A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

going dutch

Charlotte starts full time school in September and even though I have a long summer ahead with the both of them, I am starting to count down the days already! I am going to miss her so much and I know Toby will!

Having two kids close together has been hard work. When Toby was born, Charlotte was only 17 months old and even though we thought she was big she was really still a baby. Whilst I was up in the night feeding Toby, Charlotte was still waking up with things like teething and it was divide on conquer on many nights.
Two kids in nappies, two in a buggy, you get the picture.

But now we are reaping the benefits. At the moment, they are great friends. And like all friends, they have their fallings out but on the whole they play together and keep each other amused far more than I could have hoped. I do not know how long it will last and I hope their bond can survive the separation that school will bring in September.

But until then, I am enjoying 'easy' days out where they play together and I get to sit back and delight in sibling love!

And today we went to Holland to see the tulips. It's 'tulip time' up in Holland, a town an hour north of here, and they were in full bloom.

We had beautiful, warm and sunny weather with a cool breeze to make it a wonderful day for being outside, running in and around tulips and under pink and white blossom trees.

We went to Windmill island last year and I wrote about it here so this year I thought we would try the Nelis' Dutch Village. We jumped in the car after Toby's gym class and got there just in time for 'pigs in blankets' and dutch apple pie for lunch at the 'Hungry Dutchman Cafe'. Everything in the village is tulip, dutch or windmill themed. Maybe a little tacky but I love any reminder of Europe and the bright colours put a smile on my face.

After refuelling - we are a family who definitely need food to keep our energy levels up - we ventured out into the 'village' and spent 5 hours enjoying all of the sights and amusements there. From a big shoe turned into a 'clubhouse' and slide to a petting zoo, swings and a carousel, pedal pumper cars and Dutch dancing lessons there was plenty to keep my kids amused and more that we didn't even get to!

They are at that wonderful age where they can delight in the simplest of things and watching them toss bean bags over and over again was as fun as watching them try out a Dutch dance in front of a big audience. The dancers work around the village but come together every couple of hours to put on a show and teach the audience a simple dance. The kids were captivated and hurried to the front to take part in the dance. We were on our way home when they saw them starting again and begged to watch and join in just one more time. How could I refuse?! They were the only kids to do it and I was so proud of them!

And of course there were plenty of photo opportunities for me! I try hard to capture as much as possible on my camera or phone as I have a terrible memory and want to be able to look back at days like this when the kids are all grown up and have kids of their own. But I also don't want the kids to get annoyed with me for making them pose for too long.

When we came home, I showed them all of the photos I took and I often let them look through the annual photobooks I make, so they can see why I take so many and hopefully enjoy them as much as I do.

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