Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Made in Belgium: The Sore Losers

I must admit: I'm not the biggest fan of  The Sore Losers. Some of their singles got quite some airplay and I grew into them but when I hear too much of The Sore Losers at the same time, I become a bit tired of them. I guess I like Emily most which is some their more recent work, so maybe they are improving to my taste ;).

As many rock bands in Belgium they've been discovered in Humo's Rock Rally about 6 years ago. They've been featured at Rock Werchter and are working also on an international career.


It's not easy:
  • you can't blow too hard
  • you can't blow too soft
  • you are not supposed to spill your cup empty during the process
  • you have to blow your breath into the handle holes
  • you cannot hold the handle against your lips if you don't want a gross soap taste in your mouth
  • you cannot hold the handle too far away from your mouth
Most of the attempts fail completely but it's really fun when you manage to produce some bubbles

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Count your blessings - August 2016

  1. Hugging 2 little boys on my lap
  2. Arriving home to find a neighbour boy and Kabouter together on the deck amidst a load of toy trucks
  3. Watching Beertje's face break into a big smile each time
    - he wakes up and sees us around in the morning
    - he discovers his baby friend in the mirror who observes him with big curious eyes.
    - ...
  4. Crossing our country on a "black traffic" Saturday without traffic jams thanks to some detours and the Waze app. 
  5. A kid who waves from a car next to me while waiting at traffic lights.   He's totally surprised that I answer his waving and stumps his brother and sister in the car to point at me, after which all 3 of them are waving.  And so I'm waving back again at 3 grinning faces.
  6. A pheasant watching the traffic coming by all week on top of a pile of dirt along my commuting road.
    The turkey that was wandering at the traffic lights with big open tale also made me laugh.
  7. An adolescent that comes by racing on his bike "I thought I saw you dropping this", holding up the toy that you just realized Beertje was no longer holding in his hands during a walk.
  8. A stranger who overheard that you needed to find a public toilet for your toddler at the other side of a small festival and who opens up his house right next to you so you can use his bathroom. 
  9. Enjoying a piece of cake with my parents, relax, amidst flowers outside
  10. Airco in the office on some days and free gazpacho for lunch
  11. A spare fleece in the office on other days
  12. My dad who was good enough to go home for a test weekend for the first time since Murphy messed up my parent's vacation and my dad's health condition 4 months ago.
Some bloggers like Gerhildemaakt  or Upje blog regularly about simple things in their lives that make them happy.  Those are fun simple posts that are recognisable and make me smile. And as the world often seems full of negativity and disaster, I also want to list some things that make me happy in my daily life. This is the 8th edition. The first 7 times you can read here , here ,  here , herehere here and here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kabouter conversations - August 2016

  • "Ik heb erin geklimd "  (I climbed in it) He states the obvious when we are surprised to find him all of a sudden by himself in his high chair at the table

  • Kabouter is bent downwards awkwardly

    G: "What are you doing, Kabouter?"
    K: "Ik ben aan het krabbelen"

    (he was eaten by mosquito's)

  • Dit is een vikinghoed met kleurtjes!  (We received a free gadget: a helmet shaped hat with 2 horns in the colors of the Belgian flag)

  • "Ben jij Vicky de Viking?"   He asks to a knight at the medieval festival

  • "Oh neeeeee, papa, Tati en Karine zijn er niet!"   when arriving at the daycare and the cars of both ladies are not on their parking spot yet.

    "Oh nee, Karine staat op plaats van Tati"  When arriving at the daycare, he notices that one of the cars is parked in the wrong spot. The world would be in chaos without him ;).

  • We are dressing in the bathroom. Kabouter is already fully dressed in a jeans and I am now putting on my clothes.

    K: "Jij hebt ook jean broek aan?"
    G: "Ja, ik heb ook een jeansbroek aan vandaag. Nu hebben we allebei een jeansbroek aan. Leuk eh?"
    K: "Ja joepie joepie joepieee"

  • "ik vind dat niet zo  leuk hoor"  (I don't like that) everytime we watch something on tv that he didn't choose. 

  • "Eerst vasthouden, dan knijpen en dan pik pik pik"   :  Kabouter explains me how eat with chopsticks after Jan showed him (and he doesn't manage to do it but me either).

