Double the trouble?

About ten months ago I got a baby brother and sister. Yes twins and yes new siblings at my age. If you’re wondering I’m 28 and no I don’t have kids of my own, well apart from the fur-babies I don’t. So what happens when you babysit two?

First of all I was a bit hesitant to babysit my brother and sister, because I thought how am I going to combine that with walking the dogs? My boyfriend promised we would do it together and he could help out too. Ok, so that was settled. Well it was, until it turned out he had to work that specific weekend, the whole weekend.

But spoiler alert, I did manage to do it mainly on my own. Some parents might be thinking now of course you can do that by yourself. Just remember I don’t have kids, I’m not used to having kids and I’m not ready for kids. Even though I did used to babysit a lot I just find my dogs a lot easier. Also I don’t have an elevator so my mom came to help and carry the babies down the stairs. After that we went for a family-walk.

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Surprisingly it was one of those special days in the Netherlands. A day when the sun is shining and it was hot. It literally was one of the hottest days of the year probably. My mom was babysitting my nephews of five and two, so it was a gathering of small little humans. When walking a stroller for two you do notice how heavy those things are! I immediately didn’t feel bad for skipping the gym that day anymore.

The walk took us to the center of my city. In the center a fountain or sprinkler-thing is installed for children to play with. The twins are still too small, so while my nephews were running around the sprinklers, I was relaxing with the twins under a tree. And I must say these babies are so chill. They were just sitting on a towel playing with their toys and picking grass and that’s it. No whining, no crying, just happy. If babies when they come in a pair are a ‘happy-package’, then I can handle two for sure.

Of course at night they were a bit more reluctant and didn’t want to sleep. By this time my boyfriend was home and we took turns soothing a baby. He took my sister and I went to cuddle my brother. I guess we did a good job and the twins decided we earned our sleep, because they didn’t wake up until 7:30 am the next morning. Thank you babies!

So what’s the conclusion? Are twins indeed double the trouble or twice the fun? Well, when they’re happy they’re still a lot of work, but no trouble at all. When they’re smiling it indeed is fun multiplied by two. Now you’re wondering if I can’t wait to have my own? Oh I can wait, no problem. I stil find my two doggies more than enough for now.

My escape to Winter Wonderland

Family holidays can be a lot of fun. It can also mean a lot of chaos. Going skiing with mine was definitely both. But despite the chaos sometimes we need a little escape. Normally I would say to the summer sun, but this time it was to a snowy landscape. And how did it go?

Well it always starts with a long road trip. Ok for some of you it might not seem long, but including the traffic jams it took us about 13 hours to go from the Netherlands to Austria. Remember that for Dutch people this is super long, because we can cross our country about 4 times within that time frame. Maybe even more. But the ride also has its charm. At least on the way going there it does. On the way back I’m just tired and want to be home asap.

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During this “very” long ride we had to stop several times. Obviously to get gas, but also to feed the babies and my nephews. Remember my brother and sister are only 7 months old? So now you can imagine where the chaos starts. But they’re also very cute and getting cuter every day. After everyone, except the children, had their shot of coffee we continued the journey.

When finally arriving in Austria, this is where many Dutch people go skiing, we were offered their specialty. Obstler. A fruity shot of alcohol. It’s quite strong and not really my cup of tea, but traditions right? Ok, I won’t fool you, I politely passed this time. And almost every time before that time. Maybe next time I’ll make up for it. Or not.. we’ll see.

And then the next day the snow fun starts. It might seem unbelievable, but my partner in crime skiing was my grandfather. My grandfather who’s turning 80 next week! And he’s still skiing amazingly! He’s also an expert in the beer drinking part during our breaks. My favorite however is the hot chocolate with whipped cream. And of course enjoying the winter sun.

For my nephew, who’s 4 years old, it was the first time taking skiing lessons and that was not his cup of tea. He cried every day in class, the poor thing, even though he said he also liked it. When I tried to teach him my skills he said the class was more fun. I don’t know if that means I’m a horrible teacher or he just wanted an excuse to quite skiing. But he killed it at his competition, well he tried. He actually crashed into a rubber pole, but came in third anyhow and even got a medal.

