Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One weekend to go

Cousin Ana Cecilia is expected to arrive Monday via C-section. Aunt Piu asked mom, nervously, "What am I going to do all weekend?" mom replied with the voice of experience, "Sleep." ... knowing that there won't be many good days of rest before Ana Cecilia turns, oh, 25 years old.

Good advice, that.

Aunt Marselle tells us that Aunt Rita also has a date with the surgeons so she can feel better. Let's keep all our best wishes for the three ladies -- Piu, Rita and Cecilia -- and know that Rita will soon be making some of her three-continent-famous lasagna; Piu will be finding out what a natural mom she is ... and how little sleep she's going to get; and Cecilia's going to have a whole new world to explore!

Eviction notice

It seems like Cousin Ana Cecilia doesn't want to vacate the premises so Aunt Piu has a c-section scheduled for Oct. 1st at 6 P.M. Brazilian time. Doctor says baby is fine, just no sign of impending labor. Life's good in there, so why would she move out, right?

Anyway, we're happy and can't wait to see the newest Genghis in the family!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lil' updates on lil' ladies

  • Lil' Genghis saw a couple of doctors today -- some ear problems and croup, which is marked by inspiratory stridor. Whatever that is. Anyway, she's getting treated, and her room now has a contradictory mix of air conditioner, humidifier and air purifier to boot. She's going to be healthier and happier before ya know it.

    So the doctor put her on the scale today -- 18 pounds, 13 ounches, or a 13-ounce gain in 13 days ... and she hasn't had much of an appetite since she got sick. That's one ounce a day, or roughly 27 grams per 0.3 metric years.

    In other news:
  • Lil' Savannah had a not-quite-five-month-checkup, Aunt Sharon reports:
    She weighed in at 15 lbs., 12 ounces
    (in the 75 percentile of children her age) and measured in at 26
    inches (in the 95 percentile for children her age).
    Doc said she looks great and is a "lean, mean fighting machine."

    Lil' Genghis can't wait to meet Lil' Savannah, especially if she can learn some good fighting skills that can help her take over the world.

  • Lil' Ana Cecilia is expected to make an appearance before her mom and dad, Aunt Piu and Uncle Robinho. We're expecting her in the next week or so -- pretty exciting time! Piu, your sister probably didn't tell you this, but when the baby's coming your belly button can pop out just like a turkey oven timer. Here's to your bun in the oven! Beijos!

  • Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Keeping baby safe

    This post is going to stray from the usual warm-and-fuzzies-with-cute-pictures, which, yeah, means mom isn't writing it.

    As a parent, dad knows a good chunk of his new job is supposed to be keeping baby safe. That's getting harder and harder, apparently. It's no longer enough to simply tuck away the drain cleaner and everything else from your meth lab; it's the stuff for the baby, not for the drugs, that's the most dangerous.

    Witness this: Just yesterday, we heard about the recall of a million baby cribs -- A MILLION. This is by the same company that made Lil' Genghis new high chair, the one from the last blog post.

    There was a reference in the crib recall story to a group, Kids In Danger, which tries to track recalls. Go there, and click on the monthly recall notice, and you'll see about a dozen entries ... including a car seat from Britax, which is the same company that made one of ours.

    It gets better. On the same day, of course, Mattel and China go at again. Mattel apologized, maybe. You see, those three rounds of recalls weren't all about lead paint. The biggest problems were magnets, little magnets, that can fall off and choke your child. That's a design problem, and that's all the fault of Mattel, an American-based manufacturer and designer. Yes, people in two countries are trying to kill off your progeny, but the worst offender is right here in the US Of A.

    Mattel? These are the people who bring you the McDonald's Drive-Thru Barbie, but they're also the people who make lots of other stuff under lots of other names. Like Isabella's Fisher-Price bouncer, which is at my feet as I type this.

    On the same day, we hear that a medication for babies is making some of them very sick. Maybe since these problematic products are so pervasive, we ought to turn to humor to cope.

    Witness this thread on, headlined: If you had "baby cribs" in the latest Chinese Death Products pool, please step forward and claim your prize.

    The second comment? "My son is about a month old, and we actually looked at this crib. We eventually got something way nicer, though.


    The third comment? "I see no reason to get all worked up about this. The Invisible Hand of the free market will take care of these inferior Chinese products, right after it's done choking the shiat out of some babies."

    It's scary. Of course, since the toy companies are fumbling around, and China can't seem to get production right, we should rely on the American government to get it right. Just follow that link to hear about how the American government praised the toy companies ... and relies on a guy named Bob to do the nation's inspections of toys.

