7 Jan
Crystal went back to college today.  She’ll be starting her Junior year at Bob Jones University.

09 Jan
Ruth and I signed up for Lamaze classes.  The last class is 6 Feb.

10 Jan
Sean-D had another dental appointment today.  His top left molar has a large cavity, and it needed to be filled.  He must have forgotten the previous ordeals because he was all happy and playful walking all through the clinic until he saw the dental office and the Dr.  Then he realized what was happening.

13 Jan
We got our new dishwasher delivered today!  I will be putting it in myself.  Yesterday I pulled out one of the cabinets under the kitchen sink counter to make room.

18 Jan
I was actually able to finish installing the dishwasher all by myself today.  What took so long was in preparing the space where it was to go.
Sean-D has been talking a lot this week.  His Sunday School teachers are impressed.  So are mommy and daddy.  His sentences are clearer, and he’s making his needs know better.  He is also counting things.  He can now count to 13.
Less than 4 weeks to go for our new baby.  Ruth and I already are in the nesting stage; cleaning the house, getting a dishwasher, and we are trying to get in a shower downstairs.

27 Jan
Amber left today for her 2 month vacation to Australia.  Sean-D had a blast at the airport watching the planes take off.  He called them “boats” when they were on the ground and “airplanes” when they took off.  David wasn’t impressed with the planes and wanted to leave after we saw Amber off.  Sean-D must have sensed that he wanted to go, and he said to David “You sit down”.   Sean-D’s getting good at making himself understood.

11 Feb
Sean-D’s 2 years old today.  My dad and step-mom came over yesterday to celebrate, and Ruth’s mom and dad came over today.

13 Feb
David got his new car today – a 1991 Toyota Turcel.  It belonged to his aunt Lydia in Chicago.  David’s dad drove it down for him.
Ruth and I are anxiously waiting for our new baby.  We went into the hospital yesterday because she was having contractions, but they release us a couple of hours after they stopped.

20 Feb
Our new baby arrived yesterday!! It’s a girl!!  She was born on 19 Feb 2003 at 0857am.  She weighed in at 10 pounds 2 ounces, and was 22 inches long.  This is Ruth’s biggest baby ever.  Ruth started her active labor around 3am and woke me up at 430 am.  We checked in at the hospital at 615, and less than 3 hours later we had a baby.  She’s such a cutie.  She and mom will be in the hospital till tomorrow afternoon.  Grandma Falconnier has been watching Sean-D while I visit all day.  She says she has a lot of fun.  He loves to play with her, and his favorite game is to march around the house singing the “Infantry” song.

22 Feb
I brought Ruth and Melodie Joy home yesterday afternoon.  We re-introduced her to Sean-D – he had been brought to see her the night she was born.  He had a hard time being gentle, but he insisted on kissing her several times.
Sean-D has been cooped up for a few days, so I took him on the metro link to the airport to watch the planes.  He had a good time, and fell asleep on the train back.

19 Mar
Amber’s back from Australia.  She had a wonderful time and  came back with a tan.

03 Apr
The cement steps at our back door were sinking, so we put in a deck.  It was finished today.

10 Apr
Amber went to a job interview in Indiana on the 8th and she already got word back that she got the job!

22 Apr
Melodie started smiling and cooing last week.  We went to my Dad’s house for Easter, and as he held her, he made faces and funny sounds which made her smile and fidget.

25 Apr
A cute Melodie moment:  this morning, as I was getting ready to go to work, one of our bedroom blinds suddenly shot up and made a loud noise, scaring Melodie.  It took a second or two for her bottled up cry to finally break out, and she made the cutest poochie lip faces for a few minutes afterwards.

30 Apr
Mommies 42 today!!  For her birthday I got her a new stove.
I looked back at previous entries, and I didn’t see one of the Sean-D moments that I wanted to put down.  Sean-D and I have invented a new game called “Kiss the Frog”.  I have a plastic frog with a motion sensor built in that activates a croaking sound.  We try to sneak up on the frog to kiss it, and if it croaks we run away screaming.  He has also discovered the little helicopters that fall out of maple trees.  He picks them up and throws them into the air.

