Saturday, March 29, 2014


Project 52: a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

Almost every day after breakfast we sit down on the living room rug and play with Duplo. 
It's become one of my favorite things to do with you. 
I have an excuse to build the coolest things and you just love breaking them down or adding on to them.
You love doing things 'samen' (dutch: together). And so do I!


Baby Boy:
You are such a busy bee in there, just like your big brother was, and I love it!
Yesterday I had a check up and you are doing so well in there, and I'm perfectly fine too.
Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to be experiencing such a healthy and care free pregnancy. 
It's not something to take for granted.
God is good!

Love, Mama

Thursday, March 27, 2014

a happy list

Making me happy lately:

1.Morning coffee and left over 'poffertjes'.
I've been giving in to all kinds of (pregnancy)cravings lately and poffertjes is definitely one of them.
The tiny little pancakes are a typical Dutch treat, which traditionally are made by street vendors. (I got mine at the grocery store, almost as good)
They're usually served hot on a paper plate with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Especially delicious on a cold winter day.


2. Morning play time/ me time.
Instead of his usual morning nap, I've been letting Micha have some quiet/ play time in his room lately and it's been going really well. 
He's usually up there for forty-five minutes to an hour, and keeps himself busy with rearranging(read: messing up) his room, reading books or playing with his Duplo. 
During this time I have time to take a shower, make myself some coffee and read my blogroll.
Now instead of two 1 hour naps, he takes a long 2 to 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon, 
and that means I have time to nap too! Yay!


3. This cute tee I found on Pinterest. It would be perfect for Micha.


4. Our new 'ouchie' plant.
Before Micha was born I was one of those people that said I would never 'un'decorate (you know: empty the window sills, put away house plants, etc.) my home for our child. 
He'd just have to learn what he could and couldn't touch. 

And then, Micha was born. 
The sweetest, happiest, but also the most curious little lad I ever did meet.
And as consistent as we tried to be at telling him 'no, not for Micha', 
it just seemed easier for us and more fair to Micha to get rid of some of the 'no touch' items.

And slowly but surely things disappeared from our living room, 
candles on the window sills, books from the lowest shelves 
and a house plant who didn't survive all the tugs and touches by curious baby hands. 

But now that Micha understands more and knows why he can't touch certain things, 
these items are making a come back. 

I'm particularly happy with the come back of the plant. 
We, on purposely, bought one with spiky leaves and told M. it was an ouchie plant, 
which it actually is a bit (not as bad as a cactus, but it still gives a mean little sting). 
So, even though he's a lot better at not touching everything, he especially stays away from the 'ouchie plant'.
We are so mean, haha!


5. Baking yummy treats for friends and dreaming of the day I won't just be baking for friends but for customers of my future baking business.


6. This funny little dude looking like a 90's rapper


What's making you happy lately?

Love, Maria

Friday, March 21, 2014

10/52 + 11/52

Project 52: a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

Oops, I'm a little behind on the project, I should be at week 12 now. 
Next week I'll post another double, and then I'll be up to speed again!


 Micha/ Baby boy:

Last week Sunday it was beautiful weather, so after church we packed our lunch and headed to a nearby lake for a picnic. 
Micha: you played in the grass and on the sand, and loved feeling the warmth of the sun on you bare toes.
Baby Boy: as I was lying in the sun I felt you move around as if you were enjoying rays as much as I was. 
I bet you will be just as much of an outside lover as your big brother is!



 Every day after your morning nap, or, now that you don't really nap in the morning anymore: 
your morning play time in your room, we eat fruit together. 
You favorites fruits at the moment are: kiwi, banana and pear.

I always make a photo of you on my phone during 'fruit time' and send it to papa.

I love little rituals like these, and I think you do too!

Baby Boy:
It seems as though this pregnancy has been moving along so much faster than it did when I was pregnant with Micha.
I feel a little guilty that I haven't documented this pregnancy as much as I did with Micha, 
but I hope you forgive me, baby boy, because I love you so much already.

It feels like I'm bonding with you more and more lately, and I love calling you by your name. 
It's a beautiful name, and I'm having a hard time keeping it a secret, but I will, don't you worry!

Love, Mama

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My maternity style: frumpy to fabulous (boyfriend jeans)

It's no surprise to most of you that I'm a big fan of thrifting. 
Whether it's something for in the home, toys, clothes for Micha, clothes for me, shoes, 
you name it, if it looks good and doesn't smell funky, I'll take it!

Recently I got a pair of  maternity jeans for a few euros. 
They were so cheap and of such good quality that I just couldn't say no. 
But when I got home and properly tried them on, they were a bit 'meh'. 
Super comfortable, but I wasn't loving the look of them.
I usually only wear skinny jeans and these had straight legs, 
and they just felt a bit frumpy to me.

While I'm all for comfortable clothes, especially while pregnant, 
I still want to look and feel good.
You won't find me walking around town in sweats unless I'm about to burst and nothing else will fit.


