Archive for August, 2012

Ezzy didn’t get any popsicle

Friday, August 31st, 2012 by Jen

Ezzy didn’t get a snack, but she liked getting outside on the porch with us. She just had 5 teeth removed last week and is still recovering (well) from that.

Popsicles on the porch

Friday, August 31st, 2012 by Jen

Summer is winding down, but we’ve still got to get a couple of nights out on the porch with some melty goodness.

This is Josie lately..

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 by Jen

Josie has been lost in her own thoughts a lot lately, not quite ready to share yet. I thought this picture captured it nicely.

Storyland 2012 – Friday

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 by Jen

In the beginning of August we took our now annual trip to Storyland in New Hampshire. We are joined by our next door neighbors and some friends of theirs (who went together before us joining, so we’re really the party crashers here but we got invited back again this year). This trip was also within a few days of me getting my new 85mm lens. I took a lot of pictures, with my 85mm the first day and my 35mm the second. We drove up on Friday afternoon, stopped at a Panera and grabbed some food at a grocery store along 93 in New Hampshire. There isn’t much in New Hampshire most of the drive so we end up stopping early. Celia slept almost the whole way which was good for the ride, but bad for her sleeping at night. We got to storyland right about 3pm after checking into the hotel and the kids were off!

Josie had just gotten some new shoes which she was extremely excited about, and our time spent in line allowed me ample time to do a photographic study on them. When she stomps on them, they light up on the sides.

We rode the antique car ride first, Josie wanted to go with Ethan so Celia drove our car for us and she was tickled pink.

We enjoyed some ice cream treats, rode on some more of the smaller rides and checked things out. Josie was feeling cautious and didn’t want to go on the roller coaster or other fast rides. They always do love to milk the cow.

We took it pretty easy and did the flying fish which Josie loved, but the time went fast with only three hours and we knew we’d be back the next day. We picked up takeout from a local restaurant, ate and headed to bed pretty early so the girls would have enough energy for the next full day!

Cape Cod this summer

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 by Jen

This summer we rented another house in Falmouth. We took it easy, eating, playing in the pool, reading, playing on the beach and eating some more. We did make it to one playoff cape cod baseball league game. Otherwise we just took it easy, flew some kites. I took a lot of pictures, which I will now over-share! [If you put your mouse over the photos you can see the captions]


This last picture was from an early morning photo shoot when I took the girls out myself down first thing in the morning. Well first thing after we went to dunkin donuts and got egg wraps, munchkins and coffee. After getting donuts three times on this trip Celia now recognizes and shouts out ‘donuts’ every time we drive by a dunkin donuts. Actually now she randomly shouts out at other times too, also shouts ‘nutella!’

Our trip home from Amsterdam

Monday, August 27th, 2012 by Jen

We had very early morning flights so again we booked car service to pick us up with a van with car seats and take us from our apartment to the airport. We had packed most everything up the night before so we just had to quickly tuck in a few last minute items (oops forgot Jordi’s shaver! but they sent it to us later). We put the girls to bed in their clothes and so after we had loaded up the van we just picked them up and tucked them right into the car and drove away. We had hoped they would sleep, but of course they didn’t. The quick flight to London was easy, but they took our stroller and would not return it. We lucked out that the walk in Heathrow wasn’t crazy like it was on the way to Paris, Josie made it through without being too exhausted. We killed a few hours eating and eating some more around the airport before they finally gave us our gate information and we headed for home. I can barely even remember the flight back to Boston which means it can’t have been too bad. We did some sleeping. More eating and playing with toys. Our girls were getting to be quite the world travelers!

We got home exhausted and Celia tried to get up at 1am local time (7am Amsterdam time) so that was a rough few days but we got back on schedule and made so many wonderful memories and had such a great time learning and exploring together.


And here are a few more photos that just never seemed to fit in somewhere…

Sunday, our last day, in Amsterdam

Sunday, August 26th, 2012 by Jen

Sunday morning, our last day in Amsterdam and even the city was sad that we had to leave. It was raining. We made our way into the city to check out the mansion tour of one of the old mansions that lined the canals to see how the rich lived back in the day. On the way we hung out at the classic Amsterdam coffee shop, Starbucks. It was a good place to get dry, warm and use the toilet. After a warm hot chocolate we went to the museum and explored the many rooms. It was a very vertical house as they all are, lots of stairs and the taller ceilings made the stairs even higher! Typical rich mansion though, servants and kitchen downstairs, entertaining rooms in the middle including those for women and men. The garden was lovely and closer to a french style than a lot of the others we’ve seen.

After the museum thankfully it had stopped raining, we went back to Leidseplein, the main square and stopped at one of the pancake houses for more pancakes for lunch! Yummy yummy. Oddly enough on this trip through the square there were these huge yellow structures that took me a few minutes to figure out what they were. They were temporary public urinals. We had seen many throughout Amsterdam that were fixed, but this was a first portable ones. Had to keep the kids from touching too, yuck! And while I support their efforts to keep the intoxicated crowd aiming in the right direction, they have all these public urinals for men, but what about women?  Apparently we’re just out of luck, no public bathrooms for us.

After lunch we got home and Celia and Josie took a nap after being exhausted from the long trip the day before and so many busy days. Josie hardly ever naps anymore and hadn’t since the first day of the trip. Once Celia woke up I took her out for a walk around the neighborhood. She had just recently discovered her pockets and liked to pick up small rocks and stow them away for later much to the chagrin of my washing machines.

This set of photos also shows a unique part of Amsterdam living, the green bins behind her in the picture below are the trash barrels. There are laws about workers not having to pick up things that are too heavy so they have these special chutes that go under the street and trucks come around to empty them so no one has to pick up the trash. Took us a bit to figure out where our trash was supposed to go and what those wierd mailbox like boxes were out in the street!

We went around the block and discovered a playground too where local kids were ever so kind with Celia and sharing their toys. It’s amazing how well they can all communicate given the language barrier and Celia’s few words at that time too!

After our playtime, we went back home and packed up some for our trip home. We then headed to Vondelpark where we heard there was a restaurant next to a playground so everyone could be happy together. We found it and after a small mis-ordering of a salad that came covered in fish (“That’s how all these salads are here!”) we got some dinner and the girls did more digging in the sand and climbing before we headed back to our apartment for our early morning flights.

One thing we specifically did not do while in Amsterdam that most people would do is the Anne Frank house and all that kind of tourism activity. We decided not to open up that discussion with Josie as she’s old enough to notice what’s going on, but too young for me to want to explain the horrors of war. We also missed the big museum as we didn’t think it would interest the kids too much. All in all though we were quite satisfied in seeing our top sights that we wanted to see and combining it with our childrens attention spans.

Saturday at Keukenhof

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 by Jen

Saturday morning in Amsterdam we tried to get up and out relatively early to make a side day trip to Keukenhof! We took the tram to the central train station, a train and then bus to get out there. Took almost two hours by the time we were done although we had to wait for some connections and buy tickets and such. Here’s a video of Josie in the train station, discussing our favorite subject food, while we were waiting.

Then another video on the bus, where Celia was seeing cows out the window and demonstrating their sound! The iPad was good for some self-entertainment like this at least!

Once we finally got to Keukenhof and used the facilities as is always needed, we headed in to have lunch at the little cafe!

They had some tables right around a little pond with some ducks. Good time for cuddles and silliness!

So at this point if you didn’t look it up, you might be wondering what is Keukenhof? Well it’s a gigantic garden that is only open for about two months in the spring. While the flowers are the main attraction, they also have the quintessential dutch elements of dutch food, wooden shoes and windmills, some playgrounds and a petting zoo. With all these attractions, which we spent the whole day there looking at and enjoying, we took a ton of pictures. Here’s a few samples.

For some reason this was another place that attracted random tourists to take pictures of my children. One guy literally got in front of me to take the picture. So let me know if you see someone elses picture of my kids around the internet somewhere.

Walking around the place has tons of birds, so my jacket and the stroller got pooped on twice! Thankfully it cleaned up easily and quickly. After seeing a bunch of flowers and taking some pictures we went to the petting zoo.

Celia was too scared to pet the cow, and almost too scared to pet the goat but you can see her sneak attack from behind the tree here.

Josie on the other hand was enamored with the chickens and wanting to pet one. Other kids were much more aggressive and scaring them off. She finally waited and got her turn too as seen here.

After the animals we found the playground which was full of high climbing spots, big slides, a wooden house and a zip line!

We brought plastic cups and spoons with us everywhere for the girls to dig with since we didn’t have any sand toys. They weren’t the best substitutes but it was decidedly better than nothing and if they broke we just took out more.

Then we decided to do some more ‘adult’ activities like looking at the flowers and windmill and such which was met with great protest. They were a bit tired in the early afternoon. But we prevailed, took some more pictures and saw more sights.

We soldiered on to the windmill and found a stroppwaffel store that makes them fresh right there! They had their own specialized waffle iron that made the super thin waffles and slathered the caramel filling in themselves. We bought ourselves two and enjoyed them greatly although they actually weren’t that different from the grocery store ones we had previously bought!

After that we listened to some folk music and then climbed up the windmill and walked ourselves out of the park and headed for home. It was a fun side day trip but definitely a bit overtiring for the little ones. On the way home Josie struck up a conversation with all the people around us on the train who were quite amused by her. We met some ex-pat’s and former Cubans too. Celia liked to eat snacks and look out the window for more cows. Can’t remember what we did for dinner at this point but it wasn’t anything amazing, probably more Indonesian takeout.

More on the beach

Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Jen

On the beach

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by Jen