There isn't much going on at the Davis household these days so I thought that I would just post a little hello and some small updates so you wouldn't think that I completely disappeared. Brian is working a rotation now so we don't see much of him. When we do see him, Luke is pretty thrilled. Brian is usually long gone by the time Luke wakes up in the morning but he flew late last night and got to sleep in this morning. Luke was happily surprised to see daddy in bed this morning when he came to wake me up. And, today while shopping at the commissary someone ran up to Luke from behind and picked him up to hug him - it was Brian and Luke was so tickled, "It's daddy!" and then he ditched me to go get sandwiches with dad. I checked in with the CLEOS office on post to see where Luke is on the wait list for preschool and he is still number 3. It sounds like we are close but you never know! I know he is excited about school (until I drop him off, right?) because I keep talking it up so I would love to get him in a program soon. I did just find out that they are starting a LapSit reading hour at the library for toddlers aged 1-3 every Tuesday morning so I'll start taking Luke to that next week as something for us to do. It sounds like fun and will be a nice introduction for Luke on practicing sitting still for the "teacher." Other than that, we are having fun planning out possible trips we might take this fall (Belgium, Croatia, The Netherlands.....) and since Luke is getting better and better at understanding and following directions, along with his endless curiosity about everything, I have been trying to introduce him to all sorts of new tasks and crafts. Our child loves doing laundry (I know!), and helping with the microwave and mixer (when I make cakes or bread). He helps throw garbage away and he'll pick up his room when given direction. And for fun activities (although he does think doing laundry is fun, I swear!), we have been painting with sidewalk chalk paint, finger painting, coloring and last week we made homemade play doh and cut out shapes with cookie cutters and let them try. When our next cold and rainy day comes through I am going to let Luke paint them with acrylic paints. And when October rolls around I plan on buying a ridiculous amount of tulip bulbs and a little shovel for Luke and letting him do crazy digging up dirt in the front yard and plunking tulip bulbs in. And of course, when we want something ridiculously fun to do, there is always bowling! Luke took to bowling so fast and knows exactly where the bowling alley is on base. Every time we drive by the building he tells me that we will go bowling another day. It is pretty cute and he is pretty patient about it. I think we'll even go sometime next week when Brian's rotation is over. And as for me? Well, I am feeling good! My belly has popped out and I seemed to have gained a small little chunk of weight to go along with the belly. My energy is pretty high but my sleep is pretty lousy - it is quite the ordeal to roll over since I am most uncomfortable and achy at night but you get used to it. We should be heading to the doctor in another couple of weeks to check on the baby. We hope everyone is doing well! I'll try to post some new pictures soon.
but I finally shook Hawaii. It is about time. For the past few months I have been torturing myself reminiscing about the beach, the sun, the sand, the fun, the food, the laughter and all my friends. Every time I start missing Hawaii, I try to reason with myself, reminding myself that I was ready to leave, that I didn't like that it was hot all the time, that sand sticks to your butt and gets everywhere in your car and that moving is just part of military life....and it just didn't work. I would give myself pep talks about Germany - "Look around! It is gorgeous here. What an amazing experience and opportunity to live in Germany and travel around Europe!" And that didn't work either. But today, in August no less, I woke up to a clear and crisp day and something felt a little magical about it. After I drank my morning coffee, I decided to get Luke dressed and head outside because it felt like fall. It was 60 degrees, cool, quiet, crisp and the sun was shining so although your nose and ears feel cool, the sun warms you up a little. We bundled up in fleece jackets and wandered around picking different leaves off all the trees. And as we were walking around I was flooded with memories from all the autumns I experienced growing up. I thought of soccer games, raking leaves, going to the apple orchards, drinking hot cocoa, lazy days in the neighborhood and laying on the floor at home playing Monopoly, watching football, running around outside until you felt your lungs would burst and your ears would fall off because they were so pink...and I realized that I really, I mean really, missed this. It has been 12 years since I have lived in this type of climate. Sure I still lived on the mainland from 1997 to 2003 but I was in the South and in the South getting a decent autumn is a crap shoot. Most of the time it is still hot until the end of September and then it gets freakishly cold, not much of an in between. Or, it is so mild that it seems that the trees and mother nature never really get a chance to showcase fall in all it's glory. Anyways, today I realized how much I love this weather and how comforting it is to me. This is the first time since we have been here that I have been truly content all day long and totally comfortable. After playing outside for awhile, Luke and I packed it on in and while I made a grocery list, he played with Play-Doh. We went to the store and I got all the ingredients I need for chili and I did a massive search for hot apple cider (no luck). As I type this up, little man is asleep, napping in my bed and I am enjoying this gorgeous fall (in August?) day and am wishing that the smell of cinnamon was wafting through my house. I almost want to decorate for Halloween! (I will, however, contain myself until September rolls around.) So bring on the fall weather - I'll take it! And Hawaii, I'm sure in the middle of the winter when it has been gray for days and days and it is so cold that I just can't take it anymore, I'm sure I'll miss you and your warm sunny skies and your gorgeous beaches but right now I have fall and pretty soon football, and you just can't beat that. Oh, and the leaves that Luke and I picked? I am going to iron them between 2 pieces of wax paper and if that isn't fall then I don't know what is!
