Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What have the boys been up to?

Life in La Paz has been pretty filled with activities. We have made some friends through school and here you can see Luka having fun at his first birthday party. We were invited by Candela and her mom Maria that we know from Maputo. Luka had a great time, but I also had some fun talking to adults. I have been pretty much hanging out in the hotel with Luka and Sam and this party allowed me to socialize with adults...FINALLY.

Sam has also changed so much since we got here. He continues to grow like a weed. He is already wearing things that are for 12 months. That boy is LONG! Tomorrow is our 3 month check-up and I will be able to tell you how big he really is. Now he is turning all over the place and as you can see from this picture he prefers his hands to the pacifier. He also tries to talk to us and he likes to try and stand up. We hold his hands and he uses his leg power to stand up. Is that normal for a 3 month old? I try to give him as much tummy time as possible but he just likes to be held standing up.


Oh, I almost forgot...yesterday Luka took his first ballet class. It was quite an experience. Of course he was the only boy. Was it naive of me to think that other mommies would bring their boys to Baby Ballet to help strengthen their balance and coordination!?!?! Luka seemed to keep up well in the class, but he did have outbursts now and then when he would yell, "Mommy, I want a pink dress too. I want you to buy it NOW." I explained that boys wear pants for ballet, but that answer didn't seem to satisfy him. Here is a photo of his debut class. Next week we will try gymnastics and if he likes that better we will stick with that. It is up to him.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hug Somebody Today



Thank you to my friend Ana for sharing this video with me on Facebook. I thought it was great. Have you ever really stopped to think how much a good hug can accomplish? Don't you just love a genuine hug. Go hug someone you love today!

See more about the Free Hugs Campaign here:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sam Loves to Read


Okay, well maybe he is not actually reading yet but he does know how to hold a book and these books I found are great. I am in love with Indestructibles. On our recent trip to Miami I made a trip to Books and Books with Luka for Storytime. I found these books on the table and was intrigued with the title and the fact that they were "chew proof." I had to take a closer look. Well I did and I fell in love with the illustrations. You will fall in love with them too. Just take a look on their website.

I have Jungle Rumble and Mary Had a Little Lamb. Sam is in awe of the photos and likes to stare at the pages and try to rip them apart, but he can't. Isn't that awesome. Oh and Luka loves them too because he can "read" a book to his little brother. He sits with him and uses his imagination to invent text to go with the photos. The books don't have any words, just beautiful pictures.

Well, I just wanted to share my little find with you and I can't wait to collect them all.

Bloglivia

Well, there it is...a new title for the blog. I miss the other one! I will update it with my own photo as soon as I take one. What do you think of the name? Thank you Edgar and Charles for suggesting it via facebook.

Bienvenida Vicky


Vicky started working with us two days ago. She started warming up to Sam today. Luka really likes her, but that is because he thinks she is his playmate. She seems really nice and has a good aura. She reminds me a lot of Elizabeth, who worked with us in Mozambique. Man, I miss her and Clotilde (her daughter). Just today Luka was asking about them. He wanted to know if they could come over and play. These things are so hard to explain to a three year old....what do you say? I just hope that I am not lying to him when I say that we will see them again when he is older.

For now let's hope that Vicky likes us and she blends into our family and it all works out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Greetings from La Paz


Wow, we are finally here...in La Paz! It has been a while since I have been able to write on the blog. From the moment we arrived in Miami I was alone with the two kids (JJ was in Spanish classes all day) and I just couldn't find the time. My two little boys are very high maintenance these days...ha ha ha. I have so many thoughts and photos to share on our Miami visit. I will try and post later this week.

Right now it has been less than three days since we arrived in La Paz and it is the first time I have sat down with the laptop. Luka and Sam are asleep and I am still awake. Usually I would be collapsed in bed right about now...but today I kept looking forward to bedtime so that i could cozy up to my Mac and tap away checking email, uploading photos, etc. I really enjoy my "me" time with the computer.

Let's see...what can I tell you about La Paz. First thing is first...the city is freaking high. Luckily the four of us have adapted pretty well, but we have had headaches and get winded just walking up the steep streets. But I have to admit that we feel much better than what I was expecting. I was really nervous about the altitude...but so far so good.

Luka started classes at the American School and he loves it. Above you can see the photo of him pointing to his name on the door. He was really proud! To see photos from his first day click here. We also love the school. We were very impressed with everything! Here is a photo of the whole family when we dropped him off at school on Monday.

We have also been house hunting...so far we haven't found anything that we love...but we are hopeful that something will pop up soon. The four of us can't wait to finally have a "home" again. We have been "homeless" since the beginning of June. Here is a photo of Sam...he has visited every house with me. I don't think he is too picky....he hasn't shown any preference so far.

About the city....the mountains are everywhere. You can't escape them. Everywhere you look you see the landscape. It is a constant reminder of close you are to the clouds here. Here is a photo of our hotel and the street right outside.


The weather is insane...or I should say the SUN is crazy. I thought it was going to be cold...and it is a little chilly in the morning, but by the afternoon the sun has baked the city and it is quite warm. Then later in the even it gets cold again. You have to dress in layers to make sure that you are dressed for any weather you may encounter...especially if you are gone more than a couple of hours. The temperature really drops at night. This is another reason that house hunting is tricky. 90% of the houses don't have heating so you need to find a house that has sunlight for most of the day.

The people are super polite. Everyone is really nice and I love that I can speak Spanish (That is one thing I don't miss about Mozambique - the Portuguese). I haven't had the time to explore the city and really talk to the locals...I hope to post some interesting photos very soon and give you more insight into La Paz.

Okay, I have to sign off for now and read a magazine or watch some TV before I fall asleep. I am not sure when is the next time I will have this "me" time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sammy is on a roll...


Today Sam rolled over for the first time. He is growing up so fast! I don't know who was more excited...me or him. Can you see the pride in his face?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Truly Inspiring


I just discovered that one of my close friends, Wendy, has started a blog for children's books. Just at two "posts" old this blog is truly inspirational and it is 5:30 am and I wish Barnes and Noble was open so that I could rush over and buy the first two books she has reviewed.

If you have young children take the time to click on her blog, you won't be disappointed.


Wendy, where do you find the time? Wendy is an architect, professor at the University of Miami, photographer, graphic designer, excellent party planner and A+ mom...well I could go on with her many talents....and now this blog. Thank you Wendy for taking the time for making us part of your literary world. I don't know how you do it.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Neneca


Neneca is what they call it in Mozambique when you carry a baby with a capulana (fabric tied around your body.) Well, I had to leave Mozambique to finally get it right.

Today I learned how to carry Sam "neneca" style. He was so cozy and really loved it. I have three baby carriers...a sling...an ErgoBaby and a Baby Bjorn and this is his favorite! I used an old black scarf and just like magic I had a baby carrier. Just goes to show you that I am a sucker for baby products and you don't really need so many things for a baby. I mean if all the women in Africa don't need a Baby Bjorn why do I?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Day of Male Bonding


Today JJ, Luka and Opa Jan Erik (JJ's dad) spent the day in Schiermonnikoog. It is an island and a national park in the northern park of the Netherlands. You can click here to find out more about this island.

It was a relaxing day of biking and laying on the beach. Here are some photos from their male bonding day...

Luka & Papa on the beach

Luka & Opa on the boat to the island...look at how Luka looks at Opa....what a cutie!

Luka on the beach sporting his Elmo underwear...JJ, did you take a proper bathing suit in the backpack?

Typical Dutchmen riding their bike.

Luka wiped out with all the "male bonding."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Our 12 Week Traveler


Sam is 12 weeks today and he has basically been travelling since he was born. He was born in South Africa...then we drove back to Maputo packed up our house...then we moved into a hotel for a couple of weeks...packed up again and traveled to Holland. We are here now...in a couple of days we will head to Miami. Then FINALLY to our new home in Bolivia. I think Sam will have more stamps in his passport at 3 months than I did by the time I was 18.

Sam is doing great...growing by leaps and bounds. He has really started to interact, play with toys hanging in front of him and discovering his hands and feet. It is really cute to hear him try to talk. And just today I noticed that he can move around on his own. If I lay him on a mat he will use his legs to move his whole body up. I didn't know he could do this and I layed him on a playmat and went to the kitchen...when I walked back into the room Sam was on the floor. He must have really strong legs!

He is also doing a good job still sleeping through the night...thank goodness.

We love you Sammy!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Babies & Buggies on the Bus


We met Marinke (JJ's cousin) Evert and their new baby Quinten (same age as Sam) today in the city. We had a delicious lunch at a bagel cafe (yummy!). Here we are in the bus riding along with the babies in the buggies. JJ couldn't hold the camera still, but you get the idea.

Here is photo of the two boys...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Good Friends, Good Food, Great Sunday


Today we spent our Sunday in Bedum with some special friends. JJ has been friends with Niels and Ted since college and it is always great to see them together. It was also fun to hang out with Ines and Khadija. Ines and Niels are expecting a baby in October and Khadija and Ted will be getting married soon.

Although, I think that Luka will put up a fight for Khadija. Those two get along so well...he even wanted to go home with Khadija today. She is wonderful with him. You can see thier mutual admiration in all the photos.

In addition to the great company, JJ's dad made delicious food. I am always in awe of him and his cooking skills. He is so relaxed. The food is always delicious and he always makes the EXACT amount for the number of people. How do you do that? Thank you Jan Erik. Today's menu was Groningen Mustard Soup & Jumbalaya....Yummy!

Here are some moments from today...Mommy & Sam:

Sam & his aunt Marlotte

Sam with Oma Coby & Opa Jan Erik

Look at that face...almost 12 weeks old now.


To see more photos from today click here.

Sunday Morning Treat


Luka enjoyed a pamper morning with his Oma Coby this morning. He was loving soaking his feet in the water, exfoliating and the foot massage. I think Oma was having fun too.