Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ask a Bored Housewife: The Family Bed

Our first letter!
Dear Bored Housewives,

When I and others of my generation were babies in North America, we slept in cradles, cribs, or (if one's parents were not well off) dresser drawers. Sometimes these baby beds were located in our parents' bedrooms, but even some of our grandparents found that a bit outre, in case a baby were to wake up, see her parents in flagrante and be scarred for life.

But now it seems as though all of my contemporaries who have kids are all about the family bed -- in other words, sharing the parents' full-size grownup bed with the baby. Aren't you concerned that being in such close and, I daresay, intimate proximity with his parents is going to cause your son to grow up, get sex-reassignment surgery, and be known as "Mother Shabooboo"? I hear some parents say the idea is for the mother to be able to nurse the baby in the middle of the night without getting up, but shouldn't you have realized when you decided to reproduce that you were going to be personally inconvenienced?

I think the family bed concept is for Communists, hippies, and poor people. So why are so many of my friends doing it? They aren't hippies, are they? Oh God, tell me they're not hippies!

A Barren, Childless Person

Great topic! I already know my thoughts on the subject (which I'll post, of course), but I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone else's answers. Give 'er, Bored Housewives!

Announcing: "Ask a Bored Housewife"

Did you guys know that people other than us come to this site? And did you know that some of them don't even have kids? Internet success! We have arrived!

A while back I got an email from Wing Chun, who puts the "erst" in "erstwhile," in which she laments the lack of recognition of our childfree readers:
I just feel that the childless are underrepresented on your site. And I feel that there are a lot of people like me, watching their formerly-also-barren friends become parents and totally not getting a lot of what that entails.
Not one to complain, Wing gets proactive and suggests a new (and, in my opinion, awesome) regular feature for BHN:
...a forum for people like me to write in with our burning yet ignorant parenting questions, and a real mom could answer it either seriously or jokingly (or both!). Questions could include "What's with this 'family bed' crap?" and "Be honest, because I swear I won't hold it against you: parents secretly think childless people are pathetic, don't they?"
Heh. Well, I probably shouldn't speak for all parents, but in my opinion any parent who loudly trumpets their superiority over a person who doesn't have kids is probably secretly insanely jealous that you guys get to do things like go to midnight movie showings on the spur of the moment and then come back and have sex on your staircase where you fall asleep and don't wake up until noon the next day.

Wing jokingly (I think) entitled this write-in column "A Barren, Childless Person We Secretly Think Is A Little Pathetic Asks..." but this title might require a disclaimer every time we use it so as not to offend the childfree folks. So maybe let's call that a working title until we think of something less... potentially inflammatory.

So come on out, childfree people! BHN staffers are standing by and waiting for your burning parenting questions! No question too trivial or stupid!

Just email your question to boredhousewivesnetwork [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll post it here for all the Bored Housewives to respond to.

You're it!

Don't be mad, but I tagged you. Yes, you! Feel free to participate or not.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

Here's a post about being a blabbermouth vs. keeping things under your hat.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

mothers of sons, rejoice

for you may never have to have the following conversation:

Scene: The grocery store, toiletries aisle.

The Bee: (picking up a can of Nair) "What's this, Mommy?"

Me: "Oh, some women use that to take the hair off their legs."

The Bee: "Sometimes, the kids at school make fun of me, because I have so much hair on my legs. It hurts my feelings." (skips off to find juice boxes)

Me: "$%#!*(^ the patriarchy! She's six, people!"

Friday, February 24, 2006

Feel like doin' some Shopping?

this site has amazingly cute, funky artisan-crafted stuff for little ones (& big ones too).
i mean, how cute are these onesies??

I'm So Proud!!

Nile took his official first steps yesterday. The first one happened while Nick was at work. It was a tiny little step, but it was indeed a step. When Nick got home I reported the exciting news and he refused to accept that he had missed it. When I described the step to him he said "Well, if that counts as a step, then he did his first step with ME yesterday." I of course refused to accept that version of the events and told Nick that the step that I had witnessed was in fact the first step and he'd better just accept it. And then, as if to shut us up, Nile took three glorious, consecutive steps across the kitchen. It was the most wonderful thing, it brought a tear to my eye (really!!). And ever since he's been demonstrating his stepping power non-stop. He's still shaky, of course, but he's steppin'.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Who the hell's this kid and what 'cha do with my Sammy?

