Wednesday, 20 March 2013

We Will Eat All The Food

It's close to our anticipated Canada trip, and Dan and I are getting very excited....about the food. In the past few weeks we will randomly be going about our evening, when one person will break the silence with these tantalizing words: "Pachos, extra cheese, spicy Caesar," or, "White Spot Burger, triple o sauce," or, "McCracken chicken wings," or, "steak and lobster."

Then the other person starts salivating all over their keyboard and all productivity halts.

Of course you can get some of these things in Switzerland, but we hardly ever eat out. We go for our Saturday morning coffee dates, which usually include a sweet treat or savoury tart, and occasionally we meet-up for lunch, but that's about it. Dining out has become a real treat for us since moving here. As I said in a blog post many moons ago, restaurants here do not compete to be the everyday way that people sustain themselves. Grabbing something on-the-go for lunch is pretty normal (the most common thing being sandwiches) but eating out at a restaurant or grabbing a take-a-way for dinner a few nights a week just isn't common, and we've fallen into that pattern. I seriously cook dinner seven days a week.

We eat healthier here than we did in Canada, because here the opposite is true: it's easier to eat at home.

So needless to say, we are really looking forward to this treat of a trip where we plan on indulging in everything that we used to take for granted, and yes, when I wrote steak and lobster I was serious!

Dan and I have been together for ten years this Easter, and hot damn if we aren't going to celebrate the shit out of that.

So cheers, Internet, here's hoping my jeans still button when I get home.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Feature Friday (On Saturday)

Well, I didn't take any photos with my proper camera.

Blogger fail!

Yikes. But I was thinking about it all of Thursday night and all day yesterday, promise. In between feeling like I was going to die from the stomach flu.

Hahaha, oh universe! You jokster! Hahaha! Please, please leave me alone now. I'm sure there's someone else out there who wouldn't mind you moving in for a few months. I hope you don't take this personally, but I think you're the worst houseguest I've ever had and I'd like you to move out now. I won't even charge you rent.

So no proper camera shot, but here's an iPhone one I'm fond of.

Dan is wearing Blue Steel and LB is wearing Sweet Potato Cutie Gonna Gobble You Up.

I love them.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Oh Cats....

Cats, man. Cats.

Who else but two cats would get in a serious brawl on my laptop keyboard, and in the process rip my #2 key right off the side keypad.

I tried to repair it, and by 'repair it' I mean I lay the key back onto its empty place on the keypad and then when it slid off I thought, "I'm out of ideas."

It doesn't work anymore.

I never realised this before but I think that 2 is the most used out of all the numbers.

All of them.

Cats, man. Cats.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Generation Gap? Let's Call it a Divide.

Hello Readers,

Let's mix ourselves a martini, Mad Men-style, because we're about to regress to the 1950's.


On Sunday Dan took LB to go and visit his grandmother. I didn't go with them for two reasons:

(a) I didn't want to put my German thinking cap on that day; and

(b) Dan said, "Why don't you stay home and have some time for yourself. I'll look after LB."

I don't think he finished his sentence before I slammed the door on them and jumped on the couch with my book.

It was a lovely three hours that I thoroughly appreciated.

When he got home, Dan told me that his grandma was a little...surprised...that Dan was taking care of the baby all alone. When Dan's grandma noted that she was surprised that Dan was looking after LB all alone, he cheerfully replied that we're an equal household and twice a week he even does laundry.

According to my dear husband, his grandmother was quick to exclaim, "Laundry?! But you do so much already. Does she at least cook?!"

Let's break the above down, shall we. What she was really saying was this: You are the man and you work in the office. You should not do housework. Your wife is home all day long so why isn't she doing the laundry? Does she just sit around and eat bon-bons? Also, she should be looking after the baby on a Sunday. You poor man who works at the office five days a week.

Dan further reminded his grandmother that I also have a job, to which she replied, "Oh, she works..."

I am annoyed.

I refuse to just shake my head and say, "Oh those octogenarians. Cheez Whiz."

Ever since I moved here I have had a job where I work from home, but it has been made blatantly clear to me that since I am not leaving my house to go sit in a cubicle, I don't have a real job. It is shocking how many times I have had to say "Yes, I have a job," only to have some arrogant person (WHO HAS ASKED ME THIS QUESTION FIVE TIMES BEFORE) say, "Oh, really?"

So now we have our sweet LB. I am her primary caregiver during the day and once she goes to bed, I work.

The reverse is now happening, "You work." 


All of sudden people now believe me I work, and aren't too thrilled about it.

I have a baby. I shouldn't also have a job.

I can't win.

