Thursday 27 September 2007

a conversation with jack

Click here to watch a clip of Jack out in the garden the other day. It's a bit long (5 minutes), but fairly entertaining. I love how toddlers go off on various tangents, and I adore Jack's imagination. Please excuse the big scab under my boy's nose - he recently had a close encounter with the pavement at nursery.

(If the sound/image is really choppy, press the pause button and wait a little while for more of the film to load - look at the blue bar to see how much has loaded.)

have you seen this woman?

Oh, Nigella. Where have you gone? Where is that wrong-side-of-35 curvy domestic goddess that I loved so much? The spoon licking...the smouldering glances at the camera...the rapturous noises you made as you stuffed your face with steak in front of an open fridge. I miss you! What's happened to you, my poor Nigella? What have they done to you? I was so thrilled about your new series, but when I tuned into your new programme, a vacuous Stepford wife stared blankly at me from the screen. She smiles throughout each episode, literally non-stop - even whilst eating, which is thoroughly disconcerting. She uses the word "express" at least three times each show, rides in a taxi to and from Waitrose to do her grocery shopping (which apparently only involves four items and she always seems to have exact change because she simply hands over the cash and glides away), and uses at least five adjectives to describe every recipe item.

Long gone is the voluptuous yummy mummy. Aliens have replaced her with a Happy Housewife Fembot. How else can you explain the need to pause during cooking to look into the lens to give the audience a wide-eyed, maniacal grin? What other reason could there be for chocolate mousse made with melted marshmallows? And why are we now being treated to tips on how to dress the table?

Please come back, Nigella. All is forgiven.

Wednesday 26 September 2007

sign of the times

So I was shopping in Milton Keynes a few weeks ago, and Mia was due for a feed. Not wanting to be obligated to purchase food somewhere just for a chair to breastfeed (and not at all interested in whipping out my boobs on those horrible aluminium benches outside of Clinton Cards or something similar), I remembered that the shopping centre had a feeding room. Although not the most pristine area I've ever seen (it's in desperate need of a paint job), it's a fantastic area for feeding and changing. One room is filled with purpose-built changing tables complete with sinks next to each one, and the other room has (vinyl) sofas for feeding. There is also a curtained off area at one end of the room for the very, very shy. It's actually just a shower curtain type arrangement around one of the chairs, which probably just makes you feel more of a dork for using it, really.

As I sat there feeding Mia, I thought about the sign used to indicate this room. It was something similar to this:

What about those of us who don't use bottles? How old fashioned to use a symbol like that, I thought. Why not modernise these signs to reflect the variations on the feeding theme, like this:

Upon further reflection, I realised that this would either confuse men into thinking there was a very small branch of Hooters restaurant near the toilets or it would make people think there was something sinister staring at them from beyond. This is probably why I never went into commercial art.

Incidentally, there is an international sign for breastfeeding, which is far more eloquent than mine:

Saturday 22 September 2007

waving a leek at wales

Charlotte Church gave birth to a little girl at home on Thursday evening. Good on her, I say. She allowed herself to look like a real human pregnant woman (with huge boobs and rolls of fat and bad hair and everything! Imagine!) without going into hiding, and put home birth in the news. As long as she and Gavin managed to avoid giving the baby an idiotic name, I give the young lady a round of applause. Well done, Charl!

Wednesday 19 September 2007


, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

Mia is three months old today. Three months! This is all going by too quickly. Way too quickly.

Mia sleeps through the night (and has been doing so for a month now), smiles and giggles, plays with toys, rolls on to her side, and enjoys watching cookery programmes. She's still in a moses basket next to me, and I'm in no rush to move her to the nursery. I'm glad she's petite because it means she still fits in the basket. She now weighs 10lbs 14oz (still on the 9th centile) and is still exclusively on the booby. Go me! Her eyes are blue and her hair is dark brown, but I'm not sure if either will stay that way.

I love the enormous gummy smile that spreads across her face whenever I look at her, especially when I peer over the side of her basket before I turn out the light to go to sleep. I love how she clings to my neck when I hold her. I love how she giggles when I wear glasses or when Jack performs for her.

She is my little Pixie Stix, bright-eyed and beautiful. Happy three months, my princess Mimi.

Saturday 15 September 2007

which reminds me...

Warning to all UK parents: I think a major grocery store chain has brainwashed my child. Subliminal advertising on those little television screens in the biscuit aisle at Bar Hill? Drugs in their organic whole milk? Suggestive imagery in their logo? Who knows, but for some reason, my son has said the following recently:
[When Paul said that Jack could eat his lunch outside "al fresco"] "No daddy, I not eat at Tesco!"
[When I said that the disco dancing clip in the post below made me laugh] "I like the Tesco movie!"

And even when we try to correct him, the answer is always "No! Tesco!"

I'm scared now.

soooo mature

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

This has been making Jack and I giggle all morning. We really need to get out more.

Friday 14 September 2007

she got me

Vero tagged me on this one*: 8 random facts or habits
  • I can do a good impression of a pigeon. My friend Eric and I used to make pigeon noises over the intercom at the bookstore where we worked. It was very entertaining to see people look up in bewilderment. We also used to page people to random spots in the store like "Richard to the front window, please. Richard to the front window." Ah, youth.
  • I always shut the lid before flushing when I use the toilet on an airplane. I'm afraid of being sucked out into the atmosphere if I don't. Like a 20" disc of plastic is going to prevent that, I know.
  • When I was a kid, one of my many allergies was to citric acid. I mean honestly, who the hell is allergic to citric acid? I think the doctor made that one up for a laugh during my allergy test. "Oooh look! That bump there? That one was for...erm...plether. Stay far away from faux leather."
  • When I'm trying to explain something to someone here and don't know the "British" word for it, I need to resist the urge to say it in French. My brain only knows how to translate between Canadian and French.
  • I can't eat raw tomatoes unless they have been skinned, de-seeded, and put on top of bruschetta.
  • I have a fear of wasps. They don't make honey and they sting you for no good reason. Plus, they don't die after they sting you. They just go on doing it because they're bored and irritable. If they made honey, they wouldn't have to resort to such things.
  • I've never been to a dentist in this country; I go to my dentist in Ontario when I go home. I don't even know how to sign up with a dentist here.
  • I've never mowed a lawn. Allergies, you see. *achoo*

*(Yes, I know I'm supposed to tag eight people and post the rules blahdy blahdy blah, but I'm lazy like that. Just feel free to nick this and join in!)

Tuesday 11 September 2007

aaaaand relax

Today was our first baby massage class. I very cleverly plugged the address into TomTom so that TomTom lady could tell me how to get there, but didn't realise that TomTom doesn't display the house number after you've entered it in. BadBad TomTom. So I'm sitting in my car on the road where the class is held, with no idea which house to go to. I ended up calling Caroline to ask her to look up the web site and see if there was a postal address, which annoyingly, there wasn't. I saw a lady get out of the car in front of me carrying a baby and asked if she was going to baby massage, and thankfully she was and told me the house number. So, feeling stressed and more than a little bit dorky, I finally made it to class.

For the very first time, I found a group of mums who don't look at me like I'm a lunatic when I try to make friendly small talk. These mums talked to me! Some of them spoke to me first! Oh happy days. The class was lovely, very calming and interesting. Mia loved being massaged and spent most of the time checking out the two younger men on either side of her. At the end of the class, we spent a few minutes chatting with each other. I talked to one mum about c-sections and reflux (the latter I know nothing about, but that never usually stops me from giving unsolicited advice), and demonstrated my sling for another. It was a fantastic morning.

One of the main reasons why I am hesitant to join any mother/baby groups is due to my past experience with snooty mums. In Jack's swimming class, none of the mums chatted with me and it was made worse by the "clique" mentality of the mothers who had been taking swimming classes together longer. It still happens to this day when I go to Jack's nursery. A couple of the mums are really lovely, but on the most part, they never speak to me or return my smile. One of them really hacks me off because her daughter not only goes to Jack's nursery, but she was in Jack's swimming class - they've known each other since Jack was 4 months old, but the mother still barely manages to look at me when I see her.

I'm a nice lady, really. I promise that when I smile at you or try to chat with you, it's not because I'm insane or trying to convince you to join my religion. Come on, ladies of Britain! I know you can do it!

Sunday 9 September 2007

which reminds me...

In a similar vein, enjoy this snipped of "Family Guy". (courtesy of Jen lady)

snickering under the duvet again

In the early hours of the morning, our little boy woke up (not for the first time, I might add) and bounded into our room demaning our full attention. Paul told Jack to go play with his toys in his room for a few minutes, and off he went. Eyes shut, we attempted to get a bit more rest until we heard:
"DADDY! DADDY! Come! Here! Right! Now! DADDY!!" [pause]
"DAAAAADDY! Come read my book!" [pause]
"RIGHT NOW! You come here!"
[in a small, quiet voice] "Aww. He's not talking to me."

Much giggling ensued.

Friday 7 September 2007

Duelling babies

Duelling babies, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

This photo was taken yesterday at our company's summer party. That's Caroline's gorgeous girl Emily on the left. She's nine months older than Mia (to the day) and they both have the same type of stroller (so you can get an idea of size comparison.) One workmate suggested that we race them, but I'm pretty sure Emily would win.

