Kick, kick, kick!

For Christmas, Gramma and Grampa Billmeyer gave Walter a gift certificate for swimming lessons at Kittleson Swim School. Tonight was his first class. He's in "Little Dippers" – a class for kids 6-24 months old. 

Walter was pretty unsure of the water at first, and clung to me pretty tightly. He loosened up a bit once class started. I'm glad he has the opportunity to get used to the water while he's little. He was the only one in his class so we got very personal attention from the instructor. We sang songs, did some back floating, and bobbed in and out of the water. Every time the instructor said, "Kick, kick, kick!" his legs stayed perfectly still. Good thing there are nine more lessons! 

We'll try to remember our camera for next week's lesson. And, hopefully, we'll get a smile out of this kid while he's in the big pool!


Walking... with help

Here's a little video of how we've been spending our days. You'll see he has gotten better and faster. It's tough to keep up with this little guy! I'm starting to think he really isn't going to crawl.


The beginning of the end

After much discussion, debate, pro/con lists, etc., I have decided it's time to begin the weaning process. My goal was to nurse Walter for 6 months. We've made it that far and longer, and I think we are both ready for a little more independence. Especially now that he's getting more teeth. Ouch!

So today, Walter got his first taste of formula. Just a little mixed in with breast milk. He handled it fine, without any bad reactions. I'm sad, in a way. He's on his way to not needing me any more. I intend to make this process slow in order to make it easy on both of us. I'm guessing he'll deal with it far better than I will. But I'm ready for a little more freedom and ready to have my body back to normal – whatever that is. I just have to learn to let go a little. This is only one tiny step in watching my baby grow up. The bonding doesn't stop here and there are lots of rewarding moments to come.


An American celebration

Normally, I am not one to get caught up in politics, but today was an exception. Today, every employee of ETC was invited to take a break from work to watch the inauguration of President Obama. A large screen was set up in Town Square (our lobby) and TVs were placed in break rooms throughout the building. They made the event even more American by serving apple pie. Our company got lots of press coverage including an article in the Wisconsin State Journal, and two local news crews stopped by to film and interview employees. And this photo was posted on the New York Times' web site. 

I was happy to see that I was not the only one dabbing at my eyes during the broadcast. It's not just my crazy postpartum hormones this time!



Grandpa and Mary came for a visit this weekend - our final Christmas celebration of the season. Walter kept them busy walking around the house while Nate and I gave our backs a break and lounged on the couch. (Thanks!) Aunt Kristin, Uncle Jeremy and Kyla joined us also. Here are a couple photos from the weekend. (I'll spare you any photos of Nate's eye.) 

Walter trying to get his first taste of coffee.

Kyla teaching grandpa about princesses. 


On Friday night, Walter managed to poke Nate in the eye. After a terrible night of sleep, a trip to urgent care on Saturday morning told us that he had a tear on his cornea. And a trip to Target's optical center got Nate antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection and a contact lens to act as a barrier between his eye and eyelid. The contact provided lots of relief - a brilliant plan, since eye patches are apparently no longer used. Although, the patch would have been more fun, what with all the pirate jokes I happen to know. 

Today, Nate's eye seems to be almost back to normal and the pain mostly gone. I guess he'll have to get back to changing diapers. No more excuses!


A vegetarian in the family?

Ok, probably not. But Walter wasn't too excited about the introduction of meat. It was a lovely mixture of ground beef and squash, pureed to perfection. 
Who am I kidding? I wouldn't eat it either.


7 months

We hit the 7 month mark today. Walter celebrated by dropping our phone in Molly's water dish. It's amazing what can happen in the blink of an eye, even when you're standing right next to him. I guess we really better start thinking about childproofing this place.

Walter's vocabulary is increasing. He's constantly finding new sounds to make. And he's getting stronger by the minute. Each time he pushes up onto his hands and knees he can stay there a little longer. And he loves to "walk" around with Mama and Daddy. He's eating a wider variety of foods and is getting used to different textures of food. The first time he put a cheerio in his mouth he spit it out immediately and would not open up for another one. Now he likes them. He still spits them out, but only because he hasn't figured out how to keep them in his mouth.

Click here to see a few photos from the last month. I think these are my favorite ones yet.


Oh, my aching back

Walter just isn't happy lately unless he's got one of my fingers in each of his hands and is "walking" around the house. Which puts me in an awkward, half-bent-over position, also walking around the house. If only he were a little bit taller... 
The huge grin on his face makes it totally worth it.

I win!

Last night, Nate and I were betting on whether or not Walter would be able to push himself up onto his hands and knees by the end of the weekend. I thought yes – Nate thought no. We were still deciding on the stakes when Walter's little butt popped into the air. Ta-da! Hands and knees! I guess I just win bragging rights.


A stinky subject

Warning: The following post is all about poop.

You hear about the babies who are "explosive poopers" and all you can do is hope that yours won't be one of those babies. Well, we seem to have won the poop lottery. Maybe it's Walter's slim build that makes diapers not fit quite right. All I know is that he has pooped on more things than I ever imagined possible. He has overflowed diapers at home, in the mall, at the movies, at the new mom group I joined, in his Excersaucer (that one was a real pain to clean), just before leaving the house, just after leaving the house, and the list goes on and on. I think he has gotten poop on every pair of jeans I own. One day, he managed to poop his way through three outfits (his and mine) all before 10am. And you can't forget the time I handed him to Grandma Billmeyer, warning her that he hadn't pooped all day. Almost immediately, as if on cue, the poop started raining out of his diaper and onto the floor.

Then we started him on solid food, and things got better. Everything firmed up, so to speak, and things started to stay put. I thought that would be the end of the mess. The last of the two to three daily outfit changes. The end of the pile of clothes in the laundry room, soaking in OxyClean. But today, Nate called me at work to ask, "How do you get his shirt off without getting poop on his head?"

All you can do is laugh. And then put him in the bathtub, of course.



My mom teased me about taking a picture of bread, but if something this yummy looking came out of your oven, wouldn't you want to capture it on film? (Or digital media, if you want to get technical...) 

Back to the routine

The family is gone and the house is quiet. I guess Christmas is finally over. It was nice to have a house full of people. There were so many Walter-watchers around that I got a chance to cook a few meals, Nate got to play some video games and we even got out to a movie. Here are a few photos from the last few days.

Kyla delivering presents.


Hanging out with Aunt Kristin and cousin to be named later. (His temporary name is Ralphie, apparently.)