Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey Grandma!

Photobucket

Behind the scenes:

Photobucket

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Doggy Drama

Will is quickly becoming a very grabby boy. I know this is not unique baby behavior, but I find it amusing all the same. Whatever is in my hand, Will feels entitled to. Glasses (both drinking and sun), spoons, camera, remote, phone, keys, books, Chapstick... he's always reaching. And always grabbing.

Photobucket


Yesterday afternoon we took Ellie for a walk (Will insists on holding the leash) and got the mail. After, I carried Will to the kitchen and put him in the highchair for his 'dinnertime.' It felt pretty stuffy in the house, so I tossed the mail on the table and opened the sliding glass door for some fresh air. Only, on my way to the door, I stepped in a puddle. A puddle? Oh, a puddle. It was a not-so-nice present left by a certain dog that will remain nameless. There was some yelling (and some cursing). I can only assume she did it on her way to Will's room after he woke up from his nap; undoubtedly following me, but making a little stop along the way. The nameless dog is seriously pushing her luck.
After some unplanned cleaning, I returned to this...


Photobucket

Mail on the floor and mail (in the form of soggy, ripped up coupons) in Will's mouth. Will helped himself to what was left on the table. I should've known better, but I blame the dog.

Chewie must've sensed my anger over the situation, because, after Will's dinner, we walked into the living room and saw this...

Photobucket

Photobucket


It appears that Chewie took it upon himself to punish The Dog by putting her in the corner. I think he even made this poster:

Photobucket

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seven Months

For dinner tonight, I made Mike an already prepared meal that you heat in a skillet. Mike loves skillet meals. Loves, loves, loves. I don't know why. I think they're gross. None the less, whenever I make one, he gets crazy excited about the whole thing. Tonight he decided to break out his "fancy" World Market beer for the occasion. While drinking his "fancy" beer, he kept saying how "awesome" it was that it tasted like the batch he recently brewed. I guess it was "awesome" for Mike to confirm that the beer he makes tastes like, I don't know.... REAL beer? After about the tenth "awesome," I had to tell him, You know what's really awesome? Seven months ago today my body was sliced open and a human being was pulled out. Now that's AWESOME. I win.

Today Will is seven months old. Seven. And I was just beginning to get used to six. Just wow. Sometimes I look at him and still can't believe he's mine. Oh goodness; how I love him so. Love, love, love. Today, a trip to Target was made, fun was had, laughter took place, and of course, pictures were taken.

Photobucket

And I conclude this post with a video because, until tonight, I had no idea that getting hit in the face with your own pants could be so much F-U-N.

video

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flowers and a Lunch

Before the rain of this weekend settled over us, I was able to share one of my favorite spring activities with Will: planting flowers. Someday I will be an excellent gardener, but for now, since I'm hardly Martha Stewart, I stick with the easy plants. Will and I picked out some purple petunias and got to work.

Photobucket

It was a family affair as Ellie insisted on being included; staying inside was just not an option, so I tied her to our lamp post. When the neighbor's 5 year old came over to say hello, I thought she could've died and gone to doggy heaven. Made her day.

Photobucket

When all was sufficiently planted and the mulch spread, Will was required to participate in his mandatory photo op. At one point he showed such interest, he leaned forward and pulled two of the freshly planted flowers out with a simple motion of his arm. He was covered in dirt so, needless to say, our gardening session ended with tubby time for Will.

Photobucket

On Saturday, Will and I braved the dark clouds and their threats of rain to have a lunch date with friends.

Photobucket

As a new mommy, I must say, one of my favorite things is seeing others love on my son and enjoy him nearly as much as I do. The ladies were loving him.

Photobucket

And I'm pretty sure, Will was loving the ladies right back.

Photobucket

No offense to Will, but meeting the girls for lunch is a much harder feat with a baby in tow. Our conversations tend to flow at an exhausting pace, jumping from subject to subject as we attempt to fit in all the required gossip as well as the 'what's new with your life' essentials. I couldn't even begin to focus on it all. Wait - what? Oh, pleated skirt on Facebook, you say? Even though we're all busy doing different things with our adult lives, I have an awesomely amazing time whenever we get together.

