i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

OMG WTH is it with TLAs and MCNs???? August 6, 2009

Hi Oscar,

today is more of a little rant. Rather than a little story.

I’ve been meaning to write to you about the complexities of nappies / diapers, the confusing choices about them, and about what your dad, you and I are doing with respect to them. I’ll get to that. But for today, I’m going to keep it brief (you’re not sleeping well – just seems to be 15 minute cat-naps at the most, so my writing time is limited) and just complain about how hard it is to actually read about, research, get opinions on, and generally make a decision about nappies / diapers!

Why! Because of all the goddam three letter acronyms (TLAs) that are just peppered through discussions on cloth nappies / diapers. “OMG WTH is it with TLAs and MCNs????”

OMG * Oh my God
WTH * What the Hell
TLA * Three Letter Acronym
MCN * Modern Cloth Nappy
MCD * Modern Cloth Diaper

My background in IT and telecoms is actually paying off: notorious for TLAs and undecipherable jargon, the part of my brain that deals with such palaver is getting a right royal workout. However nappy / diaper research is worse than the TLAs in the telecoms industry – not only do you have to have TLAs for every bit and bob to do with a nappy / diaper, when you converse on forums and the like it seems you also need TLAs for each and every family member. I was going ok while I was pregnant – I seemed to be able to navigate the forums I looked at by some guesswork (which I occasionally got wrong, but the general idea was ok)…. To give the uninitiated an idea of what kind of crap TLAs are used, check out the acronyms listed on a baby forum here in Australia. A few examples:

  • DH – Dear Husband
  • DF – Dear Fiance
  • DS – Dear Son
  • DD – Dear Daughter

Getting the idea? Those in your family are Dear… Except for the following people:

  • MIL – Mother in Law
  • FIL – Father in Law
  • SO – significant Other (apparently for if you’re just dating someone, obviously they haven’t quite made the “Dear” grade yet)

Mmmm.. I see a slight bias or bent to these TLAs already.

Anyway, those ones aren’t too hard to guess at, though why the hell anyone would want to continually refer to their partner as DH or whatever, it beats me. I can think of lots of others that could have been used instead given the content of what some of the people were writing about their partners: LAMF*** being one of them. Or perhaps just SGRPP****. Ok, I admit, now I’m just starting to make them up. And I’m getting sidetracked by a rant about the mundane nature of and painfully horrific posts that you find on lots of baby and mum and pregnancy sites (though some of it is great, its just the full spectrum of the population and their problems – better than Dr Phil any day – you can write back!).

So, on top of the already long list of acronyms needed to get through the posts on the mummy/mommy and baby general forums, the nappy / diaper forums take it to a whole new level! And the sites of the nappy / diaper makers seem to go there too – really using the acronyms all over the shop (so to speak) making it almost impossible for a NRAIM (nappy-related-acronym-illiterate-mum) like myself to even attempt to PURCHASE anything in the right size shape or colour. My advice to all nappy / diaper sites: KISS*****. Yeah, they teach that one in my MBA****** course.

Again for the uninitiated, you can read a list of the commonly used nappy-related (diaper-related) terms on an Australian nappy-centric forum (yes, that is if you can pull yourself off the floor and believe that there really is that much to discuss about nappies / diapers- if you see this forum, you’ll see that for some people, it really is endless, though I shouldn’t be surprised, the internet is full of little nooks and crannies with all sorts of people talking in minute detail about all sorts of topics)… Some more examples:

  • MCN – Modern Cloth Nappy; progressing to
  • AI1 – All-in-One
  • AI2 – All-in-Two (is this a misnomer??)
  • BV – Bamboo Velour (mmm! This sounds like something you’d find in a nightclub, could be fun)
  • … the list goes on…

And perhaps my favourite from this bunch in the discussion:

  • AF – “Aunt Flo”

WTF*******?? Even after reading the words behind this acronym I’m lost. Are you wondering like me why people are suddenly referring to Aunt Flo? Is it some kind of Australian-Queensland related thing where people have taken the term to refer to a stereotypical pumpkin-scone baking aunt based on the infamously corrupt Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen‘s wife Flo – famous for her pumpkin scones? That was my first thought on reading the translation . But no, get further and you’ll find that it is in fact a euphemism for the menstrual period. Hence the “flow”. See – it really does go too far, an acronym for a euphemism that is pretty out-there in the first place. My suspicions that people just post on the forums using the acronyms without really knowing what they mean at all were confirmed on reading further into the thread:

“I also use AF all the time and often wondered what it meant. Thanks”

Remind me not to start posting on these forums about my nappies / diapers and using terms and abbreviations that I really don’t know what they mean. Otherwise I might end up saying something I regret.

IMHO I could just spend all day LMAPO about the things other SAHM/SAHDs have written on the fourms IYKWIM. Alas, my DS, you take up too much time munching on my BBs and IME it just takes too much time to work out all the ETLAs in order to decode WTF they are on about most of the time. YABA YABA YABA is all you get.

TTFN Mum ********

P.S. My new task is to memorise at least one of the general abbreviations every day.

*** Lazy Ass Mother Fucker

****Sexist, gender-role-pandering pansie

***** Keep it Simple Stupid

****** Masters of Business Administraion

******* What the Fuck?

******** In my honest opinion I could just spend all day laughing my ass off about the things other stay-at-home-mums / stay-at-home-dads have written on the forums if you know what I mean. Alas, my Dear Son, you take up too much time munching on my boobies and in my experience it just takes too much time to work out all the extended three letter acronyms. Yet another bloody acronynm, yet another bloody acronym, yet another bloody acronym (Translation: Ra Ra Ra or or Yada yada yada) is all you get!

Tata for now. Mum


baby shower, shopping for growsuits, downward pressure and lots of washing May 26, 2009

Hello Big Speck!

Well, its been an eventful few days – all about you and you and you.

Baby shower number two was on Saturday – your wonderful honourary Aunt T & Aunt S (& uncle L) put on an amazing party for you.   Lots of games and fun and people being silly.  It was a mixed affair – so boys & girls and kids as well.  It was quite funny to look around the hall and see at one point everyone with their heads down, concentrating on writing, writing, writing.  Answers to games, and birthday cards for each of your birthdays up to 21.  Pretty cool.   Your dad was the surprise of the day – he managed to win not only the baby food guessing competition, but also the match-the-celebrity-to-their-children’s-names games.  Go figure.  I came last in that one.   Mmm.  However I did win the “how many pieces of toilet paper go around mum’s stomach” competition.   Everyone thought I was being overly optimistic in my estimate (i.e. read they all think I look HUGE and I don’t think I’m THAT big); however on checking my 9 and 3/4 pieces was a perfect fit.   See, I know how big we are.  Your smaller Uncle J managed to catch everyone out many times by getting them to say “baby” out aloud using all sorts of clever conversational tricks, and collected a lot of pegs in that peg-collecting game.   And generally there was lots of laughter and running around.   And eating of tasty dips and treats all prepared by your dad (great hommus, babaganoush, tzitizki, garlic nuts, anzac biscuits -that was me, pita crisps, some kinda meat things that of course I didn’t eat)…  Oh, and how could I forget the “spit the dummy” competition.   Not surprisingly, the men seemed to excel at this one.   It was hard to remember not to eat and spit the dummy at the same time.   🙂

your dad practising baby handling with the baby bjorn

your dad practising baby handling with the baby bjorn

Yes, and we got a great shot of your dad practising baby pacification techniques with the new baby bjorn and an astro boy doll.   He walked around with a fake ‘you’ in the sling for hours.   Not sure I’m with the ‘wine for baby’ method of settling, but we’ll see.  Open to ideas at this stage.

After baby shower action I was totally tired tired tired.   I seem to be that way at the moment.  You are waking at odd hours during the night, I’m waking myself with very strong reflux, and generally its pretty hard to get comfortable with a watermelon attached to your torso.   And the dreams are full-on.  Stressful and all-engaging.  I can’t seem to wake myself from them enough to realise its not real so I lie there for hours not sleeping thinking weird things are going to happen for sure.  Like I’m going to have to have to have a cook-off competition – muffins against some crazy person –  in order to be able to make sure I get all your clothes washed in time for your arrival.   Obviously important issues that my brain is turning over, translating into perfectly logical scenarios in my dreams.  Not.   At least I’m not dreaming you’re an alien or whatever.

So, the ‘getting things in order’ aka ‘Nesting’ bug has set-in.    Its pervading my dreams and my subconsious.   I’ve made it clear to your dad that we need the baby room ready.  We went through all the clothes and things we already had on Saturday night, and made a shopping list.   By listing all the lovely things people had already given us (lots) and working out what we still needed.   Mostly it consisted of mini-grow-suits and nappy buckets and the like.   So we  went off to do that on Sunday.   Shop, shop, shop.   Now, I generally hate shopping centres and shopping, but if I say so myself we did it pretty well,  a few major stops and we stocked-up on size 0000 grow-suits, singlets, a few pairs of socks, nappies (only found flannel soft ones), nappy buckets, a soft thing to put on the change table for you to lie on, vitamins, leaky boob pads, a thermometer for your ear.

So for day one, you’ll have:

  • four (4) – 0000 growsuits with feet
  • 3 long-sleeved 0000 tops
  • 2 -0000 long-pants
  • some socks (not sure how many you need.  We’ll send your dad out for more where necessary)
  • singlets
  • some little short-sleeved suits.  Though its a bit cold for that
  • blankets to be swaddled in
  • two caps/hats for your head to be warm
  • lots of nappies

All necessary baby things.  You got mostly white stuff and some bits of blue and pink.  There really are limited choices.   I’m not sure why its so boring, but there you go.  Stifle them from a young age maybe?   You missed out on new cot sheets as I refuse to pay more for a set of sheets for a 1m baby cot than I would on sheets for our full-sized queen bed.   Thankfully your Aunt R bought some of your cousins old ones over yesterday, so now you have something to sleep on.

On the shopping front – still to go is a baby monitor, and perhaps a breast-pump.   I don’t know how you possibly make a decision about which one of these items to buy – there are lots to choose from, they’re expensive and do you really need polyphonic rhymes on your boobs??  We were looking at these items in a baby shop towards the end of my shopping-attention-span.   I’m obviously confused.  The polyphonic bits were on the baby monitors.   As was the ability to play a CD through them wirelessly.   That is better than our house stereo.   Sorry baby, but that sounds a bit over the top to me.     Anyway, we ended up buying neither of these items – I think I’ll send you dad out when you arrive if either of them prove to be dire necessities.

Your dad has also been doing lots of things to get your room ready.  The cot is now all re-finished and ready to go!

your finished cot

your finished cot

And you?  Well, you’ve been moving around down in there quite a lot.   You and I went to the friendly obstetricians yesterday for our now fortnightly check-up.   All is good.  I peed in the jar, I managed to miss my hand (wooh! that is a good achievement when its hard to see past your belly to what you are doing down there with a little bottle), I’ve got a bit fatter, your heartbeat is dead-on average, my blood pressure is same as always (low).   Best of all, just as your dad and I thought, you have been making your way slowly down down down.   Your head isn’t ‘engaged’ yet, but its certainly lower than it was two weeks ago.  Now I can feel your head bulge right above my pubis bone.  And you kick me less in the ribs than before as you’ve moved down slightly.   So the obstetrician said all of that was a good sign – the moving down and the lots of kicking and moving that you do.   After coming home from the obs office, you seemed to have taken what he said to heart.   Yesterday was actually quite painful as it seems you were trying to worm you way into my nether regions, but they just weren’t quite ready for you yet.  Think sharp twinges and me wondering if you were going to come early.   I went for a very short walk after work and I thought that if I broke into a run (nigh impossible) that you might come flying out.   I’m sure you wouldn’t have, I guess I’m just not quite used to the amount of downward pressure that you have started to exert.   My hips and pelvis got pretty stiff and I couldn’t sit in my chair for work either – I’ve gone to the backwards on chair position, and am alternating with the fit-ball.

