Archive for March, 2008

falling down

31 March, 2008

We had a little play date yesterday. Nina, who’s 16 months old, visited. She was very polite, and smiled at me lots, but stayed close to her mommy. She offered Miss Squeaky a piece of Chex cereal, which, Miss S took, looked at, and tossed aside. We parental units talked about child development stages, and such. Then, Nina, who had been very good at walking around, tripped on one of the many toys and smacked her lip into her mommy’s shin. She cried loudly. Mr. Grunty & Miss Squeaky were a bit perplexed, “I thought only we did that.”

One thing that makes them both cry, loudly, is if they see a bottle when they are starting to get hungry and starting to get a bit fussy. Last night they did. Because we foolishly left a couple of bottles sitting out. Oh they were screaming. I tried to explain the bottles they saw weren’t any good, and new ones were on the way.

(And they are kinda like Thimbletack getting honey when we finally give them the bottles. NOTE: NEVER give babies honey.)

And speaking of spoiled milk…




30 March, 2008

Yesterday, I go in to check on Miss Squeaky, who should have been napping, and she had pulled herself to her knees, and had a big grin holding onto the bars of her crib. That’s a cause for a bit of celebration, and a little bit of worry. Luckily, a few weeks ago we lowered her crib mattress, and so even while standing, her shoulders are below the top rail.

And continuing the celebration of accomplishment. Mr. Grunty has figured out how to turn on the “Jungle Sounds” toy, so, he can now watch that all night. He also has started moving around in his crib, so far just limited to 90 degree turns by morning.

A bit later in the day, I had put Miss S down for a nap. A few minutes later I heard a crash in the bed room. I was so scared she had fallen out of the crib. I saw her. She was on her back, leaning against the crib bars, with a “dude, what happened?” look on her face. No, she hadn’t fallen out. Just back.

She doesn’t have the muscles yet to crawl out. Though I’m sure that will be soon. My adrenaline levels were very high. I am so scared of my childrens taking a big fall.

And speaking of falling, let me tell you about what we saw happen today…


ABC’s fault

29 March, 2008

Hey Sports Fans….No, you are not reading
ACL’s Research & Development, but oddly enough it’s appropriate.

Since ABC was kind enuff to take us to a Sonic’s game, back when they mattered, I think I should go with him to see some “fun, cool, graceful, brutal, fast, sexy, exciting, strategic, visceral, complex and simple all at once ” Throttle Rockets action.

So here’s the thing, it all started when ABC had a 6 squared, b-day party. We went out for some “pi” (pizza, that is). I was chatting with the Maestro, and he was telling me of his latest time wasting device. Guitar Hero. The game where you get to pretend to play guitar. It’s like air-guitar, only with points. It’s keeping score on imagination. He is curious on how I’ll do on it, since, I play guitar. So, I’ll be going over there to try it out….I mean, for our childrens to have a play date.

I wonder, how much more difficult would it be to have something similar with an actual guitar, where you start with an easy version of the song, and progress. Is there a market for that? Or do kids today rather cyber-practice, and not actually do the real thing.

Bro-in-law C tells me, that at the higher levels, the game says “you know, guitars aren’t that expensive, maybe you should invest in one.”

Well, in Spokane. I played Guitar Hero. And I feel like Jon Stewart in Wordplay, who he said, “I’ll do the USA Today crossword puzzle when I’m stuck in a hotel, but I don’t feel good about it.”

It was OK. But I really wanted to pick up a real guitar. And, sometimes, knowing what a guitar would do, would make me mess up on the game. And if you Guitar Hero wrong, there is no sound for your “guitar”, but in real life, you can hear your mistakes, and adjust accordingly.

So I blame ABC for having a party, where I talked to Maestro, which led to me playing Guitar Hero. Oh yeah, don’t tell the Maestro (named for his ability to make great pizza), that I’ve been practicing Guitar Hero.

And now for something completely different….Miss Squeaky gave me quite the scare this morning….


last weekend

28 March, 2008

Last weekend, we braved the pass and visited my in-laws. Actually the roads were clear and dry, and the mountain snow was pretty. (Today, they closed the pass because of snow & car accidents…never can predict what it’ll be like.)

Miss Squeaky was a bit shy around all of the strange relatives, that evidently she didn’t remember. Mr. Grunty was pleased as punch to be the center of attention.

They talked, and sang. They ate their veggies sitting on my mother-in-laws nice furniture w/o making a mess. They took naps on their grandparents. The crawled or rolled around.

We were all sleeping as family in a room in the basement. Which, reminds me how blessed with riches we are compared to most of the world. Seriously, we were “roughing it”, four to a room, and I know there are many people today living in smaller apartments. AND we had heat, clean water, toilet, shower. I am glad to be an American. The childrens slept just fine in their playpens. Me & MyBetterHalf woke up every time we heard a noise from the childrens. BTW, children evidently make lots of weird noises when they sleep.

We watched some March Madness. Go Tarheels!

Grandpa was teaching Miss Squeaky how to play Texas Hold ‘Em.
Cousin D & C were talking lots w/ Mr. Grunty & he loved it.

I’m a bit sad that my sister-in-law doesn’t think she have a garden this year. Her gardening has been an inspiration to me. And she’s like a b’jillion times better at it.

Niece M liked it when I gave her piggy back rides, and gave me lots of hugs. When we needed help cleaning up the childrens, she was there, and very helpful. Especially noteworthy because she’s only in kindergarten.

Nephew D and I were sitting on the couch. I asked, “what do you want to talk about?” He said, “Nothing.” So I was silently mouthing words while he said, “nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing,….” Then after a few giggles and few minutes he said he wanted to talk about S.W. ? “the Spider Wick Chronicles” and we talked about that. His favorite character was Molgarath. Later, when he was singing to the childrens, you guessed, he was singing the Darth Vadar theme.

Niece K and I talked about Jr. High. She’s not sure if she’ll have time for orchestra and choir, so might just do choir. She’s thinking about taking French.

Nephew C attacked me with a pair of sai as soon as I got out of the car. Luckily I grabbed the katana he had stowed away in the back of his shirt, and defended myself.

Naturally I quizzed all the K,D, C, and M on math problems.
I made bottles for the childrens, C & M wanted to carry them to the childrens. But Nephew C only wanted to carry Mr. G’s bottle, and Niece M only wanted to carry Miss S’s bottle. I gave a bottle to C, and trying to mix things up said, “take this to Miss S.” He was about ready to throw a fit, but Niece M gave him the bottle she had, “here, this one is for the boy.”

The childrens on a road trip. Well, for the most part they were great. They would nap. Or play with toys. Or talk. Or sing. Once they even talked to each other.

But, Miss Squeaky does not like Moses Lake. She cried both times we passed through it.

On the way home, just past the Snoquamie pass, Mr. G started fussing. But we wanted to press on, we were only an hour from home. Then he cried. Then he screamed. Then he cried. For about 55 minutes, the poor boy was either crying or screaming. That’s why he is hoarse.

And I must confess, I did something in Spokane, that I’m embarrassed to admit….



27 March, 2008

well…I got home, and Mr. Grunty was saying “mom-ma, mom-ma, mom-ma”
That just was the smile for my day. I haven’t heard him say that yet.

Miss Squeaky has been very clingy / needy recently. So, there’s a bit of her crying in the morning as I do what she thinks is unimportant, like brush my teeth, fix bottles, change Mr. G’s diaper. I tried to make it easier on her, I brought the changing pad into the living room so that we all could be in the same room during diaper changing. She did good today by pulling herself up onto her knees to look into the toy box, look around, toss aside the toys she didn’t want, and then sit back down.

Mr. G thought Mac-n-cheese was alright. Miss S thought it was nasty. She doesn’t like turkey dinner either. But, she thinks the rice cereal is OK, even though Mr. G doesn’t care for it.

Mr. G can drink from the sippy cup. I think Miss S is getting the concept.

Mr. G still has a hoarse throat from this past weekend when we….


FAWM by Blub

19 March, 2008


Since, I have such close connections to our good friend Blub, I finagled myself an advance copy of her soon to be released album.

Let me just say, that I am so very pleased and proud of my friend. Fourteen songs in one month! I think that is way harder than NaNoWriMo. When I was in a joke of a band, it would take us around 4 hours or more to record a song that usually took us a couple of sessions to write, and weeks to “practice” so that we could have a chance of playing it through in its entirety to record it.

Or, once I recorded a song for a friend, that took about 6 hours.
Or, pro’lly speediest, working for Idiot & the Cone films, both of those pieces took a couple of hours to record each about an hour or two to compose.

All that -vs- how fast can you type 1667 words / day …for me, at a slow 30 words a minute…about an hour a day for a month.

So yeah…FAWM is tougher.

Anywho…about the album. I’ve done a scan of most of it. Some of it is not my cup of tea, and so I would skip it 30 seconds into it. (Don’t worry, I’ll give more of a listen later.) There was one song that I swear was Joni Mitchell. (Not that I really know what Joni Mitchell sounds like, but it was folk song, also, not my cup of tea.) There were a couple of strange sounding entries that I skipped, that have potential to be cool, because I like Tori Amos and all that, but I was impatient. Now, I can say, there were three songs that I like.

One with Blub using power-chords! nice vocal melody about being afraid to go home.
The next one about dieing.
And another one with bongos.

No, I don’t know the names.

And the beauty of FAWM, is that you don’t have time to doubt yourself, or waste years procrastinating to make it “good”, you just have to put out songs. I think it is a wonderful way of kick starting the creative engine. Just like NaNoWriMo, there is power in a deadline. I don’t know what Blub is doing, now that February is done. I hope she is still writing and playing.

I am looking forward to the album release party on April 5th.

what the childrens know

18 March, 2008

They know what bibs mean. It means, in the morning, time to scream, because it tells them they should have bottles in the mouth, right now, and papa is taking too long.

They know “up” and will grab my index fingers to pull themselves from laying on their back to standing.

They know “clap hands” and will sometimes follow the lead of their parents.

And I think they know, that their parents & Oliver kitty go into their rooms to check on them around ten each night.

new stuff

17 March, 2008

We have tried to give the childrens their first solid foods. They don’t like it and spit it out. (Very soft, tiny pieces of carrots or peaches.)

Mr. Grunty thinks that sippy-cups are HI-Larious.

Mr. G is sleeping on his side now.
Miss Squeaky ends up on her tummy, and it is random which way she will be pointing in the morning.


17 March, 2008

Just watched it again with MyBetterHalf.

Is it a form of child-abuse, all the pressure and all the training and all the studying that the kids put into it? And only one of them wins.

I love this movie.

babies 9 month update

15 March, 2008

well, yesterday we took the childrens to the doctor for their 9 month appointment. Yay, no shots! And we were officially told that they are “beautiful, growing, healthy” childrens. And that Mr. Grunty “is big”. We talked about their developmental milestones, and how they are doing different things, but Miss Squeaky doesn’t talk much, and Mr. Grunty does not like to be on his tummy.

And wouldn’t ya know it, this morning they set out to prove us wrong. This morning, at 4:55am, Miss Squeaky woke us up. I took her to the loft, so we could snuggle, and maybe go back to sleep, and she was talking lots, new sounds, lots of talking…she showed us. Yay, Miss S!!

And later, after breakfast, Mr. Grunty went from sitting, to on his tummy, and hung out on his tummy for a couple of minutes, lifting his head way up high, and maneuvering around. Then he flipped to his back, smiled at his mommy, then flipped back to his tummy for more moving around. Yay, Mr. G!!

Miss S likes the “da, Tha, gah” sounds, and will sometimes add the “ah” prefix.
Mr G has learned how to blow raspberries.
At work I’ve noticed that I take a deep breath, and motorboat flap my lips / passive raspberry on exhale from time to time. Our receptionist laughs and asks if Miss S taught me that.

Bottle Holding
Mr. G does not like to cooperate on this. Either a parent holds the bottle or he does. Don’t even try and touch his hands during feeding. And naturally he’s kicking his feet. He has learned that when the bottle is full, he can rest it on his belly and drink from it no-hands.
Miss S likes to show off and hold the bottle with one hand while looking around. Sometimes she will hit the bottle. She will let you hold her hands while she feeds. She still drinks a lot faster than her brother, and less too.

Miss S was reading a Seasame Street’s “What’s that sound?” the other day. Slowly turning pages, carefully looking at each page. Usually she will just chew on a toy for a few minutes, then toss it to the side.

Mr. G is a lot more deliberate looking at toys, and will usually take longer to lose interest in a toy. And these days, one of his favorites is the Mary Meyer* Lucky Duck Rattle. I am amazed at how well rattles entertain. I guess that’s why we’ve had rattles since pre-historic times. All right all you anthropologists, what came first, the rattle or fermented drink?

A game they like to play is empty the basket of toys. When it’s done, they’ve gone through all the toys, and start to get fussy/bored, we refill the basket and the fun starts again. Mr. G does like to pound on the empty basket like a drum.

A cool toy that I like, the Fisher-Price Stack & Roll Cups. They’re fun for me, because I can clap them together, for different noises, or make them into rattles by sticking a block between them, and the different sizes have different tones. Oh yeah, the childrens like them too, and will clang them together.

So…a worry I have, is are they developing properly? Rationally I know, each child will develop at their own pace, but emotionally, I worry. And this can easily lead into jealousy and bragging (do parents ever brag about their kids?)
One nice lesson of a recent political scandal, is even if your child becomes the gov’ner of NY State, it’s still not a good idea to brag about how successful he is. Which leads me too, when can you know if you’ve been a good parent? I guess in heaven you’ll get the answer. I heard from my boss about this ultra-competitive private school in town, where the kindergarten children have to go through this rigorous interview process to be accepted and the parents are really obnoxious. Seriously, I’m all for encouraging kids to learn, but do we sometimes go a bit to far?

Another thing my boss was talking about. Moving your child to a different school if they fall into a bad social group. An option to remember.

Our good friend BitterKat was showing me some vids of her babies. They were cool. Her daughter was crawling all over at 5 months! (Ack!! Should I be worried? should I be jealous? ) And her daughter did grow up to be a violist, that IS something to brag about! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dancing Styles
They still have different dancing styles.
Miss S will swing her upper body back and forth, from left to right, very energetically.
Mr G will rock front to back, gently, sometimes tossing in shoulder shrug.