Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Morning Cup o' Joy

Adrian makes me a cup of coffee every morning with our espresso machine.  He's better at frothing the milk than me, and quite honestly, I haven't tried hard to learn how to be better at it.

While I am back on the coffee train, I still don't consume overly much.  Yesterday morning Adrian presented me with this:

Lovely, eh?  But I had to laugh.

As it's so small!  Apparently I can have a grown up sized coffee when I can finish my wee little one.

I'd like to say that I did. But I didn't.  I'll get there one day, though.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Antenatal class is a hoot.  Our leader, Ali, is a genuinely wonderful person and tells us many things about babies and birthing and all sorts of other things.

I find much of this fascinating.  I'm overwhelmed that a person, an actual real person, is living inside of me.  This person will grow up healthy and strong (hopefully).  Who knows what this person will be like? Or achieve? Or become?  He or she will probably be a little bit odd, but that's genetic.  Seriously, have you met his or her parents?

Not only is this small person growing inside me, but the umbilical cord/placenta takes exactly what it needs from my body and gives it to the small person.  Even if I were deficient on something, baby would get it by finding new ways of getting it out of me.

When little person is to be born, it shuffles its way along and even is supposed to turn a couple times, just spontaneously for the easiest exit strategy.  I'm pretty sure baby hasn't been reading any medical books, nor could it see the diagrams.  This is just what it knows to do from creation.

That's something strange too.  Baby used to be nothing.  Even smaller than a twinkle in Adrian's eye.  It became.

And after baby's out, my body is supposed to do the most incredible things.  I always thought I was a freak for blushing with my upper chest, but apparently women's bodies are designed to do that.  They warm up so that baby stays warm while being fed as babies aren't great at heat retention.  There was even a lady who had one twin colder than the other and via heat sensors they determined that the side of her chest that the cooler baby was on heated up more to make up the difference.

In between contractions, endorphins are released to combat the pain so that women can continue.  Just the very act of nursing causes the uterus -which has grown up to 400% it's usual size (I believe it's that high of a number, but now can't find the reference) - to clamp down and prevent hemorrhaging.  And breast milk changes in consistency from thinner to thicker to satisfy thirst and hunger and the content of the milk changes according to baby's growth and needs.  Cool, eh?

I've reread Psalm 139 a few times lately.  It's always been one of my favorites, but the idea of baby being knit in my womb is just so much more powerful right now.  I'm glad I'm not the one in charge of knitting.  I'd be terrified to drop a stitch.  It's incredible how truly fearfully and wonderfully made we all are.

Do me a favor and look at yourself in the mirror.  Study briefly who you are and how your incredible body is made up.  Scratch your face and watch your body compensate.  How many tremendous things go on inside us most complex of machines that we're unaware of?

Sure, it's going to hurt when baby comes out in awhile. No, I'm not looking forward to the pain. I'm just ecstatic that I get to hold our baby after this.  I'm just thrilled that I got to be on this side of the creation process.  I hope you get/ have gotten this opportunity too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

To the One I Love

Adrian is wonderful.

Over the past almost 8 months, I've been a roller coaster of emotions, energy/exhaustion, cautious/adventurous, but mostly just confusing.  It's not like I'm trying to be difficult.  It's just really weird how hormones affect things.

I don't think I'll go into that any further.

Through it all, Adrian has held me, loved me, reassured me, talked me down from crazy ideas, up from my lows, and stayed by my side.

He hasn't had backaches from carrying an extra weight, but he's had hand aches from rubbing my back and feet even on days when he probably needs the massage more than me.

He hasn't had cravings, but he's enjoyed whatever I've decided we needed to eat, and not complained even when I change my mind during dinner prep.

He's cooked for me when I'm too tired, never mind that he works so hard in the church and still takes care of me.  He's got out manfully to find me ice cream and dvds when I have no energy.

He's even willing to paint my toenails.

He makes me laugh when I'm crying, or just holds me and lets me cry.  He makes me cry from the thoughtful things he does.

He even laughs at my jokes that get garbled by baby brain.

He loves our baby and talks to him or her and loves our baby as much as he loves me.

He expects nothing in return for all his love, and doesn't care when I fall behind on all the house stuff that I claim as my duty.  He just loves me.

Adrian is wonderful.

