My dearest Minis,
It has now been seven months since we have moved to Germany, a decision that I have yet to regret and don’t imagine I ever will. You two have grown so much in the past seven months that it is kind of frightening, because let’s face it…mommy likes her peace and quiet(ish) time. Dad says he wants you two to walk already because traveling would be so much easier, which I agree, it would be nice to let you out of your stroller when you make it all too obvious that you two and the stroller have a love-hate relationship. However, I secretly enjoy the fact that you don’t walk yet, well Liam takes steps but would rather crawl than walk, because walking would mean the end of ‘baby jail’.
Speaking of traveling, here are five fun facts for you two… I’ll start small and work my way up with the numbers.
- You’ve tossed your cookies in two different countries (not including Germany since we live there and cookie tossing is bound to happen at home). Liam in France, three times (the first time all over dad in Starbucks which was supposed to be a quick stop before seeing the Arc de Triomphe). Abram, you unfortunately came down with the same sickness Liam had in France so once the fever came on your grandma and I hit the road, cutting our trip to the Netherlands short but you still managed to throw up before we crossed the border.
- Three different strangers now own a one-of-a-kind mini portrait because well…you’re kind of a big deal. Or so I tell myself. People in Europe have no qualms about taking pictures of you two, and we were even stopped in France by a gentleman who took your photo on his phone. I like to tell myself he has the photo as his screen saver as a reminder of what awesome looks like.
- Most recently you have been to the Netherlands, but that is only one of five countries you have been to, not including the United States.
- The longest continuous car ride you somehow managed to let mom and dad live through was nine hours. Miraculously, it was also the most peaceful, drama free car ride to date.
- You’ve now slept (or rather attempted sleep) in hotels on ten different occasions. It’s been a rather wide variety too, ranging from a Holiday Inn Express on our first trip with Grandma and Grandpa to visit a Christmas market and castle, to a quaint B&B with the nicest old lady who would’ve gladly kept you in Venice, and even a beautiful Chateau in Ronchamp, France.
Grandma has just recently left, back to Nebraska, after being here for two-and-a-half weeks to help out while dad was on another one of his work vacations. What a work vacation it was too! I’m not sure about you two, but I think staying at a hotel with a pool that changes colors and hot air balloon rides with champagne constitutes a vacation… Oh well…the four of us made the best of the time we had together while he was gone (excluding the fact that you two were sick for 80% of the time). There was the spontaneous trip to Heidelberg, which honestly I’m still not sure how that came about since at the beginning of the day we had intentions of staying in Wiesbaden after Abram’s haircut to visit the local wildlife preserve and petting zoo. What an amazing old town! You two sure had fun strolling along the river and down through the old city center while munching on you Kix. It was actually the one time dad was jealous of our trip rather than his work trip. Grandma had a blast taking photos, and the day was beautiful, so it was a perfect photo-op trip for her. I even enjoyed myself…a little…don’t worry, one day I won’t try to embarrass you, but for now when you don’t understand mom’s silly antics, I’m going to keep my silly side in good working condition.
Once dad got home from his mini work trip we packed everyone up and headed to France. You two were comfortable in your cushy, luxurious car seats, your dad and I on the other hand, shared the time sitting between you two in the back seat…of the Mazda3…wow was that uncomfortable! The best part about France was seeing the Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, designed by Le Corbusier. Your dad and I studied that amazing piece of architecture for years while in school. After that, we headed to Paris, which you are never allowed to drive in…ever! Paris was great but almost a bit too much for all of us. Trying to see everything we possibly could in two days was exhausting, especially when taking the metro and having to carry you two in your strollers up and down the stairs to get to the different metro stops below ground. We hit the main points though; the Eiffel Tower, Louvre (mainly to see the Mona Lisa), Arc de Triomphe (and other points along the main axis including La Grande Arche), and the Notre Dame Cathedral…like from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. We’ll have to go back sometime when it’s not so cold, and rainy, that is if Liam is feeling up to it and doesn’t share his breakfast with dad again.
By the end of the trip to France I was so tired and ready to be home but your grandma and I had already made plans (which had been made wayyyyy before France ever came about) to go to the Netherlands to visit Taco and Linda again while dad went off to his magical hot air balloon riding work vacation in Turkey. Two days at home meant one day doing laundry and cleaning, and the other was spent running around for last-minute trip necessities and screaming at the air pump that killed the tires on your stroller. The blasted thing let all the air out but not back in! Thank goodness for the gentleman who had an air pump in his car and was able to get the tires back in working order again. I thought that day was rough but when it actually came time to leave, I pulled the ultimate mommy brain lapse…like full on panic type of brain lapse. Somehow your brilliant mother, after making several trips down to the car to load luggage, managed to forget both her car keys and house keys in the penthouse…on the back of the couch. Picture if you will, my dear little minis, your grandmother and I with the both of you holding your toy steering wheels, a locked car containing your diaper bag and no way to get back into the house. Thank goodness I had my cell phone, and know enough German to ask if someone speaks English! A kind gal, helped me to communicate enough to have a key hand delivered to us…an hour later. It was not easy attempting to entertain you two in the stairwell of the 4th floor, especially considering you were both due for a nap. Two hours past the time I wanted to leave, we were finally on our way to the Netherlands.
We stayed in an ocean front hotel, which I was dying to get you guys out to play in the sand, but thanks to rain and leaving Germany later than planned we managed to get there in time to give you a bath and lay you down for the night. The next day we met up with Taco and Linda and they showed us their beautiful country side including the classic windmill, and the delta works. Can you believe your grandmother and I even tried a salted herring sandwich? Which according to Taco, is “very Dutch”. I’m pretty proud of myself considering A. I don’t like fish, and B. it was raw too! After a fun-filled day we made our way to a fancy restaurant for dinner, where the fever hit you like a ton of bricks, Abram. All day you were full of your cheesy smiles (I have no idea where you picked up on the cheesy smile, but I love it), but at dinner you were so beside yourself that you couldn’t manage to even eat your french fries (however, your brother was eating them faster than Taco could shovel them at him.
I’m surprised Taco came away from that dinner with all of his fingers!), and practically fell asleep on Linda. Your grandma and I prayed you’d be better by morning, but after a long night of listening to you moan, and sleeping with you in my tiny twin size bed, we knew it was best to head home. Maybe next year we can go back and see the tulips as we had planned, hopefully with Grandma…
After giving you (Abram) a couple of days to recover, some much-needed good weather and fresh air, the four of us set out for another day trip…our last day with Grandma. The trip should have been longer but the lady on the GPS thought it was funny to send us to a different town instead of Rudesheim and then proceeded to tell us to take the ferry across the Rhein River to Rudesheim. Good one evil GPS lady…good one… We are all missing grandma a great deal, and wonder when we will see her again. Abram, there have been several times that I have watched you, waiting for grandma to show up at your bedroom door but she doesn’t come. One day again buddies, I promise. She has left little reminders of her presence all over the house, like her stick of deodorant in the spare bathroom complete with nail polish graffiti from the mishap that happened over Christmas. Her bed is still haphazardly made, and remnants of her long nights still reside on the nightstand beside her bed.
Maybe it’s because of the all the traveling that you guys are so easy-going. Or maybe your dad and I are just that lucky…
The person who cannot get enough of your sweet smiles (between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm)
P.S. Even though you two have lots of teeth now, I’d prefer you’d use those teeth for their intended purpose. This whole ‘biting my brother is fun’ thing is getting really old, and now that it’s getting warm out…it will be hard to cover all of your little bruises. Also, you’re attending your first play group at the end of the week and I would appreciate if you’d keep this show of affection between yourselves.