May 11, 2014

Movie: The Big Payoff

A lot of setup, but clearly worth the payoff.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:36 AM

Movie: Saltines Gettysburg

I'd expected more spectacular results--he'll have to practice his Saltines Speaking--but he does have the first half of the Gettysburg Address pretty pat.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:13 AM

October 31, 2013

Movie: Thriller

Thriller is, unbelievably, thirty years old, but Manor School is keeping it alive with an annual Halloween tradition of an all-school reenactment. Not content with a daylight version the kids reprised it in our haunted garage under UV light on Halloween night itself. A thrill indeed.

And the Manor original:

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:02 AM

October 9, 2013

Movie: Bike to School Day

Having participated in this year's event I can't believe this even happens. Really? A 40,000 lb. truck and a couple of hundred small children on wheels? Does that seem like a good idea to you?

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:55 AM

May 18, 2013

Movies: Felix at Maker Faire

We attended the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, a sort of Burning Man without the loud music and dust, and there saw some really remarkable things. In the first movie we see Felix interacting with a robot perhaps more intimately than he'd planned, not realizing that the robot tracked not just the ball but anything red, including Felix's purse:

And in the second we see Felix, or rather me, or wait, it's Felix, no, it's me, no...

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:13 PM | Comments (2)

March 27, 2013

Movie: Cro-magnons

A long, long movie, to be recommended on two counts: first (starting at the beginning, and don't miss the bonus cameo of Gideon sporting his new 'do), check out those coordinated little kids! And second, and since he wasn't one of the dancers, skip to 4:30 or so where we find Felix waiting for his Cro-magnon diploma. Those cave men were rather a lot more sweet and patient than I'd imagined them to have been.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:43 AM

January 17, 2013

Movie: A glimpse of kindergarten

Ms. Rebecca, Felix, Lucy, and assorted other kindergarteners, all still bundled against the near-freezing colds of a Fairfax winter.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:48 PM

January 6, 2013

Movie: Felix on skates

It's that time of year again:

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:48 PM | Comments (2)

January 5, 2013

Movie: And they're off!

On a recent ride around Lake Lagunitas with friends. Next time on a proper mountain bike!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:50 PM

December 3, 2012

Movies: Healing fairies

We do live in Marin so I suppose a certain amount of fairy time is to be expected.

Posted by atshuldiner at 3:17 PM

September 12, 2012

Movie: Grace Jones cover

Nice interpretation, Felix!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:14 AM

August 27, 2012

Movie: Felix's introduction to kindergarten

A week in, here's what it's all about.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:56 AM

July 13, 2012

Movie: Felix, chicken whisperer

This is what happens when you send the boys to camp at a farm. Guest starring friend and co-whisperer Noah.

Credits to Molly for both the film and its title.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:58 PM

July 4, 2012

Movie: How to milk a goat

How to milk a goat: detailed instructions he learned at camp.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:42 AM

April 5, 2012

Movie: Felix gets belted

And he definitely deserved it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:51 PM

November 8, 2011

Movie: Peri Park free-for-all

We spend a lot of time at the playground. This is what it's like.



Guest starring: Lucy, Marcello, Hayden, Elliott, and a couple of Wills.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:36 AM

September 21, 2011

Movie: Dragonsong

Our house is full of music. Looooong video, so feel free, like me, to do something else while listening.

Perhaps I should have mentioned (?) this is 100% made up in his little head.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:38 PM | Comments (2)

September 16, 2011

Movie: Angry Birds

Took me a while to figure out that's what they were playing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:24 PM

August 8, 2011

Movie: Enraptured

I've always loved the movie "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," and Felix has recently become obsessed with cobras, so showing it to him was a real treat. Felix doesn't get much video and what video he does get I almost never watch with him, so it's easy to forget how deep into it he gets, and how it moves him.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:48 AM

July 13, 2011

Movie: Felix's swimming

And how, you might ask, is Felix's swimming coming along? Quite well!

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:17 PM

June 14, 2011

Movie: Star War Lego Shooter Blast

Mad Lego skills, I couldn't be more proud. It's been a pleasure watching him discover bilateral symmetry, effective reinforcement techniques, color matching, and weaponry.

Posted by atshuldiner at 3:37 PM | Comments (1)

May 7, 2011

Movie: Try, try, try, try, try again

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:19 AM

April 9, 2011

Movie: Superman rides

He's gotten SO good with his bike! No idea why he keeps touching his helmet though.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:21 AM

March 11, 2011

Movie: Come to life

You may recall the encounter with the blue puppet at the corn maze, its apparent animation at my hands, and Felix's resulting terror. You may recall, too, my hope that I had managed to explain away the puppet's actions, to quell Felix's fears. I realize now that a lasting impression was made: New York's museums, specifically the Met and the Museum of Natural History, presented many opportunities to test this, as shown in the following movies:

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:24 PM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2011

Movie: Dumb Dumble

This movie was taken at Felix's birthday party, but I'm making it a separate entry because really it's about Felix's imaginary (?) friend, or rather colleague, Dumb Dumble:

In discussing future birthday parties Felix states "I'm not going to be around, I'm going to be at work, I'm going to be at work with Dumb Dumble." His schoolmates are unsurprised: neither this announcement nor the fact that he's being kissed by a chicken is news to them. Nor to us: Felix talks about his work with DD all the time. If even a fraction of that time is billable the two are doing quite well for themselves.

Some background:

The day before our most recent visit to the pediatrician (a couple weeks shy of his fourth birthday), Felix introduces me to his friend, Dumb Dumble. This is the first time Felix has mentioned an imaginary friend before.
FM: He tells me that Dumb Dumble is a Vegetarian
Mama: Really? What does that mean?
FM: Oh, it means he takes care of animals.
Mama: Oh, I think you mean he's a Veterinarian.

Felix goes on to tell me that he's going to tell the Dr. all about him.

As the days go by, Felix's life with Dumb Dumble grows more robust. They work together, they take care of people too, not only animals. They work, but only in the summer months. Soon, they will be setting up the office because now it is winter and soon it will be summer again.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:53 PM

January 26, 2011

Movie: Felix's Favorite Food

His nose is clogged, hence the funny voice, but his logic is impeccable, as ever.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:19 PM | Comments (1)

December 5, 2010

Movie: Rain boots

Dada finally got smart and bought himself some rain boots. Splash as you might, you can't get me!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:49 PM

December 2, 2010

Movie: How was your day?

Pity I stopped when I did: the very next words out of his mouth were "And how was your day?" said, as always, with real interest.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:05 PM | Comments (2)

Movie: Dancing man

Don't know where Felix picked this up, but I love it!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:43 AM

November 29, 2010

Movie: Battle bots

Honestly, I just wanted a picture of the two of them standing next to each other. Battling was their idea. Cameo by Henry.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:23 PM

November 7, 2010

Movie: Felix on his big bike

As the above shows, Felix can ride his big bike. What he cannot do is get on it or off it without help: it's too big. And it will be too big for some time to come. Unfortunately, he refuses to accept a smaller bike, so we're stuck with the walking bike, which he will still use despite him being too big for it, until he grows some more.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:19 PM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2010

Movie: The monster at the end of the book

Too cute for words. I remember this book from my own childhood, I remember it well. Was I, could I ever have been, this cute?!?

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:45 PM

September 28, 2010

Movie: Kickstick

Nothing makes the boy laugh harder than a little slapstick, or in this case, kickstick.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:52 PM

September 24, 2010

Movie: Felix rocks out

My fondest hope is that Felix will become a rock star, and here, complete with attempted destruction of stereo equipment, I find cause for hope.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:38 AM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2010

Movie: The seaweed forager

Bolinas beach, one of our favorite places. Seaweed, one of our favorite foods. Sand, one of our most ubiquitous contaminants.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:40 AM

July 20, 2010

Movie: What the elevator camera saw

A little something to cheer everyone up.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:21 PM

July 16, 2010

Movie: Kraftwerk

Das ist eine schoene musik!

