Monday, November 30, 2015

Rome Sweet Home: Part 1

So that reason I was talking about that we waited so long (longer than any other baby of ours at 4 months old) to have Bobby baptized was for this.  We had him baptized in Rome this past Saturday, November 28th by our good friend, Fr. Brian who is currently living and studying in Rome.  Plus his godparents just moved to Italy a few months before and were able to meet us there and share an apartment for the week.  And the big kicker when all else fell into place for this to happen is that the Mass of thanksgiving for his baptism was going to be at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church on the altar of St. Robert Bellarmine's incorrupt body who our Robert was named after.  Doesn't get anymore neon lights than that, does it?  It was like the words,"Have your baby baptized here!" were flashing in neon lights over the city of Rome even though (and it's a big even though) you just made a massive move overseas, have been living in a hotel forEVER with your six kids, and haven't even received your car or household goods or moved into your house.  The list could go on there, but I decided to trust in God and my husband who very much saw the neon lights before I did through my hazy baby fog.  Besides when all is insanity anyways, why not go to Rome and make it even crazier?

So this post is not actually about the baptism itself.  Those pictures are going to take some time to go through.  However I wanted to explain why in the world the eight of us would take off to Rome when we just got to Germany and are so very not settled.  This post is actually about our first full day in Rome and what we did.  There were many places in Rome where, as Bobby's godfather said, we had to "take a picture with our eyes" because there were no photos allowed.  Keep that in mind as you read all about our trip in the coming days.

Day one, we woke up before dawn to get ready and head to St. Peter's Cathedral in Vatican City for Fr. Brian to say Mass for us in St. Peter's tomb.  Talk about a rare and awe-inspiring way to start the week leading up to Bobby's baptism.  Wow!  Father Brian has been trying to get reservations to say Mass there for over a year, so it was a big deal.

The Pieta is in the background.

We grabbed breakfast right after that across the street from the Vatican square.  Then we went back for the tour of the Vatican museum given by Father Brian for us and another family he knew that was in town that week.  This was great mostly because we got ear phones and were able to listen to what was being said by Fr. Brian even if it was loud in the room, four year olds were asking a million questions, or we couldn't squeeze in close enough.  Brian and I were able to hear way more than we would have been able to without the earphones.  We all learned a lot, especially the children.  Fr. Brian kept saying how impressed he was that the children listened so well and asked good questions.  There were fifteen kids in all, but six of them were four and under and didn't listen too long.  

Fr. Brian talking about this painting into his microphone that we could hear in our headphones.

Since you are supposed to be silent in the Sistine Chapel, he had to do all his explaining for that out in the court yard using these posters to explain.

Bobby alternated between riding in the Ergo and my Little Frog wrap, but he sometimes just needed to be free, so I'd take him out and hold him facing out for a while to give him a break...until my arms or back couldn't take in anymore.
 We went stroller-less for the first time ever and it worked out okay, although we could have done more if we'd had it because I could have walked further and the children could have rested more.  We'll have to take it on a case by case (or trip by trip) basis to decide whether to do it again or not.

Drew and his buddy wondering what happened to the rest of that statue

St. Helen's sarcophagus 

Isaac looking at a mummy

The tapestries

The maps of Italy, commissioned by one of the Popes

 After what was supposed to be a three hour tour (think Gilligan's Island here,)  we headed to a late lunch that was a good long walk away. It really was a four and a half hour tour.  The kids were exhausted and wanting the promised gelato.  The adults were wanting some real food.  Adults won out and we did lunch first, then gelato.

This is where we ate.  We took up the whole bottom floor of the place.  Here you order a size of plate and they give you meats, cheese, bread, fruit, and veggies.  It was delicious, but I think I tasted squid ink on accident, and I could have done without that.

Italy turned out to be relatively easy to find dairy-free food for Judah.  They don't do too much butter, so you just have to avoid the cheeses mostly.

This is the big meat plate we got for the group, but it turned out not to be enough.  Apparently Italy isn't known for it's consistency in it's portions.  We asked for 12 medium plates and they gave us this which was not equal to what the medium plates looked like times 12.   This was a common them throughout the trip where everyone ordered basically the same thing, but didn't actually get the same thing.

So what was supposed to be a plan for a half a day of activities turned into a very full day.  We didn't get back until 5pm ish.  Everyone was pooped, but it didn't stop us from staying up way too late visiting.
On our walk home--- Our day was from before dawn to after dusk.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

4 Months Already!

Wow!  That went quickly!  We've been in Germany for almost three weeks (in this hotel!) and Bobby was born four months ago.

