Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Om Sri Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya, Jaya Rama

Recently, on this blog, I came across a video of a mantra that I have used to calm myself when getting stressed (like when William is crying in the car and Emma is whining and we are in a hurry to get somewhere).

I was really surprised when I heard the voice of the girl on the video because to my ears she totally sounds like me! I mean, I literally I had the feeling of hearing myself - my own voice. Weird, huh?
Well, I took it as a sign that this was the right mantra for me.

Om Sri Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya, Jaya Rama

A rough translation: 'Om and Victory to Rama (the self within), victory, victory to Rama.'

According to this site it is "a Sanskrit mantra chanted by many Hindus and Buddhists. It literally means "Om and Victory to Rama, vistory, victory to Rama". Mahatma Gandhi chanted this mantra for over 60 years. It is intended to cleanse one of negative karma, from this life and previous lives and to take one "across the ocean of rebirth" ."

What's not to love? Plus, I really like the sound of it and I think William does too ;-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Strong as a bull!

William under the table, pulling the chairs, how fun is that?

Not crawling yet, but moving about and sliding backwards while on his tummy. Loves discovering new stuff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

happy kids - update in pics

William on the kitchen counter

Emma learning to write the alphabet on the iPad

William ready to face the cold

Emma all dressed up in front of our Christmas tree

Emma at her Kindergarden Christmas Party

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

thank-you Santa

On November 25th, I started a post like this:

"Dear Santa,
for Christmas I would like sleep filled nights for William, Emma, Steph and myself. We really are getting desperately tired."

Today is December 14th, and William has been sleeping full nights (like 11 or 12 hour nights!) for the past 10 days or so. The last time we actually had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to help him re-settle was December 4th.

Yay!!!!! Woudn't you say?

Without a doubt, the cranio-sacral osteopathy has helped tons! In fact, William's first full night was just after seeing her for the first time on Tuesday November 23rd. He then had some really bad nights, but the general trend was positive.
After he skipped the 3 am feed on November 28th on his own and for the first time, we decided he might be ready to do without so we upped the quantities of banana and apple in the day-time and stopped feeding him at night.
The first 4 nights were a bit tough with a lot of screaming and he had no prop to help him out since, as per the sleep consultant's recommendation, we had removed the swaddle and the dummy. All we did was shh and pat his back for 2 minutes before leaving him to re-settle.
I have to say, for a couple of nights I had to brace myself to stay in bed so as to not react too quickly. Steph was actually much better at this than me. (I have to say though, that following an experts instructions makes it easier because you don't keep doubting whether what you are doing is the right thing and so you feel more serene and I think that babies feel that too.)

Whatever! The key thing is we are now sleeping again! I cannot tell you what a difference this is making in our lives, our energy levels and our general mood. We have a lot of catching up to do (in sleep and other things) but I feel wonderful and grateful that we have finally started!

Also, after going totally wonky due to the increase in night time sleep, now William's naps are improving too. Although he is definitely does not need nearly as much sleep as Emma does, (je sleeps around 2-2,5 hours a day when she was sleeping at least 4 at this age!) we are gradually getting into a predictable routine which means that hopefully Emma and I will be able to have some play-dates in the afternoons (which I won't need to cancel) and that I might even get some baby play-dates with Mums and lattes! How great is that?!

Finally, it also means that we can start to leave Will with a sitter and go out in the evenings for dinner and a movie!!!

So YAY! to sleep filled nights! Thank-you Santa, thank-you B. the osteopath and D. the sleep expert. Thank-you and Yay! William!

And oh! please! please, don't let this little post jinx it all!
Oh, and Santa Baby, now if you could also help out with Emma... the nappy thing, you know? It would be great if she would finally feel comfortable enough to poo in the toilet -not in a nappy while sitting on the toilet.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grand-papa & Pata's visit

This week-end Grand-papa François & Pata visited us. Emma was absolutely over the moon with joy that her grand-parents were visiting and gave them a warm and enthusiastic greeting -jumping up and down - when they picked her up at kindergarden on Friday afternoon.

She absolutely lapped up the extra attention and love - especially from her grand-dad on the first day, but she also warmed up to Pata by Saturday.

The weather was not so great - snow and slush and rain and an absolutely glacial wind - but we still managed to visit Schönbrunn Christmas Market and have an absolutely scrumptious dinner at Do & Co Albertina.

We also decorated our Christmas tree and placed some gifts under it. This confused Emma a bit (how come there were presents under the tree and when did Santa Claus come?) so we had to explain that at Christmas time we exchange family presents and that Santa will come on Christmas eve (although she does not understand when this is despite the fact that we open the 2 advent calendars every morning)... She is 3 and 3 months old after all...

Emma and Grand-papa François

Tomorrow we'll be going to the kindergarden Christmas party.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ein Was?

Today for lunch I went down to my local market's cheese stand (actually more of a delicatessen) where they also serve up fresh home made soup and other yummy dishes.

All the ordering is in German and while I often order an Eintopf (stew) today I decided I wanted to order the Nudelauflauf (a kind of pasta and vegetable gratin). Unfortunately for me, what I actually said was Einlauf -which literally means enema.

so to recap:
Eintopf : stew
Auflauf : gratin
Einlauf : enema


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lovely laughter

I just love hearing him laugh!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sleepless in Vienna - 3

Today William is seven months old. 7 months. 7-months-of-sleeplessness. Ouch. My head hurts a little more when I actually say it.

After a fantastic night on Tuesday (he actually slept the whole night waking only for his 3am feed and I actually had to wake him at 7 am!!! oh, what a dream!) last night was the worst it has been in months.
He slept from 7pm-9pm and then from around 10h30-12h20 and then from around 3-5am. I am exhausted! I am fed up! I want him, need him to sleep. He needs to sleep.

To make matters worse, he seems to be preparing for another tooth (or two) to come out, as he is dribbling galore and has a bit of a fever.

On Tuesday we saw the cranio-sacral osteopath (just before the fantastic night's sleep) and she said he was a little tense and so she "tuned him down a little". We go back next Tuesday.

I have not yet started him on the baby consultant's plan as I think we need to do that when things have settled a bit and I want to give the osteopathic treatment a chance.

On the positive side, the workmen who were re-doing the bathrooms of the flat above ours seem to have vanished. I so hope they are done!

On the positive side 2: we have finally managed to remove the swaddle from William (or William from the swaddle?); it was becoming really dangerous as he could unswaddle himself and then there was this big bit of cloth he could get all knotted up in with him in the cot.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my little treasures

William has so far tried and liked mushed apples and bananas and today some baby crackers.

William trying a baby cracker for the first time

Emma peeled her first hard boiled egg today - it took aaaaages!- and ended up telling me
"I don't like the yellow" and "this boiled egg was the best!" she only ate the white...

I think she looks great with short hair! It suits her face so well!

A picture of Emma's face on the way to becoming Tiger is posted in the window of the hairdresser where we had her face painted for Halloween!

These days she can look so grown up!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sleepless in Vienna update

Well, the full night was, it seems, a one off.

Last night William woke at least once an hour from 11h30 pm to 2h30 (when I fed him) and then from 5h onwards.
Today, he had apples for breakfast and bananas for lunch (on top of breast milk) and his naps were not great (totaling to just under 3 hours) but I managed to extend two of them.

We'll see what the night brings but I am looking even more forward to my Thursday discussion with the sleep consultant.

Tomorrow I have part of the morning off thanks to the sitter and plan to have lunch with hubs - how long has that been??!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sleepless in Vienna

For the past 3 months William has been waking 6 or 7 times a night. His naps have been as short as 27 minutes and very rarely (maybe about 3 times) as long as 2 hours. His average total day-time sleep is about 2,5-3 hours (way below average for his age!).

We have reached the end of our rope. No amount of routine, patience, feeding, nursing, singing, teething gel, by the minute timing and hawk like observing has seemed to improve the situation. To the point where I have hired the services of a baby sleep expert- yes you can laugh! - (she is based in Canada and our first consult will take place Thursday evening on Skype) and I'm taking William to see a osteopath (craniosacral) on Tuesday next week.

Then, last night, for a reason that remains a mystery to me, William only woke for his dream feed at 11pm (that doesn't even really count as a waking!) and then for his 3am feed. Other than that, he miraculously slept from 8pm to 6h25am. I am in awe. And I'm not even afraid of jinxing it anymore as it's probably a one-off.

The worst of it is that we have absolutely no clue as to what might have contributed to this wonderful sleep filled night.
And now, this morning, after a short 45minute nap, the banging started.
I ran up to the first floor and rang and rang a doorbell. The workman explained that he needs to demolish and reconstruct the bathroom entirely! How long will this last? Oh at least a week!
Oh nooooo!

Still, you never know, Will might actually do an encore... (oh, yes, please!!!) just so the logs I sent the baby sleep specialist are totally obsolete by Thursday (today he only did 45 minute naps and had 4 of them) and to show us that we were wrong to give up hope .

Tune in tomorrow to find out what our night was like.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will and Emma

William is quite hilarious - a part from the fact that he is causing us to sleep about 3-4 hours a night - and so cute! He laughs at his own reflection in the mirror, smiles when he sees Emma or a picture of her, adores being tickled, loves new sounds, has absolutely no stranger anxiety - quite the contrary!

