Tuesday, December 20, 2005

one more on the list of guys i envy

Robert Kerley. By day--mild-mannered database manager, by night--manager of boogie. Last week, he played with a jazz ensemble here in town. Tomorrow night, I'm going to see him with Curly's Roadhouse Revue. You should hire him to write the music for that computer game you are developing.

Robert is also my primary bike-talk conversation partner.

A sphere wrapped up in a ball within a circle

Val writes about me writing about her.


It sure is lousy being you.

They say that you should never judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes, or read their blog, or read your own blog from their point of view.

If you follow me.

David and Jaime are in Colorado to experience Grandma Susie in real life rather than as a disembodied voice that comes out of the phone. So I am utterly alone--except for Mom and Alex and Tuff and Abbie. I think they will forgive me for saying that it is not the same. To help sooth my lonesome heart, I thought I would read the blog. But it hasn't been updated in, like, two weeks. Even the pictures, though the most adorable on the Web, are dated and two weeks in toddler time is even longer than in tech time. Those responsible should be shot.

David and Jaime are doing well, I hear. I talk to both of them daily. They have snow and a dog and a jacuzi tub and a great big cat. For the commuter flight from Denver to Eagle, they had to walk out to the plane on the tarmac. It was running and very noisy and scared David. He is also scared of the water jets on the tub. Actually, it a little funny and a little refreshing to see him shy away from something. At this point, he is doing gymnastics on the stairs and tries to ride the dogs. So it is actually a relief to see him show a little bit of caution every now and again.

I will leave on Thursday morning to go see them, but I am spending the night tomorrow at Jason's, so I will not be able to update. Not that you will notice the difference--apparently.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

David offers a bud

David offers music
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Music! music!

David discovers iPod
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David Nina Emma

David Nina Emma
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Emma is David's second cousin on mom's side of the family.

David and Samuel

David and Samuel 2
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we had lunch at the lovely home of Jaime's cousin, Michelle. David played with his second cousin, Samuel, who is about 36 hours older than D and has a sybling on the way.

David tumbles

David tumbles
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David gets tossed by Jaime's aunt Marilyn.

David and Samuel discuss a Ball

David and Samuel discuss a Ball
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

3 balls

3 balls
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Samuel tumbles

Samuel tumbles
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

This is Samuel, David's cousin getting tossed by his grandmother on Thanksgiving

Nina's hat

Nina's hat
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Nina's hat 3

Nina's hat 3
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Nina's hat 2

Nina's hat 2
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Something like a month ago, David and I met Valerie, Alexander, and Sebastian at the Zoo. It was not only a coming together of friends and families, but also a coming together of blogs. Val brought her camera. I have titled this "untitled" because it strikes me a strangely artsy and subtly narrative image. But what is going on? It is a mystery.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Backdrop: David has been working hard to memorize the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Usually I say the first part, he says "howonderare", then I say Up above the world so high, then he says "likedimondinSKY", and then I finish.

Last night David and I were driving to Lawrence to meet Grandpa Bear, Grandma Kim, Jane, Mark, and Zach for a pre Christmas dinner. As we drove down I-70 he saw a giant blue lit star in someone's back yard.

"TWINKLE STAR!!! TWINKLE STAR!!! TWIIINNKLE STAR!!! (Evil laugh, evil laugh, all the while hyperventilating.)

"Mommy do it! Mommy do it!"

So we began to sing. After he had warmed up we actually managed to sing it together for the first time. He did it all except for the last line. I was so thrilled and happy I almost cried.

Shortly after that he spotted a train. The tracks happen to form a bridge which we then drove under.

Between seeing the start and driving Under a train I thought the little guy would burst in the back seat from joy.

Thank you David for my early Christmas gift.
Love Mom.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

fine, thank you

With a car wreck every two miles on the highway, it took me forever to get home last night. When I walked in, I was greeted by a worried wife, a huge dog that decided that he must bark his fool head clean off. Then David started squeeling in the other room and came running up to me at full speed and volume until he hit my legs like an enthusiastic little tornado siren.

Nina spent the evening working on this:

"David, how are you?"
"Fine, thank you."

Sometime in the middle of the night I heard him talking--either awake or in his sleep, I'm not sure--"Old MacDonald E I O, Old MacDonald E I O" over and over.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

no titu pwease

Sometime in the past week or so, David matured. It is difficult to notice when this happens but suddenly one day, he is able to do a bunch of stuff that he wasn't doing so long ago. It's kind of like when your wife gets her hair cut and, a couple of weeks later, you notice something different, but can't quite put your finger on it. Or at least that is what I hear from other guys with other wives. I don't have that problem. In my life, the wife getting a hair cut is an event on par with the 12 major feasts days of the church.

So David's new mature thing is sentences. Not the old sentences that we carefully teach him like "Cookie, please." He is saying new sentences that has simply heard recently and is repeating.

  • If anyone expresses excitement or emotion (interjections), he asks, "wh'happ'n [daddy]?" (what happened, daddy?)
  • The other day I totally lost my patience with his screaming about some thing or another and told him to shut up. I felt terrible, really. My payment--"shut up, daddy" every so often.
  • "Come'ere [daddy]." (come here, daddy)
  • "Sit down, [mommy]."
  • "Move, please, [Nina]"
  • "No titu, please" (no thank you, please)
This last one requires some explanation. Sometimes we ask questions that are actually rhetorical, like "would you like to go to bed now?" Other times we ask something like, "would you like an apple?" It is an honest question, but he thinks it is merely us informing him of his fate. He whines, "Noooo." I explain that the answer is "No, thank you" or "Yes, please." Well, he doesn't have it sorted out and so he has come up with "No, thank you please."

He has more sentences, I promise, but I can't remember them. Generally, his frequency and level of parroting others has really increased lately, sometimes to the degree that it is difficult to carry on a conversation because he just repeats whatever you are saying rather than actually replying.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Better late than never

I hope you have not been waiting on the edge of your seat wanting to know how David did with the surgery.

If so, you should know better considering the authors of this site.

I am happy to report that David pulled through with flying colors.

The day started at 5:30am when Jason and I seriously questioned why we were doing this. After all, antibiotic shots to the legs aren't so bad. But after much prodding we finally got out of bed and an hour later woke up the D.

As we entered the admission area at the hospital we saw three other binky clad toddlers, blurry eyed and wanting to go back home. When we got back to our pre-op room the nurse informed us that David would be the third child to go back. (Two hours AFTER we got there) In the mean time we were given a wagon to pass the time with. At one point David sat down, looked up at me and pat the seat in front of him saying "mommy ride, mommy ride". After demonstrating that my rear would not fit in the wagon with him he agreed that it would be best if I just pulled him around.

Jason and I took turns going to eat breakfast as we knew David would kill us and devour our food if we tried to eat in front of him. I took second shift and just as I was about to go the nurse came in wanting to give David the oral sedative. Thus Jason scored the best part of the day with Drunken Baby David while I ate hospital food and had a cup of bad coffee. Lets just say David hasn't been that cute since he was 9mo old.

Just as I came back the nurse arrived to steal my baby. Then we waited and waited. After a bit we were taken to the little closet where the magical doctor appears from behind a door and informs you that your child (insert name) has had a successful (insert procedure) and within (insert time frame) should be up and running like normal. Then we went back to the waiting room, were saved by Granny and Grandpa Great with some wonderful cinnamon rolls and finally the nurse came to get one of us to meet David in the recovery room.

When I got to the recovery room David was a crying mess. As the nurse handed him to me she asked if he was a "daddy's boy". I said no and she stated he had been asking for daddy ever since he woke up. He tried about a hundred times to rip off the heart monitor they had taped to his toe and they finally let us leave after he sucked down half a cup of water. In our post-op room he sucked down two containers of apple juice and started threatening to hurt people if we did not provide a cookie or steak soon. We were out of there and home by 10am.

