Switzerland

Finally getting around to finishing this post on Switzerland. It’s been a busy summer and documenting our trips has not been my strong suit!

We stayed in the town of Lauterbrunnen outside of Interlaken. The town sits in a valley surrounded by mountain peaks and in the distance you can see waterfalls cascading down the mountains. It’s hard to put the beauty into words. IMG_0426

A typical day looked like this: hang out at the condo in the morning while it rained, head out in the afternoon for a hike when it cleared up. This actually worked out well because Hayden was able to get at least one decent nap in her cot rather than the hiking pack. No day was wasted, we took advantage of every dry moment and considered light rain an opportunity to get outside. We hiked every single day.IMG_0458 IMG_0456 IMG_0471

In the evening we either went out to eat, but more often we cooked at home. This is always so much more relaxing for me with Hayden! That’s why I absolutely love having a condo or apartment when we travel, so much more room for Hayden to crawl around and we can just chill out at home in the evening.

Did I mention that someone enjoyed every moment with her Grammy and Papa Joe?IMG_0462 IMG_0491This is probably the last time I will get to say that I got to spend my birthday in Switzerland. Pinch me! It was a great day. We hiked in the afternoon and watched base jumpers flying down the mountain in the early evening. Pretty unreal! We were walking back to our condo after our hike when we noticed objects falling from the sky. We were able to chat with one of the guys who had just landed. Apparently base jumping is a big thing. People travel all of the world to hit the best spots for jumping.IMG_0479

That night we put Hayden to bed and Garrett and I went out to dinner. Gotta love a date night! When we returned cake and ice-cream were waiting for me. I’d say my 29th birthday was pretty awesome.IMG_0477

Our final day was one of those perfect, blue bird days. All day sun, not too hot or too cold. We took a long hike in the Alps and I saw some of the best views of my life.IMG_0499 IMG_0506 IMG_0496

IMG_0497 IMG_0509And after ten or so days spent in France and Switzerland, it was time to head back home. We planned on driving back to Antwerp over two days, but decided to just go for it in one day. We were so happy to be sleeping in our beds that night and have the long drive behind us. Hayden loves hiking and is a champ in the hiking pack, but she’s not a huge fan of the car. It was nice to not have to get in the car for several days after that.

We’ve seen a LOT of places since living abroad but I have to say this trip ranks high on my list. Probably because of my love for the mountains, and it didn’t hurt that Hayden was at a great age for this type of vacation. But the views were truly some of the most breathtaking I have ever seen. IMG_0483

Okay, so I still have to write about our trip to Ireland. We just got back from the U.S. this week and there’s plenty to write about there too. I will try to be better about being timely! No more trips (i don’t think…) until our final move back to the States.

Tour de France

Better late than never? It was over a month ago that we visited France and Switzerland with my in-laws. And what a vacation it was!IMG_0398

I admit I was nervous about doing an extended road trip with Hayden. I don’t know what’s more stressful, the hassle of flying with a baby (getting to the airport, schlepping luggage, going through security, possible flight delays, etc.) or a screaming baby in the back seat of a car. Lets just say the days of relaxing travel are long gone.

Anyway! We left on a week night around 7:00pm with a hotel booked 3 1/2 hours away, half-way to Chamrousse, France where we were meeting Pat and Joe. I thought this was the best plan because Hayden would sleep in the car? Yeah, she didn’t. Instead she just got overtired and totally worked up and cried for about 3 hours until we got to the hotel. Thankfully that was the worst part of our road trip. The rest of the drives went better.

After that terrible first drive, we woke up in the morning with a new attitude and the determination to just make it to Chamrousse. Hayden slept in the car for an hour and a half in the morning and then took a STELLAR 3+ hour afternoon nap, sleeping long after we arrived at our condo. I think the trauma from the night before had done her in.

The point of this leg of the trip was to watch part of the Tour de France, a two-day pit stop before heading to Switzerland. The Brunos are big cycling fans, so why not catch part of the tour live while we are still living abroad!

