Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Here is my girl, making me proud

I love this picture and just had to share it with you all. It didn't take her long to find the liquor cabinet, did it?

I keep meaning to post here but I've been so busy. I'm taking a journalism class that takes up all my spare non-baby time. Lately on my blog I have been talking about puking, food battles, my baby turning one, family visits, haircuts, and other fascinating stuff. Come visit if you haven't stopped by recently!

Friday, April 28, 2006

More fun with nipples

When I posted this picture a couple of days ago, Libby wondered in the comments section if I have any weaning plans. Of course, gracious soul that she is, she prefaced her question with the hope that it wasn't too personal for the internet. And maybe it would be a personal question for some people. But since I've written in the past about my firsthand experiences with post-partum incontinence and baby constipation, it's obviously not too personal a question for the likes of me. Also, Sam long ago made my boobs part of the public record without asking my permission, so why stop now?

Here's my weaning plan:
I don't have a weaning plan.
I thought about couching my lack of planning in some groovy terminology about "child-led weaning" and "organic development," but all of you who know me in real life would immediately call shenanigans. And you'd be right to do so.

Something I'm learning about myself in my mom role is that my parenting philosophy seems to go something like this:
If you're not sure what to do, do nothing.
It's great! It's kind of like procrastinating, but I'll let you in on a secret: it kind of works.

Oh, it didn't work on our sleep issues. I'll freely admit that. And I have a feeling that potty-training isn't going to take care of itself. But almost everything else? Not too shabby. Some for-instances, you rightly demand? Okey-dokey.

1. Tummy time. Sam hated it. Screamed his fool head off every time we tried it. I gave up. No more tummy time. Oh, maybe if I was at a playgroup and all the other moms and babies were doing tummy time I'd make a token effort for show, but that was it. And what do you know? Sam still figured out how to crawl on his own.

2. Solid food. "Hated" is too strong a word, but Sam definitely didn't see the use of it. I didn't push it at all, even though a well-meaning public health nurse told me that if babies aren't eating lumpy foods by the time they're eight months old, they'll never want to eat it. I could've fretted and stewed about this, which wouldn't have been unlike me, but I let it go. And lo! And also behold! At around the nine-month mark, Sam's dining motto suddenly became "I'll have what you're having." This philosophy extended to veggie sushi, Indian food, and lumpy mashed avocado. (I should point out that none of these foods had crossed my lips until I was at least 25 years old. My boy, the epicure.)

I could try to conjure up a third example, and it kills my expository-essay-loving soul not to do it, but I want to get back to my point about weaning. Or one of my points, anyway. Which is this: of all the women I know, everyone has handled weaning in her own way. And from my (admittedly total outsider's) perspective, every one of these fabulous moms has handled weaning in the way that best suits her and her baby. That's all any of us can do, right? This is what we're told: that as moms, we're the ones who know our babies best.

And yet... and yet...

Why does our culture seem to support this mom-knows-best belief on the surface, while at the same time completely negating this belief any time the public is challenged to accept something it finds discomfitting? And man oh man, do people ever have strong opinions about if and when you should stop breastfeeding.

There are, of course, the people who think you should never breastfeed at all because it's dirty and wrong and perverse and bestial and something that only happens on the pages of National Geographic. And then there are the people who think you should definitely do it for the first few days or weeks so that your baby can derive all the powerful benefits of early breastmilk, but then you should quit. If you soldier on, though, people seem okay with leaving you alone until the six-month mark, and then the questions start again. And once you get past THAT hump, you get another nice, long unmolested stretch, until you start homing in on one year, and boy, people sure come out of the woodwork then.* You can almost see what they're thinking: "But... if she doesn't stop at a year, when will she stop? Will she keep doing it... FOREVER?"

I have to confess to a perverse feeling of glee every time I see this anxiety flicker behind someone's eyes. Hee.

The great thing about still nursing past a year is that I feel like I've got this wildcard aura about me. As if all the people who might've challenged the value of breastfeeding early on are too daunted by my crazy extended-breastfeeding schedule to make a peep of protest.

Or maybe I'm overthinking this. It's been known to happen.

Something I learned during the first six months of Sam's life -- when he seemed permanently attached to my boobs -- is that, well, he really, really likes nursing. I've always gotten the sense that, for him, breastfeeding is only partially about food-related nourishment. He passes through phases where it's obvious that he gets powerful emotional sustenance from nursing as well.

