Monday, January 31, 2011

New Sofa

Yes, we have a new sofa.  Which, by the way, also converts into a comfy bed for guests (hint, hint ;)  ).  But I have a feeling you are going to be more interested in the shenanigans of the girls than the sofa.  I love it when they make each other giggle!  Bright morning sunshine means you can't always see Vivian very well, but who would say no to morning sunshine.  Enjoy anyways!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trip To Germany - The Journey

The traveling was going to be the easy part.  I had already traveled to Germany with Vivian twice.  The second trip (previously known as "flight from hell", now known as "well, that wasn't sooo bad") took 30 hrs, such a freakish delay would never happen again.  The kids had just proven on a trip to Virginia that they are good travelers even when strapped in a car seat with no easy access to entertainment via their parents.  Delta had added a flight from Pittsburgh to Paris, leaving us with just one plane change.  Easy peasy.

Can you hear Karma laughing out loud as I type this?  Here's what really happened.

Plan
  • Dec 22, 2.30pm.  Leave house to pick up kids from daycare and head to airport
  • Dec 22, 6.20pm.  Depart Pittsburgh
  • Dec 23, 8.20am.  Arrive Paris
  • Dec 23, 9.45am.  Depart Paris
  • Dec 23, 11.20am.  Arrive Hannover to be picked up by Mutti with the car
  • Dec 23, 2.00pm.  Arrive in Sennestadt
  • Total travel time door to door:   17.5 hrs

Actual
  • Dec 22, 2.30pm.  Leave house to pick up kids from daycare and head to airport 
  • Dec 22, 6.20pm.  Depart Pittsburgh
  • Dec 23, 8.20am.  Arrive Paris (so far, so good)
  • Dec 23, 9.45am.  Flight canceled.  Rebooked for 1.25pm
  • Dec 23, 1.25pm.  Flight overbooked.  Bumped from flight.  Rebooked for 7.35am next morning
  • Check into hotel at the airport
  • Dec 24, 7.35am.  Flight canceled.  Rebooked for 1.25pm
  • Dec 24, 1.25pm.  Flight canceled.  Booked on train to Koeln
  • Dec 24, 4pm.  Train delayed.  Go to eat something
  • Dec 24, 5pm.  Train missed.  Ooops
  • Dec 24, 6.20pm.  Next train.  Depart for Cologne
  • Dec 24, 11.00pm.  Arrive Cologne.  Too late to continue to Bielefeld
  • Check into hotel at the train station
  • Dec 25, 9.20am.  Depart Cologne
  • Dec 25, 10.15am.  Arrive Hamm
  • Dec 25, 11.00am.  Depart Hamm
  • Dec 25, 11.45am.  Arrive Bielefeld to be picked up by Mutti with car
  • Dec 25, 12.30pm.  Arrive in Sennestadt.  Hallelujah!
  • Total travel time door to door:  64.0 hrs

I had a much longer post started with more of the details, but that would've turned into a book.  Suffice it to say the kids held up remarkably well and the train travel was made much easier by the fact that our luggage was MIA at the airport so didn't need to be lugged around.  As a sidenote, we never did get the luggage back while we were in Germany, it was delivered back to us in Pittsburgh more than a week after our return.  As I am typing this, there's a box full of Christmas presents on my desk, waiting to be taken to the post office to be mailed to Germany...

Here are some pictures we took during the trip.  Really, the only time we even contemplated taking photos was when the kids were sleeping somewhere.  Note that some of these are from our cell phones, so the quality isn't always as good.

Waiting for yet another flight to be called or canceled...
I don't even remember exactly which part of our airport adventure this is ...
Utterly exhausted - and we haven't even left Charles de Gaulle Airport yet!
Annelee in her sexy socks, spending Christmas Eve in a Parisian Cafe (sounds quite nice that way, doesn't it)
First class travel to Koeln.  We managed to snag four seats, even though we had only reserved two.
A little to tall to lie straight on her seat, but asleep nonetheless

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yum Yum Yum!

I had every intention of working on photos from our Christmas trip to Germany this weekend, but then Annelee finally convinced us to give her real(ish) food, so I of course need to document that first. 

For weeks now, Annelee has been grabbing at my plate, my mouth, the tablecloth, and anything else she can get her little hands on during mealtimes.  We were going to wait until her 6 month well-visit with starting solids, but she just plain wore us down.  So, this afternoon, the family sat down to feed her some oatmeal and cinnamon.  To say she liked it would be a huge understatement.  She absolutely loved it!

She was rather impatient, and always tried to grab the spoon (Daddy was spooning the food in too slowly, maybe?) and then lunged her whole body forward to meet the spoon half way.  Vivian was laughing almost manically at the whole thing, she clearly thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen!

She later told Grandma on the phone: "Annelee got baby oatmeal.  I'm a big girl and eat big girl oatmeal.  Annelee's face was all dirty".  Someone let her in on a secret:  Her face is still all dirty after she has eaten, too!




And here's a video of Will and the girls in action:
video

Last, but not least, here are some photos of Vivian's first taste of solids (May 15th 2008, so she was about 2 weeks older than Annelee).  Vivian, too, absolutely loved the food (rice cereal for her by the looks of it).  They are both clearly our daughters!



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ear Worm

As we take down the (very few) decorations and stash away Vivian's Christmas CD (in a very safe hiding place, lest she find it before next December), here's Vivian's rendition of "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" just one more time ...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Apparently, Annelee's New Year's Resolution is to pull herself up by her boot straps.  The rest of us are less ambitious  :)  We wish everyone a happy and healthy 2011!  Will, Franziska, Vivian & Annelee!