So how was skiing with the family? Or any holiday? Like I said and you might imagine a lot of people talking at the same time, eating too much, some drinking too much, laughing, arguing and having fun. So yes it was good, but I do need a break now recovering from my snowy break with them.

Can we start over again?

With the end of the year approaching people usually start talking about what they want different for the next year. All the things they didn’t do and all the places they couldn’t see. But what about the things you did do? Perhaps that matters even more.

When I think about everything that happend in 2017 I almost can’t believe that all happend in the same year. I’ll give you a very short summary. If not this will become a book and not just a blog. Maybe I can add writing a book to my list of things to do for 2018.

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So, what did happen? Well, there were a lot of changes. As you probably already know, I moved from Spain to the Netherlands. I even moved back to my hometown to be close to my family and friends. That meant getting a new job and a new home. I also started running, which was my biggest fear for a long time. After a few months I called it quits on the gym, but I’m still running.

And in between all the changes I also got to enjoy some holidays. My mom and I went to the Italy and had a little road trip there. I also went back to Spain to visit my friends and in the beginning of this year I went skiing with my grandparents in Austria. I guess I can’t say I didn’t go anywhere this year.

Looking back at the past year would I change anything? Probably not, not even the messy parts. Sometimes it’s scary to start something new, because we don’t know how it will end. On the other hand that’s the beauty of it. We shouldn’t know all the details yet, because life is in the details.

Are there things I wish I could’ve done and didn’t do? Oh so many things! But it’s never too late. We’ ll have a new year soon and therefore a symbolically new beginning. Even though I believe that every day can be your new beginning. You don’t need to wait a whole year to make a change.

So while we are approaching the new year I’m excited and a bit anxious. One of my best friends just had a baby and she will have her first year as a mommy. My other best friend is getting married and will have her first year as a wife. And what will I do? I don’t know. I have no clue. Don’t think I’ll be moving to another country again, but who knows! No mom, don’t get scared, I really won’t. At least I don’t think so.

What I do hope for the next year is that I’ll keep on growing as a person. I can see a huge change from last year until now. I’m a lot stronger, also physically and that’s probably because of the running. But how do you keep on growing? Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Keep trying new things and making new adventures. But remember as I said before, life is in the details. So don’t forget to enjoy every bit of it.

How I suddenly had two dogs

It’s no secret that I love dogs. Adopting a dog however is a big responsibility. You can’t think lightly of it, because some might agree dogs are almost like “children”. About a year ago I thought I was ready and Igor came into my life. Two months later I bumped into another one. Now what do I do?

When I got Igor he was a bit scared at first, which is normal when your life is turned upside down. He was ten months old and was in a “foster” home with another dog and eight cats. Suddenly it was just him and me. Luckily after bonding for one night, he started loving me. Ok he didn’t tell me out loud, but I could see it in his eyes. And actions speak louder than words. He also wanted to cuddle, which I took as a sign.

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Igor and I got our own routine and he also made a friend Gordo (my friends dog). We would go for walks on the beach, in the forest and Igor loved to sit on my lap while watching a movie. I must say Igor wasn’t the bravest dog. He looks adorable, but according to some seems a bit like a softy. He did make dog-friends easily. We had a good thing going on..

One day after work I took Igor out for a walk. At that moment it was about 4 pm and I didn’t have lunch yet, so I was getting a bit “hangry”. You know when you’re hungry and it makes you moody. We were strolling in the park behind my house and Igor started playing with a dog. The dog seemed nice, but I noticed there was no collar. Unfortunately stray dogs aren’t uncommon in Spain, so I started looking around for an owner. I must’ve asked everyone there including a homeless man if the dog was theirs.

The stray dog was running around and almost got hit by bicycles and cars. After that he curled up in a corner and was falling a sleep. Well he tried to stay awake, but you know when you don’t want to sleep but your head gets too heavy? That’s what was happening to him. I decided I couldn’t leave him there. I had to check if he was lost or alone or both.

