31 May 2015

Why I don't run.

Everyone seems to run.
But they don't do it qietly and enjoy themselves doing it. No! They run and take photographs. Before, during and after running. And they post their photos on Facebook, share them on Instagram, tweet their results. ALL of them. So, there was me last year. Quite happy that the pregnancy went well, the baby was born and healthy, breastfeeding helped a lot losing the babyweight. BUT I didn't run. And for some reason, I wanted to run, too. So I bought a new pair of runners, downloaded fitness apps on my phone, got a fitness tracker and 6 weeks after Alfie was born, I put him into his pram, stuck my poor body into running gear and off I went. And it SUCKED. Man, did it suck... there was NO joy. I felt shite after the first time, after the second time, after the third time. Sweat ran into my eyes and made me cry. My face turned purple after the first few minutes running, sometimes, the baby got fed up and his face turned purple, too. It was NO fun. "It will get better! You will enjoy it, just stuck to your routine!" That's what the running friends kept telling me. It didn't get better. Well... I performed better after a while, but the whole running/sweating/muskle pain stuff just SUCKED. I cried. I so WANTED to join in the running hype. And I tried for about a month to discover any joy. I just didn't. It didn't make me happy, I even felt GUILTY not to be a happy runner. How SILLY.
Maybe pushing the pram while running didn't help. Maybe always running on my own didn't. Maybe my body had needed a longer break to put all the hormones back into their places. Maybe running was just not for me. I don't know.
I just gave up.
I went to the gym a few times. I liked it a lot more than running. But organising the day around my gym time was very stressful for me, too. And sometimes I was just too tired. So I gave up the gym. And I decided to focus on healthy eating, first. To lose the baby weight. Now... THAT worked a lot better.
And now I don't care any more. I was pregnant twice. I gave birth to my baby boy only 13 months ago. I'm always tired. My BMI tells me that my weight is "normal". I want to enjoy the time with my kids instead of heading to some fitness classes as soon as I find some time. I am happy with my body now. Some parts are a bit wobbly, there are marks and stripes, dents and creases. That's FINE! I'm NOT a model, Gerd loves me the way I am, and so do the kids. I wear size M or 10/12. My time to do some sports I REALLY like, will come. Some day.
But for now, I only want to be happy.
And I am happier if I DON'T run.

"They used to call me Skipper",...

... he said.

  video

He makes me laugh!!!
Everyday!!!
I love this man. 

LENA

30 May 2015

The Pirate Party


My baby girl is 6 now.

It seems like over night she turned from a gurgeling, bald baby
into a chatty, rather long-haired, tall, smart, funny, beautiful girl.

Her actual birthday was last Friday and we had a relaxed afternoon at home and went for a lovely Italian dinner in the evening.


And we had chocolate cream gateau.

On Saturday, we partied hard.
A Pirate party.

I had bought napkins, balloons and garlands with pirate prints.
Granny had brought goodie bags, golden chocolate coins, marshmallow rats and a compass.


I had ordered costumes and accessories for Klara, Gerd and me online.
I had looked up "Pirate Party Food" ideas on Pinterest and decided to ignore them.
Even though, there were some cute, funny ideas. But I thought, they could be a waste of time.
I was right.
Well, I baked a cake. But after the party, I made a note to myself, NOT to make such an effort again.


 


They didn't eat it. 
Monkeys.

I had prepared a treasure hunt outside. I wrote clues on little peaces of paper and let the pirates find them.
Here are some examples:
#1: Find another note in the square sandy beach in the garden!
- Note in the sand pit.
#2: 2 wild creatures are locked away behind a fence. Ask them for help!
- Note in the chicken coop.
#3: Find another clue in Captain Gerd's ship!
- Note in Gerd's van.
#4: There's a message in a bottle! Quick, find it! Before it sinks!
- Note in bottle in water trough.
...
...follow the trace of sea shellls...
...take kompass and head east...
...follow the arrows...
...find the map...

And so on.




I think most of the girls enjoyed it. Nobody cried. They found the treasure.

 All fine!

At home, Klara learned the hard way, that - even though, it was HER party, - she doesn't automatically win the games "musical statues", "musical chairs", "simon sais"... etc. Poor girl. Now, there were tears. But thank god, we had Captain Gerd. He explained. He explained again. He joked. He wiped tears. He tried to be just fair. He explained. While carrying the baby around.
In the meanwhile, listening to all that drama, I stuck my head in the oven, begging it to cremate me pretending to be uber busy making finger food for the pirates. There simply IS a reason why I'm neither a childminder nor a teacher. I can only handle a certain amount of bitchiness and drama of little girls. That's it. If Gerd wasn't there, I might have started shouting at them in the bitchiest way possible. But I didn'd. I cooked sausages and chicken nuggets, i washed baby tomatoes and cubed cheese. And after the party, I made a note to myself, NOT to make such an effort again.

They didn't eat it.

I did.

Next year, there'll be store bought mini muffins and bags of crisps.

And Klara picked a theme for the 7th birthday party already.

Egypt.

Really, like.

Ahoy, mateys!


LENA






Climbing Baby.

He found the chair...

...and climbed the table...


...he saw the fish...


...and wanted to cuddle it.


Mammy moved the fish and Alfie found the piano.


