Fifty percent of our family is 50%! Kate and Peter have unfortunately passed the flu back and forth for the past few days. Somehow William and I have escaped it. He and I celebrated by going to Quizno’s today. We were tired of crackers and applesauce! Enough of that, though.

Kate had a fun week. She went to the doctor on Tuesday for her 15 month– yes, somehow she is already 15 months old!– appointment. In 3 months she has grown 1/4 inch and gained 6 ounces (she is 31 in. long and 21#). Just for fun I decided to see what William did between his 12 and 15 month appointment. He had grown 2 inches and gained over 2 1/2 pounds! What a chunker.

Peter and I have decided to nickname Kate “Me too!” since she is always following William around and trying to do what he does. She’ll get up on his skateboard, plays with his tractors, pretends to read his books . . . but she’s also her own little person. She is continually on the go and rarely takes the time to just sit. And, as you can tell from the pictures, she is quite the little goon (Those are her first pair of sunglasses and if you could look more closely, they are extremely smudgy!).

Kate loves to take William’s things– like his clothes while he’s getting dressed or his snack or drink. This, obviously, starts a huge uproar, with William yelling at her and Kate running down the hall laughing. My solution was to teach William the Spanish word for “Help Me” which is “Ayudame”. Here’s how it plays out: William is going to the bathroom, with the door open for the world to see. Kate starts squealing and runs for the bathroom to see how close she can get. William, forgetting to aim into the toilet starts yelling, “AYUDAME, MOM! KATE’S GOING TO GET ME! AYUDAME! A-YUD-A-MEEEEE”. It’s really quite funny. But Kate does get her share of time-outs and sits obediently on the chair for a minute.

While we were at the Doctor the other day, he asked me about Kate’s speech. It’s funny, really. She has very few words, but she talks all of the time. She is always making little noises and pointing to things. And she can follow simple commands, like bringing me the phone or putting her toys away. She has this quiet way of learning. We’ve been listening to the song “Going on a Bear Hunt” and it has lots of motions. All of a sudden, Kate did all of the motions! I was blown away. She puts her hands on her eyes when they say “big green eyes” and sticks out her little bum when they say “fuzzy little tail”. It’s so fun.

William, out of the blue, at dinner asked me this question: “Mom, when do I need to die on the cross?” Is there a more awesome question than that!? It was so fun to give him the answer. I told him he didn’t have to die on the cross, but Jesus died for us to forgive us for our sins. He thought about it for a minute and then said, “Mommy, why do divers have to go underwater?” So much for my great spiritual teaching!

He’s also decided that he’s going to stay 3 years old and never turn 4. I’m quite happy with that since the years seem to be blurring together already. His reasoning is that kids who go to school have to get shots and he doesn’t want them. “Big-year-olds have to get shots, so I’m going to stay three.”

William announced to his swim teacher last week, “My name is William, but my parents call me Will.” We’ve never called him Will in our lives. We like it, but he is such a William. Nevertheless, his entire class knows him by Will now.

My parents were here over the weekend. William and Kate take full advantage of the spoiling. They know they’ll get more juice than usual, go to bed later than usual, and get extra cookies. Mom went out with William to play in the snow. I looked out and thought they were building a snowman. Oh no. They were building a snow BULL. Much more fun really. They’d both take turns sitting on it and then falling off of it. Does anyone else think this is bizarre? I do.

Grandad brought his usual smattering of gifts from farm shows. There is this particular gift that he keeps bringing that I keep trying desperately to get rid of. It’s a cow keychain. When you squeeze it a poop-like substance comes out of the rear. I don’t even want to know what kind of company gives these out to promote their product! Anyway, of course William thinks these disgusting things are hilarious (Jamie, I’ll probably be sending a few to your boys!). I didn’t mind so much until I discovered that William had snuck one to church on Christmas Eve. I had been off doing something and realized that William was gone. I heard laughter and discovered that William was greeting everyone at the door by showing them the pooping cow. Isn’t that lovely?! All of these people, dressed in their best clothes for Christmas– some of them people who only come to church on Christmas Eve– only to have the pastor’s son show them his poopy cow. So when Dad gave out another round of poopy cows last weekend, I promptly confiscated them. Oh, and they’ve upgraded. Not only does poop come out the rear, but their eyes bug out at the same time. Nice touch.

And with that, I think I’ll end for the night.