on being a good mom/mum. or, wine and lovely babies bring perspective.

so today i’ve been a little bit of a witch with a capital b. i blame it a little on myself (hindsight is 20/20, right?) but mostly i blame it on the british.

now, for my british friends out there, i don’t mean you as individuals, i mean you as a country in general, and more specifically whichever governing body decided that british mother’s day would fall on the church’s mothering sunday rather than today (the american, and italian, and apparently the every other country in the world-recognized mother’s day).

i had a lovely british mother’s day in march with my husband and beautiful baby, and i tried today to remember that day. but it’s just so damn hard when all of my american friends are bragging about their lovely lovely mommies and how special/lucky/amazing/vomtastic they all are. and yes, they are all of those things. and so is my mom, of course, who celebrates the day today. it just makes it so hard to be in between the two holidays, feeling like i can only partially celebrate each of them.

so i sat sulking for awhile this afternoon, feeling like a sad, lonely, lost mummy/mommy (seriously! what am i?!) when i realized i was being stupid. i had not one, but TWO days dedicated to me and my new role in our family. i had TWO days to remember how amazing my own mother is, and how amazingly difficult it is to be a mother. i see my own mother in a new way now, and from that perspective, can appreciate what i do for s on a daily basis so much more. so instead of feeling sorry for myself and missing out with playtime with my own wonderful daughter, tonight, i splashed with her in the bath, sang to her on our bed, and read the same stories with her that my mother read to me when i was a little girl. it doesn’t matter if i got any cards or flowers today, or if everyone i know wished me a happy mother’s day. all that matters is that i recognized the special relationship i have with my mother and the little girl that made me a mother, too.

cheesy and cheesier.

cheesy and cheesier.

madre and me.

madre and me.

(this vom fest is brought to you in part by p, whose swift kick up the bum inspired me to get off my bum and stop feeling sorry for myself. thanks for that.)

mama needs a camera!

hello my lovelies! i’m sorry it’s been awhile…we’ve been away for the last few days visiting family and are planning one more small trip for the weekend. after we’re back and settled into real life, i’ll update you all on life, i promise! also look out for a 10 month post for s. seriously, my baby is going to be 10 months old in a few days. where has the time gone?

in the meantime, i thought i’d plead with you all to help a girl out. i entered a competition the other week at UK retailer john lewis to win a Canon digital SLR camera with 4GB memory card and case by posting our adorable picture of s kissing the old year goodbye on new year’s eve. i miraculously made it into the top 10 photos for the competition! now all i have to do to win the competition is garner the most likes and repins of john lewis’ pin on Pinterest. now, you all know how obsessed i am with that website, and you all know how much i love john lewis. so i HAVE TO WIN. there’s some woman who has 239852735 likes and repins so it’s kind of unlikely, but if any of you can use your internet charms and wiles to get some likes and repins, now is the time to show me your stuff! here’s the link to the JL pinterest page:

 

please please please help me out if you can! the competition only goes until 5pm (UK time) tomorrow, so get pinning! love you all lots and talk soon!

r.i.p. frank

today was a difficult day for our little family. we lost a very close, very special friend.

frank the bunny was a gentle soul…a soft, furry friend to baby s, practically a member of the family. he was there for my baby every day for the last six months, offering himself up for cuddles, drool, and sometimes baby vomit. he even traveled halfway across the world with her. we loved frank.

after realizing he was gone this morning, i spent over an hour retracing our steps in the pouring rain and through crowded shops. nothing. i left my phone number with staff members at all the shops and considered making a poster. p told me to let him go.

i cried. seriously, i cried. crazy mom moment 23984612, considering s will never know he was gone (i’m already placing an amazon order for frank #2 as i write this) and has only just got the hang of object permanence. i just wanted frank to be HER TOY…you know, the one that she takes to sleepovers and school parties and college and has forever. ugh. the heart breaks. i guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

although our time together was short, we remember frank fondly.

p even wrote a prayer for the occasion:

dear father God, we thank you for the life and service of frank the bunny rabbit. his ears were floppy and ever ready to be sucked, his nose was soft and gentle, and he was always glad to cuddle, even when he had been thrown around, punched, or thrown up on. wherever he now may be, may he give joy and receive it back in return. amen.

in loving memory:

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sun!!! or mommy freak out time.

living in england generally means wearing lots of warm clothes, wellies, and raincoats. so, the four days a year when the sun comes out, everyone gets their kit off (brit speak for gets naked). i have, to my and my bank account’s shame, bought approximately a million lovely little dresses for s, none of which she will wear more than once. but when the sun came out this week, i got excited. score! pretty baby dress time.

except sun = UV rays = possibility of sunburn = mommy freak out mode. our new pushchair is awesome and has a moveable shade but can never really completely cover s from the sun. plus, we spent some time outside the other day, and i stupidly let s out in her dress without four hundred layers of clothes to protect her. luckily she didn’t really get burned at all (i wasn’t as lucky…i generally go lobster red for a day or two before turning to a reasonable brown color for five seconds, then back to pasty white)…but i was still stressed out.