Brian is about to start another rotation so for the next couple of weeks we will hardly see him. We decided to have an easy and relaxing weekend and not venture off anywhere too far away. This morning we headed to Lupburg (a small town 2km down the road from us) to see their castle ruins, as well as the Velburg castle ruins (about 15km away). Lupburg's ruins are in the middle of getting renovated but they still allow people to wander and explore. The castle was pretty demolished by bombs, only a couple original walls still stood. The Velburg castle was impressive in that we had to park our car in a small gravel lot and then hike up the top part of a mountain to get to it, quite the workout! But is was neat to see all the old parts and pieces of the stone fortress that used to be around the castle tucked under trees and hiding under the long grass and wildflowers along the way. It looked as if you could film movies there - Braveheart-ish. here is a huge stone entrance still standing, a few small walls and a tower. Luke thought that it was pretty cool that we could see windmills from the castle towers and Brian and I enjoyed the scenery. It was a gorgeous day - temperatures in the high 60s but warming up toward lunch time.
I had a wild idea that Brian and I should introduce Luke to bowling! There isn't a plethora of activities offered for 2 1/2 year olds - sports here start at age 4 - and it is always nice to get a change of scenery from playgrounds and backyards. I thought Luke would really enjoy it and I thought he was at the age where he can understand the rules and the concept of taking turns. And guess what? He is! After a little excitement induced anxiety at first (excited to see all the bowling balls but wanting to pick them all up and finding that he couldn't), we got his little bowling shoes on and he knew exactly what to do! Brian programmed Luke's turn to have bumpers and Luke and I rehearsed the "rules" 1 more time ("When it is Luke's turn, you pick up the ball and PUSH it down the lane!" We even had the hand gestures for "push!" and he seemed to know what he was getting into). He picked up his 7 pound ball (yes, that was the lightest one they had) and walked right up to the lane. I thought for sure he would keep walking down it or try to chase after the ball but he placed his ball down at the line and pushed. And he stayed there, in squatting position until the ball would hit the pins. It took a few frames before we got the taking turns down pat and he even started to get excited for when Brian bowled - clapping and yelling "yay daddy!". All 3 of us bowled a game together and while Brian and I ate some dinner, Luke bowled his own game. He was pretty sad we had to leave but it wasn't awful trying to get him out of there. We all enjoyed it and Brian was wondering why we hadn't done it earlier. I had to remind him that bowling involves rules, sharing and taking turns and that is something that Luke has been working on for a few months now and has finally mastered. I think if we would have gone earlier it would have been a disaster. We stood there and thought about that for a second and Brian nodded and said "yes, you are right and then we would have never gone bowling again." ;) I managed to get a little video clip of Luke bowling - and at the end you can see Brian say "give me five!" and Luke says "no!" and runs around him. He had just discovered the amazing ball return thingy and thought Brian was preventing him from watching the ball come back. :) Every time that crazy ball was spit out, Luke's face lit up like Christmas. It's the little things I tell ya! :)
Just kidding - I'll tell you. I just wanted to see if you had any guesses.
We went to the dr yesterday. I am in my 17th week and the baby is doing great. The doctor said that the baby is long - so another tall little one crunched inside my belly. :) Luke was 22 inches long, wonder how long this little one will be.
There was a big birthday party in our neighborhood yesterday for 2 little boys that turned six years old. They had a huge blow up slide for the big day - remind me how perfect of an idea that is - they needed NOTHING ELSE to keep all the kids happy. They played on that thing for hours, ate sandwiches and cake, opened presents and enjoyed goodie bags. EL FIN! Luke had a great time, we were outside for 7 straight hours. He loved that big inflatable slide and even got a little daring at the top, jumping and bouncing all over before he would take the plunge down. He got knocked down a few times by the bigger kids but he just shook it off and kept on climbing. The dads got in on the fun too and they were climbing up, cannon balling down, doing flips, rocking it back and forth...leave it to the dads to try to have as much fun as the kids! All the kids thought it was great that the adults were climbing up and leaping down that thing (some moms too! Not me though, nobody wanted the preggo going down the slide.) Luke is still talking about that slide today, telling me that he gets to go to a birthday party and play on the slide after his nap. :) Here are a few of the MANY pictures I took and some video clips of Luke AND Luke and Brian going down the slide.
This weekend we decided to explore the caves (Tropfsteinhohle) in Velburg, a small town about 15 minutes away from Parsberg. We parked in a lot and hiked up a hill a small ways to a little cafe in the middle of the woods, complete with picnic tables everywhere and some wooden playground equipment for the kiddos. We didn't know that it was a guided tour so we paid for our tickets and Brian and I drank lattes while Luke ran around and played. At 11:30am the tour began and we slowly descended a bunch of stairs into the old caves. The caves are old drip stone caves which after taking the small tour, I am guessing that means that water slowly drips and drips and drips from the ceiling and the minerals in the water form many of the rock formations in the cave. Unfortunately the tour was only in German and since Brian and I know few German words, we pretty much trailed along and tried to figure out what we were looking at. The formations in the cave were pretty cool as was the temperature. There were little bats flying around which everyone got a kick out of and Luke kept saying "birds!" The sign at the cave entrance said no flash cameras so I didn't take any pictures at all at first but then everyone else on the tour started using their cameras with the flash and the tour guide didn't say a thing so we joined the crowd and took a few pictures as well. There was a small case full of fossils of all sorts of animals and huge teeth which looked like human molars. This particular cave was "discovered" in 1875. It was a neat little tour, a little claustrophobic at first but the beauty of the cave, the deeper we got, was really amazing. And as always, here are your pictures: