This was October 2016

I’ve been meaning to update my blog multiple times, and then the days flew by, and here we are … one month later. Oy.

Ok, so I will squeeze the whole month of October into one post. lol Let’s start with our yearly tradition of mushroom photography.

Gert actually took these, and this is only a selection. I honestly don’t know why we make it such a point to extensively document the mushroom population of our yard each Fall! 😂 Admit it though; they are pretty to look at, right?

^^ Here’s the little table I received from my mom. It got busted on one side when a heavy storm knocked it down hard last year. It actually flew off her roof terrace and landed 2 stories below. Biggest scare ever!!! I was actually there when it happened and you should have seen our faces! 😂 So anyway, the table survived. I was planning to give it a fresh coat of paint, but then I figured, what’s the rush? We’ve got a crappy 6 months ahead of us before the weather gets nice again. So it will make more sense to do this before next Summer, as it will then be all pretty during those beautiful months. Anyway, my Halloween decoration ended up being a little more minimalistic than what I had originally planned. But again, lack of time …

My loves 💕

Gert gave babywearing a try, and Emery surprisingly liked it. I had tried this numerous times already, but he hated it so much, I kind of gave up. I guess he prefers his daddy when it comes to being carried around! He prefers me for diaper changes and entertainment, so we each have our own specialties, I suppose!

And of course, on October 28th, he turned 4 months old.

He’s able to sit up relatively well by now, although not on his own yet. I hope he will learn fast, because Jesus Christ that boy is becoming heavy!!! It’s about time he learns how to sit and move around on his own more. He’s able to completely roll over, sit up with some support, turn his head around in all directions, and grab objects and bring them to his mouth. I’m probably forgetting a few more of his AMAZING skills (lol), but this is off the top of my head right now.

And, YES, I finally managed to take a picture of him laughing. Not just smiling, LAUGHING! Albeit the price to pay was a blurry shot. He laughs every day, but I can never seem to get a picture. Every time he sees the camera, he gets so intrigued, his face becomes serious, and he no longer makes a sound. Like two seconds later when I took this one:

Granted, it is a gigantic camera with a huge lens. Maybe I should invest in something more discrete.

So, that was it! A quick glance at this past month. With the holidays coming up soon, I’m really hoping to be able to post more frequently. I haven’t properly enjoyed Christmas for a few years now, and I’m determined to make the best of it this year. We’ll see!

Prepping the yard for Fall

I’m so behind on decorating the house for Fall / Halloween. I cleaned up the patio this week and added a few new plants and some candles, to add a bit of light in the evening, as the days are getting shorter.

patio candles tea lights potted plants ivy garden yard shed october fall decoration outdoor outside

dark evening patio candles tea lights table outside outdoor potted plants fall dusk

I have many more plans to decorate the exterior though. The weather forecast looks promising, so I’m ready to start sanding our bench and add a coat of fresh paint tomorrow. And we will definitely be buying big pumpkins next week to decorate the front of our garden shed. My mom also gave me a small patio table she was about to get rid of. I just need to sand it down and give it a new color. I can’t wait to share the final results!

Three months old!

Emery turned 3 months old this week! He’s becoming so tall. I’ve started putting away his newborn clothes, which I need to finish this weekend. We’ve already gone through several sizes at a pretty ridiculous pace. Right now, he’s wearing 6 to 9 months clothes! 😱

His eyes have become a lighter shade of blue. I can’t tell if they will become lighter in the next few months, or if this is his definite color. Time will tell!

He laughs so much these days! I admit I don’t always know what he seems to find so funny. 😂 I wish he’d let me in on the joke. lol

One of this past month’s milestones includes babbling to his toys. Haha! He literally had a one hour long conversation with his blankie on Wednesday, which then exhausted him to the point of falling right asleep in the end. Another one of his new favorite occupations is watching cartoons. Gert sat him up in front of his laptop one day and played an episode of Pingu on youtube. It grabbed his attention instantly, and he’s been loving it ever since!

I started creating Youtube playlists for him and I stream them on our TV. One of his favorites is the “Laugh & Learn” series, on the Fisher Price youtube channel. He especially loves the episode “Let’s go to the farm”, which never fails to make him laugh! 😄

And we finally put a “baby on board” sticker on the car! Pretty sure we have the coolest one in Belgium, for those who know which movie this is from. 😂

Sam would be 2 years old today

My sweet Sam, two years already since you left us. We’re at this point now where our sense of time is getting distorted. In a way, it feels like an eternity ago since I was taking my weekly pregnancy pictures and putting together the nursery, full of excitement. Yet those two years escaped through our fingers in the blink of an eye. And as that moment when I held my perfect little boy is distancing itself further and further from the present that I’m in, my heart still aches like it was yesterday. Forever broken. I picked up the pieces little by little, and I’m getting there slowly. But it will never be intact again. Fractured, at best. Most likely forever incomplete.

Today, Sam would be celebrating his second birthday. We’d be having cake this afternoon, decorating the house with balloons, handing presents and taking happy pictures. Our birthday boy would be going to kindergarten with his brand new little backpack and his lunchbox, in which I would have secretly added a few surprise treats for his special day. He would be so big already. I would proudly make him sit on the couch and prep Emery next to him so I could take a beautiful picture of my two boys. But alas, this reality will never be.

Today, instead, we took Emery with us to decorate Sam’s headstone. It’s a terrible thing when your child’s birthday is a sad date. I remember last year – his first birthday – being particularly hard, yet healing in away. Once I passed the one year milestone, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I had gone through the grief and trauma like a warrior, and proudly concluded: “I survived”. I felt like the rest of the road would be going up from that point on, instead of going down. And it did. Things only got better afterwards. But only to a certain point. I feel like I will never get all the way up that giant mountain where I once happily stood. There’s only so far up I can go after having lost my little boy. I’m not at my maximum yet; there is still a bit of a way to go. But life will never be like before. Even our wedding memories are tainted with the loss of Sam. We were so excited to start a family when we got married. We couldn’t wait for our first little one. It’s all we talked about during our honeymoon. I was looking at our pictures from Aruba the other day, and I felt something sad about them. It’s almost like Sam was already there in a way. We were so ready for him.

Last year, I was so emotional that I completely failed to come up with something nice to put on his grave. I spent weeks trying to come up with the perfect flowers, the perfect stuffed animal. My mind felt so chaotic that I didn’t even manage to make any decision about it in the end. And I remember feeling so frustrated with myself as we stood there in front of him with nothing nearly as special as I had hoped to bring him on his very first birthday in Heaven. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that this is nothing like me. I’m the decision maker in most situations, and everyone around me usually leans on my strength and sense of practicality. So to be this indecisive and then failing to produce any result is completely out of my character. That’s when you know something is really wrong with me.

This year, I feel like I’ve got my head back on my shoulders somewhat. The ideas occurred to me naturally. I put a few pretty things together and improved the little angel Gert’s aunt placed on Sam’s grave when he was buried. The angel’s blonde hair, which matched Sam’s, had completely faded under the sun. I gave it a fresh coat of paint. I added a beautiful “2” on his brown teddy bear, which I take back home regularly to wash.


(I removed the last name digitally, for obvious reasons.)

Today, Sam’s stone looked pretty and that made me happy. Happy second birthday in Heaven, sweet Sam. We miss you so much and think about you every day. 💕

New improved coat

Last month, I spent several weeks looking for bargains to update my Fall-Winter wardrobe. I found some exceptionally good deals. One of them is this coat from Forever21:

forever21 tweed collared coat in oatmeal color with 3 three brown buttons product ID 2000056466

forever21 tweed collared coat in oatmeal color with 3 three brown buttons product ID 2000056466

It was originally priced at 50€. I got it for 15€! The only thing I didn’t like about it were the buttons. And as per my mom’s wise words: “You can always judge clothing by the quality of the buttons.” And, you know, if my mom says it, then surely it must be true! So the brown plastic buttons had to go. After a quick search on etsy.com, I found two different types of metal buttons, which I thought might work.

copper metallic buttons pattina patina fleur de lis lys etsy

I wasn’t quite sure which of the two would look the best. At first I thought maybe the more elaborate one with the fleur-de-lis on it. But it turns out it blends too much with the tweed fabric, making it hardly visible from a distance.

coat new buttons test collage

So I ended up choosing the plain copper buttons. And since they came in a pack of six (for only 3.68€ total – wow), I went ahead and added two extra ones at the collar.

Forever 21 tweed collared coat in oatmeal color buttons change before and after result diy

forever21 tweed collared coat in oatmeal color with new changed buttons product ID 2000056466 metallic copper embellished

forever21 tweed collared coat in oatmeal color with new changed buttons product ID 2000056466 metallic copper embellished

And now of course I’m still not sure about it! Hah! With or without the collar buttons? Or perhaps darker buttons would make for a nicer contrast after all? Aaargh! I’m such a woman sometimes when I can’t make up my mind about silly details. 😱