Monday, July 28, 2008

By popular demand...

Really? A picture of me? Ahhh, I get it. You all just want to see how pregnant I look. Well, although the pooch is noticeable in person - all my neighbors are getting excited by the barely noticeable pooches going on (there are 3 pregnant women in my neighborhood) - on camera, well, I think I just look a little thick. :)

Luke and I filled up his pool with water again this morning, this time allowing about 5 hours for it to warm up (once again, he can't swim until after nap time!). He does surprisingly well with this rule and is just happy to help fill up the pool. He held the hose the entire time - wow, 30 minutes of just standing there, waiting for the pool to fill, and he loved every minute of it. And since I, of course, think my child is uber cute and I can't get over the fact that he is growing up so fast, I had to take more pictures. So sorry if you are feeling inundated by Luke pictures but come on people, this is our family blog and I know there is a high demand for Luke pictures in some sects of the family (grandparents anyone?).

So without further ado, here are our pictures from our fun, sunny, summer morning -

It's me!! Oh, I am squatting and it is kind of shaded....okay, next!

Here you go. It's me, a little over 14 weeks along, hanging out with Luke. (If you click on the picture it will open in jumbo size!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oooo - it's a heat wave. Time for summer fun!

Today was the first nice summer day we've had in awhile. After a few weeks of temperatures in the 50s and 60s, I think we were all anxious to get a little warmth and some sunshine. Today, mother nature complied. When Luke and I ran to the grocery store this morning it was 76 degrees and by the time we arrived back home it was warming up even more. I thought today would be the perfect day to surprise Luke with his own little pool in the back yard. A couple months ago Brian bought Luke a table that has a circular area attached to it - it can be either a sandbox or a pool and we hadn't used it for either, until today. Once Luke went down for a nap I filled that puppy full of water (brrrrr!) and hoped that the 2 hours that Luke would sleep would be long enough to warm it up at least a few degrees. Luke woke up fabulously happy and I hooked him up with a snack (bananas since he keeps getting leg and foot cramps at night - let's see if it works!) and brought him upstairs to get his swim trunks on. He was a little confused but I told him I had a surprise for him. When he peeked out the back door his whole face lit up. I had water in the pool, the umbrellas open, watering cans and buckets ready for the water and all he had to do was open the door and get out there. And once he did he was the happiest child in the neighborhood for the entire 2 hours he played and splashed in there. A neighbor boy came down to hang out with Luke and they filled up the bulldozer with water and would dump it out with a large splash that delighted Luke, they put water down Luke's little slide and they pretended to fill up Luke's lawn mower with "gas" using the watering cans and pool water. Every once in awhile Luke would jump into the pool and lay on his belly and kick his legs really fast then shoot right back up and exclaim "it's COLD!" while shaking his arms (sign language for cold). He loved every minute of it and after we emptied the pool he told me "i pway in the po-yol a-marrow, i go to the po-yol ano-yer day" (translation: i play in the pool tomorrow. i go to the pool another day.) So if it is warm enough we will fill that pool back up again tomorrow. So little water, so much fun. Here are the pics:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Baby

Here is the baby's latest picture - taken last Friday. Everything seems to be just fine and growth is right on target. The baby is only about 3 inches long (taken at 12 weeks). He or she was jumping and jerking all over the place, especially when the doctor pressed down on my belly. And his/her hands were by his/her face and and chest and moving all around. See the little hand in the top picture? Next ultrasound picture will be sometime in late August or early September. Stay tuned! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Our French Road Trip

This past week we decided to take a fun road trip. It had been awhile since we really went out and did some exploring and Brian and I were itching to get out of Germany for a little while. I especially wanted to take Luke to Disneyland Paris, I thought he is at the perfect age to be introduced to the magic of Disney, and Brian wanted to try out the waves in Southern France. Last Wednesday we headed to Disneyland - what was supposed to be a 6 1/2 hour car ride turned into almost 9 hours!! The traffic on A6 leaving Germany was pretty awful and then we had a heck of a time finding an Esso gas station before we left the German border. (We prepay for gas at Esso stations and pay only $4 something per gallon instead of the $8 or $9 something per gallon gas costs on the economy - a perk that the military has worked out with the German goverment for us). We arrived at Disneyland Wednesday night and walked around Disney Village which was a fun area full of restaurants and shops right along a little man make lake - it was literally a stone's throw away from the back door of our hotel. On Thursday we woke up bright and early to head to the park (when you stay at a Disney hotel the park opens 2 hours early for hotel guests!) and we stayed all day. We had a great time and Luke absolutely loved it. He got such a kick out the spinning tea cups and was in awe at It's a Small World ride. We went on a few rides that he did not care for at all - namely the ones that were in the dark - we would hear a little voice saying "all done! all done!" while going through the blackness. We took him on the Pirates of the Carribean ride which is a boatride with small drops throughout and every time the boat dropped Luke said he was all done and wanted to get off. :) We had fun Friday morning at the park and rode the Buzz Lightyear ride for the second time and Brian went on Space Mountain and the Indiana Jones roller coaster. By lunch time the park was insanely crowded so we walked over to Disney Studios park to check it out - we went on a ride and saw a Donald Duck stage show. Luke was so funny throughout the show - he was mesmorized and clapped and cheered and pointed to the stage every time Donald or Mickey came on. We were surprised with how well he did - it is a 20 minute show and we were prepared for him to get bored or want to walk around but he just sat in his chair transfixed.
Saturday morning we headed to a small surf city on the coast of Southern France. It was surprisingly chilly there but Brian surfed regardless - he rented a wetsuit and dove in. The waves here are not as nice and clean or as predictable as the waves in Hawaii so it took him awhile to get used to it. We walked around a lot and explored the little coastal town. On Monday we drove down to Biarrtiz, which was Neapolian's summer retreat and it a huge tourist town, and we had a great time. It was a little cool again and the wind was crazy along the coast. We walked out on a huge pier to the ocean and followed a pathway up along the coast to an old marina, past and old church and back into town where we stopped for paninis and crepes - yum! We went down to a small beach to eat and them Brian and Luke walked out to the ocean to throw rocks. We then headed to Spain - San Sebastian and holy cow that city is GORGEOUS! And wouldn't you know it, my camera battery died right as we entered the city. We drove around but didn't get out to explore. We headed back to our hotel and the sun was shining and it was warming up so we woke Luke up early from his nap to take him out to the beach (right outside our hotel) for a couple hours. He had been asking for 2 days in a row to go into the ocean and play in the sand and we had to tell him it was just too cold. He thought about that and then turned to me and told me that the ocean was cold like ice cream. :)
By the following Tuesday we were ready to get home so instead of driving part of the way home and staying in a hotel 1 more night, we buckled down and drove the entire 1500km home! It took about 15 hours and Luke was surprisingly great the entire way. He must have known we were headed for home and he would be able to sleep in his own bed again. :) AND he took a 3 hour nap in the car which was such a nice and welcome break.
We had a fun trip and we'd definitely go back to all the places we visited. Brian declared our next big trip will be to Spain which I am excited about because I'll be able to put my high school Spanish to the test. :) And we will definitely go back to Disneyland again, just next time during the offseason so the prices are a little lower and the crowds are smaller.
I wouldn't leave you without any pictures of our trip so here you go - enjoy!

Little Frenchy tidbits:
The French say "Voila!" all the time (sounds like "walla!") - it means "look there!" but I think a better translation is "here you go!" or "great!" because every time you order food, the waitstaff will repeat your order, you say "oui!" and they say "voila!" OR, when you check into your hotel room, the staff hands you your room card and say "voila!" OR, when you pay a toll on the highway - they hand you your change and say "voila!" - you get the picture...
The French only understand their pronounciation of words (or at least pretend to only understand their pronounciations). We ordered creme brulee and said it the American way and the server looked at us like we ordered boogers on a stick. It took us saying it 3 times and then pointing to it on the menu for her to understand and then she says "Ahhhh, crema brula!" (like creme brulee sounds SO different) :)
France is very pretty - rolling hills, perfectly manicured landscapes, windmills and lots and lots of cows. AND, the majority of their highways are tollways so with all that money going towards their roads, their roads are PERFECT - smooth and gorgeous and clean. (However we weren't too fond of paying about $80 in tolls for the whole trip - ouch!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Frère Jacques - Luke's version

I taught Luke to sing Frère Jacques and he just loves it. Lately he does or says silly things to try to make us laugh and he changed up the third line of the song a little bit for some laughs. The first time he sang it I about died because it was so funny and he was so cute - he loved the reaction and kept singing it over and over and over. I had him sing it for Brian (without telling him that Luke changed some words) and Brian about died laughing as well and since Luke loved that reaction as well.....well, let's just say that this song is sung many times a day in our house and Luke will repeat his little "punchline" over and over and over until we say " are so funny!" and then he does a crazy little "haaa!" It makes his day. Here's a video clip - it isn't his best performance but you can hear him sing. :) Enjoy! (Sorry about his lack of clothes - he just woke up from a nap which explains his wonky hair as well. But notice the lack of diaper? That's right! Our little guy is potty trained and in big boy underpants full time! He just decided last Monday that he didn't want to wear diapers anymore and we haven't looked back! YAY!)