Sunday, April 29, 2007

watch out for powerlines, laptops, and more

Just read an article about radiation from laptops being harmful to children. Something to keep in mind for when Jonah is older and wants to start using a computer. Parenting a child in the computer age will be an adventure. Uncharted waters for me, that's for sure.

Another article I came across today talked about a report based on a study of the health of children living near powerlines. The study showed "clear evidence that living near an electricity line could be linked to fatal childhood diseases such as leukaemia." Additionally, the report also "raised concerns about the electric and magnetic fields inside the home caused by radios, televisions and even washing machines and cookers. It called for the Government to advise householders on reducing risks, for example by moving electrical equipment away from the bedside."

The authors, a collective of academics, medical charities and representatives of the electricity industry, urged equipment manufacturers to "investigate how to limit electric and magnetic fields."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ice cream

The other day Jonah tried ice cream, well gelato to be more specific, for the first time. We generally don't give him any sugary foods. Just fig bars, raisins, fruit and juice with no extra sweeteners. He likes all of that of course. So, I thought he would go wild for ice cream. Suprisingly, he was more excited about the scooping action than the ice cream itself. The gelato came in colorful cups with little plastic shovels. Jonah enjoyed about five spoonfulls and then was done. I was very happy about that! Now he knows what ice cream is. Several books he has mention it. He likes to reminisce about us having it together, but doesn't beg for it. Good deal.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

mom learned her lesson

For the first time in a long time Jonah and I watched a cartoon together on the computer. We haven't had our TV set up since Jonah was about four or five months old, so he has only watched TV a handful of times in his life. Maybe three times total? I've shown him cartoons on a couple of occasions before when he was sick with a fever and I wanted to slow him down. But at the time he was just about a year old and his reaction was more of a non-reaction. He just sat there mesmerized. This time, we watched a Czech cartoon about a little mole. I grew up on this stuff. First, we watched Krtek a zelená hvězda or Mole and the Green Star.

When the mole cried, I got a little emotional. The film tugged at my heartstrings, okay? Hey, I grew up watching this stuff, so I got a little teary-eyed. I hid my half a dozen tears from Jonah, who looked worried about the crying mole. Nevertheless, he asked to watch the cartoon again. The second time he knew what was coming when and predicted when the birds would enter the scene and when the bunny would... This time around, though, he got so worked up when the mole cried, that he began to cry a terribly sad and loud cry. He could't stop. I was horrified that I might have traumatized him. But stupid enough to let him watch another mole cartoon the next day:

This one was even more emotionally trying for Jonah. When the mole squeezed into the glass bottle and floated around in the see, Jonah was very concerned about him. Then, when the little boy appeared and shot an arrow aimed at the mole's rocket ship in the end, Jonah started bawling uncontrollably.

He empathizes so much these days that he couldn't handle any thought of danger or injury bestowed upon our hero, the mole.

I took a long time to calm him down. Finally, I resolved to not show him cartoons for a long time to come, even if they are created with little children in mind. He is so sensitive now and he takes the cartoons seriously. Lesson learned.

Monday, April 23, 2007

name the drawing

For the first time Jonah drew something. He's been experimenting with dots and squiggles for a while, but last weekend he drew a squiggle, pointed at it and said: "Had." That means a snake in Czech. A big milestone!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

hey, I'm making music here!

So, I was sitting down, jamming on Jonah's musical instruments with his little plastic mallets. I thought I sounded pretty good with my funky groove, nodding my head to the rhythm, imagining I was one of those cool performers in Stomp, but what do you know. Just when I imagined myself up on the stage, playing an infectious beat and making the audience tap their feet, Jonah walked up to me, pointed at his head and said: "Headache." Translation: "Mommy, the noise you're making is giving me a huge headache." Great. Thanks, son. Thanks a lot. I thought I was making splendid music here!

Friday, April 20, 2007

brand recognition

This morning we ran some errands. It was the perfect day for it, since Jonah was very mellow and able to sit still in his stroller for quite a while. One of our stops was at the bank. Jonah sat quietly for a long time while I dealt with the teller. The bank began to fill up with people, forming a long silent line behind us, seemingly not noticing there was a child in the room. After some time, a man wearing a bike helmet walked in. Suddenly Jonah exploded with excitement, shouting "Helmet!" at the top of his lungs. Everyone burst out laughing. It was excellent comic timing. Such a random, yet meaningful utterance from such a tiny somebody.

