Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting around to posting those Christmas photos at last

Rats, I can't figure out how to rotate this image. Sorry, Calvin. You get the short end, again.

Christmas finery.

The best part is shredding that wrapping paper.

And finding an iMac inside. WheeeeeeHaaaaaaaYipeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! Mac users, you may now let me in on the secret handshake and code word for entry into our private clubhouse. Bear with me while I learn all the new gizmos here.

Sunday morning play-dough with Bethiah, after we finished off the pancakes, fruit and coffee and the grown-ups watched the Queen's address. (Our hostess was Canadian, so why not?)

Audrey says things all the time now that seem blog-worthy to me but are probably boring most everyone but me. Today I was standing in the kitchen reading e-mail and Audrey was in the living room, doing something very quietly on her own. Out of the suspicious quiet I heard, "Mama? I need some tape." Later, while I was changing Calvin's diaper and he was crying really hard, Audrey was at my knee suddenly, tugging urgently on my pant leg and saying, "Mom, I need up there! I need to give Calvin a kiss, make him feel better!"

A more organized and better rested person than I would make a coherent blog entry out of that-- right now, all I can do is gather the scraps and try to type them while both kids are still sleeping.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's 3:00pm-- do you know where your purse is?

Audrey likes to wear her babysitter Kristen's boots, and rifle through her bag. This time Kristen had the camera handy. Sorry about the fingerprints on your glasses, Kristen...

Calvin as reindeer

Studies have shown that pacifier use among reindeer reduces sleigh-speeding, increases accuracy of rooftop landings and generally improves holiday mood.

Reindeer outfit courtesy of Great Aunt Kris and Uncle Sergio. It already fits!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Now I get it...

I always thought that second children were photographed less because parents were just not as giddy about babies by that time, but now I realize it's simply that you can't pick up a camera very often when you are taking care of two kids. So while Audrey is at school, I'm posting a couple photos of Calvin just to be fair to the poor little sprout. He's given us his first smiles this week, but they are so fleeting we haven't captured any on camera yet. And I don't have five hours like I did with Audrey to stand there hovering with the camera to get the perfect shot, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Audrey still delights in Calvin, calling him "Baby Barfy" and "My sweet little baby." While she was helping us give him a bath last night she said, "That's our baby. We buy him at the hoppital."

Well, sort of. I guess you could say that I bought him there, and paid with my girlish figure and a year's worth of solid sleep.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not the weekend we expected, quite.

Friday night we found ourselves heading to the E.R. to find out why Audrey's lips and hands appeared bluish, and an hour or so later, both kids were admitted to the pediatric unit for the night. Calvin was discharged the next day, but poor Audrey was diagnosed with pneumonia, plus a bronchial infection and spent the rest of the weekend on the pediatric unit. I'm sure I don't have to say that this was stressful, scary and surprising for us all. Topping off the surprises, this was Janna's weekend to visit us in Boston. Her plane landed at just about the same time we arrived at the hospital. So she got to spend a lot of time holding Calvin, and also helped Audrey take part in the I.V. pole derby up and down the hospital hallways.

Everyone is on the mend now, at home. Hospital staff were good to us and the stay was short. We learned a few things over the weekend, including how common it is for kids to get pneumonia and-- though it is serious-- how relatively basic the treatment is. We also found out that if you walk into an E.R. with a newborn and a toddler, you go right to the head of the line, no questions asked. Reassuring, but I hope it's a privilege I never need again.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Overheard, from Audrey to Calvin

Here are some of things we've heard Audrey saying to Calvin this week. She loves hold him and kiss him and smother him. And he likes to lick her face.

"Oh, Calvin... I love you."
"Don't cry, Calvin-- I right here. I right here. I know, I know."
"Hi, Baby Bonzo. You my baby. I like you."
"Need more milk?"

Even though she is acting out in the general direction of her parents quite a bit this month, she has nothing but adoration for Calvin, the little prince, the apple of her eye, her Bonzo.

Snowy day at home

Calvin takes a snooze in the baby-wrap.

Audrey completes my W-9 form with yellow marker. She is totally bored by the idea that she might draw on the blank side of the paper. That was just my lame, conventional suggestion.