Trying to catch him by myself wasn’t a success and I started crying out of frustration. Yes I really cried, but remember I was already hangry. I called a friend to please help me. He did and we caught the dog. The vet was closed due to the siesta, so we went home with Igor and the dog. He had to have a name, even it was just for a few hours. Since he was kind of blond my friend and I named him Rubio, which means blond in Spanish.

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Rubio seemed to feel at home immediately. He was sweet and cuddly and finally got some sleep. After the siesta we went to the vet and it turned out three times really is a charm. I was the third person to take him to the vet and the third person to be told he wasn’t chipped. The two people before me decided to let hem wander on the streets again, but I couldn’t do that. I did try to find his owner for a while or a new owner, since I was scared two dogs was too much in a small apartment. In the end it was clear. Rubio belonged with me and with Igor. He wasn’t going anywhere.

In the beginning Igor wasn’t so charmed by having our new member added to our little family. He looked at me like “what the hell did you do to me”. They got along fine, but as I mentioned before Igor was a softy and Rubio definitely wasn’t. My little stray was a strong and a bit dominant dog. So Igor had to learn to be stronger too. Quite soon they found their way and Igor even defended Rubio when he was attacked one day.

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Since I suddenly had two dogs in my small apartment I started thinking about going back to the Netherlands. I knew my hometown would be more dog-friendly. So that’s what happend.. I flew the dogs to the Netherlands and I can’t imagine my life without either one of them. People actually ask me frequently if they’re brothers. What I tell them? Of course they are brothers, but then adopted ones.

Do you appreciate what you have?

You probably know the famous quotes about appreciating what you have. Well, I agree and that is why I try to do exactly that. I am talking about quotes like ‘Appreciate what you have before it turns into something you had’. And how do I do that?

Well consciously thinking about appreciating what you have is also scary. Why? Now it makes me think about losing what I have all the time too. It might sound familiar or weird, but I am constantly scared to lose the people I care about. And that’s something else you need to learn to deal with.

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My grandmother is eighty-five years old and she is awesome, but she was also under the weather lately. She had the weirdest pains and no doctor figured out what she had. Finally two weeks later they found out she had tears in her bones in her back. Quite a shock and apparently due to arthrosis. I know my grandmother doesn’t have the eternal life and that she is quite of age, but still.. she is my grandmother. And whomever it is, you never want to lose someone you love.

Growing up I remember my mom telling me that she wished she would’ve had more time with her grandparents. Her saying that got stuck in my mind and drove me to do things in a different way. Well, maybe a precautionary way. I figured that I should enjoy my loved ones, such as my grandparents, as much as possible. In this way I could never think ‘I should’ve spent more time with them’ or ‘I wish I told them that I loved them more’.

My family and friends might think I’m naturally a hugger or just crazy about telling them I love them, all the time. But honestly it is also because I’m scared and I want to appreciate the time I have with them. So yes, I hug them a lot, maybe up to the point that it gets annoying. I know guys, sorry about that, but I can’t help myself.

You might wonder how did I live so far apart from my family for years? Missing them was the hardest part, but since I have a great connection with them, I could do it. I talked to my parents, grandparents and friends all the time. I also tried to go back home every three to four months. Plus my family and my best friends also came to see me regularly.

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Someone once told me in Spain that I couldn’t be close to my family if I was living so far away. What?! No way, because I am close them I knew they would support me no matter what. And with the technology nowadays it is so much easier to stay in touch. I must admit though that it feels a lot better living in the same city again. Now I can just hop on my bicycle and go visit anyone I want.

What I’ve also learned from spending years apart from family, is that I appreciate them even more. Better said I appreciate the time I’m with them more. I enjoy the fact that I can spontaneously decide to go for a coffee with my mom, visit my father, go to the movies with my cousin or have a chat with my aunt.

So in case you’re not sure if you appreciate the people around you enough, you can do what I did. Just to warn you, don’t take it to an extreme. So, I like I did. Now I have to learn not to be stressing out about not having enough time with them. Wether it’s your family or friends that you want to spend time with, enjoy it to the fullest. Because you never know what happens next. Do what you think is right and live with a heart filled with love. And for the sake of it, I’ll just keep on giving extra hugs.