Monthly Archives: March 2009

Whilst I love a good plan, and run my life through excel sheets and flowcharts, there has to be room for improvisation.  Although I wish I could be on time with putting Victoria to bed, having dinner on the table, feeding Sebastian on the dot of the hour it just doesn’t work that way. Domestic life is not the same as an organisation. In an organisation people do in general their best not to loose face (and in worst case their job), and if you have reliable colleagues you know more or less what you can expect.

This is entirely different when it comes to a household. Every hour is a quest for saving time. I find myself getting a sweet call from Reinout only to do my utmost to end the conversation as Sebastian is making strong indications that he wants to be fed. Another example is Victoria’s bed times. As a general rule she should go to bed at 8 pm and be a sleep no later than 8.30 pm. But as I go upstairs to say goodnight I find myself lured to the laundry room, as the laundry is still in the washing machine and will start to stink if it’s not removed by the end of the evening. So instead of waiting for Victoria to get ready I switch tasks, although I know that sorting our the laundry might take a few minutes longer which will result in Victoria being up a few minutes longer.

Today when Reinout called me he reminded me that Victoria is (again!) feeding Buddy’s food to Cecile. As he uttered that very sentence I felt a sting of guilt hit my chest. I had been feeding the dogs yesterday whilst cooking dinner and as I couldn’t find Cecile’s food on the fly I threw some food of Buddy’s into Cecile’s bowl. Guilty as charged! And yet I didn’t disclose this little piece of information for the fear of disrupting the status quo.
Equally I start taking liberties with Sebastian’s well being. I don’t always boil the bottles and dummies although I should after every use. How would I get the time to do that for the three minutes that is required? I also prepare his milk late at night instead of getting up at 4 in the morning to make a fresh bottle, let the water cool down and then feed him.

Yet I feel it’s expected of me to do all of this. Because on paper it looks quite manageable. We are talking about micro time being put in. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, never more than a half an hour. Simple right? And if it’s so damn difficult to get it all together, then start prioritizing.  I don’t really have to go to the gym, and why the hell do I blog for?

So I get into a defence mode, often using reasons for those two recreations of mine, that are not in fact true. So let’s be honest. I go to the gym to get back in shape. Whatever people are saying that I should embrace my new mother figure, I don’t give a damn about. I want to get back into shape period. I love hitting the gym in the early hours of the morning but Reinout doesn’t. Yet it’s the only time of the day when I have the time (I’m up early anyway) and it gives me a kick start to the day. And this is something I need. So it gives me well being and de-stress me even before the stress started. Well there you have the arguments for that one.

My blog, which is lately not getting the attention it deserves, is another one. It’s true, it’s not important in the grand scheme of things, but it helps me to reflect on life and process emotions that probably would have been dealt with rather differently if I didn’t pen them down. An if all arguments fail, at least it keeps me out of the mental hospital, and that’s quite an effort by any standard!

Whilst I think about it, I realise I have to be clear on these two points. Training in the morning should be ok, and blogging for an hour too. For the rest, I promise I’m all yours…

On Saturday coming back from my appointment at the hairdresser I was met by Reinout as I walked in. He didn’t say anything, and neither did I. I knew my words would be redundant and so I decided against saying anything. Instead we were just standing there, holding on to eachother for what felt like a very long time. Although nothing was being said, I could sense his mind in my heart. I pulled him a little bit closer to me, and he responded by burying his head in my hair.

In the background a song was playing, which I didn’t know then. But it amplified all the emotions that were flowing through the atmosphere at that very moment. Saturday passed, but the song remained with me playing in my head at odd hours of the day. It just did again and I decided to look it up. I now know why it still hasn’t left me…

I’m just back from the gym. It’s a beautiful morning, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. The sun is filling me with energy, and I need it. Last week was far too busy.  This week doesn’t look to be any better. Reinout and I are leaving for Copenhagen on Thursday. In the meantime we are closing in on our project launch and there are a lot of detailed work to do. I can feel the rush, breathing down my neck. It’s zapping my creativity completely. Instead my life is defined by lists nowadays. I write my action items down in the evening, distributing them as evenly as I can throughout the week. Yet there is not enough time to the day.

