This Month in… Lieve (10 Weeks Old), Kahlilah and the parents trying to keep up with them
Things here with the family are busy but good. Over the past month Lieve soared past 8 pounds—an important milestone for us since that’s when we could put her in the Baby Bjorn and I could get back the use of both my hands! In fact, I’m pretty confident she’s now over 9 pounds. I would have an exact number for you but we’ve been so busy that I totally spaced her second check-up. She’s really rounding out with lovely little fat rolls on her legs and wrists. She’s most definitely outgrown her preemie and many of her newborn clothes and is getting close to being able to wear some of her 3-month-old outfits. She’s also a lot taller, as we can tell by her almost outgrowing her bassinet. When we first got her home from the hospital, she probably was about 2/3 as tall as the bassinet. Now her head and toes are almost touching the ends! It’s good, then, that we’re moving soon and we’ll be able to set up a proper crib for her. Her growth is a huge relief to me of course since, as her sole source of sustenance, I fretted and worried that I was doing everything right. There’s a lot of pressure (and guilt) being in that position, but it’s eased now.
Lieve continues to be quite an easy baby. She sleeps well (typically waking twice a night to nurse and one final time when she likes to be cuddled by her Papa) and cries relatively rarely and briefly. She loves being in the Baby Bjorn, where she has stayed sleeping for up to three hours (very helpful to me given how much organizing and cleaning I’ve had to do lately—see last paragraph). And, most exciting, Lieve has reached her first developmental “leap”—characterized by better eye sight (she definitely looks at us now), socialization (she smiles when she sees us and when she sees her baby books) and even vocalization (she’s started to coo a bit). In particular, she loves looking at and listening to Kahlilah. While I’m sure they will have their moments growing up, so far they are just plain sweet together. I also wish we would have thought to video tape when we first showed Lieve a book since her reaction was strong and immediate! She broke out in a big smile and kept smiling all the way through it and a second book.
Speaking of Kahlilah…I better give an update on her too. While I hear from her teachers that she’s excelling at school (helping the teachers, helping fellow students, taking on more responsibility, really advancing in her Dutch), she is challenging her parents a lot lately. It’s not really a surprise: she’s dealing for the first time with knowing and understanding what it is to move and leave behind friends, home, school and routines. Although she is very excited that she will live near her Titi (Albert’s mom) and that we will see a lot of other family much more often while we live in the US, it’s still hard to say goodbye. So, we’re doing our best to help her deal with it and grit our teeth through the tantrums. Some days I do better at that than others.
But, it won’t be much longer…we are leaving in just under two weeks. Luckily, two of the biggest stressors are done: we finished both the packout and the housing inspection (to make sure we didn’t trash the place). For me, now, that means I can just relax and enjoy the rest of our time. Unfortunately for Albert, though, he still has a bunch of work-related tasks that are keeping him busy. But, to keep things balanced and fun, we spent last weekend seeing some Amsterdam sights that we still had on our list (Rembrandt’s house, Amsterdam Museum, row house museum, and the city archives where they have several pieces from Ann Frank’s family); restaurants, patisseries and bars that we still wanted to try; and a park and locally-sourced organic market that we hadn’t checked out yet. And, for our final two weekends here, we head to Munich to check out the city, biergartens, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Dachau; and Brussels for Albert to enjoy the Brussels Beer festival and for all of us to enjoy our final Belgian frites, croquettes, chocolate and waffles. Given all that, this may be my last post from Amsterdam…if so, all I can say is that I know that these past two years have been some of the best of my life and I am incredibly thankful for the chance we were given to raise our family while we explored this incredible country and continent.