12 May
Crystal came home from college for a week, and left today for this years mission trip with Bob Jones University.  They are staying CONUS this time.

24 May
Today was the Strawberry Festival at Eckert’s.  Mom was tired, so Sean-D and I went.  I didn’t think he was old enough for the strawberry picking, but they had rides and things for little kids.   Among the rides there was this huge blow-up slide thing that was so big I had to go up with him, and slide down with him in my lap.  The best part of the whole day was when Sean-D rode a real horse for the first time.  Of course, after the first few steps he got scared and wanted off, but with a little encouragement he rode the whole track.

12 Jun
We finally got power back to the house this morning after most of the city being down for 2 days.  We had a huge thunderstorm, and possibly even a tornado.  We all went to the basement during the storm to wait it out. After the winds died down, no one seemed to know what to do with themselves without power, so we played cards.

24 Jun
Crystal called from her mission field to wish Ruth and I a happy anniversary.  Sean-D got on the phone and sang Happy Birthday to her.  He sang the whole song all by himself.  The only part he got wrong was he said Amber instead of Crystal.
Nothing really new with MJ.  She starting to teeth already, and she’s still a bubbly, happy baby.

26 Jun
I took Sean-D to the YMCA pool this evening for the first time in a while.  He had a blast.  For the first 30 minutes all he did was jump off the side into my arms, climb back out, and then jump back in.  I had to pay attention, but once or twice, while wiping the water out of my eyes,  he jumped in before I was ready, and I had to fish him out.  That didn’t stop him though.


1 July
Sean-D has started talking more intelligently  When you ask him where something is (like his shoes) he says: “I don’t know.  I don’t see it”.  Or when you ask him if he pooped his diaper. He always says: ” Not yet”.  He has also taken to singing songs that he’s learned without anyone prompting him.  Also, when he wants to stall, for whatever reason, he’ll start asking you, “What does the horse say.  What does the dog say….
We can now get Melodie to laugh out loud.  For the longest time she had this silent laugh.

8 July
Amber left today for her second trip to Australia.  When she gets back, she will start her first year of college at SIU.

11 July
Ruth and I had a Sean-D and Melodie moment at the same time.  Whenever Sean-D gets grumpy sometimes I give out a James Brown “Heeeeyy He He” yell, and that always snaps him out of it.  Well, today we had  supper outside in the garden, and Sean-D was all grumpy so I gave out the call.  Of course that got him to smile, and he gave out his own version.   Melodie, who was in the stroller, started laughing,   so I gave out another yell – nothing.  Sean-D gave his own in reply, and Melody started cracking up.  Ruth got Sean-D to do it a couple more times, and I thought Melodie was having seizures she was laughing so hard.  Apparently, he’s got the big brother touch.

1 Aug
Sean-D started a new tactic to get out of stuff.  Yesterday I asked him if he was ready for his bath, and he gave all kinds of different excuses like: I need to change the diaper, I have to go outside, I need to talk to mommy.  Finally he just flat out said he was too busy.

19 Aug
I’ve been taking  Sean-D out of the house once a week so that Ruth can facilitate her women’s bible study.  I usually go to the YMCA, and let him play in the kids gym while I work out, and then we go swimming.  Today he had a runny nose from either a cold or allergies, so we went to our alternate hangout – the Eckerts play area.  He played in the sandbox for a while and then we moved on to the goats, chickens, and bunnies area where, for the FIRST TIME he fed a goat right out of his hand!!! At first he was skittish and kept asking me to do it, but when we were down to our last nugget he took it and handed it to one of the goats.  He didn’t even jerk back his hand, but just said “All gone”.  Unfortunately the joy was dampened a little when we got home because apparently he’d gotten chiggers from the sandbox, and he was “Itchie” all over and couldn’t stop scratching.  We finally had to put some medicine on him which stung because he’d scratched so much.  But I’m still very proud of him for overcoming another fear.
Melodie Joy has started making more sounds – mostly “Da Da Da Da”.  She is able to stay up when we sit her up, and she’s rolling over and over.  She has already fallen off the bed once, and we’re being extra careful where we set her.  She still has that winning smile of hers that lights up her whole face and of those around her.
Everyone’s starting school next week.  David’s goes back to Berean Christian School as a Junior, Crystal returns to Bob Jones University for her last year, and Amber begins her first year at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

1 Sep
Ruth has proudly announced that today Melodie said “Mommy”.

6 Sep
Today was promotion day for Sean-Daniels Sunday School class.  He took to the change very well.

23 Sep
Mommy found Melodie standing in her crib for the first time today!  She had pulled herself up.


27 Sep
Today mommy wanted to do some yard saleing, so I took Sean-D to Grants Farm in Missouri.  We first went to the baby goat pen, and when we got through the turn-style the goats accosted Sean-D – as always.  He of course panicked, but when we got in the clear he was OK.  Then he started petting them, which surprised me because he is usually skittish.  Just to be kidding, I asked him if he wanted to ride one of the goats.  He said yes like he always does, but this time he got up next to one, held onto my hand and swung  his leg over its back.  I couldn’t believe it!  He kept his feet on the ground, they were just the right height, and he’d walk along with them.  I couldn’t help but crack up watching him.  He wouldn’t ride very long, but he’d get off and go after another one, eventually not needing me to help at all.  Some of the goats he would announce as “too big”, and he’d go to another one.  He eventually agreed to move onto the rest of the animals.  We had a great time.  He’s still afraid of the camels, so I think that’ll be my next goal
Melodie is pulling herself up to a stand more.  I also hear her saying “Mom” when she’s distressed.  She also crawls very quickly.  She uses one knee for a pivot, and her other foot to scootch along the floor.  I’m not sure it’s technically crawling, but it’s effective..

Branson Missouri Vacation 2003
6 Oct – We rented a 2004 Nissan Maxima for the trip.  This is the first real family vacation with Dad, Mom, Sean-Daniel, and Melodie.  We left on time at 11 am and arrived at Branson about 4:30 pm.  We stayed in a timeshare Condo that my dad let us use for the week.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but it turned out to be very nice. We had a jacuzzi in the bathroom, a gas fireplace, and a deck which look out over tree covered hills.  We got settled into the “house”, and went out to eat.

7 Oct – We woke up to a foggy morning – you couldn’t see past the first line of trees from the deck  It was also very foggy the next 2 days).  Fortunately we bought cinnamon rolls last night, so we didn’t have to go out for breakfast.  When the fog had cleared we went to the “Branson Zoo and Predator World” The first building had the big cats, bears, snakes (I never saw so many varieties), tarantulas, a ground hog, and other reptiles.  The second building had a wolf, sharks, a stingrays, turtles, and a porcupine.  Of course Sean-D was totally excited.  He pet the dragon, but couldn’t bring himself to pet the python or the wolf. 

8 Oct – We spent the whole day at Silver Dollar City.  There was plenty to see, and there were a number of rides for Sean-D.  As usual, he threw a tantrum when we took him away from the merry-go-round , (after the 7th time around),  and even on the way home after our vacation he kept asking to ride the horse.  Melodie Joy wasn’t able to go on any rides except the train, but she did get a free infant’s ring from a jeweler named Kevin.  He made it on the spot and said a prayer for her.  Right after the ring mom discover that Melodie’s first tooth was coming out!!  It’s the front bottom one.  We stayed until dark, and we dragged ourselves home.

