Whew! What a day.

 

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What a week! Thank God it’s almost vacation, Jaap and I have 48 hours alone in Den Haag (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and I’m drinking a delicious coffee right now. It’s been quite a week! Wednesday pushed me to the brink of Mommy insanity. Thibault has been having some weird nights. Up for two hours (?!?!?!?) in the middle of the night, crying a lot, being somewhat hysterical in the morning. I don’t get it. I’m starting to see more and more how frustrated he is from not being able to communicate with words. (We’re starting speech therapy in two weeks and I’m already relieved that it’s finally happening).

Wednesday was a morning full of drama, lots of tears, refusing to get dressed, refusing to get a new diaper on, refusing to sit in the car seat. Oh, and I had to teach music at playgroup. So–it was a shitastic day!

So after Thibault’s nap (which was a little bit shorter than normal) we had time for an outing. Of course Flora was resistant, but I decided I was not going to let the mood of a five year old ruin my momentum. We went to the kinderboerderij for some outdoor play and animal therapy. Feeding the goats, petting some sheep, looking at all the animals playing, and taking a turn on the speeltuin put everyone at ease. I felt much better.

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On hard days like these, my moment of zen is listening to Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, my female journalist hero, alone in my kitchen while preparing dinner. Even a moment of zen involves multi-tasking, but at least I was alone! My crying children were with Jaap (my other hero) and I had time to sip some wine in peace.

A ride in the countryside

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Thibault is always excited to hop in the bakfiets. I think he’s even more excited now that we took out the baby seat and he can sit comfortably on the bench. We had a beautiful ride this morning. More like breathtaking! It was stunning. There were lots of precious moments on our little ride through the countryside. Jaap showed me this great route. It’s a perfect 30+ minute bike ride to do with the kids in the bakfiets.

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There’s always horses grazing at the end of this street. This horse came right up to us and then started galloping around. It was quite the show.

And of course, we had to stop and admire the cows. We sat here for a good five minutes. Thibault munching on rice cakes, the cows eating grass, and slurping their water. What an incredibly beautiful fall morning. I love the feel of Fridays.

The Annual Pumpkin Parade

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The annual Pompoen Parade! I love this day. There is a lavender nursery in Aalbeek that hosts a “pumpkin parade” weekend every year. It’s a nice family activity to do on the weekend. I find the whole place aesthetically pleasing. The entire property wafts the scent of lavender, beautiful multi-colored and weird shaped pumpkins are scattered about and there is a tiny play area for kids. Throw in a piece of poempoentaart and the afternoon is complete.

Flora had done some exploring of her own and was excited to show a little quiet place she said was a nice place to sit and relax. 🙂

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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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