30, more walking and a new studio

There are big changes brewing here on Huron Street. I almost don’t know where to start. Last Thursday I turned thirty. Sara took me out for a lovely lunch and then Erik and I went out for a real dinner date in the evening. Ellis’ teacher at daycare came over to babysit. This was the first time anyone else has put Ellis down for the night. Since Kara has helped her with hundreds of naps, we felt completely comfortable and confident that things would go well at bedtime. They did go well and we can’t wait for more date nights in the future!

In big work news, Erik has started freelancing from home and is working on building up his new studio. We are excited to see where things go and have decided to switch Ellis to part-time daycare in the new year to save money while Studio Vrielink is getting its start. We have signed her up at a great home daycare right down the street (almost closer than the daycare was to our offices!) founded by a former nanny who is also a mother. We will miss the friends we have made at daycare, but are excited to meet some new ones who might also live in our neighborhood. Erik and Ellis will be spending most afternoons together. I think this will be a wonderful bonding time for them and a great chance for Ellis to pick up more Dutch.

Since our little video of Ellis taking some of her first steps just over a month ago, she has come great strides and is walking almost everywhere. I had no idea what a big change this would be. She was mobile with her crawling, but we couldn’t really put her down anywhere other than our apartment, daycare, or the grass in the park (back when it was warm enough to do so). This morning we went to Target and it was adorable to see her navigate the aisles and comb through the clothing racks all by herself.


San Francisco Turkey

We are just home from our second big trip in November. Our little family flew to San Francisco to join Mike in his new hometown for Thanksgiving. What a gorgeous city! I could certainly live with 60 degree weather everyday. Mike showed us all around the Bay area and we even took a little day trip to visit Josephine who was in the town of Sebastopol painting for a month. Ellis loved being around her uncle and she especially enjoyed walking all around his carpeted apartment. So much softer than our old wood floors!

Flying with Ellis was manageable but tiring. I was so envious of the guy sitting next to us who slept for almost five hours. The days of watching movies and sleeping on the plane have been replaced with games/distractions/snacks to keep Ellis entertained and somewhat quiet. Dancing in the bathroom mirror and pulling out paper towels was a big hit.

For my coming 30th birthday, we did a little black Saturday shopping at Fry’s and I picked up a new point and shoot digital camera. It takes amazing pictures in low-light and captures colors brilliantly. My Canon Elph was over four years old (antique by tech standards) so I am very excited about the upgrade.


Nijntje Books

While in Deventer we stumbled upon the vintage Nijntje books enjoyed by Amke, Erik and Marijke many years ago. Erik loves reading these books to Ellis and we were amazed to see how little they have changed in nearly three decades. The childhood signatures of Amke and Erik were so sweet. We hope to make a new tradition of buying Ellis a Nijntje book every time we are in Holland. Each book has the same spot for her name. I am looking forward to the day she can write e-l-l-i-s all by herself.

Marijke’s Wedding

We are back from Holland and had such a wonderful time at Marijke and Adriano’s wedding. The ceremony and dinner were beautiful and intimate. I can hardly believe their “I do’s” (or “Ja’s” actually) were said in a room built in the 1600s. For an American from a town where the oldest building was from the 1800s, this is pretty incredible. Ellis did well on the flight while Erik and I were busy feeding and distracting her with new toys and books to keep it that way. She loved seeing her Dutch family and playing with Cedric and Julian. The jetlag helped us in some ways. Ellis stayed up past 10pm and slept in until 9am, something she has not done for many months. Our visit was short and flew by quickly, but we left with many special memories we’ll carry for years. Marijke and Adriano are also expecting a son mid-February, so double congratulations!!


Little steps

It’s 9:30 but feels like midnight. The daylight savings time change always throws me off and the added early wake up from Ellis makes for some very heavy eyelids. We took it easy this weekend, packing for Holland and organizing the apartment. Today we caught the tail end of the NYC Marathon as we walked from Brooklyn to Queens. I always love to watch and cheer on the amazing athletes. We managed to capture a little video of Ellis taking some of her first steps. Ignore my silly high voice in the background.


Halloween Weekend

Ellis had a great second Halloween. She rode in the daycare parade last Friday with all of the other babies, teachers and parents from her school. There were so many adorable costumes, especially from the older kids. Ellis was a butterfly this year. She was originally going to be a lady bug, but we couldn’t fit the bulky costume over her head. A visit to our favorite second hand store Clementine saved the day.

On Saturday we drove down to Baltimore to visit Isabelle, Nick and Clara who were in town for the week from Seattle. Clara has grown so much. She is such a sweet baby. We had a great time catching up, enjoying some nice fall weather and playing with our two little insects.

Next week we are flying to Holland for Marijke and Adriano’s wedding! We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating their special day.

Oh, and Ellis also surprised us by walking a few feet by herself this week!



I’ve been meaning to update the blog for over two weeks. Our days are flying by and there never seems to be enough time in the evenings to do everything that I want to do. Fall is officially here and we have enjoyed some wonderful outings to celebrate the change of seasons. The other weekend, we had the pleasure of joining Sara for a New Jersey day trip to meet baby Théo, visit Rachel and Fabien, and celebrate Sara’s 30th Birthday with her family in Long Valley. We even fit in a little apple picking! We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Théo is adorable and growing so fast. I always love seeing the weekly updates on their blog, but meeting him in person was even better.

It’s a funny thing that I am learning about being a parent, you always look at the older children and think “I can’t wait for Ellis to...talk, sing, ride a bike, etc.” but then you see a younger baby and suddenly think “That was such a sweet time, when she was content to only be in my arms and didn’t get into everything around the house.” Every stage is special and memorable for different reasons. Instead of thinking too much about what’s ahead or behind us, I should really just savor the phase that Ellis is in right now, because it can really change from day to day. This week she is in the string of babbling, confidently cruising, testing her boundaries with mini-tantrums, and learning to feed herself with a fork phase.

This past weekend I volunteered to do a little clean-up and bulb planting in our neighborhood park. I was excited to get my hands in the dirt again. When Erik brought Ellis to the park, he also got inspired to do a little gardening and went ‘all Dutch’ on the flower beds. We are already looking forward to seeing our handy work in the Spring.

There is a lot to celebrate this month. Ellen gave birth to a beautiful daughter Minna earlier this month in Paris. Congratulations! Roman also turned one this week. I can’t believe a year has already gone by. Ellis went on a little stroller date with him to watch the floating pumpkins in Central Park.