Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I'm Looking Forward To

From basically the minute Sadie was born, I knew it was going to be hard for me to see her grow up. Actually I knew that even before she was born, but it was harder once I saw how much I loved her as a baby. If you know me at all, you know I am not a "baby person." I don't like, go up and fawn over every baby I see and I'm really more scared of them than anything else. But I really love Sadie as a baby, so I guess everyone was right that it would be different with my own.
She wants to punch someone

As much as I like all of the things I can do with her as a baby, though, there are some things that you just have to be older to do. So here is a list of things in Sadie's future that I'm excited about.

1. Teaching her how to sew/knit/embroider. Maybe she won't be crafty; that's ok, but if she is I think it would be so fun to like, watch movies and knit together.

2. Making clothes for her. When my sister and I were young, our mom made us all these amazing dresses. I'm not that great at sewing yet, but I'm hoping I can hone my skills enough to make her some really cute things.

3. Getting books from the library. When I was a teacher, I loved going to the library and picking out the picture books we would read that week. There are some amazing books for kids out there. I can't wait to show Sadie the magic that is a library. I really hope she's a reader!

4. Joining Girl Scouts. I know for some of you this will be controversial but whatever. I was in Girl Scouts for 12 or 13 years and it was awesome. You learn lots of great skills (including how to get along with people who don't like you) and I have lots of fun memories from that time.

5. Reading the Bible. I was raised Catholic, and the stereotype is true--I barely knew anything about the Bible until I started teaching it to kids. I'm happy that Sadie will get to read it from an early age.

6. Having Sadie in church with me. I guess one of the benefits of growing up Catholic is that "children's church" is basically a foreign concept to me. I have already brought Sadie to church with me a few times, and we will continue to sit together as a family. Ideally we will find a church that thinks it's important for families, and the church family, to all worship together and not split up.

7. Exploring Sadie's interests. I know Sadie isn't just going to be a little mini-me. After all, my mom was a cheerleader and in a sorority! So whatever Sadie is interested in that I'm not, I want to learn about and experience with her.

You can't really see it in this picture, but Sadie's shirt says "Life is a Yourney." (There is a surprising amount of mangled English here). I'm really looking forward to ours!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Most Recent Doctor's Visit

NB: in this post I'm going to talk about medical things so if that is something you don't want to read about, I suggest you skip this post or just scroll down to see the pictures.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for the first time since Sadie was born. I think in the US, this is called the 6-week visit, although it was closer to 8 weeks for me. Apparently one of the standard things they do at exams here is an ultrasound. So the doctor was doing the ultrasound and looking at the screen and says, "uh-oh." I repeat: the doctor said, "uh-oh." That definitely did not make me feel good.  So anyway, she pointed at something on the screen that I couldn't really see and told me she didn't know what it was. She also like, poked around at me asking if it hurt, which it didn't. It ended up with her telling me I should go to the hospital right away so they could look at it.

This had me pretty freaked out, so I called Hunter, who was on the bus on the way to work but immediately got off and got on a bus coming back. I went up to the hospital and before too long was talking to a doctor. He looked at the picture from the ultrasound the doctor had sent with me and seemed to immediately realize why she had sent me there. He said he thought it was a cyst and was going to do another ultrasound.

So he did the ultrasound and it became clear why I didn't know what my original doctor was pointing at. Basically the thing on the screen was so big that I thought it was just a thing that was supposed to be there. He showed me the cyst, which is 8 or 9 cm across and then for comparison showed me the other ovary, which is like 1-2 cm across. So, pretty big difference there. He said I was going to have to schedule surgery to remove it.

The type of surgery they do is laparoscopic, which Hunter tells me is the kind that playing video games makes you good at. Probably also being trained in this form of surgery makes you good at it, but anyway I guess it's "minimally invasive," so they don't actually cut you open to do it. The doctor said there is a possibility I will lose the ovary; they won't really know until they go in and see, but either way I have another one, so thank goodness for all the redundancy in the human body I guess.

Anyway from what I understand, this isn't all that unusual. I've never had surgery before and I'm going to have to stay in the hospital for three days, ugh. I think in the US the stay would be shorter, but here they seem to like to keep you there. So we'll have to figure out what to do with Sadie during that time and everything. During this whole visit to the hospital, Sadie was such a trooper! She was just lying in her carrier, occasionally opening her eyes or smiling but not whining or crying or anything, even though she was probably hungry and needed a diaper. I guess she just knew I needed her to be a little champ for me.

My surgery is scheduled for Nov. 27, in about two weeks. Obviously I would appreciate any prayers or stories from anyone who has had this kind of surgery before.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Owl Bib

I recently finished making something else for Sadie--a bib! She takes after her dad and is able to get food all over the place, despite not even eating actual food yet...

Anyway, for a more detailed description of how I did this, it's basically the same techniques I described in this post, so if you are curious about how I did it, you can look there. Anyway, here it is:

There are a few differences between this and the previous project. For this one, I didn't print out an image to use; I just drew one because I couldn't find any owls that I liked, that would be easy to trace. I'm not that artistic, so I Googled "how to draw an owl" and found a tutorial that way.

Also, you may or may not be able to tell from the picture, but this is stitched on terry cloth. I don't know if I should have used a higher heat setting or if terry cloth just doesn't accept transfers very well, but the lines ended up very light. When I was doing the little pupils, I could barely see where I was supposed to stitch and had to eyeball it (har har), which is why they are kinda different sizes. If this were something to sell or give as a gift, I would have gone back and fixed it, but seeing as how this is just going to get stuff spilled on it, I'm not worried about it being perfect.

