Friday, April 28, 2017

A Cute Moment or Two

I asked Bobby if he wanted to play Play-Doh in the high chair since it was too cold to play on the front balcony which is where he normally plays it.  He replied, ""  It was way too grown up for him to say it like that.  So, deliberate and such a punctuated "no."

Genevieve dressed him up in big fleece pj  top.  It's all tied up.

The weather is getting nicer some days.  Spring is trying to come here to Germany.  One of my favorite parts of the house's functionality has been our balcony off our living room.  It is such a good location for the boys to play Play-Doh while I am cooking.  We leave the big sliding door open whenever the weather is warm enough.  Since there are no screens, we pull the sheer curtains across to help keep the flies and bees out of the house.  It is not a perfect system, but it works pretty well.

View through the curtains

Play-Doh buddies
Judah runs in every few minutes to show me his creation, saying, "Kuck mal."  That means "Look at this" in German.  Then Bobby follows with some squished up piece of dough jibber jabbering to me to look at his too.  It is a sweet moment in my motherhood that I don't want to forget.

I captured this moment perfectly.  That so rarely happens since the moments pass so fast that I can't catch them with a camera.  Now I'll never forget.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"I didn't see that coming."

That's Judah's newest phrase that he's been saying lately.  He even uses it at appropriate times when he is surprised by something.  It sounds kind of adorable coming out of the mouth of a three year old all nonchalantly.

Judah and Bobby have been playing together more lately.  Bobby seems to have turned somewhat of a corner on his over attachment to me.  It started at the very end of the trip when he warmed up to my dad finally and really got attached to my mom, who he calls "Nini" instead of "Mimi" even though I know perfectly well that he can say an "m" sound.  I mean he says my name a thousand times a day.  He's one of those kids that just says my name over and over for no reason most of the time.

I digress.  I think this corner he turned has opened him up to more play with his siblings, and not just the girls who he sees as substitute moms sometimes.  He and Judah get a long so well and this is perfect because Drew and Judah still are not the best of buds despite Judah's incredible willingness to do whatever Drew wants and his super sweet nature.  Here's some pictures from right before the trip of the two of them.  I had forgotten all about these pictures, in fact.

They both love books!

They both love to be silly and laugh!

They are both super huggie and cuddly boys!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

No Rest for the Weary: Our Trip Home and an Easter Market

We had a really rough trip home.  I suspected it might be so since they had been in grandparent heaven for the last month.  They had no chores, no responsibilities at all, save for math homework and memory work.  As is usually the case, the littlest ones don't have to eat healthy on trips and I certainly let a lot more go in order for  myself to have a vacation of sorts.  And what do you get for all that?  Some spoiled kids that don't travel nearly as well as the kids I brought with me from Germany to the states.  

We had the same seating arrangements.  The plane had the same movies.  The trip was an overnight one though so I needed them to sleep some because we would arrive bright and early in the morning.  So I told them they could watch the movies until about 8pm Texas time and then they had to read and try to sleep.  I handed out Benedryl a little before that to help them out a little bit.  (Thanks, Ann, for the great idea!)  It worked pretty well.  Drew was the first to drift off, Hannah following.  Judah was having some problems and throwing some fits.  I had to take him to the bathroom and have a talk at one point.  I made Isaac switch with Genna, and Judah sat closer to me since he was being a stinker.  Isaac fell asleep next, and then Bobby.  Judah started trying to just turn the TV back on, and would throw a fit when Genna would turn it back off.  He laid down in the two seats between me and Genna, but he would start kicking as I was trying to keep Bobby asleep.  Genna was reading, but I asked her to help out a little more and she said she didn't know what to do.  Funny how one month of not helping out with little ones at all makes one forget how to do it.  I told her to try singing to him, and it worked like a charm.  He was out within five minutes.  Then Genna was the last to drift off.  

Bobby fell asleep in the Ergo and at first I thought I had it made, but he was waking up about every 45 minutes in a rage.  He'd cry and fight me for about 5 minutes and then just pass out again.  Poor guy did this the rest of the flight until the lights came on and breakfast was served.  He probably would have been better in a car seat, but that just wasn't an option this time.  So I didn't get to sleep at all.  I nodded off once for maybe 10 minutes, but that was it for me.

We all took a nap that afternoon and went to the vigil Mass in our village that evening.  Bobby couldn't stay awake for that and slept through it.  We all went to bed around 10:30 or 11pm and no one woke me up all night long.  We were able to sleep in the next morning, and we did until about 10am.  Never in the history of all our overseas trips have I had a baby, younger than 2 years old, sleep through the night the first night.  Unbelievable!  It was God's gift to me after a tough flight.

Brian had promised to get up with him if he did have a hard night, but he didn't so he was off the hook.  I promised to go to this Easter market that was in Saint Wendel if I could have a full night's sleep and sleep in.  So, off we went!

Waiting on their gelato!
We've been to St. Wendel for many markets and never had we ventured in the church.  It's not too big and we didn't know there was anything there.  However, this time we ran into a pilgrim (wearing a scallop shell,) and he told us that the church had St. Wendel's relics and had a one of a kind ceiling with coat of arms on it.  So we stopped in on our way out of the city.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

One Last Visit Before We Leave

The day before we were flying back home, we had been in the clear of stomach bugs for a few days and it seemed like it was all over.  So my cousin, his wife, and his two children were able to meet us at a park for the morning.  His wife is an amazing photographer and got some really good group shots.  I need her for our family photos!

All had fun until Genevieve fell off of the top of the monkey bars and hit her head on the metal pole on the way down.  We are pretty sure she had a mild concussion, but I did not end up taking her to the ER because she didn't have any major troubling symptoms other than a couple dizzy spells and headaches (lasted about a week).  I did make her sit out of all sports, rough housing, and trampoline jumping for almost two weeks just to be safe.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Arboretum in Dallas

My mom's good friend had a membership to the Arboretum, and she wanted to take us all to the kids' section.  The kids had so much fun there!  


The pictures are majorly out of order.  There was a tot park, a maze, a climbing tree, a water and wind section, and a science experiment.  The science experiment was at a scheduled time and it was really great for all ages.  The guy running it was super good with keeping the kids' attention and with explaining things on their level.  The kids were split up by age so all but the girls were partnered up with another kid they did not know.  There were actually about three small experiments all together.  They subject was soil.  They identified three types of soil and then did experiments to learn about the properties of those types of soil.

Drew loves science experiments!  He didn't even complain that he was partners with a girl we don't know.

I had to help Judah, but he was a very good listener and enjoyed it.

There was a water section when you could shoot these water guns at different things to make them spin or turn or even to turn on a fountain.  Hannah told me she thought they were rigged so that  you never could actually reach the water spray over the "lake" to the people on the other side, what she thought was the whole point.  I thought that was very funny that she actually thought the water guns were there to shoot strangers on the other side.  They were actually supposed to shoot at various target to make things spin or power a fountain.  She was so disappointed that she couldn't shoot the water at someone.

Here they are trying their best to shoot people on the other side.

He really has some funny expressions.  This is supposed to be his sweet smile for the camera.

This was the tot park with a stream to play in.  Bobby got a wet, wet bottom.

Judah's trying to hatch an egg.

Wind tunnel

Help from big sis!

A terrific group photo...finally!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Last Week in Texas

On our drive back from San Antonio to my parents' home, Bobby threw up twice.  He acted fine in between and seemed to feel fine with no fever.  After his first puke, I noticed the milk he'd been drinking was starting to clot up.  It was fine when it was poured in that morning, but something happened and it went bad.  I figured that plus being in the car may have been what caused it.  I kind of forgot about it after cleaning out the car seat and car really well when we got home.  

Then a few nights later as I was drifting off to sleep I had a fleeting thought that we hadn't had any emergencies or illnesses to speak of and we were almost done with the trip.  The next morning, as if on cue, Judah put his foot through a window.  

He started crying while I was finishing texting someone that we were about to leave.  I triage cries, you see.  I can't go running every time somebody cries.  Every child has different levels and kinds of cries.  Judah, for example, is pretty tough and will cry a certain way when his feelings are hurt because someone hit him and a different way when he is frustrated about a situation.  This cry seemed like the former.  Dylan had hit him a few times that week and it sounded like it was the same thing.  I finished my text and then started to round the corner when I heard my mom say, "What happened to you?!"  Turns out that I misdiagnosed his cry and he was bleeding all over the place from his heel.  He really is tough because just the blood alone would have put some of my children into a state of shock.  

After he told us what happened and I got him all cleaned up, it didn't seem to be worthy of stitches.  It was a flap that I just flipped back into place and bandaged it up.  The story goes that he and Dylan were playing Hide and Go Seek, when he hid behind the curtain in my parents' room on the bay window.  He got excited and backed into it too hard and his foot went right through the pane.  It is an old, single pane window.  My dad had commented earlier in the week that he hoped the window didn't break when they were playing back there and knocking on the window.  My mom thought that was the silliest thing she had ever heard.  

The irony got even crazier as the day progressed, when two hours later I was visiting a friend with the kids and about to have lunch when Judah starts telling me his tummy hurts and he wants to go home.  He's one of my social butterflies that NEVER asks to go home.  Luckily, he told me in time for us to make it to the bathroom before he threw up.  And our vacation ended right about then.  We got out of there as fast as we could.  I felt terrible that I hadn't seen this friend for 10 years and then here we come with germs to her house.  Praise the Lord, they didn't get sick, but it sure did go through our family.  The only survivors were Hannah, me, and Dylan.  Everyone else, including my mom got the one day stomach bug.  The worst part was that the big family get together where I was going to see all my cousins and their new babies had to be cancelled.  :(  Although I did get to see a few cousins at other times, some I never was able to see.  So sad!

Memories:  If you look very carefully over Drew's shoulder you can see the cardboard taped up window pane that Judah stuck his heel through.

In hind sight, I guess Bobby had it too earlier in the week.  He started in with never ending diarrhea that lasted more than two weeks right about when Judah got sick.  Genna was the next to fall that night.  Drew was the last nearly 5 days after Judah was sick.  

This may be too much information, but it is too cute not to report.  Bobby went and stood here, "hiding," while he did his business.  If I looked right at him, he'd look down like he is in the picture.

Judah was in his jammies still, but feeling better the next day.  I couldn't keep him isolated very well.  He's just too young.

The good thing was that we didn't have to go to the doctor because that is a pain when we are traveling, dealing with insurance and everything.  Plus, it was a short bug, with the exception of Bobby's diapers that lasted a long time.  

When every one was feeling better, just a few days before we boarded the plane.

This is just a cute video of Bobby.  I think I mentioned before that he really started talking a lot more while we were in Texas.