Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nadia Comes to Visit

*This post has been backdated to when it actually happened since I couldn't get to the pictures until now.

A little over a week after our arrival in Germany, our friend, Nadia, contacted us and we decided to arrange for her to visit us.  I met Nadia through Andy, who had met her when she was dating one of his friends back in college.  Nadia moved to Switzerland to teach at an English elementary school in 2007 and has been living there since. She comes back to the States to visit from time to time, but the last time we saw her was almost a full year before we got married. Fun fact about Nadia is that she has citizenship in Switzerland and Ireland.  She was born in Switzerland, but moved to California when she was young.  She went to Washington and Jefferson College, located in Washington, PA (Andy's hometown).

Nadia and I set up for her to visit us in Stuttgart on February 8.  She knew I was having a hard time adjusting and offered to come up here to help me get my bearings and we could explore the city together, since she'd never been here before.  I was more than excited to see a familiar face.

Nadia is on maternity leave after having her daughter, Leila, on Christmas Day.  Brady was very excited to meet Leila and was surprisingly gentle for how wild he usually is.  Leila was six weeks old when they came to visit.

Nadia happened to come during that two weeks that the temperatures were more than 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) below zero.  She was kind enough to bring me a stroller bag for Brady.  They are very common in Europe to keep the kids' legs warm in cold weather.  They vary in size depending on the height of your child.  The reasoning for the stroller bags is that their legs aren't moving like ours do when we push them, so their legs get colder than ours (which were pretty much frozen so I felt bad for him for the times before we got the bag).  I wasn't sure if he was going to like it, since he hates being restrained (even being swaddled as a newborn).  It turned out that he did quite well and was more well behaved than he'd been before we got the stroller bag, so he probably was really cold before.

I'd been on the trains once before Nadia came, but had never been to downtown Stuttgart.  It turned out that the main city center is a wide street that is for pedestrians only and there are shops everywhere.  It was very unique to what we are used to in the States and it was very refreshing to have all this area to walk and not have to worry about crossing streets or cars.  Pictured above is Brady and Leila bundled up in their strollers in front of the New Castle.

The next few pictures are of the downtown area.  It's going to be gorgeous when it's fully spring.

Nadia's mom, Francis, came along for the day.  She'd been staying with Nadia to help out since Leila was born.

Brady came close to turning into a popsicle ;)

We poked our noses in a few stores, and settled down for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  It was so nice to get out of the cold and get the kids out of their heavy winter gear.  Poor Leila was wearing more layers than I could count.  I guess the kids that grow up in Europe get used to it because public transportation is so big and driving is discouraged.  After lunch, we got some treats at a chocolate shop and Nadia got a new pair of boots.

The kids and mommies :)

We came back to the apartment and both Brady and Leila were asleep by then since we'd been out all day and it was closing in on dinnertime.  Nadia was still there when Andy got home from work and our friend, Dennis, also came over, since he'd just returned to Germany the week before and we hadn't seen him since before Christmas.  We ordered a pizza and had a fun time talking.  Leila was awake for a feeding, so we decided to get Brady up so we could get some pics of the kids together before Nadia headed back to Zurich.

So crazy how much difference 22 months makes.  Andy and his older brother, Chris, have the exact same age gap as these two.  I can't imagine having two kids this close together.

Brady was so sweet with Leila.  He gave her a nice peck on the cheek like a gentleman ;)

We all took turns holding Leila (she's so light), and Dennis was no exception.  Initially, he declined, but decided in the end to hold her.  He was a bit nervous because he'd never held such a small baby, but he did great.

Before Nadia left, we took a look at our schedules and planned a weekend for us to come visit her in Zurich.  We decided that Brady and I would come out on a Thursday and have Andy follow on Friday night.  We will be headed to Zurich on March 8-11 (my birthday weekend).  We will spend the first two days in Zurich, and then spend the rest of the weekend in the mountains.  I'm so excited to travel outside of Germany and see more of the world!

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