Something by Ian Rankin

While I was in Florida I read a book by Ian Rankin, a Rebus mystery. I don't remember the name but it was the one with the school shooting, and where Rankin kisses Siobhan at the end. It was good. There's something pleasant about reading about grim, chilly Edinburgh when you're in warm, sunny Florida. Especially when you love Edinburgh a lot (except for the weather) and don't really like Florida much (although the weather is nice).

I also read the latest Minette Walters, Disordered Minds, which was also good. Her books always remind me of everything I hate about England, probably because she seems to hate it too. Actually I love England, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Sorry, didn't I mention...?

Okay, I guess I just kind of sprung that on you. Yeah, I'm pregnant. I did announce it a while ago but then I hid the announcement until I had a chance to tell the family, and then I was so sick and miserable I haven't updated in weeks. Months? A long time.

So to recap, pregnant, due in September, I'm not saying exactly when because people made my life so MISERABLE last time when I was late. No, I'm not saying exactly when to real-life people either; the only ones who know are me, Blake and the midwives.

In other news, between the three of us we have suffered the following diseases since I last posted: cold, cold, sinus infection, food poisoning, food poisoning, ear infection, non-specific sore throat and coughing. That in addition to the constant low-grade nausea and crippling fatigue of being first-trimester.

At the moment all I can do is look forward to spring, when it will warm up and all the germs will go away and I will enter my second trimester and be filled with great, unreasonable energy and optimism.


I am bone-weary and grumpy and nauseous and I have no appetite. At least I know something is going on, but I'd rather it wasn't so much like the 'flu.

Also I have crampy feelings, but they're not in my uterus, they feel more like they're in the tendons which tether the uterus. I think of it like a big hot-air balloon with guy-wires holding it to my pelvis -- it's the guy wires which seem to be twingeing. Weird.

What happened to Madeline?

Blake was reading Madeline's Rescue with Delphine this morning, and he was letting her fill in the last word of each line. It went something like this:

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in" ... "vines"
"Lived twelve little girls in two straight" ... "lines"
"They left the house at half-past-" ... "nine"
"In two straight lines in rain or" ... "shine"
"The smallest one was" ... "dead"

(A few pages later is the line "Poor Madeline would now be dead".)

Of course we laughed and laughed, so it's now her favourite party trick.


Delphine had her first real daycare experience yesterday; I left her for an hour and a half in the morning, went back for a while and then left her for another hour and a half in the afternoon. Apparently in the morning she was pretty sad but in the afternoon she was okay. She cried when I can to pick her up, and she wanted to leave right away ("Okay, let's go!") but we hung out for a few minutes and she was soon back to playing while I watched.

I was pretty miserable without her, though; I hate the idea of leaving her all alone even though I know she's far from alone. She's learning how to be a person all by herself and how to be with people who aren't family, and by definition she has to do it by herself, but I still wish I could be there with her. It's paradoxical, like teaching her to sleep by herself; she has to be by herself to do it, but I want to be there.

I, on the other hand, am wondering what the hell I was thinking. I'll be making $15 an hour, of which I imagine I will be taking home about $10. That means I have to work for six hours to pay for daycare, leaving me $20 to take home. If, hypothetically (and obviously this won't happen) I take the subway for four bucks, have lunch for eight, and get a coffee for two, that will leave me with $6. Who the hell works a full day for three shiny toonies?

Add to that the fact that I still have to cram a grocery trip, seven loads of laundry, baking two loaves of bread, vacuuming and a trip to the library into the half-week I have left makes me wonder if this wasn't a very stupid idea. Not to mention how the hell do people cook a decent dinner when they get home so late?

But I can't back out now, too many people are counting on me. And I guess the idea behind this was to build up hours so I can get maternity benefits, not specifically to make money now. And I think daycare will be good for Delphine, between the physical activity and the crafts and the structured days, all things I am not so great with. I guess it will work out.

First Symptoms

So far I have been pretty much major-symptom-free, apart from the tiredness, but today I peed about a thousand times, and I was bordering on narcoleptic. Granted I didn't take a nap today, which I have been able to do a lot lately. Generally the low level of symptoms is freaking me out a little bit, because I know that women who don't have morning sickness are more likely to miscarry. Or rather, I suppose, women who are going to miscarry are less likely to have morning sickness. And I'm pretty sure I had morning sickness by this time in the last pregnancy. (Actually I just checked my old journal and apparently I had no symptoms at this point, so never mind.)

