The ﬁrst day of Spring was also Ellis’s one and a half birthday. The last six months have brought so many wonderful changes, most notably walking and talking. Erik and I have been making a list of her new words:
abierto (open) • Annabelle • apple • aqua • Astrid • Avery • baby • bag • ball • banana • bath • book • boot • bounce • bubble • bye bye • cheese • cookie • cracker • dog • down • ducky • eyes • go • Harper • hat • hello • Lulu • mama • Max • Meisje • more • nee • no • nose • papa • pee • poopoo • seat • shoes • socks • step • teeth • toes • uh oh • up • walk • water • wow • yes
The names of her friends, the cats and the Spanish words have been some of the nicest surprises. Instead of open, Ellis kept saying “abie”. Google translate helped us realize what she was actually saying. I am constantly having to remind myself that she understands more than she can say. When we were getting ready to leave in the morning, instead of grabbing her coat, shoes and bag, I asked her to bring them over. She collected everything with ease. Of course she wanted to wear her new rain boots from Oma and Opa when it was more of a sneakers kind of day. Erik is reading her many Nijntje books and speaking Dutch with Ellis as much as possible. Looking forward to hearing her ﬁrst rolling R and guttural G. Her favorite toys are still dolls and stuffed animals. She just loves to carry them around, attempt to dress them, feed them, and give them water (like the monkey in the photo).
This morning Ellis had her 18 month check up. She’s still topping the growth charts at 29 lbs and 33.5 inches. I can’t believe she is over half my height!
I tried out life as a single mom. It was slightly exhausting. I have complete respect for any parent raising children on their own, especially my Mom with two under two. Ellis and I stayed busy enjoying visits from Josephine and Edwin and a play date with Matisse and her adorable son Benicio. Ellis was asking for her Papa at night, which was very sweet. I impressed myself by carrying Ellis, her stroller and our bags down three ﬂights of stairs in one go. Going upstairs was a different story! As conﬁdent as Ellis is walking and nearly running, she still has a ways to go before climbing our tall apartment steps without going down on all fours. We were both delighted to see Erik after a few days and excited to hear all about Mauro.
At the beginning of the month I flew to Holland to meet Mauro, Marijke and Adriano’s ﬁrst child! It was weird to travel by myself but it was very special to see Mauro as a newborn. Marijke and Adriano are already such natural parents. It was also great to see my parents again in Deventer, where we had a nice dinner near the main town square (the Brink). I even got to ride a bike again! The last night I stayed over with Amke and Niels and had fun playing with Cedric and Julian. Then it was already time to fly back to New York. A nice, sweet visit. Looking forward to going back in July already.