Laufrad: The balance bike

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When learning how to ride a bicycle, all the German kids start off using balance bikes rather than training wheels. They call it a Laufrad – walking bicycle.

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Theo’s godmother, Selina, bought him one for his 2nd birthday, with a matching red helmet to go with it. He was too short for it for a while, but back in December, we tried it out and he was finally tall enough.

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Things were slow-going at first. But now he has figured out how to go quite fast on it and sometimes I have to jog to keep up. Luckily, he has gotten better at following directions in the last half year, so I think he’s developmentally more able to handle a Laufrad now, too.

I got him a horn to go with it, but he can’t quite manage to honk it by himself. I think I will trade it out for a bell to ring instead. Maybe a good little present to stick in his Easter basket this year.

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And I think he loves the freedom that comes with it. This ad in the train station was appropriate: Loslassen! Freiheit genießen!

Let go! Enjoy the freedom!

 

Game changer

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You guys, we arrived home from Bavaria last night at 9:30. We put Theo to bed, and then unpacked the suitcase right away. !!! I put the dirty laundry straight into the hamper, put all the toiletries back into their normal spots, and still had time to watch an episode of Lindenstraße in bed before going to sleep.

Seriously amazing. Now all we have to do is bring the suitcase itself back up to the attic and it’ll be as if we had never been away.

I’m glad to be back home in my apartment after having stayed in a very old-fashioned place. Think living at grandma’s for the week, without the grandma: complete with doilies on the couch and lace curtains. Oy!

I was, unfortunately, sick the week before vacation and still sick on vacation with the nastiest sore throat and cough I’ve had in a long time. It hurt to swallow and it hurt even more to talk. I could barely sleep at night and just felt exhausted from coughing so much. I was beginning to wonder how I would ever be able to teach this week when my throat – finally – started feeling a bit better yesterday. It’s not 100% back to normal, but at least it no longer feels like I’m swallowing glass shards all day long.

Apart from feeling super under the weather, we had a wonderful trip down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It was nice to have a change of scenery – mountains never get old, man. You just cannot beat that view!

I will try to post more pictures later. Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen some of my favorites. I recently made my account public, so feel free to stop on by!

For now, I’m off to work. Happy Leap Day to you all!

 

Mmm-ah.

Oma (aka mmm-ah) is here. It was my idea, since Tobi is on an overseas business trip this week. That way Theo doesn’t have to go an extra hour early to the Kita so I can get to work, and she gets to have some bonding time with her grandson.

Today we met at the Christmas market after work and when I found them, they were watching the carousel. Theo made it very clear that he’d like to ride it, so I asked the guy at the ticket booth if Theo was old enough to ride yet. He said that small kids can just have an adult ride with them for free, so I forked over 2.50€ for a ticket.

So Theo rode with Oma on a big fire truck and he looked so serious the whole time…except for one time he saw me and smiled. I, of course, filmed and took pictures to show Tobi later. But that serious look just showed that he was completely mesmerized, dazzled by the lights and the music and the fact that he was driving a ‘real’ fire truck. As I expected, he was sad when it was time to get off the ride! We’ll definitely have to do it again another time, and I have a feeling it will be a yearly tradition.

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Weekend musings

We had a pretty awesome weekend over here. It was my friend’s birthday yesterday and she invited a ton of people over for brunch out in their garden. The sun was shining and it was just lovely out, and even quite warm in the sun! And then today they had people over again because their daughter, Juliette — Theo’s fiancée, we joke — was baptized today. Everything about these past two days was just wonderful.

I’m sitting here on the couch trying to rest a bit. I’m absolutely stuffed from all of the food we ate. But I think it was the 5 (!) pieces of cake that did me in! Juliette’s French grandmother made a delicious, custardy cake called Far Breton. YUM. (English recipe here – with or without alcohol!) I am definitely going to make this cake myself sometime soon!

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In other news, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping. I bought Theo a Halloween/Karneval costume on Saturday. I just couldn’t resist this tiger at TK-Maxx. (Germany changed the name to TK instead of TJ…I wonder why? – Never mind – apparently the first European store opened in Bristol , where there was another store called TJ Hughes and they didn’t want it to be confused with that. Funny!) Theo was really amused when he saw his reflection in the mirror, and he growled a few times. But then he ran out into the hallway to play with his fire truck, so back to business as usual. Germans don’t really do much for Halloween here, but I’m hoping it will still fit for Karneval in February.

I also couldn’t resist buying him some cute shoes. He didn’t have any that fit him (EU size 20). And he only has one pair that is too big still. All of the rest are suddenly too small! It’s crazy how fast his feet are growing. And I bought a snowsuit that I really liked. More on the shoes and the snowsuit another time when there’s better light for pictures. :)

Unfortunately, I have a bit of a cold. My voice is so deep, I can sing along with the Chocolate Rain video perfectly. (Anybody else remember this one? Sorry for the ear worm…) Here’s hoping it goes away quickly!