Anyway, I asked the midwife whether I was likely to miscarry and she said it was pretty unlikely given my age and history, so I'm mostly not worried about it.

Our midwife (not our primary from last time, but our secondary) also said that with a VBAC you can't induce, which saves me having to decide if I want to induce if I go post-mature again and need to deliver immediately. If I do go into labour normally I think I will deliver at hospital due to the (admittedly low) chance of uterine rupture. But maybe not, there is still lots of thinking to do about that, and lots of time to think.

Twenty Months

I'm too tired to write a coherent narrative today, so here are some random notes about Delphine.

Today she counted to five. Her favourite book (today) is Madeline's Rescue. She also likes Freight Train by Donald Crews.

I was trying to get her to eat supper tonight, and she didn't want any. She pushed it toward me and said "Eat it, Mummy". Her first pronoun and her first sentence.

A few days ago Delphine went over to Baba's house with Morgan, and went to look for cheese in the fridge; Baba always has cheese in the fridge, but this time she didn't. Today we mentioned cheese and Delphine said "cheese ... all gone ... Baba ... house". She has all these thoughts, and it's such a pleasure to finally hear them.


She started daycare this week; I am sharing a full-time spot with a friend. So far I have stayed with her while she gets used to it, but I think tomorrow I'll try and leave her there and see how she takes to it. I think she will be fine.

It has been fun staying at daycare with her; I thought the daycare ladies (I guess there's a better name for them) might be annoyed to have me there, but they honestly didn't seem to mind. Actually the two days I have been there so far they have been short-staffed, so I was able to help a little, reading to the kids and swabbing snotty noses (approximately 40% of noses are snotty at any given time) and tidying up and so on. The kids are lovely. They're between eighteen months and two-and-a-half, toddling and pretending and interested and cuddly. None of them are horrible, although one of them is very spirited and tends to do whatever comes to mind, but he's also the youngest.

Once upon a time someone (someone with very few social skills) tried to give me a hard time for giving Delphine a "weird" name. The other children in Delphine's daycare are Antonio, Ethan, Claire-Marie, Ursa, Beniam, Eloi, and Laetitia (there are a couple more but I didn't meet them). It's not like she's ever going to be in a class full of Jennifers and Sarahs.

Pearls in Vinegar: The Pillow Book of Heather Mallick

This is a collection of disparate thoughts and opinions and lists -- basically a blog -- by Heather Mallick. I enjoy her columns in the Globe; she is opinionated and clever and funny. I thought I might get sick of a whole book of her, but I didn't, I kept wanting to go back and read more.

Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings by Pamela Nagami, M.D.

Bitten is essentially a collection of case studies of bites, stings, and the other indignities that are inflicted on humans by the animals with which we share our world, interspersed with descriptions of the mechanisms and chemistry by which the damage is wrought. Awesome! It is well-written and appropriately gruesome.

Things I learned: snails can kill you; if it's dangerous in the rest of the world it's probably deadly in Australia; Sharon Stone's husband was bitten by a Komodo dragon; lots of things that seem to be healing okay for the first couple of weeks then turn really ugly; American patients often don't return for follow-up care or complete their courses of medication.

Either Nagami or her editor seems excessively fond of "sic": "The child was in a semi-comatose state and only made to give unintelligible answers with difficulty [sic]." What's wrong with that? I do not know.

How about this? "So its bacteria was [sic] then inside the bone." Plural "bacteria" and singular "was", maybe? How pedantic is that? I'm think "sic" should only be used if there may be some confusion about meaning that would be cleared if the reader knew that the quote was left in its original, uncorrected form. Using sic just to prove that you are smarter than the quotee is lame.

The last one is the best: "beautiful 19 month old Rhesus Macaque ... all the paper's [sic] from his vet showing his shots are all up to date. He has never been in a lab, he was born in a private breed does not do well with children." How did they decide to sic the apostrophic error and yet leave, oh, pretty much every other word in the quote unsicced? Why not just sic the whole thing?

The G.I. Diet by Rick Gallop

This book is about how to lose weight by eating foods with a low glycemic index. The book is written clearly, and describes the diet in simple terms with a few recipes and lots of hints and good ideas. If I were going to go on a diet I would go on something like this, except that I love bread far too much to give it up to the extent that the diet requires. I'd rather be fat than give up bread.

I like that the book is written by a Canadian doctor and is clearly for a Canadian audience (there are other editions for other parts of the world); he refers to Canadian brands and discusses the difficulty in getting exercise when it's snowy and miserable half the year.