Category Archives: Oliver

My other half. He deserves a category, right?

Lola


She was delivered at the end of August in a Munich clinic on the edge of the English Garden. Everyone says it (and they’re all right): nothing prepares you for the moment you actually have a tiny human placed in your arms. She’s been turning our world upside down and we’re still settling into life as parents. I should be back up here soon.

In the meantime, it suffices to say: We’re healthy, happy and thrilled to be three.

 

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Did You Know? They Eat Porcupine.

Anyone who has been in an international relationship has had the talk about customs and traditions. It tends to happen pretty early on and is part of the we’re-different-but-maybe-not-really-so-different (ie “How weird are you and can I handle it?”) conversation that hopefully eventually leads to you figuring out that although worlds apart you were meant to be together.

Right? Right.

Oliver and I met in the Fall and that led pretty quickly to talk about the winter holidays and Christmas traditions. With him being German, I wasn’t expecting anything too shocking or different to pop up: some real candles on the Christmas tree maybe (yes), celebrating the evening before rather than the morning of (yes), and not following the cult of the Coca-cola Santa (yep, non-Coke Weihnachtsmann).

Everything was pretty much as expected until he floored me with the following: For Christmas dinner, he said, his family ate roasted porcupine.

“Porcupine? Really??,” I asked (did I hear that right?). Continue reading

More Life List Items – Double Check.

To Do (in) Life List Item # 13. Go to Bourbon and Branch and # 21. Have Drinks at the Tonga Room (before it’s gone).

 Done!

Both of these are long checked off but had never been accounted for. Being 7 1/2 months pregnant, it’s fun to revisit less sober times. I am soo looking forward to my first cocktail and a whole bottle of wine just for me. Until then, memory lane must suffice.

Continue reading

Life List – Another One Checked Off

To Do (in) Life List Item # 101. Renovate the Austrian Apartment.

√ Check.

This was one heck of a learning experience. It was fun, often stressful and frankly was enough to give me pause when considering whether we ever want to build a house. I’m not sure I want to care that much about drawer pulls again…at least for a good long while. Now it’s done and we can enjoy it.

There we are!

It's more put together than any apartment we've lived in. I'm not sure if that makes me proud or embarrassed.

Here’re all the related posts:

* A recap of what led up to this (link)

* Before, during and after pictures (link)

* How we dealt with reluctant workers (link)

* The Kitchen (link)

* The Entryway and Bath (link)

* The Bedroom (link)

* The Living Room (link)

* From Dining Nook to Cocktail Corner (here)

And we're done here for now. On to the next one!

Renovation: The Living Room and Cocktail Corner

Part 2: The Cocktail Corner

Cozier, but now seats more.

The dining nook became the cocktail corner, sort of by accident. We replaced the original faux farmhouse table with a much smaller table we got from the proprietors of the oldest Hütte on the mountain. It’s a super cool old little table, but it certainly makes things cozier. But for cocktails, I reasoned, this is more than fine.

We’d been looking a long time for a table and had gotten nowhere until we asked someone on the mountain to help us find something with “Hüttenerfahrung” or a bit of mountain experience. They did one step above that. When we went to  thank them, the wife smiled and said with a wink that the table had tons of experience – including plenty of good times for them in their kitchen. What that really means, was purposely left open to interpretation. Continue reading

On Cats, Bags, and Keeping Them In There


Besides staying pregnant, I’d kinda wanted to keep any subsequent pregnancy under wraps until I was sure it was going to stick. This is hard on a trip with 17 people, all of whom expect you to drink a lot.

Still, we decided to try.

Our brilliant plan included telling no one and me always having a glass of wine that I didn’t really drink. With so many people at the table, this was actually easier to do that I thought. We probably didn’t even need the second part of our plan which was for Oliver to switch our glasses every once in a while so my glass could sometimes be refilled. He would also intercept the schnapps that I didn’t manage to toss under the table (my favorite trick when I couldn’t handle any more).

Let’s just say he did his job very well. So well that I’ve rarely seen him that hammered, that often. After two days he told me he just couldn’t keep up this pace. We needed allies. Continue reading

Doctor’s Orders

I’m sorry to say that, again, we ran into resistance with the medical establishment. In case anyone is reading this trying to figure out if they have something wrong with them or if there could be a reason they’re not getting or staying pregnant, take heed when I say, do not listen if a doctor tells you you’re fine or overreacting when you really feel like you’re onto something or justified in having tests done. You’d be surprised at the angles they don’t consider or the assumptions they make that get in the way of you getting what you need.

Doctors are great, I think most of them try very hard to do their jobs well, but they often have to make snap decisions knowing little or nothing about you – and not all of those snap judgments are right.

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After telling the doctor at the hospital that I needed to have my progesterone levels tested, I saw his eyes narrow a little when I mentioned that I had already miscarried once this year. I wasn’t too surprised when his response was that I should take it easy, relax and enjoy being pregnant again and above all stop worrying that everything would go wrong again. Besides, he said, statistically a woman will miscarry up to three times without anything necessarily being wrong. (Sound familiar?) Continue reading