Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Playdates (Oct and Nov)

Over the last few months I've tried to bring Reagan to as many playdates as possible so she realizes there's other people out there besides her mom! Luckily, she loves these gatherings, not only because she gets to see other babies, but she gets to play with new toys, as I think she's getting bored with the ones we have at home. I also enjoy chatting with all the mothers and bouncing ideas off of each other.

Most of the pictures below are from outings with people from our prenatal group; though, I've also gone to several BCT (Brussels Childbirth Trust Oranization) playdates which are held every Tuesday in my neighborhood. Every once in awhile I make it out to the main center, Imagine, for some of the baby music and action classes which Reagan loves.

Reagan had fun with the new toys at Jo's place. The mothers from our prenatal group and their babies gathered at Jo's for a nice lunch in October before maternity leave ended for some.

Oisin, Kate, Reagan and Luke at Jo's place My little cow...Thanks to one of my friends, Michelle Feit and fam for her adorable cow outfit!
Patrick and Reagan are really close in age...I think a week or less apart
Reagan and I visiting one of our friends, Maisie, who just had a baby boy, Isaac, in October
Reagan doesn't know quite what to think of little Isaac...maybe she's jealous that he has more hair than her already!
Reagan and Nilou having a stare down (Prenatal group friends, Nina and Antoine's baby girl)
Reagan must have thought something was funny while Nilou looks on
I think Nilou was trying to console Reagan since she was getting fussy
Kate, Reagan and Nilou had a fun time at a playdate at our apartment (prenatal group friends' babies)
Kate, Reagan and Nilou enjoyed playing with toys and attempted to interact with each other, anyway, as much as babies can!
Kate and Reagan...I think Reagan is a little concerned that Kate has her favorite toy!
Reagan and Nilou sharing a book; though both were more fascinated by eating the rings

Monday, November 16, 2009

Halloween Party at our friends' apt (Oct 31)

For Halloween we attended a party at one of our friends' apartments, Leah and Nathan's (Nathan works with Shannon at Deloitte). It was nice that they also included children though Reagan was the only one who came. Luckily, she was a little angel and slept over three quarters of the night in their spare bedroom in her cozy car seat. Thus, Mom and Dad were able to enjoy a few drinks and yummy treats over some adult conversation. A fun time was had by all and almost everyone dressed up for the occasion!

Shannon and his 'make shift' pumpkin costume with our little pumpkin, thanks to my friend, Charity, for the cute pumpkin onesie she sent Reagan. I helped Shannon sew on the pumpkin face to his orange shirt which he stuffed with pillows
The yummy and nicely decorated cupcakes Leah made. I loved the eye ball and RIP ones!
Leah and Nathan carved pumpkins which were on their terrace. Also pictured are some tasty apples with peanut butter. I love that combo!
Some cute 'deviled' eggs
The 'Obese Pumpkin' and the 'Domestic Diva' in her apron (simple, but at least we attempted to dress up!)
Not sure who Brittany was suppose to be, but Lou was Walter Cronkite
Brittany (?), Jani (devil), me (domestic diva) and Stephanie (Bridezilla)
Stephanie went as a 'Beer Goddess' while Rick was a 'Trappist Monk'...very fitting since they both love Belgium beer!
Jessie was Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and her boyfriend was one of the Milk Farmer 'protesters' in Belgium which is a big issue in Brussels currently (see my friend Reid's blog). He's actually Bavarian (German) so he already had some lederhosen on hand, but seemed like a good costume to all of us!
Mommy and her little pumpkin, once she decided to join the party
Our attempt at a family Halloween photo
Comparing the two pumpkins...I'm sure Reagan wouldn't mind trying it as well!
Another shot of Reagan and her 'Domestic Diva' mother (actually I can't take full credit for the apron since it was a going away present for Shannon from his Deloitte coworkers in Nebraska since he used to cook all the time, but now the roles have reversed and he barely is ever in the kitchen)
Some photos I took of Reagan the next day since she slept in her pumpkin onesie. I didn't want to wake her up since she was sound asleep after we got home from the party.
Here's a series of shots I snapped of her since she was full of smiles and cute expressions!

'Kasteel de Haar' in The Netherlands after another outing to the Polish Pottery Outlet! (Oct 30)

One Friday I convinced Shannon to take off work and head up to the Polish Pottery Outlet in The Netherlands. I've been itching to go back ever since I went there in April. They have such a great selection and I always have fun rummaging through the aisles. Reagan was very patient with my indecisiveness, but after 2 hours, I think I was wearing on both her and Shannon! Below you'll see pictures of our newly acquired pieces ranging from coffee mugs to entertaining dishes. I found a new pattern that I really liked this time around, so I hope they continue to carry it in the future as I'd like to add to my collection. I also bought my friend Stephanie some mini teapot shaped teabag dishes as a belated Birthday gift. I think I'm going to have to head back there and get some for myself now since I opted out after seeing what damage we had already done!

Once we were finished at the Outlet, we headed in the direction of Utrecht where one of Holland's nicest medieval castles is situated, 'Kasteel de Haar' (here is Frommer's review in English). It's only around 5 minutes Northwest of Utrecht and probably around 30 minutes from the Outlet. It was a lovely Fall day, so we toured the grounds, just missing the last tour of the castle by 30 minutes. The castle is currently being renovated, but it still seemed quite immaculate; though, we hope to see the finish state in the future. The grounds were beautiful with bridges, canals, flowerbeds, labyrinths, Autumn colored trees and more. It was all worth the small entrance fee. If you haven't noticed from early blogs, Shannon and I love castles and try to hit as many as just don't see these kinds of things in the States, let alone in our home state of Nebraska!

Entrance to 'Kasteel de Haar'
When the renovations are complete, it's going to be quite nice!
Reagan and I posing near the gardens in front of the castle

Structure in the middle of the gardens Little canals were everywhere
Reagan seems a bit annoyed with me here!
Part of the moat around the castle (some of it was filled up with dirt due to the construction)
Reagan loves to be lifted up and down
I believe this is a section of the back of the castle
A knight was situated on one of the castle's spirals
The church next to the castle with a brilliant yellow Autumn tree
Reagan and I strolling across one of several quant bridges. I loved the Fall colored trees surrounding the bridge.

Look at those massive trees! (this is just on the other side of the bridge)
Part of the castle and moat's walls
We were amazed with the beauty of the Autumn colored trees since we haven't seen many in Brussels.
Luckily there was another lady walking around the grounds taking pictures, so I snagged her to take a quick photo of us.
Shannon and Reagan on one of the drawbridges
Reagan and Daddy being silly
I believe this is the back of the castle
Another tree-lined waterway

Below are some of my Polish Pottery purchases. Since we didn't ship over any of our new coffee cups that we received for our wedding, we decided to buy a few along with saucers. We thought it would be fun to get an assortment of designs. We drink a lot more tea these days and I tend to have some ladies over every once in awhile, so it's nice to have some unique mugs.

Here are some of the other items: muffin tins, tart pan, square dip dish, and side dish bowl

Teapot shaped teabag holders which I gave my friend