Niklas used to love these.

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  • 2007-05-02: Niklas woke up at his usual 5:30 this morning. Sadly, he then took the heretofore unprecedented tack of NOT GOING BACK TO SLEEP. Andrya and I found this to be most unfortunate. After a half an hour or so of listening to him ramble on, at length, about whatever it is the seven month olds babble about when they're babbling in the early morning, I tried to rock him back to sleep. He thought this was awesome, not because he had any interest whatsoever in going back to sleep, but because it gave him an opportunity to create a variant of his "smack the floor" game wherein my face replaced the floor as the principle object being smacked. I am not a fan of this variant.

    Niklas's second tooth is out. It's on the bottom, right next to the first one. Despite the fact that the number of teeth has recently doubled, I still haven't been able to get a picture. His teeth are elusive, like sasquatch, only less fake.

    In a slightly ominous development, Niklas has been ever so slightly opposed to eating peas lately. Ever since the second time we gave him peaches, he has eaten anything put in front of his face with Hungry-Hungry Hippo-esque voracity. When I was feeding him this evening, he momentarily paused while sucking down the peas and made the same face I make when someone tries to feed me something with cheese on it (I hate most cheese due to its inherent grossness). Then he wolfed down the rest of the peas.

    2007-05-03: Niklas apparently felt bad about his early rising yesterday. He went right back to sleep after getting his diaper changed at 5:00 and he didn't get up again until 7:00. I think he still owes us. Still, thanks, Niklas!

    Niklas has learned how to clap, mostly. His clapping style is pretty funny. He holds his left hand straight out and smacks it with his right. Maybe it's technically only a half clap. I'll petition the National Institute Of Clapping And Smacking Things for a ruling.

    There are some new pictures up. Have we finally captured a fuzzy, Loch Ness-style photo of the elusive Niklas teeth? Click here to find out!

    The April news has been banished to the land of wind and ghosts... or maybe here, I don't know. As always, older news and pictures are available through the links to the west. (That assumes you're facing north. Right now, the links are to the south for me. Fascinating, I know. Or not. I just wasted a bit of your time, didn't I? Sorry).

    2007-05-07: Somebody's taken to screaming his fool head off at early hours of the morning. Here's a hint: his name features prominently in the name of this site. No, not Ikl Assm. Do you really know someone named Ikl Assm? You're a liar. Fine, I'll just tell you. It's Niklas. Anyway, I don't know for sure what his deal is, but given the occasional scratch we see on his upper lip, I'm going to guess that he's having trouble adjusting to his newly acquired teeth. That, or he really wants to watch a food dehydrator infomercial on channel 438. Either way, Andrya's been able to calm him down and have him back to sleep within minutes. I offered emotional support remotely from our bedroom. Tonight, though, he woke up screaming much earlier. The cause of this was easy to identify because he had wedged his fat little legs between the rails of his crib almost all the way to his hips. This was unpopular with Niklas.

    There are a few new pictures up somewhere around here.

    2007-05-09: I could tell you that Niklas had a particularly fussy day, or I could stretch a description of his day out to ridiculous lengths. Option two sounds more like me. Therefore, here's Niklas's day, presented in dull, dull list form:

    6:45 am woke up, commenced yelling
    7:00 am breakfast, then yelling
    8:00 am went down for a nap, continued yelling
    8:10 am had giant poop, yelled about that
    8:45 am passed out from yelling
    9:45 am woke up, recommenced yelling
    10:00 am more food, more yelling
    Noonish yelling, food, yelling
    1:00 pm ceased yelling, commenced screaming
    2:00 pm had some food, entered scream coma
    4:15 pm woke up, decided that he should act pleasant for about two out of twenty-four hours
    6:00 pm went to bed, reflected on successful day of agitating

    There was probably some other stuff in there, too, but that's pretty much the gist of it. I don't know if there's another tooth on the way or if he just had a jerktacular day, but he's surely inspired Tammy to invest in a pair of earplugs.

