Sunday, October 30, 2005

touched up

Thanks to Onanymous, an earlier photo of Baby catching z's in her buggy has been beautified heaps.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

baby buggy blues

I was not a happy chappy this afternoon. We've had our baby buggy for about five weeks now, and in this time it's already suffered two flat tires and displayed signs of surface rust. Now, I guess I'm just unlucky with the flat tires, but all the same; we paid quite a lot of money for this thing and the last thing I want is to have to return to the shop every other week because something's gone wrong with it.

At the shop, I told the owner I was really unhappy about this. Now here's a bit of customer service advice - if a customer complains because a product she bought recently always seems to have something go wrong with it, telling her that she's the only one who's had these problems really doesn't help.

What made me grumpier still was that he wasn't able to supply me with a replacement inner tube because they were out. Unless I was willing to wait until Monday (which is a long time without a buggy when you depend on one to get your baby to nap for more than 45 minutes), I had to trek out to another part of town and pay for a new tube, then return to the shop for reimbursement.

I really wanted to ask for a replacement buggy, but it would have to have been another all-terrain model; I'm sure that all of their all-terrain buggies have exactly the same kind of tyres, so I wouldn't have been any better off even if they'd go along with it.

So I relented, though not without imparting a remark about wanting a six-pack of inner tubes to save myself returning to the shop multiple times in the near future.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Warm 'n' fluffies

Just so you don't think that all I do is grumble about how hard it is mothering a baby, I've listed some of the things which make me go all gooey:

- When Baby gives me a big grin first thing in the morning (she also does it when I'm trying to put her to bed, but you're not supposed to smile back then).

- Baby has graduated from sucking her fists (they call it self-soothing) to sucking individual fingers (which means she now notices they're there).

- The fact that Baby hardly ever cries, even when she's sitting in a pooey nappy or can't breathe because her nostrils are full of snot (I don't know why, maybe I'm not vacuuming often enough).

- Watching the boy playing with Baby. They're so cute together, but he never lets me take a photo because then he'd have to shave first.

- Singing a lullaby to Baby when it's her bed time or nap time, and seeing her try to sing along.

- Turning "ah goo" into a two-way conversation.

Like a tyrannosaurus rex

Lately I've been looking a little like T-Rex. He had those powerful hind legs and puny fore-limbs; I have sturdy legs and two crippled wrists. Actually they don't look that puny, because they're heavily encased in neoprene wrist splints. When I'm hastily trying to put my jacket on before going out for walk with Baby and buggy, it's hard work getting my hands through the sleeves.

My thumbs are not so much opposable, as opposing any kind of activity which requires them - whether it's brushing my teeth or holding up Baby's surprisingly heavy head.

Apparently it's pretty common for women to be afflicted this way soon after giving birth. The fact that this happens at a time when one needs to use one's hands most - for picking up and holding babies etc - is, to me, evidence that there could be no such thing as "intelligent design". Unless it's God's way of punishing Eve's female descendants, that is.

I've heard that it's possible to get cortisone shots which would enable me to regain full and pain-free use of my hands and wrists, but I think I'll try acupuncture first. So I've booked myself in for another session with the physiotherapist for next Tuesday. This is the same therapist who was very understanding when, at our last appointment, I ended up having to do a very messy emergency nappy change in her office.

The best part about my making the appointment though was that the receptionist and I bonded over baby anecdotes. I can understand why mothers' coffee groups are so popular.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Beware of hairdressers with no hair

I got my hair cut yesterday, at one of those cut-price places that charge only $18 for a haircut but expect to be done with you in 20 minutes. The hairdresser was an interesting guy; instead of actual hair, his scalp was covered in tattoos, and instead of the usual chatter about what we're up to in the weekend, he talked about out-of-body experiences and how society would be much better off if everyone was the same.

He suggested that, instead of the usual blunt cut, he give me a jagged edge all around - how it would be more "modern". I was open to new hair experiences so I let him get on with it.

When I looked at the finished product, I wasn't overwhelmed; years of not being able to get the same style as the one I liked in a magazine (usually because I have Asian hair) have made me somewhat less fussy about my hair over the years. What made me worry was when he said that he would have liked to spend more time on my hair but had to stop now because it had already been 45 minutes. Oh, and also when he said something wistful about how this style usually works so well on Caucasian hair.
the other hand it was still better than the 10 weeks of overgrowth I had before.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

You know that saying about being careful what you wish for?

