Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In this first picture, Josephine is reading an English comic annual. I also learned to read by looking at these books, which I can remember devouring as a four-year-old. I was drawn to the colors, and as I developed the ability to read, I also learned the subtle differences between American English and English English. It's going to be fun as she learns to read.

I'm always cracked up by how both kids love to read while they're being taken somewhere in the double-stroller. Sometimes after walks, Josephine will sit in the chair for a few minutes.

And here's studious Sam:

Sam has the ability to concentrate for minutes at a time on things he's trying to solve. In this he shows glints of self-reliance, which counteract the times when he reminds us that he's still a needy toddler. I love in this picture how he's concentrating to hard on getting this plastic piece to go vertical, even though that's not how they're supposed to go.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing we have two budding non-comformists?

Anyway, I have a short video I'm going to post later of him with another "research" project he was conducting the other day. You'll suffer cute overload.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


She's obsessed with drawing teeth!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rock Press

a) Today we made salt dough and colored it. Jo made a big mermaid and Sam made a big mess.
b) Later, we went to a park and Jo found a rock. "I'm starting a rock collection," she told me. "And we can put this in a rock press to dry it out, and put tape around it, or put it in a seat to dry it, so..." We've been collecting flowers for the flower press - I just cracked up at the 'rock press' idea...
c) Where is the sun? Is the sun up all the time? Where are the planets? Where is earth? She's got all the big questions down pat.

She also enjoys making grass soup in an old pot I don't use for cooking anymore.
It's gross.
But Sam gets jealous because he doesn't have an old pot.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cute Tyrants

Did I mention that Sam likes to take his diaper off and poo on the floor? That he bites? That he does naughty things so he can put himself in time out? That he keeps me up all night? And that he's got the cutest laugh ever? Here he is playing in Jo's butterfly wings.

Meanwhile, Jo is into learning about everything. Last night we discussed bats, and how they fly, sonar vision. Do they have nests? Are they born from eggs? Do they go out of their bodies when they die? Why are they small? Why do they fly at night? Why do they sleep upside down?

She also apparently wants to go to space and likes drawing pictures of the planets.

Oh yes, and also, an older friend of hers has started losing teeth, so lately all of Jo's drawings feature mouths with gigantic teeth or missing teeth, which leads to quite the ferocious effect.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting big

Flyswatter Guitars

This morning Jo made me come watch the "show" of her and Sam playing "guitar" with flyswatters... he does everything she does... She was calling our porch the houseboat on the lake, "we're going to the mermaid castle, and I'm going to row every night and every morning." Rowing with the flyswatter, of course.

"Why is the sun round?" she asked.
I babbled something about the star and electrons and gravity pulling the planets around.
"But not Mars," Jo said.
"Sorry?" I asked.
"Mars isn't going around the sun anymore," she said. "I saw it floating around the sky the other night."

"Why do we have bones?" she asked.
"To hold us up."
"And when do our bones go out of us?" she asked.
"Uh... not sure they do..."
"When we die, to our bones go out of us? Did your dad's bones go out?"
"Uh..." (Gruesome!)

"Josephine, we're picking up toys, please put those away."
(Instead, Jo makes a stack."
"Jo, don't make a stack, put those away."
"But mom, it's ART."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Daddy's pictures from the last little while

Amy's posted some of her pictures, so I thought it was time to post some of mine. I've not had a digital camera for a while, but I borrowed one from work. This is a collection of random shots from the last two weeks or so.

Sam loves to push his face up against my screen door. He used to try to escape to freedom, but I think he likes the house now. After all, half of his toys and books are there!

Josephine loves to read. I'm convinced she's getting more of the words then she's letting on. These days, she'll spend a lot of time concentrating on the pictures.

Sam can be relied on to take a bath. Josephine fights it quite a lot, but I manage to get her to come in anyway (most of the time). Sam loves to fill up cups and pour them out. I have to tell him time and time again that water is supposed to stay in the bath, but he doesn't always listen. After all, he still only speaks baby English.

Sam loves to emulate Josephine, and thankfully he's picking up her love of books. Increasingly, both of them can entertain themselves by picking up a book.

Now, here is a conundrum. Josephine still won't exactly snap to attention when I ask her to help me with chores. But, her grandfather asks, she's right on it. Here she is helping him clear brush at Smith Mountain Lake.

Josephine understands why we sometimes have to do things we don't want to do. In the past, she has fiercely resisted wearing her life jacket. But now, she doesn't seem to really be too concerned about it, and doesn't complain. Sam is the same way. In Josephine's case, it might be because Barbie is prominently featured on the life jacket.

Similarly, Sam wasn't too enthusiastic about the boat the last time he was on board. However, since then, he's become a little more enthusiastic about anything that has a steering wheel. He's a boy. He is most definitely a boy.

I think they're doing really well and I am so proud to be their daddy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

End of summer

Kid update!
Sam is 19 months old and perhaps ready to start toilet-training - he often poops in his diaper and then rips it off when I'm making breakfast in the kitchen - yes, quite lovely start to the morning... He's learning how to say "Help!" when he gets frustrated, instead of scream-howling... he can say "I want that!" and "Thank you" and "hula hoop" and "moon" and a million other words, because he pretty much mimics everything any of us says... though he's still working on the not-grabbing-Jo's-toys piece...

Josephine just gets more articulate and animated and fun every day. I'm so excited about her being four. She is often singing operatically around the house, and says things like "Actually," and "I'm doing something, did you notice?" Always "did you notice?" She still feels frustrated with Sam a lot, but they also play well.