Friday, January 30, 2009

potty progress

I alluded to the fact that Will was getting better about going on the potty in a post earlier this week. This week has certainly been one for potty progress. In fact, since President Obama took office, you can sense the winds of change in our house for potty training.

This past week Will has twice peed in the potty at "school" (as we call it now - his daycare). And, the biggest and stinkiest development - he pooped in the toilet. He gets one donut for pees and two for poops. Here he is enjoying a donut after his first potty poop.

We have since gotten rid of the small potty there in the corner because he prefers the seat on the "big boy potty". He of course insists on putting the seat on himself, painstakingly placing the stepstool and climbing on without any help whatsoever. This is like playing with fire because he's usually diaperless, has expressed a need to use the potty, and yet he takes sometimes an entire minute or more to set everything up before finally settling into the seat.

So we hope for more progress in the future, but I'll try not to emphasize every detail too much on the blog site because it is too easy to slip into bathroom humor.

Monday, January 26, 2009

reading on the potty

We're making some progress in the quest to pee and poop on the potty (in fact, had a major breakthrough this weekend - to be reported in an upcoming post). We've started sitting on the potty for extended periods of the day - at least once before bath and usually several times a day. We have a two-pronged approach to get Will to do this: 1) constantly remind him that he gets a donut if he pees or poops in the potty, 2) as long as he sits on the potty he can read/be read as many books as he pleases (well, until mom/dad/grandma get worn out).

Turns out he has been read some of these books so many times ("wan morre time!"), that he knows many of them by heart so can "read" to himself. Here he's reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss.

Aunt Jenna (AJ) got him this book as a present, and you can see in the picture on the left that she signed "to Will, Love AJ" in the front cover. This is very sweet because, as you can see in the video below, when Will opens the book and reads it, he also reads this first page - see if you can make it out.

Also, since Will now knows when the camera is pointed at him he's supposed to say "cheese" and smile - he does this a few times in the video when he looks up and notices the camera. You can also get an idea about how long he holds this smile before looking/moving his head somewhere else - so you can appreciate the fewer and fewer good pictures we are able to take of him!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Will's locomotive evolution: scooting, crawling, walking, running, dancin', jumping...

and now: somersaulting. He is getting better at it, anyway.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Will's baby

This is Will's baby, who he got as a present from Grandma's friend Kate. The baby's name, of course, is "Chair" [named after baby Claire]. He feeds her a bottle, burps her, and puts her to bed in his cradle, then repeats. Also occasionally he dresses her, as he's doing here. In layers and layers of clothes.

Smile, Big Brother Will!

Baby sister's birthday

Will and Erin went to mommy's doctor today and they scheduled the C-section for baby sister. As long as she wasn't planning on coming out before then, the baby will be born on April 10th.

This should be easy to remember - 4/10 - since Will's birthday is 10/4.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

choo-choo cookie

We got this gingerbread train kit to be used as a gift for the Mueller family white elephant gift exchange. But Will threw it down the stairs when we got it home, so figuring it had broken up in the fall, we instead decided to make it Will's gift. Toward the end of our stay at Grandma & Grandpa's for Christmas, we built the choo-choo. Turns out other than a few candy canes, it wasn't broken at all.

It was very difficult for Will to not just keep eating the candy, instead of decorating wiht it. He asked nicely if he could eat the candy at first, but by the end he was just sneaking them in his mouth.

I am just realizing I don't have any pictures of the finished train, but just imagine this thing, basically covered in candy in a way that doesn't make any sense - basically a frosted pile of colorful candies.

When Erin and I went to Kristin and Mike's wedding the next day, and Will got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa, they let him eat the choo-choo train as a dessert after lunch & dinner. He talked about choo-choo cookies for awhile after that.

When we told him, "sorry buddy, we don't have any choo-choo cookies."
He responded, "Noo. 'dama en papa's howse." [the choo-choo cookie is at Grandma and Grandpa's house]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

xmas videos

Here are a couple videos from our Christmas this year.

