Saturday, April 28, 2007

Packing For Holiday

We leave bright and early Monday morning for America. Today has been productive; bags are mostly packed and the house is mostly clean. Our friend Lorna came over and entertained the baby while we got stuff done. Scott cleaned the kitchen while I packed bags and tidied the living room (which isn't 100% done yet). Fi's been lovely all day, up until a few hours ago. We think, young as she is, that she's going to cut some teeth soon. She's got all the classic signs: major drooling, chewing on hands, crying, warm head (not feverish though, thankfully). I suppose some babies do start teething around 4 months (she's 3), so we'll see if I'm right in a few weeks, I guess.

I'm tired, and my head kinda hurts. I'm looking forward to being back home for a few weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gone Swimmin'

I took Fifi swimming today for the first time. Much to my delight, she loved it! She was a bit dubious at first, but once we sat down in the kiddie pool, where the water came up just below her shoulders standing up, she was much more receptive. She just floated for ages. We 'swam' for about 15-20 minutes in the kiddie pool before she started shivering and her lips started going a bit purple. So I moved us into the 'jacuzzi' which is like a really lame, lukewarm bath, and she enjoyed that as well - especially when the bubbles came on! I held her face up out of the water and swished her around while the bubbles swirled her legs around, and we giggled together. But her lips were still a bit blue so I then took her out and wrapped her in a big fluffy towel. She began crying so I took her to the changing room, dried her off and dressed her and let her nurse. She nursed for about a minute before falling into a deep sleep. She's still sleeping.

And what am I doing? Not all the work that needs to be done, no. First I napped with her, then had a frozen pizza for lunch and then ordered some sodium ascorbate and gentian violet off Amazon. Now I'm blogging. And the housework and the reports I am supposed to be working on are still waiting. It's so hard to choose to do work in the few precious hours you get free when you've got a baby! But if my luck continues, and Fifi stays asleep, I might tackle some reports after I finish this post.

And come to that, I'm finished with this post, so maybe I'll go start some reports. Unless that was a baby cry I just heard...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wasting Time

My living room is a tip, my kitchen looks like the one in Withnail and I, my laundry is piled up to my ears and the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in... a while. Yet what am I doing while Fifi sleeps? Surfing the 'net.

I am only going to be on the computer for a short time, though. I've promised myself. A load of laundry is in the wash too, which must count for something.

Okay, rather than trying to segue from topic to topic in any reasonable fashion, I'm just going to skip the formality and just say stuff.

Scott and I got new phones. They are hott.

I'm still hoping for a phone call from the Health Visitor in Gourock about training up with the Breastfeeding Network. But in my heart I'm afraid I've missed the call. I'm hardly ever home, and when I am, it seems the phone is always off the charger and dead. Why oh why didn't I give her my mobile number? (Not that that would help much since we just switched phones.) I really would like to do this. She asked a group of us at the Weaning Fayre I attended last week (or was it two weeks ago now?) who were breastfeeding if we'd be interested in starting a peer support group. I really wanted to do it. Also because I have a mom-crush on one of the other girls who was asked, and I totally wanted to become friends with her. But I haven't heard from them which means either a) they haven't called yet or b) you snooze, you lose. Or rather, you leave your house with no answering machine, you lose. Especially when you can't remember the woman's name to get ahold of her yourself.

I don't think we will ever get a new house. Not. Ever.

Especially not now that I'm a SAHM. I'm now technically, for all tax purposes, Scott's dependent. Ouch. There's some incentive for moms to stay home, eh?

Fifi has been barfing non-stop for a couple of weeks now. It's probably just GER (gastroesophaegeal reflux, however you spell that). The doc ordered infant Gaviscon for her, which I'm a bit wary about. I don't like the idea of pumping drugs into my three month old infant, even if it is harmless old Gaviscon. (Is it really harmless? Really?) I mean, babies have been throwing up since the dawn of man; surely she'll just grow out of it?

She's also got thrush, but again I haven't started her on the antibiotics yet, because I just feel funny about it. Maybe I'm taking this 'mother's intuition' a bit far, but I really don't want to give her antibiotics. Especially since the thrush isn't bothering her, and it hasn't passed on to me. Plus, I don't trust my doctor so much anymore after he assured me I can't get thrush from my breastfed infant. Um, hello? Missed that question on the MCAT, did ya? I'm hoping it'll either go away on its own, or if she begins to be bothered by it I can justify using gentian violet for it. ('They' say it's not necessary to treat thrush if it's not causing the infant any discomfort. I don't know who to trust - 'they' or 'they'?)

