Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last photo(s) of the year

It's not even 8:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and I am already beat. We just got William to bed, and now it's anyone's guess how much longer David and I can keep our eyelids propped open. Yes, I could claim pregnancy and illness as my excuses, but the reality is...we haven't done much partying on NYE in the past half-decade or so. We'll break out our Trader Joe's sparkling cranberry juice in a little while and make our toasts...after all, it may be early here, but it's 2010 in Europe already! I know, I know. We're livin' large, aren't we?

And the last photos of the year...

Appreciate this one because I bet we won't be able to get away with bathtub shots with William much longer. Here he is with the new pirate ship that his Uncle Mark gave to him for Christmas:

And here's the official last photo of the year. (Gosh, I don't know about you but I looooove it when it's finally bedtime.)

2009 was kind of a rocky year for our family, so I won't be too sad to see it go. And I'm hoping that 2010 is a much better one. Happy New Year's Eve to any of you who might be reading this! Have a glass of champagne for me!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, y'all

Just in case you were worried, I did not auction my child off on eBay or anything. He suffered through some serious time out. He apologized. I cooled down (eventually). We're friends again. It's in the past. Like many of you have said, I will someday have a big hearty laugh about his little Christmas Eve caper.


It's kind of funny to remember when William still didn't fully understand Christmas. He knew there were lights and sounds and good food and presents, but he didn't really understand the order in which they all arrived...and he didn't understand it enough to get really impatient about it, either. He was just delighted by whatever happened to happen.

This year, however, he knew exactly what was going on. We ate Christmas Eve dinner (also known as Aaron's birthday dinner) at the Wyckoffs' on Thursday night, and by the time I packed William into the car, it was really getting late. I told him that we'd need to go to bed really quickly to make sure he was asleep so that Santa Claus could come to our house.

David, who drove the minivan home after us, got online and looked up the website for NORAD, which "tracks" Santa's magical sleigh ride all over the globe on Christmas Eve. After I dressed William in his jammies, we told him to go check out the map on the computer to see where Santa was.

"Hey, look," David said. "Santa's in Newfoundland. That's north of here."

And as we watched the map, Santa was suddenly in Barbados. I guess he was travelling up and down the eastern seaboard before moving west, which seems to make sense.

"See, William?" David said. "Santa's there..." and he use the mouse to point out the little sleigh icon, and then he moved the mouse to put the cursor an inch or two to the left, over Tennessee. "And there's our house."

William took one look at the screen and took off running for his room. "Mommy, come on! Hurry!" he yelled over his shoulder.

I caught up to him as he was climbing into his bed. Out of breath, I said, "Okay, what story do you want to read tonight?"

William, pulling his covers up, said, "I don't think I need a story tonight."

Just so you know, he's never said anything like that before in his entire life. In fact, it was so unprecedented, that it caught me completely off guard. Let's see that little remark again, so we can absorb the full impact of it: "I don't think I need a story tonight." Nope, it still kills me.

"Well, how about I say a short prayer with you?"

"No, I'll say one when I'm lying down trying to sleep. Night night, Mommy." He shooed me out.

And I said, "Okay" and turned off the light and shut the door, and there was not a single peep out of him the rest of the night. William wasn't willing to take any chance that he'd make Santa Claus skip his house and...the horror...perhaps not bring him the Batman cave that he's been wanting for months now.

Santa, indeed, came through.

A Christmas Day family photo of the three of us. Probably one of the last ones we'll have of the three of us, since we're practically four now anyway!

We really did have a nice Christmas Day. I'll try to post some more Christmas photos soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve drama before 9 a.m.

So my original intention was to come here and tell you that I've reached the 30-week mark, hooray hooray. And then I wanted to tell you a sweet little anecdote about how William got to hear his baby brother's heartbeat at my OB appointment on Tuesday.

And it really was sweet, too. A slow, broad smile began to appear across William's face, making his cheeks look like apples, as he listened to the doppler's broadcast of the baby's heartbeat. He hadn't been exactly sure what to expect, but he knew this was a Big Deal.

Afterward, I asked him what he thought about that, and he said, "It was nice and a little weird." Why's that, I wanted to know. "Because babies make sounds like 'ga ga'," he explained. He also noted that the gel that my doctor used on my belly looked "just like our hand sanitizer!" Which, well, it did.

But anyway, like I said, I came here to tell that story. But then we had a little Incident this morning that really needs telling even more. I should title it something like "The Evil Genius Strikes Again." Argh. I'm still a little worked up over it, too.

Here's what happened. Last night, David and I wrapped gifts for each other and for his parents and brother. We stacked them way up on top of the (very tall) armoire in the corner of our bedroom, so William couldn't get to them. Heck, we could barely reach up there ourselves. This morning, after David left for work and while I was still asleep downstairs on the sofa (it has much better back support for awkward beached-whale pregnant ladies, what with all the pillows, and on nights when I cannot get comfortable, sometimes I migrate down there for a few hours), that's when William struck.

He took one of his little folding chairs from his table-and-chair set, dragged it up all 17 stairs, and carried it into our room. He moved everything out of the way from in front of the armoire (no small task). Then he found a box with a sturdy lid, stacked that on top of the chair. He climbed on top of all that and got down presents, which he then carried into his room. He shut the door and unwrapped all the gifts. None of which were for him.

I woke up and heard the feet running back and forth, and the bedroom door opening and shutting, and I went upstairs. I found what I just described to you and well, I think I went ballistic. I found a couple of David's presents strewn about, all of mine from David, one for Diane and something else. I yelled. A lot. I threatened permanent time out, I think. William ran out of his room, yelling back. There was a struggle on the stairs while I tried to drag William back to his room--for the record, it is harder to move an angry three-year-old when you're heavily pregnant than it is to move a dead body. (Er, not that I have actually ever moved a dead body. But you know what I mean.) Finally I managed to get him back into his room, slammed that door shut and marched downstairs to rewrap everything. William screamed and yelled from his exile. I fumed while I managed to get tape stuck all over the place, rather than in the right places. Grrrr.

(But hey, I am grateful for the Blu-ray copy of "The Princess Bride." Thanks, honey.)

So now, William's out of time out. He has apologized. I have confiscated the castle and all its accessories and placed them in time out. William has cleaned up the mess from the wrapping paper. He's back in his usual good spirits. I, however, am still feeling grumpy. What a way to start Christmas Eve, huh?

I called David, and he consoled me that one day, this will all be very, very funny. Hmph. All I know is that it's not even 9 a.m. and I feel like I've had a full day already.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let's go to the movies!

We have marked yet another rite of passage in the life of our young son William. A big one. A monumental one. One that no one should ever forget. That's right: we took him to see his first movie in the movie theater yesterday.

Don't you remember your first real movie? Mine was "Lady and the Tramp." David says that he saw either "Herbie the Love Bug" or "The Rescuers"; he saw both of them around the same time, so he's not completely sure which one came first for him, chronologically speaking. My brother's was "The Fox and the Hound."

William's first movie was "The Princess and the Frog." We took him to the Green Hills movie theater to see a noon matinee. He's been looking forward to it for months. Princesses? Movies? Popcorn? Time with Mommy and Daddy? How could it be anything other than perfect?

And William loved it. I figured that, since he eagerly watches "Sleeping Beauty" when we give in at home, he'd have no trouble sitting through another full-length cartoon. And he didn't. He didn't eat as much popcorn as I had originally predicted, but he seemed to enjoy the overall experience. He behaved nicely, he laughed at the funny characters, and he whispered when he wanted to ask a question.

On the way out of the theater, however, he refused to put his coat back on. Flat out refused. Finally, in exasperation, David said something like, "William! Put your coat on now! It's cold out there! Do you want to get sick?"

And I would almost swear that William, worldly wise young man that he is now, rolled his eyes. "Daddy, you don't get a cold that way. You have to get germs to get sick," he informed us.

Um, yeah, that's right, actually. Why are we ever surprised when he actually remembers things that we've told him?

I asked William later for his review of the movie. He said that the funny alligator was his favorite character. (Louis, for those of you who've seen it.) And he's ready to go see another movie again soon. Hopefully something else rated "G" will be released before too long...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Serial posting because this is too good to not blog about...

This morning, I walked out of my bedroom to find William in the office (i.e. the computer room, which will soon be converted into Baby Brother's room, ousting me and my work to a location still to be determined). He told me that he'd been talking to Grandaddy Johnny on the computer, but there wasn't a picture. I asked him when, because we regularly chat with Grandaddy Johnny on the computer via Skype, and I figured, he was just talking about one of our past conversations.

Ah, well, as it turns out, he had JUST been talking to Grandaddy Johnny on the computer. As in, a few minutes earlier. While I was still in my room, he had come into the computer room, turned on the computer, somehow brought up the Skype program, called his grandfather and had a nice little chat. But because he likes to hang up the phone a lot, he had to call back a lot. And apparently he knows how to do all of that. Who knew he'd picked up so much from watching me do it? So the Skype log showed at least a half-dozen short phone calls that the two of them had had this morning.

Good grief. William can't even read yet, and he's already figured out how to do all this stuff? We are in big trouble--Big Trouble--when he does learn how to read.

For the record, Daddy said he was happy to talk with his grandson, but I needed to make sure to teach him how to turn the video system on so that he could see him on the computer screen. Apparently, William just punched the "Call" button, not the "Video Call" button, which was why there was no picture.

No place for guilt at the holidays

So over on my other blog Jennifer Larson, Writer at Large, I recently mentioned that I was feeling a little guilty about not taking William to do tons of Christmas stuff this year.

Being nearly 28 weeks pregnant, I'm just huge and tired, and my energy level is just not what it normally is. And unfortunately, lots of the best Christmas activities require Serious Energy. I just couldn't do the downtown Christmas parade on Friday night, no way, and I managed to miss out on getting tickets to see a local production of a mini version of "The Nutcracker," but there's no way we'd last through a full-length performance.

So I decided to do some more low-key fun things and hope that they will suffice, at least for this year. As several people have told me, William is three. He doesn't know any different. There are plenty of years ahead to do bigger things around the holidays.

And we do still have two big fun things planned, so it's not like I bailed altogether this year. I'm taking him to a local church's Walk Through Bethlehem event on Sunday afternoon, and my mother-in-law is taking him to have breakfast with Santa at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on the 19th. I figure, I'll take him to have his photo taken with Santa at the mall one day after school, and we'll be good. Right?

In the meantime, a few photos from our low-key day on Saturday. I took him to Cheekwood so he could do the kiddie art class, which involved making a candy collage, and then we looked at the Christmas decorations....

Then we came home and decorated a gingerbread house from a kit that I bought at Target. I could have taken him to any of about three different gingerbread house workshops around town that day, but they all cost at least $40, and frankly, I was hesitant to spend that kind of money on that sort of activity for a kid his age. Surprisingly, the kit occupied him for about two hours at home. Well worth the money.

And we're doing the typical things, like taking him to church each Sunday, lighting the candles on our Advent wreath and doing the Lego Advent calendar each night (I'm sure you can guess whose idea that was, right?).

And we already plan to attend the children's Christmas Eve service, which he adored last year. So really, we're doing the most important things, I think. I just wish that I DID have the energy to do more. But I'm going to try to feel content with what we're doing and remember that he's enjoying everything that we are doing, and that it's not worth completely wearing myself down.