Monday, November 28, 2011

musings from paradise: speechless edition




(As usual, you can click the photo to biggify it.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

musings from paradise: botched speechless edition

Between my iPhone, two iPads, a MacBook and a Nikon camera, I can't manage to upload the pictures that were supposed to tell a thousand words...

So until next week, when I get back to civilization and remedy this problem... Stay tuned.
Or not.

P.S. I am able to receive and view comments though, so don't leave me hangin'. What is(are) the picture(s) of your day? I'll accept words too, if you are upload-challenged like me.


Monday, November 14, 2011

totally psyched

Let me tell you about the birds, and the bees, and the flowers, and the trees, and the moon up above...

No, it's not the thing called love. I have been married for a while now, so tingling is only something I feel in my left hand from having typed too long. So I have been in my pajamas, mostly the same ones, at my desk, since I launched my other blog (Oh come on, don't be like that, I am here aren't I?) last Monday. I don't remember the last time I brushed my teeth and needless to say, I am starting not to smell all that fresh...I did have other work to do, on the computer, but I had a few windows of mine opened just in case inspiration hit me from nowhere, and well, all my time not spent on meeting my deadline has been about thinking about it.

But I have made quite a bit of headway. I have set up a Wordpress blog, which let me tell you, after Blogger, is a bitch! So don't go believing anybody who says it's better. Hummm... maybe I did it all wrong? OKAY WHATEVER! I have gotten myself a Twitter account and made a separate page on my Facebook for the blog. Ask me anything (okay maybe anything is too ambitious), ask me something, but only if it is what I learned this week. I am very proud of the fact that I know a couple of things... like #hashtags. Did you know that there is a website called that gives you a real-time update on EACH ONE's ... if you  care to know it.. frequency of use? I know what you're looking for: my marbles. Yes, you're right, I did lose them a few days ago, but one day, ONE DAY, you will need to know this and you will remember that I gave you that generous information without any prodding whatsoever, and only out of the kindness of my own heart.

But seriously, I met quite a few people (why yes, I have been a busy-bee) along the way. Most were nice, some went out of their way to be nice (Hi Clive!), and some (well, one in particular) was a royal bitch. I hate her. There I said it, I hate her. I don't even know her but I already hate her. And hate is not something I feel often. What is it with people who find a little bit of success and suddenly decide that they are better than you? Of course she never said that, in fact barely communicated with me at all, which in essence is why I hate her. But people can only make you feel inferior if you let them, right? So there, she is unfollowed on Twitter for life..., I don't need that kind of bad vibe hovering over my cloud of (psyched) happiness.

Anywayzzzzzz, here is a little something that happened during this weekend: I posted about it elsewhere, and you may stumble upon it, entirely by mistake of course, I sure as hell don't remember how to get back there, but here it is, unabridged, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY!

Reprinted without permission (wait, I own the rights to this conversation, never mind):

Him: Aww, that's so cute that you have 12 followers (with what was clearly a condescending look in his eyes). It will take a long time to get to say... a 1000.. huh? Like a year, maybe? Don't worry baby, you'll get there! (the only thing missing was him patting me on the head!)

Me: Oh yeah? (Hoisting my droopy pajama pants, dayum I need a shower!) How about a month? How about that! What do you think of that?!?

Him: Nahhh, more like a year.

Me: A month it is. Wanna bet?

And of course I had to go and run a contest to get people to follow me. I am bribing them, and you, if you are interested in helping me out, with four $25 Starbucks gift certificate. I even took a picture of the Franklin allocated for that purpose. I know, I can't get the stupid picture to looks fine until I insert it here.

I got the idea of the random number generator from Janiece who runs it weekly for her Free Shit Friday giveaways. And Starbucks has this nifty thing where you can send the cert online (as one finds out when one feeds one's nieces' fierce caffeine addiction) so I'm all set. Wanna enter? Follow me on Twitter? 


All names in, four names out; 
Drawing on December 15th; 
Winners announced on Twitter; 
Certs emailed. Tada! 
Did I miss anything?

