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    Baby Signs


    2013 - 02.06

    Just wondering if there’s anyone we know who has some experience with Baby Signs or Baby Signing.  It seems as though there’s a few different options out there, and perhaps a few schools of thought.

    The original book that started it all seems to indicate that you should see what signs your baby is already making when they are trying to communicate and to largely adopt those as the language you use (this is a gross simplification).  We probably all at times growing up either had secret languages, or fantasized about having them.  That said, secret languages are most useful not in communicating but in keeping secrets, and that’s counter to our goal here.

    Other advocates seem to use primarily ASL (American Sign Language which is the official sign language for English speaking Canada), which makes sense to me since it would be a larger life skill for both the baby and us, if we started to become fluent in it we could actually use it for something else, whereas the secret language wouldn’t provide this benefit.

    One thing that I found especially odd is that as far as I can tell none of the programs are endorsed or provided by Deaf organizations.  It seems at least on the face of it that would be a natural fit, good outreach and a valuable revenue stream.  Also the fact that those organizations don’t seem to be involved at all triggers some cynicism for me at least.  Regardless, at this point we’re still planning on going forward with it.

    So I guess the questions that we’d like answers to are:

    • have you tried signing with your baby, and would you recommend it?
    • what resources if any did you use?
    • did you use ASL based languages or something else?
    • did you take a course, and would you recommend it?
    • did you teach everyone in the family the various signs? how about baby sitters?

     

    We’ve Moved!


    2012 - 12.07

    Some people are already aware of this, in truth just about everyone who might stumble across this already knows that we’ve moved, but on the off-chance that you missed it: we moved.

    We don’t normally talk a lot about where we live, for obvious Internet reasons, but we’re still in Burnaby, and are now in a 3-bedroom upper level of a house w/ two car garage.  It’s a significant upgrade in a lot of ways from our 2-bedroom condo.  The most obvious one beyond the extra bedroom is the extra 520 square feet of space (which makes it 59% larger); additionally it’s cheaper.  We did take a step back in the age department with this place being about 20 years older than where we were, but so far the extra size is making up for it completely.

    We’re still unpacking and probably will be for a while yet, the current task is putting drawer and cabinet liners in the assorted places in the kitchen, before loading up all the cupboards.  You’ll probably see some more housing related updates in the coming weeks, but no promises.

    Decluttering


    2012 - 11.06

    We’re planning to move on December 1st. We’ve both been very comfortable and happy where we live now (a two bedroom condo) but with The Passenger on the way, we want to try and find something larger and cheaper (we’ve heard a rumour that babies sometimes need “stuff”). It’s tricky because between the two of us, we’ve only moved three times…and I don’t really count the time my parents moved me when I was eight months old.

    Staying in one place for a really long time (27 and 29 years for Dave and my first houses, then five years here) means that a lot of stuff gets accumulated. It doesn’t help that we both have hobbies that require a lot of stuff to do them. We’re also both bookworms and have many, MANY books, not to mention DVDs, kitchen things, clothes, video games and computer equipment.

    Our somewhat excessive Costco habit doesn’t help. :/

    It’s time to start purging, even though we’re planning to have a larger place. With luck, we’ll get rid of half of our belongings (eek…) and have a much easier move and a fresh start in our new place.

    Moving


    2012 - 11.03

    We’ve officially given our notice and are actively looking for a new place to live for December 1st. Yikes. Anyone want to come over and help us move? Or pack? Or both?

    I’m going to be eight months (36 weeks) pregnant on moving day…at least I’ll have an excuse to not carry boxes around!

    (and hopefully The Passenger decides to arrive AFTER we’ve gotten settled, and at least partly unpacked!)

    Baby Registry


    2012 - 11.02

    So we’re in the process of trying to come up with a baby registry.  So far it has been way more difficult than I thought it would be.  There’s so many options out there, and so many things that they at least want to sell you.  So far we’ve looked extensively at Sears and Baby ‘R’ Us.  Does anyone have any other recommendations, or good or bad experiences with baby registries?

    • Were there any items that you received that you thought were useless but turned out to be indispensable?
    • Were there any items that you asked for that you never used, or regret getting?

    The other challenge that we have with this whole process is that Karin and I are not historically minimalists, but it is where we’re trying to go.  Given that we feel that it’s mostly a learned behaviour, we want to be there from the beginning with The Passenger so that they don’t learn bad habits.  That also makes it difficult to fill out a gift registry.

