Thursday, January 31, 2008

when dad has to work from home

This is a good technique to allow me to get work done. A laundry basket full of toys keeps Will entertained and imprisoned. Don't think of this as cruel - he likes playing in the laundry basket...


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

does Will like strawberries?

yes. he. does.

Erin had put this monster strawberry down on his tray to slice it up some for him, but instead he grabbed the whole thing and shoved it in. He liked it very much.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Will works on the compuper

Last week Erin and I both were working extra hard, to the point where we needed to distract Will with his toys or Duke or whatever and work as long as he could remain distracted. This usually works for a little while, until Will decides he wants our full attention and loudly insists on it. Or he discovers we're working on our laptops and then decides he wants to help.

When he manages to get within reach of the keyboard, he usually presses some amazingly coincidental key combinations, closing open programs or erasing a block of text in a paper I'm writing.

So, as you can see with these pictures, Erin let him have a turn last week. She left open a text document for him to work in. Here is exactly what he wrote:

Nqwvx wswwsd iiil lfg fdg 10:12 PM10:12 PM1/27/08 hjkhjqaWZ10:12 PM
҈ 90HJDSGAZ ntntnty2 tf ft ygx z55f g fdgwz2aZ!!!

There are actually several other strange characters he managed to insert which won't show up in the font used for this blog posting. Also the date and 10:12 PM's are some kinds of magical character I don't know about that automatically insert the current date/time. He also made that separation line, and ended with the three exclamation points - those were not added by us. Genius.

Friday, January 25, 2008

dry my hair

Here's a quick video we shot last week. After Will's bath we were having a little fun making noises while we dried him off with his frog towel. Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the things that Will says

Will's language skills are rapidly developing, so I wanted to have a blog post to keep track of what he can say right now, which may be fun to look back on later. Like after he learns a few swear words.

Of course, his first and favorite word, "dada", is still the most frequently uttered, and applies to me. It also applies to anything he wants me to do, accompanied by a point toward somewhere he wants to go or something he wants to grab. For example - we play this a lot at the doctor's office - a fun game he likes to play is where I pick him up, he points at some arbitrary place across the room and says "da!", and I walk over there. Immediately after reaching the other side of the room, he points back to where we originally were, says "da!" and we go back. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

There's also a "dada" song that we sing together. Will made it up but I have my own versions of it, someday I'll catch him singing it on video.

"dada" is similar to, but not to be confused with "deedee!"

"mama" is definitely part of his regular language now, but it's harder to say than "dada" so Will uses it more sparingly. Obviously, "mama" refers to Erin, and also he usually cries this out when he's starting to get upset (as in, mama, come and comfort me, dad's making me lie still while he changes my diaper and I'm very upset about it).

other words/utterances and their meanings:

"doo!" or "doodoo!" - refers to Duke the cat. Clementine's name is too difficult to even attempt to pronounce, and she's not as friendly so Will doesn't bother referring to her.

"oh!" - kind of like "whoops". He says this when he drops something, say in the bathtub, and wants/needs you to get it for him. He points in the bathtub and looks at Erin or I and says "oh!". Then after you pick it back up for him, he throws it back in the tub.

"nana" - of course, this refers to Will's favorite food, bananas. However, Will also uses this word to project his personal feelings toward nanas onto other foods. So "nana!", accompanied with a pointing finger, refers to something that Will wants to eat. To Will, Nutrigrain bars, oranges, soygurt (soy yogurt), and cookies are all nanas.

"nono" - this is what Will says when you try to make him do something he doesn't want to do. As in, "here, Will, let's put your coat on." "nonono!"

"heah!" (accompanied by big smile) - he can say "no", and this is how he pronounces "yes". Anytime you mention playing the Wii, he makes this sound. A mealtime conversation might go like this:
"Will, would you like some peas?"
"Would you like a banana?"

Monday, January 21, 2008

no! don't do that...oh dear

This is one of the ways Will manages to get himself very dirty throughout an average day, and why we like to give him his bath at the end of the day. Since he mostly eats with his hands now, they get very grubby by the end of a meal. Sometimes, either because he's bored or he just wants to test his limits, he'll start rubbing his hands all over himself, and in his hair. He's sure to do so right before I'm ready to wipe his hands off.

When he does this it usually starts with him putting his grubby hands over his head and looking at me or Erin, teasing us (as in "I'm going to rub them in my hair! I'm going to do it!"). No matter how we respond, he does it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

a fun place to sit

This is obviously not behavior that we encourage, but Erin caught Will in the act of climbing in the dishwasher, so she quickly grabbed the camera to snap a few shots before scolding him. but mom, I was just trying to help you put away dishes!

That's the silverware tray he's sitting in - it has ridges to keep the silverware separated. Definitely not a comfortable seat, good thing he's wearing a nice thick diaper.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

toddling around (dedede!)

