Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pushing Sadies (well ok really just the one)

So this is the post where I talk about the baby. Or, more specifically, what it's like to actually have a baby in Germany. There will be many more posts about Sadie, I can guarantee that. This one is a bit long, so I will intersperse it with some never-before-seen pictures of Sadie and me.

Anyway, on September 21, I started having contractions around 7:30 pm. I was pretty sure they were real because none of my previous contractions had hurt and these were fairly painful and also regular. We decided to watch an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to see if they would go away or if we should go to the hospital. Eventually, I couldn't even pay attention to the episode, so we decided to go.

When we had visited the hospital to "register" for the birth, they told us we could call an ambulance and it would be covered by insurance. We couldn't find the number for a cab, so Hunter called the ambulance and explained the situation. Then, when we got in the ambulance, the woman spent the entire trip telling Hunter how this was only for dying people and we were basically wasting it for something that wasn't a sickness. I don't understand why they sent it, then. Hunter had told them I was in labor near my due date, couldn't they have just said they wouldn't send it for that instead of being mean about it? I mean, who scolds an adult? Germans, that's who.

Me looking gross, Sadie looking cute.

Anyway, I got to the hospital and they hooked me up to the CTG and said that my contractions were regular but not lasting very long, so I could stand up, walk around a bit and see what happened. I was a little afraid they would send me home, but I was fairly sure that this was the real thing. So anyway after a little bit they moved me into the delivery type room. The contractions were becoming pretty painful. Haha I thought I knew what pain was. Little did I know...

They eventually gave me the epidural. From everything I had read, in the US, when you get an epidural it's basically a constant drip. In Germany, they are a bit more stingy with it. They give you some and then a few hours later, if they decide you can have some more, they will give you a little bit more. The first one provided almost instant relief. It wasn't so much that I couldn't feel the contractions, but they just weren't an excruciating amount of pain, and Hunter and I were able to sleep a little bit (there were two beds in the room so he could sleep in one). They woke me up a few hours later to check my blood pressure and stuff and the pain was coming back, so they agreed to give me a little bit more of the medicine. This time it only mostly worked. There was still one spot on my back that hurt really bad during every contraction. What helped me get through it was something that Hunter reminded me of from Infinite Jest, which I think was in turn borrowed from AA/12-Step rhetoric, which is to basically take it one second at a time. I didn't need to think about making it through another few hours of contractions, I just needed to make it through one (the parallel being that with AA you can't think about not drinking for the next 3,000 days or whatever, you just make it through each day without a drink). So I used that to make it through and not watch the clock very much. I think they gave me another dose around 6:00 AM, which also didn't provide a ton of relief.

Our first day home

So eventually they decided it was time to try and get the head in position. I'm not really going to describe this stuff in great detail because either you know what happens in a delivery room if you don't, and if you don't then I'm sure you can find things on the Internet to describe it but you probably just want to stay in a state of blissful ignorance. I usually consider myself very modest about bodily function type things, and basically the second I walked into the hospital I had to throw that away. The midwives were all really nice and I just don't understand what kind of a person it takes to subject themselves to that kind of gore day in and day out. There was a shift change around this time, which Hunter was a bit worried about, but the ones who were leaving met with the ones coming in inside the delivery room and explained everything that was going on; it was a very smooth transition.

Anyway it was eventually time for me to be pushing. I had no pain medication at this point. I know people say that's good because you can actually feel to push. If I couldn't have medication, it would be really hard (not impossible) to do this again. People say you forget the pain of childbirth once you hold the child. It's completely true, but I think it has less to do with how awesome the baby is and more the fact that your body is producing so many chemicals you're basically delirious; you can't concentrate on anything in that second other than the pain. I mean, I really wanted to give up and say, "I can't do this." But I couldn't really even breathe. And of course, I had Hunter there encouraging me. Once he said he could see the head, I got kind of a renewed burst of energy. And the best, best thing was when he said, "Time's up, let's do this. Baaaaabbbbbbyyyyyyyyy Scuuuuunnnnnnteeerrrrrrrr!" He was there the whole time just trying to help me through it. Then, finally it was over. I had been wondering which would be worse, labor or a migraine, and it's labor. I didn't think anything could be worse than a migraine but it was.

