Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plaster, paint and wallpaper progress

During our vacation the carpenter had finished the doors and window cases for our attic as well as a staircase protection so we can finally allow Beertje to walk around in the attic. And now it's up to us. After the disappointment that we could not finish most painting in May, hence requiring a lot of extra work, we were very motivated to start working and finish up the boy's bedroom asap.

Jan went to buy all needed materials in a DIY open on Sunday morning so we could launch ourselves right away when we arrived on Sunday afternoon.  Also Kabouter was determined to help, bringing his little toy toolbox along. Oh what a sweetheart! While I played with Beertje, they plastered the last wall.

In the next days each nap from Beertje was used very effectively to plaster, sand, prime and put wallpaper in the tiny room. The room is small but oddly shaped and therefore a puzzle to work in, but we were progressing well, which is very motivating. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On the playground

After all those years I visited the downtown playground for the first time here. Even though there weren't many toys for Beertje's age, both Beertje and Kabouter had a good time so I'm sure we'll be back this summer.

impressive pulling up

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Theme park craziness part VI: Disney Holywood Studio's and Disney Springs

In order to round up our 3 days in Orlando and our 4 days of theme parks, we visited just a few more Disney locations.

We strolled over the Disney Holywood Studio's in ease with 2 sleeping children in our strollers again and passed by Star Troopers walking around, a lot of Disney jr tv stars, etc... Kabouter was just in time awake to meet a new hero:  "Cruz" from the brand new Cars3 movie.  He was allowed to pose next to the yellow sports car but we couldn't touch it as it was still wet paint :D. It couldn't be newer than that! Lucky boy.  We also went to see a preview of the Cars3 movie and now we want to go!
Afterwards we saw a 3D show from the muppets.

We tried to go to Disney Springs for dinner,  a resort area around a lake full of bars, restaurants and a lot of stores. However it was so crowded everywhere that we quickly returned and went to eat in the proximity of our hotel.  And so we ended all the theme park craziness and were ready to move on again on our vacation. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Theme park craziness part V: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Beforehand Disney's Animal Kingdom seemed the best park to us to visit with little children : animals are always a success with children and we assumed there would be no lines to see them and also hoped that the park would be less busy than the Magic Kingdom.

I decided to join the boys, since the medication kept me fever free and the antibiotics started to soften the inflammation  and the pain could be ignored as long as nobody invaded my personal space too much. I promised myself to keep it easy and to leave and take a taxi if I felt I had to return to bed.   So I filled my little backpack with sunscreen, hats for the kids and my 3 bottles of pills and we hit the road again in the direction of all the Disney parks a little further. All in all I felt reasonably ok, so maybe this infection wouldn't ruin my vacation so much as I first feared at all.

As experienced Disney Theme park visitors, we navigated among the resorts to our chosen park, pulled up along the "blue line" to the preferred parking in order to walk to the entrance, so we could go and see all Mickey's animals as we had explained to Kabouter.

Shortly after the entrance we came across the stand of the Wilderness Explorers where some other children were invited by the rangers to become explorers and fulfill some assignments. Kabouter lined up curiously and approached them with his usual "Hi I'm am Kabouter" greeting.  After some translation intervention from me, he received his Wilderness explorer booklet with assignments throughout the park and he collected his first stickers.  From then on he was on a mission to find the next assignment post in the park and he was walking with his head in his map.
"Mommy where are we? Where is the next stickers? Do we need to go that way?"  We had to intervene or he had only seen his map and nothing of the park around him! But the sticker book challenge turned out to be a huge motivator for him to walk all over the park, to search the rangers and go and execute some assignments.  The fact that now and then first had to listen to some (translated) animal facts was an evil necessity which he reluctantly accepted while holding his hand open to get his sticker.

First we walked through the strange Avatar world full of fake plants and animals and also home of Disney's latest ride (with an impressive 200 min waiting time line-up!!).

Then we went on a trainride followed by a safari in jeep along the savanna animals.  The park was more or less organised in continents with a lot of adapted theme villages.  We assume this is where Pairi Daiza and to lesser extent Plankendael got its inspiration.

Beertje yelled hilariously "Meeeeeuh" to all giraffes, buffels, etc... on the safari.  We walked among the monkey's and African villages, saw the sleeping tigres in the Asian temple ruins and admired the very impressive replica of the Mount Everest in a Nepali village.

All in all we were sooner finished our tour than I had anticipated but then we started to run into many character friends again.  So we had to distribute some more hugs and kisses and pose for more pictures.  And Goofball has met Goofy!!!! It was a historic day.  I repeat: Goofball has met Goofy, after which I was nicknamed.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beertje plays

Beertje is a complete sponge the last weeks , imitating everything he sees. As a result he really picked up "playing with toys".  As opposed to the past playing with toys meant biting, throwing, shaking, .. them, ... he can now sit with a toy car and ride it with an appropriate "brrrrmmmm" sound.  He brings us puzzles pieces to put together or he tries to fit the right shape through the right hole over and over again.
At the age of 16 months, he starts to ride a little bicycle and makes his first attempts to step.   As a second child, it is no surprise that he is a bit quicker than his older brother.  It's very cute to see him absorbed actively in a play activity.