So what is really itching away under my skin is the expectation that once a woman has a baby, her whole life is now supposed to be devoted to the raising of this tiny being. This expectation does not fall on the man's shoulders, and I call bullshit on anyone who dares make an excuse about why this is, ranging from: women are better at it, to, men aren't as parental.


Who in this day and age (besides the Hutterites, Amish, and Swiss grandmothers), honestly believes that men should not have an active role in the maintaining of a household and the care of their children?  Are gender roles so firmly established that it's still just assumed that women should be the ones to run the kidlets to the playground and fry up the T-Rex their hero dragged home, while their cavemen sit on the couch, drink beer, burp, and wait for the day their sons can bludgeon an animal to death and their daughters can fix their socks?

Are people really such assholes that they assume a woman derives 100% satisfaction from raising her children and sweeping the hearth, and wants nothing more?

History is littered with women scratching at the walls because they want to be more than caregivers, but the opportunities weren't allowed. And now, today--when we can climb higher than ever before--we face judgement  and expectation that we must stay cemented to the home simply because we have the womb that carried the child so we're not supposed to acknowledge wanting a place for ourselves outside the place we carried them.

Now I feel like I have to give an obligatory "sorry to hit you in the face with this obvious information" disclaimer, but otherwise people are going to twist my words back on myself: I am overjoyed to be LB's mama. I am so in love with that little girl, I look at pictures of her at night after she's gone to sleep and can't wait until she wakes up again. I love being the one she reaches for when she wants to give an aggressive spit-kiss. I love being the one who knows just what to do when she has reached her breaking point. I love being the person she looks for in a room, when she's not in my arms. I love being the one who plays silly games with her, and who tickles her until she shrieks. Also, I like working.

And spending three hours alone on a Sunday while she's with her dad.

You know what else I love?

I love how Dan is the only one who gives her a bath, exactly how she likes it.  How he is the only one who knows how to do the earthquake game with her. How he is the one who cuddles her to bed, most nights.

I'd also love it if people would stop being such judgemental shitheads and realise we're in the 21st century here, and the family unit is not--never was--the content housewife and hero-husband. The family unit works however that family needs it to work, and if you don't get with the program you won't find me sitting on your uncomfortable 'turn of last century' sofa, anytime soon.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

I Might Be Taking Pureeing Too Far

So our LB has entered the world of solids, and it's really awesome thinking up new vegetables and fruits to blend up and feed her. The most awesome part of this experience being, of course, the expression on her face when she tastes something new.

It can be summarised as follows:

What in the name of Sophie the Giraffe is this? BRING ME MY MILK.

But after three or four bites, she's into it. The only brick wall we've hit is with sweet potatoes; she really couldn't stand them, but little does she know they're back on the menu this week because mama ain't raisin' no fussy eaters! Preach it! Even if they are only six months old!

So pureed food, do you guys even know how appealing it is? It really is. I was feeding her pureed spinach with some potato earlier this week, and I thought, "Imagine putting a grilled pork loin over top a bed of pureed spinach with just a drizzle of gremolata. Yummy, pureed spinach!"

Then last night I was feeding her pureed fennel (mega hit, by the way), and all I could think about was a thick piece of Halibut sitting in a circle of pureed fennel, with roasted baby tomatoes on top. But then I got even more crazy and thought, "Why not just puree the baby tomatoes, too! And the fish!"

Fact: I seriously want to puree anything I can get my hands on...FOR MYSELF.

Babies have it so easy! Imagine all the time time we could save by just drinking up our dinners with a straw?

Who's with me?!

Chewing is so last century!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Printing Memories

I am totally overwhelmed with how many photos I've taken of LB in her first six months.

Ready--no exaggerartion--just over a thousand.


What's overwhelming is trying to decide what to do with all of these. I need to properly back them up, but I also need to develop some of them. The only photograph we have printed of her in our house is a spare copy of her passport photo. Seriously.

Digital photography is a wonder, but it's easy to be lazy with it. I grew up having an entire photo album that was basically dedicated to just me, and every one knows that there's nothing kids like more then to flip through pictures of themselves as babies and ask billions of questions that go along the lines of, "What was I like as a baby?" On rainy, snowy, cold days, my sisters and I loved sitting in our living room and flipping through the photo albums.

Somehow I get the feeling that LB will not appreciate having to sit in front of a computer and digitally flip through thousands of pictures of her. It won't be the same. You need to hold something in your hands, and I don't mean a tablet.

The other thing I've realized is that even though I have so many pictures of LB, I have gotten really lazy about using my camera. I've mostly been snapping shots of her with my phone or the iPad, but the quality of a DSLR image is incomparable. It's undeniably cool all the filters that can be applied to an iPhone or iPad photo, but at the same time I don't want my LB growing up thinking her life had a permanent Walden haze to it (my filter of choice).