They handed Sadie to me immediately, didn't wash her off or anything, just put her in a towel so I got to hold her for a while. Then they said, "Oh yeah we had to cut you so we are going to give you stitches now." I asked if it would hurt and they kinda laughed, the implication being that how could it hurt after what I had just been through (spoiler: it did hurt. But I was holding and looking at Baby Sadie so it was easy not to pay attention to it.).

So there it is. I don't know how different this experience is from American hospitals, aside from the fact that most of the time there were only midwives in the room and not a doctor. If you have any other questions about specific differences feel free to ask, and I'll be posting a bit more about the hospital experience and some of our experiences with Sadie pretty soon!

Baby with Mom and Oma

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feeding Frenzy

Even before I got pregnant, or planned to, I had planned on formula feeding. I didn't realize at the time that this was a controversial decision; my sister and I were both formula fed from birth so this was just normal to me. As soon as I started researching and looking into it more, I realized how much hate there was on the Internet for people who had no interest in breastfeeding. I read a lot of horror stories about how people were pressured or shunned or made to feel like bad parents, however I stuck by my decision, for a variety of personal reasons. Hunter didn't seem to have an opinion one way or the other, so he was OK with my choice. I was afraid that the people at the hospital would try to change my mind, but they were actually really accepting when I told them I planned to use formula, and told me which kind they had there so I could get the same one for at home.

Once Hunter started getting more interested and involved in baby preparations, though, we found that he did have an opinion. He recognized that since I was the one who would be doing it and I had been planning for it all along that it was my choice and he didn't pressure me or anything, but I realized that now that he had read more about it he did have his own opinion and wasn't convinced that formula from the beginning was the right choice. Since one of my reasons for choosing formula was for Hunter to have the same feeding experience I did, I felt like his thoughts and views on the matter were important enough to consider.

So this is why about a week before the baby is due, we have altered the plans slightly. We decided that while in the hospital, I will give the baby the colostrum. This is the part that is really the most advantageous anyway, with all the antibodies and nutrients and such. All of the reading I have done suggests that this is what would make the most difference in the baby's future health, moreso than just the regular milk. Then once we go home, we will switch to formula (unless I decide that breastfeeding is just such a magical bonding experience that I can't stop, which I doubt).

I'm really glad that Hunter and I could make this decision together. His involvement and interest in Scunter's well-being is something I really appreciate, and he is helping to keep me on track getting prepared when I am overwhelmed. I think it's awesome that Hunter did enough reading to come to his own conclusion, and that he was willing to share that with me. I'm just hoping that I will be able to convey my decision to the nurses and midwives, but Hunter can probably help me with that, too.

I just can't wait til my little guy/gal gets here!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Winter is Coming: A Onesie for Scunter

As most of you probably know, I am a big fan of hand-embroidery. For Christmas, I got the Sublime Floss Packs and was excited to finally have a project to use them on. I will show you the finished product, then tell you how I made it, in case you're interested or want to make your own. Here is what it looks like:
As you can see, it is the Stark House Sigil from Game of Thrones. I had thought about doing a more cutesy looking wolf, since it is for a baby, but I couldn't really find a picture I liked and I'm not good at cartoon type drawing. This is a really easy project to make. I'm not going to explain how to hand-embroider; you can find a good beginner's tutorial about that here.

Sadly, I don't think officially licensed Game of Thrones embroidery patterns exist, so I had to make my own. This is pretty simple.

1. Find an image you like. Something that is more line-drawing-esque will be easier to embroider.

2. Edit the image in Photoshop/Gimp/Image-editing software of your choice. This is optional, but it's what I did to combine the text with the picture. The text portion was made using an online "font image generator," of which there are many if you Google.

3. This step is very important. Use a photo editor (it can even be MS Paint, nothing fancy) to rotate the image 180 degrees around the vertical axis. Basically what you want is a mirror image. Since you are making a transfer to iron on, the image needs to be the opposite. This is especially important if you have words; some images you might not mind if they are flipped.

4. Print out the image in the size you want it to be on the finished project.

5. Use an iron-on transfer pen (the one I use is the Sulky Iron on Transfer Pen) to trace over your image. If you want, you can print out the image in a different/lighter color so you can tell which parts you have traced over.

6. Pre-iron the garment to make sure it is smooth, then with a cloth over your paper, iron the transfer on. Make sure you get everything ironed without moving the paper, because if you don't it's going to be pretty much impossible to line it up perfectly again (I suppose you could mark where you put the transfer but I'm not that pro. And depending on how small the transfer is, pinning it down doesn't really work because it keeps parts of the transfer out of contact with the fabric.).

