Sunday, October 31, 2004

Need help?

Uncle Grant's over this morning. (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!) Matthew and he were running around being manic in the living room and Matthew took a tumble, deliberate or unplanned. Grant took a tumble too to show solidarity. I guess he did a very convincing job of it because Matthew came over and started tugging on his arm (to help him up). "Nee hehw?"

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Monday night our neighbors the Edmunds invited us over for family home evening. We started with a prayer, then the adults and the older children (well, mostly just 5-year-old Jacob) started carving pumpkins. Matthew wandered around a bit then saw the Edmunds' aquarium. "Shirsh!" he said. "Fish?" "Shirsh!" Close, I guess. Funny, I didn't know he knew the word for fish.

Then he spent the rest of the evening playing with various trucks and claw-armed cranes and such. Very manly activity. He particularly liked grabbing matchbox cars with the claw. Little boys, apparently, insticitively know what claws are for.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Peanuts from Little House on the Prairie

Daddy is home alone with Matthew right now. Matthew is less or more amused by a LHotP show right now. His favorite part is the horses: when one of the characters was about to drive off, Matthew gave a very credible imitation of "giddyup!" before the actor did.

Another amusing one: a baby on the show was crying. Matthew put my finger to my lips and made shushing noises. When I did too he beamed his baby approval.

Wih So

Tuesday-Thursday t rained 3 days in a row and most of the nights in between. That's a lot of rain in Utah. (I pointed out to Rachel that if we move to Washington that's what it will be like more often than not.) Matthew was going absolutely nuts from being cooped up inside. So both Wednesday and Thursday I took him to Arctic Circle to get a $1 hamburger and play on their indoor gym.

Anyway, while driving there Thursday I let Matthew eat a banana in the car. When we got there he kept telling me, "Sticky! Wih So!" Wih so is my transcription of his pronunciation of "with soap." So I took him to the men's room and washed his hands, with soap.

Later he knocked a pickle out of his burger and picked it up off the floor. "Wih so!" he demanded. I brushed his hands off and told him soap wouldn't be necessary. I don't think he believed me, but there was a gym to climb so he didn't make an issue of it.

In this respect Matthew is his mother's child. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

More bath fun

Last night I was bathing Matthew and he was enjoying his bath crayons again. He got bored of drawing on the tub and the walls in pretty short order and started drawing on Daddy. Only this time, I wasn't bathing with him, and I didn't appreciate having my shirt drawn on a whole lot. I told him to stop.

So for the rest of his bath he kept coming over and rubbing my shirt with his sponge "eraser" where he'd drawn on me. I appreciated the thought, but I was pretty soaked by the end.

Paddle ball

I try to pick up cheap toys that might interest Matthew when I see them, so Rachel has something to turn to on a "rainy day." Well, today was literally cold and rainy, so Matthew was cooped up and driving his mommy nuts, so Rachel broke out the paddle-ball set that I'd brought home on one of those occasions.

Matthew liked the ball, but he was extremely distressed that it was attached to the paddle. He wanted it off, so he could throw it and hit it with the paddle like some weird golf club. Rachel tore it off for him and he's played with it off and on all day. (Some of the "off" has been due to one of his games being hit-the-ball-under-the-oven-and-make-Mom-or-Dad-fish-it-out. We both got tired of that pretty quickly, so Daddy has confiscated the ball twice now.)

Monday, October 18, 2004


  • "Rayshoo!" Matthew kept saying this to me yesterday as he ran off. "Is he saying, 'race you?'" I asked Rachel. She wasn't sure. But today he did it with her, too. Rayshoo! then take off, and check over his shoulder if mama was coming. It looks like he picked up a new phrase somewhere.
  • This morning when I sent Matthew to his room for timeout he dragged his mattress in front of the door. It looked like he was saying, "You're not coming in here, Daddy!" Hard to say for sure.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


- Just now while on his mission to climb over and around Daddy 20 times morning and afternoon, he lost his balance and crashed his head into the side of my jaw. It hurt. "Ow!" He popped his head up and asked, "Aw wight?"
- The soap crayons his grandmother sent him for his birthday are a hit. He drew on the tub, the walls, the daddy, himself... Oddly enough, he enjoyed the "eraser" sponge included almost as much, cleaning up after himself.
- Daddy and Matthew went to the park this afternoon, and Daddy got Matthew a small styrofoam cup of smoothie. On the way home, Matthew ripped the bottom out of it. He was covered in raspberry/blueberry mess. We must have been quite a sight (he got it on me too when I unbucked him) when we stopped to get flowers for Rachel.

