Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Weekend lunch date #MicroblogMonday

A new restaurant opened up in our area and hubby and I went to check it out recently. I had a tasty salad with goat's cheese and walnuts plus slices of garlic bread and apple.

And for dessert a yummy chocolate cake. I can't resist a chocolately dessert!

Have you had any nice meals lately ?

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Hurtful comments

A few weeks ago my daughter (who I've nicknamed Mini for the blog), was interacting with a young baby lying on a playmat. It was a cute little girl around 3/4 months old who was smiling up at us. It was a sweet moment until the child's mother said to Mini, "would you like to have a sister?"

Mini can be a little shy sometimes and wasn't saying anything and I just said "No, no.." and shook my head. Instead of noticing my obvious discomfort at the topic, the women then said to Mini "tell your mother to give you a sister!" I was quite shocked to be honest and because I tend to be a people pleaser and overly polite, I just said "No, she's enough for us" and then mumbled something about me being too old anyway. The woman wouldn't let it go and kept saying "No?" and being quite pushy about it!

In the end I walked away with Mini but I was quite annoyed by the interaction. If you follow my blog, you'll know something about the long arduous journey we went through to have our daughter. I still think it's a miracle she's here at all!

We can't have any more children, unless we were to go down the IVF road again and even then there is no guarantee it would even work again. Emotionally, physically and mentally, I don't want to put myself through all that again. We have made peace with the fact that we are a family of three and love our little unit.

Insensitive comments like that are still a sore spot though and upset me. I wish I had spoken up and just told the lady we can't have any more kids and let her feel bad because then she would hopefully think twice before saying stuff like that to someone again!

Monday, February 27, 2023

Never ending winter #MicroblogMonday

A friend shared this image with me recently and it made me chuckle. The weather has been so up and down lately. We had some quite warm days the other week where it even reached 17 degrees (62 Fahrenheit) and was lovely and sunny! I noticed lots of flowers had started to bloom - pretty snow drops and crocuses, and I started getting my hopes up that the coldest winter days were already behind us.

However it all changed again and now today it's a chilly -2 (28 Fahrenheit) with a bitter wind. There was even some snow falling yesterday! I am very much ready for winter to be over and for Spring to arrive.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Organizing kids clothes

As most people know, babies and children grow out of their clothes and shoes pretty quicky. Sorting out the clothes by size, figuring out what to do with things that are outgrown, acquiring new clothes and shoes for the next season can be a whole job in itself! I remember the first year of Mini's life, she would only get several months at most, maybe even weeks sometimes at a particular size before having to size up.

From around age one to two, she was finally able to wear the clothes for longer. Sizes in Germany are based on height, and I remember "92" size fit her well for at least a year. Then she grew out of the bottoms first but the tops still fit for longer. One time I went up a shoe size and then those shoes fit for around a year which was great. However the ones afterwards only lasted a few months. It can also be very expensive having to go up sizes and buy a whole new wardrobe all the time, so I thought I'd share some of my tips. Many of which I learned the hard way!

  1. Ask around. If you're lucky you might some friends in your circle with children a bit older than yours who are more than happy to have someone to pass clothes and shoes down to
  2. Keep clothes that are too big out of sight. We store ours in the attic in Ikea containers. Otherwise Mini would want to wear those things while the clothes in her size barely get worn
  3. Look out for the Summer and Winter sales. It's a great way to get a bargin and you can buy things in the next size up for the following year
  4. If something is really worn out / too badly stained or you just don't like it, then you can secretly get rid of it
  5. Make a plan for what to do with clothes and shoes that are too small. I like to pass on as much as I can to family and friends. It's just nice knowing the things are being used again
  6. There are also ways to sell old clothes that are in good condition, like via Flee markets, Ebay, Mamikreisel, Facebook
  7. It's also a good idea to put things that are the wrong season out of sight
  8. Mend and re-use! We use a stain spray on badly stained items before they go in the wash which works quite well. And if I find holes in clothes, I mend them with a needle and thread
  9. Check out all the clothes, regardless of gender. You don't need to be limited by what is classed as "boy" or "girl". They are just clothes!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Looking back on old posts..101 things in 1001 days

In January 2020, I guess I was feeling pretty ambitious because I created a list of 101 things I wanted to achieve in 1001 days. My daughter, Mini (her nickname for the blog), was almost two and life was becomming a little less hectic, as it felt like we were over the hardest of the baby years and finally getting a bit more sleep!

However as you know, in February 2020 everything changed when the world was thrown into a global pandemic Immediately life became a whole lot more stressful. There were several lockdowns that lasted months on end when our Kindergarten was closed and we had to juggle minding a toddler and doing our jobs. There wasn't a second to think, let alone complete goals. So needless to say, I soon forgot about the list and focussed on surviving the present as best we could.