This isn't my Valentine's Day post because he's more than just my Valentine: he's my husband, my other half, glued together by God.  I love you, Adrian.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Good Ol' Time


I'm in the process of making buns.  As they need some time to rise, I've got a bit of spare time.  And by spare time, I mean time that should probably be used to do important things, but rather I'm on the interweb. It really is like a web, you know.  You get into it and you get stuck.  Fortunately I haven't gotten eaten by a spider yet.

You might say I'm a bit old school.  You might say it's old school to use the phrase "old school".  At any rate, lately I've been wondering when our society went into the prepackaged-everything-done-for-you-because-you-don't-have-time-to-do-anything mode.  It's not so long ago when everything took a bit longer to get done, when food was eaten in season because there was too much expense to ship it everywhere, when most of the gadgets in the kitchen were arm powered.

So I'm experimenting now.  I love being a housewife and the small opportunities it affords.  Sure, you don't get the same income with only one person being paid, but it's not like I'm idle.  I help out with the church in many little ways, I work on some projects that will (they will, I promise) eventually get done, and I'm spending time getting to know my kitchen.

I've always loved baking and cooking, though I must admit, I've never liked the dishes part.  If there was room for a dishwasher, there'd be one!  (We've even thrown around the idea of putting a dishwasher in the laundry, but that just doesn't seem feasible.  Or useful, really, when it comes down to it.)  So if I force myself to get the dishes done everyday, they aren't so bad.  And then it doesn't seem so bad that I keep making more of them!

We've got a stockpile of cookbooks and I'm drawn to them whenever we enter a bookseller.  I love learning about how foods work together and trying new things to not get into a food rut.  The new plan is to actually USE a recipe at least once a week instead of looking at the pictures and changing half of the ingredients.

This week I made some prawn scampi from one of Jamie Oliver's books. And it was very nearly recipe accurate!  Adrian shelled and deveined the prawns for me and I got to work on the other side of it.  It was fun.  We've also had homemade chicken pizza this week, sausages and rice (which the leftovers became nasi goreng the next day) and on Sunday I cheated and made store bought ravioli.  I wanted ravioli (or perhaps baby did) and there was no time to make it from scratch. We have learned a good lesson.  Make time.  Adrian's pasta is always fantastic.  (We do eat vegetables too, I promise.  All of those meals had good veg content.)

This morning I decided that tomato soup and fresh buns was a fantastic plan.  I just didn't realize how long these buns where going to take.  They sure do take their time rising!  An hour here, an hour there and, before you know it, you've had pesto pasta for lunch and soup has been moved to dinner.  Sure I could've run to the store and bought some buns, but this way I know there aren't any preservatives or funky chemicals that are called only by numbers and could be anything.

A friend lent us "Feeding the Bump" which is a recipe guide for pregnant ladies.  Some delicious stuff in there.  Some pretty yucky looking stuff too.  All the baby books and paraphernalia that one has the opportunity to read in these nine months are pretty fear mongering.  Suddenly you look at your pantry with fear and distaste.  You read every label that passes your eyes (except for on the chocolate packets, because sometimes you just don't want to know) and wonder why hand lotion and shampoo have colouring agents in them.  Does it matter what colour they are?  You wonder why half the food products in the store came from across the globe.  Surely there are peas in Australia as well as China? Fishes live here and not just Norway?

Anyway, the fear mongering needles at you (is it odd that only two things mongered are fish and fear?) and you decide to reevaluate all that goes on in the modern house.  No I've not turned into a hippie.  My feet are just three steps more firmly planted in the past and looking to old answers to "new" problems.

Now I should go put these buns in the oven.  They'll be delicious with the tomato/chickpea and rosemary seasoned soup.  (And then we took a picture when they were done!  Yum!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cheeky Butts

Oh, online shopping can be fun, can't it?  Especially when you get packages in the mail from places called "Cheeky Butts" and the parcel delivery lady can recognize you downtown and still knows your name.  Perhaps the second example shows how we've done a wee bit of the online shopping.  She's a nice lady.

Yesterday I got two parcels in the mail.  One was a delightful wooden toy to remind me of home and teach the child northern things.  Thanks to a lovely, frequently caffeinated woman whom we'll call "Nessa".  No, no, I mean, whom we'll call "Danger".  The other parcel was from the aforementioned Cheeky Butts.

