Wrap With Love

Achtung: This post is very ibu-ibu themed.

I wanted to write something about a thing I loved when baby T was still small. I know it is way too late, seeing that T is not a baby anymore. In fact, he is now a toddler who loves to destroy everything!Indeed. A destroyer. A very cute one.

I was soooo determined to babywear T..it felt like home for me. my grandmoms and aunties carried us and their munchkins with slendang/jarik. So, I wanted to do the same, but with my own version. Long before I got pregnant I’d taken weaving workshops and then on got introduced to baby woven wraps. There are many beautiful wraps out there with different kind of blends and textures. I am a sucker for beautiful fabrics and textiles so I got curious about baby woven wraps that I did my research on it.

Firstly, I bought a tricot slen from Babylonia brand, click here. It was a stretchy wrap, very fool-proof, cool for the summer and ideal for a newborn. I was happy with my purchase and even took a short workshop for how to wrap your baby. He lived in that wrap from he was just wee 2 months old until he was 4 months old. He took his naps and when he was awake I took him with me grocery shopping in it. As T was 5 months old he got heavier, he weighed around 6-7 kg. The tricot slen I used  became somewhat uncomfortable, and it was not grippy enough for this squirmy T and my shoulders hurt so much if I wore him more than 30 minutes. Eventually, I switched to baby woven wraps. This time I purchased a second hand one off a group on Facebook. It was called “draagdoekenmarkt” (a closed group but you can ask to join). My new -not-so-new wrap was from Oscha (Edinburgh-based brand). It was from the range Orion Skara Brae sized 7 which meant 5,2 metres long, with mixed blends (made from: linen/hemp/cotton yarns). I love products from Oscha so much, so beautifully crafted and ethical too. That is why their products are pricey but still affordable. I chose this below, because the colors were stunning and looked very nice on T.

Woven wraps are best second hand. Why? If you buy a brand new wrap you will get a stiff and rigid piece of cloth even when it is 100% cotton. It needs to be broken in. How? By using it constantly. And that is why second hand woven wraps are much softer and some are even buttery soft and yet grippy.

I admit, after my Oscha I became addicted. I wanted another one with different blends with a darker colour that suited my complexion. A dear friend was selling her stash, and then I bought one from her. It was from Dydimos (linen and cotton blends, German brand) This one was very different from Oscha I had. Because the blends were mostly linen and cotton, and this one had been broken in too, it felt softer and more elastic/bouncier but still strong. The one from Oscha was thicker and not so bouncy, so it was perfect to “encapsulate” a wriggly baby.

I call my Oscha, my “baby prison” wrap he he he. I think it’s because of the hemp yarns that make it cushy yet strong.

Processed with MOLDIV

Dydimos indio

Then the third one, I wanted to practice with a shorter wrap so I could carry Tarou (then already 9 months old) on my hip. I bought size 4 Tulipa Aer, a beautiful 100% cotton wrap from a Dutch brand called Doeck, click for info!This one was a failure though. I couldn’t manage to do it right, and Tarou had grown into a very wriggly baby, so it made me nervous everytime I practiced because he would turn into a wriggly worm. And because it was 100% cotton it did not feel elastic or flexible enough for that weight. It must have been a perfect wrap for a smaller or less heavy baby. I now think I must sell that wrap though…such a waste…it is a very beautiful one. Anyone interested? I am selling this he he he.

See below:

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Tarou,  the wraps and I had good times together. I have carried him everywhere with baby wraps. He loved and still loves it when being carried (now) in baby carriers. When we were in Indonesia for example, I carried him on my back with an ergonomic baby carrier (I have the one from Beco, and I love it!). He is too heavy now to be carried with baby wraps/slings, so I occasionally carry him in a baby carrier. I still could though but only if I carried him on my back but he hated it if he could not see my face. He can walk now so it is way more interesting than to be carried, I think.

