Thursday, July 18, 2013

What? Me worry?

Yeah, I admit it. I've got an anxious bone or two in my body. And yes, sometimes it's really ridiculous stuff that gets me nervous, but sometimes, well, I have every right.

Case in point--these pictures from a three story tall "play barn" in Germany. Where the cousins had a blast on our visit last month, and I nearly had a heart attack.

This is a really tall "volcano" climbing wall. Danny and Benji raced over to it to start climbing.
For scale, I've added this picture where you can see me (5'6" tall) below looking up. How high are they now?
"Come on Benji! Come on!" Big brother Danny cheered on the 3 year old while I was quietly dying on the ground below.
"I'm coming down Mommy". Ah...sweet relief.

"But now I'll climb this ladder thing up." He got to the top (through the grace of God) but then was afraid to come down.
Fortunately this cousin (Jonas) was my hero and scampered to the top to help the little guy down. Forever indebted. (Cool Legos house right? Those blocks were humungous!)
Great merriment ensued with all the cousins.
There were trampolines.
Even Susanne got into the act.
Did I mention the terrifyingly huge slide that the kids went down about 10 million times ??
All's well that ends well. As you can see, this was on happy patron of the German Playbarn.

Well just looking at these pictures again has made me a little nervous. Of course it did! Until next time! -Monica

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Puppy Days of Summer

Hard to believe it's already July. Both Danny and Benji started summer school yesterday which really tells me time is flying. This was really Benji's very first day as a student at the school he'll attend from now on and it was a bit rough on him, but over all, I think he'd doing okay.

The "Dog Days" have not yet hit us--Washington, DC is notorious for dreadfully hot and muggy days, but so far I'd say we're experiencing fairly cool yet incredibly muggy days. Of course the past two weeks we haven't had to worry about DC weather. We just returned from a very fun trip to visit Susanne's extended family in Germany. We also had a bit of "weather" there so to speak though. It was unseasonably hot in her 93 year old grandfather's town but blessedly cooler as we traveled north ending up near Hamburg. The thing about really hot weather in Germany is that the hotels and houses don't really have air conditioning. So even though we stayed at a pretty nice hotel for the first 3 days, we were fairly sweltering as evening came.

It did not help that Germany is so far to the north and with the Summer Solstice, we experienced about 18 hours of sunlight a day. Sun up before 5am and sunset after 10 pm. We were already a bit off because of the jetlag and the six hour time zone change so our second night there Danny just kept repeating "I'm not tired! I'm not tired!" He finally fell asleep at midnight after a lot of walking up and down the hallway outside so Susanne and Benji could sleep.

Then we had to debate over which was more important. Keeping the blinds closed to make it seem as though the sun had already set, or keeping them open so we could let cooler air flow in. Not a fun choice.

But we came though it all okay and after visiting with Opa, headed north to 10 more days of visiting cousins and the circus and animal nature park and big play barn and a boat cruise on the Elba and a school fair that was super fun. The boys had a pretty good time, and as always it was delightful to visit Susanne's first cousins and aunts and uncles. Unfortunately Benji got an ear infection while we were there but he's okay now.

The boys say that they most loved the circus and of course, and also oddly, the toilets of Germany which all flushed in different ways than back home. This should not surprise any parents of 3 and 6 year olds. ;-)

We were visiting Su's Aunt Thea's house when we got word about the Supreme Court's decisions on DOMA and Prop 8. We were so excited! We didn't have great access to the internet so we watched the news in German. Even though I didn't understand every word, it was easy to understand all the joy we saw in the videos from Washington, DC.  June 26th was a historic day for our whole family and many others!

I'd like to thank all our German friends and relatives for their wonderful, wonderful hospitality especially Kathrin, Thea, and Stephie. You all rock!

Once Susanne downloads all the pics we'll have lots more to share. Until then, tschüs from four of the Glorious Seven (Su and some of her first cousins on her mom's side.)

Clockwise from top left- Petra, Susanne, Sabine and Kathrin.