Niklas used to love these.

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  • 2006-12-01: Today is Andrya's first day back to work. Niklas is at home with Tammy, his nanny. My plan of talking to Tammy for a couple seconds about where stuff is and what Niklas typically does during the day was trumped by Andrya's plan of drafting an owner's manual for the 2006 Smith Niklas that is more detailed (and better written) the manual that came with our Mazda. I'll post a recap of how his first day with Tammy went sometime this weekend. Hopefully, I can report that Tammy hasn't quit do to heretofore unknown levels screaming.

    When I got home from work yesterday, Andrya was giving Niklas a bath. He was having a fine time sitting in the water, occasionally kicking his feet and splashing. I took him out of his tub to dry him off and he immediately stopped smiling and started screaming like he was me and I was a giant lady bug (yeah, a lady bug scared me once... shut up). This went on for a while. After I'd dried him off and dressed him (screaming all the way, mind you), I gave him back to Andrya and he immediately went back to calm. As he is a baby, I can't take my vengeance on for this insult now, but when he's twenty, I'm going to call him at three in the morning twice a week.

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

    2006-12-03: Niklas projectile pooped onto my leg yesterday. Your sympathy is appreciated. Stop laughing and start with the sympathy. Fine, that's fine.

    Friday Recap
    Niklas had a good time with Tammy on Friday. They went for a walk (in the hallway, there were four inches of snow on the ground. having walked around outside myself, they made the right choice), played with some stuffed animals and did a bit of crying (Niklas only, as far as I know). Niklas only napped for thirty minutes during the day, which is odd for him. Hopefully, he'll soon realize that Tammy isn't going to take his wallet while he's asleep. He should also realize that he does not have a wallet. Anyway, all in all, it was a successful day.

    He's Not Just A Member
    Niklas is going a bit bald. His cradle cap is taking a toll on his top and front scalp coverage. He also has a stripe of baldness running from one side to the other around the back of his head. I suspect this is where he rubs his head against his mattress when he's sleeping, though it could be his attempt to bring back some sort of new wave hairstyle I'm not quite familiar with.

    Aaron Hall Bristacular 2006
    Aaron's bris was today. It reminded me of the horror I felt when the nurse showed me how to change the gauze after Niklas's circumcision, but I didn't come nearly as close to passing out this time. Still, the horror... the horror. Niklas behaved himself very well. He had a good time visiting with the several other babies in attendance. Niklas even had the courtesy to require changing while we were somewhere with baby changing facilities in lieu of his typical grocery story parking lot escapades. Thanks, Niklas!

    2006-12-04: Niklas kicked off his first full week with Tammy by cutting back on the fussing and adding the nap back into his repertoire. His bottle hatred seems to be behind him, too, so all is well. He either likes Tammy a lot or he's lulling her into a false sense of security before making his coup attempt. Either way, she seems pleased with his behavior so far.

    There are a few new pictures up, including one of Max the Monkey pinning Niklas. Max is not one to be trifled with.

    2006-12-05: It's St. Nicholas Day tomorrow, so Niklas has his stocking hanging up. He spent the day hanging out with Tammy and looking at the lights on the tree (he likes the tree, he must know that this is where the presents will show up at). After work, Andrya and I tried to take a good Christmas picture of him for his grandparents. He was laughing and smiling right up until we put clothes on him. I have a theory that he fights crime under the super hero moniker Naked Baby when he's not wearing clothes, but that's a tale for another day... or maybe a radio serial adventure. Anyway, once the clothes came on, the scowls came. Niklas mocks any attempt to make him look like a wuss. He also mocks my attempts to keep human waste off of the floors in my home.

    2006-12-06: St. Nicholas was pretty good to his namesake. Niklas got a teddy bear who, until Niklas can give him a name, will be called Cuddles. Rejected names for Cuddles (all suggested by me) include Darth Orsinious, Monkey, Comrade Soviet and Kyle Orton. Niklas also got a new outfit which features the most awesome animal known to man. I'll post some pictures of him wearing it once his aversion to the camera wears off. I suspect that Tammy let him watch a documentary about indigenous peoples who fear the camera's soul stealing abilities.

