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Blog Archives for January 2012

Do Two Year Olds Eat?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 - Comments (1) in Life, Rants

claire eating a cupcakeClaire just turned two and I must say the "terrible twos" are not that bad. Sure she can be stubborn and want to do things her way, but as long as she knows you're the boss we can usually work out a compromise.

There is one recent change in her behavior that is really driving me nuts: she won't eat anymore. When she was really young it was problems with different textures in baby food, then she wasn't really all that adventurous in trying new things and now she just doesn't seem to eat anything at all. We had a very short list of food she was guaranteed to eat. We would always try to get her to taste new things but in case that didn't go well could always give her something she liked. Over the past month she has slowly started crossing things off that list.

She used to eat a bowl of cereal with me every morning. We'd mix it up with some mini pancakes or scrambled eggs but now she won't eat any of it. Even if she doesn't say "NO" to it when I ask if she wants it, she'll take one bite and say "done." Same goes for lunch and same for dinner. She used to love pasta with sauce, grilled cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, corn, chicken nuggets and a few other things. It seems like she doesn't like anything anymore. I was praying this was just a phase, but it's now been a month of this and still going. Dinner used to be very enjoyable but has become a nightly torture trying to get her to eat anything.

She does seem to eat better at daycare, but I have a feeling that's peer-pressure or the caregivers being optimistic with their descriptions. Does one bite qualify as "some" or "none"?

The only things she does actually request to eat are craisins. Obviously those things have like no nutritional value at all since they exit looking the same as when they entered and while they are fat-free they're loaded with sugar which she can't survive on.

We recently went to her 2 year wellness appointment and they said she's doing fine, so the small amount of food she is actually swallowing is keeping her alive. I guess that's good to know, but I really hope she snaps out of this soon.

iPod Audiobooks

Monday, January 16th, 2012 - Comments (0) in Gadgets, Life, Music

ipod audiobookI've owned an MP3 player for many years. My first one was a Dell Digital Jukebox back around 2002. I had a few of those because they kept breaking and Dell kept replacing them. Then Dell got out of the portable music player business and stopped making them. When I finally wore out my last Dell DJ, Rachelle got me a Creative Zen Vision:M. I loved this player and used it for many years. Sadly, it started acting stupid recently so I figured it was time for a new one. I did some research and found that an Apple iPod was probably my best option. I was conflicted about this; I am the opposite of an Apple fanboy and I really don't like iTunes, but I figured I could give it a try. Rachelle got me a 7th generation 160GB iPod Classic for Christmas and so far I've been very happy with it.

I spend a lot of my time listening to audiobooks. IPods have special functionality for audiobooks so I was rather excited when I found this out. Audiobooks can be separated from the music library and not included in randomized music play. They also have a resume feature where you can come back to the exact point you were at if you go listen to something else. They also support chapters so you can easily skip around. This is the best considering how much it sucks to fast forward though a book that can be 30+ hours long.

These features are perfect for me, except I'm having a big problem getting my current audiobooks into the format required to take advantage of these features. All my audiobooks are in multiple .mp3 files. I can put these on the iPod as-is, but it'll treat each part as it's own book. What I really need is to convert all the .mp3 files into one big chaptered .m4b file. There are tons of tools to join mp3s into an m4b out there, but inserting chapter breaks is the tough part. There doesn't seem to be any free windows software out there that actually works to do it. I'd even be willing to pay (a little) for software that works, but all the ones I found seem to be Apple software and won't run on Windows.

I found a free Java-based tool called ID3v2ChapterTool that supposedly can add ID3 chapters to media files but the resulting files were never recognized or imported by iTunes. Maybe I wasn't using it correctly, who knows. I was assuming Apple used chapter support in ID3 tags embedded in the media files for chapters...but maybe they use some other proprietary means of doing it. My next try is going to be installing Mac OSX in a virtual machine on my Windows desktop to try running one of the Mac tools for creating chapters.

New Year's Eve

Sunday, January 1st, 2012 - Comments (0) in Holidays, Life

I'm the king of keeping things low-key. Yesterday was New Year's Eve, and I wanted nothing more than sitting at home with Rachelle and Claire. We did end up going to a friend's house for about two hours before Claire's bedtime. It was a good time and I am glad we got out for a bit to see friends, but I was happy after putting Claire to bed to sit on the couch and watch a movie.

We're a bit lame and went to bed around 11. I don't really have a problem missing out on things like midnight on New Year's Eve because in fact I didn't miss it. At midnight I was rudely woken up by my neighbors shouting, playing music and setting off fireworks. I wasn't aware that NYE is a big fireworks holiday, but I guess it is according to my neighbors. I don't know who it actually was, but they most have been very close since I found a couple spent fireworks in my flower bed the next morning.


I was amazed it didn't wake up Claire. Maybe it did, but she didn't make any noise. If she had started crying I would've gone over there in just my boxer-briefs with a baseball bat and made all of them cry.