Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Got Matthew to bed. Played with Melissa -- she was in a ticklish mood, right up Daddy's alley. Usually she's too busy with Important Baby Business to be tickled, but sometimes in the evenings she's more in the mood.

So, I played with Melissa, then sat down with my laptop to read some blogs. Melissa crawled over and climbed up my knees behind the laptop screen. I thought she was going to try to pull the screen down and chew on it the way she's done in the past. Instead, she poked her head out to the side and looked at me. Then pulled her head back. Then put it out again.

She wanted to play peek-a-boo! I played along: "Where's Melissa?" "There she is!" She giggled and giggled. We played for a good long while.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Burned out

Just for the record, my three-year-old-son can beat your three year old at Burnout: Revenge.

(A driving game that encourages crashing is right up his alley. Since that's pretty much his goal anyway.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Our Happy Baby is Back!

Matthew and Melissa both had a really nasty virus for about a week- fevers, severely congested noses, throwing up, the works. For several days I just held kids in my lap and we ate popsicles and watched movies. Since they were feeling so lousy they were clingy and whiny. Fun fun. Matthew bounced back more quickly, but Melissa just started getting back to her old cheerful self Saturday. (She's starting to sleep better again, for a while she was sleeping only 2 hours a night. Ugh. This is also why I haven't been very diligent about posting- I'M still recovering from sleep deprivation!)

Today she's been so pleasant! She sits on her knees and bounces up and down while making happy hooting noises. She's so much more playful, giggly, and excited about everything. At church she flirted outrageously with other ladies and babies. Melissa really came to our family delighted about life. It's so nice to have our happy baby back.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Baby activities

[I actually wrote this before Rachel, but she didn't know, and covered the same material in her long post today. I liked hers better, so deleted this one. Now Rachel wants me to paste it back in.]

Melissa's picked up a couple tricks. One is blowing: Daddy blows; baby blows back. Yeah, it's kind of dull, but she likes interacting with us.

The other is clapping. She loooooves clapping. Then we'll clap back and she'll grin a huge grin and clap some more.

Rachel has ordered a baby sign language book.

It's quiet in the house...

...the kids went with Daddy so now I have some time to collect myself and write about the last 2 weeks. If only I could remember everything.

Marriage and Rings

Two weeks ago, on a Thursday, Jonathan flew out of town to speak at a computer language conference. He submitted his topic 6 months ago and committed to attend before he learned about his friend's upcoming nuptials. Friday, his best friend got married so I attended the wedding and reception following. Ellis, Jon's friend, is over fairly often, and used to come with Grant (Matthew's uncle). Matthew started calling him Uncle Ellis. (We didn't want Matthew calling adults by their first name, but Mr. So-and-so seemed so formal for a close family friend so Uncle Ellis stuck). I informed Matthew that Uncle Ellis got married to Aunt Merri (How's that for confusing to a 3 year old?)

Matthew responded, "Uncle Ellis not married. Uncle Ellis have no ring."

Where he picked up on marriage with rings I have no idea. When I took the kids to the reception that evening (a friend watched them for the wedding) Matthew wanted to make sure Ellis and his bride had rings. When he saw the rings he conceeded that they were indeed married. I think he was pleased, he does seem to like Aunt Merri. But then again, maybe his whole concept of marriage is having a ring. His Uncle Grant is engaged to be married in August. When Matthew heard of this, he again stated that Uncle Grant could not be getting married because he too lacked a ring. Perhaps it will sink in when he meets his new Aunt Lisa.

The rest of that weekend is a blur. I remembered being so grateful when Jonathan came home Sunday evening (late) even though he had to go to work on Monday. I was so tired.

Speaking of New Aunts

Matthew's Aunt Telitha and Uncle Nolan had their baby not too long ago. Yea! I'm an Aunt! Baby James is Matthew's and Melissa's first cousin on either side. I was pretty excited when I heard the news. When I told Matthew about his new baby cousin, he informed me,

"I have baby sister Lis lis (Melissa). Don't want TWO babies."

"No, Matthew. This is a cousin. We admire him from afar (too far! They're in Ohio!) and don't take him home with us."

"Oh, okay."

He seemed mollified that we would not be adding to our family another baby just yet. One is quite enough for him!

In baby news

Melissa now claps her hands together. She really takes pleasure in getting other people to clap with her. She'll also grab a finger on each of her Daddy's hands and pull them together to clap his hands. I've decided that she'd probably like baby signs, because she enjoys interacting with people so much. We'll see how that goes. Melissa has also learned how to blow. She picked it up when I changed her diaper. I'd blow to distract her, or if her bottom looked sore, and she started blowing back at me! At first I thought she would only do that during a diaper change, but Jonathan demonstrated otherwise. The two of them were blowing at eachother and laughing like loons. Pretty silly.

On the Discipline Front
or Revenge Pee II

We found ourselves as parents nagging our son and giving warnings. As a result, we didn't see the desired action from Matthew until we sounded mad. So we scrapped all warnings and just administered the consequence immediately. (Usually by placing him in his room until he was ready to be pleasant again). Well, being the strong-willed spirit that he is, he decided to up the ante. When placed in his room he'd get back at us by delibrately wetting his pants. The first time it happened I was willing to give him the benefit of doubt. The second time it occurred it was unmistakably on purpose. So I had him put his wet clothes in the washing machine, wipe up the mess in his room (with help of course), and stay there until his clothes were clean again. He literally went through all his pairs of pants and spent the majority of the day in his room. Hmmm. At the end of the day I was frustrated, though I did get 7 or 8 loads of laundry clean and folded.

Daddy got a brainstorm.

Matthew's room was too comfortable a place to be while waiting for his clothes to wash. He had plenty of toys and distractions in there. In addition, the carpet was a poor place for urine cleanup. So Dad emptied the bathroom of all its contents. He didn't leave soap, toilet paper, or even cupboard drawers. The next time Matthew decided to get even we were prepared (and we didn't have to wait long). Daddy calmly told Matthew that he seemed to be having a hard time getting to the toilet in time, so he would be spending his time in the bathroom while his clothes washed. After that point he would be welcome to join us again. He was furious and raged for a while. After some time he told us he was ready to be good. We told him we were happy about that, but his clothes were not quite done. Again he fumed and then settled down. So far he's repeated the revenge pee only once more. I guess it sounds a little drastic, but we had to nip this habit, and other milder methods hadn't worked. Boy what a stubborn son we have!

But he can be so charming too!

It is one of the sweetest feelings in the world when he spontaneously wraps his arms around my neck and tells me "I love you Mommy!" (Just recently he switched from Mama to Mommy most of the time). He also loves to rock and sing together.

Recently he mastered the ABC song, though the LMNOP part is shaky. He is quite pleased about knowing his ABCs. Popcorn popping, Twinkle twinkle are also in his nightly reportoire. Currently his favorite bedtime/naptime book is Peter Rabbit. I can't even count the number of times I've read it. Occasionally I can tempt him with something else, but he remains a loyal Beatrix Potter fan. I don't understand why the repetition- he knows the storyline and will jump in before I even have a chance to read it! Oh well, maybe Daddy can read Peter Rabbit tonight.

Which reminds me

About a month ago Matthew watched a Seasame Street in which they talked about writing on the computer, and he decided he wanted to write his name on the computer. So I opened notebook typed his name and showed where the keys were. He was engrossed for half and hour! And he typed his name over and over. In the process, he learned how to spell his name written or verbally. He still doesn't have the coordination to write with a pencil yet, but maybe we can teach him more words on the computer.


In the kitchen

Matthew likes to play cook lately. Right now, he's "cooking" hot chocolate. His castle turrets are the stove burners; a ball is the marshmallows. He's careful to use oven mitts, because it's hot!

He also likes to "cook" his ball collection. He has a dozen or more balls that he puts into a pot, and simmers them for a while. Then out come the mitts again.

Sometimes he cooks with Melissa. This is more Mama's idea than his: "Melissa will help you! You put the balls in, she takes the balls out!" Matthew is a little dubious about this "help" but goes along with it sometimes. Melissa thinks Matthew is soooooo cool.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Guitar Hero

Last night Matthew beat his first Guitar Hero song. On easy, and with Dad doing the frets and whammy bar. But he hit the strummer all by himself!

When I first got the game 4 months ago Matthew tried it a couple times and just got frustrated. He could sort of connect the notes on screen with what he was supposed to do, but had no rythm whatsoever so anything less than a really long pause between notes baffled him.

He still has trouble sometimes concentrating -- he would have beaten his song several nights ago if he didn't keep getting distracted and offering me some random observation while the notes passed by unheeded -- but I'm very pleased. That's my boy!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Beverage adventures

Melissa's has a really bad cold and hasn't been nursing much with her nose so stuffy. (She hasn't been sleeping much, either. Maybe 2 hours a night for the last 3 nights.) So Rachel's had to pump some to avoid discomfort, not to mention possible mastitis.

So Friday morning I gave Melissa a snap-top sippy cup full of breast milk and sat her in the swing, while I went downstairs to take care of something. When I came back up, Melissa was happily playing with a topless, upside-down sippy cup. The milk was all over the swing and the floor.

Today I tried again, with a screw-top this time. I put the business end in her mouth as a hint. She grinned at me, grabbed the cup from me, reversed it, and tried to put the same end in MY mouth.

At least she's having fun with it!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A boy needs his dad

I was at PyCon in Texas for three days last week. Matthew missed his dad. When I got back he had started including in his prayer, "Bwess Dada come home [to] Whatthew [from] work." I was flattered.