Thursday, 26 May 2011

Baby weight

I now have 2,5 kilos to go before I am back at the same weight as I was before I got pregnant. If you saw me you probably wouldn't think that I could do with loosing 2,5 kg because I was quite skinny before I got knocked up. I gained like 20 kg and I couldn't have gained any less. I only ate healthy food as I completely went off anything sugary, fatty and salty.
When Little A was born, I lost about 12 kg the first few weeks without any effort, but after that it has been pretty hard. I have lost one kilo at a time in a very slow pace. I walk an hour almost all days, I practise yoga about 3 hours a week and do cardio at the gym about twice a week. And of course I am doing the 100 days ab challenge. I don't think I could do any more as my husband wants to work out as well and somebody has to watch the baby.
I don't want to go on a special diet and I am aware of what I eat and what is good for me. I have considered just accepting the extra weight, seeing that it doesn't make me overweight at all. But I don't want to. I want to be like I was before the pregnancy. Obviously, my body has changed but exactly because of that, I want to do everything I can to be like as I was before. Just because I now have stretch marks on my tummy doesn't mean I have to have a muffin top too, does it?
And it is far more environmentally friendly to loose the weight and fit into my old clothes than going out and buy a new wardrobe. Right?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Baby yoga

Little A in the pose Happy Baby. Some people call the pose Dead Bug, but I think Happy baby is more appropriate here.

I did it...

...and it went really well! It was a really nice and friendly group and Little A was having a good time. He was the youngest but he is roughly the same size as babies twice his age...
Today we're off to the gym in a few hours (I won't teach this class though). And in the afternoon we have a walk planned with a potential new walking buddy.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Off we go!

I have a scary event in front of me, I will go to a new playgroup where I don't know anybody. These things scare the crap out of me, but since I have started a new brave life, I just do it. I feel the fear and do it anyway.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

How talk shapes our world- part 1

I have been sitting on this one for a while now and apparently if you snooze, you loose in the blog world. You got to be quick! Two others have written something on this subject recently and you can read their post here and here.

Although I might be repeating what the other good people have said, I will have a go at the topic myself.

It is about how you talk to and about children. I will at a later time also write about how you talk about yourself.

I have been tuned into this for a while now and at work I sometimes hear the teachers talking about the children in a way that implies that things are static and permanent (and nothing could be further from the truth). But it was a recent incident that made me want to explore the subject a bit more.

I and Little A hang out in several different mummy-groups. We don’t have anything in common, apart from having a child the same age, but I find it really refreshing to hang out with people I wouldn’t normally meet. Anyway, the other day, Little A was “talking” to a boy in the group. We, the mothers, were holding them up so that they could see each other. It is amazing to see how much they enjoy this kind of interaction with others at the same age as them. Little A can be quite vocal at times and won’t let the other baby get a word in edgewise. But this time he was bit more low-key and let the other baby lead the talk. And he did, he talked and A answered and so it went, back and forward.

All of the sudden, the other mother went:

-Oh, he is so shy with other babies.

I couldn’t spot the shyness and said that I didn’t think that he seemed shy now.

- No, perhaps not now, but he usually is.

This is quite innocent and not a big deal. But I will argue that if the mother continues to point out the baby’s shyness every time he has a social interaction, the child will be shy and not because of some innate shyness, but because that is the way he hears himself being talked about. Words are not just descriptive, they shape the way we look at the world and ourselves.

I have caught myself in doing something similar. Little A sleeps through the night but doesn’t sleeps as well during the day. Or so I thought. I have been telling people and myself that he seems tired but can’t fall asleep unless I rock him and when I put him down, he often wakes up again. One day, I could see that he was tired and I had to clean the bottles so I couldn’t carry him around. I put him down in his bed to go and fetch the baby carrier. He wasn’t overjoyed when I put him down, but nor was he upset. I came back, seconds later and he was asleep. Hmh…I thought to myself. This happened the next time he was due for a nap and the day after and the day after. All I had to do was to keep an eye on him and put him down when he seemed sleepy. And it worked, nap after nap.

Now, if I hadn’t put him down that first time, I might still be saying that he can’t fall asleep on his own during the day and I would be wrong. He can do it, I just hadn’t tried it.

I wish that all adults, but of course parents in particular would listen to themselves when they speak to and about their children. The next time you make a statement about your child, like “he is shy”, “she won’t sleep”, “he won’t take the bottle”, “she prefers her mum to her dad” etc., stop and think if 1. that statement is always true; otherwise change the sentence to “sometimes” and 2. think about if you are giving your child the possibility to do what you want them to do. If your child is not taking the bottle, for example, are you really doing everything you could be doing to help him or her? If the answer is no, but you don’t have the time or energy to do what it takes, then be honest and say that. I wish I would hear more parents saying things like “she doesn’t sleep during the night because every time she wakes up I feed her so that she will daze off again because I just want to go back to sleep straight away and that means that she has gotten used to eating more during the night than during the day” or “he won’t take the bottle because my partner doesn’t want to give it to him and when I do it, he can smell the milk on me and doesn’t want the bottle”.

I am not saying that children don’t have different personalities or different needs and preferences. What I am suggesting is that many of the things we consider being innate to the child, is actually something that we, as adults are creating.

Yoga update

Well, life is full of surprises, isn't it?
Little did I know when I wrote that last post that I would end up teaching the class! But that is what happened!
The teacher was late and after 10 minutes a receptionist came in and said that he wasn't coming at all. People were of course disappointed and one woman with an orange yoga mat called out:
- Is there somebody good enough to teach the class?
- Well, isn't there someone?
- I can do it, I said and raised my hand.
I have no idea why I did it, but it felt like on tv, when they ask if there is a doctor in the room. They asked for a yoga teacher and I just had to confess to being one.
So I taught the class and it was great! I hadn't planned anything of course so I just did what I felt like.
They seemed to like it and thanked me very much and called me the hero of the day. On my way out the woman with the orange mat stopped me and told me to go up the reception because she had said to them that she thought that they should pay me. How sweet of her!
I don't know if I'll get paid or not and I don't care. It was just nice that I could help.


Soon on my way to try out a yoga class at my gym. I go to a yoga studio as well, but I hope this is good, as it is "free". Once I sign up for a gym or something like that I forget that I am paying for it and have this nice feeling of it being free of charge when I am there.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Brunch galore

I'm all brunched out! Two brunch in two days will take its toll on you.

I love the idea with brunch but I find the reality of it quite problematic. The problem is the time of day that you eat it. Ideally, one should time it so that it is consumed about an hour after waking up. That has never happened to me, I hardly ever sleep later than 8, regardless of when I went to bed. And eating at 9 doesn't count as brunch, I believe that is still breakfast.

Before I used to skip breakfast and wait for the brunch. But that is a terrible idea and by the time I get to eat, my blood sugar is so low that I am a pain to be around and then it's not so fun to have brunch anyway. So I now I eat breakfast even if I'm having brunch later and that works out fine.

However, I still haven't figured out what to do after a brunch. When I get hungry again it is not early to have dinner, but of course too late for lunch. Yesterday it all went pear-shaped and I didn't eat anything proper, just snacking until 7 pm when I was half-dead and we had to order pizza because you can't cook when you're half-dead. Very stupid. This happens every time I go for brunch.

But since my next brunch was already the day after, I had an excellent opportunity to do something new and different. We got home around 3 pm when I had a cheese sandwich, which did the trick. I then had a tofu wok with noodles around 6 pm, normal dinner time. My blood sugar was kept levelled and I have been in a good mood all day.

It's funny though. I guess the reason this happens is that I follow the clock more than my stomach as an indicator as when to eat. Why couldn't I have dinner at 3, if that is what my tummy tells me? I think that is called lunner (lunch+dinner) by the way. Maybe next time I'll try a lunner.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I love small things!

I bought these espresso cups in IKEA the other day and I love them! They are same as our other cups and if I had seen these when I was a child, I would have fainted with happiness.

A critical view of criticism

Something that feels current, for me anyway, is the topic of criticism. Of parents in particular. I have read about it a lot lately in the blog world and this post inspired me to write a longer piece on the subject.

One of the reasons I find this subject interesting is that I can't really relate to feeling criticised. I am a new mother and I have yet to experience it in relation to my motherhood. When I think outside my mummy-box, I can hardly remember ever being criticised. Now, why is that? It is not because people in my life adore everything I do, nor is it because I have rose-tinted glasses on and don’t perceive when people are being nasty. I would say that my general outlook on life is borderline pessimistic and I sure don't always think the best of people. Nor is it that I conform to the norm, so that there is nothing to be critical about. Still, I don't often feel criticised. I think what happens is that when somebody says something that could be perceived as criticism, I think of it as somebody expressing a different opinion to mine. I don’t take what they say personally or as a reflection on me. I might get pissed off, if what they say is stupid, but I also get angry when I come across animal cruelty and I don’t take that personally.

I think that what people choose to say to others is more a reflection on them than on the person they are speaking to. Furthermore, something that is perceived as criticism, could actually have been sent off as a piece of advice, i.e. the person’s intention was to help, not to criticise. A lot of it comes down to how people express themselves and how people perceive what is being said. It takes two to tango and it is important to remember that just because one felt criticised, doesn’t mean that it was the other person’s intention to criticise.

I’ll give you an example; I had quite a bad experience breastfeeding and I want to tell every mother-to-be about my experience so that they have a better one. Now, I definitely think that some women could perceive my advice as criticism, as it might come across as that I know better than them and that I am telling them what to do. Only because I would be so eager to help them! The point I am trying to make here is that people live in their own universe and they think they are right. People think that what they think is right. End of story. So with my breastfeeding advice, I could easily get carried away and tell pregnant women what to do because I am convinced that it would have an impact on their likelihood of a good breastfeeding experience and I want to help. However, being aware of this tricky situation, I try to be careful how I phrase myself.

In my line of work I have been taught never to give advice unless it is asked for. Sometimes the way people ask for advice is very subtle, so it can be hard to get it right. However, on the internet, in a blog, I would almost say that putting something out there that is even a little bit controversial, is asking for advice or input, which could in turn be perceived as criticism. Of course it doesn’t give people the right to be nasty, but the reality is that we can’t control what other people do or say. We can only control what we ourselves say and do and how we react to other people.

To summarise, I am saying that perhaps most criticisms are meant as advice and people can get carried away giving advice when they feel that they have something important to say. So my advice to people who often feel criticised would be to take a step back and not to take it personally. If one is really feeling on top of things, then perhaps even think of it as a way for the other person to start a conversation about something that is really important to him or her.

Finally, I would like to say that I appreciate all kinds of input on my childrearing (and other things too), because we must have left the baby instruction book in the hospital. I don’t always know what to do with my baby. I don’t feel like I have some inner maternal wisdom that I can tap into. Some things makes sense, others don’t and I will never (hopefully) act against my own sense of right and wrong. But somebody sees me doing something that is not working for me or the baby and they have tried it and have a suggestion, I would love for them to tell me what to do. I always have a choice as to whether I will listen to them or not. And I a choice as to whether I will feel criticised or not.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Day 30- still going strong

The 100 days abs challenge is going well and I can notice a big difference. It is getting quite hard now though and it's not even a third of what I will be doing. Dear god!

D minus

I have found out that I still have a vitamin D deficiency. It is measured on scale where you should have a number between 50-200. This time I have 42, which is not really bad but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

The first time this deficiency was discovered was about 2,5 years ago. I was having problems with my feet and the way I was walking. I was getting bruises on the outside of my heels because I was walking on the side of my heels. I went to a physiotherapist and he said that my pelvis was misaligned. He pulled it straight and I got insoles to correct the way I place my feet when I walk.
After a few months it wasn't getting any better, it was actually getting more painful and I was slightly bitter because I had spent a lot of money trying to make it better but I was in more pain than before. It got so bad that I could only take tiny steps and hardly walk up the stairs.

My doctor did a all around check and found that I was lacking in vitamin D (my number was 21 that time) and that could explain the pain in my bones. I started taking a supplement that is 760% of the daily doses. On the jar it says that it is for people who don't eat a lot and live in retirement home. Yeah, that's me!

I took it for a few months and I started to feel better. I was tested again and I can't remember the number but I was told that I didn't need to take that extreme supplement any longer. This was also around the time I became pregnant. During pregnancy there is a hormone called relaxin that makes your joints softer. For me that meant that my lower back was soft and supple and it wasn't painful anymore. Now, four months after the birth that hormone is all gone and I am getting stiff again. It has begun to hurt as well, so that is why I asked for a check-up.

I don't know why I don't have enough vitamin D but I think it is because I use a lot of sunscreen. I burn easily and I have always smothered myself in sunscreen. I am a vegetarian so I don't eat fish, but as I have understood it, it is not so much what you eat but how much sun you get to activate the vitamin.

So now I am back on the 760% supplement again and when I go for my daily walks I don't put sunscreen on my arms. However, when I have written this it becomes clear to me that I don't really understand what is going on or what the consequences might be.Maybe I should have my bone density examined for example because I don't know for long this went on before I became aware of it.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Paul Auster, The New York Triology and an old new life

I saw Paul Auster last week in a...I don't know what you call it. He was on a stage togther with a (pretty lousy) journalist (?) and she asked him questions. It was supposed to be like a conversation and not an interview, I think, but the woman wasn't very good with the follow-up questions, so the conversation wasn't exactly flowing.

Afterwards Auster signed my battered copy of The New York Triology. His books have changed my life twice.

I'll tell you about the first time, since you asked so nicely. I was doing a language course and there was this guy I fancied in my class. I think I was pretty sure he fancied me too, because I set up this screening test to see whether I should pursue him or not. I thought about what I was looking for in guy and this is what I came up with:
-that he liked Paul Auster
-that he liked Tindersticks
-that he wore Issey Miyake for men perfume.
(True story this is.)

