Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 19 - the trip home

This morning we woke up a half hour before our alarm. So while we packed Charlene got to watch a cartoon.

We got to the airport and before checking in Charlene got to play in a little area where they had this big jet engine.

Checking in was a NIGHTMARE! We got there 3 hours early that way we would have plenty of time to check in and also eat breakfast at the airport. We get there and there was a HUGE line. We waited, and waited and waited....and waited. We were going no where. 2 hours later, we were finally checked in, and we still had to get past customs! We then try to rush through customs and have a half hour before we were suppose to leave (impossible right?) By the time we got through costumes, we had no time for breakfast and we had to RUN to the gate. On international flights they have security at the gates, so luckily with having kids, we got bumped to the front of the line. We made it onto the airplane. We were the 2nd to last people on the plane! We were dying and HUNGRY! Luckily in the diaper bag we always carry granola bars, so we got to eat those for breakfast.

9 hours later we arrive in the Detroit Airport. We get through customs and while we are waiting for our bags Joshua noticed that my ancestor was on a mural there. So we took a picture. Charles F. Kettering is my Grandpa's cousin. He was a huge inventor. I knew he was famous for inventing the Electric Starters, but when we got home Joshua did some research and found that he invented A LOT more than just that. Here is the Wiki link to Charles F. Kettering If you watch OPB in Oregon, He had started the Charles Kettering foundation for Cancer. So you hear it often on OPB. I remember that from growing up. :) and had remembered his Wife died of Cancer and that is how come he started it.

After we got our bags, we then had to go through more security and customs and then re-check our bags for the next flight home. On our way to the next gate, we passed a stuffed animal shop. I had just glanced over and was like "hold up...I think I saw a Scottie in there" So we go to check it out, and sure enough there was one waiting there for Charlene! Since she was good, she got it. Plus we figured, with another 4 hour flight and just getting off a 9 hour one....she is doomed to get bored on this flight and this would keep her entertained. She loved it!

While waiting for our flight, Charlene kept sneaking off and playing in the carry on size check. LOL

We finally got home and we had my parents and Aunt and Uncle waiting for us. They were on a month in a half long road trip when their travel trailer broke and needed some repairs and it just happened to be in Arizona. So they parked it and stayed with us for 4 days.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 18 - Amsterday, our last full day

Today we decided to do Charlene's thing, which was the park. So we headed to Amsterdam to find Voldelpark. It was 2.5 miles one way just to get into the park, then of course we had to find the play area, which I would say was another half mile. Of course, you need to count the detour of not asking for directions, so a total of 3 miles each way. Luckily, there were some nice buildings along the way and a lot of canals we had to cross

We finally get there after getting lost a couple times.

Charlene had fun playing and running WILD (as usual) and there were 2 boys from the UK chasing her trying to scare her.

Theodore and I on the other hand, found a nice shady bench to sit on and relax. :)

After the park, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Hard rock cafe. Theodore fell a sleep on the way there.

um....Charlene had fun looking at the alcohol drinks telling us the colors of them. LOL

Theodore...of course with his tongue out, like always. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 17 - Windmills Galorie

This morning we woke up, and it was Adrianna's #1 pick thing to see. A trip to Kinderdijk to see the windmills. It took a trip in in self. We had to take our hotel shuttle, to the airport, a train to another train, then a bus. 1 1/2 hrs later we were there! Windy, but warm.

Our original idea of biking around them was quickly shot down by Charlene, after hearing her bloody murder scream from being scared. Due to the high winds, Joshua was all over the place which scared her. (after riding behind him, I wasn't surprised why she was scared, it was scaring me for her) So we turned around, returned the bikes and decided to walk.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 16 - Checking out, checking in and a couple train rides to see the temple

This morning we checked out of our nice apartment. We hopped our train which normally takes 1 1/2 hrs to the airport, but because of a detour, it took 2 1/2 hours! It was a long day to start out.
Golden girls at the train station???

We then FINALLY get to the airport, which then we have to take a shuttle to our hotel. We get to our hotel to check in...and because of all the confusion with maybe coming, maybe not coming, dates moving and so forth, I booked our hotel not for tonight but for the next 3 nights starting tomorrow!!! :( So we arranged some things, and wa-la, we now have a place to stay tonight. :) an nice executive suit in our nice 4 star hotel. :) goodness...can you imagine if they didn't have a room available tonight? We were already exhausted from the long train ride!

We got everything all settled into our nice hotel room, unpacked a little, then headed out to catch the shuttle back to the airport to take a train, and 2 buses to see the temple. This was Joshua #1 request to see while here. So it was a MUST. It got very stormy out on the ride there and about 5 minutes before we got there, it started to rain. Charlene was so exhausted she fell a sleep.

We get into Leiden to catch our first bus, and it was beautiful. So we stopped to take a short walk and to get some pictures.
We found this windmill in the middle of the city

We then passed a bunch of traditional houses that usually are along canals.

Do you think those wind turbines make the windmill look small? Poor Windmill, probably feels over powered by those tall guys. LOL

We finally made it to our first international temple. It was all the way in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Took us an hour to get here, but we made it! Joshua's number one thing...check.

Theodore fell a sleep on the train ride home.

We get back to our hotel, and by the ice machine was this vending machine. See here in The Nethlerlands they have this treat called "stroopwaffels" oh, they are delicious! We are addicted to them. Well in the vending machine there was some. and Charlene's reaction was HILARIOUS!!! Look at the first photo ("why do you have to be in there") she says. "Charlene, what do you see?" "Waffel, RIGHT THERE!" lol Poor little Charlene was being teased by the machine that wouldn't give her the stroop waffel. LOL

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 15 - packing, shopping and good foods.

Our little Theodore the past couple days woke up twice in a panic because his Mama wasn't cuddling next to him. So what has he been doing the past 2 days? As falling a sleep for nap time, he death grips my fingers and my shirt, and has his eyes are fading he starts to make this noise "uh, uh, uh, ("I am still awake Mama, don't leave me") uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, ("I am awake, I swear") uh, uh, uh...snooze. (this goes on for 10 minutes) Step 1 down. Now to pry his death grip hands off me. Slowly, slowly...5 minutes later, step 2 down. Now what he does next makes me laugh. Now he has "radar" feet. As I slowly get up...I see his little foot moving around trying to find my body....then as I slowly get up...it goes to a point....RIGHT where I am standing. yeah....all 4 naps....all 4 times, 2 days in a row! So now he has radar feet! LOL Man, I thought putting him down for naps before was bad, now it takes 45 minutes to escape him even in his sleep! and it is all about timing, if I do anything too soon, I have to start all the way over because he wakes up. Goodness...what a difficult sleeper he is! Before it would take me 20 to 30 minutes to put him down. but 45? come on little boy...this Mama needs it easy.

After Theodore's second nap, we head out to get our dutch chocolates and Joshua's gift. It is cold and windy once again. Charlene, LOVES to be outside, so she doesn't mind and runs wild as always. We get our treats and head home.

When we come up to our apartment, we have to take an Elevator. Charlene demands that she press the button. So since we have been here 2 weeks, she knows to press 5. So we get on the elevator, and I go to the back where there is a mirror for Theodore to look at himself. I hear Charlene "where did 5 go, where did 5 go" my response "press 5 Charlene" The doors open, I start to get out, then realizing we are on the wrong floor. I look to see what she pressed....ummm....yeah, you know that scene from Elf where Elf presses all 99 floors? yeah...lets just say Charlene hit all the floors also. LOL I was laughing pretty good because I heard her say "where did 5 go, where did 5 go" and in confusion, her pressing all of the buttons. LOL I told Joshua this once he got home, and he laughed also. Our kid cracks us up! :)

We then pack for the next move to Amsterdam the next 4 days. Clothing washed, check, luggage packed, check, activities planned, check, train tickets purchased, check...and excited family....ready to go! :) The nice part about traveling with children is, the bag that carried the formula, and diapers is close to being empty for making room for souvenirs! :) NICE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 14 - a windy day

Today we woke up to a stormy day. It was extremely windy and stormy one minute, then sunny the next. It was nearly impossible to try to plan our day since we didn't want to get rained on. So we decided to only go to the grocery store. Which we paid in change. LOL. Over here, they have 1 & 2 and .50 cent Euro coins. So since we aren't used to having change, we have been throwing it all into a bowl by the kitchen. Well we didn't want to carry the heavy change back with us or to our next hotel, we decided the next couple days we should try to use it up instead of using the bills. So I looked a little weird while checking out and paying 12 euros in change. :) but it helped get rid of a lot, even though we still have a lot left, I plan on paying for tomorrows lunch with change also. LOL :)

We got back and as I loaded the groceries into the fridge, I had Theodore doing back time. I came back to him making out with his toy. He LOVES that new toy. It makes crunchy noises, is colorful and soft. Perfect for him.

