Monday, 31 December 2012

Merry Happy New Year!

Why should Christmas only be merry?

If you've been hanging around here for awhile (loitering is allowed at A Cait's Life, just FYI) you will recall that last New Year began with Dan and I attending a small gathering at our neighbour's, only to have a perfect stranger corner us and start weeping about how she was dumped by her married boyfriend, but she wouldn't be letting him get away that easily.

Awkward doesn't even begin to describe those fresh minutes of 2012.

But despite its squirmy and uncomfortable start, 2012 was our best year ever (because of LB! Just in case you forgot! Our best year ever because of our LB!) and tonight I am looking forward to appreciatively tipping my hat to 2012 as it quietly folds closed while I open my door to welcome 2013, and all the fresh adventures and delights it has in store.

I also hope that poor woman from last year is having a better night tonight.

Our evening will be low-key:
 


Filled with good food and good fun...
(table bomb! champagne!)
 
Just us...


with our LB, too.
 
Merry happy New Year, Internet.
 
I wish you a great night and an even better 2013.

Friday, 28 December 2012

A Little of This, a Little of That

LB is napping, I'm listening to the guy upstairs sing some sort of off-key show tune, and I'm wracking my brain for something interesting to blog about. What memory do I want recorded?

How about how yesterday I put my hand in my jeans pocket and there was baby vomit in there.

Ack! That was alarming and unexpected.

But otherwise, it's been quiet around here. We had an excellent Christmas and I cooked my first ever turkey! When I took it out of the oven, I thought I had some sort of Clark W. Griswold turkey situation on my hands when I pinched the turkey thigh and came away with dry meat, but it wasn't that bad. In other words, it didn't steam open to nothingness when I cut it open, but yeah it was a bit overdone.

Better that than salmonella, I always say! Ah, haha...err, right?

But for her first Christmas, we definitely spoiled LB. And by 'we', I mean I did.  But what sort of parent would I be if didn't get my four month old baby a boat load of gifts she has no interest in?! Am I right! But now I think I'm causing the poor child to experience mental overload, because as she's chewing away on one toy, I'm rummaging through her toy bin searching for another one she hasn't seen yet.

"Hey, LB! Look at this toy! Look at this one!"

She grabs it, eats it, throws up on it, whatever, but I've already moved on to the next.

"Okay, now look at this one!"

"Now this one!"

"Now this one!"

There's a very real chance I'm going to give our kid ADD.  But seriously, do you guys even know how many awesome toys are out there for babies? Fact: on Christmas morning Dan looked under the Christmas tree, spied Santa's gift to LB (some wooden toy that makes noise, is easy for her to grab, and is shaped like an atom) picked it up and brought it to me in the kitchen and exclaimed, "THIS IS AWESOME! I want to play with this."

Oh, yeah, another note about Christmas morning is LB decided to sleep in until 10:00. Geez! Well, she was wide awake until 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve basking in the adoration of the extended family making kissy faces at her, so she was tired, but 10:00 a.m. on Christmas morning is a bit much. So her 31 year old parents decided to wake up their baby (who only recently figured out what hands do) because we couldn't wait any longer for her to open her presents.

Yup.

Here are some pictures that are now seasonally irrelevant! Enjoy!
 
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Oh! One last thing. Does anyone besides me LOVE pomegranate season? I'm talking good old fashioned elementary school 'like liking'. I'm talking be-still my beating heart adoration.

 
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This crimson kernels make me unbelievably happy, and every night I eat a half pomegranate just because I love how fun this fruit is to eat! I bash all the seeds into a bowl, then scoop them up with a spoon to revel in the feeling of a dozen tiny seeds bursting in my mouth.
 
It's better than bubble wrap.
 
Truth.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Look what we found under our tree!

Merry Christmas indeed.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Comes to Bern

We don't have snow anymore, but we have lights...
 
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Lots and lots of beautiful lights.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Ew Gross!

Before I even knew what was happening, a soggy wet baby hand--that said baby had just finished sucking on like a paci--reached through the air, found my cheek, then in wet spitty slow motion slid down my cheek into my mouth muffling my cry of , "SICK."

Even weirder, I then pretended to nibble on those soggy fingers in an effort to get said baby to smile.

Because my entire existence now revolves around, "How can I make the baby smile! I want to see a smile! What can I do for a smile!"

But nibbling on slimy spit fingers was a new low, and I've been known to do the most outlandish and exaggerated dance to Lady Gaga's 'Just Dance' all in the quest for a smile.

