Todd Family Blog

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Nana and Pa at the Pink Germany House

What a wonderful 2 weeks we had with Bob and Bonnie to start the summer off.  I felt like they got to check off the touristy requirements, see what life is like as a local, have some time for their own adventures, but mostly lots of great who-cares-what-country-you-are-in-soak-it-up family time.

P.S.  Our normal monthly update is in the previous post if you want to see what else happened during our 3rd month here in Deutschland. 

Fun Around the House and Sightseeing in Bayern 
(a.k.a. Bavaria)


Levi and Pa gettin' some work done.

Levi's preferred way to get around Munich



Deutsches Museum - Fantastic for adults and kids alike. 
 A favorite spot.







For the first time we caught the train demonstration.  I couldn't believe our wiggle monster stayed still for the entire half-hour and then we had to explain it was time to go.  
The boy loves himself some trains!



Prost!  Complimentary digestif at our Greek restaurant.


Dinner on the terrace.  Again, Prost! 
One of Levi's favorite things to do now.


And the last night of their visit.  Cheers to a great one!  (Looking at these pictures it is now no surprise 
why Levi is obsessed with "cheers-ing.")


One of our first outings was to a favorite spot - Andechs Monastery/Brewery for May Day!  Oom-pa-pa bands, traditional dress, picnicking, looking in the beautiful church, a gorgeous view.  We love Andechs and so did Nana and Pa.





Ooooo-ing and Ahhhh-ing over the approaching cable car in Garmisch.


Made it to the top!




And the fun of the return ride...



Then Frühlingsfest in the town of Garmisch!  
Brave husband and son.  Wimpy Mama.



A rainy day at the park in Bad Tölz by the Isar River.  
Still fun even in the rain!


Crossing a Couple Boarders. 
We found a dog sitter so we were off to two favorite spots: Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and Salzburg, my favorite European city and where I studied for a summer.  What a special trip to share with Nana and Pa.

We realized that Levi is still trying to understand the concept of different countries.  (Again, something that has made this move tricky for us!  2-3 year-olds are not known for their fantastic concept of time and place, haha.  As I write this a month and a half later I realize how far he has come in this concept though.  Whew!)  We realized he wasn't quite sure what being in yet another country meant when he said at lunch, "Go back to Czech Republic.  Go back inside there and play a little bit."....As in, our hotel room is "The Czech Republic."  Ha!   Then again a few days later, "Go back to Czech Republic.  Go in there.  Play with toys."  Too funny.

A few days after we returned home Levi reminded us about the time that that Nana said "Ha-choo!" at breakfast in "The 'Public."  
(Again, at our hotel.)  At least the trip made an impression!

Cesky Krumlov

Czech brewery for lunch....


...and the itsy-bitsy one-room restaurant where we had dinner.  
I am positive that someone's grandma was back there cooking.



Ridiculously fantastic goulash and light as air dumpling.


In the hotel, my sweet boy ready for a day of fun.

Salzburg!  Rainy the whole time, 
but absolutely nothing can ruin a trip to Salzburg.

Wandering through the cemetery where, yes, they shot the one of the final scenes in The Sound of Music.

Stopping to say a prayer.


Outside Mozart's birthplace (the yellow house) 
right in the heart of the city.


The beautiful windy streets....


Walking past my favorite pretzel stand (on the right) on the way to the tram to the Schloss.


Levi was understandably thrilled with the tram ride.


Ah, the view from the Schloss.  Amazing.




The place practically to ourselves....


Stopping in the market for my absolute favorite, Käsekrainer!!!


A boy after my own heart - loving his cheesey sausage for dinner back at the room.


Levi has found that Pa's shoulders work no matter what city we are in.  Hoping we can test that in a few more countries next visit!!












Deutschland, Chapter 4. 3 1/2 Months!

Let the 'xplorin' (That would be "exploring") begin!  Now that we are settled, we have been working hard to get to know Munich better, the area towns near Starnberg better, and also crossing some boarders (to be covered in another post).  We were thrilled to have Nana and Pa visit for 2 weeks as well (also in the next post)!

Things we've noticed....
Still a few interesting cultural observations we've found here and there.  During the month of May Brad didn't work one full week thanks to Bavarian and Germany vacations!  You would think this would be great, but the poor guy was SO stressed.  What people forget to tell you, especially if you work for an international company where your peers are still working "across the pond," is that you will only have 3 days instead of 5 to get the same amount of work done.  And in Brad's job you can't do it all by yourself at home after hours to squeeze it in.  So, I guess there is a happy medium with vacation days.  A good learning experience.

