Mommy and Daddy were once babies too
Benjamin & Sarah's Babyblog is a collection of notes on our children's development and experiences as well as occassional links to information on the Web of personal interest as a parent.

September 2003 Archive


Toys for Iraqi Children.
Here's your chance to do some good.


The weather against Daddy

Now it's my family in Northwest Mexico under the threat of Hurricane Marty.
It should hit the Baja in a few hours and my home town in Sonora several hours later. Good luck!

Update: Family is Ok, only without power and phone service.


Considering day-care?

Here's a great list of recommendations by readers of Mark Pilgrim's weblog.
Benjamin does not go into daycare, and he won't for as long as we can help it. I realize that for many people the reality is much different and sometimes there aren't many alternatives.

One of the commenters said: The whole argument about quality time… is hogwash--kids need plain ol' quantity. I do believe that when raising a family, there's no quality without quantity.

Hurricane Isabel Pics

Well these photos are not of the storm, but of its effects in our town.
I had many more pictures taken before the hurricane that I hoped I could contrast to pictures taken after. Fortunately the effects of the storm here where not too significant.


Bye hurricane Isabel

The storm has come and gone, everything is Ok. Fortunately we were on the West side of the eye wall, so the winds were blowing off-to-shore for most of the time. We lost power for about seven hours, and only until right before the hurricane's landfall.

We did have a few mildly worrisome minutes, when the wind was blowing directly from the west, and a small tree right outside was hitting our building repeatedly. It broke the shutters and windows on the apartment upstairs from us before finally giving up the fight. It was a tree that Benjamin used to say good morning and good night to every day from the window by our dining table.

Around 5 pm. we ventured outside to survey the damages. The wind was still pretty strong. We found many people on the streets and saw a few trees and branches down, minor damage to a couple of homes, some flooding, and the water was right up to the seawall-level four hours after the high tide. A gas service station about five blocks from us lost its roof.

I did take several pictures that I will be posting here (I hope) soon, after I collect a few more for before-and-after comparisons.

Finally, I found a link to NOAA'a hurricane website on Anil Dash's weblog side-links with the following comment: don't bother with your local weather reporter. I couldn't disagree more. Our local guy (Skip Waters from channel 12) had the insight and specific details for the effects of the storm for every little community in eastern North Carolina. He knew all the rivers and low lying areas and how they would be affected for each phase of the storm as it progressed through the state, he was very informative and responsive to viewers calls and emails (including one from us). And that's immeasurably better than bare NOAA reports or the sensasionalist National news. That's not to say that those reports aren't worth our time, they very much are, but don't underestimate the importance of your local weather man.


Prelude to a storm

It's been a day, and the storm isn't even here yet.
We started by rushing final preparations, getting our important things together, putting away everything outside, etc.

Later we had a visit by one of Benjamin's friends and we had a great time with him and his Mom, we walked on the Beaufort waterfront witnessing last minute preparations of businesses and houses, saw some TV camera crews, talked to other people that also were taking pictures of the town before the storm, etc.

Walking along the docks, Benjamin got a splinter on his finger. He acted like a real little man, stoic, serious, while we took the little piece out even though it was clear he was hurting.

Back home we realized we were being invaded by ants. I guess they're not only looking for food, but maybe also for shelter :-}

On TV we were watching ABC (world) news and they presented this extremely scary scenario where an immense water swell wiped out houses along the coast. They even said their intention was to scare people into going inland. It made me angry because they had plenty of time to try and scare people off, it now is a little late to make people change their whole game plan. And also the report was inaccurate. The NC coast has been hit head-on by other hurricanes recently, notably Fran in 1996 when it came through Wilmington. And I may be wrong, but I believe the surge is caused by the wind forces, by the convection of the storm and not so much by its direction. Anyway, it scared the neighbors too and I'm sure anybody that has any relatives in this area.

Right after that, Mommy emailed our favorite local weather team asking them to address this issue, and they did about 30 minutes later. Thank you!

