Monday, April 30, 2007

The elusive sneer picture

You'll notice that there is no picture to accompany this post, sorry to get your hopes up. This is just a placeholder until I finally get the shot I'm seeking. This could also be a "teaser" for those of you who are coming to Iowa City for Will's baptism this coming weekend - maybe you'll get a chance to see this firsthand.

We spent the entire weekend outside landscaping and working around the house. I have the sunburn and various small injuries to prove it. Will spent all of his non-nap time outside and Erin, myself, and the 'Stein took turns entertaining him. Anyway, due to some combination of the warm weather with bright sun out, Will having a runny nose, and sitting in the grass, Will kept making the face - the sneer that I have on my face in many pictures - the left side of his lip curled up kind of like he's impersonating Elvis. I wasn't just seeing what I want to see either - it was definitely a sneer, and a pretty powerful one. I hadn't seen him do that before but he must have made that face at least 20 times when he was outside in the grass. The problem is, as soon as you catch him making that face, he sees you looking at him, and then he SMILES. So if either Erin or I saw him make the face, we'd try to get the other's attention, then he'd see us turn to look at him and the sneer would be gone. So, although a picture of him making this face would be priceless, it may be very difficult to catch with the camera.

Last night Erin and I were watching "the making of" the Planet Earth series on Discovery channel (by the way, if you haven't seen any of these hour long-specials, Sunday nights (unfortunately, during Homer), they are awesome, the best nature specials I've ever seen by far, and I'm a fan of those types of shows). The photographers were talking about how they'd spend a week following seal after seal off a reef in southern Australia, trying to get a shot of a great white shark breaching to eat one. That's exactly how I feel with this picture...

Friday, April 27, 2007

sleep scootin'


Will has done this the last couple of nights so I thought I'd get photographic evidence. When we put him down for bed, we usually center him right underneath the mobile, close to the base, which has a nightlight in it that he likes to touch. Then when we get him up in the morning, he has scooted himself up into the far top corner of the bed. Fortunately the gator is there to stop him from hurting himself. The amazing thing is that he pulls the blankets up with him as he scoots. He's definitely getting closer to moving around by himself - he is almost able to kick and roll himself out of his bouncy chair and he's learning to control his wiggles to move toward things that he wants.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Our weekend

Here's what we did this weekend in the nice weather!

Friday: first we took a really good nap to get ready for all the excitement

Then we went for a walk around campus and checked out all the chicks (including mom).

On Saturday, Will and I went to play disc golf while mom went to work. Then we partied at Katrina's house on Saturday night at 'porkfest' (Katrina brought a bunch of pork products from her parents' hog farm). Dad played the role of grillmaster, Will held my beer.

Sunday was the nicest day so we went for a long walk outside and just hung out in the sun.

Will and I played a lot of music this weekend too. Besides playing his piano, Will played on the back porch in his 'stein while I practiced playing the guitar and he sang along with mom and I.

Then on Sunday night we went out to dinner and we were really tired when we got home so we decided to lay on the floor of the living room for awhile.

We took a bunch of pictures this weekend, these are just some of them. Check out the picasa site (April07 album) for a few more of them.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

killer wings

check out these bad boys - Will's hair's getting pretty long around the ears. We put sunscreen on his ears when we took him outside, and it turns out that the lotion also works as a styling product. So we teased out the wings a bit, although they don't really need that much help usually.

Party weekend

We're having a great time this weekend. The temperature has been in the 70s and we've been taking advantage. I'll post a few more things later today, but here's the start of our weekend. On Friday we went for a nice walk on campus, this is an excited Will as we are getting ready for our trip.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #1

And the winner is this picture. My personal all-time favorite, and the backdrop on my computer. This was shortly after the introduction of the Bumbo, before he got tired of it and stopped tolerating sitting in it. We took several pictures with Will in the Bumbo at the piano with me and this is by far the best one. He has a great little smile, plus this is also around the time when he discovered and constantly tried to suck on his toes, so while he's sitting with his dad, he's also working on a side project of getting his socks off.

Thanks everyone for checking in during the T15WPoAT countdown. If anyone wants full-resolution versions of any of these pictures (they are compressed and smaller so they don't take up as much webspace), send me an email. Same goes for any pictures on the
picasa site.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #2

This picture is one of our favorites because of an inside joke between Erin and I. This picture was taken when he was about 3 months old, around the time he started sleeping with some consistency. We discovered that a bottle of formula would sit with him longer than breast milk so we switched to a bottle before bed so he'd sleep longer before the middle-of-the-night feeding. So since Erin wasn't feeding him before bed, after we put him down she'd need to pump 'em so she wouldn't explode. But sometimes, (for those of you who are unfamiliar with nursing mechanics), the milk won't 'let down' without stimulation from the (or any) baby. A lot of times hearing a baby cry can help the milk let down. So we would play out this scene: I would put this picture of Will on one of our computers and make whimpering noises while Erin tried to pump. Sometimes she needed a little extra verbal encouragement from me: "Come on Erin, can't you see how hungry he is?" Or for a little added effect I'd alternate this picture with this one (which shows Will's progression from being a little upset to losing it), or for when she really needed extra help, this video.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sack o' beans: take 2

Today Will did not nap very well, so when he started crying during his bath we knew he was really tired. I gave Erin 10-to-1 odds that we'd have a sack of beans during the before-bed bottle and it's a good thing she didn't take that bet because that's exactly what we had. So we had the camera ready to get a new video with the right camera angle. The two videos were taken back-to-back, so you can watch them in sequence. They're pretty much the same but I couldn't decide which was better so I posted both.

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #3

A very sweet picture from when Will first ate real food (I stress ATE - as in the food made it into his stomach, as opposed to our first TRIES). This picture is the background on Erin's laptop and one of her all-time favorites, so it rocketed up the chart. By the way, you might be seeing more of this picture in the future as Erin and Grandma Brenda develop their business which will make and sell bibs like this one, and possibly other baby products. What a great promo shot, don't you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

sack o' beans

Sorry about the angle on this video - unfortunately you can't rotate it like you can when you watch it on the camera. It was a really good one anyway so I still posted it - maybe you can turn your computer monitor sideways.

Sometimes when we feed Will his bottle after his bath and right before bed, he falls asleep when he's eating. It's funny when I sit him up to burp him - he still insists on standing (won't sit down), even though he's all but asleep. So he ends up doing this - we say he's a "sack of beans" because holding up his limp body to burp him when he's like this is like holding a sack of beans.

IOE Spring Banquet 2007

Each year the graduate students in my department (IOE) organize a banquet for all the grad students, faculty, and staff, which was this past thursday. It's a fun night where we honor and make fun of each other. This year I worked on the entertainment portion of the banquet, which meant working with a small group of my friends to put together some jokes and a slide show - it was a lot of work but it went really well. I was especially excited to bring Will this year, as a lot of people bring their families to this event. He wore the little tux we got for the Red Cross volunteer recognition event last month, and this will probably be the last time he wears it because it's about too small. He was a big hit at the banquet, and even though he had to stay up until after 9:00, he had very few fussy moments and was generally a very sweet guy.

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #4

The funny thing about this picture is that it was taken about an hour before T15WPoAT#7 - the one where he's sitting on the piano (note the same outfit). I was working very hard and late around this time on a project we were trying to finish on a short deadline. I hadn't seen the boy very much at the time so when I came home to take a nap on this afternoon I tried to see if Will might take one with me. He was NOT having it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #5

On normal mornings I run on the treadmill while Erin feeds Will. Then Erin brings him down and she runs on the treadmill while I take Will around as I get ready for the day. I put him in his bouncy chair while I shower, and he generally talks to himself and plays with a toy or his feet. At various times I peek out at him and when he sees me he gives the biggest smiles and laughs.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #6

This one is so sweet. Yes, he's sucking my nose. I think Will was less than a week old in this shot. In fact, we came home from the hospital on a friday, I believe, so this would have been his second day at home. I remember because we got him dressed up in this little Hawkeye outfit to watch the Iowa football game that Saturday. He's gotten so big now that I had forgotten how easy it was to hold him when he was this small.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #7

Will and I spend a lot of time playing the piano together. He has gotten wigglier, and thus less tolerant of sitting lately but as long as we're playing/singing a song he can follow he likes it. In fact, you can tell he wants to play along because he leans forward to grab my hands when I play and usually about puts his face into the keyboard. He has his own toy piano to play too - I'm trying to teach him how to play the keys instead of sucking on them. There are lots of good pictures of Will and I at the piano (including, possibly, more from this top 15 list) but this picture happens to also have a really good smile.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #8

This picture was taken in mid-February when Grandma Brenda was visiting. Carolyn made this great hat for him, which he loves. He was just starting to figure out his Baby Einstein play saucer thing - or as we affectionately call it, the 'Stein. At the time this picture was taken he could only reach two or three of the things on the 'Stein, but now he can reach everything and he can keep spinning around in a circle, constantly surprising himself with the next toy to play with. He especially likes the 'green monster' which is that puppet thing in front of him. It remains one of the most sure-thing for Will when we need to cheer him up/keep him entertained for awhile.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Will can sit up by himself

We've been helping Will practice this for the last few weeks but he hasn't really been able to do it for more than a second before crashing, until today. Erin took this picture earlier today, and Will and I have been sitting for awhile while Erin's at a meeting. We've been having a great time with it.

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #9

I told you we had a smilin' picture coming up. This picture was taken in Iowa City on our way to Lincoln for my Spring Break. We had some rough weather so we planned the trip over two days which ended up being great because we stayed in a hotel where Will could go swimming for the first time! So here he is in his little speedo. You can read a little more about his swimming adventure here. This hotel room was also the scene of a very funny situation which you can read more about here.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #10

This picture was taken when we tried to feed Will real food (rice cereal) for the first time. We're pretty sure he didn't get any of it in his stomach - just drooled it right out. Erin tried feeding him for awhile and by the time I had my chance to try he had had enough. I think this is the first week when we had the Bumbo (the blue chair thing) which has been a very good investment - a lot of the best pictures we have are of him sitting in it.

I just realized that we haven't had any top Will pictures of all time with him smiling yet - don't worry, #9 has some smilin'.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter outfit

I just had to add these pictures from when we got him dressed in his Easter outfit, they were too good.

Happy Easter everyone!

Well Will's first Easter has been fun and not fun. The poor guy has apparently caught his first cold, so he's been sneezing and coughing and been pretty fussy in general. We had a tough night last night - he woke up often and cried a lot. So we've been spending a lot of time just holding the little guy and trying to comfort him - in the process, absorbing a large amount of slobber and snot on our clothing. But we got some medicine and he seems to be doing a little better today. So anyway, we had a good time dying easter eggs yesterday before he started feeling too yucky. The Easter Bunny came last night and brought Will some toys, but he was most interested in his frog Easter basket. Isn't he cute in his Easter outfit?

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #11

Oh boy. Some of you know that my mom (Grandma Susan) put me in a dress as a joke on my dad when I was about this age. It was probably also a way for my mom (and Erin) to play out their fantasy of having a baby girl. Anyway, we were in Madison over Christmas and I was working hard in the home office all day when Erin and Grandma Brenda introduced me to my new daughter, Willamena. It was a complete surprise and needless to say I laughed very hard - I'll never forget that experience. She was even wearing frilly tights and patent leather shoes, which you can't see very well in this picture. I think the dress/tights/shoes were part of the same doll accessories collection as the desk in picture #14. This one will probably come up again and again in Will's life: highschool graduation pictures, wedding slideshow, hahaha.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #12

This picture was taken when Grandma and Grandpa Ferris were visiting in January. Grandma made Will this hat (and matching sweater) so he's trying it on. He looks like a little elf.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #13

This picture (on the left), taken in Madison over Christmas, is one of my top 5 personal favorites, but Erin had others she liked better so it's a little further down on the list. I like it because Will's making a picture face just like his dad.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Well, Will went to the doctor today and had to get 3 shots. That usually means he's fussy for the rest of the day, and he was for a lot of it. But we put in a little extra effort to cheer him up and as you can see here, he was having a great time with it.

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #14

This picture was taken a few weeks ago when Erin and Will went to Madison for Lauren's wedding shower. Grandma & Grandpa Mueller have kept the doll desk that Erin and Sara used to play with when they were younger. Probably for this very reason. I think Erin has also tried to put our cats in the desk in the past - as you can see, Will is not too happy about playing along.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

bath pictures: 6 months

Look at his hair! It curls around his ears and looks great when you mess it up a bit. Since the 5-month mark, Will is talking and laughing more, even talks himself to sleep a lot of nights. He's also rolling over more, kicking a lot, and just in general moving around more. He can ALMOST sit up by himself, but eventually he'll go for his toes, which means doing a face-plant from which he can't yet recover by himself. He insists on standing more often, at least he complains more when you try to make him sit down, and he really likes if you help him dance while he's standing. As far as his diet, he's now up to 6 types of solid (mush) foods and is a very good eater for his daddy, but doesn't eat very well when other people try to feed him. He has started eating prunes, which has made him a much happier baby than the few weeks before then (and makes for some impressive diaper changings). We really couldn't be happier with our little boy.

5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month
first bath

Top 15 Will pics of all time: #15

This picture was taken in Lincoln when we were visiting for Thanksgiving and Adam and Chandi's reception. It's one of my favorites because he's wearing his owl onesie and his eyes are huge like the owl. Plus this is one of the rare pictures around this time where he didn't have severe baby acne, poor guy. He wasn't smiling yet at this time (started to about a week after this picture) so this face is as good as it got.

Will: alive for half a year

That's right: Today Will is a six-pack of months old. And he is wigglier than ever. That's probably the newest thing since he was five months old - now he wiggles a lot more. We took him with us out to dinner last night and he wanted (and tried) to grab everything that was on the table. He has just enough body control to dive bomb things that he wants to put in his mouth so you have to keep both hands on him when holding him. Anyway, to celebrate Will's half birthday we're hosting a special feature on Will's page for the next few weeks: the top 15 Will pictures of all time. The plan was to do the top 10, but Erin and I couldn't eliminate any more of our favorites, so it's 15. We'll post a new one each day so stay tuned for the countdown to number 1.