Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Another Girls' Weekend (I'm getting a little spoiled!)

The last weekend of October my friend and I took a trip to the Bodensee, AKA Lake Constance.  It is bordered by Austria, Germany, and Swizterland.  We stayed in Lindau which is an island connected to the rest of Germany by a bridge.  It was a quaint little town where we could walk from one side to the other in 15 minutes, tops.  We parked in one of the few places on the island to park a car which was by the train station.  We arrived very late on Friday due to waiting on husbands to get home from work and such.  It was a 3 hour drive, but we stopped for a dinner at an Italian restaurant and split a pizza and had salads.  Therefore, it was dark and quiet when we rolled our luggage across the cobblestones from the parkplatz to the hotel.

We awoke to a delicious breakfast prepared by someone else (That's all that matters when you are on vacation from mothering!)  Then we stepped out into a glorious and very comfortable with a coat on weather.  That's pretty amazing considering it was October in Germany.


Our day was filled with light houses, lion statues, a harbor, and swans!


See the swan coming right towards me!


Silhouette of lion statue and the lighthouse across the harbor
Don't forget a crazy old church too!  Every trip has some old religious wonderfulness.  This church is the Church of Saint Peter, also called Fischerkirche, or the Fisherman's Church.  It's more than 1,000 years old.


These frescoes were of the Passion of Christ and the lives of St. Peter and St. Christopher.  They were done by Hans Holbein the Elder.  There is another fresco of the Crowning of the Virgin Mary by a an artist from Lindau.  This Catholic Church is no longer in use, but it remains open to the public squeezed between some shops and houses.  The whole church was the size of my living room.

Hans Holbein the Elder's Frescoes

The Crowning of the Virgin


This is the center of town where they have an actual glockenspiel that plays everyday.
We took a peek and a prayer in the parish church of Lindau called the Lindau Abbey.  The next day was to be Sunday, so we checked out there Mass times and decided to come back the next day.

This is the working Catholic church in town that we went to Mass in on Sunday.  What a treat!

Corner chapel in the back


The ceiling was my favorite part.  It made me feel heaven.

The ceiling



My travel buddy

We went up the lighthouse.

View from the lighthouse


Another view from the lighthouse



Selfie at the top of the lighthouse


On our way home, we went ever so slightly out of our way to see this basilica in Birnau.  I thought the Abbey was beautiful, but this was exquisite beyond words.  The stinky thing is they don't let you take pictures inside the church.  I bought several postcards to aid my memory.  The Stations of the Cross were a highlight.  They were three dimensional stations coming out from the wall.  Veronica wipes the face of Jesus was special because a cherub/angel held the cloth with the face of Christ next to the station.

Basilika Birnau

I arrived home to find my family entertaining friends for dinner without me.  That's when I got the news that Bobby walked the length of the living room multiple times while I was gone.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Coming Along Nicely

On the way home from Drew's swim lessons, Bobby fell asleep.  Love sleeping babies!

 Well, it happened again!  I went out of town for the weekend and Bobby learned a new gross motor skill.  I am beginning to think I am hindering his progress somehow, but again I think it is just that I am mommy, a sensitive soul who responds much faster to him than, um, daddy.  Bob took his first steps when I was at the hospital with Hannah over night and he learned how to walk further than three steps over my girls' weekend.  In fact, he will walk nearly across the room without falling sometimes.  He is happy to show me how he can do it.  Proud is an understatement to describe his precious smiling face when he stands and walks.


He was briefly into coloring, but then it turned into throwing the crayons and demanding more.

He also put two words together right after I got back.  He said, "Mama, down," and "Night night, Judah."
He loves Isaac's orthodontist appointments because of this!  His brothers love the TV they have in there on cartoons.  They actually beg me to stay so they can watch TV.  I'm sure to onlookers this is pathetic and seems like my children are addicted to TV, but in reality it is because they don't get to watch much any other time.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Eban Emael Tour

Well, how did I  miss this one?  This post was waiting with pictures only in the drafts and got overlooked when I was going back in time to catch up.  So I am taking you back to when my parents were here.  

On the way home from Aachen, we stopped in for a tour of the Ebam Emael Belgium fort that was supposed to be impregnable and was taken by the Germans in WWII in about thirty minutes.  My mom and I thought this would be a quick tour and whoa we were wrong.  It was hours long.  We got home pretty late, but it was an enjoyable tour.

Before the tour, we had a light lunch at the Biergarten outside the fort.  We all had toasted sandwiches.  It was another beautiful day.  




Inside the mountain, in the fort, it was a little chilly.  There were a lot more stairs than I imagined.  The guide said it would take three hours on bike to go through all the tunnels.  We got to see the canons and control rooms and hear all kinds of cool stories about the fort and how it was taken so quickly.






Bobby was practicing standing and clapping for himself.

He was cheered on by his big brother.


My sweet, sweet boy!  Judah has just been the most precious thing lately.  He shares and says sorry in the sweetest way when he makes a bad choice without even being told, sometimes even without being caught.  He is so considerate of other people's feelings.

And he willingly went to Papa Boat on the last day of their visit.


Heading home!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bobby is 15 months old. How can that be?

Bobby is 15 months and is supposed to be walking by now according to our doctor, but he's not.  I'm going to give him a little more time.  He can take up to three steps at a time, but that's as far as this cautious boy will do right now without sitting or falling.  I think the need for socks and Robeez right now are severely hindering his progression I haven't found sticky enough socks that will actually keep his feet from sliding yet.  He is, however, climbing a good amount now.  he is climbing onto boxes, chairs, the open dishwasher door, and into the bathtub (maybe head first, but unscathed.)  He is also running around the house on the ride on car toy.  He can get on and off by himself now.


Bobby is developing his temper early.  He has been hitting, biting, pulling hair, squeezing, and scratching.  Not fun.  Usually his victim is his favorite person in the world (at least in theory,) me!  I am thankful for this because he hasn't hurt any of the kids too badly, although Judah was once fooled into thinking he was getting a kiss and got a bite on the face.  A lot of this is frustration at not being able to communicate well, I think.  But more of it is when he can communicate his desires and we have to tell him, "no," he throws a fit in the form of going for whatever he can get a hold of first on me.  I am fast though so I can usually catch him before he does what he fully intends to do.  This was really hard for me to accept at fist.  My sweet easy going baby suddenly turned into a nasty toddler with a temper that seems beyond his years.  I knew this would happen because even my easiest children have gone through phases of extreme difficulty at some point.  I've come to terms with it and am working on his behavior as best I can with a little guy like him.  This too shall pass.  That's my mom motto.

Random cute picture of Judah, my sweet boy who shares and is endlessly kind to an increasingly unkind, impatient little toddler (that doesn't toddle) named Bobby.


He calls a dino an "uh uh" all because I told him about my brother calling his dino a "di-uh uh."  He thought it was funny so I kept repeating it to make him laugh and that was three months ago.  He still calls it an "uh uh" whenever he sees one.
His dimples and smile make all frustration with his behavior disappear and I am eternally grateful that God made babies and children so dern cute!  Saves 'em every time.

Judah is giving Bobby a lift.  This was an easy solution to a quarrel about who gets a turn.  Bobby actually has single-handedly reached up and got a hold of Judah's clothes and pulled him all the way to the ground on at least one occasion.

Aah, the eternal cow lick in one's hair when you have a double crown.  I'm sure it will drive me nuts one day, but at the moment it's kind of adorable.

Bobby has learned a lot of animal sounds to add to the duck, snake, and lion that he already did.  He now knows the sounds for cow (it's really more of a "Mmmm" but he says it every time so I know he is trying), dog (also says the word "dog"), sheep (another mispronunciation though as "dah" instead of "bah" but it is consistent), horse (sounds like "Nah"), bear, tiger, and any wild cat.


His pronunciation for many things is either half of the word of substituting the "b" sound for the "d."  He can say the "b" sound because he says, "Bob" clear as day, but "bye bye" and "Bah" for sheep are with "d" sounds.  The word "More" is "Mmm" just like his sound for a cow so you have to pay attention to context and signs.  Other new words (that I remember right now) I know he says and can understand one way or another are "outside," "down," and "high chair."

Oh yes, he is signing so much more now.  It really took off when he did the sign for "Please" and got what he wanted right away.  Now he is signing "Please" all over the place.  The children can not resist him when he signs "Please,"  well except for maybe Drew.  The rest just turn into putty in his hands when he does it.  No wonder he's so pissed at me.  I have to say "No" sometimes.  He's also signing the following:

All done (doing for a long time)
More
Bird
Duck
Butterfly
Fish
Cat
Dog
Hat
Banana
Apple
Eat

And then there are the made up signs that he does when he trying to tell me something but doesn't know the signs or words for it.  It's like gibber jabber, but in sign language.  He looks like he is doing a baseball call from the dugout.  It's pretty precious.


He rides backwards all over the main floor.

Standing in the absolutely cutest vest ever!