We had originally planned on taking Annie with us (even got her a passport), but decided a few weeks ago that she (and therefore, we) would be happier at Grandma's house then in Germany with a 15 hour flight each way and a 9 hour time change.
I'm not sure why it has been such a tough thing for me.
Maybe it's just because out of all the kiddos, she's the only one who will really care that we're gone.
I even put her back on the bottle (bad Mom... I know) to make the our time away a little easier on her.
I don't know when I got soft. Had both of the boys off the bottle waaaaay earlier than this.
Ok, enough whining already.
A ten day vacation (it's been more than 4 years since I took a vacation like that).
Four classes (sorry in advance to Heike, who will be translating for me...I talk really quick).
Me & Josh (who have never had more than 24 hours together without kids).
A country known for drinking beer (actually, I don't like beer...but Josh is pretty excited about it).
Lots of pictures to take (I just got three new 2GB memory cards on sale for 25 bucks each).
And Annie will be just fine.
Back on July 2nd (not planning on blogging while I'm gone).
Oh, and if you are taking one of my classes in Germany and are having a tough time resizing your photos, here's a link that might help.
And Annie's shirt (from yesterdays post) is from Gymboree (I don't think that particular shirt is available anymore). Gymboree is kind of expensive (really good quality though) - but if you catch a good sale and only buy things when they are offering Gymbucks (like right now), it's a little easier to justify.
Guten tag (that's the only thing I know how to say in German).
In fact, right now, I am trying to type with one hand, hold on to Annie with the other (she's playing with a baby wipe, 2 paperclips and a circle punch...which she hit me in the head with just a few minutes ago) and trying not to fall off of this exercise ball that I use as a chair at the same time.
The boys were never like that.
I remember seeing other kids cry when their parents left a room and always felt a little bad that my kids couldn't have cared less where I was.
And Courtney Lee didn't come into my life until she was past that clingy stage.
It seems like it has gotten a lot worse in the last few weeks.
Everywhere I go, I hear her little footsteps racing to catch up.
And I hear her hollering ma-ma and/or my-ma.
And she's forever pulling at my pant legs (and since I'm usually wearing pajama pants, she sometimes pulls them down around my knees at inopportune times like when I've got my arms full, carrying in groceries or something...which as I am typing, I realized is also a confession that I wear pajamas to the grocery store).
And for whatever reason, she has this weird habit now of pinching the fat rolls on her neck until they're all red (and says ouch...ouch...ouch while she's doing it).
A little bit of dancing going on at the wedding this weekend (Josh changed out of his tux the first chance he got).
It was a 2 hour drive home - so I don't think we got the R.V. unpacked until about 11pm Saturday night.
The Groom called sometime in the middle of the night to see if I had his car keys (I had borrowed his truck to run from house to house taking pictures and left them in my camera bag).
And proof that Josh is an eternal optimist...
He said that it would be "a nice drive" (and so he drove 4 hours round-trip, on Father's Day with Coley & Courtney bickering in the backseat to return the keys).
In my own defense...I offered to take the keys back, but we decided on the "divide & conquer" route instead (I took Annie and Ross, unpacked all of our suitcases, started the laundry and went grocery shopping for a Father's Day BBQ at my Mom's house).
We hung out with family most of the afternoon and then Josh & I went to the movies (I think it was only the third time we've ever been to the movies without kids) and stayed up talking until 12:30am (Annie woke up at 5:30 am).
I coached the kids in advance with the regular "no crying, no whining, no fighting" lecture (it's a 3 mile hike, uphill - so I was expecting a lot of crying and whining and fighting).
I also talked to them about what they should do if they see a snake (lots of Rattlesnakes up there).
Coley (of course), was excited and wanted to role-play about what he would do if he saw a Rattlesnake.
And Courtney (of course) spent the entire drive in a state of emotional turmoil at the prospect of seeing one.
Ross & Coley were hiking buddies and took off on their own as soon as we got there.
Annie with her hiking buddy (Josh is of course, sporting a Beavers National Championship T-shirt and a really ugly Beavers camo hat for luck since the Beavers are in the play-offs...and I'm sure that Josh would want me to add that they won game 1 today).
And me holding hands with my hiking buddy, who was glued to me the entire hike because she was afraid of stepping on a Rattlesnake (hard to get a self-portrait with a fixed 50mm lens on the camera).
Courtney & I got off to a slow start because she thought that all the signs along the hiking path were really pretty to look at (that's Table Rock in the background).
Coley & Ross kept hiding in bushes and trees, trying to scare us.
Courtney's greatest fear came to life (except, it wasn't a Rattlesnake - and it was actually Ross who almost stepped on it ).
Me, also sporting a Beavers T-shirt (Josh tried to talk me into wearing it all three days of the play-off games - which is not happening).
We had a contest...whoever complained the most while we were hiking got to be thrown off the top of Table Rock...Courtney Lee won.
Josh with a tight hold on the kiddos who wanted to look over the edge.
Courtney Lee calling Grandma & Grandpa to tell them to get out their binoculars so they could see us.
Coley, really enjoying his PB&J.
Coley (who's attitude quickly took a turn for the worse after lunch) getting chased down by Josh (and Annie).
Coley (who's attitude still hadn't improved) getting tackled by Ross.
Courtney picked flowers most of the way back (loving the one with the really long stem).
And a little one who missed her nap.
Then off to baseball.
And then a BBQ over at my Uncle's house (who loves to make this face whenever he sees my camera).
1. Heard this song the other day and went searching for it. Once I got past the shame of liking a song by Bon Jovi, I downloaded it and have been singing along with Bon Jovi (and his ridiculous hair) all morning. No disrespect intended to the Bon Jovi fans out there.
2. I've been drooling over the contents of Scrap Magie's Pink Kit (and can't wait until I get some more time to scrapbook with the stuff in it). And I love that it's for a good cause.
3. Just got the green light on a bunch of artwork I proposed to Creative Imaginations for CHA Winter 08 - so I've got plenty of work to keep me (insanely) busy for awhile.
4. Coley & Courtney are arguing and it's not even 8am (it might be a loooooong day).
5. Even if they are made out of Fusarium Venentum fungi, these are pretty tasty (I'm not a meat eater, except for a little bit of chicken & fish...which all goes back to the first grade when I woke up one morning to the sound of my pet pig "Porky" being turned into bacon).
6. It was really cold out last night and Courtney told Josh that she could see his "pimples" (nipples).
7. Jill thought she'd be a comedian yesterday (more about my food issues).
8. I have an electrolysis appointment today (my eyebrows have decided to take over my forehead).
9. Taught Snapshots of a Good Life at the Scrapbook Connection on Tuesday. Jessica drove 3 hours from Bend (again) to make it (thanks Jessica) - not the easiest class I've ever designed, but it's one of my favorites. Fun night gals - thanks.
10. Coley went on a field trip to the fire station yesterday. I have to admit that I haven't spent nearly as much time helping out in his class this year as I should have...but I loved being there yesterday morning. Loved the sight of 20 kindergartner's with their hands on their hearts, saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Loved that the little girl who picked Cole to be his "walking buddy" kept trying to hold his hand (Coley wasn't too keen on the idea though) and loved that the entire class picked up trash off the side of the road on the walk back to school.
And I loved that I was in charge of taking pictures.