One stroller… one baby…. and one lazy dog!

21 03 2010

The weather here in the Netherlands has been fairly decent the last few days (of course as I write this it is cloudy and rainy out), so I’ve been trying to get out and go for walks with Isabella.  A couple days ago I brought Stoney along for a nice long walk through the grass field and into Hoogland which is a section of Amersfoort that use to be its own town.  Hoogland is located on the other side of the grass field where I can let Stoney off his leash and let him wander and sniff until his little heart is content. 

The problem with Stoney when we go for our walks, is that he pulls so hard on his lead he tires himself out faster than he should.  And if he is off his leash he goes nuts walking at light speed with his nose on the ground, trying to sniff every blade of grass possible. It is also difficult to control him and push the stroller at the same time, especially when we are walking down the narrow sidewalks in Hoogland.  

Well, I found the solution…

He fits perfectly underneath!!  This way he can still get out for his walks and I’m not dragging his little butt along when he’s tired,  and I can still go down the narrow streets and sidewalks!   It will also be helpful when I go into the city and I can’t carry him in to the stores, this way he can go under the stroller and be out of everyone’s way and I don’t have to worry about him lifting his leg on a mannequin!

As my mother put it… “He’s a poor excuse of a dog and should be ashamed!”  LOL!!


Once upon a time, I actually wrote faithfully in this blog….

15 12 2009

November as usual was a crazy month, and now going into December it really hasn’t slowed down all that much.  With Birthdays, Christmas, Sinterklaas, getting things for the house, the baby, the kids, just life in general I find myself tired for the most part. 

November was Ashley’s birthday and Nick’s first birthday, plus Nick’s baptism.   Plus in November it was my brother’s birthday and my uncle’s, granted I never did send out any birthday cards for either one!  OOPSY!  But they know I love them :).  Also in November I had my 32 week ultrasound, and this time the little princess decided to show her face!  The last 2 times I had gone in she was always facing my back so there was no way to get a profile picture of her, but this time the ultrasound gods were on my side and she stayed put.  The little bubbles you see are actually the umbilical cord.  After my ultrasound I went to visit the midwives in the hospital because my sugar levels were to high.  I come to find out that I now have gestational diabetes.  GREEEEEEEAAAAAAAATT!!!!   After having a fairly easy pregnancy, I now  have to give up the sweets!   In the beginning we tried to control my levels with diet alone, well that didn’t work so I ended up on insulin, at first just taking it at night before bed, but now I’m up to 4 times a day.  Yes, I’m insulin resistant!   Oh the joy.  Also to top things off, my levels still aren’t stable and it doesn’t matter what I eat or don’t eat.  So I’ve been trekking it to the hospital now weekly, which would be fine if I had a car, but we don’t.   The bus driver is my new best friend.  For the Windsor folks, it is about the distance from Forest Glade to Windsor Western but instead of basically taking the 1C the whole way you have to transfer 3 buses.  As of right now she’s going to be a December baby and not a January one like originally planned.   They said that I won’t go past the 38 or 39th week, which in one way is fine…but it also adds another birthday to the December list!  

My mom is going to be here on the 29th of December, and we’ve been trying to get a bed for her and new sheets and pillows.  It is a little hard to do shopping, since I can’t ride my bike anymore and we don’t have a car. I could take the bus into the city but the walking thing is getting a bit uncomfortable.  I feel like I’ve been horseback riding for 5 days!  I don’t really have that many of the pregnancy complaints, except that trying to get comfortable so I can sleep has been a challenge.  Oh and so has breathing since I now have a slight cold in my chest and I’m not sure if it’s asthma or allergies that are causing a cough.  Either way Frank says that I sound like a freight train in a wind tunnel at night… remind me to beat him later! 🙂

The month of December so far has been a busy one also, we had Sinterklaas on the 5th, Frank’s birthday (42nd) on the 14th, with Brianna’s on the 25th and Christmas the same day.  My dad’s is on the 22nd and my godson’s on the 23rd… plus with baby girl due in December now, this month won’t get any easier! 

