Tuesday, July 31, 2007

vacation part 7: back to the zoo

We went to the zoo one more time before Will and I left for the Lodge again for a week (so Erin and G&G Mueller could prepare for the garage sale without having to give him their full attention - I really took one for the team there, taking him for more fun at the Lodge instead of working round the clock for a week to prepare for the garage sale...).

In our first trip to the zoo, the carousel wasn't open at the time and since Will liked the first trip so much we took him back for more. Grandma came with us this time, so we had someone to take the above family portrait. The next Christmas card??

It was more crowded this time but we still saw all the coolest animals - lions, bears, monkeys, and gators - and then we took him to the carousel. I don't think he really knew what was going on but he seemed to like looking at all the people and the colorful horses/animals going up and down. We put him on a good horse - of course we had mom and Grandma spotting on each side but he seemed to be able to hold on by himself, and it was just tame enough that I think he enjoyed it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Will and his friends

Sorry for the detour here from the vacation chronicles (the vacations posts will resume next week), but I had to post these pictures from when Will went to play with his friends this week because they're too good to wait on.

These are his buddies (from left): Lucas, Gabe, Will, and Owen. I can't imagine how many tries it took to get this picture of them all sitting nicely.

Will's page readers may remember Owen from Will's first fight. Here Will takes a taste of Owen's pacifier.

Gabe is almost 3 months younger but is also bigger than Will. For some reason Will is picking on Gabe, trying repeatedly to push/pull Gabe over. Look how determined Will is in the rightmost picture.

Will succeeds in toppling Gabe. Ok, sit everyone back up and let's try the picture again!


At Lauren and Dan's wedding they had little vials of bubbles to blow at them as they exited the church so we snagged a couple of those to play with at Grandma & Grandpa's. Will thought they were great, but he was a little confused about why they would disappear when he tried to grab them out of the air. He also tried to taste them a few times.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Will scoots around the house

I took these video clips during our week in Madison - it was during the vacation that Will really started to be able to move under his own power. You can't call it crawling because he doesn't get up on his knees, but 'scooting' is probably appropriate. He started out only able to push himself backward (as he does in this video), but eventually learned to pull himself forward as well. Several weeks later, he is much more mobile, and it only makes things that much more interesting. Basically if you set him down on the ground and turn around for a second you can assume he'll be moving across the room when you turn back around. This makes things much more interesting for the cats also, since they can no longer relax when they're just outside of his reach.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

vacation part 6: playing in Madison

Week 2 of our vacation involved going to Madison to hang out with Grandma Brenda, Grandpa Paul, Aunt Sara, Uncle Jeff, and all our friends. There were a couple of weddings also - Will came with us to Lauren and Dan's wedding, sat like a big boy at the table and ate crackers while mom and dad goofed off. Also notice he's totally dressed up for the wedding, even wearing his monkey watch (...what time is it? Monkey time.).

The rest of the week was very nicely uneventful. It wasn't quite time to worry about preparing for the big GARAGE SALE so we had several lazy mornings where Erin and I slept in and Grandma got up to entertain Will. Will woke up very early a lot because we messed up his schedule a little bit with transitioning to Central Time and then having him spend a week sleeping on the porch of the lodge where the sun would wake him up around 5:30. Most mornings when I came downstairs Will already had a few hours of kitchen-floor playtime in, which included playing with these sweet toys, as well as a new game we call 'Open, Shut' (to be detailed in a future post).

We got to Madison on the 2nd of July so on the 4th we got to watch the annual Adams Street 4th of July parade. All the neighborhood kids dress up in costumes and decorate their bicycles then race around the block a few times. Will liked watching the parade, and he found several things to put in his mouth in the meantime.

Around this time we realized Will could consistently eat more solid foods like crackers and Cheerios without gagging, so we started giving him solid things to eat at every meal. Here he's trying a teething biscuit, since he STILL doesn't have any teeth. He liked this thing but he ended up probably making the biggest eating mess ever.

It was really hot that week and since Will had just come back from a daily routine of naked swimming, we decided to keep it up. We actually took him swimming in Lake Mendota with his life jacket on and he loved it - unfortunately forgot the camera for that trip. Anyway, he had a good time swimming in the backyard in his makeshift pool - a snow sled. That's some nice censoring, mom.

