Alone time

Posted by Lotte on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Filed under:
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This weekend, I enjoyed a rare luxury: I was home alone. And by alone I mean really ALONE. My husband took our two kids on a yearly father-son weekend along with ten other dads and their kids. I love that they do this. It really benefits everyone: the fathers get to enjoy a weekend with their kids without us moms commenting on how we'd like to see certain things done (guilty as charged...), the kids get a fun-filled weekend with lots of friends to play with. The dads choose a different location for the weekend each year, but it's always a big country estate with lots of space for running around and a trampoline and such.

Here's dad with the little ones back in October

And for the moms...well, it's almost like a retreat at home haha. Seriously though, I had been thinking and planning on what to do with so much me-time all at once for weeks. Of course I had crammed my weekend so full that I didn't get around to doing everything (hey, what else is new?), but here's the rundown of my blissful weekend.
On Saturday, I called a shopping day. How awesome to spend the entire morning and afternoon in downtown Amsterdam without a single worry about grocery shopping, cooking etc. I shopped for a wedding that we'll be attending next Saturday, and got myself some new make up as well. At seven I met up with my (single and free-as-a-bird) friend for an excellent dinner followed by a movie and some drinks in a bar. The next morning I slept in till noon! I'll admit I felt a little like a teenager then, but hey, enjoy it while you can. Sunday afternoon was spent working on some of my projects I'd like to have finished in the coming weeks. And then my wonderful husband and kids returned home, exhausted but having had a great time together. And I had missed them :)
And now the week has begun again and everything is back to normal, with the small (but oh so important) exception that my battery is fully (re)charged. Thank you dads!

Travel Gadget

Posted by Lotte on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Filed under:
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It's the beginning of summer (well almost) and my mind wanders to travels near and far. In reality, we haven't made any travel plans yet; thinking of a spur of the moment getaway later this summer. I'm hoping we'll do a city trip, if for no other reason than having an excuse to buy one of these:

image from
I found them a few weeks ago when browsing around one of my favorite Amsterdam stores. They are crumpled city maps from, and they are meant to be crumpled up and thrown into your bag without the hassle of folding and re-folding. Isn't that awesome? They are available for such cool places as Sydney, Tokyo, London, New york and Amsterdam. Also they are super durable, lightweight and 100% water proof!
This is definitely on my wish list, because I'm famously terrible at re-folding paper maps... I just wish they made road maps of these as well. Would you like one of these or do you prefer the classic paper kind?

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Filed under:
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Wanderings of the mind

Change Ahead

Posted by Lotte on Monday, May 16, 2011. Filed under:
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Doesn't it seem that when you've just kinda settled in a certain way that change is bound to be right around the corner? Sometimes it's lurking, waiting to surprise you, other times it's change you've been expecting. Well, we are gearing up for some changes (of the expected type) around here in the coming months. Obviously our world was rocked by the arrival of our second little baby boy last June, and now that we're preparing to celebrate his first birthday, we've settled back into a nice rhythm. The change we are expecting now, is our older son Abe starting pre-school in September. Can I just say here that I am utterly amazed at how fast one grows from nursing baby to ready-for-pre-school. Really knocks-my-socks-off amazed.

Abe will turn four in July, thereby ending his days in daycare. Feels like yesterday when I first dropped him off there and left all teary-eyed; in reality, though, that was three-and-a-half years ago... I'm so curious to know how he'll do in pre-school. Will he be overwhelmed by going there every day instead of his two-day-a-week daycare? Will he like all the other kids? And his teachers? I'm also curious to know how his new schedule will affect our family rhythm. Daycare is super flexible compared to pre-school here when it comes to drop-off and pick-up times.
I will embrace the change (even though sometimes I wish I could stop time) because it it exciting, and it means we are moving forward and my little baby big boy Abe is growing. So bring it on change, we are ready for you!

Fabulous Friday Find

Posted by Lotte on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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We’ve got more cuteness today! This is the first time I’ve seen this brand - bobochoses- from design studio Otto&Olaf in Barcelona, Spain, and they had me at hello. Look at these fun summer items.

 in love with those socks!

They make a collection for kids ranging from 3 months old to 12 years. To top it off, they made a beautifully illustrated book, 'Bonjour Camille,' which looks like this:

All images from 
I like the way these people think! Gorgeousness all around :)
Have a great weekend!

ps. The title of this post is a little off (it's Saturday now) because this post should have been up yesterday (when Blogger was down). Sorry!

Gray Label

Posted by Lotte on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I just found this Amsterdam based label and I'm in love with their clothes and motto: "Organic apparel for the little minimalist." Too cute! Here's a couple items from their collection that I'm coveting.

Photos from Gray Label
That pink dress alone makes me want to have a daughter :) But seriously I love how simple and clean these clothes look. What do you think? Would you buy this for your kiddos?

Dirt and such

Posted by Lotte on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Filed under: ,
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My big guy (who had a "no pictures!" kind of day here) is a clean boy. Always has been. When he turned one, I remember being continually amazed at how all the other babies and toddlers looked so messy. Cute, but messy: snotty noses, morsels of food on their faces and in their little necks. And it wasn't like my baby was inside all day or just sat still; he loved (still does) playing outside. He just doesn't get very dirty doing so.
Baby no.1:"the norm" in cleanliness...
How he manages I don't know, but here I was thinking that's "the norm." Ha! I was in for a surprise...

Enter baby number two. From the very beginning he made clear that I had been sorely mistaken when it came to "the norm." This little man likes to get dirrrty.

Baby no.2: setting me straight
Really regardless of what he's doing. We can go through three or four changes of clothes, easy. Which, by the way, I stopped doing pretty quickly because I like my life outside of the laundry room. Now that spring is in full swing our little baby likes to crawl outside in the yard, which is lovely of course. We have a little lawn there that's perfect for him to play on...except he prefers the borders. Not sure my borders prefer him. On this day, though, I let him go at it. He totally loved it.

He ate all kinds of dirt, played with my (non-poisenous) plants, and just made a big old mess. Of course this required both a bath and a change of clothes, but that's alright. We had a fun morning.

Are you particular about your little kids' appearances, snotty noses, dirty hands, frumpled clothes? I'm learning to be more relaxed in that department, courtesy of baby no. 2!

My twenties

Posted by Lotte on Friday, May 6, 2011. Filed under:
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Last June I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. Well, I didn't actually celebrate because I had just returned home from hospital after giving birth to my son four days prior, but it was my thirtieth birthday all the same. And in a about a month from now, I'll turn thirty-one. For some reason I feel like that is when my thirties really begin. And I'm excited about it I don't mind really, I just feel slightly unprepared. So, I'm going to do two things to increase my preparedness, 1. take a look back at my twenties (for closure, if you will), and 2. make a list of thirty things I want to accomplish in my thirties. I'm about halfway done with that list, but let's start with the twenties, shall we?

Here's what I did in my twenties (in semi-random order):
- moved away from home
- took a three week Route 66 road trip
- had an awesome time at college
- learned to cook
- met my future husband

- spent a semester at UNC Chapel Hill
- traveled to Australia

- lost both my grandmothers
- moved to Amsterdam

- bought our first house
- got married

- learned to like coffee
- discovered blogging
- had a baby

- lost a baby mid-pregnancy
- had another baby four days before the big 30

And there are many, many more events both big and small that defined this decade in my life. And it was a really good decade if I do say so myself!
Compared to the me at twenty, the me at thirty is not only older and a little heavier (drat!), but also more grounded, self-assured, a little wiser, more realistic, patient, and more empathetic. Glad to know I learned a thing or two there! I'm curious to know how I'll look back at myself at thirty as I turn forty in about ten years. Oh, and more on the "thirty in my thirties"-list soon!

Design Mom in Amsterdam

Posted by Lotte on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Filed under: ,
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On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Gabrielle from Design Mom and her wonderful family in Amsterdam. They were on a spring break trip (they uprooted their family of eight and swapped Colorado, USA for Normandy, France for a year; how great is that?!) and I had offered to show them around town for the afternoon. We met outside the Van Gogh museum (six young kids and a trip to an art museum, I know what you’re thinking, but they make it work and man, those kids are a happy, well-behaved bunch!) and walked over to the Vondelpark for some strolling, playing, lounging, and lunching.

After showing them some Dutch stores (Hema!, Sissy Boy Homeland!) and a cupcake bakery for a taste from home, we parted ways. Our encounter left me eager to expand my family (patience my dear, patience!) and inspired to try some city tripping with my own little brood. My only regret? Forgetting to bring my camera!

note: photo courtesy of 

One year old in a flash...and memories

Posted by Lotte Filed under: , , ,
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This week has been filled with emotions from both ends of the spectrum for me.
Today marks the second anniversary of the birth and death of our second son, our little boy Ben, who was born when I was 23 weeks pregnant. In the weeks leading up to today I felt a little anxious about this day because I never know how I'll feel. But then today arrived and really it hasn't been bad at all. Aside from feeling incredibly sad for having lost him, on this day I mostly feel blessed for having had him in our lives for 23 whole weeks and in our hearts forever after. Our family is also so sweet and never forget to call us or send a post card, which we appreciate immensely.

The other thing that’s been on my mind lately is the impending birthday of this little fellow:

We’ll be celebrating his first birthday a month from now, and I can hardly believe it. Obviously I know time flies with young kids, but it quite literally feels like I had him only yesterday (well, maybe last week). Is it always like this when it’s not your first child? It’s a little scary to me and I’ve been having visions of them flying off to college tomorrow (well, maybe next week). And that’s when I happened upon a blog post from Ellebellecreative who threw her second daughter a birthday bash with the befitting theme “One Year Old in a Flash.” 

photo courtesy of Ellebellecreative
Doesn't that look super fun? The entire birthday centered on photographs and memories and it has me totally inspired. Think time capsule, photofetti, and lots of pictures of this little big man’s first year:

Love him!
So, two birthdays on my mind this week, one happy, but with a little melancholy thrown in, and the other a mixture of sadness and gratefulness. In the end, though, both are about love. 

Easter 2011

Posted by Lotte on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Okay, so I'm a bit late on this, but here's what our Easter looked like this year. We died eggs (the day before): 
Who left my camera in manual mode?? I took at least 10 shots before I found out...
That's more like it
I suspect I might have been more into this than Abe and his little friend were. They didn't like the waiting part much (I just kept gawking at those colors!), but that's a three-year old for ya.

On actual Easter Sunday, we hosted a simple brunch for our friends and their daughters. I always like having them over because they balance out our all-boy family nicely. 

I did some baking that morning. This is super easy to make!
After brunch, there was a full-on Easter egg hunt in our little backyard. It was actually the first time that Abe participated in an egg hunt, but both he and his friend had an awesome time and were proud to show off the results.

After finding all the eggs we hid for them (I counted...) they started painting them. As usual, our little girl guest had a little more patience for this than my rambunctious boy did. 

Abe was pretty content letting me do most of his painting for him.
So this egg hunting business is sure to become a new family tradition for us! I can't wait till next year when little Tijl is able to participate (poor baby slept through the entire thing!) as well. What are your family Easter traditions?

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