Daily Archives: August 27, 2015

I Can Make 100

I Can Make 100 A celebration of the 100th day of school (Zachary, 1st Grade, Mrs. DeVillez) (1/2005)   This is a Microsoft Word document that you can print. It is suitable for grades K-2. (Includes printing instructions at the end of the document.)  

A Yard for the Dog

A Yard for the Dog A gentle lesson on the concepts of perimeter and area (3/2006)     This is a PowerPoint document that you can print. It is suitable for grades K-6.  

A Smile Behind the Bottle

A Smile Behind the Bottle 1/5/1998   As I hold you in my arms and feed you your bottle, you look up at me with your dark brown eyes. You are only three months old, but somehow your gaze seems more knowing than what I imagine possible from such a young infant. Your eyes lock on to mine. While looking down into your eyes, I take time to notice the rest of your angelic face. You have beautiful, clear skin now that the rashes that you had as a tiny baby have faded away. You have big puffy cheeks, so […]

Babble Back Louder

Babble Back Louder 1/18/1998   You’ve started “talking.” What you’re really doing, of course, is making sounds like “hyaaaaaah” and “eeeeeeh” and “geeeeee”. Sometimes an “uhhh-guhhh” or an “uhhh-ruuuuaa” sneaks out. We – your mom and I – think it’s about the cutest thing ever that you’re making these noises. When you have a child of your own some day, you’ll understand: you just can’t help but turn into a gushing moron when you have a baby! Your mom – your wondrous, glorious mom – is so silly. Whenever you babble (I think that’s a more accurate description than “talk”), […]

It’s So Funny!

It’s So Funny! 1/9/1998   Almost since you were born, I’ve played with your legs and feet. “Run run run” is one of our favorite games. I take your legs in my hands and make a running motion – pedaling motion, I suppose – with your legs. You love it, smiling brightly when we play this silly game. Sometimes we do “touchdown” at the end of a long run. Not always, of course, since even Barry Sanders doesn’t score on every run. Your attitude towards the whole “touchdown” thing seems to be a polite “yeah, whatever,” which I guess I […]

Stand Up Guy

Stand Up Guy 1/20/1998   After a short while sitting on my lap, I grasp you under your arms and hold you up. You wobble a bit at first, but then settle down. For a few seconds, you stand on your tip-toes, like many kids do. After this, your feet flatten and – with a little help, of course – you’re standing! Now, I don’t really know from babies. I don’t know many and I can’t say that I’ve memorized the Baby Maturation Highlight Schedule. But, boy, it sure seems to me that 3 ½ months is quite early to […]

Solid Food

Solid Food 1/12/1998 and 12/29/2002     You’re eating from a spoon! As amazing as it seems, it’s true. I’m sitting on the floor leaning against the couch, you’re sitting on my lap, and I’m holding from behind, trying to keep you upright. Mom’s feeding you a very soupy mixture of baby oatmeal and formula. With a spoon! I can’t get over that. Of course, it’s a silver spoon… You’re not quite sure what to make of things. Which is the strangest? — the new food taste or the spoon? ~~~~~ I never finished this letter back when I first […]

Roll Over, Zeethoven!

Roll Over, Zeethoven! 1/22/1998   This evening, while I was making dinner and your mom was working in her office, a magical thing happened: you rolled over for the very first time! We both walked into the family room where you were laying – well, where we thought you were laying – and lo and behold, you were on your stomach! Your mom and I gave each other a wide-eyed look. I think I let out a gasp. We knew that we had put you on your back – like we always do. We shared a joyous moment of realization […]

They’re Such Cute Little Jars

They’re Such Cute Little Jars 1/21/1998   After a perfect check up at the doctor, who told us that you could begin eating solid foods, your mom and I went and got you a variety of pureed baby foods. That’s right, boychik, we raided the Gerber shelves at the local Safeway for you. We got you peaches and pears. We got you bananas and applesauce. We got you carrots and squash and peas. Two jars of each. They’re such cute little jars, too. Your mom and I were practically giddy while we looked over the shelves of baby food for […]

This is MY Office

This is MY Office 10/2/2000   My wife, Lisa, and I gave our three-year-old son, Zachary, my old laptop computer yesterday. Until yesterday, he’d been using – and abusing – Lisa’s computer in her office. He started pounding on the keyboard about a year and a half ago. Over time, he watched us using it, emulated us and now can use the computer like a pro. Well, okay, at least he knows how to click the mouse while using his various games. I still worry he’ll accidentally delete all the files on the hard drive. After we put Zachary’s younger […]


Renember 10/23/2000   My son, Zachary, is three years old. He’s actually three years, one month and one day old. He’s the cutest little guy you’ve ever seen. Not just because of his adorable smile or his beautiful complexion, both of which he got from his mother. But because of his vivacious personality, his sweet, high pitch voice and the incredibly delightful things he says. Like “renember.” If you haven’t guessed, this is my son’s version of “remember.” For some reason he’s decided that it has one ‘n’ and one ‘m’ rather than two ‘m’s. Believe it or not, this […]

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo 10/23/2000   My daughter, Sarah, is one and a half years old. Unlike my son, who got my wife’s melanin, Sarah got my lack thereof. For those of you who might not remember high school biology, melanin is the stuff that allows you to get a suntan. I’m sure it has some other, more important biological function, but frankly who cares. I just returned from a wonderful vacation with my family in Hawaii. We stayed at a hotel that had a large, incredible swimming pool complete with waterslides, waterfalls, swim up bars, a river – you name it. […]

That’s a Good Idea

That’s a Good Idea 1/3/2001   In a few days, my family is going on vacation in Mexico. We’re going with another couple and their two kids. My wife and I are looking forward to the trip, and spending some quality time with our two children. My kids, well, I’m not sure just how much a 3 year old and a 1 ½ year old understand about things like vacations and some place called Mexico. Today, my wife was explaining to my son Zachary that we were going on the trip. She explained that he, Sarah (his sister), mommy and […]

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy 11/6/2001   Yesterday was my son’s first day of preschool. He’s three weeks shy of four years old. May all possibly difficult parenting situations go as smoothly as this did! As I left the classroom a mere three minutes after we arrived, I remarked to one of my son’s new teachers, “I’m sure you hear this all the time, but that was easier than I thought it would be!” He smiled a knowing smile. I sighed a relieved sigh. As soon as we walked into the room, my son, Zachary, dashed to a table, sat down […]

Tough First Day

Tough First Day 11/6/2001   Today was my daughter’s first day of preschool. She’s two and a half years old. She had a hard time with separation anxiety, but after a tough start, apparently – after I left – she had a good “second half”. Sarah is a Daddy’s Girl to the nth power. If I’m in the room, you’d think it physically pained her to be more than six inches from me. She’s not even content to sit between my legs; she absolutely must sit on my lap. Period. Given this, I had no illusions about how the day […]


Jeremy 10/11/2001   Between the big box of toys on one side and the basket full of stuffed animals on the other, Zachary was squirming under the snug covers of his bed. His father was lying next to him, tucking him in. This was part of their nightly routine, something that both Zachary and his father loved. Zachary had already gone to the bathroom, washed his hands and brushed his teeth. He was wearing his bright red cotton pajamas, the ones with the little white cars and trucks. “Tell me the story about Jeremy,” Zach encouraged his dad. “Tell me […]

Lady in Pink

Lady in Pink 11/5/2000   My daughter, Sarah, is a Princess. Sorry to be so blatant about my feelings for her, but, hey, those of you out there with daughters know exactly what I’m talking about. Sarah is fair-skinned, has brown hair and, surprising to everyone in my brown-eyed family, blue eyes. Actually sort of gray, I guess. She has most of her teeth now, and has an adorable smile. I suppose it’s really more of a grin, actually. Because of her light skin, Sarah looks great in pastel colors. My favorite on her is pink, of course. It is […]

Let’s Do Rockets

Let’s Do Rockets 3/25/2002   Awhile back, I went to the Tech Museum in San Jose. One of the displays that I found particularly interesting was one where they made little test tube rockets with water and Alka Seltzer. You fill the test tube about a third of the way, add a small piece of Alka Seltzer, put the stopper in, and turn the test tube over. In just a few seconds, the pressure within the test tube builds and the test tube shoots up into the air. Elegantly simple and quite thrilling, actually. A few days ago, I bought […]

I Ride a Two Wheeler!

“I Ride a Two Wheeler!” 5/26/2002   My son came home “with a secret” a week ago today. He spent the day with his weekend nanny, Dinize, and the three boys that she takes care of during the week. When he got home, he rushed into the house to show me his secret. He guided me outside to show me. The next thing I know, Zachary sits on his bike and gets a push from Dinize. Simple as that, he’s riding his bike… with no more training wheels! His hair was flapping in the wind and he had a grin […]

Sisterly Kiss

Sisterly Kiss 12/2002 (Sarah at 1 ½ years old)   For the past few weeks, I’ve received an amazing gift each night. My daughter Sarah, 1 ½, now kisses my son Zachary, 3, goodnight each night. When the time comes – 8pm or so – we tell her it’s time for night-night. We’re very lucky – she doesn’t usually put up a fuss. I ask her to give her mom a kiss and she does. I ask her to give her brother a kiss goodnight and she does. Now, this might not sound like much, but it is all the joy […]

Infinity One

Infinity One 1/3/2003   My son, Zach, is five. He absolutely loves numbers and seems to have great intuition about them. Just five, he can do single-digit addition and subtraction without any problem, and can do most double-digit addition problems. He understands multiplication, although hasn’t memorized his multiplication table yet. Amazingly, he understands negative numbers, even. And, he understands “infinity.” “It’s the biggest number, ever,” he says. Unifying his math knowledge with an unbelievably big heart, “I love you infinity,” he’ll often say. Besides all the standard warmth I get as a parent hearing my child saying that he loves […]

Cute Shirt

Cute Shirt 1/29/2003   I own a certain shirt that’s very bright. It’s a cotton mock turtleneck with horizontal stripes of orange, yellow, hot pink and green. It’s a “shirt and a half” as one colleague once said. The shirt was buried somewhere at the bottom of one of my drawers until my wife’s cleaning spree recently unearthed it. I wore it the other day for the first time in years. When my son, Zachary, saw me, the first thing he said was, “I like your shirt, Dad.” “Thanks, Zach,” I replied, pleased to hear his compliment. My daughter chimed […]

Monopoly Man

Monopoly Man 5/28/2003   My son, Zach, is five and a half. He has recently become obsessed with playing Monopoly (the real game, not just the kid’s version). He absolutely loves numbers, so Monopoly is perfect for him. Only five, he’s already very comfortable with numbers in the thousands or even higher. It’s so awesome to hear him talk excitedly about how I’ll have to pay him “One Thousand, One Hundred Dollars” if I land on such-and-such a property. “That’s the same as “Eleven Hundred Dollars, Dad,” he tells me. And he loves making change. In all sorts of creative […]