Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holland: Day 6 (December 22)

Okay, I'm getting a little behind. Sorry about that...We'll have to get Niels on here to fill in the blanks.

For the last two days, Niels has been working at Penske's Dutch office so I have been getting the full Dutch immersion treatment! Yesterday was an especially long day because the snow caused one of the roads to be closed. Niels' one hour commute turned into three! We are very thankful he got home safely. Today's drive was much better, and he was home at 6:30pm instead of 8.30pm!

Daniel is doing well, despite having picked up a little cold on the plane. He has such a sweet personality, even when he doesn't feel well. The only challenge for him has been sleeping. He seems to have turned a corner. His cheeks are not so rosy and he's sleeping much better. He's still coughing a little and has a runny nose, but we do think he's on the mend.

The big news around here is the freak snow storm. Here in Helmond, we've gotten about 6" of snow. Not much by Midwestern standards, but it's the most they've had at Christmas time in the last 30 years! The Brussels airport, where we flew into, was pretty much closed down the day after we arrived and everyone was told to stay of the roads the first two full days we were here. We made the best of it by catching up on sleep, and taking Daniel for a couple rides on a makeshift sled (we screwed a laundry basket to a sled so he wouldn't fall over!)

Daniel continues to delight Oma and Opa. He's getting quite good at standing and walking. He also likes to dance around whenever music is playing. He "talks" nonstop, which is quite interesting because I'm trying to figure out what he's saying in English and everyone else is using their Dutch filter!

We've watched a good amount of TV here since, as at home, we are in for the night when Daniel goes to bed at 10pm (he goes to bed at 8pm at home). There is quite a bit of American television on here, though it's usually at least a season behind what we see in the States. There are also some shows that are cancelled in the US, like Two Guys and a Girl, which I was just telling Niels about because it starred the guy from Castle. Last night, after we watched an episode of Bones, which Niels got me hooked on this year, Kitty pulled out DVDs of the first three seasons...and that explains what we did today while Niels was at work!

One of the requests Jan and Kitty made of us was to make some American meals. They have some favorites from when they visited us last year. They love pot roast and were very happy to have found an European crock pot a few months ago. Crock pots are very rare and very expensive in Europe. The local Best Buy-type store (Media Markt) had one for 100 Euros (about $140!). You can always use a converter on an American one, but you can have problems with the electricity so it isn't advised. Jan and Kitty were very happy to find one for about 50 Euros (about $75). So today, I made pot roast and it was yummy!

Tonight we're watching "Night of the Proms," a national concert featuring all the biggest names in popular and classical music.

Tomorrow, Daniel will have an Oma day while the rest of us go to the Media Markt so Niels can help Jan pick out equipment for a home theater...and maybe some computer upgrades. (Sound familiair, Mom?) I'm going to tag along to check out things.

I've finally uploaded some pictures to my Facebook account. If you're my friend, you can see them.

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