Saturday, December 31, 2011

3 Bean Enchiladas/ Vegetarian Chili

Tonight we had three bean enchiladas for dinner. I adapted my recipe from this one I found on pinterest. It was delicious. Even my schnitzel loving husband gobbled it up.

Monday, December 26, 2011

When blogs attack

Blogs are really an amazing thing. I love writing on this blog almost as much as I love reading blogs. I mean seriously I could spend 20 hours a day reading blog posts. And that is because I love reading real posts written by real people, tangible posts, you know things that apply to me. But the problem is there are so many blogs in the blogosphere, but only so many hours in the day. So how can you take back control and still find time to enjoy reading blogs, keep reading to find out.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas.

We hope that you have a rockin Christmas!

Serena, Toni & Lu

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My 30 day wait list

I mentioned before a shift in my though process that I was striving for a more simplistic lifestyle, a more minimalist approach to living.

I have a great many goals for the upcoming year one of which is to regain better control of our finances and spending habits. To strive to only buy items we need and will use, not fill the house with countless items we think we want but really never use.

The 30 day wait list is a great tool in terms of cutting down frivolous spending.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We Moved!

Thats right I am now writing you from a quaint little village in the beautiful Black Forest. Lots of changes around here, check out what's new with us.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

1 years later, reflections of a traumatic birth

It is hard to believe that it will have been a year as of next Wednesday. I will do a seperate post about my first year as a mom. But I wanted to take a moment to reflect back about my birth. A lot more has been remembered by me and by Toni and I have addressed a lot of what happened this year, so here are my reflections, one year later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

And the winner is...

Comment number 1 boyzrule from boyzrule my house

Thanks to everyone who entered. Boyzrule, I will be in touch :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

One of the meme's that many of you mentioned enjoying was my participation in Meal Plan Monday. So I will jump back in with my weekly meal plans.

This weeks brings a unique obstacle, as with us moving in just a few weeks time, I need to use up as much as I can from what we already have on hand with an emphasis on frozen and refrigerated goods.

My goal is to buy as little as possible.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One year later.. and a Silver Liner giveaway

She's Back....

It’s been almost a year now can you believe it. This time last year I was sitting 9 month pregnant with not a clue in the world how much my life was about to change. The past year has been amazing, not at all easy, but wondrous.  I was tested time and time again, forced to adapt and adjust as a person, and transformed as a person from a Homemaker to a stay at home mom.

I have learned a lot. Had a lot of time to contemplate about myself. About the type of person I am and the kind of person I want to be. And I am ready to return to blogging and share this journey with you.  I want to thank you all for staying by my side during this past year through the sporadic or nonexistent posts.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth

Another fun post from the unpublished archives of Lost in translation, dun dun dun. I wrote this post Last year again while pregnant. So just for giggles here is that post and at the end I updated it with my wishlist for this holiday season

Alright, this is just intended to be a fun post. I know as kids we all loved writing out our letters to santa with our wish lists. I think it can be equally fun as adults. And it is actually not a bad idea, my husband loves when I give him ideas of what I want, and sometimes those ideas even inspire him to think of something else on his own, which is always lots of fun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where's the popsicles....

It is disgustingly hot today and humid and more then anything in the world I wanted some popsicles. Nothing with milk products just a normal popsicle be it the fancy fruit juice kind or the cheapo three flavor trios.

So Teenie and me set out in the heat, hiked across town to the grocery store i search of said popsicles, and did they have them... no. They had one kind of popsicle with pop rocks on it for 4.50 USD. Everything else was normal ice cream.

I do not know about you but anything dairy is just gross to me in extreme heat. I mean I do not mind a nice Italian eis on a tempid summer day, but melting dairy, yuck no thanks. I did notice they had ben and jerrys if you did not mind the eye gouging 8.75USD price tag, yes for the small one.

So I took the pop rocks and noted to myself to buy a popsicle set while home. It is the little things you miss most. Simple, fruity, plain popsicles.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our week

I missed it on Monday, so here we go for the rest of the week a glimpse at our plans and a look inside my kitchen for the week.

Where in the world is...

It's been awhile so I figured it to be a good time for just a fun updated about what is going on with us these days.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The bags are packed...

This is an old post that never got published. I just found it going through my unpublished posts. This was written in late November when I was 8 months pregnant.

Alrighty. I have some long overdue and promised pregnancy posts that I want to get out before I switch into mommy mode and am thoroughly distracted from this theme, so here we go.

