The Things I See.

Every now and then, I take some pictures of my ride. Often it's when I'm about to reach a large round number on my odometer. (Shut up, 2000 km is large. Anyways, I'm going to follow Tanya's lead, and use large numbers that are powers of 2, which will let me take another pic at 4096 km, instead of having to wait for 5000. But that's not why I'm doing it. I'm doing it because I, too, am a huge geek.)

As I mentioned in the comments on another of Tanya's posts I've been running into a lot of tiny bugs recently, and have started to bike with my mouth firmly shut on some portions of my ride, lest I fill up on bugs before eating dinner.


Still A Little Sore.

As you may remember, I fell off my bike a few weeks ago. Well, ever since then, my shoulder has been hurting if I tried to raise it horizontally with my palm up. This morning, I went to my wife's chiropracter to see if she could tell me why, and what was up with it. After moving my arm in a bunch of ways, she determined that I did something with my rotator cuff, and so I'm going to see her again on Thursday, and she gave me a strange exercise to do in the meantime. I'm not exactly sure how the pendulum stretching exercise will help, but that's the second reference I've found to it, so I guess it does something. (She suggested I do it without the weight, though. Actually, she didn't mention a weight at all, but I think my arm is probably heavy enough to have some benefit as it is.) Similarly, the muscles on the knee that I came down on are far tighter than the ones on the other side, so I suspect we'll be working on that as well in the coming visits.

I'll have to remember to ask her on Thursday how long she thinks it will take to heal up. Here's hoping it gets better sooner (like the "2-4 weeks minimum" listed on the previous webpage), instead of later (like the "never" listed on the previous webpage).


Dude, there is a plane on fire at Pearson Airport and I can smell it all the way over here. Nasty.


Today is my thirtieth birthday. So far it has been pleasant; Delphine let us sleep in until 6:40 (forty minutes extra), and we've been pootling around the house ever since. I did some chores, Blake played with Delphine, we all had showers, I had cake and ice cream and read the newspaper. Delphine is napping right now, and after she's up I will open my presents. She seems more excited about them than I am. Presents aren't really as much fun as they used to be when I was a little kid. This year will be different than usual, though, because I got presents from friends as well as family and I have no idea what they might be.

I'm happy to finally be in my thirties. My life is more that of someone in their thirties than someone in their twenties; I have kids, I have a mortgage, I cook and clean and own furniture made out of actual wood, I don't drink or go out clubbing, I spend my money on diapers and organic fruit, not shoes and manicures. I am more Heather Mallick than Leah McLaren. It's good to finally be in a decade that suits me. (But I still think I've always been forty on the inside, and I think that will be a very good decade for me.)

We had a party yesterday; since this is likely our last summer in the condo I thought we should have a barbeque up on the roof, and my birthday was the perfect excuse. It was a fantastic party; very low-budget and low-effort, with paper plates and burgers and hot dogs and a cake from Loblaws and ice cream in cones for the toddlers. And balloons! I think it was just perfect.

Jeff, Janet, Kathryn, Douglas and Tanya and Ursa, Ellen and Peter and Dexter and Maxine, Baba and Zaida, and Morgan and Erik all came and we just sat and talked and watched the little ones play. Morgan and Erik were in charge of the meat and they did a fine job. They also lent us their Cadillac of coolers which happily held dozens of bottles of beer and pop, and then ice cream and leftover meat later on. It's living in our hallway now. I wonder if they want it back?

Almost everyone got to hold Maxine -- she is around six weeks old now. Delphine was especially taken with her; when I got my turn to hold Maxine, Delphine came and sat next to me and touched her: "There's baby's foot. There's baby's ankle. There's baby's other ankle. There's baby's knee. Baby's crying." Yeah, she cried for me; she didn't cry for anyone else. Possibly because I was the only one who let a toddler fondle her legs. Anyway, Delphine did not seem upset or perturbed by Maxine at all this time, just very interested. I am quite looking forward to seeing how she is with our baby. I expect she will be pretty happy with it until she figures out that it's staying.

Another friend of mine just had a baby (nine days early! Whoo!). She lives just a block or two from here so I hope Delphine and I can go over and visit a time or two before our baby comes.

Delphine and I both got sunburned yesterday. I swore I wouldn't let her get sunburned under my watch, and already I have failed. She's, what, just two years and three months old? That's pretty lousy. I even brought the sunblock upstairs but then I was too stupid to put it on either me or Delphine. I think I figured it's late enough in the summer that we have enough tan to protect us from sunburn. Except Delphine hasn't any tan at all because I've been so careful up until now, and I was wearing a different style of shirt than usual so I had fresh virgin skin exposed to the afternoon sun. Fortunately Delphine's burn has already faded to very faint pinkness, and mine doesn't look bad enough to blister. Still, though. Stupid.

Delphine's sleeping, incidentally, has gone from awful to sublime. The very day after I posted about the problems and my intended plan of action, she went to bed (about twenty minutes earlier than usual) with barely a whimper, and slept longer in the morning. Last night was even better; at around 6:30 she announced to Kathryn that she was tired and wanted to go to bed, so Blake put her down and she did not cry, not one bit. Then, like I said above, she slept an extra forty minutes this morning. And furthermore, at 11:00 this morning she told Blake she wanted to lie down for a nap, and she was down and sleeping by 11:06. It's not 12:53, so she will probably be up soon.

But man, that Weissbluth is a genius. You only have to read his book for your kid to sleep better. I need to buy a copy of it for myself. Since it covers sleep problems right up to adolescence, I'm sure I will need it again.

The new baby is doing great. For the last few days he's -- I just realized I'm using "he" far too often; I think I am getting really stuck on the idea of it being a boy because everyone I know who has had their second baby this summer has had one of the other gender than their first, and also because all the superstitious types are saying it's a boy because of how I'm carrying, and also because I would really kind of like it to be a boy -- so for the last few days she's been kicking and moving around a lot, which is very cool if occasionally uncomfortable. I have another midwife appointment tomorrow, and I hope they will be more certain about her position. Two appointments ago my primary midwife said she was head up, but at the last appointment my secondary said she was head down. I don't think it matters at this point, but we are rapidly approaching the point where it does.

Two and Two Months

Delphine is twenty six months old (or thereabouts) and all seems to be well. She talks in full sentences, and occasionally they are gramatically perfect, which is a bit of a thrill.

She's still in daycare, three days a week. She is quite stuck on one of the other kids there, a little boy named Antonio. She has taught herself to jump two-footed, and when she does it she says "Are you jumping like Antonio?" (She communicates a lot in rhetorical questions.) And whenever we talk about daycare, Antonio's name is always the first to come up. "Who did you see at daycare?" "Antonio." "Who is going to be at daycare today? "Antonio." Antonio is a very boisterous and energetic little boy, kind of the alpha male of daycare, and I don't know if he holds her in the same regard, but I don't think she really cares.

Her latest literary love is Franklin the Turtle. My dad sent her a couple of Franklin books for her birthday. I was a little skeptical at first because they are pretty wordy - several paragraphs - and they are just prose, not rhyme. But she sits through them and asks for them again and again. We also go back to the usual favourites all the time; "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish", "Each Peach Pear Plum", and lots of nursery rhymes.

We haven't really started potty training in earnest. I'm hoping it will just happen all by itself. We have a potty, and sometimes she sits on it, but never for long enough for a result. They also encourage her to sit on the toilet at daycare (they have the cutest little toddler sized toilets), so I'm hoping one day soon something will happen. Antonio is close to being potty trained; maybe that will help.

We're having trouble with sleep; for the last week (or two?) she has been resisting going to bed, and crying for ages before finally sleeping. We have been going in to see her intermittently. She always has a raft of byzantine demands; a different blanket, Boy (her doll) in the crib, Boy out of the crib, a kleenex, and so on. Clearly she is just stalling, and it was working really well for her; lots of attention and extra time with Mummy and Daddy..

But I got Weissbluth's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" out of the library again and having re-read the first few chapters, I think that she is probably sleep-deprived because we moved her bedtime later a few weeks ago. (In addition to the trouble sleeping, she has also been acting very two-ish in the afternoons and evenings -- very contrary and tantrumy and generally not like herself at all.)

So we are going to move her bedtime back up to 6:30 or 6:00 (even though I have no idea how we're going to make it work with our schedules) and starting tomorrow we will let her cry herself to sleep instead of going in every few minutes. It's mean but it works. I was going to start today, but Blake thought it would be nicer to go in one last time and explain to her that he wasn't going to come back, and she should just go to sleep. Sure enough, she didn't cry after that, so maybe the same thing will work tomorrow.

So, in general, she is getting smarter, and I think prettier, and definitely taller. I think my very favourite thing is when Blake brings her into the bedroom first thing in the morning, and she says "Hi Mummy!" and we cuddle and read books.

Looking for work?

While I'm here posting up a storm, I should mention that my company could really use some good Java and C++ people, hopefully senior enough to be team leads on some upcoming projects, but I hear that we could use people of any and all skill levels. Well, perhaps not the most junior, unless they're really smart, and self-starters. If you are looking for a job, or know anyone who is, please contact us.

Oh, and if you wanted to know what it was like working here, feel free to email me.

My first road rash.

