Friday, 28 November 2014

Happiness is...

Having a laundry room.

Ok, that's clearly a major exaggeration otherwise I'd be incredibly 'sad'. But having had to get dressed for the past 2 years & leave my apartment to do washing, it's blissful to not only have our washing machine in the same living 'area' but now I suddenly have a laundry room as well! :D 


We have just had a minor issue with the plumbing but it's nothing that can't be solved...

I will post more as & when I can but we don't have the Internet on our pc's at the moment so I'm doing this solely from my mobile which is more challenging. It's also why I'm sure the photos aren't displaying properly...

I've been out every night this week so I'm pretty tired but things are slowly coming together :)

Cleaning a kitchen.

Very quickly before I forget: a recommendation.

Husband was moaning about how the oven was disgusting. There's grease on the wall of our 'new' kitchen. So instead of resorting to Lakeland Limited as we'd initially intended, I looked on a blog I stumbled across, clean mama. Here's the recommendation: http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/11/simplify-the-season-clean-your-oven.html



Unfortunately I didn't get a perfect 'after' shot so will try to remember when we do our oven but I happened to keep a box of baking soda bought from £ land ages ago so I was REALLY pleased this all worked so well! :)


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Moving day!

I researched & followed some tips when we moved to luxembourg 2 years ago, when f was 1.5 years. I probably didn't realistically need to follow them but it's been good practise for this time. So we said goodbye to all the rooms & took photos. Luckily F was/is excited about moving house.

Then the girls went to their schools & we started manically finishing packing... I discovered roadworks outside our house, the guys hadn't finished the kitchen at that point then couldnt pay by card for diesel :/


Countdown?

Think I've somehow skipped a day cos this takes us to Monday & Tuesday was actually moving day...


We 'camped' that night & the girls both slept in our room. They've been very well behaved, considering. We have had some tears though. They also both had a pediatrician appointment including a vaccine. Considering again, both were ok. 

Day 7:



Breakfast on day 7. My Krav Maga friend eats a lot of banana chips & Z decided she liked them so I took a few photos ;)

Day 6:

Don't have any suitable pictures because we were at a party. We did a quick trip back to the UK for my Aunty Jenny's birthday, which is the day after mine. :)

Friday, 21 November 2014

Oh dear...

I thought 'I'll write a post quickly on my plans'. Then thought 'how do you make god laugh? Tell him your plans' :S But I'll tell you anyway, even if they don't happen:

I am of course, referring to house plans. I was just commenting on facebook on my sister in law's wedding dress & it reminded me that I have plans for my own. This house has a lot to live up to! ;)


  • I wanted to decorate in colours because for ages we've lived in white or magnolia. Not bright colours but I wanted pale walls and then bright accents. There's a 'sort of' arch in the main 'living' room that we're painting dark red. I'm hoping to be a bit crazy and daring with the hallway. (But I won't say what yet) That's the one 'room' we've decided to just get a painter in... 
  • Then I hope to have all sorts of long forgotten 'treasures' on display, things from our wedding and as I mentioned, my wedding dress. I'm not entirely sure how yet as I was thinking our bedroom but I'm not sure I'll fit it in there, the room being quite small. Maybe I'll just hang it up on a hook, as it has it's own pearl hanger. I should probably write a post about my wedding at some point, as I was determined to do it myself on things we weren't so fussed about and then we spent money on our rings and photo's, things we'd keep...
  • A cat flap will appear, we'll probably have to get it cut into a glass door.
  • We're planning on having shelving in the caves, for bulk buying foods, etc. 
  • I'm planning on lots of storage for bags and coats, etc, in the hallway.
  • We'll finally have a proper study where I'm intending to actually neatly be able to keep 'everything'.
  • F asked for her room to be 'Winnie the Pooh'. So she has a blind & wall stickers. Z has an 'outdoor' scene... We've considered various options for lampshades. F will probably get a new wardrobe, Z some shelving.

Countdown, Day 5.


My husband jokes that we've bought an expensive house for the cat... He much prefers independence and being able to go outside so I wanted a cat flap. I bought this feliway diffuser recently and just remembered to plug it in before I left today... I've also been using calming capsules (can't remember their name) in his food...

Soooo what is to come? 

Well we don't do things by halves as you know. So having spent all week racing around, we're now going to the UK for my Aunt's birthday party. Then on Monday hubby is 'flat packing' furniture, I still have Krav Maga and then Tuesday we actually move. 

Getting there... Day 4!


Apparently a 'stroppy' email works because suddenly the kitchen is taking shape! ;) I have been reassured by many people that actually building a kitchen isn't that challenging when you know what you're doing, etc, so was relieved... 

Getting very very close! ;)

I have a feeling this was actually taken later but never mind.

Countdown Day 3...

Our bedroom. 

