Monthly Archives: October 2007

de Eilanden

Today we had a goal – to check out a store called Keet in Huis on KNSM Island and eat at a supposedly fantastic restaurant.

 After walking many miles, past some extremely cool residential buildings we found the store.  I expected a lot more.  I hoped to buy toys for Ella.  Mostly bedding and some kiddie decorator items were inside.  We went to the restaurant which was full.  Mostly full of peope hanging out and not eating, but full enough that there were no tables for us.  We ended up at a not very fantastic restaurant where Ella pretended she wanted salad, spit it out, and pretended she wanted salad again.  J ate his Nth cheese sandwich this trip. 

 Ella demanded to be carried again, but this time fell asleep and was successfully ransferred back to the stroller for the remaining 2 miles of our return back to the apartment.

We spent the rest of the day lying around, flopping on the bed with Ella and trying to get her back to sleep so we could have a nap as well. She found some embroidery thread and was playing ith it very carefully for about 20 minutes. That was restful for the parents, an entertaining, too. At least there was a giant rip-off of Indian Food for dinner. (And Ella earnd her fist self-proclaimed fan club by chatting up the ladies at the next table the entire meal.)

Tomorrow we seek out the famous textile market on Westerstraat and head to H&Mfor striped tights and hopefully to the Artis Zoo!


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checked out some fabric stores

“some” is probably inaccurate.  I looked for one based on a guidebook entry and found another that was FAR TOO EXPENSIVE, but beautiful.  We tried the stroller again, and Ella tolerated it for about 2 hours again, requiring a bit of carrying – this time by her father.

She also found a friend.  We went to a place for lunch and Ella made this boy fall in love with her:

His mother must have worked at the restaurant.  He spent the whole meal a our table, playing with Ella.  It was very sweet (and very helpful!)

After lunch, Ella wanted a shoulder ride from daddy, and J was more than happy to oblige:
Look, it's my stroller, empty

Her mittens ended up soaked from being chewed. Poor thing is actively teething again.

We walked around again, loooking for a bank, to no avail. We did find a grocery store with an atm, and the walk was lovely before dinner. We had bad thai and then stopped at the other grocery store for cookies. J was amused that the weather was listed as a high of 50 with a low of 48. He kept saying “wow, it feels almost exactly the same as the last time we were out here,” every time we exited a building!

Needed a lot of snuggles to get to sleep last night. Thankful once again for the Ergo Carrier.

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10 minutes too long

After sleeping from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., then 4 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. (!) Ella and I were ready for our day.

I loaded her up in the stroller and took off around 3 to wander around and perhaps find a park.  We went to Waterlooplein and saw a neat flea market.  She was happy and fascinated the entire time.

Please take me for a walk

She enjoyed the views from the bridges and smled at passing birds.
Looking over the Bridge

We then wandered into a bagel and beans place.  I don’t know why I keep hearing that Europe is so stroller-friendly.  It isn’t!  After some bumbling around and sweating from embarassment, I found us a seat.  Then Ella thought she’d let everyone know we were there….loudly yelling to announce herself.  We promptly exited – without a bagel or anything made from beans.  Turns out, that was a mistake.  About 30 minutes later, we were almos back when Ella, tired and hungry and cold (from ripping off her hat and throwing it in the street repeatedly) demanded to be carried. 

We were out for ten minutes too long.

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world traveler no batteries necessary

we always forget one thing.  ALWAYS.  Well, this time it was my phone charger or anything that could be used to charge the phone.  2 days without one has been surprisingly peaceful.  Ella and I traveled alone to Amsterdam on Wednesday night.  Our flight left at 9:50 p.m.  We arrived on time to the airport.  I was carrying baby, stroller (packed in its handy-dandy checkable padded luggage case) diaper bag, and suitcase…all in all about 120 lbs extra.  Good thing I’m stronglikebull.

Getting to the airport “on time” stinks.  We had 2 hours to wander around.  I didn’t think I’d have time to read  book, but we went to all the bookstores anyway.  J reminded me (via SMS as he was already in Europe) to get at least 1 liter of water.  I was hoping Ella would fall asleep before we boarded, but then realized that was silly.  I wanted all her sleeping on the plane!  We decided to wait near the gate so she could get her wiggles out before we were in a cramped space.  She thought it was time to flirt with all the unsuspecting folk around us and practice her new improved climbing skills.  It was quite relaxing for me, because she truly is entertaining!departure airport flirting

 When it was time to board, the elite check-in attendant advised me to switch from my 2-seater configuration to a 4-seat row (for the 2 of us).  The flight was actually quite full as it turns out, so we were fortunate to get a whole row.  Ella’s cuteness works in our favor one more time!  The four-across row was perfect for us because we could both lie down (theoretically) during the flight.

