Monthly Archives: August 2013

Romania: day 1 and 2, done (not quite)

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I have lots to learn when it comes to travelling with (small) children. At home we follow a strict routine when it comes to meal times and sleep and I think it is routine that keeps us sane. When we travel, routine doesn’t exist (jetleg, new environment) and life can be hell sometimes.

Our trip didn’t have a great start and I don’t know what would have been of us if it wasn’t for my in laws and their endless patience and love for our two girls.

We left London with Laura burning with fever and having medication every 3-4 hours. She got worse when we got here, and if I was trying to pretend it was a “normal” illness of a toddler, I freaked out when I was lying down with her and several times she jumped and shivered so violently that she woke up but without noticing what she had just done.

So our first day in Romania was marked by a trip to A&E here, three different medications, including an antibiotics, and change of plans for the weekend. We simply couldn’t go far to the mountains until Laura was feeling better.

On top of that, I’ve noticed red marks on my left breast, with a strong pain and the area being hot. I actually had fever in the night. I’m hoping that I’m not going to develop mastitis now and on holidays!!

Today, instead of going to wherever we were going to, we went to a place nearby, in the middle of nature to have a picnic. Laura was such a pain, asking to go home, crying about everything. She spits the antibiotics, doesn’t want to eat, is rude to people… Beatrice should be easier, but even the littlest one has been crying more than normal, not feeding well and not sleeping enough during the day. *sigh* It makes us wonder whether this family holiday thing is worth it.

Luckily (for me), summer and warm temperatures make me feel more positive about things. So, what could have been a tiring and stressful day out, was and fun tiring and stressful day out. I ate lots and was wearing sleeveless shirt and wasn’t sweating like a pig (it was warm, with fresh breeze, not boiling hot).

Let’s hope the night won’t be eventful and we can all rest and be in a good mood for tomorrow’s day trip.

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My home decor: the messy room

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We have a tiny bedroom in the house that in the beginning we thought about using it as Laura’s bedroom, so we could have a spare room for a playroom or whatever. But when we moved to this house, the wall was covered in mould and we decided the room wasn’t appropriate for a baby. Smart decision, as not only it had this infiltration, but also the radiator doesn’t work and the room is extremely cold in winter. Being us, we never sorted this problem.

So the tiny bedroom became the messy room. Or a dumping ground. I’ve been trying to organise it since my mum was here but I spend several hours just sorting old cables (we have 10 different mobile chargers from mobiles we don’t even have anymore). It is so so so frustrating. I wished I could just throw everything away and start from scratch. I am the one to blame – hubby doesn’t have a clue of what we have there, so technically I could just get rid of all his stuff and he wouldn’t even notice, but 80% of the stuff in there are mine (most of hubby’s crap are in the guest bedroom, another one that needs sorting asap!).

I don’t know what to do with this room, but I know that the first step is to get rid of the useless things we have been collecting throughout the years. The photos below were taken when I was still trying to make sense of all the mess (2nd time round – the first was when my mum was here, in June) last week. I gave up as it was taking too long, but managed to clear the floor and put all the boxes in shelves. When we come back from holidays, these will be my priority.

Here are the terms to organise this room:

* No painting walls

* No new furniture

* No more shelves

=> This will be some sort of “The under £50 budget project”. Deadline: 30th September 2013 (remember: I am slow, lazy and have a baby that likes to sleep in our arms). Watch this space!

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What you see when entering the room: the grid is from Laura’s cot bed, which will go back when Bea inherits it (in November).

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It was a nightmare to put this shelf up. Whatever we do to clear/organise this room will NOT involve putting up shelves. We are not good with DIY.

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My plan is to remove these hanging “shelves” as they are ugly and messy. Unless I can find “drawers”/boxes for the wholes.

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I don’t know what to do about this corner yet, but I would like to remove this bookshelf from there. But before I can do that, I need to throw away A LOT of things.

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And these bags also need to go somewhere else. But where?!?! :-S

Now I remember why…

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I get so grumpy before travelling: packing is always a pain. The problem with these budget airlines is that they charge even if you use their toilet paper, so we tend to get only one luggage to check in (it costs £60 return per piece with Wizzair).

If it was already a struggle with 3 of us, now that we are four and back to massive amounts of nappies (I’m only taking 5 nappies per day for Bea, so she better continue her once a week poo routine) and other stuff.

I changed my mind out taking a breast pump and bottles, which means that if I go out without Bea, I can only stay away for a couple of hours. Oh, and I’m not taking any clothes to go out in the evening, if we need something slightly better than long shorts and tees.

The challenge about packing light for this trip is that we are going to the mountains and the weather up there can get very low. So imagine having to pack for temperatures between 0 and 30C.

We ended up with 1 big luggage, with my and hubby’s clothes, nappies, wipes, travel potty, inflatable bathtub and all toiletries; and 4 hand bags: one with bea’s clothes, one with Laura’s clothes, one with shoes, books and probably hubby’s laptop, and one with the cameras, documents, Bea’s changing bag, chargers.

I hope I’m taking enough but by experience I tend to take too much. If we run out of clothes, we will wash them by hand. 😉

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Holiday, celebrate!

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Today is our last day before we hit the air and the road in Romania.

The plans are (and this is based on the accommodation we have booked): one weekend in Arieşeni, which is West from Cluj-Napoca, then drive to Sovata where we will stay a few days before we go to Bușteni, for a few more days. We will then explore whatever there is to be explored in the areas, but taking it very easy, as we want to relax and enjoy our time as a family.

On the way from Bușteni, back to Cluj-Napoca, we MIGHT go through the Transfăgărășan (the most beautiful road in the world, according to the Top Gear guys), which, in this case, we would spend the night in Sibiu. But this will depend on time and the girls.