washing the baby clothes

washing the baby clothes

And finally.  Its stopped raining (though its still a bit overcast).   And since we have a bunch of new clothes for you, and a bunch of recycled blankets, sheets and other assorted items (care of your Grandma K & Aunt R), its time for washing.  So wash wash wash.  I did three loads of nappies and a load of whites for you yesterday.  While they looked very cute they took an age to hang out – lots of pegs!   Hopefully they’ll all dry today and then we’ll be almost ready to pack a bag for hospital.   But before we do that your dad and I are going to lie in them for a bit, maybe when we sleep, so they smell like us.  Lucky you!  Smelly clothes from day one!  Hopefully then you can get used to us and our smell will be familiar and good.

the first line full of nappies - this will become a common sight at our house..

the first line full of nappies – this will become a common sight at our house..

So.  Today.  Work work work and some more blanket and sheet washing.   Only about 10 loads to go!

Hope you’re well.  Sorry about the indigestion last night – you seemed to suffer through it and wake all night too.   We’re not going to eat rich potato gratin anytime near bed again.   I don’t like vomiting at 2 in the morning any more than the next person.


love you



week 25! 102 days to go. I’m starting to think about things like whether to dispose, nappy system or just good old simple nappies? But mostly I’m still thinking about food. Figs this weekend. March 15, 2009

Heya Speck,

102 days till you’re slated to join us.  Apparently you’re just like a little baby inside my uterus – now you’re just getting bigger and bigger.  I’ve already put on 12-13 kg, so I expect I’m going to go above the averages as everything I’ve read tells me that you just grow a lot from now on.  I can still see my feet.  And I can still see my fanny.  Two things which will apparently disappear soon.   Well, disappear from my normal line of sight.  More ce la vie.  If I get bigger I get bigger. I’m hungry most of the time.  So I eat.  Not bad food, just a lot of it.  I figure you need it.

On the eating front – this weekend its fresh figs.

fresh figs

fresh figs

They are in season, so I bought a box.  Made fig ice cream yesterday, which tastes good but is all the wrong texture.  My ice cream maker (well, actually your grandmother K’s – I stole, I mean borrowed it years ago) has finally given up the ghost.  I’ve been contemplating buying a new one and keep wavering.  But after the fig ice cream taste being so good but texture so bad, I am convinced we need one.  For your sake too – homemade ice cream is sooo much better for you than bought stuff.  Not to mention the taste.  So I’m going to finally invest and buy one with an in-built compressor.  It is just too hot here in Australia to make any more than one batch in the variety that you bowl in the freezer.  And when I make ice cream or sorbet I generally want to make a bit at once.  If I have to do all those dishes, I may as well make it worth the effort.  Yay.   I am looking forward to a new one.  Maybe I can make your dad an ice cream cake for his birthday with at least three different flavours. That sounds like a plan.  You like ice cream too.  I can tell.  That’s why I want to eat it all the time.  More than normal even.  And fresh is better.  So ice cream maker purchase here I come.

fig ice cream

fig ice cream

What else? Well, I have been reading about nappies.  Its all too confusing.  I think I’d like to not use disposables all the time, so I started to look at the difference between plain old old-fashioned nappies, and the new washable nappy systems.   I am now just thoroughly confused.  Think I might buy some of both and see how it goes.  Or how you go. Who knows?  And how do you try to decide between the different brands without trying them?

Hope you’ve enjoyed the figs.  Tonight for dinner is fig, blue cheese, almond and rocket salad.  That is my plan anyhow.

love you