Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winnnie the Pooh and You-Know-Who

MIW Wide Open Mouth
A couple of years ago, I picked up a cool old copy of A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner at a great used book store. Earlier this month, I started reading it to the kids during lunch. It was our first chapter-book read-aloud, and the kids seemed to enjoy it, especially Meg, who was able to catch some of the humor. But when we finished the last chapter and moved on to something else, it was Matthew who continued to request that we "ree Pooh" for several days. That intrigued me, since I really wasn't sure how much he got from the book. It's wonderfully winsome, but it has many more words and many fewer pictures than anything we've read before.

Then last night at the dinner table, David pointed to Matthew's bib, which features the entire cast of Dinsey's Winnie the Pooh series. "Matthew," he said, "who's on your bib?"

Matthew looked down, then up. "Tee-ger!" he announced, smiling. (That would be "Tigger" for everyone else.)

"Ohhh," said Daddy. "And, Matthew, who's on your toothbrush?"

Matthew thought for the merest second before grinning, "Tee-ger!"

"How can Tigger be in two places at one time?" Daddy demanded incredulously.

"Bounce!" Matthew replied.

And that's how I know my boy understood The House At Pooh Corner after all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After Church...

Look who joined Daddy in the Director's seat?
Two Directors 1
Those are the best-looking tech geeks I've ever seen!

Conferring on an important technical matter:
Two Directors 2

Is this a glimpse into Matthew's future?
Two Directors 3

On another church-related note, we actually made it through three consecutive weeks of attending church in the winter season without any child contracting a cold or other virus! That's definitely a record for the Wilcoxes. Unfortunately, we broke our streak after Week 4, when Matthew brought home a yucky cold and promptly passed it on to Meg. So this week... no church. But, hey, I'm celebrating the grace of that unprecedented four winter weeks, which seemed nothing short of miraculous.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aunt Mari and Esme

A few more pictures of Esme at three months that didn't fit in my last post about her...
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Mariana looks good with a baby, huh?

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I just love what a round, sleepy little bundle Esme is in this shot. You were great with her, Mari!

Monday, January 25, 2010

To Cheer Lena, Who Went Back to School Today

Lena Portrait
Aunt Lena
An unprompted portrait by Meg, age 4

My Third and Fourth Months (by Esme)

My third month (i.e., November) started with a week of supreme happiness for all Wilcoxes, as Grandma Dawn and Grandpa Tom came to visit. They traveled all the way from Michigan, first to see my Aunt Dacia in North Carolina, and then to meet me and hang with my brother and sister. Boy, was it great having them here! I got lots of Mommy-to-myself time that week, since Meg and Matthew wanted to play with Grandma and Grandpa all day every day. Can't say I blame them, either! They seem like pretty great playmates, and I can't wait till I get big enough to join the fun. Hey, Grandma and Grandpa, did you know that Meg whined talked about when you would come and see us again for weeks after your visit?
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I became a lot more smiley during month three, and a lot more chatty too. In fact, I really surprised Mommy and Daddy by coming out with so many coos, gurgles, squeals and gasps. They say I am their most talkative baby by far. Mommy never tires of listening to me.
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And speaking of tiring, there were some sleep changes around here in my third month. For one thing, I stopped getting rocked to sleep before each nap and at bedtime. When I was first born, Mommy and Daddy would rock and/or bounce me at least to a near-sleep stage before laying me down in my pack'n'play. This would take about 5 minutes, usually. Shortly before the three-month mark, however, it started taking 10 minutes, or 15. I was fighting sleep, fighting the soothing process, wriggling and crying hard. So one day, the rocking just stopped. Now I get wrapped up in my swaddle blanket, kissed, and held upright while one brief song is sung. Then it's down in the crib, and if I cry, I cry. But usually only for a moment.
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I also got started sleeping through the night in month three. For several weeks, I slept from right after my dream feed at 10 or 10:30 p.m. until 6 or sometimes 7 a.m.! Mommy was loving that! Unfortunately, it didn't last for long, and my folks weren't up for trying the cry-it-out method, since I was still sharing their room...
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In month four, I experienced many firsts: first Christmas tree, first Christmas-Day birthday party for Jesus, first Christmas trip to Virginia, first overnight away from home on Christmas night, first Nalle-family Christmas carol sing, first Christmas lights tour. I'm sure I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
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There were a just a few other month-four highlights. One was graduating to an earlier bedtime, between 6 and 7 p.m. The other was the good ol' visit to the pediatrician. My four month stats were: 26 1/4 inches (95%), 12 lbs., 4oz. (25%). Our nurse said I'm shaped just like my brother and sister! (Daddy too, Mommy adds.) Our doctor said that I look perfect. And I handled my immunizations beautifully.
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Are you noticing that I spend a lot of time in the bouncy seat? No, we don't get out much.

I came close to laughing in my fourth month, as Mommy and Daddy pulled out all the stops, tickling and bouncing and peek-a-booing me into a mildly-amused state. But I still haven't come out with a real, hearty, spontaneous giggle. Mommy sure hopes I'm not humor-challenged. She says that if I can't learn to laugh (and laugh things off), I don't stand a chance with the siblings I've got.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Maybe I should rename our blog...

..."The Wilcox Family Hearts the Marcantonios," or something like that. All my latest posts seem to be about the Marcs, and though I do have several non-Marcs posts lined up, I have to get this one up, because... because... well, because I just think it's so cute. ("It" meaning my subject matter, not the post itself.)

So, on Christmas Day, we shared the Marcantonios' big news with our kiddos. (We had to wait until then so they wouldn't squeal to Jack, who was kept in the dark so that his grandparents could be surprised over the holidays). Meg was appropriately tickled, and happily noted that "now the Marcantonios will have three kids, just like us!"

A few days later, our Christmas festivities were on the wane and Meg (I surmise) was starting to dream about the Next Big Event in our lives. Apparently drawing on her recent immersion in the Gospel of Luke, she said wistfully, "Mommy, I wonder when the days will be accomplished for Aunt Jessie to bring forth her new baby?"

Then this morning, when I went into Meg's room to help get her dressed for the day, she was playing with three stuffed bunnies, her "kids" for the day. "Closus," she told me, referring to the blue boy bunny, "his name is Closus."

"Oh," I said. "KLO-sus?"

"Yeah. His middle name is Closus. Hoppy Closus."

"I see. Hoppy Closus Wilcox, huh?"

"No," Meg replied matter-of-factly, "he's a Marcantonio. Hoppy Closus Marcantonio."

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Our Noble Leader

Our longtime friend Kris recently became our small group leader, and he's well suited for the role. You know the type... loves God's Word, loves caring for other people... kind... humble...

GoofyKris 1

Well, maybe not so much on that last one. I mean, not that male dignity and wearing a toddler-sized pink winter hat with tassels can't go together perfectly well.

Kris's wife might possibly have had something to do with these pictures, in some remote fashion. Maybe.
GoofyKris 2

Did I mention that Kris is a middle school principal?

And... this time he's wearing my infant daughter's pink pants on his head.
GoofyKris 3

Like I said, dignified.

Putting Up our Christmas Tree

Is anyone else still catching up from Christmas other than me?

On a chilly, drizzly, basically nasty Monday morning early in December, we set out to get our Christmas tree. (It's always a nasty morning when we get our tree. Seriously, for at least the last three years it's been that way!) We know many folks who cut down their own trees at local farms, but our tradition is just to go to a nearby nursery and choose from the pre-cuts. What can I say--it's quick and painless!

Douglas firs are our favorite kind of tree... a lovely deep green, and mmmm, they smell so crisp and woodsy! We always look for a nice large one. And we always name our tree after a dead U.S. president. This year, with the help of a certain LT via Twitter, our tree was christened Teddy Roosevelt. Here's the pictorial recap of Teddy Roosevelt's inauguration.

Choosing which ornament to hang next:
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My cute boys:
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Adding the finishing touch...
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And, voila! Teddy Roosevelt is fully installed.
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Meg Turns Four

Waaaay back in the beginning of December, our little Big Girl had her fourth birthday. Can you believe she's four already?

We started out with a special pajama-clad breakfast at McDonald's. (Yes, the breakfast options are limited here in Smalltown, USA.) Our Miss Birthday was soooo excited!
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Matthew was too, though you might not know it from this picture.
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Pretty four-year-old girl...
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Parfaits and hotcakes. There's a balanced breakfast for you. (You got your sugar group, your sugar group, and... oh! The sugar group!)
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Sweet Esme, along for the ride, gave her big sister the gift of smiles.
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Later that morning, Meg and Matthew got to spend time with our dear friend Miss Mariel, which is always a huge treat. (I made a quick run to the grocery store for birthday supplies.) After lunch, while three kiddos napped, I turned my attention to The Birthday Meal. This was my first time asking Meg to choose her own birthday dinner and cake. Her dinner pick was quick and easy sloppy joes, which was fortunate, since I needed to devote some time to...

...a Hello Kitty cake! The benign cartoon feline was Meg's request, so I boldly attempted to redeem myself after my last cake attempt. I was much more pleased with the finished product this time 'round.
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And the response was sufficiently gratifying.
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After cake and ice cream, Meg finally opened her present from Miss Mariel--an adorable pink "M" hand bag and lots of cute stickers! (She plastered every single sticker on one big sheet of paper, which now adorns our refrigerator.)
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Taking time out for a birthday smoocheroo...
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...and then on to other presents! Meg was very kind about letting Matthew help her open gifts.
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The coveted "panda jammies" that she spotted when birthday shopping for Matthew way back in September--hers at long last!
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Her other gift from us was a tiny tin tea-set. She and Matthew had taken to having tea-parties, only they were using baby-doll bottles and blocks and plastic Easter-egg halves for dishes and cups. We thought it was time to outfit them with something a little more proper. All the stuffed-animal party-guests in our home seem highly gratified...

And that was the end of our simple birthday celebration.

Our first baby--Meg, our little Boo, our sweet Muffin--is growing up fast! She's matured so much in this last year, taking big strides in self-control and joyful obedience. She loves to help me around the house, especially with anything Esme-related, and her affectionate ways and constant chatter bring us lots and lots of joy. Meggie, Mommy and Daddy are so thankful to God for you! Your "four" was a wonderful year, and we can't wait to see all that "five" holds for you and each one of us as your very blessed family members. We love you, Sweetheart.