166 – default position

Are you the default too? Do you know what I mean?

Example; This weekend there was an event that the grumpy Dutchman and I had planned to go to together. We were quite excited about going out together for the first time in a long time. I had my outfit all planned out and everything (totes most important bit) and I had practised in my head saying ‘No I’m not pregnant, just not drinking’ and sneaking out for coffee as I got more tired (because I am a Nana and past 9pm is waaaaaay late for me). But our babysitters (The GD’s folks) couldn’t do it for us in the end and we couldn’t afford both a babysitter and the gig. (you feel my pain I know you do). Sad face.

Should have been the end of it right? Stink buzz we can’t go out. Damned kids ruining our social lives all the time.

But somehow…. The GD went to the gig anyway. Because the fact that WE couldn’t get a babysitter didn’t mean that WE didn’t have to stay home apparently. Somehow all it meant was that I couldn’t go out because I needed to be at home with the little Dutchmen. And that sucks balls. Now, the GD will justify his attending the event to you if you ask him about it by saying that he had volunteered to be the pizza boy for the bands so he needed to go. Which, you know, is bullshit because pizza places have their own delivery boys to do that for them…

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And to add insult to injury I had to cook dinner for the children too, and like, parent them and shit. Grumpy mockingbirdgrrl.

It reminds me of when the kids were babies and I was the ‘default holder of the babies’. I distinctly remember this one time needing to go to the toilet when holding baby – so I handed baby to the GD and went to the bathroom – the GD followed me to the bathroom and stood there while I weed and waited to hand baby back. I realise that I had the boobs – you couldn’t miss them I was like a dairy cow – but I also needed to not hold babies for a few hours a day and this wasn’t really a thing. I think too that this is the norm for most Mums.

Don’t get me wrong – It’s not like the GD doesn’t do ‘his fair share’. And ‘his fair share’ is such a bullshit term because he parents his children. He does it well and he does it more than me during the week because I work longer hours usually. It’s not an issue of equality at all in our house. But I still don’t like being the default.

I been mithering on it since Saturday night. I was SO looking forward to going out, and I was SO disappointed that I didn’t get to go but that he did. Right now the most social I get is boot camp. Between family on the weekends and work in the evenings and it getting darker earlier I feel quite hemmed in. I need a movie date or something. A reason to wear some of my fabulous shoes ha ha

Anyway. Now that I’ve had a whinge I can get over it.

Which will be good news to all the boys in the house!

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107 – Home again, Home again

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Ahhhhh Home. I flew in this afternoon and the GD picked me up before we collected the lads. You know that lovely feeling of coming home to see your fam, walking in to a clean house, the familiar smells and fur children all lined up ready to greet you and purr/wag themselves silly?

Nah. Not so much. The house smells like a mixture of farts and vomit. It looks like a fucking tornado hit it, and the fur children were only interested in me as long as it took for me to nag the GD to feed them. The wee lads were pleased to see me though ‘What did you bring us Mum?’ and the poor grumpy Dutchman who WAS pleased to see me was greeted with me saying ‘WHY did you bring the van for fucks sake?’ (I don’t like sitting in the dogs spot). Poor man was rushing to get to me on time from work and did not get the grateful wife he expected. The Bitch is baaaaaack!

The poor buggers had a rough week. I arrived in Chch on Sunday night and I got a phone call on Monday from the GD to say that he had left work and was on his way to Daycare to collect Master 4. He wasn’t well and couldn’t stay. This led to a really grumpy Dutchman because he was missing work to take him home. Updates through the next 24 hours revealed that he was contagious – the GD soon caught the lurgy and then both of them had the throw ups. Poor Master 7 was so bored at home with them both. And I was in Chch completely unable to help….

