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I’m somebody’s mother….

I’m somebody’s mother….

… It’s very real!

Busy Baby (BB) was born on March 5. She was born at home, she came too quickly for us to make it to the hospital. Or, we weren’t willing to try and make it as I was 9cm dilated when the midwife came. I’m forever grateful for my midwife!! 

  
Having BB was the hardest thing I have ever done. She’s 6 weeks old tomorrow. And yes, I do love her. She’s doing well and I am recovering like a champ. The reality of being a new mother isn’t something anyone could have ever prepared me for. Pregnancy and childbirth -even an unmedicated birth like mine- are the easy part. 

At first it’s surreal. And painful. They put her on me and left her there till after she nursed. My head couldn’t wrap itself around it: this pink slippery thing, covered in vernix, amniotic fluid and a bit of my blood was my daughter. The pain was worst on the second day: muscles hurt, I had 4 stitches in my underworld (given my push time of 12 minutes for a first baby it could have been so much worse)… And my pelvic floor was both useless and painful. It took me a few days to be able to walk down the stairs! 

We had a postpartum nurse. That’s one of the best parts of Dutch maternity care: you get a nurse for 8 days post partum, who is at your house for 6 hours a day. She was lovely. And she took good care of us, and taught us stuff about BB without being pushy. 

Still. Between hormones (Hello Baby Blues) and adjusting to having a newborn who is completely dependent upon you… I cried about every other day. There were times when I just wanted to leave. Or throw her in the bin almost. It was almost too much for me to bear. I felt trapped: all I did was mother this little monster. Remember, I am used to working hard. And here I was, nursing and doing nothing else. It got better after I got sick when she was 3 weeks old. I was so scared that she would get sick too. Breast milk protected her. I started feeling that motherly love then. 

Don’t worry. She still drives me nuts ever so often. I don’t know how she knows to start crying just as I want to get something to eat. Or how it’s even possible that she wants to be held the entire day. 

I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the reality of breastfeeding. It was hell in the beginning. I was crying from the pain, and everyone has something to say. It got better. Mostly it’s easier than formula. Just whip out a boob and baby is happy. 

I didn’t expect to be closer to my mum after having a baby. She’s the only one who could relate to my breastfeeding issues. That, and she’s in love with BB. Of course, BB already knows to behave with her grandma and saves her drama for us. 

TDH is a fantastic father. I can’t imagine doing this without him. He bathes her, takes care of her when I want to go out or simply because he’s her dad. He changes nappies, talks to her, plays with her and feeds her bottles of pumped milk. 

Nobody really warned me about the confusion associated with the various parenting maffias. I just want to know how to get something done. I don’t believe there is a ‘best’ way for most things. It started when I emailed the breastfeeding centre to ask about a pump… And getting a telling off as a response: not supposed to pump in the first six weeks, and if it’s necessary I need to rent a hospital grade pump. Oh glory. It won’t end any time soon. It’s impossible to find straight forward information on anything. And I simply don’t have the patience to do hour long searches on dummies or deal with people who are shocked that I give her 100ml in a bottle if she’s that hungry. 

Oh. I also didn’t fully realise what a post partum body would be like. I knew, I am a doctor. But never during the phase of “yay no periods for 9 months” did I realise I’d have a period for 6 weeks to make up for that. Or, how painful ill-fitting bras can be in the early weeks of breastfeeding…. And how impossible it is to find comfortable ones if you ended up with a 32H… Or how you still don’t fit in normal clothes…. Despite looking like you should. Oh. Did I mention there’s milk coming out of my boobs? And I am hungry all the time? 

It’s as if I am only fully ‘grown up’ after having BB. It has changed me. As if it’s in my nature as a woman to be a mother. If that makes sense. 

Little BB, TDH and I are figuring out this whole thing.  For the past 6 weeks I only thought ‘never again’. But we survived, and who knows, we might even be stupid enough to do it again. 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Busy Baby, Random, Relationships

 

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No kisses for me!

