11 Years Old!

Categories: Science & Tech

Eleven years ago this afternoon I purchased my domain name, missgiggles.com, and put up a few web pages of a website. I started it with two purposes – give my mom a way to keep up with what I was doing, and run a campaign to be a calendar girl for a theater group. I won the campaign (and again 5 years later) and my mom has enjoyed checking the site practically daily ever since.

I’ve had over 74,000 views in that time. I’ve gone from a static site to a very dynamic blog. I had to move my book reviews to a completely separate blog because they were starting to get out of hand (I have a few new reviews I need to write and get up, maybe I’ll get to those during Iddo’s next nap). I’ve put up pictures, discussed politics, made proclamations, and commented on life in general.

Thanks for being part of the journey with me.

Let’s play!

Categories: Education, Exercise

I remember way back when we had a morning recess, an afternoon recess, an hour for lunch, and weekly PE. Lots of time to get out and get around. Even still, sitting, with my back side in the chair and my feet on the floor, was never my thing. I perched. I pulled a leg up. I sat on the back of the chair. I needed to move. I still do it. The way my desk is set up I’m just as likely to be sitting on the arm of the couch, which is right behind my desk, while I’m working on my computer than I am to be perching on the chair at the desk.

So it’s been with no surprise that I’ve read a recent string of articles on the internet about how study after study is showing how important and beneficial play and movement are, and not just for children either. Here’s just a sampling.

And the thing is, even with all that time spent at free form recess or doing PE while I was in school, my teachers still managed to teach me to read, write, do math, love history, explore science, etc. There was plenty of time in the school day for my teachers to prepare me for adulthood and eventually graduate degrees, during which I still made sure I had time to get up and move around. In fact, as time has gone on, I’ve learned there’s a lot of value in getting out for a run or a long walk when I’ve got a problem to work through. The solution, the topic sentence, the opening paragraphs, always seem to come to me when I’m out moving around.

Now if you’ll excuse me, our daughter and I need to go explore all the rocks in our backyard. We’ve got some moving to be doing.

They left us hope

Categories: Family, Featured, Infertility

The morning before Thanksgiving in 2011 we found out I was pregnant for the first time. After two years of nothing we finally had something. And it was the most amazing something ever. We floated for weeks. The first ultrasound one week later proved it was true. Another week and at the second ultrasound we saw a little flicker of a heartbeat. The following week, at 7 weeks 1 day, the heart was a little bigger and beating strong. We could see our child growing. Miracle.

Three days later, one week before Christmas, one week before we were going to tell our families our exciting, miraculous news, I gushed blood. Lots of it. And I was empty. I felt a hollow emptiness in me. The ultrasound the next day confirmed it.

Our baby, our son, had died. We only knew him from his heartbeat.

He left us hope. After many tears, tears that still fall on occasion, we still had hope.

When I got pregnant again two months later we were never given the chance to know that child’s heart before he too died.

But we still had hope.

Our beautiful daughter was born. And she needed a sibling.

I got pregnant again. Again we floated. We called each other just to tell each other I was pregnant because we had to tell someone. We saw our baby for the first time at 5 weeks. At our 6 week ultrasound we saw a beautifully flickering heartbeat. At 7 weeks 2 days I gushed blood. Lots of it. The ultrasound the next day confirmed it.

Our baby, our child, had died. We only knew her from her heartbeat.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The 15th of the month is specifically designated as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Several other countries have also adopted it in their nations.

In honor of the millions of children whose hearts stopped too soon, please join with us tomorrow in participating in the International Wave of Light. Wherever you are, at 7:00pm, light a candle and leave it burning for an hour. As the world revolves a wave of light will circle the globe.

Still Standing has a list of other suggestions of ways to honor these children as well.

Random Giggles | They left us hope

I will always carry our children’s hearts in mine. In their small ways they are a light to our family. And they left us hope.

Shoes! Go!

Categories: Exercise, Health

To properly develop their feet and learn to walk toddlers should be barefoot as much as possible. If you’ve ever watched a toddler walk in shoes with stiff soles, or even ones that claim to be flexible, you’ve seen that they look as awkward as when you first put shoes on a dog. Because dogs are also made to go barefoot.

So at home Iddo goes barefoot. We tried socks most days last winter when she wasn’t even crawling to help keep her feet warm but turns out she thinks socks are for chewing on and so they didn’t last long each day.

When she started cruising and walking though, we realized while barefoot is best, barefoot outside might not be the best idea. We needed shoes that would still let her feel the ground under her as much as possible but protect her from that same ground while she was learning to walk.

Back in May we bought her a pair of Momo Soft Sole Leather Shoes. They are all leather with a suede sole. They are one of the few baby shoes accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Even with her penchant for pulling off socks she’s never managed to pull them off. They protect her feet. She doesn’t look like a boot-wearing dog when she walks in them. And they are cute!

She loves them. She learned the word “shoes” very quickly, especially because when we got out her shoes it meant we were going outside. As she was learning to walk holding on to our fingers she dragged her toes a lot and a couple of weeks ago we noticed she’s actually worn through the leather at the toes. Her feet have gotten bigger and these shoes have seen a lot of little toddler sized miles.

Random Giggles | Shoes! Go!

She’s recently started saying “Go!” a lot. She loves to go. And she puts such a cute emphasis on the O sound that we love to let her go as well. But she needed new shoes to go around in. She’s still figuring out the ground beneath her so we bought her another set of soft soled shoes, this time an adorable T-strap version and one size bigger.

Random Giggles | Shoes! Go!

I’m excited to see where she goes to next. :D

Toddlers: a macro-quantum particle

Categories: Featured, Science & Tech

My understanding of quantum physics is limited to some books written for the general public on the subject, several NOVA episodes, and articles in Scientific American. I find the whole topic fascinating but have no desire to actually sit down and do the math. However, I would like to propose that toddlers are in effect a macro-quantum particle.

Random Giggles | Toddlers: a macro-quantum particle

First, we are pretty sure our particular toddler has figured out quantum entanglement on a macro scale. Entanglement is when two or more quantum particles interact in such a way that a change to one will automatically affect the other even if there appears to be no way for the second particle to know what happened to the first. This is the theoretical key behind transporter technology. Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance.”

“Spooky” certainly describes certain toddler behaviors. For instance I’ll see her sitting in the basket of blankets and look away for just a second and then she’s sitting in her toy box. The only way she could switch places that fast is through quantum entanglement and transporter technology. Unfortunately we have yet to decipher her babbling explanation of the technology and therefore cannot share her wisdom with the world.

Secondly, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that the more precisely you measure a quality of a quantum particle, such as position, velocity, or spin, the less precisely you can measure any of its other qualities. You can only be sure of one aspect of the particle at a time because observing one, even just the presence of the observation equipment, changes the others. This is because quantum particles have a wave-particle duality to their matter.

Toddlers also appear to have a wave-particle duality. This is not so readily apparent when observing with the naked eye. However the presence of observational equipment, such as the camera, completely changes the behavior. One sure way to change whatever cute thing our toddler is doing is to try to record the behavior with the camera. The camera does not even necessarily need to be turned on, just in view. The presence of a second naked-eye observer can also have a similar effect.

I will continue to make my observations, such as they may be. But I think the evidence is adding up nicely.

They caught my attention

Categories: Books, Education, Family, Folks, Food, News, Science & Tech

I keep finding more and more reasons why Iddo will have to take music in some form or another, her choice what kind. Learning music helps tremendously with learning languages. From NPR – This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Music and Scientific American – I Got Rhythm, I Got Reading. Judging by her dancing skills she’s already pretty good at finding the beat, so we’re off to a good start.

I love the portraits in this piece: BBC News – Day out at the gallows and other Victorian photographic oddities. I’d love to find some photo like that of one of my ancestors, give them a little more life and personality.

Of course astronomy always catches my attention. I’ll have to remember this for the next time Brett’s asking me questions about the stars because I got him out of bed at 2am to sit on the driveway with me to watch a meteor shower – What Makes a Star Starry? Is it Me?. And how cool is it that the way I see stars are a way they have never been seen before in the history of ever nor will they be again? It’s just super cool.

And yet I’ve never considered astronomers who can’t see the stars (Scientific American – Making Astronomy Accessible for the Visually Impaired). But now that I have, I’m really interested in how they are coming up with new ways to use the senses to do astronomy, especially with the idea that just relying on the sense of sight can actually hinder astronomical discoveries.

If I’m ever in Cambridge in September I think I’d enjoy going to the Ig Nobels (Ig Nobel Prizes Make You Laugh, Then Think). Or there’s always the BAHFest in October which I think I’d also enjoy.

It was the turtle bread that caught my attention (Rosh Hashana’s Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes), but I really like the part during the making of the bread where they hold a handful of dough in their hand and take a moment to reflect and pray. I already feel a connection to my grandma when I make bread (it always reminds me of the time she thought she killed the yeast so she buried the dough in the yard so her mom wouldn’t find out she’d wasted the ingredients, only the yeast wasn’t dead and the dough grew and the goats got stuck in it). It would probably do me good to be more mindful and reflective during the regular mundane tasks of life.


Categories: Life, Musings, Questions

I have very vivid memories of this date 13 years ago. I will never forget what happened that morning. What I did the rest of the day. How I felt. The feelings over the next several days. It is one of those days that I will be able to replay in my mind for the rest of my life.

There is another date I will never forget. But it will be because I have no living memory of it. My parents have no living memory of it. December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” The numbers of those with a living memory of that date are dwindling. That date changed the world, changes that affected my family personally.

The flags are flying in my neighborhood in memory of today’s date. How many will be flying in three months? Does that date still live in infamy?

My daughter has no living memory of the attacks that happened on this date. The World Wars will be nothing more than stories in her history books and memorials we visit on vacation. How do I ensure these memories live on in the next generation? How do I help her understand the significance of what happened? Without a living memory, are we doomed to live it again?

Random Giggles: Losing the Living Memory