Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: February 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Like the male elephant

Safari
Last September I took a trip to Kenya with my Father. It was his birthday present. During the trip we visited Amboseli National Park wondering the thousands of elephants that live there. Our guide told that the male elephants always live alone, to which Father commented "just like us guys then, haha".

His comment didn't seem like a complete joke and it made me think. Are guys alone in this world? Because that's what Husband keeps on trumpeting as well: "I'm alone working my ass off to support for the family and no-one appreciates my efforts". Right. When I think about Father or Husband they are way less alone than I am or Mother is. The both guys are working which attaches them in a tight network. Father has multiple friends and hobbies, Husband has his own friends as well. And there have always been networks for guys (army, different clubs) where women aren't welcome (almost) at all. Still the both guys feel that they are "alone in the world". Why?

Home has maybe been traditionally the place where women "rule". Sure enough, right now my work is at home so I know exactly how things are run here. And most certainly enough, if I'm the one doing the cooking I'll also decide where the pots, pans, plates and ingredients are stored in the kitchen. I'm not telling Husband either how he should organize his desk at work. I think this somehow threatens Husband because he wants to decide about everything. And snce I don't let him to and keep marking my territory in the house he becomes a micro manager ("that's not how you froth milk" - editorial note: Husband doesn't drink coffee, nor has he ever tried frothing milk). So maybe he feels sort of an outsider at home? Me and kids have become a team because we spend so much time together, I'm not surprised if Husband feels left outside because he's never there with us.

My Mother rules at home for sure as well, but I don't think it explains why Father feels like a male elephant. I burn for egalitarianism and I think guys are somehow threatened by women who also have started to network now. In Helsinki area alone, there are networks for women working in IT, women entrepreneurs etc. Only for women. Ladies are now networking like guys have always done and I think that's somehow frightening men. Or is it? What do you think?

I think it's fantastic that the roles are changing a bit. If only guys would stay at home with the kids more too. Then, I think, they would get an insight to how it feels to be really lonely all the time. Even though you're never alone.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Not safe for work?

Photo: thumbpress.com
Just to cheer up our Monday I'll share what made me laugh today: I visited my blog's stats and checked what sites are referring here in the first place. I was probably expecting to see some other blogs on the top of the list.

The first two sites on the list had url's that were approximately "free porn" and "get porn now". So, ok, there are probably some guys reading this blog as well. But, on the other hand, I don't think they found what they were looking for. I'm so sorry! Hahaha!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy holidays for some people

Photo: onestopcomfortview.blogspot.com
I'll admit it right away: I'm pissed off and bitter. This week, it's been winter holiday time in Southern Finland. I just decided I'll stop checking my Facebook because it's full of beautiful pics of all my friends visiting skiing resorts with their kids, traveling with their families and having other family fun. The schools are closed and even kindergartens are half-empty. For us winter holiday has another meaning. Husband has a quote - hell of a week at work - unquote because they're doing maintenance work. I'm having "private quality time" with the kids. Yesterday Husband told me that he will probably have to work over the weekend as well. Sounds like a relaxing week for all of us.

Some time ago we visited our mutual friends and they told us about their holiday week. "We just woke up in the morning with no hurry and started to plan what we'd like to do together that day. Are you guys going to have a winter holiday soon?" I bit my tongue so I wouldn't say anything compromising and let Husband answer. "Umm, we have to do maintenance at work so I don't have time for holiday. But once that's done and the other project we're working on I'll try to take some time off." Try, nice. I almost started screaming.

This pattern has been going on as long as I've known Husband. It's always been this month that's busy, this project that needs to be finished and after that it will be more laid back. Needless to say that it's never been the case. I don't know how long I was naive or just wanted to believe. Today the only thing I wonder is how Husband still talks the same crap after all these years and expects me to swallow it. It makes me feel that he thinks I'm stupid. If I take it up with him the reply I get is always the same: "I'd like to be at home more but I don't have a choice. I just have to do this." That's even bigger crap.

So happy holidays for everybody who has one. Judging from the pics in Facebook it looks nice. I'm not mad at you guys, I'm mad at myself for choosing the wrong Husband.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Just like mom

Mom in the 60's
When I was about six months pregnant expecting Son I passed a mirror with my baby belly and wearing glasses. I had already gained some weight. My Mother looked back at me from the mirror. I thought it was funny and started thinking whether I'm ending up to be like my mom. I always thought I would. As a teenager I looked up to Mother and disliked many things Father did. I was always mommy's girl although I was told repeatedly how I remind people of Father a lot.

Some years ago Mother became ill and when they finally found the reason after examining her for several months she ended up having a big surgery. Mother fully recovered from the surgery but the following depression took her with it. She has never become herself again. When Mother was in the hospital after the surgery I thought that I'm too young to be without my mom. Some time later I realized that she doesn't after all exist anymore. The person I used to know just isn't there, it's a complete stranger talking back to me. For many years we have been hoping that she would get better and at the end we realized she doesn't even want to. The depression has become a perfect shield for her and an excuse for not doing anything she finds displeasing. She never returned to work and stopped taking care of herself. She does exactly the same things every day. The sadest thing I find still is that she isn't reliable anymore. The amount of mumbo-jambo she speaks is astronomical and she seems to have lost her ability for empathy.

I felt sad for a long time, then I sort of let her go. I accepted that she's gone. We meet regularly and there are better days as well, but there's no going back. There's something good in this too, I think. I guess I've become more independent. And I understand that all those people were right: I'm quite much like Father. Not only do I look like him, we're alike personality-wise as well. Whether that's a good or bad thing is still a mystery for me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The caffeine addict is happy

The first shot
I mentioned some time ago that for me waking up in the morning requires coffee. Which is sometimes easier said than done taken how handy I am.

I've been brewing my morning coffee with Sister's old coffee machine lately. Because my old espresso maker wouldn't work with our new induction plates. Because I broke the pot from our other coffee maker. And because I didn't know what kind of coffee maker I would like to have and I certainly didn't have any money to buy one of those. Sister's coffee maker sucks but I've considered bad coffee to be my punishment for breaking the pot.

I've been surfing and reading reviews for different espresso makers lately but it's been only for fun basically. Until there was suddenly a delivery guy on the door today in the morning. It was a package for Husband, we get those quite often. This one was huge though. I was home alone because Father had just picked up Daughter. I noticed first a bit later that there was a "best in coffee" logo on the box. Husband doesn't drink coffee.

The sneaky bastard had ordered an automatic coffee machine for me! That's something I would have never guessed. I was supposed to assemble some book shelves today but the delivery guy somewhat changed my plans. I set up my new friend instead. And I like it a lot after the first impression. It's a Philips Saeco Intella (the type is HD8751) and makes basically espresso, brew coffee, hot water and milk froth from beans or pre-ground coffee. If someone's interested, I can review it a bit more after I've gotten used to it a bit more.

Then a thought came into my head: I think Husband is trying to make up for something. First the christmas present and now this. I don't know if I'm right, if I'm just being paranoid or if Husband is sneak-reading my blog.

P.S. Not that I would be able to drink morning coffee right now. Yeah, the morning sickness kicked in. I almost threw up my breakfast on Father's shoes today when he came to pick up Daughter. Ironic, huh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Forever engaged

Photo: mynewsviews.com
Sister is getting married next summer. So is her fiance's brother. The problem is that the other (not Sister, she seems rather reasonable so far) bride-to-be is a big, fat bridezilla whose world collapsed when she heard that there's another couple getting married on their summer. The drama is huge and we enjoy it with Husband on the front row eating popcorn and cotton candy. At the same time we keep telling each other how great it is that we organized our whole wedding in one month.

I've understood that the bridezilla couple has been engaged for a longer time already planning their perfect wedding. That's absolutely not what we did with Husband although we were engaged for a couple of years before we finally got married. I actually thought that Husband didn't want to get married at all. It didn't bother me per se but seemed still a bit odd because I sort of proposed to myself at the time. For some reason though it felt stupid to be engaged without any plans of getting married. Just being together without exchanging rings would have been fine to me even though we had a kid. I started to wonder why.