We got in late afternoon and spent the time catching up with my in-laws who we hand’t seen since Christmas! Hard to believe Hayden was barely three months old then. They met a whole different baby this time around.IMG_0409

The next morning we woke up to do a hike before the race. In the afternoon we picked out our spot to watch the Tour. It was hot in France! I remember wondering how the guys must feel exerting that much energy under the intense sun.IMG_0422

It was pretty cool to be up close and personal witnessing something I had only seen on TV. The atmosphere was energetic and filled with excited fans camping out waiting to see their favorite cyclists go by.

My mother in-law brought all sort of USA garb for us wear while we cheered from the sidelines.IMG_0407

And we met a nice Belgian couple who let us sit under their camper and get a little relief from the sun while we waited.

IMG_0411 IMG_0416 The next day we headed to Switzerland, first stopping in Grenoble to watch one more leg of the tour. When we got to Lauterbrunnen, a town outside of Interlaken where we stayed in Switzerland, I was blown away by the beauty. Our condo sat in a valley surrounded by mountainous peaks and waterfalls (!!). It was was like out of a picture book or a postcard. Just stunning.

More to come on that!

Catch up

We are back from Switzerland! We took the plunge last Saturday and decided to drive the whole 7.5 hours back in one day. Well worth it to be sleeping in our own beds that night. I want to recap our whole trip because it was absolutely amazing. That will come with a separate post. Here’s just a little catch up on what’s been going on lately.

We’ve been living in our new apartment for three months now. Hard to believe! With family trips to Tuscany and Switzerland in-between, those months have come and gone quickly. I have to say, it feels like we have been living in this space all along. We are so comfortable here and especially love our view of the water and the busy restaurants along the port. It’s a great place to be in the summer months when the sun stays out so long.

Now that we are in our final months of living in Antwerp, I tend to open my eyes a bit wider when I’m strolling the familiar streets. There are so many things I’m going to miss about our city. As much as we have talked about this and that which we miss in the U.S., Garrett and I both know what an adjustment it’s going to be when we actually move back. I’m glad I am remembering to look around and soak things up before this beautiful chapter of our lives comes to an end.

And on that topic, we still do not know where we are going! It feels like every month we are saying, “next month we will know more.” We are telling our family and friends that a decision WILL be made in August. But will it? Who knows!

My family is all out in Montana right now, partly to celebrate my Grandfather’s life. He passed away last month and I never wrote about it. I’m not sure why, except that I felt removed from the situation living so far away from my family. It was expected, he wasn’t doing well for quite some time. It was expected, but it wasn’t.

My Grandfather was an amazing man. He had a long, successful career with IBM, before that he fought in both WWII and the Korean War. He raised three beautiful, unique, funny, awesome daughters (one being my mom). He was a great granddad to me and my brother. I remember he use to tell us stories from WWII, and my grandmother would tell us that we must be special because he typically never talked about the war. We knew he was a hero from those stories.

Over the last several years it’s became more apparent that age was taking it’s toll on Grandpa. Not just physically, more so mentally. In our last visits, it became increasingly difficult for me to carry on conversations with him. Though, I probably should have tried harder and didn’t give him enough credit for what he was able to comprehend. Till the end he kept his sense of humor. I remember still getting a chuckle out of him when we visited last Christmas, the last time I got to see him. We brought Hayden to Virginia when we were back in the U.S. to visit with my aunts, and mostly to meet my grandparents. I’m so glad we made that short drive from Harrisburg.

This is the third summer I have not been out to Montana and it hurts my soul. I’ve been skyping with my family, seeing the sun shine through the windows of our cabin. I’ve been following my parents’ friends pictures on Facebook. Apparently my mom and dad had a Garrett and Teddie wedding reunion out there this summer! All were invited except the bride and groom! Okay, not everyone, but they have had quite the guest list this July. I’m glad for my mom. She lost her dad this year, she needs to be surrounded by as many people who love her as possible. And for my grandma who is also spending a lot of time in Montana this summer. I can’t think of a better place to heal.

Miss Hayden turned 10 months old two days ago. She is turning out to be quite the ball of fire! Oh my goodness, do we have our hands full. I’ll write a separate post about her with more updates. For now, you are all caught up!

