Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jeremy's Clarification

Now, hold on, everyone. Let me, Jeremy, be clear about this. I openly admit that Twilight was better than most girl movies. I admit that there were exciting moments. In fact, I admit that I liked it.

However, let it be known that in I did make gagging motions and say "bleh!" more than once, including the absurd 30 second sequences of she looks at him, he looks at her, she looks at him, he looks at her...ugh...they almost lost me. Then some violence took place, or a car chase ensued, and I was relieved of my impulse to vomit.

It was genuinely okay. I wouldn't have admitted it in public, but since it's out there, I give it a qualified stamp of man-approval, so long as a man viewing the film is on a date, preferably a double date so that he can exchange exasperated glances with the other dude in your date party.

I give it as my opinion that so long as a man watches this film with a girl with whom he is romantically involved, he only loses a man card if he likes it more than 70% as much as the girl he is with.

Hot Cereal

The whole clan was eating Dee's Hot Cereal the other morning, and Victor wanted in on the action. Grandma put Victor on her lap and gave him a big bite of cereal. He promptly froze, then opened his mouth so as not to swallow the nasty stuff. And he remorsefully said, "That's not for me."

Way to go, Victor. I don't like it, either.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Guess who just saw Twilight--

Jeremy did!

Guess who really liked Twilight--

Jeremy did!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Family Photos

Today we assembled our large family group for a photograph. Picture this: twelve adults, two photographers, and seven children--six of them crying--all in a small basement studio. We arranged ourselves in front of the backdrop and the six crying children quieted. Then the one non-crying child decided that photos were oppressive and difficult, and started crying.

What did we do? We gave him a lollipop.

I'm sure the pictures will turn out beautifully.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Zeke's First Birthday

Zeke celebrated his first birthday on Christmas Eve. We had a great party. First, we ate a turkey dinner. Then we had cake--yellow with chocolate frosting. It had to be chocolate because a front-loader was on top of the cake "pushing" a load of "dirt and rocks" (aka frosting and Skittles). It was a pretty cute cake, although pretty standard little-boy fare.

Zeke received a train for his birthday. It is a lot bigger in real life than it looked on And for some unknown reason, the sound has to be ON for the train to go forward. Maybe Jeremy can cut the sound wire. The trian was the source of some envy. Everyone (read: Victor) wanted to play with it.

Zeke throughly enjoyed his party. Great-grandma and Great-grandpa were there along with a whole cadre of aunts and uncles and, of course, Grandma and Grandpa M. Even his twin cousins stayed up specially to celebrate with him.

By way of a record, Zeke can do the following things at age 1:

Stand up
Clap (he did this for the first time on his birthday)
Eat an apple (not just slices--a whole apple)
Unwrap gifts
Drink from a cup or a straw
Make a sound like Cookie Monster when he's hungry
Bop up and down to music
Play peek-a-boo (he loves this game)
Turn the pages of a book
Drag a comb through his hair
Point to things he wants to look at or touch
Point to his bed when he's sleepy
Put things on his head
Pull off his socks, bib, and hat
Tear paper

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Wonderland--of trucks

It's been snowing steadily since we arrived, and the weather has proved a boon for driving in the car. You see, snow brings with it the appearance of vehicles equipped to deal with and remove snow, and Victor looooooooves to look at them.

A snowplow! A little snowplow! A big snowplow!

A tractor! A dump truck! A four-wheeler!

It turns driving from dull to delightful. From tedious to terrific. From insane to interesting. It's downright educational.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Helpful Travel Tip

If you are travelling to an airport and you are running late, please consider that being stopped by the police for speeding will erase any gains you planned to make from speeding.

Even if the officer writes the ticket for 54 in a 45 instead of 60 in a 45, you will still lose those minutes.

Just a tip.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Academic Exercise

Today, as a purely academic exercise, I decided to decorate Christmas Cookies. It was academic because my friend has been teaching me the basics of cake decorating, and this was my big chance to show that I can make decorator frosting.

Or, as it turns out, I can't. It wasn't smooth enough, but that's okay. It was just an academic exercise, and I can try again on Zeke's birthday cake at the end of the month.

The cookies were a recipie from another friend, and they were fabulous. Just fabulous!

Here are some pictures of what I made. Again, this was just for educational purposes.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I read that in general, boys do not feel pain as keenly as girls. In support of this proposition, I offer the following anecdotal evidence.

We have a little fan that runs on 2 AA batteries. You know the kind--it is usually for sale with a spritzer bottle at Disneyland in August.

Victor has been intrigued by this fan for a long time. By intrigued, I mean he likes to turn it on and then stick his finger or tongue through the plastic guards and into the fan blades.

Ouch! Would you do that? I wouldn't.

But wait, there's more. Zeke likes to do the exact same thing. He has, for months, loved to find the fan (which Victor has left on) and stick his finger or tongue through the gap in the slats.

Ouch! But they both love it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cookie Trouble

I have a problem.

My chocolate chip cookies are NOT working. I have been making this recipe for years, but recently, it is not working.

Instead of delicious, not-too-puffy, moist cookies with a good consistency and not too many chips, my cookies look like a bunch of cookie batter melted on top of a pile of chocolate chips.

My oven is the right temperature. I don't melt or over-beat the butter. My eggs are the right size. Today I even tried using half butter and half butter-flavored Crisco. Jeremy suspects my baking soda has failed in some way. Perhaps I need to add extra flour.

If there is a professional home economics teacher out there, I would welcome her suggestions.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Magic Word

Overheard as I watched the news:

Victor: I want some milk.

Jeremy: What's the word you use when you want something?

Victor: "BING!"

Monday, December 8, 2008


Victor likes Barney.

Actually, he kind of loves Barney.

When Barney sings the "you're special" song, Victor comes running up to me yelling, "I'm special!!!"

When Barney sing the love song, Victor runs to me, wherever I am in the house, for his great big hug and kiss from me to you.

Admittedly, Barney has his faults. For example, he thinks all people can be winners all the time. Since that's just not true, I have explained to Victor that sometimes you lose, and that's okay.

Other than that, I can't think of a good reason to deny Victor his Barney. Plus, it's cute when he sings the love song.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Hygienic Child

Yesterday Victor wandered into my room with his toothbrush in his mouth.

I asked him what he was doing. He said,

"Sometimes I like to brush my teeth."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Promised Land

We like to go to the Science Center a couple of times a week. One of the main attractions is a great big ship, complete with flags and wheel. Victor likes to run onto it and spin the wheel. Zeke and I usually wait alongside until Victor calls out,

"Mom! Come aboard, Mom!"

I asked him where we were going. He's been watching a lot of Peter Pan lately, so I thought he'd say "We're off to Neverland!" Nope. He said:

"To the promised land!"

I guess he's been watching Living Scriptures, too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Many thanks to Aunt Keeta and Uncle Mike for their hospitality. Considering the presence of six little children, of whom Victor was the oldest by almost 2 years, it was a remarkably calm holiday.

Victor spent most of his time playing with a little blue semi and sliding Dog down the banister.

Zeke whiled away the hours eating turkey and stuffing. Seriously--he must have been half-starved.

We all had a delightful time meeting recently-born relatives. Being an aunt is fun! It's also terrific to be a first-cousin-once-removed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures . . .

are now posted on Jer's Super Fun Family Extravaganza.

He's Home!

You can all stop worrying about our lost fire truck. I found him. He's home safe with his friends.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

VIC Savings

We went to the grocery store last night. A lot of good and useful items were on sale, such as Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, buy one, get one free. We bought 24 cans. PastaRoni was $1.00 per box. Near East Couscous was $1.50 per box.

All told, we saved $89.17 with our VIC card. The cashier had to call a manager for an override. I was so proud.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm putting out an APB on a small red fire engine with googly eyes that I left in the Primary room on Sunday. His fellow googly-eyed vehicles miss him. If anyone happens to see him tossed in with the Nursey toys or in a lost-and-found bin, please rescue him. I'd be so grateful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minty Not-so-fresh

One last comment on Victor's gum-eating:

A wet diaper can also smell like mint.

Expiration Dates

So what's the deal with expiration dates on medicine? Are they a ploy to get me to buy new Nyquil every year, or is there a real reason for them?

And while I'm asking questions, who is this Steve Songs person who sings children's songs between programs on PBS?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mama's Little Velociraptor

Victor accomplished a goal tonight. He's been working on this goal his whole life. His accomplishment strikes fear in my heart and requires me to rework my child containment strategy.

That's right. Victor can use my keys and open the door. Freedom is his.

Wet Dry

From an ad for Pampers Swaddlers:

"They don't just feel soft and secure.
They feel familiar.

Pampers Swaddlers and Sensitive Wipes remind your baby of all the comfort and protection you've provided for the last 9 months. They're soft and comfortable to protect your baby's skin. Together, they help cure your baby's first case of homesickness."

I'm all for puffery, but this is ridiculous. I always thought that diapers were intended to keep the baby dry, and I'm pretty sure the womb is wet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

You may recall the outfit Nephi wears in the Arnold Freiburg paintings and in the Living Scriptures videos.

Now visualize the Jolly Green Giant's leafy garb.

And you can understand why Victor saw a can of corn today and told me it was Nephi, and that Nephi was going to build a ship.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Magic Jack

We recently purchased a Magic Jack. It cost $20.00, and a year's service plan is also $20.00.

The Magic Jack is a little device you plug into the USB port in your computer. Then you plug your phone into the other end. It sets itself up in just a minute, and voila! You have a dial tone and can make local and long distance calls to your heart's content.

You can see the appeal of the Magic Jack.

We are going to test the Magic Jack over the next few weeks. We'll let you know if it lives up to its name.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And Four for Zeke

On Wednesday, Zeke started pointing. It's so cute to see that little finger pointing away. We'll cover the etiquette of pointing at a later date.

Yesterday, Zeke figured out how to make cars go down the ramp of the Fisher Price garage.

Zeke has become our new bottomless pit. I don't know where such a slim baby puts a cup of casserole, 8 saltine crackers, and a pear.

On October 30th, Zeke took his first real steps. I stood him up and faced him toward the door that Jeremy was fixing to open. Zeke loooooves to see his daddy at the end of the day. He took three toddly little steps towards Jeremy, stopped, took one more, and then sat down.

I do not anticipate full-blown walking anytime soon, but his little toddles are adorable.

Three Victor Stories

It's Friday morning in America, and I have three Victor stories to tell.

One. Last night I read Biscuit Goes to School to Victor. In one picture, a bearded and bespectacled teacher contemplates the mischievious dog Biscuit, who has come to school.

I asked Victor what the teacher was thinking. He thought for a minute. Then, "About cars. Cars go faster."

It reminded me of when my old friend Ed said that he always wanted to say "Tools" when a girl asked him what he was thinking about. Also, it made Jeremy very proud.

Two. You may recall the minty diapers post. I can now tell you that if you eat enough gum, you will also get a tummy ache and minty gas.

Three. At about 10:45 last night, a little more than an hour after we had finally heard from Victor for the last time (which is another story, but not an interesting one), we heard the office door open and the final strains of Peter Pan waft out. Then we heard little feet padding down the hall from the office to Victor's room, and a little body getting into Victor's bed.

Sneaky, sneaky.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day

Voting is such a rush. I just love it. Jeremy got up early to vote before work, and then my neighbor and I traded off children to vote in peace.

I was especially grateful that Victor was not accompanying me to the polls because he almost yanked the cord out of the back of my voting maching during the primary election. I pried his hand off the cord just in time.

There were lots of machines set up in our polling station, and although lots of people were there, there was no line. (Good thing, because it's drizzly wet outside.) Jeremy had to wait for about a hour this morning, though. I saw on the news last night that more than 40% of registered voters in our state voted early.

Do you remember about three elections ago when people lamented that the parties were basically the same and voter turnout was super low? No more!

Happy voting, everyone!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Quick Quiz

Question: If a burner catches fire when the potatoes boil over, and flames are leaping out, what will happen if Victor finds the fire extinguisher?

Answer: Victor will pull the trigger and you will end up with plumes of white anti-fire stuff and funny dusty grit all over the kitchen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kodak Gallery

There are new pictures posted on Jer's Superfun Family Extravaganza, including Victor Rides a Bike and the extended Halloween album.

As always, you can email me for the password.

Candy Corn

At 6:15 yesterday I got a call from Jeremy. His boss had come into his office five minutes earlier and said, "You'd better get home. You'll miss trick-or-treating!"

Not one to argue with authority (?), Jeremy got his coat and walked out the door.

Then he called me. "I want to take Victor trick-or-treating!" he said.

"Ummmmmmm . . . okay." I said.

And then I called my mother, who suggested that if I had some orange posterboard, I could make a candy corn costume to match the headband Liz had sent.

Lucky for me, I have lots of posterboard for my new calling. Even luckier, I had yellow, orange, and white posterboard, and an orange sweater (thanks, Wardlings).
Twenty minutes later, we had this:

And seven houses later we had this:

And Zeke did this and this:

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Family Costume

The Ottoman

Here is a picture of my "new" ottoman. The top is the only part I replaced. I had lost a fair number of the nailheads over the years, so I just used what I had left.


Today I learned a new word.

irenic: favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, and concilliation

It's from the Greek word eirene, peace.

Used in a sentence:

"But there has long been a small but cohesive evangelical left that chafed under the weight of such identification, actively distanced itself from such leaders, and sought to emphasize economic equity, social justice, environmental stewardship and a more irenic foreign policy."

---from The Obama Dilemma, by Wilfred M. McClay, published in today's Wall Street Journal online opinion page(

Party Pooper

Victor does not have a Halloween costume. Neither do Zeke or Jeremy. I do not have a Halloween costume.

We don't have a pumpkin. We are not going to any parties. We have not decorated our house with cobwebs or spooky sounds or even a wreath (although I do have on in the attic.)

I have put up my Halloween-themed mini decorative plates.

And thanks to Aunt Liz, we have a headband with a large fabric candy corn on top and some plastic spider rings and a pumpkin Pez dispenser.

So no, we're not really doing Halloween this year beyond the obligatory handing-out of candy. (I always make the trick-or-treaters say Trick or Treat.) I don't feel remotely bad about it. There are so many years to come. Maybe we'll do Halloween next year.

Or maybe not.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Use it up, wear it out, make it do . . .

Today I did my first ever upholstery project. The subject was my little cylindrical ottoman. Its top had pulled apart, revealing the foam. It was very ugly.

In the interest of thrift and conservation, I decided to recover the top of my ottoman. I bought some fabric and put it in my closet.

This afternoon, in a fit of motivation, I pulled off the old, torn top. Then I pulled off--carefully--the band of trim and the nailheads holding it on.

Next, I used our staplegun to staple the new fabric over the foam. After it was on, I trimmed off the excess with scissors.

Finally, I reattached the band of trim and hammered in the nailheads.

I've got to say it looks pretty good. It's a big improvement, anyway.

Fire Extinguisher Services

One of the more interesting things I remember about "becoming" a grownup is when I started to notice all of the different careers out there.

When you ask a group of young people what they want to be, what do they say?






Nobody says, Fire Extinguisher Salesman? And yet, this morning as I drove home from the pediatrician's office (flu shots), I saw a minivan outfitted for business with FESSINC written on the side.

That's Fire Extinguisher Sales and Services, Inc. They sell and service fire extinguishers, train employees as to fire extinguishers, clean carpets, and eliminate pests. Their clients are restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia. (I got all this from their van.)

It got me thinking of all the people I know and their various professions-- professions you don't immediately think of, but which provide sufficient goods and services to a sufficient clientel to earn their owners a living.

So the next time you meet a young person searching for his calling, you might recommend he drive down the road at 10 AM and look at all the work vans. There are lots of options.

Or you could just recommend fire extinguisher sales.

Monday, October 27, 2008


As I was cooking pancakes for lunch, I said to Victor, "I hear you are learning I Am a Child of God in Nursery. Can you sing it to me?"

"No. I can't sing it," he replied.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because. . . "

"Because what?" (This was wishful thinking.)

"Because I am eating."

Oh. Duh.


This morning Victor brought me some nail clippers and said, "Trim my fingernails, please?"

That's something I don't hear every day.

Hooray for Pie

Happy Anniversary to Elizabeth and Peter!

We're so glad you're part of our family.

May you celebrate many more years of pie-eating.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Great Discovery

I have discovered that if I lock shut the closet doors in the boys' room, Victor can't get into the closet.

And if Victor can't get into the closet, he can't get the air freshener and empty half the can into the carpet. (Boy, is that room smelling fresh!)

Nor can he get to the Triple Paste or A&D ointment and smear them on the wall, Dog, and himself.

Nor can he dispense lotion onto his hands and the floor.

Nor can he empty the changing table/dresser (which is in the closet) of its contents and fill Zeke's crib with diapers, socks, blankets, and sheets.

I am just so pleased with my discovery. It has saved me an hour of work tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Kraut

All right, you disgruntled Republicans (Kristy, this means you!)--

I want you to head on over to the Washington Post website and read your weekly Krauthammer.

I promise you'll feel better when you're done.

(And all of you Democrats can keep on feelin' fine!)


I think it is safe to say that Zeke has appreciated the fun of peek-a-boo for a couple of months now.

But this week he has learned how to actually play peek-a-boo. If we are playing, he will put his pants (or whatever it is) over his own face and then pull them off, laughing.

He's so sweet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Victor's latest interest is in locks. He's been trying to work the locks on the front and back doors for about a year now, and he's almost got them. He can get the key into the deadbolt, but he hasn't mastered the turning.

We'll be needing a new way to secure the doors once he gets it.

He's more recently in love with the little doorknob push locks on the bedroom and bathroom doors. When I send him to time out, he goes into his room and locks the door. I think he has fun in there. I clearly need a new form of punishment.

He also locks the bathroom door so Zeke can't get in. (Zeke looooves to play in the toilet.) Unfortunately, if the door is locked, none of us can get in. (I'm getting better with the bent paper clip, though.)

But the funniest is when he wants to do something naughty in the kitchen when I'm in my bedroom. He comes into my room, pushes the lock on the doorknob, and shuts the door. I don't think he realizes that all he's done is lock himself out.

I'm glad his little brain is learning to make and execute plans.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Victor is telling Zeke, right now, in an ominous tone of voice,

"That's not for you. That's dangerous. That's dangerous piano. That's not for you. No piano."

(The funny thing is that they are allowed to play the piano as long as they only use their fingers.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Good Suggestion

The other morning I told Victor to turn off the TV.

He turned off the TV.

Then he looked at me and suggested, "Mom have to go to bathroom. Go sit."

It was so transparent it was cute. And now I know why my parents always seemed to know what we were up to. I think the phrase "been there, done that" probably applies.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cleaning House

Today we took a trip to Goodwill and dropped off a bunch of stuff. Just stuff--nothing that had been used in years, even though it was perfectly servicable.

It's cathartic to clean out old stuff. Today, it was stuff I've been wishing would disappear for years because I couldn't quite decide to throw it away. But I finally put it in the Goodwill bag and then into the car and then dropped it off at Goodwill. It was a lot of stuff.

The house feels less heavy. Light shines into new corners. I could finally organize the back bedroom. You can come and stay in it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Zeke's eighth tooth poked through today.

He now has four on top and four on bottom.

Does anyone need a . . .

--set of directors chairs from Pier One, dark wood with khaki seats and backs

--unused backyard volleyball set, complete with uninflated volleyball

--book about Laura Bush

--pair of crocheted pictures involving geese, framed in the early 1990s

--artifical ivy plant in basket, medium size

If you or a loved one needs any of these items, please let me know. They are yearning to bless someone's life instead of my back bedroom.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Zeke has cut his seventh tooth. This one is on the top left, second from the middle.

This one appeared with a minimum of drool and crankiness, for which I am grateful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Signs

Political yard signs are like a natural part of the landscape to a person reared in New Hampshire, like me. When we moved to California and later Utah, I remember being surprised at the tepid political involvement of our neighbors. Nobody had signs!

Well, I've been watching our local signs for months now. ALL of the early signs were for Obama, but in the past few weeks the McCain signs and more Obama signs have appeared.

It warms my heart and quickens my pulse. Election season is so exciting!

There is a wide selection of signs besides the run of the mill Obama Biden and McCain Palin:

Democrats for McCain

North Carolina is Obama Country

And my personal favorite, and Obama sign with a color photo of the candidate himself.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Boom

Does anyone but me think the new Volkswagen Routan commercials with Brooke Shields are funny?

I think they're really funny.

Year's Supply

I have a year's supply of the following items:

Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Beef Bouillon
D Batteries
Canned diced tomatoes
Cake mix
Hot Cocoa
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Toilet bowl cleaner

Friday, October 10, 2008


Today I saw something I had never seen before: pro-life protesters. There were about six of them, men and women, standing on the sidewalk along the street across from Planned Parenthood. They were holding signs about protecting life and voting pro-life.

It was all very quiet, not inflammatory, not angry. And I was glad these people cared enough to stand outside and hold those signs. And I hope they influenced someone for good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Victor's Stash

The other day, Victor held up a piece of paper and said, "I write my name." There were marks on the paper, and I didn't recall giving him a pen, so I was concerned.

"Victor," I said, "will you please bring me your pen? You're not in trouble. Just bring me your pen."

He leaned down and reached under the couch and emerged with two pens. He brought me the pens and I thanked him.

That was my first inkling that Victor, true to what I have read about toddlers, had a stash.

Today, after changing three messy diapers that smelled like MINT, I decided to take a peek under the couch.

Now I know where all my gum has gone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not So Free

Yesterday we had a very expensive outing . . . to the public library. Victor had, um, removed six pages from a book about trains, and since it couldn't be mended, we had to buy the book. I had him tell the librarian what he had done and apologize.

The librarian was very nice, but the book was still $16.50.

Then it turns out that DVDs are only 7-day items, not 21-day like I had thought. So that was another $10.00. The librarian said I'd have to talk to the branch manager about getting it reduced.

They say freedom isn't free, and now I know it's true.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Dream

I think it would be fun to act in a commercial. I would particularly like to be in one of those commercials for products that are only available in special TV offers.

I would like to be the person who demonstrates the problem the product will solve. It must be so fun to heave a mighty sigh and roll your eyes as you water plants--how tedious!

Or I could be the person who winces in pain as I try to pick up an item on the floor or reach an item on a high shelf.

Or I could even throw up my hands in frustration at my disorganized purse.

Doesn't it sound like fun? So if any of you out there need a frustrated/expasperated/wincing actress for your commercial, just give me a call.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sorry, Prophet

Conference is hard for two-year-olds. Our rule is that quiet must be maintained in the TV room. Victor did pretty well, but he was sent to his room for excessive noise during President Monson's talk this morning.

When he came back he said, "Sorry, Mom and Dad. Sorry, Prophet."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My First Yard Sale

Today we participated in the annual neighborhood garage sale. Despite a slow start, we came out ahead $38.38.

I'm perplexed about that $0.38, because everything was priced in whole dollars. I don't know who paid in pennies, because we had simply left a box labeled "Put Money In Box" outside with the items. That was Jeremy's idea.

I did go outside from time to time to answer questions and accept lower offers.

I am satisfied with the result because I'd rather have $38.38 than put the items back in my house.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Pictures

Oh boy oh boy oh boy . . .

New pictures have been posted on Jer's Super Fun Family Extravaganza.

So if you ever wanted to see Victor and Zeke go on a Dad ride, or Victor feed Zeke some baby food, or this season's version of my curly hair, this is your big chance.

Shoot me an email if you'd like the password.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sneaking up on us on little cat feet

"I don't know what was so great about the Depression, but that's the name they gave it."

--Nancy Pelosi, speaking of the Great Depression on the floor of the House today


Do you watch Life? It's a great show. You should try it.

Musical Treat

If any of you were lucky enough to be in Harris Teeter tonight, you were also treated to what appeared to be music entirely in German.

The music was in all styles: German country, German pop, German drinking songs. It was like Oktoberfest in there: Oom-pa-pa and accordians and singing children. I felt like marching down the aisles, but I was snickering too much to march.

A store employee explained to me that the manager had selected the music because he thought it was relaxing.


It was energizing, amusing, and perplexing, but it was not relaxing, per se. I actually felt like I was in a foreign country.

Peter Pan

We only own one Disney movie, and it happens to be Peter Pan. Lucky for me, Victor adores Peter Pan.

Except for at bedtime, that is. At bedtime, he tells Jeremy that the clock in his room is the crocodile, that Peter Pan is on the roof, and that Peter Pan is going to come to his window.

Jeremy's mother says this is a perfect opportunity to help Victor begin to understand what is real and what is not. I'm not sure I'm well equipped to do that. First I have to be sure I don't believe in Peter Pan myself.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Zeke cut his sixth tooth yesterday. He now has two on top and four on the bottom.

He has also discovered that he can make an intriguing noise by rubbing his top and bottom teeth against each other. Yowch!

Victor Talks Politics

When Victor drives his cars around the house, he talks out loud. From what I hear, he is making up dialogue between his cars.

This morning, Victor was driving two cars on the table and I heard, "I'm John McCain. I'm John McCain."

Not sure if I heard him correctly, I pointed at one of the cars (a yellow Mustang, if you're interested) and asked him, "Who's this?"

"Barack Obama," he replied.

I am so pleased that we are creating a political atmosphere in our home.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Little Weed

Zeke had his nine month checkup today, sans Victor, who was playing at a friend's house (thanks, Joan!).

Zeke weighs 18 lbs 8 oz and is 30 inches long. That means that in nine months he's gained 9 lbs 3 oz and grown 8 1/4 inches. He's held generally steady in the 90th percentile for height and around the 25th percentile for weight. Way to grow, Zeke.

I was all ready to answer the same developmental questions asked of my cousin as described in her post a week ago, but alas! Zeke's doctor asked different questions. So I did the best I could.

Does he get himself into a sitting position? Yes. Does he know his name? Yes. Does he pull up? Yes. Does he walk along the furniture? Yes. Does he play peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake? Yes, if pulling a towel of his head and laughing counts as peek-a-boo. (It does.) Does he say any words? No. But he does reserve the "da" sound for when Jeremy is around. And he says "mummmm mummm mummm" when he's upset.

I was all ready to say that he doesn't understand "no" or perform commands (one-step or otherwise), but nobody asked about that.

Of further interest, his soft spot is now leathery.

Happily, according to Dr. Young, he looks perfectly healthy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Church Clothes

Victor has done me the favor of growing out of his church clothes again. You know that tipping point, where clothes go from a little snug to way too small, seemingly overnight? Well, we passed it on Saturday night. And on Sunday, nothing fit.

So I'm on a quest for some new duds for Victor. It's proving more difficult than I expected. Gymboree has let me down!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Victor Makes a Phone Call

Victor loves to talk on the phone, as many of you have observed first hand. He also likes to pretend to talk on the phone.

This morning, Victor decided to "call" his friend Janiah. He picked up the phone and said, "Hi Janiah. This s Victor. How are you doing?" He then proceeded to chatter away until he said, "Oh. Just a minute. This phone is dead."

