Friday, November 30, 2007

Ruby's first word and Jude's favorite planet

Ruby is doing a pretty good job of sitting up on her own lately, although we have to sit her in a good, safe spot and watch her. She's also "saying" her first word. Charline's been showing Ruby some sign language words, which worked really well for Jude when he was a baby. Ruby has starting "saying" the sign for "dog," which is done by patting one's leg, as if calling a dog.

Jude has been learning astronomy, with Charline's help. We had a conversation about the planets this morning, during breakfast. Jude's favorite planet is Neptune. He told me the biggest planet is Jupiter and the smallest is Pluto. He knows that Saturn has rings and Mars is red. He also knows that the sun is at the center of the solar system (yes, he even knows "solar system"). It really surprised me when he said Neptune "has two moons." (Maybe not technically correct, but it's likely Charline read something like that to him from an old astronomy book for kids.) In any case, he seems really curious about these things. He even knows a little about gravity. He said on the moon there's no gravity (of course, there is some), so you "bounce." Maybe he'll get to go there someday and try it for himself.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Leaves and Hay: two fun weekends

Last weekend, the Philly Bargers drove out into the hills and mountains to see the fall foliage. said it was peak season for leaf-watching in our area.

When we got out there, driving northwest, with no particular destination, we found the little town of Jim Thorpe -- named after the famous athlete. They had an historic, scenic train ride, which Jude really loved. After the train ride along a river, we played in the leaves in the park at the center of the town. We got some great photos.

This weekend, the Philly Bargers went on a hay ride tonight, with a group of people from our church, at an orchard in the Philly suburb of Media. It was a lot of fun, especially the bonfire afterward, where we toasted marshmallows and cooked hot dogs.

Jude loved the marshmallows and the apple juice. (It was at an apple orchard.) Ruby was really cute in her snug winter outfit. Maybe Charline can describe it on her blog. Jude like playing with the flashlights. He wanted to help cook the hot dogs, but the fire was too hot (or our stick was too short). Once he got some marshmallows and apple juice, he was really happy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More cute stuff Jude does

Some things Jude's been doing or saying lately that I'd like to remember...

  • stomps his little foot once and says "Nowwww!" to emphasize requests, but usually with a smile or laugh... e.g. "Jude play outside... Nowwww!"
  • lists things explicitly, such as "[That's] Mama's car and Dada's car and Jude's car and Maggie's car too." (he likes to use the word "too")
  • likes to use the word "maybe" and almost always uses it correctly, though sometimes in funny ways
  • told Charline yesterday "Maybe Mama looks good" when she put on her white dress with red flowers (one of her maternity dresses, of course)
  • loves picking up one or two rocks whenever he finds some, and gives to people to hold for him
  • has been playing with two clear, plastic "rocks" my mother enclosed with an anniversary card for Charline and me (labeled "Imagine" and "Remember")
  • learned to put those two rocks in the pockets of his shorts and kept doing that for the past two days
  • awoke yesterday and immediately said "Jude no pants. Jude no pockets. Where's Jude's rocks?" (I got his shorts for him and found the rocks and he was thrilled.)
  • sits at the piano and sings songs that always go like this "Happy birthday Mama... Happy birthday Dada... Happy birthday granddaddy... Happy birthday ba-ba... Happy birthday nana... Happy birthday Maggie..." (though not all those together most of time... usually just one or two)
  • learned and likes to sing practically the entire "Old MacDonald" song! (at least the "cow" part with a "moo, moo" and the chorus)

I could go on and on. It's really a joy to watch him growing and learning and exploring. He seems to be a very sweet kid at this age.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No more Topamax

Several months ago, I stopped taking my Topamax prescription because I hated the side effects. It really made me feel like my memory was failing and my IQ was slipping. After getting off the prescription, I felt much better. It took a couple weeks for my memory and thinking to get back to normal. The change was quite perceptible.

I took some new steps to reduce the frequency and intensity of my headaches. I'm on a more regular sleep schedule, I got prescription eyeglasses, I'm eating better, and I'm cutting out the caffeine. Overall, I feel much better than I did before or during the Great Topamax Experiment.

Law School beckons

Soon, I hope to be attending an excellent law school, on the road to my new career as a lawyer. My applications are in. Now, I just have to wait and see where I am accepted. It's an exciting time for me, as I head off in a new direction, toward my true calling.

For now, I continue to develop web sites, including work with programming, user interface design, and usability. But, the programming thing has been pretty boring for me for several years now. When I got into web development, those of us who created websites were the cowboys of the programming world. We were out on the wild fringes of technology, with the freedom to develop our code quickly and loosely, turning out new applications and new features with ease. These days, the field has become truly boring and tedious.

So, I'm off to my next and final career, in the law. I'll aim for a niche where I can exercise my mind and make some kind of an impact on my corner of the world. I'm not saying it has be something altruistic. Just something substantial.