I love our wrap moments so much I become very quite religious about it, and I advocate a lot of my mama friends about it, but of course not all mamas like it. It is a choice. Most of mamas love to have another options like a baby bouncer or a cot to put the baby away when you need to do chores at home. But personally, I loved carrying T everywhere and so did he 🙂  It was really practical and I bounded with my baby even when I had to juggle with other bunch of things. Sometimes when I carried him outside I told him stories about the trees or when I did some chores inside of the house I pointed him the washing machine and how it worked (LOL, see..never a dull moment). There are many babywearer clubs in the world and regionally. In Amsterdam, we have Amsterdam babywearers and they have a Facebook page. There are also many swap groups around the world, Dutch-speaking pages are also available on Facebook! I for instance, always encourage new mamas to have a consultation with a Draag consulent near the place you live (a professional coach for babywearing and its techniques).

The Netherlands has many amazing woven wrap producers. There is this high-end brand called Artipoppe which has fantastic wraps, almost all of them are collectors items and the prices are..enough to buy holiday tickets 🙂 Kokoro is one that I really like because it has cute designs but oh so expensive. They usually make a partnership with other brands or independent weavers, sadly, I don’t know about the feel because I still do not have the chance to buy it. Then Doeck, and Yaro, the last one is an affordable brand but with a good quality. You can buy them online on many web-shops that sell ergonomic carriers or slings.

Thank you for reading!

x

My Interview Stories

Jobs, how can we live without it? 🙂

Whenever I meet fellow Indonesians here we use to talk about our job quest. Either they are now jobless and searching for one , or, they want to quit and now want to search for a new one. I hate it when people say, you are so lucky to have a nice job at a nice company blablabla. Believe me, in my case, it was not like a job went onto my lap out of nowhere. I really did my best to get one. I wrote over 50 applications in 3 month time. And I went to many job interviews.

I came to live in the Netherlands in 2007, although I had stayed a year before to becoming Au Pair. I went back home briefly after. I have had many job interviews since then. Like, MANY! Of course I felt really uneasy and did not  feel confident because I didn’t speak Dutch, but soon I understood a little bit of Dutch it was unstoppable. My first ones were when I was a student at the VU, I needed a part-time job. Sometimes two jobs to make ends meet. I gained it through a student job agent, sometimes the jobs were really odd, like the time I had to work at a chocolate factory. Or the time I worked at the zoo behind the till machine. Sometimes I worked at a cafeteria prepping food, or at De Bijenkorf as sales assistant. Outside the jobs I got from the agency, I also worked as a babysitter occasionally and I liked it because I earned good money and it was an easy job. I pretty much accepted all offers from the job agency except waiting tables, I sucked at it. From all those odd jobs the only one that I hated was when I worked at the zoo. Had a male supervisor who was a control freak and he corrected me all the time. After I passed my exams I was finally brave enough to apply for office jobs.

That when the nightmare began… Continue reading

About My Happy Bowl – 1

There were crucial moments this year where I thought, “Screw with this, I want to have something else”. I had an OK job for the past 5,5 years and even it was not my dream job or my passion it was a nice job and I had nice colleagues or thought that they were. When I was back from my maternity leave, I’d really tried my best to adapt again but somehow it did not work out well. Too many changes and lack of support, and after 10 months I finally said…fuck this, i quit. I don’t deserve this, I deserve something better!

Of course, there were mediation and discussion before i said i quit. And, also a lot of tears and heartaches. It has been a learning curve for me and i am glad i was brave to say enough is enough and i was not afraid jumping into an oblivion, called unemployment.

I strongly believe that i always have  an option. My option were two, either to be in a shit hole and mop the entire time and feel pity to myself but get money, OR, embrace the freedom take control in my hands and get creative. I don’t want to be sad anymore, because my life is a JOY. My baby is so cute and healthy, and I have a supportive and handsome husband who believes in my capacity as a clever and creative woman. I am blessed! So, this spiral of negativity is really an unnecessary burden I need to get rid of.

I am now in a process of getting my shit together, and slowly I am feeling my old self again and..but I really take my time. I don’t want to force myself at all, and just go with the flow.

