Thursday, July 29, 2010

A few days in Berlin

By Liv

Berlin is a beautiful and incredibly vibrant city with a ridiculous amount of history. There are so many things to do and see in Berlin including: Museums, museums, a few museums and after that, you can stop by and take a peek in to a museum.

I was most interested in the Holocaust (guess what) MUSEUM, so we made sure to visit one while we were there. It was possibly one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen - so much more surreal when you are in the actual place that the atrocities took place - and standing at the exact spot where the Nazi's SS regime's main headquarters once was.

Some of the other places we visited included:

- Ku'Damm (main shopping area)
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, generally also known as "Gedächtniskirche"
- Berlin Zoo & Aquarium
- Charlottenburg Palace & Schlosspark Charlottenburg
- Bundestag - The German Parliament building
- Brandenburg gate
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
- Sections of the Berlin Wall
- Topography of Terror Museum
- Checkpoint Charlie

Friday, July 23, 2010

Partying it up like a one year old!

First, I'd like to thank my lovely friends, Judy and Glenda, who traveled all the way from Salt Lake City to be here with us for Stella's birthday. It was so nice to have some friends around to celebrate with.

Nick and I figured that we will have plenty of chances to put together crazy kid-centric parties in the coming years, so this year we decided to stick with a simple BBQ. Our neighbors, Sigfried and Elza, came over and between the 8 of us, we had a wonderful time celebrating our lovely Stella's first birthday.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor feast, so we sat on the veranda and soaked in the warm German breeze while enjoying a delicious dinner followed by two birthday cakes: One lactose-free chocolate cake made by yours truly, and one mini German cake made by Elza. We had a wonderful time and look forward to her next birthday!

Opening her 3 birthday-morning-gifts. One memory: a snow globe with our photo inside, one creative gift because she is a double-cancer (which means she is super creative): a coloring book, and one thing that grows: a packet of Aster seeds (because we live on Aster Street.

Judy and Glenda were so happy to see Stella. Last time they saw her, she was only a few weeks old!

Elza, Siggy and Nick.


Birthday dinner.

Mmmm! Enjoying a delicious lactose-free chocolate cake :)

Chef Boyar-Liv :)

Chef Boyar-Elza :)

Thanks for the adorable hat, Lilli! Stella loves it - but for now, she loves the box even more!

Shiny paper! How surprising!

Auntie Jess, Uncle Chris and Cousin Seren sent her this super creative bag with photos printed on it. Stella adores it!

Spending the day with the gals in Hannover.

Stella LOVES the attention!

Silly little videos of the silly little girl

The sheep says, "Hi!"
Auntie Jess gave Stella this cuddly little sheep (or is it a lamb?). Stella adores it. She usually wakes up first thing in the morning and starts playing with it in her crib. All we can hear is some mumbled jabbering and a few "Baaahs" breaking in every now and again.

The cheapest type of baby walker.

Fun at the dinner table.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Exactly one year ago today, we were having a baby

I remember exactly what we were doing the moment that I felt my first contraction. I was preparing a delicious BBQ salmon dinner to share with my lovely husband and our even lovelier friends, Sara and Dan Buri.

Dan didn't believe that I was starting labor, but I knew. I continued to cook, eat and clean up our dinner all the while reminding Nick to time my contractions as they came.

I can't believe what an amazing experience we had in store for us. Nick and I spent MONTHS and countless hours at home practicing, learning and mastering our knowledge of natural childbirth and went in to Stella's birth with excitement and dedication to our gentle birth plans. I am so thankful, 12 months later, that I had such a wonderful pregnancy, labor and birth partner in Nick. If it weren't for him, I would've have believed in myself enough and I'm sure this story would've been written entirely differently.

We have had an amazing time getting to know our daughter over the last year and we can't wait to see what the future holds in store for us.

Happy First Birthday to my most dearest Stella!

At one year old, here are some interesting Stella-factoids:

• What she eats: Everything that we eat plus lots of Mama's milk. No baby food in our house!

• Her favorite things to say: Hi Dad! Hi Mom! Bird, Book (minus the k), Ball, Dadda, Mama, Papa (Grandpa).

• Her favorite things to say in sign language: Bird, dog, milk, more.

• How she gets around: Walking while holding on to furniture/walls/people and speed-crawling.

• Her favorite toys: Cooking utensils, books and shoes.

• Weight & Height: 30 inches tall, 20 pounds.

• She has visited 9 countries already: USA, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium and Croatia. Coming soon: England - for a well rounded 10.

Stella's birthday slide show:

Friday, July 16, 2010

The power of words.

Words are very powerful. Much more so than many people believe. I have been dying to write this post, but figured I will wait until I have a solid 12 months as a Mom under my belt :)...

This post is for all the women who are pregnant, want to be pregnant or will be in the future. This post is also for anyone who does or will ever come in to contact with a pregnant woman.

It is often discussed in Advertising and Marketing classes that word-of-mouth is one of the strongest forms of Advertising - both positive and negative. In the same way, the things that are said to a pregnant woman are incredibly important.

Throughout my pregnancy, I heard an endless array of negative stories regarding our choices for childbirth and parenting plans (natural childbirth, cloth diapering, organic/natural lifestyle name a few). Even people whom I thought should be supportive, were not always as I expected.

12 months after my daughter was born, I can say with pride that we have, in fact, parented and raised our daughter the way that we said we would: We was able to bring her in to the world gently and without any medical interventions, we STILL use cloth diapers (and love them), she STILL breastfeeds (and will until she is at least 2) and I STILL am a happy and thankful stay at home Mama.

For all the women in the world who have high hopes and big dreams for their labors, births and parenting plans, I would just like to say: Don't listen to the negative comments regarding your plans for your child(ren). You know what is best for you and your family.

And for people who will come in to contact with expecting parents, consider how impressionable these people are at that time in their lives. Keep the positive energy flowing for these people and surround them with love and support. That is the best gift you can give.

"Grandpa" sounds like "Papa"

but don't let that confuse you. Stella only refers to Nick as "Dad", so we know that she is saying, "Grandpa". Ah, the littlest milestones are so amazing with little ones. I can't wait to see what she learns next!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mrs. Independent

By Liv

Stella has decided that she can not only feed herself by hand, but with a spoon. This just happened this morning. We normally don't feed her anything that requires silverware... no baby food, no mushed up bananas... we just give her little piece of what we are eating and she picks them up and eats them. Until today. She decided that the 1/4 teaspoon was HER spoon and that she needed everything that she was eating to be placed in that spoon so she could feed herself. Awesome!

Oh, and if you're wondering what's up with the new headband - that's to hold back her fro while she eats :)