Published: December 22nd 2009December 22nd 2009
the model museum
in the Hague - day after first snow
Greetings from Esther, Sean, Avalon and bump "Rice",
What a year, eh? Here's looking forward to 2010
Hope you are keeping warm and dry or, better yet, catching some of the Sun's rays in some sunny tropical place on this globe. We are having, fingers crossed, our first white Christmas holiday (Just the three of us and bump) here in Leiden. No plans other than to play, write, read, sleep, and hopefully watch some movies at home. Will get to the movie house in the new year once we've arranged babysitting (Avatar is calling!).
The pace of life has slowed quite a bit from our very busy filled days in Hitchin (UK). Although we do miss all our friends very much we are beginning to make new ones here in the Netherlands. Avalon and I attend a weekly play group on Wednesdays we leave the house at half eight in the morning, with our packed lunches, to catch a bus to the central station the hop on to another for three stops then a short walk later we get to chatter and play with other mum, dads, tots and babies. We had a lovely Holiday party on the
Space Expo near ESTEC
really great place to visit
16th and all the children opened gifts which they all really loved. That's it for festivities other than watching Sinter Klaas (sinister sounding Dutch version of Father Christmas) arrive in Leiden and having Avalon reluctantly sit on his knee...
2010, I really like the sound of this year, strange I know, this will be a big year for us as we will welcome our second child (gender to be disclosed at birth to us and you) around early March. Christmas Eve we have a scan scheduled so I'm hoping the snow wll give us some respite to get to the clinic - about a 15 minute walk from home. Really looking forward to seeing the Rice again. He/She is moving about a lot and seems to respond to famiy voices, singing and music especially at bedtime when reading Ava to sleep.
We'll also be moving house at the end of May as our landlords return from Louisiana for good. So we need to do house hunting in April/May - I say we but know it will be Sean who will need to hunt for housing as I will be attending to a hungry baby by then. We are
currently making the decision as to what playschool to place Avalon in as she can begin if I recall correctly the day after her third birthday.
She is eager to be in school. As she had begun attending playgroup prior to leaving Hitchin and really enjoyed even if she had a bit of a tearful goodbye most days. So the big question that needs answering is where to place her - a local Dutch school or an international school. we are leaning towards a Dutch school as someone needs to be fluent in the language and I dare say Avalon may be our best hope! That said both Sean and I are planning on taking Dutch language courses in the new year. Yes, I know you can get by probably never learning the local lingo but when in Rome or in our case the Netherlands do as the Dutch do, right?
Next year Sean will be writing about various ESA launch campaigns - CryoSat is back, this time it's serious! - as well as other stuff for the German space agency, and finishing his ghost story. Travel should see us returning to our previous home countries for brief
the slope 'round the corner from our place proved very popular with the neighborhood children of all ages
visits; we'd like to get back to Frascati, England where we didn't get the chance t properly say bon voyage to many of our friends, California also on my go to list in the next couple of years is NYC as for some reason most of my dearest friends have ended up on the East coast of the states. Maybe we got too much sunshine growing up as children in Cali and have an inate desire to experience actual seasons....just a thought.
Was meaning to keep this brief. So here is to YOU and your loved ones. May you have a most joyous time this holiday with the ones you love and may 2010 bring loads of laughter, fun and goodness into your life.
Please write me with photos and news of what is happening in your life - it matters to me.
HUGS AND HAPPINESS
(PS - More pics below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are more photos below