Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby & Beer

Saskia most definitely inherited her love of beer from my grandfather, Robert Woods, who drove a Genesee Beer truck and Roel's dad, who enjoys at least 1 beer a day. *Note: The bottles were empty.*

This last one is my favorite. She was MAD that I wouldn't let her have my Blue Moon.

Monday, August 29, 2011


We knew days in advance that hurricane Irene was headed straight for Western Massachusetts. We have lost power during lesser storms (once for 3+days), so we made sure we had flashlights, candles, ice, gas in the cars and charged appliances (e.g. cell phone, DVD player). By the time Irene hit us, she had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Western Massachusetts got A LOT of rain, but little wind. Thankfully, we never lost power. There was some pretty severe flooding in the area. Our street dead-ends into a park, which flooded entirely. If you wanted to go for a swing, you would have had to swim there... and then you'd be underwater! The park is right next to the Green River, which was raging. A tree took out the footbridge near the park. The larger bridge we take each day was closed as the waters were dangerously high. A nearby nursing home evacuated all of its residents. The highway between Deerfield and Greenfield closed (due fear that footings on bridges were compromised) and Routes 5&10, which we both drive every day, were closed because they were flooded in Greenfield and Deerfield.

By Monday morning, Routes 5&10 were open, though quite muddy in spots. The bridge we take every day was closed, so we had to take a bit of a detour. 91 Northbound is open, but Southbound is closed while they're waiting for dive teams to inspect the footings. All of that interstate traffic has been detoured to Routes 5&10, making it a huge mess. Needless to say, getting to work is not fun.

We were relatively unscathed by Irene and we're very grateful. Only 20 minutes north of us in Vermont, it is a different story. Massive flooding has caused so much damage... it is unbelievable.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blackberries, Beaches, Books & Ducks

Because our daycare provider was closed for the first two weeks of August, Roel and I each worked 1/2 days... one would be with the kids while the other was working. It is difficult to cram all the fun things one would want to do with the kids into the weekends, so I enjoyed being able to do some fun things. I took the kids blackberry picking a couple times at the park down the street from our house. The edges of the field are almost all blackberries. It was great fun. The kids ate them as fast as we could pick them. We enjoyed fresh blackberries on their own and as a topping on cheese cake.

We spent some time in our backyard in the little pool we have for them, but the kids had the the most fun at Laurel Lake. We went on a beautiful mid-August day and enjoyed the water and sand. Saskia, who is quite the adventurer, kept walking straight into the water. I spent a lot of time chasing after her. She also enjoys destroying any sandcastles I attempt to build.

We visited another lake in central Massachusetts with friends who live in the eastern part of the state. It was a half-way point for us and their two little girls enjoyed themselves as much as Kiefer and Saskia. We watched the ducks beg for food, played on the monkey bars and play structures, made (and destroyed) sandcastles, and picnicked on the beach.

Saskia loves to read. She is constantly getting her board books and giving them to us to read to her. Actually, "giving" isn't the correct word. Throwing or winging would be more accurate. Those board books do not feel nice when tossed at your face. Her favorite books are flap books. Currently, her favorites are: Where is Baby's Mommy?, Dear Zoo and Spot Goes to School. She also likes Baby Faces: Smile and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...

Saskia, who is now 14 months old, understands a lot. When we ask her to get something (such as a baby doll or ball), she does! She also goes straight to the bathroom when I say, "It's time for your bath!" or "Let's brush your teeth!" She also says some words:

Here you go (I say this a lot, apparently)
Thank you
Kiki (kitty, but also any other animal)

This past weekend we visited our Dutch friends who live in Hatfield... about 15 minutes from us. They have two girls (6 & 4) and they and Kiefer get along very well. We were surprised to find the older girl holding a baby duckling. It turns out they had quite a few baby ducklings that they were taking care of before they went to the Baby Barnyard at the Tri-County Fair in Northampton this weekend. They were so cute. Saskia kept saying, "Hi Kiki!" to them and Kiefer picked on up. 

Quite possibly my favorite Kieferism:

"Mama, you are the best! You know everything!" – August 27, 2011