A multimedia extravaganza starring Zeke (born January 2005) and his little sister Talia (born December 2006), lovingly put together by their father!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 08:26 Zeke (age 3) on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything: "A giant robot is pooping on our world."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 16:58 Zeke (whispering privately to cat): "You stink, little Jimmy, but I don't mind. You're stupid, but I love you anyway. You're the best"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 08:33 Zeke, telling a story: "Then... it happened!" Talia: "Then what happened?" Zeke: "No. Then IT happened."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 18:35 Zeke, while watching a chunk of butter dissolve into a pan of noodles: "Daddy! It looks just like baby Jesus!" I have no idea either.
Posted via LoudTwitter

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 09:05 Somehow Zeke seems to have managed to get Raisin Bran onto his shoulder while eating breakfast. That's talent, folks.
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A couple of photos from the last few days

If you are a contact of mine on the photo-printing site Snapfish, you can get prints of any of these (and a bunch more) by going to ReinFamilyPictures.Snapfish.com.

Talia laughing

Collage of Talia laughing (made with Picnik), uploaded 29th November, 2008.

Someday soon I should record her laughing and post it here. It's very enthusiastic. It sort of sounds like she's shouting.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving at Naani and Pop-pop's

Uncle Abie and the kids, uploaded 28th November, 2008.

Here's a snapshot of Zeke (left) and Talia playing with their uncle on the floor. They were very excited to see him (and the rest of the family).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 14:04 Z.: "Daddy, we're not held up by the earth, we're held up by ... a giant birthday cake, which is another planet. It's South America!"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Today's updates:

  • 08:35 Zeke, this morning, while rushing to the kitchen table: "I don't want to be late for my hungriness."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 14:34 Zeke, after baking a cake with his mother: "I think the cake doesn't want people to be late to have a bite of it."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 21:06 Q.: "Zeke, what do you want to be for Hallowe'en?" A.: "A toilet in a shark costume."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Talia, uploaded 27th October, 2008.

Heather took this with her phone. It doesn't matter what I do -- her pictures are always better than mine.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 10:36 Zeke, on walking into the bathroom: "Something stinks in here. Something is FILTH."
  • 15:35 Talia peed on the potty yesterday. And on the bathroom floor. Not bad for a 22-month-old.
Posted via LoudTwitter

"Don't think about your mommy"

Zeke, a few weeks ago, trying to comfort a friend on the way to school:

Don't think about your mommy. And don't think about your daddy. I'm thinking about how nice it is inside our school. And about how nice our teachers are.

Talia has learned a new skill

Sorry for the long silence. There's no especially cogent explanation -- mainly, I don't seem to have collected many very good pictures, and it's only fairly recently that I managed to get my home computer working properly again. Anyhow, though, I intend to begin again, and to show I've turned over a new leaf, here's a nice webcam photo of Talia for you. I have a camera attached to the computer at home, and I was trying to prevail on Talia to do something cute for it. Like, for example, sing. Ordinarily she seems to sing pretty much constantly, except, I guess, when you want to show her off. Her favorite song is the alphabet, but she will repeat almost anything she hears anyone else singing. Anyhow, though, this is all I could get out of her.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 21:35 Zeke does some weird acrobatic move and then says, "I learned that from my shadow."
  • 21:35 Me, to Zeke: "Was Euan mean to you?" Zeke: "You and me and who?"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 13:38 Zeke (age 3), picking up a twig while getting into the car: "I'll bring this stick, in case there's trouble in the car."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kids playing in the morning

They both got a lot of sleep last night -- more than usual -- so they're in a really good mood.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterzreply-count Replies.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 17:08 Talia holds out her hand. "Slap hands," she says. I slap her five. She grins & immediately also gives a high-five to a bowl of cereal
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, July 04, 2008

A cognitive milestone for Talia -- maybe

Today, when I picked the kids up from day care, Talia informed me: "Eat cake. Happy birthday to you." This was the first time I've heard her tell me, in a declarative way, about something that happened in the past. (There had been a little birthday party for one of the kids in her "class." She couldn't tell me whose birthday it was, but Zeke filled me in on the details.) In fact, I believe it's the first time I've ever heard her use language to describe something that was neither (1) immediately in front of her or (2) something she wanted us to get or do for her. Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems like a major cognitive milestone to me, in terms of how she uses language and how she thinks about events. I don't remember anything quite this dramatic with Zeke.

Here's something else -- two photos, showing Zeke at age 22 months and Talia at age 18 months (a few weeks ago). I think it's pretty striking -- you can really see how much alike they look.
Mosaic: Zeke (age 22 months) and Talia (age 18 months), version 2

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 05:51 Zeke (3), at bedtime: "Daddy, I'm really old, and I'm about to die." Me: "Why?" Z.: "Because I've been playing for years and years."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Froot Loops

Z.: I want to go with you to the store so you don't forget to buy Froot Loops.
Me: Why do you want Froot Loops?
Z.: Because they're very expectful to eat.
Me: What's "expectful"?
Z.: "Expectful" means, um, "really reliable."
Me: What does "really reliable" mean?
Z.: (after a pause) Poop.

Not sure where he ate Froot Loops, but I don't intend to buy any, just for the record.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 18:46 Talia shrieks. Heather: "Talia, what are you doing?" Talia: "Skeemin! I yike it!" ("Screaming! I like it!")
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 14:46 Zeke (age 3), after listening to Talia (age 1): "When I was little, I used to say: 'See this buggy-buttsy-boots.' That means 'Hell..
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Talia changing a stuffed animal's diaper

This is a regular game of hers. She lifts up the toy's legs and exclaims, "Peee-you!"

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Monday, June 23, 2008

First weeks of summer

It's been a long time without a real update. Sorry about that, loyal readers (all three of you). In the meanwhile the clan has been off on two short (four-day) vacations, one to Ricketts Glen State Park (about fifty miles west of Scranton), where we hung around in a small cabin and did some light hiking (very light) in what passes for mountains in Pennsylvania. The other one was to a rented vacation house at Chincoteague, Virginia, i.e., a trip to the beach. Both were a lot of fun. Both kids liked Ricketts Glen, and they also found they liked the beach, though the waves made them nervous. Zeke in fact was in some distress the first few times he watched his mother go into the surf.

In other news, Talia is really talking. She's hard to understand, but she is definitely stringing short sentences together. She imitates her brother a lot. She has a few fairly adorable verbal idiosyncrasies, like saying something that sounds like "see" instead of "it's" -- thus, when eating, "See good!" or when playing, "See funny!" (You can see an example of that last one in the video at the bottom of this post.) For a while, when she was eating, she'd always comment enthusiastically, "I yike it!" but that seems to have passed. Her other habit is screaming at the top of her lungs when something excites her, and also dancing around, with lots of prodding from the audience. The two of them, at least at the moment, are getting along famously and really enjoy one another most of the time.

I have no real good stories off the top of my head, aside from the little one-liners that I've been posting. But there are a few nice photos. If you are reading this in an email, you probably won't be able to see them; click here to see this post on the web, where everything ought to work properly. Same goes for the little video at the end of the post.

First, here are the photos from Ricketts Glen.

(Note: Some of my favorites aren't visible here because they show someone else's kids. If you want to see those, go to Flickr.com, which is a site I use for managing digital photos, sign up for an account, and then visit my page and add me as a "contact," either as "friend" or "family." I can walk you through this if need be. After that, the hidden photos should be visible here. If this is too much of a pain, well, eventually I'll come up with something else. Also: I have left out many of my own photos that show only scenery, but if you want to see those, they're here as well. Ricketts Glen is a very nice place.)

Here are some Chincoteague photos. For some reason we only took very few (sixteen). You can also see them here.

And finally, here are a couple of other recent favorites. Personally, my favorites are the ones of Zeke and Talia perched together on the "changing table" (i.e., a foam pad on top of a dresser), both goofing around. (For some reason they're not displayed together, but they're part of a series, and it'll be obvious when you flip through them.) All those can also be seen here.

And, one last little tidbit, here is a one-and-three-quarters-minute video of Talia and Zeke jumping up and down in a crib. That's all it is, but it cracks me up anyhow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 12:08 Heather: "No, Zeke, I'm not buying you that train." Zeke (age 3): "That's O.K. I'll just have to buy it myself."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 04:38 Zeke at bedtime: "Daddy, we died a long time ago. We're not going to die again, are we? Will you keep me safe from dying?"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, June 09, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 15:11 Zeke: "We can all be the boss. But specially I'm the boss."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cameraphone video of Talia jumping

Pretty low-fi ... but ... enjoy anyhow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

'Maybe this will cheer you up'

I've been sick in bed all day (I'll spare you details). When Zeke came home from daycare, he finger-painted this picture and brought it in to me. His remarks: "Daddy, maybe this will cheer you up; it's pretty blue."

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 22:33 Two 3-yr-olds overheard: "Let's play hide & seek." Zeke: "How about hide and poop?" - "How do you play?" Z: "You hide. I'll go poop."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 05:03 Me (reading aloud to Zeke): "Rays and sharks have skeletons made of cartilage." Zeke: "What's a raisin shark?"
  • 13:03 Zeke (age 3): "Daddy, I'm going to take off my pants." Me: "Why?" Z.: "Because I don't want them to get lost."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 00:37 Talia's most recent mantic utterance: "Where put it? Me put it." (Age: 17 months.)
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, May 02, 2008

Zeke running in the trampoline

Zeke running in the trampoline (animated)
Made with my phone.

A few more:




Thursday, May 01, 2008

Interview with Zeke (age 3) about brushing teeth

Tonight I told Zeke he had to come brush his teeth. He said he wanted to play for one more minute. I said O.K. but that he had to promise not to argue. This is the ninety-second conversation that ensued.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 16:33 Zeke: "Daddy, tell me a story about a boy named Nicholas who liked bears. He loved bears so much he started to act like one."
  • 21:03 Tonight at bedtime, I could have sworn Talia (age 16 mos.) said: "Eyes... shut. Night-night Talia."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, April 28, 2008

Talia playing peek-a-boo

Talia playing peek-a-boo (mosaic), uploaded 28th April, 2008.

Heather took this series of photos. Click here to see the photos individually (click on the small images to view them larger).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 09:33 At bedtime, Zeke rubbed his eyes. Me: "You sleepy? Or are your eyes itchy?" Z.: "No, Daddy, I'm just eyeing."
Posted via LoudTwitter

"Space," by Zeke


Some of Zeke's recent art.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 00:33 Zeke at bedtime: "Daddy, tell me a story." (I oblige.) Reaction: "Daddy... that story didn't work. Tell another one."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's updates:

  • 08:03 Zeke at breakfast, apropos of nothing: "Daddy! Doesn't APPLE PIE sound good? Yeah!"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Numbers are complicated

Zeke's bedtime routine has come to include the song, "Green Grow the Rushes, O," which is interesting. He used to love the as a baby, and then we sort of forgot about it, maybe because it's so long, and it never seemed like a great bedtime song. It's a traditional cumulative counting song, which begins with one and runs through twelve. Anyhow, he now wants to hear it before bed. Tonight, presumably wanting to postpone the inevitable, he interrupted me halfway through the song and instructed me that I had to sing all the way through twenty tonight. I laughed and told him I didn't know any more after twelve, but that I'd see what I could do. He answered, "If you don't know the other numbers, I can teach you." I said O.K. After I got to twelve, and stopped, we had this exchange:

Z.: Daddy, you forgot two numbers. Thirteen and fourteen.
Me: I don't know those.
Z.: I can sing them for you.
Me: Okay.
Z.: (after a pause, in a speaking voice) Thirteen. (pause) Fourteen.
Z.: (after another long pause) Daddy, thirteen and fourteen are hard to explain. Very hard to explain.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Talia wrestles a Teddy Bear

This is actually Zeke's bear. It was given to him by a then student of mine around the time he was born. He never developed much of an interest in this or any other stuffed animal, but Talia absolutely loves it.

Zeke lexicon: 'hicked'

Me: "Zeke, can you tell me what 'hicked' means?"
Z.: "Hicked means kind of breaked. With a train."
Unfortuately it gets cut off before the real explanation.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 08:33 Another new word from Zeke: "snibbing." Meaning: "running around under the chairs to find a warm place, or a place to hide." #
Posted via LoudTwitter

Talia picking flowers in the park

Sunday we explored Ridley Creek State Park in Media, PA. Talia picked as many dandelions as she could find -- I didn't count but at one point I think she must have had at least a dozen in her fist.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New words invented by Zeke recently

Hicked: "a little bit broken." Trains, in particular, can easily become hicked.
Moots: "when you do what you're not told to do it, but you do anyway." No usage example.
Grass-griffs: "a little hedgehog that comes out at night and sleeps in the day, and eats grass."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

They sort of look alike (sort of)

They sort of look alike (again), uploaded 12th April, 2008.

A photo of Zeke from November, 2006 (at age 22 months) next to a current picture of Talia (in March, at age 15 months).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A couple dozen photos

We took a several-hour-long trip to Naani and Pop-pop's place today. No great stories, but Heather took some photos. Here's a slideshow, or click here to see them all laid out.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One-minute video: Zeke and Talia in the bathtub

A few recent photos

Talia enjoying herself in the bathtub.
Talia in the bath

A few glamor shots of Talia, taken by Heather.


Talia in the high chair
Talia has sort of decided that the high chair is hers, which seems to be more or less O.K. with Zeke, most of the time, since that means he gets to sit in a grown-up chair. She likes to climb up into the seat and try to stand on it, shake it back and forth, or contort herself into weird positions (as in this photo -- she gets stuck a lot), while saying, "Chee-yur! chee-yur!" (chair) over and over again.

An action shot of both kids playing on the slide. Talia really likes going down the big slide as fast as possible.
Zeke and Talia playing in the park

Saturday, March 29, 2008


To my surprise (I guess this is what happens when you have someone else taking care of your kids for more than half their waking hours), Zeke has an opinion about what colors are appropriate for boys and for girls. Overheard recently (K. is our next-door neighbor, a girl about Zeke's age):

K.: Zeke, do you want to eat yours out of a pink bowl?
Z.: No.
K.: Do you like pink?
Z.: No. Pink is for girls.
K.: Do you like purple?
Z.: Yes, purple is for boys.
K.: No. Purple is for girls. Black is for boys.
Z.: No. I don't like black, but I like purple. Purple is for boys.

They are really starting to look alike

Zeke and Talia at the table (diptych), uploaded 29th March, 2008.

Neither Zeke nor Talia is particularly flattered by these photos, but I'm struck by the fact that they look so alike here. (It's also kind of funny that their facial expressions almost match, too.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Zeke makes puns at breakfast

Zeke makes puns at breakfast, uploaded 24th March, 2008.

Zeke: "Daddy, this is gross."
Me: "Gross? Why?"
Zeke: "It came from the grocery store."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Talia playing peek-a-boo in the cabinet

Talia playing peek-a-boo in the cabinet, uploaded 22nd March, 2008.
Talia also played with bubbles recently.

Heather took these; see them larger here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zeke explains a cake recipe

Here's Zeke, listing the ingredients of a "cake" he made. (The cake is not real.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Talia, asleep in her car seat

Talia, asleep in her car seat, uploaded 15th March, 2008.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One of Zeke's favorite places

Zeke in the Goodwill, uploaded 16th March, 2008.

Zeke loves the toy section at the Goodwill near our house. (Incidentally, I recently discovered that it's not just a Goodwill store, it's a Goodwill Fashions store). I think he prefers it to the zoo. We don't even have to buy anything for it to be worthwhile. Last time we were there I also spotted a Hasbro "Queasy Bake Cookerator" (four bucks), evidently a boy's version of the classic -- but very pink -- Easy Bake Oven.
The "Queasy-Bake Cookerator," spotted in Goodwill Fashions, Phoenixville, PA

What the front of the house looks like now

The front of our house, post-construction, uploaded 16th March, 2008.

This has nothing to do with the kids, but here's what the front of our house looks like, after having the main sewer line replaced.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Zeke wants you to be his Valentine

This is a month old, but worth seeing anyhow.

Try as you will, you will not beat my kids for cuteness. Period. And yes, that's even WITH the booger he finds stuck to his foot at the end there.

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Some photos of kids eating

Here's Zeke and Talia goofing around, having some toast and jam on the bed.
Zeke and Talia having snacks on the bed

And here's Talia having some string cheese in her high chair.
Actually, the reason I pulled the cheese into all those little pieces was so you could eat them one at a time

At the moment, the kids and I are out of town. The residential sewer lateral that connects our house to the city sewer appears to have collapsed and needs to be replaced. (If this sounds expensive — it is.) No showers, no flushing the toilet, etc. Luckily Naani and Pop-Pop are only two hours away.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More experimentation with reading

Zeke's been able to recognize his own name in writing for a while now, mainly (I assume) because you just don't see that many short words that start with "Z" (especially when they're written on the back of, say, the pictures he draws at daycare). But this surprised me.
Tonight, Zeke stared at this bowl for a minute or two and then asked, "Daddy, what does this say?" I said, "What do you think it says?" Then he sounded out what he saw: "Tuh... ah... luh... Talia."

Later, I was reading him a book (about Rosa Parks -- not sure this is really the most appropriate for his age, but he likes the pictures of buses) which includes, in large type, the text of a spiritual, beginning with the words, "O freedom, O freedom, O freedom over me." I read this out loud to him, and he interrupted me and pointed at each of the "O"'s in turn, saying "O feeding, O feeding, O feeding over me."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A quick update

Our home computer is still busted (not connecting to the Internet) and may remain so for the foreseeable future, so if I'm going to maintain this blog, I'm going to have to get used to using my work machine. So here goes. First, here's the news. Talia's completely mobile. Not only is she walking, but she's trying to climb pretty much everything. She continues to be pretty sweet-tempered most of the time, but she's beginning to develop a very strong will (to match her very strong muscles -- I sometimes have to use two hands to hold her still while diapering). She shrieks with displeasure when you take away something she believes is hers. On top of this, she's beginning to talk -- a lot. She has a hell of an appetite and accordingly probably sixty percent of her vocabulary refers to food. "Quacka" (cracker), "nana" (banana), "mee" (milk), "goff" (goldfish), "chee" (cheese) -- all staples. (As you can see, she's not yet adept with final sibilants and palatals.) She's also into dancing around in circles (in a sort of proto-toddler waddle) and making funny faces. It's cute.

Zeke is still getting used to using the potty. I feel like we've been saying that for a long time now. But anyhow, he continues to make progress. He hasn't worn a diaper or Pull-Up in probably several months now, but accidents (especially the smelly, filthy kind, rather than the wet, rug-destroying kind) are frequent. As you can see from the previous post, he is very interested in letters and reading. Perhaps surprisingly, he is maybe even more interested in numbers. Every time he sees a cluster of numbers together (especially in the car, like on a highway sign), he asks what it means, for example, "Daddy, what do two 2's and a four mean?" on seeing the sign for U.S. route 422. He's fooled around a little with making his own numbers, but he hasn't really discovered yet that one can draw symbols for oneself.

And then, some recent pictures.

Go here to see all these pictures together on a single page.

Finally, here's the latest quip from Zeke. This is from bedtime tonight.

Z.: Daddy! Do you smell something?
Me: Um, no, do you smell something?
Z.: (rubbing his nose) That's boogies! I smell boogies!
(By "boogies," he means, ahem, boogers. )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

'Daddy! I made my name!'

Zeke, who's three, came in announcing that he'd "made his name" with refrigerator magnets. I was stunned to find this...

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Talia being amused by her brother

At the time this photo was taken, Talia was watching Zeke race back and forth across the house pushing a toy shopping cart and making an incredible racket. Their mother's out for the night and I'm taking my usual laissez-faire attitude.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Zeke on manners

A recent conversation between Zeke and me:

Z.: Daddy, I got my toy down from the shelf.
Me: Good job, Zeke.
Z.: Daddy, thank you for saying "good job." That's a very nice word.

Eat your heart out, Alfie Cohn.

Monday, January 14, 2008

About the lack of posts

Dear readers of this blog, all four or five of you, you may be wondering what's become of the posts. Simple. My home computer is not connecting to the Internet properly (it may be a dead network card, or it may be something worse), which means that if I'm going to post, I need to use either my work computer or my mobile phone, neither of which is all that satisfactory an option. Hopefully I will have this resolved soon and with a minimum of pain. However, please be assured that both children are well and more or less happy. Zeke got a lot of Thomas stuff for Christmas and his potty-training is proceeding. Talia, well, her head is nice and wide, and she's starting to try very hard to imitate what we say. (Most recent vocabulary word: "Goff," for "goldfish" -- the snack, that is.) More sooner, rather than later, I hope.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Nathan Rein posted a photo:


Another test. Bear with me.

Published by
Published by xFruits
Original source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbr/1683172731/...

Thursday, January 03, 2008