Friday, June 25, 2010

Feelin hot, hot, hot

Seriously, I can't believe summer only officially began less than a week ago. I'm already totally over it and wanting some fall-like weather. It's been balmy and steamy and down-right yuck-o in our neck of the woods for what seems like for-ev-er. And we still have two or three more months of these swamp-like conditions. With weather in the 90s the past few days and the humidity basically through the roof, I've felt like doing nothing but being L-A-Z-Y. But our beloved toddler shall have none of that these days. So here's a sampling of how I've been keeping her entertained and cool. Oh, and her new favorite activity? Full-on dumping water on her head with a toy watering can. This coming from a girl who HATES when we pour water over her head during bath time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

This Father's Day, we got in touch with our German side and celebrated a little thing called Sonnwendfeier, or Summer Solstice, at one of Jeremy's favorite places, a German beer hall called Blob's Park. At Blob's, the smell of kraut and schnitzel fill the air and the house band The Rheinlanders crank out some mean polka tunes. Oh yeah, and there's beer. Lots of it.

Sundays are very family friendly at Blob's, and this day was amazingly so, as we were treated to performances by the Alt Washingtonia Bavaria Dancers. We're talking lederhosen, massive wooden horns (you know, like the ones on the Ricola cough drop commercial? Yep, those ones. Google says they are called alphorns, fyi.), women playing duets with cow bells, and a whole lot of jumping and twirling. Maribelle was thoroughly entertained and tore up the dance floor with her signature moves, which involve lots of enthusiastic swinging of her elbows.

Toward the end of the night, the festivities moved to the picturesque outdoors, where there was even more singing and dancing, followed by a bonfire. Quick history lesson -- in celebration of Sonnwendfeier, Germans light large bonfires in the mountains for good luck and good crops. And then they take a few flaming branches, place them on the ground, and all willing participants jump over the flaming bundle for various forms of good luck. Unfortunately for us, Little Miss Belle was nearing a meltdown, so there was no fire jumping for us.

And an added bonus is that we got to share the experience with my BFF Katrina, who flew in from Chicago for the weekend. Blob's is just one of those places you want everyone to know about and experience for themselves, because it truly defies any explanation.

Jeremy is such a huge fan of this place that he even shot and edited a package and wrote an online article about Blob's Park for CNN. Here's a little taste:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day 2010

Today we're celebrating this guy and all the amazing things he does as "Dad":

Appropriately, our celebrations are scheduled to include an old German beer hall, wienerschnitzel and polka dancing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Sky is a Landfill

Our daddy works hard for us girls! For the past two weeks, Jeremy has been working some crazy long hours (we're talking 18+ hour days) while touring the devastation in the Gulf Coast. He's seen some amazing sights and some downright depressing sights (crying fishermen, a wrecked and ravaged ecosystem), and he's completely ready to come home. Yesterday he spent the day embedded with the U.S. Coast Guard and got to witness the process of burning oil from the surface of the water. Below is some of his awesome footage.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

You know you're a mom when ...

... you get down-right giddy over spending a Saturday morning at your local library doing arts and crafts with your favorite munchkin

 ... and when you just can't wait to rush home and put your little artist's masterpieces on the fridge for all to see. And yes, I certainly do plan on hoarding every single piece of artwork that my child makes ... even the ones I had a heavy hand in creating.