A Week of Money: Getting ready to go back home
8:01 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes me at 8 and I’m not super tired but I could have done with another hour.
8:11 a.m. — It is nice and cold today, the way I like it with cloudy skies and a chill in the air. We made plans last night to come earlier next year so it isn’t so hot. Maybe then I can wear cuter clothes rather than dressing like a hobo.
8:13 a.m. — Baby Bun is not hungry at all, not surprising considering how much he packed away in that belly last night. He still takes a yoghurt anyway, he always has space for it, and I eat my sweet bread while I feed him.
8:33 a.m. — I start laundry in the machine, and realize Mamie may still be sleeping, so I stop the machine and bring Baby Bun back downstairs to play quietly (read: nap while he plays with WHATEVER .. I don’t even care at this point, iPad mini, lamps, open electrical sockets with a fork.. just kidding).
9:18 a.m. — My partner wakes and asks if Mamie went to church. I said I wasn’t sure, it looked like a yes but then her door was closed and I didn’t want to intrude.
9:22 a.m. — He checks and says she left for church so I restart the machine.
9:28 a.m. — We go and weigh ourselves and I put on 2kg from the night before up to 57kg (125.66lb) now. Is that possible? Maybe I didn’t weigh myself properly before. My partner is at 89kg (196.21lb). He hopes to be at lower than 95kg when we leave, and vows to bike off the weight when he gets home. He hasn’t biked much this year because it has been too windy or cold and he has been itching to get back on the saddle. For me, I don’t care about the number. What matters is if my clothes fit or not.
9:33 a.m. — Baby Bun is still engrossed in the iPad mini, creating slideshows and music with the pictures on it. I go through my saved emails and my mom says she can order in those Birkenstocks I wanted. I cheer. I think about getting my partner a pair of suede clogs, he has wanted a pair but when I casually ask his size, he mentions he may be an 11.5 now or a 12 and he would have to try them on in-person. I scrap that gift idea.
9:43 a.m. — My partner starts on the duck, planning on making Riz du Canard (Duck rice), the specialty of his sister. Baby Bun LOVES this dish so we plan on it for dinner and lunch will be the leftover pasta we hid from the day before.
9:49 a.m. — I go through and organize my tasks in my ToDo app and write a few blog posts, and I spend the next 3 hours trying to get Baby Bun to get down for a nap. I’m exhausted. He finally sleeps after I lose it.
12:58 p.m. — I eat about 35 prawns for lunch. There was a huge bucket and we could eat as much as we wanted, and I just went to town. I eat my emotions, I know.
1:28 p.m. —I spend the rest of Baby Bun’s nap hour napping and reading my Feedly, starring articles I like and organizing my ToDo tasks.
3:06 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and runs to his father asking for “Mommy pease!“. I hear him and come out from my hiding place to hug him (I always miss him when he naps but then wish he was napping when he’s awake.. it’s tough.). We go upstairs for some water (he had a HUGE lunch) and I get him ready to go out for a walk.
3:12 p.m. — My partner is annoyed with Mamie’s organization (or lack thereof), so he has been re-organizing ALL of her kitchen cupboards since this morning. He is a bit Sheldon-esque in that way (reminding me of the first episode where he organized Penny’s apartment). Baby Bun grabs my iPad mini again and plays his flag game. His favourite continent is Asia.
3:15 p.m. — I eat an original Ricola sweet and regret not bringing more. I think my mother has gotten me addicted to them.
4:17 p.m. — We end up not taking any walk and I wash off the sunscreen. Baby Bun commences being a monster. I deal with that for the next hour and a bit.
5:48 p.m. — We set the table and eat the Riz du Canard (Duck Rice) which Baby Bun gobbles down two full plates of which is the equivalent of 1 adult plate. I take two plates as well, and lots of water.
6:08 p.m. — Baby Bun refuses to listen to us and puts his toy car on a bush which falls into the garden. A full half hour of digging through the prickly, thick bush full of leaves and branches ensues. My partner finally spots it. I tell Baby Bun that the next time it happens, the car stays there. Mamie tsks Baby Bun and gently scolds him for all the trouble he is causing. I have no idea why it is only Terrible Twos because the Threes are WORSE. He is far more willful. I was told by a friend that by 3 1/2 they should start to act better. I am longing for that day.
6:38 p.m. — We sit around chatting while we eat.
7:22 p.m. — I go to do my skincare routine of Paula’s Choice products and curse the pimple that is starting on my lip; hormonal acne is the worst. The rest of my skin is pretty good. It isn’t Photoshop-airbrushed-quality without makeup but I have very little wrinkling (just where I smile) and my forehead is line free. I only wish my skin was more even toned. I’m considering more products to do this but don’t think I’m vain enough to pay for any kind of laser skin resurfacing.
7:38 p.m. — I have to remember to tweeze my eyebrows when I get home. Baby Bun bounces up the stairs after his father like Tigger and I stay downstairs to get a break. He has been TERRIBLE today. One of the worst days on vacation thus far. I basically fought with him the entire day. I leave them upstairs and try to just close my eyes on the bed.
7:58 p.m. — Well that didn’t last long. Here comes Baby Bun. I just give him the iPad and lie down, exhausted.
9:45 p.m. — He finally calms down somewhat at night and goes down for bedtime, having asked to “go nap!” My partner leaves a plate of cake for me downstairs to eat.
10:15 p.m. — After Baby Bun sleeps, I take the plate upstairs to eat to sit with my partner upstairs and we watch some mindless TV while eating cake. This is nice and very rare. In fact, we have never done this in 3 years, just being alone, after his bedtime. We are all so tired by the time it’s bedtime that we all sleep together and curse when Baby Bun wakes up early.
10:45 p.m. — My partner disappears and I discover him making a midnight snack of toasted baguette, butter and ham. I wasn’t hungry at all but I eat it anyway, because it was a nice thing for him to do, and it is one of our only, rare moments together as a couple, alone.
11:49 p.m. — As we turn in for bed, he says we have to be up at 7 if we want to take the train to a nearby city to shop. I wish he had told me sooner!! I would have slept earlier!! DAMN IT. I’m annoyed now. And stressed. And now I can’t sleep.
??:?? — As a consequence during the night, when my partner needles Baby Bun unnecessarily by asking him to move, waking him up, I get annoyed and yell at him because I have to take care of him so I have to get up too. I wish he would just leave him alone. If he wants to sleep on the floor, LET THE KID SLEEP ON THE FLOOR. WHO CARES.
7:00 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes up on the dot at 7 to ask for the bathroom. Then he wants to go back to sleep but we get ready to go on the train instead because he seems to have an uncanny knack of waking up when he needs to.
7:10 a.m. — I feed him yoghurt and eat some sweet bread, then we get going within the half hour to get the bus.
7:30 a.m. — After the bus, we walk about 20 minutes downhill (thankfully) to get to the train station. €2.90
8:10 a.m. — Baby Bun is so excited he can’t contain it. He loves the train and this is a real one, not the metro!!! €4
8:22 a.m. — He falls asleep after 10 minutes on my chest. Figures. We arrive another 10 minutes later and I hold him for another 20 minutes, sleeping, carrying this heavy child up and down the streets until I can’t take it any more and I wake him.
9:17 a.m. — We go into the market, look at wares for sale and end up buying only a pint of cherry tomatoes. €1
9:28 a.m. — In a stationery store, I spy a hard cardboard box file folder, just what I want except it isn’t thin enough. I buy it anyway because it looks handy and I don’t want to go home with a regret. €3.20
10:36 a.m. — We explore a little but it is too tiring for us adults. Baby Bun is in rare exploring form and totally WIDE AWAKE.
11:32 a.m. — We take the train back. €4
11:44 a.m. — On the train Baby Bun tries to sleep on me again but I won’t let him. It is too close to his real nap time.
12:14 p.m. — On the way home, I step in some gum and curse, now my pants are stuck to the sole with gum. It is going to be hard to scrub this crap out. DAMN IT.
12:18 p.m. — We head into a shopping centre, I very quickly check emails and update my Feedly. I grab €30 from my partner and buy the shirt I wanted for my mother that I saw last week. It is truly her style and aesthetic. She would love it. €19.95
12:23 p.m. — On the way out I spy a cute maxi dress with a paisley print. For €30 (which in my head to dissuade purchases is $60) I decide it isn’t cute enough to replace one of my other maxis. I think about the dress on the way back on the bus.
12:32 p.m. — I grab Baby Bun tight and it is a FIGHT to get home on the bus. He keeps taking his hat off and tossing it about. He has been getting more and more bold and disobedient as of late. I don’t even know what to do, I’ve yelled myself hoarse. That’s why I keep eating all that Ricola.
1:00 p.m. — We are 2 stops away from home and he loses it on the bus, trying to sleep on me (I won’t let him). €2.90
1:05 p.m. — We finally get off the bus and suddenly while walking he has a burst of energy and runs to Mamie’s home. NOW he’s awake!?!?!? Inside he is full of energy and I stuff him with vegan soup, 1/4th of a bread roll, a bowl of Coq au Vin (Rooster in Wine) pasta, a little tub of yoghurt and 10 cherries.
1:35 p.m. — I only eat the rest of the bread roll and 2 slices of ham. I’m really tired. Lugging a 33lb toddler for half an hour while sleep deprived is no joke. I should have brought the Chimparoo. I undress and try to get the gum off my pants. I’m going to need go scrub it out with soap and a brush.
1:45 p.m. — I undress Baby Bun and try to get him to nap but he cheekily runs away and is sticking to his father in the kitchen to avoid sleeping. I leave them and go downstairs to wait for him. In the meantime, I check my emails then take a nap. Or at least try to until Baby Bun comes down.
1:49 p.m. — Baby Bun comes down and it is more threats and countdowns to get him to nap. He conks out for 1.5 hours and so do I.
4:19 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes me up for water and guzzles down a bottle. He is much better and asks for the iPad mini. I hand it over. My head is aching. I woke up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle where I was dreaming.
4:29 p.m. — I think back to my nightmare during my nap and can’t shake it — Baby Bun was having a temper tantrum and running away from me on a huge pond of thick ice (the kind you skate on), and wouldn’t listen to my screams to stop and stand still so I could get him, and kept running away in a circle out of my reach. I couldn’t reach him in time until he happened to slip over the edge into the icy water edge, and I lunged with my entire body and dragged his half soaked iced body out of the water pit and hugged him tight to keep him safe.
4:41 p.m. — I shake the cobwebs out of my head, or at least try to. I consider eating some sweet biscuits to snap my energy back. Instead, I open the gift box and take the shirt I bought for my mom out. The pattern is great! I wish they made it into a dress because I’d totally wear it. I think of my skirts and other pants and wonder if a smaller version of this in a different style as a top would be nice. I consider it, knowing I want to go back to perhaps buy the same print for myself.
4:51 p.m. — Or maybe I can hack the shirt up into a cute sleeveless top with the sleeves removed and re-purposed as the sleeve ties for the waist. I wonder how much sewing that would take.
5:01 p.m. — My partner napped too, and he gets up. “I’m so tired“, he says. I am too. We both woke up in the middle of our sleep cycles.
5:11 p.m. — My partner continues Marie Kondo-ing the pantry and all of the dishes and cups while I do laundry in the machine and try to keep Baby Bun out of the way.
5:25 p.m. — Baby Bun turns into a monster again (WTF IS HAPPENING, why is this DAILY?!?). OH GOD. I spend the next 2 hours trying to figure out WTF my toddler wants. Every thing I suggest is shot down (he is like a mini teenager), and when I go to do what he wants, he loses it. WTF.
