Saturday, May 21, 2011

Proud To Be American

Sure, I moved over 8,000 miles from my hometown to come live in Asia. But that doesn't mean I'm not proud to say I'm an American. Moving out here was something I had to do to change my life. And boy has it changed! However, now that I've been out here for a little while, I realize how many things I took for granted. Things that my friends and family there take for granted as well. It's a different world over here and while I'm happy Raelynn gets to experience this part of it, I don't want her to be trapped here. I want her to know what freedom is. And to have choices. So tomorrow, we fly to Shanghai for a couple weeks so we can visit the US Consulate located there and make her an official US citizen.

Unfortunately, there isn't an embassy or consulate in our city so we had to choose from the two closest...Shanghai or Beijing. We chose Shanghai because we have a wonderful friend there who'd invited us to stay with her. I love Shanghai. Not like I love Seoul of course. But it's surprisingly advanced for China. I almost forgot I was still in China while I was there, quite honestly.

When I first became pregnant, Xiaolong and I had discussed our baby's future. Our baby would be a Chinese American as far as genes went. But what about official nationality? It wasn't hard for my husband to agree with me that our baby deserved the very best. In China, the government treats people like animals, and they respond in kind. People here cut in line, push and shove, relieve themselves in public when there are plenty of restrooms to go to, throw garbage on the ground and a myriad of other offenses. Perhaps I would too if I were born into a country that made it difficult for me to ever advance in life or to ever leave. Xiaolong is one of the lucky ones. He went to South Korea to study and it changed his life for the better, forever. Still, my husband is subject to some, in my opinion, horribly stupid rules from his home land. Chinese nationals must get visas when they go ANYWHERE. China fears its citizens will just leave and never come back. Considering they have a huge population problem, is that really such a bad thing? Anyway, for my husband to leave his country, he must submit a ton of paperwork, prove he's employed and in some cases, put down a hefty deposit to ensure he will return back to China.

The choice for Raelynn was easy for us to make. Sure, we're making this choice for her. But think of all the choices she'll get to make for herself as a US citizen. I think she'll be happy we did this for her. I mean, I do sing her our national anthem and old American folk songs and she never screams during those. In addition to giving her life, we're giving her another precious gift she will always treasure...freedom.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Diaper Fail

Yesterday, we spent the day at the hospital for Raelynn's first checkup. Despite numerous fuckheads trying to touch Raelynn and consequently getting hit (quite hard, actually) by my hand, her checkup went very well. We had left the house with the intention we'd get more diapers while we were out but alas, we forgot. We weren't completely out but we figured we should get more before it's too late. My husband had to run some errands so he decided to pick up the diapers himself. I love him so very much but on this mission, my dear husband FAILED.

By now, I should not at all be surprised about the half-assed nature of people here. Many baby clothes come open at the crotch so the diaper sticks out. The lazy parents here just pull the diaper through the hole while they are out in the street with their child and let the poop and pee fall where it may. These type of diapers LOOK like the ones we know from the states but have NO tabs on them to secure the diaper in place. So you just stick it up against your child's crotch and put the clothes on and hope that it stays put. It doesn't. I know this because MIL bought a pack of these silly things while we were in the hospital (here, you must bring your own diapers to the hospital, believe it or not) and we were quite aggravated with having to change Raelynn's clothes every time she pooped or peed in these diapers. I should mention they DO have the kind of diapers like the US has. These are a little more expensive (about 80 yuan a package, which, depending on the current conversion rate is about $13) but indulge me a moment on my living word problem.

First, a photo:
This Chinese diaper, pictured above, is even worse than the ones with no securing tabs. It has 2 flimsy strings on the left and right which you are to wrap around a screaming, wriggling infant. My husband wanted to try to save some money so he picked up 2 packages of these Godawful things at 22 yuan a piece (that's about $3-$4 each). Xiaolong said that at the store, some woman (apparently a totally stupid one too) told him that these kind of diapers let more air into the area which is better. Is it? Let's see...

