Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quick Thanksgiving Pics

As usual, I didn't take enough pictures at our Thanksgiving get-together. But here are a few, just to give you a taste...

At table
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Mom, Dad, Uncle Ed, and Aunt Heidi (the latter two being our kind hosts)
Thanksgiving08 1

My favorite shot. Ed got his guitar out and let Ari take a few strums. STRUM, STRUM, STRUM! Ari really likes guitars.
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Bootifulest ladies, my mom and sissies
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Our dear Uncle Don, everyone's favorite Character. He'd be your favorite too if you knew him!
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And a final shot of Ari, with characteristically full mouth. (I daresay one could title this photo "The Spirit of Thanksgiving".)
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Matthew's Words

Red Nose Boy

I'm afraid that the Wilcox family is developing a bad habit. We seem to be getting into the rut of being sick whenever there is a family gathering to be enjoyed. You may recall our beach vacation, which started with Matthew getting a four-day fever and ended with all of us having a stomach bug. And then we decided that, in addition to a green vegetable, we should all bring head colds to the Nalle clan's Thanksgiving party. Yes, all four of us. Charming contribution, don't you agree?

And what a head cold! Meg and David seem mostly recovered now, praise the Lord, but Matthew and I are still in the throes of it. My voice is about an octave lower than usual. And I'm not sure that I have ever used so many tissues in a 72-hour time frame. The bottom edges of my nose are chapped and red from too much wiping. Actually, the whole organ is beginning to look rather Rudolph-ish. How festive!

But Matthew, getting to the point of this post, has had the worst cold of all, poor little bug. His nose is looking a little raw too, and he has that horrible baby cough that ends each time in a pathetic, pained cry. But it sure doesn't stop him from looking cute. Or sounding cute.

He's beginning to talk, you see. Most of his words would still be unrecognizable to anyone other than Dave and me. But even a very small vocabulary makes communication so much easier! Here's what our boy is saying so far:

Dada: "Dahhh."
Yeah: "Yahh." As in, "Matthew, do you want a snack?" "Yahh."
That: "Dah." Almost indistinguishable from Dada, except that it's usually accompanied by pointing at an unknown or desired object.
Hi: "Ahhhhhh." Accompanied by a floppy wave.
Milk: Can't spell it phonetically, besides, it's evolving. But he usually points to his cup when he says it, so that helps!
Cracker: Hm, not sure I can spell this one either. If you make a "K" sound in the back of your throat and hold it for about three and-a-half seconds, you'll know about what Matthew sounds like when he wants a cracker. Or a rice cake, or anything crunchy that is stored in the cabinet to the left of the microwave.
All done: "Ah duh." Accompanied by the hand sign and usually spoken with a degree of eagerness that borders on impatience. "Yes, Mom, I'm all done already, OK?"
Up: "Uh."
Down: "Dow," usually said in a very low voice.
Ball: "Bah."
Diaper: "Dee-dee," pronounced staccato.
Doggie: Pretty much the same as Dad and That. You have to use the context clues.
Amen: This one actually sounds pretty close to the original.

Those last three are usually pronounced with a closed mouth and are therefore completely impossible to spell. But you can tell what he means because of his intonation. It's pretty cute. Sort of like everything else about him. Even that little red nose.

Red Nose Boy 2

I think we'll keep him.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Slow Month... and Quotables

It's been a slow month here at the Wilcox Family blog. There's no lack of material; I guess I just haven't been that excited about writing in this context this month. Some of the time I might normally give to blogging I've given to thinking and praying for our friends Dave and Heather. Their baby girl Alivia went to be with Jesus earlier this month. Reading their blog has been such an encouragement, and it fuels my prayers for their dear family.

But I am beginning to feel the urge again, the need to record some of the words and events that fill our days... because otherwise I just won't remember them! So to start, here are a couple of recent quotes from various family members. For those of you who got a kick out of this post and Meg's "itchy" comment, here's something you'll appreciate. It took place at the breakfast table, as Meg stared at the milk carton.

Meg: A cow!
Dave: That's right, there's a cow on the milk carton. Do you know why?
Meg: Yes.
Dave: Why would a cow be on the milk carton?
Meg: 'Cause he needs a savior. That cow needs a savior!

Ahem. Still working on ironing out the finer points of her theology.

This was another cute exchange that took place in the car, on the way to get Matthew's hair cut:

Meg: We're going to get a hair cut!
Dave: Yep, we're going to get Matthew's hair cut.
Meg: (Suddenly and inexplicably becoming emotional) Nooo, Mat-yew too little to get his hair cut!
Dave: He's too little? Well, what about you? You got your hair cut.
Meg: (On the verge of tears) Nooo, I too big to get my hair cut.
Dave: Oh. (Pause.) Are you too big to get some ice cream?
Meg: (Brightly) No! I just the right size for ice cream!

And, from a conversation that Dave and I had one night when the kids were in bed... We were talking about their differing appetites and how Meg often wants to get down from the table at the same time as Matthew. And then Dave, voicing the thoughts that we usually rephrase when Meg is actually with us, said, "No, Meg, you can't get down, because Matthew's eaten three times his body weight, and you have just pushed your chicken nuggets around in a circle!" It cracked me up.

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving. Don't we have great reason to give thanks to God?!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Window Entry

I know several other ladies who post an occasional "day book" or "open house" entry on their blogs... this is my take on that idea: just a small window into an ordinary day at our house. Come on and press your nose up against the glass if you want.