Friday, October 15, 2004

More fun with raisins

Ever vigilant for new ways to make a game out of eating, Matthew discovered this morning that packing raisins into half of a plastic egg and then eating them is even more fun than eating them from the box.

In other news, the new dishwasher lock lasted about an afternoon. At first we thought that Mommy and Daddy were being careless and not clicking the lock shut, but then Rachel caught him unlocking it. I guess the new rule is, no knives in the dishwasher until he's asleep.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


- Matthew understands "put back" quite well now. Rachel was skeptical but I demonstrated to her satisfaction at the midwives' office today. He kept pulling stuff off the desk, but put them back when told.
- Raisins are boring. Raisins in a box, though, are the best thing ever. Except maybe for cookies. And chocolate. Chocolate is definitely the best.
- Rachel made edible play-doh today out of peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey. She flowered up the table and gave him a bunch to knead and eat and he had a blast.
- Playing catch with Daddy is boring. Playing catch across the coffee table from Daddy is the best game ever. Unless it's playing catch across the coffee table from Mommy; Rachel said they did that for half an hour yesterday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Taste for trouble

We had cake and ice cream for Matthew's birthday celebration Monday night. (Rachel hand-decorated the cake; it was very well done.) We put the left-over cake on the counter, covered with plastic wrap.

Tuesday morning, after being harassed as usual for a couple hours by the savage peanut, I'm getting dressed for work when Rachel, still in bed, says, "It's too quiet. You'd better go see what he's up to."

What he was up to was standing on the open dishwasher door, stabbing at the cake with knife and spatula (liberated from the dishwasher). He'd pretty much destroyed it. We'd had a dishwasher lock but it broke a couple weeks ago; we'd been trying to teach him to stay out of the dishwasher even though it wasn't physically impossible to open anymore.

Rachel got a new lock Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, October 11, 2004


Matthew and I picked up Uncle Grant this evening to bring him up for Matthew's birthday celebration. (Rachel hand-decorated a cake; it looked very professionally done.) As we were coming up Matthew kept pointing out the window at things and saying, "Apple!" Grant thought he saw a common denominator in the color red, and he kept correcting Matthew. "No, that's a building." "No, that's a truck." "No, that's a car."

Finally I looked back and saw that Grant was leaning his right elbow on the window next to him. "He's talking about your elbow, Grant!" Oh.

"Yes, that's my elbow," Grant conceded. "ELBOW!" Matthew cried in triumph. "Elbow! Elbow! Elbow!"

Just so we didn't forget it, he kept reminding us for the rest of the trip.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


This post is short because I'm still peeved at the crack California Department of Highway Confusion. That's "crack" as in "very good at what they do," not as in, "certainly involving illegal drugs." Although for all I know maybe that's how they get their inspiration. I hadn't meant to go into specifics, but here's just one: we're heading west on I-80, looking for 580 E. We pass the 680 junction. No problem, it must count down. Then we pass the 780 junction. Uh-oh, it's not counting down after all. Then WAY THE HELL LATER we don't come to a 580 junction, I-80 TURNS INTO 580. WTH? Come on, guys, it's like exit numbers. You don't have exit 68, then exit 78, then exit 58!

Anyway. The peanut bullets.

- Before I left for San Fransisco yesterday, Matthew took his pig around the house with him and tucked it into bed. "Night, night." And he'd pull a blanket over it and then start playing. Then he'd drag it over to the next thing he wanted to play with, and tuck it in over there too. The funniest one was when he came to see what Daddy was doing in the master bedroom (trying to conduct a phone interview away from the savage peanut, is what) and tucked it in on the bed, then started jumping around. It's a good thing that pig had gotten a lot of sleep by then because he wasn't going to get any more with all that bouncing going on!

