Thursday, March 29, 2007

stella in the shire



Here I sit, in my new Stella McCartney (for Target) jeans, while Ivy sleeps in her new Wondersuit. Bad (I'm supposed to be learning how to Froogle) yet good (4 hours in the Jewel and only a weeny burst of consumerism). Good shopping trip...but exhausting. Wrangling 2 babies is hard work. We were getting our boobs out more often than Paris Hilton at Mass, and Ivy is not a discreet feeder. She fights and struggles, and is so easily distracted now, she just wants to pull off and look around. Often she pulls her head back, looks up at me and comments loudly in her own language. What? I want to ask. Is it that you feel undignified? Do you want it strawberry flavoured? Do you have a comment about Howard and Kyoto?

The trick with public breastfeeding is the swift, discreet transfer of baby to nipple . Nobody cares how much side-boob is showing; but nipple is a no no. I'll get it into Ivy's mouth and then she'll arch back, leaving me cupping my bare breast and trying to pull her head back onto it, hissing 'Ivy! Please! Back on Mummys boob!' as passing shoppers avoid my eye (and nipple).

Sooo good to see Mum, Sam and Isabelle. Isabelle is looking really well after her bad start. She has such a serene, beautiful little face, with strawberry-cream skin, big old wise eyes and a deep, goofy voice. I love to see her.

Babies have the most amazing skin - it's almost upsetting. When I sing Ivy's 'baby in the mirror' song to her and glance at my own face next to hers I look like a wreck - like Kath and Kim walking through Fountaingate after their acid peel. Motherhood is a good way to lose your vanity. I still love clothes - but for Ivy. I walk around in trackies with hairy legs and bad hair but love to dress up the baby.

I bought a cheap fleecey blanket to make into baby wipes for Ivy. When we got home I sat on the floor with her and started to cut it up. Each time I ripped a section Ivy cracked up, the most I've ever heard her laugh. I rang Keith so he could hear, and he made me leave some blanket so he could rip it up when he got home. He told the other scientists in the tea-room and then said excitedly 'OK, see you, I'm going home to rip material'. Then I rang Sam so she could listen and she wondered if the noise of anything ripping was just hilarious. I started tearing some paper up then - Ivy collapsed into hysterics.

This morning we tried ripping material again but it seems the joke is over. Ivy just looked at us like we were fools.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

fleas


Ivy has fleas. At least, somewhere in the house is a rogue flea that feasted on her tiny, beautiful face. It's now marred with a cluster of little bites, like when Heather Graham played a Dickensian prostitute with the pox. They are getting better by the minute though, and the mummy-guilt is fading. A flea, not a funnel-web, right? Bah! I tell myself she won't get allergies when she's older (the modern mums mantra).

At this moment she is sleeping in her new cot, in her own room. Shes had all her day sleeps there, since yesterday, and has coped fine so far. Fingers crossed. Soon she'll transfer from the bedroom bassinet into her own space. At five months she's becoming much more alert. In bed she cranes her head around, checking out her new space, chewing her fist and singing to herself, in a tonal, clicking language somewhere between Bantu and Mandarin.

Keith is in Canberra on a long week so we didn't sleep very well last night. Ivy was in the big bed and woke me at 3 for a feed, then squiggled and fought her swadddle for ages before dropping off again. Today I feel tired. Yesterday I had a burst of insane energy - worked on 3 paintings; cooked, cleaned and washed the house and contents with determined madness; couldn't quite relax. Every time I sat down on the couch my toes would start tapping anxiously as I scanned the room for what to do next. Not today though. Today I'm feeling it.

I can't wait for tomorrow, when Mum, Sam and I are going to meet up at Miranda Fair (the Jewel of the Shire) to inspect each other's babies and talk enthusiastically over the top of each other. We hope it will be a mid-point between all three houses and take us all less than a hour to drive. It could be a great solution to the distance problem.

5 months old

Ivy has fleas. At least the house has fleas and they bit the baby. Her beautiful face is marred with a cluster of tiny bites, like a Dickensian prostitute with the pox. They are getting better bythe minute though, and the mummy-guilt is fading.

She is sleeping right now in her new cot, in her own room. Shes had all her day sleeps there, since yesterday, and has coped fine so far. Fingers crossed. At five months she's becoming much more alert, and cranes her head around, checking out her new space, chewing her fist and singing to herself.

Keith is in Canberra on a long week so we didn't sleep very well last night. Ivy was in the big bed and woke me at 3 for a feed, then squiggled and fought her swadddle for ages before dropping off again.

so here we are



Ivy is 5 months old, Keith and I are both 35, and the whole family has just upped sticks and moved from the city to the coast, in search of The Good Life; or at least, the Fawlty Towers version.

Here in Coledale we sleep to a soundtrack of surf and frog-song, rather than the crashing tones of junkies breaking into the house via the bathroom ceiling, or the guy next door threatening his 2 year-old, or the fellow who marched along the laneway at 3 am shouting "Drugs! I love drugs!" (OK, that last one happened at the house before the Ashfield flat. But it was so funny I wanted to write it down to see what it looked like).

We've given up 24-hour services, lots of local cafes, markets and shops, and close proximity to all our family and friends. Instead, we have tank water, a composting toilet, a dirt road and a new community.

This blog is for Ivy Scout, so she can have a record of her first year of life, before she learns to make her own memories. Eventually she can read back over her adventures and know how much she was adored, and all the good times she had with her mum and dad - the three Mogantoshes.