May 28, 2010

mawwiage... what bwings us togethew today.

Brides and grooms seem to have been a theme in our lives this past month, and that's been just fine with me. Nothing like some good matrimony to get you thinking back on your own special day and how far you've come together. Hubby and I have come quite a ways after nearly 9 years of '..that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam..'. I'm talking serious downs, and serious ups. It's been the toughest, most wonderful ride of my life and I most certainly don't plan on ever quitting being on it!

We were so lucky to be invited to attend the wedding of our sweet friends Emily and Loek last week, and what a wedding it was. So incredibly well arranged and planned, and that bride. Oh my, that bride sure was a purdy one!

The girls especially were smitten...

Of course Sander and Max had a blast and looked very handsome.

And just so you don't think I was secretly absent, here I am sitting in the dining area, lovingly gazing at my son being cooed over by 7 somewhat tipsy ladies.

It was such a beautiful day, and they newlyweds managed to organise everything just perfectly. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy, even though you could tell how much thought had gone into everything to get it to a very high standard. Congrats again to Mr. and Mrs. van der Linden!

And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah…

On to our next Holy Matrimony! This one will need a bit of explaining, but allow me to show you a picture to begin with.

Yep. That's my 6-year-old bride daughter and her 6-year-old groom. 'What on earth..?' probably comes to mind first! Here's the deal: my children go to a Waldorf school, and these schools are very into the changing of the seasons, and the many, mainly Christian, celebrations and stories that go with those seasons. Last weekend was Pentacost so on Friday this was celebrated by a couple from each class dressing up as a bride and groom, and dancing around the May Tree (not an actual tree, but more a big pole with many pastel coloured ribbons attached) together with the rest of the class (who all wear flowers in their hair). It's seriously the cutest thing you've ever seen, I love it! I was so proud of Lara being picked to play the bride that I didn't even mind making her that paper flower bouquet, or french braiding her hair halo-style. I beamed every single time I overheard other parents commenting to each other how beautiful she was.

Wow I love those two. I would say I can't wait until they really do get married, but I really don't want time to hurry up. It goes too fast as it is. With the exception of these last weeks of pregnancy, they need to go waaayyy faster! I'm done with the Braxton-Hicks contractions and utterly ready for labour to start now!

Right-O. It's sunny out, I'm signing off. Have a beautiful weekend everybody!

May 24, 2010

music monday V1.4

Today's music video isssss......

You might be thinking to yourselves 'My, what an odd music video for this week!' and I would completely understand if that's the case. There is a method to my madness though!

Not too long ago we discovered that our 'super-deluxe shower' (read: piece of utter crap only slightly more practical than a shirt without arm holes) was leaking all over the place, but mainly INTO our wall, causing us and our lovely neighbors the Turks water damage. Since then the nasty thing was removed and for a while all we had was the bath and a small handheld showerhead for rinsing your hair etc.
Then I thought... wait a minute. When I have this baby I won't be able to have baths for a while because of danger of infections and general grossness (which is why girls prefer not to have baths during 'that time' of the month). But I don't have a shower. And I certainly don't want to have to squat in the bath and kind of hold the handheld over my head to get clean for 6 weeks or more! So I kindly asked Sander to fix the situation.

And fix it he did.
Check out the new shower, as modelled by my mom, Sander and myself:

Unfortunately most of these weren't taken at the best angle to show off the exact height of where Sander attached the shower head to the wall. I just thought you should know that if you ever need to have a shower at our house, and are under 1m90/6ft2", you're going to need a step to adjust this baby to your liking.

May 20, 2010

37 weeks...

....and still counting! 

Through some kind of miracle my mother was actually able to make it over here as scheduled. I picked her up from Schiphol Airport yesterday morning and found out we still have the same genes: we showed up in nearly identical outfits (white pants and a green top). She flew stand-by thanks to a friend at Delta who let her use a buddy pass. That meant a MAJOR discount on the ticket, and we love a good discount. 

She brought me all kinds of goodies from the USA, including a 2 pound box of See's Candy..... boy do I love my mother!I had 'ordered' a few things for her to bring over because they're either impossible to get here, or ridiculously expensive. I got a new laundry sorter (an absolute essential in this house), a cupcake stand to help add fun to birthday parties, and a huge amount of candy and cake mixes. The best part: mom and dad decided I wasn't going to pay them back for any of it because they wanted it to be an early Birthday present! Thank you guys, I love you! They didn't leave out Sander and the kids either, they're the best. Even my sister Marissa sent a gift over for the new baby: a beautiful warm knit blanket... I love it Marissa, thank you.

So yeah, we'll give mom a few days to get over jetlag, and then it's baby birthing time as far as I'm concerned! Next Monday sounds kinda nice...

