Thursday, 30 May 2013

Random Act of Kindness

People are so surprising and totally awesome, when you least expect it.

Today LB and I were on the bus coming home from Bern; LB was in her stroller, chewing on her buggy book, and I was sitting down in a double seat--sharing it with a seatmate--and we were both facing LB.

The woman sitting beside me did not strike me as a person who would be interested in babies, and I'm totally judging the book by its cover here: she was a bad-ass looking chick. She had tattoos all over her hands, her face had a few piercings, and she was dressed for heavy work with steel toe boots, work pants, and a heavy jacket.

As the bus moved from stop to stop, LB would peek out from her buggy to check if I was still there and I'd smile and wave; LB would smile back, then go back to chewing on her book. Suddenly the woman beside me sighed and said, "She is the sweetest baby. So, so, sweet."

I thanked her with a huge smile on my face, because come on: there's nothing better than someone telling you your kid is sweet.  Then the woman started chatting with LB, asking her if her book tasted good, telling her she had pretty eyes, telling her she liked her jacket and her smile.

LB was totally into this. She absolutely loves people and is not shy at all, so this woman talking to her was the best thing ever.

Then the woman put one tattooed hand over her heart and said: "She has made my day. Really."

"That's a very nice thing to say," I replied.

Then she opened up her wallet (attached to her pants with a chain) took out her bus pass holder and extracted from it a four leaf clover. "Here, please keep this for her."

"Really? Thank-you," I said, sort of dumbfounded, as I reached for it.

"It's okay. I have lots." Then she opened up the bus pass holder wider and sure enough she had about seven four leaf clovers tucked under the plastic.

"Some people look and look and look and never find one. I see them everywhere. Please press it in a book, it will dry and keep forever."


Then we reached her stop.

She pinched LB on the cheek as she left, telling her again she was lovely, and stepped off the bus and on with her day. And me? I've taped the clover into the journal I'm keeping for LB's first year, with a note following about this bad-ass looking chick with a soft spot.

Also, I don't know why I'm left so surprised when I have a nice encounter with a stranger, but I am. It surprises me every time.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

We Need To Talk About The Weather

I know what you're thinking: "Caitie! You're better than this! The weather, really?"

My response is no, I am not better than this. At this point and time on May 29th I am really not above talking about the weather because IT IS TOTAL SHIT AND BUMMING ME OUT. Phew, glad I got that out.

Last night before turning out the lights I checked my weather app in hopes for a sunny day today, and this forecast awaited me when I opened up the screen:

 

 
 
 
Then I threw my phone against a wall.
 
Okay, so I didn't do that; however, I was super pissed off.
 
If there's one thing you shouldn't get mad about it's the weather, I realise, but we are on such a losing streak these days that I can't help but feel sorry for myself. I'm not alone in this either, because the favourite story they've been featuring on the news is how people are FLEEING the country. Shots of the Swiss Air counter at Zurich airport show hoards of people waiting to check-in so they can check-out of this GD storm cloud we've been living under since OCTOBER. People interviewed are heading to Greece, to Egypt, and other sunny destinations I'm not familiar with but I'd sure be willing to get to know better.
 
I mean sure, we've had a sunny day here and there but really that's it: a sunny day here and there. Then it rains for a week.
 
GAH!
 
People in the UK, how do you deal with this? Seriously? I need to know because we're soon entering June, and in my experience with living here June is always extremely rainy and cold around Bern. In past years I was bothered, but usually our April and May had been glorious so you know, whatever I could suck it up and deal with a few weeks of rain because the summer months would pick-up where May left off. However, this year?
 
This year I have one sad little thought burrowing deep into my brain: WHAT IF IT'S NEVER SUNNY AGAIN?
 
What if?!
 
Well, I guess I'll try and leave this post on a positive note: At least our projected highs this week are in the double digits....
 
Yeah, that's still a low.
 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Don't Text and Mother

Um, babies are a lot of work.

I sort of knew this, but mostly I didn't.

They're also super cute as they thoughtfully eat an apple.

Also one thing I didn't know is that babies are just like puppies: they will eat anything (apples included!). But seriously, I am constantly on the lookout for random debris that LB might find and shove in her mouth. I do about thirty sweeps of the apartment everyday, yet still I will find her quietly in the corner, her jaws working overtime, and when I pry open her mouth I find in there one lone and very brown pine needle from a Christmas tree that hasn't been in our apartment since January 1st, found in a spot that I vacuum EVERYDAY.

It baffles me.

I have no idea where this kid finds the junk that she does, but find it she does and immediately upon grabbing hold of this dirty prize she crams it in her mouth.

The other day I was standing in the hallway keeping an eye on LB as she crawled around. My phone was in my back pocket and it buzzed with a text message. LB crawled over to me to play with my toes, and I answered the text. I don't know if I got too involved or what but mid-reply I realised there was no longer an LB playing with my little toe and also, there was no LB in the hallway.

All was quiet.

ALARM.

I went into our bedroom and found her next to the bed, and when she looked up at me she had a hunk of one of my dirty old makeup sponges hanging out of her mouth. Scattered all around her was the rest of the sponge, which she'd viciously torn into shreds.

Seriously! It hadn't even been five minutes, and WHERE DID THE SPONGE COME FROM? I just cleaned out underneath our bed, and I haven't used one of those things since before she was born. Also, ACK, did she ingest some of this sponge?!

I fretted about that for at least an hour.

Furthermore, let's not even go into detail about how many times she's been found digging through Cosmo's food dish trying to shove kibble in her mouth before we spoil her fun. (Daily! This happens daily!) Because oh, I feel faint at the thought of it.

Dudes, babies are super exhausting!

Who knew?

(Besides everyone.)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

German is Gross

I have a larger post brewing, but I can't work up the energy to think.  So here's something to bridge the gap.

My German language skills are pretty shit, and I'm forgetting loads of what I learnt in classes. I know, when living amongst German speakers how is it possible to forget German? Um, I don't live amongst German speakers; I live amongst Swiss German speakers and Swiss German is one giant mind...firetruck. 

So there we go, now that I've established that, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I'm just purposefully forgetting words because honestly German is such an ugly language sometimes.

Case in point:

The other night I was brushing my teeth, and I was zoning out by staring at the Listerine bottle when something caught my attention that I hadn't paid attention to before. This word: Zahnfleisch.

You know what it means?

It literally translates to English as "Teeth Meat."

Ugh! So gross!

They call people's gums, TEETH MEAT. 

Also, here's a word that just...I can't...it's so gross!

Brustwarze

Perhaps this is something the breastfeeding moms heard from time to time in the hospital. Or maybe a young lad or lady went and got this body part pierced, it was subsequently infected, and they had to go to the doctor for a lengthy discussion. Or maybe someone is just one of those rare people who are born with more than two.

Do you know what body part I'm referring to?

The nipple, of course. Or, as the literal German translation goes, the...breast wart.

Gag! Hurl! Hold my hair back! Puke!

What a disgusting word!

BREAST WART.

Ugh.

And that concludes this German language lesson for today.

Juuuiiicceeeee.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Conversating

This past Sunday was Mother's Day, as I'm sure you know. Mine was pretty damn great, how was yours?

I received a big bouquet of flowers, a handmade card with squishy baby hand prints inside, a gift certificate to my favourite clothing store and...(drum roll please)...I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK. That's right I had breakfast and dinner served up, whilst I kicked up my heels and read. Oh man, it was a great day.

That evening as we ate dinner (beef stroganoff, Dan's speciality) Dan opened a bottle of red wine to go with, and when I brought the glass to my mouth for my first sip I had an urge to do something I never do. Something that makes me laugh, quite honestly, because I'm immature and don't really believe it's a 'thing' even though yes it's a mega established 'thing' in the wine world.

But I was inspired.

Sideways had just been on the television a few weeks ago, I watched maybe three seconds of it (I don't find it to be that great of a movie. You?), and those three seconds involved Paul Giamatti making love to his glass of wine with his nose. You know the part(s). It's where he waxes poetic about the bouquet of aroma effusing from that crimson beverage and it makes him heady in the head.

So I decided to give it a go.

I decided to sniff my wine, even though--haha--I still think it's the most ridiculous thing in the world, and am quite aware of the fact that this makes me uncouth.

Whatevs.

So I swirled the wine around, brought the glass to my nose and heavily inhaled, then was surprised that it was actually a quite pleasant sensation, this aroma of wine. I smelled raspberries. So I asked Dan to do the same.

"Swirl the wine around and smell it. What do you smell?"

Dan obligingly swirled his wine around and thoughtfully brought his nose to the glass.

"Hmm...", he exhaled.

"What do you think? What do you think it smells like?"

"I think it smells like..." he trailed off again as he swirled his glass with due deliberation. "I think it smells like...cellar."

"Cellar?"

"Yeah, it smells like a dark old cellar that has potatoes in it."

Then I laughed so hard food flew out of my mouth.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Look What I Did!

Two weeks ago I did something unimaginable.

Something unbelievable.

Something stupendous!

I STARTED USING MY PROPER CAMERA AGAIN.

*everyone throws confetti and applauds*

*I bow*

Here's a few:

Lilac smells the best.
 
Serious thoughts being thunk.
My guess: "How do I crawl quieter, so Poppy doesn't know I'm coming?"
 
Cow!
You know you missed them.
 
Baby blue eyes.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Oh Hufflepuff!

Don't you guys think that "Oh Hufflepuff!" would be a great replacement for "Oh F....!"  Yes, clearly I'm obsessed with having some sort of exclamation to fall back on now that I'm on the quest for a cleaner vocabulary around LB.

Anyhow, the point of this post is about Hufflepuff and if you don't know Hufflepuff that means you don't know Harry Potter and that means I don't want to know you.

Sorry.

The truth hurts.

This past weekend my friend sent me a YouTube clip mocking the House of Hufflepuff, and the best part of the clip goes as follows:  "Gryffindor is for the brave, Slytherin is for the cunning, Ravenclaw is for the wise, and Hufflepuff is...for the rest."

So funny, because it's so true! No one wants to be a lame ol' Hufflepuff. What's so great about them? They're nice and work hard? Pfft. So what! Give me a little rock 'n' roll, please.

Because I am a Harry Potter nerd, this obviously means I have taken many, many online Sorting Hat quizzes. Many. When taking the test, it's no secret that everyone wants to be sorted into Gryffindor because obviously they're toats the best; however, no matter how many tests I take I am stubbornly...a Hufflepuff. I just can't get sorted into Gryffindor for the life of me! And I think it boils down to one question paraphrased as follows:

If you stumble across an abandoned building that has a sign saying "DANGER do not enter!", what do you do?

Um, it's obvious.

YOU DON'T ENTER.

And that sums me up. I am a rule follower. If there's a rule, I will follow it. Otherwise I get sweaty and nervous, and am constantly checking over my shoulder looking for the rule police who are going to sneak up on me and shout I HEREBY ARREST THEE FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES.

And then my life is over.

Boom.

Clearly I was the easiest teenager to raise.

In October my sisters had great fun gently teasing me (those damn Gryffindors!) for being a Hufflepuff. In fact, they even guessed which question I kept getting hung up on. I suppose I could just lie on that question, but then where would I be? A Slytherin? I THINK NOT. Lying is breaking the rules of truth and I will not do it!

Anyhow, this all ties in with little LB. What if she has a personality where she might choose to be...a rule breaker? I guess the first thing I'd do is demand a DNA test. Well, that would have been the first thing I'd do if we hadn't looked at baby photos of me when in Canada and determined LB is my little dopplegaenger. (Oh hell yeah, that was the best feeling evah!)

But in seriousness, Dan posed this semi-philosophical parenting question to me recently: "Why will [LB] listen to us? Just because we set a rule, why will she follow it?"

(In case it's not obvious, Dan is a damn Gryffindor too.)

My argument was, "Because they're rules. Why wouldn't she follow them?"

[insert confused face.]

"Yes, but there might be instances where she does not want to, and will not, follow them. Then what?"

"I...don't...but it's, it's...a rule..."

"So?"

"...a rule..."

In case it's not obvious, this question is blowing my mind. You mean my baby might not grow up to be like me? (But hopefully with better math skills.)

Wha???

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Day in the Life

 
It's lunch, and Dan's home to eat with us.
 
My computer is out and in the way, and my empty breakfast bowl, coffee cup, and mid-morning yogurt cup haven't yet found their way into the kitchen.
 
One of LB's crib sheets is freshly washed and hanging off the chair to dry.
 
Wrapping streamers were discovered before lunch, and have been appropriately pulled and pulled from their roll.
 
LB's 'Mama's making lunch, here's something to play with' piece of bread has been torn to shreds and tossed onto the floor. She patiently waits now for the rest of her lunch, and watches her dad eat.
 
And in the background is a cat, strolling through my empty planter boxes, eating the dirt, which he will later throw-up inside the house.
 
Probably on the only piece of carpet we own.
 
That's life, Internet.
 
And it's grand.