Friday, 29 April 2005

out and about

Yesterday, Paul, Jack and I drove down to our Chalfont office. Paul was there for work-related reasons, and I was there to catch up on the gossip and introduce Jack to my workmates. Jack got lots of cuddles and attention from Auntie Sarah P, Auntie Sinead, Auntie Emma, and Auntie Sarah C. He was grinned at by several uncles (although they don't tend to be as keen to cuddle as the aunties), and enjoyed his second pub lunch. It was really fantastic to see everyone and every time I visit, I leave wishing that my Chalfont girly friends lived closer to us.

It's a beautiful day today, all sunshine and warmth and feeling like summer might actually happen this year. Jack and I went to Tesco this morning (and may I just say that people who park in the mother/child spaces who don't have children are utter dickheads), visited our local butcher (who knows us by name, always remembers what we last bought, and asks how it was), and then took a nice long stroll with Jasper after lunch. The sidewalks (or "pavements" as my UK friends like to say) in my village are very narrow, which makes walking a dog and pushing a large buggy rather challenging - especially when someone else is coming towards you and needs to get by. Needless to say, I'm very grateful that Jasper is well trained and can walk to heel in narrow spaces.

So with the sun shining down on us, a gin and tonic is on the agenda this evening. I have been eagerly awaiting this year's first meal out in the garden, putting the fairy lights on when it starts to get dark, and sipping cocktails. Have a good bank holiday weekend, and if Monday isn't a holiday wherever you live, call in sick and tell them Lisa said it's okay.

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

reality check

Elizabeth asked me in my comments about feeling overwhelmed, scared, and anxious about the concept of motherhood. The short answer is, before Jack was born, I was too excited about/consumed by everything I was experiencing in pregnancy to think about what would happen after he was born. After he made his debut, reality hit and that's when my palms started getting sweaty.

When Jack and I came home from hospital, there were days when panic swept over me and I couldn't fathom how I was going to adapt to life (albeit temporarily) as a stay at home mum. The thought of attending mother/baby groups depressed me (why would I want to sit around and talk about babies with other mothers?). I felt doomed to an existence of family restaurants, only going to places called "playlands" with large rooms full of multicoloured plastic balls, hosting birthday parties with 30 screaming children, and spending my days wondering what the hell I was going to do to fill my time and keep my brain cells from packing their bags and moving into the head of a woman without children. I mourned the loss of freedom; of being unable to go off on a holiday whenever and wherever we wanted, and going to restaurants without worrying if their bathrooms have a changing table. I was paralysed at the reality of being responsible for the life of a helpless newborn. I had no confidence about leaving the house with Jack, and envied women who seemed to tote their tots around effortlessly, everywhere and anywhere. I felt like a Bad Mother. Why did I feel so incompetent and why was I having these negative feelings when everyone else seemed so happy and adept in their new roles?

Now, I look forward to taking Jack places and I cannot wait until he's old enough to enjoy a day out. I have learned that you don't have to succumb to the world of McDonald's and Chuck E Cheese; you can take your child somewhere enjoyable for you too (which gives me a great excuse to finally visit the London Aquarium). Although I'm still unsure about some of the mother/baby groups (maybe I'll "get it" when Jack gets a bit older), I thoroughly enjoy speaking to other mum friends about our shared experiences and have gained a wealth of useful information. There are lots of things that fill my days, and it's a wonderful feeling knowing that a) you can get things done on weekdays and b) Sundays are relaxing when you don't have to go to work the next day. Most importantly, I don't feel like a useless goob. Most of the time.

The truth is, being pregnant, giving birth, and becoming a parent is a big deal. How could we not go through this without feeling like we're undertaking something much bigger than we are? Raising a tiny human being who is totally dependent on you is an overwhelming concept. In reality, it's still rather scary at first, but you're probably going to be too busy to fret about it too much. By the time you do get a chance to think about it, you've settled into your new life and motherhood isn't quite as terrifying. And if you still feel like running away and screaming some days, you're not a Bad Mother - you're human. And we've all been there.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

sucks to be you

How to park really badly and generally be a complete asshole in 7 easy steps:
1. Drive to a private hospital in Cambridge to visit your friend/relative.
2. Notice that the parking lot is full.
3. Locate a row of cars that are parked properly.
4. Park your car (or minivan) like this:

5. Go into the hospital and don't bother to tell the receptionists that you've blocked two cars in.
6. Offer a halfassed apology to the woman and her two month old baby who are standing by the car you've blocked in, and who have been waiting for a half an hour while receptionists rang every area in the hospital looking for the idiot owner of a badly parked Vauxhall.
7. Shrug and look perplexed when said woman's husband uses colourful language to describe your lack of common sense.

A pox on you.

Monday, 25 April 2005

your questions answered, #37

Since I've been having a gander at my stats for this month, I thought I'd answer a few of the pressing questions that have led to my site. Does Google go to this sort of trouble? No. It doesn't even send you a card on your birthday. Neither do I, but that's not really the point.

how to get a dog to go into a car
In our experience, this involved the following:
1. Tap the open boot/trunk of the car repeatedly with your hand and gently coax the dog into it verbally (it's a hatchback, don't call the RSPCA).
2. Put treats in the boot and repeat tapping/coaxing.
3. Place the dog's front paws on the boot. Keep tapping and coaxing.
4. Select a few choice swear words to utter when the dog removes his paws and wanders off to sniff the hedge.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for a week.
6. Fold the back seats down flat, climb on top of them, open the boot, and call the dog while waving a treat at him.
7. Repeat step 6 for about three weeks until the dog finally decides that being in the car isn't terrifying and actually enjoys it.
8. Start at step 1 again after you take your first long car ride to see your in laws, and the dog figures out that you're not taking him to the park for a walk, you lying bastard.

find a good restaurant to go out to eat at for my birthday
You are far too lazy to deserve a nice meal for your birthday. I suggest that your friends ring your doorbell, throw stale McNuggets at you, and run away.

what pills combined with cheesecake can kill you
Never, ever, ever eat cheesecake after you've consumed an entire package of Sudafed non-drowsy. Otherwise, you're good to go.

what are some of the changes that happens when a goat gets pregnant
She'll likely back away from you whenever you go out to the fields with "that look" on your face.

why does my dog nibble on my ear
Because he really likes you.

And a list of my favourite kind of search strings, entries that seem like random snippets of conversation:
  • he pigged out on baby back ribs (That's the last time you offer to pay for dinner at Chili's.)
  • jetsons here we come! (Yay!)
  • just play nuts (As opposed to work nuts?)
  • my baby hiccups too much during pregnancy (Bad baby! Bad!)
  • my liver hurts when i sneeze (I don't even know where my liver is, so well done to you for feeling it, you clever clogs.)
  • picture of a duck and a waffle (Words fail me. And yet, I am intrigued.)
  • pictures of my friend paul (Paul wanted me to tell you that he's not really your friend; he's just nice to you to be polite. Sorry.)
  • she's got nuts (Did she feature in "The Crying Game"?)
  • stinky bare feet photos (How on earth do you show that feet are stinky in a photograph? Stink lines?)
  • the best puppy in the world named rustle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That's fab, but I bet he's really called Russell and thinks you're a bit dim.)

Sunday, 24 April 2005

everyone's doing it

I admit, I have written a lot of blogs in my time. Most of them were created for personal reference, although it's certainly a bonus if someone else finds them useful or interesting. For example, the wedding blog was directed at friends and family, and maybe anyone getting married in the area who wanted to know about local suppliers. If someone else happened to enjoy it, grand. Was it meant to be riveting reading for the general public? Not really. Same goes for the dog blog, and it is this particular blog that has been pointed at and laughed at on occasion. You cyberbullies.

Taken out of context (i.e. without seeing my main blog and realising that it's one of a few "minor blogs" linked from it), it does seem slightly pathetic. From my referrer logs, I've seen people describe it as another "look at this saddo who'll blog about anything" site. While this may be true (about all my blogs, really), I don't think it's fair to dismiss it entirely. I put it there for those who know us and wanted to see pictures of Jasper, and for those who have dogs themselves and may have encountered some of the issues that we have - and just to keep a personal record of some of Jasper's more entertaining habits, because I have a mind like a sieve and will forget these over time.

This site says:
"Blogs have been around for nearly a decade, but in 2004, they seemed to explode. Everyone, and her dog, has a blog. Please see Jasper, a black Labrador's blog if you don't believe me. And that's just one of thousands of hits Google shows. There are cat, parrot, rabbit, etc. blogs. If you can think of a subject, there's probably a blog for it."

Although this quote doesn't necessarily infer that my dog blog is pathetic, I think it misses the point. Yes, it's a blog about my dog, but I don't write entries like: "Hello, I'm Jasper. Today I ate some grass, hoarked it back up again, and then licked myself for several minutes. Come back tomorrow and see what else I've been up to!" That would be sad...and slightly terrifying. So is it another useless blog in a sea of other useless blogs? Probably. But please don't laugh it off as something it's not. Laugh at it because my HTML and CSS skills are a bit rubbish, and because I haven't updated it in ages.

time, she is flying

Two months?! Jack is now just over two months old?! Have I been blacking out for several days at a time? Where on earth has two months gone? Jack has now lost his puffy-eyed, grumpy old man newborn look and spends most of his waking time smiling and babbling away to whoever will listen and respond. His big curious eyes (which I'm sure are starting to go brown) follow me wherever I go, as he sticks his fist into his mouth and chews away happily. I am amazed by this little boy every single day, and fascinated by his every move. Hopefully he won't get a complex from being constantly stared at and photographed.

My parents have been here since Wednesday, spoiling Jack rotten. They showed up with a suitcase full of presents for Jack (and imported fine foods for me, such as Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn) and he barely gets put down when they are here. They keep offering to babysit and let us have some "freedom", but we can't think of things we want to/can't do without him. We did take them up on this on Friday as an early Canadian Mother's Day treat - my parents offered to look after Jack and pay for our dinner. We had a lovely meal at the Old Bridge Hotel (where we got married), and surprisingly didn't spend the entire time talking about Jack or worrying about how he was.

It's strange to be without him and to be honest, I don't really feel the need to be on our own. I'm sure that eventually we will be looking forward to child-free time, but at the moment, I love being with my son. I'm not looking for freedom quite yet (although the idea of swapping with Mom and Dad and staying in their hotel room for a decent night's sleep is really appealing). What's been a real treat is being able to pass Jack over to my parents for cuddles while I get things done - or even better, being able to relax with Jack when my parents lend a helping hand around the house. The type of break I need isn't necessarily away from Jack, it's from the day-to-day chores that make me too exhausted to appreciate my time with him.

Ah, which reminds me, I have decided to get someone in to clean the house once a week as soon as I return to work. This raising a child and doing housework malarky ain't for us old broads with dodgy hands and backs.

Thursday, 21 April 2005

apply know now

Spotted this morning in an email looking for a technical author:
Idealpeople, a specialist IT security recruitment consultancy, are delighted to be working with yet another white night [sic] of the IT industry.

Please note: CVs with any "mistakes" in spelling, punctuation and prescriptive "grammar" will not be considered.

However, mistakes in the ad for the job itself are perfectly acceptable.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

gang bangers/drive-by porking

"I feel very sorry for him - it must have been an incredibly lucky or unlucky shot to get the sausage through a moving car window." [source]

maybe i can just put a large dropcloth over everything

My parents are flying in tomorrow from Toronto. Would anyone like to come over and clean my house? I can pay you in chocolate and/or wine. Please apply in person by 5.00 today, and bring several dozen Swiffer sweepers*. Thank you.

*(I love how you can select "Canada English" from the drop-down list of languages on this site.)

shot through the heart

Jack had his first round of immunisations today, which were far more traumatic for me than for him, I think. My stomach hurt last night just thinking about it, and I wasn't looking forward to it. Friends told me to be prepared to hear your child make sounds you've never heard before, and to stock up on Calpol (liquid Tylenol for infants) for the big day. I held Jack and the nurse asked me to hold his leg steady as the first shot went in. He let out a piercing cry that broke my heart into a million pieces. He then had another shot in the other leg and let out another shrill scream, at which point I stopped listening to whatever the nurse was telling me and just wanted to take him home. Two minutes later, he was fine. I was in tears.

I changed him at the surgery while we waited the obligatory 10 minutes to make sure he didn't react badly to the shots, and he giggled the entire time. I picked him up and cradled him, teary-eyed with shaking hands, and he looked around with a grin on his face. I gave him some Calpol when we got home and now he's sitting next to me blowing bubbles and sticking out his tongue at me.

Who's the bigger baby?

Monday, 18 April 2005

heck's kitchen

Tonight we are being treated to a new series of "Hell's Kitchen", but it's a little bit different. Instead of z-list celebrities, two teams of regular schmoes like you and me are trained to be chefs. Oh, and this time, it's not foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, but somehow still lovable Gordon Ramsay as the fearless leader, it's Gary Rhodes and Jean Christophe Novelli. That's right, Mr. Gary "watch me peel this asparagus and place it preciously on the plate like I'm displaying fine jewellery on black velvet" Rhodes.

The best part about the first series was the temper tantrums (from pretty much everybody) and Ramsay's priceless one liners. He said that "Edwina Curry is like a granny that won't die", and when she refused to take part in one task, he told her "You're shagging us like you shagged the prime minister". Plus, he made Belinda Carlisle cry, and that's got to be worth a couple of television awards. What's Gary Rhodes going to do, throw perfectly carved radish rosettes at contestants in mild disgust?

Yeah, I'll still watch it anyway.

more firsts

So we went on our first weekend jaunt away from home to Paul's parent's house in sunny Kent. I impressed myself by packing only what we actually needed and not forgetting anything. Off to Kent we went, with a car packed up to the roof (which has led to the confirmation that we are getting a new car) and Jack slept. On Saturday morning, Jack took his first trip to Costco and a couple of other places around Lakeside, and Jack slept. On Saturday afternoon, Jack met some of his first and second cousins, and was so excited, he slept. Then Auntie Gabi and Uncle Andrew came over for supper, and Auntie Gabi gave Jack tons of cuddles. And Jack slept. Paul's mum made a delicious Sunday roast lunch, and while we gobbled it down, Jack slept.

I swear, I am not drugging my child, nor am I drinking a bottle of gin before I breastfeed. I try to tell people that he fusses whenever I put him down at home, but then Jack sleeps and sleeps and sleeps whenever we're around other people or out of the house, and I'm starting to sound delusional.

Oh, and Jack had his very first pub lunch last Friday. He slept.

Thursday, 14 April 2005

all apologies

On The Simpsons the other day, Bart gets put in a "remedial" class and is greeted by his fellow pupils. One says to him, "I'm from Canada, so they think I'm slow, eh?" I think I sprayed tea all over myself, and possibly let out a snorty noise while laughing. Then it struck me, why do Canadians say "eh"? And we do, don't deny it. I know we don't say it as often as Americans think we do (ever heard Bruce Willis pretend to be Canadian in "Day of the Jackal"? Lord help me.), but we do say it often enough to make my English spouse point it out and giggle. It's like saying "eh" is our way of seeking approval for being brazen enough to speak. It's the short form of, "Nice weather, and please do forgive me for initiating conversation with you without asking first and I sincerely hope I haven't offended you in some way." We can't simply make a statement, because that would be presumptuous. We need to confirm that it was acceptable to have made the statement, with an air of apology just in case. Ever said sorry when someone stepped on your toe? Case in point; we are an apologetic people.

We need to be more assertive so that other countries stop beating us up for our lunch money. I think Canadians should start a new trend of only making statements, even if we're intending to pose a question. For example, "You want fries with that." This forces the other person to confirm or deny this statement, and you don't end up looking like a grovelling wiener. Of course we should only use this method of communication with individuals from other countries. That way, it would still be acceptable to be polite to other Canadians, but the rest of the world would see us as a confident, awesome superpower.

Or not. I'm sorry.

carry on

Another exciting (for me, anyway) discovery today - I put Jack in his baby carrier today and was able to lug him around without any pain or difficulty. Look at how thrilled he is about this fantastic new development:

He fell fast asleep as soon as I buckled him in, and stayed like that despite being jostled around while I did chores around the house. Although I probably can't carry him around for long periods of time, it does give us the chance to go more places. I can drive but still can't lift the pram in and out of the car, so I can only take Jack and his car seat very short distances to a destination where I can put Jack down (or put him in a trolley, like at Tesco). Now that I can use the carrier, I can pop him in it and go anywhere. I've been dying to check out our local farmer's market (remember when I said this at the beginning of my maternity leave? har har har), and now I can. Tomorrow, in fact. To the market we shall go.

I'm sure that in the near future I will think nothing of carting Jack around with me everywhere and being able to get out the door in five minutes, but at the moment, it's baby steps (no pun intended) like these that make up important milestones. I might even have a life again soon.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

from bumps to babes

I had a few women from our antenatal class over this afternoon for baby ogling and chitchat. It's funny to think that when we last met, we were waddling around and taking bets on who'd go into labour first. It was lovely to meet the wee ones (two girlfriends and one playmate for Jack) and to have a good natter with the girls. We all gave birth within a week of each other at the same hospital, thus we had a lot of shared experiences.

Interestingly, out of eight of us, only one had a "normal" labour and birth. In other words, only one woman went into labour on her own and delivered her baby vaginally, without any intervention. As for the rest of the group, three of us had c-sections, and the rest were induced. It almost seems rare for a woman to simply go into labour and push the baby out herself these days.

I learned today that Jack has cradle cap (which I keep calling "cradle crap" when I say it out loud, because I'm tired and can't speak properly). I noticed that he had some dry skin over one eyebrow and bits on his head, but didn't know it was cradle cap until one of the girls pointed it out on her baby today. I guess I must have some sort of inherent baby skincare instincts, because earlier this morning I rubbed some almond oil on it and gently brushed away the dry skin with a soft cloth. I just looked up cradle cap, and apparently that's exactly what you're supposed to do. Spooky, eh?

Jack has just started the "Hey Wait a Minute, You've Put Me Down and I Don't Like That One Bit" phase. Who knew that such a tiny little person could make such big, loud screechy noises?

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

behold our awesome power

My friend Susan gave birth this morning to an 11 lb. 4 oz. boy - on gas and air only. To put this in perspective, Jack weighs about 1 lb. less than him, and he's 7 weeks old. How Susan managed not only to carry him around in her belly and then push him out herself is beyond me. Aren't women amazing?

Congratulations Susan, Micky, and big brother Aidan on the birth of Dylan William! Jack looks forward to meeting his new playmate and Jasper looks forward to slurping cleaning Dylan's face.

More babies! More! (But not from me just yet - I'm a bit tired.)

and another

More pictures of my smiley boy, just 'cos:

This is the virtual equivalent to whipping out small photo albums everywhere you go and inflicting pictures of your pride and joy on everyone you encounter. God, I love having a web site.

oh what a beautiful morning

I put Jack down in his cot while I got ready this morning. After a few minutes, I could hear tiny giggles and squeals coming from the cot.

Jack found his thumb:

and was quite pleased about it:

This seems to have been a fluke because he was back to stuffing his entire fist in his mouth after I took these pictures. That smile melts my heart. Yes, I'll be the pushover parent.

Monday, 11 April 2005


Did anyone watch the royal wedding on Saturday? Me neither.

Did anyone make jokes about Grand National horses and Camilla? Me too.

livin' on the edge

Today, Jack and I ventured out on our own for the very first time. The destination of our big adventure? Tesco - that's right, a big supermarket. I'm all agog! Seriously, I haven't felt physically capable of going out with Jack without Paul (and I only got the go ahead to drive last Friday) so this is a big milestone for me. They should put a space for this in baby books. Something along the lines of, "Mummy was finally able to take me out without hyperventilating just thinking about it on this date." Jack snoozed through the whole thing, and I left with a new sense of confidence. I'm still a bit limited because I can't lift the pram in and out of the car yet, and I can't carry Jack in his carseat very far. But hey, at least I'm mobile again.

In other news, please think happy, c-section avoidance thoughts for my lovely friend Susan. She's gone in to be induced today, and I'm keeping everything crossed for her.

Saturday, 9 April 2005

hallelujah and pass the duvet

Last night, Jack slept from midnight until 7.30 this morning. Maternal instinct woke me up at 5, as I realised (somewhere, deep within my very tired brain) that I had been asleep for what felt like a very long time. A quick check to make sure Jack was still breathing (at what point do we stop doing that sort of thing?), and I fell back asleep for another 2 1/2 hours. We woke up amazed and elated, but knew that nights like this are likely a fluke - but goodness, we appreciated this treat.

Feel free to do that again anytime, my little man.

Friday, 8 April 2005

i bet they'll have fruitcake

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will acknowledge "sins and wickedness" at their wedding blessing...Prince Charles and the new Duchess of Cornwall will read the act of penitence which is worded: "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us." [source]

This makes the words we exchanged at our wedding ceremony seem like Petula Clark lyrics. Are they going to flagellate themselves after they exchange rings? Should they dunk Camilla into the Thames to see if she's a witch? (My vote: yes.) Good grief, it's a couple of middle aged divorcees getting hitched at the town hall. I'm sure Charles can still carry out his duties as our country's king without repenting sins we've all known about for over a decade. Ribbons can still be cut, shopping malls declared open, medals bestowed on his subjects, and I'm certain people will still buy his organic oatcakes. I know I will; my Dad loves them.

Just in case I'm ever deemed incapable of being a mother and technical author because I haven't made any such declarations of penitence before marriage, I will make a statement here, to you, my faithful readers. I, Lisa, fully admit that I have done some naughty things that I now hereby repent. I confess to the following naughty things:
-When I was 10, I stole an Aero chocolate bar from Boots in Burlington, Ontario. I only did it because my friend Linda was a bad influence and convinced me to do it, and it wasn't even a king sized bar or the minty variety.
-I lied about my weight on my driver's licence. (Canada only)
-On a credit card application, I stated that I lived at a particular address for two years when I had only been there for one. I just couldn't be bothered to fill out a third address to provide my housing information for the past three years.
-I snuck in to see "Monty Python's Meaning of Life" and "Videodrome" before I was 18.
-I have resorted to walkthroughs to get through difficult parts of computer games.
-When I was a vegetarian, I ate pepperoni. It was by mistake, but I liked it.
-I once told someone that something they made was really yummy, when in actual fact, I wasn't that keen on it.

I'm really, really, really sorry. Please vote for me on May 5. Thank you.

Thursday, 7 April 2005


A more substantial post about the exciting world of newborn babies and new mothers is overdue, although I hope you've been enjoying the pictures. Jack is starting to think that mummy is a creature with a large lens for a face.

We both have our 6 week check tomorrow with the doctor, and I'm sure we'll pass with flying colours. Not that I know exactly what is being checked, but I'm pretty sure we're fine. I always had the impression that c-section recovery ended by 6 weeks, probably because the only thing anyone ever hears about is the fact that you can't drive for 6 weeks. The truth is, I don't feel back to normal yet by any stretch of the imagination. My scar is still tender and it still hurts when I move around or try to lift anything. I am definitely better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I can't do essential tasks yet like lift Jack's buggy out of the car. What's annoying is that a woman from my antenatal class is able to walk her dog with her baby in a sling - and she had a c-section a few days after me. So why am I still feeble? It seems that some women feel fine and dandy after a couple of weeks, and some still feel pain in their scar years later. I really, really don't want to fall into the latter category.

Having said all that, I am feeling better overall. Although I don't think you ever get used to a lack of sleep, you do learn to cope with it and it doesn't seem too bad on the most part. On the nights that Jack only wakes to feed once in the night (e.g. he sometimes feeds at midnight, 4am, and 8am), I feel pretty good the next day. Coming from someone who couldn't even speak on less than 8 hours sleep a night, this is quite remarkable. Jack is on mixed feeds, which has made a huge difference in our nighttime routine. He gets bottles through the night (either expressed breast milk or - *gasp* - formula), which allows him to fill his belly each feed. When I breastfed during the night, he'd latch on, feed for five minutes, fall asleep (and trust me, I could not wake him for the life of me), and then wake up screaming an hour later because he hadn't eaten enough (and take ages to settle). Now he empties his bottle and goes back to sleep for another 3-4 hours without much fuss. He's getting enough to eat, I'm getting some sleep, and retaining what's left of my sanity. Part of the problem with recovering from a c-section is that I was exhausted most of the time and it's difficult to get Jack into a good position to feed without putting pressure on my scar. When I'm extremely tired, I don't produce much milk. The leads to a very grumpy baby and a very stressed mother. Giving my baby formula this early might make me a minion of Satan, but we're all much happier now.

Jack is turning into a proper little baby. He makes noises to amuse himself and soaks in the world around him. You can tell that he's becoming much more aware of everything around him and his newly acquired ability to smile has marked the change from newborn to growing baby. It's nice; newborns are extremely passive (and demanding), but they become more responsive as they get older. Jack and I often spend time just staring at each other - I look at him in complete wonderment and awe, and he stares at me trying to figure out what this fuzzy blob thing that feeds him is.

The good days now far outweigh the bad, and now I only get teary at things that actually do warrant tears (like some episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and when I tell Jack I love him every morning). Maybe the 6 week recovery doesn't apply to my scar, but there has been definite improvement in my wobbly new mother legs. I'm sure the scar will follow.

the happy housewife

I ran through my mental inventory of things I wanted to get done today: tidy up the kitchen, get the chicken marinated for dinner tonight, feed Jack and give him a dose of antibiotics, and do some laundry. I thought about making an appointment to get my hair cut, and what sort of snacks to whip up next week for the girls from our antenatal class. I made up a small batch of the soup I want to serve on Saturday to Gary and Ruth; it's a new recipe and I wanted to test it out first (it's good!). I accepted a parcel for the neighbours across the road because they weren't in.

Today, it hit me: I am a housewife.

Now before a gang of angry stay at home mothers show up at my door, I want to make it clear that I don't think there's anything wrong with being a housewife. My mother is one and her mother was before her. I just never imagined that job description would apply to me one day. I no longer have any deadlines, I can get things done during the day, and I don't spend my evenings thinking about documentation I need to work on the following day. I've been on maternity leave for just over two months now, and I've only just stopped wondering what's been going on with the product I worked on, and if I left things in a manageable state.

You know what? It's kind of nice to be a housewife. My days are filled with a new kind of busy and a different world of responsibilities. I thought I would feel a bit depressed about life away from the office, but surprisingly, it ain't half bad. I have to run - I have an urgent meeting with a young client who requires assistance with a nutritional matter.

Wednesday, 6 April 2005


The ex-pregnant ladies lunch club met at our house yesterday afternoon with beautiful babies in tow. It was the first time I've met Lucie's little girl Grace, and Conchita's bambino Silvia. Tosha's son Indigo demonstrated his fist-swallowing trick and treated us to an especially fragrant nappy for the occasion. Unfortunately, Jack slept through every minute of it, including the Crying Baby Chorus that serenaded us for a few minutes. There was lots of laughing, commiserating, and vigorous nodding of heads. It's very nice to get together with women who know where all the breastfeeding zones are in town, and who truly understand the meaning of the words "painful feeds" (and who agree that the incorrect latching theory is a large pile of meconium).

Apologies for any dog hair that came home with you, and for the Jasper bath service - and for completely forgetting to put out the cinnamon rolls I had made specifically for our get together. Baby brain strikes again.

another top tip

Reason why having a dog is good if you have a baby #73:
Need a dog bed? Need a baby gym? Just buy one and use it for both!

it's definitely not gas

I got my first genuine smile on the morning of my birthday last week. My heart leapt and my eyes filled with tears.

Can you imagine what I'll be like when he says his first word?

Sunday, 3 April 2005

the many faces of jack 2

Left to right: "Want a knuckle sandwich?", "I am filling my nappy and concentrating really, really hard.", and "This is what I think of Britney's new perfume."

today's top tip

Reason why having a dog is good if you have a baby #35: less baths for junior

Slight disadvantage: baby may not be terribly enthusiastic about this method