7:45 p.m. — I can’t take it. I give him a time out in the room by holding the door closed while he screams for 30 seconds. He hates this Closed Door Timeout imprisonment and it is the only thing that works now.
7:48 p.m. —I finally get him to agree to eat a kiwi and he calms down. My partner starts the charcoal BBQ and grills some sausages for a treat, then some octopus for dinner along with heirloom tomatoes, fresh onions and a good dose of olive oil. I’m starving. Fighting with a kid makes you ravenous.
8:05 p.m. — Baby Bun tries a piece of octopus and spits it out. At least he tried it. Raw salmon, cooked or smoked salmon is fine but any other seafood has not passed his palate test yet. Not even prawns!
8:37 p.m. — We eat our meals happily and Baby Bun plays for a little before he gets antsy again. I take him inside and we do The Jungle Book puzzle, which he loves. I plan on buying ALL of the puzzles they have tomorrow, they are quite good for the price, with 54 pieces each of every Disney story.
8:57 p.m. — Everyone shifts inside, as it turns chilly outside. We eat some cake inside (Baby Bun eats 3 bites then asks for yoghurt instead). WHO IS THIS CHILD?!?
9:27 p.m. — After 2 tubs of yoghurt, now he wants a pear. My partner cuts up one (picked fresh from the garden).
9:57 p.m. — We sit around chatting for a bit then I go to take my contacts out. I’m tired. I want to go to sleep. I go down early and leave it to my partner to handle Baby Bun.
10:07 p.m. — Baby Bun comes down immediately after, he doesn’t like being without me at night. Must be a biological thing of babies wanting to stay close to their mothers.
10:37 p.m. —My partner cleans up the garbage and gets the bags ready to throw away the next morning when we go out, and we all go to sleep.
Spent: $56.08 (€35.05)
4:00 a.m. — Miracles of miracles!! It was a chilly night last night so I slept with a cover and Baby Bun with a sheet. I thought it would be too warm but it turned out to be perfect because at around 4 a.m. (I heard the church bells) Baby Bun woke up crying and wanted me to get up, but I quickly threw the pre-warmed cover around him and snuggled with him back to sleep. He slept a whole 5 MORE HOURS!!!! Oh thank goodness.
9:00 a.m. — Oh he is such a happy child now. On the downside, the swimsuit and the swim diapers I brought are not likely to get used this trip around due to the strange weather twist from being warm to chilly. I prefer chilly as we already have a pool at our home, so it is not a big loss.
9:10 a.m. — I feed him his usual yoghurt (he won’t eat a banana if he ate too well the night before), and I eat my sweet bread.
9:39 a.m. — We go to get the laundry hanging outside and put it away. It is chilly enough today to wear something nicer so I wear a dress and get Baby Bun dressed. I rip open a sample of the Paula’s Choice Resist Mineral Sunscreen (I brought samples so I wouldn’t have to fill up bottles) and am pleasantly surprised to realize it is lightly tinted. I smear it on and am concerned it looks too light.
9:49 a.m. — No, it’s fine. It blended in quite nicely. There wasn’t a lot of tint, and I spread a LOT of it on, at least a good teaspoonful because I find with foundation I don’t like to put a lot as it looks very fake, but if it is lightly tinted, you can layer it. I muse about possibly switching to this after I use up all my Tarte TarteGuard SPF cream.
10:08 a.m. — We get onto the bus and drop off early. €2.90
10:18 a.m. —On the way walking up the hill I spy a vintage shop and want to go in but they only open on Fridays at 10 a.m. Or week nights at 5 p.m. I make a note to come back.
10:23 a.m. — We head to the bank to settle matters and as we are there, I have to try and keep Baby Bun entertained somehow. I give him my sunglasses.
10:33 a.m. — He ends up bending them out of shape. Grr.
11:53 a.m. — We buy some bread and sausages again. €6
12:12 p.m. — Baby Bun whines for some water and we go for a little refresher at the cafe. €4.90
12:18 p.m. — We get back on the bus and Baby Bun clambers onto my lap, wanting to nap again. But not really. He slept quite well last night. €2.90
12:28 p.m. — We get home and he has his vegan soup, some bread and yoghurt. He declined the pasta but may eat it after his nap, seeing as we don’t have much Duck Rice left to eat amongst all of us, so we need to finish the leftovers.
12:56 p.m. — I make a note to buy more of this Bepanthene eczema cream his Tante gave me without cortisol. It doesn’t work as quickly but is a very rich emollient that seems to help somewhat or at least try to keep it at bay if you see a flare up.
1:12 p.m. — He goes down for his nap and I can’t sleep. I just hang out reading my offline Feedly.
2:44 p.m. — He wakes up after 1.5 hours and I push my partner to go out and buy all the house things for Mamie. We only have 2 days left and I don’t want to rush. We get on the bus. €2.90
3:28 p.m. — We switch to another bus (this place is really out of the way). €2.90
3:42 p.m. — We go and buy a few groceries and I pick up 3 more of those puzzles for Baby Bun. €10.90
4:28 p.m. — We head home on bus #1 and just see bus #2 leaving. €2.90
5:05 p.m. — Since it is another half hour, I hang out and nab free wifi while Baby Bun eyes the cars in the roundabout.
5:29 p.m. — We finally get the bus home. I’m exhausted. €2.90
5:55 p.m. — At home, I try to organize my things while Baby Bun plays on his iPad, learning more words.
6:45 p.m. — We eat the leftover Duck Rice and have sandwiches of sausage and butter. We end the meal with a mango, a few pears and 2 little cakes, which Baby Bun oddly declines in favour of a yoghurt instead.
