In my last post I promised to keep the blog updated on a more regular basis so instead of waiting for an inspiration for a coherent post I thought I would do a bulleted list of recent happenings in our little family. Those of you who know me well would know that I have been fighting bullets during most of my PhD (and after that). The story is that according to my boss bullets are the preferred way of communicating among engineers. I beg to differ and firmly think that bullets are for people who can’t write a proper story. But I digress.
So what is new in our lives:
– Mark’s sister Louise and her husband Deon visited us for a few days as the first stop on their trans-european journey. We really enjoyed having them over and everyone was very surprised at how quickly Una warmed up to them, especially to Louise, so much so that all the dressing/feeding/hand holding had to be done by Louise and no one else. Louise and I got to have a shopping evening in Rotterdam and it was so much fun. Talking (and complaining) about your husband to someone who has known him his whole life is something special. Saying goodbye was hard, as we don’t see each other often, but there are some plans in the making to make a trip together next year.
– For most of May I was sick with a terrible flu turned into a nasty forceful cough that did not go well with my already present stomach emptying tendencies. After a visit to the doctor and “let’s wait it out”, things did not get better and I ended up taking antibiotics. I am feeling better, slowly but hopefuly surely. Of course I have been worrying how all this is going to affect the baby and all but my doctor (and my ob/gyn cousin whom I trust more – thanks Marko!) reassured me that there will be no consequences. I just really hope that this misery called all-day-nausea goes away soon so that I can start really enjoying this pregnancy.
– Una is definitely changing from a toddler to a little child, or as the Dutch would say from “peuter” to “kleuter”. This means some newfound mood swings and sulking behind the couch, refusal to wear trousers and anything that is not pink (how in heaven’s name did I get to have a girly girl??) and a sudden obsession with K3. If you don’t know what K3 is I suggest you keep it that way. On the other hand, she is becoming so loving and compassionate, almost every time I cough or run to the bathroom (and this happens a lot) she runs to me and asks me if I am OK, gives me hugs and kisses and well, just makes my heart melt.
– Before you get married, all the wise people in your family have a little talk with you about how mutual respect and compromises are crucial to make a marriage work. I did get the message of course, but honestly, Mark and I had had such an easy relationship in terms of choices, agreements etc. We just had similar opinions on a lot of things and it really did not feel like work or making compromises. Obviously things got a bit more hectic with adding Una into the mix, with all the sleepless nights, parenting choices and the lack of time for just the two of us. I am very happy to say that, rare moments aside, we are working things out as they come along and are doing pretty well at this family thing, even if I do say so myself. SO, I did not truly realise the real meaning of the necessity to make compromises until it came to a relatively mundane issue that is furnishing and decorating our new house. Up until about a year ago, most furniture that we had was hand me downs and Ikea, which worked well for our student days, looked good enough and served us well. Now with buying a house and feeling a bit more settled we decided to start replacing this furniture with some nicer and better quality pieces. To describe the whole process of my revelation of the necessity of making compromises would need more paper than everyone would possibly ever want to read, so I will cut the long story short and just say that everything that I deemed to be wrong with the world is now sitting in my front room. This includes a 40” LED TV (after a blisful year of not having a TV at all in the living room but in the playroom on the second floor) and a leather couch (corner piece style). But, I got my one year of TV-free living room and a promise that the TV goes on only after Una is in bed and the green light to choose anything I like for the bookshelves. Since I am not a fan of too modern looking interiors and need something old and antique-y to compensate for the two above mentioned items to make our living room feel homey it will be a bit of a challenge but I’ll enjoy looking for it. But best of all I get to watch my husband enjoy his long wanted high definition, high performance TV while comfortably laying on our stain proof couches. And that, I think, is what the wise people meant when they told me about compromises. (small print – I still do not like leather, but the couch is reaaaally comfortable; the TV is waaaay to big for my liking but the design is really great and the picture quality is undisputable)
– I had a real girls night out tonight and it was fantastic. Sanja and I got all dressed up (she definitely more than me as I am in that awkward phase inbetween normal and maternity clothes so my wardrobe choice is not all that great) went to watch SATC2 and to complete the experience checked out the new (to me!) cocktail bar here. AND, for the first time ever, I drove us to town all by myself. I got my drivers licence more than a month ago but combining the fact that I was constantly in the state of either puking or coughing my loungs out and that I learned to drive a diesel while we have a petrol car which are like two totally different ways of driving, I only drove around with Mark in the car. Well, we made it safe and sound and I even managed to park the car in the tiny dutch parking spots. Will not say how long it took (the parking bit). Still, very proud of myself :).
– My super fancy 6 month old bicycle purchased through the fabulous employment package of the university which meant that I pay a fraction of the price got stolen :(. This is a normal occurrence in NL but it still upset me, since my bike is main means of transport. Luckily I had insurance on it and when I went yesterday to start what I expected to be a lengthy complicated process of claiming the money and waiting for a new bike, the bike shop owner told me to come pick my identical new bike tomorrow! This is incredible given that I had waited 6 weeks for my first bike to be delivered. But I am very happy.
– In about 10 days time we are going on holiday and can’t wait for it. Our holiday destination is a bit unusual for a summer holiday choice for us beach and sun loving people but an opportunity came up that we did not want to pass. I have been invited to give a talk at a Baltic PhD school and since all my expenses and our accomodation (for the part of the trip at least) will be paid and we heard that the Baltic is really lovely we decided to make a holiday out of it. So we will be visiting Riga, Parnu and Tallin with some daily visits to other places. We’ll be gone for two weeks and I hope will have a great time and lots of photos to show.
This is all I can think about now!
Hope you all are enjoying what finally seems to be the summer!