Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2009

Heilige Nacht or Silent Night

HO HO HO! the last window panes in the parents house that are only one layer thick! it went about 10 C this last week and the frost was so pretty.
31 weeks today!
Merry Christmas to all!!
wow, its been a while, too much time since i last updated. somehow between daily yoga and meals and sleep this gets forgotten.
a few interesting things i am noting recently: in germany, christmas day is two days long here, official holiday is 24 afternoon-27! and all businesses will be closed for the next four days...i cant imagine that happening in the usa. we found wool bodys and socks and leggings for baby at dm, a relatively inexpensive bath/body/health shop and got really excited when we found cute wood fish and whale toys too.
baby names...the whole idea is rather overwhelming for me right now, and we need to get started...viviane and micah as still at the top (or only yet) for me.
a sad thing, i cant get vanilla extract in germany. there is vanilla sugar and vanilla powder and vanilla fragrance, but no extract. it seems based on my google questioning others have had previous difficulty with this too. i will have to remember this next time we are back!

the last few days have brought snow and beautiful distinction to every bare tree around. i love how each limb and small branch is outlined in the bright grey/white color where once was complete brown and black. so beautiful!! sometimes when there is a crooked tree you can observe which direction the snow has come from and see how the tree cradles the remaining snow clinging to its thick bark.
The last few weeks we have attended parties in Koeln for Ralfs drumming groups, Samba and Conga, and i went to practice with them tuesday night. With ear plugs, i felt like i could hear what maybe baby hears, or at least sort of, and every step i took sounded echo-y. The drumming was fun and pretty easy to catch on to. All of the people i have met are really nice, and we stayed over last friday night so ralf could drink all the gluten free beer he wanted and hang out early into the morning...wher as i get tipsy around midnight and decided "my pumpkin is going to burst i gotta go!" i find no desire to stay up late. not like i ever did really, but even more so now.

i cut off most of my hair this week, i felt finished with the shoulder length. i think i just like short hair! everyone kept asking, oh wont you be cold? no! i am so hot all the time!

Last week, we got the tests back from the labs where ralf had his blood and stool sent for finding out what might be causing the challenging rashes, migraines and heartburn. We got the results back and were pretty overwhelmed by the amount of allergic reacting things he was consuming on a regular basis...
the list is:
all gluten-wheat, spelt kamut, cous cous, wild rice, all of it...
Casein- all milk proteins-cheese, butter and types-goat, sheep and horse too
and much less but some reaction to beer yeast, almonds and mustard seed
so what can he eat? meat, veggies, most fruits, and the grains like rice , lentils, quinoa, beans, teff, buckwheat, millet ect.
so the holidays for mo milk no eggs and no gluten is becoming a new challenge, and rather difficult at that... when we dont want to use margarine and soy in cooking...
gluten, milk, egg free christmas cookies!
and eating out is really really challenging as we found out last week. i wanted mexican food, but we found out when we started eating it had cheese in it, and made ralf feel so sick the next day and have red rashes...

today i was laughing as ralf had a hand over my belly button and it moves so much in and out. the parents here dont think i am going to make it until march, they think my belly is too big already for so much longer...which is funny to me, we will see. i dont care when it comes, i want it to be ready and say im coming mom! yoga helps so much with my lower back which acts up sometimes alot, when i walk or sit for too long. so lots of everything!opening up my hips with deep squats is also so helpful and bending over seated on the ground is also sooo good feeling!
tomorrow all of ralfs siblings and families will be here for the whole day, i think 16 people! and Dini is cooking for them all...we will see where we can help, she does so much work around here, and is so pleasant to be with!
almost forgot, we went out into the forest to find a christmas tree, because you can legally cut them down, and i was so surprised at how slim all of them were, compared to the trees you would buy. i am curious what is done to make them so full and have such sturdy needles.

love and joy!

Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2009

floating along

Over the last few weeks my sensations of the world have felt rather up and down. A few weeks ago, feeling like we would never be able to get work, ralf found and contacted a horse and bio cattle farm in the north of germany, about 5 hours drive. we went for the weekend to check it out and meet the people, everything felt right with the work, but the housing situation was quite the opposite. it would be living in the upstairs part of a house owned by an alcoholic man, without a door for privacy to our living quarters. we both felt this was not workable for our situation, and as the house is 5 or so min. from the farm, it made me feel trapped and really alone.
we talked about maybe having other possibilities but they said this was the only thing right now. we even started looking about and into buying a home. but it felt way to sudden and i didnt like the area very much, the area was a cookie cutter house suburb, with red bricks. gloomy and dead. i couldnt imagine buying a house to pay off for the next 10 years with such feelings. we would also be so far from ralfs parents, who i have grown to really enjoy over the last few months, and our incredible midwife, Angela.
some positives were that it is in the same area as many biodynamic, demeter farms where i could complete my apprenticeship in the next few years, and that the people ralf would work for seem friendly and open, giving decent pay for the work he would be doing, cleaning out horse stalls and managing the land- feeding and watering all the animals. but overall, it didnt feel right, and i ended up completely breaking down on the drive back south, feeling overwhelmed and not comfortable with this move. so we decided against it after a few more days of looking at the pros and cons and feeling like there were way to many cons to move so far for a 'good paying job'. i feel like we really know what we want and are looking for in life, and have had enough bad experiences with other set ups.
last week we finally were able to get my living/ working permit from the government, but the mad in this region is so rude and seems to hate his job so much, he only would give me a 1 year visa. he said that i would need to come back and "if i was being good, he would extend it", such shit. i am required to take the integration language course, but am given by the state up to 2 years to even start it, and after asking the man he even said it would probably be best to wait and start the course after the birth. the person working in the other region was so much more happy and open to helping us. ralf says that thats how it is, if a person working for the state hates their job, they will make whatever you have to do or ask for hell for you. it makes me want to move out of this region so we dont have to work with this man any longer. i can work in germany though! which means i can finally register and be paid for being pregnant, and receive government money. we registered with the unemployment region and had a meeting yesterday for ralf, and one tomorrow for me regarding what type of work we can take, and if there is not work, then the state gives us money to live. Because ralf does not have a certificate of apprenticeship for organic farming, he cannot take many jobs in alternative farming practices. as we talked about it last night, it makes no sense to "fight" this system thing and if that is necessary for farming organically in germany, why not do it. it means that we will have very little, and that for 3 years he makes another apprenticeship, and when i feel ready, i can continue to finish my education as well. but being in one place, and for us both being on a organic farm is what we want, this seems best if we can get a job right now doing this. we have no money to start a farm, which would be delightful in the future, but for this time, it really feels best to start looking at this as our best option...tbc
a few things on german life...there are so many more accidents and road construction detours on highways here than in the us, its so crazy! and trucks making huge problems with traffic for running off the road. after driving across the us, and comparing the two, we maybe had 3 accidents or traffic incidents that slowed us down. and the roads are so much better on us highways too. we have at least 2-3 times in a 1-2 hour drive where we have to slow down alot, or even stop for long periods of time.
Weihnachtmarkts(christmas markets) are a really popular thing during this time of year. especially in big cities. Koeln has 7 different ones, 4 of which we visited last week. there are lots of booths selling anything and everything, some things are really creative and reminded me of some of the artistic scope at the fremont market in seattle. it made me miss seattle alot and all of my friends. this has sent me on a rather strong sensation of wow i dont have friends here and really want to find people to be with. so hopefully soon. i love ralfs parents and making jokes with them, but find myself also totally wishing i was able to share my growing belly and life energy with other young people too.
accordion playing is going well, mary had a little lamb is great, with the bass too! now starting to want more and more...
i started a knitting project, after a long hiatus, making slippers for ralf as a simple present. when they are finished, i will felt them too. i am in love with felting arts. and keep finding incredible artists who i would love to work with and learn from. unfortunately the directions are in german, so i am getting help from ralf and his mother.

at 28 weeks tomorrow, i feel really good during the day most of the time and have back pain most of the night, making sleep restless sometimes and turning every few hours. and really crazy dreams every night. sometimes with pirates or the moon but with family members and friends weaving in and out of them.

pictures coming later, maybe.