I know that, as a parent, my job is to teach him ways to bolster himself, and this is a responsibility I take seriously. But as a pre-verbal one-year-old, he's just not there yet. Right now, nursing is by far the most powerful tool I have in my mothering toolbelt, and if I take it away, I don't know if I have anything comparable with which to replace it. And trust me, happy little clam that Sam generally appears to be, I'm constantly aware of the tempest that is always simmering in that innocuous-looking little teapot. Until Sam is more verbal and -- let's not mince words -- amenable to reason, my boobs are on standby.

There are trade-offs, of course. While Sam only nurses around four or five times a day (this may sound like a lot to some people, but it's a lot fewer than the BAJILLION times a day he used to nurse), this means that I don't stray far from home without him. It means that, when we go to parties or restaurants, I'll maaaaaaybe nurse one weak cocktail all night long. It means that I have to drink umpteen glasses of water every single day, because if I miss a day I wake up the next morning with skin that has the approximate texture of an alligator purse.

I sort of lied earlier. I actually do have a very rough plan to think about weaning at around 19 or 20 months. Of course, I was the person who originally didn't think she'd even have children. Or breastfeed. Or breastfeed past the first couple of weeks. Or the first six months. Or the first year. So you might want to take my words with a grain of salt.

If I become one of those moms with a three-year-old hanging off my chest like a baby possum, I do have one regret: that I can't travel back in time and freak the shit out of my 25-year-old self.

*I'm not referring to you guys. I'm talking about people with whom I normally don't discuss my breasts.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Workplace blogs - need your thoughts!

Hi all,

I've been discussing the idea of setting up a blog at my work, the BC Centre for Disease Control. Essentially, we have a crap website that isn't due to be re-designed for years (health politics!) and I was thinking a blog with a variety of important health topics and research, updated daily, would be a great new direction for the organization.

Things we could talk about are H5N1 and pandemic influenza preparedness, the safe-injection site in Downtown Eastside which is one of the firsts in the world, food and water safety, poison control (did you know that 1 child every hour gets poisoned in BC?), roll-out of new immunization programs like influenza in infants, and loads more. It could be cutting-edge, informative and put the 'public' back into 'public health' - no other PH agency has a blog to my knowledge.

(this pic is an avian flu conference - looks fun, eh?!)

The problem seems to be that people at the BCCDC see blogs as informal, lacking professionalism, potentially politically dangerous, etc. I wonder if blogging might be like email that started off for military use but spread quickly to other areas. I mean, there are already 36+ million blogs in existence around the world... suggesting its a very popular way of interacting.

So, do blogs have a role in our world aside from the personal web-diary??? If so, what is it??

And would anyone here be interested in reading a health blog by the CDC?? Do you think it could be an important thing to do?

...In my research on blogging, I have found some fun health sites like H5N1 (mega-respect for Crawford running this amazing flublog!). And what I would consider a nice model of a professional health blog CIDRAP (though they specialize as an information warehouse too and don't have a comments section... and to throw it out there, big up to Minnesota for having a kick-ass public health research system).

Thoughts? Comments? ... this issue has been keeping me up at night but I haven't wrapped my tiny brain around the whole blogosphere yet...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fun with nipples

Sam must be going through some kind of phase, because these days, this picture pretty much sums up our relationship.

Good thing I work from home, huh?

(Photo found at Just a Little Guy)

Monday, April 17, 2006

some updating

If you visit my blog and scroll on down past my socialist rant, there are some photographs of my apartment including one of The Boy. I’m not sure what he’s doing in that photo.

I was trying to take pictures of the books in the house and he jumped in front of his shelf and yelled, “yesssss!” as I took the picture. From what I remember from classmates and my brother, nine year-old boys tend to just do that, spontaneously.
After I took that series, I remembered that I’d forgotten about the cookbooks in the kitchen.

Monday, April 10, 2006

She did it her way...

Well, despite my reservations Finn - the sunshine of my life - learned to ride a bike and she did her very own way. Basically, I was cut out of the deal. She refused to let me hold on the back of her bike and run alongside her. She informed me pointblank that she didn't trust me. Fair enough. She's seen enough movies to know that I was going to let go of the bike as soon as she built up enough speed and she was having none of it. Instead, she found herself a very small hill in the graveyard across the street from our house and for three hours straight she walked her bike up the incline and rolled down. Up and down, over and over again, red-faced and furious she kept at it.

