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Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Guess I Can't Argue With That

The other day we were discussing all of the foods that Will likes to eat. I told him that he got to eat lots of different things because he was a big boy.

Me: But, baby Julia can't eat all of the things that you do. Babies only eat one thing. Do you remember what it is that babies eat?

Will: UM......Mommies!

Technically, he's not wrong!

Friday, December 12, 2008

She Can Move Mountains

Or, at least roll over! This morning, Julia rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time...and then she did it three more times! I tried to put her down for some "tummy time," which she doesn't like too much, and..poof...she was having none of it...she rolled right onto her back. I guess necessity is the mother of invention.

In other Julia news, we went to the doctor for her three month check-up on Wednesday, and Dr. Levin thought she looked great. I'm still worried, of course, because she's only gained half a pound in the past month, up to 11 pounds, 7 ounces. For perspective, Will (aka Enormo-baby) was almost 16 pounds at the same age! But she seems healthy, she's very happy, she sleeps great, so I suppose I shouldn't worry. I just hope that I'm giving her enough food, since she's almost exclusively breast-fed.

And now for some Will news...today was Pajama Day at Will's school. Will ALWAYS wants to wear his pajamas to school, and we always tell him that he has to wear clothes. Well, today, of course, we couldn't convince him that it was okay to wear his "jammies." With toddlers, it's either always or never, and in his world, you never wear jammies to school. Like so many things, Pajama Day seems like a great idea and like something Will would love, but in reality, it backfires because he doesn't fully understand it. Eventually, we convinced him to wear some pajama pants and a turtleneck, and he agreed to wear the pajama shirt over the turtleneck. By the time he came home, he loved that he got to wear his pajamas. Now, I'm sure we'll have a hard time convincing him that that event was something special, not something we do every day. Oh well...hooray for Pajama Day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Excuses, excuses

Ever since Julia was born, Will has been having some trouble sleeping. He used to always sleep through the night, but now he often wakes up calling out for one of us (usually Daddy). His requests are typically quick and easy to deal with, so we just go to him, deal with the issue, and all go back to sleep. Unfortunately, he keeps waking up almost every night. On one hand, it's so much easier to just spend two minutes and solve the problem each night. But on the other hand, I worry that we are instilling some bad habits, and I wonder if he'll ever get out of this "phase."

Each night he has something that he needs or some reason that he is calling out for us. Here is a list of just some of the excuses we've heard:
  • My ear/eye/head/tummy hurt.
  • My nose is running.
  • Cover me up.
  • Turtle under covers. (Turtle is one of the animals he sleeps with.)
  • My nose is running.
  • There's something in my mouth.
  • Baby Julia wake me up. (This is rarely true.)
  • Turn the sound machine down.
  • Leave the door open.
  • I scared.
  • It's dark in here.
  • I need some medicine.
  • Change my diaper.

At least he's not hurting on creativity...it's always something new!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Three Months!


Julia is three months old today! She is such a good, sweet baby. She is a good sleeper, and a pretty good eater, although she doesn't always seem that interested in food (I'm thus not sure she's really my daughter). She is always smiling and "talking," and she is very busy...always kicking and moving her arms. The other morning I thought she was about to take off. She loves her swing and she even likes her car seat. She doesn't seem bothered by Will constantly trying to give her a kiss, even when she's sleeping. She's a delight, and we're loving having her as part of the family, especially as we see her little personality developing.
I had to include two photos this month because the second one cracks me up...the way she is propped up in the chair, she looks like a tiny professor pontificating on an important issue! A note about that outfit: she is now wearing six-month clothes because she's too long for the three month stuff, but she doesn't fill out the six-month stuff. So, she's a bit "in-between" on the sizes. Also, not two minutes after I finished taking these pictures, she spit up on the outfit, a fact that really encapsulates Julia's first three months...lots of spitting and pooping, and thus, LOTS of outfit changes. Luckily, she has the wardrobe to accommodate her.
Another note: Poor baby is having some skin issues, which is not surprising in this family. She essentially has cradle cap on her face...a dry, red rash. I can't tell if it itches, because she doesn't seem too bothered by it, but it's not very pretty. It's also on her eyelids, which makes her eyes look a little swollen. We're going to the doctor this week for her three-month check-up, so I'll be interested to hear what he has to say about all of that.
I feel so lucky to have such a sweet little girl and to have my biggest worries be outfit changes and a rash! We are all loving watching Julia grow and develop. I am definitely getting sad thinking about going back to work and sending her to daycare. She's gone twice for a few hours so far, but I really love having her with me during the day. I love seeing her smile and listening to her coos. I think it's going to be a tough transition come January...

Monday, December 1, 2008

And That's Why We Can't Lie to Him

All weekend, Will has been working on perfecting his cutting skills. He has loved just sitting around with his safety scissors and some paper and making various cuts. It's actually kept him occupied for a good chunk of the weekend, and when I asked him what his favorite part of the day was, he only hesitated briefly before he said, "Um....cutting."

Last night, our church had their annual Advent Workshop, which is where they have lots of crafts for the kids and then dinner afterward. We decided to take Will for the first time, and I thought it would be right up his alley. He, however, wanted to stay home and cut paper. So, we did what any normal parents would do and told him that we were going to the Paper Cutting Party. I thought for sure that there would be tons of crafts that for one reason or another had something to do with cutting, so I thought we were safe. But, boy was I wrong. People far more intelligent than I had planned this event and thus knew that it was wise to avoid giving lots of children lots of pairs of scissors. Therefore, not ONE of the activities required any sort of cutting, and there were no scissors to be found anywhere. So, again, we did what any normal parent would do and attempted to distract our child! We tried to get Will involved in the available crafts, thinking that he would have so much fun with them that he would forget about the cutting. Wrong again. He did have fun, and he obliged us in making the crafts. But after every single one came the refrain, "Where da scissors? I want to cut paper. Let's go find the scissors, Mama."

In case you missed the lesson here, let me spell it out for you: If you promise something to your toddler, you better make 100% damn sure that you can deliver. Or else, you're going to hear about it. And hear about it. And hear about it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Charlottesville

A few weeks ago, Zach and I took both kids to Charlottesville. Yes, we took a two-year-old and a two-month-old on a flight that connected through Atlanta. It is clear that being a parent makes you crazy. In reality, it wasn't that bad...certainly not as bad as I expected. The trip there was a bit of a hassle...we sat on the runway in Birmingham for over an hour, our plane in Atlanta was delayed several hours (but at least we were not sitting on the runway), and we had to change Julia several times ON EACH FLIGHT in the airplane bathroom due to her never-ending pooping. And the stuff...we brought SO much stuff: two carseats, two suitcases, Will's bag (all of that was checked), a double stroller, a diaper bag, a carry-on, my purse, and Will's backpack. But really, the kids were as good as they could have been. Julia barely cried at all, and Will watched his movie and kept the whining to a minimum. I think Will liked the adventure. He certainly enjoyed the Atlanta airport, particularly the moving sidewalks. It was great to be able to just let him burn off some steam.

The traveling back was much easier than getting there. We had no flight hassles, and again, the kids were great. On one flight, we even had a row to ourselves, so I was able to nurse Julia on the flight. So, during all of this travel I had my first public nursing and my first in-flight nursing! What an accomplishment! I had my nursing cover, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but it always seems like it makes other people uncomfortable, even though they really can't see anything. Oh well. Not my problem...I clearly had enough to deal with.

We had a good time while we were actually in Charlottesville, but I realized that, with two kids this age, you don't really DO anything when you go on "vacation". We basically just spent all our time managing our kids, just like we do here in B'ham...feeding, changing, bribing them to go to sleep...you know, the usual. We did get to go to Bodo's and the Lawn, and Zach took Will to his first UVA basketball game. And of course, Will enjoyed seeing his grandparents, and they enjoyed spending time with both kids, which was really the whole point. So, overall, it was worth it. But, I have to say that I'm glad the trip is behind us, and I'm very glad that we're not going anywhere for a while. As much of a hassle as the travel was, it would be WAY worse over the holidays, so I'm glad we're skipping that. I think we're going to stay home for the next eight or so years.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ways My Two-Year-Old Cracks Me Up

Said to me while I'm putting on my makeup: "Mama! You no draw on yourself!!"

Said while he is lying on the bed kicking, which he is not supposed to do: "Daddy, I not kicking. I exercising!"

Said when he gets out of the bath: "I naked to the jaybird!" (He then sometimes corrects himself and says "AS a jaybird." If he's just wearing his diaper, he might say, "I naked to the jaybird to my diaper!")

Yelled across the terminal at the Atlanta airport: "MAMA! I got a DIAPER CHANGE!" (Luckily, he didn't elaborate. And, at least he gave other passengers a laugh.)

Said while driving past a fountain: "Daddy, let's go get in that fountain and take our clothes off and wash our bottoms." (Not sure what that's about.)

Said when we discuss that he needs to take a bath: "I take a bath, but you no wash my penis!" He then makes this statement into a song and sings it to himself for a while. Again, not sure what that's about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Years Old

Dear Will,
I've been meaning to write to you and document your second year of life for a while now...say, since you turned two over two months ago. But, as you know, things have been busy around our house with a new baby, and I just haven't sat down to do the writing.

Your second year was an eventful one. At the beginning of the year, you learned how to walk, had your first beach trip, your first haircut, and your first trip to the zoo. You were a monkey for your second Halloween, and we celebrated your second Thanksgiving in Monteagle, TN with all of the relatives from my side of the family. Also in November, you moved to the Toddler class at school, which meant you were doing more crafts, playing outside, and only taking one nap...on a cot! We never thought it would work, but you thrived in that classroom. For your second Christmas, we went to Charlottesville to see Coco and PopPop, which involved your third plane flight (and lots of adventures). (We had also been to Charlottesville for Coco's 60th birthday in November.) In January, Mama and Daddy found out that you were going to have a baby sister or brother, and in April, we found out that it would be a sister...baby Juju, as you called her. (Although, Mama was worried about the ultrasound's accuracy until the day she was born.) This summer, we stayed close to home because Mama was so pregnant, but we did go to the lake several times and to the beach with the Petreys and the Taylors. Overall, our family has been very active this past year and you have loved every minute of it!

You're still a very sweet child (especially with your new sister), although now that you're two, you're becoming a bit more defiant and trying to assert your independence. But, because you're so smart and so verbal, I sometimes forget that you're ONLY TWO! Speaking of being verbal, you never. stop. talking. ever. If you are awake, you are telling us what's on your mind, what you want and what you don't want, and how you think we should behave. You are very articulate, and we can understand almost everything you say now. However, you're also in a phase of making up nonsense words, like poopy and bobo. You also love to sing songs, including some that you make up on your own. You will often sing to narrate whatever it is that you are doing at the time.

You love to play, and you've gotten very into trains (you now have a Thomas table), trucks, legos, and blocks. You also like to color and "write," which simply means coloring with a pen. For some reason, you always say that you are drawing a "BIG shark." You're not very good at entertaining yourself yet (again, you're only two), and you always want me or Daddy to "come play choo-choos." You've also started to understand the concept of "pretend" and now use your toys in new ways. For example, you like to serve me "food" on a tray...which is actually legos on the top of the box.

You LOVE to watch movies. Some of your favorites are Jungle Book 2--we haven't seen the first one yet for some reason, Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, The Aristocats, and Mickey cartoons. You have an impressive collection thanks to your over-indulgent parents and grandparents. Your dad and I have memorized many parts of these movies due to the frequency that we see them. But, it keeps you occupied, and at 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning, that's what's really important.

For the most part, you're a good sleeper and a good eater and generally pretty agreeable overall. (Note that I said GENERALLY.) You like almost all foods that most two-year-olds do, like chicken nuggets and pizza, but you also like some things that I never would have expected, like black olives and grapefruit. In fact, you pitched a fit this morning when we didn't have any grapefruit to give you. But fortunately, eating is not usually a battle, which is nice. For the most part, sleeping is not much of a battle, either, because you seem to know the routine. However, you've had a bit of a hard time lately. We're hoping you'll get through this phase soon.

I love writing this to you because I get to think about all of the wonderful things about you, but there's no way I can convey them all in these few sentences. I just hope that these letters and this blog will help me to remember all of the fun things about your young years. You're everything I hoped you would be...kind, funny, affectionate, articulate. Of course, everyone has their moments, but you are a joy to be around and we are lucky to have you in our family. I love you, William Steel Mather!

Love,
Mama

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two Months!


Julia was two months old yesterday. She is still a super-sweet baby with a great temperament. She is sleeping pretty well, including sleeping through the night a few times (we hope that will become routine soon)!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Four Ounces

She's only gained four ounces in over two weeks. In general, you shoot for an ounce a day until they are four months old, so she's clearly missing that mark. All of the feeding, the growth spurt, the formula at night to keep her full...none of it seems to have made much of a difference. I was already worried, due to the copious amount of spitting and pooping that she does (Will was an under-achiever in both of those areas, so this is new territory to me). However, I thought that I would be reassured when I went to the doctor's office; I thought her weight gain would be normal, and I would realize that my worrying was unfounded. But, that's not what happened...I'm still worried. Luckily, Doctor Levin isn't. He says that she's probably just gaining weight on a slower path and that I shouldn't stress over the spitting and pooping and below average gain. I know that in the grand scheme of things, she's fine! But, it's frustrating nonetheless.

In other stats, she had grown half an inch in length (to 24 inches--tall and skinny!) and half an inch head circumference (15 inches). She also had to get four shots and one oral vaccine today. It was so pitiful...I hate doing that to my babies, even though I know it's the right thing to do. To add to the fun of the visit, as the nurse was giving the oral vaccine to her, she projectile vomited across the room--all over everything (I had just fed her right before). Needless to say, it's been a trying day for both of us. Now, she's asleep in her swing and I'm puttering about the house and things are looking up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Did It Happen

...that I now believe that 5:30 is a reasonable time to start the day?

This morning, when Will woke up at 5:45, he was so proud of himself. (He's been having a bit of trouble sleeping and has been saying that he's scared.)

"Daddy! I sleep SO well! I sleep so well, Daddy! I did it!!!"

Perfect

Even though it's 5AM (or even 3:30), it's perfect. I watch her face in the half-light of her room as she's eating. Her eyes try so hard to stay open, but eventually succumb and close. She looks so peaceful. As she finishes eating, I bring her up to my shoulder, and she squirms and tosses and turns until she gets in just the right position and then sighs with complete contentment. I know I should put her in bed and go back to bed myself, but I can't resist rocking her just a few more minutes. During these nighttime feedings, we are free from distractions; free from the noise of the television, the phone, or her brother. I'm calm, not antsy to hurry up and finish feeding so we can move on to the next activity. So, even though it's the middle of the night, it really is perfect. I want to remember every thing about this--the way she looks, the way she smells, the coos and sounds that she makes. In some ways, I can't wait for the day when I can put her down at night and know that she will sleep all the way until morning. But, I know I will miss these special times, too. On one hand, these early days can't go quickly enough; but when they're gone, I know I will think they've gone too fast.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mather Version 2.0

Will, Halloween 2006:





















Julia, Halloween 2008:


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flu Shot PSA

Zach, Will, and I got our flu shots last week. Will was very good. We explained the situation to him: we were going to go to Doctor Levin's office and we were all going to get a shot. It would hurt for a few minutes, but we had to get it to make sure we didn't get sick. Afterwards, he could have a sucker.


He seemed on board with this idea and repeated the plan back to us. However, as it got closer to time to get the shot, he changed his tune: "I no need flu shot. I otay." Needless to say, this didn't sway us, and we all went to get our shot anyway. I went first, and Will held my hand and told me to "be so brave". Then it was time for Will to get his. The nurse gave it to him quickly in his leg, and he immediately started screaming. I think it surprised and scared him more than it hurt, though, because he stopped crying after about four seconds and said, "I wipe off the tears. I eat my sucker!!" Then, while Zach got his shot, Will did a little dance and said, "I doing a shot dance!" He was happy as could be as we left the doctor and didn't seem to have any reaction from the shot. Both Zach and I had a sore arm for a couple of days (I guess we are bigger wimps than Will), but other than that, it was no big deal.


So, here's the PSA part of the post: GET A FLU SHOT! I know people have any number of excuses:
  • "I never get the flu." Well, this is faulty logic. Just because you have never gotten the flu in the past does not mean you won't get it this year. Protect yourself (and others)!
  • "My friend's cousin's sister-in-law had a bad reaction from the shot and was sick for four days!" Yes, this can happen, but it's unlikely. And, even if you have a reaction, it's much less severe than actually getting the flu.

  • "The shot doesn't protect you from all of the potential viruses." Again, this is true, but the vaccine is the best defense we have. Lots and lots of scientist people have worked to determine what viruses to vaccinate against each year. And again, if you do happen to get the flu, having had the shot will make your course a lot less severe.

The point is, there are groups of people who are not able to be vaccinated, including children younger than six months old (for example, JULIA). So, by not getting the flu shot yourself and risking getting the flu, you are potentially putting them at risk, too. So please, take ten minutes and get vaccinated. And now, I will get off my soapbox.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Well Okay Then

"Daddy, I eating my goldfish right now. Don't bother me."

They Have Broken Me

Two are much harder than one. And thus, I am tired. I am beaten down. I know it will only get easier, but right now, it's tough. With one, if the baby is sleeping, you can sleep. With two, someone always needs something. Zach and I joke that Will and Julia must have some sort of system worked out: "Okay Will, I'm going to sleep now. You should wake up and scream so that we can make sure Mom and Dad are always on the ball. We can't let them have a break!"

Luckily, Julia has been a pretty easy baby. But, even easy babies are exhausting in these first few months. God certainly knew what he was doing in giving me good babies, though. I think I would be in a mental institution if I had one who woke up every two hours, cried all the time, or had other special needs. I certainly am in awe and admiration of the parents who deal with things like that and somehow get through it. I am also amazed by big families. I am overwhelmed with TWO; how do people do it with four or seven or more?!

So, I will do the only thing I can do: I will just make it through each day and hope that things will slowly but surely improve. I hope that Julia will start sleeping for a little bit longer stretches each night. I hope Will will not be totally screwed up by Daylight Savings Time coming to an end or by the travel we have planned in a few weeks. I hope that Julia will stop spitting up eighteen times a day. Things will get better. We will obviously survive. Of course, then I'll have selective memory, look back fondly on these baby days, and think I need another one. Someone needs to make sure I resist that urge!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stats

I have been meaning to post stats from Julia's one-month appointment and Will's two-year appointment (which was almost 6 weeks ago), so here they are.

At one month, Julia was 9 pounds, 14 ounces, which is a GREAT weight gain! I was thrilled she was doing so well. She had also grown TWO inches, up to 23.5. She is very long and still pretty skinny. Her head got bigger too, but I can't remember the exact numbers (which is funny because it's probably the most important measurement). She went through a growth spurt around 3 weeks and is now on a major one at almost 6 weeks. She is eating all the time and sleeping when she's not eating (all that growing is exhausting!). We will go back to the doctor around the first of November for her two-month appointment, so we'll have to see then if all the eating is paying off.

At two years, Will was 32 pounds and 36 inches tall. Zach and I had wanted him to get to 3 feet because we'd heard that you can double your height at two to tell what your adult height will be. However, Doctor Levin informed us that there is absolutely no medical truth to that. Oh well...we're obviously glad that he is growing well. Of course, it seems that he is growing taller every week, so I think he's up to at least 37 inches now. And, 32 pounds is VERY HEAVY to pick up, particularly when you've had abdominal surgery.

We are so thankful for these healthy children!

Friday, October 17, 2008

We Are Getting Quite the Reputation

When I picked up Will at school the other day, his teacher told me that during snack time, Will announced that he was drinking a beer. That's right...he told his entire class at the BAPTIST daycare he attends that he was drinking beer. Luckily, his teacher (at least one of them) thought it was funny, and I just had to laugh. Between that and his mistaking a bush baby for the baby Jesus, I'm sure the school is starting to wonder about us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We May Need to Go to Church More Often

Will has this book, Tails, that used to be one of his favorites, but we haven't read it in a while. It talks about the tails of all of these different animals, including some that are not very common, like a pangolin or a boar. One of the animals in the book is a bush baby, which is a little wide-eyed creature that sort of resembles a squirrel. When we used to read the book more frequently, Will could identify and name the bush baby.

So, the other night, Will requested to read Tails, and as we were looking through it, I pointed to the bush baby and asked him, "What is that?"

He quickly replied: "Dat's a baby Jesus."

Hmm...clearly we need a little more religious training. I think he knew that the animal had the word "baby" as part of the name, and they have been talking about the baby Jesus a lot at school, so I believe that's where the confusion stems from. But still, we can't have him thinking that the baby Jesus is a rodent!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dirty Rabbits

The other day, Molly and Parrish were at our house, and, while he was sweeping, Will took the opportunity to point out how dirty and dusty our house was.

"Look Molly! Look at the dirty rabbits on the floor!"

Dirty rabbits? Was our child hallucinating? I thought so until I remembered a conversation that he and Zach had had the previous day about...dust bunnies. :) I love how the mind works!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feel the Love

The other night, Will was having a hard time, so I asked him if he wanted a family hug. When he said yes, Zach and I swooped him up and hugged and kissed him. He was laughing and enjoying it, but then suddenly looked at me and said, "Baby Julia in the family hug?" This made my heart melt! I thought it was so cute that he realized that she was part of our family, and that he actually WANTED her to be a part of this little ritual that we were really trying to do just for him. Of course, baby Julia was asleep during this time, so she couldn't participate in the family hug, but it was still a sweet idea.

Overall, Will has been a very sweet big brother and hasn't seemed to struggle with the idea of Julia joining our family and living in our home. I think it helps that his routine hasn't changed much, so she hasn't really inconvenienced him. However, the other night, Zach was holding Julia, but Will wanted Zach to do something with him. So he said, "Daddy! Put baby Julia in her swing!!" This is the only "negative" comment he's made about her. Usually, he wants to give her a kiss when he wakes up, before he leaves for school, when he comes home from school, and before he goes to bed (and various other random times). He also loves to "hold" her, but doesn't seem to realize that he can't just sling her around like the baby dolls at school (or just drop her when he's finished holding her...luckily, no accidents yet!). He also likes to help give her a bottle, but he's a bit too, um, aggressive in this endeavor!

Will has also been funny in the sense that he seems to want to impress baby Julia. She is his new audience, and when he's doing anything, he wants to make sure she's "watching". We constantly hear his refrain of "Watch, baby Julia! Watch dis!" We've started to use this to our advantage in things like, "Show baby Julia what a big bite you can take!" or "Teach baby Julia how to take a really fast bath!" I know this is probably wrong, but at this point...whatever works!

We feel so lucky to have both of these sweet children in our family and in our lives. It is hard sometimes (ok, a lot of the time right now), but it's all worth it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Weeks

Julia turned two weeks old yesterday! So far, so good. I'm already learning little things about her and her personality. Here's what I know so far about this precious little girl:
  • She has long, skinny chicken legs and long, skinny fingers and toes.
  • She likes to sleep on her side and has already figured out how to roll to accomplish this. (These first two bullets could also be titled, "Ways She is Like Her Mama".)
  • She is a little chowhound and will eat anything put in front of her in any form. (Hmm...also strangely similar to her mama.) I guess she is trying to keep up and compete with her big brother.
  • If she has to sneeze, she usually sneezes twice in a row. (This trait comes from her daddy.)
  • She has already perfected a little smirk that we see on occasion.
  • She gets the hiccoughs a lot. She also makes lots of little cute squeaking noises. Although, one of them kind of scares me because it sounds like she is gasping for breath.
  • She is curious, and when she is awake (pretty rare), she likes to try to move her head to look around at everything nearby.
  • She has a wonderful, sweet big brother.
  • She has got both of her parents wrapped around her little finger.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

She's Here!

As most readers already know, Julia Mitchell Mather was born last Monday, September 8th at 12:16 pm. She weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces (a weenie baby compared to her brother!) and was 21 and a half inches long. So far, she has been a really good, easy-going baby, and Will has been very sweet with her. We are thrilled to have her in our family!

The blog name is going to stay the same because, although the pun is not as appropriate with two children, I do anticipate that both will be quite "willful". I will have to update with more stories from the hospital and coming home soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Birthday Party


I am not a big believer in huge, extravagant birthday parties for little kids, particularly kids who are at an age where they won't remember the huge, extravagant party. That being said, we decided to keep things (relatively) simple for Will's second birthday and have a "Splash" party that consisted of baby pools, sprinklers, bubbles, and cupcakes and ice cream in our backyard. It would be easy, the kids could run wild (which is all they want to do anyway), and I wouldn't make myself too crazy while I was hugely pregnant. There was only one problem: we didn't have a rain plan.

The Thursday before the party, the rain began--I think from tropical storm/hurricane Fay--and it did not stop. It was probably the most rain Alabama had had at one time in over two years. I was convinced we were going to have to either cancel the party--not really an option because Will was so excited to "have party"--or have thirty people eating cupcakes in our house that is WAY too small for that many people. But miraculously, luckily, come Sunday afternoon, the rain cleared up! Zach put up a tent in the driveway, lots of friends and family came, we had snacks and cupcakes, and we watched the kids run around...it was really great and really simple. Will, as usual, took a little time to warm up to the situation and at one point insisted on changing out of his bathing suit into his play clothes only to then get in the water in those clothes, but overall, he had a blast! I'm not sure he realized it was all for him, but he certainly liked the end result. The other kids seemed to have fun too--from Billy smearing icing all over his body, to Coleman ferrying ice into the pools, to Allen playing basketball, and baby Rob and baby Davis enjoying the pools. The rain held off at our house save for one brief shower, even though we heard from friends in different parts of town that it was pouring at their houses. Once the party was over, the rain began again and lasted for several more days. We are very, very thankful that we were able to have such fun and avoid the rain!

We didn't let Will open all of his presents at once because we thought it would be too overwhelming. He doesn't really understand this concept anyway...he'd rather open one present and then immediately play with it. So, he opened one or two each day, which was a great plan except for the fact that he now seems to believe that this ritual has become part of the daily routine. Of course, we have really been celebrating his birthday all month--partying and presents when Carol and Bill were here, this b'day party with friends on the 24th, cupcakes and ice cream at school, Chuck E. Cheese on his actual big day--so it's really no surprise that he believes that there should be some sort of treat each day. I guess he should enjoy it while he can, since baby girl is arriving soon!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Will!

Today is Will's second birthday! I can't believe he's two!! We had a pretty regular day, in general, except that it included a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's (a place that I hope to not visit again for a long, long time). They had some games that were age-appropriate for Will, and he liked it pretty well, but all in all our family found it quite overwhelming. Will looked a bit dazed the entire time we were there. Although, it did have the advantage that it was an INDOOR activity, which is a big deal when it's August in Alabama.

The rest of the day included a birthday lunch from Wendy's, a too-short nap, some football watching with Daddy (including learning how to yell "Get him!!" and "Go 'Hoos Go!"), and one b'day present: a doctor's kit. I have to say that the doctor's kit is the best present ever because it allows me to lie on the couch and be the "patient" while Will spends an endless amount of time examining me. All I have to do is pretend to cry once in a while when he gives me a "shot". Since lying on the couch is about all I can handle these days, this plan worked out really well.

I want to write about Will's birthday party and various other celebrations that we had last week, as well as a post about what two looks like for Will, but those will have to wait. I know everyone will be on pins and needles! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Have Trained Him So Well

As I've mentioned before, Will has been in a big Daddy phase lately, a phase that I hope will continue once the baby comes. So, this morning when I hear him talking in his crib, I tell Zach that I will try to go get him, but that I know he will be requesting Daddy. Sure enough, as soon as Will sees me walk in the room, he yells for Daddy. I try to convince him that I would just change his diaper and then we'd go see Daddy, but Will was having none of it. In a perfectly crafted sentence, Will yells:

"Daddy!! Come change my diaper!!!!!"

When that gets no response, he continues, making the offer even more enticing: "Zach!!!!!! Come change my STINKY diaper!!!"

I could not have planned this better if I had tried.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Brewton

I have been meaning to post about our trip to Brewton, which we took at the beginning of August. My mom, my sister, Will, and I went to visit my grandparents in Brewton...a tiny town in L.A. (lower Alabama) where my mom grew up. My grandparents have had a few health problems and just aren't able to travel as much as they used to, so we went to them! I figure that it will only get harder to travel once we have TWO babies, so we decided to go ahead before our lives get even more crazy.

Anyway, we made it a short trip: we left Saturday morning and came back after lunch on Sunday. Since Will has quite a bit of "energy" (that's an understatement), I was a little worried that he would be too overwhelming for my grandparents. But, they really seemed to love seeing him. My grandfather, Bobby, just kept saying, "That Will is something else!" which I'm pretty sure is a compliment. He was also very playful with Will and did "Fee, Fi, Foe Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," which is a rhyme I remember him doing with me when I was young. (It scared me to death as a child, but Will seemed to love it.) Both Mimi and Bobby seemed to love watching Will play and were, of course, very impressed by him. :)

I feel very lucky and very blessed to be thirty-years-old and still have two living grandparents. And even more than that, I love that they have gotten to know Will. Making the trip to see them while 9 months pregnant and with an almost-two-year-old was a bit challenging (even though I had the two best helpers EVER), but it was totally worth it. It is so sweet to see all of the generations together. I think these pictures say it all:



The only drawback to the trip was that right before we were leaving, Will was climbing on a chair, fell backwards, and bonked his head HARD on an end table on the way down. It immediately turned into a huuuuge goose egg, and I have to admit, I was a bit worried. He cried a lot (and I regretted not bringing the Boo Boo Rabbit with us), but he calmed down and fell asleep when we got in the car. (Of course, then I worried, "Did he fall asleep too quickly?" "Is this a sign of a major head injury?" etc. etc.) The goose egg hung around for a day or two, and Will insisted on having a pillow under his head when he was getting changed--the only time he really lays on his back--but overall, he was fine and back to his normal self. It was just too bad that the fall was the end to such a wonderful visit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Listen Up, Little Sister

Tonight while I was reading to Will and he was drinking his milk, he got so excited to tell me something that he spit milk everywhere. So, I got out a burp cloth to clean things up. Since we haven't used burp cloths in quite a while, Will's first question was "What's this?" I explained to him that these were used for babies because they sometimes spit out their milk because they were too little to know that they needed to swallow it.

At this point, Will leans over my belly and starts rubbing it gently. He looks directly at my belly and says "Baby, swallow da milk. Baby, no spit out da milk." And just for good measure (and a complete non sequitur), he adds, "Baby, I swing on the playground."

Good thing she's got a big brother to teach her everything she needs to know.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Favorite Phrases

Here are some of Will's new favorite things to say. It cracks me up to hear these things coming out of him:
  • "What happened?" (said anytime something doesn't work as he thinks it should)
  • "Watch this."
  • "What's this/that?" (said every other minute)
  • "No, let me do it."
  • "I want Daddy!" (We are in a major Daddy-phase now, which completely hurts my feelings. However, it could definitely work to my advantage once the baby arrives...of course, that's when he'll switch to "I want Mama" all the time, I'm sure.)

ACK!!! How Did I Get Here?

I'm having a baby in three weeks. I'm HAVING A BABY in THREE WEEKS!!!!! How did this happen? How did it get here so quickly (and yet still feel like I've been pregnant for four years)?

I'm not ready. Well, I guess I'm technically ready enough. She has a crib and diapers and PLENTY of clothes. We have blankets, burp cloths, and bottles. We've gotten the car seat out of the attic. But mentally? I'm not ready. I can't help but feel that I like our life the way that it is. Will is getting more self-sufficient each day. He sleeps for 11 to 12 hours at night, and we have a great routine. He's funny and FUN...we can do lots of things with him these days. And, he's the child that I already know; I want to protect him from upheaval and discomfort. I don't want him to feel like his parents have abandoned him or let him down. And yes, I know that "a sibling is the best gift you can give him" blah blah blah. I'm not sure he's going to feel like that when she comes home.

I know I'm going to love her. I already do. I can't wait to meet her and hold her and see her sweet face. I know that two will be more than twice as hard as one, but also more than twice the joy. And yet, I can't help but think of those first few months that are so hard and overwhelming and wonder how I'll make it through. (And yes, I know to anyone with more than two kids, this sounds like major melodrama.) But, I guess the upside is that I know that I WILL make it through. I did with Will--these past two years have flown by--and I know I will with baby girl. We will figure things out as a family. But still, I'm not ready. I suppose I will have to be.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Safety Conscious

Will's new mantra while riding in the car: "Mama! Both hands on the wheel!!"

Monday, August 4, 2008

When Will Gets Older...

One of Will's new favorite phrases is "When Will gets older...". He uses this to describe all the things he wants to do now, but will have to settle for later in life. I think this started when Will wanted to play with Zach's tools, and Zach told him, "you can have a screwdriver when you're older." Then, Will continued the fantasy when we were looking at a book that had pictures of different tools: "When Will gets older, Will have a screwdriver. When Will gets older, Will have scissors. When Will gets older, Will have a BIG drill."

This weekend, I heard a lot of "when Will gets older" stories, some realistic, and some, well, not:
  • "When Will gets older, Will slide on belly on ice. Very cold!" Um, okay. (This was said in response to a picture in a book.)
  • "When Will gets older, Will have green eyes." Probably not, buddy. Your eyes are pretty blue and will most likely stay that way.
  • "When Will gets older, Will have baby in belly." No. Not going to happen. (Although there was that pregnant "man," which just freaks me out.)
  • "When Will gets older, Will have a hat!" Right. You already have several.
  • "When Will gets older, Will wear earrings." My mom tried to be diplomatic on this one, saying things like, "Well, some boys wear earrings, but they are mostly for girls." I simply told Will, "Earrings are for ladies."
  • "Look at da bicycle! When Will gets older, Will have bicycle. Will have BIG bicycle!" Apparently, it's not only important to have something, but it's important that it's big. It's just like a man to think that way. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Guess I Should Get Used to Being Wrong

The scene: Yesterday morning, on our deck, as we are heading out to school.

Me: "Will, isn't it a beautiful day? There's not a cloud in the sky!"

Will, pointing over my shoulder: "Clouds over der, Mama."

Well, yes, okay, there are a few clouds over there. But, it's still a beautiful day. Oh, just get in the car!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Splinter Issue

The weekend before last we went to the lake, and there was a brief time that Will did not have his shoes on while we were on the dock. I guess it was all his running and jumping, because when we returned from our trip, we discovered that he had quite a few splinters in both feet. Most were small, but there was one fairly big one that was in the ball of his foot. We hemmed and hawed and tried to figure out if we could get it out ourselves (Zach voted yes. I voted no.). Eventually, we determined that trying to get it out would be torture for all of us, so we decided to take him to the doctor.

Doctor Levin was very nice and had all the right tools to get the splinter out. Will screamed and screamed, but the big one came out easily. Doctor Levin told us the smaller ones would come out on their own. After the procedure was over, Will dried his tears, looked up at Doctor Levin, and said, "Dat's better, Doctor Ell-in." And then, "Thank you Doctor Ell-in." Even after all his pain and suffering, he was still polite and happy! (And demanding a sucker for his troubles.)

But, the saga continues...only because Will won't let it go. He is STILL talking about the splinters and STILL wanting to show us his feet...often during mealtime, which is so pleasant. Out of the blue, he declares "Doctor Ell-in get the splinter out. Doctor Ell-in get the big one out." At least we know that he's got a good memory.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Big Kid

I know it's such a cliche (seems to be a theme on this blog, along with excessive use of parentheses), but where has my baby gone? It seems that all of the sudden Will is no longer a baby, but is now a "kid". A big boy. I guess this is a good thing, given that we have a new baby coming in just nine weeks, but I still can't believe how big he is. Of course, I'm sure I'll look back on these times and think, "He was so little! How could I have thought he was grown-up then? Look at him now!" Sometimes, I still see glimpses of his babyhood--like when I put him in his crib for bed each night--but for the most part, Will has moved into kid land.

It seems that he's doing new things every day. Each day he can run faster and with more skill. He's learned how to jump--really jump--with both feet off of the ground at the same time. He knows words like "aquarium" and "dinosaur". He can sing the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with pretty good accuracy on both. He now drinks from a real cup (only when he's sitting at the table) and likes to have his glass of OJ each morning with breakfast and a nice pinot with dinner (ok, I'm only kidding about that part). He no longer wants to use his tray with his booster seat--in fact, he refuses to--and instead insists on sitting at the table with a placemat. And he knows the word "placemat"!

Will's also learning how to be polite: He says "please" and "thank you". He knows to say "excuse me" if he bumps into someone or farts or burps--which he does much more often than Mama would like, but I guess that's just being a boy. (He likes to announce, "Excuse me! I burped!" and then giggle hysterically.) He says "bless you" if someone sneezes, and he's even starting to learn to cover his mouth if he coughs or sneezes. He's learning how to talk on the telephone. In short, I just can't believe that this baby--MY baby--has not only learned how to walk, talk, etc., but is also learning societal niceties and how to function as a real person.

When we were at the beach, Will slept in a room that had bunk beds in it, and he was very curious about the top bunk. To deter him, we told him that "only big kids sleep up there." Well, he became obsessed with the idea of "big kids" and what they could do. He remains slightly obsessed, and often talks about "big kids over there" or "big kids in the pool". He seems both fascinated and a bit scared by the "big kids". I hate to tell him, but he's quickly becoming one of them. Right before my eyes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Interrupting

While we were driving in the car the other morning, Will was talking non-stop. He was doing a full monologue, some of which we understood, and some of which was just babble. He hadn't really been addressing us or asking questions, so we hadn't been talking to him much, but this didn't stop him. He just kept going. Since he seemed to be talking to himself, I started to ask Zach a question. As soon as I start speaking, I hear from the back seat, "No, Mama. I talking to Daddy!"

Well, okay then. I guess I should learn to not interrupt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hilarities Ensue

This morning we took a family trip to Panera for breakfast. Will and I have been doing this some when Zach is out of town, but today Daddy was in town and able to join us. Will loves Panera...there is a long courtyard with fountains at either end, "birdies" that come and sit on your chair and then "fly away up to the sky," and sometimes, the escalator and the elevator are turned on--perfect for riding up and down. It's basically paradise for him. He runs and runs, and often, we give him pennies to throw in the fountains.

This morning, Zach and Will were happily throwing pennies in the fountain when I went inside to get another drink. When I came back out, Zach looked immensely perturbed and confused. When I asked him what was wrong, he just pointed...to the middle of the fountain, where Will had thrown his keys. I am really helpful because all I could do was laugh.

Luckily, the nice manager at Panera was able to use a broom to help fish out the keys. And, Will learned two new sentences: "Sorry Daddy." and "No keys in fountain."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

The first thing Will says to me this morning, as he reaches up and sweetly touches my face: "Pick Mama's nose!"

No! Just NO.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things Will Has Learned That We Didn't Teach Him

Zach and I are continually surprised by the things that Will picks up on, mostly at school, that we don't teach him. Often, we look at each other and ask, "Did you teach him that?" Since the list format seems to be working for me lately, here's a list of things Will has learned and we don't know how:

  1. Will can now count to ten. For real. Sometimes he gets hung up on seven and wants two to come after six, but if you prompt him with seven, he can go up to ten.
  2. He often calls a clean plate a "happy plate." Apparently this is what they say at school when they are good eaters.
  3. All weekend Will would randomly say, "Turn around and sit down." And then he would do just that. Again, this is part of a song they sing with them at school.
  4. At school, Will can point out all of the moms and dads for the kids in his class and Toddler Two. As in, "Emma Mama." "Abby Daddy." Even I don't know half of the parents and which kid they belong to!
  5. Will now knows several of the lines to the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Well, his version of the lines. Such as, "Diamond in sky" and "Up world so high."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wake UP!

Normally, when Will wakes up (earlier and earlier each day, it seems), he babbles in his crib, sometimes calling out for Mama or Daddy, singing Happy Birthday, etc. Today, he was a bit more insistent:

"Daaadddy! Wake up, Daddy!"

"Mama! Wake up, Mama!!!"

"Mama! COME HERE! Daddy! COME HERE!"

Good thing he's cute.

Monday, June 9, 2008

And now I am a Real Mother

Forget breastfeeding and the countless sleepless nights. Never-mind keeping him fed and teaching him new things. As of Thursday, I have passed the true test of Motherhood: car vomit.

Will was acting a bit puny all morning, but didn't have any specific symptoms, so we headed off to school. As I parked the car in the school parking lot, I heard him make a little whimper. I turned around in time to see him throw up...everywhere. Poor thing. It obviously scared him, and of course, I had NOTHING to use for clean up. The daycare gave me a few things they had, and I stripped him down and cleaned up the best I could. Needless to say, we turned around and went home, and Will did not go to school that day. He seemed to feel better after he threw up, but he had a true "sick day" and watched movies on the couch for most of the day. Unfortunately, my car didn't fare as well. The smell lingered for a while, but a recommendation to put cut lemons in the car to absorb the smell has seemed to work pretty well (in case any of my readers encounter this same problem at some point in your lives).

Zach and I were struck by the bug Saturday night and Sunday, but we seemed to feel much worse than Will had (or maybe we're just bigger wimps). Luckily, my parents picked up Will on Sunday morning and kept him for the day. I'm not sure how we would have managed that without them. We are now all on the mend, hopefully putting the stomach bug behind us for a long while!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Beach!

This past weekend, we went to the beach with Bragan, Banks, and Coleman, and Molly and Parrish (who were SUCH good sports). Will had been looking forward to this for weeks...we kept telling him we were going to the beach with Coleman and Molly (some of his favorite people), so anytime you asked him where he was going, he would answer "Go beach." Needless to say, he was excited.

I think the beach lived up to the hype for Will. Of course, he didn't realize that getting to the beach required a 4+ hour car ride, and this fact made him a bit cranky (it didn't help that he refused to nap AT ALL in the car). But, once we arrived, it was bliss for Master Will. There was sand! And water! And a pool! Oh yes, and most importantly, MOLLY! (Or, "Moolly. Molly. Moooooolllly. Molly. Molly!" as Will constantly referred to her.) Will and Coleman played relatively well together and even shared toys pretty well. They both loved digging in the sand and building sand castles with their dads. But Will especially loved the water. He took a little while to get used to the idea of the ocean, but once he did, he was like a little fish. Having never been an ocean person myself, I was astonished by his utter lack of fear. He loved the waves, and didn't mind if they hit him in the face or knocked him down. Sand and salt all over his body...in his hair, on his face...this didn't bother him one bit. At one point, he was lying on his belly in the shallow water just waiting for waves to splash him. In short, it was pure joy.

Of course, I'm thrilled that Will had such an enjoyable experience, and for the most part, so did I. Well, I did get sunburned, sun-poisoning, stung by a jellyfish, and some weird, itchiness on my feet, but I have recovered from all of these ailments. I just didn't realize how tired I would be after this "vacation"! (I'm sure being six months pregnant didn't help.) I've always known that Will was high-energy, but he seemed to take it to new levels on this trip, which makes sense, given the never-ending excitement of lots of people, new experiences, a permanent playmate, and the general absence of rules and routine. Of course he was wound up. Of course he didn't nap and considered eating optional. But still. I had some moments where I thought I would seriously lose all patience, especially when watching Will in comparison to the considerably-calmer (and 5- months-older) Coleman. All I was asking for was a few minutes of quiet. A few minutes of stillness. In the moment, I was completely frustrated, but looking back now, even just a few days later, it doesn't seem like a big deal. I guess that's how memories work, or else we'd never go on another "vacation".

One last thing about the beach...when we were children, I always remember my dad getting frustrated with my sister because she wouldn't just WALK. She would hop, skip, walk backwards, shuffle, jump, run, etc., but she couldn't just walk. At the time, I didn't understand why this irritated my dad so much...I mean, what was the big deal? Let me just say that now I get it. I think Will must have inherited this trait from his aunt, because I don't think I ever saw Will just walking on our trip. He worked on the Will Mather shuffle, he wanted to "jump to sky" as he kept saying, he would walk backwards so he catch one last glimpse of the beach as we were leaving, etc., etc. While these things shouldn't be a big deal, when the walk on the boardwalk takes 30 minutes when it should take five, a mother's patience begins to wear thin. I really wanted to move more than two feet per minute. I really did. As usual, though, it just takes a bit of perspective...how many years will Will want to jump and play, and more importantly, want me to watch? I know these times are fleeting and I know I need to have patience. I'm still working on that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beautiful

Will loves to brush and comb hair, particularly mine. This morning he was brushing the back of my hair, and I asked him, "How does it look?"

"Boo-ful." (He's never said this word before.)

Zach hears him and says, "Did he just say that?!?"

Yes, yes he did.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ten Things Will Did Over Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Continued his affinity, which started last week, for wishing everyone a happy birthday and singing the Happy Birthday song. He really only likes the third line, where you say "Happy Birthday dear " and gets a bit frustrated when I sing the whole thing. His preferred people to sing to are Abby (from his class at school), Coleman, Molly, and Daddy.
  2. Starting referring to everyone, including himself, as a "silly boy". As in, "Will Silly Boy" "Daddy Silly Boy" (except it comes out as "See Boy"). This comes from when we asked him, "Are you a silly boy?"
  3. Developed a new love, in addition to Molly and Abby: Lissa. Our friends, Ryan and Lissa, came to visit from D.C. for the weekend, and Will was obsessed with Lissa! Luckily, she was a good sport, because he drug her around all weekend, demanding to "hold hands" and telling her where to sit so that he could sit in her lap.
  4. Went swimming for the first time this season. He was a bit tentative at first, but loved it once he got the hang of it. He even ducked completely under the water with me and also worked on kicking his legs and splashing. (He's particularly good at the splashing, having perfected his technique in the bathtub.)
  5. Ran his typical holiday/vacation-weekend-fever: 102 on Friday and 101 on Saturday. He had no other symptoms, so maybe it was from teething. Who knows. Yet, in standard practice, he didn't act sick at all, and the fever was gone by Sunday. He also went on a bit of a hunger strike, probably due to not feeling his best.
  6. Perfected his new dance, the Will Mather Shuffle. It looks like a cross between a galloping horse, a basketball player shuffling sideways down the court, and a man with a limp, dragging his leg behind him. He debuted this dance at the ice cream shop on Sunday, but we've seen it several times since then.
  7. Experienced euphoria when Daddy turned the ball popper into a confetti machine by tearing up pieces of paper and letting them spew out all over the place. It certainly made a mess, but was worth it for Will's reaction. Of course, the ball popper is now in permanent hiding.
  8. Played with his new water table and learned to run through a sprinkler with Daddy. He seemed to like it better when just Daddy ran through the sprinkler, though. I'm not sure he was convinced that this was a great activity.
  9. Played golf in the backyard and learned some golf "slang". He picked up his driver and declared "Big dog eat." Apparently, Zach taught him this, and Will only says it for the club that is supposed to be the driver. I believe it's a golf term that people say before they use their driver to smash the ball really far. It's funny, though, because Will has certainly retained this information and says it each time he uses the driver.
  10. Looked at me and said, "Night night, Mama. Lull-loo." (aka Love You) when I put him to bed last night.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pictures

Speaking of Molly, I've been meaning to share some pictures that she took of Will that I think are just adorable (I might be a little biased). These are from a birthday party that Will attended for his friend, Coleman, at the end of March. I can't believe these were taken almost two months ago!


Will's New Love

Will has a new love, and her name is Molly. We went to visit our friend, Molly Taylor, yesterday, and I've never seen Will act like he did. It was clear that he had a crush on her! I don't know what prompted this love, but it is intense. When we arrived, he was essentially break-dancing on her living room floor...lying around, kicking his legs, but making sure we, and especially Molly, were watching every move. Then he started running between Zach and Molly, giving a huge hug to each, then running back to the other one. He wanted to sit in Molly's lap. He asked her to "hold you". He wanted to give her kisses and hugs and didn't want to leave. The whole way home, he kept lamenting, "See Molly. See Molly!" Even today, Will kept repeating "Go beach with Molly" (we've discussed that we're going to the beach with her next week). Clearly Parrish (Molly's husband) needs to watch out...he's got competition.


Will coloring with his true love.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tough Morning

Will had a tough morning yesterday. First, he wanted to get in the "big bed" but was disappointed when we went in our bedroom and Daddy wasn't there. Then, I couldn't do anything right for him...he wanted me to move the pillows, sit over there, pull the covers over him, no...take the covers off. "No Mama." was a persistent refrain.

Later, he was trying to turn on the "moo-sik" on our clock radio, and he bumped his face right into the bedside table. So, we had to get the "Boo-Boo Babbit" (which most people know as a Boo-Boo Bunny), which he then proclaimed as "Cold Babbit" (well yes, Will, that's the point).

To top it all off, as we were leaving, Will pressed the water dispenser on the refrigerator and squirted water all over himself and the floor. Although he's done it before and usually thinks it's funny, he instead started crying and said "All wet, Mama. All wet." Poor baby...we've all had days like this that just didn't get off the right start.

Cute Things

I've been meaning to mention two cute things that Will has been doing lately. The first is his asking to "hold hands?". While this is quite adorable, it's also quite manipulative. "Hold hands" really just means "take my hand and I'll show you where I want to go and what I want to do and it's probably something that you don't want me to do right now." But still, I love holding that grubby little paw in mine.

The second just melts my heart, and thus he ALWAYS gets what he requests. Will will look up at me, hold up his arms, and say "hold you". This comes from the fact that I often ask, "Do you want me to hold you?" So, he hasn't quite mastered the pronouns, but there's still no way I can resist this (and he knows it).

I needed to post about these sweet things this week because it's been a tough week, and Will hasn't exactly been on his best behavior. I think he's mad we left him this weekend (although, from the way he's been talking, he clearly had a blast at Hulie and Bubs' house). He's also seemed confused about why Mama came back, but Daddy didn't. Luckily, Daddy will be back later today, and I am very hopeful that Will's mood and behavior will improve. (He also hasn't been feeling 100%, so I'm sure that hasn't helped over the past few days.) He hasn't really been bad...just ornery.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Terrible "Twos"

No one told Will that he isn't two yet. So, he decided to start the "terrible" part early. We always knew he was precocious!

Last night, we took Will to get a haircut. Of course, it wasn't his best time of day, but he's usually pretty amiable...well, as long as he gets to do exactly what he wants. While he was getting his hair cut, the stylist gave him a little cup full of Froot Loops to eat. However, he wasn't eating them, since he also had a sucker (yes, we'll do anything to keep him quiet and still). So, after the haircut, he hands me his cup of cereal--of which he has still yet to have ANY bites--and I throw it away. I might as well have cut off his arm. Me throwing away the cereal threw him into a TOTAL tailspin. Complete meltdown. Full-on tantrum like we've never seen before: real tears, throwing himself on the floor, kicking and screaming. Needless to say we left the haircut place pretty quickly. And, after about two more minutes of this in the car, he calmed down and was FINE the rest of the night.

Ahhh...the twos should be lots of fun. And, I'm sure adding a new sister to the mix will be a breeze.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vignettes

I've had several moments with Will lately that I don't want to forget, but they don't warrant an entire post. So, here they are:

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The other day we are waiting at a traffic light, and Will is particularly antsy to get out of his seat. He sees the light turn green, but I hesitate for a moment before I start going (maybe because there are other cars in front of me!) Will immediately declares: "Geen! Go!" Well, okay then. I guess that's what I get for teaching him what the colors on the lights mean.

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We were watching the Today Show the other morning, on a day where Zach was out of town. Matt Lauer comes on, a bit unshaven and wearing sunglasses (he was doing some travel segment). Will looks at the screen, points, and yells, "DADDY!!" I'm sure he meant it as a compliment.

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The dad of one of the kids in Will's class often says "Ciao baby" when he drops his daughter off at school. Apparently, Will has been paying attention, and has made this one of his new sayings. When he's saying goodbye to someone, he might use the standard "Bye-bye," but he might employ his new phrase: "Ciao babies." (not sure why it's plural) Or, a third option: The other day at the park, I said "See you later." He yelled back, "SEE YOU LAT-UH!!!"

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Will is obsessed with trucks in general, but he particularly likes garbage trucks. He has a book that has a picture of a garbage truck, and I thought he was going to pass out from excitement when we read it the other night. "Bar-bage tuck. Bar-bage tuck!! TASH UP! Mama, tash up!" For you lay people who don't speak toddler, this means, "The garbarge truck picks up the trash, and I'm REALLY excited about that fact." Even after we closed the book and turned off the light, Will kept muttering, "Tash up. Barbage tuck. Tash up."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's a GIRL!

OK, I know that I suck for not posting sooner. And I know that most (if not all) readers already know this news, but I thought I should share. The Internet was right: WE ARE HAVING A GIRL!!!! I am very excited and have already been purchasing lots of pink things. I'm very excited to have "one of each"...to know what it's like to raise a girl and see the differences between the sexes (of course, I know that even if the children were both boys or were even twins, there would still be vast differences). Anyway, I'm thrilled, and I think Zach is too. Although, he seems a bit nervous about what to do with a girl (probably similar to the way I felt about having a boy) and very worried about her having him wrapped around her little finger (which she totally will).

Despite my excitement about a girl, I also can't help but feel twinges of sadness...this is quite possibly (ok, probably) our last baby. So, I feel a bit sad when looking at the baby boy clothes in stores, when going through Will's things to see what a girl could use, and knowing that Will will (likely) not have a brother (and baby girl will probably not have a sister). But, reagardless of all of these feelings, I hope and pray--and honestly believe--that the family we will have will be our version of perfect. I can't wait to meet this new baby and introduce her to the craziness that is our--and her--family.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pop!

So, I have officially "popped" out in terms of my baby belly. In fact, random strangers are beginning to notice and ask when I am due. (As a side note, I am constantly amazed at people's boldness. I could have just had a baby, or worse, just be a little chunky around the middle...but that doesn't stop anyone!) I am 19 weeks now, and this is exactly when I popped last time. When I was pregnant with Will, I went on a week-long business trip around this time in my pregnancy. When I left home, I was still squeezing into my regular clothes (I gave up on that idea long ago with this pregnancy), and when I came back, I had "popped, " was decidedly pregnant, and needed maternity clothes.

Based on the way I am looking these days (and various other completely random things), I'm thinking this baby is another boy. Of course, my intuition is terrible--I haven't had a really strong feeling on this one either way, although I did "know" I was pregnant before I got actual confirmation. But other than that, my intuition is crap. I spent lots and lots of time convinced Will was a girl, and clearly, he's about as boy as they come. (See previous post if you need clarity on that subject.) Even the Internet and my family and friends are divided on this subject: currently the poll stands exactly 50/50. Old wives' tales and intuition aside, the only way to really know--other than actually waiting for the baby to arrive--is ultrasound...which we are having on Friday! (Vote by Thursday if you haven't already!!) I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I know some people really like to wait and not find out the sex (or is it gender? which is more PC?) until the baby gets here, but for me, I get to have this day of excitement now PLUS the beyond-exciting day when the baby is born. As long as this lack of intuition on the sex doesn't indicate that I'm having a boy and a girl, I'll be happy. Either one is fine with me. As long as it's only one.

Note: Of course I realize that the main purpose of the ultrasound is to make sure that everything looks okay with the baby. Finding out the sex is obviously secondary. I don't want anyone to think that I am glossing over this very important medical test... I have been thinking and praying about the health of our baby more than anything. But, since I can't even let myself think that anything would be wrong, thinking about the sex of this new baby is certainly very thrilling! I know it doesn't "matter" which one we get, in terms that one is right and one is wrong. But, the sex/gender of your children does really shape the direction and interests of your family. I just can't wait to know what is in store for the Mathers!

Body Parts

First of all, I think Will believes that his toes are actually called "tickle toes." Whenever he sees bare feet, he refers to them as tickle toes because this is what we say to him when we see his cute little feet. It's always interesting to see what he picks up on. Such as...learning the name for his um, "boy parts" (And yes, I know what it is actually called and am not embarrassed to use the correct term...in fact, I taught Will. However, I don't want freaky Internet people searching on that term and finding my blog.)

So, Will is very proud to have learned the name for his boy parts: hee-mus. Every time we change his diaper, he shouts "Hee-mus!!!" When it's time to get in the bath, "Hee-mus!" When we put his diaper back on, he says "Bye-bye, hee-mus," unless it's after his bath at night, in which case he says "Night-night, hee-mus." To him, this is like learning any other body part, like his nose. He wants to talk about his and other people's! He asks "Mama hee-mus?" to determine if I have one (I explained that no, only boys do, and we didn't even begin to get into what Mama does have...that is WAY too much information for me to handle at this age.) So, once we had this chat, he says very definitively: "Will hee-mus. Daddy hee-mus." Good thing we have that straightened out...at least for now. I'm sure the new baby, boy or girl, will bring up lots of new curiosities!

Ahhh....the joys of raising boys! Things I never thought I'd be discussing are now daily topics, often before I'm even fully awake. I can only imagine things go downhill from here in terms of the conversation and vocabulary. I hope I'm up for it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

We had such a delightful weekend with Will. He was in a good mood for most of the time (despite the fact that his damn teeth are still bothering him), took a (short) nap each day, and was generally hilarious. He is so curious and into everything!

On Saturday, we went to Homewood Park, and Will was at the top of the slide. I asked, "Ready?" and he replied with "Set! GO!" and then slid down the slide. Well, sure. We've never taught him that. I don't even remember saying that to him. But there he was, telling me he was ready, set, go for the slide.

I want to stop time so I can always have this sweet little boy with me. While we were at Hulie and Bubs' house on Sunday, my mom said to Will, "Bye-bye, precious!" Will, ever the little parrot, replied back with "Bye-bye, preshus." Of course, he had no idea what he said, but he did seem to realize that he melted the heart of every adult in the room. AHHH! I just want to eat him up!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Obsessions

It seems that the toddler mind works in obsessions. Will will have an INTENSE interest in something (like Shrek) for a little while, but then suddenly he's onto something else...his previous love abandoned. His current obsessions are basketball and coloring (an athlete and an artist!). Just like with Shrek, Will is only allowed to play basketball in the afternoon after school, not in the morning. So, as soon as the car pulls in the driveway and he sees his basketball goal, he starts shrieking "Bab-beet-ball!! Bab-beet-ball!!!!!" (Yesterday I told him he was "shooting hoops", so now he also refers to it as "hoooops"--said in a deep voice.) Zach makes him come inside first, to let me know that they are home. He encourages Will to come and give me a hug, but usually, as soon as Will sees me, he just starts up the shrieking again: "MAMA! BAB-BEET-BALL!!!!" I guess I know where his true love lies.

Will also loves to color, which is great because it keeps him occupied while we do things around the house or get dinner ready (in theory--he often insists that you color with him). He calls it "Hun-ner," but does a hand motion like he's holding a pen and writing, just in case we didn't get it.

The only problem with these activities is getting Will away from them. That's when the shrieking really begins.

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In other news, I've been feeling Bean (aka new baby) move! It is very exciting and comforting. In fact, Zach could even feel him/her moving around last night, which is remarkable since it's still pretty early for ME to even feel it. I think this means it might be another wild boy. Will was very active in my belly and hasn't stopped since.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sentences!

Will has started to string words together to form phrases and sentences. He'll repeat things he hears or try to come up with his own ideas. Some things make complete sense, like when he said "Daddy go bye-bye. Mama go bye-bye too." Most things are more gibberish, with a few intelligible words stuck in: "Aba beju sehis Mama's juice buboo."

My recent favorite, however, was when he declared out of the blue: "I see a purple cat." (Except that it came out like "Ah see pur-ple tat.") And then, "I see a white dog." I momentarily worried that Will was hallucinating from the back seat, until I remembered that these are two sentences from one of his favorite books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Miscommunication, Part Two

So, a few months ago, we were driving up the mountain to Will's school, and it was very foggy out. He looked out the window and started yelling, "Steam! Steam!" because he knows about steam from when we get out of a shower or when things are too hot. At this point, I tried to explain to him that the stuff he was seeing was not steam, but was actually called fog. Apparently I need to work on my pronunciation, because when I said "fog," Will got all excited: "Bob? Bob? Mel-mee? Bob???"

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Fast forward to earlier this week. It was again foggy when we drove to school, so I decided to try again. "Will, look at all of the fog!" His response? "Ribbit. Ribbit."

I guess fog is not a concept that we're going to master right now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Will Can Count!

Well, except he only knows three numbers. And those three numbers aren't related to each other at all. Like his affinity for yellow when it comes to colors, Will has preference for two, six, and nine for numbers. I don't know how he came up with these options (other than two...that one at least makes sense), but it's hilarious to watch him "count". This morning he was counting the blueberries on his tray: "Six!" he would proudly proclaim (nevermind that there were only four). Then he'd add a few more and declare that there were "Nine!" He also likes to count things in his books. He will point at items (or better yet, take my finger and use it to point) and count out loud: "Two. Six. Nine. Six. Two. Nine." until he addresses all of the items. It's too funny.

Will clearly knows that two, six, and nine are numbers because he consistently uses them to count or if you ask him "how many do you have?" he will reply with one of these. However, he just doesn't seem to know that there are MORE numbers available to him.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Favorite Things

So, there has been a request for more pictures on Willfull, and I thought I'd use this time to highlight a few of Will's favorite things over the past couple of months: talking on the phone, eating pudding, and playing at the McWane Center.

On the phone:



Eating pudding:


At the McWane Center:


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Miscommunication

Each day at school, we receive a sheet about Will--how much he ate, when he napped, diaper changes, etc. Recently, Will has wanted to hold onto his sheet and "read" it from the backseat while we drive home. This led to a slight miscommunication the other day:

"Will, are you reading? What does your sheet say?"

"Baaa."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Brother is Watching

Big news here at Willfull...Will is going to be a big brother! I wanted to share the news with all three of my readers (all of whom probably already know). I found out on January 6th that I was pregnant, so I'm now about 14 weeks along. This baby is due September 14th...just a few weeks after Will turns two. I had an ultrasound around 7.5 weeks and then heard the heartbeat on the Doppler around 11 weeks. So far everything looks great!

The timing on this baby was a little sooner than I expected. I always thought our kids would be three years apart, just like Melanie and I are. But, that's not what was in store for our family! So, even though I'm very excited, I'm also quite apprehensive. I'm worried about Will and how it will affect his life. Although I know it will be wonderful for him to have a sibling, I'm a little sad that our one-on-one time will be over. In my head, I know I will love this new baby as much as I love Will, but right now it's hard to imagine that. It's hard to imagine how I will split my time between the two, giving each of them everything he/she needs. I know millions of people do it, and I will too, but as of now, it's daunting to think about.

Everyone's question is...do you want a boy or a girl? And honestly, I don't know. If I'm being selfish, I would love to have a girl--to share all of the mother/daughter things, to buy pink clothes, to experience raising a boy AND a girl. However, I also think Will would love to have a brother. Since they'll only be two years apart, I love to think about two boys playing together. So, either way (as long as the baby is healthy and happy), I'll be happy. But, to make it interesting around here, there's a poll on the sidebar where you can vote on whether you think this baby is a boy or a girl. We're planning to find out around the end of April, so voting will be closed before then. If we get a boy or if we get a girl...this is all going to be interesting!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Napping (or lack thereof) is Driving Me Crazy

Will refused to nap all weekend. As in, he did not sleep for one minute during the two weekend days. On Saturday, we had him in his crib for 45 minutes, with intermittent rocking and consoling. Eventually, we had to get him up because we had to leave since a realtor was showing our house. He didn't sleep at all. On Sunday, we held out for an hour and a half. During that time, he took off his pants and one sock, threw them across the room, and then started crying "Pants! Paannnnts!" He also threw every other item out of his crib, including the books I had left to "entertain" him. Again, no sleeping. Eventually, we gave up. He won, he knew it, and he was oh-so-happy about it. When we finally got him up, it was as if nothing had happened. He was a smiling, delightful child--ready to play.

However, the kicker was when Zach asked him "Will, are you going to take a nap at school tomorrow?" Will vehemently nodded his head and replied, "Esss." When Zach asked again, just to make sure he understood, Will had the same answer. As in, "why would I NOT nap at school, Daddy?"

Surely this isn't a trend. He can't, JUST CANNOT, give up all naps at 18 months.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nun-ners

Will loves runners. (It must be because it is such a foreign concept...neither of his parents runs.) Anyway, while we're driving, he likes to point out any "nun-ners" that he sees. I always encourage him and say things like "yes, those are runners." But, we've almost exclusively reserved this term for people who are exercising, people we see out running on the sidewalks or in the streets.

So, I was a bit surprised when Will saw two children at his school running from their car to the door and immediately declared them "nun-ners." I am constantly amazed at the way his brain works and the connections that he is making!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Don't Want to Forget: 18 Months

I did one of these posts when Will was around 10 months. I'm amazed at how much he's changed in the last 8 months--really, I'm amazed at how much he changes every day. So, here are a few things I don't want to forget about this phase:

  • The way Will looks when he's attempting to run: One arm is swinging furiously, as if he's trying to propel himself, while the other arm lays still by his side. We're a bit surprised he doesn't go in circles.
  • How Will "helps" me sing to him at night. If I don't start singing right away, he'll start babbling in a really sweet, soft voice. And sometimes, he'll repeat words that I'm singing to him, so that I hear, oh-so-softly, "baaaby" or "bed".
  • How, if you ask him what a gorilla says, he will beat on his chest and say "AAAHaaaHAAhhhh". And if you ask what a gecko does, he sticks out his tongue repeatedly.
  • The way eats raspberries by putting one on each pointer finger, as if they are little hats, doing a dance with his fingers, and then eating the berries off of his fingers.
  • The way he will say to himself "big tuck" or "meh-pain" if he hears a truck or plane in the distance...even if we are inside.
  • The way he calls the Runaway Bunny book "babbits" (for rabbits, in case that wasn't clear) and then blows to imitate the page where the mama bunny is the wind and the baby is the sailboat. He also calls the "Boo-Boo Bunny" (which is a little ice pack shaped like a bunny) the "Boo-Boo Babbit" even though we've never referred to it as a rabbit.
  • The way he uses a stick to imitate a leaf blower. I can't really describe this one...you'd just have to see it for yourself.
  • How he immediately declares any food that we give him "hot" (and wants to blow on it). And then, when we tell him that it's not hot, he definitively says "cold". I guess that's the black-and-white toddler world: it's either hot or it's cold.
  • How, when he gets out of the bathtub, he has to have his "hat" on (the hood of his towel), and then when he gets on his changing table, he wants to stand up and have you snuggle him and sway while he gets dried off. At this point he also says "baaa-bee" in this sing-song voice to let me know that he wants me to sing our made-up song called "Baby Burrito".
  • The way he requests to "seep" each morning with his own little broom.
  • Lell-o. Just lell-o.
  • The way he LOVES bubbles in his bath and will run toward the bathroom screaming, "Buuuubbbbbles".
  • The way he likes to play the game of "reach." In this game, Will stands in a lunge position and reaches out whatever object he has in his hand, all while saying "Reeeeach. REEEAACH." You are supposed to do the same until you can "finally" grasp the object he is holding out, at which point, Will dissolves in a fit of giggles.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All the Colors of the Rainbow

Will is learning his colors. It's going pretty well, and he definitely knows the difference between the colors. He will tell me that his cup is "geen" or ask for a pink fork at dinner. Sometimes he'll spend time with his toys or books pointing out the different colors that he sees (correctly).

But Will's most favorite, absolute ideal color is yellow. Or as he likes to say it, "Lell-o."Will wants EVERYTHING to be yellow and is undeterred when you tell him something is a different color. Anytime he sees a bus, he says "Bus. Lell-o bus." When I tell him "no, that bus is white," he might repeat after me and say "white," but will immediately follow with "Lell-o." He tells me things are yellow even when he's already named it correctly and I've made a big deal about him being right. The other morning, as I put on a purple fleece vest, Will looked at it and said "pur-ple". I praised him for getting it right, went on and on about how "YES, it is a purple vest", good job, etc. etc. As soon as I quit talking, Will looked right at me and said "Lell-o."

My thinking is that "lell-o" is just more fun to say than the other colors. So, if you have anything yellow lying around, send it our way. I'm always looking for opportunities where he can actually be right when he tells me it's "lell-o."