Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Yet another year where I didn't manage to get out a paper Christmas card, so I suppose this virtual one will have to do.
At least I am actually writing this before 2012 ends, unlike last year.

The Amazing Winsors 2012:
We had a lot of Firsts:
First time flying on an airplane
First Birthday
First time crawling, walking, sleeping through the night, and talking for T
First "real" job for Seth
First time out of the country for Janette (Second time for Seth)
First time being left overnight with family

A few Seconds:
Second time moving
Second time graduating
Second time being pregnant

And a Third:
Our three year anniversary in August

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
-Love Seth, Janette, T and newbaby.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Books: 2012

This is almost embarrassing for me to post. I did a terrible job at reading this year. I also did a terrible job at keeping track of the books I read, so maybe there were a couple I missed? Although if I can't recollect them at all I'm thinking they were probably not that good. 
Oh well. Here's to next year. 

1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
2. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
3. The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

6. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
7. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
8. Dracula by Bram Stoker

9. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
10. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
11. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

12. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
13. Grimm's Fairy Tales by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm
14. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

15. The Client by John Grisham
16. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. (Does this make me a terrible person for not liking a classic? I couldn't even finish it.)

I am currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and it is really good. 
On my to read list I have Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 
Any other recommendations?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Day in the Life

I saw the idea somewhere on the internet to take a picture of what you are doing once every hour.
So yesterday I did that.
This has forced me to admit my life is pretty boring. But that's not going to stop me from writing a whole blog post about it anyway. Curious what we do all day? Now you'll know!

Eight o'clock
T and I (and my cabbage patch doll that she has claimed as her own) eat breakfast. Seth has already left for work.

Nine o'clock
T has been changed and dressed and now I am puttering around cleaning up the kitchen and starting laundry and doing other house-worky things. Also we watch reruns of The Office.

Ten o'clock
I hop in the shower, so T decides this is the perfect opportunity to empty the contents of my purse, which I have unwisely left on the floor instead of hanging up.
 When I'm done getting ready we read some books together and then stare out the window looking for the cat that sometimes comes in our yard.

Eleven o'clock
The more pregnant I get the more boring I am to T, so I decided now would be a good time to make a cardboard ball drop for us to play with. I found this idea on the internet somewhere a few months ago and unfortunately I now can't find the original tutorial. I decided to make it anyway and it turned out pretty ghetto. T is interested for about 30 seconds.
But then I decided to put away the marbles we used in a ceramic mug and she loves the sound they make being dropped in. This activity takes up a good half hour, which is EONS in toddler time.
Also later when Seth gets home from work he finds this cardboard monstrosity totally awesome and plays with it for a while.
So win-win for me.

Twelve o'clock
A package arrives from my mom (Thanks mom!) and T starts trying to unwrap the presents as soon as I pull them out. I have to retape three of them before sticking them under the tree. Strangely enough, she doesn't touch them once they're under there.
Instead she quickly moves on to the box, and the styrofoam pieces in it.
Seth normally comes home about now for lunch but today he has decided he will stay at work because there are copious amounts of delicious food from his work holiday party that morning.

One o'clock
T has been put down for her nap and I am doing the one of two things I normally do during this time: eating. (The other is sleeping.) I promise I have more than just sugar cookies.

Two o'clock
T wakes up much earlier from her nap than I was planning. I spent too long eating and now I don't get a nap in.
I give her a snack and then we putter around. I do housework and she either helps me or plays on her own. Ok and I waste some time on the internet. I'll be honest.

Three o'clock
 We (including the stuffed snowman) go play outside for a while.
Later on I will catch her with the camera holding it out in front of her and grinning in a parody of this moment.

Four o'clock
We go inside and start making cookies (Chocolate crinkles this time) and dinner. Also, more of the The Office (as you can see in the background.)

Five o'clock
T gets bored with helping me cook and instead decides a better use of her time would be to spread all of her books out on the floor.

Six o'clock
Seth has gotten home by now and we eat dinner. We both love when Seth gets home. I get adult conversation and T gets a playmate that can actually play with her.

Seven o'clock
One of these two is having a meltdown because they are not allowed to go play in the garage. Guess who? We decide bedtime needs to be pushed up a bit tonight.

Eight o'clock
T is in bed. Seth sits down to work on his Seminary lesson for the morning. I start working on this blog post.

Nine o'clock
We both keep getting distracted by the endless pages of the internet so it's taking us a while to finish. I think we get to bed around 9:45, which is actually late for us. One of us gets up at 5 every morning and the other is pregnant, so we like to sleep.

And that's our day. Fascinating, right?

I'm going to pretend everyone who read this responded with: Right!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sugar Cookies

This year was the first year we could actually sort of include T in our Christmas fun. 
I thought she would love to help me make sugar cookies. She did actually enjoy making the dough, but when it came time to roll it out and cut shapes with it, this is what happened:
She apparently didn't appreciate being shown she could eat the little scraps of dough, and then having her parents not let her just eat dough by the handful. 
Luckily she did enjoy the decorating part.
But the best was, of course, the eating part.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I've created a monster.

