Friday, April 30, 2010

Sundae on Sundays... how tempting.

So I was just browsing through some of my coupon/deals blogs (Penny Pinchin' Mom is one of my favs!) and stumbled across THIS:

Maybe I've just been away from the "fast food nation" for a bit too long, but I find this to be such a bizarre concept. A fattening glazed doughnut piled high with ice cream and slathered in chocolate syrup... am I the only one who finds this combination odd and slightly repulsive?

Last Doctor's Appointment.

We had a doctor's appointment this morning, which we nearly skipped. Oops! As we were laying in bed praying last night for our son, I found myself wondering just how big he is right now. Thanks to a brain that constantly makes strange links between things, I stopped John mid-sentence and nearly shouted, "We have a doctor's appointment in the morning!"

Everything went well this morning. I got the stamp of approval to fly as planned on Wednesday. I passed all my "tests" and everything appears to be developing normally with our baby boy. It was bittersweet wrapping things up with my doctor here, knowing that I may never see her again but appreciating all she did for us in such a special season of our lives. We said our farewells and promised to send photos once our little guy arrives. (Although she did tell John that Hagen "needed" him next year.. her son says he is the "best man." How cute. She later told us she hoped John would return with his "whole family.") And that is just what we are now... no longer just a couple, but a FAMILY.

As hard as it is to say good-byes here, I am also excited for the hellos on the other side. I am more than excited to meet with our doctor in the States, to be able to articulate questions and understand answers. It will be strange to go from having an ultrasound and a pelvic exam at every.single.appointment to a different approach to things in the States. One thing I have learned in this crazy lifestyle of mine... is to be flexible!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

27 (and 1/2) weeks.

Our little guy suddenly doesn't seem so itty bitty anymore... and neither does mom. I am having a hard time imagining how in the world my belly is going to continue to stretch over the next three months. While I have been slathering myself with pregnancy massage oil, I fear there may not be a way to avoid stretch marks if I keep expanding so rapidly!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nursery Sneak Peek.

I fell in love with this bedding BEFORE we even found out we were having a boy. So, as soon as the doctor said, "It's a boy," I just knew I had to use this somehow. The problem? The price tag. I think I've managed a way to still use pieces from the collection without purchasing the entire bedding set. I won't reveal my entire plan just yet, but here is the inspiration behind Baby Turek's nursery.

(Image: DwellStudio)

Just looking at this makes me excited to head home and start putting everything together! I adore the colors and, of course, the owls. I like that it is more modern than a lot of the nursery bedding choices out there. Since we are only home for a few months each year, I wanted something that won't look too "babyish" in a couple of years. John keeps telling me, "I really hope Baby likes owls." Ha! Pretty sure he'll LOVE owls if I have anything to do with it. ;)

26 Weeks.

Oops! I am behind one week in posting this... imagine that. ;) This was taken last weekend, before John's last home game of the season. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I am not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of my hubby from another road game. Only one left of the season. Where has the time gone?

Speaking of time, the first two trimesters have flown by and we entered into the third trimester having now finished up our 27th week. Our little guy is getting bigger by the second it seems. I love sitting and watching him move around and I find myself talking, reading, and singing to him more and more. I am looking forward to holding him in my arms, but for now I am just happy to have him with me 24/7.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunny Days.

John had a couple days off a little while ago, and luckily we got to enjoy two beautiful days of sunshine. The first day we spent meandering around downtown, sipping lattes and enjoying gelato while people watching.

The next morning we packed a breakfast and headed on a walk to a nearby "pond" if you can even call it that. Coffee in a Starbucks mug, homemade egg "mcmuffins", and red grapes... you just can't go wrong.

I think baby Turek also enjoyed himself as well. :) He is getting so big already!

Daddy Turek enjoyed walking around the pond looking at who knows what. He also decided that the drainage area might be a good place to sleep if you were a bum as you wouldn't have to worry about moisture on the ground. Who thinks of such things?

Then I sat outside and read while John worked out and went to meet up with some friends at a nearby lake to picnic and play some UNO in the sun. Our youngest friend looks like she had fun too. :)

We then met up with some other friends for dinner at Road House, an American style restaurant. They took us to this memorial and that overlooks Hagen which we didn't even know existed. Beautiful views, great company and delicious food made for a great evening!

