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Showing posts from August, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Birthdays are a funny thing. As you grow older they mean less and least from the viewpoint of "fun things are going to happen on my day." They still hold significance, but mostly for the things you want to accomplish and your interest in celebrating the birthdays of others. I look forward to my daughter's birthday and it, frankly, has more meaning than today.

Not that I won't be doing some celebrating. My DLP (Domestic Life Partner for those not familiar with our tongue-in-cheek way of referring to our living arrangements...I know I have a lot of newbie readers lately) went out this morning and got me donuts from a local bakery just like she did for the first birthday she knew me.

So much has changed since then.

When I turned 30, my goal had become "bucket list" style finishing a marathon...little did I know it would become an endurance sports lifestyle leading me to my 5th race. Kids really weren't on the radar. But a year later in 2010 my ne…

Books my kids love

It started, I suppose, when my son was around a year old and he used to go to the bookshelf and get Campaigns of World War II Day By Day. I think, in hindsight, this should have informed us about much of his personality.

My daughter--perhaps in a nod to an eventual bookish charm--prefers Webster's New World College Dictionary. She likes to eat the dust jacket and crinkle the thin, crispy pages.

Though this morning I began reading from said dictionary and Cole found a strange delight in hearing definitions read aloud...complete with pronunciation and full alternative meanings. It quickly took us down a dark path of thirst for the printed word.

Next, it was The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible...which I had to explain was a way to look up a word and find it in ANOTHER book. Enter The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. The kids, however, weren't really in the mood for Genesis.

After a brief glance inside An Introduction to the New Testament by Raym…

That delicate topic for dudes

Wow, so many comments against circumcision I'm reading today! I thought there needed to be a supportive "pro" voice out there..

I was happy to see the AAP policy change today because it caught up to the science that has come out over the last few years showing the health benefits of circumcision. My view as a father was the same on this as immunizations. My duty as a parent is to use the info that is available to make the best health decisions for my son in the longterm. 

That meant lowering his risk...regardless of what his feelings/rights, etc are. It wasn't the last time lately I've done something for his own good that he didn't enjoy!

In the end, yes, it is a parent's decision...I don't agree with attempts to ban the procedure altogether...but I firmly come down on the side of science on this one. If you make a list of advantages and disadvantages, I certainly hope: A) my son would have the common sense to pick the side with the greater logic to i…

Cat karma...

This post needs 2 disclaimers.

1) I am NOT a cat person.

2) Our neighbors could--in theory though highly doubtful--read this so I'm not going to say what I REALLY feel necessarily.

Sometimes, your good karma isn't enough to overcome someone else's bad karma.

Our weekend was unintentionally busy...with nothing in particular. It was one of those situations where we had no agenda yet found it filled with errands and to-do items.

Among the Saturday tasks, we recycled an old flat screen tv that was broken...karma from Mother Earth.

Then, as we were loading the car to go to Target, a cat comes running up to me in our alley like it's my best friend...very strange considering most cats know that I am no member of the Friends of the Cat society.

It did the cute leg rub thing and wanted attention more than most strays in the neighborhood who--rightly--run off hissing under a bush for urban defense.

I picked this kitty up to look at its tag and it settled into my arms for a cuddl…

Who are your heroes?

This post is about sports. And kids. And Lance Armstrong. 
By now, you've probably heard the news that Lance is likely to have his 7 Tour de France wins taken away. For many, it's just the latest in a series of doping, corruption, cheating, and all-around bad behavior scandals that we've come to expect from athletes. In my lifetime, I can say I've definitely seen (especially) pro athletes lose quite a few rungs on the ladder of hero status. It used to be kids idolized Joe Montana, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken Jr...yes, I'm showing my age. 
So how to talk to my own kids about sports when I find it hard to even watch my beloved childhood sport, baseball? When sports seems to have lost its luster? The tickets are expensive, the ads numerous, the players spoiled--or worse--and it's hard to gain any appreciation for the metaphors about life which sport provides us when the competition seems to be almost an afterthought. 
My love for sport has, surprisingly, been renewed …

Day Out With Thomas

We had a fun family weekend here with a dog walk to the local park down the block, running errands, and I did my 16 miles yesterday on the lakfront--which deserves its own post, really.

The highlight of the weekend, however, was actually on Friday. We drove about an hour away the Illinois Railway Museum where the Day Out With Thomas spectacle was happening. It was a somewhat belated birthday present for Cole though everybody had a good time. It's the little things that make him happy--like being forward-facing in his carseat now. He's so happy he can see where we're going and the ride was much more pleasant than the trip to Ohio several weeks previous.

We knew to expect a crowd of toddlers in strollers and the parking lot didn't disappoint with row after row, but the traffic was being directed and we'd already purchased our tickets when they first went on sale so we walked right in with no waiting.

The museum is usually centered around several pieces of track where…

Newborn screening revisited

Longtime readers may remember the topic of Newborn Screening...the blood stick they do for testing soon after birth where the sample is frequently saved...and my inquiring into my state's policies on saving the sample. I'm a big fan of informed consent and giving parents the option to refuse, destroy, or save private medical information and specimens.

I'd even pointed to MN a couple years ago as a great example of giving parents this option via MN Dept of Health forms. Well, update, new laws in MN actually call for all specimens to be destroyed. No opt-out because it is the default. Now, it is "opt-in" requiring parents to formally request specimens and test results be saved. Bravo! The state also makes clear that parents have a right--risky but still a right--to not have their children tested at all.

Yesterday, curiously, I got a letter from the Mayo Clinic--following MN law--requiring they give patients the option to refuse having medical records used for resea…

We're ba-ack!

Oh my gosh, where do I start?

We arrived home Monday from our long weekend away at Grandma's house in Ohio. The purpose had been to attend a family wedding on my aunt and uncle's farm, but really it was a bigger adventure. The kids were still going strong and settled right back into home, I needed about 12 hours of sleep and it's taken me a couple days to recover.

The kids did pretty well in the car. It's about 7 hours and Cole was the hardest since he just wants to get out and run around. It didn't help that we turned around and took a fairly long car ride to get where we wanted to visit Friday morning.

But Grandma had plenty of "new" toys (really just my old ones) to play with and the journeys out of the house always had something to discover. Friday we drove to eastern Ohio and ate lunch in a historic village before taking a horse-pulled canal boat ride at Roscoe Village. We never quite made to any of the shops or other history before the mel…

My daughter the Gizmo/Gremlin

By day, she's cute as a button. All smiles, pulling herself to standing on you, she even seemed to ask "up" onto the couch last night. She follows you around the house for big person food which, if you let her try it, she makes a face and spits out. She has a fondness for shredding and then eating rolls of toilet paper. And standing at the dog bowl and playing in the water. She also loves cords...chewing on them. She now has two bottom teeth even.

But at night she turns into a screaming monster who now refuses to be put down and demands to be held back to sleep if she happens to wake up. You MUST hold her in exactly the right position to fall asleep. If she wakes up and you're not in the immediate area, she sits up and looks around wondering why you haven't taken drastic, severe measures to come to her rescue. She's even got that cute arms wide "pick me up" stance now when you reach down to get her.

Last night, she decided to wake up and a pacifier …

Let's go to the movies!

Our local movie chain was showing Winnie The Pooh in the town's historic theater as part of their $1 Wednesday kids series this morning. So why not, right? If Cole screams and wants to leave when the lights go down it's a walk up the street and a dollar. Let's try it.

After a dismal doctor's appointment yesterday for his 2 year checkup...medically, everything is fine and no shots were given...where he cried literally almost the entire hour we were there, this seemed like a risky trial.

But, for once lately, my kid was the angel. Now, I can't say the same about the awful, awful parents out there who chose to bring their little demons out. It was a packed house and Cole's behavior had nothing to do with me wanting to never go again.

Kids running up and down the aisles, the audio of the movie barely rising above the noise of crying and talking children, the dad sitting next to me (who came late) I moved my stuff so he and his daughter could sit. Well, he left his …