 

 

Hayden Eliza – 9 months.

Hayden turned 9 months old last Monday. Lots of changes in the last three months! Before I know it this baby is going to be a toddler! We’re already seeing signs of what’s to come.IMG_0392

Personality: Where to begin? Hayden takes on different personas with different people. For instance, at home with just Garrett and me, she is wild. This kid can’t sit still. She’s playful and loud and insistent on getting our attention. She’s easy with smiles and giggles and just wants to play, preferably with someone. She is also very stubborn. She’s learned the word “no” to some degree and gets a kick out of disobeying me. I can see that being super fun in the future!

When I take her to playgroups or morning coffees with adults, she’s much more reserved. Everyone comments on how curious and perceptive she must be because she will just stare at whoever is talking, like she’s taking it all in. If it’s a smaller group of people, she’ll relax sooner and start babbling and smiling, trying to get attention per usual. She is fascinated by people, and she’s happy to let anyone hold her. I have to say, she’s on her best behavior in social settings.

She can be needy and sometimes we struggle to get her to play independently. There are days when she follows me around the apartment whining until I pick her up. But other times she is happy to roam around on her own and explore. I think that’s pretty typical.

Mobility: Hayden is on the move. She’s been crawling for over a month now but her latest trick is pulling herself to stand. She will do this anywhere. She’s not so much cruising yet, just pulling herself up and practicing standing for periods of time. She gets a huge grin on her face like she’s super proud of herself too. She’s come close to standing unassisted a few times, but then she’ll fall on her butt. Soon enough though.IMG_0387

IMG_0388It’s becoming more of a workout keeping her out of trouble. She wants to get into the litter box, the cat bowls, any wires or outlets, lamps, etc. I spend a lot of my day chasing after her and saying “Hayden, NO!” to which she turns around, smiles, and goes right back to doing what she was doing. We’re working on that…

Speaking of chasing, she is all about the cat. I feel sorry for both Hayden and Stella. Stella for obvious reasons, her quality of life has definitely gone down a few notches since the kid arrived – less attention, not enough quiet time, “why’s the baby in my spot? Why’s the baby eating my chicken?” And I feel sorry for Hayden because the cat will not cut her a break. Hayden desperately wants to play with Stella, or just give her a little pet (ha, yeah right, more like a tug!) and Stella vanishes the minute Hayden gets within a few feet. I’m sure one day they’ll be best friends.

Food: Food is going much better! We have Hayden eating 3 “meals” a day, how much she eats varies day to day. We’ve found some new favorites including oatmeal, greek yogurt, chicken and black beans. She loves to eat strawberries whole and little “fingers” of toast with hummus. Her appetite is definitely improving. Veggies are still a struggle. This week I pureed some zucchini and mixed it with apple and she loved that. Whatever works!

I love that Hayden is eating real food and we’ve started weaning, but this new stage has come with all sorts of challenges. There’s prep time involved in making baby food, and a new thought process at the grocery store. I don’t want to give her the same thing every day for every meal. I also don’t want to puree a whole bunch of stuff and have half of it go to waste because she doesn’t like it. And then I have to consider her nutritional need too!

We do a variety of finger food and purees. At 9 months, I’m trying to be mindful that she’s getting not just veggies and fruit but also protein, some grains, and healthy fats. As with most things in motherhood, some days I’m more successful than others.

Hayden continues to get a lot of her nutrition from breastmilk. I never thought I would be nursing this long, but here we are. At this point, I’ll continue until she’s a year old. I would like to be done by then, but we’ll see how it goes. Right now I think we’re at a good place, I’ve decreased her milk feeds and in place she’s getting more into food. That’s the direction we want to go, gently and gradually, so that the weaning process is pretty smooth for both of us. She never warmed up to a bottle, so it’s just been me for 9 months! She loooooves her sippy cup with water, but does not want to take milk from it. And frankly, I gave up on pumping all together. It’s really funny how much she likes water though, she must get that from her mom and dad.

