Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Big bouncers

Aunt Lelinha and Uncle Chris shared with us a home video of their child, Marcus Anthony, playing in a jumper.

These baby jumpers are great, because A) they wear the child out B) provide good exercise C) wear the child out D) provide good entertainment and E) wear the child out. Basically, the lil' guy or girl is suspended by bungee cords and gets to jump up and down, and then up and down some more. offers an example picture.

We can't necessarily share the pictures of Marcus Anthony jumping, and Lil' Genghis is not yet large enough to go jumping on his own, of course. So, to make up for that, we're going to share some video of boydog and girldog jumping. On each other. Please, please, please note this video is now about three years old, and the dogs became good friends within a month or two. This was actually before they even lived together, and was just after they'd met.

Also, for the record, boydog is the little one. And he no longer ever, ever, ever wears a bow.

Oh, also for the record, the air mattress survived the experience.

Friday, August 25, 2006

In memoriam

Lil' Genghis will never get a chance to meet the person in the world who was most glad to hear of his impending birth.

Grandma Julia, who would have been our child's great-grandmother, officially had 11 of her own children. It'd take a lot of time to figure out how many grandchildren she had. It'd take far, far longer, of course, to tell how many other people called her mother or grandmother. When dad met her last year, she was a smiling 93 -- and he knew he'd been adopted. He was far from the first to come into Julia's seemingly endless supply of love, and he surely wasn't the last. A continent away, Lil' Genghis probably felt the love.

Grandma Julia was so much more than simply sweet. She was smart, too, and sharp until the end. She always had a smile and a hug. Only a hospital could seemingly keep her away from family get-togethers; most of mom's friends met her because she rarely missed a party.

She passed this afternoon, with a wake tonight and the funeral tomorrow. Julia will live on, in dozens -- or hundreds -- of our hearts.

This hug with mom seems to say it all. Amo voce, grandmother.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

*hic* *hic* *hic*

mom's research turned up this little gem for next week:
These movements will increase as his body grows and becomes more developed and functional. As his diaphragm develops, your tiny tenant may also start to get the hiccups. Because he's still so small, though, you won't feel any of his workouts or intrauterine gulps until sometime between weeks 16 and 20.
Of course, hiccups are often associated with alcoholism. It's certainly a little early for Lil' Genghis to be hitting the bottle -- either kind of bottle, as it happens.

Over the years, though, we've collected a number of tips about alcohol and babies. The doctors say, of course, that no level of alcohol intake has been proven to be safe. mom is thus playing it cautious, and is now drinking substantially less than three bottles of Scotch a night.*

Still, Aunt Becky mentioned that her father dipped his finger in whiskey to ease her teething pains; to date, she's a Ph.D.-wielding professional with no public record of executing homeless people while dressed as a male mobster, so it could have worked far worse. Uncle Jack once mentioned that he dipped the pacifier in Kahlua to help dad's cousins, Bobby and Erica, sleep.

Still, it's far too early to start Lil' Genghis' post-birth subscription to Modern Drunkard magazine.

Given that his child is almost able to start burping like an alcoholic, though, dad is thinking about how to introduce alcohol, more than a decade from now. Both parents have done a regrettable thing or two under the influence -- no, we won't say it here, even though dad reallllly wants to type it -- and of course Lil' Genghis will never be able to meet Grandma Kathryn because of an indirect, but very real, connection to a drunk driver in a big truck. It's not clear on how to reduce the risk of these kinds of problems.

In the short term, though, it's much easier to think of our Lil' Genghis getting a little bit bigger every day, developing a little bit more, and getting ready to hiccup.

In the middle term, how much longer will it be before dad starts a burping contest? =)

* Three bottles under three bottles a night, actually.


Edited by mom: Lil Genghis is due on St. Patrick's Day, how ominous!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

First beach trip!

mom practically grew up on Praia da Costa, which is Portuguese for "Beach of the Coast." Creative folks, those Brazilians. She quickly became a banhista, which is Portuguese for "A bather of the sea, who returns to find her $3 flip-flops stolen."

Today was Lil' Genghis' first trip to the beach! The three of us went to Revere Beach, which was the first public beach in America and remains the home of some of the best darned sandwiches in the world. They're even reportedly up there with those favorites from Praia da Costa, Dionicão.

