February 2023 is Coming To An End

As I sat down to write this recap, I was a bit lost. I could not remember what happened this February, it seems to have just flown by. But this highlights to me, even more, the importance of capturing moments before they slip away. So here I am, trying to make my best effort.

February has been a strange month. There are a lot of things that happened yet none of them come to my mind. I think the biggest one is that we finally got out car – it is a hybrid Volvo. I would not say that it is life-changing for our day-to-day life but it is certainly useful for when we want to go and explore the Netherlands a bit further than the area where we live. Ironically, I could not drive my car until the last day of February. I applied for the exchange of my license but there they needed some more supporting documentation and the whole thing spanned for almost the whole month. When you are in the process of exchanging the license, they take away your Canadian driver’s license and hold it until you get a new one so you are literally prohibited to drive. Anyhow, all these shenanigans got resolved and finally, I got hold of my license last Friday. I like our new car, it feels a lot like the one we had before in terms of driving. It is a bit strange with the brake but I am pleased that it is hybrid and I feel like it is a good move toward going fully electric. Here is a picture of what it looks like:

Although I was mostly in limbo at work for the past few weeks, life has been taking a full swing at home. We started looking for a permanent place to buy in the Netherlands and made some house visits – so far, with no success. I still think that it is a good experience to visit and get a sense of what we like. So the search keeps on going for now!

I have also been preparing for my half-marathon. I mostly managed to complete all the training every week except one run but I will catch up this week since I am skipping the whole week’s training and only doing that one run. I have my parents, grandparents and my uncle staying in the last week of February and I was also sick so that made any training almost close to impossible. The longest run that I did so far was 12,5 km – it took a lot of convincing myself to go out for a run but I was proud that I did it. The main issue with it that I had was not even the distance or my heart rate – it is my lower back that gets pretty much unbearable pain right after the run. I have to pretty much lay on the foam roller the whole day after the run. After I made myself a promise in January to get to the swimming pool, I indeed started the sessions and have been there 2 times so far. I am hoping that will help to strengthen my back for the runs.

I have also been practicing my Dutch – I am on 66-day streak on Duolingo. I can’t really commit myself to classes at the moment because of some other commitments but I am impressed at how well Duolingo is working out. The other day, Nicolas said that he was wondering how you would say “I like children” in Dutch and I sort of blurted it out without thinking. He went on Google and he said I was right. I was surprised because I did not expect to know this but perhaps Duolingo is much better than I thought it would be for me.

Speaking of language, Sofia’s vocabulary is all over the place. The daycare teachers told us that she knows all fruits and vegetables in Dutch. I would not be able to tell because I don’t know them haha. But the other day, I caught her saying “Ik will pain” which is a nice mix of Dutch and French. “Ik will” is “I want” in Dutch and “pain” is bread in French. So there we go, a proper mix. She also often surprises me with her vocabulary: sometimes she says words I did not know she knew. This morning, I was wearing my glasses which is rare but sometimes happens when I went to pick her up and she said pointed at them and said “lunette”. I never heard her say that in her life before. I guess she is absorbing way more than we think.

On the last week of February, my parents, grandparents, and my uncle came for a visit from the Czech Republic. They brought Sherlock back – he was staying there for a few weeks while we were traveling for Christmas to Canada. We went for a few walks around the city and my parents traveled for a day to Amsterdam with my grandfather and my uncle. Although I am working most of the week, I took a few days off to spend together. But these days are spanning into March and that’s the story for another post.

My grandpapa and Sofia having breakfast!

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