Monthly Archives: February 2009

Reinout woke me up this morning, which was just as well as my chest was literally bursting and Sebastian was hungry. He then made me a banana shake and coffee for breakfast. As I was sitting in bed, reading and then writing, Reinout started dropping hints about being ready at 10 am. Ready for what I thought to myself?

2 minutes before 10 he said “Have you forgotten our plan to start exercising?” Of course I hadn’t but I had no idea it was starting this early. I quickly pulled on some training gear. Reinout commanded me to put my feet together and stand on my toes. He asked me, “Do you think you have balance?” The answer is pretty simple to that question, it’s “no”. 30 seconds later I did have a hard time keeping my balance. Then he asked me to carefully go down, bending my knees whilst still standing on my toes and then hold the position, for what could have been a minute but felt like 10. Lactic acid was at this point flowing freely through my legs, and I felt I was cramping up. Then I had to lift up one leg, which was easier said than done. I lost my balance all together.

Next exercise was even worse, yet extremely effective. I had to raise my arms sideways and keep them there straight. I felt I did pretty well until a point came when I started to cramp. It made me completely light headed. In the meantime Reinout kept on going at me. “Keep your position, think of it as you are carrying Sebastian, if you drop your arms you drop him too. You don’t want to drop your son do you?” I kept on cursing inside of my head. It hurt, it was gruelling, but I hate to give up. In the end I just had to. According to Reinout, I didn’t. It’s all in my mind and I have no discipline over it – yet. I buy that completely.

In fact everything he said makes sense. Everything starts with balance, and it’s something I don’t have at the moment…inner and outer balance. Physically and mentally. But I am prepared to learn, whatever it takes. Of course easier said than done, because am I really prepared to go beyond breaking point? Time shall tell….

yoga balance

Reinout has a new scapegoat for any strange sounds or smells…our beloved Sebastian. We are sitting in bed, Reinout with his Donald Duck and me with my Mac. Sebastian is in the middle in his portable bed. Suddenly a sound penetrates the otherwise o so calm Friday evening. Reinout looks at me. “Did you hear that?” he says and looks in the direction of Sebastian. Sebastian is sound asleep, which of course doesn’t let him off the hook but still… In my eyes he is perfect and would never do such a thing. I come closer to Reinout and yep, as I suspected, a stinky odour emanates from a certain direction. Reinout looks curiously at me, as if amazed to what length of extent I will go to detect the origin of the smell. “You’re weird” he says. Like I haven’t hear that one before!

Reinout gave me a lecture today, coming down to priorities. Do I take enough time to rest and relax? No. Am I obsessed about my weight and getting back into shape? Yes. I will come back on this later, to give my view to the matter, but for now it’s suffice to say we didn’t see eye to eye on the matter.

We went out for a walk later, catching lunch at Victor’s Coffee Bar and did a bit of shopping for Sebastian. Sebastian was enjoying the ride catching his beauty sleep for the whole duration. Straight after, I was off for my facial. Today I had a new facial called HydroFacial, which is microdermabrasion 2.0. I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the result. My skin was literally glowing, looking very smooth. The hydrofacial treatment uses serums based on AHA acids of various strengths to gently peel your skin. It works deeper than a microdermabrasion and is supposedly to be more effective for both wrinkles and hyper-pigmentations. I will start an intensive 5 session treatment, in order to reduce my hyper-pigmentations which I have primarily on my forehead. I will report on the results later.

after hydrofacial

The last days I have gone through a world wind of emotions. They come and go at strange times, often the moment I least expect them. Yesterday was no different, and in fact my evening was spent mostly shedding tears. Reinout is exhausted. Not so strange as our life has been turned on its head. It takes time to adapt to the new situation. And in the midst of all of this, there is a little baby boy that deserves all the love and attention he can get.