Oh dear how sad! I had a wonderful week of baby snuggles and leisurely walks with the dog Dave. My sister really just needed me as a pair of extra hands – the first time her husband has gone away for work since their daughter was born – and I was very glad to help. Is there anything more snuggly than a teeny weeny baby? Variously sucking her thumb, a bottle or my arm in our cuddles she was a lovely little pink bundle (baby girls get dressed in SO MUCH PINK) and we had many a lovely chat – me chatting obvs and her just sort of gurgling and exclaiming. She is my sister’s first baby and she is still in that mode where she can’t do anything when the baby is awake. I am a very willing baby holder.

I flew down with the intention of using my time down there to withdraw from all the naughties I had picked up again over Easter. Sugar, Dairy, Coffee, Crunchy and Raw. Along with them I had taken with me – Itchy, Flakey, Achey and Redface.

But you know what? Withdrawal didn’t happen. I fell in to the ‘new baby survival’ habits that my sister was already in – grabbing a snack of whatever you could whenever you could, ‘treating myself’ to coffee when exhausted and wanting a pick me up, I ate her entire supply of apples. I am not meant to eat Apples. I was out of control man. And the more I told myself that I had a handle on it and could stop anytime – the more I couldn’t. I even found myself eating chocolate in the car on the way home from doing a food shop for her. In secret. I don’t eat food in secret! I normally roll around in my food shame in public! All out there and ridiculous for all the world to judge. Bizarre behaviour.

And all those side effects of my damaged guts that I was getting a handle on have started to rear their ugly heads again; Fucked up skin, exhaustion (when doing absolutely nothing!), bloating, headaches and feeling like shite warmed up. You know that not very ‘clean’ feeling you get inside when you don’t eat enough veges? I used to get it flatting – I’d be jonesing for some broccoli after too many days of two-minute noodles and beer. That’s pretty rock and roll eh? Craving broccoli? That’s me baby – I get all excited about leafy greens.

Anyway. I had a lovely time in Chch. I didn’t blog because I spent my evenings cuddling my wee niece or sleeping ha ha. But I am very pleased to be back as the bosom of the family again. I have had some lovely cuddles with my big boys this evening and they were actually pleased to see me too – not just the pressies ha ha.

Moving forward my plan is to do a really good food shop, clean the house and get my shit prepped for school to start on Monday. I need a clear space in my head and my house to get back on track. Start as I mean to go on – Term two will be the start of something good.

Here are some pics from my wanderings round Christchurch – mostly nature and shit – if you’re in to that;

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Day 102 – Landed in Chch, cluck cluck cluck

Mmmmmmmmm Baby snuggles. So good. And she is a real little snuffler – like a little hedgehog. My poor niece (and sister and BIL) has suffered with reflux and terrible wind since birth. They were going out of their minds with a screaming baby until a couple of things happened. A. The pediatric nurse they see suggested that maybe she was plain hungry – my sister can’t make much milk so they have introduced bottle feeds as well and B. They started giving her gripe water and reflux medicine to stop her oesophagus from burning. She still gets terrible wind though poor kid.

Now she is finally putting on weight – much to everyone’s delight – and sleeping through the night (oh my god my kids STILL aren’t sleeping through the night) but she still has tummy stuff. Kris is off the dairy and spiceky food but baby still is not having a good time.

I am very tempted to mention the thing about gluten upsetting babies tummies when they are wee if they are coeliac….. but I won’t. Ha ha. Anecdotally it seems that every child diagnosed on the Coeliac Disease NZ page had funny tummies when they were little – and when Mum took out the gluten they felt better.  But my sister is very proud of the fact that she doesn’t have coeliacs – being related to me of course but not by both parents – and she will not be happy if I suggest there could be anything there for her precious little angel. Fair enough. New mums get a LOT of unsolicited advice and opinions and that’s not my job. I am here to help.

I got to have my first alone time this evening when Kris took her man to the airport for his trip to china. We had some hairy moments when there were nearly tears but I remembered some of my windy baby holds and we powered through. She’s so wee and cuddly and I am SO in danger of getting super clucky.

The temperature is set to drop here in Chch overnight so we’ll see how I survive!

