Saturday, November 26, 2011

. . . bratwursts and glühwein and latkes, oh my!

For the second weekend in a row we headed out of town to explore the cities around us. Last weekend, it was my birthday in Bruges, and this weekend we headed to the Christmas markets in Dusseldorf, Germany. Germany is well known for their Christmas markets, which are located in every major city and begin mid-November. Apparently they're of all sizes, indoor and outdoor, so you can go to one that suits your liking. We had heard the one in Dusseldorf was pretty big, and all outdoor, which can be good or bad depending on the weather. We really lucked out because the weather both days we were there was exactly what I wanted -- the perfect wintry day with clear blue skies, cold enough to wear a coat and scarf, but not the kind of cold where you have to wipe your runny nose with your gloves a tissue. You know what I'm saying'.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

. . . thankful

Well today is the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving. As I type this my family is having their pick of a half dozen desserts, after a meal that was lovingly prepared over several days by a dozen different family members, and probably took about a dozen minutes to consume. ; ) I was able to get in a quick Skype session before putting Liam to bed, and am SO looking forward to seeing them all soon.

There are many things I am thankful for, but none more than being saved by a God who loves me. His grace and mercy are unending, and I am undeserving. Yet he loves every bit of me, the good, the bad, and the worse. He has blessed me with an incredible life, and all the other things I am thankful for come from Him . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Liam lately . . .

These are just a few pictures and videos from the last couple days that I couldn't resist posting!

Monday, November 21, 2011

. . . my birthday in Bruges

How often do people get to say that? Besides the Belgians of course. Keith and I decided a while back that we wanted to go out of town sometime soon and my birthday seemed like a great opportunity. We had heard wonderful things about Bruges, Belgium, and one not so wonderful thing -- the traffic leaving town can be horrendous if you leave too late. But we didn't have to worry about that until Sunday afternoon, so off we went.

Just getting there was a feat in itself, mostly because it was Saturday morning and Liam was doing what most everyone wants to do on a Saturday morning -- sleep in. So we had the car packed, all ready to go, and we were just waiting on him to wake up and eat. Which he finally did, and we were off to drop Murphy at the boarder for the weekend. Bruges is only a 2 hour drive from where we live, but when you add in a dog-stop, gas station, and another feeding for Liam along the way, we didn't make it until the afternoon. It wasn't too big of a deal though because we were staying in the Crown Plaza right downtown and easily walked right into the square as soon as we arrived and got ALL of our luggage into the room. I think I forgot to mention how much STUFF a baby needs! I was amazed -- the pack and play, 5 outfits, 5 burp cloths, 10 diapers, wipes, socks, Itzbeen, infacol, and a ton of other essentials and non-essentials. All for approximately 24 hours. We've already figured out what we truly need and what can stay at home next time. But I digress.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things I've learned . . . (3 months)

So my "baby" is now 3 months old and I know everyone says time flies, but DANG! Liam is growing by leaps and bounds -- he's sleeping like a champ (10-12 hours a night), rolling over both ways, and eating steak and potatoes for dinner. I kid, I kid, but seriously, he may as well be for how much he's grown! I'm even wondering if he's about to have some teeth cut through with how much he's drooling!

Liam had his monthly check-up today and his 3 month stats are:
weight: 14 lbs. 13 oz. (6.72 kg, for my Dutch friends)
length: 24.8 in (63 cm)
head circumference: 16.6 in. (42.2 cm)

best job in the world . . .

I've been doing some reflecting lately, and realized that had I been back in Georgia and going back to work (which would have been likely), my maternity leave would be over and I would be missing out on the majority of Liam's day. It brought tears to my eyes to think about not being with him and how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Most of my friends back home went back to work after having babies, and I have witnessed first-hand how hard that was for them. Before becoming a teacher I always said I wanted to stay at home with my kids until they were school-age, but when I started teaching my ideas about that changed a little. I LOVED my job -- I love my students, my teacher friends, my principal, and all the wonderful families I got to be a part of each year. So after working for a few years, I thought I would go back to work after having a baby. I couldn't imagine not doing what I love every day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

. . . a different kind of Claus

Today marked the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands! He came from where he resides in Spain and spends the next few weeks traveling around, greeting children, and preparing for Sinterklaas Day on December 5th. Interestingly enough, Sinterklaas rides a white horse and has his helper, Zwarte Piet (Black Peter), everywhere he goes. We even witnessed a few Zwarte Piets today while at the Centrum. Have a look . . .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

itty bitty baby parts . . .

