Monthly Archives: October 2013

Life, oh life, oh life, tu-tu-tu

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I wrote this post on the train, this evening, but it disappeared from WordPress. I managed to recover it only on the website, it still missing from the iPhone app.  

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I’m on the train on my way home from a work event. One hour and a bit between three trains. A packed train. Trains were cancelled because a train derailed somewhere. I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow I’m there again. I can’t complain because I wanted to do these KIT days and I’m glad – maybe for the wrong reasons – I did it.

I can’t wait to go back to the gym on Friday though. Don’t tell anybody, but this is actually the best part of my week (yes, there’s all the baby smiles, cute sounds, etc, but you know what I mean, right?). Yesterday – Monday – I went to this brilliant class called Baby Boogie and Tone, which is basically 30 min dance class, 30 min strength exercises carrying the baby on a sling. Luckily I have a small baby, but it was pretty tough. We had a bit of everything: Arabic music (belly dancing with a baby was weird, to say the least), Michael Jackson disco, hip hop… Bea had a “what the f%#k” face and got a bit pissed off 5 minutes to end the class. But I loved it and will be back every Monday. It saved me £3.5 of creche. Hahahaha

Hopefully, from the last week of October I will be able to go three times a week to the gym. Lucky me to have a friend (and comadre) who is up to hanging out at the gym instead of going to the pub. So last Saturday we were chatting and exercising and burned almost 400 calories. Sweet hubby was being the perfect daddy, looking after the girls.

I’m loving these “me time” moments and regret not starting it before. It’s not even about losing weight, but having fun. Yes, I’m having fun going to the gym, that’s how sad I’ve become. Haha

Ha-ha my ass. It’s ok to have fun at the gym, right? Especially because I’m not overdoing it and because I’m not going to start a blog about fitness and how I’m getting fit. Can you imagine me posting photos of the “before” and “after”? You don’t want to see that, believe me.

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Life is still about the girls though. I’m taking Beatrice to baby massage classes (I think I’m enjoying it more that her though) and Laura goes to the ballet classes (and she loves it). We are always looking at ways to entertain them although all we want to do is to watch TV (hubby) and to sleep (me).

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Photos anyone? Yeah, why not. Apologies for the blurry photos, but my subject is always on the run.

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The old bouncer is now her sister’s, but of course she wants to play with it.

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My ballerina

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Where’s Wally?

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“I love racing cars”

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Burying auntie Lelei (she is under the pile of cushions)

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Getting ready for “Baby Boogie and Tone” class

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Scene from the “new” Star Wars film. I loved the bright yellow-red-white combination and am thinking about using it at home. Yes, there is a doll under the TV stand.

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Bookshops are fun!

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Because ice cream is sweet as life should be!

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“I can’t wait to be able to walk around and drive mummy crazy too”

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“Shall we go to space now?” – at Waterstone’s bookshop

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I was told that this is the “real” macaroon. (from the street market in Bromley. I love street markets!)

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Keep in touch

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Today and tomorrow I’m away from my babies due to work event. I wasn’t forced into it, it was agreed between my boss and I, but I was actually the one who suggested working on this event even before I went on maternity leave.

In the UK we are entitled to 10 KIT (keep in touch) days, paid of course, during the maternity leave period. I was planning to use all ten, but not sure I will now.

Next week I will work in the office and I don’t know how I feel about it. The thing is: Beatrice is solely breastfed. And I don’t express milk to give her, it’s straight from the source. I have been expressing milk in the last weeks, every day a little bit and I only managed to express enough for these two days. The plan was to express lots, to give daddy some practice time (you know, bottle feed a breastfed baby isn’t the easiest of the tasks), so how Beatrice will accept the bottle will be a surprise for all of us. They will be fine, but I don’t think I will.

Beatrice has been sleeping worse than before for the last couple of days, having milk 5 times between 11 pm and 6 am, and crying a lot if I try to give her the dummy instead of the breast. Yesterday she woke up at 6am, but today she was still sleeping when I left. So no goodbyes.

