Shameless mom

Every now and then I can picture my school period again, whilst thinking about my current life as a parent. I mean, sometimes it feels like you go out and play and sometimes you feel really bored, staring at the clock. Another parallel is that you do actually learn a lot. And  of course parenting comes with a lot of ‘homework’ as well.Littleluxlion

One thing that really got clear to me these past few weeks is how toddlers don’t embarrass themselves, aren’t ashamed or are to busy pleasing others. Though kids are looking at examples in life and towards their parents, they don’t have a lot of standards yet. This makes them free as a bird and a joy to watch.

How I enjoyed my son demanding wearing his sisters’ clothing. How discovering new things in life and learning about anything is without prejudgement. What an example! It becomes clear to me that I don’t need to teach my kids to feel free and follow their strong will to develop their talents and learn about life. Like I already mentioned in this blog. I just have encourage it.

I love the words of the song of ‘Emili Sandé about learning to be free:

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You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it, how we gonna learn your song?
So come on come on, come on come onYou’ve got a heart as loud as lions so why let your voice be tamed?
Maybe we’re a little different, there’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows so stop hiding it away
Come on, come on” 

The reason I write this, is that in a certain way I feel like I am holding back. Maybe people will say that I am adventurous, with taking lots of risks in my life and not holding on to securities. That is true and I am proud of that. The most regrets I have in life are because I made the wrong choice, instead of holding back.

These regrets came from trusting the wrong people, miscalculating the situation or denying my intuition.  That made me sometimes weak. In the end, I believe experiences in life make you humble, more empathic and self-concious about your resilience and confidence. I think that is what people mean with that it makes you stronger. Only, writing just that (stronger) down, feels a little hollow.

LittleluxlionWhy I am still feeling like holding back? The most challenging in life is not to follow your patterns, but to change some of them. To do believe in what you are capable of it and go 100% for it. I went to Luxembourg with a mission. That mission is to do what I love  besides my ‘homework’ as a mother. Now, 6 months after giving birth to Chloé, I do feel I really want to develop my talents in a productive way 100%. Follow my heart and ambitions instead of choosing the easy way for the reason of certainties.

Let’s do this shamelessly, without prejudgments, without standards and add that strong will to learn things in life.

Thoughts: How to be a fit and strong mom?

With Chloé almost 5 months, I notice times are changing. The development of Chloé is really visible now and she is obviously getting stronger. Last week, I witnessed her first real turn from back to belly and this week she’s already moving a lot more.

LittleluxlionMy own physical condition is also a lot better since I gave birth. I feel a lot of motivation to get stronger and fitter. Mentally and physically I really need to gain a little bit of “me” back after two years of non-stop pregnancies and breastfeeding.

My goal will be to gain strength, flexibilty and fitness. I felt strong, fit and flexible just before my first pregnancy. Went to the gym five days a week for different exercises. Played tennis, was active in yoga and boxing.

LittleluxlionWith two under two, being at a gym five days a week doens’t seem realistic. However there should be more into it than I am doing now.

No need to lose any pregnancy kilos. I actually never understood the motivation behind “losing weight”. Losing sounds so depressing. You lose your wallet, you lose hair on your head or lose a beloved one in your life. So what’s the fun of losing weight? It won’t make me realise my goals.

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This summer I will definitely orientate myself for yoga or pilates places in Luxemburg. A closer look to Chloé’s back to belly turn shows me babys have a ‘winning’ spirit. No is not an answer. They achieve their goals with curiousity and a good balance between perseverance and relaxation. I will follow her spirit. Let’s make it happen and win myself back.

 

 

Holiday favourites: 5 must-have baby items

In one week we are driving to France and having our first family holiday with two kids.  We don’t have a huge car and even if we had, I like to be flexible, pragmatic and travel light.

I noticed when I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by all the ‘baby lists’ and recommendations. I didn’t have a clue where to start, what to prioritise and where to store all these items.

Luckily I already had some friends with babies that warned me not to buy too much of everything, because in the end you surely don’t need all. How thankful I am for that!

As a mother of two under two, I noticed that some items are very helpful. I want to share my favourites with you and am very curious about your opinion. Which item are  you definitely taking with you?

1. Cozy Baby nest
In the Netherlands these items are trending since last year. I totally understand why! When born, Chloé was very little and found it hard to sleep in her cradle. That’s why we bought the cozy nest.

It is safe, very light and easy to carry. This helps you out while travelling. No campingbed needed. For my trips abroad I always bring this one with me. 

Also I find it very helpful at home. During the night I carry Chloé out of the cradle in her nest and breastfeed her in bed while she is in the nest. This way we can continue to sleep safe together in bed.

2. Stokke Newborn
I remember doubting a while before buying this. The Stokke chair is fabulous anyway. It is well prized, as you can have it up to 6/7 years for your child.

With Jules running around I didn’t dare to put Chloé on a bouncer on the floor. So after one month we decided to buy it and I like it very much.

In a jiffy you take the newborn on and off the Stokke chair. So if guests arrive with kids, we’ll get it off and have an extra chair. Chloé can always sit on any surface with the newborn, like a dining chair of on the table. To France we are planning to bring it with us, instead of a bouncer. Perfect solution and still traveling light.


3. Hydrophilic diaper Done by deer
Hydrophillic diapers are indispensable for me. I use them for a lot of things during the day. Not only when we’re out, to lie on when I change diapers, but also for protection from the sun when she is in the stroller/carrier, delicate breastfeeding and for cleaning when Chloé is nauseous.

Why these hydrophilic are my favourites? They are fashionable. I love these diapers. They come in two sizes, different colours and have a loop on it, which is uncommon. This way you can hang them anywhere and eventually I’ll keep them as towels for the kitchen.


4. Snooze carrier
Finding the best carrier was not easy. I have bought, borrowed and tried several ones. Recently I  found the one that is the most convenient for me. I really would advise to borrow different carriers from friends before buying one. However, if you can’t wait, I am pleased to have the snooze carrier. It has a warm inside cover for cold days and is pleasant for the warm days when you remove it. Also it is very easy to carry, putting your baby in and out and is very light as it has no metals or big locks like a lot of carriers.

5. Puckababy four seasons
Not the cheapest sleeping bag, but definitely the best for me! The four seasons Puckababy will save you lots of money. You can adjust the size as well as the thickness, creating a sleeping bag for multiple ages as well as different seasons. It’s about 100 euro and helps you out from a 6 months old baby until approximately 2 years. I use it daily and am very pleased with the sustainable material after all these washes.

 

 

 
Looking forward to holidays! Will update in France about our tour.

Familytrip Rotterdam. Must-do visit!

Want to plan a visit with kids and looking for a new destination? Born and raised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I can highly recommend this upcoming city. After a visit last week, I really need to inform you about my love for this city. You think it’s only fun for a romantic weekend or a getaway with friends? No way! Rotterdam has a lot of options if you want to have a short family trip. Here are some ideas that will get you mostly on and off the beaten track:

Day 1: Iconic eye catchers of Rotterdam

Start the day with the fantastic Hotel New York (HNY) for breakfast or brunch. This used to be the former office building of the Holland America Lines and has been national heritage site since 2000. Here you already have a beautiful view of the Erasmus bridge, locally know as ‘the Swan’, and the skyline of Rotterdam.

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Skyline of Rotterdam (story continues)

To experience the largest port of Europe, hop on the watertaxi from HNY to the Oude Haven. At your arrival you can see where the first high-rise building of Europe was built in 1898. From there take a five minute walk to see a unique peace of architect at the ‘Cube houses‘ and visit Rotterdams’ newest tourist and local highlight; the Markthal.

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Markthal

On the second part of the day hop op the watertaxi again to the Euromast. Here you’ll get a great look of Rotterdam from above. From there, walk to the nice citypark and get a tea/coffee at the kids-friendly Parqiet .

Ready for dinner? A few minutes away you will find the departure point for a pancake cruise. This will show you the grand tour along the skyline and port of Rotterdam with a kids friendly meal.

DAY 2: Relax and Enjoy!

After all the sightseeing of the first day, you’re probably planning a more relaxed day. Let me take you to my home neighbourhood, ‘ Kralingen’, it is absolutely my favourite.

Juffrouw van Zanten

Start with some breakfast at the coolest high quality kids cafe you have ever seen. Since February 2017 ‘Juffrouw van Zanten’  is the new hot spot which combines kids friendliness with a delicious menu for everyone. These places are very rare, I promiss you. Another option is the cafe ‘ Thuisch’ in Kralingen. Also a very nice cafe with a massive playroom inside and outside playground.

After that take a look at a kids store Dattie & Die, and move on to relax at the ‘Kralingse bos’. You will enter a huge recreational park, where you can easily spend a whole day. Take some picnic gear with you or have a lunch or coffee at one of the cafe’s. Cafe ‘de Tuin’ has an outside playground. If you want to do something with the kids besides walking along the lake, don’t miss out on the other fun things to do. Here are some options:

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Kralingse bos
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Kids farm

DAY 3: Can’t choose. Both are great!

Want to spend your final day at one place? Here are two options that are equally worth a visit.

PLASWIJCKPARC
Visit the recreational park of Plaswijck on a good or a bad weather day. The park currently consists of Speelwijck (play area), Dierenwijck (animal area) and Wandelwijck (walking area). In the event of bad weather, enjoy the House on the Hill, a giant playhouse where kids can jump on a trampoline beds in the bedroom, squirt bubble bath in the bathroom and crawl and climb through the secret tunnels and passageways. Animals from around the globe live in Dierenwijck, including monkeys, owls, lynxes and goats. Wandelwijck offers various places to relax, including the English Garden and the Picnic Meadow. Plaswijck Park also has a restaurant with a terrace where drinks and (healthy) snacks are served.

ROTTERDAM ZOO
This is by far one of Europe’s most beautiful zoos. While wandering through different parts of the world, you will discover and encounter the most amazing and countless animals. Take a look at the amazon where crocodiles swim, see the elephants and visit the one cave where you can see polar bears. Furthermore there is a gorilla island and savanna. But one of the most iconic features of the parc is ‘Oceanium’. You will meet many marine and coastal animals as sharks, turtles and king penguins in a 22 meters long tunnel.

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Blijdorp, Rotterdam Zoo

Still not convinced or some time left? In the near area of Rotterdam there are also places worth a visit. The beach is just 20-30 minutes away by car or train and ‘Kinderdijk‘ is world famous for its windmills.

Can’t wait to see your feedback about this and above all, enjoy!! ❤