Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This is one of those posts with lots of words, not so many pictures. Eh.

Let's open by sharing a thought from Stephen Colbert, one of America's finest thinkers, despite being partially French ... he's like a modern Alexis de Tocqueville, except he's not nobility. Hrm.
If you ever wanted to travel back in time to relive your childhood, now you can -- by living it through your kid's childhood. Children are tiny versions of you, minus the crushing failure. If you're not going to live your unrealized dreams through your kids, WHEN WILL YOU?

Fill them with your dashed hopes and shattered dreams. If they succeed, then doesn't that mean, in some small way, that you yourself succeeded? And if they fail, well, then your dream was probably impossible in the first place -- though your child may want to through his kids at it, just to make sure.

Insightful, or mere genius? Yep.

What about geniuses, anyway? When you think of a genius, chances are one person readily comes to mind:

Still, for other people, it might be Albert Einstein, who among other accomplishments was the godfather of the atomic bomb, though he never took up his chance to bitchslap Edward Teller. Not scientifically speaking, of course; Einstein was better than that. I'm just saying a really good, hard, true bitchslap.

So without that, we can only look at Einstein's legacy as one that's mixed, but generally successful. It's not a bad model to emulate, right?

Enter Baby Einstein. What message are we sending to our children? Let's take our pick:
  • We don't want you to grow up on your own terms and explore the world around you; we're going to forcefeed this stuff to you.
  • Mommy and Daddy have such high aspirations for you, we hope you can become unemployed for years before becoming a faceless bureaucrat.

    That's probably not the right message, is it?

    Let's go back to that article:
    The reality is that most parents feel guilty if we're not constantly entertaining or educating our children, especially those of us who have left careers to stay at home. We are bombarded with messages of putting our children first, without really knowing what that means. And with the noblest of intentions, we think that the more we do for them, the better. Yet how can parents entertain their kids all day and still effectively run a household? It's impossible to do, which is why Baby Einstein features testimonials of parents showering or getting alone time while their babies watch TV.

    But it's not just parents' need for breaks that sells Baby Einstein. It's the pressure we put on ourselves to create the optimum learning environment for our kids, from the minute they are home from the hospital.

    Then you do some more reading and discover that this baby snob development crap may really be crap -- your kid can get dumber, relatively speaking.

    What about the rest of Baby Einstein? Well, there's this:
    I returned it to the store.
    I am just returning my SECOND
    help help my brothers bleeding how do i call 911
    Clearly, some of the Baby Einstein stuff doesn't last or work well, nor does it help with language comprehension.

  • Saturday, January 26, 2008

    Genghis on camera

    Lil' Genghis got in a nice webcam session with Uncle Marcelo today, even though he was in Paris. Then Aunt Amanda and Uncle Eddie showed up for lots of fun, even dancing! We didn't get the dancing on camera (today, yet), but you can't argue with the preciousness of this picture:

    More photos to come -- we're trying to do better, really.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    What happens in Brazil ...

    An advertising campaign for Las Vegas says that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

    What happens at Grandmother Helena's home, though ... well, that's not in Vegas, is it?

    Oddly, it was relatively early in the night, before too much alcohol or tobacco or heat or any other possible excuse was in full force, that Uncle Johnny decided to try pole dancing. We have no real explanation for this, only apologies for Aunt Bruna, who is, of course, mom's goddaughter. Sorry, Bruna, but the truth wants to be free.

    Here, without further ado:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    The guy with the strut

    KC wasn't always the easiest guy to get along with. He was a bit of a loner who liked company. You could pop into his place, and he'd help make sure you were comfortable. Then he'd maybe hang out for a few token minutes, strut away, and disappear for a while.

    You could try to engage him, sure -- but with his semi-loner personality, you weren't always going to win. He had his own way of doing things, and there wasn't much that was going to stop him from doing his own thing.

    One of the few who could try to force their ways upon him was Aunt Becky, who lived with him for years. Even still, if she took off on a business trip and then returned, he'd still spend days blowing her off. Dependent? Oh, absolutely. But KC was a tough guy who wanted to be independent. Occasionally -- not always, but occasionally -- he'd open up and you'd see the big heart that lurked within that gruff exterior.

    KC was like that. Given enough patience, you could generally count on him to share his love, but sometimes it'd cost you. The first time dad went to hang out with him in his house, he swung by a few times, hung out for brief moments, then just strutted away.

    There was love there, and distance, and more love. When KC went to add the distance, he always left under his own terms. And he always strutted away.

    He passed away yesterday. There is no word on whether he strutted to meet that great big salmon in the sky.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008


    Dear Reader, we're still going through our photos from Brazil/Christmas. We came back with about 2gb of photos and video, and there's a lot to take in.

    Sometimes, there's far too much to take in. The best example: Uncle Johnny, Tio Joao, pole dancing. We think this deserves a post all of its own ... after we try to fix the exposure problems on the video, and maybe find a good soundtrack, and get a U.S. Attorney to agree to put Aunt Bruna in witness protection before she dies of embarrassment. One thing at a time ...

    So we can write more, and certainly we can post more -- Aunt Marselle gently prodded us to get more online, and soon. We apologize for the delay -- it's just been BUSY here. Without further ado or explanation, some photos:

    Waiiiiiitaminute. That doesn't look like a Brazilian Christmas. And where's the family?

    Some distant cousins dropped in:

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    We're back!

    Lil' Genghis had a screechy 24-hour trip with mom, dad and Grandpa John, arriving home a few days ago. We've got a ton of photos, some not even downloaded to our computers yet, and we hope to get things up quickly. Please bear with us; the desktop computer died a horrible death, and at this moment we've lost photos from the last three months. We may get 'em back this weekend.

    Annnnyway, on a more positive note, here are some of Lil' Genghis' biggest fans with her in Brazil. dad made Uncle Robinho an honorary godfather. Note the photo in here where she appears to be biting her "real" godfather, Uncle Rodrigo. Interpret as you will.

    We'll try to post more soon.