For the last few nights Baby has been "sleeping through". Now, apparently this term means that the baby sleeps from midnight through to 5am without disturbance. Like most adults, I think of "sleeping through" as sleeping for eight hours. Baby seems to think of it as falling asleep at 9pm and not waking until 6am.

On Monday night, Baby did just that - fell asleep at 9pm and didn't wake up until I woke her up, at 6am. Meanwhile, I was waking up every few hours because my boobs were so engorged. By about 4am I was silently pleading Baby to wake up and make those "I'm hungry" noises. At 6am, I decided I couldn't hold out any longer and fed her.

Last night, I couldn't get her to bed sooner than 9.30pm. Then I woke up at 2am and decided I didn't want to suffer from imploding boobs again, so I woke her up, fed her and put her back to bed.

Truly, I never thought I'd been in a position where I'm waking her up. On purpose. There's a good chance that this will change next week, after Baby's next course of vaccinations (they make her really unsettled). Until then, I reckon my best bet is to persist with trying to get her in bed by 7pm so that I can relieve my boobs before midnight.

Photos galore

If, like the boy and me, you just never tire of looking at photos of my darling daughter, all you have to do now is link to this page. Most of these I've posted on this blog but there are one or two which I haven't. The link is also over on the sidebar.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What I can write in eight minutes

Quickly, before Baby wakes up...

We watched The Aquatic Life with Steve Zisou last night. It was quite funny and very quirky. For example, all the underwater scenes are so obviously fake that they remind me of illustrations in decades-old National Geographic magazines. I got the impression that the plot didn't really go anywhere, but that might have been because I was continually distracted by the need to feed, burp and nappy-change.

It's still taking several hours to get Baby to bed at night. Last night there was a three and a half hour gap between her bath and her getting to sleep; in between there was a lot of rocking and pacing, and some additional feeding. But once she fell asleep , she was down until 7am (score!).

After three weeks of wearing a splint on my left wrist, I have really distinct tan lines around the edges. The untanned parts of my hand and wrist really do look younger than the rest. Scary. It also means I really must get hold of a sun shade for the buggy; I wouldn't want Baby to look old before her time.

Strawberries don't last long, do they? The boy bought me some at the beginning of the week and I only got around to eating them today - I had to throw half of them out 'cos they were all furry.

Friday, October 21, 2005

At her mercy

I haven't been able to blog for a couple of days. Normally, I do my blogging right after we've been out for a walk in the buggy because Baby sleeps on even after we get home. Lately, Baby's sleep pattern has changed and she wakes up at the end of each 45 minute or 1 hour sleep cycle. If I don't time our return home correctly, she'll wake up as soon as we're home and demand attention.

Now that I tend to have Baby and buggy with me wherever I go, I've become much more appreciative of how difficult it must be for the wheelchair-bound to get around the shops. For instance, most cafes are far too small for a buggy, so even if I dared to go for a coffee (risking a hyped up infant to contend with) I would have to sit outside. I decided not to go into the local curtain shop today (to get blackout curtains for the bedroom) because there are steep steps to the entrance. And other shops I just don't bother going into because there's no room to get the buggy around.

Oops, better go - Baby's just woken up from her buggy sleep...

Monday, October 17, 2005

childsafe home

It won't be long before Baby starts crawling around and getting her fingers into rubbish bins, power points and our DVD collection. So the boy suggested we get us a baby cage. I quite like the transport cage, because it'd be easy to get on and off the bus, and wouldn't take up too much space in a cafe.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Baby just loves being in her vibrating baby seat. We love her being in it too, because it makes her burp and calms her down when she's unsettled. The photo was taken by the camera in my palm pilot. She's nine weeks old now.

Yesterday Baby and I walked into town to look at timber cots. We found a nice one made by Genesis, which converts into a junior bed, a settee and even a change table (though I don't see the point of the last one - surely if you're going to need a cot and a change table, you're going to need them within minutes of each other). The cot, along with an innersprung mattress, arrive on Monday morning. Then we can start looking at musical mobiles!

While we were in the shop, the retailer kindly showed me how to make the front buggy wheel swivel. Perhaps she was doing it to avoid my adding to the trail of dents we were leaving at the base of every display stand I tried to manoeuvre around.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another post about sleep

Yesterday I ran into two aquaintances, both mothers of seven month old babies, and both proponents of the Gina Ford routine-nazi system. Both women raved about how, by following Ford's The Contented Little Baby Book, their babies slept through the night from an early age and the mums actually had social lives.

I was starting to wonder whether we should've taken Ford more seriously. At the very least we're going to have to break our habit of rocking Baby to sleep all the time, because she should really learn to fall asleep on her own.