I will always cherish this little boy and hope I remember these little parts when he's all grown up . . .

one boy is not enough for me . . .

It's finally Thursday, which means my hubby comes home TOMORROW! I am SO excited I might pee my pants (that, plus the fact that I have about a fifteen pound weight on my lap as I type this). The week has actually gone by quickly, and I must admit I'm pretty proud of myself. I not only took care of Liam and the dog all week, but I even managed to take care of myself -- I got in my workouts, meals, and dinners with friends, too. At the beginning of the week I didn't necessarily doubt that I could do it all, I just knew that it would be a little tougher. I'm used to taking care of Liam all day, so the night was just an extension of the day, which wasn't too big a deal. I tried out a new bedtime routine with Liam this week and it seems to be working well -- yesterday he slept in until almost noon! YAY for getting stuff done!

Monday, November 7, 2011

hello again, and goodbye . . .

We've had a busy weekend here in Eindhoven that included a special visitor from home -- our friend Spencer had an extra long layover in Amsterdam this weekend (on his way to India), so he took the train out to visit us for a few hours. Spencer was the first of our friends to hold Liam just one week after he was born, and he couldn't believe how big he'd gotten! I'm so mad for not getting another shot of him holding Liam because it would have been fun to compare! Oh well, maybe next time. It was (again) great to see a friend and catch up on life and how things were going. If I couldn't see one of my besties, Jane, then her hubby was a good substitute. ; )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

sweet hands . . .

Something trending in the blogging world lately is being thankful for something each day in November. So today I am thankful for hands . . .

Sweet baby hands
Liam has discovered his hands. And not just seeing them, but using them. He rubs his eyes when he wakes up, rubs his face when he's tired, grabs things, sucks his hand or thumb when trying to put himself to sleep, and clasps both hands together. It is the sweetest thing to watch him use his hands.

And then I begin to wonder what kind of things he'll do with his hands in the future? Will he play an instrument? Build things? Play sports? Write stories? I wonder what his future holds for him and his sweet hands . . .

I am also thankful for Keith's hard-working hands, hands that hold mine, hands take us places, hands that cook us dinner, and hands that hold our son.

I am thankful that I have hands to stroke Liam's chubby cheeks, type at a computer, change a dirty diaper, dial the phone to call my mom, or wipe drool from a little chin. I am thankful my hands bring Liam comfort when he's upset. I love that my hands hold the fingers that Liam's wraps his around.

Feeling SO thankful,


. . . a laundry problem

One thing we've been dealing with lately has been Liam's spit- up. About a month ago we took him to the ER because he was spitting up bile, to which they concluded it must've been a bug or something. Well, twice last week he spit up bile in the morning again -- but not near as much as the first time, and with no other symptoms. He acted completely normal the rest of the day and seemed ok. But we took him to the doctor on Monday anyway, just to have him checked out. The doctor said it must be reflux, and said for me to "feed Liam less" -- I almost asked him if he had ever tried to remove a baby from his nipple before. But I didn't. I obviously have lots of restraint.

Keith and I were less than thrilled when we left, so I took Liam to our consultatiebureau the next day because they had open office hours after 4:00 pm that day. They weighed him and he's a whopping 14 pounds, 8 ounces! I talked with the doctor there about what had been going on, and she gave me much better advice about a few things to try. She also made me feel better about how normal it is for breast-fed babies to spit up this way, and really said that this is more of a laundry problem than a health problem. Especially because he is gaining weight great and hitting all his milestones. It may just be something we deal with for the time being. He hasn't had any more problems with spit-up this week, which is wonderful, and I hope the trend continues! But if anyone has any other advice, I'm all ears -- especially how to cope with the bile when it happens, which isn't often, but I hate to know he's in pain : (

. . . cutest pea in the pod

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was disappointed because Liam didn't have a Halloween costume or even a cute "First Halloween" onesie to wear this year. Low and behold, a wonderful friend (and parent of a former student) sent Liam a pumpkin costume to wear that both her children had worn for their first Halloween! It was so neat to have Liam continue the tradition and share in something so special. : )