July 2007

Gone fishin’

by DaniGirl on July 28, 2007 · 2 comments

in Editorial asides

Computer access might be a little sparse for the next few days. Talk amongst yourselves, and I’ll see you again in a couple of days!


The front page of the Citizen this morning had a big article about the pending arrival of BabyFirstTV, a new 24 hour TV network “devoted to babies six months to three years.”

My only question: in the age of the ubiquitous DVD player, do we really need round-the-clock programming for babies? Can they not get past the 3 am feed without a bit of electric nipple to sooth them back to sleep?

Most of what I’ve read on this whole baby TV debate has centred around the educational value of TV for babies, and whether watching Baby Einstein three times a day at the age of six months will help junior improve his high school grade point average. Seriously. Is there anyone who really believes those weird psychedelic camera angles of brightly coloured toys are cranking up baby’s IQ?

Of course not. TV for babies is not really for babies; it’s for mothers (and fathers.) It’s about finding something that distracts a needy baby for 15 or 20 minutes so a beleagured new mom can load the dishwasher or take a shower or (god forbid) sit and drink a cup of coffee and stare off into space for a while. Never, of course, so mom can pick up the laptop and check what’s up in the blogosphere. Never that.

You know I don’t have a problem with TV for kids. Heck, ask my mother and she’ll tell you I graduated magna cum laude from university in no small part due to the influence of two hours of Sesame Street a day in my formative years. And yet, I don’t think we’ll be subscribing to Baby TV. Truth be told, we only have basic cable anyway. But I’ve got a drawer full of Baby Einstein DVDs that I’ll happily dust off and put back into circulation. My biggest challenge will be getting the boys to share the DVD player. With any luck, Queen Amidala will be in heavy rotation by then.


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After more than 900 posts, I’m always looking for new stuff to write about. Now that I’m in vacation mode (can I get a ‘hallelujah’?) we’ve been doing what I love to do… touring around the city, doing all of our favourite summertime things. And in doing so, I realized that there are a lot of wonderful things to do in this city with families, some better publicized than others. And that writing about all of Ottawa’s “hidden treasures” would give me lots of inspiration through all four seasons AND encourage me to get out with the boys more. Granted, none of the stuff I’ve been thinking of blogging about is truly “hidden”, but how often have you heard about something in or near your neighbourhood for years and never actually gotten around to checking it out yourself?

And thus, an idea is born!

The outing that inspired this brainwave was a trip to the Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne Park. I’ve been inspired to try to buy locally, but it hasn’t been easy. In the height of strawberry season, my local Loblaws offers only berries trucked in from the US. The open-air market in the Byward Market, a mere half a block from where I work, doesn’t restrict vendors from outside our geographical area. I’ve been to the North Gower farmers market and was disappointed by the selection, and the Carp market is more than an hour round-trip.

And then I finally got around to checking out the Ottawa Farmers’ Market last week. Granted, it’s practically downtown, not exactly conveniently located for a suburbanite like me. And the day we decided to go, the neighbourhood was packed to capacity for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup semi-finals (bad timing on my part.)

But the selection! Not just cukes and tomatoes, but potatoes and onions and lettucey-type greens. Beans and snow peas and zucchini. For the first time, I could buy an entire week’s worth of vegetables from a farmers’ market. I saw after the fact they also have horse-drawn wagon rides through the Glebe… next time, for sure.

One day, I’ll get brave and actually buy some of my meat from the farmers’ market, but for now I’m happy to savour locally grown and freshly picked produce… cuz nothing tastes better than a toasted tomato and salt sandwich (bacon optional) with a tall cold glass of lemonade.

So, it probably cost me an eigth of a tank round trip, and the price is quite a bit higher than in the grocery store, and the selection is excellent now but not so great early in the season. This “buying locally” thing isn’t cheap or easy… but it’s a start, right?


Baby says "hi"

by DaniGirl on July 24, 2007 · 68 comments

in Postcards from my uterus

During my ultrasound yesterday, baby lifted its arm in a little wave, which I immediately interpreted to mean, “Say hey to all the bloggy peeps for me.”

Everything looks great. Baby has two arms and two legs, and just one head, which is about all you can tell from the 12 week ultrasound but which is more than enough to reassure me at this point. I was 12w3d and baby measured 13w1d, but when a millimeter makes a day of difference, I’m not yet too worried about percolating the Baby That Ate New York.

Heartbeat was a nice, normal 156 bpm, and the nuchal fold isn’t anywhere near thick at 1.5 mm. (A thickened nuchal fold, larger than 3 mm or so, is considered an early risk marker for Down Syndrome.) I had the first of the two blood tests that comprise the Integrated Prenatal Screening test, and the second one will be August 10. It will be reassuring to get those out of the way. Next on the schedule, I have a regular OB appt on August 16, which will be another nice place to be past as that will be the 16 wk appt, and if you’ll recall, that’s where I had bad news last time. Fingers crossed and touching wood, I’ll then have another ultrasound on August 29 to find out whether baby’s plumbing is of the indoor or outdoor variety… but I’m not quite able to look that far ahead. Sounds soon, though, doesn’t it? Just a little over a month away.

I told my OB how unimpressed I was with my interaction with her employee who told me to “keep on truckin'” and she simply made a noncommittal noise in her throat and kept reading the paperwork in my file. When I kept talking about how debilitating I found the fatigue, she said given my iron is fine they can’t do much about the fatigue, but she did circle back to my mention of depression (I told her at the time I wasn’t sure if I was battling anaemia or depression, but that it was more debilitating than anything I had dealt with previously) and she said that they do have treatment available for depression. She also offered me medication for nausea when I mentioned the stomach upset that had been discouraging me from the prenatals, and medication for heartburn. While I appreciated her offer to treat the symptoms that may have been bothering me, none of them bother me even close to badly enough to medicate and in the end I was more irritated than anything. What I wanted was reassurance, and what she was offering came from her prescription pad.

I got a call yesterday that I have yet to return from the midwife to tell me they have a space for me. I’m frozen with indecision by which path to follow, the OB or the midwife. Despite my dissatisfaction as expressed in the previous paragraph, I’m not convinced that I’m unhappy enough to deal with the logistics of switching to the midwife. I think I’ll return the call and be honest with the midwife and lay my concerns on the table, and schedule myself a tour of the Montfort hospital. Just to leave my options open for a little bit longer, ya know?

(Edited to add: Spoke to a hospital administrator about arranging a tour of the Montfort. There are no actual tours permitted in this post-SARS era, but there is a power-point orientation presentation. Can’t even register for the orientation session until I confirm that I plan to give birth there… but I can’t decide I want to give birth there until I have actually seen it. Sigh.)


The friendly floatees

by DaniGirl on July 23, 2007 · 4 comments

in Uncategorized

A hat-tip to Kerry, who shared this link with us last week. It’s as engaging as the idea of the escaped elephants taking a tour of suburbia from last week, and I couldn’t help but share.

Picture, if you will, 29,000 children’s bath toys – a virtual armada of red beavers, blue turtles, green frogs and yellow duckies – circumnavigating the globe for the past 15 years. Is that not the most whimsical thing you could imagine?

From the Globe and Mail article:

It’s a story that began in 1992. In rough weather in the Pacific Ocean, a container of plastic bathtub toys went overboard from a ship sailing from Hong Kong to Tacoma, Wash., and broke open. The 29,000 turtles, ducks, beavers and frogs that were freed from their container prison have been floating around the world ever since.

Their travels have been tracked by retired oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer of Seattle using findings sent to him by a network of beachcombers. The toys’ journey has been remarkable. Since going overboard, one group has circled the north Pacific between Alaska and Japan five times. But other groups have struck out in other directions.

“Some of them peeled off to the north [through the Bering Strait],” Mr. Ebbesmeyer said, “over to eastern Greenland, down to Labrador, over to about where the Titanic sank off Newfoundland, then turned east and went over to Europe where a frog was found in Scotland. On the U.S. side, a duck was found in Maine.”

(Make sure you click on the map that accompanies the article in the Globe. It shows how the currents have driven the toys through the years. Way wicked cool!)

The Wikipedia entry for the “Friendly Floatees” says that a $100 savings bond has been offered to anyone who finds one of the escaped bath toys, predicted to begin washing ashore in the UK sometime this year, and collectors are paying up to $1,000.

How can you not smile, knowing there’s a massive fleet of 15 year old bath toys floating unhindered on the ocean’s currents?


Deathly Hallows – Almost half way

22 July 2007 Books

I woke up yesterday morning just after 6:30 to a brilliant blue sky and two sleeping preschoolers, and when I went downstairs I could barely even finish making up a pot of coffee before I cracked open the copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that Beloved had picked up at 12:01 the night […]

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The triumph of hope over experience; or, The 12 Week Update

20 July 2007 Postcards from my uterus

Samuel Johnson said “A second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” That’s always been one of my favourite quotes, and the more I think about it the more I realize that you could say the same thing about pregnancy after miscarriage, and maybe especially after a mid-term miscarriage. It’s taken a while, but […]

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A thank you note, a love letter, and a call to action

19 July 2007 How I love the Interwebs

I’m so easy to please. In this case, I’m absolutely tickled to have been named as a “Rockin’ Girl Blogger” by JanB from Just a Mom; That’s more than enough. Thanks, Jan! (You should go check out Jan’s blog. I don’t go over there often enough and she’s got some great stuff, including a gallery […]

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Yeah, I suppose I can see that

18 July 2007 Books

Filched from Angry Pregnant Lawyer and Mimilou: What Harry Potter Character are You? Hermione Granger You are a smart and intelligent person. You use your smarts to help out friends. You can be emotional at times but you always seem to be in the mood to help someone out. Click Here to Take This Quiz […]

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