Category Archives: nursery

Going back to work

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It happened before. I spent one year on maternity leave and when I get back, it’s all new. It happened in 2011 and it’s happening in 2014. My boss changed back then; I have a new boss now. The super big boss was gone by the time I got back in 2011; the super big boss (which is the same, by the way) is leaving 10 days after I return to work in June.

I’m going back to work mid-June. Am I ready? No. Am I excited? Yes. Scared? Yes. Depressed? Yes. Don’t try to understand, because I don’t either. In the ideal world, I would work part-time, I would have some time for myself – a couple of hours would do, and I would spend some time with my kids without being all rush-rush to bathe-feed-put to bed. But my world is not ideal yet, so I will go back to work, check what’s going on there and see if I can find some answers to questions that have been keeping me awake.

Sadly, Beatrice won’t attend the same nursery that Laura went to, which I loved. It’s close to work, I can get there in 5 minutes if needed. It might be a sign that I can change jobs easily if I want to. Or work from home once a week, like in the good old days. I’m sure there are positive sides to it, but at the moment I’m very sad because the alternatives don’t please me. And I don’t have much time to look for options; it’s only two months until I go back to work.

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On top of this dilemma of where to put Beatrice so I can go back to work, I’m also torturing myself with Laura’s new school schedule from September. She will have 6 weeks summer holidays, then another 5 weeks of half terms and an extra week between Christmas and New Year’s. Who has 12 weeks holidays a year?!?! Luckily, there are after school and summer clubs, but still…

 
I’m dreading to leave these two…
 

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Another big step for my big little girl (or little big girl?)

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I’m talking about Laura here, not Beatrice.

So my big girl is soon going to attend a “proper” school. The letter arrived last week and she has a place in our (not hers, she doesn’t care that much yet) preferred choice, which is less than 5 minutes walk from us (and was rated Outstanding by Ofsted).

I don’t know why, but I’m making a big deal out of it. It’s just a school, we all go through this. But part of me is so scared that she might not be happy there, she might not like it, she might not want to be a student…

Although I wasn’t a bad student, I wasn’t a keen student either. I didn’t like school that much, I was always dreaming about the day I would stop studying. I don’t think it has anything to do with studying and learning per se, but with the institution, with how things are taught and the subjects we are forced to learn. I was never a big fan of strict routines, like having to go to school five days a week – I’m still the same and it is a torture to have to work five days a week.

Going back to my fears, I’m also a bit worried I will fail as a mother. You know, not doing things right, like sitting down with her, talking to her about the stuff she is learning, checking her homework, reading any signs of trouble at school… Hopefully, this is just me being overly paranoid and overthinking life, as I usually do.

Laura is a smart girl, very curious and inquisitive, and quite sociable, so it might not be as hard as I am expecting.

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She is going to attend reception, which is like an extension of the nursery/pre-school, as kids are normally four years old at this point, far too young to attend proper school. I didn’t think about that until a few months ago, but if she was born in September, she would have to wait another year to go to school. Not that it is good or bad to the child, but I can’t imagine paying another year of nursery, now that I have two kids going to childcare.

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Polyglot girl

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Last week Laura came to me.

Laura: mummy, vulpe.
Mummy: what?
Laura: vulpe is wolf in Spanish.

Mummy puts her “poker face” on, thinks for a couple of minutes and asks: is it? Who told you this?
Laura: I did.

I knew I’ve heard the word vulpe, or similar, before, but I wasn’t sure which language. It wasn’t Spanish (it’s lobo, same in Portuguese), it wasn’t in Romanian (Lupo). So I told the story to Mr. C, who said that vulpe is fox in Romanian.

I don’t know why she thinks that all other language that is not English is Spanish. She onces told me not to speak Spanish to her – I told her I wasn’t; I was speaking Portuguese. Now this.

She has a new best friend (she has about 5 best friends at the nursery, plus one or two outside) and she is Romanian to Romanian parents and started at the nursery about a month ago. Her English is very limited – but better than Laura’s Romanian. I asked one of the girls who work at the nursery how they communicate and the girl explained that some kids create a language of their own to overcome the barrier of language. No wonder why Laura has started speaking with a funny accent and using non-sense (to me) words at home.

On Monday, when I drop Laura off at the nursery, her Romanian friend was there and Laura went straight to her. I stood there looking at them, as I was curious to see how they play together. They smiled and laughed a lot, but almost no words were exchanged. Instead, lots of hand signs and pointing at objects. It was quite amusing to see the two together. We will encourange their friendship outside nursery walls, and maybe, who knows?, Laura can pick up some Romanian that her dad is not teaching her.

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!)

Life in a nutshell

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Today was Laura’s first day at the new nursery – just an hour as part of the settle in sessions. It wasn’t too bad, but she didn’t want to play with the kids, she didn’t want to go to the garden, she wanted to be where her eyes good see me. Fair enough, I would love to have a familiar face very close to me every time I start a new job.

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Sunday we all went to central London to celebrate the birthday of one of Laura’s friend from the old nursery (which reminds me that I have to write to the girl’s mother). It was next door to the nursery and 2 minutes walking from work. We went by train, which proved to be an adventure. Picture this: a pram with a 3 week old breastfed baby, a 3 years old toddler that wants to be with her mum all the time, grandparents that are not familiar with London – one of them doesn’t speak a single word of English. We should have a train from where I live straight to Waterloo, but the train was cancelled. I thought we could change at London Bridge and catch a train to Charing X, but all trains were cancelled from London Bridge, so we had to go to Canon Street (cross the bridge) and then catch another train to Charing Cross (cross the same bridge going back). On a Sunday. A sunny Sunday. The Coronation Sunday. (*)

(*) If you are not from London or UK or don’t know the city, you probably don’t have a clue about what I’m writing here. Trust me: not as bad as it sounds, but not the best of the journeys either.

We got there fine, we allowed plenty of time for this trip. The birthday was at Nando’s, at 2pm – I honestly thought that it was going to be a birthday celebration, so we had lunch before (Laura eats at 12) and the plan was to leave at 4pm. The birthday girl and guests arrived late and they were all going to order food, so the cake and happy birthday only came around 4pm. We left after 5pm and got home just after 7pm (the train to my house would have taken 40 minutes if things were working). Honestly? It was a great day. Laura had so much fun, Bea behaved like an angel, it was sunny and nice. Oh, and daddy had some me-time on his own at home and we managed to watch the game Brazil vs England.

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Speaking of (football – soccer if you are American) games, I know I always say that, but watching Brazilian matches just make me sick. Don’t get me wrong, I support my country, but I suffer so much that I get sick. I feel like after every match I am a year older. So you can imagine how many years “I lose” during the world cup, eh? The match on Sunday was a friendly, but I was so nervous and so annoyed. The team was playing well (especially compared to previous matches) but it just seemed like the English goal was sealed. And of course, the team doesn’t need to play a beautiful and brilliant football to score and England managed to score twice even though playing not as good as Brazil.

Despite trying to support England in any competition, I still cannot support them over Brazil, sorry. We should consider ourselves lucky to be able to cheer four different nations in our house: Romania, Brazil, England (GB) and Portugal. But maybe we should try to get other citizenships to increase our chances in the World Cup and Olympics.

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I can’t believe Bea is nearly a month old. She is soooooo sweet and I can’t believe how peaceful she is despite the craziness going around the house (I mean all the noises, so many people, loud TV, bright lights, etc). Second children/youngest siblings are warriors. And I might write a post about it in a near future.

She’s been trying to lift her head (she can, for a few seconds), she is rehearsing some smiles, the adorable baby noises are more frequent, her funny facial expressions are cuter by the day, she is losing her hair, she sleeps more than Laura used to but gets very cranky and cries a lot after 5pm (like Laura used to), she loves her bath, she doesn’t complain when she has a dirty nappy and she loves car rides.

Yes, I know, it is too soon to describe her “personality” like this, things can and will change, especially during the first three months, when she is still finding her way outside the womb. But I love to see all these changes and try to predict how she is going to be.

She makes some very weird noises too, some of them remind me of little dinosaurs from Jurassic Park (the first film). I don’t sleep that well at night because of these noises, I keep wondering if she is alright, or if it’s really her (and not a little dinosaur in our room). I don’t remember Laura making weird noises at all.

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My birthday is coming and I’m still not sure if I should celebrante it or not. Here is the thing: in this country, you need to send an invitation one or two months before, so people can put the date in the diary. But then, if you want to have something outdoors, you need to wait to see how the weather is going to be. I would like to have some sort of picnic in the garden, something simple and informal, but what if it rains? Picnic in the living room? Hmmm, maybe.

By the way, if you are wondering, the date is 22nd June, a Saturday. 🙂

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I’m working on a to do list of things I need to sort while on maternity leave. The list is HUGE! So far, I haven’t been able to tick many items, but I’m hoping that in the next months I can say that I’ve done more than just being a mother (between you and me, I think that being a mother is more than enough and this is why I am on MATERNITY leave for, right? now try and convince my brain and husband about it…)

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To celebrate the Queen’s coronation, a range of stamps were launched and apparently only a few households in the UK will get the chance to buy a collector’s card featuring the stamps (50,000 units are available, the brochure says).

I don’t collect stamps, I don’t collect merchandise of the Royal family, but I got my sample, just so I don’t regret it in the future.

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Life in pictures:

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Just another ordinary Thursday

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Beatrice is 20 days old today – three weeks tomorrow! The Health Visitor came today to do the hearing test (we tried last week but she couldn’t make it work) and to weigh Bea. Two good news: she passed the test – we were joking that she was a bit deaf as she wasn’t bothered by Laura’s screams in her ears! And she is 3,520kg (600g since birth, which is pretty good).

Laura will start in a new nursery next week, not too far from here. The plan is to have her going three times a week so she has contact with other kids and start getting used to school. The other two days she will be at home, but I want to do a couple of activities with her, like swimming lessons.

Then I manage to do some ad hoc, silly things, but that I couldn’t find time to do: cut my nails, cut Laura’s nails, cut her fringe (oh, dear…) and bake a cake, which by the way, not only looks good, but also tastes good (corn flour cake).

The latest news on the weather is that there might not be summer this year – at all. Hopefully this will be only across Western Europe and if this is the case, I have to be thankful for my Eastern European husband. We are planning to spend a week or two toasting under the Romanian sun. I’m not sure I mentioned here, but the three or four times that I went to Romania was in winter and although all that snow and -10C temperatures is beautiful in the beginning, it gets annoying after the second time. So I can’t wait to get sunburned!

We are also thinking about going to the Northeast of Brazil at some point. Mr. C only knows a bit of Rio (city) and a couple of towns on the coast of the state and I love the Northeast, so why not? It’s not going to be easy to plan, but hopefully it will be quite exciting!

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As good as it gets

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I gave Laura an ice lolly and left her in the living room while I was chatting with daddy in the kitchen. She comes over and say:
– I ate all my ice lolly!
– You ate or dropped on the floor? – asks mummy, surprised on how quickly she ate it.
– I dropped it on the carpet.
– Where?! I can’t see anything – mummy, on her knees, desperate to clean the mess.
– because it’s now in my mouth!!

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Today Laura was in a mood swing. Such a pain to leave the house in the morning. Super fine on the way back home. Alternating being a pain and being cool in the evening.

Most painful moments were bath time and going to bed – she was crying hysterically because 1) she didn’t want to have a bath (“I don’t like bath”) and 2) she wanted to sleep holding her hair clips and daddy didn’t give them to her. Really?!

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Two cans of condensed milk in 4 days. Worrying, isn’t it? By the way, this was me, not Laura.

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Four days of amazing weather. I hope it’s not a dream of which I will wake up soon. I’m loving it!

The flowers have bloomed overnight and all gardens look amazing, almost by miracle. Except ours, because we don’t have time for the miracle of garden centres (buy plants, 3 for 1 offers).

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Another seven working days and I am free (from work)!

S.e.v.e.n.

I can’t wait!