Friday, November 29, 2013
After the birth of Caleb ... and the day we became citizens ... and Helen and William's visit ... we also celebrated our anniversary. 38 wonderful years. Tuesday was the day but we had things to do including James' last Spanish lesson in the evening. So we celebrated Wednesday by going out for lunch to P. F. Chang's. Love that place for the great memories of our visit to Xian China and the terracotta warriors.
Today, on Thanksgiving Thursday, we were invited to Wade's Uncle Jon, his wife Carolyn and son Cooper in West Point. Of course Sarah, Wade and Caleb were there. Also Wade's parents Kathy and Mike and sister Katie and fiancé Tim. We were so comfortable in this wonderful group of people.
After many days of dreary, cold and rainy there was sun and the drive was fun. When we arrived the guys were grilling appetizers: oysters! See the drumm?
Turkey was cooking nearby.
Ah, the oysters.
Jon was kind enough to open them for me.
Yummy! This one was special he told me with this little crab in it. See the little red/yellow thing. Those are a delicacy ... a pound costing about $400. It was nice but I don't think I would pay that much for it. Loved trying all of it though! Thanks, Jon.
We talked and visited. At one point this group even went down to the dock and James took the picture.
Meanwhile the busy hostess Carolyn took a short break to visit with Caleb. A rare and short moment of sleep. He was awake most of the time, wandering from arm to arm not wanting to miss anything.
I must admit that I wasn't very good taking photos today. Too busy visiting. This is one Sarah had texted earlier. Cute appropriate outfit.
Kathy alerted us to the wonderful sunset view from the porch. What a view.
Dinner is ready. No picture of the beautiful table, sorry. Sarah had just nursed Caleb for the ? time and thought he would like to sleep in the baby rocker next to the table ...
... Caleb said that if Omi is finished eating she could hold him. Kathy took this picture from across the table.
We had a grand time visiting and laughing. James and I were so grateful to be included. Just wished I had taken more pictures.
With all the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving: I am thankful for gadgets! Helen, Ben and William far away, we texted with Helen. She sent us this picture "enjoying watching the Macy's Parade". I could hear William in my head talking about the balloons going HIGH IN THE AIR. Helen thinks he is ready to go to New York next year. Wouldn't that be fun.
Being a grandma twice now I often think how my parents in Germany must have felt with two of their grandchildren so far away in America. I am just glad I wrote many letters (which could sometimes take two weeks to get there) and sent (printed) pictures.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
William had a good nights sleep and showed up in the morning in our bedroom and hopped into our bed. But not for long. I shared my every-day breakfast with him (oats with Greek yoghurt and a touch of agave syrup, my special homemade applesauce with carrots and prunes). He loved it. I wasn't allowed to finish my half portion, ha-ha.
Helen likes the Richmond library programs for children. James found that there was a preschool one at 10:30 at the Tuckahoe Library and we made it just in time. It was really great and William loved it. Look at this video!
Helen and I learned a new song. Somehow we got the feeling that William might already know it. We liked it so much that we started to use it as our table prayer. William certainly thinks it is great. (Several meals later he reminded us that we needed to pray.)
We had to make one stop but otherwise went straight home. Thanks to smart phones. Since James was out and about too we texted for him to get a pizza and it was already in the oven when we got there. When we had lunch we sang the new table prayer. William was beaming.
Then Grandpa took William to the playground. He (James) was very proud of himself that he thought of taking pictures.
They had to cut it short because of a toilette situation but he was in really good form and we played with the balloon. Oh, yes, a video! I didn't get quite the right moment though.
The fresh air must have been good because William then took a nap. I love cuddling him and singing him to sleep. Luckily he doesn't mind that his Omi really can't sing. He doesn't like taking naps anymore. You usually get a stern "no nap" from him. Omi is always very pleased when it ends like this.
Didn't get to see Caleb or his parents today though. They were busy getting ready to go home. Sarah texted pictures though:
After receiving the above pictures I asked "going home?" she answered "home". Then came the video. I uploaded it to YouTube. Hope Sarah doesn't mind. It's so cute.
The downside of William having taken a nap is that he doesn't seem to get tired in the evening. He likes to play hard. Luckily we seem to be quite good at it. A good game is the flying saucer from the dollar store. It is especially fun since we have a cathedral ceiling. In this picture William is retrieving the saucer. Sometimes it went into places like behind the TV. I remembered the "hindering hand" (that's what Helen's Grandpa used to call the "helping hand" gadget) and William had a lot of fun with that too.
And the smiley face balloon with the extra long string was still "alive" too dancing at the ceiling. Grandpa warned "not too close to the ceiling fan" because it would hurt the balloon but curiosity finally overcame William. He wanted to know what would happen. Well, it cut the string really close to the balloon and there was no reaching it ever. We had no tears because he knew he wasn't supposed to do it. Luckily in the night it drifted along into the loft. Helen could get it and we knotted the string back on.
My first babysitting appointment, ha-ha. Wade had to go to work and Sarah wanted to bring the dogs to the doggie day care. Alarm clock rang at 6:15 am and I was at Sarah's at 7 am. I tried taking a "selfie" but decided I really had to crop the picture. Caleb of course is a cutie.
Sarah and I took care of a few things and then spent some time in the nursery and played dress-up.
I had taken James' car because the Volvo had William's car seat. At 10 o'clock I met Helen, James and William at Willow Lawn shopping center and swapped cars. Helen went to see Sarah and Caleb, James, William and I had to go shopping/krogering. We are so happy that William always likes to do things with us.
I had told Sarah that I would like to bring dinner to them and she had said that taco salad sounded great. Then she had told me that they would like us to have dinner with them so we bought enough ingredients. I always wanted to try this recipe for a Crock pot breakfast casserole. I bought enough for two recipes: one Helen and I prepared for the young family before we left after dinner (for Saturday morning) ... the other we started before we went to bed to enjoy next morning.
At home again I was busy in the kitchen and William found his own entertainment.
And then Grandpa and William went to the park. The weather was so nice. William loves, LOVES trains! Grandpa hit the jackpot.
The girls surprised us! With the dinner they wanted to celebrate our new citizenship. So sweet.
Helen had brought a gift all the way from Nashville.
She told us the story. William had made this in honor of Veterans' Day (I think at a mommy's craft meeting). Helen said that as soon as she saw it she knew it was perfect. Ben helped with it and their friend Larry. James and I think this American Eagle is so special.
Sarah gave us another gift.
Love it, love it, love it. Remember when I blogged about the nursery? I hinted (well, I might have HINTED) that I would love something like it for Christmas or birthday. Even if it looks exactly the same, we will have to change the USA flag for the one we actually got at the Oath Ceremony.
I think our girls, their husbands and their sons are very special! Thank you all!
Ha-ha, William trying the dog bed.
And there was dessert too.
Helen had a funny story about the cake. She had pre-ordered it. When she went to pick it up (after we swapped the cars as we learned later) the cake was orange and yellow with two flags stuck in. Helen was horrified but the person said she could quickly come up with something else. She didn't have any of the ordered chocolate cake any more but I think she did a pretty good job ... and everybody thought it was funny ... and good ...
... especially with ice cream, ha-ha.
This kid didn't have any complains.
The weather had turned very cold. I mean VERY. James went for a very short walk with William in the neighborhood. They came back very quickly because it was so cold that it just was no fun.
So we had to have fun inside. This is William's pretend garage. After being the one who always has to be the one to press the button on the Volvo to make the back door came down, he now is the one who also has to press the button to close the garage door. We had fun with the blankets and quilts in Omi's livingroom.
He wasn't keen on going to bed but we told him that the smiley balloon had gone to bed, started to whisper etc etc. Whatever it takes, right?
Church at 10. Our friends couldn't believe how much William had grown. They have all known him since they had prayed for him when he was a preemie. As always he was very good at church. He had no problems going to Children's chapel by himself and before communion he said the Lord's prayer with all of us. He had decided to sit in the pew in front of us with Meghan (a pretty young woman) and she couldn't believe it.
Right after church we went to Sarah and Wade because Helen of course wanted to say good-bye to her sister. Sarah had a present for William. A very cute Advent-calendar.
Caleb wasn't so happy about our visit. He was hungry.
Helen had ordered a book for Caleb and it had arrived. It is called "Good night Tennessee".
She read a little to him but soon he demanded that it really was lunch time.
But here is a video anyway!
While Mommy was packing we played. A video!
William loves numbers and the alphabet. Oh dear, another video!
Well, and then comes the moment. We had to bring them to the airport shortly after 4 pm. William was looking forward all day to "go high and fast". He had talked all the time about how he had come ... and how he would go home again "high in the air and fast".
I will miss your hugs and kisses, William. But it is only a month til Christmas. You have to teach Caleb to give hugs and kisses just like you!!!