Freshly inspired to re-try the bath-feed-bed routine, I put Baby through it around 9pm while the Boy was in the next room in a computer game orgy. To my surprise, Baby went straight to sleep after her post-bath feed - no agitation, no pukes and no fretting. She was fast asleep before 10pm (a miracle!) and I was able to have my first early night for at least two weeks.

I was so excited about my success that I was unable to sleep for ages. Oh, the irony.

Baby didn't favour me with a long sleep last night though; my feeding services were demanded every 2 1/2 hours. Oh well, you can't have everything I suppose.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

geek toy

Around about midnight, I realised I was going to have the worst start to a birthday ever - except for that year I got pleurisy. As per usual, Baby start acting up from early evening, and didn't go to sleep until the boy had rocked her to calmness three times, alternating with her need to feed and puke all over herself. It was after 1am by the time she crashed out on our bed, on the side where the boy usually sleeps; the boy having long ago realised that sleeping in the spare room was preferable to being woken up every few hours by the grunts and squawks of a breastfeeding baby.

Someone told the boy about my previous blog post, about him having forgotten my birthday. When he got home yesterday, he indignantly informed me that he'd already pre-ordered my birthday present way ahead in advance. But I had to wait until this morning to find out what it was.

This morning, I snuck out of the bedroom while Baby was still having her cutie sleep, and opened the two packages (as foretold by The Skirt) - inside were a high-tech palm pilot, including phone, camera and web capability and a wireless headset thingy (called a Blue something).

It must have been hideously expensive, and now I'm obliged to wade through the manual and familiarise myself with this gadget's inner workings. While I don't tend to make cell phone calls very often, and am more likely to note down appointments on the wall calender than in a small and easily misplaced electronic device, I reckon it will be useful for reading blogs while Baby's asleep in the lounge (I won't have to risk waking her up by cranking the squeaky door handle to get to the study).

Needless to say, the boy got his apology.

Tonight we celebrate that fact that I am one year closer to mortality (or, on the positive side, one more year of being alive and mostly well), with a restaurant meal - the New World supermarket does a lovely range in pre-cooked roasts and meatloaf...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Baby's bed - to cot or not to cot

Apparently it's not a good idea to put Baby to sleep in a travel cot day-to-day, which is what we've been doing; it says so in all the baby care books I've read (and that's quite a few), and the Plunket nurse told me it would be like asking a grown-up to sleep in a sofa bed or camp bed night after night.

So we're thinking of getting Baby a proper wooden cot, only it sounds like a good idea to get one which is either American sized cot (so she can use it until she's 4 years old - are they called American sized because American babies are bigger?), or one that converts to a junior bed. But is a wooden cot going to make Baby sleep any better?

Getting a proper cot isn't going to make getting Baby to bed in the first place, any easier - if it would, then I'd be out the door and in the shops right now, despite the cold and rainy weather out there.

What I need is more anecdotal evidence either for or against having one's baby using a travel cot every night (can they get bad backs or something?).

He's in trouble

I casually asked the boy this morning whether he'd told someone it was my birthday tomorrow, someone who'd left me an anonymous birthday greeting. I'd expected him to answer that he'd told someone who told someone else etc...but I didn't expect that he was surprised that it was my birthday tomorrow.

Not that I was expecting a surprise party or dinner at a posh restaurant - after all, we've a 8 1/2 week-old dependant to think of.

But he forgot, so he's in trouble.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Which Serenity character are you?

This must be based on the movie, 'cos I don't remember an "Operative" in the series. I would rather be River or Zoe. Found on Casyn's blog.

You scored as The Operative. You are dedicated to your job and very good at what you do. You've done some very bad things, but they had to be done. You don't expect to go to heaven, but that is a sacrifice you've made for a better future for all.

The Operative


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


Shepherd Derrial Book


Simon Tam


River Tam


Zoe Alleyne Washburne


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Kaylee Frye


Inara Serra


Jayne Cobb


Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Puke water

Every evening Baby makes it hard for us to settle her for her evening sleeps. Often it's because she's all agitated - with quick, shallow breathing and a really anxious look on her face - for some unknown reason.

So-called "relaxation baths" don't seem to help; she'll get agitated as soon as she's out of the water and into the relatively cold air, and sometimes she acts all nervous-like when she's still in the water.

We figured Baby's un-relaxed state was due to trapped wind, because she sure does regurgitate a lot; after a good puke-up she's usually a whole lot calmer. I read about some substance called Gripe Water, which is supposed to be good for wind, so I bought some at the supermarket to try.

