Category Archives: Parenting

Baby Carriers of Supreme Awesomeness!

A good friend of ours, Amanda, is starting a home business selling baby carriers. Specifically she’s making copies/derivatives of an African baby carrier her mom brought home for her when she was in Africa.

Since I’m a pretty big fan of baby/parent contact, snuggling, breastfeeding and all that sentimental stuff, I thought I’d give her a shoutout here.

You can find her blog (which is very much a work in progress, I’m giving her what help I can) at

I know she’s going to be selling these things, and I think she’s going to be doing custom orders. I’m not sure what she’s asking, but you can probably send her an email ( littlesaintsatplay @ and find out the details. Tell her I sent you.

Breastfeeding is Bestfeeding.

Today Ivy was again entranced with Sam’s method of feeding the baby.  She crawled up and asked lots of questions.

“Dylan eating a apple?”

“No honey, Dylan is drinking milk.”

Dylan drinking a milk?”

“Yes honey….”

And on and on over and over.

Sam says “Big mouth Dylan” while she encourages her to latch well, instead of having a lazy mouth.  Ivy of course, starts repeating it.

“Dylan got big mouth?” “Big mouth Dylan?”  “Dylan drinking milk?”

“Yes honey.”

She looks up at Sam suddenly serious and aks “Mom, got juice in there too?”

We both started laughing uncontrollably while we explained that there was not, in fact, any juice in there.  And I just thought I might share that awesome moment of parenthood with the rest of you.


I pulled these photos out of my flickr account.  I need to pay to get a yearly subscription though, as I’ve used up half my alloted amount already.

Dylan Aubrey Closs, with Dad.  Less than one full day old.

Dylan in the hospital bassinet, with Mom’s hand.

Dylan at home, with her blankies.  Sam thought she looked like she was praying, so I snapped a couple of pictures of her like this while she was in her moses basket.

Baby Dylan with Auntie Jen. (I love that bambi blanket. Shhh!)

The earliest picture ever of her.  This is right after delivery on mommy’s chest, still cord attached.  At this point the Dr. was attaching the clamps and whatnot in preperation for me to cut the cord, which I did.  Didn’t know if I would be able to – but it wasn’t so difficult.  The hard part was stopping the waterworks while I did it. ;)

More posts to come with details about the whole adventure, and how things are going now.  For now, the quick update is that Ivy is doing good as a big sister, we’re settling in fine, and Dylan is super cute.  We’re very, very happy.  And we need sleepers with mittens built in! ;)

Solve for X

I wonder if the “ten second tidy” on Big Comfy Couch is really a good idea.  I mean, Ivy likes it, and is starting to go through her cleaning phase.  We hear lots of “Clean up, Clean up, Clean up, Clean up” when we remind her she’s made a mess.

However, Loonette the clown seems to believe that tucking everything back into the couch is a good version of a tidy. (I beg to differ)

Combine that with Ivy’s new interest in television, and interaction (Go, Diego, Go and Hi-5 are her current favourites) and you get a formula like the following:

TST+Ivy(TV + Interest x Copying+ Interacting)/Couch = X

Solve for X where TST = Ten Second Tidy

I think the only thing we’re going to get out of this is a couch full of treasures.

Kids and TV.

At several posts ago there was one about children and TV.  The synopsis is that “A study mentioned in Time Magazine by Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Christakis at the University of Washington, notes that language development may actually be delayed by watching Baby Einstein DVDs.

Ryan pointed out that “I can say honestly I failed here. My children had almost every Baby Einstein ever made and they loved them. But too redeem myself, my dog has never watched a dog training video…yet.

(Incidentally, in case anyone takes this the wrong way, I like and enjoy it’s particular variety of humour…though I wish it was updated more often.)

In their comments I posted the following:

 My child watched some Baby Einstein videos, but generally wasn’t interested in them. With our next we want to use sign language videos – I’ve heard good things about a few.

Ours doesn’t get much TV, and what she does get it targeted for little children – and her vocabulary and animal/person recognition has risen considerably with what little TV she does get.

To which Ryan replied:

Ryan Lee said…

Thanks for the comment, Jeff.

My experience with baby sign language demonstrates not too expect too much. Some take to it and others just aren’t ready. Many kids will just need the ever important “milk”, “mom”, “play”, and “cookie.”

Inicdentally, I think this study is trying to convey that working directly with your daughter in baby sign would be better than using a video. There is just something about human contact that accelerates learning.

