Friday, December 30, 2005

To Coach or Not?

MSNBC.COM -- Women who were coached gave birth an average of 13 minutes faster than women who were given no instruction. The women studied all gave birth and without an epidural and averaged 14 hours, making 13 minutes seem like possibly not worth it. Especially since they're now studying a possible link between decreased bladder capacity post-pregnancy in women who were coached.

And couldn't coaching add more stress to mom and baby and possibly even coach-slash-dad? Especially if mom yells at dad to shut up? (I don't remember this happening in our case, but I've heard plenty of stories where someone has had to be told, and sometimes tersely "You know what? I know you're trying to be helpful and I know I asked you to be here. I know this isn't going to sound grateful. But shut up and go away for awhile. I love you, but I can't have you here right now.")

More...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Snowman!


Rachel shouts "Snowman!" anytime Jack appears on TV.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas


Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Doppelgänger is a german word

Fittingly enough, Rachel's is German. How freaky is this?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Santa Claus = Coming


Rachel saw Santa on "Miracle on 34th. Street" a few weeks ago and pointed to the screen and said "Who dat?" We told her and when he'd go off the screen she'd call out to him. Since then, she'd make sure we saw Santa wherever she saw him. Until the last few days. Now, if she sees Santa she says "coming!" We wonder if they're singing "Santa Claus is coming to town" at school?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Joy of Discovery

There is nothing quite like experiencing the joy vicariously as your children experience joy themselves. Though I learned this weekend that seeing someone else's child experience that joy for the first time can also be really wonderful. To see this little four or five year old, dressed like a princess, dancing with a 7-foot tall Sherrif Woody, to see how big her eyes were, how gigantic her smile was, it was just so cool.

We went to Disneyland this last weekend. Rachel, who knew of Mickey Mouse, only from her diapers, would not stop saying "Mickey Mo" Every single likeness, some so small we missed them, she made sure we saw. She was just amazed by the 6-foot tall one, but was reluctant to go that close to him until Cinderella and Lori gave her a lot of reassurance and stood between her and Mickey for the picture.

The park was crowded, we didn't get to go on many rides and it probably wasn't in our top 20 best trips, but I doubt Rachel realized that. Sadly, it will end up being awhile before we get to go again, so as far as "last hurrahs" go, I was more of a whimper. But we all had a great time.

I hope it's only coincidental that Rachel, her mom and her grandma all were pretty sick, Rachel the next day, her grandma the day after that and her mom the day after that. Rachel's still sick almost a week later and her mom's not doing so great, either. No sleep in our house these days.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Night Life

Twice this past week the little one has woken us up in the middle of the night. The first time, I rocked her for 15 minutes, tried to put her back in her crib, at which point she screamed and woke up her mom. So she came in and rocked her for about two hours while I went back to sleep... I had to work the next day, she did not.

Last night she again woke in the middle of the night, but this time, it only took about 10 minutes of rocking before she was able to go back to bed.

She may be having nightmares now which is just awful to think about, since they can have them at this age, but they aren't able to tell the difference, and they don't know what dreaming is.

So in the middle of the night we'll ask her if she wants to go back to bed and she'll say "no" in a quiet quivering voice and it just breaks your heart.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Breast-feeding helps prevent diabetes in moms

MSNBC -- According to recent studies, it appears that breast feeding may actually help prevent diabetes in women. That's kinda cool. More...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Baby on the way

No, not us. I found this today using the "Next Blog" button up at the top. They're at about 15 weeks right now. http://mybabysecret.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A, You're Adorable

A fun song I hear often on Launchcast (because I ranked it high), sung by John Lithgow.


A - You're Adorable

So who here knows the alphabet?
Oh, you think you know the alphabet?
So, let's hear it . . .

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Now here's the song that goes along with the letters:

A - You're adorable
B - You're so beautiful
C - You're a cutie full of charm
D - You're a darling
E - You're exciting
and F - You're a feather in my arms

G - You look good to me
H - You're so heavenly
I - You're the one I idolize
J - We're like Jack and Jill
K - You're so kissable
L - Is the lovelight in your eyes

M, N, O, P - I can go on all day
Q, R, S, T - alphabetically speaking
You're OK

and U - Made my life complete
V - You're so very sweet
W, X, Y, Z - it's fun to wander through the alphabet with you
To tell you what you mean to me

A - You're adorable
B - You're so beautiful
C - You're a cutie full of charm
D - You're a darling
E - You're exciting
and F - You're a feather in my arms

G - You look good to me
H - You're so heavenly
I - You're the one I idolize
J - We're like Jack and Jill
K - You're so kissable
L - Is the lovelight in your eyes

M, N, O, P - I can go on all day
Q, R, S, T - alphabetically speaking
You're OK

and U - Made my life complete
V - You're so very sweet
W, X, Y, Z - it's fun to wander through the alphabet with you
Although it seems a silly thing to do

I L-O-V-E Y-O-U
I M N love with U!

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Time-In instead of a Time-Out

BABYCENTER.COM -- Lori found this one and sent it to me. It talks about a good alternative to a "time-out" for a child so small that they often don't understand a time-out as well as why they seem to rebel or misbehave. I liked it, since it seems like a time-out at this age requires putting her in her crib or something and we don't want to confuse bed-time with punishment or we'll never get her to nap during the day.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Choke!

Tonight on the way home from church, Rachel apparently swallowed a piece of cracker wrong. I was driving so I couldn't see, but she started coughing and making gasping noises and even spit up a little bit. A really scary thing to hear and not be able to do anything about. Well, as I was changing lanes so that I could get over to the shoulder if necessary, Lori was turning around and turning the light on and Lori's mom was patting her on the back. I am so glad she was sitting back there with Rachel. It all turned out well, but it was freakin' scary. As soon as she was feeling alright and could breathe normally again, guess what she said?

"Cracker. Cracker."

They told her there were no more crackers in her bag. It was a lie, but one I was grateful for.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


thanks to MS for this one.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Parents say: Getting past "No!"

BABYCENTER.COM -- What to do when they say "No"? This is a cool article with what others have found to work for them. More...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Heaven on Earth

Of all of the women I've loved in my life,
I love my wife the most.
I think the perfect breakfast is eggs over-easy,
And jellied toast.
I think people are the same, no matter what they claim,
Coast to coast.
I know God is alive,
And puts things into line just to let us know.

Like when you're mowin' the yard and you see a glass of water,
Bein' carefully spilled by your little baby daughter.
It's a love like that makes the world go around and around an' around.
With her Mama's blue eyes an' a smile just as sweet,
Yeah, here comes an angel with little bare feet.
It's all right here: if you know where to search,
You'll find a little Heaven on earth.

I think diamond rings an' old blue jeans,
Are worth about the same.
I know dreams come true, 'cause I've got the proof,
In my picture frames.
An' there ain't nothin' better than dancin' together,
In the pouring rain.
Life makes perfect sense,
When you learn it begins with the little things.

Like when you're mowin' the yard and you see a glass of water,
Bein' carefully spilled by your little baby daughter.
It's a love like that makes the world go around and around an' around.
With her Mama's blue eyes an' a smile just as sweet,
Yeah, here comes an angel with little bare feet.
It's all right here: if you know where to search,
You'll find a little Heaven on earth.

Search the skies;
Look beyond the blues an' greys.
There'll be times,
When you'll see God's smilin' face.

Like when you're mowin' the yard and you see a glass of water,
Bein' carefully spilled by your little baby daughter.
Hey, it's love like that makes the world go around and around an' around.
With her Mama's blue eyes an' a smile just as sweet,
Yeah, here comes an angel with grass-stained feet.
It's all right here: if you know where to search,
You'll find a little Heaven right here on earth.

(copyright Trini Triggs / Curb Records)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Video

New video of Rachel (link above). Although in retrospect, I guess I'm actually pretending to be "The Napster" pretending to be "Handsome Rob." Oh well.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Face of God

When my little girl gets that sleep in her eyes,
And she settles in with her head on my chest,
Why do I feel like my heart's gonna burst?
That I'm willing to die for this angel at rest?

And why am I filled with unshakeable faith,
When I look at that child so fragile and sweet?
There's something eternal I see in her face,
Something much more than her mother and me.

Maybe I'm looking at the face of God.
Makes me think I may be looking at the face of God,
And He's smiling back at me.

Why do I feel like the smallest of things,
When I try to count all the stars in the sky?
When I see the world that we're in at it's worst,
Why do I feel like it'll all be all right?

I can't see the wind as it moves through the trees.
So how do I know that I know that I know,
That somebody out there is speaking to me?
Saying: "I love you and you're not alone."

Maybe I'm looking at the face of God.
Makes me think I may be looking at the face of God,
And He's smiling back at me.

Oh, I know that I know that I know that He's out there.
Somebody’s out there.
When I look at the beauty around me,
And the love that surrounds me.

Maybe I'm looking at the face of God.
Makes me think I may be looking at the face of God,
And He's smiling back at me.
Maybe I'm looking at the face of God.
And He's smiling back at me.

(Billy Ray Cyrus; Face of God; The Other Side; Bob DiPiero/Rivers Rutherford/Tom Shapiro)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Baby on Board

Here's Southwest's guide for travelling with infants and toddlers, in case you're curious. More...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Early Bird

You know when you're sick and you're sleeping in the middle of the day, and then someone is talking to someone in another room as you're returning to conciousness? This morning I felt like that when I awoke at 5 am. I thought someone was talking. I quickly tried to think about that... I didn't hear anything, but what could it have been? Lori was sound asleep. No TV or radio on. Maybe someone outside? But I had the sense that the conversation was one sided. There was no one who could be on the phone, we didn't have an answering machine, what could it have been? I went to the bathroom and on my way back, I heard the talking again. I quietly opened the door to find Rachel, holding a staff meeting or something with her toys. Yes, she woke up earlier than us this morning, and in a really great mood. She may have been cold. But it was so nice seeing her in such a happy mood. Often she's reluctant to wake up at 6:30 even though we've had lights on for 20 minutes prior to that.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Baby

Rachel's grandma gave her her first doll today. She's really concerned about the doll's eyes closing when it is laid on its back, but otherwise, she seems to really love it. Totes it everywhere, puts it in the highchair, tries to feed it. Very cute. Does not seem to have a name for it yet beyond "baby."

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Storage Revisited

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Humiliation Express

I was originally responding to Kevin's comment on the most recent audio file, but realized it might make for a good post on its own.

I will try to keep the humiliating pictures to a minimum. The most potentially humiliating don't make it onto the site and you'll notice that they are the first to be pruned when I need to make room each month for the new ones.

I hope she will see it as an interesting way to see the history of her life she can't remember.
I would be fascinated to see myself as a baby on video or audio. I hope this running commentary, video, audio and photos will also mean a very different kind of relationship with my children than past generations have had with theirs.

I will be "mean OLD dad" but I want her to know that I was still (relatively) young when she came into the world. She helped her mom and I to grow up, but we, too, were once children. I know you have to avoid being the "pal" or "buddy" to your kids at the detriment of boundaries, rules and the "wisdom" of being a parent, but I hope that I can have the same kind of friendship with my children as Lori has with her mom.

Hopefully that this will show her that as she's learning about life, so we still are as well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

If I were buying a baby monitor today... I would buy one with at least two, maybe three monitoring station. Each evening the baby monitor moves from the bedroom to the living room. Sometimes it moves on to the kitchen or den and then eventually back to the bedroom. The cord is messed up, from all the moving and from being chewed up by a cat. So eventually I'll be at Radio Shack getting patronized by some dork to get a new adapter/cord for the monitor and did I want to sign up for a two year contract with Sprint while I'm at it?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Drippy Cups

It seems like there are two basic style of sippy cups... you know, the ones where the juice/milk/water doesn't come out when it's held upside down. Some work on suction. The baby sucks really hard and the water comes out. When they stop, air is quickly sucked back in to equalize the chamber. The second is more interesting. The entire top is a soft, flexible rubbery plastic. This allows the "straw" to be moved, pressing in on the top and causing juice to come out. Rachel has learned that this cup, when banged on the table upside down causes milk to come out. So, she does this all the time to make milk puddles, which she then delights in splashing in with her hands. What fun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Can't Even Imagine

I knew Patrick growing up. His brother Sean was in my grade and I was in scouts with both of them. I just learned from another friend that he has a daughter a month younger than Rachel with cancer. His blog (link above) is really amazing. Start at the bottom to read things in chronological order. I am really impressed with how he manages to keep it together and stay positive with his reports. I don't think I would be able to stay quite that positive if there were days where the only contact I could have with my little one was to rub her arms, legs, head and torso, or if I had to wear a mask when being in the same room with her, looking at her, strapped down to a bed to keep her from ripping out all the tubes and wires connected to her.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Baptism

A cell phone? Let's play.
Oh, look. A toilet. Splash, splash.
I can't hear you now.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

AMBER ALERT

THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL HAS ISSUED A

* CHILD ABDUCTION EMERGENCY FOR
SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA...

* A CHILD ABDUCTION OCCURRED ON SEPTEMBER 4 AT 124 PM IN
FONTANA...CALIFORNIA.

* THE CHILDS NAME IS NOAH LEANO...AGE 18 MONTHS...HISPANIC MALE
CHILD...WEARING A ONE PIECE RED JUMPER.

* THE SUSPECT IS A HISPANIC MALE...30 YEARS OLD...WEARING A PLAID
SHIRT.

THE SUSPECT IS DRIVING A STOLEN 2000 WHITE FORD EXPEDITION WITH
CALIFORNIA LICENSE PLATE 5 J Y A 7 8 0. THE VEHICLE HAS 3 CHROME
TIRE RIMS AND A BLACK RIGHT REAR TIRE RIM...AND A STICKER IN THE
REAR WINDOW THAT SAYS...7 FAMILY MEMBER.

TO REPORT SIGHTINGS CALL 9 1 1 OR FONTANA PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT
AT 9 0 9 3 5 6 7 1 6 0.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

AMBER ALERT

San Diego, CA
1991 Chevrolet Beretta - Black - CA 4LYN138
Child: 3 month old hispanic male, brown hair
Suspect: 20 year old hispanic male, 5'7", 150 pounds, brown hair
Call 619-531-5000

Thursday, August 25, 2005

$100 for a doll?

