Sunday, August 28, 2005

The summer babyquiz

While I start packing my suitcase.... yes yes finally I am about to leave on vacation to Turkey... so while I am packing my suitcase, I will leave you all a small babyquiz. I won't be posting a lot in the coming weeks since I'll be on a warm , sunny beach! In the mean time, you can do this little quiz: who is the baby on every picture? I am waiting for your comments. I challenge you all. Answers to be posted after our vacation!!

Multiple choice between: Luisa (jan's niece), Rénee (jan's niece), Stef (my nephew) and Thijs (our friend's baby)

I'll tell you all about our vacation in Turkey when we are back and also still about the World Youth Day in Cologne which I attended last weekend!

Picture 1 :



Picture 2:



Picture 3:



Picture 4:



Picture 5:

Picture 6:

The big babytour

Stef pushing himself up powerfully at home
This weekend was the weekend of the big baby tour. Jan had come home late on Friday night. The big baby tour started on Saturday morning with a visit in the maternity of his little niece Renée. As the last time, she was sleeping very peacefully in her little crib. Only when the pediatritian came bye she showed that she could cry as well in order to make it clear to us all that she didn't enjoy the examination. Her uncle was learning her to make funny strange faces right away.
Jan teaching Renée to make funny faces
In the afternoon we left quickly to help Jan's dad a bit who was working on the ceiling in our house. Fairly soon however we already needed to leave to drive all the way back (1 hour) to go to one of my friend's birthday party.
After sleeping in a bit on Sunday morning, we continued our baby tour. My sister has come home from the maternity yesterday morning, so we had to check whether Stef enjoyed his new home.
Stef proved once more to be a very powerful little boy who does everything with a lot of conviction and strenght: sleeping, moving and crying as well! When he's awake, he can push himself really up and turn his head around to "look" around in the room. He can also cry with a lot of power, exhausting the people around him!! But finally he did fall a bit unexepectedly asleep in my arms, which I enjoyed very much.

In the afternoon we went to a baby party of one of our friends who got a baby 3 weeks ago in the Netherlands. They all invited their Belgian friends over at his parent's villa. The weather was absolutely fabulous (something we couldn't say very often this lousy summer) so we enjoyed the big garden, the food , the many children running around (some chickens will still have some stress trauma we believe!!) and of course their cute little son, Thijs, who quietly enjoyed all the attention.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stef's fourth day



Stef and his grandmother who helps him sooth some cramps that were bothering him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Renée: the promised pictures

Sleeping in mommy Virginie's arms



Renée drinking one of her first bottles

Renée is born! I am an auntie once more

Jan's sister, Virginie, gave last night birth to a little girl Renée. So tonight I'll rush to a different hospital to visit another little baby :-). (sorry Stef, can't visit you every day :-( ).
All went really well and quickly last night. She is 49 cms and 2,9 kg! She clearly has inherited her parent's slim figure!

The birth today wasn't too unexpected as I had heard that she had already some contractions yesterday afternoon. Virginie was due 3 days later than Griet. Griet gave birth one day before the calculated day, Virginie did 2 days before. Wow, I don't think I'll ever experience that much of a baby boom around me again :-). So right now I am a triple aunt: Stef (my sister's son, 3 days old), Luisa (Jan's brother's daughter, 6 months old) and Renée (Jan's sister's daughter, 1 day old). Not to speak of the baby boom among my friends. Debbie, it's now your turn to finalize this week!!

Pictures of Renée will be posted later

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Stef's second day - more pictures

This is the very first picture I took yesterday, the first sight I got from him

Wim, the proud dad yesterday

Griet, Stef and 2 proud cousins today

Stef in very careful hands today


Francien, my mom and Stef's godmother, Stef and Griet yesterday

My dad Wim with his first grandchild, Stef and Griet yesterday

Monday, August 22, 2005

Stef is born!! I am an auntie!


This morning my little nephew is born!!! Yeaaah Griet and Wim have a little boy: Stef. He is born early this morning. My sister has been in labour for almost 24 hours, but the first 12 hours were quite calm. They went to the hospital last night and this morning, Stef made his first entry into our world.


Stef is 47 cm tall and weights 3,290 kg. He has already a lot of dark, long hair and his has the exact same nose as Wim does but also resembles my sister a lot when she was a baby (according to my mom, I can't judge that).

He came one day before he was expected, right after I came back from Cologne. How polite not to get born when I was abroad ;-). So I am a very proud auntie!! More pictures and stories to come (it's reallly bedtime for me now, the weekend was tough at the world youth days in Cologne. more stories on that subject to come as well later...) .


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My neighbour's surprise visit :-)


guess who we found at our door when we came home on Saturday? My most recent new neighbour :-).

Wrong bio-rhythm

It's so typical... this morning I couldn't get out of my bed, I arrived like a zombie at work and most of the day my concentration was struggling against fatigue. I didn't quite get it as I had slept enough. Nevertheless my thinking seemed to be slowed down all morning. But then in the late afternoon the cloud all of a sudden cleared up and I got going. It was about time because my day wasn't that productive up to then. By the time most people started thinking about leaving, I really was working myself through the planning management. This combined with my big backlog at work, resulted in once more some nice overtime. Pfff, typical.

So now I am late at home, ate late, ... and still want to do so many things. Right now I feel quite awake although it's almost bedtime already. Argh, I truly believe I have the wrong bio rhythm. I am simply not fit for normal business hours. I've never ever enjoyed getting up early and I don't believe I will change one day. why do I always feel awake when I should go to bed? Why do I need to walk around for half an hour in the morning before I can start to think properly?

I just wish it was a bit less busy lately. I feel like I can never relax anymore. My to do list grows faster than I can tick off things. Last weekend, I left Jan alone to work in our house, while I stayed home to work through some of the chores on my to do list here (tax application, etc... you know... that fun stuff that you always postpone). I felt guilty for not helping in our house, but on the other hand, I can't do all those chores in the evening after work. Sometimes you just need to have time to concentrate and 10 PM isn't the optimal time to do those things. why isn't there 28 hours in a day???
In the evening we went to a music & dancing event in Bruges. Unfortanatly we arrived quite late already and it was pouring. So we basically only went with friends for a drink in the Irish Pub on one of the historic squares. It seems becoming a tradition: last year we were hungry and spent most of the time in a bistro. It was fun catching up with everybody though. It's always fun going to Bruges anyway.

Anyway, on Sunday we went back to our kitchen store where we did get a fairly good offer for a kitchen design. But it's too early to make any decisions, we are still in the phase of taking all suggestions in and letting it settle in our mind. Hopefully it'll all be more clear in a month or so. but it's all so expensive. :( :(. We walked around a bit on Markrock, the city festival in Leuven that draws about 300 000 people in 3 days. It has 4 stages in the city and schedules mainly Belgian music, but also some big international names like Texas and Craig David. We were quite early and we didn't know anybody on stage and there wasn't very many people out yet (probably scared away by the rain), so we didn't stay long.




Monday was busy as well as we went all day to a big bbq in Jan's family. We had some bad luck with the lousy weather that made us sit inside. It was still very very chilly. What a lousy summer, where is the sun, where is the heat?? I truly expect better than this. It's really depressing. Jan's brother's little girl (6 months old) was there too. She is such a cutie , always full of amazing energy, alert and curious for everything that's happening around her. She's truly publicity for babies!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wedding bells in Vancouver!


Lá lá lalaa .... Lá lá lalaaa....La la lalaa la lalaa la lalaaaa....(humming the wedding march, just join me!)
La lá lalaa .... La lá lalaaa....La la lalaa la lalaa la lalaaaa....

No no, I have not turned crazy and I don't have a big announcement to make either! I am just getting in the mood for Lisa's and Jason's wedding today.

I am a bit early, I know. The bride and groom should still be sound asleep, I suppose, resting well for the big party tonight. I really hope you have a magnificent day today. Really wish we could be there with you. Have fun, have a great ceremony, make lots of pictures and have fun at the party tonight!!

Much love and a big hug

Ellen

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Stress

Aaaah it's been too busy at work, I am behind on my planning and it's really working on my nerves. I like the work, but I want to do it well and I lack the time to do everything the way I would like to do it. On top of that the system we are implementing is way too slow and that doesn't help my mood either.

Fortunately I had to leave early today to go to the house in Leuven as we had a lighting consultant coming over. There I could forget my stress and now I had a good evening. Cooked chicken with mango. Mmmmmmm

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Culture shock

Today seem to have had a theme. Several things happened today which all made me realise how happy I should be to live in Belgium.

One of our good friends who are living in the Netherlands got their first baby today! Once more congratulations with the cute Thijs to Arnaud and Kiki!!!! He came about a week too late but this morning this little wonder has decided to join our world. Yeaah the baby boom is still going on! The next expected baby is my sister's. woohoo, it's so exciting. She is really getting big but still looks really good and healthy. On the one hand I can't believe she'll truly have a baby , a loud little child in their house, their child. And on the other hand I can't wait to go and visit them and to babysit....

anyway, what I wanted to say. In the Netherlands you go to the hospital to give birth (actually a lot of people give birth at home) and a couple of hours afterwards you are already sent home!!! The young parents were already online at home this afternoon!! I was so surprised. Where is the pampering for the mother, the help and support she gets the first times she needs to feed, the time to relax.... going home right away where a house hold is waiting. It seemed so unreal to me, but that's how it goes there. I thought it was so normal to be in the hospital for a couple of days after the birth.

This afternoon I heard from Lisa about the waiting lists in Canada in order to receive surgury. I had already heard from them when I was over (read about them in the newspaper) but they become more real when you hear about them from someone you know. It almost seems cruel if you need a surgury and when you have to wait that long to get one. And once again , apparently you are sent home within the day after a back surgury? That sounds insane to me, even when I am not a doctor so I guess I cannot truly judge that. But doesn't narcosis take some time to get out of your body etc....

And in order to make it complete there was a documentary on tv tonight about some very conservative regulations that are being voted in the USA: eg. wearing low cut pants in lousiana could get you a conviction and a fine...


Well... I can only conclude tonight... even when this country somtimes seems overcrowded, a urban planning mess, political sad, growing racism and narrow-mindedness, ... I am happy to live here!! A good health system really is valuable and open minded people after all and true freedom.

good night!

French consultants bis

It really is true! Today it is proven again... there are only a few available looks for French consultants.

Today we have another one coming over for a training and when I first saw him, I stopped like for a second before greeting him as I was for sure he was one of my ex-colleagues from Paris. He isn't but he really is a look-alike.