October 29, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Forty-Eight

Could he be cheesing any bigger??

Oh my goodness, this child totally amazes me. Every night, Paul and I sit here and laugh and talk about all the funny things he's done that day. We just can't believe how big and smart he's gotten lately. He turned 11 months on Wednesday and he is all over the place and constantly talking our ears off. This house seems to be getting too small for him by the day. I've now made his closet, our bathroom, and the dogs' room off limits to him because there's just too much for him to get into in those spaces. But his room is sooo not interesting to him anymore so he is constantly looking for new stuff to get into. I can't open the refrigerator without hearing him racing over to get to it before I close it so he can check out everything in it. I have to open it and quickly grab whatever I need before he gets to it or I have to literally pry his fingers off the door in order to close it. The boy has a kung-fu grip, I'm telling you! And for some reason, things being where they are supposed to be goes against everything he believes in. He wants everything out on the floor where he can see and inspect it at all times. Top on Paul's to-do list this weekend is finish putting latches on the rest of the kitchen cabinets. I wonder why...
In fact, ever since we got back to San Diego, the baby-proofing we had done before just no longer cuts it. We're having to rethink and redecorate for a baby who is a month smarter, taller, and more curious. It's been an interesting and exhausting couple of weeks around here. 

A few of his new favorite things to do are:
  • follow me around the house and pull up on my legs whenever I stop moving, then either cling to my legs or force me to walk him around 
  • flush toilets
  • unroll an entire toilet paper roll in 2.5 seconds (so now we can't even keep the rolls on the holders, we're high-class around here)
  • test his own strength by trying to pick up things or move things -- he will pull his pack n' play around by the legs -- and if something is too heavy he strains and grunts like a bodybuilder. It's so funny to watch. 
  • not just dig in cabinets anymore but climb into them and pull every last thing out
  • push the coffee table around the room
  • pull on the strings of the guitar and ukulele
  • stalk the dogs
  • constantly look for new things to mess with
One of Wilder's more endearing new favorite things to do is read books. It's almost scary how obsessed this child is with books. I think it all started when Paul, in an attempt to deter him from pulling all the books off his shelves during playtimes, made a rule that each book he pulled off he had to sit in Paul's lap and have it read to him. Paul told me he was doing this so I started doing it too. At first Wilder would give up after 3 or 4 books and move onto another activity, but then I think he discovered that he liked being read to so now that's pretty much all our playtimes consist of and even when I'm busy doing other stuff he will sit on his floor and flip through book after book. It is the most adorable thing I've ever seen and I hope it's not just a phase.
Wilder has gotten sooo smart and I know all the reading we've been doing has a lot to do with it. He can recognize different animals and knows other words like airplane, tractor, light, and ball. When he points to something and I say the word for it he gets so excited because he knew what I was going to say. I'm still working with him on pointing with his finger to things when I ask Where's the cow? etc. but he will look at the thing I've asked about when I ask where it is. He has been "talking" so much too. He babbles all day long and also tries to mimic some of the things we say. When we say vroom vroom for a motorcycle or car he says voovoo. Here's a short little clip I got of him babbling a little. He's so hard to catch on video these days because he's rarely sitting still.
This may be the most exhausting age so far but it's definitely my favorite age so far too. I love watching him discovering new things and new abilities. He is so happy and fun to make laugh. When he gets excited his whole body bounces and rocks back and forth like he just can't contain himself. He totally cracks us up all day. Here is a funny video Paul took of him tonight. He was in the pack n' play while I got his dinner ready and he decided to entertain himself (and us) with a game of peekaboo.
For all of you keeping up with our Halloween costume saga, I did end up making a fringed Davy Crockett vest for Wilder and I have to say it turned out much better than I expected it to so that's what we ended up going with as his costume. The Eeyore costume was adorable but I decided if I had a perfectly good costume that cost $7 to make it would be prudent of me to just go ahead and send back the $28 costume. Maybe we'll do Eeyore another year because it sure was cute...
But I doubt we would have won "Best Costume" at the Halloween party last weekend (which we did!) if we didn't go as the most adorable Davy Crockett there ever was. So crazy, considering I spent all of one hour making his costume. All I can think is Wilder's overwhelming cuteness must have blinded the judges to my total lack of sewing abilities. ;) 
 Wilder had fun with his cute 
little buddy, Lexi the Ladybug
 My little mountain man and me
 Us with our friends, Rachel and Lexi
 Wilder got a dog balloon animal and
was determined to pop it in his face...
 Hence the pacifier
On Wednesday we went with Rachel and Lexi to the Pumpkin Station pumpkin patch in Mission Valley. There were TONS of pumpkins...
A petting zoo...
A tiny train...
That was definitely not meant for 
anyone over three feet tall to
ride but we did anyway...
And an awesome inflatable slide 
that even the babies could go down...
But we weren't allowed to go down 
together so I had to send Wilder down 
on his own. He wasn't too sure about it at 
first but when he got to the bottom 
he had the hugest grin on his face. 
We went down it over and over and 
I'm pretty sure that slide was the 
highlight of Wilder's life so far :)
I love my little pumpkin :)
Paul has been busier with school this quarter than we thought he would be because in addition to thesis work the school sprung another studio class on them, ugh! But he took off tonight to take Wilder on a Halloween spin in the wagon around our neighborhood. 
I've been birthday party planning in full force this week. I'm so afraid that we won't have many people there because of the holiday weekend, but I just can't think about that right now. I want to make it a cute, memorable party for Wilder not for whoever might be there. I've gotten about half of the invitations made and sent out, some really cute favors ordered, and other ideas in the process of being executed. It's coming together slowly but surely and I'm getting really excited about it. I'll do a post after the party with all the details and hopefully better pictures but here is a sneak peak of the invitations -- paper airplanes that you unfold for the party info mailed in airmail envelopes...
I made some meatballs for Wilder tonight from a recipe my cousin Amber gave me and he gobbled them up. I'll post the recipe for a Mid-Week Minute. They're super easy, delicious, and healthy. Alright folks, that's it for this week. Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

