Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random comments on accents

My theater training never included Italian accents. My son, however, likes asking me to "talk like Luigi." So I've spent a lot of time lately working on an accent I've never studied. At first my attempts sounded like most pretty pitiful versions of an Italian accent with which you're probably familiar - stick an -a at the enda of randoma words anda see what happens.

While shoveling the snow today, I realized I had learned something about the accent from trying it. The -a doesn't go after random words, but serves to separate two words that would otherwise be joined by consonants. In my example above, the -a between "end of" doesn't help the words flow, but "anda see" does, as would an -a between "what happens." Now because I'm making this up, I don't really know if it's "correct" but it feels sensible. It could also be a matter of rise and flow, or only going after certain consonants because those letters don't end words in Italian, or some other possibility.

One of the ways Hyrum is mildly entertaining is that he thinks all English dialects are "Mary Poppins." He really doesn't care if I sound like Bert or Monty Python or Hermione or Ringo, they're all Mary.

And on the subject, I'll just mention that I have a terrible time doing a German accent. This is funny since I speak German and taught English to Germans, so I've heard a lot of it. The first problem is that the harsh-sounding stereotypical German accent doesn't sound like the attempt of anyone I knew in Germany to speak English. The second problem is that to do it right, I have to think in German and then translate it back into English and it gets mighty complicated to keep up. The best I can do these days is imitate Pres. Uchtdorf, but he speaks with a much clearer English than most Germans would so his voice doesn't scream "Kraut" the way someone on Hogan's Heroes would. Thankfully, Hyrum doesn't want to play act anyone German yet, so I don't have to worry about it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning to write

Hyrum got a toy with multiple uses, one of which is a stencil set for the numbers and letters. Joy noticed that when they stenciled the letters, she would have to hold his hand to help him connect the dots to reform the letters. When it was the numbers, though, he'll do it himself without any help.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

They Grow So Fast

Lavinia is about the size of a carrot, they tell us. And growing rapidly.

Hyrum is now taller than the television on its stand. Not quite three years old, we are moving him up into size 4 and 4T shirts (still size 3 pants). After months of no weight change, he's gained about 2 pounds in a month. In percentage terms, that's the equivalent of me gaining 15 pounds in four weeks. It's growth spurts all the way with this one.

Looking Forward to Lavinia

Joy: "We are still having a girl! Yeah. We are now 21 weeks along and we think that poor Lavinia has had very little press on this news feed. Derrill felt her kick for the first time last night. Joy started feeling her kick or punch about February 9 (some undetermined stuff before), but has felt her most days since then. The funny part of that was the nurse had just been asking me earlier that week if I was feeling her move yet and I said well not really. I had thought that movement or fluttering by my ribs was the baby earlier and then found out that my uterus wasn't even close to my ribs. So, I chuckled and decided I wasn't really feeling her yet."

D: In all our ultrasounds, she has been a Mover and a Shaker. She squirms, she cartwheels, she spins.

"She nearly makes our doctor swear."

She certainly makes it difficult for him to keep an accurate heartbeat feed. Hyrum, by contrast, was a modest baby, hiding his head from the camera and crossing his legs. Joy could count Hyrum's 10 movements in the morning, but he didn't make much noise otherwise. "Maybe hiccups." I think she'll get to 10 movements daily for Lavinia any time now.

Back in the paleolithic era of our marriage, when infants did not rule the earth, "our first attempt at a pregnancy was a short-lived one." The miscarriage helped us get prepared to become parents eventually, changed our outlook on life, and was otherwise a very traumatic experience. Even though it occurred at such an early age, we had felt a real connection with our little embryo and felt that we were expecting a little girl.

"We felt close to her and had prayerfully chosen a name for her: Lavinia Thalia Watson."

This made losing her all the more tragic.

"When I suggested Lavinia, it was because I really felt that she was close to my great-grandmother Lavinia in Heaven."