David proceeded to throw the biggest fit after we got home. I couldn't even hand him a cookie he was so upset. He remained pretty touchy the rest of the day (as long as I was around) until he finally went to sleep around 3:30 or 4:00. Before he went to sleep he managed to reach up and unscrew a light bulb from the socket which is right above his crib. I of course freaked out so that evening the three of us rearranged the bedroom. At one point his crib was pushed up against our bed and David finally put two and two together and started crawling in and out of the crib. Every time he did this the crib would roll away from the bed and one time he got going without one of us standing there and slipped between the bed and crib. Luckily he has practiced this move before and managed a perfect tuck roll maneuver.

All that's left is to practice our blow dart skills so we can sedate him before giving him ear drops in both ears twice daily.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Give me Ham on five, hold the Mayo

I wanted to update everyone on David's surgery.

He is to be at Saints on Thursday at 6:30am. The surgery will be at 8:30. After they are done he will be transferred up to the eigth floor pediatric unit for recovery until "mid afternoon".

Here's to a little bit o pain for mucho gain and No More Ear Infections!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

I've posted some new photos of the boy. Jaime took these over the weekend while papa was rakin' leaves

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


David is still (again) sick (er?). Let's see if I can remember what all has happened. At the end of last week, he had a cold. The there was the barfing. A trip to the doctor revealed another infection in both ears. Then his eye swelled up and started leaking goo. So he was on antibiotics for his ears as well as an antibiotic ointment for his eye. Through the course of the week, he seemed to just get more sick. This last weekend he seemed to really feel worse. This could partially be because we also started him on an antihistamene (sp?), which makes him sleepy. He and I stayed home from church on Sunday. On Monday (yesterday), we reached the end of the antibiotic regimen with no improvement. Jaime took him to the doctor again. She scolded us.

See, the ENT recommended tubes to us over a month ago. We have seen of success with chiropractors who are able to make an adjustment that opens up the tube that runs from the ears to the throat. Drainage problems in these tubes that cause ear infections. The pat answer is that these tubes are short, flattened, and at the wrong angle in toddlers so they don't drain properly so kids get ear infections so there. But I'm not satisfied with that assumption. Could there be something else causing the problems? I wanted to investigate this. Sometimes, food allergies could be the cause, othertimes, just a little adjustment is needed.

Well, our doctor has ordered a stop to the investigating (to the degree that she is able). Tubes. Now. So, he is going to the ENT again tomorrow. But he still has a raging ear infection--two of them. Our options: 14 days of nasty-tasting oral antibiotics, or three days of shots, two of them, in the thighs.

Which did we choose?

Well, David is normally great about medicine. You see, researches waited until you and I grew up and then, when all was clear, created medicines for kids that taste really good. David equates medicine with treats. At least he used to until we tried to give him kids Robitusen (sp?) last week. They didn't get the "tastes great" memo and it was like feeding him a dead fish. Since then, all medicines have been akin to getting a cat to eat hot coals. And I mean that for David. He is just a miserable screaming thrashing beast. So we voted (which is to say Jaime decided) on the shots. They cause an equal amount of trauma, if not less, and it is only three days.

So we will be getting tubes put in David's ears. For those of you not familiar with the procedure--what cave have you been hiding in? Essentially there is a chamber in the ear behind the ear drum. It is where the ear guitars and other sound equipment is kept. Fluid gets into this chamber--I forget how, the levies break, or something. In a normal person, this fluid simply drains down a little tube into the throat where it gets hacked up with other lugie material. In David's ear, this fluid cannot drain for reasons that doctors apparently don't care about. It sits there, creating the warm, moist environment favored by germs. Germs grow and pressure builds up and the infection spreads into other chambers in the head until the pressure is so great that one of these chambers burst open, showering the brain with germs resulting in an inability to turn left. If you poke a hole in the ear drum, that fluid can drain out and everything is groovy until the ear drum heals itself. Then you start over again. So, the doctor, who has taken an oath to do no harm, pokes a hole in the ear drum and then places a little tube in that hole to prevent it from healing, leaving a hole there for swimming pool water to get to the brain. This creates a disorder called "water on the brain," which causes the patient to like movies like "Waterworld" and "Swimfan."

If that is just too technical for you, then read this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

you can probably smell it from where you are

Oh, gross. And I don't mean gross like, "ew." I mean gross like "oh, the humanity." Sinking, burning metaphors-of-mankind's-hubris levels of disgusting, foul, rotten, grossness.

It wasn't just the volume, although it was easily in the top three for his lifetime. It wasn't just the smell, even though I'm going to need smelling salts to get rid of the memory. It wasn't just the texture even though we could market that texture to a house of horrors.

About 40 minutes ago, David woke up crying inconsolably. Jaime had been trying and trying to comfort him to no avail. She was in the bedroom rocking him and I was working at the computer since I am useless during these situations with my current, nearly presidential, lack of popularity in the 0-2 age range.

Then I heard a noise. This is the funny thing--I didn't note hearing a noise at the time that I heard it. It was kind of like noticing the heater turn off even though you did not notice it was on. I couldn't describe the noise now, but it registered for later use. Specifically one second later, when Jaime called for help.

"That was the sound of barf hitting the floor," I thought to myself as I rushed from the office, "a lot of it."

Specifically, everything he ate today looking almost like the first time we saw it, but with extra grossness added, and smelling like long-dead animals. I ran in and grabbed towels and began catching what continued to come out of him in a slow, unforced way. It wasn't so much throwing up as it was simply giving it back--with a smell.

He felt better after that. We mega-cleaned while he sat on the bed, sipped water, and played with keys.

After half a box of wipes, a laundry load of clothes, towels, and unfortunate stuffed animals, Jaime is coaxing him back to sleep.

I can still smell the smell.

Update: 6:30 am 11.3.05: he awoke again at 1:00 am crying and crying. Again, Jaime was trying to console him. We were discussing options. She said he was sick. I said I didn't really think so. David broke the tie vote by barfing again! Cheney should do that on the Senate floor next time they are deadlocked. Court clerk, "On S.659--The Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005" the vote is 42-42. How do you vote, mr. Vice-President?"
Cheney: "[technicolor cough]"
Clerk: "um, is that a yay or ney?"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Three good GK Chesterton quotes about art

"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame."

"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere."

"Artistic temperament is the disease that afflicts amateurs."

Monday, October 31, 2005

October 31, 2005

For those regular committed readers who have been with us from the beginning I owe you an apology.

If you will remember this time one year ago we posted some fairly gruesome pictures of our son's first October 31 Family Fun Night. I bet you thought we could never top that. Unfortunately we did and if you can believe it, the pictures are even worse and due to our state's child protective service laws I am unable to publish those photos on this site.

Lets just say that it was not uncommon to feed early Christains to the lions. David became the unwitting victim of a ferocious man eating lion named Ben. Don't be fooled by the mild mannered name. This lion was a total killer.

Trust me, you do not want to see the pictures.

On the bright side we will be holding auditions for the "New David" starting later this week. After much consideration Jason and I have decided that the "New David" needs to be as cute as the original, however he would not need to be quite as smart, clever, and free willed as the previous David was becoming. Any information or referrals are more than welcome. Open audition calls will start Friday.

Blessed are those

I guess a few weeks ago David learned how to say "bless you". I thought we made it clear that you are to say this after someone sneezes. Aparently he didn't quite catch the specifics and now he says "bless you (insert name)" after any bodily function type noise.

Me: cough
David: Bless you mommy!

Me: (blow nose)
David: Bless you mommy!

Me: (clearing throat)
David: Bless you mommy!

Sometimes he just gets into a riff and says "bless you mommie, bless you daddy, bless you nina", about a hundred times.

So this morning I am lying in bed trying very hard not to cough and failing. I turned my head into the pillow and coughed a few times. Just after I finished my sleeping child said "bless you mommy".

Sunday, October 30, 2005

thank you

thank you
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

I'm enjoying m&ms as I post this.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Round baby

David (mumbling, wandering about): "round, round, round"
Jason: "You spend me right round, baby, right round, like a record baby--"
Jaime: "I think he is refering to 'wheels on the bus'"
Jason: . . . (to the tune of Dead or Alive) "The wheels on the bus go right round baby, right round, like a record baby round. . ."
Ariel Sharon: "Wipe Iran off of Google."