So, back to the jeans, I put them away and they've been hiding in my closet until a few days ago.

I had been looking at maternity style inspiration on Pinterest one morning, 
because I was so bored with the outfits I'd been wearing lately. 
And one style popped out and tweaked my interest: 'the distressed boyfriend jeans' look. 
Such a fun and casual style, and it looked so comfortable too!


So I began looking for this style of jeans online and found this pair of jeans at H&M. 
And while I liked the look of them, I just wasn't ready to fork over forty euros for a pair of maternity jeans that will probably be out of style if I ever get pregnant again. 

Looking nice while pregnant: yes. Spending lots of money on maternity clothing: no. 
I'd rather spend it on cute outfits I'll be able to wear when I'm no longer pregnant, thus enjoying them longer.


And then then the thrift jeans popped into my mind. 
I grabbed them out of my closet, rolled up the legs, and tried them on. 
Voila, boyfriend jeans!

But they still weren't perfect, and so I began destroying them.
On purpose.
I scraped a cheese grater over my jeans, and then a knife, 
and kept scraping and ripping until I was satisfied. 

It was pretty therapeutic, if I may say so.

I love how they turned out. 

Now they're not only the most stylish jeans on my closet, they're also the most comfortable pair. 
Which brings me to the next problem, what do I wear when they're in the laundry?


Do you love the boyfriend jeans trend too?

Love, Maria

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

flying with a toddler

image source
Exactly a month from today we'll being flying over continents and oceans on our way to Canada!

We haven't done much prepping yet, other than booking the tickets.
And so we still have a bunch of things to do before we can leave, 
including getting a passport for Micha and renewing B.'s passport,
getting a visa waiver for our layover in Washington (why must you be so difficult America?),
writing a list of things we need to get when we're in Canada,
finding little gifts for my family and friends in Canada,

and, most importantly, coming up with a plan to keep Micha happy during the trip.


I'm mildly freaking out about that last bit.
How are we ever going to keep Micha entertained and happy for an eleven hour trip?
I'm pretty happy we have some layovers, a one and a half hour one on the way there, 
and a six(!) hour one on the way back. 
It'll make our trip longer, but we'll have some time to stretch our legs and lose some energy. 
But we still have that long eight hour flight to make with an energetic toddler. Eek!


So, as any good (or freaked out) parent would do, I've been researching and pinning all the 'traveling with toddlers' tips and tricks and have found a few good ideas:  
(check my 'travel' board on Pinterest here)

1. Bring enough snacks to feed a small army. These snack containers seem perfect for toddlers. 
Also, I'll be bringing lots of fruit pouches.

2. Buy a bunch of cheap toys and games, (cars, stickers, farm animals etc.) wrap them all individually, and hand them out every hour or so, still wrapped, that's half the fun for a toddler!

3. Bring some favorite books and read, read, read. (I'm  pretty confident this will work quite well for Micha, he loves being read to.)

4. Use technology! We don't have an I-Pad sadly enough, but I will be downloading some toddler-friendly games and videos on my phone.

5. Bribe your fellow passengers with a thoughtful gift, I really like this idea.

6. Don't forget to bring your toddlers 'comforters' along: pacifier, stuffed animal, blankie.

7. Keep your destination in mind. Even if everything goes wrong: angry toddler, annoyed passengers, desperate parents, it's all about the destination. 
Canada! My sister! My bestie!

Traveling with a toddler? 
Bring. it. on!

P.S. how cute is this passport photo of Micha? 
He's going to have the cutest passport in the history of passports!

Love, Maria

Please share any tips you have on flying with a toddler! Much appreciated!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

my crazy, loud, big, awesome family

I don't about your family, but mine is pretty great. And big. And loud. But mostly great.
I have the best parents, three beautiful sisters, three awesome brothers, a handful of brothers- and sisters-in-law and lots of nephews and nieces (fifteen to be exact!!). 
As I said: Big.

The original clan.
I'm the little girl with the dark blue dress and pearl necklace.
We all love to talk and be heard, we love to tease and 'outbid' each other, 
but we're also there for each other whenever it's needed. 
And we love each other fiercely.


You can only imagine how crazy things get when we're all together.
And ever since we've created a group chat for the family, it's like we're together all the time.

Which is sometimes a little annoying (imagine hearing message alerts every few seconds, and thinking something must be up, when it's ends up to be two of my siblings sending weird emoticons to each other..), 
but it usually is pretty cool. 
It's been such a great way to keep each other in the loop by sharing photos and little updates and prayer requests and everything in between.


This weekend was no exception with the sharing of all the things. 
We've had crazy good weather lately here in Holland and of course we all wanted to let the others know how much we were enjoying it. 
I felt bad for my sister in Canada who still is practically knee deep in snow and icy weather. 
It will get better, Alice, it will, I promise :) !

I think we all did a pretty good job at making each other jealous: 
My youngest sister was being spoiled at my parents, I shared a photo of a killer batch of cinnamon rolls as did my sister, my other sister lives near the beach and made us all jealous by dipping her toes in the water, my brother also lives near the beach and shared his family's beach photos. 
And the rest had equally sunny and fun photo's to share (with exception of my poor Canadian sister).

Sharing is caring, right? :)


I know social media isn't always the greatest thing, but I know it is a great thing for my crazy, loud, big, awesome family. 

I love them all!

Love, Maria

Friday, March 7, 2014


Project 52: a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014


19 months last week! There's hardly no baby left in you at all. You are all toddler!
You love to talk and you surprise everyone who hears you with your vocabulary. 
You've even picked up a little English, like: 'Be careful' and 'I love you' 

I finally found a good trick to have you sit still and interested in the camera. 
I tell you that there's little fishies in the camera and it works so well!

I love your facial expressions in the photo's above. 
First there's confusion, 'What, fishies, where?', 
then you start looking for them, 
but you're still a little unsure, and I can see you wondering if I'm tricking you (yes, son, yes I am.) 
And in the last photo, you're exclaiming 'Fish! Fish!' and are trying to catch them. 
You're such a little cutie!


Little baby boy:

Keep growing and kicking in there little one. We love you so much!


Happy weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Every once in a while, Micha will put down whatever he's playing with, walk up to me and place his hand or his head on my belly. 
Sometimes he just wants a cuddle from me, 
other times he looks up with a grin and says 'dikke buik' ('big belly' in Dutch, uh, thanks buddy), 
but lately he also pats my belly, cocks his head to one side and, with a sweet voice and a smile, says 'baby'. And I just melt into puddle. 
It's not just that he knows that there's a baby in my belly, 
but that he really seems to like the idea of that baby.


I know that once his little brother arrives things won't necessarily go smoothly, 
I'm actually certain that Micha will act out in some way, 
and I've heard the stories of others mama's who have had a hard time dealing with two boys so closely together. 
But those stories don't scare me and Micha will eventually get used to having a baby around.

I'm just so excited for Micha to become a big brother to this little boy that's growing inside me. 
I just know he'll be the best big brother there is and I have a feeling he's ready for the task.
Little baby boy is going to be one lucky little dude with a brother like Micha.


I'm so grateful I get to be their mama!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

chocolate cake and some other random links

 After B.'s February vacation last week, which was so nice, 
-the weather stayed beautiful, we visited a sheep farm with new born baby lambs = the cutest little things ever, celebrated a little friends first birthday and got to meet another friends new baby boy-
things are getting back to normal around here and I've finally had time to check what's going on on the internet recently.

These random links caught my eye:

This recipe
Because, duh, chocolate + women (especially this pregnant one) is a match made in heaven. 
It was okay, not the best chocolate cake I've ever had, the oatmeal gave it a weird texture in my opinion, but it certainly did satisfy my chocolate cravings.


This good read.
I started blogging because I was inspired by the great blogs I was reading at the time, I was drawn to them because of their honesty and 'realness'. 
But lately I've lost interest in many of those blogs, and I think it primarily has to do with the 'shift' the writer of the article speaks about. 
So many of the bloggers I used to love seem like they've lost their voice and replaced it with sneaky (or not so sneaky) and generic advertising voices. 
I don't mean to say that I don't like any blogs that have advertising or affiliate links, some of my favorite bloggers have these things, but there needs to be balance people, don't let your own voice suffer!

Okay, enough on that topic. Stepping off my soap box now...


This beautiful birth story. (go ahead, watch it, I'll wait...)
Micha's birth was slightly traumatic for me, I really wanted a home birth, but ended up in the hospital. 
I ended up getting a episiotomy, and it took so long to heal. 
Looking back, I felt like I wasn't in control of the situation, and just let things happen to me that I didn't really want. 
And now baby # 2 is on his way I'm kind of freaking out about the delivery and how long it will take me to heal this time around.
But watching baby Etta's birth story has brought me some calm and a feeling that 'I can do this'. 
I'm even considering having Micha at home during the delivery (which will hopefully be at home) just like the little boy in the video. 
I love the idea of having him close by and being able to meet his brother as soon as he's born.
We'll see when the time comes!
I do know that I'll have a great big birth plan with what I do and don't want ready, I did have one last time but now I have a better understanding of what delivering a baby means.


This equal parts weird/intriguing new health hype.

Oil pulling? The name alone makes me shudder, but the idea of swishing oil in your mouth for twenty minutes, eek, I'm not sure I can do that. 
But, in the name of curiosity, I will be giving it a try this week, the promise of pearly whites, fresh breath, less acne, detoxification of your body and more is pretty appealing. 
I'll let you know how it went!


Oh, and it's March people! 
Spring is almost here! Yay!

Love, Maria