I wanted to name her after Joy, but Joy was just as adamantly against a child named after herself as she is about a child named after me. So I made up a word. The word I made up was Thalia (TAY-leah). I thought it sounded nice. I later went to a baby name website and discovered that the name was Hebraic for ... Joy. I felt inspired. :?D

"And we just think the two names go best together with Lavinia first.

"When we found out we were expecting this time, I tried really hard to tell myself that I would be equally happy for a boy or a girl. When someone would say 'I think it's a girl,' I would say, 'I dunno. It's probably a boy.' And vice versa, trying to keep my heart open to all the possibilities, knowing there are only two."

When we were pregnant with Hyrum, we were ready with a girl's name, but not a boy's. We had some joke names lying about -- Sassafras was our code name for our first male child, Tinuviel (of Tolkeinian invention) our first girl, and Luigi if there were another boy out there somewhere. We returned home from our Hyrum ultrasound and warned him: 'Your name as of now is Sassafras. If you want something better, you'd better tell us who you are.' After much deliberation, the two names we settled on were surprisingly the first two we wrote down: Hyrum Spencer. This time we were better prepared. Lavinia Thalia if a girl, John Thomas Lazenby Watson if a boy. So now it's John (or John-Thomas or J.T. or whoknows) who has a name in waiting. Given Hyrum's penchants for Mario and Luigi, the code name just doesn't work anymore. But back to Lavinia.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Sleeping Trauma Averted

I was surprised to learn that one of our most visited posts was about the brief time when Hy had a really hard time sleeping at night. We had another episode of that this year, and for very similar reasons, but we came to a similarly happy outcome by totally different methods. The plus side of our old method of taking away access to all his toys and books at night is that Hyrum's room is guaranteed to be clean every night and has been for six months now.

For the last several months, Hyrum has been going to bed with his giant Mickey doll taking up the other half of his bed. If Mickey isn't there, he asks for him. Then he got a plush Mario for Christmas, who also needed to be in the bed. He slept soundly and woke every morning to talk to Mario (instead of Buzz, whose picture had been his morning companion).

Then a few weeks ago we got him a small, hard plastic Luigi toy with some overly-leftover birthday money. Yeah, 10-11 months leftover. I think I've mentioned how ecstatic he is to have both of them together.

It also meant that the first night he slept VERY poorly. He woke up every couple hours, waking Joy up (who has forgotten to wake me up when that happens so I can take care of him). He was sick already and not doing well to begin with. This made the next day much worse.

Joy and I had a family council. She was all for following up with what we do with books: Luigi can't sleep with him. He fell asleep just fine when it was just Mario. Maybe it's just Luigi, or maybe it's the two of them together, who knows? Luigi has to go. I persuaded her that Hyrum can communicate now and he understands consequences much better than he did last year. Let's see if we can invite him into the counseling process and find a solution we all like. She and I came up with two options for him:

1) Every night he could choose to sleep with either Mario or Luigi. If he didn't sleep that night, he would get neither the next night and be able to choose again each night after that.

2) He could sleep with both of them tonight, but if he didn't sleep well then Luigi would never sleep with him again.

We discussed the problem with him and presented the choices. He chose door number 2, just as Joy predicted. That night we reminded Hyrum of what the choice meant and its consequences. He repeated them to me several times: "If I don't sleep, no more Luigi." That fear alone was probably enough to keep him awake all night. Except it didn't. He slept beautifully and continued to sleep beautifully most nights since (excepting when the cough he's had the last week woke him and Joy up).

So the books and toys still stay out of his room at night, but Luigi can stay.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Theory of Growing Old

I'm starting to get old. *pause for laughter*

A couple months ago I slammed the car trunk on my finger. It hurt, it bled, it freaked out a few shoppers at the nearby store where they searched for gauze, it still shows up as a little bit of black on the tip of my finger. I drove us home through the snow for an hour with a large finger held awkwardly for all of New York to see and mistake for its neighboring finger being waved at them. Ouch.

One day last week I watched as Joy closed the trunk to the car. I thought it looked like her hand was a little too close to the trunk ... yes, the hand she was using to close the trunk, that one was a little close to the trunk. I panicked. I very nearly ran out to her to grab her hand away, or at least yell out a cautionary "Don't close the car trunk on your hand!"

