Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas and Cousin Nolan

After Sinterklaas, we have tried to get Kiefer to switch over to Christmas and Santa. We started pointing to Santa on his stocking and saying, "Ho ho ho!" He tries to say it... sometimes with success.

Last Friday, we hosted baby (now more like toddler) playgroup at our place. There were 7 kids in total and we had fun. Kiefer was not particularly in a sharing mood that day, though. One of the kids' favorite snacks is Veggie Booty... puffed corn & rice with spinach and kale and I put some in a bowl for the kids. Kiefer picked it up and went and sat in a corner of the kitchen. Whenever another kid came to take a piece he would get very upset! He's pretty serious about his Veggie Booty, I guess. He does like to share his pacifier with Mr. Oliver. If I am holding Mr. Oliver, Kiefer will walk up to us, take his pacifier out of his mouth and offer it to Mr. Oliver, who is not too thrilled. It's very cute!

On Christmas Eve, Kiefer's daycare was open until 2:00. Roel had off from work so we took the opportunity to do a little shopping and catch a movie. We hadn't been to see a movie in ages, and unfortunately most of the movies we wanted to see didn't open until the following day. We settled on "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey. It was funny and definitely not serious... perfect for a fun afternoon at the movies. We picked Kiefer up from daycare and headed home. As usual, the second Kiefer was in the car, he fell asleep. Although Kiefer naps well at home, he refuses to nap at daycare, so he almost always falls asleep in the car on the way home.

When we got home, I rolled out some gingerbread dough I had made earlier in the day. Kiefer helped me a little, but he was more interested in eating the baked cookies than rolling and cutting the dough! I also made Roel's favorite: peanut butter balls. That evening, Kiefer opened a present he received from Holly, his daycare provider. It was a Thomas DVD: Percy Saves the Day. When Janice and I were little, we were always allowed to open one present on Christmas eve, so I thought it would be nice to continue the tradition.

Kiefer slept until 7:20 am on Christmas morning, and when we went downstairs we saw that Santa had left a lot of presents under the tree! Kiefer was thrilled and immediately went to work unwrapping his presents. He received a table and chairs just his size, a fire engine, a couple of Curious George DVDs, Harold the Helicoptor, and a Thomas & Friends book. He also got some duplos from Aunt Janice and Uncle Geoff, 5 engines (Toby, Henrietta, Bertie Bus, Oliver and a coal car) from Oma and Opa and some clothes and a snuggle pillow from Grandma and Grandpa. The most special gift was from Grandma and Grandpa... a little rocking chair that belonged to Kiefer's great grandmother (Mae Bartholomay Woods). It is nearly 100 years old! Aunt Janice and I used it when we were kids, and so did Grandma!

Kiefer is an expert at unwrapping presents. He'd unwrap a present, play with it for a little while and then go under the tree to retrieve another present to unwrap. I think he probably would have been happy unwrapping plain boxes.

On Christmas afternoon, we heard that Roel's sister, Paula was in labor and that she and her fiance were at the hospital ready to have their first baby. This morning, we learned that their little boy, Nolan Johannes Hendrikus Brinkman, was born at 9:11 am - Dutch time. He weighed 7 lbs, 15.3 oz (3610 gr) and was 20 3/4" (53 cm) long. He was a little early (due January 4th), but I think he was anxious to meet his mom and dad. We're very happy for them and can't wait to meet him when we are in the Netherlands in September for Frank & Paula's wedding.

Kiefer won't be back in daycare until January 5th, which means I've got some time off. I do have to work on a paper to finish up an independent study I did over the summer. I need to get it in before I start my comps at the end of January and I would like to submit it for publication so I've got some work to do!

Our plans for New Year's were originally to stay home, but friends of ours in Greenfield are hosting a "Midnight in Paris" New Year's party. They have a son just a little younger than Kiefer, so they know that we'll never make it until midnight in Greenfield, and thought it would be fun to celebrate with the Parisians and ring in the new year at 6 pm. A 4-7 pm party sounds like something we can definitely do!

April, Roel & cousin Kiefer

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