Well Jess seems to be flourishing. She loves being on the bike, she loves to be out in the garden, she does not seemed bothered by the rain (mostly) and she sleeps well in her new room (mostly) she loves walking (with the walker or pushing anything!). Before we left Santa Barbara she was not really crawling but as soon as we arrived in the Netherlands she was busy crawling and even doing lots of furniture surfing. Now she wants to walk everywhere (still with help) but if she wants to get somewhere fast she 'speed' crawls. She has turned into quite a screecher, happy or mad she screeches at the top of her lungs. I don't know for sure but I think I may have been a screecher as a baby as well. I do remember my mother telling me that when we'd go to the grocery store people would give me anything to quiet me down. Jessy also has a sassy side. When she is mad she will slap her hand on the table and stare at you or if she is standing she will slap her thigh and scream at you. Crazy baby! She also has a sweet side. She is super cuddly especially right before bed she likes to nuzzle her head in my neck and just be still, which just melts me. She is a daddy's girl all the way. If Chris comes in from work and doesn't say hi to her she gets big wet eyes and starts to cry. She is into everything (as I write this she is emptying everything from Chris' desk drawers. She climbs everything. (I'm sure I will find her on a table or counter one day. We did invest in a baby jail to keep her safe.
Jessica will not keep a bow or headband on her head or a hat much for that matter. She has started to show more interest in books (loves looking at books with pictures of babies) and stacking toys. Jessy loves music and will do a little wiggle dance whenever she hears music. So damn cute! Her diet consists of pasta, cheese, meat, formula and the occasional banana. I can not get this child to eat fruit or veggies the total opposite of Connor when it comes to food. Also the opposite of Connor when it comes to traveling . . . she is a terrible traveler: cries in the car (so much so that I have been tempted to take her out of her carseat but haven't yet done it, we can't keep her in her seat on a plane or train but it is my mission to teach her to be a good traveler. Her smile and laugh can melt me at any moment and often saves me from having a nervous breakdown ;)
Jessica is a sweet happy 12 month old. 12 MONTHS!
Climbing the slide at Monkey Town. (She will climb anything!).
Yes she is eating a lemon but this is a good example of the face she makes when eating anything remotely healthy.
She loves stuffed animals and dolls. Jess is such a little lovely girl.
Eating a banana and looking like a monkey :)
Loves to wear my glasses and clowning around in the car.
She thinks it's hilarious to spit water all over the car & herself. (sometimes it's the only way to make her happy).
Will climb anything... good luck chub chubs.
This is what her knees and feet look like much of the time from crawling and climbing. Jessica is going to be an active girl.
The ever adaptable Connor. He loves it here. There has been a few times when Chris and I have been very frustrated and said "lets just go home" to which Connor will reply "NO I love it here. I love how green it is, I love our garden and my school and I want to learn Dutch". Really I am not kidding he says that. Looks like we've done a good job brain washing him. We have really tried to convey that learning Dutch will be fun and that it's a gateway to other languages and the more languages you speak the easier it is to travel & make friends from all around the world. He even says that when he grows up he is going to live in Italy and Jess is going to live in France. Looks like I will have 2 great destinations to visit my children in someday. I like his thinking. One of our goals is to make Connor a citizen of the world and not just the US. I want him to grow up open to other cultures, religions, languages, food etc. I want him to be a kind, understanding and compassionate person, and I think we are well on our way.
School has been an interesting transition period. The 1st week there were no tears, I was thinking this is TOO easy. Well week 2 was another story he realized that he still didn't understand the language after a week and it was a long day away from Mom. Week 3 was a mix some days were really hard at drop off and some days he just waved goodbye and then happily joined his classmates. No matter what drop off was like at pick up Connor always said he had fun and had a good day. On one day he even ran out and excitedly started counting in Dutch. He is making some friends. We even went to 'Monkey Town' (an indoor play gym / cafe) with his a new friend Quentin.
Connor is also becoming quite the engineer. He will stay up late into the night (which is not allowed) and build legos. Sometimes even hiding in his closet so we will not see what he is up too. He is obsessed with legos. We allow him to read/look at books in his bed for 1/2 hour or so at bedtime and he will study the lego instructions. He finds pictures in books and will try to replicate things out of legos. He even asked if he could build his own shoes out of legos.
Overall I think Connor is adjusting really well. I'm excited to see where his language skills will be when in a few months.
Here he is in class. I took this picture from the window where I say goodbye.
Looking like a teenager in his sagging skinny jeans.
Breaking in the backseat of dad's new car.
On a stroll through the heather with me and Jess.
Just came down the slide at Monkey town with Quentin.
Here is a picture he showed me that he wanted to build . . .
And there you go!
And more . . .
He is helpful and kind to Jessica. Here he is guiding her around the driveway.
Here he found a really neat fort on one of our walks. Happy little boy.