Saturday, April 19, 2008


Jump 2

This is a series of pictures that I took while we were at Mom's earlier this week. Now, ours is just a point-and-click camera, nothin' fancy, so you'll have to excuse the blurriness. But I loved capturing Meg in motion--especially since that's how she spends every waking moment!
Jump 5

She was having a blast with this toddler picnic-table that Nana found at a yard sale last year. (You didn't think she'd actually want to eat on it, did you, Ma?) Her game went something like this: climb up on the bench on one side of the table, step up onto the table, pat Ari's head (if he was in reach) and say, "Hiiiii, Buggy-oh!" and then step down onto the other bench. Then yell, "One... two... three... JUMP!"
Jump 6

Then turn around, climb up the other way, and repeat in the opposite direction.
Jump 10

I love this next one.
Jump 7

This one too:
Jump 8

Just before touch-down:
Jump 9

She must have done this fifty times...
Jump 1

Jump 3

Jump 4

Wouldn't you love to bottle that energy?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Girls' Retreat Recap

Well, "retreat" might not be a fully accurate term. We did have three children under the age of three with us, so we spent quite a bit of time caring for babies. Ah, but what a gift to be caring for babies as a team--Momma, me, Jacque and Lena. My mom, especially, served me so well by helping prepare food for little ones, watching them so I could get a shower or a quiet time, and just pitching in to help with the hundreds of little tasks that go into caring for kids each day. Thanks, dear Mommy! You are such a blessing, and your hard work really did make this a refreshing time for me!

All right, so to limit my pontificating, I think I'll just list highlights in bullet-point form. And here they are:
-Being outside so much. Spring is here, and we've had just gorgeous weather the last few days. We all spent lots of time in Mom's back yard with the kids, playing and talking (and Mom and Jacque did a little gardening too).
-Walks and talks with Jacque. I rarely get one-on-one time with my middle sister, but this week I got in two significant chunks of talk with her while we strolled babies and pushed them on the swings. And that doesn't count the time we spent talking in larger groups. I feel like I know my sister better than I have in a looooong time!
-Listening to a Carolyn Mahaney message together. We squeezed this in while the kids were asleep (except Matthew), and then had a few discussions to follow up on what we'd heard. Really basic, solid, gospel-related stuff. Good reminders, and good to get to know my mom and sissies more through fellowship.
-Watching Enchanted together. I've wanted to see this movie since I first caught the preview, and now I finally have. It was all that I hoped. To this Disney-and-movie-musical fan, it was an extremely funny flick. Great pick, Lean!
-Eating Jacque's deeeeelicious Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesean. Yumsville.
-Eating my own Coconut Toffee Almond Crunch Cookies (not an original recipe, by the way) during Enchanted. Double yumsville.
-Eating everything my mom made. Obviously.
-Watching my girl enjoy her cousin Ari. She nicknamed him (at different times during the week) "Buggy-Oh" and "Chubbawub." (We have no idea. But it was cute.) She called him "Honey" once yesterday. And when he and Jacque left today, she wailed and would not be consoled for many long, loud minutes.
-The extra space. Cubby decided that four women and three children in the house was a bit much for him to handle on his own, so he spent the week with Aunt Lee in PA. He generously lent us his apartment, which meant each child got a room to his or herself and made naps and bedtime routines so much easier!! And no one had to sleep on the floor, or even a couch! Thank you very much, Cub!
-Our last night together. We put the kids down, briefed the sitter, and went to The Cheesecake Factory to enjoy dessert and conversation. (Thanks for buying, Daddy!) We ended up learning a lot of fascinating stuff about our family history from Mom. It magnified God's grace in all of our eyes, I think. Then we came home and tried to get some pictures of ourselves (it was my brilliant idea to skip asking the waiter to do it at the restaurant). But it was extremely late by this time, and none of us knew how to use the timers on our cameras, and we were punchy. Really punchy. Lots of laughter resulted, along with some really bad pictures. And some really good memories.

I love you, Momma and girlies! Let's do think seriously about making it an annual thing, OK? And thanks to each of you for the sacrifices you made to make it happen. I won't soon forget our special time.

And now for the pictures...

Meg and Ari playing together:
Girls Retreat 1

The lighting is bad here, but this is Ari's very favorite face to make, "The Nose-Scrunch."
Girls Retreat 2

The outside time we got this week made up to Meg the many earlier times when we haven't gotten out due to Matthew's nap schedule.
Girls Retreat 3

Girls Retreat 4

Happy as a clam--my mom in gardening garb. "I'm so glad that we got our taxes in! Now I can finally start gardening!"
Girls Retreat 5

Girls Retreat 6
Girls Retreat 7

Keepin' it real with a no-makeup, hair-stuck-in-my-mouth self-portrait.
Girls Retreat 8

Playing in the green, green grass.
Girls Retreat 9
Girls Retreat 10
Girls Retreat 11