Sleep: We had a break through with sleep when we got back from Italy. I know this might not sound good to you, but Hayden is only waking once a night now. I still go in and nurse her right back to sleep. We’ve tried other methods and we can’t stick with anything long enough for it to work. But, I’m willing to try again! I’m so tired at 1am or what time ever she wakes up, that I just want to get her back to sleep as fast as possible.

Recently, Hayden’s been getting up super early. Some mornings she barely makes 6am. Oof. But, her naps are better now. We do still have days where she doesn’t want to nap or takes short 40 minute naps, but usually she will take two longish naps a day.

Sleep is a funny thing because it changes a lot. Every time I think we are in a good rhythm, she changes it up again. I’ve never been able to say, “Hayden naps at 10 and 2″ or whatever set times people have in mind. I desperately try to give her two solid naps a day but some days she fights them soooo hard.

Bed time is another inconsistency where we desperately try to stay consistent. My child really has a mind of her own. She does not like to be away from the action. These days, we shoot for a bed time between 7:30 and 8pm, but realistically she hasn’t fallen asleep until more like 8:30pm the last few nights. It use to be 7pm! I think summer daylight has something to do with it.

And I think that’s Miss Hayden in a nut shell. Next week she takes her first big road trip (wish us luck!) to France to meet my in-laws for a few days. Then the five of us head to Switzerland for a week. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

Cinque Terre

Where was I? Yes, heading to Cinque Terre. We had a two and half hour drive ahead of us, so we decided to stop in Lucca to split up the car time. Hayden had not been a fan of the car unless she was sleeping, so we planned accordingly around her naps.IMG_0314

IMG_0316Lucca is a charming, little town in Tuscany. We spent an hour or two walking around exploring the market and shops, stopping for lunch plus a pastry and cappuccino, before heading back to our car.IMG_0318

It was raining as we left Lucca but it quickly cleared up to be a gorgeous, hot day. When we made it to Levanto, the town where we stayed, Hayden was awake and very ready to be out of the car. Eventually, Garrett found our street (no idea how because it was not marked!) and we got into our place.IMG_0322

The set up of our apartment was great. The owner provided a cot for Hayden and there was a door blocking off the bedroom from the kitchen and terrace. We could put Hayden to bed, cook dinner and eat outside without disturbing her.IMG_0325IMG_0324

I can’t say we really knew what to expect vacationing with a baby and still planning our trip to include our regular activities, like hiking and driving. Luckily, at this point in the vacation we felt like we had gotten into a decent rhythm. Our first full day we hiked from our town to Monterosso and then continued onto Vernazzo, two of the Cingue Terre towns. Hayden was a trooper. She slept in the pack and was pretty happy the rest of the time. I highly recommend the osprey pack for other moms, it was a lifesaver.

IMG_0329

But, every activity has a time limit with her. If Garrett and I were alone, we would have hiked for longer and gone to another town. Hayden was done after two or so hours in the pack and ready for a proper nap. Hey, we still got to see a few cool towns and soak in a beautiful day.IMG_0336 IMG_0341

IMG_0342

That night we went out to dinner, which something we don’t typically do at home with Hayden. I know people take their babies to restaurants all the time, but the idea kind of stresses me out. We went with it anyway and had a nice time! Afterwards, gelato. Always and forever.
IMG_0353

The next day we went for another hike. Besides getting very lost (another story for another day), we also picked a path that was hardly cleared. We spent a lot of time whacking branches, ducking or climbing over tree trunks, brushing spiders webs out of our hair, tripping over stumps, and getting tangled in prickly plants (all with a baby on G’s back). Our legs looked like we had been through battle afterwards. Hayden made it out untouched, the osprey has a nice sun shield that covers the face.

Back in Levanto we had some incredible foccasia pizza for lunch on the street, beers in plastic cups… and more gelato. Worth it!

IMG_0347

And that was pretty much it! We left the next morning, drove back to Florence and boarded the plane. I was absolutely exhausted. IMG_0367Traveling with a baby seriously drains you! Or maybe it’s just me. This was our first go round, so I’m hoping it gets easier. In any case, I’m proud of the way we sort of figured it all out, worked together as a team, and stayed flexible. Slowly but surely we are getting a grasp on this parenting thing!

 

 

 

Tuscany trip (continued)

As I was saying, our villa in Tuscany was amazing. But there was no walking into  town to check out the market or go to lunch. Every destination required us to make the bumpy drive out into civilization. The town we could walk to was tiny and sleepy, so we either spent the day at the villa (Garrett, Hayden and I did that one day due to major teething) or made one trip out for the day.IMG_0280

The villa is advertised to sleep 11, but it could sleep more. Two stories, plus a loft, and a separate little guest house that has a gym and a bedroom attached. Complete with a pool and lots of green outdoor space. If you have to be stuck someone all day, this is the place to be! Not to mention that there are hiking trails around the property, which we took advantage of the day we stayed home.1797436_865932940088665_2548025315324283420_n

Our hosts live in house connected to ours. We would see them coming and going and often stop and chat about what we did that day. They have a little boy too, probably about five years old, who was always playing in the yard or picking cherries from the tree. One especially memorable night, they made dinner for us. Six courses of pure, rustic, Tuscan deliciousness. Every ingredient in season, every dish prepared with love. It was, by far, the best meal of our entire trip.FWM32E6QGd7odpM-NSdsjEhY557v69wKRRFxm5rRdKc

The house was huge and surprisingly every room was decorated head to toe. Beautiful paintings hung on the wall, large book shelves or cool armoires in every room, lots of Tuscan pottery and other unique, rustic decor. There are so many details I must have passed over. The kitchen was fully equipped and good thing because we ate in every night. There was a large dining room table and a fully stocked wine rack (you leave 10 euro for every bottle you drink) and another large table on the back porch. The nights were chilly but we always started cocktail hour out back enjoying our gorgeous view.10452313_865933870088572_846195801217389888_n

We visited Siena for a day, which was lovely, but touristy as expected. Parking took FOREVER, but lunch was great and there was a very pretty Cathedral. 10365767_865932676755358_4281300291396736776_nIMG_0290We went to a neat open market in Panzano our first day to load up on produce, cheese, meat, more wine, and olive oil. 10351256_865932566755369_5726209436995284565_n

We went to Greve for an afternoon of shopping. Garrett and I picked up olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, fresh pasta, biscotti, two nice bottles of chianti and three small paintings from a talented local artists who was getting ready to shut down shop and move elsewhere. After some haggling, we walked away with a bargain.10308756_865933583421934_8603243149456266669_n

We visited a few small wine houses for tastings and saved our last day for visiting the Antinori Vineyard, which was enormous. That was the day we did all the “best of’s” according to Sylvia, our gracious hostess. We visited and tasted the best gelato in Castellina, and ordered takeout pizza in a nearby town (can’t remember the name) for dinner. Both the gelato and pizza lived up to their reputation.10341746_865933626755263_1679677116194071127_n

And after a wonderful week in beautiful Tuscany, it was time to say goodbye. Garrett, Hayden and I were the last to leave Saturday morning. We packed up the car and headed to Cinque Terre stopping at Lucca along the way. That’s next!

 

Our trip to Tuscany

I keep lying in bed at night thinking about writing this post, but never actually getting around to it in the morning. I have documented nearly all of our trips, big and small, on this site since starting it. Life is busier these days, but I definitely don’t want to stop writing about our travels. IMG_0268

A few weeks ago we returned from a twelve day trip that included a night in Florence, seven nights in Tuscany with my family, and three nights in Cinque Terre just Garrett, Hayden and I. It was an awesome trip. This was our first “European” vacation since having Hayden and I can tell you it is a different ball game with a baby. But, we made it work, learned a lot along the way, gained confidence in ourselves and Hayden, and had a killer time.

It started with a thirty minute car ride to the Brussels airport, a two hour flight to Florence, and then a fifteen minute bus ride to the train station where we would walk another fifteen or so to our hotel. Another ten minute walk to find another hotel because the one we booked cancelled our reservation when Garrett mistyped the last number of his credit card (the hotel failed to inform us of the cancellation). Thank God, there was an opening at a place nearby.

