April 7, 2009

So, I’ve been working on this crazy project for, like, 8 months, and been super busy and working late hours. The boy (now 1 1/2) probably thinks of me as “Morning Guy”. Seriously. He sees me at night occasionally, and looks at me like, “Hey, Morning Guy! What’re you doing here?!?”

I missed the family. I got too wrapped up in the work. I hit a point where I was working 90+ hrs a week and skipping meals.

It finally caught up to me the final week of the project. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and the next thing I knew I was on the bathroom floor, bleeding. The family was away for the weekend, so I called 911 and wound up in the trauma ward with a really banged up head, culminating with two fractures in my skull.

That got me some time with the family!

I think it also put things in perspective and made me realize I need to make time to take care of myself when I’ve got these big projects. I’ll be fine. I just need to deal with these stitches, staples and bruises… as well as a neck brace for a few weeks.

The kids were a little wierded out when they first saw me, but they are back to normal (well, as normal as they can be) now. I can’t rough-house with them yet, but they are being good at being gentle with daddy.

So, to make a short story long, these are the reasons (a) I haven’t been posting and (b) I am now posting. Oh, yeah, and it appears I am going to be fine…


November 5, 2008

I have to say that, in general, I am proud to be an American. I may not always be proud of some of the things my country has done, but I don’t think that makes me any different than most other Americans, or most other people in the world.

Last night was a proud moment.

I know a vast majority or people voted for one candidate or the other because of what they stood for, and what they wanted to do. But I think I would be naive to deny that there was probably some people who refused to vote for one candidate because of the color of his skin. Heck, I would probably be naive to believe that there weren’t some that voted for Obama solely because of the color of his skin.

But I like to believe that most Americans who voted chose based on their belief in who was the better candidate. The fact that Americans were able to look beyond skin color, and not have it affect their opinions is, in my book, something to be proud of.

It is something that would not (and did not) happen 40, 30, even less years ago. And I hope that my kids will grow up in a world where people will look beyond what a person looks like, and focus on who they are.

So, yesterday, Ms. Kaz took our daughter with her to vote, because, being 4, we think it is time to start teaching her about such things. She and Ms. Kaz talked all about what a President is, what voting is, etc. in the car on the way there. Our daughter was all excited. She and Ms. Kaz went and voted (well, Ms. Kaz did, not my daughter) and afterwards, my daughter’s opinion? “That was boring.”

But, I am proud to say (although she is free to have her own opinions) that, in her preschool election, she voted for, “Rock Obama”.

Ms. Kaz said they talked in class a bit about the elections and the candidates. I asked my daughter if she learned about Ralph Nader, and she said, “What’s Ralph Nader?”

In other news, my daughter goes for her Peanut Challenge today. The docs think she might be over her peanut allergy, so they are going to expose her, little by little, to peanuts, stopping if they see signs of a reaction.

With any luck, they will be gone a long time…

A Peanut Battle Update and More

August 29, 2008

Hey, all – sorry I haven’t been around. Work has been crazy… I’ve gotten a promotion without the promotion, so I am trying to do my old job and my new (really more of a new role than job) while transitioning.

Oh, and learning that raising two kids is a lot of work!

Anyhow, it has been another year already for my daughter, so we hauled her off to get her allergies re-tested, and to get The Boy tested as a precaution because now we have a “history” in our family.

The good news is that, based on the skin test, the allergist felt my daughter may no longer have an issue with peanuts! We were actually a bit worried, because they prick the arm, then leave you alone for 15 minutes. One of my daughter’s tests was really swelling a lot, and Ms. Kaz and I were a bit bummed because we assumed it was the peanut.

Turns out, that’s just the control test. Apparently something everyone reacts to (anyone? maybe just raw histamine??).

That being said, she still needs to go back for a … PEANUT CHALLENGE! (dun dun dun!)

Basically, they will start with a teeny tiny bit of peanut, uh, something. They will then watch. Then they will give a little more. Then watch. Eventually, it progresses to peanut butter on a cracker and beyond (presumably they’ll let her go to eating a whole jar of peanut butter than afternoon if she has no reaction and is so inclined).

So, we are not out of the woods yet, but things are looking a bit brighter!

Beware the Worm

July 21, 2008

“Eat a good breakfast, and I’ve got a surprise for you!”

When shopping at our local health food store on Saturday, I came across free samples of children’s vitamins. I first noticed the gummy bear ones, which my daughter had before. Then I noticed the sour gummy worm ones. “Sweet! She’ll love eating a worm!” I thought to myself.

So, after eating a good breakfast (by which I mean, 3 bites instead of her usual 2), I gave my daughter the surprise gummy worm. “Eww! Big sister’s eating a worm!” we said to The Boy. Of course, he’s so new that this could very well be perfectly normal behavior as far as he is concerned.

Not long afterward, my daughter complained that her tummy hurt. “Like, you need to throw up hurt, or hurt hurt?” I asked. “It hurts!” was the reply… Read the rest of this entry »


April 21, 2008

Yeah, yeah, enough about the BPA…

Well, we’ve tried to be good about avoiding the BPA stuff for The Boy. We started with glass bottles, moved the the Green To Grow bottles as the boy grew (and grew, and grew – 97 percentile for height – yowza!) and became more of a chow hound. Went through and tried to make sure all our daughter’s sippy cups were “clean” and all.

Then, the other day, we realized that, when we made a new batch of formula for the baby, we put the powdered stuff in the bottle, added the hot water to the.. uh.. the plastic bottle. Hmm.. that doesn’t sound right. We checked the bottom of the bottle – a dreaded #5 plastic.

So, now we’re on a search for a glass version. We need 32oz, but with the little measuring lines on the side, like our plastic bottles had. Right now, we’re making formula in a 32oz glass measuring cup, waiting for it to cool, then pouring into the plastic.

This is less than ideal. So… if anyone has any suggestions, it would be much appreciated!

For now, we’re trying not to worry. After all, my daughter had all her formula this way and probably got a lot of BPA in her system. And she seems pretty normal– er… oh, crap.

[Update: GeekLady points out to me that #5 is not the bad plastic. I swore I read that somewhere. Maybe I just got my numbers confused. Maybe I should be relying on Z Recommends instead…]


January 6, 2008

My daughter rarely gets sick. I am amazed when I see how often other kids get sick.

That’s why it was strange to see how sick and worn out she got around about the time we got back from visiting the relatives for the holidays. She recovered… eventually. But the boy, he got sick as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bottle Quest

November 6, 2007

Yowzers! Just caught a glimpse of these bottles over at ApartmentTherapy.

G-to-G bottleG-to-G bottleManufactured by GreenToGrow, these bottles are Bisphenol-A and Phthalate free. And they look friggin’ awesome.

They are a bit pricey ($7.49 for a 5 oz, up to $10.49 for a 10 oz, wide neck bottle), but they, well, look pretty awesome. Oh, and the whole “not full of bad stuff” is pretty awesome, too.

And the website this husband and wife team put together is chock full of educational resources to help educate parents about creating a health environment (and not just limited to bottles!) for their kids. And we’re definitely all for that!

Of course, we already purchased some Born Free plastic bottles (9 oz bottles go for about $9-10 each, so the cost is comperable), but they are way to big for our son right now. It might be nice to grab a couple of these 5 oz bottles).

So… even if you aren’t interested in purchasing, head over to their site and check ’em out! They are at GreenToGrow.com.

Previously: WeeGo BPA-free Bottles, and a little blurb about Born Free Bottles.


October 24, 2007

Wow. Two posts today, and I still managed to miss my Blogging for ACT post.

I wonder how long I can play this “I have a new baby!” card?

Anyhow, I don’t have time right now to post anything more insightful or lengthy, but I wanted to point out that post-partum depression effects more women than I had previously realized, and there are probably many more women who go undiagnosed.

If you get a moment, check out the MOTHERS Act Bill, which seeks to increase education, awareness, provide support for women suffering from PPD. If it is something you wish to throw your support behind, please contact your Senator and ask them to support this bill.

For more info, including what you can do, check out this Blogher post.


Fore! (head)

September 16, 2007

Not a good weekend for foreheads.


First up – Saturday in the park (definitely not the 4th of July). My daughter is addicted to swings. For some reason, she still wants to “baby swings”. So, we’re swinging away. It is a busy day at the park. More busy than I ever remember seeing it. This means lots of kids running around and lots of parents losing track of their kids.

In this situation, when pushing, I am always prepared to grab my daughter’s swing once a stay kid comes running by. Saturday, I saw this girl, maybe two, two-and-a-half, come running by. I was ready to grab, but she ran wide enough and started playing with the swing next to us.

I continued to be vigilant. I gave my daughter a big push. Right at the top of her arc, just as she was about to head down, the girl made a break for it… right into the path of the swing.

I was helpless.  The little girl was too far for me to reach fast enough, and my daughter was on the other side of the girl, headed straight down. Sure enough – SMACK – right into the girl’s forehead, knocking her down.

She was bawling, and I felt bad. I felt bad, despite their being little I could do, and the fact that I was at least paying attention to not only my kid, but their kid.

To their credit, they didn’t seem to blame me at all. Of course, the little girl immediately wanted to go on my daughter’s swing, and my daughter, who couldn’t care which of the “baby swings” she was on before, now refused to change because, well, someone else wanted that swing.

(Sunday, after the jump) Read the rest of this entry »

Wee Need Bottles

September 15, 2007

Wee Bottles

Into the final month, we are starting to realize all the stuff we still need, and are scambling to get them. One thing we are still working on is deciding on bottles. We used the Avent ones with our daughter (yeah, plastic — we may have to just give up all hope for her), but want a safer, or at least more “green” alternative.

That is why I was excited to read about these Wee Go bottles by Babylife (thanks, Babble!).

These glass bottles are bisphenol A-free. The bottles, rings, nipples, and sleeves also contain no phthalate, PVC or polycarbonates. They are dishwasher and boiling safe, and are also recyclable!

The plastic special non-plastic covering makes them less prone to breaking due to impact, and are also designed to help baby’s grip. Plus, they look pretty sharp.

The bad news is that they are not yet available. I spoke to them (via email), and they told me they are looking at a shipping date of October 19th at various retailers. They also hope to open up an on-line store soon.

Generally, these bottles run a little high in price (the Born Free BPA-free plastic and glass bottles are about $9-11 each). These bottles are no exception – the retail price will be $18 each. So… they aren’t for everyone.

UPDATE: The new “available” date is October 31st. Just in time for Halloween…

UPDATE #2: We went with the Green To Grow bottles, which are BPA-free, lightweight plastic. And nice looking, too. And a bit cheaper. Read about ’em here and here.

The Peanut Battle: Part V (Nuts to Nuts)

September 10, 2007

When my daughter turned 3, one of the things we had to do was schedule a follow-up with the allergist.

We weren’t happy with the last one, so we tried a different one this time. This allergist was recommended by our neighbors who have a son who is allergic, not only to peanuts, but dairy, and a host of other foods.

The initial tests were negative. However, this just lead them to do a second test. This second test consists on just spreading a little peanut butter on my daughter. This test came back with not so good results. She still has her peanut allergy.

The one thing that has changed is that this allergist insists we be more careful about peanut exposure. We now have to read labels a lot more carefully and watch her much more closely if she is exposed to something which is exposed to peanuts.

I gotta tell you – reading labels is tough. We were at Trader Joe’s, and my daughter was being very good and asked nicely about some cookies that she saw another child buying. Well, those cookies were made in a plant which also processes peanuts. I checked every single container of cookies in Trader Joe’s. Same thing.

It is tough continuing to look at all the containers when, after each one, my daughter asks me, “That one has nuts, daddy?” and I have to sigh and tell her she cannot get those cookies.

There’s still a chance she will grow out of the allergy. I really hope so. While she seems to like Soy Nut Butter (*shudder*), I can only imagine what her taste buds would think if she had Peanut Butter.

On the plus side, last night, as a family, we made chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

I think she forgot about the Trader Joe’s cookies as soon as she took that first lick from the bowl.

Up and Down

August 29, 2007

Man, what an up and down weekend. Actually, more like down and up.

We missed our first picnic, because my daughter was sick Saturday and Sunday — fever, no appetite, no energy, waking up in the night. Finally, she made an amazing recovery in time for my company picnic on Monday.

Monday morning, she woke up, and it was as if she was never sick.

Me: You slept great last night.  And you seem much better.
Daughter: I got better for the picnic tomorrow!
Me: Oh, I’m afraid we’re not going to the picnic tomorrow… because the picnic is today!

Our company picnic is at a local amusement park. We get the whole place to ourselves, and everything is free – the food, the games, the rides, even the beer.

She had a blast. She’s finally at the age where she can enjoy the rides and the water park. It took an hour or so for her (and the water) to warm up. Our first attempt at the water park didn’t work out because the water was too cold, and my daughter didn’t want to go in. When we went back later in the day, it was much warmer, but my daughter didn’t want to do more than hang her feet in.

Finally, I grabbed her, raised her in the air, then lowered her, quickly, into the water, back up, in the water, back up, in the water, then back on the side of the kiddie pool. “Again!” she cried, and I’d do it again. On the fourth time through, I left her in the water at the end, to see what she would do.

Without flinching, she started walking around in the water and playing.

Of course, that meant daddy followed her around the pool (Ms. Kaz didn’t bring her suit), knee-deep in water and the sun burning down on my neck and back. It was fun.

It was funny to see her go down a kiddie slide in her floatation vest thingy. She loved it, but only wanted to slide once. Probably because, at the bottom, she landed on her back and was floating and couldn’t flip herself over. I helped her, but it was still funny to see. Like the time she stumbled and started to fall sideways, only to have the vest keep her afloat. It took her a good 15 seconds to right herself.

Surpirsingly, despite no nap, and us being there for 8 hours, she fared pretty well. Very few “incidents” and breakdowns. She even sat through the cheesy stage show, apparently staffed by high schoolers looking for work before the high school musical season starts up again (imagine Pinball Wizard sung in the style of a high school musical, and you’ll know what I mean). The theme of that show was high schoolers… singing as if in a musical… hmm… wonder where they got that idea from?

Ms. Kaz and I rolled our eyes many times during this show (“I’m a preppy!”, “I know! That’s why I like you!” ugh), but every time I looked over at my daughter, she was sitting up, staring at the show, and clapping after the songs.

Just like at the Garfield and Friends show (same high school kids, and a giant Garfield costume, singing songs about magic). Between shows like this, and the comic strip, I don’t know how Jim Davis sleeps at night, accepting money for these things.