Here William munching on Sophie the giraffe while chuckling at the cow sounds another toy makes.

Emma's current favorites are "I spy with my little eye" and singing "Brown bear brown bear what do you see?"

She has also recently discovered Holly and Ben from < href=""> Little Kingdomwhich she loves and the very useful, fun and educational starfall ABC game.

The latter - and the fact that she has the letters of the alphabet stickers on her bed - means that whenever she is out and about she now spots letters in signs, tables, papers, logos, etc. and exclaims "Mummy! Look! It's Gogo! (meaning G for Gogo)" or "it's E for me (Emma)!" So funny!

Also, Emma now can swing herself on the big girl swing! Yiippeee!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Jumping William

These are Will's first jumps!

And did I mention that his 2 bottom teeth have come out? and that he can sit (although he still topples over after a while) and that he has the smelliest farts ever???

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life goes on: Halloween and Sveti Luka

It was Halloween week-end and Emma was a tiger

And she absolutely LOVED it!

Also she loves pushing Will in the buggy

and holding him in her arms when she sits

William's teeth are coming through ! We can feel one of the bottom ones already! Ouch!!!
And he is now able to sit by himself without toppling over within a minute. Yay! Solid foods here we come!!!

October 31st is also St. Luke - my family's Patron Saint's day. Usually we are all in Belgrade to celebrate and enjoy great food at my cousin's house in his garden. This year due to my Dad's passing a month ago, we have not celebrated it as usual.

With my Dad's passing, I feel that so much of my history, my roots, our traditions are going to disappear too. It's now up to us to make our own or maintain them but he was the one, the elder, who really held it all together. I mean, even the language he gave me I now speak so rarely, with my cousin, my father's friends... but it is not one I will be passing on to my children (too many to work with already!) and in a language there is so much...

Having said that, I am lucky enough to have beautiful, happy, healthy children who will have some of my Dad's traits, his spirit, some expressions... and to whom I will try to pass on some of the wonderful things he taught me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grieving, letting go and living

I have to post something if only not to remain on the last sad post. Finally I have a few moments and thoughts that might make sense to someone.

I am having a hard time grieving. It's really hard to be sad with kids around - I am thankful to them for keeping me busy and making me make an effort to be happy and positive and constructive (all things my father would have applauded for sure) but at the same time as soon as I am on my own or have a moment's peace (in the middle of the night after breastfeeding Will or when walking to kindergarden to pick up Emma) I feel such sadness and frustration at not being able to feel and live it fully, discuss it with myself, write about it, mull it over, flip it around and around so that I can move away from under the dark cloud over my head.

This process is something I need to do so that I can move on - in a positive and healthy sense - and my life at the moment is preventing me from doing it. But life is what it's about, right?

Also, there is all the red tape that needs to be dealt with.

Finally, after nearly a month life handed me a long week-end and a chance to discuss things with my husband and a friend on the phone. Grieving is a process and I know I'll be needing more of this, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Also, I need to figure out a way to tell Emma that Deda has died.
And because his girlfriend is using his phone I get sms labelled "Daddy" - which make me jump but I don't want to relabel his phone number just yet for all his texts saved under "daddy" and stored in my phone.

Letting go, moving on, feeling serene and grateful about the time we had (even the not so much fun parts) and letting go of the anger and frustration about what could have been is a process. One step at a time.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My Daddy

27.09.1939 - 30.09.2010

I love you
I miss you
You will always be in my heart
Thank-you for having been my wonderful Daddy

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear blog reader,
I'm sorry I have been so absent from this space where you visit me, but I'm finding it really hard to blog at the moment. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I'm finding it really hard to find the time and energy to do so. When I do have some time after all the broken nights and energy voracious days with my two little ones, I prefer to shower, sleep, do Pilates, call my Dad who is ill and in hospital, read someone else's blog, read a magazine, zonk out in front of the telly or be with my husband when he is home.

There. Now you know.

Why so tired you ask?

Well, after 3 weeks of :
-William sleeping in increments of 45-60 minutes and thereafter finding it impossible to settle
-me finding it impossible to rest and to eat enough (yes actually have the time to prepare a nutritious meal and eat it) except when we were on holiday and I enjoyed those
cevapcici and kelj and potatoes with lots of garlic and olive oil (so yummy! The day I get stinking rich I will hire a cook just so I can eat great food and only cook when I want to and have the time)
... Now, finally, I think we are gradually getting back on track (and thank-you Baby Whisperer ladies and thank-you my dear husband who can bear crying more than I can!)

