December 24, 2006

December 21, 2006

Why Homeschool #3

So that Gloria will never be subject to any "zero-tolerance" policies:

Patrick Agin, a high school senior in Portsmouth, R.I., was surprised by his school’s refusal this fall to use a yearbook photograph of him dressed in medieval chain mail, with a broadsword over his shoulder.

“I didn’t think it would be that big a deal,” said Mr. Agin, a 17-year-old who attends Portsmouth High School. “I just really like the picture, and it’s one of the first good photos I’ve taken in a long time.”

Good or not, the school said, the picture ran afoul of its zero-tolerance weapons policy.

“Students wielding weapons is just not consistent with our existing policies or the mission of the school,” said Robert Littlefield, the principal. “I think the picture speaks for itself.”

As Principal Moss said on King of the Hill, "If I showed even a little bit of tolerance, we couldn't call it zero-tolerance."

November 2, 2006

We're Better at Parenting than Blogging

At least, we hope we are. Here are my excuses for why we've let two months pass (in no particular order): Gloria keeps us busy, the election is on Tuesday, we have too many toys to pick up at night.

Everything is going really well. For those of you who haven't seen Gloria in a while, she is absolutely amazing right now and lots of fun (save the occasional mini-tantrums she can throw). She is jabbering up a storm and says some distinguisable words: cat, duck, doll, flower, pop, dad, no. She makes TONS of animal noises: cat, dog, monkey, fish (though that's more of a face), bird, snake, cow, owl, duck, tiger.

She was a cow for Halloween on Tuesday night, but wouldn't moo at all.

She eats more "people" food and LOVES grilled cheese sandiches, but who doesn't?

She makes "shhh" noises when she sees other babies and when she lays her doll down for a nap.

She loves to be read to and says "pop" before I get to that line in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Anyone who has read this book ad nauseum will know EXACTLY the passage I'm referring to.

I'll try to get into more of a habit of posting regularly for a better glimpse into her changing life.

August 22, 2006

Tales from the Crib

So, Gloria sleeps sitting up a lot of the night now. It's very weird. She often naps in her high chair now, so I'm beginning to think the two are related...

August 12, 2006


This really deserves a post all its own. Gloria is really starting to take off! There was a lot of cruising at first, then a step or two into our arms. Now, she can get from one side of our living room to the other. And she's gotten really fast, too.

Earlier today, she suffered her first walking injury, falling onto one of her toys and cutting her leg. She whined for a few seconds and got right back up.

Stupid Human Tricks

Gloria has loads of tricks now!

The old standards:
What's on your head?
Trying to say cat (but getting more consistent and a bit better)
Calling the cat (mimicking the rubbing together of fingers to get the cat to come over)

The developments in the last month or so:
Saying a noise similar to "bye-bye" when waving
Knowing where her eyes, ears, mouth, and nose are
Grabbing her toes when you ask "Where are your piggies?"
Knocking over her animal bowling pins (sometimes by rolling the ball at them)
"Having a conversation" when playing with the phone
Barking when asked "What does a dog say?"

Gloria has developed so much in the last month. She's also starting to do the less cute things that accompany getting older--namely, throwing herself on the ground when she doesn't get her way. It's surprising how much more we say "no" than just a few weeks ago.

Last weekend I took her swimming for a few hours. It was amazing how much she enjoyed it. We're going again tomorrow to enjoy this fantastic weather.

July 9, 2006

Happy First Birthday!

Happy first birthday, Gloria Jean! It's not quite the official time of birth yet, but we're awfully close and I'm too tired to stay up until 1:36.


Thanks to everyone who came to Gloria's birthday party, and for all the wonderful gifts. I've posted a ton of pictures from the party here:

Special thanks to Sean for some of the pictures (the good ones).


June 12, 2006

And then there were two...

About a month ago, Gloria got her first tooth. Well, yesterday, while she was sleeping, the second one made its debut. No joke--it happened that fast. We went out for a bit so she would sleep in the car. When we left the house, no tooth. When we got home about two hours later, Marc saw it poking through her gum. It's right next to the first tooth. Fortunately, the new tooth explains some of her recent grumpiness, poor napping and lack of interest in eating.

Yesterday, Gloria also "danced" for the first time. I always dance around with her when there is music on and encourage her to dance to her Baby Einstein tunes in the crib, but she never seems interested. We were sitting on the floor, listening to the Jackson 5, when she just started dancing to the music. With each song, she would dance. Every time Darth Vader came on the screen, she would dance. Now, she does all of this seated, so it's really funny.

June 3, 2006

Changing Every Day

Earlier this morning, Gloria pulled herself up to stand in her playpen by herself. It's a long reach, so it's a big accomplishment for her. Her frustration still lies in not being able to sit up from lying down.

We updated our pictures today, too. But, as you can see, we fell a little short of our goal of a picture a day. We made it quite a while, though. Parenting is a lot of work, so taking a picture every day can get easy to forget.

This picture is one of my favortites. When you ask "What's on your head?," Gloria grabs her head and usually makes some noise.

She's a fantastic imitater, both of actual sounds and intonation. Gloria is also really good at following some very simple commands (press the button, the aforementioned "What's on your head?" game). She also loves to clap at herself.

One of her funnier traits that comes from being a child of technology is that, when she hears music, she looks at the TV or the computer. She loves theme songs (namely, "The Wire" and "EastEnders") and we listen to much of our music through iTunes, so it's only natural. But, the main problem is that if I'm feeding her and the TV is on when one of her "songs" comes on, she turns away from me to watch.

June 2, 2006

Jealousy Rears Its Precious Head

Gloria displayed jealousy for the first time this morning. Marc was holding Gloria. I said goodbye to Marc and kissed him. Gloria scowled at me, kissed Marc on the cheek and then waved goodbye to me. I kid you not.

May 31, 2006

Meat On A Mission

An interesting description of the changes in one's mental state caused by parenthood:

It is an uncomfortable reminder of our legacy as gene propagation machines, a limpening of our certainty that our mind steers our destiny alone. We are animals, and our meat is hellbent on a mission. The state of our minds is a secondary consideration to that mission, and feeling the process happen can cause our illusion of clarity to pale.
Sometimes, I am struck by the extent to which caring for an infant has caused me to lose my mind. Like after buying 1200 paper plates at Sam's Club last week and then leaving them sitting in the cart as I drove off - and then not even realizing it until the next day. I'll probably be illiterate by the time Gloria turns 10.

May 15, 2006

And that's the tooth!

It's here. Gloria's first tooth has finally poked through. It's really pointy and sharp. She looks so different without her toothless grin.

Gloria has made a lot of developmental progress over the past few weeks. First, was the what seemed like neverending teething, resulting in her first tooth. She has also really mastered waving hello and goodbye.

She makes a new noise (oohing) and yesterday used it to successfully mimic my mother, grandmother and I when we asked "What does a cow say?" She also likes to bang her hands against her head.

The biggest thing (I think) is that she figured out how to put food in her mouth. Before, she would play with food when it was put in front of her. Now, she picks it up carefully and puts it in her mouth.

Last night, she and Marc played their first game of catch. She sat on the floor across from him. He would roll the ball to her and then she would throw it back (and I mean throw--not roll).

This has all happened so soon--it's pretty amazing to watch.

April 30, 2006

The End of An Era

I don't know if nine and a half months counts as an era, but I'd like to think it was a significant period of time. Around noon on Thursday, I stopped nursing Gloria. It happened a bit more suddenly and sooner than I was expecting, but it's going well. She is teething now and had already been getting more and more distracted while eating. It was frustrating for both of us towards the end, so Marc & I decided it was a good time for me to stop.

Teething is painful for the whole family. Gloria has her ups and downs with it. Mostly, it's affecting our sleep. She goes down at her normal time, but is waking during the night or really early in the morning. Which is why this kangaroo was my pillow the other morning when I laid down on the floor next to Gloria on the playpen for a nap at 5 am.

April 27, 2006

Because Everything Looks Better In Slow Motion

With apologies to NFL Films...

You can see the rest of Gloria's videos here.

April 26, 2006

The Slender Girls Club

Gloria will be accepting applications to join in a few years. Gloria had her nine-week check-up last week and she's doing well. She's 16 pounds, 10 ounces and about 26 inches long. Her doctor said she would be in the Slender Girls Club, which I think sounds a lot like some pre-teen fiction from my time. No shots at this last appointment, so we had a nice afternoon following the doctor's visit.

A belated congratulations to the May family on their new addition. Kelley Marie was born Monday, April 10 at 12:15pm. She weighed 8lbs, 8oz and was 21 inches long.

April 12, 2006

I Hate Disappointing Our West Coast Readers

So, when half of them demand a new post, it's time to post.

The past month has been busy both for Gloria and her parents. Gloria is 9 months old now and is still lots of fun. She has mastered sitting (for the most part) and yearns to stand on her own. For a few weeks now, she has responded to the word "clap" by, you guessed it, clapping. It's absolutely adorable.

Our biggest problem with Gloria lately has been her incessant scratching during diaper changes. We had to start putting sock mittens on her. She has recently discovered how to pull off her mittens, though, so we just have to change her diaper very quickly!

In the past few days, she has gotten much better at "kissing" me on the cheek. For the most part, it involves licking my cheek, but every so often, she actually makes a kissing sound and leaves my cheek relatively dry.

Marc and I went away for the night a few weeks ago. We had a good time and didn't go through too much separation anxiety. Fortunately, neither did Gloria. The following week, I went to a conference in Seattle for 4 days. Gloria, again, did well, but I missed her a lot more on this trip. Four days is a long time to be away from her!

This past weekend, we went to the Zoo again for the Mary Sue Easter Egg hunt. Gloria actually picked up a few eggs herself!

March 13, 2006

Zebras are reactionaries

We took Gloria to the zoo yesterday. We're not sure that she really got it, but we had a good time. She was incredibly good while we were there. She enjoyed the chickens and monkeys and thought that penguin feeding time was hilarious. Marc took lots of pictures and I'm sure more will be added since we decided to join while we were there.

She claps a lot now and it's much louder than it was before. She also waves a bit more and seems to make the connection that it's something you do when people first come into a room, but that's not always the case.

My FAVORITE thing that Gloria does now is pull herself up to sit by grabbing on to someone's hand. She also can pull herself up to stand, but can't do much once she gets there.

Congratulations to Frank & Rebecca, proud parents of Baby Clementine.

Sager Clementine Worshek
Born: March 4, 2006
Time: 8:11pm
Weight: 9 lbs.
Length: 22 and a half inches

March 11, 2006

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

What do you do if you're an elderly Japanese, and your nation's demographic collapse has left you without grandchildren? Well, you're Japanese, so you replace them with robots:

As Japan’s birthrate continues to fall, and its elderly get ever older, toy manufacturers have been quick to latch on to the new mature market. Last year’s Ifbot is a prime example, but despite its maker claiming the robot has the conversational ability of a 5-year-old, a price tag of 576,000 yen (2,880 pound) is enough to stretch even the most prosperous of pensioners.

Thankfully for the less affluent aged, Tomy has stepped in with its new Yumel doll. And at a cost of only 8,500 yen (42 pound), it means that potential buyers still have plenty of money left to stuff in tin boxes or squander at the local bingo hall.

Just be glad you live in America, where us breeders are still supplying plenty of precious, non-robotic grandchildren.

February 25, 2006

Sorry For the Delay, Curling Was Sweeping The Nelson Family

We officially were suffering from curling fever. Our doctors expect it to go away until 2010, unless ESPN can be convinced to start carrying curling. We were all happy to see Team Fenson win the bronze yesterday. A special congratulations to Shawn Rojeski, Gloria's latest boyfriend.

Gloria claps now! She never does it repeatedly, but she gets that it's something you do when you're happy. She also waves now. Sometimes, she'll actually do it at a person, but usually, it's just her hand moving at no one in particular.

She still enjoys hair-pulling a great deal. Meaning, she does it way more than I would like, but there's not much I can do about it at this point. If she's 2 and still doing it, please question our job as parents.

Gloria's first snow day was fun. She didn't know quite what to make of it, but I think she liked it. She really enjoyed watching Marc shovel out the car.

Gloria went to her first birthday party last weekend for her cousin Jonathan's 3rd Birthday. She was the life of the party for quite a while until exhaustion and grumpiness set in.

My newest favorite baby thing is the bumbo chair. It is the coolest! It's just a piece of molded soft foam that keeps her secure and sitting upright. A lot of the women on WebMD raved about them and we decided to give it a try. I am SO glad we did. It may become my official shower gift from now on.

February 8, 2006

Gloria The Vegetarian

I gave Gloria her first taste of meat today, and it didn't go so well. She held it in her mouth for a while, made some funny faces, twitched a couple of times, and spit it out. After that, she wouldn't open her mouth again.

I don't know what the problem was. Baby cows for baby people, right?

Speaking of eating, I finally got another video uploaded - here's Gloria's first time eating real food (with a guest appearance by Madison).

January 29, 2006

Sleeping Successes

It's been a huge week for us in terms of sleep! Gloria has been a pretty good sleeper for a while now, but has made some excellent progress this week.

First, a confession. Until last Saturday night, we had been letting Gloria sleep in her car seat placed in her bassinet. Last weekend, we finally got her a proper crib and she has been sleeping well in it all week. I was very nervous that she would not make the adjustment well, but have been very pleasantly surprised. Our new problem is that the cat likes sleeping in the crib when Gloria isn't in it. He moves quite quickly when he sees us bringing her to it, though.

Last night, we also decided to try to put Gloria in the crib while she's still awake. It's only been two nights now (and tonight is still young), but it seems as though it's working!

Gloria has also been enjoying her high chair quite a bit. She is eating "food" three times a day now and gobbles it down quite well. She seems to like anything we give her at this point.

Gloria is still making lots of noise. She has really discovered her voice. She continues to be pleasant most of the time, which is wonderful. Some days/nights are tough, but she's usually good. She continues to work on rolling over and sitting up. She will roll in one direction repeatedly until she runs out of room. It's funny to watch (though she has only done it in front of me once). She can sit for longer stretches of time now, but is not ready to pull herself to sitting.

All fellow STEN and GORM lovers should appreciate this.

January 24, 2006

Why Homeschool? #2

Because I'll never have to submit to a iris scan to pick up Gloria from school:

When a parent arrives to pick up their child at one of three grade schools in the Freehold Borough School District, they'll need to look into a camera that will take a digital image of their iris. That photo will establish positive identification to gain entrance into the school.

Funding for the project, more than $369,000, was made possibly by a school safety grant through the National Institute of Justice, a research branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. "The idea is to improve school safety for the children," said Phil Meara, superintendent, Freehold Borough School District, on Monday. "We had a swipe-card system that operated the doors, but the technology was obsolete."

No, the federal government won't be testing out surveillance techniques on my children under the pretext of "school safety".

January 13, 2006

A New Year & A Half-Birthday

Christmas with Gloria was wonderful. She was not very interested in opening presents, but liked all the shiny things and boxes.

New Year's Eve was Gloria's first night away from Marc & I. We all survived. It made me very nervous to be away from her for the night, but her grandparents took good care of her. Also, a few nice glasses of champagne helped calm me down.

Gloria has been eating more and more food lately. She now eats rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas and peas. She has also (sort-of) rediscovered napping recently.

Last week, Gloria had her 6-month check-up. She now weighs 13 pounds, 12 ounces and is 26 inches long. This puts her in the 50th percentile for weight and the 90th for height.

This week, Gloria turned six months. This officially moved me from the WebMD newborn-6 month board to the 6-12 month board. She celebrated by FINALLY rolling in both directions!

Gloria's latest amusing trick is making tons of noise, but not necessarily moving her mouth along with the sound. She is very much like a dubbed movie now. It's really cute. She keeps herself pretty amused now, too.