Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No Food or Drink allowed

So we were at the library yesterday to return some books I'd borrowed (one of which I'd actually managed to read!) Miraculously enough, Big was sound asleep in the back of the buggy while small was happy enough for the moment to sit quietly in the front, casting me the occasional sneaky glance to let me know my browsing time was limited and to keep it quick.

Sure enough, after 5 minutes or so, she was demanding to be released from her wheeled prison. I threw her into the sling which bought me another few minutes of peace but by the time we reached the check out desk she was on full fuss alert and threatening to launch into a very loud chorus of "FEED ME NOW WOMAN!"

So I sat down at a table and laughingly pointed out the "No Eating or Drinking Allowed" sign stuck to the middle of the table to my mother while the baby nursed away. Surely breastfeeding wouldn't cause any mess or fuss! Right?


After the small one finished, I handed her to my mom to be winded while I put myself back together. After a few seconds of gentle patting she let out a burp, followed by a cough, followed by what can only be described as a veritable river of puke which coated my mother, the table, the chair and the floor beneath them. Being a lady, she managed to avoid getting even a speck on herself.

Thankfully, the librarians were very nice about it all, but in future, I'll try and feed the baby before hand.

Monday, June 29, 2009

On the bright side, I won something...

Oh. My. God.

Have you ever done something reallllllly stupid? Something so toe curlingly careless that if for some bizarre reason, your life was represented by a library you would be in serious danger of having your card revoked?

I have. Yesterday in fact.

You see, I've been having phone troubles for quite some time now and yesterday, I finally went about getting a new one. Once I had everything set up on it, I checked my voice mail only to find I had four unchecked messages. One was from my mother who had arrived in Ireland that morning to begin a one month stay. The next two were from my old landlords regarding a screw up at the electric company. The fourth however, was an interesting one...

"Hello," said a crisp and efficient sounding english accented voice. " This is (insert crisp and efficient, english name) from Pringles (yes, the potato chip company) calling. You recently entered a competition in your local supermarket sponosred by us and I am pleased to inform you that you are the winner. I just need to verify your address so we can have your HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM delivered to your house (Home entertainment... OH MY GOD!!!!) Please call me at our Irish number as soon as possible. The number is 014..."

At this point, I called out for everyone in the room to kindly SHUT UP and then explained the situation (I have not only won something, I have won something REALLY COOL!!!!) and in the process missed the remainder of the message including the contact number. I vaguely heard a mechanical voice asking me to press 6 to call back, 7 to erase and 9 to save..." and stupidly enough did none of these as I was still explaining exactly how I came to be the winner of said Home Entertainment System and why I was filling out supermarket competition forms despite not being either a) a pensioner or b) a spinster.

Do you know what happens when you opt to do nothing?

The computer chooses for you. Guess which option it chooses. Go on, I dare you...

That's right. It deletes the message. Contact number and all.

Which is why dear friends, I have spent the last 24 hours stalking the pringles company and my local supermarket managers in the hopes of tracking down a certain crisp and efficient sounding englishwoman.

Wish me luck...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Best of Intentions

There is a good chance that I may have gone completely insane. This thought occured to me as I was tandem feeding my babies whilst mentally writing this blog and searching the web for the cloth nappies I have now decided to use on baby number two.

While my intentions are honourable, there is a little voice chirping away in the back of my mind reminding me of all the other times I have had so called "honourable intentions" on the long, bumpy and occasionally puke stained road that is motherhood.

For starters, there are the plastic toys we vowed our children would NEVER EVER play with. No siree! Not for our precious petals the petroleum based, noise making, light flashing, imagination killers that grace so many nurseries. Our children would grow up in a land of hand carved, environmentally friendly, sustainably farmed wooden toys that would encourage their educational growth and development. They would be allowed a small selection of these small wonders so as not to overstimulate their delicate minds and to instill in them a sense of appreciation.

17 months and 2 babies later, our house looks like Smyths Toys exploded in it. The tinny sound of electronic nursery rhymes is the soundtrack to my day and last month, the snot queen had her first official "But I don't want to leave this magic land you call the toy store!" tantrum and had to be carried board stiff and screaming out of the shop, across the parking lot to the car.

We were HORRIFIED at parents who would dare to feed their children anything that wasn't organically grown and lovingly prepared without even a hint of salt or sugar.

To this, all I can say that if the journey is long enough and the screaming loud enough, you would be amazed at what you'd feed them to keep them quiet. It was during a particularly slow moving traffic jam that our oldest angel first sampled Lennox's Fish and Chips.