- From Rachel: yesterday morning after I left for work Matthew helped himself to a knife from the dishwasher and decided to see how deep a hole he could make in the wall before Mommy caught him. (Not very, it turns out.) Matthew got put in time out for this; I wonder if his baby mind is sophisticated enough yet to be glad he didn't pull that particular trick while Daddy was home.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The alpha peanut

Ahh, nothing like a little contest of will to start the morning.

Matthew had half a banana for breakfast, but wanted something else before he finished it. So, I handed him a box of Wheat Thins. Lately he's wanted the whole box, "just like a big person," and he's been good about eating one at a time so I haven't had a problem with this.

Well, this morning he apparently got bored with one-at-a-time, and dumped the entire contents of the box out on the table. I told him he couldn't get down until he picked them up. (He understands "pick up" quite well.) He thought that was a silly rule and got down anyway. So, I buckled him in. He was at the table for 20 minutes or so and decided a better way out would be to sweep the crackers down to the floor.

I accepted his challenge and swatted his butt, then sat down on the floor with him and asked if he was ready to pick up yet. It took I think 7 swats before he decided to pick them up.

(For the record, I wasn't angry at any point, and when he started picking up I helped him, and told him what a good boy he was afterwards.)

Now he's hopping around on his ball. I cooked him an egg, but hopping is more fun than eating...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Hope on the literacy front

Tonight after being made ready for bed, Matthew picked up Baby's First Picture Book and started going through the pages with me. "Cheese! Corn! Carrots! Eggs!" The animals: "Duck! Pig! *snorting sounds* Shoop! [horse] Cow!" Then he started looking for the page with the ice cream. "Ice cream! Ice cream!" He was very excited about that.

Then he showed his mom the pages he'd showed me, including ice cream. Then he decided actually eating ice cream was much better than looking at a picture of it, and ran over to the freezer and begged. Wimps that we are, we gave him some. (And had to brush his teeth a second time.) Literacy is something to encourage, right?

A tool-using boy

Matthew rolled his laundry ball -- inexplicably one of his favorite toys -- under the oven. So, he reached up on the counter and got a wooden spoon that would fit underneath and started sweeping under the oven to get it out.

Rachel told me yesterday that she'd retrieved the same ball from under the oven so he probably got the idea from watching her. As a daddy though I have to say I have a pretty smart kid!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Peanuts (peanut bullets)

  • Matthew decided he's too old for the high chair. We capitulated and got him a booster seat yesterday. The rules on playing with his food are correspondingly stricter, which he objects to strenuously.
  • Matthew told me "bleshou" when I sneezed this morning. Then he started sneezing himself (he does better fake sneezes than any I've seen) so I would tell him "bless you" in return.
  • Matthew enjoys eating crackers, but he enjoys eating them even more when I hand him the box and let him help himself. Er, don't tell Rachel.
  • Matthew enjoys washing his hands in the sink like a Big Person. This morning I was rinsing him off after the afore-mentioned crackers, and he insisted that he wasn't done until he was washed with soap ("wi so").

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Matthew's grandmother suggested that we tie a whiffle ball to a string and hang it from our back deck, so Matthew could whack at it with a ball from below. Rachel set it up today; Matthew had a blast. He's quite good at connecting with the ball, even in motion. He clearly enjoyed smacking that ball solidly into the deck above. Sometimes he'd smack it into the air beyond and the string would pull it back, bonking him on the head. "Ow," he'd say. "Nose." (Or ear, or wherever it hit him.) Then he'd smack it again.

Matthew is still hopping all over on his horse chew toy. Now that he's got the hang of it, it's about the only indoor activity that compares to being outside. (Outside is still the clear winner, though.)