Let's have a cake and a cup of good coffee :)

Let’s have a cake and a perfect cup of coffee 🙂

 

Someone sent me this video, my heart got all warm from watching it. I want to dedicate this video to all of you supermoms and superwomen out there who feel miserable in your current situation, don’t know the meaning of all the shitty things that happen in your life at this moment, or that you feel you are stuck in a rut. But you are not! believe me, you always have a choice. And now those things are shitty but in the future maybe they are not at all, we just need to open our eyes wider and be positive about it.

Enjoy the video ladies xx

Filling up My Bowl

Hola!

I have been away quite a while now.

I am doubtful if I can write again. A lot has happened, and some of them are not so nice. At this moment I am busy filling up my happy bowl. Generally, year 2016 is a crappy year for me, however if I am being honest..when I see from another side of the pond it has its beautiful moments too.

But this year I have learned so much about myself and it is very valuable! My oh my, it has been a roller coaster man:) now I got myself a break, and this time I want to be gentle and kind to myself. Not everything is associated with tears and anger. 2016 is also a year of lots of ‘first times’.

This picture was taken this summer before we went to Indonesia. Yeah we went for the first time to Indonesia with Tarou:) !

And of course… it was our first time on the plane with him too.

First time meeting with Indonesian opa and oma.

In the pic above we were on our way to the beach. It was such a beautiful day and it was hot! It wasn’t a typical Dutch weather at all. I remembered we were so happy..and J put Tarou in the baby carrier, showing him different types of trees 😂 That was our first time of hiking with the three of us.


This year too, I have found a new community that is kind and it gives me a lot of motivation. Every Tuesday evening I go to my massage school and everytime I feel so much love and positivity around me. I learn a lot at school and I make new friends 🙂 and it really gives me so much new energy.

December is around the corner, I am excited to welcome the new year, with its new challenges!

What about you? How have you been?

You Can’t Buy Happiness But You Can Buy A Cake

Ga terasa sudah hampir memasuki bulan Juli…Lama sekali enggak nulis, kadang kangen nulis tapi ada aja yang menghalangi inspirasi. Life is…good in a way. Tarou hampir mau ulang tahun yang pertama, oh dear…Yeah. Waktu terasa sangat cepat berjalan. Gue sangat menikmati waktu bersama si kecil, walau jujur kadang jenuh namun selalu aja cepat lupa rasa itu setiap liat tingkah dan polah si kecil. Sekarang dia sudah mau belajar jalan, pinter ngoceh dan bercerita dengan bahasa planet nya, pintar joget setiap dengar musik, dan masih banyak lagi.

Gue belajar banyak banget dari peristiwa selama setahun ini. Dan saat ini keadaan gue alive and kicking but still, life can be better. Tapi ga usah manyun, soalnya gada guna nya. I just want to spread some positive vibrations. Karena banyak sekali yang harus gue syukurin semua yang Tuhan sudah kasih ke gue.

Hope you all like these pictures below!

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Yang lewat kawasan WTC di Amsterdam Zuid pasti suka liat papan ini yang selalu terpampang di depan sebuahcafe hehe. I like it a lot!

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Facepaint

Gue iseng ikut workshop Facepainting. Ini hasil karya ibu guru nya sih hasil karya gue cemen banget, tapi gue suka buangeett! Sekarang lagi giat berlatih. Kali aja bisa dijadiin side job hahaha! 😀

imageBeberapa waktu silam gue dikasih surprise sama J menginap di sebuah spa hotel di Leiden. Nginep 3 hari 2 malam tanpa Tarou dan tanpa suami! 😀 wah bisa tidur sampai siang, lalu J juga reservasi pijet dan facial buat gue, alamaakk mimpi apaaa ikke? hihi. Akhirnya setelah puas dipijet, gue memutuskan untuk jalan2 ke botanical garden di Leiden yang namanya De Hortus. Liat2 tanaman, duduk di pinggiran kolam, dan menikmati nyanyian burung di taman. Ah, indahnya. Keesokan hari nya gue sempat jalan2 di deretan butik2 eksentrik dan minum kopi dengan damainya tanpa harus “nangkepin” bayi yang suka merangkak atau minum kopi buru buru karena si kecil mau nya jalan2. Hahaha. Those precious times in life…harus diresapin lah 🙂

Soalnya, KAPAN LAGI???? lol.

