How culpability effects pain perception

April 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Comic, Geeky, Parenting, Science

How culpability effects pain perceptionOne curiosity I’ve noticed as I watch my children grow into their bodies is how they react to pain. There are days where it seems like the childhood is one long series of injuries. No doubt every parent has seen this, but when a kid is pushed to the ground on the playground by another kid, the chances of the victim running to his Mommy for consolation is much higher than if the kid was doing something stupid or dangerous and fell. If you’re a kid, and you hurt yourself by doing something stupid or risky the resulting pain appears to be minimized.
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State of the Offspring Address – March 2014

March 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos

Nora and IanThis March has been a pretty big month for the offspring, not quite as big as the one five years ago, but pretty huge. Nora turned five years old! It still sounds amazing when I say it. She’s been with us for five years, the majority of the time we’ve been living in Spain. Crazy!

Ian has hit some milestones, too, as he completed his eleventh month. He can now pull himself up to standing on the coffee table and take one or two tentative steps between outstretched adult arms. He’s found that he loves little pieces of bread, and can usually entertain himself in his high chair while the fully teethed members of the family eat by grabbing and eating little bits of bread we break off for him.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2014

February 28, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Bumblebee FamilyThis month the offspring took some huge steps forward. Literally.

I went away for eleven days at the beginning of the month, and my son, who, when I left, had not yet figured out how to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other when standing up, had advanced to being able to walk very fast holding on to two hands, and pretty well (for a drunk) holding onto just one. He seemed pretty proud about it, too. So we have officially entered the backbreaking stage where we have to bend over (some of us more than others) to help him get the hang of this bipedalism gig. His sister was in that phase for six whole months. Let’s hope this one goes quicker.
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State of the Offspring Address – January 2014

January 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Doing LaundryAlthough it feels like a decade ago, Spanish Christmas crept into this month with the Kings Day celebration, Spain’s primary mythical, magic, flying, home-intruding gift giver holiday. Nora was extremely excited about the kings coming to bring presents. We followed the cabalgata (parade) around town; we actually ended up walking in the street with the floats. We began at the very end of the parade, and spurred on by Nora’s excitement ended up at the very front of the parade, walking faster than all the floats, overtaking them one by one. Then Nora went to sit on a king’s lap and tell him that she wanted a Hello Kitty kite. That night we set out some snacks for the kings and their flying camels.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2013

December 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Videos

Ian PortraitAs we have in past years, we decided to leave the offspring with their maternal grandparents for the last week and a half of the calendar year. I used to think it was pretty liberating with just one kid, but with two, it’s exhilaratingly so. All this free time to do whatever we want. Of course my wife and I are pretty career oriented, so we’ve mostly just been working extra hours, but it’s the choice to be able to do so that it’s amazing.
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State of the Offspring Address – November 2013

November 30, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

November 2013The big event this month has been our trip to the US to visit my family for Thanksgiving. It was our first time flying with both offspring. Both of them behaved very well. Ian was enchanting flight attendants and fellow passengers left and right, and Nora was content to be pacified by the same television marathon and mindless snacking that keeps the adult passengers docile. A couple times Ian had to be walked up and down the aisles, but overall, the long flight from Munich to Charlotte was pretty easy. Of course we did have to travel 24 hours late after our initial flight was cancelled due to a lightning bolt striking the aircraft the night before. However, that delay allowed us to insure having the bassinet, which makes all the difference when traveling with a small child.
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State of the Offspring Address – October 2013

October 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Yellow and DenimIan is six months old! How did that happen? He’s no longer a newborn and has firmly entered babydom. He’s made big strides in manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, being able to see something that he wants to hold and grab it successfully. No crawling or sitting yet, but he can pull his knees up under him if the surface is slippery enough. His babbling has gotten very word-like, as well. While he continues to breastfeed a few times a day, and once at night, much more of his sustenance is formula than ever before. We’ve even begun giving him pureed fruit, but he remains largely unconvinced that it’s something worth keeping in his mouth and swallowing. It’s a process, and we’re not rushing it.
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Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
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State of the Offspring Address – September 2013

September 30, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Crown PrinceThis month saw Nora’s triumphant return to school as a preschool sophomore. While it’s true that she was the only kid in her class to begin crying three minutes before school started and begged me not to make her go to school, once her teacher promised that I could go in with her, she calmed down and fell right into the role of student, so much so that she didn’t notice that I didn’t go in with her. Last year she was a “turtle”, and this year, she’s a “bear”, as each of the three preschool grades have a nickname and mascot. The mascot last year was Tomasa, and this year it’s a panda called Chu-Lin, named after the panda that lived in the Madrid zoo while I went from kindergarten through high school.
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Spanish Lesson for New Parents

September 27, 2013 By: erik Category: Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Small CollarWhen you learn a second language, apart from the grammar rules, you obtain a very thinly spread vocabulary of a variety of subjects. But when you’re living in a country that speaks that foreign language, and you delve into a hobby, like camping or sailing or carpentry, you realize that there is a whole new fractal universe of domain-specific vocabulary, words for all the nouns and verbs associated with a specific activity. One such example of a new domain that they don’t teach very deeply in textbooks is all the vocabulary that goes with having and caring for a baby. I have two fellow Americans In Spain that are pregnant, so I thought I’d write a post outlining some vocabulary every parent in Spain needs.
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