Friday, March 31, 2006


Jaime just emailed me at work:

"david was way cute this morning. i walked into the room and he had one leg thrown over the side of the crib and told me he was a cowboy.
"look mommy! ride the horse!"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Perhaps Monique

So I get a call from the sitter today:

"While the kids were playing downstairs Colin peed in the drain. As I came downstairs David was in the process of pulling down his pants saying, 'Pee! Pee!' "
"I took off his diaper and he squeezed a little out and then shouted, 'I peed! I peed!' "

"Yeah, he still doesn't tell us he has to go, but boy howdy does he get in the mood when someone else is going."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


While running a mindless report this morning, I was thinking about how to instill good spending habits in my children while still allowing them to make choices about spending. Here is an idea I came with.

I have no idea how we will eventually handle our children's allowance. I don't know if the "you must earn it" model or the "you can have some money." model works better. But my idea works with whatever the system is.

Let's say that, at age eight, David gets an allowance of $5.00 per week. Jaime and I work out with him ahead of time a criteria for "wise purchases." These are things that are healthy, have long-term value, are charitable, etc. Apples over candy bars, books over video game, church over comic books, etc.

He gets his $5.00 on Sunday. He can spend that on what ever he wants to, no questions asked (in accordance with other rules, like "no cigarettes, guns, etc."). However, the following Sunday, he can show whatever receipts that he wants to. For every dollar that he spends on wise purchases, he gets another $0.50. Additionally, we review his savings account. For every net increase of $1.00, we match with a dollar. So, he has the potential to get as much as $10.00 in a week, if he were to save it all. If his net savings decreases, then, like his allowance, no questions are asked. But he can show us the receipts and get the $0.50 match for wise purchases.

Let's say that his savings balance last week was $20. This week it is $25.00--he saved his entire allowance. So, he gets another $5.00, which he spends on pop-rocks. Then, the next week the balance is $15--he withdrew $10. So, he doesn't get any extra match-money for saving. However, he can present his receipts. If he spent that $10 on a wise purchase--then he gets the $0.50 match--$5.00. If he spent all the money on comic books, then he doesn't get a match.

We could put a cap on what we match each week so as not to bankrupt us but I don't think it would be necessary. If we didn't, then he could get tremendous rewards. Let's say he wants a $200 bicycle that he and I have researched to be quality. He starts out with zero savings. He gets his $5.00 the first week,which he saves. The next week, he gets the $5.00 match, plus the $5.00 allowance--$10.00, which he saves. So the match the next week is $10.00, plus his $5.00 allowance--$15.00, which he saves so his match the next week is $15.00, and so on. On the sixth week (according to my calculations), the match would be $30 and would bring him to $100 Since we have determined that the bicycle is a good one, then it would count as a wise purchase, so I would pay half. So, with diligent saving for six weeks--an eternity to a child--he could have a $200 bike.

A revision to handle tithes: I would not want to reward him for saving rather than tithing, so there would be a 90%-per-week cap on the savings match. However, tithes would count as a wise purchase, eligible for the 50% match. This means that he is really only giving 5%, but it is a start. Maybe we would have an entirely different way of encouraging tithing.

All of these are made-up numbers, the amounts and matches may vary. Some rules would have to be put in place for veto--for example, I would not allow him to buy certain brands of bicycles for safety reasons. Additionally, there would be disputes about what is considered "wise," so, we would have to keep someone like Jones Day on retainer to handle disputes.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"There will be no polar ice by 2060,"

Go to your sink and turn the faucet on. Look at what the water does as it hits the sink. It spreads radially for a few inches and suddenly forms a little shelf of water. This shelf is the point at which the forces of gravity and friction overcome the energy of the moving water and stop it. Notice what the water does not do--it does not gradually yield to opposing forces and slowly ramp up. A tree, when being cut, does not gradually fall with an evenly-increasing speed until it hits the ground. Once the force of gravity overcomes the energy of the tree's own strength as you cut away at it--timber, it falls.

I first read this observation about opposing forces years ago (I probably learned about it in another way in middle school, but forgot). At that time, my very first thought was the environment. Global Warming was becoming big news at that time. This was before 2004, the year that rates of global temperature increases blew all natural scientific models to bits, virtually confirming the theory. At that time, people talked in terms of a lengthy process of imperceptible changes over the course of hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. I thought to myself, "that is not correct. Eventually the energies working against the current climate system will overcome that system and its fall will be swift and observable." I thought to myself that it will take only a single generation to change from the current system to a new one, which may or may not support humans at our current population levels. It might be ten, or a hundred, or a thousand years before that generation arrives, but when it does, it will not be subtle, it will be swift.

Well, it may be that David's is that generation.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Every once in a while David does something so cute and loving it almost makes me cry on the spot.

This morning I came into church and saw Jason reading David and another little boy a book. After a while David looked over and saw me.

"Mommy, mommy" he said as he ran across the room to give me a big hug.