Things have been tough in this household the last week or so; we've been trying to wean Sam off the dreaded night feeds which hadn't been going well AT ALL! And, along with the perpetual snotty nose, Sam had decided he wasn't 'into' foods, thank you very much - and certainly wasn't going to drink any of that foul formula crap. He'd wait for the booby, even if he had to wait hours for it, in turn possibly dehydrating himself. Man, this kid is STUBBORN!

But the last 2 days, it's as if we traded Sam in for a newer, improved, somewhat 'better' Sam - he's been eating like a maniac; veggie burgers (what an invention! Fried in oil nonetheless but whatever works, right?), broccoli, cheese, and all sorts of goodies including the latest favorites - grapes (which interestingly enought come out the other end looking, well... pretty much how they went in!)! Then, the kid decides to sleep through the night, waking ONCE at 5:30am for a feed, then let mommy sleep til 8:15!

It's amazing how much more I love this kid after a good night's sleep. I mean I'll always LOVE him but, you know... I actually LIKE him a hell of a lot more after some solid zzz's.

Here's a somewhat entertaining video of Sam stuffing his face with his new favorite food.

Wish me luck that he'll be this easy til he moves out at 18? One can dream, no?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I need help

I posted this on my blog too, but I thought I'd also post here. I need all the advice I can get!

In a few weeks, I am planning to fly across the country with my little family to visit some relatives. This is our first plane trip with A, and I have no idea what to expect. So for those of you who have done this before, I need to pick your brains. What kind of toys will entertain her on the flight? What's the easiest way to lug her and our stuff around in the airport? What are the essentials I should have with me? Lay it out for me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More video...

Wow, Rian's still napping (or else he thinks its night and will be up all hours - can Rian sleep over tonight with one of the Sams???)... ack, so here is some more video:

Discovering gravity:

Getting some love from Nova the dog:

Keeping up with the news

Hey all,

I'm a fan of the Brit newpaper the Guardian - the on-line version is pretty awesome - and saw this article last week on an unprecedented study of child development, comparing Romanian orphans in an orphanage with those in foster care. How this ever passed an ethics board, I don't know but 'proves' what we all could've guessed, a loving home is the best for human development.

A rather scary article for those of us with sons - 1/5 of boys in their 20s in the UK are still living at home and it looks like up to 57% of boys aged 20-24 in Italy still live at home! Wow!

Maybe its 'cause I'm a girl but just as I was graduating from high school at 17, my Mom said to me, "It's time you lived on your own and it's time I lived on my own"... she gave me a week after graduation to be out, then she sold the house I grew up in. I might not be quite so harsh with Rian (he can have 2 weeks) but some of the qualities I would love Rian to have are a sense of adventure, independence, confidence and to want to experience all that life can offer. Part of that is slumming it in dorms and shared houses, not still under my roof into his 20s!

And one other article that I keep thinking back to is the estimated cost of the Iraq war - $1-2 TRILLION dollars! I keep thinking how different the US would be with $2 Trill put towards healthcare, or into social housing, or education, or the environment, or... anyway, I can't seem to get that figure - and the lost opportunities - out of my head! Nobody's even touching the oil stocks in Iraq given the situation there... a sad sad waste of lives and money!

But lets end on a nice note - here are my two guys at Belcarra Park on the weekend! Awwwww.....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Since we're showing video clips...

I never noticed Sam's resemblance to a kewpie doll until I watched this bit. He seems disturbingly cannibalistic to me.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Rian's lil' video clip

Ok, ok, it took me most of the night and who knew, it is surprisingly easy to post video links?!

So here's my little dude in e-celluloid at the local family centre - he doesn't totally get it yet so he has this somewhat skeptical look whenever we go but heck, its cute!

And ta-da! His video clip (don't mind the messy house in the background!):

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ten months

A letter to baby A on her ten-month birthday.

And, as a special treat, some video of her crawling!

