Eight Months

It's been ages since I've updated, and a lot has changed, although it seems like mostly in the last couple of day.

Delphine's a champion stander now; she easily pulls herself up on whatever is around, and she will stand and play at a coffee table or chair for ages. She's even started experimenting with only holding on with one hand, and she cruises from one piece of furniture to another.

On the crawling front, though, she hasn't advanced much. She can get around pretty quickly, but she's still commando-crawling, and hasn't discovered the superiority of the hands-and-knees technique. I'm beginning to wonder if she won't bypass that stage altogether and skip right to walking.

Much to my relief, she has finally discovered consonants; Friday she figured out muh-muh-muh-muh, and by Sunday she had added ba-ba-ba-ba-ba and da-da-da-da-da. Soon she'll be writing sonnets.

She's eating lots of different foods now; fruits, vegetables, cereals, yogurt, cottage cheese and beans. This week I'm going to give her tofu, and then we'll try actual dead animal. The only thing that seems to stop her is chunks; she still likes things well pureed, or else she has to make dealthy gagging sounds until I rescue her from the killer peas! In her mouth! And then sometimes she vomits. I've learned my lesson.

She's cut her nursing way back; she doesn't nurse at all in the morning, and sometimes we go all afternoon without nursing either. She still nurses in the evening and through the night. The only thing that settles her when she wakes overnight, in fact, is nursing. Sometimes I get tired of being the human pacifier, but it's not like she'll be a baby forever.

She's well and truly into the separation anxiety phase, apparently right on time. She doesn't even like it when her aunt or grandpa hold her, and she never used to have a problem with them. Now, it's Mum or Dad or nobody.

We went to playgroup for the first time last Wednesday; it's a program with music, games and crafts. I signed us up as much for an activity for me as anything. I need something to break up the weeks or this winter is going to last for years.

I was really looking forward to it, to learning some new songs and meeting other mothers, and in that respect it was disappointing. I didn't like some of the new songs, and the ones she sung that I knew were kind of mangled: "hush-a, hush-a" in "Ring Around the Rosies" instead of "a-tishoo, a-tishoo", and "all around the town" in "The Wheels on the Bus" instead of "all the livelong day", not that that makes any sense. I know they're folk songs, and that's what they do, change, but it seemed weird and wrong. I'll get over it.

The other mothers weren't so friendly; I felt like the new girl all over again, trying to make eye contact and smile and be friendly, and everyone seemed to avoid my eyes and close off into their cliques. It was quite weird. I did end up elbowing my way into a conversation or two, and I'm sure it will get better as the weeks go on.

I've decided I'm going to stop worrying about whether I'm doing things right. I kept second-guessing myself; should I be feeding Del this, or that? Should I try and make her sleep in the crib? Should I nurse her more? Less? Make her nap longer? How? Hold her more often? Less often? Read to her? Make her listen to classical music? Describe everything she sees, loudly, like some deranged docent?

Finally I realized that I'm a reasonably intelligent and emotionally stable and if I follow my instincts and listen to my heart, I won't go far wrong. I don't need her to pass the RCM Grade 12 piano exam by the time she's eight, or cure cancer or remedy world hunger. All I want for her is happiness, and right now that means sleeping with me and eating bananas and going for walks.

She's pretty smart, too, and I'm sure she'll figure out how to go to sleep by herself, and how to talk, and how to read, without me shoving it all down her neck.

Tasty Lunch

Another gastronomic breakthrough for Delphine today; we both had the same thing for lunch, Habitant Pea Soup. I thought it was time to introduce Delphine to the lard food group.

She also had bananas, yogurt and rice cereal mashed up, for dessert. I had cucumber sandwiches on thinly sliced, homemade oat bread with a chutney and horseradish mayonnaise. Sometimes I eat fancy.

In other food news, I'm still trying to redeem my averages from Christmas, and the post-Christmas leftover eating. It doesn't help that on Friday I had a three thousand calorie day. The horrifying thing is that it wasn't all that hard; pastry for breakfast, a jam sandwich as an afternoon snack, a grande mocha for a treat after Blake got home, pizza and wings for supper and a half-cup of frozen yogurt for dessert. Any of those things alone would be reasonable, but when you have them all in one day... Well, three thousand calories.

It makes me realize that I must have had a lot of three thousand calorie days back when I wasn't paying attention. Sort of explains the 240 lb thing; genetics, my ass.

In an attempt to get my averages back in line, and also as an experiment, I had a sixteen hundred calorie day on Saturday. Also, surprisingly, not that hard. Toast and tea for breakfast, hot and sour soup for lunch, another mocha (tall this time), and salad for supper, but a tasty salad with facon and egg and cheese. We even had dessert, custard made with skim milk. There's hope yet.


If I learned anything from Holidailies it was that it takes a village to write an entry, or at least a household. Each entry I wrote was a commitment of at least forty-five minutes, and I'd need Blake to look after Delphine while I wrote it. Most of the entries I wrote after dinner, in the evening, when we would normally be going to bed, and I think it shows.

Long story short, since apparently I don't even have time to write a little weblog entry, I'm shutting down my other journal for the forseeable future (probably until Delphine and Little Number Two are in grade school) and writing here instead. (Later when I have time I will put a note to that effect on the journal page.) I think it will be easier to write more often with a weblog. And hell, some of my favourite journals are actually weblogs.

A New Tooth.

Last night, as I (Blake) was holding Delphine, and letting her chew on my finger, I noticed that it hurt a little more than usual. When I checked further, I felt the top of her first tooth! I immediately passed her to Amy, to double check, and we both agreed that there was a tiny sharp something there. I think it was the first time I've noticed something new about Delphine, and I'm quite excited about it. Amy claims that she even saw the tooth, but Del refused to let us get a picture of it (sorry, Mom). Every time something like this happens, I realize a little more that she's not going to be the tiny perfect baby that she currently is for the rest of her life. She's growing up, at a rather alarming rate, and I'm very excited to find out who she'll be at various points.

I'm Soooooooo Bored.

It's 4:00 on the Friday before I leave for a week-long vacation, and all of the management-types and sales people left the office an hour or so ago. And I'm so bored, it isn't even funny. The online forum I usually read isn't being entertaining enough, and I'm not even getting deluged with email.

I suppose not doing anything isn't really a good reason to complain, but dammit, I can feel my brain dissolving, and my will to do anything slipping away. And I'm not sure why, but I can't bring myself to play a few rounds of Diablo II to pass the time. And so I sit, and mindlessly surf the InterWeeb, and chat with whomever's in the chat room, and wonder how long the construction people in the office below us will be hammering on our floor.

Hmm. Perhaps writing an entry about being bored isn't as exciting as I thought it might be. Time to switch the topic. Amy and Delphine and I are going to visit Amy's parents in Sasketchewan tomorrow morning. We'll be gone for a week, and it should be quite fun, since Amy's parents haven't seen Delphine before. (Well, they've seen pictures, but that's hardly the same.) It's tough to try and decide what we're going to take, with the added constraint that most of the stuff we use on a day-to-day basis just isn't going to fit in our luggage. (Stuff like the high chair, or the stroller, or the bed rail that keeps her from falling out of our bed, or even the play mat that she rolls around on.) What are we going to do without all the conveniences of home? And where are we going to go to hang out in a city that doesn't have a Starbucks or a Second Cup, or even a Tim Hortons? (There is a local coffee shop, but its non-smoking section wasn't separately ventilated, and noticibly smelled of smoke the last time we were there. I don't consider myself a non-smoking Nazi, but I really don't want my baby daughter exposed to a know carcinogen. That also brings up the problem of my mother-in-law smoking. It's her house, and I don't feel comfortable asking her to stop smoking, but I also don't want Del to have to breath it in. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Hopefully Amy will have some ideas, or won't care, and I'll take my cues from her.)

So yeah, I'll be without the internet for all next week. That'll be a bit of a change. I can't imagine what I'll do. Fortunately, we'll be taking the laptop, so I might get the chance to write some code on a new Palm program that I've been thinking of. With any luck, I'll still be able to blog while I'm out there. Or, at least, store up the blogs on my Palm for posting when I get back. We'll see how well it works. And I think I'll stop there, because Columbine joined chat, and he's usually interesting.

Another Long Silence.

So. I don't really have an excuse this time. Nothing much has been going on. Well, nothing other than the usual stuff. I did replace the server, since it was starting to show its age, and it's taken me a little longer than I thought it might to get everything back up and running. I have also been spending my time setting up secure IMAP so that I can check my home email from both home and work, and not miss stuff when I'm on one computer or the other. Really, I'm not even sure why I'm writing, other than to get back in the habit. I'm reading a lot of weblogs, and even commenting in some of them. I suppose that's the real reason I'm writing this. To give the backlinks somewhere to point to.

A Long Silence.

Well, I've been out of the loop for a while. In my defense, my wife had our first baby, and I took a month off to help her. You might think that I would have a lot of free time to update this poor weblog, but that's really not the way babies work. Even though taking care of a baby only takes a couple of hours per day, it's broken up into 5-minute blocks, occurring right in the middle of any task you wanted to try and perform, and so you end up only being able to do one or two things (if you're lucky!) all day. So I didn't get to work on the couple of programming projects I've been thinking about, and the house fell into a minor state of disrepair, and basically Amy and I didn't do much other than sit around and watch some Sex And The City dvds we borrowed from a friend. Well, we tried to get out of the house at least once a day, so that we didn't go stir-crazy.

In other news, I biked to work today. It went pretty well. If you get a copy of the Toronto Cycling Map, you can follow my path from Mount Pleasant Cemetery, down through Moore Park Ravine, pas the Don Valley Brick Works, out and down to Castle Frank station (I took a wrong turn on Elm), over to Sherbourne street, and down Sherbourne to King Street (on the next map), and finally along King to the big number 37. It was a fairly nice ride, but I think that the next time I try it, I'm going to stick to the roads all the way down. The trail through the ravine was steep and muddy in parts. I had to walk halfway up a hill to get out of the ravine, and I think I swallowed a bug. It was nice and shady, but I think that as long as I can get going at a reasonable speed, the wind will cool me off just as well.

Update: I took the streets going back home, and it took 2/3 the time despite being mainly uphill. (I went up Sherbourne, along Glen, over Summerhill to Welland and then back through the cemetary. The route is composed entirely of bike lanes and side streets, and after I got north of Bloor, I think I only saw about 8 cars in total. Well, until I got to Moore. Crossing Moore was a bit of an adventure, due to the volume of cars coming from the other direction.) All in all, it was a really fun ride, and I think that will be the route I take when I next bike to work.

Morning folks.

Well, the header on this page says "Thoughts from the Brown-Winton household". I suppose a loose interpretation of that would be that any and all info on this site is being broadcast from a server at said "Brown-Winton household". With that in mind, lets consider me the roving reporter. . . No, National Correspondant! Much better.

Woody here, coming to you live from Victoria, British Columbia. Yah. Well, today I have a job interview. This is a good thing. This will bring me inside for the rainy winter, as I am currently a construction labourer. Winters on Salt Spring are very wet, and I have developed many bruises from working with hand tools on cold mornings. Keyboards are much more forgiving. Not to say you can't get bruised by a keyboard. Call blake "My Bitch" before he's had his morning latte, and this point will be illustrated.

So, with any luck, I will be doing QA for a company that writes interfaces between ECG machines and allows for a person at one location to bw monitored by a doctor at another location, while the data is being stored at another. Sounds pretty cool. I've been missing my geek fix, so, although I'd prefer to be doing admin on *nix systems, QA on VB will do. . . Hush, you!

Well, shower, off to print resume, off to get a Sally Bun (oh, you'll hear more about Sally Buns in the future), then interview, then hook up with an old buddy, then a we design contract meeting, then a squash game. Full day, eh? And still, I take the time to keep you updated. Damn, that's one fine fellow.

One (or two) last thing(s) before I go. First, I haven't had my coffee. This should explain my otherwise cryptic use of "paragraphs" in this post. I judt kind of start a new one when the urge strikes me (as opposed to Blake's keyboard). Second, well, I always allow for another point when saying how many I'll have. That leaves room in case anything comes to mind while prattling off the first. In this instance, there is no second, but if there had been, I'd have been set.


Well, I meant to write something about turning 30 here last week, when I had the whole week off, but somehow I didn't have the time. In my defense, I watched many movies, read four books, and went to the zoo, so it isn't as if I was sitting around doing nothing. I did get some truly excellent presents from Amy. Underwear, books, and a NetMD (this one), which I've been listening to almost constantly, making various mixes of full albums (Norah Jones, and NWA), random songs (Blue Man Group), and even some BBC Radio Plays (The His Dark Materials series, which spans two minidiscs at the highest compression! 7½ hours of radio play, taken from RealAudio, through MP3 to ATRAC3-LP4). Other than the new stuff, 30 seems awfully similar to 29, which I'm sure comes as no big surprise to anyone. Um, and that's all about 30.

On to equally interesting news. I worked out again today, pushing the weights up a little from where I had them last week just to see how more weight would feel. Not so bad, so I think I'm going to use the new settings next time. After I worked out, I had a blood pressure of 127 over 85, which continues to be just fine, although we'll see what the ham I'm having for dinner will do to it. And tomorrow I (hopefully) play some squash with Andy Cain, which will be a nice aerobic workout to go with the anaerobic stuff I did this evening.