Monday, August 30, 2010


This year, Matthew was clear that he was going to have A Birthday Party with Friends.  So, this weekend, he did.  There were cupcakes, there were activities, there were presents and best of all, there were friends. 
We even were joined by cousin Ella, who is adored by Cameron and Matthew.  In her presence, Matthew is magically transformed.  There's no more, "I'm a big boy" talk.  Suddenly, it's "Mama, hold me.  I'm a baby.  I want my binky.  I want a bottle." 
But today, Matthew was back to all big boy, all the time.  I mean, he is THREE.

All's Fair in Our House

Recently, I enacted a new rule at our house.  No one is allowed to say, "It's not fair."  Despite the fact that many of my rules are routinely ignored, as evidence by the underwear on the bathroom floor and the Lego-shaped bruise on my foot, the boys took this one very seriously.  If anyone should dare utter, "It's not fair" -- or the alternative "It's no fair," -- they are swiftly corrected.  Usually by Matthew.

The other night, I was reading Matthew a Charlie and Lola book (his new most utterly favoritest and best book series).  Lola said, "But Charlie, it's not fair!"  Matthew gasped, horror-struck.  "Mama!" he whispered in a shocked tone, "LOLA just said, 'It's not fair!'"

Cameron has come up with a more creative solution.  He recently witnessed a word being bleeped out on TV and asked what that *beeeep* noise meant.  "Well," I answered, "sometimes people use words they shouldn't use.  Words that aren't very nice.  When that happens on TV, they cover up the bad word with that beep sound."

So now Cameron says, "It's not beeeeeppp!"  Which is technically not covered by the rule.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Age 3

Matthew is now officially three years old.  This was the first year that he seemed really aware of his birthday -- he informed me that he WOULD me having a party with friends, and that we'd be eating baseball cupcakes and that he'd be THREE.  Or . . . was it six?  seven?  It's so hard to keep track when you're . . . wait?  how old again?  Oh, right!  THREE!

I could hardly wait until Matthew's birthday morning, when we planned to surprise him with a basketball hoop.  He spotted it in the basement a few days early though and then repeatedly asked, "When do I get my basketball hoop?"

It was still exciting to see him playing with it, so happy to be a big boy.
After playing hoops for a while, he asked if we could go bowling.  He got his ball stuck between the bumper and the gutter twice, but he had a blast and looked so cute in his bowling shoes.  And, he nearly beat me.  What can I say?  My hand-eye coordination has never been much to brag about . . . as opposed to my ultra-athletic toddler!

For his birthday dinner, he requested "Grilled corn and scallops, with strawberry shortcake for dessert." Pretty sophisticated palate for a 3-year-old! We topped off the shortcake with some homemade vanilla bean sorbet and I'm pretty confident it's the best kid birthday meal I've ever eaten.

So suddenly, I'm the mom of two big boys!  And I'm looking forward to all the fun we'll have together this year!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Louisville Visit

This week, we took a little trip to Louisville.  We were mainly inspired to go by Matthew's obsession with all things sports and our discovery that the Louisville Slugger Factory gives tours.  When we found out that there is an ongoing exhibit about the Negro League with Kadir Nelson artwork, we knew we HAD to get Matthew there. 

The factory tour was fascinating and the boys loved the exhibits, although Matthew was more interested in hitting balls than looking at Satchel Paige's mitt.

Cameron reminded me powerfully of David, who is known for his inventive and goofy poses.

After the Slugger factory, we ate a picnic lunch and then hit the local children's museum.  'Cause that's how we roll.  We don't think of going to a city without visiting their children's museum -- Matthew would go to a museum every day if he could and, thanks to reciprocity, sometimes we do go to the museum every day.  Louisville's museum proved to be up to Matthew's standards and both of the boys delighted in the water area.  My brain was overflowing with Montessori reading and I kept saying to David, "Watch how Matthew is drawn to this work.  See how he repeats it over and over?  See his need for movement?  For order?"  I know, I'm super interesting to hang out with these days. 

Cameron, meanwhile, kept us entertained with more creative poses.

I'm telling you, he comes by it honestly. 
We ended the day with a sushi dinner.  Cameron's new favorite food is sushi and I cannot tell you the joy it brings me.  "We really should go out for sushi," I say.  "I mean, since Cameron likes it so much!" 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holding Back for a Haircut

Cameron got his hair cut today, by a woman who is apparently unfamiliar with typical childhood development.  "How old are you?"  she asked Cameron as he hopped up on the seat.

"I'm six.  Almost seven!"

"Well, you are sooooo handsome!  Such a handsome widdle guy!  I'm going to cut your hair with this funny little tickle-buzz-buzz!"

Cameron gave me a quizzical look in the mirror and I shrugged.

"Can you look at you tummy-tum? Can you close your eyes like you're soooooo sleepy, it's time for beddy-bye?" she simpered at him throughout the haircut.

When we walked out, Cameron's hair very nicely cut but his manly pride wounded, I said, "Cameron, thank you for being polite.  I don't think she understood how big six year olds are."

"Yeah!" he said.  "And she was rough with that comb.  I felt like saying to her, 'Hey lady, that's my head!  And it's got nerves in it and a BRAIN inside it!"

I am deeply relieved that he had the self-control NOT to say that!

Friday, August 13, 2010

An investment in his future

Summer is for swimming, especially when the summer temperature seems to be averaging about eleventy sevenish degrees. 

I think swimming tends to be a bit more fun if you know how to swim, so Cameron has been taking lessons all summer.  He has loved every minute of it, declaring it "a rating of 80 fun" which is a tie for first place with Lego camp.  High praise indeed!

Matthew started the summer off fairly hesitant about the water, which I believe was in part because he felt it infinitely preferable to take advantage of the basketball court nearby.  He's been won over, though, by the cool water and recently decided that he wanted to learn how to swim.  I promptly signed him up with Cameron's teacher.  He went happily to his first lesson, although from a distance I could hear him repeatedly answering, "No.  No, I don't sink so.  No, I can't do that," in his gravelly little voice to all of the teacher's questions.  Despite his pessimism, he was going under by the end of the lesson.

The next lesson found Matthew a bit more hesitant.  He stood his ground that he would not be going under water (although he later let me dunk him) and instead practiced his breathing to the side and his arm movements.  Which are infinitely more useful if you'll put your face in but, whatever, we'll get there!
Our drive to swim lessons has proved to be the most interesting part of the story however.  It's about a, oh, I don't know . . . three minute drive to the pool.  And I should know by now that three minutes is plenty of time to get in trouble.  Halfway there, Matthew said, "Mommy, I ate some money.  Can we go home and get a drink of water?"

I nearly drove off the road.  "WHAT?!?!  You ate what?"

"That money.  I ate a penny aaannnddd I sink I want some water."  You know.  To wash it down. 

All is well, although Matthew is still one penny richer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Matthew is growing up, and part of growing up is making your own decisions.  Matthew has decided that he will make the decisions about what he is going to wear, and for the most part I have allowed him this freedom.  Which is why he went to the museum like this:

That's a basketball shirt, jean shorts, soccer shin guards and water shoes.  Which, apparently, is THE look for this season. 

I'm so out of touch!  I mean, I haven't worn shin guards and water shoes since, what, summer of '82 maybe?  But not paired with jean shorts, of course.  That would be lame.  I used to wear mine with the neon kulots and the off the shoulder sweatshirt.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Halfway to Halloween

Halfway to finishing our costumes, that is.  Cameron decided to be Dumbledore which sparked a whole Harry Potter theme.  Next up was a Hedwig the Snowy Owl costume for Matthew.  I fear he may be mistaken for a cute little girl dressed as an angel, with all the feathery boa trimmings and wings.  If you look closely, though, his hood has a beak, big yellow owl eyes and some little feathery ears.  It's adorable!  He is insistent that he, too, needs a wand though so . . . we might have an owl wizard trick or treating this year.  Now it's on to a Tonks costume for me and a Harry Potter costume for David!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This tall

Random cute thing Matthew does:  Tells people, "I'm big.  See?  I'm about this tall."  And he places his hand on the top of his head.

Projects with Dad

David is an awesome dad.  He and Cameron have been working on some basic robotics together, since Cameron has been dreaming of building a robot for years now.  In the course of researching their robot, David became fascinated with the idea of . . . and I'm sure I'm going to get this wrong . . . building a laminar flow water shooter?  He asked me to pick up some straws at the grocery store and when I came home with a box of 100 he said, "Ohhhh.  Uh, I don't think that's going to be enough for the laminar flow project.  But maybe it'll do for a first experiment."

Somehow, the straws, some PVC and our garden hose were transformed into a water shooter.  I guess the part you are supposed to be impressed by here is that there are no drips of water, just a smooth archway.  In any case, the boys love it and had a blast working on it with their dad!