May 17, 2010

music monday V1.3

This is a good week for me. The girls are back in school after 2 weeks of vacation, and Wednesday marks the 37th week of pregnancy, meaning the baby is officially considered full term and can be born without complications (yay homebirth!).
I'll just say this once: I am done being pregnant.

And now to the reason you really came here today: musica! Today I want to focus on a couple of completely awesome and incredible music videos that I think are the bees knees. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. The Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be
I couldn't find a full version on youtube that would let me put it on here, but here is a clip of this amazing video.. I recommend going to see the entire thing here though!

2. The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist

3. Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity

4. The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes
Oh the retro!

5. for obvious reasons: David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling

You couldn't look away could you?!

Could everyone please keep their fingers crossed this week that my mother will be able to fly in to Schiphol Airport this week? They closed it off today because of that stoopid Icelandic ash cloud, and who knows how long it will last this time....

cool. thanks.

Hope everybody has a Magical Monday!

May 12, 2010

max was jealous....

...of my haircut, so I gave him one too. He kind of went from innocent blonde angel child, to juvenile delinquent, the short hair makes him look so naughty! I love it.

I'll have to get a better closeup shot of the after, but for now this will have to do!

May 10, 2010

music monday V1.2

The weekend is over! My girls are coming back to me today after a long weekend over at Oma Marianne's house. I sure missed not having them here for Mothers Day, but am really happy they were able to go and have some quality time with Oma, who they absolutely love. 
To celebrate their return I would like to share just one song with you today... their absolute favourite song of all time. The kids have style. 

May 9, 2010

being a mother...

... is something to be incredibly thankful for, and I am.

Lara Diane Rose - December 17, 2003

Julia Marianne - July 28, 2005

 Max Johannes Michiel - June 19, 2008

Baby Koot # 4
Having a wonderful mother raising you, and setting a great example is maybe even more of a blessing. I couldn't be doing any of this without having been raised by you, mom. Can't wait to see you in 10 days... and have you here for the delivery of this baby, just like you were there for the other 3! 
Oma, mom, me and Lara, four generations. That was a good day :)

May 8, 2010

interior inspiration....

... for our office/crafts room.
While mr. Koot repaints the dining room back to a crisp white I am de-cluttering and organising what is supposed to be our room where we can sit away from kids and distraction and do taxes/administration/sewing/writing/crafting etc. Here's are some pictures of what I would just love this room to end up looking like.

May 6, 2010

a new season....

...a new look! 
I felt it was time for a change now that summer is closing in and I'll soon be a 29-year old mother of four. I had fun having really long hair for a few years but I've been noticing that lately it just wasn't looking that healthy anymore, and I was running out of ideas about how to style it. I guess I just got bored with it! It's so difficult to find a moment to go to the hair salon though! Finally the perfect opportunity arose when Sander had a day off and wanted to go downtown with Max and me... which just happens to be where my favourite salon is located: Kinki. They specialize in extremely funky hairdos with lots of colour. Because they have so many extra skills they have to have the basics down better than the average barber and therefore do a way better job at a 'regular' haircut, or so I've found. It's seriously the only place I can remotely afford that has ever given me a good haircut!

Remember what the hair used to look like? Here's a little reminder:

And here's what the situation on my head looks like now:

I'm loving having the weight off, and I can still pull it up easily (the only requirement I gave the hair dresser). My hair feels soooo much better. 

Summer... baby... birthday.... I'm ready for you!

May 3, 2010

music monday V1.1

Hopefully not too many of you were haunted by terrible fears of Music Monday being a thing of the past after I, um, 'forgot' about it last week. Rest assured that it most certainly has not been forgotten, and today is proof of that! I think I have a really cool theme as well... 

There are more twin musicians out there than you might think, more than I thought anyway. Here are some I was able to come up with:

1. The Proclaimers
Scottish twins Craig and Charlie Reid aren't going to win any beauty pageants anytime soon, but is there anybody out there who doesn't love this song (overplayed as it may be!). I first heard it on the Benny And Joon soundtrack, which coincidentally might just be one of the cutest movies out there.

2. Tegan and Sara
These petite Canadian twins are Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin. They play a bunch of instruments, have very interesting vocal sounds and have been around making albums for ages but seem to have only been really becoming popular over the past couple of years. Of course now they've done a DJ Tiësto collaboration and according to some that means you've really made it to the top (he had actually done a remix of 'Back in Your Head earlier). This is one of my favourite songs by them:

3. The Breeders
Of course we already knew Kim Deal from the Pixies, but surprise surprise, she has a talented twin sister named Kelley whom she teamed up with in The Breeders and recorded, among others, this great song:

4. Blonde Redhead
An italian set of twins this time around: Simone and Amedeo Pace make music together with the Japanese Kazu Makino. They've been around for well over 15 years and were initially discovered by Steve Shelley, the drummer for Sonic Youth.