Would I spend $100 for a doll for Rachel? Maybe. This one sounds pretty darn, well, amazing. (NEWS.COM)

Left to die, deformed baby finds life in Britain

MSNBC.COM -- A Kenyan boy born with no arms or legs was left at a hospital by his parents and adopted by an aid worker. Video shows how he's able to roll around and notice his surroundings and talks about his future, including a special wheelchair and next year, artificial limbs. Very cute little kid.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

D'oh

I have to laugh... there's a disclaimer on the package of Play-Doh that reads "Molded results vary depending on child's age and level of skill."

Were there parents out there threatening to sue because their kid who wasn't yet able to walk couldn't make items that matched the examples on the packaging? (You'd have a better lawsuit for false advertising... some of those creations would take six or seven containers of doh to make.)

Sunday, August 14, 2005


War 2

I am a coward.


Years ago, I was so close to joining the Marines. It was actually, believe it or not, a dead watch battery. I missed my appointment to take the test and the recruiting office was closed by the time I realized my watch wasn't working. I left a note, but I'm guessing they're not interested in slackers who can't tell time, or they'd seen enough people chicken out that they believed I was just another one of them. There was still some concern on my part because my summer break wouldn't be long enough for Marines boot camp, but I figured I'd figure that out later.

They never called back, I really didn't pursue it.

Anyhow, tonight I called up the Week in Pictures and this was the first picture. I didn't look at it because I got busy and there it sat on the screen, covered by other programs while I ate dinner with my family and then put my little 14-month-old to bed. Then I came back out here and saw this picture. I just kept staring at it. There's another picture that I've kept on my computer at work and I look at it every so often, of a little girl, nine months old tugging at her dad's dog tags as he says goodbye before being shipped off. It's so hard to make sense of it all. Sometimes I wish I could just denounce war altogether as my friends Kevin and Allison do but that doesn't make sense either.

But I was staring at this picture tonight and I wanted to cry. I needed to cry. But I couldn't. This little boy probably couldn't really understand what was going on. And possibly, hopefully, he's too young to really understand that he'll never see his daddy again. Perhaps hopefully the time that his dad has been gone away at war has softened that. It's horrible to wish a baby would forget about a parent, but I just hurt for this little boy. Finally I was wracked with the pain and guilt of this picture and the tears came. It didn't really make me feel better, but it at least made me feel like I was responding appropriately.

Rachel was so cute and adorable tonight. Way more than usual, if that's at all possible. But I just could not telling her tonight how beautiful she was and how much fun she was. I cannot imagine going off and leaving her the whole time knowing that I might never see her again. But at the same time, I think of something Kevin said on my other blog. I recently commented about how I didn't think that terrorists had a larger objective other than to kill and spread fear and to that end, we needed to make it not in their best interests to continue doing that. In some ways, it was to improve the conditions in other countries so that there were alternatives beyond suicide bombing. In other ways, it was to go after the people who were spreading the fear and inciting others to their deaths.

He asked me, hypothetically, if he were to stalk my family, wouldn't I first try to figure out why? Wouldn't I want to know why? I figured that plenty of smart people around the world had already tried to figure out why. In this particular case, I figured my first response would be to circle the wagons, assess my options and maybe fire back where I thought I could do the most damage. Lori was even more blunt, she said that she wouldn't care why, but that if Rachel were put into any sort of jeopardy, she wouldn't hesitate to kill first and maybe, just maybe, ask questions later.

Which is why I feel like a coward. I am not out there trying to improve someone else's life. But I understand why it's important and I'm really grateful for those who have heeded the call. The downside just sucks beyond words.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What's the baby thinking about?

MSNBC.com -- Some fascinating research dispells some centuries-old myths about the mental development of infants. More...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Positive outlook for baby of brain-dead woman

“Her passing is a testament to the truth that human life is a gift from God and that children are always to be fought for, even if life requires — as it did of Susan — the last full measure of devotion.”

Wow. More on MSNBC.com

Firm Seeks Breast Milk

MSNBC.COM -- A company in Monrovia, Calif. wants donated breast milk so they can learn more about all the benefits and nutrients it contains so they can help more sick children. More...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Brain-dead mother gives birth

MSNBC.COM -- Follow-up to the earlier story... Susan Torres, whose brain stopped after complications due to a stroke in May, gave birth today to a baby girl. More...

Liquid medicine recall

MSNBC.COM -- Perrigo recalled four types of white-label infant/child medicine packaged with recently-redesigned syringes that had confusing dosage markers. There is no problem with the medicine itself. They are sold by national pharmacies and packaged under that pharmacy's name (like Target, CVS and Walgreen). More info...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Proud to be an American



Received this in the mail today. I guess we wrote and asked at one time for a blessing, but don't even remember. So it was even neater to receive this today because it was unexpected.

Brain-dead mother's fetus past critical stage

MSNBC.COM -- This is a bitter-sweet story. A pregnant woman collapsed due to a rapidly spreading cancer in her body. She's been pronounced brain-dead and the cancer has spread to all of her vital organs, but not the placenta. The organs continue to function and the baby has now passed the 24-week mark. The doctors now believe the baby would survive if she were delivered, but they're hoping to be able to wait until at least 32 weeks. The dad recently got to feel the baby kicking.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rebel Yell

Rachel has somewhere picked up the "indian chant" -- you know, where kids quickly clap a hand to their mouth and remove it, repeatedly while making a high humming noise.

And her pronunciation of banana grows clearer by the day. Sometimes it sounds much more like banana than manana.

It is so much fun being Rachel's dad.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tonight, on 'Rachel is so cute.'


(Reanactment/Actor Portrayal) Earlier this evening, Rachel was walking around with a tiny doll that she got for her birthday (part of a whole plush dollhouse from Adrea and Christi). She wandered into the bathroom and I heard a thud. I walked in to find that Rachel had pulled the scale out from where it usually sits, on its side, between the shower and the vanity and was standing her little doll on it, as if to weigh it. (I've used the scale to weigh Rachel before.)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hey Dad, Watch This!

MSNBC.COM -- A new system called DriveCam ($1,000) is helping teens to drive better, when properly used. The system contains two small cameras, one pointing outside to capture the view of the road and a second points inside to capture what's happening inside the car. In tests where the kids sat down weekly to review footage with their parents, new drivers drove much more safely, slowly and were far less likely to get into dangerous situations or accidents. I'm sure that in 15 years, it will be standard on all cars, so that the cops can watch us as well. But, if it means more protection and encouragement for Rachel to drive well, I'm all for it. More...

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hello?

One of the things I wasn't prepared for was how much less time I would get with Lori, quality or otherwise. I thought "hey, this will bring us closer." We'll hang out and play with the baby instead of watching TV or playing on the computer. Well, instead, I've found we have less time for everything, most importantly, just hanging out together.

We carpool most days, so we get to spend more time together than probably many new parents. I wanted to tell her about this great article I read today, but right as I started, the baby started screaming, so there was no point in even trying to talk. When we got home, I thought I would just put Rachel down for a nap because she seemed really tired. Well, she screamed at that, too. I thought we'd let her cry it out and then she'd nap and I could talk to Lori. But Lori went in there and sat with her. I don't begrudge the baby the time if she needs it, but sharing's not fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Lions, Tigers and Meerkats, Oh My!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Rachel, Googlified


Link above. I uploaded this short clip in April and I guess Google Video went live today with submitted videos, because heeeeeeeeere's Rachel!