It's like I forgot my wife was an intelligent person. It's like I forgot that, if she does have a fault, lack of a self-preservation instinct is not it.

And I suddenly understood why "old" people were always unnecessarily warning me not to be the biggest idiot who ever walked the earth. They got hurt. They knew a guy who got hurt. Suddenly they're looking out for everybody else out of instinct because it could happen to anybody, anytime, anywhere. When you get to "our" age, after all, things don't heal like they used to.

I would like to imagine that by noticing this unfortunate trend early on, I can apply enough mental Rogaine to stave off, or at least hide, this tendency. I know enough people, however, to believe that while my struggle may be worthwhile, it will likely turn out to be futile as well. Hyrum, Lavinia ... I'm sorry. I know you're (will be) smarter than this,

But don't put your hand in the blender and turn it on.
Please don't run into light sockets with liquid scissors.
Stop trying to stick your elbow in your ear. Stop trying to lick your elbow too.
And whatever you do, DON'T push that big red button, okay?
And get off my lawn.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hyrum's Top Ten: 2010

Yes, the moment I'm sure you've ALL been waiting for: Hyrum's Top 10 of 2010, with some new favorites added for good measure. Life's been hectic and blogging scarce or I'd've done it sooner and only realized two weeks ago I hadn't yet. Anyway, here goes:

Top 10 of 2010 by Play Count                                     by Hours
Bob the Builder - 893                                      Tarantara - 35:38
Hallelujah Chorus (MoTab) - 524                   Chorus - 34:21
Tarantara - 450                                              Musicological Journey Through 12 Days of Christmas - 20:04
Praise the Man (Hoffman) - 228                     Pines of Rome - 16:55
76 Trombones - 211                                       Pomp and Circumstance - 15:13
Mickey Mouse Club March - 201                   Bob the Builder - 14:38
Let's Go Fly a Kite - 182                                 Firebird - 13:31
The Little Drummer Boy - 176                        Praise the Man - 13:21
10 Little Indians - 149                                     Little Drummer Boy - 11:47
Feed the Birds - 146                                       76 Trombones - 10:47

So Hyrum (and we) spent nearly an entire day and a half last year listening to Tarantara and the Hallelujah Chorus. The amazing thing to me is that Joy still doesn't have either one memorized.

To kick off 2011 I got tired of counting up 800 of this and 100 of that and a top screen that never changed even though he hasn't really listened to some of those top 10 songs in months. So I copied any song he'd listened to more than 25 times to a flash drive, deleted them from the hard drive, and then put them back on again, resetting their counters at 0. I also added a lot more music to his playlist to see if I can induce some new favorites. His current favorites would still rise rapidly to the top and his top playlist for the last 6 months was in the car to give them all some help.

In the last two months then, here's how his new Top Ten is shaking out:
Hark All Ye Nations - 104
Bob the Builder - 100
Looky Look (VeggieTales) - 59
Watch Me Go (I'm a Happy Girl) - 55
Give a Little Whistle - 48
Sixteen Going on Seventeen - 42
Tarantara - 35
WALL-E Dancing - 33
All of Me - 28
Hallelujah Chorus - 28

Lots of new stuff! And the songs he really doesn't care about anymore are drifting slowly away into obscurity while his 2010 Top Three are still hanging out in the 2011 Top Ten.

Hyrum has LOVED The Sound of Music that he got for Christmas, particularly asking me to sing songs from it every night as I put him to bed. It used to be "Sound of Music" was the nightly request until I introduced him to "Consider Yourself" from Oliver!, and that's the current nightly request. Sixteen Going on Seventeen (or the bedtime version "you are 2 going on 3") and Maria's Wedding March are also highly sought after.

Hyrum's Stand Up Comedy Routine

Hi there. Hy here.

So let's talk about underwear. Kids underwear is a marketing device. Now I'm okay with this. But they put the marketing on the backside of the underwear. What's up with that?

