Friday, March 23, 2012

The price of gas . . .

Yesterday I stopped to fill up the gas tank on my way home from Baby Play Group, and I just had to share for those of you back in the States . . . this may put things into perspective a little . . .

The price at the pump was €1.839 per liter of gas.

I pumped 51.47 liters of gas, totaling €94.65.

51.47 liters = 13.59 gallons

€94.65 = $125.24

Therefore, I paid $9.22 per gallon of gas.

Lucky for us, we have one car, walk a lot, and don't have to fill up often. Just one more reason to bike everywhere!



Not only was my Thursday busy because of Baby Play Group, but we also had a fun night planned for LNO -- Ladies Night Out! Kate is due with her second baby in one week so we figured we better take advantage of her last days as a Mommy of one and celebrate the upcoming birth! Nine of us got together for dinner and toasted to babies (another mom is preggo and one friend has convinced her hubby to try for another one!) . . .

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know we're always on the lookout for a good restaurant . . . not only is eating out expensive in the Netherlands (and yet groceries are so cheap!), but when we add a baby to the mix, it really needs to be worth our while to get out, fight tiny restaurants, and try to eat quickly enough and make it out before any tired meltdowns occur.

19 kids and counting . . .

Thursday was the IWCE's monthly Baby Play Group, where one mom hosts other moms and their kiddos from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. It is a big undertaking, providing snacks and lunch for your visitors and entertaining a gaggle of babies and toddlers. My friend Jessica hosted, and let me tell you, this was no small feat! At one point I counted about thirteen moms and nineteen little ones! Liam was the youngest at seven months, and I believe the oldest was three years old. Jessica had the perfect house to entertain us all, and because it was another beautiful spring day we all were inside and outside enjoying her huge play room and fabulous back yard, complete with playground and all kinds of fun toys for the young children as well as the older ones. There were also all kinds of healthy snacks for everyone, and Jessica served a delicious southwest-style soup for lunch, complete with all the yummy condiments we could want like cheese, sour cream, and nacho chips! Jessica set up a high chair outside and us moms with little ones took turns feeding the babies who weren't running around with sandwiches and juice boxes -- I think Liam was the fourth child to take his turn in the high chair and eat his lunch! We all had an absolutely fabulous time, and Liam slept all the way home and took another long nap later that afternoon. : ) Thank you Jessica for a great day!

I meant to bring my camera, but of course forgot, so here are a few iPhone photos from our fun afternoon!

playing in the exersaucer outside
trying to get out of the chair he's sitting in
Liam and Alex are both learning to crawl!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

sterke jongen . . .

. . . means "strong boy" in Dutch. And that is exactly what we have here in the Coffey house. On Sunday I put Liam in his crib to play while I folded some laundry on the floor in his room. He kept looking at me through the bars of his crib and I guess he wanted to see me better because he put his two little hands on the railing and began to pull himself up. Now granted, we had not lowered the mattress on his crib yet so it was definitely within reach, but I was shocked! I called for Keith so he could come watch and Liam was smiling so big and proud as he pulled himself to his knees -- now he could see his Mama!

I tried to get him to do it again while we Skyped with the grandparents later that evening, but to no avail. I figured that, like most new "tricks," it would be a while before he would do this again.

I was wrong.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

virtual brag book

I just had to share some recent pictures of Liam . . . he melts my heart!

(Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the terrible quality of the photos -- these were all taken with my iPhone, so most are a little blurry!)

I love bath time!
(notice that carrot-colored nose from all the veggies he's been eating!)

Mom's Day Out . . .

. . . should be a regular occurrence, no? 

Thursday I had the wonderful, incredible opportunity to leave the house for a few hours without my main accessory -- Liam. I seriously felt naked. 

But let me back up.

A couple weeks ago I was talking with Keith about how I've been thinking of going to the International Women's Club monthly meeting, but I wasn't comfortable with leaving Liam in the childcare facilities they provided. In my opinion he's a little young as most of the kiddos are in the walking, talking, playing with each other age group. So Keith generously offered to take a couple hours off work and stay with Liam so I could attend the meeting. Husband of the Year, I tell ya!

Liam playing with Dad's wallet while I'm gone
I'm SO glad I was able to go, not just because I got to hear a great lecture on autism (thanks Deepa!), but also because I got to hang out with some old and new friends, and have a nice lunch -- one that didn't involve me worrying about, entertaining, and feeding another human! 

I was only gone about three hours, but boy was it nice! Keith is constantly encouraging me to get out, with and without Liam, meet up with friends, do dinner out, etc. I love that he is so supportive and wanting me to have a life outside of being "Liam's Mom." 

This Thursday I will be headed to dinner with about seven other friends, which I'm really excited about because it's at this great Greek restaurant that everyone here loves and we haven't been to yet. I've got to start thinking about what to wear, since people will be actually looking at me and not the adorable blue-eyed baby I'm usually toting around! Haha! : )


Friday, March 16, 2012

boys just wanna have fun . . .

We've had another fun week, continuing our trend of play dates for Liam! On Wednesday Liam and I went down the street to Sanna's house. She happens to be a five minute walk from our house, door to door, so it was great! Her two boys are precious, and Logan (3 years old) just wanted to entertain Liam the whole time -- so cute! This visit was Liam's first encounter with a cat and I so wish I would've gotten a picture because it was hilarious to see him . . . at first he laughed nervously like he was a little afraid, but a few minutes later he was all about the cat and kept trying to pet it. Luckily the cat is used to two little boys pulling and tugging at it, so Liam was no exception. He was so patient and let Liam grab at him and just wanted to be in our lap the whole time. : ) I can't wait to do more play dates with Sanna, Logan, and Morgan -- especially now that the weather is nice and we live next to a huge park!

Our second play date this week was when Lindsey and Jackson came over today . . . I met Lindsey at a brunch last week and we really hit it off. Jackson is almost one and absolutely precious! Jackson and Liam had a great time playing today and then hung out in their strollers while we walked to the winkelcentrum for a little bit. We had such  good time and I can't wait to do it again!

. . . Liam lately (7 months)

Wow. My baby boy is seven months old and is changing every day. My friends were right when they said how different kids get at this stage. He is doing and learning so much on a daily basis and it is so amazing! I love how interactive he is, "talking" with us, playing with toys, and looking to us to see if we are watching him or if we see what he sees -- absolutely precious!

We had his check-up this week (along with a vaccination -- yuck), and Liam's 7 month stats are:

weight: 19 lbs. 10 oz. (8.9 kg)
length: 27.5 in. (70 cm)
head: 17.7 in.  (45 cm)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

in need of a spare battery . . .

Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day in Eindhoven so Keith and I decided to take Liam for a walk to the park. We luckily have a gigantic park around the corner from our house that has multiple playgrounds of all sizes, a rock wall, miniature zip line, doggie areas, trails, walk ways, petting zoo . . . the list goes on and on! Last fall we went there and did a mini photo shoot when Liam was a couple months old, so we knew we wanted to take the camera again and snap some family photos (especially now that we have a new tripod!). Unfortunately for us, the battery on the camera died after we had only taken a few pictures. Oh well, we still had our camera phones! So here are a few pictures from our family time in the park today . . .

Liam's first time in the stroller without the car seat -- he loved it!
Walking to the park!

. . . busy as a bee!

We had a really busy week here in the NL, so I'm just going to touch on each of the fun things Liam and I did each day!

Ready to walk to lunch!

Keith worked from home so the three of us walked to La Place in the winkelcuntrum for lunch. I always love sharing a weekday lunch with Keith -- he spoils us when he works from home because if he's not on a call he can help out if needed. It's nice to sleep in and let Keith get Liam when he wakes up. I don't know who loves it more -- Keith or Liam! They both have big smiles when they see each other in the morning. : )


There was a "Newcomers Brunch" at Rachel's house today that was jam packed! Although we've been here since June, this brunch was for anyone has joined the International Women's Club this year, so that meant me! Keith needed the car that day, so my good friend Megan picked us up (along with two other ladies -- the woman is a saint!) and we all drove out to Son for some good food and company. Speaking of good company, I met a great girl named Lindsey and her sweet almost-one-year-old Jackson. Lindsey and I spent the entire brunch talking and letting the boys stare at each other and play. : ) It was great to ask her advice about certain things like solid foods and sleep habits. I love meeting new moms! I can't wait to hang out with her again soon!

On our way home, Megan passed by the bus stop close to Rachel's and noticed another mom from the brunch with her 2 year old waiting for the bus. So what else does Megan do but pull right over and load them both into the van?? So five adults and two kiddos later, we are all headed back to Eindhoven so she can drop us all off at our respective homes. Did I mention she's a saint?!

7 pairs of shoes . . .

So I have finally gotten around to writing about last weekend -- it was one of those weekends were everything seems to be going right and you just feel so content, you know what I'm sayin'?

Although it started off a little rough . . .


Keith worked late Thursday so that he could be done "early" on Friday. I guess 5:45 pm is "early" for some people, but not me. I had all these plans for us to go shopping in the Centrum and then grab dinner, because as you know, Friday is the only day the shops are open even a little later (8 pm for most shops and 9 pm for others). But by the time Keith finished work, Liam was napping, and when he woke up he needed to be fed before going anywhere . . . so we didn't make it to the Centrum until about 7 pm. Yay (where's that sarcasm font when you need it?).

However, in our limited amount of shopping time, we were still able to do plenty of shoe shopping!