So today I want to talk about packing your bags for your hospital stay. Obviously this varies greatly especially considering I am overseas, but hopefully this will be of some help to some first time mommy's in Germany.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

It has been far too long hasn't it? Here we go again with another look at a week in my kitchen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Homemade Tuna Helper

Ok, I admit it is not as easy as a meal in a box, it has a few more steps and cannot be made on the stove top. But you know what, when you are craving food from home it sure is nice, and I am willing to bet a bit better when you consider all the rubbish they add in the box mixes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

4 in 1 dinner- Taco Soup

She's alive!!!!! I am alive and well. My apologies for the long spacing in between posts. I thank you for your understanding :)

I got a new recipe I came up with that I would like to share with you. This dish is 4 dinners in one. You could serve them in a row if you find yourself in a tight spot in terms of your food budget, or freeze the extra and serve over time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meal plan Monday- May 9th

Alright another week, another meal plan. Here is a look at a week inside my kitchen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Plan Monday- May 2nd

Alright another week, another meal plan. Here is a look at a week inside my kitchen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meal Plan Monday- April 25th

Alright another week, another meal plan. Here is a look at a week inside my kitchen.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meal plan monday- April 4th

Alright another week, another meal plan. Here is a look at a week inside my kitchen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cloth diapers don't have to break the bank

One of the biggest misnomers and common fears about cloth diapers is concerns about start up costs. But cloth diapers need not break the bank. Here are some tips and tricks for frugal cloth diapering.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuna Tabbouleh

This is a really awesome, quick, easy and cheap dinner. I adapted this version from a recipe from All you magazine. You can view the original here.

 Tuna Tabbouleh
1 cup Bulgar
1 onion diced
2 tomatoes diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
2 cans Tuna
Olive Oil
One pack knorr sald seasoning or mixed herbs of your choice

Prep work:
Dice your onions and tomatoes

Let's get cooking:
1. Boil 3 cups water, add in the Bulgar and reduce to low heat
2. Let simmer about 15 minutes, if needed drain off any excess liquid
3. In a separate bowl mix in the tuna, tomatoes, and onions
4. Add in your knorr spice pack and about 3 tablespoons olive oil
5. Mix well and serve

I served mine with Tzatziki and a green salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrot)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday- March 28th

Alright another week, another meal plan. Here is a look at a week inside my kitchen.

My favorite TV shows

Here is a fun post from the blogging challenge, a look at my favorite tv shows.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundays in my city

Unknown Mami

It is Sunday again! Every Sunday I and other bloggers around the world come together to give a glimpse of our daily life. So here it is again a look at Sunday in my City.


See this scary image below...

Well that used to be my pretty signature :( No idea what happened, or how my name signiture is a violation of image shack terms of service. But ok.

Their website says the following items are banned:

  • Pornographic files. This includes, but is not limited to, files depicting genitalia, nudity, or sexual situations.
  • Files that are illegal and/or are in violation of any United States laws.
  • Files that infringe on the copyrights of any entity excluding the user.
  • Non-image or non-video files. This includes archived non-image files.
  • Files intending to harass or spam, or promote anything for commercial profit.

Only thing I can think of is if they blocked my signature because I added affiliate links? Which seems ridiculous as my signature was literally just my name, but I degrees.

Can anyone suggest a better signature option?

I have to apologize this is now stuck to the end of all my old posts, so my apologies for the ugly image on all my posts.

My fears

Next up in the blogging challenge a post about fears.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Carters 50% off site wide sale

From time to time I post a really good deal that attracts my attention. Here is an awesome one I wanted to share with you.

A photo of my friends

Continuing the blog challenge with a photo of my friends.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A place I have traveled too

Continuing on with the 30 day blogging challenge, which is more like a 45 day one for me but I digress, ha. Today's theme is a place I have traveled. So here is a look into my travels.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Motherease to raise Nappy prices

Get them while they are cheap folks.

The announcement has been made the Motherease will be increasing the price of their cloth nappies quiet significantly.

Sausage scramble

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. I love scrambled eggs since they cook so fast, and as a mom to a newborn, time is of the essence.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meal plan Monday

Its that time again, a look at a week in my kitchen.

My favorite


Hmm, well this is a tough one. I love watching new movies I have never seen. So I am always on the lookout on netflix for something new to watch.

In general terms I love horror movies. I also love dramas, mysteries and comedies. I enjoy classics and historical dramas. Not so much into action, scifi and or war movies, but some are ok.

As far as movies I have loved over the years lets see

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sundays in my city

Unknown Mami

I'm back!

This weekend was really special Toni's mom and step dad came down to visit Teenie. Here are some photos from our weekend.

A photo

of something that makes you happy ....

International postage rates lowered

I do not know about you but for me this is super exciting, the deutsche post has lowered international brief postage.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Siblings

My Siblings

My family is a patchwork family, think Brady Bunch lol. :P

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Parents

Todays scheduled blog challenge. Now this is a fun one and hopefully they will not kill me for this post ha.

Well lets see. May parents married in 82 I believe it was. They met in the kontakt club in Germany both were stationed overseas my mom Navy and dad Army. In 84 I was born. They split when I was 8 and both have remarried, so I will be talking about both of them in pairs.

My first

Love. Continuing with the blog challenge albeit a day late. I had to think about this one.

My personal view of love is that true love is finding your life partner. Now that is not to say that I did not care deeply for people. There are times when I thought I was in love, but being where I am now I would say that I wasn't. At the time I had not yet experienced true love. That I feel I found with my husband.