    Today's important lesson I should have known already: Do Not Fill The Bathtub All The Way Up Before You Put The Baby In
    Why this is important: Science Has Proven That A Full Tub Cannot Remain So In The Presence Of A Thrashy Baby
    How I will apply this knowledge in the future: Knowledge?

    2006-12-08: I don't know how big a baby's bladder is supposed to be, but I'm guessing that Niklas's is about twenty to thirty times bigger than that. Two night's ago, I was changing his diaper. When I took the wet one off, I think I tore some muscles in my arm due to its massive, massive weight. When I set it down on his changing table, it sounded like I dropped an anvil on an even bigger anvil that was sitting on a big stack of anvils. Then, he peed all over the place. I've used the twin disciplines of math and science to estimate that he must produce forty six gallons of urine every hour. In an unrelated note, I haven't been getting much sleep lately.

    Niklas is hitting the road again tomorrow. Andrya has a meeting in Bloomington on Sunday and, since Niklas and I are not to be trusted on our own (he's an angry drunk), we're heading down with her. While in sunny Bloomington, Niklas will enjoy watching me eat pizza, be doted on by his grandma and get his first haircut. While I've been lobbying for something like this, I don't think I'm going to win out. I'll post some pictures on Monday.

    2006-12-11: I didn't get a haircut between the ages of nineteen and twenty-two. Given Niklas's reaction to his first haircut, it wouldn't terribly surprise me if he followed suit. Still, Andrya's stylist Lori did a great job on his hair, especially considering that she was dealing with a moving target. Despite his fussiness, Niklas was popular with all of the ladies at the salon.

    The rest of the weekend went pretty well. Niklas slept on the way down to Bloomington and after the horror that was his haircut (his words... or screams, as they were), he had a bottle, hung out a bit and went to sleep. This was similar to my evening of several bottles, some pizza and sleep. We're so alike, sometimes.

    The next day, Niklas revealed that were he a wizard, his familiar would be a hippopotamus. While Andrya was at her meeting, he went through two bottles and all the extra milk she had left for him. That's when the yelling started. That lasted about thirty seven hours (or maybe until Andrya got back, I started to lose my grip on reality what with all the yelling). After he ate again, though, he was on his best behavior. He slept all the way home and went to bed without complaint.

    That was in stark contrast to tonight, when he was opposed to going to bed. Very opposed. I assume that this is because his bed time is about 6:30 and the Penguins were playing the Capitals at that time. He yelled for about fifteen or twenty minutes before he gave up and went to sleep. I can understand why he was upset, it was an awesome game. Awesome! On a related note, I suspect that my friend AJ, a Capitals fan, yelled for about fifteen or twenty minutes after the game was over.

    There are a bunch of new pictures up. The Perfect Christmas Picture remains elusive, so in the meantime, here's this:

    2006-12-12: Somebody was in a good mood this morning. I don't know where he gets that from, but I'm positive it's not from me. Anyway, I took a few pictures that turned out really well. In other news, Niklas made it through the whole day in the same outfit. This is a new all time personal best for him. Tammy must be lightning quick with the burp cloth. That, or she's enacted my plan of turning up the heat and letting him play naked in the bathtub. Either way, success!

    2006-12-13: For a while, Niklas was waking up twice overnight, once at about 3 and once at 6:30. Those were good times. Lately, he's reintroduced the just past midnight wake up. I think with all of these feedings, Andrya is getting about thirty five to forty minutes of sleep a night. You might think that would prevent me from complaining about all the sleep I'm not getting. If that's the case, you've seriously underestimated me. Or maybe you've overestimated me. Either way. Rest assured that Niklas will be subjected to these complaints at the upcoming Festivus airing of grievances.

    2006-12-15: The scientists at Niklas Smith Labs are always looking for new and creative ways to distribute poop around the house. Their previous breakthroughs have included the classic "High Pressure Diaper Free Dispersal Method", "The Blow Out The Sides Of The Diaper Method" and the nefarious "Leak Slowly Out The Back Of The Diaper" method. Chief researcher Niklas Smith introduced their latest strategy today. While it's still awaiting an official designation, the new method works like this:

    1) Niklas poops in his diaper.
    2) Before the the diaper has opportunity to absorb the poop, he starts yelling like he's me being forced to listen to Celine Dion.
    3) When someone is changing is diaper, he pees all over himself rinsing the poop off of his butt and onto the changing table, the guy (for example, me) who's changing his diaper's hands and wherever else the urine can carry it

    NSL researchers hope this recent bout of creative genius will finally net them a Noble Prize for mess making.

    2006-12-18: Niklas had a rough weekend. On Saturday, I think he spit up on a record seven different outfits. He also yelled. A lot. Mostly at me. He was so busy, what with the spitting and the yelling and the whatnot, that he didn't have time for napping. To make up for that, he slept for over ten consecutive hours Saturday night. Normally, that would be a huge plus. In this case, it only served to leave him well rested for a full Sunday's worth of yelling. I think this two day bender of rage was gas related, but it might just be that he thinks screaming is a good time. I really, really hope it's the first one. Really.

    There are new pictures up. Check out rare rage-free Niklas action here.

    2006-12-19: Niklas is working on getting his first laugh out. Daily visit's from the Zerbert monster illicit big smiles and some squeaky sounds, but no real laughs as of yet. Amusing anecdotes related by me generaly result in blank stares or fussing, but occaisionaly he musters a look of contempt. I've got to work on my material.

    Last night, Niklas made a mockery of Huggies' claims of superabsorbancy. I think he's trying to stick it to The Man. Unfortunately, in this case, The Man is me. Dealing with a diaper that's at about 170% capacity is not a pleasant experience.

    2006-12-20: The Hungry Hungry Hippo is getting big. Last weekend we had to take the top net... baby... holder... thing out of his pack-n-play. Basically, it hung from the top rails and held the sleeping... pad... deal (I'm sure all of this stuff has proper names, you'll have to ask Andrya is you want to know what they are) about thigh-high off of the ground. Sadly, the top flight engineering staff who designed the pack-n-play put a weight limit of fifteen pounds on the top thingy. As Niklas has just about doubled his birth weight, this is now right out and the pack-n-play has been transformed from a convenient place to lay Niklas to a back-wrecking baby jail with three foot high walls. I suppose it'll be easier to take him out once he starts pulling himself up. Stuff should really be easy when he's twenty-five, though at that point, I assume stuff will be less pack-n-play related.

    2006-12-21: Niklas and I did some hanging out this morning. Here's how it went:

    6:00: Niklas, metal guy that he is, woke up screaming.

    6:10: Alright, that first one was an estimate because I was in a sleep coma due to a 10:35 hockey game the night before. This is when I woke up to find that the world I knew was gone and the earth was now ruled by a race of super-intelligent monkeys. Monkeys, not apes.

    6:15: I woke up for real. Stupid fake-out wake up dream.

    6:16: I changed his diaper. Niklas had filled it up as though he drank two 32 ounce Cokes after his 4:30 feeding.

    6:20: I entertained the notion that if I rock Niklas for a bit, he will go back to sleep therefore allowing me the same opportunity.

    6:30: Obviously, that was a pipe dream. He started trying to eat his hands so Andrya fed him. I hung out on the couch. It's possible that Andrya and I had a mutually sleep deprived conversation, but I may have imagined that.

    6:55: Niklas finished eating. He'd also had enough of sitting around, so we went for a walk around the condo.

