Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mom of the Year

Yes, that is a plastic bag... on her head.  Inches away from her respiratory equipment.  The same kind of bag that often comes with a lil clause printed somewhere ''This is not a toy.  Suffocation Hazard.  Keep away from babies and small children.''

But she found it and voila! a hat!!  18 months old and already a Cutting Edge Fashion Designer, ahead of her time!!

Who wouldn't be proud?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am a mother

I am a mother.
I kiss the boo boos to make them better.  
I hardly ever get more than 4 hours of solid sleep. 
I don't remember my last manicure.
I know the importance of bubbles and balloons.
My clothes are comfy and often stained.  
I never forget Teddy.  
I make the night safe and warm.  
Nothing I own is actually mine.  
I need to develop the patience of Job.
My heart is million times bigger than I knew it could be.  
I am a mother.

What about you?

Bling Bling!!

Nan The Beautiful and Great Writer, Friend and Mama gave me some Bling!  YAY for me :)  Thanks Nan :)  She thinks I'm charming!  Indeed.  Well that makes at least one person ;-)

This award is given to the writers of blogs that “are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

The trouble is, I don't have even 5 peeps to give it to that haven't already gotten it... far less for 8.

But I do have one.  Janelle is an old school friend.  We weren't that close in school, from what I remember, but we have formed a friendship now.  Albeit based on reading each others blogs.  But a friendship nonetheless.  And i'm guessing that's kinda the point of this one.  So Here Ya Go Janelle!  This one is for you :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The world according to toddlers

Firstly, this post is more for me... as a way of recording what I don't want to forget.  But come to think of it, isn't that the point of many mommy blogs?  So to anybody reading this: Hello!  This might be boring.

The Angel took her time to talk.  I hear its common with bi-lingual babies.  Or maybe she just had other more important things to work on.  But now that she has started, it seems that there are new words every day.  Many of them need decoding, but so far, it hasn't been too hard for me to figure them out.  

The cuteness factor of this would be improved 50-fold with a video, but so far, it seems that a Hollywood future is not in the cards for lil Miss Angel.  As soon as I grab it, she stops talking and wants to dismantle the camera instead.  Engineering maybe??  Or Photography?

So here is the world she lives in:
  • Apod - Ipod
  • Twee - TV
  • Pudah - Computer
  • Min or Miny - Milk
  • Tikki, Mow - Kitty.  Our cat died a little while ago, and she really misses him.  We hear this a lot.
  • Ohh Ohh - Dog
  • Peen - Plane
  • Boo boo - Bubbles
  • Ann - Hon (Me or her dad)
  • Annie - Honey (Me)
  • Whee - Slide
  • Peetee - Pretty (flowers)
  • Apu - Apple
  • Some - Can I have some please?
  • One! - Ok, how about just one then?
  • Boo -  Ball or bowl.  Maybe they are the same thing to her?
  • Pee pee - I just peed on the floor.
  • Dude - Juice
  • Cow - Cow or clouds
  • Moon - I want to look at the Baby Einstein / Baby Gallileo video.
  • Nee - Horse
  • Dodo - Can I look at Dora the Explorer?
  • Padah - Specifically the one where she sings Itsy Bitsy Spider.
  • Tuck - Help!  I'm stuck!
  • Bak - Let's go ride my bike.
  • Bikki - It's time for biscuits!
  • Tee - How about some cheese?  Or sometimes she wants a sip of my tea.  The whole ''Its hot'' thing didn't work, Nan.
  • Coookie - I give you 3 guesses what that one means ;-)
  • Daddy - Teddy.  
  • Ata - Aitah (Thank you, in Estonian)
And some others... but I don't want to bore you too much.  Nap time is almost up, and if I don't get some laundry done, tomorrow will be a nekkid day.  Not that I mind, but the neighbours might.

Ciao bambinos!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reply to Tash :)

It has been forever and a day since I wrote anything here.  An email from Tash resulted in a reply which turned into this post.  Thanks Tash!!

I'm good!  The weather is mostly nice, so I'm outside with the Angel for most of the day digging in dirt and other fun things.  I've discovered that I love gardening!  Since I now have a huge back yard, I am Mrs. Farmer.  Apple Tree, cherry trees, lettuce, coriander, strawberries, blueberries, sunflowers and other pretty flowers whose names I don't know, but they looked pretty in the pictures on the seed packs.  If they would only grow, it would be great.  I'm really hoping that I see some rewards for my efforts in summer.  It is still a little early to see anything much.

The Angel is great too.  Talking now, non-stop; real words, not just sign language, in her sweet little baby voice.  Mostly english, with the occasional estonian word here and there.  Running and pushing along on her tricycle.  And of course being very very dirty.  If there is a patch of mud within a 2 mile radius, she will find it.  She seems to be allergic to staying clean.  Normal, from what I hear.  Although everybody else's child always looks clean around here.

We're going to visit Prague and Portugal during summer!  There is a possibility of us moving to Prague for the Funny Dude's job... nothing concrete yet...just an idea.  So we're going to check out the city.  And a friend's seaside apartment in Portugal was an opportunity not to be passed.  Yay for Europe and easy traveling!

And we have ducks!  Well we don't own them, but they took up residence in a pond behind our house.  So a couple times a day they come up to my patio looking for their meals, knocking on my door if I don't see them.  They are quite lucky this isn't Trinidad.  I love a good curry duck.

So between a busy toddler, a garden that always needs work, ducks, and a Funny Dude, I have almost no computer time.  And that's fine by me.  I have all winter for that.

