Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Pictures

Today I thought I would share two recent, classic snapshots of Meg and Matthew, respectively. They're classic because they capture my kids in behaviors that are typical and revealing of each, as you will see.

Here's Meg in a memorable get-up of her own creation: Matthew's hat, Mommy's reusable shopping bag, Mommy's boots, her own onesie and sweater. Oh, and... not much on her lower half. (Recently she's spent more time than usual in a no-pants state, due to potty training.)
Meg Dressed Up

And here's Matthew, again at the Natural History museum. In the Hall of Mammals, he found this wonderful, bright orange button. When pushed, the button caused this story wheel to rotate inside the display and show new pictures and a new part of the story. Well, Matthew clicked that button more times than I could count. Never mind that he can't read the story--he was barely tall enough to see the pictures! It was all about power to him, cause and effect, the ability to take an action and see something happen as a direct result. Meanwhile, another boy, probably nine years old, was moving studiously along the display, reading as he came. Finally, he arrived at Matthew's side and stood there politely patient, casting furtive and longing glances at the button. So I snapped a picture and then rescued the button from Matthew's monopoly. After all, others needed the chance to taste its power too.
Matthew With Button

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Today I am grateful...

...for the blood of Jesus, which covers all of my sins, past, present and future.

...for these verses from Isaiah 26:
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

...for these three individuals:

...for rainy Saturdays and the promise of spring.

...for answered prayers.

...that my little guy is mostly spoon-feeding himself. (When he eats anything.)

...that my little girl is well on her way to being potty-trained! (In the liquid element, at least.)

...for pregnant friends and the joyful anticipation of meeting new babies.

...for in-laws not just bearable, but downright lovable! (Happy Birthday, Dad Wilcox!)

...that Easter is only two weeks from tomorrow!

...that I get to see my sister and her family over Easter week!

...for lettuce and tomatoes, the only ingredients required for a perfect salad. (I'm pretty sure I would die if I couldn't eat salad.)

...for the farm where I was raised and the grandparents who made that possible.

...that children require naps, and that older children can be taught to play relatively quietly in their rooms even when they've outgrown naps.

...for a husband a thousand times more wonderful than anyone I ever imagined in his place.

...for a church that I can't wait to get to tomorrow.

And so much more.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Matthew at 18 Months

MIW 18Mos 1

I have decided not to allow Matthew to write his own update, as I usually would, because I have so much that I want to say about him, from my own perspective. Besides, he couldn't sit still long enough to write anything these days. As a toddler--and a boy--he is busy, busy, busy, "from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same." (Anybody remember that old song? Probably not, unless you too were raised in a church that was stuck in the '70's, musically speaking.)

So at his check-up last week, our little guy handled his shots quite manfully, with only a couple of whimpers when the needles went in. He weighed in at 24 lbs., 11 oz., or the 40th percentile for his age. Height-wise, he's now 33 1/2 inches, which puts him at about 85%. So he's tall, but not amazingly tall, and... skinny. In other words, he hasn't changed much in a purely statistical sense.

MIW 18Mos 4
But that's about the only area where he's not changing. I really love the stage he's in right now! There's still so much baby in his face and his manner, but the boy is emerging rapidly.

For one thing, he's starting to get much more physical. Now he is more likely to initiate a wrestling match with Meg than she is with him. (He has a lot to get her back for.) He is liable, now, at any moment, to reach out and engage his sister physically--somehow, someway, doesn't matter what. Could be a kiss, a hair tug, a back pat, or a whack in the face with a plastic block... you just never know. (Yes, we are putting heavy emphasis on training him in gentleness!)

MIW 18Mos 5
Matthew's communication skills continue to grow as well. He seems to understand almost everything we say to him; he certainly tracks with all of our direct instructions. He loves mimicking sounds and willingly "repeats" phrases on demand. (Example from earlier today: Mommy says, "Matthew, say, 'I'm sorry, Mama.'" And Matthew replies, "Ksssssss, Ma Ma.") His newer words include "truck," "baby," "teddy," "book" and "moon." He still won't say "Meg," but calls her "sister" instead. (This used to sound like "dih-dih;" now it's more like "sss-sss-dih.") And he is super excited about saying "hi" to strangers. "Haaaaa!" he says loudly as we walk through the grocery store, waving with all his might. It's a little pathetic when the passerby doesn't realize that he or she is being greeted and walks on in oblivious silence. "Haaaaaaaaa!" Matthew calls after them, still flailing his arm. "HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

MIW 18Mos 2
I see quite a bit of David in our little boy. Matthew loves process, repetition, mechanics. Anything electronic, anything with moving parts intrigues him. And the things that catch his attention crack me up at times. For example, yesterday we took the kids downtown to the American Museum of Natural History. We were in the Hall of Mammals, and Meg was running around exclaiming over various animals, dragging her daddy around to look at giraffes, walruses, lions. Meanwhile, Matthew noticed a set of bolts holding together one of the display cases. Poke, poke, poke. Soon he was crouching down, examining these little black circles, seeing if they would turn, then checking them from a new angle. Too cute. Maybe it was just because the bolts were closer to his eye-level than the animals!

MIW 18Mos 6
I'll close by saying that we love our little man dearly and are so grateful to God for making him part of our family! Dave and I love to tiptoe into his room each night to watch him sleep and soak up his sweet, baby stillness. We wink and point at his little diapered bottom poking up in the air, or smile at his adorable death-grip on Teddy. Then we cover him up and tiptoe back out, thanking God for each day we have with this fast-growing boy.