Ew. Gross.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Snow White

It was a great ten days here at Casa Dan and Caitie. Dan's mom was visiting from Canada, and so we had lots of Swiss company coming and going as she flew from town-to-town, from house-to-house, visiting her old pals and family, of course.

For our LB the past week was the best one ever because she loves people, and this meant there were lots of new faces for her to stare at and then to flash her (as Dan's mom calls it) million dollar smile before bashfully burying her face in my neck. Then peeking out again and smiling. Then burying her face. Then peeking and smiling. Then burying her face. Repeat times a million. Let me tell you, if you're ever stuck for party entertainment just throw me an invite and Dan and I will bring our LB to charm the crowds, because she does charm most people she meets. Except for cousins who just turned twenty and are apparently hung over. They don't care that much about her, but she's really interested in them. I guess no matter the age it's really funny watching someone try to hold it together.

Dan's mom also arrived just in time for Bern to be hit with a huge dump of snow. It snowed nearly every day of those past ten days and the outside world is now a downy white that invites you to fall and make snow angels. Dan and I were able to go out for dinner last Wednesday (Sushi! I am obsessed! Raw fish, I love and missed thee so!) and afterwards we were going to go to a beautiful lounge bar/restaurant for drinks but I was freezing and declared it too cold to walk there, so instead we went to a coffee shop to sip a hot bevy and people watch. So to clarify, I was absolutely chilled to the bone and I was wearing proper winter attire; um...it was -2. I might be a major wimp now.

I don't think I'll ever be able to endure -15 again.

When we first moved to Kamloops, the average temperature that winter was about -9 to -11 but I was used to -20 and colder so I wore my spring jacket all winter long because 'gosh, it's SO WARM HERE.'

I was a freak.

So with all this beautiful snow we've received we were excited to go out to Dan's grandma's place on Sunday because she lives in a 'rural' area (rural...haha! Basically, she lives somewhere serviced by a post bus so people think she lives in a remote location) and we thought she'd have more snow than us. The photo opportunities would be endless! Well, she didn't have more snow than us, but the photo opportunities were still endless and we had a nice walk down to her place where a hot lunch was waiting for us.

Dan's mom was visiting with her, and for our lunch we had a traditional Bern meal of hot sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, ham, sausage, bacon, and applesauce. Yes, it's a lot of meat, but it's all small portions and extremely tasty.

Here's some photos from the day:


Pretty farm house next to grandma's

LB noticing the snow for the first time

Road to grandma's

Dan and his mom (and a little LB snug with dad)


Really grainy shot of the Alps, which you can see from grandma's


Awkward family photo!


Road to grandma's continued...

Lots of snow!

Evening sunset.
 
Finally, I'll leave you all with this little tale of how I changed my tune:
 
In my former life as a Canadian resident who was a strict TLC watcher, I've seen plenty of episodes of A Million Kids and Counting. Whenever a new baby girl would join the clan, it would take the Duggars about 0.3 seconds to slap a huge flower headband onto the newborn.
 
This caused me an enormous amount of pain because it looked ugly.
 
"I will never stick head decorations onto my bald baby! How atrocious! How ugly!" I once cried.
 
Um, oops. I changed my mind...


But it's not a flower! Right...um, yeah.
No going back now, I'm a hypocrite.
 
It's cute, okay! But I've realised something: it's only cute on your baby.
 
Juuiiceee.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

iThink iMight Have An iPhone Problem

It's slightly possible I'm addicted to my iPhone.

So, LB and I were enjoying our morning cuddle and I was wondering if it would be a walking sort of day, or a couch and movie sort of day.

"What do you think baby girl? What do you think the weather's like right now?"

So I reached for my iPhone and consulted my app to see what the weather was doing. You know, as one does, instead of looking outside the window.

Good grief.



 In case you're wondering, both the app and view from my window had the same results: it was snowing.

Monday, 3 December 2012

To Share or Not to Share? That is the Question.

It's been quieter around these here parts since LB came into our world, but it's not for lack of time to blog. I can carve time out, if I want to.

I started this blog as a means to keep family and friends up-to-date with our Swiss adventure, and have purposefully just kept this blog a place where I can log on and type a fast and loose post about what's up, then hit publish with nary a proof-read. Fast and loose, you see. Sometimes too fast and loose, hence my continual need to double punch the 'o' when loose lose (DID IT AGAIN) is my intended word. I think if any of my professors would tune into this blog they would shake their head in sadness over the poor sentence structure, bad proof-reading, comma usage, and general wordiness. Then they'd wonder how I ever did so well in my writing intensive classes. I wonder this, too.

