empty the trash every night because they fill up the bin quickly, ugh…we rather spare ourselves the stress and time and spend it with our little one instead.
  • There are just sooo many cute designs to choose from, that make me smiley happy just looking at them (no disposable diaper ever did that to me!)

Now, after deciding we want to cloth diaper, there was another decision to make: Which “system” to use?? After reading up here on how different types of cloth diapers are used, we decided to go for the low-cost system of using prefolds & covers mostly. My mother kept loads of muslin inserts from when I was a baby, so by using those with covers, we only needed to buy a very little amount of extra prefolds/inserts and used the saved money to try the one or the other more pricey AIO (All in one) cloth diaper.

We ordered all of our diapers from Stoffywelt.de – which became our favourite cloth dealer by now, since the quick handling & shipping as well as the customer service is just fantastic. If you’re not sure yet which type of cloth diaper to use, or want to stack up and save a bit of money, they have great saving packs. At first, we ordered the Diaper Cover & Prefolds Test Pack for Size 1, plus two to three additional covers & one Blueberry Capri (Swaddlebees) AIO. That (together with the muslins my mother kept for us) was basically all we needed with putting one a wash-load once a day. Of course, as with everything else in the world, the more money you are willing to spend the more you can buy 🙂

Now, with a three and a half month old baby we needed to change from Size 1 to Size 2 (that will last until she’s out of diapers and potty trained), so we ordered the Diapver Cover & Prefolds test Pack for Size 2, as well as two additional covers: 1 of the Blueberry Capri brand and 1 of the Rumparooz brand. Since I just love the design and wanted to try them out, we also ordered two bumgenius freetime AIOs with snaps (we could survive with out them diaper-wise, but I just couldn’t hold back)

Here are ALL of our cloth diaper covers & AIOs
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I  really like how quick they dry after a wash and just how simple & easy it is (really not much slower than disposables, even with putting the prefold into the cover!). Both brands, Blueberry Capri as well as Rumparooz have double leg gussets which prevent leaking extremely well! We liked the snaps more than the hook & loop ones, as we had some pilling on them after 1 months (not much and still works just fine though) – I guess that’s personal liking everyone develops while trying out different types 🙂

Of course you need the prefolds to put into the covers (different types are included in the test pack) and optional liners  – here’s what we use:DSCN2444
Out of those different types of prefolds we like the hemp one the least, simple because they take so much time to dry (we don’t have a dryer, we hang-dry our clothes & cloths), they do absorb nicely though! Our favourites are the 100% cotton prefolds: easiest to tri-fold, great absorption and not heavy to carry with you in a diaper bag etc. The Little Lamb fleecy liners are a bit more expensive than other options but for us they were the most comfortable ones and best to handle so we stuck with those.

Our daughter has been in cloth diapers since the day she was born – we didn’t (need to) use disposable diapers at all. She didn’t have a rash on her bum once and we love to put on all the different, lovely designs!!!DSCN2447
(don’t be fooled by her stern facial expressions, she loves the changing table and getting changed, she just wasn’t fully awake yet from her nap )