Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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First time seeing Sinterklaas

The boys were both quite impressed. Sasha was holding Leo, and I was holding Adrian and Nora when he arrived in the main hall. Adrian was staring with wide open eyes. Later, in the smaller room, he was pointing several times and yelling: "kaas! kaas!" (He can't say "klaas" yet).

Nora was quite shy. When we left the car there were a few Piets and she wasn't too ready to engage with them. Later that changed and she happily accepted pepernoten. The boys only needed a few minutes to figure out that the Piets were giving away good stuff, and the Piets liked to give them candy so after about 8 handfuls we decided to slow that down.

Nora's gift remained unopened until we got home. Instead she opened her chocolate letter right away -- she was probably hungry because we skipped lunch. Leo received a Playmobil 123 helicopter, Adrian a garbage truck ("bah!"). The boys also liked to boxes with the chocolate letters. Shanthi helped them unpack their gifts.

This years there were fewer parents that we know; there haven't been many playdates recently. Overall attendance seemed a little lower than last year.

Traveling to the Embassy is always a little challenging -- Leo threw up in the car, like last time, and it was right in the middle of nap time. But we had an absolute blast.


Enjoying Sinterklaas

We slept in this morning so we weren't downstairs until 7.45 am. Nora said: "hoe kan dat nou?" when her shoe was gone. The presents were on the living room table. A coloring book with stickers for Nora, and mandarins for the Leo and Adrian. The boys loved it: they got to unwrap a present and eat a mandarin, too. ("pompoen! aar'bei!" -- they learned "ijn" today).

When the boys were sleeping we made a paper boat.

In the car on our way back from the Bulgarian store we had Sinterklaas music on and Adrian recognized the words. "piet! klaas!"


Thanksgiving 2016

On Wednesday night the Zane family arrived, late at night. Ilana finished her last homework at 1.00 am. We saw each other in the morning -- the boys were up at 7.00 am -- and it was great to see everybody.

I finished the last cranberry sauce and decorated a cake in the morning, and after the turkey went in the oven Sasha and I took the kids to Hayes park. Julian took Leo by the hand and held him really well.

Judy joined us at 12.30 pm and the turkey was done shortly afterwards. We had lunch around 2.00 pm and it was a lot of fun. My cooking experiments worked out -- the green bean casserole was a big hit. The full menu is visible on the last photo below. For dessert we had Irena's brownie, a Dutch slagroomtaart and two other pies.

After dinner we walked to the Quincy playground and on the way back Leo reached out for Julian's hand, who happily took it.



Nora has vacation and I took a day off today. It was fun to take care of the kids, and I had time to prepare some components of the Thanksgiving meal.

Nora and I made speculaas cookies. Judy came over in the afternoon.


21 months old

Being away from home and in an airplane gives me time to write down observation of the boys and today they are 21 months old.

A few months ago, around that time that my parents left, they stopped taking their second nap. Slowly but surely their first nap is moving a little later. With Lelya Snezha they go to bed around noon, when we're home a little earlier. They still sleep a good two hours, Adrian a little more. When Leo wakes up he is immediately fully awake and wants attention. Adrian takes things easy when he wakes up and we often find him awake but lounging in bed.

Sinterklaas gave them spout-less drinking cups. Another step towards adulthood.

The love their big sister and each other but also are learning ways to hurt each other. Leo has the habit of taking his cup and hitting people with it, mostly Adrian on the head, with the predictable teary-eyed result. They don't really fight, they just accidentally hurt each other. Adrian was biting Leo in his leg yesterday. Leo still has the tendency to try to bite us in our big toes when we are sitting on the sofa. With his cup-hitting, Leo managed to make his 3 year older sibling cry. But most of the times they get along very well, the three of them. They enjoy playing in the empty box of our new printer.

Their vocabulary is expanding, though they don't speak as much yet as Nora did as this age. One of their favorite new words is "eten" (eat) -- when we're ready to serve dinner they'll run to their highchairs and yell "eteeee" or "stoooeel". Other words they know are molen and of course mee! Their Bulgarian has improved a lot in the last few months.

They love their jackets (a present from Ruth). Leo always wears the blue one, Adrian the black one and they don't allow us to mix that up. They often point to each others jackets and say "trekker" (Loe: "ti-tiew") because pretty much all vehicles are "trekker" or "odo".


38th birthday

Time is flying by... 38 already! I celebrated it low-key and that was great. The kids loved seeing the birthday decorations (as did I), and the cake in the evening was a highlight for Nora.

Thank you everybody for the nice gifts and messages.


Bluemont Junction

We were at Bluemont Junction yesterday. Nora had been there once before but she didn't remember it. First time for the boys and they loved the train. Adrian in particular was mesmerized and didn't want to leave the caboose.

When I took their hands and we walked further, Adrian escaped a happily turned around and started walking back to the "trein! trein!".

Walking with the boys is slow so we didn't walk far but they got a good amount of exercise and we had a very nice walk together.


Another ear infection

Adriaantje hasn't slept well the last few nights and we suspected an ear infection. I took him to the pediatrician this morning and sure enough -- an infection on both sides.

Afterwards we went to CVS for his medication. During the day he is happy; his ears only bother him in at night.


A real protected bike lane in Rosslyn

It's only 0.4 miles but it's the beginning of something beautiful: a real protected bike lane in Arlington. Today the County finished repaving Wilson Blvd between North Oak and North Quinn, and added flex-posts to separate the bicycle lane from cars.

When the kids went to bed I bicycled to Rosslyn to check it out, and it felt great. Wilson is not a great street to bike on, with the two high speed lanes of traffic, and the protection made a huge difference. It also helps that it's less likely now to bump into opening car doors.

According to TheWashCycle the bike lane will later be extended to Court House Rd, and there are even studies into extending it all the way to Fairfax Drive. That later part is where I bike with the kids pretty often, a protected bike lane there would be amazing.


Lynnbrook party 2016

We went to the Lynnbrook party this afternoon, which was a lot of fun. It was great to catch up after the summer and chat with new and old neighbors.

We discussed a little about the potential redevelopment plans for the YMCA, which is starting with a Special Land Use Study.

The kids enjoyed themselves. Nora was getting a little tired at one point but when I told her Eli would join later she was happy to stay. Leo and Adrian loved running around and we were chasing them down all the time.


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