warriorsavant: (Staten Island Ferry)
Haven't been posting for a few days, because was away. Updating in 2 parts because is rather long, although quite fun. The following announcement had been sent out, and duly responded to:
To all her loyal subjects:

Her Royal Cuteness, Princess Wiggles (a.k.a. Hedgefund) will be paying a Visit of State to her Dominion of the City of New York July 22-25, for the purpose being presented to her Grandfather, as well as giving Audience to Sundry Relatives and Admiring Subjects.

She will be attended by her Household Guard (a.k.a. her parents, me and Nom), and staying in the Royal Suite (or something) at Hotel Chandler.

(For Her Highness)
Warriorsavant

Tuesday )

Wednesday )

More tomorrow.
warriorsavant: (Me-cafe)
“Everyone” says that when you have a baby, you immediately cease to do “grown up” things like brunch. Well, not really. Just go earlier. Rather than going at 2-3 in the afternoon, you go as soon as the place opens, at 10-10:30.

Actually, going at 2 or 3 (or even 4) in the afternoon never made sense to me for a couple of reasons. First, I’m “old school.” (Yes, children, people have been doing brunch long enough for there to be an “old school;” brunch is wayyyyy, no longer avant garde.) As such, I note that “brunch” is a portmanteau word (points if you know the originator and derivation of that phrase), composed of “breakfast” and “lunch,” and therefore should happen halfway between the normal times those meals are served, which means it should happen mid-morning. The exception is if you actually are a jazz player and work all night then sleep until noon or so. If you otherwise keep those hours, good on you, but if you boast about them, you are not a jazz player, you are a douche (something I try to avoid being). If a meal happens mid-to-late afternoon, it should then be “lupper,” or “linner,” or some such neologism. Second, by 3 in the afternoon, the brunch places are all too full. I’ve never understood the charm of going out to socialize with people I actually like, and being somewhere that’s too noisy to talk to each other.

So going to brunch at 10:30 with your paramour and your baby is ideal. It’s quiet, you get to actually converse with someone you like, you eat really good food, and there’s enough room for the stroller without annoying other patrons (I did mention that “avoid being a douche” thing, did I not?).

We went to EVOO, which is only a 5-minute walk from where we live. They do upscale/updated versions of ordinary dishes, and they do them very well. I’m bored with most places that try to do that; they usually end up being too clever for their own good, and the food is disappointing. Not at EVOO. I had a kind of club sandwich, with the chicken being a confit cooked in duck fat and homemade mayonnaise. Nom had asparagus and eggs. Hedgefund had already eaten at home, so simply sat around and looked cute. Often, when Nom and I are eating, she likes to join in the conversation, but she was being shy and didn’t say much. She started to get a little fussy while we were waiting for our food, so I picked her up and walked her around ‘till she calmed down. We then reclined the stroller and she took a little nap until we finished eating and got her home (where she made up for lost time on the conversation). By going so early, there were few dinners, we had plenty of room to walk her around, and we could hear each to talk to each other.
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
It's not a holiday here. Feels like I should be off today, not just because or the US holiday, but I'm not, so heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work I go.

There used to be a US ex-pat social/business networking club in Montreal, and I once or twice did things with them on the Fourth, but usually don't pay it much attention. For overseas Americans, the most American holiday seems to be Thanksgiving, although I don't know why.

A cousin of Nom's is getting married tonight, so extended family coming in from everywhere, with the first get together having been last night. I'm starting to recognize some at least by face, as seeing them once/year. (Will be inflicting my family on her in a couple of weeks). Brought Hedgefund with us to show her off introduce her to her extended family. (Also good for her to start being around other people.) About a million people were vying to pet and hold her; she too it in stride like the fashion model-to-be that she is (that's the career after medical school and before MBA school - no pressure here). Okay, she mostly didn't fuss and cry, and everyone said the appropriate things. She survived, as did I.
warriorsavant: (Space-horsehead nebula)
No, “Botta Botta” is not some Canadian slang for Happy Birthday, although had an amused moment making up a post claiming it was derived from an old Iroquois term.

