Mother Son Bonding

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Thibault and I started taking Contakids together on Wednesday mornings. He loves it and I’m so happy him and I have this bonding time together. So much of his life is based around Flora’s activities, playdates, and interests. Flora and I took a dance class together when she was two and I wanted to carry this on again with Thibault. He absolutely loves it. Running around, jumping on Mom, riding me like a horse, dancing with scarves. He’s such a little monkey. It’s good fun for the both of us and the atmosphere is cute and cozy with all of the parents and kids eating fruit together afterwards.

I’ve been going to playgroup for three years straight now and I noticed last year that for some reason it was becoming a little stressful for me. I can’t say that Thibault particularly enjoyed what was happening there. He was always trying to get into things who couldn’t play with, run out of the building, or play with things that were dangerous. Meanwhile, socializing with other parents was my priority. So, to change things up a bit and have a healthy activity (that I don’t have to help out with) seemed like a good way to go. I’m still helping out with Playgroup a little bit and volunteering for the music class, which is important to me, but I’m happy to start something new with him.

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Our Barefoot Walk

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A couple weeks ago we went on the Barefoot Walk in Zutendaal, Belgium. I had done it twice before (years ago with work), so I knew Flora would be able to do it. Jaap and I were both shocked that we finished it within the estimated time the park suggested. I was impressed with how much of the trail Thibault was able to walk. He’s a sporty fellow. It was the perfect family activity for one of our last weekends of summer together. We had so much fun. I was so proud of my brave little hikers and nature lovers.

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Acadia, Maine— Snapshots

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Dinner at Stewman’s 

Just a few snapshots of our stay in Maine.

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Camp life at Blackwoods

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Roasting marshmallows— Flora’s greatest memory of the trip

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Local playground in Bar Harbor

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Two girls admiring the beauty of nature.

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Jordan Pond

Acadia, Maine– Hunters Beach

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Hunters Beach

This was part of our first day exploring Acadia with the extended family. We went for a picnic lunch on one of the rockiest beaches in the park. Of course, this was my father’s idea. It was quite hilarious actually. The little cousins loved it though.

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My favorite part was catching Flora on top of this rock. I’m not sure how long she was sitting there alone before we noticed her. She was sitting there pretending to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. hahahaha. Another beautiful moment in Acadia…

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Acadia, Maine– Hiking to Bubble Rock

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Flora loved our hike up to Bubble Rock. Listed as “strenuous” by the park map, we knew she could do the thirty minute uphill climb. The views at the top made it all worth while!

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This hike was invigorating. I felt alive, fresh, and appreciative of America’s natural beauty. I felt so far from home in this moment, but at the same time, I felt like I arrived. It was an incredible feeling. This trip reminded me of so many childhood memories camping with my family and also of exploring Maine as a chid and pre-teen. It feels like I’ve come full circle being their with my own husband and kids. It was so excited to show Jaap this beautiful place and it filled my heart to see Flora and Thibault appreciating the great outdoors.

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Acadia, Maine— Echo Lake

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I think my favorite day of the entire trip was our time spent at Echo Lake. It was a warm, sunny day, the sun was shining and we had the most beautiful setting for our swimming day at the lake. A huge lake surrounds by rocky mountains, soaring birds, nesting loons, and peace. Surprisingly it was not very busy and the swimming conditions were just right for our little ones. Flora had the greatest time hanging out with her cousin (and idol) Elin. They splashed around in the water together all afternoon. My cousin Tish came were her two year old son and it was the perfect time for us to catch up.

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All the little cousins got to play together. Thibault loved playing in the sand, but also exploring the water with us. There was a raft of nesting loons roped off near the swimming area. I couldn’t believe. It was like seeing a rare species up close! The Mama and Papa protecting the little raft and nest the National Park created for them. It was truly an amazing thing to see.

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The day ended with dinner at Jordan Pond. Popovers were a must, of course. And for the grand finale— wild blueberry crisp with Jordan Pond vanilla ice cream. Definitely the best tasting thing I ate on this entire vacation! Maine blueberries have such a unique taste. I savored every second of that dessert. Delicious!

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Acadia, Maine– Sand Beach

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I want to write a series of short posts about our trip to Maine, New England, and N.Y. We did a lot in 3 week, perhaps too much. At some point Jaap said, “Maybe this trip was a bit too ambitious.” I agree and I blame myself completely. But, it’s done, we survived, and we have some great memories to think back upon.

One thing we learned on this trip, our kids love the beach. There was a lot of swimming these past three weeks. Flora is motivated now! I have to thank Grandma for this. Flora listens to her in the water and takes risks. On our last day in Acadia we went to Sand Beach. I thought we would do a quick stop and stay for 30 minutes, but we spent a good chuck of time there. The kids were having so much fun and the setting is incredible.

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They loved running in and out of the water with the tide and also just sitting and playing in the sand. The water is absolutely freezing and with the exception of a few, the only people in the water are kids and teenagers running in and out screaming. It’s a hilarious sight and such a joy to see all of these families having an exhilarating time.

This water was cold enough for even Thibault to take pause. But, given the chance— he would have run in by himself. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Acadia.