    Bob. Just about everyone knows a Bob. Bobs are generally good guys*, and we like guys that try to keep our kids safe. The New York Times earlier profiled Bob, also known as Robert L. Hundemer. He's quoted:

    One lab worker used a magnifying glass and a mechanical stop watch to help conduct a fabric flammability experiment — the same equipment she has used for three decades. The toy laboratory, down the hall, is an office so cramped that the only space dedicated to a drop test to see if toys will break into small pieces and cause a choking hazard is the spare space behind the office door. “This is the toy lab for all of America — for all of the United States government!” said Robert L. Hundemer, the one agency employee who routinely tests toys, as he held up his arms in the air. “We do what we can.”

    Clearly, what we need is a something, someone to create improved trade routes, endorse diverse viewpoints, improve communication, study ways unifying things into a common system, and hold administrators accountable. We need, basically, Genghis.

    And remember, pray there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, because there's bugger all down here on Earth:

    * Uncle Rodrigo has a nickname of Bob. He isn't really a Bob.

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Cap'n Kirk didn't have a chair this cool

    Many new things lately: new home, new car for dad (we'll miss you, Ole' Greenie), new 'hood, new -- ahem -- neighbors (more on that later), new tooth, and...

    New high chair!

    Yes, she's all grown up. Look at Miss Manners. Cool, huh? She seems to like her high chair, since she's overgrown her Bumbo, at least on mealtimes. It still works for her to play though.

    And since we're talking high chairs, it's time for dinner. See ya.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Our little lady went for a swimming lesson this morning. Everyone had fun. We may blog a bit more and post the video that isn't uploading atsome point. dad has fallen asleep at least three times just trying to get these photos online. So ... sorry. I think we'll have to come back -- and Blogger won't post this, anyway. Aren't computers fun?

    Motivation -- like, a floating green rubber duck -- is always important.

    Oooh, a kiss makes everything better.

    What's this all about?

    mom has to worry about the lifeguard, bbut her daughter is busy checking out the result the pool. She may be going for a rubber duck ...

    Lil' Genghis shows off her new swimsuit before mom.

    You made WHO my godfather?

    Lil' Genghis has been getting some quality time in her ExerSaucer lately.

    And that video:

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Off the charts

    Lil' Genghis had her six-month doctor's checkup today. mom reports that all is fine -- the doctor is happy, and we're getting ready to introduce more and more variety of foods.

    Ah, food. The stuff that keeps her growing. And growing. And growing some more.

    The doctors have these growth charts, showing you where the typical baby is at a certain point. That's the 50th percentile, or middle line. The extremes range from 5 percent to 95 percent, the outside lines. Here we see Genghis' weight, down from the 90th percentile:

    She's around the 85 percentile for weight, or weighs more than 85 percent of the 6-month-old American girls. In other words, she's a big girl. But is she fat? Nope. Because she's also a tiny bit on the tall side:

    Yep. That top line is the 95th percentile, remember. She seems to be several times the distance between the 90th and 95th percentiles ... as she does from the 95th percentile. She's off the chart for height, literally, to the point she'd seemingly be maybe around the 110th percentile.

    28 1/4 inches, 18 pounds even. Six months. Big, healthy, happy girl.

    According to the size chart, our dear Lil' Genghis at 6 months has the weight of an 8-month-old and the length of a 10 1/2-month-old girl. ... which explains why the clothes don't fit quite right for her age. =) Big, healthy, happy girl. =)

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Cargo pants

    Well, we made it, most of us. Lil' Genghis passed out in the new master bedroom an hour or two back. She was hot and teething and perhaps upset at the move -- always a not-good combination -- but mom's magic calmed her down and got her to relax. That, and baby Tylenol for the tooth pains. Poor girl. Uncle Eddie says there's now two teeth poking through! Our little lady is quite the, er, ossifier-er.

    With the wondrous help of three guys calling themselves Boston Movers, we got into the new place without anything broken (other than two light bulbs! Wow.) and a whole ... lot ... of stuff. dad would feel guilty posting pictures of the apartment as it is now, that, and mom really wants him to hook up the TV.

    So we're here, except for boydog and girldog, who are hanging out in a kennel with their great buddies, Karen and David.

