Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What's a Doula? Can I have one?

You bet you can! Some of you guys might know that I took on a new educational adventure this year. I decided toward the end of last year that I wanted to expand my horizon and study to become a doula. Simply put a doula is a birth supporter - in whatever way you need them to support you and your partner. I realized that I have always been passionate about working with my pregnant clients during their pregnancy and in their postpartum time and so I found an organization that lets you study on your own pace. I finished the "studying" part of the training process about two weeks ago and am now reading about a dozen more books on various topics related to childbirth and breastfeeding. I am ready to come support though. So ready! Check out my website for more info at www.babybundle.net
It has been almost a year since I last blogged already and I did not even realize it..... Oops. The husband and I went to a Coldplay concert last year which was amazing and also took a trip to SanFran where one of my dear friends got married. It was a blast! I guess it is always great when a bunch of your friends show up to an out-of-town-wedding and you can just enjoy the night till the cows come home. The girls and I made pumpkins this past Halloween and I did not even lose a finger. This was a first time for me and of course I went for a very hard unicorn stencil. I had to!
My parents AND my sister were here in January and naturally stayed for my birthday. We made a cake together this year and my parents tried an all vegan restaurant with us for breakfast. It was a great day over all. We took some bike rides in beautiful Southern California and my sister and I got to go to the Ellen Show after one of my best friends flew(!) us to Burbank.
Then the man and I took a surprise weekend trip to San Diego and that was like a mini-vacation. We rented a nice car and stayed downtown (I think) and just explored the city and enjoyed each other's company! My annual trip to Germany is coming up in August. I haven't been during the summer for a while so I am hoping for a rain-free trip! 
Here are some photos from the last ten-ish months. 
the girls and I at Sarah's wedding in SanFran

with the beautiful bride

all the girls with the bride

got to vote for President the first time ever....

pumpkin carving

sunsets at the beach with the man

cake time

vegan brekkie with the rents

dad at the rain room at LACMA

bike cycling 

my best-friend-gone-pilot

The Ellen Show

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer of friendships

I suppose this will be a more bi-annual blog from now on since I get my butt to actually write every six months or so. 
fun evening with great friends
Mr and Mrs 
snap shot 
Anyway.... I went to Germany on my annual trip in April, not only but also to celebrate my mom's big 6-0. I think I left here about a week before her actual birthday and my flight was pretty pleasant (seat next to me was open, yeay!). Without any complications I made it to Hannover and my sister picked me up. Now, some of you might know that my sis and I have a tiny little obsession with unicorns - she brought me a huge balloon shaped as a unicorn to the airport. Actually, I should say Rocky did, because the balloon was tied to the poor fella. No idea how that happened. She dropped me off at my parents house and stayed for a little while. Next day my mom and I went shopping. I suppose that too will be a tradition from now on. Land and go shopping immediately the next day to make sure that is checked off the list and one can continue to enjoy their trip. So, we had my mom's birthday, Rocky and Roxy's birthday the next day and then I also got to meet one of my friend's daughter. Such a happy baby. Conveniently, they will be here in Los Angeles on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing them. My sister and I flew back to Los Angeles on the following Saturday morning, Rocky in tow. He did so well. On the way back my sister gave him a shirt I had slept in so he would not whine. He sometimes does that but since he did not whine at all on the flight to Cali we, well I, figured it had to be because his aunty (me) was there with him, hehe. I had so much fun with my sister here. We spent a total of about five weeks together with me being in Germany and then her being here. Her and I did not take a trip this time but we sure had a ton of fun times with the girls brunching, shopping and working out, climbing the Culver City stairs and of course her eating a German Curry Wurst at First Friday on Abbot Kinney. First Friday on Abbot Kinney happens every first Friday of the month and is pretty much a bunch of food trucks that line up on either side of the street and you can just eat there etc. The man and I have gone every first Friday since and we always miss her! Needless to say, saying "see you later" to her this time was incredibly hard. 
the ladies "plus"
I suppose this summer has also been the summer of friendship. I feel my sister and I have gotten a lot closer, so being physically so far away from her is very difficult at times. In times like that it is ever more awesome to have such a tight-knit group of girls supporting me, and the hubs of course. This summer our little group has become more tight than ever. We usually see each other outside of work a lot, on weekends. Going shopping, movies in the park, tanning at the pool and sending them off into the land where one does not have to line up to catch the bouquet at a wedding anymore because it them who are tying the knot. One of my girls got married two weeks ago and we threw her and awesome Bachelorette party and the wedding was just beautiful. I could not ask for a better group of friends!
Other than that summer of 2016 is just that. At work we usually see a drop during either of the months of June, July or August because clients travel during the summer too. 
Here are some more pics of the past six months or so....

mandatory photo with Roxy on the day I landed, representing

so many generations coming together on mom's bday, brother in the front, mom and my nephew and my grandma G.

foam rolling in MUC, Rocky did not want to miss out

back in Los Angeles, mandatory photo with his fave aunty

second-born little brother, youngest of all the fur-children

First Friday on Abbot Kinney with my favorites

I don't look excited at all, J ordering her Curry Wurst, in GERMAN!

