Brown and blue

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jackson's Dream World

Today we took Jackson to a place I'm sure he dreams about (and maybe Josh too).  The John Deere dealer! So we have been wanting to get Jackson a toy tractor because you all know how much he loves them.  The first word out of his mouth when he wakes up is Tractor, and it is usually the last one out of his mouth before he falls asleep.

Finally we didn't have anything going on this morning so we hopped in the car and talked about tractors the whole 20 minute drive.  Jackson was excited!

When we got there we walked in to a small show room that had a few riding lawn mowers and a bunch of toys.  Jackson thought it was amazing, he kept running around saying tractor over and over.  He would pick up one toy off the shelf only to find another that would catch his eye.  He carried the tractors all over the store and was cracking up the sales men.

The sales man told us there was a show room across the parking lot with the "real" tractors and machines in them that we could go in also.  So we made our purchase and convinced Jackson there would be more tractors to see. 

Jackson climbed up in to the tractor
Josh and Jackson pose for a quick pic
Even I got my picture by a tractor!
As soon as we were in the next building Jackson went nuts, he was running all over to every tractor he saw.  He would climb up, sit on the seat and then climb down and be off to the next tractor. I'm pretty sure we didn't get a single good picture.  Jackson was a blur in all of them.  We were there about an hour and it was pretty much torture getting Jackson out of there but we made it back to the car and he played with his new tractor the whole way home :)

Jackson playing with his new tractor on the ride home
Oh my John Deere boys!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Do you take your coffee with sweat?

So here is another topic that is strangely quite different from good ole U.S.A.  The gym. 

After about a year of not having a regular workout routine, I decided to join the gym here.  I didn't really think too much about it, because a gym's a gym, right? Well pretty much, but there is one big difference that I think is really kind of funny!!!

I'm not going to say ALL gyms but the ones I have heard of generally have a cafe in them.  Why is this you may wonder? Well it seems you can't go longer than an hour without having a nice cup of hot coffee!  This is crazy to me for a couple of reasons. Number 1, I just can't drink a cup of steaming hot coffee right before a workout.  I'm pretty positive it would give me a side ache.  Number 2, after I workout you do NOT want me to sit down next to you for a cup of coffee.  I'm drenched with sweat and it doesn't stop for a good 30 minutes, shower or no shower. If you however like your coffee with a little sweat I would be happy to sit down next to you!

Some days it feels like the coffee shop, I mean gym is more of just a social hang out. They come to catch up on the latest gossip and may perhaps break a sweat in the the process. I may say it is a little refreshing to not have the huge meat heads there grunting away thinking they are "hot stuff". 

Today though has to be my favorite day at the gym by far!!! I walk in about an hour later than normal (thank you Jackson for sleeping in late!! ), drop Jackson of in the day care area (which is free, love that!) and there are approximately 20 people just sitting around having coffee, some still sweating, some in their polo shirts(did I mention a lot of men workout wearing nice polo shirts?) just getting ready for their workout. It was madness, I had to bump into people just to get through the crowd.  The workout area however was dead!  Good for me!! I am most of the way done with my workout and they start singing "happy birthday" in dutch of course. So not only is this a coffee shop, but it is a place to have parties :) When I am all finished and pick up Jackson I am talking with the girl at the day care about it being someones birthday and she says oh yeah there is food for everyone, it's a trainer's birthday.  Want to know what the food was? Donuts and Chocolate.  Really?!?! Isn't this the reason most of us are at the gym in the first place! I politely declined and was on my way!

I won't say our gyms are better but just different!  The coffee just isn't my cup of tea...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Do you recycle?!?! We do!

It occurred to me that I have not really shared with all of you some of the "different" things about the Netherlands. Some things are great and some things not so much!  This is one of my not so favorite things about living in Holland. The garbage!

This is how it works, I'm assuming most of you probably have those huge plastic garbage cans that they come and pick up once a week.  Well here we have a garbage can that is half that size and they come half as often! Want to know why it is so small???

Well here it goes, we also have a green bin about the same size as the trash can. In the green you're expected to put in your grass clippings, leaves, and anything else from the yard.  You are also to put in anything that will decompose like your leftover food. This is a GREAT concept in the winter! It is not so great in the summer when it gets up to the 80's and this weekend 90's and you have old rotten food in your garbage for 2 whole weeks! Let me tell you the smell is disgusting and the flies love it.  Do you know what happens when flies like your garbage? You end up with maggots!!!! DISGUSTING!  I have never seen a maggot until here but gross!!!

If you're not too disgusted to keep reading here is what else we have to do...
  1. Separate out all the paper and save them for an entire month for them to pick up on the 3rd Saturday of the month.  NEVER miss this day! It is usually rainy so these people come by on tractors with wagons, soaking wet, picking up soggy wet paper and cardboard (I do not envy them)
  2. Separate all the plastics and put them into a plastic bag that you have to go to the city hall to get. This comes, well, were not really sure when this date is exactly but we follow suit when other put theirs out. Still only once a month. 
  3. Separate all glass containers, take them to designated areas and then put them in to the corresponding green, white or brown dumpsters.
  4. I'm pretty sure you are supposed to do something with cans from canned goods and probably pop cans but they make it into the general trash in our house.
What happens when you miss paper pick up day while on vacation
Our plastic bags, full of plastic
Because you have to separate all of this stuff you are supposed to be able to make it 2 weeks for your regular trash day. We NEVER do, each and every week this thing is over flowing and we're cramming every little thing in on Thursday night so we don't have to have it hanging open all week long.

Oh and if you ever have your windows to the house open when they come and get the trash you will be sorry.  Your entire house will smell like those rotten garbage cans do :(

One other crazy fact I learned about garbage here: there are people you can hire to come and wash out your garbage cans once a month or something like that! I also would not want that job!

So, needless to say I will be happy to have my HUGE garbage can and my HUGE recycle can back!!!!

Enough about trash! Until next time, I promise to have something better to talk about!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A trip to the beach and some crazy birds!

Wednesday we got to spend the day at the beach with friends. Jackson and I did at least, poor Josh had to work.  I can say that I have not ever been to the beach 2 times in one week without being on vacation.  It was great!  It is only an hour and a half drive and right now Jackson sleeps both ways in the car. 

So yesterday it was Jessica and I and our two little men at the beach.  So do you know what this means? It means we have 2 giant strollers, 1 huge picnic basket, 2 beach bags stuffed full of toys, snacks, sun screen etc, etc.  I'm pretty sure the beach is about 1/2 mile long (or deep) before you get to the water. Do you know how hard it is to push/pull a stroller through the sand?!?! Let me tell you it is hard.

Why take the stroller you may ask? Well with all this stuff and 2 boys I'm pretty sure we would have lost something along the way and let me tell you if you want Jackson to eat anything at all while there he has to be strapped into something so he is not off in the water.

We decided to have our lunch on the boardwalk, we found a couple of chairs for us to sit in and pulled out our sandwiches.  I'm not sure what it was but we were immediately swarmed by seagulls. Either they have a great eye for bread or really know how to spot small children who will throw food on the ground pretty much every minute. The boys thought it was great, they were so entertained by the birds. Me, not so much! I do not like birds, they freak me out and if they fly too close they give me the goosebumps. We survived lunch and wee off to the sand!

The boys played and played and had a great time!  Eating sand, throwing it, laying in it! We all had a great time!  The boys worked up an appetite so we gave them a snack and then Jessica and I were going to get some frites and a drink for the ride home.  We successfully got our frites and stuck them in an open spot in the stroller. (thank goodness for that stroller) We were off to the car when we had to cross the bike path and cobblestone side walk when BUMP all of the frites are on the ground. Guess who comes swarming at us the stupid seagulls!

This may be an exagerated picture but this is what it felt like!
It is madness, the birds are everywhere, we are trying not to get hit by a bike from the path a car from the street or eaten alive by all these birds.  We decide to go back for another thing of frites when SMACK! A woman on her bike hits a seagull!!!!! What???? Luckily it just hit her "rear view mirror" and not her, but this bird was not so lucky.  He was a goner! We really couldn't believe our eyes!!! We made it back to the frites stand and got another one 1/2 off this time! Yeah, us! Then we made it successfully to the car and headed home with 2 very sleepy boys and 2 worn out moms!!! A great day! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


So I absolutely LOVE blogs!  I love reading them, I love writing them, and I love searching for new ones to read!  I have recently become obsessed with blogs! Maybe I am just nosy or maybe it is just a great way to keep up with people you are not seeing all the time (or learn about what perfect strangers are doing)!  If I know you and you have a blog - I have read it! I have stumbled across all kinds of mom blogs which I love too! I just can't get enough, I have been laughing, crying and getting all kinds of fun ideas from them!