It was Nom’s Birthday recently (29 years old, since you asked), and I took her to Botta Botta, which is a spa built on an old ferryboat. Very nicely appointed. Each area is rather small, but there are 4 decks of small areas, so overall a lot of different things. There are, for example, saunas, with attendant cold tubs outside them. Perhaps in winter you just go out and roll in the snow on the decks in appropriate Finnish fashion – whose idea was that anyway, and how did they convince a nation of otherwise sensible people this is a good thing? There are pools warm and cool, whirlpooled and still. There is a eucalyptus-scented steam room. There are quiet lounges, a restaurant, and bar. There are views of the city, of the harbor, of the Old Port, some scenic, some not-so-much. There are the massages. Ah, the massages! We’d booked a couples massage, and were a little late, so got the last two masseuses. The people who went first got the young, svelte, cute-looking massotherapists. We were a little late, so we got the last two, who were older and chunkier… and therefore had lots of experience and really strong fingers. Screw “cute” for the massotherapists; “cute” I brought there with me and went home with her. That was about the best massage either of us ever had: perfect pressure, put you into a state halfway between waking and sleeping, left you feeling totally relaxed. Next time I need a professional massage, that’s where I’m going.

I told Nom she could get a massage anytime she wanted at home, but I admit it’s not the same. It’s like my cooking: I’m above average, way better than MacDonalds, but no where near the caliber of, say, Europea. Same thing my giving massages: above average, but no where near that caliber.

She had a good birthday. As it should be. After all, she only turns 29 once (per year).

Tea

May. 25th, 2014 09:36 am
warriorsavant: (Me-cafe)
It wasn’t Fortnum & Mason, but then what is?* Yesterday, we had Afternoon Tea at Birks Café. (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] ecosopher ‘tea & cake’ exists outside Australia.) I’ve mentioned Birks and Jerome Ferrer before.** Nom is on their mailing list, so we had a discount voucher to have tea there. We’re classy, but cheap sensible. To be precise, two of us had traditional tea and cake, the third had her traditional bottle*** (plus a little promenade in Daddy’s arms to look at the jewelry).

Overall, as noted, wasn’t Fortnum & Masson, but for anywhere else was excellent. I wasn’t that fond of the tea itself, as they had a selection of their fancy “wedding teas” which were all a bit too flowery for me. The scones were excellent, not at all dry. Anglophiles everywhere make a big deal about scones, but most of the time they’re dry and sit on your stomach like a rock. We would have preferred a few more sandwiches and canapés, which were great; and a few less sweets, as the endnote was a little cloying. Also, Francophiles everywhere make a big deal about macarons, but they’re just cookies. Initially didn’t look like a lot of food, but were quite full by the end, and really enjoyed the experience.

* Read about it here
**Read about it here
***
Clix for pix )
warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)
Language issues. The problem is that I speak English, and Nom speaks English. (We both also speak French, her better than me, and she also speaks Vietnamese, but that’s all beside the point here.) I speak Man English, and she speaks Woman English, two very different dialects. As in any dialectal difference, there are subtlies in one that do not exist in the other.

Today, Nom sent me out to bring home the bacon. Well, actually lamb chops, salad, and other victuals. I did go to work in the morning to earn money, but the afternoon was food shopping. While out, she asked that I get her sanitary pads. No, not for Hedgefund, she’s growing fast, but not that fast; the pads were for Nom herself. Hadn’t needed in a while, what with that pregnancy thing and all. Realizing that to a man, “sanitary pads” are mysterious and I would not be versed in all the intricacies, she got specific. Apparently they come in thin, extra-thin, regular, extra-regular, heavy, extra-heavy, and I-didn’t-know-the-human-body-had-that-much-blood-in-it. She was very specific which brand and thickness she wanted, even specifying that it came in a lime green box with a dolphin on it. Since it is well-known that even the brightest boy friends are rather dunces, she repeated that several times. I stopped her from finding a color chart or drawing a dolphin for me, and toddled off to the store.

Found the store. Check. Found the aisle with feminine products. Check. Found the sanitary pad section in that aisle. Check. Found her brand. Check. Found her thickness. Check. Found… that one has to sub-specify day, night, short, regular or long. All of them in lime green boxes, none of which had dolphins on them. Fortunately she called me just about then to say they were going on sale tomorrow and I should hold off buying any.

In another related rant: lime green? What’s with female color names? No lime ever grown is the color known as “lime green,” either inside or out. I’ve seen limes (preferably perched on the side of glass of something nourishing). As a Dermatologist, I can distinguish very subtle color differences. Further, as a highly articulate and well-read person, I actually understand the difference between, say, cerulean and azure. Well, understand it intellectually. Deep in my soul, colors, real colors, have names like red, yellow, or blue. Peach is a fruit. (Orange swings both ways.) Persimmon is likely a fruit, although I have no personal experience with one, and wouldn’t recognize it if it were on my plate. Puce simply doesn’t exist in nature. If I saw a puce on my plate, I’d call Ghost Busters.
warriorsavant: (Me-cafe)
Today is Mothers Day. Yet another holiday that was created in good faith to honour* certain people, got hijacked by commercial interests, and now the rest of us give in to said interests/neglect it at our peril.

