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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Traveling Woes

Whew. We are home from our travels. We went to Charlottesville for Christmas to see Zach's parents, and the actual visit was wonderful. The traveling, on the other hand, was relatively terrible. Although, even as I write this, I know that we were lucky in comparison to lots of travelers who had it much worse. But still...I think we are giving up traveling at the holidays. With the weather, the 8 trillion other people who are traveling, the expense, and oh yeah...a is just too much.

For Christmas, we decided to fly United directly to Dulles and drive to C'ville from there, thinking that a direct flight would be better so we wouldn't have to worry about connections, getting stranded in random places, losing bags, etc. It was a good thought, in theory. We were over an hour and a half late leaving Birmingham, for unknown reasons. So, if we had had connections, we probably would have missed them, particularly at a big airport with 8 trillion other people there. Anyway, we finally arrive at Dulles and make our way to the baggage claim, where we proceed to wait for about an hour, only to discover that United has lost Will's bag. Now, if you've been paying attention, you will remember that we were on a DIRECT flight. United "lost" Will's bag on a direct flight, which means they simply didn't put it on the plane (again, for unknown reasons). Apparently, they didn't put about half of the bags on the plane because most people on our flight had "lost" luggage. (The worst was the family in front of us who had checked their car seat for their one-year-old.)

So, we file our claim and head out to the rental car place, putting Will in his stroller. However, after putting him in, I notice that the stroller is soaking wet. Our best guess is that we unluckily parked it under a leak while waiting for our bags. The seat was wet, the diaper bag underneath the seat was wet, and now, Will was wet, too. So, if you're still paying attention, you will note that, at this point, Will is soaking wet, all of the extra items in his diaper bag are wet, and his checked bag had not arrived. Off to Target we go!

OK, I've made a long story even longer and more boring, so I'll just sum up by saying that we went to Target and got new clothes, then changed Will in the car. We all had some dinner and then set out to drive to C' was about 7:30 Eastern by then (we were initially supposed to arrive at Dulles at 3:00). By the time we arrived, Will was so worn out and discombobulated that he couldn't settle down. He didn't get to sleep until midnight, and that was only after we put his pack 'n play in our room where he could see us.

Like I said, the visit itself was much better than the traveling, and Will perked up after his bad night. Our trip home was much easier, but still took almost a full day. And, the airline pretended that we were leaving on time, but then we sat on the runway for over an hour. Zach was sitting with Will and said to me, "We haven't even taken off, and I've run out of tricks." Which pretty much sums up traveling with a toddler.

Friday, December 14, 2007


We took Will to see Santa this morning, and it was actually a huge success. I finally did something right by choosing to arrive at the mall around 9:45, knowing that Santa opened at 10. We were the second people in line, and Will could not have been better! He didn't cry or whine at all...and he actually smiled for his picture. I could tell he was thinking, "Who the heck is this guy and what the heck is going on here?" but he cooperated nonetheless.

It was a very quick process: Get in, take the picture, head out before a melt down occurs. Santa also gave Will a candy cane, which he loved. Of course, it was everywhere by the time I took him to school, but it was worth it for his enjoyment.

Note to self: Next year's outfit should be green or blue, so as to not clash with Santa.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Empathy and Punishment

Last weekend, Will had several occasions to learn about empathy, and at least one occasion to learn about punishment. (We also had the opportunity to learn what he thinks about punishment!)
On Sunday, we were playing with Will, and he kept trying to hit Zach. Finally, Zach said, "That's it. You're going in time out." Time out in our house for his age means that we put him in the corner and make him stand there for about 30 seconds. He usually hates it and squirms and tries to get out and sometimes even cries. This was the exact scene when Zach put him in time out that morning. About 30 minutes after the time out, Will and I were playing on the sofa when he tried to bite me. I told him, "If you bite, you have to go to time out." At this point, he hops down off of the sofa, walks over to the corner where we had put him earlier, and says "Mime ow? Mime ow?" Clearly, we have lost this battle and he's only 15 months.
At one point during the weekend, I was changing Will, and he kept pinching my arm. (Are you seeing a disturbing pattern of aggressiveness here? Yes, so are we.) Anyway, I decided to try a new tactic, so I pretended like I was crying to let him know that he was hurting me. Instead of showing any sign of empathy, Will starts laughing so hard he could hardly breathe. Big belly laughs. More laughing than I think I've ever seen from him. Of course, this made me laugh, too. Will: 2, Parents: 0.
We did have one successful parenting venture this weekend. We went to the zoo with the Petreys, and Coleman and Will seemed to have a great time. At one point they were standing next to each other, and we asked if they could give each other a hug. They both turned and gave a perfect hug...the cutest thing you've ever seen. As usual, it's all worth it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fifteen Months

Will turned 15 months last week, and on Tuesday, he had his visit with Doctor Levin. As usual, everything seems great...he is growing and developing right on track. He was 27 pounds, 3 ounces, although we can't be sure that was completely accurate because he wouldn't stay still on the scale. As for height, he was 33.5 inches, which is 2 inches taller than he was at one year! He's in the 97% for height and 80% for weight. Needless to say, he's a big kid! (In fact, his daycare teacher said that she weighed all of the kids in the class and Will was the biggest. No big deal, except that he's also the youngest by at least two months...most of the kids are 5-6 months older.)

Will had to get three shots at his visit, and he cried and cried...for about a minute. He was fine once he got his sucker! The sad thing is, he now understands what's going to happen at the doctor's office. I've always hated when he has to get shots, but now it's even worse since I know that he is fearful.

So, what does 15 months look like? In our case, it looks like a blur as Will rushes around us. Ever since he started walking, he has been constantly in motion, constantly exploring, and constantly getting into things he shouldn't! Luckily, he's easy to find because he's also constantly talking. Will knows about 20-25 words that he says frequently, and he can repeat lots of what we say. He knows many animal noises and can point out and say all of your facial features (nose, eyes, mouth, and ears). He even got all of the other kids in his class interested in pointing out each other's noses. At 15 months, Will still loves the bath, loves to play ball or with his stuffed animals, and loves to read books. He even likes to "read" on his own--he'll sit down, ankles crossed, and open his book and "read" it to us, even turning the pages. Will's also gotten more into dancing, lately. Since all of his toys play some sort of music, he loves to activate them and dance to the music. We are working on his "white boy" rythym, although I think he comes by it naturally. I've been trying to show him how to move his arms a bit while he's hilarious.

I could go on and on because he seems to learn and grow each day. There are definitely frustrating times with a toddler, but it's also wonderful to see the world and new experiences through his eyes.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hide and Seek

In the past few days, I've found
  • A sippy cup (still full of milk!) buried in our laundry basket--I'm certain it had been there for a few days
  • A wooden letter "i" at the bottom of my toiletry drawer in our bathroom--this one had been lost for weeks
  • A sippy cup on the floor in the pantry (damn those sippies)
  • My hairbrush on the floor in the living room
  • My t-shirt on a chair in the kitchen
  • Babar and Lion in our bed
  • Plastic keys to the shape sorter in our closet

Hide and seek is such a fun game! If only Will would actually do some of the "seeking" instead of just the "hiding".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Hulie taught Will how to say "thank you," and it is really adorable. Of course, in Will-speak, it comes out more like "Nay-noo". He's even learned how to say it in context, although I think he thinks you say it whenever you exchange items. If I give him his juice: "Nay-noo." If he comes over and gives me a leaf: "Nay-noo." It doesn't seem to matter if he is the giver or the receiver: "Nay-noo."

I love it that he's learned this, even if it's not perfected. It seems like such a "big kid" thing to be able to say "thank you". I'm amazed by this accomplishment because "thank you" is a concept, not something concrete. It doesn't surprise me that he can learn to say "leaf" because I can point to a leaf, show him what it means, and then he can mimic what I'm saying. But, "thank you"? How does his brain learn what that means and when to say it? I'm so impressed that he has developed this skill at 15 months when there seem to be lots of adults who haven't mastered the concept!

Dreaming of Noses

Last night Will started crying around 10:00, which is very unusual. So, after a few minutes, I went in to check on him. He is teething, and we were worried that was what woke him up. When I went in to get him, he was standing in his crib crying. However, as soon as he saw me, he quit crying, looked at me and said "Nose," pointing to indicate that he needed to touch mine. Apparently that was all it took, because after that encounter, he snuggled on my chest and went back to sleep peacefully.

This morning Zach went in to get Will when he woke up. The first thing Will says to Zach is "Nose". I guess the child has been dreaming of noses.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


He's willful, independent, fierce. He pitches a fit if he doesn't get what he wants, when he wants it. He screeches and flops on the ground like a rag doll. He won't eat. I can count, in bites, what he's eaten in the last twenty-four hours: three bites of yogurt, one bite of turkey, two bites of cornbread, one grape, one bite of apple and one of applesauce, two bites of peaches. He can't tell us what is wrong. We can't always understand the grunts, screeches, and pointing. Is he sick or just cranky? Do you think he's tired? Is it his teeth or his tummy? What should we do???

I'm thankful, but not for this.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So, I know I'm a little behind on posting (OK, a week behind), but isn't this the cutest little monkey you've ever seen? Will seemed to enjoy Halloween...for the most part. The hood of his costume took some getting used to, but he eventually seemed okay with it. He didn't really "get" the idea of trick-or-treating, but he did like having three suckers IN A ROW. (Hey, it was Halloween.) I was really hoping he was going to pull his weight a little better and bring in more candy, but there's always next year.

Some of the decorations on our street were interesting to him from afar, but he got a little clingy and wanted to be held as we approached them up close. After all of that excitement, Will cashed out pretty early. This may be the last year that I can convince him to eat some spinach, have a bath, and get to bed while there are still visitors and fun outside. But luckily, that plan worked pretty well for Halloween 2007.

Note: Although Will has a box of Nerds in his hands in the above picture, he was not actually allowed to EAT Nerds. I gave them that box as a shaker and had to take it away from him once he started gnawing on it. On the candy front, he had two bites of chocolate and the aforementioned suckers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where is Baby's Belly Button?

Will is obsessed. With his belly button. And with belly buttons in general. It all started with the book Where is Baby's Belly Button?, which is a really adorable, lift-the-flap (or in some cases, tear-off-the-flap) book. As you might guess, one page asks the question about where the belly button is, and then you lift up the baby's shirt to see it. Will quickly learned this trick for himself:

Now, if Will happens to hear the words "belly" or "belly button," he immediately points to his stomach. If he is wearing something that allows him to lift up his shirt to show you the actual belly button, he will definitely do that. When we're changing him and re-snapping his onesie or romper, he often cries when we re-cover his belly button, and he can't get to it anymore. At random times, he will point to MY stomach, demanding that I pull up my shirt to show him my own belly button, and if I don't comply, he may come over and pull up my shirt himself. (I kindly take this as an opportunity to let him know that he is what made mommy's belly so flabby.) He has also accosted Zach and my mom...insisting on seeing their belly buttons.

So, like I said, he's obsessed. We're hoping that he will eventually expand his repertoire, learning more body parts. We are on our way: last night he pointed to his nose when I asked "where is Will's nose?". Of course, when Zach asked him the same question, he did earmuffs. One step forward, two steps back.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


For those of you familiar with the movie Old School, Zach has taught Will this (actually really adorable) trick. Never mind useful skills like feeding himself, Will can do "Earmuffs"!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Life

Some of our good friends are scheduled for a C-section tomorrow because their baby is breech. (OK, really only the wife is going to have the C-section, but you know what I mean.) I was thinking about them because they are in the unique position of knowing ahead of time that this is their last night before entering their new life. Of course, they are bringing new life into the world in the form of their little baby. But they are also ushering in a new life of their own. They are ending their B.C. (before children) life and entering a whole new world.

It's a world that's impossible to explain to someone who hasn't entered it yet. I don't care if you babysat a lot, helped raise your siblings, or even were a live-in nanny, nothing can truly prepare you for the life-changing experience of your first child. I thought I knew what I was getting into. I thought I had read all the books, received all of the advice, and bought all of the gear. I thought I was ready (and of course, it does help to be prepared). But looking back now, I realize that there's no way to be actually ready. There's no way to know what you're getting into. Like so many things in life, it is a leap of faith--jumping into the unknown and trusting that things will be okay.

So, what do I want to tell my friends on the eve of their baby's birth? I want to tell them that it's okay when you feel like you have no idea what to do. It's okay to feel completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for this tiny, helpless person. All new parents are novices. You didn't miss the passing out of the handbook. Unfortunately, there is no handbook. I want to tell them to enjoy every second. (Which, of course, is impossible. Who really enjoys explosive poop?) But, I do want to tell them not to wish away the time. Not to wish that he were older and could do more things for himself. I've had a hard time with this one myself, and each day, I work on enjoying the present--even if the present means a temper tantrum or food throwing. I want to tell them that it all goes so fast. If you're frustrated with one stage, wait a month, and it will be gone--replaced with something new. Of course, the opposite holds true too: If you love one stage, be sure to appreciate it, because it will be gone soon too.

The husband of this pair recently asked my husband, "So, when does your life sort of begin to resemble normal again?" Zach's answer was three months. My answer is never. Zach is right in that, usually, things settle down around three months, you come out of the baby fog, you can start organizing your life. But as for my after a baby is never "normal" again. Or, at least, it's never "normal" like it was before baby. But then again, you wouldn't want it to be.

You Know It's Going to be a Good Day

When you have uttered the words "Don't put your hands in the toilet!" before 8 a.m.

Note to self: Close toilet lid. ALWAYS.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Firsts, continued

Will has had so many "firsts" lately, all of which I want to post about. I want to remember all of the details so that I can bore him with them when he's thirteen. Sadly, I don't have time for tons of details right now, so a few snippets will have to suffice until I can write more and maybe even post some pictures.
  • First trip to the zoo: We took Will on his first trip a few weeks ago, on September 16th. He loved it! This weekend, we went back, despite the 90+ degree weather IN OCTOBER. On this second trip, he got to ride the carousel! I'm not sure he knew what to make of it...he didn't like the carousel as much as I had expected he would. Maybe next time we'll do the train.
  • First trip to the beach: This is one that I REALLY want to write more about and post some pictures. We went to Navarre, FL over the weekend of September 28th with four other (childless) couples. Note the way I put "childless" in parentheses as if it's not that big of a deal. Ha! Actually, they were all good sports about it, and Will really liked the beach. He didn't even eat any sand.
  • First pair of shoes: I've actually written a post about this one!
  • First haircut, and correspondingly, first lollipop: On Saturday (October 6th), Will got his first haircut. He sat on my lap and seemed pretty interested in the whole process. To keep him still, the woman offered him a DumDum lollipop. He knew exactly what to do with it...and, I don't know why this surprises me. He looks adorable with his "big boy" haircut (the side curls are gone, but the curliness in general comes back with humidity) and new shoes. He is definitely a true toddler now.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Will got his first real pair of shoes today. Since he started walking two weeks ago, we figured that it was time he had some shoes, so that he can walk in places other than the house (and so my mom would quit bugging me about it). I took him to Sikes, and they measured his feet. He was very well-behaved (at least during the shoe store portion of the outing) and interested in this whole new experience. As she measured Will, the saleswoman told me something I was already well aware of--Will has ENORMOUS feet. His feet have always been big; the footprints they did at the hospital barely fit on the card. She measured him as a size 6.5, double wide (for perspective, Will's friend who is three weeks younger wears a size 4).

So, once we were measured, it was onto deciding on the type of shoe. I had no idea there were so many options for little boys and can't imagine what the market must be for little girls' shoes! Anyway, I wanted Keds, but the saleswoman told me that Keds are not flexible enough for kids who are first walking. While this was probably a load of hooey, I believed her and got the ones she recommended. For FIFTY DOLLARS. Yes, you read that correctly--I paid $50 for a pair of shoes that Will will probably wear for three to four months, if we're lucky. They are navy tennis shoes (essentially), have Velcro straps, and Will loves them. I had been worried about how getting him to put on his shoes would be a hassle, but I hadn't anticipated a fight over him not wanting to take them off. When we arrived home, I immediately took off his shoes and socks, thinking that he would want to be barefoot and free around the house. Silly mama. As soon as they were off, he started crying and screaming and handing me the shoes, clearly indicating, "Put them back on!" Which is exactly what I did. Until bathtime. Even I have my limits.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Buying Stock

With a little boy, I've realized that I need to buy stock in paper towels and Spray-N-Wash. We go through both in massive quantities. As he gets older, I'm sure I'll need to add Band-Aids to that list, as well.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Will and I were playing in his room yesterday afternoon, and he pulled up on the bookshelf. This was nothing new, except that this time, he let go. And toddled toward me. Six steps (or was it eight?) across the room into the arms of his Mama. I couldn't believe it, and I got so excited. I was shouting and clapping and saying "Yay, Will!!!". I'm not sure he knew exactly what the fuss was about, but he wanted to join in, so he started clapping too. He was clearly proud of himself, even if he didn't know the magnitude of what he had just done. I was so, so thrilled to be around to witness this "first".

Will has been practicing his new found skill some today. He was kind enough to show off for Daddy, Hulie, and Great Melanie. He still prefers to crawl if he's got to go very far or get anywhere very fast (the most he's done is about 10 steps at a time). I can see the benefits of walking slowly occurring to him: "I can travel AND carry this newspaper with me. This is great!"

In a week or two, I'm sure I will be posting about all of the trouble Will is causing with his new walking. But for now, I'm enjoying this milestone. And yes, Mom, we will get him some shoes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I've Learned

So sure, Will's grown a lot this first year. He's gone from a screaming, helpless newborn to a screaming helpless toddler. No, I jest. I am truly amazed at everything a baby learns in their first year of life. Smiling, crawling, pointing, eating everything in sight. But, enough about him. Let's talk about me. What about all of the things that I've learned in my first year of motherhood?
  • I've learned how to accessorize with spit up and snot.
  • I've learned that a baby smile can fix any kind of bad day. A baby belly laugh just might be key to peace in the Mideast.
  • I've learned that you can never be too prepared. Of course, even if you think you have everything you could possibly need, you will be missing the one thing you actually do.
  • I've learned that you can't do everything. The people who tell you that they do it all are either A) lying (most likely answer) B) on speed or C) never sleeping. I've even learned that maybe I don't want or need to do everything. These days, I'm okay with missing a dinner out or a party. I'm thrilled when watching Weeds on the couch is all I have to do!
  • I've learned there are worse things than a flabby belly. This is a good thing to learn, because apparently mine is never going away.
  • I've learned to take any help that is offered. If anyone offers to babysit at any time, we take them up on it. We will find something to do.
  • I've learned that even in a childproofed room, a curious baby will still find the one thing that you don't want him to have. (Okay, who am I kidding? None of our rooms are really, truly childproofed.)
  • I've learned that perfection is not the goal. With a baby, if you continuously strive for perfection, you will be continuously disappointed. I'm trying to learn to be happy with "good enough".
  • I've learned to never discuss what a good sleeper your baby is with other parents. Not only will this serve to piss off the other parents, but it will most certainly come back to bite you in the ass. Maybe not now. Maybe not with this baby. But someday.
  • I've learned how to be patient. Well, at least sort of patient.
  • I've learned that there are lots of ways to be a good parent and that, if someone chooses a different route than I choose, it can still mean that we both made the right choice.

So Will--you've already taught me a lot. I'm sure any future brothers and sisters will thank you for breaking me in.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Will's First Artwork

So, to commemorate Will's first birthday, I had the brilliant idea that I wanted to get him to do some hand prints. In black paint. "Wouldn't it be cute to include his hand prints with his thank-you cards?", I thought to myself. And yes, it would have been adorable. But, as you can see, Will had other ideas about making hand prints: He wanted nothing to do with it.
I think he's the next Jackson Pollock. These will be up on ebay shortly. Start your bidding!


So, I've been meaning to write this post about Will's birthday party for several weeks now, but like with everything else in my life that doesn't demand immediate attention, I've been putting it off. My problem with blogging is that I always want the posts to be 'just so', so I end up waiting far too long in the hopes that the perfect words will come to me at some point. Sensing that that's not going to happen, I decided to just post something.

For Will's first birthday we had a small party with mostly family. Zach's parents were in town, and my parents, sister/BIL, and cousins came over, plus a few close friends (but no other kids). I don't believe in big parties for kids until they're at least three. I mean, if I'm going to spend all that time, money, and energy, they need to have at least a chance of remembering it! I'm only half-kidding---I really don't think that kids need a petting zoo or moon bounce at Will's age. Considering that tin foil still excites him, I think we can hold off on the moon bounce.

ANYWAY, the party that we did have was lots of fun and very sweet. I don't think Will had any clue as to what was going on but he looked adorable in his blue gigham shorts and white t-shirt with a cupcake applique. The adults had BBQ and a delicious chocolate and peanut butter cake from Olexa's. Will had his own little cupcake--white cake with chocolate icing--decorated like the big cake. However, the big disappointment of the party was that he had no interest in the cake at all! Even when we fed him a piece, he didn't seem care for it. I think he was honestly just ready to get out of his high chair, but I was really hoping for the picture of him with chocolate icing all over his face. I guess this is a good lesson in enjoying the life you have rather than the one you picture in your head.

Will got lots of presents--way too many, in my opinion, but I know that there are so many people who care for him and want to get him something. And that is really nice to know. But, he didn't understand the idea of opening the presents, so Zach did it for him. He seemed genuinely excited by all of the things, and he has really enjoyed playing with them since. However, he probably also would have been excited simply by the BOX that the toys came in. In fact, he really loved the tissue paper and the ribbons used for wrapping. His favorite present was, yes, the balloon that we tied to his high chair. That has provided hours of fun over the last few weeks. (Although, the balloon has come back to haunt us. He is now obsessed with them and just about had a coronary yesterday in the grocery store because I wouldn't let him touch each and every balloon that we saw. I guess I never noticed how many balloons there are in a grocery store.)

Overall, it was lots of fun being surrounded by people who love Will almost as much as Zach and I do. I think he had a wonderful day, even if he didn't realize it was all for him. We were all exhausted after the party, and the adults had to join Will for nap time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes

Dear Will

Dear Will,
Happy Birthday! You are one year old today, and I can't believe it. I can't believe how much you've grown in the last year. You are a little boy now, and not a baby (although you'll always be my baby.) By our measurements, you weigh about 26.5 pounds and are somewhere between 30 and 31 inches. It's quite hard to measure a wiggle worm like you. We're going to see Dr. Levin on Tuesday, so we'll get the official updates then.

You're not walking yet, but you're a speed demon crawler. You love to crawl down the hallway and bust open the door to our room. You do everything with such intention...we don't always know what your plan is, but you do! Sometimes you get a bit frustrated when you can't convey what you need or want to do (and by a bit frustrated, I mean that you pitch a fit!). You can pull up on almost anything, and you love to walk around the coffee table and sofa while holding on. You also try to procure things that you know you're not supposed to have--remotes, phones, magazines--but as of right now, Mama and Daddy are still faster than you. You love to bang on the table or the door like you're playing the drums. You are always in motion, unless you're asleep.

You are a good sleeper--you still sleep from about 6:30pm to 6:00am (or thereabout), but you try to avoid naps at all costs. You will generally take a nap if you're at home, but apparently there is too much interesting stuff going on at school. No time to sleep!

You're also a good eater (see weight stats above). You have six teeth to use for chomping! We haven't found many foods that you don't like. Right now, you love foods that you can pick up and feed yourself. For dinner, you often eat chicken, quesadillas, or ravioli. You've also had hamburger and grilled cheese. You love all fruits, particularly bananas and watermelon. Cheese is one of your favorite foods (no surprise there, given your parents' love of cheese), and you also love YoBaby yogurt. You're even good at eating vegetables--carrots are your favorite, but you also eat sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, and corn.

You can say about seven words that we can recognize: Mama, Dada, Baby, Bear, UhOh, Bye-Bye (which was your first word), Duck, and Dog (although these last two sound suspiciously the same, and we have to use context to figure out what you mean). You have infinite words that mean something to you, but that we can't identify. My favorite is "a-deedle-deedle-di".

Playtime! love to play. You love to explore, and you are curious about everything. You want to touch everything (sometimes with your mouth, too) so that you can figure out different textures and materials. You love to wrestle with Daddy on the floor. You love to talk to your stuffed animals and play them a song on your xylophone. You're getting very good at your star-stacking toy and at making and destroying stacks of blocks. When we go to Hulie and Bubs' house, you love to play with/antagonize Annie the dog, play Bubs' piano, and climb the stairs. You love the water. Bathtime is pure fun for you, even when we pour water over your head to wash your hair. You often line up your duck toys on the edge of the tub. You also enjoy going to the pool and "swimming" around.

You're a very affectionate child, often giving great hugs to your favorite people. However, you're also quite agressive at this age. You like to bang on things, including Mama and Daddy's faces. We are trying to teach you not to hit or bite--you've gotten a few "incident reports" at school for biting the other kids. Mostly, I think the biting is from teething or being overtired, but I certainly hope it will end.

In short, you're a delight. We love watching you learn and grow. It's such a cliche to say that everything is different through a child's eyes, but it's a cliche because it's true. You have been a wonderful addition to our family, and we are so thankful that you are a happy, healthy little boy. Happy Birthday, sweet baby. And many more...


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One Year? But I Feel Like I Barely Know Him!

Of course I know my child. Like most mothers, I can tell you what foods he likes (all of them), what makes him laugh (inexplicably, he cackles when he watches me take any sort of pill), and what really pisses him off (getting his diaper changed; pretty much anything that disrupts him from playing or eating). Yet some days I feel like, "Who is this little being in my house? Where did he come from? When did I become a MOTHER?" I really can't believe it's been a year (as of tomorrow!). It feels more like two months. And, I still feel like I'm faking it most of the time.

Objectively, I know I'm doing fine at this motherhood thing. He's healthy, he's happy, we're all getting some sleep. What more can you ask for at a year? Yet, you can never let your guard down. Just when I think I've got a handle on things, everything changes. I'd finally figured out bottles and that feeding schedule, and now we need to move to sippy cups. I'd gotten the hang of changing and dressing a newborn, but all of the sudden I have a wiggly, screaming toddler to contend with.

So yes, I know Will--I know the two-month-old, the seven-month-old, and now the twelve-month-old. But just when I get to know one baby, another one is rounding the corner. I can already see glimpses of Will the fifteen-month-old: walking, using more words, laughing a lot. I just have to trust that I'll get to know him and love him just as much as I have with the other stages of Will. Hopefully I will always been able to figure out what makes him smile, how to quiet his cries, and how to let him know that he is very, very loved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cutest Husband Ever

This morning, during our routine of "you entertain him while I shower, then I'll take him while you shower", Will wanted to be in the bathroom banging on the door while I was taking my shower. So, this meant Zach was in the bathroom too, trying to occupy Will. Of course, Will wasn't interested in any of the actual TOYS that were available to him. He'd rather open the cabinets, pull on the drawers, check out the night light, or chew on some shoes.

But Zach knew of something that all little boys love, because he loved them as a child too: FORTS! I looked out of the shower and saw that Zach had tucked a towel into one of the drawers and then draped it over his head for a makeshift fort for him and Will. It was the cutest thing ever. It gave me such a smile to see them playing like that, knowing that this was just the first of many, many forts.

Will: 1, Cell Phone: 0

While we were out shopping on Saturday, I made the excellent decision to give Will my cell phone to play with to keep him occupied in his stroller. I honestly didn't think he could hurt it (it should be noted that Zach disagreed). I thought he'd chew on it a little, press some of the buttons, and be happy and quiet while we shopped. Well, I'm sure you can see where this is going. Once we got home, I noticed that my phone was off and wouldn't turn on. But even then, I didn't think there was an actual problem. "No Zach, it's just out of batteries. Let me charge it and it will be fine."

Well, it wasn't fine. It wasn't even close to fine. We took it to the Verizon store on Sunday where they diagnosed it with "liquid damage". Yes, apparently Will had drooled on the phone so much that he had short-circuited it. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you!

At least I got a new phone out of the deal, which Zach claims was my plan all along. I'll never tell.... Will also got TWO new phones: my old one, and a display one that the lady at the Verizon store gave him. Of course, these are no longer of interest since they don't make noise or light up.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trying New Things

I would love to get inside a baby's head. Everything about life is new to them, yet they are constantly gathering clues to help make sense of it all. I've been thinking about this lately because Will's been trying lots of new foods. Can you imagine what it must be like to taste a hamburger for the first time? Or cantaloupe? Chocolate cake?

On Saturday, Will got a big treat--he had his first Gilchrist milkshake! It has been so, so hot here, so Zach and I decided to share a chocolate milkshake, and we thought we'd let Will have a taste, as well. Luckily, we were smart enough not to give him any until it was almost gone. He got ahold of the cup, starting sucking down the milkshake, and wouldn't let go! He knew a good thing when he tasted it. He definitely would have eaten an entire milkshake if we had let him. That night he got two other taste treats--his first "hamburger" (really, just a tiny patty of ground meat) and some mashed potatoes. An all-American day!! Of course, this type of eating is not acceptable for every day, but he needs treats once in a while. He needs new experiences...we all do.

We Were Right!