Yesterday Frank and I had our pregnancy course, it was informative for as much as I could understand.  Frank did his best to translate as the lesson went on, but it is hard to whisper and listen at the same time.  I guess that takes the whole “no talking in class” to a new level.   For the most part I already knew some of the information that was being taught, just through internet, books, friends and the medical classes I took back in Canada; but there was some interesting things that were new and I would have like to understand that a bit better.  I guess I’ll have to figure it out when I go into labour.  Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for the official date of inducement!  I go on the 16th for another check up and I’m going to ask again about this.  I know it sounds pushy and so be it but with the amount of crap we have to deal with in the next 2 weeks, being a bit prepared would help a lot.  If my mom’s not here then we have to find someone to watch the two youngest ones and the dog just incase I have to spend the night.  Or if they induce and I’m in labour on the 29th then we have to figure out how we are going to pick up my mom from the airport.  I just don’t want to go next week since it’s the Christmas week and already packed with 3 birthdays… 4 if you include Jesus’.   I really want her to have her own day.   Oh speaking of which if they decide to induce on the 30th like previously mentioned and I basically told the midwife NO, she could be a New Years baby… again.. NO.   Picky I am.  Now I know that I can go at anytime and even with the inducement it may not happen according to plan… but lets just try to avoid it all shall we? 

We still have no idea what to get the kids for Christmas, it’s going to be a tight one this year and they are at that age where nothing seems to be right.  As for my family in Canada, my brother is taking care of that this year.  Next year I’ll at least be able  to send something once I’m working again.  Then it will be much easier!

Today Stoney is headed to the groomers for a trim and clean up. His nails are way to long and I’m tired of hearing the clip clop on the floor when he paces in front of the bedroom door.  Plus he’s looking a little homeless right now.  I prefer him shaved down nice and clean but I know that this time of year it’s too cold for him, even in a country where snow is a treat.  So I’ll just have the groomer clean up his face, belly, and paws.   I miss being able to dress him in his cute little jackets and sweaters, as much as he hated it, I loved it!  One of my favourite pictures of him is where I put is booties on for the first time with his sweater… the look is priceless.  I’m surprised he didn’t pee in my shoes while I was sleeping after that!  But I’m happy to get him into the groomers before Christmas so he’s a little more presentable! 

I’m finding it a bit hard to get into the Christmas spirit again this year, the temperature has dropped to below freezing but with the lack of snow or even HINT of snow, the HO HO HO just “ain’t”so!  I’m listening to Josh Groban right now sing about Christmas so it is helping a touch.  But I could use a good snow storm to get me more into the spirit.  Oh Huntsville I envy you…..

Well I’m going to cut this short right now since I have to get groceries and figure out dinner.. also the batteries in the key board are dying and making typing impossible!!

Quick updates for the past few weeks.

12 07 2009

A little while back a friend from Canada came to the Netherlands to visit her boyfriend,  so of course we did dinner (the four of us) at a wonderful Indian restaurant here in Amersfoort.  This place is a favourite for Frank and I, so we thought that going there with Danielle and Chris would be a great evening of amazing food.  As per tradition with this restaurant (A taste of India) they always serve more food then you can eat.   We pretty much rolled ourselves out of there! 

Then Danielle and I took a girls’ day and we did some sightseeing in Leerdam.  This smallish town is known for their glass work and after a quick tour of a small museum (the main one was being renovated), we headed over to watch some glass blowing.  glass blowers I think we could have stayed there all day watching them.   We left because it was getting a little crowded and also because my camera’s batteries wore out after the first little film I made!  GRRRRRRRR!   After sitting in awe for about an hour we stopped and had a bite to eat then wandered the streets.  Leerdam is a quaint little town and everything is close together, it makes it very easy to shop.  We also stopped at the church for some pictures and then headed home to relax before going out for supper at a pannekoekenhuis.   It was a great 011day and nice to see a Canadian face :).

