Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Just start swimming…

Today Emily and I had our second swimming lesson together. Although swimming lesson might be a bit too much to describe I think it’s more a dancing and singing lesson for me and a water exploration for our little princess. No there are no moving images from me “dancing” or sound recordings from me “singing” so you can keep on reading without fear…

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So far we had a lot of fun and it’s nice to see Emily reacting on and touching  other babies from about the same age. But most fun is watching her smile when we are doing fun things in the water. Today she had a lot of fun while I hit the water with my hand, last week she had fun while I was bouncing her through the water.

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Not so much fun is going under water… We started practicing while saying “Emily…Ready…Go” and then splashed water over her head, last week she really disliked it. At the end of the lesson we did the first under water practice, I said “Emily…Ready…Go” and the teacher would put her under water for a split second but not Emily, she decided to start screaming out loud at “Go” and crying/screaming babies are not put under water.

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But today she was in a different mood, she didn’t really mind the water in her face. Ok, she wasn’t laughing about it either but she didn’t cry after the fact. After a couple dance routines with bouncing, swimming and jumping through the water it was time for another under water try…and this time she went under for the very first time…

I think she enjoyed for at least a couple seconds, I can’t wait for the next time!

Note from Emily: I didn’t pick my own bathing suit, the teacher made me wear this thing which is called a “Happy Nappy” as a double protection system for some sort of not understandable reason…

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Home improvements…

It has been a while since our last update from Toronto but a lot has happened since then. Let me start with a post about home improvements today and I’ll try to catch up this week with more about our trips the last 2 months. After we got back from Florida we first got our new chair. It’s a very lazy chair and the way it’s positioned in the living room I can enjoy our both of our extraordinary views while only turning my head.

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After the chair we started looking for baby furniture, for everyone who didn’t figure out which secret we told Mickey Mouse: Danielle is pregnant from our first child! After we start looking for furniture we found out that the choices in Canada are quite limited compared to what we are used to in Europe. It’s a couple small speciality stores here in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) or online stores. We also visited a baby show together with one of my pregnant colleagues which we enjoyed and where we learned a lot more about important things for Canadian parents. We got to know a couple of new stores too.

After a couple of weeks of research we learned that a lot of furniture and strollers we did like had delivery times from up to over 12 weeks. We ordered our furniture and the stroller at Ella+Elliot in Downtown Toronto. This made us decided to order as soon as we made the choice. So in March we already found the things we’d like to see in the rooms and by the end of this month they will be delivered, a bit sooner as expected but that’s not something we’d be worried about. You are curious now? I hope you like surprises since you’ll need to wait till September to see the first pictures online…

In between the improvements we travelled to Europe and New York but I’ll write about that in later blogs. After we came back from New York they finally cleaned our windows, not something you should do yourself while living on the 38th floor off course. But we would wish they did it more often as once a year.

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And that was also the start of really nice weather which made us decided to a balcony overhaul. We started with a nice grass-green coloured outdoor carpet which I cut to fit perfectly. To honour my work I got a nice bottle of Crown Royal Monarch whiskey from Danielle.

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But that wasn’t where we stopped I found a nice set of furniture which would fit exactly onto our balcony at the IKEA website. Just after store opening we entered the IKEA in Vaughan and 40 minutes later we were driving back home to set up the furniture. And 2 hours later we enjoyed the nice weather and the remarkable view from our balcony…

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And since we were n the IKEA mood and wanted to add some more storage inside our walk-in closet I picked up the IKEA Stuva later that week.

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Besides the fact that our plant is still alive there is not much to mention about home improvements. But the King and Queen from the Netherlands are coming to Canada on an official state visit in May. On official visits they always meet with a part of the Dutch Community and we are part of that meeting. We are both really excited about it and are curious about how such an event will be. So far we went shopping for the appropriate clothing, the dress code is “Tenue de Ville”. For man this means a dark suit, for woman a dress which covers the shoulders and reaches to the knees. And that’s not something every pregnant woman has in her closet so we went shopping this weekend.

Unfortunately it’s not allowed to take any pictures during the event but we’ll make sure to write something about it on a later blog.