Dear son... please learn to walk first.
You're killing your old mammy!
Thank you.

LENA







Good morning!

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. -Anatole France

28 May 2015

Sunday Impressions

After 2 crazy Birthday Party days Sunday came.
A really lazy one.
I couldn't be bothered to take down the decorations, the gift wrapping paper was still flying about, crumbs all over the floor, toys everywhere, the kitchen a mess... I didn't care.
Getting ready for this birthday, baking, organising, getting dressed up, then entertaining a little group of 5-6 year olds, feeding them, making them happy, dry tears, dance and laugh with them, moderate games, creep around the floor 3027 times to search for bouncy balls... (What a lovely idea, to let them play with bouncy balls in the house. Not.)
I was wrecked after all. It was fun, it was a beautiful day, the kids were lovely and happy but still... it was hard work, too.
So, Sunday came, I did NOTHING at all.
Klara put on her pirate costume again. Not very sunday-y but she was happy.
I fed them cake leftovers, sweets and crisps.
We played with the new toys. 
I nearly fell asleep on the couch around lunch time.
And then Gerd said, he would love to take his family for a walk.
To get a bit of fresh air.
To let Klara try her new scooter.
I really did NOT want to go. But I did go. Luckily, I did.
And I took the camera.

Alfie and I got a go on the scooter. Well... I just took it off her. Klara looks concerned there, because she thought, Alfie was to heavy for the scooter.
Poor Alfie... 


We found a wood gnome.


We breathed fresh, summery air 
and listened to all the singing birds.







We played with the camera settings.



We climbed a tree.






We found flowers.






We held hands.


We had fruit for dinner.
Well, before we had visitors.
Then, we served bags of crisps for dinner.
Just because we're so very, very hospitable.
And there was nothing edible left in the fridge.


That was Sunday.
A rather good one.

Lena


20 May 2015

Good morning!

Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

18 May 2015

Raspberry Dessert Day

Today was a rather normal day.
The weather was crap and I ruined the only raincoat I have had. But apart from that... all good.

In the afternoon, Klara and I spent time in the kitchen together. She did her homework while I prepared the dinner and Alfie took his Lego Duplo digger for about 496 crawls around the dinig table.

And because we deserved it, Klara made some delicious treats for tonight. I helped here and there but she really did most of it on her own.

She whipped some cream and mixed it with bold, 10% fatty, creamy Greek yoghurt.
She crumbled meringues and tried them to make sure they were nice and sweet enough. And she tried them again. And crumbled a few more and tried them again and crumbled and tried and crumbled... so at the end, we needed the whole little bucket of mini meringues for 4 desserts. Had to be done!
She then licked washed her hands and spooned a layer of the yoghurt into 4 whiskey jars. On top of that went some meringue crubs, followed by a layer of fresh raspberries. Then Yoghurt again, then raspberries, then meringue. Into the fridge they went until after dinner.
And after she did all the hard work, it was just fair enough that I had to do the cleaning up after.


They were absolutely delicious! 
But more then eating mine, I enjoyed the time I spent with Klara today while taste-testing meringues, chit-chatting and making  "Rasperry clouds in jars". She called them that. And there's no better name for them. 

LENA



Good morning!

"It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live." -Mae Jemison

17 May 2015

Our weekend 16./17. May 2015

We teeniesitted our friend's kids (10 & 13 yrs) this weekend.
I didn't know what was going to happen and therefore I was ready for everything.
For them bitching, fighting, screaming, refusing to eat my food, noise, overtired kids, discussions about bed time... all that teenager's parents stuff I thought teenager's parents are dealing with all the time.

But: It was FINE! Nobody bitched, nobody fought, screamed, discussed bed time or annoyed me in any way. They ate the food I made, we spent a lovely day in Athlone yesterday and all day at home today. There were waffles, movies, cakes, games, chats and the days and the night just passed by and everybody had a lovely time. Ha!!!

Come here, teenager's parents out there!!! What's the big deal, like??? Here's my ultimate tip for how to cope living with youngsters: Only live with them for two days. Ever. Within these 2 days, feed them cake and spaghetti, let them stay up late, let them play with their tablet PC's and mobile phones as long as they want, ignore them when they talk shite and make sure that they are neither your own kids nor staying with you for more than 36 hours.

Be grand!!! It IS that easy. Trust me! I tried it and it worked. :-D


Oh... and look at this easy peasy and uber quickly prepared salad:


It's chopped iceberg lettuce, cherry tomato halves and mini mozzarella halves tossed into a colourful bowl. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled over it and freshly ground pepper and sea salt added to taste. I LOVE the colours, the crispiness and the simple and delicious taste of it. And the kids did, too. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

LENA












Get out!

There are days, when I suffer from bad cabin fever.
For no special reason I feel like I need to move.
To get out of here.
And if I'm lucky, the weather isn't bad and I can take the family for a walk.
 
 
So we did one day last week.
The girl moaned while she put on her coat, the husband took the dogs, Alfie hopped onto my back, we all stuck our feet into not so fashionable outdoor footwear and off we went across the fields around the house.
 
 
And it was just perfect:
 
 
 
 















 
When we got home, the urge feeling of "getting shit done" had passed.
 
Everyone was happy.
 
LENA