Friday, July 31, 2009

Will Can Spell! Sort of...

Tom's out of town this weekend, so I volunteered to step in and guest blog once again. And since I'm not very good at posting pictures to the blog, this will be another picture-less (but hopefully entertaining!) blog post.

Last week I gave Will a little box (like a juice box) of chocolate soy milk for snack. He looked at the box for a while, and then started to spell. "C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E..." and then after spelling the word he said "...spells chocolate!" I couldn't believe my ears, so asked him to repeat himself - sure enough, he once again said, "C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E spells chocolate!" At this point I decided Will was a genius.

Fast forward a few hours... Will was getting ready for bed, a process that involves peeing on the potty and then getting a small candy out of the Glad tupperware container we keep on the back of the toilet. While Will was taking care of his business, I was changing Hallie in the next room; all of a sudden Will came running - buck naked (I only mention this because it added to his cuteness at the time) - into Hallie's room and announced excitedly, "Mama, I sink (think) dat (that) G-L-A-D spells candy!"

So he may be smart, but he's no genius. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Will has a thing with motorcycles, which he pronounces "mocacycle" always with an excited/ominous tone, and usually with an accompanying fist pump. He always has been interested in them, even when he was too little to pronounce anything remotely close to the name, and so instead just called them "mmm's". He always points them out when he sees them on the road, and usually wants us to race on motorcycles when he and I play Mario Race on the Wii.

When we were visiting Grandma & Grandpa in Madison, their friend and neighbor rode his sweet Harley over so Will could check it out. This is a really nice mocacycle, polished and loud and very manly.

The other day, out of the blue, Will told me: "someday when I'n a daddy and you a daddy we get some MOCACYCALS! and have a RACE."
Sounds good to me but we'll have to ask the mommies first. And we'll have to wear helmets.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

summer lodge trip wrap-up

This is going to be a massive post, but I need to get caught up with all the pictures. I'm going to rapidly try to wrap up last month's trip to the Lodge. Thanks much to AJ for taking and sharing most of these pictures.

Hallie had a great time at the Lodge - she took all kinds of different naps.

She didn't sleep all the time though, she was her normal sweet self when she was awake too.

Erin brough her various swimsuits to wear and she looked very cute in them (here's another one).

Meanwhile, Will spent nearly all of his time playing outside, usually naked and holding a sword. He had a fascination with oars, probably due to their swordlike nature. he had his own mini-paddle that he hauled around with him and used when he and grandpa pretended to take the canoe out. Also there were a couple of toy oars that he liked to use to splash in the water (which sometimes resulted in splashing mud)...

We saw our share of wildlife. In addition to all the awesome fish we caught, there were eagles, loons, snakes, and this big dang snapping turtle which was hanging out by our firepit one evening. Grandma and Will discovered him.

This is Grandpa's Mario Car (Will named it). It is red like Mario's car in Mario Race. It's a large four-wheeler that Gramps got primarily for hauling boats and equipment (snacks) to and from the lakeshore. But as a bonus, it is also fun to take it on adventures through the forest. Will got to go on a few forest adventures as rewards for peeing on trees.

We didn't spend all of our time outside. There was some Wii playing. Also Will had to occasionally put on clothes, such as this hat and mittens Grandma worked on for him. He got some sweet new socks too.

(this picture on the right is one of my new favorites, poor Hallie is so mad because it isn't her turn to play...)

Will got his own big boy bed (his own room, in fact) to sleep in. Grandpa and Grandma and AJ read him lots of stories before his naps and bedtime. Grandpa also gave him this headlamp to wear so he wouldn't be scared at night.

Look closely at the picture below, announcing the return of mom & AJ's favorite inspirational singer (he inspired Will anyway).

We went out to eat one night at the "Black Bear" - a local backwoods tavern. It's a great place, very comfortable and authentic (they have bears inside). Also it has a playset in the back, and since we ate outside, Will got to climb on it quite a lot while we ate.

Our friends Joe and Sabina joined us for dinner and were kind enough to hold the baby while the rest of us ate Will's dinner. They are expecting their own baby soon!

The drive home was fun. I was pretty sleepy but AJ and Will acted like goofballs all the way back to the Lodge...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hallie's buddy the Star

This thing is a wonderful baby entertainer, made by the Baby Einstein company (also makers of the 'stein). It consists of a fabric star with a smiley face on it, and has a motion setting that activates flashing lights and plays happy baby music whenever it gets bumped. This is perfect for Hallie - lots of bright colors, and something that gets activated by her own excitement: she tends to kick her legs a lot, which bumps the soft support and rocks the Star enough to have it play some more.

She is usually content to hang out and watch the Star all by herself. There are also other colorful things hanging from the supports. The mat is also soft enough that she has taken a few naps on it.

Sometimes big brother Will joins her. Often this is at the request of mom or dad, and often it is to help her keep her sucker in her mouth if she starts getting restless.

And sometimes daddy joins in the fun too.

put him back in the water!!!

I mentioned Will's reaction to catching fish in the previous post. Forgot to include this video, which pretty much sums up what Grandpa and I had working against us as we tried to teach Will the excitement of fishing. He came around eventually.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

which fish is the slimiest?

When we were at the Lodge last month, Grandpa and Will and I probably went fishing almost every morning and many afternoons as well. Unlike his fishing experiences from last year, Will was much more involved in the actual fishing process this time around. He helped us reel in a number of fish, touched most of them, and made many decisions about whether to keep the fish or "throw them back into the drink". He even had his own "Will-sized" fishing pole - an icefishing pole that we rigged up for him with a bobber. He actually caught a few fish with it that Grandpa and I helped land.

Most of the time you could tell he was a bit scared of the fish, especially when they flopped around. We had a near catastrophe when I caught a really big northern pike when we were out one morning (so big you wouldn't even believe it, of course the camera was not with us...). We had to use the net to bring it in, and as I was trying to get the hook out while it was laying on the bottom of the boat, it flopped around pretty good and slapped its tail on Will's leg a little bit. He had a meltdown - he was shaking and sobbing and clinging to me so the fish wouldn't be able to get him. Grandpa and I did our best for damage control, but he was really upset, eventually we had to head in. Even though the fish didn't do much more than slime him, we spent the rest of the trip rebuilding Will's courage with the fish. One way we were able to do this was to tell him it was very important that we find the slimiest fish in the lake. So he eventually got around to touching each of the (little) fish that we caught to check them for sliminess. Note, most of the time Grandpa or I needed to be "thumbing" the fish - what Gramps is doing in the pic above left - for Will to be sure that they weren't moving and were safe to check for slime.

Possibly due to the fish-leg incident, Will became much less interested in fishing with his pole and discovered it's fun to throw the boat rope into the drink and "reel it in". He kept telling us about all the big imaginary fish he was catching with it.

Here's where the fishing really got fun. We convinced AJ and Erin - who has a horrible fish-phobia but is a really good sport about it - to come out with us one afternoon. We weren't hitting many fish when suddenly Jenna hooked and landed a nice-sized crappie (proudly displaying in the pic above, while Will cowers in the front of the boat and Erin apparently jumped out of the boat). She had found a hole and we caught loads of big fish for the next few hours. Even mom! But Erin always needed help landing the fish - once she could see it on the end of her line, it was too close for her so Will and I had to reel it in. We credit AJ with us catching enough fish to have a fabulous fish fry later that week.

Here is one of Erin's trophies: a nice rock bass. You can't tell from the picture but her teeth are chattering with fear :). Will checked the fish for sliminess as Erin gave her approval.

I am so proud of this picture - by the end of the trip, we had built Will's fishing confidence back up to the point that not only was he touching the fish, he actually thumbed one by his big boy self!

Monday, July 20, 2009

What Did You Say?

Erin here, guest-blogging again - if this keeps up I suppose I'll have to stop calling myself a guest-blogger!

Will has said a number of interesting/funny things recently, and because it will help me remember them for years to come, I'm going to document what he's said here.  Enjoy!

Recently Will received a teeny, tiny pitcher and cup set (kind of like a tea set, except made out of tupperware) from Grandma.  He's a huge fan, especially because he's allowed to pour water from the pitcher to the cups - by himself - when we're outside.  When we're inside, however, pouring is my job as Will's really not very good at determining when the cups are full.  While playing with the set at the kitchen table, Will looked up and asked me, "Can I pour all by my big boy self when I a momma?"  

Lately Tom and I have been giving Will our all of our pennies and some of our spare change for him to save in his piggy bank.  He LOVES his piggy bank and LOVES putting money into it.  Occasionally he'll even ask me, out of the blue, if he can have some monies for his bank.  (He has no idea, however, what money is for or that money could come back out of the piggy bank - I think we'll leave well enough alone for now. :))  A couple of weeks ago I was talking to Will about how Hallie will eventually be able to sit up, crawl, walk, etc.  I finished by saying, "Get ready Will, because someday Hallie will give you a run for your money!"  He face fell, and with a quiver in his voice he said, "Hallie no take my monies, Momma."  Too sweet.

For those of you who have ever visited our house, you know that we spend a good portion of every day trying to keep our cats from escaping and then chasing them around the neighborhood once they have successfully escaped.  It's very frustrating, to say the least.  We've trained Will to shut the backdoor immediately after he goes in or out - to keep the cats in - and he's so good at this that last week he actually knocked me down the porch steps when he closed the door in my face.  A few days ago, while Tom was working and Hallie was sleeping, Duke escaped as Will and I were coming back inside after a short game of baseball in the front yard.  I was coaxing Duke out from under the car with treats when Will offered me a long stick and said, "You whomp Duke wiff dis (stick) yike Daddy?" (Translation: "You whomp Duke with this [stick] like Daddy?")  Poor Duke.  

For the record, I told Will 1) he could pour water from the pitcher to the cups when he was a Daddy, 2) that Hallie would not take his money, and 3) that Tom has never "whomped" Duke or Clemmy with a stick.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

epic swordfight


"I'M A GUARD!!!"*




*One time when I was having a swordfight with Will, I told him "en garde!" like swordfighter gentlemen do. He got mad and replied: "No! I'm a guard!" So now he thinks you start off swordfights by introducing yourself as a guard.

**In one of Will's favorite books (and songs), Sloop John B, a boy and his grandpa get attacked by pirates on their boat, the Sloop John B. The boy saves the day when he grabs a pirate sword and "I pushed that pirate... right into the drink"