Sunday, December 23, 2007

Music Thoughts

Out tonight to look at Christmas lights. Listened to Christmas music while driving. Rachel had comments on the songs.

Martina McBride's "Little Drummer Boy"
Martina: "Do you see what I see?"
Rachel: "Yes, I see what you see." (sung)

Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Mariah: "All I Want for Christmas is You"
Rachel: "All she wants for Christmas is Rachel!"

Mariah Carey's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Mariah: "They're singing deck the halls / But it's not like Christmas at all / 'Cuz I remember when you were here / And all the fun we had last year"
Rachel: "It's just not Christmas without her baby."

(Just to be safe, we explained to her that the singer hadn't lost an actual baby.)

She fell asleep before we got home. When we got her out of the car, she started crying because we weren't at Home Depot.

Turns out she thought that we were going to look at lights and then go buy some of our own. (We've actually not purchased lights at Home Depot, just Lowes and Target.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

So, yeah...

...he's a he. Hopefully ultrasounds soon, they got some great shots of the little guy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sippy Cups

I was wondering if Rachel should still be using a sippy cup. And then one day, I was packing drinks for all of us for a day trip and realized it's probably not such a big deal, considering.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Welcome, Jack!

S, A and A welcome Jack! A and Jack are doing well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

No, No, No, No

Please stop it already.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Story Time

I had the idea tonight to do something crafty with Rachel tonight. I had hoped to do something more Christmas-y, but couldn't find any Christmas-y magazines, so I had to settle for a Newsweek and two old Consumer Reports. For the first story, we cut out and named some people (most of whom she didn't use) and then tried to find photos to match the story she was creating, with limited success. For the subsequent stories, I cut out a lot of photos ahead of time and let her use the photos to help determine the course of the story. She had a lot of fun with the glue stick (it goes on purple so you can see where you've applied glue) and I at times I had to encourage her to think more about the story.

I asked leading questions like

  • What is their favorite color?
  • What do they like?
  • What don't they like?
  • What's happening here?
  • What happened next?
to get her to think. Since there was nothing but a blank sheet and some pictures, it forced her to really think. I think she had fun. Click any photo to enlarge. The bad handwriting is all mine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How's That?

"Glo----o----o----o----o----oria, you make Chelsea stand away."

"Frosty the snowman, was a holly, jolly soul."

(And these are not one-time occurrences -- these are the correct way to sing it, and if you don't sing it this way, she'll correct you.)

Monday, November 26, 2007


Rachel still has a few pieces of her allowed 10 pieces of Halloween candy. She just had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and then we had this exchange:

Rachel: "Mommy, can I have a little bit of a Dot?"
Me: "You may have one Dot."

Rachel heads into the living room and says, "Grandma, I have a Dot! Success!"

Apparently something she picked up from the show Dragon Tales, but it was pretty cute that she used it appropriately.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sixteen Questions

List some of the happiest people you know:
Emily, Jacob, Clifford my Favorite Friend Dog

Other words that mean "happy":
Abby and Emily and Jacob

How do you feel when you're happy?
(Rubbed balloon on face and hair and laughed)

What does "happy" mean?
I love you.

Are you happy today?
Yes. I love Emily. She's my big sister.

Have you ever had a problem?
No. "You've never had a problem?" No. I've never ever had a problem!

Have you ever felt lonely?
No. I haven't ever felt lonely in a long time.

What do you wish you were able to do?

Have you ever felt like crying?
No, no daddy. Yes. I felt like crying. "When?" When I watched Calliou. I was crying after Calliou went off. "How come?" Because I feel like it.

Does anything make you angry?

What is as big as you?

What vegetable is like you?
Karen. The one on Veggie Tales. (Laura) "What kind is she?" She's a carrot. She's like me because she's a girl, daddy. She's a girl like me.

What if you lived in a castle?
I would be a princess.

What if you were a sneaker?
What is a sneaker daddy? "What if you were a shoe?" I would walk people.

What if you were a giant?
I would stomp the whole ground. (Stomping around.) I would shake the whole ground. What if I was a tree, daddy? (Repeated 3 times until I responded.) "What if you were a tree?" I would have fall leaves on me.

Showed her two pictures - a boy, smiling, in a small sailboat; a boy on a small island waving a flag and yelling.
He got lost and he loved it (pointed to first picture as she said "loved it"). He needed help because he was lost at an island and he didn't know how to get back to his family. Daddy, I need the pen. "Why?" I need to draw clouds behind his boat.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psalm 23

from Leticia

Girl, 4, calls OnStar to Help Mom

When her mother passed out, Ariana Evans sprang into action and got help

Nov. 1: Ariana Evans tells TODAY’s Al Roker how she used OnStar to help her mother, who passed out while they were in the car, and how she comforted her little brother.

Ariana Evans clearly couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about. All she’d done was push a button on the dashboard of her mother’s car and told the lady who answered that her mom needed help. More...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Smartie Pants

Rachel and her Grandma Jan are playing volleyball with a balloon in the living room. Rachel told her Grandma "You crack me up!" So I went in and asked her "Does Grandma crack you up?" "Yeah," she replied. "Sometimes I crack myself up!"

She cracks us up a lot, too :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I Can Feel It!

Rachel is getting more and more curious about and interested in the baby now and will sing to my tummy. Yesterday, she wanted to feel where the baby was, so I put her hand on top of my abdomen. She said "I felt it move!" and looked happy. I can only imagine how excited and surprised she'll be when she actually feels a tiny foot or hand pushing into her own hand.

As for me, I've felt pretty decent. I've definitely been way more tired this time around than with Rachel 4 years ago, but I suppose that's to be expected. I also was taking progesterone supplements that wiped me out, and now I'm done with those, so I'm not feeling as tired.

I've had more food sensitivity than last time. I've also had the increased gag reflex, but so far I've only actually thrown up about 3 times. Last time, I probably got sick 4 or 5 times a week from brushing my teeth or using mouthwash. Hopefully my average continues to stay low in that area.

We've already had 4 ultrasounds with this baby and it looks like we'll be having several more before we actually see him or her in person. 2 of the ultrasounds will be for the 2-part screening they're doing, and 3 were from my doctor's office (confirming the pregnancy, dating it - it was too early the first time to date it, and checking in at 10 weeks to make sure all was well). We'll do another ultrasound at 18 weeks to determine the gender (yay!) if the baby cooperates (and he or she had better!). Plus, we had a 3D ultrasound with Rachel and would really like to do that again with this one.

It's so reassuring to be able to see the baby developing on track and looking like they should, and it helps me to feel like something is really happening - other than my already-growing-bigger belly. At 7 weeks, I was starting to outgrow a few pairs of pants because my belly just poked right out. And I haven't gained any weight, so I know it's not just pounds from eating. Just my body recognizing what's happening and giving up the fight on any muscle retention, apparently.

Our next appointment is a week from Friday, when we'll be 14 weeks, but that should just be an exam and basic checkup. Then 4 weeks after that is the exciting one!

Don't Tell Me About Anything Else, Please

Sometimes information is a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. In the case of pregnancy, I think we sometimes err on the side of being overly cautious at the expense of causing ourselves anxiety for weeks or months on end, until test results come back or until the baby is actually born and we see for ourselves if anything truly is wrong.

Come to find out that I apparently am a carrier for one of the 1200(!) gene mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. I had no idea I was a carrier, and we didn't know throughout our pregnancy with Rachel, therefore we didn't worry about it. I wouldn't say I'm truly worried about it because I think this baby is going to be born healthy in all aspects, but now that I know the possibility *might* be there, there's a slight undercurrent of anxiety. Now James has to have his blood tested and, if he's also a carrier, that means we have a 25% chance of having a child with CF. The odds of a person of European descent being a carrier of one of the gene mutation is around 1 in 22 to 25, so the odds are great that he will not be a carrier. And I'm choosing to operate on that assumption. We should find out in the next ... I don't know, week? It took about 8 days total for me to get my results back. He had his blood drawn 8 days ago, but we don't know if they sent it to the same place or not, just that they were sending his sample to California for testing.

The other thing my doctor suggested is a 2-part screening test that's done with blood tests and ultrasounds. I knew it checked for Down's Syndrome but didn't realize they were also checking for open neural tube defects (like spina bifida) and a scary thing called Trisomy 18, which I'd never heard of before we showed up for part 1 of the test. Trisomy 18 occurs when a child has an extra gene, and it's a fatal disease. 90% of babies born with it don't live past their 1st birthday.

Trisomy 18 wasn't something I even knew about a few weeks ago, and CF isn't something I thought could be a risk. Now the awareness is there, and a little bit of fear along with it. Honestly, I don't think I'd ever want to get tested to find out if I have a gene for breast cancer because I feel like I'd live my life in fear of getting it or would take radical steps early just in case it should ever develop.

I'm thankful for medical technology and for how much safer it is to give birth now than 100 years ago, but sometimes information can be too much of a good(?) thing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

For the baby...

So Rachel's known about the baby for some time now. We even designed and created a shirt for her that says "Big Sister in Training."

We've been showing her ultrasounds and drawings in books since Lori's not quite big enough for it to make sense to Rachel yet. But she's been singing to the baby and talking to the baby.

And last week when we did a stuffed animal purge with her, we pulled out a few toys that would be good for a baby (stuffed rattle, stuffed duck with teethers for feet and wings) and she pulled out another one and put in our room with the others and said it was for the baby.

And then yesterday when shopping for clothes, she chose a tiny, tiny pair of beige boots. Pretty unisex. Said that we had to get them for the baby.

Of course, at other times she's said that her friend baby Nicole was going to come live with us and be our new baby.

She's pretty confident that she's having a sister. Only occasionally does she say "sister or brother."

We're feeling like it will be a boy. I'm hoping it will be a boy. Though I'm limiting my prayers to health and development. I'm not going to pray that we have a boy. I will be extremely overjoyed either way. I am already extremely overjoyed.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Parents: Beware Premium Text Messages

MSNBC.COM -- A guy was recently surprised to open his cell phone bill and find a $10,000 bill, all because of text messages, despite the fact that his daughter's phone had unlimited text messaging. Turns out it didn't cover "premium" text messages that can cost $1 or more per message. And your phone company may not even help you block them, or warn you that someone's running up your bill. More...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Here we go again!

We're at 12 weeks tomorrow. We've gotten to see the little one three times now. First a fuzzy blob, then a fuzzy blob with a beating heart and then this last time, a little human kicking the umbilical cord and putting their hands to their mouth.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Which was is the bus travelling?

Which way is the bus below traveling?
To the left or to the right?

Can't make up your mind?
Look carefully at the picture again.

Still don't know?

Pre-schoolers all over the United States were shown this picture and asked the same question. 90% of the pre-schooler's gave this answer:

"The bus is traveling to the left."

When asked, "Why do you think the bus is traveling to the left?"

They answered: "Because you can't see the door to get on the bus."

How do you feel now ???
Don't worry. It was just a pre-school test.


Just for fun... if it was coming straight at you, here's what it would look like:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Construction Paper O' Lantern

PARENTHACKS.COM -- Clever - for children too small to paint or carve pumpkins, cut out eyes, mouths and noses (perhaps even more than one of each for mix-and-match creativity - or lots and throw a party) and the kids simply glue them to the pumpkin. More...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Rachel still mostly drinks from a sippy cup. The other day we gave her a small plastic cup with milk while she ate dinner by herself. Not too long before I caught her dropping pieces of salami to the bottom of the glass where they couldn't be seen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

That Explains It!

The other day Rachel and I were leaving. It was raining and people were walking a small dog up the street. The dog was wearing a yellow raincoat. Rachel said "We need to get one our for dog." And I said "We don't have a dog." And she said "Yes, we do." She tried to come up with a name and after a few second she said "She lives in Marysville!" I had to tell her that Barkley's not our dog anymore and she said she was and then started to get upset. No wonder she's not had any problems with us surrendering Barkley to the rescue agency, she thought that the dog just lived elsewhere. I felt pretty bad about that.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baby Name Map

Here's a clever site - lets you see the popularity of baby names by different regions.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Well then we'll have to charge you rent.

R: I don't want you to be my mommy anymore.
L: What?
R: I won't have a mommy anymore. I'll be nobody's daughter.
J: You have to be somebody's daughter. Everyone is someone's daughter.
R: I'm not going to be anyone's daughter.
J: Ok, well, we can use the room. Where will you live?
R: In my house. (pointing to ceiling)
(more discussion about still eating the food that we have on hand and taking her bedding and pillow outside to sleep in the yard... her idea. Maybe because I finished the massive playset today?)

I guess she wants to leave us without actually leaving.

I thought that wasn't supposed to happen until they're 35 and living in the basement. (Which will not happen, the basement is where the big TV is.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Now when she washes her hands, she often turns the water off while lathering up with the soap. Not sure where she got that from. (Though a lot of water is then spent trying to get all the soap off the faucet handles.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Good night, big girl.

Me: "Good night, baby."
Her: "Good night, dad. (pause) I'm not a baby. Say 'Good night, big girl.'"
Me: "Good night, big girl."
Her: "Good night, dad."

You'll always be my baby.

Our little ham

Rachel is developing quite the sense of humor and just a general sense of goofiness.

This just in:

"It's raining, it's pouring,
the old man is snoring,
he fell out of bed and he bumped his head
and he couldn't get up in the morning.


Poor man!"

Then she did a little dance and bowed, saying "Thank you! Thank you!"

We're pretty sure she's going to want to be an actress one day.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Don't Call Him That

"He's not Pooh. He's Winnie the Pooh. Don't call him Pooh. That's rude."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Babies develop magic of imagination by age 2

If someone tells you a friend got her nose pierced, you can visualize the new look and incorporate the information into your thinking and expectations. Young infants can't imagine such things. Their thinking, instead, is based highly on what's in front of them, what they can see. So when do children gain this ability to visualize things based on what they've been told? More...

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I've just learned of the CPSC recalls XML. So now they're at the bottom of the list of posts instead of me taking the time to try to post them myself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Security Alarm

We'd had rather good luck, with regards to having a child that stayed in bed when put down for a nap or for for the night. But lately, she was getting out of bed, playing and otherwise not being in bed. We'd still been using the baby monitor since the big TV is a ways away from her bedroom and we liked to retreat there after she was down for the night. So it finally dawned on me... the other part of the AngelCare Baby Monitor with Motion Sensor was a motion sensor. Placed between the mattress and the crib bottom, it was designed to sound an alarm after a certain period of time if it didn't sense breathing or movement.

We, praise God, never had a real opportunity to see if it worked. But it did sound twice when she had scooted all the way into the corner and was laying up against the bars.

Anyhow, I brought out the motion pad and stuck it between her bedframe and the mattress and then I turned it on and we sat on the floor and waited. When it started going off, I told her that would happen any time she got out of bed and so she shouldn't get out of bed unless something was wrong. I waited a few days before adding that a punishment would follow if she got out of bed and nothing was wrong.

It's seemed to work really well. It's only gone off once or twice in the last week, she's otherwise done well at staying in bed. (Or sitting on the edge of her bed kicking her toys.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Recall: Mattel

Mattel has ended up having to recall an awful lot of products, either because of lead paint or because of small magnets. They've created a website here where you can go and see if you own any products covered by either recall:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Alarm Clock Conditioning

PARENTHACK.COM -- Apparently, you can use an alarm clock to teach your children to sleep in. You set it for the time they normally wake up and they learn that they can get up when it goes off. After they're reassured by the alarm clock, you start setting later. They will teach themselves to go back to sleep if they wake up before the alarm goes off. More...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Recall - Lead: Children's Jewelry

CPSC.GOV -- *sigh* More Disney-themed jewelry made in China covered in lead-based paint sold at Wal*Mart. More...

Recall - Choking: Payless Clogs

CPSC.GOV -- $15 and $20 clogs sold at Payless Shoes and Adds 270,000 to initial recall of 690,000 recalled earlier. See the website for more details. More...

Recall - Burn/Amputation: Easy-Bake Oven

CPSC.GOV -- One million $25 Easy-Bake Ovens sold at all the major toy stores. Burns, one of which resulted in a five-year-old having to have part of her finger amputated. More...

Recall - Choking: Playskool Toddler "NoSpill" Sippy Cups

CPSC.GOV -- 84,000 sippy cups imported from China by CVS/pharmacy, sold between Sept. 2006 and April 2007 for $5. More...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Love & Cold Noses

Rachel and I were hugging and she was giving me kisses (I was trying to give her kisses, too, but she was saying "No, Mommy, just let me kiss."). Then she said:

"I love my Mommy very-much-why-is-your-nose-so-cold?" speeding up as she went along, as if it were all one thought that belonged together. I love how her brain works :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Lesson We're Unable To Learn

For all of Rachel's life, there have been times when she has woken up, just crying miserably. Completely unconsolable. Crying hysterically. She won't tell us what's wrong, and when younger, couldn't. Won't wake up fully. You try to hold her and she just squirms and wiggles. She acts like she wants to be comfortable, but can't.

Diaper? Tummy? Bad Dream?

Every time, it finally dawns on us. Maybe she's just hungry. Get her a little food and bam! She comes back to life, immediately calms down, wakes up and is her normal self. It's such a weird reaction and I can't figure out why after three years we don't pick up on it right away.

I guess it's because it seems like it can happen at just about any time, even just a few hours after having had a good sized dinner.

(On the other hand, maybe writing about it here will cement it more firmly in my brain and we'll have better luck diagnosing it quickly in the future.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Recall - Lead: Children's Jewelry

CSPC.GOV -- More low-priced Chinese manufactured jewelry sold at discount stores has been found to have high lead content. (What's new? Is China trying to eliminate lead from the country or something?) Many more photos on the website. Folks, stop buying discount jewerly for your children. More...

Recall - Serious Injury: Mag Stix

CPSC.GOV -- Kipp Brothers recalls Chinese-manufactured "Mag Stix" magnetic toy after an 8-year-old was seriously injured after swallowing magnets that had come loose from the toy. More...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

There's a cow in the road!

This morning Rachel brought me the book "There's a Cow in the Road!" and asked me to read it. I hadn't seen it before, so I opened it up. The premise is pretty straightforward, there's a cow in the road. It's a really good read. It's in poem form, but the cadence is easy to pick up.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Do Not Disturb

Rachel's latest trick is waking up before us in the morning. With the gate removed, she can roam freely. So she'll come to our room, open the door just a crack, look in and see what we're asleep, close the door and wander off to play by herself. It's probably not safe so we pour ourselves out of bed, but it sure is considerate.

Can you s-p-e-l-l?

Last night while out walking, I asked Lori if we should "go to the p-a-r-k?"

Rachel immediately looks up at Lori and asks, "Mom, can we go to the p-a-r-k?"

Not sure she knew exactly what we were talking about, but apparently we may need to have Kevin teach us some Russian or something.

Recall - Choking: Infantino Toy Castle

CPSC.GOV -- Infantino of San Diego, Calif. is recalling this children's toy manufactured in China due to the potential for the rod to come loose and pose a choking hazard. The design has been changed so not all of these cute little castles are subject to the recall. Please see the CPSC website for more information. More...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

What Hamas Thinks is Appropriate Children's Programming

A Hamas-affiliated children's program aired its final episode yesterday. The show, which was taken off the air to allow for new programs, featured Farfour, a Mickey Mouse-type character. In it, Farfour was beaten to death by an actor playing an Israeli official, who was trying to take away Farfour's land.

Somehow the Teletubbies don't seem so evil anymore.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Recall - Laceration: Toy Barbecue Grill

CPSC.GOV -- Oddly enough, Target is selling a toy barbecue. And apparently someone was paying attention because this $20 "Play Wonder" toy grill, made in China by Schylling of Rowley, Mass. is dangerously sharp, a laceration hazard. Return them to Target for a full refund. More...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Handheld Ultrasound

ENGADGET.COM -- This is kinda cool. Captures video and stills and fits in a labcoat pocket. More...

Baby Being Born in Japan


Heh heh.

Hi There, Lady!

Rachel was singing with me. Apparently I was getting the words wrong, though. According to her, it's:

London Bridges Falling Down
Falling Down
Falling Down
London Bridges Falling Down
Hi There, Lady

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recall - Entrapment: Fisher-Price Swing

CPSC.ORG -- $65 "Rainforest Open Top Take-Along(tm) Swing" from China imported by Fisher-Price. More...

Recall - Lead: Toy Drums

CPSC.ORG -- $15 "Elli" and "Liberty Toy Drums" have paint with high levels of lead. Imported from China by The Boyd's Collection. More...

Recall - Lead: Silver Stud Earrings

CPSC.ORG -- $3 "Accessories" silver stud earrings imported from China by Crimzon Rose Accessories for KMart. More...

Recall - Choking: Jackets

CPSC.ORG -- $35 "England" jackets imported from China by Nordstrom of Seattle. Zipper pulls can detach. More...

Recall - Choking: Children's Sandals

CPSC.ORG -- $27 "Calypso" sandals imported from China by Nordstrom of Seattle. More...

Recall - Lead: Necklace Clasp

CPSC.ORG -- $2 jewelry sold at souvenir stores. Imported from China by GeoJewelry of Napa, Calif. More...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Recent Rachelisms

Tonight after returning home from small group, Lori was checking her email. Rachel kept saying "Can I see the baby show? Can I see the baby show?" When we asked her what "the baby show" was, she said "The one where the baby laughs really hard and her dad says 'perfect.'" She cannot get enough of this video.

Lori relates another recent story where Rachel asks if she can watch TV. When Lori tells her yes and turns the TV on, Rachel then asks "Can you tell me what my options are?"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Recall: Lead - Wooden Thomas & Friends Train Toys

CPSC.GOV -- Another Chinese-made toy, another lead hazard. This time, with the paint.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sweet comment

One more thing Rachel said yesterday - We went to her room to get her up, and we told her "It's your birthday today! Happy Birthday!" Rachel said "Who is coming, to celebrate me?" with the biggest smile on her face. It was the sweetest thing. We had had a party for her the day before her birthday. On her birthday, the three of us were able to spend the day together, celebrating Rachel, and I think she had a really good time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Has It Been 3 Years Already?

Today is Rachel's birthday. She opened her gifts from us this morning. One of them was a little VTech "laptop computer" that has over 30 games on it for her to play. She loves to use the real computer, so we thought this was a good way to transition her so that she understands more how a computer works, how to use the mouse, etc.

She opened that one up and said "A computer! It's a computer!" then turned to James and said "Good job! I'm going to smack your hand!" and gave him a high-five. It was pretty awesome :)

Happy Birthday, Little One!

Little one, you're now three. Almost. That was a long night. But by morning, there you were. And life has never been the same. It's raced by a breakneck speed and it's been wonderful. Day One, One and Two seem like they were yesterday.

Thank God for the joy and blessing you are to us. After watching you run around with your friends today at the party, it's all the more clear to me how much I want you to have two siblings. God willing.

(Note to other people: Still not an announcement, but you can join us in praying!)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Recall - Choking: 1st Birthday Party Hats

CPSC.GOV -- These little party hats, adorned with "1st" on them should represent a happy time. Sadly, they have the potential to make for bad memories. The foil "Fringe" on the bottom can detach and cause a choking hazard. Made in China and available at Party and Discount Stores for about $4. Throw 'em away and contact the manufacturer for a full refund. More...

Recall: Fall/Choking/Strangulation - Simplicity Crib

CPSC.GOV -- Simplicity's "Nursery-in-a-Box" (nox also included changing table and clothing organizer) had incorrect instructions that resulteds in a critical piece being installed upside-down when instructions are followed, potentially resulting in the side being able to fall and locking pins to come out. More...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"I'm sitting right here!"

I'm sitting across from Rachel and Lori's sitting next to her, we're all eating dinner. She asks for more juice. Rachel asks for more juice. Well, no, she demands it. We make her try a few more times until she properly asks politely. Then Lori tells her no, but she may have milk if she'd like. She says "I'll ask dad. Dad, please can I have some juice?"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Recall: Lead - "High School Musical" Jewelry

CPSC.GOV -- Again with the high lead content. I believe that these people are in it for a quick buck. They know but don't care. Move as much as you can before the CPSC catches on, knowing you won't have to pay a lot at recall time. Sadly, these product have Disney on them and were sold at the Limited Too so you know there was a hefty mark-up and lots of people made money. If you can't trust Disney, who can you trust? (Though I doubt Disney knew.) More...

Recall(sort of) - Crib - Fall Hazard

CPSC.GOV -- Apparently only 180 of these have been sold. And the problem isn't with the crib, it's that the instructions fail to mention there's a "lower" setting for the mattress. So apparently it's the assembly instructions that are being recalled. Nice looking crib, tough. More...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Say, What?

Pointing at a photo of herself, told her great-grandmother:

"That's when my mommy wasn't taking care of me. She gave me a basket to sleep in."
The photo? Taken close to two years ago by the photographer who visited the daycare. For the photo, the little baby, still too young to sit or stand, was placed, lounging, into a large basket.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Christmas Sleepy

Rachel woke up from her nap yesterday and had this to say:

Rachel - "I'm sleepy."
Me - "I know."
R - "Christmas sleepy."
M - "Christmas sleepy? What's Christmas sleepy?"
R - "No, not Christmas sleepy. Orange jacket sleepy."

She was, however, unable to expand on what either Christmas sleepy or orange jacket sleepy actually means.

Recall: Lead - Soldier Bear

CPSC.GOV -- Soldier Bear "Invincibles Transport Converters" Toy Sets was painted with paints containing high levels of lead. More...

Recall: Choking Hazard - Dollar Toys - California

CPSC.GOV -- Tri-Star International Recalls Ball Rattles, Wrist Rattles, Wind-Up Toys Due to Choking Hazard. Sold at: Dollar stores in California from January 2005 through May 2007 for about $1. More...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scapping the Scrapping

PARENTHACKS.COM -- Interesting idea... taking photos of kids working on art projects. Then the photos can be part of the project, or part of the present, or part of the scrapbook later on. I know Lori did this last Christmas when Rachel made Christmas tree ornaments for the grandmas. More...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Recall: More Cheap Children's Jewelry

CPSC.GOV -- More junk jewelry made in China and sold in vending machines has been found to have high levels of lead making them unsafe for children. (Or probably anyone, for that matter.) More...

Recall: Children's Jewelry

CPSC.GOV -- Cheap jewelry sold in vending machines, department stores and grocery stores contains high levels of lead. More...

Recalled: Children's Capri Pants

CPSC.GOV -- Pants, sold at Mervyn's for $20 have buttons that can detach, causing choking hazard. More...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mr. Pettibone

Rachel decided tonight that our cat "Cash" should be named "Mr. Pettibone." She was really excited that we left the cat in her room. She was upset that the cat wouldn't lay down on the bed with her and cried every time the cat left the room. (Whenever we'd go in there, the cat would come back in.) We told her we'd try again tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ticket system helps kids track their own TV and game time

PARENTHACKS.COM -- I got tired of being the boss of when my kids (three and five) could watch videos and DVDs. I also wanted to help them learn to make choices about media consumption while they’re still young. So I decided to set up a ticket system. More...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Recall: Evenflo Embrace™ Infant Car Seat/Carriers

CPSC.GOV -- Fall Hazard Prompts NHTSA, CPSC and Evenflo to Announce Recall of Embrace™ Infant Car Seat/Carriers. When used as an infant carrier, the handle can unexpectedly release, causing the seat to rotate forward. When this happens, an infant inside the carrier can fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries. More...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

RIP Hippos, 2005-2007

from Lori... ah, the joys of parenting, courtesy of (warning: language)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Target Recalls Children's Toy

Target Recalls Anima Bamboo Collection Games Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard. More..

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

First Time Obedience

We're doing the Ezzo parenting study "Growing Kids God's Way" at church. While they seem overly strict, I'm finding it really interesting. I'd only heard biased bits and pieces before and formed my own opinion before even starting the class, but to hear them explain why they teach what they teach, I have to admit that a lot of it makes sense.

Really interesting is the idea that at this age, when a child is asked to do something, there is really only one response... "Yes, daddy." or "Yes, mommy."

Anything else is willful disobedience. And so it becomes a matter of spiritual training, so that should there be an instance where disobedience isn't just frustration, but also a matter of safety or security, you and the child end up with the confidence that the right thing is going to happen. (Apparently as they grow older, they earn the right to essentially request an "appeal.")

Our little one isn't to this stage yet and likes to push the boundaries, see what she can get away with, whether or not we're going to hold her punish her or not. And that's the hardest part, being consistent.

But I think overall, things are probably better off for all of us because we're taking this class. I can see where I've been pretty lax in the past, or where I've been pleading and repeating and becoming exasperated. This course is giving me tools to help have a consistent framework in which to act and react and is helping Rachel to know what's expected of her.

Interesting stuff.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Thank You, Madagascar

We all sat together the weekend before last and watched Madagascar. We had a really nice time.

But now, her favorite word is "butt." We don't snicker when she says it, we don't get alarmed. We calmly tell her we like to use the word "bottom" or "bum."

However, I think she likes the sound of the word itself. Because she keeps using it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I tried to take Rachel out for the morning on Saturday. Both to spend time with her and to give Lori some time alone on her own. Unfortunately, it turned into far too much time just driving around. First we went to the post office to check the P.O. Box. Then we took some photos of graffiti for my other blog. And then we drove. I didn't want to consult the GPS, having a fair idea of where I was going. Turned out I was close, but then traffic got really bad and I had to ask it for help so I could get out of the traffic.

We spent an hour walking around the South Hill Mall in Puyallup that is far less impressive than I remember it from one visit 10 years ago. It's built on a slope, so there's lots of transitions from one height to the next with ramps and stairs. I swear it used to have planters, but now it's just very utilitarian railings on the transitions. I also didn't know until I unplugged the iPod and turned on the radio that there was a Spring Fair going on in Puyallup. (Chris Egan used to like to point out that this is the longest city name in the United States that begins and ends with P. My grandpa Hal used to call it "Pui-yallup" though he knew the correct pronunciation was "Puew-all-up," kind of like how Steve Martin was "Pa-sahd-na" instead of "Pasadena" in L.A. Story.) But I digress. All this to say that it took way too long to get there because of the fair. And then to find out that it didn't have a Starbucks.

So with no particular direction in mind, I told the GPS to direct me to a Starbucks away from town, away from the fair. I finally rolled up only to see a Starbucks logo on the side of a Fred Meyer. That was disappointing because we could have done that back in town. So I decided to try again and left the parking lot while messing with the GPS. Only to see out of the corner of my eye another Starbucks logo. So back into the parking lot and then for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where I'd see it. I realized that there were more buildings behind other buildings and finally found a small building with a giant Papa Murphy's sign and the Starbucks mermaid next to it. Apparently not even enough room to put up the words "Starbucks Coffee" next to it.

Finally! So we sat for who knows how long. She ate her peaches and drank water while I drank coffee and slowly picked at the coffee cake. She ate the peaches really quickly, knowing she'd get coffee cake afterwards.

And then there was a lot of driving just to get back home and what usually puts her to sleep (the opening act from Phantom) wasn't working and she was getting restless from all of the driving.

I thought of that tonight as I was putting her to bed. I spent the evening with her while Lori was at Bible study. Only I spent much of the evening trying to get fricking iTunes to work. I knew that we couldn't install the newest version because it doesn't like my computer's settings. But then tonight the version we had just stopped working. I finally got it to work but lost all the play lists, all the play and skip counts and a lot of the other organization. And now the iPod is painstakingly slowly loading 4,600 songs and movies and TV shows back onto the iPod. I hate to leave it plugged in all night, but I'm going to have to. Man, I'm rambling.

Anyhow, when I put Rachel to bed, I told her I hadn't played with her enough tonight and I apologized. She apologized back and said she hadn't played enough with me.

I felt really guilty. Then I read day 4 in the 40 Days of Community thing we're going through with our church. The rest of the church is on day 9. But day 4 talked about priority and how we need to love people now because we don't know what the future will hold. That just piled on the guilt even more.

And then I turned on "March of the Penguins" -- I've been watching that in 5-10 minute spurts as time allows and it mentioned tonight that by the time the penguin dad eats again (after having marched day and night for two months, then perched on top of an egg for two months during the harshest of winter weather seen on the planet) that the bird won't have had a meal in over 120 days. That's just insane. Guess I'm glad I'm not a penguin.

Though truth be told, I'm really bitter at Apple, Google, and the entire internet community. What, no one else has gotten the error "'documents' is not a valid short name." when attempting to install iTunes? Stupid generic error 1325. Microsoft was no help nor was Apple or Yahoo! Answers or Google. I finally searched for something else and realized that I had to create a brand new account on the Windows XP machine and try installing it there, which worked, except for all the painful problems. I guess I also need to resynch my phone but my list of the best songs is gone. Blech.

I have got to do a better job of spending time with Rachel tomorrow night.

Too Much PBS?

Overheard in the car yesterday while Rachel was playing with a stuffed duck:

"Duck, brought to you by 'Duck's New Beak.'"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Amusing Clothing Line

This website popped up as a related advertisement next to an e-mail between my daughter and her grandmother in Gmail. Cute/clever clothing website,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sweden to Mom: You May Not Rock, Rock On

MSNBC.COM -- Sweden's tax authority gets to approve of all names. (Perhaps not a bad idea? Kid in Rachel's daycare named Ahmunique... get it? I'm unique. A great beat-me-up name.) Anyhow, they've declined some woman's attempts to name her child "Metallica." Oh, I should mention her child is a girl. And even though she's been denied, she's appealing. (Or appalling?) Anyhow, they've had to cancel a trip already because with the name in limbo, they've been unable to get a passport for their daughter. Ha. More...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sweet Little Girl

Twice recently Rachel has just surprised me with her kindness. One night we were sitting in the "cave" I'm building under the deck -- eventually it'll be a place where we can sit out of the rain and relax outside. (Right now the rain still drips through the slats, but I'll fix that eventually by adding a little "roof".)

But we were sitting there, Rachel and I. Her mom was at choir practice, so it was just the two of us. The edge of the excavation left a ledge for me to put my feet up on, but it wasn't quite high enough. It was nice but I remarked that now all I needed was something to put my feet up on. She looked around and announced "I'll go get a ball for you." Odd, I thought, but whatever. She hops off of her chair, runs across the yard to where a not-completely-full soccer ball lay. She carried it back over, I lifted my legs and she sat it down and wouldn't you know, it was just right to elevate my legs.

Then on Saturday I was reading a book in the living room. I was wearing shorts as I always do in the house and had my feet up on the ottoman. She declared that my legs were cold and went to her room and came back with a blanket which she spread over my legs.

Kid never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kids Are Quick

(thanks to Marcus for this one)

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.

MARIA: Here it is.

TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?

CLASS: Maria.


TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?

JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.


TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell "crocodile?"


TEACHER: No, that's wrong

GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.


TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?


TEACHER: What are you talking about?

DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.


TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.



TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?

GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.


TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting w ith "I."

MILLIE: I is...

TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, "I am."

MILLIE: All right... "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet."


TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?

LOUIS: Because George still had the ax in his hand.


TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?

SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.


TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on "My Dog" is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?

CLYDE: No, teacher, it's the same dog.


TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

HAROLD: A teacher

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Unable to Predict the Future

As a parent, I sometimes think about what it must be like for a parent to have their child snatched from them. I don't necessarily mean kidnapped, but if something unfortunate were to happen and suddenly the child was no longer part of their life. I think it's a natural worry when you're suddenly responsible for such a tiny little life you've had the joy of knowing since birth -- and in some ways even before.

As I watched her brush her teeth tonight, I realized that's part of the equation. It's not just that one minute they're there and the next minute they're not. But that up until that point, everything was normal. You're standing in the doorway watching them brush their teeth.

I guess in some ways that's part of the uncertainty of life and same could be said of a car... you parked it and went into the store. You walked away and it sat there happily awaiting your return. And then a meteor hit it while you were in the store and you came back out to find only a crater.

I suppose I'm not making any sense. But I guess it's all about how you can never predict anything. And also that you can't worry about life or you'll turn into a useless ball of jelly afraid to leave the bomb shelter.

So instead all I can do is Thank God for breath, for life, for family and pray for future protection and leave it all in His hands.

In completely other news, I finally uploaded new photos. As always, sign in for the actual pictures of people.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Get it? :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Reader's Digest had a really sad story in the latest issue (not yet available online) about back-overs -- where a child is injured or killed by being backed-over with a car by a family member.

It's really sad and they noted a great organization called Kids and that's trying to raise awareness. It's responsible for 50% of all non-traffic fatalities of children under 5 years of age and growing.

The sad thing was that they were vilifying the car manufacturers for not doing more. I will concede that this could be considered a "design flaw" to have such poor visibility behind cars, but manufacturers have resisted calling backup cameras and sensors "safety" features recognizing that they aren't foolproof and to call them "safety" features just opens them up for lawsuits.

One company in the article even sued Nissan because the salesman wasn't more pushy in trying to get them to get the camera on their Lexus. (My words.)

Apparently, it's common for a child to go back out to a car to say bye again to a parent who's leaving.

I do feel bad for these parents and I pray that this never happens to me and I would hope that, especially after reading this, my wife and I are really vigilant, and that we pay attention to things like the beeping noise that we hear any time an exterior door is opened in our house, and that we back in our cars (so we're pulling forward when leaving would all work towards protecting our child(ren).

The worst part of the story was a grandpa who accidentally backed over a child. I just can't stop picturing the thought of the dad getting the call from his wife telling him nothing except to come home and him finding the car backed partway down the driveway, the grandfather laying on the ground in the fetal position sobbing and his wife holding their son wrapped in a towel, refusing to let her husband see him, just saying instead that he should picture the child as he was. I feel so awful for that grandfather and so amazed and the will of the mom to bear all that alone, to even shield her husband from it. Wish I could link to the article, but they don't have it on their website yet.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Baby Blogging

An interesting article on about parental blogging. Thoughts?

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 unshakable 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.

Artist/Band: Cyrus Billy Ray
Lyrics for Song: Face Of God
Lyrics for Album: The Other Side
(Bob DiPiero/Rivers Rutherford/Tom Shapiro)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

That Of Which We Shall Not Speak

In starting and maintaining this blog, I've always desired to make it a look at parenting (and parenting in general) and a celebration of children, Rachel in particular. But I've always hoped that it would someday be something she (and other siblings? no, not an announcement) would be able to look at without declaring eternal hatred for me and running to their rooms and slamming their doors.

So some issues we've steered clear of. But I gotta say, there's something no one really warned us about and I'd love for it to stop. There've only been several major incidents, but two of them have been in the past few months. And only today's was really Rachel's doing. We put her down for a nap today without pants, wondering if she's been too warm lately and that's why she's not been napping.

Well, with ready access, when the time came, the enterprisingy little girl, instead of calling out for help, attempted to change her own diaper. With less than the best results. As always, things could have been far worse. But it's this kind of thing that no one remembers to warn you about or in any way stress the gravity of. Not other parents, not grandparents, not people at the hospital or in the pediatric office. And that is just how messy life can be.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Charlie Brown Has Been Taken!

Rachel just asked to see Charlie Brown. We have the Christmas DVD, but it's packed away now. We had also TIVO'd some of the holiday specials, but they're not on the recorder anymore.

Me: "We don't have any of the videos here."
R: "But he's on TV."
Me: "Well, the holidays are over, so he's not on there anymore."
R: "What?! Someone took Charlie Brown away?"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Who's Laughing Now?

It's all fun and games until all of them are crying at the same time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

(She's) Too Smart for my Own Good

Rachel and I were leaving the parking lot of Fred Meyer when I said "Shoot!" She asked what was wrong, and I told her I forgot to get apples and that I needed them for a dish I was going to make tomorrow night. I told her I'd just have to make something else.

A minute or two later, we were driving through the Safeway parking lot and she said "Let's go in there!" I said "I would, but I don't think we need anything from Safeway." Miss Smarty Pants comes back with us "Maybe we need apples from Safeway!"

I got such a good laugh out of that. I couldn't believe she'd put that together.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's Not a Toy

Rachel was being pesky the other day while I was at the computer. So I handed her an iTunes giftcard and said "Here. Here's a toy. Go play with it."

She responded, "It's not a toy. It's music."

Kid never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alyssa Lies

My little girl met a new friend,
just the other day,
on the playground at school
between the tires and the swings

But she came home with tear-filled eyes,
and she said to me "Daddy, Alyssa lies"

Well I just brushed it off at first,
'cause I didn't know how much my little girl had been hurt
or the things she had seen.
I wasn't ready when I said "You can tell me"

and she said...

"Alyssa lies to the classroom,
Alyssa lies everyday at school,
Alyssa lies to the teachers
as she tries to cover every bruise"

My little girl laid her head down that night to go to sleep.
As I stepped out the room, I heard her say a prayer so soft and sweet
"God bless my mom and my Dad
and my new friend, Alyssa
*oh*I know she needs you bad

Because Alyssa lies to the classroom,
Alyssa lies everyday at school,
Alyssa lies to the teachers
as she tries to cover every bruise"


I had the worst night of sleep in years
as I tried to think of a way to calm her fears
*I knew exactly what I had to do*
but when we got to school on Monday I heard the news

My little girl asked me why everybody looked so sad
the lump in my throat grew bigger
with every question that she asked.
Until I felt the tears run down my face
and I told her that Alyssa wouldn't be at school today

'Cause she doesn't lie in the classroom
she doesn't lie anymore at school
Alyssa lies with Jesus
because there's nothin' anyone would do

Tears filled my eyes when my little girl asked me why
Alyssa lies
oh* Daddy, oh daddy tell me why
Alyssa lies

© Jason Michael Carroll

Monday, February 05, 2007


Little Rachel's been sick today, telling Lori that her throat hurts "on the inside."

At around 5 pm Rachel disappeared. Lori went looking for her and discovered that she had crawled into our bed, gotten under the covers and gone to sleep.

She woke up shortly after I arrived home from work. She wanted to stay close to one of us at all times. She wanted to lean against us but didn't want us touching her. I admit that I did tickle her and she did genuinely laugh. She did ask me to stop rather quickly.

She took a long bath and seemed to feel better after that. She went to sleep very quickly afterwards, but has whimpered from time to time in her sleep.

Poor little sweet baby.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

More Dancing!

ENGADGET.COM -- W. Virginia expands the Dance, Dance Revolution party spreading across the state. After a successful pilot program they're now installing the systems in all of the public schools. Has apparently helped keep kids from gaining weight -- and get this -- all the craziness and fun of the game has led to more outgoing and socialable kids. I really love this story because of the unusual benefits that have been realized. I've thought about buying a gaming system and this game for the weight loss aspects, but it's cool how it's also helped kids socially when they can goof off together. More...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Do Veggies Rock?

Ok, I like Rebecca St. James. She's a great singer, a Christian singer. With names I like, such as Rebecca, Saint and James in her name.

And I like Veggie Tales.

But I do not like "Veggie Tales Theme" by Rebecca St. James on the "Veggie Rocks" album.

Sounds stupid. Cadence is all wrong. Way too much guitar. She sings "prah-duce" and "brah-colli" and "Veggie Tales" instead of "veggietales!" (If you know the theme, you know what I mean by "veggietales!")

Just listening to it made me angry and agitated.

So I guess I wouldn't recommend the album as a future gift for Rachel.

Unless the rest of the album does, as per its namesake, in fact rock.

After rating the "Theme" a do-not-play, I rated the rest of the album high so that I'll hear other songs.

RSJ will get to keep her 70 rating for now, but she best not do more stuff like that. I'm just saying...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Everyone Poops

It's difficult trying to figure out what to post and what will get me in lots of trouble when she's older. So maybe I ought to start by admitting that I was once in diapers and mom and dad are still happy to tell stories about it. And I did have to have a timeout recently, if that counts for anything.

Anyway, all this to say that we've started a new program. The health insurance provider sent a cheesy calendar for the new year, with reminders about being safe and stuff like that. I had no use for it, but it had nice big squares. So, I hung it over the towel rack in the hall bath. And every time the little one asks to use the potty seat, she gets a sticker. And she can get one or two other stickers, respectively.

The calendar is really starting to fill up with stickers.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Last night Rachel was in our room. We were all laying on the bed hanging out. Lori finished a magazine and handed it to me. I gave it an off-handed toss to the floor on my side of the bed.

Rachel's eyes widened and she said "Daddy, did you throw that magazine? Do you need a time-out."

Instantly I thought "Dang it!" and looked at Lori. We knew what had to be done. I went to the wall, put my hands on the wall and stood there staring at the wall until Lori played the part of the timer singing "beep beep beep."

I wasn't too thrilled about it, but a small price to pay for showing Rachel consistency and that actions have consequences.

Consumer Reports Retracts Car Seat Story

MSNBC.COM -- Consumer Reports recently published a study saying that most of the car seats it crash tested failed with disastrous results. Now it's saying that they were not tested at the speeds they reported, but at much higher speeds. I'm still waiting to hear what they say in the next magazine for a full explanation, but the speeds of the actual test were still speeds you might travel (approx. 70) and the most of the seats did fail. So while the conditions were extreme, we can still take away from this article the information that the seats that passed the tests are really the only ones you should consider. More...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Breakfast with Rachel

This morning I was about to head down for breakfast and I heard a knocking at Rachel's door. I opened it and there she stood, with her pillow, blanket and Aaron, her stuffed leopard, and Benny, her stuffed bear, in her arms. She said she wanted to go and lay on mommy's bed, which is apparently part of the morning routine.

I explained that mommy was still sleeping, but would she like to have breakfast with me? That was acceptable, provided I changed her diaper first. Very adamant about that. I tossed the pillow, blanket and Aaron back onto her bed and then scooped her up and took her downstairs. After dispatching the dirty diaper and thoroughly washing my hands, we went into the kitchen. I cut up a banana for her and poured myself a bowl of cereal. We had a nice time together.

Then I set her in front of Sesame Street (ugh! TV! I'm a horrible parent!) and prepared to leave for work. Lori didn't think that was a good idea and roused herself to come and hang out with Rachel. So I got to see my whole family before work which was a real bonus, compared to the one or two cats I typically see before heading out the door.

Single Sex Classrooms?

MSNBC.COM -- Here's an interesting one, out of Virginia... they're considering separating kids out at a middle school by sex. They cite differences in temperature preferences, inequality of test scores, differences in learning styles, the idea that girls are less likely to engage in a co-ed classroom, things like that. I think it's rather interesting and will be curious to see where they go with this and if it works out for them. More...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Rachel has gotten a cold. Don't know if she caught it from someone at church or if taking her sledding was enough to bring down her defenses and allow her to catch something. But now she has a scratchy "cold" voice and she's had poor sleep the last few nights.

But, that's not stopped her from completely resisting naps. She seems to be saying that's she with daytime naps. Nothing's working, she'll cry ferociously and play and talk and sing, but she won't sleep. Even with new blackout curtains hung, she just won't sleep.

And I spoke too soon about the toddler bed -- she will now hop out seconds after we put her in bed and the door knob is rattling, or the door is opening. If there's a gate up, she'll stand at the door calling out, and if there's no gate, she'll wander around until she finds us and tells us she's done sleeping. She's probably getting 9-11 hours of sleep total these days. That will make Lori's life more crazy if the naps are truly done. I'm sure for the short-term she'll continue putting Rachel down for naps, hoping she'll give in.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another Baby

I've stumbled across another baby website tonight, this one for a 1-year-old (in China?) named Hazel. Very beautiful little baby. Will have to check out her site from time-to-time. Also makes me feel guilty that I haven't posted more pictures of Rachel, or talked much about her development lately.

Rotten Awful

Stumbled across this blog, tonight, the short story of a young baby whose parents have been told she won't live long, that her brain stopped developing early and isn't formed enough for her to survive.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Baby On The Way!!!

Friend J is in labor as we speak with little L. L will need to have surgery soon after birth to correct something in his heart. Please keep J, R and L in your prayers!