7:37 p.m. — I make up a game of wrapping a stuffed panda bear in a sweater and pretending it is a baby. Baby Bun loves this game and incorporates rubbing some eczema cream into its legs and arms to help the bear stop scratching, and finishes by air-washing his hands with water and soap.
9:39 p.m. — The game lasts a good two hours before I cry uncle and want to go to sleep. Baby Bun follows and gets ready for bed.
10:29 p.m. —I sleep almost immediately but my partner is doing something with bottles and wakes me up. I crossly scold him. I’m tired and don’t get any sleep-in time with Baby Bun!!!
Spent: $58.08 (€36.30)
7:01 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes up sobbing at 7. No idea why. I blearily go upstairs with him and feed him yoghurt while I eat the last piece of sweet bread. Mamie wakes up as well and tries to say hello but Baby Bun is missing about 2 hours of sleep so he is NOT HAVING IT.
8:35 a.m. — After half an hour of rubbing cream on a panda bear, wrapping him and air-washing his hands, Baby Bun inexplicably bursts into a temper tantrum and loses it.
9:45 a.m. — An hour of HELL ensues. Mamie is sympathetic, knowing Baby Bun is a difficult child but what doesn’t help is her comparing him to her other grandkids who are apparently angels who sleep perfectly fine at home, never whine and are good at everything. I’m exhausted. I hate being Mommy-shamed because I cannot force my son to sleep longer, believe me, I HAVE TRIED. I have tried the carrot, the stick, and everything in between. I don’t know what to do.
10:09 a.m. — He finally calms down and has a rare taste of freshly squeezed orange juice from his father. I’m so tired. I just want to lie down on the floor and sleep. I think I could, if I closed my eyes.
10:18 a.m. — We get ready for the bus, apparently we need to get some insurance done and bills paid. My partner does this with his mother so she doesn’t get cheated or tricked into buying stuff she doesn’t need.
10:38 a.m. — The bus arrives. €2.90
11:02 a.m. — Baby Bun falls asleep on my chest 10 minutes before we get to the shopping centre. I get another lecture from Mamie about how the other grandkids are sleeping Angels who NEVER slept outside of the home. Baby Bun is a slightly more difficult, sensitive child compared to most children so I am just too tired to argue back. I just nod.
11:17 p.m. — I have to lug this 33lb toddler and carry him down a steep set of stairs (almost 90 degree angles) and 4 blocks. My arms are about to give out. I get there and instead of thinking that I may need to find a chair ASAP to take the strain off me, my partner is oblivious and wants to walk around getting stuff done. I’m about to start screaming and chopping off heads in this shopping centre if someone doesn’t get me a chair to sit on.
11:20 p.m. — I’m annoyed. I find a chair and just sit down and arrange Baby Bun on a bench sleeping on my thigh. He conks out for the next 45 minutes.
12:06 p.m. — While he naps, I eye Banana Republic offerings and consider buying this linen peplum dress. I have about $1000 worth of stuff in the shopping cart and am about to check out (omg impulse shopping) when I realize that I deleted my credit card SPECIFICALLY to avoid shopping like this. Somewhat relieved at my prudent side, I log off.
12:08 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and I take him to a nearby store to buy that maxi dress I had been eying and thinking about. They only have the Medium left, and it fits nicely, a bit loose. I inspect the dress — I like the pattern, the lace in front is also cute and out of my comfort zone which I like. Plus it covers my bra straps. Sold. €29.95
12:14 p.m. — I walk out and head to a bookstore, but don’t see anything that catches my eye for Baby Bun. I prudently decide Baby Bun needs to go to the bathroom and while I’m in there (they had a mini bathroom just for him!!) my partner walks in, having deduced that Baby Bun woke up and needed to go. I hand him off and visit the bathroom too.
12:38 p.m. — We take the bus back downtown to do more papers. €2.90
12:42 p.m. — Baby Bun misbehaves again in the store and I have no idea how to handle him in public. A real dilemma. I threaten time out in a room (toddlers don’t yet have the logic of where their Mommy would find said room to put them in for a time out), but it seems to keep him at bay.
1:00 p.m. — We stop at a cafe while waiting for a bus and get drinks, and a tart to share. €4.95
1:25 p.m. — We go and wait for the bus, and Baby Bun seems to be in a better mood. I think the tart helped. I daydream about outfits I’m going to create with my new maxi dress. The bus comes and we all clamber on. €2.90
2:15 p.m. — At home, lunch. I don’t eat much, just a piece of bread and some water because our meals are so rich! Baby Bun eats his vegan soup with 1/2 a bread bun, a bowl of Coq au Vin pasta, and a tub of yoghurt.
2:45 p.m. — I patch up two shirts with holes in them, I don’t know what it is about European washers but they ALWAYS rip holes in my clothes. WTF. I make an executive decision to toss 2 terrible tops and my beloved $7 Joe Fresh silver shoes after this trip. They have served me well but the soles are coming of off on both sides. They have seen better days for sure!
3:15 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for a nap after half an hour of threats from me about withholding puzzles, and with him finally talking to himself, by saying the names of countries with his favourites being Timor-Leste, Bahamas and Albania. This toddler is strange and frankly, I would I only want to visit ONE of his named countries (Bahamas) but would prefer if he said: Japan, Sweden, Iceland and Italy instead.
3:17 p.m. — I try on my dress and love it even more. I log into my iPod Touch and begin writing more posts offline. I’ve had so much to write about, just need the time!
3:37 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up in a good mood. We do laundry together (hanging washed clothes out to dry) and start on his new puzzles. My partner and I decide it is too cold for a dip in the pool today so we will go to the antiques & old book shop today before dinner. He is making chicken with pasta again for us, and Pied Cochon (Pig’s trotters) for everyone else who likes that, including him.
