Angelic Morning

July 26, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos 109 views

Hiding and Grinning (crop)Nora was exceedingly well behaved this morning. When she woke up at 6:47 AM with a mild cry, I got up and explained to her that, due to the slight tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbital plane, we have a season, summer, in which the sun comes up very early and sets very late, and that just because the sun was already up and that Mommy had just left for work, it was, in fact, according to the definitions set forth in the household rulebook, still officially Night Time and that she should go back to sleep. She and I both went back to bed until 9:00 AM.

I carried her downstairs, put on her shoes – good traction is very important at this stage of her ambulatory development – and left her in the living room to play with some toys while I went to the kitchen to prepare her morning bottle and orange juice. Before the 45 seconds on the microwave were up, she had crawled into the kitchen with me. Soon I had her breakfast ready and we returned to the sofa for alimentary administration.
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July 23, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos, Videos 295 views

Long TongueToday I took Nora to the pediatrician to learn the results of a blood test she had recently. Her mild anemia has been rectified by the iron supplements we’ve been giving her. I mentioned to the doctor that we’re mildly concerned about Nora’s language development. Her only word is “no”. No mamá, papá, mommy, daddy, bread, water, pan or agua. It’s also totally unclear to me whether or not she understands anything at all that we say. Confirmation bias makes it easy to remember the times she gets a command or question correct and all too easy to forget when she has some random response. The doctor asked if we thought Nora’s hearing was okay, and I said there’s no doubt that her hearing is great. Whenever there’s the faintest bit of distant music, Nora’s gettin’ jiggy wit’ it. The doctor said that Nora’s situation is a little unusual by this age, but that being in a bilingual household is known to retard initial language development. In the philosophy of “better safe than sorry”, she’s referred us to a specialist that is somehow going to “evaluate” her at some not-yet-made appointment in the near future. I’m almost more curious to see the means of evaluation than to get the result.
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Bathtime Fun

July 21, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Videos 111 views

Bathtime Fun (frame cap)Well, Nora, you keep getting more and more interesting to be around. You have no trouble whatsoever pulling yourself up to standing on almost anything, but you still lack the ability to stand up from a sitting position pushing off only the floor.

Sometimes you surprise me, like when your grocery store friend, Tona, recently asked you, “¿Dónde está la nariz?” and you pointed to your nose. I immediately asked you, “Where is your nose?” and you gestured correctly again. But you either forget things or choose not to do them. You’ve completely stopped saying your first word, Up. And your rhinolocation trick happens so rarely that seems an awful lot like chance.
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Fun With Arithmetic

July 16, 2010 By: erik Category: Geeky, Math 265 views

Solutions to Friday Puzzle by Goal ValueI’m an avid reader of Richard Wiseman’s blog, and I find his Friday Puzzles to be particularly fun. Today’s puzzle is as follows:

How can you place the arithmetical signs ‘+\’ and ‘-\’ between the consecutive numbers 123456789 so that the end result is 100? So, for example, you could go…..

12+34+56-7-89 , but that would make 6, so that doesn\’t work.

Try to come up with the method that uses the least number of symbols.

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iPad Baby Apps

July 13, 2010 By: erik Category: Geeky, Offspring, Parenting, Videos 2,414 views

iPad Baby AppsWe continue to encourage Nora to play with her iPad. She definitely like the sounds it makes; her favorite is the oinking pig, which she likes to dance to. While she clearly understands that she needs to touch the screen, but she tends to be too quick in her pokes, and her actions either result in dragging the icons around or the icon she’s going for is simply not triggered because her touch is so fast. At the moment, the iPad remains a “noise box” to her, but I have little doubt she will learn to control it within the next year. And then it’s just a matter of time before the Pentagon gets hacked.
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Spain Wins The World Cup!

July 12, 2010 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Soccer, Spain 616 views

Spanish FamilyWe began World Cup final Sunday evening by heading to nearby Laredo, where we’d heard there might be a big screen set up on the beach. We were certain that we couldn’t take a 15.5 month old child to an enclosed space with Spanish fans because she’d die of fright from all the screams. We discovered that the beach screen was only a rumor, and the real big screen was in the old town hall square. We took one look at how packed the square was with people and turned around and headed back towards Colindres, but not before spotting a group of old ladies wearing red-yellow-red striped headbands singing A Por Ellos.

Once back in our home town, we chose our favorite soccer-viewing bar, El Vapor (The Steam), which is only about two hundred meters from our house. The twin brother of our friend with the restaurant in Laredo was already seated at a prime table, and he informed us that he was leaving before the game began and promised us his table. We would spend the game outside on the sidewalk looking into the bar through the glass to a projected screen. And it was a good thing we were outside, because, well, let’s just say that inside the bar, it lived up to its name.
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The Clothes Pin Game

July 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Games, Offspring, Videos 707 views

The Clothes Pin GameOne of Nora’s new favorite games involves clothes pins. In Spain, most people live in apartments and almost no one has a clothes drier, so everyone dries their clothes by hanging them from their balcony, which is often overlooking an internal courtyard of the building, not the street. As a result, every Spanish house has a bag or basket of clothes pins on their balcony. The game involves her mother placing her on a window ledge to the balcony where we keep our clothes pin basket. Nora proceeds to pull clothes pins out of the basket and throw them on the floor, expecting her mother to pick them up. They have a great time playing this game.
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World Cup Final 2010: Beer Can Edition

July 08, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos, Soccer, Spain 304 views

World Cup Final: Beer Can EditionIce cold beer cans glistening with condensation…what better way to celebrate Holland and Spain making it to the finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. One of them will win their first ever World Cup. Who will it be? I don’t know, but I’m going to be drinking some ice cold lager and enjoying every minute of the game.
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Spanish Soccer Chants – World Cup

July 08, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Soccer, Spain 19,187 views

Go Spain! (cropped)Over the course of the World Cup 2010, I have seen increased traffic to my utterly useless page about Spanish soccer chants. So I have decided to write this page to actually inform the curious internet searchers about what those crazy Spanish soccer fans are on about.
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Pulpo Paul: The Psychic Cephalopod

July 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Skepticism, Soccer, Videos, Weird 758 views

thumbToday I walked into my local grocery store and said with a wink, “Hey, do you guys sell German flags? I want to hang one on my balcony.” (Hanging the Spanish flag on one’s balcony is a common way to show support for the Spanish World Cup team who will face off against Germany tomorrow in the semi-finals.) My grocer friend, Andrés, said, “Have you heard the story of Pulpo Paul (Paul the Octopus)?” I assumed he was about to tell me a didactic Aesop-esque fairy tale about why one shouldn’t be such a cheeky jerk, but he turns to the checkout computer and pulls up this internet video to show me…
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