Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thank you, Bobbie.

The most beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived yesterday... along with a bunch of beer. Bobbie, dearest, you know just what we needed. Flowers for mama, beers for papa. You're the best.

We miss you so.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Bits

grey skies, fresh freesias

"Remember what our Saturday nights used to be like?" Didz asked me at 3am while changing Ina's diaper... this was followed quickly by, "How can so much poo come out of such a tiny little creature??"

We're learning. We're adjusting. We're trying to laugh... a lot. I mean, if we can't have a sense of humor about explosive baby poop, we're pretty much hopeless, right?

This weekend the weather turned really chilly - colder than it's been thus far, and though we ventured out for a few walks around town, it was perfect for warm soup, and curling up on the couch, watching movies... and changing diapers.

carrot ginger soup
ina waving hello
ready for an afternoon stroll
family portrait
post market lunchtime spread

Thank you for all your messages and emails and comments welcoming our little Didzette into the world... Have a wonderful week! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

She's here.

She's here. And she's awesome. 

Ina Aurelija is eight days old today. These past eight days have been like nothing I've ever experienced before - the physical strain on my body, the emotional avalanche of hormones and sleeplessness, the heart-bursting love and unimaginable tenderness and joy that I've felt - it's all a little too much to put into words... (especially since my brain is having a hell of a time stringing together the most basic sentences).

To put it simply, I've fallen more deeply in love with Didz than I ever thought possible, and this little girl has completed my life. Didz taken such good care of us, and every time he holds our little goose my heart melts a little more... And Ina is just the absolute greatest thing on earth. It's only been a week, but already I can't imagine my life without her... and already I'm terrified of her growing up. I'm afraid I'll blink and these 8 days will be years, and then just as suddenly she'll be eighteen and moving out to take on the world by herself. I can't bear it. So for now, we're spending hours and hours snuggling, and breathing in her intoxicating new baby smell, and going on walks through town to enjoy the crisp fall air and curling up on the couch and falling madly in love with our little girl...

We'll continue to share our stories... but for now Mama needs a nap.

(for our non-lithuanian friends: Ina is pronounced "in-a"... not "ee-na" or "eye-na")

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Little Welcome Basket

With my dear Mama arriving next week to meet her granddaughter and help us out for a little while, I thought I'd prepare a little "Welcome to Leuven" basket to leave at her apartment rental when she arrives. We got unbelievably lucky and were able to rent the place right downstairs from us - so we're going to be neighbors! It really couldn't have worked out better. She'll be steps away when we need her (especially at meal times - nothing beats Mama's home cooking!), but we'll all have our own space so we won't be crowded and feel like we're on top of each other all the time.

Her welcome basket includes:

* some basic toiletries, soaps, and shampoo (so there'd be more room in her suitcase for baby gifts, obviously)
* a Belgian SIM card for her phone (so I could call her in a panic when the baby doesn't stop crying and I don't know what to do)
* a BAGGU shopping bag for all her trips to the market
* a bottle of wine (duh)
* a few different varieties of Belgian chocolate (that I'm hoping she'll share with me)
*a map of Leuven titled "Where's Mama?" on which I marked the location of the butcher, the cheese shop, the wine shop, grocery store and a couple of my favorite bakeries and cafes
*and a couple other little things to make her feel welcome

And since I've been doing anything I can to distract me from contractions and the fact that this baby is coming very soon, I decorated a fringe-fabulous box with crepe paper to tuck all her treats in (don't even ask how long that took).

Can't wait for her to get here... and share that chocolate and wine with me :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Crepes

I grew up with a crepe-making Mama. They were not a daily breakfast - usually reserved for the morning of a big exam or the morning after a sleepover to impress my friends (I'm fairly convinced the only reason Annie became my friend in high school was so she could eat Mama's crepes every weekend). They're my ultimate comfort food and when she comes to town next week she'll be crepe-ing up a storm around here... She even asked if she should pack her crepe pan :)

Luckily, when Mama's on the other side of the world, I have this guy:

He's pretty good, too.

Some favorite crepe fillings include:

* chopped apples cooked down with cinnamon + sugar
* caramelized bananas
* mixed berry compote with a squeeze of lemon + a dusting of powdered sugar
* chicken, herbed goat cheese, spinach + zucchini (great way to use up a leftover roast chicken)

We tend to use whatever we have around... usually something fruity (though Didz would happily go to town with a plain crepe and a jar of Nutella), or if we sleep in and wake up around lunchtime a savory crepe with chicken or mushrooms does the trick (though starting in a few days sleeping in will be a thing of the past).

Have a wonderful week... and don't be surprised if things go silent around here, we're kinda expecting someone :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Bits

Whew! What a weekend. It felt like Didz's birthday celebrations just went on and on and on for days (and nights) on end. A few of our friends who moved away after graduation came back for the weekend from London, Cologne and Vancouver, so we were thrilled to see them and catch up over meals and drinks and laughs. I stayed up waaay past my bedtime every night, enjoying their company and hanging out with the birthday boy... Needless to say I am completely exhausted and am looking forward to a quiet week.

a very enthusiastic birthday cake!
caramelized banana crepes.
the boys are back in town.
a very delicious fall soup

I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with friends, food and fun, too... and Happy Canadian (cough*fake*cough) Thanksgiving to our friends and family back in Toronto!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Didz!

Still as cute as ever... 

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y !  

I love you. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend Bits

nesting. redecorating. sunflowers from didz. 

It's been a little while since I've shared bits of our weekend on the ol' Flamingoblog... partly because we haven't been doing much of anything noteworthy, but mostly because I'm being selfish. I'm keeping these moments to myself - enjoying every bit of "me" time that I can without the noise of a guilty conscience nagging me to respond to those unanswered emails or updating the blog. I'm savouring every minute alone with Didz, while it's just the two of us, knowing that our life is about to be flipped upside down with the arrival of Didzette. I'm appreciating the stillness of the apartment first thing in the morning and quiet walks through the park taking note of the rapidly changing color palette, while bundling my scarf just a little tighter with each whisper of a cool breeze through the trees.

i spy a sleeping kitten.
not too chilly for gelato.
afternoon stroll through the art museum.
individual banana bread stars. 

Happy October, dear friends... enjoy the crisp autumn air and the sweet cinnamony smell of banana bread baking!