Archive for April, 2003

more toby things

Monday, April 28th, 2003

There are a few more pictures of Toby on his site today, as I finally got around to scanning some more photos. I think they’re very cute, but I would say that wouldn’t I? We finally got a crib for him last week – he’s been sleeping in a bassinet thing in our room so far, but now he’s sleeping 8 hours at a stretch for which we know that we’re lucky, we thought we’d get him in his own room. So I put the thing together and Emma attached all the frilly things (I had no idea that cribs needed a dust ruffle, but I guess a bumper is a good idea to make sure his little arms and/or legs don’t get through the slats at the side) and we put Toby in. He seemed to like it a lot, but Emma got really quiet but wouldn’t say why. Eventually she and I thought we’d go off to bed, but we just couldn’t – it was like our little boy was growing up and moving out. We got quite emotional about it, but he was quite happy. We’re a bit silly like that sometimes.

Anyway, he’s developing more and more – he’s now much better with his hands and is reaching for toys a lot more. It was cute yesterday – he was lying on his front and examining his hand very closely, opening and closing his fist. It must be quite bizarre to realize that thinking about your hand moving actually makes your hand move.

easter fluff

Monday, April 21st, 2003

Recovering from all the Holy Week/Easter things which happened at the Cathedral last week and over the weekend. I’m kind of washed out, not helped by a sore throat and a bit of flu. But I had to write about a very amusing thing at an otherwise very well done Easter Morning service yesterday.

The leader of the Prayers of the People stood up to do the prayers, where she reads a prayer and the congregation says the response. However there was a bit of a mess-up. Here’s the script:

Leader: Let us now pray for the world etc etc

[pause while people kneel, sit etc]

Leader: We pray for etc etc

People: For our families etc etc

Here’s what happened:

Leader: “Leader let us know pray for the world etc etc”

[pause while people kneel, sit, look slightly confused etc]

Leader: “Leader we pray for etc etc”

[further looks of confusion, priest whispers in leader's ear, while people respond:

People: "For our families etc etc"

Leader: "People for our families etc etc"

[pause while leader gathers thoughts, people shuffle uncomfortably]

But it came together after that and she recovered well. I would have simply run away with embarrassment.

tons of stuff

Friday, April 18th, 2003

I read James Lileks‘ excellent Backfence column when it comes out in our local paper, the Star Tribune (the column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday) and I think I’ve linked to it before from here. I noticed that he was cited in a daily Quote of Note in the Motley Fool earlier in the week, so mailed him to let him know. He wrote back a day later to say thanks, and his message linked to his own site. I’ve been casting around over the last couple of days, and it’s a ton of fun. His own weblog is included, with much longer daily messages than mine (but then he’s a professional writer and I’m rubbish) and I tend to agree with his gently liberal swayings. There’s also a ton of fab Americana to browse around in – old adverts, dogs in bizarre situations, that sort of thing. Plus some amusing and almost educational galleries of money from other countries. Hours of fun – enjoy.

and now I know

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

I’ve always wondered where the Maundy of Maundy Thursday (which is today) comes from. And I’ve often thought it sounds bizarre – Monday Thursday?? So finally I checked and here’s the reason:

Maundy comes from the Latin “Mandatum” or command – as in “Mandate” – when Jesus gave his followers a new commandment, and instituted the Eucharist. The commandment is to “love one another as I have loved you”, which would lead to the ceremony in which the priests wash people’s feet, showing that they are also servants of the people. Here is a bit more background.

hair today

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

So after more than a year I still have my goatee beard. Perhaps my next step would be to become a high profile, anti-war beardie so that I can win some kind of award.

calling

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

Toby’s beginning to get more noticably dexterous these days. He’s been catching hold of clothes a lot, although he doesn’t seem so keen on holding plastic rattles, and will often reach for things to bat at mobiles. The only downside to this is there was one night when he’d pulled his blanket up over his face, so we’ve been having him sleep in a fleecy sleeping bag thing with which he can’t cover his face.

He’s also starting to get to the putting-things-in-his-mouth stage. When he was born he sucked his thumb right away, which we were told was quite unusual; I suppose he’d been doing it before he was born and it was just a carry over. When we got him home from the hospital he lost the knack very quickly and hadn’t really gotten into it again since. However with his newfound hand coordination powers he’s now able to get his hand in his mouth, which he does a lot. It’s not totally perfect though – when he moves one hand up to his face the other one seems to follow too, which tends to mean that he has one hand in his mouth and the other at his ear – it makes him look like he’s on one of those old fashioned telephones.

mall

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

Because it’s pouring with rain today, we thought it would be a good day for Emma to take my dad to the Mall of America (which despite a rather funky new advertising effort, still has a criminally bad web site). I told her this morning that we don’t have a ton of disposable income this month, seeing as she’s no longer getting maternity pay, and there’s nothing we really need, so to take care with spending. She said, “Disposable income? I’m not planning to dispose of it, only to swap it for things.”

follow-up

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about our local government wanting to cut child care subsidies, here is a story which provides a bit more background. And stunningly they’re also talking about cutting contraception and counselling to low income families. Which is fantastic as it could lead to more kids being born to low income families who can’t afford to go to work, leading to more disadvantaged families in the future. Apart from moral and social reasons to support it, surely it just makes economic sense to the state to support reproductive counselling, as it will mean less financial burden on family support in the future? Or am I just really naive?

more funny accounting

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

I heard on the radio news this morning that our state legislature are talking about cutting child care benefits, which surely means that many working families (I would assume primarily working mothers) will likely have to give up work because they won’t be able to afford their children’s childcare. Thoughts on this: it will actually cost the state more if the parents don’t give up work because they’d probably end up needing to claim other benefits, or children would have a worse start in life by going to less good childcare – worse starts in education. And companies will be hit because it will be harder to keep lower paid workers because they won’t be able to afford to work, hence more welfare dependent families. But perhaps on the good side if you’re a scheming legistlator: the parents who can’t afford this will be forced out of the workforce, meaning that currently unemployed people would be able to take their place, meaning that numbers of active jobseekers will actually fall! And so the misfortune of many boosts the careers of a few.

off target

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

As a shareholder in Target, a locally-owned but nationally operating chain of stores, I was a tad perturbed to see the following two press releases issued on the same day:

Target raised CEO bonus to $4.6 mln in 2002

Target weekly same-store sales miss plan

But I’m sure he earns every last cent of the money. And to be fair, the stock price has gone up slightly today.