Blog-o! Notes from

Sat, 31 Jan 2004
Massive Attack

I visited my friend Ellen the other day. Ellen lives in the 'burbs, so you have to go all the way to the end of the subway line, and then take a bus to get to her place. So when I go, I put Del in the BabyTrekker and she dangles there, making googly eyes at all the other riders.

Ellen was surprised when I arrived with Del in the 'Trekker; she's having trouble hauling Dexter around in the Bjorn because he's so heavy. I bragged that Delphine is 22 lbs, and that I can carry her because I am so tough! I am He-Woman!

But the next morning I did the math, and I realized that while Delphine has gained 12 lbs since she was born, I have lost 22, so between us we mass 10 lbs less than we used to. I'm actually 10 lbs-worth weaker than I used to be.

I made a mistake: I weighed myself last Friday at Morgan's place - 207 lbs; and then again at Ellen's on Thursday: 210 lbs. I knew as I was weighing myself the second time that I shouldn't, that it would be meaningless whether the number went up or down, but I did it anyway. And sure enough, I was disappointed when the number was higher, even though the difference in scales, in time of day, the small amount of time between the two weighings, all conspire to make the difference all but meaningless. And yet still I was disappointed.

And it goes against the whole point of this Calorie-Control Initiative, which was to control calories, not lose weight. Somehow I let myself start to enjoy the weight loss, to wist for numbers (195! 185! Lower!) or dress sizes (16? 14? 12?!) that I can't control instead of focusing on the one I can control, the number of calories I eat. And that's a recipe for grief.

I've decided I'm not going to cut down any more (I'm at 2100 cpd) until I've talked to my doctor. For one thing, the USDA is pretty vague about where in the 1600 to 2200 range a not sedentary but not athletic type like me fits, and for another I'm still nursing so I need more calories than I otherwise would. My final concern is that when I get pregnant again I'll need to modify my intake up, and I worry that I'll gain huge amounts of weight if my metabolism is all fucked up from going down too low and then back up again. So I'll talk to my doctor and get her opinion before I go any lower. I have an appointment for a physical in early March.

[Posted at 21:44 by Amy Brown] link
Mon, 26 Jan 2004
Self-centered and Self-absorbed

This is way old, but it cements my disdain for SUVs and the people who drive them, which is really a distillation of my disdain for cars and the people who drive them.

(Swiped from Mimi Smartypants.)

[Posted at 19:17 by Amy Brown] link
Sick Day

I'm taking a sick day. My head hurts and my nose is stuffed up and my throat hurts and I'd love to go to bed, but when I do all my symptoms get worse. So I'm taking a sick day.

There's not a whole lot of difference between a sick day and any other day when you're a stay at home mom and it's the middle of winter, but it is distinguished from all other days as follows: I am wearing sweats instead of real clothes. I did not do my hair. I am not going outside, not even for choir practice. I will not be feeling guilty about any housework I do not do. I will eat for comfort (hello, soup).

The bad news is that I still have to do laundry, although I don't think I'll fold it, and I have company tomorrow evening so I'd better get better today so I can catch up with all the housework tomorrow. The other bad news is that Delphine does not honour my sick day and still needs changing, feeding, playing with and cuddling at the usual times. She is the worst boss I've ever had; I haven't had a day off since May 10. The benefits are good, though.

[Posted at 13:39 by Amy Brown] link
Sun, 25 Jan 2004

I tried to cheap out on hand lotion (as I have already established, I do not like to spend money on personal care items) and bought a huge bottle of Jergen's moisturizer for five bucks, but it wasn't doing the job. My hands get desperately dry, they crack and bleed and the skin gets thick and coarse, and this winter is worse than ever because I'm washing my hands all the time, and it's so damn cold. The cheap lotion is about as effective as a ... something ineffective, anyway, so I girded my loins to spend twelve bucks on a bottle of sterner stuff.

The first thing I picked up was a bottle of Eucerin because their advertising had convinced me they were hardcore enough to take on my hands. I was about to head to the cash when I noticed the bottle of Norwegian Formula, smaller, for the same price. I'd heard good things about from actual people (rather than ads), so I made a last-minute decision to get it instead.

When I got the bottle home I noticed the child-proof cap, surely a good sign. It must be powerful stuff if you have to protect your children from it. I read the label on the back: "Apply to affected area not more than 3-4 times daily." Well! Another good sign! And it has Lidocaine; I'm thinking this was twelve dollars well spent. I have yet to see whether it cures my poor miserable hands, but my hopes are high.

[Posted at 16:15 by Amy Brown] link

On Friday Morgan and I took Delphine swimming at the local community centre where they have a baby pool, a shallow pool with warm water and wide graduated steps.

Delphine did not take to the water like a fish. She wasn't scared, but she wasn't willing to give it her whole-hearted commendation without further study. So we sat in the shallows, and she considered.

If you haven't met Delphine, I should explain now that she is a very serious little person. She approaches new situations with gravity and deliberation, studying her surroundings with big, blue, unblinking eyes before deciding if she approves.

It took her a good ten or fifteen minutes of thought before she concluded that sitting in a large puddle of warm water doesn't suck. She learned how to splash herself by pounding on the surface of the water, never failing to be surprised by the result. *splash!* *blink* *blink* "What happened? My face is wet." Then she got her hands on a toy orca and chewed contentedly on its tail and watched the other children until it was time to get out of the pool.

Altogether I think we sat for at least forty minutes. While Delphine studied and considered and decided, Morgan and I watched the other people. There was a little boy with red goggles who talked to everyone, there was a girl in a red flowery suit who was fascinated with Delphine, there was a mom who constructed an elaborate Rube Goldbergian fountain out of flutter boards and watering cans. It was a hoot. We'll go again.

[Posted at 16:01 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 22 Jan 2004

...although I feel like I should.

One: I don't read to Delphine. I know you're supposed to read to children from the moment they're born to imbue in them a deep and abiding respect for the written word, but reading to Delphine is and has always been a wresting match in which I attempt to prevent her from eating the written word. So whatever intangible benefit you're supposed to get from being read to as an infant, Delphine's not getting it.

Two: I only bath her once a week. Other people say "Oh, I hardly ever bath my baby, once every three days is enough!" Or ever four days, or so. Not Delphine! She gets a wash every seven, whether she needs it or not. I don't think it's doing her any harm.

In other news, she's learned to crawl on her hands and knees. She doesn't choose to do so very often, but she can, I've seen her. She still prefers to creep about on her belly, like a snake. I'm going to make her an outfit out of Swiffer cloths and rent her out.

She's starting to get the pincer grasp, so I let her feed herself little puffed rices and shredded cheese. She's also eating tofu, and I think tonight I will set some of our pork aside and blend it up for her lunch tomorrow. Meat!

She's learned to get back down to ground level from standing, which is great news because previously, her only option was to fall over and hit her head. It also makes her very mobile and pretty much the master of all she surveys; she can go from sitting to standing, standing to sitting, sitting to crawling, crawling to standing. Since the condo is generally safe I let her hang out on the floor, exploring and humming to herself, for long stretches of time while I get stuff done.

[Posted at 13:45 by Amy Brown] link
Bored Now

Somehow, inexplicably, I have nothing to do. There is no pressing housework, I have no paperwork to do, I can't knit because it takes too much concentration and unbroken blocks of time, I've read and read and read until my eyes are bleeding.

I guess it's not inexplicable. Christmas is over and there isn't another errand-intensive event like that in the forseeable future. More significantly, Delphine now plays by herself for reasonably long stretches of time, so jobs that used to take hours to do in between attending to her, now take a few minutes. My last problem is that this wintery weather is stretching on interminably, and I have nasty cabin fever. I've been hiding inside, only going out for necessities, for weeks now and I'm tired of it.

Fortunately, next week is rich with activities; Monday is choir, Tuesday I'm trying to set up a board games night, Wednesday morning is playgroup, Thursday I'm going to see Ellen and Dexter, and Friday is a baby storytime at the Mount Pleasant library. If that doesn't keep me amused, or at least busy, nothing will.

[Posted at 13:19 by Amy Brown] link
Tue, 20 Jan 2004
Me too.
I'm PalmOS too. I guess we're a good match.
[Posted at 18:19 by Amy Brown] link

You are Palm OS. Punctual,
straightforward and very useful.  Your mother wants you to do more
with your life like your cousin Wince, but you're happy with who you
Which OS are You?

Found by dagbrown.

[Listening to: Break & Enter - Prodigy - (8:24)]
[Posted at 17:15 by Blake Winton] link
Sat, 17 Jan 2004

There are about a thousand new pictures up in the Baby Picture Gallery.

Good night.

[Posted at 00:15 by Amy Brown] link
Fri, 16 Jan 2004

Let's get that bit of glurge off the top of the page, shall we? I called my brother and he is JUST FINE, he is not a child or an emotional cripple, he does not need me to take care of him, he is perfectly capable of living in a city without me there without falling into the pit of despair.

Seriously, I always think he's much more miserable than he really is. He sends me these long gloomy Eeyoreish emails about how awful everything is and I get all upset. Then I talk to him on the phone and he says the same things, but he says them with a smile in his voice and I can imagine the spark in his pretty blue eyes and I know he's okay.

I, on the other hand, am running out of money, am freaking out about it, am so clumsy and nervous and excitable that I seriously took a pregnancy test today (negative). I need a break, or something, and Delphine won't stop crying. Feh. Soon Blake will be home and we can go to Starbucks and cook a pizza or something and watch bad television, and then it will be the weekend, hoorah.

[Posted at 18:53 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 15 Jan 2004
Bad Sister

It's my brother's thirtieth birthday today, and he's alone at work in Vancouver right now. He was supposed to be visiting my parents but he couldn't take time off because of a deadline.

I didn't get him anything; he's planning to move to Japan so he didn't want anything heavy, and I don't know what he likes to listen to or what video games he plays. I didn't want to just get him something for the sake of getting him something, so I ended up getting him nothing at all, which is kind of sad in that it's nice to get presents, but in some ways an inappropriate or unwanted gift is worse than no gift at all. Or so I tell myself. I hope he doesn't mind, or think I don't love him or think about him, because I do.

He's not happy in Vancouver; it's not working out for him. The weather is miserable, he doesn't love work. I worry about him. In some ways I wish he had moved to Toronto instead of Van, so I could see him and keep an eye on him and take care of him. But in some ways (most notably geographically, but also culturally, I think) Vancouver is closer to Japan, which is his goal and something I want him to achieve. So maybe it's best that he's there and not here. But I still miss him terribly.

I love you, Dave. Happy thirtieth.

[Posted at 14:24 by Amy Brown] link

Quick introduction. Blog-o! is a weblog shared by Blake and Amy. It's split up into categories, which are listed in a sidebar over on the right there. If you click on one of the categories, you'll only see posts in that category, so if you only ever want to see what Amy has to say about Delphine, you could click on the "delphine" link under "amy", then bookmark that page and never have to read anything else.

Blog-o! is run using PyBlosxom, a Python blogging doo-dad. For more information about that you'll have to talk to Blake (it's Amy writing here) or click on the graphic over on the right. I don't know how it's supposed to be pronounced, but I advocate "pie-blossom".

[Posted at 14:10 by Amy Brown] link
Too Cheap to be a Girl

Delphine and I walked down to St Clair to have lunch with Del's Grandpa today, and on the way we stopped at Shopper's Drug Mart to pick up some stuff. Specifically, I need some new moisturizer for my face, something with SPF. I was going to pick up some Neutrogena SPF 45 I had heard about, because apparently SPF 15 isn't high enough.

Two problems; first, they didn't have Neutrogena SPF 45, the highest they had was 30. Second, the SPF 30 was, I shit you not, twenty dollars. Twenty dollars for face lotion is too damn much. I already spend that for a tub of alpha-hydroxy cream which makes my zits go away, I'm not about to add another $20 tub-o-gold to my repertoire. So I ended up getting another bottle of the Oil of Olay stuff I'm using now, for ten dollars, which is still five dollars too much. I'm seriously thinking of getting a bottle of regular old sunblock and using that instead; deep in my heart I know that there's nothing special about the stuff they pour into the face cream bottles and sell for a million dollars an ounce. It probably comes out of the same vat as the five dollar no-name hand lotion.

I also got a box of Natural Instincts temporary hair dye in Hazelnut or some such nutty colour; right now my hair is reddish brown with about an inch of dark brown plus grey at the roots, and I want to cover up the reddish and even it all out. I'm never sure what colour to buy to match my natural colour, and I either end up with almost-black or something too light which makes my hair look too red. God, my life is hard.

The last thing I got was Aveeno diaper rash cream. Del's had a minor diaper rash for about three months now, and the only thing which really makes it go away is cortisone, and that only temporarily. I haven't tried the Aveeno stuff yet, and I'm sure it won't be any different than everything else on the market, but it's worth a try. It's got to smell better than Desitin, anyway.

[Posted at 13:54 by Amy Brown] link
Mon, 12 Jan 2004
Eight Months

It's been ages since I've updated, and a lot has changed, although it seems like mostly in the last couple of day.

Delphine's a champion stander now; she easily pulls herself up on whatever is around, and she will stand and play at a coffee table or chair for ages. She's even started experimenting with only holding on with one hand, and she cruises from one piece of furniture to another.

On the crawling front, though, she hasn't advanced much. She can get around pretty quickly, but she's still commando-crawling, and hasn't discovered the superiority of the hands-and-knees technique. I'm beginning to wonder if she won't bypass that stage altogether and skip right to walking.

Much to my relief, she has finally discovered consonants; Friday she figured out muh-muh-muh-muh, and by Sunday she had added ba-ba-ba-ba-ba and da-da-da-da-da. Soon she'll be writing sonnets.