Friday, July 20, 2007

vacation part 5: bye bye to the Lodge

We tried to make sure Will got enough pictures with everyone at the Lincoln Lodge before we had to leave...until next time!

Next stop, Grandma Brenda and Grandpa Paul's for some more fun...

more fun with the clothesline

Check it out - I added another video to the clothesline blog entry. Click the link or scroll down 2 posts.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the video editing software allows me to turn these clips 90 degrees and put them together. The second video I put up is combined of the two best clips of Will and the clothesline, but before I could rotate them they weren't post-worthy.

...rotating the video clip 90 degrees adds about 30 pounds, apparently...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

vacation part 4: naked swimming

The first couple times we took Will swimming in the lake, we'd get him all decked out in his Spiderman swimming diapers under the dinosaur swim trunks. Erin got it right this time and got some manly swim diapers so he wouldn't have to wear the pink Dora's. But after we had to change some wet poopy diapers we decided it would be much easier to swim buck naked. As you can see, it was very popular. I'm not sure we'll have much luck getting him to wear swim trunks again at the city pool. Will had a good time slapping at the water and making splashes. He also tried to taste the water, as he does with anything interesting, and succeeded in the bottom right picture. Also, unfortunately we did not catch this on camera: he repeatedly peed on Erin and/or I pretty much right after taking him out of the water. One time he went swimming with me, then peed on me when I was drying him off. We went back in the lake to rinse off, then I handed him to Erin to be dried off, and then he peed on HER. It was hilarious.

Here's a short video montage of the naked swimming experience.

Note to Will's page readers: I just found out we had some video editing software in the lab so I put it on my computer and this is my first experience using it. So I can now splice videos together like this, cut out the stupid comments I make at the end of an otherwise perfect video of Will, and best of all, I can rotate the video 90 degrees to correct the videos where the cameraperson (Erin!) held the camera the wrong way. So you won't have to worry about turning your computer monitors 90 degrees anymore.

Will and the clothesline

At the Lodge, without fail we could always get Will to laugh by taking him over to the clothesline and spinning the clothespins on it. Don't know why it was so funny, but he got a huge kick out of it, every time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Will waves at dad

This is how Will waves - palm up, open and closed fist. He started doing it reliably when we were at the Lodge, but he has to be in the right mood to wave at people. Also, I think he also waves at things when he wants to touch them (as in, 'come to me'), as sometimes he waves at the cats, the 'stein, or ceiling fans.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Grandpa Mike's trick

This is a trick my dad uses on babies. It works very well and is fun for everyone. Will caught on right away, and now he automatically starts making noise if you put a finger near his mouth.

Monday, July 9, 2007

vacation part 3: arriving at the Lincoln Lodge

The "Lincoln Lodge" is what my parents call their lake cabin, which is outside of Minocqua, Wisconsin. After Kara's wedding we all drove up together (minus AJ, who flew in the next day) and everyone from my side of the family was there for the better part of a week. It was the first trip up there for a lot of us. The cabin is a work in progress, but it's becoming a very nice place and we had a blast. In fact, Will and I are headed back up there this afternoon (Grandma Susan is there for the entire month of July).

Here's the scene when we first got there.

It was great to see Adam and Chandi - they're in Vancouver so we've only been able to see them once or twice a year. Will liked Aunt Chandi's hat.

But he did not like having to wear his life jacket or hat. Grandpa and I took him out on the boat for his first time and we couldn't get a single smiling picture. To be fair, this was right before nap time. A couple days ago we took him out on the boat in Madison and he was much more tolerant of the life jacket then.

We spent a lot of time in the sun, so there were lots of sunglasses lying around to play with. Between mom, grandma, and aunts Chandi and Jenna there were probably 20 pairs up there.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

vacation part 2: Kara's wedding

My cousin Kara married Randi Grafft on June 23rd in Kara's hometown of Charles City, Iowa. Randi is a good guy and a man after my own heart - an Iowa grad and a rabid Hawkeye fan, just like Will: pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4.

