Thursday, May 31, 2012

The New Naked Cowboy

A lot of the best people come from, or are descentant of people from, Ohio. People like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Drew Carey, Halle Berry, Phil Donahue AND Jerry Springer, Clark Gable, Arsenio Hall, Woody Harrelson, Tracy Chapman, Dean Martin, Ulysses S. Grant, Neil Armstrong, Don King, William Procter, Ted Turner, Gloria Steinem, Charles Manson, all these amazing people, of course, me and PJ, and the Naked Cowboy.*

What? You don't know about the street performer in New York City called "The Naked Cowboy"? For shame!

He has a real name according to wikipedia, but really, who cares? The guy shows up on Times Square in his underware, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, guitar, and a-hella-lotta self confidence.

The Original Naked Cowboy

A few years ago my little brother - for the purposes of this blog "Uncle Frannie", and also, importantly, from Ohio and is know also for a-hella-lotta self confidence - took the challenge and dressed up as the Naked Cowboy for Halloween. Lets just say he totally rocked the outfit.
Yes, my brother works out.
And the challenge was set. In the tradition of awesome people being from Ohio; the Naked Cowboy connection; and the theme of hella-lotta self confidence, PJ undressed down to his diaper and into the cowboys Uncle Frannie and Kiwi gifted him...and became the best naked cowboy ever.
"Ooooo - this is an awesome idea!"
Really, have you ever seen a better one?

"Feel free to throw some change my way, already."
I didn't think so.


Monday, May 28, 2012

A Real Banana Split

Out of respect of our country of choice, Germany-land, I'm not going to go into details here. No need to embarrass an entire nation (this time). You'll just have to trust me - totally trust me here - that the Germans make awful banana splits. Yes, there is a banana and, yes, there is ice cream ... but that is about it.

The Mr. however, in his sad innocence and against all my protestations, has continued to order these pathetic German 'banana splits' every once in a while. Poor guy.

So while we were in Savannah with my family, and we stumbled upon a landmark ice cream parlor called Leopold's Ice Cream, I knew I just had to surprise the Mr. with his first real banana split. When I explained to the talented woman working behind the counter that my German husband was about the enjoy his first real banana split, she even offered to present it to him at the outside table.

America, I love you and your customer service.

The ice cream magician presenting the banana split.

My husband's surprise and my kid's very clever reaction.

When the Mr. got a good look at it and understood what it was - check out that full banana cut in half; crowded with strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream; topped with strawberry sauce, pineapple sauce, and chocolate sauce with a mountain of fresh whipped cream and a lovely bright red cherry - he was thrilled!

The Mr. meeting his first real banana split. Look at the smile!
The Mr. loved it... did PJ.
 Although the Mr. had some concern that he would not be able to finish the whole treat, who could stop eating that wonderfulness? Not him - he finished it right off.

The rest of us enjoyed our ice cream and coffees too.

And the Mr. is forever ruined for German 'banana splits'.


Saturday, May 26, 2012


We don't have a dog. We probably won't ever have a dog. Another cat? Sure. A dog? I can already see the Mr. shaking his head. There is the whole need to walk the dog; train the dog; find a good babysitter for the dog when we go on three week vacations to the US; etc.

But I like dogs and it appears that all of my family and friends do too because in the past few years almost everyone has gotten a dog. My sister got a massive one and then gave it the massive name 'Coco'.


PJ had a sort of complicated relationship with Coco. Coco really liked PJ and was protective of her smallest charge but she's huge and, although she was well-behaved, PJ (and his parents) couldn't quite relax when Coco was around. However, he could ride her like the half-puppy she is, which made everyone involved happy:
Everyone happy with a good puppy ride.

A few years ago my nana got a shy, middle-sized puppy with the very appropriate name Lulu. This relationship was equally as complicated but for the opposite reason: PJ really liked Lulu and Lulu wasn't having it.

"Ooooh, I really like this one!", says PJ.
"How much longer will this kid be here?", says Lulu
There was also middle-sized Booker who wasn't too excited about PJ and PJ wasn't too excited about him - but I think both were tired when they met each other. We'll give that another shot when we visit the US next time. Sorry, no pictures.

Then we got to Pittsburgh. My friend and her husband also have a dog, Freddie Fourpaws. Neither PJ nor Freddie were too excited at the start but that changed quickly when Freddie realized the amazing source of table food PJ was going to be. Then PJ realized how much fun a playmate his size could be. And they were buds all week long.

Freddie would wait for PJ to come down in the morning, come back from wherever we were, and get back in his high chair and start dropping food again already. PJ called out for his puppy, followed him around, tried to share his toys, learned how to "pet" his little friend (relatively) gently, and just generally loved on his friend.
PJ and Freddie playing together.

Little man even started to call out "Freddie" (soft F, non-existent R, strong "eddie!") when he saw his puppy-friend. We tried so hard to catch it and did ... but not quite. What them enjoy each other in this little clip.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Proud Mommy Moment

Want to know a secret? I'm not a big fan of the ocean. That whole wave in - wave out thing isn't quite what I'd like to feel when I'm standing in water. The truth is that I'm not much of water person in general and if I have to, I'd rather stand in a bathtub or a pond or a lake and even a river (water goes in one direction and one direction only).

