Thursday, August 30, 2007

Will and dad play catch

On our recent trip to Madison, we discovered Grandpa Paul's juggling balls, which are the perfect size and grip for Will to grab and "throw". Will's throws tend to go almost anywhere but in front of him (he can't figure out the release part so mostly he just flails his arm around until the ball flies out). So after learning how much fun it is to play catch, we dug up my juggling balls at home and now they're a favorite in the toy basket.

On a side note, all this throwing practice has helped Will's ability to throw food off his tray during meals. This morning he threw a cheerio from his chair next to the table all the way under the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Will plays Grandpa's drums

We were in Madison a couple weekends ago with both sets of Will's grandparents, which was a lot of fun. We taught Will to play some of Grandpa Paul's drums and he had a good time with it. He caught right on, since the arm motion is very similar to how Will plays the piano with me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy BD AJ

AJ (Will's Aunt Jenna) turns 22 today. She is living it up, just starting her second week of school at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis. Also she has promised to come visit Mr. Wiggles soon so we're holding her to that...

Have fun today AJ!

5 days until tailgating season

And Will is very excited. Here he's stylin' his Team 7AM tailgating onesie. Will's girlfriend Regan has one too. Will likes football and he likes grilling (and even a little drinking with his grilling), so he should fit right in when the season begins. Also, he wakes up (and wakes us up) every morning before 7 AM!

PS - Team members: Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we won't be able to attend the first tailgate of the season because we'll be joining some Hall of Fame tailgaters (some of these guys) at the Hawkeye game in Chicago. See you next week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tigers fan

Living in Ann Arbor, Erin and I have become pretty big Detroit Tigers fans over the last few years. Admittedly, we're bandwagon fans, but you can't argue that it's a lot of fun to get wrapped up in a local sports team when they unexpectedly do well, as the Tigers have the last 2 seasons.

In fact, the week Will was born, the Tigers defeated the New York Yankees to advance to the ALCS (American League Championship Series) - this was a monumental win for them, as they were the wildcard team and significant underdog. It was cool because the Yankees won the first game in the series (on October 3rd, we were miserable in the hospital but I saw parts of the game), then Will was born on the morning of the 4th and the Tigers won 7 straight games to go to the World Series for the first time in some 20 years. I thought we had given birth to the ultimate sports good-luck charm, but then the Tigers promptly got whupped by the St. Louis Cardinals (Uncle Jeff's and Aunt Jenna's team) in the World Series. In fact, I specifically remember that this picture was taken while we were watching the whooping.

Anyway, Will seems to have taken to his forced-upon team as well as any infant who doesn't have any concept of what a sport is. We watch the 'Taaah-grs' (which Will pronounces 'dadas') whenever they have a night game (which start at 7) for the half hour before we start getting Will ready for bed. Erin got me a Detroit cap for my birthday which Will likes to play with so we took a few pictures here. We might be able to pull these out sometime in the future so Will can prove he was a Tigers fan 'since he was a baby'.

To be honest, if you were here for when these pictures were taken, you'd see that actually what's happening is I put the cap on his head and would try to get the picture before he pulled it off, which he would pretty much immediately do.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

no ice cream for Will

This is more of a public service announcement than a fun blog post, but this is probably the best place to let lots of people know about things like this.

Erin took Will to the Allergist this morning to do 3 hours worth of allergen testing. The results aren't completely in - they're still doing tests on a blood sample - but we know this much for sure so far:

Will has a strong allergy to cow's milk. Strong to the point that they had us get EpiPens to keep around the house in case he gets exposed to it. We pretty much figured he had this allergy, as he would throw up and get a rash any time we gave him even the smallest amount of dairy - like a bite of macaroni & cheese or one small spoonful from a Dairy Queen blizzard. This could be particularly painful in the future since he can't eat any Wisconsin cheese curds when we go to visit grandma & grandpa or enjoy blue moon ice cream with his dad. Also, as Erin found out over the weekend, Will also can't eat butter, which in case anyone out there didn't know, is a dairy product made from cow's milk.

He also has mild/moderate allergies to eggs and wheat. So that means he can occasionally have foods which contain those ingredients (like pretty much almost all breads), but we shouldn't enter him in any hard-boiled egg eating contests.

Also the doctor thought there was a good chance that Will already has some kind of seasonal allergies but they couldn't be sure of that until he gets older for some reason.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

tooth update: brushin' it

I decided we'll try to keep everyone updated with Will's tooth progress. I would say at this point it's probably sticking up a good couple millimeters. He still doesn't appear to have any obvious pain from it, and it hasn't changed his desire to put everything he can grab into his mouth.

So since he has teeth (tooth) now we brush them before bed each night. He usually likes it, just something else to stick in his mouth I guess. His little toothbrush is very cute. There's usually a song that goes with this that Erin sings ('brusha brusha brusha').

