Cheap recipe to turn that frown upside down

You know how sometimes you start to feel a teeny tiny bit like you have some inkling of what you are doing some of the time?  And then the parenting gods laugh in your face and smite your smile away and you are left to pick up the pieces of your broken schedule that is being stomped on by cranky tots?

No?  Just me?

Anyways, that’s where I am now.  After we recovered from jet lag from our recent trip Stateside, I thought things were back to business as usual.  Then two things happened that rocked my little world.

First, Henry discovered that he can climb out of his crib.  I know.  Like you, I am also pretty shocked that it took him this long.  He probably could have been doing this a year ago.

And I’m all, now what??  Do we accept that this is happening and put the toddler side on his crib?  Move him to the bed?  His climbing actually looks pretty safe so I’m not as worried about him hurting himself.  I just need to figure out how to convince him to stay put during the night.  And probably do a little more childproofing for when he doesn’t.  I am definitely not used to having Henry pop up in unexpected places, and the sound of his bedroom door busting open is starting to haunt my dreams.

Second, Henry is trying to drop his nap.  And my efforts at getting him to have “quiet time” on his own have been mixed.  Not cool.  I mean, I always knew this day would come, but I’m not ready.  Some of it is for me.  Without nap time, I may never get anything done ever again.  But part of it is for him.  He still seems pretty tired.  So now I didn’t get a break, and I’m dealing with a crankypants kiddo.  #winning

Needless to say, I’m feeling a little knocked off my game.  It doesn’t help that I am still in vacation mode.  Staying up too late.  Extra glass of wine at night.  Skimping on exercise.  I know exactly what I need to do to feel better.  I just haven’t gotten there yet.  I’ll work on returning to reality after the holiday weekend.  Probably.  Definitely.  Maybe.

Since I was a little out of it this morning, I decided a pick-me-up was in order.

For a shot of happy, I’d normally hit up a friend for cappuccino after dropping Henry at school, but people either have guests or are out of town or working or some such today.  And I didn’t feel like chasing Mac around the cafe all by myself.

Mac and I stopped at the store.  Instead of just the usual groceries, I added some heavy cream.   And at the checkout, I picked up a four-pack of my favorite Kinder chocolate.

When we got home, I made some seriously weak coffee because we were all of out of decaf.  Then I poured in a tad bit of heavy cream.  And then Mac and I split the chocolate.  (Mac had no complaints on this plan.)

Then Mac and I went to go play.  Although I was late to the podcast party, I’ve been turning on podcasts in the background lately when Mac and I party down.  I find that I can still read books and have dance parties and toss balls just fine, but it adds a little interest for me.

But today instead of a podcast, I decided to break out some bigger guns.  I fired up Netflix and put on a comedy special in the background.  (John Mulaney’s New in Town was the winner.)

Aside:  for the moment, I listen to saltier materials when it is just me and Mac.  I guess that will change soon when Mac masters “ball” and “mama” and then goes straight to F-bombs.  Isn’t it funny how kids make you notice profanity?  After watching Macklemore’s new video for Downtown, I showed it to Henry because I thought he would like the mopeds.  I remember it being OK.  It was NOT OK.  I should have expected the language, but I somehow missed it.  Parenting FAIL.

Aside Aside:  How fabulous is Eric Nally in the Downtown video?  He is my new fashion icon, and I am not kidding in the slightest. 

And so it was that after a treat and some laughs, I left to pick up Henry with a smile on my face and enough energy to want to write a blog post.

As for Henry, we reached a tenuous compromise today.  I told him that if he stayed in his crib–reading books or whatever–for an hour that he could get out and watch TV.  There was some fighting when he wanted to go straight to TV, but eventually he caved.  The hour alarm just went off, but guess who is fast asleep . . .

What is your go to cheap pick-me-up?  Do you also love the video for Downtown?  And any advice on this sleeping thing?  How do you get your children to stay where you put them?  Or is that just the most naive thing I’ve ever typed?

So what else can you do in Munich?

Are you sick of hearing about Munich yet?  I mean, it’s only been three months since our trip.  You’d think I would have run out of stuff to talk about.  Well, you’d be right.  This is officially the LAST Munich post.  Until the next one.  Nononono.  This is the last.  #orisit? #yesyesitis

So you know we journeyed primarily for the markets, but we knew Munich had plenty of other things to see.  I also knew that we would need to brave more inside things than usual, given the icy temps.  Usually, outside is our friend.  Just turn Henry loose and let him kick a rock.  But this time I knew we needed a game plan for all things indoors.

So, should you find yourself in Munich, with or without kids, here are some things to do when you aren’t enjoying the beer and bratwurst.

1. BMW Welt

This was a HUGE hit with the kids.  And by kids, I mean Henry.  This futuristic building showcases very pricy cars and motorcycles that you can climb all over.  And then try to persuade your toddler to climb OUT of.  Poor James.  He still recounts the stink eye he received from a line of grown men upon trying to extricate Henry from the $100,000 car so they could have their turn.

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It was easy to get to, just a few stops on the metro.  Once you exit the metro, you’re there.  You are dangerously close to the Olympic Stadium if you’d like to check that out as well.  We looked over at it, but did not venture that way.  It was cold, ya’ll.