In my illustrious blogging career (SARCASM) I have been asked to blog for different expat sites in exchange for them highlighting my blog to generate traffic, I have been asked to blog for a local expat newspaper in exchange for blog traffic, with the real high point in this blog's life being an email I received from House Hunters International asking if we'd be interested in being on the show because they read my blog and we seemed 'fun'. After I got over the hilarious idea of being able to afford a house in Switzerland, I wrote them back and pleasantly declined.  I have never been interested in my blog being a job (or being on t.v., talk about an exercise in breaking out in full body hives...shudder). I already have a job and I don't need this place to be a chore.

So let's be real for a minute: if you have a blog, you can't claim 'it's just my journal'. Bullshit. If you wanted a journal, keep a journal; people blog because they want other people to read their words. They want to share their experiences with someone. It's, ultimately, fairly narcissistic to think other people are interested in your life so "blah, let me regurgitate a whole bunch of shit about my life and hope others tune in. I'm so interesting people will care when I tell them about that chicken salad I ate at Coop that had a suspicious looking cranberry in it." Blogging is about sharing your life with strangers, and who the hell knows who's reading.

The reason I bring this up is because with this space always being just for personal story telling, I'm struggling these days with what to share now that LB is in our lives. I heard a quote once that went along the lines of "no one over shares like a mother." I didn't really get this until I started reading 'mommy blogs'. Good grief, but yeah. People have put their kids' private childhoods on display, and I don't know if they've thought through the ramifications. I've read parents who blog about their kids' struggles with anxiety and bullying and they identify the child by name; I've read parents who blog about their kids' bowel problems; I've read parents who blog about how their three year old is an a$$hole. Yes, an alarming number of people have called their toddlers a$$holes and it seems to be a funny/accepted description. But are these kids going to be cool with the fact their parents posted open letters to them online for strangers to read? Are they going to be cool with their parents having left a toddler sized digital footprint, for them?

Dan subscribes to Wired magazine, and it introduced the term 'oversharenting' to describe people's need to blog about their kids' personal lives. One rule that some parent-bloggers subscribe to is: 'I'm only blogging about little Johnny until he's five, then his stories are his own.'

How poetic.

But why is five the magic number when little Johnny gets to claim ownership of his own stories? So those previous five years, they aren't his private stories because he can't talk, walk, or read? Children aren't possessions, and I don't believe that their babyhood belongs to their parents to pimp online for traffic and subsequent ad revenue. Some of these quasi-successful 'mommy bloggers' get pissed when they are labelled as such, but go back through their archives and they're called mommy bloggers because whether or not they're still talking about their kids now that's sure as hell all they talked about before.

I don't mean to alienate anyone with the above, but kids/blogs is something I felt strongly about before and it's something I've had to reflect on now that I've got LB.

Maybe you believe I'm over thinking this. Maybe you think the majority of 'mommy bloggers' (or whatever else you want to call them) are telling harmless tales and they provide a great online community for parents. Okay. I will concede that some women have been very open with their struggles to adjust to the different phases, challenges, and questions of parenthood, and I think a lot of people read their words and take comfort they're not alone. I'm not opposing that. Online communities can be sources of great support. What I'm specifically uncomfortable with are the people who over share the personal details of their kids' lives.

And I'm sharing this with you because I don't know what this means for my blog. I don't have plans to say 'Juuuiiicceee' or 'Auf Wiedersehen' I'm just trying to figure out what's my line in the sand for talking about LB. She's who my days revolve around now, so she's the majority of my stories, but I record these stories in a personal, handwritten, journal I'm keeping for her first year.

This post is not intended to make me sound like the saviour of my kid's privacy, but I do think she's entitled to privacy. So this blog is not going to be a place where I talk about her that much and if I do it's because our family has been up to something and duh, she's part of the family. But exclusively talking about just her? It's not going to happen a lot. This blog has always been about my life, and even though she is a hugely important part of my life, I'm not comfortable sharing too much about her.

One day when she has her own messy and poorly edited digital footprint, I want it to be one that she made herself. Not one that I left for her.
 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

She's Swiss!

A fact about Bernese people (maybe all Swiss) is they like to stare. They really, really like to stare. All guests who have ever visited us from far and away have commented that they've felt the beady and inquisitive eyes of a bored public commuter boring into their soul and refusing to look away once eye contact is returned. Because haven't you caught yourself just staring at someone as your mind wanders, but all of a sudden you realize the person is looking back so you jump to attention and go out of your way to pretend: Nope! Wasn't looking at you! Well, people here don't do that. They keep staring. And staring. And staring.

