Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Other blog...

To see what I have been up to, besides the traveling, sightseeing and belly growing, check out my FrayBaby blog at http://fraybabybibsandmore.blogspot.com/. I have been busy trying to fill my shop with new items. I'm trying to clear out the sewing room before baby girl arrives in January. I have a LOT of sewing to do - with a couple new totes, trick or treat bags and little kid belts in the pipeline, and I have even more items that are finished and waiting to be listed. If you need or want anything, let me know and I'll be more than happy to put it aside for you or to make it for you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oktoberfest and Pumpkins

Brian went to Oktoberfest on Wednesday. Yup, THE Oktoberfest in Munich. He went with a group of families from work and they had a great time. They took the train there - about a 2 hour ride - and back. Brian said it was the largest fest he has ever seen and it was amazing. They stayed about 4 hours and that wasn't nearly enough time to see and do everything. The women who went along had their cameras (of course!) and took some great pictures and sent them my way. I wasn't brave enough to take Luke up there, although he would have enjoyed the train ride, being a the Fest would have been too overwhelming for him. Maybe next year? Here are some pictures, hope you enjoy them!

Oktoberfest! - the Paulaner tent
Another huge beer tent
The Paulaner horses
I believe this is where the group ate lunch

I know it looks like Brian is on a kiddie ride, I mean he is sitting on a SWING after all...
but THIS is the crazy, terrifyingly high ride that he is on. ACK!

And here is the view from way up there.

In addition to the Oktoberfest fun, Brian came home from work last night with a special surprise for Luke. Luke and I were in the baby's room trying to hang stuff on the walls when Brian called up that he bought Luke a present. Luke looked at me and said "a present!?!" I told him to go downstairs to see what it is. I heard his little feet thumping down the stairs and all of a sudden I heard him take the biggest inhalation of surprise and heard him exclaim "oh! what is it?!?" Brian laughed and asked him what it is and Luke exclaims "It's a PUM-KIN!" Luke was so excited - he sat by it for at least 15 minutes, trying to pick it up and just checking it out. He kept exclaiming "mommy! mommy! is a pum-kin!" Brian is talking about carving it this weekend (I know, a little early) but he said that we can always buy another one later in October. Here are some pics of Luke and his prize pumpkin.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Look what I can do!

I crochet! :) Ugggg, does that make me sound like I am 80? I play Bunco, crochet, sew, like to read and enjoy watching my shows. Yup, I'm 31 going on 80.
Okay, so Bunco is an excuse to get together with all the girls and have a great time, I sew fun totes and super cute baby stuff, I read mystery (and sometimes trashy) novels, and my "shows" consist of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Project Runway. And crocheting is actually a cool skill to have under my belt. So far I have made a super cool and hip thin crocheted red scarf, a great baby blanket and I have started a cotton washcloth with a new stitch I learned and am working on yet another blanket for my crochet-loving child, Luke. (He's been attached to crocheted blankets ever since he was an infant.) I'm digging it. Not only does it result in something pretty cool, but it is relaxing to do and I am starting to be able to do it while watching TV - very cool. I live in Germany for Pete's sake! It's cold 7 or 7 months out of the year so I can make us a bunch of cozy scarves and blankies (and eventually hats! I have to learn that stitch first), and it gives me something (else) to do for those days we are stuck inside all day due to weather. Anyhoo - wanted to show off my latest creation and give you a 23 week preggo picture.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's confirmed - she's a girl!

I went to the doctor this morning for a check up and he confirmed that the baby is indeed a little girl. He first told us she was a girl at my 16 week appointment but I wanted to be absolutely certain before I started telling the whole world. Now that I am past 22 weeks and the baby is a lot bigger, it is even easier to tell the sex.
The appointment was fast and easy. The doctors here are pretty laid back. I gained a ridiculous amount of weight over the past 6 weeks (more than the first 16 weeks combined!) and the nurses and doctor just smile and say "Oh, es gut!" The doctor said she is measuring perfectly and my belly looks great (isn't that a funny thing to say?) Oh, and she is very long. The sonogram machine predicted my due date at January 15th, going on the size of the baby, but since we are a TALL family and Luke was 22 inches when he was born the doctor said that my due date (the 24th of January) is pretty accurate and he won't be changing it. We'll just have a tall little girl, just like her brother.
I also got permission to fly to the states in November. He put the last date safe air travel at December 14th and since we are planning on returning sometime the first week of December, I'm in the clear.
Four more months of pregnancy to go - complete with heart burn, weight gain, oh, and the all new treat that I was graced with last night - CHARLEY HORSES! Oh my gosh I thought I was going to die, my calf had seized up and there was nothing I could do to ease the pain. My doctor said magnesium should help. We'll see. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prague - How I Love Thee!

