I’m Lost

This February marks 6 consecutive years since I’ve been living abroad.  In those 6 years I’ve managed to go ‘home’ to Vancouver once or twice each year. Usually I get the homesick itch every 9 months or so (and it’s usually because I miss my favorite food or restaurants) and a short 2 week visit curbs the feeling. 

But what happens when it doesn’t feel like home anymore? 

Ah, the inevitable lost feeling. If you’re an expat living abroad or have ever lived abroad for a period of time you’ll know what I’m talking about. The feeling that no where yet everywhere is home, but you no longer feel like your home is home. 

What?! 


Let me explain..

We went back to Vancouver this past summer for our annual trip, but mainly to introduce O to our family and friends there, and Canada to O. I was so excited to have everyone meet our son and to get my fill of ‘home’. 

The first two or three days was great, filled with guests, family, friends and a wonderful baby shower my best friend and mom planned for us. We were over the Jetlag quickly and really settled within a few days. But after the weekend I felt awkward, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling but I found myself aggitated, uncomfortable and out of my element. My husband noticed it too and kept asking what was wrong but I couldn’t explain it, I didn’t even know what I was feeling. 

We took a day to ourselves and went on a family adventure downtown and did some shopping and went for lunch. This was when it hit me.. 
I was standing in line at my favorite store which I dream about shopping at once a year (if you’re from Canada you’ll already know I’m talking about Aritzia.) The woman in front of me was paying and the cashier complimented her bag and the cute outfit she was buying, and I thought to myself “how annoying that must be, all the woman wants to do is buy her outfit and probably run over to Starbucks. She doesn’t want to have a conversation with a complete stranger.” Then the woman started talking back and telling her about her recent trip and her reason for buying the outfit. Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it, I had lost my Canadian-ness. 

In Germany, you rush through line ups, don’t make small talk (barely say hi to people walking down the street) and mind your own. So after my thought in the line up I realized I had adapted to German standards (expected after living here for so long). 


Then it got me thinking, I do nearly everything differently than I used to. 

I was sad. I was hurt. I felt betrayed, upset at myself and most of all lost. 


You see, in Germany I’m a foreigner, yes I speak German fluently but I don’t think like a German, I don’t act like a German and my name stands out like a sore thumb! But in Canada I’m a foreigner too, I don’t act Canadian in social settings anymore, I speak English, obviously, but everyone always tells me that I speak with an accent and I don’t feel like it’s home anymore. I’m stuck between being a foreigner anywhere I am and it sucks! 

In the end, home is where my husband and son are. Whether it’s in Germany or Canada or Africa, I’m happiest with them. Regardless of my nationality, they get me and my mix of actions. I won’t be so caught up on where I am in the world anymore and more focused on the memories we’re making. 


Part of me will always be Canadian and part of me will always feel at home in Germany, once the next chapter of our lives comes in sure part of me will be stuck in that place as well. That is after all, the joy of being an expat, isn’t it? 
Thanks for reading! Xo

Sleeping baby

I have to say, ever since O was born he’s been a pretty good sleeper but I do think that the environment and routine we have implemented is really helpful.

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To be honest, before I had him, we had envisioned him sleeping peacefully beside our bed in his crib until 6 months, then move him into his own room -I have to laugh at the thought of it. I know some people where this works for their family and that is great! Every family works differently, however, for us, this just wasn’t how it worked best.

First off, O had amniotic fluid still in his lungs after birth (a normal situation) which caused him to kind of choke, cough a lot. Of course, this is scary, and being first time parents, we were terrified. So, my husband and I took turns sleeping while the other held him while he slept to make sure everything was okay (this may be extreme to some of you but it gave us peace of mind).

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So after the first week or so, he was used to, and we were used to, him sleeping around us. I was also exclusively breastfeeding him, so it was extremely unpractical for me to have him sleeping in his crib, have to take him out, feed him and try to put him back afterwards since he’d always fall asleep while he ate. So, I would have him sleep next to me, when he would get hungry, I heard him routing and would feed him laying down, after he would fall asleep I would then too. My husband was able to sleep through this all (thank goodness because he had to go to work the next day), my son wasn’t put through any discomfort and I was able to easily fall back to sleep. It was (and has been) wonderful.

I know a lot of people are not keen on co-sleeping, but to be honest, there are so many advantages to it. You can read more about it here.

But back to the beginning of our routine. We initially started with a routine at about 6 weeks when we were able to start bathing him. We have since changed his bedtime, but the routine always stays the same regardless of the time. This has also helped us with traveling in different time zones.

So we start with some calming activity, usually reading a book, going for a walk or gently playing with a toy. Afterwards I bathe him. After the bath I blow dry his hair, massage his body with coconut oil, and put on his pjs.

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From there we go into the bedroom (everything is dark to avoid stimulation after the bath) and I breastfeed him in the dark while laying down, generally he falls asleep, however if he doesn’t I simply pick him up and hum a song while holding him and he falls asleep. It is a very simple process and he never cries or fusses and I am at peace because I know he’s gone to bed happy (there’s something about him going to bed crying that disturbs me).

For napping we also have a (somewhat simpler) routine. We close the blinds turn on some running water white noise and gently rock him to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes, sometimes 10 and he’s generally easy to put down. His naps are usually 30 minutes in length and he has one nap a day for 1.5 hours in the morning. I was interested in starting a routine, but to be honest it never worked for us and I was more stressed out than anything.

Now he’s such a happy baby and has made his own routine more or less.

What’s worked for your family’s sleeping arrangement?

Thanks for reading!

Life as seen through my phone

I have been wanting to post an update only with pictures as we have had so many things happen in the past two weeks. Of course, Christmas and New Years Eve, but one week after New Years Eve its my birthday, then one week after that it’s my husbands birthday, and of course in between life happens. So here is an update of our life these past few weeks as seen through my phone.

Enjoy!! xo

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This cake is AMAZING! I will post the recipe soon but I made this for my husbands birthday, it will not be the last time I make it!
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This was dinner for my Birthday. Ricotta gnocchi, recipe is from Araxi restaurant in Whistler, Canada, I will post this one soon!
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A little (alcohol free) champagne to celebrate my 27th birthday.
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Of course, without alcohol
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My delicious Angel Food cake birthday cake.
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This is THE funniest story!! My husband bought 27 candles to put on my cake for my birthday. While he was lighting them, some of them started to spark, I questionned why they were sparking and he chalked it up to faulty wicks. Then the flames got bigger and were going strong. I tried to blow them out and we realized, they are joke candles that you cannot blow out! Needless to say, I panicked, this is the only picture we got and had to through raging flaming candles in the sink while the icing on my cake was melting from the HUGE flames. I was so scared while it was happening (I hate fire) but we now laugh at it all the time! haha