Kid Stuff

Creating a Culture

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Diary of a Startup, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

Just an illustration of creating a culture, and how it all comes from the top down. Somehow I ended up coaching The Barbarian’s soccer team. I played soccer for many, many years, but The Barbarian had not played before. He had played football in two different leagues, and we much preferred one league over the other because one league emphasized sportsmanship and having fun, while the other did not. The football league that did not emphasize sportsmanship and fun ended up being a league where people wanted to win above all else. This is not great when you’re a little kid. I played AYSO when I was little and so I had naively believed that all non-club (read: you don’t have to try out) soccer leagues would be like AYSO, where “everyone plays” and it’s a positive environment that emphasized fun and sportsmanship. Since I’m coaching, this is what I emphasized with The Barbarian’s team, but I guess the other coaches and parents didn’t get that message because apparently it’s really all about winning at any cost. Although I was always one of the best players in my age group, The Barbarian hasn’t yet shown any inheritance of my athletic talents. The Barbarian mostly spends his in-game time daydreaming near the goal. After the team lost a game by like 20 points, he decided that eventually the ball would make its way over to the goal, and he would be there to defend it. His long-term strategy of patience and physical existence has paid off big time. Meaning we have only been losing by like 7 points instead of 20. I’ve told him to move up and away from the goal sometimes, but apparently it’s a pretty good place for spinning in circles, and just all around a great place to be. Especially after he broke a tooth during a game and became afraid of the ball. So you can see, he’s not exactly a ringer. I have to take genetic credit for his daydreaming, spinning, patient existence, since I did the same thing for the first two years that I played soccer. I grew out of it, so we’ll see what The Barbarian does in the next year or so. He believes he’s great, and he’s having fun, and that’s the point for us. He knows he’s not the best player, but he sees himself as part of the team and he likes that. When he doesn’t want to play any more, then he doesn’t have to play. Finally, our team won a game by one point. It was a hard won victory. Technically, we “don’t keep score” but the kids are 7 years old, not 2, so they can count and they certainly do keep score all by themselves. And a parent on another team complained to the commissioner about my daydreaming Barbarian “guarding” the goal. This, when the kid is clearly afraid of the ball, can barely kick it, and half the time when the other team took a shot on goal, he was happily looking entirely the other way. I think he only purposely got in front of the ball one time during the whole game. Any other time he connected with the ball was clearly involuntary pure coincidence. This. After I have spent every other game watching the other coaches say negative things to the players, having parents yell negative things from the sidelines, dealing with multiple missing players who are missing the soccer games/practice because their parents also signed them up to play baseball and the games are at the same time,  watched coaches...

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Switching to cloth diapers to potty train, part 2

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Kid Stuff | 0 comments

Here is the problem with switching to cloth diapers to potty train: Upon switching to cloth diapers, my toddler immediately realized that being wet does not feel nice. It is very apparent that she feels a big difference when she pees in a cloth diaper vs. when she pees in a disposable diaper. The cloth diapers have microfleece and microsuede “stay dry” liners, but obviously she feels wetter than in a disposable. This is the good part. This is the big reason for switching to cloth at this point – to get her motivated to not pee on herself. She immediately wants a new diaper after peeing in one. That part has gone ok, she has gone from wetting 17+ cloth diapers a day to now actually hold the pee and not wetting nearly so often. Usually, she’ll hold it for a couple of hours, and then we go through this thing where she needs a new diaper every 20 minutes for like an hour+.  Ok, that’s pretty good progress. The problem comes when someone sticks a disposable on her (so far we are still using disposables at night). When she pees in the disposable, she immediately wants to be changed now, and that means anywhere from 25-50 cents just went in the trash. And then ten minutes later she’ll pee on another one. And another one. One day, I hadn’t gotten all the diapers washed and dried (since she is wetting pretty much all the diapers every day), and she had to go back to disposables for a day, and that was an expensive day at first…then after a few hours she must have realized that she wasn’t feeling “wet” because she stopped asking for changes. When we went back to cloth the next day she went right back to wanting to be changed immediately after wetting. I ordered some bamboo Kawaii diapers so that we’ll have enough to keep some at my mom’s house, some in the car, etc. I got the bamboo ones just because they’re different, and because I like having diapers that snap sometimes. I had ordered a couple of Alva baby diapers to compare to see if maybe I would order a bunch more, but I don’t really like the as much as the Kawaii diapers, so I went for more Kawaiis. I have kept disposables around for nighttime because I don’t think any cloth diaper is going to hold up to a two year old all night. I would like to get completely away from disposables because I’ve noticed that Jefe will happily just keep putting on disposables as long as they are there…even though I was saving the disposables for nighttime and had not planned on buying any more except for if we travel. At this rate I’ll have to buy some more, but I usually would buy the giant $50 box of diapers from Amazon because the price per diaper is low. Now if I buy the giant box we won’t use them before she outgrows them. All of this means that I’m spending too much brainpower thinking about...

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Kawaii Diaper Comparison and Review

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Kid Stuff | 0 comments

I’m using four different types of Kawaii cloth diapers on my 2 year old. Before I ordered them, I had a hard time finding a comparison of the different types of Kawaii diapers. The reviews that I found were mostly by people who have younger babies, and I’m using these on a 2 year old. She’s long and skinny, with skinny thighs. I can’t speak to any long-term use of these diapers, since I haven’t had them very long. We switched over to cloth diapers for potty-training, so I’m not dealing with newborn poop or anything like that. This is the “stash” of 17 Kawaii Diapers that I ordered:   There are  12″OS Heavy Duty in Velcro Closure (HD2)” with Aplix/Velcro, plus 1 “New Improved Original Cross-Over Squared Tab Snap (Square Tab Snap)”, 1 “One Size Snazzy Minky (Minky),” and 3 “April Baby Dual Closure One Size Cloth Diaper (April Baby).” So, all of them are One Size diapers. Here is the One Size Square Tab Snap diaper compared to a size Medium Happy Heiny (the pink diaper on top is the Happy Heiny): Here are the Kawaii diaper varieties all stacked on top of each other, lined up flush on one side and set as large as they will go. I don’t think there is really much of any real size difference. The April Baby seems like it will adjust t to the largest in actual use, and the Square Tab Snap seems to not go as big. HD2 is on top, April Baby is in the middle, the Square Tab Snap is on the bottom: General Quality of Kawaii Diapers: The initial quality seems fine compared to the Happy Heiny that I have, and I like them better than the Fuzzibunz trainers I have. Out of the 17 diapers I ordered, I think that 3 of them have some sort of flaw that another more expensive brand would have deemed a “second quality diaper.” I have heard other people complain that Kawaii diapers have flaws, but I have not seen details. Here are the details of the flaws on the diapers that I received: This diaper has elastic that is not gathered quite evenly along the leg: This diaper has elastic that is not gathered evenly along the back:     This diaper has unevenly sized double leg gussets. One side’s double gusset is about an inch, the other side is almost 2 inches.     I don’t think that any of these flaws will affect how the diaper performs. They’re just flaws that I noted because I am pretty sure that a more expensive diaper brand would not have let these go through Quality Control. If I had paid $25 for a diaper with these flaws, I would not be happy. I think the flaws reflect the very low price of the diaper. I paid just around $5 per diaper, including two inserts with each diaper. Some more expensive brands sell their seconds quality diapers at a discount, but I have never seen them for $5 each.  For the price, I’m fine with the flaws, especially considering that most of the diapers do not seem to have any flaws. Comparison Shape: The HD2, the Square Tab Snap, and the Minky diapers all seem to be the same shape. The Velcro closure on the HD2 is asymmetrical at this point for my 2 year old since she is too big to use the cross-over tab. I have to be careful to get the diaper tabs lined up completely straight or else the tab corners poke my daughter’s thighs and she complains. She...

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Babywearing at Disney World

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Diary of a Startup, Kid Stuff, Law Firm Website Development | 0 comments

We recently got back from a trip to Disney World. My littlest is almost 2, so she was “down” more than “up” this trip, but there was still a lot of times when she wanted up. When she was little, I carried her all the time, mostly in a wrap. When I took her to work  with me in my old office she would nap in the wrap, wake up and play in the wrap, then fall asleep in the wrap again. Those days are long gone. It’s kind of nice to work from home and be able to put her in her crib for a nap, but I also miss her being so little sometimes. She doesn’t fall asleep on my back very often any more, so this was probably the last time. She was worn out from a huge day and passed out at her usual bedtime, but we were still in Epcot. It doesn’t hurt that I love everything about this baby wrap. It’s Didymos Pink Wool India. I have it in Turquoise,...

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Vacation Planning

Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Diary of a Startup, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

Our vacations usually mean that I have planned everything out in detail. Since we went to Disneyworld, I planned everything out in extreme detail. I have multiple spreadsheets. I always plan more than we can do, and “plan” that we’ll do about half of it. To me, it’s better than standing around not knowing what to do. We always have the dining plan because the character meals are a nice rest for all of us, and it’s better than waiting in line to see characters. Getting table service reservations is some sort of special type of craziness. This was our third trip to Disneyworld so it was much easier this time since we have been through it before. Since I plan everything out in detail, to keep us on schedule I have to get everyone moving in the morning or else we don’t get to the parks until lunch time, which means that by  the time we eat lunch and get all the kids to the potty breaks, the parks are at peak crowd level. This trip, I mostly managed to get us to the parks fairly early, and thanks for the new Fastpass+ my little girls got to see their favorite princesses without much wait. Except Anna and Elsa. There were no Fastpasses for them so I had to get to Epcot before rope drop and sprint for “Norway.” Then Jefe waited in line for over an hour so the girls could see them. Otherwise the wait would have been 3-4 hours to see Anna and Elsa. I love my girls, but we are not waiting in line 3-4 hours for anything. With Fastpass+, we barely waited at all. It was a big improvement for us over the old Fastpass system, where even with Fastpass we used to wait 15-30 minutes most of the time. I set up Fastpass+ for Belle’s Enchanted Tales twice (this is like the longest wait right now at the Magic Kingdom), and each time we waited only about 5-10 minutes. My kids were disappointed that we didn’t wait at Dumbo because of the playground they get to play in while they wait. We could have waited and let them play in the playground anyway, but I didn’t tell them that. We flew this time instead of driving, which meant we used the Disney buses all the time. They were fine since it’s the “value season” and the crowds were very low for Disney, but Disney buses with Sirenita at almost 2…well, she’s still all motor and no brains right now. It was a wrestling match each ride. Finally I wised up and started wrapping her for each bus ride, and then things were...

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Bringing Baby To Work

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Diary of a Startup, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

  Aw, I wrote this when Sirenita was just 4 months old. This is a pretty good description of what it’s like to work and also be the 24/7 center of the world for a 4 month old. And, as I say at the end, I could still go on and on and on about babywearing.   “I am incredibly blessed to be able to bring my baby to work with me most of the time. It is an even greater blessing for me because Sirenita decided that Mommy is the only one from whom she will take a bottle, and pacifiers are fine as toys but do not substitute for Mommy. Now that she is four months old, Sirenita, when she is at least 90% full, has a clean diaper, has no tummy issues, and is otherwise feeling perfect in every way, has decided that Daddy can hold her for about a half hour and can even fall asleep in his arms sometimes (while crying). No one else can really hold Sirenita for more than a few minutes (this hurts Grandma’s feelings! But shouldn’t because it’s Nothing Personal!). This is an improvement over how Sirenita was for the first four months of her life, because during that time if anyone else held her it was pretty much cause for deep-breath crying jags that lasted until she got to attach herself to me like a little remora and soothe herself with my body.  The pediatrician says that Sirenita must be gifted because she noticed exactly who is who from such an early age. I know she is saying that to make me feel better, because I am incredibly tired. Happy for Sirenita and her sweetness, but tired. And really thankful that Sirenita has begun to suck her fingers to soothe herself sometimes. Anyway, yes, this is hard. I’m quite glad that Sirenita is my third child because I know that I have done nothing to deserve this. This is not a result of and of my real or imagined parenting failures. It’s just who she is. All three of my children have been their own selves pretty much from day one. I know, because I compared them from day one. I returned to work when Sirenita was about three months old, and she came along with me. This is a different experience than I had with my two older children. We go to the office, I put her into a German Style Woven Wrap, and we do my work. She’s pretty much happy as a clam in there. Eventually she’ll want to eat, at which point I shut my office door, hook her on like a little remora, and continue working. Just like those big fish that keep swimming with a remora attached to them. Except this is a loving and beautiful bonding experience wherein I am nourishing my sweet little baby girl. It’s much easier and quicker than pumping. Been there, done that. Then Sirenita passes out from the bliss and I keep working. Eventually she wakes up, I change her, and the cycle repeats. Sometimes she wants to lie on the floor and play on a little mat. Then in the afternoon I head home to continue working at home while she plays in her little baby gym and swings in her swing (it’s a Graco Sweetpeace, which I forked over the money for AGAIN because I tried two other swings with picky Sirenita and this is the only one that is magic.) The ONLY reason that I am successful with working like this is because I...

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