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:17 AM

July 6, 2010

Movie: Limping Felix

Post-innoculation. Broke my heart to see the poor guy limping around, but even with the pain there's no better deal to be found.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:03 AM

July 5, 2010

Movie: Reenacting an incident from school

I think this is a reenactment of something that happened at school, despite Felix's denial. This may be wishful thinking on my part: generally speaking, Felix is pretty tight-lipped about what happens at his daycare, and I'm not aware they have a policy of jailing children who do wrong. Regardless, it's always funny to watch a free spirit play disciplinarian.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:06 AM

June 11, 2010

Movie: Farmer Felix

Went to a party at a ranch in the Central Valley. Folks there don't need to get anywhere fast...or straight. Turns out it's a lot easier to tell Felix which way to turn than it is to try to steer the wheel when he's determined to be in control.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:29 AM

June 8, 2010

Movie: Embouchure

Nice embouchure, boy! I wonder if small lips make it easier....

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:23 AM

June 6, 2010

Movie: Felix meditates

We try to get Felix to eat more slowly (one of us does eat slowly, the other does not, but we both agree slow is better). It's not an easy thing to teach, though we've been at it for half his lifetime at least. (And have had help as well.) But while sharing some salami the other day I saw an opportunity: in chewing I noted that the initial salt flavor disappeared after a bit and a range of new flavors were thereby unmasked. So masticate thoroughly, I told him, not just because you should but because you get to taste new things if you do. Actually, what I said was "you should concentrate on what you're tasting while chewing it." Upon hearing the word "concentrate" Felix figured--quite rightly--that this was a form of meditation, and so he sat down to do just that, in his own inimitable fashion:

By the way, the Superman costume is no coincidence: salami eating accompanies the evening borrel and Felix dons this outfit just about every day around that time. I suppose we all have our own ways of relaxing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:01 AM

May 30, 2010

Movie: Over the Irish Sea

How do you get all these great movies, you ask? Often by taking three or four and keeping one. But sometimes you need to see all three (or, in this case, four) to really get the sense of things. Here I was trying to get Felix to sing his most recent song, yet another he has learned at school (or so I assume), and brought home to infect our brains. May infect yours, too.

1st try:

2nd try:

3rd try:

Final try:

Good enough!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:44 PM | Comments (3)

Movie: Over the Irish Sea

How do you get all these great movies, you ask? Often by taking three or four and keeping one. But sometimes you need to see all three (or, in this case, four) to really get the sense of things. Here I was trying to get Felix to sing his most recent song, yet another he has learned at school (or so I assume), and brought home to infect our brains. May infect yours, too.

1st try:

2nd try:

3rd try:

Final try:

Good enough!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:44 PM | Comments (3)

May 28, 2010

Movie: Felix dresses himself

You never know what you'll find when you open the bathroom door these days. His request for a movie of him opening the toilet lid and then closing it on his pee pee is not one I plan to fulfill.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:38 PM

May 25, 2010

Movie: Felix graduates!

In a bid to save us millions of dollars in educational cost, we decided Felix can just graduate from "Mouse" class at his daycare and skip that whole college thing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:06 AM

May 7, 2010

Movie: Play Ball!

Our garage came complete with a tennis ball hanging from a string, the idea being that when the ball contacts your windshield it's time to stop the car, unless, of course, you want to crush the dryer. Felix and I discovered, in those long days when Talia and the station wagon were at work, that this ball could also be used to play tennis (though actually Felix thinks of it as baseball, since he's seen that played but not tennis). Now that Talia is at home we have to move the car out in order to get in a quick inning, but it's worth it: he loves it and I'm gratified to see how quickly he's gotten good at smacking the ball.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:09 PM

April 20, 2010

Movie: Naughty Little Kittens

A bit hard to make out perhaps, but the cute comes through regardless. Subtitles:

Five little kittens who lost their mittens
Oh mother dear, we lost our mittens
What! Lost your mittens?
You naughty little kittens
You shall have no pie

We found our mittens
Oh, mother dear, we found our mittens
What! You found your mittens?
You good little kittens
You shall have some pie

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:40 AM | Comments (1)

March 21, 2010

Felix noise

Nice noise:

Nice noise:

Not so nice noise:

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:12 PM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2010

Movie: Role reversal

Felix has initiated a new game I call "role reversal." It begins with him putting on my house slippers and announcing that he's Daddy. I am then relegated to the role of Felix. The dialogs that ensue are, I think, frighteningly accurate on both sides--we know each other all too well--but what's most striking to me is how he maneuvers matters to achieve his ends, in this case a chance to watch some video:

And notice how well he does in the slippers. I have movies of him falling all over himself in those just a few months back.

Apologies for the bad video quality lately, we'll be fixing that soon.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:46 AM | Comments (1)

February 7, 2010

Movie: Spiderweb

This is really more about his powers of persuasion than his climbing ability. He frequently surprises me with the sheer reasonableness of his requests, in this case, to climb in bare feet, just like the athletic little girls who were crawling all over the local spiderweb.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:06 AM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2010

Movie: Learner's Permit

No Felix, you will not be borrowing the car anytime soon.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:25 AM | Comments (1)

January 4, 2010

Movie: Orange peels

When Felix first discovered apples he loved them so much that he would eat the entire thing, "clockhouse and all," as the Dutch say. For some reason an apple in his hands these days gets a cursory girdling and that's that. However, oranges are very much in.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:22 AM

January 3, 2010

Movie: Skating

And since we've been sledding we thought we should get Felix on the "ice," too.

Not, of course, very cold ice, but it gave him the idea.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:20 AM

December 30, 2009


We went to Oregon for Winter Vacation and there we encountered snow, enough snow to play in, enough snow to sled in.

I had one of my typical daddy/filmmaker experiences, as illustrated here:

In other words, while I caught the moment I almost lost the boy to the traffic at the bottom of our (in retrospect poorly chosen) sledding hill. Here's the next run, a bit calmer.

Goes without saying that he loved sledding. New England blood you know.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:29 AM

December 16, 2009

Movie: Ain't Nobody

You should see what happens after lunch!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:24 PM

December 10, 2009

Felix reads?

I sat Felix down in front of my computer the other day to Skype my father and thank him for the trainset (see Thoms Teardown). Felix, gazing at my Skype-filled screen, says "Paul." He says it clear as day, and then he says it again. This is, to say the least, puzzling. I have never called my father anything but "Grandpa" in FM's presence, and I certainly did not say "Paul" myself while setting up the call. And yet I did click on "Paul" because that's how Grandpa appears on Skype for me ("Paul Shuldiner" to be precise). What are the chances? Surely he hasn't learned to read without our noticing? (And yet it would not surprise me if, having learned to read, he'd decided to keep it to himself for fear it would reduce the amount of time we spend reading to him.) And yet the coincidence was too improbable to attribute to anything else as best I can see. A mystery.

Then this:

Note that this is a library book which he has had read to him exactly four times. I do think there's some reading going on here, though I'm still skeptical that this explains "Paul." Makes me want to read to him more, not less.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:27 PM

December 9, 2009

Movie: And then

This is how a lot of Felix's stories go: on and on, but I'm sure it happened just as he describes it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:31 PM

December 8, 2009

Movie: Felix Ball

I thought this only worked with gerbils.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:28 PM

November 25, 2009

Movie: Thomas teardown

Thomas teardown from Corn Maze on Vimeo.

Felix is crazy about Thomas the Tank Engine and all his many friends. He has been the lucky recipient of both a new set (Mama) and a huge collection of eBay'd tracks (Grandpa) which he uses to reenact the many scenarios he has studied, often with surprising fidelity to the original. But he cannot build: for that he needs a helpful parent. He recognizes that this is a favor he is asking, he understands, too, that it is ingratitude of the highest order to then destroy what we have built, but ultimately heart rules head, and somewhere in his little heart there lurks an evil urge....

