Saturday, July 2, 2011

What's Not to Love?

There are so many things that we love about our firstborn...his courage, his stubbornness, his big brown eyes (with eyelashes that would make any woman envious), but it is the little things that we love most about him. Right now, he is doing and saying some particularly cute things that make Emmett...well, Emmett.

We LOVE the way he:

1) says "I love you too", even when he is the one who says it first. I guess he just knows we love him.

2) insists that he is full after dinner and then 3 seconds later asks for a snack.

3) stretches the word "snack" into an eight syllable word....shnaaaaaaaack!

4) says "Again!" about 4,000 times a day. In Emmett's mind, if something was funny the first time, it will be just as funny the fiftieth.

5) calls all men "Daddies" and all women "Mommies", whether they have kids or not.

6) stops and looks at himself admiringly every time he passes a mirror...let's just say poor self-esteem is not an issue with this kid.

7) knows how to work the iPad better than either of us...without us ever teaching him.

8) makes us mimic his funny faces, even though his are much better.

9) says "You talk about it" when we ask him a question that he doesn't feel like answering.

10) prays for everything under the sun at bedtime...God bless the car, the house, the walls, and stickers, and stamps, and Santa, on and on and on...especially if he isn't ready to go to sleep yet :)

11) kisses his baby brother in Momma's belly...and tells him to be nice to me and not kick so much.

12) chooses his ice cream based on color, not flavor. Right now, green and blue are the winners.

13) searches for "clues" to solve mysteries all the time. Too much Scooby Doo perhaps?

14) still calls blankets "bibbets" idea where this came from, but it's adorable and Joe and I have taken to calling them the same thing.

15) says "Mommy, can you sit next to me?" when he is drinking from his sippy at night. He likes to play with my hair while he's drinking it. It soothes him.

16) thinks that bandaids magically heal all wounds, which is why he only keeps them on for about thirty seconds before taking them off and declaring himself healed.

17) snores...loudly. Of course, we will find this much more endearing when we are no longer sharing a bed with him in a hotel.

18) still talks about his last Halloween on an almost daily basis. He got to dress up as a shark and eat candy with his friends. It doesn't get much better than that.

19) shows real concern when he hears another child crying. Let's hope he's as compassionate with his baby brother.

20) is obsessed with the type of "flushers" all toilets have since we moved here. They look different here, and he is endlessly fascinated by them.

21) gives a play by play of every bowel movement he has. This can only be cute when coming from a three year old.

22) sings incredibly annoying, loud, monotonous songs and when asked to stop says, "but I made that song just for you"...making us feel both horrible and happy at the same time :)

23) loves to just be with us. We are dreading the day that this is no longer the case.

24) uses the number 24 for everything. Is it time to get out of the bathtub? "24 more minutes". What time is it? "24 o'clock", etc. We're pretty sure this is going to be his jersey number if he plays sports.

It is also the reason we are ending this list at number, you guessed it, 24 :)

Emmett Joseph, we love you more and more every single day. And, no matter what, you will will always be our baby.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Alsfeld that Ends Well

Okay, that was a stretch with the title, but I'm feeling a little cheesy today :)

If you've visited this part of Europe (or maybe any part of Europe), you know that everything pretty much comes to a standstill on Sundays. With the exception of churches, restaurants and gas stations, everything else closes down. Determined not to spend an entire day locked up in our hotel, however, we ventured out to the little town of Alsfeld for a visit...what a gem we found! Beautiful buildings, amazing architecture, cute little bistros, and incidentally, one of the largest groups of American tourists we have seen to date. They were getting a tour of the town in English (note to self: I have GOT to sign up for one of those someday). There is obviously a lot of history in this little village, but I was content (for the time being) to just enjoy its beauty. It was a photographer's dream as every corner we turned looked like a postcard. Though I am definitely an amateur photographer, I snapped a few shots to share with each of you. Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Schönes Wochenende

We had another beautiful weekend in Marburg, filled with relaxation and fun! Saturday we went to Circus Krone, which happened to be Emmett's very first well as mine! That's right, at the ripe age of 36, I had never seen a circus! E's favorites were the sea lions and other animals. I, however, preferred the performance acts--the jugglers, acrobats, and trapeze artists. So we were all happy, and E has been talking about it ever since.

Sunday, we packed up a picnic lunch and went to a nearby park. Joe and E ran some laps in a fruitless effort to wear our boy out, but alas, he was still up until almost 10 p.m. that night...I give up! In the afternoon, my amazing husband gave me three whole hours to myself as he and E went to a football game (yes, American football) here in Marburg. Apparently, they had a great time since Emmett was still crying when he got home...he didn't want to leave "that fun game". I spent my three hours taking a bubble bath and watching an entire movie...alone...uninterrupted. I can't remember the last time I did that. It was heavenly.

Finally, on Sunday, we decided to take a drive to Edersee, a lake just over an hour north of Marburg. It had been recommended to Joe by a colleague, so we thought we would check it out. The ride alone was worth the trip there--beautiful trees, adorable little towns, lush green grasses...I could go on and on. Once we arrived at Edersee, we found people camping, wind surfing, fishing, and felt like we were right back in the U.S. It was a beautiful little spot, so I know we will be returning again soon, especially since there is an old castle which has been turned into a hotel. You can't pass up a chance to sleep in a castle, right? After a full day there, Emmett declared that his favorite part of the whole weekend was, you guessed it, throwing rocks in the lake. This kid is nothing if not consistent. A boy and his rocks.

