Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gone blogging... again

After a long hiatus going to start blogging again... twitter doesn't suit my rambling needs... been reading a lot of a certain author and he has a style that makes me want to start writing again. So, here goes, whether anyone (besides my very supportive and attentive wife) actually reads it... to be seen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

photos for past six months

Sonia's first day at preschool!
video
video

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trip to Spain

Took a week in Marbella, Spain. Really nice to get away and just hang with the kids. Spent about 60% of our time in the pool and the rest drinking sangria and eating oranges.

In other news, Ethan had his tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears. School also started this week. He's doing OK, still recovering from the surgery. Zaza (as she calls herself) has started at a new creche and will be there until January when she'll start going to Ethan's school. Ethan turns 4 in a couple of weeks - nuts!

Summer (or what tried to pass itself off as summer) is officially over. Leaves are changing colors, heat is on every night... we're a LONG way from LA. The heat was on a couple of different nights in July and August... craziness. Let's talk about the weather. Exciting stuff. No energy to do anything else.

Hope all our friends and loved ones are well.

Photos from Spain.


























Saturday, August 04, 2007

6 month break

I'm getting worse with this blogging stuff. Like to say it's just because we're really busy (we are), but it's also because I'm lazy. And because we lost our camera charger for several months and so are missing out on months of photos.

All good here, same theme as normal - kids growing up, all enjoying Bxl despite the shite summer weather we've had, work going well, really feeling settled now. Made some new friends, social lives getting better, casually shopping for a house, either as a primary residence, or taking advantage of how low the prices are in the South of Belgium and buying a vacation place - can't figure that one out at the moment for certain reasons.


Dad coming to visit in a week, then we're going to Spain for a week - my and the kids first time - looking forward to it and then England for Halloween. That's about it. We miss all of you. Hope you're all well. Photos of the kids and a link to a couple of random videos. There's probably a very easy way to post videos on here, but I'm clueless, so here's a link to my You Tube page.


http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=astubing



























Sunday, February 11, 2007

2 months

2 months since I last posted - how lazy and undisciplined.

The honeymoon with Bxl is over and now it is becoming home. We miss all of our friends and always will probably, but the comfort level is much higher than it was 6 mos ago, and the careers are going well, the kids are settled. We've had a really mild winter and are now looking forward to a few months of spring and summer, with trips to Malta and Paris already booked and trying to plan another, thinking maybe Greece or Spain, somewhere hot, resort-y, with a steady supply sunshine, popsicles, ice cream and swimming/lounging with the kids.

Kids are good, overall we're much healthier than last winter, though Ethan was home all week last week with the flu. His vocabulary continues to grow, and he has us cracking up almost daily with his innocent, blunt observations.. An example: One evening a couple of weeks ago, she goes with Ethan to pick up Sonia from the creche, and while Sara is putting on Sonia's jacket, etc. Ethan has gone exploring as 3 year old's do, and he comes back and tells Sara, "Mommy, I saw a BIG BOTTOM!" Sara says, "what?!" "That lady, I saw her big bottom. She's got a big bottom!" Turns out one of the large-posterior'd women that works at Sonia's creche had unfortunately bent over right in front of Ethan, and he gave Sara (and another couple of women who were there a full report). While they all bit their lip and tried to get out of there as quickly as possible without cracking up, Ethan kept talking about the big bottom, and I'm sure the poor owner tried to pretend she didn't understand, but who doesn't understand a 3 year old kid yelling "big bottom!" over and over.

Assorted recent photos:













The nice big brother:



















The not-so-nice big brother:

























Ethan with his first go on the drums. At his friend, Leon's place. Gorgeous Art Nouveau house in the backrgound.

Video of the same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP4UOTQCZkw










Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random musings and one year anniversary

It's been a while since I've worked in a big company, and I'm finding that it doesn't matter if it's in the US or Europe or probably anywhere else, people just behave strangely when you put them in a group in one place. The politics, the need for people to put on airs or be someone they're not seems an inevitable by-product of putting more than a couple of people together. It's weird. People are weird. That being said, I'm enjoying myself, but it is an adjustment.

A couple of things I've noticed. A lot of people at my office say good day (bonne journee) or good afternoon (bonne apres-midi) as they exit elevators. I got over my initial cynicism about it, and now I find it kind of nice, especially in the morning. What's weird is though it's an English-speaking company, and many people are Flemish, yet nobody says the equivalent phrase in English or Flemish - what's that about? Are the French Belgies just more polite than the rest of us?

One thing that's kind of sad is when someone says 'bonne journee', and no one on a full elevator says it back, so I try and always say it. I'm sure that they probably scoff at my accent but you know what, F them and their impolite non-bonne-journee-saying asses. Oui, oui!

On another note, it's our one year anniversary in Brussels. In some ways it feels longer, but in others it feels like we just arrived. I wonder if Ethan has any clue about all of this. Doubt it. I hope this will be good for them in the long run. I think it will, but I guess we won't know until they've grown up, at least a bit. Sonia is starting to communicate a lot more, mixing in French and English, and Ethan is talking up a storm. Some of the things he comes out with crack me up. The other night I was running the bath for him and Sonia, and before he got in, he said he needed to go pee, so I said OK, go to the potty downstairs, and a few minutes later when the bath was ready, he still hadn't gone downstairs to the potty, so I said what's up, thought you wanted to go pee, and he said, 'no, that's ok, pee pee and poo poo are sleeping'. I said what? (trying not to crack up) and he said 'pee pee and poo poo are sleeping in his bottom', and that 'they make his bottom big'. I lost it. If you think about it though, using his vocabulary, it's a pretty accurate way of saying he doesn't have to go anymore and probably is what he thinks is actually going on. Reminded me of that show Kids Say the Darndest Things or whatever it's called.

Anyway, it's inspired me to post a couple of throwback photos of my boy from 2 years ago this month to remind me and Sara how much he's grown up in just the past couple of years.




Saturday, December 02, 2006

Our nephew and cousin!

http://www.growingfamily.com/webnursery/babypage_view.asp?URLID=5I2H0L4N4U

Natalia and Edson had a baby boy October 27th, Anthony Casto Soriano, pictured in the link above. The delivery only took a couple of hours from the time she went into labor until the time he was born, and everyone is doing great. It doesn't seem real yet, that my little sister has a child. Can't wait to meet him at Christmas, when we're going to DC.

Speaking of DC, our friend, Jo, is going to be there to join us for NYE. Don't know what we're doing yet. Jo also came to visit us here for a few days, and she and Sara managed to squeeze in a day trip to Paris.

We introduced Thanksgiving to some of Sara's Belgian co-workers, had a lot of fun. Wasn't the same without Madden on TV, but it was a good time. Sara took the day off of work and cooked up a feast.

Some recent photos: