Monday, July 26, 2010

Big Week!

Last week was a big week for Simon. At the beginning of the week, he started taking more interest in his toys, opening his hands more to play with them. He sat and stared and touched - you could just see those neurons connecting - it was exhausting just to watch!

Then on Wednesday he had his first physical therapy appointment. It's pretty typical for preemies to get a little extra help in PT so that they don't fall too far behind. We got a few exercises to help his stretch out his neck and strengthen his core - and the next day he rolled over!

As a new mom, it's amazing how exciting these things are. You're heard other moms go through the excitement before - but there's nothing like it when it's your own. And, for me at least, it's a subtle excitement. Not "Woo hoo Simon rolled over - let's party," but more like, "Wow, somehow we created you and you can do these amazing things like rollover. Can't wait to see what's next." It's just fun being a mom - you should try it if you haven't already.

Settling in

We have been in our apartment for almost a month now. It means we have a home, we have our things (although not enough space for them), and for me it really means that our life here begins. It's now easier to work on getting Simon into some sort of routine, and me as well. I get to explore our neighborhood, identify my favorite bakeries, fruit markets and Metzgerei (butcher shops). I can start working on my German, making friends, and most importantly - planning some weekend getaways!

Here are some highlights so far:
  • I found a great Bio Supermarkt near our house - that's an organic grocery store. And it seems organic is cheaper here...
  • First weekend getaway - Sverige to see the in-laws. 3 cousins within 19 months of each other - FUN!
  • I stalked an American couple with a baby I saw in my neighborhood. They have virtually introduced me to a group of English-speaking parents who meet up regularly with their little ones. Hoping to actually meet them soon. :
  • We live in an awesome neighborhood. Dusseldorf Hofgarten (Dusseldorf's largest park), the Rhein, Alt Stadt (Old Town), Konigsallee (shopping area) area all within walking distance and provide ample exploring opportunities.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The German Kitchen

Moving into a German apartment has been quite an experience - not what you would expect with a rental. First of all, most German apartments do not come with a kitchen. Correct - NO KITCHEN! Now, there is a room that is the kitchen, and it might have some pipes coming out, but no appliances, sink, countertops, cabinets, etc. So you must bring your own kitchen to each apartment. It has been explained to me that this way the renter has the kitchen they want. Hmm.....This is one I just can't wrap my head around. We were fortunate to move into an apartment after a French couple who were not interested in taking their kitchen with them back to France (because French apartments already have kitchens) and we were able to buy their kitchen from them. (Although I did wonder, if we didn't buy it - what were they going to do with it?) So, we have a kitchen (but we did have to buy a dish washer and fridge.)

Another big difference was that most German apartments, like ours, do not have closets. You have to purchase Kleiderschranksysteme (wardrobes) for your bedrooms, storage for your bathrooms, etc. (This might explain why Germany is IKEA's biggest market.)

Needless to say, our apartment is still a huge mess. We are trying to figure out how to tuck all the clutter away without that linen closet, or hall closet...But hey - we live in Europe!!