  • We are talking about growing up.
    "Ja ik ga zo groot worden als  papa, zo groot (he lifts his arm up high). Ik ga veel eten
    ja pannekoeken, straks, ik ga zoveel pannekoeken eten morgen."
  • "Wij zijn gewandeld" at the end of a walk

  • "Dag koeien!!! Hoe gaat het met jullie??"
    "Het is een papa koe, ja, die is zwart"

  • K: "Mamaaaa, papa is me weer aan het plagen"
    G: "Ja hij plaagt mama ook soms"
    K: "oei"

  • "Jij moet hartjes tekenen.  Da's voor mama's"

  • K: "Ik ben Mega Mindy.   Jij bent ook Mega Mindy"
    G: "Ok, gaan we dan boeven vangen?"
    K: "Waar zijn de boeven?"
    G: "Ik weet het niet, we moeten die zoeken of mensen helpen die hulp vragen."
    K: "Daar binnen zijn de boeven"
    (disappears inside the pub)
    (a little later V, the pub owner and a friend of us, comes outside.)
    V: "What does he want to do with villains?...aaah he wants to catch them for me, ok, that's nice."
    V: "Waar zijn de boeven?"
    K: " Dieeee"
    V: "Ah ok, mijn man is een boef blijkbaar"


    (a while later, when completely random people walk by on the sidewalk)
    K: "Dat zijn boeven!!!!"

    (at that moment I hope the people are either half deaf or have a good sense of humor)

  • "Beertje, 'k ben tekik hoor" when he shows up next to his chair.

  • G: "Gaan we hallo zeggen aan de koeien?....oei de koeien staan helemaal aan de andere kant, dan zullen ze ons niet horen."
    K: "Ze zeggen niet meuuuh. :(.  ....Dan moeten wij weer voetballen"

  • G: "Ik heb niet van de paddestoel gebijt hoor"

  • We're walking on the grass
    K: "Ooooh hier is het omhoog. Papa moet het rijden."
    G: "Of misschien kan mama het gras afrijden morgen. Ga jij dan helpen?"
    K: "Ja en dan moet het zo en dan daar en beneden en zo. Ja zo moet het."

  • K: "Wat doen die paaltjes"
    G: "Die tonen waar de weg begint, want daarachter rijden er auto's"
    K: "En wat doen die nog?"
    G: "Je kan er iets aanhangen"
    K: "En wat doen die nog?"

    (and 5 times more...sigh)

  • "wat ben je aan het doen? "  "papa, wat ben je aan het doen? " 

  • "kijk je sandaaltjes voor het water" pointing at my flipflops

  • "deze hebben we nog niet geleesd"  he picks a new book before bedtime

  • K: "Mamaaaa, ik ben met Beertje aan het spelen."
    G: "Dat is heel goed"
    K: "Ik ben hem niet aan het bijten, dan moet ik niet op straf staan"

    Earlier that day he had been a bit overexcited in his play with his brother and had hurt him by biting.  Since he did not want to apologise, he had gotten his first real time-out which was clearly still on top of his mind. 

  • K: "Mama heb jij nieuwe schoenen aan?"
    G: "Nee die zijn niet nieuw, maar ik heb ze wel niet vaak aan. Vind ze je mooi?"
    K nods

    (one week later, I'm wearing same blue pumps again)
    K: "Van waar komen die schoenen?"
    G: "Van de winkel"
    K: "Hoe kan dat?"
    G: "Mama heeft in de winkel deze schoenen gepast en dan met centjes betaald"
    K: "Van waar?"
    G: "Van de schoenenwinkel"
    K: "Ik ga ook passen die...later als ik groot ben"
    G: "Ga je mama's schoenen passen als je groot bent?"
    K nods
    K: "Ja die, als ik ook mama ben"

  • K: "Wat is dat?"
    G: "Een papiertje op de grond. Kan jij dat even oprapen voor mama?"
    K: "Nee nu even niet"

  • K: "Wat ben jij aan het doen?"
    J: "Ik ben een boekje aan het lezen."
    K: "Nee jij bent de krant aan het lezen."
    (he loves to ask redundant questions from which he knows the answer beforehand)

  • K: "Moet jij ook pipi doen?"  he asks to the stranger that arrives at the public toilet together with us

  • K: "Wat is dat?"
    G: "Dat is het vuilbakje"
    K: "Wat moet die doen?"
    G: "We gooien daar de lege WC-rolletjes in en papieren zakdoekjes in."
    K: "Wat moeten die zakdoekjes dan doen?"
    G: "euh...'k weet het niet. Wachten tot we de grote vuilzak buitenzetten."
    K: "En wat moeten die zakdoekjes dan doen?"
    G: "euh...zucht."