Will has been walking for a few months, but I mentioned in yesterday's post how he hasn't really been walking as his primary mode of locomotion (except when walking the lion) until very recently. So since I realize there hasn't been any video of him in action, we shot this last weekend to share with the blog readers. Look at him go! Also listen to the constant "dedede" sound he makes as he's so pleased with himself when he's walking.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Black-eyed Willie

Hey everyone, I realize this isn't an entirely pleasant story, but there is a certain amount of humor in it. Basically Will walks all over the place now (about a week ago he decided to full-on commit to walking as his primary mode of transportation), so he is not only more fall-prone, but he also has further to fall. On Saturday he was happily toddling around the bathroom with his toothbrush and decided to throw it in the toilet. Then he was peeking into the toilet bowl to look at his accomplishment, and started reaching for the toothbrush, when he slipped on some toilet paper (which he probably unrolled himself). He fell and caught his eye on the side of the toilet, poor guy. We hugged it out, got him cleaned up and put a boo-boo bunny (ice pack for kids...and Erin) on it but he got a nice little shiner out of the event.

Here he's comforting himself by eating a banana peel.

In the video below you can see the eye a little better. It looks like Erin put some eyeshadow makeup on him.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas '07, part 4: guitar playing, church, and "sledding"

We're going to wrap up the Christmas stories here because I've got some new posts I'm excited to do but I'm trying to keep a chronological order...

Here's a quick reference to the other posts from Will's second Christmas season: part 1, part 2, part 3

...Besides the Wiimotes and the walking lion, the other thing at the Lodge that really grabbed Will's attention, and which he demanded he get to touch, was Uncle Grant's guitar. Since they're buddies, Uncle Grant let him play it a bit, and we tried to teach him how to strum it. Eventually he figured it out.

Grandma and Grandpa's church in Minocqua is brand new and very beautiful. On Christmas day we went to the service - here Will is dressed and posing in his Sunday best.

At the church, before Mass began they made sure to remind everyone that they had a state-of-the-art cry room in the back. After a few minutes of being a very good boy in church, Will got too wiggly so mom had to take him out. Fortunately she had remembered the best possible pacifier - the Wiimote! Erin mentioned a few people hanging out in the back recognized what Will was holding and had a good laugh about it.

When we got home from church it was time to take off the tie and pants and get down with some serious Wiimote holding.

In the picture on the right, Will is a dead ringer for Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

After we got about 2 feet of snow dumped on us during the week, we finally bundled up with the plans of taking Will sledding for the first time. We had thought we saw a sled in the Lodge shed, but were bummed to find out it was just a plastic storage bin. Then we figured, maybe that will still work...

I cut some holes in the bin and found a perfect length of rope to feed through. Then we pulled Will on a long walk, sometimes going fast (see the video clip below), and he seemed to really like it. About halfway through the walk he fell asleep, it was very cute. We're going to count this as his first time sledding.

Thus concludes our holiday season. Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Willie's Wiimotes

When we were at the Lodge, I brought my favorite toy, the Nintendo Wii, so I could whoop up on everyone in Wii bowling. Occasionally I play the Wii at home and Will hangs out and watches, but he usually gets a impatient fairly quickly, even when I give him a controller of his own. On this trip, however, Will became obsessed with the Wii remotes (Wiimotes). He was insistent on holding one whenever he could, I mean all the time. When we would put him down for a nap and had to take it away from him, he would cry so emphatically everyone at the Lodge would come running to see what horrible event had just occurred. As soon as we got him up from his nap or in the morning, he had no interest in good-morning hugs, but immediately pointed to the mantel where we kept the Wiimotes.

This worked out just fine for the week up there, since there wasn't a ton to do we played a lot of Wii together. Will "played Wii" - by that I mean waved the Wii remote around while facing the TV screen - even when the machine wasn't on. Here Uncle Grant and Will are having a good time playing Wii even though a DVD was playing.

If given the option, Will prefers to hold both Wiimotes. Note in the picture on the right how he puts the safety strap on his wrist - he does that sometimes, all by himself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Christmas '07, part 3: Santa comes again

Continuing our Christmas '07 chronicles...
Santa made the trek all the way to the Lodge so Will could have some things to play with other than dad's Wii controllers and Uncle Grant's guitar. I think since Will had a present-opening experience a week earlier, he maybe had a better idea about what was coming so he was pretty excited.

A Christmas kiss from Grandpa. And the Wii controller again.

This gift, from Aunt Jenna, really stole the show. It's a lion (he really likes lions) that laughs and plays a silly song when you move it or press his nose. And you can sit on it to ride it... or stand behind it and push it! We think Will's favorite mode was to push from behind and he did this for much of the rest of our stay at the Lodge - as you can see in the video below.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A bath picture PS

It's no secret that although Will is a very fun little boy, sometimes Erin wishes she had a baby girl. I had some friends over the other night so Erin was taking care of bathtime, so she played out that fantasy a little here with some pretty hairstyling. Will was a good sport about it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

bath pictures: 15 months

Ok Will has definitely getting close to outgrowing the blue bathtub. Not only does he usually splash/kick most of the water out of it through the normal course of the bath (with a little extra splashing solely for fun), but he now also tries to stand up in the tub a lot, which is becoming more hazardous. It is kind of funny though - a lot of baths nowadays follow the storyboard below.

We had an eventful Christmas season, which kept us very busy and contributed to the lower number of blog posts for December. I still have a number of pictures which I have not had time to post yet, but will soon enough. But here are the beginnings of our Christmas 07 chronicles: part 1: at home, part 2: at the Lodge. It was a wonderful Holiday season for us even though, at times, it was exhausting.

Will got lots of great toys from Santa, friends and family - he is indeed a very privileged little boy. His favorites are those which make noise, which makes our days at home with him full of song and dance. We also watch TV together a little more, even though mom resists letting him watch too much. Our favorite shows are Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer (which, contrary to common perception isn't a girl show at all, so I guess I overreacted when I insisted he not wear these Dora swim diapers). Dora has some especially catchy songs which Will really likes. She made our long drive home from the Lodge much easier for all of us, thanks to a talking Dora book and a Dora DVD (played on the new portable DVD player Grandpa Mike got for Will).

Erin talks about a nice woman who runs some of the events she and Will go to at the library - she describes the children who come to these events as either "scatterers" or "gatherers". Will is definitely a "scatterer" (here's evidence), but lately he has been appreciating putting things in their places. For example, many of his new toys involve putting a panel (with a letter/animal/vehicle on it) in place and pushing a button to play the accompanying song. Today he figured out how to put the pieces in for his first wood puzzle. Also, when we get him up from his nap, he almost always has a sucker in his mouth and is holding his lion-blanket thing - when we pull him out of the crib, he will throw his lion and sucker back into it.

As Will is more able to move around on his own (he can stand up unsupported with no problem, is taking a few steps here and there and can climb up and down stairs and furniture on his own, under supervision), he is starting to test his limits. So Erin and I have tell him "no" a lot, after which he usually cries, collapsing with grief that we don't want him to pull Duke's tail or climb into the dishwasher (more on this in an upcoming post...). It's comical sometimes, but Erin and I have to try very hard not to laugh so he knows we're serious. This morning we failed to suppress a laugh when Will picked up the pancake on his tray and started rubbing it into the hair on top of his head. He looked at me for approval, I told him "no, Will" and he started whimpering and looked to Erin, as if he were asking her "why won't dad let me rub this pancake into my hair?" Neither of us could keep a straight face after that, so he'll probably be rubbing food in his hair until we can get that under control.

I (and future Will, when he can read them years from now) really appreciate all the comments readers of this page leave. They give a pretty good indicator of how many people check in to read about the latest in Will's and our lives. However, since most posts don't bring in a lot of comments (not asking for them, just observing), sometimes I wonder how many people are really checking. So you may have noticed, I installed a hit counter on the left side of the page. It's not a perfect count, but gives a pretty good idea of the number of times people come to the page or link directly to any individual posts. The counter started at zero when I installed it on December 11th. Since that time, as of this post, there have been 629 visits to the site, which I think is pretty impressive. There are no prizes or anything like that, but it's nice to know people are interested in Will's life and his growing up.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A good laugh

Will and Grandpa Paul and I were at home while Uncle Jeff and the girls went shopping during last month's "Christmas 07, part 1". Will and I were screwing around, throwing his throwing balls when Grandpa came down after getting dressed and hid behind the wall separating the kitchen from the living room. He kept popping out and making faces at Will, which is a very fun game for him. As you can see, he thought it was very funny.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas '07 part 2: the Lodge Christmas tree

Ok, so I'm picking up where we left off with the last blog post before we left civilization for a week. We had a great time at the Lodge, and have more pictures and stories to share after these.

One of the first things we did after we had all arrived at the Lodge (and had a good sleep-in the next morning, since Grandma likes to get Will up and cuddle him in the morning so I don't have to get up with him) was to go on a hike to find and cut down what would become our Christmas tree. So we got all bundled up and put Will in the backpack for the hike.

First we made a quick stop to visit our old friend, the clothesline.

Suddenly, we were under attack! Mom started throwing snowballs at us. Not cool mom, now you must face the ultimate snowball machine. Plus, Grandpa had our backs. Will said to show no mercy!

After a few rounds we kissed and made up.

Here we're hiking down the road toward the lake. We didn't have to go too far before we found the perfect little tree and Grandpa cut it down and trimmed it.

Since we were all bundled up we went for a walk out on the ice of the lake. It was incredibly beautiful - the snow was everywhere, and so pure, untouched. Also, a special thing about being outside in the North Woods is the "deafening silence" - we're far enough away from a town that at times there are no sounds at all except wildlife and the crunch of snow underfoot. There are so many trees which are weighted down with thick snow, making a complete windblock which adds to the stillness. When we would go outside the silence was truly striking.

Will spent a little quality time getting reacquainted with his Unky Grant and AJ. Guess who he's having more fun with here. As usual, it took a couple days for Will to warm up to everyone, then soon he was kissing everyone and sitting contently on laps other than mine without getting upset.

Here's our tree when it was all trimmed and decorated - it was very special.