Oh goodness, look at me. Didn't I say I was only going to spend a few minutes on the computer? Fifi will be up any time now! Quick! Gotta unload the dishwasher!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Say what you want about socialised medicine, but some days I totally love the NHS. Like the day we found out we'd have to have a cesarean section to deliver Fifi - and I didn't have to worry about paying a cent (pense?). Or today when I found out that children under 16 don't pay for prescriptions so antibiotics for Fifi's thrush are free.

Some days of course, I don't like the NHS, but today isn't one of them.

Besides that, I've just spent the last five minutes lying to Fi that spiders aren't scary. I told her Little Miss Muffett was a silly girl for running away from the spider that along came beside her. But in my heart, I am Little Miss Muffett.

Monday, April 16, 2007

If You Want to Walk On Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

Hmm... that's a good title. Someone should write a book called that!*

But seriously...

If I thought moving to Scotland and marrying a guy I'd only ever been in physical contact with for 7 weeks was stepping out of the boat, well I've just maybe actually surpassed that in the Leap of Faith Scale.

I quit my job.

Holy moly, I quit my job.

As you know, I've been wanting to for a while, but Scott and I just could not see how it could possibly work. We seriously needed my income to stay afloat (to keep up with the boat imagery). But the closer it came to June, the more anxious I was becoming, to the point of illness. I could feel my body giving way under the stress. I knew once time came for the magazine to be done, I'd have to make a choice - Fifi or work. I knew from the past two years of doing the magazine that it would take full, all-day concentration, and I also knew from the past two months that so does Fifi.

There was the option of having the in-laws watch her a few hours everyday, but seeing that I'm exclusively breastfeeding, the thought of pumping constantly for her to have milk when I'm not there only added to the stress.

Yes, I was going to be working from home. Yes, that was an answer to prayer. But before actually having a baby, I thought working from home was the simple solution. After having a baby, I realised it would be almost as complicated as working outside the home. Or maybe even more so.

So I prayed and prayed. I prayed that if working from home really wasn't going to be as bad as I foresaw it, that God would give me peace about it. But I also prayed that if it really was going to be too much, that Scott would come to the same conclusion and give me the okay. After all, the sacrifices he would have to make were going to be enourmous.

Scott came home last week one day and curled up next to me on the bed and said to me, 'How's my stay-at-home mum?'

I panicked the whole way to Glasgow as I rehearsed what I was going to tell my boss. It went smoothly enough, better than I imagined really. But after doing it, I felt the weight of the world fall off my shoulders. I am certain I did the right thing.

It's not going to be easy around here. There will be no extras anymore, at least not for a long time. Scott is going to get a part-time job. I'm working a small part-time gig for someone I know who runs a business. I'm also planning to start my own business (more details to come), in which I can choose how much I work and how many clients I accept. But we both feel very good about our decision.

I kinda know now how Peter felt though...

*That was a joke.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My First La Leche League Meeting

Fifi is asleep and while there are fifty things I really ought to be doing during this time ahead of blogging, I'm choosing blogging.

This morning I attended my first La Leche League group meeting. It was in someone's home on the total opposite side of Glasgow from me so it took an hour to get there. I'm glad they only meet once a month. Fifi was fine with the long drive, though, which gave me some encouragement for our upcoming trip to America and all the driving we'll be doing there.

Anyway, I won't describe the people I met there, even though I'm dying to, just in case I ever become friends with any of them and they start reading this blog and find a description of themselves, which would be part creepy, part ... well, mainly creepy.

But I will say I liked everyone very much, and I was delighted to find exactly the kind of people I expected to find - the hippies, the earth mothers of a million breastfed kids and the every day mums who, like me, obviously made an effort to look nice for the outing.

And of course, everyone was all about the breastfeeding, as they would be, attending a LLL meeting. We had a good conversation about different aspects of nutrition, weaning and off-topic things like sleep and returning menstruation. I feel I learned a lot and also got a lot of confirmation on the things I've been doing.

And the best part was feeling okay about my milk spraying halfway across the room while trying to feed my squirmy baby in front of a bunch of people because they've all been there and think it's as funny as I secretly do too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fifi, Meet Tigger


"I'm not so sure about you..."

"Mum? A little help here, please?"

"Hmmm... wow... you don't say."

"Somebody call security."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Trying To Be Super

I'm only just beginning to admit it to myself, but I think I am trying to be Supermom.

