Tip #1 Why is night day and day night in my newborn’s mind?

October 13th, 2011 → 12:34 pm @

Did you notice in the first weeks after your baby was born that she seemed to have an opposite wake/sleep schedule.  I mean, a lot of things make sense in the pregnancy/birth process, but this one?  I fail to understand why babies were designed to do this.

We need sleep. Lots of sleep to be able to manage every day life with babies (and kids).

Here is the answer I wrote in my book about this:

You may find that your newborn is more awake and alert at night and more sleepy during the day. This often has to do with his routine in utero. For example, if your baby was really active at night it will likely keep that pattern after being born.  To help him adapt to “real time”, try to engage with him more during the day, keep a bit of light in his bedroom while he’s having day naps and don’t be too worried about your every day noise during the day. At night, don’t engage… just feed and put back to bed, change diaper if necessary using as little light as possible. In the period of a couple of days to a couple of weeks he should adapt to regular day and night rhythm.


Babies 0-6 months &Blog

Julia and the Groceries

October 12th, 2011 → 12:36 pm @

Here’s Julia and the Groceries. Or should I say – The Groceries and Julia!


Blog &Daily Life &My kids

A Bicycle Built for 6

October 10th, 2011 → 12:37 pm @

I have a magnificent bike – including myself, there is room for 6!  Five kids and me.  I have 4 kids but often a friend joins us on our way home from school. Even though my 3 oldest have their own bikes, the girls in particular often opt for a rid.  I see it as part of my built in daily exercise program!

I can get a week’s worth of groceries in the bike + 2 small kids (Ok, they are a bit squished).  I can put my neighbor’s table and chairs in my bike to borrow for a party rather then lugging them by hand.  I can throw all of the school bags and most of the kids in there to get to school in a hurry. I can put my youngest’s bike in my bike if she has gotten tired or I’ve gotten fed-up of waiting…

I love my bike.  A guy who only made bikes that “fit” the person’s personality built it. After many talks we came up with my perfect bike.  A box built big enough for 4 kids, seatbelts and a baby bike seat in the front for when my kids needed the support (it’s gone now).  It’s grey on the outside, orange on the inside. The box is made of wood. Black leather seat, silver frame and a recent addition of an extra seat on the back makes it complete.

In total I have 5 bikes… one bike is in Amsterdam so that when I take the bus in (20 minutes), I have a bike to use in the city. It has 2 kid’s seats on it – one of the front that I use for my bag and one of the back that I sometimes have my youngest in when we are in town.  I have 2 other “normal” bikes… one I share with my husband which he uses to get to the bus stop, bring the kids to school etc. It has one seat on the back. I use it when I’m on my own.  The other bike doesn’t have any extra seats on it… it’s used for guests and I use it if we are going out for diner in the village so I don’t have to use my big box bike (which makes a lot of noise if it’s not full!).  Then in the garage I have my good old 20 year old LL Bean cross bike.  I use that in the summer time when I feel like some biking exercise.  Mostly it’s in the garage…

We also have a ton of bikes by our doorway.  Friends always bring their used bikes here since we “must” always have “use” for them but recently I’ve had to give some away. Now we have about 2,2 bikes per person living here…

Balance &Blog &Daily Life &My kids

These are my kids

October 9th, 2011 → 12:40 pm @

These are my kids. All but the youngest are in school. The youngest goes to daycare 2x a week which is when I work on my books. She starts school in January on her 4th birthday which is less than 3 months away.  I think I’m ready for this next step – I am looking forward to more time to work, exercise and generally to get things done but it will be strange after 8 years of intense baby’ness to have an empty house during the week.  Sounds like piles of time – but let me tell you a bit about the school schedule in Holland…

In Holland, kids start school when they turn 4 – On their birthday – so turning 4 is a kind of rite of passage here.  Pre-kindergarden and kindergarden are called Group 1/2 here. The kids are all in the same class and are split into group called “youngest, middle, oldest” when they are doing certain activities. The oldest take care of the new kids on the block and the new kids get enough attention because they don’t all start at the same time. It works. Once they are in the “oldest” group they start getting ready for Group 3 (grade 1) which starts in September as do all of the other grades.

The school days: They begin at 8:30, lunch from 12:00-13:15, End 15:15.  My kids stay over for lunch as do most.  On Wednesdays school end at 12:15 and on Fridays at 12:00. Once you are in grade 3 (group 5 here), you also go to school on Friday afternoon.

The holidays: 1 week in October, 2 weeks at Christmas, 1 week in Feb, Easter break, 2 weeks in May, 6 week Summer break.  Plus there are at least another 5 national holidays and the required PD days.

How do people do it here? Well there are a lot of kids that go to after-school programs and most parents work part time so that one is home to pick up the kids. Usually a mix of the above.  In our house – I pick up the kids every day after school…

Blog &Daily Life &My kids


September 26th, 2011 → 12:43 pm @

Hi! I’m Lianne, also known as Moooommmmmm, mama, babe, Lee, Mevrouw (said meh + v + ow), Mrs, the Canadian etc.

I live in a small village 15 minutes north of Amsterdam where we lived until 4 years ago.  Now I am known as the Canadian with all those kids and that bike.  In Amsterdam there are probably many me’s. But here in Monnickendam (think Monique + n + dam) I’m the only one.  Makes it easy for others to know who I am (and to know what I do every day since everyone knows who the bike belongs too…)

I have a bicycle built for 6 that I power with my own legs.  Four can sit in the box in the front, one on the back and me.  I love my bike.

I have 4 kids (7,6,4,3) – yes really.  My “all or nothing” personality is becoming more apparent even in having kids.

On the side, I am publishing/writing/producing a series of booklets for the busy woman. Actually I am writing them for myself since I have all these questions about different things but the answers I thought I’d share them in a bunch of small booklets.  Since I couldn’t think of a creative name, they are called “Lianne’s Quick Guide, for the busy woman”.

I’m married to a Dutchman. Actually he’s officially half Hungarian but was born and raised in Amsterdam so actually he’s an Amsterdammer.  He’s the necessary 5 years older than I am and has his own business. We’ve been together for 13 years from the time he hired me to do a freelance project. He’s still paying the price!!!

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities.  It’s small and international, beautiful and unique. I love that anything goes in the city of bikes.  I have a bike parked by the bus stop in the city so I get in as often as I can for meetings, seeing friends, nights out etc.

Living abroad. Never felt like I lived far away until I had kids. Now, I hate the part of being far away from my family.  The grass is always greener on the other side. I’ve been living in Europe for over 15 years.  It’s just what it is. But if I had a million dollars I would use it to see family and friends more often that live on the other side…

That’s me in a nutshell…

Balance &Blog &Daily Life