When I gently suggested we take a break for dinner she very nearly tore a strip off of me - only our tenuous mother-child-respect arrangement prevented her from really telling me off. This was not the ideal experience I remembered from my own youth. There was a lot of whining and carrying on. At one point she actually yelled at the wind. Seriously. She stopped her bike and turned to face the breeze blowing her way and screamed "Stupid wind! I hate you!" Of course there were people nearby. Why wouldn't there be? Any advice I offered was recv'd with a scowl and basic frustrated carrying-on. It was terrible and familiar. I remembered how I screamed at my mother when she tried to teach me how to drive. I made a mental note to buy her something shiny for Mother's Day.

The sun was getting lower, it was nearly 6:30 pm and I was plotting to forcibly pull the bike out of her desperate grip when it happened. She was pedaling and pedaling. She went on forever. It was glorious. A wobbling vision of victory and pink streamers. I cheered. She grinned and hooted. We had our cliched moment after all - just not the way I planned it and that actually made it all the better. Nice.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Whining Weaning

So my girl is about to turn a year old, and I'm still nursing her a few times a day. I was planning on weaning her around now, but I might not have to bother--I think she's weaning herself. She'll nurse happily a couple of times a day, but at other times she wants nothing to do with my boobs.

It's hard not to take this personally, because I went to some trouble to nurse A as long as I have. When she was six weeks old, I found blood in her diaper. It turned out she had an intolerance to dairy and soy protein, so I ate dairy- and soy-free for about seven months. When she was six months old, I discovered I was having major supply issues, so I ordered domperidone online from Thailand (because you can't get it from pharmacies in the U.S.) and have been taking it ever since to maintain my supply.

I know I'm being silly--it's just that she's growing up and there are more interesting things to do than nurse. But when I try to nurse her and she scowls at my breast or kicks me trying to get away, it kind of hurts my feelings.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Back to work...

Yo all!

Just realized how long its been since I posted - and not for lack of drama in my little world!

To start, I've made a most wonderful discovery at my local wine shop - Hardy's, bless their big-time agri-capitalist heart, have put together two of my favorite white grapes into one fine bottle of $10 wine. Riesling Gewurtztraminer! Bring on summer!!

And work! Yep, I'm back at my job at the Centre for Disease Control and my only major f***-up was in a $100 million proposal letter of support misspelling 'Diseases' into 'Diseased' in the subject line. Those letters are a little too close on the keyboard, but not to sidetrack on this rant...

Yep, my main rant is DAYCARE! When I was pregnant, someone told me to get on the university daycare wait list... so at 3 months preggo, I did. I got a call last week saying that when Rian is 1 year and 1 month old, they think there *might* be space.

Other waitlists for good daycares are about 1-2 years long!

The reason our illustrious (minority) Prime Minister is featured here is because he decided that throwing $1,200 at families would help them find daycare - when waitlists are prenatal! I don't really need the money - I need good care for my son so I can do my job!

See, we opted for home-based care for Rian as I went back to work this week but that has been a pretty near disaster with one mom pulling out (after we let go of our precious daycare space) and the other pulling a muscle. So my first full day back turned out to be 1.5 hours in for a meeting, then up till 1 am working from home to try to make up for the hours I needed to look after the little guy. Day 2 wasn't much of an improvement.

Anyway, maybe next week will get better. I spent my afternoon buying Wonderbucks-art (like Ikea art only cheaper) for my little sauna, I mean, office.

And y'all know I'm a big fan of pictures and I've got some great ones:

Rian and the Sams!

I swear Anne-Marie's Sam is saying, "I don't know these guys - our moms hang out, sure - but look at them! Dopey and Angry. We're not like 'friends'!"

Nova, my previously black dog, getting stuck to a newly painted white kitchen cabinet.

NB: those handsome legs belong to my little bro who is still single, even after all my great advice on picking up chicks! He's 20, good at home renovation, a little snarky, likes to cook, awesome at Halo 2... let me know if there are any groovy grrrrls out there I can hook him up with...

And Rian - Canada's Next Top Model doing the 'catalog smile' with a shower curtain clip!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

why I won't be "Mother of the Year" anytime soon

Yes, it's spring, when a young girl's thoughts turn to light jackets, tank tops, skorts and other summery attire.

Today, my daughter refused to wear a coat to school. I decided, for once, not to argue with her about how she'd be cold.

Now, it's snowing.