Saturday, December 31, 2005

One Third of the Way

Today marks the 12-week point of my pregnancy. It's strange to think that I am already one-third finished this journey of wonder. I am so thankful that our baby has been kept safe and sound thus far, and I look so forward to seeing it grow and make itself more visible. The only visible change in the profile of my gut is that now, even though I am sucking in, my paunch refuses to be hidden. My pants are starting to get a little tighter, but they still fit. I've gained about 4 pounds (and it's difficult to ascertain what of that gain is from the sugar cookies...oh, the sugar cookies).
I had a dream last night that I had an ultrasound and there was a long, skinny little boy baby in me, but also a tiny dog and a really little girl wearing a jumper. I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but I felt kind of odd when I woke up, thinking that I had a dog in and a fully clothed girl one-quarter the size of the boy baby in my uterus.
On the boob front, I went bra shopping yesterday and had to buy my very first ever C-CUP! This is new territory for me! Seems I completely bypassed the B-cup and moved onto the next frontier. I don't recognize my own chest anymore, but if I am going to gain weight somewhere, I'd gladly take it in my boobs than on my butt and thighs, where it usually deposits itself.
Hope you all enjoy your weekend, and Happy New Year!

Amanda Brown at 11:20 AM


Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Should Take Up Bike-Riding

If you read Jen's blog today you'll see her tale of the car accident we got in last night. The word "accident" seems a little melodramatic for what actually happened. You see, my car was parked in between Steve's little Nissan pick-up truck and the Dalsin's car. My back window was all fogged up and I didn't want to waste a whole 20 seconds waiting for it to clear, so my train of thought was, "if I just back straight out I'll be clear". So, I put the car in reverse and started going.
Then the car stopped.
Because of the impact.
Yes, I blindly plowed into the side of Steve's truck with the butt of my Corolla. Oops. No real damage was done, just a little tell-tale streak of white paint etched above the wheel well of Steve's truck. Luckily he hasn't held it against me and renounced our union.
That's the nice thing about us both driving 20 year-old heaps of cars...a little bump or scratch here and there isn't so terrible.
It got me thinking about some of the other vehicular troubles I've gotten myself into in the seven years that I've had a driver's lisence. There are actually quite a few infractions! Never a speeding ticket (athough one is more than deserved), but lots of silly little events.
Such as...
1)Skidding though an icey 4-way stop and crashing into a curb, not bothering to get out and see the damage, only to get home and realize I had lost a hubcap.
2) Getting rear-ended and smooshed into the car in front of me...the trunk of my car got rammed all the way into the back-seat. The lady behind me had sped through a red light, was driving without a lisence, and tried to blame it on me. Dumb jerk. Luckily I wasn't severely injured, just a bit of whiplash. I was standing on the side of the highway and as luck would have it, it was the one night that my parents had been out in ages and they drove past to see my demolished car and me waving at them from the side of the road. My mom freaked.
3) Backing out of the garage without bothering to look if another car was behind me on the driveway. I literally came within millimetres of trashing my brother's car. Oops again.
4) The day before I took my driver's test I was doing some last-minute parallel parking practicing and accidentally plowed into a parked car and this lady came running out of her house with eight kids attached to her limbs, screaming. That was really encouraging the day before I was to try to get my lisence.
5) I failed my driver's test the first time because I RAN A RED LIGHT. Who does that on her driver's test? I do.
I am a menace.

Amanda Brown at 3:08 PM


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

An Update

It's been a while since I posted a picture of my pregnant belly, so I thought I would grace the internet with an image of my blossoming tummy. Not bad for 12 weeks, hey? In actuality there hasn't been much change since the 9 week picture I posted with my pregnancy announcement, and any extra girth can be blamed on shortbread and not the baby!
Stay tuned for real belly shots to come, once my bump starts to protrude a little more.

