Archive for June, 2011

Because of what happened to me after the birth of Baby Piglet I didn’t get chance to feel like a Mum for the first five weeks after her birth, but yesterday I really felt different and like a Mum for the first time.

Not being able to care for my baby caused a certain frustration for me and I think put some distance between Baby Piglet and I, as I was only feeding her, not actually caring for her.

Now that I am up and mobile I get to do so much more with her. I can carry her and rock her gently to sleep without yelping in pain scared to death that I’m going to drop her.

I’m finally able to interact with her, to show her the world and care for her, although I’m being careful to share her with her Daddy and Grandparents as I’m rather tempted to keep her all to myself! Although exhausted and still in some pain when I sit or stand for too long, I am the happiest person on Earth.

Yesterday was the first time I went out without her for more than a quick dash to the supermarket. I was gone longer than expected as I had my first appointment with a midwife here for my pelvic floor & abdominal re-education. The appointment lasted forever as the midwife decided it was too early to start and wants me to see a psy as well.

I knew there was some crazy in my head shell but maybe not as much as she saw. Seriously speaking, she thinks I’m traumatized about what happened especially as I keep having nightmares that the compresses were Baby Piglet’s twin and I gave birth a second time.

I have realized that I have to move on for Baby Piglet’s sake, no more pulling the curtains over my eyes (or hiding behind the blinds as Mr Piglet says). I’ve been denying what has happened since we moved in to the new house, thinking I could put it behind me, using the excuse that my medical records have not arrived yet therefore stalling me from doing anything but my frequent nightmares show that the problem is lingering and needs to be addressed.

I have also started talking to Baby Piglet and have explained to her what happened and why Mummy is sad sometimes. Call me a nut but when she looks at me as if she really understands what I’m saying and I think it’s important that she knows what I’m thinking sometimes so that she doesn’t think I have anything against her.

It’s not just me now but me and Baby Piglet and my first real Mummy decision is to address this head on so I can put it behind us once and for all.

On a lighter note, Baby Piglet and the Grandparent went on a walk and met some of the locals the other day. They were extremely friendly and even came closer so that we could take a good picture:

A friendly neighbour

Fancy some Pastis?

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I am not a domestic goodness. In fact, I don’t even feel like an adult. I feel like a big kid who’s playing house and even has a baby doll to dress up. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) my sheer tiredness and aches and pains prove to me every day that this is real life and not a game. Some things still feel like a game though. Probably because they are new and interesting, such a far cry from life in the city.

We have lots of fruit trees in the garden; red & orange raspberries, cherries, loganberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, apples, 4 different types of grapes, peaches, wild strawberries, walnuts (or brain nuts as Mr Piglet calls them) and mures (which I don’t know what this is in English and Google translate hasn’t been very helpful). Some of our French family pointed out that we had so much fruit we should make jam. We’d never made jam before.

Fruit picking in the Piglet garden (which is rather overgrown!)

As a fan of kitchen gadgets and always on the look out for ways to save time, I’d already spotted that my bread machine could make jam as well, so there would be no standing slaving over a pot for me. I made the most of having guests and quickly managed to organize a competition to get the fruit picking done. Perfect after dinner exercise with ice creams as the prize!

Mr Piglet and I spent the rest of the evening washing & weighing fruit and sterilizing jam jars. We ended up with 2 jars of loganberry, 4 of raspberry, 5 of blackcurrant and 4 of redcurrant. Proud of our accomplishments I quickly sent an email off to my parents bragging of our new domestic goddess status.

Next morning, my Mum had replied asking how we had set the jam. “Set the Jam?” I had no idea!

I quickly ran downstairs (it was 5am in the morning) and looked at a jar of blackburrant jam. It wasn’t jam, it was coulis – it hadn’t set!

Gah! What a nightmare, “what had we done wrong” I wondered? Why didn’t they mention this setting business in the jam recipe in the bread machine book? So much for saving time with shortcuts.

Thankfully most of the other fruits had set which was lucky, so when Mr Piglet woke up we started the process again and thanks to some Twitter research, we reboiled the jam with more lemon juice and this time round tested for setting point. It worked!