"the night before"...... she left the next day

"Movies in the Park" with my ladies, became kind of a tradition this summer too

First Friday sans J

Movies in the park with Brittany's "pillow"

Lindsey and I all bundled up at movies in the park

my girls in Germany at our traditional brunch whenever I am in town

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ice Skating under Palm Trees

It seems to be harder these days to actually sit down and write on my blog. I realize I used to write a lot more often but in actuality this is not a vacation. I have been in the U.S. for seven years today. Today marks the day I left my home country, my parents' house, my family and everything that I knew till then. I did not know where to go for my social, my driver's license, my doctor and my toiletries. I think it is pretty safe to say that I know all of those things now and I am pretty proud of myself for the life that I have here in California, even when I miss certain things in Germany at certain times. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
So, my parents were here for my birthday, yeay! They arrived on New Year's Eve and were fighting till about 9pm to stay up. They finally gave in and we dropped them off at their place. While we were en route my neighbor/friend texted if we wanted to come over and we did. Not having planned anything for that night except for picking up the rents I feel like we had a great evening with new friends and some family. Oh yea, mid-December we also moved in the middle of the craziness. We had originally planned to move to Playa Vista but due some issues that did not work out. Thankfully our current landlord allowed us to stay in this complex and switch apartments and we are actually very glad this worked out. I can still ride my bike to work and everyone that has visited us in the past two years or so knows their ways around here. New Year's Day I picked up my parents after they had rested and were hungry. We had a great New Year's breakfast together and then proceeded to go shopping in Santa Monica and then grab dindin at one of my parents' favorite restaurants in Santa Monica after traditionally watching the sunset on this January 1st 2016. After all, every single store had a sale and we did not want to miss anything. We sure did not. After grabbing some joe my dad separated from my mom and I to spend some quality time on the beach while we proceeded to push my mom's credit card limit. We were very successful though we only really had a couple of hours to "waste". The man met us at the beach for the sunset and we had a great dindin after. Some of the other things we did while my parents were here were shopping, beach visits, the Getty museum, Sony Studios in Culver City, the Queen Mary in Long Beach, shopping, talks on the patio, cooking, baking and then we got to spend my birthday with each other. We took a walk to the beach on the day before and called my sis at midnight her time and pretty much sang "Happy Birthday" to her in the middle of Washington Blvd.. That was fun. On my birthday we had breakfast at my favorite breakfast place (including the fur children) and then went ice skating in Santa Monica. Well, my dad and I went. Mom was the camera woman. It was a blast. That was followed by some shopping after we were warmed up and a great dinner at another place we like in Santa Monica. My neighbor brought me some delicious cupcakes with yummy frosting that I still need to try to make myself. Mom and I made a cake over the weekend that had asked for Creme Fraiche. Well, if any one of you guys know where to get that here you can let me know. After our attempt in making it failed miserably we just used heavy cream and white chocolate and made it like that. Turned out delicioso and we all probably ate more than our fair share. A week later it was time for my parents to go and we got them some blankets as a farewell gift. My dad mentioned that he had bean very cold on the plane coming here so the man had taken that hint and wanted to make sure they weren't cold on their journey home. 
Last night I realized that I will already be back in Germany in two months to celebrate my mom's birthday and spend some time with the family. Last night as I spoke with my parents they informed me that the dry cleaner where they had dropped off the man's and my wedding attire burned down and there is no more. Sad thing but nobody was injured. I guess now I will not be able to try to squeeze myself int my dress anymore in 25 years just to see if it still fits....
Here are some photos from my parents' trip.

Mom and Champy in the sun
at "Ice at Santa Monica" on my birthday
Dad and I "ice skating"
my other half at dinner
entire family (minus pups) at Sony Studios
Yummy Cupcakes
parents at the Getty Museum
Dad and I on the Queen Mary
White Chocolate Birthday Cake
obligatory sunset pic
successful shopping
Dad and I at the Getty
Getty Museum
Mom and Dad relaxing on the patio

Sunday, September 13, 2015

You can take the German out of Germany but a little German candy ain't never hurt nobody

So, I am sure most of us have said to ourselves "I will do that next weekend." Thing is, that weekend comes and goes and you never do that thing. That's exactly what happened to this blog here.
Anyway, let's see here... After my mom guessed my super surprise for my dad (that I was going to Germany for his 60th in March) we planned accordingly and it was hilarious. I went for about a week and my dad had no idea. My sister picked me up and I spent the night at her house, texting my dad "happy birthday" in the morning after we woke up ("from L.A.") and told him I was going to bed and I would call later. He totally bought it. We got ready and Mara dropped us off at the location. He almost had a heart attack as he saw us. He thought he was dreaming. Of course there might have been a tear or two, priceless. The party was awesome and I drove my parents home late that night and spent the rest of my stay pretty much with them. We also had some planning to do for the next time I was coming to Germany. Fast forward to that next time - May 2015, the wedding. I was lucky enough to be able to bring my bridesmaids' dresses to Germany in March as I went because I could not have carried on three gowns for sure. I had rolled the girls' dresses up (like the nice lady at the bridal store had advised) and stuffed them in my carry-on, just to be safe. My gown....... now, that was something else. Layers of tulle, and tulle and tulle and then those thingies that hold up the corset of the dress that don't really roll?! Yea, that was a little scary. Either way: took it out of the dress bag, turned it inside out (!), folded it in half and rolled it up, put it back in bag and stuffed it in the carry-on, crossed my fingers TSA wouldn't wanna open it. Phew, they didn't want to open mine, but the hubs was there too. That's another story though that is his to tell. Anyway, other than our very important attire we also had the pups with us. Our airline made it more difficult than they really had to for us to take them with us without any problems but since we weren't rushing to catch multiple planes we didn't mind to wait on the plane, ready to go, for the flight attendant to "make sure" everything was ok - for about 30 minutes while every single passenger was probably getting pissed at us and my seat neighbor recorded the entire thing on his smart phone, ready to post it on some social media to make sure our rights were not hurt. Eventually we made it, sans bags. I had packed all my important attire (shoes, dress, veil etc) in my carry-on as mentioned, the man had not. We went to report it and by the time we got home the awesome people at the airport had already located our bags and let us know we could pick them up after the last flight of the day landed or wait for them to deliver it the next day. Hubs was meeting Al the next morning so my super dad and I went back to the airport at 10:30pm or so to make sure the man had some clothes for the shenanigans that were planned ahead. I dropped Al and the hubs off at the train station the next day and went on with my plans - traditional brunch with my ladies (those who could make it). My best friend had made sure to deliver her baby that week so she could attend our big day and she made a surprise cameo with the entire gang as well. That made my day. She also came to the airport in March to greet me and on this specific day it was her birthday. I saw her again a couple of times other than at the wedding. Elli and my Maid of Honor Mara are two of the few girls in Germany I can always count on and that always make time for me. Ok, moving on, my sis came to pick me up Friday midday to schlepp all things "wedding" to her house, since us girls were spending the day and night there. That day (Friday) we met the boys back in Hannover after they wanted to miss their train but that didn't work out and had to come back home. We put them on he next train to my parents house, while the rents were at the venue decorating. The man showed my neighborhood the the guys while walking the doggies and they had a great night full of entertaining and drinking and eating with my parents. The next morning I received a text from my soon-to-be that I had to call my mom, because he couldn't get out of bed because his back was out. Called my mom. Mom panicked a little. Called the doc. Doc came to the house. Man gets shot and pain killers. Everyone realizes they're running late and hurry up and it all worked out well. Meanwhile, I had not showered yet and the ladies for our hair and make up show up, an hour earlier than anticipated. We hurried and it all worked out of course. The wedding venue was perfect. My parents and the planner Vicky did such an awesome job, I wouldn't have changed a thing. We had a great time. A couple of days later the happy couple (us) went to Greece for our honeymoon. At first disappointed about the hotel we really liked it and enjoyed some boat rides, crazy car rides, Greek food, beach horse rides and sunsets on the beach. 
It was a little rough to get back in the groove of things here in Los Angeles after being gone for three weeks almost. Now, a little more than three months later, I think it is safe to say that we are both a little home sick. The husband made some comfort food for us the other day and I went to a store today to buy some Germany goodies for us (picture below). I cannot wait for my parents to get here. It will be so great.  This time they're staying for my birthday.
Dad and his girls

Rocky helping mom with wedding prep

New ink I got on our American wedding anniversary

Dad walking me down the aisle

my favorite pic

fun card ride across the island in Greece

bestest ice cream ever in Turkey

beach horses

German Goodies