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. 







Chronicles of Clay

"Having a two year old is like having a blender with the top-off" (wish i could take credit for that). Very accurate though, Clay is busy and always messy and impossible to control and reason with at times. He is incredibly independent and demanding, always declaring "I DO IT!." But he is so easy to love and such a handsome kid all at the same time.  

It's been amazing to see how different the boys personalities are and interest. Clay could kick a ball back and forth all day long with you or play basketball with dad "keep shootin dad, keep shootin." He loves to eat and request a chocolate shakes most days, which of course he insist on making himself. He is speaking lots more sentences which has been so fun to communicate with and see his little personality and preferences.

 He still loves to collect things in his pocket, always bringing home millions of rocks and hoarding things under his pillow. He actually wore a hole through his coat pocket, luckily coat season is about over... we hope! 

 I just tucked him in for the night and under his pillow he has: three rocks, couple bouncy balls, two easter eggs, handful of hot wheel cars, and a bag full of small dinosaurs which he sleeps on top of. He hasn't gotten into tv shows or interest in watching things near as much as Luke, but occasionally will request to watch baseball or some sports game which is so funny to me... he takes after Riley a lot if you can't tell. 

His favorite color is "yellow" . . . but most things are the color yellow to him, and he can't be persuaded otherwise. so still not confident he even knows what yellow is! He loves Dad, big boats, balls and his best playmate Luke! We have a lot of time just the two of us while Luke is at school and love being Clay's mom.   






The mullet, I cut a few inches off without telling Riley... he was quite sad. 

but it reminded me of this hair too much. 

but before cutting it I straitened it, he obviously loved it. 


lots of icecream dates with Clay the past couple weeks with the sun out.

He is really fun to shop with.... 
Clay has been sick more than Luke ever has, he may have asthma or some allergy..  we will see but I worry about him at times, he will be good one week and the next wiped out. The dutch healthcare is very hands off which has been frustrating and very different than Japan. 

we've matched beanies all winter, decided I should document it
Luke homemade pirate eye patch
more sicky cuddles 
lots of laughter and good times with Clay

LONDON 2022!


March 24-27: 
We have been a little reckless with travel lately and feeling like this blog is more a travel journal these days than anything else. We know things will slowdown really soon when the baby arrives this summer and we are officially out-numbered, so trying to get as much as we can before. Also, in the Netherlands when your child turns 5 they become very strict about school attendance so trying to take advantage of these last months when we have the flexibility to take Luke out of school whenever. When Riley came across cheap tickets to London we had to jump on it. It was a really great long weekend,  so good to be back in this city! We also were blessed with the weather and had sunshine and really enjoyed ourself. 
The highlights of the trip:
- Double decker bus riding
- Lots of musicals! We watched 5 between us switching off at night (Dear Evan Hansen being my favorite, Frozen for Luke, and Hamilton was Riley's favorite of the trip)
- National History Museum- one of Luke's highlight 
- beach time with kids by tower bridge 
- Imperial War Museum- Riley's fav
- Evensong @ Westminster abby 
- Borough & Pickcadilly arkets- favorite market EVER= Borough (loved humble crumble, ginger pig sausage, just everything was really great and cool spot.
- More food: Sunday roast at the pip, udderlicious icecream, traditional english breakfast, and fish and chips
- city walking, always a highlight
(Clay quote, looking out the window: "Look SNOW!")
Our weekend hotel room was next to this cute street, next to seven dials. 
We didn't end up eating here this trip, but did a couple years ago and brought back good memories. 












obligatory photo of phone booth 

future house

boy or girl? we decided to wait to find out gender at birth.