It was diapers.  That is to say, it was a couple diaper ("nappy") covers.  We already have some, but we're just rounding out our set.  While searching for a few more nappy covers, I came across many a cloth diaper distributer online.  There appears to be an understanding between purveyors of reusable diapers that they must all be named using
  a) incorrect spelling
  b) bottom related puns
  c) baby talk
  d) content related puns, or
  e) all of the above.
During my search I came across such winners as Green Buns (hopefully meaning that they are eco friendly and not referring to poop colour), Bummis (see "c"), Kushies (a mispelling of cushy, which as we all know rhymes with "tushie"), Bumgenius (referring to leak proofing, I assume, and not the ability for its wearer to truly speak out of their bottom or perform other genius tasks), Fuzzibuns (which could be a cruel reminder of lanugo or refer to softness of diaper itself), Loveybums (which also has a subsection called Loveydoodles, obviously a "d" reference), Monkey Doodlez (aw, animal pooh! How exciting!), Cushie Tushies (only a slight mispelling, granted), Baby Beehinds (anything fauna apparently makes it cute to talk about human waste), Bumpy Buns (which just sounds cruel.  Who wants a bumpy diaper?), Pikapu (it's one of my favorite titles.  Go on, sound it out.  You know you want to.  Hopefully you're in public as you read this), PeaPods and Sugar Peas (which should turn you off your greens for a couple days if that's what you get to see inside), Happy Heiny, Organic Caboose (it would be cool/odd to see a train with an "organic caboose" and, for that matter, a human without one), Kissaluvs, Econobum (which makes me think of silly jokes about the child being a cheap bum or other similar three letter word beginning with "a"), Rumparoos (unfortunately this reminds me of the Polkaroo)  and Thirstees.  I also just found Hippybottumus.  Awesome.

Oh shopping for baby is fun! Except for when it's not.  Maybe that's why the items are labelled thus: it gives the parents a mild respite into giggle land when life gets to hard.

Kind of makes you want to give your own underpants a funny name, doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I had a very odd dream this morning.

After walking through a big garden with a friend who we will call "Mel", and having deep talks about life, I ended up in a classroom where my belly started to twitch, my shirt was lifted from my belly, a scalpel was applied to my belly (all without pain I should acknowledge) and the next thing I knew my belly was flatter like it used to be but it had a very large unhappy frown mark on it.  There were no stitch marks.  When I asked the doctor why, he said that they try to butterfly caeser wounds nowadays as they heal faster.  I asked where my baby was.

Which one?  They asked.

Pardon? I was only pregnant with one.

No, no, you've had 27.

I'm sorry?  Who named them?  Did Adrian use the names we had chosen?

They told me the names.  They were not what Adrian and I had planned.  Apparently people had taken turns naming them.  I got angry about this.  Then I saw my 27 children.  They were all different from each other (except for the twins).  They all appeared to be two years old.

I think I'm getting scared about this labour thing.  Or perhaps my brain is still miffed at the gas station attendant who asked if I was pregnant with twins and I replied, "No, I'm just giant."

Because after all, only giants could have 27 toddlers with one relatively small scar.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A List

I have a little list that's entitled "Needs for Baby and Baby's Room".  This is a very long list.  In fact, looking at this list makes me tired.  These needs are not all hard or expensive.  It's merely that list has become one of those lists.  You know the type.  The type that you clear off all but a few things and then realize that you missed a billion.  Or at least 62.

As we live in a more remote community, shopping is done in spurts.  There is a lovely little shop here in town, cute and completely overpacked.  This is not their fault.  It's just too small of a store for all that it tries to hold.  Shopping there also makes me tired.  It's like a physical representation of the mess in my mind and the mess that is my list.  Shopping therefore is more likely to happen away from town.  A fair amount was accomplished this weekend actually.  But as some of these were big ticket items (like crib/cot) they weren't all on my list, being obvious things needed.  It was saddening to pull out my list and not have the joy of stroking out very much at all.

Actually we picked up a couple small things that hadn't made it to the list either.  They were incidentals that when we saw them, thought, yes we need those, but they weren't big enough to have been written down on the list.  I'm thinking here of diaper pins.  Intrinsic, yes.  List worthy, apparently not.

This list has a flower doodled in the top corner.  It's a happy little flower.  It can't read.

Many of the dot points on the list have little notes jotted beside them.  Things like "in Perth, see [insert store name here]".  The internet is a handy wee tool for us ruralites (ruralees? ruralars? country folk?) except that the stores tend to only broadcast the prices of the big things.  So you can buy a change table, but can you find a change pad price to make a Perth trip shorter? No sir.  That would be helpful.

So here I sit, begging the internet to have decent websites, steadfastly ignoring the section of the list that doesn't involve shopping, but cleaning or crafting.  This part of this list scares me a little.  What if my crafting skills are just weak and end up causing more grief that usefulness?  Plus then I would have to get out of this chair and actually do something.

Eh, you talked me into it.  I go now to be useful.  Let's see if it works.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

I think that the baby is taking over.  You can see its obvious conquest around my midriff.  I have surrendered this territory with the hopes of gaining it back.  At some point.  Probably when the child is 6.

But, and I think it has expanded his or her territory.  I am now quite certain that the child has taken control of my mind.  Sometimes whilst talking, I'll forget what I'm talking about or how to use words in general.

"Sure, sure," you say - "that's just how you are.  I know you of old and this is merely one of those side effects of being Rebecca."

You could be right.  I can't remember.  But I have more evidence.  Early on with baby and now again, my nights are filled with strange dreams.  Odd, really.  Have you ever dreamed that your sister killed a mouse that resembled a pair of socks that you own?  Or that Stephen King kept putting peas in your pasta after communion?

In the books I've read about babies, there are tidbits of information about how often they sleep in a day and how much of that is REM.  They wonder what babies dream about.  Probably shapes and in black and white, they claim.

I think it's more like this.  Baby takes the opportunity to glean Mommy's mind of information.  It takes little pieces from here and there, some memories, some musing, some facts and figures.  It then tries to assemble these in a reasonable way.  It's just not quite sure how yet.  So it presses them through the placenta while Mommy is asleep and up to the cavalry occupying the brain space.  The brain space shows Mommy the nightly feature who then wakes up confused and somehow even tireder.

(I should posit that this isn't paranoia.  This is supposed to be funny, but I'm really tired right now.  I was traveling in my dreams a lot.  Also, I was an arts student and science is a big pretty mystery to me)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What's for Dinner?

We thought we'd missed it, perhaps escaped it or bypassed it.  But no.  It's here.


Okay, so there have been a few general taste shifts in pregnancy.  I now love eggs having previously liked them occasionally.  I love cooked mushrooms, when I used to pick them out of food, enjoying the flavour, but not the texture.  I used to like fish and now we have it at least once a week and it's generally regarded as the best flavor sensation in the world.  If you need a recipe for cooking salmon, let me know.

But aside from these little changes, like for two months hating the thought of chicken, I've avoided cravings.  Oh, sure, I was highly susceptible to suggestion.  Talk about chocolate cake for two minutes and all I wanted was chocolate cake.  Or to vomit.

Now it's all changed.  On Tuesday night we were all set to have chicken curry when suddenly all I needed out of life was a ridiculous amount of dim sims, wontons or similar.  We decided to have the chicken curry last night, but all I wanted out of life was a chicken pizza.  I don't normally like chicken on pizza.  We pan fried the chicken and made a delightful healthy pizza with other toppings such as celery, spinach, zucchini and green pepper (capsicum for you southerners).  And it was so good.  I even ate much of the chicken right out of the pan.

Adrian was reading a bit in bed last night, a book by Joel Salatin about sustainable and healthy farming, and he read a quote about McDonald's and Taco Bell.  Suddenly, I needed a taco.  Needed.  I couldn't sleep for awhile thinking about them.  I know that Taco Bell beef is not what you'd consider the cream o' the crop, but I wanted one.  Or, to be honest, about five tacos.  Nevermind the fact that I'd recently finished my healthy mixed berry smoothie.

We're having tacos for dinner.  Unless life requires something else by then.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tastes of Tuesday

As I sit and listen to the rain pounding down around the house, sipping at my coffee, I can't help but think "coffee sure is delicious."  Maybe this isn't the epiphany that you expected, but bear with my confused tastebuds a moment.  For the past seven months, things that ought to taste good haven't always and things that I don't generally care for have made the grocery list more than they ever have before.

It's so wonderful to enjoy a cup of coffee.  Don't worry, I won't finish it.  The tastebuds aren't quite back to being on my team yet.  The steady rain is music to my ears as I relax into the week.  Not really time for that though.  I should already be getting ready for choir.

It amuses me how coffee, delightful happy blackest brew, can polarize people taste wise.  I remember a jolly occasion where a good friend of mine, let's call her "Terra", accidently grabbed my black coffee instead of her apple cider.

I'm sure you can imagine the rest.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sleepy Sundays

Church was good this morning.  I like church, being fed and nourished.  During the children's message while Adrian was talking about what the cross is, not just an abstract thing, I thought about a moment I had a few years ago.

Often my brain and mouth do not have a conversation with each other before my mouth engages.  I've said some pretty odd things over the years.  This one happened after I was at a concert or recital at some church in Edmonton.  I had been staring at the wall cross behind the altar and it appeared to have a shelf on the bottom leg.  I got to thinking, "I bet there's a Jesus statue that they have that they could put up for Lent and special Sundays".  I thought about it, and the implications of it, and after the recital was over, went right over to the Pastor and asked excitedly, "Is there a Jesus?"

I backpedalled of course, and I think a helpful housemate helped to explain what I meant, but I still felt a wee bit silly!

After church today was choir.  Choir was good, but I get tired so easily lately.  I was going to post more, but I think I'll succumb to this sleepy Sunday and go have a rest.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm Gonna Sing Til the Baby Moves...

The child is being exciting this morning.  Recently it's gotten so tight in my belly that we can actually see it moving and changing position.  Somedays it doesn't stop moving.  Other days, it (I know, a terrible term, but "they" would be confusing and "he" or "she" would be misleading, so we'll stick with it for now) just relaxes and boots me occasionally so I don't panic.  Obviously the child has picked up the she'll be right mentality already.

Watching my belly is now one of my favorite pastimes.  It's strange and bewildering to know that there is a person, an actual little person, living inside me.  Watching this little Adrian-Rebecca mixture play inside an area previously used for nothing much exciting at all is an adventure.  I'm like a child watching a spin washing machine.  Every little bump and nudge is highly appreciated and encouraged.  It is fairly odd to watch your midriff change shape though.

It's kind of like this: do you remember as a child how you (or a friend of yours) had a small pet - a hamster or mouse or lizard or something?  And of course one day, it got loose when someone was holding it and it bolted up someone's pantleg?  Do you remember watching it creep around, changing the shape of their clothing and how they always had that freaked out expression of "that feels weird and creepy"?  Now imagine that being inside the person.  The shape and weirdness, not the hamster.  That would be wrong.  That's what I get to see most days.

It's been a fun little progression, this dance our baby has perfected.  First the soft movements, classified by all and sundry as "butterfly wings".  How someone decided this term was perfect, I don't know.  It felt more like .... um .... having had swallowed a cotton ball and then the cotton ball rubbing itself occasionally against skin.  Okay fine, it felt like butterfly wings.  Then kicks and jabs that astounded and shocked me with their strength - which I no longer feel, but Adrian can feel through my skin.  Now this.

It's a hoot.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mommy Moments

Hello to everyone out there in the blogosphere!

I've caved. I've cracked. I swore I'd never get a blog, and here I am, writing my first post.  But hey, I also swore I'd never marry a pastor and look where that got me!

I've decided to use this space for the overcrowded thoughts of my mind: a place to pour out stories, queries and oddments.  And truth be told, my mind needs a bit of airing out.  It's getting busy in there with the thoughts of the future and the preoccupations of the now.

At this moment a small person is growing inside me.  This bewildering miracle will be the source of much of my postings.  It's strange that such an ordinary happening as a child would cause so much change, not only to life and living, but to thoughts, ideas and goals.  I'm almost certain that every first time mother feels like no one has experienced what she's going through - not in a self important sort of way, but in a overwhelming, complex, everything is changing kind of way.  And anytime I share anything uniquely mommy that's happened to me, other parents nod and smile in that truly knowing way.  It's a strange sort of club we've entered.

Today I was walking past the shoes at the front door when I caught sight of a spiderweb.  Not content to just brush it away, the vacuum cleaner came out and I meticulously sucked it up.  Suddenly everything seemed vacuumable and I had a jolly time vacuuming shoes, crevices and corners.

This is not normal behaviour.  And, I fear, it's just the beginning.