No kisses for me!

TDH is on his man trip with his soon to be brother in law. So this week, no kisses for me. 

I am intending to thoroughly enjoy the freedom. As I am typing this on my phone I am having dinner and watching Pride and Prejudice on the BBC. I did not take my afternoon dose of whatnot and ended up getting in the wrong tram while thinking of this post, lipstick, and how good I felt off the meds… And ironically how well I seemed to be doing 

My plan for this evening was to do some beauty stuff. Scrubbing, facial etc. 

No, we don’t do it for the men, obviously. The man is in Norway, solving a problem about a pocket knife.

While at the drug store I decided to treat myself to lipstick, it was on sale and because I have nobody around to complain about lipstick kisses, I went for it. 

  
I couldn’t wait to try them!

In order of brightness:

Maybelline Super Stay 24 color in “340 Absolute Plum”. The most serious of the lot.  

 

I decided to go pink. It wasn’t as bright as I hoped but it works well. Maybelline Super Stay 14hr lipstick in “190 Persistently Pink”.  

 

And last, but not least: L’Oreal something long lasting in “701 Captivated by Cerise”

  
A girl can never have to much lipstick I think. 

And did people really speak so difficult in the time of Pride and Prejudice?

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in ADHD, Random, Relationships

 

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Driving 

Driving 

After buying Padda the 12-year-old Nissan Micra, I have to start driving it. 

No, wait, I have to start driving. Period. 

I was wildly excited until I realised it’s true what they say about only learning to drive AFTER getting your licence. And I haven’t driven much in 3 years time. 



Today is the last day I am doing my commute by tram, train and bike. Had I known that I would have to make an unexpected house call at our furthest patient, I would have reconsidered my pencil skirt. It’s not very practical attire for a half an hour bike ride. I left the bike at the academic hospital, I want to ride it home after class next week if weather permits. (21km ride) 

Say goodbye to this!!

(Of course, there will still be occasional public transport moments. Just no longer every day!)

I am a bit apprehensive about driving by myself. I practiced a bit this weekend and drove back from TDH’s parents with TDH next to me. I want to go visit a friend by myself tomorrow. 

I’m in the right place for this now, and I don’t regret waiting a bit. I live in a complicated place traffic-wise. Being a new driver requires a lot of energy and focus, which I didn’t have a while ago. Given the place I was in immediately after getting my license, I think I’m in a safer place now.

I just have to get on the road and drive. (and remember that Padda stays the same size, no matter how small I feel). 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in adult ADHD, Random

 

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Non-perfectionist baking

Non-perfectionist baking

I tried this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  It’s ‘Blueberry rolls with sweet lemon glaze’. Yes, sometimes I’m a bit more successful in the kitchen than when I’m making coffee. I may even be -gasp- good at baking. And perhaps, if I applied myself, at cooking. The problem is, me and the kitchen aren’t the best of friends, unless I get to do something new and exciting when I’m in the mood for it.

My rolls turned out good, just perhaps indeed more suitable as a brunch or breakfast sweet -paired with Earl Grey tea- than as something to go with afternoon coffee. Calling them rolls is also perhaps not entirely accurate because they were deformed when I tried to fit them into a too-small oven dish before I remembered that we DO own a round cake tin.

It was a recipe to write down into my personal recipe book. Starting that was an ADHD-management thing and part of my eating-healthier plan originally. The first book is now almost full, but I should toss a few recipes that don’t belong in my go-to arsenal. One rule for getting in that book: it has to be GOOD.

Then the difference between the original recipe and what I wrote down struck me.

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I wrote down the version I ended up doing… well…. minus a few mishaps.

See, perhaps it’s more an Afrikaans thing or a Busy Darling thing, but I like things that work without too much extra fuss.

  • Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. I only needed 1/3 cup, but you may need the full 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.

  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes.

  • Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Pour the sugared blueberries on top and gently spread them to cover the dough surface. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. I used a pie dish, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2-3 hours. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200F degrees. Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise. *Do not* refrigerate the rolls at any point during or after rising.

Pardon me? Apart from knowing when dough is ready to be called ‘a nice soft dough’ (My grandma is somewhat a kitchen authority!) it works just as well to knead in the same bowl you mixed in, and to use the same bowl to let it sit in. Plus less to clean up! That being said, I do think the explanation of when the dough is ready is charming and gives it  nice passing-it-down feel. Just an example.

I think I’m a lot less of a perfectionist than Sally, and perhaps than most of the household/baking/crafting bloggers I come across. I think I’d have trouble finding enough followers because the main audience probably doesn’t consist of chaotic and somewhat creative creatures like me. “So you just toss in a bit of vanilla (or whatever you like) and knead for a few minutes with a dash of something in the lines of milk” may be a bit hard for others to follow. But that’s how I roll.  I have also already dreamed up 10 variations on this recipe and thought of 5 other uses for the lemon glaze.

Perfectionism seems to be a ‘thing’ amongst women, but I checked both my X chromosomes and that gene was nowhere to be found. That’s OK, TDH is enough of a perfectionist for both of us.

So, here’s how to bake non-perfectionist style:

  1.  Make a list of what you still need, forget to check how much milk there actually is in the fridge. There’s a milk bottle in the fridge, so that counts, right?
  2. Go back to the supermarket because TDH finished the last bit of milk that morning and now there’s no milk left. Ask TDH he needs something else while you’re there.
  3. As a result, start a bit too late, hope the dough rises quickly. Be relieved when your guests let you know they’ll be an hour late.
  4. Do not gather your ingredients beforehand. Rather, just push everything on the counter to the side. Space! Get started.
  5. Roughly follow instructions. Decide to use cream instead of milk anyway, because you’ve got no other use for the cream and it’s milk-ish, right? Also: try to use the same measuring cup for almost everything. Use actual tea- and tablespoons.
  6. When you get to the kneading part, see above
  7. Decide to skip the part where the dough sits for 10 mins, then realise the counter needs to be cleaned before using it to roll on. Clean part of counter, let the dough sit while the counter is wet. No idea how many minutes, but start tidying up and spraying the shower for cleaning in the meantime.
  8. Fail to read the instructions about the rolling, end up with a somewhat less practical thing to cut into 11-ish pieces. They will not resemble rolls.
  9. Use butter as an anti-stick layer for the oven dish, remember how genius this trick your grandmother taught you was.
  10. Squish the ‘rolls’ in the square oven dish. They just fit. Oh well. Put in the oven to rise, like the instructions said, because that sounds like a good idea.
  11. Remember you have a round 9 in cake tin. Look for it everywhere, send TDH a whatsapp asking where it is just before finding it where it was supposed to be.
  12. Apply butter to it, this time thinking about how butter probably has less nasty chemicals than anti-stick spray.
  13. Remove rolls from oven, put them in the cake tin and let them continue their -eh- up-rise. Clean kitchen, living room and bathroom in the meantime.
  14. Make the glaze. Use a kitchen scale to measure the sugar. Use guesstimation to measure the rest.
  15. Greet TDH, who just came home with milk, with a taste of the lemony glaze.
  16. Ponder on the geniality of using the oven to let the dough rise as you simply turn up the oven temperature in order to bake the rolls after they had risen enough .
  17. After a few minutes start wondering if they’re supposed to smell that strong already.
  18. After a few minutes more rush into the kitchen because something’s burning. Turns out sugar/blueberry juice dripped from the cake tin and is now burning on the oven floor.
  19. Switch off oven, clean it, try to google how to quickly clean it, then just scrape it off.
  20. Switch oven on again, this time successfully bake the rolls, glaze them and serve them.

Hmm. Delish.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in adult ADHD, Creative Spirit!, Random

 

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How not to make coffee.

How not to make coffee.