I believe Benjamin could sense that something different was in the air, he acted "funny" throughout the day. Then he almost fell asleep at the dinner table all of a sudden, so we took him to bed right away. He was really tired.

We're expecting to lose power sometime in the next several hours, so I guess I won't be posting anything here until long after the storm passes. It's time to try to rest. It's going to be a long day tomorrow.

Lastly, I have to admit that we are a little nervous. This is not our first hurricane, but it is our first since we've become parents, and it's very different. We are constantly reminded that our "valuables" our "backups", etc. are nothing really. What matters most in this world is peacefully asleep in his crib right now.

Bring it on

We're as ready as we can be for hurricane Isabel.
We'll stay at a friend's house that's a little more to the West of here, trying to minimize the chances of being on the worse side of Isabel. Correction: Home, yes, home we are, home we'll stay.

Ah yes, please don't blame me for this storm.


Hurricane Isabel.
Right now it looks like it's coming our way. We're watching it very closely.

Update: Ok, time to review checklist and plan of action. Isabel seems to have weakened a bit, but it's still very strong and it definitely looks like at least we'll feel some of its fury.

Update 2: Isabel has weakened substantially and is now a Category 3 hurricane. It still looks like we'll get a direct hit, but if winds stay under 120mph, I believe we'll stay and weather the storm right here.

Update 3: Hurricane downgraded to category 2 as of this writing with winds of 95mph. With at least two days before it gets here, maybe it'll be just a tropical depression by then. We'll keep monitoring the situation, but right now, it looks like we won't be going anywhere.

Update 4: It now seems like the eye of the storm will pass very close to us. What this means is that even if the wind forces aren't that great, the water surge could still create a lot of problems. We're very close to the water so now we are again considering going to higher ground.

Update 5: According to this graphic by 2 pm Thursday we'll be in the bull's eye. The latest advisory explains what it means: Storm surge flooding of 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels. Mh, 11 feet, that is a bit much for us here. And I thought we had already decided to stay.

Random links:
Choosing a quality preschool program . Guidelines, questions to ask, and more.


New York

We'll be in the big apple at the beginning of October. Any recommendations for a family with a 21-month-old boy?


What's your name?


Kid fun ends painfully

I present you with a small video clip (600Kb Windows Media) of Benjamin playing with friend Spencer a couple of weeks ago.
Baby Lessig
Maybe he'll get to see Mickey be free.


Even more photos

Now that you've noticed the new set of photos on the sidebar and find yourself wanting even more, go see them here.

Catching up

There's a lot about our son that I should have blogged but just haven't had the time. I'll try to bring everybody up to speed now:
  • He anticipates: places, scenes in videos/stories, book pages...
  • Translates: English-Spanish-English several words
  • Knows colors. Mostly english but "amarillo" in spanish (Blue is his default, but will give you the correct color if asked to "try again")
  • We have to be careful what we say, he's imitating *every word*.
  • New best toys: Manguen (Radio Flyer ATW wagon). His Paya (Podadora) / Lan-moe (Lawn mower). The "Bouncy Ball". And--now that he learned boocoose (caboose)--his old train is again a favorite.
  • Never happened before, but now he's exceeded his diaper absorbing capacity twice.
  • On a recent driving trip he saw many different kinds of trucks and bulldozers and other heavy equipment. He was very excited.
  • His first haircut (Aug. 30)
  • For a few days, his head seemed to be a magnet for hard objects. Thankfully it seems to have passed now.
  • That's.... MINE! Friend Colleen taught him that one.
  • ES...puma (bubbles) and Pata-Dentes! (Tooth paste)
  • He likes to "toot-toot" every day. Get behind the wheel in the car and "drive".
Surely I'm forgetting something. Oh yes...
  • He's fascinated by bridges and tunnels (and the río under the bridge), vía / calle.
  • He sings and even made up his own song about Gma's shoes and another one about his lawn mower.
  • Imitates sounds (vacuum cleaner, trucks, planes, weed-whackers, hair dryer, several animals, ceiling fans, boats, trains) ... maybe he'll be a foley artist one day.
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