Oh thanks, Stupid-Fucking-Nosy-Lady-At-The-Store! Yeah, I see how the air flows through this fucking thing. Air and EVERYTHING ELSE flows through the leg holes, you dolt! There is nothing to help keep the diaper against my daughter's body except that flimsy string which means EVERYTHING leaks out. It also means that since there is no absorbing power, Raelynn now screams EVERY time she wets herself. I do too, because all her clothes and blankets have gotten wet in the last 18 hours. EVERY outfit that fits her and EVERY blanket of hers is now hanging to dry from being washed (and in grand Asian tradition, we have no dryer either). I have her now in a t-shirt and one of the remaining good diapers, incidentally, because I can no longer take washing everyfuckingthing she owns.

I even tried to creatively solve the problem...
I wrapped a second diaper around her. It caught more spills but did not completely stop things from leaking out. And now, my side of the bed has pee on it. Thanks, Honey. I will breastfeed her on your side of the bed from now on so when she pees there, you can understand how much fun it is to sit/sleep in urine. Hooray!

And here, you can see how, even with another diaper tied around her, there is a gaping leg hole, just waiting to leak out poopie and pee pee goodness all over our home.
So to conclude my word problem...we have 2 cheap packages of the crappiest diapers I have ever seen in my life at 22 yuan each, so 44 yuan total. The good kind we had before, Pampers, was 80 yuan. The Pampers had 78 diapers in the package. We opened it on Thursday of last week, so that is almost a week ago. We still have diapers in it. As for these fucked up, moronically designed diapers, the package neglects to state how many diapers are in there. But even if 100 came in each package, we are almost completely finished with the first package AFTER ONE NIGHT. Yes. So how in the fuck is this saving us money??? I'm no mathematician (my friend Romann is so perhaps he can lend his expertise) but I can clearly tell you this is not at all sensible. We'll wind up spending more if we keep buying these shiteous excuses for diapers. Not to mention spend more time doing laundry and more on laundry detergent.

What kind of idiot would make diapers like this? And why oh why would my husband listen to some dumbass lady at the store? He should have invited her mangy ass to come do all the extra resulting laundry I've been enslaved with since he brought these cursed things home yesterday. Bah!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don't Stand So Close To Me

There are a number of things I miss about America, which I'll get into another time. One of those things, which is blatantly missing from China (and Asia as a whole), is personal space. Yes, my American friends back home. Enjoy your personal space. Because here, it is non-existent. It's been annoying to me since I moved out here but I've learned to deal with it the best I can. The problem now of course is that I have Raelynn. Fuck my personal space...hers is much more important.

Actual photo of lack of personal space in Asia, courtesy of Picasa Web Albums. I should add that once in Korea, my husband and I got on a very crowded train during morning rush hour and the man behind him was so determined to read the morning paper he had it shoved up onto my poor husband's shoulder. Also, I've been on trains more crowded than this one. Yeah...ugh.

In the states, I never once tried to touch the hands or feet (or any part) of a newborn or any baby. On several occasions, I was invited to do so but was reluctant. It would never occur to me to be out in a public place, see a stranger with an infant, approach that person and their baby and then attempt to touch the baby without being invited to by the parent. I've been abroad for a year and a half and sincerely cannot recall anything like this happening at home to any of my friends with children.

But here, it happens ALL the time! We all know from my previous posts how I constantly have to remind my own MIL to wash her damn hands every time she goes to pick up Raelynn. Imagine a bunch of unwashed strangers surrounding you at the store, like zombies going in for the kill, mouths gaping, dirty hands extended. I can't believe the balls these people have, though more likely, it is lack of education. Most of these people don't think about germs and how they can be transferred. They're not intending to hurt my baby but what they don't see could make her very sick. To them, they are being kind and friendly and likely, a smidge curious too. To me, unless I see them sterilizing their grimy hands, I go on high alert.

At Gymboree, I actually had to smack an older woman's hand as she reached out suddenly to touch Raelynn, who I had sleeping peacefully in her carrier. I was there for a breastfeeding meeting and was actually speaking with the leader of the group who told the woman in Chinese not to touch my newborn. Before this, a well-meaning husband of one of the wives came up, speaking English to me. As he asked questions about Raelynn, he started to reach his hand out and I had to stop him too.