October 22, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Forty-Seven

It was really hard leaving after a month in Tennessee, but it had to be done. We said goodbye to my brother and Lauren on Sunday (after one last spin on the four-wheeler of course)...
spent Monday wrapping up some last minute errands while Paul's grandparents kept Wilder for me...
and then my mom and grandmother drove us to the airport on Tuesday... 
I know it was so hard for my mom to let us go but she'll be coming out here for Wilder's birthday next month and then we'll be home for Christmas (for the first time in four Christmases) so that's giving us stuff to look forward to. 

We made it back to San Diego Tuesday night after a looong day of traveling. I love flying Southwest but it makes a tough travel day even more grueling to have to drive two hours to Nashville before the 5+ hour flight. (Hint, hint, Southwest... please start flying out of Memphis!) Even though the day was exhausting, it really couldn't have gone any better. Wilder was an angel on both flights and slept for a good portion of them. The rest of the time it was pretty easy to entertain him. I've gotten better at knowing how to keep him occupied and happy and, I'll tell you what, that's worth all the tea in China when you're flying with a baby. It makes me so proud when we are waiting to deboard and the passengers around us tell me what a good baby he is. He really is. I don't know how Paul and I got so lucky. 

We had a 2-hour layover in Houston and I don't think I realized how long it was when I booked the flight or I probably wouldn't have done that... But I'm actually glad it worked out that way because it gave me enough time to feed Wilder and let him burn off some energy in the terminal before getting back on a plane. He was not feeling the impromptu photo shoot I was staging while he was eating though...
Enough with the pictures, Mama!
 I'm serious, lady, you're pushing it.
 I'm talking to YOU!
 But in the end, he can't help but
smile. It all goes back to that
entertaining I've been learning to do.
By the way, I think every airport should have a play area like Nashville does -- that's a super nice amenity and makes flights with children more bearable for everyone involved. Houston didn't have one so we made do with circling the bank of seats in Terminal 41 with Wilder walking behind the stroller and "pushing" it, watching the planes take off and land, playing with someone else's Elmo doll, and befriending everyone who came into our immediate vicinity.
He had to stop and stare at the
person sitting at the end of each
row of seats we passed until they
looked at him and then he would
grin at them and move on. 
He was totally cracking me up.
He loved watching all the 
goings-on of the airport
This little boy was a little ca-raazy...
but also sweet.
This girl gave Wilder her baby 
brother's Elmo doll to play with.
I don't know how much baby brother
appreciated that but I sure did.
Wilder loved this nice lady's suitcase.
He may have stalked her a little bit.
Also, yes, observant readers, we did have an outfit change between lunch and playtime. Let's please not go into why. I'm trying to purge that experience from my memory bank at this time. So, I'll remind myself of how sweet he is...
 And cute...
(Super excited about sitting
in the seat by himself, haha)
This is why I love flying into San Diego. You see farmland, then mountains, then desert, and then the ocean all within like 15 minutes. 