So, all last week, we thought Will was teething. He was fussier than normal, woke up early, was trying to bite anything in sight (I know--can you believe we figured out these mystery clues??). Yet, the tooth never came. Well, Monday morning, we finally caught a glimpse of it! His top tooth to the left of the two middle ones (is that an incisor? I don't remember my tooth anatomy) came in, bringing his grand total to SIX teeth! Unfortunately, he seems to only be getting teeth one at a time, which makes for a long, painful process (for us and him). I guess there will be quite a few more before we can declare ourselves done with teething.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

First Blood

Will got his first real "boo-boo" yesterday. He fell down and cut his lip on his teeth. And he bled. So sad. Luckily, I was not here to see it, and only heard about it second-hand from Zach.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

How Much Applesauce Can One Baby Eat?

Will is trying to find out. He loves the stuff and had three bowls of it tonight. I hope there's no proven harm in consuming mass quantities of applesauce! We'll keep researching and let you know. He feels the same way about bagels and cream cheese. I just give him little tastes of mine, but he would eat it all day if I'd let him. I love to watch him put it in his mouth and roll it around a bit, as if he's savoring its deliciousness.

In other news, Will has a new word: "Beah", which in baby-speak means Bear. He points at his basket of stuffed animals and says "Beah" "Beah". I'm surprised that THIS is the word he has learned. I don't even remember emphasizing "bear" that much. I'd much prefer he'd learn "Mama" (he will say Mama, but usually only when crying). Oh well. It is super-cute to watch how excited he gets when I give him the bear(s) after he points to them (he's really learning to communicate his needs well, even with his limited vocabulary). He loves to give each bear a hug. I thought he wasn't going to get attached to a particular "lovey", but maybe one of the bears will make the cut. I'm trying to encourage the softer, smaller one.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


A few months ago we were at a dinner party and a woman was joking about how her daycare had labeled her three-year-old daughter as a "non-napper". I remember thinking that, while napping wasn't Will's best skill (he was around 7 months at the time), I was sure it would get better as he got older, learned to crawl, expended more energy, etc., etc. Well, it has NOT gotten better, in fact it has gotten worse, and I think I can officially say that Will is a non-napper.

Yesterday Will slept for 20 minutes. All day. One, twenty-minute nap. It's ridiculous and extremely frustrating. I'm trying not to get too upset by it and to realize that maybe Will is just what some of the parenting books refer to as a "wakeful" child. And, at least he still sleeps at night. In fact, he sleeps very well at night, which is a blessing. And, at least he's not super cranky when he gets home, although I can tell he is tired. So, the non-napping does not present a dire circumstance, but it still really frustrates me. And, I wish his teachers seemed a little more concerned or a little more interested in solving this problem. They just seem to shrug their shoulders and say "he just wouldn't sleep". Of course you can't force a child to nap. But I think there are some things you can do to encourage him to nap. Now if only I could figure out what those things are...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sweet, but still Trouble

Such a Sweet Boy

We had brunch with my family on Sunday, and Will behaved very well. He sat in his highchair, ate his baby food lunch and some of Daddy's potatoes, and only threw a few pieces of food on the nicely carpeted floor. Near the end of lunch, Mom wanted to hold him, so she got him out of his chair for a cuddle. He gave her a big hug, then looked to her left and saw Zach. Will held out his hands to be passed to Zach, and then gave him a big hug. Then he saw Dad...he moved on and gave him a hug. Then Bob, then Mel, and finally to me. A hug and quick snuggle for each of us. It was super cute and sweet...a round of hugs from Will.

I want some assurance that he will always be this sweet. That even when he's bigger than me, he'll still want to give his Mama a good hug. Sigh.

A Random Milestone

The last bottle of Dreft.

Since I am OBSESSED with the baby smell of Dreft detergent, I have been unable to break myself away from using it, despite the fact that it is about three times more expensive than regular detergent. But, since we are approaching the year mark, I have resolved that my current bottle will be my last bottle.

Until the next baby, of course. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

People Suck

OK, so this post isn't exactly about Will, but he was there, and I want to write about it, so here goes. On Friday afternoon, while at lunch at Panera with four friends and Will, someone managed to take two credit cards out of my wallet. Now, I will admit that I was distracted with the baby. I will admit that I should have zipped up my purse. But that still doesn't give them the right to take my credit cards and then charge $2000 at Walgreens (yes, Walgreens--they bought AMEX gift cards), $750 at Gus Mayer, and then head to Cracker Barrel for a relaxing dinner!

To answer the questions everyone (including the police) has been asking me:
1. Yes, I'm sure it happened at Panera. I gave my credit card to Sarah to buy my lunch and put it back in my wallet (which I guess the thieves saw me do). Immediately after lunch, in the car, I noticed that my wallet was open and the cards were missing.
2. No, I don't know how this could have happened while all of us were sitting there, my purse right next to us.
3. No, I didn't see anyone suspicious. Particularly not the enormous man in the video the police showed me. If he had gotten near us, I feel sure someone would have noticed.
4. Yes, of course I have canceled the cards. But it's still a pain. We are waiting on Wachovia to refund our money to our checking account (one of the cards was my check card) which is a real drag. I filed a police report with the Vestavia police, and they have good video from Walgreens and hope to get more from Gus Mayer. My case might even be on Crime Stoppers!

I learned three lessons (if not more) from this, so I guess it wasn't completely worthless:
1. Don't carry your debit/check card with you if you don't use it often. It has been much more of a hassle to get money back from Wachovia than it was to deal with American Express. Plus, it's actual money instead of credit!
2. Always zip up your purse and keep your eye on it.
3. Try not to be so distracted when you're out and about that you don't notice what's going on around you. Of course, I feel better that no one at my table noticed anything...I guess we are all oblivious!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Jolly Green Giant

"Uh oh."
These are not the words you want to hear from your husband first thing in the morning as you're stumbling out of bed.

"What? What happened?"

"Well, Will and I were sitting at the desk and he got something out of the drawer that he shouldn't have."

"OK.... What was it?"

"You'll see. Just wait."

So, I walk in his room, and then I notice...on his hands, on Zach's hands, a little smudge on his PJs, a small stain on his ink! Yes, at 7:00 this morning, while sitting in Zach's lap, Will somehow managed to pull a green ink pad (that was obviously not closed properly) out of the desk drawer and get it everywhere! A lovely start to the morning.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Don't Want to Forget

  • How sometimes Will stops playing and crawls over just to give me a little hug and rest his head on my shoulder.
  • The joy on Will's face as he splashes in the bathtub, and the way he lets us know he's ready to get out by pulling up on the side of the tub and attempting to crawl out.
  • The bug bite he currently has on the very tip of his nose that makes him resemble Rudolph.
  • The way he pushes his bottle away and scoots up on my shoulder when he's ready for a cuddle before bed.
  • How he likes to point at EVERYTHING, but particularly lights and signs, and particularly in the grocery store, calling our attention to the coveted object by saying "Duh! DUH!" (which I think means "Look")
  • How, when I asked him where the light was, he pointed directly at the lamp. And when I asked him where Mama was, he pointed at the lamp again.
  • The way he army crawled around Zach's office, with a red ball in each hand, propelling himself on his elbows and pushing off with his toes.
  • The way he comes into our home office, presses the lit copy button on the printer/copier, and looks delighted when it spits out a blank piece of paper.
  • How he gobbles up most food, but especially loves itty bitty pieces of chicken, watermelon, or goldfish that he can feed himself.
  • How, despite having a fever of 101 and (we found out later) a double ear infection and respiratory infection, Will acted like the picture of health and explored EVERY BIT of the doctor's waiting room.
  • The way he examines everything by licking it. Recent items have included the front of our stove, my face, and the step stool at the doctor's office. And yes, I let him do this (most of the time). And no, I don't think that's why he got an ear infection.
  • The way he likes to say bye-bye to everything (on his own timetable, of course). Yesterday, he said bye-bye to the dirty diapers while Zach was taking out the trash, and he also told the book bye-bye when I put it on the shelf. Of course, if we WANT him to say bye-bye, say, to an actual person, he suddenly becomes mute and looks at us like he has no idea what we are talking about.
  • The way he babbles incessantly when he is alone or thinks he in his crib in the morning or in the car seat. I love to hear his little voice and all of the sounds he makes. I think he truly believes he is having a conversation. He's got a lot to say.
  • The way he looks when he is sleeping. The way he sleeps (like a real person!) on his side, all curled up. The way he sometimes puts his wrist on the mattress and his arm up at a right angle, which looks like the most uncomfortable position ever.

And a few things I'd rather not remember:

  • How he acts like he's having a seizure--shaking his whole body, starting with his legs and moving up--if you try to remove him from an activity that he doesn't want to be removed from.
  • How he INSISTS on pulling out the TiVo wires and pressing the buttons, despite having been told 'no' at least 76 times and removed from the area (for information on his reaction to this, see previous bullet).
  • His recently developed trick of spitting and blowing bubbles while he has baby food in his mouth.
  • The way he tries to flip over on his stomach, sit up, and escape while you try to change his diaper, clinging to the side of the changing table with a death grip if you try to "encourage" him to stay on his back. This is especially nice if he has a dirty diaper. And, I really like this trick if he adds screaming and wailing to the mix.

Looking at these lists, it looks like he's still worth it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


If anyone needs someone to turn off your lights (switches only) for you, I have got just the guy! He is also handy at pulling magnets off of the refridgerator, "reorganizing" your shoes, destroying any magazines you are just sick of looking at, checking your air vents, and pulling (multiple) kleenex/baby wipes from the box. So if these are chores that you are looking to outsource, give me a ring!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sneaky Little Devil

Will and I went out to lunch at Olexa's with some of my girlfriends on Saturday. I spent most of the meal clearing food, utensils, napkins, etc. out of his path. Yet...I was holding him and trying to talk to one of my friends at the same time. Apparently I was not paying enough attention to his every move because I looked down at Will's face, and it had chocolate cake crumbs all over it! Oh IS really good cake. I can't blame him for wanting a taste.

Will also managed to lock our TiVo remote on Saturday. He was playing with it, and then I noticed that the red light was on and that none of the buttons worked. I tried pressing various buttons in combination with other buttons to unlock it, but nothing worked. So, I just gave it back to him, figuring that he couldn't mess it up anymore and Zach could deal with it when he got home. Well, what do you know...30 seconds later, the light had gone off and the buttons worked again. Will had locked us out of TiVo, but then unlocked us, too. I think he must be a genius.

On Sunday we took Will on his first trip to the "big" pool at the Y (i.e., not the baby pool in our backyard). He seemed to really enjoy it, although he was a little tentative at first with not being able to put his feet down. We held him the whole time (obviously), and he had fun splashing and even putting his face in a little bit. There was a family with three little girls who were all VERY interested in the "baby" and what he was doing. Will egged them on, being the little flirt that he is! I also loved watching a little boy who "will be two in August" and seeing what Will will be like next summer.

A Wedding and an Illness

Last weekend (June 16th), Melanie and Bob got married! It was a wonderful weekend full of lots of fun activities. Everything was perfect. I don't just mean that everything was perfect despite minor problems. I mean that their wedding went off without a hitch! I've never seen anything like it--nothing went wrong, not even something tiny like no quesadilla bar (like at our wedding). The flowers were beautiful, the groomsmen behaved, no one tripped, they didn't smash couldn't ask for much more in a wedding. I was so happy for them, and it was wonderful to spend time with so many family and friends. I really enjoyed meeting Bob's friends and family.

The only minor hitch (which didn't affect the wedding) was that Will woke up on Saturday with 103 fever! The boy has never been sick, and he has to choose Mel's wedding day to start. Luckily, Carol was in town to stay with him during all of the wedding festivities. And, Zach was able to take him to the doctor that morning and get a shot of antibiotics. Dr. Levin was a guest at the wedding, so he knew what we were dealing with and was willing to do anything to help Will feel better (the benefit of having a family friend as your pediatrician). The fever went down by Sunday night, and Sweet Potato is doing just fine. Although, he still (over a week later) has a runny nose and a gross cough, and as of yesterday, a low-grade fever. But to some extent, I think these are just ever-present. I have been debating whether to take him back to the doctor. And, Zach and Carol have both contracted a version of Will's illness. By my calculations, I should be getting sick on Wednesday. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Where's the love?

