Overview 2011

Happy 2012!2011 was again a very busy year. The most impressive was of course Ana’s pregnancy and the birth of our son Alex on the 15th of August. Just like his father he was born in the year of the rabbit. A beautiful baby which fill us with happiness and pride.

Alex is born in Alcala de Henares and weighed 2.500 grams. In a few month he has grown an incredible amount and for us as parents it is a fantastic experience. After his birth grandma Nel and grandpa Kees paid us a visit and a few weeks later we took Alex to Holland to introduce him to our family and friends.

After giving birth to Alex the mother had some issues. Ana recovered quickly from the caesarean, but after a while she was diagnosed with a large amount of rocks in her bile. It was a very painful experience and resulted in a few weeks in the hospital. Eventually she was allowed to return home with a very strict diet. Her bile had been infected and needed to cool down for it to be removed entirely in January or February.

This year we published our first children’s story. The title is ‘Thomas and Valentine‘ and it is a beautiful story about a young farmer, his wife and a strange animal. It is not so difficult to guess the strange animal if you look at the books cover. This children’s book is ideal to read from and was written by Ana and Adrie. The book is available in Dutch and English. We are still working on the Spanish version. There are still some small errors in the texts but we are working on a new and better version. We thank everyone who has pointed us to errors in the stories.

Before Alex’s birth we visited the Canary Island ‘La Gomera‘. A very nice island that is perfectly suited for nice nature walks.

We also had some issues with the richest man in the world, the owner of the IKEA. This is our neighbor and we pointed out to him that he should maintain his property a little better.

A lot of family and friends visited us here on the island. It was a good year. The year of the rabbit proved to be a very fruitful year. We wish everyone a very good 2012!


2 Euro 2012!There is another 2 euro coin being minted. Very good for the treasury, but why is the Dutch mint always thinking so small. My point being that the special collectors versions of this coin was sold out in four days. The reason, there were only 15.000 coins being minted. These coins were sold with a nice profit for 10 euros each.

The direct profit for the government is 8 euro per sold coin. Furthermore, it is a pretty safe guess that all the coins will disappear into various collections resulting in a double profit for the government. But what I don’t understand is that in a time of crisis Holland is thinking so small. If 15.000 coins get sold in four days for sure there is a demand for more. With 30.000 coins you double the profit. Because this 2 euro coin will be wanted by collectors everywhere in Europe I think even one million coins would eventually be sold. A missed opportunity for the treasury.

Going with the flow

After quite some years it got time to make some updates. A fresh new look for my blog with a little less fuss and a nice changing image in the header.

The WordPress theme I’m now using is called twenty eleven (2011), so I’m just in time, because I would not want to change to something that is already outdated.

4 Months

Alex surprised!It has already been 4 months since Alex’ birth and he has grown a lot. After the birth of our son our lived changed to the fast lane. Everything is happening faster and suddenly we don’t have time for a lot of things we used to take for granted. It seems that we are living our lives with much more intensity.

A simple cold that used to be annoying is suddenly a big issue because the results are much bigger. When I got a cold the little one also got it, resulting in sleepless nights, a poor coughing baby, a baby that does not want to drink, and a poor baby that will only quiet down and sleep it you rock it to sleep in your arms. This is quite an effort if you have a cold and need to keep it up a few days, 24 hours a day.

At the same time it is a fantastic experience to notice new developments all the time. Alex picking something up, Alex looking at his father when someone says ‘daddy’, Alex getting smarter all the time, avoiding we spray a salt solution in his nose, Alex controlling his body better and better and sometimes stretching his legs to avoid his pants being put on.

Being a parent is a lot of work, but it pays out. An Alex laughing, or showing a little smile is the best thing there is, and Alex smiles a lot. Even after coughing, puking, or whatever there is still a smile that appears on his little face.

The next adventure is already imminent. It looks like one of his teeth is starting to grow.


Rhinomer!Yesterday and today the little one had a bad cold and this affected us dearly. Drinking his milk posed a problem because this nose was so blocked up that he could not drink and breath at the same time. The entire time he was coughing and he didn’t sleep for even a second the entire night. The immediate result was that we also did not sleep during the night. The poor boy, but it didn’t seem to bother him that much. A few times, just after a cough that sounded horrible, and sounded like the worst yet, a beautiful smile appeared on his little face.

The solution we are trying now is Rhinomer. A salt solution that we spray directly in his nose. Alex does not like it at all, but it works very well to get his some temporary relief.

High rent

For almost four years we have been renting our little apartment in the middle of the city, in a very green area. The area is called ‘Ciudad Jardin‘, which means city garden.

Our problem is that there is another apartment for rent in our block. According to the website where the apartment is advertised the rent they ask is higher than ours, but we overheard a salesperson talking to potential renters, and this salesperson commented that there was space to negotiate and they could drop the rent for the apartment to 100 euro less. A bit strange to have these negotiations out loud when other renters are nearby, but we’ll just have to profit from this information.

We never had problems with our rent, but now that we know there is room to negotiate, of course we also want a lower rent! Even more so because we are exemplary renters and we made a lot of improvements to our apartment. We painted, repaired and improved. We even addressed the deterioration of the neighborhood and made the area a better place to stay.

Lets see if we can get a new lower rent, and if I can convince Ana to start the negotiations. Due to the crisis rents have dropped everywhere, except for us. We are even renting two apartments now. One for us and one nearby for Ana’s parents. There must be room for negotiation!