Bought Nom flowers and took her out to brunch. It's her first Mothers Day as a mother and she deserves all the honour due. I was a bit miffed, after all, it's not Girlfriends Day, it's Mothers Day, and although she is a mother, she is not my mother. It will be okay in the end though. I'm keeping all the receipts for things like this, and handing Hedgefund the bill when she turns 18.

Just kidding about this, of course. Hedgefund actually did arrange for, and pay for everything, putting it on her credit card. I just did the legwork, what with her not being able to walk yet.



*Recently realized that my Autocorrect is Canadian, since it adds the extra "u" to words like "honor."
warriorsavant: (Springtime in Canada)
Perhaps a more accurate title for this post would be “On Names, Pseudonyms, and Confusion. However I like the title, as well as being a poem by WH Auden and a short story by Ray Bradbury.

No one on LJ has a real name, only a nom de blog. Part of that is custom, part is preserving anonymity on-line. I figure there is enough data about all of us floating around cyberspace, that I don’t want to add to it. In addition, not using names is rather a family custom. For whatever reason, we rarely use names of/for our nearest-and-dearest, instead using nicknames, or terms of endearment, or even referential terms (eg: Dad, Favorite Brother, My Sister, or Our Mutual Sister). I know this annoys some people, or is even regarded as rude, but that’s the way we are. (Which, as noted, segués nicely into LJ custom of “no names.”)

Nom, I might point out, is not actually my paramour’s name. I do, however, also call her Nom in real life (I’ve explained elsewhere how that came about), or assorted terms of endearment, rather than Xxxxxx (her real name). Most of my family and friends call her that too. (On the other hand, her friends call her Xxxxxx but her family calls her by her VN name.) She’s gotten so used to how I address her, that I confused her the rare times that I use her real name. She likes facial tissues (a.k.a. Kleenex, but that would be using a brand name as a generic, not to mention using “someone’s” real name on LJ), which not all stores carry. We’re running low, and I mentioned that next time we went shopping, we needed to get some “Xxxxxx-approved facial tissue.” She looked slightly annoyed for a second. “Who was this other woman I was talking about and why did I care what kind of facial tissue she wanted.”

Similarly, we had my decorator friend meet us at one of the houses we are interested in. (Said house is at the very top end of what we can afford, and how much it would cost to fix it up would be an issue if we could even bid on it.) This woman has the nickname in real life of Sky, I’ve known her long enough that I only refer to her that way. I’d told Nom we were meeting her at the house, having forgotten that she doesn’t use that nickname professionally. When we got there, Sky stuck out her hand and said, “hi, I’m Yyyyyy.” Nom look shook her hand, said, “I’m Xxxxxx,” then looked at me and said, “I thought your friend Sky was meeting us here.”

Poor Nom. She’ll get used to my ways some day.
warriorsavant: (Me-cafe)
Hedgefund is the ripe old age of 6 weeks. The other day we went out for a real meal in a restaurant. We had gone to our fav crepe place the other week with Nom’s family, but this time was just us. It was almost like a date, or any other grown up activity. We went to lunch at Shodan, a really good sushi restaurant downtown. Like seemingly all good sushi restaurants in Montreal, the owner-chef is Vietnamese. We had the lunch specials, a sampling of sushi, rolls, yakatori, and tempura. Well, Nom and I did. Hedgefund slept through the whole thing, which was the plan. It was fun. It’s not that we’re longing for the “carefree childless days,” but we both like good food* and nice restos, and this was a chance to enjoy that.

* I have once or twice made decent sushi in my life, but not that level, and my few tries at tempura were pathetic. Overall, as to good food, we are cooking more, and healthier, and tastier than before, but still nice to let someone else do the fine cooking once in a while.
warriorsavant: (Fatherhood (The Cos))
Honey: I tend to call her "honey.... " That is, honey bunny, honey bean, honey bear, or just honey. Which is odd, as I don't like honey all that much. In the late sixties, honey was a "thing" (wasn't everything then?), but in fact, I only like it in limited doses.

