Bye bye Queenie – Long live The King!

English: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
English: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, after 33 years on the Dutch throne, Queen Beatrix has stepped down. For 123 years Holland has had a Queen, but now we have a King again.

I have never been particularly interested in the Royal Family, but I like Queen B. She is an amazingly strong woman and has done the country proud.

On 30th April 2009 there was an assault on her life. It happened during the Queen’s Day celebrations in Apeldoorn, when a man drove a car at high speed through the crowd who were watching the Queen’s parade. Eight people were killed and several badly injured. Four days later, the Queen attended a memorial service in Amsterdam facing a huge crowd of people to remember the victims of the second world war. The crowd greeted her with a deafening applause.

That’s the kind of Queen she was, always proud to represent her country and not afraid to show her support when it is most needed, regardless of the risks involved.

Enjoy your retirement Queenie, you deserve it! Oh, and keep an eye on that son of yours 😉

Long live The King!

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Failure is not an option

Sometimes I forget that my body is just not capable of doing certain things.

Sometimes I forget that I was the girl who could only stop running by falling over. Sometimes I forget that I was the girl who had no balance whatsoever. Sometimes I forget I was the girl who had to practice for days be able to catch a ball, skip a rope or join in with any game that involved any kind of coordination of anything.

This went mostly unnoticed by my friends and other classmates because what I lacked in physical ability, I made up for in sheer determination. I would practice and not give up until I could perform whatever skill I needed to an acceptable standard. Giving up or failing was not something I even considered, it was not an option.

Nowadays I function a lot better and as said above, most of the time I forget that I am the girl who can only put her coat on if starting with the right sleeve (please don’t ask me why because I have no idea, but it just won’t work if I stick my left arm in first!). This afternoon I had a classic reminder of the girl I used to be and probably still am. I was looking for something in our garage and came across my inline skates.  I used to love those things, I was never any good (what a shock, I know) but I enjoyed them anyway. So, I thought I would try them on. They still fitted but surprise surprise I couldn’t stand up. My husband kindly reminded me that I have a bad knee and it might not be such a good idea, but I ignored him and pulled myself up on our garage door. I moved my foot forwards about half an inch. That was enough. There was no way I was going to let go of that garage door.

And enter the moment that my awkward body shows me up. I could not sit back down. I physically couldn’t do it. My husband said: ‘Just get up the way you sat down’. Sounds easy enough, but I couldn’t remember how I got up and even if I did I doubt it would have made the slightest difference. The only way to get down would be if my husband would hold on to me and lower me down (hopefully gently), and right at that moment Elisabeth runs off. So whilst my husband runs after our little whirlwind I am standing there wondering what to do. I decide that the only way is to try and take these skates off which is not an easy task as my legs are rather long and I am not known for being able to easily reach my toes. But to my great relief, I manage to take off one of my skates and sit down to get the other one off as quickly as possible.

Twenty years ago I would have spent the next few weeks with the skates glued to my feet, but not now. I am quite happy to just not be able to do certain things. But only sometimes, most of the time failure is still not an option and perfection is always the aim, whether it is possible or not.

 

Happy 1st birthday ‘Being Mummy’!

Today my blog is one year old, happy 1st birthday ‘being mummy’! And coincidentally this is my 100th post, 100 posts in one year doesn’t sound too bad at all I don’t think.

When I started this blog my main aim was to get back into writing on a regular basis, given the 100 posts in one year I think this has been quite successful. But this blog has given me so much more, so much I wasn’t expecting, but now I don’t want to live without.

It has given me the opportunity to keep people I don’t speak to regularly up to date with what Elisabeth is up to, some of the little things you wouldn’t necessarily share like
Conversations with Elisabeth or Come on smile if you have the energy.

It has made sharing bad news a bit easier. As many of you know we have had two miscarriages in the last seven months and writing about this did not only help me get on with things, but it also meant that I could tell people what happened without ending crying my eyes out every time (only a few people were unfortunate enough to have to cope with my tears). And the support I received from other bloggers and friends on Facebook and Linkedin was just amazing, all the lovely comments really did make a difference.
Bye baby
Grieving for another baby

Luckily the year (the blogging year which runs from April to April) has also brought some good things, one of the ones that stands out is that we are sleeping again! Elisabeth is now very consistent with sleeping through the night and she will only wake up if she is ill or when she has had a bad dream. It took her a while (although really 20 months is a little bit longer than a while) but she has really got the hang of it now. But if you would like to re-live some of our worst moments (excuse me if I don’t join you, living through it once was plenty thank you) feel free to read some of my sleep deprived ramblings below:
The things we do to make them sleep
I knew I shouldn’t have
Never again
Needless to say we are extremely happy to be sleeping again, although I should know better than to say that because every time I do little madam likes to prove that she is still capable of staying up most of the night.

Another thing I really like about this blog is that it has made me write down some really special moments which otherwise might have been forgotten:
Going forwards walking backwards
Things that make me smile without fail
It’s the little things
Conversations with Elisabeth

I guess these last 12 months have been like many other years, full of things that were nice, some that were not so nice, some that were absolutely wonderful and some that were truly heartbreaking. But all in all, it’s been pretty good.

