I’m in the middle of trying to get rid of some of the things that cost money that I don’t use to their fullest, such as paid hosting. Along with that I lost the domain name I had through yahoo, so will no longer work (though at the moment it still does). still does, and shortly I’ll have an alternate address as well for those of you who can’t remember that. In the very least, you should add it to your bookmarks or feeds and make it easy for yourselves! Thanks for bearing with me.


01 2009

Jobs (By Katya)

1. Bilder
2. Crayon Macker
3. Painter
4. Bookmacker
5. Carpitenter

(A list I discovered of what she wants to be when she’s older)

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01 2009

Public Safety Warning: Beware of Strange Babies

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10 2008

IM’ing Katya

There’s been a renaissance of instant messaging in our house. After I sent Katya a variety of smileys, including a very mad one, we had the following exchange:

(12:34:15 PM) K: do you need to go in a time out
(12:34:26 PM) tiertreu: yes!
(12:35:34 PM) K: key now go in your bedroom
(12:36:04 PM) ***tiertreu stomps to her bedroom
(12:36:12 PM) tiertreu: (many more mad faces)
(12:36:16 PM) tiertreu: WAAAAH
(12:40:07 PM) K: you may come out when you learn not to get mad
(12:40:20 PM) tiertreu: but I’m not mad!
(12:40:27 PM) tiertreu: I’m silly?
(12:40:52 PM) K: your coco
(12:41:09 PM) tiertreu: I know =))

Just was amused. They never have timeouts!


08 2008

Toby’s Scooting

We’ll test whether workplaces block vimeo, along with youtube!

Toby has started scooting, and in true Hoopes kid fashion, does it, well, a bit oddly. This was videotaped a few weeks ago, so he’s since become more streamlined, but the technique is the same.

Toby yells, plays, scoots from Meer on Vimeo.

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08 2008

Toby’s Lungs

Emma offered the insight in the car today (and I can’t remember why) that Toby’s lungs hurt him because he had no teeth.

After we giggled, I started trying to explain what they really did. “…and then your heart…”

“…pumps your blood around your body,” says Katya.

“Why yes! Good job!”

“And you need blood to make your owwies,” finished Emma.


06 2008

14 Hours of Car + 4 Hours of NYC Underground + 3 Kids = …

One of the justifications we used for moving so far away from everyone was that it would put us closer to different relatives. Finally we were able to make good on that implicit promise a little bit more, and took a few days to visit Mark’s cousin in New York City and my grandmother and aunts in Connecticut. Having fond memories of NYC as a kid, both on family vacation and school field trips, I was especially excited for this trip.

Target of Times SquareHaving only a day and a half in the city meant that we ran from one major site to another, as fast as you can run with three kids, and hoped we imparted the essence of such a large urban area to the kids. So on the first day we visited Bronx Zoo with Mark’s cousin Jeremy, his wife Sarah, and their son Jasper, who’s just a little older than Toby. Frankly, the zoo was fabulous and probably the favorite of both Katya and Emma.

Pier and Statue of LibertyThe afternoon was a slight disaster, at least as far as transportation goes. We had driven our car to the zoo, so we tried to find a tube station that we could park at. Due to some misreading of the map, we ended up at a train station at the end of the line, so we had to pay train fare all the way to Grand Central, transfer to Times Square, then continue on to the very southern tip to board the Staten Island Ferry. Then in repeating the process backwards we missed a train just barely (late already at 8:40), so we weren’t done riding all our transportation until at least 11 that night. But on the positive side, we had a fun boat ride, ate at an unusual McDonald’s in Times Square, visited a store Mommy was curious about, and rode 3 different kinds of transportation, always a plus in Katya’s and Emma’s book.

We also were able to realize the great accessibility of ethnic food anywhere in the city (so jealous) and eat overpriced ice cream in Central Park before continuing on to Connecticut. While this phase of our trip was definitely more lowkey, it was nice to relax (fewer than five people sleeping in a room, yay!) and visit with my side of the family. We also visited the beach, which just got everyone excited for real beach season. My aunt is a terrific cook and her hospitality was amazing, given how little notice we gave her! And of course my grandma spoiled the kids, in the good way.

When asked how my trip went by a friend, I summed it up as extremely fun and extremely stressful, to which the response was that perhaps that summed up New York itself. In the very least, it whetted my appetite to be able to take the kids on road trips more…once Toby hits that magical age where car trips are fun.

(the photo set for our trip)


05 2008

Eight months of Toby

While we were visiting both sets of grandparents over Spring Break, Toby tried two seconds of moving his knees in a crawling fashion and two seconds of moving his legs in a walking fashion–and chose the walking. Both Mark and I bit our lips, silently (and more loudly) recalling the several months of assistance we gave Katya while she “walked” using our fingers until she walked completely on her own at 16 months. And she started the finger-assisted walking at a couple months older than Toby is now! But it’s perfect for him, of course, because it just brings him closer loves to new things and controlling what he sees and gets.

Additionally, he’s also quite vocal now. When he’s sad or hungry or both, he’s taken to yelling “MUH MUH MUH MUH!” while contentment and/or playing leads to “Daaa daaa daaaa,” regardless of which parent he’s with. He also yells just to hear his voice, often while bathing, and fortunately it’s not loud enough or high-pitched enough to drive us crazy.

Despite how adorable he’s been lately, he has not changed from being relatively needy in terms of attention and stimulation. He’s got five minutes, tops, before he’s kicking a fuss for something new. Frankly, I don’t even know how to entertain him anymore, so in my depths of despair I secretly hope that he’ll be some genius someday because he wasn’t content at eight months to just sit and play with his rattle like I wished he would.


04 2008

Technology Workers of the Future Need Fine Motor Skills Today

Toby is the age that loves grabbing. While nursing he’ll flail around with his free hand, usually holding my mouth or nose, or sometimes magically detecting when I try to work on a logic puzzle and smacking the book on top of himself.

When he’s less distracted and I’m more so, usually when I’m holding him at the computer, he’ll work on his goal to clear my desk of all that pesky clutter. He’ll lunge from Point A to Point B, drop Item C to grab Item D, and inadvertently knock over Item E in the process. After C and E are replaced, he’ll lose interest in D and simultaneously grab C and E, where C-E can range from important papers for crumpling, snacks (he has a sense of entitlement when it comes to food), gadgets, or pens and pencils that inevitably lead to poking himself. He particularly has a penchant for those gadgets. If it’s good enough for Mommy, Daddy, or even Katya, then it’s good enough to take away from them.

Music is my girl friend...While shopping for a toy phone to replace his saliva-covered LG AX5000 (previously owned, by Mommy), I came across a meager attempt at a combo pack: merely a flip phone and a set of keys. Heck, even the gym he got for Christmas has an extra add-on in which to insert an mp3 player (yes, you have to buy something separately just to use your own mp3 player…).

In Toby’s dream world, the gadget combo pack would contain not only a phone, but it’d be media-ready and automatically network with video chat to other babies in the neighborhood. The little battery-operated dog would not only wind up to walk, but also learn and associate his coos with specific actions; “muh” would lead to the dog retrieving a new toy and “goooo” would spit out a Cheerio. Since he doesn’t actually know his letters yet, much less the layout of a QWERTY keyboard, his tummytop would be touch-screen, of course. At this point, his most used application would be the interactive slideshow of family pictures, but it’d also have a webcam to turn the tummytop into an interactive mirror toy. After awhile, he’d associate the icon of a bottle or a bowl of squash (customizable by the parent). Maniacally smacking the icon would send an instant message to the correct parent that it was feeding time.

Pheww. I could go on all day dreaming up these things. I have just one request however. When you do ultimately see these items for sale, please don’t tell me about it. I don’t really need to know that babies of today have fancier gadgets than me.


03 2008

Toby starting to be more mobile!

So thus begins what is simultaneously more fun, and more frustrating. Toby is starting to maneuver his way (closer) to things that he wants. On the down side, he’s also more dangerous now, because any moment he’ll roll into the cat, chair, or off the bed. Here’s a video of him making eyes for the camera while he wiggles around.


03 2008