Category Archives: Growing up too fast

As though there was ever any doubt (Take 2)

Seriously, was I just a carrier? (see Take 1)

(I got the photo below from Louise, showed it to Una, and she asked: “Hey, who are those people with Nestor?”)

Mark5yo    N5yo

Mark (5 year old)         Nestor (5 year old)


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Filed under Family, Growing up too fast, Uncategorized

That moment when you close the door behind the last guest, walk into your kitchen and your first thought “oh, who is going to clean all this and where do I even start?” gives way to a warm feeling of what can only be deep gratitude for all the dirty plates and the food that was on them, and the friends, little and big, who came from near and far, with broken leg and head cold, to eat that food and drink that wine with you, to celebrate the birthday of your child and sing to him and spoil him and eat too much sugar and laugh too much and talk too much. That moment is what feeds your soul. IMG_0138

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Filed under Cherished moments, Daily gratitude, Growing up too fast, Life in Delft

Una’s latest

Una: “Mama, do you think I could be a strip tekenaar (comic book artist)?

I: “I think you could, what do you think?”

Una: “I kind of think so too. I am quite good at both drawing and creating stories, so I thought this could be a good choice for me”.



Una: “Daddy, could you help me find a good app, I would like to start learning Chinese”

Mark: “?X$$%%#%#%#”

{And there we wondered whether she could handle being trilingual}

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Filed under Growing up too fast, Out of the mouths of babes, Raising multilingual children

So, I guess this is our new normal. For the first time in, what, more than seven years, I am working on a Wednesday morning, for a couple of hours, from home, while U and N are at school. I really enjoyed Wednesday and Friday mornings with just N and I, they were too short to do something big or go somewhere far, so we mostly stayed home or went for a walk in the forest in our neighbourhood or play in the park there. We took it slowly and just enjoyed being together. Now he is out there, trying to find his place in the big school and big world and I am alone in the house that is far too quiet (even with the crazy kitten chasing the left over balloons from N’s birthday party).

Things change, children grow, go with the flow, I know all that jazz. But, right now, I just miss my baby so very much.

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Filed under Growing up too fast, not such a zen mama

Three never again

Turning four is quite a big deal for children living in The Netherlands. Turning four means that you get to go to a big kid school, no more daycare or preschool, no more being a peuter. And from the time you are about three and a half, everyone and their cat keeps asking you “So, almost time to start school for you? Spannend hoor!”

So it is no wonder that for a good couple of months, Nestor has been patiently waiting for that magic day when he gets to turn four. In the last days he wasn’t even asking about the gifts he was going to get (everyone knew that it had to be a dragon in some form or the other anyway) or the dragon cake I promised to make for him. He

And the day came. My baby turned four yesterday.

And we celebrated, with his best friends and lots and lots of dragons. Dragon cake, dragon games, dragon crafts, dragon gifts… When the cake came out and it was time to blow out the candles, he said that he would like to make a wish, closed his eyes and whispered: “I wish I could see a real dragon”. So if there are any real dragons out there, please do swing by, you would make this FOUR year old’s birthday wish come true.

This morning he woke up before dawn, pitter-pattered to our bed and asked visibly worried: “Mama, am I still not three any more?” I reassured him that he is definitely four and does not need to worry, he will never be three again.


What is the first thing that the birthday boy does in the morning? Open the gifts of course!


Toothless all ready for “pin the fire on the dragon” game


Dragon egg hunt


The eggs all found, now let’s put the map pieces together to find the treasure


Dragon balloons crafts


They were pretty pleased with the results


“I wish I could see a REAL dragon”


Dragon cake (sans wings, they were put last minute as they were quite heavy)


The group photo (the three “big” kids, Una and the brothers of two of Nestor’s friends graced us with their presence for a group photo)

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Filed under Cherished moments, Growing up too fast

Look what came in the mail yesterday…


This is a welcome card Nestor received from his teachers-to-be. It is happening, my baby is starting school.

Tomorrow and Wednesday he can go half days (wendagen), the week after is autumn holiday and the week after that, the day after his birthday, he starts first grade.

As much as he is full of questions and uncertainties about his new environment (“will I get lunch there? will they also not let children take away toys from each other? perhaps there will be children who aren’t so nice?”), the excitement trumps the doubts. He is SO ready.
I am SO not. I’d better catch up with him.

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This time, 7 years ago, I was in the home stretch, last few hours of waiting for Una, wondering what she would look like, what she would be like, what it all would be like.


Seven years later.

She is beautiful, tall, with gorgeous curly hair and big brown eyes. 

She is compassionate, sensitive, dreamy and funny.

It is all-consuming, ever-changing and truly wonderful.


Srecan rodjendan, mila moja.

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Filed under Cherished moments, Growing up too fast