Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Big news

It has been a very long time since my last post! Time flies!

We thoroughly enjoyed the summer. We went blueberry and raspberry picking at a local farm and I made raspberry jam. I froze a lot of the blueberries for use in muffins and smoothies! We are very lucky to have quite a few wild blackberry bushes on the edge of our property. Each year we seem to get a little more off of them. One of Kiefer's favorite activities when we'd get home from work was to see if there were any ripe berries he could eat.

One summer day, Roel called me when Kiefer and I were driving home from work/daycare. He said he had a surprise for Kiefer. The whole way home Kiefer kept saying, "Prize!" I asked him what he thought his surprise was. He thought about it for a while and finally said, "Bulldozer." Nope. Not a bulldozer! He was thrilled when we got home to find a car and wagon Roel's colleague's children had outgrown. He would get in the car, shut the car door and say, "Push!

Our raised bed garden yielded a lot of tomatoes, despite the blight. Kiefer really liked to help pick the tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and beans. He would hop in the wagon and we'd pull him over to the garden. Then he would help load up the veggies into the wagon. Our little "baby bear" pumpkins did OK even though the plants eventually died due to an invasion of squash bugs. We picked 5 pumpkins when they were green and they all ripened very nicely. When we ripped out the plants, we found two little snakes. They resided in the garden the rest of the summer and occasionally surprised me while I was picking veggies! Even though it is winter now, I do think about what I'd like to do with the garden next year!

During the summer, Kiefer's favorite song was, "Twinkle twinkle little star." He would also say, "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring," which he definitely learned from daycare. He is very good at putting together puzzles. He would dump them out of the box and say, "Pieces!"

One day, Kiefer was reading a book we had just bought in the car on the way home. Roel commented, "I guess he doesn't get motion sickness." About 5 minutes later Kiefer was throwing up. After he did, he said, "Poop." I said, "No, Kiefer. You barfed." He then said, "Barf." When we got home, we found that he had a poopy diaper, too!" Parenthood is so glamorous!

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit at the end of August. Kiefer enjoyed riding the see-saw with Grandma and eating ice cream with Grandpa. When we were on our way to the Creamee for the ice cream, we passed by a cemetery, Kiefer pointed and said, "Lots of rocks!"

Some more summer/fall Kiefer-isms: When asked to say "please," Kiefer would say it followed by, "All right! All right, Mama!" He apparently learned this from a 3 year old at daycare.

I tease like to tease Kiefer about how tasty his toes look and how I'd like to eat them. He thinks it is funny. One morning, when he was watching a cartoon about rabbits, and he said, "Those bunnies look tasty! Mmmm!"

In September, we headed to the Netherlands for Tante Paula & Oom Frank's wedding. It was also the first time we got to meet cousin Nolan. Kiefer thoroughly enjoyed riding in the seat on the back of the bike. He fell asleep a couple of times when he went out for a ride with Opa!

Kiefer was the ring bearer at the wedding and we were worried that he wouldn't want to hand over the rings when it was time. So we arranged for Oom Frank to give Kiefer a marshmallow in exchange for the rings. We practiced beforehand and it looked like things were going to be OK. When it was time, Kiefer went right up, handed the rings over and didn't even wait for the marshmallows. It was funny!

The wedding took place at an estate in Rotterdam, which Kiefer thought was a castle. At one point, they opened up the turret and let the kids go to the top. Kiefer had to go, too. When he got to the top he waved and yelled to the wedding guests below, "I'm the king in the castle!"

Kiefer was really great on the plane, but about halfway through the flight over the Atlantic, he would say, "All done! Get out of plane!" I knew exactly how he felt!

When we got back from the Netherlands, Kiefer started to watch a show called "The Wonder Pets." He sings the theme song all the time!

In late September we went to the "Big E" fair in Springfield. Kiefer absolutely loved the cotton candy and the rides. He was a little too small for some of the rides even though he really wanted to go on them. We're sure he will have a blast next year when he's that much taller and able to go on most of the kid rides.

Kiefer loved loved loved Halloween! He really likes ghosts and spooky things, so he very much liked to hear ghost stories and see houses decorated for Halloween. We helped him prepare for trick-or-treating by having him knock on one of our doors after dinner time and say, "Trick-or-treat!" with his pumpkin bucket. Roel would give him a little piece of candy. He was so excited when the big day arrived. Dressed as a fireman, he wanted to keep going from house to house to house. It was so cute to hear him say, "Trick-or-treat!" and then "Thank you! Happy Halloween!" The following day Kiefer wanted to go trick-or-treating again.

A few weeks later we had to switch gears from Halloween to Sinterklass. We watched the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands using our laptop. Kiefer really did watch it and talked a lot about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. He would run to the window and ask where they were. He learned to sing "Sinterklaas kapoentje" and was thrilled to find a little gift in his shoe. Together with some other Dutch folks in Western Massachusetts, we celebrated Sinterklaas with a party.

It is very confusing for Kiefer to differentiate between Sinterklaas and Santa Claus. He will sometimes say, "Where is Santa Claus and Zwarte Piet?" We got "The Polar Express" on DVD for him and he loves it. He calls it, "Train Movie." I think we watched it about 6 times in 1 weekend. Kiefer helped me decorate the Christmas tree this year. He handed me the ornaments and I put them on the tree.

The big news is that Kiefer's going to be a big brother in early July 2010! We're very excited. I don't think he really understands that there is a baby in Mama's belly. I've had pretty bad morning sickness and when he hears me puking, he says, "Mama sick? See doctor?" When I showed him the first ultrasound photo of the baby at 9 weeks, I asked him what was in the photo and he said, "That's a rock!" A few weeks later with the 12 week ultrasound photo, he did say, "That's the baby in Mama's belly!"

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy new year!

April, Roel, Kiefer & baby