Other events besides the obvious baby shopping,  I am no longer working – thank you Resources for wasting my time –  and AM looking but holy mamma there is nothing out there.  I had one interview for a company in Amstelveen which is located south of A’dam,  everything went well and I was even called back for a second interview, the problem is… DISTANCE!!!  Now if I was only taking the train to work then ok, I can deal with the hour commute… BUT when you tack on a tram ride for 30 minutes then I have an issue.  Plus if I miss the one train from Utrecht I have to wait another 15-30 minutes for the next one.  So the day of my second interview, my commute there was 2 hours and my commute home was an hour and a half.  Even if this was only for 3 months or so; I’d be dead by the time I got home everything.  So the answer to that job was a no.   Which is really too bad because I think it is a growing company with great potential and the people that I meet seem very nice… then again I thought that of the last job too.. hmmmm….

As for the house, we’ve put in new carpet in the living room and we are in the (ok Frank is) the process of switching bedrooms.  We needed the new carpet since the old one was dark blue and showed EVERYTHING!!!  This one is a nice beige with brown flecks and unless it’s black fuzz you really don’t see the lint.   Stoney has taken a liking to it, especially if he can cram his little butt in to a small sunbeam on the floor.Stoney sunbathing  He’s giving me squinty eyes because he doesn’t like his picture taken and also because he’s been a real suck lately!!  After this was done he sat there and started shaking and giving me sad eyes so that I would pick him up.  He’s getting worse in his old age.  He’s become possessive of his space and nipped Frank’s toes when Frank got too close to his bed.  I don’t know what’s going to happen in January, but I have to break him of this habit and suckyness.  I love him to pieces but he has to be on me, near me, in the same room as me, at all times!!  Quite annoying.


As for the bedrooms, we’ve taken the master bedroom back and we will share that with the baby for the first few months until we find something that has 4 bedrooms.   We bought Ash and Bri new high sleepers from Ikea so they can have their desk space and bed and still have some room in the bedroom.  Otherwise with the separate desks, they wouldn’t have any walking space.  Also it gives them a bit of privacy since I’m going to put up curtains so they can pull those closed when they want a bit of me time.  In their old bedroom, Frank has painted and laid out the linoleum.  We would like to put laminate down but that’s just way too expensive for a house we don’t plan on staying in forever.   But we still needed to spruce up the rooms for the baby. 

Frank is on vacation for the next two week, and well, as we know I’m doing the pogey shuffle even though I can’t collect pogey.

So for now I’m going to continue looking for work, be it full/part/temp.  I don’t care anything short of selling a kidney!  As for the pregnancy, I feel great and I still haven’t had any morning sickness or any other unpleasant experiences.  I had another ultrasound done at 13 weeks and the baby is doing well.  This week we have another check up and I can’t remember if we have another ultrasound, I believe so.  This kid is going to hate the camera before it’s born!

Ok, not it’s time to finish cleaning and see if Frank needs another beer! 

Since I’m not working I’ll probably be able to blog a bit more.

A busy week

19 11 2008

I haven’t been very faithful in the writing department lately.  It just seems that even though I’m currently not working, I am just non-stop busy.  This past week and a bit has been a hectic with school appointments, my appointments with schools, yoga (hey it’s free), shopping for Christmas presents, birthday presents (3 in 2 months ugh), trying to keep the house somewhat clean, and currently making a piñata for Ashley’s 13th birthday. 

Yes I know that she’s 13 and it seems childish, but the piñata is just for when the family is here for some fun.  We are having Mexican for dinner so I thought I would add a little surprise.  Besides everyone loves bashing things with a stick!  On Saturday she and 3 friends are going to go to the movies and then 2 of them are spending the night… Pray for me.

I have my Dutch test tomorrow to see what level I am, so I can start my inburgeringcurses.  I am interesting to see how much I really do know after being here for 5+ months.  I know that I can’t speak a lick; well I probably could if I tried.  My reading isn’t too bad and I can usually make out what the important things are in a letter.  When I hear it, I am able to pick out enough words at times to get the just of things, but don’t ask me for a literal translation because I can’t get the majority of the words.  I would rather start from square one anyways with the lessons, especially since I believe the classes I chose are mainly done with a tape recorder and computer.  I wanted to go during the day, but I also want to get a job.  I could have gone at night but that poses problems when Frank is on his business trips.  So this way it’s flexible and I can go on my time as much as 4 times a week.  I am hoping that once I start working then I’ll pay for classes at the ROC. 