So. I could clearly smell the Issey Miyake, so CHECK! He had already said that he liked Tinderstick, so CHECK! Only Auster left. For some reason I didn't just want to ask him, so I cleverly planted a book by Auster (I think it was Leviathan) in my bag. I say planted because I had already read it.

On the big break or make-day, I sat down next to him and casually open my bag so that he could see into it, if he so wished. He glanced in the bag's direction, saw the book and said that he really liked Auster, what did I think about him?

The rest was history. We were together for five years.
True story.
(I didn't chose my husband on these criteria).

Last week's walks

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I saw Buitiful yesterday and it is one of the saddest films I have ever seen. I guess I am more sensitive now, but the way the different children were living broke my heart. And the worst thing is that you can't say "it's just a movie" because chidlren are living like that all over the world and in even worst conditions.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

So stupid

We can't book a flight because we haven't decided what to call the baby. We got the first name sorted, but not the middle name/s or surname. The name you enter when you book has to match the one on the passport, only he doesn't have one yet.
Why have we kept delaying making a decision...?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

06.40 am.

Hm...waiting or expecting the baby to wake up anytime soon, wondering what to do in the meanwhile. Surely I must have something urgent to do so that I don't waste these precious moments.
Ah, maybe it is the calmness. Maybe I should just relax.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Regarding calmness

So I asked for calmness and it looks like it might be on its way.
To start with I am feeling calmer as it is already as I am more aware of my wish to be calmer.
Secondly, I have decided to go ahead with therapy so hopefully that will have an effect on my well-being.
Finally, I was told by a friend that there is a convent not far away from here where you can go on retreats. I have checked it out and have emailed with some questions, so hopefully I will be on my way soon.

Busy little B

I dedicated the weekend to making decisions and getting things planed and done. I have such hard time to make decisions sometimes when there is too much freedom. Like now, we are trying to book a holiday and we can basically go anytime and anywhere, so where do you start?
Today I have also checked off a lot of things on my endless to-do-list and it really clears my head. I like to think of my brain as a computer with too many programs opened at the same time. It slows down the computer and it's the same with the brain. If you are thinking about things instead of doing them, it clogs up the system.
But I'm still stressed...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Banana and calmness

Something funny happened today. I was out on my daily walk and went to buy some formula to the little one in a store that isn't very busy (Little A doesn't like to be in stores and I don't like being in them with him when he doesn't like it, so a long queue is not what I look for in a store). On my way there I remembered that another time I went there, they had free bananas on the way out. At the time I got really chuffed by my free banana and it kind of made my day (yes, that is how exciting it is to be on maternity leave). I thought to myself that I hoped that there would be free bananas today too, because I was feeling a bit peckish and I could really need a banana.
I put my stuff in my basket and went to the check out line and lo and behold!
BANANAS! I didn't spot them myself, but the cashier, who is a very sweet old man asked if the baby was old enough to eat bananas and I said:
-No not yet, but I am!
-Well then, have a banana! he said.
And said thank you very much and left the store with my free banana.
As I walked home I thought that it was quite a coincident that I wished for a banana and then it appeared. But then I thought that maybe it isn't, maybe you get what you ask for. So then I asked for calmness.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, 2 May 2011

What just happened?

I put the baby down and he fell asleep! He was not sleepy at all when I did it, but I thought that I'd have a go and it work!
Do I have a baby that sleeps when you put it to bed? That's fantastic!

I won't be stalked

At least not by the monkey. I only got two votes and I confess that one of them was my own. I wonder whose the other one was...?
I'm not too sad and I will keep going strong...or something.

Regarding indecisiveness

"The really tough choices, then,
don't center upon right versus wrong. They involve right versus right.
They are genuine dilemmas precisely because each side
is firmly rooted in one of our basic, core values . . .
the basic issue at the heart of so many ethical conflicts
(is) the clashing of core values . . ."
- Rushworth M. Kidder

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The weekend in numbers

Number of walks taken: 2
number of shopping trips taken: 3
number of gym trips: 1
number of lunches consumed outside: 2
number of pictures taken: about 1000
number of flats cleaned: 1
number of clothes washes: 2
number of bottles given: about 15
number of birthday gifts bought: 3
number of headaches: 1
number of nappies changed: a lot
number of sit ups and Russian twist: 25 and 25
number of films seen: 0
number of things I wanted to do but didn't: 1 (my yoga class was cancelled today)

A Sunday in pictures

Today's lunch view

Today's outfit; the trousers are daddy's old ones.

Today's treat; a yummy cupcake.

Big day today

Today Little A will be trying soilds for the first time! I bought a bowl and a spoon to him yesterday that match a sippy cup that he got when he was born.