Sunday, August 31, 2008

Y2W14 - School, Trips, & August 31st

Just because I feel like I'm pushing Maximum Density, it just seems as if the baby is happy as punch to stay inside a bit longer. I have come to grips with the fact that the baby will just come when it is ready. Just as long as the baby decides not to come on September 5th!!! That would be Avery's Jungle Birthday Party.

This week the girls started school. I think they were really excited to get back to school. I'm pretty sure they have had quite enough of mom this summer.

My mom also arrived the day they started school. It has been great having her here so far. I feel like we have accomplished quite a bit this week.

At my Doctor's appointment on Wednesday, I told her that we were thinking of going out of town this weekend to take my mom to some sites before the baby comes, it might be our only opportunity, and she was fine with it. Nothing has been happening as far as contractions are concerned, and we made it there and back, no problem.

We ended up going to a city called Verdun. My Grandfather was stationed in Verdun in 1918 in WWI. My mom has his Company Journal, which gave us the information about where specifically they were based. It was fascinating to go to the memorials, cemetaries, and museums in this area. It is remarkable to think that my Grandpa as a 24 year old came here, fought here, and thankfully returned home.

On the way to the WWI sites, we traveled through Luxembourg and stopped at a huge playground/Zoo place. The girls were very happy to get out of the car and run around and climb and play for a bit.

It was very late when we returned home. Sunday morning, it was both Greg's and my 12 Year Anniversary and Avery's Birthday. The slideshow below was my stellar Anniversary present to Greg. Maybe next year I will have a chance to actually go to the store and pick something out for him. We decided to do just a bit more sightseeing since it might be our last chance. We took my mom to Maastricht, Netherlands. We didn't go there the last time she was here visiting. The weather the last two days has been awesome as well, so it has been great to be out and about.

Avery chose cereal for her special birthday breakfast, which she had, but then we talked her into 2nd breakfasts complete with eggs, waffles, bacon, pretty much the works. We did presents when we returned home from Maastricht, had our normal video conference with family, and finished the day with some brownie sundaes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Y2W13 - Microwave Bites The Dust

As far as the highlights go...we went to the Dentist. I was so excited to go and feel that fresh, teeth just cleaned, feeling, when we realized that this particular Dentist doesn't do that. They check your teeth, make sure there are no problems, and do some preventative work, but no scraping and polishing of the teeth. I left feeling rather disappointed. I will have to ask around and see if that is how it is at every Dentist.

I was working on a little project down in my bedroom when I heard a loud crash. I thought, hmmm...that didn't sound good but heard no screaming or crying so I thought it was alright. This is what I saw when I walked upstairs.

This is the second time the microwave has "fallen" off of the counter. I put fallen in quotes because I'm sure it was pulled down off of the counter, that it didn't just fall off of the counter by itself, however, I wasn't there so I have heard several versions of the story. I actually didn't lose my chicken over this. I simply decided that the mess wasn't going anywhere so I calmly went to get the camera and took some pictures before I started the clean-up process. Needless-to-say, we bought a new microwave this weekend. I am secretly really happy about this because the new one has the auto popcorn feature, which I was seriously missing from home. It's the little pleasures in life that keep me happy.

We did some much needed To Do List things (i.e. Crib Assembly, Baby Swing Assembly, etc.) to give me a little peace of mind. I finally feel like we are ready to start school and ready for the baby to come.

The top music pick this week is a Bailey request. It was one of the recent acquisitions from I-tunes, but I neglected to add it two weeks ago.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Y2W12 - The Waiting

I'm afraid the highlights this week are not very exciting. Playgroup was cancelled due to bad weather. The girls did have a play date at a friend's house. I had a Doctor's appt. It seemed like I was really busy too. I was having several contractions a day so I really thought it was going to be the week of baby #4, but alas we are still waiting. Hence the top two music picks this week. We went shopping down town after my Doctor's appt. H&M is becoming like Target for us, we cannot go into that store without buying a couple things.

The biggest highlight of the week was my Book Group on Thursday evening. It was nice to spend an evening with adults. We always have a really good time and lots of laughs, especially since the book we read was on the lighter side this time. It was "I Don't Know How She Does It," by Allison Pearson.