Photobucket

After just a couple of hours, Will told me in no uncertain terms it was time to go. He was sleepy, and our outing was forced to come to an abrupt end. While two hours may seem sufficiently long enough, much to the dismay of various servers anxious to turn over our table, it's not. Two hours in, and we're just getting started. It's no fun being the first to leave the party, and I suspect that Will is going to sit our next lunch date out.

No worries, though. I'll leave him with his daddy. And, not to change the subject, but have I mentioned just how much Will loves his daddy? Well, he does. Lots.

Photobucket

And so do I.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sweet Feet

And practice makes perfect....
Will continues to be an excellent foot grabber!

Photobucket

And on the subject of feet, I'm absolutely loving Will's sweet little toes. Hidden all winter long by socks that were nearly impossible to keep on, it is finally warm enough for baby feet to come out and play. I cannot get enough of them.

Photobucket

Will, and his feet, have a lunch date with Mommy and her friends this weekend. We're excited!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What is fun?

With a 6 month old in the house, fun is to be had all day long. Will is quickly becoming a charming little man full of intense personality. He's also quite easy to entertain. A funny face or simply saying, "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle," is enough to send Will into hysterics. Does it get any better than this? Here are some things that Will thinks are really fun.

Tummy time is fun! But only in short intervals. It's even better when Mommy gives you the phone to play with.

Photobucket

Feet are fun!

Photobucket

Yesterday Will had his second session of physical therapy. I must admit, I haven't been diligent with neck stretches, so imagine my surprise when Shelly said he's made very good progress in the few times she'd seen him. I wanted to remind her that, in fact, this is only the second time she'd seen him, but it seemed a rather obnoxious thing to do; so I silently celebrated the growth and success he's made in just a week's time. Hooray for good progress! Shelly seems to think Will is more advanced than his adjusted age (when adjusted for his due date of Nov. 18, he's 5 months old), but his development isn't quite what's expected of a 6 (almost 7) month old. He falls somewhere in between, but she suspects he'll walk 'on time.' I'm in no rush for him to become mobile.

Our homework for the week is to encourage Will to reach for his feet, which will help to strengthen his stomach muscles (particularly the obliques). We got to work right away.

Reaching!!
Photobucket
Eating is fun!
My little 4 pounder who couldn't leave the hospital until he learned how to eat is now quite the chowhound. Will is trying all kinds of new foods - and he seems to like them all.
Photobucket
Evading naptime is fun! The video speaks for itself.

video

Screaming like a pterodactyl is fun! Will's new trick, which he practices quite often.
video

Looking cute is fun! A skill Will mastered at birth (and probably even before that).

Photobucket

Dear Will,

Mommy's definition of fun is spending every day with you. And taking lots of pictures, which I think I'm getting better at. If practice makes perfect, I suspect I'll achieve perfection any day now. You make me want to be a better mommy. And a better blogger.

Love, Mom

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Young and the Curious

I suppose Will is your typical 6 month old. He loves his dad, makes a mess when he eats, essentially refuses to nap (really, Will, what can I do with 30 minutes?), and continues to assert his preferences at an alarming rate. Will is very clear on the fact that he'd rather stand than sit, dislikes tummy time, and I'm no longer allowed to have a glass of water without offering him some. I find his ever-evolving personality to be completely fascinating. Something that absolutely impresses me is his ability to focus. When introduced to new toys, or even toys he sees everyday, he studies them. He touches them. He puts them in his mouth. He becomes completely oblivious of my attempts to interact with him. He's completely focused.

Yesterday we brought Will for a visit with his grandma. Will is very lucky to have a grandma that bakes. On the menu: apple pie. As she was slicing apples, I remembered I had his mesh feeder in the diaper bag for such an occasion. For those that have no idea to what I am referring, it's essentially a little net sack with a handle. You can put a variety of foods in it, clip it shut, and Baby can chew and suck without the risk of choking. Will is still getting the hang of it. We decided to try it out with some fresh apple slices.

Studying it a bit...

Photobucket
I think Will likes apples.

Photobucket

Something that always gets Will's attention, though, is the camera. I'm sure it's a sign that I take too many pictures. No matter how involved with a toy he is, heck, even if the boy is crying his eyes out, he almost always stops to look at the camera.

Will,

Life is so full of excitement.... whether it's your first sip and swallow from a 'real' glass or your first taste of a fresh apple. I'm very grateful to experience all your firsts and re-learn the world along with you. I think you're a genius.

Love, Mom

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mornings

Every morning while I'm 30 day shredding, I put Will in his jumper so he can watch. Today he decided to have a workout of his own.

video

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 14th

Yesterday was April 14th, a seemingly ordinary day, yet one that has recently taken on new significance. It was one year ago that I laid eyes on my sweet William for the first time. I remember feeling sooooo excited, and at the same time, sooooo scared. Seeing that little flicker of a heartbeat, knowing that I was in fact pregnant with a live human baby (albeit, one that slightly resembled a gummy bear), is a moment I will never forget. The relief that overtook me, combined with an intense exhilaration, is beyond words. It was a magical experience. Is it possible for it to be as magical with your second? I'm highly doubtful. Being pregnant with Will was like a roller coaster ride that stalled out at the top of the biggest hill, right before the grand finale. And yet, it was not without its exciting moments; our first ultrasound at the top of the list.

I find myself feeling so wishy-washy as we approach these anniversaries of 'firsts,' all in preparation for one of the biggest firsts: the FIRST birthday. Will is growing way too fast for my taste. Which reminds me... I have a note to write:
Dear Time,
Please stop taking my baby away from me.
Sincerely,
Carrie Harmsen
I look back at pictures and videos from those early months and often see myself holding Will up so he was standing with straight, little legs; I was so obviously impressed with the young boy's ability. I want to go back and smack that girl. I want to tell her, Stop trying to make him a big boy! I regret all those times I put him in his swing to nap. Why didn't I just hold him? I'm trying to make up for it now. I'm trying to soak it all in and enjoy his sweet babyness for as long as he'll possibly let me. I make sure I rock him before every nap and bedtime sleep because I know Will might soon tell me, I've had enough of this, Mom, like he started to last month. Thankfully, that was short lived. I know the rule is to rock him until he's drowsy and put him in his crib AWAKE, but lately I find myself rocking until long after he's gone. Sometimes we sit in Mike's chair to eat, and when Will falls asleep in my arms, I just let him nap right where he is. The baby sleep experts would have a fit over me; tell me I'm doing it all wrong and it's no wonder he's not sleeping through the night. As impossible as it may seem, I'm attempting to parent in a way that will lead to the least amount of regret.

Will happily posed for some pictures to commemorate our special day.

One year ago, Will was 5 cm long.


I love you, Gummy Bear!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Will is a pain in the neck! I mean, HAS.

Every Tuesday at 8 AM, Will has a standing appointment with a physical therapist. After last week's evaluation, today was our first official day. The term physical therapy may sound scary, but in Will's case, it's really not. Will was recently discovered to have some tightening in the muscles of his neck. I suppose in his great hurry to exert the 'excellent head control' noted by his doctor at his 2 month visit, he never really bothered to let those muscles fully develop. Rather, he brings his shoulders up to help hold his head. I imagine such a description forms quite an odd image in your head, but please consider the numerous pictures I shove down your throat. Have you ever before noticed his shoulders up to his eyeballs? That's because it's really not as bad as it sounds. I stare at Will all day every day and never even noticed. His therapist, Shelly, describes his case as 'mild' and doesn't expect to see him for very long. While I hate to think of him as having problems, as we sit in the waiting room with children in wheel chairs, I count my blessings that this, along with getting Will to sleep through the night, is our biggest one. For now, anyway.

To assist in Will's neck getting stronger, I was sent home with some papers showing different exercises to try. Will is not shy about letting me know when he doesn't want to do something, so the process will be interesting to say the least. I'm also considering taking him for some massage therapy. I think I hear my grandfather muttering something about yuppies and their wimpy kids from the grave.

The main thing we can do at home is TUMMY TIME! While he tolerates it much better than he used to, being on his tummy is not Will's favorite thing. He'd much rather play in his jumperoo, thankyouverymuch. However, the therapist said allowing Will to stand is not going to help the matter (and yes, Will is standing in his jumperoo as I type this - I can't cut him off cold turkey!), so I need to toughen up and enforce tummy time as much as I possibly can. After his afternoon nap, I put Will on his tummy to play.

He may not have been happy about it...

...but he lasted a full 20 minutes. Amazing!


And eventually, we had lift off.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Week in the Life

I've had a difficult time posting lately. I believe this is, in part, due to a lack of motivation. The weather is warmer and we've been spending more time running previously avoided errands, as well as having play time outside. The second, and probably main reason for my infrequent posting, is my mushy brain. I became familiar with the concept of 'mommy brain' years ago during a magazine interview with Gwenyth Paltrow who said she found herself to be more forgetful since having her daughter. I'm not sure if all mothers experience mommy brain, but I certainly have. Since Will's been here, I find myself forgetting the spelling of even simple words, forgetting doctor's appointments (2 so far), forgetting to pay bills (thankfully the mortgage isn't late until after the 11th of the month, unfortunately that's not true for the cable), arriving at the grocery store only to discover that I've left my wallet at home... Perhaps this is due to my current lack of employment (and believe me, that's not a complaint). I'm seriously lacking forms of intellectual stimulation and spent all winter cooped up in the house with the TV on. Sadly, I fear it's all affecting my ability to write as I often find myself struggling for the correct words. You must forgive me if my posts are boring or difficult to read. I'm working on it.

I thought I'd include little tidbits of how we spent the days of our week (with the exception of Monday since I already posted).

On Tuesday we went to Kohl's to get Will some summer clothes. I bought him some things from Old Navy weeks ago, but they only had size 6-12 months. Everything is still a little big, and with it being so warm, he needed some clothes that actually fit. That afternoon we played, and Will did his best sitting ever!


On Wednesday our neighbor Lindsay came over to play. She is our go-to girl for cat sitting and is so incredibly sweet! She was on spring break this week and wanted to have a visit with Will. She brought him an octopus toy that he had fun playing with. Chewie and Ellie were a little sad about having to share her, but they positioned themselves close by to keep watch.


On Thursday we went to visit Will's grandma and have dinner at her house. Will was a little cranky and ready for bed, so sadly, our visit was rather short.

On Friday, today, we spent the day hanging out at home. Will took two AMAZING naps. I found myself checking on him multiple times because it was so uncharacteristic. Will is now officially a tummy sleeper and has been since he began rolling over 3 weeks ago. For the first time today, I caught him sleeping with his legs tucked under him and his little bum up in the air. It was so stinking cute! Will was waking up, but kindly stayed in the position long enough for me to take a picture.

Will waking up from his naps is easily one of my favorite things ever. He is so smiley and chatty. I finally had the camera handy so I could catch one of his conversations on video. He didn't smile, but had plenty to say.

video

We're looking forward to a great weekend! The weather is supposed to be fabulous and we have Daddy home with us for a full 2 days. Can't beat that!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Almost summer?

Has it been a week since my last post??? Just about. We've been far too busy enjoying our warm spring weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be 90 degrees!! We had a fun weekend with Daddy (Will's, not mine). On Saturday we took Will to a park on the Potomac River for a picnic and a stroll. Of course, Will awoke on Sunday morning to a basket from the Easter bunny. He was gifted with a shopping cart/restaurant high-chair cover, lullaby CD, sippy cup, toy, and mirror for car rides. No pictures, I'm afraid, as I spent the last week without my camera, having forgotten it at my mom's the weekend before. It felt like part of me was missing.


Will was in a postively wonderful mood today. We went to the grocery store in the morning and played for a bit after we got home. Will took a 4 hour(!!!!) nap this afternoon, allowing me to watch The Young and the Restless and enjoy some lunch in peace. I even had time to do my least favorite spring chore: switching out the fall clothes and replacing them with summer wear.


Will's high spirits continued well into the evening, which was was awesome since Mike was rather late getting home. We grilled some hotdogs and had potato salad for dinner, which we enjoyed on a blanket spread out in the back yard with Will happily playing in between us. Ah-mazing.