Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Daily Life


Pakjesavond 2017

I actually lost the pictures we took during pakjesavond this year, which doesn't happen often. Oh well, it's the memories that count and it was a lovely evening (picture here is from the Embassy event a week earlier).

It was the first year that the boys really realized that "Sinterklaas would arrive" and when there was knocking on the front door everybody was quite excited. Adrian was disappointed that Piet and Sinterklaas weren't going to make an actual appearance but the big bag with gifts compensated for that nicely.

Nora received several books. But let her tell the story herself:

"De meeste dingen van mijn kado-en waren boeken. Een van de boeken was een, uh, voorleesboek en een andere was Bas en andere was a sticker boek en we hebben allemaal, behalve de jongens, een chocolade letter gekregen. De jongens en pappa hadden Lego gekregen. De jongens kregen allebei een Boer Boris. Een van die Boer Borrissen was Boer Boris en het gebroken been, de andere was, Boer Boris gaat naar Oma".

We celebrated pakjesavond a little later than usual, since December 5th is on a Tuesday. But that worked out well since we started Sinterklaas late also -- we waited with schoen zetten until after Thanksgiving.


Celebrating Sinterklaas

Today we started our Sinterklaas season... I brought the books upstairs, we practiced songs during the day and in the evening the kids put their shoe in front of the fireplace.

Adrian has a vivid imagination. He wasn't too sure about leaving his shoe -- "'Klaas gaat schoen meenemen" but Nora convinced him it was worth the risk. Later Adrian said: "Sinterklaas maakt kerstboom en lichtjes en Olaf!".


Cooking with Nora

Nora and I had a great time cooking together. It is great hanging out with her. For the first time, her help was actually saving me time.

She, very carefully, put together the speculaas mixture. Measuring, scooping, mixing... everything diligently and carefully done. Later she measured and cut the butter.

We made speculaas cookies, a speculaas cake, and several dishes for today's big meal.

The Zane family arrived around 8.00 pm --- just as we were putting the kids in bath. All of a sudden Julian appeared in the hallway.


Sunday morning

Leo and Adrian are using the "grotemensenstoelen" more often now.

This morning they were snacking on cereal.


To the rommelmarkt

I saw a Facebook post yesterday about someone selling a few Dutch things on the flea-market at Washington-Lee so we went there today, for the first time.

It was hard walking around there with the kids -- they wanted to see everything -- but we used our rule: "handjes op de rug" so at least no touching. We found Olga after a while and bought 2 Suske & Wiskes that we didn't have yet, and a sprookjesboek.

When we came back Nora went for a walk with Baka and Mia, and we brought the boys for a haircut.


Reading before breakfast is dangerous

We went to bed late after going for a walk along Key Boulevard, watching the Halloween decorations. The boys, thankfully, slept in so I brought Leo downstairs at 7.30 am. We read a book and then Adrian woke up, so we read another book together. That's a dangerous thing to do, because the clock starts ticking between waking up and breakfast. If the gap is too large, the boys get really cranky and will starting fighting with each other.

We were right on time this morning and we started breakfast without any incidents. Nora took the opportunity to sleep in, she wasn't downstairs until 8.45 am -- good for her.

Last night, when we were done watching the decorations, we drove back home and we passed the Silver Diner. Adrian said: "Dag hamburger! Dag broodje! Dag kaas! Dag saus!". After that the boys had a funny discussion about whether the "saus" in question was ketchup or not. "Ketchup scherp. Adrian nee ketchup. Meneer geeft saus". Leo: "die meneer heet ober." "Nee ober!" "Wel!" "Wel ober."


To Atlanta

I spent two days in Atlanta this week, where I visited our office and two of our data centers.

I traveled light and the boys enjoyed playing with my suitcase when I came back.


Halloween party

We went to Nora's Halloween party this morning. The boys were a little bit ambivalent about going to school for some reason ("nee juf!") but there were toys and sand and they were happy.

They ate a pretty healthy lunch too, with lots of fruit and a ham sandwich. Nora had a doughnut and few bites of brownie. Nora had a lot of fun with her friends and she was happy with her princess outfit.


Halloween shopping

On the door of the Halloween store a sign said "for kid-friendly route, follow green arrows". I walked with the three kids through the automatic doors and just as I was thinking "ah yeah, that makes sense, a kid-friendly route might be good for these little kids..." -- an enormous crying started left and right of me.

Right at the entrance there was a "animated crawling zombie" prop on the floor and it came crawling straight at us, making a lot of noise and with shiny red eyes. We ran out of the store and took cover. I felt bad for the guys but it was very funny too. It took several minutes, lots of cuddles and an assurance that the doll was gone before we could go back in.

We succeeded in buying a Halloween costume -- a shopping trip the boys won't quickly forget.

Nora wanted to be a fairy ("fee") but we couldn't really find that, so instead she is a princess now. Last weekend at a birthday party I heard her talking with her friend Graham about being fairy, and when we came home she said that she'll tell Eli that she'll be a princess instead.



I took the kids out for dinner tonight, in Nora's favorite place, the boterhammenrestaurant.

We had a fun evening, and it was pretty easy. Would have been a different story only 6 months ago.

There were only a few other people in the restaurant. One of the new dishes they had was "Dutch mini pancakes" -- poffertjes. We tried them, but the sandwiches will remain our favorites.


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