Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Freddie 3.0 - Can You Believe That?!

What did you think the Freddie story was over? No way!

Our friends, the Tamburos, also known as Freddy Fourpaws's parents, sent PJ his own, stuffed Freddie for his birthday. He has become a quick favorite.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rainy Days with Fancy Boots

Little man was finally able to put his favorite boots to good use on a rainy Sunday.

Headed out the door and annoyed with his hobbling momma.

Is it just me or does he have the GQ facial expression down?

"I'm ready for my close-up."

"I know, I'm just too cute."

If only for today, these boots were totally worth it.

p.s. Yes, I know that my blog has basically become the hall of shameless-PJ-adorableness. You are welcome. When these teeth finally break through and sleep returns, the writing will be back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boots, Boots!

We have an awesome playground just a few minutes walk away from our new house - it even has a water area for lots of dirty, muddy play by all ages. PJ loves watching the water run through the muddy channels and, I'm sure, as he gets older, he will enjoy more than just watching the water. Read: he'll get really, really wet and dirty in them.

I'm looking forward to that, dear readers.

Recently while chatting with one of the other regular parents there, she mentioned that children come to the playground even in the snow, even in the rain and spash around in the water and mud.

Considering the almost pathalogical 'change wet clothes as soon as possible!' mentality that I have witnessed in the vast majority of German parents (and experienced in the way of super helpful and unwanted commands from almost-strangers like, "You must change his wet clothes now" that I disregarded with a smile - it was 90 some degrees outside at the time), I was quite surprised to hear that children are permitted to get wet and dirty in the cold. Almost encouraged?

My surprise might have slipped out because she reassured me that, "Of course, the children wear proper rain gear!" Then she gave me one of those underground playground tips: a discount company would be offering said 'proper rain gear' in just one week.

Hey, I have wonderful, joyfully memories of playing in the warm rain of southern Ohio with no proper rain gear, but water in the cold German winter? I dunno....so I ordered the proper - and totally adorable - rain gear for little PJ.

Earlier this week, they arrived. Before I could even get them out of the packaging, PJ was whining to try them on. Then he wandered around the apartment showing off his modeling skills.

Zoom in for that face! He knows he's got "it".
Little man loving his new rain pants and rain boots.

Since then PJ has carried his boots to me almost every morning so that I could put them on. He has then proceeded to tramp around the house in them. It may actually be getting cuter each day.


We're ready for some fall, winter, and spring playdates already!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Walking Freddie 2.0

Remember Freddy Fourpaws? And then Freddie 2.0? The friendship between Freddie 2.0 and PJ continues. They even go for walks together these days.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Chocolate Mousse, You Say?

PJ and the Mr. enjoyed a family fest this weekend. Enjoy a picture-filled entry!
Two very pretty ladies.

The party enjoying some drinks.

More family, including the birthday girl.

Uncle Handsome and his girlfriend.

The crew.


"Excuse me, I was given to understand that there was chocolate pudding here?"

"Hum, no chocolate pudding, you say? Chocolate mousse instead? Indeed. Where is it?"

"Ooooooh, a kitty! Excellent!"

"And rocks! Lovely!"

"Am I getting closer to the chocolate mousse?"

"Is the mousse here? I must be getting closer - all these people are following me."

"Yes, they are beautiful these flowers. And the chocolate?"

"This place is so great I get tears in my eyes. Or is that the chocolate?"


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Coffee and Mobile Blogging

This marks a first for Pickles and Onions: a blog written from my phone. Blame the messed up ankle for this experiment.

I'd add a link there under "messed up ankle" to the appropriate blog entry but I don't know how.

I am a coffee addict. This late morning while we were getting ready for a trip to the local playground, the following conversation took place in House of Joy:

Me: I just need to make a cup of coffee to go.

Mr.: You are so American.

Me: I am not, I use a reusable mug.

Mr.: snort. (okay he didn't say that but he totally snorted)

Guess who enjoyed half of my coffee?

I'd add a picture here, but, yeah, I don't know how :D


Friday, August 10, 2012

Working Mommy Update

I have been putting off this entry although I know that I want to write it and a couple of people out there want to read it, I've seen other bloggers write about their experiences going back to work or stopping work and no matter how balanced and personal the entries were, someone was insulted. Sometimes those blogs got forwarded over Facebook or Twitter and while I guess it may be awesome to see click numbers shoot up - aint nothing pretty about the wacked out world of the so-called "mommy wars".

Additionally, when I started this blog I promised myself that I wouldn't throw anyone under the bus - no matter how much they may deserve it - and while I may complain (and I did write an open letter to Angela Merkel and my beloved son), I'm really proud that to date I haven't broken my promise. Could change. But not yet.

So, dear readers, some of you work and have children; some of you don't and don't; some of you work from home and have children; some of you work from home and don't have children; and for some of you, your job is your home and/or your children. If whatever choice you are making is working for you and your family: good for you. Seriously. Go own your choice and rock it.

Lord, I hope that covered it. Back to Pickles and Onions...

I started back at work part-time in April. Then on August 1, I moved up to full-time. I am not joking when people ask me what working is like and I tell them, "Like a vacation. Every day." Going to the bathroom by myself remains the highlight - even better than the hot coffee, the warm lunch I didn't cook myself, and the adult conversation that doesn't revolve around baby or kid stuff.