She's eating lots of different foods now; fruits, vegetables, cereals, yogurt, cottage cheese and beans. This week I'm going to give her tofu, and then we'll try actual dead animal. The only thing that seems to stop her is chunks; she still likes things well pureed, or else she has to make dealthy gagging sounds until I rescue her from the killer peas! In her mouth! And then sometimes she vomits. I've learned my lesson.

She's cut her nursing way back; she doesn't nurse at all in the morning, and sometimes we go all afternoon without nursing either. She still nurses in the evening and through the night. The only thing that settles her when she wakes overnight, in fact, is nursing. Sometimes I get tired of being the human pacifier, but it's not like she'll be a baby forever.

She's well and truly into the separation anxiety phase, apparently right on time. She doesn't even like it when her aunt or grandpa hold her, and she never used to have a problem with them. Now, it's Mum or Dad or nobody.

We went to playgroup for the first time last Wednesday; it's a program with music, games and crafts. I signed us up as much for an activity for me as anything. I need something to break up the weeks or this winter is going to last for years.

I was really looking forward to it, to learning some new songs and meeting other mothers, and in that respect it was disappointing. I didn't like some of the new songs, and the ones she sung that I knew were kind of mangled: "hush-a, hush-a" in "Ring Around the Rosies" instead of "a-tishoo, a-tishoo", and "all around the town" in "The Wheels on the Bus" instead of "all the livelong day", not that that makes any sense. I know they're folk songs, and that's what they do, change, but it seemed weird and wrong. I'll get over it.

The other mothers weren't so friendly; I felt like the new girl all over again, trying to make eye contact and smile and be friendly, and everyone seemed to avoid my eyes and close off into their cliques. It was quite weird. I did end up elbowing my way into a conversation or two, and I'm sure it will get better as the weeks go on.

I've decided I'm going to stop worrying about whether I'm doing things right. I kept second-guessing myself; should I be feeding Del this, or that? Should I try and make her sleep in the crib? Should I nurse her more? Less? Make her nap longer? How? Hold her more often? Less often? Read to her? Make her listen to classical music? Describe everything she sees, loudly, like some deranged docent?

Finally I realized that I'm a reasonably intelligent and emotionally stable and if I follow my instincts and listen to my heart, I won't go far wrong. I don't need her to pass the RCM Grade 12 piano exam by the time she's eight, or cure cancer or remedy world hunger. All I want for her is happiness, and right now that means sleeping with me and eating bananas and going for walks.

She's pretty smart, too, and I'm sure she'll figure out how to go to sleep by herself, and how to talk, and how to read, without me shoving it all down her neck.

[Posted at 14:14 by Amy Brown] link
Tasty Lunch

Another gastronomic breakthrough for Delphine today; we both had the same thing for lunch, Habitant Pea Soup. I thought it was time to introduce Delphine to the lard food group.

She also had bananas, yogurt and rice cereal mashed up, for dessert. I had cucumber sandwiches on thinly sliced, homemade oat bread with a chutney and horseradish mayonnaise. Sometimes I eat fancy.

In other food news, I'm still trying to redeem my averages from Christmas, and the post-Christmas leftover eating. It doesn't help that on Friday I had a three thousand calorie day. The horrifying thing is that it wasn't all that hard; pastry for breakfast, a jam sandwich as an afternoon snack, a grande mocha for a treat after Blake got home, pizza and wings for supper and a half-cup of frozen yogurt for dessert. Any of those things alone would be reasonable, but when you have them all in one day... Well, three thousand calories.

It makes me realize that I must have had a lot of three thousand calorie days back when I wasn't paying attention. Sort of explains the 240 lb thing; genetics, my ass.

In an attempt to get my averages back in line, and also as an experiment, I had a sixteen hundred calorie day on Saturday. Also, surprisingly, not that hard. Toast and tea for breakfast, hot and sour soup for lunch, another mocha (tall this time), and salad for supper, but a tasty salad with facon and egg and cheese. We even had dessert, custard made with skim milk. There's hope yet.

[Posted at 13:27 by Amy Brown] link
Sun, 11 Jan 2004

If I learned anything from Holidailies it was that it takes a village to write an entry, or at least a household. Each entry I wrote was a commitment of at least forty-five minutes, and I'd need Blake to look after Delphine while I wrote it. Most of the entries I wrote after dinner, in the evening, when we would normally be going to bed, and I think it shows.

Long story short, since apparently I don't even have time to write a little weblog entry, I'm shutting down my other journal for the forseeable future (probably until Delphine and Little Number Two are in grade school) and writing here instead. (Later when I have time I will put a note to that effect on the journal page.) I think it will be easier to write more often with a weblog. And hell, some of my favourite journals are actually weblogs.

[Posted at 23:04 by Amy Brown] link