I am on vacation in Vancouver, and have not had a chance to post since my hands are forever busy with holding Emma. At home, I have all sorts of devices to entertain her, including the absolutely necessary device for regular blogging: a baby hammock. I put her in the hammock, and move it up and down with my left leg, while balancing the laptop on my right leg. This allows me to blog and work on my left hip flexors at the same time. (I tried to change legs, but I can't balance properly the other way around). Here, at my parents' place, I don't have a single place to put her down safely, so I have improvised one out of a plastic bathtub with blankets on the bottom, and now we also rented a car seat that I can rock her in - Graco again :( but at least this one has a button to fasten the straps. Next time I am bringing my own stroller and car seat, I realize that I might be charged an arm and a leg to bring them, but I need them for my freedom of ...expression...makeup...washing my hair...making coffee...eating with two hands.
Emma is an absolute pleasure though, she has good control over her hands, which she puts in her mouth at every given moment, not realizing that if you shove them in too deeply they make you gag. She still hits me and herself once in a while with her flailing hands when she is too excited, but this does not happen as often as before. Her hands are warm, and she hugs with them nowadays, which is the best feeling in the world! Her diaper rash is gone, and I have found a good diaper cream that is ok to use with cloth diapers (when using cloth diapers, they recommend that no zinc oxide be used since it creates a waterproof barrier on the cloth, defeating the purpose of the diaper). She has clear skin and bright eyes, and generally is a beautiful, happy little girl. And she talks up a storm. I have figured out the meaning of "nga" which is "food", and "na" which is "I told you so".
As for myself, I am also doing well. I had a couple of fights with my grandmother when I first got here (my grandma is staying with my mom until the end of November, visiting from Romania). Grandma has fixed ideas about what is food and what is not food. Apparently, my breakfast consisting of cooked rye kernels or steel cut oats, banana and walnuts, or my lunch made up of almond milk+banana+protein powder+spinach+berries smoothie do not constitute food, and I will become anemic, or die, plus I don't need to lose weight, why am I losing so much weight, women are more beautiful fat, etc, etc... I have endured this for two days, gently telling her that people eat differently, and that I am still very far away from fitting into my normal clothes, but she got more and more vocal, and even mean, telling me that that's why I am not making milk for Emma, as in I am irresponsible towards my daughter. In the end I snapped at her and told her that I am eating whatever I want, she can eat whatever she wants, and that if I hear one more word about my food I am leaving back to my house. That shut her up and life is good.
I have lost two more pounds since I am here. I don't know how much I actually weigh, since mom has two scales, one shows 180 lb, the other one 170 lb. The one at my house is right in the middle, at 175 lb, or it was before I left. I guess scales really differ a lot. As long as I am not gaining, that is all that matters. I was very worried about being out of my own element and not in control of what is on the table, but I told my mom before I left home that I am only coming under two conditions: one, that no pizza be made in the house while I am there, since I cannot help myself it it smells so good in the whole house. Two, that my grandmother leave me alone (because I knew that her favourite obsession is with what I eat). I solved that problem myself. In fact, this morning my grandma had the same breakfast as me, at her request: rye kernels with milk and banana. I guess the curiosity killed the cat.
Our priest came to the house to read a prayer for Emma and myself, so that I can enter the church at the time of the baptism. I did not know that I was impure and unclean after giving birth, especially since I have showered daily since, but hey, if that is the tradition, that is the tradition. Orthodox religion is very old fashioned, and tradition is deeply rooted in the ceremonial parts, so if you want the sandwich you have to like the bread as well. The good part is that he left us with some holy water that I can use to wash her face with in the morning, and also to drink for myself, and I like to believe that it will increase my milk supply. I do believe in holy water since I was three, and that is not about to change anytime soon.
Yesterday I went to Lululemon (my latest obsession) and got my pants hemmed (I buy online, extra long, and hem them myself until I can get to the actual store and get them professionally hemmed). I left Emma with MrH at the bookstore, and had half an hour of freedom. I bought two pairs of tight pants (the kind that are tight all the way to the bottom of the leg, hence you must be skinny to wear them, which I am not but I will be) and a pair of shorts. I must have tried on everything in the store, because one of the shop attendants looked at me and said "you're still here? you have a problem...". I thought, yeah, my problem is that I live so far away from any real shops and I can only buy stuff online, hence when I get to a place where I can touch the stuff and feel it, it is like I am living in a three dimensional world again (instead of my usual two-dimensional one).
Well, Emma is awake from her nap, so I got to go. I promise to blog daily for the rest of the week, in order to atone for my absence.