Lattes are my thing lately. Especially since I discovered how easy it is to make lovely caramel lattes, vanilla lattes or even maple lattes. (Try it!)

I have this small filter coffee machine, perfect for 1-2 cups. The only problem is that I lost the measuring spoon, so getting the right amount of ground coffee is a bit tricky. I just opened a new pack of arabica coffee which smells a bit stronger and nicer than the coffee I had before, so I put a bit less in the filter than I’m used to.

It turned out to be a lot less, which I only discovered after adding the brew to my hot milk.

Not being in the mood for something extremely pale and milky and probably tasted pale and milky, I decided to run the lot through the coffee maker again, adding more ground coffee.

Who knows, perhaps I would find out a new way to make lattes! How come nobody else thought about this? Just running water AND milk through would be genius, right?

Turns out that there’s a good reason why that’s not how we make lattes.

The milk/water mixture doesn’t run through the filter.

What does happen is the filter overflows and you get ground in your cup, a lot of it. Of course, I only realised the filter was the problem after trying to filter out the ground from my latte using a fresh filter.

Teaspoons aren’t suitable for getting ground out either.

Tea eggs are, more or less.

The whole process probably took about 15 mins, enough for my coffee to cool down. And I only got out half the ground anyway.

In the end I drank half a cup of coffee through my teeth.

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Now I probably should go clean up the mess before the cat gets home and notices I’ve been dancing on the table.

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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in adult ADHD, Random

 

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Almost warm hands….

 

 

 

So my mother-in-law-but-not-formally-in-law, better known as TDH’s Madre, read about my ‘suffering’ and surprised me with this gift in the mail:

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They’re called bike pogies, apparently, and I’d probably call them something else, but the idea is that they keep your hands warm on a bicycle.

It’s 4 degrees C today and I decided to try them out on my 30 min bike ride to church. The pogies come with tie wraps to attach them to your bike and ideally prevent them from getting stolen, however, I think leaving them on my outside-sleeping bike would defy their purpose when it starts raining. I just fastened them with the elastic.

They actually match my bike very well, by the way.

I wore my fingerless gloves and double layer mittens (wool and fleece) as well.

And off I went.

Or, so I thought. Getting my one hand in wasn’t such a problem, but the other one was because I didn’t have a third hand left to keep the pogie open and in place. Used my teeth, very charming.

So, off I went.

Just about halfway I had already lost sensation in my fingers (and toes, for that matter).

Before I got to church I was miserable: I couldn’t feel my feet, my legs felt frozen, my face felt like it had no blood in it (which it probably didn’t), and my brains were feeling slightly frozen too. I’m guessing it was a bit colder than 4 degrees then…

The pogies also had another slight drawback: push buttons at traffic lights. Remember how I got one hand in just fine and the other less fine? Some buttons can be pushed with my elbow, some can’t, and I’m not one to go riding through every red light I see. (I find that a bit anti social, to be honest, expecting everyone to look out for you like that). The velcro strips, intended to keep the water out when you’re not using them, added to the hilarity of getting my mitten back in.

I had 3 frozen fingers when I got there, and it took only 5-10 minutes to thaw. My feet were a different problem!

On the way back they really did prove their worth: they’re wind proof and water proof. It started raining a bit, and even if the rain isn’t that bad… a bit of wet gloves = pain.

Oh my gosh. I am becoming Dutch. I’ve used ‘not that bad’ to describe rain on a bike at 4 degrees C. I’ve been infected with the insanity!

Anyway. This is what my hand looked like when I got home.

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It’s really not that bad. I didn’t realise it was only 4 degrees, the forecast was 7 and sunny. (It wasn’t sunny either). I didn’t even have my leather gloves on underneath the mittens, which I usually wear if I’m aware of the low temperature before leaving home. Ok, I may have lost my leather gloves. I experienced discomfort, but not pain.

Although, I think the product would be a lot better if it could provide an extra layer between your hands and the handle bars… because the handle bars are just as cold as the outside temperature… and my hands do not provide enough heat to change that.

All in all, they’re doing something. I do find it both hilarious and brilliant that such a product exists (An is made out of recycled plastic bottles).

And it’s of course really sweet of her to send them to me, out of the blue, just because. (I’m blessed with his family too!)

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Brilliant ideas, Random

 

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‘Normal’ seems pretty overrated!

My two cents on the issue from this NYT article… The one promising a natural fix for ADHD.

Without trying to dismiss the burden of having ADHD: I think they have a partial point. Speaking for myself: 90% of my problems related to ADHD has everything to do with ‘normal’ people.

ADHD is not a ‘psychiatric illness’ that needs ‘fixing’.

I see ADHD as a neurobiological variety which needs special attention (pun intended) in today’s society. The problem with it is real, the burden is real.

ADHD is formulated as a disorder by normal people. The DSM was not written by ADHD individuals.

Saying ADHD is a disease or an illness is the same as saying I am a disease or illness. ADHD is how I am. Not to say I am a bunch of symptoms, but I have ADHD in the same way as I have dark blue green eyes and a skin type 3 according to skin cancer risk charts.

A fair skinned person needs sunscreen else they burn in the normal sun. I need concerta, else I burn in daily life. Knowing I have ADHD helped me look at myself and the troubles in a different way, so I can find a better way to deal with life in the West in the 2010’s. ADHD individuals are a minority, you know.

But I don’t think the world could do without us.

I’ve been through a lot lately, and thanks to my ADHD I’ve been riding the buzz, and actually: I am ok. (Apart from some non ADHD issues). In part, I suppose, I am also OK because I’ve learned from prior experience.

I hate how ‘normal’ is seen as something desirable. I’m grateful that I am not ‘normal’.

It seems extremely dull, to be honest.

I’m just me, and can’t speak for everyone that has anything to do with ADHD…

A few random points:
– No, I am mostly incapable of sitting still for as long as most non ADHD individuals. Guess what? Normal people usually need more exercise than they’re getting. Sitting still is overrated: the only times I actually need to sit still are times in which it bothers others if I don’t. I’m not bothered by my tapping foot!

– I lack the ability to think in ‘boxes’. It is a gift, really.

-actually: understimulation stress is a real problem for me. Boredom can cause me physical pain. The flip side? When stimulated I can do twice as much. ‘Normal’ people can’t always handle the amount of stimulation I need. Why is that a problem? I can’t focus in a white room, they can’t focus in my living room. Why exactly is my white room problem any worse than their living room problem? Because I am part of the 3-5%?? I am also probably part of the 3-5% when it comes to IQ, and that’s not a problem, is it?

– I don’t fully understand why schools and uni’s work like they do. My observation is that most normal students would do better with the study adjustments I’d need too.

– Normal people usually don’t have the amazing high-energy creativity ADHD individuals often have.

– Just imagine: having a quiet mind most of the time, not being able to do multiple things at once, sitting on your bum all day, only thinking of one thing at the same time, not being able to think clearly during high adrenaline moments… (Tip: choose an ED doc with ADHD!!)… Imagine having so much trouble thinking out of the box! I mean, normal would be handy sometimes, but it seems awful to be normal all the time. It seems horribly boring. I’d miss my fantasy, I’d miss my random brilliant ideas… (Have I told you about the chai hot chocolate I invented the other night because I was curious how that would work out?) I’d miss the intense joy I can experience. I’d miss the ability to think the way I do, I’d miss …
Me.

Yes, ADHD has it’s problems.

Being normal has its problems too, actually.

We are all people.

And I believe my God isn’t going to ‘fix’ my ADHD because He made me like that.

Saying that my ADHD is an illness is devaluating.

I am not broken in that sense, I do not need a natural or unnatural fix. I just got a more challenging set of cards to play in a world that is -quite frankly- rather control freakish and boring. Good thing I like a challenge!

I am Busy Darling. Never a dull moment.

 
 

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