I forgot how long the days of snow and ice can be when you are inside with small children. But they are both sleeping now, so I can have that cup of coffee I poured about six hours ago. I'll just throw in some ice and pretend that I meant to drink it cold.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Calvin is one month old, and we're hanging in there.

I was trying to take a picture of myself and my two kids, but there were two significant snags. I can't hold the camera properly in one hand, and Audrey is only interested in the side of the camera in which she can already see images of herself.

My boys on the couch.

Month 1. We thought one was a lot of work-- and it was, compared to not having any. But two? If having Audrey taught us to be a little bit more patient, a little bit more in-the-now, then having two kids, if we actually survive it, is going to make us Zen Masters.

I want to write pages and pages and the first month for all of us with Calvin, but I'm just too tired.. It's 9:30 and I'm going to bed. Long story short: we love Calvin, all of us, madly. He's a joy. And having two children is kicking our butts.

Mimi and Pop-Pop come to meet Calvin, and catch up with Audrey

A chat with Pop-Pop, man to man.

And a cherubic pose to bewitch Mimi.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lost in Translation (or, All Aboard the Potty Train)

Calvin sporting his new hat from Auntie Ellen...

Scott accepting a cup of hot tea from Audrey, who got a new plastic tea set the other day and knows a lot about the importance of hot, caffeinated beverages for a tyke so small.

The vagaries of our language become much clearer when you live with someone who is just learning to put it all together. Every other utterance from Audrey this week is "What's this called?" And she'll listen with rapt attention while you repeat the new word, whatever it is-- thermometer, casserole, stop sign-- and you can just about see the new etchings on her little brain. And sometimes, what we say doesn't make sense. Or rather, it does make sense, but not the sense that we intended. I said to Scott this morning, with a heavy sigh, that it looked like Audrey would be closer to her third birthday than her second by the time she was fully potty trained. And down there at knee-level, Audrey snapped to attention. "Where's the potty train?" she asked, holding up a section of her wooden train tracks.

Yes, the potty train. That would be the one that's not leaving the station anytime soon at our house, even though we have all boarded, with a crate full of pull-ups and Tic-Tac rewards, and that maniacal conductor who is always exclaiming, "Good job! Let's go check for pee again! What a big girl you are! Hooray!" What a moron. Can someone just tell her to take a seat, please?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gramma Jean cuddles Calvin, and dances with Audrey

Several people have noted that Calvin has very long fingers and toes. There are tall men on both his mother's and his father's side of the family, so we may soon find ourselves craning our necks at an uncomfortable angle to scold him. And he will look down at us with pity and bemusement.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Well wishes from Clinton in Kuala Lumpur

These are the prayer sticks that our friend Clinton placed for Calvin and our family at the Thean Hou Temple, his favorite place in Kuala Lumpur, at the shrine of the gods and goddesses of health and prosperity. Thank you, Clinton! These are beautiful.

Now isn't that more interesting than another photo of an exhausted parent draped in a spitty burp cloth?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8:52 pm and we're ready for bed around here...

But before we begin our nightly charade of "sleeping" while Calvin eats, hangs out awake in his crib, or makes a nice nesty place between us in our bed for chatting and singing campfire songs all night, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of his older sister. Above, Audrey nurses her baby, Purple Charlotte (her other doll is just called Charlotte). Below, she applies a refreshing cream cheese facial with the sandwich Scott made her for lunch.

We have told Calvin if he continues his nocturnal behavior we are going to send him out to be raised by the family of skunks that live under our neighbor's porch. They are awake all night, but in this house we like to get some rest, young man.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Calvin's first week

A contemplative moment after the bath

His face is so small the pacifier looks like a dinner plate glued to his mouth.

Newborn fashions from Mimi.

Sleeping in on Sunday morning with Dad.

And Audrey? Some of you have asked how she's doing.... Well, kind of a mix. She's fragile, and often bossy and demanding and sometimes she pitches monumental tantrums. In between these episodes she kisses and hugs the baby as much as we'll permit her to, and congratulates him on how well he's nursing. " Good job, honey!" We try to include her in the photos too, but she moves a lot faster than Calvin-- but don't worry, she's here and she's still running the show.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

At home with both our little legumes

Leaving Mt. Auburn on Tuesday morning. The last time we left this place, the nurses said, "See you in two years!" and we muttered, "Oh, you are quite mistaken, my friends! We'd never do that to ourselves. Two years, indeed..." And we walked our new baby to the parking garage, shaking our heads and chuckling. Oh, these nurses think they know it all! Ha!

It was two years, one month and five days exactly that we staggered in those big, automatic doors again.

Calvin's rigorous schedule: eat, nap, fill diaper, repeat.

Scott says he doesn't see it, but I think there is a reddish quality to Calvin's hair. Nothing pronounced, but it's there, I can tell.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today, Calvin got a name, and a new sock monkey.

His name is Calvin Scott.

He is not named for:
Cal Ripkin
Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Klein
John Calvin
or any other Calvin, famous or not.

We just like it. That's all!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How sad is this...

All the other kids have their names on their portable cribs, but his just says "I have a bruised face," a note which was placed there by the delivery nurse so that other nurses coming onto their shifts won't be alarmed when they see his bluish nose and chin. That's what happens when you decide to be born at the speed of a runaway coal car-- you get a bruised face.

Going home in the morning!

Our second day at Mt. Auburn. Audrey came by to meet her brother, and we collared a nurse to get at least one photo of all four of us. I can't believe that there are FOUR OF US. Didn't Scott and I just start dating? What have we done?!

Chickpea and Garbonzo: Together at Last

I think I will file this away under "Things to look at when the kids are squabbling and about to drive me out of my mind." Seeing them meet for the first time today was one of the sweeter moments of my life as a parent so far.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby W-2 is here!

We are happy to welcome our as-yet-nameless baby boy to the Willcox family. After a very swift labor this afternoon-- two hours, start to finish-- he arrived in good health and spirits, weighing 8 lbs 1 oz. Mother's doing fine, and Father has a punchy glow of pride and relief. Tomorrow, big sister Audrey will come down to the hospital to meet her new colleague; tonight she's having a sleep-over with Auntie Rebecca and Uncle Hank, and their girls.

No promises on when we'll come up with a name, but rest assured we're working on it. The more you bug us about it, the longer we'll make you wait.

We are looking forward to seeing everybody soon. Calls and e-mails are welcome!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Lots and lots and more" (Notes from the language lab)

She likes what she likes, and when she likes something, she wants more of it. One frequently heard expression from Audrey these days is "lots and lots and more," usually in reference to a food item like cheese sticks but also applicable to barrettes and stickers. It's fascinating to see her cobble together a vocabulary out of the raw materials at hand-- the things that Scott and I say that we don't even notice until they are launched back at us, sometimes adorably and sometimes making us recognize that we really have to watch it because there is a little cognizant being down there at the three-foot level and her tape-recorder is most definitely ON.

Here are some of our favorite words and phrases of the moment. My mom reminds me often that if we don't write them down, they'll soon be forgotten. Already, her baby words are starting to disappear...

Zigick = music. As in "Zigick class" on Saturday mornings, or demands for "more zigick now!" in the car. And "Not this zigick! Audrey no like." For the record, she likes Johnny Cash best of all, and she can get quite piqued if she doesn't like the CD or the radio station we're playing.

Pliget = piglet.

Cock-a-dooloo-dooloo! = sound of the rooster.

I am frequently addressed as "Hon" and "honey", and bolstered with an enthusiastic "Good job, Mommy!" when I use the bathroom. I'm also offered a high-five for putting dishes in the dishwasher, and remembering to put the train set away.

And of course she says, "I do it" and "That mine" and "I need that!" with increasing frequency. She also stands at the foot of the stairs, hands on hips, and says, with just a touch of impatience, "Scott, where are you?"

I have no idea where she picked that one up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


On Friday evening before Halloween we made pumpkin soup with our neighbor, Julie, and her son Alexander.

Before Trick-or-Treating, Audrey "helped" Scott carve a sugar pumpkin for the front porch.

And then we set out with our next-door neighbors and their kids to collect some candy. Our neighborhood is pretty serious about Halloween; Scott began to worry that our two measly carved pumpkins made a poor showing. Next year I expect he will be getting out the graph paper to begin sketching a few weeks early. I was asked a few times if Audrey's witch costume was homemade. Yes, it was, but not by me-- it was Janna's costume first, made by my mom about 30 years ago. It's held up well!