I've known two kinds of couples who have been engaged for several years without getting married. First type is the bridezilla couple. They often have a date set already though so that everything would be perfect. Some of them find it hard to find the perfect date. Then there is the couple who gets engaged but doesn't plan at all on getting married for some reason. One of these couples I know was engaged for ten years, then they broke up. I think I just didn't want to belong to either group, I wanted to get things done nice and effective. Not that it bothers me if someone else does.

The bridezilla couple we are following now is planning on getting married in Italy to maximize the attention they get. Sister is pissed off and is considering not to attend. Bring more popcorn!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Luxury or neglecting the kid?

Photo: stmeduc.org
I mentioned on the Facebook page lately how Son thought I'd lost Daughter when I turned up alone to pick him up from daycare. I must remind him of this sometime many years later. Daycare for small children has been a huge discussion in Finland for a long time already. Some people speak for daycare in kindergarten, some for taking care of the kids at home. Everyone seems to have equally one-eyed arguments and I'm dead tired of the conversation. Kids and families are different, and I just wish someone would realize that there are different needs as well.

I hated going to daycare when I was a kid. It was horrible, and I don't even know exactly why. I didn't have any friends. I still have very few. I had a feeling all the time that I was in a wrong place or in someone's way. Probably I was just the odd girl who wouldn't adapt. I guess I still am.

When Son was born I had my own experiences about daycare in mind and decided to keep him at home. However, as about 2,5 years old he started to seem bored at home and wanted to play with other kids. Daughter was just a baby, she didn't qualify as good company. So we decided to put Son in daycare for half-time. Now he spends his mornings in daycare and has a blast. For Son the benefits have been obvious. He's started to speak fluent Swedish (it's a Swedish-speaking group), he's learned to play with other kids, he's learned to function in a group and knows nowadays a bunch of songs and other stuff I'd have never thought of learning him. I'm surprised. Because, although I really needed help with the everyday life, I somehow felt guilty. I still notice I'm quite keen on defending my decision if someone's asking about it.

I notice also that I'm talking about my decisions like this wouldn't have anything with Husband to do. Well, he has let me understand that he wants to have the kids at home. So that I take care of them, not him of course. Between the lines he lets me know that I'm not doing my job if I can't manage to take care of the kids and our home by myself.

No matter what, I've decided that I hereby don't give a rats ass about what Husband thinks I should or shouldn't do about the kids' daycare. I think Husband doesn't even try to understand my point of view and my situation. That's why I applied yesterday for full-time daycare for both Son and Daughter.

Let's see how this works out. At the end I just want to remain sane. And I might again have soon a baby to take care of. By myself.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The pregnancy glow

It really is there
I mentioned on the Facebook page that I forgot that I'm pregnant. That's the first time it's happened to me during my pregnancies. My first thought was "oh you little thing, I'm not forgetting you although you're already number three". The next thought was that I'm thinking it's a boy. Don't ask why, I've never had a sixth sense about that. It wasn't until Daughter was actually born that we knew we had a baby girl coming.

I'll probably have soon an educated guess about whether it's a boy or a girl. Because: when I was expecting Daughter, after one or two weeks from where I am now in the pregnancy (6 weeks) I got so nauseaus I couldn't get out of bed in the mornings. That lasted for a month. I didn't suffer anything like that when I was expecting Son.

I've never been the glowing expecting mom who's having the time of her life during pregnancy. I've been sick all the time suffering from all the imaginable conditions a pregnant woman can have plus I have gained a huge amount of weight both times. So that's probably what I can reasonably expect this time as well.

If I've mentioned my terrible feelings to Mother she has instantly replied gladly how she didn't suffer from anything at all and was in the best imaginable condition while being pregnant. So that's it about any motherly support. Fortunately Best Friend has been equally sick and unhappy when pregnant so she knows what I'm talking about. When she heard that I was pregnant the first thing she said was "you rabbits!", the second was "well you'll be sick then for the next 9 months, congrats". I just love her.

