Is there really any question what I’m thankful for?

Showing off my little family
Showing off my little family

This photo is a few months old by now, but it’s one of the few “formal” shots we’ve done of our family. It was an impromptu shoot in our bedroom started by The Woman in an attempt to capture Kayleigh spending some real fun time with daddy. The more things change… It’s amazing to realize how much she has grown since that moment, and I’m so thankful to be apart of it.

An attempt to get everybody in one picture
An attempt to get everybody in one picture

Back in September my sister Christine got most of the family together for a slightly more formal photo shoot. This is one of the better ones from my camera. That’s 3 generations of Slatterys – my baby girl being the youngest of the young. Let me just say that I am thankful for each and everyone of them.

Hope you all had a happy turkey day!

Weekend update

What is it with the Internet and weekends? I’ve noticed for sometime now that once the work week ends, posts, status updates, tweets, links, etc. all begin to run dry. Sure seems like, despite recommendations to the contrary, a lot of people still tie their personal Internet connectivity to their jobs. Tsk! Tsk!

Of course that would be better for me than writing this late… Holy cow! It’s not even 10 PM! How’d that happen? The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough in the parenting department. The wee lil’ one had lost interest in sleeping through the night and continued to turn her nose up at the concept of napping. Thus our past week or so has been dedicated to correcting this most inconvenient behavior. After briefly discussing and even more briefly testing a few suggestions, we’ve finally settled back into our old routine with just a tad more parental strength in an attempt to reclaim our past success. So far it’s been decent – although the promise of a regular nap over 1 hour long continues to elude us…

Still, it chipped away at my sanity and free time which is why I, once again, have failed at NaBloPoMo. But even with all of these distractions, I’m only a few posts behind my pace in 2007 and have written way more in a 3 week span than almost any 3 month span in the past couple of years. Now if only I could convince people to read it…


As much as I love taking photos of Kayleigh, it sometimes feels like a photographic rut. But that has more to do with how few opportunities I get to be inspired away from her. But last night after finishing some quick clean up in the backyard I glanced towards the sunset and was reminded of other uses for my camera.

Sunset #1

I need to do a little touch up work, but you get the idea.

Fortunately another blogger’s work reminded me that sometimes inspiration is just a matter of stepping away from the flash and getting back to my favorite lens.

She makes it look easy
She makes it look easy

Best reality show ever

I caved. Or we caved. Somebody caved. After weeks of battling with the little one over her new desire to stand up in her crib in the middle of the night and demand attention, it was time for routines and reactions to be changed. And to help out, I finally ditched our el cheapo baby monitor and picked up one of those new fangled moving picture units. Only 10 or 12 months too late.

When a monitor was initially purchased, there wasn’t a whole lot of thought put into it. I wasn’t keen on anything beyond just audio – something just seemed a tad overkill with all of the video and motion sensors out there these days. Can’t we all just walk into the nurseries and accidentally wake wake our kids up while checking their breathing like parents did in ye olden days?

The issue finally came to a head this week when it was determined that we needed to know Kayleigh’s positioning before going into her room at night. Because sitting or standing while calling out for momma is a real priority over the typical grunts, sighs, groans, and grumblings let out while still lying down and half asleep.

In reality I’ve always liked the video feature because I’m very curious what our noisy little one is doing all night long with the tossing and the turning. For the first time tonight, I actually get to see those moments as they happen! So far she has straightened her legs out, curled them back in, rolled onto her right side, rolled back to her back and so much more. Seriously, I could watch this all night – especially if the night vision didn’t cast an otherworldly “color” on her (hooray for infrared).

P.S. First incident passed with flying… greyscale? She went back to sleep all on her own. Now if only I could.

Too tired

For the first time since before Kayleigh was born, every post on the main page is from the current month. And it’s not even the middle yet. Hooray!

A missed button screwed up my chance of actually posting every day, but I didn’t let that stop me from becoming active again. But the reality is that this late night posting is becoming harder and harder. For the past couple nights, it seemed like things had turned a corner with some real contiguous hours of sleep. But once again the wee little one who refuses to tire out despite climbing the stairs 4 or 5 times reared her cute little head tonight. Le sigh.

A new routine must be established. Maybe lunchtime posts? Wouldn’t you all just love to hear what I’m eating each day? Probably better than the potential gibberish that may come out when I fall asleep at the keyboard.

I told myself there would be no lame posts talking about why there were no (lame) posts. Oh well…


Where do I begin? There’s these Russian women showing gratuitous cleavage while farming, cleaning, working in a machine shop, etc. Interested yet? Yeah, not really. But then some black metal music kicks in and… well… some Stalin zombies attack them. Have I got your attention? What if I told you that only one man could save them – Mikhail Gorbachev clad in a loin cloth with a shield and battle axe… And then it starts to get weird.

Bet you want to watch now:

There is so much awesome going on in that video it hurts. Hollywood has failed to bring me anything that cool. It makes Shoot ‘Em Up look like a documentary on childcare. When will the full length feature be coming? Not too surprisingly this was discovered on a blog entitled Awesome Robot (via Culture Kills). Now that’s a blog I need to be following!

Sunny day sweeping the clouds away

Kayleigh most likely called today a “sunny day”. I’m beginning to think that she doesn’t know what the word “sunny” means. But it’s a habit she’s picked up from one of her two favorite TV shows – Sesame Street or, as she calls it, Murray Street. It’s pretty amazing to realize that the show my baby girl is growing up with debuted 40 years ago today – almost 7 years before her dear old dad was even born.

And yes, Sesame Street has changed over the years. It is now geared towards a younger crowd, with a greater emphasis on toddler favorites like Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, and Abby and they’ve revamped the opening to give it a more modern feel. Not too surprisingly, people who grew up with the show get aggravated about this, often under the mistaken impression that everything they enjoyed in their childhood was equally enjoyed by their parents. The reality is it can all get at least a little annoying to adults – even those classic antiquities from our own youth.

All that matters to me these days is that the Sesame Workshop still puts out a decent show. One that can engage and entertain kids of different ages without making us parents want to go on murderous, puppet-killing rampage. A couple weeks ago Kayleigh was watching the video “Elmo Loves You” – one that I’ll admit to actually enjoying myself – while we had some company and you know what? My neighbor’s 8 year-old son sat down with her and watched it, too. Imagine that…

Hearing Kayleigh get excited for the theme to “Elmo’s World” doesn’t bother me – I find it cute. As much as the newer characters have taken over the spotlight, she also goes nuts for Grover, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Ernie and, to a lesser extent, Bert. And as far as “hip” guest stars go, Feist’s appearance is now a classic in my mind and one that I enjoy regularly with my little girl:

So while the original opening may be the best as far as we’re concerned, 30-somethings overly attached to their childhood aren’t really the demographic.

Thank you, Sesame Workshop, for 40 years of sweeping those clouds away. Here’s hoping that my baby will someday get to watch new episodes with her own little one.

Now as for that purple dinosaur…

The alternative vocabulary

Kayleigh’s been talking for some time now. And I don’t mean that babbling stuff babies typically do when they’re simply trying to mimic adults. I mean she’s been speaking English – real words and real sentences for some time. People are often caught off guard when they hear such a wee one use phrases like “open door” or “that’s a lotta cheese”. As exciting it is to have a mini genius running around, it’s also very useful. After making a few grunts and then calmly saying “doody,” all doubt as to the necessity of a diaper change is removed. And now she adds her new catchphrases of “stinky” and “oof” to hammer home the point.

But there are still some words and phrases that she has trouble with. Whether she has trouble with the pronunciation or is just stuck in a bad habit, it’s kind of fun to decipher her meaning from time to time. Here’s a sampling of her take on the English language:

  • buzz – butterfly (this is even funnier when she talks about a “beautiful buzz”, a phrase more common in college)
  • oh gongee – thank you (she also says “thank you” correctly, but this is reserved for when she is giving something rather than receiving)
  • se-lup – sit up (this one probably has more to do with laziness)
  • slungee – glasses (she seems to think that all glasses are sunglasses)
  • Missy – Miffy (even cuter when she couldn’t say f or s and called her Mimmy)
  • dump dee – diamond (still not sure how this came about)
  • opto – octopus, ager – alligator, caliper – caterpillar (can’t really blame her for shortening some animal names)

Kayleigh also has a slew of phrases that are more or less correct, but not totally accurate. Her cry of “huggie mommy” is really a request to be picked up – not just hugged. “Walkie daddy” indicates that she wants to walk, but is open ended when is come to which parent is involved. Midway through meals “all done” indicates her desire to get out of the highchair, even though she’ll continue eating whatever is in front of her. And, of course, “bye bye” can mean “goodbye” as well as “I would like this situation to go away”.