Archive for June, 2007

bad balloon day

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Toby had a pretty busy day today. This morning we trekked off to Como Zoo in St Paul so that he could see the lions, which he had not been able to do a couple of weeks ago on his school trip. We spent some time with the big cats, then went to see the sea lions who were a bit more fun, in that they weren’t just sleeping. One of the sea lions was very friendly and several times jumped up right next to Toby, with only a pane of glass between them.

Back home for a quick lunch, then we went to his friend Keller’s birthday party which was very enjoyable. We (Emma and I) are getting to know the parents of the other kids at school much better now, and we had some good chat (kids, school, work, houses, neighborhoods) with them while the kids ran around in the sun, and had story time from a visiting princess.

After the party we went out to get a couple of things – in the Sears store a lady was giving away helium balloons and Toby was thrilled to get one. However his happiness was short lived – on the way home we stopped at the car wash and while Toby and I went to the bathroom I let the balloon float up to the ceiling, and didn’t realize I’d forgotten about it until we were in the car on the way home. Floods of tears from Toby – a little excessive perhaps but it was beginning to dawn on Emma and me that he’s still pretty tired at weekends as he’s getting used to being in the preschool II class and not getting lunchtime naps every day, it catches up with him after a while. Emma had the great idea of going to the balloon store (it calls itself a balloon emporium) a couple of blocks from home, and he chose a pretty nice new blue balloon with stars on it for the 4th of July holiday. All was well until just before dinner when there was a huge bang from the living room and we realized that it had floated up into the path of the spinning ceiling fan – disaster. Again floods of tears.

Emma cheered him up by involving him in one of his favorite activities, which is baking cupcakes (I’ve put a few old pics of him baking at the end of this post). The cupcakes came out really well, and while they were cooling, Emma and Toby put together some icing. While it was coming together Toby wandered off to the living room – when Emma went through to see him he was on the floor, fast asleep.

Toby in his apron Toby and Emma baking Toby the chef

too cute

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Emma’s currently reading a book for Toby about what it’s going to be like for him to be a big brother. Toby still seems to be really into the idea – only two and a half months to go. Most nights Toby makes sure that he has a few minutes to put his head right next to Emma’s baby bump and sing either his ABC song, or the Rainbow song (“I can sing a rainbow”) so that the baby can hear.

it doesn’t suck

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I took Toby to the cinema last weekend to watch the new penguin animation “Surf’s Up”. It was actually a lot of fun – well done and enjoyable. Jeff Bridges as surfer dude Big Z was a riot, and very much the return of The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Unsurprising really – as we all know, The Dude abides.

On another note I had an interesting sanitation experience. In the restroom they had rather funky new hand dryers. It turns out that AMC cinemas have gone for the new Dyson Blade hand dryers. Pretty impressive operation – as with other Dyson products they look cool and work exactly right. Hopefully we’ll be seeing them in other locations too.

lost boy update

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Follow up to yesterday’s post about Toby getting lost at the zoo:

He went to sleep really easily and seemed to sleep really well, so he was either through his upset, or totally exhausted from it. I think a bit of both.

Some more details came out before he said he didn’t want to talk about it any more. He said that he had called and called for his friends but that they couldn’t hear him; also that when he was at the “zoo man’s office” there was no chair for him, so he had to sit on the floor “next to a big door” until his teacher came for him. Lastly, and possibly most traumatic for him, he didn’t get to see the lions because his friends were looking at lions while he was lost. So I’m going to take him tomorrow after we’ve dropped Emma off at her class.

worst covers

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

If you have loads of time and a strong constitution you might want to take a look at the list of 100 worst covers ever. Are there any you think might be missed here?

another game

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

With thanks to Paul, here is an online game, excitingly named Flash Element TD. I haven’t played it yet, partly because I’m at work, and also because there’s a “quick reminder” at the top of the screen:

A quick reminder:
Fast levels are [6, 13, 19, 26, 32] Are is [8, 17, 27] Immune are [10, 21, 32] The boss levels are [11, 22, 33] You get wood every 7 levels.

it’s true

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I’m not enormously surprised by these scientific findings: BBC: First-borns have higher IQs. As the oldest of four boys, I think that this has been pretty obvious to me, and I’m sure my brothers and in fact any impartial observers, for some time. Once again, hooray for science.

lost boy

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Toby went to the Como Zoo in St Paul today with his school. All went pretty well, until they were looking at the spiders. Toby got bored and walked off by himself, then realized that he didn’t know where his friends were. Apparently he fairly quickly found a member of the zoo staff (or the zoo staff found him) and Toby said that he was lost. He was taken to the zoo office, and the zoo guy called the number on the sticker on Toby’s shirt, and all was well.

Obviously I’m a bit freaked out that Toby did this – if he has one infuriating trait, it’s that he does tend to wander off sometimes. We’ve always managed to keep track of him so far, but I guess this had to happen one day. At least it wasn’t at somewhere huge and bustling like SeaWorld when we were in Florida, and maybe it was a good lesson for him. Emma and I are quite proud of him that he knew to find a staff person and say “Excuse me, I’m lost” so he did do well with that. I feel a bit odd about our little guy being all by himself and then sitting in the zoo office waiting to be collected.

Toby’s a bit shaken up too. His teachers said he was very withdrawn all afternoon and once Emma got him home this afternoon he was really weepy. In fact he was crying at the slightest little thing, ending up lying on the floor saying that he just needed to cry. Once he had talked about the experience, he seemed to be a bit better but needed lots of hugs. We talked it through and let him know that although he could have been more careful he at least did the right thing about getting found again. We’ve had lots of hugs this evening – hopefully he’ll sleep OK, wake up happier, and learn a good lesson.


Thursday, June 21st, 2007

We don’t need a new stroller for the upcoming baby, but maybe I can fix something on to the existing one to make it look like a Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker Baby Stroller

my body on drugs

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Cool article in slate today about how fatherhood affects the body and brain. With impending father’s day and slightly less impending, but more monumental, child #2 on the way for Emma and me, this makes interesting reading.

Basically they’re saying that fathers experience several hormonal and neuronal changes as a result of being with their pregnant mate, and also when the baby is born (for example testosterone levels drop significantly for the first three weeks after the baby is born). I wonder if those levels are different for men who are actually present at the birth versus those who aren’t.

The only concern I had was the bit about weight gain in expectant dads. This has been on my mind lately – I lost some weight in India and for a couple of weeks after because of some bug I picked up, but since then I have regained and probably added a little extra. With my recent birthday I thought it was time to start exercising more, so at lunchtime today I went to my first ever yoga class, and this afternoon I’m going to sign up for the gym in my office building.