30 September 2009

Cognitive Development, aka "Know Your Animals"

Growing Up Kaitlyn isn't easy, you know. It's hard to be cute, funny and intelligent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (trust me, I know).

There's a lot of training involved, from calisthenics ("Kick the ball at the dog") to nutrition ("How many strawberries can we cram in our mouth?"). Today, I bring you an excerpt from our daily cognitive development training session, aka "Know Your Animals."

Please note the arm action at the 25-second mark, attempting to re-create the trunk action, a sign of a highly-developed frontal lobe.

Kaitlyn's visit with Nana

This is a little late, but just wanted to say thanks to Nana for visiting Kaitlyn earlier this month. This was stop #1 on my mother's whirlwind tour of the United States, as she criss-crosses the country over a four week span.

First was North Carolina, where she spent three days. She hopped on a plane for home on a Tuesday, then jumped back on one headed for Ohio for another five days to see the Gillen kids (To Thomas, Julieann and Josephine: love ya!). Finally, she's headed to California for a couple days to see my sisters in beautiful Hermosa Beach (Blatant shout-out to Janne, Susan, Tracy and NextStep Fitness, which all of you should visit and learn more about).

Here are some photos from our stop at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro, another place everyone should visit. The modest membership for our family of three is some of the best money we've spent. And BTW, Greensboro residents should visit this site to learn more about the bond referendum for improvements to the museum.

Yo Gabba Gabba! is crack for children

There are very few things that will take hold of my daughter's attention to such a degree that she becomes bewitched. That's the result of a hyperactive father and a mother who claims to be ADD, undiagnosed of course.

One of those things, as we have found out over the last week or so, is the phenomenon known as Yo Gabba Gabba!, or as I like to call it, Crack for Children.

If you're unfamiliar with the show, consider yourself lucky. For parents of older children or grandparents who lived through the Age of Barney, it's sort of like that. Lots of colorful characters who sing and dance and drive parents crazy (see video at bottom of post). Here's the primer from Wikipedia:

Hosted by a character named DJ Lance Rock, the series features a mix of live-action segments featuring cartoonish costumed characters—Muno (the red cyclops), Foofa (the pink flower bubble), Brobee (a little green monster), Toodee (the blue cat-dragon) and Plex (the magic yellow robot)--and many short animated sketches and musical numbers.

Now, that doesn't entirely explain the grasp it holds on children like Kaitlyn, so I've provided some exhibits:

Exhibit A: You will notice in the background that Yo Gabba Gabba! is on, namely the little pink thing that goes by the name of Foofa.

Exhibit B: As you see, Kaitlyn is in a trance while watching this show, which from this point forward will be termed "The Gabba Coma."

The Gabba Coma can be broken, of course. Here are the steps: First, turn off the television. Second, listen as your child throws the temper tantrum of her little life, which includes crocodile tears, screams of "No!" and "Gabba!", and hysterical breathing. It's sort of like when mom sees this.

Here's my advice: If you have not introduced Yo Gabba Gabba! to your toddler, do not do so until they are fully aware that television shows have beginnings AND endings. If your toddler has symptoms of The Gabba Coma, use up all of the space in your DVR and put recorded episodes on continuous playback until your little one falls asleep.

29 September 2009

Self-biting: Sign of frustration or just a yummy hand?

Sometimes you look at your children and wonder what's actually going through their heads. Like when they decide to do this, this, or even this. We've had some of those moments with Kaitlyn, both funny and WTF scary. Yesterday took the cake, though, as she decided to bite herself because she had a toy that her friends at daycare apparently wanted. Apparently, this is a common occurrence.

While it is definitely a serious issue and one we work with her on (who wants to get bitten, minus Sookie?), I couldn't help but let out a little chortle at the end of the day after thinking, "My gosh, my daughter bit herself."