Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The state of our apartment makes it so much more real - we're leaving. Officially. For real.
It's bittersweet. I'm both a little heartbroken and a little excited for what's to come... The heartbreak will be tamed by a final trip to Paris this weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday (a couple weeks early, but very necessary as a final au revoir)... And the excitement, I think, will really take root once we know what we're doing with our lives.
For now, we're heading to Toronto to visit and to spend some time with Didz's family (Ina can't wait to meet her grandparents and her aunt and uncle). We plan on catching up with old friends, trying out some new restaurants, and revisiting some old favorites (the baby-friendly ones, at least). There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to -- not eating a burger with a fork and knife! going to a hair salon and being understood! baby Gap! -- and, honestly, there's a lot that will take some getting used to again -- driving! traffic! hearing obnoxious songs on the radio over and over and over again! (we had to google "Harlem Shake" today after seeing so many random fb posts about it, curiosity won us over - I'm convinced I was better off not knowing)... and so much more. It'll be a great visit, and we'll take our time easing out of our dream-life bubble before making our next move.
Our next move, however, is still up in the air... We look forward to discovering what lies ahead and continuing our adventure.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Our friend Pieter is a very talented photographer. A few weeks ago he invited us over to his place for a little family photo shoot. He managed to capture some great shots of the three of us in about 15 minutes before Ina had a complete meltdown and we had to run home to put her down for a nap. It was short and sweet - but here are a just a few of my favorites:
Ina spent most of the time with her fist in her mouth and drooling down the front of her shirt. But she gave Pieter a few sweet smiles - they have a pretty strong bond, those two (I think it's because they were both born in Belgium, so they understand each other:). Pieter was also the first person to come see us at the hospital when Ina was born - so it was extra special to have him take our family pictures. They're the perfect keepsake to bring home with us... Thank you, Pieter!
Monday, February 11, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Sixteen weeks have flown by, and you're getting cuter every day. You're the cutest you've ever been, if I'm allowed to say that. Of course, you were adorable as a newborn, so tiny and sleepy and precious... but now you're smiling and coo-ing and wiggling and rolling and doing so much more.
You started giggling the other day... and oh man, it almost made me cry. I was holding you up and kissing your fat belly and suddenly you erupted with laughter! At first I thought I had upset you and scared you with my smooches and you were crying out, but I looked up and you had the biggest smile on your face and you were laughing! Since then it's become our little game - I give you kisses on your belly and your chubby little cheeks and on your fists (which are constantly soaked in drool), and you just laugh and laugh and laugh. It's the best.
Yesterday we went out to lunch to our favorite little cafe and got a table right by the big picture window. You sat on my lap quietly just watching the world pass by outside - letting me and your daddy have a nice meal and a chat. You were so interested in all the people passing by on the tiny cobblestone street - the old couple walking arm in arm, the young woman pushing her baby in a stroller, the old man and his dog. Sometimes I really wish you could remember these little moments of your life in Belgium. But don't worry bug, I'll remember them and I promise to tell you stories and show you pictures and remind you of this wonderful little dream life we got to live during our first months as a family of three.
For now though, you just keep doing what you're doing... and we'll keep soaking in these precious memories.
We love you more and more every day.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Last week, our friends Dainius and Christine came to Leuven. These two lovebirds got married just a few months ago and are embarking on a two+ year European honeymoon (sound familiar?) and came to see us for a few days. And, as if their company and conversation weren't enough, they cooked for us. There is truly nothing better than two tired new parents having the luxury of sitting on the sofa, drinking beer, listening to music and hanging out having normal adult conversation, while two fabulous chefs prepare a meal of Ukrainian borscht and Lithuanian cepelinai.
We got to hear about their wedding (which we sadly had to miss because I was hugely pregnant and unable to fly) and got caught up on their plans for their new life abroad. And though I'm very sad our European adventure is ending, I'm thrilled for them and their upcoming experiences, challenges, travels and triumphs. We were happy to give them some insight and advice on life abroad and parenthood (because we're such pros now), and we look forward to visiting them in Lithuania next year - maybe by then they'll be tired new parents and will need a night off from cooking, too:)