One of our other stops was the post office. I have only taken Jonah there maybe three times in his life and not in a while. He has been obsessed with things that go lately. These include dump trucks, diggers, bulldozers, big rigs, fork lifts, cranes, mail trucks and the like. He is so good at identifying them around the city that he beats me in the race all the time. What shocked me the most today was when at the post office, no mail trucks in sight, he noticed the post office logo, the blue and white eagle, on the envelopes they were selling. He pointed and unequivocally stated: "mail truck." I couldn't believe it. That's logo, even brand recognition if I've ever seen it. That's how they get them so young.

I remembered a long-lost friend whose two-year-old would see a Starbucks logo somewhere random while riding around in a car and say: "daddy's work" because his dad worked at Starbucks. Incredible!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

tulips & dump trucks

Lately Jonah's imagination has blossomed. He is turning ordinary objects into other more fun things - small balls into berries, a push toy into a lawn mower, a stick into a car key, a parent into a horse. Heck, he doesn't even need an object to use his imagination. He can just pretend he is eating without holding anything in his hand.

Likewise, his vocabulary has been expanding with the speed of a lightning. For example, he has been learning colors lately.

Today was a fun day. We went to a tulip festival, something I've always wanted to see, but always missed by weeks. This festival was so much fun. Of course, the beautiful flowers, food, and so much for Jonah to do - mostly simple, old-fashioned entertainment, which is what we're mostly about. There were hand-powered water pumps that propelled ducks down a rain gutter, slides, tunnels, a simple wooden playhouse for toddlers, swings, and best of all - a sandbox with a dump truck and shovels it. Jonah was in heaven.

One of my favorite things to see, aside from the flowers, were the old-style steam powered tractors. The machinery worked effortlessly, with the wheels spinning silently and the wood, burning to heat water that in turn created the steam, smelled so good!

I put up new pictures in our photoalbum for your enjoyment

Thursday, April 12, 2007

word games

Jonah's vocabulary is exploding. He's now even able to play with language. Today we went to our usual weekly story time at the library. There Jonah met another boy named Harry. Since Jonah learns names quickly these days, he called the boy by his name and was later able to reminisce about interacting with Harry. We were "talking" about Harry when suddenly Jonah said "strawberry." I laughed and replied: "No, not strawberry; Harry at the library." Jonah laughed and repeated: "Strawberry." I repeated my answer. He then wanted to hear the joke again: "Strawberry?" He requested to hear the same joke dozens of times and laughed hysterically each and every time. That was our first funny word game. Jonah's growing up so fast!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


One of Jonah's favorite activities these days is digging in the garden (and on the beach in the sand). He is obsessed with it. He used to ask if he could go "dee" with a "shoffa." Now he has improved his pronunciation of "shovel" and added the final consonant to digg. Except it's not a "g"; it's a k sound. He walks around the house repeating it when he reminisces or urges me to drop everything and go "dick, dick, dick, dick."

sentences & impersonations

Just last week Jonah said his first toddler sentence. He was "reading" one of his favorite books, which features construction vehicles such as dumpster trucks and diggers. He said, "Baby go outside." I know I posted here a long while back, claiming that Jonah uttered his first sentence, but now I realize that was just happenstance. He is now forming toddler-style sentences frequently. Yesterday morning he helped me do the dishes and while at the sink, he played with the coffee pot, narrating: "Coffee make daddy."

Also recently he put on Tim's shoes, put a bag over his shoulder, and began walking around the house talking in a loud and whiny pretend voice, the same type of voice he uses for make-belief phone conversations. I wonder if he was impersonating daddy. It sure seemed like it.


Jonah has been learning people's names. And not just people's. One of his favorite books features a little boy character whose name is Matt. Jonah learned his name right away and now refers to the book by saying "Matt." Just yesterday when Tim left for work, Jonah said in his soft and high "goodbye voice": Goodbye, Tim. Wow! In New York, Jonah learned all his new friends' names right away too and now we reminisce about these friends still.