Thursday, November 27, 2008

The boys are back in town

I have finally stopped breastfeeding. Eve dropped her late night feed a few weeks ago, was getting a bit bored with the morning one and the physical effort required to row around the island, not to mention the dehydration, meant that on Monday this week I just didn't have enough milk. By Tuesday Eve had firmly decided that she is now too old for boobies and rejected them.

I thought it would be the other way around, that I would have to wean her off. I expected protest and tears. Instead I have happy smiles as she moves onto something new and more fun, like walking for example.

I thought I would miss the closeness, but I don't, and I like being able to get the Boy to do bedtime once or twice a week while I pour myself a glass of wine or go for a run.

Of the three of us, however, the Boy is most overjoyed. When I told him that I had stopped feeding his immediate reply was "Great, now I get MY boobies back". It would appear that my body has never really been my own.

We're all going on a summer holiday

Since Eve was born we have not had a family holiday. We went to the Olympics with some friends (and a few hundred thousand other people) and also back to see the family in the UK but have not really had a proper family holiday with just the three of us.

The Boy and I, working in finance as we do, have had a stressful few months and are looking forward to a well deserved break for 2 weeks. We had treated ourselves to Business Class flights, one week in a boutique hotel in the hills and one week in a beachfront villa. Leaving this Saturday, tomorrow.

Except these lovely retreats are both in Thailand and we would have had to fly via Bangkok Airport (currently occupied by a few thousand protesters) and there is a very real possibility that there will be a military coup while we are there. The Boy and I are pretty well versed with the somewhat precarious political situation in most of our holiday destinations but even we had to draw the line somewhere.

So, we are off to the Philippines for 2 weeks now.

This didn't stop the boy from spending breakfast this morning trying to teach Eve to duck every time he shouted "grenade".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Closing the circle

Casting my eye back over my blog I realised that I have never written about how I found out I was pregnant. Yesterday the story came full circle, so now seems an apt time to tell it.

I have always wanted to do something that is physically challenging (as if being pregnant isn't challenging enough). I toyed with the idea of rowing the Atlantic (too far and I get seasick), running a marathon (too dull and my knees wouldn't take it) but nothing had grabbed me. That is until a very good friend of mine, D, sent me an email about a crew who were going to paddle an outrigger canoe from Singapore to the equator. As he put in his email, I am one of the few people fit enough and mad enough to be able to do it. I was keen. I had discussed getting the time off with my boss, the Boy wasn't overly chuffed but understood why I wanted to do it and said I could go, I could afford it. I had told sufficient numbers of people I was going to do it, which is my sure fire way of making sure I don't back out. I just had to pay the deposit on Monday morning.

The Boy and I had been trying, a bit half heartedly, to get pregnant. I had come off the pill two months previously but that was about the extent of our efforts. I woke up on the Monday and thought it would be a terrible shame to pay the deposit and find out I was pregnant. So, preparing myself to pop back onto the pill until after the trip, I took a pregnancy test we had lying about in the bathroom from a false alarm a couple of years ago just in case. I didn't entertain the possibility I actually could be.

About 9 months later along came Eve.

I have always felt a bit short changed about the timing. The trip was, by all accounts and photos, amazing and I didn't get to undertake my mad challenge.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I spent just shy of 5 hours of my life in a double scull with an incredibly good rower and all round top lass, A. We rowed the whole way around Hong Kong Island in the aptly named Around the Island Race - which happens once a year. To say we were ill prepared for this would be an understatement. Our training had all been for the 2k sprint the previous week and A had only been in an ocean rowing boat twice before, one on a one hour training row with me 2 weeks ago and once for a 15 min paddle. We had only thought about doing it at all 3 weeks ago and in our ignorance decided it would be fun to do. This is one of the toughest rowing races there is and we had done, well, no real training for it.

We rowed through one of the busiest harbours in the world (and nearly got hit by a jet powered ferry), surfed up and down 6 ft swells, and A was seasick for about an hour. However one looks at it, the whole thing was insanely stupid. I got out of the boat swearing I would never do it again.

However, today, although I can't really sit down and still have no intention of doing it again, I feel insanely proud. Firstly, proud of A for managing to push through the sea sickness - although I may have mentioned that she merely felt like I did for about 6 months of pregnancy. Proud that we did it with such good humour, in fact proud that we did it at all. Proud that we broke, nay, smashed the previous record for a boat of our class.

But I am most proud that I did this only 10 months after having a baby.

I also don't feel at all bad at missing the paddle trip anymore.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't drink the water, don't breath the air, and for goodness sake don't wheel your child forwards in a buggy

Yet another incredibly stupid study designed to make parents feel guilty, this time one about whether the way a child faces in a buggy can stunt their development here

This, in the same country where a 17 month old's torture and tragic death at the hands of the adults who cared for him was largely ignored by the authorities. I wouldn't recommend reading anything about it, it made me cry, but in case you want to here

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All that glitters

I was racing at the weekend, the biggest race of the season and one for which I fought hard to regain my pre-pregnancy fitness to be able to do.

