Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cheekwood and back to VA


William is an excellent sleepover guest. I love his sleepy smile when he wakes up. He always asks for Omi's applesauce and oats for breakfast but he also likes boiled eggs on sandwich rounds.

Papa checks the weather and since we have a whole day we think we should go to Cheekwood first. James knew that there were 6 playhouses at the moment William would surely enjoy. The garden opens at 9am which is great to be in the cooler morning air.

From the parking lot we went through several gardens. William enjoyed telling me which flowers were in his Mommy's garden. Well, no water lilies. He so would have liked to throw little sticks into the water. Not allowed.




Omi just enjoys taking photos.




This was the playhouse William liked best. He couldn't get enough sliding down this pipe.





But of course he wanted to see the trains too. They are there permanently and he has seen them often. He run circles around it, only stopping when he had caught up with a train.





James and I had trouble keeping up with him. See James peeking from the other side?



Another playhouse. I love the hardware.



Oh well, back to the favorite.





Another ... the castle. Peek!






And there was another playhouse on the other side of the lake. William didn't like it and didn't even go close.



He found the rocks, the lake and the little waterfall much more interesting.



Tadpoles and little fishes. Questions like where are the frogs?



He loved the stepping stones and we had to cross three times.



The last playhouse. Embroidered umbrellas making the roof.



Swings hanging from the cross beams.




We had brought a water bottle but we were soooooo thirsty. And it was close to lunchtime. If you are three people and they bring 4 complimentary little cupcakes ... who gets the extra one?



At lunchtime I got a text from Sarah. The twins were making trouble. She had gone to the Dr and was sent to the hospital. She is 31 1/2 weeks along. Too early. James and I decided that we should leave in the afternoon rather then next morning as planned.

William was wonderful. He understood that Papa and Omi needed to help Auntie Sarah and Uncle Wade with Caleb. He even helped us pack his blow-up bed in case he comes to visit us in Virginia to visit. The crib in Richmond really will not do any longer. Papa explained that we will bring it back if we visit first ... just like his car seat. He is a smart little guy.

And then we just had to wait for Mommy to come.




Leaving is never easy. We had planned everything so carefully ... going to dinner together near their house and then part ways. It's always more difficult for him when he has to leave our place. So sorry we had to shorten our visit those three precious hours.

And it's better when we can say when we will see each other again. He loves calendar pages where he can cross off the days. Don't know this time. The only promise we can make that it will be as soon as possible.


I wanted to stop here but then many would say "what about Sarah?" She is fine. So are the twins.

We had a good drive. Is that rainbow three hours into our drive an omen? First without and then with rain. Actually a very heavy downpour.




Wade and Sarah had kept us up to date of the situation during the evening. We arrived at 3 in the morning.


Things looked much better. Wade brought Caleb to the day care and went to the hospital. We went around 10 to relieve him so he could go to work.

I am very impressed with the care Sarah got. They even rolled a machine in for a scan. Everybody was excited that the twins were really doing great. It seems that

Baby A is about 5 pounds 4 oz and

Baby B is about 4 pounds 13 oz.

As the Dr said to Sarah: a lot of baby already in there.




The things over the faces look strange but it's just when the membranes are too close. Nothing to worry about.

At 5 pm James and I met at their house. James drove Sarah's car from the hospital and I drove the car we had come in. Wade got Caleb from the day care and we now took care of him so Wade could go to his wife. Caleb likes to help.



I didn't take the best picture though. When it got close to bedtime we watched a little "Curious George". Caleb sat on Papa's lap and Papa was fast asleep. The 4 hours in the night had not been enough after all.

Sarah got discharged on Saturday. Everything is fine. She just needs to take it more (much more) easily.

* * *

That was quite a scare. It reminded me of when we had to rush to Nashville when Helen was in a similar situation. I really could do with a hug from Helen and William right now.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First Grade

Tuesday August 2nd

The students meet their teachers and find out to which class room they should report the next day. William is very excited. Mommy is schlepping the supplies mentioned on the class supply list.

Of course William is very excited about "die Schultüte" too. We explained to him what it was and why he was getting it. Only once in a lifetime. Only on the first day of first grade. Not every year. He must have asked a dozen times whether he really could keep it and whether all was for him.




He likes his teacher Ms Adkins and so do we.



First grade street. There are 4 classes.



Afterwards all 5 of us went for an early dinner. While waiting for the ordered food William finally unwrapped the little gifts. He had a lot of fun. We all did.