    7:00: Andrya's boss, Denise showed up. Andrya was giving her a ride down to Bloomington where they were meeting with a client about whatever it is that they do. Denise said that Niklas looked like me. That makes two people with that opinion against about thirty who tell me he looks like Andrya.

    7:05: Andrya and Denise left. I harboured the illusion that Niklas would enjoy laying down for a while so I could go back to sleep.

    7:06: Niklas screamed at me for my insolence. After I picked him up, he slapped me in the face and then spit up on me. Well played, sir.

    7:10: I didn't have the energy to carry him about the house, so I put him in his stroller. I pushed him back and forth while I sat on the couch watching Arrested Development.

    7:30: The stroller bit went exceeding well. Alas, all good things must come to an end and the fussing returned. At this point, it was clear that he really wanted to walk around, so I drank a Red Bull and carried him about the house as the caffeine battled sleepiness for supremacy in my brain

    7:45: Caffeine was triumphant. I made the bed with my right hand while holding him with my left. Then I put some laundry away whilst regaling Niklas with a combination of Christmas carols, Clutch songs and original songs about pooping.

    7:55: I changed my last diaper of the morning. I'm currently on a two-plus day streak of not getting peed on during the diaper change. I probably just jinxed that.

    8:00: Tammy showed up, so I handed Niklas off and got ready for work. Have a good day, Niklas!

    2006-12-22: Tomorrow, we pack Niklas into the car and head off for our annual Christmas tour of Illinois and the Far East... of Illinois. Seeing as how his stuff practically filled the car when we went on our Thanksgiving trip to various grandma's houses, I'm unsure as to how we're going to pack for this even longer trip that also includes a bunch of Christmas presents. We're going to have to put Andrya's Tetris skills to the test. If packing were like NHL '94 for the Sega Genesis, I'd totally be of use. As it is, I'll contribute helpful hints like "I don't think that fits there" and "maybe Niklas can hold that for the whole trip". I'm pretty sure Andrya won't smack me around in front of Niklas. Thanks, buddy!

    Niklas wants to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Joyous Festivus, as appropriate. We'll be back with updates of his Christmas adventures on the 27th.

    2006-12-28: Yes, yes. I know I promised an update yesterday. Somebody was still a little fussy after his Christmas adventure (or as I'm sure he would call it, The Great Disruption) and we were all a little wiped out. Much better today, though.

    Christmas Adventure Day 1 - December 23 (Festivus)
    There was an ominous start to the day when, whilst fussing early in the day, Niklas generated a tear for the first time. An important milestone, I'm sure, but still, ominous. After loading the car to what must be its maximum weight limit, we left the house around 10:30, bound for Bloomington. We didn't time it as well as we did over Thanksgiving and we had to stop halfway down so the Hippo could have an early lunch. While he did eat in a McDonald's parking lot, I don't think it counts towards their billions and billions served.

    When we finally made it to Bloomington, Niklas had a fine time hanging out with his grandma, grandpa and great-grandma Meeker. Later, he got some awesome Christmas presents including books about the U of I, an awesome book from his uncle Eric that features penguins, and a train that makes monkey noises. I'll admit that I was more excited by the monkey train than he was, but to be fair, he napped through most of the present opening.

    Christmas Adventure Day 2 - December 24 (Christmas Eve)
    The wheels came off a bit on this leg of the journey. We drove down from Bloomington to Andrya's aunt and uncle's house in Glen Carbon. We were heading in to our traditional Christmas Eve lunch at the Pizza Hut when Niklas decided that he had to eat right that second and that no dissent would be tolerated. Thus, Andrya missed the first forty minutes or so of lunch in the car feeding the wee Grinch. After that, his grandma held him while Andrya ate a couple of slices. He was then passed off to his grandpa for whom he quickly made a present... in his pants. This led to Andrya's discovery that the Pizza Hut ladies room lacks diaper changing facilities. Perhaps do to the indignity of having his diaper changed on the floor, Niklas lost his mind at this point and vocalized his disgust with the Pizza Hut with a ferocity unmatched by most mortals. We made a hasty exit at this point and returned to Malcolm and Margaret's house for present opening. However, Niklas had no interest in anything other than screaming, so I he didn't notice the awesome sleepers he got from his great aunt and uncle. Despite all of the screaming, a good time was had by all. Still, when he's older I'm going to force Niklas to write out a long and thoughtful apology for his actions. Also, he'll have to mow their lawn.

