Sunday, September 25, 2016


My little boy is gorgeous
He is loved very much

also by the insects

but his body doesn't love them back. Kabouter has apparently inherited my easiness for allergies.  We try to prevent him from getting bitten all summer by applying each night anti mosquito roller and by using a anti mosquito (chemical) plug in his room very often (which I dread really).

But then we assume the risk is gone and we ease our habits

and BANG, our little boy is eaten again
and he's itchy
and he's swollen
and he's sad

and I feel bad :(

Because we believed his eye was swollen more tonight, we went to the doctor on duty despite knowing the response "it's an allergic reaction"  but hopefully the new sirop will help a bit better against the itch and swell

Friday, September 23, 2016

A week of ups and downs

  • Since last weekend already I'm so tired even though I am usually spending enough hours in bed.  I think Beertje was drinking more frequently at night.  I just couldn't achieve anything and spent my evenings counting down until I could go bed early. Jan was complaining about fatigue in solidarity. 
  • I had to go to Paris for 2 days for work  = an alarm clock at a painful early hour to leave through the dark silent city with some extra paracetamol in my handbag to battle some (fatigue?) headaches. 
  • The visit in France was very interesting, including touring half a day with a French after sales technician on the road in the south of Paris to learn about their after-sales organisation, processes and software. The French customers were really nice, despite off/ thanks to the Belgian delegation shadowing the repair technician at their doorstep.   It was very inspirational for the project we are launching in Belgium.
  • Our French colleagues were so nice to invite us for a nice informal dinner downtown Paris, earlier than they'd usually eat out to respect some of the our cultural differences (phewww). Nevertheless I had to use some of my paracetamol and my hotel room's supply of instant espresso before we went to manage to hang out for another evening. 
  • The traffic in the French capital was relatively nice to us those days. 
  • I slept for the first time a non-interrupted block of 7 hours since more than a year :)
  • I pumped milk for the first time in public, right on my spot in the Thalys train and also in the technicians van.. there is a first for everything. 
  • I managed to jump on a connecting train within 5 minutes of the Thalys arrival in Brussels.
  • We got the tragic news at work that a colleague lost his son unexpectedly yesterday.   
  • This tragic news hit us all while we were still digesting the devastation that another colleague got totally unexpectedly a really bad diagnosis of far spread cancer in multiple organs, 2 weeks ago.
  • I could walk an excited little birthday boy to school with a box full of muffins and got him back in the evening with a huge crown that he didn't put down anymore.  (it's been different in previous years) . 
  • Jan almost missed his birthday due to Thalys train issues (or train tunnel technical issues) but a rental car finally solved the issue despite the many traffic jams. I took the children "out" in a nearby bistro for a spaghetti, where Kabouter showed off his crown and birthday cards that he had carried over there.  Fortunately they both behaved and were calm so it worked out on my own with them.  Jan, in the end,  managed to deliver the birthday boy his present on the bed just before bed time. 
  • I've got a cold (which could explain the fatigue and soar throat earlier this week?) and also the kids are running around again with very snotty noses.   Hurray for autumn and winter coming. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Made in Belgium - Ertebrekers

We already knew that you can't put one label on Filip Kowlier. He's been introduced here before with his hip hop band 't Hof Van Commerce, he  has gone solo with among other a reggae album .
Since this spring he is also one of the members of the new group Ertebrekers that want to bring Flemish always in the Westvlaams dialect.  Fantastic :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Balade en terre des artisans

Previous weekend was the 2nd edition of a local craftsmen walk in our village and neigbour village in the Ardennes.   35 homes had opened up for the occasion and were welcoming a local craftsman to show off their craft work in the broadest sense of the word.

All the village roads were almost traffic free and a horse carriage was riding up and down between the villages. There wasn't a huge crowd out, compared to the yearly summer flea market, but there was a pleasant amount of people outdoors.

The walk was a bit chilly: autumn has clearly arrived in the high east of the country.  We underestimated the time it took to visit all stands, so we skipped a few but we saw a lot of nice woodwork, patchwork & clothing, candles, ceramics, paintings and drawings, ... While I enjoy to watch these type of decorations, those usually don't fit our style in the house. On the other hand we loved all "food stands" and tried some local nut wine,  local sausages and paté and also fresh ice-cream and waffles from our neighbor dairy farmer. Mmmmm!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Back at home!!

4,5 months after my dad fell at their arrival on vacation in Spain, he's finally back home! After months of recovery after the hip surgery, heavy deterioration of his Parkinson's and moving back and forth between hospitals (orthopedic departments and neurologic departments) and revalidation centers, he's actually fit enough to return home. It's a great relief as for a long time it didn't look promising and his recovery didn't seem to happen, on the contrary.  Spring was a period with heavy worries that weighed on us and while we thought we were up for some very tough decisions this summer, a turn seemed to happen after all.

It feels really good and emotional to see him home together again with my mom although he's still very weak and fragile and needs a lot of care and support. There's some extra assistance arranged that will hopefully fulfill their needs, keep his condition stable and allow them both some quality time.

We had a good visit with the kids absorbing all attention as they usually do.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Family day at work

Sunday was a busy day as we went to my work before the baptism for (half) a family day.   We gathered in our offices for breakfast and a tour of the offices. It was fun to see all of my colleagues with their families and see the children I've heard off so often during our lunches.

Kabouter got himself a cool glittering dino "tattoo" on his arm. 

After breakfast we crossed the street to Walibi, the big amusement park that are our 'neighbours'. After hearing the screams on the attractions all summer each time we open a window, we could go and check out the attractions ourselves.  Unfortunately the vast majority is not suited for little children, or wussies like me.  But we only had a 90 minutes for our visit, so given the waiting lines there wasn't much we could try out anyway.

So a tour on the wheel and a visit to the kiddies zone and a walk was sufficient before we had to leave to the next party :)