Mon Dec 01 2003 19:59:
Today was so nice that we couldn't miss a trip to the park. Atticus was particularly interested in the swings, so we spent a bulk of our time practicing "pumping." Mostly, I pushed while Atticus ineffectively swung his legs forward and back. Then, at the highest point of an upswing (and a high one--the command was to push him up like a rocket ship), he let go. In a moment of slow motion, he did a literal sommersault in the air as the inertia of the swing thrust his legs up and over his head, and then he landed right flat on his face and stomach. It was a really scary, sad moment waiting for him to catch his breath to say, with tears streaming his cheeks, "Momma, let's do it again."
(4) Tue Dec 02 2003 13:49:
In recent days, Atticus has demanded that I address him according to his imaginary whim of the day. Peter Pan and Batman are two favorites in our house. After a UPS employee dropped off a package this afternoon, Atticus came up with another alternate identity. Today he would answer only to "UPS man." Not "UPS dude," "UPS guy," or "UPS person" even. UPS man. His favorite game for this theme was instructing us to stand behind a bedroom door. He'd knock, greet us, hand over the package, and ask for the signature. Funny little dude.
(3) Fri Dec 05 2003 04:00 Life is Funny:
I was just thinking about my neighbor, Rachel. I knew her back in Provo; we both lived in the same neighborhood a year or so after Dave and I got married. When I met Rachel, her baby, Matthew, was about 3 months old. I was about 6 months pregnant. Dave was finished with his bachelor's, and I was finishing up with mine so we could go on to a 3 year PhD program in Clinical Psychology. When Rachel told me her husband was barely a sophomore working on his bachelor's degree and was planning on graduate school, and I felt so sorry for her. She was going to be in school FOREVER!! I thought, "We'll be done with school for good just when RJ was finishing his undergraduate work." Now, here we are, neighbors again, my two sons play with her two sons, and it looks like our husbands will graduate with their PhDs at the exact same time.
(1) Mon Dec 08 2003 06:49:
I've been nursing sick children for the past few days. Fevers, congestion, runny noses, a little nausea, you know. A touch of everything. I'm just about worn out, and I'm not even the sick one!!
(1) Tue Dec 09 2003 13:35:
Looks like it will be another sick day at my house. I hope that my kids get better soon. The night time needs are starting to get to me. Last night when Atticus called out for the first time, I was so tired and disoriented that it was like rising from the dead to go to him. It was one o' clock. Dave was up, still working on his paper that is due today. Both of us are pretty tired, for different reasons. I'll be glad when finals are over. Christmas and summer vacations are the salvation of student life. We can all agree about that.
(5) Tue Dec 09 2003 15:10 Last Chance:
We have a bedtime routine with Atticus that includes reading stories. Atticus really looks forward to this part of the evening, and it settles him down for a good sleep. The other night, however, when I started getting his books ready, Atticus said that he was too tired, and he just wanted to go to bed.
"You don't want to read stories?" I asked, surprised.
"No, I'm tired. I want to go to bed. No stories."
He did seem unusually tired, so that was that. Dave took over from there, putting on his pajamas, and then he took Atticus to his room, where Atticus announced "I want to read stories."
"It's too late. You said you want to go to bed without stories," Dave said. A tantrum ensued, and as Atticus built his opposition, Dave tried to reason with him. Their conversation went something like this:
"I want to read stories!"
"Sorry. You said you were tired and you wanted to go to bed without stories, so it is time for bed."
"But I want to read my stories!!!"
"It's too late. You lost your chance. Time for bed."
More desperately, Atticus pleads "No, I didn't lose my chance. Look, Papa, its coming. Look there, it is walking over here!"
"Honey, chances don't walk."
Hysterics begin "Papa, look, it's HOPPING."
At that point, Atticus fell apart, and we were glad that even in moments such as these, there is a touch of humor to be enjoyed.
Tue Dec 09 2003 15:33 Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow:
Just for the record, we got our first few inches of snow last night.
(2) Wed Dec 10 2003 12:06 Did You Know?:
Did you know that a person burns almost twice as many calories sitting and reading a book as sitting and watching television? TV watching burns 47 calories, while reading burns 70. Isn't that interesting? Have you done your reading exercises today?
Thu Dec 11 2003 15:22:
I thought that my children were on the mend, but Samuel woke up with his eyes all gummed up, Atticus woke with his fever returned, and before I could even get clothes on him after his morning bath, Atticus fell fast asleep curled up in the comforter on my bed.
Thu Dec 11 2003 15:37 What Language Are You Speaking???:
Today Samuel was whining in the bath tub, pulling at his left arm. Pulling and pulling. I was a bit alarmed because he was being so urgent in his gesture. I inspected his arm, looking closely to see if he was hurt. Then it dawned on me: for the past month I have been modeling a handful of signs for Samuel. He was using the sign language I had taught him to tell me to take him out of the bath (for the first time). Sheesh. Where is my brain these days?
