April 29, 2005

Yuppie Slums of Issaquah

I forgot to make this post a month ago, when I first took the picture.

Over in Issaquah, there's a large development of townhouses or some much, up above a large shopping area and a regional Boeing office building. The houses, are very densely packed and look all alike:
200503195192_thumb.jpg (click to see full image)

I need to get a better picture to give the full impact of what the development looks like. Now, I'm sure these houses sell for lots of money and are home to various professionals. But I couldn't imagine living in that dense maze of no-elbow-room housing. Which is why the name "Yuppie Slums of Issaquah" came to mind.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:24 AM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2005


Today while Tom was watching Dorothy, she came up with a new trick - drinking from a sippy cup and walking at the same time. He was worried that she would pitch over backwards, but she kept her balance just fine. When he told me about it, I commented, "So she's more coordinated than Gerald Ford!"

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

3% Follow Health Guidelines

According to a Reuters story on CNN, only 3% of Americans follow health guidelines to keep their weight down, eat healthy foods (lots of fruits & veggies), exercise, and not smoke. Larger percentages of people do some of the things, but only 3% do all four.

I'm wondering what fraction of the population follow none of the guidelines. How many cigarette-smoking, overweight, junk-food-eating couch potatoes are there?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2005

Who Does Jesus Love?

Does anyone else find the Unborn Patriot Ornament (which I found via Daddy Types) freaky scary? I mean, here's part of the description:

Plastic replica of an 11-12 week old fetus, 3" long, holding a firearm in its precious little hand, with an assortment of other military paraphernalia, encased in a translucent plastic ornament, with a patriotic yellow ribbon on top.
Looking further, the site does seem to mostly have parody items (e.g., "667-Neighbor of the Beast" stickers, Christian panties with text like "Jesus Loves My Ass," and of course the "Lock 'n' Load Jesus" mouse pad). You have to admire their motto ("Where even your MONEY is saved!").

But that ornament is still freaky.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

The Great Orange Chicken

Cobalt is a bit of a bully. If Rhodium is sleeping on the rocking chair, or sitting in the windowsill, he'll often decide that that's just where he has to be, and kick her out. She sometimes fights back a little, but she usually gives in pretty quickly, considering he outweighs her by something like 50%.

But today he showed his true colors. Both cats have been trying to tell us how they're dying to get outside. They've been watching birds, deer, and bunnies out the windows, and they just know they could catch some if they could just get out there. So we took them out on leashes this afternoon, for the first time since we got to Bellevue. Rhodium immediately started exploring the area under the birdfeeder. (And we got to hear what the local birds' alarm calls sound like, as several sat up in the high branches and played sentry to let everyone else know she was there.) Cobalt was pretty dubious about even wandering on the deck, jumping and running a couple of times at nothing. Finally, he just crawled into my lap and hid. The wide world was too much for him, the big chicken. :-) He eventually explored the lawn a little when we set him on it, but he was very nervous the whole time. So much for the mighty hunter he's been pretending to be.

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

The Great Outdoors and More

We took way too many photos this past week, but they're not all of Dorothy. We have new photos of flowers, the cats going outside, and Dorothy (of course).

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2005

More Edgy Baby Clothes

T-shirt Hell is yet another store with shirts for your baby that are the antithesis of more normal, cutesy snuggly baby clothes. Examples:

  • I can kick your baby's ass
  • Daddy drinks because I cry
  • "F" the Gerber baby
There are a bunch more places that sell infant clothing for when you're just sick of too much pink. Here are a few favorites:
You can find more links at DaddyTypes

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:42 PM | Comments (2)

April 22, 2005

Who's More Emotional?

In a story on MarketWatch titled "Women make fewer investing mistakes" (registration may be required to read the article), the author cites new research that says that men are more emotional about investing than women, which leads the men to make more mistakes. I have no qualms about the fact that women, on average, do better than men when it comes to investing. But this article made me think more about the entire "women are more emotional than men" thing.

