Tuesday 31 July 2007

It's obviously genetic.

Jack loves Kraft Dinner.
Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
This is the story of a boy and his Kraft Dinner. Click here to read this culinary adventure.

(And if you're reading this mom, we need more please. Thank you.)

Tuesday 24 July 2007

now that's what i call spam

Well, at least my spam is getting visually more...interesting.

we should have called her tinkerbell

When I had Jack, Victoria Beckham had her son Cruz a few days beforehand. When I had Mia, "glamour model" Jordan had her daughter Princess Tiaamii a few days later. I haven't checked to see which other celebrities had children around the same time I had mine, so there could be more out there.

To the children of said celebrities I would like to offer my apologies for their insane monikers. It seems that as we selected hugely popular names, the universal Weird Name/Traditional Name scale needed to be re-balanced and as a result, you ended up with hideous names. So sorry, but hopefully all that money makes up for it.

i need hermione's time warping thingymawotsit

Okay, okay. I am the only person on the planet who hasn't run out to buy the latest Harry Potter book. I've been busy, alright? I do want to read it! I do! I just haven't bought my copy yet! Quit pointing at me and mocking me!

Actually, if someone could come over and read it to me while I go about my daily business, that would be lovely. Is Stephen Fry free?

Boys have cooties!

Boys have cooties!, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

Considering Jack was also licking Mia's face yesterday (he really must stop hanging around with the dog), you'd think she would be relieved it was a kiss that time.

In other news, I'm sure Mia's giving us social smiles now. She does it when I look at her and/or talk to her, and does it to Jack as well. It's so lovely because she'll usually make a little cooing sound when she smiles. Click on the photo to see more images of my smiley beautiful girl.

Monday 23 July 2007


Some reflections on second babies and how life has changed with your toddler.

Then: As soon as your child fills his nappy, you diligently replace it with a clean one, anytime day or night.
Now: If your child fills her nappy during the night, you don't bother changing it because a) she's generally pretty happy to sit in her poo and b) you'd rather have an extra 5 minutes of sleep.

Then: You wash and sterilise your baby's dummy if it falls on the floor.
Now: You check to see if anyone's looking, blow on it, wipe it on your shirt, and give put it back in the baby's mouth.

Then: You keep careful track of the frequency and duration of your baby's feeds.
Now: You're pretty sure you fed the baby today. You think. Hmm. Better get a boob out, just in case.

Then: You're adamant about restricting television time to a special treat only and it must be a programme on CBeebies.
Now: You encourage your child to watch Teletubbies and Bear in the Big Blue House because they last 30 minutes, thus allowing you more sleep on the sofa time.

Then: You ensure that your child's food contains no added salt or sugar, and is organic.
Now: Some meals consist entirely of pretzels. And you're okay with that.

Thursday 19 July 2007

Everything's rosy

Mia's rose, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

My grandma's name was Yoshiko, but she went by the name "Rose" (or Rosie) because it was her favourite flower and it was easier for Canadians to pronounce. My great aunt Jane was also a Yoshiko and was like a third grandma to me, even though she was only related by marriage. I miss them both with all my heart, and the best way I could honour them was to give their name to our daughter. Mia's room is decorated with roses, and I had roses in my bridal bouquet. The birth flower for June is the rose. It was easy to find a plant to celebrate Mia's birth: a Champagne patio rose.

Today marks Mia's first month in the outside world. It's strange to think that one month ago she made her rapid and dramatic arrival, because it seems like she's been in our lives forever. She is tiny and precious, beautiful and bright-eyed. Happy first month, my gorgeous Mimi. xx

The first month of Mia's photos can be seen here.

How does my garden grow?

The veg patch
Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
Last year, I got all keen and planted vegetables and lo, they grew. And they were good. This year, I was heavily pregnant during prime planting/sowing season and everything went in late. If it wasn't for my in-laws coming to my rescue, it would still be an L-shaped patch of compost. We put in some tomato plants, potatoes, elephant garlic, carrots, and onions. I bought a small chilli plant that has now grown into a fine tall specimen that's showing promise.

The tomatoes have grown, but the leaves have gone weirdly patchy brown and curly (but they are fruiting.) The garlic has sprouted and the carrots have become big enough to thin. The potatoes have gone leafy, although I wasn't very good at keeping them earthed up - I can only hope that there are little potatoes in there. The onions did squat all and never even appeared above the topsoil. Not a great harvest, really. So, in a bid to have something edible come out of my veg patch, I went to the garden centre and bought some plants that are later season crops. I got red onions and spring onions (because dammit, I WILL have onions!), rocket/arugula, and baby spinach. This was all very exciting until I did a bit of research and discovered that the onions won't be ready for picking until next year. Ah.

At any rate, my veg corner looks better now and it has been lovingly forked (that's forked) and fertilised. I might only get one mushy tomato and a green potato, but what the heck. It would still be better quality than Tesco's. *meow!*

Sunday 15 July 2007

baby grows

So the health visitor came over last Tuesday to weigh Mia. In one week, Mia put on one pound. ONE POUND! In a week! It might not sound impressive (I can put on a pound in an hour by consuming a tub of ice cream during an episode of Big Brother) but for a newborn, this is pretty cool stuff. Breast feeding is going really well, I'm relieved to say. I've now past the first milestone (by three weeks, Jack was on mixed feeds) and feeding is now painless. Breast shields and massive globs of Lansinoh for one week seems to have done the trick, hallelujah. I've been practicing various holds as well, becoming slightly more adept at feeding Mia and having a hand free to do important things, like changing television channels.

This is all very exciting for me. I couldn't feed Jack without an elaborate array of pillows and both hands (plus any extra on offer.) It never stopped hurting, and I never enjoyed it in the least. I dreaded more of the same with Mia, particularly when my nipples became cracked and painful. I had that familiar feeling of anxiety as I approached the next feed, and let out the same gasp of pain when she latched on. To be able to feed Mia without hesitation, feeling calm while she nurses, not looking at the clock and getting a knot in my stomach, and simply enjoying gazing into her little greyish-blue eyes while she looks up at me from my breast...it's priceless.

But before most of you leave with a feeling of disgust at my constant smugness since Mia's birth, it's not all been rosy. Paul has taken on almost all of Jack's daily (and nightly) duties so that I can take care of Mia, which means that my little boy now cries out for daddy when he wakes up or hurts himself. I went to comfort him one night when he woke up crying, and he pushed me away with an angry "NO!" and kept sobbing "Daddy daddy daddy!" while I tried not to cry. I'm trying to get involved with his daily routine more now, and it already seems to be making a difference - probably more for me than for him. Mia seems to be going through a growth spurt, making for some very restless nights and grumpy evenings. For all of us.

And tomorrow is my first day alone with toddler and newborn. Please come over and bring as much cake as you can carry.

Monday 9 July 2007

water baby

Mia's first bath!, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

I gave Mia her first bath while Paul gave our little boy a wash in the big tub. This is a huge deal for me; Paul did Jack's first (and the next few) bath in hospital while I was bound to a bed by a catheter and IV. It's the little things that are making me so happy - even meconium poo. I never saw Jack's and never got to change any of his first nappies, which sounds completely insane, but it's one of those things that everyone normally experiences and I missed out. So this time, I've seen all the poo, done the first bath, and all the other mundane things that I couldn't do before.

I went out with Mia on my own yesterday (which I could have done sooner, but just didn't have the need to do so) to that favourite first outing location of most UK mums: Tesco grocery store. My first solo excursion with Jack was at 8 weeks, so this is another mundane yet thrilling milestone. The elderly cashier asked how old Mia was and I told her Mia's just over two weeks. Usually cashiers ask if you need any help packing or "Are you okay to pack?" but this cashier said, in a most serious and concerned tone, "Are you okay?"

I am more than okay, thanks.

Friday 6 July 2007


It's a long 'un, but I've finally completed my birth story. It's very sweary and includes a lot of details about womanly bodily things, so don't read it aloud to your small children or recite it during mass on Sunday. You can read my story here.

Mia piccies from today can be seen here.

Wednesday 4 July 2007

must be all that cake i'm eating

At birth, Mia was 6 1/2 pounds. At two weeks, she should be back at her birth weight. At her weigh in yesterday with the nice health visitor lady, we discovered that she's now 7lbs 3oz. Woooo! That's some milk I'm making! With all the breastfeeding problems I had with Jack, I'm really pleased to know that I'm feeding Mia well.

I forgot to write about the hideous midwife visit we had the other day. Mia had to get her PKU (heel prick) test redone because the hospital gave out-of-date forms to my midwife (don't even get me started), so a community midwife came over to do it again with the proper form. Not only did this godawful woman not like my dog, she had the personality of a cold, wet teabag. She asked for Mia's ethnic background for her form, and when I said Caucasian the midwife asked "Are you sure? Because you look a bit Chinesey to me." Chinesey. No, seriously. I was so aghast, I didn't know what to say other than to confirm that my mother is of Japanese ancestry. Mia was then marked down as "British-Asian" on the form, and we couldn't get this vile woman out of our house quickly enough. And people wonder why I didn't go through the NHS for this birth.

Speaking of the NHS, we had to go to the hospital yesterday to get Mia's hearing test done. This is normally done before you're released from hospital after the birth, in a small room at the end of the postnatal and antenatal ward...which I haven't visited since my lengthy and traumatic stay when I had Jack. It was awful. The smell, the dated floral curtains around the beds, the dazed-looking women gingerly tending to their newborns, a woman fresh from her c-section being wheeled past, that goddamn toaster where you had to toast your own bread each morning, the side room where I stayed while they attempted to coax Jack out. Awful. I didn't realise how badly I was affected by my hospital stay until we returned yesterday. Thankfully we shouldn't have to go back again.

Is it normal to want to eat every 15 minutes 24 hours a day when you're breastfeeding? Good lord, I've never been so hungry in my life.

Tuesday 3 July 2007

we don't do things by halves

Jack: [holding up his cup] Jack's milk.
Me: Yep, that's Jack milk.
Jack: [pointing at my boob] BIIIG milk!

Engorgement ended over a week ago. Someone please take these giant comedy boobies away now.

week deux

Yes, yes - I will complete my birth story, I promise. It's already pages long and I haven't even reached the active labour bit yet. At this rate, it'll take longer to read about my labour than it actually lasted.

Speaking of which, it's very odd to think that I gave birth only two weeks ago. In a way, it feels like it's been ages since I was pregnant. Oddly, I'm not missing pregnancy as much as I did after I had Jack. This is probably because by the time I had Mia, I had been pregnant for almost 11 months with a 19 day "break." I spent much of my pregnancy with Mia petrified that something would go wrong, and I honestly don't want to go through that again. I did enjoy the last trimester, though (apart from the evil bum thingy incident.) Going off work early was the best idea I've had in ages, and all the complimentary therapies worked wonders. My rings stayed on until the last two weeks (and went back on 3 days postpartum), and I completely avoided Hobbit feet. Go me!

Mia is doing splendidly, her little cheeks rounding out and her big slate blue eyes stare at me intently. I still can't work out who she looks like, although I think she has Jack's nose. She feeds every 3-4 hours for 10-20 minutes each time, and promptly falls asleep after each feed. This means I get 2-3 hour stretches of sleep most nights, oh yes. Non-mummies will think I'm insane, mummies will know exactly how thrilling it is to get "that much" sleep. Paul takes care of Jack in the mornings, allowing me to steal another hour or two after they both get up. I feel almost human, although I'm still wilting by suppertime.

The novelty of a little sister has not worn off yet, and Jack still wants to hold and cuddle Mia every chance he can get. When it's time to go to nursery, Paul will say "Say goodbye to mummy" at which point Jack will run up to Mia's basket and say "Bye bye Mia!" and run out the door. Indeed.

The other day while I was feeding Mia, Jack brought her a racing car. He then brought several more toys for her to play with, saying "Here you go, Mia!" each time. By the time I was done feeding her, she looked like this:

I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this phase while it lasts.

Sunday 1 July 2007

sunshine for canada

After weeks and weeks of crappy rainy weather and threats of torrential downpours for the entire weekend, the sun made an appearance today for the duration of our annual (but much pared down) Canada Day BBQ! They said we were mad. Our baby is only 12 days old - how on earth would we be capable of hosing a social event? Ah, but it's Mia's first Canada Day and it would be criminal not to celebrate by the grilling of meat and consumption of beer. I explained to Jack that it's Canada's birthday today, which led to much confusion and a search for this "Canada" chap to see what kind of presents he might be getting.

Pictures can be found here.

And just in case you're confused and haven't read/known about the baby blog, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl on June 19. Go read all about it and get caught up, for goodness sake!