Banana bread

As a rule, Matthew doesn't appreciate his mother's cooking. Hopefully his taste will mature, because Rachel is the best cook I know, with the possible exception of Dave Cassler. Sometimes, though, he surprises me. This morning I gave him a half slice of Rachel's banana bread. He chowed it down, and started making urgent noises. "Do you want more?" I asked. "Please?" he said. So I got him another half slice and started reading my email. A couple minutes later, he got up, got the banana bread bag off the counter, and brought it over to me. "Mmmmmm!" he said. "Please!" So now he's on his third half slice, and this is after breakfasting on pancake already.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Artistic peanut

One of our standby Matthew amusements is to cover half of our kitchen table with butcher paper and sit him on top with a box of crayons. He's usually good for 10 or 15 minutes with that. Today was the first time he's drawn circles instead of just zigzag random lines. Rachel also showed him to draw controlled straight lines and he copied her.

Matthew takes after my brother David in being a very kinetic individual. David loved burning off energy on a "hoppy ball" as a kid. We tried to find one in Matthew's size, and thanks to the magic of froogle, we found this: (Life before ecommerce must have sucked.) It's meant to be some kind of horsey chew toy, but it's just the right size for a smaller-than-average two year old kid to hop on.

I got this for him a week or two ago and he didn't really take to it, but today he was hopping around on it like a pro, grinning like a maniac. That's one more arrow in my entertainment quiver -- when you have a Savage Peanut you need a lot if you want to stay sane.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A bitter peanut

Can't think of anything cute that happened today. He was really kind of a pill. He woke up grumpy and only took a short nap.

To follow up from last night, I can confirm that the dirt devil's battery doesn't last long. I'd say more like 5 minutes than 15 minutes. Still, that's plenty for what it's designed for. And Matthew didn't get too upset this time when it died, either; I guess he's used to it now.

Ellis says I should report that Matthew is scarfing pizza like a teenager now. He ate probably half an adult slice, which is pretty impressive for someone who (a) is really small, even for a 2 year old, and (b) snacks all day.

Rachel says today was one of those days where you think, "If there's a good home out there... Just for a couple days..."

Friday, October 01, 2004

A boy's best friend

Rachel got Matthew a truck for his birthday (coming up soon). I got him a vacuum. The vacuum has a very good chance of beating out the truck for MFT (most favored toy) status -- not that he doesn't like trucks; he's crazy about them. But Daddy knows that Being Like Mommy is even higher on his baby cool stuff list.

I got him a rechargable Dirt Devil. He was a little leery of it for the first couple days but he's glommed onto it with a vengeance now -- he tried to take it with him to bed tonight, after dragging it around with him all day. Yesterday was his first Vacuum Day; he discharged the battery in 15 minutes of continuous vacuuming and wouldn't relinquish it for charging, even though he was very mad at it for letting him down like that. (Rachel thought that 15 minutes of continuous run time was pretty wimpy but I think it's pretty generous, given what it's designed for. Still, you can't exactly reason that way with a raging peanut so I see her point.) Rachel says he demanded that she watch him while he vacuumed, too: "Sit!" he said, motioning to a place near him. Then Rachel would point out where there was crumbs or dirt on the floor. "Oh!" he'd say, and vacuum it.

Rachel says he'd vacuum right on by the dirt if she didn't point it out. He liked picking up dirt, he just couldn't see it. Gets it from his dad, she says...

So I'm charging the vacuum tonight. Rachel predicts another baby tantrum when it runs out again but hopefully the fun is worth the subsequent disappointment.

Not the baby anymore

Rachel is pregnant and a little anxious about how Matthew's going to take the whole new baby thing. My position is that with baby #2 arriving in May, there's plenty of time before we need to start worrying about this.

Still, Rachel ordered a newborn baby doll. It arrived yesterday while I was at work. "How'd it go?" I asked. "He likes it. He patted it gently, then dragged it all over the house with him. Then he started undressing it, saying 'stinky!' I guess the doll needed a diaper change."

This morning while I was watching him, I put the doll on the couch and covered it with a blanket. "Night night," I told it. Matthew came over and gave the doll a kiss and echoed, "Night night." He also handed me its cap, which had fallen off, and helped me put it back on.

Playing with a doll is a far cry from having to share your Mommy with a new rival, though.