Thursday, April 29, 2010

batter up

As you readers know, Will is a big baseball fan. Oh you didn't know that? Well you do now. And since the Spring has arrived, we can stop playing roarball in the house and can get the bats and gloves out again. When the grandparents were here for Hallie's birthday weekend, we took a few breaks from all the house work to play a couple pickup ballgames. Will has gotten pretty good (for his age) at hitting the ball, and sometimes he gets some solid hits: in his own words, he "crushed it!" Lucky we didn't break a window.


Will likes to play all the positions: hitter, pitcher, catcher, and outfielder. Here he's catching while Grandpa Mike takes a few swings. Note his very proper catcher stance, it seems to be amusing the Grandmas.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hallie and dad chat over puffs

Here's a typical meal with Hallie - she eats mostly only puffs/cheerios, and goofs around a lot: laughing at her brother or just babbling about her dad. Also we've been teaching her to share - you can see she has started "sharing" her puffs which is so sweet - her brother was a good cheerio sharer too.

(sorry about the camera angle here: we have to hold the camera off to the side so it's not right in Hallie's face, or this happens)

Note her "ohh dad!" (her catchphrase) at about 26 seconds, and another really good "daaaaayeee!" right at the end.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hit, hug, and kiss

I am still catching up on posting some media from awhile ago. Here are two quick videos from a moment Hallie and I shared together last month. We were working on saying "dada" - Hallie likes to say "oh, dad!" (it kind of sounds like "awwwww deee!" sometimes, but most agree she's talking about me). Anyway, she usually stops talking as soon as she sees the camera or phone. In these videos, she made it clear she'd rather fight or hug and kiss than talk.

Trike ride

Today is the "Trike-a-thon" for Will at school, and Erin and Hallie went to cheer him on. Because there may be pictures from the event, I thought I'd introduce it with this video, which I think demonstrates the types of fun things Will has been doing with his bike lately.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

almost made it

Will has been exploring his limits in getting out of bed after we tuck him in for bedtime. He is allowed to get up one time to go potty (though it's usually more like 3 or 4 times by the time he finally goes to sleep). He also gets up frequently to grab piles of books from his bookshelf so he can read in bed with his headlamp. We're not sure what brought him out of bed for these pictures taken a few weeks ago, but he didn't quite make it back into bed. Erin went in to check on him and found him asleep in this exact position, so of course we posed for hilarious pictures next to him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hallie's bath pictures: 12 months

Here's 1-year old Hallie. These pictures were actually taken last weekend when she was 1 year and 1 day, sorry for the delay in posting. They were taken Sunday night because we actually took so many pictures on her birthday (Saturday) that our camera ran out of batteries!

The 4 Ferrises are actually at our buddy Neal's apartment right now, its kind of like a sitcom. Neal's out of town this weekend so volunteered his place as a napping pad since our house is for sale and there is an open house there today. It is sad that we have to sell our house, but necessary - the first major step toward the next phase of our lives.

Anyway since he lives by himself, Neal has a one-bedroom apartment. I think this may be the first time we have ever tried to get both kids to nap in the same room, and it is not going well. The kids' separate issues with going to bed/staying in bed have been documented, and it turns out that when you put them together in the same room, they combine their anti-nap powers to reach a state of complete naplessness. Hallie keeps standing up in the pack-and-play and throwing her sucker out of the crib and then yelling until one of us returns it to her. Will keeps getting out of bed to go potty and/or try to get Hallie to lay down or return her sucker. Through all this there's pretty much a constant stream of laughter between the two of them.

Ok we're trying something else now. Will is in the living area with us, I built him a "napping fort" so it's dark, but he is too interested in the fact that he's in the same room as Neal's video games and guitars to sleep. Despite no longer having someone to talk to/throw suckers at, Hallie is talking to herself pretty much nonstop, right now trying out all different volumes and inflections for baby jibberish from Neal's bedroom. I just heard a very enthusiastic DADA!, how nice.

I think Naptime at Neal's can serve as a metaphor for much our lives these days - Erin and I are working very hard to keep the kids happy and healthy, but it is not easy and takes some creativity sometimes. As we deal with the stress of moving on top of our normal demands from work, it's very nice to have the support that we do from our friends and family.

So we're working hard but still have found time to have some fun. Last month we took a trip to visit friends. A week ago we celebrated Hallie's birthday when both sets of grandparents were in town, and she got to be held by grandmas all weekend. She also got a new hat and some other nice presents. We also had Hallie dedicated/baptized last Sunday (here are some pics), which was very nice. Spring has arrived so we're getting to play outside more and more, and Hallie loves crawling in the grass and eating clods of dirt and small sticks. She still won't walk though, at least not without some help.

P.S., it's also this guy's half-birthday, so here's a bonus bath picture of how he usually looks these days

Visits to W&H's Page as of this posting: 24417

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hallie's birthday cupcake

Hallie's 1st birthday was last Saturday, and boy did we have some fun. Both sets of grandparents came to visit, and even though we worked most of the day (prepping our house as we are putting it on the market this week), we had a great time together. After dinner Will helped Hallie blow out the candle on her birthday cake, which appropriately was a cupcake.