Now I did have previous relationships and there are 2 people who stick out in my mind. That at the time I cared greatly for and will always hold a special place in my heart.

My on and off relationship over 5 years with Dan, was in a sense my first love. He was a skater boy and I adored him. To this day almost 10 years later I still have contact with him and his partner, we have known each other now 15 years wow. He has a beautiful little boy. Aside from my husband he knows me best and we can talk about anything even to this day. He always has and always will be one of my best friends.

I also had a long term relationship with a guy named Jon. We lived together for a few years, in which I learned cohabitation is bad before marriage, but I degrees. We were just not meant for one another and things ended on a bitter note and I am responsible for that. I feel a lot of guilt for how I treated him  when the relationship came to an end and I wish I handled it differently.

Both of theses guys, now men, were very special to me. One knows it and I hope someday the other realizes it as well. They will always hold a special place in my heart and I have so many fond memories.

But when it comes to true love that title falls to my husband. He taught me what true love really means.

Left over fruit smoothies

This is a super way to use up any fruit that is nearing the end of its life.

Leftover fruit smoothies

Fruit juice of some sort 
Overly ripe fruit of your choice
Frozen fruit
Yogurt of your choice

Today I made a mix using what I had on hand:
1 single serving size apricot yogurt
1 overly ripe banana
A handful of ripe strawberries
One sample size bottle of multi vitamin juice 
3 cups frozen berry mix

My combo resulted in 3 servings. You can add more juice and yogurt for more serving portions.

Just blend together in a blender starting at the lowest setting and when it no longer sounds like it is chopping turn it up or pulse a few times. 

If your combination is bitter you can add in a little bit of honey to sweeten it up.


Monday, March 14, 2011

I left my heart where

Day two of the blogging challenge is talking about the meaning of your blog name.

The name of my blog is Ich liess mein Herz in Deutschland, which translates to I left my heart in Germany.   I started this blog originally as a travel blog when I came one a visit to Germany. When I thought about going home, I realized that a Germany would always hold a special place in my heart, but the core of the meaning was that I left my then boyfriend behind. And in doing so I left my heart in Germany. Luckily I came back two months later and married him. Now I left my heart in the US with my family, lol, if we could just annex Idaho and replace it with Germany so I could drive in between the two I would be set.

And just for fun here is my very first blog post.

Two weeks
It's hard to believe that I have been in this beautiful place for two weeks now. Even harder to believe that it has been 25% of my time here. I came in search of answers, I found them and found myself even more complexed by the perplexities of international love. I had wanted him before, I had even longed to be with him, but now having been here, I cannot imagine life without him. As much as I hate to admit I look now not at six weeks remaining, but rather six weeks left. Till we find ourselves in the same situation 9000km apart. I love it here, and in reality would do anything to stay. But it is easy to see that some things are just not plausible. I hope and pray that someday this beautiful land will become my home.

Meal plan Monday

Alright back into the swing of things. Here is a look at our meal plan for the week.

B- Bagel with cream cheese & Strawberries
L- Left overs
D- Abend Brot

B- Yogurt
L- Sandwich & Carrots
D- Leberkase, baked beans, Brusselsprouts

B- Oatmeal, apple
L- Asian Noodles
D- Abend brot

B- Semolina, apple
L- Sandwich, cucumber
D- Spatzle with linsen soup, Brusselsprouts, dinner rolls

B- Bagel with cream cheese and an apple
L- Chicken noodle soup & grilled cheese
D- Abend brot

B- Sausage scramble
L- Sandwiches with carrots
D- Fried potatoes with quark, green salad

B- Rolls
L- Sandwiches with cucumber
D- Tuna melts, bbq noodles, corn

Make sure you stop my for over 300 meal plans each week.

So what is for dinner in your house?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well I am trying to get my blogging groove back and I thought this would be a fun way to do so. I am gonna copy Frau from over at West family adventures and follow her 30 day blog challenge.

So lets jump right in.

Day 1
Introduce yourself

My name is Serena, ut you guys know me as Rena, a nickname I have had my whole life.

I am a 26 year old American living in a small village near Heilbronn Germany with my German Husband and 3 month old son. I have lived here since 2008. I grew up in the Portland metro area.

15 random facts about me
1. I love forums almost as much as I enjoy blogging
2. I love to give people I love dog names as a term of endearment, for instance my son is Snoopy
3. My father is a paster
4. I read magazines from the back cover to the front
5. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the real kind, not the OMG thats OCD fad
6. Both of my parents were in the military
7. I used to be a licensed private investigator
8. My dream job would be to be an museum curator
9. I am obsessed with Leonardo Da Vinci oh and Robert Patterson
10. My dads family is Apache
11. I named my son after a name I heard on TV
12. I love reality TV shows. but not that junk like survivor yuck
13. I heart books
14. I really want to learn to sew, I have a machine, but need to learn how to use it
15. I love kitty cats and really want to convince my husband to get me and Snoopy one

Well I hoped you learned something new about me today. And feel free to join me in this blogging challenge.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Loaded fried potatoes

One thing that has always driven me nuts if the size of potatoes here. When I buy a bag of potatoes they range in size from ping pong ball to tennis ball. Not very baked potato friendly if you ask me. So I sought out to find an equivalent to loaded baked potatoes and this is what I came up with.

