School Days

30 07 2008

This week, school started for the Chandler Unified School District, and that means that Eliana is back in class. This year, she is in pre-kindergarten class, and as far as I can tell, she is having a blast. Her sister, on the other hand, is seeing things a little differently.

Over the summer, Eliana and Annabelle spent a lot of time together. They went to every class and activity together. They played with each other, they fought with each other often. But now that Eliana is going to school, the mornings are a little more difficult for Annabelle. The morning routing is normal: wake up, eat, clean up and go. But that last part is where it falls apart. This morning, as Eliana and I were ready to walk to the car and head to school, Annabelle wanted to go too. She put on her dress as Eliana was getting dressed for schoool. As Eliana walked out the door, she thought she would go too. She went to get he diaper so she could go out. As I was walking out the door, she said she wanted to go to school, too. I told her that she had to poop in the toilet in order to go to school.  She immediately headed to the bathroom. She took me a little too literally, I suppose. When she returned, she was sad that her efforts were done in vain as Eliana and I were in the car, rolling out of the garage. I saw Annabelle’s sad face, and felt a little bad for her.  I remember as a kid, I always just wanted to get out of the house…often.

I understand that Annabelle wants to go everywhere with her sister. But, what she doesn’t realize I guess is that she now gets to spend a little one on one time with her mom. I’m sure her mom is really excited.

Why Do Toddlers …

22 07 2008

Like to be naked?

Of all thing strange things I’ve witnessed from my children so far, Annabelle’s fondness for her birthday suit has been by far the most baffling. This has only happened lately, I think since we started to really “try” to toilet train her.

When we come home from a trip to the store, Annabelle makes sure to venture out of sight just long enough to remove her clothes, and her diaper. The upside of all this nudity is that it does help us to remind her to go to the toilet more often.

In the mornings, she still wakes up earlier than we do. However, now after she peeks into our room in the morning, she will sneak off to her room again, and remove all excess clothing, and arrive again in our bedroom…sans diaper. Just want I want to see first thing in the morning.

Well, at least she’s usually smiling about all this nakedness.  I just hope this is one phase that ends soon.

New Website

11 07 2008

I don’t know why I never did it before, but I’ve finally gotten a new web site up for the main web site. So, if you point your web browser to:

You will be greeted with a brand-spankin’ new home page. It’s not a whole lot, and I’ll probably be adding to it over time, but hey, it’s a start. I plan on using iWeb for this home page, just because it’s easy, and I’ve got another site for my personal projects now.

I welcome your comments on the new home page!

Back in My Day

8 07 2008

I was having a conversation with someone today, and a mysterious thought occured to me: My generation is currently living a social transformation very similar to the one that happened back in the early 20th century.

The 1900’s in America and the World were just starting to industrialize. But, modern society as we know it today didn’t happen until there was wide spread use of automobiles. Indeed, many historians will go on and on about the days before cars (the horse and buggy days) and the days with cars (urban sprawl days, present day). They will mention the huge societal transformation from quiet rural towns and small communities to huge megalopolis’s.

The people born in the late 1890s saw the whole world change in their lifetimes. They saw cars evolve from their very beginnings, to the affordability of the Ford model-T to the luxury liners. They also witnessed their way of life change. No longer was it fashionable to walk to the local store to get your groceries. If you had a car, you were high class. Hence the drive-in movie phenomenon of the 1950’s. In all, it was a huge shift.

Fast forward to the end of the 20th century, and cars are an all too common family item. But, a couple of new revolutionary devices made their ways to the mainstream culture due perhaps to their sheer utility. The Internet and Cell phones have become the two catalysts of our generation.

While it was born in the middle of the century, the Internet has grown into the vital tool for everyday communication and entertainment. In fact, the Internet is a vital component of many businesses. It is also a mainstay in or household. When we first moved in, the cable guy happened to be outside hooking things up. He said that he could have TV up by the end of the day. I quickly thanked him, but asked if we could have the Internet turned on instead. I have not subscribed to cable TV since then. Not a day goes by that I don’t use the Internet. These days, if it’s not on the Internet, I just don’t need it. All the information I need to get along with my daily activities is provided somewhere online. Electronics, check. Money, check. Clothes, check. Food, check. Books, check. Education, check. Friends, check. News, check. Everything is there. This is a huge shift from my own childhood when computers were luxury toys that were expensive and slow. My how fast times change.

The days before cell phones were difficult. If we were in trouble in the middle of an interstate highway between major cities, we were left to the mercy of the passersby to stop and lend a hand. If we didn’t make carefully laid out instructions to the late night rendezvous, we would never meet. Now, the electronic leash keeps us in touch with our friends, or sends us messages when we have events due on our online calendars. Sometimes, we even talk on our cell phones. Indeed the days before cell phones were nasty. I find it hard to believe that kids nowadays may grow up without ever knowing what a landline is, just as I never grew up with a rotary dial in any house but my grandmother’s.

All this makes me wonder: is this sort of social transformation on some sort of cycle? If so, what is it? At first glance, it seems that it’s comes about once a century. If that is the case, I can only wonder what awaits my children’s children when they grow up. What sort of major change in lifestyle will occur that I can’t even imagine?

Growing So Fast

7 07 2008


Yesterday, Eliana and her friends stopped by for a their weekly visit. We decided to take some pictures, finally. After looking at the pictures of Eliana, I again started to notice that she has grown so much over the last few months, it’s just astonishing. Check out some of the new pictures I’ve finally been able to capture over the last couple of days on my account at

Our Own Private Conspiracy

5 07 2008

Tonight we set in motion the initial step in a series of events that we hope will benefit the future of our first born daughter for the rest of her life. Eliana’s mother and I have growing concerns regarding her future health and well-being. We do not want her to follow the same patterns we followed as children. Personally, I want to let her be her own person, but she has to enable that herself.

As we were trying to think about ways for Eliana to get more exercise on a daily basis, I thought about one of the things that I wanted to do as a kid: play soccer in a league. Of course I was deprived of this opportunity due to the circumstances of our lives, but Eliana doesn’t have to barriers. She is able to stand on my (our) shoulders even now and benefit.

While I hope that she takes to soccer like a fish to water (or a kid to a candy store), I sincerely hope she just has fun. This little conspiracy, experiment or whatever you want to call it, has it’s roots in encouraging exercise for Eliana, but I still hope that she develops a love for the game of soccer, and learns to have fun while exercising.

This also gives me an opportunity to watch her perform at something that neither her mom nor I will teach her. However, I won’t be far away, because she will need me at the most unpredictable times. I will be there for every game, and as many practices as possible. I want to be there when she scores a goal. I want to be there when she passes the ball to her teammate. I want to be there for all the other fun times she will have, because as she will be having fun, I will be having fun watching her.

The End is Near…

2 07 2008

…Of diaper days, that is.

I took a look back at the blog archives and noticed that my first post about Annabelle’s toilet transition time started way back last September. That means that we’ve been waiting almost a year for her to figure out that toilets are easier for us to deal with than her diaper. But over the last week, she’s made some major steps forward on the road to pre-K toddler.

Last weekend, we stayed home for most of the time, so we let her run around the house without her diaper. She likes to do this, and this has had some messy consequences as well. However, this time around, we asked her a little more frequently if she had to go to the bathroom. We even took her, and placed her on the toilet, and waited with her. She started out by going once on the toilet per day. We tried to give her as much praise as possible. We wanted to make sure her learning experience was as stress free as possible.

Over the last few days, the reports are that she has gone to the toilet more and more. Today, she even made it to the next level. (You know which level that is.) We are hoping that the end of her diaper days are near, and the next level of childhood growth will soon be upon us…