Today is rainy, and we're inside.  I'm typing this with my Angel on my lap, helping herself to my boobs.  No signs of that stopping anytime soon.  We both still love it too much to let it go :)

And that's about it! I'm sure there are other things that happened, but I just can't remember now.  Spring 2009 has been really nice.  Friends have been coming by regularly because, as city dwellers, they think I live in the country... seeing as I have a backyard and all.  Fun times :)

I don't know when next I will update here, but you are all in my thoughts.  Your emails to check up on me have made me feel so loved!

So take care guys and gals!  Enjoy your summer!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I want to remember

I want to remember your tiny hands... how the curled in my palm when you were a tiny babe, how they hold mine now as we walk in the grass.

I want to remember how your soft curls tickle my nose as you sleep on my heart.

I want to remember how we danced on our wedding day.

I want to remember the way your eyes light up when you smile at me.

I want to remember how my heart bursts when I look at you.

I want to remember you purring, curled up into my neck, kneading my shoulders.

I want to remember how you looked at me when I told you I was pregnant.

I want to remember how you made the world exciting when I was a child.

I want to remember how grateful I was that you were here when I became a mama too.

I want to remember how the sun feels on my face after a long winter.

I want to remember that I love you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

She said it best.

I had a fight this morning with Hubby.  We were both idiots.  Both angry.  Both frustrated.  Neither of us listening to the other.  Each screaming like a baboon.  Only perhaps baboons are more civilized.  

We screamed in front of the Angel.  This hurts me.

But there is a blog I read almost everyday.  I really try not to miss it.  It keeps me on track when I get lost... which is often.  It reminds me when I forget.  And I suck at playing Memory.  She wrote something a little while ago that came back to my mind once I had stopped screaming and arguing in my head.

Here it is:  I choose you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I am trying not to be a prude.

I grew up Catholic.  And with that comes all the hang-ups about your body, which they will tell you is a beautiful thing, that God made it in his image yadda yadda yadda.  But at the same time, if you show it to anybody, or let anybody touch it, other than your spouse, or touch it yourself other than when you are having a shower, and then ONLY for cleaning, you will burn forevermore in the pits or fire and brimstone.

Talk about sexual repression... I tell you!

I also went to a Catholic all-girls school.  We had private showers after gym.  There was none of this ''girls showering together and walking around naked'' thing that I saw on American TV.  We didn't even let our panties be seen by the rest of the class.

Then I became a young woman, and the consequences of this repression came out in full swing.  No pun intended.  But the mental hang-ups remained, coupled with the whole ''I'm Fat and don't have perfect boobs'' thing that you get from watching TV and reading Cosmo.  This resulted in WONDERFUL self-confidence and body image.

Anyway, I moved to Estonia three years ago.  A HUGE part of Baltic culture is the Sauna.  You might have seen that Britney video where she is writhing seductively in one of them.  Naked, of course.  Because that's how you do sauna.  Naked.  With other people in there too.  All naked.  But they aren't writhing like Britney.  At least not from what I've seen.

I'd managed for the most part to avoid getting nekkid in front of anybody other than hubby, until last week.  You see, I started taking the Angel to the pool... to swim (duh).  And there are no private showers at the pool.  Only those prison-break types.  On my first day, I was surrounded by so many naked bodies, that my eyes went into shock.  In my bikini, I showered let water run over me and kept my eyes glued to the floor, looking up every so often to marvel at these women who walked around in a myriad of sizes, shapes, textures.  Not so many different colours though.  Estonia ain't exactly cosmopolitan.  But I couldn't get over how they just walked around letting it all hang out!  Shocking!!  How could they do that??

I had to try it!  I would face my fears.  Because I am brave and strong and eat my vegetables.  Besides, if these old women, with the flesh and scars of life could do it without a care, then my 30 year old body could do it too.  I'm no pin-up girl, but what I've got ain't that bad.  And besides, it's mine, right?  It keeps my baby and husband happy.  It looks cute enough in jeans.  And it's MINE!  I ought to be proud of it.  Not ashamed.  Every dimple, stretch mark, sag, bump, and lump.  Mine, mine, mine.

I'm still trying to convince myself here.

But I did it.  The second time we went swimming, I took it all off in the showers.  And kept my eyes crazy-glued / evo-stuck / nailed / to the floor.  Several deep breaths included.  I was in and out in seconds.  They probably thought I was a little mad.  While they scrubbed each others backs.  The next time wasn't so hard.  I looked up.  Stayed a bit longer.  And each time it got easier.  Now!  Heck, I'm in the sauna, chilling, well maybe that's a poor choice of word.  I'm in the shower, the locker room... without wishing the floor would open up and swallow me.

What a big deal over NOTHING!!!!

It helps of course that I don't know anybody there.  That helps Big Time.  There's still some work to be done.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sometimes I totally get my ideas from other people.

I stole this from Nan who got it from somebody else.  Finish the sentences... or not.  It is totally up to you ;-)

1. My partner is... on the couch.  He is napping while the baby naps.  Smart fella.

2. Maybe I should... go help the kids unpack groceries, vacuum, do some laundry, have a nap.  But naaaahh.  I haven't blogged much recently for whatever reason.  And now I have some time, combined with a tiny dash of inspiration.  This dynamic duo has been in seriously short supply recently.  So I'm taking advantage.

