Insomnia and Melancholy

I'm feeling rather melancholy and insomniacal. I think the insomnia is because of the iced coffee and chocolate I had tonight. I bought some of that Iced Java coffee syrup stuff and it has a crazy effect on me, maybe because I've avoided caffeinated coffee for so long. I think I should not have any more of it.

I'm probably melancholy because I am tired and should be sleeping, but it's manifesting because the owner of my favourite Internet community is predicting the imminent demise of her board. I'm kind of gutted about it -- I've been part of this community since 2001 and they have done a lot for me. Lots of great advice, and a baffling deluge of actual 3D gifts for Delphine when she was born, and generally good company through lots of long hours of idleness at work. I will miss them so much.

I suppose there are other boards with memberships which intersect with the membership of this board, but I have checked them out and they just aren't the same. Obviously, I guess; if they were the same they probably wouldn't exist. And I suppose after the board shuts down I will be sad for a while and then life will go on. (After all, I walked away from akt and #ana and survived, and even hung on to a really good friend from that community.) But I will really miss the owner -- I don't know how much of an Internet presence she is going to maintain after the board goes down. Hopefully she will at least keep her journal, which has always been one of the best on the net.

One of the reasons the board is dying is because of non-participation, and I am certainly part of that problem. Once Delphine was born and I stopped working I practically stopped posting at all. That has made me realize that the way I spend my time is completely non-congruent with what I would say my personal priorities are, if you asked me. Something like this:

Priorities: Blake and Delphine, household, reading books, reading newspapers and magazines, friends and online friends, health, television and pop culture.

Time Expenditure: Blake and Delphine, household, television, whatever else I can squeeze in when I'm not watching television.

It's ridiculous; I haven't read more than a couple of books for months, and yet we sit and watch TV for two or three hours every night. There's maybe four or five hours of stuff per week that I am really interested in watching, but we end up watching filler like "Holmes on Homes" or "Top 10 Technological Disasters of the 20th Century" just because we have to have the TV on and that's all there is. It's a sickness and it's really starting to piss me off. There are so many books out there I could be reading. I could be ten times smarter than I am.

Not to mention all the other stuff I should be doing but "don't have time" for. I have about five paper letters waiting to be responded to, from valuable and interesting friends who happen to live far away from me. I have a lovely brother who is constantly waiting on email from me with news about his niece. I have a stack of decorating magazines to go through to tear out ideas for my decorating file. I have political representatives who really should be informed of my opinions on such pressing matters as AIDS in Africa and the impending flu epidemic. And back to the original topic at hand, I can't very well cry and moan about my favourite online community dying when I haven't posted more than a dozen times in the last month. Are they supposed to keep it alive for my benefit, so all my buddies will still be there when I decide to show my face again?

Anyway, it's well past midnight and I am so going to regret staying up late tomorrow, but I couldn't sleep and posting this is better than tossing and turning and bothering Blake. Hopefully now I have got it off my chest I will be able to relax and sleep better.

Daycare Rock Star

I go with Blake to drop off Delphine at daycare every morning, and one morning one of the other toddlers, Claire-Marie, came running to him and gave him a hug around the knees. She's just huggy like that. Then Antonio and Beniam decided they wanted a piece of the hugging action, so they came over too, and now every morning when the kids see Blake they all swarm him. He's like a rock star.

Little Milestones

(Does that mean the stones are little, or the miles?)

We did two big things yesterday. First, I bought child tickets for the TTC. $0.45 each. Delphine is two, so she doesn't get on for free any more. I have defauded the TTC a couple of times since she turned two by just putting in a token in the wheelchair turnstile and pushing her through (I know, I am a VERY BAD PERSON) but this time I figured she would be taking up an entire seat and we should really pay for it.

And she was taking up an entire seat because for the first time, we went on a significant journey (to see Dexter and Ellen -- a subway ride and a bus ride) without any kind of transportation device. No stroller, no sling, no carrier, just me and Miss D. Mostly I carried her, and she had her own seat on the train and the bus (which she even sat on most of the time.) It's like she's a real actual person!

