Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All About Alot

You may be wondering, "how did Alot deal with the move?" or "how is Alot dealing with the baby?"

'Cause, poor Alot, you know - he thought he was moving to this big house with a doting couple and then SHAZAM he's suddenly scooped up and deposited in the middle of wheat fields in a house half the size of the one he'd so carefully chosen and there is this new screaming entity that takes up the space on Mommy that was HIS!

I call this one "Whistler's Mother and Her Cat"

Sometimes he'd even stand on my belly.  However, it was too difficult to get photos while he'd do that, so you'll just have to imagine a large cat on my prodigious belly.

But now there's no belly, but there is a baby.  An increasingly large and demanding baby.  How would Alot deal with such a thing!?!  

Boy am I glad I wore a sweater or I might have gotten chilly... oh wait...

I'd say he loves it here.  He bounds about, bouncing off of our fruit trees, climbing up the side of the house and coming in the upstairs windows - even if the back door is wide open.  I guess it's more fun?

He also is pretty fond of the Spawn.  If she's crying, he comes running to me.  This happens whether she's in her crib or in my arms.  Alot hears her yell and runs to me and begins meowing.  You could say that he's just begging me to shut her up.  I prefer to think he's a watch cat for the baby.  

Then when I'm holding her or nursing her, he cuddles up next to me and purrs.  He puts up with her kicking him in the head.  He loves to watch us change her.  Preferably from the changing table itself, which means it can get a bit crowded up there.

The only time he's a little creeped-out by the baby is when she's on the floor, which is becoming more and more frequent.  He looks at her and looks at me and it's very much like he's saying "Mom, you dropped it!  You wanna pick it up or somethin'?" and then he retreats to a higher vantage point.

I'm fairly sure he'll get over it by the time she actually begins crawling.

I took this right after he dove into the wheat field across the road from my home.  
I swear there was a tail visible.  I just can't find it now.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mothergroupin'

I've got nothing against my Mothergroup - they are all lovely ladies and I'm going to keep on going and one of these days I'll actually host.  Probably even before the moving boxes are unpacked, because, let's be honest here - some of these boxes will get unpacked about the time Spawn goes off to college and I'll be all, "shit, you need a cardboard box... let me empty this one sitting in the kitchen and give it to you... oh, that's where that went!"

Random placement of furniture is also a problem.

I do like the Mothergroup because I leave the house for something other than trying to calm a screaming child and I hear realDanish, which keeps me a-practicin', and I get to compare my child to other children the same age.

Wait, whut?  You compare your child to other children?  Bad mommy, no biscuit!

Sometimes comparison is a good thing.  Lest we start thinking my child is the most gifted child on the planet ("Oh my god, she's found her toes!  GENIUS!  Call Nobel!!") or lagging ("When do babies crawl?  Should my child be crawling already?  Oh GOD, my child isn't CRAWLING!  I've FAILED as a parent!") or mutant ("She fit in this outfit yesterday, I swear.  How is it I can't get it over her head today??).  I'm proud to say my child is completely normal and average.  One hundred percent the most amazing creature on the planet, fer shizzle, and the cutest baby evah, but not weirdly "specialists need to be involved" different.

But let me be honest (okay, when am I not? We get some brutal honesty going on on this here blog.), there were times and still ARE times where I want to throw my coffee mug on the floor and announce that I am *not* going to be part of a Mothergroup and that's IT!  The reason why is completely irrational, but let me clue you in to what I've been hearing for the past three months:

So, do you have a Mother's Group?  Do they have a Mother's Group on your island?  Have you joined a Mother's Group?  My wife was ever so glad for her Mother's Group.  Have you joined a Mother's Group?? So, are you going to your Mother's Group?  I'm so glad to hear you have a Mother's Group.  Have you joined a Mother's Group??? How's your Mother's Group?  How nice it is that you are going to a Mother's Group! HAVE YOU JOINED A MOTHER'S GROUP?!?!

Maybe it's the rebel in me, but all this yay-mothergrouping was really turning me off to the concept.  I mean, it's all a little groupthink 1984ish feeling.  Joiny joiny.  Meld and assimilate.   It's not a Mother's Group - it's a Mothergroup.

I can't decide if this poster is for groupthink or against it.

And that results in me going, "I'll never join you!" and turning down what could be a valuable support system... not to mention meeting the mothers of my child's future classmates and friends.

If only you would choose to join the Mothersgroup - 
with our combines strength we could rule this galaxy as 'Mothers with Spawns'...

But I swallowed my initial gut doubt and figured I'd give it a try.  Maybe it wouldn't be so creepy as everyone was making it out to be (not that they were trying... but still... it was all so groupy).  And it turned out to be...

Five women and their babies who get together for coffee and chitchat.

Strangely enough, this photo seems a bit sinister to me.

And this is just LOL.

I suppose someday we may get ambitious and go and do something bigger than hanging out in each other's kitchens... but for now it's enough for me to get us dressed, out the door, and on the bus to a different part of the island.  So far the other mothers are non-judgmental and open - some are breastfeeders and some use formula, some are good at dressing their child in cute matching kit and some are just happy they got their child dressed, some are showered and tidy and some are barely awake - and no one makes an issue out of it.  It's nice to see mothers getting along and supporting each other.

As long as it doesn't go all Stepford Wives-ish... cause then I'm outta there.

Not a single one of these women has mom-hair... I just can't compete.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Boob Strikes Back

So how's that breastfeeding going then?

Hey, I haven't talked about my boobs in, like, forever, man.  Obviously it's time for an update.

Seriously, though, HOW DID WE FREAKING SURVIVE AS A SPECIES???

Have you ever heard of a "nursing strike"?  It's where your child up and decides, You know what, ma? You can keep your stinkin' boobs to yourself, I ain't eatin' no how!

And then screams and screams and screams every time you offer the breast, sucks on every other object in a 5 mile radius, crying and begging for food - but will not suck on the one thing that will solve the dilemma.  Meanwhile, engorgement happens and you end up with two huge, painful, hot (as in the temperature, although I imagine it looks pretty awesome to the loutish members of the opposite sex, damn their un-mammory-glandness), and worst of all, LEAKING, rocks on your chest.

Here's something I didn't know - milk will actually shoot out in random directions.  You look into your nursing bra to check if you need to change the pad again and get shot in the face.  Hello friendly fire!
 
Look, boob, I'm trying to keep you from getting a plugged milk duct or mastitis - which until now was something I'd only read about in All Creatures Great and Small, thanks a lot James Herriot for that, by the way - and there is no need to shoot me in the EYE!

This is how you prevent mastitis in a cow.  Now you know.

I think the worst thing about a nursing strike is how unhappy bunny she is about it.  Tears of rage and all that screaming and stiff body... what I call the "crucified baby" pose... it's just awful.

I went to the web to see if there was any advice - thank god for the web, by the way, it let me know that it wasn't me or my child, sometimes babies just get into a fuss like this and it's no one's fault and it's not going to kill anyone (it just feels that way) - and the advice was "try again when she's calm."

Wait... CALM?!?  This child will never be calm again!  This child is going to starve to death before she's calm!  Number one way to calm a baby is to feed her and I can't even bloody do that!  What do I DO? *panic panic panic* (Normally I'm all Cool Hand Luke about motherhood, but a nursing strike breaks my heart.)

What we have here is a failure to communicate.*

Advice: try to calm your baby by giving her a relaxing bath.

Ha.  Ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha *sob* ha ha ha.  The only thing my child hates more on this planet than... wait, there is NOTHING on god's green earth she hates more than a bath.

Advice: try to calm your baby by going for a drive.

Oh, wait, yes, there is the strapping her into the car seat.  She might hate that more than a bath.

Result:
Archaeogoddess's Advice for the Terminally Fussy Baby: Sometimes a baby is just going to "fuss" (read: scream bloody murder).  But sooner or later she'll pass out from exhaustion.

I *hate* the "cry it out" technique.  But it's all I can do.  I hold her close and soothe her best I can and as soon as she begins to drop off to sleep, I get her in position and do a sneak boob attack.  A flanking maneuver, if you will.

It works.  She eats.  She eats like she's never had a problem at all.  In fact, she'll look up at me and give me this look like "jesus, it took you long enough!" as if I hadn't been trying to feed her every 15 minutes for the last TWO HOURS.

*Y'all have NO IDEA how long it took to get that baby into that photo without access to photoshop... just sayin'.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The most unexpected change

I expected my body to be different after having a baby.  I mean, I've studied enough human anatomy (usually of the long-dead kind) to know that having a baby leaves traces in YOUR VERY BONES! [insert dramatic organ music here]

("organ music" *snort* I'm punny!)

But I didn't expect my taste buds to change.

That's just messed up.

We have a great organic micro-brewery on the island.  And I've been looking forward to having me a big ol' glass of Rise (pronounced Reez-ah) beer (pronounced beer) since last summer.

Only now it tastes like soap.  SOAP!!

It's not the glass.  After my aborted beer attempt at home, I tried some of my husband's beer at Kongesgade 34, the restaurant we frequented on Wednesday nights (until this week it had a two-for-one hamburger special on Wednesday nights so we could afford it - but give it a go if you're on the island, local organic food served there, good stuff) and the soap taste was still there.

WTF???

Even regular beer now has a slightly soapy taste.  But the cheaper the beer, the less the soapy taste.  I'm now doomed to cheap crap beer!!  The Danish Boy is so disappointed in me.  But it means he gets all the Rise beer to himself and can just buy me a case of whatever is cheapest.  Damn him.

But one doesn't lose the joy of beer without getting something in return.  Had you asked me a year ago how I felt about pineapple I would have said, "ugh, only in a piña colada and only if you are heavy handed with the rum... and the coconut milk... and did I mention rum?"

But guess what?

I've been eating pineapple.

I *know*!  WTH!  And my favorite ice creams are all nut based, like walnut or pistachio and my favorite ice cream bar is a juice bar with cream interior - chocolate doesn't even really land in the top 10!  I had Chips Ahoy cookies the other day... and I liked them.  Normally I would turn up my nose because of the serious lack of chocolate or even chocolate flavor, but now the lack of chocolate is in it's favor.

It's like the world is ending or something!  Has hell frozen over??

I'm terrified to discover what I dislike or like next.  What if I lose my deep abiding love of avocados??  Or start liking shrimp??

What if I discover I like... BANANAS???

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

To be fair, it wasn't like I was actually paying attention...

A few days ago...

DB: We need more of that tea.

AG: What tea?

DB: The one with the tiger on it.

AG: With the what?

DB: Tiger.

AG: You mean "Bengal Spice" - the box with a tiger on it.

DB: Yeah, that.  And that's what I said, "tiger."

AG: Oh, I heard "Thai girl."

DB: No, I definitely did NOT say "Thai girl."  I said "tiger."

AG: Yeah, well...

Now, I was slightly distracted during the conversation, but he does have an accent and swallows his R's. Tiger and Thai girl sound completely different when *I* say them... but him... not so much.


There's probably a Thai girl behind that tiger 
or possibly *in* the tiger, who looks a bit shifty to me.

(I have not received any money from Celestial Seasonings for this... but they are totally free to send me buttloads of their Chai Tea which I heart more than Bengal Spice. *hint hint* *wink wink*)