I've been warned about trying to achieve this fictional status. I know this woman does not exist. But little by little I'm noticing how much I still aim to be her.

I first realised it the other day when Scott and I had a silly little argument. See, Scott has been great about my mothering and wifely skills. He never complains when the dishes aren't done or the floors aren't hoovered. (Possibly he just doesn't notice.) He has been really understanding about how much time caring for a baby takes. Yet the other day when he said, 'I can't take a bath with all your hair still in it', I lost it. I was so upset! I started going off about how hard I try and how hard it is to keep everything together and looking good and I'm sorry if I've been too busy feeding your daughter and changing her nappies to clean out the bathtub. And then of course I cried in my pillow while Fifi sucked away at my boob.

The truth is, I desperately want to prove that I can do this. I don't know who I'm trying to prove it to though. Or why. It's almost even as if I'm trying to prove to God Himself that mothering and housekeeping is such a full time job, and yet I'm so good at it, that I shouldn't have to go back to work. It's like, if I can prove to the Powers That Be that I can be an amazing mom and an amazing housewife, then the PTB will rain down an extra income out of nowhere so I can stay at home and do what I love and do best.

For the most part, I genuinely am coping. I manage to get dressed and bathed almost every day. Some days I even fix my hair. And if it's a big occasion, I even get make up on! The laundry keeps relatively well up to date (at least the nappies get washed), the dishes, with the help of my wonderful husband, get done most of the time, and the baby is thriving. I even manage to get her out and about nearly every day. My outlook is good and my sense of humour is in tact. I think I really am doing well.

But I keep having to prove it anyway. To someone. I don't know who to. God? Scott? My parents? Fifi? Myself?

And on that note (and with Fifi asleep) I need to go tidy the kitchen. And make some lunch. And take my vitamins. Because Supermom always remembers her and her family's vitamins.

Spending Time Together

Girlie Lunch
Originally uploaded by superlori.
Fifi and I do lots of fun stuff together.

We go shopping. We go to lunch. We go on walks. We hike.

Sometimes Fifi and I just hang around the house, like today. Today we're just gonna tidy up and relax. We might go visit Great Gran at the hospice though. Fifi likes Great Gran. Great Gran sings silly songs to her.

I like spending time with Fifi. Despite her lack of language skills, I enjoy listening to her. She has lots of goos and gaas for me, lots of gurgles and giggles. Sometimes I do need a bit more two-sided conversations, though, so somedays we go hang out with other people too, like Granda or my friends who also have children.

Some people claim to get really bored spending all day alone with a baby. I suppose from some point of view I can see that, but I can't imagine it ever being the case with me. I love it. I love planning my days around adventures and outings as opposed to spreadsheets and meetings. I would love nothing more than to stay at home with Fifi and any potential brothers or sisters until they are all in school. We just have so much fun together!

But, alas, SAHMing doesn't pay the electricity bills. So I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mums Talk About Poop In A Serious Way

I'm constantly surprised by the many amazing realities of motherhood.

Today I learned about the importance of poop.

Little Fifi hasn't been able to poop. And it's not for lack of trying. Girlfriend has been straining and screaming all afternoon.

During pregnancy, you don't imagine yourself desperately coaxing your baby to poop or trying every possible mechanism to get your baby to poop. You imagine how icky it'll be to change dirty nappies; you don't realise that some days, you'd cry of joy to see one.

I tried everything I could think of today to help my baby in her Mission Impossible. I massaged her tummy. I bicycled her legs. I gave her a warm bath. I nursed her frequently.

When she finally pooed after her warm bath (into her towel! And I was elated!), I thought her crisis was over. She nursed happily and fell asleep quickly. I fell asleep next to her. But I was then awoken by the most shrill cry I've ever heard from her. I wanted to cry too for my little girl who was in pain.

After more tummy rubbing and leg bicycling and nursing (and several satisfying farts on her end), she's finally calming. She's lying next to me now, trying to nurse my arm and giggling. I better stop this pointless blogging and give my girl some milkies! Her little eyes are showing the tiny baby desperation for the comfort of the titty.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fifi In the Mirror

Fifi In the Mirror on Vimeo

The Keanu Factor

Is Keanu Reeves some kind of Hollywood joke? I mean, is he like what a film director gets when s/he loses a bet? Or maybe it's like a contest - directors trying to prove they can make a blockbuster even with Keanu Reeves playing a main role. (If this is the case, the Wachowski brothers totally kicked that contest's ass with The Matrix trilogy.)

I just wonder.