Houdina: Another one of her (many) new names: The Great Houdina. It is amazing how easily she escapes from even the best swaddles. Don't get me wrong, she likes being swaddled. She also likes wriggling out of it. I suppose the swaddle is just a challenge for a performer of her caliber; maybe we need to advance to padlocks and chains... well, that will come when she thinks she's going to start dating.

Wriggling: As stated, she is doing more of it now. Not surprising, as she's all grown up, which is to say almost 3 weeks. She can't crawl, but before I could leave her unattended on my desk (it's a big desk) for a minute. However, now she wriggles enough if she's not very well swaddled, that I'm afraid she could wriggle herself over the edge of the desk.

Girls & boys: At that party for her 6-year old cousin, it was a Princess theme. All little girls (and some grown up ones like Nom) love being Princesses. One of the mothers also brought her 11-month old boy. He looked confused by the events. Don't worry, young'un, you'll get older, and girls still won't make any sense to you. Do doubt Hedgefund will enjoy befuddling her male admirers soon enough (or her female ones if she turns out to be gay). As I've said, and not just talking as the doting father who will always find her beautiful, she does have a fair chance to be striking looking when she grows up, with her mix of features.

Eurasian: An old term, is it not? I tend to like old terms, but I'll pass on this one, much like no longer saying half-breed or mulatto. "Eurasian" does have a nicer and exotic ring to it. However back when that term was in vogue, it was rather a term of derision. She is mixed White and Asian; as such, in modern society, she will be slightly exotic, not an outcast.

Condoms: One of the bottles we tried (the Playtex) had a collapsible, disposable liner. It looked like a giant condom. The bottle didn't work well, but it's never too early to teach them to use precautions in all things.

Pseudcyesis: A couple of years back, I had some severe shin splints, stopped running, and put on some weight. I got some of it off, but all during Nom's pregnancy, there was 5-10 pounds that just wouldn't go. Within a week of her giving birth, most of it went away.
warriorsavant: (Fatherhood (The Cos))
Two outings:
   Hedgefund is moving out into the world. Literally. Went out yesterday and today. Parents often make a big deal about having to pack a "diaper bag." To me, that is simple and easy. Must be my Army background: "keep your gear packed and ready at hand, when you have to go, just grab it and go." In this case, diapers, bottles, wipes, etc, not maps and ammo, but same principal.
   First outing was yesterday to the Pediatrician for the 1-week visit. (One week! My they grow up so fast. ^_^) All went well. The Ped made the appropriate noises about how cute she is and growing so well, etc. "I bet they say that to all the parents," but Nom very pleased. I was more pleased that exam was thorough and nothing heinous found.
   Today went to Club Prix. Seems we are now going to need the diapers, wipes, etc in industrial quantities, plus a few other items for general household use. Did she enjoy it? Of course. She's all girl; we were going shopping. (To be honest, she mostly slept through the experience.)
   Bottom line, managed to get her around locally and none of us died from it. Strangest thing was Nom getting into the back seat. Kept almost telling her to get into the front, then catching myself b/c of course she is getting into the back next to Hedgefund.

Clothes horse to be:
Hedgefund is rather small. Don't know if she'll get my height eventually, but for the moment, she has Nom's lovely petite frame. This is all fine and well, but even the smallest sized baby clothing is a bit too big for her. She squirms out of the arms and legs and gets tangled up. Maybe she's a future nudist*. Nom loved shopping for baby clothes for her, but we're fine with mostly having used clothes from family and friends. When she's older (girl? preteen? teen?) maybe she'll be all girly and Nom can enjoy going shopping with her. On the other hand, maybe her adolescent rebellion will be becoming a Tomboy. It's all good.


*LaJ, before you decide to celebrate, gotta warn you, she hates Led Zeppelin.
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
Mother & Child. More than just a rock song or a renaissance art motif. The child is 5 days old, the mother is, uh, twentynineteensomething.

20140317 5 d old-mother&child
warriorsavant: (HHG-Throne of fruit)
Two years ago, on this most blessed of days, Nom and I met. How could it be otherwise, with our Irish roots. Well, to be honest, I'm only Keltic in spirit, but her people came from the County Saigon. (If you're not familiar with it, head east-southeast from Dublin. Keep going 14000 Km or so.)

Actually, it was a coincidence that we met on St. Patrick's Day, but it seemed to have worked. Fast forward 2 years, and baby makes three. In honor of both events (our meeting and St. P's Day), we were going to have sushi. Little known fact is that sushi was originally peddled through the streets broad and narrow by Molly Malone. However, what with her having died of a fever, and no one could save her, neither Molly nor her sushi were to be found (and besides, Nom decided she wasn't in the mood). So instead, I made some Irish Stew for dinner. (With Guiness, you ask? Oy, such a question. Of course with Guiness.)

Anyhow, we wore green clothing, ate the stew, and toasted the day. Sláinte!
warriorsavant: (Fatherhood (The Cos))
Hedgefund. Born this day at 1612h, 2885 g (6 lbs 6 oz).

The active part of labor (the part where she had to push, not sure what the right term is) went about 2-1/2 hours. The epidural takes the edge off, but doesn't completely block the pain.

Had jotted posts during the process (5 of them) just unmasked them, if you care.

Right now mother asleep, dad sitting back with cool manly detachmentvery gushy but no longer tearing up, baby absolutely beautiful. (I am of course being entirely objective. If she weren't the cutest, most wonderful baby in the world, I would be the first to say so.)

Pix to follow eventually, but at the moment she has both our eyes, which is to say blue but with epicanthic folds.
warriorsavant: (Fatherhood (The Cos))
Dilated to 8 cm at last exam an hour ago; likely will be fully dilated (10cm) at next exam in another hour. Nom was stuck at 4 cm all of yesterday and last night. However, since the epidural got properly working, and they could properly jack up the oxytocin, things have been progressing at the classic 1 cm/hr. I realize that is only an average, but no progress (earlier) is no progress. Our Obstetrician is the on call staff doctor today. (This is good, she is both pleasant and competent, and even if the resident will actually be doing the work, we're very happy to have her around.) Earlier, whe there was no progress, she said pleasant, "I promised you we'd get this baby delivered while I was on call, so if there's no progress soon, we'll have to discuss what to do." This was said in the pseudo-jovial tone that medical people use on call. Since I'm medical also, I recognize it, and also recognize that meant, 'we're going to be looking at a C-section if things don't progress.' Was not happy with that thought, but of course would have had to do whatever was necessary.
warriorsavant: (Fatherhood (The Cos))
This is being masked for now, will unmask soon.

Am at hospital right now. Saw Ob yesterday who noted lack of progress, over 40 29,  past due date...so time to induce. She put Nom into the queue, and hospital called us this AM. Just checked in, the nurses are doing their thing.

Likely will put a prostaglandin gel on the cervix to dilate it, which takes usually 12 hrs, then IV oxytocin, which induces the labor proper.

Stress level went up after Ob visit. Not because of the induction (medical procedures don't scare me), but because it is suddenly about to happen. Pregnancy is a gradual change, bringing home a baby isn't. I suppose it's still theoretical until am holding Hedgefund in my arms, but feels much, much, more real.
warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)
When I was first on Active Duty with the Marines on Okinawa, camouflage had recently come in as standard for field uniforms (as opposed to the prior Olive Drab). When I got back to the US, there was a "fashion" of camouflage pattern clothing. I admit that it looked as better as tight jeans on a hot young women than as baggie pants on me, but I couldn't help but be a bit contemptuous. Wearing cammies as fashion statement? Oh puh-lease!

However, I am adjusting my view on that lately. "Someone," who is rather pregnant at the moment, no longer fits into her coat. The only thing that fits her is my old camouflage field jacket. It's fairly warm (not on a par with her top-of-the-line Canada Goose coat, but warm enough right now). It's an permissible as a fashion statement if it's your boyfriend's old field jacket (as opposed to paying way too much money in a boutique). Have to admit it looks way sexier on her than it does on me.
warriorsavant: (Venice)
Yes, today is Hallowe'en. That day when we celebrate by decorating everything in images of bloody body parts, extort presents, and otherwise strike terror in the hearts of men. ("men," not "people") I'm sorry that Nom is physically uncomfortable these days (what with being 10-11 months pregnant), but at least I get out of having to go out for an over-priced and ridiculously-themed restaurant meal. I've already bought the chocolates (see post last weekend) and will make her a nice meal at home, and suffer thru some chick flick. Not great, but beats having back surgery which is what I did last year to get out of it. Maybe I'll get really lucky and Hedgefund will come early. Probably won't happen. Kids! Never do things at convenient times.
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
Today starting my office late and finishing late. Hanging out with Nom, studying and doing organizational a stuff. (Between running my office, academia, and running my life, "stuff" takes up a lot of time.) Just made a spiced mocha: big cup of dark roast coffee, lots of chocolate powder, some cinnamon and crushed cardamon pods. Nom, coffee, chocolate... all very yummy.

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