So ask me again in one month. I guess I don't keep forgetting anymore that I'm pregnant. If not the nausea, headache, sore breasts, contractions from week 20, general ache in every muscle, stomach acids jumping into my throat, swollen limbs and a kickboxing baby won't do the trick I'm sure the weight gain will.

P.S. Guess what Husband wanted to find out the most when we had this picture taken the other day? He wanted to be sure that there is only one baby in there. Why? He doesn't want to change the car.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Handy Housewife has a traditional profession

Grandpa and the bread in the 70's
I used to work in a supermarket as a teenager, my job was to bake ready-made, frozen breads, pies and pastries. What I did was put them in the oven from the gigantic freezer and then slip them in small bags for the customers. So not a baker job indeed but it gave me some pocket money. The funny thing was that my grandpa used to have a real bakery nearby sometime in the 60s and 70s. He was a proper oldschool baker who got up 3 AM and baked rye bread day in day out. Naturally my Father had a blast when I started my "baker" job and joked about it constantly.

Quite soon after I'd started working in the supermarket I got old ladies and gents coming to me carefully studying my name tag. After a while they would start talking: "You know what, girl? Long ago, before you were born, there was a bakery near here that was owned by a man with a same name you have. The bakery also carried his name." When I gladly admitted that it had been my grandpa's bakery the old folks were visibly touched: "Oh my, it's fantastic that your fine, traditional professional goes in the family! Good luck to you!" I had the same conversation several times with different seniors. I never had heart to tell them what my job was really about.

Father had a blast though when he heard how much my skills were appreciated among the clientele.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stuff I don't do

Photo: appletreelandscaping.biz
I've been whining a lot about how much I have to do around the house. And it's true: everything related to meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundry or the dishes falls on my plate and it takes all of my time. Most of the stuff is also such that I can't really leave it undone either. When Husband goes to bed in the evening I normally stay up and do laundry. And sure, I should be more relaxed about housework. It's just that I hate living in a messy home - something that Husband is able to ignore completely. (You should have seen his apartment when he took me there first time when we started dating; but that's another story.) And for us it's a bit tricky to rely on ready meals. So the housework is done by the one who's bothered about it the most - me.

To my great joy I've found a small worm hole to ease my burdain. Because there is some housework Husband can't ignore. Hooray! Especially now that we moved into a villa there are things he actually cares about. And once I've noticed which things Husband can't leave undone I won't most certainly make even the smallest effort to do them myself. Exactly like Husband's acting with the abovementioned work.

So this is what I don't even consider doing around the house:

- Moving the lawn. May it become a jungle, I don't care.
- Ploughing snow. Spring will take care of that in June at the latest.
- Cutting the kids' hair. Husband bought a machine for it, I pretend I don't know how to use it.
- Changing batteries to kids' toys. I've managed to profile Husband as the "battery expert".
- Anything that has something to do with electronic devices or any technical stuff around the house. Husband is an engineer so He Knows Best.
- Barbeque. Also very technical, the only reason why Husband will do anything cooking-related.

I'm totally happy when Husband takes responsibility over something and it wouldn't even cross my mind to interfere with his doings. Some of his tasks aren't really mandatory though. ("I have work to do - I must program a system so that we can put the sauna on with an SMS.") Sure enough, many of these things are such that it would be impossible for me to do them while the kids are around - which they always are. They are both so small that they need to be supervised all the time, especially Daughter. Our house is also by a heavily trafficked road so our yard is not safe for the kids to play.

Every time I notice that Husband is doing something voluntarily around the house I get high hopes: maybe he's realized that I can't do everything by myself. I don't know if that's true but at least there's been improvement. I don't need to nag anymore about doing the groceries. We don't discuss anymore about whether the house needs to be cleaned or not.

