21 April 2005 6:58 AM

Fifteen Months

Yesterday, Dylan had his fifteen month checkup with the doctor. Dylan is continuing to develop and grow well. At 32 3/4” tall, Dylan is around the 90th percentile. His weight increased by less than a pound to 23 lbs., 14 oz., which places him below the 50th percentile. Dylan’s head still remains off the chart (above the 95th percentile) at 19 3/4” circumference; a hat I just got him that is size 2T-3T fits well. By the way, Dylan now has a total of twelve teeth, including four molars. I can’t tell you when they all appeared, but do know that number five came in at the end of January when Oma and Opa were visiting. The next regularly scheduled checkup is at 18 months.

Posted by carolyn at 6:58 AM

19 April 2005 8:15 PM

In Memory of Josh Widick

Last week, we learned of the death of a good friend of ours, Josh Widick. I fondly recall many moments, particularly of my final semester of college, that involved Josh. As we all grieve, we can be comforted by the thought that Josh lived life to the fullest and followed his dreams in a way that most are afraid to do.

Josh’s Broadway Dance Center Faculty Bio
Josh’s Obituary on Hummel Funeral Homes site
The alumni page of the Delta Alpha chapter of Sigma Nu, which contains a link to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of Josh.

Posted by carolyn at 8:15 PM

22 January 2005 10:23 AM

One-Year Measurements

Dylan had his one-year well check this week. He continues to do well in the areas of growth and development. Dylan now weighs in at 23 lbs, 1 oz., is 31 inches long, and has a head size of 19 1/4”. He is at the 50th percentile for weight and between the 75th and 90th for height. He is still above the 95th percentile for head size, even though his head only grew by 1/4” in the past three months. This does make one wonder a bit about the precision of measurements. It’s amazing to realize that Dylan has grown more than ten inches and gained more than 15 pounds in his first year of life.

Posted by carolyn at 10:23 AM

18 January 2005 8:59 PM

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Today is Dylan’s first birthday. We can’t believe that a year has passed since he was born. The last year has passed so quickly and yet Dylan has changed so incredibly.

We had a relaxed celebration with cake and presents. We made an applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting. Dylan enjoyed playing with the cake more than eating it. We’ll see if he eats more of the leftovers. He has certainly improved his present opening skills as he required little assistance. We hope to have pictures and a movie of the occasion soon.

To hold you over for now, we’ve posted three movies featuring Dylan:

It has been the most amazing year.

Turn around, turn around…

Posted by geoff at 8:59 PM

28 December 2004 12:23 AM

Schmit Family Traditions

The Schmit family has a number of holiday traditions. Some have been passed down for generations while others are new. Some are simple and some are complex to the point of being intimidating to the unfamiliar.

Before Christmas

  • Advent Wreath: Each Sunday in Advent, we would light a candle on the advent wreath. Often, we would read some passage from the Bible as well. Carolyn’s family had a similar tradition, but would sing Christmas Carols after lighting the Advent wreath. We currently don’t have an advent wreath, but I’d like to continue this tradition; especially as Dylan gets older.

  • Bread: We would often bake bread before Christmas and deliver it to neighbors and friends. Sausage bread and coffee can bread are the two varieties that I most remember. I remember setting the bread next to the wood stove and waiting for the lids to be blown off the coffee cans as the bread rose. Since I don’t have any coffee cans, I bake the sausage bread. My favorite batch of sausage bread is the one that I made one year in Georgetown with spicy sausage from Elgin.

Christmas Eve

  • Bayberry Candles: The day of Christmas Eve, we burn bayberry candles for good luck. One year I remember charing the wooden candle holders, which were an anniversary present for my parents from Grant and me, when the candles burned too low. We were careful this year. Bayberry candles are very hard to find. I haven’t been able to find them since we left Georgetown. Fortunately, my parents gave us some at Thanksgiving.

  • Herring: For Christmas Eve dinner, we have creamed herring on lettuce. I have no idea from where this tradition originates. It’s the only time of year that I eat herring and I always struggle trying to remember where to find it in the grocery store (it’s in the refrigerated section by the spreadable cheese).

  • Service: We always go to Christmas Eve service. This year we went to the family service. It was a circus. There were literally over a hundred kids at the service. The pastor gave all the kids bells and told them they could ring them all night long to praise God :) Cupcakes were distributed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Personally, I kind of like the later, quieter, candle-lit Christmas Eve service; especially, when Silent Night is sung in German by candlelight.

  • One Gift: Growing up, we would open one present on Christmas Eve. The purpose of this tradition was to give us kids something to keep us busy and in our beds when we awoke early on Christmas morning. A book, if of sufficient length, would usually suffice. Since I have no troubling sleeping these days and since no present is going to keep Dylan from getting up when he wants, we skipped this tradition this year.


  • Stockings: On Christmas morning, we check the gifts in our stockings first. This is not a simple procedure and follows the rules outlined below in the gifts section.

  • Cinnamon Rolls: After stockings, we eat cinnamon rolls. Yum. This keeps us from getting to hungry while we open gifts. You need to prepare yourself before opening gifts.

  • Gifts: A meeting run using Robert’s Rules of Order appears simple when compared to the procedure for opening gifts in the Schmit family. It starts with the eldest selecting gifts from under the tree and distributing the gifts to each person. Then, the youngest guesses and opens his gift. Guessing is very important. Specificity is required. Guessing that the gift is a book or a CD doesn’t cut it. Genre, if not title and author is required. Likewise, guessing that the gift is clothes isn’t specified enough; nor that the gift is a shirt. Color is required. The generous gift givers write clues on the gift to assist the guesser. The guesser may also tactilely examine the gift. The guesser can shake the gift if the giver approves. One of the better parts of guessing is when the guesser purchased her own gift and can’t remember what it is. (The use of the feminine pronoun in the previous sentence simply reflects my preference for alternating masculine and feminine pronouns in my writing to avoid using “their” improperly or the award “he/she” construct and isn’t meant to refer to anyone in particular ;) ) After the guess has been made and accepted by the family, the gift is opened. The next youngest person guesses and opens next, and so on until the person who choose and distributed the gifts (the oldest in this first iteration) guesses and opens. The next person in the sequence from youngest to oldest (wrapping around back to youngest) chooses and distributes the gifts (this would be the youngest in the second iteration). Then, the next person in the sequence (this would be the second-youngest in the second iteration) starts the guessing and opening round. This continues until all gifts are opened. At some point, there are no more gift for various people. These people continue to participate in the choosing and distribution rounds and are simply skipped in the guessing and opening round. While we don’t exchange many gifts, this complex procedure ensures that gift opening lasts most of the morning.

  • Strata: After the arduous process of choosing, distributing, guessing, and opening gifts, we have worked up an appetite for strata. Strata is bread, sausage, cheese, eggs, and milk. We usually make it in the dutch oven camping, but it can be made at home and traditionally is for breakfast on Christmas morning.

  • Dinner: Christmas Day dinner is always special. As a young kid, I remember setting an extra setting for Jesus at the dinner table. As I got older and Christmas dinner more crowded, I think this tradition was set aside. Perhaps, we’ll start it again next year with Dylan….

There are probably other Schmit family traditions that I’ve forgotten. If my family reminds me of any or provides more detail regarding those that I’ve enumerated, I’ll update this entry.

Posted by geoff at 12:23 AM | Comments (1)

28 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Day Ten, the Final Day

Cleveland to Naperville

We left after breakfast again. The trip was smooth other than the usual traffic at the Indiana-Illinois border. Well, except for when Dylan wet his clothes while being changed at McDonalds and we had to undress and re-dress him in the middle of the restaurant. I don’t think anyone else even noticed. Despite the traffic, we still made it home by 4pm. We traveled just shy of 2000 miles on the trip. Whew!

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

27 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Day Nine

Bogota to Cleveland

We left after breakfast and had a smooth trip to Cleveland. We arrived early enough that we decided to stop at Skyline for chili. I had a four-way with onion while Carolyn opted for a four-way with beans. After checking into the hotel, we had a short swim before bed. The water was cool; so Dylan didn’t swim too long. Once he got acclimated to the water, he seemed to enjoy himself.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

26 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Days Six, Seven, and Eight

On Wednesday, we left Cromwell and headed to Morris Plains to visit Uncle Tom and Aunt Maryann in their house. After dinner, we headed to Bogota to stay with Uncle Dan and Aunt Melissa. Dylan was very interested in Sunshine, their bird. However, Sunshine seemed to be scared of Dylan.