 

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Canadian cold and snowshoeing…

After we opened the door from our Condo when we came back from our to short winter break in California we found a letter that the thermal unit (the whole door) would be replaced on that same day. After we watched up on some sleep the technicians came in the afternoon, within only minutes the whole unit was gone…outside it was about -14 degrees celsius and snowing and that made a 45 degree difference within 24 hours for us…

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You can imagine we felt really cold while waiting for the technicians to be finished in about an hour. After the unit was placed back we turned up the heating and soon it the temperature was back to normal again.

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On Thursday evening a colleague from Germany visited us, thanks for bringing the Whiskey! We decided early that day to go together to Jupiter Ascending, a movie, at the SilverCity across the street. The movie started but there was something wrong with the 3D image quality. After one of the other guests informed the staff is was resolved. The movie was good and when we left the theatre one of the employees handed out courtesy tickets for another movie because of the issue in the beginning. I love the service mentality here in Canada, you don’t even have to complain to get it…

And than it was time for a long weekend, we started early on Saturday with a visited to the Yorkdale Shopping centre. We went there to order a chair, we already looked at this chair for a long time but wanted to look for more options at other stores but nothing came close to this one…it’s in stock in the new jersey warehouse and we can pick it up in the local warehouse at the beginning of March and then our living room is finished!

Finished? Wasn’t there an Ottoman which still needed to be picked up? Yes there was and we did that today. The Ottoman is the perfect size, it’s much more convenient than the carton box we used the first months but…the it’s not the quality we would expect. One of the hinges is bend and the fabric is damaged. We send an e-mail with our remarks and within minutes after sending the mail we got a response back from John, our own furniture associate at the Crate & Barrel. A new one will be ordered for us to be built the same way and in the mean-time we can keep this one and use it as if it is ours. Again excellent service.

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That evening Danielle baked her famous Chocolate Chip cookies to bring the day after on a real Canadian adventure. Yes, I wanted to do something only die-hard Canadians would do… I planned to search for a geocache on a small island on Buckhorn Lake about 1:45 hours driving from our place. What’s so Canadian about geocaching you might think, the temperature. On this particular day the highest temperature was expected to be -20 degrees celsius with a windchill temperature somewhere close to -40 degrees celsius. And to get to the cache I needed to walk over the frozen snow-covered Buckhorn lake. Lucky for me the Geocache was placed by GEOmamma the mother of one of my coworkers and we were invited to visit their beautiful (and warm) cottage.

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The ride towards Ennismore was beautiful on its own and after a cup of tea and some cookies it was time to put on the snowshoes and walk over the lake. And I can tell you it was really cold, I never expected that you can actually feel the difference between -10, -20 or even -40 degrees but now I can tell you really cold starts at -30 or something. I felt things I’ve never felt before. After only minutes out there my face started to hurt, my coworkers laughed it away and told me to get used to it, it’s normal for real Canadians…oh boy I’ve got a long way to go before I can call myself a real Canadian I think…

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After posing for pictures in the middle of the lake and snowshoeing to Ground Zero it took me longer as usual to find the cache! It was made to blend in and normally I like the more creative geocaches but today I didn’t my hands started to hurt since my gloves aren’t suitable for Canadian winter weather…but I found it and I got some letters in the log, the pen gave up after being a couple of seconds out of my pockets.

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After warming up at a warm spot behind the island we started our walk back to the shore and the warm cottage. Although it was colder as I thought it was a really cool experience in every meaning of the word cool. I’m glad I did went out with this kind of weather to feel what a Canadian winter is about and in the end I was able to write my name down in the log of that geocache with difficulty level 4 and terrain level 5. After a warm lunch and a lot of small talk it was soon close to 4:pm and time to head home. Thanks for letting me experience this David and family!

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The monday was part of the long weekend as it was Family day, a statutory holiday which exists in Ontario since 2007, first time it took place was in 2008. We took it easy since we’ve quite busy week ahead of us but we decided to go see American Sniper in the VIP Movie Theatre at the Shops in Don Mills. It’s a great movie and with those full recliner seats and service in the theatre it got even better.

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