About Getting Back to Work

I did not imagine or who would have thought that getting back to work would be such a hard thing to do. Especially after being off from work more than 7 months. People forget about you, and new habits are created, your boss changed, and someone replaced your function.

To establish myself after such a long leave was really tough. I wonder if other working moms also feel the same. I do not browse or read forums, I just want to try my best first to really be honest and to understand my position from my own perspective. Honestly, I feel sometimes lonely because I don’t have good friends (working moms) whom I can share this topic with over a cup of coffee. I finally talked about this with some colleagues who became mothers at the same time I did and with partners of my husband’s friends. They were all so nice and super supportive. Sometimes I just need to vent, and then I would feel much much better afterwards.

Things would be probably better if I were not such a perfectionist. I want to be good in all aspects.. So when things do not go as I want it to be, I would feel really annoyed and down. People at work seem to forget about me, it is because when I left, they stayed. Their life did not change, mine did. They kept going to work, their tasks needed to be done, etc. So when I was back to work, I expected that they would scream hey you’re back! I miss you and so glad you are back now. Well, they did in a way. They were happy to see me and asked for baby pictures and such. But then my replacement seemed to already know her way around and people who I worked with are used to have her and I was there just watching. She taught me how things were done after I had left. It was really nice of her. I knew it would come like this but still, it was still pretty hard for myself to get my groove back on in my job.

Now a month later, I kinda sorted it already. I am still searching the best way though and trying to change my mindset but at least now I know now what to do. And as for my private life, I am still finding my way in juggling between being a new mom and a partner. I told my mother in-law, how I am now learning to juggle like Dutch women. Growing up, my mom chose to be a career woman and she had many helps at home, she never did things all by herself. We had nannies and helpers. While my mom was away we were at home with our nannies and my grandma cooked meals, helpers cleaned the house and did chores. So I did not have any role model. I honestly did not know what to do if I had a baby here in the Netherlands. Then little T came along, and things turn out just fine. I underestimate myself. My body seems to know what to do, and my mother instinct works out well. At this stage, I am so happy that I am healthy. That is why I work out and eat well, because my family needs me!

I really want to hear women out there, and their stories about getting back to work again. How do you do that? What are your struggles? How do you cope with it??

I have so much admiration for mothers, and this post is not about how hard it is to be a working mom. Moms are moms. I respect your personal choice whether you stay at home or not. I think it’s just petty when women argue about that topic. Mothers out there must support each other 🙂

Back in the Game

Yes! I found time to write a post on my blog. Believe it or not, this had been a draft that sat waaay too long in the draft bucket. I wrote whenever I have time and tadaa!finally became a decent post. It does not mean I do not have time since little Tarou is here but, when I have a spare time I usually use it for; 1. SLEEP; 2. Go to the gym; 3. Cook a decent meal or cook dinners! orrrr, just go to the city and go to the movie or window shopping…well, mostly I come home with some baby clothes.

Tarou is now 8,5 months old..HURRAY! time goes so insanely fast. Amazing little man, he is so adorable and did I say already, AMAZING? One of the reasons why I also dont blog much is because my life now revolves around baby and work. Not so interesting to write since I am not a mom blogger, or a family blogger, I am actually very hesitant to expose my baby for public. Also I really feel like some boring person if I write about work. It is because my job is indeed that boring. Who wants to know about the most recent news about..err, data programming or It audit? yikes.

These past months I have not been socialising much though. I am always tired and I do not have friends to hang out with. Most of them indeed have small babies but my days off or our schedules are unfortunately different with each other..so I kinda spend my time alone with my baby outside…or the 3 of us as a family or with my in-laws. If I go out then I choose to go out alone without a company. I used to hang out with one particular friend a lot but things have changed between us. Ah well, I am a lone wolf now and I don’t mind it at all. It gives me more time to contemplate and enjoy my free times the way I want. I also get new friends, mummy friends, and play date friends!

Continue reading