Also, not to sound like a pompous a-hole, but I'm pretty good at taking pictures and I don't want to forget about a pastime that brings me so much joy.

At almost five months, learning to sit

The Gurten, end of January
Proof that she's not always smiling.
My heart.
So my mission is that I am going out today and buying a really beautiful Moleskin album, and I'm going to turn it into a photo album. I am buying some pencil crayons, and I'm going to decorate the front page with her name and birth details, I'm going to include a couple of pregnancy photos of me, I'm going to include her hospital hat and bracelet, and then I'm going to start culling photos and developing some for her so that in years to come she can flip through her album and know what she looked like at ages 0-1 month, 1-2 months, etc...
I've been planning this for the past two months, but as I say, the number of photos to go through is enormous, and right now I have hardly any time at night to devote to the project. But, today I decided to prioritize it because if I don't make the effort, she's the one being cheated.
Also, I am going to make it a resolution to take at least a few DSLR photos a week, and make them a Friday feature. I resolve to do this...starting next week. 
Yes, that sounds good.
(Or maybe the week after.)
(But I will do it!)
(Maybe just give me a couple of months to think about it.)

Friday, 1 March 2013

A New Month!

I decided ten days ago that February officially sucked hardcore and I was walking away from it. This is why I haven't blogged. Also, I realise that it hasn't exactly been sunshine and rainbows around A Cait's Life since the start of the year, but heh, that's been the start of my year.

Sometimes life is a kick in the teeth.

So anyhow, February.

If I never have another month like that one, it will be too soon. I stayed up last night until midnight (or, okay, I was actually just awake) to slam the door on February's departing ass, and I made sure to yell after it, "And I hope the door DOES hit you on your way out!" What can I say: they were not the greatest 28 consecutive days I've ever had.

Today, to celebrate March 1st, I'm taking my baby girl to Starbucks because I want a matcha tea latte. We are going to recline into a cozy chair, she is going to fiercely shake her rattle, I will read my book, and I am going to be thankful for a very hot drink on this very cold day that someone else made for me.

Also, I am excited about March because we have a very special trip booked for the end of it: we're visiting Canada for three weeks. I get to see my old friends again! They get to meet LB in person! I get to see my grandparents! Dan will be home for the first time in 3.5 years! Side note: he does not think that he will be shocked by the difference of Canada vs. Switzerland, and oh how I laugh at his naivety. How I laugh!

I'm excited for this month, but I'm even more excited that I got to say adios to shitty February.

To leave you all, here's a little email Dan forwarded on to me. Back in our early days of courtship, I used to craft elaborate emails for him that made no sense. They were bizarre. Especially weird was the period I like to call "Caitie's Rap-Poem Phase".  Yes, it's true, instead of writing about my day I would try to recap it for him in the stylings of Jay-Z. No matter that these were purposefully satirical, they are still the whitest, most embarrassing, attempts at rap-poems one e'er did read.

A few nights ago Dan was cleaning out his inbox, and I was flattered to learn he'd kept nearly all my correspondence. It's almost like letters spritzed with perfume for future generations to find...except not. As he was going through his inbox, he started shouting with laughter and immediately forwarded one email onto me, then another.

I flushed red.

Obviously that means I should share these with you.

The first one is actually not from our early days of courtship, but was written when the Swiss seed was planted in my brain:

Wordz Homey
Look at me gettin' all gangsta on your ass,
'Cause I'm gonna rap this shit like I'd wrap yo gift!
Yo, yo, yo,
They don't mean nothin' - they just wordz.
But yo, wordz can change livez,
They can save livez,
They are bits of light when your world goez dark.
Hear me speak,
Watch and learn,
Tomorrow we be in Bern,
Living the Swiss life.

Umm...yeah. I don't know what the f-ck it means either. Clearly if my attempt was to compose a rap-poem that ridiculed the letter 's', while being a mixed bag of themes (or, rather, themez) this one is a success.

The next one is a rap-poem written for a university buddy who was tired of being a fine arts T.A. dealing with first year students. I don't know how Dan ended up with it?


I don't know what to do,
I'm really sick of you.
All these little scholastic peeps
are starting to make me weep.
They want me to bust out a mark
for their original works of art.
Dudes, can't you see
I don't even have time for me.
I grade your prints of black and white
but I'm sick of your questions a'ight?
Just figure it out yourself
I ain't no xmas elf
I'm shuttin' my door
Fuckin' leave - you gonna hear me roar!

Well, okay. At least I stuck with a theme in this one.

I guess...

Anyhow, Internet, that's it for me.
I'm gonna leave.
I gotta go and start drinkin'
some putrid lookin' green tea.