Friday, February 15, 2008

the gracie report, week one

well we've been busy this week. and the sun is still shining. STILL SHINING! and not just sunny days, but absolutely crystal clear, cloudless days. that never happens in holland, no matter what time of year it is. she is our little ray of sunshine!

on tuesday i felt healthy enough and stable enough to leave the house and enjoy the sun, so we took gracie on a very short walk. first we took her downstairs to the jewelry store to show her off to all the ladies down there who have been asking about her for the past 9 months. they, of course, all loved her to pieces and shook our hands in congratulation. then we did just one lap around the block, to take out the garbage, snap a few pics in front of the church, and then for a cup of tea at a cafe on the market square. we sat in the sunshine, admiring our little girl, just feeling absolutely peaceful in the world. then just a little bit of shopping (we wanted to get wilma a little gift for all her help) and then home again. it was sooooo much fun to take her outside and show her off! an elderly gentleman stopped us on our way into a bookstore because he wanted to see her, and we talked in dutch about how beautiful she was. he was pleased and happy that he could sneak a peek at our little meisje. and we were pleased and happy to share her with him!

on sunday we had a few visitors and ate beschuit met muisjes and drank tea and coffee. this is a tradition that i want to write more about in another post because it's very dutch to have guests after the baby is born, in lieu of a baby shower. adam also went into work this week to share the beschuit with his coworkers and shared stories of his little girl and her miraculous birth. he said he totally loved it because he had a captive audience to listen to stories about gracie. what a proud papa! and apparently we must be getting used to living in the netherlands, where there are very few taboo conversations, because he was giving them all the graphic details. at one point he realized how vivid his speech had just become, and asked the crowd if it was too much for them. one person said, "of course not, we're dutch," but the lone norwegian in the crowd, his hands and legs crossed tightly with a stoic look on his face, said it was a bit much for him. but of course, like a good norwegian, he sat there and listened politely, all the while probably cringing inside and counting down the minutes until he could get back to work.

otherwise it's been pretty chill around here: naps with daddy on the couch, singing songs with mommy in the nursery, and rocking with mema by the fire. she is sleeping in her crib, in her own room, for up to 5 hours at a time at night, but we're still working on getting her morning and afternoon naps to take place in the crib. at least at nighttime she's sleeping on her own for long periods. as for now i guess, i can take her to bed with me so we can BOTH get some sleep at naptime. that seems to work fine.

other adorable things that she's doing: she's getting strong enough to hold up her head now, and we do the occasional "tummy time" to encourage this habit. when i burp her, she will scooch her head down from my shoulder onto my chest, right above my heart, because she's a little snugglebug. when i kiss her on the mouth, she opens her mouth like she's kissing me back (i know it's just part of the sucking reflex, but it's totally cute). she sneezes four or five times in a row, like her gramma rae. and when she's concentrating on something, she gets this worried look on her face, like what i do -- you know that look, where i'm concentrating, but it looks like i'm sad or worried, because i crinkle that space between my eyes and furrow my brow a little bit... well, gracie does it too! and i know she hasn't learned this habit from me yet -- isn't that amazing that some mannerisms are just part of your dna?! that's so cool!


SABRINA! said...

Congratulations Amber and Adam!
It took me a while, but I managed to read all the birth-and Gracie-stories I feel so, so happy for you and your families! I have been thinking about you a lot, sending you positive energy and hoping that everything would go as you wished.
I'm sorry I could not get in touch sooner, but I'm back in Enschede now and will be here for about 6 weeks. I hope to be able to come and see you all at one point!
Since I'm here again, let me know if you any help! I cook pretty well (probably not as good as grandma...) or could help with grocerie shopping or cleaning...please let me know if you need anything!

Lots of love your way and Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch!
Sabrina & Tom

Anonymous said...

Hey Gracie (and mom and dad and grandma!)
Just wanted to say hi. Sounds like you're doing great and are having soooo much fun on the outside! Can't wait to meet you and snuggle with you and play with you! Just two more weeks and I'm there!

Lots of love!
Auntie Valerie

SubtleKnife said...

Did you guys get the very appropriate "Telgen" street sign in that picture on purpose?

("Telgen" means "offspring"...)

teresa said...

yey! yey! i love these beautiful new pictures and it is just a JOY to read your stories. i love the pics of napping, the sunny church walk, and the lovely nursery rocking chair. oh!

i know we are just monkeys reproducing because it is in our instinct. . . but i didn't give birth to gracie and even I FEEL the joy-tears-love, which are typically a result of hormones designed to motivate protection of the infant.

how great is that!? i love you all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Briggle Family!
"Gefeliciteerd!" What a beautiful little girl :)
Isn't going out for the first time exciting?!
Sounds like you guys are doing great, we would love to come and visit soon :)

Loads of love Ryan, April & Patrick