It was super funny.

A Terrific Book

I just finished a terrific new book. It's called The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, by Galen Beckett.

This book has everything: love, intrigue, mystery, humor, disappointment, longing, nature, magic, romance, ghosts, society, you name it, you got it.

The fun thing is that it's inspired by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, with bits of Hardy and even a line or two of Oscar Wilde.

I hope this has tempted you to read this book!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chomp Chomp Chomp

Three cheers for Zeke--he cut his fifth tooth yesterday. The new arrival is the top front tooth on the right.

I can see more teeth straining to pop through the poor little guy's gums, and he's a drooly mess, so stay tuned for more exciting announcements about his dental development.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Financial Meltdown

Here is an article about the current financial troubles that I found helpful and instructive. It answered my question: if 6.4% of mortgages are in default and 93.6% are not, why the big crisis in banking?

Read here to learn one key reason:

Thank you, Wall Street Journal.

Singing Time: week 1

Today was my first day as the Primary Chorister.

It started with a bang when Zeke threw up all over my blouse right before the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting. It was so gross. Fortunately, I was in the mother's room. Sabrina, bless her, said, "Don't worry. I'll help you!"

And help she did. We wiped off my shirt and changed Zeke's shirt, and then he stayed with her while I went to the ladies' room to wash out the smell as best I could.

And that is why I went to Primary with half of my shirt wet today.

Lucky for me it was a black shirt.

I retrieved the baby and tracked down Jeremy for the hand off and got the pictures I needed. By then I had missed the wiggle songs.

And did I mention that the Stake Primary President was visiting today?

The actual singing time went okay. Our dynamics Slinky was terrific. Katie, please thank your ward's Primary chorister for me.

Next week will hopefully be better and lack the vomit drama.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Helpful Skill

Victor has learned to blow his nose.

It's a very helpful skill.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Something New

One thing I enjoy about church is the opportunity to try new things.

Actually, I only care about that when I'm not particularly enthused about my calling. When I have a calling I love, I'm not remotely interested in trying anything new.

This week, to my great surprise, I got the opportunity to try something new. Very new. Very, very new. And it has a deadline, too, at which time my skills will be on display for the judgment and evaluation of the whole ward.

Can you guess? That's right. I'm the new Primary Chorister. And our Primary Program is Nov. 9.

This is going to be a grand adventure.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Gas!

We got word today that Hurricane Ike was likely to disrupt our gasoline supply, so we headed out to fill up the cars.

Since Jeremy works so far away, I figured that we should have as much gas as possible on hand. And since Gov. Easley forbade anyone from raising prices more than 20 cents, there was nothing to stop me--and everyone else in our town--from gassing up.

And everybody did gas up, because most of the gas stations were out of gas by this evening.

Imagine: an artificially low price led to overconsumption. It's like the whole city read Thomas Sowell this afternoon and knew what to do.

Pilot (1993)

It's been a not-so-hot week at our house.

So this afternoon, while the boys are napping, I am indulging in the Pilot episode of the X-Files. The Sci-Fi channel has kindly broadcast it for me this afternoon.

"I have plenty of theories," says Mulder.

What a show!

No Day Report III

We had three successful and Victor-initiated toilet-usings on Wednesday, and one on Thursday.

They are not solely brought on by time-outs and bedtime, which I suppose is good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Purple!

Great news, everybody.

The black marker on my dining room carpet has, with the application of rubbing alcohol and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (thanks, Kristy!), faded to purple.

I am sure you are all as relieved as I am at this development.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Honest Merchant

Today, I had a positive consumer interaction with ChemDry of the Triad (recommended to me by Frank from Fibernew, who cleans our couch). It was positive because it was honest.

I called to ask if they could remove permanent marker from a large section of my dining room carpet.

The answer was no.

I asked if they could lighten it.

The answer was maybe, but no guarantee. Permanent marker soaks in quickly, you see.

Yeah. I see it alright.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A New Low

As I was taking the boys' laundry out of the washer today, I was alarmed to see a piece of a book cover stuck to the washer door.
Then I noticed linty-looking stuff all over the clothes.

Yes--in a new low for homemaking, I laundered a book.

That's Not My Monster is no more.

But Wait! There's more . . .

As I removed the clothes from the washer to assess the mess, I found the remains of Curious George and the Dump Truck.

So now I have a washing maching full of debris and a pile of linty, wet clothes.

Don't try this at home, kids.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I love the USA.

But I strongly dislike the chant, "USA, USA, USA!"

It's unimaginative and somehow unattractive.

New Pictures

New photos of the SwindleFun cast are available at Jer's Super Fun Family Extravaganza. The photos are captioned for your extra enjoyment.

Please email me if you would like the password.


Eight Months

Here are three pictures of Victor at 8 months. He was really something. Just look at that hair!

And here are four pictures of Zeke at 8 months.

What a sweet face.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Protests Schmotests

I don't get protesting.

Peaceful marching seems like a good way to get your message out.

But acting like a hooligan? How on earth is that supposed to sway people to your way of thinking? Who wants to adopt the opinions of person who smashes store windows with a bandana tied over his face?

And seriously, turning over trash cans? Ripping up park benches?

Go get a job, Mr. Hooligan.

I sound like one of those anti-hippie squares from 60s and 70s movies, but making a mess on public property is just so unbecoming.

No Day Report II

It happened again. Twice!

Yesterday afternoon, Victor decided to make #2 in the potty completely on his own.

And just now, he went #2 on the potty instead of taking his nap.

If this is Victor's way of rebelling, he can have at it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Day Report

Okay, so ten minutes ago Victor climbed up on the end table and was sent to his room for a time out. (The end table is out of bounds for all climbing, car driving, and ball bouncing.)

When I went into his room to release him, he was in the hall. When he saw me, he knew he was in trouble.

So he resorted to his old get-out-of-jail-free card. "I have to go potty!" He insisted.

I thought he was bluffing.

"Okay. Go ahead and go," I said. And I walked away to change the baby.

Wouldn't you know, he went in, put his little seat on the toilet, took off his shorts and diaper, and went #1 and #2 in the toilet.

(I have long suspected that my presence in the bathroom inhibited production, but I wasn't willing to clean up all the wet mess everywhere.)

Victor received ample praise and the sticker and treat he asked for. He seemed pleased.

Are we starting potty training again? NO.

But it is encouraging to know he has the skills.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chomp Chomp

You can all give Zeke a hearty congratulations.

Today he cut his fourth tooth. It's the lower left, second from the center.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Scream

Yesterday I observed Zeke's best defense against too much brotherly love.

When Victor got too near to Zeke, Zeke let out a piercing shriek/scream.

That child has some great diaphragm support. Between the intense shreiks and the razzing, he'll be a great brass player.

And here's a bad story: Victor, to my horror, gargled his sacarament water on Sunday. It was horrible. I plugged his nose immediately so he'd have to swallow, but our friends who sit in front of us had a hard time keeping straight faces. And these are pious, mature people, mind you.

It was very embarassing.

Madame Speaker

I'm not a Nancy Pelosi fan, but I have got to say that she looked beautiful at the convention yesterday. That blue was gorgeous on her, and I think I've grown to covet those multi-colored pearls she wears so often.

I guess she's a role model after all.

A Bad Trip to Target

This morning was foggy and misty and damp. We skipped our usual outing to the playground and headed to Target.

"But didn't you go to Target yesterday?", you may ask.

Yes, we did. But we only spent $22.51. What kind of a trip to Target is that?

Plus, the kitchen rugs I bought weren't the right kind and didn't look right, and the eyeshadow I wanted wasn't there.

Today we went to the other Target near our house to see if we could find rugs and eyeshadow. We found some better rugs and we found the eyeshadow. So far, so good.

We found some diapers on sale and some stacking drawers that I sincerely hope will help tidy my closet floor.

But we had some problems.

One: the toddler/multi-child carts at this store are different from the kind at the other store. The other ones sit two toddlers next to each other and still let you buckle a baby into the cart seat. They are a little creaky to steer, you constantly kick the toddler part, and a toddler can kick the baby, but they work just fine.

These carts, however, buckle two toddlers facing (more or less) each other. They are much less creaky, but they drift when you walk. Those are mere cosmetic issues. The real defect is that you can't buckle the baby into the seat in the acutal cart. The leg holes are blocked and there is no belt.

So even if you put the baby in the cart seat (facing sideways), baby is free to pull up on the cart handle or seat, creating a real hazard and causing you to hold the baby as you push the drifting cart holding the toddler who keeps yelling, "Go this way. No! Go this way! No! This way! Not this way--this way!"

And then, when you finally get to the one checkout line that is open (and full of shoppers), the diapers ring up to cost $2.50 more than they were marked. And when you ask why, they send a person to look, which holds up the poor people behind you. And the clerk shouts your issue into the walkie-talkie and another clerk takes for-ev-er to figure out whether you bought Baby Dry Pampers or Huggies (I hate Huggies), and finally tell you that you bought the wrong size for the lower price.

No, I didn't. I bought the diapers that were labled with the lower price.

Arrrrrrrrrrrg. So I tell them to take the diapers off my order. And the lady behind me is sympathetic when I apologize because the same thing has happened to her at Target.

I always check my receipt at Target because this kind of thing frequently happens to me there. Once, I found $30 of errors in the store's favor, due mostly to mis-labled items.

Do you ever sing the "Ooo Ooo Ooo, I'm really, really mad" song from Barney? (It's the only Barney song I can stand.) I did today. Well, not out loud--just in my head. But when I took a few deep breaths, the mad still didn't go away. It relaxed some, though, and that's good enough.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holy Cow Is It Raining!

It seems that Faye's residual precipitation has reached the Piedmont.

It is POURING outside. Yesterday we had medium to light rain all day. But it's been raining harder and harder all morning today.

Good points about rain:
--It helps the drought
--It waters the lawn
--The sound is pleasant
--Zeke takes longer naps

Bad points about rain:
--Jeremy may have to mow the lawn this weekend
--We can't go to the park
--Victor broke my umbrella, so if we go anywhere, I'm going to get wet
--Going anywhere is a major production
--We get a little nuts by the late afternoon
--It can make our satellite TV go out

I like the rain, but we'll see how I feel when it's still raining on Friday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mr. Victor the Mailman

Victor started a new game.

He comes us to me with his hand out and says, "Brought some mail for you."

Then I take the (imaginary) mail and look through it saying, "Here's a bill. Here's a magazine. Here's a letter from grandma."

Then I open and read to him a piece or two of the mail.

It's a fun game.

Walking Backwards

When an ostrich wishes to avoid detection, so I'm told, it buries its head in the sand.

When Victor wishes to avoid detection, he walks backwards.

For example: Victor comes into the living room with some food in his hand. I tell him to take his food into the kitchen. He returns to the kitchen.

He then edges back into the living room, taking backwards baby steps.

I tell him to return to the kitchen. He pretends not to hear me. He seems to believe that he cannot, in fact, hear me as long as his back is turned.

We go through this routine whenever Victor knows that he is doing something naughty.


Of all the household tasks, I like laundry best. Sorting clothes? Easy. Putting them in the washer? No problem. Adding soap? Child's play. I even like folding clothes. They always look so neat and orderly when I'm done.

Ironing, however, has always left me cold. I'm not much of a feminist, but ironing invokes all of my visceral reactions to the injustice of things I don't even believe in, like the idea that doing a man's laundry is a form of submission.

But a few months ago, I decided to contribute to the family budget by ironing the shirts and pants that Jeremy wears to work. (Non-iron church shirts never really needed ironing because they looked good enough right out of the dryer to go under a suit jacket.)

(Jeremy's schedule leaves him with a limited number of hours at home. It's better that he play with the boys and mow the lawn during those hours.)

To make my task more palatable, I decided that I could watch TV while I ironed. Thank you, TNT, for Law & Order reruns!

I want to report that my ironing skill has gone from dismal to passable. Also, I find that ironing feeds my appetite for order. Since I've added the boys' super-wrinkly items (which were purchased by mistake) to my ironing pile, I have derived great satisfaction from seeing all of the plaid patterns lined up neatly with the seams.

And to top it all off, when Victor picked up his freshly-ironed shorts this morning he said, "Ooooo. Pretty."

And so I will continue to iron.

For now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ward Split

We had a monster sacrament meeting today. Our ward and the ward to the west were invited, and the building was packed from the pulpit to the stage.

It led the Stake President to ask where on earth all of us were at the last stake conference.

The two wards were divided into three wards. The dividing line is a couple of miles from our house, and we lost about eleven families to the new ward. Jeremy lost his second counselor to our bishopbric, and I lost one of my VT ladies.

I won't say I lost my friends, because they are not lost. They're right there.

Our building will now house three wards. Our ward will meet at 11:00 AM (instead of 11:30), and the new ward will meet at 1:00 PM.

So the million dollar question--to me, not to anyone else in the ward, I am literally the only person who cares--is whether sunday school will now be held in the gym instead of in the chapel.

I believe that if sacrament meeting goes until 12:10 and the next ward needs the chapel at 1:00, then there is no way we can continue to have sunday school in the chapel.

And that makes me--the sunday school teacher--very happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Men's What?

One fun thing about the Olympics is that I learn about sports I have never heard of.

For example, right now, I am watching a 0-0 match between the Netherlands and Germany of men's field hockey.

Men's what?

Since the only field hockey I have ever actually seen was in the Jodi Foster version of Freaky Friday, I assumed it was an exclusively female sport.

I am happy to know that men are also able to play competitive field hockey. The world seems a little more just.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Holy Grail

At the grocery store tonight I found what I had only dreamed existed: Size 7 diapers.

Sure, they are Pampers Cruisers and are therefore more expensive. Sure, there aren't very many in a pack. And sure, I have never actually seen them before which makes me wonder where to get them in a pinch.

But they exist. They exist!

It's one less thing to worry about.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Geico . . .

Victor just said to me:

"Geico. 'Teen minutes, save car insurance."

Wow. That's some advertising slogan they have going.

We're Done

Potty Training Is Over

We will try again in three months.

Last Try

Today I started my Last Try with potty training: brownies.

Victor loooooooooves brownies. He calls them "cake."

He gets a bite of brownie for going in the potty. Two bites for #2.

This morning he wore a diaper while we made the brownies. After they were done I asked him if he needed to go potty.

He said no.

I said, "If you go to the potty, you get to have some cake."

Would you believe it, he went right in, sat right down, and went. Ha!

Then he had a messy accident. Sigh!

We'll see how this goes. If it doesn't work, we'll wait three months and try again. And we'll hope he doesn't grow out of the size 6 diapers.

Zeke's Big Day

Zeke is having a big day.

This morning, after three weeks of trying, he crawled! The inducement? A hard plastic, green and yellow stegosaurus.

He really wanted it.

Zeke seemed to pick up on the mechanics of crawling after his first few little trips across the rug. I think he might realize that it is a form of locomotion.

Victor took about three weeks to go from first crawl to crawling everywhere, but he was only six months old. We'll see how it goes for Zeke, who's almost eight months.

I sincerely hope this alleviates whatever problem is causing poor Zeke to cry unless he's sitting on my lap.

Go, Zeke, Go!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 46 Report

Today I gave up.

Not permanently, perhaps.

But Victor wore a pull-up to the park, and I just kept him in diapers for the rest of the day.

I didn't have the strength.

Official Tally:
1 pair of underwear, which stayed dry
1 sticker
1 pull-up
several diapers

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 45 Report

Official Tally:
4 stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1 pull-up at Costco (wet)
1 diaper during naptime (wet)
2 wet accidents
1 BM on the potty

There was significantly less resistance to using the toilet today. When he was successful, the prize he requested was a call to Dad. Dad was, of course, wonderfully enthusiastic.

It's amazing that in two and a half years Victor has grown from a newborn who can't do anything into a person who can greet his dad on the telephone and then tell him that he just used the potty.

These numbers (especially the number of pairs of underwear) seem encouraging, but I am leary of a pattern I observed during our first month: a couple of days that seem really good followed by a couple of days when it all comes out.

Also, Victor shows no initiative to go to the toilet on his own. I just observe what time it is and how he's walking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 44 Report, through 4:30 PM

Official Tally:
3 stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1 wet and messy accident
2 wet accidents
1 pull-up during nap (wet)
1 pull-up with the babysitter
1 successful BM on the potty

The BM on the potty happened when I was nursing the baby. I noticed that Victor was wet, and I sent him to finish on the potty and to change his underwear.

Well, when I was done feeding the baby, I got a big surprise. Victor had gone on the potty! Now, the evidence of his success was in other places in addition to in the potty, but it was a great moment nonetheless, and worthy of much praise.

Our potty training day ended at 4:30 PM when I had to go up to Girls Camp. I was the evening speaker.

The camp is very nice. On my drive I saw tobacco fields and had to stop for a flock of wild turkeys. I thought, "If Liz is scared of deer, what would she make of this?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 43 Report

Official Tally:
7 stickers
8 pairs of underwear
2 half accidents
4 wet accidents, including one at the park and one wet bed
1 messy accident

Compared to yesterday (1 sticker), this is an improvement. I was discouraged today, but looking at the numbers, we are improving.

I was surprised that Victor had an accident at the park today. He has always stayed dry before.

It's also surprising that he is no longer dry after his nap. Perhaps that is because his naps are still on Utah time, but his meals are on NC time.

Also of note, Victor has developed the ability to tell which cereals are good, and which have no sugar. He actually refused his unfrosted shredded wheat the other day because "there's no sugar." I have no idea how he came up with that.

And when he spied a box of Lucky Charms in a grocery bag on Saturday, he said, "Ooooooo," ran over to it, pulled it out, and kept saying, "that's great. That's great." I guess those people in the packaging department at General Mills are doing their job.

Funny--he wants Lucky Charms but not Kashi shredded wheat.

Zeke likes to chew on cords.

Day 42 Report

We wore pull-ups to church. It was a good choice.

Official Tally:
1 sticker
1 pair of underwear
3 pull-ups

Yes, you read that correctly. One sticker.

I am pretending that this is just a really long, overdue extinction burst.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 41 Report

Saturday, August 9 was Day 41.

Official Tally:
2 stickers
5 pairs of underwear
5 wet accidents
1 messy accident

Of note, in late afternoon I realized that Victor had disappeared into the back bedroom and was being very quiet. I said to Jeremy, "Excuse me. Victor is having a messy accident."

I was right.

Also of note, there were no half accidents. All accidents were full.

I had been waffling on whether to continue or wait three months and try again. We're going to press forward. Since Victor wears size 6 diapers and size 3T-4T pull-ups, I think going forward might be our only option.

To avoid as much frustration as possible, I have decided to only make positive comments. When Victor had an accident on the bathroom floor, Jeremy thought I was nuts, but I praised him for going in the bathroom instead of in the dining room or kitchen. How's that for positive reinforcement?

Days 24 - 40 Summary

I took about 20 pairs of Victor underwear to Utah and Idaho.

He wore two pairs, on Day 29, I think.

We had a great moment on Day 25. Victor was filthy after a day of vigorous reunion-ing. During his bath, Victor stood up with an intense need. Jeremy quickly perceived his trouble, plucked him out of the bath, and plunked him down on the toilet. And then, success!

I was very proud of Victor. And now I know that he can feel #2 coming and hold it in (at least for a little while) until he's on the toilet.

But then Victor got sick and we had to drive all over creation and the suggestion of a toilet resulted in meltdown.

We stuck to pull-ups and diapers for the rest of the trip, and didn't go back to training when we got home because Zeke and I were sick.

On Saturday morning, though, Victor put on his underwear. So we're back on the crazy train.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Zeke is sick, I am sick, and Victor is sick of the potty.

So we're on hiatus for a while, moving slowly and doing one thing at a time.

Once we're feeling better we'll resume the potty training. But I'm not sure where to go now. Vacation derailed everything and I am encountering massive resistance most of the time.

I've been reading a lot about the power of being positive, but I'm not sure I belive it. Maybe I'll give it a try, just for kicks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

We're Home

After a wonderful trip, we're home again.

Both boys were overjoyed to see their own beds again. There's just no place like home.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And here we have Idaho . . .

We have spent the last three days enjoying the great state of Idaho. The weather has been beautiful. I can hardly believe it's as hot as the thermometer says.

Visiting family is more complicated now that we have children to tend. We have to make sure Victor doesn't wander off and that Zeke stays out of the sun. (That's harder than it sounds.)

Victor and Zeke are generally pleasant children, but when they miss meals and naps and play time, they fall apart.

Fortunately, we have lots of aunts and uncles and grandparents who have helped with the boys. Liz and Candice were life savers today. Liz accompanied Victor as he followed a dog he liked, and Candice showed him how to balance a spoon on his nose.

It's been wonderful to see all of my cousins and to visit all of the family sites. I hadn't been to Chesterfield in years.

When I was young, I thought Idaho was ugly. But I was wrong. It's really lovely.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Today we flew to Utah. Victor thoroughly enjoyed flying on an airplane and riding the shuttle bus from long term parking.

The four of us sat in one row, and it wasn't too bad. Zeke and Victor were downright good.

There was some crying from Victor when Zeke dropped a Matchbox car on his head. It was a 1957 Cadillac, so it really hurt.

There was also a moment of panic when the baby's rice cereal went flying. Most of the escaped cereal hit Victor's left leg, but some of it hit the man in front of us. Jeremy tapped him on the shoulder to apologize, but he waved it off. What a nice man.

The flight was just under four hours. Victor used the potty twice. Zeke used a diaper at least three times.

Jeremy adds that Victor flushed the toilet while sitting on it, which created a scary vaccuum noise and sensation. Fortunately, Victor gets a rush out of being startled (he has since he was a baby), so he thought it was funny.

Day 23 Report

Day 23 went pretty well.

Thanks to Aunt Liz's comment from Day 22, I am now wondering what on earth we will do in Utah.

I suppose they have toilets in Utah, but what if they aren't the same?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 22 Report

Today we started fresh and tried to get back on track.

The timer is out. I observed that it merely signaled him to have an accident.

The poop button was tremendous fun, though. We'll stick with it.

I also kept a log of what he did today and when. I hope to compare it to future data and see trends.

Finally, when Victor threw fits about sitting on the potty, I told him that we had to practice standing and sitting, even if we didn't have to go. He was almost okay with standing on his stool with his underwear up while I counted to ten. It seemed to take some pressure off.

Official Tally:
10 stickers
4 pairs of underwear (1 stayed dry)
1 pull-up (got wet on a long car ride)
1 diaper (stayed dry)
1 BM in the potty
3 wet accidents
1 messy accident

July Pictures

Photos of our July adventures are now posted on Jer's Superfun Family Extravaganza.

You can email me for the password.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 20 Report?

I have lost track of what day we are on.

Friday and Saturday were not terribly successful. We had some stickers, some tree watering, some messy accidents, and an increasing number of wet accidents.

We were also having lots of fun with Grandma Nancy.

After our second wet accident on Sunday morning and an tantrum on the potty, I pulled out The Idiot's Guide to Potty Training. I read two helpful sections.

First, tantrums are normal. Treat them like any other tantrum, and tell the child that after he is calm, he still has to sit on the potty. I'll try it.

Second, I read the section on constipation. The book said that messy accidents may be uncontrollable when you have this problem. Poor Victor has all the signs. I feel bad for being frustrated with his lack of pooping on the potty now that I know about his trouble.

Our action plan is to get him to drink more. Lots more. I think I'll make another sticker chart for drinking. I may even resort to juice. (We avoid juice around here--I don't want a juice fiend.) Maybe we'll have drinking times during the day.

Perhaps frustration with the messy accidents led to regression on the dryness front. I suspect that it did.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another Breakthrough!

Zeke has a third tooth! It is on the bottom right, second from the center.

Three teeth explains our drooly, chewy, cranky baby.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 19 Report

Official Tally:
11 stickers
4 pairs of underwear
0 serious BM
1 messy accident
3/4 wet accident
0 accidents while shoe shopping
1 urgent insistance on going to the potty

Our potty dance button had no discernable effect today.

Although Victor got out of bed to make a theatrical attempt at BM.

Which was funny.

A Breakthrough!

Today we had a true breakthrough at our house. Zeke cut his first two teeth!

They are the middle teeth on the bottom. They were first spotted as Zeke chewed vigorously on a spoon after his dinner.

I am pretty sure this is a permanent breakthrough, and that there will be no regressing.

Maybe not

We just had a 3/4 accident. Grandma noticed; Victor did not initiate.

So maybe there was no breakthrough.

A Breakthrough?

Three minutes ago, Victor urgently clutched his underwear and started dancing in place. I can't remember what he said, but his need was clear.

Since the shower was occupied, we ran outside and Victor watered a bush.

I'm going to call this initiative and hope it's a breakthrough.

Day 18 Report

Official Tally:
11 stickers
a bunch of underwear
1 1/2 messy accidents
2 wet accidents
0 accidents at the park

Grandma Nancy found a new reward for BM in the potty. It's a big black and orange button that plays Wild Thing when you push it. It sits high up above the over-the-range microwave where Victor can see it.

When Victor makes BM in the toilet, he gets to push the button and we all dance around. He also gets a sticker.

It's a big hit so far. We'll see if it actually motivates toilet use.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm Stuck

Victor has a new way of resisting commands. He makes a great show of trying to obey, and then pronounces, "I'm stuck." Or, "I can't reach it." Or, "It's too hard."

Mom: "Victor, close the door to Mama's bedroom."

Victor [putting one foot in the way of the door and then closing it as far as it will go]: "Can't Mama. Can't. My foot's stuck."

Another favorite is:

Mom: "Victor, come here please."

Victor [lying on the ground]: "I'm stuck. I'm stuck."

I didn't think two year olds could do this sort of thing yet. It's kind of funny, but I never laugh at him. I don't want to encourage a behavior that will no longer be charming when he's five.

Day 17 Report

We're almost three weeks in, and we've hit a wall. I fear these posts are getting tedious, but for the sake of recording history, we must press on, dear readers.

Official Tally:
11 stickers
2 pull-ups
4-ish pairs of underwear
1 wet accident at the science center
2 or 3 messy accidents

Grandma Nancy and Victor went on an outing this morning to the science center and McDonald's. They had a wonderful time, and Victor used the potty 5 times.

He ought to have used it 6 times, but it's difficult to remember when you're two and playing at the boat table.

We're still butting against the BM wall. I think it's a diet issue, at least in part. We've cut the cheese and introduced raisin bran. We're also trying to get him to drink more water, but it's hard to convince him that he's thirsty.

I also realized that I haven't been checking his pants and praising their dry-ness. We'll have to start doing that again.

We had a great moment in the late afternoon when Victor announced with some urgency that he needed to water a tree. We opened the door, and out he went . . . and kept going.

(His new favorite game is to run out the front door and in the back door.)

Maybe I'll get desperate and start rewarding BM with cookies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 16 Report

Morning: Good
Afternoon: Not So Good

Official Tally:
7 Stickers
2 pairs of underwear
2 pull-ups
2 messy accidents
1 wet accident
o accidents at Target, Supercuts, and the grocery store

A new pattern is emerging: good morning, not-so-good late afternoon. We also continue to have severe resistance to being told to go use the potty.

My set the timer/show him the stickers strategy has resulted in refusal to use the potty unless the timer goes off AND he feels like he has to go. Sigh.

We bought new stickers today that Victor finds very exciting. They helped a little.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 15 Report

Today was better.

Official Tally:
8 stickers
4 pairs of underwear
1 pull-up
2 messy accidents
1 wet accident

Resistance to being told to use the potty continues. I discovered that the resistance occurred when he didn't really have to go. So I have spaced his potty times further apart.

Also, I show him the stickers for his chart in the morning and we talk about which ones he wants. Then I hang them up high on the refrigerator, where he can see them but can't get them (unless he gets a chair, which I can usually hear and head off).

A few minutes before I want him to sit on the potty, I tell him that before our next daily event, be it Sesame Street or lunch or going outside to play or Banzuke, the timer will go off and it will be time to go to the potty. Then I set the timer and remind him that he'll get a sticker once he goes.

When the timer goes off, I act excited. And if I've timed it right, Victor gets excited and marches in to the potty and goes. Ta-da!

If I've timed it badly, Victor flops on the floor and won't cross the bathroom threshhold. I say, "Oh, you don't have to go? Okay. March into the potty when you have to go. I know you can do it."

We'll see how it works tomorrow. Jeremy's mom is in town, so we'll have lots of extra praise and encouragement for Victor.

The pull-up was a precautionary measure while we were visiting teaching. I didn't think it was right to risk someone else's carpet. He kept it dry, though.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 14 Report

Official Tally:
6 stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1 pull-up
1 wet accident
0 messy accidents
0 accidents at church

Today got off to a bad start. Victor threw a fit every time it was time to sit on the potty. Jeremy accidentally left the door unlocked and Victor ran outside and had a big wet accident in the yard.

So we put on a pull-up for church. After yesterday and this morning, I wasn't up for the drama of underwear.

Church was good. Victor kept his pull-up dry and used the potty twice.

The pull-up stayed dry through his nap, and he refused to sit on the potty after his nap. He finally went after I showed him the sticker he would get AND set a timer to determine when he'd go to the bathroom.

He wanted real underwear after that, which he kept dry until bed.

Bed was interrupted by potty-using. This confirms that he can control himself, which is good.

I have high hopes for tomorrow.

Day 13 Report

Official Tally:
8 stickers
Lots of underwear
3 messy accidents
1 wet accident

We had our worst carpet accident today. Victor's accident was compounded by a little friend of his who stepped in it and, well, you can fill in the rest.

The little friend's mom gave me a great tip about cleaning carpets: use Windex. By golly she was right. Her dad was in a business that knew such things.

I also poured alcohol on it, per Grandma's suggestion. It worked, too.

But it all made for a stressful social engagement. At least it was my own carpet.

It is getting difficult to stay calm about accidents.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Folding table begone!

When Victor started eating solid food I decided that we needed a kitchen table. You know, so we could eat family dinner together.


We had a table in our (carpeted) dining room, but it was much too large for the kitchen. So we thriftily pulled out a small dark wood laminate folding table with dark brown metal legs and set it up. Voila!

The folding table had a few disadvantages.

One, it was unattractive.

Two, the finish started to wear off with cleaning, making it even less attractive.

Three, it was so light that Victor pulled it to his chair instead of vice versa, thus scratching the dickens out of the linoleum under each of the four legs.

Four, one could only sit on the long side of it. But since the long side wasn't very long, it was hard to eat without bumping elbows.

Five, it was very narrow; you could not put serving dishes on the table.

Six, it was unattractive.

Seven, it was dark in a light kitchen and called an undue amount of attention to itself.

Eight, it was unattractive.

So today when Jeremy drove past a yard sale on the way home from missionary meeting and saw a table and chairs, he stopped to look.

We are now the proud owners of a pine table with white legs and four white chairs with pine seats.

Now our kitchen looks finished. The difference in visual weight is marked. Instead of being drawn to the dark table, my eye now goes right over the table and out the window. The dining area looks larger, even though there is more furniture in the room.

Jeremy is also relieved to have four new chairs. It is a constant stressor to him that we might not have enough chairs for everyone when company comes over after a baby blessing. Jeremy is a big fan of having places for guests to sit.

What a great way to spend $30.

Day 12 Report

Official Tally:
7 stickers
8 pairs of underwear
3 messy accidents
Some other accidents

Official Notes:
The underwear tally includes one pair that was removed because Victor sat in orange play-doh, not because he was wet or messy.

The underwear tally also includes one pair of underwear that was dry at the end of the day.

The messy accidents seem related to digestive issues. As such, they are not difficult to clean up.

Today was discouraging. The bright spot is that Victor now resists wearing a diaper at all, and stays dry during naps and even overnight (although less reliably). I am glad he sees himself as a boy who wears underwear.

He has been asking to wear pants this week (we skip them unless we're going out in the car--why launder 8 pairs of shorts with the 8 pairs of underwear?). Maybe I can use that desire as motivation.

In an effort to economize I pulled out some bug and bird stickers that were left over from my mission album to use on Victor's potty chart. But Victor was not as enthusiastic about them (except for the peacock stickers). His interest revived when I found another pack of car stickers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Six Months

I wondered what Victor looked like at Zeke's age. Here is Victor at just about 6 months:

And here is Zeke at approximately the same age:

Oh, that hair!

And then there's Zeke

You may be wondering how Zeke spends his days. What does he do during potty training, you ask. I will tell you.

Zeke likes to play on the floor near Victor. He sits with a little pile of trucks and tries to pick them up and chew on them. Victor takes away some trucks and gives him others.

Eventually, Zeke falls over.

When we go to the park, Zeke spends the first half of the time in the stroller and then fusses to be picked up. I hold him for the second half. He also likes the baby swing.

When we go to the science center, the same drill applies, minus the swing.

Zeke spends a large potion of his day blowing bubbles and raspberries at me and giggling.

He loves to eat rice cereal from his high chair, without the tray. He also likes bananas, pears, and green beans. He's less hot on squash and peaches.

Zeke wakes up for breakfast around 7:30 a.m. He takes a nap around 9:00 a.m. and wakes up for lunch around 11:00 a.m. Then he takes another nap some time in the afternoon. We're still working on getting a set time.

By 4:30 p.m., Zeke is up and wants to eat and be held.

He gets crankier and crankier until Dad gets home around 7:00 p.m. Then he cries flat out until Dad picks him up. He is Dad's monkey passenger until he eats again around 8:30 p.m.

Then he goes to bed and sleeps all night until breakfast.

What a life, eh?

Day 11 Report

Here we are at Day 11. Today was less encouraging than yesterday, but I think I have confirmed one of our main obstacles. As Victor told me, "It hurts make poop." Oh dear.

6 pairs of underwear
1 wet accident
3 messy accidents
10 stickers
0 accidents at the park

Victor did take initiative on one pottying. He said, "I go water tree." And since I'm one to reward initiative, I opened the door and out he went.

The other day Liz told me a funny story about potty training in which the punch line was a mother who opened the door to let her son go potty outside. Except I didn't realize that was the punch line. It sounded like such a good idea.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 10 Report

Our return to Mom-prompted pottying was a great success today. Relieved of the pressure of doing all of the work on his own, Victor used the potty with very little complaint (and watered the trees with gusto).

1 pair of underwear
10 stickers
0 accidents
1 tree watered
1 tree dunged (oops)

We are going on an airplane in two weeks, so this is a good time to master the potty.

We also made a new potty chart for Victor today. This one says "Victor Uses the Potty" across the top. How's that for concrete praise!


Victor used a new word on Tuesday. I don't usually remark on new words, but this one was particularly noticable.

The word is "because."

I asked Victor a question. He answered, "Because." He repeated it throughout the day.

For example:

Me: "Victor. Why are you standing on the chair?"

Victor: "Because. Be-cause"

We'll have to work on stringing the real answer after the because.

And if he says, "Because there are no fishbones in ice cream," I'll know Grandpa Munk has been up to something!

Day 9 Report

Today I decided to let Victor use the potty when he felt he needed to go. Instead of helping him feel excited and independent, I think he felt less successful and more defiant.

We will return to the Mom Reminder system tomorrow, and try the independent system again later.

Official Tally:
10 stickers
8 pairs of underwear
3 messy accidents
several half accidents
1 fully independent potty-using
0 accidents at the Science Center

The Science Center was the highlight of Victor's day. We hadn't been in a couple of weeks, and he has been asking to go for some time. I thought, "What the heck. Let's go." I put an insurance diaper over his underwear, but both were bone dry when we got home. Victor was very proud of this feat.

He also thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Victor's day got better and better because he got a cheeseburger with pickle and fries for lunch.

We have been napping sans diaper for two days now, with perfect success, so far. He has been waking up dry from his nap for at least 6 months, though, so it's not much of a risk. And really, cleaning sheets is much easier than cleaning carpet.

