Monday, February 18, 2013

do me a solid

starting solids

We started Linnea on solids this weekend, beginning with avocado. Because really, what's the point of being born in California if your first food can't be avocado?


I tried to respectfully ease her into it by laying the spoon on her lower lip and not forcing food into her mouth. She responded by snatching the spoon out of my hand and shoving it into her mouth, with a look that implied, "what took you guys so frickin' long?" And then she ate all the foods.

starting solids

starting solids

starting solids

One advantage of starting her on solids so late is that she had some manual dexterity to feed herself, plus she was really, really motivated to eat. I wound up being more relaxed about the whole thing because of this. Still, I really wonder what was going through her head this day. It's very strange to think of shepherding another person through what is a pretty fundamental life requirement. But if I think about that aspect long enough, it adds a ton of gravitas to a situation which is really just a kid smearing green stuff all over her face.


starting solids

Video evidence:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yesterday when I picked Linnea up from daycare, she was busy concentrating on a toy. I sat on the floor and watched her quietly. When one of the caretakers asked me a question, I responded. Linnea, upon hearing my voice, looked up quickly, saw me, and started panting excitedly. This is the first time she has shown that she recognizes me explicitly and was happy to see me. It was amazing.


asleep after nursing


Monday, February 11, 2013

Taking my infant daughter to a bar at night: good idea, or greatest idea?

I decided to crash the start of SF Beer Week by bringing Linnea out to the Rose and Crown on Sunday evening.


(photo by Les Fletcher)

I wanted to let the other regulars know why I had suddenly gone incognito for the last 15 months. Can I just say that maneuvering a stroller through a crowded bar of drunk people is probably not the putting me in the running for Mother of the Year? However, people were mostly receptive, probably because I wasn't drinking and we only stayed for 20 minutes. Just enough time, however, to make Les's non-existent ovaries ache.


(photo by Jay Hansen)

Linnea did great, as she is wont to do; she really loves being around people. How two introverts managed to produce a socializer is beyond me.


Friday, February 8, 2013

simulation as a "stress inoculation"

Kennedy’s work is particularly revealing. She puts pilots through a series of six flight-simulator tests, where pilots endure turbulence, oil-pressure problems, iced carburetors and crosswinds while landing. They are kept furiously busy, dialing to new frequencies, flying to new altitudes and headings and punching in transponder codes.

Among recreational pilots with the lowest rating level — trained to fly only in daylight — those with Warrior genes performed best. But that changed with more experience. Among recreational pilots who had the next level of qualification — trained to fly at night using cockpit instruments — the Worriers far outperformed the Warriors. Their genetically blessed working memory and attention advantage kicked in. And their experience meant they didn’t melt under the pressure of their genetic curse.

What this suggests, Kennedy says, is that, for Worriers, “through training, they can learn to manage the particular stress in the specific pilot training, even if it is not necessarily transferred over to other parts of their lives.”

So while the single-shot stakes of a standardized exam is particularly ill suited for Worrier genotypes, this doesn’t mean that they should be shielded from all challenge. In fact, shielding them could be the worst response, depriving them of the chance to acclimate to recurring stressors. Johnson explains this as a form of stress inoculation: You tax them without overwhelming them. “And then allow for sufficient recovery,” he continued. Training, preparation and repetition defuse the Worrier’s curse.

This article is primarily focused on student performance on high stakes exams, but has some interesting implications supporting the use of smart simulation experiences.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

six months

Dear Linnea,

Today, you are six months old.

six months

After noticing a little more fussiness and gnawing of hands on Sunday, I checked your mouth. Yes, Virginia, there is a first tooth. You've taken it rather well; that is, only on Sunday afternoon did you wake up upset and had to be held for your afternoon nap. However, you have taken to waking up at 5:20 in the morning for the last few days. Sometimes I can pull you into bed with me and nurse you back to sleep. Sometimes you wind up rolling over and yelling in your crib. I'd feel bad, but the neighbors' kids spend their evenings doing kitchen demolitions and stabbing each other with forks.

You met your grandfather Martin for the first time this month. He enjoyed getting to know you, and you enjoyed grabbing for his glasses.

You have successfully figured out how to roll over. You are so good at it, in fact, that you keep doing it in your crib, on the bed, on the changing table. Sometimes I come into your room after you wake up and find you hanging out on your tummy, looking around. It has been much less dramatic than it was initially:


You have also found your feet, which are also good for nomming. You have also stopped fighting the snot sucker, and instead pant rapidly and try to pull it into your mouth.

We moved to a new apartment, and despite the fact that there are boxes all over your room, your new window is in direct sunlight, and this place is a little less well insulated than our old place, you have barely registered that you've noticed anything.

Your dad has been in India for a large part of this month, which makes us both sad. But you got to hang out with our friends for the first time to watch Baltimore whomp on San Francisco, and Beyonce use up all the electricity in America.

You really love daycare, and your face lights up when you see Fernanda, Irma, and Maria. You are so excited to see them, than sometimes I tear up on the way to the car because I think it means that you like them more than me. And then I try to remind myself that it's because they have toys and energy and other kids, and I have pumping and washing dishes and bleary-eyed night feedings.

We made to six months of nursing, which is like HOLLA. We are supposed to be starting you on solids, but I am being a scaredy cat over this. I'm nervous about how to plan it out, the mess it will make, and what it will do to your poop. I beg you to please be patient with me on this, because my obsessive need to make lists and organize will completely overwhelm any joy I may receive from this milestone.

Things that make you laugh: fart noises, the guitar runs from "Tom Sawyer," being thrown into the air.

Happy half-birthday, kiddo.

six months








Saturday, February 2, 2013