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The Heart of Life

The Heart of Life

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Great Migration

I decided to leave Blogger and migrate over to Wordpress.  In theory, my old Blogger web address should automatically redirect you to my new Wordpress address (  However, old links to individual posts probably won’t work anymore (unless I figure out how to fix it).  I think I fixed all the links within my previous posts, so we should be good there.  Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I’m doing this last post via Blogger so you know to update me in your feed (I don’t think my posts in Wordpress will show up in your feed if you follow my Blogger account).

Monday, January 13, 2014


I'm not really much of an animal lover. I don't hate them. I just don't like them. I don't trust them. It can probably be traced back to when my childhood friend's cat pooped on me while I was jumping on the trampoline with it. I guess the cat had some trust issues as well. As a side note, my friend told me to tell my mom the poop on my shirt was chocolate, so that's what I did. Sorry, Mom.

I've talked before about my issues with kids pretending to be animals. It's one of my biggest pet peeves (ha, pet peeve? Get it?). And I can't help but feel scornful whenever those animal abuse commercials come on TV (cue Sarah McLachlan song). Of course, I don't approve of the abuse of animals, but I resent that animal abuse sometimes engenders more outrage than the abuse of humans. But I'll save that rant for another post.

I'm cool with zoos. The animals can't touch me; I'm not obligated to touch them.  I don't mind watching animals. But I guess that's how the whole ordeal with the bat began. I was watching my cat eat.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon the summer before 5th grade. I'd just scooped out some dry cat food for the cat and was just standing there watching him crunch away at it.

I don't think I saw it coming. All of the sudden something big and black landed on my upper arm. I didn't think much about what it was or what it was doing on my arm. I was too busy frantically trying to flick the clinging creature off my arm. Yes. I had to flick it off. Once I had successfully removed it from my person, I knew right away what the stunned animal at my feet was. It was a bat.

I think there's only one way to describe what happened next. You know that part on Ferris Bueller's Day Off where Jeanie runs down the hall and up the stairs screaming after finding Mr. Rooney in her house? Yep. It was kind of like that. I ran inside terrified, screaming, and crying.

Somehow, amidst the sobbing and gasping for air I related to my (very alarmed) mom what had happened. One of the first things she asked me was, "Did it bite you?"

It hadn't occurred to me yet that said bat was capable of biting me. Everything had been such a terrifying blur that I honestly had no idea if I had been bitten. I did a quick inspection of the landing site. It was a little red, but that was probably because I'd been subconsciously trying to rub away the clingy bat feeling ever since I flicked it off. Other than that, it looked and felt normal. "I don't think so," I said, answering my mom's question. "It mostly just scared me."

We returned to the scene of the incident and found the bat slowly army-crawling across the deck. We decided there was probably something wrong with it.

The cat came over to investigate as well. Before we could stop him, the cat snatched up the bat in his mouth and made off with it. I can’t be sure, but I think the cat ate the bat. And that was the end of that.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

4 Month Development

I’m going to continue to do Tiger’s development posts even though it doesn’t really jive with my previous resolve for blog solidarity.  It’s borderline journal-y, but because I’m giving some developmental info that you don’t see very much online I’m going to let it slide.  I think it’s interesting.  I won’t do the “Things to practice” thing anymore, though.


-Regard own hand: stares at own hand for at least several seconds.  90% pass. Pass.
-Work for toy: reaches or leans toward toy placed slightly out of reach.  25% pass.  Kind of.  He moves his arms toward toys that he can’t reach, but I don’t know if he reaches.

Fine Motor/Adaptive

-Grasp rattle: grasps rattle when touched to back of fingers or fingertips.  90% pass at 3.75 months. Pass.
-Hands together: brings hands together to the midline of body over chest or mouth while lying on back.  90% pass. Pass.
-Follow 180 degrees: follows dangling yarn from the side of their head all the way to the other side.  80% pass. Pass.
-Regard raisin: while holding child in lap sitting at the table, place raisin, cheerio, or similarly sized object on the table; pass if child looks at raisin (pointing to it is ok).  60% pass.  It’s kind of hard to tell exactly what he’s looking at, but I’m pretty sure he was regarding the cereal.


-Laughs: laughs aloud.  90% pass at 3.25 months. Pass. Over the holidays my little cousins got him to laugh the most I’d ever heard him.  He thought they were hilarious. 
-Squeals: makes high-pitched happy sounds.  85% pass. Pass.
-Turn to rattling sound: hold child in your lap facing you and have someone stand behind child (out of sight) and shake a rattle 6-12 inches away from child’s ear and repeat with other ear; pass if child turns to sound for both ears.  55% pass.  He turns for one side, but not the other.
-Turn to voice: hold child in your lap facing you and have someone stand behind child (out of sight) and whisper the child’s name several times 6-12 inches away from child’s ear—with hand between mouth and child’s ear so child can’t feel the breath; repeat with other ear and pass if child turns to sound for both ears.  30% pass.  Not yet.
-Imitate speech sounds: repeat a sound several times (cough, clicking tongue, kissy sound); pass if child imitates sound.  35% pass.  Not yet.

Gross Motor

-Head up 90 degrees: head makes a 90 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side).  90% pass by 3.5 months. Pass.
-Sit head steady: holds head upright and steady (no bobbing) for a few seconds while being held in sitting position.  90% pass by 3.5 months. Pass.
-Bear weight on legs: supports own weight on feet and legs for a few seconds in a standing position (holding child in standing position and slowly loosening hand support, but not letting go).  80% pass. Pass.  He loves standing.
-Chest up-arm support: Place child on stomach on flat surface; pass if child lifts head and chest with outstretched arms.  75% pass.  Not yet.  I think he’s getting close, though.  I think he’s capable, but doesn’t know he can.
-Roll over: roll completely from back to stomach or vice versa at least twice.  70% pass.  If he rolls over from stomach to back it’s an accident.  He has rolled to his side from his back a couple of times, so it’s probably a matter of time.
-Pull to sit—no head lag: with child on back, grasp child’s hands and wrists and gently and slowly pull to a sitting position; pass if child’s head stays in line with body with no lag (stop if there is immediate lag).  75% pass.  Pass.  He doesn’t do it every time, but he can do it.  He tries really hard to sit up when he’s on his back or leaning against me, so he’s got some neck and stomach muscles working.