Another banner note is that Victor woke up yesterday morning and today with a dry diaper. This morning he went to the potty without prompting before he ate his breakfast. That's saying something, because Victor really, really loves his breakfast.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 8 Report

It's the start of Week 2! Victor is doing spectacularly well on the potty. Today we went through:

11 stickers
2 pairs of underwear
1/8 accident
0 messy accidents
1 totally independent potty experience, with good aim

I still remind him to use the potty every hour or so. I check his underwear frequently and act very excited when it is dry. It's not an act--I am excited.

As he becomes more aware of when he needs to go, he resists my suggestions more vehemently. I think I will restrict required potty-time to before and after naps, before car rides or outings, and when he hasn't gone in a really long time. It will take guts, though.

Constant vigilance is our watchcry!

Day 7 Report

Today Victor wore underwear to church. He also wore underwear home from church, but it was a different pair.

Church Tally:
3 pairs of underwear
1 wet accident
2 pairs of shorts
1 messy accident
4 trips to the bathroom with Dad
0 accidents in Nursery

All in all, not too bad. Although it was Jeremy, not me, that handled all of the potty issues. What a man!

Jeremy also taught Victor to use a urinal. He said it went well, but I can't verify that. The idea of a toilet substitute that requires very little aim is very attractive to me, though. Maybe I'll put it on my dream-house wish list.

The Cards came over for games last night, and Victor showed them his potty chart. They very kindly and enthusiastically admired it. Victor was so proud.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 6 Addendum

Right after I posted our Day 6 Report, in which I expressed our need to help Victor use the bathroom on his own, I heard a tell-tale sound from the bathroom.

That's right--Victor was in the bathroom, standing on his stool, using the toilet. Then he sat on it. He was very happy and proud, and I was happy and proud. We were just like Joshua and his mother in Once Upon a Potty.

It's another step in the right direction. Go Victor!

Day 6 Report

Official Tally:
7+ stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1/8 wet accident
1 messy accident
0 accidents at Home Depot
0 accidents at Little Caesars
0 wetness in his diaper this morning

Our next big step is going to be independance. Either Jeremy or I walk Victor to the potty every hour or so, and he decides if he needs to sit or stand.

So I would say that we're doing well on control, but need to work on initiative. I suppose I could accomplish this by not taking him to the potty every hour or so, and waiting to see what happens, but I don't want to clean up the mess. Is there any other way?

We are going to try church tomorrow. We'll see how it goes!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 5 Report

13 stickers
2 pairs of clean underwear
2 pairs of soiled underwear
1 wet half accident
1 messy accident
0 accidents on our walk
0 accidents on errands with Dad
2 exciting trips up the ladder to the attic

A banner day for Victor!

Day 4 Report

Official Tally:
11 stickers
6 pairs of underwear
2 BMs in the potty
3/4 messy accident (while he was running to the potty)
1 wet accident (but he was standing in the bathroom)
3 1/4 accidents
0 accidents at the park (but he was wearing a diaper--I am not that brave)
0 accidents at the grocery store in his underwear (Jeremy is that brave)

Day 4 was a banner day until 4 p.m. Victor came running in to show me his underwear in the morning after Jeremy had changed his night diaper. He was so excited. But then he had an accident about half and hour later while standing in the bathroom. I think he thought someone was coming to help him.

He then wore the same pair of underwear from about 7:45 a.m. to about 4 p.m. At that point, things went south. We went through three pairs of underwear between 4 and 7 p.m.

While talking to Grandma on the phone, I learned that JoAnn (Mom) was the easiest child in the world to toilet train. Grandma says she didn't even have to explain it--JoAnn just knew what to do. Good thing, too, because she only had three pairs of training pants.

Maybe Victor's pants would have stayed drier if I had not been on the phone.

We continue to improve our BM-in-the-toilet ability. Making BM in the toilet is a huge rush for Victor--he gets sooooooo excited.

The more Victor goes to the potty, the more he identifies with the boys in his potty books. It's like a little light on a little dimmer switch is growing brighter. He was the same way with his Bye Bye Crib book. It's like he derives comfort from sharing an experience with a fictional character. I remember feeling that way.

Finally, props to Jeremy for braving the grocery store with an underwear-clad Victor. Victor was perfectly dry when they got home, and he looked so grown up without a diaper under his shorts, just like a real boy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Victor said "Swindlehurst" for the first time today. It's written on a name plate (with his first name, too) in his copy of Go Dog, Go!, and he used to have me read it over and over and over before we started the story.

Tonight, he asked for Go Dog, Go! for a bedtime story. I happened to open to the name plate, and he looked at it and said "Swindlehurst."

It's such a big name. Hooray for Victor!

Day 3 Report

Official Tally:
13 stickers
7 or 8 pairs of underwear
2 real live actual BMs in the toilet
1 messy accident
0 full wetting accidents
Many 1/4 accidents

The BMs were the real breakthrough. Victor was very, very proud of himself for achieving them.

I have determined that training pants are better than regular underwear. They both hold any wetness against the child, causing appropriate discomfort, and are more likely to keep any wetness away from furniture, carpets, and the like.

Victor has lost interest in having stickers on his hand. Now, we only put stickers on his chart. He gets a real kick out of counting them.

Day 2 Report

Official Tally:
10 stickers
7 pairs of underwear
2 messy accidents
2 wet accidents (after which Victor ran to me yelling, "I had accident!")
1st successful no.2 in the potty (after a 3/4 accident, but who's counting?)

We also had the emergence of a new kind of accident: the 1/4 accident, which is still 3/4 success.

I'm going to go ahead and call it a successful day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 1 Report

Day 1 of potty training went well. Victor earned 8 stickers on his potty chart and wore 7 different pairs of underwear. We had 2 true accidents (1 was messy) and many half-accidents. And we watered our neighbor's tree.

Most importantly, Victor grasped the idea of a potty chart, was excited about counting his stickers throughout the day, and was excited about wearing underwear. At bedtime he tried to explain to Dad that he wore underwear now, not diapers.

All of the potty books we have been reading for six months have paid off. Victor compares himself to the boys in his books. He says he goes to the potty "like Joshua," for example.

In other news, Zeke sat up in a shopping cart seat for the first time today. Yay Zeke.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Potty Training Begins

Today is the big day. We are starting potty training, for reals this time.

Victor is so enthusiastic about the potty that he's already on his fourth pair of underwear.

This is our second attempt at potty training. Our first try was just after Zeke was born. I took the trouble to read lots of books about potty training and then completely disregarded the strong advice against beginning training after the birth of a new sibling.

The up side of our failed attempt is that Victor already knows the mechanics of sitting, standing, using the stool, pulling up underwear, washing hands, and aiming (mostly). The down side was, well, the failure.

My friend Kari advised me to wait three months and try again, and this time I took the expert advice.

So far this morning we've had three half-accidents. That's what I call it when Victor starts to wet his pants and then stops midwetting. You might say, "But he's still wet!" I say, "But he felt it and stopped and put the rest in the potty." And by potty, I mean toilet.

I have high hopes this time, and I am taking LE's advice to pray at the beginning of each day. Any further expert advice is very welcome!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jeremy's Big Debut

If you had attended our Sacrament Meeting today, you may have been startled to see it conducted by a bearded man in a seersucker suit. That's right--Jeremy conducted Sacrament Meeting for the first time today. He was perfect, of course.

Victor was another story. It was highly distressing for him to go to church for the sole purpose of seeing Dad (and eating crackers), but to have to sit with Mom and only see Dad. Fortunately, someone shared a small motorcade of matchbox cars with him, so he behaved decently during the meeting.

The help with Victor was welcome today, but I usually do not appreciate it when people try to play with him during church.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Pics

There are two new albums of pictures on Jer's Superfun Family Extravaganza. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Find the Flowers

Victor is playing a game right now where two of his cars are looking for "my flowers."

Zeke Dislikes Swimming

I took the boys to the pool this morning. Zeke did not have a good time. The poor little guy cried and cried unless I held him close and his sunscreen gave him a rash.

Victor was less interested in swimming and more interested in eating our friends' crackers.

We left early.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Helmet for Zeke

Zeke's six-month checkup went very well today. The best news is that he will not have to wear a helmet to correct a flat spot on the back right side of his head. Two months of looking left did the trick.

Zeke is following a growth pattern similar to Victor's. He weighs 15 pounds 12 ounces now, which means his weight has dropped from the 90th percentile at birth to just under the 25th percentile today. His height, now 27 3/4 inches, has held steady at the 90th percentil. His head is also and has always been in the 25th percentile.

Zeke is now able to roll front to back and back to front, and to roll from place to place to get things. He has also figured out how to use his legs to scoot himself forward on his tummy or back. He can pass an object from one hand to the other, which means each hand can open and close independently. He squeals and blows raspberries and giggles and even belly laughs, but I don't think he babbles yet. He smacks his lips when he eats, and when he's most sad he purses his lips and says "mmmmmmmmm."

Dr. Young says everything about Zeke looks terrific. He also says Victor should not grab syringes full of vaccine and squirt out the vaccine.

Of note, the new official word on peanuts is that children should not have them until age 2. Will I do that? We'll see. Peanut butter is convenient, if messy.