Niklas used to love these.

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  • 2006-11-01: Niklas celebrated Halloween yesterday by watching me eat a bunch of candy. Fun for him, I'm sure. He also watched Scream with Andrya and me. He's quite the tough guy, as the movie didn't scare him at all. Briefly, he wore the traditional Samhain cowl of the Celts:

    I've archived all of the October news. You can find it here.

    2006-11-03: We're working on getting Niklas onto a sleep schedule. For the first seven weeks of his life, he's been eating, sleeping and pooping pretty much whenever he wants. He's been living the dream (my dream, actually, if you add a bit more hockey), but not anymore. So far he's doing pretty well, but he is opposed to the idea of a 7:00 bedtime. I can understand that, what with all the good TV shows on after 7:00. I guess he'll have to learn to use the TiVo.

    Today, Niklas's favorite song is "Who Are You" by the Who. Particularly, he's a fan of the line "I spit out like a sewer hole". Replace one of the letters in "spit" and you'll have a good idea of the display Niklas put on at lunch today. I'm pretty sure he set new records for volume and velocity.

    2006-11-05: The whole sleep schedule thing has been derailed by painful, painful gas. Niklas's efforts to expel the gas by screaming have sadly proved to be unsuccessful. However, he's not one to give up and he has stuck with this strategy. On the plus side, I'm currently shopping a demo of his screaming to various metal bands, alarm companies and sonar manufacturing concerns.

    We managed to take a few new pictures of him during his five or so minutes of calm today. Check them out here.

    2006-11-06: Niklas seems to have exhausted himself after his two day screaming binge. He's been sleeping most of the day, though he's been careful not to miss a meal or an opportunity to make a mess. His preferred medium today has been his own pee.

    Yesterday, Niklas used up the last of his size 1 diapers. His little sumo legs were getting to be too much for the puny size 1 velcro straps. He's moved on to size 2, which means he weighs about 12 pounds. We confirmed this via math and a scale of questionable accuracy. His next doctor's appointment is a week from Friday, so we'll get a more accurate measurement then.

    2006-11-09: There's been a bit of delay in the site updates (note that according to my mom, three days is a long, long time). My plan was to have Niklas take over the site, but his typing is awful. Also, he is a baby and has virtually no grasp of the english language.

    This morning, when I was in the shower, I missed a spectacular display of mess making from Niklas. According to Andrya, it went like this:

    1) Niklas started crying (this part is normal, he cries a lot. I may have mentioned that already).
    2) Andrya picked him up from his crib only to discover that he had taken a poop so large that it had leaked out the back of the diaper.
    3) She put him on his changing table where he was content for about two seconds before puking all over himself.
    4) He puked again, this time getting puke up his own nose.
    5) After she wiped him off a bit and got him out of his poop and puke covered sleeper, he started peeing.
    6) The pee hit him in the face, possibly getting into his mouth.

    I did get to see him pee all over himself in the bathtub tonight, but that's not nearly as exciting.

    Other Stuff Niklas Is Up To
    Niklas has been starting to smile at us and occasionally make little cooing sounds. It's pretty cool. He especially likes to smile after he takes a crap on his changing table. He's very pleased with his mess making ability.

    Niklas has a monkey friend named Wimby who sits in his Pack & Play (portable crib thing we keep in the living room) with him. Today was the first day he interacted with him. He grabbed the ring on Wimby's leg and pulled until Wimby fell over. This, apparently, scared the crap out of Niklas. I also am afraid of falling monkeys.

    Niklas was able to prop himself up on his elbows today. Unfortunately, someone killed the camera batteries by taking pictures of Niklas with his onsie flap pulled up over his head, so Andrya couldn't take a picture. I blame ghosts.

    I've added a few new pictures to the aptly titled "pictures" page. I'm also adding a couple of camera phone shots... right here.

    2006-11-12: The last couple of days have been pretty eventful. Niklas helped us out by allowing us to sleep until noon today (albeit with many, many interruptions).

    Born To Entertain
    Niklas has been doing quite a bit of entertaining lately. Yesterday, he met his great aunt Kim and great uncle Mark. They brought him an Illini outfit which looks awesome. It's important that we hook him on the Illini as they will certainly not do it themselves with their play on the field. Mark and Kim were impressed with his cuteness. He also tricked them into thinking that he doesn't yell all the time. Niklas can be very clever.

