Three nurseries in nine months (babies are on the move!)

Move-in day: another clean slate *sigh*!
Getting there: mobile from Ted and Christina hung, Matryoska doll curtains made by Mom (Jamie), rocking chair acquired by Dad (Jake)…
Her crib with its homemade (by LeAnn and Nana Debbie) afghans and mattress cover (peeking out)
And… finished! Lamp and changing table acquired, pictures hung, rocking chair repainted…

…and today’s project and the finishing touch except for one knob I need to find for the closet door…

Rain gutter bookshelves!!  Special thanks to Dad Jake for the help in executing this vision!

Let’s not move for a little while… unless something really great comes up. 😉

Baltic/East Prussian Honeymoon I: Bonn –> Kaliningrad, Russian Federation

I know, ‘how lame to update your blog while on your honeymoon,’ but I’d like to remind you that I am already pregnant (28 weeks today, as a matter of fact), and the end of a travel day plus Jake not needing/wanting his laptop equals the time is right for my first post!

We left Bonn about 8 am for Berlin where we caught the train to Gdańsk, Poland. I only slept from about 1 am to 5 am the night before but Jake didn’t sleep at all so this is what the majority of our 11-hour train journey looked like to the casual observer:

On the train from Berlin to Gdańsk
On the train from Berlin to Gdańsk

We were able to find our place just fine, went out for some mushroom and cabbage pierogies (me; Jake went with ‘Gdańsk guinea fowl’ which was actually chicken) and after checking out the town square and getting some stuff for breakfast (and pistachio ice cream) climbed into a bathtub surrounded by candles.

The next day after checking out a pretty cool ship we found a really beautiful restaurant where I ordered trout and Jake was just in general really excited.

A happy husband awaiting his herring in Gdańsk
Happy husband awaiting his herring in Gdańsk

Our next destination after Gdańsk was Kaliningrad which was just about 120 km away, but we’d heard it might take a bit longer at the Polish-Russian border which turned out to be true in our case.

Our driver was gruff but patient and we were able to get a walk to the old part of the city in before it got dark, after which time we lit all the tea lights again and watched the Tetris documentary The Ecstasy of Order we’d been saving for Russia.

View from our digs in Kaliningrad.
View from our digs in Kaliningrad.

After breakfast we walked to an aquarium/submarine museum which was pretty fun, then an art cafe Jake had read about, and then an art/history of Kaliningrad museum.

After all of that walking my city dogs were barking and we got Sushi Love for the second night in a row, watched Silicon Valley and ‘chillaxed’ (even though I hate that word and all made up words).

Now we find ourselves in the Curonian Spit, just an hour away from Kaliningrad but right on the Baltic Sea!  Let’s see what happens…

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Being seven months pregnant should not prohibit one from crawling around Soviet submarines on her honeymoon. -Jame
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I’m so happy to have found this cherry picker.

Wedding – II

Tomorrow will be a week since our beautiful courthouse wedding and reception at Dad’s. We are still processing everything that’s happened, but we do realize how lucky we are for all of the help from our families and friends that day and leading up to it.  Here are some of my favorite shots of our reception!

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Wedding cake by Barb McClain. Program by Ted. Lilacs picked at Dad’s. Mason jars donated by Chuck Hanson and decorated by Sara, Mom, and me. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Heels for moccasins, suit for linen. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
In true Wisconsin style, brats and beer underway immediately upon arrival. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
In true Wisconsin style, brats and beer underway immediately upon arrival. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Seed packets by Mom and Kay, sign pained by Nina. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Seed packets by Mom and Kay, sign painted by Nina. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Chris and Marina man the grill while Sara supervises. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Moving toward cake and coffee time. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Moving toward cake and coffee time. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Understandably nervous to cut into this work of art. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
And the band begins, right on time. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
And the band begins, right on time. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
I can't believe it's over and I got him. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
I can’t believe it’s over and I got him. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
My beautiful niece Stevie Jean, named after our Grandma Jean who was (is) always there in spirit. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
My beautiful niece Stevie Jean, after Grandma Jean. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Meeting of families. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Meeting of families. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Thanks for saving your dress for me, Mom. Photo credit Ty F. Webster. Photobomb Scott Delfosse.
And the band played... Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
And the band played… Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
…And played. It could not have been a better day. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.

Wedding – I

Tomorrow will be a week since our beautiful courthouse wedding and reception at Dad’s. We are still processing everything that’s happened, but we do realize how lucky we are for all of the help from our families and friends that day and leading up to it.  Here are some of my favorite shots of our decor and the courthouse.

Burnin’ outta Karfiguela Falls, Burkina Faso, at Dad’s, courtesy of my brother Ted. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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And then Ted surprised me with another montage we hung on the milk house. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Our delicious three-tiered lemon wedding cake with french vanilla frosting was made by Barb McClain. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Another of Ted’s banners, this one of Jaco and me in a cheeky embrace in front of the Istanbul Gezi Park riot police, let our guests know (for sure) they were in the right place. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Jaco and Dad pose for a quick snap before Dad drives the gents to the courthouse in the 1955 Buick. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Almost 50 friends and family came from seven US states and one Canadian province to the Winnebago County Courthouse to watch us tie the knot. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Birdseed in the ear! Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
Courthouse crew
Courthouse crew. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.
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Telling my ring bearer/flower girl Lily what a perfect job she did while Julian and Jaco look on. Photo credit Ty F. Webster.

Sardinian Babymoon! Installment II: Porto Alabe –> Dusseldorf

Crawled around in some witches' tombs "Necropolis of Chirisconis" outside Porto Alabe - which date back to the stone age
Crawled around in some witches’ tombs “Necropolis of Chirisconis” outside Porto Alabe
And checked out one of over 7,000 Nuraghe - 3,000 year old towers. Skill in design!
…and checked out one of over 7,000 Nuraghe (3,000 year old towers).
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Guy on the Nuraghe
Getting up close and personal with Cumpultittu Beach near Porto Alabe
Getting up close and personal with Cumpultittu Beach near Porto Alabe
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Beautiful renovated (in 17th century) cathedral in Cagliari, Sardinia’s largest city. Jaco lit a candle for our baby in a church we went to just before this one!
Flying back to Dusseldorf
Flying back to Dusseldorf from Cagliari
...via Rome (thanks for checking out my pictures!!)
…after twenty hours in Rome (just enough time to swing by the Vatican!)

Sardinian Babymoon! Installment I: Bonn –> Porto Alabe

Left Bonn at 4 am for our 10:30 flight to Pisa from Frankfurt. It wasn’t too bad getting up at 2:30 am but after lunching in Pisa and our train to Casciana (3 pm) we had about a 5 km uphill walk to our countryside B & B. It was worth it, though – stunning, quintessentially ‘Italian’ views, good lighting in the room. (There was other good stuff too but those were the highlights.) Worked for awhile and fell asleep to rain on the skylights.

Our first morning after cappucinnos and bruschetta we got a ride into Casciana where we were gonna soak in a thermal bath but were told pregnant women weren’t allowed! Had fun instead picking out stuff for Ted’s birthday and goind for lunch – I got a ‘bianca & verde’ pizza on crust Jaco correctly referred to as a big saltine (which incidentally I’ve wanted and haven’t been able to find.) Jaco had seafood calzone with octopus.

Feeling rested after our second night at the B & B outside Casciana, we left to go back to Pisa and then caught a train to Livorno – where we met our overnight (MOBY) ferry to Sardinia. Was happy we’d booked seats in advance – we were using it as our accommodation that night – as we were able to turn the lights down and stretch out in our own ‘zone’ – being halfway through my first trimester I took advantage of being able to sleep anytime, anywhere.

Our ferry to Olbia from Livorno, a short train ride from Pisa. Flew to Pisa from Frankfurt for 5 euros each!
Our ferry to Olbia from Livorno, a short train ride from Pisa. Flew to Pisa from Frankfurt for 5 euros each – tx Ryanair!

Left our second B & B after a nice Valentine’s Day full of sunshine, walking, gelato, and Cheers.  The next leg of travel entailed train from Olbia to Sassari and Sassari to Alghero, and a bus from Alghero to Bosa, with Bosa being the next destination.  For Valentine’s dinner I had clam spaghetti because it has been looking really good to me (I know preggo mamas aren’t supposed to eat shellfish but I was okay) and Jaco had a steak.

And just because I feel like it here are a few incidental Valentine’s Day deep thoughts by Jame: single life, while fun (albeit not mutually exclusive) ‘heart-lonely;’ something I miss – past (static) childhood; something I don’t miss; grandmother’s house now with pictures of me from 1996; miss people who are gone, don’t miss people who are still here but act gone.

 

Switching trains in Sassari en route to Alghero from Olbia. We didn't take this one, but it was almost 100 years old!
Switching trains in Sassari en route to Alghero from Olbia. We didn’t take this one, but it’s been chuggin’ since the ’30s.
Jacob near the seaside in Alghero. A very defensible city!
Jacob near the seaside in Alghero, a very defensible city.
Bosa was next, a bus ride down the coast from Alghero. The red building on the left is our guesthouse. Good artichoke pizza here...
The red building on the left is our guesthouse in Bosa, a ride down the coast from Alghero . Good artichoke pizza here…
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Bosa
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Bosa

Our guide Antonio picked us up after our stay at the Bosa B & B, took us to the supermarket, and then drove us to his house in Porto Alabe, which was so close to the ocean we could hear it when we were lying in bed at night even with the windows closed. Found a path which led to a four-hour seaside walk to a tower: the view from the top – and from the ‘pill-boxes’ along the way – quite spectacular.

Taken from a 'pill-box' in Porto Alabe outside Bosa, where we'd stay the longest (4 nights).
Taken from a ‘pill-box’ in Porto Alabe outside Bosa, where we’d stay the longest (4 nights).
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Porto Alabe
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Porto Alabe

*2015* End of year highlights *2015*

Mr. Cleo embracing his inner kitten playing with the lights on Christmas Eve.
Mr. Cleo embracing his inner kitten on Christmas Eve,
Ted and Christina receive the baby mobile Sara made for them.
Ted and Christina receiving the mobile from Aunt Sara,
Zuchi "helps" Mom and I tie Jaco's Christmas quilt.
Zuchi “helping” Mom and me tie Jaco’s Christmas quilt,
Presents lit up on Ma's snowy porch.
Presents lit up on Ma’s snowy porch,
Quick trip up to Crivitz New Years' Day
A quick trip up to Crivitz on New Years’ Day

(Me mostly liking BB guns for the photo ops)

My brother Ted and his beautiful new baby daughter Stevie,
My brother Ted and his beautiful new baby daughter Stevie, 
And just the best snowman I've seen in a while.
and the best snowman I’ve seen in a while.