Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This past week was Simon's voorjaarsvakantie (spring break) and it was a staycation, baby! And not just a staycation. A Pappa's-abroad-and-we-have-wheels kind of staycation!

I was admittedly not thrilled when I learned that Martin would be gone for Simon's week off of school. It meant I would be on my own and we definitely would not be going on holiday. A week with the kids sounded like a lot of work! (And it didn't help that when Martin left Simon was sick, waking up a lot, Ebba waking up, and I was hardly sleeping at all. But whatever.)

And now it's nearly done and I am here to report that Ebba, Simon and I make an amazing staycation team!

It started off with a sick birthday boy. I was heartbroken. Not only because he was sick but because he was sick on the 2 days that Ebba was in creche and I was looking forward to spending 2 days with just Simon, something I have not done enough of since Ebba was born. But it was nice to also just be home with him, play games, and cuddle.

But on Wednesday we started making up for it. We headed to the Eye Film Institute for Het Fantastich Kinderfilmfestival. Public transport to get there included a ferry across the IJ, which is just cool! Simon went to an Emil movie with our neighbor (and his best bud), Ans, while Ebba and I walked around the institute. Ok. Toddled would be more like it. She's toddling now. It's so precious.
How could I have forgotten how ridiculously amazingly cute it is when your child learns to walk. The first few weeks are amazing. I was just mesmerized watching her toddle around, plomp! on her little bottom, and get right back up to toddle some more. Others seemed to enjoy her toddling as well.
Simon and Ans
Our handyman
They had tons of activities for kids all over the institute, and Simon used some power tools to build himself a small car (with some help). Pretty cool!

Thursday we had to make up a swim lesson that he had missed when he was sick over the weekend. It was in Noordwijk, about 40 minutes from Amsterdam so I decided to make an afternoon of it and head off and see something. Along with Simon's buddy Julius we headed off to Boerderij Geertje (a petting zoo), where there were at least 100 baby lambs that you could cuddle with. It was just oozing cuteness! Swim lessons were followed by pancakes in a typical cozy restaurant where the kids could play until pancakes were served. Goat cheese, arugula, pine nuts and honey - yum!

On Friday, there was SUN in the forecast AND everyone slept through the night until 7:15!! With boundless energy we decided to head toward the beach* with some friends who are way more in the know than us. We headed to a park along the dunes with beautiful walking paths, plenty of room for kids to run and play (including playgrounds), and another pancake restaurant with typically slow Dutch service. It was cold, but sunny, and nice to see some nature outside of the city. The kids' boundless energy was all used up and they didn't make it 5 minutes on the drive home, which meant a lovely quiet drive for mama as well. A nice treat. (Also, sorry Ebba. As second born and because I mostly carry you on my back, there are no pics of you. But you were there! Yay!)

Hunting for treasure among the dunes.
And the other bit that has made this staycation extra nice, is that I have also given myself a little vakantie. The house isn't too clean, I'm behind on laundry, and I have hardly cooked at all this week. This has made for a more laid back, easy-going week for all of us.

I guess I hadn't realized how much the daily grind is just that, a grind. That pressure of getting out of the house in the morning, and that short time after school when we have to make dinner, eat, bathe, and rush to bed just wears on you. It has made me realize how my attention isn't always focused where it should be. This week I have refocused and hope I can make some changes to keep things light and fun going forward. I am so happy to have had this amazing week with my kids and fall more and more in love with them. What a lucky mama I am!

*Simon was a little frustrated when I told him that we would taking the car again to the beach. "Why can't we just take the bike?" He likes the car fine, but it's just not how we get places most of the time. I like that getting places by car is strange for him.

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