Maybe men and women are equally "emotional," but they just experience different emotions to different extents. On average, men are not as focused on relationships as women are. And on average, women are not as focused on competition as men are. (You can substitute in whatever areas you think are more appropriate than "relationships" and "competition" - I'm just pulling the first stereotype off the top of my head.) But I would bet that each gender feels, on average, equally strongly about those areas they're most focused on.

Just because one group communicates about their feelings more than another group does not mean that they actually have more feelings. So stop saying that women are more emotional than men, OK? Maybe women talk about their feelings more than men do, because those types of discussions are more relevant to their focus on relationships. Didja ever think of that?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

Krugman's Points on Health Care Costs

Although Paul Krugman's politics seem to inform his economics (rather than the other way around, as you would expect; that's why I don't usually pay much attention to him), he does raise some interesting points about the cost of health care:

According to the World Health Organization, in the United States administrative expenses eat up about 15 percent of the money paid in premiums to private health insurance companies, but only 4 percent of the budgets of public insurance programs
He goes on to argue that the lower administrative cost is a reason why we should have universal, government-sponsored health care. I don't think his conclusion follows from the facts he brings up, and there are certainly enough problems with government provided health care in other countries to argue against such a system. But he makes a point about competition:
Isn't competition supposed to make the private sector more efficient than the public sector? Well, as the World Health Organization put it in a discussion of Western Europe, private insurers generally don't compete by delivering care at lower cost. Instead, they "compete on the basis of risk selection" - that is, by turning away people who are likely to have high medical bills and by refusing or delaying any payment they can.
Is there some way to change the system dynamics so that private companies compete on quality of care at lower cost, rather than on gaming the system by choosing the lowest risk people? There are rules to the game, and the companies are just playing to those rules (i.e., they're "gaming" the system). Change the rules, and you can change the behavior. I'll need to think for a while on ways that might work.
Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2005

What Privacy?

The Zero Boss pointed out a new website that lets you easily find out all sorts of info about people with just their name and state.

We've all known for years now that too much of our "private" information is, in fact, not so private. But to have it so easily found is, of course, disturbing. It does highlight the need for some regulation of the credit reporting industries, for example (since they'll sell your info to almost anyone).

Posted by Tom Nugent at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2005

Finer Motor Skills

Elizabeth and I were surprised by the latest development in Dorothy's fine motor skills. She's had a set of colored beads that are each about three inches across, with a tab on one end and a hole (maybe just over one-quarter inch?) on the other end. As we've seen (1, 2), she is recently able to put mega-blocks together (a skill that Elizabeth read generally didn't come until closer to 18 months). But today, Dorothy put two of the beads together (inserting the tab into the hole)! It takes relatively precise alignment to get them together, and so we were amazed when she just started doing it this evening.

I know I shouldn't brag about random developmental milestones Dorothy reaches (simple reporting should be enough for the grandparents and various friends), because different kids advance at different rates, and when they achieve any particular milestone has very little bearing on their future development. And I'll try to refrain from being obnoxious about it in the future. But it's just so cool! Next thing you know, she'll be juggling chainsaws or something...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)

Planning For the Boys

ADAMANT came up with an alternative idea for dealing with teenage boys wanting to date his daughter: require a security deposit before taking the girl out.

Of course, it doesn't have to be a set amount of money. We don't want to discriminate against any boys who don't have any money. Any item of relative value to the boy would be acceptable. Elizabeth seems to think that his car keys wouldn't be reasonable. "Why not?" asks I. They could improve their health by walking, or simply sample the joys of public transit.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:01 PM | Comments (1)

Jesus Joke

Earlier today I saw the following as the sub-header on The Zero Boss:

Jesus has Risen! Remove from oven and let stand 45 minutes before serving.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

Dirty Clothes

By "dirty" I mean "vulgar." At least, the folks at Potty Mouth sure have some not-so-clean shirts for babies. Very funny ones, but not any that I think we could send Dorothy to daycare in...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

Fun Science for Kids

Science Toys You Can Make With Your Kids looks like a really neat site for simple, at-home projects. I can't wait for Dorothy to get just a little older. (Yes, I know that, before I can blink, she'll be all grown up and I'll be wishing she was younger.)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:40 PM | Comments (1)

Housing Riots?!

