Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Maybe you need this child....

Just as much as he needs you"
That was my favorite quote from the last General Conference. Patience is a virtue. And mine is running seriously thin. How is it possible that this child can make my heart love so much it hurts, but also make me want to scream and pull out all my hair?

Have I mentioned that when we were in Austria we woke up one morning and he was not in our room? We walked out to the kitchen and he wasn't there and the door to the outside was open. My heart almost stopped right there. I was in my underwear and ran outside to find him jumping on the tramp in the yard of the B&B we were staying. I thought I was going to drop dead. I just went straight back to my bed and laid there with tears in my eyes while I tried prevent a heart attack. I couldn't even talk. And we had even anticipated him escaping being a problem so we had blocked the door with furniture (obviously not enough of an obstacle).

Every day I pray for more patience than I had the day before. Yesterday and today he peed on the floor of our flat to be funny. He is so fun loving and everything is a game to him. Which make for really fun days until it's bed time, discipline time any kind of serious time. I think it's safe to say he has no regard for authority...I envision a future with lots of visits to the principal's office.

But this child is SO loved. Of course by me and his family. But he has a way of endearing himself to people and sneaking deep into their hearts. He introduces everyone as his new friend and he remember's people's names better than I do.

I need him. I probably need him more than he will ever need me. But sometimes I don't think I'll have enough patience to survive the day. I may have shed a tear or two today when he told me with a smile that he had something to show me and it was that he'd peed in our living room (again). And the rest of the night he kept rubbing my back asking if I was still sad. He always redeems himself, like the other night he told me, "You're the best mom I never had". And tonight during his prayer he thanked Heavenly Father for "Mom letting me cut with scissors carefully in 20 minutes".

I was talking to my mom about him and she pointed out that he is probably struggling with the move, living with no furniture (still), being away from family. It was like a lightbulb went off. He seems so adaptable and is such a happy kid that maybe I haven't given him enough of a break for all the change he's dealt with.

So I will go snuggle this mischevious child of mine. And love him. And need him.


We just spent a few days hiking in Austria and it was delightful. We spent each morning hiking- only making progress when we could bribe Otis into the backpack to take a break from picking up every rock, stick and flower in his path. He was in heaven--and I felt as close to heaven you can get. I feel at home in the mountains.
Oh and as if you can't tell...all these pictures were taken with a phone. Who goes to the Alps without a camera? oops.
Fresh air, treats and endless mountains--pure bliss.
Every afternoon we would go on a drive on a long winding road through the Alps while the kids slept. I loved being able to sit next to my best friend driving the car and just talk or enjoy the silence without interuption.
We drove the Romantic Road into Germany and went to the Disneyland Castle. It was really fun to see. One day, Milly will really appreciate that we took her to a real princess castle. We didn't get any good pictures of it, but it's Schloss Neuschwanstein- the castle at the beginning of every Disney movie.
The village below us is called Lech. It is a little ski town that I fell in love with. I will spend a winter there some day.
Every day we brought a baguette, cheese, cookies and gummy bears to picnic along the hike somewhere. And we all have a new found love of nutella--polished off the whole jar.
My favorite part was hiking down to this lake surrounded by cows with cow bells on. The bells were echoing in the mountains surrounding, it was such a surreal scene.
We went fishing one day then ate our catch for dinner
I spent the whole trip singing, "The hills are alive, with the sound of music!" I couldn't resist.
Please stop growing Milly, and be my baby forever.
Often when we needed Otis to keep hiking or get up from a rest we would ask him to show us his big muscles...worked like a charm. He was such a trooper.
The views were breathtaking...literally. I kept taking in deep breaths and just trying to hold the fresh air in my lungs forever.
Our first day we were hiking in snow. I was so happy. I wouldn't want to see the Alps any other way.
Ty and Milly off in the distance
If there is one thing I can learn from my sweet stubborn Otis it is to enjoy the journey. He truly did. He wanted to stop and look at everything in his path. I decided from day one to never be in a hurry or have a specific place we needed to hike to. This made for a stress-free and enjoyable time.
But let's be wasn't all smiles, fresh air and fun.
My sweet, snuggly Milly. She really never made a peep in the backpack. She would silently doze off and we'd look back at her and she'd be awake again just looking around.
Otis isn't into posing for pictures lately.
We put a few clips together from the trip. My favorite is Otis demanding where Grandma Cherie is and telling me he's going to pet the cows. Watching this I wonder if maybe we got a little too close to those cows...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beating the heat

It's been pretty hot by London standards lately and since we don't have AC we've been spending our days at The Lido in Hyde park, the paddling pool at Hampstead Heath and Swiss Cottage fountains.
waiting for the bus...
uhhh...give me back my gun kid
Princess Diana Memorial
The Blue Bridge in St. James Park- my new favorite spot in the city
thinking about using this next one for our Christmas card because we're all so photogenic
Swiss Cottage Fountains
These pictures only show the fun part. I wish I had pictures that could capture the past 2 hours I've spent trying to get the kids to go to bed in the same room of our (still) unfurnished place or the exhaustion I feel after a whole day of chasing after Otis to prevent him from getting his by a bus or begging/bribing him to get in the stroller so we can get somewhere in less than 2 hours, or of me dragging my double stroller up and down the stairs to get to the tube....but for some reason I don't feel like snapping a photo during these other precious moments.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Love and stuff"

Here is a picture during Family Home Evening tonight
Since it's our 6 year anniversary tomorrow, we talked about Eternal Marriage. Otis decided to sing a solo closing song that I started to get on video then he went straight into the prayer. He's about to end the prayer then adds, "thanks that we could talk about love and stuff".
He was listening more than he let on...