Monday, November 30, 2009

Notes on Thanksgiving

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and suddenly we're in the middle of Advent again. We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend, although David was under the weather, which took a little bit of the shine off it.

My parents came to visit, and at the last minute, my brother even managed to get off work, so he drove up to Nashville for 24 hours, which was a wonderful surprise. So we had the whole clan: Mom, Daddy, John, Diane, Aaron, Mark, David, William and me. When William noticed that we were having to pull up extra chairs to the table, I told him that it was a very nice problem to have. And he agreed.

Because I was pregnant and because I ended up making dressing* for the very first time ever, I didn't end up taking many photos. So I apologize for the less-than-ideal photographic record of what was actually a pretty nice holiday. It's still better than William's first Thanksgiving, when I, er, didn't take any pictures at all.

Mom and Daddy decided that a little Thanksgiving-morning run around the yard might help by wearing William out a little:

In fine Wyckoff/Larson fashion, William put away two big pieces of JellO salad. He had his piece...and the piece that everyone tried to convince me eat. (Y'all. I haven't eaten JellO voluntarily in more than 20 years. It's time to stop trying. Seriously, it leaves more for you to eat! Why object?)

So anyway, it was really nice to get our family all together for a holiday. We never get to have both sides of the family together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so I appreciate the chances that we do have to spend a holiday together. We even watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" before dessert.

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, William said how much he enjoyed the holiday, too. That made me very happy because for awhile, he kept saying that he was looking forward to Thanskgiving because it meant that Christmas was right afterward. But he said he was glad to have all his grandparents and uncles visit him, and he asked if everyone was coming back for Christmas. I told him that no, Mama Judi and Grandaddy Johnny would probably wouldn't be able to both be here for Christmas--but that we'd invite them to come if they could. And I reassured him that no matter what, we'd have his DeeDee and Grandaddy and Uncle Mark come over for Christmas, and that was something to look forward to.

He brightened and said "Can we have DeeDee over again sometime really soon?"

I said, "Sure." And then I said, "And what about Grandaddy Aaron?"

William thought about that for a second. "Well, I guess he can come, too."


I am seriously tempted to use this as a Christmas card photo because it just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. No one needs to see me in all my swollen, pregnant glory on a Christmas card this year anyway!

* Okay, yes, Diane chopped all the celery and onions for it, which is the hard part. But I, er, mixed it all together! And put it in the oven! And took it out of the oven! Surely that counts for something, right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scholastic book time

You know what one of my favorite things about preschool is? My son is finally old enough that his teachres stuff those Scholastic book flyers in his schoolbag every month.

Remember those? How can you not? When I was a kid, I lived for those book order forms. Granted, I was a big old, I loved books anyway. The chance to order brand new books and receive them all at once at school was absolutely irresistible to me. My mother usually only allowed me to select three, maybe four, books, but that just made the whole selection process that much more intense. I pored over the pages, flipping them back and forth, marking my choices with my No. 2 pencil, before finally winnowing it down to an acceptable number. Then Mom carefully filled out the information portion of the form and wrote a check for the total.

Graciously, and despite the fact that we didn't have a lot of disposable income in those years, Mom always let me order enough books to qualify for the free poster that you received for ordering a predetermined number of items. The poster was always something nauseatingly cheesey, like a picture of a tangle of kittens in a basket full of yarn, or else it was a little odd, like the picture of a single white duck in the middle of a lush green lawn. But still! You had to get the poster! It was like the prize in the Happy Meal.

And then I looked eagerly forward to the day when the Scholastic book orders came in. At the end of the school day, the teacher handed out the stacks of books, always bound together with rubber bands. When she put my order on my desk, I couldn't wait to flip through my new treasures.

Of course, today we have, Borders,Barnes and Noble and all that. We have super bookstores that stock just about everything, something that we didn't have when I was growing up and had to rely on teeny-tiny Waldenbooks or B-Dalton's limited selections. And these days, I can order just about any book ever published online, get free super-saver shipping, and have a box delivered to my door in about two or three days. You'd think that Scholastic book ordering would have lost some of its appeal for me. Weirdly, no. It hasn't. William has received order forms for three months in a row now, and each time, I've spread them out over the kitchen table and eagerly combed through the forms and made checkmarks next to the items with the most potential. Should we get "Thump, Quack, Moo"? or "Pinkalicious"? What about the series of beginning reader books about the solar system? Decisions, decisions!

This past month, I just ordered a set of Christmas books that all tell some version of the Nativity story. Lord knows (er, no pun intended) that we have a boatload of Christmas books already, but I'm always on the lookout for another one that manages to combine good artwork and good storytelling. So far, we've read three of the four books that arrived last week. William seems to be enjoying them. He certainly likes new books in general. But I don't know if he's really caught on yet to how exciting it is to get new books at school. Maybe he won't. Maybe he's already too accustomed to buying books at Davis-Kidd and receiving them through the mail. That makes me a little sad to contemplate, actually. But as long as he grows up loving books, it really doesn't matter where the books came from.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Round-Up of William's Wit

Time for a quick round-up of funny things William has said recently!

Let's see....what can I pull out of the recesses of my brain for you to chuckle at?

1. Upon seeing me race to the bathroom and throw myself headfirst in front of the toilet one morning, William felt compelled to cheer me on.

"Ready! Set! THROW UP!!!" he yelled enthusiastically.

2. The other morning, William was pretending to be various characters from Disney movies or from his castle. He kept doggedly trying to get me to interact with him, even though I was scurrying around, making his lunch, eating breakfast, trying to find his shoes and all the other stuff that I do in the morning. "Mommy," he kept saying. "Mommy!"

Finally, I said, "What, William?"

And he said, "No, you have to say, 'What, Evil Wizard?'"

3. Part of this is more of a sweet moment than a funny moment, but I want to record it for posterity anyway. The rest, is pretty funny.

William enjoys putting his head up to my stomach and talking to his baby brother. "Hello, baby!" he likes to say. "How's it doing in there?"

So after loosening the baby up with some small talk, he looked up at me and said, "Can he feel my love in there?"

Yes, let's say it all together now: awwwwwww.

But just in case you thought it was all sweetness, he then wanted to know, "How can the baby go peepee and poopy in there when there's not a potty inside your belly?"

4. Tonight, William earned a piece of his Halloween candy because he finished all his dinner, including his broccoli. (Granted, broccoli is his favorite vegetable, but still.) So I fetched the pumpkin from its safe place on top of the fridge and I handed it to him. He carried it off to root through the dwindling amount of candy and pick out the best piece. A little while later, he brought it back to me and said, "Here, Mommy. You need to put this up because I might want to eat even more."

Hey, he's honest!


By the way, I wanted to let you know that I keep getting all these weird spam comments in Japanese on one of my earlier blog posts, and let's just say that they are most decidedly NOT family-friendly. I'm going to re-enable the function on the comment section that asks you to type in a word or series of letters and numbers before you post your comment. Please don't let this deter you from making comments. I've noticed a major drop-off in comments, probably more because I've not been posting as often recently (due to that whole bone-dead pregnancy thing I've got going on). But if you have something to say, just rest assured that the verification feature was put there on purpose. You can contact me if you have trouble using it though, and I'll see what I can do. I just don't want to keep getting those spam messages.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Hand, hand, finger, thumb

So, want to hear the latest drama at our house?

Last week, I accidentally slammed William's hand in the minivan door. Poor little guy. Look at him:

But seriously, it was not one of the finer moments of my life as a parent. I was taking him to get a haircut, and right as I started to shut the door, he turned around and stuck his hand right there. Argh. Normally, William's not really a big cryer. When he gets hurt or upset, he really does not cry for very long. This, however, was not one of those times. I felt terrible, terrible!

We went down to Vanderbilt Children's Medical Center and got his hand x-rayed, and fortunately, nothing was broken. I knew he was probably going to be okay when he fell asleep in the van on the way to the hospital and then asked me to hold his injured hand as we negotiated the parking garage. He was a total angel in the waiting area, and David reported that he behaved beautifully for the x-ray technician, too. (They wouldn't let me go into the x-ray room since I've got Baby Brother on board.) William's hand was bruised, mostly across the knuckles and his ring and pinky finger, but otherwise, he was unharmed. What a huge, huge relief.

It did make me feel a little better when people started telling me that they've done something like this, too. Diane even 'fessed up to slamming one of her boys' hand in her car door back in the day; neither of them are quite sure if it was Mark or David, so I figured, it didn't scar them emotionally for life. And hopefully William will be just fine, too. He's already much more cautious around the minivan door, that's for certain.

I, on the other hand, will probably have nightmares about this for years. I still remember the horrible stomach-dropping feeling from the time I fell down the stairs with William in my arms. I may never fully recover from that. Mom can still recount all the hrarrowing scrapes that my brother got into as a small child, yet my brother remembers none of them. It's always the parent who has the memory seared into his or her brain.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Last year...or was it the year before last? friend Phuong sagely observed that very small kids don't really realize that it's candy that they are collecting when they go trick-or-treating. They just have fun collecting stuff, and then you can spirit most of it away.

Well, those days are over, over, over. See this picture of my beloved little boy?

In this picture, Sir William is literally dancing with impatience to go trick-or-treating. He could barely stand it when we kept telling him to wait just a few more minutes. Not when there was CANDY out there to get his hands on!

I love this picture (below), but it's a miracle that it exists. William was clawing to get outside, and we were all pleading with him to just pose for a photo, please please please please please.

But we did get a lovely family picture AFTER William had satisfied his trick-or-treat jones with a jaunt up and down our entire street and the adjacent street.

A special shout out to my lovely mother-in-law for gamely accompanying David and Sir William all around the neighborhood in the pursuit of life, liberty and candy. I stayed behind, with my big old belly, and handed out candy from a perch on the front porch. And er, I might have sneaked a few pieces of candy for myself at the same time, too.