In my usual fashion I want to be in control and run on a schedule. The latter has always been a source of comfort for me.
It’s what keeps me going and gives structure to life. Although some people, my husband included, may be quick disagree, I am thinking of making a schedule for myself, plugging in the operational family chores and activities which I have now lost a grip on. Laundry, shopping, cooking and meal times. I also want to spend less time in front of the telly. At the moment it completely zaps my energy. Lately we’ve gone into the habit of having dinner in the dining room, but as our dining room is connected with the TV area, we often have the television on. Hmm, I feel a change coming on…


Sebastian after his latest feeding

I went out today for a long walk with Sebastian. My 6 km running route became my walking route instead. It will probably be another week before I attempt to start running, and starting with long power walks is a good way to ease myself into a fitness regime. It was raining this evening, and dusk was setting in whilst I made my way through town. At a certain point there was a roadblock and I turned a sharp corner into the older quarters of town. 2 minutes later I found myself in the Red Light District of Haarlem. It’s really small, nothing compared to Amsterdam, but it appeared to be a busy evening because several women were in their windows and others had their curtains closed. I saw a few clients shuffling between different windows and a larger entrance which I presumed to be a brothel of some sort. Most of them were looking away, or focusing on some invisible moving target in the pavement. It’s different in Amsterdam where most of them appears proud of their quests. But Haarlem is a rather provincial town and perhaps they just don’t want to get caught red handed.

One and a half hour later I was back wet and cold. The coldness still hasn’t left and I just took a shower to escape it. Perhaps I just need a good nights sleep…

My heroine from early childhood, Scarlett O’Hara coined the now famous cinematic quote “After all….Tomorrow is another day”. And this is so true. Just as we make New Years resolution, start a new life through the purchase of a new diary or changing jobs and apartments, we actually have the possibility to turn over a new leaf every day. Today I feel empowered, happy and relaxed. Perhaps it has something to do with an improvised dinner of sushi together with a business acquaintance of Reinout. Later I cleared all my administration which had been piling up for 2 weeks. As I try to feed Sebastian as late as possible, I went to bed around 2 am, but got a relatively good nights sleep, with some feedings in between. It’s amazing how your body can adjust to this nocturnal schedule without too many complaints.

My bedroom is filled with a close to summer feeling this morning. The sun is shining through a sheer coat of clouds. Brazilian music is leaving the speakers and fills the room with its happy, conga brazen sounds. It’s like a canvas being painted in warm colours of warm yellow, deep blue and lush green. The colours of the sun, sea and nature. It takes me back in memory to holidays spent in Miami, India, Malta and France. I long for the days I can put on a little dress, strap on my high heels, catch the clutch and enter the night like a nocturnal butterfly, whose beauty is only revealed under the coat of darkness. Soon, Susanne, soon…your time is yet to come….

In the middle of my emotional and temporarily confused state of mind, my midwife called me. She was asking if everything was all right. I didn’t really feel like telling her that no I just felt like crap, so I settled for a simple “yes”. In fact every question she fired off after that was also answered with a “yes” or “no” and in one case a “maybe”. Towards the end of the conversation she started on the topic of anti-conception. She made a point of breast-feeding not being an optimal solution. I said I knew. But she wasn’t going to leave it at that, and proceeded to go through every anti-conception there was, the pros and cons. Towards the end she asked me if there was any I had thought of using. “Is this for a survey you’re running?” I blurted out. I certainly felt like I was taking part of a quiz show.

For now I haven’t given anti-conception a second thought. I haven’t even thought of sex for that matter either, and that’s quite a feat given that sex is a rather important part of my life. But it all feels somewhat premature with only a week after the birth of Sebastian.  I later told Reinout about our conversation.
“Ok, great” he said. “We can now start working on a second one. “
I’m not entirely convinced of that idea.

On a different note my mood picked up later in the evening. I started my first gentle exercises. 20×3 stomach crunches, the slow and methodical ones, 5 push ups (I used to be able to make 20), and some gentle yoga postures. It felt great to finally work and stretch my body.


My hormones are playing games with me. Although I slept, with interruptions, for 7 hours, I till feel exhausted. By 1 o ‘clock Victoria came home. She suggested us going to the Bagel Bar. I had earlier agreed to making Wednesday afternoons our day. A day for lunching and shopping in town. But with a week year old baby logistics are not optimal. By 3 o’clock, after showering, 2 feedings, nappy changes and laundry I was still not ready. My black track suit which I was going to wear (it will take a few weeks before I’m fashionable again), was still wet. So the only other option was a pair of jeans. But I could not find them. I was running up and down searching every hole and cavity but without luck. After 5 minutes I started to curse, and I shouted to Victoria that lunch in town was not an option. An argument erupted and I snapped. I wished I hadn’t so I apologised, but the bad vibe continued to linger.

