Monday, January 31, 2011


Today Nick and I looked at Dr. Seuss's ABC Book (we have read this many times before). He pointed to the M and I said, "The letter M!" He said, "Mmmmmmmmm." My son knows letter sounds!! Now before you go testing him on it, he only knows a few, sporadically. ;)

But I had him on my lap a moment ago while I read a blog post. On the side were the icons for RSS feed, Facebook, and Twitter. Nick pointed and said, "Eff, eff." I think he can identify the letter "F"!

Xander has taken to a couple of's online games, particularly "Sink or Float" and "Dig for Dinosaurs." He learns really well from TV shows and computer games now that he is older. We are on a bit of a Sesame Street kick here because Nick loves Elmo and some of the other characters. Xander was at home most of last week with our car in the shop.

Good news! Our car is back home. After Erik picked it up on Friday, took it in for their work to be readjusted on Saturday, and brought it back that day, our car runs very well. I am pleased to be driving a fixed car. The shop is pleased to have lots of our money in return.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wonderful Things

Wonderful things that happened this morning:

This morning I was feeling so thankful for the fact that we can always improve.

Xander, sitting on the couch early this morning, said, "You're beautiful, Mom."

Nick can now say "truck" pretty darn clearly.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Nick said "boo" for something that was blue the other day, but of course I can't remember exactly what it was because I didn't write it down or blog it right away.

I have to post Xander's going-outside-to-play outfit this morning:

For anyone wondering, it's the cape I knitted for him long ago, his knight helmet from Aunt Leslie, and a "Batman" mask he made at school this year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Learning Time

Nick has a My Starter Laptop from his aunt and uncle Meng. He is now pointing to the pictures and saying the words for birds, boat, and plane. Just now he pushed the button that says, "Birds, 3," and he pointed to the picture on the screen of the number 3 and three birds!

He is also showing more smarts in manipulating (or trying to manipulate) his parents. We did a Valentine Dump Truck activity which mostly consisted of him coloring the Valentine Dump Truck I made. Then it was time to clean up the markers. Nick gave a little scream and pushed some markers out of the bin. I said, "No! Help Mama clean up! It's time to clean up!" I started putting the markers back in. He yelled and pushed markers out. He got a timeout. When I got him out of his timeout I said, "You need to obey Mommy. Look at Mommy!" He looked away. I gently took his chin and turned his face toward me. He pointed his eyeballs away. I turned his face a little more. He tried even harder to look somewhere else. Finally his eyes flicked toward mine for a second and I let him get down. He decided to plop down on his bottom. I asked if he needed a timeout and then he decided he could get up and try to play again.

Xander is playing his Leapster 2 - also a present from Aunt and Uncle Meng. He is enjoying it and doing well. The next game he wants is Sonic the Hedgehog for some reason. He probably saw the show once on Saturday cartoons. It's a highly rated game so I guess he will be getting that for his birthday. ;) Good thing he doesn't read this blog yet. He does read stickers, traffic signs, words on DVDs, and some books like Hop On Pop.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Playing Sprinkles

Xander decided he and Nick would play "sprinkles" together instead of watching the rest of a movie. Playing sprinkles consists of getting out my baking supplies bin, taking out the sprinkles, and shaking them. Nick took it a little further and got out the gelatine packets, frosting, cocoa, vanilla extract, almond extract, and chopped nuts. Then I decided to give them the muffin tin and paper baking cups. Xander started to fill the muffin cups with papers. Finally Nick copied him and filled some himself.

Xander said, "Good job, Nick! You're going to be a MegaMind!"

Later I caught Nick licking the outside of the frosting bag. The picture does look enticing, I have to admit.


Okay, so Nick calls Elmo Ma-ma too. Xander and Elmo both seem to be a clear "ma-ma". Not me. The word for me is a scream.

Grandma Bonnie and Cadbury

So Grandma Bonnie and Cadbury left half an hour ago. Nick is already wandering the house trying to find the "goggy, goggy, goggy." I hope his Christmas present doggy can fill the void.

I cannot thank Bonnie enough for all her help, especially today. It turned out we needed to bring our car in to the shop and we could do it since she was here with her car. We also needed to pick up our CSA veggies and then get Xander from school. Poor Xander will not be able to go to school until we get our car fixed, but the guy at the shop thought it wouldn't take long to fix.

Bonnie was stuck driving us all around in the pouring rain instead of getting an early start on her road trip back home. We are hoping she has a safe and comfortable drive back! Thank you!!

Here is Nick showing me a foam number three and saying, "Fee, fee."

Here is Xander watching The Return of the King which he insists is not too scary for him:

I have to add that Nick pointed to the picture of himself, above, and said, "Ick"! He did it twice and then he pointed to a picture of Xander and said, "Ma-ma".

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Grandma Bonnie and Cadbury came today. Nick was delighted and so was Xander. Nick kept saying, "Goggy! Goggy! Goggy!" and following Cadbury around.

We all went to the magnet program expo and got back home to give Nick his second nap. (Nick was up for hours last night - not at all like him - with a cold.) Erik and Bonnie left again to do an errand and Cadbury has been whining for his mommy ever since. Xander has stayed right with Cadbury, talking to him and cheering him up. Cadbury has a good friend in him.


I had one of my sweetest mom moments yesterday, I think. Nick was pointing to the letters in Dr. Seuss's ABC Book and Xander was telling him what they were called. Sometimes Nick repeated after him. There's something about an older brother teaching a younger brother...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Most of the time, Xander is so kind and loving toward Nick. I am usually impressed. However, he has his moments. Right now we are outside and he is sternly telling Nick, "No! You are messing up my new weapon, and my new castle." It is more the tone of voice than anything else. He also wants to "sweep" with our toddler broom and his passed-down Winnie the Pooh bear just as Nick starts to play with those things.

The last two days I have tried giving Nick a systematic two-nap day. I say systematic because I have been giving him two on especially tired days all along. These last two days he has been sleeping from 10:30 to about 11:30, then we go get Xander, then they eat and play outside, and he goes down by 2:30pm for almost another two hours. He was sleepy before official bedtime, too. I think he may have some more catching up to do. I kind of like this new schedule since it gets both boys out and using up energy in the beautiful part of the day, before they go do their quieter activities.

Update on playing together:

Xander wanted Nick to be a "bad golem" and I said that was okay as long as he didn't touch Nick while he was pretending that. Next time I looked up, Xander was sitting in the jogging stroller and "the bad golem is pushing the horses." Take a look:
Not a very good picture because it was too far away and the wrong angle and through the porch screen, but it's Nick pushing Xander in the jogging stroller and he really gave it some hefty pushes! Fun times for Xander.

Awww, sweet little Nick in his play kitchen wonderland:
This is where Xander was (running through the picture as usual):

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

Xander and I had a short talk yesterday about Martin Luther King, Jr. We talked about how people whose names are the same as their father's names have a Junior at the end of their names. He has a classmate, Jose, who is called Junior.

Today I traced his hands a bunch of times on a piece of paper and told him how a great man, Martin Luther King, Jr., wanted all people to hold hands and work together on our problems, people of all colors, races, and religious beliefs. I said he could color in the hands all different colors to remind him of this.

"But they're not real," he said.

"No," I said, "the hands are just a picture to remind us on this day when we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday."

"Are we having presents today?" he asked.

"No," I said, "I hadn't planned any presents. Did you?"

"No," he said, "but he wants presents."

I said, "He is no longer living."

"But he wants one, so we should go underground and give him this. He wants one."

"Oh, because he is buried underground?" I asked.


I'll let you know how this concept progresses.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


While we were Skyping Grandma Lucy, Xander said he was going to teach Nick, when he was a bigger boy, to eat and drink water and make funny faces and play. Xander is really a great big brother. He is affectionate toward Nick and Nick is starting to respond in kind.

BJ's visit is a huge success so far. Xander got him playing knights, looking at all his Legos and Bakugans, and playing their handheld game systems together. BJ brought his Nintendo DS and Xander has his Leapster, though it looks like he is watching BJ's game more than his own. BJ also wanted the TV on so Arthur is on in the background. Best night ever for Xander!

Dashing Off Some Notes

Nick said "poppy" today, many times, to mean "potty."

Xander's school is still great; he's learning fingerplays and songs about winter, months, days, and more, and he loves his "best friends," but the atmosphere is a little somber there since his center director was fired. I don't know the details.

We are having a meeting friend over tonight during dinner and bedtime hours. Xander loves BJ and Laura, who go out of meeting with him after 15 minutes of sitting in silence. Laura "babysits" them and BJ talks to Xander about sharks, Pokemon, and other things that delight an almost-5-year-old's heart. He has autism, so we will see how we all do tonight. Xander is looking forward to it. If it goes well, we may do this more often.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Poster At Preschool

There is a new poster up in Xander's preschool room. It lists what each of the kids wants to be when they grow up. Three of them stood out to me. Xander's, of course, which said "Paleontologist". Valentina wants to be a doctor, and Jose wants to be Spiderman.

Good Morning

I got Nick up for his breakfast and sat down on the couch to drink coffee and have devotion time. Xander came out a few minutes later and snuggled next to me on the couch. For the first time in his life, he said, "You're pretty, Mom."

This was on the one day this week that I didn't get up early to take a shower and get dressed and put on makeup!

I was pretty flabbergasted so Xander felt that he had to explain it to me. "That means you're beautiful." Wow. A double whammy. What a nice start to my day.

Nick is happy this morning, too. He wanted to get down from breakfast but of course that didn't mean he was quite finished. Trying to get more out of his bowl on top of the table, he spilled the bowl and all its contents on the floor. I am thankful they were only dry Cheerios. Because I am lazy, I am letting him clean them up by picking them up and popping them in his mouth. What a good reminder that I really should have mopped the floors yesterday.

Now I have put him in his pack 'n play to play with foam numbers. He is very interested in them and saying what each one is as he lays it carefully down on the mattress. I hear a lot more letter sounds than number sounds but that makes sense because we have gone through all the letters together and are just starting on the numbers. I hope I'm not confusing him. I figured now was a good time to put the They Might Be Giants album "Here Come the 123s" on our iPod.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lovely Day

While Erik paints the finished part of the bunkbeds, Xander has been playing outside. Father-son bonding time. They even went to the hardware store together to get the paint. Erik gave Xander his choice, after deciding that the main portion of the beds would be chocolate brown. Xander wanted green, of course, and pink. Hmmmm. Erik thought about getting around that but these beds are going to be brown with moss green drawers and pink drawer knobs. That way, when Xander gets tired of the pink, they will be easy to redo. I went out to see the brown color. It looks very chocolatey!

It's a lovely, sunny, warm day here. Glad that everyone has been outside a lot today. And we still have half the day ahead of us.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Year

Xander is so pleased to be back at school after his long two-week holidays. He can sing songs to tell us all the days of the week and the months of the year, and he knows it is now 2011.

Nick is saying more things all the time. In fact, he's chatting to himself right now (during naptime). Lately he's been falling asleep for nap early, then I have to wake him to go pick up Xander, and then when I put him down for afternoon nap, he barely sleeps. He sits in there and talks to himself. I think it's an 18-month-old thing. Plus I need to keep him up longer in the morning!

We talked about a few goals as a family on New Year's. Erik's are to finish the bunk bed and to win the lottery. Unfortunately, our lottery ticket didn't pan out that day. Xander's are to play with his figures, go to school, go to the Monster Truck Jam, and to play outside. He accomplished three of those things today, and he knows from the TV commercials that he and Dad are going to the Monster Truck Jam in February.

If he won a million dollars, Xander would "play a lot!" He would put millions of dollars in his piggy bank, "and it costs money to play a lot!"