Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gerard's Birthday

Family Photo
I was super tired this morning. I think the energy I felt a few days ago is finally fading as Willem's sleep schedule is pretty much completely backwards. Try as I might to keep him awake throughout the day, he just falls right back asleep, only to awake at night and want to interact a bit and eat and eat and eat. We also had our first bout of jealousy with Gerrit last night. When Willem awoke needing changing and feeding, he was screamed so loud it woke up Gerrit. Then Gerrit wanted to cuddle and didn't understand why I had the baby instead of him. Gerrit wanted me to hold him and he wanted to play with my hair, but the baby was in the way. He was not a happy camper and started to push the baby away. I had Gerard hold Willem for a bit while I cuddled with Gerrit until he was drowsy enough not to notice. Needless to say, I was super tired today, and when Gerrit went down for a nap today, I went right down with him. Thank goodness for mom. While I was sleeping she continued to empty boxes. We still haven't found the kitchen cutlery and seem to be missing a few other things here and there. Hopefully they turn up before too long.

I have to say that this time around I'm not nearly as paranoid as I was with Gerrit. For example, with Gerrit I was paranoid about nursing and kept meticulous records of when he ate and how much he ate. I weighed him all the time to be sure he was getting enough food. The midwife brought over a scale for me to use with Willem, but I haven't touched it. In fact, I have yet to mark down a single feeding session. I'm not sure that I feel more confident this time around, as much as I feel like Gerrit still needs attention, which doesn't allow me to spend time being paranoid about too many things.

Today was Gerard's birthday so while Gerard worked this morning, we decorated the house with crepe paper, balloons, and a Happy Birthday sign. Gerrit and I sponge painted a card for Gerard and traced Gerrit's and Willem's hands inside. Willem has super long fingers and big hands, and he seems really long to me in comparison to Gerrit. When I look at pictures of Gerrit as a baby, though, you can definitely see the resemblance. It's amazing how similar and yet how different Willem and Gerrit were at birth.
Willem (almost one week old)

When Gerard arrived home, we presented him with his card and birthday gifts. Mom got him a pen desk set with his name engraved, and I bought him a small barbecue. We left our barbecue in the U.S. and Gerard has been itching to barbecue since we got here. You should have seen me trying to buy this thing. The German sales associates gave me all these funny looks because I was buying a barbecue at this time of year. They had already put the barbecues away in the back of the store, and they had to uncover them for me to decide which one I wanted. Thankfully, Gerard liked his present, and I didn't have to return it.
"Look what we did for Daddy's Birthday."
Daddy's Card and Birthday Presents

We then went to Real and Toys R Us. Mom wanted to see what a grocery store looked like here. Real is more like a Target or Walmart with groceries and a fairly wide selection of items, so it's actually not truly representative of the smaller markets found in the villages. I now have to take her to a grocery store here in Neufahrn for comparison. At Toys R Us mom got Gerrit a belated birthday gift, Thomas the Train. He has a wooden train set now and absolutely loves it. I think he'll really enjoy Thomas because he is actually electric and can run on his own, in addition to making noise.

We dropped off groceries and headed to Neufun, the local indoor swimming pool. Mom, Gerard, and Gerrit enjoyed themselves in the water while Willem and I looked on from the side. This evening Gerard tried out his barbecue by making some steaks for dinner. We finished off the evening by making chocolate brownies. Not terribly exciting, but I think Gerard had a good birthday.
Fun at the PoolLearning how to kick in the water
Gerrit helps daddy barbecue steak for dinner.
Birthday Brownie

Gerrit now asks to "Hold, Hold" his baby, but he doesn't want to do so for very long. It's actually quite cute. He talks to the baby and plays with Willem's hair, then laughs because he thinks his hair is so soft and ticklish. We are also now just starting to introduce the concept of "pooping in the toilet" to Gerrit. He has been fairly interested in the toilet and in the U.S. enjoyed flushing it so we're now taking it one step further. Without pushing the issue, we ask Gerrit if he wants to put his poop in the toilet. Then when he's had a BM in his diaper, we change him, and get him excited about taking his diaper to the bathroom to empty its contents in the toilet. It's all a big production to get him into the idea. We drop it in, say goodbye and flush it down. Then we wash and dry hands. The only problem is that the diaper contents always end up leaving skid marks on the poop shelf. Sigh... oh well, at least we can examine it before it goes down the drain. :)
Snuggling After Dinner

Gerrit has been afraid of bugs since we arrived in Germany. When we were in Garching we would often take the dogs and whole family on walks in the early evening out to a field. Gnats would often fly in and around Gerrit's face, and he would scream and swat at them. Now, whenever he sees any type of bug, especially a fly, he screams and runs away. Two mini stories with this. I realize Gerrit is quite upset during these episodes, but I actually find them quite amusing and can't help but laugh. At music class last Friday, Gerrit was playing with the scarves the teacher passed out. (I should preface this by saying that he hasn't been that enthusiastic about waving the scarves to begin with, and I had finally gotten him to enjoy it a bit.) The scarf was on the floor and he went to pick it up but saw a black speck on it. He screamed "Fly, Fly" and ran off. It was just a piece of lint, but Gerrit wanted nothing to do with the scarf at that point. My mom also bought Gerrit a Ninja Turtle book that has buttons you press for sound effects while you read. The book is about science fiction alien flies, and there is a button to press for a fly buzzing around. Gerrit is okay looking at the book, but when it comes to pressing this button he refuses, and if anyone else presses it he runs off screaming, "No, no." Again, I know it's all too traumatic for him, but I also think it's really funny. No, I don't torture him and press the button anyway... but I can honestly say I'm tempted.


At November 3, 2007 at 2:08 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

I think I speak for the masses here when I say WE WANT A CRAZY DOG LADY update!


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