Israeli prime minister escalates mid-east rhetoric with threat of indexcide.

In a press conference Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned up the heated rhetoric with Iran by threatening to "De-index Iran from Google." Responding to reporters' repeated questions about his response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to "wipe Israel of the map," Sharon was derisive: "who cares about maps any more? You want to get rid of someone? Huh? Well we'll see about that. how about we wipe all references to Iran from Google searches?" he continued, referring the popular internet search engine. "How about removing all books that make any reference to Iran Google Print, all images from Google Images, all groups that contain reference to Iran from Google Groups, no Iranian products purchasable through Froogle, and yes, complete removal of Iran from Google Maps? 'Wipe Israel of the map'? Ha! By the time we are done with them, no one will even know Iran exists--or at least they won't be able to confirm it. Iran will be relegated to the obscurity of second-rate resources like Yahoo search, Alta Vista, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia won't even know what information is correct and what is not."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan voice strong concern for the increased intensity in the developing war of words. "Like Iran, Israel needs to remember that they have vowed not to threaten the use of force against another state. This includes acts of information indexcide. I am dismayed that Sharon, who has otherwise been an active advocate for peace in his time as Prime Minister, would threaten these measures."

Many believe that Sharon's comments about removing Iran from all Google searches are more than empty rhetoric. Many human rights organizations have confirmed fears that the Israeli Secret police may be developing such technology. They site evidence that that a former president of Palestine cannot be confidently identified. "We know that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is fairly new, so someone must have held the position before him. But we can't currently confirm with our normal research methods--namely a Google search. This seems extremely suspicious."

Monday, October 24, 2005


Sorry it's been so long since the last post. I got a new bicycle. More about that later, but suffice to say I have been occupying my time with bicycle-related stuff rather than composing play-by-play about the boy.

David turned two this weekend, which is a great surprise to us since he is only 19 months old. Apparently he decided to simply round up. By "2" I mean willful, contrary, defiant, demanding and endlessly repetitive. A typical conversation goes like this: "morepleasemorepleasemorepleasemorepleasemorepleasemorepleasemoreplease, etc."

This was a bad weekend. One that involved Jaime giving me a pep talk about how we have gotten used to David's unusually good behavior and maybe our expectations are a little too high. I suppose she is right, but I am skeptical. He can string together three words now, so when I say "jump," "how high" should be well within his grasp.

It makes me feel terrible when I lose my patience with him. So, I spent most of the weekend feeling terrible. I know that any stranger is amazed by his level of cooperation and comprehension and he is still very charming, but he has taken to simply doing what I ask him not to just to gauge my reaction.

Enough whining. Developmental moment stories:

We were at Cabella's on Saturday. They have these display bins that are wire cages that sit on the floor and are about 36" deep, which they fill with sundry merchandise. A couple of them were filled with large pillows shaped like fish. We played with them for awhile until I got bored and moved us along to something else. David wanted to play with the fish some more, so he ran back to the display kennel and proceeded to climb up the outside. Seeing no obvious danger, I spotted him in case he slipped but didn't actually touch him. He climbed all the way up and flopped himself over the top into the pile of pillows. This would be his first vertical climb. If you have never been in Cabella's you should understand that the store is filled with more stuffed dead animals that actually exist even in nature. Our environment suffers from a lost of biodiversity and most of it is at Cabella's. Of course this is a dreamland for David.
(Loudly) "Cow!"
"No, that is a deer"
"deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer! deer!" etc. as we wandered through until every deer in the store was correctly identified--approximately 3,200 of them. Of course it comes out of his mouth as "deeow," which is very very cute and charmed the wool socks with microfiber sweat-wicking lining off of every outdoorsperson in the room. They have a several enormous glass-fronted aquariums just full of fish, every single one of which David had to identify as such. There is also a turtle not to be overlooked.

Later, deer fans.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I just got an email from the son of a member of one of the scientific associations I work with. He is notifying the association that his father has died. He ends with these lines:
He was a wonderfully talented and curious scientist. He was an even better father.

I hope that, when I die, my children will be able to describe me as wonderful in some aspect of life, and even better at fatherhood.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

funny looking?

I am playing aroud with the format of this blog. If it is causing a problem for you, please let me know.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

StumbleUpon this

There is something fun about David at the end of this post.

But first.

Do you want to increase the value of the time you spend on the internet 10-fold? StumbleUpon is your answer. It works like this--sign up and activate your interests from hundreds of different categories. I personally have 85 different topics of interest chosen. StumbleUpon puts a few buttons on your tool bar (may be Firefox only, I don't know). You can select "all" or one of your catagories and then hit the "StumbleUpon" button and it takes to a random site within that catagory or categories. The sites are ranked and reviewed by other users. Then you click "like it" or "not-for-me." If you like it, it bookmarks the site for you. You can write reviews, suggests sites, etc etc etc. It is one of the best things browsing tools I have found. I found it at the Firefox extensions site.

If you are not using Firefox, then Collaborative Rank is similar, I believe. It works with del.icio.us, another service that I use. Which means that I am going to have to evaluate both, determine which is best, and stick with it or I risk suffering toolbar creep.

Back to our story.

David's fun new game is to throw mommy's bathrobe over his head, completely covering himself from head to toe, and then walk around. He can just barely see through the cloth. He looks like either cousin It, ET in the ghost outfit, or a young girl learning to use her burka.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

laid-off dad

Have I mentioned this before? Blogger is acting like I have. Anywho, I would like to direct your attention to a daddy blog that is becoming one of my favorites--Laid-Off Dad. Fairly humorous, insightful and generally PG13 without the fears of wondering in to AC17 areas that Dooce so often does.

Enjoy, and then return.


If you ask David to please back up, which you will have to do if you are holding anything that is interesting to him, he will simply walk backwards until he encounters an equal or greater force.

Fortunately, when he was backing towards the front porch steps, the force with which I grabbed him was equal to or greater than that of gravity.

Monday, October 03, 2005

it's just me

David is playing with the baby/dog gate when I get home. He has been told not to, so I take it away. This upsets him and he begins to cry. I ask him to go upstairs, please, so that he can play while I talk to Jaime and change clothes. He dallies at the bottom of the stairs, so I pick him up, which sends him.

When I set him down in the bedroom he is wailing and screaming with such intensity he can hardly breath and he falls slowly and dramatically to the floor where he screams and kicks his feet. Jaime and I are dutifully ignoring him, but it ain't working. Finally, she sits down in the rocking chair. He gets up and walks to her, flopping down in her lap, still sobbing. She asks him what is wrong.

Wailing, he replies, "Daaaadddddyyyyyy! (sob) Daaaaaadddddyyyy."

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David and I went for a walk this evening and I took the camera. As

usual, this image is looking glass that will transport you to a world

of images with a click of your ruby mouse (if I may mix my metaphors).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

a little humor for your collective unconscious

I came up with this last night:

Q: Why can't the Society for Jungian Studies meet their budget?

A: Because, they are a free association!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


You know that sound you can make with a balloon that you inflate and then allow the air to excape as you pull the nozzle flat and tight? A high-pitched, nails on chalk-board sound? Now, imagine that sound turned up to eleven. David has learned to make that sound. It means, "I don't want to be held by you, I want to be held by mommy."


Autumn, the most nostalgic season, is drifting in. It brings a cool dampness that conjures a longing for evenings with a book and hot chocolate, hay rides, pumpkins, hot soup. It signifies rest: "you've had a hot busy summer. Time to sleep out the cold and darkness that is around the corner." Nevertheless, I am sad to see autumn arrive and the days get short. David, Jaime, and my best times together are outdoors--usually walks to the park in the evenings. When the sun is down before six, we simply won't be able to do that and David is going to be sorely cramped.

It rained all night and the world was a uniform light gray this morning. On Wednesdays, Jaime leaves early, so I stay home to take David to the sitter's. I dressed him in long pants and sleeves and put actual shoes and socks on him rather than his normal Robeez moccasins. We were ready before it was time to leave, so I sat down and leafed through the most recent Andy Goldsworthy book from the Library. Eventually, David crawled into my lap and leaned back against my chest to look at it with me. I taught him "cairn." Goldsworthy works outdoors, so he deals a lot with seasons. When he creates a permanent outdoor piece, he photographs it in each season. The particular piece David and I were looking at is in Goldsworthy's home village in Scotland--a country that seems perpetually autumnal to me.

When it was time to go, I helped David put his windbreaker on and pulled up the hood to keep rain off his head. As I got my own raincoat out of the closet, he stood quietly watching me, smiling. The hood framed his face, hiding his nearly bald head and making him look older. His hands were hidden in the sleeves. His unusual stillness, the smile, and his attentiveness gave him the appearance of contentment and trust: "I'm happy to be here, Dad, thanks for taking care of me." Maybe it was the weather, maybe it is that time of the month, but I was deeply moved by David simply standing there, waiting for me to put on my coat.

After I left him at the sitter's with a goodbye kiss, I walked down the street to my car and admired the scene around me--gray, wet, and vivid green. We have many enormous trees in our neighborhood--including an oak that canopies the street where I was walking. We also have many old houses, brick sidewalks, etc. There is always an atmosphere of history and nostalgia that was enhanced this morning by the weather. Naturally, I felt inspired:

cool gray nostalgia
damp brown leaves plaster the street
my boy smiles at me

Thursday, September 22, 2005

18 months

I recall posting many months ago (I'm too lazy to search) how I liked it when David smiled with a pacifier in his mouth, because you can still see the smile in his eyes and the rest of his face.

This morning, we were having breakfast and he was drinking from his Nuby. He tipped the plastic cup up far enough to get liquid through the nub, so I was looking at the bottom of it with most of his face obscured. I ducked down and skooched up close so that I was essentially hidden from his line of vision by the cup. Keeping it in his mouth, he lowered enough to see me, smiled, and said, "boo."

How to charm me? Well, not by insisting on giving your graham crackers to the dog no matter how much trouble you and she get in for that kind of behavior.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

My men

This afternoon Jason and I were in the kitchen talking before I left to study at the library. On the way out I gave Jason a kiss. David watched from across the dinning room. After we were finished David came running across the room saying "kiss! kiss!". I bent down and he gave me a wet kiss, ran off, came right back, and kissed me again. After crossing the room he headed right back and demanded more kisses, then he went over to daddy and gave him a wet one.

I don't know about you guys but I sure feel the love.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

whatcha doin'?

David stands in the dining room, slightly bent over, grunting quietly.

Nina: "Whatcha doin', David?"
David: "Poopin'"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

early thirties revelation

I'm pretty sure that understanding of html now surpasses my understanding of Frenchl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David's first cousins once removed were in town last month and shot some photos of David and Nina.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


This morning, David and I are brushing our teeth together. At one point, I hold up one finger to him. He says, "one." I proceed to open the rest of my fingers in sequence as he continues, "two, three, four, five." Then I let go my toothbrush and indicate six using both hands.

"One," he says.

We finish up, I take him downstairs, sit him on the sofa/devan/couch/whatever, and get the video camera. I point it at him and hold up one finger so that both my hand and David are in the frame.

Now, I have about two minutes of jumpy video with my hand in the foreground while, in the back ground, David, whines and mumbles something as he crawls off of the sofa and tries to get to the camera.

I think one of the dogs peed on the green chair.

later numerous fans

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

five guys i envy

Just a quick shout out to five guys who's motivation I envy. Check out what they are working on. NOTE, I don't vouch for these links as "family-friendly."

  1. My brother-in-law, Grant is making it happen as an artist in Seattle.
  2. Valorie's husband, Ed is a writer/game developer as well as father of twins.
  3. My old friend Jay, who's designing great Web sites and still painting.
  4. High school classmate Dave, who is making films. He is the one who shot the balloon footage.
  5. Kris Ariel, the son of a friend of my father moved to China and opened a cafe.
Now, don't get me wrong, none of these guys has Jaime and David, so they have plenty of reason to envy me as well. Also, I don't necessarily envy what they are doing; I envy the motivation it take to initiate the sorts of creative projects they have.

Later, envious fans


When I get home this evening, I am holding David and Nina says, "David. . . one"
David replies, "Two, three, four . . . five."
I am stunned.
Later, I am in the kitchen and Nina calls to me. I walk out and she is giggling but I don't see David. I walk towards the living room and just as I get adjacent to the door from the living room to the foyer, I see David hiding behind the door barely able to contain his laughter. He jumps out and we run around the first floor a couple of times hiding from each other. At one point he is behind the door again and I can hear him "two, three, four, five."
I suspect the babysitter is playing hide-and-seek with him.

later, hidden fans

Monday, September 12, 2005

fair ophelia

CNN Headline

Ophelia downgraded to tropical storm

Storm idling off the Carolinas

The article describes the storm as "indecisive" saying, "Ophelia had been following a wandering course since it became a tropical storm Wednesday off the coast of Florida."

My prediction: the storm will be heard to sing
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead:
Go to thy death-bed:
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye.
Then, she'll wander out to sea and die.

Expect revenge from tropical storm Laertes next season.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David: "balloon?"

Me: "It's all gone."

D: "'gin (again)"

M: "I can't, it's broken"

D: "More?"

M: "It's broken, like the stick."

D: "balloon?"

Saturday, September 10, 2005

switch to the left! switch to the right! corperate greed we'll fight fight fight!

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

As I mentioned, the turn signal switch broke and getting a new one would require being included in six-party talks in asia. Instead, Grandpa Gary installed this toggle switch on our dash. I love it.

Now, we need rockets.

lighten up

That last photo reminds me. I have been looking at my blog on some
other of your computers and notice that some of your screen settings
are a lot darker than mine. That last photo is pretty dark already, so
if you have problems seeing it, lighten up your screen.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Today, we went to the Combat Air Museum so David could get over his "balloon!" fix with an "airplane!" fix. Kind of like a methadoneclinic. Here he is in front of my favorite-- the Beech SNB-5.

huff n puff

Yesterday evening, David, Nina, and I went to the hot-air balloon rally. David said "balloon" about 300 times. I didn't take the camera, but Dave Uhler brought his. Dave is a high school class mate and videographer for the Capital Journal. You can see his stuff on page three. That's a joke--specifically, it is his joke.

If you have high-speed internet, Quicktime, and about 10 minutes, check out his video. Special treat about 1/4 from the end.

Later, balloon fans.

Friday, September 09, 2005

real boys climb

Nowhere does David look so much like a little boy than when he is climbing. The stairs have always been his favorite toy. At the park is "rock" wall--a sort of plastic stepped thing that is nearly-but not quite vertical. He has pretty much mastered it. There is something about the deliberate concentration, the pushing up with his calf muscles, the pulling with his upper arms that makes him look very grown up.

We were at a different park this evening. As most of you know, standard play ground equipment is now designed by people who had hamsters as kids. As adults they have applied the hamster play-area principle to children, creating large, rambling contraptions of brightly-colored plastic and steel with tunnels, chains, slides, and other toys. They are designed for kids of almost all ages with simple things down low for toddlers to manipulate and tall, twisty-tube slides up high for the bigger kids. Ad a Nintendo play-station for the teens and an HD TV in front of a barka-lounger for dad, and it would be true fun for the whole family. They cleverly keep kids away from age-inappropriate areas by making the access difficult--ladders and walls require you to be of a certain height and dexterity to get to a more challenging toy. So simple steps could get David to the little boring slides made for newbies but the middle-height twisty slide required climbing up on to a 24-inch-high platform. A helper-bar is attached half-way up the face. So David goes to this little wall/big step, leans as far out across the platform as possible, sticks his little fingers into the holes in the flooring and holds his weight while he gets one foot up on the helper bar. Then he pushes with that foot and pulls with his fingers until he can swing his other leg up and over.

Again, the concentration, effort, dexterity, and muscle definition suddenly conspire to whisk the baby-David away and replace him with a real boy.

God grant him many years!

Today is David's name day. Please all join us in celebrating*.

*reading this blog entry fulfills your celebration requirement

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

laissez les bon temp reboot

It's terrible that the New Orleans was destroyed. Fortunately, we still have the old Orleans as backup (click on "satelite"). It is, however, infected with the French.