I want to see my marketing. But then my parents tell me I put my underwear on backwards. I can't see Buzz or Lightning McQueen or any of them on my back! Who came up with this?

Yesterday's Training

For anyone who missed the Church's Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, one of the summary articles is here and it links to summary articles for the other presentations. Both the new second Handbook and the entire training video is (or soon will be) available here.

Things Hyrum Notices

Hi there. Hy here to report on some of my exploits.

Mommy, I want to see the calendar. The calendar tells me when Pop is coming to visit. Pop comes in 4 days. Mommy, I'm Pop. You be Boo. Boo comes in July when the baby comes. I see Pop and Boo. When do Steve and Emilee come?


Daddy, no Christmas tree. Christmas tree is gone :(  . (brightening) After Thanksgiving, have Christmas again.


There are two Luigis and two Marios. Daddy, you're one Luigi. Here is the other Luigi. Here is one Mario.
"Where's the other Mario, Hyrum?"
I am Mario! Two Marios, two Luigis.


I'm playing a memory game right now. I turn 12 cards upside down and start looking for matches. I turn over one card and then turn over other cards until I find its match.

 There's two. Now where's three? I'm looking for three. Oh there it is! :) Number ... number ... number ... Look, Luigi! There's a match!


I don't go to Nursery today. I cough. We go get Furies, and Mommy go to choir. I go to clerk's office with Daddy. We have sacrament and go home. We have lunch, take nap, and go get Mommy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All Too Easy

I've been having a series of vivid, unsettling dreams this week. Last night's was particularly good and all too easy to understand and decipher.

I dreamed I was on LOST. I managed to escape the island, only to realize that with four other castaways and the pilot from the show on board, we were in trouble. We crashed. I woke up and saw the gray-haired face of Jen. She told me that I was back on the island and it had been ten years since I had tried to escape. I screamed and just rocked in a fetal position, sobbing in the dream.

Now to understand the dream, you need only know one thing: Jen came to Ithaca with me nine years ago.

And we're both ... still ... here.

Aaaaaaaaah! Get me outta here!

(Jen is not gray haired. She looked a bit like Katherine Janeway in the dream, which is also appropriately symbolic.)

(Pictured right: my office.)

I love school

I love Hyrum's school in particular. Mrs. Downes and her assistants are miracle workers. For most of you, there is no need to rehash Hyrum's eating habits that have remained almost unchanged for 12 months. Yogurt, peaches, sometimes cheese and cookie dough -- these are the foods my son is made of. Occasional successes have been heralded and then fallen by the wayside: green beans, peas, peanut butter, bananas, applesauce, grapes ... Fad-like they come and just as quickly disappear again from his diet. His reactions to new foods ... but then I said there was no need to rehash.

Hyrum is eating new foods, and we are begging the teachers to tell us how this miracle is performed.

He eats rice at school - rice he has not eaten since he was 6 months old and it was a mush cereal.
Half a cup of noodles. He has never eaten noodles before in his life.
Mashed potatoes - he ate sweet potatoes as an 8 month old, never since.
They feed him food on graham crackers, which he shies away from and cries when we bring out - but he'll use it as a spoon for them.

Joy asked him the other day how many pinches of grated cheese wanted.
Okay, then you need to eat 5 spoonfuls of rice and green beans (mixed, but not mashed)
Chomp, chomp, chomp went the rice and green beans.
Yum, yum, yum, he got his cheese.

How many more pinches do you want?
Okay, and he ate another 5 spoonfuls of rice and green beans ...

Twice now he has asked us for a new food so he can eat another cookie half. He ASKED for cooked carrots, and ate cooked squash when we didn't have any. He ate lettuce for me today.

He has enough vocabulary finally to express some food preferences. He doesn't like crunchy. "Soft" is the key word. But he eats chunky peanut butter and hard chunks of chocolate and he doesn't like soft mashed potatoes. He has said "yummy" to some of his new foods. Not that he'll keep eating them, but he will agree 'yeah, yeah, Dad, it tastes great, now gimme my cookie.'

A marvelous work and a wonder. I love Hyrum's school. He likes it too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Helping in the Vineyard

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given us a new way to serve and build up the kingdom. "Helping in the Vineyard" is currently a limited edition beta effort to crowd-source various tasks that will help the Church get the word out. More tasks will be added over time, I gather. At the moment you can (and I just did)
  • Upload and/or tag photos and videos
  • Proofread Church materials
  • Translate materials to/from a variety of languages
  • Help with family history
You sign in with your LDS Account (those of you in the Ithaca Ward, if you aren't set up yet, talk to me and I'll help you get set up) and select which jobs you are interested in and any foreign languages you speak. Any time you want, you can log in and it'll give you the next item they need help with.

I tagged a number of scenic pictures, mostly rocky, wave-crashing shorelines. I made sure that a number of paragraphs from the Ensign had been scanned properly, adjusted a Spanish language Primary manual's paging on using our talents, and proofread a German language lesson  manual on revelation. I translated instructions for the new FamilySearch website into German.

The crowd-sourcing is a particularly good idea for the translating, and they have a good system set up. You can vote on the translations of your fellow helpers to help confirm that a particular translation is accurate or offer your own edition. Once a threshold number of positive votes are scored, the page is approved. There are helps available throughout of approved terms, similar phrases that have been translated elsewhere, and a Google translation to help you out. You can also sign in to be notified when changes have been made.

I recommend it as a nice way to get in a few minutes of service easily - particularly for my insomniacally-inclined friends and family. Matt 20: "The harvest  truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Jacob 5: "Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare  the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit. ... the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie - A Joy Post

I am not usually a person that takes time to review books, but Matched is really excellent and I have to share how I feel about it. Ally I really love this book.

My favorite genera of books are romance books, but I am really picky. I will not read anything that is focused on physical intimacy, mystery, murder, or lacks a family focus. I am similarly picky about other media, but that is a different subject. I also don't really get into sci-fi. The book has to have a good plot and characters that grow and change. Many clean romance books have little of quality in them, but I love to find one that does.

Matched is a masterpiece. I have enjoyed some of Ally's books in the past, but I was transfixed for most of the book. It only took me a chapter or two to get into and I could hardly put it down. It has character development and a new world to explore. It has a tender love story that is built as all true love ought to be in tender moments and memories that are priceless to the individuals, but that no one else would see the same. Intimacy is so much more than physical and the relationship is alive with anticipations, and shared dreams and hopes and reality in a world where many have lost touch with what that means.

Matched is so well crafted I can't wait to read it again with my husband and I look forward to the sequel. I only wish I had started reading it when all three were already out. Waiting is hard. I have not been completely WOWed over a book in a long time. Great job Ally. I love it and I think that you are great too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Family Home Evening this week

I taught Hyrum about the counsel in Heaven today. He did not have good looks for Satan. Then we had put Satan in the forest and that is where he usually likes to put his little spirit person (I have told the part of the story in flannel about us living in heaven and being children of God previously) and he didn't want to put his spirit person in the forest with Satan. Good boy! We removed Satan from Heaven and Hyrum happily went about with his pretend heaven play. He is a great kid and was very willing to say that we should follow Jesus :D

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pop n Boo's Revenge

When you grow up, I hope you have children Just ... Like ... You!

I have an undeserved reputation for being a "planner" at my parents' house. It all stems from the fact that I get hungry for dinner before Mom and Dad do. Left to their own devices, dinner happens around 7 or 8pm. I got accustomed to dinner at 5 or so at college. I quickly learned that the best way to get dinner happening when I wanted it was to go to Mom about 3pm and say, "So, Mom, what's the plan for dinner?" She would send me to Dad. (That gave me permission to invade his office, you see.) "So, Dad, what's the plan for dinner?" I maaaay have also sometimes asked them what the plan was more generally, trying to find out what they thought was happening that night and if there was any hope of gaming. Could be.