So we now have our own jam enterprise with plenty more fruit on the trees but no more jam jars. I now have a valid reason to hoard jam jars.

We have jam!!

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Hello! It’s been a while but boy have we been busy settling into our new home and adapting to life with Baby Piglet. I’ve barely had a chance to get behind a PC and my online time has been limited to Twitter and Facebook on my crackberry whilst I’ve been nursing.

Everything’s going hunky dory and Baby Piglet is proving to be an absolute delight except for when she has a growth spurt and then she turns into a milk monster. I’ve struggled to keep up with her but things are getting better as I get better (yes, I’m still not quite recovered).

Here’s a wee pic of Baby Piglet yesterday in her summer dress that her Gramps bought her:

Baby Piglet at 7 Weeks

Hasn’t she changed? I get quite nostalgic already when I look back at the photos and see how much she has changed and she’s only 7 weeks old!

The house is great. We felt at home immediately and whilst country life is taking some getting used to (more of that soon), we are so pleased to be here despite everything we had to go through to get here.

It took a while to get rid of the old owners and this Wednesday we were finally able to celebrate them vacating the workshop and leaving the property forever. We cracked open a bottle of bubbly after Baby Piglet had gone to bed and I was drunk within a few sips.

Its been great to get lots of help and sit back and watch as friends and family unpack our stuff and help us settle as I look after Baby Piglet and rest. The only downside is that Mr Piglet has discovered the full extent of my hoarding. The garage is full of boxes and the bedroom wardrobes are full and yet there’s still boxes everywhere and they’re all full of my stuff!

I’d managed to hide my hoarding during the packing as my Mum packed most of my clothes (including all the ones that had never been worn and still had tags on) but she’s not arriving until Tuesday and my French family already unpacked them!

I’ve been well and truly caught out and have promised to sell lots of stuff at a car boot or online as soon as possible. I actually felt embarrassed as they unpacked a box of clothes I wore 13 years ago (all in excellent condition though). Now that I’m a Mum I don’t want to hang on to this stuff and am finally ready to leave it behind me. Mr Piglet will be delighted I’m sure!

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Chez nous

Chez nous

Moving day was interesting.

The old owners were still moving out. They were supposed to have given us the keys on Wednesday but weren’t ready. They had a wardrobe to move still which took them 4 hours to dismantle and take out. It wasn’t a big wardrobe either. Words failed me but I no longer care so I watched on amused. No wonder they weren’t ready to move on time – they had made a simple job super complicated!

A few things have stood out for me since we arrived:

  • 1. There are cows (brown and white ones, not Milka ones unfortunately) at the end of the garden.
  • 2. The postman honks when he gets here and then stays in his car. I wondered what on earth was going on this morning.
  • 3. Its cooler inside the house than it is outside, we all need to wear an extra layer, Baby Piglet included! I had been told to expect this but found it hard to imagine. The house is made of pise which in its brut state to me looks like weetabix. Its a traditional building material for old farm houses in these parts and keeps the warm in in the winter and out in the summer. Clever stuff!
  • 4. Storms here are much scarier than in the city.
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    The day has finally come – move in day! We’ll soon be setting off, Baby Piglet, Mr Piglet, our two cats and me. Leaving the in laws house empty of our mess after over 3 months of living with them. We’ll be a small procession of vehicles: a large 23 m3 van, our car with me and Baby Piglet and my in laws. Yes, they’re coming too as I still can’t drive or do much so we need their help.

    I’m still amazed by the amount of stuff I have bought since I left Lyon on 22nd Feb. We struggled to get everything in and I spent the last few hours praying that Mr Piglet wouldn’t come and tell me there was no room left.

    Finally everything is ready and we’re off to finally start our new life in the country. Its not without nostalgia though. We’ve been through such a tough time and it’s only thanks to my in laws that I was able to leave hospital.

    We’ll miss having my Mother in Law on hand to bombard with questions: is this normal? How do I…? Her knowledge has been gained from years working with babies in a creche has been indispensable as Mr Piglet and I tried to find our way around parenthood. Its going to be like coming home from the hospital all over again.

    I still can’t believe this day has finally arrived. It seems surreal.

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