At home with #9: Sofia and Nicolas, Den Haag.
Today we meet an International family living in Den Haag (Netherlands) : Sofia is Argentinean and her husband, Nicolas, is French. Both are 38. They’ve got 3 kids : 2 boys, Santiago 6 and Ignacio 4, and one girl, Clementine, 2. Sofia has stopped working a few years ago to take care of the children. Formerly, she was working in Regulatory issues for a French company in London. Nicolas is a trader in the Energy industry.
The week is quite structured. My husband helps with the morning routine : breakfast, dressing kids… and I do lunch boxes (as lunch is not provided in the French lycée). In the evening, I’m on my own : so I do bath at 5, dinner at 6, and bed at 7 for my baby, and 7.30 for the boys. I always read them a story (…or I invent one). I stay in the boy’s room till one of them is asleep to ensure they dont get out of bed 😉 !!! Then my husband arrives at 8 or later!
What do you usually cook for the dinner during the week? I have time to cook during the day and it’s the thing I enjoy the most. I do pasta with hidden veggies sauce, risotto or empanadas* (Argentinean recipe you could find below). For those days when I’m exhausted a vermiccelli soup is easy and the kids love it!
What activities do you enjoy doing at home? For bad weather, I always keep paint and any old furniture that will be thrown out, get dissmantled and painted! We are lucky to have much more space than in London. I also do writing games or songs. My husband plays ninja with the boys … and they get exhausted!!
What children books and games do you specially love in your family? My kids love dressing up, cooking together and playing Lego! As for books, I read to them in Spanish or English, and my husband in French. With dinosaurs, dragons,witches and pirates, it’s always a success!
Where do you like to go visiting with children during the weekend ? Den Hagg is such a child friendly city! Children from 4 years-old cycle through the city with the parents and it is very safWe love going to the beach dunes in Kijkduin : there are lots of restaurants with kids playgrounds on the sand! It is not a warm country but we can enjoy the beach at any point if we are well covered 😉 ! We also enjoy the city centre : it is relatively small, but the kids always find some music playing or some stall selling stroopwaffles ( caramel syrup biscuits )!
In the summer we also go to a lake nearby where you can rent many different types of boats : pedal boats, rowing boats motor boats. The lake is about 10 km away and we sometimes go by bike, I have a tricycle bike where the kids can go comfortably seated while I cycle them around!
Delft, Gouda and Utretch are very charming places and, all over The Netherlands, there are many castles which the boys love visiting as they provide costumes for visitors to go around as a Knight or a Princess 😉 !
For the cold rainy winter weekends, the museums here are absolutely excellent, very child oriented! So kids actually beg to go!!!
Thanks a lot to Sofia’s family for this interview, full of good ideas for parenting,… and also for visiting Netherlands!
See you soon for a special Valentine’s day !
To make empanadas*:
- 1kg of cow shoulder meat
- 3 onions
- 2 red peppers
- spring onion
Strain the liquid and use the rest + the raisins to fill in small dough circles. I buy them already made (Tapas de empanada) , but any small and thon like dough will do, even if it’s not a circule! Bake it 15 minutes at 200°C.