Wheels

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Future bike mechanic at work?

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Or we may simply spend time spinning on the trainer.

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Then, too, there’s always any other wheel that happens to be lying around.

Baby Science Pros

Yesterday morning Benji did more baby science at the UW’s ILABS. We’re on their list, and at many age milestones (in this case, 20 months) I get a call from somebody at ILABS doing some interesting brain research, asking for a test subject. I say yes every time, as long as I can schedule it around naptime.

A couple months ago (at 18 months, in fact) we went in and did a study on whether babies learn from watching videos on smartphones. In that study, Benji watched a video of a guy “playing” with four lame toys, then received those same toys and interacted with them. The toys were clearly made in-house. He didn’t think much of those toys, but we did get to take home a ball, so that wasn’t a total waste from his perspective. Continue Reading >>

Feeling Springy

I can tell spring has arrived when:

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Big sword fern fiddleheads are well along.

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My beloved, transplanted huckleberry bush has new growth. I really, really want it to survive.

And:

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Trying to beat back some of the weeds in the rain garden, probably futile. I may have to redefine “weed” to exclude anything that thrives in there.

And:

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Ah, the back porch, truly my favorite part of the house. Good for drying laundry, reading in the sun, or (not pictured) eating dinner on nice evenings, among other things. Continue Reading >>

More Cars & Trucks

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Yesterday we did a short walk, so I wanted to make sure Benji got to have fun. Thus, I took us to a spot guaranteed to be a winner: the  closest freeway overpass.

Benji helpfully pointed out all the:
– School buses (of which we saw a zillion, often several simultaneously, it being school time)
– UPS trucks (only 2)
– Dump trucks (innumerable, as they’re doing construction on the freeway entrance)
– Delivery trucks of all sizes
– Metro buses (not as many as I’d like to see) Continue Reading >>

We Went to the Park…

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And Instead of actually playing at the park whine we waited for our friends to arrive, we  followed the silver sound of engines and went up and watched trucks on Highway 522. I had to physically restrain my enthusiastic truck-loving child from dashing into the road to pat all the wheels. Several drivers saw us (how could they not, we were the only pedestrians for probably a mile around) and waved.

After our friends showed up, though, we had lots of fun.

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(Note: he never actually went down this slide.) Continue Reading >>

Chef Benji in the Kitchen

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Here is chef Benji cooking on the cardboard stove at Nana’s house. I drew this with many references to the real one in the kitchen, so it has lots of details. I don’t know if you can tell, but in the top picture, he carefully “turned” the burner knob while making a ticking/whooshing noise quite recognizable to any user of a gas stove.

The chef likes to make (paper) fish fried in (imaginary) butter, (imaginary) tea, and car soup, all of which he serves on brightly-colored plastic plates. It looks like when I took these pictures, he also cooked some big plastic Easter egg omelette – yum. Continue Reading >>

About Depression

Ian and I have been talking about depression lately, about what causes it and how to overcome it. We’re told these days that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and that with the right prescription of drugs (particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) and therapy (CDC), it’s readily treatable. According to a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) brief from 2011,

Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005–2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18–44 years. From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%. Continue Reading >>