While looking over some old posts, I came across the list recently and thought I would read through it to see if I managed to tick anything off anyway. So let's find out...

The first section was regarding "Health and well being". I did manage to get a skin doctor and dentist checkup, flu vaccine and even quit sugar for 3 days at one point, but I didn't find much time to exercise. I did a few walking challenges and managed 10,000 steps one week but didn't do any jogging. Still overall I did pretty well in that secion I guess.

After that comes "House". Decluttering is constantly on my to do list. We managed to give away/sell a lot of old baby stuff, and I've been gradually giving away Mini's clothes as she grows out of them, however there is still a LOT of decluttering that could be done. So I'll give myself a score of "could do better, room for improvement" on that one.

Ok, then we have "self improvements / style". My hair grew really long during the first year of the pandemic when I wasn't able to get to a hairdresser but not sure that really counts as updating my style! I've been to the hairdresser several times in the past year and I'm happy with my current hair colour. I would still like to update my style though. Maybe this year I'll have more time to think about it. I've been to the shops a few times recently but didn't particualry like the current fashion trends, so I'll keep working on finding my individual style. Still don't have much upper arm strength, haven't done a thing about that goal. So we'll move on..

Hm, I'm feeling a little down while reading through the rest of the goals because I've managed so few of them. But perhaps I should cut myself some slack considering how crazy the past few years have been. Maybe I'll allow myself some extra time, like until the end of the year, to give myself more of a chance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Christmas in Ireland

We made it over to Ireland for Christmas 2022! The last time the whole family were together was Christmas 2019 prepandemic. It was so lovely to see everyone again. Since we are a big group (with 5 grandkids) we decided to go to Center Parcs in Longford for 5 days over the Christmas period. That worked out really well. We stayed in two lodges beside each other, around a ten minute walk from the "village". Most of the restaurants there have play areas for kids which is great.

Loads of the activities had booked out super fast unfortunately but my Dad still managed to book the Santa experience for us which worked out really well. Mini was a bit shy and barely answered him but we got some nice photos. They have a lovely spa at Center Parcs in Longford and really big indoor pool. The Christmas decorations around the forest were beautiful. So the whole thing felt really Christmassy.

Pizza night!
Spending time with her cousin

We went to the Jungle Book pantomine in The Gaiety theatre one afternoon and another day we went to a fun fair in Dun Laoghaire. We also met up with several friends and spent time with relations. So nice to see people after 3 years! Unfortunately my sister and her family came down with a bad cold/flu during our trip so there were several days we weren't able to meet. That happened with some of my friends too. Then hubby also got a cold towards the end of our stay. (and myself a few days later!)

Overall though it was a wonderful visit and I felt sad saying goodbye to everyone. Hopefully we'll be able to plan lots more trips over to Ireland this year though!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Random pandemic musings

During the worst stages of the pandemic, many people stopped physically greeting each other in the same way. Elbow bumps replaced hugs. Waves instead of handshakes. People were advised to keep their distance. The pandemic isn't officially over yet, but many people have resumed many aspects of life before the pandemic. Some of my friends and I hug each other when we meet which is really nice. However with many other friends we end up automatically keeping some distance still.

Sometimes I would like to hug a friend but I don't want them to feel uncomfortable if they are still anxious about catching Covid so I don't say anything. Personally I find it a bit of a shame and I hope the pandemic will officially end soon and that people will hug each other more again (with consent of course)!

I get the impression a lot of people are trying to make up for lost time because all of a sudden this summer there have been lots of social events. That has taken some getting used to because during all the lockdowns there was very little social interaction, so it's felt like a lot to go from that to suddently lots of interactions and events. Nice but exhausting too!

It's still required to wear a facemaks on public transport here and everywhere else is optional. Personally I have been mostly wearing mine still while shopping or going indoors because I still hope to reduce the spread of the latest variant. It's also just a habit now. It feels strange not wearing a mask after being so used to wearing one! I really hope there won't be any lockdowns this winter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Summer 2022

In June we went on a family holiday to Mallorca for ten days. We've been a few times before but this was our first time going since our daughter was born. We love it because it's only a short flight away from Germany and it's a beautiful island. It has gotten a bad reputation at times in the past as being a hotspot for drunkenness and bad behaviour from tourists but it's very easy to avoid those areas! We stayed in the Play de Muro region.

The beaches were long and beautiful. We stayed at a very family friendly hotel which was perfect because they had kids disco in the evening followed by an entertainment program with live music /dancing etc. They also had a kids club from age 4 which we brought Mini to a few times. My Dad and his partner as well as my sister and her family all stayed at the same hotel so it was a really nice way of spending time with family while also having a holiday! Mini hasn't learned to swim yet but she had great fun splashing around in the pool with her arm bands on. Oh and the food was delicious too!