This month Bobby moved to Germany and stopped sleeping through the night.  He naps really well some days and others does the forty-five minute nap tease.  He continues to be a total angel baby, chilling out in all sorts of places in the hotel.  On the floor, on the bed, in the stroller, but no longer on the couch since he's a rollin' already.  He has rolled from his back to his tummy and from his tummy to his back many times now when on the floor.  He smiles a lot and rarely gets upset or cries.  He does have his days where he more easily startles or has to cry himself to sleep, but more often than not he goes to sleep on his own without any crying.

Proof of the roll!  Trying to take a photo and he rolled in the middle.

As you can see he is also holding up his head much better and longer now.  He has started making the sweetest cues and squeals.  Everyone adores him.  Drew asks to hold him all the time still.  Judah goes and plays with him and often calls him "Bob" in just about the cutest two year old voice ever.

On Day two of being officially four months old, he napped like a textbook four month old. Two two hour naps and a 45 minute evening nap, which I know won't always be the case, but I enjoyed it all the same.

Look at those amazing legs!  Don't you want to reach into the screen to squeeze 'em!

I have no weight or height for him yet as we still don't have our van and are not able to go to a doctor appointment just yet.  Nor do we have our house stuff with our scale to weigh the little fellow.  I'd guess he's around 18 lbs, but I'm not sure.

Drew loves him to pieces!
And he is all ready to get himself baptized this week.  He'll be our oldest aged child to get baptized at just over four months, but you'll see why we waited so long very soon.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

These two look a lot alike.

Since he was born, I've thought Bobby looks like Isaac.  Here are good comparison photos.

Isaac ~4 months
Isaac 7 years and Bobby ~4 months
Isaac was chunkier than Bobby, probably because he nursed all night long still at this time.  Bobby's not quite so demanding and sleeps better at night so far.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Where does my angel sleep?

We outgrew our house, you see?  Eight people just don't fit well in a four bedroom house, especially when one of the bedrooms is small, one of the people is a two year old, one is a baby, and one is a mommy who is the lightest sleeper in the entire world.   So Bobby was in our room since it didn't make since to move Judah into the boys room when we were moving a few months after Bobby was born.  I really tried to just keep him in my room, but I wake up at every noise.  About a month in, I moved him and his pack-n-play around the corner to our master bathroom and cracked the door.  That's when he started sleeping through the night, not every night, but gradually more and more often.  When the movers came, we moved him into Judah's empty room.  Judah moved into the boys' empty room in a borrowed pack-n-play for that week, and the four big kids had a sleep over on mattresses in the girls' room.  Well, I had to ship Bobby's Moses basket and pack-n-play ahead so I kept the pad from his Moses basket and his bumpers.  I made him a little bed on the floor since he wasn't rolling yet.  However, he didn't seem to like it so much and was not sleeping as well.  So I made him a makeshift bed out of the suitcase and the pad and bumpers.  This worked well.

Then we got stuck at the airport and our flight delayed.  We ended up in a hotel for one night.  I didn't want to unpack my suitcase for just one night, so I put coats down in the tub with his Moses pad and bumpers.  Yes, he slept in the tub.  He was safe and we were all able to sleep better.

Then when we arrived in Germany at the hotel, he was back in the suitcase again.  This time, however, we put him in the closet.  This doesn't work as well since I can hear when he wakes up and makes noises since the closet has to be cracked for ventilation.  Usually he would just go back to sleep before I'd ever hear him if he was in another room.  It's still better than him being totally in the open because then we might wake him up when we are reading or getting ready for bed.

Then I bought a used European stroller that has a bassinet attachment.  So he is at least in a real bed even though he's still in the closet.  He gets his own room in a couple of weeks when we finally get to move in to our new rental house.  I don't know what he'll do with all that space.  I'm hoping he likes it.  A lot.  Enough to go back to sleeping through the night again, at least sometimes.  He's still a total angel right now though.  He's happy and peaceful almost all the time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Saying Our Sad Good Byes

As previously mentioned, we had a little over a week in our empty house after the movers took our stuff and the plane ticket to Germany.  What do you do when your house is empty?  Step one, borrow mattresses, sheets or sleeping bags, pillows, fans (if you are crazy like me and like white noise to sleep with,) and a small couch.  We didn't need a couch, but it was super nice to have.  We were selling our dining room table and so we got to keep that until just a couple days before our flight  Plus, we were getting rid of our extra TV so we kept it until the last minute.

Next thing is you realize that you can't do anything in the kitchen because you will quickly realize how much you take for granted, like can openers and sharp knives.  Then all your friends invite you for dinner and fill all your evenings with good food and conversation.  So we had a week of good-bye dinners.

There's a bunch of the good-bye pictures that I can't find right now too.

It has been so hard to leave our friends and our children's friends since we were so settled this time, having lived here for more than five years.