Florence was pretty much a pit stop on our way to Tuscany. Garrett and I have both been, seen the major museums and attractions, so we didn’t feel the need to do all that again with a baby in tow. Instead, we spent our day and a half walking around, visiting the market, snapping a few pictures and eating delicious food. A short 24 hours well spent.IMG_0270

After picking up our rental car (which is a story in itself after Garrett realized he left a crucial item in our car at the airport… his license) we headed out to the Chianti region of Tuscany where we would meet my parents, my brother and his fiancee who arrived in Rome from the U.S. early that morning. As expected, they were exhausted and in a jet lag fog.

We met my dad at a pizza place in the nearby village Lucolena, so we could then caravan to our villa, which we had been warned was not easy to get to. Fifteen or so stressful minutes later with a screaming baby in the back and a tense driver navigating tight, windy unpaved “roads” we arrived at the beautiful place we would call our homebase for the next week. And since this post is already too long, we’ll talk about that later.

That first night, after the folks from the U.S. woke up from their naps (I don’t know if my parents actually napped but my brother and Marcella were out until dinner) we put the baby to bed and had our first (of many) glasses of wine together. We sat out back of our villa, staring out over the green, rolling hills that surrounded us. The setting was picturesque, to say the least. Too tired to cook, we ordered takeout from the closest restaurant (per the villa owners recommendation) and enjoyed sharing our pastas, pizza and salad along with our delicious red wine. We were in Italy after all!10300709_865932476755378_4087101804918347470_n

The end of an era

Well… sort of. I guess the real end of the era will come when we leave Antwerp. But, leaving our apartment feels like the start of a wonderful chapter coming to an end. IMG_1127

This is the apartment we pretty much started our married life in. This is where we  stuck our claim on Antwerp, and this neighborhood in “de zuid” became our home. These bakeries, bars, shops, restaurants, and the people of them welcomed us (mostly) and made a foreign city comfortable and familiar. I will miss our little corner here.P1010001

This is the kitchen where I taught myself how to cook. I mean really cook, not just bake chicken, steam veggies and throw together salads. This is where I found inspiration, drive and passion when I was feeling that void after leaving a job. This is where we entertained countless guests, threw many dinner parties and even hosted two Thanksgivings!IMG_1738

This is where we stayed up late drinking beer on our terrace with friends or family in town. This is where we sipped wine, just us two, chatting about life and getting excited about our future.IMG_0760

This is where we brought home our baby girl. Our first child, the love of our lives. This is where my mom set up her nursery and made a rental apartment feel like home.IMG_0016 This is, perhaps, where we became adults?IMG_0051

And so while we aren’t leaving Antwerp yet (can’t imagine how sentimental I’ll get then!) we are leaving somewhere very special to me. But, onward we march! On to the next little chapter and a great new place for our last days in this fantastic city. For now, I’m lucky to still call Antwerp my home.

And a few more pics to remember Kronenburgstraat 27. IMG_0532

IMG_0523 IMG_0524 IMG_0047 IMG_0528 IMG_0526 IMG_1121

A big, long catch up

So, I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks but have been choosing to do things like shower, hang with Garrett, watch TV, browse the Web, etc. in the rare moments/hours/minutes that I get to myself. But, a lot has been going on…AGAIN!

Last weekend we had one of my best friends come visit us from London. What a treat it is to have her on this side of the world with me. She brought Hayden all sorts of goodies, and Easter candy for us, which has become my nemesis this week. :o)IMG_0228

In usual Bruno fashion, we hosted Easter dinner. We had two of our best friends in town from Garrett’s work, so they joined in the festivities. Slow roasted leg of lamb with loads of garlic and rosemary (crock pot style), crispy roasted potatoes with bacon, and green beans with slivered almonds were on the menu. And a massive homemade carrot cake at the end. A good time was had by all!

We’ve all been fighting colds for the last week and a half, but I think we’re getting over it. Recovery time is a lot longer when you don’t exactly get to rest. But, last night Hayden had one of her best nights of sleep in FOREEEVER. Feeling very grateful for that! Not holding my breath though.