Laura wet her bed this morning, called daddy at 6 am. It’s the first time it happens since we came back from holidays on the 8th of September. I could blame the juice she had before bedtime, but she had had juice and milk and water several times just before bedtime and didn’t wet the bed. I could blame the cold weather, but it has been cold in our house for a week or so. I didn’t think about blaming the fact that I’m going to work today because she didn’t seem to care when we told her yesterday. On the contrary, she was very excited that daddy was going to take her to school. So wetting her bed is something else, maybe bad dream.

I thought I was going to be thrilled to be on my own for a couple of days, but the fact is that I am holding back the tears. I am a possessive mother. I complain that motherhood can be suffocating, but I can’t be far away from my kids, especially from Bea, who is just too young. She will survive and probably enjoy her time with daddy. I will survive, but not unharmed.

Human mind is something powerful. I think I was so scared about leaving them and going to work that everything seemed to go “wrong”. The hair is all oily and disgusting – and I didn’t have time to wash it this morning. The clothes I chose to wear this morning didn’t fit and the shoes I was meant to wear don’t match the current outfit. The top I’m wearing is itching me. I couldn’t prepare the milk bottles for Bea as I planned because I ran out of time. Laura spilled her juice all over her 5 minutes before I left, the trains were delayed…

Luckily, the girls have the best father they could have asked for, and while I was a pile of nerves this morning, he was chilled out about it all. I think he might even enjoy these two days at home. 🙂

Sleep well, sleep lots

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Sleep deprivation is not good for your health, but you know that, right?

So, the BBC website published an article with the results of a research showing how much damage one hour less sleep can cause to our bodies. People, I am LAZY for a reason! To sleep is good and helps us not only survive, but live a healthier life. In a nutshell, and a very rough summary, the research says that sleeping less than 7 hours/night can increase the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. And it is not ok to “compensate” later. You have to sleep well every single night.

Read the whole article here.

Our girls are giving us a hard time. When one sleeps through the night, the other will wake up several times. When one sleeps until 7:30am, the other one will wake up at 6am (sometimes 5:45am). Sometimes both wake up several times in the middle of the night and wake up at 6am. On top of that, we go to bed very late, after 11pm. It’s the time we try to catch up on TV, emails, friends and even on us… We are destroyed, and our brains are malfunctioning.

If you, my friend, don’t have kids and have the opportunity to sleep more than 7 hours, do so. It’s good for you. And it isn’t Miss Lazy telling you that.

5 months old today, aka where has time gone?!

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I’m not ready to replace a newborn with a baby. It seems like Beatrice has grown up in the blink of an eye and I don’t think it’s funny.

On the other hand, she is in between being a tiny motionless baby and an active smiley and funny baby, and this phase is so cute.

She is almost sitting down; in fact, she can sit for a few seconds before she falls on her face or side. It is her favourite position. She doesn’t like to be on her back anymore, unless someone is playing with her all the time.

She likes standing up too. She has been standing up in her bath tub for the last three days; imagine how hard it is to bathe a baby holding her with one hand and washing her with the other.

The days of quiet breastfeeding time are long gone. She gets distracted all the time, with everything. The only time she feeds alright is in the middle of the night, as it’s dark and silent.

Yes, she still has milk at least twice in the middle of the night. At least. And those are the good nights.

She is an early bird, between 6 and 6:30 she is up. By 8am she wants her first nap. She only has 3 naps, 30mins each. At 8, at 10, at 12 or 13h. Then she goes from 13-14h to 19h without a nap and of course she is exhausted! I try (hard) to put her to sleep around 14h or 15h, but I hardly ever succeed. This is the pattern for this week. Next week everything will change.

Overall, people rate her a “calm ad sweet” child. I think she is pretty much it, but because of recent sleep deprivation (3 weeks now?), I rate my children as “trying to drive mummy mad and doing a great job at it”.

She was in a creche three times and she did really well. I’ll tell more on a separate post.

She holds back her smiles and laughter, especially to strangers. She prefers to analyse them, check if they are friendly, funny or give good cuddles and then decides whether they deserve her smiles. If you get a smile from her in the first minute, consider yourself lucky.

Her favourite place is our arms.

Now is official: she deslikes car seat.

She is learning to enjoy her big sister.

She makes cute sounds and mummy goes all “ownnnn”, “ooooo”, “more please”.

Her nails grows too fast and they are sharp and she hurts herself on a daily basis (yes, I do cut them).

She still loves her hands but her feet are her new favourite toy. And it’s so cute to see her playing with them.

It’s hard to change her nappy, it’s difficult to give her a bath. She just won’t stay still. She loves them both though.

She went from 10 poos a day when she was born, to one poo every 10 days, and now she seems to be going back to a more normal pattern. As normal as “one poo one day, two days no poo, the following day 3 poos in one hour” can be.

She is so ready to start trying food. She looks at us eating and opens her mouth, expecting a spoon full of whatever. But it’s still another month until she tried her first veggies and fruits.

She is constantly with her arms stretched, trying to grab everything and anything. If she is in our arms and sees something interesting, she will throw herself towards it to try to catch it.

She loves licking glasses, especially the ones with colourful liquids in it.

She loves sleeping on her tummy and she turns herself in the middle of the night to be in this position.

She is sleeping in our bed for a few months now. She outgrew the moses basket and we don’t have a bed for her yet. I’m also not prepared to put her with Laura in their bedroom. She always rolls over to daddy’s side of the bed and he gets stuck with a tiny space, not being able to move at all. Then he wakes me up to move her to the middle of the bed.

Her big sister loves her to bits. It’s cute to see so much love. On the other hand, she has been extremely naughty, getting worse by the day, but all towards us, the parents. It’s a mixture of new baby on the block (getting too much attention from her mummy and daddy) and the normal behaviour of a 3 year old child. I’m struggling.

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My doll is finally bigger than Laura’s. And she is teaching Laura’s dollie how to change channels.

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Ssssshhhhh, do NOT wake the baby up. Or I’ll kick your ass.

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“Yes, mummy, I am paying attention to what you are saying, yada yada, but I don’t agree with you. Now give me some milk.”

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“Yummmm, this foot is so delicious. It tastes like… cheetos”.

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“The blurry photo is because I don’t stay still. Why would I? It’s so boring”.

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Playdate at a friend’s house = no sleep to Bea = a very grumpy baby = mummy is deaf after all these screams

What was the most important decision of your life?

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Mine was having children. Before having children, my important decisions were university course, buying a flat, changing jobs, moving to the UK. All important, but nothing like having kids. There is no turning back, no “I don’t want to play anymore”. And it doesn’t get easy, as some might think.

The latest “most important decision of our lives” is deciding a school to Laura. I honestly didn’t think it was that hard. We have a good school near us, got Outstanding in their Ofstead report, has a nice outdoor space, etc. I thought that it was it – that’s the school Laura is going to attend; it was even the reason why we live in our house. But then we went to their Open Morning, a session to parents to get to know the school and decide if they want to apply for a place or not. My heart didn’t beat any stronger; in fact, I was rather disappointed during the visit. Then we had a session with the head master and I think I relaxed a little bit. I think it was the shock between nursery vs school, the number of staff at the nursery vs school, etc. At the school, each classroom has 30 students. And one teacher. It shouldn’t be a problem, right? I mean, the classrooms I were in when I was a kid had more than that and I studied in private schools.

Maybe I’m just not ready to see my little girl taking this (huge) step and growing up. I have one year to get used to the idea.

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I’m going to visit another two schools in the area. Then we need to send the application to the council (not the schools) with our 3 preferred schools, in order of preference, and wait to hear back with the school she got a place.

She will attend something called reception, which is for children between 3 and 4 years old (Early Years). Then comes Year 1 and Year 2 (5 to 7 years old). And then there is the Junior school, with years 3, 4, 5 and 6, for children 8 to 11 years old. After that, it’s secondary education and we will have to look for new schools and go through another “most important decision of our lives”.

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Being an adult sometimes sucks.