I found a few more pictures from when Erika and Maria were staying with us - lurking on my phone...
In no particular order... More spring garden pictures; Matthew sampling the dirt to check that it is ready for the vegetables (I swear that kid tastes *everything*); Bug pasta - the kids got a kick out of telling their friends they were eating bugs for lunch; Music practice with Auntie Janice; Fun at the bus stop; A visit to the library with Maria and Matthew while the others were at school...
At fifteen months, Matthew weighs just over 18 pounds.
He's not nearly as articulate as Elizabeth at the same age, but is becoming more understandable every day: "Peeese", "Yum", "Ah done" (all done), "Hi", "Uh huh". He's picked up a new sign "where?" (both palms facing up and out) that he likes to use when joking around - he's developing quite the sense of humour. As in "where did Mom's keys go?" This would be when we discovered that a small child CAN use the key fob to open the rear doors and lower all the windows remotely from the third floor of our house. Of course we discovered this during a torrential downpour. Mommy thought it was quite funny but she wasn't the one who had to mop up the puddles in the new car...
His favourite sign may well be "Please" (patting at his shirt), although "Milk" (which he uses for nurse) is a close second. He's pretty good at thank you and bye-bye too.
He's a very determined little boy. At mealtimes he has started to object to the booster seat, preferring to sit at the big table like a big boy. Sometimes we humour him, but since part of the attraction is not being strapped in this is not always in the cards. The main problem is that he's quite capable of shrieking for over an hour if he is restrained against his will which is not anyone's favourite dinner music. We hope he is getting all of his two year old temper tantrums out of the way!
Matthew still loves colouring, playing with his big sister, messing up her stuff and reading books. He likes to pretend just about everything is a telephone.
Still not potty trained in the least, but flickers of hope as he occasionally walks over to the toilet and if helped up will do his business quite professionally. His favourite part is waving bye-bye to the water as it flushes. We are extremely nervous that he will attempt to wave bye bye to something inappropriate - he hasn't managed yet but the other day tried to flush Mommy's sock. If you visit unexpectedly you might notice the garbage cans on the counter and the toilet paper rolls up high.
Matthew is very busy. Actually that is a massive understatement. Perhaps we are just getting seriously old and can't keep up, but our little boy sure goes fast and has a tendency to find and want to play with the one object in a room that he is not supposed to touch. When not keeping his parents physically fit he practices being cute and adorable so as to ensure that his parents forget all about how exhausted they are and think loving thoughts towards him.
Weekends with Maria and Erika were busy days. First on the agenda: two different Japanese schools half days on Saturday mornings for Erika and Maria.
Then, Matthew and Elizabeth have swimming at noon. The first week we picked Maria up from her class and went straight to swimming class. Throw a couple of birthday parties for two of Elizabeth's closest friends - Madeleine's birthday party introduced Elizabeth to "the real Cinderella" who "invited her to a ball". This week was Elizabeth's best friend Adi's birthday party, so we decided to reduce the chaos and skip swimming - it conflicted anyway! Adi's party had a "real magician". Elizabeth is now totally convinced that Adi is magic and they are going to go to Cinderella's ball together sometime soon.
Erika did her Japanese homework on the first Saturday afternoon, but the second week everyone came to Elizabeth's piano recital. Elizabeth performed in her tutu, because she has ballet which started pretty soon after the recital ended. Of course we rushed to ballet only to find that the teacher had cancelled the class (grr!) We let the kids play at the park for a while instead and then we all went to Home Depot to buy flowers.
We'd told the girls Saturday (the last "sleepover" night) would be movie night. We ordered pizza and put on Mary Poppins. They were busy playing with the kids next door so we didn't start the movie until very late and everyone was either asleep or nearly so as the credits rolled. Noemie from next door came to watch too, though she didn't quite get to see the end. I was amused that all next morning and afternoon the kids were telling me about the bits of the book the movie had left out.
Auntie Janice has been driving Auntie Heather's old van for the last few months, but after more than half a million kilometers it was finally declared scrap metal.
Auntie Karen and Uncle Dave brought Xander and Isabelle and we had a mini photo shoot with the kids and the van. Isabelle showed out her new moves standing unassisted!