On my ride home yesterday, it started to rain. I haven't ridden in the rain much, so I figured I'ld do a test stop, to see how much longer it would take me to come to a complete halt. I waited until I was on an empty street, fairly close to my home, and peddled until I got to 32km/h (I usually get to 35km/h on that stretch of street, but I didn't want to push it). It turns out that at that speed, it takes me approximately twice as long, which is good to know. I figured I would take it a little slower for the rest of the ride home. I made a left, then a right, and then, as I was slowing down nice and gently, and making the next right, my front wheel hit a patch of water, and locked up. The bike turned, and I completely bailed onto the street, landing on my knee, and then my elbow. It was kind of fun sliding down the pavement on a layer of water. Sort of like a Slip-N-Slide. I picked myself up, used the rest of the water in my bottle to rinse off the worst of the gravel, and biked home, where Amy scrubbed the injuries with a washcloth, and put some Polysporin on them to heal. They're already looking a lot better, and they don't hurt much, so I'm hoping for a swift recovery, with minimal scarring.

Like Baba.

Amy made some really tasty chicken for dinner last night, and when Delphine saw Amy's drumstick, she immediately wanted one for herself. And thus, this picture-entry was born.

I see someone takes after their Baba.

Who, me?


Let me just say that this pregnancy is kicking my ass. I was looking over my pregnancy journal for last time and at week thirty-nine -- thirty-nine -- I was complaining, for the first time, about leg pain pelvic twinges and having to walk slower. Until then I had been just fine. It was like a pretend pregnancy; pregnancy-lite.

I have been dealing with that stuff for weeks already this time! If I have been sitting for a long time and then I stand up, I get this miserable ache in my pelvis, like you get the first time you go for a long bike ride in spring, except on the inside. I can't walk at faster than an amble without getting these crazy stitches in my sides. I can't walk at any pace for more than about twenty-minutes without taking a bread. I have to lie at funny angles, or propped up with a pillow, or else the weight of my belly pulls at my sides in weird ways. And I had a leg cramp last night that was so bad that I woke Blake up with my freaking out.

And so tired. I can sleep and sleep and sleep, and when I wake up, all I want to do is sleep some more. I wish I could have a day off to just gorge myself on sleep.

So needless to say, I will reiterate two more months?! I can't imagine whether and how it will get worse. I have to improve my attitude, though, I am spending far too much time feeling sorry for myself. It's hard not to, though, between the pregnancy and this absurdly hot weather and the bad back thing. Poor 'ittle me.

It's making me realize why the birth rate plummets as soon as a society starts to educate and emancipate their women. "You mean I don't have to do this? Hell no!"

Twenty-nine Weeks

I can't believe I still have more than two months left. Two months. I am so done. I am huge and ungainly; my pelvis hurts half of the time, and I can't walk at faster than an amble without getting miserable cramps. Oh, and the varicose veins. I could have done without them.

In better news, I don't have gestational diabetes, my hemoglobin is great, and I'm generally healthy. I'm now visiting the midwife every two weeks instead of every month, which certainly makes me feel like something is starting to happen.

I had a real moody day yesterday; I felt very anxious and ready to cry at any moment. There was no real reason for it, though, and sure enough I felt better this morning. It didn't hurt that I got lots of sleep, and it was sunny and beautiful when I woke up. And Sunday! I love the weekend. I think I will always love weekends.

There is almost nothing to do before this baby comes, unlike last time when there was everything to do. I would like to get a new dresser from Ikea, one that is the right height to be a changing table. (My back is not going to forgive me for another three years of changing diapers hunched over our bed.) And we need to pack the bag for the hospital, but that can wait. Oh, and we need another car seat.

Apart from that, well, if he's a boy I will probably have to get some boyish clothes, but since we need to get him or her winter clothes anyway (since Delphine's baby stuff is all summery) we can just layer the boy sweaters over the effeminate underthings.

Oh, and I bet we will need a tandem stroller, but I am having no luck finding a tandem version of the cheap umbrella strollers. Do they even exist? I don't want to spend upwards of two hundred bucks on another stroller, but I thought it would be handy to have a tandem.

Yesterday we all went up to the suburbs to visit Ellen and Dexter and their new baby Maxine, who is just a month old. She is very small -- still two pounds smaller than Delphine was when she was born. Blake was a little weirded out by her smallness; he thinks she's too small to be out. I, on the other hand, can't imagine something that big still being in. It's the paradox of birthing a huge human head through tiny human hips.

Delphine was pretty stuck by the baby. After we got home, she was very emotional, so I asked her if she was sad -- "yeah". Was she sad about Maxine? "Yeah." Was she said because Mummy and Daddy spent so much time holding Maxine? "Yeah." So I explained to her that when the new baby comes we will still love her just as much. Then this morning when we were all in bed, she saw my big belly and started crying, and we had to do it all again. I expect we will have the same conversation a few more times before September, and then some more after the new baby comes. I'm glad that Maxine came first to help Delphine get used to the idea of a baby before having to confront the reality of one.