Our trip to the Netherlands and Belgium was incredible, but the icing on the cake was the amazing hands our kids were in while we were away. Oma, Belle Mere and Papa shared the load and maybe I'll get the true stories eventually, but I think they did more than just survive - they thrived!
I didn't have cell service in Europe, so each night when I came back to wifi, I looked forward to seeing what kind of fun had been had that day. Oma had all three kids the first day, and they all went to the fire station to "meet the firemen without an emergency," then Peter went to Oconomowoc for 4 days. Cora and Peter were exchanged on Wednesday because Cora had to catch a flight to Washington DC! Louisa and Peter seemed to get along famously at Oma's while Cora was away. Not that they don't usually get along, but in our house, the third child, whoever it is, seems to complicate things.
Louisa was excited to tell me how often they jumped on Oma's neighbor's trampoline (8 times!), so I said something like, "cool! that's once each day I was gone?" "No," she explained, "some days we jumped twice!" They also made eclipse viewing boxes, lemon curd (Lou's favorite) and got to watch the Narnia movies of the books Nate has read aloud over the past couple of months. Louisa made her halloween costume - she'll be Reepicheep this year: she has already decided.
Cora's trip was filled with yummy treats and busy days with Belle and Papa, as they prepared a big shipment of goods for Sarah and Dan in the Ivory Coast. Tonight at dinner, Cora told us that she got to see the White House and the golden chair. I could be blanking, but I'm not sure about the golden chair...(Mom and Dad, you'll have to fill me in). Oh, and speaking of halloween costumes, Cora's may be set too. After their trip to Ikea, she was sporting a sweet Owl cape. If I ask Peter what he wants to be, no doubt he'll say a digger. Oh boy, that seems like a hard costume to make and wear.
|Fire station play day|
|Purse and all|
|Spraying an apple of the top of a huge tire|
|One neighbor had a trampoline and the other has a puppy!|
|Peter learned to slack line with some help from friend Brian, at a Bike the Barns fundraiser breakfast|
|Louisa enjoyed tracking my flight as I flew from Brussels to Chicago on Sunday|
|Milk shakes make me happy too, Cora!|
|Papa helping Cora buy her carousel ticket|
|Admiring her ticket?|
|Posing with her ticket|
|Riding the horse with the golden tail. Maybe that's the golden chair?|
|Shadows at Yards Park in Washington D.C.|
The very best compliment I received about my kids was two years ago (so possibly outdated?!), from a nanny that we almost hired before Helen. She spent two hours with the kids and when we came home, said "your kids are really balanced." Perhaps it meant so much because I love feeling balanced? Either way, if they are still balanced two years later, it's due in large part to the other adults in our lives who love them so dearly and are willing to pour so much into them, even for 8 days in a row. Thank you, thank you, thank you!