It's awkward.

So this morning LB and I were in Bern and I was doing some extremely important errands, like deciding if I was going to buy some new shoes. We were approaching LB's mid-morning bottle break, so I ventured down to Starbucks so I could feed her. Here is where I'd like to extend a big shout-out to corporate America. Corporate America: thanks for always having baby change tables in your facilities. It means a lot to me considering that in LB's short life I have had to change her on no less than FIVE toilet seat covers because the restaurants didn't have baby change tables! 

I got a toffee nut latte and a Christmas muffin, changed LB, and she happily sucked on her bottle while I eavesdropped on a pair of young British business people who were sitting beside me and working frantically on their tiny, nearly non-existent, computers. These young men were typing furiously and throwing around phrases like 'cross-strategize', 'HR synergy', 'won't get pissed at Christmas party', 'PDF's', 'bloody email', and 'target marketing'. It was all very impressive.

After LB finished eating I propped her up so she could look around while I sipped my coffee and enjoyed my muffin. It soon came to my attention that the young businessmen would pause in their typing and look my way. Since I have left the house--just this week--with baby vomit twirled into the ends of my hair (I didn't know about it!) I checked myself for mysterious and hidden upchuck, but found nothing. They kept looking and I realized it was because LB was staring them down. She was intent on looking at them, her little bobble head was rocking and rolling, and by god she was not going to break her blue-eyed stare. Those young men were the object of her intense gaze and she didn't give a damn about social protocol. She was going to look, and keep looking, and look some more.

She's truly from Bern!

But I don't think they minded that much.


After all, she's pretty damn cute.

Also, I did some staring of my own on the ride home today.

A teen got on the bus with the most horrific hickey that I have seen in years. It was grotesque! It looked like someone stuck a toilet plunger on the side of his neck and pulled.

Shudder.
 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Me and She

It's been me and she today.

Naps on the couch, listening to Christmas carols, and watching her fairy lights twinkle.



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Stumped

Internet, I'm stumped.

I sit down to write a blog post, and my mind feels as blank as the white screen I stare at. Only difference between my mind and the white screen is at least the screen has a cursor blinking every so often. My brain? Nadda. This isn't to say that there hasn't been stuff going on, but I'm lazy and it seems hard to write about.

I could tell you about the Christmas market I went to today, with the sole purpose to buy Oepfelchuechli (basically, deep fried apple rings rolled in sugar) then I turned around and came home.

I could tell you how when I'm swaddling LB at night, she usually gives me the most beautiful smile that leaves me with a feeling I'm not articulate enough to describe. I think this smile is her way of saying, "Remember I'm cute, because I will refuse to fall asleep for the next hour and I don't even care you wanted to have a bath and watch a movie."

I could tell you all how my (insert every curse known to mankind) arthritis is back on the scene, and I had to stop breastfeeding LB at nine weeks so they could treat it. 

I could tell you about what a hard day and ensuing week that was for me. How even though I didn't like breastfeeding, I still thought it was cool I provided nourishment for her. How even though I FULLY SUPPORT with no questions a mother's right to choose formula for her baby, how I felt like a horrible person every time I mixed up her bottle. Like I was feeding her poison. How I was angry at myself for not being able to walk a line I support. And here's the irony: at that point, my breast milk was poison due to medication. 

How that effing literature by the 'breast is best' people is horrible and insidious and narrow-minded. Of course BB and La Leche, of course I don't want to give my baby her head start down the road to Mensa and moon walking on Mars. That's why I have given her formula: because I want her to be average, sickly, and du-du-dumb. Because that's what you're implying with your pamphlets AND DON'T EVEN DENY IT. I guess my formula baby will now just live in a trailer park and forget to put pants on when she goes to Wal-Mart to buy tubs of mayo for her litter of children.  Oh, let's not forget she'll be wiping her nose on her ill-fitting shirt because she's always going to be sick thanks to that devil formula.

I could tell you all how thankful I am for formula, because without it I couldn't get the treatment that allows me to walk, crouch, bend over, hold LB in my arms, and chew food.

I could tell you all about how I spent part of yesterday waiting to see a doctor, who then proceeded to drain 3.5 oz of fluid out of my knee. With a 2 inch needle. Then he called his buddies in and they basically all geeked out over this. I felt self-conscious.

I could tell you all how the same doctor thought LB was the bee's knees and asked if he could see her, while simultaneously pulling her from her buggy. She smiled at him, then he basically danced on the spot and said, "She's smiling! She's smiling!"

I've learnt that people really love babies. Prior to LB I thought babies were okay, but I wasn't about to get all up in a people's business over their baby. Now I get it.

I could tell you all how having Cosmo prepared me for having a baby. Hint: the baby is easier. NOT EVEN JOKING. And you know what, maybe I will tell you about that because seriously. Seriously.

I could tell you how it slays me to see Dan cuddling with our little Sparrow.

How it slays me that so far, most people we meet think she looks like Dan. The only thing I seem to have given her is fair hair and blue eyes. That's it. And the blue eyes aren't necessarily from me, seeing as Dan's dad and brother had/have baby blues.  It's really annoying to have carried a baby around for nine months, and not be told there's a resemblance. REALLY ANNOYING.

But for now I'll just say we're having a roast chicken kind of Sunday, then it's bath night for LB and hopefully she'll go to sleep before ten so we can watch a movie. Because our LB, she notices the t.v. now. Oy.

What are we supposed to do? Read or talk or something?

Monday, 12 November 2012

We Interrupt This Silence To Bring You Jibber Jabber

Yo, Internet. It's been all quiet on the blogging front, wouldn't you agree? Well our Canada visitors have all gone home, and after six weeks I'm an empty nester...sort of, if you don't count this cute little baby that is currently lying under her activity gym cooing with delight over the wooden horse and bell mobile that dangles above her.

Here's that baby now:

Just chillin' in my kinderwagen.
No biggie.
 
Was I upset to have everyone leave? Duh, of course I was. My parents were the last to leave, and that was the hardest goodbye because they did all my housework for me. Um, of course it was hard to say goodbye for other reasons but as I stare out of my perfectly clean windows (as washed by my dad) and bake in my sparkling clean oven (as scrubbed by my mom) and eat off of dishes that I never had to wash for three weeks, and watch my baby kick on a carpet I didn't have to vacuum during this time, I can't seem to remember what the other difficult reasons are?
 
I kid! I kid!
 
I also miss them because they bought me coffee and sandwiches.
 
I kid! I kid!
 
I miss them because they are rockin' grandparents, as I've discovered. No literally: they rocked our LB to sleep most nights; my dad is a baby whisperer.
 
So it was a busy six weeks and we had lots of quality time with my family and come December Dan's mom will be here to visit and we are looking forward to that. Especially Dan, as he has plans to get his mom to recreate all of his favourite Swiss childhood meals.
 
But now we are empty nesters, Dan is back at work after having taken most of last week off, and it's just LB and I today with our crazy kitty loves, Cosmo and Poppy. LB has just started to notice the cats, and to be fair I mean Cosmo. Poppy is too sedentary for anyone to notice her, most days. But Cosmo is in a racing mood, and as he runs around LB's eyes get huge as she tries to figure out what happened to that grey fur ball that was just in front of her.
 
In other news, I was putting away groceries and cleaning the kitchen this morning (Mom!! I miss you!! Come back!!) and LB was in her bouncy chair, watching. She got a bit bored, so I discovered the secret to making her smile and keeping her entertained: putting on the song 'Gangnam Style' and doing the dance in the kitchen while she watches me with a huge gummy grin on her face. That song is four minutes long and I danced to it twice.
 
I was sweating.
 
You don't know 'Gangnam Style'? Well, let me introduce you to our new favourite way to spend four minutes.
 
 

 
And the last thing on today's agenda: I'm making my first batch of Christmas cookies.
 
Too soon?
 
Nah!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Still Here!

I'm still around, but busy enjoying lots of Canadian company. My sisters were here for three weeks and now my parents are here for three. It's been great!

The wee babe is growing like a June flower and is changing so much, so quickly. She is finding her voice, her neck strength is crazy, she LOVES bathes (she soaked Dan's shirt last night with all the kicking she did) and our paediatrician has told us he's impressed with how strong and happy she is. The man deals with kids all day every day, so I took those words to heart and felt pleased with our girl. I don't care if he tells all parents this, it's just nice to have someone say something sweet about your baby.

LB has been showered with lots of love and cuddles and presents these past few weeks, and I think that once all the company is gone I'm going to have a baby on my hands who is used to never touching the ground. But since winter is coming, I don't mind lots of cuddles on the couch.




 


I will be back soon with more stories.