    That said we think we’ve actually finally managed to get it down to things we probably actually will use when raising The Passenger™.  I won’t claim that we’ve managed to pare it down to only things that we actually need but I do think we’ll use this stuff, and that we haven’t gone too crazy.

    We’ve got two registries at this point, and they do overlap a little (but not completely), so if you do decide to get something from the registry please do get a gift receipt (just in case).

    If you are reading this, please don’t feel that you need to get us anything.  It would be appreciated but we don’t want anyone to feel obligated.  Cards are totally adequate should you feel the need to give us something.  Otherwise, feel free to make a contribution to an RESP (although please let us know if you intend to do this, as we’ll need to manage the lifetime contribution amount, and provide you with a valid SIN).

    The registries are (spaces are added for readability):

    If you’re at a store without the numbers you should be able to find them under “Karin Abel, Burnaby, BC” or under my name.

    Other really cool options if you want to think outside the box a little:

    • bring Karin food after The Passenger arrives (apparently there are some cultures where this is the norm)
    • babysitting ;-)
    • visiting
    • video messages

    That’s the limit of my creativity at the moment.  Somewhat related, Karin’s shower is on November 17th.  She’s a little shy about it, so if you haven’t received an invitation yet, but would like to go let me know.  People aren’t being excluded on purpose.

    The Passenger


    2012 - 10.23

    Karin got so excited about this particular post that she made it somewhere else entirely.  Sometimes managing an online identity can be a lot of work.  Without further ado here’s her post from www.keabel.com (Random Synapses):

    So, Dave and I are expecting a baby in January. :)

    This is kind of a weird post for me to write. I’ve spent the better part of six months not talking about The Passenger online. We’ve only just told people on Facebook and Twitter, although anyone I’ve talked to for more than 30 seconds knows. Beyond the fact that my abdomen has expanded significantly, I tend to have conversations like “Hey, how’s it going?” “Good, I was just heading to the grocery store.” “Oh, yeah, I went to the grocery store the other day to get food BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT.”

    I don’t want to become the person who only talks about pregnancy and babies and so on, so I don’t know how much I’ll post on here, but I’ll preemptively answer the main questions that I’ve been getting. :)

    We don’t know the sex, but the ultrasound tech wrote it down and put it into an envelope for us. We’ve had it for about two and a half months and haven’t really been tempted to look. I think Dave’s got it in his wallet, but I couldn’t actually tell you exactly. :)

    We’ve got a couple names we’re thinking about but haven’t decided on any yet. Dave and I are both really picky about names, so we might have an unnamed child for a while. Does anyone happen to know the time limit for naming a kid? (I’m not entirely joking…)

    Nope, we aren’t getting married right now. Maybe in a while.

    I’ve been feeling surprisingly good. Almost no nausea…just a smidge of queasiness a couple days early on. I’ve mostly been exhausted and wound up sleeping away most of the summer. My worst complaint is some hip/joint/pelvic pain that’s been slowly getting more intense. I’ve got a support belt I wear that seems to help a lot.

    I’m feeling a TON of movement. There’s certain times or things that The Passenger is particularly active around…right when I wake up, around 11 pm, around dinner and when I’m about to go to bed. I didn’t feel much until around 18 weeks, but s/he is making up for it now. The funniest thing is when it seems like The Passenger is jumping on the bed. I’ll be lying on my side and will feel a twitch on the side touching the bed, then another one a split second later on the side that’s toward the ceiling. I’ve heard that regular kick patterns may indicate sleep cycles when the baby is born, so I’m kinda hoping that’s true, since I haven’t felt much at 0300 or anything. :)

    Hopefully I’ll be able to work right up until the winter break. My plan is to go on maternity leave then, so that it’s a nice break point.

    We’re planning to move in the next little while. We aren’t sure exactly when or where, but ideally we want a bigger place that’s cheaper than what we have now, so wish us luck with that…hehe.

    I think that’s about it. :) Now that this big news is out, I think I’ll be able to blog more since I won’t need to watch what I’m writing.

    Good First Day in Edmonton


    2012 - 10.05

    So we’ve had a good first day in Edmonton with pretty much everything going smoothly, and managing to check a lot off of our to do list.  Hopefully the rest of the trip goes as well.

    Nadia 3 – Kelley Armstrong


    2012 - 10.01

    Got the quarterly Kelley Armstrong newsletter today, which is one of those things that I get infrequently enough that I make sure that I actually read it.