4:00 p.m. — My partner starts on his laundry and I plan a budget for this store if I happen to find anything interesting. Maybe €50 should be enough. Baby Bun and I power through puzzles while my partner fixes all the possible ant tunnels coming into the home.
4:10 p.m. — I leave Baby Bun to find and finish the last 10 pieces of the puzzle and update my StyleBook Looks and add the new maxi dress.
4:20 p.m. — We get ready to go on the bus to go antiquities shopping. Yay! I find when I’m out with Baby Bun and my partner is has someone else to chat to, I end up having to wrangle The Bun all by myself. That sucks and I have no chance to explore on my own.
4:30 p.m. — On the bus. Baby Bun is still in a good mood. €2.90
5:07 p.m. — I go into the store and come out disappointed. It was basically not a vintage or antiques shop but a thrift store. There were some nice pieces in there but the only truly stunning piece was this necklace that was priced at €95!!! No thank you. I would have needed a few more hours to go through the packed racks but I was pretty disappointed with the H&M label showing up. These independent stores should sort by “modern” and true vintage.
5:37 p.m. — We wander around the streets before coming home. Wearing the new summer maxi was a bad idea but I had all my pants in the laundry. I froze the entire time. Baby Bun was having so much fun that he kept saying: “No want Mommy? Stay with Daddy? Mommy go?“, thinking he wouldn’t get to climb and do fun things if I came along. It is nice he wants his father more but if only he would be like this at HOME not outside! I had to follow behind them like a spy, hiding in the shadows because Baby Bun kept looking back to check that I was gone. If he saw me, he would say: “Bye Bye Mommy???” and wave. I wish he would act like this at home, not outside.
5:57 p.m. — We get on the bus and it is PACKED. €2.90
6:02 p.m. — No one offers us a seat and Baby Bun starts to get scared being near all these tall adult legs jostling about. I hoist him on my hips. Then I hear calls from the back and some very nice outspoken women had basically ushered us from the front to sit at the back, all the while berating a woman who refused to give her seat up for us (she said it clearly when we came close). All the other seats were taken up by the elderly or other children. I can understand being on your feet all day makes you just want to sit on the way home, but the other women didn’t see it like that with a toddler on someone’s hips, jostling about, and told her off. I thank them gratefully and settle into the seat with a now content Baby Bun.
6:32 p.m. — We get home and my partner starts the charcoal barbecue. He hates gas grills as they give no flavour and would cook on charcoal all the time if we could.
9:22 p.m. — It takes 3 hours of entertaining Baby Bun to keep him from eating a chair leg. It is so cold and windy outside, that the barbecue keeps getting cold and the food isn’t cooking properly. The food comes in spurts: sausages roasted on bread, then grilled zucchini, then finally a whole chicken leg each. Baby Bun declines the chicken and runs off because he is stuffed from the snacking.
9:42 p.m. — Baby Bun spies my partner preparing a chicken and wild mushroom rice dish for tomorrow and demands for “Riz du Canard“, but my partner heads him off with a treat — some freshly squeezed orange juice. This is the first time he has had juice in his life and he is addicted. LOL.
10:12 p.m. — Baby Bun plays his panda bear baby game (wrapping the bear, putting “cream” on its legs and then washing his hands the way I do with him), and I go through my Feedly (still at over 1000 unread!).
10:42 p.m. — I consider eating my secret stash of dark chocolate covered cherries but decide to save them for when Baby Bun naps and I have wifi tomorrow, as we plan on shifting back to another aunt’s house (who is more modern) before flying home to celebrate a birthday with a niece.
10:47 p.m. — Baby Bun plays on the iPad while I unwind beside him and help him with his language apps. I go through a lengthy nighttime routine ( I brought all my products with the full intention of coming back with nothing left), and spread an antioxidant serum all over my face. Turns out that silicones may not make me break out after all!
11:22 p.m. — Baby Bun switches to creating memory slideshows and his favourite soundtrack is “Club”. It is mine too. I go upstairs to continue the tradition of Daddy getting Baby Bun ready for bed, and he scores a yoghurt out of the deal with his father by asking very, VERY cutely for it.
11:52 p.m. — After stuffing his face, he goes down easily for bedtime. (We walked a lot).
Spent: $66.48 (€41.55)
9:15 a.m. — Baby Bun gloriously sleeps in having walked a lot the day before. He needs a lot of exercise, apparently.
9:20 a.m. — We start packing as we are all taking the train to another aunt’s house before flying home. My partner pulls out a spare carry-on — we only had 2 backpacks and 2 small purses but Baby Bun received SO MANY CLOTHES that we had to add the carry-on.
10:45 a.m. — Baby Bun has a tantrum (of course) after being so good all morning. I get him started on puzzles after two 30-second time outs. He finishes Snow White, and spies Little Red Riding Hood in its wrapper and wants it. I sigh and snap it open, I was saving it for later
10:47 a.m. — 2 minutes in, we get called to lunch. We are on a tighter schedule today because of the train, so I hustle him upstairs where he refuses to eat anything but yoghurt because he already had 2 plates of pasta this morning. We feed him, while I enjoy a delicious chicken and wild mushroom risotto with freshly made honey lemonade.
11:25 a.m. — I quickly help with the dishes, rush back downstairs and finish that damn puzzle before his nap because I know it will stave off a meltdown.
11:35 a.m. — Puzzle done, he protests the nap until I threaten “The Room”, which is where I close him in a large bedroom (with 2 windows) for 10 seconds or so. He hates being away from me and this is a real punishment when I close the door. It doesn’t last long and works like a timeout with the door closed. Thus far, it is the ONLY THING THAT WORKS. I plan on doing it consistently and more often to get him to stop throwing tantrums when all else fails (e.g. Gently asking him what he wants, etc). Day two of this new punishment and it worked like a charm to cut down a tantrum from an hour to 2 hours (see previous days) to less than 10 minutes. Whatever works.
1:45 p.m. — He naps for 2 solid hours while I have some quiet time and my partner naps. Baby Bun shifts and opens his eyes enough for me to prod him awake – we are leaving soon and I don’t want him to over-nap either.
1:58 p.m. — We start getting ready to leave, throwing out garbage, closing windows, making sure NOTHING can get in, spoil or get rotten while we are away.
2:08 p.m. — We eat a little snack of sweet bread (he refused the fruit) and get dressed. I leave my sunglasses here for the next time. ( Secretly I just want a new pair like these Ray-Ban Tech Wayfarers (alas they’re not polarized), or these Maui Jim Roadtrips. Or another pair. 😉 )
2:10 p.m. — I wash my face with the leftover samples from Paulas Choice but I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any more of the RESIST tinted mineral sunscreen left.
2:12 p.m. — I snag a bit of my sister-in-laws Nivea BB cream with SPF 10 which I don’t love. I wish it was SPF 30. Ever since her doctor told her she had too many freckles from the sun, she has been obliged to try and listen and wear some sunscreen for once in her life (she is 40).
2:34 p.m. — We get out of the house. My partner on the way is missing about €0.34 and if the driver doesn’t have change, we can’t ride the bus. We tried to top up our tickets for the bus but the machine broke 5 days ago and would take two weeks to fix so we have had to use exact change all week.
2:38 p.m. — We pay with a €20 and the driver just scrapes enough change to give back. €2.90
3:25 p.m. — We stop off at the grocery store to buy some biscotti for the trip.
3:48 p.m. — We get to the bus station and the tickets are for the bus in an hour. €48
3:45 p.m. — Baby Bun hassles me for more sweet bread, knowing I brought it for the trip. I feed him plain bread instead and he climbs stairs to get his energy out, running around.
4:45 p.m. — The bus arrives and we take our seats. I wish they had wifi. I realize my beloved grey cashmere sweater I bought for $20 in a thrift shop in XXL Mens has a hole! Crap. It is time to retire it anyway, the sleeves are getting short and it has shrunk considerably in the past 7 years even with careful hand washing.
4:55 p.m. — I try to keep Baby Bun entertained but motion sickness begins to kick in. Too late, I forgot my scopolamine patch and it is too far gone to put it on now. CRAP.
6:35 p.m. — I get off the bus and beeline for the bathroom. I can’t throw up so I eat some bread to calm my stomach down. The second bus is 2 hours long and I try the patch now hoping it will do something.
6:45 p.m. —On the second bus, Baby Bun falls asleep on me and I fall asleep too because it makes me super drowsy (not as bad as Gravol though!), and the bus knocks me out.
8:47 p.m. — Mamie shakes me awake 2 hours later and we are at our destination. I grab a sleepy Bun and scurry off the bus. We are in the car about to drive off and I realize I left my iPad mini in the bus. OMFG!!!!!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG.
8:57 p.m. — I sprint for the bus as it is about to leave. I am dead €£%#$&@ lucky they decided to check the cargo underneath before good otherwise it would have already been down the road and it would have been a $600 mistake. Don’t do drugs and take the bus, kids.
9:07 p.m. — Relieved, I settle back into my seat with a foggy brain. I’m so stupid but I was also so tired and I JUST woke up before being hustled off the bus, while on that drowsy drug. We get to Tante B’s place with blessed wifi but all I can do is beeline for the bathroom to hurl.
9:17 p.m. — I feel a bit better and go to eat her specialty of oxtail stew and eat as much as my stormy stomach can handle before deciding to turn in. Everyone teases me about the iPad mistake I almost made. I am just dang lucky.
9:27 p.m. — Tante B at dinner says gravely: “I put a vegetable in the oxtail stew today. See?” And she points out a little tiny speck of orange in a huge platter of oxtails To which I joke: “One carrot?” (I thought more than one at least…) Tante B: “Yes.”, very seriously.
10:27 p.m. — I go and make the bed, grab some pyjamas from my niece and a few covers for the night (it is colder here than in Canada!) I go to turn in after scrubbing my face and brushing my teeth when Baby Bun hops in with his father, saying: Mommymommymommymommyyyyyy! I look at my partner. “Does he want to sleep?!?” (He slept 2 hours on the bus on top of his 2 hour nap). “No, he just wants to be with his Mommy. Not even yoghurt kept him away.” Sigh.
10:47 p.m. — I settle in, get him ready for bed, and do a puzzle with Baby Bun while he explores the new bedroom and its hidden treasures (read: breakables). I give him three TV remotes to play with and he is entertained for 1 minute by hiding them behind the couch cushions because they aren’t forbidden. I make a note to pretend to mock forbid the remotes tomorrow.
11:10 p.m. — I lie down and finally doze off before Baby Bun follows suit.
Spent: $81.44 (€50.90)
9:00 a.m. — A solid 9 hours of sleep, Baby Bun wakes up at 9.
9:03 a.m. — I get up with him and go to the kitchen. Everyone is already at work or at school because it isn’t a weekday.
9:33 a.m. — I scour the kitchen searching for a kettle. None. I find a pot and figure out their kind of obscure and mystic induction stove. It looks nothing like any stove I’ve ever used (barely any markings), but I figure it out and get some water boiling for my tea. This Tante actually stocks tea and milk so I’m going to be good for 3 days. Bliss. I’ve missed my tea and have gone into caffeine withdrawal which has given me headaches!
(WTF? H meant “hot” by the way. There were NO markings, no notes, nothing! Just numbers when I pressed the + and –)
9:59 a.m. — Baby Bun gets his yoghurt and discovers a mini rubber ducky which he is now obsessed with. I take my first sip of tea. It isn’t as good as loose leaf (no flavour at all in tea bags), but I have missed the hot drink in the mornings. Baby Bun surprisingly forgets about his yoghurt and throws the rubber duck around.
10:18 a.m. — I shiver. I wonder if I should ask my niece for some clothes. I brought only linen stuff. I wrap myself in a blanket instead.
10:38 a.m. — Baby Bun finds a trove of plastic gems and I let him play with it. He pretends they’re beans and he is “cooking with Daddy”. So cute.
11:02 a.m. — Now he wants to finish a puzzle but he already lost 3 pieces. If I don’t find them, it goes in the bin. I hate unfinished puzzles.
11:38 a.m. — I shop online at Banana Republic and have $1300 of stuff in my basket in various sizes to try on (this batik print dress is GORGEOUS in silk, and this particular trench coat dress is gorgeous but I would need to add straps) and I realize I deleted my credit card info to stop online shopping. It works because I can’t remember my card number and on this trip I somehow put my debit card in my purse rather than my credit card. WTF. I close the window. $1300 saved. LOL.
11:39 a.m. — If I get extended on my contract I plan on buying ONE big splurge item. Right now I am deciding between: M.M. Lafleur dress, M. Gemi Stellato (my second pair), Smythe Navy Blazer, Burberry Trench (in a size 6), or.. ???. I’d get the most use out of the shoes because I can’t wear things like Burberry where I am, the coat room is too visible and everyone would know it is mine, which puts me in an awkward money-reveal-by-style-brand position. I would be too obvious.
12:36 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for his nap. I continue browsing and land on these stunning Valentino Rockstud boots. The flats are nice as well. I’d probably prefer the Rockstud flats over the boots given the choice, as I think I’d get more wear out of them. Besides, I already have my amazing Rag & Bone Moto boots which are slouchier but give the same effect.
1:42 p.m. — I browse for Hurrache sandals having been obsessed with this pair from Nisolo. I decide to hold off and think about it.
2:24 p.m. — I spot the copper leather Birkenstocks I want but decide not to buy them because I’m trying to stop all impulse shopping. I’ll give myself time to think about it long and hard before pulling the trigger. BUT I WANT THEM. And how cute is this dress?
2:44 p.m. — Baby Bun is up and smelling of his nap. We spend the next few hours doing puzzles, reading, playing, running around.
8:48 p.m. — We get called to dinner and Baby Bun the carnivore refuses the beef because it is too tough for him (tender for us), and spits it out. It still (in my opinion) is not as good as the beef I had in Texas!! We feed him bits of homemade sausage on bread instead.
10:02 p.m. — Baby Bun and I get ready to head out to a festival that seems to only start at 10 p.m.!!! People love to live LATE here. It is also my niece’s birthday so we have to do a mini celebration. As we are getting dressed I realize I don’t have any pants, they are all drying. I snag a pair of denim and a sweater from my niece but as a teen she loves them SUPER TIGHT and LOW RISE. I spend the whole night yanking them up. I’m too old for this. I wish I had my favourite pair of jeans on this trip. Sigh.
10:18 p.m. — We get to the Festival and everyone seems to be eying my pants, wondering why I squeezed into them. Maybe it is my imagination. “We are the same size“, my niece squealed with glee when she let me have at her wardrobe — who is she kidding?!?
10:20 p.m. — Baby Bun squeals for water and everyone rushes to do the Mini Emperor’s bidding. He gets 3 bottles of water as a result of the confusion.
10:29 p.m. — We go for a walk around and buy a coconut donut (not bad), a Nutella chocolate cake and an almond tart. Baby Bun takes bites of all 3 and when I ask to share, he almost sobs with the inhumanity of having to share a cake with his mother, saying: “No share wif Mommy?!?!?“.
10:45 p.m. — We eat all three cakes (secretly sharing) and I like the almond tart the best. My partner wants to buy a box for the trip home. We will come back tomorrow when it is fresher and buy a stock.
10:55 p.m. — Baby Bun gets very antsy and tired, it is too late for children to be out, and we decide no more late outings like this. He gets put in the sling and we go back to the house where he almost immediately falls asleep.
Saved: $1500 and change
Spent: $0 — My partner paid
8:02 a.m.— Baby Bun is up (later than anyone else in the house even though they stayed up later!). He has a tantrum (he needed an hour more, frankly), so we go and have a yoghurt and cuddle in the kitchen. It is nice and cool and I wrap him in a blanket, holding him tight to me as he eats.
8:25 a.m. — I have my huge cup of tea with lots of milk and am happy
8:55 a.m. — We go to do laundry again and Baby Bun loves to help.
8:59 a.m. — We head out to the pharmacy to buy up all the stock of Bepanthene and find 8 tubes in the whole town. It isn’t the 20 I wanted but they can always send us more.
9:11 a.m. — Baby Bun wiggles and needs to pee. I lean him against the grass outside (no bathroom in sight) and he ends up spraying all over my Birkenstocks, giggling like crazy. Ugh. Boys. How do they do this?!?
9:38 a.m. — We pick up my niece’s massive birthday cake for 30 people, and some hot fresh bread. There will be a party here tonight for her 18th birthday with champagne and all. My partner is making a homemade Riz au Lait (Rice pudding) with thick whole milk, sugar and soft rice. No one makes it better than him, I used to hate rice pudding until I ate his creamy thick version of it.
11:02 a.m. — Back in the bedroom at home, Baby Bun listens to videos on the iPad (I don’t even care any more), and I log in to have some very rare, uninterrupted surfing time. I can’t blog because it is terrible on the iPad mini or the iPod Touch and I didn’t bring my MacBook Air (the weight!)
11:30 a.m. — I get 3 emails one after another of affiliates and publishers paying me. Woo hoo! What a nice surprise. $238.85 USD which ends up being +$306.60
12:28 p.m. — I browse eBay and am shocked to see the 7 pairs of copper Birkenstocks in my size (37) almost gone at a decent discount (about $40 off). I buy the last pair quickly. That was fast, they must be selling like hot cakes. The total comes out to less than at retail ($160) plus taxes (15%) in Canada even with shipping and U.S. conversion. I pay with my Paypal balance (that money came just in time). $142.75
12:56 p.m. — I browse the rest of eBay and consider the Prada cobalt blue sweater for $95. I decide to buy it, it would be a perfect topper, considering it is 100% alpaca and made in Italy in my favourite colour AND SIZE!
1:00 p.m. — We go to have lunch and I leave the purchase alone. It is wild boar, hunted by an uncle, with potatoes and lots of rich gravy.
1:21 p.m. — Dessert ends up being pears from the garden and fresh strawberries. I’m going to miss all of this yummy fruit & food! Baby Bun scarfs it all down.
1:34 p.m. — After lunch, Baby Bun goes down fairly easily for his nap. I pat his bum a few times and he falls asleep on his own, looking around before closing his eyes. I snap a quick photo of him, to remember him at this age sleeping so sweetly. Back to surfing. I haven’t had so much free surfing time in a long long while.
3:18 p.m. — I hear cheering. They must be celebrating my nieces birthday, having waited as long as they could for us. I don’t want to leave Baby Bun and go join them downstairs in a part of the house he is not familiar with as he is about to wake up and will be freaking out if he can’t find me, and if I can’t hear his cries which does not make for a happy child.
4:22 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes after all the celebrating is done. He slept a lot!! We go down for cake. He eats 3 pieces in succession and wants more. I end up stopping him, and telling him we need dinner first. This is unprecedented, the amount of sweets he has had this entire trip and day!!!!! Oh well. It is only a vacation once a year.
4:48 p.m. — We hang out with others and he entertains everyone after scarfing down all that sugar by running like crazy around the table as if he is training for a marathon.
4:55 p.m. — A cousin has THE COOLEST metallic black high top sneakers on with a buckle across the front. They look so cool in an embossed metallic python/snake print in all-black. I want. I covet them HARD.
5:05 p.m. —Oh they look good. I can’t see the logo. I want to ask her but I chicken out. I think they’re Adidas. Must Google later.
5:11 p.m. — We go back upstairs. My partner has anther treat of the Rice Pudding for tonight for family only, and Baby Bun thinks it is yoghurt. A headache comes fast. I take two Advil and try to get Baby Bun entertained while I get over this dizziness.
5:45 p.m. — The whole family wants to go to the cemetary pay their respects to a grandfather who died this year, as my niece was very VERY close to him and it is her wish for her birthday to put flowers on his grave and tell him how much she misses him. He was a very gentle soul loved by all, but I don’t feel like I’m entitled to go, and feel awkward so I bow out. I guess the headache came at a good time. The other sad thing is that his brother who is 10 years younger, died 2 months after — they were best friends and very VERY close which I suspect may have had something to do with it.
5:55 p.m. — I go to lie down and fall into a rabbit hole of searching for those black metallic sneakers which some say are making a comeback. Who cares. Sneakers are NOT MY THING, but I want to push my fashion boundaries and I can’t get her shoes out of my head. I settle on Michael Kors High Top Glam Studded Gunmetal sneakers. They look comfy, got killer reviews and in gunmetal they are not as shiny as gold or silver, and are a little more discreet which is more me. They aren’t black but they’re close enough. I hit Buy, then Cancel at least 3 times to go and Google images of the shoe in real life. I can return it but I’d be out $50 in shipping plus having to pay for return shipping so I’m super careful.
6:37 p.m. — I end up hitting buy and committing to some gunmetal metallic sneakers. All the reviews are almost 5 stars and talk about COMFORT and support. Would you believe this may actually be my first pair of running shoes in about 10 years? Oh wait. I did have a pair of Converse but they were so flat and painfully unsupportive I decided ballet flats were better. It is almost as though I can only do extremes — ballet flats or Birkenstocks. $203.44
6:57 p.m. — I start packing and can’t believe that we need a carry on to come back due to all of the presents Baby Bun got (clothing), and the ONE dress and folder I bought for myself and 4 shirts for my mom.
7:07 p.m. — Baby Bun goes to play with his cousin and it gives me a much needed (the FIRST BREAK aside from naps) without him, and I finish packing.
8:37 p.m. — We go to eat dinner and Baby Bun suddenly throws a fit and doesn’t want to eat anything. Commence, an hour of door closing as punishment and just general chaos until he finally calms down and realizes I’m going to sit there and eat. He then starts eating, and wants me to feed him the whole time.
9:47 p.m. — My partner starts making a comment that Baby Bun doesn’t act like that with him and I lose it, taking it the way he meant – that something is with me and he only acts like this because of my parenting (which I know he MEANT but didn’t outright say). I’m seeing red and screaming: “It isn’t my fault! You think you always know best so go ahead then and fix it!” .. He prudently stays quiet and tries to pretend he didn’t mean it as a slight against me, so why say it at all? Unless you plan on adding a disclaimer — “but with Sherry he is worse because she is so close to him and he wants her all the time, so it is harder for him with her, and her with him“. Everyone watches silently but it is Tante B who stands up and says I should eat and leave him be. I try but it is hard.
10:27 p.m. — Baby Bun is calm now after a plateful and a half of eggs, chicken and potatoes and a yoghurt tub. I ate octopus and huge prawns almost the size of langoustines. Everyone is calm now.
10:47 p.m. — We eat the famous rice pudding which is DELICIOUS. Everyone goes to the festival except for Mamie, Baby Bun, my partner and me. I go to do my skincare routine and Baby Bun fights bedtime but needs to sleep early as we are getting up early tomorrow.
Baby Bun 24/7 killed me. Why did I ever agree to travel with a toddler?
I wish he was more independent and less clingy to me but… I also love that he loves me. This is so hard. I am so tired.