Having said that, I still get up at least 3 times a night in between midnight and 7 am so it's not time for Champagne quite yet!

Still, he is the charming one, all smiles when not screaming ;-)

Thanks to the ladies on The Baby Whisperer Forums we realized William was actually pendulum swinging from overtired-to undertired and that is why he was constantly waking and looking like he was basically on coke (the blue circles around his eyes were scary!)
This happened because he had been sleeping in his pram a lot (traveling, holiday, taking Emma to kindergarden and then doing food shopping with Mum) which was fine until it was no longer so and he would only sleep enough to make it through another hour of being awake. Then, sleeping in bed became difficult too and naturally he wanted to be strolled around 24/7.
Not his fault.

Anyhow, now we are doing our best to make his naps longer and help him re-settle when he wakes (I am trying to get him to sleep-in until 7h30 which means that I have a little more time with Emma in the mornings and can get back from kindergarden in time for his nap without him falling asleep on the way back and being woken up as we get home. Fingers crossed and good vibes please!)
Also as a consequence, his night time wakings are briefer and less frequent.

Although now the poor little bear has fever due to teething so that's another hurdle ahead.

Oh the joys of motherhood!

Thankfully Emma is being a darling - sleeping again at kindergarden because she got her dummy back after I decided that I needed her to be functional and happy in the afternoons more that I feared an extra hour of dummy dependence (especially as she already uses it to settle in the evenings).

I try to get to the park every day and see a friend of hers at least once a week.

It was fascinating to watch them roll out the grass as they re-did the park. In fact Emma did not want to leave until they were done! Luckily for me, they had not brought enough rolls with them that day to finish off!

Also, we have been doing some creative things which we have hung up in our art-room/guest room and the children's bathroom:

Emma's colourful hand-prints

Hama bead duck, dog and heart

Emma really likes making pics with Hama beads but her current favorite is making cakes (and lots of other stuff) out of play-do (or the sand if we are at the park).
Another favorite game of hers since our holiday (as Tata-yéyé well knows!) is "I am the Mummy and you are the little girl" then she'll say: "Say something to me!" meaning she wants you to ask her for something as she asks me.
Initially, I had a lot of laughs with this as I would imitate her whining and saying "no!" to me and saying I wanted something "now!" as she tends to do - ah! petty revenge!- but I have to say it can get a bit tedious because she can play it 20 times a day every day!
Still, it is very sweet to see how she cups my cheek in her hand telling me she will be back to pick me up and strokes my hair or kisses my "awa" (where it hurts) in her Mummy role or how she reads me a story (singing). In playing this with her I got very good insights as to what she takes away from our behaviour towards her and also her preferences. A very instructive game indeed.

And I have actually managed to buy Emma winter boots, hat & scarf & coat this year before there are no goods left in the shops (last year I thought October was early enough and I barely managed to find anything her size!)

Here Emma grudgingly trying on her new clothes before dinner time! I give you, the Purple Princess! (five year old sizes fit, if you please!)

And finally, my list of things is getting shorter as I managed to:
  • give away clothes that were too small (mine, Wills and Emma's)
  • take other clothes to the second hand shop
  • sort through most of the summer things and start putting them away for the winter
and my mini-successes:
  • got back to Pilates class (Yippee!)
  • made an appointment with the eye doctor (mid-October!)
  • got William's first two shots done
  • managed to stop Emma's and my cold in it's tracks thanks to Propolis spray (Spray de Popoleo) which is absolutely worthy of a medal and so important that we remain healthy right now!

And just to finish off thi spost "en beauté!" William, my sweet bear, has slept in his bed without needing re-settling all by himself for nearly 2 hours in a go! Yes!!!!
Happy Mummy!!!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back from Croatia

On Sunday we got back from 10 days of sun in Croatia where I totally enjoyed the food (loved the cevapcici!), the sun and the warmth (both literal and the general friendliness).

Early morning at Baska Voda

Vienna is very cold (10°!C) and grey in comparison. William's routine is all jumbled and I am having to cook and launder once again... Oh well.

Here are some pics to of our stay.

Both William and Emma stayed awake during the whole plane trip but luckily slept in the car that drove us from Split to Baska Voda.

William "wearing" Emma's underpants to keep the light out

Emma had a proper sleep mask on to help her sleep

Getting up on Sunday morning was really hard as William had woken loads of times during the night

Annabel (alias Tata-yéyé) arrived later in the night and was greeted with much joy as soon as we were all awake!

Emma enjoyed some time with her Daddy

I love the scenery and the smells of pine wood and the sea

and late afternoon apéritifs on the beach where helpful in getting trough the evenings

For more pics of our hols click here