Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now that we know it's only one...

What's your guess?

Womb tunes

We've been reading a bit about pre-natal education, which is the idea that sounds can stimulate the brain of Lil' Genghis and give him a better, faster start on life. This is stuff like BabyPlus, which supposedly gets the baby's brain to make more connections by making more sounds similar to the mother's heartbeat. Like many of these devices, the scientific studies backing it have very small samples. Not everybody's exactly a fan:
I argue that in the aforementioned advice books and devices, the study of fetal development is mobilized so as to generate both a problem (the under-stimulated fetus) and an opportunity (pre-natal enrichment/education), where neither existed before. The maternal body is transformed into a "classroom" without a teacher. Source: 101k PDF
However, it's really easy to make a baby stimulator with some old headphones and a Walkman.

All this is a long way of coming around to one idea: What kind of music or speech should Lil' Genghis be exposed to? There's the classical music favored by Grandpa John, who used to test speakers with Tchaikovsky's "Russian Dance." Both sides of the family favor the music of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

There are worries, too, particularly with the lack of strong science. What if early exposure to The Allman Brothers could lead to a predisposition toward drug abuse?

Let us know! =)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Rorschach away!

What do you think Lil' Genghis's ultrasound looks like? What do you see?
The response could reveal a lot about you! Leave us your comments =)

Alternative ultrasounds

Aunt Marselle quickly pointed out that the growing baby looks quite a bit like a seahorse. Inspiration struck. Now, you have to remember that we all started looking like this. As the authors of "The Expectant Father" wrote:
During [the second month], the baby will change from an embryo to a fetus. By the end of the month, he or she (it's way too early to tell which) will have stubby little arms (with wrists but no fingers yet), sealed-shut eyes on the side of the face, ears, and a tiny, beating heart (on the outside of the body). If you bumped into a six-foot-tall version of your baby in a dark alley, you'd run the other way.
So just what else could be growing in mom's belly? Here's some artists' conceptions, with the original ultrasound in the top-left corner:
What could be even worse than this is Grandpa Rinaldo sees himself:
Rinaldo: This BOY looks a lot like his grandpa.

Mom: Dad, the baby is upside down, make sure you're looking on the right end!

Rinaldo: REGARDLESS of the end, he looks just like his grandpa.
Perhaps we shouldn't linger too long on which end looks like which. Note, too, that Lil' Genghis still has about two months before he gets fully working lungs. Only after then will we find out whether he's quite as LOUD as his grandpa! =)

Thursday, July 27, 2006


It's official: One perfectly healthy Genghis, no Horde. Within a few seconds the ultrasound operator picked up a heartbeat. Lil' Genghis had a heartbeat of 127 and a size of 9.5mm. Stay tuned for a puzzling-yet-somehow-enchanting picture of a strangely amorphous blob! =)

Update: We have a photo!

The baby is the curious blob in the Indian Ocean, just east of Ireland.

It seems fitting that the ultrasound machine is made by General Electric, which of course advertises its slogan: "We Bring Good Things To Life." GE also makes aircraft engines, nuclear weapons and Gatling guns, so all this is a good sign that Genghis is indeed set out to lead the world.

As far as the naming goes, we got a comment back from Karla, host of KarlaBabble, who at least had considered naming her spawn "Genghis." She still recommends that name for us.

Karla's blog offers some insightful looks into the art of raising children. Specifically, there are references to resorting to techniques seen in Hollywood mobster movies, supported inadvertently just this morning by the bad brother/bad brother-in-law; and references to novel restraint mechanisms, some of which were explored by the infamous Piranha Brothers. The moral of this story, of course, is everything you need to know about parenting you can get from mobster movies and British comedy shows.

Names needed, quick

We're getting the ultrasound in an hour, which'll tell us at least how big The Horde is. Last chance to get your bets in: The winner will get to name the child Genghis.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A new You

Wish you could have a different name? Try this:

Your First Name:
Your Last Name:
Your Gender:
Main Personality Trait:

put a renamer on your page!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A nose for news

girldog insisted on being in the bed all last night, too, ... and kept shaking the bed, again. She continued trembling through the morning, so dad took her to the vet.

The verdict? girldog has a good nose for news: She's reacting to a different smell of her pregnant mom, and she's getting more protective. That means she's getting more anxious, to some absurd lengths.

All that means, of course, is that as our family gets ready to grow larger, it's also growing closer together. That is, dad has been nuts for decades, mom for at least three years, and now it's girldog's turn. Can boydog be far behind?