As I picked him up he laid his head down on my shoulders and started to rub my back. For the next five min he asked me over and over if I was cold as he rubbed by arm and smiled at me.

For a little guy so active I cherish every soft moment when he takes the time to give me a hug and a love.

Thanks for always making my heart over flow.

Shout Out

This last week has been the week of David's birthday. It started last Saturday when we all went to KC to celebrate with my side of the family. Then we had dinner parties here and there with Jason's side.

On Thursday David received a large box from Uncle Grant and Aunt Tina. As he pulled out the first box and started to open it he began to squeal and scream at such a high pitch the dolphins across the globe could hear him.


His face began to turn blue from lack of air as he hyperventalated, jumped up and down, and vibrated.

In an effort to calm the storm I told him to open up the other package while I tried to liberate Dora and Boots from their packaging. That distraction only lasted until he pulled off the paper and discovered another Dora play set.

He screamed, laughed, and jumped up and down in shear pleasure for 30min. Then we ran upstairs to show Nina the new treasures.

Since that day Dora the bath doll has slept with David, dined with David, and splashed with David in the tub. Getting him to leave the house without her is a challenge at times though.

Jason said I should have video taped the entire thing, or at least called Grant while David was opening the gifts, but it all happened so fast I didn't have a chance.

Besides, David was so happy and so loud I figured Grant and Tina could hear how happy he was all the way in Seattle.

On behalf of the little guy I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful gifts.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


A few weeks ago, David and I met the Eakes family at the zoo. After a nice walk about, that included playing "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with the wildlife, the boys rested on a bench, complained about the weather, politics, and kids running through their yards. Then, apparently one of them farted. I'm not saying who.

Friday, March 24, 2006


David & Jason, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Mom has this image on her computer's desktop. David spied it a couple of nights ago.

Daddy and David!
Can you say "daddy and me?"
Daddy and David and me! What's he doing?
He's looking at you because you were laughing at the monkey. Do you remember the monkey?
Yeah. Daddy's cryin'.
Daddy's watching you laugh.
Daddy's cryin'
Why is daddy crying?
Cryin' for mommy
Is daddy missing mommy?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Today, David is two. He has been acting two for several months now, so I am not expecting any major behavioral milestones except maybe to start acting 32 and getting a job and contributing positively to the household finances.

He certainly doesn't care that he is two. If I say "Happy Birthday" to him, he says "Happy Birthday" back. But when he gets a gift--ohhhh, he is sooo thrilled. "Look! I have something new to fill my treasure chests of toddler booty! I'm king of the world!" Several different people have sung "Happy Birthday" to him, which pleases him, but also perplexes him a bit. "Why are all these people singing the same song? Did I miss a memo?"

Even though he has been acting two and can do all the things a two-year-old can do (we've changed our last name to "Yogurt," so he has hit that last milestone), I am surprised by my own reaction to this birthday. I still feel like I missed something "He's two? That's a lot, isn't it? That's like 730 days, I don't remember 730 days. If I count them up, I get, maybe 550, tops."

Today, I read back over the what I posted for his first birthday. I was blissfully unemployed and we spent spring break in Colorado with grandma Susie and Grandpa Steve. David was extremely sick--sicker that ever before or since. In that post, I was able to give a brief summary of his developmental milestones. This year, I couldn't even begin to summarize all of the things he can do. Last year, I had a short list of words he was saying. This year, I would have to provide a short list of conversations he can have, including:
"How are you doing today, daddy?" (to the untrained ear, this sounds more like "hoayoudoontday daddy?")
"I'm doing very well, thank you. How are you doing?"
"Good, thanks"
"Would you like an apple or some melon?"
This is a cool one, because he can be presented with several things and choose. Similarly, he can string together lists of things with "and," as in the crib role call "David and baby and meemo and elmo and grover and bat."
"Can you tell mommy what you saw today?"
His recall from memory began several months ago when we would blurt out words related to people or events seen hours or even days previously. Now, we can ask him about his day and get a report of the most significant two or three items.

At one, David would hold up one finger when asked how old he is. We have not been working on this for two. "One" was easy because he was already pointing and we just started calling that "one." For all he knew, the question, "How old are you" meant, "point at the ceiling." Now our ruse is exposed.

When he was one I could sing, "she loves you. . ." and he would respond, "yeah, yeah, yeah." Well, now he has quite a repertoire of songs including, "Row Your Boat," "Wheels on the Bus," "Itsy Bitsy Spider,"Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern," etc.

At one, he could stack one block atop another. He has pretty much mastered stacking blocks. Now, I try get him to imitate block patterns. I set down two blocks and ask him to choose from the three block in front of him which ones match and to lay them out in the same pattern. He is getting good at most two-block patterns, but usually cannot get three-block patterns.

