Friday, February 27, 2009

we play with baby Justin

Last night Baby Justin came to visit while his parents and grandparents went out for dinner (for Justin's daddy's and grandma's birthdays). We went out for Stephen's (Justin's daddy's) early surprise birthday party last weekend, where Jenni (his mom) took this nice picture. Then last night they went out to take advantage of the 'free dinner on your birthday' offered by many of nice the Ann Arbor restaurants that I always forget about when it's one of our birthdays.

Anyway, Erin had plans to go out with her "mom's group" friends so when Jenni asked if we could watch Justin for their night out, Will and I excitedly accepted to have him come play with us. It gave Will a chance to practice being a big brother and was my first experience being responsible for two young babies, by myself. It was hard but we had a good time.

It helped that Justin showed up wearing his Tigers hat, so Will knew they liked the same team. It also worked out well because a Tigers hat is required for Roarball, which we all played together for a little while after Justin's parents left.

Justin is a very sweet little boy, but he is just getting into the "stranger anxiety" stage between infancy and toddlerdom. And I am still a stranger to him, so much of the evening looked like this:

Fortunately Erin came home a couple hours later and Justin immediately got much calmer and eventually completely calmed down when she held him. I must smell bad.

The rest of the evening went pretty well. Will and Justin took a bath together but Justin was still pretty upset with having to have dealt with me for much of the evening so that wasn't really picture-worthy. Will did a very good job of playing with him and trying to cheer him up though, I was very proud of him. He could understand very well how Justin was sad because he missed his mommy and daddy (and grandma and grandpa!).

Will had to go to bed before Justin did (and didn't even question why the younger child got to stay up later), and he gave Justin a very nice goodnight hug.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things Will should not say

It's been awhile since I updated the blogdience with Will's verbalizations. Well, at this point he is able to say almost anything if you sound it out for him, and he is spontaneously using new words every day. Unfortunately and sometimes hilariously, he is now saying some things we wish he wouldn't in public...

We were out to dinner last night for Baby Justin's daddy's birthday and Will said a couple things that forced Erin and I to stifle laughter and tell him that "we don't say that". One thing I remember in particular - I'm not sure if he was issuing an order or describing the way he experiences things in his normal life, but he clearly stated: "This daddy [points] and this boy Will [points] PLAY [demonstrates how to play, doing a little wiggle dance in his highchair]. Mommy EAT."

Erin is getting very pregnant as we're about 6 weeks from baby sister's birthday. So forgive her if her body is proportioned as a pregnant woman's should be. But this doesn't stop Will from telling people that "mama have a big big butt!" Seriously I don't think he means this as an insult, probably the first time he said it someone (probably Erin herself) must have laughed and reinforced it as something he may very well say at daycare or in public at any time.

I am guilty of indirectly encouraging him to say some things that Erin is not happy about. Somehow he figured out that the words "fart" and "poop" are funny. Actually, I don't ever remember teaching him the word fart (we use other terms in our house) so I'm not sure where he learned that one. But he must have said these words to judge their effect a couple times and I could not suppress laughing at them, so sometimes he will now spontaneously say "poop!" at the dinner table, and he's not declaring a need to use the potty - he just knows that when he does this daddy laughs and mama gets mad...

One of my favorites, and this one is more innocent I guess: we were on a road trip to Wisconsin and stopped at a travel oasis outside of Chicago. Will and I had been having a yes-no play argument in the car to help pass the time and I must have thrown in an "awwwww yeah" once or twice. Will picked up on that right away and started saying his own version of "ooooh yeah!". Anyway, we're eating lunch at this oasis and Erin had run to the bathroom. It just happened that he decided to continue the argument spontaneously at the exact moment that a very curvaceous woman bent over, right next to our table, to dispose of her lunch trash in the can we were sitting next to. So he timed an "ooooh yeah" right when she bent over. She then looked right at me and all I could do was say I was sorry through my laughter. Fortunately she laughed it off as well.

Sometimes Will says things that really startle me until I realize he is saying a common word but his pronunciation sounds a bit "blue". Then we have to inform his teachers at daycare so they don't think he lives in a house full of sailors. For example, one of his favorite songs which he will at times sing spontaneously is "John Jacob Jingleheimer S#!+". Also, he has recently discovered a special "f*!%#&" [freckle] between his toes which he likes to show people and talk about.

This last one will likely make a good story for Will's teachers when he hopefully says it in the near future. One of the "silly songs" that has been playing nonstop in Erin's car for months is about a man who goes fishing for crawdads in a crawdad hole, puts the crawdads in a sack, but then falls down and breaks the sack and the crawdads get away. The line goes "the man fell down and broke that sack, see those crawdads crawling back", something like that. So Will falls down a lot and likes to give Erin and I a play-by-play when he does, even if we're right there with him. A couple times he has told us: "I fall down break my sack!"