But I've seen and felt myself how a mother's reaction can influence the fears and joys of her child and I didn't want PJ's first ocean experience to be led fully by my own uncomfortable feelings. Instead I was hoping for a more PJ-driven experience...and if he ended up acting like the whole water-moving-in-two-directions thing was lame - okay. If not - also okay (in fact, most likely even better).

So when we walked from the house we were staying in while in Hilton Head, along a canal sort of thing where a real alligator lived...

The house we stayed in. Pretty cool, right?

The canal the alligator lived in. Really cool!

a grand total of ten minutes to the beach....
Our little man, chilling in the Ergo.

I silently reminded myself to chill out and let PJ check it out without my hovering or pushing. So as soon as we were all at the beach, I put little man down on the sand, sat down next to him, and took a big breath.

First reaction: what's this?

Second reaction: what's that?

He watched the waves and put his hands into the sand for a few seconds and then he was off. My mom had to pull him back out of the water a few times - he was going to crawl to Europe. Of course, I had totally overreacted and little man was thrilled by the entire experience. Crazy kid. Crazy, ocean-loving kid.

"This sand certainly tastes good. Mom and Dad are in for a surprise when they change my diaper in a day or two."
"Parents who? This aunt and uncle rock"

Frankly, it was a proud mommy moment for myself. It would have been so much easier to hover and transmit my own feelings. But I didn't. And that is pretty cool.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Deep, Deep Sleep

Its not a secret around here that I haven't handled the whole PJ (lack of) sleep (non)schedule very well. I even wrote him his first open letter. Sleep still isn't the easiest thing around here, but it sure is getting better. For example, its getting deeper.

Gone are the days when each and every sound startled our little boy awake. Instead, when he sleeps, he sleeps pretty deeply. We can even move him sometimes. And thank, thank, thank God for the timing: we shared a room throughout our US vacation.

So, how deeply can he sleep sometimes? I'm glad you asked. A picture story to illustrate.

While in Pittsburgh, we took a 20 minute walk to one of Pittsburgh's best cafes. The three adults walked, PJ rode daddy's back in his Ergo carrier.
It was a lovely, warn walk through a great neighbourhood.
Little PJ fell asleep, so the Mr. carefully settled down into a padded chair.
Little PJ kept sleeping. So the Mr. stepped away from the Ergo carrier.
Little PJ kept sleeping. We took far too many pictures of him in this position.

Finally we took pity and repositioned him. He kept sleeping.

So we took far too many pictures of him in that position too.
He kept sleeping.
Until he woke up and rocked the cafe.

Sleep in awesome!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lucky's Taproom and Eatery

Over a year ago my uncle made good on a long-term dream and opened up his own bar in Dayton, Ohio, with a name and theme to honor my deceased Grandpa (his dad), called Lucky's Taproom and Eatery.

We finally got to see open and serving on this vacation. PJ was enamored with the toy cars that once belonged to his great-grandpa, leading to a good amount of singing.  Loud singing.

Great Aunt L-Lady chilling with PJ.

Great Nana and PJ loving on the toy cars.

Great Uncle Drewmeister, owner & operator, and PJ interest.

The lunch crew and our soul-singer PJ.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Bike Ride

While in Hilton Head our little man enjoyed his first bike ride. It was a wild success and we are now trying to find a baby bike seat for our bikes at home. Funnily enough he made the "vroooom" sound almost the entire time, so I had a motorized bike!

Family Steinbach at the start of the ride. Zoom in for the most adorable face ever.

Second most adorable face ever.


Uncle B rocking both the bike and the shades.

Aunt T showing 'em how its done.
Half-way through the trip, we met up with Grannie and Grandpa for some food, ice cream, and laughter. 

Grannie and Grandpa chilling under some romantic trees.

Grandpa and PJ goofing it up!
The greatest table in the place, just missing Uncle Frannie, Kiwi, and da-da.
Aunt T has the best taste in necklaces (that her older sister bought her).
Then we headed home the long way. Not the best decision, but da-da got us back on track.

Da-da showing us the way home.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Meeting the Family (Part A Lot)

We are in week two of our amazing family vacation in the US...and I'm totally behind on blogging about it. Your complaints have been heard. So: the first week we spent an entire week in Hilton Head with my parents, sister and husband, and brother and girlfriend. They were really excited to see us all again.

They said.

But lets be honest here: they were stoked to get to know our little boy PJ.
Yes, that is my mother giving my baby boy ice cream. She's got the "grandmas spoil" thing down.
Grandpa helping our little man enjoy the good ole Red, White, and Blue!
My sister, Little One, her husband, and PJ (who is thinking, "huh?").

Kiwi helping PJ perfect his lady-gettin' skills.

PJ and his uncle Frannie, the most attractive men in Georgia.
And they know it.
There are very, very few pictures of us, the parents. But aren't we cute too?

Yeah, I take more pictures of him too.

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