Weekly Roundup #9

30 October 2015

Dear friend,

This weekly roundup is really almost 2 weeks as the first week was our half term holiday. I was torn between wanting to rest and recuperate after a busy half term and our recent illnesses and not wanting to waste our days away doing nothing. I think we found a happy medium. Fun days at home, crafting, playing games and visiting the library and a museum day, beach walk with kite flying, indoor playground visit and a cinema trip. Wow I think we need another holiday now!

Family fun: Naturalis

26 October 2015

Dear friend,

We have been talking about visiting Naturalis for ages and finally got around to it during the half term holiday. Hubby took a day off and we had 2 free museum tickets from the post code lottery to use so what better way to spend a day? The natural history collection at Naturalis is the 5th largest in the world with over 37 million objects and it is right on our doorstep, in Leiden. 

The boys were excited to see Freek from the Dutch TV program; Freek's wild world but I was totally amazed at the sight that met us at the entrance. Nature's theatre: An exhibit of just about every species of animal and insect you can think of. It was totally amazing. The big lad and I spent ages finding the names of different animals and their countries of origin from the large catalogues of information displayed.

Next we headed down to where it all began the Primeval parade and took a look at the truly fantastic display of dinosaurs, prehistoric animals and their fossils. It fascinates me that these things are millions of years old, how privileged we are to be able to see them up close. But I don't think the boys really understand that yet.

The longest skeleton was that of the Camarasaurus, at 18 metres the head looks over the second floor. It was excavated in America and brought to Naturalis in 1996, where it was put together. The boys looked tiny next to it.
I was really impressed with how interested the boys were. The little man loved the information points and my big lad let me wax lyrical about fossils and how they were formed.

The Earth gallery has a huge rotating globe in the middle put together from satellite images. It is the very realistic and also the largest of it's kind in the world.

The Super senses  exhibition was the most fun. Here the boys were able to investigate how animals rely on their senses and how they are far more developed than our own. We got to smell, hear, taste, see and touch lots of cool things. The boys especially liked making monkey noises.

We loved the Dodo skeletons, what a rare find! My favourite exhibit was Triceratops live part of the Research in Progress exhibition, palaeontologists are currently at work in America recovering 3 possibly 4 Triceratops (1 young) that were found during the recovery of a T-Rex. The T-Rex is due to be displayed in 2016 but you can currently see part of a Triceratops skull. The Giant Japanese crab was also a sight to behold and the little man liked scaring mum with the bird eating spider and posing with the flying squirrel (or squirrel from Mario as he liked to call it).

What an amazing day and great value too at 9 euro per child (adults 12 euro). I would highly recommend it and we will definitely be making a return visit to see the new dinosaurs exhibition. 
Our Family fun, museum visit was a huge success! 
Don't you just love making memories with your kids?

Liked this post then check out more of my EXPAT series here.

Silent Sunday

25 October 2015

What makes me a woman?

21 October 2015

Dear Friend,

A while ago I wrote a piece about 'periods' and I was overwhelmed by the response the post got. Obviously this is a hot topic with many women suffering in silence. After several months of problems I had a procedure to try and alleviate some of my symptoms but unfortunately, it wasn't a total success. I have been offered an alternative; hysterectomy. 

I wasn't shocked, I had expected this outcome as I had done the unthinkable and completed my own research on the Internet (what on earth did people do pre-internet?) What I didn't expect was my reaction...
Will I still be a woman? 

feel a huge amount of shame for my self indulgent behavior. It's only a body part and one I won't need again so why am I so attached to it? 

I know my response is purely emotional...

I will be womb less. My ability to carry children will have gone. The place where I held my boys for nine months will no longer exist. It is intrinsically linked to my concept of motherhood. To letting go of probably the best period (no pun intended) of my life,  the end of my child bearing years and it has happened too soon, I am not ready for this yet. I am only 42, this happens to women in their 50's doesn't it?

Jessica Rabbit
Hubby's response to my panic was typically blunt; well if a man has a vasectomy does that mean he is no longer a man? Brilliant logic that can not be argued with of course. 

The stupid thing is that I don't actually want any more children. Our family is complete. But the fact that the option of more children will have been taken away, gone forever, unnerves me! I think I liked the idea that there was always a chance...

What is it that makes me a woman I don't honestly know! I don't want to go down the road of gender stereotypes (like Caitlin Jenner who in a recent Vanity fair article incurred the wrath of many feminist writers.) 

Unlike Jenner I don't think being a woman is about corseted breasts, high heels, make up, big hair and being emotional (e.g. Jessica Rabbit). My idea of being a woman is looking after your family, standing up for your rights, following your own path and never giving up on what you believe. 

Faced with the prospect of severe pain every month for possibly the next ten years or having a hysterectomy my choice is clear. I just need my heart to catch up with my brain.

What is your idea of being a woman?

Read more of my Hysterectomy diary...

Book corner: The little rabbit who liked to say MOO

20 October 2015

Dear friend,

I was invited to take part in the Love to read linky by the fabulous Angela over at Days in Bed. I was thrilled to be invited as this is right up my street. As a Primary School teacher I recognise the value and importance  of reading with your children. Reading and understanding language is central to learning.

We have a house full of children's books. This is especially important to me as my kids are growing up bilingual. Every trip back to the UK I buy more books and I am lucky to be able to borrow from my school library too. Hubby is not such a book worm so we make up for our lack of Dutch language books with trips to the library which luckily is at the end of our street.

Weekly Roundup #8

19 October 2015

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Weekly Roundup, a post where I like to share the ordinary moments that have made up our family time during the week. As a busy, working mum family, time is tight and this post allows me to focus on the little things that we do together that make our lives special.

This week we have succumbed to the bugs again. The big lad and I have both had throat infections then to add insult to injury I got an infected wisdom tooth (which needs removing) ouch! It's times like this (when you just want to curl up and die) that family time becomes even more important! I hope you enjoy this weeks post.

Silent Sunday

18 October 2015

Ways children torture their parents

14 October 2015

Dear friend,

Today whilst making lunch for my kids they sat playing on the Nintendo DS and the iPad. Yes I know screen time is the devil, bla, bla, bla. Anyway I digress. After about 5 minutes I snapped and screamed; which one of you is that? Turn the bloody sound down it is like a form of torture! 

If your kids have these things too then you’ll understand, the constant repetition of tinny techno music drives me totally insane. It climbs into my brain and blocks up my synapses so I just can't think!

But actually it did get me thinking. I could seriously sign my kids up for the FBI. Withholding information? My two will get any information out of the most hardened criminals in 2 minutes. In their short time on earth they have perfected the art of parental torture. 

Weekly Roundup #7

12 October 2015

Dear friend,

It is Monday so that must mean Weekly Roundup, a post where I like to share the ordinary moments that have made up our family time during the week. As a busy, working family, time is tight and this post allows me to focus on the little things that we do together that make our family times special. 

We have all been fighting the bugs this week at different times so it has been a little challenging and with hospital appointments, therapy, hubby decorating the attic bedroom etc time has been short.  I hope you enjoy this weeks post.

Silent Sunday

11 October 2015

Weekly Roundup #6.

5 October 2015

Dear friend,

It is Monday so that must mean Weekly Roundup, a post where I like to share the ordinary moments that have made up our family time during the week. As a busy, working family, time is tight and this post allows me to focus on the little things that we do together that make our family times special. I hope you enjoy this weeks post.

Our week at a glance

Photo of the week

4 October 2015

Taking a breather at the view point.  

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