Loaded fried potatoes

Potatoes cubed (amount varies on potato size, I use about 10-12)
1-2 onions diced
2 cloves garlic diced
Cut up Traditional or cubed Bacon (pre cooked)
Sour cream
Shredded Cheese
Oil (your choice)

You can add any ingredients you like, I have done this before with peppers and loved the outcome. 

Prep work:
Cut up your onions, potatoes, and garlic
In a wok warm up a thin layer of oil across the bottom (do not skimp on oil, too little oil will result in soggy potatoes)

Let's get cooking:
1. Add you diced garlic into the pan and let simmer until fragrant
2. Add in your onions and cook until caramelized
3. Next drop in those potatoes, fry until they are fully cooked with a nice crisp brown exterior.
4. Add in your bacon
5. Melt in some cheese

Serve with a bit more cheese sprinkled on top and a glob of sour cream


A beautiful morning

Wow, it has been far too log hasn't it. I have so many ideas for blog posts coming up, still working out the kinks to find balance in my life post baby.

Things are going well for us, Teenie is approaching the 3 month mark. It is hard to believe that he's the little monster who used to kick my tummy everyday. We learn so much together everyday and he has been such a blessing. :)

So for those of you who have been wondering here is a look at Teenie these days

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Home Keeper's Journal

This week’s Homekeeper’s Journal is about Spring Time Plans.
In my kitchen, I plan to ….. attempt to make more from scratch. To try and make some items that we would otherwise end up buying premade.
Plans with the children ….. I plan to find a mommy and baby course to attend. I got a voucher from the city as a baby gift and need to put it to use. 
Plans with the husband ….. He mentioned something about checking out sealife in Speyer next weekend. 
Plans for my house ….. catching up on all that I have fallen behind on. And establishing a routine that keeps things from backlogging.
Garden Plans ….. I keep saying I want an herb garden and everytime I try I kill my plants. I need to get a book about herb care and try again. I would also love to get some row planters and grow some of my own veggies. 
Other Plans ….. hmmmm, well I would like to get a membership to the library and check them out and also attend the womens breakfast and international mommy lunch get togethers. I also want to attend one of the expat meetups in Heilbronn. :)
Make sure you stop by and check out what the other ladies had to say. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Homekeeper's Journal 2/9

A day late but hey, better late then never right. They say the brain physically shrinks during pregnancy and takes 6 months to regain full capacity so I am just gonna play that card for the next 4 months :)

I am alive, I am well, but as you can imagine adjusting to life with a newborn takes some time. So I am working on getting my groove back. 

In My Kitchen this week ………  
I don't want to talk about my kitchen this week, especially not the fact that it looks like post world war II Berlin, nor the fact that I did not make one meal from my meal plan last week. As for this week, well I am using up the food I did not do last week. And if I have 20 uninterrupted minutes I sure hope to rectify the wrong that has exploded into the mass chaos of my kitchen. 

Foremost in my thoughts this week ……..
I need to get back into the swing of things. To adapt my old routines and add in the new to regain some control and serenity in my life. I also need to make some effort to get out of the house and to reconnect with people here, I have some long overdue phone calls to make.

I’ve been so busy with ……..
a newborn. He is a blast but a lot of work as well. But he is a angel bless his heart and I have so much fun with him. I am so blessed to be his mommy. Things have gotten easier and routines established and so the pieces are starting to fall into place and some tranquility is restoring itself. But I wont lie there is still plenty of chaos everyday ,)

Could someone please …….. 
Come hang out with us. Not much to do in these neck of the woods. 

I’ve been wanting to do this for so long ……..
Finish that Homekeeping journal lol, well one of these days I will. 

If I manage things just right …….. 
I will find a way to balance all aspects of my daily life and still find time for myself and per sue my hobbies. 

Make sure you head on over to to check out everyone else's journals 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meal Plan Mon(Tues)day January 31, 2011

Hey guys, 

Here is another look into our kitchen for the week.

Breakfast will be a mix up of yogurt, oatmeal, cereal and fruit.

Lunches- Sandwiches and rice pilaf

Dinners Mon- Thursday will be abend brot.

Friday dinner: Linsen Tacos (carried over from last week)

Breakfast: Bacon waffles (new recipe)
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Pasta with chickpeas and broccoli with baugettes (new recipe)

Breakfast: warm rolls with wursts
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Tuna Tabbouleh salad (new recipe)
Dessert: Apple taschen

So what is for dinner in your house this week?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Hey guys,
I hope all is going well with you. I am still working to get my groove back lol. But it is going well so far. Last week was my first week alone with baby Luca and I did not break him so we are off to a good start :)

My menus are actually gonna be a bit different for a bit, different as in a focus on vegetarian, beef, and fish, why you ask would I not use pork in the land of the schnitzel, well long story short we have a major food crises going on at the moment and as a result our poultry, eggs, and pork are tainted. Now I normally try not to go off on hysteria about food contaminants I am not a bio addict by any means, but as a nursing mom I think it is best to play it safe for a while. I am not avoiding all products with egg and those meats, I do not have the time and energy to go die hard vegan and make everything myself, but we will be avoiding the fresh products. It has been said the organic versions of these items are safe, but if the pocket book hit is not enough to deter you the fact they are sold out in most stores will. 