For the first few months, the Mr. was at home with our little man and the two of them had a blast. Then we started transitioning to day care. The place that PJ was suppose to start at got pushed back a little due to some renovation work, so his caregiver actually came to our house. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing that is - so, please just believe me. Even better: she is great, accepting of PJ and joyful in his strengths, aware of the areas that aren't so fun, and encouraging of who he is as a little man. She is also patient, funny, caring. And somehow showed him that his stroller is great and he can even fall asleep in there. She's also convincing him that he can take long naps without nursing to sleep or daddy's cuddling.
Her nickname here is gonna be Miracle M. Cause, well, she is. Please please please like your job and stay, Miracle M. We love you.

But back to the blog...(again)

Awhile ago I wrote part of my philosophy of life and how it relates to working out of the home and in the home. I haven't changed my opinion. I love being with my little man and sometimes I really miss him during the day. Okay, be honest: I miss him at some point almost every single day. But I cannot be -because I do not want to be - what I think my little man deserves. Someone engaged, excited, repetitive with love, geared to toddler needs and growth.

Frankly, I can only sing the same song twice in one day. I can read the same book four times. Tops. I can do the same puzzle maybe once. I can wander around the same playground only every other day. I can wipe little hands twice a day and no more. Diapers max out at five. For the love of God: no more.

I am not good at routine - that's why I work in organizational change management. I seriously have no idea what my work day is going to look like when it starts and I like that. I struggle to follow through with the small structures, routines that I (or we) have managed to build for PJ, even though I know that he thrives in that stability at this point in life. I still can't do it. Not all day. What I can do is go to work and think about complicated, somewhat emotional topics, struggling to understand the complexity (and sometimes simplicity) of new situations and problem. I can deal with attitude and annoyance and silliness and structures and politics and policies and laughter and so much more...and I can pull energy from it. Enjoy it. Grow with it. Pull my hair out with it. And then turn that around and give it to my family, including the daily rush to pick up little man from his day care.

The full joy of seeing him and, even better, him seeing me. That joy washes over me every day. It is the highlight of my working day.

So, basically, faithful readers - this is another way to write what I already wrote. I like working. I love being a mommy. I like being a working mommy.

Be jealous or be angry or be proud. Just don't bother being insulted because this isn't about you; its about the crazy Pickles and Onions clan.

PJ in his bike seat on our way home from Miracle M's.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

13 Months!

Holy crap, I totally forgot that we reached another month milestone today. Or maybe my soul has decided not to be one of those really annoying parents that counts month? You know them; those parents that answer the question, "How old is he?" with, "My kid is 45 months and 1 week old."

As opposed to "3" or "almost four".

Anyways....back at the ranch.

Remember when PJ was just one month old? Wow, back then I counted in weeks. How things change. And now he is one month + one year.

Incredible. Its time to admit it even here on Pickles and Onions: PJ will always be MY baby but he just isn't A baby anymore. Welcome to little boy world, mommy and daddy. Welcome.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Proof that God Exists

...and has one hell of a sense of humor.

Two weeks ago the Mr. started talking about going out for a night with his friends. My initial response? "Don't mess up your foot again." The Mr. has a history of going out with his friends and coming home a bit injured, mostly in his legs and feet.

He didn't think it was too funny but I found it hilarious and kept going at it. For days. Then, last Thursday during yoga, I 'gently' tore one of my ligaments in my ankle. Frankly, it didn't hurt too bad on Thursday, most likely because the ligament wasn't that badly torn. I'm guessing that taking a number of walks, biking around our new town, hiting a beer garden, and chasing my kid all over the place turned the 'gentle' tear into 'oh damn, my foot really, really hurts' tear.

Long story, short? I have a new 24-hours-a-day accessory for the next six weeks....

...I have still failed to learn the if-you-laugh-too-hard-at-your-husband-it-will-happen-to-you lesson, even though I have been writing about it since April 2010.

Which just proves that God has one hell of a sense of humor.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Video: Pick-You-Up

We've got a couple loyal Pickles and Onions readers out there that are in need of a pick-me-up. Turn up your speakers, click "full screen" on the video, and try to remember: life is good.


We are thinking of you and loving each of you from near and far.

Thanks to the Chelle Belle and her lovely husband for PJ's awesome CD of dancing music.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Onions 2; Pickles 1...Really?

So, the name of this blog is Pickles and Onions. It stands for me - the Pickle - and the Mr. - the Onion. One of my many childhood nicknames was Pickle, in part because I ate so many pickles, and I called the Mr. "onion" for a while because getting to know him is a lot like peeling back the layers of a home-grown, sweet onion: each layer is distinct and you never quite know how many more are in there.

When we discovered during one of the ultrasounds that our little worm was a boy, the Mr. teased me that the score was: Onions 2: Pickles 1. I was outnumbered. But - really?

Because our little man at just one year of age is eating - no, loving - pickles. At dinner tonight he must have eaten two entire pickles.

Yuuuummmmm, pickle.
What? I got this. You got another one for me?
Yeah, I know, today was my first day of working full-time and there has gotta be something to say about that, but PJ eating pickles totally tops all of that.

Pickles 2; Onions 1. Ha!

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