Wadsgreen love

January 4th, 2012

Venn diagram of our day
It was easier to draw than explain.


Making dinner last night. “Crab-stuffed grouper with polenta and spinach in a spicy cream sauce” sounds way better than “two frozen things from Trader Joes”, and yet they are the same.
Buying an algorithmically constructed hoodie = love for Jason

Paying the extra $5 for three-day delivery = irrational love for Jason

Venn diagram: New Years travel with a toddler

January 3rd, 2012

Venn diagram of our day
It was easier to draw than explain.

Whoa, GitHub!

December 27th, 2011

Welcome to a new fork in my life — at the beginning of December, I started full-time work as a Support octocat at GitHub.com. I still haven’t come up with an easy way to describe GitHub for those not in the techy world.

I’ll bypass what it does, and tell you about what I’m doing there. Like any big company with a well-used website, GitHub gets a lot of questions. You know when you find the Help link, or you email support@thewebsiteyou’relookingat.com? I’m one of the people who answers all those questions — from “I lost my password” to “How do I remove a repo from a watched list?”. There are questions we get that I’m unable to answer, because my technical abilities just don’t encompass much more than some weak computer programming skills. BUT, what I am awesome at is replying to people’s questions in a way that makes them feel listened to, and cared for.

One of the awesome things about the GitHub community (and there is a community — GitHub lets anyone host their open-source code for free, so there are lots of people who work together to make awesome code for the betterment of everyone) is that most everyone is a software developer, so the collective sense of humor tends to skew towards Interne Nerd. “Like what?”, you ask.

When it was announced on the GitHub blog that I’d joined them, someone quickly checked out this blog, noticed the photo of 80 and I on the bike, and altered it to fit a popular meme. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a meme, read here. Suffice to say, I feel cozy and at home in this awesome GitHub world.


Deal with 80

Tank Girl doula

November 3rd, 2011

I’m using Spotify to pump music into my ears as I work. Lots of music is at my fingertips, and I’ve been using free association to choose what to listen to next. I found myself realizing I NEEDED to listen to the Tank Girl soundtrack (as it is my favorite movie of all time, or maybe second to Beetlejuice).

And then I remembered the time I was in the natal ward of the hospital, having given birth the previous day. Our post-partum doula came to meet us and we were chatting. I mentioned my favorite movie was Tank Girl, and she said, “Oh, I have a song on that soundtrack.”

THAT’S RIGHT. My post-partum doula was Tanya Donelly. I was already high on mama hormones, but that was just an awesome feeling. My daughter is being ushered into the world with two awesome parents, and a member of Belly. Perfect.

That’s Tanya modeling the mobi wrap, and me looking skeptical about the whole thing.

If you think Tanya’s music is great, you should see her be a doula. She rocks.

Our bike setup

September 16th, 2011


We got a hand-me-down iBert bike seat (thaaaaaank you A+S+J).

Most people biking with a kid have the seat that attached to the back of the bike. There’s also the trailer that sits on it’s own wheels, down on the ground behind the bike. Our front-attached bike seat is much rarer. It’s a newer design, and there are grumblings that it’s not as safe — though I disagree.

I’m not an expert. I’m not sure who would be the most qualified to speak to the safety of each bike seat, but I can give you my opinions. I’ve been in bike crashes before, and if my bike slides out from under me I’m going to have my hands on my handlebars and be able to have a small amount of control of the front of the bike, and help guide it down. If it’s a head-over-handlebars, I don’t know if either seat is going to be better or worse. That’s where wearing a helmet, long pants, and shoes is important.

In summary, the iBert is the best commuting or street-biking seat style.

The other option I’d consider is the bike trailer:


The safety issue for me is having a trailer down where cars can’t see it. An upside to this kind of trailer is that there’s lots of room (you can put two kids in there), there’s protection against the elements,  and if you were to lose your balance they’d be low to the ground already.

The trailer is a great option if you’re on bike trails, or otherwise not in traffic.

The most popular bike seat I’ve seen is the rear-attached seat:
Bike baby seat test run

I’m not a fan of this seat. It puts the kid level with your ass, so their main view is blocked. It’s also hard to hear them, and you can’t see them without turning around and looking down (which is hard to do and dangerous while biking). They do have a higher back, providing more support for wobbly heads. The downside is some models don’t account for the child wearing a helmet, which means the child’s head is pushed forward and they can’t rest comfortably.

You can get the iBert on Amazon for something like $90, which is the same price as the mid-range rear-attached seat, so I can heartily suggest the iBert.

Here’s a video of Jason and 80 in the seat:

We make our own holidays

September 9th, 2011

Three-day weekends make traveling with a baby a lot more feasible, because you have more time to enjoy your destination between travelings.

National holidays work against you, though, because everyone else is on the road, train or plane.

Thus, we stayed home for Labor Day weekend, and are using a precious vacation day to make our own three-day weekend now. We’ve scheduled our driving to coincide with 80’s nap (see fig. 1), which works really well for all of us.

We packed and had a leisurely breakfast this morning, hopped in the car, and 80 will wake up in two hours when we get to the ferry (which will take us to an island for maximum vacationing). 80 will be asleep for the boring car ride, then awake for the boat ride. Hopefully this works out as well as I have smugly planned.

Fig. 1


Brushing teeth

August 31st, 2011

Parenting book review:


The gist: this isn’t a book of rules to follow. It follows the premise that you’ll be the best parent you can be if you learn the stages of development for your child, and apply your own knowledge/morals/intuition–tailoring your parenting to who you and your child are.

I found the book while looking for information on Waldorf education.

From ages 0-7, we use our bodies (senses unfiltered) to experience the world. We also learn about our bodies (like learning to eat and walk).

As parents, we have to model appropriate behavior, since our actions mean more than our words (this rings true to me, as I am more successful if I gesture as I explain things to 80).

Some of the theories used in the book are a bit beyond what I’m willing to accept. For example, the explanation for why very young children are fascinated with simple objects has to do with the “unspoken ‘soul language’ by which simple items speak to the qualities in the spiritual world and the nature of the soul’s journey to earth”.

The book isn’t written in a way that makes me roll my eyes when I encounter passages like the above. I like what Dancy gives as actionable ways to think about parenting, so I’m happy to skip the deep explanation for something I’m willing to just believe exists because it does.

On discipline and negative behavior, be loving but firm. Punishing doesn’t work on a toddler, they don’t understand cause and effect well enough for next time.

Make your home a “yes” place, so you don’t have to say “no” all the time, but be firm and consistent about the nos.

Keeping things the same works well for toddlers, since they are attached to order.

Use statements “it’s time for bed.” rather than questions “do you want to brush your teeth?”

When they get all “No!” on you, you can physically move them, or remove them from the situation. Follow through on the action that sparked the problem, don’t give in. If you remove them, be firmly boring, so they want to calm down and get back to the action. This works better than ignoring, and can take a few minutes to kick in.

On tantrums, when they first happen, firmly remove the child from the situation, calmly tell them to stop screaming/kicking/etc, and after settling down (5-10 min), go back to the activity. If they flare up, remove them again. Perseverance early on can nip the tantrum thing in the bud. [I like the sound of that.] Keep calm and insist on good behavior.

Take discipline action in the moment, or the child will forget. Make it stick now, and the payoff will last.

On getting them to do things: do it with them, model it. Use imaginative play as you do.

On books and reading, in the second year, read only one book in a sitting. Too many “clutters the child’s soul” and sticking to one keeps the images and words from the book in the child’s mind. [I have trouble with this, but I understand the idea. I’ll take it under advisement.]

Draw your own book [zine!]. It doesn’t have to be great, that’s what imagination is for. [Channel The Little Prince, with an elephant who’s swallowed a boa constrictor.]

On toys: real-looking and simple toys lend themselves to imagination.

This gets us halfway through the book. The rest is for older (2 and up) children, that I’m not going to read yet.

It is good enough to revisit for more advice when 80 gets to 2. In the meantime, how what I’ve read applies to her will affect how willing I am to read more.

Brushing teeth,
originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

Abby came to visit,
and spent one glorious, shining day. 80 took to her right away, naturally. Between the two of them, the amount of effervescence and happy-go-luckiness is more than the state of Nevada.

Via Flickr:
80 was thrilled to find out Abby also brushes her teeth in the morning, and insisted on helping.

Milestone rescinded

August 24th, 2011


I take back what I said yesterday. See what bragging gets me?

Mini milestone: quirkiness

August 24th, 2011

We’re a quirky family, humor-wise (not bodies-in-the-basement-wise). Jason and I have a flow of verbal and physical humor that is near-constant.

Stemming from a witnessed moment of this*, we’ve maintained that I stick my nose in Jason’s ear as a way to both
a) prove I’m me, an not a robot facsimile (though that particular jig is up, now that I’m writing this)
b) say that everything is all right

Today, while playing “This Little Piggie”, 80 stuck my toe in her ear. She truly is a Wadsgreen, through and through.


Mini-milestone: less mouthing

August 22nd, 2011

We’ve been saying things like “not in your mouth” and “that’s not food” for so long, I was incredulous today when 80 held up a seed pod at the park and I said “that’s not for 80’s mouth”, and she put it down. Seriously, I’ve been waiting for a part in the clouds for months.