DadTalk quoted an article today from the Los Angeles Times that brings home how bad the housing market (bubble?) is in some places:

Last February, the sirens howled in Hollywood as the LAPD rushed reinforcements to the 5600 block of La Mirada Avenue. While a police captain barked orders through a bullhorn, an angry crowd of 3,000 people shouted back expletives. A passerby might have mistaken the confrontation for a movie shoot, or perhaps the beginning of the next L.A. riot.

In fact, as LAPD Capt. Michael Downing later told the media: “You had some very desperate people who had a mob mentality. It was as if people were trying to get the last piece of bread.”

The bread-riot allusion was apt, although the crowd was in fact clamoring for the last crumbs of affordable housing in a city where rents and mortgages have been soaring. At stake were 56 unfinished apartments being built by a nonprofit agency. The developers had expected a turnout of, at most, several hundred. When thousands of desperate applicants showed up instead, the scene quickly turned ugly, and the police intervened.

That's right - people were rioting in Los Angeles over housing. Maybe we are in a bubble after all...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

Traffic Irony

I got a speeding ticket shortly after Dorothy's birthday. I mailed in the ticked with a request for a mitigation hearing, which was today in Mercer Island. The parking lot was full, which put me in an ironic situation: was I going to need to park illegally, risking a ticket, in order to go to traffic court?!? What the eff were they thinking?

Two different people there said that the parking lot usually has plenty of space, and indeed it did when I left court. So maybe my experience was a fluke. Or maybe the people who designed that building (which also contains city hall and the police department) are bastards.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:19 PM | Comments (2)

Fake Paper

It sure is getting easier to publish a scientific paper. You can have your computer write it for you! And if you find someone with almost no standards or feedback, then you can probably get them to accept it, too.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Southern Boys and Their Duct Tape

There's a great quote from this story about honoring the engineers who helped save the Apollo 13 crew:

"One thing a Southern boy will never say is 'I don't think duct tape will fix it."

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2005

Hummingbirds and Other Photos

The title just about says it all. There's a new batch of photos online, including not only Dorothy, but some shots of our local hummingbirds.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

The Games We Play

I went back to reading "The Story About the Toddler" and saw this truth:

Jeff’s First Rule For Playing With Toddlers

“Never play any game you aren’t prepared to play 500 more times.”

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

Sign Up

Dorothy is getting much better at her sign language.

Yesterday afternoon Dorothy was playing in the living room, after having gone to story time and then hanging at the mall while having the car's oil changed (she got to nap at the mall). I was tired, so I laid down on the couch and dozed a bit. I would open my eyes every couple of minutes to make sure she was OK. And after a while she was mostly playing right in front of me. After a half hour, she woke me up, did the sign for "all done" (which she now does when she's nearly done with food, when definitely done with food, in the middle of getting her diaper changed, when she wants to be picked up, etc.) to which I responded "Is Daddy all done with his nap now?" She immediately gave me the sign for "food" so I took her to the kitchen for a snack. But overall, I was stunned. She nudged me awake, told me she was done with playing and was hungry for a snack. All without saying a word, and at the ripe old age of 13 months.

Who knows what magical communication she'll be capable of at 18 months? "Hey pops, get your lazy butt out of bed and bring me some damn Cheerios!"

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:40 PM | Comments (1)

Catching Fire Didn't Kill Him...

Virginia Mason confirmed yesterday that a patient ignited while on the operating table in late 2003, but said that was not the cause of his death,
Yes, it's sad that this man died during surgery, and it should be comforting to know that catching fire during surgery was not the cause of his death. But, um, catching fire during surgery? I don't think that's listed as one of the medical dangers of major surgery...
Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

Bankruptcy Law and the Heart of America

I saw a talk years ago by Lester Thurow at MIT about innovation, the global economy, and differences between Europe, Japan, and the US. Thurow's predictions have often been wrong, but one of his arguments about history makes complete sense.

Thurow argued that one thing America does right compared to Europe and Japan is that we allow people to clean the slate and start fresh with their lives. This allows us to bury dead companies and start new ones, ones that will create new jobs and help grow GDP.