It sucks, really. All I want is to go out and show my baby the world. But I can't just enjoy my time outside with her. I'm constantly watching everyone around us, making sure no one sneaks up and touches her. And man are they sneaky here! Xiaolong and I went out to dinner on Raelynn's one month birthday and afterwards, wandered about through some shops. He lead us into a glasses store, where he finally found a case adequate for his sunglasses. He handed money over to the clerk and she went to make change. She brought it back and then counted it out for my husband. And then, she stuck her hand out in one swift move and touched Raelynn's hand! AFTER TOUCHING MONEY! AUGH! Money is one of the dirtiest things there is. Just think of how many hands it goes through. Maybe some of it falls on a dirty bathroom floor. Much of it handled by people who DON'T WASH THEIR HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM! It's not just money here that is's everywhere folks. So wash your hands after you touch it. My husband and I became quite angry and I feverishly dug into the diaper bag for the wipes and began disinfecting my baby's hand while he told her how rude she was, not to mention, careless, for potentially spreading germs to a newborn.

Just yesterday, we were swarmed at a little convenience store in our neighborhood. A simple run for chocolate and other snacktacular items turned into a complex situation as well-meaning Chinese folks surrounded us, ooohing and ahhhing about Raelynn. They assaulted my husband with a barrage of it a boy or girl? How old? What's her name? I cradled Raelynn even closer to me and starting shooing hands away from her as my husband told them all not to stand so close to me and not to touch the baby. We had the same problem in the evening when we went to take our nightly family walk. We'd found a fruit stand we really liked and stopped by on our route to pick up some bananas. A woman was there with her young son. They immediately stared at Raelynn and as my husband was speaking to the owner of the fruit stand, the woman reached her hand out to touch Raelynn. I was on it though. I darted out of the way, yelling, "Bu you!" (pronounced like "boo yo") which is Chinese for "Don't!" Xiaolong explained to her the story of germs and then she offered her apology in English. I swear people out this way don't speak much English but when they do it is one of these phrases for sure:
"How are you?"
"I am fine."

While I appreciate the apology (in my native tongue no less), I'd appreciate it much more if people here just kept their fucking hands to themselves.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Many Faces Of Raelynn

In honor of it being one month since my adorable Raelynn was born, today's post is all about her. And the (mostly) cute faces she makes. Some aren't so cute though. Let's take a look, shall we?

Problem Face

My husband aptly named this "Problem Face." It's so fitting too since all babies can do is cry when they need our help, or when they have a problem. Here is another shot...

As you may have guessed, though funny-looking, "Problem Face" is our least favorite of Raelynn's faces. Even though sometimes the problem is that she just wants to be held, which is an easy and nice problem to solve. Least favorite should be obvious...the horribly, disgustingly messed diaper, especially at 4am.

Sleepy Yawn Face

When it starts, it looks an awful lot like "Problem Face." But this one has a happy ending. One that involves sleep for her, and if we're lucky, sleep for us too. Yay! Sleep!

Sleeping Beauty
This is truly a great face. Because when she's moved on from "Sleepy Yawn Face" to "Sleeping Beauty..."

...I am finally able to take a break and get some much-needed rest.

Bath-Time Trauma Face

I was inclined to put this one into the "Problem Face" category but it's a bit different. For one, we KNOW what the problem is. She hates bath time. Maybe it's getting wet. Or perhaps the air feels cold to her. Or she doesn't like our stupid bath time songs. But this one wins its own category because of the deafening screams you lucky readers cannot hear while Xiaolong and I bathe her. She screams so loudly during her baths that if we were in America, I'd expect Child Protective Services to pay us a visit. But since we're in China, no one cares.

Post Bath-Time Trauma Face

This is the face she makes after we've dried her, dressed her and bundled her up after her bath trauma. She gets all quiet and sad-faced. But it never stays that way for long. Mommy feeds her right after, and that is her favorite activity.

Getting Happy Face
Here is a face that we breathe a sigh of relief upon seeing. She's getting happy about something. Is it Mommy? Daddy? It's probably not Grandma but hey, whatever it is that's turning her frown upside down, we'll take it. We love when our little baby is happy.

Happy Face!
This is our favorite face of all. She's happy and all we want in life is for Raelynn to be happy.