9 Oct –  It rained all day today.  We spent the good part of the day at the Butterfly House.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be pretty cool. The guy who worked there said that because of the rain there weren’t as many butterflies, but I thought there were quite a lot.  They also had a little room with a big glass window so you could see all the pupa hanging.  It was so fantastic that Ruth bought a roll of film and used it all to take pictures of the butterflies.

10 Oct – After checking out of the condo we went on our last ride of our vacation, the “Ride the Ducks”.  The DUKW is an all terrain vehicle from WWII converted to carry passengers.  It can go 40 mph on land and 8 mph on water.  Capt Bob was our driver, and he was hilarious.  When we were boarding we were given a duck-billed shaped horn that the Capt had us use on other passing Ducks, golfers, and if we thought on of his jokes was bad.  Sean-D was the honorary Captain of the boat, and when we got in water Capt Bob let him drive.
The End

14 Oct
Last night Ruth heard Sean-D walking through the house calling for her.  He had a nightmare, the first that we know of.  When Ruth asked him what was wrong he told her ” The lizard was tickling me”.  We think it could be from his visit to the Zoo at Branson.

18 Oct
Melodie making quick progress.  She is now standing without support for 4 seconds.

8 Nov
Melodie is now able to move around on her feet as long a she has something to hold onto.  Sean-Daniel’s vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds, and he’s reasoning more.  He is aware when he’s done something, and he says he’s sorry and asks forgiveness.

23 Nov
Melodie’s getting around better, and standing for longer periods without holding on to anything.  Ruth noticed that she’s got another tooth coming out –  the top middle.

27 Nov
We had a quiet thanksgiving at our house.  Grandma and Grandpa Falconnier came over to celebrate.   Melodie is showing two teeth on top for a total of four.  She is also walking a little, and has taken 8 steps.
We had to start calling Sean-D “Mister Opposite” lately.  No matter what you say, he says the opposite even when you know he knows it’s not true.  It’s cute to tease him.  He got up grumpy today, and I asked him if he wanted a hug; he of course stated emphatically “No! I don’t want a hug.” So I said ok, and walked away, and he cried after me “I wanna hug!”

2 Dec
Mommy watched as Melodie took 20 steps today.

7 Dec
We had a couple of “firsts” in the family.  We got back last night from visiting Ruth’s sister in Chicago.  We had gone up to see her graduation for her Doctorate, and it was the first time Ruth and I and the babies had ever ridden on the Amtrack.  It was snowing all the way home, and Sean-D kept saying he wanted to build a snowman.  So after church today we built his first snowman.   He kept wanting to throw his part up in the air, so I decided it was best just to build a small one and get it over with – it was about 28 degrees.   When finished it came to about 16 Inches with 3 parts, and had a carrot tip for a nose, peppercorns for eyes, and one of his infant hats.  We created the snowman in three sections:  The first time I thought it was good enough to have the 3 main parts, but after taking off our coats and shoes and looking at the snowman thru his bedroom window, Sean-D said “now let’s put on the nose and eyes.  So we got all dressed up and went back out.  After placing the eyes and nose we went back to his window, and he said “now let’s put on a hat”.  He so cute.

25 Dec
When I got home from work yesterday I was greeting by sight and smell of a beautiful huge Christmas tree in our living room.  Ruth had got the tree, and had it all decorated – I was impressed
We spent Christmas Eve at Ruth’s brothers house, and Christmas at her mom’s.

31 Dec
We’ve all been sick for the past few days.  Melodie hasn’t been sleeping well (wakes up about every hour screaming) , so neither have Ruth and I.
Yesterday Sean-D came up to Ruth’s bed while she was still asleep, and said over and over “I can’t walk on the Christmas tree”.  Finally, Ruth got up to see what he was talking about and found the tree laying on its side and pieces of broken ornaments on the floor.  We’re not sure if he did it, or if he found it that way.  Ruth said he was apologetic, and quick to ask her for forgiveness.  When I came home from work he greeted me at the door, wild eyed and scared looking, so he probably fretted all day about my coming home.




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