  • We are walking through a road that is re-construction. Some parts of the sidewalk are still paved, other's are in dirt and then there's already some new pavement with lots of sand on it.

    K: "Oei de baan is kapot, dat is een beetje moeilijk."
    K: "Kijk zand. Wat moet dat zand doen?"
    K : "Waar is het zand nu? " "Maar waar is het zand nu? Waar gaat dat zand naartoe"

    K: "Waar gaan we naartoe?
    G: "naar de winkels."
    K: "Waar zijn de winkels?"
    G: "Daar in die richting."
    K: "Waar? Waar zijn ze nu?"
    G: "Ginder"
    K: "En waar zijn de winkels nu?"

    (If you hadn't noticed yet, he's in a phase of endless questioning. very tiresome)

  • K: "Oh jij hebt een kleedbroek aan!"  (I was wearing a skirt)

  • K: "Ik heb nog 2 koeien gezien!!!   Ze hebben elkaar gebeten.
    .... Ja ze moeten op straf. kleine koe moet wenen."

  • K: "Mag ik een snoepje?"
    J: "Nee je moet nog even wachten."
    K:"Mag ik nu een snoepje?"
    J: "Nee, wat begrijp je niet in 'even'. Dat is minstens een uur. Dat is 60 keer 6 keer tot 10 tellen. Kan je dat?"
    K: "Ja....1
    Mag ik nu een snoepje?"
  • K: "Kijk een vliegtuig! Waar gaat dat vliegtuig naartoe?"
    G: "Ik weet het niet."
    K: "Naar de landingsbaan."
  • During our outdoor breakfast in the Ardennes:
    K: "Dag koeien!!! Waar is de koeienmelk?"
    I show him the bottle of milk on the table
    K: "Oh ja, goed gedaan! Dank je dank je koeien, heel flink hoor!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Made in Belgium: Faces on tv

At the beginning of September, the new tv season starts and we are done with the endless reruns of old tv shows during the summer. Yeaaaay, new faces on tv.

And this silly bridge to the group "Faces on tv" which became known through the "Nieuwe lichting" the talent show of Studio Brussel 2 years ago.  Previous winter they had a succesful single that got quite a lot airplay on the radio.


Run against the stream

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Last day of Familiebar

On August 14th it was the last day that the city of Leuven organised its Familiebar in the park. As always when something is almost over, you feel the need to go just one last time.

We hang around with the kids and watched some of the animation.  Someone had a workshop for children where you could spin paint around in a cilinder by cycling on an old bike , which created quite original paintings. Hmm who comes up with this stuff?

The ducklings in the pond were equally fun to watch

Kabouter played by himself in the big sand box while we were lounging a few meters further in the park. Bad idea apparently as the side of the sand box was full of tar and at the end our little Kabouter who had climbed back out of the sand box was also full of tar. GRRRRRRR damn you city, how is it possible that a kids toy is full of tar. An entire, really nice kid's outfit ready for garbage (please please please, is there any reader that can give me the solution to fix this? I've tested greasing in the tar with olive oil or butter to wash it later on with dreft and cleaning petrol but there's no effect at all. The only solution that seems to be left is ironing a big sticker on the tar stain???? Any other suggestions??)

At the end of the afternoon we watched a clown's performance, together with a girl from his school that had showed up.

Here's the stained short after the xth wash attempt

Monday, August 22, 2016

A happy rainboy at the Sunday market

I cursed when I woke up yesterday at the sight of pouring rain.  But Kabouter wasn't discouraged and asked to get out of the rain protected stroller at the market to walk among the stalls himself as always. Then he started to run and jump and dance in the puddles. It was really contageously fun to observe him and a lot of people walking by had a big smile on their face.
He gave his toy car a carwash in the drip of the stalls (as he was forbidden to take a shower himself) and he let his car boat in the puddles (as he was forbidden to jump in them himself). Well, he never jumped in the puddle that I forbid, but usually was fast enough to jump in the next one right away. 

His favourite candy stall

Sunday, August 21, 2016

GP Jef Scherens

Every year we wake up at the sight of the city towing cars away on the other side of the road after which city services come to place road closures in the morning.

Then the police arrives, which was totally ridiculous this year as they were camping in their car next to a construction blocked street anyway.

