Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Tis the season... to be busy!

After a nice, quiet Thanksgiving, we've had a busy couple of weeks. In the span of just a few days, Kiefer had 2 birthday parties and we celebrated Sinterklaas twice. The birthday parties were for two of his classmates at Little Red. One was an alphabet themed party and the other a train party. He had great fun at both. On the way back from Hazel's alphabet party, I stopped by the local toy store, which was having a big sale--20% off everything. It was quite busy and as I was checking out (trying to hide a present that I was buying for Kiefer and not

have him notice) we realized that one of his teachers was in line right front of us. She managed to distract him while I checked out and when we all walked outside together, we saw her husband. Kiefer couldn't believe she was married. She also couldn't believe that she didn't live at the school. So funny!

After that party, we headed home to celebrate Sinterklaas with Marie-Jose & the girls. Kiefer, Suzanne and Annabelle had a fantastic time running around and playing. They were having so much, they didn't even notice that Zwarte Piet had knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. When we told them we thought we heard something, they came flying down the stairs and opened the door to find strooigoed and de zak van Sinterklaas. Sint and Piet had left some nice little bags of candies and cookies for each kid.

The following day, another birthday party. This time it was for Malcolm--also from his class. It was a small party with only Malcolm's two cousins, Kiefer and another classmate, Devin. Malcolm, Kiefer and Devin are a quite the combination. The 3 musketeers...they just laugh and giggle when they're together.

After that party, we celebrated Sinterklaas. It was actually December 4, but it was much easier to celebrate on a Sunday. Monday evenings Kiefer has swimming lessons, so that would have left little time for celebrating. Saskia loved ripping into the wrapping paper. Kiefer did, too. He would have ripped into Saskia's packages if we didn't stop him in time! Kiefer learned a lot of Sinterklaas songs this year... so did I! We listened to a Sinterklaas CD every day in the car on the way to work/school. One evening, Roel played "Sinterklaas" by Het Goede Doel. Kiefer loves the part that goes, "Pepernoten, pepernoten, pepernoten, pepernoten!" He can actually sing parts of that song, too!

The following weekend, I hosted my annual cookie exchange. Almost everyone I invited attended. I spent a lot of time on Saturday preparing for the party and making cookies, of course! On Sunday, we had yet another birthday party to attend in the morning! This one was for Emmett, our friends Karen and Bill's son, who turned 3. Kiefer ran around and had a grand old time with Emmett and his big brother. I think all the partying had caught up to him because he actually asked to take a nap when we got home! He didn't nap, but he did rest before he, Saskia and Roel headed to Erik and Marie-Jose's so the cookie exchange party could be kid-free. Lots of yummy cookies were exchanged!

It's has been more quiet this weekend. We only had a playdate with August and Sam while I dropped of a meal for them because they are both big brothers to a baby sister--Helen. It was funny to see Saskia running around with August and Kiefer, both 4.5 and Sam 2.5. There she was at almost 18 months keeping up with the big boys. She was fascinated by baby Helen although not when I was holding her. Saskia pulled at my pants as if to say, "Hey! That's my Mama!" But when Helen was awake and moving her little arms, Saskia couldn't take her eyes of her. She would point and say, "Baby!"

Saskia has quite the personality. She's very busy... always climbing onto furniture and going up and down the stairs. She likes to run around checking everything out. If she gets into something she shouldn't and we say, "No" to her, she quickly pouts her lips and cries. Well, she's not really crying... just acting. She can turn it on and off in no time! She has taken to calling Kiefer "Bro." Kiefer taught her how to say, "Bum bum" meaning butt. She loves to read books and has just started "reading" to herself. It is so cute! Her favorite book is a book called "Baby's Colors." She can even say some of the colors like blue, pink and brown.

Saskia's favorite thing to play with is Duplo. Whereas Kiefer just liked dumping them on the floor (probably because they made a great sound) when he was her age, Saskia will sit and carefully build towers. A close second to the Duplo is coloring. Whenever Kiefer is working on a craft project or practicing writing his letters, Saskia will climb up onto a chair and demand a crayon and paper, too. It makes her look like such a big girl to see her coloring.

She really dislikes socks and shoes. What's funny is that she likes the challenge of trying to put them on herself, but when she has them on, she has to take them right off. Saskia has been waking up a little too early in the morning for our liking these days. Almost daily, she wakes up at 6:00 a.m. and calls out, "Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!" On the days she sleeps later, the cat is usually sitting in the hallway meowing for food. Oh, well.