Friday, October 31, 2008


I have buckets of pictures of William in various stages of wizardhood and pirateness over the last week, but for now, this soon-to-be classic photo will have to suffice.

Say aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Happy Halloween from Chez Larson-Wyckoff!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Jack'o'lantern

The process:

If you've ever been with David when he's eating ribs, you have likely seen him attack the ribs with a very surgical precision that kind of freaks me out just a wee bit. Same thing with the pumpkin, except useful, not freaky. (He would argue that it's not creepy at all ever since the rib-cutting technique that he uses allows him to remove the maximum amount of meat from the bones, thus allowing him maximum enjoyment of his delectable meal. Whatever. It's very, um, visceral.) And luckily, that skill served him well here. See?

The finished product:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin time

Look what we picked out!

Now David is planning to "help" William turn this modest little pumpkin into Jack: The O'Lantern. Last year, we had to forego the pumpkin-carving because David claimed it wasn't safe for him to carve a pumpkin because he didn't have disability insurance yet. I'm not exactly sure what kind of pumpkin-carving David was envisioning that was so dangerous it required insurance (chainsaw-powered carving, anyone?), but this year the insurance is in place and he's on board with the project. He even bought a neat little carving kit from Target, and William's all excited. I'm all excited about roasting the pumpkin seeds myself...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You know you're an English major when...

If y'all weren't already impressed by my dorking out at Walden Pond, reciting Thoreau, you'll surely be impressed* by this!

Yesterday, I taught William to say, "To be, or not to be: That is the question."

That's right, I've got my boy reciting Hamlet. I convinced him to do this by telling him that the guy who wrote those lines was also named William. This is how we entertained ourselves in the car on the way to my committee meeting at church.

*Okay, maybe "impressed" isn't exactly the right word. "Amused" or "bemused" or maybe even "horrified" might be more accurate.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mom the Human Mapquest

Yesterday's conversation, in my car, en route to Centennial Park.

William: Mommy, what street are we on?

Me: Highway 100.

William: Dis DeeDee and Gandaddy's street?

Me: No, they live on Post Road. Remember?

William: Yes. (pause) Where's Post Road?

Me: You drive a little further down, and then you have to turn left and cross over the railroad tracks to get to their house.

William: (nodding) That makes sense.

I'm so glad he approves.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I love fall

I love fall. I do. I love it, love it, love it.

I love the leaves that change from drowsy summer green to surprisingly brilliant yellow and red. I love sleeping with the windows open at night. I love the first night when the temperature drops below about 55 degrees and you have to snuggle up under the covers or wake up with an icy nose. I love the snap in the air with the cool mornings that lazily warm up as the October sun rises in the sky. I love putting on sweaters after months of t-shirts and tank tops. I love simmering some apple cider on the stovetop and smelling the cinnamon waft through the whole house. I love the sight of pumpkins perched on front porches and bin after bin of crisp apples in the grocery stores.

I love it all.

And I love that William seems to love fall, too. He is delighted, absolutely ecstatic by all the Halloween decorations that have popped up over the past two weeks. He helped me pick out another pumpkin and a big scarecrow at Michael's the other day so that we, too, would be "a Halloween house."

I get this giddy feeling when fall seems to have arrived at last. I don't know exactly when I developed this affinity for this season above all others. I don't really remember, but I think it may have been when I was living in California, though, and deprived of four normal seasons. When David and I lived in San Diego, we used to plan at least one October trip to this little mountain town called Julian, an hour or two east of SD. Julian was known for its apple orchards. We'd drive up there in the morning and wander around the little gold-rush-era town, then buy a few jugs of fresh-pressed apple cider and a couple of fresh apple pies to take home with us. There was almost nothing as good as a crumbly Dutch apple pie from Julian. We made sure we always procured one, somehow or other, for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals when we lived in that part of the world. Since then, apples, more so than pumpkins, really signify autumn for me. We never really got the red, gold, and orange leaves in California, but at least we got apples. Now that I live here in Tennessee, we get it all.

And the best part is that there's still a lot of autumn left. We have plans to attend at least one or two costume parties before Halloween, plus then there's Halloween Night itself. And November is nice around here, too--and I adore Thanksgiving almost as much as Halloween. And today, we went to a pumpkin farm, down near Franklin. It was so perfectly autumnal that I was a little dreamy-eyed. I mean, how is this for storybook? We took a hayride and wandered around a pumpkin patch where you could pick your own pumpkin.

And of course, having Leland with him made it that much more fun for William:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A few Boston photos

A few quick snapshots from our Great Boston Adventure....