Racing around the park

Hoarding rocks to throw into the lake

Taking in a double wide slide!

No matter where we go, E manages to find a popsicle :)

Monday, June 6, 2011


A home just isn't a home without our Murphy Lee! Our 11 year old kitty arrived in Germany on Friday, and we were all thrilled to see him. We felt like a part of our little family was missing until he got here. I am sure that the last month has been traumatic for the poor guy--his first stay in a kennel (and a long one at that), a few trips to the vet, and an international flight (11 or so hours in an animal crate). He made it though, the little trooper, and he is settling in nicely so far. He has found his "safe spots" along with a few choice windows that provide hours of people-watching entertainment. Needless to say, Emmett is thrilled to have his buddy it is starting to feel like home!

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Zoo Enthusiasts

Since Emmett is such an animal lover, we are making it our mission to visit every zoo that is within driving distance during our stay here. We had already seen the zoo in Frankfurt, so our next stop was the Kolner Zoo, in Koln (Cologne), Germany. Two of Joe's colleagues have a little battle going on as to which is the better of the two zoos...not surprisingly, the woman from Koln prefers the Kolner Zoo and the woman from Frankfurt is convinced that their zoo is the best. So, we were sent to break the tie.

Having seen them both, I can honestly say that they are both wonderful parks. However, the one in Koln might have just won out simply because it had an awesome aquarium, which we weren't expecting (of course, we told the two women that they tied...we don't need to make enemies already). Beautiful fresh and salt water aquariums kept E entertained for over an hour of our visit. What I love about seeing zoos in other countries is that they often have animals that we don't have at our zoos in the states, so we definitely saw a few new things during our trip.

Here are some pics of our visit to the Kolner zoo--enjoy!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Pirate Costume: Take 2

This is the reason we HAD to get E a legitimate pirate ensemble. Since he started showing an interest in pirates a few weeks ago, he has been walking around the apartment wearing a makeshift costume (which really had nothing to do with pirates, but you have to give him credit for his creativity). Thus, the before AND after of Pirate Emmett:



Disneyland Paris

As I mentioned in my previous post, we took Emmett to Disneyland Paris this weekend to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his Double Switch heart surgery. After a six hour drive there, we did little more than grab a bite to eat and crash into our beds for the night, hoping to be fully energized for the days ahead.

Day one didn't start out as planned. For some crazy reason, we didn't think they would be busy yet...I mean, it's only May, right? WRONG. It was nuts. We went downstairs for our breakfast, only to find that the two waiting lines wrapped outside of the restaurant, up the stairs, and into the lobby. I wanted to just say "Forget it" but Baby B had other ideas. I knew that if I didn't get something in my belly soon, Momma would pay the price. We waited for about ten minutes before we saw the hostess, who quite hurriedly pointed at my pregnant belly, called a waitress over, and immediately moved us to the front of the line (ahead of about 40 non-pregnant guests). Score! I finally found one advantage to going to an amusement park 30 weeks pregnant--sympathy seating!

After a nice continental breakfast of breads, cereal, yogurt, and fruit, we headed out for the park...and not a moment too soon, as E had been talking about seeing pirates since the minute he woke up in the morning. Our first stop was Adventureland, because, well, that's where the pirates live. It is there that E took his first real ride--Pirates of the Caribbean. As much as he wanted to enjoy it, he just couldn't crack a smile. It was a little too dark, a little too scary, and a little too creepy for our Big E. We had to laugh though, because Emmett being Emmett, he never cried or complained. He also NEVER changed his expression, not once, even when the boat took a little dip down river. He just stared straight serious. Any of you that really know Emmett can totally picture this, I'm sure. I love that kid.

Since our first ride wasn't a huge success, we decided to follow it up with a classic, "It's a Small World". It is a very small world indeed, and it became a very familiar one as we rode it four times in just two days. Truth be told, E would have probably ridden it four more times had we let him. He loved it. And every time, he just took it all in, noticing something new around every corner. He's such a little observer.

Aside from these two rides, Daddy took him flying with Dumbo as well as Peter Pan. We also spent time at a couple of playgrounds, explored hidden caves, crossed a suspension bridge, and ate numerous popsicles. One of our favorite E moments was when we were walking through a cave. He was leading the way in full pirate attire--hat, flag, and sword at the ready. After turning a particularly dark corner, he immediately stopped, switched on his oh-so-serious face, and headed out of the cave saying "I don't think so...there's pirates in there".

Last but not least, the parade. Joe and I went to Disneyland Paris eleven years ago. Of course, we were in our twenties with no kids, so mostly we just hung out at the restaurants and had some drinks. It was also in October, a particularly slow time at the park, so seeing the parade was not a big deal. In fact, it seemed like we kept accidentally running into it, without planning. Not the case this time. People started claiming their spots along the parade route an hour in advance. Knowing that E probably wouldn't make it an hour, we decided to hit the gift shop, take a potty break, and try to find a spot before it started. This was when Operation Baby Bump came through yet again. As we were wandering the streets, a Disney employee stopped me and asked if I was looking for a place to watch the parade. I said yes, and he pulled back the rope to the handicapped section. He said "You should't be walking around in your condition. Come stand back here." Front row, baby! Apparently, in France, being pregnant is a handicap. I'll take it. I was so tired and sore at this point that I didn't think I could walk a step further anyway. Go Disneyland--way to treat the Mommas!

All in all, our first Disney experience with Emmett was a huge success. In fact, as we were loading up the car, he was crying "I don't want to leave this happy place. I love it here!" Something tells me this won't be our last trip to Disney :)

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