We were sooo happy to see Paul and the dogs when we got here. The rest of the week has mostly been spent trying to adjust to the time difference (which hasn't been going super well), getting back into our routine, cleaning (Paul vacuumed before picking me up at the airport but otherwise had it pretty bachelor-padded out up in here), unpacking (how did I go with one suitcase and come back with two?), handling some errands/to-do's that have built up over the last month (1), scrapping my original plan for Wilder's Halloween costume and scrambling to come up with something else (2), and beginning to get stuff ready for his first birthday party (3). 

(1) One errand was picking up these prints. Paul and I had ordered these back in August using a Groupon for a framing business in Pacific Beach. It's nine of my Instagram pictures adhered onto board backings (I can't think what the process is called). Anyway, I picked them up today and I'm pretty excited about them. Can't wait to get them on the wall, although I'm sure they'll be a pain (for Paul) to hang. ;)
(P.S. You know it's going to be a lengthy, probably overly descriptive post when I start adding footnotes. I can't help it, Paul has been gone since Thursday on a hunting trip with his dad and a friend from San Diego that they've had planned for a year so I haven't had much adult conversation the last few days. That's OK, that's what blogs, particularly mom blogs, are for, right? Right? Hellooo, is anyone still reading this?? Moving on...)

(2) I had bought Wilder an Eeyore costume for Halloween. It was sooo cute!
But then someone informed me that Eeyore is a girl (even though she's blue) and Piglet is a boy (even though he's pink). That makes total sense, don't you think? Anyway, I had decided to just go with it though because who really knows that little piece of Winnie the Pooh trivia? But then I got the costume in the mail and discovered that maybe I'm just not as up on my Winnie the Pooh trivia as I should be because Eeyore was very obviously a girl... she had a hot pink bow on her tail! I suppose I could have cut the bow off but I didn't want to chance scarring Wilder for life when he found out I dressed him as a girl for his first Halloween so I went to Plan B, which is Davy Crockett since we already have the coonskin cap and all. 
I have everything for that costume except a suede fringed jacket or vest so, naturally, because I'm an expert seamstress, I decided to make one. Wilder and I went to JoAnn Fabrics last night to get materials for the vest and apparently I had blocked out my experience from last year with the week-before-Halloween-fabric-store-insanity because I totally took a number like a dummy and sat there with a baby for over an hour waiting to get half a yard of fabric cut. 

Wilder was a trooper though and there was another mom (sans baby) in line with me so we passed the time comparing notes. She asked where I learned to sew and I told her I didn't really know how but that luckily the costume called for a certain level of "ruggedness" which I thought I could pull off perfectly with my inferior sewing capabilities. Then she asked where I found a pattern for the vest and I told her to refer to my answer to the previous question. Not really... I think I mumbled something about just winging it. So, we'll see how that goes. Don't expect too much out of this costume, readers. 

We're going to a little Halloween party tomorrow at the children's boutique in South Park where we took Wilder to see the Easter Bunny so I should probably try to wrap up this post and move on to the "sewing" of that "vest" but I'm having too much fun telling you alll about our week right now. Aren't you glad I'm so thorough in documenting the details my fascinating life? Hello? OK, moving on...