Allowing individuals to declare bankruptcy may have allowed some miscreants to simply get away with their own poor planning. But it also allowed entrepreneurs to try and start a business with their own money, and if they failed it let them clear the books and start over. Japan has both cultural and legal differences that greatly restrain the same behavior. And as a result, there are what Thurow called "undead companies" that go around sucking the capital, and hence life, out of viable companies. These undead companies simply won't go away, and are causing a net harm to their economy.

By going along with the predatory credit card industry and passing the new, more restrictive bankruptcy law, Congress has put another heavy weight on the American economy. Along with overspending, reducing funding for basic research, and trying to shred the Constitution, they really are doing quite the job of ruining this country.

UPDATE: I just saw a more cogent article than mine, by Dadtalk, on the new bankruptcy laws.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

Amen to Tax Pain

An Op-Ed in today's New York Times titled "Hurts So Good" makes the argument that paid tax preparers and computer software is reducing scrutiny of government spending and allowing the increase of society's tax burden.

Once upon a time, Americans realized that something beneficial came from the pain of paying taxes. In the 1920's, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon made this case repeatedly. "Nothing," he told Congress, "brings home to a man the feeling that he personally has an interest in seeing that government revenues are not squandered, but intelligently expended, as the fact that he contributes individually a direct tax, no matter how small, to his government."
In 1955, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, T. Coleman Andrews, went so far as to decree that the agency should stop helping people fill out their tax forms. His reasoning? Americans should be educated, not coddled. It did a citizen good to come face to face with his tax bill.
When it comes to taxes, pain can be a good thing. It keeps people vigilant, encouraging them to keep a wary eye on government. That, in turn, exposes problems and encourages reform. Making taxes easy removes an impetus for Americans to force the government to do something about the tax code.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2005


Dorothy's learned to quaff! While sitting in the bathtub, she'll take the bowl we use for dumping water on her (which we received from the hospital when she was born!), hold it up to her face (much like she does in this photo), and drink. She'll of course splash and spill a bunch of water, but that's the essence of quaffing, right?

"Quaffing is like drinking, but you spill more."

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2005


"Ray," the movie about Ray Charles' life, is an outstanding film. I finally got to see it today, and I strongly recommend it. I won't bother with a detailed review, since what everyone says is mostly true - the film is good, and Jamie Foxx as Ray is simply amazing. See it if you haven't already.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Prevent Short-Sightedness

There's an interesting story from the BBC about preventing myopia in children. I'm not sure if you could get 5 year olds to wear contact lenses, but if you could, maybe those at risk could grow up with good eyesight.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

Stability is Unstable

John Mauldin, in his Feb. 18, 2005 letter, quotes the economist Hyman Minsky, who said "Stability is unstable."

What he meant by that is that the longer things remain the same, the more we expect them to remain the same and the more complacent we get. Thus, when things actually do change, the shock is much greater.
Alan Greenspan said something similar to Congress recently:
People experiencing long periods of relative stability are prone to excess. We must thus remain vigilant against complacency.
People keep expecting housing prices to only go up. The Japanese expected the same thing of real estate prices around Tokyo in the 1980s. The stability in prices (not just in real estate) and general economic conditions is not some new law of the world. Things will change, and when the stability ends (blows up?), it will wreak havoc in many people's lives.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

Retirement Age Changes

I am, as usual, behind in my reading. I just finished two of John Mauldin's weekly newsletters from February where he discusses demographic shifts and the problem with social security.

The first article points out that Social Security was designed in the middle of the Great Depression, providing full benefits at the age of 65 during a time when average life expectancy was only 59! And yet the system hasn't been updated. It's only been expanded, from an emergency safety net, to what many people consider to be their entire retirement plan.