First day of school, even if it is only a half day. Helen arranged to work only the afternoon so she could walk him to school and pick him up again. We met them where she works to take care of him so she could do her teaching. The first thing he told us that school is great!

We had to return something to Kohl's so we drove to Smyrna, had lunch and took care of the errand.

Helen had posted this picture from the morning on FB.



And this was in his backpack. 5 chocolate kisses (which William shared with us!)



Back at the townhouse the boys spent time together playing and watching a little TV while I did a little kitchen work. There was something on Facebook in the morning about Cherry Clafoutis and I had to try it. We had gone shopping in the morning and bought the cherries. Actually we got them free because the cash register tried to charge the wrong price. Way too expensive!

The recipe is a keeper. Delicious and looked so good. And I forgot to take a picture. It was dessert after dinner.

William didn't care too much about his fish in tomato sauce (new recipe -not a keeper) but he loved his salad. He needed fork and spoon at the end to get everything. He asked whether that would count for his clean-plate-award too (dessert). Yes, of course.




And tonight one more sleepover because there is no school Thursday. First full day of school Friday!


Three more sleepovers


After three mornings seeing William waking up with a smile and asking for Omi's applesauce with oats for breakfast it was rather low-key today. It was Ben's birthday but he had to work. So Helen and William were coming for lunch. Helen hoped I would make a tomato pie like for her sister last week. It could be regular crust but she preferred a cauliflower crust (a new thing?). I googled!



The result! (two extra individual dishes because I had too much cauliflower)



Helen was so happy about it (it was quite delicious) that she posted on Facebook. The result: people wanted the recipe.

I wrote down my version and Helen passed it along. If you are interested you find it clicking the tab "From my Kitchen" at the top of the blog site.



After lunch Helen, William and I had to do the "back to school" shopping with the "wish list" from his school's first grade class. OMG what a zoo! But we were successful and that is all that matters.

Helen and William had made a most delicious chocolate birthday cake for Ben and of course we all sang.




Ben signaled William to help to blow out the candles.





I can't remember what we did during the day but I am sure it involved a lot of crawling on the floor. We had to make improvements to the train tracks. William had arrived with his little red suitcase again for the next three nights.




Blessings of the backpacks at their church. All the students were asked to stand up which William did of course.


All the students were asked to lift up their backpacks so they could be blessed.



Besides the prayer for the students we had prayers for the teachers and then for the parents too.

And a blessing for Drifter the therapy dog. Helen and Drifter are in the READING PAWS program helping every year children who have a problem. They gave a presentation afterwards in the Sunday school class.



After lunch at the townhouse William and Helen played battleship. William is quite good already but a little help from Papa is appreciated.






William won!



Helen had to go home to prepare for her lessons for the coming week. Double this week since she was filling in for somebody else too.

We so wished we could do something outside but it us just too hot and muggy. But inside play is better then none. William is not tired of the "helicopter game" yet. But the flying disc sometimes ends up behind the furniture. It's a problem to get it back from behind the sofa so we got smart and used a sheet after this.








William likes experiments. We had played with this last year and he suddenly remembered.




Ah, another bridge!





Well, and then there is the shark which spits very light balls. Trying to get them into the bucket. Omi is hopeless, Papa is pretty good and even William managed to get it in a couple of times.





Bath time. Time to relax and come down from jumping etc. He did something with the bubbles and wanted me to get Papa which I didn't think was a good idea since he comes up later for the reading anyway. So William told me to at least take a photo. Well, OK.



He does the reading! Loves it!



And when he is asleep I fill the "Schultüte".



Can't get everything in.





Since Helen has to work she asked us to take him to his haircut appointment. Turned out that we needed to call a plumber because there was a leak at the guest toilette tank and James hat to stay home. The appointment was at 11 but we were ready way earlier so tried our luck. William and I were at the door of the Sharkey haircut place when they opened at 10 and were finished in 20 minutes. She knew exactly how he had it last time so I was happy.





He told me right away that it felt so much better. His words!

Since everything seemed to be going so well we popped into Target and were lucky to find school uniform tops for him. One color for every day in the week. After I washed them he had fun organizing them to take home. I wished they had better colors but since school has now started the shelves were empty. May be I will have better luck in Virginia where school doesn't start again until September.



It's meet the Teacher time tonight so we have to pack everything up and be with him at his house at 4:30pm.