As you can see from the video, she was less excited about the cake than the rest of us were. She at least rubbed it in her hair, like she does with most non-Cheerio foods we try to feed her. Here are some pictures from the aftermath.

Bath pictures coming soon!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2 emails worth sharing

I have been working late in the lab quite a bit and my lovely wife keeps me updated with some of her misadventures with our kids during the day/evening. She often sends me emails which are quite amusing and make me laugh out loud, I wish I had saved more of them. Here are two recent ones that definitely deserve to be shared, and Erin has granted me permission to do so.

This first one was sent to me the day before we left for our recent trip to visit our Chicago friends. To preface, Hallie has been going through a phase of behavior which would be much more frustrating if she wasn't so darn cute. This phase can be summarized with three problems:
1) recently she will only willingly eat cheerios and rice puffs (and things we don't want her to eat like dirt clods and cat food). She doesn't want anything to do with baby/mush foods and has built up quite a repertoire of defenses to keep us from feeding them to her. In order to give her some semblance of a balanced diet we have to constantly come up with new tricks to distract her and sneak/force spoonfuls into her mouth. There is a detailed blog post on this conflict coming soon.
2) she is expressing her independence in controlling her body, which means fighting being strapped into anything: her stroller, carseat, and most notably, grocery cart seats. Also getting her to lie still for a diaper change is like wrestling a screaming baby gorilla.
3) she is such a ridiculously light sleeper we can hardly do anything at any volume level above a whisper during nap time, or nap time will be hopelessly cut short and she will be a screaming basketcase for the remainder of the day.

The other part of this story is the boy. As part of typical 3-year-oldness, he does not like to drink all his milk/juice as he is required to do before being excused from each meal (we only give him half a small glass and it's the only thing we make sure he consumes in entirety). This often results in mealtimes that last way longer than they should and involve several bawling meltdowns since we won't back down on him finishing the last two sips of juice before he can get down to play. And the longer a meal goes on, the greater the chance that a glass of milk/juice will be accidentally spilled; this happens fairly frequently.

Also, like many kids his age, Will has problems obeying the "we only color on paper" rule.

From Erin on 3/26/10:
Apparently Hallie is also now boycotting, in addition to eating, sleeping. She is upstairs in her bed just sighing loudly over and over. Occasionally I'll hear a whimper when she jumps too high on her bed, falls over, and hits her head, and I've also heard her say "ut-oh" a couple of times when she, I assume, throws things out of her crib.

We went to the store already today - Hallie cried for more than 60% of the time we were there. Since there was nothing I could do to ease her pain, I ignored her because I'm such an awesome parent. Also while we were there she ate a coupon - not kidding - and dropped her pacifier on the floor ("ut-oh" through the tears) 11 hundred times. Will was pretty good at the store - I made a Blue's Clues game for him to play while we were there which he really liked - and was even helpful at checkout. He turned on me at home though, taking 50 minutes to eat his lunch and therefore getting no books before nap, spilling milk on the newly-mopped floor, and dragging Hallie from the upstairs bathroom to his bedroom by the wrist. Want to know why the kitchen floor was newly-mopped? Will's leftover juice from breakfast fell out of the refrigerator and spilled ALL OVER the floor. And ALL OVER me. Orange juice is the single worst thing to clean up - I had already mopped twice when the milk was spilled. Oh, and Hellie (that was a typo, but I'm leaving it as it's appropriate here) gouged me in the eye with her comb right before her nap. Oh, and Will colored his entire hand blue and used it as a stamp, leaving Blue's Clues hand prints all around the house on various things - the Shut Box game, the kitchen table, Roar, my bath towel, and his own face. I'm certain I will find more clues throughout the next few days.

So now I'm trying to get my work done, four loads of laundry done, packing for tomorrow done, and making food for tomorrow done, all while not going completely insane.

Thank you for letting me vent.

Email #2, sent earlier this week. To preface this, Erin and I have been dealing with Will's reluctance to STAY IN BED after we tuck him in. He is allowed to get up one time to go potty in the night. On average, he probably gets up and ventures out 3 times a night - usually going potty multiple times, asking for a drink of water, asking for a hug (ok, that's sweet), or just hiding outside our door and watching what we have on TV until he gets caught.

from Erin 4/6/10:
Will emerges from his bedroom.

Erin: "Will, you've already been up twice. You need to go back to bed."

Will: "Let me just tell you something, Mom. When you have to go potty, you have to go potty."

Erin: "You have a point."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

egg tree

A belated Happy Easter, everyone! We had a nice Easter weekend, but each kid was sick at different times through most of it, so it was relatively quiet. We had a precise window of healthiness that allowed Will to do an egg hunt and for us to make it to a rockin' church service, but the rest of the time was spent napping and watching cartoons with a thermometer in the mouth. Fortunately the Easter Bunny is immune to people-illnesses so he still came and gave us candy and books which cheered us up some.

Anyway, Erin has decorations for each holiday, and for Easter our most prominent decoration is the egg tree. Here are some pics of its decoration this year. As you can see, Will did most of the work.

Yes, these pictures were taken a few weeks ago, when it was still cold enough for coats and cupcake hats.