It was a very tough race. We came second (claiming two national crew scalps in the process - tee hee).

As I came back from my medal ceremony, I saw that Eve was playing with the medal of a friend of mine who won a bronze. I wandered up to them both whereupon Eve grabbed my medal from around my neck, looked at the two for a moment, and then promptly discarded the bronze.

James, James, Morrison, Morrison

One of the delightful things about Eve getting older is that I can just have much more fun with her, see things through her eyes and hear things through her ears. It is like seeing your own childhood again but this time truly appreciating it.

Growing up I had a bit of a thing about seals. I'm not sure why, I didn't see one until I was about 8, but the first toy I recall having when I was a child was a fluffy seal who I called Sammy. I still have him, and he currently sits on the shelf in Eve's room (although I jealously guard him and don't allow her to play with him). My parents have bought Eve her own fluffy seal, about the same size as Sammy. She loves to play with it. He (for seals are always male, don't you know) is not brought down for her to play with unless she specifically requests for him, and when she does she dotes on him and carries him around with her as if he is her dearest friend.

Another wonderful moment is when, each night, I read to Eve. Sensibly she hated the dreaded Alice in Wonderland, but my parents bought her a copy of "When we were very young", my favourite poetry book when I was little. I remember most of the poems, the purchase itself was prompted by my parents and I trying to remember the words of the poem beginning "The king asked the queen and the queen asked the dairy maid, could I have some butter for the royal slice of bread". However, in returning to the book as an adult, I am also coming across long forgotten verses and memories. Tonight I rediscovered the title of this post. A fantastic little poem about the dangers of letting ones mother go off on her own.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A tragedy unfolding

The most horrific thing about any war is that innocents die through no fault except being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is no reason for any child to die of malnutrition in a world where there is such excess. The below photo journal was heart wrenching for me to read.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The spare in the boot

Of the many things I disliked about being pregnant, the horror of what my body turned into is the one that continues to haunt me. It was not so much that it did things it shouldn't, after all I was carrying another life and I had fully expected to increase in girth etc, but it was more that with each day I could see my previously fit and relatively firm self turning into a whale. I had a deep seated fear about turning into a whale (those who know me will know why and to whom I refer), and it scared the hell out of me that I would never manage to fit normal clothes again and how much work it would take to come even close.

I am, therefore, rather proud that I have snapped back into shape (although my friend S, mother of 3, told me I would). It has been relatively easy - but then I am back to full rowing training so 5 sessions of exercise a week probably wouldn't seem easy to many people - and I am rather pleased with myself. Except for one thing.

I have a fold of skin around my middle that will not shift. It sits there wobbling at me menacingly, mocking me, falling out over the top of low sling jeans. However hard I train, however many yoga sessions I do, however little I eat (although I am porking a bit at the moment), it is still there and laughing at me.

I saw my friend P a couple of weeks ago, who has a son the same age as Eve. She too looks great but also has the same bit around her middle (although hers is considerably smaller than mine). She is seriously considering liposuction. At the time I mocked her, but the more I look (and, more importantly, look at my non-baby friends who lack this little delight) the more I think it might not be such a stupid idea.

Home alone

Due to a change of job, general cut backs and the odd few billion of write downs at the bank where Yummy Mummy works I have had the first year in my entire professional career where I have not had to travel. Ever since starting on a career of clip boards and living rooms with groups of strangers asking them their opinion on things, I have spent a fair few nights away from home. Before she was even born, Eve had been to some 7 different countries. I fully expected to be doing the same this year. However, in the last year, I have not travelled at all.

This, combined with breastfeeding and having a job which is a bit more flexible than the Boy's so I can leave work to get home in time for bath time, means that I have put Eve to bed every single night since she was born. This is not entirely bad for 10 months.

Until last night.

I will be rowing in one week at the HK national championships. This year I have worked especially hard to get fit again, and am back to pre-pregnancy form and possibly even stronger. One of the boats I will be rowing in is for a bit of a giggle, and includes my doubles partner, her daughter and her daughter's friend. How fitting, then, that the first night when Eve has not had Mummy to put her to bed I was spending a very lovely evening rowing with a fine example of a mother daughter relationship.

Did I miss putting Eve to bed? Not at the time, but tonight I couldn't wait to get out of work and come home for a cuddle, playing with the ducks in the bath, and reading a couple of my favourite poems to Eve before tucking her into bed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Eve is ten months old today. Amongst the thoughts through my head this morning was the one that she has now been "out" longer than she was "in". And thank goodness for that!