Amanda Brown at 10:32 PM


A $20,000 Name

There is a baby name that I have been madly in love with for the past four years. The name is Anneliese. (If you don't like it, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT.) Every time I think of it, I swoon and picture my future daughter, with locks of blonde curls, running through a daisy field, wearing a sun dress.
There is a problem, though.
For as much as I adore this name, Steve abhors it. He seriously hates it. I thought that he would have softened a little once he realized just how much I love the name, but it hasn't happened.
One day I asked him, "Steve, if I have just been in labour for 16 days and had finally given birth to our beautiful baby girl, and I was sweat-soaked and exhausted from HAVING MY LOINS RIPPED OPEN TO GIVE YOU A BABY, and I looked up at you with tears in my eyes and pleaded, 'Can we please name her Anneliese?' would you consider granting my wish?"
To which he replied, "If I got in a car accident on the way to the hospital and they had to wheel me in on a gurney next to you while you gave birth and I was all bloody and had lost a leg so all I had left was a mangled stump, and I asked you 'Can we please name her ANYTHING BUT Anneliese?' would you grant me my request?"
I said no.
And so did he.
We have reached a stale-mate, and when I don't get my way I get ANGREE.
So anyways, we had resumed this conversation a few days ago and I asked Steve, "What would it take for you to name our daughter Anneliese?"
His answer: "A brand new dirtbike and a brand new snowmobile."
So, I am taking donations to reach my goal of $20,000 so I can give my daughter her rightful name.
Make cheques payable to:
Amanda Brown
7603 Happy Valley Road
Summerland, BC
V0H 1Z4
United we shall conquer!
My baby needs your support.
Watch, we are going to have six boys, and a girl name won't even be something that needs to be debated. Heaven help us.

Amanda Brown at 2:18 PM


Next Year...

Now that this Christmas has passed us by, I have found myself thinking a bit about next Christmas. I was pondering how different things will be next year...we will have a BABY. As in, a tiny human being. That we are responsible for. And he/she will be five months old by next Christmas. I think that will be a nice age, since he/she won't be able to walk yet so they won't be getting into everything and yanking ornaments off the tree. Hopefully our baby will be a happy little soul who will love just hanging out and being passed from lap to lap of various relatives. But what if our baby is a real brat? One who is never content and always wailing and freaking out about something? It's just so weird to think that along with all of the teeny body parts that are being knit together for our little Junior Brownie, a personality is also being spun for it.
Blows my mind.

Amanda Brown at 11:41 AM


The Impending Baby Boom

There is something in the air. People are in the mood to procreate and that mood is spreading like wildfire. I just heard about a young lady at our church who is having twins a few months before I'll be due, and quite a few of our friends are trying (or thinking about trying in the next few months). It's going to be nuts, hundreds of babies screaming and pooping and burping and spitting up all at once. The times, they are a changin'. It's exciting, but kind of scary to think of how vastly our lives are going to change!
On a happy note, I am a mere three days away from the 12 week mark of my pregnancy, and the chance of miscarriage decreases significantly. Of course, there is never the sense of certainty with these things...the little person in me is completely beyond my control. I cannot force its lungs to fill with air, or make its eyes form, or help its limbs sprout.
And I know that this feeling of helplessness will continue for the rest of my life as a mother. When I send my child off to school, I can't control whether some jerk will make fun of her. I don't know if her body will harbour a terrible disease and we'll lose her at a young age. I don't know anything. It's a constant reminder to be thankful for the present moment.

Amanda Brown at 11:20 AM


Monday, December 26, 2005

And To All A Good Night

Hard to believe that Christmas is over already. It always seems to quietly sneak up, then pass just as discreetly and before you know it, it's Boxing Day and you're standing in a mile-long line at a department store and you don't remember how you got there.
Our Christmas has been a good one: full of family and friends. It's been a joy to have my parents here visiting from the prairies and having my mom spoil me. I would go down for a short nap and wake up to a clean kitchen and a casserole in the oven. Such a treat.
We spent Christmas Eve and morning with my parents and Steve's mom and brother and sisters, along with some other great friends, chowing down on way too many appetizers (I think I OD'd on those dang mozza sticks again!) and visiting. Then Christmas morning came and we all got way too many presents. After that we all had a lovely brunch together then we all passed out for some afternoon naps. My kind of day!
In the evening we went over to Steve's Dad's for dinner and it was a delicious meal shared with great company.
I have enjoyed the break and the chance to relax.