    2007-05-13: We are very hopeful that the Niklas Smith Scream-O-Rama '07 is drawing to a close. Friday was apparently the biggest day of the event with Niklas giving a keynote address that could be heard in three states without the use of amplification. Top scientists (well, me, but I always did well in science) have determined that Niklas's rage was almost certainly tooth driven. We've given him some different teething toys that seem to be to his liking.

    Niklas's grandma and grandpa Meeker came up to help Andrya celebrate her first full Mother's Day (she was pregnant for Mother's Day last year). Niklas got his mommy a gift certificate to her favorite spa to thank her for being so fabulous. He even slept until 7:00 this morning. I expect him to get up around 3:00 on father's day.

    Niklas and I spent a lot of time today trying to launch Claude into orbit from our newly commisioned astrodrome (the astrodrome looks shockingly like the living room floor). Niklas thinks it's great fun to have me lay on the floor next to him and throw things up toward the ceiling. Claude's space mission was a success, but Max The Monkey suffered some internal injuries. Right now I'd say our space program is ahead of China, but behind the US and Russia.

    Who wants to see some new pictures? Raising your hand won't help, but clicking here will.

    2007-05-15: Niklas has been in high spirits the last couple of days. There's been an abundance of clapping and laughing, which is always nice. On the other hand, the laughing and clapping has been commencing at 5:45 or so in the morning. That is somewhat less nice. It will be even more so less nice ("me fail english? that's unpossible!") tomorrow when Andrya is down in Bloomington and I'm running the morning shift. There's not a lot else going on other than a few wet diapers which were of near world record proportions. Things look to pick up this weekend when, weather permitting, Niklas will make his outdoor playing debut. There might be some wiffle ball involved. We'll see how well Niklas can hit curve.

    2007-05-16: Here is a list of things at which I am skilled to degrees vastly superior to those of my son, Niklas:

    • pretentious sentence writing
    • NHL '94 for Sega Genesis
    • microwave popcorn preparation
    • differential equations
    All of these things are trumped, of course, by Niklas's awe-inspiring ability to wake up early in the morning. Did I say awe? That's probably not the right word. Anyway, Niklas played this particular trump card (crushing my dream of a microwave popcorntacular breakfast) this morning at 5:45, much to the amusement of the entire family excluding me and Andrya. This early wake up time seems to be a permanent addition to his repertoire. According to all the literature (as summed up for me by Andrya... you didn't see "reading the baby manuals" amongst my skills, did you?) the list of things we can do about this is:

    • nothing
    • a different type of nothing
    • also, nothing
    So to sum up, I'll be waking up early in the morning for the foreseeable future. I will also be unable to do differential equations. Only one of those really bothers me, I guess.
    2007-05-20: It was quite the day. There was some action packed playing in the grass with other kids and a spectacular poop debacle. Sadly, all of this action packedness has worn me out to the point where I cannot think clearly enough to write anything more than slightly coherent. I'll issue a full report of the weekend's extravaganza of stuff-doing tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. Memorial Day at the latest. Anyway, to make up for my failure to report the Niklas related news in a timely fashion, here are some new pictures.

    2007-05-22: So, here's what's been going on over the past few days. Saturday was not a particularly good day for Niklas. I took him for a walk around the neighborhood and about halfway through, he decided that he had grown weary of his stroller. He eloquently explained his weariness to me by screaming. The best efforts of Wimby and the bear whose name I keep changing who's attached to the stroller failed to dissuade him from that course. I ended up carrying him with one arm while pushing the stroller home with the other. I would have minded that a lot less when he weighed ten pounds as opposed to his current twenty.

    On Sunday morning, Andrya flew out of town for work leaving Niklas and I to fend for ourselves. Sunday also happened to be the third annual Chicago Phantoms team party, so I packed Niklas up into the car and we headed off to scenic (and far away) Sugar Grove. This was the first time that I've had Niklas in the car with me by myself, so I was a little concerned about what I would do if he started wailing in the back seat. Thankfully, he was either content to listen to the special obscenity-free iPod mix I had picked out or he took a nap (his car seat faces backwards, so I couldn't really see him while I was driving). Either way, the trip was wail-free, so that was a plus.