Thursday, August 16, 2007

playing disc golf in the backyard

I am something of a disc golf nut, and I have taken Will with me to local courses many times. Will really seems to enjoy our trips and likes watching me make the sweet throws that I do. He also likes when the discs hit things and make noise, whether it's in the basket (where you're supposed to get the disc to, like the hole in regular golf) or a tree or other obstacle which I don't intend to hit. Last year Erin got me my own basket so I could practice throwing at it in the backyard, and I do fairly often. Since Will is now big enough to semi-entertain himself in the yard, sometimes he helps me practice. Usually this means he holds my discs until I throw them, but last weekend I taught him to throw the disc into the basket himself. Sort of. He got a kick out of it though so we got a quick video.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Will likes the dad-train

We go for a lot of walks, sometimes in the morning before I go to the lab. We usually have about 45 minutes between when Will has finished his breakfast and when he needs to go down for his morning nap, so that's our window of opportunity to walk with him. Usually toward the end of the walk, he starts getting sleepy and threatens to fall asleep in the stroller. This would be bad because then he would wake up from dozing in the stroller for just a few minutes, and think he had just taken his morning nap so he won't go back to sleep. This usually results in a grumpy boy, and deprives mom of her morning's 45 minutes of peace.

So one tactic to keep Will from falling asleep in the stroller is to pick him up and carry him and push the empty stroller. While he's pretty tolerant of being carried in the normal fashion, he REALLY likes it when I put him up on my shoulders like this. Or as I call it, 'riding the dad-train'. I can never see his face but Erin says he immediately gets a huge grin on his face and gets very excited.

We went for a morning walk a few days ago, and for whatever reason, it seemed like this was the first time that Will realized my face was on the other side of the back of my head. He is very familiar with the dad-train, but I'm not sure he ever entirely connected it to dad. Since making this new discovery, he tried very hard to lean over to see me, as you can see. Then he put his fingers in my mouth and nose like he always does, had a great time with it. When we got home he still was having fun on the train so we took a few quick pictures.

Will plays with his toys

We keep a basket full of Will's toys in the living room, and this is probably where we have Will spend the majority of his playing time. He knows where the basket is and will froggy-crawl to it and pull it out (often times onto his head, causing him to cry) if we put him down anywhere on the main floor of our house. His favorite toys are his piano and the ball-thing which is full of little plastic shapes. He likes to grab the shapes out of it and throw them, then cries for Erin or I to put them back in so he can do it again.

These pictures show the intense joy Will gets from playing with the ball-thing.

Look at these two lazy guys, layin' around after getting worn out from playing so hard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A tooth!

Yesterday Erin discovered Will's first tooth is coming in! It's on the bottom in the front. You can't see it yet, but can definitely feel it, and his bottom gum is bruising so you can tell it's finally happening. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, nor is he any fussier or slobberier than normal, but he has been very slobbery for the last 6 months (his shirt always looks like this) so that's not saying much.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

bath pictures: 10 months

This bath picture entry is about a half week late - sorry, you ravenous Will fans - because the poor guy has been pretty sick for the last half week. He was pretty much constantly miserable - feverish and slobbery and snotty, not eating, and not really wanting to do much other than cry on our shoulders. But yesterday he woke up without a fever and got better and better throughout the day, and I'd say this morning he's close to his wiggly old self again.

Over the last month, we've had plenty of interesting experiences. I reported on our long vacation in Wisconsin, where Will developed a number of new 'firsts'. The biggest change is he is very mobile now. Last month I reported how he could scoot himself - backwards only - but now he can full-on army crawl pretty much wherever he wants to go. Don't worry, we spent much of last week babyproofing the house. He's getting faster, too - uses his little legs to push off, I call it the froggy-crawl. Cats beware - he's getting fast enough to give Duke and Clementine a good chase!
With this new mobility, Will is constantly discovering more interesting things around the house to get into. For example, we had several near misses of Will almost getting to the catfood bowls in the kitchen before he finally got his hand in there and ate some Science Diet. Also, since mastering the ability to open and shut cabinet doors he has been getting into as many cabinets as possible, and pulling everything out. Then he cries when there's nothing left in the cabinet to grab!
Will has been eating a lot more solid foods. We give him at least one solid for every meal, and I think he could eat 100 Cheerios if we let him. He has demonstrated that he understands the concept of sharing, by throwing his food on the floor -for the cats, I assume. I have another video we took of him sharing Cheerios which will be posted soon...
Will's waving is more reliable, and he actually shakes his arm up and down now, so it's a little closer to a grown-up wave. He also can give a good 'five.
He still talks a lot, and he's tried out almost every syllable there is. Except 'mama'. So Erin is referred to as 'bwa bwa' (although she's not too happy with me when I refer to her that way).
As Will's motor skills develop, he's getting better and better at fighting Erin and I. So he's pretty good at struggling against being diapered or dressed, having his nose wiped, being put in his highchair, getting that last bite of food in his mouth, and having his face washed (this is the best move - he grabs your hands and holds them tight to the sides of his head so you can't touch his face).
We've had a lot of fun playing in water the last month, whether it's naked swimming at the Lodge or in Lake Mendota, in the local pool or in his sled pool, or playing in the sprinkler or the rain with mom and dad, Will has really seemed to enjoy it. However, when you dump water over his head in the bathtub, he still gets mad about it, as you can see below.

