Sunday, May 15, 2022

Ireland Roadtrip! Day 1

Our Ireland roadtrip started and ended in Dublin. The day started with an 1.5 hours flight from Amsterdam into Dublin and then renting our car for the next few days to drive the country. The rental car pickup was a little rough and had some hick-ups with Eurocar making us purchase their 300euro insurance and then Luke decided to christen the car by getting carsick and throwing up in the first 30 minutes. After the rough start, it was only up from there, and man, it went really up :) 

Planning this trip was challenging! There was just SOO much I wanted to do and see but with limited time and not wanting to drive too long, we had to pick and choose. It was nice knowing we could leave some for another trip to come back with my dad. My dad served his mission in Ireland and Scotland and would love to do northern Ireland and see his areas one day.

Our first leg after airport, was a shorter drive to Kilkenny (1.5 hours). We stopped there and checked into our B&B then spent the rest of the day exploring this cute town and trying out the recommended pubs.  We loved our hosts and the Irish Breakfast and hearing their accents.  Lief just felt like our big, friendly Irish grandpa. He was really nice and gave us all the pointers to see in town. We liked Kilkenny, it felt like we went back a few eras to a time that was slower and simple. The food was good, Riley caught a choir practice in a chapel that was memorable and we loved walking around the waterfront and seeing a wedding party, kilts included.  

croissants and clay, his travel go-to

Our B&B for the night 

Riley strolled around this church with 'Parting Glass' in his head, thinking of his boys, his brothers and dad and all the good times they've had. Was definitely an appreciated quiet moment of reflection that hit home. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

30 weeks

May 11, 2022: I've ever been one to document my pregnancy bump or keep track of weeks, besides the due date (obviously). I just had to look it up to see how many weeks I am currently to post. Today it was just me and Clay home all day and decided to pull out the camera and take some shots and these happened. Clay gets all the photo credit for pushing the button and helping out. He didn't want to be in front of the camera for pictures, like originally planned. 

In less than 10 weeks, we will be holding our newest love!  This pregnancy has gone fast so far, but the insomnia and restless legs and aches of the final trimester has arrived and thinking the next couple months could be long and hard before we meet baby. We decided to wait to find out the gender until birth. Everyone in the family thinks we will have a girl join our little gang in July, but I'm thinking it will be another boy. So we will see! The baby inside is the most active baby yet, hiccups all the time and just always moving and kicking around to the boys delight. They have both been putting in their suggestions and opinion on names as well. 

The dutch healthcare has been quite the opposite than Japan, very laid back and hands off. I have had three appointments to date, and they just check to see if their is a heartbeat and blood pressure and then I'm on my merry way... In Japan, there was a lot more appointments and test. . .  and ultrasounds with each one, and urine samples and blood taken and miles of paperwork and questions. It gives me a little anxiety to know how the baby is doing health-wise and miss the frequent ultrasounds, but also makes it a lot easier to not get a sneak peak at the gender and let it be a surprise. Home births are also very normal here and encouraged and my midwife clinic doesn't have a birth center, so apparently how it works is when I start to go into labor they will come over to our house and see how far along I am and then if I want to go to hospital they will call and see if there is even a spot for me and then able to give birth there if there is, so we will see how that goes! Praying for this little one daily and excited to meet you on the flip side.  

Friday, April 22, 2022

Luke Lately

I feel a bit emotional writing about Luke (blaming it on being pregnant). But really, just have so much love for my boys. I often feel so fortunate to be able to be Luke's mom, he is such a good natured kid and just one of my best friends. I hope we always stay good friends. He turns 5 next month! Unreal. 

 He has been in dutch primary school for almost 6 months now. He is understanding more and more of the language and enjoys school for the most part, but always looks forward to the weekend and being home. He is a social kid, and has made lots of friends (especially with the expats in ward). . . but the language barrier has been a challenge for him and hard I think to feel really comfortable and is described at school as being 'really shy' by his teacher (which was surprising to us). I wonder if he would be nearly as shy at english speaking school, while in London he commented: "it must be really easy to make friends here, the kids speak english." which kinda broke my heart a bit. He never complains, but school days are really long and exhausting it seems (8:45-3:00).  We have dealt with a lot more emotions and feelings of anxiety and frustration at home and outside and it's been a bit overwhelming to navigate at times and know how to best parent and love and teach. 

Luke's favorite thing these days is "recycling." He loves making toys and creating things and always full of surprises. He has this little workshop in our home and just always tinkering around and coming up with the coolest creative things.  Luke loves swimming and playing outside on the deck, he enjoys Clay and really good at including him and sharing. His favorite animal is a cheetah, because they are fast like him.  He loves holidays, especially Christmas and often can be found humming Christmas songs or requesting Alexa to play Christmas music even now. The favorite show lately is called "Buurman and Burrman" (a czech puppet animation) that is in dutch about two clumsy but resourceful handymen. Luke's laugh is contagious and we love having him in our home. 

A Luke quote we have been laughing about this week:
(Luke and Clay were in a fight and Luke hit Clay and we stopped them)

"I don't know what happened. . .  something hit Clay... I think it might have been me."

April in Amsterdam 
Swim Lessons

Luke and Kristian, best school mates

Luke: "Hey look, I am MOM!" 

Sawyer, Luke, Kevin

The best buds 

Luke and Kevin
Trying to learn new things, I have cut Luke's hair twice now. The first attempt was honestly awful but second go was decent. He is due for another cut in a few weeks... fingers crossed.