Thursday, July 31, 2014

40 Candles

So this happened a few days ago:

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Yep, I turned 29 again!

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Okay, fine.

29 plus....11.

(Sheesh. You made the old lady cry. Are you happy now?)

As those of you who have seen me at all recently know, I kvetched and moaned for the better part of the month of July about turning 29 plus 11.

David took me out to dinner at a lovely local restaurant on the night before the Big Day, and at one point during the meal, I said, rather dramatically, "This is the last night of my youth!"

David calmly took another bite of his grilled catfish and said dryly, "And tomorrow morning, you're going to wake up, and you're going to be... exactly the same."

Yup. I was. I am. And my parents , especially my dad, took great delight in honoring the grand occasion. Check out the cane and the tiara that I'm wearing in the photo above. What you can't see in the photo, however, are all the "I'm 40!" and "Happy 40th Birthday" decorations and the giant massive bunch of helium-filled black balloons that filled my front hall. Mom and Dad had a lot of fun at Party City, clearly.

At any rate, here I am. A former coworker of mine posted a happy birthday message on my Facebook page and asked if I remembered the old show "thirtysomething" and how it was always about drama and how messed up people's lives were? "Now you're past all that!" James wrote cheerfully. (He's over 40 himself, so he can say these things.)

It's all a state of mind. Well, mostly. But I really can't blame 40 for the gray hairs I'm starting to get. The blame should and does rest squarely on the shoulders of the Wyckoff Brothers.

Not that I don't love them, of course.

I mean, come on. How could I not love this?

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Or this, my two sweet boys and husband, gamely posing for me for yet another picture at Turner Field during our recent trip to see the Braves play?

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

I like my treats to be chocolate

Okay, I have to share this little anecdote, which I also recently posted on Facebook, but it still makes me giggle, so.

Some background: Twice this year, I managed to land a Groupon for the local Sushi Train restaurant, and we've taken a lunchtime field trip there to spend it. This is a guaranteed big hit. The boys love...I mean LOVE....sushi. Andrew can easily eat a dozen pieces, and William can probably put away twice that amount. They don't do raw, yet, but that's about their only limitation at this point. They also adore the concept of a place where they can pick out the little plates of sushi themselves as they cruise by on the conveyor belt. That's big-time awesome when you're eight or four years old.

At our most recent trip to Sushi Train, the boys were finally, finally hitting their limit on sushi, and I spotted a bowl of steamed salted edamame on the "train." I quickly grabbed it and began digging into it with gusto.

"Look, Andrew!" I said. "When you pop open the pods, you get some of the salt from them on the beans and they taste all salty and delicious. It's such a nice little treat."

Andrew remained unconvinced, but I guess he was trying to be as tactful as a four-year-old can possibly be.
"I like my treats to be chocolate," he said.

Monday, June 23, 2014

And suddenly it's late June

Do you ever feel like time just got away from you? No? Yeah, me neither. Never happens. 

whistles innocently

Okay, so, yes. It often does get away from me. And it did again this time. Two months have somehow passed since I last posted here. Both boys have gotten taller, eaten a metric ton of food, had haircuts, needed another haircut, performed in school programs and finished second grade (William) and three-year-old preschool (Andrew). 

William also performed in a piano recital (quite admirably, I might note, and he didn't even use any music, unlike every other kid there), and we all attended his Cub Scout Packnic when he was promoted from a Wolf Scout to a Bear Scout. Both kids finished up their soccer seasons. There's been some day camps in there, we've been to the pool and various playgrounds, and last week, we even went to Memphis for the day. 

We were busy, to put it mildly.

What else can I tell you? 

William has finished reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, as well as The Lost Heroes of Olympus series, and now he is deeply immersed in the 39 Clues series. He loves the show "Cosmos," and David has successfully converted him into a Doctor Who fan. He's still taking piano lessons, and he's writing his own piece of music. It's, um, interesting. (However, he knows exactly what he wants to do, and the fact that he understands how to go about doing that actually is impressive.)

Andrew is obsessed with maps. Every time he goes to the Y or preschool or anywhere with paper and crayons, he draws a map. Sometimes it's a treasure map. Sometimes it's a map of Nashville. Sometimes it's a map of our neighborhood. They all look sort of the same, except for the colors, but he is confident that he has managed to capture the essence of whichever place he's drawing. He always knows exactly where X should mark the spot and where he is. "Look!" he crows, displaying his artwork in front of him as if it was the original copy of the Declaration of Independence. "I made a map!!" And I agree that it is a marvelous  map, and he is deeply satisfied. 

They both talk incessantly, and they both ask lots of questions. Often at the same time. 

Sometimes their questions make me sit back in my chair and exhale with wonder. This morning, on the way to Westminster, Andrew asked, "So it's nighttime in heaven right now, isn't it?" as if heaven was Australia on the other side of the globe. "Hmm," I said, forgetting to change lanes. "Maybe it is." I don't know where he got that, but I kind of like it. William then chimed in, "It's probably whatever you want it to be." I like that, too. Those moments when suddenly I am challenged to stop thinking linearly are sort of magic. They shimmer there in front of me like a soap bubble, and I think, "I must remember this."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eight is Great!

Check out my big wonderful happy kid!! William is eight today!

I mean, look how grown up he looks. Eight years old. Somehow eight just seems so much older than seven, doesn't it? I'm not sure why. I remember thinking that when I turned eight back in...oh Lord, do I want to even admit what year that was? 

So it wouldn't be a birthday without an "eeee, look at the new baby!" photo. This is one from when William was 13 days old. Looking back at his earliest photos, he was a little jaundiced there for awhile. But it went away fairly quickly, leaving him looking pink and marvelous. Man, it's almost hard to believe he was very that small. But I was there, so I can say for sure that he was. 

And here's another photo from this morning. I managed to cook a hot breakfast for the boys AND take birthday photos AND still get William to school on time. Booyah! I've learned something in eight years. (And that's much easier to get out the door in the morning when at least one of your kids can pretty much do everything for himself.)

Little brother wanted in on the act, and it was his idea to hold up eight fingers. Of course, he isn't actually holding up eight fingers in the photo--but William is, so there you go.

William has requested bacon and eggs and waffles for his birthday dinner, and I figured, hey, that's as good as anything. So we'll break out the breakfast-for-dinner food here in a little while and then eat cake. Bacon and cake. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A few more Easter photos

Another set of Easter photos from the Wyckoff brothers!

Check it out. They're clean. They're smiling. Their hair has been combed. There are no milk mustaches. They're looking at the camera. Even the background (my tree!) is pretty. I love the big-time miracle that we celebrate on Easter, but I have to say that I also love these little domestic miracles, too.

Whenever they drive me crazy, y'all remind me that they can be as sweet as pie, too.  

Oh, and if you're wondering why someone is always holding Andrew or holding onto him in every photo, it's because it's the only way to get a family photo that includes him. He'll take off, otherwise. In fact, not long after these photos, he darted off to run around under the giant magnolia trees in front of the church and came back dirty and bleeding. Yup. This is why I carry around band-aids in every bag I own.

Happy Easter from our house to yours. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Nothing says Happy Easter like two boys wearing their Easter baskets on their heads, right? Well, then, it's a good thing I've got you covered!

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Or hey, if you need more, how about blissfully rolling around in the grass?

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We're all about the authentic here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Fourth Birthday, Andrew!

Andrew is now officially four years and two weeks old.

"But, but, but....he's your BABY!" a friend gasped the other day. "How is he FOUR?"

I know. I KNOW.

He's 41 inches tall and nearly 39 pounds. He is eager to hit the 40 pound mark so he can use a booster seat. This works out well for us when we're trying to coax him to drink some milk or eat more vegetables: "Don't you want to be 40 pounds, Andrew?"

We've been talking a lot about the days and weeks surrounding his birth recently. We've had a radically cold winter this year, and four years ago, we had a lot of snow and ice, so there's that parallel. I also remember watching the Winter Olympics from my position as a beached whale on our family room sofa, with my huge belly in front of me as I waited impatiently to go into labor. This year, we also watched the Winter Olympics in the family room, but this time, Andrew was playing with his toys on the floor and asking what those people in those funny suits and masks were doing (skeleton, maybe? Or luge? What's the difference, anyway?)

At any rate, Andrew really is four. We had a big birthday party for him at the YMCA on February 23, and we invited all his pals. He had a blast. They put up a giant bouncey house, so he bounced and played, and then we had cake and ice cream. The perfect kind of party for rowdy four year olds.

Side note about the birthday cake. Andrew insisted on ordering a chocolate cake with white icing and red flowers. So that's what he got. I asked him if he would rather have a cake with Monsters Inc. characters or maybe Thomas the Tank Engine. Nope. He went with the red flowers. We showed him the cake at the beginning of the party, and I asked him if that's what he wanted. He beamed and said, "Oh YES!"

They also wore birthday hats, as Andrew insisted that birthday hats were imperative to the success of his fourth birthday party.

And you know...he was on to something. All the kids were all about putting on birthday hats. Even, ahem, his big brother.

Now that Andrew is officially four, he is also finally a Soccer Player. His first practice was last Friday afternoon, and his first game was Saturday morning. It was a hoot. He was so proud of having his own uniform (red! his favorite color, Mommy!) and getting to be on a team.

He mostly just trotted around after the other kids on the field during the game. But I mean, come on. It was his first game. He's only four years old! Funny how four can be so Big one moment and so Little the next, huh?

Anyway. Happy belated birthday to the Doodlebug. We love you so much!