Sunday, January 31, 2016

Numbers and Other Stuff Drew's Learning

A new friend of mine reminded me of this simple activity for hands on learners when I mentioned how I thought that's what Drew was and that he is having difficulty with a handful of his numbers.  I set it up for him the next day, and I promise he has barely missed a number since then.  Another added bonus was that he did the activity all by himself once I got him set up.  Now that he knows the first ten, he's been very curious when he sees two numbers together and always asks me what that number makes when such and such number is next to such and such number.  He's the kind of boy who has a million questions in his pocket at all times, and it is refreshing to see this new variety of curiosity take the place of some of the ridiculous questions I get pelted with all day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Twins and More of our View

Genna and Judah look a lot alike; you may have noticed.  The big eyes are the big giveaway.  Genevieve has worked very hard to be his buddy, and when he is not in the throws of a two year old fit they get along pretty well.  She is wonderful at putting him to bed when I am not home (he doesn't quite tolerate it when I am home.)  She wakes up he earliest, and often he does too.  So this is when she cultivated a relationship with him.  She will read to him, take him to her room, or fix him breakfast.

I mentioned our view is rather breathtaking before.  Here is another viewpoint, our front terrace.  It is right off our living and dining rooms.  In the warmer seasons, Brian and I already have plans to sit out there after the kids go to bed and read to each other.

This is a rare clear day for Germany.

Here's when we had a dusting of snow.  It's been such a mild winter, and for that I am glad.  It's hard enough to move to a foreign country this time of year, but having it be snowing and freezing would have added an extra punch.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Our Family Table

We outgrew our dinning room table a long time ago.  We were squeezing seven around a table meant for six at its biggest.  So we gave it away to some friends before moving.  Once we got somewhat settled here, we started hunting for a unique and large table, ideally seating ten.  We went to a flea market that we heard was good, but hit it on a rainy day and few vendors brought furniture.  Then we made a full Saturday of it and went to all the antique stores in our area that had been recommended to us.  I found one I loved, but it was made of pine and just pushing your fingernail into it left a permanent mark.  The last store we stopped at, I sent Brian in to give it a quick look while I sat with the kids in the van.  I was getting tired and two of them were sleeping.  He came out and told me I had to go in and look at this table.  It had some sun damage and the sweet lady who owned the shop said they had just received it and she was going to sand and stain it.  She even found a bench to match it and threw it in for a small fee.  It is a one hundred year old, Brittany style table.  The carvings in the backs of the chairs and the table legs are amazing.

The bench has a storage area in it.

Here it seats eight or nine depending on if you put three people on the bench.  It has another leaf that pulls out and we have one more matching chair.  We could fit two on each end if needed and two more when the second leaf is pulled out making it possible to fit thirteen if we had company.  I think we'll be trying to buy two more matching chairs before we leave Germany.

I can't find the pictures of the legs, but they are carved people, each leg unique.  All of the chairs have different people's profiles on them as well.  I only have two of them pictured here.  We love it!  As you can see we started using place mats since Brian is a little worried about scratches.  Anytime we buy something nice I am always reminded of why we shouldn't buy nice things.  I love nice things.  It's just that we have a lot of kids and, although I try to teach them to be respectful of peoples' things, I don't want to spend all my time worrying about stuff getting messed up.  Because stuff does get messed up no matter how hard you try.  The first scratch is the hardest, right?

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Castle in the Sky

Brian's buddy was having a celebration dinner in Stuttgart which is just a few hours away.  We made a little trip out of it and stopped to see the Hohenzollern Castle on the way there.  I've heard it called the "Castle in the Sky" and for good reason.  It is waaaay up there for those of us who don't love heights.  It is apparently one of the six best castles in Germany, of which I have seen only half.  

In this particular spot, it was super windy and colder than a frozener.  ;)

He was miserable and freezing cold by the end.  All our toes were froze since I really wasn't thinking about it being that much colder up on the mountain when I packed for our trip.

Pretty Amazing View

The statues were very well done.  the creases in their clothing very lifelike.  
The kids thought it was funny that I loved this perfect crease in his pants, but tell me that doesn't look like a real soldier!

On the way home, we stopped at the Ritter Sport factory/museum.  They make chocolate, and the kids were super excited to go to the chocolate shop and find treasures of rare chocolate flavors to buy with their own money.  Much to everyone's disappointment, it was closed every other Sunday.  Wouldn't you know, we landed on the wrong Sunday.  A lady walked up when we were sitting outside the shop doors and said something in German that I assumed was about it being closed.  Hannah informed me that she said, "What a pity."  However, what was not a pity was the cafe with more than 5 different flavors of hot chocolate.  It was amazing!  The kids and I all got one (except for Bobby and Judah, who's allergic.)  We got two marzipans, one bittersweet, and two others that I can't recall.  Lecker!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Funny Tail Tales

The girls (who may be my biggest blog fans) told me these two stories were blog worthy.

