KathyBou’s Blog

A sampling of things that are going on and around.

Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

No more living like Harry Potter

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I don’t know if it will be the last time that we sleep under the stairs, but I’m kinda thinking the odds of it happening again are slim.

Written by Kat

September 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Fun, Life, Travel

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Definitely summer

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It’s been hot here.  Sweat in your underwear doing nothing hot.  And since there is no air conditioning to be found (even in retail shops), we’ve been doing a lot of hiding in the shade.  And eating watermelon.

Germany, in May, means lots of time off in the form of holidays, most of them being religious.  I’m not sure if this was engineered, or just happened, but it’s rather ridiculous.  We ended up having two 4-day weekends and one 3-day weekend within the span of a month.

During one of our long weekends, we went to London.  It was our first time, and our first hotel trip with baby.  It was amazing how much we packed (for her) for a short 3 night stay.  Still, it worked out well and we really liked London.   It was beautiful, the food was great (contrary to popular opinion), and there were lots of green spaces to visit.   And our hotel had a doorman with a top hat!  We managed to see a lot during our short stay, even with a baby-on-board, and I would definitely go back to see more.

Outside Harrod's

Looking at The Thames

Last week we returned from a big trip home to see family.  Nine month-old Baby A got see alot of different family and friends for the first time.   It feels like the trip was mostly that – time with family.  D and I missed some of our old haunts, but hopefully next trip will be a little more relaxed.  The flights were okay, all things considered.  The plane home was the hardest, it was an overnight flight, and Baby A had a hard time falling/staying asleep.  So none of us slept and then we had a 2 hour drive to get home, and the next three days were all out of whack.  We found out around then that she is also teething again too.  More fun!  She has 8 teeth and is working on 1 or more molars now.  Poor little petite.

Written by Kat

July 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

8 months

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I could easily launch into a “where has the time gone” speech but I’ll spare you.  The first year is going by terribly fast, just like everyone says.

New things for 8 month-old Baby A:

  • Clapping.  First time on her 8-month birthday.
  • Five teeth.  Fifth came in over the weekend (May 15, 2010).
  • Crawling over or under almost anything.  Like under the wall in a changing room (shopping alone just got harder).
  • Eating a decent amount of baby food.  Instead of 3 or 4 bites.
  • Crying when D or I leave the room, i.e. separation anxiety.  Fun!
  • Standing in her crib and see over the top rail.   So she can pull on her mobile now.
  • Eating some real food, and actually doing it quite well.  Teeth are a big help.

I’m sure I’m forgetting at least a few things.  One of her new fun activities is pulling the dish towels off their rack.  And balancing herself precariously on furniture, sometimes one-handed.

This week we’ve stayed at home more since we all are sick and baby A has a runny nose.  We take walks when the apartment gets boring.

It’s been a cool year for Europe so far, so even though it’s May, we are still dressing like this:

Every day she understands more.  It’s amazing to see her figure things out, and to find new things to laugh at.  She is still a happy baby, or good humored, as D’s mother always says.  Today, balancing a soft toy on her head makes her crack up.

We love you baby A!

Written by Kat

May 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Posted in bebe baby, family, Fun, Life

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PEKiP impressions

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PEKiP, otherwise known as “the naked baby playgroup”.

During one of Chicken Little’s first play dates, one of the mothers said she had enrolled her baby in a PEKiP class.  Where in her words, the babies all get together naked on the floor and “go wild”.  I must admit, my first reaction was in the range of “what?! why?!”  I mean, they invented diapers for obvious  and tidy reasons.  I really like hanging out with this mom, but she fits more the “free spirit” parenting style category, whereas D and I are still solidly “by the book”.

But then we were finishing up our physical therapy sessions and the doctor said PEKiP would be good for little A.  Even though she’s now advanced for her age, the doctor said “it’s good for her to see what the older babies do.”   Two endorsements for PEKiP in less than 2 weeks, and one by a medical professional.   Hmmm…  Let’s try it.

We arrived with some trepidation (on my side) on Monday morning.   I paid for the class and left the stroller at the door.  Upstairs, the room was set up very similar to any childcare room.  Exercise mats covering the whole floor, toys piled in one corner.  There was a large plastic mat in the center of the room and some space heaters in the corner making the room quite warm.   After we worked out that yes, I was the English speaker with the bad German, and said hello to everyone, we waited another 5 minutes and then the class began.

First off we get the babies naked and then each was given a beach ball to stand/lay over, stomach to the ball, and facing each other in a circle.  The instructor said this was so the babies could see and touch each other as they wanted, and at a distance they felt comfortable.   I’m not convinced babies this age really have the proper body-to-ball coordination, but okay.   At this point I find out that the instructor has her own “baby”, a doll, that joins in on the activities too.  Then we sing a song that goes “Guten Tag, something something, Guten Tag” and roll call’s all the mamas and babies in the room (oh yes, the doll has a name too).

Next up, the babies move over to a set of hexagonal-shaped platformed cushions, made of soft (waterproof) material and at varying heights.  Perfect for climbing.  The babies love this.  I was happy that baby A got right in there.  And then the instructor brought out two shallow tubs of plastic balls.  Another hit.

Towards the end we put on diapers and held the babies in our arms to dip and sway for a song.  Then we listened to other music on the floor and played with sheer, colorful scarves, while re-dressing the little ones.

I think 4 out of the 6 peed on the floor at some point during the 90 minute session.  You wipe it up with your own towel, and then wash the area with some soap and water they provide.  It wasn’t as bad as I imagined.   All those baby cheeks were cute but I didn’t want to offend anyone by whipping out my camera, especially one our first day.

This class could be done fully clothed.   So why naked?  From what I have read, it is for better motor development and a more sensory experience.   And just as valid a question, why not naked?  Once you have everything waterproofed, a bunch of naked babies playing together sounds like fun (and it is).