MIW 18Mos 3

Friday, March 20, 2009

What She's Saying Now

Meg is cracking us up these days with the odd, cute, dramatic, and otherwise notable things that come out of her mouth. Here's a sampling, recorded so that we don't forget what our girl was like at 3 and-a-quarter years old.

Right now, Meg likes to...

...refer to her brother as "Obee" and to herself as "Tootsie." The "Tootsie" came from Nana, who is wont to address her loved ones thus from time to time. The "Obee"... well, we have no idea. It came from Meg's head. But Tootsie and Obee it is around here. (Except for me. I still call them "Boo Boo" and "Bug." I know. I am so behind the times.)

...get her syllables mixed up. I like the way she refers to periodicals. "Mommy, can I read the mazagine?"

...be exaggeratedly tragic. Yesterday our friends left our house without saying goodbye to Meg (she was still in her room for nap time). When I went to get Meg and told her that they were gone, her response was a pitiful, "Oh, Jessie, Jack and Emma! I'll never see them again. I'll never, ever see them again!"

...mispronounce certain letters. She hasn't been able to form a "v" sound properly yet. This sometimes yields comical results. My husband never fails to be amused by this one, in particular: "Mommy, can we watch Weggie Tales?"

...obsess over nightwear options. Meg loves pajamas. Apparently, she thinks about them all day long, because it is often still early in the morning when she begins to ask, "Mommy, what jammies can I wear tonight?" Much hangs on my answer, let me tell you. If the snowflake jammies are clean when the flower jammies are preferred, or if the fuzzy pink jammies with the mice and the moon and the stars are denied her because it's a warm night and they make her sweat too much... well, just stand back and watch the tears gather in those big blue eyes.

...ask adorable questions. I'm sure this is way cuter to me than it would be to anyone else, but I still have to write it down. Meg has recently started to gain more sensory awareness. Several times a day, usually at mealtime or diaper-changing time, she will sniff the air daintily and ask in the most demure little voice, "What's dat I'm smelling?"

...rename songs. One of the ditties on our scripture songs albums is called "Rock Eternal." As in:

Trust in the Lord forever
For the Lord, the Lord
Is the rock eternal

Except that Meg thinks the song is called "Rocky Turtle." Our poor child, thinking that the Lord is a rocky turtle. Please pray that this won't have lasting implications for her theological health.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marcs at the Park II

Phew! Am I overdue to post, or what? There is plenty to share, but let me start by wrapping this little photo-shoot series that I started two weeks ago. Let's see, two weeks since I started posting these, plus two weeks before that, when I actually took these shots, makes these... oh, about a month old! So without any further delay, here's the second half of "Marcs at the Park." We'll call it The Big Kids Edition.

Our favorite Jack-Jack. "Or "Gack-Gack," in Matthewese.
Marcs Park 3

Some action shots of my two:
Marcs Park 4

Marcs Park 5

Marcs Park 6

Matthew on his way up to the big slide:
Marcs Park 8

Marcs Park 9

And Jack hot on his heels!
Marcs Park 10

Here's a cute little series of Jack preparing for take-off:
Marcs Park 14

Marcs Park 15

Marcs Park 16

Marcs Park 17

"Yay!!! I did it!"
Marcs Park 18

And one last shot of me and mine!
Marcs Park 19

Monday, March 02, 2009

Marcs at the Park I

On Thursday we got to hang out with our buddies the Marcantonios, or the Marcs for short. Since the weather was reasonable, we mommies took everybody outdoors for some playground time. And with Jessica there to help me keep my brain in, I dared to take my camera back to the scene of the crime. It's a good thing too, because I had to capture a whole lotta cuteness in Miss Emma, who is now five months old.

It's funny--I always smile when Jess posts pics of Emma on her blog, because she posts about 70 of them every time, and all the shots are nearly identical. Well, now I know why she does it! When you're dealing with such loveable adorableness, it's just too hard to pick and choose! So without further ado, here are my (roughly) 70 shots of Emma, some being more identical-ish than others.

Since we didn't have an Emma-sized coat, we bundled her all up in this little bunting thing that I have from Meg's infancy. It turned out to be a teensy bit too warm for Emma. You'll notice that she sheds some of her layers later on...
Marcs Park 1

Marcs Park 2

Me: Jess, I think you're losing your daughter there.
Jess: No, I'm not. (Pause.) OK, maybe I am.
Marcs Park 7

Marcs Park 11

"Oh, that sun is so bright in my little eyes!"
Marcs Park 12

Marcs Park 13

Babies can slide too, you know.
Marcs Park 21

Whoops, Matthew snuck into this shot. Is it me, or does Emma look less than enchanted to be sharing the spotlight? I think she's about to sneeze on my son.
Marcs Park 20

Speaking of enchanted, my kids think Emma is just about the greatest thing since Hershey's Kisses. Matthew knows her by sight and says her name over and over again until someone acknowledges him: "Memma" or "Namma". (Jack and Emma are about the only names he knows other than family members, so that's a pretty big deal.)

Meg seems to view Emma as her own personal doll-baby. On Thursday morning before the Marcs arrived, I was coaching my kids at breakfast. "How can we be a blessing to our friends today?... We can be kind... we can be gentle... we can share... etc." And Meg pipes up: "Yeah! Especially with my little girl Emma." Then she thought for a second and asked, "What is Emma wearing today, Mama?"

Oh, the mind of a little girl! 'Tis a strange and marvelous thing.