7. If you are embroidering on jersey fabric, like a onesie or t-shirt, you will need something to stabilize the fabric so it doesn't stretch out and warp the design. I used to just skip this part because I didn't want to buy something else, but it really does make things a lot easier. The best stabilizer I have found so far is Sulky TenderTouch. It is a permanent iron-on stabilizer. I have tried tear away and water soluble stabilizers and found them to be pretty frustrating to use. With this, you just iron a piece of it onto the back of the fabric, where you plan to stitch. If you are using an embroidery hoop, make sure that there is enough stabilizer to fill the hoop or there will be weird stretches on the sides.

8. Embroider the image.

9. You will most likely want to put a backing over your finished design for two reasons: first, it will protect the embroidery from coming apart/unraveling and second, it will feel smoother against the skin--particularly important for a baby garment. Just to show off, I'm going to show a picture of what the back looked like before I put the backing on:
As you can see, pretty much just a scruffy-looking mirror-image of the front. I don't use knots when ending a piece of thread but there are some ends sticking out. Here is what it looked like after I put the backing on:
The backing is the same TenderTouch stabilizer I used before embroidering the image. The blur is maybe partly due to me not having a steady camera hand and partly that the backing is semi-transparent, so it obscures the image a bit.

Anyway, I am excited to make a few more onesies for Scunter. I am thinking of one that says "Make it So" with a Starfleet insignia and maybe one that says "I got a bad feeling about this." And of course I can always embellish my own clothing as well. Let me know if you have any questions about this project or the materials I used, or suggestions (or requests?) for designs.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Alan Pedersen--In Memory

When I was a little kid, I was afraid of my "Grandpa Pedersen." I was scrawny and shy and he was imposing and seemed not to be fond of kids, or at least not sure what to do with them. His house didn't have the same homey warmth as my other grandparents' house; things were much more formal and structured. I have lots of good memories of times we visited, but in my younger childhood my grandpa doesn't figure prominently in those memories. I have general memories of sitting quietly and receiving Christmas gifts I didn't really understand. To a child, a piece of paper with "Procter and Gamble" written on it is not really exciting (although of course now I appreciate everything he did for us).

I remember the exact moment the image of my grandpa changed for me. It must have been sometime when I was in college, around the time my grandma's Alzheimer's was starting to get pretty bad. My sister and I were alone in the dining room with Grandpa, and he cried. I had never seen him cry, nor imagined it was possible. He had seemed to me incapable of showing that kind of emotion. I don't know if my grandma's condition changed him or just brought out parts of him that had been hidden before, but that was when I started seeing him as a human being rather than just a vague figure who watched football and liked loved Tabasco.

In the last years of my grandma's life, it became clear how much my grandpa loved and cared about her, sparing (it seemed to me, at least) no expense to ensure she was comfortable until the very end. At the time she died, they had been married for 68 years. Think about how long that is. I feel like losing someone after that long must be a bit like losing a limb. Of all the changes in the world he saw during his lifetime (the 20th century was quite a time to live through), I imagine that may have been the most dramatic. He visited her grave every day.

Although he was in his 90s, he still drove and was very active. He always had a computer and was able to use AOL Messenger. He was extremely generous to Hunter and me, especially after the tornado, and he also was a huge supporter of the University of Oregon, which you can read about in this link. He actually got to see them play at the Rose Bowl, and I think also the national championship game they played against Auburn (that happened, right?). I never thought I'd buy sports team clothes for a baby, but I'm thinking about it now.

He died a little over a week ago and I was completely unprepared for it. You might think that when you know someone who is 92 years old, you could lose them at any time. However, he just didn't seem that old. As I said, he still drove, still used the computer, lived by himself in his own house. It hit me like a ton of bricks that only a day after Hunter and I were talking about how excited we were for him to meet the baby, and how he could probably learn to use Skype, those hopes were gone forever.

My sister said she wished she had gone to visit him one more time. I wished I had been in better communication with him since he moved to Germany. However, I realized that thinking about things like that is a waste of time. I don't think there would ever come a point, with any person, where I thought, Well, that's squared away. I'm prepared for this person to die now. He never got to meet Baby Scunter, but we were already planning on naming the baby after him if it was a boy. I hope it's a boy.

I'm going to leave you with a video my sister made last spring. I know a lot of you won't be interested in a video of someone else's grandpa talking, but just watch a little bit and be amazed that the person in this video is 91 years old. He had his real hair and his real teeth, which I can't get over. I will always miss my grandpa, but I am so glad I got to know him better in the past few years.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Baby Boss Fight: My First Attempt at Game Design

A few years ago, I read a book called Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. The book is about using games to make the world a better place. After a severe concussion, the author designed a game to help herself get better, and encourages the use of games or game-like constructions to accomplish real-life tasks (think of something like Fitocracy or ChoreWars if you are familiar with those).

A few days ago, when lamenting my lack of preparation for the forthcoming Baby Scunter, Hunter commented that "we should at least put as much effort into this as into preparing for a boss fight." It gave me an idea: to make a game out of the final preparations for and birth of our little one. Right now I have the main skeleton of an idea. I'll try to explain it in a way that's easy to understand, whether or not you play games (although if you don't, you may not be interested, I don't really know).

First, just for the ubern00bs, I'll explain what a "boss" is. In a one-player type game (Mario, Zelda), the boss is the final enemy you fight, or the final enemy of a dungeon. He will have a lot more health than regular enemies, special abilities, and sometimes multiple "phases," where your strategy for fighting must change as the fight progresses. In the example of Mario, with which I'm assuming most people are familiar, Bowser is the boss. In a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG, or more commonly just MMO), bosses are fought with a group of 5-25 people (I'm basing this primarily on WoW, which I haven't played for a few years but I'm assuming the basics haven't changed) and can be fought over and over again to get special items, aka "loot." In addition to being a hard fight, there is the added challenge of coordinating the large number of people needed to succeed (I've done this, and really and truly think I should be able to put it on a resume. That sounds like a joke but I'm dead serious). A boss in a pencil-and-paper roleplaying-game (e.g. Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons) is similar to a boss in an MMO, but requires fewer people.

So now that you know what I mean by "boss," let me explain the stages of preparation for my "boss fight," also known as "going into labor."

1. Gearing Up
When you are playing an MMO or a tabletop RPG (or some single-player games, just depending), you can't just run straight into the boss with just any old armor on. You have to spend time, sometimes a LOT of time, finding gear that will help you survive. Right now, Hunter and I have some gear for the baby, but are still missing a few things. To that end, we have set up an Baby Wishlist, which can be found at the following address:

Now, several people have specifically asked us what they could get us or what we needed. If you aren't one of those people, please don't feel obligated to get us anything. If you do take a look at the list, here are a few things to keep in mind. On almost all of the clothes, I chose the size equivalent to "3-6 months" in the US. Feel free to pick a smaller or larger size. I also only added unisex-looking clothing since we don't yet know the sex of the baby. I will add more gendered looking clothing after he/she is born. Also, given how clueless I am about babies, there are probably really obvious things I need that aren't on the list. So don't feel tied down to those items; they are just suggestions. The list is from because shipping things from the US to here gets quite expensive and can be very slow.

Ok so now that I've talked about gearing up, the next step.

2. Learning the Fight
When Hunter and I used to play World of Warcraft(WoW) on a daily basis, we fought a LOT of bosses. Before going into the fights, it was essential to learn strategies for fighting the boss and what special abilities the boss possessed. For example, many bosses would have a room in which certain places were dangerous to stand. If you stand in one of those areas, you die, and are useless for the rest of the fight. Our preparation for these fights consisted of reading strategies and watching videos of the boss fights.

There's no way I'm going to watch a video of a person in labor, but I am going to read a bit more about it. Most of the time when I read things I just get freaked out and stop, citing the excuse that well it's different for everyone so there's no point in reading about it. However I think I should be better prepared for the general idea of how this is going to go down (well ok I have the GENERAL idea but a more specific general idea would be good).

3. Preparing a Bag
In a game like WoW or D&D, going into a fight without any potions or other items to help you out is just stupid. While I obviously won't be able to chug a healing potion during labor, I do need to pack a bag of things to bring with me (yes, it's three weeks out and I haven't packed a bag. You can tell how real this is to me). In addition to clothes (I have heard black/yoga pants mentioned as good standbys) I plan to bring:

Makeup, since I'm assuming there will be pictures, lots of pictures
Snacks/drinks (for after, not during--the usual hospital stay here is 3 days)
A few card games
Hygiene items
Nook and phone +chargers

If there's anything I'm missing, PLEASE tell me. I am obviously a pregnancy n00b and need lots of help.

4. Knowing Your Role
In boss fights with multiple people fighting one boss, there are a few different roles each player can fulfill. I will be taking the role of "tank." This is the player who takes most of the damage from the boss, so I think it makes sense to consider myself the tank. I don't generally play this role in real games, but I know the basic idea. I have assigned Hunter the role of "healer." That word should be self-explanatory: the healer makes sure the other players don't die, or that if they get hurt they get healed. So what I'm envisioning is having him there to talk to me, comfort me, help me out, that kind of thing.

Another role common in role-playing games (RPGs) is "damage-per-second," aka DPS. These are the people who are actually doing damage to the boss. I'm not sure that role fits in really well with the paradigm I have going, so we may just be a tank and a healer.

5. Knowing Your Rotation
In a game like WoW, you generally have a few abilities or spells that you cycle through as you fight. This is known as a "rotation;" many players just cycle through the same few buttons over and over as this is the most effective way to succeed. In D&D (and I'm really only referring to 3.5 or Pathfinder), the spells and abilities are much more limited, and you would choose which one to use based on the situation. I think here the D&D method makes a bit more sense. I am trying to think of some "powers" or even "power-ups" I can try to use. I'm mainly envisioning things like relaxation techniques, visualization, things like that. I'm going to have an epidural, but they told me that they don't like to give you a whole lot because they want you to feel it so you can push, so I don't really have any idea how much pain I will feel. Obviously one of my spells/abilities will be Push, but I haven't really decided on the others yet. Some strategies I have heard involve listening to music (this article I read suggested Yanni or Enya, which, no, but I'm sure I can think of something I actually like) or focusing on a piece of baby clothing. I will also probably bring one of my stuffed bears with me. I need to think of spells/abilities for Hunter, too. This is the part of the fight I have least developed in my mind.

6. Dividing up the Loot
I'm pretty sure this boss is going to drop a legendary. Or one of these:
Alright, so if you read this far and have any suggestions/comments about my game, let me know!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Church in Germany: Take Four

Today we went to church again. As I previously indicated we might, we went to a German-language church this time. This way, we didn't have to ride expensive trains for hours just to get there. We did take a bus, which was very quick and economical because Hunter has a bus pass and I can ride free with him on the weekends. It wouldn't have been a super long walk, but it was a bit rainy and hilly and it's a bit harder for me to walk these days. We went to the Dreifaltigkeitskirche, which translates as Holy Trinity Church. If you follow the link and look at the picture, you will see it is very old-fashioned looking. It dates back to the 16th century, but was bombed so I'm not sure how much of it is original. It looks pretty cool on the inside; the cross and stained glass is a bit more modern looking.

Hunter and I thought we might be the only people in there under the age of 50, since church in Germany is known as being kind of an old peoples' thing. However there were definitely some people closer to our age. The church did have a children's service, which I assume isn't mandatory, and I noticed a woman with a baby so presumably Baby Scunter would be welcome.

The thing that made this church one of the better experiences for me was the presence of a printed liturgy. This way, we could follow along with what was happening. From being raised Catholic, I recognized most of the liturgy. There wasn't communion today, but they had the Agnus Dei and Sanctus printed for days when there was, for example. I was also pretty proud of myself for recognizing one of the scripture readings (basically I heard a few words I recognized so was able to tell what part it was; it was less understanding German than knowing things from the Bible). As far as the sermon, I understood senf (mustard) so that pretty much clued me in as to what he was talking about (plus they handed out mustard seeds as we walked in so that was kind of a gimme), and there were a few other words and phrases I picked up, although not as much.

I know that some people would probably think, Why even go if you can't understand it? However, my feeling is that in the same way a child learns the songs, the Lord's Prayer, the creeds before really grasping what is happening in the sermon, we can make an effort to learn those things in German and as our German improves we will grasp more and more of what the minister is saying. It isn't worthless for a child to be in the service even if he/she is too young to follow every part of it. Hunter joked/postulated that maybe once we understood the sermon we would realize it wasn't the church for us. If that's the case we can look elsewhere. I am planning on making a notebook with the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed in German to refer to, and also to write down words I keep hearing to look up later. Even if we don't end up staying at this church, I think it will be a useful tool if we keep going to German-language churches (which at this point seems to make the most sense).