The ladies:

The men:

Part of the memorial:

And the happy parents to be (with baby of course!):

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I feel like a woman!

(Yes, I am singing that song in my head as I type this.)

When I found out I was pregnant I painstakingly removed all nail polish from my toenails and fingernails in an attempt to keep as many toxins as possible away from my little one. Yes, I am one of those woman who reads everything and takes most of it to heart. Give me a rule and I will try my hardest to adhere to it. (Note: This is NOT always a good thing!)

I've been waiting until I get home to purchase a nail polish formula without all the "bad" stuff. Even though I do have some here without MOST of the ingredients I keep thinking "it's better to be safe than sorry." Until this morning that is.

At the moment my toenails are now painted in OPI's "Fuschia Fling" and I certainly feel brand new. My toes feel ready for spring and its sandals. As I was painting them I had the fleeting thought, so this must be what it feels like when a stay at home mom gets out for an afternoon away from her kids for a little "me" time. I opened the windows, applied a base coat, ran out of the room to escape the fumes and then repeated until my toenails were nice and bright.


This is where my original post ends, as John arrived home and our conversation went a little like the following.

Me: (Waiting at door for his arrival, a usual tradition in the Turek household.) "Guess what? I painted my toenails!" Although I'm wasn't expecting a joyous response, I wasn't exactly expecting the one I got either.

John: (Pretty sure he gasped.) "Ummm... Suzanne. I didn't think you were supposed to do that. Baby doesn't like that."

Me: I tried to rationalize my behavior, but ended up just feeling worse.

John: "What about all the fumes? Well, it is too late now... the stuff to get it off is probably just as bad for you."

Me: I run to the computer to spend the next 30 minutes frantically furthering my research in the nail polish department. I finally give up and decide what is done is done. I will leave it on for two weeks and find a more eco-friendly version upon returning home. (I'm all about creating win-win situations: Less guilt AND new nail polish? Win, WIN!)

In hindsight, the whole ordeal is pretty comical. I think it is one tiny lesson on parenthood in the multitude of many that are to come. Is painting my toenails a big deal in the whole scheme of things? Absolutely Not. Is it worth beating myself up over? Nope. Will I adopt many more theories and abandon them at some point along the way? Probably.

I'm okay with that. You live, you learn. Most parents are doing their absolute best to make wise decisions to protect their little ones. At the end of the day, it isn't painted or unpainted toenails that matter anyway. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sephora Savings through April 19th

I love to search for deals, and figure I might as well pass them on to you as well. If you "need" anything from Sephora, now may be a good time to stock up!

First, start your transaction from Ebates so that you will be credited back 4% of your purchase. (If you haven't signed up already use this link, and you will $5.00 will be credited to your account after your first $20.00 purchase.)

Then, at checkout use the coupon code: MADNESS to save 15% off your purchase (I believe it is only for beautyinsiders, so if you're not one already you may need to sign up for that as well. This is only valid until April 19th, so hurry!)

And... if your order is over $50 you'll get free shipping as well!


Oh springtime, where have you gone my friend? As I sit at my kitchen table it is gloomy outside and just LOOKS cold. It is probably in the 40s right now. Lovely, right? Yesterday I went outside in the morning for a walk since the sun was shining. I made it about ten steps and turned right back around it was so cold. By the time I got back up the apartment I decided to skip my down winter coat and sit down to a cup of tea instead. :)

By the afternoon it warmed up a bit though, and I took a walk down to the grocery store where I spotted THIS:

Red, juicy watermelon. How could I possibly resist? I have been longing for summertime in the States so that I can enjoy this simple, yet oh so tasty treat. It didn't disappoint... although I will admit the big, fat juicy ones in the States are much better. At this point though, I am pretty sure that even the blandest of watermelons out there would have tasted scrumptious.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Weekend.

Okay, it may be a little late but for your reading pleasure, a little recap of our Easter weekend awaits. I miss going to church on Sundays, but Christmas and Easter really make me long for home all the more. Yes, we were still able to celebrate Christ's resurrection but I miss doing so corporately. That being said, we were still bound and determined to make the most of it so the weekend consisted of watching sermons online, listening and singing along to worship music, spending time in prayer together and also spending time with friends. (Oh and basketball... lots of basketball.)