The second article makes a strong argument for the retirement age going up from around 65 now to 69 by 2015 and to 73 by 2050. Otherwise there simply won't be enough people in the work force to do all the jobs that need to be done.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2005

Army of the Not Quite Dead

Fred Hapgood sends out topic suggestions for the weekly meetings of the Nanotech Study Group to that group's mailing list. Recently, Fred's suggested topic was "Is there a nanotech perspective on the Schiavo case?." With Fred's kind permission, I'm quoting his topic here in its entirety, since it pertains to my interest in demographic shifts and their impact on society.

The pro-feeding tube commentators often sounded as if the issue was avoiding a 'slippery slope' with the insidious property of erasing the difference between life and death. Specifically, slip down it too far and the ethics of life and death would disappear into those of plugging and unplugging machines. The strategy for avoiding this outcome is, as the President himself has said often, "to err on the side of life".

For many of us, a determination to err in that direction hits a reciprocal slippery slope, in which the ethics of plugging and plugging machines disappear into the logic of life and death. In that light, the Schiavo affair looks like the first of many cases that will be thrown up by the culture over the next few decades, cases that might embrace the rights of NPCs (non-player characters) in computer games, through AI and brain simulations, to domestic robots, machines engineered specifically to provoke feelings of individuality and personhood in their owners.

But all these pale beneath the prospect that the desire to 'err on the side of life' will end by warehousing millions and millions of people, Matrix-style, in life-extension cubicles. Today we can more or less define the end of life as that point at which you need machines to keep you going. That helpful character is surely going to go away: a decade or two from now most of us will have lots of machines running in our body from the age of 65 on, or possibly from much younger than that. This new infrastructure might keep the core physiological systems ticking over for years and years.

That will raise questions. For instance, the incidence of dementia goes up by an order of magnitude with each successive ten years of life. Current lifespans are such that one person in four dies in a demented state. If the long list of drugs and devices now in prospect deliver us just five more years of life expectancy, almost everyone kept alive thereby will be in a condition of radically reduced cognitive function. (Of course eventually some way will be found for fixing dementia, too, but it is probably a lot harder to reverse or prevent age-related pruning of the dendritic bush than muscular deterioration.)

Yet a demented person is still be alive by almost anyone's measure, let alone the measure of those who want to 'err on the side of life'. They won't be able to recognize their children but they'll be able to enjoy the sun and bob along to Jumping Jack Flash. They wouldn't be quite alive or quite dead. All we can say for sure is that there will be quite a few of them.

So, beyond the question of what society will need to do to handle an aging society, we may also figure out what to do when lifespans increase faster than our ability to maintain mental faculties. What if medical support requirements grow to be even more substantial than they are today, due to the need to support an army of people suffering from dementia?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2005


By "heather" I'm referring to the flower, not a woman. They are one of the subjects in this week's photo album.

I've also uploaded three movie snippets to the movies directory. As always, movie snippets may be deleted at any time, to save space.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

Rampaging Rhinoceros!

Those damn rhinoceroses stomping through Dorothy's nose and messing up all the... what? Oh, no, not big huge herbivorous ungulates. I'm talking about those things that cause colds. You know, whachamacallums. Right. Rhinoviruses. Same thing.

Dorothy's got a cold again. Her nose started running on Wednesday, and it was a fountain of snot by Thursday (my day to keep her at home), and it got a nice cough for company. Elizabeth dropped her off at daycare Friday morning, but I got a call at 11am saying that D had a temperature of 101.8, so I had to go get her. Later that afternoon I measured a temp of 102.9. Dorothy's mood would swing quite widely. At times she'd be happy and chipper, playing and trucking around. In a heartbeat she'd suddenly start crying and fussing and take a while to be calmed down. We suspect it's a combination of the ugly cold and the molars coming in (the second one is 3/4 visible, and looks about as big as, well, a rhinoceros).

Of course, Elizabeth got it too, and had to take an extra nap this afternoon. I love Dorothy dearly, and want to spend lots of time with her. But I get frustrated when sick-watch duty suddenly crops up and keeps me from getting much, if any, work done for days on end. Any suggestions?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:02 PM | Comments (1)

The Parenting Job

The PvP Online comic from Friday says it all about the debate about who is responsible for teaching children about life and responsible behavior, evidenced most recently by the changes in Cookie Monster

Posted by Tom Nugent at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2005


As already noted by Jay over at the Zero Boss, we had the Allen family, all seven of them, stay at our house last night (because their house had suddenly been infested with rats). It was quite the experience.

