Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daniel's new favorite food

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fun Night

A few weeks ago, Niels and I joined a new small group through our church. Our greatest limitation in getting involved has been childcare. We found a group that actually meets with the kids every other week, and our good friend Ashley has graciously agreed to hang with Daniel the other week.

Last night was a kiddo week. This home had an impressive play room, and with three little girls, plenty of dress up outfits. One outfit was this chicken costume, which was generously donated to Daniel for next Halloween. Maybe he thought it was a piggy outfit because he sure hammed it up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Typical Day

Daniel shows Daddy a new way to use his paci

Daniel and I have gotten into a pretty good routine now that he's a big boy of 14 months. Most mornings he wakes up between 8:30 and 9 am (after a sleepy bottle at 5:30 from Daddy). We have breakfast and then play in the front living room for two hours while I catch up on email and my favorite sites. His favorite toys right now are the pillows from our couch (he loves to cuddle in them), any and all books (big smile from Mommy), his doggy, ball, popper (upright toy that makes a popping sound as he walks it around), and his toy laptop. He also loves to rip up paper from his box of magazines. On Wednesday mornings, we head to the library for storytime.

Around 11, he has a sippy cup of milk (he's almost completely weaned off bottles, he only has one for his early morning milk. I'm so thrilled that I still have frozen breast milk for him. I vastly overestimated how much he needed when I was pumping, so that even though I hung up the pump October 22, I still have enough for another month!). Then it's off to bed. Other than a few off days, Daniel goes right to sleep or will sing or talk to himself for awhile before nodding off. He usually sleeps for two hours (!) while I work out with a DVD and then the treadmill. Most days he's still asleep when I jump in the shower.

Then it's lunch time. After we got back from Holland, Daniel was over his "all veggies all the time" kick and now he's all about string cheese and yogurt. He'll also have mac and cheese, pieces of turkey or PB & J. Depending on the day, we'll either play in the living room again, work on some household tasks (with Daniel usually holding on to my leg and/or talking to me the whole time), or run errands. We still have Daniel's seat facing the back, and plan to keep it that way until he's at least 18 months. Even being tall, he fits pretty comfortably, just crossing his legs a little bit.

Between 2:30 and 3, Daniel has another sippy of milk (he always has a sippy of water available) and then it's time for another nap. For the last four months, he's taken a two hour afternoon nap as well--I LOVE that he sleeps so much--but this nap is sometimes as short as an hour now. I check my email again and then start thinking about supper. We're still trying a lot of new recipes, but are also making a lot of favorites from last year. This is when I pull out all the non-refrigerated stuff, and try to remember to put any meat needed for the next day from the freezer to the frig. If my brain is working, I might try to do some chore.

After the afternoon nap is the hardest time of the day. When Daniel wakes up, he wants his DADDY! He is not pleased if he wakes up to me! This is when we do the most of our reading and singing. They are good engaging, distractions for him. If he's happy, I'll try to start supper. If not, it's yet another reading of "The Birthday Box" or one of his Dutch word books!

Niels usually gets home around 5:30pm. He then plays with Daniel while I work on dinner. Daniel will usually eat whatever we have, which is really nice. He's getting better about waiting for us to finish, but it's still something he's working on. Niels and I will often play Gin 13 while we're eating. It's been a good way for me to think about eating slowly, another trick as I'm working on getting fit this year!

After dinner, Daniel and Daddy have some boy time while I get some time to clean up the kitchen, work on some project, or relax online. On Tuesdays (a change from Wednesdays now that we've joined a Bible study), Daniel and Daddy continue boy time with bath time. Daniel loves bath time with Daddy. They get in our big soaker tub and Daniel loves to splash the water and play with his tub letters.