For dinner we were going to go with Joshua's co-worker to an India restaurant, but then when we called him to go, he had to study for his test tomorrow. So we decided to go to a little burger joint. It wasn't too tasty. Theodore was a big hit again though. But wouldn't you be if you had a little air plane hat on too?

We got home and was relaxing when I look over and Theodore was sucking his toe! WHAT??? yeah...reminded me of this one Japanese student we had growing up that we would catch sucking on her toe every night. GROSS!!!!

Tomorrow's adventure...if it isn't stormy is to pick up some dutch chocolates to take home to some friends and to pick up Joshua's souvenir (a pofferjes pan).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 13 - Shopping at the mall

We started off today with a walk to the local market to get some homemade pizza for dinner tonight and to get some other things at the pharmacy. I didn't realize what time we left, so when we got there at 10:30, the only place that was open was the mall (most places don't open until 11am). So we walked around the mall and all the stores in the mall were open. We found a really nice toy store, so I decided well just 1 toy a piece and it has to be something we can take back that fits in the suit case. So Charlene got a little bead set to make necklaces (one of her favorite things to do) and Theodore got a little toy to attack. :) As we were checking out I noticed their visa machine looked a little different than most of the places we have been. "do you take American visa" I ask. "lets see" sure enough, it worked!!! YES! POINTS!

We then went to hang out at the water fountain to take a break. While Charlene was playing with the water I noticed a cute little sun hat in a store that would be the perfect sunhat for Charlene. So we go in and as we are checking out, the same machine. YES! MORE POINTS! Hurray, we now have a total of 4 places that we know of that take the American visas.

After getting out of the mall Charlene started to scream "scottie dog" I look, and sure enough there was a man that had a little scottie dog. So we go ask to see if we could pet her. The man didn't speak much English, but he noticed Charlene's scottie dog shirt. This little puppy girl is only 2 years old. She was the most well behaved scottie dog I have ever seen. Very relaxed, mellow and I noticed while she was being walked she wasn't dragging her owner. :) She was sure cute. :)

Once Joshua got home we decided to go explore to find a new park. Charlene was so excited she decided to take off running. This is how the typical Charlene run goes.

She runs, stops to look behind, then if she is exhausted, puts her head down "Mommy carry me"

We then passed yet another cool church by our place. We are blessed to have so many pretty churches surrounding our apartment.

We finally got to our park, and the park had a bunch of pretty trees and a lot of art work.

Joshua in the distance found a play ground. So we headed over that way. Charlene only went down the slide once. She is our little tom boy. She prefers to play with dirt, rocks, sticks and loves to make messes.

In the park we found this building. Joshua thinks its like a observation area.

We then saw another area in the park that had a open area with a bunch of ducks. As we got closer it had one of Charlene's favorite play structure toys. A duck started to come closer to her once she got in, so she kept calling for it. It didn't make it all the way to her, but she liked how it was responding to her calling it.

Even mothers can have a little fun. Charlene loves it when one of us plays with her. So I decided to go and try to make her laugh. Instead, when ever I act goofy, she goes "silly mommy" as if I was embarrassing her. :) That is what mothers are for right? LOL :)

She then got off and decided to chase the ducks.

On the way back we passed this art structure. it was really cool and pretty at the same time.

On the way back little Charlene got tired. Since Joshua decided we shouldn't bring the double stroller, NOR the Charlene backpack carrier, He has been carrying her a lot (bet that is the last time he suggests that, ha ha) So since Theodore was a little grumpy, we decided to put her in Theodore's stroller. Joshua the whole time when ever she would sit up "lay down" He tells me "this is kind of embarrassing, since she is the big child" LOL Yeah..she sat up a lot. LOL

When we got home, while I put Theodore to bed, Joshua turned on some music. Charlene was jamming out next to him. She LOVES to dance.