It was a nice day for a beach trip. Lil' Genghis got to hear the roar of the ocean and the cries of the sea gulls, and even helped snack-by-proxy on soft-serve banana-flavored ice cream.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Family get-togethers

This has been a great week for togetherness, the three or five of us. On Sunday, mom, dad, Lil' Genghis, two dozen Canadian geese and seven ducks enjoyed a picnic together on the shores of the local river:

On Tuesday, we bought a baby stroller/car seat/horizontal infantile logistics manipulation system off

Tonight, Wednesday, we're going to join some friends for some refreshing Diet Cokes during a game of pub trivia. (For the record: Last time, our team, "Those Guys," won by a mile (1,600 meters).)

And, Thursday, mom will just have to give in and go to see "Snakes on a Plane" with dad. I mean, any guy that's willing to locate and find 18mb of imagery, fire up a GIS system, find the picnic area, then drag the thing into a photo manipulation program to sketch the area of the geese just surely deserves a fine evening of film and friends, right?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nice to meet you, mom!

An interesting article about maternity leave published on USA Today a year ago. While mom thinks that this is a great country to live and work (and find the love of her life!!), one of the things she misses the most about her home country is labor laws like the sixteen-week, paid maternity leave and 30 days mandatory vacation a year. In an article comparing benefits between Brazil and Mexico you see some of it:

Both countries provide significant benefits to employees and provide them with some type of annual bonus plus the vacation bonus equal to a percentage of the monthly salary. Brazilian law calls for a 13th month salary to be paid at the end of the year, plus the vacation bonus equal to 33.3% of the monthly salary. Mexico, on the other hand, provides for vacation bonuses (25% more during the vacation period), for profit sharing (10% of after-tax profit to go to all employees but the Director General) and a Christmas bonus equal to at least 15 days of salary, which shall be paid before December 20. Both countries provide for generous maternity and, in the case of Brazil, paternity benefits (5 days for the father). In both countries you cannot be fired or downsized during a maternity leave.

Source found here.

In the USA Today article the US is listed in the not so good company of Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New-Guinea when it comes to the draconian maternity leave laws. It makes it seem even more unfair that, besides the pressure to be a good professional, wife, citizen, you are also asked to hand your two-month old for others to care for during the work day. While mom knows that "all's well then ends well", she's secretly afraid that her tot will end up more attached to someone else other than her.

Baby-industrial complex, Part II

Did you know that, during pregnancy, women's brains shrink? It's true. Did you know that, when their wives are pregnant, many men begin to mimic the symptoms? It's true. And that's dad's excuse for being such a forgetful moron.

One thing really sums up the baby-industrial complex, inspired the baby-industrial complex post, and yet, creatively, never made it into the baby-industrial complex post.

So, without further ado, a simple question: Did you know that babies no longer have bottles? It's true.

Instead, babies have Nurser Systems.

You can also forget having a stroller and a car seat: They're now part of a Travel System.

Again, back to the idea that George Carlin knows babies:
Whole thing starts when you get to the gate. First announcement: “We would like to begin the boarding process.” Extra word, ‘process,’ not necessary, ‘boarding’ is enough. “We’d like to begin the boarding.” Simple, tells the story. People add extra words when they want things to sound more important than they really are. ‘Boarding process.’ Sounds important. It isn’t. It’s just a bunch of people getting on an airplane.
Of course, as any scholar such as the eminent Carlin will tell you, the English language is perpetually evolving.

dad's guess is that yesterday's bottle will become a Infantile Nutrient Transfer System. Yesterday's stroller and car seat are destined to become the Horizontal Logistics Manipulation System.

All this marketing is to keep you from thinking that, if you abstain from the purchase, your child is sure to become a crack-addicted assistant trainee prostitute in today's terminology, or, the coca-enhanced horizontal entertainment facilitator trainee of tomorrow.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Where's my shawl?

mom was reading today on Baby Talk magazine that 57% of Americans disapprove of mothers breastfeeding their babies in public, and 72% find it inappropriate when images of nursing moms are shown on TV.

