Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Year Old (by Matthew)

MIW Birthday 1

I made it! I am one whole year old! Mommy got an email the other day from one of those baby websites that sends regular updates about what milestones your kid is supposedly hitting, and suddenly the title was changed. Instead of saying something like, "Your Baby: 9 Months Old", it said "Your Toddler: 1 Year Old"! Did you get that, Ma? I'm a toddler now!

Really, though, they weren't that far off. True, I'm not yet walking as my primary mode of transportation (you can't beat crawling for speed and reliability), but I am getting braver. Instead of taking just two and three steps at a time, I'm now doing five, six, seven, can-I-hold-on-to-my-balance-and-make-it-to-eight steps at a time. Every time I make a longer voyage like this, I get big claps and smiles and exclamations of delight from Mom and Dad, so I try to do it at least once a day. Even Meg encourages me with, "Good walking, Buddy!"

I'm also communicating much more. Unfortunately, screams, shrieks and throwing food off my high chair tray are my preferred means of letting my folks know what I want at meal time. But I am doing a few more hand signs and, verbally, I'm starting to imitate words that I hear--"up" and "down" are my favorites. Yesterday I shook my head "no" to answer a question that Mommy asked me. And she swears that she heard me say "thank you" when she handed me my sippy cup earlier this week! (I don't know about that... sometimes mothers hear what they want to hear, you know?)

In other news, I weighed in last week at 20 lbs., 8 oz. Still a lightweight--I'm only at 10-25% there. I'm more average in the height department, about 30" long. I'm still nursing three times a day, down from four last month. Mommy thinks she's going to wean me completely in this next month (and Daddy's behind it), but I'm still pretty into it, so we'll see who prevails.

And now, here are some pictures from my little party. Between me and Meg, who were both zooming around like crazy, it was pretty hard for Mom to take pictures during the present-opening time. So most of what we have here are shots of me enjoying my cake. Yummmmm... my very first sugar overload!

Since my family calls me "Little Bug," Mama made me a bug cake!
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For eating, there was a little bug cupcake just for me. I needed some help to know what to do with it.
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Woah. What IS this stuff?
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Meg had her own little bug cupcake too.
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Wait, is it gone already?
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Hey, don't take my bib off! I just found a glob of icing that I missed!
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Meg helped me open the presents.
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OK, Meg pretty much opened the presents herself.
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Cool! A toy car and train from Grandma Tom and Grandma Dawn!
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And this one I got really excited about: Lightning McQueen balls of all varieties, plus a soft baseball bat and a glove. Now that's a present that a boy can grow on.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Now That We've Had His Party...

...we've got to post some birthday information about our big one-year old boy! And we will. But in the meantime, here's a glimpse of what he was up to today at dinner time...
Pasta Face
Yes, it was pasta night here in the Wilcox home. And this son--like his father before him--sure does love his pasta.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beach Shots II

All right, so I'm finally wrapping up the beach pictures... and if you'll indulge me, I'll do so with a few last images of my own wee ones. Miss Meg, of course, does not sit still and pose, so all of her pictures are busy (and somewhat artsy?) action shots.
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I like this one of my Little Bug with the big blue sky behind him.
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Just plain kissable:
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And this is probably my favorite one of all.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Matthew's Birthday Story

During my growing up years, my mom often used my birthday as an opportunity to retell the story of the day I was born--January 16, 1980. I've always loved this little tradition and hoped to continue it with my own kids. I'm very sure I'll come up with an abbreviated version to share with Matthew, but, Son, if you ever want the blow-by-blow, complete with all of the womanly details, well... here it is.

It was Thursday, September 13th, 2007, Matthew, and we knew that you could arrive any day. We had just bought the minivan. Daddy and I were putting the finishing touches on your big sister's new room so that you could eventually take over the nursery. We were starting to feel ready for you, and we both hoped that you might arrive before the weekend came.

Early that morning I talked with Aunt Jess. She and Uncle Kris had tickets to an O's game that night and needed someone to watch Jack. I emailed your Daddy to ask him if we could do it, and he said yes. I had the suspicious feeling that if we were booked for the night, you might choose to make your entrance.

Aunt Jessie and Jack came over late in the afternoon to hang out with Meg and me. Daddy and Uncle Kris drove to our house together after work, then around 6:00, Kris and Jess left for Baltimore. Daddy and I gave Meg her dinner in the kitchen while Jack sat in his car seat and played happily with his little stuffed elephant. Meg had just learned to make an elephant noise and kept pointing to Jack and demonstrating this new skill.

At about 7:00, we took Jack and Meg upstairs to put them to bed. Daddy gave Meg a bath while I changed Jack's clothes and fed him a bottle. Jack went right to sleep then, and Daddy and I had devotions with Meg and put her down. Then Mommy started making a late dinner while Daddy installed outlets in the new room.

By the time we cleaned up from dinner it was 10:00, and we were tired. Jack was asleep in our bedroom, so we hung out in the living room for a while. Daddy asked if we should go put another coat of paint on the doors in Meg's new room, and I told him I thought it was too late. He lay down on the floor and dozed for a few minutes, and for some reason, I picked up My Utmost For His Highest, which I had never read. As I skimmed a bit of it, I thought I had two real contractions. Although I'd been having mild contractions for weeks, these were the first ones that hurt--but only a little bit. I ignored them. Then my tummy started to feel strange. I ran to the bathroom.

