Friday, April 30, 2010

Koninginnenach & Konginginnedag 2010

April 30th is the national holiday of Queen's Day in The Netherlands. The festivities begin the night before with Queen's Night. Several podiums were set up in The Hague showcasing some great music! Tom and Evie went early in the evening and saw a rock band playing near the Grote Kerk (Big Church). Evie loved the music and clapped after every number! After the kids went to bed, Tom and Liz went into the city again and saw Caro Emerald at the Spui Plein. Unfortunately, after a whole week of beautiful weather, it started to rain a bit. It was still a blast, though!

On Queen's day it is tradition to have a large open market on streets all over the country, called the rommelmarkt. Imagine a nation-wide yard sale. Usually, we were the ones doing the shopping, but this year we decided to try to get rid of some of the things we don't need anymore, such as baby clothes, Evie clothes, the playpen, baby bath, etc.. We were hoping to sell the double stroller, but it didn't happen. We also baked two sorts of cookies and sold them for 30 cents per bag of three. We managed to sell them all, as well as more than half of the clothes and all the other bigger items. The day started with much rain, however, which had us packing up to go home. (not very fun) We decided to stay, after all, and are glad we did. Next year we'll do it again! Weather permitting!!!

While Liz was selling cookies and whatnot all day, Tom was left to entertain the kids. He brought them to the playground, where Felix loved going on the slide! We got a little carried away with the editing of the video. It's kind of funny.

One of the new toys we got at the rommelmarkt was a wooden baby carriage push toy. Felix loves walking behind it, as does Evie. They also enjoy pushing each other around in it. If only Felix would stay inside the stroller...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bus Tour Belgium

Yesterday Grandma Nan and Liz took a bus trip to our neighbors to the south, Belgium. We took a bus tour that departed from Amsterdam. We were joined by many other tourists, including the most typical "ugly american" who, if nothing else, provided something we could laugh about. We had a fun day!
On the bus as we left Amsterdam.
Some tulip fields on the Dutch side of the border.

The bus brought us to Antwerp first where we had just an hour and a half to look around. We decided to get a fabulous meal! We went to a lovely little restaurant where the menu had just two first courses and two main courses and were greeted with a delightful peach champagne. We then had an amuse of whipped goat cheese. For the first course Grandma had stuffed salmon rolls and Liz had some super asparagus. Unfortunately, our time ran out before we got to enjoy the main course. Such a shame...

After that we headed to Brussels. We made a brief stop at the Atomium for a photo op.
Grandma and Liz is Brussels!
The Atomium has been a Brussels monument since the 1958 World's Fair.

We then went to the center of Brussels had a little over two hours to explore. We had some dessert at a cafe in the Passage, visited the famous statue of Manneke Pis, and had a Belgium waffel before finding our way back to the group.
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
Grandma by a beautiful lace shop
Manneke Pis

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog Books

Thanks to we now have some beautiful books to preserve the first two years of our blog. It couldn't have been easier. They plucked all the entries, photos, and comments and auto-formatted them into a bound yearbook-type album. The result is gorgeous! Hopefully they'll stick around and we will be able to publish such a book every year. We made DVDs to accompany each book that has all the featured videos. It's a nearly perfect little archive!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Grandma Has Landed

Grandma Nan finally arrived Wednesday afternoon. It's so good to have her back. Yesterday we went to the city and saw Liz's new work, DOK Cookware in the Passage. We then made a lovely Teddy Bear Bread to go with dinner.
Evie and Grandma on the tram to the city center.
Evie didn't actually end up helping, but that doesn't stop her from proudly showing it to the camera.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Potato on Fire

Evie told us this evening that airports are closed because of the fire coming out of the potato. That's why Grandma Nan won't be able to get here tomorrow, as planned. She is, of course referring to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland that has caused huge clouds of volcanic ash to be shot into the atmosphere, disrupting most air travel in Europe. All the airports in Britain and Nothern Europe have been closed for past two days and will remain so until tomorrow at the earliest. Some grim reports predict that air travel won't resume until as late as Friday or Saturday. As for Grandma Nan, she has u-turned back to Chebeague Island and will try again on Monday. With our fingers crossed, that would get here here Tuesday, though that seems unlikely as there will be a few days worth of passengers in line for a flight across the pond. To make matters more interesting, she is flying with IcelandAir. Hmmm. We'll keep you posted as to her travel status.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 20
Grandma Nan has now travelled to Iceland and is spending the night there tonight. Her flight for tomorrow has not yet been cancelled, and we are very hopeful that it will stay that way. Many flights were resumed today in The Netherlands and other parts of Europe without a problem.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last Consultatieburo Visit for Evie

Today both the kids had a visit at the consultatieburo. They also both got some vaccinations. Each received a shot against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio, and Felix also received one for haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). As usual, they were both very brave and good sports about it all. Evie was treated with a lollipop immediately following the shot. That always makes everything better.

And now for the stats! Evie weighed in at 17.3 kg, or about 38 pounds. This puts her in the 81st percentile. She is 105.5 cm tall, or 3 feet 5.5 inches, putting her in the 92nd percentile for height. Her BMI is 15.5 which is in the 56th percentile for kids her age. Overall, she is a very healthy girl! As the title suggests, this is the last time Evie will go to the consultatieburo (as a patient). From now on she will visit the "schoolarts" (school doctor) for her developmental check-ups and vaccinations. If there's nothing to be concerned about, she will only see her at age 5 and age 9.

Felix is turning out to be a little shrimp!!! He weighs just 9920 grams, just under 22 pounds and in the 48th percentile. At first they measured his height to be 72 centimeters, but the doctor decided to measure again because it seemed so low. Then we settled on 73.5 centimeters, just under 29 inches. That is just the 37th percentile! Poor little dude! One is not supposed to compare children, but who cares! When Evie was this age she was in the 46th percentile for weight and 95th for height! But, yeah, different kids, boys versus girls, etc. etc. Below we have the updated height and weight charts for Felix.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Supermarket Photo Shoot

Two weeks ago at the grocery store we saw that the photographer was there again. Evie, of course, insisted on going home and putting on her newest dress and a necklace so she could get her picture taken. The kids did a great job posing and smiling for the camera. The pictures were a lot better than the last one six months ago, but we still didn't think it was worth the ridiculous prices they charge for them. We got one free portrait. We might cave and get another one, but it's not very likely. Here are the inny-minny digital versions of the pictures:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Playing Catch-up

We've been so busy these past two weeks that we haven't had any time to post anything on the blog. However, that doesn't mean there was no time for photos.
Felix can now climb up onto chairs!

He thinks he's soooo cool!! (He is.)

Vroom vroom.

Dork #1

Dork #2

The Easter Bunny came and hid some eggs! Evie found them all!

Felix was impressed by Opa Erno's didgeridoo skills.

The best invention for long train rides...

We managed to get a lot of video footage as well. So here's a video treat for you!