Monday, September 05, 2005

shy david in the windy city

I should be working, or sleeping, but I am in a blogging mood. David and I spent the weekend with Grandpa Brice in Salina, Kansas. "Salina" is Native American for "hold on to your feathers." The place is never without a steady 30 mph breeze. Jaime went to Grandpa Gary's in KC so that he could fix our car and she could read the several books that she has been assigned to complete by tomorrow.

David wouldn't ever just come out and say it, but he was not very comfortable being so far from mom for so long. So he was a little fussy and anti-social at times. But I don't think it was terrible. He offered plenty of happy times. It is part of a developing pattern, though. He is starting to get increasingly upset when his mom leaves his presence and he is getting quieter around strangers. I believe this is all normal.

We went to a couple of parks and played on slides and fed ducks. Papa Brice brought bread for the ducks, but David ate most of what we gave him to give the ducks. He said "thank you" and shoved it in his mouth. He was super-thrilled to see real, live, ducks though. "Ducks! Ducks! Ducks! Quack quack! Quack quack! Ducks!"

At one point an Hispanic toddler attempted to abscond with our stroller. When I intercepted him, he explained to me what he was doing and I explained that I no habla espaniol. So he wandered off. I then said adios, which caused him to stop, turn, and stare at me for the longest time, trying to figure out how I knew that before replying adios and walking away.

Grandpa bought him four new trucks and an airplane, which he loves.

Did I mention that Grandpa Gary was fixing our car? The blinker broke. The broken piece is a tiny piece of plastic in the switch. A tiny piece of $250 plastic if we could find one. You see, our car is a model of Eagle that Mitsubishee (sp?) made for Dodge. The thing is that they only made five of them, total, and only made enough spare part for one and those spare parts are safely locked away in a foot locker in South Korea so as to be protected from possible abduction by North Korea. So he bypassed the switch altogether and wired a toggle switch right in to the dashboard. It rocks, and costs about $12.00.

later toggle fans

Friday, September 02, 2005

it has been said

If David looks up at you and says "kee ooo," pick him up. He is saying "carry you," as in, "David, would you like me to carry you?". He doesn't really understand pronouns yet. I guess we could say "would you like to be carried," so that he doesn't hear "carry you" and think it is one word. But then we would be teaching unecessary use of passive voice. Next thing you know he would be wandering to the pantry saying "a cookie is wanted." We can't have that.

We are trying to teach him his name.

"What's your name?"
"What's your name? David!"
"What's your name?"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

nature's rack

This is what is currently keeping me up at night.

I measured David with a yard stick recently. He is between 31 and 32
inches tall. Those of you with score cards will note that this is the
same height measured at his last doctor's appointment two months ago.
When people see him, they comment on how much he has grown, which is
not true. He has not gained a pound or an inch in two months. What he
has done is convert fat to muscle (I know, you don't "convert" fat to
muscle, but you know what I mean. Get off my back) and simply lose
some fat. So he is thinner and looks taller and less baby-like.

None of that is the worrisome part. Stay with me.

I am 72 inches tall. I assume that David is also going to be about
that hight. Upon reflection, I don't know why I assume that. I guess
I formed the assumption back when he was regularly clocking in the 80th
percentiles for height-to-age. Here is the thing. If he is going to
be around 72 inches in 16 years, then he will be around 36 inches by
age two. That is seven months to grow four-to-five inches. That is a
serious growth spurt. A seriously painful, my bones are stretching we
have to buy all new cloths every two weeks, dear Lord if you look
closely you can see him growing like the Incredible Hulk when you've
just pissed him off kind of growth spurt.


but he still has to be told, or he won't notice

I had heard news of this behavior, but had not witnessed it first hand.

This morning David grabbed one of Nina's gardening books off of the coffee table and laid it on the couch to look at. Nina was sitting next to him. He opened the book and Nina said, "you've got it upside-down, David."

So, he turned it around.

Monday, August 29, 2005

ideas to pay for david's college

Great new idea: a device that you can buy at the cell-phone store in packs of three or four. All new buildings, public and private, would be built with them installed. They would hang just inside a bathroom door and signal your cell phone that you have entered the bathroom. Then, if people call, they would get your "I can't answer the phone, I'm in the John" message. Higher-end cell phones would include an option of having a special "In the John" group for people you are willing to talk to on the comode. These phone numbers would be allowed to ring through.

the (inevitable?) fall

Yesterday, at grandpa Gary's, David fell down the stairs. Top to bottom. Grandpa Gary's stairs are carpeted, which was part of the cause and part of the reason we didn't have to go to the hospital.

He had been going up and down them all day. Typically, I am pretty uptight about staying down-gravity of him, but he never ever slips anymore. So I got lax. For some reason he tried to walk them rather than tummy slide. He can do this at home but at Grandpa Gary's, the railing is higher. He tried to take step and hold the rail, lost his balance, and twisted, losing his grip. I lunged for him and missed. He slid and tumbled down the 13 steps. At the bottom is a door. On the other side of the door was Jackie, Grandama Kim's daughter, who opened the door to look in and see what the commotion was about. David's head hit the door. It did not hit very hard--not even a real bruise. Jackie felt horrible, but if she had not done that, then his head would have hit the tile floor.

From the intensity and length of the crying, he was not injured as badly as he has been in the past. The carpeting and the wall really broke a lot of the downward fall. But he was sweating profusely and vomited the meal I had just fed him. In the absence of clear head trauma, I assume that he was terrified. But he recovered well. I squeezed and bent all of his joints without any protest from him. We called the doctor who told us what signs of problems to look for. I remembered the head-trauma maxim--"you should be worried if he doesn't cry."

In the end, all is well--except in my head. If I don't keep from thinking about it, I can still vividly see him tumbling down the stairs--still feel the terror and panic--and am still brought to tears. In the next three weeks, I will have a nightmare about it.


We have been teaching David church stuff. He can Identify several icons now, including the Virgin Mary--his favorate. The term we Orthodox commonly use for her is "Theotokos." David simply says "Tokos." It is very cute in church.

Grandpa Gary and Grandma Kim have a kitten named "Coco." This confuses David who chases her around yelling "Tokos, Tokos!"

"No, David, the cat is not the Mother of God."


Sorry to leave you hanging like that. Last week, I said that David was sick. Well, he stopped vomitting after only a day two days, according to Jaime. That was nice, but he still showed other sypmtoms. So, Jaime took him to the doctor on Friday. He has another ear infection. For those of you playing along at home, that is something like four ear infections in as many months. So, we are taking him to a ENT for evaluation to see if he needs something like "tubes." In case you don't know, you can put little tubes in the eardrum to allow excess fluid to drain out to reduce infections. I'll be doing a lot of research before we allow this proceedure. It is a low-risk, common proceedure, but, since the day that Jaime got pregnant, I have learned a great deal about "common" proceedures that turn out to be less useful than advertised. Meanwhile he is on an antibiotic. His mood is rapidly improving. Which is nice since his mood has been bipolar. He's been happy as a camper unless he doesn't get his way, which causes him to scream like he has been hit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Abigale the dog has a new habit of sounding a whiney reverie from her kennel every morning at 06:00. She has gone from Beagle to Bugle.

sick and tv

Wow, long time since the last post. Sorry, time just flies when you are gainfully employed.

David is sick. Fever, vomiting, cranky. I spoke with our doctor's nurse's assistant's chauffeur's dog walker who said that the vomiting should stop in five-to-seven days. I informed her that we would be filing with foster care after five-to-seven days of vomiting, thank you very much. But, as of this morning, he had gone over twelve hours of chucking anything up.

David is around TV at the sitter's house a lot. But not at home. We only watch movies on the TV and only when he is gone or in bed. When I have seen him at the sitter's, I have not seen him show any interest in TV whatsoever--except for pushing the buttons. Night before last, Grandma Carla ("Nina") put in a DVD while he was still up. The DVD started playing the theme music of the main menu and David began dancing. Then, Nina pressed "play" causing the music to stop and the screen to go blank long enough for David to say "g'in" ("again")? Then the music started again and he started to dance again. The opening scene features an aerial shot of a bus. David pointed and said "bus." At one point one of the characters waved and David waved back. I watched this, horrified that the moment had finally arrived when David would take an interest in TV. On the bright side, now I have something to ground him from. I whisked him away to play with books and educational toys (actually, I think I gave him a bath).

later TV fans

Monday, August 15, 2005

movie ideas

I am trying to think of new word to fit the definition: "the pastime of casting a movie that does not actually exist." Something like "Fantasy Directing," but not lame.

Jaime, mom, and I filled out my "Wizard of Oz" idea. In addition to Depp (21 Jump Street) as the Wizard, Fanning as Dorothy, and Bonham-Carter as the Wicked Witch, we decided that Jack Black would be the lion, David Hyde Pierce, the Tin Man, Will Smith the Scarecrow, Bett Midler as the good witch of the north and Vince Vaughn as the driver of the cart pulled by the horse of a difference color. I think Burton should mine the books as source material and leave the original film alone.

Jaime and I were also trying to cast a "Mary Poppins" directed by Burton. She would like to see another pairing of Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor (a la "Down With Love") as Mary and Burt. But I think they are a wee young--not convincing enough to have a "history" as eluded to in the film. Reflecting on this, I hit upon the solution--a new film about the time Mary and Burt met. I shove together a plot and send it to Burton, stat.

Ooh! Bob Dole should play the tree that the Tin Man almost cuts down.

later, fantasy film fans


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

We went to the garden to take advantage of having Grandpa Brice, Skylar, and Cory all together. Here are some of the photos. Click through to Flickr to see the rest.

Brice, David

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David, Brice, Skylar

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Skylar, David

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Of a series that I shot, this is the only one where everyone has a respectable look and no one has their eyes closed. If you look closely, you can see why dad and Skylar are smiling.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

willy wonka

With the release of "Sleepy Hollow," I was afraid that we had lost Tim Burton forever. "Planet of the Apes" is watchable, but it feels like it was directed by the AutoHollywoodDirectron6000 rather than one of the creative geniuses of film. "Big Fish" restored hope as Burton returned to his strength of telling tall tales. But I remember thinking that "Fish" isn't quite as tall as I would expect from him. I would expect something a little more insane from a director who gives us a man with scissors for hands and Christmas stockings with severed heads. I thought that he could have pushed the envelope just a little more.

Well, I am pleased to say that Burton is back. Jaime and I saw "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" last night for her 29th birthday. It is as insane and delirious and bizarre and hilarious as I would expect from Burton. It is like the story was made for him to make of movie of.

I haven't read the book, so I don't know how it compares. I have always loved Gene Wilder's "Willy Wonka and the Focolate Chactory"--scratch that, reverse it. Now I can't think of another film where two versions have been made and I would be happy to watch them both--depending on the mood I was in.

But it gets better. The previews included Burton's next film "The Corpse Bride," a claymation feature a la "Nightmare Before Christmas." We are so there.

This morning, I found myself thinking, no one has done a good treatment "the Wizard of Oz" unless you are a fan of "The Wiz." Burton could do fantastic things with that. Depp would be the Wizard, and Helena Bonham Carter, the Witch. Can't think of who would be a good Dorothy--perhaps give Dakota Fanning a couple more years. Burton could put wings on all those extras from "Planet of the Apes."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

dogs bark, cats run, bugs bite, helicopters watch

We have missed all the services of preparation for Dormition for reasons good and bad. I was prepared this evening to attend by hook or crook.

When I arrive home from work David and Jaime are asleep. Jaime seems to have a bug and feels lousy. David refused to take a nap all day, and then fell asleep in his high chair. I had some dinner and woke him up. If he sleeps too late, he'll be up all night. Very unhappy to be awakened. Very fussy. The service begins at 6:30. At 6:45 it is clear that David would not be able to handle it. Jaime says, "he sounds like I feel." His nose is runny and he is generally miserable.

So we go for a walk. A casual stroll. He stops to pick up stick after stick. "sTIK," he declares with each new one. The mosquitoes are thick. Even with repellent, I can't keep them off of him. At the Devon we cut through the courtyard to find kitties. I ask him to put his stick on the ground before we see any kitties. He does. They run from him anyway. Too bad.

As we leave the courtyard, he steps down off the sidewalk. It is a about three inches--impossible a week ago without help. I praise him "good step!" So he steps back up and does it again and again saying "step!" each time. We finally move along identifying trees and cars. He is very curious, stopping and squatting over and investigating and looking up and around to identify sounds of things he can't see. After about five minutes of this he is walking steadily down the sidewalk. As he steps over the edge of a buckled slab, he stays "step."

We play hide and seek around an oak tree but he is quickly distracted by the barking of a dog.

He breaks a stick into a larger and smaller piece. After several unsuccessful attempts to put it back together, he brings it to me pleading "on? on?"

"I can't, it doesn't go on. It's broken."
"On? On?"
"It's broken." He looks at both pieces and then drops the smaller one mumbling "broken."

He calls a yellow Tom cat in the street a tiger.

The police helicopter circles the neighborhood. Whenever he sees it, he points, "hairpwane" (airplane).
"No, helicopter."
". . . "
"Try 'chopper'"
"Yes! Chopper"

We play hide and seek around the buick. He is still distracted by every dog he hears.

Papa Alex comes to clean out the Festiva. David is squealing thrilled. He climbs into the car and into the driver's seat. Alex shows him how to blow the horn, a mistake.

Back home finally after forty minutes just around the block.

Shower. Milk. Book. Songs. Bed. Blogging

I blog this haiku:
a chopper watches
hide and seek with mosquitoes
words for everything

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

rocks may be bad for you

Girl tried for felony over thrown rock

David is constantly picking up stones and putting them in his mouth. Should I turn him over to the authorities for attempted suicide?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


By the age of 18 months, children can already recognize product logos.
But they can't distinguish between programming and advertising until
about age eight..

Thursday, July 14, 2005

belaboring the point

By the twentieth month, 50% of toddlers can use fifty or more words. By the twenty-third month, 75%.

Sorry to go on and on about it, but I'm a talker and so is Jaime. Plus, I have lots of funny word memories. Skylar's first word, that I remember, was "cookie." I still have a perfect vision in my head of Cory as a toddler standing at the top of the basement stairs at dad's house talking passionately to no one with a great deal of inflection in what sounded like a foreign language, his little toddler pot belly sticking out.

That is something that fascinates me. Kids learn words. Then learn conversational inflection separately. Then, put them together. This evening, at the dinner table, David turned to us and spoke an entire clearly articulated sentence in a completely unknown language.

later, glossolalia fans

100 words (more) or less

While I was typing the last post, Jaime worked on a list of words David uses unprompted in response to stimulus (pronunciations or definitions in paranthesis):

Suzie (hooszie), Cory, Collin, Kim, Omie (common promunciation for "Naomi," friend from church/occational baby-sitter), Abby, Tuff, Coco, Mommy, Daddy, Papa, Nina, Nanna, baby, tia (spanish, for "aunt"), doctor, Carl ("Good Dog . . ."), milk, water, juice, egg, oatmeal (omeal), cookie, cracker, pizza, butter (p,b, &j), cheese, yogurt (yogur), Os (for Cheerios), tots (tater tots), bread, tiger, flamingo (mingo), bear (beer), dog, kittie, doggie, puppy, mouse, duck, catapiller (piller), cow, horse, llama (yama), lion, hippo, bunny, ball, wagon, stairs, car, bed, crib, bink, chair, shoes, toes, elmo, park, slide, ear, eye, nose, head, hat, blocks, phone, talk, bib, in, out, up, down, ride, walk, hug, kiss, bath, please (pees), thank you (titoo), welcome, see ya, bye, hi, good dog, go, boat, zoo, "B"

He can make the following animal noise upon request:
snake (ssssss)
lior (roar)
gorilla (bangs chest and yells ahhhhh)
goat (hard to describe, sounds like a goat)
cat (meow)
dog (woof)
duck (quack)
rooster (dooo! (as in "cocka doodle doo")
monkey (ooh ooh ahh ahh)
frog (ribbet)

generally pulling the ears of crazy paraguayans

David did a pretty remarkable thing a couple of days ago; he grabbed Tuff's ear, looked at me and said "ear." He has been identifying his own ears for several weeks as well as Jaime's and mine. To be able to understand that ears exist not just in a few specific contexts, but in many different contexts is called "generalization." Being able to generalize is an important stage of development. David is sometimes good at it--he can identify any dog anywhere no matter the shape or size--sometimes not so good--he calls otters "kittens" and squirrels "bears." But to look at the things sticking up off of Tuff's head like the broken wings of a bat from an animated Halloween feature, and call them "ears" was an amazing intuitive leap, in my opinion. Tuff was not as impressed about having his ear tugged. He whipped around and snipped at David, putting his teeth around the boy's arm, but not biting down. This alarmed Jaime. So both of exclaimed excitedly: "did you see that generalization/him about get bitten?!"