What's the struggle about housework like in your family? Or is there one?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We all are still young

Photo: thegospelcoalition.org
My uncle has died. We weren't any close, he wasn't exactly a young lad anymore and with his drinking habits it's a wonder that he lived this long. So I'm not devastated in any way. What worries me though is that I have to take Son to another funeral now. We've had unfortunately many funerals lately, and Son seems to be bothered about them.

Son has become lately somehow really sensitive. He asks a billion concerned questions, he's generally worried about everything and everyone and expects something bad to happen at once if anything goes wrong. I don't really know if it's his personality, if the funeral boom has something to do with it or do three-year olds generally go through a phase of astronomical worrying? Do you know?

Son's first experience about death was last summer when my parents' old dog died. Son was very fond of the old pal and we discussed a lot about what it means that he died. After some time Son seemed to somehow understand what had happened and accepted it. Unfortunately right after that the funerals started coming and we needed to discuss the same thing all over again many times. Despite of a lot of talking and reading a related children's book I somehow sense that the repeated losses left a feeling of uncertainty in Son.

Once we were having lunch with the kids when Son asked if Daughter is going to die sometime. Oh my. How to answer, what to say? I wouldn't want to upset him more than necessary but neither do I want to lie (I still have way too bad conscious about the Father Christmas thing). As a member of no church I told Son that all people and animals do die some time when they become very old. But, I then added, there's no need to worry about that because we all are still young. Very young.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh schmuck!

Photo: americaexplained.wordpress.com
I'm absolutely no lady when it comes to language. I swear a lot. Usually I blame an old friend of mine of this habit - she taught me to drink tequila as well. But I'm of course trying to be a responsible adult and swallow the ugly words when the kids are present. Not least because I don't ever want to hear that Son has taught the entire daycare group to say shit and fuck.

If I get really angry an occasional fuck may find its way out. Same thing goes for Husband (he just gets angry a lot). It's just that I haven't quite found a good vocabulary yet to express my true self in front of the kids. Fake sweardoms (the "oh schoot"'s and similar) haven't worked for me ever. They just don't do the job. A good old "AAAARGH" is quite functional, that one I use a lot. Ok, I once went to Facebook and aired my head to an ugly status update but I'm not proud of that one either.

So what to do? I think it would be good to express oneself somehow in front of the kids so they would get a decent model as well of what to do when one gets pissed off. Anyone?

If nothing else I want a device that pixels my mouth and beeps all the inappropriate stuff.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Apartmentwife

They're ugly as hell but so comfortable. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

When I grew up with my parents we lived in a villa. I never liked the work that needed to be done outside the house so I happily moved into an apartment when I got my first job. And I loved it: in winter I didn't have to care about ploughing snow or sanding the pavement, in summer I didn't have to move the lawn or care about gardening otherwise either. Gardening means epilation and waxing to me anyways, not growing flowers or veggies. And living in the city center was a dream come true to me: everything was near within walking distance and the public transport took me where else I ever wanted.

So when Husband started insisting that he wanted to move in a villa I was really sceptical. Not least because he wanted to move to the countryside but mainly because he was never at home and I had too much to do already. But he kept insisting and telling me how it's "better for the kids to live in a proper house". Husband's idea was to move to a city where we knew absolutely no-one. His drive to work would have been shorter from there. That's about where the benefits ended. After a huge amount of fighting I managed to negotiate a deal that we would move in a villa but stay in the same city and live near my parents. So we moved to the suburb, to a "proper house".

Husband seems happy here although he'd prefer living in the countryside. I'm bored to death and would like to move back to the city center - but I guess I'll adapt. And this new form of living has activated Husband a bit at home. More about that a bit later!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Let's go to Facebook

Photo: wordstream.com
I did something I've been considering for a while already: I put up a page in Facebook for this blog. Not so much because I'd want to share my posts in there but because quite often stuff comes up in my mind that I'd like to share but I don't think it's worth a blog post. You know: something that the kids say or do, something I say or do, something that Husband says or does.

So join me on Facebook as well and like Bree Bronson's Babies page! From now on I'll share some stuff in there as well regularly, most often something else than what I've published here.

First up is Son's view about appropriate free time  activities for three-year olds.