Monday, December 24, 2012

Jessica this week . . .

She is becoming quite a a character. 
She makes herself laugh all the time. 
She taunts Connor constantly.
She says Mama and Dada, but still calls everyone dada. 
Likes to feed her baby doll.
Loves to put on jewelry.
Wakes up everyday at about 6am for a bottle but goes back to sleep until 7ish.
Has a lot of teeth.
Loves shoes and boots.
Hits, kisses, hugs, high fives, blows kisses, claps and waves.
She can find her tongue, ears, head, hands and feet.
Her favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see.
She is addicted to the binkie and still drinks a bottle with formula (I know we are working on it).
She loves animals and points and squeals when she sees a dog, horse, cat, sheep etc.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paris at Christmas time . . .

I dreamt that I was in Paris for the holidays and it went like this . . .

Upon arriving I visited the Eiffel tower.

I saw beautiful lights all along the Avenue des Champs Elysées.

Admired the Arc de Triomphe on a rainy evening. 

Made sure Jessica was cozy cozy button nozy.

Yes Chris has a beer in his hand, per usual, and why not when they are serving them from stalls all up and down the Champs.

Jessica and I watched Chris and Connor on the kiddy roller coaster at the Christmas Market.

Then I did a little shopping with Jessica the helper.

Where I gawked at the beautiful tree in the Galeries Lafayette, what a stunning department store!  Oh, and stunning prices...$2500 jacket anyone... that's not in my H&M budget!

The ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde had me in a trance. 

A neat surprise was that every window in the apartment we stayed in had a partial view of the Eiffel Tower. 

Paris is called the city of light for a reason. 

We took lots of photos of the unique window displays at the Galeries Lafayette but the windows of the Printemps were actually a lot better but we ran out of time :(

Ah the view from the ferris wheel . . . in the morning there was no line but at night it was a sea of people. I'm sure it was an amazing view at night and worth the wait but not in the rain with 2 small children. So we enjoyed the morning view. 

I bet this place looks incredible when it snows.

Everybody loved the ferris wheel ride! Typically Chris and I feel a bit unsettled dangling way up in the air but the view of Paris and just being in Paris was far to exciting to feel nervous about heights.

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Pretty neat view of the tuileries jardin.

The Christmas market was like a big party and lots of fun for kids. Connor got to ride this little 4 wheeler, go ice skating, ride a ferris wheel, a carousel and a roller coaster. I'd say a pretty good day for a 5 year old.

ice skating with dad = happiness (must run in the family)

Ice skating in Paris! Yes this must be a dream!!!

And hello to you sassy snowlady. HA!

This was Connor's 2nd time on the ice and it was neat to see the progress he made. I wish I could take him all the time, I know he would pick it up really fast.

At the Christmas market you could order prosecco or beer and just walk down the street drinking while shopping and trying all the french goodies.  A macaron and a glass of prosecco  . . . that's my kind of street food.

And of course they had Connor's favorite street food crepes.

Au revoir Paris until we meet again.

Joyeux Noel

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Weihnachts (Christmas) Market

Last weekend we did a quick pop over trip to Aachen, Germany to visit their Christmas market. It was only about 2 1/2 hour drive and both kids were angels on the drive there and back. We were very excited to see what these famous Christmas markets were all about. I'm glad we went but I'd have to say it was not one of our best trips. The market itself would be really neat and fun if there were a LOT LOT LESS people. You feel like you are in a cattle herd. There were times I could not move forward or backward we were so squished in. It made me very nervous about losing Connor. And baby Jessica did not enjoy the freezing temps, 28 degrees Fahrenheit brrrrrrr!!!!! Traveling with young children is hard. Traveling with young children in cold and freezing temperatures is very hard. Jess kept taking her shoes and gloves off then she would cry because she was so cold, go figure. 

But when we were not smushed up like cattle we did enjoy the market. We sampled sweet treats, browsed the beautiful Christmas crafts, sang along with the band which played American Christmas songs, drank hot chocolate and soaked up the holiday vibe.

This pic I stole from google because I could not get a clear picture of the Market sign and I thought it was worth showing.

 Loads and loads of beautiful ornaments.

This is dark chocolate covered spiced gingerbread...absolute Christmas goodness right there.
I could eat a whole bag.

 Jess and I watching Connor on the carousel. She was very intrigued by it. She really wants to do whatever Connor is doing. It's very sweet.

Hi Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well a few minutes later she got her chance. Here is Jessica . . . her 1st carousel ride. She loved it!
And she screamed and screamed and screamed when we made her get off. She is a very willful little girl. I think later in life that will serve her quite well.

Adorable little nutcrackers.

More ornaments and crafts.

I would say singing along to the band was my favorite part of the market.

Chris and Connor standing with the giant gingerbread next to the cathedral was quite a site.

 Some of the window displays were awesome... they got me excited to see all the beautiful windows in Paris next weekend!
 The sleeping angels. xoxox

Have a happy happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lots of good things to share!

We have had lots of good things happening as of late and I am so happy to share them.

1st Connor finished his first week at the International School and it was GREAT! Better than great if you ask me. After just one week he is like a little celebrity there . . . seriously tons of kids are saying hi to him in the halls and asking him for high fives and saying how nice he is. They are a very welcoming group of students.  Connor even tried out for the school play! I'm proud of him and excited for him. It is a complete 180 from his other school. His class has only 8 kids so it will be easy to make friends and his teacher is young and fresh and seems very patient. 
It's also a hugely positive change for me because OMG I can read all the news letters and parent emails! There are monthly playdates set up for the class and coffee dates for the parents. Yes please! I'm so excited I think I will even join the PTA! Yay for International School. 

We celebrated Chris' 38th birthday and it just so happened that we did so with our good friend Holley! She was visiting from Santa Barbara for a few days. It was short but we made the most of our time together. We showed her around town, went ice skating  and bike riding, we took a boat tour of Amsterdam at night to see all the city lights, ate great dinners, checked out the local market and even did a bit of dancing. Holley we miss you already! Thank you for making the trip all the way over here to see us. We love you. XOXOX

Holley came at a very festive and magical time of year in Holland. 

Ice skating is fun, fun super fun!!!!!!

Jess watching the skating action from the safety of the sideline.

 The ladies hanging at the ice rink. 

Connor and Holley getting cozy by the fire.

Fire pit at the ice rink . . . which was rockin at night!

 Holley and I cutting the rug in Amsterdam (not picture Chris cutting the rug as well).

Holiday lights in the city with 2 of my favorite peeps = Happy

We had a lovely bike ride around Blaricum. Behind Holley is the pasture we ride past to Connor's Dutch school.

I so enjoy riding bikes in the brisk weather (but not so much in the rain like the real Dutch folks).

Some great shots Holley took on the canal cruise in Amsterdam.

  Seeing the city lit up at night from the water is very special and I highly recommend it if you are out this way.

Celebrating Chris' 38th birthday. So happy Holley was here to celebrate with us!

Pure Cuteness!

One more shot of the cutest baby in the world and her daddy.
Happy happy holidays y'all.

And ta daaahhhh.
My car is finally here! After bleeding money on a rental car for months and months I finally have my car from California. My Lexus affectionately known as Lexi is not fancy or new but it's a little piece of home driving around Europe with me and she is an automatic (phew). Old Lexi will be driving us to Paris in a few weeks to see the holiday lights and do some Christmas shopping. Seriously seeing Christmas in Paris is an absolute dream on the top top top of my bucket list.

My next post will be from Aachen, Germany. We head there this weekend for the Christmas Markets.
So stay tuned ;)