This video reminds me of "Punishing Felix" in which Felix clearly demonstrated his calm resistance to certain rules. For the most part he respects them, but sometimes upon consideration he decides he must reject a particular directive--don't play with food, don't destroy the train system--adopting the classic corporate defense of accepting punishment without acknowledging wrong-doing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:07 PM | Comments (2)

November 18, 2009

Movie: Does Felix still speak Dutch?

We read Jip and Janneke every night (and sometimes before nap, too), and he jumped when he heard a couple speaking Dutch on the street the other day. He speaks every once in a while about wanting to go to Amsterdam (which he sometimes pronounces in the Dutch manner). But he almost never speaks even as much Dutch as this. I admit, I find it a bit sad, since this is hardly any at all.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:52 PM | Comments (2)

November 6, 2009

Movie: The Fast and the Cute

There's one long stretch of smooth sidewalk, unbroken by unpredictable driveways, on the way to school. Felix usually (well, we've only been doing this walk for a week, but he's quick to establish patterns) takes this chance to drag race passing traffic, and he doesn't do too bad at that (car shown in this video was obviously sporting an illegal nitrous injector).

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:09 AM

October 11, 2009

Movie: Wedding dance

John and Denise got married, so we danced.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:48 PM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2009

Movie: Pantsing Felix

Felix puts his pants on just like anyone else: one leg at a time. Well, sort of. The funny thing is I later realized he'd put on his underwear over a diaper before starting on the pants. That's one well dressed little man.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:51 PM

October 1, 2009

Movie: The Dutch manner of saying goodbye

Can't say goodbye in the Netherlands without a kiss. And if you're saying goodbye to your entire daycare class....

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:53 PM

September 2, 2009

Movie: We're in California!

Sorry for the long hiatus on the Flog, but we've been super busy with the move. This movie is from our pre-move:

Since arriving in October we've managed to touch the Pacific only once, but if there's any place Felix likes more than a beach I haven't found it so I expect we'll be back soon.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:55 PM

August 21, 2009

Movie: Old McDonald had an Alphabet

E I E I O.

(Apologies for the ending there, it happens.)

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:01 PM

August 14, 2009

Movie: Felix on horseback

Felix and I went to the goat farm today. The highlight however had to do with a horse. It was his first ride and he was very cool and calm the entire time.

Posted by talia at 2:47 PM | Comments (1)

August 4, 2009

Movie: Monkey Training

I love the combination of fear and glee on FM's face as he makes it down the pole.

Posted by talia at 8:04 PM

Movie: Are you mad?

I don't remember what exactly happened that day but I know it was a particularly rough one. FM knows all about me being mad, since I unfortunately raise my voice a bit too often. Luckily, he also knows the antidote.

Posted by talia at 8:01 PM

July 31, 2009

Movie: Felix on the Zipline

For months now Felix and I have been going on the zipline together. It never occurred to me to send him out on his own. Seems mama's and dada's don't always think alike...Felix loves it. For old time's sake we still go on together now and again.

Posted by talia at 2:39 PM

June 16, 2009

Movie: Advance Retreat

Posted by talia at 5:21 AM

May 31, 2009

Movie: And we thought we had mice

Should have recognized the teeth marks....

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:04 PM | Comments (2)

May 6, 2009

Movie: Suspension of disbelief

Felix has no trouble believing The Man, having run out of staircase, would take a moment before falling down. He has never seen a Warner Bros. cartoon, but is now well prepared for one.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:55 AM

Movie: Counting to 12

Pretty good, but some work still needed in the higher numbers.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:53 AM | Comments (1)

Movie: Marmite revisited

Perhaps you recall Felix's introduction to Marmite?

We keep it around, but not out on the kitchen counter and so it can be forgotten for a while now and then. Having rediscovered it in the pantry, I decided to see if he remembered it:

I guess the answer is "not really." Development is not a one-way street.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:49 AM

May 3, 2009

Movie: Behavioral Grabbag

So earlier today, in the bath I (it's Mama) overhears FM singing Lang Zal Je Leven (the Dutch Happy Birthday). I'm pretty surprised since it's not a tune we sing and home much and there haven't been any birthdays at school recently.

He's pretty excited to learn that I know the song too, so we sing a few rounds together. Later that day, Alec films the following movie.

I especially like the part when he places the stencil over his eyes and says "glasses."


Posted by talia at 9:35 PM

May 1, 2009

Movie: The chaser chased

How quickly the tables turn.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:33 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2009

Movie: Which hand?

Is he right-handed or left-handed? How can we know?

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:53 PM

March 6, 2009

Movie: Kumquat eater

We don't find good kumquats often, but when we do we seize our chance and let nothing stop us. And of course, we take kisses every chance we get, too.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:27 AM | Comments (1)

March 3, 2009

Movie: Ben niet bang van de wilde dieren

A friend gave us a CD and book of Dutch kids' songs. FM and his mama have built a whole cabaret on this foundation. This is but a sample.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:38 AM

February 28, 2009

Movie: Close harmony

Good ear! And I'll say it right now for the record, nothing would make me happier than to live out my rocker dreams through you.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:36 AM

January 15, 2009

Movie: Ring around the rosie

Talia had told me about going to pick up Felix at daycare and finding the group leader playing her violin while all the children danced around her. The image was almost too cute to believe, but I witnessed it myself, and caught it on film the other day.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:06 PM

Movie: Felix says "Felix"

Felix, despite a rapidly growing vocabulary and an aptitude for mimicry, has steadfastly refused to say his own name...until now. "It's a hard name," said some, but he has long been able to say "Fiem" (the name of a girl in his class at daycare) and has no difficulty with the word "lick." I've put it down to random stubbornness, which is to say I have no idea why he waited this long, but now he's said it, and continues to say it, and will, as with most of his words, steadily say it better as time goes by. We haven't told him about "Milo" yet.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:59 PM

January 11, 2009

Movie: Bouncing around the living room

Aside from the bonus nose-picking footage, this is intended to spotlight FM's ever-increasing coordination and general exuberance.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:09 PM

January 10, 2009

Movie: Felix on ice

We recently had a freeze here in Amsterdam, so Felix took the opportunity to explore some parts of the park he normally can't reach.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:57 PM

December 27, 2008

Movies: Felix, Charlie, Clem...cousins

Rare: Felix gets to see his cousins. Rarer: more than one of them sits still long enough to make a movie. Extremely rare: it happens twice in a row. So:

Felix and Clem eat some kumquats:

Felix, Clem, and Charlie play in Felix's travel cot:

Both movies taken in Paris this past Xmas. Charlie and Clem, we miss you!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:09 PM

December 17, 2008

Movie: Exercising with Felix

I don't know why we started doing these exercises with Felix but it sure is fun. Not yet possible to get a full routine on film, but we'll keep trying.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:40 PM

December 7, 2008

Movies: Felix at the playground

A fun morning at the playground:

Near collision, fortunately his turning abilities have improved somewhat since, say, "Where's Felix."

Still prone to the kitty in the tree problem, and for the same reason: knows how to get up, has no clue how to get down.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:37 PM

November 23, 2008

Movie: Felix at the Albert Heijn

This movie was among the most challenging I have ever made. Cherry tomato packaging is not designed to be opened with one hand, and that was the easiest part of the whole thing. They must hate me at this supermarket: I don't go often but every time I do, or at least every time Felix and I do, it's trouble.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:19 PM

November 18, 2008

Movie: Moooooon

Aside from the total cuteness of this movie (thank you, thank you), it's interesting (to us at least) because of his language use. I think he's recently realized that everything has a name, and as a result his vocabulary has started to expand very rapidly. In this movie he learns the word "sky" (though come to think of it I think he'd already learned that word once or twice before). Note his super darling pronounciation of "outside."

Posted by talia at 11:14 PM

November 12, 2008

Movie: Sorting the Grapefruits

Posted by talia at 10:04 PM

November 10, 2008

Movie: Honk honk

Felix's experience with cars is just about zero. We don't own one, so he only gets the occasional taxi ride to and from the airport. But on this last trip, he was given free access and he made the most of it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:21 PM

November 9, 2008

Movie: Not learning to eat just one thing at a time

Felix is an enthusiastic eater, and difficult to slow down. I appreciate the attempts of his grandparents to teach him to savor his snack, and I'm sure he does too, though obviously it hasn't made a big impact otherwise. Try, try again.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:25 PM

October 19, 2008

Movie: Tripletake

Just classic.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:16 PM

October 10, 2008

Movie: Keeping busy at the airport

We travel by plane quite a bit and as FM has grown older the flights and everything around them require a bit more energy and creativity to keep this active toddler pleasant.

Pushing the stroller was already a favorite pastime, here he is doing it with the added benefit of ad infinitum.

Posted by talia at 5:21 AM

September 28, 2008

Movie: Moodyman

I don't really know what to say about this one except that clearly he is a big Moodies fan. Me too.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:03 PM

September 26, 2008

Movie: Shopping with Felix

He is STUBBORN. Probably you guessed this.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:05 PM

September 21, 2008

Movie: I don't know where the zipper went, Felix

That's my boy....

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:58 PM

September 3, 2008

Movie: Laugh boy laugh

As usual, it's not really obvious what Felix is laughing at so hysterically. He just seems to latch onto random physical tics, or sounds, or such, and they will suddenly strike him as pee-in-your-pants funny, which, under the circumstances, is in no way a problem. Interestingly, the humorous power of these gags is inevitably short-lived: the next day he's as likely as not to look at you as if you're crazy.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:26 PM

August 31, 2008

Movie: Homey

The garden is also a somewhat more informal environment, so as long as he keeps his head warm we really don't care what he wears.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:44 PM

August 30, 2008

Movie: Punishing Felix

Sometimes Felix is bad. And when he is bad, especially when he is bad and KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL he is being bad, then he needs to be punished. But how to do it in a way that convincingly conveys our message? I'll take away his hands, I thought, surely something that will count as punishment for such an active boy.

The first few times it worked beautifully: he noticed, was frustrated, and seemed to realize it was the price he was paying for his mischief. But then he realized that in the end he can always wait me out. I still take away his hands when he's bad, but I do so with a decreasing sense of conviction. New punishment ideas, anyone?

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:49 PM

August 24, 2008

Movie: Working in the garden

In addition to eating strawberries, sometimes while at the garden we work. Felix, you will not be surprised to hear, is often an obstruction in these endeavors and some tasks are simply impossible with him around (trying to lay an even patio comes to mind), but if you can find a way to harness his energies then the results can be quite good, sometimes even a bit astounding. The load he is pushing here is every bit as heavy as it looks: I put it in that cart because I could hardly carry it myself.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:21 PM

August 22, 2008

Movie: Little Dutch boy

Another garden tip: wear clogs. No joke, it's what the Dutch do, famously so, but less well known is that this is the perfect footwear for the soggy Dutch environment. So we're trying to train Felix. Train him to wear clogs, train him about what's "ouch" and what's not, train him on who's mama and who's dada. I'd say he's about equally good at all three of these things.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:46 PM

August 21, 2008

Movie: Jungle gym agility training

This jungle gym is in the main common field at our garden complex. When we first moved there this summer, FM needed help at every step of the way. Not an easy task as the ground beneath is lined with stinging nettles or some other prickly weed.

After a few weeks though FM is sure footed and playful.

Posted by talia at 5:29 AM

August 18, 2008

Movie: Definitely not made of sugar

This short film illustrates one of the keys to living happily in our little garden house for these past six rainy weeks (also key to enjoying a rainy camping trip). The boy, as Talia puts it, is not made of sugar.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:41 PM

Movie: Mightyungrip

The reverse of the Mightygrip!

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:48 PM

August 14, 2008

Movie: Eating strawberries

We're living in our little garden house now. And what, you might ask, do we do all day long there? We eat strawberries.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:15 PM

August 8, 2008

Movie: Blowing Kisses

Here's a short but sweet one. Now tell me, who's more excited by this newly learned skill?

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:14 PM

August 7, 2008

Movie: Sharing a walk and a yogurt

Here's another camping video (obviously). Felix is a good campmate and a fine fellow with whom to share a walk and a yogurt.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:39 PM

Movie: Hard rain

As you probably know, Felix is not famed for his sleeping abilities. Yes, good about going to bed, but easily awoken, that about sums it up. I guess it's something about the fresh air, but I was amazed he could sleep in the tent (we've been camping for a week) despite the thunderous rain. In general, he was much less put out by the rain than most of the rest of us.

I should note, by the way, that sleepingwise things have been going a lot better. He is now apt to go from 8 until 5, then with a bottle and a move to our bed (we're at the garden, he can sleep with us without fear that one of the family will fall out of the loft) he's good for another couple of hours. That's a little too simple: he is likely to spend some time between bottle and return to sleep playing with your eyebrows (I like to play with my own eyebrows, but not those of others; is his interest in these things inherited thus, or a leftover from his stitched brow?) or otherwise disturbing your attempts to return to sleep. But it's a lot better than where we were a few months ago.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:31 PM

Movie: Eating spaghetti

Not the prettiest picture, but I just love that fat hand clutching all those strands....

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:27 PM

July 19, 2008

Movie: Sweaty little sleepmonster

Oh yes you are.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:23 PM

July 7, 2008

Movie: Felix's new hideout

His enthusiasm only grows, maybe his subtlety too? Remember him in Getting the boy to the bath and even more familiar perhaps, Where's Felix?

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:25 PM

July 5, 2008

Movie: Felix the reader

I don't think his comprehension is that high, but he is already better at reading aloud than I am. For one thing, he does a lot more of the voices. For another, I can't read Hebrew.

Felix, you are a funny little guy.

Wow, this is our 150th entry.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

Felix and the regenton

A long one, but it illustrates how far he has come, and how much further there still is to go. I do think he's understanding most of what I'm saying in the film, it's a fairly typical interaction.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:53 PM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2008

Movie: Should I laugh or should I cry, part 3

Actually, this one makes me want to cry: I was on the other side of the playground when I saw him half way up this thing. And having done it once he insisted on doing it again and again.... The other threat to his life that afternoon was the coven of little Dutch girls who tried to get him to drink the witch's brew they'd mixed up in a bucket using only playground ingredients.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:03 PM

June 19, 2008

Felix makes a movie

Felix decided to make a movie for a change. Pretty decent results considering how bad most star-turned-director cinema is.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:06 PM

June 13, 2008

Movie: Mightygrip

Felix demonstrates one of his superpowers.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:08 PM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2008

Movie: Pop!

This movie, destined to be a Talia's Favorite I am sure, was intended to come out somewhat differently than it did. We have had these suction bowls for some time, but have never been able to get them to stick effectively. For some reason I tried again yesterday and this time the seal worked. Felix couldn't get the bowl off until he figured out that pushing it against the rim of his tray broke the seal. So I thought I'd make a movie of that, a clever solution to a tricky problem. To his regret and the viewer's (and director's) delight, he decided to return to the brute force approach. I'm still laughing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:13 AM

May 23, 2008

Movie: Treadmill

This one entry has two movies. The first one may be a bit of a mystery. Try to guess what our hero is up to, then watch the second one.

I know you're not supposed to let kids play on these, but it's so rare that we find something that fully entertains him and keeps him in one place at the same time.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:07 AM

May 21, 2008

Movie: Making tomato paste

I know I keep posting videos of Felix doing something terrible with food and I do it to keep you amused but you must understand that normally he is not allowed to behave in such a beastly fashion. In fact, our biggest struggle at the moment is teaching him to handle his food more appropriately. We are making some, though only some, progress.

If anyone can tell me what he's talking about I will be very grateful. Certainly I don't know.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:12 AM

May 11, 2008

Movie: Softly, softly

As the last photo set shows, Felix got a booboo bad enough to require stitches. Five, to be precise. He did not seem greatly put out by the entire experience, but he definitely knows they are there and that they must be treated gently. With the baby-standard attraction to soft things being as powerful as it is we can hardly expect he won't touch them at all: they're made of silk and so the draw is irresistible. Also, he usually fondles the ears of his sheep pillow when falling asleep, and in this scene was falling asleep upstairs where he doesn't have the pillow at hand. But the stitches are always there, or at least they were until last Tuesday when we had them removed. For some reason I miss them.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:01 AM

April 5, 2008

Movie: Good Morning!

A baby is a workout: all that lifting, with the ox getting larger day by day, one can't help but get stronger too. However, Talia is taking it to a bit of an extreme here....

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:40 AM

April 3, 2008

Movie: Should I laugh or should I cry? part 2

A few days later I decided to rearrange the ladder into this more safely playable configuration. That same day, while Talia, I, and Nurit were all watching him, he fell off the top platform all the way to the ground. So no surprise, I guess, that he now needs some reassurance.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:37 PM

Movie: The sexy side of Felix

Legwarmers: FM, as always, leading the fashion trend!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:33 PM

April 2, 2008

Movie: Potatohead

Not for the weak-stomached.... And no, this is not normally tolerated behavior, but I wanted to get the evidence on tape.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:35 PM

March 27, 2008

Movie: Should I laugh or should I cry?

Sometimes I find myself torn between pride--how can this little baby climb this thing?--and fear--this little baby should definitely NOT climb this thing. Usually pride wins....

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:42 PM | Comments (3)

March 16, 2008

Movie: Putting things through other things

Sounds simple. Isn't.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:00 PM

March 13, 2008

Movie: Brushing Felix's teeth

This movie is particularly apropos as he has just today cut his third tooth! Gotta keep 'em clean....

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:58 PM

Movie: Where's Felix?

Oooh, that wascaly wabbit! He sure can be tough to catch sometimes. You'll note that he has his diaper on this time: the day before he pulled the same stunt, but while hiding behind the curtains peed on the radiator, ha ha ha, but I learned my lesson. And as for that "clunk" sound, yes, it was his head hitting the same radiator, not that he noticed.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:14 PM

Movie: Playing soccer

As you may know, Felix started walking on his birthday. Now, a month later, he has progressed to soccer. Really.

Actually, there is quite a lot to see in this movie qua development. Note how he figures out how to go around the side of the speaker to get his ball within reach. His throwing is also greatly improved: he used to be able to throw backwards only, which is of limited utility as you might imagine. But the thing I find most interesting about this movie, kicking a ball aside, is how he treats the paper-covered light cabinets. He is under strict instructions not to touch them. He is unable to ignore them altogether, however, but seems to be reminding himself of the rules rather than simply transgressing them.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:43 PM | Comments (1)

March 6, 2008

Movie: Grapefruits, part 2

An even funnier eating-grapefruit movie.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:49 PM

February 15, 2008

Movie: Riding the pony

By popular demand, FM's first attempts to ride his new rocking horse.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:31 AM

February 10, 2008

Movie: Grass is always greener

The title says it all.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:24 AM

February 4, 2008

Movie: Devouring the baby

Mommy's not the only one who can make him laugh. He started it. Really.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:21 AM

January 19, 2008

Movie: The Oatmeal Joke

What's so funny about breakfast? Mommy is, that's what.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2008

Movie: Round and around he goes

I swear, honestly, that when I stopped him he had a smile on his face! This was his second ride!

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:23 PM

January 8, 2008

Movie: Freaking out Felix

Look out from above!

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:22 PM

January 6, 2008

Movie: High five

Now that's motivational teaching!

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:14 PM

Movie: Sleep!

"Sleep!" I am such a hypnotist.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:08 PM

January 4, 2008

Movie: Pineapple

It's been a while since we've had a Felix-eating-something movie. Here it is: pineapple, his new favorite.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:21 PM

December 31, 2007

Movie: Practicing doors

I thought I would have to wait until he was a teenager to have him slam doors in my face. What a precocious child.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:54 PM

December 30, 2007

Movie: The Great Pacifier Thief

Every once in a while Felix meets a bigger kid who teaches him some of the facts of life. In this case Austin, who teaches him that you can run but you can't hide.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:51 PM

December 29, 2007

Movie: Lemonhead

An old family tradition, feeding citrus to babies to see how their sensitive taste buds react. Not good for his enamel, we know, we know, but we only did it that once. Really.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:01 PM

December 28, 2007

Movie: Making his way down the stairs

Making his way down the stairs from Talia on Vimeo.

Posted by talia at 4:31 PM

December 27, 2007

Movie: Felix loves mommy

But of course we already knew that.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:50 PM

FMS the Fearless Flyer

FMS the Fearless Flier from Talia on Vimeo.

Posted by talia at 7:00 PM | Comments (1)

December 25, 2007

Movie: Felix and the magic ball

This one is kind of gross. The next guy to try to improve his hand coordination or do whatever one does with those balls is in for a surprise.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:46 PM

December 24, 2007

Movie: Felix and the giant cheese

We told him No Dairy until you're 1 year old, but does he listen? No, he does not.

Ha ha, you think, he'll never gnaw through that rind. Well ha ha on you: we gave him a box of frozen peas to play with while we made him lunch today. He was gumming frozen peas about thirty second later. He only has two teeth but they are sharp.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:42 PM

November 19, 2007

Movie: The "Hey Felix" game

Riding the bike without him just isn't the same.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:09 PM

Movie: Birthday egg yolk

Taste sensation!

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:43 AM

November 17, 2007

Movie: The great chase

Another great soundtrack, and another action filled movie. Most of our many games are variations on me shouting "boo" at him, which is odd, because his name isn't Boo, it's Felix. (In joke.) Still, he likes it, until he gets tired of it, which is definitely a question of attention span not endurance: with those fat pads on his knees he can keep going on the hard floor a lot longer than I can.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:00 PM | Comments (1)

Movie: Music appreciation

He's certainly heard music before, but for some reason Erlend Oye really caught his attention. Well, for good reason, it's awesome music.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:53 PM

Movie: The long climb

This is, by our standards, a long movie, but you'll have to give the little guy a break: what he accomplishes here is the equivalent of you climbing Machu Picchu, which is to say possible, but certainly not quick. Above all, both feats require more than your average amount of persistence. But of course persistence is one of his strong points.

This was the second or third time he climbed the stairs. The first time he tried he fell down after getting up only two stairs and then decided to go do something else. The second time he succeeded, and every time thereafter, however on his most recent ascent he fell again, rolling several stairs (quite slowly, but not able to stop himself) before I blocked him from falling further. This really gave him pause for thought, but it did not stop him from completing the climb.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:37 PM

Movie: Learning to drink, part 2

Here he is drinking again. He is nothing if not enthusiastic: by the time we got the glass away from him he had a little dent in his forehead from trying to jam his face into it. Ice tea in case you are wondering.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:12 AM

November 14, 2007

Movie: Learning to drink, part 1

We've been teaching him to use a sippy cup, but he's shown more interest in real glasses. It's a bit difficult to know how much he's actually drinking here--and how much do we want him to drink anyway? This is the bathwater after all--since it all runs out the bottom eventually.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:08 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2007

Movie: Hating the hood

This reminds me of that scene in the Lord of the Rings where they tie Gollum up with elven rope. Weird thing is right afterwards we all went out and ate raw fish.

I had originally intended this movie to be about him running in circles trying to find his pacifier on its cord. He'd been doing that just a moment before I began shooting and it was immortally adorable, classic puppy dog and tail. But as so often happens, once the camera is there he refuses to repeat his behavior.

Why is he getting so mad, you ask? It's not the pacifier cord, it's going over his time limit in the coat without going outside. He hates putting on the coat but puts up with it if it means a walk.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:20 PM

November 10, 2007

Movie: Presidential Athletic Award

We finally got gates installed at the top and bottom of our staircase, a not-untypically steep one here in Amsterdam. The mini-case leading to the loft we neglected. Apparently a bad idea. The whole notion of baby-proofing is a bit ridiculous in light of the fact that it isn't just one baby, it is a constantly changing baby, and thus what is proof one day is very much not so the next.

Posted by talia at 7:45 PM | Comments (1)

November 3, 2007

Movie: Why doesn't he like me?

He does like you, Felix, he just has a funny way of showing it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:37 AM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2007

Movie: Felix the Cat

This shows his increasing focus and ability to play games. We plan to give him a little more time with the bat-the-colored-cup-around game and then we'll start bridge lessons. Get that cup!

Posted by talia at 7:37 PM

Movie: Fish For Felix

We keep a very careful list of FM's new foods and introduce them according to a strictly spaced schedule, the idea being that if he is allergic to something we will be able to identify the culprit right away. Yes, we keep the list, but a certain amount of off-list activity does take place. The reality is if you're out somewhere and he is hungry (or, like as not, realizes you are eating and he isn't) he is probably going to get a bit of whatever you're having. And since stuffing bits of things into his face is so gratifying, chances are he'll get some more bits after that. That accounts for introducing him to fried fish (fresh, we swear) and french fries (a different occasion) at such a tender age. I do regret exposing him to that music, but there was nowhere else to sit. One day he will forgive me, unless, of course he turns out to be allergic to dueling accordions.

Posted by talia at 3:34 PM

Movie: Felix Loves Felix

We love Felix, his grandparents and other relatives love Felix, his babysitter loves Felix, Johannes loves Felix, the Noordermarkt loves Felix, Japanese tourists love Felix, but most of all I think Felix loves Felix. Or maybe just Felix loves the oven.

Posted by talia at 2:36 PM

Movie: Ba Na Na

Felix's early encounters with bananas were not promising. Why, he seemed to say, are you putting this in my mouth? Pleasant enough, but being naturally slimy banana pieces were especially quick to slide out...that is, before he learned they could be swallowed. Now there is no escape for his prey, and little enough pause between one bite and the next.

This movie also provides evidence of a nice range of new tricks, for example the lip flip thing he now does a lot. Flip flip flip goes the lip. And that huffa huffa sound he makes. Careful, boy, your face may freeze like that!

Posted by talia at 12:33 PM

Movie: Ricecake

The first in a no doubt long series of Felix-eating-stuff films. Perhaps not the best one to start with though, it's not exactly action packed (unlike the forthcoming Ba na na epic), but he just so looks like a squirrel, it's adorable. Less adorable is the fact that inevitably bits of ricecake end up stuck to his various parts and thereby migrate, like so many fleas, to the furniture and rug and bathtub, where they assume new and horrible forms. So consider it a horror movie sans dénouement.

Posted by talia at 12:29 PM

October 7, 2007

Movie: Small but not defenseless

As some of you may recall, I used to have a horror of baby drool. One gets over such phobias quickly, but watching this movie brings it all back.

The worst is when he gives you the old one-two-three: a couple of fingers up your nose, another hand clenched in your hair, mouth on the ear, copious saliva stream entering your aural canal.... I still have nightmares. As you can see, Talia is less easily perturbed by these things, but even she has her limits.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:16 PM

October 4, 2007

Movie: Too clever by half

Parenting is so bittersweet, or perhaps funirritating is what I mean. You are always happy and often entertained to see your child figure something out that previously would have puzzled him (or, as likely, would not even have been remarked upon as a potential puzzle)...and then seconds later you are annoyed as he puts his new-found knowledge to use for EVIL.

This movie also illustrates well Felix's increased focus: now, when he wants something, it is not so easy to divert his attention. This is an important step as it forces him to figure things out. Unfortunately, it also means that he constantly returns to any puzzle he has not been allowed to finish, for example, opening all the drawers in the Japanese cabinet in the dining room. He learned that the metal handles can be used to open the drawers. Foolishly, I had hoped we could teach him right from wrong before he figured out this chest of treasures.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:32 PM | Comments (1)

October 1, 2007

Movie: A Tooth Unrevealed

OK, a bit anticlimactic for you, dear viewer, but for us a simply enormous thrill. Why this milestone more than many others? I guess because we've waited so long for it--we thought he was seriously teething for more than two months now--and because while it is in reality a gradual process, from the outside it seems sudden: no teeth, then one day BOOM there it is. Also exciting--though we should try not to get our hopes up--is the possibility that this explains his frequent waking the past several nights.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:07 PM | Comments (1)

September 29, 2007

Movie: Not learning to walk

Sometimes things do not go as planned.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:45 AM

September 28, 2007

Movie: Spic and span baby, part 2

Following his successful conquest of the dishwasher (one in a series: see also Conquering the Oven), I thought he might turn his attention elsewhere, for example to the refrigerator or some other novel appliance with pleasingly cold steel surfaces. No, he wanted to show it was no fluke, so back he came for round 2. Which just goes to show: I never should have let him start on this in the first place. Emptying the dishwasher, previously a streamlined process in which, for the sake of speed, we didn't even sort the silverware, now takes a quarter hour, most of which is spent fishing Felix out of the lower dishrack.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:47 PM | Comments (1)

Movie: Spic and span baby, part 1

He tried doing this the other day when the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes. (One tries hard to feed him only the purest of foods, then he goes ahead and gets his hands in a lot of half decomposed kitchen slops.) Obviously not something we want to encourage, but this was so cute I didn't have the heart to stop him.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:23 PM

Movie: Felix find your apple

Three favorites in one: his bungee jumper, an apple piece, and the "Where's the XX" game. Now that's a happy baby.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:03 PM

Movie: Conquering the Oven

Some explorers are motivated by a desire to see what no man has seen before. This explorer is motivated by a desire to lick every surface in the house up to a height of two-thirds of a meter or so.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:23 AM

September 22, 2007

Movie: Baby battle

This is why we try not to let him near other babies.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:17 PM

September 21, 2007

Movie: Learning to walk, part 1

Step by step....

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:20 PM | Comments (1)

September 8, 2007

Movie: If he eats all that...

If he eats all that how come he won't eat food? No, really, this morning we sat him down in his high chair and put two carrots and a piece of broccoli, well steamed and cooled, on his tray. He looked at them, looked at us, and then spent ten minutes pointedly ignoring them. If we had put two orange pieces of plastic and a green piece of plastic on his tray all three pieces would have been covered with baby spit within seconds. How does he know? Why does he care?

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:21 PM

September 2, 2007

Movie: Feeding on Felix

We are not having a lot of luck feeding the boy, but at least we all enjoy feeding on him. You will note that he provoked the attack.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:57 PM

August 24, 2007

Movie: RiverDance

We were very impressed by a documentary on the making of Riverdance we saw some months ago, back when FM was still a fetus. Apparently, thanks to the worldwide craze for this show, anyone who can Irish step dance has a job, guaranteed. We've decided to start training early rather than investing in a college fund. He'll thank us later.

We bought this device some time ago, but had some trouble hanging it, being unable to find studs above the ceiling (they must be there somewhere). Finally put it here in the doorway to the patio. Thank goodness: one of the difficult things about Felix right now is that he wants to be standing up almost constantly. He is now able to pull himself upright and can walk along sideways if his handholds hold out, but unless he’s in his crib at some point he will come to the end of the couch or whatever it is he’s using to hold himself up and then he will fall, if not sooner. His patience for the crib is limited (and besides, it has other, more important functions), the number of times we want him to bang his head is likewise limited, so we either need something to let him stand or we have to spend a lot of time lending him our hands. This device is that something: it doesn’t let him walk around, but it does let him lift his feet which is apparently what he is after (if he actually wants to get someplace he’ll crawl there). And, of course, he will occasionally do a jig, which is extremely entertaining.

Posted by talia at 5:15 AM

August 15, 2007

Movie: Stop Crawl and Roll

Here's a not particularly coordinated crawl session. He's somewhere between military man crawl (or what the Dutch call "tijgeren," which means to move like a tiger) and real crawling, and his climbing skills are rapidly advancing. A good roll there too, but unfazed he gets back to business.

I believe we took this footage fairly late in the day so he wasn’t in his best form, but did take the fall quite well. What you are seeing is his early attempts to pull himself up a more challenging surface than the easily graspable bars of his crib. You are also seeing his willingness to do anything for his mother. Finally, note his occasional useless flailing of his legs. That is a throwback to earlier days when he, like many babies, would alternate productive crawling with unproductive balancing-on-the-tummy-and-making-flying-motions. Now, a month on, he has abandoned any motion that doesn’t get him closer to his goal.

Posted by talia at 4:02 PM

August 5, 2007

Movie: Baby Jail

His new babyprison, from which he attempts to lick his way out. I was against buying this thing, but this footage alone was worth the price.

The theory: a safe place for baby to play. The reality: once he discovered its unsatisfying texture he soon lost patience with the confinement. Sigh.

Posted by talia at 8:43 PM

July 23, 2007

Movie: Old Skool New Skool

That is one hip baby. You should see his Michael Jackson videos.

Dance baby, dance dance dance! You can’t blame us, he really doesn’t mind—stuffing his fists in his mouth is generally a sign of delight—and we swear you’d do the same if you had a chance. By the way, we take requests: send us your favorite song and we’ll see if he’s inspired to boogie.

I should mention that this is harder to do than it looks.

Posted by talia at 5:32 AM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2007

Movie: Who's that in the Mirror?

Who's that in the mirror, and why is he so funny? No, seriously, can anyone explain what the deal is with babies and mirrors? Does he know it's him? And if so, how?

What is the deal with babies and mirrors? I would really like to know. Do they understand it’s themselves? Or does he simply look as cute to himself as he does to us? Whatever it is, he always gives himself a big smile.

Posted by talia at 3:47 PM

July 6, 2007

Movie: Wax On, Wax Off

Yum, floor! We will have to rewax that area no doubt. I particularly like his enthusiasm. He is a very whole-hearted baby when it comes to putting things in his mouth or, as in this case, trying to.

What is the pleasure here? It can’t taste good (hopefully it doesn’t taste at all; he should be getting nothing but beeswax from that floor). He can’t rub his gums on it. It’s not particularly warm or cold. I guess it’s just the thrill of exploration.

Posted by talia at 3:56 PM

June 30, 2007

Movie: Self-Feeding Baby

How helpful is that? A self-feeding baby! Now if he would only start producing his own milk....

Boy was I pleased when he started doing this. And now that we are giving him a lot more bottles (I’m writing in August, at the beginning of his seventh month, when we are busy weaning him) I am that much happier to have him do (some of) the holding. He is proving a bit fussy about which bottle he uses though, and unfortunately his preference is for the bottle type that comes from the US and of which we have only three. The Avent bottles, of which we have about a million, is for some reason a distant (though narrowing) second choice.

Posted by talia at 4:03 PM

June 23, 2007

Movie: Early Baby Crawling, Early Baby Bribing

Yes, he is crawling! And responding to enticement! This is a long video but worth it for the soundtrack alone.

We kept telling people “he’s crawling” and typically they would ask “military man crawl”? No. “Crawling backwards?” No. Standing on his head and pushing with his legs crawl. Well, everyone has their own way of doing things. In this case, it appears to be the bulldozer approach.

This did turn into proper crawling very soon thereafter. He never did military man, which is too bad, it would have been cute I’m sure.

Posted by talia at 4:20 PM

Movie: Look, Ma! No Hands!

Big deal, you think, he's sitting on his own. Actually, what we're trying to demonstrate is his precocious appreciation of quality folk music.

Early to crawl, but it took him a while to figure out how to sit. In fact, he learned crawling first. The result is that despite having learned to sit, he almost never does so. He is basically always on the go. Or, more recently, always trying to stand up.

Posted by talia at 4:10 PM

June 1, 2007

Movie: Desperate for a bite to eat

You think you're doing everything right, and then you discover your child is so desperately protein deficit he'll eat insects.

His new-found ability to consciously manipulate objects was immediately put to use not in batting at things or shaking them around—it was quite a while before he found a rattle really interesting—but in bringing things to his mouth. Many babies have a period when their depth perception isn’t working well with the result that they can’t tell how far away something is. They typically react to this by trying to hug things to themselves. I don’t really recall Felix doing a lot of that; my memories are dominated by this movie, which displays his single-minded grab-and-stuff technique. You will see the same degree of concentration in the “wax on, wax off” movie, and to the same end.

Posted by talia at 11:02 AM

May 23, 2007

Movie: Multi-tasking

Learning to crawl and chew fist at the same time!

This movie helps to explain why Felix never did something that babies commonly do when learning to crawl: he never crawled backwards. Apparently, babies usually push with their legs and arms at the same time when first experimenting with crawling. But since they have better coordination with their arms the effect is to push themselves backwards. Obviously Felix’s arms were not in play since he was too busy stuffing them into his face. This gave his legs free play to move him forward. Eventually, he figured out that the arms had a role to play as well, but by then he was already going in the right direction.

Posted by talia at 11:04 AM

May 19, 2007

Movie: Laughing

He has finally learned to laugh, though it takes a lot of Talia's fake giggling to get him to do so.

Talia taught him to laugh: she was able to fake the sound effectively. I can’t. To get him to laugh I have to throw him dangerously high in the air, and then he’ll let out a manic giggle. To each his own.

Posted by talia at 11:07 AM

May 13, 2007

Movie: Breath of fire

Greet the morning with a breath of fire.

His yawns are spectacularly luxurious. This is not, actually, a morning film: he doesn’t wear a hoodie to bed.

Posted by talia at 11:17 AM

May 12, 2007

Movie: Motor Skills

Yay! Motor skill training is paying off!

t’s a big deal, being able to hold something. But it’s just one step on a very long path. He then had to learn to let go voluntarily, to switch things from hand to hand, to associate the hand’s movement with sounds made by something in the hand (hence a rattle), and so on. He has only recently begun to learn that things can have a “right” way and a “wrong” way; his one-way pacifier is teaching him that.

Posted by talia at 11:19 AM

May 9, 2007

Movie: Co-Sleeping

This is why we don't co-sleep. Really, we tried, he's just too noisy.

So much noise from such a small baby! He makes less noise now—while sleeping at any rate—but we’re just as happy to have him in his own room. The downside, of course, is that it takes a trip out of bed to deal with his night problems, whether feeding or just general disturbance. In principle, this should mean that only one parent need be disturbed for any given event, but in practice, and for many reasons, that’s not the way it works.

Suffice to say, sleep is a big, indeed the big issue for us right now. He’s good about going to sleep as a rule (not a strict rule, admittedly) but he’s up with much too much regularity. The problem is, I think, two-fold: first, he is accustomed to too many night feedings, and second, he hasn’t yet learned to put himself back to sleep, so all disturbances require parental intervention.