By this point I was sick of painting the living room but hubby had finished it. Finished F's room, the kitchen mega quickly (needs another coat and finishing properly) and still had our bedroom, Z's room and the 'study'... Oh and the caves...







Day 2 of countdown.

Hubby painted this 'accent' wall whilst the girls were in bed. I can't actually remember what I did during the day, I think I got narky with the contractors and painted our bedroom...

The countdown is on!

Ok, it was my birthday on Tuesday. That in itself will get a post later but that day also marked 1 week until we move house. I had started to write that day but never quite got round to finishing the countdown posts because the week has been crazy. Soooo...

My birthday! I had a lovely day, starting with breakfast with a 'school mum', then lunch & a play date with friends, followed by dinner with my lovely family. This was what happened when hubby got his card out to pay! 


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Nouveau maison...

Or new house to the English ;)

We got the keys finally last Friday night. We got 1 wall painted last weekend then on Monday I discovered we could still see lots of white so that's been a major source of my frustration. I don't feel like we've achieved much this week, or as much as I'd like. But it's now Friday & things are slowly improving.

I've made it to both Krav Maga sessions this week, which included practising rolls Thursday night on a dead arm (anddddd a Krav Maga night out last night)! I've done a late night (well as late as this country gets!) trip to the diy store, Hornbach, to get paint advice (in English, love how you ask if someone speaks English and they say 'a little' then proceed to give you advice on painting!). And yesterday I finished painting the kitchen! 

Today I have started on F's room, as the living room is now just annoying me, it can wait until the weekend. We've also started moving boxes and ordered our fridge. Men are checking & putting together the new kitchen as I type. It's interesting cos they only speak French. As do our neighbours, who we also met during the week. 

So photos:

The lounge/dining/ play room

What a ripped out, half painted kitchen looks like! 

Just painted first wall of f's room.

And lastly I went to a free class yesterday afternoon to look at a potential new venture - it's all go here! ;) My father in law said 'I hope you're not doing too much too soon' the other day and my response was 'who me?!' ;) Then I read 'It's never 1 thing with me' from someone else and thought 'yes, that sums me up'. Not content on moving house, I now have to make a decision about businesses! But that's definitely for another blog post! ;)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Toddler Thursday...

Written: 8/11/14

Well my Toddler is now a Preschooler so I have a lot of posts to catch up on. In Luxembourg the precoce (preschool) have a 2.5 hour lunch break and I really didn't feel like doing anything this week so we've been 'ladies that lunch' and F had chocolate ice cream as a treat on Friday!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A New Start?

I had the idea last weekend that when I get up with the girls on a Saturday morning, I should use the time to write some blog posts so I don't forget. So this is the first time...

And then yesterday we got the keys to our new house so I thought 'a new start' was a good enough title for this post. A new start to my organisation I hope and a new start in a house.

So I'm expecting my main source of blogging for the next month to be about the house. We don't plan to actually move in for another at least 2 weeks. Before then I need to wash all the walls, choose pain colour and then get painting! The walls are all textured as well so painting is going to be more of a challenge!

What will be our living room area.

Dining room 'end' - play area in the middle.

Bathroom no1

Part of hallway

Kitchen - to be ripped out next week!

One of the girls' bedrooms - apparently this is very expensive flooring!? ;)

Bathroom no2

Hall cupboard! :)

Paint testers.

Wardrobes in our bedroom. 

As my friend observed, there's a LOT of storage space! :) 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

How Crunchy Are You?

I had a chat with a friend on facebook recently and it inspired this post. This is JUST FOR FUN. Please do not take offence, think I am trying to shove my opinions down your throat or anything. I did this quiz ages ago and then the conversation today inspired me. That is all.

So, what's this post about?

It's about some choices I've made as a parent and why I've made them.

I googled 'how crunchy are you' to get a quiz and it turns out there's a few out there, so I completed 'http://www.themoralesfamily.us/granola.htm' and got 'Mmmm love that whole grain crunch' which is somewhere in the middle.

The questions (please excuse any bad grammar, I'm using the questions directly):

1. Do you have a homebirth?

With my oldest daughter yes, completely unassisted and totally unintentional. In hindsight, it was brilliant. I didn't know I was in labour so I had to go with it. For example, I remember just before the final push having this feeling that I had to just really get on with it.

2. Will you circumcise?

I have 2 daughters so this doesn't really apply...

3. Do you use cloth diapers?
 Elimination Communication (no diapers)
Yes - wash and make own diapers
Yes - wash own
Yes - diaper service
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't even consider it.

Yes, I use cloth. I can't sew so I don't make my own but I do use cloth nappies. And I love them and will be devastated (yes even my husband thinks I'm crazy but yes I will be devastated) when my baby potty trains and I'll have to sell them... And yes I will keep some of the more 'special' ones for them to play with/ their memory suitcase.

