Friday, August 30, 2013

Phoetus, or tapeworm?

Symptoms of pregnancy include:
  • nausea and vomitting
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • insatiable hunger
  • or loss of appetite
  • anemia
  • tummy bump
Symptoms of tapeworm include:
  • nausea and vomitting
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • insatiable hunger
  • or loss of appetite
  • anemia (from drop in B12 in the blood)
  • bloated tummy

Something is sucking the life out of me.  The question is, is it a vertebrate?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pastry Porn

It's Bake-off Day!

Tonight the 2nd episode in the 4th (?) series of The Great British Bake-off will air on BBC 2.*

Pirate and I are properly addicted.  I even applied to be on the 2nd season, and very nearly made it.  They phoned me up the very day I submitted my application and spent almost an hour asking me questions.  (Now whenever I watch it I think, I coulda been... a contender.)

Did you read yesterday's post, about Pirate baking sourdough bread?  Well, in honor of Bake-off day, here is a photo of the bread.

Eat yer heart out, Mary Berry.

*I think it's on BBC2, I'm not really sure.  I watch it on iPlayer.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Note on Identity

Some of you (ha! I haven't had a hit for ages!) may be wondering if I, Moominmama, am the same person as Chaucer's Bitch, aka Mrs Chaucer's Pirate, and if so, why change?

Firstly, yes, I am.

Secondly, well, the old moniker just didn't fit me any more.  Pirate and I are still very much together, but the whole Chaucer thing is feeling more and more like a past life.  It just doesn't feel as relevant, or certainly not as dominant in my life any more. 

And it occurred to me, maybe that's why I've found it so difficult to blog ever since getting married.  Marriage was a massive life change for both of us, and I just couldn't squeeze myself back into my old avatar anymore, as it were.

Recently I've been struggling emotionally.  The NHS has been surprisingly deft and supportive (maybe they take depressed people more seriously if they are pregnant, I dunno), but Pirate suggested that a return to blogging and hence, writing, would be therapeutic.  He's not wrong.

But to start again I needed to start over, just a bit.   I didn't change URL or site name, becasue that would feel like jettisoning my old life, which is not what I want.  All the old posts are still there, becasuse all the old stories are still a part of me, and I treasure them.

Just the look, layout, and pseudonym are new.

So, why Moominmama?  She's my idol.  I adore Moominmama; she is (almost) everthing to which I aspire.  And I don't think that's aiming low, so please don't sit there thinking, "Oh Christ, another intelligent, ambitious woman who let her brain turn to porridge just becasue she had kids."  No. No no no no no no.

My brain is still here, and it still works (mostly), my priorities and the rhythm of my life have changed for a while.  Motherhood is a full time occupation, period.  If it doesn't consume your life, you're doing something wrong, frankly.  I sill have ambitions, but they are on hold until the kids are a bit more independent and, quite honestly, in school full time.  Until then, this is who I am.

I will try not to turn this into a baby blog, becasue one of the things I need and crave is to think about something other than babies and potty training now and again.  So there will be thougths of a politial and philosophical nature appearing now and again.

That said, I am pregnant, and come the New Year, there will be a small(ish), squirming, pink, hungy, pongy parasite to deal with, so a few baby-related posts are inevitable.  I will try to be funny.  I make no guarantees.

Do, please, visit often and leave your retorts in the comments box, becasue they make me feel loved. No, really.

Pirates are cute, too

I honestly don't know which is cuter:

A. A full-grown Pirate playing ring-around-the-rosie with the Pirette in front of all his cricket buddies, or

B. The Pirate teaching the Pirette how to bake homemade sourdough* bread, whilst she stands on a dining chair in the kitchen and sprinkles flour on the counter top as per his instructions.  (Note to self: I must get them matching aprons for Christmas.)

Votes in the comments box.

*We find that, disappointingly, Paul Hollywood's method yeields a better result than Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall's method.  Sorry, Hugh.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A memo from the desk of TMI

I have vericose veins. On my...

...fanny flaps.

Apparently vulvar verices (as they are technically known) are common in around 10% of pregnancies (though that's considered to be a wild underestimate as it is believed the condition goes largely unreported), and appear most frequently in the fifth month (check) of a woman's second pregnancy (aaaaand check).

God I have being unoriginal.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Feminist Rant

Pirette is 2.5 years old.  (Oh, and I'm up the duff again, if anyone cares.)  We don't do the girly thing around here.  For one thing, I find it cliche' and unoriginal.  For another, the daily pink from head-to-toe look is just aesthetically gross.  Add to that the assumption that girls must look/dress a certain was is just sexist.  And finally, if Hull 2 is a boy, I want to re-use as many clothes as possible.  So we keep it pretty straigtforward around here.  ie, jeans, T-shirts, etc.

Then the heat wave hit.  We live in a baking hot corner of SW London (god help me), and our house is fucking oven.  So in an attempt to minimize the Pirette's heat-related misery, I stuffed her in a sundress. (She has 4. They're ALL yellow, and covered in flowers and butterflies. That'll be my mother hitting last summer's end-of-season sales.)

I couldn't believe how differently people treated her, just becuase she had on a dress.

All this time the neighborhood mothers have been chiding me and grinning and saying stuff "I tried to dress Cutsie in trousers, but all she'll wear is dresses and skirts!" and "She'll decide pink is her favourite colour, just to rebel against you!" and my personal fav, "It really is what little girls want, you'll see!" Gag.

And I know when she gets to school there will be huge social pressure to fit in, and she'll want pink and glitter becasue that's what ALL the other little girls have (and it's truly scary how ubiquitous the girly shit is). But I hope the phase will be short-lived before she comes to her senses.

But boy, does the social conditioning start early.

All those mothers who claimed that girls really are different and really do want to drown themselves in pinkprettytiaraprincessgitter crap made such a fuss over Pirette when they saw her in a dress.  All day long, everywhere she went, she was fussed over and petted and told how pretty she looked.  Even by complete effing strangers.

Small wonder then that at the end of the day she cried for the first time in her life at bedtime because it was time to get her into her (dinosaur-themed) PJs.  She didn't want to take her dress off.  She wated to be pretty.

And I found myself having to explain to a 30-month-old toddler that dresses aren't what make us pretty.  That dresses are just a piece of clothing, but what makes us pretty is how nice we are to other people.  TWO AND A HALF FUCKING YEARS OLD.  I really didn't expect to need to have that talk for another, oh, 8 years or so.  Jesus.

There will be more on this subject later.  Don't even get me started on "girls" toys.  I tell you what, though.  Raising a daughter in this society of incredibly narrow gender roles and their near universal adherence is going to be one hell of a challenge.

*Don't blame me for the shirt. My mother bought it.  Besides, I do like rainbows.
**Pirette was thrilled with the airplane ride at the fun-fair, because only the week previously she said to me, "Want to fwy hewicopter, be piwot, go up sky touch cwouds."  Awesome awesome awesome.