I don't know exactly how Gripe Water is supposed to work, since the only instructions that come with the bottle are to do with dosage, but this is how it works for us - squirt up to 3 mls of the stuff into Baby's mouth and close her mouth to prevent it from being spit out. In about two seconds, Baby pukes out what appears to be a stomach-full of pre-digested mum's milk plus saliva. Baby feels much better, and the chances of getting her to sleep before midnight increase markedly.

Has anyone else out there used Gripe Water, or have an effective remedy for infant nervous tension?

Friday, October 07, 2005

"...cardboard box at side 'o' the road..." *

This guy reckons it's safer to put your baby to sleep in a cardboard box, than in bed with Mum and Dad.

I have to say that the few times we've put Baby in bed with us (out of sheer desperation I might add, because she wouldn't settle), I couldn't relax for fear of rolling over and squashing her accidentally. Those times, I'd fall asleep and then wake up, heart pounding, peering around for her little body amongst the duvet.

*Meant to be said with a Yorkshire accent, an homage to that hilarious Monty Python skit, The Four Yorkshiremen.

Sleeping like a grownup

While getting Baby to sleep in the evenings continues to be a challenge, I can now say that she has started to sleep through the night. That is, after we finally got her settled at around midnight, she "slept through", i.e. was quiet, right up until 6.30am.

I'm so proud.

Of course, this might have been a fluke; tonight she might go back to waking me up every 3 hours.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Gmail - huh?

I keep getting these messages from the gmail admin, telling me to go to a specified link and follow some instructions if I don't want to lose my gmail account. But the link only brings me back to my gmail inbox, and there aren't any instructions.

Has anyone else with a gmail account had this ?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Baby photo

Due to popular's another photo of the wee one; this time asleep in her buggy, as all good babies should be. The picture's a little dark, but the girl is still glowing.

Kiwi Gothic

Just for a change, this post isn't about babies at all, mine or anyone else's.

The boy suggested we rent a DVD for Saturday night, and left it up to me to decide which movie to get. Knowing full well that, if we were both at the video shop, we'd end up renting either a car-chase thriller or heist movie, I took this opportunity to look out for a dense, dark ,foreign language movie. Luckily for him, I didn't see one I liked, but I did find In My Father's Den, which I've been wanting to see for ages.

It was bloody brilliant, and what I think is characteristic of pre-Whale Rider New Zealand cinema. This film reminds me a little of Vincent Ward's Vigil, with it's rural NZ setting and creepy atmosphere.

This guy, Paul,returns to his small-town South Island home after the death of his father, after seventeen years away as a war photographer. He befriends a teenage girl who may or may not be his daughter (Celia), and soon afterwards she goes missing. Did she run away to escape her pervy stepfather? Or did the stepfather do away with her? Everyone suspects Paul's relationship with Celia wasn't totally non-sexual, so he's the first person taken in for questioning.

And the great thing iss that the DVD is a 7 Day hire, which means that I can rewatch it to catch all the bits missed when I was busy changing Baby's nappies.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A suprise visit from the poo fairy

My wrists are suffering terribly from Occupational Overuse Syndrome. My years as a computer programmer, followed by my current obsession with blogging, have resulted in horrible pains around the thumb joints every time I pick up my daughter or grasp anything. I'd planned to tell my doctor about it at the six week check-up; little did I know that the six week check-up is focussed solely on the baby and not the mother. The doctor did, however, find the time to advise that I go see a physiotherapist about getting some wrist splints.

It's damned difficult making an appointment when you don't know where your baby's going to be in her sleep-feed-poo cycle at any given time of any given day. Anyway, I made an appointment for yesterday afternoon.

As yesterday afternoon progressed, I realised that I was going to have to wake Baby up from one of her precious naps, in order to feed her before taking her with me to the appointment with physio. I roused her, fed her about half an hour before she'd normally be hungry, and bustled her into her carseat.

It's shocking how, in a short hour and a half, so much poo could be produced and distributed all over a small human's body.

I didn't even realise it had happened until I was just about to leave the physio's office, and was about to put Baby's little pink hoodie on for the homeward journey. I thought babies always complained when they had a wet or soiled nappy; not this one. Fortunately, the physio was very understanding about it, and let me use her room to do the nappy change.

After so many trips with Baby and baby bag, I finally got a chance to use the baby bag contents - all of them i.e. nappies, wipes, plastic disposal bags and complete change of outfit. I even had to dismantle the carseat upholstery so I could wash Baby's "contributions" from it.