Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hallie and Dad have a talk

Happy New Year everyone. I am very behind on blog posts - lots of good stuff to come, maybe as I'm watching all the great football on during the next week. Anyway, I thought this was a good video to post on New Year's Eve since Hallie pukes on herself, then continues talking with me after a quick change. I was trying to get her to say "dada" - she does this all the time now, I will get it on video sooner or later. But the grunt conversation we had was still a pretty good one.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holidays in Madison, Part 2

After a week of rockin' and a nice Thanksgiving, we still had more holiday to celebrate. Grandma talked with Santa and he agreed to come at the end of the week when we celebrated an early Christmas. So we needed a Christmas tree, and went together to a farm to pick one out.

Hallie looked extra cute in her dad-saddle at the Christmas tree farm, dad looked a little like he had been working all night and hadn't showered in a week (half-true).

We got some pretty sweet gifts from Santa, Grandma & Grandpa, and Aunt Sara & Uncle Jeff. Hallie was generally happy with the process of tearing and eating the wrapping paper off each of her presents, but Will was like a present-opening tornado. Lots of cool stuff. Will got a really neat pirate ship (he loves this, definitely his current favorite non-Wii toy). There are two pirates that came with it that have swords and can swordfight (and fall "into the drink"). In fact, it has been a very swordy Christmas season for Will. He and I also got these foam swords that go on the ends of our Wiimote controllers for Wii swordfighting. They have greatly enhanced our video game experience, but now when we swordfight on the Wii, real people and furniture get whacked with swords as a consequence of Will's "yell and flail wildly" swordfighting technique.

Here Will and Hallie are showing off their new tailgating chairs (that's mama in the background spotting for Hallie as she teeters happily in her chair). Also Will got a hockey stick that's just his size. He is apparently singing into it as a microphone.

Whoa, this little reindeer needs a nap. Despite this reaction, that ball on her lap has been a very popular gift.

Later we had some time to pose for some more holiday-themed pictures together, and Hallie cheered up for these. It is virtually impossible to get a good picture of both Hallie and Will while one of them is also wearing some kind of prop.

This was our first trip to Madison since Hallie has been able to sit up by herself, and since we tried the same thing with Will when he was about this age, the girls put Hallie in the doll desk to see how she looks as a cute little student. Clearly, she was much more of a willing participant in this game than Will was.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rock and Roll All Nite

A large amount of our our recent trip to Grandma and Grandpa's was spent doing just this: rocking out to KISS's "Rock and Roll All Nite". Will learned his moves from his rockin' daddy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holidays in Madison, Part 1

A few weeks ago we went to Grandma & Grandpa's in Madison to kick off the holiday season, and this is the way to do it: Thanksgiving and an early Christmas back-to-back. We were there to play with grandparents for a whole week, and Aunt Sara and Uncle Jeff came for most of the time too. It was great.

Will rediscovered two cool things about Grandpa's house: the music room, full of cool instruments, and the "Rock and Roll All Night" (KISS song) singing button toy. He did a lot of rockin' and rollin' all night (and partyin' ev-er-y day), singing along to the toy and playing various guitars.

Sometimes he let others join him in his musical sessions, although he was very particular about exactly which and how each song unfolded. Here Hallie and I were on drums and Aunt Sara played rhythm guitar and provided backup vocals.

Thanksgiving was near the end of the week - Hallie's first. Good thing she packed appropriate Thanksgivingwear.

On Thanksgiving morning, we earned our turkey and pie by completing the Madison Berbee Derby, which is a 5K walk/run benefiting the Technology Education Foundation (which promotes teaching students to use technology and the use of technologies for educational purposes). Grandma walked with us, while everyone else ran. It was pretty brutally cold but otherwise a very fun event. Not for Will though - he pouted for virtually the entire morning because before the race started I told him he needed to start off riding in the chariot with Hallie, since there were probably a couple thousand people there. Hallie was in a little blanket and snowsuit cocoon, but she had a great time with all the excitement, despite her whiny brother.

Dinner was delicious, I wish we had taken a picture of all of us together at the table because it would have made the perfect image of thankfulness in the spirit of the holiday. But this picture will have to do for a bit of a laugh: Will was not allowed to get down until he had eaten three bites of everything on his plate (since he's three years old). As you can see, he put up a valiant resistance - lasting long after the entire table had been cleared and dishes had been done, and almost making it to bedtime without finishing his dinner.

Of course when he finally gave in and took the first bite of what was left - the all-too-common response: "I yike it!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hallie's bath pictures: 8 months

Hi Hallie! Here's my sweet baby girl. She's 8 months now, which was about the beginning of my favorite age for Will, so I expect the next few months to be very fun.

Well, what's new with Hallie. Maybe not so new: she's still a big flirt, especially with her dad and Grandpas. She also is still tasting virtually everything she can get her hands on, and is eating more and more types of baby food (even attempting to feed herself). She is an excellent sitter now, so she can basically entertain herself for long periods of time sitting and grabbing things that are within reach and then tasting them.

She is very close to being able to crawl - can roll back and forth with ease, and in the past week has started propping up on her hands and knees and attempting to crawl on things. When she flails around a bit from this position, she can actually scoot backwards some. This makes sleeping in her crib quite interesting - she does the sleep scooting which commonly results in her cramped in the corner of the crib and shouting for someone to attend to her at 5 in the morning.

For a very fortunate few (Erin and I, sometimes a grandparent), Hallie has started giving hugs! This usually happens when she is being held by one of the aforementioned people, and sees something that makes her excited. The resultant flail/leg kick/body throw is kind of like a lunging hug. But then she'll hold on for a minute, it's very sweet. We'll have to catch a video of this.

She has started "talking" a little bit more. She still has the grunt conversations, but now uses some meaningful syllables. For example, she and Will say "bah" back and forth a lot - Will says this over and over in a really high-pitched tone when he's trying to cheer her up. To my delight, she has also started saying "dah!", and I have been encouraging more of that.

She's a very pretty little girl, and Erin and the girls in our family are having more and more fun dressing her like one. I don't really get it though - there are regular occurrences where for whatever reason Erin did not set out the outfit Hallie's supposed to wear and I attempt to dress or accessorize her and fail hilariously (is this an ok outfit to wear to daycare?). Usually I don't find out until the end of the day how well I've coordinated her - somehow the women at daycare keep a straight face when I drop her off, but then when Erin picks the kids up everyone has a good laugh at my expense. Anyway, some of the cutest additions are bows and barrettes she can wear in her hair, since she's not a bald baby anymore.

Having hair is really fun!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

celebrating mama's birthday

Erin's birthday was a few weeks ago, and since Will is all about opening presents now, he insisted on helping mom with hers. Also Hallie helped out too. While Will went right for the presents that looked the most like video games, Hallie had much more patience and helped open the card first.

Then she spent nearly an hour playing with all the torn wrapping paper, what fun!

The rest of the birthday was very nice, but relatively uneventful. As a special treat we all ate lunch in the basement while we were watching football. When we weren't paying close attention, Hallie decided she wanted to feed herself. She was able to grab her jar of green beans and spread them all over her body, seat, and table - keeping her options open for how to eat them, I guess. It gave us a good laugh.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All the single Willies

This is an interesting video of Will watching TV. First, you see him dancing the choreography to Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies". Which is hilarious. But then you see that he's not watching a music video, but a football game, and he gets appropriately enthusiastic when the game is won with a long touchdown pass.

If you are as confused as you should be and want to know what's going on, it is from an episode of Glee (one of Will and Erin's favorite shows to watch together). Consider yourself warned: this cannot be unwatched.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will and Hallie help rake leaves

A few weeks ago we raked leaves together outside on a beautiful fall afternoon. Will already knows how much fun it is to play in the leaves, but this was Hallie's first experience. Will was technically "helping rake" with his plastic toy rake. But much of this helping involved bellyflopping in the leaves and then having me rake more leaves over the top of him. There were several leaves in and under his clothes for the rest of the day.

Hallie started in the 'stein but quickly deduced it would be much more fun in the leaf pile with her brother. She was right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

whistlin' Willie

Will demonstrates his new ability to whistle. Pretty good, huh?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the Halloween adventures of Captain Will and his pirate posse

We had a great Halloween, highlighted by a couple fun parties. Last year Will was just barely old enough to understand that there was some reason to be dressing up in costumes, and there was candy. This year, he was very excited to be dressed up (plus he got to hold a "thord" and take it to school) and he was a very active participant in trick-or-treating. Above is a very nice picture at the beginning of the day. Will was, of course, a pirate, Erin dressed as some kind of cat for the morning, and Hallie was a chili pepper. Hallie, like her mother, had several outfits that needed to be worn at some point during the day, so you'll see multiple costume changes in this post.

First stop: Will and Hallie's school for their Halloween party!

The kids got to do a bunch of special activities, like decorate pumpkins and cookies (and eat the cookies).

Here Will's playing "pin the ...mouth?... on the pumpkin"

Then when the parents came to pick everyone up at the end of the day, they had a costume parade!

Here Hallie's showing off costume #2: the classic infant pumpkin outfit.

Here Will's posing with the pumpkin he decorated at school, and two pirate pumpkins we made together. We had to make sure they were all set to impress our trick-or-treaters.

This year some of our neighbors hosted a neighborhood Halloween party. Lots of kids about Will's age and their families congregated at a house with a pirate fort in the backyard, perfect for Cap'n Will! There was even some pirate booty that Will found and got to take home.

Here Will's posing with his best pirate matey.

We had a whole pirate posse at the party. On the left, Erin was a pirate wench, and Hallie dressed as a pirate parrot (ok, so she it was a chicken costume, but she looked so cute nobody minded if we called her our parrot).

Then the kids went out trick-or-treating, followed by the crowd of parents. Will did a great job - he made it all the way around the block, said "thank you" at every house, and was very excited to get so much candy (sadly, most of the candy he got had milk chocolate or nuts in them so they became dad's candy).

After about a half hour, Will had been walking long enough and had to go potty so we thanked and said goodbye to our friends and went home to prepare for our own trick-or-treaters. Just like his mama, Will really enjoyed offering the bowl of candy to the trick-or-treaters, and was very excited whenever someone new came to the door.

Erin always keeps track, and we had a pretty good year for trick-or-treaters - nearly 70 kids came to our door. Good thing Will got so much candy for dad because there was very little left over from our home stash!