    A good time was had by all at the party. Niklas got to meet Kenny Rolnick, who is almost a year old, and Sarah and Gabe Phillips who are 3 and 6. Niklas found all of the older kids to be fascinating. I found Kenny in particular to be terrifying, just because the speed at which he can crawl about is mind boggling. My days of being able to drop Niklas off in the middle of the floor and wander off for a second are rapidly coming to an end. Anyway, Niklas and Kenny spent some time together in the yard with each displaying a knack for stealing toys from the other. Other Niklas-centric party highlights include Niklas rolling up a slight incline, Niklas being thoroughly unimpressed by grass, Niklas showing completed and utter disdain for the bottle of water I tried to give him, Niklas spitting up all over himself and Niklas spitting up on our host's floor. Thankfully, Dan and Valerie were cool about that last one.

    When we got home on Sunday, it was time to feed Niklas his solid-ish food for dinner. He had gotten a bit warm on the ride home (though he didn't yell about, he was awesomely well behaved all day if you assume that there was no malice behind him spitting up on the Phillips' floor), so I decided to put him in his highchair without his pants. This proved to be a spectacular tactical error on my part. He ended up having a super poop which leaked out of the diaper and ended up all over the high chair and his onsie. I only got a minimal amount of poop on me when I carried him to his changing table. The fact that I consider that a success should let you know how messed up stuff was. Other poop fun involved trying to keep him from putting a poop covered sleeve into his mouth (successful), trying take the onsie off without getting poop in his hair (pretty much successful) and trying to open a new package of baby wipes with my teeth (successful, but only after I had touched the package with my poop covered hand).

    2007-05-24: I know that I declare THE ABSOLUTE WORST POOP INCIDENT OF ALL TIME to have occurred just about every other day. However, I can assure you that two nights ago, Andrya and I were witness to THE ABSOLUTE WORST POOP INCIDENT OF ALL TIME. At about 11:00, Andrya and I were getting ready to go to bed. Andrya went in to check on Niklas and came out looking moderately ill. It smelled so bad in his room that I was pretty sure that a garbage eating dog had moved in, threw up all over the place, ate that, pooped it out and then threw up on top of it. It turns out that such was not the case. What had happened was that Niklas had a horrible, horrible poop that had leaked out of his diaper and made his way all the way up his back and around to his front while he put on his nighttime display of rolly-polly-ism. What made it THE ABSOLUTE WORST POOP INCIDENT OF ALL TIME was the smell, the like of which I have never before experienced having never actually been in the presence of a garbage eating dog with a propensity for spitting up and pooping all over the place. Anyway, we woke him up (he managed to sleep despite the stench, I suspect that he might not require oxygen), cleaned the poop off of him (it took, and this is an estimate, 16 wipes) and put him back to bed. I was actually quite shocked that the smell had dissipated when he got up at 5:00. I would have expected to have to call this guy.

    2007-05-30: Almost a week between updates? If you, like me, love Madlibs, I'm sure you're saying "What the (noun, place) is up with this (noun, object)?" I'm going with "Waukeegan" and "Frisbee", but feel free to use any words you like. Anyway, there've been doin's a transpirin'. Niklas has really been enjoying playing with his vast, vast collection of toys lately. He's discovered that if you slam hard plastic toys against the hardwood floor, you can make quite a racket. Oh, goody. He tried this game with a plastic monkey and my head as well. I may have to start wearing this around the house. There's also been a dramatic increase in Niklas's rolly-polliasity. He's figured out how to turn his body so as to control which direction he rolling in. This has the added benefit of reducing the amount of "I want that but I can't get to it!" induced rage that Niklas produces. On the downside, I caught him chewing on one of my boots the other day.