Friday, November 30, 2007

Bullets of NaBloPoMo wrap-up

  • 29 posts.
  • 28 days.
  • 2 days missed.
  • But I had a good excuse.
  • At least I think so.
  • Most of the posts were really uninteresting and appallingly short.
  • But this one was sort of good.
  • Anybody else think it's interesting that I went into labor the day after I wrote "I wanted to write about how it's taken forever to get here but that doesn't matter anymore either. Because it may have taken forever to get here, but I'm here."
  • I almost wrote in that post "It's taken me forever to fall in love with this baby, but I am in love with this baby at last" but some sense of propriety made me delete it.
  • Although my ambivalence about changing everything has not been kept entirely secret, neither had it been so clearly stated and seeing it so starkly written made me reach for the delete key.
  • But it had been written and it had been thought.
  • And The Boychen, lodged just beneath my heart, heard it.
  • He heard me think "I'm in love with this baby at last."
  • And he said "Then I'm coming now!"
  • And he came.
  • Three weeks early.
  • On the day of his choosing.
  • Like his big brother.
  • My sons are willful that way.
  • May you always be willful my sons.
  • And may you always do great things on the day of your choosing.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Word for today:

Swaddling. Oh how I love you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I'm stressing about that I'm going to have to let go of

  • that one will wake the other
  • that one will need! me! desperately! when I'm in the middle of something with the other that can't be interupted (diaper change, nursing)
  • that somebody will feel neglected
  • that I will always have somebody's food and/or drink on my clothing
  • that I will never find the mental silence to write a poem again
  • that I can't be all things to all people


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And here he is...

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Monday, November 26, 2007

What I'm doing when I'm not having a baby

Reading this book.

Coveting this one.

Writing in this one.

Revisiting this one.

I dropped another day in NaBloPoMo but really, I gave birth a week ago. To a whole new human being.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Discharged today. Home. Total chaos, but good.

FYI, Boychen left the hospital weighing 3470g - a gain of 80 grams during the period where infants typically lose up to 250 grams. Maybe I'll get that chubby baby after all.

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Friday, November 23, 2007


Small Boy has already said "I love you Baby." Then again, he also said "Hor uf Boychen! Hor uf!" (Stop [actually used Boychen's proper name]! Stop!" so, you know.

(Here's an interesting aside. So far Small Boy seems to address The Boychen predominantly in English. Huh? What made him decide that? He is a linguistic mixed salad, as a former teacher of mine used to say.)

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

You haven't lived until...

... you've heard a Swiss guy try to read Fox in Socks aloud!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Did I mention that Boychen has a full head of hair at least an inch long all over? Seriously. The boy came out needing a haircut. And whereas Small Boy is fair of hair, Boychen is dark like his Dada.

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27 minutes

I’ve got my computer in the hospital with me but only intermittent Internet access; R and I are sharing a network card and he’s got it in Zurich with him now. Does it count for NaBloPoMo that I’m typing this on Tuesday and will post it Wednesday when I get my crack at the network card? (R skipped Zurich Monday, went Tuesday [today], will skip half of Wednesday and probably all of Thursday and then go back to Zurich on Friday. Probably. This works fine for me and the Boychen since we’re just hanging out in the hospital all week anyway; but Small Boy is getting shuttled between home and The Farm more than we had hoped would happen.)

So far Boychen is a sleeper but they always are the first day or two so we’ll see if that changes. And early babies tend to be big sleepers, too, although thanks to those 27 minutes past midnight he is not, technically, preterm. Monday, the day he was born, marked 37 weeks and 0 days – medically, the definition of a full-term pregnancy. Had Boychen arrived just an hour earlier – just before midnight instead of just after – he would have arrived in the 36th week of pregnancy and technically would have been considered pre-term. Clearly a matter of an hour is meaningless in terms of his physical development – the closer you get to the 37 week mark the more arbitrary a line it seems, really. In Boychen’s case – will he emerge just before or just after midnight? – it was a truly arbitrary marker but not one without meaning. Had he arrived just an hour earlier, had he arrived any time on Sunday, the hospital would have been obligated to classify him as a pre-term baby, which in turn would have obligated them to run a few additional tests on him and to monitor him more closely and more frequently during our hospital stay.

Those 27 minutes – which were completely meaningless in terms of in utero development – put him on the other side of the line and gets us out additional testing requirements.

Random, no?

