Sunday, February 24, 2008

Under the Weather

Well, this week has been super slow. Gerrit got sick almost as soon as mom, dad, and Theo left. I thought he had croup, but now I think it's possibly just some other viral infection. He's been sick for nearly six days - on and off during this time with fever and always coughing. Poor little guy is almost always tired as he's not getting quality sleep from all the coughing. I hope he gets better soon. So... not much more to report other than that.... oh yes, and Willem is now four months old as of today. :) Here are a few pictures I forgot to offload the camera when mom and dad were here.
Cruisin in Style
Gerrit & Opa
Just another big piece of glass for Gerrit to smoosh his face into
Willem grabbed his bottle
Ahhh... Food Coma

"Whaaazz Uuuuup?"
video

Monday, February 18, 2008

Theo's Visit

"Hey Mommy, Whaaaaaaz Up!"

Well, Oma and Opa left two days ago and we all miss them already. Gerrit asks about them and wants to go up to their room to see them. We had a lovely visit with them and I hope they enjoyed spending time with us, too. Theo came for a short visit, too. It was REALLY nice to see him and I wish it would have been for longer. Having Theo and Gerard's folks here and now gone again makes me miss home, family, and friends even more. It makes me appreciate those in my life who stand by me and love me, in spite of all my faults.

We checked out a few kindergartens here and tried enrolling Gerrit for the fall. You select your preference of kinders and submit that to the town hall, and they inform you if there is space available. Kindergarten here is set up much like our preschools in the U.S. In fact, the terminology is pretty much reversed between the two countries.
U.S.- Preschool is usually age 3 and 4 and kinder starts around 5 or 6.
Germany- Kinder is usually age 3 or 5 and preschool starts around age 5 or 6
Notice the word "pre-schoolers" in Germany. This is where things get a bit more academic during the last year of kinder before the children are sent off to grade one. School here is grade one on up, whereas in the States we consider kinder part of the school years and preschool separate. In Germany kindergarten lasts from age 3-6 and then they head off to year one of school. We probably won't find out if Gerrit gets in until this summer. Our plan (for now) is to send him to a German kindergarten every morning to start, and then slowly phase in English Preschool one or two mornings a week in place of the German kinder. German kindergartens are government subsidized so the cost is substantially cheaper than U.S. preschools.

I start German class again next week and I have been trying to establish a fairly regular routine for the boys and me. I am trying out a new Tagesmutter as Gerrit's former Tagesmutter got pregnant and no longer wishes to watch him. The new Tagesmutter is a bit further away and has two older kids of her own as well as one boy a year younger than Gerrit. Lots more germs but hopefully Gerrit's immune system will beef up this way before he ends up in kinder. Incidentally, I think he's already sick again. He has been coughing a lot at night and sounds very croupy again. He never had croup and since we've moved here, he appears to have gotten it twice now. His wheezing and breathing concerns me when he has croup. Hopefully it clears up quickly.
Evil Uncle Theo Arrives
The Whole Happy Family
in front of Linderhof Palace
Did I mention it was cold that day? A Day Trip to MunichThe Hofbrauhaus"Oh my... Daddy, could that beer
actually be bigger than your head?"Gerrit charmed all the durndel-wearing lasses selling pretzelsTrue to form, Theo and Gerard are sure
to be photographed on their "good" sides
Looking "Oh So Suave" wearing my scarf Mmm.... Olives Mmm... Brats! Mmm... Brats and Beer (even better) "I'm too sexy for my strumphosen!" Skyping Sal


Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Few Videos & Pics

Been busy visiting the family, but thought I'd post some videos and pictures for you all to enjoy.

Video 1: Oma Dresses Gerrit
Video 2: Oma Makes Willem Laugh
Video 3: Gerrit is Ready for College
Video 4: Nature Park
video video video video

Ready for the Weather

At the Nature Park
"Hey, you there... this is my little brother, Willem."
Airplane MuseumMy sleepy little angels!
"I love to laugh!"
I'm a cute lil' devil, ain't I?
Another Forest Walk
Jake & Niki pose for a pictureIn their element

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sightseeing

Waking from naps
Storytime with Daddy Playtime with Daddy
Gerrit and Oma build a tower
Uh Oh!

A bit more excitement with a few more outings. While Gerard worked, Oma, Opa, Gerrit, Willem, and I explored Munich a bit. We visited the Sea Life Aquarium one day and ate lunch in Olympia Park. Gerrit loved the geese that were there and was perfectly content to sit and watch them until he saw a little Jack Russell Terrier chase them. He decided that looked much more fun. The Sea Life Aquarium was quite pricey considering its small size, but it was perfect for the likes of Gerrit who absolutely adores fish. When we first arrived he was absolutely obsessed with Finding Nemo and although he has moved on to other obsessions, he still loves his fish. He was thrilled to see clown fish, blue tangs, sharks, jelly fish, star fish, and manta rays- all his favorites from the movie. Of course he did call all the clown fish Nemo and all the tangs Dory, but it was an afternoon well spent.
Olympia Park Tower Shark Nemo
Dory
A "Gerrit" Fish?

Dory We had so much fun eating our lunch at the Olympia Park that we chose to go back to the same spot for the lunch the next day before going to the BMW Museum. We went to what we THOUGHT was the BMW Museum. Turned out that it was something called BMW World, a hoity-toity place showroom of sorts. Here is what I found written about it on an English website: "Rather than picking up a new car at a local dealership, drivers who pay a little extra for the privilege will come here to take delivery of their vehicle, finding it bathed in a spotlight and rotating on a turntable." We must have looked very out of place, dressed as we were, but then again, it is open to the public so I'm sure they are used to having "lookie-loos." We'll have to try to hunt down the real BMW Museum for comparison purposes.
Crossing the bridge to BMW Welt

Gerard and his folks also visited
Schloss SchleiƟheim in Oberschleissheim. The palace used to be the summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria, but it has since been opened to the public and houses several baroque art paintings in various rooms.
The Palace is waaaaayyyy in the distance We also visited one of Mad King Ludwig's fairy tale castles again, Neuschwanstein, and this time we were able to tour the inside. Unfortunately, I do not have any interior photos as we were unable to take pictures inside. Gerard's folks are now in The Netherlands visiting a cousin of Gerald's. Gerrit has really been missing them and so have I so we'll be happy to have them here for another week or so. They return tomorrow, and true to form we have no information on their return flight. I figured I'd pick them up at the airport and I'm hoping I get more info about when their flight comes in. See people... by the time you come visit, I'll have this whole "airport thing" down. :)
The courtyard
Gerrit and I are down at the bottom