The Fart Side-Eye
Just like her father, she lets one rip. Then she looks away, over to you as if to say, "Wasn't me. Maybe it" Yeah, nice try kid!

The Thinker. Or Rather...The Pooper.
Here she is contemplating taking yet another dump. "Hmm...should I just go poop? Orrrrr...should I poop it out one of the leg holes so Mommy has to scrub my clothes, blanket and change all the sheets on the bed AGAIN? Bwahahahahaha!"

Got Milk? Face
Just like the family dog knows who feeds it, Raelynn knows who has the magic milk boobs.

Milk Coma Face
When our baby is nice and full, she's in a milk coma. And we love when she's nice and full. Not only just because we know she's getting all her nutrients but also because this means quiet time for us.

Peek-A-Boo Face
Just when we think she can't be any cuter, alas. We have the "Peek-A-Boo Face." Look at those big eyes! Love her!

Burp Face
When Raelynn gets gas, she's the kind of baby that gets hugely upset about it. We've learned to recognize the signs of her tummy troubles though and make sure we burp her often. Of course, we're more amused when it comes out the other end, as long as no diaper mess ensues.

Confusey Face
Maybe she's confused as to where her right arm is (it's not even in the sleeve!) or perhaps she's wondering why, if Grandma loves her so much, she'd buy this (ugly) oversized onesie for her. Since she pooped on everything else and all the clothes that fit were drying, we were stuck putting her in this number. And thus, confusion about where her hands and arms went began.

Entertained Face
This is another happy-type face that we love. Raelynn is entertained, likely looking over at her daddy who loves to make her smile.

I Love Daddy Face
I love this one because I can see how much she loves her Daddy. Being a Daddy's Girl myself, I know how important it is for little girls to adore their fathers. This makes my heart melt.

I'm Cute And I Know It Face
She knows she's hot shit, doesn't she? Yep, just like Mommy!

Curious Face
As she's getting bigger, it's been so much fun watching her grow and become more alert. She seems to be checking everything out now. Just like the little monkeys on her onesie, she is a curious little thing. I'm sure I won't be pleased about this inquisitiveness when she can crawl and walk, will I?

Pouty Face
Because all good things come to an end sooner or later, I'll end this with "Pouty Face" because I'm sure you're all sad this is the last face. But get your happy faces ready because I will write more funness for you to read very soon. Pray for lots of "Sleeping Beauty" faces so I can write in peace.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Phillip The Great

Recently, my brother Phillip came to visit and met his niece. It must have been particularly trippy for him since he remembers when I was born. Phillip is almost 8 full years older than me but we have always been closer than you'd expect for our age gap. Maybe because from as early as I can remember, I have always looked up to my brother. I wanted to be just like him. I've always considered myself so lucky to have such a fantastic brother. Sure, he hung my Cabbage Patch Kids from the ceiling fan and did the typical big brother torture tactics, usually involving the use of dirty socks, but whenever I was sick, hurt or sad, my brother was indeed Phillip The Great, just like his ridiculous magician costume he wore one Halloween. A photo that if I had it in my collection, I'd actually spare him from posting just because he's been there for me in so many ways throughout our lives.

My brother lives in Singapore so he's rather close to us. He offered to come visit right when the baby was born which made me feel tons better. It is difficult enough having a baby. To have one in a country that you don't particularly like living in where you don't understand much of the language and the culture is absurd, well, it's hard to endure. He'd been hoping to time his trip so that Raelynn would arrive while he was here. But she decided to come early. How I wished he'd been here while I was trapped in the hospital with my MIL. I know my brother would have done something to help me get some peace. But in a way this was nicer, since I'm much more mobile these days, hence we could have much more fun than we would sitting in a hospital. And my MIL was still coming each day to avoid being shamed. So I was at least able get away from her for a bit and vent to Phillip about everything.