It was a very nice ceremony, and Will made it through the whole thing without making too much noise or calling too much attention to himself. Thank you Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Also chewing on the wedding programs helped, although when he succeeded in biting chunks off we had to fish them out of his mouth which got pretty messy. The reception was also a very good time - most of my family hadn't seen Will since Adam & Chandi's wedding reception last October, and he was just a crying potato back then. It was especially fun to run into the Horner clan when we stopped at McDonald's for lunch down the street from our hotel before the ceremony. We had a great time demonstrating all Will's newest tricks (spitting and grunting) while he sat in the highchair between our two tables. Cousin Olivia was nice enough to give Will her happy meal toy - an awesome surfing penguin thing.

Family weddings are great for Erin and I because we can "let" our family members hold Will while we cut loose a little bit. Here's Will with Unky Grant, and with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa's giving Will a little of his beer. Just kidding, of course - it was at this wedding reception we discovered how much fun (empty) disposable plastic cups are.

We still had to get Will to bed on time so we didn't mess up his schedule too much. After all, he has needed all his sleep so he's a sweet guy for all the people he's been seeing on our trip. So we regrettably left the reception early and headed back to the hotel for a little Goodnight Moon naked reading while mom prepared the bath. By the way - I was supposed to be supervising him in the meantime - Erin warned me about letting him roll around naked, and sure enough, he peed on the bedspread. Sorry Super 8.

Friday, July 6, 2007

vacation part 1: trip to the zoo

We left Ann Arbor early on friday, June 22nd on our vacation. The first stop was in Madison to spend the night, drop off our cats at Grandma and Grandpa's since we couldn't haul them with us to all our destinations. Our car was so full of cats and people, luggage for 3 weeks, and Will-related accessories that we had to buy a cartop carrier. As a result of all the crowding, the car drive was not as easy on Will, because it was hard for mom/dad to crawl to the back seat and entertain him when he started getting grumpy. The carseat monkey only works so many times.
Anyway, when we got to Madison we decided to go for a walk and took Will to Henry Vilas Zoo, which is just a couple blocks from the Mueller house. We took him here before but I think this was the first time he could really appreciate looking at the animals.

We spent a lot of time looking at the polar bear and the lion, both of which Will knows from his book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Will also really liked the monkey house.

It took several tries to get these pictures.

On our way home from the zoo we went to the nearby playground. This slide is a giant shoe that's something like 80 years old and gets repainted every year. Erin used to go down it a lot as a child and it's apparently still very popular - we had to politely ask some oblivious children to stop climbing up the slide while we were taking Will down it in order to get this picture.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

bath pictures: 9 months

Will's 3/4ths birthday happens to fall on the same day as the birthday of our country - Happy 4th of July everyone. We're at Grandma Brenda and Grandpa Paul's house so we don't have our blue bathtub but Will's getting big enough that we might not need that one much longer anyway. It's harder to bathe him without it though because he wiggles so much and reaches for everything that interests him, which ultimately causes him to dive face first in the bathwater. At least he's now more tolerant of getting his face wet.

So, speaking of wiggling, Will continues to live up to his nickname. He still can't quite crawl, but he can scoot on his tummy - backwards. He hasn't figured out how to get up on his knees to get any leverage so all he can do is push himself up with his hands, which if he's on the right surface, causes him to slide backward. This has gotten him into some funny locations, under tables and shelves, today under the radiator in the Mueller home office. The newest, very fun thing, is that Will has learned how to wave his hands at people, and if he's in the right mood, he gives out waves like candy. By the way, despite what it looks like the bottom picture on the left is not him waving - his wave is an opening and closing of his fist, palm up. I will post a waving video soon. In the last month Will has also gotten better at conversing, whether that is in grunts or spits. Also, although he still really likes some of his toys (especially the Herky doll, or at least I say he does), the most entertaining things right now are straws and plastic cups. Books are really good too - he has a couple of favorites which we read to him a lot (Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?) and a few cloth ones which he puts in his mouth more than reads. He can turn the pages himself and usually starts getting impatient about halfway through a story and just keeps turning page after page. He also really likes sitting with me at the piano - moreso than in the past, because he now has 100% figured out that smacking his hands on the keys makes a terrific noise. Recently I've been practicing a lot to play for some weddings so I've gotten good at playing in the extreme high and low registers while Will sits on my lap and bangs away happily.

8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month
first bath