A Trychelumzug for Three

Following the roaring successes of the past two years, this fall each of the Little Women participated in the local Trychelumzug at the end of November. Being a first grader, this time Annika got to wear a cow bell around her waist and a white Burdisack cape on her head.

Annika with Her Burdisack and CowbellAlong with the other kindergarten students, Clara and Nicolyn made lanterns that they carried in the parade. Marching through the winter night, schoolchildren from all over the town wound along the worn, cobblestone streets, splitting the darkness with the glow of the lanterns and the din of the cowbells.

How does it end? With a Grittibänz and a smile for every child. Clara and Nicolyn with LanternsClara, Nicolyn, Annika Eating Grittibanz

Dandelions Are Pretty

I don’t know how they do it, but the Swiss manage to make even Dandelions look pretty.  Of course, snow-capped mountains, quaint looking houses, green grassy slopes and three very cute little girls help immensely.  All the white and yellow in the pictures is either Dandelion flowers or Dandelion fluff.

  

The girls and I took a walk up to the Kloster (Abbey) Park in our little town.  Only in Switzerland would people think of putting a playground way up the mountain with only a little path to get there.  Oh wait.  Silly me.  They put playgrounds on the top of mountains, so really, this was nothing.

    

And here we are actually walking to the park.  We got there eventually.  The church steeple in the background is the local town church, built in 1647.  Notice Annika’s happy face.

      

After a while, Annika decided the park was just. too. far.  This is her protest face.

  

And her protest pose.

Fortunately, after some successful peace talks, we finally made it to the park after almost an hour.  And I forgot to take a picture.  And no, we weren’t the only people there.  In the end, the kids declared it was worth it and asked “can we go again tomorrow?” to which I replied, “no”.  I need some time to come up with some better negotiating leverage first.

A Stroller Built For Three

Our triple stroller has been my friend this last year.  It is how we get around – and most recently – how we pick up Annika from the train station after her Waldschule (Forest School).

  

If you’re wondering – it is HEAVY with all three kids.  I figure between the weight of the stroller and all the kids, it is at least 145 lbs. to push around.  Not so bad when you’re on flat ground.  But this is Switzerland.  And we are “mountain people” here in these parts (as someone in my German class called us country folk).  When you need to turn, think of a bus or a semi.  You need some maneuver room.  But I wouldn’t trade it!  It means freedom from being at home every.single.day.

We walk to school, the library, the grocery store, the parks, the doctor, the train.  It’s only about a 10-15 minute walk to any of these places.

We also have a double stroller I’ve started taking more now that Annika is older and can walk a bit faster (wahoo!).  It is a lot easier to push just the twins around.

Summer Fun

Last month, Jenelle, Jonathan and the Little Women spent a few weeks visiting their families in the USA. ((For readers who are not familiar with the USA, it is a magical place where you can purchase gasoline for the amazingly low price of $4 per gallon.)) This involved dual plane flights in each direction, which were not particularly pleasant, but which everyone survived without excessive emotional scarring. ((Jonathan’s therapist assures him that he’ll be “just fine” by next year’s trip.)) In any case, they were very grateful to see their families and stock-up on a few things from home.

Annika made the most of her time, as you can see:

Annika, Water Warrior, stand ready for the next cousin attack.

Annika savors a shaved ice on a hot afternoon at the county fairgrounds.