Thursday, 2 March 2017

January & February

We're well into 2017! It's March! 
March holds much excitement - meeting our baby! Our 4 year wedding anniversary! AND mum comes to visit in just a month's time! 
Ok, so even though I'm VERY excited about what's coming, I will calmly recap what's been. So many special moments. 

January started with our trip to the Black Forest. Freudenstadt, Freiburg, Strassbourg, Neuneck... long, snowy walks... evenings with hot chocolate... Time alone and relaxed.

When we got back, it was back to work for both us. Malcolm's work in the lab has gone really well this year, which is excellent news! 
At the end of January, I went on maternity leave. The first weekend of leave I was quite sick with a cold, which I was such a baby about because I felt awful and could take no medication. 
However, the river had frozen over and I didn't want to miss seeing it. So that Sunday we headed into town just to see the river. One wasn't meant to stand on it, but there were a number of people ice-skating and walking on the ice. 

Although I had time off work, I was still in the Cafe and Tuition and Kinderclub and English kids-group. I officially had my last day in Kindeclub towards the end of February, which was sad and a little unreal to end such a long chapter. I also lead the English Kids-group for the last time a week later and will now have a break from that for a while. I used my time off work to fill out lots of paper work and worked on various projects, including the baby-nook

There was also my baby shower, which was SO. MUCH. FUN. 

I tried to surprise Malcolm on Valentine's Day with some cookies... but ended up only able to send him this photo... 

February was also spent using our weekends as much as possible to spend time together. We went to the movies to see Lala Land (thanks to a gift voucher that friends had given us!) and spent time wandering around the city and eating icecream.

I also spent a fair amount of time trying to take everbody's advice and go for walks, despite miserable weather and achy hips. If it's warm enough for the geese to return, it's warm enough for me to go out waddling! 

This last weekend Malcolm and I went for a walk together in the forest in our neighbourhood. It's a lot more fun walking with him than alone, and I'm impressed with his patience and his photography skills, helping to document this unique phase of our lives where we could become parents tomorrow or in a few weeks... 

After wandering around for a while, we sat in a field in the cold and watched the sun go down, a pretty sweet way to end February. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Our (teeny tiny) Baby Nook

I mentioned previously, that we decided to use our tiny "Abstellkammer" or storage room/closet (1.2m x 1.6m) for our baby's things. She'll sleep in our room, but clothes and all other baby-related things belong in their own special place. 
Honestly, it made me a little sad when I thought that we'd have no 'special' place for our child. I mean, Harry Potter grew up in the cupboard under the stairs, but I wasn't convinced. 
However, when I came across the various tiny nurseries and tiny baby nooks, I realised that we have all we need. Many hours were spent sitting on the couch, watching one series or another, with my concentration actually on the tiny room I wanted to transform. 

So this is what we started with: 

Except there was an old, rickety shelf in there that we had borrowed ages ago. I only thought to take a photo after the shelf was returned. Ironing board, iron, clothes drying rack, boxes, hardware stuff, paper recycling, suitcases... so much stuff was stored in there. But, we managed to find new homes for stuff and clear out everything except the suitcases, ironing board and drying rack (which are hidden away. 

The first step was to buy a bookshelf on Amazon (because Ikea's delivery charges...). We also got given a light pink changing pad. I bought sheets and cut them up and sewed them to make changing pad covers (tutorial here) and fitted sheets for the tiny bassinet mattress. 

In the shelf we hung up a rod for tiny clothes to be hung up, 
We searched for tension rods and finally bought one, but after a few days it fell down. It was a Sunday night when we realised we'd need a new solution, so, not wanting to spend more money, we went for a walk to see what people had thrown out and if we couldn't find a broom or rod or pipe of some kind. At the first pile of Sperrmüll, we found PVC pipes, which were just perfect! So Malcolm cut it to size and screwed it in from either side. 

We went to the hardware store and bought a big shelf plank, which they cut to the dimensions we needed, which also made it easier to carry home in the bus ;) 
Malcolm screwed it all together and attached a block to the wall for one end to rest on. 
Friends went to Ikea and kindly bought us stuff - the little grey lamp and the drawer dividers which organise the shelves. 

We ordered these yellow boxes, which fit perfectly, and I love how they brighten up the room and keep nappies and blankets and stuff stashed away. 
I also sewed a curtain to block off the suitcases (which are also used to store more luggage and boxes of baby clothes in the sizes we don't need yet) and bought a white plastic basket to hold small amounts of laundry. 

In the drawer of the white cupboard (which we took out of the kitchen when we first moved in, to make space for a washing machine), there are all sorts of nappy-changing things and samples and bits and pieces. I don't yet know how to organise them, since I'm clueless, but once we see how things work, it'll be better :) 
Socks are also stored here because I can't figure out what size any of them are...
In the bottom part of the cupboard, there are more boxes of clothes and space for boxes of nappies.

After Malcolm fixed a rather large crack running up the wall, 
the final touches were really just decor... 
A friend gave us this moon shaped music-thing (it's called a Spieluhr in German, in English... no idea) which plays the prettiest tune, and another friend made this cute canvas with a giraffe on it. 

Malcolm painted sweet little animals too...

And I wrote out a favourite verse (and forgot punctuation and the scripture reference - Lamentations 3:22-23) 

And of course, since teddy isn't allowed in the bassinet, she's also chilling in the baby-nook, along with the giant baby blanket we crocheted :) 

All in all, I'm really pleased with how our project turned out. 
Time will tell how practical it really is, but I'm so glad that we've been able to make a tiny little spot for our daughter's things. Sure, I don't get to sit in a rocking chair in her nursery, reading her stories in utero, contemplating the future, but that's probably overrated anyway ;)