Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's hot!

Finally, the weather is starting to resemble something like summer...we sometimes swelter, get clammy and stinky. I love it.

Sometimes they are nice to ech other...

Kaemon on a date, taking a casual dress code too far.

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It was that time of month again....Renee's visit! very marginaal- happy meals on a picnic.

Loooooooooooooove the beach. Sunset, dessert, waxed legs, girls night out, perfect!

Kaemon's boys day out to trains. it was smoky, stinky, dusty and noisy. he loved it!

Lazy picnic in the park. eat eat eat, chat chat chat- life is good! How many kids can we squeeze in a tent?
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The fish balls just didn't leave my mind, the only solution is to make them. I didn't have two types of fish, so made fish and chicken balls. Not enough coconut milk, so mixed with cream. The coriander in the garden had bolted, so pretty smelly. Still pretty good!!

Bobotie- too sweet this time, but the colours are brilliant!
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Holiday week...episode 3

Lent-Bemmel Day
Officially a visit to Nijmegen, but many friends have settled in the nearby villages of Lent and Bemmel. It was a tight schedule but we pulled it off!

10:30-12:00 @ Ester & Raoul's new farm house (no pics unfortunately) where the kids were their annoying best!
12:00-15:00 Lunch @ Leon, Cindy & Guus for a long overdue 'kraamvisite' (when you visit the bedside of the newly born baby). The posse:

15:00-17:00 a legitimate kraamvisite @ Julia with lashes to kill, proud parents Erik & Simone

17:00-20:30 Dinner @ the Chekroun's. We slipped in almost unnoticed to the cheerful chaos that was 5 kids under 8 at the dinner table!

Mustafa is a goooooooooooooooooooood friend. He made for us a chicken tagine (the real deal; just because you cook/present it in a tagine, doesn't mean it's a tagine), a grilled veg salad, and the bread. Eaten from the communal platter, with the hands- this is MY happy meal!

Holiday week...episode 2

Parenting tip: Assuage feelings of guilt and inadequacy by material compensation.
Case Study: We relieved our guilt at abandoning the kids for the weekend by buying them presents.

Outcome: It worked!

Just kidding, of course we don't spoil the kids to make up for leaving them. But when the parents are on holiday, we do put them to work

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Holiday week...episode 1

We had a week off work, and crammed in as many things as possible, and I had THREE days with no kids! But a discussion of the holidays cannot begin without reference to that bleary week in March, where our holidays were magnificently and decisively cancelled due to a gastrointestinal bug. A few months later, we're ripe as a rotting tomato for a long awaited week off.

Back to the THREE days with no kids. A little last minute shimmying of plans, bribery and begging...and three kid-free days materialised like a mirage on the horizon. I dared not to dream too much, or fantasize too much lest fate should decide to strike again. But, it came, and I had THREE days with NO kids!!! First stop: Ingrid's Bachelorette's Party in Antwerp. Not even a 2.5 hour train delay in the hot sun could dampen my spirits, I was almost giddy with the relief that I didn't have grumpy kids to look after in the smelly train. Anyways, Ingrid's party was fantastico! Ingrid's an old friend from violin/band camp days and it's my good fortune that she ended up a 1.5 hours drive from us.

The party was hilariously fun, a bit too much sangria and schnapps at 3 in the afternoon will do that. My highlight, was eating dinner with only one mouth to put food into. My hands, clothes, hair stayed clean. The menu was Thai fish ball curry with a lime cucumber salad. I'm so obsessed by this dish, I have to make it soon. The sour lime, the almost bouncy fish balls, creamy curry sauce, soft aubergine, I can't stop thinking about it. Thai food ROCKS. I'm wasn't the only one fighting (but pretending not to) to lick the bowls clean.

The next day, Douwe joined us and we wandered round Antwerp with Ingrid and Tom. When you're on holiday, everything's charming, romantic and intriguing, especially if you have the freedom to wander without toddlers. But I think that Antwerp really was all that. And I'm quite sure that Ingrid and Tom were fantastic hosts (although they could have housed us in a shed and we'd have been quite content, sleeping through the night without babies waking us).

Lounging at a park festival (no kids!)

Dinner on the last night was DIVINE. Thai, again. The piece de resistance was a Beef salad, that's always good, but this one had toasted rice powder through it which was a surprise which lifted it beyond 'good' to 'so-happy-I-want-to-cry'.

Finally a big THANKS to the babysitters, Hylke, Akemi, Dirk & Lilian, without whom this weekend would not have been possible!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Boys

Nelson (literally) polished a chicken drumstick today!

Kaemon in a chesty bond! Isn't it amazing how big he is?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Laundry, Nelson style.

Nelson is starting to get too wriggly, won't sit still, wears the toes of his shoes, and knees crawling; this keeps him where we want him for a while.

I love feeding people, my boys included. I love pics of them eating. We love picnics.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Visit to Nelson's Fiance

We paid a quick visit to nelson's betrothed, Sanne. Nelson likes to wear her clothes, pink pants to be exact. A rather unconventional relationship.

While her mum was out shopping, we tore the place to bits!

For the record, this week was when Kaemon entered the wonderful world of tantrums. The screaming and stamping foot kind. Now I know that rumpelstiltskin was a toddler. Only they can stamp their feet in rage so hard that the ground would split to the core of the earth.

Japan Day, Amstelveen

Amstelveen is just 25 mins from us, and is home to the largest Japanese community in the NL. We went to see traditional arts such as the making of the longest sushi roll in the world (133 m), excerpts from Memoirs of a Geisha as performed by the Nike Demo Dance Team. Alas, we have no pictures of that. It was as puzzling as the title suggests, set to Mission Impossible music, I kid you not.

The sumos arrived amidst much fanfare and cameras clicking,

Some real famous sumo were there, Kotooshu Katsunori also known as the David Beckham of Sumo, who is incidentally Bulgarian.

and douwe miraculously spoke his few words of Japanese to one sumo surrounded by bodyguards, 'Sumimasen, shashin totte kudasai' and got this lovely photo...

The sushi was alright. I think I got sick from the salmon, always hopeful, eating raw fish from dubious sources.