We did go to the Stadt Fest on Friday night where they had some live "Entertainment," and some carnival rides which the girls enjoyed. Saturday, we went to one of our favorite towns, Siegburg, to go to the Toy store. We arrived at 2:15pm only to find out the store closed at 2:00pm. We still enjoyed walking around the town but the weekend was fairly uneventful in comparison to what we are usually doing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Y2W11 - Hairdoos & Münster Zoo

Well, we did a lot of playing in the park this week. It seems I no longer have the energy for big field trips with the girls by myself. One of the highlights this week was Wednesday when we got some new hairdoos. What do you think? The girls are very excited about their new doos.

The second highlight came on Saturday when we decided to go to Münster. They had a really nice Zoo with a Dolphinarium. We spent a few hours there which everybody loved. We went to the Dolphin show, saw a ton of animals, and played on a really fun playground where we all had fun on the swing.

The Family Swing Video Clip

Dolphin Flip Clip

Brown Capuchin Monkeys (yep, that is Bryn making the monkey noises in the background)

Then, on the way home we stopped at several moated Castles in the area. We saw some beautiful 13th - 17th Century German Architecture. See for your self...

Burg Vischering - Founded in 1270, extended in the 16th and 17th centuries

Schloss Lembeck - example of Baroque Remodeling

This castle also had a playground with trampolines - the girls had a blast...

Schloss Raesfeld - 17th Century Castle with some of its 14th Century elements intact.

If you look closely or blow up the second picture in this section, you will see two black swans. I made Greg take a picture of them because I have only ever seen one other black swan in my life, in Cambridge, England. I thought it was quite interesting to see two here. I know, I know. Hard to believe we took all of these pictures in one day. I'm having a hard time weeding them out these days so you are getting bombarded with pics and video clips.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Y2W10 - Great Expectations

After having to postpone our grandiose plans of doing some fun "kid things" this week, both Monday and Tuesday because of sickness, we made up for it the rest of the week.

Wednesday, we were finally able to try out the Wildlife Park in Rolendseck (where Avery was supposed to have her field trip last year that kept getting cancelled). It was great but I was a bit unprepared for the ruggedness of the trail. It made the stroller very difficult to push. We were approached by goats, donkeys, deer, etc. which freaked the girls out slightly. I don't think they thought that the animals would be walking along side us on the trail. It was very hot but right down the road, so we stayed for a couple hours, played in their playground for a bit and then headed home. I was very tired by the time we got home.

Thursday was hot as well so of course we went to the pool. All was great except when Avery really wanted to go down the water slide. She wouldn't go unless I was at the bottom waiting to catch her. I appeased her wish, but the next thing I knew Bryn was climbing the stairs to go as well. Avery came down super slow, holding onto the sides the entire time. Bryn, on the other hand, came down like a bullet. The first couple times were okay because she had her legs spread apart, but the next time she came at me full force with her legs extended and kicked me really hard in the stomach. I was worried that it may have harmed the baby but everything is okay.

I actually had a Doctor's appt on Friday morning where they hooked me up to a fetal monitor to see if I was having any contractions. I thought this was so unnecessary, because by the fourth baby, you pretty much know if you are having contractions or not. Anyway, I went along with it. We are still on track for a September baby. No signs that the baby is coming early this time, so we will have to wait and see. Okay, another poll, since we never find out what we are having, I'm curious to see how many people think it will be another girl this time, or do you think we will buck the odds and have a boy?

We went to Luxembourg on Saturday. What a cool place. We visited the Notre Dame Cathedral (yes, Luxembourg has a Notre Dame as well as Paris) and the architecture was so interesting inside. The columns were carved in what I would describe as celtic designs, see for yourself in the pictures. The stone work was probably the most intricate I've seen in any cathedral. Then, we walked through a fortress that dates back to the Roman Era, complete with catacombs, tunnels, dead ends. It took us a while to find our way out. We walked along the outside of the fortress which had a quaint little vineyard down the hill towards the river, and then continued our walk along the river back into town.

On the way back to Germany, we stopped at a butterfly garden which the girls thought was really cool.

What a great day and week for that matter. While we weren't quite as ambitious as I initially thought we would be, we did many kid things that the girls really enjoyed.