Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hi....It's Me!!

I know. I have been very bad about writing lately. And by lately I guess I mean since we got back. It's not that life after our Big Adventure in SE Asia is unexciting - it's not. I mean, we just moved to Amsterdam, a new city in a new country. It is another big adventure. Another big adventure that is exciting and a lot of work. So here is a little of what we have been up to, adjusting to our new home in the Netherlands.

Our first few weeks were jam packed with daily exploring adventures. As we finally moved into our flat we have had to juggle between getting things done and playing. We did take the time to check out the amazing Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. It was fun to take a train ride out there, easy to get to, and had great exhibits in both Dutch and English. The life sized animals and dinosaurs were a big hit.

The Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden

We have also been hard at work sampling some of the local cuisine. And by local cuisine I mean pancakes. I know I should branch out, but Simon and I have a slight addiction to the bacon pancakes. Add just a little bit of syrup. Sweet. Salty. Perfection!

Bacon pancakes...YUM!
It has been so long since I've written that Easter falls into this black hole. We were still in temporary living, so we did not do any at home celebrations. But we did manage some last-minute emails with the Easter Bunny who hid some eggs for Simon at the PureMarkt. It was a really fun market full of local foods, flowers, and goods. Martin had a pulled pork sandwich and I had a Chilean empanada. It felt luxurious.
Easter eggs!
Simon is very happy now in our new flat with his new room. We were fine on the road for 4 months, but those 5 weeks in a tiny flat in Amsterdam, with no beach at arm's reach, were a bit much for all of us.
We also got the chance to take in Dutch culture on the most Dutch holiday of the year - Queen's Day! Separate post coming on this crazy party day.
Queen's Day with King Simon!
It has been a very cold and slow spring here in Amsterdam. (OK - Minnesota you have had it much worse.) In the last week the weather has finally started turning and the Dutch are pretty darn happy about it. We showed up at the Vondel Park last week on a beautiful day and all the kids had stripped down to their skivvies and were running through the shallow wading pool. (Let me point out that I was wearing a jacket and scarf that day.) Of course Simon wanted to frolic with the other kids, and when he got down to his boxers he looked over at me and said, "Mama, it's cold!" But he persevered and ran around in the water and did some "fishing" and caught some sharks. It was pretty crazy. Can't wait to see what summer is like!
60F and as the Dutch do!
Our influx of visitors has also begun! The Bryden clan came to Amsterdam for a fun weekend of parks, pancakes, and English book stores. It may be only 2 hours away, but it seems worlds away from Düsseldorf. We also had old friends from the US, now living in Russia, visit us for a final hurrah before they have their first baby in July! We hadn't seen them since we left Dallas 3 years ago. And as I sit here typing this now, I am just hours away from my in-laws arriving for a long weekend.
Oh yeah, tulips!
Buddies reunited!

We have also slowly been making friends, which is a huge relief. Although the photo below might suggest otherwise, Simon really did enjoy his new buddy's Angry Bird birthday party. He seemed to be the only one with enough discipline to sit down and finish his whole piece of cake. Couldn't have been prouder! 

Of course, we have been doing many other not so fun things that have no photo accompaniement. This includes figuring out the school system, finding a creche, navigating the health care system, registering with the city/country, selling our stuff, organizing the flat...all the little things that, especially as an expat, take up way too much time and brain space. 

Oh - and Simon is potty trained, sleeping in a big boy bed, and done napping. In Mama-world, those are also quite a big deal. As Simon says, "Simon big boy!"

But I'm back! It's me! I will try to be better, I promise! 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! My kiddos made the blog! I love how it looks like Hugo could crush Simon just with how big his head is :)