Good luck….tell us about it if you do.

Today I went back and wrote thusly:

  Jeff said…
Been awhile since I’ve been here. I would agree that working directly with your child will produce better results than expecting a video to teach them, but I also believe that a video can reinforce ideas that you’ve helped implant.
Ours is nearly two now. She uses 4 and 5 word sentences – though they may not be grammatically correct.
“Want daddy some socks please” is a good example – meaning she wants daddy to put on some socks please, not to get her some. ;)
She doesn’t watch alot of TV, compared to what I know some other kids her age watch – but she got her share of Baby Einstein and still gets her share of Treehouse – when she asks for it.
I don’t believe her vocabulary or language development is delayed at all by what TV she’s watched.
I will keep you updated how the next one turns out, if we do pursue baby signs more fully.

Do any of you have any sort of input on this?  Does anyone truly believe that watching TV will set a child back if they are otherwise properly educated?

What have you done with your children, what choices regarding TV have you made – and further, how do you feel about them?  Do you feel guilty or good about letting or not letting your infant, toddler or child watch TV?  Do you let them watch too much?  How much is that?

Ivy Picture Fulfillment (complete!)

Here are some more Ivy pics.  The ninja ones are per request of family.

Ivy with poo-bear winter gear.

Getting geared up for winter with a toque and bib.  Really!

Ivy in her Halloween Ninja gear – with mask!

Ivy in her ninja gear – sans mask.

Ivy punkin’ pickin’ with the family out at the Mufford Valley Ranch.

There!  All the ivy pictures updated.  Well, except for the Christmas ones, but they’re upcoming.  I’m also working on a couple simply youtube vids of her we took with the camera, we’ll see if they work.

Ivy Picture Request (Partial) Fulfillment

Ivy in a car, watching us build a trebuchet.

Ivy being silly.  This is really uncommon.  Really. ;)

Ivy and Dad.  Incidentally, I’m wearing this shirt today.

Ivy sleeping cutely, old pic, early summer.

Close up of above.

Ivy at home playing with shoes.  And a princess skirt thing.  Early summer,current house, during renos.

There you go.  Pictures of Ivy, up on the blog.  Pictures of Ninja Ivy (TM) at Halloween, and some Christmassy type pics coming soon.  Also, the videos I’ve been meant to do forever, now that my computer is in a useable spot.

As seen on slashdot…

A comment about parents gaming with their children I saw on slashdot and liked.

Well, I am not primarily my kids’ FRIEND…

I am their parent.

We don’t have to share interests, although it is nice. However my main priority when it comes to my kids is gaming in the real world.

One time I caught my son chasing his sister with a whiffle ball bat — it’s not heavy enough to really hurt somebody, but it certainly can sting like the dickens.

“Here, give me that,” I said. “We’re going to play a game. You are going to take this bat and tap me on the shin. But the rules of the game say I can tap you back on the shin just as hard.”

So, my son takes the bat and gives me a tiny little tap. I take the bat and give him a tiny tap. Then he gives me a slightly harder tap which I return. Then he gives me a look that plainly says he doesn’t believe I’m serious, then gives me a painful whack in the shin. I take the bat and promptly give him an equally painful whack in the shin. He then gives me light tap which I return.

This goes on for a while, and my son is literally whooping with laughter, when my wife walks in to see what’s going on. She snatches the bat out of my son’s hands. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she yells.

“I’m teaching our son about the Golden Rule,” I reply. “Also, that it hurts to be whacked with a bat.”

One other time, I walked into the room and caught my daughter calling my son a “shithead”, for which I remonstrated with her.

“Do you want me to apologize?” she asked.

“Of course I want you to apologize,” I replied,” although I realize I can’t keep you from insulting each other.”

“You mean its OK to insult each other?” she asked.

“Of course it’s not OK,” I replied. “I simply recognize I can’t stop you from doing it. I insist, however, that we don’t use potty language in this house.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” I replied, “let’s play a little game. Try insulting me without using potty language.”

“Er,’You are a stinky idiot.'”

“No, playground language isn’t acceptable either,” I said. “How about, ‘You are a fetid addle-pate.'”

We went back and forth a few times, and were just getting into the swing of things when my wife came into the room. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she cried.

“I am teaching our daughter not to use vulgar language,” I replied. “I am also working on her vocabulary.”

Sometimes I wonder if women understand child-rearing at all.”