November

November hit us up with full-on fall mode and was packed with gloomy and gray days, changing leaves, and alternating days of cold and rain. It was non-stop sickness in these parts. Other parents warn you that the first winter a kid spends in KiTa results in them being sick for what feels like forever, and it’s pretty much true. In the past 7-8 weeks, B. has had one thing on top of another, ranging from the flu and a stomach virus to a bacterial infection and a cold or two. It’s rough emotionally for him and for us, because one of us has to not work to stay home with him (and usually, because I’m a freelancer, it ends up being me). Not only that, but one of us typically ends up getting sick too, which is just a bummer. Crossing our fingers and pressing our thumbs that it slows down for the rest of the year.

So what else? As a direct response to cold weather and feeling under the weather, we ate a lot of homemade soup in November. Plus Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays because it’s centered around food and friends, and I like to have that piece of home with me here in Germany. We ended up having five friends over (1 Brit, 2 Germans, 1 Argentinean, and 1 American) and enjoyed a lovely afternoon/evening of talking and eating. And November also means Christmas markets start up again, so I went to one with my new friend I met in Fahrschule, and it was lovely (complete with vegan soup, blueberry Glühwein, and roasted cashews).

Speaking of Fahrschule, there’s some good news on the bureaucracy front. First off, I got my German driver’s license this past month, which means I can once again drive here (my American one was valid my first six months here, and then it expired in February and I couldn’t renew it by mail). Since I’m from California, I had to do both the written and the practical exam, and it was a huge source of anxiety for me, but it’s done! And the second piece of good news is that I went to the Ausländerbehörde and was granted my permanent residency. So let’s just say I’m feeling pretty posi about Germany these days.

On the flipside, I’m not super stoked on the election results in the US. Trump is a terrible human being (not to mention totally moronic and completely unqualified for holding any political office) and I am disgusted that he has given a voice to so many hateful people who feel emboldened by his win. I feel sad for my friends in the US who have to face the realities of what that means firsthand, and I feel guilty that I “got out” (you know, whatever that means). So of course, this past month also involved a lot of friend time, because it’s important to focus on people you care about and listen to them and just try to be kind in spite of all the shit in the world.

Moving on, I got a new phone, the OnePlus3. I dig it.

I also read a lot, and am doing much better on my reading goal. Here’s what I read (or at least finished) in November:

“Daytripper” by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
“Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater” by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
“We Live in Water: Stories” by Jess Walter
“Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing” by Jennifer Weiner
“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi
“The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel

Want to see more month reviews? Read about January here, February here, March here, April here, May here, June here, July here, August here, September here, and October here.