Baby Sign Language

More baby signs, please!

I know it sounds over the top, but we do baby sign language. And it’s amazing. Our Little One can tell us what he wants, even have a baby conversation before he is able to speak intelligible words. Of course we encourage him to speak words, but this form of communication, this dual-method of speaking and signing has shown us so many advantages. On several occasions I have been surprised that Little One and I are the only ones signing at baby events. I thought this was more common.

We started read more

Godel Escher Bach: Round 1

Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter

I first attempted to read Godel, Escher, Bach over a year ago. This endeavor took place before Little One came into our life. I was intrigued as I flipped through the book; there were puzzles and secret codes! It looked like a combination of music, art, and number theory, and had won the Pulitzer Prize. Upon closer inspection, I saw DNA stuff and computer coding and atoms- what is this book about? Still puzzling was the description written at the bottom of the cover:

A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll

I gave it a try. There were read more

Spaghetti Worms

As a stay-at-home parent, I’m constantly looking for toddler activities. Ideally, these activities entertain Little One in way that is fun, educational, and easy to clean. They should be simple to set up, and use things we already have. For toddlers, many activities can be sensory play.

It started when Sister in Law left a half-used bag of spaghetti at the house. This was not our normal kind. Although we consider ourselves frugal, we normally spring for a whole-wheat generic spaghetti noodle read more

Inks Lake State Park

We went to Inks Lake State Park over Memorial weekend. Jeremy said he had been there with his parents about twenty years ago and remembered it as a magical deer place. There weren?t many deer this time, but there were plenty of people, dogs, and birds. There?s an RV gang that we meet up with, this time consisting of five families, seven dogs, one cat, and one baby. To become an RV-er, you need three things: an RV, an RV gang, and two small dogs. When you are ready read more


Suddenly, maggots!
on the kitchen floor
move the baby
wipe his feet
wriggling grains of rice
there’s one, and over here
step on one, pop!
get the vacuum
long handle extension
click click up the vacuum tube
vacuum off
another maggot

“Maggot”  is not a technical term, but it is generally used to describe the larva of a fly. Perhaps our maggot friends made their way into the kitchen by a pregnant fly. We certainly do not have any rotting corpses in which they might like to live, but you can bet I gave the kitchen floor and garbage can a good scrub to discourage any future maggot company.

The Good

Maggots have been used throughout history to clean and disinfect wounds. Native tribes, people of the Renaissance era, and read more

Book Review – Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix

One of my favorite authors is Margaret Peterson Haddix. She?s one of those authors that if I see a book written by her that I haven?t read, I will check it out without reading the back cover. I loved the Among The Hidden series (officially known as the Shadow Children series), especially the first couple books. Children who were born third in their families, living secret lives in the attic, a little reminiscent of Ender?s Game, a bit of V.C. Andrews? Flowers in the Attic, read more

The End of Breastfeeding


People don’t say much about the end of breastfeeding. They talk about the beginning, how important it is to get started just after delivery. And about all these support services like La Leche League that will help you continue on your breastfeeding journey. But people don’t say much about when to stop. Or how to stop.

When to Stop

The first stop for us was a matter of convenience, and more like a major slowdown than a stop. The baby was 8 months old at the time, and had been full-time breastfed, read more

Giant Dandelions

Lay down on the deck, look up at the pine trees.
Smooth the rough pine bark into a dandelion stem.
Blow the soft pine needles away like dandelion seeds.
Pine trees are Giant Dandelions.

The Giant Dandelion blog was started as a way to journal a new chapter of our family’s life, with thoughts about parenting, book reviews, and philosophy, and gain some input from other readers like you!