Stoney is back to his old pain in the ass self.  He has to be on me or near me at all times.  I can’t go upstairs without him following.  The other day he was sleeping while Frank and the kids were downstairs, I had gone upstairs to read and he had a panic attack.  He started to whimper until he came upstairs and saw me on the bed.  I know I made him a suck, but MAN there are some days he just drives me batty.  Although one bonus is that he’s really enjoying the bike rides now, it does get a bit chilly for him but I have a blanket and his sweater.  He’s off to be groomed soon too; he’s starting to look a bit “Tramp-y”.

Frank will be home for a bit, no trade shows until January.

The kids are doing well and even though I have managed to piss off 3 teachers concerning them, they still enjoying school.  Only Ashley’s teachers to yell at next, I managed to irk Michelle’s last night at the meeting.  Oh well… do your job and I won’t have to become super bitch.  Brianna’s teacher meeting is tomorrow, so this is going to be interesting since nothing has been done since September.   Really is it that hard to send home a weekly journal so we know what work we have to concentrate on at home??  Yes this is going to be a “Dutch Rant” all those that have a problem skip to the next paragraph.  We had asked that the school send home a journal and extra math homework for Brianna since she was having problems with it, but has anything of the sort happened??? NO!  Am I pissed??? Just a wee bit.  I don’t understand the system here, I get that some students have trouble with school but do you really need to decide their future when they are 10?? I would like for them (all three) to have options in life, not do what the school feels they are capable of doing.  It’s frustrating and annoying.  This school also checks what I pack for Brianna for her lunches and questions her snacks if it’s something they aren’t familiar with.  Relax people it’s just a muffin.  The last time they were going to take her oat bar that I made because they thought the cranberries were chocolate (yes there was chocolate but dark chocolate and small bits).  Oh and let’s not forget, they won’t make a “toasty” (same as grill cheese) because the bread wasn’t brown bread.  Really?? WELL THEN… how about I give you a list of what she likes and doesn’t like and YOU can buy the groceries and make her lunch daily.  Trust me I don’t send the kid to school with crap.  She has the token cheese or one slice of meat sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a snack (oat bar, muffin, or a type of bread).  Let the kid eat!  You aren’t there to police her lunch, instead put the energy into teaching her!  Yes… frustration is the main thing here.  As for Ashley, she finds math too easy but they won’t give her extra homework.  The kid is asking for extra work and they won’t give it to her!!  God forbid she actually advances in her studies!!   Yes this is the stupidity I’m dealing with when it comes to the schools.  Ok… rant done now….

So as I was saying, things have been fairly busy and I can’t see it letting up anytime soon especially since we have the American Thanksgiving to do (with some of Frank’s co-workers), Sinterklaas, Christmas, 3 birthdays, New years, and hopefully me starting my lessons as soon as possible. 

Well now that it’s nearly time for bed, I need to check on the piñata and see if it’s drying properly.  I could only do one side today so I’ll have to pray that it dries completely so I can do the other side.  It needs to be painted and filled by Friday… eek!

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

10 11 2008

Well this has been an interesting week,  Frank came home from Russia, I started to look into my inburgering curses, and the dumb ass dog decided to eat a DARK chocolate bar wrapper and all.  That’s right.. chocolate…

So after a massive panic attack and chatting to Tammy on line, I made Stoney puke.  Unfortunately, enough chocolate was digested to give him the runs after the puking was done.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so miserable, he had to stay outside for a bit until the puking was done and he just sat there with his head hanging down.  I brought him inside and cleaned him up, then laid him in his bed with a towel, the poor guy started to whimper and then would bolt back outside.  My usually spunky dog was lifeless, he didn’t want to do anything except lay in his bed and whimper.  I knew he didn’t feel well because he actually wanted to be covered with the towel, Stoney hates covers on him. 

