32 weeks today and it’s Sinterklaas! Sinterklaas is a Dutch holiday and as a little girl I was very fond of it, so I’ve been eager to start the tradition with you. I know you’re still too young to understand but that doesn’t mean we can’t start celebrating yet!
Yesterday, you ‘helped’ me put your shoe out. You’re supposed to leave your shoe in front of the fireplace, because in the middle of the night Sinterklaas and his helper Zwarte Piet come through the chimney to leave presents in the shoes of all kids who have been good that year. Kids leave letters and drawings in their shoes for Sinterklaas and carrots for his white horse that Sinterklaas uses to walk on people’s roof.
This all sounds a bit like what Santa Claus does at Christmas time, that’s because Santa is based on Sinterklaas. We also celebrate Christmas complete with Santa Claus in the Netherlands, but we just call him Kerstman – “Christmas Man”.
Last night, Mama helped you sing Sinterklaas songs (very loudly) to make sure Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet could hear and knew that you live here. And it worked, this morning you found presents in your shoe for the first time in your life! You received some typical Sinterklaas candy: pepernoten and a chocolate letter B (for Babel). You’re not allowed to eat this yet, so I’ll help you with that ;). You also got a new knitted dinosaur, a handmade Sinterklaas hat, and a tangerine.
Yesterday morning we said goodbye to Oma, who went back to the Netherlands. You had a great week with her and I know she already misses you. But she won’t have to wait long to cuddle you again because we’re going to the Netherlands ourselves, very soon. It will be your first time flying, and I’m a bit nervous about it, especially because Papa will not be there with us. Thankfully, it’s only a short flight. The flight to Japan next year will be much, much longer…
Oma came to Buxton this time to celebrate her birthday with us. We went to uncle Djamo and aunt Yasmin’s for a nice dinner and birthday party. Uncle Gyano and aunt Censa joined via Facetime. Aunt Yasmin made a cute and very high birthday cake for Oma.
When uncle Djamo came out with the birthday cake and we all started singing a Dutch birthday song, very loudly, you got scared and upset and cried, very loudly! At first I thought you were singing along, but soon we all realized you were not very happy about the sudden eruption of loud singing. Next week is your Papa’s birthday, let’s see how you react then. Don’t worry, we’ll try to keep our volume down.
Aunt Yasmin had cooked a delicious dinner including little lamb ribs. It was your first time trying lamb (because I’m really bad at cooking it) and you loved it. It was also the perfect food for you: the lamb is small, served on a stick, and chockfull of iron. It was like a delicious meaty lollipop for you. Some other new foods you tried there were turkey, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage stamppot – Dutch dish basically vegetables mashed into potatoes.
You also went out for food with us for the first time this past week. We went to a local pub and you ate quite a lot of pulled pork and smoked salmon. I was very impressed. Another new food I cooked you this week was a pancake – American style: thick, small and fluffy – and you really loved that. I also let you try avocado again, combined with lime juice to make guacamole, and you really loved that. And this afternoon, you went to town on my Honey Crunch apple. So lots of successes this week regarding Babel-Led Weaning. And lots of stinky farts and diapers…
The older you get, the more you enjoy playtime. You had a lot of fun in a huge box, swinging in a laundry basket, and exploring all your regular toys with Oma and Mama this week.
You also kept stealing Oma’s glasses and phonecase for your chewing enjoyment. You still have no teeth coming through but you sure love chewing on every single thing you get your hands on!
Every night, before we go to sleep, you say goodnight to Papa, breastfeed, watch your favorite music clip (O.A.R.’s Peace) and then we admire the stars that come from this little gadget above. It makes the dark ceiling light up with stars and a moon, and you love it when I make them all move. After a little starplay you usually start to yawn and lay your head down on my shoulder and fall asleep. I put you in your Wool Nest and somewhere in the middle of the night after another feed you complete the rest of the night in between us in the big bed. You love sleeping in, you usually sleep until 10, but sometimes you last until 11, or 12 even.