I think the tv just broke…..

….was the first thing I heard when coming down the stairs from putting Elisabeth to bed. She had gone to bed quite easily, which she hadn’t all week, so I was pretty chuffed and looking forward to a having a beer and watching some tv. But there was my husband looking as if someone had just told him that the world was going to end soon, with the remote tightly gripped in his hand, staring at the black screen. “It just went bang” was all he managed to say before starting to switch it on and off and on and off, in the hope this would magically fix it. It didn’t.

The tv has now been taken to the tv doctor and the living room looks strangely empty and light. It actually looks quite nice and it is certainly lovely and quiet. I feel a bit sorry for my husband though, he is not a reader and with his very busy and physical job he really enjoys just sitting down the evening and being entertained without having to think about anything.

I, on the other hand, don’t really mind. I read a lot, so not having a tv for a bit just means I read a bit more than normal. It is strange though not having a tv, it’s a bit like when there is a power cut and you keep forgetting and thinking of stuff to do which needs electricity, or is that just me and my awful memory?

Anyway, I hope our poor tv gets better soon, but in the mean time…..what shall I read next?

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Come on, smile if you have the energy……

There are days when I feel like I haven’t spent any time with my husband for weeks, and we never get to do anything fun as a family.

There are days when work is so frustrating that I don’t know why I bother.

There are days when the fog of sleep deprivation is so heavy that even a smile seems too much effort.

There are days when I miss my family so much I can’t stand to live in England any longer.

There are days when, again, I didn’t get a chance to write.

There are days when the house is so dirty I worry it might start leading a life of it’s own.

There are days when everything seems to go wrong.

And then there are days when…..all of the above.

But then, on one of those days where you just can’t see anything positive, you turn away from the sink full of dirty dishes and you see your husband feeding your child and both of them laugh. And all of a sudden your horrible day turns into what you have always wanted.

Jogging bottoms required….

One of my rules, I have quite a few, is that I do not wear jogging bottoms outside. There are two exceptions to this rule:

1) When I am jogging
2) After having a baby

At home I also try not to wear them too often, first of all they make me feel a bit scruffy but more importantly, there is something really comforting about slipping on a pair of joggers as it means that I won’t be going anywhere any time soon, and the most likely place I will be in on the sofa with a book, but when you wear them too often this feeling will slowly disappear…..

This morning my day started an hour earlier than I was expecting. My husband had been getting up at 5.45am for a couple of weeks now and I like getting up with him so I have time for a cup of tea and a bit of reading and/or writing before Elisabeth wakes up. But when the alarm went off I felt really tired, I tried really hard to wake up and switched the light on……at which point I noticed that it was 4.45am! I didn’t know he was getting up an hour earlier! By then I was awake and there was no way I was going to be able to fall asleep again. I should have known then that it wasn’t going to be a great day.

Work was a nightmare today, got involved in a project right towards the end when everything needs to be done yesterday, things weren’t going well.

Cooking wasn’t something I was looking forward to this evening so I bought a couple of pizzas on the way home, they were horrible.

To top it all off, Elisabeth is refusing to go to bed, so therefore I have put my jeans back in my wardrobe and put on some scruffy old joggers, sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Another wonderful first…..

When we looked to buy our next house, this was 5 or 6 years ago – just before the economy crashed, we looked for space and lots of it. We knew we wanted to start a family soon and as we have always wanted 2 kids, and we were seriously bored of moving, we wanted a house that we could live in forever, if we wanted to.

To our surprise, one of the houses around the corner from us, which I had always liked the look of but never thought we could afford, had come up for sale…….within our budget! So we went to have a look and fell in love with it immediately. It is a three storey town house overlooking a large green (which used to be the old airport) with big rooms, lots of light and high ceilings. We phoned the estate agent that same day and bought it.

It is a great house with so much space that for the first 3 years we had a room which was completely empty, so we thought we were delighted with our purchase. Until Elisabeth was born.

The space was obviously great, being able to store a buggy in the hallway without constantly tripping over it is excellent, however having to walk downstairs with a baby every time you want a drink or something to eat, which if you’re breastfeeding is about every 5 minutes, isn’t so much fun. All of a sudden this wonderful house had lost a lot of it’s charm.

We knew it would only be difficult for a few years but it really got us thinking about what we wanted from a house. In a way the credit crunch saved us from making a big mistake, basically we couldn’t afford to move unless we bought a much smaller house, and even then would our mortgage be more each month. So we stayed put.

As soon as Elisabeth started walking we were pleased we did, it was still difficult managing all these stairs, but the big green out the front was proving a real bonus, she loves running around on it. Then in April we decided to have a conservatory built to give us some living space downstairs. This has proven to be an excellent decision as it has made things a hundred times easier. It is also a great space, and we finally have the little sofa delivered it will be a great place to relax with a morning coffee.

Then yesterday came a big change, Elisabeth was playing in the living room with her building blocks and for the first time I left her playing and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea! When I came back up she was none the wiser and she had no idea why I had such a huge smile on my face. If you live in a house with the living room and the kitchen on the same floor, you might not realise what a big deal this is……but believe me it is. Even though is means that my little girl is growing up, and I’d rather she wouldn’t, it does mean that our lives have just become a lot easier and that I keep being more and more proud of this wonderful little girl who just keeps getting bigger and bigger 🙂

One lovely blog award

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How exciting, I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award! Steph from http://thebowtiebutterfly.com/ was kind enough to nominate me – go check out her great blog!

Now before I continue, I was nominated for an award before by my blogging friend at http://memyselfandkids.wordpress.com (check him out as well, awesome blog!) which I was very grateful for, however I had only just started blogging and I had no idea what the whole awards things was about, let alone what I should be doing. So, I hope to do a better job this time 🙂

Here we go, seven things about me:

1) Being a mum is my all time favourite thing in the whole wide world. It’s such a wonderful thing. Even though it is often really hard, Elisabeth completes my whole being and I love spending time with her.

2) My favourite time of the week is at the weekend when Elisabeth has just woken up and we all have a cup of tea in our bed.

3) One day I would like to move back to Holland, whether it will ever happen I don’t know but it is something I would really love.

4) I enjoy listening to classical music, especially Vivaldi.

5) When I was 16 I dyed my hair bright purple, it looked great!

6) The funniest thing on t.v. at the moment is without a doubt Miranda (Friday night, 20.30, BBC1) makes me laugh out loud every time.

7) I eat cheese sandwiches for breakfast, quite a normal thing to do for Dutch people, but here in the UK this is definitely classed as a bit weird at least.

And these are the people/blogs I would like to nominate (in no particular order):

http://joannenewmanartist.wordpress.com – because she is cool (and the fact that she is my sister in law has nothing to do with it!)
http://memyselfandkids.wordpress.com – because I love his blog
http://ratnamresidence.com – because she is a great mommy and I love reading about her adventures
http://lifetakesover.wordpress.com – because I love reading about all the stuff I’ve still got coming
http://cristianmihai.net – because I love reading about writing

Happy blogging everybody!

Too busy…..no time to write

I am sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do, which in my case is mostly writing. Even though I only work part time, I still struggle to fit things in. I know this is not limited to parents, although those with children do seem to suffer from it more. It is not just that there aren’t enough hours in the day, there are two other problems that ensure you don’t get around to doing anything.

The biggest one is, without a doubt, tiredness – or should I say exhaustion. In theory I could spend a couple of hours writing every evening, but by the time it is 9pm I am so tired that I just want to go to bed and read my book for a while.

The second one is the unpredictability of children. Even if there would be the odd evening where I would have enough energy to do something productive after 9pm, this would most likely be the night that Elisabeth doesn’t want to sleep.

So, I have decided to give up trying doing anything, apart from writing the odd blog post, in the evening and try and squeeze in an hour of writing in the morning. My husband is up early most mornings so it’s not like I’ll be losing out on sleep….sleep is for losers anyway 🙂

Never again….

Never again will I post about how well Elisabeth is sleeping! Never again! I might even go as far as considering never to even mention the word sleep again, ever! Well, until next time anyway.

Yes, you guessed right, after my “she is sleeping so well” post, Elisabeth had me up again half the night. This happens pretty much every time I blog about some positive sleep news. It wasn’t terrible as I got at least 5 hours sleep, although not in one go which is often the problem. But rather than moan about it I thought I would share some tips on how I deal with the day after the night that you thought would never end.

Don’t expect to get anything done. Seriously, your main aim is to get through the day, instead feel proud for whatever you do manage to achieve.

Don’t think too much about the why. If you can’t figure out in a few minutes why your child was awake then you probably never will. As long as they are healthy try to forget about the night and enjoy the day as much as you can.

If you’re at work, try and have your lunch somewhere quiet, if possible somewhere you can sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes, the day will be much easier if you’re relaxed.

If you’re at home, do something fun! During periods of sleep deprivation it is tempting to sit on the sofa as much as possible but this will only make things worse. The day will seem endless and sitting down will make you feel more tired. Do something fun instead, go to the zoo, the park, the playground or anything else that is outdoors. The day will fly by, being outside will make you feel loads better and you’ll probably have lots of fun instead.

Try to be nice to your partner, this is a tricky one, most people’s mood will probably suffer quite badly from lack of sleep and it is easy to take it out on the people closest to you. Make an effort not to though, remember that even though it might have been you getting up, chances are they won’t have had the best night sleep either.

Don’t forget to eat and drink, you’ll need the energy.

And last but not least don’t forget that first of all you are not alone and secondly it won’t last forever, you will sleep again!

Happy sleeping everyone.

Sleep update…

Now, I know posting this is probably asking for trouble but as you have all so kindly put up with my moaning about my lack of sleep, I feel obliged to share some of the good news.

A few weeks ago we changed Elisabeth’s bed time routine a little, we were a bit worried about doing this as it has been the same since she was born (not sure why we worried though, it’s not like the bed time routine actually helped her sleep or anything…..). Before she would have her dinner, play in the living room for a bit, have a bath at 6.30, have a bottle of milk and a story and go to bed.

Because Elisabeth loves her baths, she really enjoys a good splash around, we thought we would change it around so she has a bath straight after dinner so she can get as excited as she wants, have her milk on the sofa with her favourite t.v. program and then have a story and go to bed. This worked really well, Elisabeth seemed more relaxed at bed time and it was much easier for us as well. And the best thing of all was that she started sleeping much better!

In the last 3 weeks we have only had to get up occasionally, and we haven’t taken her out of her bed at all during the night. We still sleep on her bedroom floor for a bit when she wakes up in the middle of the night but we are hopeful that this might change soon, because yesterday evening she woke up crying, I went in to give her a cuddle, I put her blanket over her, stroked her head for about 30 seconds……..and walked out the room! This is not something she normally accepts so we are quite excited. I am more than happy to get up at night to comfort her for a bit because I think it is important that she knows I am there for her when she needs me, but I do prefer sleeping in a bed rather than a cold wooden floor.

The last few times I posted some good sleeping news it ruined everything so fingers crossed I haven’t jinxed it again 🙂

Going forwards walking backwards….

One thing I really love about being a parent is seeing my child learn all sorts of stuff. Sometimes they do it right first time but sometimes they don’t and they have to try again.

Elisabeth likes walking on the white line between the foot and cycle path that runs around the green out the front of our house. The other day she was doing this again and I decided to join her. To be able to see her I walked on the line backwards. Elisabeth was immediately interested and wanted to try this as well. So she turned around and started walking….forwards…..walking away from me. She stopped, turned around and looked ever so confused. I smiled at her but inside I was laughing out loud (if that is possible). Clearly walking backwards wasn’t something she was able to do yet.

A couple of days later we did the same thing, I walked backwards, she turned around…..stood still for a second…….almost put her foot forward……pulled it back……and walked backwards! Result!

It amazes me every time she learns something without me actually helping her, I love it!

Sometimes it is not so great though….when you say a word once and you think surely she won’t repeat after hearing it just once……..or remember……and she does…….. Every time I get dressed, Elisabeth points and says “boobies”……..great…….

What I learned since becoming a mummy

Normally when life gets a little tough I am the first to grab a pen (or ipad) and write about it. Writing sorts out my brain. Writing stuff down is like having a good tidy up in my head, put things in the right places if you like. But the last few weeks I have not wanted to write, most likely because there are things in my head that I don’t really want to give a place, this also widely known as denial.

But one thing I have learned since becoming a mummy is not to be too hard on myself. I do the best I can and a lot of times the best is pretty damn good! So it is ok to let things slip every now and then.

A couple more things I have learned over the last 19 months are:

There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and just because other mums look mega organised doesn’t mean that they are. It is easy to compare yourself to your mummy friends and think that they are doing a far better job than you are. The chances are they’re not!

Always trust your gut! Trust your mummy instinct, it tends to be right. The few times I didn’t, I really regretted it.

Anyway, I hope that I will soon get back to writing regularly, and probably bore you endlessly with my stories about sleeping, no sleeping, new words and all sorts of other mummy stuff 🙂