Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Back

Hello, Eleven...Hello?!! My, how I've missed you. Where have I been, you ask? For starters, Bill, the boys & I spent the last week of June in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula. We met some family there and stayed in a wonderful cabin on a private lake. Enjoyed fishing, boating, hiking, and oodles of waterfalls. Three days after we returned, the boys & I hopped a plane to Maryland, for my family's annual reunion. Spending time with 7 of their cousins, there were certainly plenty of blog-worthy moments, but I didn't have the time, energy, or peace & quiet to concentrate. Now those funny moments I wanted to share have all but escaped me. So, instead of my usual format, I'll recount bits & pieces of our whirlwind of a month.

A highlight of our trip to Maryland was shortly after our arrival at my parents' home, when I got to surprise my family with our BIG news -- we'll welcome a 3rd child into our family right around the new year! What a relief to not have to keep the secret any longer. My belly became pretty obvious quite early, this 3rd time around. Laurence is sure he's having a baby sister, and has chosen 2 names -- Queen or Opal.

My sister & her family live in South Africa, and it's fun to compare accents and our different ways of saying things. Laurence quickly adapted to using "swimming costume" in place of "bathing suit," while some of the other cousins preferred using Loic's version -- "baby dupe" (which I believe I posted about previously. Cute enough to mention again, of course). At one point I thought my sister had lost it when I heard her giving directions to someone and she said, "Turn left at the robot..." their word for traffic light! Perhaps most enjoyable are their accents alone, especially my niece's since she was born in raised in SA. She's one of the few kids I enjoy hearing say "no" -- we say she actually chews the word. It's hard to put in writing, but it's something like this: "nahorw." Watching their mouths when they talk provides a huge clue to the sound of the accent -- they keep their lips completely flat. Readers from the US - try it, it's rather tough for an American.

Loic was his usual friendly and social self, quickly warming up to his extended family, though he struggled with some of the names. There's Uncle Marc who became "Daddy Bart," Aunt Keri, or simply "Dee," Michael (Mike) was "Mite," Matthew was "Maa-mew," Marc was "Bart," Madison was "Maa-men," and Grandpa and Grandma were affectionately referred to as "Mam-paw" and "Mam-maw." My favorite was his cousin, Pia, who I'll forever call "Pizza!" Surprisingly he said "Elliot" (Pia's sister) very well, sounding a bit like E.T.

If I had to pick a favorite moment from the last month, it would be when my brother-in-law, mom, 2 nephews and I were sitting at the kitchen table playing cards one night and out of the blue and related in no way to the game, my 10-year-old nephew breaks out in song, singing none other than "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" from the greatest musical of all time. One by one we all joined in and sang as much of the song we could remember. That wasn't enough, so we moved on to "Doe, a Deer" and were all in stitches by the time we reached "fa!" None of us have particularly good voices, and I'm sure we sounded a bit out of tune, but for those few minutes we WERE the VonTrapps and loving every minute of it.


  1. Welcome back, dear. I've missed you!

  2. Jere' just showed me all this and I have been reading all of them. They are all great, including this one, except... my family seems to have been left out. (this is from Jeff, if you couldn't figure that out)