Friday, June 17, 2005

What's changed?

A pre-engaged colleague today asked me what it's like being the dad of a daughter and if I thought it would be different than being the dad of a boy, and if I found myself being overprotective. When I told her, she said I really needed to write it down.

I told her that no matter whether the child is a boy or a girl, you will discover a love inside yourself for this child that is bigger and stronger than the love you have for anyone else, be it even your spouse or your own parents.

You have watched this child from the beginning. From a point in time when some (heartless, ignorant people) would argue that life has not even yet begun. You have known this child their entire life. When you got married, you didn't know everything about the person you married. I don't mean that they kept secrets, but they had a life before you. You love the person, who they were, who they are becoming and the life you have together. But with a child, you know everything. You may not get to spend 24 hours a day with them, but you've gotten to see them become. You've gotten to see them completely bald and naked, covered in blood and slime screaming with brand new lungs and then it's just gotten better and more amazing since then.

Those that are not changed by their children should not have children.

Lastly, I don't think you can be overprotective. Every step along the way, I've thought "Just as soon as Rachel is a month old... Just as soon as Rachel is six months old... Just as soon as Rachel is a year old... I'll be able to worry less." But if it's not SIDs, it's terrorists taking a school hostage, or the commute home every night, or school friends offering to sell her drugs (no, that hasn't happened yet.) I will not stop worrying about this precious life as long as I have breath. But I cannot let the worry take over my life. All I can do is enjoy her, thank God that He's chosen to share her with us and pray that He'll keep her safe.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

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Saturday, June 11, 2005


Happy Birthday, Little One!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A year late...

I heard this song a few years ago, before I even met Lori and thought it was a pretty neat song. I heard it recently on LaunchCast and it made me get all teary-eyed, even though we've had a chance to experience the miracle of Rachel first-hand for almost a year now. If this song (not the lyrics flat on a page, but the actual song) doesn't make you cry, you haven't had a child yet.

"Thing's We've Handed Down" by Marc Cohn

Don't know much about you
Don't know who you are
We've been doing fine without you
But, we could only go so far
Don't know why you chose us
Were you watching from above
Is there someone there that knows us
Said we'd give you all our love

Will you laugh just like your mother
Will you sigh like your old man
Will some things skip a generation
Like I've heard they often can
Are you a poet or a dancer
A devil or a clown
Or a strange new combination of
The things we've handed down

I wonder who you'll look like
Will your hair fall down and curl
Will you be a mama's boy
Or daddy's little girl
Will you be a sad reminder
Of what's been lost along the way
Maybe you can help me find her
In the things you do and say

And these things that we have given you
They are not so easily found
But you can thank us later
For the things we've handed down

You may not always be so grateful
For the way that you were made
Some feature of your father's
That you'd gladly sell or trade
And one day you may look at us
And say that you were cursed
But over time that line has been
Extremely well rehearsed
By our fathers, and their fathers
In some old and distant town
From places no one here remembers
Come the things we've handed down

From a rocker to his daughter

This is a harder type of music than I'm used to, but it's a nice song.

"Sweet Zoe Jane" by Staind

Well I want you to notice
To notice when I'm not around
And I know that your eyes see straight through me
And speak to me without a sound

[CHORUS]
I want to hold you
Protect you from all of the things I've already endured
I want to show you
Show you all of the things that this life has in store for you
I'll always love you
The way that a father should love his daughter

When I walked out this morning
I cried as I walked to the door
I cried about how long I'd be away for
I cried about leaving you all alone

[CHORUS]
I want to hold you
Protect you from all of the things I've already endured
I want to show you
Show you all of the things that this life has in store for you
I'll always love you
The way that a father should love his daughter

Sweet Zoe Jane....
Sweet Zoe Jane.....

So I wanted to say this
Cuz I wouldn't know where to begin
To explain to you what I have been through
To explain where your daddy has been

[CHORUS]
I want to hold you
Protect you from all of the things I've already endured
I want to show you
Show you all of the things that this life has in store for you
I'll always love you
The way that a father should love his daughter

Sweet Zoe Jane......
Sweet Zoe Jane.......

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What's In a Name?

Baby Center released top names for about twelve countries. Pretty interesting how international most names are, with the exception of Norway (7 of their top 10 were unique to their country, among those surveyed.) The most international name was Sophie/Sofia and the only country not to have a name unique to itself among the list? Australia.

Abigail (US)
Aimee (N.Ireland)
Alba (Spain)
Amy (Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland)
Andrea (Spain)
Anna/Anne/Ana (Austria, Germany, Spain)
Aino (Finland)
Aoife (Ireland)
Aurora (Finland)
Charlotte (Australia, NZ, UK)
Chloe/Chloë (Australia, Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland, UK)
Ciara (Ireland)
Claudia (Spain)
Ella (Australia, NZ)
Ellie (N.Ireland, UK, Scotland)
Elina (Finland)
Emma (Australia, Ireland, N.Ireland, NZ, Norway, Scotland US)
Emilia (Finland)
Emily/Emilie (Australia, NZ, Norway, UK, US)
Erin (Scotland)
Georgia (NZ)
Grace (NZ)
Hailey (US)
Hannah (Austria, NZ, US)
Ida (Norway)
Ingrid (Norway)
Isabella (Australia, US)
Jessica (Australia, NZ, UK)
Johanna (Finland, Germany)
Julia (Austria, Finland)
Julie (Norway)
Katariina/Katharina (Austria, Finland, Germany)
Katie (Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland, UK)
Kaitlyn (US)
Laura (Austria, Germany, Spain)
Lauren (Scotland)
Lea/Leah (Germany, Ireland)
Lena (Austria, Germany)
Leonie (Austria, Germany)
Lisa (Austria)
Lucia (Spain)
Lucy (Scotland, UK)
Madison (US)
Malin (Norway)
Maria (Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain)
Marie (Germany)
Marta (Spain)
Megan (UK)
Niamh (N.Ireland)
Nora (Norway)
Olivia (Australia, Finland, NZ, UK, US)
Paula (Spain)
Rachel (Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland)
Sara/Sarah (Australia, Austria, Ireland, N.Ireland, Spain, US)
Sofia/Sophie (Australia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, N.Ireland, NZ, Scotland, UK)
Thea (Norway)
Tuva (Norway)
Vanessa (Austria)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bankable

She and I went to Wells Fargo over the weekend and created a bank account for her. But, sadly, there were no little stuffed horses left.

If you're thinking "Great... put the kid on the grid," sorry, it's too late. Her father opened an account for her at his bank as soon as we had her social security number and she was included on our taxes a few months ago.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Child Tylenol recalled over label confusion

MSNBC.COM -- Confusing labelling causes Tylenol to recall products. Medicine itself is perfectly fine. If you have Children's Tylenol in pill form, if there are two pills in a single blister pod, each pill contains the full dosage.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Starving Babies

I don't normally put out pleas for other people's money, as I know everyone works hard and that most people give when they can to the needs that speak to them. But I read this article the other day on Yahoo! news, and it broke my heart. The story talks about women and children in the Sudan who are eating leaves to try to survive, because the region is having its worst food shortage in 7 years due to failed rains and a surge in cattle raiding. It describes a 4-year-old boy who collapsed out of hunger, laying naked on the ground, struggling to breathe. His mother hasn't been able to get him to even eat the leaves.

