Category Archives: Photography

The newest photographer in the family

For Christmas, Rosebud got a new digital camera. It’s specifically for little kids because they can drop it and it won’t break. The camera also has a swiveling view finder so that they can take self portraits. I love the pictures she’s been taking so far. Take a look at a few of her shots:

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Springtime 2011

First, I apologize for neglecting my blog. Often when I have the chance to sit in the afternoon, with Baby Superdude snoozing on my lap, I doze off or find myself busy with other things. Frankly, I don’t always feel like writing even if I have lots of ideas in mind.

Second, we’ve had a lovely spring so far. Last year, it was mostly cold and rainy from the onset of spring, continuing through the summer. This year has been much nicer, and although a few neighbors have said how unusually nice the weather has been, I feel like we’ve earned the nice weather. It’s given me the chance to go outside with Rosebud and Superdude a lot.

Sometimes, when we are ready to come back inside, Rosebud protests. Loudly. And in fact, one of my neighbors even said to me, “I think I heard your daughter the other day. Was she fussing because she didn’t want to come inside?” Fussing was a polite way to put it! And yes, that was my daughter you heard screaming down the street. I always feel bad, dragging Rosebud back inside when she clearly wants to spend more time outside. But when you have a little guy to take care of, sometimes you just have to head back home.

I thought I would share some photos and videos of the children so that everyone can see how much they have grown and changed:

Here’s Superdude, enjoying his baby food luncheon (and a little scenery eating from Rosebud):

I have to say, I love the German baby food, both in terms of quality and variety. It tastes very good. Some of Superdude’s favorites so far are squash-potato which he is eating in this video, peach-banana-millet and fruit-and-quark. Plain mashed bananas, pureed carrots and other such early baby staples rapidly disappear when Superdude is seated at the table. He is, shockingly, almost seven months old and doing very well. I’m enjoying his infancy very much, and will be a little sad once he reaches the toddler stage (but on to bigger and better things).

He has also been discovering his ability to “talk” and make sounds, which is always exciting! I think watching a child gain language is one of my favorite parts of infancy. You’ll even hear him say “mama” in this video:

And hey, look – a slideshow!

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Autumn in Bavaria

Autumn is my favorite season, and I personally think it’s the nicest time of year here in Bavaria is during autumn.

The Isar River, Bad Tölz, facing the Alps

The Isar River, Bad Tölz, facing the Alps

The weather here tends to be unpredictable because of the mountains. It’s frequently cool and rainy, so when the weather is nice, I feel compelled to take advantage of it.

The past week stayed sunny and warm, so I took Superdude and Rosebud outside as much as I could. I am really noticing how quickly it gets dark in the evening, so we try to go walking before Rosebud might nap. Our little town is lovely for a walk, don’t you think?

Bad Heilbrunn in autumn

Bad Heilbrunn in autumn

I wondered how Rosebud would do, walking while her brother was pushed in the stroller.

Superdude smiling in his sleep

Superdude smiling in his sleep

She does very well, in fact. She is good about staying close to me most of the time and even likes to help push the stroller. Rosebud usually holds my hand and she’s pretty good about cars. In fact, she sometimes announces to me, “Mommy, there’s a car! Be careful!” Clearly she has been paying attention.

Rosebud finds some sticks

Rosebud finds some sticks

Look mom, I have some sticks!

Look mom, I have some sticks!

Rosebud on the path home

Rosebud on the path home

On this particular walk, we went to the center of our little town, made a few little stops, and leisurely took our time to walk back home. I was really proud of how well Rosebud did, because our walk took us about an hour. She had a good time playing in the leaves, finding sticks and sitting on benches along the way.

Rosebud and Superdude

Rosebud wasn’t too sure about her brother at first. Here’s a video of when she first met him, at the hospital, when he was a day old.

She has certainly warmed up to her brother now. When Superdude cries, she often goes to him to see what is wrong. Sometimes she likes to cover him up with a blanket.

Rosebud tucks in Superdude

Rosebud and Superdude hanging out together

Some other photos of Superdude:

Superdude, getting ready for a bath

Superdude, three weeks old

And here is one of Rosebud, playing in the puddles:

Rosebud splashing in what she calls the cuddles

Rosebud by the creek near our house

This video is from another walk we took as a family; Rosebud is especially cute, playing Peek-a-Boo.

And here’s a video of Rosebud from September, where she is playing with her dolly.

Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

Germans and Bavarians in particular, really know how to live. I’m convinced that the Biergarten is one of life’s finest pleasures. I read an article one time describing the Biergarten as the outdoor living room of Germany, a description which I very much like. We’ve visited several Biergartens up in Munich and around our area; we have our favorites, but the one that I think I like the best happens just once a year in the tiny town of Obersteinbach.

