It's Christmas Eve. Soup is on the stove. I'm in a pair of sweat pants and my Mom's old sweater from Connecticut. I conveniently stole it right before we moved to Germany, in anticipation of nights like this. I'll await a Skype call from Canada, so Babcia can see us "on tv." And we'll be all too happy to see the faces we're missing very much this night.

Aside from a certain amount of homesickness, there has been a very nice lead up to Christmas this year. No real travel stress, or present stress, or festive meal stress. We really got to enjoy the season. Yes, we jumped the gun and bought our tree too early. It is so dead right now that a hearty sneeze would blow off all of the needles. And so our handblown ornaments remain in a box, lest the tree give up its branches under their feather-light weight. 

We watched the snow fall on French rooftops, and met old friends on the bank of the Siene. We did crafts that were full of nostalgia and listened to the girls sing Oh Tannenbaum like they meant it. We had popcorn, and watched Elf. Eloise even fell asleep on the couch in my arms, while new baby reminded me with soft kicks that she was there too.

Near the Black Forest, our first snow sighting in almost two years.
I would tend to agree with this.
At the Christmas market in Dusseldorf.
Round and round ...

I hope that everyone has a moment or two this Christmas that just feels special, or is important to them. Maybe it's your child's first Christmas concert, or the first time they've said "ho ho ho". Maybe you realize the strength in the smallest of hands. Or the knowledge that someone, somewhere is thinking of you and wishing they could tell you Merry Christmas.

Tara and Family 
In the 8th Grade I got my first pair of contact lenses. I remember a popular girl had violet coloured contacts, and I went with blue. Needless to say, I am coveting this particular colour for when coloured contacts come back into style.
I could just let it all go and start calling this a mommy/pregnancy blog. Regale you with stories of constipation and crying on the playground for no explicable reason. Instead, I'll just apologize. I'm sorry I'm not being a good little writer-down-er. It's just that I've been busy crying on the playground everyday. 

My OB-GYN visits are amazing. With the other pregnancies I was excited to be read the number on the measuring tape, to hear the little galloping heart beat. Now, I drop trou every month and get to see my little sloth being all cute and stuff. Last week, we went to the über sonographie place and had all the tiniest details explained to us. The size of her (her!) little thigh bone, the number of kidneys (two) and the beating of the heart. And then, with the flick of a switch and without any warning, the screen changed from the familiar black and white scene ...

To this one:

That's our little girl, nuzzled up to the placenta, arm up above her head. She healthy and growing well. I had always expected this type of ultrasound to be creepy to the max, but it wasn't so bad! 

So that's what I've been up to, mostly. Growing a baby. We did go to France for a few days and made some mighty fine Christmas crafts that I plan to write about soon. And Miss Eloise's birthday party is on Friday, with sieben kliene Kinder, so that should be interesting. Stay tuned, please, and keep in touch!