89 – cluck cluck cluck

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I’ve been sitting here tonight daydreaming about going to Christchurch in a little under a fortnight, and snuggling my new baby niece. She’ll be nearly three months by the time I get to meet her but she’ll still have some of that ‘fresh out of the wrapper’ loveliness that newborns have.

And this is where I get a little panicky ripple up my spine. Because it wasn’t so long ago that I was really motherfuckingly clucky. Like really. Like I had just this minute popped out the second one (it was almost a ‘pop’ it only took three excruciating hours) and I was talking about a third. And I had always imagined me with four teenagers round my kitchen table so ‘just one more babe’ didn’t seem too unreasonable. A girl. I have two boys, now it’s time for the girl.

Everytime I brought up the issue the grumpy Dutchman got pale and said ‘Really?’ gesturing around our rubbish dump house, that had previously – pre kids – been so immaculate. He can’t for the life of him understand why I would want to bring another sleep sucking, money sucking and life force sucking creature in to our finally-sorting-itself-out little family. Just when our youngest is SO close to starting primary school, thus ridding us of our $400 + fortnightly bill. He doesn’t ‘get’ my want of lots of teenagers (his least favourite age group) and he is terrified of the thought of having a daughter (cave man dad=protection and female innocence ideas all cramming to the front of his brain when he thinks of ‘pink’ offspring, no amount of ‘babe she’ll be my daughter and therefore pretty badass’ consoles him).

In the past four years I have come to terms with this and am eventually getting to the point where I agree with him. To an extent. It makes no sense to get preggers while Deaning for one thing. I can’t take time off from my girls, the inconsistency of pastoral care will fuck the balance and I have finally gotten all 270 of them working pretty well as a cohort. But the bit that has turned my mind the most is my foodtard-ness actually.

I really enjoyed being pregnant. I know that sounds weird but I really liked not having to fake a waist. I really like ‘dressing the belly’, and playing with tight clothes that I wouldn’t normally wear (picture a skin tight leopard print baby bump and bright red lips). I had heaps of energy, my skin cleared up and people were really lovely to me. I had the perfect excuse to eat literally ALL the time and it was also a really good reason to sit on my ass if I felt like it. The GD thought it was really sexy. But the first 12 weeks weren’t great. I was one of the lucky ones (who don’t throw up)  but just felt a bit ‘meh’ the whole time. I have heard horror stories since and I know in comparison it totally didn’t suck that bad. Well my first trimester turned me into a horrible bitch and only junk food made me happy. All the delicious, calorie laden, deep-fried junk food that I am not allowed to eat now.

If I got pregnant tomorrow I wouldn’t be able to eat mountains of cheesy pasta, really good deep fried fish and chips, Lasagna, Hamburgers – all the gluten-y, dairy filled goodness that I craved. I would have to make do with ‘mymite’ and avocado on toast, oak baked beans and other ‘safe’ stuff for my tummy. Bleurgh.

The thought of being pregnant now is a little scary to be honest. I know I would still enjoy the pregnant thing, I fucking LOVE newborns and I am like a dairy cow when it comes to breastfeeding – I made enough milk to feed all the babies on the street believe me – but now I’m older and my gut is broken. I wouldn’t be able to veg out on junk food. I am scared that my old age would mean dropping the ‘baby weight’ wouldn’t be so easy in my late thirties. That’s vain but it’s real. Also – it’d be another big gap between the kinder. Two in primary school and a newborn.

Knowing my luck I’d probably get another boy too. (you know I love my boys right? good)

So I have to suck up all the goodness and ‘fresh out of the oven’ smell I can from other people’s newborns. I can’t breastfeed them – that’s creepy – but I can make delicious food for their Mums. I can snuggle. I also have a kitten who I call Baby. Ha ha.

If I woke up tomorrow pregnant I wouldn’t be devastated. I’d be surprised – it is a week night after all – but I’d be ok. Don’t ask the GD what he thinks though.