Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from Irrland (again)

Yes, I know, Irrland again. But the weather was beautiful and Daddy needed to give those slides a try before the park was going to close for the winter next week.
 Kisses for Daddy
 Sophie and I watching Andrew go down the really tall slide.
 And believe it or not - next this is Sophie with Daddy at the top of the really tall slide...
 ... and she did not chicken out. She even went again, but refused to go with me. I guess she felt more secure with Andrew. Fair enough. I would too.
 Then she went by herself on the much shorter Monkey Slide.
 I take that is why it's called the Monkey Slide.
 Grand finale at the "Schwabbelmeer" (Wobble Lake). It is filled with water, which makes running on it a tremendous workout. Here is Andrew running into Sophie's arms.
 And vice versa.
 Sophie and I tried letting us fall onto the Schwabbelmeer.
 Exhausted - showing off our Halloween face paintings (home-made). That is a bat on my cheek in case you couldn't tell.
 Sophie chose a cat and a Hawaiian hibiscus to match her dress. 
Digging into her second or third Halloween muffin of the day. Chocolate with orange cream icing, topped with crackling chocolate chips that popped in your mouth. Nom nom nom...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Very Local Castle

If you are starting to detect a pattern in our posts (castle, Irrland, ice cream) and are becoming bored, I apologize, but we are just trying to please our little princess. It's a Sophie World after all, right?

After an extensive German breakfast with loads of cold cuts, cheese, eggs and fresh bread rolls (Andrew and I tend to fight over the pumpkin seed rolls), we needed to get moving a little. So we packed a small picnic and rode our bikes to Schloss Haag just outside the Geldern city limits engulfed by a fancy golf course. Half of the castle is still inhabited by a private party and the remainder houses a restaurant and a golf equipment shop, but there is enough magic left to let a little girl's imagination run wild. 
 Princess Sophie and her prince, as well as her new big Frapunzel.

 Spot the heron.
 This week was probably the peak of the fall colors.

In the evening, we were all rewarded with a professional back massage by Berit. Even Andrew enjoyed his first proper massage (I shall spare you the picture), except that he was a bit sore the next day. Sophie loved it and Mama loved the fact that it took Sophie less than a minute to fall asleep that night.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Breaking New (Play) Grounds

As Daddy's arrival home was delayed by a few hours today, Sophie and I had time to explore. We grabbed the bike and ventured to the other end of town (about a ten minute ride) to discover a nearly perfect playground. It had all the rides Sophie likes... and more: giant slide, regular swing, tire swing, see-saw (double and single), roundabout, and this fun Tarzan-like rope swing, the name of which Andrew can't remember. We spent a good two hours there. I couldn't tell who was more tired by the end.
 We even spotted some other kids there at times to Sophie's delight.
 Pusteblume (dandelion)
 Time to pull on the old parachute pants.
 You spin me right round, baby, right round.
The rope swing-thing.

Daddy's Home

(Sorry, I meant to post this a while ago)
Finally, after three weeks away at work, Daddy finally came "home" (i.e. to Oma's house). Andrew had been gone longer than usual as he was instructing in the simulator in lovely Detroit this month. He had a few days off during this stretch, but it was too short to travel all the way to Germany and back. Sophie and I picked him up at the train station in the late afternoon. 
 Daddy had a bag full of clothes and presents for us (a lot of things are just cheaper in the U.S.). But best of all, he brought with him a big "Frapunzel" and a "Frapunzel" dress for Sophie. He had been teasing Sophie with the doll over skype for a few days now. Somebody was very happy to have Daddy home.
I was happy, too, as I had some help with getting Sophie ready for bed and bedtime stories tonight. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Princess Tea Party

With Oma being gone on vacation, us girls planned a Princess tea party for tonight and invited a few more (big) girls over. Special treat for Sophie: she got to stay up late to watch the big Disney Quiz show on TV.
 So we started baking muffins from a never-before-used muffin recipe book I found at my mum's. I have to say it was the first time I truly enjoyed baking with Sophie (and she helped a lot - easy-peasy recipes). Not too tired, not a million other chores on my mind, not rushed - I love not having to work. I can't say it enough. And I really appreciate the fact I get to have this time now. 
 OK, enough being cheesy. Here is the result of our baking frenzy: Applesauce & oatmeal, peanut butter & chocolate chip, and Bavarian beer & cheese muffins.
 And if that wasn't enough, we needed piggies in a blanket. Or as Sophie translated to me: "Schweine in der Decke" made with love by Sophie.
 Halfway through that it was time for a little lie down on the couch before we needed to get ready for the party.
 Sophie dressed as Sleeping Beauty, combing Berit's, alias Pocahontas, hair.
 Having a glass of children's bubblies on the teddy bear throne.
TV dinner is served.
Sophie enthralled in the quiz show. Her first (of many I fear).

Holy Kale!

To all my fellow kale lovers: with the first night frost, kale season finally started in Germany. And here is what I got for €1.50 at the market today.

A Cat's Life

Who said there was no sunshine in Germany?
 Do these cats look content or what?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Irrland Encore

The weather is still nice (albeit cold), Irrland is still open for another two weeks and as there is not much else to do on a Sunday in Germany (all the stores are closed), we headed out for more fun this afternoon. We headed to some of our favorite spots but also tried some new places. My legs had more than a good workout.
 Sophie Vettel taking a spin on a go-cart. 
 Princess Sophie found the tunnel underneath the castle tower. She walked through it more than once even though I tried to tease her a little mentioning spiders and bats. At least she was able to walk upright as opposed to her ladies-in-waiting.
 Back to the horses! I will be nice and not post the funniest horse picture today of Berit trying to mount one of the taller horses.
 Sophie on the horse with the freaky-looking eye.
 The slide tower with a built-in airplane!
 View from the top...
 ... yeehaw!
 Ice cream break.
 The two blondes. This time Berit was dressed to climb and jump and was able to join us on the bouncing clouds.
 About to jump on Mama.
No one left to play with me? She literally walked from one kid to the next and asked them if they wanted to play with her. A good time to head home and call it a day.

Feeding Time at the Zoo

Sophie got to feed Berit's mice today. The cats were so jealous!

 Then off to doing some weird stuff. Listening to Pomp & Circumstance - princess music, hence the princess dress, she started doing some yoga-ish poses.
I think it was her trying to tell us that she wanted to head out to "Irrland."