Okay, somebody else post now, so I don't feel like I'm hogging the place up.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Who broke my baby? For months A has gone down like an angel at night. After the bedtime routine I would deposit her in the crib and she would roll over, sack out, and remain that way for the next twelve hours. Now when I put her in the crib she starts screaming as if I have replaced the mattress with a bed of nails. I have to hold her until she falls asleep and then put her in the crib very, very carefully. If she wakes up, no matter how sleepy she had been, the screaming commences and we start the whole thing all over again. The bedtime routine that used to take 45 minutes including a bath now takes two to three hours, during which I would normally be cooking and then eating dinner. I know I'm being a big baby, but will somebody please tell me this is a phase? An extremely short-lived one??

My mother, my self

I love all the action around here lately!

Here is a post about my complicated relationship with my mom. Don't worry, a baby post is coming in a day or two.

(my) Sam

He just turned 9 months last week and is turning into quite the little man. Refuses to crawl and would stand all day if I let him - you can start to see frustration in his eyes when he's sitting down and stuck on his butt, unable to reach a toy. Babbles away constantly and lately, has been drooling so much that you are covered in spit after 5 minutes of holding him in your arms. At night, when we put him to bed, we can hear him on the monitor talking to his bunny. We like to think he's relaying everything he did that day "well, first I had some booby then some cereal. And then, I got dressed and we went to the park and played on the swings...".

His hair has been growing in lots lately, same colour as his dad's. Just as cute, too (ahhhh...).

He loves his fruit, but not a big fan of the veggies, but really can you blame him? I'd take mango over broccoli any day! He knows where it's at!

Anyways, that's (my) Sam.

side note: a good friend of mine who's unsure whether or not to have kids, asked me recently how it had changed my life and whether I missed my 'old' life. I couldn't really find the words until today - I realize, life before Sam was easier. Life after Sam is better. Simple, but that's the only way to describe it.

the passing of 'effledidnt'

Last week, my son learned to correctly pronounce the word 'elephant.' Well, okay, it still sounds like 'elfant,' but a total stranger could recognize it as a two-year-old version of 'elephant.'

Everyone at my house is a little depressed by this development, because before now, he pronounced it 'effledidnt,' which is much, much cuter.

My father-in-law was in town for the weekend, and my daughter was explaining to him how sad we all are that her brother doesn't say effledidnt anymore. My FIL asked her if there were any words like that from her toddler-hood--things that she figured out how to say more cutely than they were in real life. The one that she remembered was 'syriup' for 'syrup.' My personal favorite was that she used to call capri pants 'pre-Ks,' which always generated for me the image of a girl wearing a whole class of four-year-olds around her waist.

The egg factory is back in business

Er, sorry about the euphemism in the post title. Blame the hormones.

I heard from a bunch of sources that one can expect one's cycle to resume at around the ten-month mark, and if there's one thing that pregnancy and early parenthood have taught me, it's that Sam and I are boringly average. Sure enough, five days shy of Sam's ten-month birthday, this morning I realized that my carefree days are over.

When I told my husband, I added, "That probably explains why I've been so grouchy." To which he replied, "Yeah, probably." "What's that supposed to mean?" I snapped back. I rest my case.

All morning long I've been fighting off this Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret impulse to call all my friends and tell them my big news. Is that weird?

Anyway, thanks to Kris for kicking all our butts and getting the posting re-started! A few things I've been wondering about y'all:

Melissa O! How goes the post-maternity leave job search?

Anne-Marie, how was the visit back east? (Can you tell I've been in Vancouver a long time by the fact that I refer to central Canada as "back east"?)

Libby, are your afternoons liberated yet? I can't tell you how excited I am by the prospect that you may be free to hang out during the day! And that picture of Jonah makes the prospect all the more tantalizing. He looks like an indie rock god!

landismom, how is landisdad doing with his new job? How are YOU doing with his new job?

saskatchewan, are you really going back to school? So cool! I want to know all about it.

Jem, how's the project going? I've been really enjoying your take on rethinking the role of food in our lives.

Everybody else: what the heck is new? And don't say "nothing." "Nothing" is never an acceptable answer.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A little tongue!

Ah, good thing I'm still here keeping up with posting cute pics of my little guy - on a quick review of the recent posts, I see NO PICTURES!

I'll assume maybe your cameras have broken, or maybe yer just not getting the kind of tongue action my little sureshot is seeing...

Oh, and I was watching old episodes of "How Not to Decorate" with Colin and Justin (Brit decorating show) and loved the part where one dude was saying "I assumed you wanted that door..." and Justin, one of the few guys on TV more emotional than a new breastfeeding mother, said, "ASSUMED?! Assume is 'ass' of 'u' and 'me'!" I'm still not sure what it meant but was a great line!

Later all!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It doesn't get housewifier...

...than complaining about your robotic vacuum.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Waxing Angsty

Some of the posts and just my general hormone level have had me thinking about things in a way that makes me feel like i'm back in junior high and my rock star posters really understand my pain.

The first thing is almost too strange/silly to write. About two weeks ago, i had my period for the first time since Henry was conceived in July of 04. That's about 18 months without it and i didn't miss it a whit. However, when it returned i was a bit surprised because i'm still breastfeeding and i guess i expected it to stay gone a little longer. My periods have never been too big a deal-- not very heavy, not much in the way of physical complaints, and generally none of the emotional turmoil that others experience. This time was different. Physically things were more or less the same (although to be honest the tampon just didn't seem as friendly as it used to-- tearing in a vaginal delivery really does a number on you, but that's a whole nother post), but emotionally i could tell that my hormones were fluctuating a bit. For instance, i seemed stuck on this vague sad feeling. And while i was searching for the cause i had this macabre thought-- my period was essentially a miscarriage of a baby that could be. Whoa! Just typing it makes it as crazy as i thought. We do want to have other children and the Mister wouldn't mind trying now, but i know i'm not ready. So, why on earth was i sad over this "missed" baby opportunity? I'm still not sure, but thankfully the moment passed.

All the sleep posts have been percolating around in my head. I'm not prepared to go into all the details but after some horrific sleep battles of our own when H was around 4 months old, he's since been an excellent sleeper. He routinely sleeps 12-13 hours a night, in his crib, without a peep. It's truly wonderful-- both for him so that he's well rested, and for us because we have lives (Monday is ballet, Tuesday is the Mister's class Thursday is quilting, etc.) However, the fact that i'm away for him for this chunk of time makes me sad and frankly incredulous that this little totally dependent being is now able to do just fine on his own thank you very much! for half the day (well night really). I'm absolutely astounded each morning that he wakes up, alive and sweet and still our baby. After 3 months of complete and utter hell, it feels like we're cheating to have so much of our own time back.

Friday, February 03, 2006

We have a star in our midst

Just wanted to congratulate Doppelganger for her Best of Blogs award! Shine on, you crazy diamond!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Separation anxiety: an update

So, I figured since my last post was kind of a bummer, I should offer some resolution. It only makes sense, narrative-wise, right?

While he still cries for a few minutes every time I put him down awake, Sam's nighttime sleep keeps getting better and better. He slept thirteen hours last night! Thirteen! With the longest stretch being six hours... a new record! Admittedly, there were three nursing breaks in there, but I only had to wake up for two of them, so that was cool with me. I heard him wake up briefly in the early hours, and he didn't even cry. He just kind of babbled cutely to himself for a minute, muttered a little bit, then went back to sleep. I almost fell out of the bed in amazement.

And my daytime anxiety has subsided considerably, to be replaced by karmic wonder at the fact that, within 48 hours of deciding to get Sam in his own bed for daytime naps, a road construction crew has set up camp with jackhammers and heavy machinery 150 feet away from our house. Who else has this kind of luck?

Last night, we put Sam to bed at eight o'clock (eight o'clock! Like a regular baby! Can you believe it?) and I went out for dessert and drinks and wonderful conversation with Libby and her friend Shona, whom I liked immediately (and who has convinced me to read Moby Dick, something I publicly stated I would never do). I returned after 10 to a peaceful house and a still-sleeping baby. I'm beginning to really see the advantages of this new situation.

Anyway. Thanks for the support, all. This is the hardest thing I've had to do yet as a parent (though I'm sure it's too much to hope that it's the hardest I'll have to do ever), and I really needed to know I wasn't alone.

A question to any of you who have gone through a similar transition: Did you find that your own nighttime sleep actually got worse? This is what I'm finding. I'm having a harder time than usual falling asleep, generally not till 1 am. When I do finally fall asleep, though, I sleep like a log. I guess Sam isn't the only one who has to unlearn sone bad sleep habits.