According to "What to Expect the Toddler Years" says that by sixteen months 50% of toddler can use six words. David can use an uncountable number of words by this point. So much so that strangers have stopped assuming that he can talk well for his age and now assume that he is simply small for his age, which they think is higher because of the words. He is not forming too many sentences beyond "[noun], please" but his articulation is improving to the point where some of his most common words are losing the baby accent altogether.

I got to experience a strange new feeling Sunday--the feeling of tense trepidation as David looked out the window at me while being driven away by a crazy Paraguayan. My Aunt Nancy (Mom's brother's wife) loves babies and wanted some play time with David. The only time that he sees her is at family gatherings out at my grandparents--maybe five times his whole life. Well Sunday, Nancy wanted to see David and asked if she could come pick him up.
Me: "come pick him up? And do what?"
N (with Paraguayan accent): "Just hang out. We could go to my place, or out for ice cream."
Me: " . . . ok"

So she did. Came by, put him in our car, and drove away. David is not super keen on strangers right now, so I didn't expect them to make it down the block. Three hours later, she brought him back. Said they had a great time.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

digging in the dirt

digging in the dirt
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

why do we forget our childhood?

Cognitive Daily � Why do we forget our childhood?: "memories simply are not ever encoded in language, and for that reason, never become part of an adult’s autobiographical memory."


via Daddytypes

cory cory cory

David and I spent Fathers' Day weekend in Salina with dad (who claims to have "corresponded" with internet superstar, Dooce). I haven't written much about the weekend because. . . well, just because.

Cory hung out with us as well. When David first saw Cory, he was naturally scared and we had to go through the whole, "it's uncle Cory, remember, from last weekend?" Eventually, though, David warmed up to him. By Saturday evening, he was even saying Cory's name. Once, Cory went into his room and closed the door, and locked it, and barred it, and turned on the alarm, and David stood outside rattling the handle saying "Cory, Cory, Cory, Cory." Then he would wander around the room repeating his name.

On Sunday, we went to Cory's baseball game. David ran around, played with puppies, flirted with toddler girls, CLIMBED UP THE BLEACHERS, and had a good time. When a team arrived to prepare for the next game, they brought a three gallon bucket of balls and set it down by the bleachers. David was in heaven. He pulled balls out and lined them up on the sidewalk and threw them and yelled "ball!" and "beesball!"

Whenever Cory was up to bat, I would stop David and take him to the fence to watch.


Earlier this evening David and I were playing catch. He stood on the porch and lobbed the baseball down the steps where I stood. I would catch it and toss it back so that it rolled past him. He would fetch it and throw it again. Every time I caught it, he would laugh. Of course the whole time we are doing this, he is babbling his inane little babble about nothing in particular. Then, at one point, while chasing down the ball, he started saying "Cory, Cory, Cory."

later, baseball fans.

bad tv habits may be bad for you

Who would allow a third-grader to have a TV in his/her bedroom?

It bothers me when research is cited without linking to the actual published paper. But this is interesting to me anyway since TV is a subject that comes up a lot even though David's only interest so far is the buttons.
A new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University indicates that third-graders with televisions in their bedrooms perform significantly more poorly on standardized tests than their peers without.
After reading Freakonomics I am obligated to note that the researchers don't have enough data to show causality:
The researchers speculate that the link may have more to do with other factors, such as the fact that children with bedroom televisions have been shown to sleep less than their peers, or that the minority of parents who allow a home computer but prohibit a bedroom television may be more engaged in their child's education.
Lastly, I am also obligated to point out my oposition to defining a child's success in life based on standardized tests. Freakonomics spends a lot of time debunking popular child-rearing myths based on standardized test results. While it is good to look at the stats they offer to get a clearer picture of how parenting may or may not work, it has to be done with the understanding that my primary concern as a parent is not measured by these tests. Case in point--statistical analysis shows that reading to your child does not positively affect standardized test scores, but I am confident that this interaction does have other positive benefits not directly connected to education.

Friday, July 01, 2005

in which i type perhaps the last joke i'll ever be able to post

If you were to ask me to list the top five days of my whole life, slot one or two would be four years ago today. After knowing each other for a couple of years, dating for a couple of weeks, and being engaged for a couple of months, Jaime and I were married on July 1, 2001.

It was hot, if memory serves.

Otherwise, it was just one of those days that went off without a hitch (no pun intended)--or the hitches were minor compared to the groove of happiness that I rode the whole day.

The fours years since then have been pretty great as well. Jaime and I still occationally turn to one or the other and marvel that we are actually married. It seemed so unlikely even five years ago and has been so great that it is hard sometimes to believe.

Here is a great little story, to embarrass Jaime:

I kept our B&B reservations on our wedding night a secret. Jaime knew we were going to St. Louis the next day, but not where we were spending the night. At dinner with a group of family and friends, she turned to me and asked: "How far are we going tonight."
Without missing a beat, I replied, "We just got married, we're going all the way."

Happy anniversary, Jaime.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

maybe they are not even "emeritus"

At the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain, there is a building--or perhaps a room--constructed of three--or perhaps four--intersecting arches, making it a hexagon--or perhaps an octagon. The face of each arch has a shallow concave angle carved into its length. The room is 40--perhaps 60--feet across. I don't know what height the ceiling rises to. A person could stand on one side of the room, face towards an arch, and speak. The sound would travel the length of the arch over the room to the other side where another person could hear it. It is spooky. My traveling companion whispered into the arch and I could hear it sixty feet away in a room full of tourists as if she were standing invisibly next to me. I have heard that there is a similar arch in the Union Station in St. Louis where mafiosos would have meetings by talking to each other while standing on opposite sides of the room from each other.

I have a theory that all of the benches on Mass. Street in Lawrence are somehow invisibly connected in some similarly mysterious way. It is the best explanation as to why there are so many people sitting around downtown talking to themselves.

Alternative theory #1) They are somehow audibly connected to my son, which is why he now babbles unintelligibly non-stop to no one in particular.

Alternate theory #2) They are Professors Emeritus from the University of Kansas.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

y'all should do this

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

15% Yankee

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

I've finally posted some photos from the Smoky Hill River Festival two weeks ago. It was a great time with Grandpa Brice even though torrential rain dampened things a bit on Friday and Sunday. Saturday was beautiful.

oop, David just woke up from his nap, so I have to go.


batman begins because

"'Because' is not an answer." I heard this quite a bit from my dad when I was a kid. I always figured that "because" was a good enough answer to bide some time until I could fabricate something more plausible. Dad's retort has had a long-lasting affect on me--specifically on my cinematic willing suspension of disbelief. Particularly with superhero movies. When it comes to plot-lines, "because" is not an answer.
"Why can Superman fly?"
"Because, he is from another planet."
"Why does that matter? Do gravitons work differently in the Delta Sector?"
"um, because. . . "
Not an answer.
There are a couple of ways to extend an audience's willing suspension of disbelief. One is to lay out detailed exposition as to why the superheroes can do what they do and why they wear the funny costumes. The other method is maintain the flashy comic book style and delight the audience so that they don't worry. "The Matrix" did the first, while Tim Burton's "Batman" did the second. Burton offered up a thin plot and lots of eye candy making it clear that physics and motivation simply worked differently his comic purple Gothom.