(3) Mon Dec 15 2003 11:01:
I was teaching Atticus a new Christmas song, leaving out a few words and letting him finish the phrase/sentence. This is how it went:
Me: "Said Samuel, within 5 years the night will be as . . .
Me: "And baby Jesus will be born, in a land . . .
Atticus: "Called Honah Lee."
(The lyric is supposed to be "far, far away.")
(2) Mon Dec 15 2003 11:29 Out of Control:
I haven't mentioned that Dave and I have been subbing for a Sunday School class of 6 hooligan boys for the past 4 Sundays. This class is notorious for its "energy," and has burned through a handful of teachers over the course of the year. We knew we had trouble on your hands the first Sunday when we saw two things: a) The three-year-old Sunbeam class was better behaved than our class in Sharing Time. b) There was a line-up of adults waiting outside the Primary room after church was over with a knowing smile: "So--how'd it go?"
Yesterday, since the Atticus and Samuel were both still sick, I taught all 6 boys by myself. On our way to class, they all took off ahead of me, and as I neared our classroom, from the hallway I could hear a chant: "Fight, fight, fight, fight . . ." When I opened the door, two of the boys were throwing punches at each other, while the rest of the crowd circled the two and continued, "fight, fight, fight . . ." That took a minute to break up, leaving one of the "contendors" in tears. Then, I looked around the room, and realized that there were no chairs!! What else could go wrong? On top of that, I had brought a heaping plate of cookies (for bribes, of course--I knew I would need reinforcments). I couldn't leave the acrimonious boys together, nor could I leave the cookies, and I really needed the chairs if I hoped for any order during our hour of class time. It was like a real life application of that old riddle about how to get a chicken, a basket of eggs, and a fox across the river on a boat that could only hold two of the three per trip.
Thankfully, someone from the hall came to my aid and brought the chairs. After that, with my reign of cookies, everything went smoothly, and we actually had one of our best classes yet.
(3) Mon Dec 15 2003 19:36:
Have you ever eaten a float with orange juice and vanilla ice cream? If you haven't, you should!
(1) Wed Dec 17 2003 11:50 Crack of Dawn:
Atticus has only one request for Santa this year: he wants a Batman shirt. A friend of mine told me yesterday that she had seen them at a clothing store here in Lawrence, and told me that the store would be handing out $15 gift certificates to the first 500 customers at 7:00 am today. I arrived in the parking lot of the store at 6:45 and waited second in line to get my coupon. I felt kind of silly when I left with my purchases and they were still handing out coupons. The other bummer is that today was the "once-in-a-blue-moon" event of the boys sleeping in past 7:00.
(7) Wed Dec 17 2003 12:24 Overheard:
Atticus in the other room saying to his friend Matthew: "I'm going to be a dog in a manger. Are you going to be a dog in a manger?"
I tried to explain the phrase a while ago, and he'll repeat it in the funniest of times. I guess metaphors are above his head at this point in life.
(1) Wed Dec 17 2003 15:11 Time to Brag:
Dave just got his first grade back--an A!! Kudos Dave! More to come I am sure.
Thu Dec 18 2003 19:30 The End Has Come:
Dave finished the semester today. Phew. Only five more to go (optimistically speaking, and not including dissertation semesters).
(2) Thu Dec 18 2003 22:04:
Atticus and I made paper snowflakes while Samuel was taking his nap this afternoon. It was strange, but the act of cutting little nicks out of folded paper transported me to some segment of childhood memory. Forgotten emotions and thoughts. Very strange.
(2) Fri Dec 19 2003 13:07 Where did THAT come from?:
Atticus said to me today, "Mama, I am a golden sample."
I said, "What? You're a golden sample?" enunciating to make sure I'd heard him correctly.
He replied "Yes, an OBEDIENT golden sample."
(1) Fri Dec 19 2003 23:35:
Tonight we went to a gingerbread house making party at Jon and Sarah Amundson's. It was a lot of fun, and we managed to destroy two sets of gingerbread house pieces. But we brought home a decorated "gingerbread tent." But it was great fun, and we ate lots of yummy sweets. Our contribution was a large bowl of carmel popcorn balls. We have lots of leftovers. Any takers?
Sat Dec 20 2003 12:28 Kansas Christmas:
Today we had an un-official Christmas morning, opening all the presents from Grandma and Grandpa Matkin as well as Aunt Patty and my good friend from high school who we affectionately refer to as Aunt Jenny (joining us now is Uncle Jay). We have very generous friends and family who have made us feel loved and cared for. Tomorrow we leave for my mom's in San Antonio, Texas, so happy holidays all ya'll!
Wed Dec 31 2003 12:50:
Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Frances and Rachel. Should be here this afternoon/evening.
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