...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Friday, June 21, 2013

Let's Play Ball

Wow - there are just SO many baseball colloquialisms I could have used for the title of this blog entry...  Anyway, we just finished up our very first baseball season.  Here in Vienna they have a baseball league that Worthy expressed interest in joining.  We decided to give it a shot and see how it went.  Worthy has been really getting into baseball lately - which I guess he's genetically unable to escape.

They just finished up their season, so I'll include some of the highlight pictures.  They came in 3rd place (out of 4 teams), but their team seemed to have the most fun, which was a nice consolation.  This was his first foray into the arena and he made some great strides during the season and once he was even named MVP for the game (mainly due to his rejoicing with utter abandonment when he caught a pop fly).

Another highlight - they have real uniforms.  (They're returned at end of season, but it was still really cool!)  And to Worthy's complete delight he was #1.

He usually played outfield, but they often would switch things up.  He was really excited to play catcher once.

#1 at  bat
#1 on base and headed for home plate
yep - that's my son....
 One of the highlights was actually going to the games.  We only took the whole crew a couple of times, because it really is a rather overwhelming commute (on public).  And a few times we even had some teachers, friends and family come out to cheer Worthy on.
one of Worthy's best buddies, Levi
another of his best buddies, Grampy
and maybe another in training....
 One more thing I wanted to point out.  This baseball field is somehow connected or supported by either the American military or the UN or something that has access to prized American goodies.  So lets just say Dan & I fought over who would be the escorting parent because they had Root Beer and Cheetos available for purchase among other unavailable and unhealthy good ol' American treats.
William enjoying his first Grape pop soda
And I will also mention that at the concession stand they sold beer.  
Although it's American baseball, we are still in Austria!
Our team parents would really make a celebration of being there - especially the tournament game.

All in all it was a Good Game and a great season!

And just a funny little clip of our #1 in "action":

Austrian Train Museum

So the completely wrong parent is doing this blog entry.  I didn't even go on the outing, but Dan's been swamped so I thought I'd put together what I can from the pictures/stories I heard and fill you in.  They went back in April and today as I was organizing pictures on the computer I  realized I hadn't done an entry about it.
They went to Eisenbahnmuseaum which is outside Vienna. It's located on a former railway depot and had a ton of hands-on features as you'll see in the pictures.

Obviously this was not a small place
 They could climb and explore all the trains, tenders and engines there

 A great, dirty, train-infused day.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Flying with Kids

I'm just going to do an honest post here about traveling with young kids.  It's basically zero fun.  I honestly believe that 80% of the success is in the preparation.  Truly.  I spent almost as much time packing our carry on items as I did in packing for a week in Spain with six people.  

All the devices were charged.  A couple new apps added for enticement.  Chords were packed in case of an unforeseen delay.  Snacks aplenty.  Water in sippy cups - to avoid spills.  Special coots (blankies) for each.  Well loved books and a few toys for the baby.  These were each packed with special care in the carry on baggage with regard to how easily they needed to be within reach.  And, of course, everything was at our feet for easy access.  No overhead bin space for us!

I wish I could tell you that the whole trip was like this...
but it just wouldn't be true.

It was more like...

and this...

and this...

Ah the best laid plans...
The other 20% is just unpredictable.

Spain trip

We spent a week in Spain at a conference.  This is the first one we attended.  They're held three years and it was worth the wait!  We stayed in Spain at an amazing hotel.  There would be too much to say about the entire time, so I'm just going to talk about the pictures that we snapped.

Meal times were a bit crazy, but also a welcome relief.  We're in that stage where meal time is crazy no matter the circumstances.  So I was just happy to live in the craziness and not have to worry about preparing food or the clean-up afterwards.  It was buffet style - so Dan & I spent a lot of time doing recon runs.  This is a pic of our favorite table.  It accommodated all six of us, but was also located on the main aisle, so we could have quick interaction with friends on their way to or from meals.  This is a picture of Worthy at breakfast.  He loved getting hot cocoa and there's also a packet of Spanish Nutella.  And all the bacon he could eat. A rare treat!

We spent some time at the pool every day.  The boys were thrilled.  They played great together and with their other newly acquired English-speaking Third Culture Kid friends.  

 Once you go Euro Trunk there's no going back.

We had a free day and were able to participate in a group excursion to see full scale replica's of the Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria.  This was really, really cool.  
We were able to walk on them and really explore everything on the ship.  

It's hard to see from this picture, but this portion of the boat was really steep. 

Christian in on Dan's back

Boardwalk along the ocean - outside the hotel

Christian Unchained (aka out of the stroller)
Can't say enough about how refreshing, encouraging and busy it was.  
One of my favorite pictures from the trip
 A exhausting great time!

William's eye issue

The night before we left for a trip to Spain, we had to take William to the hospital to get his eye looked at.  I'll tell you the ending of the story first... his eye was okay.  It turned out to be a legitimate complaint.  He had a small scratch on his cornea.
The beginning of the story...  William & Calvin were sharing a bed because we had a guest over.  That night Calvin did something that evidently injured William's eye in the middle of the night.  We're not sure what.  I vaguely remember William coming and telling me that Calvin hurt his eye and I asked if he was okay and able to go back to sleep.  The next day he fussed a bit about his eye, but it didn't seem very serious.  This was 2 days before our departure.  The next morning, he really began to complain in earnest.  This was a Friday and the two eye doctors that we've used in the past weren't working on Friday.  So Dan ended up taking William to the hospital to get it examined.  We were nervous about the air pressure changes and if that would make it worse.  We also didn't want to get to Spain and have to deal with it then.
McDonald's - Salve for a saddened soul
All-in-all, it wasn't so bad.  We got some eye drops to soothe it and after a night in Spain we never heard about it again.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rachel's visit

Our dear friend from Florida came to Switzerland for a wedding and made a quick detour in Vienna to visit us.  It was SO, SO lovely to spend quality time with such a dear friend.  Our oldest three and her three kids are similar ages - which tells you we've logged some hours together... not to mention we stayed with them two summers ago for a week or so.  She introduced us to good friends that live here (Elske & Christian) even before we arrived.  It was so relaxing and refreshing to spend time with her.

Here are some pics from our time together...
(many of these are from Rachel's roll)
Rachel's first sushi
 We did some sightseeing and just walking around downtown.  It was mainly just a treat for me to have my dear friend visit.  One of the highlights was going to the Prater for the evening.  We met our Christian, Elske & their kids.  It was a perfect Spring day for bumper cars and the Riesenrad
This was super fun with the kids


 I opted out of the Riesenrad with some others.  

After that we went to the Schweizerhaus for a meal together.  Perfect place to eat out on a great Spring evening.  Perfect food, perfect company... just... perfect.

Except when it's not perfect.  Baby Christian is super into this screeching thing at meal time.  It's loud & annoying... almost dog like.  So I ended up giving him a bone to chew on in desperation.  The scary thing is that it worked.  Too good.  He chewed that bone all the way home and when Dan took it from him before bedtime - he wailed.  Boys and Dogs... not too dissimilar. 

 Too bad our kids didn't like Rachel :)