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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bavarian Fall, Part 2 - Oktoberfest

This was a big month!  Part of it I already covered in our "Anglophiles" post with pictures of our trip to England with Neenie and Papa.  Below is the rest of September and most of October.  (For more fall reflections, may I suggest Bavarian Fall, Part 1?)  Enjoy….

Levi Says:
[The quotes are becoming so numerous that I am now going to put the big list at the end of the post for, well, anyone crazy enough to make it that far!  If you do, you are the BEST FRIEND EVER.  
No pressure.]
One of the funniest habits that started this month is Levi's "said" phase.  What's that, right?  Well, now that we are reading chapter books with lots of dialogue (thanks Henry and Mudge) he hears "said Henry's Mom" or "said Henry", etc., etc.  So, Levi has started to add that to just about everything he says.  Most questions, especially, are followed with "said Mommy," which is particularly funny because he is the one who said it, not me.  A very funny quirk to hear all day every day.

We also have officially entered the question phase.  But instead of the classic "why" questions, Levi is going with "what kind of…."  This is interesting because it often makes no sense and I have a hard time finding good answers.  For instance, "What kind of hole is in your sock, said Mommy?"  All day long.  About EVERYTHING.  A favorite is, "What KIND of friends will be there?  What KINDS of toys will there be?"

Sweetest quote of the month, a bedtime prayer: "Dear God, Thank you for this great day playing with Mommy.  Be with our family in Ethiopia.  Help Levi to grow into a big boy, grow big and strong…and always listen to you.  In Jesus name, amen."

In other news, his big obsessions are his classical music hits (the child goes CRAZY - screaming dancing, connecting, you name it0, Montessori music (oh my gosh, I love these), and his classic audio books, which he has fully memorized now.

 Of course, the biggest event this fall was the classic Munich Oktoberfest.
Naturally, with a little person and all we didn't have a spot in a "tent" [I found out, they are really giant temporary warehouse-like buildings) at the Oktoberfest field.  But the rest of the party is really just like a state fair!  Levi still calls it "The Big Party" and can't get enough of watching videos of himself and Brad on the rides.
Ready to head out….
Blue Steal
Going with the flow of the giant crowd...
Peeking inside a "tent"
The result:
More Sights…
Wild Park Poing
A park for herds of tame dear and many other common petting zoo-type animals, it's a great day out for kiddos.  It's a massive area with a huge playground.  (And that's something we really miss here - big massive parks and play grounds.)  I'm thinking an annual membership next year….(Oh, and side note - the dear here are really, really tiny.  It always makes me laugh for some reason.  Like, I often couldn't tell the difference between a herd of goats running by and a herd of dear.  Really small.)
There is a reason that Levi left our play group in his swimsuit.  We went through all three pairs of pants I had on me.  So….not ready to consume juice while playing quite yet.
Reading Henry and Mudge at our neighborhood pizza place.
And another day, showing up at the restaurant 
with his tiger mask on.
Halloween celebration at our Munich Mommies play group.  Dr. Levi was thrilled.  (He told me about a month before that he wanted to be a doctor "to fix everyone's hearts."  Thankfully, I had already 
bought a doctor costume just for fun!)
Checking out his buddy, Max's, loot.
Our first visit to Allianz Arena (where FC Bayern, the soccer team, plays) for the free lego play area.  The parking lot and structure are so huge that when we drove up Levi remarked, "This is not the airport….I like the airport."
That's a group hug with Levi, Maddie and Abel.  Our dear friend, Maria, had an unfortunate encounter between her van and a garbage truck!  So, I took on kid duty while Abel's Mommy, Caro, took on German translating duties.  The kids were thrilled - a picnic, a tow truck, police cars.  Worked out well, as far as they were concerned.  When we got home Levi was happy to report to Brad, "Um, Daddy, I have something to tell you, said Daddy.  Miss Maria's car is broken and it was taken to a repair shop to be fixed."  
And later to Nana and Pa, "the car was broken indeed."
Levi sometimes eats an unbelievable amount.  This night he ate his entire adult-sized entree of Thai vegetable curry.  Then he could barely button his pants or pick his head up off the table.  This restaurant has, not surprisingly, become one of our go-to spots now.  Naturally, Levi told me all that food went right into his hollow leg.
A day out to the mountains and we stopped at a farm for lunch.  Again, amazing kid portions.  Even Levi couldn't put that away.
The required trip to snap pictures of the most famous castle in Germany: Neuschwanstein.  We didn't get to do the tour, but maybe another day.  Beautiful drive though with the fall colors, 
and fun in the nearby town of F├╝ssen.
Play date with Maddie.  She's probably checking out how Levi's tummy is handling all those huge meals.
The inevitable finally happened (and it wasn't my fault, as I assumed it one day would be).  One day as we went to take Brad to work "we" (ahem) locked ourselves out.  (All our doors lock automatically  behind you when you leave.  No choice.  It's very German.  Even the doors know best.)  1 1/2 cold hours later the locksmiths finally were able to break in.
Ah, tantrums.  This one caused us to miss a play date with Abel.  Sigh….
But snuggles too….
Levi's obsession after coming home from England: Youtube videos of model train layouts.  Thank you, Papa.  Great free educational entertainment.
Nice look in my rain boots.  
Our sweet, sweet Luke.  This picture below was from a night Brad was out of town.  For some reason I was feeling particularly lonely and far from home.  As if he knew, Luke came over and put his big ol' head on my chilly feet for over an hour.  
Less than a week later sweet Luke suddenly took ill.  On Saturday he was bounding around with Levi in the back yard.  On Sunday he had massive internal bleeding due to unknown tumors all throughout his abdomen.  Luker was in such fantastic health that even with that bleeding it was a challenge for the emergency vet to figure out what was happening.  When she did there was nothing to be done and the only option was for Levi and me to say goodbye over speaker phone.  Thankfully, Brad was there for the end.

We're so glad he never suffered, but we are still reeling from the shock of loosing our boy.  From the day Levi arrived in our home, Luke's job in life was watching after his boy.  And Levi returned all that love right back.  It breaks our hearts that he won't make it back to his big Indiana yard, but we will be forever grateful that we were all together when Luke's time came here in Germany.

Below, Levi gives Luke one last "Ugga mugga" before Brad hurried him to the vet.  After they left, Levi commented, "Luke's sick.  I wonder what feelings he's having?"  Sweet boy.  Then dinner prayer: "Thank you for this nice dinner Mommy made.  Help Luke to feel better when he comes home to play with us.  Thank you for Daddy and Cal and Gracie.  And thank you for Hana and Pa and Neenie and Papa and Jenny and Miriam.  In Jesus name, Amen."  And later, "I want Daddy to come home with Luke."  

And so began the ongoing and difficult explanations while hearing lots of, "I want to go see Luke in Heaven."
The next day, Gracie was using all her therapy dog skills 
to try to comfort us.
And these two have stayed close ever since.
Squeezing a kiss between the doors...
Levi and Mommy School
"-at" Word Family puzzles
Always have to make it new to interest him again.
So..."-at" family puzzle hide and seek!
Still writing obsessed
An "A" all by himself….
Loves to get his own water and juice.  (More sneaky pre-writing practice through pouring.  Thanks, Montessori!)
Organizing train track pieces...
Crashing sight words on the train tracks.
Still enjoying the solar system and especially this beautiful book from Neenie and Papa.
Part of our "Train Week" - Learning about all the different types of freight cars.  (No, couldn't get him to color them,
but he sure liked saying their names!)
Reading a book to US as we drive.  How refreshing!!!
His idea - circle tracks.  Thomas is going to be dizzy.
Levi was very frustrated that we couldn't take this curve any further.  
A constant theme we have going is solids/liquids/gas.
So, popsicle time!  We've also done solid/liquid/gas balloons in the bath with frozen water as the solid.
You can't tell thanks to how excellent my camera performs (Thanks, Dad!), but these are all spinning like crazy.
What floats!?
We love finding every new way to use baking soda and vinegar.  Sprinkling and squirting was fun!
More tasting sensory experiments with sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  Guess which was his favorite?  My little Ethiopian LOVED the watered down coffee.
Helping me make Ethiopian berbere spice.
Shaking all the spices together!
Fruit and vegetable word puzzles.
Surprise sentences with his sight words!  I do a big unveiling with the curtains, haha.  And he jumps in and can read them all by himself!
Chair Picture (Month 33)