So here is a look at our week:
Monday- Thursday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, yogurt, or cold cereal with fruit (DH takes rolls to work)
Lunch: Odds and ends (DH takes sandwiches and veggies to work)
Dinners: Abend brot

Dinner: Potatoes, spinach and wursts

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon
Lunch: Soup with rolls
Dinner: Lentil Tacos with rice

Breakfast: Rolls
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Mini Meat loaf, potatoes, and a veggie
Tea time: Apple struedel

So that is fresh meat once in the week. Hey maybe it will make a nice dent in the food budget lol. We will still eat cold cuts on our abend brot nights. I actually want to start making my own breads and salads for those nights too. :)

So what are you eating this week?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quick and Easy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Hello folks,

I wanted to share a recipe with you today. Must apologize for the lack of pics, but I assure you its quick, easy, and tasty :)

Note, this recipe uses a German seasoning packet, I would replace that stateside with a cream soup (mushroom, chicken ect).

2 Knorr Broccoli Graten Packets (Or cream soup)
2 cup rice
100 grams cheese of your choice
400 grams or 1 head broccoli

Start by blanching your broccoli, cooking your rice, and mixing the seasoning packet according to the label. I did it all at the same time on the stove top, but you could easily do the rice and broccoli in advance. At the same time pre heat your oven to 230c. 

Grease a baking dish and mix the cooked ingredients together.

Add half of the cheese and stir into the mix. Spread the second half along the top.

Baked for 20-25 minutes.  


Serves 2-3

You can also make tons of variations by adding in other ingredients, next time I plan to add bacon cubes. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

Luca's birth story

This post is a birth story it will not be appealing to all people and it will contain things that may be considered graphic or TMI. My intent is not to be graphic or vulgar and I wish that I could tell this story and replace it with words like gum drops and popsicles but then it would not be much of a birth story now would it. Please feel free to skip over this post there will be lots more homemaking, expat and frugal living posts as well. 

Thanks for you understanding - Rena


It has taken me nearly 3 weeks to come to terms to get to the point to write this out and even now I am to the point where I am telling myself to do it. I am doing it in part to share with family and friends (and yes I consider my readers friends) who have expressed interest, but I am doing this mianly for myself.

Having said that a lot of the memory has faided and while I am a bit saddened that I cannot recall every detail I realize that was crucial in my acceptance of what happened. You know I used to be the kind of person that laughed when people moaned and groaned about how traumatized they were in thier birthing experiences or how they felt violated, and I am appaulled that I was ever so insensitive because it is something you just cannot fully understand until you have lived through it. 

This is a love story but also a tragedy. It has a beautiful ending but is also full of lost hope and shattered dreams, but this is our story and I hope that it reaches out to someone and maybe they can relate or better prepare themselves if they ever find themselves in a similar experience. 


I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy, well let me clarify uneventful by German stadards which still meant having the crap scared out of me multiple times by worse case scenarios, but in the end all was well. In the weeks leading up to delivery baby Luca was doing well he sank on his own, the placenta was in place and the doctor and midwife even mentioned that they thought he may come early. We eargerly awaited his arrival attending geburstvorbereitungkurs and partnerabend in preperation. We had so much fun preparing the home for baby and took some beautiful maternity photos.

On the Friday night before my due date I noticed some mousture in my underwear, we monitered the situation but ended up going to the hospital Saturday morning to get it checked. They did a CTG and tested for amniotic fluid but all was well. The did say they thought the baby may be over 4 kilos and that c section may need to be held in the back of our minds. That was good because it encouraged me to open up to that idea and I did a little reading on c sections. I had an appointment for Sunday origionally, my due date for a check up in the hospital but since we were already there they said just to come back Tuesday. The baby was still a bit higher then he should be and I was only dialted to less then 1 cm and partly effaced. Did I mention the doctor here was amazing oh I adore her, her husband is also from east Germany and she talked to us and answered all our questions, oh and she will come back into the story later.

So my 40 weeks came and went, I spent the days with hubby and my mom who were both here and on Tuesday we headed back to the clinic. I had awful pelvic pressure and had the typical end of pregnancy oh goodness get it overwith feeling, but I was in good spirits, tired and uncomfortable but in a good frame of mind.And on Tuesday we headed back to the hospital for a check up. Same as usual CTG and ultrasound. This time they measured the baby smaller but also noticed that the amniotic fluid was lower. She asked if I had noticed any leaking but I had not any more so then when I came 2 days earlier to get checked, but it was not dangeriously low. I was sent home and told to come back Thursday and that they would likely induce then so be prepared. Which I already was I had started bringing my hospital bag to visits just in case. 

So we headed off to do some shopping. There was a camera on sale at Saturn for a great price so we went and bought it and then headed over to Kaufland around 1pm, my mom and I checked out c and a and Toni ran into Rossmann. I made my all to common bathroom run at which point I noticed quiet a but more mouisture then usual, not a movie style gush, but wet through to the pants, enough to cause discomfort. So I headed back and told my mom who was at a bench waiting for me and then told Toni who was on the phone at the time with a co worker. We prepared to head back to the hospital to get it checked and see if it was actually my water breaking. On the way out we grabbed food- currywursts with fries for my mom and me and a bockwurst for Toni.

When we got back to the hospital we headed to labor and delivery. Immediatly we were stopped by a midwife who enforced the one person rule and sent my mom back into the waiting area, which was nothing more then a few chairs in a hallway. Toni and I headed in. Again they did a ctg, but the midwife was able to feel the contractions even without the machine, though I had no pain yet. I was beyond excited but a but suprised that they did not test the fluid as they usually did. They said that I would have to be admitted at this point so Toni headed down stairs to check me in and at that point my mom came back in. Toni later came back and both were allowed to remain a while.

I was then moved into an actuial kreißaal delivery room because all of the labor rooms were full. I was uber excited. The contractions were visible on the CTG but I did not have any pain. A bit later at shift change when the new midwife came on duty once again we were told only 1 person. I said in the infoabend I had been informed that I could have 2 people in the labor room just not in delivery and she said no under no circumstances so mom went back out into the hall. At that point they said I could take a break from the ctg and was free to walk around for an hour. During this time one of my neighbors was in labor and screaming through the kreißaal. I remember laughing with Toni and telling him how freaked out I was and that I was happy to get away. Toni wanted to shower so he ran home and I went up to have a coffee with my mom in the cafe (or rather absurdly overpriced snack stand of a joke). So we hung out for an hour and then headed back down. I am not sure if I had light contractions at this time yet but I was not in pain, perhaps more discomfort. We headed back to the room and hung out for a while till Toni came back and then once again switched out. 

A bit later a labor room opened (I assume the moaning lady who was now screaming bloody murder poor thing note after 4 hours she delivered via c section) and we moved there. The contractions started to build more and more and the discomfort as well. They checked me and no progression was made in dialation so they said at 1 am they would induce if there was no progress. We decided to send my mom home due to the lack of a proper waiting area and the fact they refused to let her in. Toni ran her home and during that time I ate dinner and played on the computer chatting on facebook and on a forum. Toni later came back to join me.  At one point Toni ran into a girl from my birthing class coming in with contractions, but I did not get a chance to see her before she was sent home and told to come back later.  

The contractions picked up throughout the night and it was starting to look good as though everything was progressing well on its own. The contractions were about 3 minutes apart. At that point I first asked for pain meds and was given something not sure what it was but by no means a narcotic. I was given the choice of pill or suppository, an told the latter worked fasted, needless to say I took that option. I started to feel better and spent some time hanging out with Toni and playing on the computer. We had another shift change and this time a nice young midwife came on duty. I told her I was starting to get uncomfortable and asked for actual pain meds and she suggested I take a bath in the relaxtion bath which I did. Man was that bathroom lovely let me tell you and tha bathtub was huge. It felt great. The contractions did not go away, but it allowed me to relax to the point in which I could use relaxation techniques. Daddy also enjoyed it because there was a bench and he was able to lay down and take a shirt nap, the rooms only had a single chair for him to sit in. Nothing like the lush US delivery rooms with furniture.  The bath really helped but the contractions kept getting stronger and stronger, so I got out and headed back to the labor room. I think at this point I changed into the delivery clothing I brought just because it was easier at this point. 

The contractions kept building, at this point I started turning into the scary women I mentioned earlier, although I was not screaming but loudly humming through the contractions. My contractions were steady and increasing and the midwife checked me and said I had progressed and therefore would not need the induction she then came back with a pain med. I think first they tried something homeopathic, uck, but later she came back with some type of medication for cramping and something for pain. I am not to sure of how they work but it was supposed to relieve pain in conjunction with one another and that they did. She administered them slowly and sat and talked with me and breathed through the contractions. That friend I mentioned that was there earlier and sent home actually came back and this time was admitted, so we were in rooms across from one another lol. 

The midwife disappeared for a bit and I was feeling much better. I was cheerful and excited. Even posting on facebook and a forum I frequent. A few minutes later the doctor came in to check me. She told me that I had not progressed, apparently they had a disagreement about finger size and measurements. And she said that the medication had worked too well that the contractions had actually lessoned, which she said meant they were not real labor contractions. Now I still to this day do not understand how one can have contractions that are not real, perhaps that was the language barrier and she meant they were not progressing I really do not know. But she said that in light of such we would need to induce. This was around 1 am. So I was given information to read and a waiver to sign. I was told they had a gel and a pill form and I took the pill I believe. Again we went back to waiting.

Within the hour the contractions greatly intensified. I reiterated that I wanted an epidural, but was told I could not get one until I progressed passed a certain point. It was either 2 or 4 cm. I think 4. So we waited and waited. I become more like the scary lady moaning with each contraction. Eventually they checked me again and said I had progressed enough for the epidural. So they called the anesthesiologist and said he would be there shortly. 

When he arrived we were moved back into a Kreßaal room. I was changed into a gown. They did the normal prep work and the doctor sat with me and held me as they did the epidural. And at first everything was great. It worked well. But I noticed that I still felt pain on one side. The anesthesiologist hung around and adjusted the epidural. It seemed to be working well enough for a while.

Then things got messy and my memory is a bit blurred so bear with me. I did not know until later that I was given an additional induction medication called wahen tropfen, or contraction drops, shortly after they did this things went south. The contractions increased in frequency and pain level. I expressed concern that something was wrong and was told to breathe through it. This went on for about an hour. 

I became increasingly upset and frightened as the contractions became closer and closer and stronger. I had an incredible pressure and felt the need to push. I was checked and they said I must be wrong, perhaps I needed to go to the bathroom. I asked if i could go and they said no. I had thought I was given a walking epidural, but they said I could not get up and sat me up on a bed pan an left. At this point hubby had stepped out, he was rather upset and became physically ill as the labor progressed and I became more distressed. He had thought the midwife was staying with me but she left. I then got stuck half propped up on this metal bed pan, unable to lay down with horrible contractions and out of the reach of the call button. That is when I flipped and got hysterical. At this point the contractions had become all but constant. I expressed something was wrong multiple times, and each time I was told oh this is normal you are just afraid. I was treated as a first time mom alarmed by labor. I was also never given a cathedral with the epidural, which meant I was left to wet myself and left laying in it for hours. 

My hysteria increased. My husband actually had made a video which is only audio that I had the chance to listen to. I was screaming help me and that I was so afraid, it just broke my heart to hear such a precious moment forever shattered because my voice as left unheard. They eventually called the anesthesiologist back and he gave me an additional shot it still did not work. At this point the contraction pain was constant there was no breaks anymore. There was still contractions that came and went much stronger, but also a constant tremendous pain. I told them over and over something was wrong. 

I begged for help. I begged for a c section. I even asked my husband to call the emergency services to have me taken to another hospital. I remember the doctors all standing around and talking about their options, at this point it was such a blur. At some point during this I was given a homeopathic medication against anxiety and after that did not work I was given a shot of valium to calm down. The finally said they would consider doing a voluntary c section at my request. The doctor again came to check me and she said that at this point I had not progressed past 4 cm and that my cervix was swollen so a c section would be medically necessary. At this point they said it was still not an emergency so I would have to wait a few hours while they assembled a team. They had to give me medication to suppress the contractions. 

A team was arranged and I was prepped for surgery. I was shaved and put into a cap  and finally given a catheter, then taken into the OR. Hubby was given scrubs to change into. I remember the anesthesiologist testing to see if the spinal was working spraying cold on my shoulder then my hip. I was shaking like mad and they gave me a muscle relaxer. I remember looking around the room and how many people were there, I remember the blue cloth lifted up over my chest so I could not see down. I even remember them prepping my stomach with disinfectant. The anesthesiologist continued the tests for a few minutes, and at that point I recall him saying full narcosa and he shoved a mask in my face and that was that. 

At the same time hubby was in the hall. No one ever notified him that they were deciding to use a fell anesthetic. No one told him he could not go in. They just left him in the hall and kept telling him in a minute he could go in. He did not know what was going on until he heard cries. After that a midwife brought the baby out and he could see inside the door and saw me intubated. 

Hubby was able to go with the midwife to check the baby. She was really nice. She joked with him, he asked if it was his baby and she replied, I don't know, he said well did it come from my wife, she smiled and said yes. He got to watch her do all the normal tests and then they dressed Luca and gave him to Toni.

I was taken back into a kreißaal room, actually the first one we were in, and I was knocked out about 20 minutes according to hubby. I remember opening my eyes and apparently asking for my glasses according to Toni lol. Then I saw him holding a towel and I asked if that was him and he gave me the baby. I started chanting he is so beautiful over and over and Toni said I was just as loud as when I was screaming for help lol. I remember he called my mom to tell her he had been born and he put the phone up to me and I said the only words that came to mind, 'he is so beautiful'.

Baby Luca was born at 7:31 am on Tuesday December 22nd. He was born after 16 hours labor, 2 failed induction attempts, a failed epidural and a failed spinal. He was born via c section under full narcotic.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I had come to terms with the birth and what had happened. My intent with this post is not to be vulgar but to share my story in a way that you understand why I felt my concerns were left unheard and why I felt the way I did.

I feel like so much was lost. I never got to hear his first cry, I was afraid at a time that I should have been overjoyed. My husband was so upset he vomitted and no one felt the need to inform him of the decisions made, ones with very serious risks. He never got to kiss me before I was knocked out or tell me everything will be ok. But the fact he was just left in the hall terrified with no idea of what was going on breaks my heart. 