As I said before, this will be my first time in Romania in summer, so I’m very much looking forward to it. 😀 Hopefully there will be some great pictures to share with you, but just in case I can’t update the blog whilst I’m away: don’t abandon this space, I’ll be back. 😉

Now I have to pack. Not sure how I will fit all our stuff in one luggage (and four handbags), but I’ll do it!

 

Bedwetting and other annoying things

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Laura continues to have her weekly night accidents (we are talking about bedwetting here), despite our efforts to reduce her liquid intake in the evenings and putting her to wee before bedtime. I read a bit about it and also talked to the health visitor and apparently it is “normal” for potty trained children to wet their bed until 5 years old. It’s one of those situations that you wished you were part of the “abnormal” team.

The recommendation is that we don’t make a big deal out of it, make sure the child knows that it isn’t her fault, and keep encouraging her. We do all this, I guess. The only thing I panic is when she sleeps in OUR bed. We don’t have a waterproof sheet like she has in her bed.

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According to the health visitor, it is ok to wet the bed until they are five, but it is not ok to drink milk (or whatever) in bottles. We slowly cut down Laura’s night milk, mainly thinking about her teeth – she wouldn’t brush her teeth after having her bottle of milk at bedtime, as she would fall asleep having the milk. Then we cut the bottle all together and guess what? She doesn’t want to have milk AT ALL.

I know there are alternatives to make sure she gets the calcium she needs, but she is not a big yogurt or cheese eater. I know it is not a tragedy either, but it is so annoying!

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Laura is in a phase of choosing what she wants to wear. Great, isn’t it? Yes, it is. Not. The thing is: she is fascinated by skirts. She doesn’t want to wear anything else but skirts. I tried to get her some new ones, but I’m against paying adult’s price on children’s clothes, and I couldn’t find any skirts in the usual cheap shops I go to. Laura has exactly 4 skirts – three of them from the time she was 6 and 12 months old (yes, they still fit!). I got her some very pretty dresses, but she doesn’t want to wear them. I got her a cute playsuit. Nice short trousers. Nothing is good enough. The only way I can get around it is telling her that the skirts are all dirty and waiting to be washed.

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And the big girl (the post is all about her) cannot sit down properly, with her legs closed. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain, show how people around sit, in a nice way, in a tough way. She just doesn’t listen. I have no idea how long it takes for a 3 years old to learn something like that, but she seems to learn the wrong things pretty quickly. It.drives.me.nuts.

Honestly, it is less about “good manners” and more about “there are weirdos out there and this guy in front of us can be one of them”. I already force her to wear shorts under her skirt, but still…

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I’m having a bit of a moment today – headaches on a daily basis, bad nights of sleep AND insomnia, eating like there’s no tomorrow… so I might be overreacting here. So don’t mind me. Life is still beautiful.

Beatrice’s Christening

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My intention was to write a post announcing Beatrice’s Christening ages ago, when we chose the Godparents, which happened back in May, just after she was born. But life was busy, I wanted the post to be special, I kept postponing it and it will come now, with photos of Bea’s special day.

It is a hard task to choose your daughter’s Godparents. There are several things to consider. Firstly, they need to be people close to the family. Secondly, you need to trust they will be good guides to your daughter. Some people think that Godparents are people that will look after your child when you die. It could be, but their “job” is not to replace you as a parent, but to provide your child with spiritual guidance throughout their lives. It’s a lot of responsibility, if you ask me, especially in those times where the world seems so messed up.

So only natural that the chosen ones are our best friends in the UK, country we chose to call home and where our daughters were born. Lelei & James, thank you for accepting the task of being Bea’s Godparents and for being there for the whole family. 😉

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Beatrice was baptised in the Anglican Church. I found the ritual very similar to the Catholic one, maybe slightly simpler. One of the major differences is the number of Godparents a child can have. The usual is two Godmothers and one Godfather if the child is a girl, and two Godfathers and one Godmother if the child is a boy. But it can be less (no less than a couple, I think) or even more than 3.

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Here are some pictures of our lovely Sunday. (I swear her hair was alright before we left the house)

Beatrice with grandma and grandpa

Beatrice with grandma and grandpa

Laura, Lelei and James - Bea's Godparents

Laura, Lelei and James – Bea’s Godparents

Laura eating an apple while waiting

Laura eating an apple while waiting

After the service

After the service

Baby Bea sleeping in Dinda's arms

Baby Bea sleeping in Dinda’s arms

"Compadres e comadres" or the parents and godparents

“Compadres e comadres” or the parents and godparents

Mr. C, Grandma, Bea, Me, Grandpa

Mr. C, Grandma, Bea, Me, Grandpa

Dindos/Godparents/Friends

Dindos/Godparents/Friends

Daddy squeezing Bea

Daddy squeezing Bea

Having a meal after the Baptism

Having a meal after the Baptism

The cake, provided by Dinda Lelei & Dindo James

The cake, provided by Dinda Lelei & Dindo James

Friends & compadres

Friends & compadres

Should we kill the cake? (It was yummy by the way)

Should we kill the cake? (It was yummy by the way)

The gift she got from the church community

The gift she got from the church community

At home, playing with the hat (that mummy forgot at home)

At home, playing with the hat (that mummy forgot at home)

Watching football

Watching football

Watching Chelsea play

Watching Chelsea play

I love my hands so much that I want to eat them both

I love my hands so much that I want to eat them both

Bea and daddy

Bea and daddy

Bea and daddy II

Bea and daddy II

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Gift and card from the Godparents, pair of shoes and the certificate