Bugs (Part 5)

November 14, 2011

So we waited and waited for this thing to hatch.. one day, Ms. Kaz went into my daughter’s room and said, “oh! It hatched!”

It was an exciting day. We took pictures and tried to learn what to feed it (sugar water) and tried to keep it alive until Baba arrived. I am not sure we were doing it right, or if the butterfly was “getting it”. It didn’t appear to be interested in eating. Part of its wing broke off (malnutrition?).

We managed to keep it alive a few days, then convince my daughter that we needed to let it go. We had a small Release Party for the butterfly. Somehow, when getting the butterfly cage from her room, the butterfly managed to escape. After chasing it around for 5 minutes, we were able to get it back in and down to the backyard.

The beautiful thing is that, after release, it flew directly to the butterfly bush my daughter had us plant a few years earlier. Maybe because it was starving, it spent plenty of time drinking (and posing for pictures) before flying off.


December 21, 2010

The Boy has been a little slow on the talking front so far in his life. He relied on signing for the most part.

We’ve gotten help for him, and he is finally starting to “open up” and try saying more things. And he is getting better. The better he gets, and the more he talks, the more we realize just how much language he was learning despite not talking much.

We always knew he was intelligent based on what he understood, and his creative use of signing, often making up his own signs to get the point across.

Now that he is starting to talk, he is quickly creating quite complex sentences. It helps us worry a little less. In fact, every day for the last week+, in anticipation of going to my mother’s for Christmas, he’s been asking, “Go.. Baba’s.. house.. now?” When I tell him, no, not yet, I always get a disappointing, “awwww!”

He still struggles sometimes with pronunciation, but his classes are helping with that. But we still see the frustration when we have trouble determining he is trying to say. Sometimes, he gets upset to the point of tears. We are lucky that his sister is often much better at understanding what he is trying to tell us.

Speaking of Baba’s house, we were creating a photo album (at her request) for a gift, and were looking at some other the things his sister was doing at his age, and wondering if he would be capable of the same. In one picture, our daughter was showing off a craft she did, and Ms. Kaz said, “can you imagine him doing that?”

And it made me wonder if, because he was not verbally communicating as well as she had, if we were treating him as if he were younger. It made me wonder if, because of this “issue”, we were not challenging him as much as we did her.

We know he’s intelligent, and we see how well his language is progressing. I have no worry he will get up to speed. But, for those who know me, you know I always need SOMETHING to worry about.

(like finally finishing that butterfly story!)

Bugs! (part 3)

June 21, 2010

Every year, we do a small box garden, and a container garden for some herbs. This year, we planted cilantro (yuck!) and parsley. My daughter likes to pick off the parsley and cilantro and eat them.

The other day, we were outside and she says, “Oh, cool!” and runs over the the parsley. I remember thinking that I’ve never seen her get that excited about eating the parsley before. Instead, she shows me a caterpillar she found on the parsley. We both got excited because she has been “hunting” for a caterpillar for months now.

So, we run and get the bug jar and go inside to find out what kind of caterpillar we have…

Read the rest of this entry »

Bugs! (part 2)

June 16, 2010

I never realized just how amazing kindergarten is until my daughter started school. I am simply amazed at how much better her writing, spelling and reading are compared to before she started.

And one of the cutest examples of her new skills was when she created her Bug Journal.

After catching several different kinds of bugs (moth, dragon fly, lady bug), she took it upon herself to create, illustrate and author her own bug journal. The pictures are adorable, and the writing is terrific (e.g. “he was a good bug. he was scared. I miss him”)

She has created many terrific books – about family, a day at the beach, etc. – carefully drawing, writing, and stapling them together. They are great to share with the grandparents when they visit to show off what she’s learned and what her interests are.

There are a lot of artists in her family (mostly Ms. Kaz’s, but some in mine), and I think she’s inherited that gene…

The only problem with the bug journal is that after she stapled the “The End” page onto it, she says she cannot add new pages. I need to get her to start a new bug journal so she can add the newer bugs she caught since then.

Next: Garden Bugs

Conversations With…: At least she didn’t say “pooch”

December 1, 2009

My daughter’s thing is cats. The boy’s thing is trucks, trains and firetrucks. Which would explain why the toy workbench he got for his birthday only gets occasionally touched.

Today, my daughter decided to actually combine her love of cats with the workbench and decided to play a game where she is a cat, and I am a construction worker. She asked me to name the cat, so I went with a construction theme, and chose the name Rivets, which I thought was a cute cat name.

She had no idea what a rivet was, and even after I explained how it was relevant, she insisted I name cat after a tool. She picked up the toy wrench and said, name the cat after this. “Wrench?” I asked. “Yeah, wrench,” she replied.

After a few minutes of playing, I went into the kitchen to talk to Ms. Kaz. My daughter came in and started talking some more about the game, and I told her to slow down and tell me again…

Daughter: .. so Wrench the cat, and Screw the dog were going…
Me: uh, huh.. wait, what? Wrench the cat and who..?
Daughter: Screw the dog.
Me: …
Daughter: …
Me: That’s a great name for the dog. Tell mommy!

I am looking forward to many more games of Wrench the cat and Screw the dog. I just hope she doesn’t try playing this game at school!

Conversations With…: The New Threats

August 31, 2009

Daughter: If you don’t let me, I’m gonna call a woodpecker!
Kaz: …
Ms. Kaz: …
Daughter: …
Ms. Kaz: And what will the woodpecker do?
Daughter: He’ll PECK the house!


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…


January 13, 2009

It is always interesting the watch (listen?) as my daughter’s language skills continue to develop. It really helps you see how the English language can be a little messed up. The one thing my daughter seems to struggle with the most is the past tense.

Early on, she was able to pick up the adding of -ed to verbs to make them the past tense. Which is great 90% of the time. But it also leads to a lot of “I knowed” and “he runned”. One thing I’ve always tried to do is to passively correct her. I will repeat the word back to her the correct way – “Oh, you knew that?” or “He ran where?”, etc.

I don’t know if this is the right way to do it, but I know she isn’t actively trying to do anything wrong, so I feel better “guiding” her to the correct way of saying these thing.

The thing I love most about her growing language skills is the way her mind puts things together. This process makes for some cute results, such as:

  • My daughter calls her big toe the “thumb toe”
  • We were playing with her dolls the other day, and she made me make the child doll run away. The mother dolls warned that if the child doll ran away, she might “die to death”
  • And last night, she told Ms. Kaz that she had an itch, and when Ms. Kaz asked where, she said in her “knee underarm”

There are other examples, but these are a few that stick out in my mind…


July 10, 2008

My wedding anniversary is quickly approaching. This year is the “Pottery Anniversary”, if you follow such things.

My in-laws have a nice set of tableware from Bennington Pottery that they bought up in Vermont. I like the set they got. But then I discovered Heath Ceramics (does ceramics = pottery? who cares – close enough), and promptly fell in love with their Coupe line of dinnerware.

Only problem – I am not sure I want to spend almost $32 per plate (not to mention bowls, mugs, etc) with two small children… although, the set would look great paired with Heath’s upcoming children’s line of dinnerware.

I guess it is back to the drawing board with the pottery… if anyone has any ideas in the next couple of days, just let me know!

Neighborhood Wierdos

June 25, 2008

Today, we officially joined the ranks of the neighborhood wierdos.

Today, we put a leash on our cat, and took him outside.

This cat is the cat that is constantly trying to get outside. He’s managed twice, so far, in his life to get out. Each time, he immediately ran under our neighbor’s bushes and sat there.

So today, we put the leash on. He actually did not resist the collar, or the leash. I took him to the door – the same door he tries to bolt out of when it is open – and he sat there looking out. And sat there. And sat there.

Finally, I picked him up and put him outside. He immediately slinked back toward the door, only to find it closed. Finally, he began to explore, and headed straight for the bushes. With the leash, I was able to keep him from going under them, but he then spent the next 5 minutes rolling in dirt.

My daughter wanted to hold the leash, but with the cat a little freaked out, I didn’t want her to choke him, accidentally or otherwise. Eventually, she got bored and went with Ms. Kaz across the street to say hello to “friend doggy”.

What amazed me is that the cat didn’t mind the leash. I remember my mother trying this stunt with out cats when I was younger, and the cat immediately dropped and began clawing and chewing at the leash. My guess is that, after a few times out, he’ll be comfortable with the outside, then he’ll focus on the leash.

I can’t wait to be “that guy who walks his cat”.

Where am I?

June 24, 2008

Man, this guy hasn’t posted anything here in a while.

Where is he?

Oh, wait, that guy is me.

Sorry, all, but things have been really busy this summer, and I plan to post about some of it.

In the meantime, here’s a little quote which makes me rethink the impact commercials have on kids.

Ms. Kaz (brushing teeth)
Daughter: Mommy, it’s a good thing you use a Reach toothbrush.
Ms. Kaz: Really? Why?
Daughter: It cleans better.
Ms. Kaz: Does it?
Daughter: Yeah, it reached places and ordinary toothbrush can’t reach.
Ms. Kaz: …
Daughter: …
Ms. Kaz: Where did you learn that?
Daughter: Onna commercial.
Ms. Kaz: How did you know we had a Reach toothbrush?
Daughter: I recognized the letters.

I think she’s lost TV for a quite a while. Me? I’m gonna start showing her commercials for sports cars, so she can help me convince Ms. Kaz we need one!


June 1, 2008

We headed up north this weekend, to my in-law’s “cabin” and took the kids to visit them.

My in-laws are great, taking the kids for some time so one or both of us (Ms. Kaz and me) could relax. At one point, both Ms. Kaz and I were outside, reading and saying how weird it is to just relax.

We seem to strive for time to relax, and time to ourselves, or, let’s face, just like most parents, some time without the kids.

Having taken two cars, since I had to work, Ms. Kaz and the kids got to spend a little extra time up there with her family. Of course, that meant that today, after dinner, I had to return back home to myself.

Before kids, when Ms. Kaz was away for a couple days, I’d sleep in, eat pizza, drink beer, rent James Bond movies. Now, with kids, this is really (as far as I can remember), my first night sans family (as short as it is).

Just what I’ve been waiting for.

Of course, I’ve just wasted it channel surfing, not really finding anything, snacking and reading magazines… checking my blog… wandering around aimlessly, not really sure what to do with myself and the time I’d be usually doing chores and trekking back up the stairs to tell my daughter she really needs to go to sleep now, and this is the last time I am coming up.

Instead, I am just bored.

I know there’s a decent chance when I come home from work tomorrow, my daughter will be crabby, and whining about something.

But I still miss them all.

(of course, I am still looking forward to sleeping in just a bit tomorrow)