But don't think I just sit around all day reading blog.  I have about maybe 2 free hours during the day where I usually have to shower, clean the house, do laundry, make breakfast, lunch or dinner, the list of course goes on and on!

Maybe I have been behind the times but I found the website (I'm sure there are a million other places like this) where you can subscribe to blogs and it shows you when there is a new post to any blog you follow! I love it, it is like an email inbox and you can easily check what is new and going on in  your little blog world!

So although this is just some random post, if you're like me or know of others like me, let me know of blogs you like, or if you have a blog I don't know about, and pass on my blog to anyone who might enjoy it too!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The beach at The Hague

Today we had a great day with our little family!  It was a day we won't forget any time soon!  We drove to the Hague, the political capital of the Netherlands.  It is only about an hour and a half from us so not too far when you time it with naps!

We had intentions of seeing the city as well but had such a great time at the beach that we didn't leave! We had packed a picnic lunch and bought some fresh frites (french fries) and then we took Jackson to the water.

We knew he would love the water, but we didn't know how much! We thought it would be too cold and he would just stay by the edge. Wrong! As soon as he got in the water Jackson was chasing after the waves.  He was just so excited every time one came, he laughed and laughed.  I was laughing so hard with him!  It was great! We stayed in the water maybe only 10 minutes but by that time Jackson was all goosebumps and his teeth were chattering.  He was so cold and even more mad at us for making him get out of the water.

Once we got him calmed back down he was fine, back to playing in the sand, wearing my sunglasses and picking up but then throwing down sea shells. We walked down the boardwalk to the pier (about a mile walk). It was a nice walk and we got to see lots of people and shops.

After a seriosly messy milkshake and some yucky churros we were on our way back home with one tired little man in the back seat!  We hope there are more warm days left in the summer so we can go back here before we come back home!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jackson's Favorite Things

Hi Everyone,

It's Jackson here!  I thought I would tell you all about some of my most favorite things right now!  Well there are so many things that I love to do I think I should narrow it down to 10 so here they are:

10.  Pushing the chairs around to get to where I need to be, like the kitchen sink, the radio, the computer, pretty much anywhere that is out of my reach.

9.  Pushing around my shopping cart while my mom vacuums, I usually chase Grace with it.  I think it is so funny!

 8.  I love to run!  Now that I have mastered walking without falling all the time, I have to get everywhere as fast as I can!

7.  I love to GO, it doesn't matter where. I hear the word go and I just get excited and climb into my stroller.

6.  I love blueberries.  I used to hate them and spit them out but I recently discovered how great they are and I always say I want mo, mo, more!

5.  I love to play in the water.  Sometimes we have a pool outside when the weather is warm, but if not I just love to splash around in the sink. Sometimes it makes my mom mad... haha!

4.  I love to play at the park.  We have been going to lots of parks over the summer and I have such a great time.  I can climb up stairs and some ladders all by myself now and I love to go down the slides.  I usually make a new friend at every park I go to.

3.  I love to read, well I love when my mommy and daddy read to me.  I usually make them read the same book over and over about 20 times until I have gotten enough of it and then we can switch to the next book. My most favorite book though is about tractors, we have read it so many times the pages are breaking.

2.  I love TRACTORS, especially the green and yellow ones!! I love saying the word tractor, I love playing with tractors, and I even love shirts with tractors on them!  

1.  My most favorite thing to do right now it talk!  I love to learn new words and I work on saying them over and over and over until I get them right.  Some of my favorite things to say are: momma, dada, grace, book, blue, ball, mur (murphy~a dog we're babysitting right now), go, purple, bird, plane, more, done, hi, car, and I am sure there are more but I can't remember right now.