Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oma & Opa Arrive

"Hangin' with my Bro"

Things have been a bit crazy here lately... good crazy, though. Gerard's parents arrived on the 17th and we've been having a lovely visit ever since. Before they got here, I thought my head would explode. I'm *still* unpacking boxes and in fact, just finished putting the attic guest room in order the day before they arrived. Walking the dogs has been much better since their arrival, though... thank goodness.
Jake & Niki on a morning walk

My German class ended Monday and does not start again until the end of February. Conveniently, this all coincides with mom and dad's visit, so any side trips we want to take won't need to be arranged around class schedules. Unfortunately, the end of my German class also means that I no longer have a Tagesmutter for Gerrit. Gerrit's Tagesmutter has become pregnant again and she no longer wishes to watch him as she thinks it will be too difficult during her pregnancy. So... this means that I'm out a Tagesmutter and need to find another one before the end of February, which may prove to be difficult considering she was the ONLY one available when I contracted her. Although I'm excited for her, I'm also sad and disappointed that Gerrit will lose her because he really loves going to there and is so very comfortable with her. It was so nice to drop Gerrit off and have him run inside and wave goodbye to me instead of screaming and holding onto my leg.
"Ain't I the cutest?"

Okay... so I attempted a trial run to the airport the night before mom and dad's arrival. I thought this would help me keep any panic attacks at bay and successfully retrieve them from the airport. Well, as you can probably guess, these things never work out for me. The last time I spoke with Gerard's folks they said they would get a cab to the house. I felt guilty about this and really wanted to be sure I was there when they got off the plane. I tried calling them to say I'd pick them up, but I never got through. Even though I had not been able to confirm that I would get them, I figured that if I was there right when they arrived, I would be sure to catch them. Since their flight was scheduled to land early in the morning, I woke up several times throughout the night to check their flight status. Unfortunately, during one of my trips downstairs to the computer I tripped over my feet and slipped down the stairs. I quickly grabbed the rail with my right hand to help catch my fall, but squished my middle finger in the process. Thankfully I wasn't holding any kids AND I didn't land on my tail bone, but I *did* manage to get a gnarly bruise on my backside, left wrist, and my middle finger. (Guess I won't be flipping anyone off any time soon.) When I actually arrived at the airport, the board said their flight had arrived - apparently it had not been updated on the website. However, since I was there shortly after their plane landed I was sure that I hadn't missed them. After waiting nearly 40 minutes, a bad feeling began to grow and I was pretty sure I *HAD* indeed missed them. I phoned our neighbors and asked that they keep an eye out for my in-laws. Turns out they while I was waiting for them at the airport, Gerald & Johanna had caught a cab and were waiting for me at the house. They got their bags and made it through customs in no time, and we literally missed each other by minutes. Joy... just the first impression you want to give your in-laws when they fly across the ocean to visit you in a foreign country. Thankfully, my neighbors were very kind and invited them in for coffee so they wouldn't have to stand in the cold. My in-laws were really easy going about the whole thing, but I felt terrible.
Safe in Oma's arms
"My Opa is an excellent burper!"

Gerrit had been very upset the first week that Gerard was away and woke up from naps crying for "Daddy." Every time he heard the dogs bark or scurry to the door he would think that Gerard was coming home and would run to the door calling, "Daddy." And every time we got in the car, poor Gerrit would ask if he were getting daddy from work. I know that he will get used to Gerard being away now and again but this time was particularly hard on Gerrit, so I was had yet another reason to be grateful for mom and dad's arrival.
Thank Goodness for Grandmas!
Getting better acquainted

In spite of my earlier "airport fiasco," we've been settling in nicely since then. The first few days were spent adjusting to the time change, so lots of eating and sleeping were involved. :) We checked out an international church in Munich with an English service. Later, we had dinner with some long-time friends of Gerard's folks (Jerry and Ellen). Jerry is here on sabbatical from Harvard, and is splitting his time between Munich and Geneva. We have also spent a ton of time walking- walking all over town and even taking the dogs for a walk in the woods near Garching.
Our stroll in the forest
Gerrit later fell asleep in his pouch on my back

Gerard arrived home on my birthday, and I've been "milking" my birthday celebration ever since. So far I've had two birthday dinners- one at a Mexican restaurant in Munich (that's a complete oxymoron, by the way) and the other at our local Indian restaurant here in Neufarhn. We also figured out that several museums are free during the last hour of the day so we took a quick walk through the Deutsches Museum before our Munich dinner. Yesterday, we took Gerrit swimming and I even managed to get Oma to try out the water slide. The boys are having a ball with mom and dad. Willem smiles at them incessantly, and Gerrit loves having his Oma and Opa here. When he wakes up, he remembers they are here, asks for them, and then greets them each morning with an "uninvited" visit to their room. :)
Waiting for daddy
This is a picture of Gerard when he was little.
I think that Gerrit looks a lot like his daddy,
especially in this next airport picture.
Gerrit definitely has a van Belle face.
Happy Homecoming!In front of the Deutches Museum
"Look, Mom, I'm flying!"

Since Gerard has finally adjusted back to GMT+1 time, we have started making more substantial plans for Oma and Opa's trip. Hopefully this means there will be exciting things to share in future blogs... other than Opa and I fighting over who gets the bathroom first. :)
"So like I was saying..."
"Hey, are you listening to me?
I have very important things to say"
video

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