Including the one where my sisters (yes girls, I blame you!) got me inebriated to the point where we thought a cat was a fox.

It ends badly.




Monday, 8 October 2012

What I'm Thankful For


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Families of three.
 
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My two best friends in the whole wide world being HERE! NOW! IN BERN!
 
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Sharing a heaping dinner table with my favourite people.
(Note all the plaid at this table. Yep, it was Canadian Thanksgiving for sure!)
 
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Waking up every morning to this little girl.
 
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you have as much to be thankful for as I do!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

One of the things that people don't tell you (or at least they didn't tell me) is how profoundly unsexy you feel after having a baby.  And it's not like I was walking around in ten inch heels and short miniskirts prior to having my baby girl; I'm not talking about that sort of sexy. I just mean the kind where you get dressed in the morning, brush your hair, and walk out the door with your chin up because you are feeling confident, put together, and--in hindsight--rested.

After getting home from the hospital, getting LB's weight up was our all consuming priority for two weeks. After she leap-frogged over her birth weight and I had a bit of a breather from that strict pumping-feeding-pumping-feeding schedule, I looked in the mirror and felt surprised. I was in my old lululemons, my black tank top had a huge baby vomit stain on it, my hair was greasy, and my eyes were red from lack of sleep. Of course that's the reality of a new baby, but at the same time I didn't want that to be my reality.

Why should a new baby preclude me from showering on a regular basis? Or putting on regular clothes in the morning?

Oh right.

Because the few non-maternity clothes I had left, didn't fit.

Oh right.

Because I was one of those people who used to think, "Mothers, why not shower at night before going to bed? Doesn't that solve your showering problems?" No. Because at night you think the following: shower, or a half-hour more of sleep?

Sleep.

And my clothing situation really annoyed me because while I was pregnant and on one of my nesting purges, I got rid of most of my regular clothes! I have no clue what I was thinking! All I know is that almost as soon as the baby was born, my maternity clothes were huge and didn't fit at all but my regular clothes were snug and I couldn't figure out why I had so few items of clothing. Then one day as I stared at my spartan drawer I remembered the nesting purges and slapped my forehead in annoyance.

So to reiterate: my postpartum stomach was slack and stretched out, my hair was a greasy rat's nest, my few remaining items of clothing were stained with baby vomit, and due to the slack postpartum gut the only pants that fit me were lululemons and I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to deduce that over here wearing exercise clothes to go out for coffee and lunches is not done. Exercise clothes are for exercising. Period. End of story. Those are the standards.

And what I didn't know is that you are not supposed to do anything strenuous for six weeks after your baby is born because you can prolapse during this time. And if you've ever seen a prolapsed cow, you will take this advice very seriously. So I was totally cool with not immediately getting back into yoga or strenuous hikes, etc, and I knew that once I was able to do these things again I would start fitting back into my regular clothes. I was aware of this. I wasn't feeling *blah* because I thought I'd be *blah* for the rest of my life; I was feeling *blah* because I was stuck in *blah* purgatory for the next six weeks.

Or so I thought.

Two things put a kick in my step:

(1) Going out and buying a nice pair of jeans that fit, even though the intention is that they aren't going to fit for long.

(Hahahaha!! We'll see about that one.)

(2) Getting my hair done.

My hair situation was dire as Internet I had not had a pair of shears touch my head in thirteen months. I went over a year without getting a hair cut. Oh good grief but that is ridiculous. My hair was really, really in bad shape: it was as split as a Vegas showgirl's skirt and as dry as the Mojave desert. The only thing it had going for it was I came to the realization that after years and years of obsessively highlighting it, my natural hair colour was really nice. I made this realization right in time for all the white hairs to start showing up.

Le sigh.

So one Saturday morning I headed to the salon feeling like a sagging and frizzy mess and three hours later I left feeling upright and very swishy. It was such a treat to sit in that chair and have the hairdresser give my hair some TLC, and the head massage she gave me as she washed my hair seriously almost put me to sleep.
 
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Before and After.
 
Perhaps my only regret from that haircut is I asked for a few lowlights to be put in, and the hairdresser hit upon my vain weak nerve by noting the number of white hairs I had and convincing me to dye my entire head of hair two shades darker than my natural colour. As noted above, I have realized in the past two years my natural colour is surprisingly nice so it was sad that I agreed to cover it up completely, because I don't want our baby girl to grow up thinking that colouring your hair is something that every woman just has to do.
 
But that topic is a whole different blog post.
 