Me at Walden Pond. You know, as in Henry David Thoreau's Walden.

The leaves at Walden Pond:

David in front of Paul Revere's house in the North End:

Eating lobster at the Ye Olde Union Oyster House...

...with Brian and Jennifer:

David at Fenway:

Me at Fenway--on top of the Green Monster:

David inside the Old North Church, where the famous "two if by sea" signal happened:

Me in Lexington, site of "Don't fire unless fired upon" unfortunately came true:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Have some chowdah!

In case anyone's wondering why there've been no urgent Three Peas news items posted in the past week, let me just reassure you. I just got home a few hours ago. I've been in Boston for almost a week with David. He attended the annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference, while I perfected the role of sightseer. Fenway Park, the Old North Church, Paul Revere's home, Lexington and Concord, Harvard, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, and the list goes on.

Oh, it was wonderful. I slept in almost every morning, walked so much that I think I'm three inches shorter than when we left, and ate clam chowder or lobster in some form every single day. We also watched the Red Sox with some of David's Princeton buddies, and we ate dinner with his old roommate and his wife. And David's friend Brian even gamely showed me around and took me up to Walden Pond, where I got to indulge my inner English major geek and recite from Thoreau's "Walden" while standing in front of the site where Thoreau's famous cottage once sat. Brian even took a picture. I'll have to post that later.

And yes, we left William here in Nashville with Aaron and Diane. We called them every day, and once or twice, they even managed to coax William to talk to us on the phone. Usually he was too busy having fun and reveling in having the undivided attention of his grandparents for days on end, with no pesky interruptions from boring old Mom and Dad.

So I was steeling myself to walk in the door tonight and hear him say "No! Go 'way!" We joked the entire time in Boston about how William was having so much fun with Dee Dee and Grandaddy that he might start to forget about us. And so I kind of figured we'd be met with, at best, a lukewarm reaction.

But what did he do? He and Diane opened the door, and a huge smile spread across his face and he began shouting, "Mommy, Daddy! HI! HI!"

And I ran to him and gathered him in my arms, and he gave me "big hugs," as he likes to call them. And he smiled and laughed and clung to me in joy. And I thought my own face was going to split in two from smiling so hard.

It's great to go out of town. It's great to take a vacation with just your lovely husband. But it's also great to come home to the smiley little guy who's part of both of you--and to gather him up in your arms and hug him until he squeals.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rain and other assorted minutiae

Signs that you've had a lot of rain recently:

The grass is green again.

The trees look a little less shriveled.

Your car hydroplanes just a little bit if you accelerate too fast.

Your toddler greets you barefoot at the classroom door at the end of the day because he spent all morning jumping in rain puddles and completely soaking his socks and shoes.

Remember when you were little and loved to jump in puddles? And didn't care if your clothes got dirty? After I got over my initial "OH, no," I felt a little nostalgic for my own childhood. I'd never intentionally jump in puddles now and get my feet wet on purpose...but I remember when I did.

William at Cheekwood for the annual scarecrow exhibit.

This is the Loch Ness Monster:

At his school's big fall carnival, better known as the Hoo-rah!

Playing the knock-over-the-pumpkins-and-win-a-small-dubious-plastic-prize game:

The infamous snowcone that ended up all over both Mark and William:

Hmmm, William wonders, is that hot dog good enough to eat? (Notice the snowcone stain here, too.)

A recent visit to the Belle Meade Methodist Pumpkin Patch:

William kept finding "the best pumpkin in the whole world!" over and over and over again...

But eventually he found The Best Pumpkin in the Whole World:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Go team!

You know the old saw about how it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game?

Well, we went to the MBA-Ensworth High football game, and our team definitely, certainly, absolutely lost. But William had so much fun that I don't think it really matters. (Of course I'm saying that! Our team lost!) After all, William kept saying we were at a baseball game, so I'm thinking the football part was incidental to him at best anyway. He got to eat ice cream sandwiches and play with Leland and run around and make lots of noise. It doesn't get much better than that when you're two years old.

David, William, Leland and Chris stand near the end zone to watch the kick-off:

And the shakers. The shakers were big. (Despite being the colors for the opposing team.)

Give me a W!

When was the last time you had this much fun at a sporting event where your team lost?

William is multi-tasking here, by the way. He's eating his ice cream sandwich, running, and havin fun, all at the same time. Pretty impressive, don't you think?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

William Wyckoff, Batter

Every once in awhile, I get a really good series of photos of William. Yesterday was one of those lucky days.

My little baseball player. Move over, Chipper Jones.


And a quick sidetrip to the, the playhouse:

This one's my favorite:

And a close second: