Hi! I’m Christie. My husband, Joe, and I have a one year-old, Ella, and a four year-old, Luke, along with our 11 year old Australian Shepherd, Ayla. Our
family has been living in Germany for the past 3 years but we call
Maryland our home and will be moving back in a few months.
My husband has a regular 9-5 job and I became a stay at home mom shortly after moving here. Taking advantage of living in Europe, we travel as often as possible but when we’re not away, we have a fairly regular schedule during the week. The weather here is fairly comparable to Seattle, Washington during most of the year but we hardly see any rain during the summer which is a welcomed break.
Both of my children like to wake early and have become my husband’s and my alarm clock. In the mornings, I bring the kids downstairs for breakfast and get Luke ready for a half day of kindergarten. Ella has had an obsession with yogurt lately and Luke’s been on a french toast or cereal kick. Joe takes Luke to school on his way to work while I get to enjoy some one on one time with Ella. I try to get a little cleaning done at this point but it’s usually proven fruitless as Ella is at the age where I put one dish in the dishwasher and she pulls out three.
Luke’s school is walking distance from our house which is nice to have the option. If we’re in need of groceries, Ella and I will go to the store before picking up Luke. We have a smaller refrigerator than what we were used to in the States so we go grocery shopping quite a bit more often and try not to go on the weekends as everything is closed on Sundays and Saturdays are usually reserved for family outings.
Depending on the kids’ moods, we’ll sometimes stop at a playground or cafe on the way home if we’re walking. If we decided not to grab some food along the way, I make some lunch for the kids when we get home while they watch some television. We’re in the process of getting Luke to be more independent with making his own lunch but it’s been difficult in this house because our refrigerator is located very high up where he needs a chair to reach it and because clumsiness runs in the family, I’ve been slightly terrified of him hurting himself.
This is a photo of our living room which is only ever clean after the kids are in bed. We spend a lot of our time here as the doors on the far wall open up to our balcony and it’s nice to have them open on a nice day. We don’t have screens on our windows or doors (I’ve found that hardly any Europeans do), so in the summer, there can be a lot of fly swatting.
After lunch, I put Ella down for her nap and my afternoons are usually filled with my son putting toy “surprises” in plastic Easter eggs for me or hiding things around the house and asking me to go in search for them. When the weather cooperates, we spend time outside. I usually weed the garden or mow the lawn while Luke plays with his monster trucks in the dirt.
When Ella wakes from her nap, I give the kids a small snack and we venture out. Our house is located inside of a park so we’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by nature and will usually head to the rose garden or take a walk downtown. If it’s raining, we’ll stay in to play and video chat with the grandparents.
We usually return around the time Joe gets home from work. It depends on the day as to who cooks dinner while the other entertains the babes. Sometimes we’ll order in but because of the language barrier and cars not being allowed in the park, it’s been difficult to have food delivered. We try to eat almost every meal at the table which wasn’t always so when Luke was little. As he’s gotten older, it has become important to me that we talk about the day and have family time when possible without distractions.
After dinner, the kids get a bath and a little time to play and head to bed around 7pm. Joe and I grab a wine or beer and cuddle up on the couch to relax and binge on our favorite series at the time.
Our weekends vary a lot where we find ourselves walking downtown, enjoying local festivals, vacationing, playing in the yard, or doing some much needed cleaning.