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Archive for the month “July, 2012”

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Taking public transport is such a rare occasion for is when we are home in TO. It just takes less time to drive to places since we don’t exactly live in the most desirable neighbourhood. So here in Amsterdam, that, and walking, are our main means of getting around. Z enjoys riding the trams and buses. We still need to take him on the free ferry ride by the Central Station.

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Sometimes we find V to be very pensive. She has moments when she has the most serious expression on her face. here she is looking out the window as if waiting to spot something.

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After our adventures at Tun Fun we had lunch at the Waterlooplein market. We found a deli truck with seating inside and Z was eager to sit at the bar. I ordered an ossenwurst, not realizing it was a raw meat sausage. I gave it to M instead. I just couldn't.
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Adjustments Abroad

I’ve always been a worrier when it comes to the kids. I worry mostly about their sleep – right from the beginning. For longest time we have not had much luck with Z’s sleep outside of our room.

Whenever we travelled he would sleep in the stroller but it would usually require a lot of walking and some crying before he fell asleep. Hotels are a nightmare – literally, he wakes up confused and crying. Then he ends up in the bed with us. The cribs are useless. Not only that he would also wake up multiple times. Chicago was no sleep because he would wake up at 5 am and that would be Chicago time so he was really getting 5 hrs of sleep at night.

It wasn’t until recently that he slept in our friends’ daughter’s bed while we were visiting. We were shocked that he was able to fall asleep there because he always refused when we offered for him to nap at our friends’ house.

This time around in Amsterdam, he seemed to have adjusted rather quickly to his doorless room. He would still require a song and some time to fall asleep but he would stay in the room even if he was having trouble falling asleep. I have to admit that he has been having trouble falling asleep at night and takes more than 30 minutes. Naps have to be at home because he wakes up when we stop moving the stroller.

V, on the other hand, is pretty portable because she will sleep in the wrap or Ergo, though she much rather prefer the Moby. At night she needs me there or she wails for me – “wawa, wawa”. Today for her afternoon nap, she slept for 2hr 10min on me. Quite impressive and she has not done that at all. I hope she sleeps longer like that tomorrow and the rest of the time.

Food wise, she has now 2 bottom front teeth. She is able to
Chomp down on soft foods – cucumbers and bread. And she loves to eat. It seems that she can pretty much eat anything – to a certain extent.

I made rice with chorizo, some vegetables and red peppers with cabbage – sort of like a seafood less paella. She ate several tablespoons of the rice mix, minus the chorizo. And she didn’t choke once at all. She loved it so much she would ask for more by grunting. Yesterday she ate some cod and she also loved it. She also loves french fries. Fruits wise, grapes, apples, melons and sometimes, oranges.

V has been working on her crawling skills a lot. Because the apartment is so small and there are no stairs, she is able to safely crawl around. Today I let her crawl around on the rubberized playground and she enjoyed herself. If intake her hands and walk with her, she makes the walking motions like you would when walking. It’s pretty amazing what she is able to do. I have a feeling she’ll be walking before she turns one.

The Past Few Nights

These threads are conversations between M and I while in the apartment. The nights when we are each with the kids, settling them back, we use text to communicate with each other. I think some are funny.

Up to u

No can do. She’s on the nipple.
Go to sleep
I’m in bed
Lovey u
Love u too
He’s congrsted. How’s V?
Spo sorry I was sleeping
Its ok. I’m onthecouch waiting for him to fall asleep
It got quiet. I’ll wait 10 min before going back in
U sleep there or here
There is no point for me to be there
I don’t want to wake her
He’s asleep. It seems. I should go into his bed? Whatdo u think? If he wakes again he might be very upset.
You will deal with him or do you want me to take over?
No luck. Still awake
So what is he plan?
The plan?
I can rock him to sleep
I stay with him. U stay with her.
You sure?
Ask him
I think he’s sleepy now because he is quiet
K

Ill ask
wat he say
He sta he’s ok. I told him if hes not asleep in the next 5 u will rock him
So I wait

K. I hope thesenights don’t last. It is getting better but it’s rough.
I was pretty much sleep before now wide awake
I’m sorry
Dont worry about it. It wasn’t a dig
He seems out
He is trying u out there?
Yeah I am adjusting the laundry
Your pajamas are drying quick
U funny. Lol
Moo
Wanna wear them?
Tee her
Heh
I was sweating in your room
Hot thighs
Really?
The top window is open
He has a cough
He’s still awake
Bargh
I can’t sleep till I know he is.
So what should I do stay or go? Cuz I am not coming out again
I am scared of waking her
Up to u

He out?
Yes. Since 8:40.
She was rough going down.
Very
I heard just now.
So wat do I do?
You tried rolling her over and she cried?
U have to finish the orange
I. If i ever get back out.
U think u can come out?
I hope so
What time did V fall asleep?
Honestly I don’t remember
Awhile ago

Before Zander

K. What u doin?
When did he wake up?
Shes cried out 2x since ive been here.
Both kids don’t want me
He starts wailing and it drives me crazy cuz he is inconsolable
I love you. Just bear with this. Any disruption in daily routines will affect their sleep. A couple more days should fix this.
She just cried out again. Thank goodness I made it back before she woke up.
Is he out?
U guys up?
Hey

What’s happening with him?
He is a little warm and snoring
Good sign – the snoring part. I hope this doesn’t last for a while.
We should get him up in the morning on schedule
Like 8
Sure. That’s fair. He gets around 9.5 hrs of sleep. Hopefully he can nap en route after NEMO and lunch. It will be good.
It’s researching what’s around it.
Where is it? I am going to look for a walking route
At the iJ tunnel. Go to. Google maps o
21 straight there

Not bad
Where do we get ticket fr the train?
Mmm. Not sure. I think Chinatown is close by too
Maybe
Wat
U can get a 24-hr card for €7.50 pp from the driver.
Bus tram and all the other means of transport.
Expensive?
Yes
Let’s pay as we go tomorrow and see how much it will cost
Ok. There’s a lot of options it seems. It is confusing.
K
Okay I am going to sleep now
K. Goodnight. Love u.
Love verry much and miss u
Even though u 10 meters away
He was sad when I came in
Why?
I felt bad for him after I was looking thru his old pics on FB when he was one.
It’s really not his fault he can’t sleep.
We should remember to mail the form to Loida.
I was stern at first cuz u were upset w him
Then I was gentle
I just got impatient because he started playing and saying he was done.
I need to be more patient and gentle
I’m sure he’s having a hard time adjusting too.
Me too. I think we need to put ourselves in his shoes.
I feel bad
I just to cuddle him
He’s still little. Sometimes we expect a lot from him and forget he’s not even three yet.
He was whimpering just now
Do that. Makes me all teary. Awww. Bad dream?
Me too
Our kids want grow up so kwik

Anyways, sleep well. We’ll have more fun tomorrow.
K
U too
I know. They’re just too smart for us. Lol
Log you. I mean love you.
Tomorrow we should come home earlier so we can all snuggle on the couch before dinner.
It will be nice.
Buy a seat at lulus table fundraiser…
Huh? War do u mean?
An idea
For?
You mean they get dinner in exchange for their ticket? Hmmm. I like it.
What r we fundraising for? (btw, u can’t sleep either, huh. ??)
He cried

Bad dream and he was sweaty but no fever. I think he has bad dreams when he is too hot.
V cried too
Was he feverish again?
I see. Blanket too heavy perhaps?
I think so but later at night he needs it

Good that he wasn’t feverish. It took short time to resettle?
Yes
Was my clipping of nails too loud?
Sorry of it was

He is talking in his sleep. “it’s not hurting any More!”
Has he woken up more than once?

I had to rock just now and she still couldn’t settle
No he is out.
Wanna trade ?
Up to u

Finally!

It has been a rough 4 nights with the kids’ sleep. Z finally started sleeping longer and not waking up several times. Last night was the first time he didn’t stay up like he used to – for over 3 hours. He got up twice but M was able to resettle him quickly.

As for V, she usually wakes up often – like every hour of less sometimes, looking for me. She does this even when I’m in bed! She asks to nurse every time she wakes and will drink milk as well. Her dinners have been very good – much better now that she has two teeth partially out. Dinner consisted of boiled potatoes, chicken thighs and broccoli, which both kids ate happily.

Tonight, M put V down while I got to spend some quiet time with Z. He did try to push his luck though, begging me to sleep with him tonight. It was 8:30pm by the time he fell asleep and he had to be sung to multiple times. V cried out once already but M was able to resettle her.

Right now we are sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones. This is the very first time since we got here that we were able to relax with both kids sleeping. Hah, such a relief. Usually one of us or both are stuck with the kids. I have gone to bed early many a night, laying there texting M back and forth. Tonight we have headphones on instead.

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You can tell by Z’s face what his mood was this morning. On the bus on the way to the NEMO, we sat together in the back. He was in such a great mood upon waking that he even felt better. Only 2 wake ups and he didn’t stay up last night. Hopefully tonight will be even better.

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Wherever we go, V always makes her presence known. We went for a bite after the kids’ naps at HEMA. V was screeching and screaming a lot. She does that when I’m not around – like if I leave her to go bathroom or buy food, when she sees balls and bottles. It’s funny to us but we sometimes feel that ppl do not like it.

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Today was an interesting day for all of us. W headed down to the Dam Square answer shopping. It was rainy and cold for the kids. At H&M we found some nice clothes for V and a hat for her. It looked so cute, but she kept trying to take it off.

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After coming home, all Z wanted was to watch stuff on the iPad so I changed him into his pjs and he snuggled up in the bean bag. We need to get one of that for home. It’s a great nook.

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Today was a sad day because Z had a very rough night last night. Took 2 hrs to fall asleep at 10:30 pm finally, only to be up an hour later. Turns out, he was running a fever. Poor guy was so upset and inconsolable. I had to leave V and stay with him. When he finally fell asleep again around 2 am, he woke again – this time I don’t recall. What I do recall was that I was beyond exhausted. He was up at 6 an, clapping his hands. I couldn’t even open my eyes to talk to him.
The day was rainy and so we just stayed home most of the day. Just before lunch we went for a walk to C&A where we found lots of Spiderman things. A had been wanting a backpack ever since he saw one so we got him his own. He was so excited.
We mad e Z nap for the afternoon in an attempt to bring his schedule to what his normal TO schedule is. And he napped for 1.5 hrs. Dinner was not as bad. It he ate a little only. Then I suggested for the boys to go for a walk to the playground after dinner while input V to bed. They came back around 6:50 and V woke up just as I was greeting them. By 7:08 I had him in bed ready for sleep.
He wanted me to sleep with him tonight but I explained that V needed me to nurse. I left him and told him I would come back and check on him 5 min later and wanted to see him asleep by then. It took more than 5 but he was happy singing and talking to himself that undecided to leave him alone. I busied myself with laundry and tidying up the place. Before I knew it he was asleep at 7:20pm. I’m hoping he will have a much better night and wake up happy. I gave him meds for his fever.

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V and I woke up before the boys. I was up at 5:55am blogging and listening to the thunder. We spent some time together in our room taking pictures, snuggling and watching tv. She likes animals a lot and she screams so loud out of joy when she sees them. It’s funny.

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This was one of the few times we caught the two kids playing together. Z was actually talking gently to V telling her not to eat the little figurines. I think being in a confined space makes Z more aware of his little sister and maybe interact with her more.

Inspired by Travel

M and I are thankful for vacations. For us a vacation is not complete without a trip away from home. This summer we chose take our small family to the wonderful city if Amsterdam.

Only less than 2 days into our stay, we got inspired. Our time in Toronto is great – don’t get us wrong, but we have way too much stuff and I think it is hampering our creativity. Seriously, we do have a lot of clutter. We KNOW! And this became even more apparent yesterday when we were at a playground.

Our place of stay here in NL is very minimal. A 2 bedroom apartment on the 4th floor, with no elevator and fancy things. Really, the kitchen is tiny and only one person can walk through at a time. No oven, just a microwave and a 4-burner gas range, a bar fridge, and a 2-in-1 washer dryer. Yes, all that are in the kitchen.

The bedrooms have one dresser and armoire each. Heck the other room doesn’t even have a door! The main area is a cozy living room with a small wall-mounted tv, a couch with a chaise (IKEA Kivik – funny how know the IKEA product names so well), and a small muti-purpose table.
If we can survive here for 3 weeks, why not forever? This was precisely the thought that led us to a discussion bout of downsizing.

Yes. We would do this in TO. Find a 3/4 bedroom apartment and rent out our house – top and bottom. Make some extra income. Our experience with Airbnb has been nothing but positive so far. We would like to continue it. Intact, as of Tuesday, we have a family of 4 from Sudbury, Ontario, staying at our place. And guess what? Their 2-yr old is in HEAVEN with all the toys we have for her to play with!!! I
Mean, really, as a parent, isn’t that awesome?

So, back to downsizing. That would allow us to also be more mobile because we wouldn’t have so many belongings to pack up. We love traveling so much and living in different cities that we are very tempted to move from Canada to Europe. Not sure where yet but we do have some favorites. Like Florence, Amsterdam, Berlin, to name a few.

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