And on to more about Hayden. Two teeth, possibly more coming soon. She has had quite the social calendar this month and has been happy being passed around and doted on. We’ve also started attending a parent/child group so she can interact with some other babies. And for me, it’s great to meet other moms!

She will be 7 months old next week. She really does seem like a little person to me now. Not to mention that she is growing, and I am feeling that in my back! She can’t quite decide whether she’s a serious baby, or a super silly one. Some days all she does is smile and laugh, other days she is very focussed and serious about any object or person in front of her. One thing is for sure, she is all about discovery: toys, her toes, household items, how to move her body. She is into everything! And once this kid is mobile, game over. We are going to be prying things out of her mouth and chasing her all over town.

She is getting much better at independent play (depending on the level of crankiness that day) and will sit in her baby Einstein saucer twirling around and pressing buttons. But give her an ounce of your attention, and she will milk you for all you’re worth! She would much rather play with mom and dad than be left to her own devices. Her current favorites: grabbing faces, making blowing sounds with her mouth, picking up everything on the counter, being tickled, rolling over onto all fours.

IMG_0216 IMG_0217

Solid food is going better. She hates being strapped into her seat, so I have taken to feeding her while she’s strapped onto me, facing out in the baby bjorn. We’re trying to do purees twice a day, but she’s usually only interested around 5pm. So far, all she likes is fruit! That and baby rice cereal mixed with breast milk. I cannot get a vegetable in her to save my life. So, we’ll keep trying…

I won’t comment on sleep because that ALWAYS changes. As soon as I write something about her current schedule, that changes too. So, I’m not touching that one.

Okay, and on to other things. In one week we move into our new apartment. In three weeks, I am FINALLY going for a ladies night out. Maybe before that, Garrett and I will actually go on a date that doesn’t involve me cooking and us lighting candles in our own dining room. And in four weeks… ITALYYYYYYYYYYY!!! Can’t say I’m not excited about that one!

 

Fun with Nonie, and catching up.

IMG_0210Can I just say how nice it is to have my mom here? She leaves in two days and I don’t even want to think about saying goodbye. Hayden has loved every minute of it too!

We’ve been very busy. The weather has been great this past week, yesterday it was nearly 70 F. We spent the day at the coast in Knokke, and Hayden had her first Belgium cafe experience. She was most interested in Nonie’s sandwich and kept trying to grab it out of her hands. She was not nearly as enthusiastic for her first go round with pureed foods. Sweet potatoes and carrots were a bust, though she did better with bananas. I know it’s going to take time, so we’ll keep trying! It’s definitely fun to watch.

On Saturday, we hosted seven people for lunch. Man, it’s a lot easier to host with three people pitching in! My mom made all the food, helped refill drinks, etc. and Garrett and I were able to relax. Hayden was on her best behavior (she likes to show off for a crowd) and it was a gorgeous sunny day.

Other than that, we’ve been going on lots of long walks, making yummy dinners, watching basketball, playing with baby, and just enjoying our time together. It makes me all the more anxious for our trip to Tuscany. Only a few months away!

We finally decided on an apartment. We are lucky enough to have friends who are happy to rent their gorgeous, very spacious apartment out to us. It’s in a different part of town than we are accustomed to, but it’s all relative since Antwerp isn’t very big. The apartment overlooks the port, so waking up to that every morning is nothing to complain about. We’re excited for a change, even though moving for 5 months is a pain in the butt.

Remember how we were being so healthy and cutting back on dairy and sweets? I’ll come clean and say that lasted about two weeks. We’ve been in cheese heaven, and my sweet tooth has come back with vengeance. Good thing we’re walking a lot!

And I think that’s about it. We planned a trip for July with Garrett’s parents that I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to France for a few days to watch part of the Tour de France, and then we’re renting a place in Switzerland for a week. Hayden will have her first road trip (Lord, help us) and we’ll be breaking out the hiking pack a lot! Lots to look forward to in the coming months!