    That and there tends to be cool little easter eggs in it.  This time around, it was the reference to the fact that there’s going to be a third book in the Nadia Strafford series and that it’s coming out next year.  Since I love the books in the series so far, I’m pretty excited to hear about that.  Especially since it wasn’t clear that there would be more books in the series (it’s been 4 years since the last book).

    The other cool thing in the newsletter (even though I knew this already) was that she’s getting a TV series for fall 2013 on Space (13 episode order) called Bitten and based on her first book in the Otherworld series (although they probably won’t limit themselves to the first book).

    Fall TV Season


    2012 - 09.13

    Well it’s a little late given that some things have already started to air… and that doesn’t even include the one’s that didn’t make this list (poached from here).  Missing shows which have already started include: Warehouse 13 (Showcase), Copper (Showcase), Hell on Wheels (AMC), Perception (Bravo), Alphas (Space), Common Law (Showcase) and there’s probably more I’m forgetting or don’t care about.

    I’ve added some highlight and comments below, most on shows we’re interested in.

    Sunday, Sept. 9

    • Wallander (PBS)
    • CCMA Awards (CBC)
    • The Inbetweeners (MuchMusic)

    Monday, Sept. 10

    • The Voice (NBC, CTV Two)
    • Katie (Citytv)
    • The Jeff Probst Show (Global)
    • Ricki Lake (Global)
    • Men at Work (Comedy)
    • Sullivan and Son (Comedy)
    • Shannen Says (E!)
    • Hoarders (A&E)

    Tuesday, Sept. 11

    • The New Normal (Preview on Sept. 10, NBC, CTV)
    • Guys With Kids (Global, the next night on NBC)
    • Parenthood (NBC, Global)
    • Go On (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, NBC, Global)
    • Sons of Anarchy (Super Channel)

    Wednesday, Sept. 12

    • The X Factor (Fox, CTV)
    • Thursday, Sept. 13
    • Glee (Fox, Global) – this seems like an early start date for Glee…
    • Tia and Tamera (E!)

    Friday, Sept. 14

    • The Fifth Estate (CBC)
    • Marketplace (CBC)
    • Shark Tank (ABC, CTV Two)
    • What Would You Do? (ABC)
    • 20/20 (ABC)

    Saturday, Sept. 15

    • Saturday Night Live (NBC, Global) – do people actually still watch this show?

    Sunday, Sept. 16

    • Boardwalk Empire (HBO Canada)
    • Heartland (CBC)
    • Over the Rainbow (CBC)
    • The Mob Doctor (CTV, the next night on Fox)

    Monday, Sept. 17

    • Revolution (NBC, Citytv)
    • Bones (Fox, Global) – hoping for an improved season, expectations are low
    • Who Do You Think You Are? (CBC)

    Tuesday, Sept. 18

    • Rick Mercer Report (CBC)
    • Anger Management (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, CTV)

    Wednesday, Sept. 19

    • Survivor (CBS, Global)
    • Titanic: Blood and Steel (CBC)
    • Dragons’ Den (CBC)

    Thursday, Sept. 20

    • Flashpoint (CTV)
    • Parks and Recreation (NBC, Citytv)
    • The Office (NBC)
    • Up All Night (NBC)
    • The Nature of Things (CBC)
    • Doc Zone (CBC)

    Saturday, Sept. 22

    • W5 (CTV)

    Sunday, Sept. 23

    • Emmy Awards (ABC, CTV)
    • Treme (HBO Canada)
    • Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada)

    Monday, Sept. 24

    • Dancing With the Stars (ABC, CTV)
    • 2 Broke Girls (CBS, Citytv)
    • Mike and Molly (CBS)
    • Partners (CBS, Citytv)
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS, Citytv)
    • Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, Global) - I think I’m done with this show, but I’ll probably give it a couple of episodes this year to win me back.

    Tuesday, Sept. 25

    • New Girl (Fox, Citytv)
    • The Mindy Project (Fox, Citytv)
    • Ben and Kate (Fox, Citytv)
    • NCIS (CBS, Global)
    • NCIS: LA (CBS, Global)
    • Vegas (CBS, Global)
    • Private Practice (ABC, Citytv)
    • Criminal Minds (CTV, the next night on CBS)

    Wednesday, Sept. 26

    • Modern Family (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Middle (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Neighbors (ABC)
    • CSI (CBS, CTV)
    • Law and Order: SVU (NBC, CTV Two)
    • Animal Practice (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, NBC)