On Easter Sunday we headed to some friends' whom graciously hosted Sunday lunch. Two of John's teammates are from Lithuania, so we were excited to see what a typical Lithuanian Easter consisted of. We started off playing with this adorable little one, so naturally the day was already off to a good start.

John made himself at home and started playing with the cute dog while I tried to help out in the kitchen. Although truth be told, I didn't really know what we were doing or as to why certain foods were being put on the table and others were not. I just played along though and tried to help out where I could.

We started off with lunch, which I assumed was the only meal we were having only to find out that we would eat again several hours later! I would have prepared my foods a bit differently had I known, but as the saying goes: all is well that ends well. And of course, it did.

After getting dominated in egg cracking wars, playing UNO, sipping tea, chatting, watching the guys roam in the backyard and the eating again we enjoyed our last dessert of the evening.... some sort of chocolate/pineapple torte. We had already consumed carrot cupcakes and cheesecake earlier in the day, so this was just the finale! I think baby Turek also enjoyed the Lithuanian style of celebration. :)

The next day (Easter Monday here in Germany) was game day and our second to last home game of the year. Our little boy was just over six months old in my womb and I was frantically trying to find something, anything in my wardrobe to work with my growing belly. Thankfully I have such a sweet husband who makes me feel incredibly beautiful regardless of how I may feel. He came out to the living room where I was straightening my hair and said, "See, you found something to wear. You look beautiful."

With that, my hormonal self melted with appreciation and I told him,"Thank you for always making me feel beautiful." Because for the record, I was sitting there going over all the things in my head NOT to say to pregnant women. (Things such as: Wow... you're HUGE. Or a recent favorite: someone asking if I was "fat yet." Ummm... FAT? Pretty sure I am just six months pregnant.) Yes, an etiquette book of sorts would very beneficial for the well meaning people out there and for the pregnant women they are "complimenting" as well.

Anyway, stepping down from my soap box now. My sweet husband then responded with, "I don't have to try hard to make you feel beautiful when you already are." I swear, sometimes he just has all the right lines.

We played the reigning German champs at home, and although we played them pretty close we ended up losing steam at the end. Having traveled to an away game on Saturday and then turning around to play again on Monday didn't fare too well against a deep and experienced team.

John played most of the game, and by the end I thought I may have to walk out there and carry him off the court. I think he just *may* be over the weight limit I am supposed to lift though.

All in all we had a great weekend. John was granted the next two days off, but since he was so exhausted we decided to stay at home instead of venturing off. It ended up being a very relaxing and enjoyable break though... blog post to follow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ebates and Ebay.

For all you Ebayers out there, I forgot to mention that once you sign up for Ebates make sure you start there and then click through to Ebay to get 1-3% back from your purchase!

I did this the other day and got 3% of my purchase back in my Ebates account. Although it doesn't sound like much, it adds up fast. Love it!

If you haven't already signed up, follow this link!


We took advantage of some sunshine last week and went on a little day trip to Dusseldorf, a city less than one hour from our home in Hagen. It is always nice to get away, but even more so after such a long winter. Although the wind made our day a bit chilly, the sun shone for most of our trip. At this point I use the sunglasses rule: if I can wear them it must be a nice day.

Upon our arrival my eyes immediately scouted out a baby shop. John seemed just as excited as I was to scout out some things for our little one, and it was even more fun knowing that we were looking for anything boy related. Anything, that is, except Burberry jeans for infants which happened to come with a 150 euro price tag. John looked at me and said, "Suzanne this place is really expensive." I smiled back and whispered, "I know, just keep looking!" So that is exactly what we did, and also did pretty much the rest of the day... "window shopped."

I also had to take a few photos along the way:

We stopped for lunch as I fought off an oncoming migraine, meandered the streets and then made a stop at Ikea on the way home. I can't wait to head back when it gets a little nicer to enjoy some gelato and sunshine at a riverside cafe. Oh springtime, please come and stay for good!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cute Daddy Moment.

After two days of soaking up every ounce of sunshine we could, it is now gloomy and rainy... just in time for John's morning running practice around the lake. He just left outfitted with rain repellent gear complete with a stocking hat to keep his head warm. He didn't head out the door until he gave both me and our baby boy a kiss.

He said, "Bye son... Daddy's leaving to make our life better one run at a time."