3. I love... my family.

4. People would say that... I can't sing for shit, but I've got great energy on-stage!

5. I don't understand... politics and money.

6. When I wake up in the morning... the Angel says ''Ann... Some''.  She thinks my name is Ann.  And she just learnt to say ''Some'' :)

7. I lost... my way in Riga, Latvia once and ended up walking in a dark, deserted street.  A pizza delivery guy gave us directions to where we wanted to go, but, of course, I knew better!  So we spent a couple hours walking around, still lost.  Then we found a highway? and took a taxi.  The driver took us to where we wanted to go... about 5 minutes away from the hotel we were staying at.  Hubby doesn't let me read the map anymore.

8. Life is... full of sunshine, except in Winter.  I'm so happy that Spring is here!!!

9. My past has taught me... that I can be a real idiot sometimes.

10. I get annoyed when... there is no toilet paper, and sometimes when people see things on the floor and just step over them and keep walking.  The second one is only really annoying when it happens at home.  I wonder if they know that the magic clean-up-shit fairy doesn't live here?  I wonder what would happen if I started doing the same thing?

11. Parties are... even more fun when you don't have to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn the following morning.

12. I wish... there was no more money, politics, state lines, or religion.

13. Dogs... are a lil more work than cats, but more fun.

14. Cats... can be pussies.

15. Tomorrow... I'm going swimming at the pool with the Angel!

16. I have a low tolerance for... empty toilet paper rolls still on the thingy, and empty cartons in the fridge.

17. If I had a million dollars... I would probably spend it.

18. I'm totally terrified of... roaches.

19. I'd rather be... chilling on the beach.

20. My vice is... herb.  but shhhhhh.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Once upon a time there were some ducks.

They lived under a bridge nearby.  We had some old bread, because we didn't eat it all before it went and expired.  And some people don't think that eating old bread is a very good idea.  So we decided to give it to the ducks.  Because they aren't so picky about their bread.

 So we went to the bridge and threw it for them.  They seemed pretty happy about the whole thing, until we ran out of bread.  Then somebody else came along with more bread, and they defected.  No loyalty I tell you.
We went sledding instead.  Because that is what you do when your ducks defect.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am blessed

Does being a libran make you bi-polar?

Cobwebs cobwebs cobwebs.  Chez moi in bloggy-land, chez moi in Elbonia-land.

I kinda realized that our happiest, funnest, sweetest, most stress-free days, the Angel and me, are the days when I don't do jack-shit other than just BE with her.  Building snowmen cuz the snow won't bloody quit.  Watching Dora sing Itsy Bitsy Spider 25 times in a row.  Exploring the back yard.  Playing football.  Playing Bouncy on the air-mattress... etc etc etc.  You catch my drift.

So now the floors are sticky and dusty with little dried spots of somethingorother, much like the table.  There is a pile of laundry up to my elbows, which quite possibly explains why I can't find  my favorite drawers.  Our diet is based mainly on sandwiches or throw-it-in-a-pan-and-stick-it-in-the-oven gastronomical delights.  Forget blogging!  And I have a child who is deliriously happy... AND... wait for it... dramatic drum-roll... Sleeping through the night!!!  (The black-out blinds?  Maintaining routines and schedules?  More fresh air?  Who knows!)

Yes folks.  My nights have returned to the land of mostly uninterrupted sweet sweet slumber.  A mere (???) 15 months post-partum.  I now know what 6, 7, 8, even 9 hours of solid sleep feels like!!  It was a hazy, misty memory.  And damn you Gods if you even THINK about taking that away just cuz I blog about it.  It is MINE.  You can't take it back. na na nana nah :-P

To celebrate I went out to shake my booty and got shit-faced instead with little or no actual booty shaking.  And then spent most of the following day semi-comatose, jacked up on Mc Donalds and Coke (the black, fizzy, overloadofsugarandcaffeine one.)  But it was SO WORTH IT!!!  I had SO MUCH FUN!!  Caps and exclamation points should be all over the place with the amount of fun I had.  I yapped my gums to anyone within earshot for as long as they would listen before they would find somebody else to rescue them and take their place.  It was probably really really obvious that I don't get out much. hahahahaha.  sigh.  Too bad.  It will take a while for the whole ''i don't see people'' vibe to work it's way out of my system.

If only I had a trusted baby-sitter... then Hubby and I would be able to get shit-faced TOGETHER, instead of taking turns.  In time.  In time.

I just realized this post is polar-opposite to my last one which was all sob sob poor me.  Who remembers that I'm a libra?!?!  

Monday, March 2, 2009


... I wonder how it is that I can forget how much I love and adore my beautiful baby, my Angel, and shout at her.
... I feel like the worst mother in the world.
... I worry that she will hate me.
... it makes me cry.
... I don't know what takes over me, and I get mean.
... I worry that I might, one day, hit her.
... I am afraid.
... I understand how my mother felt.
... I fear that my baby will feel the same way I did.
... I feel guilty too often

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Because I just can't get over it.

This is my last carnival-related post...  I promise... until next year anyway.

It is finally over, and I have survived again.  Year 2.  Please let there not be a Year 3.  Please.  Pretty pretty please with glitter, sequins, beads, and fancy feathers.

This was my favorite song for this year.  It didn't win any competitions, but I could totally see myself swaying on the road, wining up and down and all around to it.  Sigh.  My living room had to do.  C'est la vie.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trini Carnival Live on the internets

If you wanna see a lil something of what it is about click here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It is Carnival weekend.


And I am... 

I am...



Now I'm going to hide in a (well-routined and scheduled) hole until it is over.  Apparently the Angel likes routine and schedules.  At least she will be happy.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Live and Learn # 37654

She fell asleep today with relative ease.  No long crying and raging.  No tantrums.  Just a few lil grumbles at nap time, but nothing to write home about.

So what was it?  The moon?  Weird unknown illness?  Growth spurt?

It would have been so much easier on both of us if I had just let her be, instead of trying to control.  I always remember too late that when she behaves like that, there is a reason, and that I need to just accept and go with the flow.

''Struggle or stress is a sign that the ego has returned, as are negative reactions when we encounter obstacles.''  - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth.

One day I will remember in time.

But why oh why could I not have read that ONE line a few days ago??  Why did I have to read it today, AFTER she had already fallen asleep peacefully.  The book has been sitting on the couch untouched for days.

Maybe it was a test.  Well guess who didn't ace that one!  As usual.  My teachers will not be shocked.

Live and Learn.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I know it's OK to cry... but REALLY.

Every nap time, every night, during the night, mini melt-downs during the day, every time I try to cut a vegetable or wash a plate.  Jeez Louise.

What am I doing wrong?????  Or worse, is she sick?  I'm not seeing any real symptoms of anything.  Does constantly pulling your toes count as a symptom?

Nap time and bed time, which used to be so sweet, have turned into a struggle that leaves both of us in tears.  I know she is tired.  The yawns, eye-rubbing and I'm-not-hungry-but-i want-boobs are not classic  ''Let's PLAY!'' signals.

I decided to have the bedroom fitted with black-out blinds.  And I think I'm going to stop the nap-time and bed-time stories which just seem to excite rather than calm.  We read a million times a day anyway.  Maybe bath-time should be in the morning too.  Today I played this just before nap time and it seemed to help, a bit.  Crying was a few short squawks rather than 45 minutes of banshee.  I never thought I would say this, but 'Thanks, Brahm and Kenny G'.  It made me cry too.  What can I say, I'm a bit topped up on stress, and crying comes easy.

So is music what I need to soothe this restless beast angel?  Lawd how I wish she could talk and tell me exactly where my idiocy lies.  Although, maybe not.  I probably have many many years of that ahead of me.

Reading through some other parenting blogs today I realized that at no point in time over the next rest of my life will I be worry free.  There will always be SOMETHING to throw me off balance.  Not like I was particularly balanced to begin with.  As a Libran, balance is something I seem to be eternally seeking.  Note that I said seeking, and not finding.  I thought scales represented balance.  Although, now that I think of it, they are usually drawn kinda off-kilter, right?  Sigh.  Great.  Firetrucking great.

Ok, nuff ranting 'bout nothing important.

Center, breathe deeply, relax.  Ommmm.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I am an artist too.

Isn't parenting a creative process?  It requires that you think about things that you never thought about before, in ways you never thought about them.  You try to get those feelings out, in positive, enlightening, uplifting way.  Wanting to do good by your child.  To help polish the rough stone that is your baby, and release the beautiful jewel that you know is inside.

And it is daunting.

There is the constant fear of failure.  Of doing it wrong.  Of others not liking what you  are doing, or have done.  There are critics everywhere. 

There is the confusion when it is not going how you think it should go.

but maybe thats the problem.. the thinking.

Maybe I'm not letting it flow.

And i'm restraining the creative gremlin that wants to come through me.

It is not all me.  It is greater than me.  I am the pipe line through which it will flow.  I need to be open and connected.

Art is meant to uplift humanity.  So are people.  The Angel is a people.  So am I.

I just need to keep showing up; to do my part.  Keep her safe, fed, warm, loved... and allow the muse to work on the rest.  The parts that I dont know.  It takes more than me to do this right.  I am a part of the whole.

Thanks Witchypoo and Schmutzie for this inspiration.  Check Schmutzie's post for your own inspiration.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let it never be said that I am totally thick-headed.

Life with my beautiful Angel has been a bit tricky, to put it mildly:

Crying that I don't understand but know is all my fault; 
Nap and sleep times that have gone to Mars and back with nary a hint at routine;
Night-time wakings that I'm sure are not due to hunger seeing as most websites seem to agree that a 15 month old should not need to nurse overnight anymore;
Days like roller coasters that swing from heart-melting love and fun to heart-breaking screeching and despair.

Then I find this website that says most toddlers do not actually outgrow their need for 2 naps until 15 - 18 months.  And that taking them down to one nap too soon will result in a cute but energy-draining mini-grouch.  

DING goes the light bulb in my head.  So that's why she fell asleep in the grocery shopping cart yesterday at 11; and today in the stroller too.  I thought she was over her 2 naps MONTHS ago, and had her fighting it out (literally) until after lunch.  (Can you tell here that I don't get out much, seeing as it took sooo long for me to realise this??)

Over-tiredness comes in many shapes and forms, from almost permanent attachment to my boob to long sessions of tears, tears, tears.

And I have been living a confused life with a cranky child unnecessarily for several months now.  Poor little thing.  Lawd how she must have wanted to throttle me.

BUT!  Thanks to the Internets, I have found salvation.  Fingers crossed that tomorrow is a new and better day.

It made me realize though, that my initial refusal to ''schedule'' her as a little baby did more harm than good.  I was so determined to 'follow her cues', that I became completely reactionary.  That might work okay-ish for a newborn who simply sleeps when she is sleepy, but isn't such a good idea for a busy little thing who no doubt prefers lego to letsgoliedown.

Live and learn.

That's what I should really call this blog.  Live and learn.

Sidenote about the sleep website: They have lots of advice for babies of all ages, so go check it out if you have any little ones.  Unless you know all that already, in which case... Why didn't you tell me??  I might not have listened anyway.  I'm an idiot like that sometimes.  I guess I found when I needed to find it.  Ironically I did ask for help today.  I sat, close to tears myself, with her crying in my lap, looked up at the ceiling and pleaded  ''Help me please.  Help me to do this for her.  Help me to do it right.  Help me.  I just want her to be happy.''  And TA DAH!  Within 2 minutes of being online I found that website.  Thank You Ceiling.  I really really appreciate it.  So you really should check it out.  It was divine intervention.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cuz I have shit-all else to say

Thanks Nan for this one:

The Rules:

Answer these questions, USING ONLY ONE WORD! Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It’s really hard to only use one word answers. Be sure to link to the person you received it from!

1. Where is your cell phone? dunno
2. Your significant other? office
3. Your hair? wet
4. Your mother? far
5. Your father? away
6. Your favorite song? Soca
7. Your dream last night? House
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? Presence
10. What room you are in? Study
11. Your hobby? Reading
12. Your fear? Absence
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? there
14. Where were you last night? here
15. Something that you aren’t? dead
16. Muffins? yum
17. Wish list item? heat
18. Where you grew up? Trinidad
19. Last thing you did? typed
20. What are you wearing? dress
21. Your TV? Off
22. Your pets? hairy
23. Friends? real
24. Your life? happy
25. Your mood? cool
26. Missing someone? lots
27. Car? black
28. Something you’re not wearing? drawers
29. Your favorite store? Bookstore
30. Your favorite color? red
33. When is the last time you laughed? breakfast
34. Last time you cried? post-labour
35. Who will resend this? Dunno
36. Favorite vacation? sunny
37. One person who emails me regularly? Nalini
38. My favorite place to eat? Trinidad

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To boob or not to boob

The Angel is 14 months old now.  She is no longer a baby, although I know she will always be my baby, and I've been thinking about weaning recently.

I know that a lot of people will think that I deserve an award for having breast-fed for so long.  But I also know that it is normal and natural for toddlers to nurse until they are at least 2.  It is apparently a cultural thing to wean them early.

But as much as I still mostly enjoy the tender sweetness of holding my baby to my breast, I also at times don't like having my clothes yanked and my chest clawed.  And how I wish the night-time feedings would end.  (That being said, the current 1 or 2 night-time feedings is MUCH better than what we were dealing with up to 3 short weeks ago. ''Tears and Tantrums'' ... it saved my sanity.)

It is such an intimate experience, breast-feeding.  

I never expected it to be so emotionally charged.  I remember the devastation and grief I felt in the early days when I thought that I did not have enough to feed her.  Although that reaction could just have been the hormones I was roller-coaster-riding on after she was born.  It was a short-lived issue anyway.  Soon enough I had sufficient milk to feed someone sitting clear across the room.  

Then there are those moments when she smiles up at me, without letting go of course, and my heart bursts. And most recently, the michelin-man legs and toes that end up in my face are just so yummy.  She is quite flexible.

I'm trying to encourage more ''loves and hugs and kisses''.  Less boob needed for those.  Same sweet smiles in return.  And there is always some kind of food or drink within easy reach.  She still seems to want the boob though.  I guess she just isn't ready.

I don't want to end up doing it out of anything other than love though.

I started off so gung-ho on letting her wean for herself... whenever that would be.  In keeping with my determination to be a Perfect Parent.  HAHAHA.  What a warped notion.  I failed to be that from day one!  Now, I'm praying that she won't still be nursing when she is two.  I wonder how many more of those parenthood-humility-moments I have in store.  Countless I'm sure.

Its a good thing this book doesn't run out of pages.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Ganges and The Nile

The Ganges and The Nile
David Rudder

Once upon a time there was a magic island,
Full of magic people.
Let me tell you a story
'Bout their pain and their glory, oh yeah.

Many rivers flowed to this naked isle
Bringing fear and pain
But also a brand new style.
And of all these rivers that shaped this land
Two mighty ones move like a sculptors hand.
And today those hands, across the land, man, they're still landscaping.
And there's no doubt we go work it out, there is no escaping.
As the river flows there are those who would change its passage.
But every common man got to under-stand up and send a message.
So put up your hand if you understand now.

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we step in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
People done take in front.
Various smart men, and politicians can come along if they want.

Cus the people got the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
See how we moving, watch how we grooving.
The Ganges has met the Nile

Differences, there will always be.
So let you be you, and I'll be me.
That's the damn ting self that makes it sweet.
Brother bring your drum, lewwe start to beat.

Don't mind them politcky politicky politicky politicky politicians.
And with their politricky politricky politricky politricky situations.
We done jamming and we jamming and we jamming and jam cus we know the story.
Let them fight if they want in this land of a different glory. (i might have this line wrong)
So put up your hand if you understand now

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we step in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
They will always do their do.
Various smart men, and politicians, dem could come along too.

Cus we moving with the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
See how we moving, watch how we grooving.
The Ganges has met the Nile

See how we moving, watch how we grooving
See how we float in style.
One lovely nation, under a groove
The Ganges come meet the Nile.
Them boys with the hidden agendas, and the mind-benders,
They will always do their do.
But now that we holding hands, trudging to the Promised Land
Them could come along too.

Cus we moving with the power, and the glory.
See how we float in style.
One lovely nation, heading to salvation.
The Ganges come meet the Nile.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dollar Wine

I know you have been dying out which soca song could possible be known all the way over here in Elbonia.  Seeing as soca just isn't what you think of when you think about this country.  Vodka, snow, Russia... sure.  Soca?  Not really.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that a song from my home country was a BIG HIT over here, and also apparently on Disney Cruises.

There is a special dance that goes along with it, of course.  Like all good soca, there must be dancing instructions for the audience:
Cent : Shake your hips to the left
5 Cent : Shake 'em to the right
10 Cent : Push the booty back
Dollar : Thrust it forward like a dog humping your leg.  No kidding.

Enjoy today's workout!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pan sweet pan

I was going to post a song, Trini soca of course, that a friend over here in Estonia loves.  When we met (at a Caribbean party, natch) and he found out I was Trini, it was the first song he asked if I knew. 

But you will have to wait with intensely baited breath for that.

Because before I found that song on youtube, I wandered over to Tash's and learnt that she is taking Lou to the pan yards tonight.  And my heart broke a little.  You see, pan is a BIG part of Carnival, it being our National Instrument and all.  The pan yards are where the steelpan bands practice for the big competitions leading up to Carnival.    And there is nothing like standing in the yard, surrounded by those sweet, pulsating rhythms.

I chose ''This One is For You Bradley'' by Phase II.  They won the Panorama competition in 2006, and I heard them practice it just before I left for my life here in Estonia.  It was the last time I heard live pan. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview With a Vampire, plus some pan.

Not really though.  She isn't a Vampire, as far as I know.  But she is a witch, by the Church's standards.  And that is a whole 'nother post.

Anywaaaaaay, gratefully, Witchypoo herself has provided the fodder for today's post in the form of a questionnaire with things that she was just dying to know about me.  In my mind anyway.  Otherwise I would just post music.  Cuz I don' have nothing else to post.  My life is all of that and all.  (That shouldn't be read with sarcasm though.  My life is simple, quiet and predictable.  And I actually do like it like that right now.  It had been the opposite for a few years.  Cycles and all.)

Back to the 'view.  It started here and then Witchypoo did it here, and now I'm doing it here:

1.What's the top item on your bucket list? Why?
I don't actually have a bucket list. Does everyone?  I thought about it when I saw the movie, which was a highly original thought, I know, but couldn't actually decide on specific things that I MUST do before I die, other than the , again original, ''Visit India''.  I guess I'm a bit more of a go-with-the-flow kinda gal.  Besides, I never in a million years even thought about visiting Estonia, yet here I am 3 years, husband and child later.  Life will do with me what it will.  No complaints so far.  Although, if I could have a say in it, I would prefer my next home-country to be a lil warmer. Brrrr.

2. What is your fondest memory as a child?  
Sitting on the loo with the door wide open as my brother meandered dramatically up and down the hall shouting ''Ooohh noo.. the wind is blowing me... oohh nooo... the police are chasing meeee''. *giggle*

3. What would you most like to learn about
This changes.  But right now, child psychology.

4. If you had a do-over, what would it be?
My last 2 years at high school.  I would insist that I be allowed to do art.  Fuck ''what kind of job are you going to get with that''.  The stuff I did hasn't landed me a dream job either, and I've forgotten about 99% of it.

5. Besides blogging, what is your guilty pleasure?
A box of chocolate chip cookies every night... dunked in camomille tea.  I know, I know.

And that's it :)

Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone
else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions.

Any takers?

Today's Carnival Groove: Pan in A Minor by The Grand Master Kitchener.  One of, if not the BEST Steelpan song ever.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giving Praise - Trini Style

High Mas I © David Michael Rudder

Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel a part
Of this earthly (lesser) heaven....amen
Forgive us this day our daily weaknessess
As we seek to cast our mortal burdens on this city...amen
Oh merciful Father, in this bacchanal season
Where some men will lose their reason
But most of us just want to wine and have a good time
While we looking for a lime, Because we feeling fine, Lord....amen
And as we jump up and down in this crazy town 
Send us some music for some healing...amen

Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel as if we are a part
Of your heaven....amen
Forgive us this day our daily weaknessess
As we seek to cast our mortal burdens on this painful city...amen
And on this day when we come out to play and sway
And do a little breakaway
Some will say what they have to say
But only you know the pain we're feeling.....amen

As it was in the beginning of J'ouvert 
So it shall be on Carnival Tuesday ending (good vibes)...amen

Everybody hand raise
Everybody give praise
Everybody hand raise
And if you know what I mean....put up your finger
And if you know what I mean....put up your hand
And if you know what I mean....put up your finger
And if you know what I mean then scream
O, give Jah his praises
O, let Jah be praised
O, the Father in his mercy
Send a little music, to make the vibration raise
So Carnival Day, everybody come and celebrate
Everybody come and celebrate
See the ragamuffin congregate
Everybody come and celebrate
And everybody say, oo,a,a,oo,a,a I love my country
oo,a,a,oo,a,a I feeling irie (repeat)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feeling Groovy?

Hubby and I got hitched the week before Carnival in true trini-style with lots of people, lots of food, lots of alcohol, pore-raising-tassa-drumming, and of course, hip-shaking-soca-music (there was not much rent-a-tile dancing going on).

He left this morning for a week in California :(  I miss him.

This song is from Carnival 2007, when we got married.  It makes me think of my Funny Dude.

