KathyBou’s Blog

A sampling of things that are going on and around.

Posts Tagged ‘Fun

Little A, 18 months

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She’s 19 months as I write this but we had a doctor’s appointment just in time for her 18th month birthday so here’s her stats:

12.1 kg (~26.7 lbs.)

87.1 cms (34.3 inches)

I’ve officially been in Europe too long – I know my the family’s weights in kilograms, the weather in Celsius, and all children’s clothing is based on height in centimeters, so I know these too.

Spring/summer finally sprang into being in March and April was so beautiful overall.  A complete 180 degree change from February which was non-stop gray. Little A loves to play in the backyard with her tricycle, on the swing, and with whatever else catches her fancy… rocks, her watering can, frisbee, balls.  She points out every airplane or helicopter that flies overhead.  First she hears it, then she looks, then she shows me or D.

So lately we spend most afternoons outside, and most weeknights too,  when we get back from the day mother’s.  Our apartment has quite a few children and I often invite them into our part of the yard to do the activity du jour.  Today it was finger paint.  One boy who is almost 3 came over and I was trying very hard to keep his fingers off his pants…

Little A still loves tomatoes and most other vegetables. She also like chicken (preferably dark meat if given the option), and lasagna, and ketchup. For dessert she likes strawberries and raspberries and yogurt.  And she rarely says no to at least a bite of something chocolatey.

She talks in her own little language, and says about 5 intelligible words consistently.  The bottle of milk she gets in the morning and at night is called “Bah”.  She generally likes going to bed for naps and at night – she’s tired, we can completely understand and appreciate this.

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Written by Kat

May 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Posted in bebe baby, family, germany, Life, Little A, love

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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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Christmas in Germany,

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New Year’s in Paris.

That is the latest plan for the holidays, and maybe the 4 or 5th iteration of  this year’s Christmas agenda.  We don’t have all the details yet;  D and his mother are working on this.   As far as I know, the tickets are bought but the hotel/apartment is not yet secured.   Our parents are very anxious to see their first grandbaby, thus all the last minute changes and drastic measures.

Notre Dame de Paris, last September

We picked Paris because of the non-stop flights there from Quebec, and well, it’s a nice place to visit. And it’s only a 4 hour drive for us.  We’ll mostly be skipping the Parisian restaurants this year, so we need to get a place with a kitchen so we can cook and eat together.

As such, I’ve been trying to get baby A to enjoy walking around with me in the Ergo baby carrier, in hopes we can use it for this trip.  Up to recently she wasn’t having it AT all, but she’s a better size for it now, and is tolerating it more and more.

It’s not as good as being back to see everyone but we are excited!

Written by Kat

December 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Christmas Tact

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One rule to remember about Christmas lights and decorations.  There should be at least one Christmas icon adorned with lights and shiny.  This does not mean your front yard will necessarily look good at night but it almost certainly assures it will look bad during the day.  Look bad and be potentially dangerous.

Example one, the view out our front door:

Example 1

It may be hard to see but the power cable starts on the opposite side of the courtyard, gets wrapped around a water? pipe, then over the door to a tree branch on the left, twisted a few times,  and then loops down over to the Christmas tree.

Since we ride our bikes in this way, usually in the dark, I am thankful that at least the cables are attached to something that illuminates. Hah.

To be fair, I’ve included Example 2, mixed-holiday-decorations tactlessness currently existing in our apartment:

Example 2

Written by Kat

December 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Fun, holidays

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Thanks

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I’m thankful for many things, just looking at the news today makes me realize even more how thankful, and to remember to appreciate now.

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Buying gifts online may actually be more time consuming than going to 5 stores looking for the same item.  If you are lucky enough to know for what you are looking. Hee.

You name it I’ve seen it whilst trying to finish/start/be done with our Christmas shopping this year.  I’m not finished yet.

You do find some funny things online though, here are some oddities, surely perfect for some specific persons (that I don’t happen to know):

Written by Kat

November 27, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Handwriting

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I wrote a few weeks ago about how Germans write numbers.  It got me to thinking how I’ve changed my own handwriting during different phases.

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade I decided I wanted to write the number two with a loop, something like this:

This phase didn’t last long, but it was unique enough that one of my unsigned math tests was matched to me, which is good because it was between me and another student and there was only one test.

Later on I decided I wanted to make my lower case ‘A’ like a type face:

This way of writing my a‘s lasted for at least a couple of years.  I eventually got out of it, I think I decided it was wasting too much time when taking notes in class, something like that.

I also recall one of my friend’s went through a long phase of dotting her i‘s with small circles instead of points:

Girly, right?  I think this was the look she was going for then.

A little later in high school plenty of people were practicing their mother’s or father’s name, or [cough] signature.  Only for unsigned permission slips of course.

What about you?  Any handwriting evolution or major modifications along the way?

Written by Kat

November 26, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Fun

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Big yellow bus

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Anyone else visit Washington D.C. in 8th grade?

My memories from our middle school trip to Washington are pretty fuzzy.  We saw so much so fast, and our attention was at best, distracted.  I remember my two friends and I running through the Smithsonian Museum with two missions, a.) avoiding a particular group of boys, and b.) finding a women’s restroom stocked with tampons.  Both seemed to be matters of dire gravity and hilarity.  I also remember seeing the Lincoln monument and the Declaration of Independence so it wasn’t a complete waste of my parent’s money.

Our trip of eastern Europe was a little like my trip to D.C., seeing so much and trying to absorb it all and have fun at the same time.  I bring this up for those of you who may happen upon my blog and might be planning a trip of your own.

So what did I think? You know, the sight-seeing Europe via a big  bus  kind…

It’s definitely a fairly inexpensive way to see Europe without having to worry or plan anything.  All we did was pick the dates, pack our bags, and book our flights to and from the start/end points.  It is fair to point out that there are some extra costs in terms of extra event/activities that are not covered by the tour package. Also, not all meals are covered, though I would say about half were.  Breakfast is included everyday.  Additionally, if you want to go out, there is the bar tab and possibly taxis. But if you have a itch to visit Europe, Contiki or a similar type tour company may be something to look into.  I would not say every vacation should be like this one but it was a great time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to this kind of vacation?

Pros:

  • As I already mentioned, the trip is all planned for you – the city, the tour, the activities – all you have to do is pay for the tour and arrive.
  • You can come as a single person and make friends fast. You know the situation, you are dying to see Italy but none of your friends have a vacation stash.  Many of us linked up after on Facebook to share photos.
  • If you are a little hesitant about visiting a foreign country, or getting lost once you get there, this is definitely the right kind of vacation.  There is almost always someone you can talk to if something goes awry.
  • People speak your language. A whole bus full.  Good if you aren’t trying to practice your French, Spanish, Italian, etc…

Cons:

  • You are not on your own schedule.  Our guide actually told us if you aren’t at the bus at time X, he will leave without us.  And that if this happened that we should try to rejoin the tour at the next destination.  Truthfully, no one was really late, we had a couple of stragglers who were ~15 minutes tardy but the bus waited.  Still, if you can’t keep track of time, you need to make sure you don’t wander far from the group.
  • The tour schedule is full and preset.  And as such, some of the visits did feel a bit rushed.
  • 50 people on a 50 person bus.  I think all the summer tours will be close to full. As you can imagine, it’s occasionally close quarters with a very loud or irritating voice/personality.  This wasn’t really a problem on our tour but you never know.  Being laid back goes a long way.
  • You may not meet as many locals.  On these tours there are so many people you meet on the bus that you mostly likely will hang out with them (which is is fun anyway).

Tips/Suggestions:

  • A small pillow and blanket may come in handy.  At very least a warm, fuzzy sweater for the bus.  Extra socks are always a good idea too!
  • Don’t forget your extra camera battery or plan ahead for how you can charge up.  Outlets are different in Europe also.
  • Don’t expect to find the internet.  In Europe there are definitely internet cafes but free wireless isn’t common at all. Hotels often offer internet but it’s pricey (like 15-20 Euro/day). At best you may find a computer in the lobby to access your webmail.
  • Bring a rain jacket.  It rains in Europe often, you may get lucky but you may not.  (Unless you are going to Greece in the summer. According to my Greek friend’s mother, it NEVER rains in Greece in the summer and she would know.)
  • Keep your passport safe, and it’s a good idea to keep it on you while in the bus.  Our tour bus got pulled over twice for passport checks.  Digging through your luggage at the border is nerve-wracking.

Finally, condensed links for our trip:

Berlin

Dresden

Prague

Vienna

Budapest

Banska Bystrica

Krakow

Salt Mines

Auschwitz

Warsaw

Written by Kat

November 3, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Fun, Travel

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