Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Taste of Summer

Yesterday was the first warm day of the year. Even when I first stepped outside and it was still cold, I caught a whiff of summer in the air. The timing worked out perfectly as it was the day we had scheduled to launch some soda bottle rockets at school. No jackets needed - the kids had a lot of fun outside. The launcher I put together out of some spare parts from the garage didn't work so well though. It got the job done, eventually, most of them time, but was rather leaky.

Next week we both have a second interview at the school in Apeldoorn, so we are rather anxious about that. Not sure what the chances are as a lot of details need to be worked out and we don't even know what the job options or the competition is like. The immigration rules could really be a problem. If the school isn't able to work things out for me, than in able to move to the East Naomi needs to find a job and I might need to take a year off to apply for Dutch citizenship. Or we might just end up in Rotterdam for another year.

Both babies have a bit of a cold right now. Abigail has started to lift herself upright onto things though, so we need to get the cribs lowered. Amélie really starts to combine different syllables to make sounds. She will be quite the talker before too long. Abigail won't have much to say - actions speak louder than words as far as she is concerned.

Amélie in her chair.

Abigail asleep in the sun stretching her pinky.

Abigail climbing over her sister like a tank.

Easter pictures.

Happy Amélie.

A broken leg doesn't mean babies are too difficult.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sleepy Easter

Claire made it in one piece...barely. Train delays messed up her itinerary and Naomi ended up having to drive for half an hour and one in the morning to pick her up as the smaller train to our village was no longer running. She is getting around pretty well, went on a couple shopping trips with Naomi, and can even walk short distances without crutches.

Abigail is a bit like Claire reincarnate, so they have been having lots of fun together. Nice for the Auntie...big problems for Mom and Dad. Last night she was up for half the night (which was quite strange) and Amélie was keeping us awake too. We don't know why, maybe something they ate? Or teething? We have started feeding them regular food in the last few days so they have had egg, ham, fish, potatoes, and other things for the first time. That has been fun - and messy!

We are going to be really tired today, but the sun is shining, and it is Easter, so we will head over to the family gathering with Naomi's grandma. Bath time first.

In about a week we should have our second interviews at the school although we figured that wouldn't happen since they didn't contact us as promised. We don't know if they have more candidates or not but hope to learn more in a week or so. For now, we are enjoying a nice weekend together.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Too Much to Do!

We had a very busy week. I didn't really see Naomi for more than a few minutes on Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday was our job interview in Apeldoorn which went well - it was interesting to have be interviewed together. We find out this week if we will have a position there or not. It would be ideal as the director seemed good, the school has what we are looking for, and the location is almost perfect, so our fingers are crossed.

Thursday we had to call the babysitter too (we sure are lucky to have her), and on Friday I only saw Naomi for a few minutes. Yesterday we took a nice trip to Delft, even though it was rainy, and today we have lots of things to catch up on around the house.

Amélie has started to 'talk' a bit differently this week. Instead of just making little noises she combines syllables. It sounds more like words. Abigail has been crying when I leave in the mornings. It seems like she understands that I won't be back for that possible for a 7-month old?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hands and Knees

Abigail figured out how to do it this get her belly off the floor, rest on her hands and knees and rock back and forth. She can move herself forward like a wounded soldier now too - so crawling can't be far away. She instantly goes for whatever object or area in her environment is dangerous or off limits. Definitely a little explorer. Time for some more baby-proofing.

This weekend is a busy one. We are at the cottage with lots of things to do and many people to see. Next time we are here it will be Easter, so we will have a couple of extra days. Thinking a lot about moving here. We still have more stuff to get rid of, and some rearranging to do. Decided today to move our bedroom upstairs, swapping with the guest room. Nicer to sleep upstairs, and then the girls can have their own room.

Speaking of moving here, we are one little step closer. We were invited for a joint job interview this week in Apeldoorn, about 40 minutes West of here. If this actually turns into a job, we would be looking to move to Deventer in the not too distant future. Right in between work and family. Hopefully the job materializes!

What's beer, Daddy? ...

 ... Really?! Give me some! ...

... Nooooo, 21??? That is forever, I can't wait that long!

Abigail goes for the beer; Amélie is happy with carrots. That sums up a lot.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rolling Over Part 2

About two months ago Abigail learned how to roll over. This week Amélie did the same! Of course, she was sneaky about it at first, practicing when we weren't looking, but once she figured it out she wasn't shy about showing off her new skill. Abigail still explores much more, always getting into the spaces outside her play area.

At school this week we had report meetings, so our babysitter had to come more often. The days were long for me and I am glad it is finally over. We crammed all of our weekend tasks into yesterday so that we can go to Amsterdam this morning for Edith's birthday.

I did a bit more sketching of our future house this week as well. We also discussed the idea of building it in Marquette. It fits the landscape and the city much better than Ann Arbor or Madison, and the prices of things up North are so much less. It is also more stable in the long run...we will have to spend some time there this summer checking things out...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring has Sprung

This week it is supposed to get into the 50's every day, and right now the sun in shining. Daffodils are blooming and the winter chill is coming out of the air. Finally. Winter here sucks. Definitely looking forward to the nicer weather and the boost in motivation I will get from it.

Finished up the resume and teaching portfolio yesterday, so now I can really start applying for jobs in the East. We really hope to find one there as having two homes is stretching the financial situation a bit farther than we would like, and it would be good to be closer to Naomi's family.

The girls are doing well. Last night Amélie was giggling away on the couch with Naomi tickling her neck. Abigail hasn't really figured out how to giggle yet, but she is working hard on learning how to crawl. Amélie has been quite fussy around dinnertime, and the only thing that will get her to stop crying is to stand up with her. For some reason she won't let us sit down. This happened when she was much smaller too, and we have no idea what the difference is for her...too bad Grandpa's not around...we get tired from all the standing.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Grandpa's Here!

Our time together went by way too quickly, but it was great that my Dad was able to visit. On Sunday we had a nice time with a chunk of Naomi's Dutch family, and on Monday the English side came to visit. Tuesday was a more relaxed day and then Wednesday morning we said our goodbyes.

I am not sure where the rest of our vacation went, but it is almost gone now. I am not quite ready to go back to school tomorrow, but I hope it will be better than the last couple weeks. At least the sun is shining a bit this morning and the daffodils are ready to open up. The weather should start to get nicer and that will make a big difference.

My new hobby in architecture has come out of my head and onto paper. A few sketches are now in the book, and I hope to continue on with it. I still write about a page in the novel twice per week, so that is coming along as well. The furniture building will need to stay on hold for awhile though...

Happy Amélie

Airport Luggage.

Happy Grandpa.

Abigail dreams of sheep.

Amélie loves the beard.

Reading Abigail a story.

Soon it will be a race!