But you can still cheer him up by making a few goofy faces.

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

High five!

Will only gets high fives from his dad when he eats all his food. This video was taken several weeks ago when he first started catching on but by now he knows he's earned something when I offer up the 'five and he enthusiastically returns it. Never leaves me hangin'.

Monday, August 6, 2007

This is the way the farmers ride

Here's a video of Will and mom playing a fun game.

vacation part 9: dinner at the UW Union

Will and I returned from the Lodge to "help out" with the big garage sale at the end of the 3rd week of our vacation. It was a very big sale, I had no idea. We were only there for the last day of the sale so we missed a lot of the action, but still witnessed some shrewd salesmanship on the parts of Grandma Brenda and mom. Will spent a lot of time in the front yard, playing in the 'stein and showing off how he can eat Cheerios. We at one time started a tally of the number of garage sale shoppers who asked "and how much for this little guy?" or something along those lines, but we gave up counting because there were just too many. Seriously you could sit outside by Will for 10 minutes and have at least 3 people ask a similar question.

After the successful sale we took some of the proceeds and went out to dinner on the U of Wisconsin Union Terrace, where you can buy burgers and brats and beer and sit by the lake. It was a beautiful day to be there.

Will brought his shades and shared them with these jokers.

There's a giant chair which is a pretty popular picture setting, so we took pics of Will in it. We had to wait in line to get him on there and there were more people waiting so we didn't get the best combination of looking at the camera and smiling, but I think these turned out pretty well. That's me hiding behind him in the first shot, I guess I wasn't very hidden.

After dinner we messed around a bit before heading home. We needed everyone to get as much Will lovin' as possible before we hit the long road home to Ann Arbor. Here Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sara pose with Will for a picture to be put in his "Who Loves Baby?" book (Will likes to play with/chew on the book even though there are no pics in it yet).

Which picture should go in the book?

This blog entry concludes our vacation series. I realize it took almost a month to get it to the public, so thanks for being patient.

Now we can get you updated with Will's current escapades. Unfortunately, the little guy has been sick for the last few days so we haven't been able to get in the 10-month bath picture, but we'll get that done as soon as he's feeling ok and he takes his normal bath. He's been running a fever and extremely slobbery and snotty, so we're thinking he might be getting a tooth (about time!). But he's pretty miserable so we're really hoping, for everyone's sake, that he feels better soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

vacation part 8: back to the Lodge

Will and I spent a good part of our last week of vacation back up at the lodge with Grandma Susan and her friend Maryanne, who came to visit. Also we hung out a lot with Ron and Becky Hubbard who have a cabin nearby. We spent most of this trip going for walks, reading books, playing with the clothesline, knitting (which involved Will throwing and trying to eat a ball of yarn Grandma gave him), scooting (he was getting better at the army-crawl), playing the piano with me (we left the keyboard at the lodge), banging on pots and pans and eating cheerios. We planned on a bunch of naked swimming but it was too cold and windy that final week. We did manage to put our piggies in the water a few times though.

We went out to dinner a few times, which was pretty fun for Will. On the left, Becky let Will play with her straw at the Black Bear (total northwoods bar, it was great). And there is the famous red cup, a great toy. On the right, Will met a new friend, Noah, at the Minocqua brewery. I took lots of pictures of the two of them checking each other out. Noah was very good at looking at the camera but Will didn't even one time, so that's as good as it gets.

All those trips into town for dinner gave us plenty of time to play in the car. Usually Grandma drove so I got to sit in the back with Will and make faces at him. Below is a video of us playing peekaboo in the car. Notice he's wearing his yellow beach sweater - Grandma made that for him and he wore it every day we were there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

open, shut, ouch.

Ok, I thought I had some better video clips of this game, but this was the best I could do. Just believe me, Will was doing this a LOT and thought it was a great game, but then he gets camera shy.

So the game is called 'Open, Shut' and basically you hold Will near a cupboard and he opens and shuts it over and over and over. We were joking that he could be preparing for a career at Ikea, taking the place of the robot arms that open and shut cabinets thousands of times to prove their durability.

In this clip, Will slams his fingers a little bit and everybody cringed, but he actually didn't cry or even seem phased by it. So it looks bad, but he wasn't hurt.

I'll try to get a better clip of the game in action at our house, but we don't have handles on our cupboards so we might have to wait until we go back to Grandma's. He still manages to get cupboards open at our house, but then he's more interested in crawling inside to find things to put in his mouth than shutting the cupboard. Don't worry - we have purchased cupboard locks and will be installing them this weekend.