Blog-o! Notes from

Wed, 18 Aug 2004

We've been putting Delphine to sleep in the crib, as Blake mentioned below. We started about a week and a half ago, with mixed results.

The first night we put her in the crib and then sat there like idiots looking at her, thinking our very presence would calm her and eventually she would lie down and sleep. Instead she cried more, probably wondering why the hell we were just sitting there and not rescuing her. Once we lay down and pretended to be asleep she stopped crying within a few minutes, and thereafter cried intermittently for a while before falling asleep. It's quite possible that she slept that entire night sitting up, but we didn't want to look in case she wasn't really asleep.

The next night we did the bedtime routine and then put her down and lay down right away, and it was much better; again only a few minutes -- less than ten -- of crying and then intermittent crying for maybe twenty or thirty minutes until she fell asleep. (When I say intermittent crying I mean one or two wails followed by three or four minutes of silence.)

The following night we moved her into her new bedroom, which turned out well because it meant we didn't have to worry about waking her up when we went to bed. We put her down around 8:30 and then proceeded to go about our evening like adults. Adults with two free hands. Amazing. (For the last fifteen months we have taken turns eating dinner because one of us is holding the baby, we have taken turns brushing our teeth and going to the washroom, and I have spent half my evenings with Delphine, half-asleep, attached to a breast.)

We had one glorious night where I nursed her to sleep and then managed to put her down in the crib without waking her, and she slept the whole night through without waking up. We haven't duplicated that feat, but I have high hopes.

I did a lot of soul-searching before we embarked on this process, probably too much. It made me realize how privileged I am that my biggest worry is whether to let my child cry at bedtime -- not how I am going to pay the rent, or whether I will be able to get drinking water without being shot at or raped, or whether I will be allowed to vote. My mental wrangling over this trivial matter bordered on the masturbatory, and frankly annoyed me after a few weeks of it.

At the end of all that I just decided to get on with it, and soon realized that all the theory in the world doesn't amount to much when faced with a real flesh-and-blood child. It didn't take long to learn that, contrary to my research she actually cries a good deal less when we're not there, and when we don't go and visit her. If we pulled a Ferber and went and visited her every five minutes, she would just get worked up every five minutes and never get to sleep. "Crying it out" doesn't apply to this child because she doesn't cry continuously when she's tired, she cries for a few minutes and then stops, and soon falls asleep.

She does cry for longer if she's not actually tired; we made the mistake of putting her down earlier (got that idea from Dr Weissbluth -- I wonder how long it will be before I just ignore all the "experts" altogether) and she cried for a solid fifteen minutes. We retrieved her and she stayed up for another hour or so before she was really ready for bed.

The crying bothers Blake more than it bothers me. If I deliberately try and imagine how she's feeling I get upset, but if I don't it's just noise. I can easily dissociate myself from my emotions and the emotions of others. Maybe I'm autistic. Maybe I'm just a cold bitch.

[Posted at 13:32 by Amy Brown] link

Yesterday we took Delphine for her fifteen month checkup. Everything was generally fine, but she is not growing as fast as she probably should be. I don't know the exact numbers (Blake?) but I think she has gained less than a pound since her last checkup at a year, and at that checkup she hadn't gained enough, either. It could be that she's just growing in fits and starts, and this is a slow period, or it could be that she's really not getting enough of the right things to eat. (Or I suppose it could be something more sinister, but that's unlikely and not worth worrying about at this point.)

I find it hard to get her to eat -- she will have a few mouthfuls of something and then push it away, and she is fairly selective about what she eats. Today I tried Dr Sears's nibble tray method: I put Cheerios (multi-grain), raspberries, some potato, and frozen peas into the compartments of a tart tray (like a muffin tin, but shallower). She actually did eat a fair bit of this morning's selection, and (surprisingly) not too much of it got ground into the carpet.

She's been miserably sick lately, with some kind of non-respiratory virus which had her feverish and shaking and puking. (First puke!) She hardly ate at all for a few days. I'm glad we're still nursing because that was the only thing she would take -- I couldn't get her to drink milk or water, or eat anything. I may never wean her, it's so convenient. I think she's better now; she slept all night with no crying, and the viral rash has gone.

She started walking on Friday; just decided it was time, I guess. She's steady on her feet, because she's been practicing for so long. It's fun and a little thrilling to watch her walking around, as blasé as if she has been doing it for weeks.

She doesn't talk yet, at least not in English; sometimes it sounds like Cantonese, sometimes it sounds like German. For a week or so she was calling the cats "Meeaaooow", so it could be that her first word was in cat. Hmph.

[Posted at 13:05 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 12 Aug 2004
The Saddest Thing In The World.

We've decided to teach Delphine to sleep by herself in a crib. I guess I knew that this day would come eventually, but I had hoped that she would decide to sleep on her own, uh, on her own. Or at the very least to be able to understand why we were leaving her alone, and to try to work with us at least a little. But she didn't, and isn't, and so she cries and cries, and it breaks my heart to not be able to go and pick her up and hold her and cuddle her until she's all better. But I know that that wouldn't teach her that she's okay sleeping on her own, so I restrain myself. On the other hand, I can't help but wonder whether not going to her is just teaching her that she can't depend on us for help and comforting when she needs it. Being a father is really hard sometimes.

Update: For the past two nights, she hasn't woken up when we put her to bed, and so has ended up sleeping through the night. Here's hoping that this is a trend that continues.

Update #2: It didn't. She woke up and cried at 4:00 am this morning. But I think she might be getting a new tooth, and in pain. I would normally give her Tylenol, but it wouldn't last through the night, so that plan is a non-starter. Maybe I'll suggest it if she wakes up again.

[Posted at 11:57 by Amy Brown] link
Fri, 06 Aug 2004
Another Clié Weblog Entry.

So the infrastructure has gotten much closer to being done, without being any closer to being done. What I mean is that I built a Palm conduit in Python, using Palm's COM API, so I can take advantage of all the nice, high-level Python libraries for things like threading, and network access, and security, instead of having to locate and figure out how to use other people's, or worse, code them up myself!

There are still a few problems with the framework, I can't seem to call anything with a Variant Out parameter, and I haven't tested writing records, but other than that, it's golden, and I expect those bugs will be fixed as soon as people start playing with it. And none of the actual sync code is written, either, but that will be trivial, right? Right. Still, if you're reading this, then I must have gotten something working...

Update: It is working! It doesn't synchronize in any way, it just uploads the entries and hopes for the best, but I'll fix that later. You can grab a copy of the conduit code here, and the Plua source for the app itself here.

Coming soon: marking the memos which have been uploaded, so that we don't upload them again. (I've got the code to ignore them working just fine, but I haven't delved into the black art of writing a record back to the Palm yet.)

[Posted at 15:02 by Blake Winton] link
Test pEdit Weblog Entry.
Someday, this entry will be coming to you from my Clié. I have a dream, you see. A dream that I can update my weblog whenever I get a chance, instead of only when I'm at my computer. A dream that, just by putting memos in a specific category on my Clié, I can add new entries and update older entries with new information whenever I feel like it.
[Posted at 14:50 by Blake Winton] link
Tue, 03 Aug 2004
Fifteen months old

Delphine is almost fifteen months old. The last couple of weeks have been very interesting. She has demonstrated, numerous times, that she is perfectly capable of walking, and would rather not, thank you. I think she doesn't like the instability of it. Eventually her balance will get better and the convenience of walking with outweigh the security of crawling, but for now it's hands on the floor for her.

Last week she laughed at her first verbal humour: "Socks! Ka-pocks! Shoes! Ka-poes! Pants! Ka-pants!" This is very funny stuff indeed, you have no idea.

She is babbling a lot, and is a pretty competent mimic. She likes "bababa" and "dadada" best (typical!) but has attempted, with varying degrees of success, such diverse words as "cheesestick", "step" and "Zaida".

She doesn't seem to eat much, but she's still nursing a lot. I would like her to nurse less so I can ovulate already, but I'm not sure how to go about it. She's pretty insistent about it when she wants to nurse, and it's the easiest way to get her to sleep, especially during the day when Blake isn't around with his magic shoulder.

She's still sleeping with us, but I would like to move her to the crib. I have thought and thought about it and I think the only way to do it will involve some crying. We've made a couple of attempts to sneak her into the crib after she's asleep, but she always either wakes up when we're putting her down, or wakes up later and cries. I'm planning to do a Ferber type thing, going in to visit her at regular intervals until she falls asleep. I read the Pantley book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution and I don't think her idea of repeatedly picking her up and soothing her, then putting her down in the crib, will work because she cries instantly when we put her down, and we end up spending the whole night holding her. But we're establishing a bedtime routine, and I'm going to see if she finds a transitional object; I do want to make this easy on her, and us. We're starting this weekend. Unless we chicken out, like we have the last two weekends.

I can see her becoming a toddler; she is getting to be much more assertive about her world. She cries when you take something away from her that she wanted, or when you tell her not to do something appealing like put her hand in the toilet or pick up cigarette butts. She will put up a good tug-of-war with other babies if they both want the same toy, although Delphine generally gives up first and cries, thereby winning because the parents inevitably step in and give her the toy, because the other kid looks like the big meany. She is so smart!

She's becoming more fascinated with cats and dogs. She can find the cat in any picture (if there is one, obviously) and she can point to where the real-life cats are, too. She always looks when we see dogs when we're out. I think in September I will take her to the zoo and see what she makes of all the other animals.

I can't think of anything else, except that she's so lovely and interesting and good. This morning we went to the bulk food store, and I parked her in the stroller just inside the door while I collected my groceries, and she just sat there and looked around and didn't make a peep. What a baby.

[Posted at 16:20 by Amy Brown] link