London Bridge

This boombox is a gift from Great-Grandpa Keith and Great-Grandma Carol. Here you can see it in action with a rendition of "London Bridge".

Coming downstairs on Christmas morning

This is the first Christmas where Will knows about Santa, so he came downstairs to see that Santa had brought him the Elmo slippers he wanted!

Chicken Dance!

Uncle Jeff has a weird thing about the chicken dance: it is unclear whether he loves it or hates it. So his family got him a festive dancing chicken that, of course, does its dance. Will loved it though. He apparently learned the chicken dance at school or on the streets somewhere because he knows all the moves.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas '08

We had a great Christmas! Santa came!

We got to visit Grandpa Paul and Grandma Brenda for a couple weeks. During that time we also got to hang out with Aunt Sara and Uncle Jeff, and Erin's aunts, uncles and cousins - the Cains, Braatens, and Muellers. We had a wonderful time with all of them.

Will got lots of great presents which he loves. Since singing is his new thing, this boombox-with-microphone toy from Will's Great-Grandparents Keith and Carol was an immediate hit. His favorite song to sing along to is "London Bridge". It's fun to mess with him by singing the wrong words ("London Bridge is falling UP!"), he gets so mad.

Also visible in the pictures above is the sponge-ball that goes with Will's new Spongebob baseball glove - a gift from Uncle Adam and Aunt Chandi. Pretty much the perfect combination of some of Will's favorite themes, a great present.

There were two things that Will was hoping Santa would bring him for Christmas: Elmo slippers and a choo-choo. He was especially good so he could get these things (I mean it - he really was a very good boy, especially when we reminded him about Santa). We took some videos of Will coming down the stairs to see what Santa left him (to be posted soon) - he got the Elmo slippers he wanted, but where was the choo-choo?

Well, he got big-boy underwear with choo-choos on them. But he can't wear them until he goes pee in the potty regularly (it's been awhile since his last successful potty pee-pee). But because it was Christmas, we let him wear them over his jammies for awhile. And on his head.

Will and I got matching boxers with doggies on them, cool! Fun fact: in these pictures Will's butt is covered by a diaper, a onesie, jammy pants, all three pairs of new choo-choo underwear, then the doggy boxers.

Will DID get a choo-choo! Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sara got him this Thomas the Train tent - he LOVES it. Not only can he get in it and drive around, but he likes taking "naps" in it with his new sleeping bag which has bugs on it. He also insisted that others join him in the choo-choo. It was quite difficult for Grandpa and myself to get in there with him. The pictures below show Uncle Jeff's turn hanging out in the choo-choo with Will.

The picture on the right is one of my new favorites. Makes me laugh every time.

Monday, January 5, 2009

bath pictures: 27 months

We decided that since Will didn't look all that different anymore on a month-to-month basis that we would do at least a few more bath pictures, but spread them out a bit more. So we took some pictures last night.

Since the last bath pictures post, which was on his second birthday, Will has grown up quite a bit. I hope you all can get a sense for this with the blog posts of late, but here are a few short examples from recent weeks on how he is developing.

Will usually listens to his mommy and daddy and responds well to our instructions: Following our (mostly mom's) instructions, he asks nicely when he wants something ("peese?"), excuses himself when he burps or has a "duck butt", and smiles for the camera when instructed. Although, his posing smile always looks like the picture above. (here's another one). He can also follow complex instructions like "take off your socks before you climb in the bath", "close your eyes, don't peek, and hold your arms over your head" or "go downstairs, wake up your daddy, and tell him to change your diaper"

Will wants to do a lot of things by himself, without help from mom or dad. If you insist on doing something for him (because, for example, he cannot possibly put his boots on by himself or figure out the complex button combination required on the Wii remote for the game he's "playing"), this can very quickly turn into a devastating, bawling face-down in the carpet situation. Don't even think about offering to help him put his coat on.

His vocabulary is growing exponentially. The most fun about this is he's starting to be able to sing entire songs, which is really funny because he consistently pronounces some song phrases incorrectly (like how he pronounces "l-m-n-o-p" in the alphabet song). He will spontaneously initiate conversations with people all the time, some of them are already all-timers that we'll retell for years. Another classic came when we were at a Christmas party a few weeks ago in Madison at our friends the Hyer's house. Someone was outside on the porch carrying inside a handful of beverages and dropped one when fumbling with the door. Will, who was standing right on the other side of the door, announced to everyone there: "Oh no, drop a beer!"

Will's memory is outstanding - he must get this from his mama. Some of you know about Erin's uncanny ability to remember what clothes she was wearing at various events in her life, even back to early childhood. While the full potential of this skill as a practical skill is yet to be realized, Will seems to have inherited this skill. For example, several weeks after Will's last visit to Cate's house, we were looking at the blog post for that trip together. When we came to this picture of Will with baby Claire, which shows him wearing a nondescript gray shirt like many he has in his wardrobe, he announced: "Will hawkee-guys shirt!"
You had better not promise him anything he wants for "later" or "tomorrow" and assume he'll forget about it (like a hotdog or pretzels for lunch), because he won't ever forget it. This is especially true if you promise him you'll play something with him later if you're trying to get some work done. He and I play the Wii a lot together - his favorite game is Mariokart (a go-kart racing game) which he calls "Marr race". I think Will would rather "pay marr race" than anything else we do for fun. So he talks about it all the time and sometimes I'll tell him something like we can play Mario race tomorrow morning if he's a good boy and eats his dinner. Sure enough, 7:15 the next morning I will be awoken to Will yelling "DADDY! I PAY MARR RACE!"

When he's not playing Marr race, his playing is very energetic and creative. In addition to loving to play sports in which he barely understands the concept, he has invented several games we play around the house. Some of my favorites include "baby rarr-daddy rarr", in which he and I pretend we're lions and the baby is scared by the daddy's loud and ferocious roar and runs away, being chased by the daddy. Eventually this game ends in tickling. Guess who plays which roles in this game - here's a hint: the daddy lion is much smaller than the yelping baby lion.
My other favorite is one he just invented last week but which we have been playing quite a bit. Basically it involves two pom-poms that Uncle Jeff gave Will which were fan swag from the Packers game we went to last week, and the beanbag chair that Santa brought Will for Christmas. The game starts by one of us holds the pom-poms and chases the other around and around for awhile, shaking the pom-poms at them. Then the chasee eventually jumps on the beanbag chair and screams. Then the chaser catches up, tickles the chasee in the armpits, and performs either a "daddy smoosh" or a "Will smoosh", by laying on the chasee for a few seconds. Then the roles switch and repeat over and over and over.

In his playing, Will is quite brave: he likes to play in the dark for some reason, and will often shut a door for one of the rooms with the light off and then talk about how dark it is. He also likes the Marr race levels with scary ghosts and monsters. Sometimes he will give me a hug when we play these levels because I get scared. He also fearlessly attacks the cats to let them know who runs the house, and has no second thoughts about racing down a mountain on a rocket, even all by himself.

Finally, I am of course a proud parent but I sincerely think Will is a smarter than average little boy. In addition to all the songs he knows and sings, he knows all the letters of the alphabet and can (usually) identify and recite them all. He also knows all the numbers up to twenty (even if he can't quite consistently count in order). Erin tells a story about when he was with her at Story Time at our library and they were reading "Ten in the Bed", where the story counts backward from ten as the little one rolls over or something. Somehow he always knew the next number and would shout it out as all the other kids his age and the other mothers could only look at him in awed silence. For another example, last weekend Erin and I were at Mike & Kristin's wedding and Will got to stay with Grandma & Grandpa Mueller in Madison. One night Will went with Grandma Brenda to wert at the hospital and as always, got to push the buttons on the elevator. Brenda told him to push the button for floor 3, and he had no problem identifying the number amongst all the buttons and pressed it. A nurse who was sharing the elevator with them was very surprised to see him do this and asked him a few questions about how old he was and I guess he responded to all of her questions. I can only assume the whole hospital staff knows about Brenda's brilliant grandson by now.

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