The kids ranged in age from 20 months to 11 years, and they were all pretty well-behaved, which in its own way is the scary part. I say "scary" because it was still chaos! Five kids running around, all doing their own thing seemed quite overwhelming to us, even though their parents had pretty good control over them at all times. I shudder to think what five poorly behaved kids would be like.

In the morning, I took three of them outside to play with the basketball and run around. We had fun, even if I was the only one who seemed to notice how cold out it was.

Despite what Jay said, I don't think I'll be heading out for a vasectomy tomorrow. The offices are closed on Saturdays, after all. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 07:43 PM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2005

RIP Barbara Freedman

I just found out that the mother of my good friend / last dance partner / one-time partner in vocal crime, Reena, died in a plane crash. Reena and her family have our most heartfelt condolences and sympathies.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

Nightmare on Sesame Street

For unknown reasons, Dorothy was crying and apparently inconsolable for some time after I changed her diaper this morning. I took her out to the living room to let her play with toys, but that didn't help. I dragged Elizabeth out of bed to come help, but Dorothy still cried. Finally, I turned on Sesame Street. We've been watching the last 5-10 minutes of Sesame Street many mornings over the past week. The show, along with some Cheerios, seemed to calm down Dorothy. She was actually playing and only occasionally glancing at the TV.

When the "Elmo's World" segment came on, Dorothy became riveted. I don't know what it is about the furry red guy, but he really appeals to the toddler set. Today he was learning about bananas.

Near the end of the segment they had a sequence imagining what it would be like if Elmo were a banana. OK, sure. Elmo's a banana. Fine. But then a monkey comes and tries to eat Elmo. Elmo, of course, runs off screaming, and is pursued back and forth by the monkey for a while. "Look, Elmo's in his own personal hell!" I was imagining some horrible, bloody surprise ending to Sesame Street.

In the end Elmo was OK. But I wonder if the lesson was supposed to be "watch out what you wish for" or perhaps "be afraid of monkeys." Who knows what the kiddies will learn next?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

What Religion Should Be

The Zero Boss had a very well-written article the other day about religion. He quotes from another blogger, who was writing about an author:

He challenges us to allow religion to be more than a mirror that reflects back our own smug certainties.
Read the article to see his thoughts on how any and all religions can easily to distorted into such a mirror.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

Blame the Father for Everything

We've seen news like this before, but here's the latest story on the likelihood that fathers play a role in whether pregnant mothers get pre-eclampsia.

So yes, once again, it's all my fault.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

Viagra Prevents Pre-eclampsia?!?

Recent research suggests that pregnant women could take Viagra to deal with pre-eclampsia (which is what Elizabeth was diagnosed with while pregnant with Dorothy, and which is why Dorothy was induced a month early):

The anti-impotence drug Viagra could be used to treat a pregnancy disorder which can prove fatal for mothers and babies, researchers suggest.

Another beneficial side-effect was seen, too: Husbands were observed to be more relaxed and happy. Some insisted treatment should continue even after birth of the baby. ;-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

Heavy Petting

From the taken-out-of-context file, we have the following tidbit spoken this evening:

Of course you've petted her; she sleeps in your crotch.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Aahh Ooh

Dorothy's verbal development continues apace. "Bah" has been joined by a couple of other sounds. The cutest one is her version of "Uh-oh." She loves saying it, but it comes out more like "ahh ooh" or sometimes it gets an extra first syllable, as "ah ahh ooh." A few times she's said "kih-ee" to mean "kitty cat" (said while pointing at one of the cats).

She's expanded her sign language too. She can say milk easily, and has her version of a sign (combined with a 'bah') that means either 'water' or 'sippy cup.' She can also do her own version of "all done," too, which makes her happy when we realize that she really does want to stop eating. Lastly, if we remind her, she can sometimes sign 'more.'