My dad has been filling his hollow leg with baked goods. It's really too bad that I inherited his sweet tooth but not his athleticism. See, he's been running every day that he's been here (once he went to the top of Giant's Head mountain...the man is crazy), so I guess his indulgences are warranted. Mine on the other hand, are beginning to catch up with me.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Amanda Brown at 5:41 PM


Friday, December 23, 2005

My Softie

Steve confided last night, "One of my dreams has always been to get a puppy, a kitten, and a baby bunny all at the same time and they can grow up together and be best friends forever."
He's going to slaughter me for putting this on the internet.
Isn't he so cute, though?

Amanda Brown at 11:07 AM


Packed Like Pickles

My mom and dad arrived yesterday and we came home to a full house! Relatives from the Brown side of the family have come from all corners of the globe to share Christmas with us. There was Sylvia, Kaile, Vanessa, Glen, April, Colleen, Jen, Jordan, Abby, me, Steve, mom and dad. There were a few other guests, ones with slightly more hair and slightly worse breath: Rylie (Steve's mom's black lab), and Bubbins (Vanessa's child, I mean, chihuahua). Rolo wanted to eat Bubbins, but managed to restrain his savage urges. There was a bit of air-humping (Rolo's train of thought: "If I can't eat you, you've got to be good for something else. Hmm, how else could you be put to use? That's it! I shall air-hump you!"), but other than that they seemed to get along.
It's going to be a packed Christmas by the looks of things, but I know there'll be a lot of laughter and fun and food and air-humping.
Good times.

Amanda Brown at 10:17 AM


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Je Deteste!

Stereotypes can lead to unfair judgements about a race or religion. But sometimes, unfortunately, stereotypes hold vast amounts of truth in them. For instance, the stereotype that all pregnant ladies are always starving and weepy and craving pickles. I have found that to be true (except instead of pickles I am craving sugar cookies. Basically the same thing, right?)
And my brother got to experience the stereotype that the French are arrogant snobs.
He was ordering a sandwich from a street vendor in France, and their converasation went a little something like this...
Steve: Une sandwich avec le jambon et le fromage, sil vouz plait.
Vendor: D'accord. (He proceeds to pull out a baguette and begins preparing it for the sandwich)
Steve: Oh, je changed mon mind. Je would actually aime le roast beef, sil vous plait.
Vendor: I hate you!
I am not kidding.
The vendor said, in perfect English, "I hate you!" just because Steve changed his mind about the kind of sandwich he wanted!
Sacre bleu!

Amanda Brown at 10:35 AM


I Suppose I Should Start Getting Used To It

I have been a walking zombie for the past few days, and almost everyone who sees me asks, "Are you OK? You look pretty haggard. Go home to bed. Oh yeah, and your bulging zits are grossing me out. Get a paper bag for your head or something."
Despite getting close to eight hours of sleep a night, I am perpetually exhausted. This baby is sucking the life out of me and it's taking all I've got to grow him/her a placenta. Who would have thought that something the size of a cherry could zap your energy so much?
And last night was no walk in the park. I woke up around 11:30 with the worst nausea I've ever had. I thought I was supposed to experience morning sickness, not middle-of-the-night pukiness. I didn't throw up, but for almost an hour I was writhing in bed clutching a barf bucket, trying to fall back asleep. After a few hours of fitful slumber I awoke to my guts rumbling and I sprinted to the bathroom and had the most violent diarhhea. It was really not cool. And it happened about 4 more times.
I felt a bit better after getting all of that out of my system and was about to fall back asleep when Rylie (my mother-in-law's black lab) started barking like a rabid beast at 2:30 am. Her bark is so loud and deep I was afaid that Abby would be woken up by it, but luckily she slept through it all. Steve said he heard a bang and went outside to investigate. He was gone for about 15 minutes outside and there I was lying in bed, thinking that my husband had been attacked by a burglar with a baseball bat. Thankfully he came in and said that it was just the wind that had been rattling the roof of the shed at the bottom of the orchard and he just had to put some logs on it to hold it in place. He had made the mistake of taking Rolo outside with him, though, and our pooch was now a muddy mess. So Steve had to give him a bath at 3 am. I had barely slept all night, and now Steve was all tuckered out from his late-night venture. We both crashed for a few hours before the sun came up, neither of us feeling quite ready to face the day.
Sleep deprivation is torturous, but I suppose I can look upon last night as somewhat of a trial run of parenthood...getting up multiple times each night and waking up feeling as though a train has run over you.
Good times.
What have we gotten ourselves into?!

Amanda Brown at 9:14 AM


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Brudder

My younger brother, Stephen, has been attending Capernwray Hall in England this year and is presently on his Christmas break. He is spending his free time touring around southern France and is enjoying the warm temperature and lovely scenery. What he didn't account for was the fact that he was going to get quite sick while travelling: home sick. My poor little brother is feeling lonely and missing the comforts of home. I feel for him and wish there was some way we could all board a plane and just show up in France and say "Joyeux Noel, mon frere! J'aime le baguette, et toi?" but we are unable to. I know he's going to be OK, but it's just hard to know that he's lonely and homesick.
Not seeing him at Christmas has brought back some of our old holiday memories, and it makes me smile to look back on them...
*One year for Christmas I got Stephen a lame Blue Jays poster and three candy canes from the dollar store. After he opened his pathetic present, I had the gall to ask if I could eat one of the candy canes. He said no. I guess I deserved as much for such a dull gift.
*Every year Steve and I would wake up before mom and dad and scrurry down the mantle where our stockings were hung with care. That was always my favourite part of Christmas morning. Each year mom would put a brick of fudge in our stockings and each year Steve would have devoured it before breakfast, and he'd feel ill all day long until our evening meal, when he miraculously was able to eat his weight in turkey and stuffing.
*We would go to our church's Christmas Eve service then come home for a late dinner of appetizers and squares (mozzarella sticks are a staple at this event, and I dream about the deep fried cheese all year long). We would all open one present, then watch a movie. I think we viewed that 1930's A Christmas Story ("Show mommy how the piggies eat!" "I want a Red Rider Be-Bee Gun!" "I can't put my arms down!") for twelve consecutive years and laughed so hard every time.
We'll miss you this year, Peeve! Know that we're thinking about you as you're trotting 'round the globe!

Amanda Brown at 11:14 AM


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Opposing Censorship

I was talking with a good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, and she was telling me that her mom reads my blog and told her that she thinks "Amanda sure writes about disgusting things! I can't believe she has the guts to post all that sick stuff on the internet! Egads!"
I laughed, but for a moment I second guessed myself. Am I a weirdo for writing about dandruff and boobs and peeing in cups, and how my dog rolls in dead fish carcasses? I know that this stuff can be interpreted as "gross", but I think they are the things that unite us as humans and make life funny. Everyone toots. Everyone's toots smell rank from time to time. It's funny.
I know there is a line, though. And there is a place for sensitivity and politeness.
I guess this blog just is not that kind of place. :)

Amanda Brown at 3:06 PM


Too Tiny

My appointment went well yesterday, but to my disappointment the doctor was unable to locate the baby's heart beat. She said that everything else looks good and is growing and coming along nicely so I have nothing to worry about, but it's still kind of a let down. She said it's common to not be able to detect the heartbeat this early, and we will try again at my next appointment.
Just thought I'd let you know.
Stay tuned in weeks to come about the beating heart of Baby Gersh...

Amanda Brown at 8:43 AM


Monday, December 19, 2005

Pee in This Cup, Please

I have my second prenatal appointment this afternoon. I am just past 10 weeks and they will try to hear the baby's hearbeat today, although I am told not to be alarmed if it can't be detected since it's still quite early. I really want to hear it, though. Somtimes this pregnancy thing still feels kind of like a big game of make-believe, since I can't see or feel the baby yet. I guess the sore boobs, scalp shedding, extra sleepiness, and emotional sensitivity will have to suffice as symptoms that convince me that there's actually a baby in my belly.
My appointment is at 3:00, so I have had to create a urination strategy. Every time I have a meeting with the OB/GYN I have to pee in a cup, and I am not good at peeing under pressure. I was the kid who, on long road trips, would force my parents to pull over at every seedy gas station in rural Saskatchewan, but then when I'd sit down on the pot, I wouldn't be able to pee. Even though my bladder was full, I could not make myself pee. It made me cry and I thought something was wrong with me. Normal kids could pee on demand.
At my last prenatal appointment I made sure not to pee all morning, and then when they asked for a "sample", I filled the cup up to the brim and the nurse looked at me like I was a weirdo and she was afraid that my pee was going to overflow out of the cup onto her gloved hand.
However, I digress.
Today at 3:00 I will have to pee in a cup, so I've been making sure to drink lots of water and not let myself take my usual eight afternoon trips to the ladies room. As with most things, when you are trying not to think about something, it becomes all you can think about.
"Don't think about peeing, Amanda. You can't pee until 3:00" says the rational voice in my head.
"Pee. Pee. Pee. Must pee. Can't wait. It must be unhealthy to hold one's urine for this long. Your teeth are floating. Pee," says the obsessive child in my mind.
"Just focus on doing some work. Get your mind off of your bladder," counters rationality ( I don't think that's a word).
"Bladder. Bladder is full. Must empty bladder. But if I empty my bladder now, I won't be able to go at the doctor's office and they'll tell me I'm a bad girl who can't pee. Why can't I pee on demand?! This is bringing back traumatic childhood memories of stooping over an outhouse in Southey, Saskatchewan. Help me."
I'm fighting a losing battle.

Amanda Brown at 2:29 PM


Snowflakes Keep Falling From My Scalp

I am not usually a dandruff sufferer. My scalp tends to be healthy, and neither too oily nor too dry. But in the past few days I have been finding some flakes in my hair.
Flakes of my scalp.
That are as big as my pinky fingernail.
I am molting.
It's really weird and pretty disgusting, as the majority of the big flakes were in my part and quite difficult to conceal.
I was standing at the bathroom mirror yesterday morning, hunched over the sink with a pair of tweezers, attepmting to extract the thick flakes of sluffed-off scalp from my head and I called Jen over from the living room.
"Is dandruff common when you're pregnant?" I inquired as she walked nearer.
"Well, dry skin is common, and I guess it could happen on your scalp," she answered.
Then she reached the bathroom and saw the chunks of head I was pulling out of my hair and her eyes widened, "I have never seen something like that before. I don't think you can blame that on pregnancy. You are simply a monstrosity."
Then she kicked me.
In the head.
And the flakes fell to the ground like a gentle snowfall.

Amanda Brown at 9:56 AM


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Buried In My Kitchen

When I was young, I had toast for breakfast every morning. I would eat it in the basement while watching the morning cartoons. And after every meal, I would take the crusts of my toast and shove them into the little cupboard of my Fisher-Price kitchen set, so I would't have to eat them.
This continued for a very long time. I had a secret home-made crouton stash going on for months, because the crusts would dry out and shrink, so there seemed to be a bottomless pit to store them in.
Then one day my dad was playing with my downstairs and he opened the cupboard of my mini-kitchen and the secret mound of crusts came tumbling out all over him.
I got in trouble.
And one other time my mom told me that I had to have a piece of fruit before I could have a cookie, so I went to the kitchen, peeled a banana, proceeded to ram the inside down the garburator, then gently placed the peel on the top of the garbage pail, to make it look like I had eaten it so I could have a cookie.
I was such a schemer! My mom says I will surely pay for my sins by giving birth to a child just as terrible as I was. I am beginning to fear her prediction.

Amanda Brown at 3:48 PM



So, this pregnancy thing is pretty complex. I have had most of the basic symptoms, like fatique, waves of nausea, and irritability (it's nice to have a valid excuse for being a bag). But there are all of these strange and obscure ones that you only read about in the back pages of "What to Expect When You're Expecting". For instance...when I brush my teeth, my gums bleed as though I was using a toothbrush made with spiky metal bristles. Very strange. And my dreams have been very vivid...and bizarre. And I wake up each morning to find at least three new zits on my face or back. I am a bloody-gummed, freaky-dreaming, zit monger.
There has been one positive symptom, however: my boobs are filling out! I have always been quite small chested and I still wear the bra my friend Kristin gave me that she had for our grade 8 grad (before she fully hit puberty). It's a 34A. Oh, the trusty A cup. We've been through so much together. But my cups are beginning to runneth over! This is quite exciting, and I am looking forward to being a little more voluptuous upstairs.
I know that after breast feeding, my bosom will look like two deflated crepes dangling all the way to my knees, but for now I will enjoy this newfound fullness.

Amanda Brown at 12:33 PM


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's Christmas On Venus and Mars

This past weekend we hosted our small group's Christmas party at our home and it was a lovely evening: good company, a table full of tantalizing appetizers, Harry Connick Jr. crooning on our stereo, and fun times all around. A few people weren't able to be there (the Dykstras and the Jonsons) and they were missed, but we managed to whoop it up without them as best we could. I really had my heart set on getting a nice Christmas picture of me and Steve to send out with our Christmas letter this year. I should have know better. Steve hates posing for pictures, so we took a few duds and then he said, "We'll take one tomorrow. I promise." That was five days ago. Hopeless. Maybe we'll just have to use the above photo, even though it's kind of out of focus, and my big mop of hair is blocking Steve's face. Serves him right. :)
Then we had a gingerbread house competition. Girls vs. guys. We got beat. Very badly. We, the girls, had the bright idea to plaster the roof of our house in those big hard Christmas candies. Each roof panel must have weighed two pounds and the entire house ended up collasping in on itself. It became a memorial for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The boys, on the other hand, pulled out their power tools for gosh sakes! There were routers and drummels and monkey wrenches and belt sanders and nail guns. They painstakingly created this masterpiece. We were impressed! Talk about OCD. Our boys took the task seriously, to say the least. Now we have a lovely centerpiece on our dining room table (at least for one more hour, before I bust it open and start chowing down on the walls, piece by piece).
Merry Christmas to my wonderful Bible study pals! See you tonight!

Amanda Brown at 4:19 PM


Latest and Greatest

So, the new insult in our house is, "Stop being such a Gershwald!"
My goodness. Talk about staying power.

Amanda Brown at 11:53 AM


And So It Begins

Christmas is nearing. You know how I can tell? The dear church members have been dropping by the office with Christmas gifts for the staff, to show their love and appreciation.
How sweet.
You see, the gifts usually come in the form of shortbread, Turtles, candied nuts, home-made taffy, and chocolates galore. And do you know where all of these divinities are placed? On my desk. I have the most central location of the church office, so the goodies end up by me.
Taunting me all day long.
What's a girl to do?
I try to limit myself to one (dozen) a day.
Oh, the agony of restraint.

Amanda Brown at 10:19 AM


Monday, December 12, 2005

Gershwald Brown

So, I've been tossing around some baby names. Let's just say that Steve and I don't see completely eye to eye about what we should call the baby. I was looking at some baby name sites online and jotting down the ones that I thought had some potential. I made the mistake of leaving this list by the computer and Steve got his paws on it and added two names.
The first was Poo Head.
The second was Geark-Wad.
Steve will be the first to admit that spelling is not his forte. And when he wrote "Geark-Wad" what he meant was "Jerk-Wad". As in a wad of jerk.
Jen happened to stumble across this list and mentioned over dinner that she noticed Steve's interesting additions.
She said, "I don't know about Poo Head, but Gershwald is kind of cute."
She could't decipher Steve's spelling and thought that his mispelled Jerk-Wad was the name Gershwald.
Maybe it will stick.
Gershwald Brown.
What a strong name.

Amanda Brown at 3:43 PM


Can You Blame Me?

I was chatting on the phone with my 'rents (doesn't that take you back to the days of reading YM magazine? "My 'rents were out of town so I called my crush to come over for a make-out session. Then I spilled coke all over my shirt and was like, 'omigosh!' right in front of my crush!") and we were discussing the pregnancy announcement I made on this blog a few days ago. Then my dad piped up, "You were sucking in your gut, weren't you?"
I replied, "If you were going to post a picture of your bare midriff on the internet, wouldn't you do all you could to make yourself look a little less rotund?"
And I didn't merely suck in.
I also held my breath and tried to stretch my torso.
So there. For those of you who didn't see any of the "rolly-polly" of which I spoke, just be thankful I didn't take the picture while sitting on the couch, when all three of my spare tires come out to play.

Amanda Brown at 3:36 PM


Zits In My Moustache, Pain In My Heart

You know how people say that pregnant ladies just "glow"? Well, it's a lie. Unless they mean that the myriad of pimples on their face gives off an eerie, red, humming aura. Maybe that's true. My face is a puss mine! Zits everywhere, and they're not just little ones; they are volcanic and throbbing.
The worst one so far is in my moustache.
I didn't even know I had a moustache, as I have never had to bleach or wax my upper lip since I am blonde and have very fine hair on my face that's never been too noticeable. But when you have to cake on dozens of layers of cover-up and powder to hide the pimple on your upper lip, the faint hairs there get covered with concealer and are quite prominent.
I have a zitty, powder-covered moustache.
Owell, I'm told that this invasion of acne is short-lived and that the second trimester will be much better. Here's hoping!

Amanda Brown at 9:21 AM


Friday, December 09, 2005

Licked Clean

Last night I was really sleepy. Jen and Jordan had already headed to bed, and Steve was out in the shop. I was trying my darnest to stay awake to catch the second-last episode of the Apprentice (before you scoff at my viewing choice you should be aware of the fact that we only have TWO channels. It's a sad world, I know), but as the clock ticked past 9:30, then 9:40, my eyes were getting droopier and I decided to go to bed. Will the new apprentice be Randall or Whatshername? I didn't care. I just needed to crawl under th covers and crash. I didn't bother to turn out the lights in the living room, or brush my teeth (before you shake your head in disgust at my lack of personal hygiene, you should be aware that we only have TWO channels. I know that has nothing to do with the fact that I woke up with fuzzy gums. Owell) or put away the big tupperware container full of cookies that had been out on the ottoman.
I had a long and hard sleep, then when I woke up this morning and stumbled into the living room I noticed that the tupperware container that had been full of cookies was now on the ground, empty, and licked clean. Not a crumb in sight.
I asked Steve if he had put the cookies somewhere, and he said no. Then I saw Rolo, with his ears down and tail wagging, what he does when he knows he's been a naughty litte hound. Rolo polished off a good 2 dozen cookies! In a single sitting! Bad dog!
I didn't discipline him, though. I was empathetic. He just made a little mistake and fell to temptation's call and swallowed 24 cookies.
I made the same mistake the other day.
It was for the baby, though.