I dread the coming weeks. By the end of April I shall be exhausted. And this is when I’m suppose to go back to work. I need to find a solution for that. Extend my maternity leave until the end of May.  Because if not I fear my battery will have run empty.

I’ve been incredibly bad at updating my blog the last couple of days for the simple reason that I’ve had too much to do. I will make amends as of next week, that’s a promise.

Friday we had an important family matter to resolve which took most of the morning. After this Victoria and I ventured into town for a lunch at Bagels & More and some shopping. In the afternoon I had an appointment for the LPG massage followed by a session at the gym. In the evening Reinout and I went out for a meal. We had a great evening, becoming rather tipsy towards the end.

Saturday was another busy day. I had a hydrofacial in the morning and an appointment with the hairdresser for a haircut, highlights and to make my hair for the evening. I also had my make-up done. It was quite nice to be pampered for a whole day. Yet I was quite apprehensive about the dress. It’s a dress I would love to wear in a few months but it was not the dress for this period in my life. I would have wanted something more modest, but unfortunately it was this dress or no dress at all as Reinout put it when he bought it.

The party was nice. Reinout made quite a few biddings at the auction and ended up with a mobile phone, an old-timer drive and lunch for two, a consultant doing family history research for a full day, a belly dance workshop among others. After this we left. We were too tired and literally fell in bed…

at the bagel bar

Lunch at Bagels and More


Oysters for starter


Followed by tournedos

Reinout and Mirjam

Reinout and Mirjam at the party

I anticipated the week was going to kill me off…well almost. I’m beyond exhausted, and instead of letting my words flow, I will have to let the pictures tell their story…

Victoria's new chaise lounge

Victoria got a chaise lounge for her room as an early birthday

present.Chaise lounge is from IKEA

Sebastian's first bike

My colleagues came with a fab present for Sebastian –

his very first bike!

His own jumpsuit

His very own jumpsuit with his names printed on it. How sweet!

Pierre Cardin dress

Reinout bought me a beautiful dress from Pierre Cardin


Dress will look fantastic with these shoes from Cesare Paciotti


We finished the evening with dinner at Grote Markt


I’m in a fantastic mood

Just came off a call discussing our project plan. It’s great to finally have a visual  overview of our project, which is already sprawling with more and more people involved. I’ve taken on quite some more work, so I will have to get into a better shape in terms of being more optimised and structurized. I always have the feeling I work best whilst being under pressure. It helps to cut out the bullshit and get to the core. It’s something that has been lost for a while, and I’m really looking forward to get into that work mode again. With short and agile executions, then move on to the next target. Planning and execution, two key factors of success. It can go a long way. Just keeping things simple. So as of next week, after this off layer week is over, I shall give it a serious attempt at super-boost my efficiency. As I write this Sebastian is screaming at the top of his lungs. I try to ignore it but it’s difficult. I just realise it’s not an easy task I have ahead of me…

The day would literally never end. We’ve been dashing from one place to another and then to the next. Victoria got her BMR vaccination, I got some breastfeeding paraphernalia, and Victoria was treated to a pink chaise lounge from IKEA as an early birthday present. After we came home at 5 pm, I did an hours work and then started cooking – Swedish meatballs. After another feeding and putting Victoria to bed, I hit the gym for 45 min  intensive workout. I feel much better now, having had a shower. Another hours work and then off to bed. Good night!

straight from the shower

I admit, my days and weeks can never be compared to my husbands. He has several companies to run, teams to manage, decisions to make. I don’t. I’m on maternity leave and with that it’s expected that you take it easy, feed and take care of the little on, do the house holding and go on lunches and shopping sprees with your girlfriends. So far this “dream existence” is yet to materialise. I’ve been told in the last weeks that I have not worked as effectively as I could. What have I produced on my project? Next to nothing. This is not a good sign. I don’t want to put the blame elsewhere, but feedings every two to three hours accompanied by nappy changes, baths, putting Sebastian to sleep, laundry etc etc, leaves little time for organised work. It’s like I have to steal half an hour here and 20 minutes there to get it all together.

