Sunday, May 29, 2011

A lovely funday afternoon

Following a few colder and overcast days with several rainshowers sunday was again full of sunshine and warm temperatures. When Jakob woke up from his lunchtime nap Valentin, Maria and Mirko have already arrived in the prater and we had agreed to join them and so we did not loose much time and collected all the sand toys, a ball and for the first time we also took along the trainer bike. When Jakob got it for Easter it was just too high by a margin and thus we have hidden it under the staircase and on Sunday we gave it a try. On the way to the prater Jakob struggled to get on well and in order to not spend 1 hour for the 500m we decided to carry the bike and train lateron. Valentin was already heavily engaged playing and Jakob pretty soon joined in chasing the ball, running around and exploring the area.

Arghh!! We forgot the helmet at home!!!

The visit to the sandpit took the afternoon from good to great for the juniors as the warm weather allowed for water to be used and that meant: wet clothes, mud and lots of fun. The fun continued afterwards when the two boys were allowed to run around naked and we were both amused and impressed when Jakob was standing up and chasing all naked and face covered in chocolate to three older boys who were playing "Knights". Only when they started a fight with wooden swords (Jakob liked that a lot!?!?!) Markus intervened and saved the three boys from the fearful duo Valentin and Jakob. On our way home then Jakob was already much better on the trainer bike and he showed yet again a lot of will as he declined all our help and got on the back whenever he fell over again. His attitude in that respect is amazing and we definitely hope that he will keep that also for other issues (like at school).

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Stag night with a 22 months old

No, this entry has nothing to do with the movie The Hangover and the sequel that started in US cinemas this weekend but its about the first evening and night that Jakob and Markus spent together without Kerstin. The teamwork on Saturday afternoon when Jakob helped his dad to fix the bed bonded the two and so the stage was set for a harmonic saturday night and Sunday morning which gave Kerstin the opportunity to spend some time with her cousin Anja, do "normal" stuff like going to the cinema and sleeping in Anja's flat without being disturbed at any time by our junior. The three of left left home on Saturday afternoon to buy some new shoes for Jakob in the first district, Jakob did chase pigeons in the pedestrian zone Kaerntner Strasse and lateron we seperated. While Kerstin moved on to meet Anja after she finished her work in Le Meridien, Markus and Jakob made their way home along the ringroad and through Stadtpark, where our sunshine again used the opportunity and chased pigeons and crows.

Once they arrived home it was football time. Not as a build-up for the Champions League Final in Wembley between Barca and ManU but as game in our living area - Jakob loves to kick the ball and perform his "Tooooorrr" cheer. Dinner for our junior was easily made - the soup and noodles just needed to be warmed up there was no disruption to the fun and there was also no issue getting ready for bed and when the two boys went to bed. Jakob was briefed once more before bedtime that it will be only dad and him that night, he was ok with that and everything went smooth. Shortly before midnight - more or less the usual time - Jakob woke up and was looking for mom insistingly so that for a short second Markus was fearing the worst. But it did not take too long that our sunshine could be reminded of the terms of this night and fell asleep peacefully next to Markus until 0530 in the morning.

When Jakob has woken up Sunday morning he was pointing at the empty space next to him and did say that mom was missing there, but it was more a statement than a scared question. He was all happy, accepted that Markus needed a bit more time to really wake up and was full of energy for the new day. Jakob even declined the morning bottle (or better said mentioned that he does not want one) and was focussing mainly on playing. shortly after 0700 then he indicated that he wold be ready for breakfast and like that the day continued. It does seem that the two boys work well together as it was very harmonic and cooperative, both had lots of fun and Jakob was full of joy when his mom called in. Kerstin enjoyed a long sleep - getting up only at 0830 - after a night at the cinema watching Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and took an easy start into the day. When she arrived back home Jakob was obviously very happy and showed her everything he learned and improved in the past 12 hours. What is however the best takeaway from our "experiment" is that there is a glimmer of hope that Kerstin can leave our junior "alone" overnight with someone else and as Jakob has also significantly improved his bonding to Markus.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Like father, like son

There is countless evidence that Markus very much likes to perform some DIY and mount lamps, assemble furniture, lay wooden floors, build beds etc. There is also evidence however that he has a certain talent but still messes up things every now and then and therefore he probably will never build a house as he is scared of the roof falling on his head. Jakob seems to have a similar stance towards the art of handicraft and prefers a screwdriver or hammer over every toy. The toolbox he received for Easter is still one of the most used toys, there has been a time when it was the first and the last thing he used and played with.

Two experts tackle a problem

The sight Kerstin was confronted with today afternoon was absolutely hilarious. Markus decided to fix a screw that loosened at our lath floor and crawled under the bed. As soon as Jakob realized that a real toolkit was used he got on the floor as well, joined his dad under the bed and provided him with his view of the situation, his idea of how to fix it and also handed him the necessary tool. Like that the problem was solved much faster.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two premieres within less than 12 hours

Last night it was time for the showdown in the Austrian basketball league with the decisive game 5 in the finals series in Gmunden. While Markus’ brother Stefan and some friends travelled to the Traunsee to watch the game live Markus, Kerstin and her dad Eugen, who visited us late afternoon, watched the lived broadcast on Sky. During the first 10 minutes the Gunners were not really present, Gmunden controlled the game and built up a significant lead and winning the first quarter 24-11. At this point Markus was not concerned at all as so far in the finals the team which has lost the first quarter could win the game in the end. During the following ten minutes the Gunners finally arrived in the game and managed to cut the lead slightly. Whatever coach Asceric told his team in the locker room at halftime, it did the trick and Q3 was clearly won by 16-26 and the lead almost disappeared. In Q4 the Gunners took the lead and to many people’s surprise The Swans’ reaction was unusual for an experienced team like them as they tried to go primarily via their two strongest players, Ian Boylan and veteran D.T. Mayes. The Gunners on the other hand played real team-basketball - the scoring was spread fairly evenly with 6 players scoring in double digits. The result of all that: after 5 unsuccessful attempts the Oberwart Gunners crowned themselves for the first time Austrian basketball champions. Finally. And well deserved.

At a time when most probably the party was still ongoing in Oberwart our day started again with Jakob waking up just before 0600 and making both Kerstin and Markus get up as well. Its truly amazing how fast our sunshine gets up to speed in the morning. Within minutes he is all over the place, ready to play and have fun. Hence Markus had to soon prepare the morning bottle which he prefers to drink together with Kerstin, followed by some cooking in his play-kitchen and some football in the living room. While Markus got ready to leave for the office in Bratislava Jakob got rid of his diaper and indicated to us that he wants to/has to go to the toilet. We have been trying that several times already without any success. Today however we saw a premiere, as our junior for the first time ever took a pee on the toilet. He was very proud of himself and so were we and that’s we we went one step further: Given Jakob just took a pee, we did without a diaper and just put on short pants and told him to let us know again when he need to go the loo. Less than half a minute after that the second wave came and the floor was all wet. Next time we try that again when we are outdoors.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, May 23, 2011

A perfect weekend

Past weekend was spent in Oberwart where Saturday night the Oberwart Gunners were fighting to prolongue their season by 5 more days and to keep the chance for the first championship alive. In Game 4 of the Finals series in which they were trailing the reigning champions – the Gmunden Swans – the team not only was with its back to the wall but also without one of their key players who injured himself in the loss of game three on Wednesday night. After having beaten Gmunden in the first 5 games this season – Oberwart won all 4 games in the regular season as well as it dominated Game 1 of the Finals – the past two games were unfortunately lost by a narrow margin and so it was quite obvious that the Sporthalle Oberwart was packed with supporters pushing the team to tie the series. A relatively nervous start into the game in Q1 which ended 12-18 for Gmunden was followed by an outburst of probably the most enthusiastic player in the Gunners team and the whole league – Hannes Artner. Within 4 minutes he scored 4 three pointers, turned around the game and injected massive self-confidence into the whole team. Great work on the defensive end, nervousness on Gmunden’d side as well as a few additional three pointers Kelvin Parker for the Gunners resulted in the probably game decisive score 28-7 for Q2.

Whoever has thought that the game was over was proven wrong
as Gmunden did work itself back into the game and quite clearly was keen to take home the championship and won Q3 16-22. Also in the beginning of Q4 Gmunden was able to make the game even closer and when Enis Murati dunked the ball on a fastbreak to cut Oberwart’s lead to 65-56 the momentum seemed very much on the Swan’s side again. The following timeout taken by the Gunners however did its trick and the Gunners managed to take control over the game again both on the front as offensive as well as defensive end keeping the lead in the area of 10points and controlled it until the end. When the final time ran out after 40 minutes and the score was 78-67 the whole arena was reliefed and enthusiastic. The fans were chanting “Gmunden wir kommen” and one can rest assured that the traffic between Oberwart and Gmunden will be quite dense this coming Thursday when the decisive Game 5 of this series will tip off at 1930. Fingers crossed, the Gunners can seal the first championship, which would be well deserved for the team, the management and the fans.

Sunday afternoon was very relaxed - as one can see

Sunday morning we spent some time in Markus’ parents backyard playing with Jakob before visiting Michi, Klaus and Nikolaus for barbecue. We were a little bit uneasy as Jakob did not take his lunchtime nap and were worried that our junior would be “difficult” but we obviously underestimated the effect a playing 4.5 year old playing partner and a large backyard would have. Jakob was super happy running around, jumping on the trampoline, climbing up the climbing scaffold, going up- and downhill on the Bobby Car and one could not tell that he has not had a nap. Given the weather was so nice and both our juniors were so happy we stayed until late afternoon and had a second round of delicious BBQ for dinner before putting Jakob into the bathtub and making him bed-ready and, as expected, shortly after we set off towards Vienna Jakob fell asleep – the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus