hooray! more videos!
here's a good view of our market square during the final moments of a christmas market:
gracie got a bunch of instruments for christmas, and here we are playing them with her. she sure loves to dance! our "guest musicians" in this video are teresa and nick, who were out here visiting us for the holidays.
here is another shorter video of the same hootinanny:
it was new year's day, and on the way back from belgium with teresa and nick we were on a very crowded train with a french-speaking brass band. they got on our train at rotterdam, with their trombones and tubas and trumpets, and a whole shopping cart full of percussion instruments, flutes, and bells. adam, mg, and i all had a seat on the train for the entire trip, but towards the end we needed to get up and get moving towards our bags and stroller (it always takes a long time to get situated as we're getting off the train)and gracie was starting to get fussy. so i began to sing a song to her, and the band broke in and started singing an entirely new song, complete with 4-part harmony and background melodies. it was too cool. needless to say, gracie was entertained the rest of the trip!
gracie has this neat little green collapsable baby cot that i picked up ages ago, but for a long time it pretty much served as a receptacle for everything in the living room that we didn't want her to touch (like our guitars, some magazines, etc.). well, that was hardly a good use of that space! so i moved it, unzipped the side of it so she could crawl in and out, and let her go crazy. she LOVED it! in and out, in and out, up and down, in and out. it's her new favorite thing.
now her "fort" lives in a corner by daddy's desk, so she can crawl in there and have some quiet time if she wants. there are books, stuffed animals, a blanket, and her "binky" (a pacifier), so whenever she needs some down time she's got a place to go to.
gracie and daddy are BEST friends. seriously. daddy loves to play with gracie, and gracie loves to fly through the air! super baby up up and away!
gracie is learning how to walk. and she's getting really good at it too! as i type this, she is at the stage now where she can take up to 5 steps in a row before she gives up and crawls the rest of the way, cuz it's WAY faster that way. she's getting braver every day with the distance she's willing to walk, and i know it's just a matter of time before she's RUNNING. but everything comes in stages, and none of us are able to do anything exceptionally well without much practice and perseverance. here is a good example of that: gracie is pushing her toy bar around the living room and totally cruising. we're so proud of our amazing grace!
there isn't a lot of green space in the heart of hengelo, so we've got all these little play areas set up around town. they're quite small, just a little climbing structure, usually with a slide and some stairs, and a mini climbing wall with steps that look like frog airplanes. on nice days (which are rare) and when gracie is good (which is often), we stop for a while to let her climb and play. unfortunately, she's still too little to do a lot of the stuff at that play gym, but she has figured out a way to enjoy herself anyway! watch her try to climb up the slide, and slide back down, and screeeeam!