So yesterday, Mia had her first taste of solids. Jack wanted a snack, so I gave him a bag of Organix puffed corn thingies. I left the room to get a glass of water and upon my return, Jack said "I gave Mia a crisp!" I scooped her up and took a look inside her mouth, to see a slowly dissolving bit of corn thingy on her tongue. I stuck a finger in and scooped it out, while explaining (and attempting to sound calm) that Mia doesn't eat crisps yet. "Mia only has milk from mummy and you mustn't feed her anything, okay?" I said while Jack nodded and probably wondered what all the hoo-ha was about. I'm not too worried because I don't think any of it actually went down, and it was only an ogranic corn puff thingy that dissolves fairly quickly. What worries me is if he tries to feed her something she might choke on, so I've got to keep a closer eye on Mia's well-meaning big brother. This morning, unprompted, he said to me "Mia drinks mummy's milk. Mia has crisps when she's bigger." Phew. Okay.

Late last night, I heard a tiny croaky voice say "More water, please." I filled Jack's cup, and he said "Thank you, mummy. I love you, mummy.", had a drink, and went back to sleep.

This being a mummy business is not too shabby indeed.

(Click the photo to see some other recent Mia photos that I uploaded today.)

the accidental craftist

I seem to have stumbled into the world of arts and crafts, but I didn't mean to. It started with knitting: I thought it would be a fun thing to learn and hey, all the celebrities were doing it. I'd be one of those cool knitters though, not one of those people who stick dolls in toilet paper rolls and crochet a Jordanesque gown on them. Then I decided to make the invitations for Mia's naming ceremony, partially because I like personalised things and partially because it was something I kept meaning to do. I was going to make some cards for our wedding and I thought about it again for my baby shower, but I never got round to it. The other day, I bought two albums to save Jack and Mia's bits and bobs. Why just stick things on a page when I could add graphics and text, I thought. I have a background in graphic design, so this just seemed natural to me. I mounted some photos on coloured card, glued on little decorative bits, and added some text...and suddenly I realised that I had inadvertently started scrapbooking.

Oh, wait. It gets worse.

The other day I was looking at one of Mia's dresses that has a bunny on it made out of different pieces of fabric. At the same time, I was going through Jack's old clothes and things Mia has outgrown for the charity bin. Some things were too special to give away, but what could I do with baby clothes? Ah ha, I'll take little swatches of fabric from this clothing and make a patchwork quilt. Now I'm thinking about QUILTING, for christ's sake. I looked at books on Amazon and am watching some auctions for sewing machines on eBay. I don't know how to sew! I haven't used a sewing maching since Home Ec in grade 8! What's come over me?!

Is this something that happens as you get older? You suddenly get the urge to get into craftmaking? What's next? Needlepoint? Macrame? Dried flower arranging?

I'm still cool, right? Right? Help.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

out of the mouths of boys

First, I think I need to explain my last post a bit more. What I meant was, I was surprised at the interpretation of various concepts by American mums. My understanding of some things are quite different, so it was rather amusing that by their standards, some things I take for granted are really hip and way out there, man. For example, I use a Baby Bjorn or a sling sometimes. An American mum in the same situation might say she's a "babywearer". My understanding of "baby wearing" is part of the whole Attachment Parenting concept, which is a lot more complex than using a sling every now and then when you want your hands free. Does that make more sense now? Or maybe not. I am kind of tired these days. Anyway, it was an observation based on one mums forum that is generally frequented by lunatics, so probably not the best way to form an opinion about a country as a whole.

Yesterday, Mia, Jack and I went on lovely picnic with the equally lovely Caroline, Phoebe, and Emily. It didn't rain. And there was much rejoicing. The park in St Neots has a fabulous play area, and Jack had a great time playing with the Big Kids. I had a hilarious conversation with one boy, who was admiring Mia. He must have been around 8 years old.

Boy: "I love babies! They're so tiny and cuddly."
Me: "Yes, but then they get bigger and don't want to be cuddled anymore."
Boy: "Yeah. That's annoyin'. When I get older, I'm gonna get married so I can have a baby!"

If that kid learns how to cook and keeps the toilet seat down, he'll be quite the catch one day.

The play area has sand on the ground, and Jack took it upon himself to remove his shoes and socks at one point. "Where are your shoes?" I asked, and he pointed to the steps next to the slide. There were his shoes, neatly placed side-by-side with his socks carefully tucked into them. Excellent.

Along with this occasional tidy phase, he has been making his own scrambled eggs with daddy in the mornings. He also puts the seat down after each toilet visit. My boy will also make a good catch one day if he keeps this up.