He pretends. You've seen the train boxes. He will also get on the floor under his highchair and push it around calling it his car. He will put his arms in front of him and run around saying he is Superman. He gets that from Collin, the babysitter's four-year-old. He pretends to talk with and feed his stuffed animals and doll. He can also pretend that I am not in the room asking him to pick up his toys. He is very good at this. I can even be holding him and he can pretend like I don't exist. Pretty impressive, huh?

Actually, that last one is kind of reminiscent of two years ago as well, when everything but food and sleep was ignored. When, in fact, he could be ignored for half the day. When all his little parts were so tiny and fragile that I could not imagine that he could ever be the talking, climbing, running, pretending, excited little person that it would only take him 730 days to become.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

two-year checkup

David went to the doctor's for this two-year check up. He checks out. Clean bill of health and Jaime said Dr. Colburn didn't even bother with the checklist of milestones since it is clear that David has met all of them except that doesn't say his last name, which is our fault. We have tried to teach him to say "David Gilbert," but he says "David Yogurt" instead, which is soooo cute!

He is 35 inches tall, which is in the 72nd percentile, the same as the percentage of troops on the ground in Iraq who think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year.

He is 28 pounds, which is the 53rd percentile, the same as the percentage of men who spend less than two minutes picking out clothes.

"They" say that you are half your final height by age 2, which will put David at 70 inches--5 feet, 10 inches. Using the (mom's height=dad's height+5)/2 gets us to 5 feet 11 inches. I'll update this post in 18 years with the verdict.

later, yogurt fans.

three new words and a film recommendation

"Popmosis" n. the (usually involuntary) accumulation knowledge about pop-cultural events with which you have no direct experience.
"Where have I seen that actor before?"
"The 'OC'"
"How do you know that, you don't watch TV?"
I came up with it last night while seeing "Shopgirl" at the dollar theater. If you like "Lost in Translation," then I recommend it. If you don't, I don't. I have decided that Clair Danes and Scarlett Johansson are interchangeable vis a vis Hollywood roles.

The second new word is related to the first: "Lostmosis." n. the replacement of useless academic knowledge with useless pop knowledge.
"I used to be able to explain the General Theory of Relativity, but due to affects of lostmosis, I can now explain how the Matrix works."
The last word, I am sure someone else has come up with: "Cheney" v. 1) to shoot someone in the face. 2) Fig. seriously impede, but not complete stop, a process or idea.
"Yeah, my boss totally cheneyed my idea for a departmental reoganization, but I can still go to upper management with it."
I think "cheney" could be the new "postal," if postal workers would stop cheneying their coworkers.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

bite tina

"Bite Tina"
"? . . . um . . . no. . . only one person bites Tina, baby."
"Bite Tina"
" . . . no . . .? . . . (looks at what is in her hand) tortilla?"
"Bite, tortilla"

Friday, March 17, 2006

the episode of south park tom cruise doesn't want you to see

Easily, the best explanation of Scientology I've ever seen. (note, if you are not familiar with South Park, then, well, I don't want to be the person that introduces you to it, so go look at some pictures of David and come back later. thanks)

reading: blogging about a tumor

From Geezers United: The Online Presence Of Tom Lunt "What are the eleven words you least want to hear your from your doctor (that donĂ‚’t involve your junk)?

"'You have a brain tumor the size of a golf ball.'”

I think that it is fascinating when something bizarre happens to an established and articulate writer who is willing and able to provide insight into our inner workings. (via Metafilter)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

i would have thought they would float

Apparently not.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I am sure you clearly recall that, less than 36 hours before David was born, Jaime's cousin, Michelle, gave birth her first child, Samuel. I have just recieved word that Michele's second child, Lily, arrived this morning. Lily weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and was 20” tall/long. She was born hungry. Everyone is well.

Congratulations and Many Years to Lily, Samuel, Michelle, Carey, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, cousins, etc. etc.

step right on up

David, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Due to popular demand, I have finally gotten all of the photos of David and me loaded to Flickr. Click on the image to be taken to them and spend the next hour "oooh"ing and "ahhh"ing. You might want to just invest in an ooooh-ahhhh machine to save your voice.

Eventually, you will wonder where Jaime is. Well, truth be told, I made her up. The boy followed me home one day, so I decided to keep him and I needed a plausible story. "Married a girl, had a baby" was the best thing I could think of at the time.


Saturday, March 04, 2006


From the police briefs in the Topeka Capital Journal:

Police examine explosives

A suspicious object found at about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday by a Topeka police officer on patrol in the 1100 block of S.W. Western appears to be multiple homemade improvised explosive devices, said police department spokeswoman Kristi Pankratz.

The police department's bomb unit used the bomb robot to remove the object, which was found in the street, from the area. It was taken to a secure location for further examination, Pankratz said.

This is interesting because, well, we live on the 1100 block of S.W. Western. We all know from listening the news that IEDs on side streets are part of ethnic conflicts, as opposed to IEDs on main thoroghfares, which are directed at the occupational forces by the insurgency. The 1100 block of S.W. Western is a side street so, apparently, we have some brewing ethnic tensions right here in River City.