Thank you all for reading.

Love
Elske

Marathon Sunday

It isn’t that long ago that I went out running 4 or 5 times a week in preparation for realising my dream which was to run the Rotterdam marathon. As part of my training I scheduled a half marathon which I ran on an injured knee (torn cartilage), not a good idea. I should have known when my number arrived – I was number 13. Even though I was in pain from about mile 2, I was overtaken by at least 3 other runners (it was a 2 lap course) and I came last (yes last!!), I loved the experience. My knee got kind of fixed, but it is unlikely that I will ever be able to run the 26 and a bit miles through my favorite city in the world.

Today was marathon day in London, a great event which I now enjoy watching as a non-runner. Just before the start there was a 30 second silence to reflect oon the awful events in Boston earlier this week. I switched all Elisabeth’s noisy toys off and we both sat quietly for the 30 seconds, well as quietly as you can expect a 2 year old to be, she did well bless her.

It was great to see the black ribbons being worn and so many people dedicating their run to the Boston victims and their families.  There were quite a few choked up moments. Today’s amazing event was such a great way to say ”screw you” to the idiots of this world who think they can kill people’s spirit. It will never happen, people will unite and come out fighting and today was a great example of just that.

Well done to all of today’s runners, supporters, organisers and volunteers.

How relaxing is a spa day?

I will tell you how relaxing a spa day is. It is amazing, mega, super duper, fantastic, awesomely relaxing.

My lovely husband got me a voucher for a spa day for two for my birthday, including a massage, facial, manicure and a two course lunch. Brilliant!

I wasn’t able to go earlier in the year (as one is not supposed to go when one is pregnant), but now everything is sort of starting to get back to normal after the miscarriage, I thought I deserved a treat and booked it. I took a day’s holiday from work because I didn’t really want to wait until they had spaces at the weekend, and today was the day.

I had assumed rightly that my husband was not the one to come with me, so my good friend Rachael offered to sacrifice a day’s holiday to keep me company 🙂

The day started at 10am with a back and neck massage followed by a facial, all this lasted an hour and it made us all sleepy, it was lovely. The massage was a bit painful at times, but I guess that was only because I really needed one. The facial was awesome with hot towels, face massage, exfoliation and all sorts of other stuff I normally don’t bother with.

After this we did a bit of swimming, sitting around in the hot tub, bit of reading, having a cup of tea until it was time for our lunch which was delicious. We had starter, main and pudding. It was lovely and so much that I am not sure whether I will need dinner tonight.

After lunch I had a long swim followed by a cup of tea. At half past 3 we went for a shower and got dressed ready for our manicure. We both chose a colour for our nails (Rachael picked a beautiful dark blue and I went for a sparkly pink one) and had them shaped and painted. Unfortunately they waited with giving us a feedback form to fill in until we had wet nails, quite tricky writing and Rachael ruined the polish on one of her nails. We then had to ask someone who hadn’t haad their nails done to get Rachael’s car keys out of the bottom of her bag to make sure they didn’t all get ruined 🙂

Must go now, I’m so relaxed I might have to go to sleep 🙂

Conversations with Elisabeth 2

Me: ‘What did you have for dinner at Jenny’s today?’
Elisabeth: ‘Mash and beans and fish fingers.’ –
Me: ‘Really?’ – She actually had spaghetti 🙂

Me: ‘You’ve grown so big!’
Elisabeth: ‘I’m not big, daddy is big.’

Elisabeth: ‘Daddy is a boy and mummy is a lady.’
Me: ‘That’s right, daddy is a man and mummy is a lady.’
Elisabeth: ‘No, daddy is a boy, daddy is not a man.’

‘Let’s go in the tent!’

One of Elisabeth’s favorite games at the moment is playing tent, and preferably in our bed. I have tried making her tents in the kitchen and conservatory with sheets over chairs etc but she won’t even go near them, the tent is in bed.

Every night when we all (if my husband is home in time) go upstairs for bath time Elisabeth says: ‘Let’s go in the tent mummy.’ By this she means that we go in our bed and pull the duvet over our heads and wait for her daddy to come and find us.

Whilst we wait she often makes me tomato soup or chocolate biscuits and occasionally ice cream. When we hear my husband coming up the stairs she looks at me and says: ‘I can hear him, ssshhhhhh.’ The look on her face when my husband stomps into the bedroom pretending not to know where we are is just amazing. She looks like she is going to burst with excitement. And when her daddy finds her and pulls the duvet off her she screams with delight and obviously says: ‘Let’s go in the tent again.’ and the whole game starts all over again.

Every night we do this three or four times, you’d think it would get boring but it is such a delight to see the excitement on her smiley face as she waits to be found that I could play tent all day every day. I also enjoy the break as all I have to do is lay in bed and hold the duvet up, whilst my husband runs her bath, gets everything ready for her bedtime and comes to find us in the tent. I think I got the better job there 🙂