Monday, February 16, 2009


Will invented this game to get around the fact that he's not allowed to throw balls in the house (neither is daddy). He is allowed to throw Roar - his lion blanket-doll which used to be solely a bedtime comforter but has become a regular plaything (and now we frequently are frantically searching for Roar around the house at bedtime).

So we often play "Roarball" - using Roar as the ball (you also have to roar like a lion at various points in the game). We use mom's dusting wand as a bat. It's funny, Will knows enough about baseball to make sure all the terms are represented - strikes and outs and hits - but I don't think he understands that it's a competitive game. He counts his misses (sike one!) as if they are accomplishments as much as is hitting Roar. Sometimes he and I will argue about a suspected hit, with me telling him I saw him hit Roar and Will insisting it was a strike. This can get frustrating at times because he rarely makes contact, and the theatrics between each "pitch" can make this game go on for a long time - often when mom is waiting for us at the dinner table and we're just trying to get "one more hit". Fortunately, every hit is a homerun so the games always end with heroics.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

long overdue christmas choo-choo

These pictures from our Christmas trip to Madison got lost for awhile but I rediscovered them and thought they would make a good quick blog post. We went to a local garden in Madison a couple days after Christmas so Will could see the Christmas choo-choo they had set up. It was a big hit. Will followed the horde of kids around and around the model area watching this awesome choo-choo.

Will also got to hang out some with the train conductor as he tried to eat his train whistle.

Fun for everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Will and dad play the blastoff song

I think I've mentioned before about how much Will loves this TV show, Little Einsteins. Anyway, he calls the show "Blastoff" because the children fly around in a rocket (named Rocket) that blasts off when they pat their hands on their laps. The themesong (available here 5 times in a row, good thinking on the part of this youtuber who must certainly be the parent of a toddler) is also one of Will's favorite songs, and he requests it every night for his song before going to bed. Erin and I had a really nice song we used to sing - Goodnight Sweetheart - with harmony and everything. It was very special, but he gets mad if we try to sing that one now, insisting on the "Bah-bah song!!!"

Anyway, in a parallel topic, Will has been really into playing guitars since our Christmas trip to Grandma & Grandpa's, when Will got to play Grandpa Paul's guitar with him a lot. I recently restrung my guitar and when it was out it has caught Will's attention and I've been letting him play it if he asks nicely. But he usually wants me to play along with him because I guess he's more into ensemble music. So here we are playing the Blastoff song!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

sledding down the snow chute

This post comes from the archive of "long lost Christmas 08 pictures" - after Grandma's recent trip to set up the big boy bed, we remembered they had been taken with her camera and got them then.

There is something like a wintertime family tradition that takes place when there's enough snow at Grandma Brenda & Grandpa Paul's house - a snow chute is built from the rail of the deck down to the driveway which provides a fast and exhilarating sled ride. I think the original chute was built when they used to have a hot tub on their back porch and somehow involved jumping in and out of the tub and sledding in swimsuits. Now the tub has moved on but the chute tradition is gong strong. Will must have understood the importance of this tradition, because he didn't hesitate at all in deciding he wanted to sled down, all by himself.

Grandpa and Dad got their turns in as well. Also pregnant mama was also very excited and went down a few times. We had to give her a reality check though when she wanted to go change into her swimsuit...

Very sorry about the sideways nature of this video. It was taken with Grandma's camera and I can't convert the file to be able to edit it. So you may have to lean your head to the side...

Monday, February 2, 2009

big boy bed

Over the last couple weeks, we have put together a room for Will's baby sister, who is coming in a few months. First Grandpa Mike, Grandma Susie and Great-Grandma Aloise came to visit and helped decorate and paint her room (and Will's nose) a nice shade of purple. Grandma Brenda came the following week with a trailerload of HEAVY furniture (Grandma and Grandpa loaded by themselves what took 3 very muscular grad students an hour to unload!!). Included in this furniture was Will's new big boy bed!

Here is his last night in his crib - now it's in baby sister's room.

There was almost no problem transitioning to the big boy bed for Will. I think it was harder on Erin and I! It probably helped that the bed has choo-choos on it, and he also got some new choo-choo themed matching decorations for his room.

He has fallen out of the bed at least once (the first or second night we were awoken in the morning to "THUMP - WAAAAH"). But in general stays tucked in tightly just like this, hugging his lion Roar. He also waits patiently for one of us to get him up in the morning/after naps, often asking us to "read a book in my bed" with him when he wakes up.

Well, he doesn't always stay tucked in...