My lethargic state doesn’t make things better either. Little sleep, and a calorie intake of about 1000 per day makes one tired. I have realised with my four objectives and priorities (Family, Project, Blog and Getting back into shape),  my plate is full. And yet I am sure I can optimise it even further. It’s a challenge and I’m well up for it!

But this week is mad. Today Victoria has a vaccination. It’s one of these things that is conducted in a sportshall and takes a big chunk of your schedule. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my PT at the gym in the morning. In the afternoon I have some colleagues from Ex Machina coming to visit. I realise they are the first organised visitors I have for Sebastian. Up until now I have categorically refused people entry for two reasons, lack of time and vanity. If people see me now they will get an image of me they’ve never had before and I’m sure this image will prevail. I can’t let that happen for obvious reasons.

Friday is fully blocked in the morning for an important appointment (more on that later). Later in the afternoon I have my deep tissue massage in a bid to loose some inches and those dreaded cellulitis.
Even Saturday is completely crossed out with an appointment at the hairdresser for a haircut and highlights. They will also make my hair for the evening’s party we are attending. And on that note I just realised I still need to get an evening dress.
Sunday is Victoria’s birthday. She is turning 11! We still need to buy presents for her although we’ve decided to go to IKEA and get her a pink chaise lounge she really wants.

Perhaps not such a busy schedule in the grand scheme of things, but plug in feedings and a site that goes live in less than 4 weeks and you’re facing a minor calamity! God I wish this week was over…


Breakfast for me and Sebastian

evening dessert

Evening dessert leftovers from Reinout

When you think you have everything under control, you realise soon enough you don’t. It’s what they call Murphy’s Law –  in other words, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

As I was submitting my morning blog entry and was just about to get on with some work I got a call from Victoria’s school. Victoria had injured herself during her gym lesson and her arm might be fractured. 10 minutes later I had Reinout’s colleague at my door.  I was still trying to get through to the doctor and wasn’t even dressed yet. Sebastian was crying and Cecile, our Jack Russel was barking. It was a mad house. I pulled on a track suit, inserted my contact lenses and applied some mascara to at least give a decent impression. Another 10 minutes later we were on our way to Victoria’s school.

The doctor’s office was busy. We had to wait for an hour before it was our turn. Victoria was in good spirits and I suspected that perhaps it wasn’t all as bad as I’d been told. The doctor didn’t suspect so either but just to be sure sent her for an x-ray.

Another hour of waiting followed at the hospital. Great! Like my day is a completely empty canvas ready to be filled in with unforseable adventures. Fortunately there was nothing fractured, just a bad bruise.  At 2 pm I was back in the boudoir doubling as my office. I was tempted to turn it into its official function again by shovelling all the papers and notebooks and laptop on the floor and catch some sleep. But the coffee had already started to kick in and I decided against it. Instead I’ve been trying to catch up on my action list for today. I am half way there…

Whoohoo! Finally I’m in the 50’s again i.e. I weigh 59.7 kg this morning. It’s a tedious path but the weight loss motivates me even further. I have a found a great formula for loosing weight gradually that actually works. So far I have lost almost 2kg’s per week and now, 5 weeks after birth I have lost more than 8 kg’s. I have another 8 to go, but at least I’m half way there.

Basically the formula is simple, but really works:

Monday to Thursday I have a special, very clean diet which in essence consist of orange and coffee for breakfast, eggs, salad and apple for lunch, and steak and salad for dinner. This diet is what revs up my weight loss to about 1.5-2 kg’s. Friday to Sunday I have a less stricter diet although my breakfast is the same (I’ve never been big on breakfasts anyway), salad with chicken, ham or beef for lunch, and the same dinners as Victoria and Reinout without the carbohydrates. Instead I substitute potatoes or pasta with broccoli and tomatoes.

Training is another aspect and I try to hit the gym about 4 times per week. Next week I will start with my salsa lessons too at Club Fiera which I’m really looking forward to. And on that note, here is salsa song from Sonora carruseles that puts summer right back into this gloomy Monday morning…