My parents, now Pop and Boo, came away from me asking that every day, all summer and every visit, thinking that I like to plan. Can't imagine why ;)  . Joy is ever so much more of a planner than I am, though. The odd thing is that she likes to plan, but "isn't good at it" and I don't like to plan but I'm good at it -- I think mostly so I can get it done quickly. When we got together with my brother and his wife last year for our anniversaries [right] I discovered that they wanted a Real Plan, complete with time schedules of when we'd arrive at each attraction, compared to my Vague Notion of a Plan that said we'd get there when we get there and do the most important things first. Joy says, "I like Steve and Emie's idea of planning. I'm just not very successful at it. They made the trip much more enjoyable." So I think I'm a flexible guy.

WELL. Enter Hyrum and Joy.

Joy says to me, that she needs my help scheduling her time with Hyrum when he gets back from school. "He does well with structure." So we sat down two weeks ago Sunday night for and I helped her write a Real Schedule, with actual time lines and activities and Structure. She loves it. She lives it. It works. "I'm even becoming a little bit flexible with it."

"At snack time Thursday ... Snack time has become a time to talk about what is going to happen in the rest of our day or things about school.

Hyrum asked Joy if they could play with something. Joy told him, no, not yet. After snack time was Jesus time (when they would read his scriptures and watch a video) and after Jesus time was Hyrum Choose.

"So they he said: 'After choice time?'
"I said, 'After Hyrum Choose is Free Time, and you can play with xxxx then.'
"He said, 'After Free Time?'
"'Is dinner.'
"'After dinner?'
"Family fun time.
"'After family fun time?'

And they went on like that through SUNDAY! Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and through Church, he asked "After ....?" and Mommy told him. It was quite the little conversation. She commented at the time something to the effect of - Boy, no sooner do I get a schedule put together but he detects it and wants to know it!

Today we're in church. He asked to eat his lunch. I said no, not yet. It's time for the sacrament. You can eat lunch after the sacrament.
He said, 'After lunch?'
I anticipated: After lunch you go to nursery, and after nursery we drop off the Furies, and you go home and have snack time and a nap, then we have home teachers coming over and ....
He was happy.

"Oh, but you misinterepet. Because there's time between lunch and nursery when we're still in Sacrament meeting and..."
Yes, dear, I am still not the planner you are. I do not account for each minute.
"Yes, but he is expecting to go to nursery RIGHT after lunch, and it's been a problem."

So we have a literal son who cares about scheduling and a flexible Dad who helps schedule everyone else but wants to not have to go into detail and ....

The Curse Works!

More quotes (1)

A few more quotes from Understanding the Book of Mormon. At some point in my reading, I realized I wasn't underling in my usual style, so I am going back through to catch some other things that struck my notice and marking some other parts for my own scripture study. Anything after this is either quoting Hardy or someone Hardy quotes:
The Book of Mormon should rank among the great achievements of American literature, but is has never been accorded the status it deserves, since Mormons deny Joseph Smith's authorship, and non-Mormons, dismissing the book as a fraud, have been more likely to ridicule than to read it.
-- Daniel Walker Howe
The reader must begin this book with an act of faith and end it with an act of charity. We ask him to believe in the sincerity and authenticity of this preface, affirming in return his prerogative to be skeptical of all that follows it.
-- John Barth in Giles Goat-boy

[The Book of Mormon] is basically is a tragedy. If there is any validity to the Talmud's observation that the phrase "it came to pass" signals impending trouble, we know that things will not turn out well in the Book of Mormon. ...

Although at times latter-day Saints want to speak of God as "the primary author of the Book of Mormon," clearly the Book of Mormon is not like the Qur'an, with God speaking in the first person (or even like Joseph's own revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, for that matter). Rather, the word of God is articulated by very human narrators who continually draw attention to the editorial choices they have made.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hyrum moving on: All Growed Up

Enough people have told me I left them hanging after the last edition that my decent respect for the opinions of mankind compels me to pen one last brief post.