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Sounds of Germany

So, Hunter and I are part of this Internet group that makes mixes. Every month, a few people make a mix and then share it. This month was Hunter's and my turn, so we decided to make a mix that approximates what you might hear on German radio. I will post the links first, and then the text that we included with our mix for you to enjoy. Said text was written mainly by Hunter, although the footnotes are mine.

    [Edit: I removed the dropbox link because it occurred to me that just posting songs for free download might not be exactly legal.]

So, we’ve been in Deutschland for over three months now, and we thought we might try to share a little of one of the ways in which Germany is different from the good old U.S.A.—namely, that German radio stations have no format whatsoever except “hits.” As in, from any decade, country, or genre, all back-to-back. So, the following is just a mix of songs that, like German radio (which, although we don’t just listen to the radio, one can often hear it in bars/cars/restaurant-ars), has no regard for smooth tempo/thematic/stylistic/temporal transitions. In particular, these songs are ones that we’ve heard an inordinate number of times, both on the radio and from street musicians. Some of these have been on other mixes, but if anything, that just emphasizes the “inexplicably keep hearing them” nature of these songs. Oh, and I’ve blind-idiotly translated them all into German, just for fun, although perhaps also as a nod to Germans’ love of dubbing (in movies and TV, at least). It should be clear which song is which. The order here is an attempt to recreate the madness, but of course shuffling is allowed in this case.

1. „Was ist Liebe“ von Haddaway
I had to look up who actually sings this. And no, this is not just a “wouldn’t it be funny if they played this on the radio a bunch here” entry.

2. „Gummi-Keks“ von The Chips
We really did hear this in a bar somewhere, and plus if this is just a “current top 40 hits“ list, that doesn’t really get the point across.

3. „Glück haben“ von Daft Punk
I suppose this one is sort of cheating as I think it’s pretty much everywhere. But the funny thing is like you hear it in a taxi with a 50-year-old German guy driving.

4. (Ich kann nicht mir helfen) mich verlieben“ von UB40
Yep. That happened.

5. „Wenn ich jung sterben“ von The Band Perry
I don’t know that I (Hunter) had ever heard this song before, but Scarlett heard it a few times and now it’s on the list.

6. „Irgendwo über dem Regenbogen“ von Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
I’m not sure that it is actually possible to convey how often we’ve heard this song on radios.
You’d need both hands.

7. „California Liebe“ von Tupac (mit Dr. Dre)
I don’t know what Germans know about Compton.

8. „Letzten Freitag Nacht“ von Katy Perry
Among the places I heard this: in the office of the Foreign Affairs secretary in the Forschungszentrum.

9. „Ich folge Flüsse“ von Lykke Li
I think it was actually only recently that I first heard this song as originally performed (in Germany, I mean), but we’ve heard at least three different street musicians (and one band playing an outdoor concert) singing it.

10. „Jambalaya“ von The Carpenters
On the one hand, this was played (by a German woman) for us to hear. On the other, the CD was already in her car’s player. You decide.

11. „Ich glaube, ich fliegen kann“ von R. Kelly
Not to put some R. Kelly on the list, but here’s some R. Kelly on the list.

12. „Ich liebe es“ von Icona Pop
So I get the impression that a lot of people don’t like this song? I’m not generally a huge fan of like bouncing dance pop, but I kind of dig it.

13. „Stadt New Orleans“ von Arlo Guthrie
I think it might have actually been the Willie Nelson version.

14. „Moderne Liebe“ von David Bowie
Seems there’s a lot of „liebe“ happening on this list. We only heard this song a lot in that it recurred in Frances Ha, but too bad.

15. „Jung und schön“ von Lana del Rey
So okay there’s a couple of songs on here that are a bit too recent to really qualify for a “why do I keep hearing this?”. Oh well.

16. „Mein Hertz wird weiter gehen“ von Celine Dion
In addition to hearing it on radios, we’ve heard people just walking down the street singing this. Not always drunk people, either.*

17. „Amerika“ von Rammstein**
We haven’t heard a lot of actual German music that we’ve recognized, which isn’t that surprising in that we don’t know all that many German songs (some Rammstein and some Die Prinzen, who we didn’t put on here, but look up “Deutschland” or “Gabi and Klaus” if you don’t know them. And I mean we know “99 Luftbaloons,” but sadly we haven’t heard that yet).

*I'm not even joking, one time at 10:00am I could distinctly hear some dude singing along to a recording of this song, I mean singing along impassionedly.

**I heard this in the park; some old dude was listening to it on a boombox. Also, they still have boomboxes here.