Scene: Will's bathtub on Thursday night. Zach is out of town until Sunday. Will is playing and splashing happily in the tub.

Me: Will, can you say "Mama"?
Will (looking straight at me): Da Da.
Me: No, not Dada. MA-MA.
Will: Da Da.
Me: No, Will. Mama. MA. MA.
Will: DA. DA.

This continues for several more iterations, until, defeated, I give up.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Lake

We took Will to Lake Martin this past weekend for his first summertime visit. Of course, we had to pack up most of our house to go for a 48 hour visit, but that's okay. All of the lake stuff we did was really worth it. Oh wait...we didn't actually do much lake stuff! Due to the drought, the lake is waaaay down, which makes it extremely difficult to get to the boat based on the location of the docks, etc. Under normal circumstances, it's tough to get to the boat, but with a wiggly nine-month-old in your arms, it's virtually impossible and definitely not worth it. So, going on a boat ride was out. But, we thought Will would enjoy the water. But, we were wrong. We bought him a floaty shaped like a crab (and it has it's own sunshade over it), so we put him in that and Zach carried him into the water. Again, it was a bit unwieldy, but Zach managed to put Will and the floaty in the water. Will promptly started screaming and reaching up--begging to get out. I don't know if it was the water (which was kind of chilly--why do you think Zach was the one carrying him in?), the floaty, or a combination, but he was definitely unhappy. So, we pulled him out, dried him off, and set up the baby pool in the yard. However, the traumatic lake experience made Will wary of any bodies of water, even a baby pool, but he eventually warmed up to the idea.

So, there was not much in the way of water activities, but we did enjoy relaxing, going for walks, and scooting around the den and the screened porch playing with our toys (okay, that last one was really just Will).

In another big milestone, Will learned how to pull himself up while we were at the lake. He started doing it on the porch furniture, which apparently is the perfect height for pulling up. Then, we heard screaming after we put him down for a nap one morning. When I went in to check on him, he was standing up in the pack and play, but he DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO GET DOWN!!! I guess this is a common problem among kids this age, but it baffles figured out how to stand up (which requires a pretty good amount of strength and coordination), but letting go and falling down on your butt to get back down flummoxes you?? Regardless, we are proud of this new accomplishment, although I think it may be an impediment to sleep. Why sleep if you can stand up?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nine Months!

Will is nine months old today! I can't believe it...I simultaneously feel like "I can't believe it's already been nine months!" and "It's only been nine months? REALLY??". No one explained to me that having children somehow speeds up the passage of time.

This has been a big month for Will. It seems that he is changing and learning new things every day. As cliched as it sounds, he is turning from a baby into a little boy right in front of my eyes. Once again...those conflicting feelings...I'm so sad that his babyhood is coming to a close because it has gone too fast, but at the same time, I'm amazed/proud/overwhelmed by the little person that he is becoming.

Here are just a few notable things about Will's ninth month of life:
  • He was 22 lb. 9 oz. and 29.5 inches tall at his check-up in the middle of May.
  • He went on his first airplane trip in the beginning of May. We flew to Norfolk to see Kay Hildreth, better known as Gogo--Zach's grandmother and Will's great-grandmother. Will was great on all of the flights (we had to connect both ways). He had his own seat and slept in his car seat for much of the time. Zach and I were amazed by all of the gear we had to tote with us! While we were in Virginia, Zach and I went to Lindsay Fisher's wedding in Williamsburg, and Gogo, Coco (aka Carol), and PopPop (aka Bill) kept Will overnight.
  • He got his first tooth this month, and then, because that wasn't enough of a trick, he got ANOTHER ONE! That's right, he is now the proud owner of his two middle bottom teeth.
  • He moved to the "big boy" class at school--Infant Two. In doing so, he left behind the comfort of his favorite teacher (and only babysitter), Laura. In Infant Two, lots of the kids are crawling and some are walking. In this class, they get to go outside on occasion (although, I can't imagine coordinating that), eat finger foods, and have a regular nap schedule. This has been a pretty big transition, and we are still working on it.
  • He is moving toward a nap schedule (sort of) imposed on him by the Infant Two classroom--see previous bullet. Will has always believed that naps were for sissies and were just a cruel trick meant to limit his time playing and hanging out with Mommy and Daddy. So, a relatively regular nap schedule--even if they are short naps--is a big breakthrough. We'll keep working on solidifying it, and I'm sure just as we do, the schedule will change.
  • Two words: Separation Anxiety. Will has realized that Zach and I are his most favorite people EVER. While this is extremely flattering, it also makes it quite difficult to drop him off at school. Last week he crawled/scooted after Zach as Zach tried to leave the classroom. Which brings me to my next point...
  • He's learned to crawl/scoot! What he is doing is most accurately described as an army crawl because he doesn't actually get his tummy off the ground. However, this does not stop him from motoring about. He's particularly quick on the hardwood floors. Because we are bad parents, we haven't childproofed yet, but I promise, it's on our list of things to do.
  • He's started eating a few finger foods like Cheerios, teething biscuits, and a dissolvable, non-food substance known affectionately as "puffs". He is excellent at picking up bits of food, but hasn't quite mastered the release of the item into his mouth.
  • Will had his first "swimming" experience in Coleman Petrey's baby pool. Both of the kiddos looked adorable in their swim suits that came to their ankles, and they did really well in the water. Will mainly wanted to chew on the pool toys we provided, but he also liked splashing a little and leaning over the side to pull up pieces of grass. It's the simple things, I tell you.

So, like I said, it's been a big month. Army crawling, swimming, a new classroom, teeth...what more could you ask for? I can't wait to see what month ten holds! We feel so lucky to have such a happy, fascinating little personality in our midst.

Where there's a Will, there's a way

I am creating this blog so that I can easily document what's going on with the coolest kid on the planet, Will Mather. I may post daily, weekly, or monthly--just depending on what's happening in our lives. I hope friends and family will enjoy this site as a place to catch up on their favorite kiddo.