Amanda Brown at 10:10 AM


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There is a Brownie That I Love

It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth. Some might argue that I have more than one, actually. Regardless, I am always on the look-out for new and delicious recipes for cookies, cakes, squares and brownies. Then I heard about this one special brownie recipe.
A few of my friends had tried it with delightful results. When I heard of the ingredients, I was a little taken aback, but the method of combining said ingredients was what really caught me off-guard. I decided to give it a whirl though, and see what came of it.
Talk about fun in the kitchen! Steve helped out, and proved to be an integral part of the method. And what success we experienced!
Our little junior brownie has been in the oven for almost 9 weeks already and we are anticipating its sweet date of completion. It's a long time to wait, but we are thrilled!
Here is a photo of said junior brownie at 8 weeks, tucked away in my rolly-polly tummy for the time being. We were originally going to wait until I was out of the first trimester before we shared our exciting news, but my mouth is the size of a whale and I couldn't keep the excitement bottled up. "Hey, mom! I'm three minutes pregnant!" I always have been terrible at surprises, so what did you really expect?
We are so excited about this new life, this new soul, and our days are filled with prayers for its safety and growth. What a miracle. There is fear of the unknown, of the potential for loss, but this is the essence of life and all we can do is embrace every moment we are blessed with.

Amanda Brown at 6:17 PM


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Me Likey

Last night was really nice. I came home from work, went for a walk with Jen and Abby, sat down to a delicious dinner care of Jen (she made FRESH BUNS, people!! I am not letting her leave!!), then watched some Arrested Development, baked some whipped shortbread, chatted with Jen, then crawled into my warm bed. I LOVE having time to do those little luxurious things. You know, eating and sleeping and stuff like that.
Now that the Christmas play is over, I feel like my free time is endless. I am still working full time and the Christmas season will not fail to be a busy one, but a much more maintainable pace has been established now and I'm loving it.
Now I can focus on enjoying the days and not just trying to get through them. I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree, bake more goodies, wrap presents, have hot chocolate, and go for more strolls in the brisk air.
I am so glad that I was able to be part of the Christmas musical, and I wouldn't trade those memories, but I am happy it's done too. Kind of like running a marathon (I've never done it)...while you're in the midst of pouding out those grueling 26 miles you're probably not thinking, "gee, this is fun" but when you cross that finish line and all your hard work has paid off, you feel so pleased. That's how I feel right now.
Maybe I should think about running a marathon, though. The shortbread is getting to me.
And did I mention the FRESH BUNS?
Oh my.

Amanda Brown at 10:34 AM


Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Welcome Addition

We now have two little creatures begging for table scraps! So cute! Abby loves Rolo and I think the feeling is mutual. It's so fun having a sweet little doll like Abby running around the house.

Amanda Brown at 8:29 AM


One More Show

Today is the final performance of "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Hard to believe that the end of this journey is in sight, after months of preparation. It's been a great time, and a lot of fun was had by all. Our last go at it will be at today's 2:00 matinee. I loved the fun costumes we got to wear, along with the hot hair and scarlett lips!
Nathan Barg is going to be famous one day! He is so young, but such a great little actor! It's been a pleasure working with him.
Getting foxy before the show!

After today's show, it's time to PAR-tae! The entire cast and crew are going to Boston Pizza for all-you-can-eat pizza. There is potential for disaster in that. Free pizza? I just might wear a plastic-lined trench coat and discreetly hoard dozens of pieces in there for later consumption. Gotta get my money's worth, you know!
Thanks to everyone who came and supported the show and whooped and hollered and made us feel great!

Amanda Brown at 8:13 AM


Friday, December 02, 2005


Life is dandy. Opening night of the musical was a smash hit! The church was packed and the audience was great! They laughed, they applauded, they didn't throw rotten tomatoes. The play went off with only a few minor hitches that most people didn't even notice, and I was so encouraged by the excitement backstage. I remember why I love acting so much. All of the hours and hours are always worth it when you hit the stage.
Then when we got home, Jen and Jordan were there! I am so happy that they're staying with us. Abby woke up early this morning and was an absolute doll and she let Rolo give her some wet, slobbery kisses. Jordan already had his first job interview today, too! I am so happy that they took the plunge and make the trek to Summerland to start this next chapter of their lives. Yay for the Dalsins!
I'll be posting some more pictures of the crazy backstage life of amateur actors from the church musical soon. Until then...

Amanda Brown at 10:28 AM