And yeah, how huge is he for 37 weeks? Had we gone to 40 we’d have been looking at C-section for sure. As it was…well, I’ll attempt the labor and delivery story when I can face it. But let me just say for now that I’m a good mother, and I rock at breastfeeding, but apparently I just suck at labor and delivery.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Boychen is here

This morning at 00.27 am The Boychen arrived. Three weeks early, 3390 grams (7.5 pounds), 49 cm (19 inches), healthy and beautiful.

I am in love.


More later.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007


I think my water broke. The midwives want to see me. This could be the end of NaBloPoMo for me....


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thoughts for a Saturday when my husband is home and I can think again

R is home for the weekend and I've got some breathing room. I wanted to write something about how different this pregnancy has been from my first. By "different" I mean both physically unpleasant and emotionally unsettling but also just different; frankly, I'm happy to see it drawing to a close. A friend of mine in the States has been pestering me for a belly shot and it occurred to me that I don't have any. I don't seem to have a single picture of me pregnant this time around. R and I are going to fix that tomorrow, but I think a good sum up of how differently I've worn these two pregnancies - or how differently they've worn me - is that the first time around I had studio portraits taken - and yes, some of them are the obligatory nude pregnancy photos and I have to say they're all fantastic - and this time around I don't even think we snapped off something with the digital camera. I'm sure there is something very telling in that, but I'm equally sure that whatever it says doesn't really matter. The baby. The baby matters.

Or I wanted to write something about how at some point in the last month wee faeries have apparantly visited my son in the night and turned him into a full-blown boy. One day last week in the park he went tearing away from me and suddenly I saw how very different he's become, different in some untouchable way. More sure of himself, more rambuctious, more...I would say more there, but he has always been so very there. But he's older and more confident and there was a moment last week when I saw a flash of something I'd never seen before and I wondered where it had come from and just how long it had been there and had I missed it before? Or had it really just happened, just that day, just in that moment did I catch out of the corner of my eye the very instant in which a page in my son's life turned? Did I catch, just once, the very moment he grew?

Or I wanted to write how Thursday night in the dim light from the nightlight I turned to him in bed - because of course he sleeps with me when R is away - and he looked like a baby, curled on his side one hand on his neck, sucking his thumb. He could have been nine months old, or nine days old. He bends the lines of time, growing in circles it seems, swinging from boy to baby and back again.

I wanted to write about how today is my mother's birthday again and about how it doesn't matter anymore. I wanted to write about how it's taken forever to get here but that doesn't matter anymore either.

Because it may have taken forever to get here, but I'm here.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

HPSP: Day five...

... is over. That's all there is to say about today. Except that my boy is so cute in a snow-suit (but the one we have is too small). He is the most outdoors-y boy ever and I don't know how I'm going to manage that when it's zero degrees out and I've got a newborn.

Actually the newborn we can bundle just fine. I'm the one freezing my butt off out there.

One week of Heavily Pregnant Single Parenting down, one to go. I'm off to take a bath.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

HPSP: Day four...

... kind of sucked.

But Small Boy loves the snow (we got just the tiniest bit of snow today) and watching him race across the snow-covered grass shouting "Wheeeeeeee!" sort of salvaged some of the day. Well, it salvaged rather a lot, actually.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HPSP: Day three...

... brought to you by my in-laws who have Small Boy for his regular Wednesday visit to The Farm.

I spent most of the afternoon hunched over the loom and have finally reached the actual weaving stage of weaving this baby blanket. I've always been slow at the mechanics of dressing my loom (warping the loom, threading the heddles, slaying the reed, and fine-tuning the tension) even without an enormous belly getting in my way, but boy the belly really slowed me down this time. Even under the best of circumstances, dressing the loom for a project of any size, say for example a 30"x30" baby blanket, will easily take me as long, if not longer, than actually weaving the project off. It's frustrating, and there must be more efficient ways to do what I do, or maybe I just don't weave often enough to develop a good fast repetative motion. At any rate, the grunt work is done and now I can move on to the rhythm of throwing the shuttle.