In other news, this morning we were all cuddled up in bed and Delphine was singing "Head and shoulders", except she still omits the shoulders. Anyway, I wasn't wearing anything and she looked at my boobies and said "Sing it, boobie?"

(She does this thing where she wants you to sing something and you have to guess what it is from the one or two words she remembers. Yesterday she came up with "love you, moon, skinny" and I figured out it was "Skinnamarinky-dinky-dink", complete with hand gestures. She must hear that at daycare because I have never sung it to her. But I still remembered the whole thing from watching The Elephant Show when I was a kid.)

So I couldn't think of any boobie songs (can you?) so I made up a new version of "Head and Shoulders" with boobies instead of shoulders. She liked it quite a lot and made me sing it several times. I just hope she doesn't sing it at daycare.


Delphine is still a little backwards with her talking. I don't mean she's behind where she should be, I mean she's literally backwards.

For one thing, she isn't clear on whose lines are whose, and is constantly treading on your lines when you talk to her. For example, when Blake brings her into the bedroom in the morning she says to me, "Good morning, Delphine." When she sees someone for the first time that day she says "Hi, Delphine." And when she wants something, say milk, she says "Do you want some milk?" When she was nursing her best line was "Do you want some boobie?" Uh, no thanks, I have two.

She also does this Yoda-esque backwards grammar thing. "Take it, shower, Daddy?" "Read it, book." I sort of wish I had my very own linguist on staff to explain it all.

Stupid Pregnancy

This pregnancy is starting to make its presence felt in some annoying ways, and some less annoying.

On the less annoying side, I seem to have popped in the last week or so. My belly is all round and sticky-outy, and I have developed that pregnant woman habit of resting a hand on top of it, like it's my own portable arm rest.

More annoying are the varicose veins. (Thanks for the genes, Mum!) I did some research and apparently they usually go away after the pregnancy ends, but in the meantime I'm supposed to put my feet up, and not stand too much, and also not sit too much, and not cross my legs, and wear support hose (SO not going to happen).

None of that sounds so bad, but I'm just about up to here with things I'm supposed to do or not do and I am pissed off that there's another whole set to think about. Although on the other hand it does give me an excuse to buy the matching ottoman to go with our glider rocker, and then Bogart it for the rest of this pregnancy. See? Silver lining.

Most annoying of all is that I am scheduled for a test for gestational diabetes. Last time I opted to not do the test, but this time we know that I have had a large baby before, and my mother is diabetic, and I am overweight. Those last two were true last time too but apparently that midwife was less concerned about them than the one we have now. (One of the annoying things about GD is that there is no standard of care for it in Ontario so every practitioner does their own thing.) Soooo, I am doing the thing with the fasting and the sugary drink and the blood tests for hours.

I'm a little freaked out about it. I did some reading and GD is kind of a pain in the ass, what with the no sugar and all. I really hope I don't have it, but on the other hand going through this whole process and even just thinking about it is reminding me that I am at risk for Type II diabetes and I should watch what I eat and get enough exercise and all that. Like Blake says, "GD: Practice Diabetes!"

Halfway there.

I'm just over halfway through this pregnancy, and I'm really starting to feel it.

This morning I put on a dress and realized it was a little tight around the middle. My first thought was that I should put on something bigger, that I didn't want my belly to look too fat... and then I realized it's not fat, it's baby. There's a weird shift that has to happen -- I'm so used to wanting to conceal and camouflage my belly, but when you're pregnant you don't have to. Not to mention that in a week or two it will be completely impossible!

I'm definitely showing more than I did at this stage last pregnancy, I guess because I started this pregnancy some thirty pounds lighter. It's been weird going through my wardrobe to find things that fit; it's like going backwards in time through my weight loss. I just grew out of the shorts I bought last February. Fortunately it's getting hotter and it will soon be little summer dress weather. I'm pretty sure my existing little summer dresses will work, and if they don't I bet I can get some cheap at Old Navy or somewhere. Real maternity wear! I never had that before.

I said above that I'm starting to feel this pregnancy, and I do mean in the painful way. I'm having a lot more pelvic and abdominal pain this time than did with Delphine. I get killer cramps in my lower belly whenever I walk at better than a fast trudge, and I'm feeling more pressure on my pelvis and cervix than I remember last time. Also, since the placenta is posterior this time, I can feel way more kicking, and way earlier, than I did with Delphine and her anterior placenta. It feels like the little guy is practicing capoeira sometimes. It's nice, though; I like the kicking.

We had our second ultrasound since I last posted, and we were supposed to find out the gender of baby number two, but no. He, or she, was positioned wrong and the technician couldn't tell. (I'm not sure how the ultrasound can see through my belly but not through the baby's leg or whatever.) So we have to pick two names (which we did, but I'm not telling what they are) and we have to play the pronoun game for the next four months. I'm quite disappointed. As I said to Beth, I found that knowing Delphine was a girl really helped me personify her and feel closer to her when she was in utero. On the other hand I'm not hung up on having one gender or the other this time; some days I feel like I would love another little girl because Delphine is so great, and then other days I want a little boy because it would be nice to have one of each.

Tuesday we have a midwife appointment with our primary midwife. I think we will set the date for a planned c-section, ten days or so after my due date. I know we won't be inducing with oxytocin, so unless I go into labour all by myself or with gentler methods of induction, it will be a c-section.

I'm really torn about the birth thing; on the one hand I would like a Caesar because it's a known evil, and because I am scared of the damage that a vaginal birth could do to my body, and because a section is safer for the baby. On the other hand it would be nice to prove to myself that I can deliver the old-fashioned way -- not that I am tough enough, I know that for sure, but that my body can generate the right hormones and contract the right muscles. My mother never delivered vaginally so I have this weird superstitious idea that we, Brown women, just can't do it. I would like to disprove that to myself. We're kind of a genetic dead end, otherwise.


I think Delphine came back from daycare approximately sixty percent smarter today than she was when we dropped her off. I have few concrete examples of this, but she generally seemed more like a talking, thinking person than a baby. Which is nice for me, because I like people better than babies.

(Although I like babies well enough -- I was walking home today and I passed a stroller going the other way, so I did the baby ogle expecting a baby of average cuteness, and instead there was this little guy, maybe four months old, in a tiny denim jacket, with a shock of black hair all spiky and sticking up, grinning like a fool. Way cuter than I expected; I think I may have giggled out loud.)

She had supper (pasta with romano beans and fiddleheads -- she didn't touch the fiddleheads but I got her to say "Beans are awesome!") at her little table, as she prefers these days, and while she was eating Thomas walked under the table and sniffed at some rice krispies of indeterminate age on the floor. Delphine said "Thomas! Don't eat it, cereal!" in exactly the right tone of voice.

When Blake came home she ran to the door to greet him ("Hi!", although in a surprise move she was naked -- have you ever been greeted at the door by a naked two-year-old? You should try it.) and asked "How was your daycare?" I guess she figures everyone goes to daycare.

She's started saying "Yes"! For the longest time she said "No" when she meant "No" and just repeated what you said when she meant "Yes". Then for a couple of days she said "Okay" for "Yes", and now she says "Yes". Hooray!

And also, we were all in the bedroom, and Delphine said "Oh goodness me!" (Because she is eighty.) And then she said "No pee on carpet." So Blake swept into action and carried her to the potty, which wasn't in the bathroom where it belongs but in the living room where Delphine had moved it so as to facilitate sitting on the potty while hanging out with Mummy, and set her down on it, and she peed! She peed in the potty! Previously she has only sat on it, with no action. So very exciting!

She's plucking words out of the ether -- we were downtown in the PATH visiting Daddy's office, and she walked up to a bench and said "It's a bench!" Bench?! I never taught her bench! That's so cool!