I also got to experiment with some different stitches. The yellow flowers are lazy daisies and the green dots are French knots. I have two more of these bibs so I may make a few more, but my next project is a hat for Hunter, which I'll post once it's finished.

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Green Hair

About a week ago, I finally dyed my hair green. I had actually bought the dye several months ago, but my hair was so long and I always have trouble dying it myself because of how thick it is. So I waited until after I had gotten my shorter haircut and I had some time where Hunter could watch Sadie so I could do it. I actually lightened my hair about a week before dying it green. The idea was to lighten it to a white-ish blond, which I know is possible with how light my natural hair is; after my hair was cut there was very little of the dyed part left. However I guess even with short hair, I'm just not too great at dyeing it myself because this is the "before" picture:
As you can see, it's not super light. I decided to just go with it since I wanted a dark-ish green. Which brings me to my next point: how I decided which green to use. The color I was picturing was a very true, grass-like green. I looked at a lot of different brands of dyes, and none of them seemed to make the exact color I was picturing. They would either be too light, like a more lime green, or too blue, more like a pine green. So I mixed two colors together: Directions Apple Green and Directions Spring Green.

And here are some pics of the results, in several different lightings:

The last picture is after two washes. As you can see, it is coming out in the parts that weren't bleached as much, where my hair was darker before. However since my hair is so short, I have plenty of dye left to re-touch a bit and may even use only the darker green on the darker parts of my hair--I was using the two in a 50/50 mix before. I am really happy with the shade of green I got. It's pretty much exactly my favorite color of green.

I guess one more sort of observation. It's been pointed out to me that when I have crazy-color hair, I walk around like there's nothing weird about it. I think the reason for this is that usually I forget! It isn't until I notice someone maybe looking at me slightly weird that I remember I don't look entirely normal. But I think it is largely a confidence thing; it's just that the reason I'm confident about it is because I forget that I shouldn't be, kind of. You see a few people with different hair colors in Aachen. Certainly more than in Tuscaloosa, but probably not as many as in, say, Berlin.

And, since I don't want to deprive anyone of Sadie pics, here is one:
One of my favorite cloth diapers! I'll be doing a post about those coming soon...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sadie's Passport, More About Doctors, and Sadie as a Pumpkin!

Since I haven't posted in awhile, I'm gonna give quick updates on a couple of things. First of all, Sadie's passport came! It only took about a week and a day to get here, so we were able to book our tickets to America! We will be there from Dec. 23 until Jan 9, making a sort of whirlwind tour. We are also going to get Sadie baptised while we are there, which I'll post more details about once things are a bit more firmly planned.

Yesterday, I learned a few more ways in which going to the doctor here is different from in America. I needed to get another prescription. I had told the doctor I had enough for three months, but I miscounted/didn't do math right and really only had enough for like, one month. She has these open office hours on Mondays, so I went to go and ask for another prescription. For some reason, I didn't bring my Nook--the only explanation I can think of is that I didn't think it would take that long and I wanted to go to the store afterwards and didn't want to carry as much. Also my phone was dying. So, for the two hours that I sat there waiting, I had basically nothing to do. There was a TV with mostly like, ads for medicine or like "do you have this problem?" type features (and a weird children's cartoon about animals picking their noses...) but anyway, it was not the most fun wait I've ever had. So then when I got in there and explained what I needed, she said, "Oh you just need a prescription? You don't need to wait to see me, you can just ask for it at reception." WHAT?!

I was trying to figure out if there were some way I could have known this. I asked Hunter, and we both agreed that we didn't really know of a circumstance in America where you could acquire a new prescription without actually talking to a doctor. As I think I mentioned before, the prescriptions aren't hand-written here; they are typed out. So I guess the front desk just has a record of your prescription that you can go get. She did say that I had to see her every three months, like, I couldn't just indefinitely get prescriptions without ever talking to her again. But still. It was frustrating but ultimately I was just glad I was able to get the medicine.

Another super weird thing that happens at the doctor here is in the waiting room. In the office I was in, there were at least 15 people waiting at any given time. Whenever someone new walked in, he would say, "Morgen," and like everyone in the waiting room would say it back. Then when someone left, he'd say, "Aufwiedersehen," and there would be a chorus of "Aufwiedersehens" from the room. These people did not know each other. It's apparently just acceptable here to greet people you don't know in a doctor's office. I feel like in America, that kind of place is just a bit personal for random greetings, especially since it's like a mental health place. I think I'd feel weird about saying hi or bye but I guess it's just what they do here.

So on Halloween we went to meet up with some other English-speaking Aachen parents. My hope was to put Sadie in her pumpkin costume, but we put it on her and it was just way too big. But we did manage to take a picture:

The picture doesn't quite convey how huge this is on her. I had to sort of prop the hat back to make her face visible. So we ended up taking her in a different Halloween-y outfit.

Actually she was just wearing a white shirt with the skirt thing, and she wasn't wearing the socks because they were so big they just fell off her feet. But I'm not sure I have pictures from that day so this is close enough. The next one is a picture of Sadie doing something we hope she never does in public, at least in Germany:

And here's one more just for fun:
That's it for now!