“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” – Fred Devito
These last 6 months in Brussels have been everything… wonderful, tough, confusing, exciting, fun, challenging, life-changing but overall amazing!
Let me show you what I’m talking about…
BUCKET LIST UPDATE
Not so long ago, I wrote a list of things we want to do, see and visit while in Belgium. I realize now that the list was a bit too ambitious in certain ways but it also felt short in some other things. For example, visiting the Royal Greenhouse of Laeken and the Blue Forest with a newborn were not the best ideas due to the weather, so they have been postponed for next year. But so far we’ve made to the beach to Oostend (and if you follow me on Instagram, you might know that it was not the smoothest trip haha), the Atomium and Mont des Arts. Why did the list felt short? Because there is just so much to do in the summer in the city! Every Sunday is literally a culinary tour to a different corner of the world. If you follow me on Instagram you might’ve realize that it has become quite a tradition for us to visit a different festival on the weekend. So far, so fun!
I also managed to go take part in a chocolate making workshop with my dearest Urša. We took this Chocolate Workshop where they taught us how to temper the chocolate in order to make our own pralines and mendiants. The art of making chocolate is so precise and physically demanding, no wonder it is so expensive. But it was incredibly delicious and worth it. Would you like to see a review?
We also had soooo many lovely visitors!! My mom, M’s side of the family (the whole gang, even the niece and nephew!), and my dearest friends Jordan, Karlijn, and Urša. Max has been surrounded by so much love since the beginning. We feel eternally lucky and grateful!
We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with baby in tow and it was the sweetest day of reminiscing and looking forward to the future. We went for dinner to a restaurant with a beautiful terrace and baby slept through half of our time there, so we could enjoy it a bit longer. But to be honest, it was the best thing having him with us <3
My little baby is already 4 months old and I can’t quite believe it. He is a smiley, chatty baby that loves singing (or at least I think that is what he thinks he does when he babbles alongside songs), dancing (and by dancing I mean jumping up and down when music comes on) and being outside. At the moment, we are doing mostly bottle feeding with the occasional nursing session during the day. Our breastfeeding journey has been up and down and up and down, and despite the fact that I did try my best, full-time breastfeeding was not an option for us. But honestly, I feel sooooo much better. He is so much happier and rested and has been such a champ through it all. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. He also did some physiotherapy because he was having a hard time turning to his right. I won’t lie, I felt so guilty and like I had failed him. But I swallowed my ego and never missed and appointment and everything worked out perfectly!
It’s funny how sometimes we feel we have to be e v e r y t h i n g to our babies, and although we are up to a certain extent, there’s never nothing wrong with going to experts specially when it comes to our health. The Internet can’t be the only place we look for answers, even though a lot of advice is helpful, it is often generalized. For example, in his case, because a nudge on his neck was contracting his shoulders, tummy time was to be avoided (unless he started rolling over on his own, which he just did yesterday!!) so the physiotherapist recommended other exercises we could do at home and they made all the difference. He went to physio all throughout his 3rd month of life, hence my absence in social media and the blog. I was on a mission and I’m happy to report we made it. Babies are so much stronger than we think and the sooner we can identify and work on things, the better the outcome will be!
I’m baaaaaaaaack at the gym after 3 years of absence and it feels so good! I really, really, really needed it. Oh gosh, I’m even going on Sundays, so you can imagine that’s how bad my body needed it. Even though taking care of a newborn is exhausting, it’s more mentally exhausting and I was craving an outlet for that. Although we do take daily walks, it was beginning to get quite boring also. So as soon as Miha walks in, I leave as fast as I can in order to make it back for our nighttime routine. I’m also starting to make some mommy friends, both Mexican and international (lol, that sounds so crazy), and it has been so amazing to be able to relate not only in the motherhood level but also with expat life. The hardest adjustments for me have been two things (besides becoming a mother obviously): navigating the complicated and bureaucratic Belgian way of doing things and building relationships. But the only way to get the hang of it, is by moving forward and listening to your intuition (when it comes to building relationships), and by asking a million of questions and always arrive over-prepared when it comes to paperwork related stuff. The latter just never ends!
FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS
I thought we would’ve resumed traveling later rather than sooner but we are going to Slovenia next week!!! And by car, lol. Long story short: paperwork. But I’m excited to be back at least for a little while and take off some things out of our never ending paperwork to-do list. Who said adulting isn’t fun?
Then after that we will visit Auntie Karlijn in The Netherlands, and we’ll start saving money like crazy for Mexico. As I mentioned in the last update, we will definitely visit in December but if by a miracle from above we find a cheap ticket with decent stops, who knows. I might venture out and gather some courage and go by myself with the baby but we’ll see. I don’t want to get my hopes up because I still need to get my official residence in Brussels as well as my drivers license. See, I told you. Paperwork never ends. Expat life may look all glamorous and what not but it is a little bit trickier than you expect.
All in all, despite the ups and downs of this journey, I feel so loved, grateful and optimistic about living in Brussels. After Max’s first time at the pediatrician, I finally felt what I hadn’t felt in so long. I finally felt at home.