Sugar Boy
Written by: Kernel Roberts
Performed by: Patrice Roberts

Sugar, sugar (whoa whoa) X3
Sugar, sugar

[verse 1]
I don't know where you are, it hurtin' my head
I just toss and turn, you're not in my bed
Cause when fly find sugar, it just want to stick
Them women out there thirsty and they want to taste it

Sugar boy, sugar boy, don't play with my head
If I can't get you I don't wan't no one else
Sugar boy, sugar boy, please understand
Don't ever give my dinner to another woman

[verse 2]
All is yours my sugar baby from head to toe
Sweetness have my foot high up, I wouldn't let you go
You're truely a snake oil man in all that you do
You bring out the tiger in me when I'm loving you


Sugar, sugar (gimme sugar) X3
Sugar, sugar

[verse 3]
Do me what you want, you sweet magician
My body catching a fire while I'm wrapped in your arms
I'm going crazy every time we caress
Just don't leave me honey, you are the best


Gimme the healing, you make it right
Boy the way that you love me, give me tonight
Boy that feeling shivers my spine
Give it to me baby, one more time

[repeat verse 2]

[chorus] (X2)

Sugar, sugar (X4)
Sugar, sugar , you're my sugar (X2)

Friday, January 23, 2009

And the winner is....


Bluebella!!  Whoo hooo!!  You won a copy of ''Tears and Tantrums''  by Aletha Solter using my completely scientific method of closing my eyes and squiggling my finger around on the screen.

I dunno where you live though, so I can't stop by to drop it off personally.  So send me an email so I can get it to you (trdonaghy AT yahoo DOT com).

I know your kids are perfect angels, but I hope it has something new and good for you :)

Because I love to torture myself.

Despite my admittedly lame efforts, I am unable to ignore Carnival this year.  I tried for a few weeks, from Boxing Day until this week to forget that Carnival even exists.  I didn't listen to a single song, or look at a single Carnival website.

I've been involved in Carnival since childhood, like almost all trini kids.  It is in my bones, my blood, my veins, my hair follicles, my sweat, even my boogers.  And when this time of year rolls around, that itch starts.  The fever rises.  My waist and hips start moving separate from the rest of my body.  My feet get the urge to jump.  My hands want to hold a rag and wave.  My body feels the pulse of the music.


There will be no skimpy, beaded bikini this year.  A wool coat is what I need to wear.  No fancy, feathered headpiece.  A knitted hat to keep my ears warm has to suffice.


This just SUCKS!!!

But I have to laugh, because if I don't I just might go mad.

And I will continue to torture myself by listening to the music that is the backbone of Trini Carnival.  Besides, I need to ensure that the Angel is well immersed in her Trini culture, right?  And she loves it.  Because, even though she was born here, she is a Trini.  When I put it on, she bumps to the beat.  Because this is a beat that you can't ignore.  It forces you to move.  

So, from now until it is over, I'll share it with you.  I will try everyday, to post a song from Trini Carnival.  Some will be old, some will be new, some slow and groovy, some crazy and fast, but they will all be a real reflection of Trinidad's heartbeat.


Today:  It's Carnival by Destra and Machel, from Carnival 2003.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow.

The Angel has an ear infection :(

I noticed some time back that she was tugging at her ears, and I thought that they smelt funny.  But she didn't seem to be in pain, so I didn't rush her of to the doctor, my idiot mind thinking maybe she just had an itch.  I have itchy ears all the time, and never thought anything of it.

You see what happens when you listen to your mind all the time???  SHADDAP ALREADY!

Being present and aware is much harder than I thought.

And now my mom thinks that I am negligent.  Because she rushed us to the doctor at the first sign of a cough and fever... because it might be meningitis.

So now we're doing the antibiotics thing.  Funny enough they are the same antibiotics that I was given regularly as a child (Amoxil).  I thought they would be useless by now, after all the misuse and uncompleted courses.  Lord knows how many super-bugs were grown back then.

On another note, the night and nap time venting continues, with added intensity for the infection.  Poor little thing.  I wish I could make it all disappear.  I wish I could make her life nothing but warm, sunny days with ice cream, friends, rainbows and bunnies.  But I can't.  Indeed, I shouldn't even wish that for her.  For there would be no rainbows if it never rained.  

She trusts me more and more now with her sadness and anger.  When I first started accepting her cries, she would hardly make eye contact during her venting moments, and would pull away.  Now, her big, sad eyes lock with mine as she pours her little heart out.  Who knew that being a baby could be so hard.

There are days when I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  It can be hard to listen to your baby cry like that.  And I sometimes feel so helpless.  I'm her mama.  I should be able to make it better.

Am I saving her money on therapy later, or am I adding to her bill?

The thing is, apart from the times when she vents, she is a happy baby... growing in confidence, trusting her daddy more, needing me a bit less, and sleeping sooooooo much better.

Time will tell.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I just realized I spelt Holy Grail wrong!  KYAH KYAH KYAH KYAH.  sigh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have found the Hole Grail of parenting and want to give it to you!


No kidding.

Imagine that you have had a bad day at work.  You had a brilliant idea but nobody would listen or nobody understood.  The fax machine was tormenting your very soul.  Lunch was crap.  Traffic was insane.  You couldn't find your favorite pen.  Your boss was an ass.  Your co-workers were idiots.  You came home and just wanted to sit and vent with your best friend.  Then, instead of listening, your best friend starts to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and show you shadow puppets.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunty, uncle, nenen, tanti, babysitter, nana, papi, teacher, or any other kind of caregiver for young children, your life will be forever changed after you read ''Tears and Tantrums'' by Aletha Solter.

I mentioned an article that I found by the same author recently.  Well, the book really brings it all together.