    Next, we drove down Andrya's grandparent's house in Smithton. Niklas was momentarily calm when I brought him into the house (he enjoys being carried around in his car seat), so I was able to drop him off with his great-aunt Kim before he started screaming (which he did, just as I made my escape). After a few more minutes of fussing, Andrya was able to pacify Niklas with, of all things, a pacifier. Success! He sat around acting reasonably well while I opened his presents for him (do either to his laziness or his lack of motor skills). He got a bunch of great stuff including a baby Winnie the Pooh that rides a turtle (from his great grandma and grandpa Forcade), a giant dinosaur thing (from his great aunt Marcia and great uncle Dan) and some really fabulous clothes from Andrya's cousin Christine. After the gift exchange, he went to sleep to await the arrival of Santa Claus.

    Christmas Adventure Day 3 - December 25 (Christmas)
    Niklas woke up in a good mood, allowing Andrya to take a bunch of good pictures of him. After he had breakfast, he headed off to his grandma and grandpap Vennard's house in historic St. Francisville. There was a Christmas miracle as he slept for the entire trip across the state. After we changed him, he ate and we changed him again, we got to open the last of his presents which included a giant talking frog from his grandma, a hippopatamaroo from Santa Claus and a Penguins jersey from me and Andrya. He spent the rest of the day napping and hanging out with his grandma Vennard. Also, as always, there was pooping.

    Christmas Adventure Day 4 - December 26 (Boxing Day)
    Niklas spent the day relaxing at his grandma's house. There were a few brief skirmishes with his enemy Michelob the cat, most of which were facilitated by me picking Niklas up and chasing after Michelob whenever the cat had the foolishness to walk by. There was a little bit of a shouting match between the two, but nothing to compare with the fight they had over Thanksgiving. When it was his bedtime (about 6:30), we loaded him into the car with his newly acquired stuff for the drive back to Chicago. This strategy paid off as we only had to stop when I really, really had to pee.

    Stuff That Happened Yesterday
    As I may have mentioned earlier, there was fuss in copious amounts yesterday. Niklas, having heard that people traveled to see the baby Jesus was outraged that the same courtesy was not extended to him on his first Christmas. He troopered through most of it, but his serenity now philosophy broke down once we got home.

    Stuff That Happened Today
    Niklas had a lot of fun today. First, he slept until 5:00, which was awesome. He got up again at 6:45, but still. This morning, he spent some time in his bouncy seat and his boat-gym-thingy, both of which were popular. Later, he took a nap while I watched TV. This was very popular with me. This afternoon, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. As far as Niklas knows, there are one or two really cold days a year in Chicago. I'm sure he'll learn the truth soon enough.

    2006-12-29: Niklas gave Andrya and me a late Christmas present last night. He went to bed at his normal time (6:30-ish) and didn't wake up again until 7:00 the next morning. It's been so long since I've had seven straight hours of sleep that I didn't understand what was going on when I woke up and wasn't completely disoriented... I guess that means I was a bit disoriented. Anyway, it was super cool.

    We took Niklas to his first session with a photographer today. He was opposed. We were there for about forty five minutes which broke down like this:
    15 minutes - bemused
    7 minutes - mildly irritated
    21 minutes - outraged
    2 minutes - cute
    Thankfully, the photographer was able to get some decent shots in between Niklas's fits of rage.

    The godfather came by today. He gave Niklas a couple of Penguins outfits for Christmas. Niklas was raged out from his trip to the photographers, so the visit went well.