Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting for Mike

I am still pregnant and we are still happily waiting for Baby Mike Wazowski to make her appearance. Yes, our baby girl has been named Mike Wazowski by our 3 year old son, who also happens to be a big fan of Monsters, Inc. He has been calling the baby Mike for months, and now he talks to her all the time.

          "Baby Mike, look at the stick I found."
          "Baby Mike, you like ice cream?"

I don't think that we are actually going to name her Mike (not on our list), and I am sure how he is going to feel about it. But (thanks to Grandpa) he already has plenty of Mike in his life. (In case it isn't clear by now, Mike Wazowski is the one-eyed green monster pictured below.)

I am 34.5 weeks now and feeling pretty good. Still enjoying naps with Simon, who almost always opts to join me even though he stopped napping in April.

Love waking up with him.
And I have nothing but good news from the doctor! Last week my doctor told me that I no longer had to come to the hospital to see her for my prenatal care, and I can go back to the midwives who will deliver my baby. This is very good news for me! I am so happy to be back in the care of the midwives, and know that it will be one from a team of these midwives attending my baby's birth when the time comes. The Dutch maternity care system merits an entire separate post, but I am still sorting that out myself. (Coming soon - I promise!)

34.5 weeks!
Silly faces!
So what else have we been up to while we wait for Baby Mike? Well, Simon has 2 days of creche per week, so that provides Mama with a bit of relief. I have been using that time to strip all of our cloth diapers so they are ready for the baby, and sort and wash all of the baby clothes. AND I almost done with ALL of my Christmas and birthday shopping (4 nieces/nephews with birthdays in the next few months).

Last week I was intensely proud of myself when we headed out in the pouring rain for a play group that is a 20 minute bike ride across town. We were all decked out in our rain boots, pants, and jackets (in my case a rain cape - it's so cool!) and we arrived safe and sound with only wet noses and cheeks. I don't think most Dutch moms would think anything of it, but I thought it was a pretty big deal.

And we sing this sweet song to Baby Mike, Take your Time Girl, and we mean it.

Yup, we're doing just fine waiting for Baby Mike!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Grandpa was here!

What an unbelievable treat to have Grandpa here for 3 whole weeks! We hadn't seen Grandpa (or anyone in my family) for more than 14 months. But time and distance had not weakened the bond between Simon and his Grandpa - they picked up right where they left off. Being silly.

It definitely helps that my dad is just a really grandpa fun go who can't say no to hours of bouncing on the knee or flying overhead. The favorite activity was definitely taking out all animals (stuffed, lego, you name it) and having them all play and talk together. That man has some patience, I tell you.

Grandpa dove right in to both the grand parenting and sight-seeing activities. With Simon in creche two days per week, that gave him plenty of time to explore Amsterdam on 2 wheels (the only way) and check out some of the many museums. Like nearly every visitor to this great city, he was fascinated with the bike culture that truly rules the road. He learned his way around (sort of - he was also lost a lot) and could take Simon to school or run to the market on his own. With Simon on board he also checked out the library, the science museum, and the fabulous Artis Zoo. (And probably a lot of other things as he tried to find his way back home.)

He even got to celebrate his birthday with us. Which means....cake for breakfast! We made use of all of the candles we have, he is not quite as old as the cake might indicate. For his birthday I found a book on the history of biking in Amsterdam, so if you've talked to him since his return he is probably spewing all sorts of interesting Amsterdam biking facts your way. You're welcome.

Grandpa's visit also provided me with some much appreciated R&R. While I have been feeling good, I am definitely a bit more tired and have been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions (hard tummy), which can be uncomfortable and just annoying. I was very happy to have Simon entertained and be able to just lay low for a few weeks. I know that things will change shortly, so I cherished my down time. I even escaped to Düsseldorf for a day to visit friends and meet a beautiful new addition to this world.

At the apple orchard.
Grandpa also watched Simon for a weekend while Martin and I went to the Ardennes region of Belgium. Belgium is fast becoming one of our favorite countries with good food, delicious beer, friendly people, and a beautiful landscape. We had never really been to the Belgian countryside before and really enjoyed our pleasant B&B and the surrounding small villages. We slept a lot and enjoyed a last weekend away before the baby arrives.
Belgian waffles!
Some of these pictures are a bit deceiving, as it rained for the first 15 days that my dad was here. But in the end the sun came back and we were able to end his visit on some beautiful fall weather.

At the petting zoo.

We miss him very much already! Come back soon, Grandpa!