Without camera-timers, we were forced to try this:
Girls Retreat 12

And this:
Girls Retreat 13

Although I must admit, no one forced us into this:
Girls Retreat 14

Or this:
Girls Retreat 15

Or this.
Girls Retreat 16

Trying, at least, to be serious:
Girls Retreat 17

A cousins concert: window-banging.
Girls Retreat 18

Ari getting smothered with kisses.
Girls Retreat 19

What a cute little man.
Girls Retreat 20

Matthew missed out on some of the cousins action due to naps, but he'll catch up soon.
Girls Retreat 21

One last shot before we parted this morning:
Girls Retreat 22

And now Dave has just called... his plane landed safely in Baltimore and he'll be back in my arms in a couple more hours. I can't wait to hear about the conference...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Separate Ways

This morning my David is off to Louisville, KY, where he'll attend Together for the Gospel this week. I'm so excited that, for the first time in six years or more, he'll get to just go and attend something that will really feed his soul. No tech responsibilities, no overseeing teams, no laboring behind the scenes. Just the chance to go and be a part of the "audience" and soak in the truth. What a gift!

The rest of us Wilcoxes are headed down to Gaithersburg to spend a few days with Mom, Lena, Jacque and Ari. We plan to talk, laugh, eat, play with babies, talk some more, sing, eat some more, cry a little (I'm going to be there, after all), and just enjoy some sweet girl time. I hope to take pictures and commemorate our special time here on the blog... some time. Probably Thursday, at the very earliest.

Also, today is Matthew's seven-month birthday! What a big boy! And man, oh, man, what a cutie. We just love this little fellow. More on that later too...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Messy Equation

1 mommy in the shower
1 little girl who is now tall enough to reach everything on mommy's vanity
(no matter how far back it is pushed)
1 tube of mascara
2/3 pot of lip gloss
1 tube of Colgate toothpaste
1 pot of facial powder


Made-Up Meg

It also equals some make-up in the trashcan, a once-pristine, light pink dress in the hamper, and a child in the bathtub. (There was mascara in her hair too. But the whole thing could have been much, much worse.) Final product: a mommy brought one step closer to wisdom...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Purty Day

Today it was lovely outside. Meg and Matthew and Jess and Jack and I went to our back yard to enjoy some of it. Here's a selection of the pictures we took.

Outside 1

Outside 2

Outside 3

Outside 4

Outside 5

Outside 6

Outside 7

Outside 8

Outside 9

Outside 10

Outside 11

Outside 12

Outside 13

Outside 14

Outside 15

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spinning His Wheels

Matthew is working on his crawling skills. We think he is quite close to becoming mobile. (Although he's already pretty good at rolling to wherever he wants to be.) He spent a week or two obviously trying to get up on his knees. Then, last Thursday or Friday, he got it. Now he spends most of his time on all fours, rocking, scooting his feet around, trying to move one hand, falling on his face. My favorite move is when he stands on his toes and pushes his bottom straight up in the air. Then he "runs" with his feet so that they move quickly back and forth... I haven't been able to get it on video yet, but it cracks us up. We used to do an exercise in P.E. class that looked pretty similar (except you weren't supposed to put your butt in the air). Don't know if you can picture it...

Anyway, here's a video of one of Matthew's first times up on all fours. (You'll have to concentrate to block out the various distractions by Meg--heavy breathing at the beginning, followed by incomprehensible babbling and extreme Elmo usage.) If you watch all the way through, you'll be rewarded with some amusing head-bobbing and an adorable smile near the end.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hey, We Have A New Look!

After about six months of experimenting in our snatches of spare time together, Dave and I finally completed a blog makeover last night. (For those of you who use aggregators, seeing the changes will require actually visiting our website. Just in case you'd forgotten how that works.)

My hubby gets full credit for slogging through all of the html code to make this happen. Me, I just say, "Make it this color!" and "Put this picture here!" and he does all of the hard stuff. (Leave it to someone who actually enjoys the challenge, I say.) Now, I'm no designer, so if you don't like what we've done, I'll understand. But I'm fairly pleased with it for now. It's brighter and more clean than our old black template, and it's got some pretty, spring-like colors! Ahhhhh... it's nice to have a fresh start.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Conversations With Meg, #1

At today's lunch, the following scene brought me some giggles.

Meg: (Coming into the kitchen as I am mashing avocado for Matthew and pointing at the bowl) Eat it? Eat it?
Mommy: No, Sweetie, this is for Matthew.
Meg: (Suddenly verging on tears) Eat it! Eat it?
Mommy: No, Meg, Matthew's going to eat his lunch, and then you're going to have your lunch in just a few minutes.
Meg: Waaaaahhhhhhhhh! (Sobbing as if in utter despair)
Mommy: (Chuckling, to self) Oh, good grief! (Stops making baby food, picks Meg up) You know what, Sweetie? I think you're extra hungry right now because you didn't eat enough breakfast. That's why you need to eat your oatmeal at breakfast time, so you won't be so hungry before lunch. Now, would you like to have some raisins while you wait for Matthew to eat his lunch?
Meg: No. (Sniffs, gestures hopefully to her slowly dwindling stash of Easter candy) Choc'late bunny, somefing like dat?

Holy moly, what a girl! At age two, she has already learned a profound... er, truth: no sorrow is too great, no trial too bitter for the sweet consolation of chocolate.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Pain In the... Eye

Well, that does it. I hereby declare Matthew's hands to be official, registered weapons. This child's finger nails cannot be tamed, regardless of how often I trim them! It wasn't enough for him to scratch his own head raw when he was a few months younger. I would come in to see him in the mornings and find his scalp all covered with fresh red gouges, inflicted by his own fingernails. Then there was the time he clawed the very tip of my nose (see the blurry shot above) and left a mark that lingered for several days. (Good for the ol' vanity. Sorta painful too--like having a paper cut on the end of your schnoz.)

But this week's incident tops the list. We were at the movies on Monday afternoon, seeing Horton Hears A Who. Matthew was in my arms, facing me, but fighting and craning his neck to see the screen behind him. I tried to dodge his wildly flailing arms as I settled him, but one of his fingers swiped right in my left eye. No big deal, right? Taking a finger in the eye is par for the course in the parenting game, right?

Except that, after that initial, stinging, "ow" moment passed... well, it just didn't pass. It lingered on and on, as I blinked and blinked and teared and dabbed at the eye. Eventually, I began to feel as if something was in my eye--an eyelash, perhaps, or a speck of sawdust. The very instant that this sensation began, the phrase "corneal abrasion" flashed through my head. Having been through a grand adventure several years ago with a certain friend when she received a corneal abrasion, I remembered her symptoms and thought that they were awfully like my own.

According to emedicine, a corneal abrasion is "a scraping away or denuding of the corneal surface resulting from external forces physically applied to the corneal surface. More helpfully, it's "a painful scrape or scratch of the surface of the clear part of the eye." And painful it was. The problem with having one of these things is that every single blink irritates it--it's that touchy. It also made me light-sensitive at times, so that all I could do was lay on the couch with a throw pillow over my face.

Well, to try and keep a short story short... I went to the optometrist the next day, and he confirmed my self-diagnosis. He also put a contact lens in my eye, which allowed me to heal without being bothered by every blink. And he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, in drop form. (The only nasty thing about corneal abrasions, other than how they feel, is that they can turn into infections if they're not treated properly.) The contact cut my discomfort down to almost nothing, and by the next day when I took the contact out, the eye was (according to the doctor) almost healed.

So all's well that ends well. Except that a $30 co-pay for a visit to a specialist, plus a $20 co-pay for a prescription makes for one expensive finger nail encounter! Do you think I should make Matthew wear mittens until he masters his own digits a bit more?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Some Of Our Favorite People...

...were here this weekend. It was so, so, so good to see and spend some time with my sister Jacque, her husband Asher, and their son Ari. (Even though we never seem to have long enough.)

We spent a little time trying to get a picture of our two families together; this was one of the most decent of them (on our camera, at least).
Spruills 1

This one cracked me up, with the kids all looking in different directions.
Spruills 2

And this one.
Spruills 3

Oh, and this one's great too.
Spruills 4

But this one, with Cubby, was by far the best of all. Our patriarch and our lucky charm--what a guy!
Spruills 5

(Okay, now that facial expressions aren't quite as important, I'll go back to doing smaller pictures.)

We also tried to get a picture of the three babies together, but... Meg wasn't feeling posey, I guess.
Spruills 9

Oh, and Ari?
Spruills 12

Forget it! He is a man on the move.
Spruills 11

So that left Matthew posing pretty much all by his lonesome.
Spruills 10

How do you feel about that, Matthew? (Hold on, he's thinking. He'll get back to you later.)
Spruills 13

This is my impossibly cute mom, surveying her yard as her grandchildren frolicked. (Umm... OK, so that verb is probably less accurate than picturesque.)
Spruills 8

Here is my lovely sister Jacqua, who is, I am happy to report, such a happy mama. Whew, does she love that little Ari-boy!
Spruills 6

Here are our two little guys, just four months apart:
Spruills 14

"Playing" together, which for now mostly means tugging on each other's clothes:
Spruills 16

And one last shot, taken just before the very first (of many, probably) Cousin Bath.
Spruills 17

Speaking of which, by the middle of Friday afternoon, Meg, who is always on the prowl for new vocabulary, was looking adoringly at Ari and announcing, "Cuuuuuu-zin." We are grateful that she won't have to wait too long to see her cousin again; later this month, when Dave and my dad go to Louisville to attend Together for the Gospel, we girls will be gathering at my mom's place for a semi-retreat (with the kids) and girl time. We can't wait!