During this month we enjoyed FC Bayern (the soccer team) winning the European Championship.  Funny thing though, we couldn't watch the semi-finals and much of the beginning of the tournament on TV!  We have cable, but still it wasn't on!  It would be like the AFC or NFC Championships not being on network or basic cable at home.  That was a big surprise (and frustration to Brad)!

LT at 3....The Changes Keep Comin'
Of course, no matter where we are living, Levi continues to grow into a little boy and we wait with bated breath to hear his sweet, hilarious, and sometimes challenging comments.  One thing I have found most amazing is how Levi has been quoting phrases from when he was a baby.  I used to always say, "Are you Mama's baby doll?"  Now, when I snuggle him he'll sing out, "Mama's baby doll!"  I can't believe he can remember that.  He also has asked to be "Baby in a Sack" after bath time, which is what we used to say when we would wrap him up and swing him in his towel.  Goodness!  How are those things still in there?  Again, thank God we keep our mouths clean!

Levi's clock obsession also began this month.  Thanks to that monster memory he quickly memorized where the numbers go on the clock, that there are two different hands and where they need to be for the "o'clock's."  Now he always wants to know what time things happen and loves doing a clock puzzle.  It's actually pretty handy for explaining what will happen throughout the day.

I love, love, love how Levi prays at dinner.  A sample recently after Nana and Pa's visit:
"Dear God,...for Mommy and Daddy, Thank you for food...and Nana and Pa, and Mommy and Daddy...for a safe trip...and Mommy and Daddy come kiss Levi when sleeping...In Jesus...Amen."  The boy just loves praying in general.  One morning he didn't want to go to school and I asked him if we should pray about it.  He said yes and then, "Dear God, help Levi go to school and do his work.  In Jesus name, Amen."  

Levi's Big Ol' Noggin:
Informed me that please starts with P
and then helped me spell out the word "gate.";
Suddenly one day looks at me and says, "N is for Nature!";
Obsessed with "car buttons" (ex: the BMW circle symbol on the front of a car).  Has to find them on EVERY car;
Likes to retell me stories he's overheard, and then expands on it: "Neenie climbed all the way up mountain in Vermont and saw a big bear.  Run home.  Vi run home too.
Run to Neenie and Papa's house.  Vi jump in!";
Very into wanting to climb all the mountains he sees:
"Vi climb all the way up to those mountains, touch the sky!
 Too hot.  Clouds are cold.";
Everything is "Look at that [fill in the blank]!!!";
Really getting to know all his lowercase letters and is super solid on all his uppercase, as well as their phonics;
"Reads" a lot of books to me;
Has started to comfort Tigie, his stuffed Tiger, when Tigie falls.
He shusses him, takes him to bed, tells him everything is alright, and that he will feel better.
Then he "helps" Tigie fall again so that he can again be comforted;
Favorite game is hide and seek,
but he is currently the worst hide and seek player ever;
Very, um, observant: "Luke has no hands for clapping!";
14 is his favorite number and is often
repeated over and over while counting;
Cat in the Hat and Cat in the Hat Comes Back are probably
the preferred books of the month;


Levi Says....
MY favorite thing that he said constantly this month is when he lists all his grandparents and then says, "Love Vi SOOOOOOO much!";
Absolute favorite phrase and we have no idea where it came from: whenever we laugh he says, "You're killin' me!";
"Pop, Pop goes the weasel, the weasel...."  (Thanks, Brad.);
"Watch out for doggy poo!  Doggie poo make people sad.";
In the middle of crying that he didn't want to go to the new grocery store here, "I miss Kroger!  Mommy and Vi go to Kroger!";
Brad: "How can we stay dry?" (Hoping he'll say "use the potty.")   LT: "Put on a mouse diaper."  (Mickey is on his diapers!);
As Brad was about to tell him something, "I"m sorry, I need to finish my dream first." (stared off in space....then,)
"Okay.  I'm finished now."
Me: "What were you dreaming about?"
LT: "Cars and trucks on a car road.";
Walked into get him at school, he's all snuggled into his teacher and he says, "Vi reading a book with all Vi's friends!";
Me: "Want to help Mommy make cookies?"
LT: "Need baking powder, salt, eggs!";
(Then, after being a cookie theif, stealing cookies off the counter)
Me: "Does Mommy make the best cookies?"  (Yes, I'm fishing....)  LT: "Ever!"  (Awwwwww.....);
"Vi talk to God.  Anytime Vi want.";
"Those toys wait right there.  I need to sleep.";
"Pa, that is ENOUGH elephant noises!";
Trying to convince Daddy to read his favorite book, Walter the Tooting [Really says "Farting," but for obviously reasons we read it as, "Tooting."] Dog, which is NOT Daddy's favorite book: "Read Tooting Dog...and no other books!";
Sometimes gets very serious before going to bed and will give us a very solemn, "I love you."

Out and About as a Family

This was obviously the funniest thing that had ever happened, at least for Levi.  Not sure what the dogs thought.
It has happened so many times since, it is now no big deal.



Why shouldn't a dog have a lounger too?


Wagon ride to the park in the woods by our house.


Picnic by the river in Bad Tölz




And "Eis" afterwards on the main street (Levi "hiding").


Exploring the nearby town of Amersee


And looking very big doing it....



Walking around Schloss Nymphenberg and the beautiful public gardens.  Next time, we'll take the bike!



                                      

There is a tiny dot at the end of that path - that's Levi.

                                 


And after the Schloss, the attached museum.  As always during our weekday adventures, we had the Museum of Man and Nature all to ourselves.  They had some very cool stuffed animal exhibits.  When I asked him later what his favorite was he said, 
"Lions.  Eating a deer.  What lions eat for dinner."


One of our new very favorite towns, Lamsberg am Lechs.

This woman was putting on quite the show, tap dancing on top of a little organ outside the church.




And one of our favorite walks in the nearby town of Bernried.  There is a restaurant there we really enjoy and we had a great lunch with Gracie on the patio that day.  Fantastic to finally  have our station wagon and be able to cart a dog around!






Levi having a "chat" with Daddy 
about the importance of listening while on his bike.


I've been trying to explore some on my own, picking a neighborhood and going into Munich now and then.  This day I went to the Glyptothek Museum, a collection of Greek and Roman statues.  Really lovely, and in a neat area of town too.



I stumbled upon a Chipotle knockoff for lunch called Pure Burrito!  It's not quite the same, but definitely close enough!



General silliness




Levi began a trend (which continues months later) of needing his cars to watch a show or read a book with him.  He carries them around in that green bin and unloads them for every event.


It's time for a bike!  After seeing his good buddy, Abel, zooming around on his push bike Levi was obsessed.  Thankfully, we had bought one back Stateside and brought it over.  He was wobbly a bit in the beginning but it took almost no time at all before he was coasting with no feet, keeping his wheel straight, and going faster than I can keep up with!

As you can imagine, riding his bike through puddles in this very wet and chilly spring has been one of his biggest joys.  He runs through them yelling at the top of his lungs, "Splish, Splash, Splosh!!"





One of Levi's Top 10 things in his life is biking to his favorite place - The Neighborhood Restaurant, as he calls it.  It really is a very good Italian spot and just about the only place in easy walking distance.  On the way there he cried out, "Levi make a choice to go fast!"  
And he does.  We have to run to keep up.




Fun with Food.  I just adore the time I have here for cooking.Getting a chance to try out all those recipes that were neglected.

Ethiopian pancakes are a favorite meal and we have been enjoying them with an array of jams made by Abel's family.  
What a lovely gift!


Ethiopian pancakes pair perfectly with Bavarian Weißwurst!  


Goat cheese and herb quiche with balsamic reduction and greens.  


Homemade English Muffins for Michael Symon's Lola Burger.  
Highly recommend that burger.



Fixin' to put a berry pie in the oven for Bob's birthday.


This aisle at the grocery always cracks me up a bit.  
They REALLY like dry soup in envelopes here.


Mommy School
Car Wash!




Thanks for the train stickers, Neenie and Papa!



Chalk "building site." 



Lots of activities set up, most of which get ignored, 
some of which are a big hit.  You just never know.




                                      

                                     




Another car wash - his very favorite and most requested activity now that it is warm.  And hey, the toys end up clean!


Total clock obsession.


ABC Road.  Another big hit.


Kiddo science!  His favorite experiment - blowing up balloons with baking soda and vinegar.






One of my favorite videos ever.  Little kid joy.

video

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