On a partly unrelated note, a whole lot is already behind Uncle Eddie, the best friend of both boydog and girldog. Let's all honor Uncle Eddie with a smile and a warm thought, because the fossil turns

in a few hours. We love you, Uncle Eddie!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Making dad jealous

dad doesn't think he gets jealous easily, but the facts might suggest something else. In the coming weeks, mom is going to shack up with a guy she loves -- a guy other than dad that is.

It all started when his dear wife fell in love with her first other guy. A large black guy, as it happens. Well, yeah, it is the poodle down the street, but ... dad? sharing his love? with a poodle? That's just ... weird.

Then one of her old childhood friends gave birth, and mom's heart was stolen yet again. And before we know it, if the doctor clears the way, mom's going to hop on a plane or two and visit her old friends ... and her new guy.

And if dad is right, mom will probably realize she's in love with their cat.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stats, books, and videotapes

The pregnancy process includes countless statistics that are simply amazing. For example, did you, dear reader, know that by the time the fetus is six months old, it will have forced its mother to consume 23 times its body weight in pickles? (Source here).

Other multipliers include four times the baby's birthweight in advice books, and, by the age of 4, six times the child's weight in videotapes and DVDs. We've made great strides in preparation for this process, and want to share some of this with you.

Just tonight, off Craig's List, we bought about 60 children's videotapes for $30, including our very first Teletubbies tapes. Not coincidentally, tomorrow is trash day. We expect we'll have about 58 tapes the day after, if you catch dad's drift.

We've found a number of books to be helpful. If you suspect you may soon spawn, you might consider verifying the latest edition of these books at, then buying them through,,, or to save a few bucks:
  • What To Expect When You're Expecting, a classic book now in its third edition that has already saved us some sleep and/or calls to the doctor's office.
  • The Expectant Father, focused on the father's needs, concerns, support role and more.
  • Bartender's Black Book, Seventh Edition, focused on ways to directly support the father in stressful times.
  • The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, a cheerfully upbeat book that tries to lay out the facts, even the depressing ones. Please note this book in spots directly contradicts medical advice given elsewhere, so keep an open but critical mind.
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler's great guide to the minutia that can become so important in getting knocked up. This book also has some useful supporting software as well as discussion forums, all available through Ovusoft.
  • Babies and Other Hazards of Sex, a deeply philosophical tome by the noted researcher David Barry.
We've also been recommended books on baby massage and sign language, but haven't gotten to them just yet. More books later, we're sure. =)

Nurtured Family

Saturday, July 22, 2006

One more prediction

dad tried a tried-and-true method, which suggests an 80-percent chance of having a girl:

Boy? Girl? What do you think?

Consult with your inner voices and imaginary friends and let us know what you think!

Anoter vote for Pink!

According to this nifty tool we're having a girl.

Another interpretation

Sternest Meanings, a computer-driven anagram creator, offers additional insights into Lil' Genghis:
webuser: the mailman's baby
sternest: I am shabby, mental.
webuser: immaculate conception
sternest: Acclaim eminent cop-out.
webuser: painful delivery
sternest: Up a friendly evil.
webuser: genghis is a superb name
sternest: Bugger's inane misshape.
Hrm. Maybe it's broken?
webuser: weapons of mass destruction
sternest: US team swoops. Finds no trace.
webuser: triplets are coming
sternest: Imposing clatterer
webuser: corporate sponsorship if quadruplets
sternest: Not soporific, sharp poser. Plaque turds.
webuser: will they all be girls?
sternest: Well slight blearily.
webuser: will daddy be driven to drink?
sternest: Devil wrinkled, odd banditry.
Interpret as you may.

The "almost bald" part I can see happening, but the blue eyes...

Madame Zaritska's reading

Madame Zaritska, our resident clairvoyant, wants to help you prepare for the arrival of your child. Here she does her best to predict certain aspects of your labor and birth experience.

What she senses for you
The day you deliver, outside will be slightly overcast. Your baby will arrive in wee hours of the morning .

After a labor lasting approximately 5 hours, your child, a boy, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and will be 20 inches long. This child will have light blue eyes and be almost bald.

The latest prediction...

... according to this very reputable source:

We have a 42% chance of having a boy.
And we have a 57% chance of having a girl.

