hanstein

Double steeple of the church of Rimbach, Bornhagen, Thuringia

Rimbach was founded at the foot of Hanstein Castle as a settlement of craftsmen, traders, and other service providers of the castle.

Although the surrounding aras of Hesse, Lower Saxony, and Thuringia have become Luteran during the reformation, the Eichsfeld region, to which Rimbach belongs, remained catholic; it was an ancient territory of the archdiocese of Mainz. Consequently, the church is a catholic church.

During the German division, the East German government sought to oppress religion as far as possible as they felt that religious beliefs were in the way of establishing a socialistic society. People of the Eichsfeld, however, resisted this pressure, and the region remained the most active catholic area in East Germany.

Cold Coffee & A Car Ride

Yesterday started off with what seemed like a two hour long attempt to drink my much needed coffee. Liam was eating in small increments and more often. He was also spitting up a bit and, early on, an outfit change was already necessary. After feeding him a good bottle, he was still fussy.

One of the best ways to calm him down (and work me up) is a car ride. So I changed one of many nasty diapers of the day and suited him up. He calmed down instantly when placed in the car seat, I didn’t even turn the car on yet. He fussed a bit when I started the car up but quieted down once we started rolling.

After a nice 30-40 minute long drive, we returned home. After feeding him and changing another monster diaper, I burped him, placed him down and finally enjoyed my cold coffee.

Tummy Time

So, it’s important to set aside some time each day for Liam to spend on his belly. It’s called Tummy Time, short supervised intervals of time in which Liam is placed on his tummy to exercise. Problem is, he loves the giraffe mat my mom bought for him entirely too much. When placed on the super soft giraffe (I wish they came in adult sizes), Liam instantly rubs his face around trying to get comfortable. After about thirty seconds or so he’s usually out like a light or close to it. At least we share the same passion for exercise.

Gotta talk to someone...

As a stay at home dad I obviously don’t get as much human interaction as people out in the workforce. This isn’t a burden considering I have a self diagnosed case of social anxiety disorder and don’t care much for interacting with large groups of mouth breathers. Yet, I am surprisingly affected, suffering from something not quite as severe as cabin fever but it can still be unsettling at times.

So, who exactly can I talk to? Liam who is a seven week old baby and Scarlett our dog. Do I talk to them? You bet. Does that make me crazy? I have no idea. Will I stop asking and answering my own questions? Yes. Obviously, we’re not having full fledged conversations…hell, Liam won’t even respond and Scarlett just chews on her own butt, but they’re great listeners.

Our “conversations” go well beyond the realm of normal child-parent interaction. It’s pretty common to hear a parent talk to their baby, either with baby talk (not big in our household) or stuff like “are you hungry” or “time to change that diaper” but I go a little beyond simple banter. The other day while watching the documentary, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” which is about a man with Asperger’s Syndrome and a transsexual who are stalkers of 80’s pop sensation, Tiffany (get the title?) I leaned to him and asked questions like “what the hell is wrong with people” or “is this guy serious”. While driving on the road, I often ask, “did you see that asshole”.

So until Liam gets older and starts talking it seems like this is how it’s going to be. Me sitting alone in our home, having conversations with a baby and a dog, it’s like some mid-90’s goofy family comedy. As long as it stimulates him and keeps me sane it’s all good. Can’t imagine what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in this place.

Thank you, Kinect

Some may say the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is gimmicky. It is. In the eyes of hardcore gamers, it may not serve much purpose, it may even get laughed at. I have one myself and thought it was hit or miss. Some of the games were simply created in order to cash in on the motion controls. The Gunstringer (cameo by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman!!) is a great exception.

I, however, have always been on board with the voice controls. I can communicate during multiplayer games without a clunky headset, controls aspects of certain games (Mass Effect 3!), and navigate the various menus of the console. This is where the Kinect really shines, especially if you’re a stay at home parent with your hands full 100% of the day. Now, I can be in the middle of a messy diaper change or a lengthy feeding/burping session and navigate the menus of the 360.

The voice controls aren’t limited to the main menu, I can navigate the menus of Netflix, Zune, Hulu Plus, etc. It’s great, I can even control the playback of video itself (pause, play, fast forward, rewind, etc). Now I can enjoy my favorite movies and television shows without interruption. Although, sometimes the Kinect gets a bit confused when I am shouting commands over the cries of my son.