In the meantime I did manage to find my jeans. Perhaps we could go into town after all. I put them on. They were newly washed but fit (they are 3 sizes bigger though than my normal jeans). I continued my search but now for a top. I tried about 5 of them, but the result was the same. The lower part fit but the upper part did not. My breasts are literally exploding! I have gone from a C cup to an F cup, and look like a rogue version of a f*ck doll. There is only one way to change this trend, a quick and speedy diet. This morning I was 62.3 kg (I’m 1.65 m) and I have another 10 kilos to drop. A kilo a day seems excessive, and I’m not sure if it’s even possible, but I’m so fed up with not being able to wear anything. It’s another source to my mood swings.

Reinout came up later and spoke some sense into us both. Victoria and I now have an agreement. She has promised to give me some space, be honest in her feelings, and to treat me (and Reinout) with respect. I on the other hand have promised to control any outbursts I have, and to block out Wednesdays as our day together.

I feel better having talked to her. One step closer to a healthy mother-daughter relationship.

I long for two things, spring and a good party! We’re lucky as we have a south facing garden which brings a lot of light into our house. It completely showers our rooms in sun light. I remember when I bought this house, it was almost 4 years ago. Me and my now ex husband had gone through a financially and emotionally disastrous time. After having lived in a 45 square meter apartment for almost a year I had finally green light to start looking for a new house. My budget was somewhat smaller than it had been before but it didn’t deter me from finding my dream house.

I used to run several times a week. I’m what you can call an urban runner. I love running down the streets of any city I have the pleasure of visiting. I’ve been running in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Malmo, Copenhagen, Madrid, Malta, San Fransisco, Miami, on Kos, London and a whole bunch of other places. Wherever I go for more than 2 days I bring my training gear and go for an urban run. With my iPod on fullest volume, it’s a great way to explore cities, neighbourhoods and streets.

This time I turned into a small street not far from the station in Haarlem, and was met by a for sale sign. The house was in the centre and by the look of it, had great dimensions. I noted the street name and called the realestate agent the very same day. Within days I had an appointment for a viewing. I knew the moment I stepped inside, this was it. Although the house, which was built around 1880, had not seen a coat of paint since 1960, with all the original details removed and replaced for much later periodic equivalents, I knew I could bring back the place to it’s former glory. My vision was classic Parisian, with French panelled doors, fish-bone parquet and marble fire places. The latter never fitted into the budget but all the rest was implemented with careful attention to detail.

I started collecting interior magazines, and I saved the little treasures I could find, such as a designer library from a town house in London, or en suite rooms from a Parisian apartment. With a en eclectic mix of old antiques from my mother’s home together with newly acquired pieces and a 3 meter long antique oak table which had been standing in a Spanish hacienda, I turned the place from a house to a home.

But coming back to the moment the house was bought. It was in early June, and after collecting the keys I used to sneak into the house, alone and just lay down on the floor which was basking in sunlight. The feeling of the sun nurturing my energy drained body and soul was immense. I would loose myself there and then on the floor, and in my dreamlike state would walk through every room and envision it in its new transformation. It brought back piece to my mind.

Although in a new place mentally, but same place physically, I have a similar feeling today. The sun is not shining, but somehow its rays are penetrating me as I’m sitting here in bed with baby asleep next to me. Spring, o glorious Spring, I’m ready for you!


My favourite place for reading & writing, on the chaise lounge

I cooked dinner for the first time in weeks, chicken schnitzels, mashed potatoes and broccoli (well I cut out the mashed potatoes from my own meal). But it left me exhausted. I was convinced I was completely “recovered” but it appears not to be. When dinner was ready to be taken I sank down in my chair with hardly any energy left to eat. Sebastian was crying and I had to rely on Reinout to cover the situation. Victoria kept on asking all sorts of questions, that I couldn’t comprehend. Welcome to post-natal life!

After dinner I lay down on the couch, fed Sebastian who threw up all over me. Even a shower later didn’t manage to fully wake me up. Instead I crashed on the sofa once more and fell asleep only to be woken up half an hour later for another feeding.

Reinout sent me up in bed after that. It feels more relaxed here, and perhaps I should cut down on spending time in front of the TV in the evening. At least for a little while until I have more energy. Right now it’s fully spent on Sebastian and all other high priority matters. Very little me time in fact. I’ve lit my favourite Diptyque Tubereuse candle, covered myself with Tuberose Gardenia perfume and I’m now tucked up in bed. I shall resume reading my latest book acquisition, The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa. I haven’t been reading for over a week now…

susanne waldau

Seriously exhausted