The U.N. World Food Programme is appealing for additional funds, as they've received $78 million out of $302 million needed to feed 3.2 million people in the regions that were hardest hit. If you'd like to give a little (or a lot) to help meet the need, you can donate online at this website:

http://www.wfp.org/how_to_help/donate_online/online.asp?section=4&sub_section=5

You can choose to specifically donate to the Sudan, to WFP's greatest needs, or to other options.

Thanks for reading this. Herein ends the PSA.

No no no no no!

"No" is a word that Rachel has learned, in a big way. As she becomes more mobile, she's hearing it more often. I'm not into the philosophy that it's a bad thing for a child to hear the word "no" and that you should only use positive talk with them. I think that's bunk. Kids need to know that there are boundaries and that it's acceptable for their parents to tell them they can't do or have or say whatever they feel like. I do think they need to hear a lot of positive reinforcement, too, so I always thank her when she's obedient or gives me something or does other nice things.

Anyway, I went to wipe her nose this weekend, and I got a "no!" We also heard that word a number of times at the dinner table last night. We met up with friends at a restaurant, and Rachel wanted everything on the table. She's got a surprisingly long reach for a baby. She'd point at the things she wanted and knew she wouldn't get and would say "no." She even pointed at a knife and said that, and I don't think we've ever had occasion to tell her no when it comes to knives, so I'm not sure how she made that association.

It's so cool to hear her putting emphasis on words and using them properly. She's completely understanding concepts and learning new ones that we don't even necessarily try to teach her. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that we need to be even more careful about what we say and do around her. We don't want to be parents that say "do what we say, not what we do," so we really want to make sure we're setting good examples for her. No pressure there.

Knowing Too Much...

MSNBC.COM -- Advances in genetic research may make it possible to one day test for things like autism. But at what cost? Our friends' genetic test came back suggesting the child they were carrying might have downs syndrome. It was a false positive, but this stuff starts to get scary. The article wonders whether such testing could be to our own detriment.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

No Shoes For You!

Lori and her mom picked up some new shoes for Rachel yesterday. So far, she's not a big fan of shoes. If you put them on her feet, she screams bloody murder and refuses to walk, and isn't even really interested in crawling.

But yesterday Lori handed her one of her shoes and she immediately staggered out of her room turned right proceeded down a short hall, turned right into our bedroom and right to our closet where she crouched down and grabbed one of my shoes with her other hand.

Now, I know Rachel is a genius, but seriously it's mind-boggling to think that she had that level of thought. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I probably would have some reservations, but seriously she did it all in one continuous motion. I had her walk around later and I think it was about 40 steps. Which on its own for her to walk that much all at once is pretty impressive.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sharing

Rachel seems to have really picked up sharing. It's so cute. Whenever she's eating and you come close, she will hold out food to you. Sometimes she's teasing and when you open your mouth she quickly pulls back and throws it in her mouth. But mostly she will feed you if you open your mouth. Of course, sometimes you have to say 'No thank you.' because her hands are all slobbery. Tonight she took some toys out of a plastic bag and had the bag in her hands and I said 'Plastic bags aren't for babies. Can I have it?' She held it out and dropped it. I held my hand out and she stood up picked up the bag and carried it to me and handed it to me.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Hey, Jealousy

Without any real questions about how I had two beautiful girls on my lap, I guess I've had my fun.

The other little girl is Kinley, we were at a picnic with our Sunday school class. Some of you were able to see the picture of her older sister Kira (at 7 month) on my lap at the fourth of July picnic in 2002. Everyone swore that she was my daughter in the photograph.

Well Kinley had just fallen down and gotten a really nasty bump on her head, so her mom decided it was time to go. She asked us to watch Kinley while she went to find Kira and her husband. Kinley was quite upset from the fall so I held her on my lap to calm her.

Rachel came up and regarded us, so I brought her in to sit with us. For awhile they were fine. Kinley's about four months older than Rachel. But after awhile, Rachel started to show signs of being upset, not from being held, but from Kinley being there.

It should be interesting to see how she reacts to a younger brother or sister. (No, this is not an announcement.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Umm....hmm....


Umm...hmm... how to explain. Or perhaps it's more fun not to.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Moms pregnant with boys less forgetful?

MSNBC.COM -- A Canadian study on memory of pregnant women kept giving contradictory results, until the researchers divided the results by the gender of the fetus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Not Tired Yet

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Autism Test for Babies

MSNBC.COM -- A study in Canada suggests that autism may be diagnosed as early as 12 months old in infants who don't smile much, aren't very active or don't make a lot of eye contact. The study looked at 150 infants. They identified 19 which they predicted would be diagnosed with autism between the ages of 2 and 3 (the typical age when autism is diagnosed) and then tested them when they were between the ages of 2 and 3 and all 19 were dianosed with autism.

I read an interesting article a few months ago that suggested autism wasn't a "have" or "not have" but a scale. I then self-diagnosed myself as being just the smallest bit autistic.

Our child, however, is incredibly active, smiles all the time and makes eye contact whenever possible. When she's being held, sometimes she will smack you on both sides of your head or face. If you close your eyes, she stops hitting. As soon as you open your eyes, you see those hands poised and bap! She's got you again.

And teachers thought they were underpaid...

MSNBC.COM -- A study salary.com suggests that the value of the average stay-at-home is about $130k a year, if it were a paid job. Rachel might need to get a job to help me pay Lori.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Super Girl

Yahoo News -- 'Daddy was poorly, but I looked after him' Girl, age 2, saves dad from diabetic coma. What an awesome story.

Diaper Prices to Rise

MSNBC.COM -- Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly Clark raise prices. Um, yeah, thanks for that. For those non-initiated, you cannot comprehend how many diapers you will go through. It is impossible to count.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The End of Training Wheels?


AP


I know I've got a little while, but this new bike holds the promise to making learning to ride a breeze, as well as open up bike riding to individuals whose physical handicaps would have made a normal bicycle difficult to ride. The back wheels stand apart at slow speeds to work like a tricycle, offering stability. But as you ride faster and faster, the two narrow wheels come together to give you the normal bicycle experience. As you slow, the wheels come apart again.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Separation Anxiety

Yes, it's hit. We hoped we would be able to avoid it and that Rachel had just made the adjustment to being in the care of others without having to go through separation anxiety. She's had a tough time the last 3 or 4 times she's been in the church nursery, but she's always done pretty well at daycare, so we thought it might be that she doesn't like having to be away from us on the weekends when she already has to be away from us on weekdays. Either that, or that the people at the church nursery were somewhat strangers to her since they rotate and she doesn't see them nearly as often as the caregivers at her daycare.

Well, 3 out of 5 days this week, Rachel has cried as we've been leaving daycare or as we've still been in the room there with her but are about to go. She's also very aware of when I walk out of the room at home. I'll let her know that I'm going to another room and will be right back, and usually she's fine, although she does hate it when I'm in the kitchen and she's on the other side of the baby gate, looking at me.

It's heartbreaking to see her little face crumple and to have her cuddle up and cling against you when you have to walk out the door momentarily. Fortunately the caregivers at her daycare are compassionate people. One of them, Marian, saw it start to happen yesterday and came right over, holding out her hands so she could take Rachel, hold her and comfort her while we said goodbye. I know they've seen this before and have helped other children through it, but it sure stinks when it's your child.

It's still our hope that I'll be able to be home with Rachel full-time somehow. If that were happening now, she'd probably have some anxiety when we left her occasionally for church or to go out for an evening, but at least it wouldn't be so frequent and add to the guilt of having her in daycare to begin with.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pretty Pink Pancakes

Yesterday morning we had pancakes and Lori said it was ok for Rachel to try pancakes. Because I am no good at following instructions, I added red food coloring to them, just for fun. Lori gave Rachel a few torn up pancakes and then I suggested maybe we could give her a whole one, with supervision, to see if she would eat it without trying to stuff the entire thing into her mouth. Well, she grabbed up that pancake, stuck it partially in her mouth, ripped off a piece and ate it, like she's been eating pancakes with her hands all her life. She seemed to really enjoy it. She's always happiest when she thinks she's eating the same foods we are.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Walk Like an Egyptian

We're going to count today as the official first time she walked. She had made independent steps before, but they were almost always a single step and pretty much just going with momentum. But tonight she made the decision to let go of the coffee table and stood the for a second or two and then stepped forward, lifting her left leg, bringing it forward, pausing for a second or two, then bringing the other leg forward and then paused a second time. Then Lori caught her before she fell onto her backside. Of course, she would not repeat well for the video or still camera, but here's a shot with her stepping while not holding on to anything.

(Lori doesn't know this but I had been working with her on clapping. But she would show a tendency to try to clap even before that whenever we were singing in church and everyone was clapping along.)

Monday, April 18, 2005

So Many New Things!

Rachel is 10 months old now, and she seems to be picking up on new actions and sounds faster than we can note them. On Easter weekend, she started to cluck her tongue off the roof of her mouth. I'm not sure where that came from. Shortly after that, she started to make a little snorting noise as she wrinkled her nose. She's doing a lot of the nose-wrinkling still, and she seems to be finding herself quite amusing lately :)

Rachel is also teasing us a lot by pulling her hands away from everything and standing independently for a few seconds at a time, but only when she doesn't know she's doing it. She still thinks she needs to hold onto something and doesn't realize how steadily she's able to stand up. She continues to practice walking by cruising around like crazy and can really move with her little push-walker now.

This weekend, she started to clap, out of the blue. That was a first. She also likes to share things, or at least pretend she's going to share them (such as a Cheerio) and then quickly take her hand back and shove it in her mouth. She enjoys making us laugh and is pretty aware of when she's doing something silly.

She's doing quite a lot of pointing, too, and I think she's eager to know what everything is called. And she thinks it's a fun game to hold her little finger out and have someone else touch it, "E.T."-style.

It's so fun to watch her develop little games and new awareness. Every week she becomes more of a little independent person. It's bittersweet, because I know that the time will continue to pass quickly and I'll miss things about each stage once it's over. But it's also exciting to get to know Rachel as she grows and for her to be able to communicate with us more.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Rachel Calls AudioBlogger

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, April 08, 2005

Cruisin' USA

Yesterday was different. Rachel home sick for the second day in a row and I stayed home with her. Other than Sesame Street and Bear in the Big Blue House, I kept the TV off all night. Anything and everything was a reason to try. I'm out of Cheerios. Wah. You're not feeding me fast enough. Wah. I dropped my toy. Wah. Stop wiping my face. Wah. A new diaper? Wah. She, obviously, wasn't feeling her best.

Lori's mom joined us for dinner. After dinner, Lori's mom was sitting on the floor playing with Rachel and we sat down on the floor, too. Rachel was playing a little bit with the push-walker. Lori's mom puts her behind the walker and she just takes off, basically the thing is going faster than she can keep up and she tears across the room until she hits a table and stops. It wasn't a long distance and she wasn't in any danger of getting hurt, but it really looked like she aimed for the table in order to stop herself.


Obviously not Rachel. More info on toy from Fisher-Price
So Lori and I got down on the floor and had her try to walk from one of us to the other. She did and we'd all clap and we'd turn the walker around so she could go the other way. A lot of the times on her way to me, she'd turn and end up hitting the table. And she'd either stand there crying or fall to sitting and crawl the rest of the way. If she didn't crawl, I'd have to hold my hands out so she could take them and walk the rest of the way.

And when we thought she might be growing tired and didn't turn the walker around for her, she crawled back. So we kept letting her walk back and forth between us to the point where she was just getting exhausted, poor thing. But she was really mastering it. It would be fun to see what she does with the one at her school where there's more room to go. Maybe we'll get there early enough tomorrow morning to play with her a little bit on it before we're off to work.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Chomp!

About two weeks ago I had to pick up Rachel by myself (usually Lori and I carpool). One caregiver was holding Rachel, another stood nearby whlie another child stood in a playpen crying. The caregiver was rubbing Rachel's temple, which I could see was red. I came in and they said something had happened and I asked what and one of the caregivers spat out "Robert bit her!"

I learned later that they're not supposed to tell you who bit or hit your child, but I guess it had just happened and they were kind of annoyed. Yep, sure enough, there was a bite mark on the side of her face. I was pretty ticked at Robert.

The next day a colleague said her son manages to come home with bite marks once a month. They won't tell her who did it, but her son is big enough that he tells her. That made me feel better. Later that night, she had a toy and she was smacking me in the face with it. I really hoped that she hadn't hit Robert like that before he bit her, or else I'd have to feel guilty about my anger at him.

Well, the bite mark is gone, and I'm no longer annoyed with Robert. At some point, we may find out that Rachel has bit or hit some other child.

Funny story... we have friends who have quads. Their children make up four of the six children at their daycare. They will often get two incident reports... one will say "Your child was bitten by another child." And a second one that reads "Your child bit another child." We had a good laugh when we heard that.

In other news, we'd like to join D&LC and big brother M in welcoming new baby MSC! (Born 8:37 pm, 4/4/05)

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Rachel Bang

The other night, we tried a bath with Rachel instead of a shower. Well, baths for the little girl are not going to happen again for awhile. Originally, I sat outside the bathtub, nice and dry. But she would not stay seated and fell twice, bonking her head, but mostly just scaring herself. So I climbed in with my boxers on and sat there trying to keep her still, just playing with her toys. But all she wanted to do was stand, and even though I was holding her, managed to bump head a little bit a third time. So no baths until she's much more stable on her feet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Death

Maybe it was a source of pride for me, but I never really feared death. If it happened, it would be sad for those around me (hopefully) but I never really feared for my own death. It wasn't that I didn't think about it, it's just that it didn't scare me.

For the second time at work, the death of a guy in their late 40's has come across my desk. (I maintain the website for my church.) The first guy (48) had three kids in the High School and Jr. High ministries and actually had a heart attack and died while playing Nintendo with his youngest son. The second guy (49) makes me come really close to crying. He leaves behind an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. While there's never a good time, six years is just way too few years to spend with your children.

It's selfish of me, but I want to see my daughter's high school and college graduations. I want to give her away in marriage. I want to hold her children in my arms. Many, many people live to see those things happen. But not everyone does.

Sorry if this is a downer. No pithy "enjoy each day," just some somber thoughts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wake UP!

Our little one has taken to waking at night again. Sometimes I think it's because of the cough, but sometimes she's hungry. Which I do not get. We get home from work and she gets fed, then we eat (occasionally vice-versa), then she gets her shower, then she eats again and goes to bed. How can she possibly wake up hungry?

In other news, there are now two others at her school who share her birthday. We met one of them, Trinity, today. She was born at the same hospital later the same day. Trinity also does not sleep through the night.

In other, other news, J&M are expecting. They suffered a number of miscarriages before having their first daughter, but were trying unsuccessfully for the past two or so years to have a second child. D&L should be welcoming their second any time now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Heartstrings

Why Parents Drink

The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers, dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.

"Hello."

"Is your daddy home?" he asked.

"Yes," whispered the small voice.

"May I talk with him?"

The child whispered, "No."

Surprised, and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"

"Yes."

"May I talk with her?"

Again the small voice whispered, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"

"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"

"No, he's busy", whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a Helicopter through the earpiece on the phone the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A hello-copper" answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" asked the boss, now truly alarmed.

In an awed whispering voice the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper." Alarmed, concerned, and even more then just a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle: "ME."

Mobility

Rachel has stepped up efforts to gain independence through movement. The other night, she kept popping up all over the place like Pip and Pop. She'd be in one place banging on her music table, then all the sudden she was giggling and she banged on an overturned basket, and then all of the sudden she was holding onto my legs bouncing on her tiptoes as she started up at me laughing.

While the balance isn't there yet for complete walking, Rachel gets around pretty good. When there's a wall or piece of furniture, she'll use that for support. And when there's a gap too large to transition, she gracefully plops unto her backside, rolls to her side, springs onto all fours and crawls quickly across the distance before climbing back to her feet.

She's taken too chewing on the rubber protector we put around the coffee table. We don't see any teeth marks in it, or any indication that she's degrading the integrity, or getting any pieces in her mouth, but we hope she grows out of that by the time the new coffee table (sorry, apparently they're now called "cocktail tables") is delivered next weekend. Or else we'll have to keep that in another room until she's done with the table-biting phase.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Aaaaand we have a winner...

...for the first food Rachel doesn't like. I, for one, cannot fathom it, but our little girl seems to be repulsed by avocados. To be fair, I'm told I hated avocados as a child, too.

At any rate, I decided to give them a try two nights ago as they're some of the next stage of food that the experts recommend you introduce, along with various meats. I took a little piece of chopped avocado, offered it to her, and she took it in her mouth like a little baby bird.

The look of disgust on her face was priceless - if only we'd had the video camera going! I'd been doing that when introducing new foods for the first 4 or 5 things we tried, then stopped, and now I'm kicking myself for it. Her expression said "What IS this garbage you just gave me?" I think she managed to swallow the little bit that was in her mouth.

She's had other foods that she didn't love right off the bat, but she would take other bites and now seems to think they're okay, if not her favorite. Peas (blech!) would be a good example. So I offered her a second taste of avocado. She opened her mouth, took it and then pushed it right back out with her tongue. For now, at least, avocadoes are a no.

I've read that sometimes children need to have a particular food offered to them 10 times before they'll accept it. I don't think I'll try it 9 more times in the near future, but I'll probably try it again in 6 months or a year to see if her palate has developed a taste for foods like that yet. And if not, hey, more avocado for me.

In other new food news, the beef-and-carrots combo seemed to be a hit last night. That was her first meat. I'm thinking about starting to make some of the food for her myself, cooking vegetables, fruits and meats and pureeing or finely chopping them and making little baby food containers myself. I could probably make food much cheaper, if I can just carve out some time to do it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Cheerio, mate.

The small rings have gone from a curiosity to something that is worth keeping in the mouth. Yep, she's now eating the cheerios instead of just playing with them and occasionally putting one in her mouth, only to get a funny look on her face as she spits them out. Now she's eating them. This is her first solid food.

However, she does not appear to be a picky eater in general, she's now had peas, carrots, green beans, apples, bananas, apricots, squash and sweet potatoes. She's enjoyed some more than others, but she seems to like the variety of foods and really hasn't yet objected to anything we've sent her way. An interesting thing I learned is that you wait several days between introducing new foods so that if they do have a reaction, you can identify which food caused it. The first food we introduced was peas and it did give her problems. We later read that it's not a good first food -- why does Gerber include them in the stage 1 foods? -- because it can produce an allergic reaction. We later tried peas again and this time there was no adverse reactions.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Life of the Party

Had dinner tonight with some friends. One is one of my bosses. His wife is a former colleague of mine -- he was her boss before they decided to tie the knot. Then she had to quit.

Anyhow, this isn't really about them, because we all know who this is about. Tonight was another award-winning night for Rachel. For the first time ever, she endured several short stints in the pen..er, playard.. without complaining. She sat with us during the entire meal in her highchair and behaved herself. As we ate Lori and I took turns feeding her. She was an ultimate delight to have around and really impressed us and them.

They aren't sure yet if they want to have kids. Originally he did, but now he's not so sure. She hasn't warmed up to the idea yet, one of her concerns being the number of children out there without parents waiting for adoptions. He also mentioned a family who came to have dinner with them and brought their two kids who weren't behaving well that night. He wasn't faulting them, just alluding to how much of a challenge that seemed like.

But Rachel was just downright impressive tonight. I needed to write this down because I know there will be nights not like this one and it will be good for me to come back and read this. (So, Rachel, if you are reading this, I owe you another $5, unless you just used a search engine to find all the times I said I owed you money.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mine!

The past two days when we've left Rachel at school, immediately this little 5-month old show off creeps and crawls right over to her and puts his hands on the toy she's playing with. The first day, I picked up the little bugger, turned him around and gave him his own toy to play with, but he went back to bugging her. (At work they said "Ah, look, dad already fighting off the boys!")

Yesterday, the toy had a handle on it and when he came over and put his hands on the toy, she just lifted it up with one hand so that he couldn't reach it. She lowered it and he reached right over, so she started pushing on his face and when that didn't deter him, she started going whack whack whack on his face. It wasn't hard, I don't think, but it was sure funny to watch. He started crying, but didn't move away. Another caregiver had been watching the entire interaction and moved in at that point to scoop him up and away.

I know we won't encourage our child to fight, but it is exciting to see the mind work as she determines how best to fend for herself. It wasn't that exciting a toy, but it was clear that the little boy only was interested in it because she was playing with it.

In other news, Rachel got her first valentine. Surprisingly, it was from Robert and not Nicholas. I wish we were parents who were cool enough to have stuff like that occur to us... at Christmastime she got a gift from another student. Makes me feel like an unthoughtful parent that we didn't think to give gifts or valentines.

In other other news, Leticia has decided that our kitchen is unsafe for Rachel. We came home to find that in the course of her every-other-week cleaning she had moved all of the cleaning supplies from under the sink in the kitchen to a cabinet high off the ground. (The kitchen cabinets are not secured, though the room is blocked by a baby gate.)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Stand in the place where you live...

Rachel's pulling herself to standing whenever she can. Balance is not entirely there yet and sometimes she topples, but she enjoys standing, especially at her LeapFrog activity table, and anywhere she can find a laundry basket. We have to weigh down the basket, but she loves walking along the edge and transferring from one basket to another.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Beautiful Day

Has it really been that long since we've posted? A few days ago was my birthday. I decided that what I wanted to do was take the day off from work and go up to Santa Barbara. So I asked Lori if she could get the day off. She was able to. Funny thing is, when we announced our plans, people individually at our two work places asked "What will you do with Rachel for the day?"

I was a little stunned, a little saddened and a little annoyed by that question and I think it struck Lori as being odd as well.

D-freaking-uh. She's coming with us on the trip, we told them.

I mean, what's the point of going somewhere nice if I can't go with my entire family? What, we should put her in daycare while we away to some relaxing locale? Granted, there is a time and a place for mommy and daddy alone time, but a birthday away is certainly not that time.

We got up in a leisurely fashion, had a great breakfast of french toast sticks and fruit, enjoyed the morning sunshine. Longer than expected, but we didn't get on the road until 1. We got there pretty quickly and spent several hours just walking around the pier and street along the water, had some ice cream, watched a seal beg for food in the water and a giant albatross beg for food on the pier. We had a sub-par dinner at a fancy restaurant on the pier (avoid Moby Dick... overpriced and underwhelming food... nice atmosphere and good wait staff), walked some more and then headed home. It was after dark, but we just missed rush hour, so traffic was again fantastic. Cake and presents and it was time to get ready for bed so we could get up and return to the grind.

Rachel had a great time. Slept for the entire drive up, enjoyed her time in the stroller, enjoyed being carried, seeing all the people, the water, people's pets and the giant albatross. Pictures are on actual film since no one on the pier had batteries for our digital camera (D'oh), so it may be awhile before they are scanned. She slept through dinner and slept again for the drive down. The only time she seemed annoyed was when the sun was really bright... she kept burying her head in our shoulder only to pick it back up again to look around and then realize it was too bright and hide again.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

We Have a Tooth!

For some time now, we've been anticipating the arrival of Rachel's first tooth. Much drooling and intense biting told us it would be happening soon, but then she's been drooling for months. So at times it seemed like we would never actually see a tooth appear.

We were able to feel the sharpness of the tooth coming through a few days ago, but it was hard to see if it was actually above the surface. For some reason, Rachel didn't feel like sitting still and letting her parents stick their fingers in her mouth, moving her tongue around and trying to see her lower gum.

Last night, we were able to see the little tooth, sitting there just above the surface. I'm not sure how long a tooth takes to come in fully, but it's definitely well on its way now. Hopefully any future teeth will be a little easier on her, as I've read that once they've had a tooth or two come in, they're familiar with the sensations and tend to be less upset by them.

I wonder how long it takes for more to start arriving? I guess I'd better get back to reading What to Expect the First Year!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

At Times Life is Pure Joy

I have a mug somewhere that has Snoopy dancing on it and that quote. The problem with that quote is that it means sometimes life is not pure joy. Tonight had its moments. I say this not to embarass my daughter, but to warn others who would be dad. Sometimes, things are a little on the gross side.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sound of Music

Over the weekend, Rachel was dedicated to God at Lake. Instead of baptizing babies, at our church, we dedicate them. We pledge to raise them up in a godly way, teach them about Jesus and then at some later point in time when they are old enough, they will accept Jesus for themselves and be baptized.

So, as you can imagine, this is a huge deal. So Rachel's grandmother and other grandmother and grandfather were all in town. I don't know if all the attention had anything to do with it, or if it was just a very fortunate timing thing, but Rachel's taken a turn for the talking. Not real words yet, but we swear that sometimes she's trying to repeat back sounds like "Mama" and "Dada" and "OK" and "Quack" So much fun, so precious. You live with a small child for so many months and you think occasionally about what they might someday sound like but then when they start talking, it's reason all over again to well up with tears. She especially loves talking to her rubber ducks and the plush "very hungry caterpillar(sp?)" that that Steve and Adrea bought her.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

No, Really, I'm Crying Because I Have Allergies

In My Daughter's Eyes
Artist: Martina McBride

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It's hangin' on when your heart has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daugter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see
How happy she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

Monday, January 17, 2005

Baby Chatter

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Dr. No

The pre-baby research suggested that Dr. Brown was a good deal, that they helped babies eat without getting gas. And being named after Marty McFly's good friend Dr. Emmett Brown, what could go wrong? But seriously, "Dr." suggests that it's better and to be trusted.

But we're going to give away our Dr. Brown bottles and buy some more Advent bottles. I guess we've been fortunate to have a baby who hasn't had major troubles with gas.

But the bottles are not worth the trouble. They have a lot more parts to clean, lots more parts to assemble and when we try to mix formula, we have all kinds of trouble with them leaking all over us.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Baby Depot? Please, no.

We've been to Baby Depot a few times, even bought a couple of smaller items. But we cannot understand why anyone would register there. Baby Depot's return policy is horrible. Once they have your money, you are not getting it back. Period. If something doesn't work, or you buy the wrong thing, or someone buys you something as a gift and you want to return it, you may, but all you get is a flimsy shopping card with the amount credited loaded onto it that you can then use to buy something else. We've had to return things twice, once because an outfit had a stain on it not visible until we got it home and once because we bought the wrong refills for something. Fine, no big deal. But buy a highchair, playard or swing there? No, thanks.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Baby's Day In

Today was a work holiday for me, but not for Lori. And the rule is 'if you are home and not sick on your deathbed, then the baby stays home, too.' Daycare is the necessary evil that should be avoided at all costs, but I wish we could avoid the cost of daycare. Or at least be put on a "pay as you go" plan so that we're only charged for the days she's in daycare. Better yet, reimbursed for all the days we have to stay home with her because she's sick from something she caught at daycare. (Her pediatrician says that there is some good in the daycare colds, builds up her immunity sooner.)

Anyhow, Rachel and I had a very nice day. Because it was pretty much cry free. I decided that I would break up the day into blocks of time. It was originally because I wanted to play Sim City 4 that I got for Christmas and if I don't set a timer, I can waste entire days with that game. I tried to stay in bed but after Lori left for work, I could not get back to sleep. Despite the fact that Rachel had us up much of last night. (We've started solid foods and the organic peas apparently did not agree with her. It was a few days ago and she's still working through it. Thank me, I've spared you the details. Now I hate peas, but I did the pinky-dip taste test on these things and they did taste like peas, and sweeter than I had expected. She seemed to like eating them -- not as much as she enjoyed green beans -- but it's not a food we'll try giving her again for a few months.)

So I got up and started doing stuff around the house. When she got up, I fed her some formula and put her in her swing and let her watch Bear. Half an hour later, I put her in her high chair and gave her different toys. Then another half an hour passed and I moved her to a blanket on the floor with other toys (the kid's not going to need any new toys after Christmas until her birthday). And then another half hour in the bassinette and then she was fussy and we read that babies are usually ready for a nap two hours after they wake up, so it was into the crib where she only cried for a little bit. During all of this time, I was able to do chores near her and interact with her. Then she napped for two hours. Then she woke up, had some more to eat and we did the 30 minute blocks of time thing again and as we approached the end of the second hour, sure enough, she got fussy, so back into the crib she went and back to sleep without too much trouble.

So, maybe I'm on to something. Maybe by keeping track of the time and by keeping her occupied by changing the venue and toy selection before she had a chance to get bored allowed me to have a cry-free day.