Sunday, October 15, 2017

German Unity Day

Dan and I recently attended a really fun event at the German embassy. It was an invite-only cocktail party to celebrate German Unity Day, which is the anniversary of German reunification in 1990.

Dan and I will take any excuse to dress up and have a night out, but this was a particularly good event. It was very "DC," in that we were among elite government officials. I'm terrible at hob-knobbing and knowing who is whom, but I saw several Generals and other high-ranking officials.

The embassy itself was gorgeous. They had a real beer garden with long, wooden tables and excellent brew. Food was set up in various stations around the grounds. I was surprised at the variety of foods on offer. I never thought of herring and salmon as traditional German foods, but they are part of the coastal region cuisine. That was my favorite section. I also really enjoyed the warm pretzels and cheese from Bavaria. Of course they also offered schnitzel, spaetzle, bratwursts, and black forest cupcakes.

We had a great time. The weather was perfect, the music was fun, and the food was delicious. I hope to do it again next year!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


A few weeks ago we went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival--something that has become an annual tradition for our family. Before you say anything, yes. It is totally nerdy. But it is so much fun.

The festival is not too far from our house, set in the woods. The 25-acre village is chock full of entertainment, including jousting, axe throwing, pony rides, face paining, and tons of performances. I especially enjoyed the Vixens En Garde--three women performing Shakespeare in a fast-paced, slightly naughty way.

All of the actors are dressed in period costume and remain in character throughout your interactions. A lot of people come dressed up too. That's always the most fun for me--the people watching. As Dan says, it is so fun because this is nerd heaven. You can just tell that many of these people had a rough time in high school, but here they are the popular kids!

There are also some great food and drink options. I love the Bee Sting, which is half mead and half cider. We also had a soft pretzel, fried mac and cheese, fried pickles, and garlic bread. We brought our own food for lunch too, but these were fun treats.

Zahara enjoyed the kids-centered entertainment. There were pirates, and fairies, and wenches.

Asher looks skeptical in this picture, but he had a lot of fun too. If you go, I'd definitely recommend a baby carrier versus a stroller. It's so much easier to get around the wooded village without having to push a bulky stroller around.

This is a family tradition I can't wait to carry on next year!

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Thoughts by Z

This month Zahara was very insightful. I wonder if it is because she was learning all about forgiveness and repentance in school in preparation for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It is really interested to me to see how complex some of her thoughts are getting. Of course, she can still be just as silly as always!

Thought 1:
After talking about the fact that G-d made the world and everything in it:
Z: Did Hashem (G-d) make Himself too then?

Thought 2:
While doing taschlich--a Jewish ritual where we throw our sins (in the form of bread) into a river:
Z: I'm sorry for breaking the rules. I'm sorry for not listening. I'm sorry for being grumpy in the mornings.

Thought 3:
Z: I love our new house because it is so big it can almost touch the clouds!

Thought 4:
Z: When I kiss Omri at school, Felix says "eewww."

See previous Thoughts by Z here

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dear Asher: 14 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy 14-month birthday! This month marks your first in our new house! We moved a few weeks ago and are starting to settle in. You absolutely adore it. You love the basement where there is tons of space for you to crawl and play. You love climbing up all the stairs. And you especially love doing laps around your room, through the hall, into Zahara's room, through the Jack and Jill bathroom, and then back to your room.

Every night before bed, you and daddy play peek-a-boo with your new curtains. You crawl behind the curtain and wait for daddy to "find" you. Then you shriek with laughter, close the curtains, and do it again.

You're still not walking--though you are great with a walker!--and you really want to be carried everywhere. You've been especially clingy to me this month. It's very sweet, but it means I can't be out of your line of sight without a meltdown. You usually calm down after a couple of minutes, but it's hard. I think it's because we stopped nursing this month.  The nursing decision was all yours; you just decided you weren't interested anymore. I'm actually a lot sadder than I thought I would be, but I'm proud of how far we made it.

You still love your sister, but you HATE diaper changes! It is a two-person job to get you changed. On the other hand, you decided that books are actually kind of interesting. And you LOVE dancing.

You are consistently using a few words now: mama, dada, and "hara" for Zahara. How sweet is that? You will also kind of say cat and up. You sign for milk and all-done.

The best part of this month though has been your developing sense of humor. You  will try and do things to get us to laugh (like making silly sounds), and you will always join in when others are laughing. Your smile is contagious and people can't help but want to rub that furry head of yours.

Ash, happy 14-month birthday. Here's to many more happy and healthy months!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Montgomery County Fair

I love fairs. Growing up in Texas, the state fair was a big deal. We even got a day off school and free tickets every year! I love the fried foods, farm animals, and festive atmosphere. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair isn't quite the Texas State Fair, but it is still a lot of fun. This year I had an awesome girls' day out with my friend Katie, her daughter Paige, and Zahara.

We ate our way through it! We had funnel cake, lemonade, ice cream, and roasted corn! Everything was amazing, except the corn. It was actually so salty that we returned it and got our money back. I LOVE elote, but this was terrible. The lemonade was like crack though. We split it between all of us, and even got one refill. It wasn't enough.


Zahara and Paige loved the animals. They got to pet a giant rabbit, see the huge pigs, watch sheep being judged, and even ride a pony!

We also ran into one of Zahara's classmates. I always love seeing her interact with her friends. Also note her outfit that she picked out: doctor princess. I love it!

It was a gorgeous day to be outside and I'm so grateful I was able to spend it with those wonderful girls. Thanks Katie! Let's do it again next year!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September Thoughts by Z

New season, new gems from our little girl:

Thought 1:
Upon hearing a cricket making lots of noise outside:
Z: Aww, he's looking for a girl.

Thought 2:
Z: Quick! There's an emergency! There's a volcano about to erupt in Brooklyn!

Thought 3:
Z: What are you doing?
Dan: Exercising. It's good for your heart.
Z: And it's good for your tushy!

Thought 4:
Dan teaching Zahara to sweep:
Z: I'm 4 years old. I know how to do it. Give it to me. I'm on it!

See previous Thoughts by Z here

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dear Asher: 13 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy 13 month birthday, little guy! This month has been a whirlwind of packing and getting our house ready to move, and you've shown that you are one adaptable fellow. You are happy whether you're playing with a pile of toys, or a pile of cardboard boxes.

Teething has been hard on you this month. You've already got eight teeth, and we can see at least four more coming through. Hopefully this round will be it for a while and you can relax again.

You're cruising like a boss! You can move all around, even going up the stairs. But you don't seem to have any interest in walking. You're not standing on your own yet. You clearly can do it--and have done it at least a couple of times, but you're just not bothered. That's fine though. Everything it its own time.

This month you got your first pair of shoes--at least ones that actually fit you. They are Stride Rite size 4.5 wide. You look adorable in them. Especially with your new haircut. That's haircut number two for you so far. This one wasn't nearly as successful as the last time, but you did well and you look handsome--though we still call you our furry chicken. Sorry.

You're so interactive and love playing games with your sister. Your favorite is when we start in the living room and you crawl as fast as you can to the stairs. Zahara and I will chase you and "catch" you at the bottom of the stairs and carry you back in to the living room. All three of us will squeal with laughter and start the whole thing over again. So fun!

We love you and can't wait to spend all of your next birthdays in our new house!