In baby news, I had an appointment with Dr. Fantabulous this morning - 36 weeks 2 days. Baby is continuing to grow, I have ample amniotic fluid, urine dip and blood pressure nothing to worry about, see you in two weeks. I need to think about if I want to be tested for Group B Strep (testing isn't standard here and we didn't do it in the Small Boy pregnancy) at my next appointment. Basically my chances of losing a baby to a GBS infection (in Switzerland it's 6 fatalities per 80,000 births though rates of non-fatal complications are of course higher) are about equal to my chances of going into anaphylactic shock - and thus endangering my life and the baby's - as a result of the IV penicillan I'd be given should a swab turn up positive. I have an allergy to erythromycin - this always confuses the heck out of my doctors because erythromycin is the drug of choice for people allergic to penicillan and they always think I've got it backwards - and although I've never experienced and allergic reaction to penicillan I also haven't taken penicillan in about 20 years. This would be a pretty sub-optimal time to discover that I've developed a cross-allergy/penicillan sensitivity in the intervening years. I didn't give not getting the test a second thought in the Small Boy pregnancy and I can't figure out why I'm less certain this time around.

Ach je! I hate making decisions like this.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heavily pregnant single parenting: Day two...

...was longer. 'Cuz, you know, I actually had Small Boy today. And because I'd forgotten that I don't sleep particularly well when Small Boy shares a bed with me. And because last night at about 22:30 he woke up in tears, inconsolable, for reasons neither he nor I were ever able to understand. We called R in Zurich and after much "Choem hai! Choem hai!" from the Small Boy (come home! come home!) R was able to settle him down with a song (I ghörre äs Gloggli das lütet so nätt/Dr Tag isch vergange itz gang i ins Bett/Im Bett tuen i bäte und schlafe de i/Dr lieb Gott im Himmel wird ou bi mir si!)* He then came back to bed with me and slept the rest of the night, but he seemed restless.

I owe getting through the morning today to the kids' corner at our local bakery/cafe and open play time at Gymboree.

I owe getting through the afternoon to our secret unconventional way of tricking Small Boy into taking an afternoon nap (R, you know what I'm talking about. As for the rest of you it just might be too embarrassing to blog, even anonymously) and to the in-laws who are giving him dinner and a sleep-over.

I'm getting a lot of help these days. People who know me know how hard it is for me to ask for help, or to accept unsolicited offers of help. I'm almost feeling guilty over how much help I'm accepting but knowing how much Small Boy loves his grandparents makes it easier to put him on the train. That and I've noticed that since I've started accepting more help the frequency of my contractions has gone from "Uh, yeah, that's not good" to "Eh, whatever" and I haven't had another spotting incident. So I'm going to keep accepting help. Because 36-weekers do well, but 38-weekers do better.

* rough translation:

I hear a bell it chimes so sweet
The day is over now I'm going to bed
In bed I'll pray and then fall asleep
Dear God in heaven will watch over me.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Heavily pregnant single parenting: Day One...

...was not too bad. Mostly because Mondays are Tagesmutter days, so my day with Small Boy involved getting him to eat breakfast (which is actually turning into a bit of an issue around here - any breakfast ideas for a three-year old?), getting him dressed and out the door with M&M (the Tagesmutter and her daughter, who came here to pick him up. How good do I have it that I didn't even have to drop him off this morning?), then eight hours later giving him dinner (I'm going to confess it: IKEA meatballs. He loves those things, and he's not alone) and putting him to bed. (My bed, that is. When R is away it doesn't occur to Small Boy for a second that he's actually going to sleep in his own bed. We go through the bed-time routine as usual; I get him into his PJs; and then for story time he walks to his bookshelf, grabs two books, and shuffles confidently down the hall to MamaDadaBed. Whatever. At this point, with two weeks of Heavily Pregnant Single Parenting ahead I'm definitely taking the path of least resistance on sleep-related matters. When he doesn't sleep enough, Small Boy is supremely cranky. When I don't sleep enough I'm a short-tempered shrew. The two of us sleep-deprived at the same time is a DEF-CON 1 situation best avoided. So I'm thinking he's going to be sleeping with me this week.)

I used the intervening eight hours to dress the loom, heat up some of my home-made minnestrone soup for lunch, flip through my splurge purchase of Martha Stewart Living (and when I say splurge, I mean splurge: 14 Francs 40!! That's $12.78 for a magazine!!), have a leisurely latte with a decadant brownie, and think about doing some writing. Not a bad day.

One down, four to go.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

We have a plan but I have a question

Well, tomorrow R heads off to his two-week course in Zurich and I enter week 36 of the pregnancy. We've got a plan for the first week ("plan" making it sound wildly more thought out than it is, it's more like just rolling with the punches). R will be staying in Zurich the entire time, leaving Monday morning and returning Friday evening. Small Boy goes to the Tagesmutter on Monday like always and the Farm on Wednesday like always, but he'll go over there Tuesday for dinner and to sleep over. From Wednesday dinner to Friday dinner it's just the two of us at home. I don't expect to go into labor next week, but if I do if it's daytime the in-laws will come and get Small Boy and take him to the Farm and if it's the middle of the night they'll come here and sleep on the guest bed and be here when Small Boy wakes up.

Anybody have any input on, if I do eventually have to go to the hospital at 3am one day, we should wake Small Boy up and say good bye and tell him I'm going to have the baby now? I'm thinking yes, even though it means he probably will cry and not be able to go to sleep again and the poor grandparents will have to cope with that. (Having him present during labor is out of the question - this is a boy who bursts into tears if he thinks I'm in pain. Stubbing my toe and saying "Ow!" makes him come running calling "Mama! You okay?!")

What arrangements did you make for your older child/ren when you gave birth the second (third, etc) time around?

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Down on the farm

The Farm where Small Boy spends his Wednesdays with the grandparents is a working farm (that's part of what makes it so fun, I'm sure - all that machinery). R's parents are in the process of transitioning to retirement as R's younger brother takes over the farm. Well, technically they are retired but at harvest and/or threshing time when lots of extra hands are needed they're still doing a lot of work. They raise crops, mostly corn, wheat, potatoes, and sugar beets. Even with machinery, potatoes are labor intensive and every summer since I've known her R's mom has turned up black and blue after the potato harvest. She really needs to stop helping already, but I don't think she can. She grew up on a farm and married a farmer and raised a farming son and god willing she'll die at home on the farm she loves.

Small Boy loves his days at the farm and he's an outdoorsy boy and he's all about the tractors and trailers. I want for him what he wants for himself and he could do a whole lot worse than being a farmer, but it's a hard life, physically and financially, and I'll be honest when I say that I hope his heart pulls him, ultimately, in other directions. I have tremendous respect for family farmers, for R's family, and I know full well I'd flat out starve without the farmers of the world, but I guess I'd feel better if I saw Small Boy do other things in his future. (I have the same feelings about Small Boy's other current obsession, the Feuerwehr - fire department: I have all the respect in the world for firemen but I'm not sure I want my own son to do something so risky for a living.)

However. Small Boy just helped out with his first harvest and I'm so proud. He helped cover the sugar beets. Big piles of sugar beets.

He carried sugar beets and used them to weigh down the ends of the tarp, like this:

He showed us the piles today when we went to The Farm and was so proud of himself.

My Big Boy.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh well.

It rained overnight. It's still raining. So much for leaf-pile pictures.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Why I should always carry the camera

One huge pile of leaves raked up from the enitre park, conveniently located at the bottom of a grassy incline. One Small Boy.

I hope it's still there tomorrow. I am so going back with the camera.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baby blanket blues

Actually, there would be two reasons to ask Dr. Fantabulous about the sex of the baby. In addition to the whole male name drama, there's the baby blanket situation. I wove this baby blanket for the Small Boy

and I want to weave a blanket for this baby as well. But it's been very difficult find a yarn to work with. I'm not a terribly advanced weaver and I only have a four-shaft loom; what this means is that the patterns I'm capable of working with - as a result of limitations of both skill and technology - are quite basic. I rely on color and texture to produce interesting work. Small Boy's blanket uses the most basic of all weave structures, a plain weave, but by working with a nubby yarn in multiple colors I was able to put together a blanket that's far more interesting than the underlying weave structure could ever be.

I've had a heck of a time finding a good yarn this time around. There's not a lot textured out there - a good nubby popcorn yarn can make almost anything interesting - or I can't find the right combination of gender-neutral colors, or both. I thought I found a nice yarn to work with (it's the one called Pearl on this page), but when I put it on the loom to weave a sample, three of my warp threads broke under tension and as a result of friction from the beater; I know there is a fix to this problem (probably involving fewer ends per inch), but I don't really have the time or inclination to find it just now. Another interesting yarn (the mohair at the very bottom of this page) turns out to look far too fragile and etherial for a baby blanket (and might be scratchy for the little one), though it would make a lovely scarf for me.

I decided to go back to a yarn I've worked with before (it's the one called Zoom); I know exactly how it behaves on the loom so I only need to make the smallest of samples to see how the colors work together (I am running out of time on this, after all). There are some nice colors available and by scouring this book I was able to find a pattern that appears complex but can still be woven on a four-shaft loom. I picked my gender-neutral colors, wove my sample, drew up my final pattern draft, did my warp and weft calculations, and went to buy the yarn.

And there's not enough of one of the colors I need, one of the colors that I really need, and it could take up to four weeks to order it (that would put me at week 38 before I could even start the thing, for those of you not keeping track at home). I can't deal with picking out an entirely different yarn at this point; I'd have to recalculate the sett and weave a real sample to see how the yarn behaves on the loom and I really don't feel like doing that; hunching over a loom threading heddles with this bulging belly is no fun and I'd like to do it as little as possible. There are, however, three shades of blue in the Zoom that would make a splendid blanket for a boy. (There are not, however, three equally splendid stereotypical girl colors; in fact, in the absence of the purple I really need I'm having a hard time finding three gender-neutral colors I want to work with.) If it's a boy, I could make a really really nice baby blanket. If it's a boy.

This is not a good reason to call Dr. Fantabulous's office and ask for the sex, is it?

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Small Boy and I made chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. It's the first time he's really helped. He added the baking soda and the salt to the flour, cracked the eggs, and stirred the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mix. Of course I helped him help - I measured out the baking soda and salt properly and helped him with the stirring (that dough gets thick for a little boy!) - but he really did help. And he had the patience to stand there on his step stool watching - or stirring fake ingredients - when he couldn't help and he asked "what's that?" "what are you doing?" "can I?" as we worked. He's already pretty good at pressing out shapes with cookie cutters (we use them on the Play-Doh) - I see Christmas cookies in our future!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

The name game

Although I wore this shirt to my last appointment with Dr. Fantabulous, I didn't actually ask the question. I'm 35 weeks today and my next appointment is a week from Wednesday (36w2d), so at this late date it's pretty pointless to ask about the baby's sex. I'm amazed I resisted the temptation, frankly, especially when it became clear that choosing a name for a boy was going to be a lot harder this time around than last - and it was hard enough last time. A girl's name was easy - basically I told R what I wanted and he recognized the futility of resistance - but boys? I don't know why it was so hard, but we just put off the boy's name during the Small Boy pregnancy. Then at 34 weeks I almost went into labor (part of the curse of New Year's Eve) and realized we have no name if it's a boy. After a few days in the hospital Dr. Fantabulous sent me home and I insisted that we come up with a boy name ASAP.

We made lists. R made an excel worksheet with our choices, where we overlapped, how we each ranked the name, and the meaning (because he's a computer geek like that). In the end we had ten boys' names to choose from. We picked a first and middle name for Small Boy (and may I say we chose a fabulous combination) and good thing, seeing as how he turned out to be a small boy and all.

Fast forward to this pregnancy and once again we have the girl's name (the same one) and are struggling with the boy. I found the lists we made when trying to name Small Boy, the one with the eight other names that we in theory liked and agreed on and of the eight? Yeah, I don't like them anymore. Which makes sense as my heart knows they are names I turned down once. So we're back to the drawing board picking boy names. We're making some headway, but I don't know why we have such trouble with male names.

I think most parents put a lot of thought and energy into choosing names; it's a big deal after all. And it's hard to come to terms: your favorite name reminds him of the guy who stole his milk money every day in the forth grade, his favorite name is your brother's name, your sister gives birth and uses the name you picked out (the hazards of keeping these things secret). You just don't like it, he just thinks it's funny. You want to name her after your grandmother, he wants to name her after his. The first name has to work with the last name; if there are older children the names should sound nice together. There's a lot of negotiating.

On top of the standard naming issues, R and I have an additional consideration: the name has to work in English and German pronunciations and in US and Swiss cultures at a bare minimum. (It's bad enough that R's last name uses an umlaut, which the US social security administration cannot accomodate so his name and Small Boy's are spelled differently on US and Swiss documents; I never changed my name when we got married, in some small part because of that pesky umlaut.) Although our current plans and R's career trajectory see us living in Switzerland well into Small Boy's school years, and probably this Player-to-be-Named-Later's as well, we've never ruled out moving if the conditions were right; moving to the US or moving to an interesting third country. So names that translate, names that are at least recognizable in multiple cultures, names that don't change genders when you cross borders (Jan, anyone?) are important to us. This leaves us with some really nice classic names, but it also rules out a lot.

For example, one of my favorite Swiss names for a boy is Beat - and all my English-speaking readers who just rhymed that with "feet" in their heads have demonstrated why that name won't work for somebody who will be living half of his life in English. It's pronounced "Bay-aht" in Switzerland. R and I happen to know a Beat who, as luck would have it, is married to an American woman, and he pretty much spends his life correcting the mispronunciation of his name. For an adult it's an annoyance (for that matter, R's name is no piece of cake in the US either - it's very Swiss) but can you imagine if we move to the US just in time for a son of ours named Beat to enter, say, the fifth grade? Fun times on the playground for sure.

Then there are the names that just sound funny when pronounced in German or are too Swiss - see above, Beat - for the US. Or too American for Switzerland. And then there is the nick-name issue. The Swiss, they loooove the nicknames. If your name is Jane, the Swiss will find a way to give you a diminuative. Jacob becomes Kobi; Sebastian becomes Sebu; Christian becomes Chrigu; Konrad becomes Konu; Thomas becomes Thomu. As an adult it's possible to get people to use your full name, but you couldn't get a Swiss teacher to call a seven year old boy "Sebastian" for love or money. He would be a Sebu. I like some of the nicknames - personally, I like Chrigu well enough - and dislike others. I love the name Sebastian - Sebu, not so much. Konrad, yes; Konu, eh. Every time I think of a boy's name, I ask R for the nick-name (and there is always a nick-name). And half the time it leads to scratching another name off the list. If there had been one reason to ask Dr. Fantabulous to tell us the baby's sex, it would have been on the off chance we'd get to avoid the whole boy name issue. It's taking up rather a lot of mental energy that I don't really have to spare.

All that having been said, however, if I gave birth to a boy tonight we could name the baby. It's quite a relief.

(But a blog pseudonym I still don't have...)

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sweet relief

I just found a tin of ginger cookies I forgot we had. The day is saved.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why aren't you in your office?

R and I ran into Dr. L on the street this morning. We were coming out of the bakery and I saw a face I recognized but couldn't quite place. Honestly, I thought he was either a news anchor or a politician - you know, a recognizable face but not somebody you really know. (I've seen her, her, him and him on the streets of Bern and he noticed me noticing him and said hello. Well, he said "Gruesseuch wohl" but you know, that's hello.) Even when R said hello and shook his hand I thought he was a work colleague; it really took that long to sink in - it was seeing him completely out of context standing outside the bakery and waiting for a tram. What's he doing out roaming in the city? I had the same experience when R and I ran into Dr. Fantabulous in a shopping center once - what are you doing out here in the real world?

I don't think people who've seen my girly bits so up close and personal should just be able to roam the streets like that. It's really disconcerting.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Looking for advice

Can anybody with two little ones tell me anything about this stroller?

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's going to be a long month

Hm. It's only the first of November and I'm already posting a post of nothing at 8pm. It's going to be a long month.

Something that won't help the posting situation is that Small Boy has walked away from the afternoon nap. This happened about a month ago and it's thrown my life into complete turmoil. NaBloPoMo is the least of my concerns; did Small Boy really have to give up the nap just before the baby comes? I mean, is that the best timing in the world, or what? And to make matters worse, he will not nap but cannot really get through the day without a nap: the two hours from 5:30 until bedtime are long and cranky. Dinner falls into that time zone, and he doesn't eat particularly well when he's tired and cranky and his table manners, such as they were, have taken a serious nose-dive, as has his consumption. Given that he's already a bean-pole, this then troubles me, and I really don't need more anxiety at this point.

I've already decided that I hope this next baby is thoroughly fat. Although Dr. Norwegian always declares himself very pleased with the Small Boy, though he tells me that he is seeing more and more overweight children in his practice and he's always happy to see a boy built like Small Boy, I still want a plump baby; I still wish Small Boy weighed a kilo more than he does. I think there is a deep-seated almost genetic instinct to want to see your baby plump and round; it must harken back (did I really just use the phrase "harken back"?)to a time when an extra layer of fat really would have been a form of protection, a visible sign that this baby could survive the winter, the flu, the crop failure. It would have been seen as a sign of robust health.* It would have been reassuring.

* And of course a nice plump baby can have health problems either completely unrelated to weight and diet or connected to them, but I still think the first instinct is to see a plump infant and think: thriving.

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