When the meal came, the no-dairy veg meal I ordered for Ella was chenged when we changed our flight, but no worries, our favorite curry was an option for dinner.  She ate half and the crackers and 2 slices of apple (this is around 11 p.m., mind you!) and drank most of a glass of water.  I worry about her hydration on flights like this because she seems to refuse to nurse.  She was really calm – but happy and social – the entire time.  After dinner, I let her watch the Aristocats (which is actually a favorite of mine) with the headphones on. A special treat, because normally there’s no television for Ella, but since we were on a plane alone together, I thought I’d make a special exception. She watched about 20 minutes and then was sleepy.

Then, the unimaginable happened. I mean. maybe not unimaginable for most people, but certainly for this family. At around midnight, she fell asleep.
Sleeping (!) on the plane

She stayed asleep until breakfast. I was able to sleep (I know, I know, it almost doesn’t make sense!) as well.

When we arrived at AMS we were both awake and happy! Good thing, because getting to the apartment without a phone (dead battery by now) or map (dead battery on laptop as well!!) would prove to be challenging!

Ella and I took the train to Centraal Station.  I had unpacked the stroller at the airport and rlled up the case to strap it in the seat.  She was in a good mood, but I knew there was no way I would get out of carrying her to the apartment.  Once we arrived at Centraal Station we took a bit of time getting our bearings (read: mommy was lost) since I haven’t been here since before J and I were married.  We walked about 30 minutes.  It was 10 minutes to the apartment, so I finally whined at a hotel clerk along the way to please call me a taxi.  I never would have found this place without a map, so waing the white flag was a good idea at this point.

 Naturally, even giving up couldn’t be easy, asI saw a taxi and had the driver put my things in the trunk.  Next a mercedes pulled up behind the taxi and claimed I was HIS fare, and the hotel clerk came out looking to sort out the confusion.  *sigh* finally we moved my luggage and my dragging feet to the merc and drove 5 minutes (!) to the apartment.

It’s beautful here.  We rented from our favorite people in Europe and it is almost perfect. (A clothes dryer and a dishwasher would be absolutely perfect!)  Ella promptly began exploring once we made it to the space:
We love this beautiful apartment
exploring appliances

View from our apartment:
View from apartment

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ellaplaying birthday 2007 001

Originally uploaded by Pranamama.

I hope she always has that cute little gap between her teeth.

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Traditions found, cameras lost

I lost my camera the day of Ella’s first birthday party, so no poorly focused shots from me.  However, my mother in law is ALWAYS prepared with camera and extra battery, so I have some shots to show.

She seems so much older now. On Friday we ordered some kitchari for lunch and visited Eastern Market.  It was spicy, but she only wanted the greens (spicy kale and brussels srpouts, she really did inherit my palate!)  We started a tradition on Friday night when we had both boys with us. We all took her to the bookstore and each of us chose a book for her. Then we spent the whole evening reading. It was wonderful. (and more variety than Goodnight, Gorilla 40 times a day, but I still love that book!) 

On Sunday, we decorated with sunflowers and her cake and cupcakes are sunflowers.   I found some lovely recipes (and have been practice baking for weeks) from a delightful book The Joy of Vegan Baking.  I asked my mother to give me cake decorating tools for my birthday last year and they sure came in handy (and the internet of course, because I just opened them on Saturday night and there were no instructions…thank you cake people)

Sunflower cake and cupcakes

Ella was quite aware that it was her birthday party! She played hard, but gently, with her friend Ethan (7 mos. old) and they shared lots of hugs. I hope Ethan’s dad has some pictures to share from his phone. Her favorite gifts were having everyone over and paying attention to her, and a silver comb and brush set engraved with her name, her kitty pajamas, and her push-toy lion.

When it came time for cake, she wouldn’t eat it until we gave her a fork. Ella has a lot of opinions. They aren’t always the same as mine. I had better get used to this!
She wouldn't eat until we gave her a fork!

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yogi tea wrapper snack

outfit front

Originally uploaded by Pranamama.

So I used the bloomers from ottobre, but added some free trim I received wrapped around an order from Sewzanne’s and drew up a pattern for the top inspired by my japanese sewing book and used the sizing/basic shapes fromt he singoalla blouse to turn it into a “dress” for Ella’s 1 year portraits. Fabric is a double gauze “fuwari” from Kokka which I purchased at chloefabrics co-op (yahoo group).

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