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We have survived our first month as parents, and more importantly Evie survived us!

Honestly, Evie has been an amazing baby. She is doing great at eating, and sleeping (most nights). She occasionally fusses, but overall she is a very content baby.

Tim’s parents were here for her first week, and then Timothy had a second week of paternity leave. When Timothy went back to work, I was surprised at how smoothly things went on my own. However, I am always so thankful when Tim walks through the door at night! Even though she is a good baby, being a mom is mentally and physically tough.

Evie is really strong. She can lift her head, and likes to kick her feet. She can now grasp thing (not well, but she can get a hold of my hair!). She also makes the cutest cooing sound when she sleeps on our chest. Also, at her 3 week weigh-in she had gained a pound! She is now a whopping 9 lbs 3 oz.

Next week Grandpa Mark is coming to visit, and we can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures from a little DYI photo shoot:

Baby Evie has finally arrived! Sorry this post is a little late!

Evelyn was born at the end of January. It was a tough labor, but both mom and baby are very healthy!! Evie is feeding well, and sleeping well. Mommy and Daddy are so in love with Evie and are enjoying parenthood very much.

We are also very thankful that Timothy’s parents were able to visit/help us during our first week as parents. It was such a blessing for them to be here to support us and for them to be able to meet their FIRST grandchild!

While Timothy and I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with our Ducky Adventure’s Blog, they are still a HUGE part of our lives. This is the latest from DtPb: http://duckyadventures.com/

baby_sister

Ducky, Pembleton, Blizzard and Ted,
Gathered in the living room right before bed.
The mama and the papa told them some news,
That a brand new baby would be joining them soon.
Ducky asked, “will the baby be a brother?”
“No, not a brother”, said the mother.
“Then we’re having a sister”, shouted Ted and Blizzard.
Pembleton asked, “what is her name?”
The papa replied, “let’s play a guessing game.”
Ducky declared, “her last name has to be Mann because she’s joining our clan.”
“Right”, said papa, “and what will her middle name be?”
“I know, Dorothea! For our Grandma Dee.”
“Now let’s finish the game,
what about her first name?”
Blizzard laughed, “This should be easy”,
Ted giggled, “Let’s call her Evie.”
“Evie?” asked Pembleton.
“Is that short for Evelyn?”
“Yes”, said the mama, “that is her name,
Evelyn Dorothea Mann.”

Day 2 in London: we walked around the city, seeing some of the most famous sights. We mainly wanted to scout out places we want to see more. We also wanted to become more familiar with the city and how to get around. I’m really glad we did because the streets in London can be quite confusing! What looks like one continuous street on Google Maps, can actually be different streets that change names every couple of blocks! It was also nice to figure out how far things actually are from each other. The Eye of London, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, and Churchill’s war room are all about a 20-25 minute walk from our temporary apartment, which is so cool.

We also took a train to a commuter town we are interested in moving to. The town was really cool, but more urban than what Timothy and I were hoping for. We went to the tourist center and got some good information, and were told of another town close by, but smaller and more residential. We are looking forward to meeting with the realtor and finding our future home.  Also, the train ride was really nice.

PS: We won’t blog about every day, but we will if we do something exciting! 🙂

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In October, Timothy’s parents, along with his older brother Jonathon and Jon’s wife Ruolin came to visit us in Israel. We hired a private guide who gave us a tour of Masada, the Dead Sea , Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. Then we explored Haifa and the surrounding areas on our own. Jon and Ruolin took a day trip to Akko (Acre), and another day trip to Ceserea, when Timothy’s dad was under the weather. And Timothy’s Mom stayed for an extra week, so we got to visit Akko (Acre) and Nazareth together.

It was fun showing Timothy’s family our new home. We even got to celebrate a Shabbat dinner together thanks to our friends Daniel and Shirley. We had a really nice time together and took a ton of pictures. Here are just a few.

Day 7 September 19

We did not have any definite plans for our last day in Rome. When researching for this trip, we watched several Rick Steves videos and his side trip to Ostia Antica interested us. Before going to Ostia Antica, we stopped by some of the sights we saw our first night when we did the “Heart of Rome” walk. It was really nice to see The Four Fountains and other sights during the day. Then we headed to Ostia Antica, an ancient port town- containing the remains of warehouses, apartments, mansions, shopping arcades, baths and a 2000 year old theater that served a once-thriving port of 60,000 people. Later it became a ghost town that is now being excavated (Rick Steves, Italy 2013).

This was such a highlight of our trip. The cool part of Ostia is it is HUGE! The main road is 2 km long and I’m not sure how wide it is, but it’s pretty wide! We really got to explore the ruins, go inside buildings, climb to the top of the theater, and so much more. It was really amazing and a great way to say good bye to Italy, before heading to the airport.

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Our first day technically in Rome was day 4. We arrived in the evening, and after checking into our hotel we got our ROMA Passes and then did Rick Steves’ Self Guided walking tour called “The Heart of Rome”. It was a great way to get acquainted with the city and also see a lot main sights at night (Campo de’Fiori, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Capranica, Piazza Colonna, and the Spanish Steps).

Day 5, September 17

On our first real day in Rome we went to the National Museum of Rome where we saw the Boxer and Greek Discus Thrower. Then we headed to Ancient Rome for what Rick Steves calls “The Caesar Shuffle,” which included the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill and the Pantheon. This was an awesome day. However, there was not a lot of information provided. Thankfully we had our Rick Steves’ Guide.

Day 6, September 18

On our second day in Rome we had reservations for the Vatican (A must if you want to save time! The lines were ridiculous!) The Vatican Museum was not what we expected. We expected it to be more focused on the Catholic church, however the museum was mainly art they have collected over the centuries- some religious, some not. There was actually very little emphasis put on the Catholic church. Other than that, the art work was amazing. Honestly, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was overwhelming. Every piece of the chapel was covered with beautiful art. There was so much to see and so much to take in. I would definitely recommend reading up on the Sistine Chapel before visiting to really appreciate it and to be able to take it all in.  Another highlight was Rafael’s School of Athens.  Later in the afternoon we visited the very busy St. Peter’s Basilica. This was also very impressive and also overwhelming.

One more post to go! Day 7 Ostia Antica

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Technically on Day 2 we went to Pisa. We caught the afternoon train, crashed at our hotel until dinner, had amazing Indian food and saw the Leaning Tower at night. It was beautiful.

Day 3, September 15

We woke up to dark clouds. Thankfully it was the only day it rained, and boy did it! We packed our rain jackets and umbrellas before heading to Cinque Terre, which is about an 1 1/2 hours away. The train ride was easy with one quick change in La Spezia.

The first town we went to was the furthest of the five towns, Monterossa al Mare (aka #5). While on the train, it started to POUR. So we decided for an early lunch at Ristorante el Pozzo, a nice family restaurant recommended by *Rick Steves where we got to try Trofe (“made of flour with a bit of potato, designed specifically for pesto to cling to”*) and Pansotti (“ravioli with ricotta and mixture of greens served with a walnut sauce”*). It was delicious!  The rain slowed down while we were eating and we walked around and took pictures before deciding to go to Vernazza (aka #4). Here it also rained off and on. We explored this city ally ways, and got to go to the Castle that over looks the Ligurian Sea. It was beautiful, but because it was raining so much, we decided to cut our trip short and head back to Pisa.

Day 4 September 16

Our train to Rome didn’t leave until 1:15pm, so we had plenty of time to explore Pisa’s main attraction: The Field of Miracles. Timothy and I got tickets for the Duomo and Baptistry, which were both very impressive. Also, we took several pictures of us with the leaning tower before we headed off to Rome.

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Timothy and I have wanted to go to Italy FOREVER. We’ve talked about it since, our days in Potsdam. Then on April 12, 2009 we declared ROME OR BUST, well we all know that was a bust. But not any more!

Armed with our Rick Steve’s Italy book (recommended by my Aunt Marie *THANK YOU*), Timothy and I just enjoyed a wonderful week in Italy, where we visited Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terra and ROME! It was a dream come true.

September 12

We had an afternoon flight to Rome. It was delayed and then customs took about an HOUR (Be warned)! We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn that night (it was the best bed we slept on the WHOLE TRIP)!

Day 1, September 13

We woke up bright and early to take the train to Florence. This required one change in Rome, where we caught a very nice high speed train that went directly to Florence main station. (Great website about taking trains in Italy)

After getting to Florence we went to the tourist center, before hitting the city. Our first stop was the Medici Museum and Chapel, followed by the Accademia Library to get reservations for both the Accademia and Uffizi museums. Then we had lunch before our 1:30pm reservations at the Accademia where we got to see the amazing statue of David, as well as many other famous works of art. Then we went inside the famous Florence Duomo (church), before taking a break for dinner. After dinner we walked the streets and the walked around the Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio before bed.

Day 2, September 14

We woke up early for our 8:15am reservations for the Uffizi, where we got to see more amazing art, including Birth of Venus. Honestly the museums in Italy are overwhelming. There is so much art and history. However, there is little information provided. I highly recommend either downloading Rick Steves *Free audio tours of these famous museums, or buying a good guide that will provide you with more information about these amazing pieces of art. Then after lunch, we went to the Museum of San Marco (we discovered this interesting museum from the Rick Steves TV show), which was really neat and is housed in an old 15th century monastery.

Later that afternoon we took the train to Pisa. That night we had yummy Indian food (recommend also from Rick Steves) and saw the leaning tower at night.

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Day 7 of our trip:

After eating another delicious breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to Rothenburg. With our book bags packed (Yes, we only brought our book bags! No luggage.) the steep hill was even more of a challenge,  but we made it. We took a couple more pictures and headed to the train station. The train from Rothenburg only goes to one stop, Steinach. From there we caught a regional train to Wurzburg.

In Wurzburg we left our luggage in locker at the station and headed for lunch. We chose a nice biergarten near the main marktplatz. It was probably one of the best meals of our whole trip! Then we explored the marktplatz, the Alte Mainbrucken (a bridge lined with statues of saints), and then the Fortress Marienberg at the top of a HUGE hill looking over the city!

Then we were off to Frankfurt before our flight back to Israel the next day. It was such an amazing trip. I couldn’t believe how smoothly it went and how easy it was to get around. It was more than I could have hoped for.

Our next trip will be to Italy! 2012 was a year of crazy traveling for us, and now 2013 is look to be just as much!

Click on pictures to enlarge and for titles.

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