Thursday, October 18, 2012

Enjoying Home

Jessy has become the most cuddly, sweet, adorable little toddler. She likes to hug all of her stuffed animals. She is always coming over to Chris and I and putter her head in our laps... seriously soooooo sweet.

I've been told she looks like me and I have to agree. There are moments when I am looking into her eyes and I feel like I am looking at myself... I love my little baby me so much it makes me cry.

Connor and Jess are starting to "play" together a little bit. He will bring her a toy car and she will make broom broom noises and push it on the rug with him. She also LOVES to "play" chase with Connor. She will either chaise him with her walker or speed crawl after him and they both scream and laugh. It's really wonderful to see them interact. 

We finally hung up the swing we bought the 1st week we moved here. Jessy girl really likes it. Although it is a bit of an eye sore in the garden. 

Autumn is in full effect here so we have been enjoying the foliage, warm soup and lots of cozy fires. 

YAY! Jess is finally showing an interest in books. Connor came out of the womb interested in books so it seemed a bit odd that Jess would not sit in my lap and let me read her a book. But that is changing :)

We came across this charming little bridge with this beautiful weepy looking tree while out exploring.

 And we found a petting zoo.

and a zip line. 

Our lovely neighbors Rist and Celine had us over on Saturday evening. Here is Connor with their son Roderick and daughter Benine. 2 of the nicest most well behaved children I have ever met and did I mention Connor just idolizes Roderick. So he was in heaven to be in their home.
This was my 1st encounter with the the infamous herring. The traditional way the Dutch eat herring is raw with a little bit of raw onion. I have been warned about the 'herring' but I thought hey I've eaten a lot of raw fish in my day. SO I went for it. I actually took 2 pieces together (not on purpose) but I regretted it immediately! It was the worst thing I've ever tasted! Horrible! Like licking the bottom of a trash can! I even had a dream that night that a giant herring fish was chasing me down the street. HA 
It's nice having good neighbors.

We are enjoying staying home for a bit and exploring the area we live and getting to know all the nice people around us. I even hosted a mommy happy hour with some of the lovely Dutch mommies from Connor's class. It was wonderful to have a house full of screaming kids... definitely makes it feel more like home.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Prague 2012

 Last week we were lucky enough to spend 4 days in Prague, a magical city with amazing roof lines full of different spires, gorgeous baroque/gothic architecture, cobble stone streets, lots of horse drawn carriages, incredible views all over the place, shopping of all kinds (designer, local crafts, a mall with 180 stores!!!), yummy street food and so far Chris' favorite beer in Europe. 

This is my favorite picture from Prague. We were having dinner on the roof of the U Prince Hotel.  It was twilight and the lighting and view were amazing! 
Chris you are looking mighty handsome.

The food was ok you really are paying for the view here but it is 110% worth it!!!  Connor did indulge in some escargot. This little guy better get a good paying job when he grows up because he has really expensive taste. He also asked for the lobster at dinner but we told him he could have the pasta. I mean COME ON dude you are 5! 

A lovely orange and pink sunset over the city. See all the spires?

And at the hotel Jessy kept climbing under the sink and getting stuck... but she kept doing it over and over. Crazy girl. 

Like I said all kinds of shopping :) 
Unfortunately I have Versace taste but an H&M budget... HA!

A cool medieval looking tower by our Hotel. We stayed at the Kings Court Hotel. That is where Chris' conference was held. The service there was fantastic! We had a beautiful room and the location could not have been better! Oh and a pretty great breakfast buffet that was included!

It was a short walk to the famous Astronomical Clock located in the old town square. The third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. At the top of every hour a huge crowd gathers around to watch as the bells chime and 12 figures of apostles pass by and a trumpet player comes out of the top of the tower and plays his horn. 

Crowd looking at the clock.

The Old Town Square had lots of interesting and beautiful architecture.

The detail is just incredible. 

I just really enjoy being surrounded by beautiful buildings, it makes me feel like we are in a really special place. I have heard that Budapest is even prettier. Maybe that could be our next trip...

This guy was in the square as well and we were impressed with his little trick of sitting on air. Hmmm

The black Madonna seems to be very popular in European cities.

I just found the panorama option on my iphone. You heard me IPHONE. I had been without one for months and we are reunited and it feels so good. The above is a shot from the clock tower. The building with the double spires is the  twin-spire Tyne Church. 

The other side of the beautiful Old Town Square.

Up in the clock tower.

Chris and Connor on the Charles Bridge.

I had to add the below image from tripadvisor because it is a beautiful shot. Way better than I could take... and I think it really shows the beauty and magic of the city and all the bridges, like Paris, France or Florence Italy . . .just gorgeous. 

Prague Pictures
This photo of Prague is courtesy of TripAdvisor

On the bridge there are lots of artists selling sketches, photos, paintings (some were really wonderful) also handmade jewelry etc.

View from bridge, hello little boating man.

Another panorama. 

Father and son looking mighty cool.

Yes I did in fact hike up all those darn stairs with a large sack of potatoes strapped to my chest but that's how I roll. HA! It was a pretty incredible view (as I said one of many). 

Yay we made it to Prague Castle/St. Vitus Cathedral.

Outside the Castle we stopped for a quick bite and that is where Chris found his favorite beer.

I lost the picture :(

Street food. yum.

Crepes. Always a favorite of Connor's.

Interesting street musicians above and below. 

Now that's a one man band! HA.

And Jessy stuck in the nightstand again. Funny baby.

More photos Chris took at dinner.

And the 1st missing tooth picture. 

And while Chris was off working I jumped in a cab and took my two kids 30 minutes away to the Prague city zoo. In a country where I do not even know how to say yes or no, where I don't understand the currency and where once you get out of the beautiful charming city center it becomes a dirty, graffitied, smokey city like any other city in the world. I was pretty proud of myself for making the trip alone. I do not usually stray far from Chris with both kids when we travel. Connor and I have explored Rome, Florence and Amsterdam on our own but I get nervous being away with Jess. Anyway the zoo was less than enjoyable but I will leave it at that. We did see lots of animals and we did make it back to the hotel safe.

It was neat to see the baby monkey and his mommy.


We do make it a point to take Connor to a park in every place we visit. A kid needs to be a kid where we may roam.

This guy just walked right up to me and stopped to take a good long look. Hello scary birdy. 

There she is looking like a toddler.

King of the world. 


With all the ups and downs, good things and bad things, I still can't believe we've made the move to Europe. I can't help to reflect without the lows, the highs wouldn't seem so extraordinary.  We've been in 6 countries in just 2 months and many more cities. We don't have anything else on the books yet. But we will see where next month brings us . . .