Count 'Em

holiday visits

Over the past few weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Brooklynn has visited 3 great-grandparents, 4 grandparents, three aunts, two uncles, four cousins, and a whole slew of additional extended family. And I think if it were up to her, she would do it all agin starting next week. That would be nice if it worked that way. Of course, she'd also want us all to just play blocks and sleep in one big room, so we're really not soliciting firm ideas from her at the moment.

things we are thankful for this holiday weekend

  1. Family and safe travels to see them over the past two weekends
  2. Children's Tylenol
  3. Kleenex
  4. Naps during the day, because we all know who isn't sleeping through the night anymore
  5. Food - too much and too rich and oh so good
  6. Bulb syringe to suck boogers out of a baby's nose
  7. Having a baby to barter for free room and board (Grandparents are suckers for this one)
  8. Other travelers who don't mind when the baby poops on a plane
  9. Other travelers who do mind when the baby poops on a plane (I don't like it either, but I deal with it)
  10. Football, because it entertains Brooklynn just about as well as her dad when it is on TV

10 things i think i've learned

  1. The first rule of having a well-behaved baby is that you don’t talk about having a well-behaved baby. She will hear you and decide that well-behaved is not all it’s cracked up to be.
  2. Babies will spit up on you just after you put on clothes to go out in, regardless of how long ago they last ate. You can either change or wipe off the spit up and carry on with your day. It’s amazing how quickly you adjust to doing the latter.
  3. As much as you value your sleep, a full night of it can be optional for months (or years?) on end. You will survive. Flourish? No, that’s crazy talk. But survive? Yes. Survival is possible.
  4. Mirrors are one of the most intriguing inventions ever. Now, how do we get to the people who live on the other side?
  5. Babies know when a camera is pointed on them and that cute behavior or adorable face they were just making? They will stop. But don't worry. They will start it again as soon as the camera is put down.
  6. When you come up with a perfect schedule for a morning, and evening, an entire day, whatever the case may be - it will not work out like you planned it. Babies are about the closest thing to omnipotent and physic that I have ever seen in human form. And they are manipulative as well.
  7. An object's properties of harmful and incredibly interesting are directly proportional. Also, the best way to investigate interesting (and potentially harmful) objects is to insert them into ones own mouth as fast as possible.
  8. Mothers can never buy too many shoes for their daughters, even if those daughters have more shoes than their fathers and aren't even walking yet.
  9. Even people who weigh less than 20 pounds can feel like a sack of bricks after a little while of wanting to be held. The white hot burning pain of debilitating shoulder cramps is not an acceptable reason to set down said people.
  10. Any behavior described in this list (i.e. typical, anticipate, planned for, expected, or anything else that might be "routine") is subject to change without notice.

smarter than a 6th grader

When I was in school, I was good at math. I'd dare say (at the risk of coming off a little egotistical) I was really good at math. How things change...

Smarter Than a 6th Grader from Chris&Rhiannon on Vimeo.

8 * 6 = 48, not 64.  That only took me about 7 seconds, or over 10% of my allotted time.  In my defense, the students only have to get a 70% to pass, so I was being held to a higher standard. Something about Rhiannon remembering how I think I'm good at this sort of stuff or something...

tale of the tape

It's hard to believe that we've already had Brooklynn for six weeks.  She's grown up a lot in that time, enough that I look back at some of the early pictures of her and wonder who that tiny frail thing is. During pregnancy, comparing the size of the fetus to produce to get an idea of size is a common practice, but it seems like that stops once the baby is born.  I suppose this is mostly because you can actually see and hold a baby, but they come in all different sizes.  Birth weight for Brooklynn is four weeks for some kids, and we won't even go into the size of her cousin Jacoby.

Just to give you an idea of how she's doing, Brooklynn is bigger than a pineapple...

vs. Pineapple

...but not as long as a peacock feather.

vs. Peacock Feather

She is (as of this evening) 23 inches and 11 pounds, 3 ounces.  I'm still using my home brew baby scale which is much more accurate than any real baby scale less than $100.  My second option would be to take her to the grocery store and put her in one of the produce scales for fruit and veggies.  Maybe the people at the deli counter would help me out with some of their scales.

On the Scale

For now, I'll stick to my kitchen scale - mixing bowl - cookie sheet combo.

she's a big girl

At birth, Brooklynn weighed in at a sizeable 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long.  2 days later, she was down to 8-2, which was well within the expected 7 to 10% weight loss. By one week, she was at 8 pounds, 7 ounces right before a large diaper dump.  She was just trying to make weight and then got rid of it.  Up the back of her diaper and on to the exam table, but who's really paying attention.

At two weeks, the doctor wanted her to be back to birth weight.  We did a little better than birth weight: try 8-14 on for size and up a half inch.

We didn't have a doctor appointment this week to get the official measurement of weight or height, but I did a little home rigging involving a small kitchen food scale, a glass mixing bowl, a dishtowel, a cookie sheet and one wiggling baby.  I only almost dropped her once (and didn't really drop her at all). Using the high tech tare key and some fancy subtraction, we came out with a baby tipping the scales at 9 pounds, 8 ounces.  By one month, we're shooting for double digits and kicking off the beginning of a weightlifting routine for her parents to keep up with her.