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Resistance is Futile

Dorothy's getting too smart. In the evening, she's happy running around naked after bath time, right up until we try to put a diaper on her. Then she realizes the end is near, and we're going to try to make her GO TO SLEEP! Oh, the horrors!

She used to really enjoy reading books before bedtime. But now, since we've put pajamas on her and are dimming the lights, she knows that lights out will come soon, so nothing (except nursing) can distract her from much wailing and gnashing of teeth. So I can't really describe her bedtime routine as a calm, peaceful event.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

See the Sun for Sleep

If you want your baby to sleep well at night you should try taking him/her for an afternoon stroll. After a good bout of afternoon sunlight, babies tend to have a much better night's sleep.
That is an excerpt from a brief article titled "Afternoon daylight helps babies sleep better at night." It says that the same effect works for adults as well.
Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2005

Our Little Drug Addict

Defective Yeti has a post about his son (who is about Dorothy's age) dealing with the flu and new teeth, sort of like Dorothy's been experiencing recently. His comment about the wonderful effects of Baby Tylenol mirrors Dorothy's experience (namely, she now welcomes the Tylenol plastic syringe with a wide-open mouth), and is similar to comments I've seen elsewhere.

Ah yes, I'm so glad we're teaching our child that sweet, numbing relief from the pain of the world comes from a drug in a syringe.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:48 PM | Comments (2)

Teething is hell

Poor Dorothy has been working on her first four molars for a few weeks now. The first one came through a week or two ago, and a second one seems to be imminent (it's difficult to tell much, since she really doesn't want our fingers in her mouth). She's obviously in a lot of pain, and really needs Tylenol and/or Motrin to make it through the night.

Last night, she woke up a little before 4AM sobbing inconsolably, and we got her some Tylenol. I tried to rock her to sleep - I rocked and sang until almost 5:00. She was quiet in my arms for a good part of that, but absolutely wouldn't close her eyes. Finally I tried nursing her, and that seemed to make her feel a little better, but she simply did not want to stop. I brought her to bed with me, and I have only vague memories of periodically helping her switch from one side to the other for what seemed like an endless time. Finally, I woke out of my doze enough to notice that she had fallen asleep, and I could roll over and get some sleep myself. Unfortunately, someone telephoned us (a wrong number) at 8:00, waking us both up. She was a little cheerier, and Tom took her out to get some breakfast while I tried to make up for the lost time from last night.

I'm afraid of how long this might last. I'm glad I haven't weaned her yet, since nursing seems to be the only thing that calms her, but it's frustrating being the only one who can help, too.

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

Down on the Farm

There's a new batch of photos from Easter, mid-week, and a sheep-shearing event at a local farm. Enjoy!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

Ha Ha Very Funny

Ooh, it's April Fool's Day - let's make the Nugents all sick. What a great way to celebrate the day!

Yes, we were all sick today. Dorothy got something from daycare that struck late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning (finding your daughter's bed covered in vomit and maybe a bit of poop when she wakes you up in the morning is NOT fun). She was mostly OK after the initial bout, but she developed a fever and some near-diarrhea at daycare on Wednesday, and it hasn't gone away yet, so they wouldn't let her back in daycare today. Yesterday (Thursday) was my day to watch her, and it went relatively well, especially since she napped for over 3 hours straight. I took advantage of her napping to sleep myself, and wound up sleeping for over 2 hours. Hmmm, maybe that should have been a sign. I was feeling worse as the afternoon wore on, and miserable by evening. But I never got past the "ooh, I think I might get nauseous or something in a few hours" stage. Elizabeth didn't bother with the slow descent into misery - she just woke up sick in the middle of the night, and kept at it all night long. Neither of us slept much at all last night.

Today found all three of us feeling miserable and tired. Since I was the less-sick adult, I got to take care of Dorothy most of the day. She was a little out of sorts, but nothing horrible. She did nap more than usual, and ate less than normal. There were times when she wanted to play with Daddy and I wasn't up to it, which made me feel bad. But at least I didn't toss her in the crib and let her fend for herself for 12 hours straight...

Here's to hoping we can shake it all off ASAP. BIDS, you can kiss my ass!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)