More information about PEKiP can be found here.

Written by Kat

April 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Posted in bebe baby, Fun, germany

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Catching Fire

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At one point I was updating a book blog, but I’ve run out of energy and time for now so  my must-talk-about-this-book-or-implode posts can just go here.

I’m finally reading Catching Fire, though a bit ahead of schedule since I said wouldn’t buy the hardcover.  One of my sisters  did buy it, and even think to send it along with my mother,  so yay for me!

This is the second book in the new, but very popular, trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  While recommending this series to the Harry Potter, Twilight loving set, I’d also recommend it to most everyone.  To me it’s like a literary popcorn night, by which I mean it’s engrossing, exciting and takes you some place else for a bit.  Sometimes that is exactly what you are looking for a in a novel.

The Hunger Games, the first in the series, sets the stage: in a future where the US no longer exists, there is still one rich “district” and many more which are poor.  Two teens from each poor district are pseudo-randomly picked to play in a nationally televised reality TV show – a fight to the death until only one remains.  So maybe how you first imagined Survivor to be before you watched an episode.

I won’t go into any more details here but it’s been over a year since I raced through the first, and so far the second is just as fast-paced and addictive.   I bet there is already talk of making them into movies so go read these now!

The Hunger Games

Catching Fire

Mockingjay due to be released Aug. 24, 2010

Written by Kat

March 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Posted in Books, Fun

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Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore

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A bookstore in a church.  An 800 year old Dominican church.  I wanted to see it.

And it happens to be nearby in Maastricht, The Netherlands, which we drive to often because it has an English movie theater  and an Argentinian steak house.  For some reason I still hadn’t seen it even though we’ve walked very near it at least a few times.  D and his sister stumbled upon it last September and in January we found it again.  It’s only a block off the city plaza:

The building itself isn’t so very big, but it is tall, so the designers created space upward.  The nave of the old church now holds three levels of steel bookshelves and aisles, all without changing the original building structure.   Its conversion to a bookstore makes for an interesting mix of old and new:

There is a cafe and a children’s book section at the back.   I was happy to find a selection of English books.

I did a little reading and it turns out this building hasn’t served as a church for a long time.  For anyone who hasn’t seen so much of Europe – there are so many churches that it’s not so crazy that they aren’t all being used.  It was busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited so I’m guessing business is good.  If the building isn’t being used for its original purpose, a place filled with people and books isn’t such a bad fate.

Written by Kat

March 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

Posted in Books, Fun, Travel

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Christmas is Friday

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THIS Friday. Yay!!

For the past couple of years, by the time the 21st of December rolled around we had already visited at least one family a little bit.  Had already endured at least two full, fully cramped airplane rides and survived the customs lines in Atlanta (most often) or Chicago (once or twice).

The Christmas party for my side of the family for this year was on Saturday, and we joined them for a few minutes via webcam so that my grandmother and aunts and uncles could see the newest family member.  Luckily the party started at 2 p.m.  (8 p.m. here) so we had a small window before her bedtime.

While it is hard not being in town this year, I rather liked our weekend here.   Along with everyone else in the world (it seems), I baked.   It snowed enough to stay on the ground:

It got really frigid here (-10 C), but we braved the cold and filled up the refrigerator.  We played on the floor and read books.  All three of us took naps.

We dealt with some last minute gift drama.   There were lots of kisses.  Then it snowed some more:

Some deep cleaning was done in the bathroom.  Oh and we had an excellent dinner last night, and excellent wine too.  So nothing particularly special made this weekend special.  I’m hoping for more of the same for the coming week!

I have to add, since it just popped in my brain, 3 month-olds are really fun.  And for me, well, I’m starting to feel more adjusted to this new routine.  As we folded a bunch of clothes this weekend, newborn clothes that this baby won’t ever wear again, it hit me how fast this time is going and to really appreciate it.

Best wishes for everyone this week!

Written by Kat

December 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Decorating or not? Update

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A few weeks ago I was pondering whether to decorate this year.

Because remember, in theory, we won’t be living here next Christmas, and combined, we own three ornaments.

After deciding I’d be a little mopey if we didn’t, I rallied up a few ideas that would take little to no storage after the fact.

Stockings on the banister:

Felt garland:

And our “tree” (which also means all the gifts are wrapped):

D gets credit for helping me figure out the “tree” top last night, and for hanging the star!

Written by Kat

December 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm

A German wedding

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One of our friend’s here got married at the end of September.  I was doubting our attendance since we were having a baby the same month, but it worked out really well that D’s sister came to visit and we were able to take a couple of hours to participate.

The ceremony was held at a beautiful old church in town

with a view of the castle from the church’s courtyard.  Although not easy to see in this picture, the photographer is taking photos of the bride with the castle behind her.

Inside the church:

The ceremony was in an interesting mix of German, French and a little English.  Mostly German and French but the singer sung two songs and they were both in English.  Amazing Grace and  The Rose. It’s both strange and comforting to hear songs you know so well being sung with an accent in the middle of a German wedding.

We followed the program as best we could and even attempted to sing along to the German hymns.  As the couple took communion, they tore off a piece of bread from a big loaf of hearty German style wheat bread.  Then the loaf was passed around to everyone in the pews to also take a piece and eat.  That was a first for both of us, and germs aside, the gesture was sweet.

After the ceremony everyone met up outside to congratulate the couple, and to eat and drink a little something.

They had champagne and orange juice, and pretzels.

Big pretzels. Yum.

Written by Kat

November 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Fun, germany, Life

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Cleanliness is next to ..

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*Also sent to our mothers.

Written by Kat

August 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Posted in bebe baby, clothes, family, Fun

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