What else? She can count to nine (she is highly skeptical of these two-digit numbers), she likes to play with trains, and water, and she still loves to be read to. If I put on a TV show she will watch for about two minutes, and then pick out a book and ask "read it to you?" (She still hasn't sorted out who is "you" and who is "me".) She likes to go for bike rides in her "special seat" on the back of Blake's bike. Except that she thinks every time we go on the bikes we're going for ice cream (another love of hers). Which is almost true, now that I think about it; we are planning to go for ice cream on the bikes this very weekend.

And she's two. She had a good birthday -- Blake took the day off and we hung out and went to the park and went for ice cream (see what I mean). She got some nice presents, but not too many, and I made a lemon cake with blackberry jelly and buttercream icing (which was inspired by one of Sascha and Leontine's wedding cakes but wasn't nearly as good) and she ate it very neatly, with a fork, like a lady.

Conversations with Delphine

We were looking at a piece of artwork Delphine had done at daycare. This is what she said:

No pushing!
No pushing, Beniam! No pushing, Claire-Marie!

I guess we know what goes on at daycare.

Dead Air by Iain Banks

This is billed as a "deeply satirical and thought-provoking thriller", according to the Sunday Express. I didn't think it was satirical, it seemed pretty realistic to me. Unless there's some definition of satirical I don't understand, which is quite possible. Anyway, it's about this radio DJ who gets into all kinds of trouble. I didn't like the protagonist at first because he seemed like a bit of a selfish prick, but then I got to like him because of his philosophical beliefs, which goes to show you my priorities are perhaps a little messed up.

Pretty exciting book. I recommend it.

Almost Two!

Delphine is almost two! She continues to get more interesting and funny and neat, and I really can't imagine how a boring lump of a newborn will be able to compete. I will have to leave myself sticky notes to remind me to tend to the new baby.

Delphine talks a lot. Just lately she has gotten into nursery rhymes in a big way. It started with a tiny book of nursery rhymes I had from when I was a kid. The first rhyme in that book is "Baa baa black sheep", so it was christened the "Baa Baa Book". I thought it would be fun to get another rhyme book, so I got one from the library, and then it became the Baa Baa Book. After we had had it out for a week and I was thoroughly sick of it I took it back, but Delphine kept looking for it ("Baa Baa Book go?") so I had to take it out again. I may buy her a Baa Baa Book of her very own for her birthday.

She makes requests, very specific requests, when we read the Baa Baa Book. "Baa baa sheep?" "Tinkle tinkle?" "Goosey goosey?" And she makes you turn to the page with that rhyme on it, you can't fake it by reciting the rhyme on the wrong page. "Find it 'name-o'?" Lately she has learned more of the rhymes: this morning she requested "To market, to market" as follows: "To market to market, pig? Home again, home again? Jiggy jig?" I don't know what she needs us for.

She knows the whole alphabet. If you get her started with the first few letters she will recite the whole thing, in a kind of mutter. She counts to ten as follows, though: "one, two, three, seven, eight". I guess literacy comes first.

Daycare is going great. For the last couple of weeks she hasn't shed a tear when we drop her off in the morning. Last night when I went to pick her up I snuck round the corner and watched her for a while without letting her know I was there. She was sitting in one of the little toddler armchairs they have and reading a little toddler ABC book, and it was about the cutest thing ever.

I think we will try and keep her in daycare after the new baby comes. It will be nicer for her to keep up that routine, and she seems to enjoy it and get a lot of value from it. Also it will give me a couple of days a week to just hang out with the new baby and rest or whatever. We'll see.

What else? She fetches shoes. She doesn't like to give kisses. She will, on occasion, run into you headfirst and say "goat". She doesn't say "hello" to people, but she will say "byebye" after they're gone. (At first I though she was just slow, but then I realized that in order to say "bye bye" to someone who is still there, you have to anticipate them not being there soon, which is perhaps a little tricky for her tiny brain.) She knows Daddy goes to work on his bicycle. She wants to know what everyone is doing: "Daddy doing?" "Mimi doing?" "Sheep doing?" Pieces of lint or hair or other crud that is inappropriately located is picked up and offered to you with a "Booger?"