This weekend, we went in search of something different. Our routine (i.e., "Ellie's routine") is fairly set, but sometimes we itch to break out of the mold a bit. Of course, any breaking out has to be within the realm of what would still interest Ellie, so on Saturday we made a trek to Delft. Delft is a lovely city, only a short train ride away from The Hague (and Ellie LOVES riding the train!). If we were staying here longer and wanted to buy a home, I would want to buy in Delft. It's small, full of charm, and seems to be full of relatively friendly (and kid-friendly) people. During our first week in Holland, we visited Delft and discovered a lovely lunchroom/tearoom that not only has good food and friendly staff, but also has toys, a high chair and a changing table (you have no idea what a windfall this is in this country!). Now, we visit that spot every time we trek to Delft, and Saturday was no different. The new twist we added was a visit to Serpo, a reptile zoo with a lovely, accessible website (www.serpo.nl), which we thought Ellie would enjoy. She's taken a fancy to the critters in the Riverhall at Blijdorp, so it seemed a safe bet. In effect, we were right: Ellie did enjoy it. She likes looking at snakes and reptiles, and she is very interested in their names and colors. What we didn't count on was the total creepy factor of what is in reality a VERY home-grown (mostly deadly) reptile shrine (think of a small zoo that could result when the redneck side of the Adams Family was told by local authorities it's not allowed to keep alligators at home). I took a picture, but it came out too well to capture the icky factor.
Markus and I both expected to see a snake or tarantula crawling out from under a cage at any moment. We lasted about 10 minutes, and that was enough. The hairs on my neck crawl just thinking about it. Ew.
All was well again after a lunch of hot soup and bread, and an afternoon playtime of blowing bubbles in the garden.
On Sunday, we made up for it with a trip to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. As usual, our munchkins were the only munchkins in the place, but we're always proud of how Ellie handles museums. And now we can say that at the tender age of 2.5 weeks, Stephanie has been formally introduced to Rembrandt and Vermeer. The weather is still quite cold (nasty wind and drizzle!), so here's how Stephanie leaves the house:
Sometimes we have to force ourselves to remember that she is not even three weeks old yet. She has been such an easy addition thus far that it seems that she's been with us for much longer. Like her big sister, she is very strong and alert. She likes to look around and see what there is to see, and she tries to keep her head up (with decent success) when being held, which (as a total snugglebug) she loves.
The snugglebug side of her also wants to be held close while sleeping. Jennifer couldn't be happier to oblige, particularly during naptime. Ellie loved sleeping on our chests too, and we have missed it. Markus took this picture Sunday afternoon and managed to capture four happy nappers in one frame.
Now it's a start of another week. This week is special because Mimi arrives on Thursday to meet her namesake. We are so excited! Ellie can't wait! Every time she hears someone at the door, she looks up expectantly and asks, "Mimi?" We know my mom is going to be tickled to pieces over Ellie's vocabulary and Stephanie's baby sweetness. It's a good thing we have lots of space in this house, because we're pretty sure Mimi will never want to leave once she sees these girls.