Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures at the playground. #1

The angel had her first ''sand''-wich today at the playground.  I believe this is something that all babies do??  When she was born one friend advised that I let her eat it as often as she wanted... said it was good for her digestion.  I know I had my fair share at the beach back home as a baby.  Dad told me something about a KFC drumstick that spent more time in the sand than in my hand, but that I didn't seem to mind... indeed it probably added to the flavour :)  Don't worry, that was back in the days when KFC used real chicken.

She was so mesmerized by the sand, watching it trickle through her fingers, slipping away as she tried to grab more.  Complete concentration on her task.  ''Da de bah bah beh'' was the explanation of her discoveries as she held them out for me to see.  Oh to see the world through the eyes of a babe.

I also confused the heck out of a daddy-dude who was there with his 3.  I had to ask him to hold the angel for a few seconds while I tied my Mei Tai baby carrier.  He looked at me with total alarm.  ''Where you go?  When you come?  What?  What?''  Sigh.  I made hand signals to try to show that I wasn't going anywhere, and that I just needed to tie this thing on.  Relief swept his face.  ''OK, OK'' he smiled.  I would love to know what he originally thought I was doing.  

As he held her, his 3 came over to play with her.  ''What her name?'' he asked.  ''Zara'' I told him.  ''Estonian name?''   ''No, actually, its Hebrew.''   ''Aaah.. Hebrew.''  Slight eyebrow raise.  ''And her nationality?''  ''She's Estonian.''  The look of confusion that I am oh-so-familiar with made it's appearance.  My half-breed East Indian and Irish heritage combined with a distinctly Caribbean accent confuses a lot of people over here.  They just don't know what box to put me in.  And here I was with an Estonian baby, with a Hebrew name.  That explanation was going to take a loooot longer than I cared to be there for... and I didn't know the hand signals required.  ''Ok, thanks a lot!  Take care!''  and off I scooted... right into your friendly Mormon missionary.  Sigh.  They are a persistent bunch!  No offense meant to anyone.  But I managed to convince her that my religious needs, and those of hubby were covered.  

I wonder who we'll meet tomorrow!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fairies


video

''When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into 1000 pieces!  That was the beginning of fairies.'' - I think I read that in Peter Pan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's No Place Like home! Part Kaks

Kaks means 2 in Estonian.
12 months is Kaksteist Kuud.  I'll let you say that out loud a few times.  hehehehe

Now, as I was saying.

Things I CAN wait for:

The looooooong flight... with 2 connections... with an 8 month old in tow.  I used to be a flight attendant (that's what they are called Nan) albeit very briefly.  And flights with lil kids were not fun.  And these flights were 15 minutes long.  Yes, I was more of a bus-conductor really.  Hello, hello, hello, hello, hi, hi, hello, hi... tug dummy life vest, point at the floor... good bye, good bye, bye, good bye, bye, bye... all with plastered Miss Universe smile... 8 times a day... roughly every half hour.  fun.  But I digress.  

The excitement of being on a plane lasts for a few very short minutes.  And let's hope that we get excitement and not all out fear of the huge noisy thing crammed with complete strangers who are giving off  ''Oh God, I hope that baby isn't sitting next to me'' vibes.  I'm pretty sure babies and kids do not like flights any more than the adults who have to sit squooshed up next to big fat guys.  But unlike the adults who can get drunk, sleep, play cards, read a book, try to hook up with other passengers, apply for the mile-high club etc, the lil angels kinda just have to suffer through it.  And they let us know this... us and everybody else in a 5 mile radius of the plane.  So yeah, I'm trying to get prepared mentally for a rough 9 hours.  And that's just on 1 flight.  We get to take 3.  And then we get to do it again to come back.  Any tips... pleeease feel free to let me know!

Being judged on my mommy-skills.  So far, living like a hermit has made it possible to partially escape the barrage of unsolicited advice, and tsk-tsk-tsks about my choices.  Like any mother, I am trying to do the best I can with the information I have available... and Lord knows I spend most of the Angel's nap times reading everything I can about child development.  Such a fascinating topic!!  And it does make you aware of the myriad of theories out there... some of it really quack... like the she-devil Gina Ford who boasts about how she starves babies into submission so that she can get them on a minute-by-minute schedule.  Her book was a best-seller too.  Poor babies.  I got her book as a well-meaning gift.  I don't have it anymore, and unless the dudes at the dump are wondering how to schedule their babies, in English, I have hopefully saved at least one baby from that horrid fate.

Again with the digression... back to what I was saying.

I hope I can handle being told that I am spoiling her, or that she should be sleeping through the night, or that I am crazy to still have her next to me at night, or that I should be bottle-feeding her or that I have in some other way ensured that she will forever remain my siamese twin.  I hope that I can smile gracefully, say ''Thanks, I'll think about it'' and sit on my desire to defend myself to the death... as I am often want to do.

I also hope that I don't do that to others.

Coming back to Tallinn.  The last time I did that, I left the warm, vibrant, musical, sunny shores of my beautiful and tasty country, and arrived, at the dreary, forever midnight, forever eating potatoes and white sauce, forever cold, dead of Tallinn's winter.  Gosh, it feels heavy just thinking about it.  But thankfully this time we will be coming back in summer.  And summer is beautiful here.  Everything is green and flowery and pretty... even the people :)  Everybody is happy, albeit half-naked and laying about on any and every patch of grass they can find.  Tallinn comes to life in summer.  So this time coming back won't be so bad.  But I know I will be sad to leave everybody again.

All in all, the good outweighs the bad right!  One thing about being so far away, it definitely makes you appreciate home.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There's no place like home!


I'm going home in July :)  

Home is far far FAR away from where I live now, and even though I haven't lived there in 2 years, and probably won't live there again for many more, if ever at all, it is still home.  I think it will always be for me.  With all it's sky-rocketing crime, idiot politicians who call themselves leaders, and crazy inflation among other issues, I still love it there and miss it terribly. 

Even though I am over-the-moon to be going home, I can't help but feel some trepidation about the visit.

What I can't wait for:
SUN SUN SUN!  And not having to wear more than 1 layer of clothing.  Summer here in Estonia seems to have come and gone a few weeks ago.  Bleh.

Going Down the Islands with my 2nd family.  Hi Y'all!!  I miss you guys!  It's cool that I call y'all my second family right?  That's what you all are to me anyway.  I am soooo looking forward to seeing you guys and the lime!

FOOOOOOD!!  One of the things that ALL trinis miss when they leave home.  Roti, doubles, a good pelau, bake and shark, mango chow, curry duck, coconut water, Aunty Fatima's corn soup... drool drool drool.  I think I will be coming back to Tallinn a dress size or 2 larger.  Tough luck.

My Girlfriends.  It will be nice to have people other than hubby and baby to talk to.  Not that I don't like talking to them... I'm all about ''goo goo ga ga'' during the day and  ''baby ima want you'' at night (kidding, kidding), but there is nothing that can really replace your girls.  I miss them more than they probably realize, especially the mommy-ones.  Now that I've joined them there, I really miss having that support that only other moms can give a girl.  It will also be cool to be able to talk as fast as I want, in English, and not having to deal with the confused looks from others when everything gets lost in translation... if it was ever found to begin with.
 
The Family.  I can't wait for them to meet the Angel :)  I am dying to see my dad play with her like he played with me.  And I know my mom is counting down the days to being able to snuggle with her Pinky.  I think they are looking forward to seeing her more than seeing me!  I'm sorry my brother won't be there though.  And it will be great to have a couple extra pairs of hands so that I can cop a five now and then... if the Angel approves of course.

Tomorrow:   What I CAN wait for.

Monday, May 26, 2008

In the beginning...

I originally wrote this at the end of the first week after the angel was born.  It seems like it was just yesterday, but at the same time, she has grown so much... and I have grown so much that it also seems like eons ago.

So i have survived the first week more or less intact. BOY.. pressure.  What i've learnt so far:

A bath is a luxury

I can do laundry every day and still have a full basket waiting to be done.

The recovery is a slow process... stitches really take their time to heal. I still can't sit down easily, and am walking like a geriatric duck.

Breast feeding is a real skill and does NOT come naturally to everybody. I started thinking I wasn't producing enough for her, but found out that it is just that she wasn't latching on properly and as such wasn't getting enough, or encouraging my boobs to produce more. We are still figuring it out. Pumping a little bit before i feed her seems to be helping so far, fingers crossed.  This discovery was made after both of us were in tears at 2 this morning and I was desperately searching the internet for help.

I can stare at her for hours. Iz a real different kinda love. 

I love cuddling up with her to sleep or just to lie down. She hasn't spent a night in the crib yet.

You lose all sense of shame and can walk around with your boobies and other parts hanging out in front of almost anyone. Being naked in front of my mom and hubby at the same time is strangely not weird.

Breast feeding is the best way to lose the weight. I am back to normal size, my tummy is gone. It feels a lil squooshy with the extra skin, but is basically flat already. Mikael last night said ''But honey you're slim!!'' like he forgot that i wasn't always like an elephant. hehehe.

I LOVE MY MOM!! If my mom wasn't here I would probably have gone mad, or starved to death by now. She is my saviour! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, laundry, grocery shopping, holding Zara so I can do whatever I need to (like bathe!)

You can never describe the whole experience (labour and being a mom) to somebody who hasn't gone thru it themselves. It eh have no words to describe the pain or the love.

5 minutes to myself is A LOT of free time... and it is now up :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shhhh... sleepy-time



One of my most absoutest favoritest things to do is sleep.  And now that I have an angel snuggled up with me, it has become THE most absolutest favoritest part of my day.  

She naps sometimes in her sling, her angel face resting over my heart, her little dimpled hand pressed against my chest with a look of complete calm and peace.  At the mall today, she fell asleep like that.  (Not, of course, without her screeching announcement that the hour of nap was nigh.  I swear, she goes from zero to Banshee in 5 seconds flat!)

But as she drifted off against me, I looked down at her and got that overpowering rush of mommy-love that consumes your whole body... undeniably one of the most wonderful things to ever experience.  The first time I felt that was the night that she was born.  Despite 17 hours of excruciating labour, I was not tired that night, and it seemed that neither was she.  We lay side-by-side and stared at each other for what felt like hours, yet also felt timeless.  Time had stopped then.  The feeling is fiercely tender, overcomes your every cell and engulfs your soul.  I gasped.  I still gasp sometimes when I feel it's power.

I bent my head to nuzzle her hair and inhale that sweet smell of baby, then looked up at hubby.  ''She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen'' I told him.

And I get to do this every day... several times!  

At night it seems extra soft.  In the dark she curls up into my stomach, and I curl around her.  When she wakes up to nurse, she does, and then we both drift back off.  I can't imagine missing out on this by putting her in a crib.

I read recently that some states in the US want to make co-sleeping illegal because some people co-slept with their babies, and their babies died.  Then I read that the study was based on people with drug and alcohol abuse problems.  You can form your own opinion on that.

I don't think a life sentence could make me stop.