And today, as I searched the net for reasonably priced cloth nappies, the voice was a little louder and a little more persistant then usual as it reminded me of my first pregnancy when I spent months scouring the shops for the appropriate materials to make the lovely cloth nappies and liners I was HAND SEWING for my new arrival's delicate bottom, and the 24 premades we ended up ordering from ebay when it turned out that my sewing skills had not improved in the 14 years since I used a glue gun to complete my tenth grade home economics sewing project.

The cloth nappies that to this day remain for the most part UNUSED as we clear cut yet another forest and fill yet another landfill whilst shamelessly bargain hunting the cheapest disposables we can find.

I remain hopeful though and my intentions, while slightly tarnished, remain good.

Maybe this time will be different.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's Goal: Survival

It's day one of my new life as a stay at home mother of two. Having had over a year's experience with one (and kicking major ass at it) you'd think that the addition of a small, sleepy bundle wouldn't make much of a difference in mine and the snot queen's fairly well ordered day.

You would be wrong.

Our day began (as it has on a fairly regular basis since the small one's arrival) with the five a.m awakening of a very cheerful, very awake toddler. This was followed swiftly by the yowls of a hungry newborn who apparently does not appreciate the "gentle" early morning proddings of her older sister. One hour, two babies and a very wet, very dirty nappy later, we all fell back to sleep.

Then the alarm went off.

That's when it hit me. Unlike every other morning this past fortnight when we've been able to snooze the morning away, today was different. Today was the day that daddy was to return to work and leave me the sole carer in charge of big and small.

Today, there would be no division of the children in which daddy was responsible for said hyper active toddler whose achievements this week have been learning to climb on the coffee table, spinning in circles until she falls down dizzy and sticking her fingers down her throat until she gags, while I am planted on the couch with the smallest, sleepiest, sweetest smelling bundle of all.

There would be no one to help with the chores or to run and see just why the big one was being sooooo very quiet. No one to make the dinner or get me squash when I'm thirsty. No one to hold the fort while I take a two hour afternoon nap or go for a nice, relaxing shower.

Today I will be left to my own devices. Today I will be responsible for it all. All the cooking, all the cleaning, all the nappies, all the dressing, washing and feeding of both big and small.

All by myself.

My mission? Survival.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Babymoon daze with Big and Small...

Oh Blog! You poor, poor thing! How your careless creator has neglected you these last few days. Shameful really, your last activity was on the 6th of June. Your words have grown old, a thin coat of dust covers what was once a work of genius.

And what, you may ask, is my excuse? What event of earth shattering proportions could possibly supercede the need to fill this space with witty commentary on the day to day life of a writer cum mother and her wayward offspring?

Well, the birth of daughter number two actually. All 7 lbs 7oz and 55 cm of her. But not in the way you may assume...

You see, the reason that I haven't written anything as of late is not that I've been buried under a mountain of nappies or drowned in an ocean of baby puke. I have not gone barmy from tandem feeding a newborn and a toddler nor am I drifting zombie like through my days in a sleep deprived haze. No, I'm saving all of that for Thursday when daddy dearest returns to work and the care of big and small comes to rest firmly on my alabaster shoulders.

Instead, I've spent this last week in a different kind of haze. The nice kind that comes from watching the snot queen go from pointing questioningly at the new arrival to gently stroking her head and laughing as she touches her new baby sister's super tiny fingers and toes. I'm in the babymoon phase where everyday brings something new to marvel at from her little head of ginger hair to the way she keeps disproving the theory that newborns don't smile.

I'm sure that the weeks and months to come will bring their fair share of tears (mine) and trouble (them) but for now, I'm happy to sit and enjoy this moment of calm. Thursday will come soon enough...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome to the World Baby Girl!

Welcome to the World Miss Anna Elizabeth. After 21 hours of Labour (Actually not as bad as it sounds! Enjoyable until the last 30 minutes or so when my pelvis threatened to snap in half and my innards were in serious danger of becoming my outers) with only a hot water bottle for pain relief (no, I am not a martyr, I simply forgot about the giant tank of gas and air in the trunk of the midwife's car) I am now officially a mother of two.

The snot queen is adapting to her new role as big sister quite admirably, helped along perhaps by a newfound leniency in the biscuit department on the part of her negligent parents.

It's like the maddest form of deja vu.... For starters, the new baby looks eerily like the snot queen did upon her arrival a mere 16 months ago, only ginger. Secondly, every day brings a brand new blast from the past. Sticky eye, umbilical cords, colostrom... Its amazing how much you forget about those early days until bang! You're faced with it again and suddenly its as though you never stopped and you are master of the cotton wool and cooled boiled water once more.

Oh my lord! I have so much that I want to say, so many things to tell you, but my eyes are closing as I type and visions of my bed keep floating before my eyes.....

More later. For now, good night...


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Notes from the Birthing Ball...

