Today is the first day this week that I haven't felt like a strange slug/sloth hybrid. This baby is kicking my ass, along with taking all my iron. 

One of my first early pregnancy signs was a complete aversion to meat. This hasn't gone away. I need some helpful vegetarian tips as to how I can get more protein and iron into my diet. Throw them at me, please and thanks.

A quick synopsis of my week so far:

Claudia is registered for a school that she will never attend. They KNOW we're moving, yet you still have to register for the term that starts in August. Thanks to Anna for helping me sort this one out.

Aaron is out of town in the middle of the Black Forest. There is literally nothing in this town except for a math centre and a church. He is breathing, eating and sleeping math for 7 straight days. I think this might be his version of heaven. 

I have the children's song "Laterna, Laterna" stuck in my head. Google it and join me. It was the lanternfest at the kindergarten yesterday, and I will show you some pics shortly of what 30+ kids playing with open flames looks like.

Today is Halloween. German tradition is to carve a turnip. I'm leaving now to go search the market for a pumpkin. There are some things I just wont do in the name of cultural integration.

Happy trick or treating cool people!!

If there is any upside to being sick in bed, it must be the shameless amount of "me time" one is entitled to. I have owned this book for a while now, but was intimidated by the 700+ pages that I would have to commit to. I am sorry that I put it off for as long as I did.
Freedom follows the lives of the Berglunds, beginning first with a glimpse into their lives as a young family in a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood in the Midwest. But the novel doesn't dwell there. It swiftly moves from era to era, richly describing the individuals whose lives you are entitled to share in. 
The empathy you feel is not mostly pleasant, but engrossing and familiar in some form. Whether it be the intensity of teenage love, the necessity of reassurance, or just wondering what your place in the world is, there are striking moments of truth within this book. 
As I closed the cover at the end, I gave Aaron my "it was so good!" voice, usually reserved for buttered popcorn. I want to feel that all over again. So please, give me your recommendations. I'm desperate for anything written in English, so that should give you a lot of help in suggesting a book for me to read next. And in turn I suggest Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen.
In our tiny social circle, we're known as harbingers of disease. If you have a cold, it's probably our fault. If we have a cold, you stay away and double lock your doors. We've accepted this. 

When Aaron had a scratchy throat, he stopped kissing me. When Claudia got a runny nose, she wiped it on my arm. I got sick. Really sick. 

I am not a stoic lady, by any means. I cry and moan and want the world to know just how shitty I feel, and the injustice of it all. Yesterday was Father's Day in Canada. Luckily though, not in Germany. So I didn't have to suffer much guilt at employing Aaron as my on-call nurse. 

Throughout the course of the day we tried many things to get me to shut up. I swallowed a paste of honey, garlic and chilli pepper. I acted like the old man and had a shot of whiskey. I had tea and popsicles. I asked Aaron to put a pillow over my head. Finally, we rigged up a home-made neti pot and drained 500 mL of saline through my nasal passages, took more than the recommended dose of medicine and went to bed.

Folks, I should totally be a doctor. Today I feel fabulous, yesterday a fading memory. I even put a goddamn skirt on and straightened my hair. 

All was well in the world until I looked into the wonders of the neti pot and was hit with the words BRAIN EATING AMOEBA. Okay, we used sterilized water and we're not from Louisiana, but still. I want my cold back.
Short of walking non-verbal dogs for a living, I'm at a loss for ideas. The only networking I've managed to do is with the local coffee shops, and they don't appear to hire non-German-speaking mutes. So, I'm asking for your help. Whoever you are. Your two cents are invaluable, so give them to me. Or conversely, quarters, nickels, loonies, toonies, any loose change really. 

I want to start an online shop. A mix of vintage and 
hand-made items, sourced both locally and while out and about. I feel I have a good head for sorting through trash to find treasure, and I'm lucky to be friends with some very crafty people, even if they won't admit it. Katie Clarke.

So what do you think? Do you shop online? What do you look for when you do? Are you good with other people's cast-aways, or to they make you squeamish? If you want 
hand-made, do you rely on Etsy for your fix? 

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. The more input the better. I'm also going to do my first ever giveaway. I'll let Claudia pick a comment at random, and if it's you, we'll be sending off a little German gift for you to hopefully enjoy! Thanks everyone! xo

Eloise just came to me and said, in her quietest little mouse voice, "Uh, Mommy? My cereal was dinner. Here are the scissors and a freezie." It's 7 am. It's going to be a long day.
Getting Claudia ready for school this morning.  Doing her hair in front of the mirror.  Pull it back into a ponytail.

Claudia:  "I look like a boy."
Me: "Oh, you do not."
Claudia:  "Okay, I look like a fancy boy, but only cause I'm wearing a skirt."

I'm sorry I missed it. As nice as the Netherlands was today, I couldn't help but wish that all our friends and family were here with us. I think I'm jaded when it comes to German holidays because they really are a time to take a break from the day to day and spend time with those dearest to you. This only reminds me that the dearest aren't the nearest. Please forgive my Eeyore moment.  
Tomorrow is May Day, and I don't think I will ever tire of the crazy way Germans celebrate the most innocuous of holidays. Tonight I should be having a bonfire to scare off witches and dance into the morning. Or, Dance into May.

Traditionally, tomorrow would also see the arrival of the May Pole, or maybe even my secret admirer would put a mini one in my garden to let me know he's sweet on me. The day is meant to be spent outside, welcoming spring. Apparently people go into the woods and forage for sweet woodruff to make a sort of tea. I could not make this stuff up if I tried.    

Instead, I'm off to Enschede, in the Netherlands, to shop.  May Day is also Labour Day in Germany. And as old habits die hard, I will pull the Southern Ontarian card and book it over the border where the world hasn't shut down to go for a bike ride.  
I really want to watch "Chubby Indian Kid teaches How to Dougie" but Germany won't let me.  Can some North American watch it, then recreate it on video and send it to me?  Thanks in advance.
I'm hiding in another room.  Our water heater has gone kaput, and the man who is here to install the new one should have chosen ballet as a career path.  He is SCREAMING at Aaron in German because the water heater is exactly where it is supposed to be, but he's having trouble reaching it.  I'm just going to keep typing until he's left, because I'm quite frightened and don't wish to leave the room.  If he was a stay at home Mom, I would offer him a coffee, hug, bubble bath - SOMETHING to calm him down, but I don't think any of those would work.  I am now on my knees (not really) praying that God intervenes and the puzzle piece will just snap into place.  
Oh, it is suddenly quiet.  Maybe Aaron stepped in and gave him a hug?  I hear tools being packed.  YES!  Guten Tag Handy Man!  I don't want to believe in divine intervention, but I do say that is what just happened.  Phew.