On Thursday, there were seventeen people for Thanksgiving dinner! Dylan took it all in stride even though he couldn’t explore everywhere he wanted. Dylan really enjoyed playing with Uncle Dan and Aunt Melissa’s phone (he almost called the mayor and did manage to store a new number in speed dial) and remote (he almost ordered the NBA season package for well over $100). He doesn’t realize that the remote controls the TV, which is probably good, but, rather, thinks that it is a phone and holds it up to his ear and talks.

On Friday, Dylan met Vegas, Melissa’s brother’s dog. Vegas was incredibly well behaved despite being somewhat hesitant of Dylan. Dylan was quite comfortable and quickly moved from being held, to the couch, and to the floor to pet and crawl after Vegas. Friday afternoon we headed to the park where Dylan loved going down the slide. He got quite dirty crawling around in the grass and wood chips and had a great time.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

22 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Days Four and Five

Dylan did not have to enter the car today. He did get quite startled by a car, though. Great-Grandpa gave Dylan a wonderful little police car that is battery-propelled. When it went zooming toward Dylan, he wasn’t real sure of the car anymore. He’ll warm up to it in no time, and we’ll need to watch our toes around the house.

Dylan also displayed his musical talents. He moved up from his small, one-octave, toy piano to Great-Grandpa’s organ. He had a blast playing on the upper and lower keyboards and changing the orchestration. Dylan didn’t manage to find the switch to change the organ from playing music to playing animal sounds.

On Tuesday, we visited Dinosaur State Park where hundreds of dinosaur footprints have been uncovered and are visible within the park’s building. I thought it was quite impressive. Dylan didn’t seem too interested in the footprints, but enjoyed crawling all over the carpeted floors.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

21 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Day Three

Cleveland to Cromwell

Dylan did well during our longest driving day of the trip. We left a bit later than hoped, but not as late as on Day One. And we arrived well before midnight, which pleased Carolyn.

An interesting moment during the trip was when Carolyn was driving. Geoff was sitting in the passenger seat, arm extended to Dylan’s hand in the center back seat. Surprisingly, both Geoff (in a very contorted position) and Dylan (in a very comfortable position, holding his daddy’s hand) fell asleep.

As daylight was waning, Dylan started to get fussy in the car. Once we realized that all he wanted was the light on to read his book, we continued to have a smooth trip. We were greeted in Cromwell by a set of excited grandparents and a set of excited great-grandparents.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

20 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Day Two


Today was spent in Cleveland. We met Shawn, Suzanne, Kristen, Sydney, and Matthew for breakfast. We had to wait for a while, but Dylan and Matthew had a great time playing. After breakfast, we retired to the hotel for a much needed nap (all three of us). We then headed to Sigma Nu for the Alumni, Active, Candidate (AAC) dinner. At one point during dinner, my table, consisting of the older Alumni, began to throw rolls at other brothers. I’m afraid some of my fraternity brothers may not be a good role model, no pun intended, for Dylan. When our table was under fire, Chris exclaimed, “Careful, there are children here!” Dan added, “add a baby too!” ‘Nuff said. Unfortunately, Dylan may have learned too much, as he threw his toy keys from the back seat to the front seat (over his head) on our way back to the hotel.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

19 November 2004 10:00 PM

Dylan’s First Road Trip: Day One

Naperville to Cleveland

We left later than we planned, but earlier than might have been expected, considering everything that needed to be packed. Dylan did great, especially considering all of the new sights and sounds to absorb. Carolyn loved the GPS (“We’re passing under a bridge right … now!”) It rained on and off all day. As soon as we escaped the rainstorm, it was time for another break which gave the rainstorm sufficient time to catch us again. At one rest stop, there was an empty room in which we let Dylan crawl. He’s quite the floor buffer; when he was done, his socks were black! While the trip took a while, it went well; we even were able to stop for dinner at Friendly’s. The hotel at which we are staying is wonderful. They have, what I assume is, a unique photo outside each room. For those of us that can’t remember numbers, this an excellent idea.

Posted by geoff at 10:00 PM

5 November 2004 9:08 AM

My Son, the Bobblehead

We had a visit with Dylan’s doctor yesterday. It was nice to be in the office for a well-check, rather than the couple of sick visits we’ve had in the past couple of months. The sick visits have indicated only standard colds. The well visit indicated that Dylan has the proportions of a bobblehead.

The supporting evidence is the growth statistics. Dylan weighed in at 21 lbs, 5 oz which puts him just over the 50th percentile for weight. His length of 29 3/4” is between the 90th and 95th percentile. And his head circumference of 19” is above the 95th percentile. Thus, the bobblehead proportions. For those who are interested in looking at growth charts for children they are available in various file formats at the CDC website.

This past Tuesday, Dylan’s third tooth - his left, upper front tooth - broke through the gums after a long wait. The right one is not expected to be far behind.

Dylan is also developing well. He has nearly given up the belly crawling that he was doing in the last video in favor of a true hands-and-knees crawl. He also enjoys pulling up on nearly any surface and moving laterally. Unfortunately, this means that almost all horizontal surfaces now have to be free of objects that are not Dylan friendly. It is quite amazing to watch how easily Dylan now climbs up stairs. We still need to be with him as he does, since it will be some time before he learns how to climb down stairs.

Dylan’s next well check is scheduled for after his first birthday!

Posted by carolyn at 9:08 AM

2 October 2004 4:38 PM

Dylan on the Move!

Dylan once again plays the lead role in a short movie titled Dylan: On the Move. This movie takes place over a period of three weeks and shows a progression of his abilities to get from one place to another. Be forewarned that the movie is ~8.4 MB. Dylan has made progress since. This week, he learned to climb up the three steps from our living room to our dining room. No video footage of that, but there will be a series of pictures in the next round of photos.

Posted by carolyn at 4:38 PM

25 September 2004 4:05 PM

Buffalo Wild Wings

Carolyn recently pointed out to me that Buffalo Wild Wings is the same chain as BW3s (i.e., Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck) or, as we used to call it, B-Dubs. In addition, she mentioned that one had recently opened near us. So, Carolyn and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday for dinner. While in college, I used to frequent the BW3s in Coventry quite often. I would order a burger, buffalo chips, wings, and beer and sit and play trivia with friends for hours. This most recent trip with Carolyn was a little different.

I didn’t order buffalo chips with my burger and wings. Oh, and I didn’t order wings, I ordered boneless buffalo wings since they are healthier. I didn’t get a tall 22 ounce beer, just a pint, and I had only one. We didn’t have to order at the window and listen for our number, but, rather, we were seated and had a server. This meant we had to tip. They still have trivia, but I didn’t play. I’m not quite sure I remember the password for the signu account that we all shared in college. I think I remember it now, which is amazing since I can’t even remember my license plate number. The burger and boneless buffalo wings were good. However, eating a boneless buffalo wing with a fork can’t really compare to eating a real wing with your right hand as you drink beer with your left (a good friend taught me that trick). Anyway, partly because we needed to pick up Dylan, we stayed less than an hour. Oh, and when I got home, I took a nap. But, yes, thirty is treating me fine.

Posted by geoff at 4:05 PM

10 August 2004 9:33 PM

Feeding and Spackling

Yesterday, while feeding Dylan barley cereal and peas, it struck me how similar feeding him felt like spackling dry wall. Don’t worry, I didn’t break out the sanding block after the cereal had dried on his face :)

Posted by geoff at 9:33 PM

21 July 2004 7:47 PM

First Tooth!

Dylan’s first tooth broke through this afternoon. It is his bottom, right tooth and we expect the left isn’t far behind. I’ve been trying to capture it in a picture, but Dylan hasn’t cooperated yet. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of tooth-filled smiles soon!

Posted by carolyn at 7:47 PM

19 July 2004 3:35 PM

Half a Year

It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since Dylan was born. He is doing quite well on his growth charts. At today’s visit, Dylan was in the 95th percentile with a head circumference of 18”. His weight of 18 lbs, 10 1/2 oz. puts him at the 75th percentile. And, his length of 27 1/4” is just below the 75th percentile.

There are some pictures of Dylan during month six now posted. Also, you can browse recent photos from a visit with Dylan’s paternal grandparents and great-grandparents. Be sure to send us an email if you want to view the family pictures, but don’t have the password.