Around 7:30pm, Daniel has his last bottle before Daddy puts him to bed at 8pm. We're so blessed that he's a good sleeper. He definitely got that from his Daddy. He usually falls asleep pretty quickly, but if he's awake, he's usually talking to himself. The trick to getting to sleep for us has been to put all nine of his pacifiers in the crib with him. That way, if he wakes up, there's another one close by. He only gets the paci at bedtime (or naptime) and doesn't seem to ask for them at any other time. Funny thing: we can always tell when he's ready to get up because he throws everything out of his crib...and we do mean everything! First it's the plop of the pacis, then the thump of the teddy bears!

We are so thrilled and blessed by Daniel's sweet temperament. Other that his late afternoon meltdown (which still isn't even that bad), he's a very happy, content boy. He's full of smiles and loves to wave bye to everyone and everything. He loves to look in the mirror and points to the many pictures of himself he sees around the house. He's not talking much yet, though he understands quite a bit. I can put a ball, book, doggy, drum and blanket on the floor and he can correctly retrieve whichever one I ask for. He can clap his hands when asked, and will always clap after we sing a song to him. He is a delight and the love of our lives.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dutch Pride - at the Olympics

As some of you have read, the Netherlands gets its medals at the Winter Olympics in one sport and one sport only, Speed Skating. Long-track Speed Skating. The Netherlands has won a whopping 96% of its medals at that one sport. Yesterday was no exception. We did have 2 skaters in the 1500m short-track semis, but we got the gold on the 5000m long-track by ways of the run-away favorite, Sven Kramer.

In Torino he came in 2nd after American Chad Hedrick at the tender age of 19, but since then he only lost 1 5k race in 2007 and hasn't lost since culminating in his first gold medal (and the Netherlands first medal) of the 2010 Olympics. Sven is also the run-away favorite on the 10k and as part of the team-pursuit a strong candidate to reach the same total of 3 gold medals as his childhood idol, the Norwegian great Johann Olav Koss who got 3 golds during the Lillehammer Games back in 1992.

After winning his first gold, Sven went for a short celebration (in his words: 1 glass of beer should be okay) at the Heineken Holland House before he'll go back to his quest for greatness. But before that quest is completed there are two more events to go. The whole of the Netherlands will be watching.

No pressure... ;-)

Sven Kramer set an Olympic record with his gold medal-winning time of 6:14:60 in the 5,000 meters. (Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images / February 13, 2010)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daniel's 2nd haircut

Today we took Daniel for his 1st real haircut at Kuts for Kids (sorry for the name, my fellow Dutchies...) It's the same place where he got his 'trim' back in November. This time it was a real haircut since his hair was getting really long. We didn't do the 'big boy' cut yet since on the sides he still has a few bald spots so we'll save the buzz cut for next time. Below is the before and after picture.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Daniel's First Big Ohio Snowstorm

Last winter, Daniel was a little young to do much with the snow, not that we get a lot here in Ohio. At least, not compared to what I'm used to from living in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesnowta! Usually it snows an inch or so and it's gone in a few days.

When we were in Holland, we got a good amount of snow and we had lots of fun pulling Daniel along in Oma and Opa's tobaggan.

Back home, we haven't had too much snow...til now, our annual February snowstorm.

Friday night
Fortunately the jacket and snow pants we bought for Daniel still fit. We weren't so lucky with the boots. We put plastic baggies over his thickest shoes.
Off to find Daddy.
Daddy and Daniel in the snowbank.
The snowbank is taller than Daniel, who is 32.5" tall.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Green card update

Today USCIS informed us of my biometrics date for the permanent residence card. This usually means that we are almost there... Feb 19 at 8am in Cleveland. Hopefully the final approval will be done quickly as well.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Snow is falling

Normally we get a couple of big snow events each winter here in NE Ohio. This year we had no big events but do have snow on the ground now for almost a month-and-a-half straight. Until today...

A major winter storm is now moving through. DC, Virginia and area are getting about 2 feet (60-some cm.). We are lucky and so far only got about 1/2 foot (or 15 cm.) but according to the forecast we are only half-way through.

Guess we'll do some serious shoveling in the morning.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, February 1, 2010

We're Still Here!

We've been a little under the weather, but we're on the mend!