Monthly Archives: February 2012

Where I Should Be


Tuesday night was a bit of a mess.

Tay caught a stomach bug on Monday and couldn’t hold anything down all day. Monday night and all day Tuesday he seemed to be better but then around midnight he woke up crying, which is not normal at all, so I went up to check on him and when I was putting his pacifier back in his mouth he started gagging and out came a tummyful of used fruit and biscuit puree.
I cleaned him up, put him in a fresh sleep sack and then put him back to bed.
An hour later he was crying again and when I went to get him he lost the rest of his puree, all over himself, my arm, his bed and the floor. We were out of clean sleep sacks and clearly he wasn’t feeling well, so I brought him into our bed to sleep with us. He was restless and unhappy for most of the night and finally only fell into a deep sleep around 4 in the morning, which, surprise, is when I had to be up for work.
Which means I got all of 2 hours of sleep before I got to bike to the station to open the kiosk.

Also, Piet had a deadline at work and couldn’t take the day off, so at 7 in the morning when the 3rd day shift person came in, I had to turn right around and bike back home to take care of my sick child on two hours of sleep.


So, in that 2-ish hours of work I found myself dazedly staring out the window of the kiosk, observing the crowd forming in the early morning train station. When I saw the 4 drunken 20-something parading by, the two girls dressed in neon pink leggings, short-shorts and muddy Converse shoes, and one of the guys dressed in a chicken suit, it dawned on me that the Carnival party in Aalst must’ve ended and now all the carefree party goers were on their way home.
So there these people were, stumbling around, clearly having a great time and there I was, trapped in the kiosk, awaiting the coworker at 7 so I could bike home to clean vomit and diarrhea off of my sick baby all day and catch up on laundry (all the vomit covered items from the night before) and dishes.

I mulled this over in my head for a surprisingly short amount of time before realizing that I looked forward to going home to my son, regardless of the circumstances and that, had someone paid my ticket to Aalst and told me they’d babysit my son for the 4 days of shenanigans, I’d still turn them down.

Because I’m not that 20 something anymore, and given the opportunity, I wouldn’t try to have those days back.

They were good while I had them (sometimes), but I cherish the days I have with my son right now more than I miss the days of drinking and partying and goofing around.

Clearly, when it comes to my family, I’m right where I should be.


So Yeah, February


Clearly February has not been a very inspiring month in a blogging sense.

Tay continues to be a gimpy crawler, preferring to sort of, weeble his way around the room by going on his hands and knees for a second, then sitting himself back up, an inch or two to the left/right of where he started and repeating this process until he finds something to distract himself with. He can crawl commando-style if he sees something he really wants badly and doesn’t want to screw around with the weebling. Then he puts his little butt in gear and just crawls across the room, but he has to be highly motivated for this to happen.

Still no teeth yet, although he’s happily devouring anything we give him and can handle very small pieces, although he looks sort of angsty when the pieces are too big (this only happens if he gets free reign on half a baby cookie because, teeth or no teeth, he doesn’t gnaw on the cookies until it melts, he bites big chunks off as soon as it hits his gums).

In general our boy is a complete pleasure to be out and about with. We can easily take him out to a restaurant if we feel like eating out, just so long as the restaurant has a high-chair. As long as he’s not hungry or too tired, Tay will very happily sit and play with a toy or people-watch while Piet and I eat our meals. He’s also gone swimming a few times and loves that too. He remains sweet and social, although he now clearly distinguishes between the “I know you and am happy to see you” group of people and the “who the hell are you and don’t expect me to smile until I’m ready” group of people. But even if he’s in an unfamiliar place, he never cries or acts up; he simply stays quiet and wide eyed until he gets used to his new surroundings and then he goes back to chewing on everything and babbling and shrieking in his usual way.

Oh, and this:

There’s a lot of this going on.
Child pulls himself up on practically any available surface already so I tend to think that he won’t be crawling too long before he gets the inclination to walk.

Work is still the same here. I show up, do what I have to and go home.
Piet’s work is pretty much the same too, although I think he likes what he’s doing much more than I do, plus he gets to go to some conferences this year.

The house is coming along pretty quickly right now and we may even have a finished ceiling/lights and one working heater on the first floor before Piet’s parents go on vacation.

I’m also looking forward to the beginning of March because my mom will be visiting for a week since she hasn’t seen Tay in person since he was 2 months old.

Guess you can say I’ve had it with February. Come oooooon March.

Sixteen Tons, What Do You Get


Things at work have not been stellar lately.

I mean, it could still be worse (although by Belgian standards, I don’t think much worse). We finally got a heater, right when the weather decided to go back above freezing, so it’s sort of useless, but hey, who needs a heater in actual below freezing temperatures?