Not only has he already been thinking about providing for our little family, but now he is vocalizing those thoughts to our son as well. The other day he told our little guy that, "I am going to take care of you son, but know that nothing in life comes easy... you're going to have to work hard for everything you earn."

I know that ultimately it is God who provides for us, but it is comforting to be married to a man who works hard no matter who is or isn't looking. I admire his strong work ethic, and I know that no matter what happens in life John will do what he can to make sure we are taken care of. I am also thankful that our son will learn by dad's lead as we teach him the following verse:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
-Colossians 3:23

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Such a small world.

One fun thing about playing overseas is that the basketball world seems to be such a small one. Even if teammates aren't necessarily familiar faces, the chances of playing against opponents that you know are pretty high. So when we headed to Bremerhaven, Germany, last weekend we were excited to see from friends from John's college days.

The guys met at half court for a little chat during warm ups. It was so fun to see them on the same court again, even if they were playing against each other instead of with each other.

This was our first time meeting their sweet little girl. Aren't her big, blue eyes just too adorable for words?

Waiting for daddy after the game:

There he is!

Side note: I have long dreamed of the day when we have a little one in tow and John is able to come say "hi" to us after his games, or for when our little one will be able to run around on the court after his daddy's games. Now, Lord willing that John is still playing ball, those days are all the closer and the my imagining will soon be reality instead!

We had too fun getting to spend time with friends that we haven't connected with in a while. It is always nice to see familiar faces while living over here, but it's even better when there is a history of friendship behind those faces.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Six Months!

We passed the six month mark this Easter weekend! Just four more months and we'll be holding our son in our arms. As he gets bigger, his kicks and movements keep getting stronger. The other morning I woke up to what felt like little feet running across my uterine wall. They stopped for a few moments and then started up again. I imagined our little guy looked a bit like a hamster in one of those wheels running around. (Only MUCH cuter, obviously.) John responded with, "He's just getting his morning work out in," which made me laugh.

As for me, well... I am pretty sure I now need to retire almost all of my pre-pregnancy jeans. They made a good run for it, but not being able to button them any longer makes me think it is probably time to put them away. Only four weeks until we return home, so I just have to make it a little longer with only one pair of maternity jeans. ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sonogram Images.

We received our CD of images from our ultrasound the other day, and I wanted to share these precious images with you. I know at least one grandma out there who will be excited to see them. ;)

But as I sit here waiting for the images to load, I have one too many thoughts rushing through my head. And, I also have tears in my eyes. Tears of joy, but tears of sorrow as well. The tears of joy come from once again looking at the images of my sweet little son. I have one of these 4D images saved as my desktop, and every time I look at it I can't help but smile.

The tears of sorrow I have come from reflecting upon Good Friday tomorrow. Being a mom, although I haven't yet met my son, brings a completely new understanding of what God did for me. For Him to send His only son, to die for me, well just thinking about it is making the tears now stream down my face. There is no greater love. I don't deserve any of His grace, yet He extends it to me time and time again. After all, it is my sins that nailed Jesus to the Cross.

But as sorrowful as that is, joy comes three days later, on Easter, when we celebrate that Jesus Christ rose again. He was victorious from the grave and extends to each of us the chance to know Him as our personal savior. For that I am beyond thankful. My life would be nothing without Christ. I can't help but to wonder how it may have turned out, who I would be today. I am still a work in progress but I am thankful that He who began a good work in me will finish it out until the day of completion. Religion may be about what we do to please "god", but Christianity is about what God does for us.

And He has done so much for me. As if the sending His son to the cross weren't enough, he has given me an amazing and Godly husband, a precious little son, a supportive and loving family, a roof over my head, food on my plate, trials to learn and grow from... the list could go on and on.

As much as I am looking forward to meeting this little guy, I am looking forward to meeting my Father face to face even more.

Yet another evidence of God's sweet grace:

I just want to kiss those little cheeks.

His perfect profile, for he is fearfully and wonderfully made.

The doctor told us he was laughing here. While I'll never know for sure if that is the case, I am going to imagine it was.

Sweet baby boy, Mommy and Daddy love you.

His tiny little foot; God's creation is truly a miracle.

I hope that your Easter season is filled with much more than plastic eggs, bunnies, and chocolates. As you carve out time to reflect on what Easter is truly about, may you be constantly reminded of God's magnificent love.