Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adventure Feeding

Eating is just too simple.

Our little boy (hereinafter referred to as Son) is a delightful person.  He is awesome.  Everyday there are new reasons to love him and new ways that he astounds us.  I'm not sure if that always comes through on the blog as I sometimes blog tired.  He's a good little eater.

Sure, he's still trying different solids and getting into it, but he likes it! Unless "it" is sweet potato.  Sometimes with a new food it takes him a bit to enjoy it or understand it, but never has he had as hard a time as with bread.

Son is quite fond of sticking things in his mouth.  His teeth hurt his gums, you see.  We figured toast was a natural.  It would rub his gums and be good to chew.  Son was not so sure.  He would not bring it to his mouth (astounding in and of itself!) and if it were brought to his mouth he would not allow it entry.  This from a child who routinely eats paper and tries to eat a softball.  This from a child who will chew on his clothes and the furniture!

As he is at an adventurous stage, getting into everything high, low and unknown, we thought perhaps we could use this to our advantage.  Maybe we could leave bits of bread and other solids around the house and as he discovered them he might be tempted to eat them.  But then who knows what else might be tempted to forage about the place and finding a cheese stockpile or a veggie den.

Don't worry, we didn't.  A few days into the debacle of toast waving and subsequent ignoring, we got some of my homemade bagel into him.  He looked mildly concerned, but determined that it was indeed food and will now happily mung on bread.

He's taken this adventurous idea of fooding to a new level though.  He's now into acrobat feeding.  I breastfeed him lying down in a darkened room otherwise he gets excited and looks around and forgets to eat.  We lie down because he squirms too much otherwise.  And now he's decided that it's fun to roll on to his belly and get on to his knees while drinking.  Maybe stand and suckle.  Go for the difficult shot and if I try to get him into the right position again, he'll be up and on the other side, rocking his head from side to side as he incorporates gymnastics into the relatively calm task of eating.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Okay, so maybe I'm an old person married to an old person with a rather young person for a son.  Perhaps we oldies aren't so old as we feel, we just feel that way due to lack of sleep (see young person, teething).  At any rate, I have no energy/drive to go out dancing even though I love it.  It's fun, it's energizing, it's physical activity that doesn't involve laundry: it's just great.

Fortunately for my sad tootsies, I have other options that involve fun, energizing, physical activity and don't involve weight lifting an 11 kg-9 month old.  I play softball twice a week and walk and, on very special occasions like today, I make bread.

I love making bread.  It smells amazing.  It's a patience builder.  It tastes fantastic and it's special because it takes so long.  Today I made bagels (Fig. 1).  First time for bagels, and they weren't hard.  And they taste great.  It's good to have a vent for frustrations too (see young person, gets into everything)!  And pounding dough sure does it.

But bread is an effort, so I'm glad I've got softball.  When I volunteered, I did so with trepidation.  I was never great at sports whilst younger, perhaps because I had no balance for awhile, perhaps because I was afraid of the ball.  But I like ball.  Makes me think of home.  It's quite different to just being a token Jays (or Tigers! but only if my grandparents aren't looking) fan.  And I'm very glad I'm playing even though I feel stupid most of the time as my brain is tired (see young person, sleep regression) and, quite honestly, I don't have a natural sports brain.

Even though I feel worn out and great after these activities, I sure would like to go dancing.  Those red shoes need to spin...

Fig. 1

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tas-mania: Tasmanian Devils

Okay, while I said that I'd be gushing about Tasmania, I didn't quite mean that I'd be gushing about Tasmanian Devils.  In my opinion, nothing to gush about.  Speak about, sure.  Laugh about, definitely.

They are interesting creatures, rather reminiscent of the ROUSes from The Princess Bride. That makes two Australian moments in that movie.  10 points if you know the other one.  Nah, 2 points.  It's an easy one.  But 15 points if your answer is in essay format.

They are not brilliant, have poor eyesight, aren't overly fast, and (quite unfortunately) most are dying out from a transferrable face cancer specific to the animal.  The ones we saw were at a Conservation spot, which was a bit pricey, but it's to help keep them alive.

They make the most unusual sounds.  At that point, our boy was 6 months and making some odd sounds of his own.  We decided he must have some Tasmanian devil in him as there was some overlap.  Perhaps they were trying to speak just as he was?  And what would they say?  Later that week, our boy said, "mom-mom-mom".  Somehow, I think the Tassie Devils would be more likely to say "Whaaa--?!" and there remain.

But the sound is quite strange, like wild animals fighting had been recorded poorly and played through tinny speakers.  Hmm... perhaps they make no sound and it's all a hoax.  No, seriously, I could understand how that sound would be chilling in the night in the woods.  It had a certain mad quality to it.

They rely on their sense of smell which works overtime to make up everything else.  They fed them while we were there and it was unusual to see carrion fought over, even little tiny pieces. It's easy to understand how the character on Loony Tunes came about, though he's the wrong colour and while it would probably run into trees, I doubt that it would make holes.  That may have been borrowed from the whirly-whirlies (wee dust spirals that show up occasionally and go "whoosh".  And by wee, I mean, the cow would make it, but I wouldn't want to be a cockroach.  Ever really.  But certainly not in that case.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tas-mania: Port Arthur

This little family recently went on a trip, over the hills and far away.  Mother duck said: "quack quack, quack quack."  Wait, that's not it.

Adrian turned a big number this year.  To celebrate, his family had us come over to Victoria. We took the opportunity to visit Tasmania for a couple of days beforehand.  It was swell.

The land is rich and rolling; the temperature is cool and refreshing.  The towns are small and close together.  It was wonderful.  We stayed just outside of Hobart and travelled from there.  We would go back in a heartbeat.  The hill up to our room was quite intense, almost a 40 degree angle.  Wouldn't want to do that in a standard!

On our first full day there, we went to Port Arthur which used to be a penitentiary for the Brits.  While there, it was hard to believe that it was a punishment.  The gardens were beautiful, the landscape quaint and verdant, the buildings impressive.  The solitary confinement area kind of brought it to focus, though.  It's hard to be alone sometimes, and this area made them super alone!  Even when they went to church the prisoners would have been ushered in one at a time into booths which had built up sides.  All that they could see was the preacher.  I hope he didn't forget the gospel!  It's an interesting thought, really, that they would only be focused on the cross.

Port Arthur
Modern lifestyles and ease of moving around make the idea of it as a prison odd as well.  There's nothing to really compare it to.  These people, though, were picked up from their home, carried across the world in a boat, dropped onto a small rocky area, green though it may have been. It maintained this greenness by being saturated by rain often.  These criminals would live in rock buildings in cool weather, buffeted by fierce winds and given hard labour to occupy them.  There was little chance of escape, although we heard a few amusing tales.  The Tasman peninsula is connected to the rest of Tasmania with a small passing called Eaglehawk Neck.  It was patrolled by dogs and men.  One fellow dressed himself in a kangaroo skin and tried to hop across.  They pulled out guns to shoot him - to feed the dogs and got a bit of surprise when he yelled to stop.

From the walk at Tasman's Arch

On the way to Port Arthur we stopped at some beautiful places like Pirates' Cove (which honestly contains Penzance road!) and Doo Town (which is a collection of establishments with mostly rude names).  We looked at Devil's Kitchen which was not a kitchen at all (nor chocolatey, sigh) but instead was some beautiful cut aways and gorges - kind of like the Gap in Albany (which is quite different to the Gap in a mall).  The whole trip down was just gorgeous.  Had I been Anne of Green Gables, I'd have renamed the whole area. Or perhaps put down roots.

More gushing about Tasmania soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Peculiar Procrastination

I am a very good procrastinator when there's something that I don't want to do.  Even sometimes when there is something that I do want to do.  I quite enjoy writing this blog, for example, and yet for weeks it has been neglected.  Though to be fair, it has been the busy Christmas time and blogging would have been procrastinating.

At one point in the frantic few weeks gone by, I found myself with too much to do: dishes, folding laundry, ironing, vacuuming, it all needed to be done.  So I set to work and.... ironed the little boy's cloth diapers.  I had just gotten a new iron and was excited.  I didn't do the actual ironing, but my! did those diapers look swish.  They were all perfectly folded as well.  And even when the boy started fussing, I didn't run away from the ironing board and my aberration of character.  No, I moved it so he could see me and proceeded to make faces.  He was entertained and a couple dozen diapers were pampered (haha!).

That was my peculiar procrastination.  I normally just get caught on the internet or in a good book, but sometimes the cleaning frenzy strikes.

How do you procrastinate?

Oh and Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolution: write on the blog at least once a week. Actually, I have more than one resolution, but that is none of your beeswax.