Scott Hanselman

My one year old has the Terrible Twos

January 16, '07 Comments [25] Posted in Parenting | Z
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It's official, Z has completely discovered, grasped, and is now fully exploiting the word "no." My wife Mo saw this coming, and had been warning me for weeks now. I've been in denial, saying "Nonsense, he's clearly saying 'neh.'" At this, my wife sadly shook her head at her husband.

This morning I tried to take a pen away from Z and was greeted with "No!" as clear as a bell, following by what I can only describe as a scampering away.

My one year old is getting into his Terrible Twos. He wants everything. He's also exploded with regard to sign language. Now he not only wants, but he knows what he wants and tells us constantly.

Given my extraordinarily vast parenting experience - goodness, nearly a year of it - I've planned on The Principle of Benign Deprivation. I figure I'll give Z everything he needs, and maybe 10% of what he wants. I know folks who can't go into a Target or Wallmart for milk without also coming out with the latest GIJoe action figure or My Little Pony. I figure that Quaker Oats containers and cardboard boxes were good enough for me, they'll be good enough for Z.

Folks are currently taking bets on how long this attitude of mine is going to last. I believe the latest Vegas odds are 4:1 against, within the next six months.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Family Portraits to start 2007

January 6, '07 Comments [8] Posted in Musings | Parenting | Z
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A new year, and time to head out to get some family portraits. Even more fun when you are three rather than two. We started out the day going to an "upscale" photo joint. I asked them to shoot RAW rather than JPEG, and they obliged (...after some shock. Apparently I'm the second to ask for this.). The photos were nice, but we were underwhelmed some how. Perhaps we think we're prettier than we really are.

We went to lunch at the mall with my dad, and there's a "low budget" photo place in the food court, and there's no sitting fee. They aren't digital, but you can buy the negatives and copyright for the whole roll for US$70. What the heck, we said.

Turned out that the mall shop photos were all gold, IMHO. They shot in 120mm, rather than 35mm, so the negatives are a medium format, so I'll need to find a negative scanner that'll take them.

I scanned the pictures at right on my Canon Pixma MP500 Multifunction with no color correction at 600dpi. The photos on flickr are 1280pix, but the scanned ones are of sufficient detail to create borderless 4x6 photos on the Canon that are nearly indistinguishable from the original prints.

Once I scan the clean negatives (and do some decent cropping, my cropping at right is lousy, I can see now) I'll be able to make 8x10's no problem for gifts and such.

This is our first (yearly) portrait with Z, and I'm looking forward to the next seventeen.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Z is One Year Old

November 29, '06 Comments [16] Posted in Parenting | Z
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Z is one year old today if you can believe it.

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Feel free to celebrate this momentous occasion by perusing some Classic Z stories. Also feel free to give Z gifts from Dad's Wishlist. ;)

Baby Posts

Happy Birthday! And NO, Z is not coding in C# yet, and there are no current plans for his MCSD.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Baby Sign Language

November 22, '06 Comments [24] Posted in Musings | Parenting | Z
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UPDATE: Check out http://www.babysignlanguage.com for more info on Babies and Sign Language!

Z and the Giant DogZ's fast approaching his first birthday (can you believe it?) and he's really started letting us know that he's in there. There's a real little person in there who's not just hanging out and pooping.

We've been teaching Z American Sign Language (ASL) since he was about 4 months old. I say "teaching" loosely, because we've just used it every time we talk to him, and figure he'll get the just sooner or later.

Mo and I have both taken ASL at the local community college from a non-verbal deaf instructor and we've taken Z to formal Baby Sign Language classes that use ASL (and as an aside, have a specific respect for the deaf community and don't 'invent' signs) as the source of signs.

We started getting discouraged around his 8 month birthday as it just didn't seem like he was signing back. It was pretty clear he "got" what we were saying, but he just didn't reciprocate.

Then, he started showing intense interest in turning on and off lights. So, we showed him the sign for light, which is a downward turned hand with straight, splayed fingers representing the light rays. Sounds complex, but it's pretty obvious when you see it. Anyway, he immediately started using this sign. He just got it. He started signing light frantically one day, and my wife couldn't figure out why; then she realized she was buying a bulb in the light section of Home Depot and was surrounded by chandeliers.

Ceiling fans were next and Z happily announced their arrival with the sign for fan. It seemed he was getting the concrete signs for things, but not the abstract concepts like "more."

Just after Z started walking, he started signing things like "more" when he wanted more food. At this point, it's getting really exciting.

I truly believe that Sign Language is encouraging Z to communicate earlier. I don't keep track of other kids' accomplishments at this age or that, so I have nothing to measure against (nor am I interested) but I feel like I haven't had to wait long to connect with Z. Just a month later, we "talk" about such thrilling escapades as "the Man in the Boat" and "the Banana in your Hair" as well as "the Giant Dog" as seen in the picture at the upper right.

He's also starting to attempt to speak the word while he signs it, like "lala" while signing "Light." The amount that he understands verbally, even at under a year old, is amazing to me. I don't know what I expected, nor again, what other kids do, but tonight I said "ok, let's go take a bath!" and he ran from he kitchen to the stairs, climbed the stairs by himself and ran into the bathroom and tried to turn on the water. That's crazy to me that babies can hold a thought that long. Hell, I can't hold a thought that long.

This tiny little man has something to say, but his tongue just isn't ready yet. His hands though, are starting to tell quite the tale, and I look forward to talking with him daily.

I had a chat with a German fellow while in Spain this last week who had a 15-month old, and I mentioned that we were teaching the baby sign language and that many Americans were trying this technique.

I explained that we felt that there was a window of time, from about 9 months old to whenever the baby starts talking, that was had great potential for not just communicating with your baby, but connecting and letting the baby know their needs matter. That many of us had the idea that babies cry when their needs aren't met and sign language was a good way for the baby to effectively express their intent.

He looked at me like I was from Mars. "My wife knows what the baby needs. There's no need for sign language." The 'that's stupid' was implied, if not expressed. I respect his opinion, but I beg to differ. It really is a joy, and others agree.

We use the Baby Signing Time videos, as well as Dr. Joseph Garcia's Baby Signers, but really any ASL dictionary will do. Z's got about 12 words now, but I suspect he's picking them up as fast as we can learn them ourselves.

If you've got an infant, I really encourage you to try Sign Language. We're a multi-lingual house already and hope Z will speak English and some Ndebele, and I plan to have him in a Spanish immersion program. If you treat ASL as just another language, it helps (me at least) the mental model. We just move our hands while we talk to him, and I'm very happy with the results.

Have you signed to your baby? When did you start? When did they sign back? Do any of you have older (4, 6, 8...) kids that still sign? Do any of you think this is all nonsense? Discuss.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Z walks on his 11 month birthday

October 30, '06 Comments [12] Posted in Parenting | Z
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Zwalks2Big day for us all here at the Hanselman House. My nephew Spox’s 6th birthday was today, so Mo’s sister Nqobile and her husband threw a party.

It's also Z's 11 month birthday if you can believe that, Dear Reader. Here's a video of Z at about one hour old for comparison. ;)

Z has been "cruising" for the last month or so, holding on to the couch and the like. He's taken a few steps here and there, in desperate leaps from parent to parent, but we haven't really felt that was the "official he's walking" event.

This evening I was screwing around with this little cheap Canon Mini DV ZR700 that I won. It's kind of a cheesy camera...I prefer the heft and video quality of my Sony Digital 8mm, but this little Canon has a neat anamorphic 480p-style 16x9 widescreen video that makes family DVDs look more professional and certainly nicer on an HD TV, even though it's not an HD video camera. We'll be taking it to Tanzania where we'll be spending the whole of December.

But, I digress! It was with this little camera that we taped Z walking down our hallway this evening, and with Vista RC2's "Windows Movie Maker" that I squish that video and present it to you here!

File Attachment: ZWalks2.wmv (1950 KB)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.