A week or so ago I was trying to get T to finish up the last few bites of her dinner and did so by pretending to feed them to her doll first. She thought this was AWESOME and promptly finished off her food.
I congratulated myself on being a genius mother.

The next day for breakfast she gathered up one of her stuffed animals and insisted on me feeding both of them. How cute, I thought. She remembers.

Then she insisted on it again for lunch. And dinner. And all three meals the next day.

It's been a week now and if T is eating, her stuffed animals are eating too. Most of the time she refuses to take a bite until I've fed them.
What have I done?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Remember? I'm pregnant.

When I was pregnant with T it was the only thing I thought about, blogged about, read about, talked about....
Little did I realize it was only gonna be like that with the first one.

I am 33 weeks along already (due January 25th) and I have barely even blogged about it, nor have I done any browsing on the internet about anything baby-related, nor do I talk about it incessantly with Seth, nor have I done much of anything to prepare for this baby, and I've barely taken any pictures of myself.
So there. Now I've done at least one of those things. This is actually from a few weeks ago - I'm 29 weeks in this shot. (Also: I spy a little person getting into my drawer.)
For comparison's sake, this is me at 28 weeks with T. I think this justifies my suspicion that I am larger with this kid.

Actually, this baby already seems very different from her big sister. T was pretty mellow with the occasional kick and punch; plus she got the hiccups almost every day.
This baby has had hiccups twice for just a minute or two, and doesn't so much kick and punch as she just moves. Constantly. She just wiggles around and around and around. It's like she can't figure out why she is encased in something so restricting and she is moving around trying to get comfortable in it.

And let me tell you, it is UNcomfortable for her mother.

I'm pretty much over being pregnant. I want this:
And I want it now.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Germany: Day 7

The last one! Finally!

I thought we had planned enough time in to get to the airport and board our 9:50am flight with time to spare.

Yeah. I didn't. (Spoiler alert: we did not miss our flight. Obviously. But it was still way stressful.)

The train ride up to the airport took waaaaay longer than I thought it would so we didn't actually arrive at the airport until 8:30. Then we got lost trying to find the Delta check-in desk. Then when we finally found it and got in line, every single Delta employee except for one decided they were going on break. Seriously. Then we got in the long line to turn in our tax-free reimbursement form (since I spent tons o' money at one particular shop on a nativity for myself and presents for others.)
My feelings about it are thus: 1. My family. 2. My nativity. 3. Everything else.

Then they wouldn't take our form because we had forgotten to go to customs first. So then we had to go get in the customs line, then return to the tax reimbursement line. Then we had to get in the passport check line. Then we had to get in the security line.
Did you count? Altogether we waited in 6 lines for an hour and a half. And if you don't know it already, waiting in line is about the worst possible thing to do if you are stressed about getting somewhere on time. Especially if it meant you could be stuck in a foreign country for who knows how long.
On the train on our way to the airport

But we finally made it back to our gate at 9:30 - 20 minutes before we were scheduled to take off. Luckily the gate was just beyond the security checkpoint and there was still a long line waiting to board (another line!), so we were able to get right on the plane without having to run through the airport.
Needless to say, by the time we got on board we were frazzled, but the 9 hour flight was fairly enjoyable. I'm telling you, regional flights should do things the way international flights do.
We arrived in Atlanta about 1 and promptly went and bought McDonald's for lunch and rejoiced at being back in the good ole USA.
Our next flight was quick and we arrived in Raleigh about 7pm - (1am in Munich.) We originally planned to drive straight home (a 90-minute drive) but changed our minds at the last minute and decided to stay over at Seth's parent's house in Raleigh. Probably a wise decision, since we were barely awake enough to make it to their house.
Although T was very happy to see us that night, she spent the next few days punishing us for leaving her for a week. Refusing to nap, waking up 5 or 6 times a night, temper tantrums all day long. It took us a rather long time to get back to our routines.

Other things we wanted to remember about Germany that didn't quite fit in anywhere else:
All of the sidewalks were created for both pedestrians (the square side) and bicycle riders(the smooth side). I think I forgot to stay on the correct side of the path almost 50% of the time we were there and probably made a few Germans annoyed with me. Whoops. Luckily I never got run over.
The Hauptbahnhof - the main train station of Munich. This area is for the regional trains that go from city to city. This is the platform we came in on when we traveled from Stuttgart to Munich, and it's also the main platform that you have to walk through to get to the more local trains.
This is more what a platform for a local train looked like. By the end of the week Seth and I were old pros at figuring out where to go.
Munich has statues of lions everywhere. It's sort of their "thing." This particular one is from a set of four that lined a street right outside the Munich Residenz. See the shiny gold part? You are supposed to rub it for good luck.
Each lion represented something different - love, wealth, good weather, and something else I forget. (This is the one for good weather.) Our tour guide also claimed that it was the German tradition to only rub three of the four. To rub all four meant you were greedy and would get nothing.
Seth in our hotel room watching his new favorite German tv show. As best he could figure out, it was about two rival gangs of teenagers. Very dramatic, lots of fighting. I usually napped while he watched this.