4. Do you observe your fertility signals using; Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness and use that for birth control?
 Yes - observe and use for birth control/TTC; or you use ecological breastfeeding/lactational amenorrhea
Yes - observe for TTC
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

I did track things a bit when I was trying for Z. But it didn't last long. I don't do this in general for a few reasons. I won't go into some of the more personal reasons but what I will say is I have used contraception for the 12 years I've been with my husband. Both times we've wanted a baby we have fallen pregnant immediately. I didn't particularly enjoy being pregnant and so don't intend to have any more children. So I believe if I was to try natural methods it would almost certainly result in a life changing 'accident'.

5. Do you co-sleep?
Yes - all night every night
Yes - part/all of most nights
No - but room in with baby. Baby has own bed in your room
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

I did when Z was first born. If my daughters aren't well then they normally end up in bed with us. I wanted to co-sleep for longer but we found no one was getting any sleep and frankly I cannot exist on no sleep (& I know lots of mums who say now they're a mum they magically manage but I really don't!).

6. Do you use a baby sling/soft carrier?
Yes - make and use your own slings
Yes
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

I love and am an advocate of my baby carrier. When I moved to Luxembourg I found out more about them as I found using a pushchair was a pain on the bus. I bought a black Boba and used it massively. I then bought a beige Boba when Z was born and it was my life saver when she was small. She would only sleep or even be quiet held upright and mostly against me. So I was able to play with F whilst Z slept on me. I have 2 because we keep one in the car and one at home. And so if necessary, hubby can have 1 and I can. Yes, my 3 year old can still easily go in this baby carrier for cuddles and lazy walks!
I don't make my own because I've never tried sewing and I think it would result in a whole new obsession! ;)

7. Do you breastfeed exclusively for the first 6+ months?
Yes - child-led weaning
Yes - including exclusively pumping moms
No - but use occasional bottles of expressed breastmilk and occasional bottles of formula
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

No but I wanted to. F being premature meant I had to pump initially and I was advised to stop because I hated it. Another topic for another day ;) I am a huge advocate of extended breastfeeding but didn't succeed myself.

8. Do you believe in/practice child-led weaning; even if that means breastfeeding for several years?
Yes - complete child-led weaning
Yes - up to 3 years
Yes - up to 2 years
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

I believe in it but I didn't do it. Because I didn't breastfeed F I wanted to long term breastfeed Z. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be, she didn't gain weight and take to breastfeeding very well and I ended up in hospital ill at one point.

9. Do you tandem nurse/nurse during your pregnancy?
 Yes - nurse during pregnancy and tandem nurse
Yes - nurse during pregnancy, but wean before birth
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

If I had been breastfeeding F still when pregnant, I would have continued.

10. Would you/have you ever breastfed/fed someone else's baby or have someone else breastfeed your child?
 Yes - have or someone has breastfed your baby
Yes - would do it
Maybe
No - wouldn't consider it

If you put this in the literal context: a hungry baby and a human being able to feed them, yes I would. And the same goes for my child, it didn't happen but when Z was newborn and not taking to breast feeding, I had this conversation. Again, much as I'd love to go into detail on this, I don't think it's something the whole world wants to know about! ;)

11. Do you eat organic/whole/natural foods and limit your meat?
Yes - complete grow own/buy organic, shop only at health food store, grind own wheat, vegetarian, etc.
Yes - grow some of own food, buy organic, use whole wheat flour, bake own bread, eat some meat occasionally
Yes - try to buy natural, whole grain foods, etc
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

This is just plain logical to me. Hubby isn't so keen on reducing the meat. We don't have any garden space so can't really grow our own but we do have a bread maker and I'm trying to eat 'clean' meals.

12. Do you use herbal/homeopathic remedies?
 Yes - very rarely see a regular doctor
Yes - but use a doctor occasionally
Thinking about it - See a doctor for now
No - wouldn't consider it

I take Juice Plus capsules. I would say we probably just avoid the doctor rather than use herbal remedies.

13. Do you homeschool?
 Yes - currently homeschool
Yes - will homeschool for now
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't consider it

I did consider it and researched it but it's not that simple in Luxembourg. I also truly believe, particularly now, that my children are happier in school and get more out of it.

14. What's your take on childhood vaccinations?
No vaccines
Delayed vaccinations, seperate vaccinations, or selectively vaccinate
Selective, on schedule vaccination
Thinking about NOT vaccinating
Vaccinate on schedule

This is one thing I am not crunchy on. Both my kids are fully vaccinated and F actually had an extra one when we moved here, at my request (chicken pox).

15. Do you use cloth/re-usable products for mom? (Sea Sponge, Diva Cup, etc etc)
 Yes - make and use own
Yes - buy own
Thinking about it
No - wouldn't even consider it

I was going to duck out of this topic as I know people who have read in the past have commented. But given the topics already covered, I may as well briefly answer. I have a mooncup.