3005480112_95abe013af_bThat night, he somehow got under the bed and woke us with his whimpering, Frank and I had to shoo him out (I really didn’t want to deal with dog puke under the bed) and get him into his bed that we have in the bedroom for him.  That was of course after letting him go outside again to do his business and me cleaning him up as best as possible at 4 am.  The next day, this is what he looked like.  Now if anyone knows Stoney, you know that this really isn’t him.  His ears wouldn’t even perk up if I asked him if he wanted a cookie.  The only thing he would take was sugar water when I held the bowl under his nose.  So after calling the vet and going there on Friday, he’s now on the mend.  He has special pills to rebuild the lining of his stomach and intestines, special food to make sure that the trots stop, and special water to make sure he doesn’t dehydrate.  Although the food doesn’t seem to be doing much, he still getting the scoots and the problem is that he gets them at night.  So we’ve had a few accidents on the carpet since I can’t get to him fast enough.

All I can say is that I’m hoping he has learned his lesson and won’t touch chocolate again… ya right… this is Stoney we are talking about, the same dog that managed to get a bag of chips from a blocked room, bring them into the living room, open the bag, and share it with his brother.  I doubt that he’s learned anything from this ordeal. 

We have though, since now we know how far on to the coffee table he can reach!

Ears like a little bat.

16 09 2008

While taking a break from stripping wallpaper for the majority of the morning, I thought it would be time to grab a quick snack before getting back to the grind.  So I made a favourite of mine, Knäckebröd (which is actually Swedish) and smeerkaas  (the Dutch version of cream cheese).  I sit down here at the computer to surf while eating when I feel a little pat on my leg.  I look down to see this…

Ignore the mess on the carpet, we are renovating and everything gets tracked through the living room.

What kills me is that he was outside, at the back of the yard sound asleep.  He didn’t even hear me make the snack.  It wasn’t until I took my first crunchy bite did the little beggar show up.  Of course he sat there and stared at me the entire time.  But not once did I bend, not once did he get just a smidgen of cheese or Knäckebröd.  Nope.. not… well ok, maybe just the corner of it.   How can you say no to a face like that??

More then just fish

20 08 2008

A few days ago (yes I know I’m behind in the blogging), we headed back to Spakenburg.  This time around we took Stoney with us.  I think he’s starting to really enjoy the rides now since he isn’t as tense in the basket, also he moves a little more when he sees things that he likes; which doesn’t make it easy for me since when he moves I have to adjust to the shifting of the front handle bars.  Although, he does start to whine whenever he sees sheep for reason, I don’t know if he wants to go play or if he thinks they are going to come after us. 

When we arrived at Spakenburg the market was going.  So we took a stroll around the square and I saw a sign that said “Quilts”.  Since I can’t sit still long enough to sew a button on, making a quilt is out of the question.  So I have to rely on the talent and patience of others to make pretty crafty things.  I would love to be able to do all the artsy stuff like my friend Tammy.  But back to the blog… I went to go see what the “Quilts” thing was and it turned out to be a museum the Klederdracht en Visserij.  The museum is run by the ladies of Spakenburg and it was a display of the traditional dress that they used to wear, some still do, in the town.  The women that work the museum still wear the dress, some daily while others only on Sunday.   The tour lasted about 30 minutes and from what I could tell our guide was very informative… the tour was in Dutch, but they did give me a sheet of paper with the translation for the stations of the tour.  For the price of 6, 50 for all of us plus the dog, it was worth it. 

I was able to take some pictures of the museum showing the dress and the boats that they used for fishing.  They had displays on how they would use the netting to catch the fish.  They also had quilts up on the walls, and the tour guide said that this was a skill that they learned from the US and Canada.  All the dresses and accessories are handmade by the ladies of the town, the stiff shoulder looking vest are starched beyond belief and literally feel like cardboard.  The small cap that they where are crocheted and are so delicate. 

They had a small store in the museum and the all the items there are made by the ladies of the church.  The small crotched caps they wear were also for sale and really at a reasonable price.   We picked one up for the cabinet along with the pipe from Gouda

I know we are going to head back to Spakenburg before the summer is up, and who knows maybe I’ll go back to the museum and take another walk around or buy a new cap.  I want to wander a bit more through the city and hit all the small little side streets.