Dienstag, 26. Februar 2013

Celebrating neighbourhood

Last Saturday we had some special guests at home, our neighbours and my favourite radio station Funkhaus Europa.  That radio station plays music from all over the world, covering global and local issues concerning migration and culture. 

It all began with me, listening to that radio station one morning last week hearing them looking for the most international house in the area. Without much thinking about it I wrote an email telling them about how we live in this rented house with six apartment with seven nations under the same roof. There is us, a Ugandan-German family, a Romanian-Iranian couple, a Turkish family, a Russian couple, some Germans about to move in and a family from Peru living on the top floor. The Funkhaus Europa Team somehow liked what I told them. Unfortunatly for them I hadn't given them my number, just an adress and they tried to contact me with all means, email, Facebook etc. But by then I had decided it all was a rather bad idea, I hadn't even talked to my neighbours about it and they would  maybe not want to give an interview anyway. Well, that reporter did not give up and showed up unannounced at my doorstep on Friday. He was very, very friendly and so happy with what he found I agreed to join in the adventure. 
Together we talked to our neighbours and invited everyone for the next morning into our apartment where the broadcasting would be happening. The turkish served us coffee as soon as they opend the door and invited us to their sons wedding the following weekend but because of that wedding they would not be able to join the show, some neighbours were not home but the Russian lady and the guy from Peru came downstairs the next day.

Shanli, the reporter to do the interviews showed up an hour before with croissants and we all sat and got to know eachother a lot better than we had before. It was so, so nice and Shanlis questions made it even more interesting. (So far we had only known eachother briefly through lending tools or an egg, saying good morning while passing by. ) Now we found out, how all of us (except me) had simular experiences coming to Germany without speaking the language, struggeling with offices and work. The guy from Peru, Edwin, and Nathan found out they both love football, chess and chinese food, a new friendship has started.
Of course Aaron enjoyed our guests as much as we did, he served "tea" and even said "Hello" when Shanli talked to him with the microphone...
They gave us a Bocce game as a present for the whole house to play together and t-shirts but most of all they made us talk to each other, feel more connected and enjoy our community. Thank you so much Funkhaus Europa! 
You can find some more pictures taken by Shanli on the Funkhaus Europa website here.

Photo taken by Shanli Anwar, Funkhaus Europa

Donnerstag, 21. Februar 2013

Oh the nesting...

Around (very round ) 4 weeks to go and my hormons are doing a full time job at making me clean, sort, organise and redo the house. There is hardly any rest. The books I got from the library for those last lazy weeks are sitting unread on my desk. Instead there is more clearing, and sewing and knitting and shopping. I completely had forgotten how busy these weeks were. And so full of joy and wonder and expectations and worries, oh my...
Baby has been estimated rather large (not big) and the specialist that my OB told me to go to, to get a full check up, suggested to prepare myself for a possible c-section just in case. My plans for this birth are quite different though. I have booked a midwife and want to give birth at her house, a place she runs with a few other midwifes, very peaceful, sweet and beautiful. Now, after talking to my midwife after what the specialist said today  I feel more easy again to still follow my path for this birth. Why should I not be able to give birth to a large baby, hey?! What helps also to take my fears, is reading lots and lots of birth stories over at Birth without fear, such a wonderful, encouraging blog in times like this.
Aarons birth was nothing I have to repeat, although we managed to avoid the c-section in the end. It all started very well at home, and ended 36 hours and 6 hours of pressing later in hospital with epidural, vacuum, doctors jumping on my belly and so on. It toke me days, rather weeks to build a connection to my baby. This time I want to prepare myself differently, somehow. We'll see how that goes.

Until then let me show you what I busy myself with theses days:

We moved the changing table that was still standing in Aarons room to our bedroom. So Aarons room was painted a little and became more kids-like and less babyish. I thrifted this wooden folding table (his room is very small and he like to play football in it). The chairs I found at the street a while back.

My heart is beating with pride when I tell you Aaron has finally discovered his love for colors and painting. We truely enjoy those times together and made a few colored hearts for his baby sister and pinned them next to the changing table. Creating her a tiny little corner full of love.

The gnome I have knitted last year from hand dyed and spun wool, Aaron got a simular one in green. 
The sewing, I almost forgot to mention is happening a lot too, the cover on the changing table for example. I am using mainly fabric with african prints at the moment, it feels so much like us somehow. Those two Saroul were made yesterday, so very simple and fast and so cute and comfy. I gave them a warm inlay for that early spring baby to be nice and warm. The purple fabric is, surprise, thrifted from an old dress I bought just because of the fabric last spring. I even wrote about it here.

I guess except baby talk there will be little to be found on this blog in the next weeks, I hope you don't mind and still join me for the countdown...

Sonntag, 17. Februar 2013

Honoring our bellies - Weekending

Things are getting back to normal around here. We are back in Cologne, Aaron is alive and kicking as usual, only I am still fighting a cold still but our energy levels are definatly reloaded. Just about in time to do some last baby preparation activities.
When I was very pregnant with Aaron my friends daughter painted a wonderful dragon on my belly so we wanted to keep up that painting tradition and came back together for it again today. Only today we had a few more participants.

I absolutly adore the coloring pencils we used this time. They are Aarons normal pencils he uses to draw with a lot on paper. Giving them a little water turns them into water colors though. Size and shape are perfect for little (and big) hands, they never break and last forever. Genius, really! ( And I am not getting any money for saying this ;-) ) For belly painting you just dip the top in water and off you go! Just wipe it off with a wet cloth any time from the skin and if any color got into our clothes just give them a normal wash. No mess what so ever!

I hope you recognize the beautiful butterfly on my belly. Aaron got a fire brigade because he loves the "tutatata" as he calles the blue light hooter nowadays. My friends daughter wanted a flower herself and her brother (and my godson) asked for a monster truck... I tell you we had a very busy and funny sunday afternoon. How has been your weekend?

Joing Amanda from "the habit of being" for weekending

Sonntag, 10. Februar 2013

The best out of it

Two weeks ago I stopped working for good, well, at least for the next year. I counted the days in the end. There was just no more space for working matters on my mind, baby thoughts occupying it all. Due date is only by the end of March, but somehow time passes so fast and there are still so many open projects, plans and dreams I have for the baby, for me and this family, so, so much and at the same time there is the need to just sit down, relax, keep breeding and let the waves of early labor preparations pass.
In Cologne its the busy, crazy season of carneval but being rather pregnant I felt the need to escape all of that this year. We found refuge at my parents place in the quiet parts of northern Germany where such things as carnevals are almost unknown. By the time we arrived at my parents Aarons temperatur was up and a flue had taken over his small body. So the last days we tried to calm things down even more. There is a lot of knitting, sleeping and cuddling, some playing, some spinning, a visit to the hospital just to make sure he is still ok and a few short but wonderful walks in the cold. A little bit of everything...


Winter is still ruling this part of the world, but if you look closer you can find the first signs of spring:

I hope your days are peaceful.

Freitag, 1. Februar 2013

{this moment}

Joining Soulemama today for (this moment): A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.