(3) I started thinking about Wilder's first birthday party a few months ago. It started out with a dog theme, then changed to a sailboat theme, and now in the last couple of weeks I changed it to something that is much more meaningful to us -- airplanes. My dad was a pilot and I wanted to somehow include him in the party even though he won't be there. Also Wilder loves airplanes anyway. Whenever he hears one, even if we're inside, he looks up and points. I've always said airplane to him when we see one but now I've started saying Yep, there's an airplane. Granddaddy's flying by to say 'Hi' to you, let's wave to him. I figure that's one way I can keep my dad in Wilder's life and let him be a part of his childhood. 

Speaking of my dad saying Hi... I've been thinking about and missing him a lot today. This morning I remembered a recordable book that my parents had done for Wilder so we sat on his floor and listened to it a couple of times and I just sobbed. Now that I'm back to my normal life, I think it's finally starting to really sink in that I'll never get another call, email, or hug from my dad. It's been an especially rough day today, but I kid you not, on the way home from errands this afternoon I was stopped at a redlight and I looked up to see a single red balloon floating up to the sky. I watched it until it disappeared. I have no idea where it came from but I knew it was meant just for me. My dad's not here, but he's definitely not gone from my life. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. 

So, party theme... check. But, after being out of town for the last month, I'm a lot farther behind on executing everything I need to do for this party than I'm comfortable with. It just can't be helped and I know I'll get it all done but I hate a time crunch. Wilder and I went to the craft store yesterday to get some supplies and today we went and scoped out a possible location for the party. Hopefully I can get a location nailed down and invitations made and sent out soon. Paul thinks it's silly how much work I'm planning on putting into this party but the first one's special and I want it to be the best I can make it. I know you fellow moms understand.

OK, let's see, what else have we been doing this week?

Wilder has been enjoying rediscovering his toys he hasn't seen since the middle of September. Babies change and grow so fast, it makes me wonder how much he remembers of our life here in San Diego after being away for a month. He definitely didn't forget his love of pulling all the books off his bookshelf...
Or his love for his best friends...
Who still, thankfully, tolerate him just as nicely as they always have... (That child is whacking poor Rider with a drumstick, which had to be promptly taken away from him.)
Wilder has obviously gotten taller over the last month because now, to his delight, he can reach into his toy basket and pull out anything he wants...
We've gone for several wagon rides... It's not a cool old, rusty red wagon but it'll do.
And have even taken the wagon to the dog park a couple of times because Wilder is now in a transition phase where he's too big to carry in the Baby Bjorn but he's not yet walking on his own...
He couldn't be happier about said transition phase... He even picked up a chick in his wagon the other day. A little 19-month-old girl insisted on riding in it with him so her mom and I took turns pulling them around the park together. Wilder was loving it.
In case I wasn't sure if I was actually back in California, I was clearly reminded the other day when I was driving down the street and looked over to see a tortoise walking nonchalantly (as tortoises do, you know) down the sidewalk...
I was a little worried that after having so many people around him at all times in Tennessee, Wilder would have forgotten how to entertain himself. But twice in the last two days I've peeked in his room when it got too quiet to find him sitting on the floor flipping through a book all by himself. Oh, child of mine, how I love you.
Well, I suppose that can finally be the end of this week's post. If you've made it this far, thank you for hanging in there with me. Paul will be back in a couple of days so I can return to bombarding him with all of my questions/comments/concerns instead of dumping them all on you again next week. He looks like he's having fun getting out of husband duties for now though, doesn't he? :)
Alright, hope everyone has a good week!

UPDATE: After a little Google research, many credible sources are telling me that Eeyore is in fact a boy! I don't know why I didn't look it up when someone told me otherwise in the first place. But that's neither here nor there. Now at least we'll have a backup if the Davy Crockett vest turns out a little too "rugged" but after standing in line so long for fabric I feel like I still have to at least try.