Blog-o! Notes from

Mon, 26 Feb 2007

This Saturday Delphine broke a lifelong no-Macdonald's streak by visiting the place for a friend's birthday party. The party was enjoyed by all, and Ursa and her mom joined us for the bus ride home.

On the way, Delphine and Ursa amused us with their knock-knock jokes:

Ursa: Knock knock!
Delphine: Who's there?
U: Orange!
D: Orange who?
U: Orange you glad a banana?

And then they laughed. And then they told it again. And again.

Delphine actually managed to deliver the "anita" knock-knock joke successfully, but only once. The second time it went like this:

D: Knock-knock!
U: Who's there?
D: Anita!
U: Anita who?
D: Anita teeth!

(Delphine's go-to word when she needs to say something silly is teeth, pronounced "teef".)

And then Ursa said "You need to learn some more jokes!" Mmm-hmmm! Anyone know any good knock-knock jokes?

[Posted at 10:25 by Amy Brown] link
Fri, 23 Feb 2007

Cordelia is almost seventeen months old, and she's a little bundle of fun. She's learning lots of new words; she's at that age where she learns new words every day, and loves to imitate. Today it was "snowsuit". She started off with "nosnos" and by the end of the day pretty much had it down perfectly.

Lately her favourite word is "here", pronounced "heee-yer"; it started off as the word she uses when she gives you something, but now she mostly uses it when she wants something, accompanied by urgent gesticulation.

She comes to me when I am on the computer, with a dolly and a hat, and says "Hat! Hat! Hat!" until I put the hat (usually far too large) on the dolly. When we're on the floor, and I'm sitting cross-legged, she turns around and reverses onto my lap from about a foot away. She loves to be read to: "Book! Book!" is another of her favourite utterances.

She calls both cats "Mimi", and in fact she calls all four-legged mammals Mimi, as far as I can tell.

She bring boots: if we're going out (or if she would like us to go out) she goes to the front hall and finds my boots and brings them to me, one at a time. "Boot! Out?" She loves to go out; the other day we went out and I shovelled snow while she played in it. Because she was trapped in a snowsuit with thumbless mittens there wasn't much she could do, but she climbed up and down our step, and sat down hard in the snow, "plunk", then laughed and got up again. She finds her own fun.

When she goes downstairs she goes backwards, and she's very conservative about it: she likes to turn around and start crawling backwards a good two feel away from the top of the stairs.

Cordelia is very demonstrative; several times a day she comes up to me, unbidden, and hugs me around the knees. She loves to give kisses and hugs around the neck, too. She laughs a lot, and if she falls you can often get her to laugh instead of cry.

She still sleeps really well, from around six-thirty until around six am. She has taken, recently, to waking up and crying around ten or ten-thirty, but Blake loves it because he can go in and have a cuddle with her before putting her down again. I suppose that's a bad habit to encourage, but I doubt she will keep it up forever. And honestly, if she's fifteen and she still wants a few minutes of attention from her parents at ten-thirty at night I will count myself lucky.

She's still nursing, in the morning and before her nap and at bedtime, and sometimes during the day if she's hurt herself and needs comfort. It's lovely. She also more or less feeds herself at table; we bought a cheap Canadian knockoff of the overpriced Tripp-Trapp chair for each girl and Cordelia loves to be at table instead of behind everyone in the high chair. She makes a colossal mess but she has a nice time.

She's good company; she is easy-going and quick to laugh and to learn. I can leave her to her own devices during the day and she'll play by herself for ages. She plays with dollies, she climbs onto things, she pulls stuff out of boxes at an astonishing rate. She plays nicely with Delphine too, or I should say Delphine plays nicely with her. They are so different and so delightful; I could not have picked out better children from a Children Catalogue.

[Posted at 21:40 by Amy Brown] link
The Reno Begins

We signed a contract for the reno last week, and now the work is beginning. The work, for now, is mostly just talking about what goes where and where to get stuff and what colours, and Blake and I have to buy lots of stuff; new light fixtures, appliances, a kitchen faucet, tiles for the backsplash and the front hall floor. It would be swell if we had a car right now.

We got a couple of quotes, one which was horrifyingly high and one which was alarmingly low. Fortunately the people who quoted low come highly recommended and they basically lowballed us, I think, because they like Blake's dad and because they know that we have years and years of work to do on this house and they want in on the ground floor, so to speak.

So this reno looks like this:

  • Kitchen:
    • new Marmoleum floor
    • new cabinets, probably from Ikea
    • big pass-through window to the dining room
    • new (gas!) stove
    • dishwasher (hallelujah!)
    • new fridge
    • funky Formica countertops
  • new electrical throughout, because we still have knob and tube almost everywhere
  • new light fixtures some places
  • knock out most of the walls on the main floor to make it more open, although I would stop short of calling it "open concept" because we'll still have a well-defined front hall and the kitchen will still be cut off by a wall, albeit a wall with a big pass-through window
  • replace the hardwood in the front hall with black and white mosaic tile in some cool retro pattern (we'll use the hardwood from the front hall to patch the holes from taking out the walls.)
  • New deck!

All in all it's a fairly small reno; we are not adding any rooms or messing with any outside walls. It is scheduled to take about a month, with the actual work beginning mid-March.

I am really excited; once the reno is done we will still have a crappy old house, but it will be a crappy old house with a really nice, functional kitchen and light switches in logical places, and I can deal with that!

[Posted at 19:57 by Amy Brown] link
Running? What?

So yeah, running. I haven't been. For a while there we were in a crazy deep freeze the likes of which I moved out of the prairies to avoid, and then I hurt my back, and... oh, I don't know, there's always something that comes up. Dishes! Dishes are the last straw for me, it seems; I can manage to do the housekeeping and look after the kids and go to choir and run and read and stuff when I have a dishwasher, but when I have to do dishes by hand it all goes to hell. How do we generate so many dirty dishes?

I did do a tortuous and pathetic 3K last weekend, which is better than the nothing I have done since.

But I think I'm okay with a winter lull. I would like, ideally, to run through December, just to counteract the holiday madness both psychologically and healthwise, but I don't think I would be too devastated if I took a break from running every January and February. It's hibernation time. That's long enough, though. Once March comes I will set a schedule and work towards running 5K straight through without a walking break.

[Posted at 19:29 by Amy Brown] link
Thu, 15 Feb 2007

When I listened to the first song, they sounded like a band I listened to back in university. Something like a cross between Sloan and Live, or The Lowest of the Low. Live, maybe? It wasn't any of those but that was the sort of genre it reminds me of...

I guess what I'm trying to say there is that as far as I can tell, it's classic Indie Rock, circa 1994, and god help me, I love it. I'm sure the muscial landscape has changed in the last 12, no, wait, 13 years, but it's good to see that there are still bands out there who are playing the things I used to hear. Damn, does that means that I'm old, when I start liking songs like the ones I used to hear? I'll just chalk it up to nostalgia instead of age. Shut up.

I should probably put in a link to more info, shouldn't I?

Finally, I know I totally missed the 1500 character target, but man, this reviewing thing is hard. All the harder when I'm only listening to music at the office, where I'm really trying to concentrate on my job, instead of on the music. The first few times I listened to the album, I was halfway through the following album before I realized that I should have been listening.

[Posted at 17:12 by Blake Winton] link
Thu, 01 Feb 2007

Pretty sweet. They were described to me as "slightly-harder drum and bass", which worried me a little, since I didn't know if I would be up for something heavy, but either it was only slightly-harder, or I don't know how hard regular drum and bass is, or I ended up being in a heavier mood than I thought I was, because I thoroughly enjoyed the album. It sort of drifted into the background, which is exactly what I'm hoping for when I listen to music at work.

I'm not entirely sure what else to say here. I suppose I could add that they didn't seem as minimal as the Plastikman/FUSE albums I've got, and they were a lot less sample-heavy than Mushroom Jazz by Mark Farina, but I don't think that really tells you much about the music itself. Hopefully, with more exposure to some quality drum and bass, I'll be able to give more informed opinions, but for now, I guess this will have to be my baseline for future reviews.

Oh, one more thing, the next few reviews might run a little late, because even though I've listened to the music, I only have a couple of hundred words written about each of them, and I'm guessing that it'll take some re-listening to think of more things to say.

[Posted at 14:16 by Blake Winton] link