Monthly Archives: May 2008

LOLCat Wedding Ceremony

(I’m so sorry.)

O hai. We here before all dese ppl and Ceiling Cat sos cat 1 and cat 2 can has marriage.

cat 1 and cat 2, marriage iz commitment and all about luv, so if u marry wifout thinkin hard about it, ur doin it wrong.

Anyone has visible reason they shud no marry? No? Gud.

cat 1 and cat 2, LOLCat Bible sez, “Luv is pashient an kind and stuff, luv no has jelusy and no shows off. It not rude, it not say UR DOIN IT WRONG. It no aligned wif basement cat but only ceiling cat. Luv protectz, trusts in all teh stuff, hopes in all teh stuff, sticks wif u in all teh stuff. FAIL? Not luv.” Dis what luv shud be for u.

cat 1, what u here for? (cat 2‘s paw for marryin)

What u promis for cat 2? (I can has u, cat 2, for bein all wedded an stuff. I can has, I can hold. We can has riches, we can has no riches, we can has helf, we can has no helf, I still all luv u until ded.)

cat 2, what u here for? (cat 1‘s paw for marryin)

What u promis for cat 1? (I can has u, cat 1, for bein all wedded an stuff. I can has, I can hold. We can has riches, we can has no riches, we can has helf, we can has no helf, I still all luv u until ded.)

Marriage no jus two cats, it needz other cats for supports and luv. Srsly, all u be there for them? (Yes.)

I can has bukkit wif rings?

Rings are all round, they has no end jus like your luv. cat 1, place ring on cat 2‘s paw and say: I maed u a ring and I no pawn it. Wif this ring, I are wedding u. cat 2, u do same and say: I maed u a ring and I no pawn it. Wif this ring, I are wedding u.

U both now all married. Ceiling cat will now watch u kiss.

Here is cat 1 and cat 2 all married. Kthxbai.

Tomorrow I’ll Teach Him to Yell “Hadouken!”

Last night, when Eli again asked that we keep playing through Zack and Wiki instead of Mario Kart Wii, I realized that he’s most interested in games that involve some semblance of plot. My kid is going to be an adventure game player!

Of course, even when a game doesn’t have a story, he’s happy to incorporate elements of it into new stories of his own.

ME: I’m going to work! Bye!

ELI: Be careful! Watch out for missiles!

ME: I’ll watch out.

ELI: You can beat them with a fireball.

ME: Or maybe a turtle shell, like in Mario Kart.

ELI: Which do you want, fireballs or turtle shells?

ME: I’ll take turtle shells.

ELI: Use the red ones! Those blow up missiles.

Sleep Training, Part 5: Saying Hello to My Own Bed

One of our faithful readers (Hi! ramona!) asked:

did you find with liza that a “switch” went off and she started sleeping longer (my friends who don’t sleep train say that this will be the case at some point). I just wonder because we sleep trained Sean starting at 6 months, and it wasn’t as easy as all the doctors and books said it was going to be (3 nights crying, then you’re done). Eventually Sean has been more consistent at sleeping longer, but I’m not sure I would entirely attribute it to our training as so much as he was ready to do it himself. I was just wondering your thoughts?

Oh, ramona, how I would like to tell you that I did something right! And that with these three easy steps you can get your nighttime maniac to sleep through the night too! And also? We have Ginsu Knives to give away. (Knives not for use in putting baby to sleep.)

But I can’t.

Eli was our textbook cry-it-out sleeper at ten months. We let him cry it out for just under a week and then he was done and he slept like a champ. He’s never had a moment’s trouble sleeping since.

Liza? We tried just about every option I could read about and only a couple of them worked for short periods of time.

Here’s what I do know about when she started sleeping better:

1.) I weaned her. I officially did it because I was going to be traveling without her and it was close enough to her birthday that her pediatrician said I could put her on cow’s milk. So she started drinking Horizon Organic Whole Milk with DHA. (Why organic? It’s not because I think the only thing that should pass my baby’s lips should be organic. It’s because their whole milk with DHA added is the nectar of the gods. I’m not kidding, it’s like drinking butter. It’s all I can do to keep from guzzling it straight from the carton.) So she probably got a big boost of fat from that. And she started packing away the table food. Maybe her tummy is fuller now when she goes to bed.

2.) It got to be warmer weather. She’s sensitive to temperature while she sleeps and she got the last room in our house, which happens to be the coldest room in our house in the winter. Often I had the humidifier running in her room as well, which makes a cold room feel several degrees colder. So with spring time warmth, it’s much warmer in her room even when the air conditioner is running.

3.) I quit doing wake to sleep because often I was waking her and having to sit and rock her anyway. I don’t know if she was getting used to me coming in or if something else developmentally was happening but it quit working and before I found another thing to try she was sleeping better.

4.) I started having to put her in bed still awake. Up until very recently, I was rocking her to full sleep because any time she spent in the crib awake to her was about as pleasant as being flayed with those Ginsu Knives I was trying to sell you earlier. But about a month or so ago she started this flipping thing. Once I turned out her light and started singing to her, she’d turn on her back and then onto her stomach, then onto her back, then roll around so her head was on my knees, etc. After about five minutes of that I was exhausted and grouchy so I started putting her in the crib. Usually she’d cry for a while and I’d have to go back in and rock her. It was like she had to visit the crib, remember she hated falling asleep on her own and then call me back into the room to do the job for her. Eventually she started falling asleep on her own even with the grouching. Now I put her in the crib awake and she talks for a bit, plays with her doll and blankie and then falls asleep.

5.) Her separation anxiety got better. I don’t know if her SA got better because she started sleeping better or her sleeping got better because her separation anxiety lessened. Either way, WIN!

So those are the five things that all happened about 5-6 weeks ago. Did a switch flip and she decided to sleep better or did something among those five things listed above actually help? I have no idea. I can tell you, ramona, that it does get better. Just stay with it and be patient. Tag out with your partner when you can’t handle the nighttime stress any longer and before you know it, your little one will be rolling in at 11 after a night with his friends and crashing on the sofa. You’ll have to beg him to get up and go to school.

To Liza on Her First Birthday

Little lolcat,

The other day I turned around and you were one year old. You’ve developed a personality, can say words you hear a lot like “dad” and “stinky”, and are nearly walking. You’ve grown from a lump of obligation to a speedy blur.

Liza nom nom noms some cake

Seriously, I had no idea how fast you were going to be. For the longest time you stayed where I put you. One day I put you down, looked away, and when I looked back all I saw was your leg as you vanished down the hall, headed for the bathroom so you could pull up on the toilet and lick it.

Crawling is so fast and so fun that I’m surprised you’ve started walking. You take hesitant, stiff-legged steps like a tiny pink Frankenstein’s monster. A lot of times you find it easier to take sideways steps, which makes me think there was a crab somewhere on your mom’s side of the family.

You’ve got a gift for mimicking people that’s only gotten stronger in the last few months. When we got back to town after visiting everyone for Christmas we went out to eat. At one point you lifted your hands over your head, so I did it too. Then you did it again. I did it again. We were trapped in a loop of imitating each other. You don’t really care who you imitate. Two weeks ago, our neighbor was walking Saber, her German Shepherd, and stopped by. Saber sat, tongue lolling out and panting. You looked down at her, cocked your head, and panted “hah hah hah” in sympathy.

Flirty liza

Your ability to mimic has helped you learn sign language. You have some twelve signs you regularly use. You’re also working on spoken words, though only your mom and I can understand them. “Bap tah” is bath time; “tayn ooo” is thank you. “Stinky” is by far your best word. You wrinkle your nose and say it forcefully, then giggle.

Of course, you’re always ready to fall back on your old standby of screeching. You have very strong opinions, and waving your arms and saying “bop bop!” sometimes isn’t enough. Your screech means anything from “I’m tired” to “you won’t let me eat that poisonous plant” to “I see that yogurt! Put it in my mouth right now!” Your cries shatter glass and make steel girders melt and run.

Your two favorite things right now are being outside and listening to music. The next time there’s an outdoor music festival here, we’ll drop you off and come back to get you when it’s all over. Surely drunken festival-goers will take care of you. Until the next Big Spring Jam can introduce you to the latest incarnation of Foreigner, we make do with CDs and with the swing out back. We strap you into your string and push you higher and higher as you giggle and throw your hat to the ground. Whenever you hear music you dance and sway. If you’re standing, you stop your feet and lean as far to each side as you can. Right now your favorite songs are the top-40 songs “Liza has a silly hat” and “Tractor, Tractor, Harvesting the Wheat”. The best part of “Tractor, Tractor” is that we can change it to match whatever is going on, like “Liza, Liza, spitting up on me.”

Liza and her gentle smile

After dealing with your brother, who has trouble breathing if no one is watching him do so, I didn’t expect you to be so independent. In the mornings, all we have to do is dump a pile of books near you and you’re happily entertained until it’s time to sneak off and lick toilets or eat plants.

Even though you’re independent, you’re still enough of a ham to want other people to watch you. Whenever we’re out, you choose some strangers who aren’t paying you any attention. You stare at them, willing them to notice you. As soon as they do, you duck your head and smile before looking back to make sure they’re still watching. Clearly you have your mom’s performer personality.

It’s not all fun and poisonous plants. Since Thanksgiving you’ve fought sleep, and in turn we’ve fought you fighting sleep. You had a serious of colds and ear infections that disrupted your schedule. It doesn’t help that you’re very sensitive to changes in your routine. If we swapped your sheets for ones with a lower thread count, you’d probably be awake all night. It got to the point that we were all so short of sleep that our main entertainment was sitting around being angry at each other. We did eventually find a solution. Right before we went to bed, we’d sneak into your bedroom and shake you until you were nearly awake. Then you’d settle back down and sleep well. Honestly, when your aunt Joy suggested it, it sounded to me like fixing someone’s stomachache by punching them in the gut, but it worked for you.

Liza grimacing

I tell you about your sleep issues, which took around eight years to get better, to make sure you have enough guilt. Goodness knows, parenting has so much guilt built in that I need to spread it around a little.

I’m always worried that I don’t spend enough time with you, and that’s made even worse because I need to spend time with Eli, too. I do better these days — I’ve realized that this isn’t a zero-sum game, and that I really can spend time with you both without robbing either of you.

I’m always having to leave you to go to work, or to give you to your mom for bedtime. You soon learned to say “bye bye” to me in this chirrupy voice, opening and closing your hand to wave at me. I always pick you up and give you a hug and a kiss. Recently you’ve started hugging back. The first time you turned your head and pressed your face against my neck, I wanted time to stop.

Liza and Dad hang out

Newsy News about the Kiddos

Liza is now walking. She stiff-legged it into the kitchen from the living room tonight and was all, “O Hai! I jus walking.”

Better news: I’m now officially announcing that her sleep problems are over. We’ve gone for around a month with multiple nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep. We’ve had a few nights of waking, but those were due to travel or sickness, so I’m not counting those. Most nights she sleeps from 7:30 until 6:30. It is a thing of beauty to sleep through.

Best news: Eli is reading. We’ve been checking out books from the library that are first readers and tonight he sat down on the couch beside me and read a book to me that I’d never read to him before. Very cool.

A Little Prog Rock for Friday

It’s been a serious week for us, so in case it’s been serious for you as well, let’s have some fun. And when I say “fun”, I mean “YouTube links to prog rock”. And when I say “prog rock”, I can only mean one band: YES.

I’m a fan of the band, but even I laugh at their spacey lyrics and 70s-tastic costuming. Here, take a gander at a performance of their song “Roundabout” from 1973.

Rick Wakeman’s wearing his sequined cape, Chris Squire has turquoise wings, and the lyrics! “In and around the lake / mountains come out of the sky / and they STAND THERE”! “The muses dance and sing / They make the children really ring”!

And this awesomeness goes on for over eight minutes.

Pick just about any Yes song and prepare to be bowled over by the lyrics. Don’t believe me? Here, try 1978’s “Don’t Kill the Whale”. It weighs in at barely over 3 minutes long, an aberration for a band better known for eight-to-thirty-minute epics.

“If time will allow / We will judge all who came / In the wake of our new age / to stand for the frail / DON’T KILL THE WHALE / dig it dig it”.

A good chunk of the fun is trying to chart the band’s lineup over thirty-five years. They had so many lineups and personnel changes that the allmusic biography page for the band is the longest I’ve ever seen.

This lineup, Anderson Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and Bruford, which actually only lasted for one year, from August of 1971 until August of 1972, is generally considered the best of all the Yes configurations, and the strongest incarnation of the band.

How can you not love a band whose best lineup lasted for less than a year? That’s less than 3% of the band’s life!

Speaking of that lineup, the apotheosis of the band wasn’t actually called Yes, it was called Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. The bassist Chris Squire had the rights to the name Yes, so when the other four members of the “strongest incarnation of the band” got together in the late 1980s they couldn’t use the name. But they certainly could use the same approach to writing music and lyrics!

Every time I hear Jon Anderson plaintively wailing, “Nothing can come between us, you’re a sister of time” I smile, and wonder why the new Doctor Who didn’t use this as their theme song. Who wouldn’t want ten minutes worth of intro credits?

There’s more where that came from, and that’s ignoring their turn as a 1980s pop band.

And if that doesn’t brighten your Friday, then there’s no hope for you.