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You can also visit the BMW Museum across the street.  But that costs money.  Oh, did I not mention?  The BMW Welt is FREE.  That’s right.  Hours of entertainment for the price of a metro ticket.

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This place was also good for a family.  They have a changing room downstairs (like a family bathroom minus the toilet).  They also have large lockers where you can stash your gear, free of charge.  There is a restaurant if you need a pick-me-up.  And there is even a little play area with a few toys.

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I was a little meh because cars aren’t really my thing, but I got a kick out of seeing Henry’s excitement.  They had a stunt motorcycle demonstration while we were there.  I will admit that was pretty cool.  Henry still talks about that time we saw a moto drive up and down the stairs.

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For kid-friendliness and overall enjoyment of the experience, I give it five Breadstick Macs.

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2. The Residenz

We didn’t make it to Nymphenburg Palace outside of town, but we did make it to the Residenz.  This is where the Wittelsbachs, who basically ran Munich, posted up for many years.

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We paid to see the Residenz Museum, but not the Treasury.   I figured that was as much as we should press our luck with the two destroyers in the fancy castle.

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There is a coat room, but they cautioned us that it would be cold inside.  For the stroller, they asked that we switch ours with one of their inside strollers.  These were actually fancy Maclaren strollers; much nicer than the umbrella stroller we had with us.  Cool, no problem.

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What was a PROBLEM that NO ONE mentioned were the large number of stairs on the tour.  I’m not talking a couple of stairs.  I’m talking flights of stairs, with zero elevator alternative.  It’s fine.  I just wish they had given us a heads up.  Like a “hey, please take this fancy stroller, but do be warned that there are oodles of unavoidable stairs.  Toodles!”

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Henry lost it fairly early on during the tour.  He vociferously refused to stay in the stroller.  He wouldn’t walk.  He was doing some screeching.  We even tried putting Mac in the stroller with me wearing Henry as a backpack.  You know what else is on the back of me?  My hair.  That doofus would not stop pulling my hair.  We hustled through the beautiful rooms.  In a way, it was probably better.  This way I just enjoyed the palace ambiance without being worried about reading EVERYTHING.  But it would have been nicer sans the hair pulling.

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We didn’t even try the bathrooms so I can’t report back.  I would not hold out hope for a changing table though.

For us, I give it only two Breadstick Macs.  If you could keep your kids locked down though, you might get more mileage out of this one.

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3. The Viktualienmarkt

This is a daily food market that has been operating for lots and lots of years.  (As you can see, we value historical accuracy around here at Roman Reboot.)  It was conveniently across from our hotel.  We didn’t spend much time there because, you know, super cold outside, but it was nice to walk through.  They supposedly have a biergarten, but I think this is just in warmer weather.

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In sum, we didn’t really take advantage of this one, but it would be a great place to pick up a snack or some provisions if you have a kitchen.

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4. The Schrannenhalle

This is beside the Viktualienmarkt.  It is sort of like taking the Viktualienmarkt party indoors and a little yuppier.  (DC folks: this is basically Union Market.)  They have individual stall/booth like places, but it is a little more restaurant-y.  Like you could grab a glass of wine and a snack kind of a place.  (I looked all over for beer to take back to my hotel.  They did not seem to have that.)

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Important to Henry, the Milka store is downstairs.  For me, Milka will always be inferior to Kinder, but we picked up some pretty tasty treats.

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5.  Asamkirche

On this one, I just really like the backstory.  This is an incredibly over-the-top Rococo church (I guess those are redundant) built by the Asam brothers in the 1700s.  These brother architects built it as a private church to basically show off what all they could do for private clients.

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It is pretty tiny.  You can do the whole thing in less than five minutes.  But interesting (and free!) to pop in if you are by that way.  And you probably will be; Munich downtown is actually pretty small.

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6.  Frauenkirche

This is one that is a part of the Munich skyline, but I think you can skip.  Granted, we didn’t try to climb the tower.  That might have been worth it for the views.  The inside of the church is nice, but nothing super special.

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There is a pretty sweet cenotaph in back.  According to the internets, this is the Cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV by Hans Krumpper.

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7. Ohel Jakob synagogue

This is one you can’t just roll up into (although this site mentions tours), but is impressive to see from the outside.  Rick Steves says it was designed to look like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  According to the internets, “[t]he glass roof represents a tent (Ohel), symbolizing Moses’ 40-year-journey through the desert.”

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It is definitely an interesting, recent addition to downtown Munich.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  And, there is a small playground right outside.  This is the only playground we spotted in all of our trekking around downtown.  BONUS.

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8.  The Glockenspiel

And, last but  not least, Munich’s famous glockenspiel at Marienplatz.  When we were there, shows happened at 11:00 am and noon, but there are more in summer.  We caught the show our first day and our last.  Yay for trip bookends!

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The show is surprisingly involved and it goes on for awhile.  I find it a little boring, but Henry was all about it bout it.  Every time we went by, he commented about when the men would be moving again.  Rick mentions hitting the upper floors of the bookstore across the street for a bird’s eye view.  We tried that, but the windows are small and the view was not great.  I think you are better off on the ground.

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So that’s our trip.  I was bummed that we didn’t make it to the English Garden, but you know, freezing.  Next time, Gadget.

Did we miss your Munich fave?  Did you like these sights?  Isn’t Breadstick Mac adorable?