The compromise worked splendidly. On his third day of school (Wed), I had worked out with him that his Mario doll would accompany him to and home from school if he could be happy. He kept a stiff upper lip with effort on Wednesday and then I left town for a conference early the next morning.

By the time I got back, things were peaceful and normal. He had decided to keep count of how many days he had attended school. Monday morning I came in, asked if he was ready to go to school, and he looked up from the bed and said, "Six." Yes, today will be your sixth day. Mommy convinced him to change the counting to just repeating the 5 days of school each week. But the next two weeks had only 4 and he lost count and interest somewhere along the way.

That Wednesday (day 8) was my turn to take him to school again since I had some morning errands to run also. He was happy in the car. We walked to the classroom. While standing in the closet area hanging up his coat, he said "Daddy, sit and talk with me."

So I sat and asked him what he wanted to talk about. No real answer to that. We talked about school and that he was a good boy. He stood up on his own and walked out to face the class. He started looking for a toy, then ran over to sit in the lap of one of the teacher's helpers. I waved goodbye to him and just barely got a response. He may even have needed prompting....

I left greatly stunned. He's all ready for college. Just like Cosby said: 'Kindergarten exists primarily to teach kids to be able to say goodbye to their parents without crying. After the second day, they got nothing for you.' After the emotion of my last drop off, it was discombobulatingly anti-climactic. All for the best, of course, ... but my little boy is growing up.

Not that he won't put up a fight about that, though. Last night the song "I'll Make a Man Out of You" came on, and we tried teaching Hyrum what it means that little Lavinia will be a girl. We asked who would become a man.

No, not mommy. Yes, Daddy will be a man. Who else? ... Hyrum will be a man!

"No! I'm just Hyrum."

This morning we read in the Book of Mormon about "raising up seed" which I translated as having children and helping them grow up.
Joy adds, "We will help you grow up to be a good man"
"No. I'm just Hyrum."
I try to compromise: Well, can we help you grow up to be a good boy, then?
"Yes. I'm a boy."
Joy: "Do you want to always be a boy, like Peter Pan?"
"Yes. I'm Hyrum."

I've taken him to school one other morning - he begs for me to take him about once a week and expects Peach/Mommy to do the honors otherwise. Then again he also asked to sit in my lap in the coat closet. He doesn't ask Joy that. It's part of the special father/son going-to-school thing. I like it. I like him.

Someone Else's Favorite Music

We're in process of backing up this computer so we can wipe its memory *grumble grumble, Vista grumble Dell grumble 5th time grumble grumble*. And part of that means making sure I have CD copies of all the music I've bought online and finally burning some CDs I've been meaning to for a long time but never getting around to it ... like a CD of Weird Al favorites so I don't have to rip 7 CDs for a couple dozen songs.

So, let it be known that these are the songs going on Derrill's Favorite Weird Al Yankovic CD. Any recommendations on great songs I missed?

Weird Al was a very important part of surviving high school. He was a gateway drug to tolerating all sorts of modern music I otherwise couldn't stand -- except when it was being mocked. There is a lot of music I doubt I would enjoy today without that early exposure. He inspired my own parody writings, not least of which my last talent show entry. (I'm still looking for a video of that.) There was comfort in knowing that even though I was widely known among the jock community as "Crazy Derrill" I was in fun company. Like "Weird" Al, I am not on a first-adjective basis with anyone. He also served as a welcoming Shibboleth once I got to college: anyone who would publicly acknowledge him was probably fun and mostly harmless.

Top 5
Midnight Star
Buy Me a Condo
Ode to a Superhero

Next 5
Your Horoscope for Today
Hardware Store
Theme from Rocky XIII
The Saga Begins

The rest in some semblance of an order

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who is this girl?

Wait ... did he just say a GIRL??

Yes. Yes, I did.

Lavinia Thalia Watson, coming late June.
(la-VIN-ee-ah TAY-lee-ah)
(Joy calls her Evie, I call her Thaly ... we'll see what she chooses)

We are ecstatic.

And may I say I am quite pleased with the picture quality on my old cellphone now that we are camera-less?