Levi Quotes and Quirks:
  • [Still thinking about the police car he gave Jacobi last summer, obviously] On Friday or Saturday maybe Cobi can get me a blue and white German police car and then we will both have German police cars and can play.
  • Loves to ask, "Where are we going tomorrow, Mommy?"
  • [Jumped in my lap:] I'm hopping on my Mommy.  I'm a joey [as in a baby kangaroo]. I'm warm and cozy.
  • [After I sang a big ending to a Veggie Tales song] That was some good singing, Mommy!  You do some good singing."
  • [Listening to Pines of Rome] That would be cool to go up with those whales.  I wish to swim with those animals someday.  I miss them.
  • [Overheard from his bathroom while getting ready for bed] Daddy might like to tell Mommy I tooted.
  • [Randomly, while working on a puzzle.  Maybe a passive/aggressive suggestion.] Neenie makes me bacon….Neenie makes me bacon and eggs in the morning.
  • [First words one morning when he came to snuggle in our bed] I'm a baby penguin….Squawk.
  • [After working on one of his little reading books] I did get frustrated.  But I got a deep breath.  I didn't scream.  I stayed calm with God!
  • [After hearing Daddy say the word 'mist'] "What is this strange mist?"  Aunt Miriam said that.  Aunt Miriam is funny, like Mommy.  Mommy and Aunt Miriam are girls, I guess.
  • [Waking briefly during a nap after lunch with Daddy] When I wake up I'm going to tell Mommy all about our adventures.
  • LOVES pretending to be a baby animal, or anything really, and snuggling up to a Mommy or Daddy: "I'm a baby bee.  Mama might like to give me a kiss."
  • Daddy can help me with this train track.  Daddy might want to come closer.  Daddy is my favorite builder I've ever seen….[we chuckle].  You're killin' me.
  • Daddy: Can you believe in March he'll be 4?  Mommy: No!  You used to be Baby Levi and soon you'll be 4?  Levi: Yes!  I'll be 4, then 5, then 6…[counts to 40]…40!  I'll be many days.
  • [Asked him if he would like to put a solar system on his wall]  That would be Ahmazing!!!  Amazing grace!
  • Will tell anyone who will listen all the planets of the solar system in order.  Solar system week was a huge hit.
  • I'm so excited for a new Daniel Tiger, it's almost killin' me.
  • [To Cal, who was barking in the back yard] It's okay.  It's just a loud noise.  You'll feel better if you stop barking.  Okay.  So.  Cal, what's going on with you?
  • Mommy and Daddy lived in California before I came home.  What did Mommy and Daddy did there? …And I wasn't born yet.
  • I want to go to the left.  I'm sure about it.
  • [Drank a bunch of water] I had a water burp!  Excuse me, water burp.
  • Mommy: Are you a snuggled?  Levi: You know it!
  • Can spell "America"
  • Sometimes tries to make up his own Amharic and German.  (Unfortunately the "German" was directly said to a little German girl.)
  • [Choosing his morning show]  Ummmmm….I choooooose…model train layouts!!  That's my one choice.  
  • [FaceTime with Daddy, trying to prematurely hang up]  Okay!  Bye!  I miss you too!  Talk to you soon!  
  • [Foot stuck under me] I'm stuck.  It's not moving!  It's tough.
  • We must pick Daddy up at the trian on schedule.
  • Just park here, Daddy.  Goodness gracious, Daddy.
  • There are my planets [on his wall]!  When I grow to be a big man I can reach Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
  • Levi told Gracie she has to earn the privilege of going outside.
  • [Narrates our lives] Goodness gracious says Daddy with a big smile and laugh.
  • [Brad, teasing him and asking if random people are Mommy] No, my Mommy is Meagan.
  • [Listening to the Nutcracker Suite] I would like to play a violin to play Christmas music.  I would like good lessons.
  • Me: How 'bout we pick some of your favorite Luke pictures?  We could hang them in your room?  Then you can see it whenever you miss Luke?  Levi: Yes, and Luke will keep me safe.
  • [Whenever he's scared of something] I might be a little nervous.
  • [Waking up one morning] I'm tiiiiired.  It was a busy night.  [Uh-oh.  Great.]
  • I have an idea.  Maaaaaaayyyybe I could have balloons in my bath.  That's my idea.
  • Likes to talk about "working hard," or, "I have a lot of hard work to do," especially when building train tracks.