While I was in there, Aunt Jess and Uncle Kris got back and collected Jack and his things. By the time I came out, they were ready to go. They told us a little bit about the game (O's beat the Angels), and we started to see them out. Before they got to the door, I had two more contractions--unmistakable and un-ignore-able this time. Aunt Jessie wondered is she should stay with Meg so we could go to the hospital if need be, but we decided against it, and the Marcs went home. It was now 11:00.

Daddy and I went upstairs and started getting ready for bed. It took me forever to brush my teeth and wash my face, because labor had hit me like a train. Contractions were coming every two to three minutes and lasting up to 60 seconds. We wondered if this was some kind of false start that would die down and give way to a more gradual introduction. But after an hour, Daddy decided it was time to call the midwives. A quick talk with Sharon, the same midwife I had seen for my 38-week check-up earlier that day, and we were ordered to start for the hospital. Daddy went downstairs to ask Miss Nicole, our renter, to stay with Meg until Nana or Grandpop could come take over. I stopped off in Meg's room to enjoy one last look at my first baby, and I whispered to her that I was about to bring her a brother.

We arrived at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital around 12:30, I think. We checked in quickly and I got changed into a gown. I sat on the bed and concentrated on relaxing through the pain. The midwife pronounced me 8 cm. dilated. "Yesssss!" I thought. Then, "I think I'm going to throw up," I told the nearest nurse, and she grabbed a basin just in time to catch my entire dinner as it came back up. Yuck! At this moment, the front desk let us know that Nana and Aunt Lena has arrived and would wait for news in the lounge area.

You were bumping and flailing around inside me like crazy with every contraction! I guess you didn't like being squeezed and shoved out of your cozy little home. Daddy sat beside me, watched the contractions go by on the monitor, and made sure that I was drinking lots of fluids (mostly grape juice) in between. I went into my "labor zone," which means that I am working so hard at relaxing that I am almost asleep, barely conscious of what's going on around me.

A funny part of the labor came when I told Sharon that I felt ready to push. She began checking to see if I was fully dilated, and just then my bag of waters literally exploded all over her. "Woah!" she said, and that expressed my own thoughts perfectly.

After pushing through exactly three contractions, I pushed you right out and they laid you on my chest. Daddy cut your umbilical cord. Sharon and the nurses blotted you clean while I held you. It was Friday the 14th at 2:44 a.m.; my whole labor had taken less than four hours.

They weighed you, and the scale registered 8 lbs., 13 oz.. I couldn't believe it! After Meg, who was 7 lbs., 6.5 oz., you seemed huge! Next you had your first meal. It lasted 45 minutes, which the nurse seemed to think was impressive. You were a hungry one, right from the beginning.

Nana and Aunt Lena came in to the room. Your daddy was the first one to hold you, other than me. When he eventually handed you to Nana, you let out a big wail! We all laughed, and you settled down quickly. Aunt Lena held you next. Nana said you were perfect. You came out so quickly that your head didn't have time to get coney and your face didn't get squished! You really did look flawless, albeit rather red!

After a nurse gave you a bath and ran some tests on you, they took us out of the delivery room and gave Mommy a bed in a regular room. The hospital was very crowded, so there were already another mommy and baby in the room. It was very cramped--we just had space for my bed, your little bed on its cart, and a stool for Daddy to sit on. Your Daddy helped us get settled into our room and talked with me for a few minutes. Then he went home to get some rest. I had expected to be sad and lonely when he left--I had never had to stay in a hospital in my whole life! But I wasn't too upset after all. It was the first chance that I had to have time alone with you, and I wanted to hold you and kiss you and stare at you for a while--all by myself.

I wrote this story almost a year ago now, starting in the second week of Matthew's life. This accounts for all of the detail, which I'm sure I could not now recall had I not recorded it while it was fresh! I never found the right time to post it last year, but today seems the perfect occasion, especially since we are postponing our birthday celebration until next week and therefore have no party pictures to share.

Happy, Happy Birthday, my sweet little Matthew-Man!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Coming Attractions

Wow! Busy summer! I can't believe that fall is here (at least according to the schools... and the oak tree in our side yard, which is loosing its leaves in big clumps). I also can't believe how very far behind I am on my blogging. But it's tough to keep up with these things when you're on the road, and on the road is what we have been recently.

Now that we're home from Illinois, our final travel-adventure of the summer, I am hoping to make up for lost time. Here is a list of possible catch-up posts (no guarantees, now, that I'll do all of them):
1. Matthew's Eleven-Months Recap (This one is laughably overdue, given that the boy's first birthday is tomorrow. But I still hope to do it in some way.)
2. The Rest of the Beach Pics
3. Lena Leaves for "Real" College
4. Thoughts On My Ten-Year High School Reunion
5. The Trip to Chicago/Ronae's Wedding

And here are my guesses on upcoming posts based on what's on our calendar for the next few weeks:
1. Matthew Is One Year Old!
2. The Third Annual Tech-Teams Picnic
3. The Birthday Party
4. One-Year Medical Stats
5. Meg Starts Potty-Training (Why do I have a hunch that this will require multiple posts?)
6. The Arrival of Baby Emma Marcantonio!!
7. Weaning Matthew

Does that sound exciting, or what? It sure will be busy...

I guess some things don't change with the seasons.