It’s an adorable neighboring village; we have some friends who live there. The Gartenfest in Obersteinbach is, I believe, a fundraiser for the local volunteer fire department. Everyone in the town gets involved in setting up the temporary Biergarten: the women tend to bake the cakes and serve the Biergarten tables; the men tend to work at the beverage and grilling stations. There’s live music (Bavarian, of course) performed by some of the locals and different groups of kids and adults perform dances. In particular, a group of men typically present the Goaßlschnalzen, or whipcracking in English, which I would describe as rhythmic whipping to music. It’s unique to Bavaria and Austria and apparently it’s significant in Bad Tölz during the well-known Leonhardifahrt. The first time I heard the Goaßlschnalzen, I was so impressed by the intricacies of the rhythms (and I still am!). I imagine it must take a lot of practice for a group to do it well.

Also at the Gartenfest, there’s always a special area for kids with crafts, art supplies and some games. Many of the people who attend the festival dress up in their Bavarian clothing (Dirndls for the women, Lederhosen for the men) and of course, all the families who work at the festival are dressed for the occasion.

This year we went for afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) although we could have stayed for dinner as well. There were all sorts of delicious food items one could order, from Bratwurst and rolls, to potato salad, to grilled meats and Obazda (a cheese spread made from camembert and usually flavored with paprika). I had a piece of Schmandkuchen, which is a cake made from a yeast dough, usually with fruit and then a layer of cream or pudding. Of course, we dressed Rosebud in her Dirndl and she looked adorable. I don’t have a Dirndl yet, but plan on buying myself one after Budlet arrives in the world.

Mama and Rosebud at the Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

Apfelschorle!

Daddy and Rosebud, Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

What I like best about the Gartenfest in Obersteinbach is that it’s such a friendly atmosphere and we’re always sure to run in to friends when we go. It also showcases the best of Bavaria: friendly people who are proud of their local heritage and traditions, but without being touristy at all. It’s all about the local town, friendship and best of all, the joys of being in that outdoor living room, the Biergarten!

Augustinerhof, Munich

Tia, Uncle Justin and David at the Augustiner Hof, München

Our friends, who Rosebud calls Tia and Uncle Justin, came to visit us in early July! It was such a great thing to have our dear friends from home visit us in our new home. We enjoyed showing them around upper Bavaria. On their first day, Rosebud and I picked up Tia and Uncle Justin at the Munich airport. We spent the rest of the day doing a little sight-seeing in Munich, including this visit to the Augustinerhof. It’s a restaurant associated with one of the main breweries, the Augustiner Brewery. The Augustinerhof has, of course, a large Biergarten and the beer itself is very much appreciated both in Munich and outside of Munich. The Augustiner brewery still stores its beer in oak barrels, and many regard it to be the best local beer in Munich, especially the Helles variety (a light lager).

Rosebud, however, thinks that everyone in this photo is drinking Apfelschorle, although we know better! Rosebud has a point: Apfelschorle and beer do have a similar appearance – both are fizzy and golden in color. An Apfelschorle is a popular non-alcoholic beverage – it’s like a spritzer made with apple juice. We often make “Schorle” for Rosebud by taking some fruit juice and adding carbonated water to it. Schorle is especially nice made with black currant nectar.

Brauneck Peak

One of the many lovely little towns in our area is Lenggries, which is principally known for the ski resort on Brauneck peak. As you might imagine, it’s quite busy in the winter. In the summer, visitors can ride the cable car to the top of Brauneck peak. And year-round, you can stop for some Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) or a bite to eat in the restaurant at the top of the peak. In the summer season, visitors from all over come to Brauneck to go on hiking/mountain climbing adventures.

When David’s family came to visit us, we decided it was time for us to visit the Brauneck peak as we hadn’t been there yet. We enjoyed the views and had a delicious lunch in the restaurant. I’d like to do some hiking there, perhaps later in the fall but surely next summer.

Take a look!

A view of Lenggries from the cable car ride to the top of the Brauneck

Looking in a southerly direction, toward Austria, from the top of Brauneck peak

Rosebud thought the Dragon Flyers were something else (the parasailer in the picture below). She’d go out onto the terrace, and when she saw the Dragon Flyers, she’d exclaim, “I LOVE it!” It was too funny!

Rosebud on the terrace of Brauneck peak, by the restaurant

Another view from Brauneck peak

Trails leading from the top of Brauneck

Daddy and Rosebud in the cable car