The scheduling hasn’t been super fun either, seeing as how today I worked the 7th of my 9 day in a row schedule. All of which have been morning shifts, mind you, so I haven’t slept past 5 am in a week. You think your sleep deprivation will end once your baby starts sleeping through the night, but not when you have my job.

Aside from that there are numerous other tensions and seeds of discontent flowering all over the place at work and while they aren’t worth discussing, it makes for an overall negative atmosphere. It’s hard to stay motivated when you continue to hear rumors of your company closing their Belgium kiosks or of a huge Seattle based coffee company planning on moving in next door by the end of the summer.

It’s hard to juggle a job that has you working either super early or fairly late with a husband, a baby, two cats and a house (not to mention dishes, cooking, laundry).
If I were in these shoes two years ago, a job like I have now would’ve never even been a consideration. But now? Well, now it beats unemployment in a country where the crisis is finally starting to hit a bit harder.

But I hate waking up before dawn, creeping around my cold house to get dressed, shove breakfast in my mouth and be out the door in time to bike/catch the tram to work. I hate that my son rarely wakes up to me and that I only see him for maybe 2 hours in the evening before he falls asleep.
I hate that for those two hours I’m usually exhausted from being up so early and that my back is often too sore from work to hold him for very long, especially now that he’s asking to be held with his little hands up and his eyes pleading.
I hate wanting to spend some time with my husband, to try to keep some spark in our marriage, and falling asleep before 10 pm because I just can’t keep my eyes open any more.

Having Tay totally changed my life in a way that is less and less compatible with my job. Right now I’m trying to just go day by day and make the best of my situation, although what I’m really looking forward to is our first “family” vacation at the end of May when we’ll be going to Southern Spain for 2 weeks.

I can think of nothing I’d rather do than relax and enjoy some sunshine with my two favorite men in the world.

p.s. – Daddy, if you’re reading this, you’re my other favorite man in the world. 🙂

For My Seventh Month


I will crawl.

This must be what my son thought today when he became enamored with his Papa’s alarm clock just before knocking it off the bed.

Because while Mama had her back turned to put on her shoes, she caught her little boy galumphing over the mattrass from the corner of her eye.

It took her moment to realize the galumphing was actual, intentional forward movement.
It took her another moment to realize one more galumph would send said little boy headfirst off the bed.

To retest her theory, the Mama placed the baby at the foot of the bed and Papa’s alarm clock at the head of the bead and watched while the baby lurchingly crawled from one end of the bed to the other to reach the alarm clock.


So Mama scooped up baby, put him on the bathroom floor (Papa was taking a bath) and said, “with proper motivation and traction, he crawls! Look!”
No crawling ensued.
Although the baby quite succesfully went from his belly to a sitting position several times before his Mama gave up and just let him play “bang on the little baby tub that I’m now too big for” while she wished she had the presence of mind to video the first time her seven month old son crawled.

One more major milestone checked off the list.
Here’s to many, many more to come!
Happy Seven Months Tay!!

I Need a Dermatologist, Stat!


So nothing new with Tay, first off. Still no crawling, but the rocking on hands and knees thing is still going on.
He had massive, leaking down the leg, puddling around his feet in his bouncer diarrhea last night that I failed to notice at first because I have a head cold and my sinuses are so clogged that I didn’t even smell the neon yellow poovalanche until it was decorating much of the bouncer, the boy and the floor.

Anyway, on to me.

A few weeks ago, following my recovery from the horrible, itching awful rash on my upper body (which seems to be due to an allergy to perfume in deoderant), the back of my knees turned bright red and also started itching. I put the same cream that worked on my armpits on my knees and the itching stopped, but the bright redness stayed. Then it became inflamed and now, over the past 3 weeks or so, the skin has become dry, brittle, purplish and painful and in the last few days, small pussy sores are erupting on the area (which now ranges from mid inner thigh to almost mid calf).
It used to just hurt when I bent my knees, but now the sores all hurt horrible, even when not bending my legs. I went to a doctor on Friday who has no clue what it could be (I have matching sore on my breasts, but without the pain and dry, discolored skin). At first she thought maybe impetigo, but apparently that’s only sores and not the bad skin. She’s supposedly trying to get me an emergency appointment with a dermatologist today, but I have yet to hear back from her. I’ll be stopping in on my way to pick up Tay to see if she was successful. If not, this may actually warrant a trip to the ER. I can’t hold my child on my lap very long from the pain. I can’t bend my knees without severe pain and I’m starting to have trouble walking, sleeping and even wearing pants from the painful sores. Clearly this can’t go on much longer without some sort of emergency treatment.

I’m intentionally NOT Googling the symptoms because I have enough scary ideas dancing through my head (lupus, cellulitis, other auto-immune disorders that are chronic and can only be somewhat controlled with pain management and no real cure). I’m just really hoping this can be taken care of soon, and hopefully with answers that aren’t too upsetting.