Sunday, January 29, 2012

Isaac playing with Rosie Cassler

IMAG0837 by jbellis
IMAG0837, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Issac and Rosie came up with a game that involved Isaac covering Rosie with stickers and both of them giggling a lot.

Little boys and water

IMAG0840 by jbellis
IMAG0840, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Brian's girlfriend Kirsty invited us over for dinner last Saturday. I thought Isaac could content himself with dipping his hands in the water -- it was chilly outside. But he quickly started kneeling in puddles and otherwise getting his pants wet, so I changed him into his swimming suit a little late. He played in the hot tub while his clothes did some time in the dryer.


IMAG0781 by jbellis
IMAG0781, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Here's Isaac playing his favorite game on the Cannons' play house. I'm kind of impressed he could climb on that corner by himself.

At the McCalls'

IMAG0832 by jbellis
IMAG0832, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Nate from work invited us (and lots of other friends) over for New Year's day. Melissa and Isaac had a blast with the chickens and ducks. I don't think Isaac even noticed the enticing sandbox.


Exactly a week ago Corinna crossed the line from rolling-with-purpose, to true crawling. Once she figured it out she wasted no time getting lots of practice: being held is okay, but exploring the floor looking for things Dad neglected to babyproof (or that her older siblings left lying around) is better.



Great art must be shared

Great art must be shared by jbellis
Great art must be shared, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Isaac saw a board of kids art at Five Guys and immediately insisted on posting his. Then, when it was time to go, he took it down. I guess he just wanted a better spot to admire it from while he ate.

Isaac driving

Isaac driving by jbellis
Isaac driving, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

One of his favorite games. You need to be cautious afterwards: you never know how he'll leave the wipers, lights, etc.

Gingerbread houses

Gingerbread houses by jbellis
Gingerbread houses, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Full contact hairdressing, Isaac edition

I think we have enough meat

I think we have enough meat by jbellis
I think we have enough meat, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Some of it is from Costco. The rest is from some kind of steak delivery gone bad--the driver offered it to Rachel at a good price.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

November Peanuts

  • A common refrain in the morning: "Wawa! How!" [Matthew! Help!] Isaac thinks Matthew can fix anything.
  • While in California, I learned that when the sign at the bakery advertises a Monte Cristo special with turkey, ham, and swiss, it will also be deep fried. And tasty. And served with jam and syrup.
  • Thanks to a customer ticket, I got to watch time move backwards for a second stab at 1 AM during the daylight savings changeover.
  • I let Isaac play Hero of Sparta on Rachel's ipod because I thought he wouldn't be able to figure out the controls and eventually get bored of just standing there. I was wrong; not only did he figure out fighting, but also the "virtual thumbstick" to move. Which is more than I've seen him do with a real thumbstick, actually.
  • I was going to email Matthew a link he'd enjoy, then realized he doesn't have an email address yet.
  • Isaac invented a game. He climbs on a chair, flaps his arms, yells "fly!" and jumps off. Jumping off solo is acceptable, but jumping across into Dad's lap is better. (We never taught him the word "fly" so that's good, that he's picking new words up organically now.)
  • At some point, I went from being the young smart guy people tried to hire, to trying to hire young smart guys. A Polish dude younger than my little sister doing postdoc work drove this home for me.
  • Rachel teaching Matthew the facts of life: "Kill the medics first. The wizards can't heal." (Matthew ended up beating Costume Quest, his first RPG and one of the only games he's played to completion.)
  • There's a part of me that takes a childish glee in sending work-related emails to executives on holidays. Payback for interrupting my code the rest of the year!
  • Matthew is branching out from Calvin and Hobbes to Fox Trot and Zits. He's not as fond of Zits because Jeremy spends a lot of time thinking about his girlfriend.
  • Me: "I thought C. was younger. She doesn't act 18." Rachel: "Then again, it's been a looooong time since you were 18."
  • I have some graphic novels that Matthew is not allowed to read "until he is 18." Matthew: "Can I read Walt and Skeezix?" Me: "Yes." Matthew: "Then I'm going to find something else."
  • Isaac likes to listen to music at bedtime. One night he found a modern Christian music radio station: hymns plus autotune. Shudder.
  • Jonathan's rule of Christmas shopping: don't ask people what they want for Christmas, because if it's cool, it won't be a surprise, and if it's lame, you'll have to ignore it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

October Peanuts

  • I'd been planning trip to Tokyo for a month, but when I started packing I simply could NOT find my passport despite spending all day tearing the house. I felt a lot worse about having to tell people that I won't be able to meet as planned, than about missing the "Japan Experience." (Rachel ultimately found the missing box containing the passport when she went on a garage-organizing rampage. The box was stacked with a bunch of food storage, which it resembled.)
  • Gave my Tokyo conference talk over Skype video. I dressed up for the occasion, which I guess was just as well because I think I saw more ties in the audience than t-shirts (although most were business casual). I *think* skype was low-res enough that the audience couldn't see me sweating in my long-sleeved shirt in my unventilated closet.
  • Rachel and I went to the local board games group. Apparently Steve Jackson makes semi-regular appearances to playtest new designs. Also: I hate to say it, but there were several people there doing their best to live up to the stereotype of hygiene-challenged gamers.
  • Spent some time in the Main Event arcade waiting for our rock climbing session to begin. Somehow, a complete stranger decided Melissa needed a second gaming card and gave her hers, with a couple dollars still on it. Melissa has that effect on people, somewhat to our chagrin.
  • Rachel: "Sometimes, you need to let other kids take a turn being the leader." Matthew: "And sometimes, I'm right."
  • Of course Isaac jumped off his dresser and needed to go to the urgent care for a messy cut lip while I was out of town for our board meeting. "Oh, good," I said. "Is that all?" I'm not sure Rachel Ellis thought I was properly sympathetic. But taking him in for poison control is MUCH worse.
  • The United customer service dude was thrilled to talk to a white dude in Tagalog. He kept using the inclusive-we with me: "You should take your wife to visit our country." "Spaghetti is really better the way we make it, isn't it?"
  • Just when we thought Isaac was potty trained, he had four "accidents", 3 yellow and 1 brown. Except it's not really an accident when he's perfectly capable of going in the toilet.
  • Corinna is bored of all her toys. BORED. So I gave her a yard of bubble wrap. She *loves* it.
  • Pack meeting ran late. Kids got to bed at 9:30, an hour and a half later than their "official" 8:00 bedtime (which in practice is more like 8:30). Isaac tried to play his usual shenanigans of sneaking out of his room but he was too tired, and fell asleep on the floor.
  • Isaac is playing on Rachel's ipod, and found his way to the Doom RPG. He's not having much success, but he did manage to change the menus to Spanish.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sitting Pretty


This is Bubbles on the 8th of January. She'd just learned how to roll to her side, prop herself up on an elbow and then push to a sitting position. She was so pleased with herself!


A few days later and already more stable.


And a closer look.  TEETH!  She has 'em!  Her two bottom teeth sprouted last month.  I can testify that they are sharp lil' suckers.

Tasting some bananas. 
The verdict? Great toy...but not great food. 


We are trying to get her accustomed to taking an occasional bottle. She prefers to hold the bottle, thank you very much! It is a messy way to eat/play. 


Sitting up has opened new avenues of play, such as taking all of the legos out of the box and tossing them to the floor. She did this tonight- three times!

Corinna is on the cusp of crawling. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. Then she tries to propel herself forward and does a belly flop instead. Her knees slip underneath her due to the slick floor. Unfortunately(?) we do not have any carpet in the house for her to gain some traction. Instead she maneuvers around the house by rolling from room to room. Still she is determined and it won't be much longer... 


Every night she bounces to sleep with her dad. Jonathan sits on the exercise ball, cradles her in his arms, and bounces up and down while she sucks on her pacifier. A few nights ago she took the pacifier out of her mouth and tried to put it in her Dad's mouth. He called me over to check it out and I was skeptical, but as soon as Jonathan put the pacifier in Corinna's mouth, she grabbed it and tried to put it in his mouth again! Regrettably, as soon as I got the camera out she was more interested in that than the pacifier game.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A phone call from school

Melissa decided that she wasn't going to stop talking during lunch quiet time. The principle told her to move to the Quiet Table, away from her friends. Melissa told her, No. (I can picture this exactly: I'm far more familiar with the Melissa-digging-in-her-heels tone of voice than I'd like.)

The principle moved her lunch to the Quiet Table. Melissa refused to move. "You need to come to my office." No. So the principle and the assistant dragged her to the office, where she eventually finished her lunch.

Monday, January 02, 2012

I can fast for my Dad

IMAG0763 by jbellis
IMAG0763, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Thanksgiving weekend, when we visited San Antonio, Melissa had a lesson on fasting in Sunday School. When her teacher had the class draw pictures of how they can fast, this is what she came up with. "In case you get sick, or feel bad," she explained.

Rachel adds that the entire primary leadership laughed and laughed, "because they know you." Take that as you will.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

We rang in the New Year in Brazil time (9 PM local) by making funny hats and gorging on junk food.  Jonathan and the kids established going-to-the-store-and-picking-out-whatever-you-want as a New Years Eve tradition last year and weren't about to forget for this year.  



Unfortunately Melissa wasn't done with her hat and we forgot the camera when she was....but she did a good job too and it was covered with pink and purple jewels. 

A Present for Mama

Isaac spent hours beading.

When he was done he asked his dad to tie the ends together. Dad tried to put it on Isaac afterwards. "No, no!" he protested. Then he ran over to me and proudly presented it: "Mama neck!"

The necklace goes down to my hips and has a wild assortment of beads- and I love it.

I Hate "Snow"

Grandma Linda sent the kids instant snow in the mail.  All you need is water and the powder expands many times it original size.  "The kids miss the snow, and the guy I bought it from said it was easy to clean up!"

He lied.

Grandma's sunshine

Grandma's sunshine by jbellis
Grandma's sunshine, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

I picked Melissa up from Sunday school. "How was your new teacher!"

She took my hand. "It was okay. And guess what? We had *M&Ms*. And they were *good*." She started skipping at the pleasant thought.

Church with a seven month old

Church with a seven month old by jbellis
Church with a seven month old, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Corrina usually naps for an hour and plays for an hour. When she is BORED of all the toys we brought, Daddy's keys are good for another 10 minutes. I don't know if it's because it is really that awesome a toy, or because I only let her have them once a week. Either way I'll take it.