Since my birthday is this month, I got to choose the family trip we would take. I decided a 2 day trip to Prague would be great. I've heard amazing things about the city and read about the sights but nothing prepared for me for how wonderful Prague is and how much I would love every part of it. We got up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove the 3 hour trip, arriving around noon. After finding and checking in the hotel, we headed out to find some lunch and to see the sights. We ate a DELICIOUS lunch and then walked around the city for almost 7 hours. We stayed mostly in the old downtown area, seeing the Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall and The Charles Bridge. We walked the cobblestone streets, stopping in stores and cafes along the way and at the vendor stands set up in the street. Luke got a couple wooden toys, I bought a few Russian nesting doll magnets and Brian bought me a garnet ring (Prague is known for their garnets and amber). I took tons of pictures along the way. We didn't have Luke's stroller with us but with all those cobblestone streets it probably would have been a hindrance. He did a great job walking and Brian and I took turns carrying him at times. He also enjoyed chasing pigeons and running through big groups of them begging for food. We took a couple breaks in small cafes (which had delicious lattes by the way, and crepes!) and by 7:30pm we were smoked and ready for our hotel room. On Monday the weather was lousy - rainy, cold and Luke was in an awful mood. We planned to spend the day on the Mala Strana side of town where the Prague Castle is located, along with the entire grounds which include the St Vitus Cathedral, the Old Castle Tower and the gardens. We drove up to that side of town, parked, took some pictures of the old convent, the castle and the area and then headed home. The only bummer of the trip (besides the cruddy weather on Monday) was that once we had time to unwind and look at the map of Prague and map out where we had walked, we realized that we were this close! to some sites that we wanted to see, like the John Lennon wall and the Jewish Cemetery and Synagogues. I suppose that would have added a couple more hours to our walking adventure so we'll have to hit up all those places next time, along with the castle, of course. I'll leave you with a ridiculous amount of pictures and some description of and possibly history about what you are looking at.

Information on Prague taken from Wikipedia - "Prague is is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Its official name is Hlavní město Praha, meaning Prague, the Capital City. Situated on the River Vltava in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech state for over 1100 years. The city proper is home to more than 1.2 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 1.9 million. Prague is widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with preserved examples from all periods of its history and is among the most visited cities on the continent. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. "

Driving into Prague

Luke is ready for lunch! This is the outdoor table we sat at in the middle of Wenceslaus Square for our delicious Bohemian skillet - medallions of pork and lamb along with chicken breast strips covered in thinly sliced potatoes, chunks of onion and bacon, a generous amount of cream and tons of cheese. Check out the skillet in one of the photos below!

Luke and I waiting for lunch.

There's the skillet! We all loved it and ate a ton although we couldn't finish it. :(

Luke in front of a souvenir shop
Heading into the Old Town Square. There are tons of shops along this strip and you guessed it, a Starbucks!
Astronomical Clock - This clock has been ticking since 1490. The clock tracks the zodiac, the sun, the moon, Christian holidays and the calendar. The legend behind the clock is that the Czech government was so impressed with the clock and didn't want the clock maker to ever make such a masterpiece for anyone else that they blinded him. The clock maker was so distraught over being blinded that he threw himself into the clock gears to kill himself and simultaneously ruin the workings of the gears. This legend is supposedly false.

Old Town Square - Church of Our Lady before Tyn is in the background
Old Town Square
Close Up of the Astronomical Clock
Brian and Luke in Old Town Square
Luke LOVED this clock - see him pointing to it? After we found this clock he was on a mission to point out all the clocks he saw on our long walk.

Old Town Hall - this side of town hall is the original from 1338. The other side of the hall was blown up by the Nazi's at the end of WWII
The horses and carriages lined up throughout the Old Town ready to give passengers a nice ride through town. We almost took Luke on a carriage ride but decided to keep exploring on foot. Maybe next time.
Jan Hus Monument - Jan Hus was a religious reformer that was burned at the stake for his beliefs. The monument was erected on July 6, 1915 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his death.
Looking over the river - We walked along the river to the Charles Bridge
He's so strong. Holding up that bridge with 1 hand.
And what is that in the palm of his hand? It is Prague Castle!
Me and Luke - that is the Charles Bridge behind us - the famous bridge that crosses the Vltava River whose construction started in 1357. Taken from Wikipedia.org - "The bridge is 516 meters long and nearly 10 meters wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700." The bridge is FULL of vendors selling paintings, jewelry and other art work, along with musicians and tons of tourists making their way back and forth along the bridge. There are many stories about the bridge and people who have been tossed to their death, as was the case with John of Nepomuk, who was tossed to his death on March 20, 1393 by Wenceslaus because he refused to divulge the secrets told to him in confessional by the king's wife. Old Town side Charles Bridge Tower
The Clementium - right across the street from the Charles Bridge on the Old Town side. It is the current National Library for the Czech Republic. It started out as a monastery in the medieval period, was transformed to a Jesuit college in 1556 and then to an observatory and library in 1773.
One of the 30 statues along the Charles Bridge. The statues that we see on the bridge are replicas - the originals are in a protected museum to protect them from the elements as well as vandals.
Can't you tell he was excited to see me? :)
Brian had to get a picture of the Elisabetha statue. :)
Statue of the Crucifiction
Luke and I on the Charles Bridge - that is Old Town behind us
The Prague Castle - taken from the Charles Bridge
Mala Strana (Lesser Town) with the Prague Castle at the top of the hill
Crossing Charles Bridge
The Mala Strana side of town - where we stopped for coffee and crepes. We also were only a couple blocks away from the John Lennon Wall but didn't consult our maps so we missed it! We'll find it next time.
Luke had a great time walking and looking at all the clocks
The river
The Czech National Museum
The Loreto
A rainy and gross Monday - this is the courtyard of the castle
The castle towers on a rainy day

Luke not happy in the courtyard. And he wouldn't keep his hood on - see his wet hair? Oh well. We had a GREAT first day in Prague and we will try again sometime soon to see the historical Mala Strana side of town. And I can't wait to go back and explore even more shops for Prague treasures.