Funny story #1:

This morning I was getting ready while Drew and Judah played across the hall in Bobby's room.  I heard Judah suddenly say, "No, Drew!  I don't have a tail.  I have a penis."

Funny story #2:

Last night, I was nursing Bob around 3am in his rocking chair.  When I stood up to put him back in his bassinet, I heard a jingling that sounded like chimes.  I tried to look around in the dark to see if I hit a toy or something.  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, but it just kept jingling.  I turned around many times thinking it was coming from behind me, but never seeing anything.  I thought maybe Brian had hung wind chimes outside his window or something and was about to lay him down when I saw my shadow on the wall, and I had a tail!  My tail was jingling!  I laid him down and removed the little toy monkey with a chime inside from my cozy, fuzzy pajama pants.  Someone had left it in the rocking chair and the Velcro had attached itself to my pants.  Even as exhausted as I was, it gave me a chuckle.

P.S.  Another funny thing that happened was Drew called the frigerator the "frozener" which I love!

And since this post is all funny stuff...

Judah used the dot markers and somehow got it all over his face.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

6 Months Old! Oh Boy!

Bobby turns six months old today.  My angel is

Growing like a weed...

Bobby's almost outgrown the bassinet, but I'm keeping him in a little longer.  I'm guessing he won't make it until month 7 in this though.
Weight 18.5 pounds, 59 percentile
Height 27 inches, 59 percentile
Head circumference 45.6 cm, 88 percentile

Moving to size 4 diapers, but still in 6-12 months clothes mostly.  He wears some 12-18 month jammies.  He's got the chunky thighs and all, however, his stats at the doctor  say he didn't gain much weight.  He weighs 18.5 lbs, making him my smallest baby at 6 months.  

Learning to sit...

He can sit without support, but only until he reaches for a toy and loses his balance.

Rolling over (tummy to back,) but not from back to tummy...(I swaddle at night until they are rolling well enough to sleep on their tummy.  Therefore, I am looking forward to that milestone.)

Starting to babble "da da da" sounds and will copy me doing it sometimes...

Learning to hang in the jumperoo, but hasn't figured out the bounce part yet...

He doesn't last very long in it either.  After he grows out of it, I am getting rid of it. No kids have liked it enough to be worth keeping.

Sucking his thumb through his swaddle blankets, and putting holes in nearly everyone.

He still hasn't grown much hair or needed a haircut yet.

Still super happy and easy going, but not back to sleeping through the night.  He's had a cough since Christmas and the cat has taken to sneaking in his room before I put Bobby to sleep.  I am blaming the kitty and the cough for all the 3am wakings and hoping he grows out of that soon.

Bobby is a squeezer.  If I am holding him facing me, he grabs my hair, face, and/or neck and pulls and squeezes.  It's quite painful, actually.  He's got a good, strong grip.  Isaac used to squeeze the backs of my arms when I held him on my hip.  Bob's the grabbiest baby I've had in a while.  He's making me want to cut my hair short again.

Bobby is such a chilled out guy that when the doctor was telling me he may needs some gentle pushes in the direction of gross motor, Bobby was just laying on the examination table with his arms relaxed at his sides, staring at the doctor.  I replied, "Well, as you can see, he's quite happy not to move."  Personally, I need one that doesn't crawl too early because my life is going to change dramatically when he learns to crawl since we have 5 flights of stairs in this house.  I think I won't be pushing him much.  He'll move when he's ready.

His sweetness is truly indescribable!  The tree isn't up anymore, FYI.  This picture is from early January.  ;)

Now's the time I usually introduce food, but I am dreading it because it adds a whole 'nother level of complications to us getting out of the house and me getting just about anything else done.  I usually start with breakfast, but I may try starting with dinner.  I sometimes don't do lunch until past 7 months because I forget about it more often than not.  Anyway, that's what's up next on the docket for Bobby.

Friday, January 8, 2016

"Can I have a tortilla face? Drew, make me eyes."

That's what Judah asked Drew the other night when we had Taco Tuesday.

I don't recall how this started, but somewhere along the way my children started making faces out of their torillas.  Most of my kids have not been a fan of tacos.  My solution has been to make them "Angel plates" which I used to have when I was little on summer vacation in Red River, New Mexico at a Mexican restaurant called Sundance.  It is still there and about 3 or 4 summers ago we took the kids back there and they got to experience the "Angel plate" for themselves.  An "Angel plate is all the fixings of a taco (ground beef, shredded cheese, beans, rice, shredded lettuce, and pico) all separate on a plate.  They give you your tortillas on the side as well, which I guess is where this tortilla face tradition originated.  I mean what else do you do with a plain tortilla?  I wouldn't know, because I like 'em filled with goodness.