Coming from a country where this is a nonissue, mom went on to investigate ways to feed her future offspring in public without offending the delicate sensibilities of passersby. Though there are some fancy wraps and cover-ups out there, the most common model sold in major baby product stores is something that surely makes your little one look like he has just flew in from Afghanistan.

I don't know about you, but I think there's something really wrong when watching the type of shows we have on everyday TV is fine, but having a mom nurse in public is considered offensive and even indecent.

Baby-industrial complex

In one of his final speeches, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned, in 1961, of the growing strength of a military-industrial complex.

A few years back, a coworker named Lenn Sisson decried the existence of the wedding-industrial complex, which takes a $7 disposable camera, puts it in a white box with pastel writing, and sells it as a wedding camera for $12. Today, mom and dad got a bit more familiar with the baby-industrial complex. dad is intrigued at its insidious nature.

One major difference betwixt the wedding-industrial complex and the baby-industrial complex is that few baby items are dual-use. Sure, it's possible to use a baby stroller as a handy alcohol-toting device, but a basinette is pretty much a basinette.

Seems like there's more than a little bit of snobbery going on, though. The often-subtle marketing seems to be hinting that the purchase of just one more item will mean the difference between raising a crack-addicted assistant trainee prostitute and raising a Nobel Prize-winning fifth-grade student. Witness just one name: Baby Einstein. Wikipedia makes no particular note about Albert Einstein's upbringing, while it does not that Baby Einstein was created some 119 years after its namesake. While mom is appalled at the idea, dad realizes that Lil' Genghis and the dogs may wind up sharing toys. Hey, if he turns out to be a serial killer, we'll just blame society and the liberal media.

Because surely parenting decisions are never to blame, right? Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.
Three-year-old Chloe Colligan picks out her camp clothes at discount retailer Target, but for other occasions, she wears the cashmere, velvet, silk and woven cotton fashions of luxury children's clothing maker Baby CZ. ... Children's clothing chain Gymboree Corp. is expanding its high-end offerings for infants, a population known more for spitting up than for fancy dress balls. ...

But what happens when an 18-month-old spits up on his or her cashmere sweater?

"It's a little bit of a misconception that something is uncleanable or unwearable if something happens to it," said Colligan, who also has a 2-year-old daughter named Somerset. "I can find a way to clean anything."
dad is sure this train of thought had something to do with the beginning of this blog post. Perhaps it was the thought that crack cocaine must somehow be involved ...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dog math?


=bad dad?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good progress

Lil' Genghis met his obstetrician today. Everything's looking just fine*!

* Including the presence of all un-fun pregnancy symptoms. mom argues that guys should have to go through this; dad points out that she'll never get a prostate exam.

Introducing the rest of the family

This blog has naturally been focused on Lil' Genghis, but also has lingered heavily upon his parents. We realize we really should have told you more about Lil' Genghis' brother and sister:

Model year20022002
Curb weight3 stone (27 kg)15 pounds (7 kg)
Maximum range5.0 miles (8 km)0.5 miles (0.8 km)
Maximum speed20 mph (32 km/h)5,000 feet/hr (1,500 m/hr)
Cruising speed4 mph (6 km/h)No
Alternate fuelsBeer cans, videotapes, coffee, chocolateBrowned ground beef, sliced ham, baby carrots
Inherited traitsPropensity to lose hair (dad)Propensity to nap (mom)
Defends against mailmanYesYes
Defends against serial murders who bring dog treatsNoNo
Defensive assetsFearsome bark, big teethNasty farts
Luxury optionsSpooningCuddling

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Motherly concerns

I have to get a pelvic exam tomorow. I'm so glad I'm going to get a pedicure today. I don't want the doctor and the nurse to look down and see, like, dinosaur feet.

Errr ... I mean ...

Hey! Look! Cute kid!

Monday, August 07, 2006

First books

Lil' Genghis got his first book today, and the second, third, and more. He was even read one of those books: "Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!" -- all the way from Aunt Aunnie's Alligator to the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz.

We got some great deals through eBay user leamster1. These little books get pricy -- "one fish two fish red fish blue fish" runs $6 in a small waterproof (read: "slobberproof") form. And then she threw in a cool backpack that, unfortunately, isn't in dad's size.

More deals are available on eBay by searching for "seuss lot new".