Finally, we created a movie of Dylan’s first experience eating rice cereal.


Posted by carolyn at 3:35 PM

22 June 2004 10:23 PM

Dylan’s Artwork

Footprints in Red An album of Dylan’s artwork makes it debut tonight with the first two masterpieces, “Footprints in Red” and “Footprints on Yellow.” The media is poster paint on construction paper. Of the two, I prefer “Footprints in Red” as I think it better conveys Dylan’s energy. Both pieces clearly are representative of the action painter subculture of the abstract expressionism movement popularized by Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning.

By the way, Dylan is now five months old. Check out pictures from his fifth month.

Posted by geoff at 10:23 PM

4 June 2004 7:20 AM

The License Plate Game

Now that Memorial Day is passed, a new past time occurs in the Schmit family: the License Plate Game. Since joining the Schmit family, I first learned the basic rules and have since been trying to understand all of the intricacies. This is not an endeavor to be taken lightly!

The goal of the game is to see all 50 U.S. license plates plus D.C. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There are currently three teams: Geoff and Carolyn, Sharon and George, and Grant. Dylan is not old enough to play yet, but I am sure he will as he grows older. Viewing of a license plate must be verified by another player, but not necessarily one on your own team. So, if Grant and I both see a license plate, it counts for both teams.

Other license plates can be recorded, but are not part of the primary game. These would include plates such as those of the Canadian provinces, U.S. Government, etc.

So far, Geoff and I have Illinois and Minnesota. We have seen the same SUV with North Dakota plates several times recently, but before Memorial Day. Hopefully we see it again, as North Dakota is not historically an easy one to find.

Posted by carolyn at 7:20 AM

27 May 2004 4:03 PM

Four-Month Visit

We just returned from Dylan’s four-month visit to the doctor. As we sat waiting in the office for the nurse, I turned to Geoff. I said, “I bet Dylan weighs 16 lbs. 8 oz.” Shortly after, we learned of the updates on Dylan’s measurements. His head is now 17 3/8”, which is between the 75th and 90th percentiles. His length of 26 1/4” is at the 95th percentile. And his weight was between the 75th and 90th percentiles at… yup… 16 lbs. 8 oz. That’s an increase of four pounds since his previous well check-up, which was two months ago. It’s almost a pound increase since we were in for a not-so-well check-up about three weeks ago. And it means that Dylan has more than doubled his birth weight. Overall, Dylan is healthy. His next scheduled visit to the doctor’s office is at six months old.

Posted by carolyn at 4:03 PM

31 March 2004 4:56 PM

Between a real dozen and a baker’s dozen

Dylan had his two-month check-up at the doctor’s office today. At 2 1/2 months old, he now weighs 12 lb., 6.5 oz. That explains why he is outgrowing some of his newborn outfits that are supposed to fit up to 12 lbs. He has grown another inch in length to reach 23 1/2”. His head circumference is now 16.5”, which puts him in the 75th percentile still. Dylan is now between the 50th and 75th percentile for his weight and length. Dylan did not enjoy the four shots that he received in his thighs (two shots each side), nor did I enjoy watching his reaction to them. Geoff got to console Dylan afterwards. It looked quite painful, but Dylan seems to be doing well now. Overall, it was a good check-up. It will be two months before Dylan’s next well check-up.

While we haven’t taken as many pictures in the weeks since I’ve returned to work, there are some that we posted last weekend. More photos that we took over the last two weekends will be posted soon… I hope. Keep checking back for more updates!

Posted by carolyn at 4:56 PM

23 February 2004 8:49 PM

The Numbers Are In

At five weeks and a day, Dylan was weighed and measured once again. He is consistently in the 75th percentile for length, weight, and head size. Another inch of growth puts Dylan at 22 1/2” long. He has reached double digits in weight, at a healthy 10 lbs 2 oz. And that was after a diaper change.

The adventures of Dylan are still quite limited, but we’re enjoying the small changes. In the last couple of weeks, Dylan has ventured out on quite a few occasions, with Mom, Dad, or both (see photos). He has taken a liking to his fist, fingers, or thumb, depending upon what he can successfully put in his mouth. Dylan also is fascinated by looking at himself in the mirror. Geoff has fed Dylan from a bottle several times to make sure he has a means to eat while in day care, which he starts next week. See more photos of some of the snapshots of Dylan in the second half of his first month.

Posted by carolyn at 8:49 PM

11 February 2004 2:52 PM

The Many Faces of Dylan

I’ve been amazed over the last three weeks with the variety of facial expressions Dylan has in his repertoire. So, that’s the subject of our first home movie, “The Many Faces of Dylan.” The movie is in QuickTime format, so you may need to download a viewer if your operating system hails from Redmond. The footage was captured on a Canon Optura 20 digital video camcorder and the movie produced using iMovie, part of Apple’s iLife ‘04.

Posted by geoff at 2:52 PM

9 February 2004 4:30 PM

More Visitors, More Photos

We’ve continued to post plenty of pictures of Dylan in the Family category. Be sure to check them out and to keep looking for more. We won’t always have a post when photos are added.

Dylan recently was visited by three of his grandparents. Here are some photos that we took while they were here. Dylan survived the first round of spoiling. He is the first grandchild on both sides of the family, so we’ll have to watch this in the future. This first visit spoiled Mom and Dad a bit too, as we had extra hands and arms to hold Dylan. He spent much less time in his swing during the weeklong visit.

A handful of friends from work have also stopped by to visit Dylan. Dylan has yet to spit up on any of them — or at least no one has mentioned it to me. We took photos during each visit.

Posted by carolyn at 4:30 PM

28 January 2004 2:52 PM

First Doctor’s Visit

We survived.

Today was Dylan’s first visit to the doctor. At ten days old, he has surpassed his birth weight by almost half a pound and has grown 3/4”. His head circumference is also 1/2” larger. Lengthwise, Dylan ranks in the 90th percentile; he’s in the 75th percentile for the other two measurements.

In spite of our attempts to plan Dylan’s daily routine around the visit to the doctor, chaos reigned. The nurse made all the measurements of Dylan just fine. She then inquired about the strength of Dylan’s cry. Dylan felt compelled to demonstrate just how strong his cry could be. Understandably so, since he’d been in the doctor’s office about a half hour and it was approaching feeding time. While waiting for the doctor, Dylan dutifully demonstrated all of his other bodily functions, including his first leaky, messy diaper - right on Mom’s lap. We then started feeding Dylan, just as the doctor walked in the room. At least Dylan was somewhat comforted while we first got a handful of information from the doctor. When the doctor started to examine Dylan, he showed off once again by spitting up a bit.

So, to sum it up, Dylan passed with flying colors, Dad took lots of notes since Mom was preoccupied with Dylan, and Mom is just fine after a bit of cleaning up after returning home.

Posted by carolyn at 2:52 PM

28 January 2004 4:01 AM

“He’s So ‘dorable”

Kerri, Dylan, Jordie, and Jessi Jessi, Kerri, and Jordie visited Dylan; Pete was at his fly-fishing club tying flies so he has something to use when teaching Dylan to cast. Jordie was very excited to see such a small baby. More than once, she commented “he’s so ‘dorable.” Jessica was a bit more shy, but she still enjoyed the opportunity to hold Dylan. According to Kerri, Jessi talked a lot about Dylan after they left. Kerri also had her time holding Dylan. And for the first time, I had the baby handed back to me when he started fussing! Fortunately, Dylan did settle down on my shoulder. We took some pictures of the visit, since Dylan probably won’t remember it.

Posted by carolyn at 4:01 AM

25 January 2004 2:22 AM

Baby Pool at Work

Congratulations to Dave! I won’t publicly state which Dave, since the other did not fare quite so well. I will state that one is an engineer and the other a chemist, so it shouldn’t be too tough to figure out who prevailed. Even with my inside information, I only placed fifth out of seventeen.

It was a low scoring game, with the winner only getting 49 out of a possible 80 points. Three out of four incorrectly predicted that Dylan would be a girl. Dylan arrived sooner than all but two predicted. All but one person predicted that Dylan would be lighter than he was. The twenty points allocated to time were the toughest to get; only two people scored more than ten. And, yes, there was a spreadsheet to calculate the scoring and indicate the winner.

You’ll all be glad to know that bribes did not work in this case. My boss, who had many attempts at “voo-doo magic” (Nick’s words, not mine) actually finished the day in last place. (Nick should be glad to know that the guesses he offered on Friday 16 January would have put him in a tie for first place.) Perhaps now I should start thinking about some peace offerings before raise time!

Ime eftihismeni.
Geoff? Eftihismenos.
Dylan? Kourasmenos. Poli.

Posted by carolyn at 2:22 AM

24 January 2004 10:21 AM

Next-Generation Rocker-Glider

Dylan's First DaysI’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the newest chair in our house. While the rocker-glider is an excellent piece of furniture, I’ve had time to contemplate some features that I would request for the next model. Of course, some are just wishful thinking, but innovation has to start somewhere.

The rocker-glider that we have is a Shermag and has the accompanying ottoman. The chair rocks in a sort of gliding fashion. Unlike some models that we tested in the store, it doesn’t rock back so far that I’m afraid of falling over backwards. There is the feature to lock the chair in a number of positions, reclined or not, so that it doesn’t rock/glide by using a simple lever on the side of the chair. The ottoman also has the ability to glide with the chair. Basically, when one’s feet are on it, it moves with the motion of the chair. I’ve been using it in the fixed position. There is a nursing footstool built-in to the chair, which is basically an inclined surface on which to rest one’s feet. This is the mode that I’ve been using it.

Sounds great, huh? But, it could be so much better! And I’ve had plenty of time to ponder some features that I would incorporate.

Foot controls for all the current and future features are essential. When I am sitting in the chair, my hands are full. Currently, it is still an effort to get something within reach or to adjust the position of the chair. As more features are added, a system to easily use them will be important. This doesn’t need to be too sophisticated. Think trackball or other mousing device for the foot. Or simple voice-activated commands; however, this mode might be tough depending upon the noise level coming from the little one.

One common theme to many of my proposed features involves storage and retrieval of items.

First, a blanket holder. This can easily be located behind the chair and swing out within reach on demand. It definitely needs to have space for more than one type of blanket or burp cloth. And to allow easy selection of the blanket desired. It would be nice if the holder was also a positioner so that I wouldn’t have to free one hand to place the blanket on the little guy in my lap or on my shoulder.

A 360-degree mirror. Or perhaps a small video camera. A fiber-optic one. If they can use them for viewing inside of plumbing systems, they can’t be too high tech these days. There were many times when I would wonder whether Dylan’s hair whirl is clockwise or counter-clockwise. Unfortunately, these times were all when we were both in the chair with him facing me. When I had the chance to look, other issues were more pressing. Another important use of the mirror is to see Dylan’s face when he’s on my shoulder burping. It’s feasible, although not easy, if his head is turned toward me. It’s impossible if his face is turned away from me. The mirror could be located anywhere around the chair to look inward. By the way, for those who are now wondering, he has a clockwise hair whirl.

Beverage holder. The concept here is quite similar to the beer holder hat. You know, the one that has room for two beverages and has a tube that can run directly into the wearer’s mouth. Mine would contain multiple options for beverages. My current preference rotates between orange, apple, and grape juices. A small refrigeration system should be incorporated to keep the beverages cold.

Book holder with page turner. We’re not yet a paperless society. And I doubt that the day when the hospital sends you home with information on an electronic device rather than paper is coming anytime soon. So, this device would hold books, pamphlets, papers, etc. and position the item. Of course, adding the option to view web sites on the main control monitor should also be included to allow access to more references. As we learned, there are all sorts of questions that new parents have!

Built-in speaker phone. I’m awake anyway. But in our current set-up, it’s not feasible to use the time to call family and friends. Enough said.

CD player. Or MP3 player. Again, making use of the main control center and foot controls to select desired music for the moment.

Well, I’ll continue to ponder.

Posted by carolyn at 10:21 AM | Comments (3)

20 January 2004 11:38 PM

Dylan James Schmit

Dylan Arrives Home On 18 January 2004, at 2:22pm CST, Dylan James Schmit was born. He was seven pounds, fifteen ounces and twenty and three quarter inches long. Mom and Dylan are both doing great. We took some pictures of Dylan in the hospital.

Posted by geoff at 11:38 PM