After dinner this evening...

"Joshua go upstairs now for bath time. Hurry up." I said this because he was laying on the stairs whining about not wanting to go up. "I'm going to count to five backwards and you better be at the top of the stairs: fiiiive, foooour, threeeeee, twoooooo, oooooone, now getyourbuttinthebath!" He made it to the top by one but he wasn't happy with me rushing him.

"Mommy, you don't count backwards from five," in a pouty tone.
"Fine, I'll count forwards then."
"No, you don't count forwards either," same pouty tone
"Then how should I count?"
"You don't- you should count sideways." And as if on cue, Rusty chimed in,
"Three, three, three, three, three."

This confused Joshua but highly amused me. :-)

What a week- what a weekend!

I spent most of my idle time last week planning Joshua's birthday party. We celebrated on Sunday, the day before his actual birthday. It was a good ole' party with homemade cake, little ice-cream cups, pinata, balloons, food, games, jumping toys and so on. I tried to have a no-gifts birthday but everyone who attended either snuck in something or blatantly disregarded me. After people left Joshua opened his presents, played with everything, then helped me deflate the bouncy house before rain started. He had a great day until dinner time when he proceeded to meltdown. Sadly, he was sent to bed with almost no dinner and no story time. His meltdown was that bad!

But the next day, his actual birthday, was Memorial Day and we all had fun chumming around the house, everyone got extra sleep, and the evening went smoothly.

Today, Joshua went to his four year pediatrician visit. He measures 39 pounds (75th percentile) and 43¼" tall (95th percentile). They tested his vision (about 20/30) and hearing and a few other milestones. He got four vaccines which really hurt. It didn't hurt so bad the last time he got a shot but this time he reacted at the first injection swiping the needle across his leg. For the other three we laid him down while I held his hands and covered his eyes so he couldn't see when it was coming. Poor guy. He was so sad by the end of the ordeal it nearly made me sad! By the time we left the office he was back to normal.

Elliot is beginning to assert himself. It's not always fun. When he gets frustrated at someone he screeches at the top of his voice. I think he sees his brother scream at, well, everyone and decided that was the thing to do. He also hits when he can't have his way. At eighteen months he's too young for time-out so I usually sit him down abruptly and say sternly "no hit!" a couple times then let him be for a minute. That seems to get the message across.

Here's pictures from today.

I took down the rail off of Elliot's crib. Now he's in a toddler day bed, like his brother. I was expecting him to make a break at bedtime with his new found freedom but he didn't. He rustled around a bit then fell asleep, just like normal. Soooooo not like Josh who escaped every moment he had a chance. I'm sure Elliot will catch on to being ornery like his brother at some point but I do love the easy bedtime tonight!

Famous Joshua Quote of the Day

This morning he put his shoe on the wrong foot. I pointed this out saying two wrongs don't make a right, but two Wrights make an airplane. A joke more for myself than for him. He responds:

"Yeah, and two lefts make a train!"

Elliot was diagnosed today as having hand-foot-mouth disease. It isn't really a disease in the sense of ongoing illness or debilitation. It's a viral infection that runs its course for a week then goes away on its own. He's not contagious unless you come into contact with his blood or saliva. Right now he has sores on his tongue and bottom lip and some spots on his butt, knees, feet and palms. He has a distinctly decreased appetite and sharply increased crankiness.

Other than that, he's a healthy boy growing by leaps and bounds. He's nearly 24 pounds, measures 32" tall and hits all the milestones except speaking words, with which he's still short on. The doctor warned that sibling rivalry will increase over the next 6 months as Elliot exercises his will and challenges his brother.

Speaking of his brother, we're planning Josh's birthday party this week. Today Elliot & I bought a couple 2x4 plywood planks and some scrap pine wood. Tomorrow we'll visit a cloth store and get some corn kernels from the grocery store. Can you guess the game we're making?? :-)

In other news, Rusty & I scored another client to host with us. He's a patent lawyer who has three websites, one of which needs a face-lift. We'll meet with him in early June to get ideas for restructuring that website. I also have another web page to put up for Crossley Axminster. This week is busy for us while Rusty takes a Linux certification test, but next week he'll be back working with me on client stuff.

How to Put Two Boys to Bed at the Same Time

While it seems like a daunting prospect, it can be done without tears or tantrums. First bathe them, brush their teeth and get them into pajamas. Some quiet play time and/or children's TV time will help them slow down. Limit both to about twenty minutes max. Explain to the oldest that book time will be read to both at the same time. Repeat this statement until it sinks in and he stops bringing you books. Read one page then pause to get water for both. Resume reading. Three books is sufficient unless you're on a roll and want to go for a forth. Then, make your eldest turn off the lights for song time. Sing two or three songs to the youngest. Lay the younger one down in the crib, say good-night then walk out, with the other kid, leaving the door cracked an inch or so. In the older child's room, turn off their light, sing a few more songs while rubbing their back and/or tummy. Say good-night then walk out leaving the door cracked an inch or so. Linger around the vicinity a few minutes in case one of them has an excuse to get out of bed or make noise. Lastly, reward yourself.

Today was a good Mudder's Day, as Josh says it. We started the day with breakfast at Poor Richard's, then I got my car cleaned by Rusty & Josh (mostly Rusty), I got a pedicure, then a hair cut, then a semi-round of disc golf followed by our usual shenanigans for dinner and bedtime.

Elliot has entered the tantrum phase officially. He's taken to climbing on EVERYTHING! Chairs are only useful to getting on the table. He pulls out the step stool in the kitchen and explores the house, or what area isn't gated. If you take him off a chair enforcing the "no standing" rule, he's likely to either repeat the attempt or yell at you, hit something/someone and/or throw himself to the floor crying. He gets over it pretty quickly. This week he's learned to say 'uh-oh' and 'cra-cra', which means cracker. He knows how to sign 'more' and if he's really thirsty he remembers how to sign "milk". We think he's also said 'ouch' a couple times for minor bonks and bumps.

Elliot is still very different from Josh. Today we took the boys to a nearby park for disc golf and exploring. We pit stopped by a sand box/volley ball court to let Josh play with a couple Hispanic kids. They built a tower that looked like a sand hill. I put Elliot in the sand box too but he walked out, dusted his hands and began climbing on the bleacher seats. He has no interest in getting dirty unless it's splashing in water. Showers? No. Sandboxes? No. Dirt piles? No. Mud pits? No. Puddles? Yes! He likes water to be under him, not shooting at him. He also doesn't like messy food. I'm hoping someday he won't like messy pants and will be potty trained quickly. I can hope, can't I?

"Hey Josh, would you someday like to learn how to dance or learn how to do kung fu?"
"Um, I don't know."
"Well think about it."
"I can't think about that." Then he ran outside and climbed onto the play set.

I received the urn vault in the mail today. I'm thinking I'll write his name on the lid inside and leave the outside unmarked. It's very plain, very unassuming. And a bit larger than I expected. In fact, it's large enough to house two urns comfortably. Maybe someone somewhere someday will want to share his space in the urn vault.

Rusty's birthday was celebrated last week. He had three days of birthday. Wednesday he came home surprised to see workers cleaning the house. It was spotless for about 15 minutes. Thursday we bought his big present, a Kenwood in-dash navigation & digital music system. It also plays movies, which will come in handy during road trips. We had lunch at Jaspers in Plano then margaritas on the patio at Nico's Cocina for dinner. Friday evening I surprised him by taking him out to sushi with some friends while the kids played at Kids Play Two, a drop in child care place. The owner of FujiYama brought out gobs and gobs of sushi. The last two plates had sushi arranged in the shape of 35 with "Happy Birthday" written at top. That was an awesome awesome dinner!

Then I got a cold the next day, Joshua broke the downstairs toilet, and it rained almost all day that Saturday.

By the way, our new toilet is da bomb! It's flapperless (one less part to replace), it's super water efficient, quiet and quick. And way cheaper than the Kohler model. It's a Pegasus Cottage. I give it two bums up! :-P

First of the month is a time for spending in our house. This weekend we bought a new toilet for the downstairs (Joshua broke it on Saturday morning, the punk), Rusty's birthday present (he wanted a car navigation thing), and an urn vault.

The cemetery in Corpus Christi originally wanted to charge us $1600 to place my dad's ashes in the ground. I pointed out that this was a ridiculous price which made the lady review the charges and drop a few things. They're charging us $600 to open the grave site. They require an urn vault to place the urn into before it goes into the ground. I'm not sure why other than to keep the ground from sinking over time or metals polluting the ground?? Anyway, they were going to charge $650 for that. After a quick search online, these are as low priced as $124. I called back to say I'd bring my own vault. I don't want to be cheap about things (if I were I would go at night without permission) but I was also don't want to be swindled. Someday I'll spring for a small head stone or marker of some sort.

This week I'm working on making paper announcements inviting a few people to attend with us. There's a picture of him fishing that everyone seems to love best. I'll have that scanned and printed on cardstock with the announcement folded inside.

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