Edit: Our Brazilian readers won't have a clue who Dr. Seuss is, because he rhymes in English. He's like the ... Pele of children's books, OK? Decades later, his legend lives on. If adults of any nation are intrigued, you can check out some of his adult works here. Adult. I warned you.


Edit by mom: On the other hand, dad has never heard of Monteiro Lobato either.

Driving dad nuts 8=)

Because it wasn't bad enough before I got pregnant...

... and it's supposed to get worse before it gets better @_o

Starting to show

Picture taken 7w/5d pregnant.
Foto tirada (carinha meio bisonha) com sete semanas e cinco dias de gravidez na casa de Lélia em North Carolina =)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Eight weeks!

* Cartilage and bones begin to form - At the end of this week your baby will have already completed 1/5th of the journey 'til his birthday!
* The basic structure of the eye is well underway - The position is more "newborn" like already!
* The tongue begins to develop
* Intestines move out of the umbilical cord into the abdomen.
* Body grows and makes room - Two months along and this little one is growing inside and out by leaps and bounds!
* The fingers and toes have appeared but are webbed and short

Friday, August 04, 2006

As cute as it gets

Marcus gracing us with one of his beaming smiles =)

Bibs are your friends

While mom is visiting Aunt Lelia in North Carolina she's also doing a priceless internship. Among the things she learned from observing Lelia and Marcus:

- Have bibs. Many bibs. Bibs are yer friends. They keep clothes beneath them a little less wet from all the drool that rolls down from that cute little mouth. Seems like Marcus will soon start showing his pearly whites!

- Burpcloths are bib's sidekicks and they too go a long way. They're arguably the most ubiquitous thing around the house. You never know when you'll need to stop that big barf from reaching the walls, like it just happened a few minutes ago. Well, we would have needed a sheet to control all the milk that babies can pump out of their stomachs when they are really hungry and eat too fast. Like it just happened to Marcus, poor little guy.

- By all means do buy a baby swing. They keep baby happy and entertained for a long time.

- Ditto for the exersaucer. They're fun, and they wear baby right out. A half hour in one of those for baby is the equivalent to running a marathon for us (or just
half a block if you're pregnant).

O menino, sem mamae mas com pai

For those who can't quite figure it out, the headline is "The boy, without mom but with dad"

A lengthy relationship

When relationships get serious, small signs of permanence start showing up. Sometimes it's a friendly debate over leaving a toothbrush at his place, or taking over a sock drawer at hers. mom and dad started falling for each other immediately, but the first physical sign of permanence was a can opener.

A cheap P38 can opener, to be precise, a military-surplus item, just two pieces of steel not much larger than a coin. dad snuck it into a kitchen drawer. Ever since then, there's been a few of those things hanging around. They even left rust spots on a dish drainer when she decided they needed to be washed.

With the baby, though, she's feeling a bit more delicate, and, possibly out of concern for this three-year tradition, she carefully confessed that the can openers hurt her hand.

So, today, there's a new, big, normal can opener, with cushioned grips. It's added to our family, much as Lil' Genghis will be.

But those P38s will probably still be around for a while. =)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Baby's first flight

Mom stepped in a plane for the fist time today since she got pregnant. She is in North Carolina visiting Aunt Lelia, Marcus and Prozac while Uncle Chris attends his brother's wedding in Utah.

Tomorrow we'll have some photos!!

Edit: Maybe interpret "tomorrow" a little loosely. There's a bit of morning sickness going on. Maybe dad will come up with a photo, instead.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bun in the oven

We're an hour away from the peak heat for the day, which says will feel like 112 degrees Fahreinheit. (For our Brazilian friends, I did calculate this out to your metric units: It's 317.6 degrees Kelvin. Don't you love standardized systems of measurements?)

All this is just another way of saying, "It's hot."

Now, in American English, there's a euphemism, another saying, for pregnancy: "She's got a bun in her oven." Bread -- pão -- rises with heat and time, of course, just as the mother's belly grows with the growing baby.

With heat like this, my money's on our little bun -- Lil' Genghis -- rising very quickly over the next few days. =)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Big Thank You!

Uncle Rodrigo and Aunt Melissa sent us baby's supercool tub and bouncer. Thanks guys!!

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