The real problem is that we have waited too long, and now there is a complicating factor: he has learned to pull himself into a standing position using the bars of his crib…but hasn’t learned to lie himself back down. Well one way or another he has to get sleep-trained, and now, at six months and a week or two we are making a concerted effort on this front. Wish us luck.

Posted by talia at 11:22 AM

May 6, 2007

Movie: SMILE!

Super Smile!

One of the things you most want your baby to do is smile. It is the first thing he gives back. The early smiles are probably meaningless, a random nervous twitch, but the feedback the baby gets from his minders quickly teaches him the implications of this facial tic. Having learned, he, or at least ours, uses it often.

Posted by talia at 11:25 AM

April 26, 2007

Movie: Speak!

It will be a long while yet until he has anything to say, yet still you want him to speak. Of course once he does speak he won’t stop, and he will want you to speak in return: babies learn to converse, that is to say to exchange snippets of sound back and forth, long before they know to attach meaning to any particular sound. For me, though, what I still most enjoy are his involuntary sounds of delight, most notably when I attempt to eat his soft flesh.

Posted by talia at 2:53 PM

April 11, 2007

Movie: Baby in the Bath (rated R)

A lot of babies are afraid of water. He has never shown the slightest concern. However, he also did not shown a particular awareness of being in water in these early months. He would float, but he wouldn’t splash, he didn’t seem to recognize the surface of the water, or to notice that it got him wet. He didn’t and still doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in flowing water. Still, he enjoyed the warmth and the lightness of being in it, and still does, though nowadays he’s more likely to want to stand than sit or lie in the tub, as everywhere. And, I think, he particularly likes being naked.

Posted by talia at 3:22 PM

Movie: Huey Lewis and the Mustard

Our tribute to Huey Lewis and the News, which, for some reason, is very popular on Portuguese radio.

Thank goodness infant poo is as innocuous as it is because it really does show up in surprising places. This movie also highlights my gift of spontaneous versification, a gift I did not recognize myself as having in such a high degree until circumstances called it to the fore.

Posted by talia at 3:18 PM

March 30, 2007

Movie: Dream Dream Dream

What is he dreaming about? It seems obvious that it’s partly about eating, you can see him clearly sucking. But what is very surprising to me is that he also smiles in his dream. Why surprising? Because at this time he was not yet smiling while awake, ever. Random muscle movement? It wasn’t for at least another month that he began smiling for real.

Posted by talia at 3:36 PM

March 29, 2007

Movie: Falling Awake

I say in the caption that he might be either waking or falling asleep, but I see now that he must be waking up: he’s dressed in his outdoors suit, so must have come home asleep, been laid down and unzipped, and now is waking up. That was a great little suit he had, by the way, and I don’t know who gave it to us, but Thanks Whoever You Are. Talia always seems to be able to remember what came from whom and so is more directly grateful to individuals. I just feel a general sense of thankfulness.

Posted by talia at 3:43 PM

March 27, 2007

Movie: Revenge of Learning To Suck

By popular demand, a second "learning to suck my hand" video.

You’ll notice in both of the Learning To Suck videos he is sucking his right fist. In fact, he is ambidextrous when it comes to sucking. I wonder when we will notice a preference for right or left?

Posted by talia at 6:54 AM

March 20, 2007

Movie: Learning to Suck

A lot has been written about thumb vs. pacifier. We quickly welcomed the pacifier, and so did he. Recently, though, he has taken matters into his own hands, so to speak. It makes me wonder what the books are talking about: in many of these "either/or" matters the baby is apt to choose both, and regardless, it's likely to be the baby who chooses. And babies don't read.

I thought of babies as born thumbsuckers, if not addicted to pacifiers, but the variation among them is considerable: some do, some don’t, some go from one to the other, for some it’s finger sucking instead, or even nothing, and so on. Still, I was surprised at how long it took Felix to learn to suck his thumb given that thumbsucking runs in his genes on both sides. In fact, he still doesn’t really seem to get it, now, at six months old. In this film, though, I suppose it was mostly a question of the size ratio between hand and mouth: at this stage it is perhaps more satisfying to suck an entire fist than one tiny digit. Also, at this age the default position for a baby’s hand is a fist, so sucking a thumb would require an extra bit of coordination. This baby, at any rate, stayed with the fist for a long time. These days he mostly sucks on bars of wood.

Posted by talia at 4:42 PM

March 18, 2007

Movie: Art Film

Talia says she doesn’t “get” this movie. Do you? The music, by the way, wasn’t as loud as it sounds, we are very careful with his little ears.

Posted by talia at 4:18 PM

March 15, 2007

Movie: Waking up...or not

Babies at this age spend a certain amount of time in a sort of half-sleep, and moving from one phase of consciousness to another is not the seemingly smooth process that it is for most adults. They can also be surprisingly hard to wake up. Not a problem, of course, since mostly what you want them to do is sleep.

Posted by talia at 4:20 PM

February 26, 2007

Movie: Hiccups

Here you have Felix doing all of his tricks in one 19 second movie. He's been practicing quite a lot.

Hiccups in a small baby are amazing. They shake its entire body, but pass largely unnoticed by their victim. Felix can spend the better part of a day having hiccups. For a while, we could cure them with breastfeeding, but later on that stopped working as reliably. We’ve heard a theory that they help keep his airways clear. Presumably they have a purpose; certainly they take a lot of energy and time.

Posted by talia at 4:29 PM

February 22, 2007

Movie: Dear Felix

Felix as you've never seen him before.

He’s all wrapped up in his diaper in this one. He liked being bundled at the beginning—most babies do—but soon thereafter opted for freedom. You’ll note here at the end how he doesn’t react even though we’re shoving the camera right in his face. I don’t think he could see very well at this point.

Posted by talia at 4:27 PM

Movie: Calm Baby

Nothing but the occasional blink.

Felix is not what you would call a calm baby. Some babies spend a lot of time lying on their backs, “lumps” as one of my siblings calls them. Felix was always happier on his tummy, head up, looking around, then moving to get it. In these very early days, though, even a relatively active baby is going to spend a certain amount of time sitting still. Now, the amount of still time is almost zero.

Posted by talia at 4:24 PM

February 21, 2007

Movie: Dance, Baby, Dance

We love making him dance. Actually, I should say I love making him dance and Talia loves watching me make him dance. It’s just such a funny contrast to the movements he actually makes, and the fact that for the most part he doesn’t seem to particularly react to being moved so wildly about we also find hilarious.

Posted by talia at 10:25 PM

February 19, 2007

Movie: First Movements

Talia’s favorite part of this movie is how Felix flips off the viewer (or rather the photographer, me) right at the end. That is not my favorite part. My favorite part is how now, looking at him, I can somehow see those motions in the much more competent arm movements and finger gestures he makes. He seemed so formless when he was born, but later on I see that a lot of the personality, and likewise a lot of the physical character, was there already at the beginning.

Note the way he reacts to sound. I don’t think we ever got a film of him doing it, but he used to give a big “praise Jesus” gesture when startled. We tried not to startle him, even though we loved to see him throw his arms wide open like that.

One last point: you hear the sound of the lens trying to focus. This is because I had the camera set wrong and so it kept trying to refocus. Why did I make this mistake? Because I had never tried to make a movie of something so small before and thus had never been so close to my subject. He was really small at the beginning. Now, six months on, he is built like a tank.

Posted by talia at 10:19 PM

February 15, 2007

Movie: The Fetal Escape

The late stage fetal movements which absurdly distend the mother’s belly are simply freaky. At the time we always thought of them as his attempt at exercise, but now I suspect that some of it at least was him settling in for a sleep. Certainly now he does a lot of sort of humping around the crib before he settles to sleep. Was he perhaps just finding the most comfortable position in the womb? Whatever he was doing, it was good exercise: he was born able to hold up his own head and generally in pretty robust shape.

Posted by talia at 10:10 PM