    After that, Tammy (his nanny) came by to meet him (he was asleep when she came in for the interview). She arrived just after we had cleaned up a mega-poop, so I hope the first one she has to deal with won't take her too much by surprise.

    Finally, Andrya's friends Erin and Tim came by. They brought Niklas an awesome stuffed duck. Niklas thanked them by behaving himself thoughout their entire visit. I don't think he's ever thrown a fit when people were over.

    Super-Mega Poop
    Today, Niklas only pooped once. It was so large that it blew out the elastic on both sides of his diaper. He was in his bedroom and you could hear the explosion in the living room and kitchen. In other news, my several week streak of not being peed on ended today. Oh well, it was a good run.

    2006-11-13: It becomes obvious to me that Niklas is learning by watching me and Andrya. For example, I bought five bags of candy for Halloween. Since we had exactly zero trick or treaters come by, I ended up eating it all... in three or four days. I bring this up because Niklas insisted on eating about ever hour and forty-five minutes today. This was not terribly popular with Andrya.

    Niklas loves to play the elevator game. This pretty much consists of me lifting him up over my head and then lowering him back down to my lap. He added a twist to this game today by throwing up while on the top floor of imaginary elevator shaft. Unfortunately for me, my face was at the bottom of said fictitious shaft and I was hit by quite unfictitious puke.

    We tried to teach Niklas to sit up today. As you can see on the pictures page, results were mixed.

    2006-11-15: Today was a fairly typical day for Niklas. He got us up at 2:30am and 7:00am. That's slightly better than the 2:00/5:00/8:00 combo he uses sometimes. He ate a bunch more during the day and took his giant poop around noon. We gave him a bath when I got home from work. I gave him a soap mohawk, that's always a good look. After that, he went to sleep. He woke a few hours later yelling. Usually this means his diaper is dirty. This time, though, it wasn't. While I puzzled over what that meant, he peed all over his changing table. We cleaned him up, he ate some more and he went back to sleep, which is what he's up to right now.

    2006-11-16: Niklas has developed a swivel head thing. I'll hold him facing away from me and turn side to side. He'll fix his head and stare at something, pivoting his neck so as keep his head in the same position. Yesterday, he was doing this while staring at the plant like it was his mortal enemy. As a picture is worth one thousand words (or so they say, I've never seen the research), here's an artist's conception of what I'm talking about.

    2006-11-17: Niklas had his two month check up today. He's doing great. His sumo legs and buddha belly have pushed him up to 13 pounds. He's 23.5 inches tall now, too. While I've caught fish bigger than that (yeah... much bigger, but the camera was broken... and... uh... yeah), it's still pretty big. He's in the seventy fifth percentile for height and weight (that means he's bigger than 3 out of every four kids his age). He's the size of an average four month old, so keep that in mind when you're shopping for Christmas gifts (also bear in mind that Niklas loves Best Buy gift cards, checks made out to cash and twelve packs of beer). He took advantage of his opportunity to pee all over a place other than his changing table by marking the scale and examination table as his own. The exam table incident was a spectacular display which involved him getting pee in his hair for the first time.

    Anyway, after the measuring, weighing, peeing and examination from the doctor, the nurse came in with the shots (not the kind that make you violently ill, the needle kind). He had to get four shots today, two in each leg. He was in good spirits before the first one. When the nurse stuck the needle in him, his poor little face went from content to confused to horrified to angry in about two seconds. He passed the time during the next three shots (which thankfully came in quick succession) by using the power of the scream to try to generate sonic waves of sufficient power to keep the needles away from him. After the shots, he was fussy for five minutes or so, but he calmed down shortly after we got him back in his carseat. By the time we left the doctor's office, he was asleep.

    I took a few camera phone pictures of his doctor's office adventure.

    2006-11-20: Niklas's christening was yesterday. We had brunch beforehand at Vinci with Niklas's godparents and some friends and family. Also, there was beer (woo! hoo!). So far, so good. Then we went to the cathedral for the ceremony. To put a positive spin on things (I'm trying something new), it was... long. Unofficial calculations have estimated that you could have had a baptism, a wedding, a few masses and a trip to the Vatican in the amount of time it took for this thing. Let me tell you who doesn't enjoy two hours of anything: babies. Still, Niklas acquitted himself well and he didn't scream while we were in the church. He did insist upon endless bouts of the elevator game, though. I think I lifted about three tons of Niklas yesterday.

    Today, Niklas went to the office with Andrya to meet her coworkers. He was popular with the people who have never heard him scream for two hours straight. Unfortunately, he did not receive an employment offer, so I guess I'll have to keep my job.

    There are some new pictures up, including one of the smiley face band-aids he got after his shots.

    2006-11-21: And now, a word from Niklas.

    Niklas: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I would just like to say a few words about what I've been up too today. FUSS! FUSS FUSS FUSS! YEEEEELLLLLL! YEEEEEEEAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH! WAAAAAAAHHHHHH! [He goes on like that for a while. Let's just skip to the end - Jay] Right, then. I'm going to pass out from rage.

    2006-11-25: We just got back for the Thanksgiving Tour Of Illinois, which is recapped in its entirety below. Also included are a couple minor incidents of note from earlier in the week:

    Andrya had a Doctor's appointment today. She scheduled it for noon so I could come home and watch Niklas without missing too much work (note that I prefer it when she schedules stuff for 2:30 or 3:00). I got home around 11:30, just as he was getting hungry. Since Andrya was on her way out, I was in charge of giving him a bottle. This is not a problem as I'm usually in charge of giving him a bottle in the evening. It turns out that there's a big difference between a noonish feeding and a evening feeding, namely that he usually takes his daily mega-poop in the 8:00 to 12:00 range. Sure enough, about one ounce into a four ounce bottle, the high pressure hose sound that indicates a poop came thundering out of Niklas's pants. Now, if we had been two ounces in, I would have stopped to burp and change him. However, since he had just started eating and it didn't seem to be bothering him, I thought it wouldn't hurt him to sit in poop for a while. I was right. It did not hurt him at all. Once it started running out of his diaper, soaking through his clothes, my jeans and getting on my leg, though, it hurt me a bit. Mostly emotionally.

    As today is the day before Thanksgiving, many companies close a couple of hours early to give their employees a head start on the holiday travel. My company is not one of those. Still, I left work a couple of hours early anyway so that Andrya could do some shopping. This enabled me to reunite the previous day's triumvirate of hilarity; me, Niklas and the bottle. On the plus side, there was no poop this time. As a minus, after he had eaten I had him on my shoulder for the requisite burping. In lieu of the burp, he threw up a bit. This in and of itself is nothing unusual. What was unusual (here comes the minus) was that he puked directly into my ear.

    Thanksgiving Day
    Today marks the first time Niklas will travel more than four miles from home. He woke up at 7:45. After we changed his diaper and Andrya fed him, we loaded him up in the car for the first leg of his holiday road trip. He made it the whole way down to his Grandma and Grandpa Meeker's in Bloomington without having to stop to eat or get his diaper changed. He enjoyed hanging out there with his Grandma Meeker for a while, then many of his other relatives showed up to take turns holding him. He thought this was great fun. Predictably, he was on his absolute best behavior until dinner. I tried to give him a bottle for twenty minutes or so while everyone else was eating. His efforts to tell me where to shove the bottle were more successful than my efforts to feed him. Andrya eventually took over so as to ensure herself the opportunity to miss a big chunk of dinner, too. After that, though, he was flipped his switch from "jerk" back to "classy". He was passed though the queue a few more times, then he went to bed.

    Much like yesterday, Niklas woke up in the 7:30 range, got a new diaper, something to eat and was loaded into the car. We headed off to his Grandma and Grandpap Vennard's in St. Francisville. Sadly, this is more than two hours away from Bloomington, so there was no chance of making the trip without a diaper/feeding stop. Niklas decided that both of these things were absolutely necessary when we were in the town of Villa Grove. Villa Grove has an IGA, a gas station... an IGA and a gas station. Neither had diaper changing facilities, so I found myself standing in the IGA parking lot changing his diaper while he lay on the back seat of the car. His carseat is in the middle of the back seat, so there's not a lot of room with which to work. As an added bonus, the back seat slopes slightly to the rear, so he kept sliding around while I was desperately trying to get the whole thing finished up before he started peeing all over the car. Despite my irrational levels of panic, nothing particularly horrible happened. Andrya fed him, we strapped him in again and we were on our way.

    His Grandma Vennard was very excited to meet Niklas. I don't think she acknowledged me until we had been there for twenty minutes. Andrya notes that my mom hugged her while I took Niklas out of his car seat. To sum up, out of my family of three, I'm currently in third place with my mom. Oh well, I had a good run. Once again, Niklas behaved himself in stellar fashion until we sat down to eat, at which point he put on a thirty minute lecture on how to fuss. After that, he settled down again and was good for the rest of the evening, with the exception of the following:

    Niklas's Enemy
    My mom has a cat named Michelob. He's a bit of an anti-social jerk and by "a bit of" I mean "the very definition of". Anyway, Niklas was sitting on Andrya's lap in my mom's rocking chair. He was feeling a bit fussy, and he was letting everyone know about it. Michelob walked up and sat down about three feet from the chair and looked at Niklas. Niklas just kept up the sob/wail thing he'd been doing. Michelob watched him for a couple of minutes, then he crept up to the edge of the chair and stared intently at him. That's when he started to howl back at Niklas. Niklas would let out his "Whaaaaaaaa!" and while he was taking a breath to reload for the next on, Michelob would respond with a "mrrroooww" that was either angry, sad or maybe just conversational (due to Michelob's previously noted unsociability, I'm unfamiliar as to any sound other than the one that signals annoyance). They went back and forth like this for about five minutes before Michelob ran off. I take this to mean that Niklas won the argument or perhaps said something to offend Michelob, he's still working on his social skills. At any rate, he appears to have an archenemy now, he'll have to watch his back.

    Today was the longest leg of the roadtrip. The drive from St. Francisville to Chicago takes about five hours. Niklas said goodbye to his Grandma and Grandpap Vennard and we hit the road around 12:30. We had planned to stop in Champaign to feed and change him, but he was asleep, so we kept going. He woke up and started fussing about a mile from a rest stop on I-57, so he timed that perfectly. He enjoyed the reststop so much that he pooped himself twice while we were there extending our stay to about thirty minutes. Once again, there were no disasters when we changed him in the car. After that, he slept all the way back to Chicago.

    Niklas had a fabulous Thanksgiving adventure trip and he's glad he got to see so many people. I'm glad there were so many people who wanted to hold him so I could watch some TV.

    2006-11-26: Niklas has a new friend. Jared and Dana's son, Aaron Joseph Hall was born today a little after 2:00 in the morning. Niklas took him an Illini hoodie as a birthday present, but he didn't get to meet him today because babies aren't allowed in the maternity ward as guests. After they told us this, Andrya went back to the waiting room with Niklas while I went in to see Aaron (who looks good, unfortunately, I failed to document this with the camera). Dana's mother offered look after Niklas so Andrya could go to meet Aaron. When Andrya came back into the maternity ward without Niklas, the nurses were a bit freaked out, thinking that Andrya had left Niklas in the waiting room by himself. Such was not the case and Niklas got along great with Mrs. Gelfeld.

    Of course, while we were at the hospital with its many, many diaper changing stations, Niklas showed no interest in eating or having his diaper changed. This changed immediately after we left, so he enjoyed a late lunch in a Dominick's parking lot and a quick diaper change in the back seat. I pity anyone who walks by the trash can where we dropped off the dirty diaper.

    2006-11-29: Doin's have been transpirin' lately. Yesterday, Niklas decided that he was old enough to take on his mother and he challenged Andrya to a battle of wills. At issue was Niklas's newfound dislike for the bottle. This was particularly concerning as Andrya is starting back to work on Friday and Niklas will need to eat from the bottle all day. At four o'clock, Niklas was indicating that he was hungry in the usual fashion - screaming repeatedly into his hands. Andrya warmed a bottle up for him. The battle of wills had begun. It would end when we found out who was right and who was dead... wait, that was the battle of wits from The Princess Bride, but still. Andrya put the bottle in Niklas's mouth. Ideally, at this point, he would start to eat. However, as battle of wills is no place for idealism, he kept up his screaming which was only slightly muted by the bottle. This went on for about half and hour. This would have broken a lesser person (say for example, me), but Andrya is not to be trifled with. After fifteen more minutes or so, Niklas admitted defeat and finished his bottle without comment. Today, he got right in line. Hopefully, this defeat will not crush his spirit too much.

    Niklas has also been moving about more in his sleep. It used to be, he would flap his arms about, but his body would remain pretty much where you left it (save for the occasional accidental roll-over). Lately, he's been moving about the crib like the hands on a clock. If you lay him down in the twelve o'clock position, he'll be at the three o'clock in a couple of hours. Today, he apparently was attempting a jailbreak as Andrya found him with one arm caught in the bars of his crib. His goals (get out of bed) are at variance with mine (stay in bed all day).