"The buffet" in our house is doing its job quite well I would say.

project family v2.1.20b

Rhiannon had another doctor checkup this week.  Beta is doing well at 132bpm, which is about all you can tell with the Doppler.  I could go in to more detail about fundal height and blood pressure, but I don’t like to talk about things I don’t understand all that well.  Suffice it to say that everything is progressing as well as can be expected as far as we know. On to more important matters – yes, we are calling the baby Beta.  And no, this is not going to be in the final name running, so don’t worry about trying to figure out if would be better for a boy or a girl.  Many people have asked where Beta comes from, so I thought I would clear things up a little.

No, Beta does not refer to the hard to kill fish that live in college apartments, subsisting mainly on Cheerios and beer.  (And that refers to the genus of the fish and is spelled Betta.)

No, Beta has no relation to Betamax, the failed tape format that eventually lost out to VHS.  And yes, my parents did guess wrong on that one.  This was one of the big reasons I had no desire to into the hi-def DVD format wars.

No, Beta does no reference a beta particle, which is a high-energy electron or positron.  Nor does it have anything to do with the Beta-function in quantum field theory, the Beta velocity which references the speed of an object against the speed of light in special relativistic calculations, or the beta coefficient that sometimes represents the estimate of an analysis performed on variables that have been standardized to have a variance of one.

And yes, I do know what all of those mean and I used them at some point in my college career.  No, I do not use them any more.  Yes, I am a nerd.  Thank you for asking.

Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet, but that really doesn’t have any bearing on my usage of it.

Beta also does not refer to “Beings of the Extra Terrestrial origin with is Adversary” (mean aliens) from the Japanese video game Muv-Luv, although I kind of wish it did.  I bet I would get a lot better reaction with that explanation.

Beta does refer to the release life cycle of computer software.

Yeah, I little underwhelming, isn’t it?  I told you before, I lean a little toward the nerdish side of the normalcy scale, and I like to live up to my reputation.

Software generally goes through beta testing where the bugs are worked out before having a final issue.  Our final issue here will take us to Family version 3.0.  Mom, Dad and baby = 3.  Currently, we’re in version 2.1.20b.  2 for two of us at home, 1 to indicate the addition of some new features, and 20 to represent the week indicator of the pregnancy.  b for Beta.

Now that I have lost roughly 97% percent of anyone who had any interest (Tyler and Brett, thanks for sticking around and actually knowing what I’m talking about), I won’t go into the debate over release candidate stages before the final gold edition.

We just hope that everything continues to go smoothly and progress according to schedule.  And I’d also like to announce that Rhiannon’s new answer to the question of where Beta comes from is “You don’t want to know.”

And she’s very serious about that.

i'm doing what, again?

Two years ago, when we were still living in an apartment and not going to work nearly as early every morning, I was actually pretty consistent in working out and running on a regular basis. I could do over 5 miles at a pretty good pace without really thinking too much about it. That was two years ago.

I haven’t lost all of it over the years. I’ve stayed active and I can still run a little, maybe not quite as fast or as far I used to. Now I go running and I’m usually fine right up until the point that I am physically as far away from our house as possible and then ask myself what exactly I think I’m doing. I’m really starting to consider throwing away my running shoes, or at least padlocking them somewhere to make it a little effort to get out the door.

Or at least I will think about it after this weekend. On Sunday, I’m running an official 5k.

Yeah, I don’t really get the whole “k” thing either. Five thousand meters means very little to me. I normally equate meters to yards and say that the three some inches differences can be ignored. In this case, saying I’m running an official “approximate 50 football fields” doesn’t really help.

I realize that the metric system makes a lot of sense, but it just doesn’t mean anything to my head. So, on Sunday, I’m running an official 3.10686 miles. And if that just doesn’t make sense and make you feel all warm a fuzzy inside, I don’t know what will.

Other than a strong shot of tequila, except more ill than fuzzy.

A few months ago, Tyler and I were talking about getting in shape before we went to Mexico, and as we all know, the brain is so powerful, talking about getting in shape is pretty much the same thing as actually doing it. He had been running a little, and I like to remember when I use to run, so we said that if we ever saw an opportunity to do a 5k or 10k, we would do it.

Thank goodness I only found a 5k. It’s in downtown Denver and is being sponsored by Nike. I wonder if I show up in all Nike gear, maybe they’ll let me have a little bit of a head start. I get a T-shirt out of the deal and most of the registration fee goes to some of the local schools, so it’s for a good cause. I’m also hoping that some of those local school parents who don’t know how important it is to spend at least two months talking about running before a race will have entered so I don’t finish dead last. I already know a child somewhere half my height and less than half my age is gunning for me.

If you don’t hear from me next week, it means I’m still trying to finish the course somewhere out in the big city. Send a search party.

And maybe some tequila.

It's Simple Math People. In Fact, It's Just Counting.

Yesterday we drove by a strip mall containing a few small quickie-food type places and an insurance agent’s office. It appeared that whoever owned the building was feeling festive – there were large snowflakes made out of lights between every store. The only problem was that the snowflakes had eight points.

The last time I checked, snowflakes have six points.


Let me check again.


Yep, still six points.

When do kids learn this, in second grade perhaps? Or younger? Who do they have decorating for the holiday season nowadays?


Miles turned on my car yesterday. For people with physical odometers on their cars, do they bother to put numbers past 3 on that little wheel? I’ve never seen a car with 400k on it.


The number of stairs that I walk down everyday leaving work. Were the additional 7 stairs of space really necessary for the execs on the first floor to have airy high-ceilinged offices? Because walking down an odd number of stairs drives me crazy every time I do it. No, I don’t walk up the stairs.