About My Happy Bowl – 2 – Happy Ending!

*This is my update from the 1st part, please click here to read.

I tend to think that since I am jobless I can do whatever I want and be lazy all day wearing PJs. Partly is correct, but not entirely true though hehehe. The PJs part is true. After I drop off T at the daycare (wearing PJs) I can do the heck I want in my PJ. ALL DAY LONG!!!

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A lot of articles I read, there all corroborate that becoming a mother has its down side, i.e. being isolated. I totally can relate to that. First year was gruesome…I only could talk about diapers and shite. Like what to do when a poo is white, or red or green and when I must pump. Numbing. But then, a year has passed, I want to get my groove back. I want to be able to use my brain again! I feel that I must change something in my life. I have this urge to get out of my cocoon, and do something with my life.

Since September last year I have been attending a professional massage school. I love massage, and have done some workshops in the past. I’d saved up money to be able to get a certification as a pro massage therapist and wished I could open my own practice in the Netherlands in the future. Time has always been the only main problem, but now since I am jobless I have times to do it.  It is a one year program, a part-time study so it is easy to combine with family commitments. The massage school helps me a lot. It may not be a quantum physics study..so it is not that complicated. I learn about anatomy, physiology, reanimation, meridian system and classic massage techniques in the classroom. But still, it helps me in terms of using my half dead brain. It forces me to de-frost that part of the brain that I think never exist. In fact, I just did my theory exams over the weekend. I am not sure I will pass all of them though. I am OK if I had to re-do them, no biggy. My main struggle is definitely the language (the study, thus inclusive the theories are taught in Dutch). Especially for Anatomy I have difficulties in grasping all the medical terms that are written both in Dutch and Latin. I pass my Reanimation test today, and I am glad at least I have one certificate in the pocket LOL!

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MAC Persistence-review lipen yuk!

Bermula dari dapat zakat fitrah pak suami, yg berupa kupon belanja di gerai kosmetik pas Natal kemaren, gw dengan antusiasnya langsung kegirangan menggunakan kupon tersebut dong ya. Akhir akhir ini gw mulai eneg sama warna yang gonjreng, whaatt?! Padahal biasanya suka banget..lately gw jg udah ga beli beli lipstick segandrung dulu. Terakhir gw beli lipensetip pas gw di Indonesia. Itu berarti Oktober ya…Sebelumnya, seminggu sekali pasti ngegondol lipen tiap keluar dr toko hehehe. Pas di Indo gw beli dr merek2 Purbasari, Wardah dan Make-over. Gw suka semuanya! This time gw pengen nambah koleksi lipstik warna earthy gitu karena entah kenapa lipstik warna earthy gw semua lenyap, ilang semua entah kemana. Dengan kupon belanja ini gw beli MAC Persistence yang warnanya kalem dan YSL Rouge Volupte Shine warna no 8-Pink in Confidence.

Kali ini gw ngereview MAC Persistence nya aja ya. Soalnya YSL ini biasa aja sih, gue butuh lipstik warna pink kalem dengan glossy finish. MAC Persistence ini warnanya peachy cinnamon alias warna peach dengan campuran coklat. Gw ragu sebetulnya antara Persistence atau Taupe, tp berhubung duit cekak gw ga bisa beli dua dua nya hahaha! Tapi untungnya gw milih Persistence karena emang jatohnya lebih lucu (ah ngibur diri aje loe Pie)..MAC Persistence ini termasuk di koleksi  Matte, warna nya mirip mirip  dengan Velvet Teddy, Whirl, Taupe, Mehr. Yuk, simak review jejadian gw hehe 🙂

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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.

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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 bonded 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

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 🙂

Libur Akhir Tahun

Sebelum tahun 2013 berakhir aku untungnya sempat ambil cuti. Sisa jatah cuti ada 14 hari libur. Cihuuyy! Nah sebelum libur aku udah bikin list hal apa aja yang pengen dilakuin selama liburan. Selain Natalan dan ngerayain Tahun Baru tentu nya ya.

Hari pertama dan kedua oh my God ikke tidur lamaaa banget. Ada kali 18 jam trus bangun makan, gosok gigi, nonton serial apa gitu deh lupa, eh tidur lagi sampe besokannya. Asli, tepar…energi abis. Nah hari Minggu tanggal 22 Des baru deh mulai beresin rumah, bersihin debu dan kotoran. Mulai gotong royong sama suami dari mulai belanja grocery tapi hampir pengsan di dalem karena rame banget sama orang sibuk belanja hari raya, ngelap kaca jendela dari luar (ya Tuhan cepet banget deh kotor nya gara gara ujan terus disini), nyuci baju (buset, baju hampir habis semua numpuk di hamper) dan undies karena yang tersisa di laci baju cuma undies melar melar segedha sprei yg muat sampe atas perut..hahaha. Lucu nya lagi ngeliat suami, dia pake kaos kaki kiri sama kanan beda corak, saking semua kaos kaki nya habis…hihihi. Sudah rumah bersih dan lemari baju kembali penuh, lanjutin deh tidurnya #kebo

Senengnya ternyata liburan pendek kali ini sukses. Akhirnya hal yang ditulis di to-d0 list dikerjain hampir semua nya 🙂 Selain jalan – jalan, makan – makan (dasar perut kadut), quality time sama suami sempet juga :

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