Monthly Archives: March 2012

Putting it in Perspective


Have I officially announced that we’re moving to America sometime either the end of this year or the beginning of next?

I’ve probably alluded to it, but I think, now that my petition for an immigrant visa for Piet has been approved (which doesn’t mean much, but it’s a good first step to getting him a visa), that I’ll type it for you all to see.

If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be taking Rex and Luna to my parents’ house during our visit in October and bringing Tay and whatever we can fit in our luggage over in late December or early to mid January.

I’m not really thinking too hard about the insanely huge change this will be in all of our lives, but I have found myself doing a lot of comparing in my head lately between Belgium and the US, trying to put everything in perspective and to accept both the positives and negatives of moving back to America.

In the spirit of that, I’m going to try to blog once a week about a positive or negative thing about Belgium and likewise a positive or negative thing about the U.S.
Consider it a pros/cons list in which I force you to watch me wax prosaic.

Playing Along


Lately Tay is very amused by tickles and nibbles to his belly and peek-a-boo.

Piet does the whole covering his eyes thing and Tay laughs at that, but I’m lazy and basically I just turn my head or look up, then look at Tay and say “boo.”

He cracks up.

But last night, after a few repetitions, I noticed Tay throwing his head back, or looking down, then looking back at me and grunting and bouncing on my lap.
It took me a minute to realize he was playing along!

And it cracked him up just as much to think he was surprising me as much as I was surprising him.

Guess the days of passive giggling are over. This baby is quickly becoming fully interactive!

Wijvenweek: Ugh, Look At This, We Have An Opinion


The Diva Cup.

I’m sure most of you have heard of it.

A silicon cup inserted into the birth canal that catches menstrual blood.

An environmentally friendly alternative to pads and tampons.

I could talk about the massive advantages of this little thing, or I could mumble some of the slight disadvantages of it, to try to be unbiased, although I’m clearly not, but that’s not the opinion I’m expressing today.

What I’m expressing is my opinion of the people (women in particular) who sound outraged, horrified and/or disgusted with the thought of using something non-disposable to deal with their menstrual blood.

Clearly a woman’s disgust with her monthly cycles and the resulting fluids (and possibly her own genitals in some cases) is a product of the patriarchal mentality of most societies, but I won’t even attempt opening that door this evening.

I do think, though, that it’s pretty sad that a woman would find it so disgusting to use a little cup to catch/dump her monthly flow. How is it any worse that pulling a piece of bloody cotton out of your vagina or pulling your pants down and seeing a few hours accumulation of menstrual blood in your pad?
Not to mention the fact that a tampon not only absorbs the blood but also your natural moisture as well. And then there’s the toxic shock syndrome risk that goes along with tampons.
And pads? Not only are they disturbingly diaper like, but if you can’t change them frequently you can get extremely irritated skin and unless you get scented pads (or sometimes even if you get scented pads) they tend to smell pretty bad pretty quickly.

Why is it that so many women think it’s better put chemical additives and smells in and around their most sensitive bodily area?

And why is it that most women see the act of giving birth as such a beautiful, natural thing but their period is something disgusting?

A whole lot of nasty fluids came pouring out of me while I was in labor. I’ll take a few milliliters of uterine lining any day over a few pints of meconium filled amneotic fluid.

Anyway, I guess if I could say anything to some of the judgmental women I’ve seen criticizing those of us that opt for (and prefer immensely) a menstrual cup, it would be this:

Get the stick (of nasty, smelly cotton and fibers) out of your vagina and stop trying to force your intolerance of your own genitals and bodily functions on those of us who are not ashamed by our female reproductive organs. Some of us don’t like to have a chafing, irritating wad of cotton wedged in our birth canals and some of us prefer to leave the diaper-wearing to our babies. Some of us don’t feel the need to pack landfills full of bloody layers of rayon. Take a second to think about why you’re so repulsed by your own body before you get all uppity and judge me for NOT being repulsed by mine.

Wijvenweek: The Beauty Queen Hidden Within


I’m absolutely not a primping kind of girl.

My hair is typically pulled up in a ponytail, my nails are cut short and rarely painted, I wear makeup maybe 10 times a year, if that, and 5 days out of the week I can be seen wearing the black shoes and jeans and white button down shirt that is my work uniform.

Somewhere around puberty I gave up fighting with my curly hair and resigned myself to the permanent ponytail. It is only now, after pregnancy took most of my curl that I’m tentatively trying to figure out ways to style my hair.

Somewhere around senior year of high school I realized that if I wore makeup every day and then decided not to wear it one day, people would think I looked sick or tired. But if I never wore makeup and then wore it to a dance or some other social event, people thought I looked amazing.

Somewhere after college I packed on about 50 pounds of excess weight and stopped trying to be plus-sized and fashionable. Over sized t-shirts and jeans made up my wardrobe until the last 3 years or so.

My one major weakness? The chink in my anti-trendy, anti-fashionable armor?

Hand cream.

I loooove having multiple tubes of pretty scented hand creams. I have them everywhere.
Two tubes in backpack, three in my bedroom, one in my purse. Because maybe one day I feel like honey hand cream but the next I think citrus fits my mood better.
Almond hand cream is great for over night, but Japanese mint and sweet orange is a nice pick me up in the mornings.

And this particular addiction has gotten worse since a dermatologist told me I was probably allergic to perfume this past February. Now that perfume/eau de toilette is (temporarily, I hope) off-limits, my nose craves soothing scents in hand lotion form.

So in a way, I guess part of me is thankful for the constant hand washing I have to do between my job, having pets and an 8 month old baby at home. All the more reason to buy more hand lotion!


8 Months, Now To Be Known As “When Mama Dropped The Ball”


So, Tay turned 8 months old on Wednesday last week.

There was a photo taken and I’ll edit it into this post once I get it off my mom’s camera.

My mom’s visit has pretty much eclipsed all the other activities of the past week, not that it explains the lack of blogging.

Life in general and being a full time working parent sort of explains it, although I know other parents seem to manage it, so it doesn’t excuse it.

Anyway, Tay crawls and chatters away and giggles and rides Piet’s shoulders and loves swimming and pulls himself up on ANYTHING and tries to take steps and dances and uses a sippy cup and still eats everything (including light brown bread and eggs which we recently added to his repertoire).

He’s such a busy boy and growing so fast.

I’m not sure which milestone we’ll hit next but I figure it’s a toss up between first steps and first tooth.