Schmit Family
Welcome to , , , and virtual front porch. This web site is just that; a place to visit for family, friends, and anyone, who are too far away, to stop by in person. Pull up a chair and stay a while....

27 September 2008 9:40 pm

Dylan the Scientist

Today, Dylan approach and informed me that his bouncy ball looses energy when he drops it. "What do you mean?" I asked, trying not to sound too surprised that he is commenting on the energy of his bouncy ball. "Like this," he replied and dropped his bouncy ball onto the carpet where it barely rebounded and stopped. "Does the energy it keeps change if you drop it on different floors?" I probed. "I don't know," he answered, as he walked into Andrea's room and dropped it on the wooden floor. "Yes, it keeps more energy," he concluded. He then walked into the bathroom and dropped it on the tiled floor. "It keeps more energy here, too." He then proceeded to roll the bouncy ball along the carpet. It continued for a while and then stopped. "But see Daddy, when I roll it, it keeps more of its energy longer." I was stunned with his intrinsic understanding of the scientific method and inquiry. I decided just to say, "that's very interesting!" and wait to discuss gravitational potential energy, elastic potential energy, and kinetic energy along with elastic and inelastic collisions until he is five.

Posted by geoff at 21:40 in /family/dylan

24 September 2008 9:32 pm

iTunes Genius Sidebar Rocks!

Apple's latest great idea to come my way is the Genius Sidebar in iTunes. Geoff pointed out the feature to me when he was putting together a playlist for a gathering at our house a couple of weeks ago. It probably isn't all that complicated, but it is one of those features that make you wonder "why didn't anyone think of this before?!?"

My simple explanation for what it does it to help pick music that is similar to what you know you like. It can generate a playlist based upon one song. Or, it can suggest songs that are in iTunes that you don't have that you would like, again based upon one song. It is uncanny in how good the predictions are. It's amazing to hear those songs that I never knew the artist or title of, but that are soooo familiar to me. So far, I've shown restraint. But, it would be very, very easy to run up quite a tab at a dollar a song.

Posted by geoff at 21:32 in /rants and raves

23 September 2008 9:14 pm

No Crib Night

Tonight, I was at dinner with my work team, and Geoff was alone to get the kids to bed. He managed to get the kids from school, feed them dinner, give them a bath, and get them to sleep on the futon in Andrea's room. Yes, Andrea and Dylan on the futon! No crib for Andrea tonight. Maybe I should figure out a way to have work dinners more often...

... or perhaps I'll hold off on that decision until I see how well the night goes.

Posted by geoff at 21:14 in /family

23 September 2008 8:07 pm

Thirty Four

Well just today I had my birthday -- I made it thirty-four
Mere mortal, not immortal, not star-crossed anymore
I've got this problem with my aging I no longer can ignore
A tame and toothless tabby can't produce a lion's roar
Posted by geoff at 20:07 in /family

22 September 2008 9:19 pm

BP Helios

Tonight, we drove past a BP station out Andrea's window. On our daily drive, the BP station is out Dylan's window. We don't drive the same way home as we do to school, so Andrea doesn't usually get to see it. Tonight, we were headed to my soccer game. As we waited for the light to turn green, Andrea points at the BP Helios (that funny looking green, yellow, and white flower-like object) and says in her two-year old voice, "That's like your shirt, Mommy"

She followed up with "I want to touch it." You see, when the Helios is embroidered on a shirt it acts somewhat like a button that can be pressed. Both Dylan and Andrea enjoy pushing in the Helios. Probably not what BP is really after with their marketing, but still good that Andrea recognized it.

When we passed another BP station, Dylan indicated that we had already gone past it. My attempts to explain that there are multiple BP stations fell on deaf ears. When I asked Dylan if he thought I was driving in circles, Andrea replied, "No, you're driving in parking lots." It was a long ride, in a bit of stop-and-go traffic. Perhaps she was commenting on that.

Posted by geoff at 21:19 in /family/andrea

19 September 2008 9:24 pm

Timed Light Dimming

My current wish list includes a way to slowly dim the lights in Andrea's bedroom at bedtime. With our current sleeping and reading arrangement, we need to have the bright light on during reading. Andrea is almost guaranteed to get upset when we turn off the light. There is a second light on that isn't so bright, along with a nightlight, but she is still unhappy when any light is turned off.

A bit of research this evening led me to one solution. It's a good thing that Geoff has some skill with a soldering iron, otherwise this would not even be an option to consider. I wasn't able to find a nice commercial solution that wasn't "build-it-yourself," but if anyone knows of one, let us know. Otherwise, Geoff has a fun afternoon project to add to his list!

This project actually appeals to the Electrical Engineer inside of me. No, that wasn't my degree, but doesn't everyone have a secret desire to be an Electrical Engineer?!?

Posted by geoff at 21:24 in /family

17 September 2008 9:06 pm

Long Hair

If you've been observing Dylan's appearance in pictures over time, you may have observed that he hasn't had a haircut since early January. To set the record straight, it isn't for lack of trying.

Dylan is very adamant that he does not want to get his hair cut. He is also very clear that the reason he wants to let his hair grow is so he can put it in a ponytail like Andrea does. He is not shy about explaining this.

Unfortunate for Dylan is the fact that his hair doesn't grow all that fast. At the rate it is growing, he might be starting kindergarten before he can have his hair in a proper ponytail.

Posted by geoff at 21:06 in /family/dylan

14 September 2008 9:34 pm

Sleeping Arrangements

Uncle Tom, Grandma, Tommy and Abigail are all coming to visit toward the end of the month. Since we don't have a guest room in our 3-bedroom house, we had settled on giving Uncle Tom and his children Dylan's room and letting Grandma sleep on the air mattress downstairs like she often does. We hadn't quite figured out whether Dylan would sleep in Andrea's room or in our room... but he unknowingly helped us figure it out.

Two weeks ago, Dylan got it in his head that he wanted to sleep in Andrea's room. On September 3rd, I had no more reasons why he couldn't, as he'd changed all of the night-time behaviors we had asked him to change. As he attempted to sleep on Andrea's floor that first night, it was a total disaster. It went further downhill once I brought him back to his room - screaming, and well, screaming. When Geoff got home that night, I swore that I would not let Dylan sleep in Andrea's room again for a long, long, long time.

I gave in.

Dylan convinced me that he could be quiet and not disrupt Andrea.

On September 4th, we tried again.

And, the arrangement worked out. Andrea slept in her crib, and Dylan slept on the floor by the crib. We had more than a week of success at this, with only a few bumps in the road.

Today, we moved the futon into Andrea's room so that Dylan wouldn't need to sleep on the floor. It seems that it is a long-term interest of his to sleep in her room. Another near-disaster occurred with this change.

Andrea decided she wanted to sleep on the futon also, and not in her crib. So, we let her try.

As you might imagine, that didn't work out so well on the first attempt either. After a several trips upstairs to convince Andrea to lie down and sleep, I decided that it was time for Andrea to return to her crib. Upon putting Andrea in her crib against her desire, I learned that she is quite capable of climbing out of her crib. I hope that she was not astute enough to realize that also. She climbed out onto me.

After many attempts at exerting my influence, she went into her crib and is asleep there. Dylan is asleep on the futon next to her crib. That's my desired sleeping arrangement. But, I don't think that I have the only vote in this matter.

Posted by geoff at 21:34 in /family

11 September 2008 8:00 pm

Tooth Sixteen

Today, I observed Andrea's sixteenth tooth peeking through her gums. This is her lower right 2-year-old molar. Andrea never got an upper right lateral inciscor, just like her Grandma who never had any upper lateral incisors. When Andrea is cooperative enough at the dentist, we'll have x-rays taken to see what is up there and what to expect for adult teeth. For now, she appears destined to have only 19 baby teeth. Three more to go!

Posted by geoff at 20:00 in /family/andrea

6 September 2008 1:30 pm

Food Complements

I recently found the person who complements my tastes in Tootsie Roll pops. I have Tootsie Roll pops at work to snack on. A friend at work has been enjoying some also. When I went to buy more, she had me buy some for her and we decided to split them up. She knew I wasn't a bit fan of grape and cherry, and those were her favorites. She cautiously posed the question, "Who's going to eat the orange ones?" "ME! Orange is probably my favorite." It's perfect. I get extra orange, raspberry, and sometimes chocolate, and I don't have to have grape or cherry. And she doesn't have to save the orange Tootsie Roll pops to hand out at Halloween.

We also found a surprising win-win situation last week when we ordered pizza from Papa John's. Dylan discovered the garlic dipping sauce, and wanted to eat only the crust of the pizza. Andrea only likes to eat the portion with cheese. Sometimes, she even eats the cheese and soft crust and leaves the hard bottom crust. We haven't figured out a way to cut that off for Dylan to eat. But, it is cute to watch Andrea had her crust to Dylan, and Dylan to take it and eat it. I don't expect this to last, but I'll enjoy it while it does.

Posted by geoff at 13:30 in /family

6 September 2008 1:23 pm

Oreo Cookies

Eating an Oreo cookie is genetic. The dominant trait is to open the cookie and eat the cream in the middle. The recessive trait is to open two cookies, eat the sides without cream, and then make a double-stuff Oreo to eat. Geoff exhibits the dominant trait. I have the recessive trait. Mmmmm... it's been a long time since I've had a quadruple-stuff Oreo made from double-stuff Oreos.

Andrea ate her first Oreo cookie a couple of weeks ago. She got it from the Pig mascot from Famous Dave's Barbecue, but that's really irrelevant. Without anyone else's example to follow, she took the cookie apart and ate the cream in the middle. She proceeded to do this with the second cookie. She left the cookies behind. Perhaps that's a different gene. I'd never leave chocolate on my plate, and I don't think Geoff would either.

Posted by geoff at 13:23 in /family/andrea

6 September 2008 1:15 pm

Understanding Andrea

It is a challenge to understand Andrea at times. I'm starting to see a theme here: a two-year old is a challenge. I guess that isn't rocket science.

Andrea has progressed from calling her blankets "daddys" to calling them "did its." Dylan was very excited the other day when he finally figured this out. He was disappointed when I told him I already knew that, so he turned to Geoff to share his newly found knowledge. One of these days, her blanket will actually be called a blanket. And I'll probably never notice when that happens.

The other morning, Dylan wanted peanut butter on bread for breakfast, so Andrea decided she did also. Only, she specified "no chocolate." No problem, I thought, as you're not getting chocolate for breakfast. When I delivered her bread with peanut butter, Andrea looked up and emphatically said, "No CHOCOLATE." It was then that I understood. She didn't want crunchy peanut butter; she wanted smooth peanut butter. Try explaining that one to the folks at Reese's.

Posted by geoff at 13:15 in /family/andrea

5 September 2008 11:47 am

The Why Challenge

Andrea is in the "Why?" phase. It's probably a toss-up these days whether she uses the word "No" or the word "Why?" more frequently. Ah, the fun of having a two-year old.

My challenge when Dylan was asking "Why?" continuously was to see whether I could outlast him. And I don't mean outlast in terms of a "Why?" - "Because I said so" - "Why?" - "Because I said so and I'm the parent." - "Why?" - "Because parents make the rules." exchange. I mean in terms of answering each subsequent "Why?" with additional information and having him be satisfied. Often it would take upwards of a dozen answers, but I found it interesting to see where his questions would take us. It is harder than you might think to not get stumped by a child!

So, now the challenge with answering Andrea's questions has begun. I hope that I can continue to answer each question and encourage her to never stop asking them!

"Why, Mommy?"

Because I want you to be as smart and inquisitive as you are capable of becoming. And I never want you to hesitate to ask me a question!

Posted by geoff at 11:47 in /family/andrea