And a few hours later the circus comes by 13 times....too often to pay attention to it right away.  We discovered that the race was being aired for the first time live on tv...pretty handy to find out when you had to go outside to go and have a view of the cyclists coming by.  So while I was feeding Beertje, Jan and Kabouter went out for a first time and I tried to get a glimpse of them on tv.

Look mommy, I saw this one and this one outside

I joined them for the last 3 rounds, while we did our best to wave to the helicopter each time it was hovering above us.  Kabouter seemed to love to cheer along the road.

For the last rounds we joined some neighbourhood friends a bit further. While tracking the live race on mobile tv, we could cheer to Dimitri Claeys when he came by :p, after which we could see him win a few minutes later.   And then we had to wait for the last racers to come by which took about another 10 minutes.  Only minutes later the nearby crossings were getting cleaned up and soon the streets were back to business as usual.

Dimitri Claeys

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Short hair

Last summer I had a fairly short haircut and I really loved it. I had been wearing my hair in a pony tail constantly as it had been bothering me. When I got my haircut, I just recently found out I was pregnant with Beertje. If there's one thing that might turn you mad during child birth is hair that sticks into your sweaty face so the hair was cut at a length that would allow a pony tail again in 9 months. And I just about made that.

This spring and summer I was once again constantly wearing my hair clipsed up as it simply annoyed me very much when it was down. Too much hair in my neck. I did not want hair in my neck.  So I longed for my summer hair cut again. But the hair salon is closed for vacation for a few weeks each summer and the other Saturdays are usually fully planned (in our agenda or theirs). So I was really happy to get an appointment last Saturday and I counted down.

While other times when I get a different haircut in the past, I was surprised to see my own image when walking by a mirror, it now feels completely normal. (probably because I've truly put my hair up in a clip for months now so maybe it's no huge frontal change). I get a lot of compliments at work, so I assume it's a positive change.   Here's some pictures...where the bags under my eyes really shock me. Maybe I should start wearing some make-up after all, but let's concentrate now on the hair, shall we?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer in our garden

Daycare was 2 days closed this week and the weather forecast was great. I had taken 2 days off to take care of the kids and I really wanted to profit to be outdoors. Rather than being in the city with the children, I felt like enjoying our space outdoors in the other side of the country even if it's usually a bit cooler over there. Therefore I left with both children to the Ardennes, leaving Jan behind who was working.

When we arrived Kabouter proclaimed indeed that it was too cold to fill water in his little pool which was parked in the shade. No problem, I'd fill it for mommy and Beertje with warm water and put it in the sun....It took him 5 min to be in it ;).
He had brought his water pistol and I had promised we'd play as soon as I had my bikini on.
"Mommy, where's your binini?  Can I play yet?  Are you ready? Mommy, is that your bikini? What is that?   Ah, that can become wet, no?  "
Needless to say we had a lot of fun playing together, especially as Beertje took a well-timed nap.  At the end of the afternoon our baby could also have a taste of the small pool and he seemed to take it all in quite well. Even more, he clearly thought a pool was made for belly rolls...euhm not so fast you little monkey.

Late at night we had some football games and there were outdoor naps in the silence (well...I could hear the cows eat the grass next door), there were train rides and there was some biking.  A good 2 days outside, well worth leaving Jan behind for ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

eCouter festival

Some of our friends live in a very cosy but active neighbourhood, right downtown of Leuven and they organise each year a neighbourhood festival that makes us all jealous. How great it must be to live in the midst of an active community.

We've been there already in the past but usually there's other plans in our agenda that prevent us from attending (summer many activities that compete for attention!). This year we were in town so it seemed like fun to go and visit with the kids. Unfortunately we had to leave when all the music performances would start, so we missed the best once again.

Nevertheless we enjoyed the afternoon when most of the activities were dedicated to play-time for the neighbourhood children. We enjoyed a drink in the sun. After 4 times walking by and refusing, Kabouter finally dared to go on the bouncy castle with our encouragements and then had a blast, although he remained very cautious in front.

Most of the circus workshop was still too challenging for him, but he was quite interested to give the sticks a try.

At 4 PM, a burst of loud rhythms approached the streets. The drum band Lokomotiv opened the music festival with their energetic rhythms. In no time all the people formed a big wide circle around them to enjoy the drums. I must say we regreted having to leave to our next appointments of the day.