    So since we're not going to show you pictures of the new place, really ... we still want to convey the full moving experience. Thus, one photo to illustrate how fun moving always is. This is the photo of stuff from dad's two front pockets of his cargo shorts. Not, mind you, all the front pockets (notably missing important things like the cell phone) or all the right pockets (wallet), but some of the things that made the move possible. Note also the absence of larger things, like Uncle Eddie who wouldn't fit in the front pockets of the cargo shorts anyway; shouldn't be in there anyway; and would result in a really confused Aunt Amanda who probably doesn't want her husband getting into other guys' pants. So, anyway:

    From left to right, roughly:
  • Paperwork for renting the truck
  • Paperwork for the movers
  • A reminder that I need to schedule one dentist appointment and probably defer another
  • Spare copy of directions
  • A pen
  • A six-in-one screwdriver deal, with the rachet thingy
  • A Sharpie permanent marker for boxes
  • A knife, to replace the one I mislaid a few hours ago
  • Car/house/office keys
  • Rented truck key
  • Flathead screwdriver (long)
  • Phillips head screwdriver (long)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Watch (needs a new band)
  • Scrap of paper littered with notes from four days of trying to convince the cable company that our new home exists. Really. The paper's been folded and moved around so many times it feels like fine brushed cotton or something.
  • Post-It Note (tm) with a reminder to find a dog walker on
  • $1, left from ... something.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want a baby picture:

  • Friday, September 07, 2007


    So, adding to the good news... we're definitely, inexorably and indeedly moving to our new abode tomorrow. While dad is still trying to figure out the [open air quotes] logistics [close air quotes] of linking us to the outer world (namely: cable), we may go a few days without updating this blog. So, pardon us, and worry not.

    He's having a hard time dealing with a company that says we do not live in a two-family home, so maybe we should just go upstairs, knock on our new and still unknown neighbor's door, make ourselves comfortable, put our feet on the couch and call them cousins -- this way we're all one family and the cable company is happy, right?


    Talk soon, and wish us luck!


    Years ago, when dad had hair, he hung out with a couple guys from high school including Uncle Boboli and this guy Kelly. Together, for no apparent reason, they came up with an often-repeated joke about ossifers. "No, I wasn't speeding, ossifer," was typical -- something to tell police officers, like you'd had too many somehow Pepsis at the Taco Bell, which somehow affected our driving like we'd been drinking alcohol. Kelly liked the word "ossifer" so much he started using it at home, which got his sister used to hearing it ... so she got pulled over for speeding one day, said, "Can I help you, Ossifer?" and was immediately told to get out of the car by a police officer who thought she'd been drinking.

    (This passed-on silliness is trumped only by a story from Uncle Joe, who picked up dad's expression of BOHICA, liked it, started using it, saw it picked up by his sister, who passed it on to her boyfriend, who snuck the word into his company's employee manual. Wow.)

    Anyway, back to ossifers.

    So Lil' Genghis isn't in trouble with police officers, or police ossifers, or other sorts of ossifers. Instead, she, herself, is now officialy an ossifer.

    That's in the sense of one who ossificates, or grows bones. mom discovered the first little stub of a tooth poking through last night. Her first tooth! She said there's about 1 mm poking through, which is about 1/25th of an inch. Let's hear it for Lil' Genghis!

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    A tale of two grandpas

    So last night, Grandpa Rinaldo was partying like a rockstar with his friends and much of his family. He's celebrating the passing of a milestone: He is becoming a sexagenarian -- watch out, Lucia!

    We hadn't gotten word from the party, but it was basically expected to start around 9 p.m. and go until, er, the morning. Not the worst way to celebrate, eh?

    Meanwhile, Grandpa John came by to visit Lil' Genghis -- and what a visit it was! She was so excited she just didn't want to nap. Ever. The regular one- or two-hour naps, if they happened, were maybe 30 minutes. Instead, she kept waking up to the smiling face and many songs and tons of games of Grandpa John. She couldn't get enough of him, and he couldn't get enough of her, until he was pretty much ready to collapse. Here's to hoping he sleeps well!

    Grandpa John was also visiting so mom and dad could get serious about packing to move to the new place. We made pretty good progress and don't think we're going to do the last minute panic thing ... which always seems to happen, anyway. But in a week Isabella will be living in a safe, modern, clean home ... and she'll join us in hoping that Grandpa John returns really, really soon! And maybe the next visit can be even more fun, with time for more photos. =)

    That's our bad way of saying we haven't gotten many good photos yet, but this one'll warm everyone's heart:

    Thanks, Grandpa John!

    Edit: Aunt Melissa pointed out that the photo disappeared. In a way, it was Uncle Rodrigo's fault. Really. So it's back. Sorry, Grandpa John!

    We're glad Uncle Rodrigo made it home

    Uncle Rodrigo made it home some days ago, and we're still downloading pictures. He's now in Belgium with Aunt Melissa, and mom misses him.

    Here we see him honoring the birth of his goddaughter:

    He better not visit the Musee Rodin or they night call security thinking a sculpture is fleeing.

    Here we see him showing his appreciation for America's history and scenic harbor towns

    Uncle Eddie and Aunt Amanda joined our group for a tour of a submarine museum:

    We all went to the world-famous (hey, Aunt Marselle will read this in Brazil, making it world famous then!) Book Barn, where dad tried to make the most of the available restrooms to help out Lil' Genghis:

    More pictures of the lil' lady: