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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorable Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with the Grandparents McGarry here for a visit. Before they arrived on Friday evening, I got a visit from our friend Stomach Flu in the early hours of the day. Many phone calls later and John was home watching the Tornado Baby and the Grandparents were still on their way. We had a great visit - even though I wasn't feeling great (today is the first day I feel like eating again...and still not excited about it). Grandma and Grandpa were a H-U-G-E help in the basement and with watching William for us! They were also very understanding about my need to pass out on the couch for at least an hour for every hour I spent upright and avoid certain food smells to get through the day. Saturday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the graduation of the high school the kids I've taught in previous years. This year is the graduating class of the first eighth graders I taught during my first year. It was very emotional for me as well as fulfilling to see how successful [most ] they have become. On to some pictures of the progress:

THE OFFICE:
Changes to look for: there is flooring! and a door to the outside world!

Laying the underlayment for the flooring. PS My dad is now a laminate flooring expert if you need one!
More underlayment and William trying to help out Mama and Grandpa (that is my foot). William was NOT happy to have activity going on in our basement while he was corralled upstairs by Grandma. He thought he needed to be in the middle of everything!
We have a picture of William with Grandpa about every 1-2 hours. He just couldn't stand to not be a part of the project!

The [almost] finished room!

Another angle of [almost] finished room!

THE PLAYROOM:
Changes to look for: the circles are all painted, outlet covers are installed, doorway to the office and closet and FLOORING!
William opening and shutting the new door to the office. Note to self: must install the door bumpers soon - he isn't gentle at ALL!

THE BATHROOM:
Changes to look for: switches are wired, temporary light fixture installed, outlet covers installed, door put in, grout in tiles, beginning of tile in the shower, paint on the walls!
I am such a trooper! Laying floor tiles in the bathroom while thinking about throwing up.


The finished grouting project and door. Not pictured is the quarter size blister on the palm of my hand from putting in the grout.The start of the wall tile. It didn't get done and I'm disappointed. Although I'm excited about how it is looking so far!


Grandpa trying out our new Wii (here he is bowling).

William playing with Grandpa and Grandma's camera. I'm not sure, but I think he thought he could turn it on if he blew on it?
Trying to figure it out...






And we also turned 16 months old on Monday! Here is our 16 month old picture! While I was making dinner, William decided to cook up something good for himself: cars! He carried this pan around for a long time putting the cars in and taking them back out again.
Big boy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to Charm Thy Father

How to Charm Thy Father, A Users Guide

1. Go with him to Be$t Buy. This step alone buys you major points.

2. Upon entering the main isle, wiggle to be put down.

3. As soon as your feet hit the ground, make a beeline at top speed for the large screen TV display area disregarding all obstacles and other customers in the area.

4. Upon reaching the big screen TV area, stop and point at the biggest screen and laugh. Then,
do a little dance that involves bending your knees, waving your arms and shaking your behind. Laugh some more and clap.

5. Turn to find your daddy standing behind you. Point to the biggest screen and say "Oooooo".

6. Attempt to climb into one of the huge chairs parked in front of the big screen TV's.

7. After several minutes, give up on the climbing and just stand in front of the biggest of the big screen TVs with your mouth open.

8. Repeat dance from step 4 roughly every 30 seconds.

9. Ignore your parents laughing.

10. When removed physically from the Big Screen TV Area, use every opportunity to escape to go back and stare at the TVs.


The only way William could have possibly made John any happier is if he had somehow managed to produce cookies and milk in front of the big screens. I have a feeling I'm in for some long trips to Be$t Buy in the future.

Excuses

I want to thank John for the lovely Mother's Day post. It wouldn't have been as much fun if I would have had to write a post about how much I value myself -although I happen to think I'm pretty great. I enjoyed our Mother's Day celebrations very much - sometimes I feel like we get so busy with stuff that we don't make time just to enjoy each other. That is exactly what we were able to do together- and it was awesome. It wasn't at all how I pictured it would be, but it worked. However, this time of year always makes us a sad as there is a Mother who we weren't able to call and thank. There is a hole in our heart the shape and size of Grandma/Mom Heidt. Grandma Heidt's absence is always there, but the anniversary of her death shortly followed by Mother's Day makes it harder somehow. I'm struggling with finding the words to express what we feel and I'm coming up short - we sure do love and miss her. This year I also started think about how and what we are going to say to William. He is understanding more everyday and I want him to know her and what she was like. But, where to begin? What stories should we tell? What things are important for him to know? It is an awesome responsibility and one that will need more time and thought to get it right.

I know I've been avoiding writing anything because I felt like we somehow needed to acknowledge her role in making my Mother's Day possible (ummm, if it isn't obvious, she gave birth to my husband). And putting it into all into words that accurately describe how we are feeling is incredibly difficult.
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Enough! On to the baby that is working SO hard to become a big boy and other ramblings. William has made his preference know about where he eats his meals. He has spent a lot of time climbing up onto the chairs at the kitchen table and then having long conversations with myself and the cats from his perch on the chair. Over the past few days we've experimented with putting him at the table for meals in his booster with the hopes he would consume more non milk calories in the process. The verdict? Messier by 3924872938% exactly. Not necessarily more calories consumed, but he sure is proud of himself for being such a big boy.

Today we went to the library for a story time for kids aged 1-2. William sat quietly for about 3 minutes checking things out before deciding this wasn't his thing (sitting). He spent the rest of the 30 minute story time trying to escape from the room. After story time, he was in heaven as he chased around some older kids by the train table. Unfortunately he isn't as graceful or coordinated as them because as he was running after them screeching at the top of his lungs (picture me in hot pursuit whispering loudly "Stop! Running! This is a library! There is NO running in the library! And SHHHH!) he tripped and fell. Only, in his hand was a wooden train from the table. His head hit his hand with the train in it and left a huge red welt across his eye. Tonight it was already beginning to show signs of a bruise, so it is very possible that we will have our very first black eye. Wonderful.

I'm sure we'll be going back for another story time because I thought it was fun. However, I think I must have things to learn about 4-5 year olds. At the library, a group of four 4 and 5 year olds were running around the small children's area barking loudly like dogs much to William's delight (see above for more on that). I was not happy when William tried to join in and was even less happy when I noticed their parents were sitting quietly in the children's area reading books. Without saying a word. The other kids then went on to tell William many times he was not allowed to play with them, yelled at him for being in the children's area and even pushed him down when he tried to join their group. I was standing right behind him and they weren't worried at all. This whole time the parents sat reading less than 4 feet away and said nothing. Luckily William either didn't understand the meanness or didn't care if they were being mean. After the pushing, I felt it was time for us to go and we left and I found myself making promises about our kids and their future behavior. Please someone out there - reassure me that this is not typical behavior of the 4-5 set and their parents.

This weekend, I met a woman who lives up the street who has a 3 month old baby named William. Funny enough, her name is Kelly. Even more funny, her husband's name is not John. I'm already planning on sending the angry parents/police up to her house when our boys are teenagers. If something bad happened, I'm positive it was her kid :)

The coming weekend is Memorial Day. Did you know that? I didn't until last week on Thursday. I was assuming it was the last, last, last in May. So, I began to panic a little. John has a real day off and we don't have any plans! I started making phone calls - everybody already has plans - apparently they have calendars with holidays preprinted hanging in prominent locations around their home. Luckily Grandma Kim and Baba Kevin have decided they would love to travel and are scheduled to arrive on Friday evening. It will be wonderful to see them again and hopefully get a little work done as well as some relaxing family time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why we really needed a bath tonight - AKA Happy Mother's Day!

Today we have another guest blogger. Since this is the Mother's Day post, the mother decided someone else should take a crack at blogging. I hope to live up to her usual standard.

On Saturday, Kelly got up and took William with her out to some garage sales. I had gotten up even earlier and went in to work - so I wasn't being lazy and sleeping in.

Here is one of the finds Kelly got at the garage sale. The blue toy vacuum! William loves the vacuum cleaner. When we vacuum, he follows us around and it's actually quite difficult to dodge him while properly cleaning the floor. The little toy lawnmower on the right was a gift from our neighbor Amy. William likes to roll both the vacuum and the lawnmower around the floor. In the background is the cats' scratching post that William has discovered that the top spins off of it. Well, it no longer lays flat on it anymore.

Lounging with three of his favorite things (two at least for now, the blanket is a consistent favorite)

Last year we celebrated Mother's Day by driving back from Minnesota. Seven hours in a car driving through Iowa and Missouri was a fantastic way to celebrate Mother's Day last year. The photo above was taken when we got back home. Also you can see how William has changed over the year.

We hoped to have a better Mother's Day this year, but Mother Nature didn't really help out and gave us a dreary, and extremely windy day.

Here are some photos of William with a tree we got at Grandma Heidt's funeral. We took a picture of him in front of it last year as well. Why is Kelly wearing a coat and William is not? Daddy packed William's coat in the diaper bag and forgot to put it back on him after we left church on Sunday.


Both William and the tree have grown quite a bit! I think the tree has grown a bit more than William has, but William knows quite a few more tricks.
(You can see how windy it was.)


Kelly had wanted to go to the park or something to send time together outside for Mother's Day, but instead we had to compromise. We went out to a mall near here where they have an indoor playground. I dropped the ball and didn't take any pictures. But William had a blast, and Kelly got tired keeping him from getting trampled. After that and a small tantrum when we left the play area, we had Mother's Day dinner at Chevy's. We ordered our food and William had a bean and cheese burrito that came with french fries and ketchup. William learned that just about everything was better with a bit of ketchup on it. He dunked his fries, his burrito, a single bean that fell out of his burrito, and his fingers. Eventually, he had enough and you can see below how he decided to be more productive.


A ketchup shot. The neighboring people eating and the waitresses walking by got a kick out of him doing this.

On the drive back home the sun came out and we decided to take a few more photos of William and Grandma Heidt's tree. We also had to do a little lawn work since the strong wind actually bent over Grandma Heidt's lilac. You can see it in the photo below just above William's head.

William is disgusted about the tall grass that his daddy has left growing around the trunk of the tree. Actually, he thought it was pretty fun, but clearing out the grass around the tree is on my list.


After those photos we went around the side of the house and Kelly pulled up some weeds in some of the terraces. William, always the good helper, pulled out some dirt and piled it on the retaining wall stones.

After the ketchup incident and this, it was straight to the tub for William.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Very Special Kind of Party

On Thursday, we were invited to a very special party at the Harper's House: The Babies of the Eighth Grade Floor's First Birthday Party! Remember this? Well, it was time for a reunion! Not everyone could make it, but it sure was fun to see how everyone has grown!


Kids everywhere!
William is showing some interest in Judy's Star Wars collection. This has one of his parents very worried and the other very excited.
One of us is hoping that his interest is due to the fact that the robots danced and talked. The other is just very excited.

How do you get 4687535241 kids to look cute all at the same time? You don't! Here are some funny pictures we took of all the kids on the stairs.
Cheesy grins going on in the back row - I love Nathan's!
More cheesing!
Look out Reagan! William is going for the hair!
Some romance happening in that back row!
Emma puckers up!

And the required couch shot. Our babies have gone from this:



To this:

Last year we had a tough time getting William to keep his hands to himself, especially with the beautiful Reagan. This year was also an issue. Here he is leaning in...
And moments after stealing a kiss!*
Although, there is plenty of love to spread around, here he is after kissing on the super cute Charlie! We think it was his irresistible cheeks! Needless to say, most moms grabbed their babies off the couch after this incident!




**Please note! This is not the first time this week William has stolen kisses! We were hanging out with our friend Charlotte on Wednesday when he leaned in a gave her a very sweet kiss! I was so surprised! He won't give kisses to me or to John! He's holding out! So, William's first kiss will go down as occuring on 5/7/08!

It's Little Changes

I've been thinking a lot about how much William has changed in the last year and how much I write about him every day. Last year it seemed like I couldn't get in to blog it fast enough. The milestones and growth were just astonishing. His growth and development are still amazing, but now he is working on bigger things. These bigger things take longer and he works on them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until I think "ENOUGH already! I'm tired of spotting your fearless climbing of the kitchen chairs!" And then, all of a sudden he masters it. But, it seems silly to run to the internet and shout: "He can scale the kitchen chairs!"
And yet here it is: the first independent scaling of the kitchen chairs. Please note two of our children are sitting at the table. I am certain the kitchen table is next.


We are doing what feels like an extreme amount of no-no-ing and William has had several of the all out down on the floor tantrums as a result today alone. His vocabulary is growing and improving everyday. Last week he told John "Me milk, milk me". Which we believe means :give me my milk, please. We are hard at work identifying parts of the body (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, belly, toes, legs, arms, hands, feet, fingers, and knees) and I feel like we are close to knowing all of the list. We are also working on animals (dog, cat, cow, pig, lion, bears, duck, chicken, sheep, birds, snakes, monkeys, fish, and giraffes). Again, I think William knows all of them. Last night we were in the car when I handed him a book. "ow, ow, ow de deba..." is kind of what I hear. I turned to look at what book he had and it was: Row, Row, Row your boat. I think we sang that song close to 45638746874163521354 times in a row. Just because we were so excited about him learning that song. And because we totally rock it out when we all sing that one together.


Here are some pictures from last weekend to hold you over until I get the ones from a very special first birthday party we went to on Thursday.

I thought it would be fun to go to O'Fallon's heritage days last weekend. William very much enjoyed riding on the old style trolley.
Too bad it was freezing cold and windy! We enjoyed a little music and took 1/2 of the tour of the historic house before heading back home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

15 Month Appointment = Baby Jail

We had our 15 month appointment with the ped. all the way on last Monday. Tuesday through Saturday William ran a fever, was irritable, and wasn't eating very much. Saturday the fever was gone, but the coughing, gooey green nose and continued disinterest in eating came around. Its been a fun week people. We are finally seeing some improvement in the all around attitude and congestion. The eating has yet to see any improvement. What this all means is I have been living in the equivalent of baby jail for over a week. I haven't been to the Y, to church or to play dates because of our infectious mess of a son and it is starting to take a toll. I'm going a little stir crazy staying home and not seeing other people.


So, to sum up the appointment, everything looks good and is normal. 1 shot was given and William cried like a baby for several minutes afterward. His growth continues to be upward and his development is..."advanced" in the words of our pediatrician. She advised us that he does not need the baby toys any longer and we should be using toys and books appropriate for age 3+. I'm not sure how I feel about that....we'll have to see what we come up with. I wanted to tell her that we don't really have any control over what he plays with, etc. He really has a mind of his own...wonder where he got that from? The quick facts:

Height: 32.75 inches (up 1/4 of an inch from 3 months ago)
Weight: 26 lbs 3.5 oz (up 3 lbs 1 oz)
Head Circumference: 48.75 cm (up .75 cm)

Everything else looks either "great" or "totally normal". Remind me to tell you about the diaper and kiss incident tomorrow. Tonight I'm tired.