now the baby books and experts all say not to put sunscreen on your child before six months…or if you do, only use it on the back of hands and face. that’s just not good enough for me. my poor daughter has inevitably inherited the pasty gene from my scotch irish/german/english family and from my husband’s english and polish family. girlfriend has got to wear sunscreen.

so i went into boots today in search of baby sunscreen. the extremely (un)helpful woman in the store told me that all twenty five of the brands were exactly the same, and that purchasing one over the other was just personal preference. i’m so glad they trained her so well. anyway, after half an hour of hemming and hawing over the sunscreen, i ended up buying this one, since s has generally reacted pretty well to johnson’s products, and it smells pretty nice.

this crazy mom moment was brought to you by the great british summer. here are my lovelies enjoying the sunshine (and a bloody mary, if memory serves me correctly):

p and s enjoying the sunshine (without sunscreen…i know, i know. call the authorities)

sicky baby.

s had her 16 week immunizations this wednesday and is battling a little bit of a fever. one of the first real crazy mom moments happens when your baby is sick and you can’t make her feel better! lots of cool things happening this week and next, too, so when all is better i’ll write about some of them! in the meantime, check out my friend awayathome’s new brave and awesome blog post here. (maybe i’ll be brave enough to post pictures like that some day!)

talk to you soon! ❤

the week in review.

another busy week in the d household! s is three months old, and is officially no longer a newborn. crazy!!!

this week we took our first ‘holiday’ post-baby. monday we drove to west sussex to attend the installation of p’s best friend as vicar of a parish church on the coast. we stayed two nights at a hotel, visited with p’s friend’s family (two of s’s godparents!), took s to chichester cathedral and pallant house gallery (excellent modern art museum; s LOVED the bright colors!) and put our feet in the english channel. phew!

s driving lola…starting early.

art appreciation, infant style.

first time in the english channel! and don’t worry, the water was warmer than the air.

the only way s will deal with tummy time. bad parents.

yes, the same west sussex that had epic flooding monday and tuesday. flooding we experienced first hand. thankfully, we’re all still alive, after driving our poor lola (our ford fiesta) through two or more feet of standing water for what seemed like hours on end. this is one of the smaller lakes we drove through (please note that my hands were over my eyes and not on the camera during our fording of deeper waters):

i think i can see noah in the distance!

s did a great job in the car, and an even better job in the hotel over two nights. pretty sure she’s protesting being back from holiday, though, because she currently won’t go to sleep without being cuddled and resorts to screaming when she doesn’t get her way. YAY!

speaking of s…p and i are currently sitting in the living room WITHOUT OUR BABY. yes, i know s is three months old, but tonight marks the first night we’ve put her to bed in the bedroom rather than on the floor in her moses basket. say it with me now…xannnnnnax. yes, please. or gin. no tonic. :/ oh well, will have to settle for chocolate ice cream and big brother. and pictures of our beautiful baby.

vacationing is so tiring.

wussy mama

when did i become such a wuss about the great outdoors?

let me just preface this by saying that i’m not actually ‘afraid’ of being outdoors, or ‘scared’ of animals/bugs/the world. in fact, when i was in school i was girl scout extraordinaire. every summer i was shipped off to camp (by choice, thank you very much) for a week or two, and learned how to sail, cycle, tie knots, make trails, and survive in the wilderness just like bear grylls. i was a badass. camping outside in a pup tent all by myself? no problem. trekking through the woods with my dad, hunting turkeys? check. swimming in the nasty ass lake all day long? of course. you name it, i did it. i was the definition of a tomboy.

somewhere along the line, i changed.

in the same way that i’m suddenly too old to love roller coasters like i did when i was 16, something has happened to me about being outside. i think it’s the spiders’ fault. maybe it was one too many episodes of the fear factor, but i have this irrational fear that gigantic spiders are going to come attack me in my sleep (think harry potter and the chamber of secrets here…ugh i can’t even watch that video). pretty sure this neurosis has slowly but surely evolved into a psychosis that i may or may not need treatment for. again with the xanax.

so now that i have s i am sure that the spiders that haunt me in my dreams are going to climb all over her and she will be SCREWED, because you’re crazy if you think i’m capable of killing that shit. no way. that’s why i got married. p is spider killer extraordinaire. (ps. this is also part of the reason i got a cat, who is useless at bug killing in general and instead likes to run away from creepy crawlies.)

today we ventured out into the great unknown that is jesus green. i think i did pretty well, considering that there is some kind of bug spawning on half of the trees, covering them in webs full of caterpillars or maggots or larvae…anyone know what this is? i couldn’t get close enough to take a picture; sorry. anyway, we managed a good half an hour of outdoor time before spiders started dropping from the trees and i said F THIS and we went home to hide in our safe little house. which is also full of house spiders.

it’s a neverending circle. i know, i’m a psycho. please don’t let s inherit (too much of) my crazy.

apparently she looks like an occupy protester.

just chillin’.