Archive for the 'Adoption/Family' Category

From the mouths of babes, 2008–2012

My wife has been collecting some of the funny things that our two kids, Maia (now 5) and Malkias (just turned 4) have said. I’ve added a couple of my own, but unless stated otherwise they’re from my wife and the comments are hers.

I challenge you to read this to the end without cracking up with laughter.

  • While looking out the window: “The croissant moon!” Maia, 2
  • “Sometimes Twitter and Facebook eat us. Indeed.” Maia 2 ½
  • [Added by me] Maia, why did you pinch my nose? “I don’t know, daddy. I did it automatically.” Maia, 2 ½
  • “Daddy, I’m in danger.” “In danger of what?” “I’m in danger of spilling my yogurt.” Maia, 3
  • “Mommy, I need my own computer.” Maia, 3
  • Spoken into a compact mirror that opens like a cell phone: “Hello Barbara, I hope you have a very happy birthday. Your party

Posted at 3pm on Aug 19, 2012 | 2 comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Marjory Tragham/Tragheim, née Duncan

Today my grandmother, Marjory Tragham, née Duncan, would have been 100 years old.

She was born 1911, in Scoonie, Fife, Scotland. She died Sep 26, 1998, Dundee, Scotland.

We always called her “Nana.” She was a lovely, lovely woman.

She’s pictured here with my Uncle Alan, who’s now 58. Since he’s only a few months old in this picture, and since he was born on January 3, the picture must have been taken in 1953.

She was married twice. Her first husband, Alex Ritchie, died of TB, leaving her with a baby girl (my Aunt Margaret). She then remarried my Grandad, Thomas Tragheim, who later went by the name Tragham, since German surnames were unpopular during the war.

Posted at 8am on Nov 23, 2011 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Honoring family veterans

This is my grandfather, Robert Drummond Stephen (my dad’s dad) who I never met, because he died in an accident when my dad was still young. I believe he served in the Gordon Highlanders and Kings own Scottish Borders, and I know he was in Egypt and Hong Kong in the 1920s. He served in WWII.

This is Robert’s father, Lewis Stephen. I believe he served in the Gordon Highlanders in the Boer War.

This is my great uncle Lewis, who was Robert’s brother.

This is my great great grandfather, Peter Wallace, who moved to Scotland from Ireland. I …

Posted at 8pm on Nov 11, 2011 | 1 comment
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Happy Father’s Day!

My dad.

Atho petteyyatā sukhā
(And joy it is to venerate your father).
Dhammapada 332

Mātāpituupaṭṭhānaṃ puttadārassa saṅgaho
Anākūlā ca kammantā etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
(To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children,
and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.)
Mangala Sutta

Posted at 10am on Jun 19, 2011 | 2 comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Father’s Day greetings from my children

Father’s Day greetings from Maia and Malkias

Posted at 10am on Jun 19, 2011 | no comments
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Thomas Tragheim/Tragham

Grandad and Mum

I havent really had time for blogging recently. In fact yesterday I didn’t even have a chance to post a photograph of my grandfather, Thomas “Tam” Tragham (né Tragheim). He would have been 101 years old yesterday. As it was he made it to 95, passing away on Dec 1, 2005.

He was a really lovely man, and this picture of him with my mother is very typical of his friendly nature. He really loved children.

Posted at 3pm on Mar 10, 2011 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Today on Lake Winnipesaukee

kaia's birthday

The kids and I spent the day up at Lake Winnipesaukee today, celebrating a neighbor’s birthday. The birthday girl is standing on the left, and front. We had a great time. We took a boat trip to Meredith. Malkias saw a train and got very excited. Maia went swimming in the lake in her party dress. So it goes.

Posted at 11pm on Aug 14, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family
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Language, self-control, and poverty

I’m reading a fascinating article right now about the possible role of language in supporting delayed gratification, the strength of which has been shown to be a strong predictor of success. (Children who are able to resist eating a cookie for longer end up being much more successful than those who simply gobble the cookie down).

However, it’s this statement that left me stunned:

…by the age of three, children from professional families actually have larger recorded vocabularies than the parents of the welfare families.

That’s astonishing, although I’d recently read that many British teens use no more than 500 words their day-to-day conversations, which is about the same number of words my 23-month-old knows and uses. If I were a teen who knew that my vocabulary was no larger than that of a toddler, I’d grab a dictionary pronto. But they likely don’t care, and aren’t even cognitively able to care, …

Posted at 11pm on Aug 7, 2010 | 2 comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

My daughter’s dance recital

Saturday was spent shuttling Maia back and forth to her rehearsal and dance recital. Here’s the final product!

Bear in mind they’re aged about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2, and mostly had only three lessons before going on stage.

Maia’s the only African-American kid on stage, so shes not hard to spot — also she keeps waving! Note the girl who comes on stage just before her, bawling her eyes out. And note how she manages to hid behind a pillar at about 3:04, until one of the dance instructors drags her back on stage! It’s hilarious, and also touching.

Posted at 2pm on Jul 27, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

My wee biker boy


Posted at 10pm on Jul 1, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family, Photography

The tiny doctor will see you now


Posted at 10pm on Jul 1, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family, Photography

New dad state of mind

PT Sullivan, a photographer I know from New Hampshire Media Maker meet-ups sent me a link to this video he worked on. It’s another “Empire State of Mind” mashup, but much, much better than the famous “Granite State of Mind” video.

I cried watching this. Partly it was sheer joy and partly it was just having the experience of dad-hood recognized.


Posted at 2pm on Jun 14, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family, Music
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Malkias’s vocabulary (part 2)

Malkias is now 21 23 months two year old, and adding new words to his vocabulary every day. Until his second birthday I tried to keep a running list of the words he used spontaneously and in context, but it got so hard to remember which words he’d used that I decided to give up on tracking his vocabulary development — or at least to stop trying to write it down. I’m sure in fact that I haven’t managed to catch every word he’s used, and that he knew and used at least 500 words by his second birthday. This list, by the way, excludes many words that he’s only used immediately after he’s heard someone else say them, and words he’s said but it’s been hard to know whether he understands them (for example if they’re words he’s repeating as part of a rhyme or a song)….

Posted at 9pm on May 28, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Happy mothers’ day, mum!

my mother and I

It’s not mothers’ day in Scotland, but it’s nice to have an opportunity to post a pic of me and my mum. This would have been in 1961, the year of my birth.

Posted at 5pm on May 9, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Thomas Waddell Tragheim (Tragham) 1910-2005

I’m backdating this post because I was teaching and didn’t get it together to commemorate the occasion, but this date would have been the 100th birthday of my grandfather.

This picture is from 1968, and it’s pretty much as I remember my grandad, ten years older than I am now, and without a grey hair on his head. The photograph is marked on the reverse as having been taken at “Cockington Inn,” but the location seems to be the “Drum Inn,” in Cockington Village, Devon. In fact, if you look at the photo below it seems likely that this is the location — but probably at the rear of the building.

I’d looked at this family picture many times, and hadn’t noticed the girl standing on …

Posted at 11pm on Mar 9, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Marjory Tragham, 1911-1998


Today would have been the 98th birthday of my mother’s mother, Marjory Tragham, née Marjory Robertson Duncan. This picture is of her with my Grandad, Thomas Tragham (born Tragheim).

Posted at 2pm on Nov 23, 2009 | 2 comments
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Malkias’s vocabulary

This is a list of the words that Malkias spontaneously uses in an appropriate context. There are many more words he says but only in repeating them soon after he’s heard us use them:


Words up to November 19, 2009.

  1. ball
  2. bath
  3. beep
  4. beh-bee (belly button)
  5. bye
  6. cheese (when having photographs taken)
  7. daddy
  8. down
  9. eye
  10. here
  11. hi
  12. help me
  13. honey (as a term of endearment)
  14. hot
  15. light
  16. me
  17. miaow
  18. mine
  19. muh-muh (milk) – but this and mommy are almost interchangeable
  20. mommy

Posted at 7pm on Nov 19, 2009 | 2 comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

The loveliest sound in my world

Just a couple of days ago Malkias (who just turned one) started saying “daddy.” He totally skipped the “da” and “dada” stages and went straight for the full word. He pronounces it with a very long first A, so it’s “daaaady.” I find this utterly adorable, and I’m experiencing a new surge of love for the wee fellow. (In other news, Maia was today heard calling him “Little baby fella.”)

I recorded a brief snippet of us having a “conversation.” Here it is.

Do you think it’s as cute as I do?

(Apologies for the loud crackle a few seconds in. Malkias goes wild when he sees m iPhone and I was having to maneuver it rapidly to keep it out of his line of sight.)

Posted at 9pm on Oct 15, 2009 | 2 comments
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Nonviolent parenting

There’s a very interesting article in New Scientist about a study showing the effects that hitting children (euphemized as "spanking") has on their intelligence:

A good spanking may leave a mark on a child that’s worse than the red handprint. Spanking and other corporal punishments stunt children’s intelligence, new research shows.

The IQs of 2- to 4-year-olds who received regular spankings from their parents dropped by more than 5 points over four years, compared with kids who were not spanked.

Posted at 1pm on Oct 5, 2009 | 7 comments
Filed Under: Adoption/Family

Marjory Tragham

Today, in 1998 my grandmother, Marjory Tragham, née Duncan, passed away at the age of 87. She was born 1911, in Scoonie, Fife, Scotland. Died Sep 26, 1998, Dundee, Scotland. She was married twice, first to Alex Ritchie, who left her a widow with a young child, my Aunt Margaret. She then remarried my grandad, Thomas Tragham (né Tragheim). They were married for over 60 years, until she predeceased him.

My grandmother (always known as “Nana”) was an extraordinarily lovely woman. I never knew her to be anything but kind. She was canny with money as well. When she died, it transpired she salted away something in the order of $60,000 in a shoebox in a cupboard!

This photograph of my Nana and Grandad was taken in the 1930′s, I believe.

Posted at 7pm on Sep 26, 2009 | no comments
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