The Angel, whom I love with every cell and fiber of my being, could be described as a clingy baby.  To put it mildly.  I could not do anything much at home during her waking hours.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, having a shower, computerizing, talking on the phone... all nearly impossible to achieve when she was awake.  And despite being fed solid food, she still nursed a jillion times a day too (leaving her nice and plump, and me looking like a string bean).  And night times weren't much better.  At 13 months, my beautiful baby girl still woke up to nurse at least 4 or 5 times a night.

Until yesterday... well it kinda started last week when I mentioned the article.  But I only read the book yesterday.

Last night, after following Dr. Solter's advice, my sweet, precious, beautiful, wonderful Angel peacefully slept EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT.

And today, I have been getting my work done with ease while she plays happily, coming over every so often for a snuggle or a giggle.

It is nothing short of a miracle.

How did this happen?  I know you are dying to know.  The book will give you a better understanding, but in short, I no longer repress her need to vent.

When she gets upset, I no longer nurse, sing, rock, soothe, distract with funny noises or silly games.  I sit, lovingly hold her, look into her eyes, tell her that she is safe and loved, and accept her sadness, frustration or anger in its full force.  I let her vent.  How ever many times she needs to.  And after 13 months of repression, she has some venting to do.

Nap time and bed time are times when we lie down together, and feeling safe in my arms, she now lets it all out.  All the frustrations of her day.  When she feels better, she happily and peacefully drifts off to sleep...  and STAYS that way.

Some Attachment Parenting folks might not agree with this approach.  Indeed, when I started following the advice of AP resources online, calming and soothing her cries was more of the focus.  But I actually feel more attached and connected to the Angel when she vents with me.  W  She is beginning to really trust me with her sadness, fear and anger.  She now knows that I will listen and accept her, unconditionally, validating her feelings.  Good and bad.

So, who wants a copy of the book?  I'm giving one away for free. Let me know if you want it in the comments.  I'll choose the winner somehow or other by next week sometime or other.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tears on my pillow

When the Angel was a newborn, I started reading everything I could find on babies.  Some things made sense to me, some didn't.  One thing that struck a note was from  ''The Continuum Concept''.  I didn't read the book, just some stuff on the website (I'm sure there is a lesson in there).  The author mentioned that in the tribe she studied, the babies there hardly cried.  These were not the colicky, tantrum-throwing, clingy, whiney little ones that are often prevalent in western culture.

Somehow, that little piece of information got warped in my brain.  It was warped into ''If your baby cries, you are a bad parent and you are doing it wrong.''

Did I mention the warping?

So, it became my modus operandum to ensure that my baby never cried.  When she became colicky at around 6 weeks, I spent her crying hours curled up with her on the bed rubbing her feet to turn the cries into moans.  (The pain of my rubbing probably distracted her from her own pain, now that I think about it).  When I discovered that nursing would almost instantly stop any cries, I shoved my boob into her mouth at the first note of distress.  Anything that caused crying, like putting her down for a second, or not letting her play on the stairs even though I had things to do, was not done.

A year of this turned me into something resembling a slave.  

Thank you Oh Warped Brain of Mine.

The lightbulb moment came recently.  I started to realize that this did not make sense.  That this was going to ensure that my Angel was definitely heading down the road of the ''Spoilt Brat'' that I thought I would never raise.

Lesson Number One: It is OK to cry.  

Lesson Number Two:  It is IMPORTANT to cry.

Lesson Number Three: Letting my baby cry while I sit lovingly and attentively with her does not make me a monster.

Lesson Number Four:  Constantly sticking my boob into her mouth is not helping her.  It is actually making it worse.

Lesson Number Five:  Bad feelings need to be felt and acknowledged, not distracted and pacified.

I've started to put it into practice.  There has been some crying, and my clothes are covered in snot.  On the first day, most of the day was spent sitting with her, drenched in tears and not getting much cooking or anything else done. But it is getting better.  She is even starting to play on her own a bit.  And today she fell asleep at nap time without being nursed down in her sling.  A day I thought I would never see.

I have made many mistakes in her first year.  And Lord knows there are a jillion more that I will make in the years to come.  Hopefully, none too damaging, and hopefully she will forgive me.

At present there is an alien noise from outer space on the baby monitor.

peace and love,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off...

Ah yes, Presence.  The ability to accept and be in the Now.  Elusive little thing it is.  And I keep forgetting.  But at least then I remember.

(I'm still reading ''A New Earth'', anyone guessed?)

And at present, the baby is making wake up noises.  Thus concludes this post.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello Again!

I know it has been forever.  The essential combination of Inspiration, Time, and Computer Availability has been in short supply over the past month.  I did start a couple posts, but inevitably a crisis of catastrophic proportions would arise, like a poopy nappy, and that was the end of that.

Thanks Eye and Lou for reminding me that I am loved :)

So, 2008 is soooo last year.  My first year of motherhood (more love, less sleep); my second year of married life (more laughs, less shaving); my third year away from home (more freedom, less good food).

Onto 2009!  I continue my journey into the realm of awareness.  Fingers crossed that I maintain the momentum.  N.B.  The Celestine Prophecy, The Seat of the Soul, Many Lives Many Masters and A New Earth are definitely worth your time.  Any others I should check out?

My Eureka moment last night:  I can be happy in Estonia.  The reasons for not being so are excuses out of fear.  Get a grip, get a life, get off my ass and quit whining.  Feel free to kick me in my cyber-butt should I regress :)

peace and love.

P.S.  The Angel thought that the most fitting place for a poop was in Buckingham Castle over the holidays. tee hee hee.  My (Irish) father is proud.