5. Múm
With recent volcanic action I thought I had better include the absolutely amazing band Múm from Iceland. Lots of instrumentals, angelic and soft vocals and sounds gotten from interesting traditional instruments such as the singing saw. The twins in this band were Gyða and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (please don't ask me the correct pronunciation!). Yes 'were', because back in 2002 Gyða left the band.

There are many many more musical twins, a bunch of which I can only barely stomach naming (think The Cheeky Girls or Tokio Hotel), but also some classics such as Marge and Mary Ann Ganser of the Shangri-Las, and Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

There are lots more... can you think of any (no googling!)?

May 1, 2010

to decorate or not to decorate...

....your ENTIRE neighbourhood without any regard for whether any of the other in habitants of it might be for it or against it.

What would you do if, oh, say... the soccer World Cup was coming up, and your country's national colour was orange, and you wanted to show support for your national team? Wear a button? Place a bumpersticker on your car? Raise the flag? Wear an orange Tshirt? Perhaps even paint your face and decorate your living room with orange flaglines for the actual matches? Really, I'd love to hear. 

Would you, for instance, even consider putting flaglines on the outside of your house? On the outside of your neighbours houses? Would you perhaps think about drinking lots of beer, then going to weld a huge steel contraption in the public parking area outside your home, dig a 4 foot wide and 4 foot deep hole into the middle of the square which holds the children's grassy playground, and proceed to fill it with cement to anchor the steal contraption and keep it up straight, coming to a height of, let's say, 30 feet? All of this while the children ranging from 2 - 12 are actually still playing in said grassy playground?

We came to the realisation that this was actually, no kidding, what the neighbours directly across from us were doing when, after noticing them weld that steal thing all day long, and digging that huge hole, we finally saw them taking bags of unmixed cement out to the hole, along with buckets of water. Of course my first reaction was 'Well, why didn't I think of that? How handy that could have been to hang my laundry from so I wouldn't have to have it in the house! Darn them for thinking of it first!'. 
My second reaction though, was to firstly be concerned for our children's safety, and secondly to be (perhaps even more) concerned with the mental health of our neighbours who seemed to genuinly believe that the square, and playground, is theirs to alter as they see fit.

Naturally I called the police, only to find out that I most definitely was not the first one reporting this strange abuse of our community grounds. 'Don't worry ma'am, a car is already on its way.' We tried not to look out the window the entire time we were waiting for the police car to arrive.. but we glanced outside a tad more often than we would normally...  It only took the car 5 minutes. 
The officers talked to my neighbours, who kept their beers in hand during the entire confrontation. My neighbours got upset, started raising their voices, used bad language, and eventually got a fine and were instructed to fill the hole back up immediately and get rid of the steal pole-like thing which was taking up 2 valuable parking spots. They ended up rebelling by using the entire sidewalk on their side of the block to sit and have their dinner on, blocking passage for anybody wanting to get by using said sidewalk. Some sort of show of not having been defeated I suppose. I just thought they looked like a bunch of homeless, drunk people. Drunk on Heineken or stupidity, I'm not sure.

Of course that wasn't the end of it. Orange was going to prevail! This was only a minor setback in their grand scheme to make Our Guys win by transforming our neighbourhood into a gigantic orange blob, visible from outer space!
Apparently they were going to use the contraption in the centre of the square to fasten vast amounts of the above-mentioned orange flaglines to, instead they were now forced to use the young trees that had been planted 2 years ago, making it look like this:

Here is a view of the entire square is it is at this moment:

You can see the barren area where they dug the hole. They are currently searching for the best spots to attach the rest of their flaglines to, so they can have the whole square covered with a roof of flags. 
Their kids actually came to our door earlier today, begging for a financial contribution towards the decorations, as they called them. 
See the slide and climbing area designed for small children on the far right, next to that beautiful tree in full pink bloom? That's where my daughters play on pretty much a daily basis. I love the fact that I am able to see them from my home so I can check and make sure they are safe, and not getting into trouble. How great do you think my view of them will be when there are a gamillion orange flags in between me and them? You're correct. Not so great. 

So now the question is, how do I stop these people without causing a major riot, or at least getting beer thrown in my face? What are my rights? Is this even legal? 
I can't find anything about it online, so if anybody has a clue then I am all ears. 
Maybe I'm just being over-sensitive due to pregnancy? Nah I don't think so. I honestly don't mind people having their World Cup fun, showing their orange pride and throwing up a couple of decorations around the neighbourhood. But there are limits, right? Are you with me, yay or nay?!
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