    Thursday, Sept. 27

    • Elementary (CBS, Global)
    • Person of Interest (CBS, Citytv)
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS, CTV)
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS, CTV)
    • Last Resort (ABC, Global)
    • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, CTV)
    • Scandal (ABC, Citytv)

    Friday, Sept. 28

    • Haven (Showcase)
    • Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, Global)
    • Fringe (Fox, Citytv)
    • CSI: NY (CBS, CTV)
    • Made in Jersey (CBS, Global)
    • Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV)

    Sunday, Sept. 30

    • Dexter (TMN, MC)
    • Once Upon a Time (ABC, CTV)
    • Revenge (ABC, Citytv)
    • 666 Park Ave. (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Amazing Race (CBS, CTV)
    • The Good Wife (CBS, Global)
    • The Mentalist (CBS, CTV)
    • Homeland (Super Channel)
    • The Simpsons (Fox, Global)
    • Bob’s Burgers (Fox, Global)
    • Family Guy (Fox, Global)
    • American Dad (Fox, Global)
    • Call The Midwife (PBS) – maybe?
    • 60 Minutes (CBS)

    Tuesday, Oct. 2

    • Raising Hope (Fox, Citytv)
    • Hart of Dixie (CW)

    Wednesday, Oct. 3

    • The Bachelor Canada (Citytv)
    • Supernatural (CW)

    Thursday, Oct. 4

    • 30 Rock (NBC, Citytv)
    • Covert Affairs (Showcase)
    • Jersey Shore (MTV)

    Sunday, Oct. 7

    • The Cleveland Show (Fox, Global)

    Monday, Oct. 8

    • Gossip Girl (CW)
    • 90210 (CW)
    • White Collar (Bravo) - Season 3 we think…

    Wednesday, Oct. 10

    • Arrow (CW, CTV Two)
    • Nashville (ABC, CTV Two)
    • Chicago Fire (NBC, Global)
    • Duck Dynasty (A&E)

    Thursday, Oct. 11

    • The Vampire Diaries (CW, CTV Two)
    • Beauty and the Beast (CW, Showcase)
    • Covert Affairs (Showcase) – I know this is the second time it appears on the list, but I don’t know which date is correct.

    Sunday, Oct. 14

    • The Walking Dead (AMC)

    Monday, Oct. 15

    • Match Game (Comedy)

    Tuesday, Oct. 16

    • Emily Owens, M.D. (CW, CTV Two)
    • Holmes Makes it Right (HGTV)
    • Underemployed (MTV)
    • The Big Decision (CBC)

    Wednesday, Oct. 17

    • Suburgatory (ABC, Citytv)
    • American Horror Story (FX Canada)

    Friday, Oct. 19

    • Whitney (NBC)
    • Community (NBC, Citytv)
    • Nikita (CW, CTV Two)
    • Hunted (HBO Canada)

    Sunday, Oct. 21

    • Happy Endings (Citytv, two days later on ABC)

    Monday, Oct. 22

    • Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 (Citytv, one day later on ABC)

    Friday, Oct. 26

    • Touch (Fox, Global) - we haven’t actually finished watching the ones we have on PVR, but we’ll probably keep watching it.

    Friday, Nov. 2

    • Last Man Standing (ABC, Citytv)
    • Malibu Country (ABC)

     

    So what’s everyone else watching?

    Growing from Seed: Jiffy-7


    2012 - 06.09

    For Easter Karin got some seed starting kits, and she’s had pretty good success with them so far.  In fact so much success that she needed to give away a bunch of the seedlings because they all sprouted.  So that’s pretty cool, and maybe she’ll talk more about her experience herself.

    The point of this post though is to expound a little bit on the Jiffy-7 Pellets which are very interesting things.  They are an integral part of the seed starting greenhouse that Karin used, and you would think that because they are called Jiffy-7 that you could just go anywhere and buy additional pellets and refill your greenhouse.  You’d think that, right?

    Well it turns out that the pellets come in different sizes, which isn’t really that problematic, but you’d think that they might be Jiffy-1, Jiffy-2, Jiffy-5, Jiffy-7 pellets and such.  Turns out that logical system doesn’t apply to the Jiffy pellets, regardless of size, they are all called Jiffy-7 and they go from about 18mm to about 60mm.  What this really means is that it’s significantly more difficult to find the right size pellet, because they all have the same name, and the sizes are not always clearly marked or indicated either on the boxes of additional pellets, bulk pellets or on the Jiffy Greenhouses themselves.

    So the bottom line is that they are a great product, but that you need to be especially careful that you know what size you’re looking for so that you aren’t disappointed.