What I'm Listening To: Baby monitors. Matthew just fell asleep and Meg just woke up. She was singing the Gospel Song to her stuffed elephant a minute ago. There's a squeaky-braked garbage truck outside our house. Other than that, it's quiet. Dave is taking a well-earned afternoon snooze on his day off.

In Our Kitchen: A few dirty dishes that I ought to be washing right now. Grocery bags full of ingredients for the desserts I'm taking to care group tomorrow evening. Various small toys strewn on the floor. And... a sparkling clean refrigerator! (This was my homemaking triumph on Friday afternoon--long overdue, I'm afraid.)

What My Desk Looks Like: A disaster. Catalogues and papers are stacked up on either side of the computer monitor. 'Tis the season for copious mailings, of course, but I really can't blame the stacks on corporate America. This is a pretty common state of affairs in our home. We're not very good at filing--possibly because we keep the filing cabinets in Meg's closet?? We're working on finding a more convenient location, honest!

What I'm Grateful For: My David. He
spent the morning taking care of the kids so that I could get a few hours out of the house. He played with Meg and Matthew, took them for a brief walk and playground session, gave them lunch, put them both down for afternoon naps, emptied the dishwasher, and started on the breakfast and lunch dishes. (Did I mention that it's his day off?) And he did it all so that I could go study God's Word, read good books, journal, think, plan, pray, and generally be refreshed at the start of another week. I am so thankful to you for making it possible, my Love!

What's For Dinner: Probably veggie chili. We didn't eat much chili growing up in the Nalle household, so I learned my first recipe from Jen (Wahl) Cahalane back in the Abbey days. It's so simple that I could do it from memory after just a couple of times making it. And it's so yummy that my kids eat it without complaint! I also have a small chicken in the fridge that needs roasting... maybe tomorrow...

What We're Reading: Matthew's great love is an oversized picture book called Bunny Fun, by Sarah Weeks and Sam Williams. He also likes The Belly Button Book, by Sandra Boynton, and Good Night, Baby Donald, by some poor soul who works for Disney. Meg adores Calico's Curious Kittens, by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes and Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by someone I can't think of right now, as well as the Apple Tree Farm stories from Usborne. Dave reads lots of things, but most of them can be found on a screen rather than on paper. (He actually refers to his leather-bound Bible as "the analogue version.") I'm enjoying: The Borrowers series, by Mary Norton (great children's literature--I picked up the whole set [hardcover, never read!] at a yard sale last month), Knowing God, by J.I. Packer, Everyday Talk, by John Younts, and Uprooting Anger, by Robert D. Jones. Aahhhhh, I love books.

Friday, November 07, 2008


To our extended friends and family who aren't already aware:

This has been a grieving week for many of the members of our church, most especially for our friends and care group leaders, Dave and Heather Castro. On Sunday night, their baby girl Alivia unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord. She was only five weeks old. Please pray for our friends as they mourn, and for Alivia's big sisters, Mckenna (4) and Selah (2).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Taking Care of Anna

Since we didn't observe Halloween this year, I don't have any pictures of our kids in cute costumes... But I do have some pictures of my Meg in cute normal clothes, which she often wears to play a role called "Anna's Mommy."

Feeding Anna 3

Feeding Anna 4

Feeding Anna 1

Anna is Meg's dearest baby doll. Meg loves taking care of Anna, and we love to watch her do it. Until recently, taking care of Anna primarily involved two activities. The first was taking her clothes off and asking Mommy to put them back on--many times a day. The second was putting Anna down for naps--many times a day. To watch Meg prepare Anna for a nap is to observe our family's evening ritual writ small. First, tuck Anna in under a mountain of blankets and whisper a prayer ("Dear Father, thank you God Anna, amen."). Next, turn on the fan, turn off the lights, and say, "Night-night, seep tight, see you tomahyah!". Finally, exit the room and close the door.

Of course, Anna doesn't always nap in bed. In fact, she usually takes one nap a day in the new bookcase in Daddy and Mommy's room. The bookcase is one of these Ikea jobs: three narrow cabinets, with three shelves each and glass doors, screwed together to make one big bookcase. I'm not sure why, but the very first time Meg saw the bookcase, she ran for Anna. In a moment, she returned, opened the door of the middle cabinet, laid Anna down gently on the middle shelf (which is almost exactly as wide as Anna is long), and closed the door. This ritual has continued, and occasionally results in Mommy being banished from her own room, with admonitions to keep quiet for sleeping Anna's sake.

Recently, taking care of Anna has expanded beyond bedtime routines. New activities include nursing Anna (although how she manages to latch on through Meg's onesie is a plain mystery to me), feeding her "milk" from a vinegar cruet (see above), and cooking meals for her. This last act of service was inspired by a gift Meg received yesterday: a just-her-size apron and chef's hat with pink trim, and coordinating oven mitt, hot pad, and kitchen towel. (Thanks, Shannon! It's a huge hit!) Meg employs these accessories at her play-kitchen with great relish, cooking up heaven-knows-what kind of delicacies for her baby's dining pleasure.

I enjoy watching my daughter engage in pretend play--there is good in that alone! Even more, I am grateful to watch her blossom out in tenderness and nurturing. For now, the object of her affection is only a small, perpetually smiling, plastic doll. But the day will come when there are real people looking to Meg for help--people, perhaps, who need her to meet needs like the ones she imagines Anna has. So maybe the acts that she practices now--even the details of putting a dolly to sleep--are more than just play. Maybe someday these little blossoms of compassion will ripen into real fruit, fruit with names like "patience," "kindness," "faithfulness," and "gentleness".

Feeding Anna 2

"I'm a good Mommy to my Anna," Meg often reminds us. We have to agree. And it's a good place to start.