Other items I took note of:
Everyone dressed very well. Lots of scarves and skinny jeans and nice shoes. I don't know if this was more of a German vs. American thing, or a big city like Munich vs. redneck Fayetteville thing, but I always felt slightly under dressed in my jeans and sweatshirt.
It's very rare to see someone jaywalk. You do not cut across the street, you use the crosswalk. Also, if the pedestrian signal is red, no one walks across. You wait till it's green. Apparently Munich is the 4th safest city in the world and the policemen are bored so they even go after jaywalkers.
The amount of people that smoke. HOLY COW. I must have breathed in more smoke during that week in Germany than I have in the past year here in America.
If you ever go visit Dachau memorial site, go to the little cafe and order one of their chocolate croissants. It was hands down the best chocolate croissant I've ever had. I ordered 2 or 3 more from other places in Munich to try and find one that was similar, but nothing could compare.

Oh Germany. It's only been a month but we are already wishing we could go back. You were the best.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Germany: Day 6

This was our last full day in Germany and we didn't have much planned.
Originally we had wanted to take a tour of the BMW factory but were unable to reserve a ticket in time, so instead we decided to wander around Munich and then do some shopping.
We went over to St. Peters and decided to climb the tower to get some nice views of the city.
306 steps to the observation deck, and I walked every one of them (albeit very slowly).
I did of course get passed up by every single other person climbing the tower that day, but I made it to the top eventually. Also I think Seth was secretly pleased he was with his pregnant wife because it meant he could take lots of breaks with me on the way up and not look like a wimp.
In spite of the thick fog the views were still incredible. Directly in front is the New Townhall. To the left with the orange roof and 2 towers is the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).
I'm told on clear days it's possible to see the Alps in the distance but obviously we did not get to see that.
A better view of Frauenkirche. The street leading away to the left is Kaufingerstrasse and it is a major shopping area. This road also leads to the Hauptbahnhof.
A better view of New Townhall. Theatinerkirche (my favorite yellow building) is just beyond it. To the right of that with the orange and green roofs is the Munich Residenz.
Looking down into the Marienplatz.
After we'd had enough of the views, we made our descent and then went over to the Viktualienmart, a farmer's market that has been around since the 1800s.
View from St. Peter's of the Viktualienmarkt. All the little green roofs and the white awnings are the shops. You can see the blue and white maypole in the center.
It was a very picturesque place to stroll through. In addition to the usual fruit and vegetable stands, they also had breads, pastries, jams, juices, spices, honey, cheeses, meat and fish for sale, as well as a beer garden and other restaurants/cafes. They also were starting to put out little booths of Christmas decorations. If I lived here I would go and buy delicious food every day.
Sadly this is the only picture we took down in the market itself. If you're wondering what I am doing, I'm consulting my guidebook because they had a few recommendations of where to eat in the Viktualienmarkt. We settled on a little soup kitchen. The whole menu was in German so I picked a soup that had one German word I knew - kartoffel (potato) and it turned out to be potato, sausage and onion soup and it was of course delicious. Seth picked another one at random that I think was a kind of vegetable soup with lots of greens and cabbage in it. Also delicious, but not as delicious as mine.
After that we went and looked at all the shops and bought some souvenirs. Actually I should say, Seth followed me around while I went shopping and I had a fabulous time.
We took a little nap at our hotel and then went out to eat. We decided to try a restaurant called Weisses Brauhaus - a fairly well-known place in Munich with a reputation for good beer and good food.
Going out to eat in Germany is a bit different than America. Most of the places we went to had big tables or long benches and if it's particularly crowded you will share tables, especially if there are only two of you. Also you do not wait for someone to seat you. You walk in and find a spot and sit down and the waiter will come round eventually to get your order. This can be tricky when it's very full and busy. Sometimes the waiter will help you find a spot, but for us that meant we had to find one who could speak English.
Random picture of us on top of St. Peter's
This was actually the 2nd time we were going to try Weisses Brauhaus. The first was on Sunday after we got back from Dachau and after wandering into the restaurant and not finding any waiter (or at least one that spoke English) or a sign telling us where to wait to be seated, we left in confusion.
But by Wednesday night we were feeling more confidant in our German restaurant skills so we gave it another go. We went in, wandered around, found a waiter who directed us to possibly the only two empty seats in the middle of a long row of people, took off our coats, got some English menus and after a few minutes I decided I could not handle this place and told Seth we had to get out of there right now.
Being around so many people in such a tight space makes me really nervous and claustrophobic and I can't think or talk, and I didn't want to spend my last night in Germany in such a state.
So we left and went to the same restaurant we had retreated to on Sunday - Zum Spockmeier. Much fewer people, less frazzled waiters, smaller tables and benches. And SUCH GOOD FOOD. This is me about to eat the most delicious steak and potatoes and green beans I have ever eaten in my life. EVER. I am not exaggerating. And I ate all of it. My mouth thanked me but my belly did not.
It was possibly the best part of my trip to Germany.

Seth got something called Escalope, which is basically Schnitzel but with fried cheese on it as well. Also extremely delicious, though nothing could compare with my meal.
Then we went back to our hotel and finished packing for our plane ride home in the morning.