Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Center of the world

I love how when you laugh at something completely unrelated, Jaden will just laugh thinking that you are laughing at him.

Teach don't protect

I was having an interesting conversation at work about moving, and the conversation changed to parenting. An odd twist for my friend and I, since he brought it up and doesn't have any kids. John started telling me all of his fears while watching his nephew, and how he was going crazy trying to keep him out of everything. Flashes of Finding Nemo came to my mind.

Marlin: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Marlin: What?
Dory: Well you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.


Then it struck me how often I've seen this. Kids at the park with parents who look at me like I'm crazy letting my little 1.5 year old climb the steps to the tall slide, and slide down it. Kids cutting with scissors at an early age. Climbing up and down steps before they can walk. I realized, that I have a parenting philosophy that I hadn't put my finger on before.

Teach, don't protect.

Yes scissors can be dangerous, teach the children to use them properly and they won't be hurt. Keep the children away from scissors completely, and if they are found by mistake, then an accident is more likely to occur.

Teach kids to climb stairs as soon a they can crawl. Stairs can be dangerous, it's better that they know how to handle them safely, then not know how to handle them at all. As soon as my kids could crawl I put them on the 2nd stair and showed them over and over how to crawl down the stairs. It was great for them. The stairs become a large muscle activity instead of something to be avoided.

Teach kids about soap and using it, toothpaste and brushing without swallowing. Eating these things can be awful for kids, but teaching them the right way can prevent the damage when they find something even at someone else's house.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not quite potty trained

Jaden has kind of been potty training himself and asking to go. He loves it because when he goes in the potty he gets candy. Tonight however, he went too far. While I was giving he and Ady a bath he triumphantly announced, "Daddy! I pooped in the bathtub!". I flipped out and nearly threw up.

After ripping the kids from the tub, rewashing them, scrubbing the tub and all the toys, I finally started getting him dressed. I was still upset so I asked "Why did you do that?" Again he raised both arms up in triumph, "I pooped in the bathtub".

It was so traumatic that I told Erin I wanted to be fixed. I didn't ever want to have another kid that could poop in the potty. I even told her that if she ever did that I would leave her in it. Neither Jonas nor Ady ever made that same mess. But Jaden, he was so proud that he didn't go in his diaper. Now if he will just sit on the potty to do it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stolen Identity

Erin stole my identity. She was updating her Google profile information and posted a picture to the Web through Picasa, which happens to log in as me. That changed who was logged in, but not what information was displayed on the page. Then she saved her updated profile, and all of the information from the page saved as mine. Now I've got the task of fixing my profile to be me again.

At least we know this kind of crazy thing can happen, but it does show one of the limitations of web applications.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oh to be innocent and young

My 5 (almost 6 year old) just randomly said, "I know my middle finger", the flipped me off. He doesn't know the negative connotations with that action, so I just acted as if it was nothing and asked if he knew his ring finger. He said yep, it's that one, and showed me. Then he said "I cheated, I looked at your ring".

That's great.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Quality reading time.


"We are going to read a chapter book"
"What's a chapter book?"
"When you get older books are bigger, so they break them up into sections and call those sections chapters."

Then we started to read "Dinosaurs before Dark". You can read Jonas's telling of the story at The Corn Was Good.

It was great we read two chapters a night, and Jonas read some each day. It always changed. He would read the first line on each page one night, then the first two lines on each page. Only 5 days later we finished the book and remembered everything that happened in the story when he retold it.

We bought some Magic Treehouse books for him for Christmas, and are now reading two chapters a day at least. I think we'll need more books soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

End of the season football thoughts

Sometimes at this time of year I'll sit back and think about the hundred or so hours spent watching football over the past several months and think, "Was this time worth it?"

Even if the team I cheer for makes it to the playoffs or Super bowl and win it all what does that give me? They don't win because I cheer for them, and my self worth isn't improved by cheering for a winner. It would however be hurt if I were a Cubs fan.

All that aside, when the weekend comes, I enjoy sitting and watching football. It's a very physical chess match between grown men who are themselves the chess pieces. Missing a block by half a step can cause a sack. Making the block and pushing an extra half-step can open a hole big enough for an 80 yard touchdown run. All the little things in football matter, and nobody alone can make the difference, the entire team has to work together in order to be successful. It's the teamwork and all those small things that make the game interesting to me. I'll never be able to do play football that way, but I can sit back, relax and enjoy watching good teamwork, or bad teamwork, which generally is the difference between the winner and the losers.

As a Chicago Bears fan I was very disappointed. A year after the Super Bowl, I looked at their sche dule and expected 4 or 5 losses, which would have them back in the playoffs. However they played below their ability. The defensive line didn't fill the gaps like they have in the past two years, which caused more runners to excel. The safeties didn't make nearly as many big hits, which allowed opposing receivers to be fearless. And the Bears played a really hard schedule. Their non-conference games included several division champions, which they lost to. With even 2 more wins they could have been in the playoffs. I'm sick of Grossman. He's the big arm potential whose never there. Having missed more than half of his 4 years as a quarterback injured, I don't want to rely on him for a single game more. I don't think the Bears need a great quarterback. We haven't had one since Sid Luckman. There are maybe 4 elite quarterbacks in the NFL, it's not going to be easy happening across one and building the team around him. As a team sport it's much easier to get good players everywhere and build a team. Cedric Benson is as bad as everyone thought. I don't know how he earned the stats he had in Texas, oh yeah, he was on a great TEAM. With better receivers and better blockers, he will be better. Late in the season he finally showed up and had a few runs that looked impressive right before breaking his leg. However, with a bad season and a broken leg, I wouldn't pin my hopes on him next year. Again I don't think the Bears need an awe inspiring running back, but someone who can earn 70-80 yards a game, yes that will be a 1,000 running back, but that should be possible. Finally the offensive line was not good. Too many sacks happened. I think part of that is Grossman, part is the line. I'm not sure who, but someone there needs to be replaced.

College football and the bowl games are nearly over. The Fat runner had a great post on how bowl names have gotten out of hand. He's right. Thankfully this year, without cable (and ESPN), I will only see parts of 5 games. And I will only see all of the Ohio State game next Monday. I don't like the fact that I have to wait until the 7th of January to see the Championship. C'mon, let's get these games done with sooner. The bowl season, rightly called a season since it now encompasses more than a month when the Senior bowl is included. I will be cheering for Ohio State to redeem themselves from last years loss in the Championship game, and to keep my dilusion that the Big 10 is really a great football conference.

I will probably not pay much attention to the NFL playoffs. The super bowl will be a party, at least I hope it will. I'll invite a few people over, and hope they come, sit back, and enjoy watching the game with me. If not, it's because the NFL puts the game on too late at night. I want a 3 PM Super Bowl. Something I can watch in it's entirety, then get to bed early. After all, I have to work on Monday's.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Resolutions for the year 2008.
I have no resolutions. In reviewing 2007 I feel I have done very well.

I have many goals for 2008, and a continued healthy lifestyle is part of it. I also plan to keep better track of what I'm reading so I can be sure to read at least 12 fiction books and 4 technology books in 2008.

I have many things that are going to come up from work. I need to start working towards Java certification for my job. I want to start learning Ruby because JRuby may be allowed at work, but also because it's the new hot language that I think it's important to learn.

I plan on running several races this year. I think I'll do 3 5Ks and 1 or 2 longer races. Nothing over a half marathon. I think my running will allow me to sign up for and run a half marathon without any additional training.

Jonas is reading now, and Ady is preparing to be enrolled in Kindergarten next August, I plan to keep working with them on their reading and preparations. Jonas and Ady are signed up for basketball starting January 29th. I'm excited about their involvement in sports.

Erin and I have grown to love having Netflix, and I'm looking forward to continuing to watch a lot of movies in 2008. Having an exercise bike to be able to watch and exercise at the same time has worked well.

2008 Reading List

Six Days of the Condor - James Grady
Kiss the Girls - James Patterson
How to Run a Successful Meeting in Half the Time - Milo O. Frank
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code - Eoin Colfer
Financial Peace Revisited - Dave Ramsey
The Difference Maker - John C Maxwell
Along Came a Spider - James Patterson
Failing Forward - John C Maxwell
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference - Norman Vincent Peale
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
Artemis Fowl