16. Do you wear make-up?
No never
Sometimes/Rarely - use natural make-up lightly
Yes - all the time

Basics. I feel better and think I look a bit better. My husband can't tell, mind you! ;)

17. Do you shave?
No never
Sometimes/Rarely - some parts, like armpits but not legs or vice versa
Yes - all the time

Yes cos frankly I don't see what at all is crunchy about this! ;)

18. What is your shoe style?
Barefoot whenever possible
Sandals when going out
Give me my socks and shoes please

Unintentionally barefoot...

19. Do you use natural cleaning products/etc?
Yes - make own
Yes - buy
No

My cleaner dictates what we use currently but in the future I would like to have the time to make and use my own...

The other topics not covered here is extended rear facing car seats and more of baby led weaning. My kids have rear facing car seats because the research we did suggested they were safer and didnt' cost anything extra so they know no different and are stuck in them. We're about to get a second car and will continue with rear facing. 

We have done a mixture of some puree but to be honest I got bored very quickly and moved to baby led weaning. It does make a lot more sense to me. I also find it a lot more natural. Especially with baby number 2, I can just give them a pizza crust or a piece of vegetable and they can feed themselves...

So that's this questionnaire and as such post finished. Hubby has joked that I've gone all 'hippy' but frankly I can think of worse things to be called! :)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

My Early New Year's Resolutions...

Having given up work and as we're about to move house, I have informed Mr Adventures of Mamma that I will take over as much as possible in the home. This meaning things like tracking our finances and budget (which we don't really currently do due to lack of time). So I have set a reminder on my phone calendar that the first week of each month I have labelled 'audit' week but it's not a very good word for it. 

What am I planning to do?
  1. Firstly bulk cooking. This is cooking a large fish pie, mince mixture, etc, then freezing it in individual portions so that each week I just get enough food out to feed us. Like ready frozen meals from the supermarket but home made so I hope better for us!
  2. Filing. I am regularly WELL behind with this. To the point where our passports don't get filed from the last time we were in the UK before the next trip back! :(
  3. Emails. I currently have 10 pages of emails in my inbox. 'Nuff said?!
  4. Laptop 'audit' - I have so many random documents and things that seem useful but turn out not to be. 
  5. Toys - rotating them, getting rid of no longer played with... Updating labels and storage...
  6. Clothes - keeping up with Project 333 for us 3 girls and generally checking them.
  7. Change photo's on my screensaver and then when we move I'll have photo's on our tv so changing those over. 
  8. Sending photo's and drawings to appropriate people. I have also just downloaded 2 apps - Keepy & Touchnote so I'll keep you updated as to whether they're as good as I hope they'll be! :)
  9. Birthday cards for the month. I am awful with this so hopefully this will help....
  10. Finances - as I said above.
  11. Back my mobile up to my laptop.
  12. Actually write blog posts for the month
  13. Send a news email to some friends that aren't on facebook
  14. Make bread for the month.
I may of course, add to the list as time goes on but I am also conscious I'll only have a week to do this ;) 

Anyway, not only do I plan to do this but we're moving house this month and I had an idea of hosting a Christmas party at our new house BUT have just realised the timing is going to be hard... I feel a headache coming on but I'm sure it'll still be fine! ;)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Housekeeping...

A few bits to catch you up on:

  • I have given up working full time. I hated myself for running around like a headless chicken (ever seen this?! It is quite weird) rushing F to school etc. 
  • We are moving house next month. No our apartment is not packed. No I have not finished the massive declutter/ sort out that I want to do. *sigh* As my friend here said, 'I bet you haven't stopped since giving up work' and it's sooo true! It's crazy...
  • I am hoping to start helping with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award/ Merite Jeunesse after I'm trained in January.
  • I am going to investigate what French and Luxembourgish language courses there are offered by our new commune office in January.
  • I forgot to add I have been following juice plus. More on this to come...
  • More to come on our new house...
  • Andddd hopefully I'll get a bit more organised with my life and what I want to achieve and actually start scheduling blog posts etc! I have a lot half written and started that I've never finished... I feel a new years resolution coming on! ;)
Regarding being more organised: after a casual chat with a friend I had 2 ideas. She writes her blog posts once a month. Which inspired me to do the same (this morning I also thought I should use the time I'm awake on a Saturday morning to do these things). And then further inspired me that the first week of the month from now on is going to be my 'audit month'. Hopefully this will be successful & if it is, I will write a post later. I've currently set a reminder & included everything I want to do, checking clothing, writing blog posts & most importantly, cooking meals & updating our budget. I'm also hoping to get organised with birthday cards! 

Oh and Z turned 1 last month. We have a ridiculously busy November and probably December coming up.

Happy Halloween!? :)