A good big brother is one who not only listens but also offers advice in these situations. He understood why I was so annoyed and was also able to provide another perspective to everything. He reminded me that I might not like my MIL at this point, but she is my husband's mother. And he has the right to love her. I'd be a horrible wife if I stepped on that. Yet, my feelings are valid too. So somehow, we've got to find a middle ground between our two cultures. And just as my husband has the right to love her, so does my daughter. For their sake, I will try to compromise on some things. But when it comes to cleanliness, our parenting and Raelynn's safety, I think it is reasonable for me to stand my ground. I don't want another sleepless night at the hospital while my baby screams in pain after somehow consuming bacteria. Why oh why can't this woman be the kind of grandma that bakes cookies?

Yes, a visit from Phillip was just what I needed. I had a touch of the baby blues and my brother helped me cheer up a lot. Phillip makes everything less scary, unless he plays the low keys on the piano of course (ha!). Until a few days ago, I felt like a stranger in my own home because of my MIL. I now feel stronger and refreshed after his visit. Whether it be Raelynn's fussiness and wailing cries, strangers on the street coming up to me and trying to touch my baby or my husband's family and their culture, I feel better prepared and able to handle these things. Phillip brings out the best in me and I can never thank him enough for that.

But perhaps I had a hand in bringing out the best in him too. Watching him handle his niece was amazing. I got to watch him become very nervous the first time I handed Raelynn to him. And by the time we sent him on his way to the airport, he was a pro with her. So much so, that his intuition also saved the day as he helped us really listen to her cries and decode them better. It truly was amazing being able to share something so special with my brother. I'm honored to have such an amazing person for a brother, one who makes a wonderful uncle, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us all. For now, I dry my tears from his departure on my husband's shoulder as we count down the days until mid-August when my parents will come meet my husband and the baby for the first time and when Phillip will bring his awesome girlfriend, Kimmy, back with him.
Phillip's first time holding little Raelynn...

And here he is holding her after a few days...

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Month Of MIL

Being a mother is a truly difficult job. One that you can mentally prepare for all you like and it is still not nearly enough when you become one. But learning how to handle Raelynn, though at times stressful, is infinitely rewarding. However, handling my MIL has been nothing but stress for my husband and me.

In Chinese culture, the MIL must come help for a month. Whether you like it or not. My husband is in the middle of this, insisting that if we just let her do SOMETHING, she'll feel useful and 30 days after Raelynn's birth, she'll stop coming over every day and just visit us a few times a week. I agree, she should do something useful, but it seems every attempt she makes is a massive bungle and it is hard to hold my tongue and keep my temper. She started driving me nuts, not surprisingly, the morning after Raelynn was born and she has been irritating me further ever since.

My husband and I were trying to sleep at 7am, after being up most of the night trying to get used to our newborn daughter. On top of that, I was recovering from my c-section and couldn't even get out of bed. We started to doze back off after the first nurse arrived to take my temperature and check me out. But that was short lived as his mother barged into our room. 7am. Ugh. Xiaolong yelled at her. My Chinese is not the best but I did understand him very clearly when he told her it was too early and we had plenty of doctors and nurses to look after me. But it fell on deaf ears. She shuffled around the room, making a royal ton of unnecessary noise and kept trying to bring me food. I wasn't allowed solids but that didn't stop her from trying to make me eat them. Only my husband could make her cut it out and even after her told her the doctor said I can't eat solids, she still kept pushing the issue. Since I couldn't get out of bed, every time the baby needed to be fed, someone would bring her to me so I could breastfeed her. Imagine my horror when my MIL would try to help me get Raelynn to latch on! Augh! I kept yelling at her to just hand me the baby and get away from me. The moment she left our room (at night, mind you) I wanted to throw a party.

The next day, my husband had to return to work. He told his mother not to come so early in the morning. He explained to her that I needed my rest and if I needed any help, the doctors and nurses would help me. But no. Five minutes after my husband left (which was 7:15am), I start dozing off and in she comes. I wanted to choke her with my IV. I yelled at her to go away, in English and Chinese, but she would only disappear for a couple minutes. Then she'd come back in, tapping her feet and doing everything under the sun to annoy a person who is in pain, sleep deprived and desperately trying to fall back to sleep despite the circumstances. My only reprieve was thanks to one nurse who spoke English well. I begged her to get MIL out of my room. I was overjoyed when MIL took her purse and left. I thought she would be gone for good but the woman clearly is a glutton for punishment because she came back later and didn't leave until after her son had eaten his dinner.

After 5 days in the hospital, I was finally able to go home. I was so happy I cried. Now my husband and I could take Raelynn home and start living our lives as a family. And I wouldn't be trapped in one room with my annoying MIL. Of course, this is when I learned that MIL would be helping us out for a few weeks until I had recovered some more. I cried this time, out of sheer frustration. My in-laws had stayed in our home while we were at the hospital since their home is so far. I wasn't surprised to walk into my home and discover an unholy mess inside. I swear she knows nothing about cleaning and hygiene. I try to push these things out of my mind and just focus on my precious daughter.

We had set a room up just for Raelynn. It was a happy time for me since that meant we could decorate it with cute baby stuff and toss the extra twin bed in there to make room for the crib, thus resulting in my in-laws never being able to stay over in our home again. But Raelynn wasn't happy when we put her in the crib and left the room. She was downright miserable. We temporarily moved the crib to our room and have been working on getting Raelynn accustomed to it. Of course, my MIL asks my husband if she can move the extra bed back in to stay over. No. No. NO NO NO NO!!!! Thankfully, Xiaolong likes spending the evenings with just Raelynn and me because he told her no too.

Now, I hate that this woman has been in my face for one whole week. I just want my privacy. But I don't want to hurt her feelings, or, even more importantly, upset my husband. I love him and I don't want him to stress. Still, I am left to wonder how her being around is supposed to help me. Especially since she keeps making more of a mess in my home. Shouldn't she be cleaning something? She wants to hold the baby but I tell her no, not until she washes her hands. I tell her I don't need help with the baby. I need help with the house. I'll figure out how to handle my baby. I ask her to please clean up the mess she made while we were in the hospital. She fetches the mop and just starts pushing it around the room. Um, could you maybe dip it in some clean water with floor cleaner? And how about vacuuming or sweeping first? I shouldn't have been surprised at all when she refused to use the vacuum. This woman had a perfectly good vacuum shoved under our kitchen sink! Cleaning comedy hour continues as I show her how to clean right. I point out the cleaning products we use. They are all in Chinese, yet she seems surprised at how to use them. I can't even read the bottles and I know what to do with them. After all this, I just cry. I am so beyond frustrated that I have to deal with this woman who clearly is a few chopsticks short of a set, learn how to handle my newborn baby and try to restore my house to some order.

These last few weeks have been filled with shit like this and then some. She cooks for us which should be a huge help when you can't set down your infant daughter who is crying her eyes out, right? But no. She cooks something awful and insists it is good for producing more milk. I should add that I had to express some of my milk because I didn't just have enough. I had too much! That would also be her fault for insisting that the baby was hungry even after I fed her. I also blame her for when Raelynn somehow ingested bacteria. Xiaolong and I had to rush her to the hospital late one night after she kept crying. It was a weird cry too. It was even worse than the night I was in labor all night. Nothing is more painful than when your child hurts. Fortunately, treatment was easy and Raelynn was soon better. The doctor told us we needed to make sure everything that came into contact with her was clean. My husband explained to his mother that she needed to make sure she washed her hands with soap and water before ever touching our child again. I still cringe every time she picks up Raelynn.

Other things she's done include pestering me while I am breastfeeding Raelynn. She had made me food (and I was actually so hungry I didn't care what it was...I was ready to eat it) but I was busy feeding my daughter. As she pokes her head into our room, I tell her I am feeding the baby and I will come eat when she's done eating. A few minutes later, she comes into the room again and again, I tell her I will be there when Raelynn is done eating. And then, a few more minutes go by and she comes in tapping a bowl of food. This time I scream at her. Get the fuck out of my room! She might not understand a word of English but now she knew I was pissed. The sad thing? I had spoken to her in HER language the other 2 times she'd come into the room. That annoys me too. That she tells my husband how she wishes I would speak to her in Chinese so she could understand me and when I speak to her in Chinese, she doesn't understand her own language.

She did it again later that same day when my dear friend Genesis was on her way over to cook something edible for my husband and me, bless her heart. I didn't know our address in Chinese so I handed my phone to MIL and told her that it was my friend on the phone and she needed the address to our home because she was coming over. MIL suddenly has no idea what is going on. I explain again and again and Genesis puts her on with the taxi driver. But she's too stupid to understand her own language I suppose. After every annoying thing she'd done that day, I lost it. And I actually do feel badly for how mean I was. I could have been nicer. It is a good thing she doesn't understand any English because the tirade I launched into was one of my most vitriolic yet. I would give a sampling here but for my husband's sake, I beg you to use your imagination. Think super-mega-bitch and you've got it. My husband coincidentally arrived home 5 minutes after this verbal lashing. I thought he'd be furious. He wasn't pleased but he understood why I'd completely lost my temper. And thankfully, he was able to help Genesis find our home with no trouble whatsoever.

I was happy to let Genesis in my kitchen. Not only can she cook, but she also cleans up after herself. Genesis was also witness to some of the odd things my MIL did to my kitchen as you can see from the following photos:
 This is our cabinet for dishes. If you look to the bottom right corner, you'll see a prime example of something disgusting MIL does when she visits. She puts random foods, or in this case, a bowl of oil, into this cabinet for storage. Instead of the refrigerator. Nice, huh?

And what do we have here in one of my other kitchen cabinets? Eggs! A ton of eggs! More than I need, honestly and not refrigerated. Oh yum! And We also have some more oil and a cut piece of ginger. Lovely!

Here is another view that Genesis was kind enough to capture for me since at the time, I couldn't bend over (it was just a day or two after I left the hospital). We can clearly see perishable vegetables shoved into this cabinet too.

My list of MIL grievances continues with the following:

1. Giving out illogical advice.
Just as she'll make me some disgusting soup and insist I eat it because it will give me more breast milk, she'll offer unsolicited advice like telling me not to eat any cold food and that it's bad for the baby. Gee, that's funny, because one of the gross dishes you just served me and are insisting I eat is cold.

2. Telling me the baby is hungry when I fed her 5 minutes before.
She's lucky I even let her hold my kid anymore after the bacteria incident, which may or may not be her fault but she is so not off the hook for it. One thing she does that will surely put me into a rage is to tell me that the baby is crying because she's hungry.  Um, what the fuck did she think that was when my nipple was in the baby's mouth? Sheesh. My husband told her to mind her own business and that I'm not going to hand her a hungry baby since I'm the one that feeds it. Yet, she's said this to me several times. It's not like she'd know...she didn't breastfeed her son. Babies cry for several other reasons besides being hungry. Be a good grandma and fucking figure it out.

3. Buying even more stuff for the baby that we can't use at this point.
She's done this before but in an effort to feel useful, she's gone overboard. She bought some very cute outfits for Raelynn. Very girlie and adorable! BUT way too large, meaning Raelynn won't be able to fit into them any time soon. The worst is the stroller. It was a wonderful gesture, however, she didn't consider that we'd have to carry it up and down 6 flights of stairs in our elevator-less building. Add to that how to unfold it when you're with Raelynn and have a diaper bag to in hell are we to use this thing? She got angry with my husband when he told her although we liked it we would prefer to exchange it for one we could use. Seriously, this thing weighs a ton. The store won't take it back since the tread on the tires was used so we're stuck with a giant stroller that we can only use in our home (wheeling her to sleep around the apartment or to keep her by us while we eat a meal) or when we go out together. Good thing I have the baby carrier already!

4. Leaving these scary food creations on my kitchen counter for days.
Here, we have scary pigeon thing. She cooked this and left it unrefrigerated for 5 days. I couldn't have fit it in our refrigerator if I wanted to, and I didn't want it there mingling with the proper food. Thankfully, I wasn't offered this item to eat because I would have refused.

Would you eat this unfriendly-looking fish dish? Yeah, me neither. I like fish but I couldn't bring myself to eat this thing. It also smelled like low tide at the pier, another reason to steer clear.

For the last 2 days, I have been grateful that MIL has not come over. I was finally able to restore my kitchen to the clean and orderly kitchen it was the day my water broke. It's amazing how much more sane I feel now that I've managed to complete that task. Now, off to cook something fabulous for my husband...that is, if Raelynn keeps napping!