Jaime really wanted to see the new "Batman." I whined a bit, but she persisted, so we tethered David to the crib and went to the cinema.

It's good.

Unlike Burton's "Batman," this one has taken the task of laying out as realistic a story as possible with excrutiating exposition as to why and how things are as they are. It is more than an hour of careful development of Wayne's character--punctuated with lots of scary bat flash-backs--before he finally makes the decision to dress up like a giant bat. By this point the audience is either "ok, I'll buy that" or "fine, just get on with it." While the story contains nothing particularly original, it makes up for it with lots of great fisticuffs. Wayne's parents die--Wayne is bitter-- sets out to find himself--travels to the Far East--climbs to the top of the mountain--finds a teacher who can show him the path he must journey. There was actually a moment where I was positive that his master was going to call him "grasshopper" and tell him that he couldn't leave until he snatched away a pebble.

Then we have a "James Bond" presentation of great gadgets and we're off to fight bad guys. After some bad guys, the archvillan, and curtain. Gary Oldman shows up at the beginning as a cop, so I assumed he was the bad guy. Turns out not to be so, which was very confusing. Oldman+cop=bad cop, right? No, he is sergeant Gordon and does a pretty good job.

This Batman is scary. The baddies use a fairly terrifying drug-induced hallucinations that gave me bad dreams. Then, towards the end, "holy walking stiffs, Batman, we're in a Zombie movie."

Some of the plot-points intersect Burton's Batman and change things around (Joker doesn't kill his parents). Jaime is a huge fan of Burton's, so that really peeved her. For both of us, the main detracting was the writing. The script sounds like the writers dug around in the ashcans of every man-against-the-odds morality tale ever written, pulled out the pithy monologues, and strung them together. We begin with "Why do we fall? So we learn how to pick ourselves back up." From there the script keeps falling and can't get up. Wayne gets lectured on ethics, power, and the meaning of life by every single other character in the film. I would have dressed up like a giant Bat just to be rid of all of them. It really could have used some of the humor and insanity of Burton's tale.

Oh, and the Scientologist that now has to follow Katie Holmes' 24/7 kept getting in the shots. That was annoying.

Of course this is not the first movie I have seen this summer whose main character is a chronically conflicted guy who's mother's death leads him to dress up in a big black suit with a mask and a cape. Nope, I am looking forward to "Batman vs. Darth Vader" in 2007.


Morocans are a testy bunch. In their markets, if you touch something, be prepared to haggle to an acceptable price and buy it or get screamed at by the owner in a melodic mix of French and English. It is amazing what words foreigners learn first. A man with no grasp of whatsoever of an English sentence can nevertheless go head-to-head with your typical sailor in a cuss-fest over a carved wooden box.

On the train from Tangiers to Marrakech, while making my way to the bathroom, I accidentally kicked a woman's chicken. I heard her mutter under her breath, "une varicelle sur votre aîné"--a pox on your first-born. Yesterday afternoon, David developed a rash of red bumps from head to toe. They persisted, and worsened overnight. coincidencece? You decide.

Jaime called the Doctor who asked us to bring him in. After thorough examination that consisted of asking me a bunch of questions that the nurse asked me, the doctor concluded that it is a delayed allergic reaction to the antibiotic we've had him on since his last ear infection and bronchitis.

I could have kicked that chicken out the window.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


A few days ago I took David out of his crib after his nap. As usual he still had a binky in his mouth and one in his hand, in addition to a "Little People" girl. I set David on the floor and popped the bink out of his mouth and turned to toss it in the crib. As I turned back I saw he had put the other bink in his mouth. Again I popped the bink out of his mouth and turned to toss it in the crib. As I turned to face him again I saw the legs of the girl figure sticking out of his mouth.

Too smart for me

Grandpa Alex is notorious for teaching David tricks. My favorite is when he tells David to scream like a girl and David lets out a high pitch squeal and throws his arms up in the air.

Tonight David beat Alex to the punch. As Alex, Carla, and I stood around David Alex asked David "who's the man?" and David replied "me". Carla and I looked at Alex and asked if he had taught David that and Alex said no.

"Was that really the first time you've done that with him?"

"David, who's the man?"

This went on for a few minuets while we laughed. After Carla and Alex left I continued to ask David "who's the man?". All the while he still answered "me!".

Finally I asked David to say "man". No response.
"David, say 'me' ".

Until tonight this word was not part of his vocabulary.

We'll be holding auditions for super smart partents later next month.

Friday, June 10, 2005

we're off

we're off
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

We are getting ready for our annual trek to the Smokey Hill River

Festival in Salina, where we join Grandpa Brice for a weekend of art

and music. Normally Aunt Skylar is with us and already I miss her

sorely. But I promise to take pictures. Towards that end, I am

clearing the memory card and just had to post this one that Jaime shot

a couple of days ago.

later Smokey Hill fans (you know who you are)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My favorate light bulb joke:

"How many babies does it take to change a lightbulb?"
"None, babies have neither the strength nor the coordination to change a lightbulb."

My favorate lightbulb joke, translated online through Spanish, to French, to Italian, and back to English:

"how much you drink taken in order to change one lamp"
"nobody, you drink have neither the force neither the coordination in order to change one lamp."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I see at Wired News that scientists at the University of Arizona have discovered how to use quantum mechanics to turn molecules into working transistors in the lab.

I suppose this is good news, getting David a step closer to being able to store the collected knowledge of all the history of humanity on his iPod.

On the down side, he will be unable to assess the data's exact location and his processing speed at the same time.


We officially have to spell out c-o-o-k-i-e, a concept that covers teething biscuits, animal crackers (the only actual "cookie" he gets), Cheerios, "wheels" (toddler food), and any other small crunchy carbs that he will eat until he pops like a tick.

He knows certain things only as "no." The fake plant in the foyer is "no" and he will identify it as such as he grabs it and pulls it to the ground for the 153,377th time. Which is interesting, because he is generally pretty good about keeping his hands off of things. The plant and my night stand are the major exceptions.

Jaime taught him "Hi, daddy." Melted me.

His facial expressions have become much more subtle and you can see him being distressed or perplexed by things on a much more troubling level (before he just starts crying). He can officially express a greater emotional range than Keanu Reeves ("Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure").

I guess the next step is either learning how to put words together voluntarily, or realizing that everything in the world has a word and seeking to learn them.

In a way, he is already voluntarily putting words together. He signs "please" by rubbing his chest. So, he will ask for something, I will say "no," and he will repeat the word while also signing please. This evening, in church, he wanted something out in the narthex that had been take away from him. As he headed off to try and retrieve it he signed "please" over and over rubbing his hand spastically up and down his chest. He looked "special" let me tell you.

His understanding of what you want is great. The other day I asked him to pick up his bink and put it in his crib and he did. Putting toys away is still a fun game, too. I had to bring fast food to Jaime at church this evening. David and I went into the parish hall, where Jaime was. I handed David the bag of food and said, "take this to mommy." The bag was closed and he doesn't ever eat fast food, so I figured he would be clueless as to the contents and simply take the package to his mom. He set the bag on the floor, squatted over it, opened it, reached in, pulled out some french fries, and ate them. But USUALLY, he will execute such a command.

later, special fans

Monday, June 06, 2005

what does a lion say

what does a lion say
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


this is how i feel, too

this is how i feel, too
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

So, y'all can just stop harrassing me about not blogging.

I tell you what, if I go for long periods of time without blogging,

this is what you need to do:

Go find the most special cute warm fuzzy thing you can find--anything

will do--like a kitten hanging by one paw from a branch, or a baby

panda being cleaned by its mother, or the sunset over snuggling


Multiply that by the speed of light, squared.

There, now you have just how cute David is when he is not even trying.


David=mc squared where m=the measure of cuteness of the most

wonderfully cutest thing ever ever.

"So, Jason," you are saying to yourself as you sit, dazed, in front of

the computer waiting for me to update, "what is he doing that is just

so cute?" Well, you'll just have to wait. I'll give you a

hint--words, lots of them.

llater, llama fans