The 4-day weekend

Hey, why aren’t all work weeks only 3 days long? Pehaps since then we are pressured to do more at home..

My plan on discovering Ilkka’s (obligatory) 2 extra days leave was that we should spend the time together somewhere, maybe drive out of town and see new places, overnight at some nice B&B etc. Guess what? We didn’t.. Part of the reason may be: there really are no more days of not speaking about babies (as Ilkka recently confessed to his mother over the phone). And when not talking about the baby, it’s sth else family-related, like ex tempore shopping for shoes last Sat: Ilkka excitedly came to me with a pair of (correct size, mind you) “Packqueen” sandals saying: He’d looove these, look look! Amos still hasn’t got the sandals has he?? I smiled at him the ‘yes hon, I know’ smile, and told him we’ll be back once the kid is here if he still needs them.

So what did happen over the 4-day weekend? Well, flu for one. Ilkka is close to recovered after having ups and downs with the runny nose, sore throat and mean head-aches for 2 weeks or more, so it was my turn. I got the really stuffy feeling on Tue-Wed and it continued over the whole “vacation”. However, this did not stop us from taking the road trip. We decided to stay at home for other reasons.

HOUSE CLEANING

Inderdaad. [Recently learnt Dutch for indeed] Our place was a mess. Or so I felt.. Things for the baby were still lacking, laundry basket constantly full, and baby clothes drawers far from organized. In addition, windows uncleaned for a year now, brand new hardwood floors never washed.. Dirty carpets.. must I go on? Bottom of the line: we needed to do spring cleaning. Baby or no baby, this was the time to get active.

On Thu we went to the local wash-o-matic after ripping down all of our sofa cusions and spreads. Lots of white wash powder, a super-big industrial washing machine and voila! We had ourselves clean sofas again. And a tedious amount of ironing.. We also arranged most fo the kiddie-clothes and somehow miraculously they have now disappeared from the table-tops and backpacks lying around for weeks.

The next day we took 3 carpets to the laundry-service and packed extra-babystuff (too big clothes, baby bed and pram extra parts) as well as Ilkka’s skis and thingies from upstairs into our car and whooshed them to our newly opened city storage box. It worked quite nicely with parking close to the doors to elevators, push-carts for moving the goods and only one entrance code to remeber (or store on your cell). Next stop was IKEA. Hopefully last round in a while.. In the morning I made sure that the store close to us had all the items we needed, as we’d had bad luck in the past. So off we went to IKEA straight after finishing with the storage facility.

We managed to get everything we needed and a little extra. Not too much arguing.. although some interior design aspects always get us a little cross with one another. And mind you, Ilkka does not give in ;) He also seems to have all the time in the world, so my impatience in the end leaves me to drop the case and continue later, if necessary. IKEA food store got us a little more excited this time.. Herring, Daim cake, cloudberry jam.. even Pytt i panna! So we stocked up on easy-to-prepare foods and goodies for the weeks to come [when Emma cooks less and never bakes again..].

On Sat we were exhausted. I called my friend who had promised to help with cleaning, to say that we couldn’t manage a third day in a row.. Also it was amazingly sunny and nice for Amsterdam standards. We did some shopping: groceries and movies in addition to the above-mentioned shoe-shopping, where only Ilkka and I ended up getting stuff. We still hadn’t gone to  the movies like we’d planned all week, but also not that evening. It started to be too late to grab dinner & get to see any of the films we wanted, AND the Departed showed on TV. So we booked a table at our favourite Italian (with bad Dutch service), walked there and back, and watched TV movies in the evening.

Sun started as nice and sunny as Sat. Or even better if possible.. We slept late, as had done every day, also due to my being sooo stuffy and sleeping not-so-great. Then started the grand effort. I had already taken out all the utensils. Ilkka, in addition, brought out the mop and volunteered to wash the floors. I did laundry (never-ending laaaundryyy) and started washing the windows. It was surprisingly easy and I blamed myself we hadn’t done it sooner.. Ilkka carried things up to the attic and some others down, and vacuumed the attic room, most of downstairds and then did the washing. He had the shorter straw.. end of rope.. however you say it. I guess I got away with doing less this time due to the big belly. Must enjoy the advantage while it lasts, eih? All the while there was ratatouille simmering on the stove and the sun was shining from a cloudless sky.. temperature must have been at least 20 deg in the shade.

After the ordeal we were exhausted but happy. On Tue we get the clean rugs on the floors, kiddie stuff are in place save for one wall shelf that needs to be mounted for tiny dress hangers. We left the flat on foot to Vondelpark to meet friends, one of whom was celebrating their 30th b-day. Welcome to the club, I said.

It feels nice to have a top-to-bottom clean home now with all the bits and pieces arranged to fit and accommodate the baby and a stay-at-home-for-a-while mommy. Althoug I think I’ll save some desk space for my laptop in the baby’s bedroom…

Life goes on with tiny bits of work and meeting other mommies, Dutch practicing and hopefully museum-visits this week!

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