But the journey is not what matters here, the outcome is. My mom told me something that has affected me more then anything. She told me that photo above showing me meeting Luca, that that was my moment of birth and that nothing and no one could take that away. 

Check back for a second post about my experiences post op. :D

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sundays in my city- the pacifier

Welcome to another Sundays in my City. 

Unknown Mami

Today has been a quiet day at home, my mom few out Friday and we are becoming used to life as a trio. So far so good. Tomorrow will be my first day alone with Luca and I am nervous to say the least.

But the highlight of the day was when our 3 1/2 week old son pulled his pacifier out and held it. We got him holding it on video and photos of the progression. I wish we could have caught it all on video, we had thought he was just holding it so we were just taking photos. Oh well, I am sure there will be many moments we are not fast enough to capture, but what we did record was great.

Check it out!

Make sure you stop by to check out everyone else. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Menu Plan Mon(Tues)day

Sorry folks I am still adjusting to baby time, so I thank you for bearing with me. I must say even having been a college girl a few years back who could master the all night cramming and 4 am papers, that is nothing to prepare you for parenthood lol. I guess it is just one of those things you really have no clue about till it up and smacks you in the face. hehe

So sadly this is the last week with my mom. You will notice that my plan is different then usual. Normally we eat abend brot or cold meals Mon-Thur and warm meals Fri-Sun and that will return next week. But I have enjoyed cooking for my mom and exposing her to (or coercing her to) try new foods. 

So here is our plan for this week, just dinners (My days are not set in stone, so I am just gonna do list format)

1. Bratwurst with green salad, brat sauce, and potato salad
2. Rinderfleish with spatzle and brat sauce
3. Bratklössen with knodel and butter veggie mix
4. Leberkase, rotkohl, and boiled potatoes
(Those were moms choices and you may note that many are dups, she wanted to have her favorites again before she left)
Now end of the week will be simple since we had hot meals all week. I do not want to do cold, because I want to cycle back into my routine next week and a week of cold meals sound icky lol.
5. Soup with rolls
6. Fishsticks, boiled potatoes, and a frozen veggie
7. Steakpfanne with rice and rolls

Now for breakfast my mom and I have been having oatmeal. Toni takes 2 brotchens with him to work with coild cuts, cheese and veggies.

Lunches mom and I have been eating left overs, odds and end and small things I pick up. T has 2 american style sandwiches with cold cuts, cheese, and veggies.

Now do not forget to stop over at for over 300 menus weekly.

Oh and an update T started his new position this week so wish him lots of luck, he is excited but hates change, can't say I blame him :P 

Now I have a lap top with a dying battery and a sleeping baby on  my legs, and we all know to never wake a sleeping baby so I must run.

I go the births tory two thirds done so do check back. 

Hugs- Rena

Sorry for the lack of the normal graphics my mac died so I am on a different computer booooo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sundays in my city- Baby recap

Hey guys,

As promised I am back with Sundays in my city. I am gonna start with a recap of life with baby Luca thus far and end it off with a recap of our day and some photos.

I will be posting weekly updates about the baby on Wednesdays, this week I will also recap his birth story and the first 2 weeks in upcoming posts. I will continue with Sundays in my city and meal plan monday as well as my normal frugal living, expat, and homemaking posts. So while there will be baby posts of course, no need to worry the conent I wrote before will also remain :D

So just to recap baby Luca was born on December 22nd at 7:31 am. He was 53cm long and 3640g. He was born via c section under full anesthesia after 16 hours labor, 2 failed inductions and a failed epidural. It was a very traumatic experience to be honest not due to having a c section but the care I recieved was subpar and I will go into details later, but I have come to terms and I think I needed to take the time to do so before sharing my story. I am now at peace with what has happened and can only refocus my energies on the outcome a beautiful little boy, the way he arrived is trivial. 

After 6 days in the hospital including Christmas we headed home. Over New years my inlaws came down to meet him. And my mom has been an amazing support and help during this time. 

We have had some struggles with breastfeeding which I will likely talk about in another post, don't worry I will have big warnings before any topics that I feel people may want to skip over. But he is doing well. He just crossed the 4 kilo mark this week and is growing like a weed. He is so strong. He kicks and has just started discovering his arms and hands. He can even lift his head, don't believe me?? Well check out the evidence below.

All in all we are doing well. Daddy went back to work last week and my mom flies out this Friday. Next week will be my first week alone and I am scared to death to say the least, but I am sure we will do fine. 

So now lets talk about my Sunday. 
Unknown Mami

Today was a pretty quiet day at home. I worked on catching up on housework and hanging out with baby Luca. We had a pretty uneventful day until baby Luca lifted and held his head. Before he was bobbing a bit but now he holds his head up. I know you think I am mad but I assure you it happened. We had taco ring for dinner and are getting ready to do babies hand and foot prints. 

Here are some photos from our day:

Make sure you stop by to check out everyone elses day.


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