We'll see what we'll see, number wise for my Twitter account. So far I am up to 25 ... ARGH, make that 24 after that bitch unfollowed me (I HATE HER! Now why would you follow someone then unfollow them? Like she would even notice me among the thousands of her loyal following adoring fans, ha!). Deep breath, slowly in, slowly out. There, all better. Quick, think of something else... Ummm, how cute is that pic of Emily? Shit, I'm sure I have cuter ones. SHIT, too late now, I plastered it everywhere related to the blog. 

Oh man, I HAVE to switch to decaf!

So hey, how was your week?


Monday, November 7, 2011

my labor of love (pun intended)

Uhum! If I may direct your attention to the right side of your screen, right next to these words, you'll see a little box with a cute picture of little miss Em when she was a wee little thing.

No, no, don't click it. Not yet.

Great, now that I said don't do it, that's all you want to do, don't you? Oh alright, go ahead and click it.

I'll wait...

:: tidies up desk, sips some coffee, twiddles thumbs::

How was it? Unlike Tom Cruise, I can handle the truth. I would love me some honest feedback.

Why The Behavioral Child, you ask? Wow you do ask the greatest questions!
Let's see, I think I have to start at the beginning, a very good place to start (do, re, mi, anyone?) The idea of The Behavioral Child was germinating for quite some time in my busy brain. But precisely because of the busyness of said brain, I was never quite ready to put ink to the paper, so to speak. Finding Amy's blog and getting some success in the freelance writing business gave me the impetus to finally start a blog about what I know best: using proven scientific principles to raise a healthy and well-adjusted child. If you really want to know how the idea started germinating, read the next paragraph, otherwise, meet me after the picture.


Emily had just turned 2. My mom was on my case to potty train her. And since she was doing most of the babysitting while I was trying to finish grad school, I owed it to her to give her a less... shall we say.. messy child to watch. Of course I knew nothing about the topic, from the vantage point of having up to that point only been the cousin or the aunt of potty-train-aged children, so I hit the bookstores. What I found was appalling. Sure there were lots of books about the subject, but they were all wishy-washy, and mostly fluff. I was looking for something akin to a manual and they were giving me conjectures at best. My behaviorally trained mind was not going to be satisfied without hard data and some legitimate science to back it up. 

So I started at the very beginning, which as you can see seems to be the theme today, and which as it turns out, was the Azrin and Foxx study about toilet training, the behavioral way. More research, a CalABA convention (where I met Dr. Fryman, leading expert on all things poop, he was phenomenal!) and two seminars later, I had enough material for a thesis, never mind a two-year-old miss thing who was taking her sweet time. As soon as I came back from my trip, I cranked up the heat, stripped Emily to the bare essentials, and had her potty trained within a day and a half. For fear of sounding like a show-off, from that point on, I told people that I did it in one weekend, which they probably still didn't believe. Their loss, I suppose. My daughter was diaper-free, my mom was impressed (which always gets bonus points), and I had finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I quickly realized that when it came to raising children, most people repeated what they were handed down from their parents or role models, without questioning any of it. It seemed that everywhere I looked, I was seeing children sprawled out on store floors and in the middle of sidewalks, screeching at the top of their lungs, in full temper-tantrum mode. I started noticing parenting patterns that went against all the basic principles of human behavior. But all the parenting books, mags, and other sources of information were still just regurgitating the same old stuff, passed down intact, regardless of their success rate or their lack of adherence to any elementary psychological or developmental concepts. I vowed to pull up my shirtsleeves one day and remedy this. The more success I found while raising Emily and working with kids with developmental disabilities, the more emboldened I felt.

Cut to years later, when one day, I started blogging... about everything and anything unrelated to this, my one area of expertise and passion. Don't misunderstand, I love love love this venting/musing blog, but if I want to put my words to good use, I should probably be blogging about parenting. So I'm thinkin'... a little bit of how-to practical tips, a little bit of fundamental concepts and techniques from the applied behavioral analysis field, and a little bit of humor... does that sound like a good place to start?  

Any thoughts?