Never thought I'd be typing a blog whilst in labour, but here I am! After several small incidents in the night where I worried that I'd completely lost control of my bladder, old spacey here finally twigged that my waters had broken and that the pains I was feeling were not indigestion from the waaaayyyy over priced Madras curry I'd eaten for supper (Rice not included in price...wtf?!?!?) but were indeed the start of labour.

Which is where I am now... hanging out in my kitchen, contracting away whilst the new baby moves ever closer to being born.

Happy Birthday Baby! See you soon:)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wanted: Just another few hours...

5:00am is not an acceptable time of day to be getting up at. I got the memo, Dear Partner got the memo. Unfortunately, someone forgot to inform the Snot Queen of this development and the last few mornings, she's taken to making her hay before the sun shines, with one particularly memorable playtime beginning at 3:18am and ending just after 6:00am.

We tried feigning varying stages of sleep and disinterest in the hopes of boring her back to a state of slumber. However, as she is no longer an infant and is well able to fend for herself in the amusement department, this tactic no longer works. Instead, she toddles off in search of ever more imaginative ways to destroy my increasingly vain attempts at housework.

We tried to be "relaxed" about it, making sure that the stairgates were locked and the toilet roll secured (futile pursuit, she has some sort of wierd radar where the white stuff is concerned.) But while daddy was well able to roll over and go back to sleep, I lay there in the early morning light, eyes and ears open knowing that if I dared so much as get a second of blissful shut eye she would find some way to choke herself or self concuss just to spite me, thus incurring years of being reminded by an angry teen how she'd had to give herself the heimlich as a toddler while I negligently slept the morning away.

This morning, I am trying a new tactic. It's called giving in. When the dawn was once again heralded by two little hands "patting" - re:slapping the life out of - my head, I didn't think fool myself into thinking "hmmm... maybe she'll go back to sleep if we (fill in blank with appropriate parenting strategy)" Instead, I pulled on my wooly socks, grabbed the princess and trundled downstairs to let her run it off while I hefted my now 40 week pregnant self into the deepest recesses of the couch to "supervise."

Which is why she is now tearing about the place like a mad woman having discovered the last two squares of "really nice chocolate" left over from last night's grown up time. If I was a good parent, I would stop her. However, my shift doesn't begin for another few hours... for the next little while at least, I'm off the clock.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gift me a break...

It was bad enough when it was other parents. I kindly smiled and nodded my head while they blathered on about their offspring's genius like proficiency at the human language/motor abilities/ emotional capabilities and agreed that yes, little Mary/Johnny did seem to be quite advanced for their age. All the while I was seething inside knowing that only after a full report on their child's genius like tendencies would they oh so innocently, with eyes like saucers ask after the Snot Queen's abilities in the same area.

When they were under ones, the focus was on motor skills. When the Snot Queen first sat unaided at four months, I admit it, I was delirious, I thought "we're onto a winner here!" that she'd be flying around the place in no time! Little did I know that for the next 7 months, that would pretty much be it. My gorgeous, precious, one trick pony of a daughter was content to sit and watch the world (and every other baby we knew) crawl, stand, walk and eventually run on by.

Then came their first birthdays, and with them a whole new set of goal posts. Out of nowhere it seemed, the focus had turned from motor skills (we were now taking things at a slow crawl and mighty proud of it!) to vocab. Suddenly, all of the parenting forums were filled with mothers bragging about their baby's ability to communicate and comparing lists of words with each other, each one longer and more ridiculous then the next.

The Snot Queen of course was happy out with her da da da's and her piece de resistance, fa fa fa's (a multi usage word applicable in any situation ) and we were happy with her. At this point, we'd learned to relax about these things and accept that as the daughter of two people who were slow to talk, slow to teethe and slow to walk and yet who miraculously did eventually learn and master these skills, she would get there as well in her own time.

Nowadays though, things are getting a bit irritating as more and more people are jumping on the bragging bandwagon. People without children. People who come to your home and tell you all about the incredible achievements of their friend's/family member's/ work Colleague's brilliant litle tyke who just HAPPENS to be about the same age as your own little dribbler there (darling, stop eating the compost please) and yet is SO MUCH MORE ADVANCED!!!!

I mean, what on EARTH are you supposed to say? Ummm.... thanks for pointing out our child's deficiencies and as a result our complete and utter failure at this whole parenting lark! Nice to see you, thanks for stopping by!

Honestly, get a life.

When I look at the Snot Queen, I like to look at the things she can do and not focus on what she hasn't yet mastered. She's 16 months old, so what if she can't recite shakespeare or tell a cracking joke? Who cares if her idea of fine cuisine is whatever she can scavenge from the ground and that she prefers playing in the recycling bin to playing in her toy box? She's happy, healthy and well and that my friends, is all that matters to us.

Everything else will come, in her own time.