Long Day

Isabel turned 2 today. She’s my sleepy, snuggly bear, breathing into my side. So warm. So soft. I love my little girl. I’m so grateful she was born.

The long-legged daughter came and nearly fell asleep in bed with me tonight. Are you going to sleep here, Miss Milla? Mmmm, nooo. Then more lying there. If you are staying, I need covers, which drove her to her own room and bed with the dog.

For some reason I have grown a sign on my head that says HELP ME and many are utilizing this service. I’m happy to help, especially my best friend Debbie whose close friend Jan died today. Many loose ends. Debbie managing, but some of it leaves her at a loss. Indeed, some left me at a loss too.  I had to call people and ask.  Another friend is going through more crisis.  It’s hard.  I wish sometimes for her sake it would let up.  Then many clients in crisis too. All money being taken from bank accounts because of fine print, and can’t pay rent now or buy food. Another cried out because of calls at work both embarrassing and frequent. Another is being hassled after filing. The bankers are winning, but that last one, I can help with.

And then there is me with these unusual feelings of attraction and the person is suitable. Mmmnn, unusual, these feelings. Haven’t felt this for a looooong time.  More unusual that someone is suitable. And single. And not bankrupt. I’m like a rusty old bicycle. I can still get on, but the wheels don’t turn so easily and I am not sure how to steer. Ah, we will see. It could go nowhere.

Weird, my life.

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Isabel, a Polar bear, and a Giraffe

Isabel went to the zoo with her cousin Sarah yesterday.  We saw lots of animals because it was early and the sun was hiding behind clouds (as opposed to the last time we went in the middle of a sunny day when they were all napping). I felt sorry for the animals.  Many of them were exhibiting behaviors associated with severe boredom.  Also I found it ironic that the zoo was filled with many signs describing the effects of climate change and the corruption we are causing our planet, and begging us to redefine our behaviors, yet at the same time they were selling tons of plastic junk.  Something of a hypocrisy there…

Anyway, here are photos I took of Isabel, a polar bear, and a giraffe.

Introduction to Brain Rules for Baby

This is an excerpt from Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina.  I have fallen in love with his book Brain Rules, and discovered the baby version on his website.  I wish the school system would read this and stop trying to stuff reading in five-year-olds like they are pate’ geese on the way to slaughter.

From the introduction.  See it here:

Scientists certainly don’t know everything about the brain. But what we do know gives us our best chance at raising smart, happy children. And it is relevant whether you just discovered you are pregnant, already have a toddler, or find yourself needing to raise grandchildren. So it will be my pleasure in this book to answer the big questions parents have asked me—and debunk their big myths, too. Here are some of my favorites:

Myth: Playing Mozart to your womb will improve your baby’s future math scores.

Truth: Your baby will simply remember Mozart after birth—along with many other things she hears, smells, and tastes in the womb. If you want her to do well in math in her later years, the greatest thing you can do is to teach her impulse control in her early years.

Myth: Exposing your infant or toddler to language DVDs will boost his vocabulary.

Truth: Some DVDs can actually reduce a toddler’s vocabulary. It is true that the number and variety of words you use when talking to your baby boost both his vocabulary and his IQ. But the words have to come from you—a real, live human being.

Myth: To boost their brain power, children need French lessons by age 3 and a room piled with “brain-friendly” toys and a library of educational DVDs.

Truth: The greatest pediatric brain-boosting technology in the world is probably a plain cardboard box, a fresh box of crayons, and two hours. The worst is probably your new flat-screen TV.

Myth: Telling your children they are smart will boost their confidence.

Truth: They’ll become less willing to work on challenging problems. If you want to get your baby into Harvard, praise her effort instead.

Myth: Children somehow find their own happiness.

Truth: The greatest predictor of happiness is having friends. How do you make and keep friends? By being good at deciphering nonverbal communication. Learning a musical instrument boosts this ability by 50 percent. Text messaging may destroy it.

Research like this is continually published in respected scientific journals. But unless you have a subscription to the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, this rich procession of findings may pass you by. This book is meant to let you know what scientists know—without having a Ph.D. to understand it.