Warning: Warning: Warning: Scary personal details, all from an early stage, follow. These answers are claimed because:

You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it's a boy.
The hair on your legs is not growing any faster during your pregnancy, so it's a girl.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the south indicates that you will be having a girl.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be is gaining weight right along with Mom-to-be, which means that you'll have a boy.
The maternal grandmother doesn't have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You didn't have morning sickness early in pregnancy, so it will be a boy.
You are not looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a girl, because girls steal their mother's looks.
Your chest development has been quite dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a girl.
Since the sum of the mother's age at conception and the number of the month of conception is even, it will be a boy.
Your urine is a dull yellow color, so you will have a girl.
You have a craving for salty or sour foods, which means that it is a boy.
Your nose hasn't changed during pregnancy, which indicates a girl.
You have been craving meats or cheeses, so it is a boy.
You have no desire for orange juice, so it's a boy.
You are not having headaches, so it's a girl.
You show the back of your hand, so it's a boy.
You use the body of the mug, so it's a girl.

dad seems to recall that Plato, Socrates, or Aristotle predicted the way to make a boy or a girl, something along the lines of the way the mother was facing. He can't find the reference, but, coincidentally, also remembers one of those guys saying that one sex had more teeth than the other. They never counted.

Another belated birthday

Continuing with our tradition of posting a tad too late after someone's birthday, mom and dad would like to say parabens to Grandma!

Amamos voce, Mae!

Third post of the day

Pregnant women need lots of exercise. A good way to get mom to do that is say, "I just posted to the blog." Boy, you'd never see someone shuffle so fast. She swoops on her laptop like a hawk diving on a field mouse. Both are quite a thing of beauty; with mom, it's that great natural instinct to defend her child.

Genghis reconsidered

dad found at least one mom who was considering the name Genghis. Whoop!
Genghis sounds nice, but I guess there's a lot to live up to there, what with all the raping and pillaging. Probably best that we avoided that one.
The emphasis should be more on the many good things that the great Khan did, but, dad agrees, there's a lot to live up to. Don't most children perform better when there's high expectations?

Add: More support for the name Genghis in modern context here, here, here, here. Opposition to Benjamin here.

Oddly, Genghis has never broken the top 1,000 names in the United States, if the Baby Name Voyager is to be trusted.

One with a million

mom found a Web site somewhere that says, at this point, Lil' Genghis is developing cells at a rate of one million per minute. And parents wonder why teenagers are able to eat so much ...

Next week, Lil' Genghis gets the basis for a lifetime of arm-wrestling competitions.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Parenting research

A British mathematician has addressed one of the most pressing problems for parents. While clearly aiming for an Ig Nobel Prize through the Annals of Improbable Research, Warwick University professor Dwight Barkley investigated the classic mathematical "Are we there yet?" question. Note that increasing the number of activities will increase the needed delay only proportionally, while increasing the number of children in the car decreases the time exponentially.

Here's to hoping for a small Horde, who could already be asking mom, well ... Are we there yet?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Genghis Khan, Renaissance guy

Aunt Becky brought this story to our attention:
BEIJING (Reuters) - Genghis Khan -- notorious as the ruthless, bloodthirsty creator of an empire that spanned Asia and Europe -- also laid the foundations for the Renaissance, China's Xinhua news agency said Thursday.

"Genghis Khan introduced papermaking and printing technologies to Europe and pioneered cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe," it quoted Zhu Yaoting, a specialist on Mongolian history at Beijing Union University, as saying.

"He brought cultural progress that helped liberate the Europeans from the bondage of theology -- in this sense, his expeditions served as a catalyst for the Renaissance," he said.
He also cleared the way for trade, government by meritocracy, and systems that rewarded people who got educated, such as doctors. While generally benign toward cities that surrendered to him, he also cleared the way for the virtual elimination of an early, famous terrorist group.

Not bad footsteps for Lil' Genghis to follow in, dad thinks. mom immediately asked Aunt Becky to back her up with names of Olivia and Benjamin.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Eating crackers in a vibrating bed with another woman

dad's account of good preparation for baby raising:
21:00: Arrive home
22:45: Long-lost friend rediscovered through a phone call
23:15: Both parents realize they'd thought the other had given girldog and boydog an afternoon walks. Visions of exploded puppies flash through our heads. Mournful evening walk begins.
24:00: Bed, finally.
01:00: boydog insists on bed. Climbs Mount Dad repeatedly. Climbs Mount Nitaka with protracted volley of barks. Finds zen moment only when burrowing two feet under blankets.
04:00: 25-kilogram girldog climbs Mount Mom without warning. Shakes with fear at thunder. Entire bed vibrates for next three hours.
04:15: Morning sickness begins. mom tries crackers. girldog tries crackers, too. Morning sickness reduces for three hours. Vibrations reduce for three minutes.
04:30: Brief discussion between mom and dad. Arrive at understanding that, if Lil' Genghis really is the horde, we'll need a much bigger bed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Motherhood in the extreme

It's been hot and humid, with a heat index today of about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. That's about 109.36 kg*N/m², if you want the metric.

dad was driving along today and saw a mom out in the heat. Jogging in the heat. Jogging in the heat behind her twins in a side-by-side baby carriage. No thanks!

Here's to the faithful knowledge that mom is much more sensible. That other mother, as Brazilians might say ... saco grande, mas muito luoco!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A bit of fiction

O negotio e o seguinte (Brazilian for, "and the story goes", or, "this is completely made up":
"Urg? I want a pickle."
"What's a pickle?"
"I don't know, but my body's telling me to have a pickle, Urg. Get me a pickle."
"Aagh, I don't know what a pickle is. How can I get one? I'm just living in a cave, like you and everyone else."
"Urg, my body says I want a pickle, so find me a pickle. My mother says my pregnant body knows what it wants, and it wants a pickle."
"You're bringing her into this? Why can't you leave my mother-in-law out of my life?"
"Well, I knew you'd say that, so I gave four fish to Ooog for a second opinion. He says my body knows what it needs, and right now it needs a pickle."
"Four fish, Aagh? How could you give four fish to that man?"
"He says he's not in our HMO network so he has to charge more. It's something to do with the Neanderthal's health-care system."
"He should know a Neanderthal. The only thing Ooog is good for is removing teeth, and that's just because he inherited that pointy rock."
"The one that looks like a pickle?"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pros tios

Vai aqui o nosso parabens para Tio Rodrigo (foi dia 8...) e Tio Marcelo (hoje). Tudibaum pra voces!!!

E' bom saber que quando for o meu aniversario voces estarao la para animar a festa!!!

Two of mom's brothers have a birthday this month. It's good to know that our baby will have them to make the party even more fun someday.

You probably don't want to read this... unless you are a mom.

Proceed at your own risk.


Voce provavelmente nao vai querer ler esta historia... a nao ser que voce seja mae.

Pelo jeito não vai ser menino mesmo!

Não levando em consideração os vários votos para um bebê de cada, eis que constatamos que o bebê vai ser menina mesmo, de acordo com o povo do palpite.

Eu, particularmente, acho que é menina... mas não é preferência, é só sexto sentido mesmo.


Seems like we're indeed having a girl, according to our pollsters, and deliberately not taking into consideration the votes for one of each.

My hunch tells me it's a girl too, but that's not necessarily my personal preference. I don't think I care, I just want him/her to be healthy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This "Horde" story is scarying the willies out of me (Paúra!!!!)

First it was Lil' Genghis.
Then Genghises.
Now a fracking Horde.

I'm officially freaked out.

Folks, I really think we're having a singleton. Let's cut out with the multiples talk!


Primeiro era o Pequeno Genghis.
Depois, os Genghises.
Agora é uma Horda.


Meu povo, eu acho que é um só. Vamos parar com essa conversa besta...

Raising the Horde

We have different views of raising children:

A loving, warm familyA warm, loving family
Dual citizenship until age 18Dual citizenship until age 18
An appreciation of diverse cultures and nationsAn appreciation of both nuclear weapons and guerrilla warfare
An appreciation for educationAn appreciation for education
Multilingual, with English, Portuguese and FrenchAnyone know Arabic and Mandarin?
An exposure to music and the arts, but only on the Horde's termsIt'd be really neat if the Horde could play slide guitar
No exposure to weaponsExposure to weapons begins with her boyfriend's first date
A yearning to travelA yearning to travel
An appreciation for "futebol," the beautiful sportYeah, whatever.
Yeah, whatever.An appreciation for America as history's greatest nation.

Monday, July 10, 2006

It's the baby's heritage after all...

So many parents are concerned that their kids may throw a tantrum in a store.
My concern is that our Khan decides to pull a cossack!

It's dad's heritage after all!


Muitos pais se preocupam com os filhos dando um piti dentro de um supermercado. O meu medo e de meu filho resolver dar uma de cossaco. Afinal, esta e a heranca paterna dele!