For now though I would recommend to anyone out there who is going through a major whiplash life change: get your hair done (but maybe don't go too drastic, depending on the life change you're going through. Shaving your head after years of having Rapunzel locks might cause you more grief than needed.) 
 
Even if your vomit stained shirt smells of sour milk, your eyes are baggy from lack of sleep, and your old jeans still require butter and a prayer to get into, at least you can say: "Hot damn I'm having a great hair day!"

Friday, 28 September 2012

Oops

Today I was only capable of doing two things, and one of those was not write the original blog post I had intended. But I couldn't leave you hanging after promising to blog! So here's a little story to take you into the weekend.

Today I truly became a mom. Forget the whole birth and breast feeding dealio, this is what has cemented my status as mom: today, while on a walk, I picked a spider out of my baby's stroller...with my bare hands! For real! I didn't even think twice!

It's getting real, guys.

It's getting real.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

It's Fall!

First of all THANK-YOU lovely people who commented on my 'Got Milk' post. It is nice to have support when you have no clue what you're doing. I was really, really annoyed that even though my baby girl is only drinking breast milk, I was getting scrunched-nose comments that she was drinking it from a bottle. So thank-you for the support.

I'm learning that in this great big world parenting is one giant ball of different philosophies, and my philosophy (thus far) is if my baby is happy, gaining weight, alert, and sleeping well, I'm doing something right so I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing even if it doesn't jive with other people's philosophies.

And how.

In other news, I have more to talk about but I can only do two things in a day and one of those things is always 'look after baby'. This means my days break down to: grocery shop and look after baby; clean house and look after baby; go to Bern and look after baby; coffee with friends and look after baby; work and look after baby; blog and look after baby; pick nose and look after baby.

Still paying attention?

So even though I'm only capable of two things in one day, I am slightly pushing my limits here because today I will have done three! things! And if you count this trivial entry, that's four! things! And what I'm doing right now is making cinnamon-pumpkin pull apart bread. Oh yes, this is happening.

So while I wait for my yeast to proof, I thought I'd throw up a few pictures that I took this morning as I took our baby girl on a walk through farm country.

But first:
 
 
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I love walks!
My stroller is the best!
 
Okay, the scenes from our walk:
 
 
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So dramatic!
 
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A Bernese Mountain Dog lives at the end of this road.
It's never followed me once :-(
Damn these obedient Swiss dogs. If it follows me home, I get to keep it.
Right?
 
Um, yeah. That's it. Two pictures. Did I get your hopes up for more?
 
Sorry about that, but remember: two things a day.
 
I have one more post to put up before Friday is over and out, so stay tuned! Though, don't get your hopes up. I'm not throwing a party, or a giveaway, or even talking about something that interesting. STAY EXCITED.
 
But for now my pumpkin bread calls to me.
 
Juuicceee.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Got Milk?

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My brethren
Guys, now I totally get how cows feel: being milked is rough.
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LB's first day home.
We went for a walk around our hood and I thought this was hilarious.
(P.S. She was only six days old here, and now that little outfit doesn't fit her anymore.)
(Sob!)
So I am going to make what is likely an inflammatory statement: I don't love breastfeeding. No I don't. And some people might read that statement and are going to jump to the next 'logical' conclusion:
You don't love your baby or want what's best for her! Shame on you!
For those people I present this photo:
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What was that?
Clearly if you think that way you have an incurable case of The Crazies and I implore you to jump off a cliff and save humanity from your nonsense. For anyone else who doesn't jump to those conclusions, let's have a grown-up discussion.

First of all, no one told me that it's possible to wake up one morning and have one side be visibly larger than the other! WTF, man? WTF!

Secondly, no one told me how invasive having a kid is. Your body all of a sudden becomes public property for all medical professionals to poke and prod, and I'm getting sick of it. The midwife is trying to assist me with breastfeeding and this always means that as LB eats the midwife is massaging and squeezing my boob. This happened everyday in the hospital as the nurses tried to encourage milk production and good grief but I just want to be left alone!

Dan's grandmother even squeezed my boobs!

She did.

She was a midwife for forty plus years so in addition to being very in love with her first great-grandbaby she is also very interested in how I'm doing, which included squeezing my chest to feel for milk. Seriously. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do, and I've been on my guard ever since. But fair warning to anyone else who tries to do this to me: I will cut off your hands. For serious.

Stay the eff away from me.

