My Dad got to spend this last weekend with us on the back end of another business trip. In the weeks leading up to his visit, Annika was so excited I thought she would burst. She was more excited for her Opa to come than for Santa Clause, and Brad even offered her a trip to Paris or Disneyland and she said she would rather stay and play with Opa.
Those are some high expectations to meet, but I think Dad did just fine. He was only here for three days, but we packed in the fun. He had another couple of days of business in Chicago before he could go home, so I hope he wasn’t too worn out. He couldn’t even go to the bathroom while he was here without three little girls yelling for him and asking me where Opa went. Opa is the best tickler, snuggler, story-reader, running partner, swim buddy, and all around fun guy.
Saturday morning we had a pajama and pancakes birthday party for Lucy and Elise. As usual, I think Annika was the one most excited for the event.
Saturday afternoon we headed to the pool. Elise is by far our best and bravest swimmer. Lucy is not far behind. Annika gets better every time we go, but as the video shows, she’s the cautious one in the family. Lucy and Elise didn’t want to be held, and spent a good two hours straight going up and down the slide. They don’t usually even look to see if anyone will catch them, and more than once went under when we looked away for a second. Once Lucy even slipped under the slide, and so it took me a second to pull her out of the water. She was hardly phased when I pulled her up.
We find this video entertaining for a number of reasons. First, it gives a nice picture of German swimming pools and typical swim attire in Europe. Second, Annika pushes her sisters down the slide, which makes me laugh every time I watch it. Third, you can tell that one of the times Brad almost doesn’t catch Lucy because she goes down the slide while he is still talking to Annika. Oh, I love these girls.
On Sunday we convinced all the kids to take a nap at one time, which made it the most relaxing day we’ve had in a while. It may have been my favorite part of the weekend. Also, my Dad got Elise to fall asleep in his arms in sacrament meeting, which hasn’t happened for us in over a year. He’s got the magic touch. It made for the quietest sacrament meeting I think we’ve experienced since the twins were born.
On Monday we took the kids to Burg Lichtenberg castle to play and explore. It is amazing how much easier it is to get out when there is an equal adult to child ratio. We played on the playground, where everyone had a good time but Lucy, who fell off the teeter-totter. Oops. If you don’t see her in any other pictures, it’s because she didn’t want to be set down after that. Then we explored the rest of the castle, with significant time spent sword-fighting and walking on walls.
Purely by accident, we got home just in time for the fasching parade that goes right in front of our house. Brad ran and grabbed some funny hats and some bags for candy, and we joined the crowds watching the parade. As far as I can tell, the parade mostly consisted of drunk members of the community in costume throwing candy and giving away shots to the adults. Annika loved it, Elise was wary, and Lucy just wanted to go take a nap. Poor Lucy – she then got pegged in the head by a piece of incoming hard candy. It wasn’t her best day.
That evening, Annika put on her running shoes and went on a “jog” with my Dad. It is easy to see why she was so excited for Opa to come – he really might be more fun than Disneyland! Even after bakery treats for breakfast, and honey stroopwaffles in the afternoon, we had to end our weekend at the Eis Cafe. There’s no better way to finish such an enjoyable weekend than with gelato.
Annika crawled into bed this morning with me and cried for a little bit because Opa had left. I miss him too, and I can’t wait until we are closer than an ocean away.