Early cravings

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Three pickles with a small side salad is not a craving? Especially when followed by delight at the realization that the neighborhood grocery store really is open 24 hours?

Comment on what the next stereotype mom makes will be.


Mamma wünscht diese Seite mehrsprachig sein.


Я не говорю эти также.

So, in short, if you're struggling with the languages here, know there's only supposed to be two: English and Portuguese. For help with the Portuguese, try these sites ... Para a ajuda com o inglês, tentar estes locais:


Google Language Tools

The book is on the table

Eu juro que vou sentar e escrever com calma, mas a verdade é que eu ando com bicho-carpinteiro e não consigo parar pra pensar em algo legal e profundo pra escrever aqui.

Eu queria, contudo, tratar da questão do idioma nesse blog: vai ser assim mesmo! Em português, em inglês, tudo misturado. Afinal, assim é a nossa vida em casa, e assim vai ser com o nosso bebê.

The American visitors will be a little confused with the mixed-language posting but they too will get used to it =)

On the baby front, I have to report that we have our first ultrasound and prenatal appointment set for July 27. Then we will know how many buns I have in the oven, though my gut tells me that it's only one (no pun intended, specially because the lil' Khan is still too young to actually say anything).

Notícias do bebê: o nosso primeiro ultrassom e pré-natal foram marcados para 27 de julho. Vai ser quando nós saberemos quantos pivetinhos eu estou esperando, mas eu desconfio que é um só ;)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Early fears

It's almost funny, really, how after just a few days of "We're going to be parents!" the worries start to set in. For example, part of today was spent trying to find out more of mom's growing nutritional requirements, such as the roughly 100 grams of protein a day that are recommended. For a lot of people, this'd be tough. But, seeing as how mom doesn't think it's appropriate to hunt cows with flamethrowers, getting that extra protein will likely be an interesting challenge.

Someone mentioned the protein powders made available to true vegetarians, which may be an option. Then dad starts wondering if they're really qualitatively equivalent.

These are the kinds of little worries -- never mind the big ones -- that start to set in, and set in they do.

But, look at it this way: Protein shortages can have a major effect on brain development in the first trimester. And our family has a history of abnormalities that's tough to ignore -- an uncle on one side is a fan of FOX News, while an uncle on the other side works for Halliburton. We know that we'll be loving parents trying to work through life's inevitable obstacles. But we also know we should try to keep our children from turning out this way. =) And, so, we worry.

Growing suspicions

With a small n-size and unscientific sampling, our survey suggests a strong belief that Lil' Genghis are actually Lil' Genghises. Multiple births run in mom's family, too.

Just in are the results of the second pregnancy test. On the first, they expected a level of between 50 and 100; Lil' Genghis scored 125. Today, they expected that number to roughly double, to about 250. Lil' Genghis scored 594, a doubling of the doubling. The nurse said it's way too early to tell just how many children may be clamoring to borrow the car in 16 3/4 years. An ultrasound in a few weeks may help.

When dad learned of the pregnancy, he was shocked and didn't know where to turn. His old high school and college buddy, known as Boboli, offered some useful advice in the case of multiples. dad had already figured out the corporate sponsorship idea. Boboli went a step further with one great name: Yale, the name of a university, a lock company and an insurance company. Three sponsors with one kid! Keep the names coming.

Early photos

Lil' Genghis is much too small to be seen, so we'll have to substitute with some photos by proxy.

This is a simulated re-enactment of dad's reaction to learning mom was pregnant. He relaxed some, however, upon learning that the mailman was not a suspect. (For the record: T-mobile keeps goofing up the picture so it really was cut-off strangely. Eh. The joys of technology.)

This is Lil' Genghis first bootie! It's part of a gift set from the Buffalo-born Brazilian uncle and the Texas-born Brazilian aunt. Thanks, guys! It's so tiny and so cool. The outfit itself is really soft and warm, which is good, because the Khan will be arriving in the early spring.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Paging Miss Cleo!

Agora começa a parte mais difícil, dúvida cruel!

Aceitamos sugestões, é só mandar nos comments!

So it's time for us to start doing some soulsearching and thinking about names.
Any suggestions? Leave them on the comments!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Hi! This is what I look like today!
A "foto" ao lado mostra como o nosso bebe esta hoje. Daqui a um mes eu coloco fotos dele mesmo, depois que fizer o primeiro ultrassom.

O titulo do blog eu explico num post futuro porque a gente agora vai sair pra comemorar!!!