Thirdly, I live in fear of my baby waking up hungry when I'm in Bern and I won't be able to feed her. I am not comfortable at the moment with feeding her in public because I can barely feed her at home without the aid of a million pillows, water, and some trashy t.v. I will not be attempting public feeding while I'm out shopping anytime soon, which means my excursions into town are timed down to the second.

Baby just ate! Must run to bus! Must not get sidetracked by cute sweater in window! Must stay the course of my mission! Holy shit! Time getting away from me! Have exactly thirty-five minutes to make it home before all hell breaks loose! AHHHH.

This is why I'm totally in love with the milking machine I have on rent from the hospital. I'm going to send it a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day, that's how much I love it.

Pumping milk and giving her a bottle is, for me, preferable. It allows Dan to feed her too, she sleeps longer, feedings take fifteen minutes instead of forty, and I can go to Bern quite easily and if she gets hungry I can whip out a bottle without fearing that I won't get home in time. But here's the kicker: every time you turn an ear to baby-related talk you hear loads of people going on and on and on about giving your kid breast milk. And I'm doing that; that's all she's eating, and that's all she will eat for the next year. But slowly, so slowly, as my midwife gently throws a comment here and there I am learning that nope: breast milk isn't enough.

Great, she's drinking your milk...but it's from a bottle.

(Please note: LB happily eats from breast or bottle, so the nipple confusion argument doesn't fly in our house. She's not confused. She knows when there is food to be had.)

Maybe when you're at home, she should only drink from the breast.

Just natural.

Natural.

Please don't use that word. Who created the universal definition of the word 'natural' when it comes to kid stuff? No one. No one has, everyone just uses their own definition of that word so please don't quote it to me. Also don't give me the following argument:

"It encourages bonding."

Would you say that to a mother who didn't birth her own baby? You would not. Would you tell a father he can't bond with his baby because it doesn't nurse from him? You would not. So don't pull that shit with me.

Do not.

I am finding it a huge adjustment to have the cutest most kissable baby in all the land be so reliant on me for her every need, and so why do people have a problem with me choosing a method of feeding her that not only gives her that liquid nutritional gold, but also meets my needs?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

It's Been One Month!

She's one month old today!

August 18th.

One month ago today I was still running on adrenaline and hadn't slept in over 24 hours. LB had been sleeping on my chest since I was wheeled into my room at about 6 a.m., and I was in total bliss that our girl was healthy and my sciatic pain was gone.

Seriously, it disappeared as soon as she was born.

In the one month that Dan and I have been parents LB has vomited on Dan's face, I have learnt to never not have a diaper under baby's toosh while changing her, and we have learnt that the second you think, "Ah, now I'm going to relax on the couch," the baby will telepathically pick up your thoughts and decide, "Hell no you're not," and demand attention for the next forty-five minutes. Afterwards you will think, "Forget it, I'm going to bed."

It has been a great month, and I can't believe how much has happened. She went from being a tiny little newborn who was so wee that the act of suckling tired her out almost immediately, to being a still-wee baby who has the strength to suckle but still refuses to eat at a quick pace.

Our LB likes to dine.

This is especially inconvenient during those quiet midnight hours when you're so tired it takes all your strength not to face plant onto the floor, and you just want the baby to finish eating so you can go back to bed.

Here's our month in pictures:

 
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Hours old, baby girl.
 
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We knew from the very beginning she was a happy girl.
 
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But the 48hrs she spent under the jaundice lights did not make her mother happy.
Not one bit.
I think I might have cried more than she did.
I was embarrassing her in front of the nurses.
 
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So it's a good thing when we got to go home.
(so small!)
 
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Once home it was time to test out our baby gear...
on the cats.
What?!
We had to make sure we wouldn't drop her.
And FYI, Cosi LOVES the Ergo carrier.
Totally digs being packed around.
 
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Those early days were filled with a rigorous pumping-bottle feeding schedule to get her weight up.
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It was tiring, as you can see.
 
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To amuse myself, I play with her hair.
She looks like a little gnome in this shot.
So sweet I got a cavity.
 
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She just gives me a raised eyebrow.
Be cool, mom! Be cool!
 
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Makes me smile.
 
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Which I like to think makes her smile, too.
 
(P.S. I totally got a 'real' smile today. Awesome.)
 
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She's starting to be okay with tummy time, but generally she hates it.
 
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It's much more interesting to look up.
 
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But tiring, too.
 
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Our girl, rocking her snow leopard dress.
 
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But being so cute is tiring.
Our one month old baby girl, resting after a hard day of resting.
 
Excuse me now, I'm off to figure out how to slow time.