Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Did I Mention?

...that I married the most wonderful man in the universe? I called Jonathan at work and asked he'd take care of dinner tonight. I had a headache and general malaise. I put a short movie on for the kids was sprawled out on the couch feeling miserable. He showed up 40 minutes later (he left a little early and will likely have to finish some work tonight). He then took the kids to a burger play area to burn off excess energy. It snowed today so there wasn't much running around outside. Right now I recuperating in a quiet house. O Wonderful Man!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Uncle Ellis's Birthday

Ellis invited us to his birthday party tonight, kids and all. And what a good time was had!

Ellis collects Nerf guns like I collect video games. He has an impressive variety, including several semi-automatics and one fully automatic. He and his brother Jon and Matthew shot at each other for at least half an hour, with much four-year-old dancing and giggling and screaming with glee. They would shoot at each other, reconvene to sort out the ammo (Nerf guns apparently aren't quite standardized, unfortunately), then blast away some more. Ellis's sister Becky and Jon's wife Deborah were mostly-innocent bystanders. Matthew was not above using them as human shields, but they accepted that with good grace.

After that, Ellis took Matthew and Melissa outside and convinced Matthew to run from one end of the yard to the other, over and over, while Ellis timed him. ("You're slowing down, Matthew! I think you must be getting tired!")

Everyone was impressed by Matthew's energy. And everyone thought Melissa's burgeoning vocabulary was just adorable. ("I [my] turn! I turn!")

We also got a couple rounds of Baby Ball and Bigboy Ball in. Melissa was delighted, but just a little scared I think. Matthew was just delighted.

Then we had cake and ice cream and the unwrapping of presents. (Merrie gave Ellis another Nerf gun, among others.)

When we got home, Matthew fell asleep as quickly as I can remember. I think for once he was well and truly tired.

P.S. Jon hadn't read Grant's holiday letter for 06 and declared it the funniest thing he had ever read.
P.P.S. Grant, there are clerkships in Utah too...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hit and miss

I picked up a Looney Tunes collection to bribe the kids to leave Daddy alone in the morning. Unfortunately they do not really share the same taste in TV right now. Matthew loves the Looney Tunes but Melissa gets bored after a couple clips. Melissa loves the Wind In The Willows cartoon but Matthew is uninterested. Bleh.

Interestingly, Matthew can also be entertained watching me play Jade Empire. (Jade Empire is kind of "BioWare lite." Less complicated in pretty much every dimension than their earlier RPGs, presumably to appeal to a wider audience. Unfortunately I find it less engrossing as well, but even BioWare Lite is better than most studio's best fare.) Alas, while most of Jade Empire would be fine with a Teen rating, occasionally you see things that earned it the Mature designation, like the graphic blood fountain when one bad guy got beheaded in a cutscene.

Maybe I'll take up FFXII while waiting for Mass Effect. (Curse BioWare for making me buy Microsoft's consoles, anyway. Last generation it was KotOR, and now Mass Effect.)

Bedtime wars, part 2

Melissa is adapting well to Daddy At Night. A full sippy cup has been indispensable. She usually wakes up once and allows me to rock her back to sleep without protest. Sometimes she has not woken up at all.

(Sorry, "everything is going fine" is a boring update, but there you are. And at almost 2 she really is overdue to start sleeping through the night.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

These things happen

After dinner Friday night, Rachel burped loudly. "Excuse me!" she said, startled.

Matthew was understanding: "That's okay, Mama: sometimes you burp; sometimes you poop your underwear. These things happen."

(Last Saturday was Grandma Johnson's funeral, which Matthew's gut chose as the occasion to grace him with explosive diarrhea. He didn't make it to the bathroom in time. Rachel knew it was an accident, and told him, "These things happen.")

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Night life

Melissa is 22 months and still not sleeping through the night. Twice a night -- sometimes less, sometimes more, but usually twice -- she wakes to nurse. We tried to wean her of this a few months ago, but she outstubborned her mother, who couldn't handle her howling for hours. (I would try to comfort her but she would have none of that.)

This week we are trying again. Night 1, she was up and yelling from 2 AM to 4 AM. Night 2 she just woke up briefly around 2 and went back to sleep docilely when I went in and rocked her briefly. Night 3, last night, she howled from 1:30 for hours again. At least it felt like hours; I stopped looking at the clock after my fifth or so trip to her room.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

First reading lesson

Matthew ran out of ideas to entertain himself before church today, so I reached into Rachel's activity closet (aka the coat closet) and pulled out the first thing I saw, which turned out to be Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. 20 minutes a day, 100 days... that's a lot of lessons. We'll see if Daddy has staying power.

The first lesson went pretty well; it was just about combining simple sounds. I can see that I'll have my work cut out for me, though; Matthew can't really hear the difference between P and T, for instance, or M and N. I can explain the difference (mouth closed vs mouth open, in both of these cases) but I'm not sure how much good it does if he still can't tell why it matters.

But what was encouraging was how agreeable Matthew was for the whole thing, even when I corrected him. I think he really enjoyed the Dad time, particularly since Melissa was Too Little to participate.